Monday, November 26, 2012

Barn Hop #89


Welcome to the Monday Homestead Barn Hop where you're invited to link up your blog with your very best post of the week; something happening at your homestead or something of interest that will help benefit fellow homesteaders. Plus, each of the 3 Homestead Barn Hop hostess selects her favorite post of the week to highlight the following week. So be sure to visit all three blogs because the "Featured Homestead" could be YOURS!



Thank you to everyone who has been linking back to Homestead Revival, The Prairie Homestead, or New Life on a Homestead. It's like flying the colors of the homestead community and showing others the way to a great life living closer to the land! 

My apologies for not getting Barn Hop #88 posted last week. I was very blessed to host my aunt from out-of-state here in our home for a week and we took a little side trip over to the Pacific Coast to see some sites and spend time together. Just the girls (as all the daughters went, too!). We had a lovely time and I appreciate everyone's understanding. I trust you were able to post over on one of the other two blogs - either The Prairie Homestead or New Life on a Homestead. Now back to business here at the Homestead Revival...

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat
Yesterday I stated that it was the last day to try Plan To Eat for half price. Seems I didn't read the date right... you can still purchase it today! I already renewed mine for half off and I encourage you to do the same if you're looking for a way to organize recipes on line, easily download from sites you surf, and want to stay on top of planning your weekly and monthly menus. At $1.66/month, this shouldn't hurt anyone's food budget. Instead, I believe you'll save much more than that just by better planning. If you'd like to know more, I have an older post that explains the Plan to Eat program in detail right HERE and HERE.
Today's featured homesteaders are from Rural Living Today... Jim, Marie, and daughter Bethany. They've been doing an entire series on "Beating Food Challenges" and this week they concluded with Bartering and Lifelong Learning. It would certainly be a good series to investigate given our economy and the possibilities of what lies ahead. And each post in the series has tons of links for additional referencing. What a resource!



"Bartering, or swapping goods and services, was once a very common practice among neighbors and community members... But recently, bartering has become popular and even trendy in some places. We think it’s a great idea, and we think it will literally be a lifesaver in the coming years."



If you've been featured in the past...


If you've been a featured blogger on the Barn Hop, either today or in the past, we now have a special button for you should you wish to add it to your sidebar stating that you've been a featured blogger! You can find it on my button page by clicking the hen with the blue barn on my sidebar that says "HR Buttons". It's a good idea to link it back to the page where you were featured so your readers can see where you're actually mentioned. (These buttons do not have a code since it needs to be linked to the page you're featured in and it will change from week to week. Just copy the button or drag it to your desktop).




Join The Barn Hop!
and Amy @ Homestead Revival...

...invite you to link up and share your homesteading adventures!


Did you share any cool new homesteading tips on your blog this week? If so, we’d love to have you link up below! Even if you don’t have a blog, we always welcome your comments!

Please remember that the Homestead Barn Hop is meant to be a place to share homesteading related encouragement and inspiring ideas specfically related to homesteading. In an effort to keep our weekly round-up clutter free, links which are not specifically homestead related, and any promotions such as giveaways, contests, carnivals, etc, will be deleted in order to maintain the integrity of the Barn Hop. Please remember this is a family friendly link up. Any pictures or posts linked to the hop which aren’t appropriate for our children to view or read will also be deleted immediately. We’re pretty conservative, so we ask that you use good judgment and err on the side of caution. 

Make sure that you link to your Barn Hop post, not your blog’s main page, so your guests won’t have any trouble finding your great tips!

We would also appreciate it if you would link back to the Homestead Barn Hop in the post that you share! Feel free to grab the banner at the top of this post to link back to us with.

Want a chance to be a “Featured Homestead” next week?

Be sure you've included an actual link to the Barn Hop, preferably the button, on your post or sidebar, with a link back to us. Thank you for sharing the message about the Homestead Barn Hop!

Occasionally there is a problem posting due to glitches in the internet or the Linky Tools. If you have difficulties posting and it does not show up immediately, please wait a little while and try re-posting (this helps avoid double posting). We're sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, be we do not have absolute control over the internet. Thank you for your patience and understanding!









Saturday, November 24, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Drink Dispenser Labels

Necessity is the mother of invention.

So here's my adaptation of labels for my drink dispensers...




Want a set?

The Homestead Revival Etsy Shop is now open.


Get your drink labels in time for holiday entertaining!





Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


Homestead Revival will be on vacation for the remainder of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Hope to see you on Monday for the Barn Hop. In the meantime, enjoy some of our past posts and extra special time with family and friends... we're so grateful for the many new people we've "met" through blogging!

Blessings to you all!




Photo Courtesy of my friend J. Havlik and her beautiful turkeys!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Winner: Natural Linens Eco Towels

Thanks to everyone who entered the Natural Linens Eco Towel Give-Away and visited their website this past week! Sounds like a lot of us are ready to ditch at least SOME of the paper towels if not all. I know my family is cutting WAY back... we've taken another step forward in becoming more sustainable.

I do hope you'll keep NATURAL LINENS in mind when you do a bit of shopping during the Christmas season. Their products would make great stocking stuffers! Handkerchiefs for the guys, lavender sachets for the girls, reusable organic cotton coffee filters for the coffee connoisseur... definitely something for everyone!






Congratulations to our winner...

#1249... 
Farmstress Maggie!

Thanks to Natural Linens for introducing us to such a wonderful product and hosting a fun give-away!

  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Passing On a Passion for Homesteading

There are several reasons Mom wanted me to join her on Homestead Revival. One of her goals in writing this blog has been to pass down to me and my sisters all the information she has worked hard to acquire. She has definitely amassed an incredible amount of information, how to guides, and ideas in one place, easily referenced, if needed. 

The thing is... almost all of my mom’s projects have involved our entire family, bringing us closer together and gaining that hands on experience, so not only do we have a reference guide, but also real life lessons in beekeeping, sewing, and canning, just to name a few. Having grown up in this environment, I hope I've learned enough to start giving back myself. 




This leads to a specific reason for bringing me on board... I have a unique perspective as a college student, contemplating changes in my life and what the future holds for many of my generation. Unfortunately, many young adults are so caught up with the latest trends and fads that they are out of touch with the things that have worked for centuries. 

My goal is to reach those in my peer group and encourage a homesteading lifestyle. 

So this begs a question: 

What changed homesteading from mom’s passion to my lifestyle?






I believe in living in a way that is natural and compliments the surrounding environment, but I haven’t always cared. While conscious of the world around me, until I was about eighteen I didn’t see the point because in my mind, my lifestyle didn’t directly affect it. This changed when I started thinking seriously about stewardship. 

A steward is someone who is appointed for a time to manage another person’s property. Matthew 25:20-2 describes this relationship of the steward and the Master. 

“The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”


I have been given much more than a few bags of gold to invest. I am responsible for my body, mind, actions, thoughts, the people under my direction, and the use of the skills I have been given. 

By caring for my physical well-being, I am conscious of the food that goes into my body. In stewarding my mind, I am aware of the thoughts and ideas that I harbor. In mastering forgotten skills, I try to learn them and share them with others, so they can do the same. Stewardship is a huge responsibility that helps me focus on those things that matter most.






Americans tend to think of everything in a very linear way. Life is all about going forward and never looking back. Because of this worldview, responsibility, integrity, and prudence are devalued while success at all costs is encouraged. People sacrifice health, happiness, family, friends, relationships, and valuable time striving after things that their peers deem successful. For being such a driven society, that is one vicious circle. 

In anthropology there is a second, more traditional, way to view time: cyclically. Everything is part of a cycle which will come back in time. This was originally observed in days, seasons, the moon’s phases, and the movement of the heavens. What was even more incredible was that those cycles moved in conjunction like the cogs of a clock. 

For example, in nature these cycles can be seen in food production... the ground feeds the seed which grows into food, animals and humans eat the plants, and the seeds are spread and fertilized through excretion. Our task is to steward this cycle so it benefits all of creation (or as much of it as humanly possible).

Unfortunately, our modern systems tend to disrupt these cycles. An example would be with genetically modified seeds whose plants compost into nutrient depleted soil while killing beneficial insects that consume the plant's pollen and nectar. Yes, this cycle has been corrupted. And as stewards of the land this should be unacceptable. Homesteading is a small way to start renewing the land and redeem the cycle to bring forth a better quality food product for my family and me to eat while giving back to the cycle that produced it. 

(Note: In the Bible, we see examples of both linear time and cyclical time. Both are part of God's divine order as are the cycles we see in life.)





William Shakespeare wrote, “And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything”. 

I learn more thinking about mountains, weeds, and starry skies than I do in most of my college courses. I love wondering into unknown areas, smelling trees and fresh dirt, and jumping into lakes. Here is where I experience each part of nature as it exhibits the attributes, presence, and providence of God. And as a result homesteading enables me to stay connected to creation and my Creator.






People like my mom, Barbara Kingsolver, and Joel Salatin all express the need to simplify and renew our food culture. This is certainly helped along by the aforementioned, but it also includes a philosophy to reduce our human desire to constantly make things more complicated than necessary just because we think we can build a better mouse trap (so to speak).

Simplicity is a companion to humility. If humility is having a correct view of yourself, then simplicity is having a correct view of the world around you. This view can be obstructed by things that detract from the cycles of living and obscured by unwarranted complications. For example... genetically modifying seeds, raising cattle in CAFO situation (concentrated animal feeding operation), and our insatiable desire for everything electronic certainly isn't simple! Nor does it feel humble in any way.  

I appreciate how the modern homesteading movement compliments the idea of simplicity. Centered around what is best for the family, homesteading honors and supports the institutions God set up in creating both marriage and family.
 It respects the cycles that God has ordained in nature. And it draws beautiful inspiration from creation. 









  

Besides Homestead Revival, I also write on my personal blog, To Live, Not Exist. The idea behind it was to consciously choose to do things that would grow, develop, and multiply the gifts I have and to encourage others to do the same. Many of the people my age are just coasting through life, unsure of themselves and what they are supposed to be because they haven’t taken the time to think about how they should invest their time. 

For a long time, I've wanted to deliberately live with purpose, so I went over seas, worked at several different jobs, and started to educated myself. All of these things grew me in various ways, but it was like an adrenaline rush, suddenly there and then gone. Homesteading, and the life principles that go with it, instill a constant and steady growth which bring me peace, consistency, and joy. Whether it is 
learning to make my own deodorant, butchering chickens, or watching the sunrise while I work in a tomato patch, I carry on this legacy of wholeness and community, living close to the land.

It seems Mom's lifestyle has become my passion.

How blessed is the man who does not stand in the path of sinners
Or sit in the seat of scoffers,
But his delight is in the law of the Lord
And on that law he will meditate day and night.

He is like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yield its fruit in its season
His leaf does not wither.
And whatever he does he prospers.

~ Psalm 1:1-3




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Give-Away: Natural Linens

I've been planning to do this give-away for some time and I must say... I am so glad to show off this product to you! Carmen at Natural Linens sent me some of her re-usable Eco Towels and I've had plenty of time to give them a thorough work out in our home and "kick the tires", so to speak. And I have NOT been disappointed.



There's a lot of talk about switching from paper towels to something more sustainable, something that lasts a lot longer. And while our family made the switch to cloth napkins with relative ease, we were struggling in the paper towel department. Honestly, it just wasn't happening.

This is the country. The Southwest in fact. Can you say DUST and DIRT? Think old western movies and you're on the right track. Yes, I live in the mountains where there is a bit more vegetation, but it's still high desert territory and boy do we have the dirt to prove it! (I gave up on the floors a long time ago!) So you can imagine that a paper towel that I can throw away is so much more appealing when wiping up dirt and grime. But here's what I found...

The Eco Towels actually worked better!

How's that possible? Well, in a nut shell...

• they last longer before I have to get a new one (even though they are smaller in size)
• they can be easily rinsed out and used again (in certain applications)
• they are able to get in crevices that the paper towels can't because they're thin and pliable
• they are tougher than their paper counterpart
• they are lint free and don't leave bits of fiber behind

And cleaning them? A piece of cake. These are so small, I just throw them in with my other kitchen towels (I typically use hot water for these) and they take up very little room. I've not had to do any extra loads. Whether they're hung dried or dried in the dryer, they do about the same, but they will shrink a bit in the dryer. You can see a comparison below of one new one with one washed and dried in the dryer (on top of the new one).


Here's an example of some of the dirt on a couple (I really did use these)...




And after washing... the edges curl a bit, but it really doesn't bother me as much as I thought it might. If you hand press these as they come out of the washer and THEN hang them up (something that doesn't typically happen with kids helping), then they might do better for you. Certainly doesn't change their effectiveness.


To get the most out of one cloth, I use a technique I learned from reading Speed Cleaning by Jeff Campbell and The Clean Team.

Fold into fourths. Use one side. Flip it over and use the other side...


Next, unfold it ONCE (see brown heart sticker so you have an idea of where the original side is in each photo)...


And then fold it back on itself.



Use both of these sides and then open it up completely.



Fold the dirty sides so that they are on the inside and repeat the steps above.


With paper towels, I never fold like this... I just wad them up and use them and then throw them away, so not every part of the towel is used. Not nearly as frugal in terms of usage.

So how does one really transition from paper towels to cloth?

Hide the paper towels for a while. Or stop buying them for a period of time.

Seriously. And get a big basket or large bowl or some other container, and fill it with lots of Eco Towels so they're handy and ready to go whenever anyone needs to wipe a spill, clean a window, or wash a dish (and yes, they can be used as wash cloths - no need for two products!). I also like to have a second basket in the laundry room so family members can toss them in there when they've used one up.

One more thing I want to mention... I liked the off white color a lot. Typically, I buy lots of those cheap white wash cloths some place like Target or KMart and we use these in the kitchen as wash cloths. But they get so stained and dingy. The Eco Towels seem to have that natural ecru color and they just look better for this kind of heavy use.

I think the hardest thing you'll have to over come is the fact that you may be accustomed to a thicker towel, but being thinner allows you to get into places you normally can't. You really need to buy a set and find out just how well they really do work. The price point on these is only about $1.10-$1.15 per towel, which makes them very affordable, especially since you don't have to throw them away after one use!

If you REALLY want to go green and stop the waste, then you really should consider Natural Linens Eco Towels! Just think... it's a great way to prep for a possible long term crisis when paper towels will dry up on the grocery store shelves. Maybe you should get more than one set!

Give-Away Ends: Monday, November 19!

* Note: Due to the number of entries on recent give-aways, I'm switching to Punch Tab to help manage it all. You can enter below by signing in via facebook or your email. 






Monday, November 12, 2012

Barn Hop #87


Welcome to the Monday Homestead Barn Hop where you're invited to link up your blog with your very best post of the week; something happening at your homestead or something of interest that will help benefit fellow homesteaders. Plus, each of the 3 Homestead Barn Hop hostess selects her favorite post of the week to highlight the following week. So be sure to visit all three blogs because the "Featured Homestead" could be YOURS!



Thank you to everyone who has been linking back to Homestead Revival, The Prairie Homestead, or New Life on a Homestead. It's like flying the colors of the homestead community and showing others the way to a great life living closer to the land! 
Today's featured homesteader is Alla @ Mountain Valley Farms. She's been experimenting with growing her own fodder for her goats to curb feed costs while maintaining nutritional value. Not sure what this is or how to do it? Visit her blog and she'll share what she's learned so far. I've tried this myself (for my chickens) and it's not only easy... they LOVE it!


"Rising costs of animal feed have made me resort to finding cheaper ways to feed my animals. Hay alone has gone to the ridiculous price of $10-12 for a 60# bale... So, I started researching on the internet






If you've been featured in the past...


If you've been a featured blogger on the Barn Hop, either today or in the past, we now have a special button for you should you wish to add it to your sidebar stating that you've been a featured blogger! You can find it on my button page by clicking the hen with the blue barn on my sidebar that says "HR Buttons". It's a good idea to link it back to the page where you were featured so your readers can see where you're actually mentioned. (These buttons do not have a code since it needs to be linked to the page you're featured in and it will change from week to week. Just copy the button or drag it to your desktop).




Join The Barn Hop!
and Amy @ Homestead Revival...

...invite you to link up and share your homesteading adventures!


Did you share any cool new homesteading tips on your blog this week? If so, we’d love to have you link up below! Even if you don’t have a blog, we always welcome your comments!

Please remember that the Homestead Barn Hop is meant to be a place to share homesteading related encouragement and inspiring ideas specfically related to homesteading. In an effort to keep our weekly round-up clutter free, links which are not specifically homestead related, and any promotions such as giveaways, contests, carnivals, etc, will be deleted in order to maintain the integrity of the Barn Hop. Please remember this is a family friendly link up. Any pictures or posts linked to the hop which aren’t appropriate for our children to view or read will also be deleted immediately. We’re pretty conservative, so we ask that you use good judgment and err on the side of caution. 

Make sure that you link to your Barn Hop post, not your blog’s main page, so your guests won’t have any trouble finding your great tips!

We would also appreciate it if you would link back to the Homestead Barn Hop in the post that you share! Feel free to grab the banner at the top of this post to link back to us with.

Want a chance to be a “Featured Homestead” next week?

Be sure you've included an actual link to the Barn Hop, preferably the button, on your post or sidebar, with a link back to us. Thank you for sharing the message about the Homestead Barn Hop!

Occasionally there is a problem posting due to glitches in the internet or the Linky Tools. If you have difficulties posting and it does not show up immediately, please wait a little while and try re-posting (this helps avoid double posting). We're sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, be we do not have absolute control over the internet. Thank you for your patience and understanding!










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