Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Inaugural Edition: The Preparedness Review

In the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy and a very crucial election (to say the least!), I've received several emails and FB messages with many readers concerned and ready to begin their preparedness journey.  So the timing of this announcement could not be any better...

 The Prepper Website has launched it's inaugural edition of The Preparedness Review, a bi-annual eJournal dedicated to helping you find excellent information in order to be prepared. And it's FREE!

I've had the privilege of being included in this eJournal (see article entitled "The Well Prepared Kitchen") and I encourage you to visit The Preparedness Review website and download the publication and get informed.

The official launch date is tomorrow, but you can get a jump on it today by visiting The Preparedness Review's website and clicking the link on the right sidebar just above the coffee ad on the right sidebar. Again, this is FREE, thanks to The Prepper Website, and with Hurricane Sandy fresh on our minds (and 4 million still without electricity), I hope you'll pass it along to all your friends and blog readers who might now be more open to hearing about how to prepare.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Barn Hop #85

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! 
I know this is the third week in a row that I've featured a post related to chickens. Just couldn't help myself! All three of these gals had such great information to share, and being the chicken girl that I am, I wanted you to see them, too (in case you got bogged down in reading 200+ link ups - woo hoo!!). Kathy, The Chicken Chick, analyzed the accuracy of pumpkins seeds as a natural wormer for chickens and she's sharing her summation with all of us...

"Much confusion and controversy surround the subject of whether pumpkin seeds are a 'natural' dewormer for chickens. I am always open to and interested in things that will help me keep my flock healthy. That having been said, I am not one inclined to accept claims that seem too good to be true at face value. I have researched the subject of pumpkin seeds and come to my own conclusions about their place in my flock."

And here's an added bonus... she also shared a really great recipe for the 'girls' on the same post: 
Peeps' Pumpkin Pie.  

Special Announcement! 
Jill at The Prairie Homestead welcomed a new addition to her family this week!! Prairie Boy is now at home resting comfortably with mamma and the rest of the family. She'll be taking the week off to catch her breath and enjoy some bonding time.

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!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Blessing

"O Lord, You are my God;
I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name;
For you have worked wonders,
Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness...

"The Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet 
for all peoples on this mountain;
A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow,
And refined, aged wine.

And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering 
which is over all peoples,
Even the veil which is stretched over all nations.
He will swallow up death for all time,
and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces,
And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth;
For the Lord has spoken.

"And it will be said in that day,
“Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”

~ Isaiah 25:1, 6-9

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Preparedness Challenge #40

Welcome to the Preparedness Challenge! Each month USA Emergency Supply hosts a give away to encourage families to set something aside to prepare for a time of emergency or the unexpected. Those who link up or leave a comment of something they did during the month to be prepared will be entered in the drawing (please take a moment to read the rules at the bottom of the post).

To Those Who Link Up Monthly...

Many of you have been faithful to the challenge, month after month... I congratulate you! Take a minute and consider all the prepping you've done that would have never happened if you hadn't taken the initiative to accept the challenge. Those little (and sometimes BIG) steps add up to quite a bit!

If you've been doing the Preparedness Challenge for over a year, you've probably developed a lifestyle of prepping at this point. This is the mindset that we want to adopt, because a one time purchase of emergency food really isn't going to meet your family's needs either in the immediate future or long term. As you know, there is so much more to prepping!

To Encourage You Further...

Not everyone has made it this far in the Challenge... at week #40, many have been overwhelmed. I get that! It's a daunting task at times, especially in our consumer oriented disposable society where nearly everything can be purchased at anytime if you have the money (or credit card!). To be both debt free and prepared... sometimes it's like swimming upstream with a 100 pound pack strapped on your back!

Preparing can happen no matter how small the steps. If you've fallen off the band wagon, time to make it a priority again and JUST DO IT. Here's how I'm going to help you...

1. For those who link up with a blog post and list something from ALL 3 CATEGORIES (see below), you'll be entered in the give-away twice!

2. After linking up or leaving a comment, anyone who shares the Challenge on ANY SOCIAL MEDIA, may leave a second comment telling me what they've done and they'll be entered in the drawing a second time.

3. I'm going to feature one of the blogs that links up each month. I'm looking for a post where someone adds something to encourage others to prepare, helps with preparedness ideas, or goes over and beyond by prepping in an unusual way.

October's Featured Prepper...
Lisa at The Way Grandmama Does It, wrote an outstanding post on gift ideas for those who want to promote a preparedness lifestyle and get family members on the right track. She definitely gets the idea behind our challenge and is ready to help others do the same... way to go, Lisa! Thanks for sharing your passion for prepping and your Christmas plan with the rest of us.

Today's Winner & Give-Away!

Last month's give-away from USA Emergency Supply was the Freeze Dried Vegetable Combo for food storage and emergencies. I'm pleased to announce the winner today...

Mooberry Farmwife at

A New Give-Away!

Guess you've already noticed the photo to the right... Don't laugh! THIS is an item you might REALLY want to have on hand should the water to your home cease to exist for a week or more! Just think... a bucket style toilet can be relocated in any number of places in order to keep odors away from the main living area in a disaster. Isn't it amazing how many details there are to consider? We take so much for granted... like indoor plumbing. USA Emergency Supply is including the bucket, deodorant, and digester to the winner of our October Challenge. 

Be sure to take a minute to read over their Winter Storms information page. Now is the time to be prepared for blizzards, snow, and other weather situations that come with those cold north winds.

Coming Soon...

With Thanksgiving at the end of the month (and so many of us focused on family gatherings), I'm combining both November and December's Preparedness Challenge and moving it to the first Saturday in December, which is the 1st. And because it's the end of the year, USA Emergency Supply is going to offer an End-Of-The-Year Blast...

Wondermill Junior Deluxe
Value $219!
We'll talk more about that next month, but you might want to get busy on that prepping so you can enter for sure!

How I Met The Challenge!

• Food Storage:  I visited an Olive farm and purchased some outstanding bulk olive oil. Better yet, I established a source for future purchases! I also have located a source for organic walnuts (in state as well - sort of local).

• Emergency Preparedness: I ordered all the supplies I need to make emergency candles from soy wax. (Another post to follow with details). With winter and inclimate weather coming, I'm thinking I'd like to have several sources for back up lights.

• Sustainable Living: A Homestead Library is so important... I'm always looking for a good book to add. This month, I purchased Kat Drovdahl's book The Accessible Pet, Equine, and Livestock Herbal as a reference book for animal care using herbal remedies. Definitely an investment, but I believe it will be well used over the years, saving me much more than the cost of the book in vet fees. (I am not an anti-vet person; I just feel there is a lot that one can do before a problem gets out of hand). I also potted some herbs for winter, planted garlic, and just hours after this post goes live, I'm butchering a flock of meat birds. 

Just A Reminder...

Don't forget that part of being prepared is PRAYER! Please keep those in the path of Hurricane Sandy in your prayers! It could make landfall this week on the east coast.

Now it's your turn to join the Preparedness Challenge..

Join the Challenge & Enter The Give Away

To be entered in the drawing you must complete the following 2 steps:

1) Either leave a comment
(with your email info - this is required to contact you)
link up your Preparedness Challenge blog post
(you only need to comment or postnot both).

2) Your comment or link up MUST include something you did this week to be more prepared in terms of food storage, emergencies, or sustainable living. Posts not related to at least one of the three areas of preparedness will not be counted toward the give-away. Please be sure to clearly state in your comment or post what you did this month to be more prepared (see my example above as one easy way to do this). Again, the three areas we are focusing on include: 

• food storage for life's unexpected events whether related to long term effects from a disaster or a job loss and everything in between

• emergencies for times of power outages, natural disasters, and such

• sustainable living in order to be more independent, both physically and financially, and to live as close to the land as possible given each individual's situation 

3) If you do something in all 3 areas, leave me a second comment and just say "I DID 3!"

4) If you share about the challenge on a social media site, leave me a new comment and say "Shared on ________."

Please be respectful of our challenge and only add a post on one of these three preparedness topics ONLY in order to retain the integrity of the link up event. If your post is just a general homesteading post, please save it for the Monday Homestead Barn Hop.

NOTE: This challenge and give-away ends Friday, November 2nd at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Be sure to take the Preparedness Challenge picture and add it to your blog so others know you're participating and hopefully they'll join up, too! THANK YOU!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Inspiration Friday: Rolling Pins

So... continuing our Inspiration Friday along the lines of baking...

Let's talk rolling pins.

Without a doubt, I do most of my baking in the fall. Any wonder I regularly gain weight at this time of year? I know you get that... it's a natural nesting instinct, right? Cool weather, more time indoors, a high need for coziness...

I don't have a rolling pin collection or anything, but I do have a few different pins... a french rolling pin, a standard pin (where did that one go?), a couple of smaller rolling pins, and a... hmmm... I don't know what to call it. A tortilla pin? Basically it's a 1" dowel rod that I mostly use to beat bags of ice when I'm having a get together. It's seen better days, for sure.


For a while, this smattering of pins has been stashed in a drawer under my baking center, but frankly, it isn't working that well for me. When I designed the house and kitchen 10 years ago, my intent was to have a "baking center" with everything easy to access and several regular baking items hanging, at the ready.

Yeah... that didn't happen. Life. Priorities.

Cozy Little House

Onward and forward...

I'm reworking that space now and looking for the best way to "display" my pins on the side of the cabinet that surrounds the baking space. Whatever did we do before Pinterest?

Do You Love Him Loretta?

Sadie Olive

So, how can one display these humble wooden cylinders of flakey pie crust fame? Let me count the ways...

shesagoodgirl via Junk Market Style
Re-found Objects
Amy Azzarito via Design Sponge

Frog Goes To Market
Savvy City Farmer
Photo Credit Unknown
You know... rolling pins are really other objects in disguise...

Olive Blogs
Harbour Breeze Home
Blue Bird Heaven

Sometimes, it's just fun to see how everyday objects can be beautiful and delight!

Blue Cardinal
Just curious... how do you store your rolling pins?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Manure Tea

In the last two years I have learned it is possible to use every piece of everything you cook, bake, butcher, pick, and weed. We all know fertilizer has manure in it, but while I was in Indonesia I learned to complete the cycle of sustainable living by returning manure produced by goats to the ground they grazed.

My first morning in Indonesia I was handed a 2-gallon bucket and a stick with a jagged aluminum can on the end and pointed to large fields with big blue vats. Between jet lag, a two mile hike, an hour of sleep, and the four am call to prayer, I was not expecting an oil drum full of goat urine and feces. The first time I nearly threw up! We started hauling two gallons of the fertilizer into the fields. It seemed I was going to spend a lot of time ladling manure tea onto plants and I wandered what was so great about this fertilizer.

Turns out, unlike most commercial fertilizers, it's all natural, returning to the soil the nutrients that were harvested. In particularly, it's filled with nitrogen which is often one of the primary deficiencies in nitrogen loving plants such as tomatoes (causing bottom rot). Manure tea continues to compost and amends the soil gradually instead of all at once, strengthening the plant so that it can defend its self. Plus, it adds micro nutrients and natural enzymes that can’t be found in chemical fertilizers. It cycles through your garden, balancing the soil, leading to a healthier garden, a healthier produce, and a healthier you. 

Manure Tea Recipes

Asian Style...

Mix one part each of water, goat urine, and manure. A bucket of water is then added to the vat every morning, mixed in, and finally, ladled onto each individual plant. 

How do you get goat urine, you ask? It's not extracted, but gathered. The goat house on the farm in Indonesia was made of spaced slats, so that every time the goat eliminated, the manure and urine would drain below and be routed into a bucket for gathering. Goats do NOT like to be wet, and in this tropical part of the world, their average rainfall for the year is around 79 inches! So while this may seem inhumane to most of us, it's actually preferable for the caprines.

American Style...

Thankfully, there are several easier options than the "Asian way" to make manure tea! Especially if you don't want a fifty gallon drum trying to out-stink your compost pile. A simple cotton bag, such as a pillow case, filled with manure and steeped for at least twenty four hours in water will work just fine. You can also use a burlap bag or an old feed sack (if you still get your feed in cloth bags). 

Additional thoughts...

• Manure tea differs from compost tea. Compost tea is made from brown and green plant material that has been allowed to break down before using (decomposed matter), while manure tea is typically from animals droppings.

• Cow, horse, goat, sheep, chicken, turkey, geese, and even rabbit manure can be used to make manure tea (although I hear rabbit manure smells more?). However, not all have the same N-P-K values (see NPK Values in Manures). Rabbit manure is the highest in nitrogen and potassium, so use it carefully!

• Do not use dog or cat droppings to make tea! Meat eating animals can pass along parasites and disease directly to humans.

• The longer you let it brew, the stronger the tea... apply sparingly at first until you're sure it won't burn your plants. To avoid nitrogen burn, allow your manure age before using.

• It is typically recommended that you aerate your tea while making it, but unless you have a set up for this, it's not very feasible. 

• Manure from properly managed animals should not have an issue with e.coli. If you're still concerned, allow your manure to compost for a season before making it into tea. Apply to the soil around the plant but not directly on the leaves. (For further information, read Manure Composting as a Pathogen Reduction Strategy Fact Sheet).

• Just to be safe, don't use on plants prior to harvesting. However, it's great for new seedlings!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Give Away: BOGS!

Oh, friends... this is one A.W.E.S.O.M.E. give-away today! If you've never seen these before, let me introduce you to BOGS...

BOGS Plimsoll Tall Boot

My new pair arrived last month and I couldn't be more pleased! These aren't my first BOGS. Up until about 3 years ago, I had been wearing my tennis shoes for gardening and they just weren't working for me. Dirt would get inside my shoes and my feet ached terribly. In fact, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to be able to continue gardening for many more years. That's when it occurred to me that if I was going to garden seriously, I needed some serious shoes for the job! 

Once I started wearing BOGS, I really didn't give my feet another thought. Seems like I could go the entire day... my feet didn't wear out until the rest of me did. I'm not exaggerating... I think I felt about 10 years younger after a gardening session! And instead of dreading outside work, I looked forward to it more and more.

Several garden seasons came and went and along with it, the colder weather. Thankfully, my feet stayed relatively cool in the summer and warm in the winter (I always wear socks with my BOGS because I noticed my feet get a bit sticky inside if I don't and they're harder to pull off). Because snow would sometimes get in through the top of my boot, I recently selected a higher boot for winter wear. 

I love the red stripe on this pair... for some reason the green reminds me of a pair of vintage wellies! And check out the cute lining...

Here's the deal... They claim they're the most comfortable work boot around...

Yep. I'd have to agree. Friends, there are a lot of boots out there that look cute, but that won't matter a bit if your feet are killing you! Recently I had my arches evaluated and turns out, they're pretty high. No problem here because BOGS have GREAT support. And they're not flimsy around the ankles either. As long as I wear socks, they're a breeze to get on and off with their built in side handles... almost every model has them, they just look a bit different depending on the style.

No matter what we're doing, BOGS work for us so we can work the homestead. Cleaning out the animal quarters, in the garden, hauling wood... sometimes I forget I have them on only to realize I'm cooking in them! And one more thing I really want to mention... they REALLY hold up to the work. I've worn my first pair almost every single day for the last 3 years and they're STILL going strong.

Enter the Give-Away!
* Open to USA residents only!

BOGS is offering one very fortunate Homestead Revival reader a pair of BOGS of the winner's choice! In other words, if you win, you get to choose! So you need to get over there and pick a pair that you like...

1. Visit BOGS and check out their line of great boots and shoes. Then come back here and leave a comment telling me which style and color makes your heart sing (and will make your feet happy)! If you do not have an active blog, be sure to leave your email address!

UPDATE: Please allow time for your comment to be visible before you repost; typically comments will not appear right away!

2. To enter a second time, share this give-away on Facebook, including any photo from this post, and a link back to Homestead Revival. Then leave a comment telling me you've done so.

3.  One more chance? Sure... "LIKE" BOGS Facebook page and leave me a comment telling me.

This give-away ends Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. PST. 


Disclosure notice: BOGS sent me the pair of green boots in the photos above to review, however... 
all opinions in this post are my own and I would not hesitate to buy another pair!


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