Categories
parenting

Homemade Playdough – The Grinch Edition

“Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

Homemade gifts are one of my favorites gifts to give during the holiday season.  I’ve always made our playdough at home.  Nothing against the store bought playdough, but I know what the ingredients are and it’s fun for the kids.

Both my children love The Grinch…he’s been playing on our TV for the last few weeks.  I thought what better way to entertain them on these frigid days then with a little homemade play dough with a touch of The Grinch.

Requiring only a few household ingredients and a few minutes of your time, it’s a perfect gift for classmates, and friends this holiday season.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 Tbsp oil (I use plain old vegetable oil)
  • 2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
  • Food coloring
  • Optional: Essential Oils to add a Christmas scent.  I chose Northern Lights Black Spruce and Holiday Joy, but you can choose the essential oil of your choice.

Directions: 

Add red food coloring to water and stir.

Add all ingredients into a pan.  I chose Northern Lights Black Spruce for the green play dough.

Cook on medium heat stirring constantly to avoid large hard chunks.  I like to flatten mine across the pan like a pancake and flip as the color starts to darken.  Avoid overcooking to prevent dry play dough.

Repeat for the red playdough.

Roll the green playdough into a large ball.  Use your fingers to create an indent for the red heart.  Roll out a piece of the red playdough and shape into a heart.

Simple as that!  You can store in a mason jar for up to two weeks.

The homemade playdough Grinch Edition is an inexpensive gift to share with your child’s classmates and friends this holiday season.  It stores well, and smells amazing!

Merry Christmas!

Danielle

 

Categories
Homesteading

36 Ways to Make Money Homesteading

Often times I get asked how I actually earn an income from homesteading.  Our journey didn’t start out making money from our homestead.  It takes time, hard work, failure, and years of learning ways to actually generate an income from our homestead.  But I assure you it can be done.

My husband still works 40 plus hours a week as a Coroner Detective, helping us to build and achieve our goals on our homestead.  A lot of times people just assume I am a stay at home mom, hobby farming, growing plants but that definitely isn’t the case.

Modern homesteading isn’t living off the grid, at least for me it isn’t, it’s more of this magical mix of old-fashioned skills combined with some of our modern-day conveniences.  Each persons homesteading dreams will be a bit different, but they should all result in a little more self-sufficiency and sustainability.  Despite raising a lot of animals, growing a lot of food, and creating delicious recipes in the kitchen, I am still thankful for the local grocery store and farmers market.  I love running water (2 days without it this summer made me realize my self-sufficiency goals do not include living completely off the grid), I love power and thank God that we have it.  Modern conveniences mixed with old fashioned skills are part of my homesteading journey.

Arriving as a modern homesteader is the day that you can create an income exclusively from your land and your hard work.  This didn’t happen for us overnight, and it’s an ever evolving process.

If you are wanting to make income from your homestead let’s dive in.  The options are endless your skills are needed and I assure you it can be done.

Before selling food products you need to check with your state regulations and requirements.  This list is intended to give you ideas and inspire the entrepreneur in you.

1. Sell eggs- I promise there is always someone on the hunt for farm fresh eggs.  Selling ducks eggs is a specialty item and you can easily generate $6-$12 from a dozen duck eggs.

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2. Grow extra vegetables to sell at your local farmers market.

3. Raise pigs for meat.

4. Raise steer for organic, grassfed beef.

5. Grow your own herbs and sell at your local farmers market.

6. Sell milk from your goats or cows.

7. Raise and sell meat birds.

8. Sell fresh fruit from your orchard or berry farm.

9. Make homemade jellies and jams and sell at your farmers market.

10. Raise bees and sell their fresh honey.

11. Start a mushroom farm, mushroom farming is an excellent way to earn a steady income, grown in small spaces most homesteaders can grow these with ease.

12. Incubate your own eggs and sell day old chicks to other homesteaders.  If you want to skip the incubating part you can also own a rooster and let him take care of business, and sell pullets to other homesteaders.

13. Own a bull and charge for stud services.

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14. Raise unique animals and sell to other homesteaders.  Our miniature belted galloways are a treasured breed locally.  The waitlist continues to grow until Clarabelle gives birth to her first calf.

15. Sell essential oil concoctions at your local stores or farmers market.  Essential oils has given us a definite boost in our income.

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16. Crochet homemade items for sale.

17. Sell homemade baked goods for sale at your local farmers market.

18. Create unique handcrafted, wood items.

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19. Teaching others.  You would be surprised how many people want to actual live a more simplified life, and want to generate income from their own land.

20. Sell handmade soaps and lotions from your goats milk.

21. Create a u-pick farm where others can come pick the fruit they desire for a set fee.

22. Start a flower farm and sell cut flowers.  Near and dear to my heart my flower farm has generated income as well as beauty around our homestead.

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23. Start and sell organic seedlings, this is so simple and easy to accomplish and earn money in the beginning of spring when most gardeners are preparing to start their gardens.

24. Harvest your seedlings and sell to local homesteaders.  Locally grown seeds in your specific climate do better than seedlings off the internet.

25. Sew handmade items and sell them in local mom and pop shops.

26. Grow a pumpkin patch for the perfect Fall experience.

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27. Plant and grow unique fruit trees to gain a competitive edge over other local farmers.

28. Start a Christmas tree farm.

29. Start a blog.

30. Freelance and write articles for other bloggers or companies.  This has been by far one of the simplest ways to generate additional income on our homestead.

31. Sell cut flowers.

32. Sell handmade lotions and salves at your local farmers market.

33. Start a YouTube channel sharing your DIY adventures.  Where is the first place people turn to when trying to find a DIY alternative?  Youtube.

34. Write tutorials that other homesteaders can apply to their own journeys.

35. Teach classes locally about raising your own animals, crocheting or knitting, the classes are endless and I assure you there are people who want to learn.

36. Sell bulbs and tubers from your own flower fields.

All of the items listed take time, energy, and hardwork but I assure you there is money to be made with homesteading.  This list isn’t the extent of money to be earned from your homestead, but I hope you feel inspired to start earning an income from your own homestead.

Happy homesteading!

Danielle

 

Categories
Homesteading Uncategorized

The gift of Giving From Your Homestead – Finding a Life Fulfilled

When we started our homestead journey I had two things in mind. Increasing our own sustainability, and making side income from our homestead.

One thing I didn’t expect was how much I enjoy the gift of giving.

People love homegrown food, homemade gifts, and fresh animal products.

By starting our own homestead I realized how much I had to give to others.

Weekly I share homemade bread with neighbors and friends. A bouquet of fresh cut flowers. Fresh eggs and homegrown vegetables. Whatever the season I always have something to share from our homestead. Sure I could keep all these things for myself but why not share with others and help encourage those around you to seek out a more sustainable lifestyle.

This week on your homestead or even just your home I challenge you to join in the gift of giving. Maybe you are an excellent baker, gift a friend or a neighbor something baked. Maybe you have more eggs than you know what to do with. Gift those to someone you think needs them.

Give and it will be given to you. -Luke 6:38

This doesn’t mean to give so that you in turn will receive something. But give with the hopes to make someone’s day. To share what you have to lessen someone else’s burden or just as a simple act of kindness. Our world needs more kindness.

I find my soul is patched up with each gift I bestow upon someone.

Being kind has healing benefits to the giver.

If my kids learn anything from me I hope it’s that kindness is the key to a fulfilled life.

Please share with me what gift you bestow upon someone this week.

Happy gifting.

Danielle

Categories
Recipes

2 Hour Bone Broth in the Instant Pot

Bone broth is trending right now for the simple fact it’s good for you.

Bone marrow is rich in nutrients such as:

  • iron
  • vitamins A and K
  • fatty acids
  • zinc
  • manganese
  • selenium

Bone broth is believed to protect the joints, reduce inflammation, and heal the gut.

You can purchase premade bone broth at the grocery store, but why not make it instead? It’s simple and only takes 2 hours in the instant pot!  Pretty amazing, gone are the days of 24 plus hours simmering bone broth on the stove.  The instant pot is such a great addition to my kitchen.

 

Ingredients:

  • 3-5 pounds bones of your choosing.  I happen to have a neighbor that gifts me with fresh, organic, grass fed bison bones.
  • 2-3 stalks celery washed and cut into chunks
  • 4 small onions peeled and cut
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3-5 leaves fresh basil
  • 5-6 nasturtium flowers (you can substitute this with fresh pepper)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup green onions

Bone broth is a forgiving recipe I just happened to use what vegetables I had growing in our greenhouse.

Instructions:

  • Wash and cut vegetables.
  • Place bones, veggies, herbs and vinegar into the inner pot.
  • Add enough water to cover the bones and vegetables (be sure not to go over the fill line).
  • Place lid on instant pot and lock into place.
  • Flip vent valve to sealing.
  • Select manual setting and adjust the time to 2 hours.
  • Select high pressure.
  • When cooking is done, allow pressure to release naturally (10-20 minutes).
  • Release any residual pressure using the vent valve before removing the lid.  (I used a towel to hold over the vent valve to avoid any of the pressure liquid from spraying out).
  • Allow the liquid to cool before straining.
  • Using a fine mesh steel strainer, strain the liquid and discard cooked vegetables, and bones.
  • Broth may be stored in mason jars with lids in the fridge up to 5 days, and in the freezer indefinitely.  (Be sure to leave space in the mason jar if you plan to freeze it to prevent cracking the jar).

I love adding nasturtium flowers to just about any recipe I can.  Their slightly peppery taste, and beautiful colors make any dish feel extravagant.

After two hours we’re done!  And ready to store it in Mason Jars.

Bone broth is an excellent addition to homemade soups.  Some people prefer to have a drink of it each day, but I found myself gagging at the idea of sipping seasoned meat water.  To each their own.

Do you make your own bone broth?  Have you tried the Instant Pot?

Happy Tuesday!

Danielle

Categories
Homesteading Uncategorized

Growing your own food in winter temperatures

So it isn’t technically winter here in Nevada, but the weather would have you fooled.  With fresh snow on the ground, temperatures hovering around 11 it sure feels like winter.

Running a homestead is a yearly operation.  Things may slow down in the cooler weather, but animals still need to be fed, ice needs to broken, and projects need to be completed.

I do not necessarily spend my days outside, but I am busy inside the home cooking, cleaning and tending to our greenhouse.

This is the beginning of our second year with our greenhouse, through a lot of failures, and successes I’m happy to share that we are eating fresh, truly organic food from our own labor.

The greenhouse has been one of our greatest assets to our sustainable lifestyle.  I wish I could say today we are eating 100% from our homestead, but it wouldn’t be truthful and after all I’m hoping to share our experience to encourage others to live more sustainably.  It’s a process and definitely not one that can be done overnight.

Before the cold weather set in we removed the existing cover to our greenhouse and replaced it with a new cover to prevent as much wear and tear over the winter as possible.  We lined the interior of the greenhouse with bubble wrap making sure to cover any cracks and crevices that may let cool air creep in.  The bubble wrap helps to retain the heat on these below freezing days.  We are fortunate enough to have heat in our greenhouse.  With a small budget we dug in PVC pipe underground and ran an extension cord from our back patio to the greenhouse as a temporary way to have heat out there until we have the ability to have an electrician run electricity out there.  It’s a simple, cost effective way to obtain heat without having to worry about an extension cord lying around the farm.  Once the sun comes out there is no need to run the heater, we use it to keep the night temperatures above freezing inside.  If you have no way of getting heat into your greenhouse I will be sharing soon another method to help create warmth.

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We purchased two clear plastic covers from Home Depot and they work just perfectly.  We keep an extra on hand just in case Nevada winds rip through our hard work.  For only $25.67 they have worked perfectly for our greenhouse project.  You can purchase the clear cover in the paint section at your local Home Depot or order them here.  Home Depot does not pay me to advertise, like I’ve said trial and error has helped us to find what works and what does not.  We’ve blown through a lot of plastic covers complements of Nevada winds, and have found this to be the most successful.

We call it the steeple, we’ve found that this shape works the best for our weather conditions.  The snow and rain easily runs off.  The wind is able to roll right over the greenhouse whereas our rounded, Oregon trail shape had a bit harder time.  Rain would pool in little gaps creating sagging.  This has by far been our most successful greenhouse.  We stapled the bubble wrap around the wooden base of the greenhouse adding additional warmth to our plants.

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I had started seeds around September in the greenhouse and have been anxiously awaiting the fruits of my labor.  This week we enjoyed fresh Red Russian Kale, and Cabbage. IMG_9450

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The Brussel Sprouts are loving this cooler weather and are quickly growing.  Our citrus fruits are a bit chilly, but aren’t complaining.

I just added cauliflower, broccoli, and more green lettuce seedlings.  I am constantly starting new trays of seedlings, I’ve noticed a simple way to help keep plants warm in the winter weather is to plant them close together. Some would argue that this doesn’t give the plant much room to grow, I’ve found that I’ve had no issues and the plants thrive tightly planted together.

Recently I was talking to someone that said growing your own food in our winter climate was impossible.  I wish more people would discuss and share ideas because growing your own food in winter temperatures is definitely possible.  A greenhouse makes year round growing a breeze.  You do need to practice patience, seedlings take longer to start in the greenhouse, so I usually start them in a window in my home before hardening them off in the greenhouse.  There are many work arounds to providing yourself an endless supply of food in the winter months.  It just takes creativity, patience, and maybe a chat with an old farmer.  I found my most useful information comes from chatting with an old timer, it seems that they have the answers to the lost art of sustainability.

Do you have a greenhouse on your homestead?

What are your successes and failures with growing your own food during these frigid winter months?

I absolutely love the smell of a greenhouse, its warm, earthy scent is what brings me alive on these cold days.  The only place you can find something green growing in the high desert of Nevada during the winter.  A greenhouse is a must have on a homestead it’s one of my greatest treasures around here.

Happy Monday!

Danielle