Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, food preservation, thrifting,
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Nov 21, 2017

Some Practical, Healthy & Fun Homesteading Gifts!

Homemade Cheese!

Some Practical, Healthy & Fun Homesteading Gifts!
When you're homesteading, whether in the city or country, we can look at gifts from a different lens. "Oh look at that great shovel! Wow, what great seeds! Hey that compost is great" So, if you need some fun ideas for holiday/birthday/house warming gifts, etc. here's a few great ideas that any homesteader can use!

First- I can’t tell you how convenient a hands-free headlamp is! I borrowed Dave's biking headlamp during a camping trip, then it dawned on me to use it in the coop! You might need to work in a barn or other outbuilding with no light. Going running, walking, or skiing? Maybe with gloves or mittens on? Do you need to work in your garage, or do first aid in a way that requires both hands? You do NOT want to be holding a flashlight in your mouth at that time. In a power outage this could be really helpful in an emergency! Here's a great deal and it's rechargeable. Gotta love that. Or you can just sneak up on your kids and scare the heck out of them!

Now- Even more Ball Book ways to preserve your own foods! New and updated with tons of fresh ideas, including Lacto Fermentation. The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes I will be adding this to my canning book shelf!

Speaking of food preservation! I wish they sold these a few years back! For those of you who want to use your own canning jars for fermenting, this is for you! All those great probiotics are so good for your gut! With an airlock to prevent mold and contamination, you just add produce to any wide mouth Mason jar, add brine, attach top and set it on your counter! Easy to disassemble and clean- FARMcurious Mold Free Fermenting Kit Set of 2

And last, but not least, CHEESE! With high prices and easy cheese-making kits for beginners, why not make your OWN? This kit contains all the ingredients (except milk & cream) that you need to make 100's of cheeses using both cow, goat and sheep milk. Use farm fresh raw or store bought pasteurized! Includes recipes for Mozzarella, Burrata, Ricotta, Monterey Jack, Feta, Chèvre/Goat Cheese, Cheese Curds, Cream Cheese, Butter, Cultured Butter, Quesa Blanco, Quesa Fresca and Marscapone!! Includes spices to flavor your homemade cheese and butter! Or get creative and add your own! So get started in an easy straightforward way- Standing Stone Farms Ultimate Cheese Making Kit                                                     

Nov 19, 2017

How I Got Started With The Independence Days Challenge, Little Winter Preps

How I Got Started With The Independence Days Challenge-
I was wondering recently when I first started doing my IDC posts? After digging a bit I found it was back in 2012! I was looking at my Sharon Astyk books Adapting Our Homes and Our Lives to Settle in Place (Mother Earth News Books for Wiser Living) and Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation , have read these books several times, and they still inspire me! There are so MANY great ideas on doing what you can, where you are! Links are on my side bar for more info. Since life is a process I find the ideas can be adapted over time really well. With variations in space, money you can invest, time you have they're great resources. My original post is here 2012 Independence Days Challenge Ideas and to think it was 5 years ago, how time flies!  I still love looking at this list and thinking about what we've done, and what we still need to work on. I did modify it a bit after reading how some other websites re-worded it just a bit, but you get the idea-

1. Plant Something-

2. Harvest Something-

3. Preserve/Store Something-

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep-

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe-

6. Build Community Food Systems-

7. Recycle/Re-Use-

8. Skill Up-

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something-

I really loved following Sharon's blog, but then she went on to other things. So if you need some inspiration to start with where you are already living, or want to try some other things, buy her books!

Last Winter's Snowmageddon

Little Winter Preps-
With winter settling in, I have been doing some random preparedness tasks like-
making sure ice scrapers and fleece travel blankets are in the cars, air pressure checked in the tires, new wipers as needed, antifreeze checked, chicken water heater plugged in in the coop. Dave put the sun room for the coop back together for the winter.  We didn't last year, and it snowed, several feet! It's ready now-

Flashlights in the cars with fresh batteries, new rechargeable batteries in the solar garden lights.
I just ordered one of these FLOUREON Portable Solar Battery Charger only $16.99! Can charge 2 devices at a time, great idea! Having a couple of these is a good idea. While you may not have cell service, you can still access important info stored on your phone, tablet or other device. Amazing how expensive these used to be compared to now-

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