Saturday, 29 January 2022

Shampoo & Body Wash Combo

 Yes, an all-in-one!

Shampoo & Body Wash

In blender:

1/2 tsp Vegetable Glycerin

1tsp (1 dropper full) Vitamin E

1/3C Castile Soap

1/3C Honey

1/3C Oil (Olive, Jojoba, Avocado, Almond, Fractionated Coconut)

30 drops Essential Oil (your choice)

Blend for 3 minutes. The longer blend time provides less separation.

Best used on 'soppy' hair for more lather. 

Note: Natural, homemade shampoos do not often lather. Lather is not required to clean. It will feel odd shampooing without lather at first, but it works. Rinse recipe coming soon.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Body Butter recipe

 Specifically for Barb, but you can use it too :D

Body Butter Recipe

For Half Pint
(half jam jar size)

1/4C Beeswax
1/2C Oil, (Olive, Almond, Avocado, etc)
1/4C Fractionated Coconut Oil (health food store)
15 drops Essential Oil (your choice)

Combine Oil and Coconut Oil. Melt Beeswax in double boiler or similar. Add to Oil combination. Add Essential Oil of your choice. Pour into jar and allow to cool. 

Optional: add herbs or flowers before cooling. Moisten them for sinkage.

Monday, 24 January 2022

The many uses of raw milk

 I can only trust you will be as astounded as I when you read through this list of uses of raw milk.

(Cow or goat)

Note: This is raw farm milk, not store milk -- store milk will not work for many of these.

1.    Obviously, a drink.

2. Cream

3. Whipping cream

4. Butter

5. Clabbered milk

6. Cottage cheese

7. Yogurt (cultured cream)

8. Sour cream

9. Kefir

10. Mozza

11. Ice Cream

12. Cream cheese

                            PERSONAL CARE

13. Facial (lightening, adds glow and pore closing) optional: mix with honey


14. Disinfectant ( submerse garden implements to disinfect)

15. Fungal spray (1part milk, 3 parts water - spray leaves)

16. Improve garden soil condition (simply pour on)

17. Fertilizer (50/50 milk/water - pour on soil)

18. Plant feed - Milk & Molasses (1C milk, 4C water, 2Tbsp Molases - spray)

19. Control Aphids, spider mites, etc. (spray whole or diluted)

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Free household cleaner and other stuff.

Brad likes to have a glass of a lemon and garlic drink (Details below) in the mornings, so I was making it and didn't want to waste the lemon peels, I also had some left over mandarin oranges from Xmas which were a little worse for wear, as you might imagine in mid January. 

So I cubed the oranges...

cut off the ends of the lemons,

peeled all the lemons,

all of it into the jar

Lastly fill jar with water and add lid.

1/2 gallon jar

Place in cool, dark place for 2-3 weeks, strain, pour into a spray bottle and you have an excellent cleaner for everything from counters to toilets -- and it would have all just gone in the bin, so I count that as free.

Homemade ACV

I made 2 massive Apple Cider Vinegars 4 weeks ago, they will be 'ready' tomorrow so I pulled them out to the counter so I don't forget to strain and bottle it all. ACV is super healthy and useful for a ton of stuff but that's another post altogether, we use most of it for our chickens so they don't get 'sticky butt' (1Tbsp/Liter of water).

Turmeric root

While getting the lemons and garlic today at the health food store I came across Turmeric root.... well, I already have Ginger going so.... I grabbed one and will plant it tomorrow also.

* Lemon & Garlic drink information: 
Multiple useful cardiovascular effects have been discovered including enhancement of fibrinolytic activity, lowering of blood pressure, reduction in cholesterol, and triglyceride.[] The results showed that combination of garlic and lemon juice significantly reduced serum TC, LDL-C, and blood pressure.

Lemon & Garlic drink recipe:
6 peeled lemons
30 garlic cloves
blend with 1/2C of water
Put in large pot with 1 Gallon water
Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 7 minutes. Strain into container suitable to keep it all in the fridge. Drink 8-12oz each morning.

Monday, 10 January 2022

Homestead update

Our good son turned 12 on Dec 1st... he is, by far the oldest person in the house now at 84. In fact, he's now older than either Grandma!!

Officially 12 years old now

This side he gets from his father :D

Chilling with the kiddos ( Brad & I ) watching TV

So you may recall that I like gadgets. Well, I have a gadget in the chicken coop/rabbitry so that I can monitor the temperature out there (keep in mind this is our first time raising chickens and rabbits).

During that super cold (polar vortex) spell we just had, this is the result. Now, I do have a heat lamp in the chicken coop which comes on about 6am-8am and again 6pm-9pm. Overnight however, they are on their own for body heat so I wanted to make sure I wasn't killing them....

We were getting about 10-11 eggs a day until I found the hiding spot which held 22 eggs... we are now getting the full monty of 14 eggs for 14 chickens.

Note: the red is -20C or colder.

Outside temperatures & RH

Coop temperatures & RH

The backyard is beautiful with all the snow. The paths are to the coop/rabbitry and also heads to the right for the cats in the pump house (pump house is heated so the farm cats live in there).

Some seeds are in...

These seeds (and many more) I ordered from Wildrose Heritage Seed Co. here in Alberta. They are heirloom (non-gmo), local and they send them in a zipper mylar so that you can save your own seeds at the end of the season, which I absolutely love. Unfortunately, they didn't have every seed we wanted so I also ordered from Heirloom Seed Vault also in Alberta, but those seeds have not arrived yet.

Meanwhile, though.... the shelving and grow lights have arrived and I managed to get it all set up in the basement. I put my St John's Wort. and a brand new ginger plant under the lights hoping to give them a little extra boost. 

St John's Wort above, ginger below

My SJW is essentially on its last legs and I desperately want to save it. I'm not sure if its an easily accessible plant, not that I ever looked for one before but as soon as I saw one I bought it and do not want it to die on me.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

Sod this, I'm Preparing for Spring

The advantage to a cold winter is that Spring looks all the better. 

Happy New Year everyone, by the way.

I refuse to acknowledge this cold wave we're having (we get a reprieve today (Jan 1) and tomorrow then after another week of mid -20s (Celsius) those who never get it right are giving everyone hope by saying it will be in the range of 0C (32F) for about a week -- I'll believe it when I see it.

Good news for the chickens though, I will leave their coop door open today and tomorrow for some much needed fresh air. I've had to keep them cooped up (pun intended) due to the extreme -40C temps. (-40C is also -40F for anyone who doesn't know -- also known as 'Damn Cold')

We decided to start planning our garden...

So because we want to learn to save our own seeds, I ordered this book which comes highly recommended by numerous homesteading peeps.

We need this book because every veg/plant, etc has different times/ways to save the seeds, for some the seeds are saved early in the growth and for others you let a few of them grow long past picking before saving the seeds.

We have 1 of these standing storage racks but to ensure it is the same size as the other I have ordered 2 of them to snug side by side.
(I noted the price increased $5 since I ordered them yesterday)

And a lesson learned from last year when I started all our starts but then had to buy a bunch of starts because they didn't get strong enough even with the greenhouse.... this year, grow lights!

As for the seeds, as you may know - if you plan to save seeds you need heirloom seeds (ie non-gmo) as the gmo seeds are sprayed and processed in such a way that they do not propagate well. By buying only heirloom seeds we ensure the heritage of the seeds, 'Purebred' seeds if you will.

Here in Alberta, there are a few heirloom seed companies and I chose to order from Heirloom Seed Vault and Wildrose Heritage Seed Company.

It is also worth noting that when buying seeds, you should always try to buy locally because by way of example, tomatoe seeds sold in Alabama will not be as hearty as those sold in Alberta, not to mention the much shorter growing season here.

Everyone should try to grow something, even if its just a few small herbs in the kitchen window, or a single tomatoe plant on the veranda. It gives you a sense of something.... I can't quite put my finger on, but suffice to say it makes you feel warm and fuzzy. A huge garden like we tend to do is not necessary for everyone but having a plant growing somewhere just, well... feels right for us. And many typical house plants are edible too... multi purpose. Not to mention the many many that are just growing wild outside your door, yes YOUR door, every door, free for the taking, and often medicinal.

May your next salad be wild