Category Homesteading Skills

Home Made Additive Free Gherkins: Delicious Natural Pickles Made With Bread, Sunshine and Some Herbs

Delicious Natural Pickles Made With Bread, Sunshine and Some Herbs

Gherkins, or pickles, appear in the cuisine of many countries. They are delicious as a relish, a salad vegetable, give extra bite to sandwich fillings and salads, and they are also used as an accompaniment to hot dishes – a pleasant contrast to the warm food. They are also an excellent, healthy snack food.

Additive Free Gherkins

You can easily make your own additive free pickles, free from artificial colorings, flavors, or preservatives. This is a simple Hungarian recipe that doesn’t require much effort. The gherkins will taste, of course, slightly different to the store brought variety, but that’s because they are completely natural.

Summer Treat

This particular recipe is not good for long term storage – that is, keeping them over winter This recipe is one of what is called “summer tr...

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Natural and Frugal Sunburn Treatments

It’s happened to us all at least once: The sunscreen may have failed, or been sweated off without re-application, or a small spot may have been missed. The result is an angry red patch of skin, and in extreme cases, blistering and peeling.

For those who are reluctant to get an over-the-counter solution, there are more eco-friendly solutions that are neither expensive nor complicated. In fact, you may already have some in your home right now.

Aloe: A Green Alternative to Burn Ointment

A handy houseplant to keep in the kitchen is the aloe plant (featured in the photo.) This member of the succulent family of cacti contains juices that are extremely soothing when applied directly to burn...

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Apartment Container Gardening Can Offset Rising Food Prices

 This is a guest post submitted from a fellow Urban Homesteader:

 

 

I have never had the inclination to become a farmer, but if food costs keep going up at the current rate, I may have no other option but to start a garden on my balcony. Every week the prices for basic foods are higher than the week before. No one is saying anything, but I am sure everyone has noticed. At this current pace, our weekly groceries will equal our monthly rent payment before the end of the year. I have no clue what is driving these prices, but something is going to have to give.

The economy and jobless statistics are still too unstable. Prolonged unemployment has thrown crushing blows within our family for the last two years. We have had to downsize from renting a house to an apartment...

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Summer Gardening To Do List: Tasks and Projects for Summertime Garden Maintenance

Annuals

Annuals should be dead headed (the dead blooms picked or cut off with pruners) regularly in order to stimulate continued growth. Any annuals that have died should be pulled and – if the plant otherwise seemed healthy – should be tossed in the compost pile.

Weed your annual beds regularly to keep them neat looking, and add mulch as needed to keep moisture in.

Perennials

Dead head any spent blooms to keep the flowers coming on your perennial plants – the plant uses energy on spent flowers instead of growing new ones.

Stake up any taller perennials that might sway in the wind and break.

Prune rose bushes and cut off any spent flowers as they begin to brown in order to promote new flowers. Fertilize and check the plant for diseases and pests, and treat as needed.

Be on the lookou...

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Household Repairs Anyone can do

household repairs

Whether you are an urban homesteader or a rural homesteader, in the home there is always some aspect of the property that needs a little fixing up. Unaddressed, small problems and tasks become large and expensive eyesores, requiring professional attention, precluded by a sizable withdrawal from your bank account. Granted, not everyone has the skill set to remodel a house, or for that matter, even change a light switch. But everyone does have the ability to complete simple household repairs, and thereby save money and preserve their homestead.

A list of household repairs anyone can do should be approached from a perspective of maintenance, you’re just attempting to fix what you can properly to preserve a pleasant environment...

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Fire-Safe Landscaping: Create Defensible Space to Protect Your Home

Every homeowner fears fire. This year, which has been particularly dry in California and throughout the Southwestern United States, has been particularly worrisome, as drought conditions have escalated. Homeowners can help themselves, though, by taking a look at their landscaping and what’s in their yard, and trying to eliminate anything that could start a fire or provide fuel for one. There’s a lot you can do to create fire-safe landscaping around your house. The name of the game is “defensible space” – a 30-foot area around the home is standard rule of thumb; however, in California, a 100-foot space is now urged.

Here are some things you can do to create a Fire-Safe Landscaping defensible space:

  • Simple outdoor maintenance can help remove hazards...
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Making Homemade Yogurt

homemade yogurt

I love yogurt, and knowing how to make my own homemade yogurt is a skill that provides me with this tasty treat all the time.

I know, I can here you now, “homemade yogurt! I’m not that great in the kitchen!” Well fret not, it is actually very easy if you follow the directions below.

 

What do you need to make homemade yogurt

  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 2 large dollops of natural yogurt with active live bacteria (Okay so you do have to take a trip to the store once).

That’s it for ingredients, nothing fancy. Now below are the instructions for simple healthy homemade yogurt:

making homemade yogurtStep 1- Add 1 quart of whole milk to a saucepan and heat until small bubbles appear around the outside of the saucepan (but do not boil). Heat milk to about 170 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit...

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Understanding Vegetable Culture

As a rule, we choose to grow bush beans rather than pole beans. I cannot make up my mind whether or not this is from sheer laziness. In a city backyard the tall varieties might perhaps be a problem since it would be difficult to get poles. But these running beans can be trained along old fences and with little urging will run up the stalks of the tallest sunflowers. So that settles the pole question. There is an ornamental side to the bean question. Suppose you plant these tall beans at the extreme rear end of each vegetable row. Make arches with supple tree limbs, binding them over to form the arch. Train the beans over these. When one stands facing the garden, what a beautiful terminus these bean arches make.

Beans like rich, warm, sandy soil...

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Camping, Tips for the First Timer

Camping, Tips for the First Timer

Many people are curious to try camping for beginners, but actually getting started can seem difficult to those who have never gone. Camping really is fun even for beginners and amateurs. Read this beginners guide to camping for some easy tips on getting started without spending a lot of time and money.

Camping for the First Time

Above all else, a first-time camping trip must be relaxed and fun. An unsuccessful first-time trip may turn even the hardiest soul away from trying again. Therefore, do not try anything too challenging or try to fit too many activities into one trip.

For a successful beginner camping experience, it is best to stay fairly close to home, go during nice weather, and plan to stay two nights. One night does not allow enough time to get organized and have fun...

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Ultimate Compost Tea Guide

guide to compost tea recipe

Compost in the garden will improve your soil which in turn will reward you with strong plants that are better able to fend off droughts and diseases. Compost improves soil structure and drainage. It can also be used as a fertilizer or a mulch and it enhances the soil’s ability to absorb water. A stronger fertilizer for your garden is compost tea

Best time to use compost tea

In the middle of the growing season the initial soil enhancements may be somewhat depleted by continuing plant growth, plus the plants themselves may need a bit of a boost. This is especially true just as they are producing fruits and seeds for us such as cucumbers beginning to bear fruit or peas starting to swell in the pods...

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