Homesteaders

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by MountainMamaHST, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    If you have a 4 X 4 compost bin you can add anything vegetable. I add the chicken cleanings, grass clippings, horse or other animal manure I can get, peat moss, and a bag or two of top soil. If you have neighbors who have bagged leaves and they don't use pesticides perhaps you can get those.

    Now I've read that shredded newspaper is okay but I'm not completely sure. I've read that inks are now soy based without lead, but I just don't know.
     
  2. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I've circled my currant bushes with chicken wire since the chickens were eating the berries before they ripened. I believe Black Currants are bigger than red and higher in antioxidants. I have one bush but the berries aren't ripe yet.
     
  3. City farm

    City farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Mesa, Arizona U.S.A.

    Our neighbors love our chicken left overs for their compost, or just to spread on top.. Do you use any spent grain in your feed? We just started a new thread about this..
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/907333/brewing-beer-101-mastering-it
     
  4. newbyintown

    newbyintown Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2014
    We are in the process of trying homesteading too. We have solar panel, mainly to help with elec. bill when we retire in a few years. But we want to get small solar panels for the pets pens to run fans and heaters. We lowered our elec. bill several years ago by hanging out clothes, and rinsing dishes real well and using the short wash on the dishwasher. I open windows when possible, and use a toaster oven for baking. We are not good gardeners. We have tried 3 years in a row, and spent lots of money. So our solution will be to buy canned goods in bulk, and stock up on those. We don't have a lot of farms here to go and get fresh foods, even though l love to can and freeze. We will get chickens next year, just for eggs (I could not kill one and eat it), and are thinking about a goat or two. I am diabetic, so getting a grain mill is something we decided against. Homemade bread really makes my sugar go up, even though I use sugar alternatives. Any hints we could get on being more self-efficient would be great. Retirement will be rough on the "old budget".
     
  5. newbyintown

    newbyintown Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2014
    My husband and I are not good gardeners, so we have finally given up. But one year we got lots of tomatoes. To freeze them, just cut out the stem portion, put in the freezer on a cookie sheet, and when they are frozen, put in a freezer bag. I used these to add to spaghetti sauce, and put with meats to add a little moisture, and to eat with the meat. They are really really good when fresh like that.
     
  6. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I had a guy who stopped for roosters give me some. The birds were not big on it and I don't live near to the brewery like he does. I may just look into it though.
     
  7. newbyintown

    newbyintown Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2014
    How do you make your soap? I use white vinegar for a fabric softener and to disinfect
     
  8. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Well now what can I say?

    I suggest looking on Craigs list for fellow gardeners in your area for help. Start a compost bin now for future use.

    I suggest raised beds as they are easy to care for and the sides can be made with recycled materials. Too you get to add the soil and use good garden soil. I buy bags of Miracle Grow that goes on sale. I fill the beds with chicken cleanings or hay or straw and put the soil over the top of that. It all breaks down and I rarely buy bagged soil now that I have my two compost piles going.

    Start small and with a plant easy to grow like beans or tomatoes. I prefer pole beans to bush. Try different varieties. Draw out a plan on paper to begin. By using raised beds you can add new beds as you improve.

    Why buying canned goods is okay they may have salt or sugar added you don't want. Dried beans are better than canned. Frozen foods are also better. By canning your own foods YOU control what is added.

    I was told by a dietician that Stevia is a good sweetener for diabetics. Recipes are not easy to find because we are on the frontier of this sweetener being used so creating your own recipes is an adventure.

    Chin up, you can do this.

    Rancher

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  9. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Tomatoes are one of the easiest to can. You can simply wash and freeze the tomatoes with the skins on. When thawed the skins come right off. The same is true of Peaches.

    Then after they are thawed you can cook them up into sauce, salsa or chili refreeze or can them. Plum types are best for sauces.
     
  10. newbyintown

    newbyintown Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2014
    We are not quite homesteading yet, but one thing is for sure. What we have done, has brought pace of mind. Several years ago, we lowered our summertime elec. bill from $500 to $300, and our winter bill from $300 to $50. Just by turning off lights, and TV's not in use, opening windows, using a toaster oven instead of the stove, etc.. Our gardens don't work out for us, so we will buy in bulk and stock up. We are getting chickens next year for the eggs. They can be frozen so they won't go to waste. Maybe a goat or two, so we don't have lawn mower repair bills. We also have solar panels help us with the elec. bill when we retire. Knowing that no matter what happens, or how much prices go up we will have food and water and elec. We have 3 acres, so the chickens can free range for food. The peace of mind, and the fun of seeing your hard work pay off, and the love and laughter the animals bring, are great rewards.
     

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