Surviving the winter

Well, no one ever said that moving in the winter would be easy. Other than finding out that the realtor and former homeowner lied on the disclosure statement and that the inspector did not even catch the issues, I made it through pretty well. We put in a new sand point for the well, fixed some of the plumbing issues with the upstairs bathroom, and still waiting for the one heating unit to be fixed. Good thing people told me “this was a mild winter”, even though it was negative 17 degrees some days. Well, moving forward we have been cleaning out the front yard from years of fallen trees. I will be posting pictures soon. We live in an area where they have very strict burn bans at times so we will having the brush piles hauled off to another location. Mike and I have talked and we will be resuming our postings on the site within the next week, as I have stated before moving was more stressful than either of us thought. See you soon…….

Moving

So you never really know how much stuff you have until it is time to move. While we are not much on nik naks, whatnots or whatever you choose to call dust collectors, it is all the stuff in the closet and drawers that will fill up some boxes.
We made the drive in about 24 hours, I really had to stop and sleep for a couple of hours. The past two weeks have been busy unpacking boxes, having people come out to check out some of the appliances and learning to navigate in the snow.
I have also had to get use to the new timezone, the fact that it gets dark really early here, like 4:30 PM and getting the animals adjusted to the new environment. My rotties are snow and ice lickers.
What is great about this area is that people are so willing to help you out, finding someone to plow the driveway after it snows, finding electricians and plumbers and they still have a bartering system here even at the local feed store. I am just in awe of what a different life it is. My husband went back to Georgia to finish up the stuff with the house there and so far this “Southern Girl” has done okay with living in the “snowy tundra” lol. Mike will be bringing the camera that I forgot back with him next week, so I will be taking and posting a lot of pictures of our new lifestyle. I have found a couple of great things out.
1. Lemon Oil will get rid of Asian Beetle bugs. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QR6SS6O?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00
2. Peppermint Oil will keep mice and spiders away. http://www.amazon.com/Peppermint-Essential-Detailed-Dropper-Essentially/dp/B00QVNKSA2/ref=pd_bia_nav_t_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0Z21DSFWNN2H4WQD74H5
3. If you have gas heat get a humidifier. I found a great one on Amazon. Works like a charm and once you go through the initial setup I only refill it once a day for a 2700 square foot house. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004S34ISA?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00
Hint: put a couple drops of lemon oil in your water and your house smells amazingly clean!!!

This Is Our New Homestead

Wisconsin House

This is the house we decided to buy. It is in Wisconsin and we love it!! It has 10 acres of land, is 2 blocks from the St. Croix River. Far enough out for us to be private, yet close enough to a large town for our shopping needs. While we were walking the property, my husband kicked up a Doe which got him really excited, and we love the fact that the house is heated with hot water and gas. I cannot wait to show you the rest of the pictures once we close!!!

Maine Farm House

This was one of the first homes we looked at in Maine. I fell in love with this house, but the property as good as it was did not fit our needs. First there is a huge electrical line that is on the property and second there is an Eagles Nest on the property that prevented any further development on the lot. The lot was small as well but with just the two of us it would have been okay.
I am attaching the link from Zillow, if anyone else may be in interested in it!!!
Link: http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Enfield-ME/house_type/123005117_zpid/28575_rid/priced_sort/45.349732,-68.407918,45.19728,-68.744374_rect/11_zm/1_rs/

 

Maine Farm House 2 Maine Farm House

It’s been awhile….

I know it has been several months since we have posted. For this we apologize. We have been very busy traveling for our new homestead and we have found it!! We have traveled to Tennessee, Maine and Wisconsin. It has been a lot of traveling, eating wonderful food and enjoying nature as we hiked miles on different properties.
All of our efforts paid off we have found our perfect spot and soon I will begin posting the adventures of developing our new homestead, we are just waiting to close on the property which should happen in the next couple of weeks. So Stay Tuned for those updates!!
In the meantime we have begun work on our “Tiny House”. This weekend I will be posting pictures and progress as we build what will be my husband’s temporary housing during the process of selling our home in Georgia. Look for pictures as we document step by step our building of our Tiny House on Wheels.

Craigslist

Believe it or not Craigslist can be a wonderful hidden secret. If you are looking for free firewood, free furniture, free appliances and even a free boat, look no further than your states Craigslist.

In Maine alone, you can find all of the above mentioned items and more. Yes, there has been some issues with criminals preying on Craigslist shoppers, but as long as your exercise personal safety such as take a friend, meet in a public place, tell family and friend where you are going (include name, address and phone number of the person you are meeting) or ask if local law enforcement can drive by during the meeting you should be okay. Of course we cannot guarantee your safety but use your best judgement when meeting strangers to pick up items from Craigslist.

Cannot find the free link in your local areas Craigslist posting page? They do like to hide it, on the main page of your local area, look under the “For Sale” category and the “Free” section is buried somewhere in there.

Good Luck and happy free findings to you!!!

https://www.craigslist.org/about/sites

Canning Techniques

Multiple homesteading sites have people asking about proper canning techniques. After researching different sources, we have found that the USDA actually has a great guide to canning your food and meat harvest. Please feel free to look these over and print them off for your own guide as to proper canning techniques of your fruits, veggies, and meats.

Canning Techniques:      http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE%201%20Home%20Can.pdf

Fruit:                http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE%202%20Home%20Can.pdf

Tomatoes and Tomato Products:  http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE%203%20Home%20Can.pdf

Vegetables:         http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE%204%20Home%20Can.pdf

Poultry, Red Meats and Seafood:  http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE%205%20Home%20Can.pdf

Fermented and Pickled Foods:  http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE%206%20Home%20Can.pdf

Jams and Jellies:  http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE%207%20Home%20Can.pdf

 

Blueberry find!!

While driving out of town one day, I noticed a sign that said “Blueberries $2.50 per gallon”. I called my husband and told him to go there after work. He ran out there and found that they work on an honor system. You go out pick your gallon and put the money in a box on your way out. He told me that the berries were not ready yet, and we decided to wait until I got back in town and try again.

Once coming home, a month later, we went to the grocery store that night as I had a craving for blueberry pancakes. After spending $3.99 for a pint, I remembered the blueberry patch that I had seen while leaving town. We decided that we would go out there the next morning to see if they were ready to pick.

To our surprise the bushes were loaded, we spent 45 minutes picking 2 gallons of blueberries for $5.00. We came home and froze a total of 22 cups and used the rest for pancakes and fruit salad. Well, I thought to myself, “go back out and see what is left”. A week later I went back out and the bushes were loaded again. Another 45 minutes and $5.00 and I had two more gallons of blueberries.

For a special treat for my chickens, I take some frozen blueberries and mix it in with their scratch and meal worms. They love it. The rest we have frozen, use for salads, make muffins and other tasty treats!!

Store bought on the left and Handpicked on the right

Store bought on the left and Handpicked on the right

Barley Fodder for Chickens

Because we have not moved to our permanent homestead property as of yet, we wanted to be able to provide non-processed food for our chickens. We do supplement with commercial chicken feed, but in all honesty one 50 pound bag is lasting us over 4 months now.

Maybe our chickens are just spoiled, as they get barley fodder, blueberry, melon rinds and their daily trips in the chicken tractor.

Here is an easy way to make your own fodder growing system if you are on a budget. We went to our local tractor supply store when they put the portable greenhouses on clearance and bought this for less than $40.00, we ordered our seeds in bulk through Amazon and went to the Dollar Store and bought cake tins to grow the fodder.

We poked holes in one side of the cake tins, used some scrap lumber to elevate the tins on one side so the drain down to the next. We placed an old wrapping paper container on the bottom to collect all the water run off and use it to water various plants around the yard.

To begin you soak about three quarters of a cup of barley seed in a dish overnight. Drain the excess water and place in the tin, put it in the greenhouse until then next day when you rotate it down. Do these same steps for the next several days until you reach your barley max level. We do 8 days worth so everyday there is a new crop to give to the chickens.

Barley house 2

Close up of the fodder in its stages. The top left is day two (this is the day after soaking). Then we move them down, back up to the right side and then down again. By day 8 they are ready to go!!!

Barley house

Fodder System we use!!!

Supplies List:

Gardman R687 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse, 27″ Long x 18″ Wide x 63″ High
Organic Barley Seeds – 9 Lbs in Pre-Measured Bags

If you want more detailed instructions on the system, Check out the reviews this book received:

Homesteading Gazette Welcomes You!!

We all dream of living a more self-sustaining lifestyle. Free of the hustle and bustle of the big city, we all strive to live a carefree and peaceful life. The problem with that idea is everything takes money. This site is designed to help you with everything from bartering to useful tools of the trade when it comes to homesteading. Don’t have a homestead yet, we even have a place with featured property for sale for you to consider living life in a self-sustaining environment.

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