Posted by Heather on May 23, 2013
I have been so busy this week! I am in the middle of an ebook project (coming soon!), as well as moving my blog over to another server/domain. Hubby usually takes care of the techie stuff, but this time I am in the middle of it. Let me tell you, it’s a brave new world!
So, let me just update you with some of the happenings around our homestead this week:
This is the desk where hubby works when he works from home. Yes, he does use 4 different monitors as well as 2 different computers simultaneously!
The garden is coming along nicely! Our green beans are shooting up, thanks to all the recent rain, and the tomatoes are getting so big already!
Our broody buff, going into “puffy” mode. We borrowed 4 *hopefully* fertile eggs from a neighbor, and maybe we’ll have chicks in a couple weeks! I’ll keep you updated!
And, the first 75 of our meat birds arrived! Aren’t they cute? My daughter calls them “the fuzzy blanket of yellow”
So, that’s some of the things we’re working on…what’s your Spring been like so far?
Posted by Heather on May 20, 2013
I love lotion! I am a total addict!
However, I totally do not like that chemicals that are in the store bought lotions. I can’t pronounce most of them, and I don’t eat things I can’t pronounce, so why should I put the on my skin?
What’s a girl to do? Make her own!! And, for this idea, I got the inspiration from Wardeh of GNOWFGLINS.
Here’s another way to use that rendered tallow of yours. Hard Tallow Lotion Bars!
First, gather all your ingredients. For this recipe, I used 1 cup of tallow, 1 cup of coconut oil, and 1/2 cup beeswax. You can order beeswax here. In a heat-proof container, add the oils and beeswax. I put my glass measuring cup in a pot of boiling water. Heat on medium high heat until all the oil is melted.
Pour all the melted oil in molds. I used a muffin tin here. Let cool completely and pop out!
Viola, hard lotion bars!
In my neck of the woods, we are at a high heat/humidity season, so I am storing these in the fridge for now. I don’t know if they will melt because of the beeswax, but I am not wanting to take chances with a huge mess. Besides, the cooling lotion is soo nice after being outside in the heat!
Posted by mikayla on May 19, 2013
***My daughter, Mikayla, has taken over my blog today to give me a much needed day off…I was a bit scared when she was okay with doing this…***
Hello inferior life forms!
This is the almighty Mikayla, daughter of Heather Harris. Mom asked me to write a post for her blog, She said I could write anything I wished. My mom’s blog is, as you might know, all about teaching you how to be just like her, in the self sufficient way of course… she’s not at all slowly turning you into a homemaking, harrisheather worshiping zombie army!…
And as your reading her blog you might wonder what goes on behind those pretty pictures of jars filled with everything organic and grass-fed, and her witty posts about how you to can make you very own jars filled with every thing organic and grass-fed! Well I’m going to enlighten you!
When ever you have read a post about a dish she has made, that has been a dinner that Mom has stopped us in the middle of eating it! And declared “This is soooo a blog post!”, got out her camera, rearranged the food so you can’t see the part we’ve already chewed on and snapped a photo. Only after she’s happy with the picture can we go back to eating.
The pictures of chickens on her blog were so fun to get! NOT!! To do this we have to chase a chicken around the yard for about 20 minutes until it gets bored of our little game of cat and mouse, and lets us catch her. We then bring in the cranky, smelly bird into the dinning room stand it up on the table. (yes, the table we sometimes eat on!) and “pose” her until we get the perfect pic. All the while the bird is making very rude comments in Chickenese!
Canning is a blast too! The kitchen gets to a balmy one million degrees, which is so refreshing while we run countless jars up from the dungeon. (Dungeon is the nickname we gave the basement because of it’s uncanny resemblance to a mideval dungeon). Preparing the food to be canned is a lot of work too. If it’s corn, we sit on the porch shucking what feels like 100 burlap bags of corn, while our neighbors watch with amusement. And I’ll never forget Mom’s first year at the produce auction. She bought enough green beans to feed a medium size third world country! And we; meaning Myself, Nicholas, Aaron, and any of our friends who came over at the time, had to snap the ends off of each and every one of them! I snappped so many my hands turned green!
And gardening, oh gardening… When ever mom or dad so much as utters the word my brothers and I run and hide before they decide to put us to work! It almost never works though, and while gardening I imagine I am a Hebrew slave working for a Hysko pharoh. (I say Hysko because when I was obsessed with ancient Egypt I found out that the pharoh at the time of Moses was not Egyptian at all! But in fact part of a group of people known as Hyskos who invaded and took over Egypt just before they inslaved the Hebrews. And I am very OCD about historical acurcy!)
As your reading her blog you might think to your self “Gosh! She must know everything!” Actually, it takes at least three tries before shes happy with the results and can then proceed to blog about it! Like movies, the final product is not everything.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into the harsh, cold reality behind the glamour of the blog.
Posted by Heather on May 18, 2013
What is tallow? Well, it’s rendered beef fat.
Rendering means that you have melted it down, and “extracted” the fat. It removes any leftover stuff in the fat, and makes it smooth, creamy, and easy to use. You are basically changing the composition.
So, lets get to it, shall we?
First, you will need to obtain some beef fat. Our local butcher sells it as “suet”, and it generally runs for $.25/lb. You can also have them save it for you when you order a part of a cow.
Yummy looking, right?
You will want to place this in a large crockpot. If it doesn’t fit in all the way, you will want to cut it to fit.
Turn the crock pot on low, and let it go for several hours. After a while, it begins to look like this:
After it has “cooked” for about 24 hours on low, you will want to get a jar or two ready. Make sure they are clean and DRY. Trust me on this. Hot oil+any bit of water= nasty, ouchy mess!
I set a canning funnel on top of a wide mouthed quart jar, and topped with a double layer of cheesecloth.
Filter your hot tallow through the cheesecloth, being very careful not to burn yourself!! You will now have this:
Set it aside, out of the way for several hours. When it’s completely cool, it will look like this:
Yummy!!! All this next week, I will show you some ideas for using tallow in your daily life. Happy rendering!
Posted by Heather on May 17, 2013
Have you ever wanted the taste of eggs that you collected yourself that morning? Are you short on entertainment, and wanting something more out of your days? May I recommend you begin keeping a backyard flock? Of chickens, that is
Don’t know anything about chicken keeping or where to begin? No worries! The Urban Chicken is here to help! This ebook will guide you through the steps of getting chicks, building a home, collecting and keeping eggs and even recipes for making great tasting meals! You will also learn why you should make your neighbors lemonade and why a rake isn’t proper chicken catching equipment. Trust me, it’s hilarious!
Check this book out here, along with all the other fantastic ebooks in this sale!
Click here to get this bundle now!
Posted by Heather on May 16, 2013
Making the decisions about what animals to keep on your homestead is hard enough. Do you add chickens or ducks? How many? What about goats or cows? And, of course, you have to wonder how to keep those animals safe on your homestead. Whether you are in the country and deal with larger predators like coyotes, or you live on an urban homestead and deal with smaller predators like raccoons, you have choices.
Do you have the space for a large dog? Llama? Donkey? And why are these animals important to a homestead? How do you choose?
In Livestock Guardian Animals, by Marie at Rural Living Today, learn how donkeys, llamas, and livestock guardian dogs deal with threatening predators. Read about the instincts, abilities, and limitations of each type of livestock guardian. Then evaluate your needs and make the right livestock guardian decision for your farm, ranch, or homestead.
Normally $2.99 by itself and a worthwhile investment, this book is part of the homesteading ebook bundle and you can get it with 6 other valuable resources for $12.97! Click here to buy it now!
Posted by Heather on May 15, 2013
It’s every homesteaders dream to make a living on their lifestyle. Of course, where to begin? I mean, you can sell eggs, or honey, or even meat birds, but what can you do if you don’t have enough of those goods to sell? You can always try making your own soaps to sell on Etsy, or at a farmer’s market! How do you do that? Well, Susan Godfrey’s book, Making Hand Milled Soap for Fun and Profit can guide you on your way!
With tips to starting out and selling your soaps and over 50 delicious recipes to get you started, this ebook is a can’t miss deal! Some of my favorite recipes are Orange Creamsicle and Vanilla Milkshake. They are easy, simple recipes that will get you started on making your own hand milled soaps today!
This ebook is part of the homesteading ebook bundle deal you don’t want to miss!!
Posted by Heather on May 14, 2013
Have you ever wanted to do something radical, something great and you didn’t know where to start? Perhaps fear of failure kept you from working toward achieving your goal. I know it did for me, and still does at times. But you have a purpose. And, in Aaron Broyles’s book, Do Great Things, you will learn how to overcome your fear.
Then, you overcome your fear, and discover your true voice. Who you really are, and what you have to say.u need to change your thinking. He calls this the paradigm shift. The example of the 4 mile minute runner was used. Simply put, there was no one in the world who could run a mile in under four minutes. Doctors said it was humanly impossible, that people could not go that fast. But, one runner in the 1950′s by the name of Roger Bannister said he would do it. And, his record breaking time was 3:59.4 for the mile. Countless others after began to break his records. Why could they do it now? They had a paradigm shift…they believed they could.
The fact is that people will place their own expectations on you, and you will be faced with a choice. Will you do what pleases those around you, or will you do what pleases God? God created you to serve Him.
You will be encouraged, and strengthened with the idea that you can do great things! I loved his writing, and that I was challenged to change my way of thinking. In his conclusion, Aaron says,
You have an amazing opportunity! You have the opportunity to fulfill a place in the world that only you can fill. There is no one in the world right now who can stand in your shoes…I believe you were destined for greatness. You would not exist today if that were not true.
So, what’s been holding you back? Get challenged to embrace your uniqueness and live as an original! This book will give you the tools you need to believe in yourself, change your thinking, overcome your fear and do great things!!!
**I received a FREE copy of this book for the purpose of this review, and no other monetary compensation was recieved. All opinions are 100% mine**
Posted by Heather on
You don’t have to have 10 acres to farm to be able to grow your own food.
You don’t have to have a dozen milking cows or goats to get fresh milk.
You don’t have to have your own flock of chickens to get fresh eggs.
But, do what you CAN do. If you have a small space, like an apartment with no balcony, then grow some herbs in your widowsill. Instead of houseplants like ferns, grow a tomato inside in a bucket. Grow some lettuce in that planter. Use your space. You can utilize farmer’s markets for fresh fruit, veggies, and eggs and at the same time help them grow more food.
You don’t have to be an expert canner and put up gallons and gallons of food each year to eat off. It’s okay to start out small, with only a quart or two of applesauce if you want. It’s all about a journey. If you need further encouragement, I *highly* suggest Melissa Norris’s book, Pioneering Today. With this book, you’ll get practical and useful advice on how to:
- Decrease your grocery and energy bill
- Improve your family’s health by cooking from scratch and over 40 delicious recipes
- Grow and preserve your own food
- Reduce your time in the kitchen without sacrificing taste and nutrition
- Expand your view of God in your daily activities
Whether you live in the middle of the asphalt jungle or on the side of a mountain, you can experience the pioneer lifestyle and start your own homesteading journey. When you surround yourself with things made from the hand of God, you can’t help but see Him.
And, it’s part of this amazing ebook bundle! Click here to learn more and get your bundle of encouragement and homesteading help today!