Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How To Treat Your Poultry For Antibiotic Resistant Sinus Diseases & How The US Just Killed Homesteading & Small Farms

 
  There is so much to say here, that I'm just going to drop my recent Youtube at the bottom, so you can see it for yourself. We are successfully treating our poultry for antibiotic resistance with natural remedies and antibiotics! The turkeys we are raising contracted it from the feed. Once we removed the feed, no more turkeys got sick. Here is how we are treating them and how you can treat yours with inexpensive yet effective remedies.
  Also in the video I cover how we in the US, (the FDA actually) are going to put small farms and homesteading out of business. We have less than 1% of our population in farming (most of those grow corn, soy and cotton) and we are just about to kill those homesteaders and animal farmers that are left with a regulation called the Veterinary Feed Directive. You need to look at this closely. I explain in the video. Please like, share and subscribe if you are a homesteader, gardener or interested in learning more on these subjects! Yes, antibiotic resistance is real, but don't throw out the baby with the bath water. This video shows how to treat a flock with a few inexpensive items. Then how this antibiotic resistance is being used as an excuse to KILL homesteading and small animal farms in the US. Corporate farms will still use antibiotics in there animals to grow them quickly, because they keep vets on pay roll. Yet those who need medicine to keep their animals alive in a rare situation like ours here, will not be able to afford it. Please watch! You will feel the effects even if you don't fully understand the reasons. I firmly believe a famine could possibly result from this regulation. Yes, big corporate farms will still be able to lace your food with antibiotics, while the little guy will NOT be able to afford them for life saving treatment. Also the blog post below entitled "Your Staring Famine In The Face" should help you understand the depth of where this will get us as a nation.  https://youtu.be/Q0WUMWprz3o

Thursday, August 25, 2016

10 Ways To Homestead & Survive In The City

  This is how I began homesteading in the suburbs right near a big city. This is where I got many of my skills way before we moved to the country to do it on a larger scale. I am so glad I didn't sit on my rump complaining about what I didn't have. My kids and I were totally able to embrace our current homestead because of the life style I gave them in the city. When I was growing up, my single Mother raised me with very few absolutes, but there was one thing that was absolutely NOT allowed. It was saying "I can't". If those words ever slipped from my mouth, my southern Mama would quickly give me this reply, "I can't, never could do nothing". Translated, it means that those people who say "I can't", will never do much of anything and will always look for an excuse to get out of doing what they can do. "At the very least", I was told, "you can always say, I will try". And in most cases, she was right, I could do whatever I put my mind to do. You can too. I took that lesson with me all through life, no matter the situations or places I've been, and it has been my #1 Homesteading or Survival Skill: sheer determination. Here are some things we did, not because we wanted to, but because our times call for it. I hope that they might be of help to you if you're homesteading or working on survival skills in the city or suburbs. I would like to say, that your ultimate survival is in God's hands and whether you live, die, sustain your family or are able to benefit others, all glory goes to Him. Make sure your spiritual survival kit isn't lacking before your earthly one.
  1. Snub convenience foods for a better, healthier way. By putting back healthy foods and learning how to cook them from scratch, you can be fine when others are in a total panic for what to do for the next meal. Seek out farmers or gardeners around you so you can begin learning how to can or freeze foods your family will eat/need in the winter or could survive on in a worst case scenario. Make friends with farmers, gardeners or the Amish. Ask to buy their leftovers or even ask to pick what they don't want to. Biblically it's called gleaning. Some farmers will offer you the ability to 'pick on the half'. This means they grow it, you pick it, and split the harvest with them. You each get half of what you've picked. This is a great way to get produce that you haven't put sweat equity or time and money into growing.
 When it comes to canning, my favorite canner is an All American Pressure Canner. They have a few different sizes so you can choose the one that fits your budget or needs. Hands down the best canner ever. You can also find it at Shetler's Wholesale, I give the number below in #10. You can do a water bath and pressure canning in it. You can also do some cooking as well. I will also add here that teaching your self how to cook from scratch would be a very useful skill. *If you don't have the 'right' ingredients, right equipment or a recipe book, can you throw together something that is in your freezer? Or make something from leftovers, that the family will actually eat? Start teaching yourself scratch cooking because it will be needed in worst case scenario or on a farm when the store is 45minutes way and the natives are hungry. :)
These strawberries are a combination of ours and some that were bought as day old berries from a local farm. They made good jam. The tops were used to make wine!


  2. Buy in bulk from growers, not the store. Also look for the day or two old stuff. Ask the folks at the farmers market if they have anything that you might be able to buy in bulk. An example is something like tomatoes that are a day or two old and will go bad. The farmers there will usually let these go for pennies on the dollar because they are just about to go rotten anyway. The picky population in our current society who want everything to look 'perfect' will snub their nose up at spots and such, but you can walk away with tons of produce this way. Some family owned supermarkets will do this for you as well, but the deals are not as good because they need to make a profit too.
 3. Learn how to sew, this is something that can be done inside your home without needing a ton of space or money. Ask friends and neighbors who may assist you if they know how. They may even be looking to get rid of a machine or extra material. Take a class near you and bring the kids, they would most likely love learning it too, if you have taught them that learning is a virtue not to be overlooked. Start with looking at the $1 rack of material at your local Walmart or craft stores. I hardly ever pay full price for material. If it isn't what I was looking for, I usually find a way to make it work anyway. My husband has worn many a patched pair of jeans to work. I've made my girls lots of dresses and we've saved hundreds if not more because of this simple skill.
 4. Learn how to make soap and teach at least one other member of the family in case you aren't able to do it. When we lived in the suburbs, I learned how to make soap for my children's skin problems. I also learned how to make it from scratch buy buying fat from a butcher and getting wood ashes from a friends wood stove. In a worst case scenario, we would have a very important bartering item, when everyone else's supply had run out in a few days or weeks. Knowing how to make soap will cover so many bases. You need soap for cleaning people, pets, washing dishes, washing clothes, cleaning house, shampoo, and it can even be used for brushing teeth when you cannot get tooth paste.  Look for easy ways to get started, learning to do it with and without electricity. Our Survival & Homesteader's Soap Making Kit has easy to follow instructions and all you need to make a batch of soap with or without the power being on. I'll be teaching this in a class in Gonzolas, LA (near Baton Rouge) March 4th-5th, 2017 at the National Prepper & Survivalits Expo.

 5. Make do, do over or do without. Ha, this sounds cliché but it really is a skill that requires discipline. It's simply practicing self discipline. On a farm, there are usually BIG set backs that must be tended to and that much anticipated clothes shopping trip for fun, just flies right out the window when an animal gets sick or the tractor tire has to be replaced for $300. These types of things will break many people in their homesteading venture. On a bigger scale, it could cause some to lose it in a survival situation because of no self discipline, determination and willingness to do without. I've seen it happen in adults, who were never made to except they must do without for others, a greater good or other things more important than what they wanted at the time. Wavering the cost of being more self sufficient against clothes that can wait, be gotten at a thrift store or made yourself is not a even a compromise in my book. It's smart. I started making myself and my children watch our pennies and do without extras (wants) way before we moved to the country. This helped us stay out of financial trouble when other events were weighing down on us. We quit keeping up with the Jones'. We don't buy many new things and are willin' to make do with seconds so we can do other things with our hard earned money, like put up fencing for animals or buy seed for the pasture. The entire family benefits from these animals and therefore the entire family should understand the work to keep them safe, fed and in good health. This is big responsibility in action. Even if your children don't know it, you can explain it to them so they learn these things young. Give everyone in the family what they need, but wants are extras that take away from a greater good or the ability to be self sufficient. *Don't hand your children everything they ask for and have some dream that they will magically turn out to help with garden chores, if they've been plugged into a video game half the day. If you have TV, movies or video games in their face most of the time, you can hang it up. Teach them self discipline now and give rewards for it, like a date for thrift store shopping or a trip to the coffee shop. These little extras do make life sweet and won't kill your pocket book as well.
6. Put up a clothes line. I know this seems like a simple thing, but it helps in many ways. Where we live, it is HOT and HUMID. I was raised hanging clothes on a line. Single Mom, dryer breaks, thank goodness there was a line out back. We had been using the small clothes line in the suburbs so it wasn't a new idea or hard to get used to on our homestead. This year, it made a big difference. I resolved to use it only and no dryer, unless it rained. Because our dryer puts out heat, that makes the AC work harder as well. It did indeed save us 20% on our electric bill to use the line as our only way to dry clothes. The dryer was only used as a back up. Wow, 20% is a lot of money to save and it adds up when it continues for several months during the summer. I'll be looking into putting up a good one on the inside this winter.
 7. Teach the kids gardening skills, how to use wild herb and where to find water. *You may not always be with them. Can they do it if they had to? Or will they say, "I can't?" Try things to make it an awesome experience. Even if you only have a few raised beds, you can get them involved. Let them pick some of the things to grow. Even if it bombs, so what. I started making a notebook of our gardening adventures. Each year we have a contest for the cover artwork. Some years it's colorful, sometimes in black and white. The winner gets to put their artwork in the cover pocket for that year's garden. It is a good way for us to turn a chore into fun. We log everything we grow in this three ring binder by cutting out the picture and description of each item from seed catalogs. Then we glue them to white sheets of paper that get slipped in to tabbed clear pockets. This way we know when an item is due to be ready and all other specifics about that crop. Get organic sprays that the kids can easily use without you worrying if it gets on them. Use my Safe Farm Spray recipe found here. Grow the coolest things ever, for their benefit, not just what you want. I never ask, but usually say "So, what are you going to grow this year?" In this way my child just automatically knows they will be growing something and get excited about looking the seed catalogs over for the coolest tomato or squash that they can show off to others. It does make it fun. Below are some pictures of the binder from last year.



  Also take them to the park, with a Peterson's Field Guide in hand. Go to a near by field or forest to identify useful herbs in a survival situation. If you weren't around, could they pick out the herbs and plants useful for food and medicine? Do they know where the good supply of native herbs are in relation to your home if needed for sustaining life? Can they get there without you? If they were kidnapped could they find there way around a forest or field near you? Do they know which direction moss grows? This sounds silly, but folks are walking off cliffs now a days, chasing cartoons. Simply put, it's your job to teach your kids these survival skills, not anyone else. Don't think your kids have learned anything from a one time a year camping trip. You have to live it, or it's not going to be natural for them.
  *Add a bit of situational awareness here: besides gardening, wild foods and herbs, make sure they know how to locate water (not in your own home) in your immediate area and how to clean it if needed. Do you store it, is there a pond or river near by, can they haul it without you? Ask them how they could get to it and bring it to the house if they needed to in a survival situation. Make them think outside the box. Critical thinking shouldn't only be done at school. Your unit, your responsibility.
Below, the girls are wild herb pickin'; we do this with friends and as a family all year round. I can now send them out for something I need and they know what to get, how to properly gather it and where to find it.


 8. Begin teaching team work now! Practice makes perfect. If times get hard where you are, is your family used to functioning like a well oiled machine? Are the kids 'go getters' or they type to complain and whine that things are hard? Will they drive you crazy and pitch a fit, or get in and help? If not, you need to unplug and get the family into a routine that allows for the entire group to work together. On the weekends, start working together in the garden, on projects around the house, raking leaves, cutting wood or even doing chores for neighbors. We took turns helping friends with farm work when we lived in the suburbs. We drove to other people's houses to milk their animals, pick vegetables, gather eggs and learn to can. We made it a point to do this together. The kids learned WITH US. We don't ask our kids to do anything we aren't willing to do ourselves. Likewise, we do expect them to do all that their age and physical abilities will allow. When you work together, the children will see the willingness of the parents and naturally learn to work with them. If doing as little as possible is your motto, it's there's too! "Monkey see, monkey do". That's another absolute from my Momma. When or if you have a rough time, survival scenario or are planning to move to the country, every imaginable and unimaginable catastrophe will happen. Do you all break under pressure or react in real time? You need to know now. Once we woke up to a cow face down on the ground inches from a water hole. She had caught her foot in her bridle and fell, nose to dirt, and was worming herself around, seconds from drowning. Because hubby and kids knew how to function as a team it saved her life. Another time my husband cut down a neighbors tree, it fell the wrong way and ended up across the road blocking traffic and tearing down a fence on the other side. Thank God our kids didn't even wait to be told what to do. They jumped in, elbow deep with the right equipment (tractor and chains) and knew how to help us at the right time. My husband had to stay in the road, with the tree and make sure no one came by and hit any debris and explain why the road was unable to be traveled. Although it was not a big deal situation, we were very pleased to see them react in a helpful way that 'got 'er done'. Your kids need to be able to be told what to do, but also they need to have enough life experience to understand the situation at hand and react in a manner that is going to get the job done well even without being told in some cases. If your kids aren't getting these experiences on a regular basis, don't expect them to be of any help in a bad case, life or death situation. Did you allow them to say "I can't"? Our did you give them the skills to be able say, "No Problem"? Remember, we reap what we sow. Kids aren't little robots, they are people who will have their own will, but the more encouragement, preparation and skills you give them, the more confidence you give them to handle the rough times with ease.
  Another thing here on this topic of team work, is to get them practicing fire drills or if you live near a fault line have them know what to do in an earthquake. Have a day where you work together on doing laundry by hand. Stop going shopping on Saturday and plan a practice drill together. Our new washing machines always seem to break. Yes, even brand new and top of line and they cannot hold up. So, we've gotten plenty of practice in this area.
 
*A quick tip here, a good ringer helps get out all the water. Ours is this one I found on Amazon. It's worth every penny and does a great job. Doing clothes by hand makes for a very long, hard day, but it's also good team work. Will your family know how or complain if they ever need to do it for survival? Whether you live in the city or country you need to be practicing the idea of team work and how to 'move' together in an "Oh, Sh*t" kinda situation. Quit blowing money on take out food and take a CPR course as a family. Look up how to do it on youtube if money is a problem. I put my oldest through a suturing class, just in case she is ever in a situation that requires it. Then she came home and showed me how. Visit the park and practice with the family dog locating a hidden child. I did this many times to see if our kids got abducted or lost in the woods, could the dog be a helpful member of the team and find our child? He did very well.  Simply use the child's clothes for the dog to smell and each time the hidden child is found, reward the dog with a treat. Simply put, this is your unit. Your leading will determine the success or failure of the team. Every member, even the dog, can be a participating and beneficial member! :)
 9. Buy a wheat or corn grinder and get some grains to start learning how it operates. These grains can be stored for a very long time in the whole grain form and put in a closet if needed, but could save your family when other foods aren't an option. Grinding your own grains will help lower the grocery budget too. It's a lot cheaper and healthier to make your own flour and breads from scratch. Even whole wheat flour from the store is processed in many ways that leave the nutrition virtually worthless. Whether you are teaching yourself homesteading skills or putting food aside for a rainy day, a grinder is absolutely an investment with many rewards. If you needed or wanted to grow your own grains or your animal's food supply you will need a grinder to crack the corn for the animals, grind your own wheat for bread or both. All old time stories from world war stories to famines include the much needed grains as part of survival. I am not affiliated with any company but of all the grinders I have seen I like the Grain Maker the best. Just personal choice, as my husband is a metal guy by trade and helps me with my big purchases. We both like the quality, price and versatility of this one the best. It is by far a better purchase for the money spent. Here is the link.
 10. Start buying those large pieces of equipment, tools, and things now. Those things that are industrial strength and good for the long haul, will only go up in price and value when/if the SHTF or you finally moves to your place in the country. We bought our tractor on payments while we still lived in the suburbs. We bought almost all of our big needed items for our farm while we were living frugal in a tiny home with a  little .25 acre lot. From a good canner to good tools needed to mend a fence, we started putting back money to make these purchases ahead of time so when we moved and needed them, we had them already. Even if you aren't ever planning a move to the country, you will find that having the 'right' equipment or tools will determine the success of your job. That has been my husband's motto for life, "the right tools for the job" are very important indeed. Craigslist is a great place to start for equipment that is second hand. I LOVE the farm and garden section. Also check out Shetler's Amish Wholesale. You have to call and request a catalog and they carry almost any farm/garden item you can imagine. The number is 260-368-9902. It's like an Amish version of Harbor Freight (but with much better quality) and Sam's Club combined. The more you buy, the more you save. Tons of great stuff and a lot of it is American or Amish made. Another great place to look is here, at Scruggs farm and garden. They carry everything from pea shellers and animal medicine to boots and tractor parts.
 I hope you found this helpful.
 Melisa

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Make Your Own Survival - Homesteader's Soap Recipe *Milk Version Too!

  This is a repost of a previous one that I have updated and revised for ease and for newbies to my blog. It is one very important post for those just waking up to the reality that life throws curves and those that know how to handle it often do better than those that don't.
  It's very easy to make your own soap for survival and all you need is three basic ingredients (water, lard and lye, aka sodium hydroxide) and some utensils. I add peppermint essential oil to this recipe for a nice smell, but it's not a must. This recipe is also going to involve electricity but you can do it without it. I'm going to lay this out so it is as easy as possible for those who have never done it before and who cannot get to a class. I will be teaching how to make this basic soap in a class titled "Basic Soap Making for Survival With and Without Electricity" at the National Preppers and Survivalists Expo in Baton Rouge. March 4th & 5th, 2017. If you can come, you can see how truly easy this can be and I'd love to have you!
  A lot of people out there would love to learn how to make a pure natural bar of soap and in a survival situation, you may need to make it yourself or do with out it. I have heard of soldiers and others who were not able to get soap, who placed it up there with food for one of the things they desired most in a worst time.  I do have soap making kits available as well for those who would like the convenience of having all needed ingredients to come premeasured and together in one order.
  So here is my recipe for a basic plain ol' lye soap, free of nasty chemicals, fragrances, dyes, and preservatives. I put the kit together so it would be a little easier to get started and understand than when I first got started years ago for my own children's needs.
  Many of you have probably heard the "scare" tactics commercial soap companies used for years, that says lye or homemade soap is harsh or even dangerous. Well, that couldn't be further from the truth. ALL SOAP IS LYE SOAP. Many companies will disguise their soap's lye ingredient as Sodium Talloate or some other form used to describe the saponification process using lye and fats like tallow. Again even liquid soap is lye soap. Most liquid soap uses Potassium Hydroxide, but it is still a form lye.
  Old fashion lye soap, the plain or milk are the very best for skin problems. It is all we use in our house from hand washing to dishes. It never breaks out our skin and doesn't over dry it either. With all the chemicals in commercial soaps, my children break out and itch constantly. We cannot use any soap or detergent from the store. So here is my all natural soap base that you can use to make many different versions. At first stick to the basic soap and master it. Then, when you're confident, add other ingredients like goats milk. We have a lot of skin issues and our homemade lye soap has no chemicals, and helps with our skin problems like eczema and acne. I have chosen to use more of an old fashion soap that is not super fatted because super fatted soaps usually do not set up right. They will separate and go rancid easily. They also do not clean as well. This basic soap is safe for even using on teeth in place of tooth paste. Although tooth paste sellers would probably disagree, because it will hurt their sales. For more on that topic, research Dr. Gerald F. Judd. You will be surprised at his findings, and how easy/cheap good dental care really is. Making soap has saved us tons of money in many ways.
  For those of you who would like to purchase a totally pure soap, instead of making it for yourself, you may find it here..

   This basic soap has only 4 ingredients and leaves a wonderful smell behind if used in laundry. Lard, lye, water, and peppermint essential oil. If needed you can leave out the peppermint essential oil, you only need the other three for making soap. *You can use this basic recipe for any soap, milk as well. Just replace water with a milk (goat, cow, sheep, ect.). Also make sure the milk is frozen at least half way. The lye gets very hot when it hits the liquid and will quickly cook the milk, so it must be partly frozen or you will have cheese, not a smooth milk for soap. I do also use this recipe with organic fats other than lard. I do not use coconut oil as the base fat, because of the 'detergents' in it. If not using lard alone, use organic fats like coconut, shea or mango butter. Also a solid fat will render a better soap, do not use a liquid only as it will not set up.  Lard is cooked down without chemicals to render a firm fat. It is also what most homesteaders used for years and years. It really makes the best soap, plenty of suds, and hard bars that last for a long time. These bars will last about 4 to 6 times loner than a commercial bar! I am not kidding. They really go far and the lard is why. What about other oils? You can mix and match oils, but using a large amount of liquid oils with this recipe or any others will sometimes cause separation when trying to set up. I don't like having to babysit it. I want to walk away and not be surprised when I go back to check on it. You can use some liquid oils but not as the majority. Don't try changing the basic recipe until you have more experience. Then you could play with it a little, just so long as the total fat used is 3 lbs and 6oz total. *You can use some coconut oil with this recipe, but not for the entire amount. It's still too soft at room temp to give a good hard bar with this recipe.
  When getting started you should also wear apron, safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself and the product. Also lye gets very hot, so stainless steel or glass utensils are best. Very sturdy plastic will work, but with plastic there is always the risk of melting or small particles coming of into product. *Sturdy plastic only and pick utensils carefully to make sure they can hold up. When using metal for soap making, ONLY USE REAL STAINLESS STEEL. Other metals break down with lye exposure!
Utensils needed:
Steel shafted stick blender (In a survival situation you will be stirring a while, in place of the stick blender)
Steel Pot big enough for recipe ( for this recipe, 10 to 12in round and at least 4 inches deep)
Sturdy Plastic Pitcher that will not melt with high heat of lye
Stainless Steel Ladle
Kitchen Scale (Good one costs about $50 or more. A digital is not a must and in a survival situation it will need precious batteries you could use elsewhere so I keep an old fashioned weight scale in my kitchen I bought from the Amish)
Candy Thermometer (You do not have to have this, it helps but is not a must.)
Soap Mold (not thin plastic) A sturdy Tupperware like container or steel mold or dish will work. You can find them at crafter stores online. Mine is a 12 & 1/2in by 10in rectangle. Mine precuts bars by shaping into individual bars with a divider. If your mold doesn't individualize bars you will need to cut using a straight edge and good knife when soap is firm but still somewhat soft, like cutting a block of cheese. Make sure you can flip the big soap out of the mold to cut it. Make sure your mold will allow for this.
Basic Soap Ingredients:
This recipe makes fifteen 5oz bars, so it's a larger recipe than most people use. You may need to adjust based on your mold.
3 lbs & 6oz of Lard *(makes the best soap with a good price, regular coconut oil contains detergents I do not want on my skin or my family's)
9.5oz of Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
24oz Water Or Frozen Milk (at least half way frozen)
2oz Peppermint Essential Oil
*Vinegar, this is must to stop a lye burn instantly if you get it on the skin. It is acidic and lye is alkaline so it stops the burn on contact. A jar of pickles will do in a pinch!

  First label pitcher as 'LYE PITCHER' so no one will drink from it. Then begin by weighing fats (Lard) and place total amount of fats in pan on medium heat to melt. Let fats melt then remove from heat and place on an eye that is not hot to cool and make your lye mixture, directions below. *In a survival situation, you will need to pour the lye mixture (water and lye crystals) into the pan containing the 3lbs 6oz of lard, to melt it that way. You will most likely not have electricity in a survival situation, so the heat of the lye water mixture can melt the lard for you. From there, simply stir until it is as creamy as a thin cake batter. Without electricity this will take a good while, sometimes a few hours.

  Next, weigh and add water or partly frozen milk (24oz) to pitcher, and place in sink surrounded by a little cold water. This will help cool down lye mixture quicker. *If using milk, it will be better to even place ice in water around pitcher to help the milk not curd. When using milk, it will turn light brown or orange, this is ok. It is because the lactose (milk sugar) is carmalizing. Then weigh and add lye to pitcher slowly. Go slow so no splashing occurs. NEVER add any liquid such as water to lye crystals, because of the possible volcano like effect. *This is what people were doing with the drain cleaner in the 80's that caused blindness. They ran the sink water onto the drain cleaner containing lye. It then erupted on them. Always add the lye to the liquid and stir slowly and then let sit to cool. I open my kitchen window to let fumes escape and turn on a box fan. Remember to keep your vinegar handy, just in case it splatters at anytime in the process.
Once cooled to a temp around 150 F or (*in a survival situation just make sure it's not steaming anymore*), you can then pour lye liquid into melted lard, or fats. Using your steel ladle to stir as you go.
 Once the lye liquid is all in the pot with lard, blend with steel shafted stick blender.
Once it's beginning to firm up a bit, (or temp is about 125 F) add your Peppermint Essential Oil and blend once more. KEEP YOUR FACE BACK. The Peppermint will produce a strong fume as it is incorporated into heated soap.

If I am in hurry, I don't use the thermometer for my basic lye, personal soap. If I'm making a specialty soap or for selling, I do. But for this recipe it isn't a must and in a survival situation you probably will not have one on hand. Just let soap get thick and creamy a bit before adding essential oils or heat could kill their volatile properties. After you've mixed in the Peppermint well, pour into mold. This is a big mold my husband welded for me. Make sure your mold is on a towel or some surface that will not scorch because the heat of soap will transfer to surface through the mold. Also it will be heavy, so think about how to pick it up and where to put it when your finished. Sturdy handles come in handy.


*You may want to decrease recipe (by making only half) if you have a smaller mold or increase if needed. Last but not least, *place out of the way of those who might think it is cake batter or pudding.* Lesson learned, I now put on the frig covered with a towel to set up. It will take about 12 to 24hrs to set up. Sometimes, the humidity in the air will cause this time to speed up or slow down. Like candy making, the weather really seems to effect the process. You will then need to slide soaps out from between dividers with gloves on. Lye is still caustic. Then set on a glass or plastic tray to cure for two weeks. Metals other than steel reacts with the caustic lye and will cause issues. After that your soap is ready to use.

*This was written for educational purposes and I am not responsible or liable for any damages, reactions or adverse effects from someone using this or any of my personal recipes. I am also not responsible for the product you create.* I urge you to be careful, and remember to try your first lye soap making without anyone else around. I hope you found this helpful! You can find our handmade soap at Homesteadmoma.com

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Real Dirt About Gardening For Survival

  I know the 'survival' mindset is very popular right now. There's always a new threat of earthquakes, pandemic, flooding, wild fires, food shortages and so on. *As stated in another blog post below, (You're Staring Famine in the Face), less than 1% of America's working population is in farming, fishery or forestry. So, I would like to take a minute to pass on some knowledge to the folks who are not avid gardeners, but may find themselves in a disaster or other scenario where it could be a needed skill. You need to be doing it now, to know how to do it later! Should a disaster such as an earthquake or other event ever occur, your mind, body and resources will be pushed yet limited to what they are accustomed to dealing with normally. If you do not normally make your self garden, weed, problem solve for bugs, understand soil needs, ect...you will be even less able to cope in a 'survival' type situation because of stress and scarce resources. In short, practice makes perfect. You need to practice these skills now, before you regret it.

  Let me share with you the attitude of the proud, those who will starve in a survival situation. A few years ago, I attended church with a pretty wealthy family who's kids really liked my garden and decided to put their own together the following year. The parents, being accustomed to having everything they ever needed at the drop of a hat, wouldn't even help the kids except to till the ground. I asked the Dad what he would do, not having any skills in that area, if a crisis or survival situation actually called for him to provide for his family with his own two hands. To my surprise he says to me "how hard can it be to throw some seeds out there ?" Well, my first thought (after choking on his prideful attitude) was obviously, you wouldn't know. My vocal answer to him was this, "If you think you can sit on some stock of seeds and just get out there when your hungry, and think your going to have the know how to deal with issues or over come the learning curve required to get food on the table, you're going to go hungry." It takes years of practice to learn to do anything well. No matter your career, interest, hobby, or sport. Even seasoned farmers and gardeners will tell you it's a game every year. The skills needed to know how to react and knowing what to do for certain things like diseases or bugs, need to be gained years before you actually have to do it for provision. Read the book before you take the test. Don't think seeds will just grow themselves, that is the gardeners job, as God said, "He put man in the garden to tend and keep it". And believe me it takes a lot of tending and keeping, even for a small garden.
 Above we're filling up the kids wagon to haul to the garden. It takes a few trips on the day we plant tomatoes. We grow some in every color, this makes it super fun for teaching the kids about an agrarian life style and how important these skills are. They will always remember purple and orange tomatoes. :)

  The next topic I want to share is size or the amount of land required to produce the proper amount of food needed. You cannot grow 2 tons of food on a .25 acre lot. Sorry to bust your bubble, it ain't going to happen. I've tried. To my disappointment, it's a joke. Make sure that you can grow things on a large enough scale to actually feed your family. Most big producers will not fit into a raised bed. Reserve the beds for small fruits like strawberries, lettuce, spinach, squash, and some bushy plants if needing to save space. In a real survival situation you will need room to grow hearty things like corn, potatoes, beans, peas, and such. Listen to people who have lived through a war or famine. It's all those type crops that got them through. A few raised beds will NOT keep you fed. Unless you are very diligent about succession planting, have a green house for winter and can eat greens everyday. There are ways to do it smaller, with a green house but that is going to require a lot of work and energy. So get busy figuring it out now. You cannot do the big producers and hearty things successfully in raised beds and get very much food.

  You can do some of these things in a large green house in winter. I know an Amish man that rotates his poultry and early spring growing in a huge green house and that works, but farming is his full time job.  Maybe you should consider getting one if your budget will allow. To feed a family of even just four, most of the year, your going to need at least 1/3 to 1/2 an acre garden. And you'll still need to succession plant. Keeping up with a garden is a rewarding way to live, but like the Amish friend told my husband once..."there's only so much time in a day." So decide to get proactive now rather than later to figure out what works for you. The people who can pull a rabbit out of the hat, garden for 50 all year on .25 an acre or less, are full time gardeners with nothing else going on, with paid help and that IS their full time job. For most people it isn't realistic. If doing fruit trees or fruit, you'll need more space or try edible landscaping. They do not go into that figure of 1/2 acre for a family of four. They are extra and need their own space.
  I know how frustrating it can be to spend so much time trying to get enough food to make it worth my time, only to end up with a few cobs of corn, a few melons, a few tomatoes, and a few peppers at the end. That was when I did it on .25 acre lot. Now, I don't even play. My kids and I grow a full acre garden of veggies with no problem every year. I learned to throw out the books, roll up my sleeves and figure it out my self. Some books are helpful, like seed saving books, but sometimes sweat gives you better results. For more production try the oldies but goodies, the big producers are those row crops mentioned below. Look at these crops for the most bang for your time and money.
  *We must have caught someone's eye, because the helicopters searching for weed, fly over us often. I guess one lady and a bunch a kids growing an acre garden is really something suspicious. Lol...I've learned to just ignore it. The kids think it's cool. :(

 

 
Those cups are our tomatoes, we plant around 200-300 each year. Everyone joins in and we haul them and plant them together. I thank God for these times with the children.
  We haul in some of the strangest things. We grow fancy melons, cucumbers and things that produce well. If it can't hang with our heat, it's gone. It must be a good producer or it's not worth our time. Go for quality row crops and quit wasting your time with things that don't produce as much. To try it out, till up the whole yard if needed, I did when we lived in the suburbs. Our entire back yard had to be sodded when we moved. I grew corn and peas right in our little back yard. It was one good way I could get what I wanted out of the garden. Maybe you could invest in a piece of land or rent a place where you can grow row crops that will yield more than what you could ever eat. Beans, peas, melons, and squash/zuccinini, corn, okra, potatoes, sweet potaoes and all the things old timers grew are the best producers. They were doing it well before all these new fangled ways became popular, and they were getting enough food to eat. In other words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Row crops are your staples and usually your items that give you more nutrients as well. But you MUST get varieties that are good for your climate and soil. Your local co-op and other farmers around you will be one of the best places to look for those items that will be of real use. What do the locals consistently grow with success? Around here it's G-90 or Silver Queen sweet corn. I tried for years, wasting much time and money on other 'better' varieties. Heirloom corn cannot keep up here and it's a total waste of our time and money. Just to be let down. Finally I gave in and now grow either one of those two, and have an abundance each year. What a waste, to spend your time and money on something unproductive when all you need to do is ask around and give it a try.
  We grow an heirloom variety of purple okra that is found at the local farm supply for a very cheap price. We grow it because 1-it's navite here and grows well, 2- seeds are very reasonable to buy locally on a large scale and 3- it's a good producer.  The co-op seeds are also tons cheaper than these fancy seed catalogs. I do grow the fancy stuff, we have a tomato in every color of the rainbow. We have orange water melons and even a white cucumber. It took years of trying to see what would and would not work well in our soil, climate and garden. The local co-op seeds are usually native to the area and do better than seeds from other places. We also know how to bring in the bacon, by sticking to some row crop staples that don't go out of style, like purple hull peas and green beans. By growing these in large quantities we feel our time is worth the effort. If you've spent lots of money on heirloom seeds that will not survive your climate, or produce little to nothing, you will starve.
  If it comes from similar climates, in another country, it might work as well. One of the best buys I ever made was on winter squash seeds from a Guatemalan Blue Squash. It is the only winter squash that can take our heat and humidity in Mississippi and still be very productive. Even though, all the seed catalogs have Watham Butternut as a favorite, but ours always bombed. Nothing but a couple of raggedy little squash for all my time and work. It's better suited for the north and cannot hang with the southern heat. The squash from Guatemala, however, is an awesome producer here. I am always shocked at how much we get off of one 30ft trellis. Below is a medium sized one. They get huge and put out loads of squash. It's worth my time to get that food. I wouldn't know this if I had not been actively trying to figure out these things, before it could be a needed skill. And though I hope the grocery store is always an option, if anything happens we can do it.
 

  You need to make sure you have enough seeds to do the job. Buying from the co-op makes this affordable. Buying from an expensive seed supplier does not cut it if you need seeds by the pound. Johnnyseeds.com  is a good one for online bulk purchases of seeds. I ALWAYS plant more than what I need, and end up glad I did. I garden with kids and critters with two and four legs around me all day. There is no planning for some of the unreal things that happen around here. So whether it is a natural disaster like a storm or the dogs chasing a rabbit through my beans, I plan for that by planting twice as much as I wanted to get, so I at least get what I needed to get in the first place. In raised beds, row crops or in seed starting, this has saved our food every year in some way.
  Also go into it easy and if the soil has never been worked, don't be ashamed of using a chemical fertilizer just to get started. We did then have weaned ourselves into an organic approach on most things by using our animals manure and other composted material. *Lime for the soil is all natural and most soils need to be tested to see if you need it.
  There we're loading up the corn from a good pickin'. Dogs are a great investment. Not only do they keep away would be thieves, they also keep away varmints that will kill a good crop. Rabbits, coon, deer, you name it...our dogs are our first line of defense in protecting our food supply.    
  Last but not least, humble yourself before it's too late. Make friends with the older folks around you and there is a free flowing well of knowledge right at your finger tips. If you are not actively gardening, take a class or get with someone who is to get you started now! You will need these people as a life line of support as well as learning from them or to trade with in a disaster situation. In bad times, if you are a stranger, they will have nothing to do with you because you will be a threat to them and their food supply. A friend/pastor to third world countries once told me, morals go out the door when you're hungry. People who are normally upright and kind will be killing for food. And those who have it will also be doing the same to protect it. Do NOT think these folks who bust their butts and sweat for a living will befriend you then. Try to form relationships with those in your neighborhood or area of survival now. People who do not know you will laugh at you or 'worse' in a crisis situation. They have their own families and lives to watch out for, you are a stranger and if you intend to make it through, you should have been doing what they were doing years ago. Community needs to be formed way ahead of a crisis. Building trust is as important as building a storm shelter. Your work ethic and skills should speak for you. Hard working folks will only look at deeds not words. "New comers are not to be trusted", is an unwritten rule in the country. Most of the time it's true. We live in a small community off of the interstate, and new comers are usually trafficking drugs up to other states. Everyone keeps a close eye on newcomers here, because they often mean trouble for small towns or very rural areas. In a crisis, you don't need others being leery of you, when everyone is high strung and motives will be questioned.
  You probably will also need to depend on animals at some point and starting now will give you an understanding of there needs such as food, shelter, pests and diseases. So start evaluating what you can do now rather than later for this learning to begin. We began our homesteading in the suburbs about 14 years ago. We had chickens and bunnies right in the suburbs. Do whatever you can, where you are now.
Seriously, I make it a point to befriend old folks. Especially old timers that know how to farm, garden, bee keep and just survive. It's always a treat to have one old timer or another stop by to check in on me, my family and offer garden tips. We chew the fat and carry on about farm stuff and local gossip. My bee man is near ninety years old (he won't tell me for sure) and he still brings me goodies and offers tips that help me in some way every time he comes by. Thank God my husband isn't the jealous type, because I've got a lot of old timers for miles to help me when I need it. They know I want to learn, and they love that a younger person has time for them and wants their knowledge. There's a different older man almost daily coming by to check in on my projects and offer wisdom. They love sharing wisdom and our family is loving the learning we get to do and friendships we have made. One near and dear to us passed away a year ago, but right up to his death, he taught me things. This man was near ninety as well, and went out and wild harvested some Sassafras root for me, so I could have Sassafras tea like he had growing up. I already knew what it was, but I thanked him and came home to make my tea, because he cared enough to take the time to dig it for me. Sassafras was the original base for Root Beer. It's slightly spicy and good served warm with honey. It was a major staple crop for colonial Americans to sell to England.

   Sometimes the bush hog is the best way to haul it! If you get a bumper crop, take the kids to a local farmer's market or gas station and sell out of the truck. We do this sometimes and the kids make a little pocket money for their time and effort. They get to keep the money for whatever is sold.

   Lesson, be sure to invest your time learning now, because when you need it, you'll have the proper skills. If it's ever a game changer and you have to do it for survival, you cannot afford to be unskilled, unlearned and out of shape. I hope you found this helpful. Now I'm going to pick my okry and sweat for a while. :) *I'll be teaching a class on Basic Soap Making With or Without Electricity at the National Preppers & Suvivalists Expo in Baton Rouge, March 4-5th 2017! Check it out at NPSexpo.com Make plans now to attend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Two things old timers knew, that you must know about wound care.

  I am going to share with you two things old timers knew, that you must know about wound care, especially if the patient is healing outside.
  The wounds of a person or animal all will be effected greatly be these two things. If you are not able to see a doctor or get to an air conditioned facility such as a hospital, these two things could save your life. You need to know them. I was taught by old timers to pay attention to these two very important things, so I hope you listen up. You may need the knowledge one day. I am so glad I knew what to look for when I needed it.


  Two days ago my daughter was riding her beloved pony. She isn't allowed to ride near the cows, but they weren't around when she went out to ride. I guess she thought they weren't around, so all would be fine. They had come into the front pasture where she was later on. The pony usually scares them off and they normally hang out in different pastures anyway. Thank God the faithful dog went with her. My husband had gone out to check on things and the dog’s actions alerted my husband that something wasn’t right. In the blink of an eye, the bull charged at the pair (pony and daughter) and the pony took a life saving blow for our daughter. Who, by the way, got some pretty good licks in on that bull with a riding crop. Between her blows and the dog, the bull lost. All this happened in a blink of an eye and before we knew what had happened. My husband, who was about 200 ft away was unable to stop it, though he ran to her rescue, it was over as quickly as it started. The scene ended with only a wounded pony and one ticked off 10yr. old. Don’t mess with country girls or their horses! God smiled down on us and our daughter wasn’t hurt, but we had to act fast to help the pony who had been gored pretty bad. Here’s the two things you should know that could mean life or death for you, your family/friends or your animals if someone is wounded and you cannot get medical help. This will specifically address wounds that must be treated and healed outside.
   You can see in the pictures the shoulder wound and in the top one, a ligament is hanging out. It was so deep it required three different layers of stiches. Below you can see how little blood there was as vet shaves area for stitches.
 
  1- Know the weather and protect from bugs! The weather is a major contributor for germs, pests and/or disease. We are in the thick of Mississippi and it’s August. What do you think is my first priority in wound care, besides cleaning? Bugs! Yes, flies and horse flies are going to lay eggs as soon as they can, and maggots will be all in the wound to take up residence. Even ticks will try to get a spot in an open wound. So after cleaning with (YES) peroxide once and iodine, we then pour Neem Oil right into the wound. You can pour around it if you do not feel comfortable to use on the wound. It burns like hell, but gets the job done. This oil is known world wide for repelling pests (very popular Egyptian remedy for lice) and it can actually stop the tissue from profusely bleeding by just slightly
cauterizing the tissue. It isn’t as good as clotting cloths or other remedies. It is more for bug repellent and is what we use in our garden. Old timers knew one thing you should never do in summer was to dehorn or do any other things that would open an animal up for pests in summer. With humidity and bugs, you have nothing more than a test tube for infection. You could also use Cedarwood Essential Oil . Always address this (bugs) when dealing with a wound that is going to be exposed to the outside elements in summer.  On people or animals you should also consider whether or not to cover. This is up to you. Some wounds are much better left open especially if it is humid outside. Sweat will not be your friend if the wound is covered. If it’s summer, treat for pests and consider leaving open to heal. Winter is a much better time to deal with animals and wounds if the patient will be healing outside in the elements. No bugs, less humidity, less warmth for infection to grow in. *You must reapply this or another bug repellent daily to keep the pests away. This is just as important as your daily antibiotics for an outside healing wound. Pests can be a source of infection and are just as important to fight off in summer as germs.
  Below the pony is shaved up and ready for stitches. But where's the blood? Just a drip here or there. Shouldn't it be oozing or gushing out?
 
  We called the vet because we could (amazingly) see very clearly right into the wound. It was a very deep gore that went into the shoulder and she would most likely need to be stitched up. The cut was about 8 inches long and a few inches deep. So this brings us to our next important topic for knowing how to treat wounds outside.
 
    Above the vet is numbing before stitches. Again notice the lack of blood even in the opened wound. He applied nothing to stop bleeding and neither did we. So what gives?!?!
  2- Know how to handle bleeding by the moon! If it is a planned wound, such as dehorning or a non-emergency surgery you should only do it at the right time. If not, you should know how to handle it. It can be easily judged by the moon. The moon controls the amount of blood or bleeding. God gives us the moon for signs and seasons. The moon phase was in between full and quarter. *Quarter actually looks like it's directly cut in half. This happened when it was much closer to a quarter moon, only two nights away. That kept the bleeding down to nothing. We didn't have to do anything this time for bleeding. A few drops is about all we saw. If the moon had been full she would have bled like a stuffed pig! It’s all about the magnetic pull at certain times. Nothing crazy, it’s based on real science. It’s just the pull of gravity by the moon. Just like the tides. Quarter moon is drawing all things down with greater gravity toward the center of the earth. Most babies (people or animals) are born on or near quarter moons because of this pull down. Those that are giving birth naturally, that is. Give or take a few days, it's almost always near a quarter moon. Since the accident happened on the eighth of August and the quarter moon was August 10th, the blood was almost non-existent. You can see the full, new and quarter moons on a calendar. Or check with moonconnction.com for all the info about the different phases. Full moon is the direct opposite of quarter. When it's a full moon, it pulls things up or out with a greater force and causes bleeding to be much more extreme. This would have meant we would have needed to use clotting clothes or applied pressure with alum powder (the kind used for canning) or even used a wash of white oak bark. That is only done when nothing else is available and with very good straining or you’ll leave dirt in the wound. I have used it on many wounds with success. Any of these three would do the trick, but the wound, being so deep, wound also have been extremely hard to stitch up with much bleeding. Our vet had no problem at all. This was most amazing and helpful because we had to deal with this wound at night. The wound was easily cleaned and stitched up all nice and pretty. *She did have to have antibiotics because it was a HUGE puncture wound. Anytime you are punctured by animals (or anything else really) there is a need for antibiotics because other animals and objects carry germs that can be deadly to us. Hopefully you will not ever need this information, but should you find yourself dealing with wounds on your homestead, with people or animals that will be exposed to the elements, knowing these two things will make a difference in the outcome. Remember to plan *if possible* around the weather and the moon for the best of the patient. In reality, life does not always go as planned. I hope you found this helpful. For more tips, look for our You Tube Channel, Homestead Moma or our website Homesteadmoma.com *For a chance to learn some old time skills, including basic soap making and how to use essential oils & wild herbs...Meet us at the National Preppers & Survivalists Expo in Baton Rouge, LA at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center. March 4-5th, 2017. Hope we can meet you there! See more at NPSexpo.com

Your Coconut Oil Could Be GMO Sourced!

  No lie, someone asked me about a year ago, what I thought about coconut oil. My answer was this, "Someone BIG invested in some coconut growing ventures and now all you'll be told is how healthy they are." I hate to say "I told you so", but, I couldn't have been more spot on. Now just guess who that BIG somebody is? Monsanto! Yep. Seems while everyone is jumping into that huge vat of coconut oil for everything from skin care to diet, Monsanto has been hard at work to 1- Sell you their new investment and 2- Produce this product to be able to contain the pesticides needed to kill the moths and butterflies that eat them or feed their larva. Ummm. Did you get that? Yes, the coconut plant itself contains the pesticide, so when you eat anything made from the plant or coconuts (including the oil) you are eating the killer toxins as well!!!!

  I was really amazed at how many natural food gurus and natural mom type blogs popped up a few years ago touting this amazing oil for everything from a coffee additive to weight loss product. Why this one oil, when there are so many out there that are tons more useful, like raw Shea Butter for natural/organic skin care? It was almost over night that this one item became such the super food. I do not doubt some gurus, moms, and others had good intentions, but I fear some were indeed paid to push these ideas and gain the coconut or coconut oil a spot on everyone's kitchen counter. Yes, something was telling me that much of the hype was a paid for advertisement meant to look grass roots and organic. That's why I DID NOT embrace the 'Coconut Oil' movement to the tenth degree. I NEVER jump for fads, even if 'Healthy Mom's' are pushing it as the best thing since Wonder Bread, and neither should you. In fact, if your not questioning something so big pushed by tons of  popular people, you should question why you aren't. At some point we cannot blame anyone but ourselves for falling of the cliff when we're just waiting our turn in line to do so, at someone else's encouraging. Of course NOT EVERYONE is out to get you or your money, just most people..Lol. Also another thing, I stated before, is how are all these 'healthy moms' and 'gurus' getting an audience of over a million within a year or so of blogging? Not grass roots, it's almost impossible to be reaching that many people right out of the gate. Wake up folks and realize what is real and then compare to what is obviously put up by media groups. I could say more here, but I'll be nice. Just remember the sirens and how the sailors would follow the beautiful music they sang, right to their own destruction. The sailors never knew what was happening until the ship was thrown against the rocks and dashed into a million pieces. The result, everyone was drowned in the sea. To beautiful music no doubt. Something to think about....

  As far as coconut oil, we use it very sparingly in our kitchen and in our business. We use it in a few body care items, but I only buy the Non-GMO project verified type. Look for that label and avoid ALL Coconuts coming from Thailand. These are where the coconuts that have been genetically modified are coming from. Look for the marking above, that clearly states...Non-GMO verified before you buy then die.
  As stated in sources cited below, even desserts are listing it in their ingredients, that the desert indeed does contain GMO coconut oil. So what about when you eat out, eat processed foods, or cannot tell the origin of the products? You could be consuming this GMO coconut oil and the killing toxins it carries. I don't know about you, but I'll pass. You can read more at these links below which are the sources for this article. *Although source 1 states only testing of GMO coconuts is going on, source 2 shows us that it IS being put into foods and is currently listed as an ingredient in some desserts. Like with many other GMO products (such as corn) it's never told to the public that is in the food supply until someone gets sick or dies. Then we find out it could have been from the GMO ingredient. Ask yourself why would they keep it on the DL? Oh that's right...people may choose NOT to eat it if they knew the truth. Hiding things from the public so they cannot make an informed decision should be illegal. In a court of law it is considered concealing evidence. But if you are a BIG guy, I guess it's ok with our law makers.
http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/database/plants/47.coconut.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/054912_GMO_coconut_food_labels_genetic_engineering.html

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Only Thing You'll Ever Need For Lice!

  I have seen and heard lately of the new 'Super Lice' that is resistant to most medication commonly used OTC for effectively ridding a person of lice. Well I'm here to tell you I would never use that OTC stuff anyway. It's too concentrated with toxins and chemicals for me to use on my children or self. I do, however know of an pretty natural remedy that will effectively rid you or your family of lice in a worse case scenario that you got any lice or super lice and couldn't treat it through a doctor or with an OTC.
  I had a friend who fostered children often and just a few years ago, a set of young children came into their home with this super resistant lice. I watched this poor gal try everything (from a distance of course). She went for the OTC stuff, took everyone to the doctor, tried tons of natural or DIY remedies. Then finally she found it! Listerine, yes, that did the trick after about 2 months of battling this horrible super lice, Listerine (you can use the off name brand, but it has to contain the same ingredients) kicked it in the butt. All she did was take each child/person and pour the Listerine on the head completely and wrap in clear plastic wrap daily. Leave on for about an hour and then your free to rinse out. She only had to do this for a few days it was done. You must repeat a few times, for the next week or two to kill any hatched eggs. *I have personally used this on animals with mange and seen quick results.


  What makes this mouth cleaner so effective? Thymol is the number one potent ingredient but there are a few other. Yes, made from Thyme Essential Oil, thymol is the active component and a very effective pesticide/repellent, parasite expectorant and germ fighter. The herb itself is simply not enough to do this, you will need a form of the oil. Either an essential oil or a product that contains it.

  There are a few others in the correct mouth wash that help this fight pests as well as germs so effectively. They are (picture of label above) Menthol, from Peppermint Essential Oil and Eucalyptol from Eucalyptus Essential Oil. Together these are the active ingredients (a power house) that both kill and repel pests and are why the mouth wash is so effective. If you did not have the mouth wash on hand you could combine these three essential oils. Again it's the oils, a very concentrated form of the plant components, not the herb itself that give this remedy its power. However, the mouth wash is much cheaper and I advise keeping a bottle, or two, on hand for an emergency situation. *You can also wash (blend with dog shampoo) or spray animals with this for mange and other pests that may burden your homestead. Put into a spray bottle undiluted to rid chickens of any lice or mites. Spray a few times a day. You will see results within days. Hope you found this post helpful!
Melisa

Friday, August 5, 2016

Take Advantage of Free Food - Bone Broth

  I was blessed to have a cow that we slaughtered here recently, and I specifically asked the butcher for the bones. This is one way to increase your food supply with what most people would call scraps. I call it, nutritious and free, bone broth. This full bodied and highly nutritious food is or close to free for anyone that is willing to take the time to make it. It's super easy and I'll share my recipe with you below. Let me say that although small butchers are just about none existent anymore, you can find some deer processors and other local folks that will be happy to just 'give' you or sell you the extra bones they have let over from deer or other wild game. This is one gold find and like I said before it's basically free food or close to free.
  Almost all cultures around the world have 1- had access to bones to make broth with and 2- considered it a necessary part of the diet. Bone broth often includes the over looked sources of proteins and is a great source of gelatin. These and other animal fats from cooking the bones down are vital building blocks to good health that people do not get in store bought stocks or soups made with the imitation stuff we call bullion. These are nothing compared to real bone broth and the nutrients, we as a society are missing do to industrialism, is just sad to say the least. Dr. Weston Price studied many tribal cultures and the one common denominator in good health was a diet high in animal proteins and fats. For most Americans that isn't affordable, but using this and other ideas we can increase our nutrition and try to gain back what was lost to a sick industrial food supply. Not to mention the teaching you get to do with your family around a pot of bone broth. It is touted as a nutritional super food by doctors studying leaky gut and other digestive issues. It has been shown to be effective at aiding in joint support and possibly reducing pain and inflammation from arthritis. It's been linked to being responsible for healthy skin, hair and nails. In many cultures around the world, it is a priority to teach a good diet from home and specifically which foods are needed to achieve these health benefits. It's vital we too pass these things on to the next generation as well.That really is the best part, if we do not pass on the secrets to vitality then how will our species thrive? It is as important as the broth itself.
  Recipe: First place as many bones as possible into a roasting pan and cover with a small amount of water. Maybe an inch in the bottom of pan. Place in oven to roast uncovered on 350 degrees F for a few hours, you'll know when it's ready. Once bones are good and brown, but not burnt, take out of oven and let stand to cool. Then place enough bones in stock pot to fill up half way.
 
  Then fill pot within a few inches of the top with water. *If you make Magnesium water with prills, use this as well. I do. Next add a few seasonings. I like 1/2 teaspoon of Cumin, 1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek and Peppercorns (ground together), and 2 teaspoons of Sea Salt. Bring pot to a boil, then turn heat to medium and simmer for about 3 to 4 hours. If it boils down below half the pot level, then add a few quarts more water. Once good and thick, pour into quart size canning jars and place a clean lid and ring on them. Then repeat with the same pot of bones. You can do this twice with every stock pot of bones you cook and receive twice the reward of rich thick broth!

  Once you have enough canning jars full, place in pressure canner and can at 10 pounds pressure for 30 minutes. Use these as you would any stock, but they will not be clear. Bone broth is made using bone, marrow, some pieces of fat and cartilage so the result is a thick cloudy stock. It's a much richer broth than a stock most people are used to and even has a stout flavor. It can really add flavor and nutrients to winter soups and stews. You will love having this to warm the heart and body when cooler weather comes!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

True Southern Okry!

Did you know this about this southern favorite?
 The name okra...is an African word that means gumbo. It's a product from the slave trade and the proper way to pronounce it is "Okry" you should hear the 'e' on the end, the original word was "Okri". Most people don't know that red (also called purple or burgandy) is the old original southern okra. It gets twice as long and doesn't get hard unless left to over ripe. All the old timers where I live, grew up on the stuff. Sold here as Burgandy. The green shipped better without willting, so became the most common commerical okra and that's why it became popular, but wasn't until after the 1900's. I too grew up on the green, but after researching and talking to all the old folk, and growing it side by side to green, It's all we grow now. It's getting back to our roots, and 10x better okry! Not to mention the anthocyanins that it contains due to the rich color. These are those cancer fighting agents found in dark purple or blue fruits and veggies. They have been proven effective at fighting cancer in both lab and human studies, with a success rate ranging from 50% to 80%. So next garden season, you may want to include this fabulous item in your garden patch. And when you hear an old timer say "okry", don't laugh, they're saying it right! :)