Homestead

Dear Ole Mom’s Apple Crisp

Dear Ole Mom’s Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp is one of those desserts that people love year-round. For our family we love this desert especially in the cool fall days. Nothing taste better than hot delicious apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting over the dish. This old fashion apple crisp recipe is a hand down from my mother’s mother and it is so amazing you will love it.

Ingredients

For the apple filling you will need:

4 large granny smith apples that are peeled and sliced thin

3 Tbsp. of butter, softened

2 Tbsp. of flour

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

3 Tbsp. of milk

3/4 tsp of vanilla extract

2/3 cup of brown sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

Just a dash of salt

For the crumb topping:

½ cup of flour

½ cup of oats

2/3 cup of brown sugar

½ tsp of baking powder

½ tsp of cinnamon

1/3 cup of unsalted butter cubed.

Just a dash of salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Mix in a large bowl all the ingredients for the crumb topping with a fork. Mix till the ingredients looks like small crumbs then put in the refrigerator.

In a small bowl melt the butter and flour until well mixed. Then add the lemon juice, milk, and vanilla and mix very well and then add the brown sugar and cinnamon and salt. In large bowl pour this mixture over the apples and mix together so all the apples are coated. Take the apple mixture and put in a 8×8 baking dish and spread to an even layer. Now take the crumb topping from the refrigerator and spread over the apples.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit to settle for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve warm with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Posted by Tom in Homestead, Recipes, 0 comments

Conflict With North Korea

Trump warns of a major conflict with North Korea

This past Thursday President Trump is reported to have said “ that there is a chance that we could end up with having a major, major conflict with North Korea,” he said “Absolutely”. Read the rest of the story here.

Posted by Tom in Homestead
North Korea Shows the White House In Their Crosshairs

North Korea Shows the White House In Their Crosshairs

With North Korea threatening our way of life here in the United States we need to be ready to take care of ourselves. In this article that the Washington Post published just a few hours ago North Korea is showing simulated attacks on the us here in the United States and declaring that us “the enemy to be destroyed is in our sights”. Continue reading…

Posted by Tom in Homestead
Mukluks Boots Are Ideal For Homesteaders

Mukluks Boots Are Ideal For Homesteaders

What are Mukluks

 

Mukluks sometimes called kamik are warm and soft footwear originally created by the Inuit and Yupik tribes of the Arctic areas of Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia. They look very much like traditional moccasins with high boot tops. Mukluks were traditionally made from the skin of reindeer, seals, moose or bear. Today they are made of suede and other natural and man-made materials. Mukluk Boots are becoming a popular commodity online. With their unique style and special fit they have become the ideal item for this winter season.

Mukluks

You’re out in the woods and hiking the snow covered trails what feels better than a pair of warm dry feet. When your feet are wet and cold your whole body gets cold. Nothing beats a pair of warm boots to keep your feet nice and toasty. I have tried several different types of boots but either they leaked or they made my feet sweat until I tried a pair of Mukluks.

Many people have never heard of the word Mukluk and then there are some that never venture out in the cold and snow without putting on a pair of these wonderful boots.

So to those that have never heard of these boots we will now introduce you to this winter footwear that came from the Arctic areas of Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Russia.

What Wikipedia Says About Mukluks

The History of Mukluks

The mukluks are soft, warm and dry foot apparel that has been used in the northern part of the United States since the seventeenth century. The word “mukluk” originated from the word “maklak” which was a Yupik word.

There were two groups of people that wore the mukluks before the Western explorers found out about them; this was the Inuit and Yupik groups from the Arctic. When the Western explorers arrived and were scouting out the territories in the north and Canada they too adopted the mukluk footwear to keep their feet dry and warm.

The mukluks back in those days were made of deer, seal, moose, or caribou hide and the boots were lined with fur from beavers, squirrel, bear, rabbit, or some other form of wildlife. The boots came up to the top of the ankle or up to the mid-calf range. Mukluks back in the day of the explorers were good footwear for the harsh environments but they did wear out fast. And with using all natural material it was not an easy task and took several hours to make a pair to replace the worn out ones.

Today with modern machines and new versions of leather goods and the addition of rubber soles mukluks are easier to make and last much longer than the traditional mukluk. Also today you can purchase mukluks in a variety of colors and styles. You can also add decorative items like beading, tassels and pom-poms. Traditional mukluks and moccasins are still made today and people from all walks of life and people and from all over the world are wearing this awesome footwear.

With traditional boots like snow mobile boots or other winter boots the material does not breathe. When the boots don’t breathe or allow air to circulate around the feet the feet will perspire and this can become a factor of frostbite of ones feet. With mukluks the material does breathe and this allows for good ventilation in order to keep the feet dry of perspiration. This has been a huge factor to make mukluks a huge success.

This wonderful footwear not only keeps your feet dry and comfortable these boots allow your legs and calves to receive a great workout while at the same time improve your posture and reduce back pain. Nothing more could be better than having comfortable footwear and at the same time help your health and look stylish all at the same time.

Today many boot manufactures often use the style and design of mukluks in making their own modern footwear Uggs are being designed and manufactured to resemble the warmth and strength of today’s mukluk. But nothing beats the original design and comfort of the traditional mukluk.

Have you ever worn a pair of these wonderful boots, if so let us know what you think of them.

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Posted by Tom in Homestead, Lifestyle
Ideas For Building Your Emergency Food Bank

Ideas For Building Your Emergency Food Bank

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Idea’s for building an emergency food supply

Are you and your family ready and stocked up with emergency food supply? Or have you been trying to build up an emergency food bank but find your family eating all the food that you are trying to save? For most of us in the beginning building a food bank was frustrating and felt like hitting your head against the wall. Most people including myself felt the need to do everything at once and get it over-with, but this is just not realistic. This project can be easy to do and it can be fun if you have a plan laid out to accomplish the goal.

Advice from experienced preppers

Here are a few links from experienced preppers that can help you get a plan but also answer some common questions that newbies usually have. By using some of the guidelines by experienced people you may end up with a better list of food supplies and it may even save you some money. Just remember that once you get your pantry or food bank filled you will want to tweak it now and then to make sure items stay fresh and preserved. Purchasing to much of some items may be a waste of money because the item may go bad, again this is why it is best to plan ahead and be realistic in what you purchase and store. By doing some research and reading what experienced preppers have learnt themselves over the years can and will save you time and money.

Thanks for stopping by, leave us some comments on how you are building your food supply.

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Tips for food storage.

Best foods to stockpile

50 tips for emergency food storage

Posted by Tom in Homestead
Homemade Mosquito Repellent That Works

Homemade Mosquito Repellent That Works

Homemade Mosquito Repellent Recipe

Here in Florida families are outside all year long. We want to enjoy the beauty of the lovely weather that Florida offers. There is an enemy that we all battle and some of us battle more than others and that is the disease carrying mosquito. The worst thing for me is that I love the outdoors and my body is a mosquito magnet, if there is a mosquito within 25 miles I am sure that it will find me and suck my blood.

Continue reading →

Posted by Tom in gardening, Homestead, Recipes
Ideas To Help Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

Ideas To Help Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

Mortgage and automobile debt

For many people that are trying to homestead the one problem that many people have is debt. Two of the largest debt’s that families have hanging over their heads are mortgage debt and automobile financing. Today let’s take a look at ways to help pay off your mortgage and get this number one debt off your back. In future post we will talk about ways to pay off your auto loans and work on ways to be debt free.

Tip number one

Automate an extra payment to your principle along with your regular monthly mortgage payment. What I mean by this is when making your regular monthly mortgage payment add an extra $25 a month towards your mortgage principle. The reason I pick $25 a month is this is a nice low dollar amount that I am sure most people can find just by cutting back a few bad habits. If you set this up to automatically come out of your account and go straight to your principle you more than likely will not even notice the money being gone. After you are comfortable with $25 dollars a month then step out and increase it to $50 dollars a month. You will not believe how many years you will cut off your mortgage by paying the principle down monthly with just a few added dollars.

Tip number two

Many Americans are paid on a bi-weekly paycheck principle. If you were to set-up your mortgage payment to be paid bi-weekly instead of monthly. By paying half of your monthly mortgage payment ever two weeks you will shave off many years off the term of your mortgage. The reason for this is when you pay bi-weekly you will be making an additional monthly mortgage payment which will go directly towards your principle thus reducing the loan amount of the mortgage and saving you years of mortgage payments.

Tip number three

The whole idea of paying off your mortgage early is by cutting years off of the term of your loan and the easiest way to do this is reduce the principle. What my family and I have done is to deposit large chunks of money periodically towards the principle. Some ways that we have come up with these deposits is by thinking outside the box. A couple ways that we came up with the extra money to put towards the principle was to have a garage sale twice a year. Instead of taking the profits from the sale we took the money and put it towards the principle on the mortgage. Another suggestion that we did was to take our tax return and put this towards the principle. Whatever way you can find to take extra money and apply it towards the principle, do it! You will save thousands of dollars in interest by lowering the principle of your mortgage.

Tip number four

Most people have no clue about tip number four.  I love tip number four since we use credit cards that offers points for all our purchases. Disclaimer – we pay off the credit card at the end of the month so we do not add up debt.

Many people like us use our credit cards to pay for everything in order earn points for vacations or other frilly things. But there are some cards that you can have the points convert automatically to mortgage interest payments. So every time use this type of credit card you earn points which automatically get converted over to paying down your mortgage principle. This is a great tool that takes the guess work out of paying off your mortgage early.

Tip number five

Pretty much everybody can think of a way to adjust your lifestyle in order to save money to put towards your mortgage principle but tip number five is near and dear to my heart which is starting a side income. Making money on the side either by having a hobby or offering a service for people that you can do in your spare time is very rewarding and there is no limit how much money you can earn. There are many ways to earn extra income without taking on a second job that you may hate and regret. Just keep your eye on the goal and that is to pay off your mortgage and get out of debt in order to free up your income in order to be a happy homesteader.

Here are some resources for guidance on earning extra income

 

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Posted by Tom in Budgeting, Homestead
Is Your Spouse A Happy Homesteader

Is Your Spouse A Happy Homesteader

Happy Homesteader

I remember the day that when I told my wife that I wanted to start looking and researching on how to live off the grid and become a homesteader. The look I got was a look that I had never seen her show before “The Are You Nuts Look”. I believe that when someone goes to their soul-mate and brings up the idea of homesteading they probably receive the same look.

Why is that

I believe that a lot of people have the misconception that homesteading is the same as what people see on the television show American Preppers. This is what my wife thought when I brought the idea up to her. She was under the assumption that I had lost my mind and was planning to prepare and hunker down for the zombie apocalypse. This was not my thoughts at all.

For me it was not too hard to explain to my wife what my thoughts were on homesteading since I have a sister that has been homesteading for about thirty years. I was able to show and explain to my wife that we needed to make some lifestyle changes in order to save money, be less dependent on others and the government and be more self-sufficient. This did appeal to her, from that point forward we set out a road-map to help guide us to a lifestyle of living off the grid.

Set realistic goals

Just like I stated above homesteading is a lifestyle change for the family and it needs to be approached on a gradual basis especially if your spouse is skeptical. My wife was born and raised in the Miami area so you could say she is a city slicker at heart. Where we live now is very conducive to living off the grid. But it has been a gradual adjustment in order for my wife not to get overwhelmed with a major change to her lifestyle.

Since my wife was a city girl the concept of having work done on the homestead was just a matter of making a phone call to a contractor. This was one of the first changes I had to break her of. Over the past five years she has gone from city girl to a girl that has used almost every power tool to man plus she has driven backhoes, graders, and many styles of tractors. It was a gradual metamorphous but in five years she has come a long ways.

Be open minded

One of the lessons I had to learn was to be open minded and listen when my wife said “NO”. Homesteading is a lot like a hobby along with it being a lifestyle change. Everything does not need to be done immediately and burn yourself out working from sun up to sun down seven days a week. When my wife said NO to cutting down seventy five trees in one weekend I did not take it well but I listened to her and I am sure it save my back from getting injured. When she did not allow me to cut down the huge trees up against the house but to hire it done I am sure that she saved our home from damage of a tree falling the wrong way onto the house. Listen to your spouse they may save you from getting injured or causing major property damage that will cost you more to repair than it would have if you hired the work done.

Conclusion

Homesteading can be fun, relaxing, financially rewarding and enjoyable as long as you and your partner are both on the same page. Do not try to do this alone if you are in a relationship and the other person is not on board. If you are in the beginning phases of homesteading, sit down and express your feelings to your partner and work on goals together and make sure that the both of you are on the same map of where you want this lifestyle change to go.

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Posted by Tom in Homestead
Raising Chickens In The Backyard For The Beginner

Raising Chickens In The Backyard For The Beginner

Raising chickens for beginners

Chickens are great for people that are looking to get back to nature. My family and I love nature and we love living in small town USA in the heart of central Florida. Chickens can be great pets, supply you with an ample supply of eggs, can be a great source of meat when need be, and can add a little extra income to the family if you decide to sell the eggs.

At our home we have nine chickens at the present time. They range from two months old to five months old. We started this batch of chickens from when they were one week old. We built our own coop and chicken run from scratch and it cost us about $150.00 and then I put on another chicken run to give the hens more room to move around when we are not home. This cost about another $50.00. So for $200.00 we have a large hen house and two chicken runs for them to play around in.

Disclaimer: I am not a chicken expert; my family and I am novice at raising chickens.

Raising chicken from babies

When we purchase our chicks I waited until I could purchase then when they were sexed. This means that there is a very good chance that I will not be purchasing a rooster. Where I live my neighbors probably would not enjoy hearing a rooster at sun up or any other time of the day. I have been fortunate so far that I have not brought home a rooster yet. Where I purchase my chicks I always ask to make sure that they feel confident that there are no roosters in the mix.

Chickens first few weeks

For the first three to four weeks after they come home we keep the chicks in a large rubber made storage container, depending how many you bring home will determine how large of a container you will need. They are way too young to put in the coop when they first arrive at home. While in the storage container I have a bed of pine shavings or shredded newspaper about two to three inches thick for them to run around on and to sleep on at night. Being here in Florida we do not need any heat lamp for them to stay warm but depending where you live you may need to purchase one to help keep them warm till they are a couple months old.

Chicken feed

For the first three months chickens need what is called chicken starter food or sometimes called starter crumbles. I personally purchase starter crumbles that has additional nutrients mixed in for healthier chickens. Most starter crumbles contain about twenty percent protein. Starter crumbles can be purchased in both medicated and unmediated varieties; I personally use the medicated formula. Chickens can get an intestinal disease very easily that can be deadly and this is where the medicated feed comes in to help protect the chicks from catching this deadly disease.

When chicks get about eight weeks old then I switch them to grower chicken feed which contains less protein usually around 16 – 18 percent protein. I will keep them on this till they reach about 18 weeks old, this chicken feed is not medicated.

When the chickens reach about 18 plus weeks old I will switch them to layer feed. Layer feed is 16 – 18 percent protein but it also contains calcium the calcium is for helping with eggshell production.

I may catch some flak from some of you readers out there but I do give my girls cracked corn with their feed, about a 50/50 mixture. I have done this with all my hens from the time they reach about four weeks old till present. We also give them treats like meal worms and food scraps from the dinner table. We are not production farmers and we do have good solid and healthy chickens that are spoiled.

Chicken treats

You will see all over the internet about giving your chickens treats. Some people are in favor of giving them treats and others will say that it is not good for their diet. In our home we do give treats to our girls. Treats can range from various items but we give ours insects that we come across in the yard or we give them dried meal worms that we purchase at our feed supplier.

Chicken eggs

There is a question that I get asked all the time, “do I need to have a rooster in order to have eggs”? The answer is simple – NO! If you are wanting to increase your flock by having baby chicks from eggs then you will need to have a rooster, but No rooster is needed for just having eggs. The first time that I went to cook an egg from one of my chickens I could not believe how much richer and tastier it was than the eggs that I use to purchase at the store. You will really love the eggs that your girls will leave you when you start raising your own chickens.

You’re yard

If your families are the type that have a manicured lawn you may think twice about having chickens. Chickens will destroy a yard in no time if they are left free to run around. Chickens love to dig, just like dogs. Chickens will scratch and dig everywhere looking for insects they love to take dust baths. Now don’t let this discourage you from raising chickens, there are ways to keep them contained from ripping apart your lawn.

Now if you are like us and don’t care as much about our backyard as we do our front then chickens can be your best friend. You see chickens eat anything and everything, our back yard has a tremendous amount of weeds, ants and other insects. Our girls feel like they are in heaven when we let them out to run around, they love eating the weeds, and digging up any hills but we do have to be careful because they will eat other things that are not has healthy for them like trash.

My babies

Many of you may think that I am a little crazy but you will see if you decide to raise chickens you will get attached to them like your own children. You will find yourself naming them and talking to them just like your children and of course you will spoil them.

Raising chickens is not rocket science but it does take a little trial and error before you figure out what is best for your girls. Just like having children, you can read books and get advice from people but the best way to find out what to do is just jump right in and go for it. Here are some good resources for getting started raising your first flock of chickens.

       

 

 

Posted by Tom in chickens, Homestead
Skills and Tools Needed To Survive While Homesteading

Skills and Tools Needed To Survive While Homesteading

Homesteading Skills

The family that homesteads together stays together. Homesteading tasks go from sun up to sun down and there are many chores that need to be completed every day. From checking the chickens to pulling weeds in the garden to mowing the pasture there are always things that need to be done. I find in today culture kids don’t know how to do anything manually. If it comes to technology they are great but when it comes to checking air in a tire or the oil on a car they don’t have a clue what to do. This is so sad to see in our young people today….

Chores and Task

Chores around a homestead can turn into larger jobs that require more skill and talent then many of us have. Also some of these jobs require tools and equipment that we may not be familiar with. If that is the case we need to tackle these jobs with a positive attitude and get the job done. Many of these jobs require us to get a little greasy or dirty but if you cannot find money in the budget to get the work done by a professional then you will have to do some research and figure out how to repair whatever is broken. What you don’t want to do is leave the job or task for another day, that day may never come and the repair could lead into creating other issues.

Be Proactive

If you are a homesteader you should have some working knowledge of tools, equipment and be a self-thinker. For example when my hot water heater died, I did not call the plumber to come and replace it, I googled how to repair and replace the heating elements myself. This task saved me several hundred dollars. When I needed to run electric out to my pole barn that I built I did some more research and did the work myself and again it saved me several hundred of dollars.

Mechanical Skills

There may be a day when we wake up and clock has changed back to the 1800’s. The power grid may be down, technology may be fried and we may have to fend for ourselves. Now would be a good time for the fathers in the homes take some time and teach your kids how to do simple things around the house and garage like changing the oil on the car, check the air in the tires of the car, change a tire and put on a spare, tune up a car, do some gardening, and so on. Since today we still have electric and technology no time is better than the present to teach your children some mechanical skills.

Sewing

What happen to the days when mothers taught their children how to sew and knit? I remember on cold winter days my mother taught me how to run a sewing machine, how to quilt, how to make clothes, how to fix holes in jeans, and how to replace buttons on a shirt.

Sewing takes some basic skills and the right tools but it can be a world of fun and when need be it could be a dire survival skill that everyone will wish they knew how to do.

Cooking

Everyone knows how to eat! But does everyone know how to make or cook a meal? I remember when my daughter got married she had no idea how to cook. I worked all the time so I did not have the time to teach her and her mother was too lazy to teach her.

Cooking Together

When push comes to shove you will need to know some cooking basics, you may even have to know how to go catch a live rabbit or live chicken and dress it and cook it with some vegetables from the garden. If you don’t know how to cook, you may want to pick up some recipe books and start practicing.

These are just a few of the skills that you will need to know in order to survive homesteading or worse living off the grid. We will be talking about more of these task’s and chores in later articles and if you have other ideas please pass them along in the comments section.

Posted by Tom in Homestead