Texas





2/5/2016
Sometimes life’s events get in the way of our goals and aspirations in homesteading. This story is about how events in 2015 derailed our homestead activities and how in 2016 we’re trying to “get back on the horse”. We welcome your comments and advice.
2/2/2016
I hate putting chemicals on my skin, so I use an essential oil spray that has proven to be very effective for preventing mosquito and other bug bites. In the past couple years in the garden, none of us have been bitten. Even at a riverside campground in Louisiana, there were no mosquito bites.
1/28/2016
Yes, you can grow your own artichokes! If you have a growing season of 90 warm days.
1/27/2016
With a gallon of milk and a few steps, you can make two really great homemade cheeses.
1/22/2016
Making your own glace citrus peels is easy. You can save the peel from lemons, oranges, grapefruit and pomelos as you eat them. Just toss the peel into a zipper bag and keep in the refrigerator up to 4 days. I used Jacques Pepin’s method as guidance here.
1/20/2016
This pastry dough recipe can be made in 10 minutes and rest overnight in the refrigerator. It’s simple and easy to work with as you bake up your choice of American or European pastries, including Italian Panettone, Cinnamon-Pecan Sticky Buns, and Brioche Raisinee. Dough and pastry recipes included.
1/15/2016
You're recycling as much as you can, but have you ever wished to lower what goes into your recycling bin while reducing that landfill-bound trash, too? Here are 6 simple ways to live a more zero-waste life.
12/24/2015
Back in the early 1950s, my family moved to northern Kentucky. We had the great fortune to live just down the street from Louella Schierland, one of the contributing authors of the iconic Joy of Cooking. Mrs. Schierland gave my mother this recipe and I remember that these bourbon balls were stored in a coffee can in the refrigerator. I’ve made some changes to the original to avoid today’s GMOs. Makes about 40 treats.
12/21/2015
I found a recipe in the King Arthur Cookie Companion that I developed a little so that I can now gift my gluten-intolerant friends with delicious cookies. Homemade almond paste is best here, but store-bought will do. Freshly made, these cookies have chewy texture; after a few days, they become airy and crunchy. Just as delicious either way. This recipe makes about 30 two-inch cookies.
12/16/2015
My favorite, best cookie recipe just happens to actually be pretty healthy and a good choice for after-school snacks. I used to keep a tin in my office, available to anyone who hadn’t had time for lunch. They have enough protein, iron and whole grain to make them guilt-free. This recipe makes about 60 two-inch cookies that freeze well.
12/5/2015
Authentic stollen is moist, buttery and crammed full of dried and glace fruits and nuts.
12/3/2015
Don't buy into the hype telling you that you aren't capable of doing it yourself! Learn the simple things you can start right now and build on it as you gain confidence. You may find, like me, that the difference you make in your life can be game changing!
12/1/2015
The holidays are here and you want to put together a charcuterie platter for your next party. Make it an impressive feast of the eyes with your own cured pork belly and duck prosciutto. With some pink curing salt, kosher salt and a few common household herbs and spices, you can serve up a delightful and delicious tray of home cured meats and pickles that your guests will love, but beware, they may ask you to make something for their next party.
11/30/2015
Hunting isn’t for everyone, but what I would like to do is share with interested readers, hunters included, how hunting and fishing helps me provide my own food and move a step closer to a sustainable life here on my farm.
11/27/2015
Making your own hand and body cream is not difficult. Just be sure you can work for 30 minutes or so with no interruptions. Be very sure that the essential oils you choose are actually pure essential oils such as lavender, tea tree, lemongrass, etc. Quantities needed for a both a single 4-ounce jar and a large batch of nine 4-ounce jars are given.
11/13/2015
Mincemeat is one of the best ways to preserve an abundance of fall pears. This delicious conserve makes a New England traditional spicy holiday pie. But it’s not just for pie — the chef of a Bon Appetit Top 50 Restaurants asked me for a quart of this to use as a garnish for a very special dinner. Consider a spoonful to garnish any pork or game entrée.
11/10/2015
It’s easy and very economical to make your own almond paste. You’ll use this to fill pastries, cakes and your special Christmas Stollen. This makes 2 pounds, 2 ounces — as much as six of those pricey little cans — and you control the quality.
11/3/2015
Given a shift towards being indoors instead of out, engaging with technology instead of nature, and sitting instead of moving, what exactly are kids missing out on? Research shows that children’s physical and mental health are both taking a toll. Encouraging outside games for kids is important in promoting their health and well being.
10/27/2015
This smoked salmon will impress your friends, family and yourself. The process is simple but requires a little time. With a nice salmon filet, salt, brown sugar, dill, vodka, a stove top smoker and a few days, you will create something better than anything from the store while saving money as well.
10/22/2015
After the first of the crisp fall apples have started to soften, I love to have a sip of this for dessert on a cold winter’s night. This homemade apple cordial tastes like the absolute best apple pie you ever drank! Here is how I preserve the goodness of apples laced with sweet spices.
10/20/2015
The world's population is growing but we're wasting much of the food that's being produced. There are protections in place for those donating edible food, and there are many things you can do in your own home to reduce food waste.
10/13/2015
Fig Salami is a unique substitute for the usual cured sausage on a cheese plate; because it’s fruity, it works as well before or after dinner. It takes minutes to make, but plan ahead so it has time to set up and “cure” four or five days — after that, it will keep weeks in the refrigerator.
10/1/2015
Twenty-five years ago, my daughter and I treated ourselves to New Orleans' famous Jazz Brunch at the Court of Two Sisters. One dish impressed me so much, I begged for the recipe. Our server took my plea to the kitchen and the chef actually sent down a copy! I have made some minor changes and offer it here that you, too, can enjoy this comforting eggplant dish.
9/21/2015
Back in the 1950s, there was a restaurant in Stamford, Conn., named The Hamburger Den that was a local favorite, not just for pretty good burgers, but for pots of delicious relish on each table. Later, in the 90s, I decided I had to make that relish I so loved and finally came up with what I remembered to share here.
9/11/2015
I made and preserved homemade applesauce and it's super easy to do. Whether you enjoy eating applesauce as a healthy and natural sweet treat or use it as a replacement for some of the oil used in baking, making your own applesauce is a definite score for the environment as well as your food budget!
9/8/2015
Not to be confused with Italian sofrito, which is a mix of sautéed vegetables used as a sauce base, this Cuban version is a pungent mix of raw herbs and vegetables. Cuban sofrito is used to add freshness, herbal notes and zing to many Cuban dishes.
9/7/2015
Okra should be a staple of every Southern garden, but most folks don’t grow it because they have no idea what to do with it. If you have a basket full from the garden or want to experiment with a few pounds from the store or the farmers market, give this pickled okra recipe a try.
9/4/2015
The white part of watermelon rind makes a delicious pickle! Be sure to take a little time to make some for a garnish on sandwiches or as a key ingredient in Red Pepper Relish. The recipe below has won several ribbons in State Fairs over the years.
8/28/2015
With a dough mixed entirely in the food processor, these salty-sweet, chewy-crisp pistachio cookies are as easy to make as they are to devour.
8/27/2015
If you are lucky enough to come across some Hatch chili peppers and favorite variety of basil, here is a pesto recipe with a friendly amount of spice. Try it atop a Southwest chicken salad and transport yourself to New Mexico. (If you can’t make the festival, you can still make the pesto and dressing.)
8/20/2015
Every summer, I make sure that I get plenty of pesto made and put up in little tubs in the freezer — enough to get me through the winter. There are three different kinds I like to have on hand for use in various dishes: Italian Pesto, French Pistou, and Hatch Pesto. They’re easy to make, freeze well, and make an ordinary meal into something special.
8/20/2015
Recycling is an important step towards a cleaner, healthier environment. But recycling alone is not the most effective way to reduce landfill-bound trash from your home. PREcycling stops much of that packaging waste from coming into your home in the first place!
8/5/2015
Strawberry jam just tastes like summer. I look forward to preserving that summer sweetness so I can enjoy it on a cold winter day or next month on a piece of warm bread. And there is an added bonus when you can give strawberry jam away as a gift and put a smile on someone's face.
7/23/2015
Everyone has a dream, and although we are lucky enough to have had ours come true, our homestead lifestyle required time and work to make a reality. I invite you to follow us in our dream through this blog to learn DIY projects, gardening, water and energy conservation, a few clever “Homestead Hacks,” and how to use what you already have to fill a need.
5/26/2015
This oozing mixture of sugar, limes, eggs, and butter adds a bright, fresh acidity and craveable sweetness to anything it touches.
4/28/2015
Tostones, or twice-fried plantains, are a crispy and delicious taste of the tropics.
3/27/2015
Mechanical and electrical devices break down sometimes. Can you fix them or will you pay to have them replaced or fixed? My take on how to tackle the problem.
3/20/2015
Stuffed with blue cheese, chicken and celery and simmered in a spicy Buffalo-inspired sauce, these petite peppers pull double duty as hearty entrée or delightfully sloppy hors d’oeuvre.
12/29/2014
All-natural pork from wild hogs is safe to eat, has wonderful flavor and could feed the world. Here's how to trap them in the wild.
12/10/2014
The UK meets Texas in this decadent date cake with sinfully delicious (and simple!)toffee sauce.
12/3/2014
From the familiar fall flavors of pumpkin, pecans and oats to the warm and welcoming spices perfuming the air as the mixture bakes, this pumpkin spice granola recipe truly embodies the season.
11/4/2014
Since getting the homestead functional, we have focused on food - local producers, access to food and ways to educate and communicate. This blog describes a couple of my useful and favorite organizations, Slow Food and the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance.
10/30/2014
Incredible peanut butter ice pops with six simple, real-food ingredients.
10/10/2014
Keep those vegetable plants growing for a second harvest late in the year. Organically-grown, heirloom varieties will survive with a little help.
10/10/2014
Forget the spit and roast your own lamb gyro in the convenience of your home oven.
10/6/2014
Keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer at the ready can come in handy in situations where you can’t access soap and water, but using it too often can come with some risks.
9/10/2014
How to go from buying everything at Wally World to growing organic vegetables, raising livestock, building an efficient home, and a Do-It-Yourself, self-sufficient lifestyle.
8/19/2014
Fresh peaches and creamy goat cheese unite in the perfect summer sandwich.
8/13/2014
Anyone who spends prolonged periods of time sitting, regardless of their overall activity level, is at risk for the dangers associated with sedentary lifestyles.
8/1/2014
Beat the heat with a healthier chocolate treat! Avocados, cocoa, and honey create fudge pops or pudding with fewer than five minutes prep.
7/23/2014
We started our adventure of building a barndominium on our Texas property while still in Australia. The past year has been spent finishing and enjoying the house. As we've learned, finishing the house is only the first step in developing the homestead.
7/10/2014
Simpler, more streamlined biscuits from scratch - no buttermilk required.
7/3/2014
Build your own wind generator for use with 12-Volt systems. Charge up batteries for lighting, fans, tools and more.
6/26/2014
With six simple ingredients, these easy, no-bake, cherry-vanilla bars are a wholesome alternative to over-processed and over-packaged supermarket snacks.
6/16/2014
This moist, delicious quick-bread studded with chocolate chips is perfect for breakfast, dessert, or an afternoon snack.
6/5/2014
Learn how chickens and gardens make a great mix.
5/12/2014
Two-ingredient nut or seed butter cups are a satisfying alternative to the typical chocolate treat.
4/8/2014
Made from creamy chevre (fresh goat cheese) instead of the typical cream cheese, this surprising cheesecake is sure to please cheese lovers and dessert lovers alike.
4/7/2014
Infants and children are susceptible to the dangers of aspartame side effects.
3/25/2014
Bleached, colored, preserved and flavored, white bread is practically devoid of nutrition.
3/19/2014
How to make cajeta, Mexican-style goat's milk caramel.
3/6/2014
Indian-inspired curried pinto beans are a fragrant, flavorful, and filling vegetarian main dish that's light on both the wallet and the waistline.
2/20/2014
Rich and fudgy Grain-Free Chocolate-Date-Nut Bars are a grain-free, dairy-free, and refined-sweetener-free treat you can splurge on with a smile.
1/23/2014
Finding the right book for yourself is hard. Even harder if you are trying to learn something new. A BeeWeaver beekeeper, Emerson Arehart, read many beekeeping books and came up with a short list and summary to help you get started learning about bees.
11/26/2013
Beekeeping basics and how to keep bees safely and simply.
11/20/2013
Summer fun gives way to windy, cold weather and before you know it, you've got winter dry skin – chapped, red and itchy hands. Use this easy-to-make DIY lotion; it’s a remarkable remedy for dry, cracked hands.
11/8/2013
This summary of a Warré Beekeeper’s regular seasonal activities gives you both a general idea of what this method entails in the long-term if you are considering adopting this method, and to provide you with a beekeeping calendar that you can use as a guide after you have gotten started.
11/7/2013
This overview of the yearly activities of a Warré beekeeper is for people trying to decide if they have the time to become beekeepers and experienced beekeepers who are curious about the Warré method. It also serves as an index of the many of the main topics that will be covered in depth by this blog.
10/15/2013
To get fast relief, here are eight natural bee or insect sting treatment options you can use at home. You likely have what you need in the kitchen cupboard!
10/11/2013
After three years of trying to build the barndominium in three week per year spurts, Jim has relocated back to Texas to complete the build while Julie remains in Australia to finish her work there and transfer to the US.
10/7/2013
After three years of trying to build the barndominium in three-week-per-year spurts, Jim has relocated back to Texas to complete the build while Julie remains in Australia to finish her work there and transfer to the United States.
9/4/2013
After three years of trying to build the barndominium in three week per year spurts, Jim and Julie have relocated from Australia to Texas and are building out the barndominium. However in growing gardens and potential fruit plants for use in future years, we’ve encountered a horrible pest and want to share it in hopes of ideas from the Mother Earth News community.
8/19/2013
After three years of trying to build the barndominium in three week per year spurts, Jim has relocated back to Texas to complete the build while Julie remains in Australia to finish her work there and transfer to the US.
1/15/2013
On what will probably be the last trip to Chateau Christie as Australians, we are trying to get the property to a livable stage - completing the electrical and plumbing and getting things ready for an inspection so we can sheetrock and finish.
1/15/2013
Now that the Barndominium has been fully enclosed, it's time to work on the interior. Also the basic utilities, pump house and access roads have been beefed up. It's beginning to look like a real house now. Chateau Christie is becoming a reality.
1/14/2013
We have few opportunities during our stay in Australia to fly home and do work ourselves on the property. This blog features a set of planned activities that we wanted to be personally and directly involved with. When we left, we were very happy.
1/14/2013
We've been planning for months and years but now we're in fast build mode. The slab is poured, materials on site and in nine days, we will have the shell of the barndominium completely done and ready for the framing inside.
1/14/2013
The building of the barndominium is in high gear. After all of the ground work, the slab is poured, cured and the steel framework of the barndominium is erected in one day. With the progress, there were a few problems but quickly solved.
1/14/2013
After many months of preparation and planning, we are very excited to be starting to build our homestead - a barndominium. The first stage is to get a good solid foundation so our new homestead will be solid for today and future generations.
7/10/2012
A key choice was what type of house to build. We aren't in Texas more than a few weeks a year until we make our final move back. We wanted a structure we could enclose to protect the interior from the elements and yet build in stages as time and money allow.
6/20/2012
As part of my education on how to be more self-sufficient when we make our move back to Texas, I've been taking classes while here in Australia. One of the more enjoyable classes was in beekeeping. This is our class practical exercise.
1/13/2012
Texas coastal city best represents tractor giant’s culture of “rise.”
10/11/2011
During the exceptional heat & drought in Texas this summer BeeWeaver worked hard to just keep hives alive... no honey, no divides.
8/7/2011
One of the first steps to building our homestead in Texas was to get water and electricity on the property so we had the basics from which we could build. This blog discusses how we implemented the first phase of our utilities.
6/24/2011
In order to build skills for our move from Australia to Texas, we have been taking various classes and workshops. Recently, we took a weekend workshop at an excellent cheese factory close to where we live on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne.
6/16/2011
Our process of buying the land for our homestead had little to do with logic and a lot to do with emotion. For me, it was a chance to return to the plains where I grew up and be close to family.
6/13/2011
Jim and Julie are starting their homestead in Texas while still living in Australia. Managing the project by remote control is the challenge, and they are learning as they go. This is an adventure of faith and confidence.
3/21/2011
Dan and Karen Cripes made a few big upfront investments--including solar panels and a geothermal system--when they built their home in Round Rock, Texas. Now they're reaping the rewards with nearly nonexistent utility bills and a home they love.
3/14/2011
Laura Weaver has managed BeeWeaver Apiaries, along with her husband, Danny Weaver, for nearly 2 decades. She has seen the bee industry and the public image of the bee change, as well as their own family bee business.
2/8/2011
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
3/25/2009
The wildlife conservation initiatives taken by residents of Austin, Texas have earned the city the title of Community Wildlife Habitat from the National Wildlife Federation.




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