Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
I recently acquired a new hive that I'm very excited about...the bees are the result of crossing a wild hive with Italian bees. They are just beautiful--all dark and mysterious. I bought them from a beekeeper who practices natural beekeeping--no medicines, pesticides, chemicals, etc. The result is a hardy hive with strong immune systems.
It was late in the season for a new hive, so to ensure that they have enough to eat through the winter I have to feed them sugar water. Ordinarily, I am against sugar, but in this case, the bees will die if they do not have enough honey to see them through till spring and the flowers are few and far between this time of year.
It's simple enough. You'll need sugar, water, a mixing/storing jar, 2 smaller jars and a measuring cup.
I made the fall sugar water recipe which is 2 parts sugar to 1 part NON-CHLORINATED water. My hot water is SUPER hot, so all I do is add the water to the sugar and let it sit until the sugar is dissolved. You may have to cook it on low for a few minutes. Let the water COOL completely.
Americas bees are dying at an alarming rate which affects our food supply. Being informed is the first step to finding a solution to this problem. You can start by having a look around this website and watching the film.
Vanishing of the Bees Film :: Home brought to you by The Co-operative
And, as always, please feel free to share your HOW TO with us by adding your name and URL below. This will provide a link to your website and your brilliant HOW TO.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Tuesday is long gone but life had me going in other directions yesterday and I couldn't post.
My grandma called it Stuff In The Cellar. In my time we called it Food Storage. Then it was Emergency Preparedness. Now we call it Prepping.
I guess I’m a Prepper.
Whatever it’s called, it’s a good idea. Some folks may take it to the extreme, but that’s just human nature. Most of us don’t have thousands of dollars worth of disposable income to build a special room but we all have space under the bed.
We may not have the wherewithal to purchase an extra freezer stocked with steaks but we can buy canned goods on sale and stick them behind the shoes in the closet.
Prepping is about planning and thinking and being creative.
Back in the 80’s when I first started thinking about this, it was overwhelming. Where would I get the extra money to purchase the items? Where would I put those items if I had them? And, what the heck do you do with whole wheat? I mean WHOLE wheat still in grain form.
So, I started with what I had. Every time I emptied a bleach bottle I filled it with water. Folks cringe at that now, but when you have NO water, bleach bottle water will fill a lot of needs. We can go many days without food, but we need WATER.
Canned goods may be the easiest thing to stockpile. Even if it’s just one can per grocery trip. Almost every budget can handle that. Some stores offer cases at a very low price so you may have to change-up your shopping habits.
First Aid items can be found in unexpected places. Feminine hygiene products make excellent bandages. Peroxide is very cheap—a bottle thrown into the cart during a “-–Mart” trip won’t even be noticed at check out time. At the Salvation Army store I found this huge, HUGE bag of cheese cloth. I’ve used that for countless projects including first aid.
Dollar stores and salvage places are great for finding prepper bargains. I live in a very small town and we have two salvage stores. I once found a case of Raman noodles for a couple of dollars.
And, don't forget the simple thing of gardening. You don't need acres; you only need inches. Veggies will grow in the tiniest of spaces hiding around your yard. No yard? Use containers. They don't need to be fancy; discarded cans and plastics with holes punched in them will work.
It's winter now, but you can still begin. Almost everyone has milk containers--check out my winter gardening blog for tips on how to plant seeds now then sit back and wait.
Indoor herb gardens can flourish with a small amount of attention. You don't need special "grow" lights; use flourescents for that winter sunshine.
You will have your own unique ideas and once you BEGIN things will pop into your head and resources will come out of the blue. The key is to START. Don’t try to plan everything out before hand. Yes, it’s great to have a plan—I am a planner. But, it’s so easy to get bogged down in the thinking and never launch.
The internet offers you an unlimited resource—once you go here you will not lack for advise! HERE is just one to get you started.
A comment on my facebook prompted this how-to. It can be scary to think about prepping. There are always those who make the rest of us feel inadequate, but, chickadees, we must press on. For YOUrself. For YOUr family. Got ideas? Got resources to share? Sign in below and add your URL. THANKS!
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Mark your calendar; grab your gloves; find your pen/paper; it's time for herb class.
Get to the bottom of things during our autumn herb root class. We will study dandelion, burdock, horseradish AND I'VE ADDED POKE and ELECAMPANE. We will explore how these herbs can have a positive effect on your health and also how to make them into remedies.
We will go on an outdoor digging expedition--weather permitting!
THIS Tuesday, November 6 10 am to noon Rocky Creek Valley Farm
$20 Call or email to register. Optional make and take $5.
37009 W. 156th St Rayville, MO 64084 816-853-0440 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
Chances are you have been throwing yours in the trash or grinding it down the garbage disposal, or, if you are really "green", you are tossing your calcium on the compost pile. What the heck am I talking about?
E G G S H E L L S
This first tip is so stinkin' easy your first thought will be that it can't possibly work. Well, it does! When making your next recipe that calls for eggs (please use local farm-pasture-raised eggs!) just follow these simple rules:
2) Wash your eggshells.
How easy was that? A "dose" is about 1/4 cup of eggshell water. You can just drink it, add it your favorite juice or fruit smoothy. (I have great recipes for smoothies on my website)
Second tip: Instead of water, cover the eggshells with apple cider vinegar DO NOT USE WHITE VINEGAR or I'll have to come out there and get cha! (that's "farm" for get you), organic is BEST. Let it sit at least 2 weeks, 6 weeks is better. Dose is 1 tsp per day.
Third tip: Calcium Tea. If you want to make it yourself the directions are on my website HERE in the Library section under Calcium Tea. It has delightful herbs that are chock full of a lot of minerals, not just calcium. Or, if you want it "ready-made" I also have it for sale in my on-line store HERE
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I won’t go into how much household cleaners cost—you already know that. I’m not even going to launch into the dangerous chemicals that lurk in commercial cleaners —you know that as well.
Vinegar has SO many uses—cleaning being one of them. But, let’s face it—most folks wrinkle their noses at the thought of vinegar. So today we’re going to make a cleaner from vinegar that you’re going to love.
Begin with the cheapest CHEAPEST white vinegar. I buy it by the gallons and use it for so many things here on the farm. I keep a gallon in the Herb Cottage, one in the feed room in the chicken house and one in the barn. Oh, and, of course, one in the house.
Quart jar w/lid
spray bottle any size works.
Thyme – about a cup. Thyme has anti-microbial attributes. Our grandmothers used thyme infusions to clean wounds; we use it to clean houses. (It’s also excellent in the medicine chest, but we’ll discuss that another time.) Thyme is going to make your cleaner a beautiful shade of red. This thyme is from my garden. I LOVE harvesting my herbs—the aroma is so therapeutic.
Lavender flowers – about a cup. Lavender also has anti-microbial power which adds a triple whammy to your cleaner. Plus, it smells like a meadow on a warm summer day. I didn’t grow enough lavender to do all the lavender projects I have so this cup is from my super secret supercalifragilisticexpialidocious herb supplier. But, for you I’ll share. Shhhhh…go HERE.
I added rose petals just because. Some were dried and some were fresh. My thyme was also fresh but dried works well.
Strain the herbal vinegar into another jar and put the used herbs in your compost bin. Isn't it beautiful?
Fill spray bottle with vinegar solution: you can use it straight or dilute it half/half with filtered water--chlorinated if that’s what you have. Clean away! Spray on and wipe off like any cleaner. I hope you enjoy using this as much as I do.
The straight vinegar mix is good for greasy jobs in the kitchen, grime on the floor, dog puke on the carpet and scum in the bathroom. The diluted mix works great for appliances, general dusting, well basically anything. You can use it for windows and mirrors but it’s overkill as it only takes a tiny bit—like a teaspoon in a quart of water—to get sparkling glass.
Caveat: DO NOT USE ON MARBLE COUNTERTOPS—granite is ok. The vinegar will make little PITS and etchings. I learned this the hard way. It’s not a pretty sight.
You can use essential oils with or instead of herbs but I like the hands on method of infusing the herbs. To me it cleans better—maybe it’s because I’m putting my own energy into it which I firmly believe plays a part in anything you make. Like dinner.
And, if you have something you know HOW TO do please share with us. Add your name/URL at the bottom of this post. We’d LOVE to hear from you. To add a comment CLICK on the word comment--easy peasy.