How to Make Your Own Wood Stain

How to Make Your Own Woodstain

(Julie's Note: Kate from This Wild Lifestyle is back! Yay! She has some great ideas about things we can use to make our own wood stain. Think: re-cycled and up-cycled projects. Go ahead, Kate...)   If you’re trying to live a green lifestyle and want to use something like wood pallets for a project, consider kicking your creativity up a notch. Make your own wood stain! Each homemade stain is applied the same way — use a paint brush or lint-free cotton rag to apply the stain onto the wood, working with the grain. Test out the stain on scraps of wood first, so you have [Read More...]

How Long Does Home Canned Food Last?

How Long Does Home Canned Food Last?

Is this safe to eat? That thought crossed my mind as I grabbed one of the remaining jars of last year's tomatoes off the pantry shelf to use for dinner this week.  I know the deal with store-bought food and their expiration dates, but I wasn't quite sure about home canned foods. How long does home canned food last? So, I did some research for us and here's what I discovered: According to the National Center for Home Preservation... Properly canned food stored in a cool, dry place will retain optimum eating quality for at least 1 year. Canned food stored in [Read More...]

Homemade Vegetable Wash

Homemade Vegetable Wash

My whole life I've been eating dirty fruit and veggies. Yuck, I know. It wasn't intentional. I thought I was doing the right thing—rinsing my produce under the tap in the kitchen sink.  Then one day, I came across an article about uses for vinegar. There it was...#16: Naturally clean your fruits and veggies by soaking them in 1 part vinegar and 1 part water. I tried it and it worked. Then, I added a couple more ingredients. The result is a homemade vegetable wash that cleans really well. Plus, it acts as a preserver. Our [Read More...]

5 Easy to Grow Fall Vegetables for Newbie Gardeners

5 Easy to Grow Fall Vegetables for Newbie Gardeners

My summer squash, tomatoes and cucumbers are on their way out which means it’s time to get thinking about the fall garden. Have you thought about what you're going to grow in yours? While I like to experiment and grow new things, five vegetables are the foundation of my fall garden. They're super easy to grow and require little maintenance. And, since they all are started from seeds directly sown into the soil, they're super easy on the budget.  If you're just starting to grow your own food, I recommend you start with these 5 easy to grow fall [Read More...]

Basil Pesto Sauce + 5 More Things to Do with Basil

Basil Pesto Sauce + 5 More Things to Do with Basil

To say I'm being over run with basil is an understatement. This year, I have two basil plants growing at home and two growing at the community garden plots. All the plants are doing extremely well which means I have a monster load of the fresh, green stuff.  I could keep dehydrating it and even freeze it, although, nothing beats enjoying it fresh from the garden.  Last night, I used my food processor to turn the basil harvest into pesto sauce. I served it over spaghetti because that's one way to guarantee my picky kids will eat it. But you [Read More...]

Basic Bee Handling for New Beekeepers

Basic Bee Handling for New Beekeepers

For brand new beekeepers, the first hive inspection can be pretty nerve-wracking.  In bee school, the instructor spends a ton of time talking about how to install a package of bees. Plus, there are plenty of blog posts and YouTube videos showing you how it's done. I watched several before the big day and they gave me the confidence I needed to successfully install the package.  But several days after the installation when I needed to go into the hive to make sure the queen had gotten out of the queen cage, all that confidence [Read More...]

Food Storage Trail Mix Recipe

Food Storage Trail Mix Recipe

Now that my kiddos are out of school for the summer, the kitchen is a popular place to be. Seems like every time I turn around, someone is opening the pantry door in search of a snack.  Goldfish no longer excites the girls and since I've been cooking from scratch more, they're expecting a little snack time creativity...something like their favorite, peanut butter granola bites.  So, this week, I threw together a trail mix using some of my freeze-dried fruit.  It was quick (Less than 2 minutes to [Read More...]

5 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Powdery Mildew on Plants

5 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Powdery Mildew on Plants

Powdery mildew is a common white or gray fungus that can impact a variety of plants. Luckily it’s easily identified and can be treated. Most of the time powdery mildew is more of an aesthetic issue, but it can impact the health of your plants. If left untreated the fungus can start to take nutrients from the plant, leaving plants vulnerable to sunburn and causing leaves to wither. There are several options for treating powdery mildew organically, so finding the right method for your plants should be a breeze. Consider these solutions to get rid of powdery mildew on plants: 1. Baking [Read More...]

Free Webinar: Sun Cooking Essentials

Sun Cooking Essentials on HomeReadyHome.com

Two years ago, my husband snapped this picture with his smart phone...  Now, I know it's not the most visually appealing photo of a roast chicken you've seen but it's a picture worth saving because it's a picture of the first thing we ever cooked in our Sun Oven.  The photo may leave something to be desired but the chicken did not. It was down right delicious! We've made quite a few of them since that photo was taken. Sun Ovens are really cool. We love ours, however I'm embarrassed to say we haven't made anything else in it...only the [Read More...]

How to Dehydrate Herbs

How to Dehydrate Herbs

Recently, I went back to school.   Self Reliant School, that is.  If you haven't heard about Self Reliant School, let me fill you in.  Jennifer and Bill Osuch of the former Are We Crazy or What? blog started it. Basically, when you become a member of the Self Reliant School website, you get access to member-only e-courses on different skills, like dehydrating and home brewing.  Since one of my goal's is to do a better job at getting my dehydrator cranking this summer to preserve garden goodies, I dove right into the [Read More...]

How to Make a Car Emergency Kit

How to Make a Car Emergency Kit

We've all heard stories about a driver who gets stranded in the desert and a week goes by before he's found, right?  And maybe you share the same thoughts I used to have. Not a problem. I don't drive through the middle of nowhere. But you don't have to travel through remote areas to get stuck in a car emergency.  Case in point, look at all the people who spent the night on an Atlanta interstate during a freak January snowstorm in 2014. And more recently...all the cars caught in the flood surge on Interstate 45 in Houston. With all the time we spend driving, it's only [Read More...]

The “Grow Your Own Food” Giveaway!

The "Grow Your Own Food" Giveaway

The giveaway is closed. Thanks to everyone who entered! What do you want to know about growing your own food? Come on, now. I know you have questions.  I've been asked... What should I grow? Is something wrong with my soil? What is the best kind of mulch to use? And I love these questions!! I believe if we're not able to grow food, we're not truly self-sufficient. So, if you're asking questions, that must mean you're trying to grow food.  Yay!! :) Just for fun, I thought we'd do a giveaway for two of my favorite [Read More...]