Homestead

It’s No Joke – A Casting Call For Fools

Cleopatra The Barn Cat

This is no April Fool’s prank. A bit of foolishness and idiocy came to me via email last evening. It’s positively the most asinine proposition I’ve heard about in a very long while. But I just knew you’d enjoy reading it. Who knows? Maybe you’d be interested! ******************************************************************************* Hi there, My name is Jill Hamburgo…

Soda Ash On Homemade Soap

Soda Ash On Homemaade Copra-Olive Oil Soap

My reward for not covering a newly poured batch of cold processed copra-olive oil soap, is soap with a very heavy layer of soda ash. That the fats in the soap pot may have been cooler than they should have been when I added my lye water, and that I waited too long to pour…

Ruts In The Farm Yard

Ruts In The Farm Yard

This winter has been particularly hard on the farmyard between my barn, machine shed, hen house and red 12X12 building. The lawn ruts are so deep that I keep tripping over them. In the spring I can usually iron out muddy ruts or soft places in the farm yard by driving a tractor over them.…

Measuring Lye For Soap

Meassuring Lye By Weight For Soap

Modern Homesteading Soap Heresy When making soap, the lye, fats and water are measured by weight. I use a half-gallon Mason jar for mixing and measuring lye. Water should always be added to the lye, and never lye added to the water.

Pennsylvania Dutchman Brand Returns To USA

Pennsylvania Dutchman Mushrooms

Last week while traveling the canned food section of my local grocery store I nearly collapsed from amazement. On the shelf right before my eyes, were cans of Pennsylvania Dutchman brand mushrooms with a big red, white & blue “Product of USA” label on the front of the can. I couldn’t believe it! I picked…

Home Invasion – What’s Your Plan?

Kel-Tec SU 15 & Shotgun In The Pantry

Survival Mom had an interesting post yesterday.  She’s asking her readers what sort of plans, tips or ideas they have in the event of a home invasion. Are they going to fight? Hide? Call 911? I’m assuming most of her readers are suburban women with children.  But I really don’t know that. I’m very curious…

Airing Out Bedrooms

Airing Out A Bedroom

I’ve got some pretty old-fashioned and downright Victorian housekeeping notions. Every morning before breakfast I throw back the covers and top sheets on any bed that has been slept in to air out the sheets and blankets. After breakfast while I’m making up beds, (no matter how hot or cold or rainy or windy the…

The Best Time For Setting Fence Posts

High-Tensile Fencing

Sooner or later most small holders or garden farmers will have occasion to erect a permanent fence. Whether you build it yourself or pay someone else to construct a fence, there is no getting around it – fencing is expensive. In fact fencing can be one of the most costly capital improvements on a homestead…

Scraping The Bottom Of A Pan

Cooking Pasta For Pigs

It doesn’t happen too often. But every once and awhile I’ll burn or scorch something on the bottom of a pan. It makes a mess and can be really hard to clean. When I was younger I tried all kinds of ways to clean up a pan that I had accidentally blackened with food. Every…

Osage Orange Trees

Osange Orange

The Fruit Is Considered To Be A Spider Repellant By ManyWe have a large hedgerow of Osage orange trees on our farm. In fact we may own the largest stand of Osage orange trees in Butler County, Pennsylvania. The bark of the tree is course and rough and the wood has an orange color to…

Farm Pond Problem

Unfilled Farm Pond

The farm pond that was constructed this past summer isn’t holding water yet. In late summer we thought that there could be a problem with the pond due to shale and sand. That’s because the pond is located over ground that was stripped for coal in the 1970’s. The ground was not reclaimed to modern…