January and February – traditionally the coldest, bleakest months of the year – have one highlight, something like the gardener’s version of the swallows returning to Capistrano: the arrival of seed catalogs in the mail. Continue reading
My 24-foot diameter yurt is a 450 square foot living space, with lightly insulated cloth walls over a wooden lattice structure. When I think about building a fire in there, I think it had better be done safely! I also notice that the space heats up quickly, as it’s not all that large after all, but the heat dissipates quickly after the fire goes out, too. Better insulation than mine would be a must if I needed to count on my dwelling staying above freezing when I’m away for the day. Continue reading
Years ago, when all 7 of the kids were home, a flock of chickens was a necessity. I could go through 18 eggs for a single breakfast and custard for that hungry bunch used up another dozen. Things have changed. Only my youngest remains at home and a dozen eggs lasts me for several days, even with the occasional batch of custard. A big flock of layers seems like overkill, especially as most of the neighbors have chickens too. Continue reading
Punxsutawney Phil may say there are six more weeks of winter but apparently, he is not from Western Massachusetts. We see snow well into April and a late frost can wipe out the garden in May. So, what’s a garden girl to do while the snow lies deep and yet another storm is forecasted for the weekend? Well, she hunkers down with her seed catalogs, graph paper and last year’s records and starts planning her garden. Continue reading
When the “common cold” strikes – as it will for most of us, at least once this year – try these time-tested ways to soothe those annoying symptoms and promote healing. Continue reading
Spring will be here before you know it! Have you ever heard someone say something like that? Sounds kind of silly when we are in the coldest snap of my memory and my breath is freezing on my hair and we’re taking five trips a day to the barn with water for the animals. Continue reading
We all know that having a well-stocked pantry is an important aspect of being prepared, but what food should you stock? What’s best when you have no refrigeration? What will last on your shelves?
Both canned and freeze-dried food are great options for a reliable food supply and will give you peace of mind when you put them in your pantry. But before you pack your pantry full, it’s wise to determine what type of food is the best fit for your household.
This has been a winter for the record books here in Northeastern Ohio. On our homestead, it’s meant cooped up chickens, lots of carrying water, and making sure everybody in the barn has extra straw for bedding down and keeping warm. Continue reading