• “Living In The Outback!”


                    When it comes to living close to the earth you quickly learn what chores are all about. 🙂 For hundreds of years our ancestors lives depended on their ability to not only live off the land but also to create a sustainable balance between what they took from Mother Earth and what they gave back as well.  This is what it is all about; a sustainable system you can create yourself.  The other thing our ancestors did was learn how to store large amounts of food to get them through not only the harsh winters but through bad times as well. And with the world the way it is right now its always nice to know you have the ability to produce your own foods as well as preserve it and store it yourself instead of relying on our modern food transportation and distribution system which in some cases are impossible to count on. This falls and winter storms systems in the Midwest and Northeast have proven that already.

Learning how to can, pickle, or dry your food supplies is something every single person should know how to do. But as far as raising some type of animal for your protein source then you have two choices as I see it; raising rabbits and/or chickens.  In this article we will talk about chickens. I will do another article on rabbits later. Chickens are so easy to raise if you live in the country.  It doesn’t make sense not to raise them! Really! All you need is a simply fully enclose hen house with some wooden boxes for the hens to nest and lay in and a few roosting perches so the roosters and hens can roost on during the night. Attached to the hen house you will need to have a fenced in area for them at first so they can get used to the area. But after a while of you feeding them in the same spot they will always come back to that spot when they see you heading toward the feeding area even if you do like we do and let them out to roam on their own free range here in the woods. You will want to keep them confined to your penned-in hen house and yard for at least two months so they can get use to your dogs, cats and whatever else lives in the area before you let them out during the day. But, like I said, when the evening comes and you start calling them when heading out to the normal feeding spot inside the pen they will come running. All you have to do is close the pen behind the last one coming in. After eating they will drink some water and then start their roosting or nesting routine for the evening. And all you have to feed them in the beginning is Chicken Scratch and Layer Mix and you can get it at any local feed store. But after a while is all about free range! 🙂



Now for Pickling all you need is your fresh vegies or eggs and please make sure you boil and peel your eggs before doing this 🙂 . Take your whole vegie and slice it into spears or long narrow cuts. As for the eggs once they are boiled, cooled and pealed leave them whole. Place your eggs whole into your canning jar and fill it 1 inch from the top with vinegar. If you are wanting to do a water bath make sure that your cans and lids are hot.  Add whatever vegetable you plan to pickle then add the hot vinegar solution that contains whatever herbs and spices you like. Put the lids and rings on the jars but do not tighten them too tight. Place the jars in the water bath canner, cover with water, and boil for about 15 minutes. When they are done, remove them carefully from the canner and set them aside. When you hear a pop then the can is sealed.




When doing the eggs it is not necessary to do a hot water bath. All that is needed is to put the boiled eggs into the jar, add the vinegar and spices and put on the lid. They can set for a long time without any problem. We like to add jalapeno to our eggs to give them a bit of a kick. After a few days they are ready for the eating and will stay good for months. Especially good to do if you have good laying hens and always have lots of eggs on hand. They make great healthy snacks.

Another, and easier, way of doing this is to make up your vinegar solution, add it to the vegetables and let them sit in a refrigerator for a few days. Here is a recipe that will work great. You can adjust the seasonings to your own taste. We like things pretty simple so we only add a few ingredients but you may like more.

  • 1 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped or crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper or fresh jalapeno to spice it up more

Mix together the vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar, stirring until it is dissolved. Add any, all or none of the remaining ingredients. Cover the cucumbers, or whatever vegetable you are wanting to pickle, with the liquid and place in the refrigerator. Mix it up every so often to make sure the vegies are getting equally saturated. After two days they should be ready for the eating but I always give them a week..

This is as we say it Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Gooood! 🙂

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William WhiteCrow

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November 2014
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