Monthly Archives: January 2015

Fermented Chicken Feed, Why and How?

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The girls are checking out the new food cautiously...

  I love to make things better than they are... To take something and make it even better gives me a huge sense of accomplishment! Maybe that's why fermenting has become a bit of an obsession in the last few years? So I have been meaning to ferment my chicken food for a while now, I've researched it on several different occasions and somehow it gets pushed to the back burner. I have more free time on my hands lately with this pregnancy. I can't do anything too physical because of my pain I'm battling but staying home all day doing nothing is not an option for someone like myself! So I have dived into my fermenting and baking more than ever! That means I can finally ferment my chicken feed! Read more »

Milk Kefir… Easy to Make and Easy to Turn into Cheese!

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Mmm... Milk Kefir!

How did I not know how easy and awesome Milk Kefir was!? I have been fermenting lots of different things in the last few years and just never made it to Milk Kefir (MK). My sister sent me some starter culture in December and I am amazed at how fast and easy it is! And so yummy and good for me! Read more »

Seeds…So many Choices! How to Choose the Right Seed For Your Garden?

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Seeds, and more seeds, oh my!

  Of course seed catalogs are arriving in people's mailboxes left and right this time of year! It's time to snuggle up by the fire and dream of what you will grow this summer in your garden. Flipping through the pages of glossy pictures with new varieties can be a little overwhelming at times. What do all of these terms mean? How do I know what to choose? I hope I can help you understand this all a little better after you read my post! Knowing who you are ordering from and the quality of your seeds and service can make it a little easier... Read more »

You Should Really Get to Know Our Family

IMG_20150103_223157018_HDR I thought that being a new blogger I should do a better job of introducing all of us. We all play a part in making this home a Homestead. You can read about me anytime in my bio but you should really know the people who make me whole! Read more »

Our Homestead Then and Now

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The sun setting over our pond... breathless every time!

  Where we were. We spent the last 6 years in a run down rental home trying to find our dream home. It had 6 acres most of it woods that we were able to hike in and enjoyed that. In the small area that was open around the house we had a large organic garden and a small flock of chickens. Of course we canned, cooked from scratch, and made our own natural hygiene and cleaning products etc. But we longed for more... Read more »

What is “Homesteading” Anyway?

  cropped-carrots13.jpg Definition. Homesteading (v)- The act of living off of the homestead.
Homestead (n)- House, land, animals and outbuildings that operate as one, frequently a farm.
The term homesteading is traced back to The Homestead Act in the 1800's. It was designed to open up the west. People were given a plot of land to establish and if they stayed at it for 5 years it was theirs!!! Boy, how I wish we could do that still today! It became more about getting back to the land in the sixties and seventies when people like my parents realized how important it was to the natural environment, and the political and economic environment also. We are seeing another surge in the homesteading movement in our current day as well. The sons and daughters of the hippies are realizing that they can make a difference and be more sustainable. The values our parents taught us are becoming more important to us as we have children and desire to raise them well. More and more ivy league graduates are turning in their ties and offices for overalls and organic farms.   What it actually is. People who are trying their best to survive off the land where they live. This can be very broad as some live in urban areas and sign up for local CSA's to provide their vegetables. They are growing herbs on the windowsill and are committed to grass-fed local beef. While others have acres of vegetable fields they grow organically and can stuff all summer long. In addition to raising their own eggs and meat, they probably build all the fences and outbuildings with as much reclaimed materials as possible. The key is to be as self-sufficient, sustainable, and environmentally friendly as you are able. What it means to me. Freedom. Growing most of our food and raising some of our meat gives us the ability to eat healthy and put our food dollars towards local organic food when we need more. We are free from the constant poison that is put into our food system. Family. Many activities we do on the homestead require a group effort! We all do our part no matter how big or small. My 3-year-old collects eggs every day and loves it! We cook and eat together every day as a family. My older two kids are very capable of creating a wholesome complete meal with little to no directions. Future. I have big plans for our little rented homestead! We hope to be here long-term if not forever and we are invested in making this our very own fully functioning homestead! We already grow a lot, can, cook and ferment most of our food. Our chickens give us plenty of eggs even in the winter and the occasional chicken soup. We will be adding to our gardens and even planting fruit trees for a home orchard. I should be getting bees in the spring for honey if that works out for us. Some day I will have dairy goats and will make cheese and soap from the milk. A pig or two for bacon and chops is not out of the question either. If I do all this just right we should even be able to sell at local farmers markets making us even more self-sustaining. Homesteading is...? What is it to you? How are you fulfilling your homesteading dream?  

Freezing in Georgia: What to do for Your Garden?

Arctic blast could damage your plants!
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Frost fabric for the win!

How cold is it going to get? Temperatures are plummeting into the low teens here in Georgia this week! Wednesday and Thursday are looking to be some pretty cold days for us southerners. Wind chill could be as cold as 4 degrees Thursday morning! For more information on the forecast visit these two links. I always look at both myself! Weather Channel: http://www.weather.com/weather/5day/l/USGA0028:1:US National Weather Service: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ffc/ What should we do for our plants? Long periods of cold  and extreme low temperatures can damage even our heartiest winter crops! In Georgia we are privileged with being able to grow year round if we protect our plants from these extremes. Hopefully you have already mulched well if you don't have raised beds. Raised beds naturally retain more heat and mulch protects the root zone from cold damage and also generates some heat. Read more »

Want to Know About My Homesteading Childhood?

My childhood has influenced me in many ways...
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My childhood homestead in print.

  I grew up in a small coastal New England town in a dairy-farming community, in quite a different manner than most of my peers. While everyone else I went to school with had cable and video games, I had gardens and animals. We had a small self-sustaining farmette that provided most of our food. My parents were very passionate about raising their five children off of the land.   Picking the ripe raspberries and cherry tomatoes was a summer-long chore that I remember fondly. We had gardens everywhere and preserved or fermented what we didn't eat fresh. My mother encouraged diversity in the garden to keep the insect population happy and well-balanced. She had an eye for attractive chaos in her layout and still does to this day on the same land. You can visit her Humble Jungle at Grammy's Potager on Facebook. Everything was grown organically, of course. My parents wouldn't have it any other way! Read more »

Still messing around

So the last couple of days I have been learning how to set up this blog page and make it do the things I want it to... I had no idea setting up this page would require so much technical knowledge but with the help of friends, family, and Google I have made some progress! I had such an easy set up for my Facebook Page, Passionate Plants, that I thought this would be similar, boy was I wrong! I Have gone through many tutorials and read through so many trouble shooting threads that I'm starting to understand some of this, I now know what a widget and plugin is and how to use them, mostly... Hand me a pile of seeds and infertile ground and I can transform it into a beautiful productive garden with my eyes closed... This is a whole different thing... So bare with me and I'll be posting awesome content in no time!
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