HOMESTEAD HAPPINESS! Abundance – Freedom – Education

 

HOMESTEAD HAPPINESS


Homestead Happines is…

ABUNDANCE!

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Being able to grow most of our food has been our biggest ABUNDANCE! We have high quality, nutrient dense, organic food literally at our fingertips! From fresh produce to non-GMO eggs and goat milk we nearly cover it all! Our Gardens, Chickens, and Goats are our biggest Homestead Happiness Abundance!

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Homestead Happiness is…

FREEDOM!

Not relying on others to provide for us is our FREEDOM! Sure we have rough times financially with one income but with me staying home to tend the homestead and school the children has made us freer than we have ever been! We are free to make our own rules and schedules for us and our children!

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(Image source: http://aberdeencars.blogspot.com/2011/07/ )


 

Homestead Happiness is…

EDUCATION!

We are always gaining and sharing an EDUCATION on our Homestead! Every season we learn something new about our animals or gardening or life in general! We are here to learn all we can and share what we learn. We share this education mainly with our children who absorb it like sponges!
We also share with our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRFL-VU0wM9JZDCulQPDp4g) so that others can learn along with us and we share here as well!

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Thank you for reading and watching Wholesome Roots!

Homestead Mom! A HARD Job But WORTH It!

Homestead Mom

I was feeling overwhelmed and frustrated the other night and my anxiety was getting the best of me as it often does lately. I was thinking of all the things I needed to get done over the weekend but had so many things that still hadn’t been done during the week that were sitting right in front of me taunting me. All I could think is, HOW on Earth do other people do it? I can’t get even the simplest household chores done, never-mind all the homesteading tasks… So, I started to type out a list on Facebook to RANT about my insane list, but something changed by the time I got to the end…

“I have dishes to wash, floors to sweep, toilet to scrub, refrigerators to clean, laundry to fold, toys to toss, milk to make into cheese, eggs to preserve, chickens to sell, stalls to muck, balls to band, hooves to trim, paddocks to move, goats to milk, gardens to redo, lawn to be mowed, plants to plant, mulch to move, weeds to pull, seeds to sort, children to teach, meals to prep, butts to wipe, tears to dry, hugs to give, kind words for a friend, love to share, plenty of dairy and eggs to give to those in need, a roof over my head, bills barely paid, animals that know I love them, a husband who cares, kids that are perfect in every single way and I am grateful!”

…and it turned into a RAVE!

You see, all the things that I wanted to complain about are also the things that bring me the greatest amount of joy! Nobody ever said that life was easy! Especially if you have chosen the homestead life! It’s hard and it’s time-consuming! But it is also very rewarding!

5 Things You NEED to Know to Grow Summer Squash!

‚ÄčSummer Squash:

One of my favorite things to eat but not to grow…

Some reasons why; squash bugs (stink bug), squash vine borers (moth larva), and powdery mildew (fungus)…

I have grown squash as long as I can remember and in every state I have lived in across the US. Growing squash in Georgia is hard! The pest here are so bad that it makes it a loosing battle every time! I’m lucky if I get a couple of fruit per plant. But for some reason I still plant it! I really do love squash!

 

So here are my issues and the best ways I have found to deal with them.

    • Squash bugs: Monitor plants daily and remove every stink bug you see, crushing or drowning in soapy water. Also, scout for shiny copper eggs on and under side of leaves and remove and destroy them. 
    • Squash vine borers: Repel the adult from laying eggs by putting foil around base of stem at soil line or wash same area daily with horticulture soap or oil to remove and/or kill the eggs.  If already in stem, frass (poop) will be evident at base and plant will be wilting, surgery will be only hope now.  Early in morning cut into stem with clean sharp knife going upward with stem without cutting through to the other side, look inside hollow stem for white worm like larva and kill it. Cover cut stem together with moist compost to encourage rooting, keep watered while new roots develop. Some people have success covering with floating row covers but they must be removed at flowering to allow pollinators in to do their job. Also, planting a few weeks after the peak of squash vine borers may give you a better chance. Some squash varieties are more resistant like the ‘Lemon’ squash in the picture at the top.
    • Powdery mildew: Warm and wet weather encourages this fungus so be sure to avoid watering leaves. Many people suggest different home remedies for this like, Epsom salt, baking soda and milk but I had little success with all that. Using a neem oil spray will help prevent and treat this. It must be reapplied often. Prevention is key when trying to control any fungus so make sure you keep leaves as dry as possible and allow for plenty of air circulation. Always trim off the most infected leaves and dispose of in the trash not your compost and wash hands and tools well to help prevent the spread of the spores.
    • Pollination: Squash plants have both male and female flowers on the same plant. The male flower has a long upright, thin stem and tends to be the first blooms on your plant. These early blooms are great to harvest for stuffed fried squash blossoms. Female flowers are closer to the main stem with shorter, thicker stem and often a fruit like structure. The pollen from male flower must enter the female flower in order for fruit to develop. This is typically done by bees and other pollinators. If you are lacking in pollinators in your garden you may have to hand pollinate. If you have female flowers falling off with no fruit growing its time to step in.
    • Seed Crossing/Cross Pollination: Summer squash are classified as Cucurbita pepo as well as many others including, zucchini, pumpkin, gourd and many more. So having two different species of these planted in the same garden can make saving seed difficult or at least interesting! The fruit will grow and look the same this year but the resulting seed could be cross pollinated and there is no telling what you could get! I once had ‘Lemon’ and ‘Zephyr’ summer squash cross which was a nice accident! So if you have a desire to save seeds you will need to keep them very far away from each other and hand pollinate.

 

All in all, it’s really worth it when you get to harvest yummy squash!

Do you have any advice to share about squash!?

Garlic Ginger Paste for Goats (or others): Immune Booster and Natural Dewormer!

Garlic Ginger Paste

This easy to make paste will give your animals extra immunity when sick and can be used as a natural weekly prevention for worms and parasites. Garlic, Ginger, Cayenne and more!

I started making this when my sweet Fancy Girl (my favorite goat) became very ill.

 

It really helped her keep her immune system functioning well while I got her past a bad sickness. I will definitely be using it again if anyone is unwell. I may even add it to my weekly routine with all my goats.

 

I got this recipe for Garlic Ginger Paste from HAPPY VAGABONDS FARM who gave me permission to share it.

 

“This is literally a health panacea! This tonic is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, super anti-oxidant, immune booster, prebiotic, great for aiding in digestion, a source of potassium, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, magnesium and selenium, loaded with vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E! ” – Happy Vagabonds Farm

 

Recipe:

Ingredients:

4 oz of garlic finely chopped

4 oz of ginger finely chopped

drizzle of Olive Oil

1/4 cup of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar with Live active cultures

2 TBSP of good cayenne

3 TBSP of black strap molasses

 

Directions:

Drizzle a little Olive Oil over the fist two ingredients in a blender to assist in blending and blend till all chunks are gone.

Add the rest of ingredients and blend well.

Add 1/8 a cup of hot water and shake vigorously to pour into a quart glass mason jar and cover with a non corrosive lid and refrigerate to use as needed.

To serve:

Mix 1 TBSP of Paste with 2 TBSP of warm water and pull into a syringe or drench gun and drench each goat with this amount. This should be done weekly as a maintenance or 3 x a day for an unwell goat.

If you use other herbal supplements (Like Molly’s Herbals, GI Soother, or turmeric) and/or pure essential oils, they can also be added to this drench!

Here is a video tutorial I created on my YouTube channel.

 

Thank you for reading and watching Wholesome Roots!

 

Grilled Georgia Peaches with SPECIAL Toppings!

The BEST Thing You Will EVER Put In Your Mouth!

Grilled Georgia Peaches with SPECIAL Toppings!

 
The perfect summer Dinner! Grilled peaches with Balsamic Reduction and homemade goat cheese was the star of the show!

The Mexican street corn with homemade mayonnaise and our homemade cheese with sriracha was pretty close runner-up! Rattlesnake beans from a friends garden and a burger with our first ripe organic, heirloom, white, slicing tomato tied it all together perfectly!

 

The Peaches we bought fresh from a local Georgia farm, Gregg Farms, home of the best peach ice cream! We make it an annual tradition to go eat ice cream and buy a bushel of peaches and whatever other fresh produce they have! Fresh peaches are not refrigerated like store-bought peaches so the flavor profile is off the charts!

 

The first step to creating this masterpiece, is to cut peach in half and remove the pit from the center. If too ripe it is a little difficult, so choose ones that are still firm to make it easier. If you want to you can coat in oil or just go straight on the hot grill! Grill both sides briefly to get nice charred lines on peaches!

 

 

 

 

You can make or buy your balsamic reduction, we make it because it is so easy. Just put balsamic vinegar in a small pan and slowly simmer on low till reduced to a thick glaze but be careful not to scorch towards the end! It is better to pull it off too early and it be a little runny than to burn it! Generously drizzle over grilled peach.

 

If you are lucky enough to have dairy goats and therefore an abundant supply of milk that you turn into cheese then top it with said cheese! Or cottage cheese or goat cheese or even ice cream if you want a savory dessert!

This was so good! I ate three! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

 

Here is a video of our awesome trip to Gregg Farms last year. Feel free to subscribe to our YouTube channel while you are there! We do a daily video!

 

Thanks for reading and watching Wholesome Roots!

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