Sometimes my ferments don't go over too well with the kids. They're just not into the tangy, sour flavors of a good kraut or relish. Getting them to get plain asparagus is tough enough, let alone trying to get them to eat lacto-fermented asparagus. But there is one lacto-fermented beverage I've tried that has consistently been a hit with kids and adults alike – root beer water kefir. [Read more…]
The Sugarmaker's Companion: An Integrated Approach to Producing Syrup from Maple, Birch, and Walnut Trees by Michael Farrell focuses on the business of syrup and sugar making. If you want to tap maples or other trees for profit, this book is a worthwhile investment. Even if you don't have trees, the book still has merit for small producers of many types. Producing an excellent product is no longer enough – you have to be able to market it, and create value added products. Those often overlooked areas are what keep small farms alive. [Read more…]
Back in 2010, my eldest son was coping with a bad case of cradle cap, i.e., thick, waxy dandruff on his head. He's always had very sensitive skin, and I suspect weekly swimming lessons took their toll on his scalp. This is how we used an extra kombucha scoby as a “scoby cure” home remedy for cradle cap. [Read more…]
Chickens are all the rage these days, and while I'm usually not big fan of “trends,” I happen to think this is a good one! There is a lot of chicken raising information out there and it can definitely be overwhelming at first. While I don't claim to be the final authority of all things chicken, I've kept a flock for several years now and want to share my seven best chicken tips for simplifying your chicken keeping. [Read more…]
After graduation, I job hunted for several months from Madison, but came up empty handed. August suggested that I move in with him at his parent's place (with their blessing – they had a big house). Now I know that some people will be put off by the idea of living together before marriage, but I sincerely believe that if you can live with both your future husband and your future in-laws for an extended time, your marriage is likely to last. You will see the good, the bad and the ugly. My husband's parents are good people, and seeing them still happily married after so many years together was a very positive thing for me, since both my dad and stepdad were pretty rotten.
August took me with on a business trip to California shortly after we moved in together in May 1994, and planned a romantic proposal on the beach. Of course, he forgot to pack the ring, so that didn't go quite as planned. Life is like that. When we got home, he proposed with his grandmother's engagement ring. She blessed us with their wedding bands as well. She and Grandpa Neverman were together so long that the bands were worn thin with age, so I only wear them on special occasions, but will treasure them always.
In case you missed it, you can read part one of this story here.
What is Love About?
If we were to believe Hollywood and fairy tales, love is about some woman with long flowing hair being swept off her feet by her Prince Charming. Lately the Hollywood version seems to often skip spiritual love altogether, simply focusing on sex. Our other option is the sitcom version with the hapless, incompetent male being dominated by the wife who does everything. Is it any wonder that half of marriages end in divorce if folks think this is the way “love” is?
I'm lucky enough to be happily married to my best friend, August. We're been together for over 26 years, and been friends for nearly 30, so I believe we're doing something right. In the interest of bringing a little reality to the Valentine hype, I decided to share our story. [Read more…]
Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) by Angela England is a homesteading guide written with the enthusiasm of a beginner and the experience of several years of homesteading with limited space. It's a great pep talk for those new to the idea of self-sufficiency who are wondering if they can raise more of their own food without moving to the country.
How Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) is Organized
Backyard Farming on an Acre is divided into five parts:
- Living Large on a Small Scale
- Gardening on a Backyard Farm
- Animals for a Backyard Farm
- Enjoying the Bounty
- Crafting from the Backyard Farm [Read more…]
I used to enjoy mounds and almond joy bars years ago, but either they're making them sweeter and more bland, or my taste buds have changed (or both). Enter this easy recipe set for homemade mounds bars and almond joy bars. You get the rich, full taste of coconut and chocolate, without the cloying sweetness of commercial candy. Make them with coconut and vanilla extracts for homemade mounds bars, or almond and vanilla extracts (and almonds! 🙂 ) for homemade almond joy bars. There's plenty of healthy coconut oil, and they're sweetened only with honey. [Read more…]
Internet security has become a growing concern as more and more of our information is shared online. I know this isn't typical homesteading content, but computers have become an everyday part of most people's lives. You lock your doors to secure your car or home. It only makes sense that you “lock the doors” to your online accounts, too. You are officially the Cyber Security Officer of your home whether you like it or not.
My husband, August, has worked in computer security for over a decade, and regularly gives internet security presentations to the public. He worked with me to adapt his presentation into a post. The hackers and thieves are getting more aggressive in their attacks, so it's up to us to protect our own interests. This post will walk you through the basic steps you should take to avoid computer viruses and identify theft. [Read more…]
Given that there were a TON of kombucha questions on the post “Flavoring Kombucha and Kombucha Testimonials“, I thought it was time to put all the replies into some sort of order and do an updated listing some of my latest flavor combinations.
If you are just getting started with Kombucha, please visit my post on “How to Brew Kombucha“. This post also lists some of the health benefits of kombucha. If you would like a more detailed explanation of the microflora and microfauna found in kombucha, along with a comparison of kombucha and water kefir, check out this post.
On to the questions and answers… [Read more…]