ESSENTIAL OILS FOR THE HOMESTEAD

Looking for an all natural solution for many of your families health care needs? Look no further than essential oils!

They are the bees knees and mother nature’s arsenal of weapons to fight off illness, disease, the common cold, and many other maladies you may be dealing with on your homestead everyday.

Trust me, when I first heard essential oils I was a bit skeptical. Until I used peppermint oil one day from a friend I thought they were some placebo juju that weirdos came up with. Well my gastly assumptions are usually wrong as was this one. So I had a terrible headache and along came my good friend Natalie with her peppermint essential oil goodness.

BAM! I was changed forever… with my head ache gone and a renewed energy from the brisk peppermint sensation I was determined to get involved with these magical oils.

I’m not going to sugar coat it, some of these oils can get real pricey, real quick… And only for 10 ml?!?! GAHHHHH What are we to do??!

Enroll in a wholesale membership folks! 25% off oils, PLUS opportunities to get free product monthly, AND there’s a chance I could make my own business with oils?

Yes, Yes, and YES! I was sold and if you are to, then head on over to my business site here. You can sign up to be a whole sale member like me or shop the wonderful inventory offered by DoTerra.

If you’re not so convinced let me take you through a day with the Gardner’s on the homestead and tell you how we use these 10 essential oils everyday.

Disclaimer: If you have never used essential oils I highly suggest diluting with a carrier oil for your first few uses with every oil to ensure you know your sensitivity. Everyones body can absorb these differently. A little bit goes A LONG WAY  folks so take care not to over use or waste.

  1. Lime- This morning I threw some pork in the crockpot for carnitas… OH NO! I had no fresh limes… Instead I dropped 3-5 drops lime essential oil into the crockpot. Its amazing and sometimes I like the flavor better than fresh limes, the tangy sweetness is ever consistent in the oils versus lime to lime differences.
  2. Peppermint – I like to dab a little on the back of my neck in the morning, this wakes me up and feels so refreshing. Like stated above this oil does work in the headache department, give it a try, what can you lose? When dropped into a vegetable capsule the Homestud will take this like a normal pill. It helps with his digestion and heartburn. This is why this oil is also part of the Digestive blend (DigestZen).
  3. Lavender – Diffused in Ireland’s room every night and dropped onto pillows. Also dropped into baths just before she goes down for the night, it works like a charm.
  4. Wild Orange – This oil goes in my homemade deodorant and also into the hubby’s beard oil. It works wonders as a disinfectant, antibiotic and cleanser. And don’t even get me started on how amazing it smells… fuh-get-a-boud-id! I’ll even put it in my water bottle for flavor. 
  5. Melaleuca – I commonly drip this oil into stinky loads of laundry or whatever I want to get really really clean. This oil clean basically any home surface as well. It’s easily the best combatant against mold in our home. I dripped it into the window frames and all over the window sills and the mold never came back, SCORE! (we rent an older manufactured home, the windows leak, and we’ve had issues with mold in the past) Several sites out there who bolstered the same success with melaleuca, or I may never have tried it. Athletes foot or fungus? No more if  this oil is used daily. 
  6. Lemongrass – Ok this may be my favorite smell ever, other than its fantastic fragrance, this oil works wonder on my plantar fasciitis. A couple drops simply rubbed into the soles of my feet. I also combine it with a natural un-scented all surface cleaner to add a extra cleaning kick and the aroma left behind is great.
  7. Respiratory blend (Breathe) – This time of the year the farm fam always gets cough or cold, this oil helps to relieve sinus and chest congestion with ease. I will also diffuse this in the girls’ room at night if they are feeling stuffy. Diluted with carrier oil breathe is the best substitute for vapor rub.
  8. Helichrysum – There are days we don’t need to use this super power oil, and there are day when we use it 2, maybe even 3 times. Any woman who has had the misfortune of pregnancy induced hemorrhoids, heres your solution girlfriends. Sorry to get graphic like this folks, but this is real life, I don’t claim to be anything but human. Diluted down with a carrier oil, helichrysum made my postpartum days much more tolerable, in cooperation with my homemade postpartum peri-spray (more on than later). My favorite use for this oil is as a blood stop/clot. I cut the tip of my  middle finger off a few months, no joke, it was literally siting on the cutting board… ahem. Save to say, this little yellow labeled bottle wasn’t far from reach. I simply let one drop fall from the bottle onto the open wound, no pain, no muss no fuss. It stopped bleeding almost instantly forming an almost sticky protective coating much like that of a liquid bandage. Once it was dry I covered it with a dry bandaid and went about my business. It took the pain away efficiently, the wound was healed within 10 days, and no scarring. Convinced yet?
  9. Lemon – My most favorite scent for disinfecting the air and freshening up. Drinking a warm glass of water with a few drops of lemon right when you wake is said to have huge health benefits, and when I was pregnant this was my saving grace. It relieved nausea and helped me a great deal when I was squeamish with certain smells during both pregnancies. Lemon oil will flavor food and drinks. Want a lemon for your beer but you’ve run out? This also works with lime oil.
  10. Protective Blend (OnGuard) – I use this oil on the kids and myself before we go out to run errands, it boosts our immunities and helps fight off germs. Have a toothache or sore throat? This is nature’s Oragel. It will spot treat oral pain if applied right onto your gums or tooth, 1 or two drops at a time. When a sore throat hits add this to your warm salt water gargle and it will alleviate pain from your throat and cut through the mucous. Yes the taste is a bit intense with orange, clove, cinnamon, and eucalyptus oils all teaming up for the fight, but its way worth it folks.

There you have it. And yes a whole other blog post is needed to explain the uses of more essential oils, and even the ones that are safe for your farm animals. More on that later 🙂

Whats crazier? These are just the immediate affects, when used long term the oils can positively impact your health and change your life. They can be used only to alleviate symptoms, much like I was speaking about above in my list, or that can be used long term to help treat illnesses.

I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be able to diagnose to treat anyone. I am simply a person looking for another way to treat my families minor health concerns. 

Diffusing wild orange, cedar wood andlavender while  drooling over seed catalogues.

Q

SEED STARTING INDOORS

Around my corner of the world starting seeds indoors is a must. Unless you have a green house, in which case, you’re off to a great start. 

But if you don’t have a green house, like me for example… creativity or capital, is a must!

Since I refuse to spend crazy amounts of cash on trays and those little starter pellets (that totally used to be me guys…) I decided to try creativity this season.  

In this case creativity comes in the form of solo cups and some other random dollar store plastic cups. I had some laying around and picked up a few more packs for cheap. 

I normally hate anything plastic but I can recycle these and until I can buy this soil block press, here is how I’m getting creative. 

(I even tried this Pinterest hack in which you use toilet paper rolls as seed blocks, two words… Epic Failure… You can see below how most of them just plain feel apart.. If you want to give this a shot then I suggest buying tp that’s got a reinforced cardboard rolls.)

  

But I’m doing good with the cups and I’m ok with that. 

     
Luckily the homestead husband has an awesome set up of some light hoods perfect for starting seeds. Not that I have always done it like this. Don’t get me wrong starting seeds without lights can and does work great, for most seeds. 

However, for those finicky starts that tend to be on the picky pampered side (tomatoes, peppers, corn, etc), a little light and added warmth makes all the difference. 

For example. Last season I started corn under the lights and it was the first year I’ve ever planted corn, had it grow knee high by 4th of July (to ensure harvest), and proceed to grow 8′ tall! I was astounded when I had tons of silk and cobs, but so to was my horse… Alas she ate them all… I’m sure her belly was full and warm that night. This year she will have no such luck!

My point being that I believe the lights were the key to my success last year. When those corn starts went outside they were stout and hardened off. Ready to for planting. Corn starts in my previous years were lanky and washed out, ending up broken from wind or lack of strength. 

  
(Above: assorted bean starts)

Now that I thoroughly bored you with my corn story… Want to see what else we have started so far?

For convenience I have labeled, in parenthesis, which seed companies I purchased the seeds from. 

SSE= Seed Savers Exchange

 MTG= Mike the Gardener

TSC= Territorial Seed Company

  • Tomatoes: Amish Paste(SSE), German Pink(SSE), Homestead(MTG), Large Cherry(MTG)
  • Cucumber: White Wonder(MTG), A&C Pickling(SSE)
  • Beans: Cherokee Wax(Ferry Morse), Dragons Tongue(SSE), Calypso(SSE), Black Turtle(Ferry Morse)
  • Sunflowers: Lemon Queen(SSE), Velvet Queen(SSE), Taiyo(SSE) 
  • Peas: Amish Snap(SSE)
  • Pumpkin: Small Sugar(TSC)
  • Radish: Cherry Belle(TSC)–direct sow (4/15)
  • Turnip: Shogoin (MTG)–direct sow (4/15)
  • Cabbage: Savoy(MTG)
  • Kale: Dwarf Green Curled(TSC)
  • Corn: Smoke Signals(SSE), Golden Bantam Improved(SSE)
  • Lettuce: Red Iceberg(TSC) 
  • Peppers: Early Jalapeño(TSC), Purple Beauty(MTG) 
  • Squash: Black Beauty Zucchini(SSE) 

It may seem like quite a lot but this is only the beginning. I am going all in this year and I’m extremely motivated to provide as much food for my family as possible. I’m dreaming of shelves full of canned goods and cold storage packed with roots vegetables. 

  

 (Above: assorted sunflower starts… Because their are my favorite… And they do fantastic in my living room window, so I never have to miss out on their beauty!)

Who knows, if I’m satisfied with my gardens production this summer I may put a chicken garden into the works. Wouldn’t it be stellar to have a garden space specially for spoiling our flock of little dinos?

Yes, I totally said stellar. 

Getting to getting outside. Get to work!

Quincy

    DIATOMACEOUS EARTH and why your homestead needs it.

    Diatomaceous Earth or DE is “a soft, crumbly, porous sedimentary deposit formed from the fossil remains of diatoms.” And it works wonders on the homestead, or so I’ve heard. 

    I am no expert here, more so I’m basically a novice in all things farm and organic garden… One thing I do very well though, is research.. all of my efforts are simply trial and error. And so I bring you this post. 

     
    I’ve read so many great things about DE and when I found it on Amazon for a good price I had to snag some up. Here are the places we are going use it:

    1. Chicken Dust Bath- this deters mites like no other. I simply add some to their dust bath whenever it seems to need it. It only works when dry so consider using a storage tote for your bust bath so you have the choice to put a lid on it in unfavorable weather. 

    2. In The Garden- bugs won’t go near it. Apparently is soft powdery texture is like broken glass to insects and bugs so they refuse to crawl over it… Isn’t that crazy. Any insect/bug with an exoskeleton is toast within 24 hrs with DE on guard. And as far as slugs… Remember that part about it being like microscopic broken glass? Yeah I’ll let you fill in the blanks on that one… Heck in some states this powerhouse qualifies as certified organic pesticide. 

    3. In the Home/Barn: It can also be fed to various livestock as an insecticide. And even just for over all health benefitting each animal uniquely and efficiently. I’ve read articles that say some use DE as a old time treatment for worms in large stock. And some people eat it daily for health reasons. Or even use it for bed bugs and live/fleas. Apparently it’s even a great liver/digestive  detoxant. Cool huh?

    4. This stuff is so great that even the homestead husband is using it on his indoor garden to deter bugs. Anywhere you put this powdery powerhouse the creepy crawlers are sure to stay away… Or die… Ahem. 

    So why not give it a try?
    I will definitely update y’all on how this works since I had big issues in my broccoli and zucchini last year. 

    Give it a try. What’s there to lose?
    Peace and Love

    Quincy 

    OUR NEW VINTAGE TRACTOR

    Sometimes it’s the little things, and sometimes it’s an awesome vintage tractor for a great deal! 

    It does not take much to please me but if you’re trying, just throw anything old at me. No joke, I love vintage. I love items with history, with a story. I love anything with a little rust on it, I promise, just check out my daily driver. 

    Just think about all the work this tractor has done? And how many projects it completed in its time… How cool is that?!?

    It came from Lake Creek Lodge, the homestead husbands place of employment. LCL has been around since the early 1920s so it has a great deal of history. Some of which this ole ford machine played a big role in. Spencer says this tractor performed all the major work up there for over 40 years!


    Ireland was ecstatic at her first site of it. She can’t stop “driving” it. Seriously, if she’s missing just check the tractor. 

    As for the hubby and I? We couldn’t be more grateful. And darn lucky that were actually able to buy it, for great price to. 

      
    I love everything about this new addition. It has personality and history. And even more to be made. We have lots of plans that will be made easier with this valuable piece of machinery. 

    This stellar find is just one example of how we cut costs and do with what we can within our means.

    You don’t have to be rich to be a homesteader. But you must be open minded. 

    Peace and Love

    Quincy 

    GETTING STARTED WITH MEAT RABBITS

    When it comes to homesteading it seems most of my friends and family think you must have property. That is the biggest misconception out there about us modern day homesteaders.

    Not all of us own or even live on a piece of property.

    And yes, I say this as I sip coffee on my back porch watching 5 horses graze the 5 acres we rent. Key word, RENT. Let me just preface this by saying that homesteading is about a sustainable mindset and lifestyle choices… not about your physical location.

    Property is helpful, yes, but it is also lots of back breaking work. And folks you don’t even need 1 acre to be a homesteader.

    So, in the spirit of spring and micro-homesteading possibilites, I thought I would provide some info on one friendly creature who can produce meat for your family, fertilizer for your gardens, gorgeous furs and practically eat for free! Give them a shot and I’m sure they will help you down the road to self sufficiency all within a relatively small space like a garage or shed.   

    Yes I’m talking meat rabbits. As far as homesteading goes rabbits go hand in hand with sustainable permaculture ideas. They produce a lot of babies very quickly and the meat is fantastic. They eat weeds or grass (Wanna see how in spring/summer I feed my rabbits for FREE?) and can live either in or outdoors. If you’re a lover of small cuddly things and can’t bear the thought of eating them….. then maybe raising rabbits is not for you.


    (How can you resist this face ^^^)

    But if you’re someone who needs a small scale meat project, this is right up your ally. You’ll learn something new and be able to stock up on another white meat. The best part is that startup and infrastructure for a rabbitry is minimal. You won’t need big corrals or an extensive pasture. Well, and they’re cute as heck.


    Here’s a few tips to get you started on your own homestead rabbitry.

    1. Water bottles- You’ll need to chose how you want to distribute water to your rabbits, especially does pregnant or nursing. They drink a lot during this day so this is very important. We currently use these water bottles until we can implement nipple watering system. I purchased mine on Amazon here (affiliate link). With these water bottles I summits have to fill them twice a day, in summer, and they more than likely almost always freeze in winter months. This is just something good to keep in mind, no calling in sick for farmers ya know?


    2. Feeders (optional)- I keep these galvanized slow feeders on our cages at all times in case I need to supplement with pellet feeds. But if you’re choosing not to feed by pellet these may not be necessary. I bought mine from a local feed store, but there are also available at a competitive price on Amazon. I have two sizes small and large (affiliate links).
    3. Foot rest mat- If you have a cage like mine or many other breeders then your rabbits have a wire floor, and will have the need for a foot rest. If you chose not to go with a foot rest it is imperative that you give proper bedding for your rabbits to rest on. The reason being that rabbits can develop a condition called ‘sore hocks’ in which large nodule like sores appear all over the back feet from continual resting on their back haunches. No bueno. It can be treated but the more fluffies shouldn’t have to suffer. Ours were like $4 a piece on Amazon (affiliate link) so spend the little extra for quality of life for your bunnies.


    4. Shade- rabbits don’t do very well in high heat nor direct sunlight. If they have adequate water they have a better chance but rabbits can succumb to heat stroke faster than most animals. Providing them ample shade and hydration in the heat of summer is huge. It’s definitely a time commitment, at times in summer I’ll have to fill the water bottles 2-3 times a day, hence my yearning for an ever flow/nipple water system.


    5. Nest boxes- if you plan to breed you’ll need a nest box or two. Each kindling(expectant) doe will need a box from about a week before she kindles to about 4 weeks postpartum so make sure you enough. They also come in a couple different sizes for various sized breeds. There are even some great DIY patterns for them on Pinterest.

    Rabbits don’t need the Four Seasons to produce happily raised and healthy fully grazed meat for you, just know that. Aside from the fact that these little guys are an amazing sustainable meat source they can also make great pets. My breeding stock are calm and one of my girls even LIKES to be held, so it doesn’t have to be sad when butchering day comes. These beauties serve a divine purpose here on our homestead, and our gratitude for their sacrifice is a happy, healthy, and cozy life free of stress.

    Were currently monitoring a doe for labor so I’ll keep y’all updated, gotta get back out there!

    Peace and Love

    Quincy

     

    CHEAP NEST BOXES FOR YOUR LAYING HENS

    So I moved my ole ladies out to the garden a couple weeks ago. Low and behold they started laying again! And in full force.

    The shelter within the garden is a simple three sided pallet house with some aspen branches for perches, in know, glamorous huh?

    But heck it works for us and the hens are happy as ever, or since they were when they were last let to free range… they’ve been mad at me since their confinement.

    Since there is no space within this make-shift coop I took it upon myself to solve that issue. I didn’t have any extra funds at the time to go buy anything nor did I want to take the time to build something….Let’s face it, with two kids under 4 and dozens of animals… theres just not extra time for extra building projects.

    Even as I type I am being stalked by a curious crawling, not yet walking infant who must have my laptop at all costs! So musical chairs we play…

    ha ha, ahem.

    This is what I came up with, and I must give thanks to many other bloggers, Pinterest, and our cluttered garage we are in the midst of deep cleaning for this simple yet awesome diy best box. 

      
    What do yo need?

    1 storage tote with lid (free, found in garage)

    1 x-acto knife (who doesn’t have one??)

    4″-6″ nest box bedding (straw, shavings, hay)

      
    All you need to do is cut roughly a 12″x 12″ square out of one of the longer sides of the tote (depending on the size of your hens). Yes the lid stays on, this is to prevent girls from hopping up and pooping on the goods.

    As you can see from the picture one hole is centered the other off-set, I think off-set works better, just for the fact that it creates a warmer quieter place for the hens. These totes also work great if you plan to hatch eggs, move often, and clean out the box regularly to replace bedding.

    Within two hours of placing the boxes in the garden I had eggs, the girls were so happy they kicked all the shavings out… such is chicken life, and it’s a good one to.

    BROODING BABY CHICKS IN THE TUB

    Ok ya’ll it’s that time a year again! If any of you readers know me, then you well know that I have zero self control in the baby farm animal department. Be it bunnies, or any form of poultry or water fowl, don’t even get me started on kittens.

    So three weeks ago roughly we came home with these little buggers. 2 Anconas and 4 Cuckoo Marans later the bathroom is all a chirp.

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    (DIY Tisse box nest ^^^ adds extra warmth as the hatchlings huddle)

    For anyone who has never started chicks and wants to:

    DO IT!

    Chickens are low cost, low maintenance, and such hard workers. They will till your garden, disinfect your orchard, fertilize your vegetable plants, and even eliminate whole food scraps that you would otherwise throw away. Even better? They will love doing all these on a daily basis. For free!

    Win, win right? Definitely.

    But how do I? Where do I?

    You know I’ll never leave you guessing!

    Here’s a few basic tips for the chicken beginners out there.

    1. Make a brooder – this can be as simple as a storage tote like mine. Then just brood them in the bathroom, yeah you gotta move em in and out of the shower… but hey, around here that’s bonding time!
    2. Shavings or Shredded Newspaper – bricks of shavings are cheap, especially since chicks don’t take much — especially if you elevate the food and water 😉
    3. Heat Lamp — we’re keeping the littles in the bathroom in our house since it stays not just warm but very comfortable (once they are outside full time, next week, I will have a lamp for them)
    4. Feeder/Waterer (find something to raise both up off the shavings an inch or two, you will save time and money not wasting shavings or food from spills – chickens will stand in their water and dirty it fast! Get it off the ground.. We used a couple red brick pavers that were broken into small pieces.)
    5. Find a breeder! You’ll be better off in the long rn finding a local breeder, not only to know where your eggs or meat are coming from, but in case you ever encounter questions. Your breeder will be the best choice for any questions on the birds they hatched.

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    You’re all set to get some chickens!

    Happy farming!

    The Lady Gardner

    PURGING THE HOME

    Ever feel like you just want to get rid of everything and start over?

    Me to.

    So this week that’s exactly what I’m doing.

    Purging the homestead. With new items and furniture coming from moms, the hubs and I are finally ditching the shabby furnishings we’ve had since before we started dating.

    When we began this homseteading journey we wanted nothing more than a return to simplicity. To go back to basics. Cut out the stuff we really just don’t need.

    It feels great.

    Anybody need a couch, an entertainment center, dishes, DVD players…? They’re yours.

    I even have an old N64 that wants to find a new forever home.

    Microwave anyone???

    And y’all know how much I love to barter, you got something I want for something I got? Head on over. Let’s barter baby.

    We just don’t use these things or we just have too many. Or I’m just plum over it.

    I used to be the one who held onto things for just in case scenarios…

    But that’s not the homestead way, that’s not even the way of simplicity. And once I had children that became ever more apparent.

    We do not need any more clutter.

    The chitlins are clutter-full enough for all of us.  And I purge their room on the regular as it is.

    I feel rejuvenated, maybe it just feels great to throw/ donate things away.

    If you’re interested in purging your home or even the whole homestead here’s a few things to keep in mind. Before you haul a load to the good will or straight to the dump. Think first.

    1. When was the last time you used the item?

    Chances are if you can’t even remember the last time you used it, then you won’t miss it. Let it go…

    2. Can you repurpose something instead of throwing it away or donating it?

    We reused cardboard to cover future garden beds to smother grass. Free.

    3. If you can use it, do you know someone else who could?

    We’ve received countless useful homestead tools and items from friends purging for a move. We’ve also rehomed useful tools and farm animals if either we don’t need them, or we see a friend who really does

    4. Can you sell items to reinvest capital back into the homestead?

    We’ve sold scrap metal and steel we’ve found on our property and reinvested it back into our meat animal feed budget. We also sell eggs for our small property savings fund.

    5. Can you barter with any of these items?

    Trade! Hey I need some manual labor help, will you take a chainsaw or a power drill? And yes sometimes we have multiple that we use to barter with.

    6. Could I turn this problem (clutter) item into a solution?

    We have a tiny kitchen space. By downsizing our kitchen and dining wares, we have significantly more space in the kitchen. Who needs 2 or 3 of everything anyway?

    7. Does it bring you joy?

    This one is easy… If it doesn’t bring you joy on the daily, then you probably don’t need it.

    Spring cleaning. And I can breath again!

    What can you purge in your life?

    Peace and Love

    Quincy 

    HOME GROWN GARDEN TILLER CHICKENS

    Putting our birds to work in the garden is our first step into permaculture; making a solution out of the problem. I am about to tell you what steps I took to prepare my garden and my birds for their living transition.

    IMG_6009

    It all started last week when I finally decided something’s gotta give. We have hens who are no longer laying, have gone broody, or are causing detriment to the flock. I happened to have one of each and then some. All of which are my oldest hens and to my knowledge had stopped laying, well it didn’t end there. An Australorp gal decided she liked the taste of her fellow layers’ eggs and one of my Orpintons went broody and made the other girls miserable.

    IMG_6031

    So, these girls had to go. I originally planned on culling, or butchering, the ole gals, but permaculture kept blinking in my mind. Is there something these ole girls can do around the homestead?

    Yes there is.. and way more than just one option!

    I decided the girls would be best suited to find a new home in our vegetable garden. Its hardened over form winter and needed a face lift. Luckily I deep cleaned the main coop about 6 weeks ago. So all the pine shaving, deep bedding goodness has had a little time to air out. This will make a great mulch for the garden.

    IMG_6641

    So, I caught all my older gals and transferred them from the coop, outside to my fenced garden. In my terms, I ghetto rigged the fence to make it a bit taller (I have no deer problems so I have no use of high fences) And with the help of a friend, clipped all the birds’ wings in order to possibility prevent fly outs.

    Whew… got my cardio in for the day!

    All the girls have since been busy busy at work tilling, spreading, and shallow aerated. Even Big Papa (our main rooster) has found a home with the girls (he spent the winter on his own outside the coop), so its safe to say he is in good company now, with 5 hens and 3 ducks all to himself.

    To my surprise all 5 of the girls started laying again just two days later, I haven’t seen broody behavior, nor any evidence of egg eating.

    Maybe they disliked the younger hens, maybe two roos on 12 girls was just WAY too much for my ladies, or maybe they just miss their free-er range days…

    It’s ok girl friends I understand, if the mama hens aren’t happy, aint no chicken happy!

    They are now free to wander as they please within the confines of the garden fence. If any of ya’ll didn’t tune in for my chicken hating neighbor stories, you haven’t missed much, but maybe now you get why my dinos lost their free-range privileges…

    Let’s just say chickens are terrible landscapers…. te he he… ahem.

    I am just so happy that my girls are happy again, whatever it was. And my garden is happy to.

    Dreaming of a luscious garden,

    QG

    (BTW..Anyone who is interested in having chickens or already does and may have questions, seek out none other than Justin Rhodes, his vlog on YouTube has transformed my view of chicken farming and I hope he can do the same for you. Thank You Justin at Abundant Permaculture for your wealth of knowledge!)

    LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

    Homesteading isn’t easy, the decision to live this way, however, it was the easiest choice we have ever made.

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    I get asked all the time if it wouldn’t just be easier to scrap the whole idea and move back into town. And yeah, I bet it would be easier. There are days we want to quit, and there are always going to be days when we’re even asking ourselves why the hell we are doing this?!?

    But isn’t that the point? To constantly reassess your life and how your dreams and aspirations fit into that life. To reach your goals and then set higher ones. To never stop asking the hard questions.

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    Do I really want to do this?

    Do I really want to keep doing this?

    I am really happy with this?

    How can I do this better?

    Taking time to reflect on oneself and reconnecting with ones earthly desires is suddenly so paramount in my life. (FYI yoga is a great time for personal reflection!) Allotting time of reflection is something I have lacked  in recent years. But as my family stands at a crossroad of decisions, let us just say I am reflecting all over. And sometimes not so gracefully…

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    Maybe its the changes in my life over the last year, or maybe its this deep burning inside me to pack up my family and rough it. To really go off-grid for real. Modern advancements make this much easier and accessible, but in all honesty I was totally born in the wrong generation.

    I feel that, sometimes on a daily basis. Maybe I am an old soul or maybe its something bigger. I wish for simplicity and wide open space. I don’t dream of an augmenting bank account or a fancy car, and though vacationing all over the world sounds great, where do I sign… I don’t need travel to be happy. I dream of a piece of land to call my own… now that I am a wife, OUR OWN. I want to leave something tangible and meaningful for my children. Not just money and of course never debt.

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    But of something more real than that. Something hard work gave us and they watched their parents build. I want them to be proud of our growth as humans and as homesteaders.

    I dream of a family homestead. Of raising and teaching my children to live off the land. Planting respect for the earth and mother nature’s presence inside their hearts. Growing and learning with them. Working the ground side my side with them as they emerge into their own people. Releasing them into the world with the trust and belief that they are prepared for whatever may come. And one day we hope to see our children doing the same with their babies.

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    Homesteading is not a fad or a phase for us. And believe me, we have had our share of skeptics and their opinions of our life. Folks are just scared of what they don’t know, although in my mind, growing organically from home should be something everyone knows proficiently.

    This is our mission, to teach our kids, and hopefully some of you folks reading.

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    Continually learning and being open minded to possibilities has fueled our homestead and our desire to now teach others. It feels good to learn new things, especially skills and trades valuable to this lifestyle.

    Spencer and I want to leave something for future generations. A place our loved ones can come back and visit. And see where they came from.

    So, whenever I ask myself why the hell am I doing this, the argument with my conscience is short. My heart and my mind know why we live this life. Why we pour our blood sweat and tears into our animals. Why we have to leave social events early to feed said animals, just to wake up even earlier to feed them again. And why we don’t vacation often (know a farm sitter…??) And now you know why we do it to.

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    Some look at this life as full of complications, we see it as a privilege we are so lucky to have. I wouldn’t trade our crazy farm for anything… All 15 chickens, 4 ducks, 3 horses, 3 dogs, and 1 cat of it!!! This is my family, my life, my passion and I’m sticking to it.

    Peace and Love.

    Q