Natural Mosquito Repellents That Work

2 Natural Mosquito Repellent Recipes, plus the best herbs for mosquito control, 4 reasons some people get bit more than others and tips to get rid of mosquitoes.

This is a guest post by Amber Bradshaw of The Coastal Homestead featuring natural mosquito repellents and mosquito control.

What’s the most dangerous creature on earth? Without question the answer is: the mosquito. Mosquitoes and the diseases they spread have been responsible for killing more people than all the wars in history. Even today, mosquitoes transmitting malaria kill 2 million to 3 million people and infect another 200 million or more every year. Tens of millions more are killed and debilitated by a host of other mosquito-borne diseases, including filariasis, yellow fever, dengue and encephalitis.

I have a love hate relationship with nice weather. I love being outdoors, working in my garden, playing with my animals, watching the kids run around, smelling the salt air, basking in the sun, and enjoying nature of all kinds. I hate getting bit by those pesky, good for nothing, bloodsucking, make me itch all over and miserable mosquitoes. [Read more…]

Red, White and Blue Cake

This festive red, white and blue cake is decorated with fresh berries and whipped cream and filled with rich custard for an old fashioned family treat.

My summer job through most of high school and college was at the family catering business, Irene’s Custom Cakes & Catering.  (Irene was my mom.)  We baked hundreds of cakes over the years, for everything from weddings to birthdays to baby showers.  My sister, Mary, was the primary decorator, but we all knew our way around an icing tube and pitched in when needed. [Read more…]

Broccoli, Bacon and Cheese Salad Recipe

Broccoli, bacon and cheese salad recipe with sunflower seeds. Quick and easy summertime recipe. Homemade tastes so much better than the deli.

Broccoli salad is one of the few salads I’d occasionally pick up at the deli, but it’s amazing how much better it tastes when you make it at home with really fresh ingredients.  I served some of this up for my extended family at Easter, and my brother said it was so good he wanted to eat the whole batch.

Broccoli, Bacon and Cheese Salad Recipe [Read more…]

Homestead Permaculture Project – Site Overview

The Common Sense Homestead Permaculture Project - Part 1 - Site Overview, Our Homestead Permaculture Goals, Determining Permaculture Zones.Our homestead permaculture project officially began this spring. I’ve been nibbling at the edges of the idea for some some now, primarily since reading  Restoration Agriculture:  Real World Permaculture for Farmers

I’ve always liked the idea of working with nature instead of battling against it, and Mark Shephard’s comment (in Restoration Agriculture) that we really need to “stop trying to grow things that don’t want to grow and killing things that do want to grow” really struck a cord with me.  When we were stuck in limbo not knowing if we were going to have to sell this place or not because August couldn’t get a job closer to home (more on that on the About page), it didn’t make sense to invest in long term plantings.  [Read more…]

Chickenpalooza! An Awesome List of Homestead Chicken Resources

Chickenpalooza!  An Awesome List of Homestead Chicken Resources - Recommended books, equipment and links to over 60 homestead chicken posts on the web covering everything from chicks to chicken diapers.

Homestead chickens are a great small scale protein option for meat or eggs, and don’t require a huge investment in time or materials to get started.  I’ve teamed up with a number of my blogging friends to pull together this awesome list of homestead chicken resources to help you with everything from hatching your own eggs to predator patrol and chicken diapers (yes, they exist).  There’s information on coops and runs, feeds and foraging, roosters and broody hens.  We also include plenty of posts about the “why” as well as the “how” of raising chickens, as well as the tough stuff like dealing with sick chickens and harvesting chickens for meat.  If you have a topic that’s not covered, please ask, as I’m sure someone in the group has a post that can help.  Enjoy! [Read more…]