Inside: When a pile of tomatoes are ready to be worked with, it is so important to know how to peel tomatoes quickly and effieciently. Here are 6 different ways to get that peel off those tomatoes!
Confession: One year I didn’t peel my tomatoes…it seemed like an impossible job with so many tomatoes piled on the counter. I was running out of time and I didn’t want them to spoil. So I canned them.
They made yummy tomato soup sauce. And when it was time to make the soup? Well, the end result was small rolled up tomato skins throughout the entire soup. Still edible (and very yummy!) but not the desired outcome.
Now I know how to quickly handle those pesky peels with no problems! And it is so easy!
Without further ado, let’s peel some tomatoes!
There are several ways to peel tomatoes. They all are very good options worth considering!
Let’s explore those options. Each way will be broken down into a step by step process of how to peel tomatoes!
1• Peel tomatoes using boiling and freezing water.
This is a great way to peel bulk tomatoes because quite a few can be boiling and cooling at the same time. The peels come off very easily. The main thing to watch for is not to cook them too long because you don’t want to be peeling cooked, soft tomatoes.
Hull the tomatoes. In the clips below I didn’t hull them until after taking off the peels. It works either way!
Boil water. And place the tomatoes in the water for 45-60 seconds.
Place the tomatoes in FREEZING cold water. Adding ice cubes to the water may help too. We don’t keep ice trays in our freezer so it works just fine without them.
Peel the tomatoes. The skins should slip right off.
Pile them up and amaze everyone with your speed and awesomeness. Now the peeled tomatoes can be used for canning, making soups, sauces and anything you can think of!
2• Freeze tomatoes.
When life gets hectic this is a great option because it allows you to come back to them later when life is less busy.
Wait…when is life less busy…?
Anyways, it means you can finish canning or freezing the other garden produce before it spoils and then come back to the tomatoes later.
Freeze the tomato(es).
If you have a lot of tomatoes to work with, put the tomatoes on a cookie sheet, not touching, in the freezer. (Later, when they are frozen, they can be put in gallon size freezer bags for a more condensed storage.)
When the time has come to work with the tomatoes, take them out of the freezer and run them under hot water. The skin will loosen up.
Peel the tomatoes!
Hull the tomatoes.
3• Hold over an open flame.
What a great way to peel tomatoes! It is fast, easy and doesn’t cook the tomatoes at all! (Unless they are held over the flame too long.) Be ready for the tomato to “pop”. It scared me the first time. But the peel splits in several places and then is very easy to peel off.
Stab the tomato with a fork.
Turn on the gas stove burner to a medium flame.
Put the tomato over the flame and turn it as it starts to “pop” (don’t jump!). The skin will start to crack. Don’t forget to get the top and bottom areas of the tomato. And also don’t cook the tomato too long. When the skin looks loose, has a yellower look to it and has split, it is ready.
Peel off the skin!
Hull the tomato!
4• Rub knife over tomato.
No extra bowls or water needed. This probably took the longest time out of all the options but it worked! The peel came off very paper thin but also wasn’t as loose to pull off as the other options.
Rub the knife over the peel very firmly without squishing the tomato. Be sure to get all the sides and top and bottom.
Test to see if the peel pulls off easily.
If the peel doesn’t come off easily, rub some more!
Peel off skin.
5• Cut off peel with knife.
The master chef can show off! A great way to get it done if you don’t mind the occasional wasting of some of the tomato when it’s cut too deep. It’s fast, efficient and requires precise cutting skills.
Hull the tomato.
Depending on the size of the tomato, cut into fourths or fifths.
Very carefully cut off the peel staying as close to the skin as possible. The less waste the better!
This is a great way to peel and cut the tomatoes all at once! The end result is a cut up, somewhat liquified tomato, but for some recipes, that’s exactly what you want!
Cut tomato in half.
Gently push tomato half into the grater.
Towards the end, being very careful not to cut any fingers, push the skin into the grater and grate off the remaining tomato.
Peeling tomatoes is easy! And when they are peeled you are one step closer to having canned stewed tomatoes, soups, and sauces all winter long!
How do you peel yours? Are there any other ways to add to the list?
Are you curious about how to milk a goat? Watch the full unedited goat milking video below and then follow the step by step instructions including pictures.
Are you curious what it takes to milk a goat?
Watch the video below as Delci takes you through the milking process from beginning to end including:
• Cleaning before milking
• Using a strip cup
• How milking helped her carpel tunnel symptoms
• What abnormalities to watch for
• Pro tips to make it easier on goat and handler
• Step by step process
• Check out our FREE resource page
With no edits to the actual 5-minute goat milking video, you can see exactly what to expect from a reliable milking doe and how long it takes to milk a goat by hand.
How to Milk a Goat by Hand [Video]:
How to Milk a Goat [Step by Step with Pictures]
After the step by step process listed below, there will be more details provided about why each step is important.
STEP 1: PREPARE TO MILK
Prepare the area by gathering the grain or goat treat of choice. My goats are partial and will only eat rolled barley. Other options would be alfalfa pellets, organic grain, hay, or a mix of grains. I will also be joining the fodder movement soon and will begin feeding my goats barley fodder.
Also, prepare and lay out your rag and ointment or cleaner of choice for wiping down the udder.
Have your milking bucket and strip cup ready and easily accessible.
If you are new to milking, being prepared for when the goat is on the stand will help you not get flustered and nervous. And being ready to milk from beginning to end will help you feel more confident.
STEP 2: CLEAN THE GOAT’S UDDER
Let your goat into the milking area and onto the stand. Clean the goat’s udder thoroughly, focusing on the tip of the teat where the bacteria would be residing in the opening of the teat. Shaving the goat’s udder may also be necessary and make it easier to milk.
STEP 3: USE THE STRIP CUP
Your next step will be to use your strip cup. There are several options to choose from. You can simply use a separate small cup or pail or you can use the strip cup milking hack that I use. It makes it easy to collect the first milk and then immediately continue milking into the main milking pail.
Squirt 1-3 squirts of the first milk into the strip cup.
STEP 4: BEGIN MILKING!
Your doe will begin with a full, tight udder.
Begin milking by squeezing with the thumb and first finger as high up as possible on the udder.
Trap the milk with those fingers.
And then squeeze the remaining fingers while continuing to trap the milk. This will force the milk out of the teat.
The first squeezes may result in nothing coming out but repeat the process again to open up the orifices (hole) in the teat that allows the milk to flow out.
Repeat this process with both hands. A back and forth, steady rhythm.
STEP 5: GENTLY WORK OUT REMAINING MILK
As you are reaching the end and when the udder feels empty, gently punch or work the remaining milk down into the teats (like the kids do!) to release the next let down and to ensure that the doe is milked out.
The udder will now look empty and wrinkled with no milk remaining.
STEP 6: USE UDDER BALM
Apply udder balm to the udder and the teats.
And that’s a wrap!
STEP 7: CHILL
The milk that is. Well…you may actually need to chill while your goat finishes every.last.bite.of.grain. But the most important part of keeping milk tasting yummy and fresh is by chilling it as quickly as possible. And keeping it in a fridge that is very cold will ensure that it remains fresh for up to ten days.
More Information on How to Milk a Goat
The Milking Stand
It is not absolutely necessary, but a milk stand may make it an easier process. There are three ways to milk a goat:
- Catching the goat’s head in a head catch (or tying them up) and sitting on a bucket (or stool) set on the ground and milking the goat from their left or right side while they are standing on the ground.
- Use a milk stand and a head catch and milk from the left or right side of the goat.
- Use a milk stand and a head catch and milk from the back side of the goat.
Whichever way is chosen, is solely based on what is most comfortable for the milker. There is no right or wrong way.
Cleaning a Goat Before Milking
This cleaning process is so important. Your goat may have been laying down in the straw or area where there is manure or urine. Bacteria may find a way to the opening of the teat. If the goat’s udder is not cleaned thoroughly, the risk for foodborne illnesses becomes possible. These would be like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria.
Wiping down the udder also releases oxytocin, which stimulates letdown and the release of milk.
There are many homemade solutions that you can use to clean the udder. I personally use a very watered down iodine solution.
Trimming the udder and sometimes even long leg hairs may also be necessary because the hair can get in the way of your hands during milking but also can carry bacteria that may contaminate the milk.
Why Use a Strip Cup?
The strip cup is also an important part of the milking process. Although cleaning the goat will sterilize the outside of the udder, if there are any bacteria inside in the first milk, the strip cup will capture this bacteria, and keep it separated and then this milk will be disposed of.
The strip cup does two things:
- Collects any of the bacteria that may be present in the first streams of milk
- And allows you to check the milk to make sure that there are no abnormalities, blood or clots that would indicate mastitis or any serious issues that would need to be addressed immediately.
During the Milk Process
The step by step instructions above show what TO DO. But there are a few reminders and things NOT TO DO.
• Do not squeeze, pull or yank on the teats or udder because this could cause damage. Even in the frustration of things not working, it is important to not cause unwanted damage in a moment of frustration.
• Even in the frustration of things not working, it is important to remain calm. The doe will pick up on emotions.
• It is also important to understand that there are different reasons for how long (or short!) it takes to milk a goat:
• The size of the does udder
• And the size of her teats
• The size of the orifices (holes) in the goat’s teats
• The handlers experience
• And how well the doe behaves on the stand
When you first begin milking, you may find that your arms feel weak. But with practice, your arms will be strengthened, just as muscles are in a workout program. So keep at it!
Also, if for whatever reason, you cannot milk with both hands, there is nothing wrong with using one hand to milk out one side and then switching to the other side to milk with the same hand.
Always be aware of distractions and look for ways to eliminate them. Flies can be frustrating and annoying to both you and your goat. If they are a problem, use a fan during milking.
Or if there are goats with nimble noses, who can open unlocked doors, remember to lock the door after the milking doe is let in. There is nothing more distracting than the other goat running at you and the milk stand vying for the grain while you are trying to milk! (Ask me how I know!) 😉
As you begin to learn the mannerisms of your doe, you will also be able to read her better over time. And this helps because you can (usually) tell when they are going to kick or step forward into the bucket. But not always! Just pay attention so that you can be ready to stop a leg or foot with your wrist. It is so very frustrating to have a dirty hoof in the milk or the bucket tipped over.
At the End of Milking and Using Udder Balm
A doe in milk is continually making milk, so it is almost impossible to “strip out” every last drop because once you stop, they are already making more milk! I have never had a problem with mastitis, and although I do milk out what I can, I do not pull on the teats in any way to get out “every last drop.”
All does are different. Some does will have an udder that milks out very easily and it is very easy to tell when she is done. Other goats require a bit of massaging or “bumping” to get the remaining milk. With each milking, you will understand and realize which type of goat you have.
Using udder balm or teat dip ensures that the opening of the teat is protected from bacteria entering. The teat end and streak canal remain open for up to an hour after milking and it makes it easier for bacteria to enter. It is a good practice to feed your goats after milking so that they are standing for a period of time after milking which allows time for the streak canal to close.
Udder balm will also soothe the skin and help keep the udder from becoming chapped or irritated.
You also may find that one hand is stronger than the other. My right hand is stronger than my left, so I usually finish that one first. 🙂
Chilling the Milk
The chill process is really an important part of this process. Get the milk in the bucket, get it inside and in the fridge. Many people chill the milk in the freezer for half an hour before putting it in the fridge. The faster the milk can be chilled the better it will taste and the longer it will last.
Around the world, goat milk is the most favored and most drank milk there is. And we shouldn’t be surprised: there are astounding benefits to drinking goat milk.
But this also shows that many, many people milk a goat every day…and it can be done by you too! There are no reasons why you shouldn’t get a goat and although there may be some nervous butterflies the first few milkings, they will pass and both you and your goat friend will be a pro at the milking process from beginning to end.
With every milking you get under your belt, the seven milking steps mentioned above will become natural instincts and you won’t think twice about how you get it done.
For the small homestead, a milking goat is an excellent option for several reasons:
• Their size is optimal for small spaces
• Their poop is less and smaller than a cow’s
• They eat considerably less hay
• Their milk production is the perfect amount for one family
• They are sweet and considerably loving and become a member of the family very quickly
Are you convinced yet that you need a goat? If not, you can become convinced even more: Reasons You Need a Goat . ← Hop on over there and you will find 12 reasons you need a goat. You can thank me later 😉
Inside: 5 best steps for weed control when your garden is full of weeds. Gardening is hard work, so help yourself take back control, it's not too late. Find more gardening tips here.
Finally. The last seed was safely covered in the moist dark soil. It made all the work seem worth it, even with the help of two toddlers…who…well…made it a tiny bit…ack! Who’s to be kidding?? A HUGE bit harder.
But then there were swimming lessons to rush to and the warm weather made life just…BUSY.
And back in the garden two weeks later…ah…there’s a corn and a bean…way under there. Under the canopy of thistle, lamb’s quarter, a vine of some sort and the borage, which, truly, has gotten out of hand. And what in the world is that new weed??
Oh! What a mess! How could it have possibly gotten so out of hand?
Who has time to spend every evening from eight to ten weeding a garden only to turn around and have it taken over again almost immediately?
A garden needs to produce as much food as possible with the least amount of work. Is gardening hard work? Oh yes! But with a few weed control management techniques, it can be almost set on automation…the weed control at least. Because once it starts producing, a whole new set of work commences, now doesn’t it? Harvesting, canning, storing….eating…
The first thing that needs to take place is a complete mind switch about weeds.
They are valuable and many of them are very edible and even quite nutritious. They have saved our land from east to west coast in the years of drought and when the wind assails.
It would be well worth the time to read this article: Why Does My Garden Have Weeds? Here’s Why and How to Fix It. The answer may be surprising.
Of course, many people are avid weed lovers. Dandelions are great in salads, soaps, and for the bees, they are absolutely a necessity. And many people use thistle and burdock roots, and nettle makes a nutritious tea. The uses for weeds is endless, but in the garden, they don’t need to take over.
Without weed control, weeds will starve vegetables for sunlight and will take the water and nutrients needed elsewhere for their own use.
After the treacherous weeds have staked a claim in the garden, what can be done?
First off, there are a few things that need to be done and understood BEFORE the gardening year begins to help with weed control from the start.
• Implement the no-till gardening method.
This is a key factor in weed control. Tilling stirs up the soil and brings to the surface weed seeds buried deep down. There are many other detriments to tilling as well, so take a moment and read the article provided above before leaving.
• Companion plant.
When planting, make the most of companion planting and keep the spacing between plants as close as possible. The green tint and shade from the leaves tell weeds seeds, “don’t germinate, this space is taken.”
• Utilize cover crops.
This technique has many benefits as well, including weed suppression.
Know when to water and if possible, don’t water the weeds. This can be accomplished by using a drip tape or soaker hose.
And finally, mulch until mulch can’t be mulched another inch! Read more below.
That all seems fairly easy, right? It will be such a relief when the weeds are under control and it’s not a battle for all vegetables to survive.
Here are 5 best steps to take for weed control when the garden is full of weeds:
Just a little bit. I understand. It’s overwhelming. Sit down, lay your head on your knees and take a deep breath. You can do this.
• Gather mulch, find a pair of scissors and put on the garden gloves.
The mulch is the key ingredient to all weed problems! There are a handful of different choices to choose from, so do the research and stock up on the available mulch in the area or what suits the soil best. Read more about mulching choices here. And don’t put on the gloves if a dirt manicure under the fingernails isn’t a big deal. 😉
• Carefully weed around the vegetables.
Finding and locating the rows and individual vegetables will make it easier when the mulch is laid down. And it is always easier to pull weeds when they are at their smallest, so hopefully, that’s the case, but if not…
• Use the scissors.
The scissors or pruning loppers can be used for the weeds that have really taken off and are quite large. The weeds can be pulled but leaving the roots in the ground adds organic material to the soil and will help break up compacted soil. But also, it’s best to cut off the tops before they go to seed and spread even more. When deciding to pull or cut off a weed, make the decision for what’s best in the current situation.
And truly, don’t be stingy. The ground we stand on is modest and deeply desires for its top soil to be covered. This will be the key to a weed free gardening year. Watch a detailed mulching video here.
The benefits of mulching are something that really shouldn’t be missed. It keeps the soil cool in the heat of summer. Underneath, the ground will stay moist from the protection of the hot sun and dry wind. And for the sake of the concerns right now, it will keep those pesky weeds under control.
And it’s never too late to take back control.
Read more about this subject here:
Inside: Cover crops are underutilized and misunderstood in the smaller vegetable garden. Understand what they are, which to choose and how to use them. Find more gardening articles in our Gardening Tips resource page.
I had a cover crop alright. A cover crop of charlie horse, that awful stinkweed, and a sticky, scratchy viney…weed thing…of some sort.
Oh, and grass. Grass, who’s roots weaved in and out and under every last bean, corn, and pea I had planted. That grass just knew that if I pulled them, it would pull up my plants too.
It was as if it were saying, “I dare you.”… [Read More]
Inside: Mulching just may be the saving grace of the gardening year. Find out mulching options, what it does for the soil and the best techniques. Find more gardening tips here!
What if gardening could be made easier by implementing one simple technique?
This technique would make your garden:
• Have fewer weeds
• Be more drought-resistant
And if done properly, your garden would allow you to:
• Spend less time watering
• And fighting pest problems
Seriously, it’s true!
And what would this one technique be?
There are so many advantages of mulching!
My first years of gardening went like this: begging my husband to till, weeds, 5-foot tall quack grass. And trying desperately to find actual veggies that *really* were planted. Amazingly, I was able to get quite a bit of vegetables, despite my lack of knowledge.
But! There is a better way.
First off, I implemented the “no-till” gardening method. And what a difference! This difference was first noted when there wasn’t a nagging war to get the tilling done in the spring! 😉 But there are so many other benefits! I’ll let the no-till gardening post do all the explaining.
Worried that not tilling will increase your workload? Please keep reading. Fears will be squelched!
I also began to understand why my garden had weeds in the first place. If your garden has weeds, there are very good reasons they are taking root! And you need to know why: Why does my garden have weeds?
There is also a very important tool that all gardeners should implement: cover crops. It has made an amazing difference in my garden!
I also started mulching with straw. Deep straw.
Several different types of mulching materials can be used.
• Organic mulches (formerly living material)
• Chopped leaves
• Straw or hay (weed free)
• Grass clippings
• Wood chips
• Shredded bark
• Pine needles
• Inorganic mulches
• Black plastic
• Geotextiles (landscape fabrics)
Both of the options, organic or inorganic, will keep weeds subdued. And there would be different reasons to choose one or the other.
(The Three Cardinal Rules of mulching below!)
(Take a look at the free stuff first though 😉 )
Advantages of organic mulch:
• Breaks down and decomposes
• Helps to enrich the soil
• Helps to retain moisture in the soil
• Encourages earthworm activity
• Prevents soil compaction
• Some mulches, like wood chips and sawdust, deplete nitrogen in the soil
• The mulch retains moisture and can slow the soil from warming up in the spring
• Left touching the stems or bark of a plant or tree, mulch will rot the base of plants and may also encourage rodents to nest in the material
• Mulch may also harbor slugs and snails
Know when to water your garden: The Finger Test
Advantages of inorganic mulch:
• Black plastic, for instance, will help warm the soil and keep heat loving plants toasty, even during the night. In fact, the soil will be about 3 degrees warmer
• Keeps produce from rotting
• Keeps produce clean
• Helps to retain moisture in the soil
• With careful care and storage, it can be reused
• Rain and water cannot permeate the material, so a soaker hose would be used for watering. Oxygen cannot penetrate through the plastic, so roots of plants and shrubs can be damaged long term as their roots grow closer to the surface. Shallow roots do not withstand drought or extreme temperatures well.
• Oxygen cannot penetrate through the plastic, so roots of plants and shrubs can be damaged long term as their roots grow closer to the surface. Shallow roots do not withstand drought or extreme temperatures well.
• Plastic is not biodegradable and is made from petroleum products
• Harder to find a place to recycle plastic
• Landscape fabric has some drawbacks as well. There are several things that can go wrong with these fabrics: roots from below can grow up into the fabric and weed seeds can germinate on top of the fabric. Both of these problems will cause the fabric to rip when weeds are pulled or the fabric is removed.
There are a few “cardinal rules” to mulching.
If piles of materials are going to be gathered, it only makes sense that the materials are used to the best of their ability. It makes no sense to put down mulch only to have weeds and grass keep poking their pesky heads up.
Rule #1: weed first. This can be done several ways. The weeds can be pulled or the tops cut off just below the surface. The tops (before they have gone to seed of course), would be used as mulch and the roots would add organic material to the soil as it breaks down.
My garden area was grass…5-foot tall quack grass to be exact…before I turned it into my garden area. If I don’t pull every last bit of grass roots from my planting areas, there will be 5-foot tall grass growing faster than you can say “summer!” It’s dense, fast growing and would choke out any vegetables planted. So I’ve chosen to remove those pesky roots as much as I can.
Rule #2: lay down 4-6 inches of mulch to discourage the growth of new weeds. Another option to consider: lay down cardboard as the first layer and then add mulch on top of the cardboard.
You may also find that many weeds and grass can grow…seemingly endlessly…under any mulch or cardboard. When the mulch is lifted up, the plant can be followed to its beginnings and usually pulled rather easily. But that fact right there shows how desperately weeds and grass want to live another day to see the sunlight one more time.
Rule #3: If there are seeds or perennial weeds or grass in the garden bed, put down a layer of newspaper over the first layer of mulch and then lay several more inches of mulch over the newspaper.
The thickness of the mulch will directly impact how many weeds are able to survive. They lose energy as they are pushing up through the mulch and usually die before they are able to reach the surface.
When using the no-till gardening method, mulching will be the saving grace of any garden.
But it goes beyond just keeping a garden weed-free. Mulch feeds the microorganisms in the soil. And the more abundant life there is down there, the more “food” (mulch) they will need. But the vegetables and soil will be all the healthier from the abundant life, weed free, moist and cool soil during the hot summer months.
Inside: Garden watering is the most important aspect of your productive year of produce. Learn how to know when to water your garden, the signs of overwatering and 6 tips for successful watering. Find more gardening tips here!
I yawned and twisted the spicket to turn off the water that had been spraying on the garden all night. I smiled as a robin danced in the sparkles and I heard my feet squish on the soil as I walked over to look at my growing jungle.
I watered once a week through the night with the idea that it was a deep watering that the plants needed, but I never checked to see if they actually NEEDED the water.
Seems like a pretty elementary thought though: water if the ground needs it and not on a schedule.
I’ve learned so much since then and now only water my garden after checking to see if there is a need for water.… [Read More]
“Come on! Let’s go! We have five minutes to get everything loaded!”
The inevitable catastrophe has happened. You saw it coming and prepared. Ready with your survival tools, you moved to a secure location with everything you needed.
You live happily ever after and raise your family and never see another living soul again.
Or, you live in fear for the remainder of your life, always looking over your shoulder, waiting and wondering when the first and last looters will come and take away all you’ve so carefully put together.… [Read More]
INSIDE: Heirloom seeds are the key to our future. Nine reasons you MUST plant heirloom seeds, the truth about how much they really cost. Recommendations where to buy.
Heirloom seeds are the key to our future.
There are several keys of course: bees, teaching our children how to grow and eat real food, learning how to effectively manage our gardens through no-till gardening and knowing how to eliminate weeds by giving the soil what it’s crying out for.
But without seeds, none of this is effective or entirely impossible!… [Read More]
The years seems to go by so quickly but the winter months linger and sometimes the hope of spring comes in a tiny, green spark of perseverance from a newly planted seed that reminds us that new life is just around the corner.
After winter lingers, spring speeds by as the last snow melts, the flowers begin to break through the soil and the warmer breezes blow. And for garden lovers, our thoughts quickly turn to the coming summer days in the garden surrounded by homegrown goodness.… [Read More]
Garden Weeds: Why? Your garden will thrive when you understanding WHY it has weeds. Eliminate them naturally while working with nature.Find more gardening articles in our Gardening Tips resource page.
It felt like I was surrounded by sand and mirages as I looked down my nose, past the bead of sweat reaching its tip.
My head and thick red-hair were stuffed into a straw hat, protecting me from the sun but making me hot, itchy and somewhat delusional.
I glared at the dandelion at my feet. The one of many that had protruded between my beans, corn, peas…anywhere they felt comfortable. Which must have been everywhere. I was surrounded. And this must be the year of all years for Canadian Thistle, I thought. Where do they all come from? One day out of the garden, meant a takeover of weeds.
Inside: No-till Garden: "Forget everything you know about gardening and start over." 5 reasons to do a no-till garden and what tilling does to your soil. Find more gardening tips here!
This last year I was told, rather bluntly, “Forget everything you know about gardening and start over” and I haven’t forgotten those words.
It wasn’t only that those words sent a spike of curiosity up my spine, but the reasoning behind them.
I was learning about a new method of gardening: the no-till method.
Now, my husband jumped right in on the idea, “No tilling? OK! You don’t have to convince me!” His job each spring was to till my garden and my job was to…nag him…until it was done. 😉 There is only a limited amount of time in Montana before summer is in full heat and snow is just around the corner, you know? So if tilling was in the plans, it had to be done…without delay.
Before I continue, I must stop to encourage you to read this article: Why Does My Garden Have Weeds? Here’s Why and How to Fix it. It’s the missing link to this article and to truly understand what is happening in your soil, you need to understand why there are weeds in the first place. But carry on with the article below…and then come back 😉
I groaned and rubbed my hands down my face in exasperation.
“Where does it all go?”
This “It” being money.
Having any money is like:
…sand running through your fingers.
…or like laying out dollar bills on the picnic table in a gale force wind.
…or like having a wad of cash fall out of your back pocket into the toilet before you realize it…and flushing.
“It” comes and goes so quickly, doesn’t it? And when you desire a homestead you need money to get started. If you are already homesteading, you need money to keep going.… [Read More]
It’s that time of year…
Well…it’s that time of year all year long, isn’t it? The time to sit down, find an old envelope to scribble on and figure out how to make your property, small or large, profitable.
Keep scrolling! Below you will find access to FREE “Projected Cost” and “Profitable Homestead” Worksheets with over 90 Ideas to help make your homestead profitable! ↓
Sometimes the chicken scratch on that old envelope makes complete sense and works out perfectly…wait, when has that ever happened?
And many times it’s back to the drawing board.
It can’t be that hard to get this homesteading thing figured out, can it?
According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. It’s wings are far too small to lift its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway. Because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible.~Bee Movie
It’s troubled me that bees work so hard and live such a short life. But maybe my perspective is slightly skewed. My bees cruise over the beautiful Montana landscape and sniff flowers all day, and then go home to a huge family that works insanely well together and they.make.HONEY! For the love of honey…
Honey is so delicious and they spend their entire lives focused on honey! … [Read More]
There are a few things I wish I had known before getting bees and one of them was the cost of those little creatures. If you are contemplating getting bees you should be well aware of what you will need to have ready and what the whole endeavor will cost.
Here you will find a complete list of what you will need to be ready for your delightful bees.… [Read More]
Inside: 7 things to consider and two things you need adequate of before owning bees. Here is the "class schedule" of what you can expect to learn in the first years. Enjoy more articles in our beekeeping resources page.
I carefully and craftily came up with some beeautiful, honey-laced pleadings to convince my husband we needed bees and we got two hives of bees with the help of my bee mentor.
It has been such a wonderful experience but looking back, there were a few things my husband wished he knew about bees before owning them and now I realize that I have my own list.
I’ve kept bees through two summers, one mild winter and one winter that was exceptionally cold. It has been wonderful and completely worth the effort, but there has been a steep learning curve and quite a few lessons learned that I had no idea were in the class schedule.
So here is the class schedule 😉 of what you can expect to learn in the first years of bee ownership:… [Read More]
I can not hide it. And I’m not ashamed. I love pallets.
If you walked into our very…rustic (that’s a good word for a dilapidated farm-house, right?) … house, your eyes would first see the built-in cabinet made with pallets and old barn wood. It has been a great addition in helping the chaos of our affectionately named “dog porch”.
And when you climb the stairs and enter the kitchen, your eyes will fall upon the fridge, oh, and the cabinets built to fit the area next to the fridge.
And soon, I will have redone all my kitchen cabinet doors to match, and I have an exciting plan for my desk that will also be a window seat area that will keep contained our future home schooling and business items.
See? You can’t just stop with one! 🙂
But there are a few things to know when working with pallets before you dive in. … [Read More]
Inside: Have you ever ask the question: How to weigh my goat? Here are four ways to weigh your goat and a FREE weight calculator will help you! This is one of many posts in our Raising Goats series.
You have goats, and you’re trying to figure out how much hay you need for the year and the silly equation asks for the total body weight of your goats!
How in the world do you figure out how much your goats weigh??
There are several ways you can go about figuring this out.
Inside: Do you know enough about goat feed? Use this FREE Hay Cost Calculator for Goats. How much hay do I need for my goat? This will help you make a plan and know how much hay to buy a year. This is one post of many from our Raising Goats resources.
I hope you are fortunate enough to own goats (presently or in the near future)! They are such a blessing! Not only are they good friends, but they provide delicious milk and the cutest kids!
But that doesn’t mean they don’t come without cost.
Although I haven’t done a thorough research on this for our own family, my suspicion is that we actually would save money if we bought milk from the store.
But I have a firm belief it is worth it in every way to own goats!
But first! Goat feed is an important first step to have in place before you own your first goats!
And if you already own goats, this calculator will help you figure out how many ton of hay you will need to get your goats through the year.
And if you already own goats, this calculator will help you figure out how many ton of hay you will need to get your goats through the year. … [Read More]