NATURAL WASP REPELLENT:

13879214_903028073156932_2636607554464717828_n

LEMON GRASS!

We are so happy with the results our new LEMON GRASS PLANTS repelling WASPS we wanted to share the results with all of you.

For those who didn’t hear the story, our homestead was developing a bit of a red wasp problem building nests in and around our animal buildings, house, and our son’s mini-play-cabin. However, this spring we planted 7 young lemon grass plants, where the nests were most problematic, due to the plants natural wasp repellent properties. WE ARE EXTREMELY HAPPY TO SAY WE HAVEN’T HAD 1 WASP THIS YEAR ON THE HOMESTEAD!!!.

LOOKS LIKE LEMON GRASS WAS AN ALL NATURAL RESPONSE THAT WORKED BETTER THAN ANY CHEMICAL SPRAY WE HAVE EVER TRIED IN THE PAST. GREAT JOB MOTHER NATURE!!!

13925048_903027656490307_8506758972680153993_n

Advertisements

RESTORATION PROJECT: ANTIQUE DRILL:

13124508_847767602016313_5943449587218411396_n

We were recently commissioned to restore this old drill. The owner wanted to give this family heirloom back to his father as a birthday gift. It’s not quite done, we still have the handle to finish, but so far we couldn’t be happier with the results. Nothing makes us happier than to bring these old relics back to life.

13118894_847767632016310_2759120475179297642_n

DIY AFTERNOON PROJECT: BEARD BALM

12642466_794389184020822_6765067228773192936_nAS A PROUD OWNER OF FACIAL HAIR, I’ll be the first to admit that when working on the homestead I tend to let my beard go with the “ALL NATURAL” look. However, there are times when I (and my wife) wish that my beard was a bit more under control and had that “GROOMED” look as well.

Here is an ALL-NATURAL, HOMEMADE beard balm that not only smells great but will TAME even the WILDEST OF BEARDS on any MOUNTAIN MAN.

12644945_794389150687492_5342604065320721900_nINGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 Tbsp of beeswax pellets
2 Tbsp pure shea butter
1 Tbsp cocoa butter
1 Tbsp jojoba oil (Non-GMO)
2 tsp pure walnut oil
1 tsp coconut oil (Non-GMO)

essential oils – Young Living

3 drops of Tea Tree Oil
2 drops Northern LIghts Black Spruce

ADD all the ingredients except the essential oils into a clean recycled soup can. Double boil ingredients by placing soup can in a large pan and add water to pan half way up the soup can. Heat over medium heat until all ingredients are thoroughly melted in the soup can. Stir with a disposable skewer or wooden chopstick. After everything has melted add essential oils and stir until well mixed. Pour the balm into a glass jar of your choice and allow to cool.

12687814_794389364020804_8834490146776676214_n

Once cooled and solidified, take a small amount into your hand and rub into both hands until balm is mostly melted. Then rub thoroughly into your beard, using a comb if you like to tame any unruly hairs.

By using the above mentioned essential oils, this beard balm takes on a mountain woods scent. However, you can add any type of essential oil to gain your own preferred scent. As a happy user of this BEARD BALM, I will say that my wife loves the smell of my beard which means she leans in more frequently for kisses. ‘NOUGH SAID!

11140303_794389554020785_343864081671697205_n

TIME TO WINTERIZE THE CHICKEN COOP:

12108246_746342962158778_6977211883427292773_nHOW TO MAKE AN ANTI-FREEZE WATERING STATION:

While there is still a bit of warmth in the air, now is a great time to winterize your chicken coop by installing a heat lamp and an anti-freeze watering station. Nothing is worse than having to go out into the cold to thaw out or replace your chickens water twice a day during the winter because it’s frozen.

12079680_746332975493110_5611485815452463720_n

To fix this frozen water problem, we picked up a terracotta pot with base, a lamp kit, and an extension cord splicer at our local hardware store (LOWES) for under $20. We like this lamp kit because it comes with the clamp already built in the kit. It’s a bit more money, but makes life so much easier than having to build one yourself. Just clamp the light to the side of the pot using a 40 Watt bulb to start. We used a scrap piece of cardboard on the clamp to avoid cracking the pot. We then placed 3 old bricks we had laying around on the property into the coop and placed the pot with light kit attached upside down. Finally, we put the chicken water bowl into the terracotta base and placed it onto the bottom of the pot. The bottom of the pot has a hole drilled into it which allows the heat from the bulb to heat up the terracotta base that the water bowl sits in. This heat from the light bulb warms the water just enough to keep it from freezing.

12140575_746331825493225_4326498364708599996_n

We also run an extension cord into the coop from our shop that we plugged into the splicer. From that we can plug in the heat lamp to keep the chickens warm and the light kit as well to keep the water from freezing.

12118637_746345338825207_5688483207470415393_n

As the temperature drops, depending on where you live, you may need a higher wattage bulb. We start with a 40W bulb and go up to a 60W if water still freezes due to extreme cold temps.

Harvesting and frying sunflower seeds

10173619_580996015360141_6823642900965002431_nHave you harvested your sunflowers yet?
It is easy and the kids will love helping with this one. 10689949_580995965360146_687533397821141657_n

Hang to dry for about two weeks.
Rub your thumb over the seeds and they will just fall out.

10689992_580996025360140_4871880397296324917_n
I got eight cups of seeds from four plants.

10644923_580995958693480_6139490665086981658_n


Rinse thoroughly, I pick out the plump ones and roast them in a frying pan on medium with Kosher salt until they give you a popping sound.

8954_580995952026814_663671993510712440_n


Yummy afternoon snack.
Don’t forget to save some for your next year sunflowers and the birds for the winter.

10686846_580996102026799_3460814659314264311_n

HOMESTEADER TOP TIP: BUY YOUR SEEDS AT THE END OF SUMMER

11825191_714216612038080_6140756524445087833_n

Last summer I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. I was at a “DOLLAR STORE” and they had a SHOPPING CART full of their seeds on clearance sale. I asked the manager, “How much if I buy the whole cart?” The manager was so happy to get rid of it, she sold it to me for $4.

This year is turning out just as well. Today I was in the same store, but in a different state. I saw that they had seeds on clearance sale…. for just .06 cents a piece. SCORE!!! I bought a small basket that had 195 seed packets for about $12 total.

11058749_714216668704741_3614701832838918730_nThe manager said that they just throw away the seeds that don’t sell so it pays to “MAKE THEM AN OFFER.”

These seeds are non GMO. see attachment letter from the President of the Company. http://www.plantationproducts.com/…/PlantationProducts_GMO_…

MINI GREENHOUSES

IMG_3912MINI GREENHOUSES
If you sow directly into the ground saving plastic bottles might be the perfect mini greenhouse for you, too. When our new sprouts start coming up in the Spring they have several elements to overcome. First, we have bugs that love our fresh little green shoots. You see the new sprouts with beautiful leaves coming out of the ground. To return the next morning to one stumpy green stem.  We have also had hail the size of quarters and some cold nights. The plastic bottles have protected them and now that some have reached the top they are ready for the world.

We mainly cover all beans and peas. Use 2L clear plastic or juice bottles with the bottoms cut off & paper removed. Remove lid and push directly over the new sprout. Re-purpose those bottles into MINI GREENHOUSES!

IMG_3906IMG_3911