Eyes On The Prize: Jack And Tammy

It seems I must confess: I didn't think I'd love any other farm animals as much as I love my chickens. But I was wrong. So wrong. Even up to the day we brought home our breeding hogs, I had doubts about the whole thing. You see, we recently purchased a boar and a sow…
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Shingle To The Left, Shingle To The Right

How would you describe the work of a homesteader? DIYer? Permaculturalist? Farmer? Gardener? Homemaker? Builder? All of the above? Well, this is how I would describe my hubby: Modifier. He is a person who truly thinks out of the box and can take anything and make it better! With that said, this post is about…
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The Pig Palace

As the days close in on us and the hair grows grayer, we're reminded that time is a precious commodity and we should always make the best use of it. So at this point, we're ready to move forward and raise more animals. And we're switching it up a bit by building a "Pig Palace"…
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No Time For Debate, Gotta Harvest That Chicken

Responsibility. The main reasoning behind the farm-to-fork movement. It is why I want to raise and harvest my own chickens. You see, I feel as if I have no right to get involved in the debate about the inhumane treatment of chickens, or the poor quality of eggs and meat at the supermarket. Why? Because…
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The Problem That Led Us To Marital Bliss

Have I told y'all that the hubby LOVES his sawmill? Oh yeah, I did. It makes him proud cut after cut, which leads to a sweeter hubby at the end of the day, which in turn strengthens our marriage... wow, a sawmill did all that! Got a big ol' log? No problem! (read more) But…
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The Spring Harvest Report

Boy o boy am I behind on posts! This was supposed to be published last month... how time flies. So first let me say sorry about all the old pics. I'll just quickly explain each one and move on to something more current. Earlier this spring, small baskets like this one had us salivating for…
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Market Garden Update: Pride And Heirlooms

I decided to do a bit of bragging in my latest newsletter because I'm still astonished at the idea that I can grow organic, heirloom veggies. Really, the only thing that stopped me in the past is that we're told by the gardening magazines how difficult heirlooms are to grow, and the TV commercials would…
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Assembly Line Jar Salad w/Garlicky-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yes, I got into the whole 'salad-in-a-jar' thing. You know why? It works! It keeps the lettuce and other greens crisp and yummy for a very long time. I wouldn't dare make this stuff up. And though many others have different recipes you can follow, some rules apply to all: Fresh ingredients only (no week-old…
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The New/Old/Improved Garden Arbor

My entire homestead plan is divided into sections or separate areas that serve a specific purpose. I happen to be working on the fruit tree and herb garden area this time. What will make this garden different from the rest is the laid back feel of it, where all you'll want to do is grab…
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Market Garden Update: The UFO’s Are Here

(Drafted in December, 2013) On this super slow winter day, I decide to lift my head up out of the sky-high pile of receipts and shut down the Quickbooks software to take a long walk in the garden. Though it's sunny outside, winter is here and our area is experiencing some all time lows. So…
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Makeshift Momma Strikes Again!

A few weeks ago the hubby and I found a roofing supply warehouse harboring stacks and stacks of pallets behind the building. After talking to one of the forklift operators (who was the most cheerful forklift operator I'd ever met) we were allowed to pile some up on the truck and take 'em away for…
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Dumpster Diving for Garden Pathways

Our property used to be a weed haven. Starting a garden in the middle of the mess was a real challenge since the weeds are ferocious (some I have yet to identify), but I finally have it under control. Cardboard. Yep, that along with a thick layer of mulch is pretty much all I can…
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Less Ado About The Do

How do black farm girls keep their hair safe from sun damage? They put it up of course as stated in this post. Yes, it would be nice to have our lovely locks bouncing around as we run through fields of lilies just like the many romantic pictures we see around the web. But is…
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Greenies Like Us: Homemade Bug Repellent

If you know me, then you know that I am constantly thinking about how to avoid going to the store. I mean, one day I hope to grow my own peppercorns and harvest my own sea salt! Yeah, it's like that. So when a fellow blogger posts a homemade recipe for biting fly and mosquito…
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She’s A Buxom Backhoe Beauty

Working girls are beautiful. And sure, by the worlds' standards, a brand new and shiny girl is what most will go for. For some reason when it comes to a piece of farm equipment, a fresh coat of green and yellow is what sells; marketed as if it can do more than its used, dingy…
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The Condiment Series: A Nod To Hot Sauce

I have a book called "Hot Sauce!" that I just love. It has every kind of hot sauce recipe you can think of, but if you're just starting out, here's a super simple recipe that is very versatile and delicious. Versatile in that any kind of hot pepper will work, it's a matter of your…
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Pinterest: How I Now Experience Winter

In just one short month, winter will have arrived. Sigh. No, I don't sigh because I dread it. I LOVE wintertime! When the boys lived at home, the hubby and I used to drag them to Nevada every year to experience the wonders of snowball fights, skiing and building snowmen. Of course they ended up…
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Market Garden Update: What’s In It For Me?

Growing food for the farmers market is over now, but that doesn't mean the market garden has slowed down any. This year the garlic count has gone from a little over 300 heads to 800. Yowza! This 50 foot section holds 400 garlic cloves in 4 rows, and I'll add a second section of garlic…
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The Dutiful Homesteader: September

First chore: Collect more seed We started this last month and so the chore continues: It’s easy to harvest seed in a wide variety of crops. All you need is the space to let them sit out and dry for a while. Some, like squash and melon seeds, will need to be washed and then laid out…
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The Dutiful Homesteader: August

First chore: Start collecting seeds It's easy to harvest seed in a wide variety of crops. All you need is the space to let them sit out and dry for a while. Some, like squash and melon seeds, will need to be washed and then laid out on a towel to dry. Pepper seeds don't…
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People Who Live In Polycarbonate Houses…

The original plan to build a greenhouse near the back of the market garden still stands. We need a big space for growing food through the winter and an aquaponics system (eventually). We have all the framework here already (milled by the hubby) and we'll try to find salvage materials for the rest of it.…
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Teensy-Weensy Batch Walnut-Pear Sauce

Remember when we first moved in and our poor little pear tree struggled to bear fruit? The land was so overgrown and neglected that it almost died on us. Well, it seems to be a lot happier now: You go pear tree! Way to come back! I look forward to next year when it's had…
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The Dutiful Homesteader: July

First chore: Begin clearing up summer plantings Summer fruits/veggies harvest times vary so much, that you could wait until it's all over to begin. But then you'll have one big monster-of-a-work load on your hands and little time to do it. So maybe it will work out for you to start doing a little at…
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The Dutiful Homesteader: June

First chore: Work on a sewing/quilting project Or any craft that makes you happy. The farm work is all about maintenance and watching things grow this month, so it's the perfect time to make an apron, piece together a scrapbook or turn a mason jar into a pendant light. Next chore: Plan your fall and…
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Now That’s One Quick Chick!

When the yard work has you doing circles, who has time to fix a gourmet meal? Do an easy chicken dinner (and get more bang for your buck in the end). Quickly pump up the flavor by stuffing a chicken with fresh herbs, lemon and garlic. One Quick Chick - Lemon-Herb Roasted Chicken 1 whole…
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Building A Homestead

As I sit down to take a break outside in my kitchen garden I decide to write about the latest. Slowly but surely we are making the dream come true. I am excited that my first try at selling (at the farmers market and crafts fair) is as much fun as I thought it would…
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Happiness In The Kitchen Garden

I LOVE to grow food. Love. End of story, post complete. Oh wait. Let me show you some pictures k? (said the proud mamma) In early July we had zucchini, crookneck, two kinds of cucumber, bell peppers, jalapenos, cayenne peppers, beefsteak tomatoes and rosemary. Still growing but ready to bust out at any moment: Chard,…
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On Trial: Raw Sugar Body Scrub

I'm on the hunt for a homemade body scrub and it just so happens that I found a great post over at wellnessmama.com who so kindly broke it down to an easy recipe to remember: 2 parts sugar to 1 part oil, plus your extras. Me like. But you know, there was another site (deliciouslyorganized.com)…
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Homemade Deodorant Cream: Smooth As Silk

How far does a box of baking soda go, right? There are so many uses for the stuff, it's unreal. This time we're making a deodorant that is a favorite with our family. Especially my youngest son who has gone completely natural and vegetarian. He loves this stuff and will never go back. The best…
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Way To Plan Walkways… Not!

This is a quick rant to show you what a crazy mess I have in the kitchen garden. I planned it well, but not. Let me explain... While at first glance it looks as if all is growing well. In the bed on the left I have sweet meat squash next to cantaloupe next to…
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