Sunday, January 11, 2009

Trying to be Healthier

I'm trying something new today. I just put all the stuff in the pot for chicken stock. It now has to simmer for several hours, but the house already smells all warm and homey. I've never made my own stock before, but since we've started raising our own chickens, I feel like I should use them all up. It's partly the time and money investment, I suppose. It's also partly in our efforts to eat healthier. I've pretty much always just used bouillon cubes when I have had recipes that call for stock. But in the effort to help our family eat healthier, I've been trying to use less processed foods, and I guess those are as processed as you can get. Chicken broth isn't square!

So far, having our own chickens hasn't saved us a bit of money. We have fed them for seven months and have probably had about 2 dozen eggs off them and two chicken dinners. But we like knowing that we are eating healthy foods that have been ethically raised. My daughter loves going and collecting eggs. Actually we all do, but considering we only get two a day, it's whoever manages to visit the coop at the right time and most often, it's her!

We're doing a few other things to try to eat healthier. We planted some fruits trees at the end of last year. We've got a bunch of strawberry, blackberry and raspberry bushes ordered for the spring. My husband has been poring over the vegetable gardening books so we can make a second (and hopefully more productive) attempt at a garden this year. We need to cut WAY back on fast food--that's a big thing we have fallen under the convenience of. We don't buy soda for the house anymore. I've been trying to make more things from scratch and rely less on premade/prepackaged things.

So what have you done or do you plan to do to make your family healthier this year? I love reading about what other people are doing because it just gives me more ideas.


Diana of Diana Rambles January 11, 2009 at 3:47 PM  

Good for you. We totally need to eat better!

Love the goat in the snow below!

Anonymous January 11, 2009 at 7:50 PM  

I have always wanted to get chickens, but my husband won't let me. I think he is worried that he will have to take care of them.

Mary January 11, 2009 at 9:50 PM  

I grew up with chickens. I've got hundreds of chicken stories. We have trouble keeping them where I live now due to the foxes and coyotes.

Come over to my place and pickup your award

Lynn January 14, 2009 at 1:22 AM  

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for stopping and visiting my blog :) I loved reading about your chicken experience; we've thought about getting chickens but so far haven't done it. Thought about getting a pig, too :o and also bees, but haven't done those, either. My husband is getting to be a pretty good vegetable gardener, though, and he's also been planting fruit trees the last several years: two peaches, one apple, two plums, one lemon. Last week he planted two apricots and five cherries. So we've been having fun with all the fruit. I freeze some for smoothies, can some of it, make peach nectar to freeze, dry a little of it, bake with some of it . . . it does take time but it's fun for both of us. And such a great feeling to pull out our home-grown produce from the freezer or from the pantry! Have you ever seen the New Harvest Homestead newsletter? You might really like it, it's filled with all kinds of neat ideas for people who are interested in homestead topics. Anyway, it's nice to meet you, and best of luck with your quest to eat healthier. We have also been trying to wean ourselves away from all the fast food.

Anonymous January 14, 2009 at 9:37 AM  

Awesome! We've been making our own poultry, beef, and ham stock for years by keeping all of the scraps. Our neighbor decided she liked the idea too...not for herself, so she saves for us.

We do not buy soda, read labels, buy a much organic as is possible, no reg. milk only soy (which you can get used to liking by slowing increasing a mix of your reg. milk w/the soy until one day...), have rain collecting barrels, drive so much less and make each trip count, keep the windows open and use the fireplace as much as possible...rarely turning on the electric heating, shop 2nd hand, use totes for shopping, hang on the clothes line, and more...

It is such a good feeling!


MamaBear January 14, 2009 at 1:21 PM  

This was fun to read Jenny! (thanks for stopping today BTW)
If you go back to my blog and search "More With Less" you'll find my posts about eating less processed foods and being thrifty in general.

It was only last year that I started making my own chicken stock too. I do it on the stove though - only takes about an hour/ hour and a half. I think there was a post about that somewhere too...maybe search "chicken"???

As for gardening....We're going to take a stab at gardening this year. My goal is to can all the tomatoes we'll need for the year. No more cans!!!!!!

I love our newly discovered apple tree - I'm hoping to make apple butter this coming fall.

I thought I'd throw out this tidbit for you - take it or leave it - soy really isn't good for you. It messes with your estrogen levels. Read and get the latest info on this subject.

Hen Jen January 14, 2009 at 2:56 PM  

we have 4 hens, at one time it was 6..and no, we don't save money either, but we sure love having them. I love having free-range eggs! It might have been a break-even deal at one time, but then I had to take 2 of the hens to the uber expensive parrot dr., he charges 90$ for an office visit!! Yikes!!-our pediatrician actually charges less! Funny thing about living in a big city, none of the vets will see a chicken as a patient!! except for the exotic parrot dr., of course...

love the pics of your chickens!

About This Blogger

I am a thirty-something mother of two girls and a boy ranging from preschool to middle school. My husband and I keep working and reworking on our goal of raising our family healthier. Our house is a constant work under construction--adding on and remodeling. We're happy to have bought our property a few years ago, but as any homeowners know, owning a home just adds to your list of projects and chores because there's always improvements to be made and maintenance to be done. On our burgeoning homestead, we have chickens, guineas, a few goats, and our most recent additions-rabbits.
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About This Blog

I picked the name Petalz and Finz a couple years ago when I decided to try Etsy out. I wanted to custom make some baby related items and have things for girls and boys. I felt the name incorporated both my kids (at the time) into it--petalz for Ivy and finz for Finn.

I haven't had time to do much of anything with my Etsy for a while, but it's still my in my long term goals. In the mean time, I'm having fun with this blog thing. I've found some creative inspiration through my own posting, but also through many other wonderful blogs out there.
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