Last year we grew quite a bit of various tomatoes plants. Instead of spending a lot of money on a countless number of metal cages, we cut up some scrap lumber we were hanging on to for a project just like this. By driving the the stakes ( 33 – 36″) into the ground around the tomatoes and running a string line around each of the stakes several times we had a great set up for the tomato plants to climb. Last fall we were able to reclaim the stakes as well as the string to do it again another year. It turned out great while saving us money, and we always love that.
I saw this picture of some barefoot sandals and I promptly showed them to my beautiful wife and said, “These are cute, you should buy some.” My wife’s response in true homesteading fashion was, “Why buy them when I can make them?” Immediately these barefoot sandals went from cute to SEXY!!!
With the “EARTHING” movement growing in its popularity, these barefoot sandals are a great way to keep the earths electrons flowing, while making your feet looking cute as hell.
MATERIAL LIST and TOOLS:
1. Sparkle elastic cord (57m)
2. Crochet hook size 6
3. A collection of your favorite beads.
5. Lobster clasps
FOR A SIZE 5 FOOT:
1. Cut elastic 44″ (for each size larger add 2″), fold in half and make a 1/4″ loop, making a double knot.
2. Put one bead on both strands to begin your beading. Separate the two strands and bead both of the strands as seen in picture.
3. Then crochet 32 chains (you may want to add more chains for a larger foot). End with a pulled knot.
4. Go to the 1/4″ loop and single crochet in loop. This will begin your toe loop. Chain 25 for a size 5 foot (chain more for a larger sized foot). Slip in first single crochet in loop. Knot.
5. Pull the toe loop through the large bead to fit on the knot, at toe.
6. To wear, put the toe loop on your second toe first, then either tie the two strands in the back of your foot just above the heal, or a clasp can be added for easy on and off.
First, we started with building the base or sub-floor out of 2×4’s. As you can see in the pictures we have written the dimensions of each piece in order to make the building process much easier and understandable. The rabbit “DEN” was given cross members in the sub-floor that only measured 3″ tall. This was to allow the 1/2″ plywood floor to sit flush. Over time the rabbits urine and poop in the den will rot away the floor so we included these easily removable floors to make our life a little bit easier down the road. After the sub-floor framing was done, it was time to cut out the 1/2″ x 1/2″ wire mesh that came in a roll 24″ wide. Originally, we built the hutch with 1″ x 1″ wire mesh because it was all we had at the time. However, this 1″ x 1″ mesh can be hard on the rabbits feet. It also has large enough openings for a baby to squeeze through. Using a simple construction stapler and a pair of wire cutters, the wire mesh floors were complete.
Next, we flipped the sub-floor upside down to install the legs. We cut the 4×4 wooden legs to 36″ in length. The legs were screwed in place with 3″ screws. With 2 members of the family being under 5′ tall it was important to keep the hutch at a height that was manageable for everyone in the family. (It’s important to know that the taller the hutch, the easier the poop will roll into your bucket.) Once the legs were firmly secure we flipped the hutch back on its feet to begin construction of the “SKELETON” or walls.
FEELING A BIT UNDER THE WEATHER?:
Last night after the family went out for a wonderful dinner, my husband started to get that “I’m coming down with a cold or flu” feeling. First was the scratchy throat, followed by the stuffed up nose. We’ve all been there. However, when my guy gets sick, HE TURNS INTO THE BIGGEST WIMP EVER (my husband gave me permission to call him a wimp). So when the guy in this family gets sick, I decided to get him a warm manly drink to help him feel better. No Chamomile fluff stuff for my man.
Here is a feel better drink for the times when we don’t feel so good.
2 oz. boiling water
1 1/2 oz. whiskey
1 tsp. of pure honey
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 slice of lemon
dash of nutmeg
Combine first 6 ingredients (everything but the nutmeg).
Let stand 5 minutes to infuse flavors.
Strain into desired mug.
Dash with ground nutmeg and garnish with lemon slice.
I also added one drop of lemon essential oils into the drink as a final touch with the ground nutmeg.
NO MORE MUD:
As homesteaders we tend to put up with certain things, like how mud and chicken coops typically go hand in hand. Growing tired of walking and slipping in the mud every morning during the rainy season, it was time to do something. We had recently replaced our back deck. Instead of just throwing the old deck away, we decided to flip some of the boards over and give the lumber a new lease on life, as a CHICKEN COOP BOARDWALK.
The coop sat in an old unused garden bed. By using the boards that made up the border of the old garden and several pallets, we were able to level out the deck and connect the coop to a nearby garden. We did incorporate 3 small gardening areas. One for wild flowers, a second for our beans, and a third for pickles/ tomatoes. We were also able to reuse some of the railing from our old deck and use it as a border around our “Pickle Patch.”
Finally, the coop needed a fresh coat of paint to brighten up the space, as well as some new welded wire after an animal attack tore apart one wall. We will be the first to admit that it might not be our “dream coop,” but in the end we are truly happy with how it turned out.
Most important though was NO MORE MUD and the project cost us NEARLY NOTHING due to the fact that almost all of the material was reclaimed!!!
The word “JERKY” is derived from the QUECHUA word ch’arki which basically means “DRIED AND SALTED MEAT.” However, no matter how long our ancestors have been making jerky, or what recipe is used, JERKY continues to be a favorite among all of us. Recently, we decided to use our dehydrator and make ourselves this delicious snack, and it turned out great.
1 1/2 to 2 pounds of steak
2/3 cup worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup soy sauce
1 Tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons ground pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Slice steak into very thin strips. Sometimes freezing it makes it easier to slice or have the butcher slice it for you. Place a large zip lock bag into medium sized bowl. Add all the ingredients into the zip lock bag. Marinate your steak pieces over night in the refrigerator. Remove the meat from the zip lock bag and pat dry with paper towel.
Place the meat in a single layer on the dehydrator. Dehydrate for approximately 3 hours checking and turning the jerky every hour.
We absolutely love this recipe and we hope you do to.
1 1/2 lbs. round steak – 1 inch pieces
2 celery stalks, sliced
4 carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
3 medium potatoes – 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef broth
3 sprigs of thyme
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2. Combine saute beef and juices from skillet, celery, carrot, onion, mushroom, potato, tomato, black pepper, thyme and beef broth.
3. Cover and cook on Low heat 8-10 hours or on High heat 4-5 hours.
4. When beef and vegetables are tender combine flour and water. Slowly stir in flour/water mixture into stew.
NOW! Get ready to add your dumplings!!!!
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon thyme
2/3 cup milk
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Whisk together milk, egg and oil in a separate small bowl. Add to dry ingredients.
3. Mix together until smooth.
4. Add to stew by the spoonful turn slow cooker on High and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Makes approx. 8 servings