Showing posts from May, 2005

More strawberries, Cider stories and Red clover

Last weekend, I had a very relaxing time. Saturday was my day of rest. Although, I still did my usual cleaning and preparation of meals. I just didn't tackle any new projects. Sunday, instead of sleeping in, we got up early and with my neighbor went and picked at the strawberry patch. Actually, she invited me along, but when nick and I found out, we opted to take our car. She was leaving her kids at home this time.

We got there right at 8 and picked for an hour and a half. Nick and I picked two buckets each, which equaled about 12 pounds. We bought one bucket and with the others, the owner has this deal where if you pick for them, they will give you back a 1/3 of what you pick. So, we ended up with still alot of strawberries. Their prices are reasonable too. $1.00 a pound if you pick.

We wanted to save our money yet still enjoy the strawberries. Between the strawberries from the Amish farm, Joyce's and the strawberry patch, you'd think we'd have alot of strawberries, b…

strawberry picking is fun!

Last Monday, Nick and I went out to see my "Aunt" and "Uncle" in Rockville. Joyce invited us out to pick strawberries and to visit my cousin, Sandy who was in town. We had a good time. We stamped some cards and visited. The weather was warm. Nick even managed to get sunburn on his arms. I am suprised I didn't, since I wasn't even wearing anything to cover my neck. I just wore a baseball cap. I picked a lot of strawberries, but Joyce, Nick and Sandy all came out and helped too. I have several containers in the freezer waiting to be made into something, whether it be strawberry shortcake or strawberry jam. I am thankful they let me come out and pick! Thanks, Joyce and Duane!

Don't Throw Away! Freecycle it.

Today a lady came by and picked up my leftover garage sale items. I am a member of a yahoo group called Freecycle. It is an email list where people give away things that they no longer need for free. It saved me a trip into town to the thrift store. They have groups all over the U.S. You can either offer an item out or put a wanted ad in. The main website is: to search for your area.


Yesterday while walking to the post office I could smell a fragrance coming from these tiny flower buds that smelled so familiar to me only I couldn't think of what it was. It smelled so good! Well, I thought about it all day and still couldn't think of where I smelled it before, only that it was so comforting. So, when I walked to the post office again today I reached down and gathered some up. Oh, the scent!!

I took the bunch in and asked the postmaster my friend if she knew what it was. She knew right away, Chamomile! That's it! I love chamomile tea! So, on my way home I picked some and planted it in a pot. I hope it grows well as I would love to have chamomile tea whenever I want. Chamomile spreads like mint so hopefully by next year I'll have a big stash. I don't know if it's too late or not for this year, but next year for sure I want to have a bigger herb garden and have culinary, medicinal and aromatic herbs. A few ideas to grow them would be to get an …

The homesteader's most valuable resource...

It doesn't matter if you are the poorest SOB on the face of the planet, if you are a homesteader there is one thing that you have more of than you could ever use up.


We live in an age where folks think that everything should've been done yesterday. And I tell you what, that is probably the hardest attitude that I'm trying to overcome.

There are so many things that I want to do to our homestead, and I want them done now! But it is just not meant to be that way. I don't have the funds (or the desire) necessary to live that kind of life.

When weighing options for getting work done here so far, I've always been presented with two basic options. The "easy" way and the "hard" way.

Obviously the easy way entails paying someone else to do the work; whether paying for labor or renting equipment to use myself. But there's that key word -- "paying."

The hard way always means doing the work myself, often with materials scavenged from somewhere…

Stainless steel cleaner and dish soap

I went to Walmart the other day looking for a good all purpose cleaner. There was a specific one I was looking for that I had seen at Woods but they did not carry it. So, I began looking trying to find the right one. Just when I had about given up, (for there were too many to pick from) I glanced down and saw one called Orange Clean. It seems a long time ago I used one with a similar name to clean wood surfaces and I loved the way it worked. So I picked it up, bought it of course, and took it home. I couldn't wait to try it out. The label said it was for tubs, sinks, countertops, ovens, and more. It is the best all purpose cleaner I have used. I used to buy 409, but this is way better and it smells nice when you are cleaning. The best thing is that when I sprayed it into my stainless steel sink, it made the sink shine so beautifully and it has stayed shiny too.

Update 11/14/2012- Well, I can no longer find this cleaner anymore. At least not locally. So, I ordered a new bottle of k…

Pallets: A homesteader's best friend...

Businesses usually have to pay someone to haul away their old pallets. That means that they are ripe for the homesteader's picking! And the potential uses for them are without number.

I've been getting pallets from the newspaper that I work for. Tonight I put three full-size pallets together along with one half-pallet to form a compost bin.

What I did was simple. I took the slats off the back of the pallets, stood them on their ends and nailed them in place. The half-pallet simply slides in the front, which will allow us to remove it when we want to get the finished compost out.

But that's not by far the only thing you can do with them.

You can make fences out of them. Which will be one of the projects that we tackle in the near future.

You can construct sheds and woodsheds.

Anything you can imagine building with wood can probably be made out of pallets. And it'll be one heck of a lot cheaper than buying store bought lumber -- by which I mean free!

Update: It is now 20…

First official city wide garage sale

We had our first official city wide garage sale last week. The sale has been going on for the past few years, but we had never been a part of it. Someone asked me if it was worth it and if I planned to do it again next year. My answer was that I had this sale to rid myself of clutter I've accumulated over the past few years and that I hoped to not get myself in the same mess again.

Hopefully, by this time next year, I do not have any junk to get rid of because I do not have any junk, but if I slip into my old ways and gather more junk, then yes, I will be having a sale again. Perhaps though if I don't have any junk to sell, then I can bake cookies or sell some crafty things. I had wanted to do that last week but ran out of time to prepare. I wanted to make sure that I had everything set out to sell way ahead of time.

The sale went pretty good. I was suprised with the number of people that came on Thursday. The nearby city was having their city wide sale on Saturday so I knew t…