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Make your own carrot tape!
Simplifying Your Life and Saving $$
Burr comb to Candles: Rendering beeswax the simple way.
Dandelion Moisturizer
Dandelion Oil


Musings of a Sentimental farm-boy
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Sentimental Homesteading

Make your own carrot tape!

Do It Yourself Carrot tape

If you've ever planted carrot seed you know that getting the spacing right is important.  Having to go back and thin out carrot seedlings can be a time-consuming, back breaking ordeal.  Getting those little itty-bitty seeds spaced right in the garden (usually 3 inches apart) is near impossible.  We've tried a number of seeders..gadgets that supposedly are going to magically dispense seeds at exactly the right distance apart.  We've yet to find one that works for carrot seed.

Simplifying Your Life and Saving $$

The best definition I've ever seen for "Homesteading" is that it is the act of turning a household from a unit that consumes and making it into one that produces.

By that definition, if you make the choice to grow all your own(insert your choice here) next year, you have begun homesteading.  And don't let anyone else tell you differently.

Whether you're tired of the rat race, tired of chasing every dollar just to have it sucked up by higher cost of living, tired of the consumption society we live in or any other reasons, most of us could use a little more simple living in our lives.

Burr comb to Candles: Rendering beeswax the simple way.

When we first added bees to our homestead in June of 2015, it was primarily to ensure there would be pollinators around to help our vegetable crops.  We looked at honey as a secondary, bonus result of having them around.  What we hadn't accounted for was the beeswax that seems to accumulate over the course of the beekeeping season.  

We amassed a fair bit of the stuff and weren't sure how to purify it for use.  Itching to make beeswax lip balm, body lotions and candles, we started researching how to turn what were big, unattractive globs of wax into something we could work with.

Dandelion Moisturizer

Dandelion Moisturizer

Making good use of what nature provides us is one of the most satisfying aspects of urban homesteading.  The humble dandelion is a perfect example of the versatility available to us.  It is an amazing source of nourishment, first aid and skin care all wrapped up into one bright yellow package.  
Dandelion moisturizer, or salve if you prefer, if a great, natural product that soothes raw, dry chapped hands, and at the same time provides a mild analgesic effect to ease sore, achy muscles after a long day in the garden.

Dandelion Oil

Dandelion Oil

Here in Southern Ontario, as with many places that experience the four seasons, we welcome the coming of spring with open arms.  The return of spring, also means the return of the plants, trees, migrating animals and the wild edibles and medicinals.

Dandelion is one of these wild edible/ medicinals that I eagerly welcome back.  The entire plant is both edible and medicinal.

Today I am going to tell you how we use dandelion flowers to make dandelion flower oil.

Dandelion oil can  be used as a fabulous moisturizer for the body and it also works well on achy sore muscles and joints.

24-Hour Pest Control done naturally

24-Hour Natural Pest Control

Watching your vegetables being devoured by all manner of creepy crawlies is one of the depressing things about gardening.  

Gardening organically is always a challenge when it comes to insect control.  Garlic sprays, row cover, wood ashes and the like all help, but what if you could have a team of 24 hour watchdogs in your gardens.  Attack dogs, ready and willing to take on and eat any bug that dares enter their domain?

That is what we're attempting to do here at the homestead by re-introducing praying mantis' to our garden.

Organic Beeswax Lipbalm

While easy to make, lipbalm is a messy process.  We use dedicated tools for this job, because everything ends up covered in wax.  There isn't a lot of tools, so expense is minimal:

This recipe will make around 25 tubes...enough for you, the kids and some to give as gifts!
                                                     A small double boiler.

Urban Homesteading Part 2 Chicken Boots

Chicken boots and other homestead insanities

When we're visited at the homestead by those unfamiliar with our lifestyle, eventually the question comes up:  "Do your boots always look like that?"
Ummm...yup....pretty much.

In an ongoing attempt to explain Urban Homesteading to those not familiar with it, allow me to continue. 
Call them barn shoes, muck boots, yard boots, whatever you want.  We call them chickenboots.
They're the muck covered, clay and manure encrusted boots that live by our back door.

Urban Homesteading: Part 1: What is it?

First, let me offer a definition of urban homesteading.

According to UC-Davis, "an urban homestead is a household that produces a significant part of the food, including produce and livestock, consumed by its residents. This is typically associated with residents’ desire to live in a more environmentally conscious manner."

Aspects of urban homesteading include:

Resource reduction: using solar/alternative energy sources, harvesting rainwater, using greywater, line drying clothes.
Raising animals, including chickens, goats, rabbits, fish, worms, and/or bees

Soup and bread on a cold day

Canned 7 quarts of kale and sausage soup that Chris made yesterday.  It's a wonderful feeling to know that they're down in the cold cellar, waiting for a cold, snowy day to nourish bodyand soul.  Nothing beats homemade soup served with a slab of bread fresh out of the oven.  After being outside for 3 hours today doing chores, the cold starts to bite, even on a sunny day like today.  Have to go- soups on!
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