This giveaway includes 12 of the companies vapor locks, 12 lids designed to fit a wide-mouth mason jar and all the gear you need to get going, including glass weights designed to fit inside a mason jar. You can create a lovely batch of fermented food (sauer kraut, kimchi, fermented pickles, etc.) with any of these kits, from a half-pint sized jar to a gallon sized jar.
This kit normally costs $103 but Fermentools is giving it away for free. Find out more about the kits here.
We love Fermentools. They take a lot of the guess work out of fermenting.
Fermentools got started as a company after its founder decided to start the process of fermenting food to help with digestive problems.
To enter the contest, enter your email in the form below (you’ll have to do it twice to be entered). You’ll be entered into the contest and Fermentools will use your email address to let you know more about the company and any great deals and new products they have coming up.
For our Jewish readers, Dec. 16 marks the beginning of Hanukkah, the festival of lights.
For the next eight days, Jews all over the world will be lighting candles, enjoying wayyyy to much fried food and generally having a great time.
Here’s our list of the best way for homesteaders to celebrate the holiday:
I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in the Talmud about enjoying the classic stop-motion animation of Rudolf the Red-Nose Reindeer (I’m a big fan of the Island of Misfit Toys), but there’s something to be said about declaring at least a brief moratorium on the use of the magic brain eating box for the holiday (or any holiday for that matter. We’re considering a screen-ban during Flag Day even). It’s a lot easier to have those great conversations over meals if you aren’t competing for the family’s attention with Netflix, Hulu, cable and video games.
The menorah is the candle holder used to commemorate the religious aspects of the holiday. And while beautiful examples of menorahs abound, there’s something to be said for making your own. You can get the whole family involved too. All the kids (and adults) can put together their own spin on this classic item. And there’s nothing that says homestead more than doing it yourself. Check out these great ideas here.
Latkes, or potato pancakes, are a classic dish for Hanukkah. You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy them either, but you might want to invest in a food processor or sucker one of the kids into grating all those potatoes by hand. Here’s a great recipe. Enjoy them with apple sauce, sour cream or jelly!
Grate the potatoes. Place the grated potatoes into cold water to prevent discoloration. After grating all the potatoes, drain them then use cheese cloth or a towel to squeeze the moisture out of the grated potatoes. Heat the oil in a skillet on the stove. Mix all the ingredients together and spoon about two tablespoons of the mix into the hot oil. Use a fork or spatula to press the mounds out slightly. Cook about five minutes on each side. Remove them from the oil and put on a draining rack or paper towels. Makes about a dozen latkes.
Tip: Make them fast. Your family will starting eating them as soon as the first batch comes out of the oil.
A big part of Hanukkah is the lighting of the candles. If you really want to get hardcore Homestead, then why not take this chance to make your own. You may not have the time to render fat and make candles that way, but making beeswax candles is a lot less time consuming. Here’s a great tutorial.
There aren’t many Hanukkah songs, but thanks to Adam Sandler and the like, Jews get to enjoy the musical aspects of the Holiday season just as much as everyone else.
Here’s our favorite Hanukkah songs:
If you were lucky enough to attend the Sustainable Agriculture blog this year, then you probably enjoyed some really great cupcakes: Tres Leches Cupcakes.
The cupcakes were made with ingredients sourced from local farms and the care involved in raising the crops, milking the cows and putting them all together to make these cupcakes showed in the end result.
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association managed to pry the recipe from the head pastry chef at the host hotel, Kirsten Martin. Here it is!
Cake: In a mixer with paddle beat eggs until foamy. Stream in the cooled brown butter. Add milk, vanilla and salt. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
Chill batter for 10 minutes. Scoop into muffin cups and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Drizzle: Whisk all ingredients together. Soak cupcakes overnight.
Topping: Whip to medium stiff peak.
The essence of homesteading is in the doing. Making things, fixing things, creating things. So, when it is gift getting time – it can be a little challenging to think of things we want to treat OURselves with.
So, the editors at From Scratch Magazine whipped up some of their favorite homesteading gifts.
Enjoy, this stroll down our wish list.
This was the lantern from W.T. Kirkman Lanterns that our ancestors used as their primary source of light. In fact, many people in the world STILL use this lantern as their primary source of light!
Our chickens deserve the very best! That is why we love this mobile coop from Urban Coop Company. This is a perfect, low-cost option to house your chickens!
Have you made your own cheese?!? If not, then you SHOULD. If you have then you know you need this amazing cheese press from Homesteader’s Supply
Every homesteader ferments. And every fermenter needs a crock! Check out this fermenting crock that will last generations.
The Herbal Homestead has the amazing offer for all From Scratch Magazine Readers! Essentials Oils are a great way to get started with natural remedies that you can use at home! Just click here to place your order online or email Melissa at The Herbal Homestead.
15 Uses for On Guard:
1. Sniffle Season Relief. Diffuse On Guard Protective Blend anytime you are concerned about ‘what’s going around’ schools, sports arenas, churches and other crowded venues.
2. Get Turbo Charged. Mix a few drops of On Guard with 2 drops Lemon essential oil and honey or agave nectar in a teaspoon to soothe your throat during the winter.
3. Primp Your Carpets. Add 15 drops of On Guard to a cup of corn starch or baking soda. Mix, sprinkle and rake on carpet then allow it to sit for up to an hour. Then, vacuum it clean!
4. Rub-A-Tub Tub…In a Pleasing Way. Mix 5-6 drops with a half cup of baking soda to clean your bath tub and skip all of the harsh, bleaching chemicals.
5. Be Naturally On Guard, All Day. Let On Guard blend with Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary assist in the work of immune support and maintenance. One of the most popular ways to use On Guard is to add a few drops to a Veggie Capsule and swallow. It does wonders!
6. Augment Your Air Filters. Diffusing can work miracles, but you can also put a few drops of On Guard on your car’s cabin air filter or home air filters to obliterate dank, stale filtered air…right from the duct!
7. “An Ounce Of Prevention…” Some people amp up their Zinc or Vitamin C intake (via orange juice) every autumn. If this is you, add a few drops of On Guard to your juice for added protection.
8. Help For Your Speaking Docket. If you’re a ‘close talker’ or public speaker, create a protective mouth rinse by adding a drop on On Guard to 4-6 oz. of water, gargle and pep up to your delivery.
9. Your Mouth Will Thank You. Try swishing On Guard with a bit of water after dental work. You can also apply On Guard directly to your teeth and gums (or add a drop to your toothpaste) to soothe irritated gums. For a clean toothbrush, store it overnight in a small glass of water with 3-5 drops of On Guard.
10. Got a Pull-Out Kitchen Cabinet Garbage Bin? Garbage inside a dark cabinet is an ideal breeding ground for horrific odors. When you take out the garbage, spray down your cabinet with On Guard and water. On Guard Cleaner Concentrate is also excellent for this purpose.
11. Eradicate That Oven Cleaner Smell. Caked on black oven gunk does not easily come off. After your oven’s self-clean cycle, spray a mix of purified water, On Guard and Lemon essential oil onto the oven interior. This will clear up all of the greasy smells as well as the smell of the oven cleaner!
12. Gym Machines Will Thank You. Before climbing on to that sweaty vinyl at the gym, spray it with On Guard and water. Wipe down like you mean it. Your sweaty comrades will thank you.
13. Be Protected On-The-Go. Traveling to the wide open corners of the world often leaves you without hand-sanitizer handy. Make your own by mixing 5 Tablespoons aloe vera gel, 4 Tablespoons water, 1/4 teaspoon Vitamin E oil and 8-10 drops On Guard Protective Blend in a small squeeze bottle. Violá!
14. Sharing Is Caring…But Not Always! A few drops of On Guard in spray bottle with water works wonders on grimy doorknobs, hand railings and countertops. Share germs no more!
15. Smelly Pipes Got Your Rinse Down? Add On Guard to your wash during the rinse cycle for all of the benefits of On Guard in your laundry! It will leave your laundry extra clean and smelling great.
15 Uses for Oregano:
1. An Immune System Boost. Take several drops in a Veggie Capsule for periodic immune support.
2. Keep Calm And Oregano On. Concerned about the sanitary conditions of a public place you or the kids have just walked on with bare feet? Your feet absorb more than you think. Follow up by applying one drop of Oregano and Thyme, diluted with 6-7 drops of Fractionated Coconut Oil. Happy feet.
3. Savor The Flavor. Put a drop of Oregano essential oil in your spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, on a roast, or any other entrée for delicious flavor. Because Oregano is so strong, you may want to put the drop first on a spoon and then use a toothpick to slowly add oil to the recipe.
4. The Best Defense Is A Good Offense. To help keep your home clean, mix 3 drops of Oregano with water in a spray bottle and spray it in corners of the shower, sink and other damp and darkened areas.
5. Little Italy At Home. Put a drop of Oregano and a drop of Basil in your veggie dip! Or, mix them both with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a savory bread dip!
6. Bring On Sandal Season! Apply one drop of Oregano to 6 drops of Fractionated Coconut Oil to soften cuticles and rough spots that many be encroaching on your toenail real estate. Oregano keeps impurities out!
7. Digestive Dilemmas Abated. Oregano is a key ingredient in dōTERRA’s GX Assist, for good reason! It helps create a peaceful environment that is unfriendly to ‘the unmentionables’ that tax our digestive systems.
8. It’s About Natural Effectiveness. Essential oils quickly go to work in your system. This year, when a change of seasons may have you down, make your own wellness blend by combining 3 drops Oregano, 5 drops On Guard, 5 drops Melaleuca and 5 drops Lemon into a Veggie Capsule. By putting the properties of these oils to work, you will feel better naturally!
9. Warming Wonder. Dilute just 1 drop in several drops of fractionated coconut oil and massage quickly into hands and feet to help warm the body.
10. Chase Away Whatever Is Blocking Your Lower Registers. When it comes to effortless breathing, having oregano in your system (taken with a Veggie Capsule) has the ability to clear respiratory gunk.
11. Comfortable Exit Ramps. When your body’s waste liquid elimination systems are unhappy, it’s uncomfortable. Cranberry juice is great, but Oregano in your system can work to clear this out, clean it up and help you feel better.
12. Target The Source of Unsightly Skin Woes. Anyone’s skin can have imperfections, bumps or feel irritated. The same properties that make oregano great for internal use are also effective as a topical ointment. Use sparingly! Oregano is potent. Dilute 1 drop to 4 drops of Fractionated Coconut Oil.
13. Tea Time Boost. On a cold winter day, Oregano added to an earthy, hot tea can do wonders to the body and soul!
14. Foodborne Problems Beware. Oregano has properties that can counteract the effects of improper food handling practices, preparation or food storage. Combined with regular hand washing, Oregano has been known to be effective in contributing to the healthiness of foods.
15. Less Is More. In nearly all applications, more Oregano is not the answer. Oregano is one of the most potent essential oils—one drop is usually all you need. When used improperly, be sure to have Fractionated Coconut Oil on hand to dilute its potency if needed.
15 Uses for Frankincense:
1. Calm Down. Inhale with Lavender and Peppermint and apply to neck to help calm stress and relieve tension.
2. Nourish Your Skin. Use a drop of Frankincense with 3 drops of carrier oil or dōTERRA Spa Hand and Body Lotion for beautiful, radiant looking skin.
3. Spread The Love. Frankincense smells wonderful and uplifts the mood. Wear it as a perfume to lift your mood and feelings of alertness.
4. Overworked Hands? Rub Frankincense on your hands after a long day of gardening or working to promote a normal inflammatory response.
5. Time To Focus. Apply 1-2 drops to your temples and the back of your neck to help improve your concentration.
6. Nails Of Steel. Dry weather can take a toll on your nails. Try applying a drop of Frankincense to strengthen weak fingernails.
7. Goodness In A Cup. Dilute a drop of Frankincense in 1 teaspoon of honey or in a small herbal tea and take daily to maintain good health.
8. A Calming Mood Lifter. Frankincense can be applied to the bottoms of feet to relax and calm mood swings minor to major. In fact, it has been used to calm expectant mothers during pregnancy and labor.
Diffuse in the room or massage a drop onto the chest or back of the neck.
9. Cellular Vigor. Frankincense is a component of DDR Prime because it promotes healthy cellular proliferation. So, take Frankincense in a Veggie Capsule to support healthy cells in your body!
10. No More Nerves. Use Frankincense to help relieve anxiety and create a positive mood! Try combining Frankincense, Peppermint and Wild Orange essential oil in your hand, rub hands together, and inhale deeply. This mix will also help with the most severe need for a three o’ clock pick-me-up!
11. Be Youthful. Frankincense can help promote youthful, radiant looking skin and slow the signs of aging by reducing the appearance of skin imperfections. Dab with 1 drop of a carrier oil to trouble areas.
12. Relax And Revitalize. Soak in a warm Frankincense bath to calm the nerves or diffuse Frankincense in the bathroom while you relax in the tub.
13. Frank To The Rescue. Frankincense has been used for centuries for challenged skin, skin problems and nearly everything related to skin. It’s wonderful for aging skin too! Apply directly to the skin and dab the excess with a cotton ball.
14. Muscle & Soreness Relief. Use Frankincense with a cold compress after working out or on a hot day to cool down and relax. Or, use with a hot compress to soothe tired muscles or occasional cramps.
15. Personal Sauna. After showering, add a few drops to a warm, wet washcloth for a final rinse. Enjoy the earthy smell as the steam creates your own personal sauna.
15 Uses for Lavender:
1. Take A Lavender Bath. Drop a bit of lavender essential oil along with Epsom salts to your bath water for an ultra-relaxing experience.
2. Head To Toe Rest! After a hard work out or a long day on your feet, rub Lavender along with Lemongrass on your legs and feet. It will help soothe sore muscles and fully rest.
3. Take The Acrid Out Of Vinegar. Add 4-5 drops of Lavender to your vinegar cleaning mixture for a more bearable scent.
4. Quick Fix. Mix three parts Fractionated Coconut Oil with one part Lavender essential oil in a small spray bottle or roll on to help clear up skin irritation associated with chafing. Great for little ones!
5. Bring on the ZZZ’s. Rub on the bottoms of the feet for a more restful sleep.
6. Enjoy A Fresh And Clean Mattress. Sprinkle a mixture of 1 cup baking soda and 10 drops of lavender essential oil over your mattress. Allow the mixture to sit for at least one hour then use the vacuum hose to clean it up. You can combine with drops of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Clove, or Rosemary as well.
7. Ouch! That’s Hot! The next time someone doesn’t realize the iron or pan is still hot; apply Lavender oil to the affected area to soothe skin irritation, relieve redness and ease swelling.
8. The Oatmeal Secret. Fill a baby food jar with oatmeal, and add 5-8 drops of Lavender oil. When it’s time to wash your face, add water and it becomes an excellent natural scrub! A little goes a long way.
9. A Sleepy Time Trick. A few drops of Lavender placed on a pillow will help a restless toddler (or adult) fall asleep and stay asleep.
10. Flavor Twist. Lavender adds a unique and delicious flavor to marinades, custards, breads, cookies, icings, and even honey and syrup.
11. Homemade Aftershave. Use after shaving to soothe and soften skin and to lessen the redness and burning caused by razor burn.
12. Take The “Ouch” Out. One drop of Lavender will help relieve the pain and sensitivity of occasional sore gums, dry or chapped lips, occasional scrapes and abrasions, or after too much sun.
13. Clear The Mind. Apply Lavender to the temples and back of neck to lessen the effects of stress and anxiety and to promote mental clarity.
14. Care For Your Baby Belly. Rub Lavender essential oil onto an itchy tummy while pregnant.
15. Therapeutic Dish & Laundry Soap. If your liquid soap smells a bit flat, you can add Lavender for additional aromatherapy benefits. It transforms your cleaning experience!
15 Uses for Lemon:
1. Eradicate Undesirable Smells. The next time you have international potpourri of food simultaneously brewing in your apartment complex at dinnertime, be sure to diffuse Lemon to neutralize odors.
2. Get Rid Of The Sticky Stuff. Lemon essential oil is excellent for removing sticky tree sap, sticker residue and permanent marker. It even gets gum out of hair!
3. Pump Life Into Your Water. If you unfortunately don’t have great water taste in your town, add Lemon to that pitcher of water in the fridge. Add ice. Shake well. You will love the flavor!
4. A Remodelers Friend. It is possible to have fresh paint on the walls and a fresh smell in the air! Diffuse lemon essential oil while you repaint or remodel your home.
5. Road-Trip Relief. The next time you going ‘over the river and through the woods’ on a family road trip, (with family or pets) a little Lemon on cotton balls (other absorbent material) spread over your air vents
or goes a long, long way to create a more pleasurable trip.
6. Perk Up. First, diffuse lemon essential oil to brighten and energize your mood. Then, pamper yourself by mixing a few drops with Melaleuca and fractionated coconut oil and apply on tired, dry, cracked feet.
7. Flavor Boost. Add a drop of Lemon essential oil anytime you are cooking with lemon juice (Salmon on the BBQ, Lemon merengue pie, Lemon zest) to give it a deeper, more rich flavor. In soothing winter teas, you can simply add Lemon essential oil to warm water, an herbal tea and honey.
8. Pick-Me-Up. When you lack motivation or energy, try rubbing a drop of Lemon on your hands, the back of your neck or even through your hair. You’ll be amazed at the power of the Lemony aroma!
9. Smell Lemons, Not Chemicals. Add a couple drops of Lemon essential oil to your dishwater. Adding Lemon will make it a better experience for you while taking advantage of the cleaning qualities in Lemon essential oil! Your glassware will be crystal clean.
10. Super Study Powers. Diffuse with Peppermint in the classroom or during homework time to help the kids stay awake and focused.
11. An Original All-Purpose Cleaner. Mix 5-6 drops Lemon essential oil with water and vinegar in a spray bottle to cleanse and purify surfaces. Use to clean kitchen counters and stainless steel appliances. For stainless steel, mix Lemon essential oil with olive oil for best results.
12. Preserve What You’ve Got. Use Lemon essential oil in a spray to keep your cut fruit fresh until serving.
13. Refresh Bad Smelling Washcloths. When your kitchen washcloths smell foul and could use a boost, add Lemon oil to your detergent, soak overnight, wash, dry and your kitchen will smell so much better!
14. Nourish Your Leathers & Furniture. Preserve and prevent leather from splitting with a Lemon soaked cloth. Also, a few drops of Lemon essential oil combined with a few drops to olive oil makes a great furniture polish.
15. ‘Lemonize’ Your Laundry. Instead of dryer sheets, try adding a few drops to a damp wash cloth in the dryer with the rest of your laundry. Be sure to set the dryer to a low temperature cycle as high heat will
lessen the effects of the oil.
15 Uses for Peppermint:
1. Support Healthy Breathing. Dilute a drop of Peppermint oil combined with Fractionated Coconut Oil and place under your nose to support open airways and help you breathe easily.
2. A Hot Feet Fix. Add Peppermint to a cold compress and cool down your overworked feet.
3. Break Away From Summer Heat. Keep a spray bottle of water with a few drops of Peppermint essential oil nearby, especially when you REALLY need to cool down!
4. Could You Start A Fire With Your Breath? Use a drop of Peppermint with Lemon in water for a healthy, refreshing mouth rinse. It freshens breath and builds confidence in your close encounters.
5. Take A Deep Breath. Inhale deeply to invigorate lungs and increase alertness.
6. Stressed? Apply to neck and forehead with Lavender to relieve tension and pressure.
7. A Joint Effort. Peppermint is a great way to cool joints without taking an ice bath. It helps to soothe occasional soreness in muscles and joints.
8. Tummy Calmer. Rub on the stomach or take internally for occasional digestive discomfort.
9. Shake It Up. Add a drop of Peppermint to your chocolate Trim Shake for a yummy twist.
10. Zero To Satiety In Seconds. Most people eat until they feel full. Diffusing Peppermint will help reign in the urge to snack on junk food. It’s a good way to control appetite and to feel full faster.
11. Out On The Open Road. Don’t fall asleep at the wheel! Inhale Peppermint from a handkerchief or straight from the bottle to perk up on long drives.
12. Awaken Your Senses. Before your next work out, apply a bit of Peppermint to your chest or just take a deep breathe straight from the open bottle. Then, after your workout add to shampoo to stimulate your senses and help with scalp health.
13. Approaching Deadlines Mean Long And Late Hours. Rather than grab a Snickers to revitalize you as you ‘go the extra mile’, deeply inhale Peppermint to feel revitalized and ready to go.
14. Un-Block Writer’s Block. Peppermint can support blood circulation and leave you feeling rejuvenated to keep those creative juices flowing.Simply spritz peppermint on child’s shirt before study time for improved concentration and alertness.
15. Savor The Combination. Peppermint makes a delicious addition to all things chocolate. Add a drop into your chocolate beverages and baked goods. Yum!
15 Uses for Melaleuca:
1. Say Goodbye To Razor Burn! Apply after shaving to prevent any skin irritation. You can also mix Melaleuca with a bottle of fractionated coconut oil for a great facial moisturizer. Consider also mixing with Lavender or Frankincense for added benefit.
2. Add “Oomph” To Your Lotion. Help soothe your skin by placing 1 drop of Melaleuca essential oil in your moisturizer during your morning and night skin routine. You can also apply to skin blemishes and rashes as part of a daily cleansing program.
3. Bathroom Cleaner. Combine 10 drops of Melaleuca with ½ cup baking soda and ¼ cup vinegar to clean the toilet.
4. Refresh Your Wash. Add a couple drops of Melaleuca to laundry detergent to get rid of any musty smells caused by poor ventilation.
5. Homemade Baby Wipes. Cut a paper towel roll in half and place it in a storage container with 2 cups warm water, 2 tablespoons fractionated coconut oil and 3 drops each of Melaleuca and Lavender. When the liquid is absorbed, remove the cardboard roll and pull wipes from the center.
6. For When Soap Won’t Do It. Melaleuca is great for removing permanent marker from skin.
7. Baby Bottom Remedy. Mix with Fractionated Coconut Oil, Lavender, and Frankincense to make a diaper paste for baby’s irritated skin.
8. Too Much Fun In The Sun? Apply to the skin during your family vacation or after a long day in the sun.
9. Sleep Feeling Clean. Spray Melaleuca on your mattress pad when you change the sheets.
10. Handy For Hikers. Take Melaleuca essential oil in your pack next time to take the off beaten trail. Melaleuca is a great cleansing agent for occasional scrapes and other skin irritations.
11. Learn From The Past. Historically, Melaleuca oil was used as a cleanser for the face and to deal with periodic skin and toenail challenges.
12. Boost Your Immune Function. Diffuse Melaleuca or rub it on the bottom of your feet. Combine with On Guard for even more immune support.
13. Chemical-Free Cleaning. Dilute 8-10 drops with water in a spray bottle to clean around the house. It is great to use in damp places and in the bathroom!
14. A Young Athlete’s Best Friend. Apply directly to the feet and toenails after practice each night and especially if you are also showering, swimming or exercising in public, high traffic areas.
15. Healthy, Happy You. Massage onto the bottoms of feet and the chest area to promote overall health, especially during the winter. For occasional skin irritations, apply Melaleuca directly to the skin or dilute with a drop of fractionated coconut oil.
15 Uses for Deep Blue:
1. Enhance Your Work Out. Rub on muscles before and after exercise to reduce discomfort.
2. Pains Of A Desk Job. After long hours on the computer, try rubbing Deep Blue essential oil blend on the shoulders and neck to recover and ease muscle tension.
3. For Fast Fingers. Deep Blue is great for those who spend long hours typing on a computer. Just massage into the hands, fingers and wrists when needed.
4. Growing Like Weeds. Massage Deep Blue with a few drops of carrier oil onto the growing kids’ legs before bedtime to help with occasional aches associated with growth spurts.
5. Where’s The Forklift? If you’ve been doing some heavy lifting at work or during a move, Deep Blue will support those strained lower back muscles.
6. For Better Or For Worse. Your better half will thank you after you treat them to a massage using Deep Blue Soothing Blend. Use several drops with carrier oil for a therapeutic deep-tissue massage.
7. Live Long And Prosper. Deep Blue Soothing Blend contains blue tansy and Helichrysum which when used regularly, can help promote long term muscle, joint and bone health.
8. The Post-Game Check-Up. When the kids come home with a few bumps from their sports activities, apply Deep Blue to affected areas to help support localized blood flow.
9. Keep It Under Control. Use Deep Blue to promote and maintain normal inflammatory response in cells.
10. Tennis Elbow. Keep Deep Blue on hand at your next tennis match so you can be on top of your game and keep those elbows fresh!
11. Muscle Miracle. Occasionally, muscles will cramp if they have been worked hard or are lacking the vitamins they need. For these muscle cramps, try massaging Deep Blue into the area.
12. Your Best Bike Trip Break…Ever. Put a several drops of Deep Blue into an empty 5/8 dram bottle so it is easy to keep in your pouch and take on your next biking trip!
13. Get The Best Of Both Worlds. Deep Blue provides a cooling and warming sensation that cools joints yet warms muscles and soothes occasional joint or bone pain.
14. Be A Well “Oiled” Machine. Keep your runner’s knee in tip top condition with Deep Blue. Application after a long run will help soothe the joint and promote strong, healthy muscles.
15. When you Realize You’re Not 18 Anymore. You’ve over-exerted yourself playing basketball like the good ‘ole days, and it happens! Apply deep blue followed by a warm compress to support healthy blood flow and promote a healthy inflammatory response.
15 Uses for Breathe:
1. The ‘On Ramp’ to Sleep. For a more restful sleep during seasonal respiratory discomfort, diffuse Breathe at bedtime or keep in a roll-on bottle by the bedside, in the car or your purse. Roll it on the chest, bottom of feet or upper lip as needed!
2. Feel Clear and Free. Put a drop of Breathe and a drop of Wintergreen essential oil in a sink of hot water. Then, place a damp towel over your head and inhale deeply. It’s surprising how much this helps!
3. Working Out in a Building? Forced heating and cooling, sweaty bodies, dust and your lungs…bad combo. Apply before exercising to invigorate and enhance breathing during your workout.
4. It’s Like a Rain Maker. Hiking in nature right after an air cleansing rain is an absolute dream. The next time you can’t control the rain, try applying Breathe Respiratory Blend. It’s the next best thing!
5. Leavin’ on a Jet Plane, Bus or Train? Confined spaces can sometimes have stagnant air, which can be claustrophobic. While in these spaces, free yourself mentally and emotionally by applying Breathe.
6. Stuck in a Desk, Small Office or Cube? It’s easy and convenient to just place a drop of Breathe in your palm, rub the palms together and take a deep breath from your cupped hands. Supporting healthy airways will improve your concentration. It may help everyone around you relax too!
7. A College Dorm Room Fix. College dorm rooms aren’t known for their vast size or light airy appeal. When you combine a ‘first-time on their own’ roommate with unknown cooking preferences, sweaty workout clothes, or interesting hygiene habits, Breathe is the great equalizer and your best friend.
8. It’s a Zoo in Here! Staying at someone else’s home, with someone else’s pets (with their aroma, dander or musty smell) doesn’t need to be a problem. Try rubbing Breathe on your chest and under your nose before entering a pet filled house. Great for musty campers and RVs as well.
9. Boost Brain Power. Breathe Respiratory Blend contains Eucalyptus essential oil which is known to help stimulate mental activity and wake up your mind. The powerfully beneficial oils of Peppermint, Lemon, and Melaleuca are all included in Breathe and are perfect if you are feeling under the weather.
10. One Of Mom’s Bag Of Tricks. Place a couple drops on the pillow of any child who needs Breathe but refuses to apply the oil. The oil helps to distract them from whatever reason she can’t sleep, and helps maintain breathing. Oh, and the added benefit is that mom and dad get to rest as well!
11. Another Tool In Your Habit Breaking Arsenal. Overcoming nagging habits is tricky to say the least. Occasionally lingering side effects affect breathing. Breathe Respiratory Blend will help you kick bad
habits by promoting easier breathing while maintaining lung and throat health.
12. A Dynamic Duo. Put a drop of Breathe on the filter of the CPAP machine for even more support during the night. Even without a CPAP machine it’s good to keep a roller bottle of Breathe nearby to swipe on the chest and under the nose of whoever is keeping you awake by snoring gone ballistic.
13. Help For Your Airways When You Have Cold Feet in the Winter. A popular way to warm your tootsies in the winter is to warm a cloth bag (filled with rice or feed corn kernels) in the microwave and place it at the foot of your bed at night. Add a few drops of Breathe in the bag to make it an aromatically soothing experience as well, opening stuffy airways.
14. No Gadgetry Required. Diffusing is great, but when you don’t have a diffuser handy, simply add a drop of both Breathe and Frankincense into the palm off your hand. Then, make a fist with a small opening over the oils and breathe in through your fist. This simple technique does wonders!
15. An Invigorated Senior Citizen’s Home. Let’s face it, as we citizens become senior, our energy and passion to make things fresh and invigorating may wane. A senior care center or rest home does not have to smell like one. By simply diffusing Breathe, you can change the whole feeling of the place—and make it a more pleasant experience for residents as well as visitors.
15 Uses for DigestZen:
1. Tame a Tummy. Rub on your child’s tummy when they have an occasional tummy ache. Apply before bedtime and it will help them sleep soundly too! Dilute 1 drop of DigestZen with fractionated coconut oil and massage onto baby’s tummy when upset.
2. Moo Moo…Boo Boo. Try taking a Veggie Capsule filled with DigestZen when you have too much dairy in the belly.
3. A Sailor’s Little Buddy. For a happy cruise ship experience, be sure to bring along DigestZen. Those all you-can eat buffets are hard to turn down and DigestZen will help bring some balance to your tummy!
4. Over the River and Through the Woods. Long road trips are good for family bonding. Don’t let those winding roads ruin the experience! Try diffusing DigestZen in the car from time to time to keep everyone’s stomachs calm. A great thing to have on a sailing or fishing boat too!
5. A Holiday Helper. After a big holiday feast, massage DigestZen on your stomach after big meals to help digest all holiday fare with ease.
6. Turbulence is on the Horizon. Flying to new destinations is fun but turbulence is often a problem for the stomach. When traveling by plane, make sure DigestZen goes with you.
7. Kick Tension & Pressure. DigestZen certainly helps calm an upset stomach but can also be applied to the temples to help relieve tension and sinus pressure.
8. A Buy Person’s Pal. When we get too busy, often our diet suffers. We opt for late night eating, faster than fast food, skipped meals, over indulgences and more. If your hectic schedule turns into hectic digestion, try DigestZen.
9. Greasy Foods, Angry Belly. Cafeteria foods are usually packed with grease that can cause discomfort. Be preventative by taking a Veggie Capsule full of several drops of DigestZen before you set foot in a cafeteria.
10. Kids Won’t Take a Capsule of DigestZen? To get things moving, put a drop of DigestZen in your child’s bath water and support healthy digestion.
11. A Regularity Ranger. The next time you feel stomach churn or feelings of indigestion, help yourself stay comfortable and regular by adding a drop to your water or rice or soy milk daily.
12. A Great Neutralizer. Use 1-2 drops in 4-6 ounces of water as a mouth rinse with water at night if you’ve eaten a meal with strong smells, like garlic, onion, curries and more. If you like the taste of black licorice, you will love the taste of DigestZen because it contains Fennel essential oil.
13. Carefree at the carnival. First a funnel cake and then the teacup ride. Make sure you bring DigestZen along so you can have fun with the rest of the family!
14. Take-out? Take DigestZen. This digestive blend will soothe even the strongest kick that your favorite local take-out can deliver.
15. Unfamiliar Restaurant Relief. When you travel or venture out to an unfamiliar restaurant, it’s easy to have digestive distress. Prevent discomfort by taking DigestZen in a Veggie Capsule to prevent or lessen the effects of certain foods.
A cool breeze blows as Rose and I bask in the sun atop an alpine ridge, high in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. A stunning view of the Three Sisters, a trio of 10,000+ foot peaks is our reward for a steeply uphill climb. We are both hungry, so I munch on an apple while Rose grazes on some bear grass and lichen. Rose is an American Alpine goat, and she and I have packed ten miles into the backcountry on a three-day backpacking trip.
My fascination with goatpacking began with John Mionczynski’s book The Pack Goat. My husband and I are avid hikers and backpackers; when we met, our first “dates” were morning hikes to watch the sunrise. Having raised Alpine and Nubian dairy goats for a few years, we began to wonder if our affectionate dairy goats would be willing to carry a light load into the backcountry.
We began daily training walks around our forested, hilly property, first without a pack, and gradually adding a saddle, panniers, and then weight. While we were prepared to guide them on the trail with collars and lead ropes, we found that the goats willingly followed us on the trail, only pausing for an occasional snack from their surroundings.
Our first backcountry adventure was full of trial and error. Lacking a proper livestock trailer or pickup truck, we piled into a friend’s Volkswagen Vanagon, with Rose and her yearling Lupine in the back, and a Nubian doe named Hazelnut in the passenger area. Packing the goats’ panniers with a small bag of grain, water bowl, leashes, ropes, and tarps, we kept their load light for this trial hike.
On trail, the goats eagerly followed us for about five miles. At this point, Hazelnut, the Nubian decided enough was enough, laid down on the trail, and refused to continue until we enticed her with a bit of grain. A few miles later, we reached our destination – a beautiful rocky ledge overlooking an alpine lake.
The goats settled in on the warm rocks, chewing their cud, and resting with a dreamy look on their faces. It seemed as though the Alpines were especially content, perhaps feeling at home on the high rocky slopes.
With a successful trip under our belts, and confidence in our goats’ packing abilities, we continued with twice yearly summer backcountry adventures. Breakfast granola and hot coffee with fresh goat milk were just a few of the perks of bringing goats along. My husband and I continued to carry our own backpacks, but gratefully accepted the help that the pack goats provided. And the goats’ antics and companionship brought much fun and laughter to our adventures.
Fast-forward a few years: I was seven months pregnant and desperately wanting some pre-baby backcountry time, but it was increasingly difficult to carry a fully loaded pack around my growing waist. It was time to ask our goats to carry a bit more weight, which they willingly did. We now filled the goats’ packs with our tent, food, and cookware. Reducing the hiking mileage to three to four mile days kept everyone happy!
Our family has now grown to four people, and we continue to enjoy backcountry adventures each summer, with the help of our goat companions. With two children on our backs, we rely on three to four goats to carry our personal gear. Base camp life can be a little hectic with so many beings to tend to, but we have learned a few tricks to keep things manageable.
Most importantly, we keep the goats away from the camp area and all food preparation. By tying a rope between two trees, and using a carabiner with a three-foot leash, we allow the goats safe access to browse and water, while keeping them out of camp.
We have found that morning and evening milking is best accomplished with a team of three people: one person to hold a bowl of grain, one person to keep the human kids occupied, and one person to milk. Enjoying warm, sweet goat milk in the backcountry is still one of the best rewards of the effort it takes to get there.
Our family is frequently stopped along the trail and asked about the goats. It is truly a gift to witness the looks of astonishment and joy upon fellow hikers’ faces when they see our herd of pack goats approach on the trail. Their bright red packs and shining wood saddles do make for quite an attractive image, and we are often asked for photo opportunities.
We use our interactions as an opportunity to educate people about dairy goats, goat packing, and homesteading, and as a chance to connect with people who share our love of accessing wild places.
Packing with our dairy goats has allowed our entire family to experience the backcountry together. My children, ages 2 and 5, get to enjoy some of the most pristine and remote wilderness areas in our country, and my husband and I continue to feed one of the passions that first brought us together – being in the outdoors.
Goat milk is preferred over cow milk in much of the world, and approximately 70% of the milk consumed by humans worldwide is supplied by goats. In the United States, the cow is still king, but goats are the fastest growing livestock animal and goat milk consumption is rising rapidly. Why is goat milk so popular worldwide and why is its popularity rising in the US? Well, compared to cows and cow milk, goats are easier to keep; and goat milk is great tasting, produced more naturally, more nutritious, available raw, easier to digest, acceptable to many with lactose intolerance, and it triggers fewer milk allergies.
Goats don’t need as much space as cows, are easier to handle, thrive on marginal pastures, and are perfectly happy eating things that we consider nuisances like poison ivy and brambles. Goats are suitable for hilly, rocky, and wooded areas where cows could not be kept, and actually prefer wooded browse to pasture (they prefer to reach up to eat rather than down like cattle). Goats convert their food into milk much more efficiently than cows, and many people find it easier to deal with the smaller quantities of milk (see Table 1) they produce. Much of the upsurge in goat popularity has been with those interested in increasing their self-sufficiency, and most find it much easier to keep a few goats. The dwarf dairy goat breeds are even being allowed in some urban areas because they need so little room, are easy to care for, and provide so many benefits.
Fresh goat milk tastes creamy, sweet, and mild – virtually indistinguishable from whole cow milk. But, goat milk must be properly handled (processed in sanitary conditions and cooled immediately) to insure that its sweet taste is preserved. Taste also differs from goat breed to breed; with those breeds producing the highest butterfat content (Nigerian Dwarves and Nubians) typically producing the sweetest, mildest tasting milk. In some areas of Europe, stronger tasting milk is preferred, so breeds originating there (like Oberhasli and Toggenburg) do tend to produce milk with a stronger taste. Dairy goat herds in the US are typically small, and the goats are allowed to free range rather than being maintained on feed lots as most cow dairy herds are today. Goat dairies also tend to keep antibiotic use to a minimum and rarely use hormones, whereas most dairy cows are pumped full of antibiotics and bovine growth hormone (as well as bovine somatotropin — a hormone used specifically for increasing milk production). Also, goat milk does not contain agglutinin, the substance that makes cow milk separate, so goat milk does not need to be artificially homogenized like cow milk.
The vitamins and minerals in goat milk can play an important role in helping us meet our daily nutritional requirements. On the vitamin front, goat milk supplies up to 47% more vitamin A, 350% more niacin (B3), 25% more B6, is lower in folic acid (B9) and B12, and is comparable to cow milk for the other vitamins. On the mineral front, goat milk is 13% higher in calcium, higher in phosphorous, has 134% more potassium, has more iron, contains four times the copper, has more magnesium, has substantially more manganese, has more selenium, and has comparable levels of zinc and sodium when compared to cow milk. Goat milk simply supplies more vitamins and minerals than cow milk.
Unpasteurized goat milk is increasingly available from small farms (laws regarding sales of raw milk vary from state to state), and many believe raw milk is much healthier for humans because pasteurization destroys the nutrition and beneficial bacteria in raw milk. Pasteurization also makes it more difficult for humans to absorb calcium and it breaks down the lactase in milk (the enzyme that helps digest lactose), making milk more difficult to digest.
Although the US government strongly discourages the consumption of raw milk (and probably rightly so for the mass-produced milk from antibiotic and hormone fed cows living on feed lots), raw milk has been consumed by humans for hundreds of years, and if properly processed, poses little health risk.
Goat milk is naturally homogenized, with smaller fat particles evenly distributed throughout the milk, and is much closer to human milk in makeup than cow milk. The vitamins, minerals, trace elements, electrolytes, enzymes, and proteins in goat milk are therefore easier for humans to assimilate than similar content in cow milk. For these reasons, goat milk is typically digested in as little as 20 minutes; whereas it can take 24 hours for humans to digest cow milk.
As much as 75% of the adult population suffers from lactose intolerance, or the inability to digest lactose.
This is caused by the by the lack (or an insufficient amount) of the enzyme called lactase. Goat milk contains about 10% less lactose than cow milk and since it passes through the human digestive tract so rapidly, many with lactose intolerance have no difficulty with goat milk.
Also, because raw goat milk still contains the enzyme lactase, switching to unpasteurized goat milk can be helpful to those with lactose intolerance.
Milk is a good source of protein, but the complex proteins in milk are what cause some to be allergic to it, and the alpha-s1-casein protein in cow milk is the primary one responsible for milk allergies in humans. Goat milk contains much lower levels (89% less) of this particular protein, and some goats produce milk with no alpha-s1-casein. Studies of infants have shown that approximately 90% of those allergic to cow milk are able to drink goat milk without suffering any allergic reaction.
Increasingly, goat milk is simply viewed as a healthier alternative to cow milk, and as interest in healthy foods and sustainable living grows, more are choosing it instead. Dairy goats are becoming popular additions to the small farm or homestead, goat milk is now regularly available in grocery stores, and with homestead goat ownership rising, it can also often be found at local farms or homesteads. It’s time to give goat milk a try!
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in From Scratch magazine. Read the latest issue here. Read the issue this article appeared in here including more photos and information about goat’s milk. Don’t forget to subscribe using the form below.
During the last twenty years, our family has slowly increased the production of food for our dinner table. This includes veggies, eggs, berries, and now meat. We chose to raise beef cattle because we had the available space, and frankly, we love steak and roasts.
There is nothing that compares with the flavor of fresh beef and previously we had been purchasing a half a steer at a time for our freezer, from a local farmer. Our first three calves were Black Angus feeder calves about four months old. We later added two more, another Black Angus and a Hereford/Angus cross. Starting with feeder calves, you can expect a minimum of one year to butchering, but the time is mainly dictated by the amount of space you have to store the beef in the freezer.
It is possible to raise your own beef on small acreage. What are the factors to consider if you plan to add beef cows to your family homestead?
The amount of acreage does not need to be large and extensive. We are not talking about ranching or creating a South Fork here. If you are planning on grazing the cows on pasture you need about 2 acres per animal. Cattle can be raised in a feedlot situation where you provide all the roughage and concentrate feed for them in a smaller enclosed space. Neither of these situations fit our picture of how cows would fit into our homestead farm. We like our animals to have a bit of space for roaming around so we are using two separate one acre fenced in areas.
Most of our acreage is in a Tree Farm program so we do not have a lot of cleared land. We also raise Pygora goats, sheep, chicken, ducks and turkeys so all the cleared space was not available for the cows. But we used to have horses so the two fenced in areas were already set up. Having two separate fenced in areas allows us to move the cattle from one area to the other to let the ground rest and to help with parasite control. Each area has an open shed for shelter, which is a Steel Building, although the cows seem to prefer being outside. Electric fencing was run along the inside of the post and board fencing.
Cattle are large and consideration should be given to who will be taking care of them. While the cows may be docile, the size of any 1000 to 1500 pound animal should be respected. Animals react quickly and can seriously hurt a caretaker if precautions are not taken. Gentling the cattle with feed is one way to gain some control over your small herd.
But beware! The cows will follow you, enthusiastically, for grain and you should know where they are in relation to you , at all times. Have a plan in place should veterinary care be needed. A chute or some other suitable method of restraint should be thought out before disaster strikes.
Water is the most critical nutrient to provide for your cattle. The average full grown cow will consume an average of twelve to twenty gallons of water each day. We provide water in stock tanks in the fields. If you plan on relying on a stream or pond, be sure it doesn’t dry up in the heat of summer or freeze over in the winter. Because our area suffers from frequent power outages, we keep extra tanks filled with water, in the event the power is out for an extended time. If the power goes out, the electric pump for the well does not work.
Grain can be costly but we feed a small amount once a day, mainly to keep the cows gentle and willing to come to us. The majority of their diet is hay, which is provided using large round bales. With no real pasture, our cows eat through two large round bales each week. You will need to provide a salt or mineral block also.
Since these vary greatly by region it is hard to give a good estimate of the cost to raise beef cattle on the homestead. In our situation, we try to barter for the needs using other products from our farm and businesses. I will tell you that I don’t think this is the economical approach to take to add meat to your freezer. But if you are looking to control what goes into making that meat, the peace of mind that comes from knowing no chemicals were used, and that the animals lived a good life before providing food for your family, then, the cost may be worth it. To us, the answer was yes. It is worth every dollar spent.
Raising your own beef for the homestead may not be the most economical project you choose, but, to us it is a fair trade off for the knowledge that the animal was fed wholesome food with no chemical additives. The taste is above anything a super market can offer. If you haven’t had the pleasure of dining on fresh local beef, give your local cattle farmer a call and see if he has any to sell.
More on Fencing
Good fencing is a must. The weight of cattle pushing against a flimsy fence is a recipe for … well, escaping cows. We learned this the hard way, early on. The first area we put the cows into had been used for years for our horses. Some of the fencing should have been replaced prior to the cows being placed there. They pushed on a section of fence and it gave way, allowing the cows to roam freely for an afternoon. By the time we realized they were missing it was evening feeding time. While we could see hoof prints at many locations, such as the vegetable garden, we could not find the cows. We looked for hours and even canvassed the two nearby neighborhoods. As darkness approached, I placed a call to the non-emergency number for the local police department hoping someone had seen the cows roaming and called in a report.
Our farm is in a rapidly growing suburban area and it took a few minutes to convince the dispatcher that I was not making a prank call. Guess that was a first for her. No one had called in reporting cows on the loose. Up until this point, we had kept the dog in thinking (mistakenly) that he would cause the cows to run if he found them. Giving up for the night, we let the dog out and he immediately found the herd not too far from the barn, hiding in some tall growth behind a shed. The electric fence was added within a few days. Since then we have not had any roaming cattle.
Janet Garman with Timber Creek Farm. Timber Creek farm is located along a river in Eastern Maryland, we are farming a large family tract of land. The tree farm property has been in the family for generations and we have added the animals and vegetable gardens. We are raising Pygora fiber goats, Border Leicester sheep, Black Angus cows, chickens, ducks and turkeys. Our fiber from the sheep and goats is processed into yarn by local fiber processing companies and spun into beautiful soft yarn.
Our chickens and ducks supply eggs for our family and many of our neighbors, too. Every day brings a new challenge as we work towards being self sufficient in our food needs. Our jouney towards self sufficiency is hard work, but it’s work we love. Our mission, through the work on our farm, is to be able to provide food for our family and to encourage others in their journey into their own farming projects, big or small. Follow us on our journey – we have a blog and a Facebook page.
The best homesteading blogs that the internet has to offer – all in one place! Please take a look and visit these like minded friends.
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The homesteading community is vibrant. It is filled with wonderful people who are a part of a movement. They are on a journey to lead a more sustainable life. There are so many great stories being told everyday. Are you a modern homesteader who blogs about your journey? Join the modern homesteader blogger directory today! Not a blogger? Not a problem. This resource is a perfect place to find inspiration, tutorials and education.
What is a Modern Homesteader?
A modern day homesteader is a person who raises chickens in their backyard, they make their own bread, use a sewing machine, and plant a garden. They are canners, diy’ers, fence builders. Modern day pioneers who have removed themselves from the rat race. They wear boots and jeans. They love beautifully handmade things. They enjoy good music. good food and good books. They are the modern homesteader.
It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment in the biggest city or on a 1,000 acre farm – being a modern homesteader is a philosophy on how you want to live your life. Anyone who is working towards living a more self sustainable lifestyle is a modern day homesteader.
What is the Modern Homesteader Blogger Directory?
It is an online community resource. A place to share your blog and to support and visit other homesteading blogs. Please visit the blogs listed. Find the ones that speak to you and read their posts, leave comments, and follow their Facebook pages.
From Scratch wants to feature your blog! A modern homesteader blogger will be featured in each issue of From Scratch Magazine.
How does it work?
Joining is easy. All you need to do is click on the Click here to enter link above to add your blog. Follow the instructions from Linky Tools and you are in!
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For anyone who ever wanted to explore homesteading but didn’t know where to start, Homesteading From Scratch will walk you through it all!
“From exploring individual homesteading goals to farming land, animal husbandry, bread baking, food preservation, homeschooling, community building, and even macrame’ (yes, macrame’), Jones marries the homesteading dream to sound practicality. For those that feel the call of self-sufficiency in this modern day, it’s simply the right book at the right time.”
– Chris McLaughlin, modern homesteader and author of a Garden to Dye For and Vertical Vegetable Gardening
“A practical and inspiring guide for anyone striving for a more self-sufficient lifestyle.”
-Abigail Gehring, editor of Back to Basics, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Living, and Good Living Guide to Country Skills