Oh, dear, I haven’t been quite the good blogger lately since I’ve been occupying the kitchen!  Yep, folks, I’m back in the canning grove again putting up jams, squash pickles, tomato sauces and more as we harvest the last round of the summer crops.    Better late than never. Thanks to our cooler than normal summer, the bumper harvest never really came it all at once… sorta trickled.  Still trickling… harvested a couple of cucumbers, more tomatoes, eggplants and peppers.  Oh, yeah, more squash too!

The fall plantings, mostly greens, are off to a slow start.   The brassicas, however, look beautiful but everything else seems to be growing really slowly. Don’t know if that has something  to do with the roller coaster hot/cold weather pattern we’ve been having lately.    The good news is some rain is on the way before the end of the week!

Been busy with other things like helping a dear friend who’s in a convalescent home  – visiting her, doing errands, etc.   The guys are hard at work in the garden and building a cart with shelves  for the front porch farm stand to help display the produce and products better.   Can’t wait!  There’s so much going on that it’s all in a jumble….  it’ll take me awhile to file and categorize.  *grin*  Stay tuned…

Happy fall, ya’ll!

October Harvest Tally

573 lbs Produce (fruits, vegetables, herbs)

Eggs  186 (Duck)  28 (Chicken)

149  Jars “Put Up”

2011 Year to Date

4,846 lbs Produce (fruits, vegetables, herbs)

Eggs 1044 (Duck)  486 (Chicken)

554  Jars “Put Up”


  1. Candice says:

    So I’m curious – with 554 jars of food preserved… what do you do to store all those jars both when they’re canned and when they’re empty?! I have a hard enough time trying to find a way to store my jars as it is and I only have probably a few dozen! Let alone if I had 554!

    (I got my calendar in the mail the other day and I was so excited to see all the pictures from around the Homestead! Its beautiful!)

    • Anais Dervaes says:

      That’s a good question… and a BIG challenge for me. I do sell some jams but I still have to deal with all the empty jars…. and storing them! I put the empties in Rubbermaids, which stack easy and put them in laundry room/pantry area. Glad you liked the calendar, thank you for saying so!

  2. Ginger says:

    I’m always cheered, when I see you’ve written a new post. You make me smile.

  3. Mitzy says:

    Sorry to see about the take down of your site every time you post a harvest tally. Just jealous, I guess.

  4. Michelle says:

    Wow! You are all amazing. It’s people like you that make positive changes in this country.

  5. Elena says:

    how do they “take down” your site? and, who is “they” do you think?

    • Anais Dervaes says:

      Actually it;s called a “DOS” attack, “A denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) is an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users. Although the means to carry out, motives for, and targets of a DoS attack may vary, it generally consists of the concerted efforts of a person, or multiple people to prevent an Internet site or service from functioning efficiently or at all, temporarily or indefinitely. Perpetrators of DoS attacks typically target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers ” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial-of-service_attack

  6. Monica says:

    I’m curious about the difference in egg totals. With a dozen or so chickens I would think they would outlay the ducks. Why the difference do you think? Amazing totals! I love coming here to get daily inspiration! ;0)

    • Anais Dervaes says:

      We have a mix flock of new and old hens (one’s going on NINE years old). Right now we have four young ( 2 yo) ducks so they are out laying both the old ducks and older ( 5 yo) chickens.

  7. elaine nieves says:

    Do you sell a lot of what you put up or can? If not, I would be curious as to where those 554 jars are stored. I know my cupboards would not hold all those jars. Also curious about why your ducks outlay your chickens by so much? Do you have a lot more ducks of egg laying age and aging chickens? I guess most people have grown up thinking that chickens lay eggs for us and ducks just quack, swim and look cute. In any case, keep up the fantastic work you are doing on your urban homestead!

    • Anais Dervaes says:

      I do sell a few jams but lucky for us we have an OLD kitchen which has huge cabinets which can store a few hundred jars. We have a mix flock of new and old hens (one’s going on NINE years old). Right now we have four young ( 2 yo) ducks so they are out laying both the old ducks and older chickens.

  8. Melissa Ciafardo says:

    You all are such an inspiration to me. I sometimes feel overwhelmed in our homesteading adventure. We have a 100+ year old home and we live on top of a mountain in the middle of the woods. It was my dream until I started living it. I wasn’t prepared for all the critters and spiders and bugs that also want to stay warm in our home. I love that we have land and are on our way to a self sufficient lifestyle but I’m having a hard time dealing unwanted guests naturally and safely because we do have four children and three dogs. We also lost all 27 of our chickens because of a mama fox teaching her baby to hunt. I feel a little defeated. If you have any suggestions or advice I would love it. Thank you and God Bless! Melissa

    • SunshineAxe says:

      Melissa, I’m working on an urban homestead in a 100 year old neighborhood. The rats, raccoons and opossum continually harass and kill my chickens. I’ve armored the bottom of the cage to keep the animals out, so they are sage while in the coop. I let them out, but I HAVE to get them back in the coop before dark or there could be trouble.

      I just keep working on it and trying to get my act together, but it can be pretty deafeating. I’d just say, hang in there and keep trying or GET A DOG!

      Here’s a link to a page that has a full discussion on it: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080110094809AATcvVl

      Good luck!

  9. SunshineAxe says:

    I have a question. Does anyone else have any trouble with rats? I’m working on creating great soil straight in the ground. I have a hard time getting anything to grow because the rats have discovered the earthworms that have taken up home here and they dig up everything!!! It looks like a war went off every morning when I wake up. My mulch is thrown everywhere and plants are uprooted and buried.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    P.S. I’ve made a three foot tall, eight foot long hügelkulture mound and it’s growing nicely. They don’t seem to have noticed it. I’m thinking about just doing a yard full of those!

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