Progress of Self-Reliant Living

It has been incredibly busy summer so far. We have been set back by the rain and late spring but we are almost all caught up. We are still working on the pallet chicken coop and that is being fully funded by my earnings from the Farmer's Markets/online sales. It is 20X16 so I have LOTS of room for my little free-ranging hens and meat birds in the fall.
I have also been canning a lot. I made our family Sicilian Spaghetti and Marinara sauce last night and canned 24 jars. I will do another batch once this year's tomatoes become ripe. There is such an enormous difference in canning your own or buying from someone that cans versus buying in the store. Stores are production lines, they pick early and therefore can early not allowing the veggies/fruits to reach full ripeness.

They also use varieties that produce tons, which most of the time sacrifices flavor. It's hard to come by a commercial line product that is the best in taste. I am stashing a few jars for myself and selling off the rest at the local markets (Buffalo, MN and Minnetonka, MN). I can't wait to share this with others.
I had some rhubarb (Canadian Red) ripe from my plants that I planted last year so I whipped up a batch of strawberry rhubarb jam - again, I'll keep a couple and sell the rest. What's the fun if you can't share a little country living :)
My chickens are driving me nuts.

They are getting a little better about not coming in the front gardens now but they have discovered bugs like to live under the straw I JUST MULCHED WITH! Those stinkers. I laid out all the straw perfectly around my potato plants and I get inside to make dinner and they have already tore it up. Hmph. AND my berries are doing so well, just ask the chickens. Chickens: 134 Me: 1

The pigs were also winning this week. :/ They got out ... oh, about 10 tens. The grass had grown up around the electric fencing and it didn't phase the pigs to walk right through the line. After weed wacking the perimeter and getting them back in, I brought them their feed and garden goodies - watched the female come up and touch the fence, give out a big reeeeeee and run away. I have to say, it gave me great pleasure to know it worked and it was her that touched it....not me.
My garden is coming along so beautifully! Peas have 3" pods, tomatoes are green, onions have strong stalks, eggplant has beautiful large purple leaves, lettuces are being eaten, and kale is ready for harvest

I have an abundant supply of kale and beautiful lettuces so I will be selling those at the Farmer's Markets this week.
**New invention this week: skin soothing, muscle relaxing Lavender Rosemary BATH BOMBS! Made with olive oil, coconut oil - scented with lavender and rosemary from my herb garden :)  Lovely.
Oh, and I must tell you... Minnetonka Farmer's Market starts THIS TUESDAY JULY 2nd