Frugal living, as a lifestyle, comes as second nature to those of us who have followed the path for some time. The debt free good life was one I aspired to for many years and it took many more to achieve it, but we still are nowhere near self-sufficient. So this got me thinking seriously about 'what if... we had absolutely no money; could we rustle up a meal from the Frugaldom garden?

German Lop Eared Rabbits

Don't panic! We don't eat any of our own livestock, they are kept more like pets! But we still need to feed them and they still need to contribute to the overall 'welfare' of the microholding project. Octavius and Septimus help manure the fruit beds, dig holes and eat grass. They also love raspberry leaves! But that doesn't feed us!

Home-hatched ducks

We currently have four ducks or, to be more precise, three ducks and a drake. The three ducks are laying an egg each every day at the moment, so there lies the basis for tonight's dinner - duck eggs!

Garden foraged foods

On first looking, you can't really see any obvious meals but it all falls into perspective when you look at it through the eyes of someone with nothing but access to this garden. I picked a leek, some chives, a couple of spring onions, a few dandelion flowers, a handful of lemon balm mint and two of the duck eggs - one for each of us. How natural can a meal get, I ask you?

Making frugal foraged omlette

I set aside the lemon balm mint to, beat the duck eggs, plucked the petals from the dandelion flowers and chopped a good handful of the foraged food. The lemon balm mint got infused in boiling water to make a very refreshing tea, the rest of these ingredients are going to become an omlette.

Frying the foraged omlette

The before and after results. I did cheat a little in that I cooked this in the frying pan on the electric hotplate but had there been no power, it would have been cooked over the log burner or camp fire. There endeth my quest for a nutritious meal without the need to buy anything.

And now for something completely unrelated, but it is relevant. 

Incubating Pekin bantam eggs

I need my hens to keep laying so I try to dissuade them from going broody. I have three tiny pure bred Pekin bantams and a purebred Pekin cockerel. I have been saving their eggs for the past week and have now cleaned out the incubator, disinfected it and set it up to incubate, and hopefully hatch, some of the 18 eggs! :) Recently, I have received several enquiries from people looking for bantam chicks, so now I am hoping a) that we can hatch some and b) that the prospective customers do call back if the eggs hatch.

Incubator temperature has been set at 39C above egg height (approx 100F) and the water tray has been filled to help keep sufficient humidity. This little machine turns the eggs automatically, so no need to open it unless it's to top up water or when it comes time to candle the eggs to see if they are fertile. I'll do that next week after I return from holiday.

Exciting times ahead and an estimated hatch date of 6th May! :)

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