Tips to Stockpile Food for the Winter Months

Tips to Stockpile Food for the Winter Months

Growing up, one of my favorite things to read were the Laura Ingles Wilder books.  Not only were they entertaining, but she also went into great detail on how their food was grown or raised, butchered or harvested and then processed to keep all winter long. Thanks to modern conveniences, most of us don’t really need to take these steps to ensure a comfortable winter, even on a homestead with electricity and appliances.  However, it doesn’t hurt to prepare for a worst-case scenario to ensure you won’t get caught during a bad winter storm or power outage. Fortunately, when proper […]

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5 Odd Reasons Pigs are Extremely Beneficial

5 Odd Reasons Pigs are Extremely Beneficial

When you are living off the land, owning animals that can provide you with food can be extremely beneficial. You may grow plenty of crops and fill your pantry with canned vegetables, but if you aren’t getting enough protein, you won’t have the energy to tend to your farm and home. While there are some homesteaders who don’t want to commit to raising a large farm or a herd of cattle, there are plenty of other animals such as chickens or turkeys that can ensure you have meat and eggs throughout the year. They are also low-maintenance so that you […]

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Need Firewood: 6 Safety Tips for Cutting Down Trees

Need Firewood: 6 Safety Tips for Cutting Down Trees

Removing trees from your property is a great way to clear out space for other use, or to gather up firewood for the winter. If you plan to cut a tree down on your own, it’s important that you understand how difficult, and dangerous the task can be. Especially if you have never attempted to cut down a tree in the past. Here are a few safety tips that will help you cut down trees without putting yourself in danger. Use the Right Equipment Failure to use the right equipment could result in a serious accident. Be sure that you […]

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4 Weird but Effective Ways to Avoid Deadly Bacteria

4 Weird but Effective Ways to Avoid Deadly Bacteria

The primary reason we need to stay clean is to maintain control over the harmful bacteria that can manifest itself in all the crevices of our body that make us smell bad and breed disease. The easiest way to accomplish this is to focus on the areas with the most potential for bacterial growth and go from there. What areas are those?  Just follow your nose.  It’s no coincidence that the areas that provide our embarrassing body odor are the areas we most need to target.  Just like a clogged kitchen drain or backed up sewer system, if the smell […]

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5 Step DIY Soap

5 Step DIY Soap

Making your own soap can be a fun and creative experience. You have the advantage to create a product that is safer than those available in stores and something that is free of perfumes or chemicals. You can also save money over time by making your own soap when compared to products in stores that contain the same natural ingredients. Need another good reason? You can sell it and make a reasonable profit to help you buy the things you need. If you are creative with making soap, you can use molds to make natural skin care products into tiny […]

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5 Natural Medicines You Are Unaware of

5 Natural Medicines You Are Unaware of

More and more people are turning to natural remedies, especially for day-to-day injuries and ailments.  The concept of antibiotics goes back well before the discovery of penicillin.  In fact, some of the natural medications used most have good antibiotic properties. Whether you are suffering from a cut or scrape, or a classic cold, flu, earache, or UTI there are remedies that can assist your body in getting rid of it and getting you back on your feet. Natural Aspirin The most commonly talked about Salicylic Acid, or natural aspirin, is Willow Bark.  Used for thousands of years, modern-day aspirin was […]

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DIY Plant Propagating

DIY Plant Propagating

Plant propagating is a common process among homesteaders where new plants are created using various sources. Seeds, bulbs, cuttings, and other plant parts are put together to regenerate a garden. This branch of horticulture deals with the production of new plants using what is referred to as “starter materials”. Some people look at it as a form of recycling while others place the seedlings in small containers for décor and display uses. How Does Plant Propagating Work? Plant Propagating uses totipotency, which allows the cells to regenerate all the missing parts which leads to creating an entire new organism. Totipotency […]

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3 Effective Sheep Shearing Techniques

3 Effective Sheep Shearing Techniques

Despite some claims from animal rights groups, shearing is necessary to maintain the health and comfort of your sheep. There are 2 main reasons you need to have your sheep sheared once a year. If the sheep’s thick wooly coats are not removed before the summer months, they can become very uncomfortable. Additionally, the amount of dirt that can amass and become matted to their bodies could develop into a health risk. The wool from certain breeds is a valuable commodity and a good source of annual income. When raised correctly with a proper diet, a single sheep can grow […]

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Can Rabbits Contribute to a Homestead?

Can Rabbits Contribute to a Homestead?

Not just for pets, including rabbits on a homestead can be a great way to contribute to your food supplies, both as a food source and a natural fertilizer for your garden.  If you’re into fiber arts or want some extra money, angora rabbits give an additional benefit just by growing their fur. Rabbits for Manure A single rabbit can produce approximately a pound of dry manure each week.  That’s roughly 50 pounds a year. This high-quality soil conditioner is usually low in weed seeds thanks to the prepared foods typically used to feed them.  It also contains an excellent […]

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7 Steps for Easy Canning

7 Steps for Easy Canning

If you decide to get into the wonderful world of canning, be prepared to experience some of the more flavorful food you’ve ever experienced at a fraction of the cost. Canning allows you to pick or buy produce when it’s at its peak maturity and preserve that flavor year-round. The simplest canning process is Water Bath Canning. To get started you’ll need a few inexpensive basics, many of which you may already have, or be able to find at your local thrift store or flea market. The absolute essential musts are: A pot that holds enough water to cover any […]

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DIY Animal Shelter

DIY Animal Shelter

Many structures you see on larger farms will often rival a designer house in style and amenities. However, if design awards are not what you are looking for but only to keep your friends protected from the elements, this basic structure will do.  A simplified shelter with basic material will satisfy all of these requirements. What You’ll Need 3 Posts = Eight-Foot (8’) Long Pressure Treated Four-Inch by Four-Inch (4”X4”) 3 Posts = Ten-Foot (10’) Long Pressure Treated Four-Inch by Four-Inch (4”X4”) 6 Roof Boards = Eight-Foot (8’) Long Pressure-Treated Two-inch by Six-inch (2”X6”) 17 Roof Joists = Ten-Foot (10’) […]

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3 Keys to Choosing the Perfect Livestock

3 Keys to Choosing the Perfect Livestock

A farm or homestead without livestock seems unusual, to say the least.  Whether you see yourself with a flock of cheerful chickens, a herd of graceful goats or a few calming cows, livestock are a valuable food source that should be planned for carefully, then cared for consistently. Are You Ready to Be Available Every Minute of Every Day? Are you prepared to be “on-call” for your animals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? When you enter the world of livestock, a few things to be aware of are: Newborns usually come in the […]

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5 Creative Ways to Reuse Old Cans

5 Creative Ways to Reuse Old Cans

When faced with a number of empty cans in the kitchen, most of us choose to toss them into the recycling bin and call it a day.  Instead, why not turn this common resource into some interesting, fun and creative ways to organize and decorate your home and garden? Whether you use some leftover paint, glue, and fabric, go crazy with a tin punch or drill, or just leave them in their natural metallic finish, there are a number of ways these little cylinders can occupy your time and beautify your life. Option 1 – Indoor Herb Garden Standard vegetable […]

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3 Creative Ways to Fish Without a Pole

3 Creative Ways to Fish Without a Pole

Fishing can be many things, from a food source to recreation, a type of meditation for some but to others a popular competitive sport.  Often a rite of passage full of tradition that is passed down from generation to generation.  Most of us are at least familiar with the concept of fishing, usually with a rod and reel, or if out on the high seas, with a really big net! But, are there other ways to get the job done, especially if you are looking to feed your family inexpensively?  You bet! Here are 3 ways to catch fish in […]

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DIY Bow and Arrow

DIY Bow and Arrow

From Cavemen to Robin Hood and our own Native American neighbors, a well-crafted bow and arrow set has provided food and protection for humans for thousands of years.  And while the technology has certainly advanced, if you find yourself in need of a weapon for hunting or protection, the tried and true “primitive” design of old will give you what you need every time. First, some vocabulary: Belly:  the inside of the bend when a bow faces you while in use. Back:  the outside of the bend. Handhold:  the center area of the bow Upper limb:  the area above the […]

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Homestyle Skillet Pizza (Video)

Homestyle Skillet Pizza (Video)

Who doesn’t love pizza? Ordering in from your local pizzeria is great, but like so many things in life, homemade is always better. You get fresher dough, you can tailor ingredients to your personal A really fun and easy way to make homemade pizza taste delicious and cook perfectly is to cook it in a skillet, like this video shows. Cast iron skillets are so useful in the kitchen, but they don’t have to be restricted to stir-fries and bacon! Baking in cast iron is a great way to add some versatility to your dishes and your cooking talents. Enjoy, […]

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A Brief History of Goats

A Brief History of Goats

Goats are a wonderful choice for an animal to keep on a homestead. They provide delicious milk which can be used for cheese, yogurt, even butter. They help out with clearing land or mowing since they are notorious for eating nearly everything (we’ve all seen the ubiquitous imagery of a goat gnawing on a can). Meat breeds of goat can quickly and easily fill up your freezer with delicious, nutritious meat. They are also relatively easy to care for, and, since they can provide either meat or dairy, are much smaller and easier (not to mention cheaper!) than cows. If […]

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The Easiest Superfoods to Grow

The Easiest Superfoods to Grow

We talk a lot about health on this blog, and a lot about gardening. Of course, there’s a huge area of overlap between the two subjects! Gardening is so beneficial for your health, as there is no better produce to eat than the kind you grow yourself, not just because you can control everything that goes into the soil, but because you can pick it fresh and enjoy it on your plate within hours of picking. This means you will be eating the optimum nutrition, since the produce has so recently been alive. For this reason, pretty much anything you […]

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Healthy Sweet Tea (Video)

Healthy Sweet Tea (Video)

Well, Memorial Day has come and gone, and while it’s not officially summer until June 21st, the bar-b-ques have started, the pools are open, and you’ve probably already done some tanning in your front lawn. With summer often comes delicious sweet tea, which is a staple summer drink in the South (apparently, this is what “tea” means in the Southern states. There is no other kind of tea but sweet tea, so don’t ask, or at least this is what I’ve been told). The downside of many sweet teas, especially those purchased at the store as opposed to homemade, is they’ve got […]

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Easy and Effective All-Natural Homemade Citrus Cleaner

Easy and Effective All-Natural Homemade Citrus Cleaner

There are so many reasons to make your own cleaning products at home. You can save money, avoid nasty, harmful chemicals, avoid keeping toxic products under the sink if you’ve got a small child, do less damage to the environment, the list goes on. However, one of the key features of pre-made, store-bought cleaning products is their strong smell. Sometimes it can be very unpleasant and overwhelming, of course, especially if you’re not used to them anymore, but if you’re not, you might associate that clean, sweet smell of a scented cleaning product with cleanliness itself. And it actually makes sense […]

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