Saturday, May 1, 2010

What is a Three Sisters Garden?

It is an ancient method of gardening using an inter-cropping system which grows corn, beans, and squash crops simultaneously in the same growing area that is typically a rounded mound of soil, often called a hill.

Corn is the oldest sister. She stands tall in the center.

Squash is the next sister. She grows over the mound, protecting her sisters from weeds and shades the soil from the sun with her leaves, keeping it cool and moist.

Beans are the third sister. She climbs through squash and then up corn to bind all together as she reaches for the sun. Beans help keep the soil fertile by converting the sun's energy into nitrogen filled nodules that grow on its roots. As beans grow they use the stored nitrogen as food.

How do I grow a Three Sisters Garden?
In mid-Spring clear a sunny garden area of grasses, weeds, and large stones. The area should be roundish in shape and at least eight feet across. Cover the area with a few inches of compost or well rotted manure. Turn the compost in to loosen the ground and create a moisture retaining growing medium with increased fertility. Water it well. Check the growing area frequently over the next few weeks to remove any sprouted weeds.
In late-Spring sow about seven or eight corn seeds in the center of the growing circle, in a ring pattern, spaced out about six inches from each other. Plant the corn seeds an inch under the soil, firm the soil above by patting it down with the palm of your hand. Water the growing mound well. The corn will sprout and begin to grow in about two weeks.
After the corn has grown to about ten inches high, using a hoe or hand trowel, pull up some soil from the growing mound around the base of the corn stalks. The corn should not be buried entirely, it's upper half should be above the soil that has been mounded around it's stems. The corn will send roots into the mounded soil to hold it steady and upright in the wind.

After mounding soil around the base of the corn stalks sow about a dozen pole bean seeds in a ring pattern six inches outside the corn stalks. Push the bean seeds about an inch under the soil and firm the ground above them by patting it down with your hand. Water the growing mound well. The beans will usually begin to sprout in about 7-14 days.

About a week after the beans sprout, sow six or seven squash seeds in a ring about 12-15" outside the beans. Push the squash seeds about an inch under the soil and firm the ground above them by patting it down with your hand. The squash seeds will sprout in about a week.

As the corn grows the beans will begin to climb, you can help them early on by wrapping the bean vines around the corn stalks. The squash will begin to grow it's vines and the large squash leaves will soon cover the growing mound and shade its soil. On occasion help the squash continue to cover the mound by turning the ends of it's vines towards the center of the mound. Water the mound well during weeks where there has been little or no rain.
When can we harvest our Three Sister's Garden?
Corn may be harvested while in it's green corn stage, but tradtionally it is left to ripen and is harvested in Autumn. The cob is sun dried and stored for winter use. To harvest green corn observe the silky threads coming from the tops of the ears, when the silk is dry and a dark brown color the corn may be harvested. To remove an ear of corn, hold the stalk a few inches below the ear. Pull the tip of the ear toward the ground until it snaps off.

Beans may be eaten fresh or allowed to mature and dry on the vine. Fresh beans can be harvested when the pods are firm and crisp, but before the seeds within the pods have begun to swell. Pick beans in late morning after the night-dew has dried from the plants. This helps to prevent the spread of bacterias which can harm the plants. Pick the beans carefully to avoid bruising or snapping the growing vines. Bean plants will continue to flower and more bean pods will develop if they are harvested before bean seeds can mature.

Squash should be picked only after its skin has hardened thoroughly. Be careful to not damage or break off the stem of the squash...this can wound the squash and it will begin to rot. Cut the stem 3-4" from the fruit with a sharp knife. Allow the squash to sit in the sun for a few days to cure and the stem to dry. Store squash in a single layer and not touching each other, which can foster rot. Squash can last at least two months, depending on the variety.
Enjoy growing your Three Sisters Garden!

Article by Trudi_d

 I don't normally use other people articles but this one is really good and explains everything wonderfully. Besides, lol, the kids were having issues allowing me the time to write it all out myself. A note. Instead of squash you can plant things like melons, gourds or pumpkins. Pretty much any broad leaf vine will work well in place of the squash. Instead of working the ground we will simply place plastic down and dump dirt on top of it in a 5-6 foot mound making weeds even less of a problem.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Updated Garden List and Homestead Happenings

 It's Spring and there's a lot going on around here. We had some issues with the pregnancy but everything is fine now. I'll be 15 weeks along on Thur. We were able to see our little darling in an ultrasound and talk about a mover, lol.
  We had to get 27 new chicks due to a sickness, our previous chicken flock had caught from someone else's infected birds. It took out nearly all of them! Needless to say for now on we will only breed and hatch our own or buy from the two online companies we like. Unfortunately 2 of our new chicks have died. One due to the dog and one due to pecking. This time we choose to go with the barred rocks. I'm glad to say the game hens and ducks are great even though the neighbors dog took out our wood duck, grrrr. They are currently sitting on eggs trying to hatch them for us. To cute!
 The goats are doing well. All the babies are very active and sweet and have of course stolen our hearts. It sure is going to be hard when it comes time for them to be dinner. The mama goats are doing very well. Our Saanen doe is giving us a full gal. just at our morning milking! We haven't started the evening milking yet as the babies are not fully weened. Our mini Nubian is giving us half a gal just in the morning milking and is about ready to start having evening milking as well. She's doing her best to ween the babies but they don't want to. LOL no surprise there. The poor male has had to be separated for a while do to trying to breed the babies already and in the next week or so will be sent to vacation at a friends house where he will be pampered and used as their lawnmower.
  Ok so heres the current list of what we have planted so far.
Black berries
Red raspberries
Grapes- white
Apple trees of different kinds
Fig trees
Kiwi tree
Plum tree
Pear tree
ANGELICA - Dried leaves are used to make an infusion (tea) to improve energy, stimulate circulation and reduce flatulence. Has antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities.
BASIL, SWEET - Steep leaves in water for a few minutes to make a tea to help indigestion. Make a cold-oil infusion to massage sore muscles.
CALENDULA - Flowers make a healing mouthwash for the gums. Mix a cream using calendula petals and plantain leaves for healing of cuts.
CATNIP - Make a tea to to relieve colds and fevers. Also used to treat headaches and upset stomachs. Has mild sedative qualities.
CHAMOMILE - Use in a tea as a mild sleep aid or to aid digestion. Make a cream to treat dry, rough skin.
COMMON YARROW - Infused tea fights colds and fevers. Make a cream with its flower petals to use on cuts and burns.
CORIANDER - Chew leaves or infuse as a tea to relieve upset stomachs. Also used as a mild sedative.
FEVERFEW - Eat three to five leaves daily to reduce migraine headaches. Infuse as a tea to relieve muscle spasms or reduce fever.
HOREHOUND - Make a tonic of chopped horehound leaves and honey to treat sore throats. A cold infusion will help relieve heartburn.
HYSSOP - Make a cream to treat bruises and burns. Infuse as tea to treat colds, flu, bronchitis and sore throats.
PURPLE CONE FLOWER (Echinacea Purpurea) - Drink a hot infusion to stimulate the immune system.
ST JOHN'S WORT - Infuse as tea to treat depression or as a mild sedative. Makes a cream to treat bruises and skin inflammation.
SUMMER SAVORY - Hot infusion is gargled to treat a sore throat. Also drink as a tea to treat diarrhea and indigestion.
THYME - Make a tea sweetened with honey to help relieve sore throats and coughs. Infusion used to relieve hangovers.
VALERIAN - Roots used to relieve nervous tension, anxiety, insomnia and pain. Roots used in a cream to treat acne or skin rashes.

  We still have a few things left to buy and get in the ground like strawberries and I have potatoes waiting, lol. We're dong succession planting so most of these things will be planted several more times. For sure the corn, beans and all other vine plants. We are using the 3 sisters method for those and have not been able to get them all in yet. Thankfully we have been able to put up several raised bed gardens this year and have used some of the 70 tires i got a hold of for things like the berries and herbs. We will also be using them for the potatoes making them much easier to harvest, hooray. Hubby has been kind enough to install drip irrigation to almost every section of my garden today as well as putting in a self watering system for the goats. Since I'm pregnant with our 5th child he doesn't want me hauling the water.How sweet is that?! Well I'm off to sit on the swing and enjoy the work we have done so far have a great day!
 Oh, I almost forgot to mention. Yesterday a friend hit a small deer with is car so last night we went over so i could butcher it. We came home with 45 lbs of deer meat, wahoo! This morning we were able to wake up to some super yummy biscuits and deer sausage gravy. I made about a gal. of it so id have plenty, lol. Wonder if you can can this stuff? I may try to freeze some of it but most likely we'll just have it for breakfast all week.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring is here!

  Ok, so a lot has been going on here to say the least. Tomorrow I'll be 13 weeks pregnant, wahoo! We've had a couple of issues, but nothing we can't handle. Turns out i need surgery on my shoulder can't remember what they called it, on my wrist for carpel tunnel, and maybe on my leg for a Lipoma I've had for 21 years. I'm going for an ultrasound on my leg on Monday. Since i became pregnant it has really been hurting me, though its been doing much better the past two days. It wont effect the pregnancy which is good but they want to make sure it isn't putting pressure on a vein or attaching to my muscle. For those of you that don't know this is our fifth child God has chosen to bless us with! We are also using a midwife (Karen) and will be having a home underwater birth. That's the only way to go as far as I'm concerned.
 We started planting in the garden today after getting a few of the raised bed gardens in. They are each 20*6 feet and should make everything easier for us to tend. Our long term goal is to have about 36 of those.Here's and updated list of the seeds i bought from heirloom seeds. Thank you mom for my Christmas gift certificate that made this purchase possible.

Item:1 - Qty:1, (O010) GIANT RED CELERY - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.00
Item:2 - Qty:1, (257) WHITE DIXIE BABY BUTTERBEANS, Price:$1.99
Item:3 - Qty:1, (O302) CALABRESE BROCCOLI - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.00
Item:4 - Qty:1, (O213) BLACK TURTLE BEAN - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.75
Item:5 - Qty:1, (0261) LIGHT RED KINDEY BEAN - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.75
Item:6 - Qty:1, (215) PINTO BEAN, Price:$1.99
Item:7 - Qty:1, (O4502) ALL SEASONS CABBAGE - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.00
Item:9 - Qty:1, (566) LADY FINGER POPCORN, Price:$1.99
Item:10 - Qty:2, (O561) ASHWORTH CORN - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.75
Item:11 - Qty:1, (O516) MUNCHER CUCUMBER - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.00
Item:12 - Qty:1, (O26) LONG PURPLE EGGPLANT - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.00
Item:13 - Qty:1, (5113) LUFFA GOURD, Price:$1.25
Item:15 - Qty:1, (677) AMISH MELON, Price:$1.25
Item:16 - Qty:1, (2501) GREEN GLOBE ARTICHOKE, Price:$1.25
Item:17 - Qty:1, (2520) MARY WASHINGTON ASPARAGUS, Price:$1.25
Item:18 - Qty:1, (2605) GARDEN HUCKLEBERRY - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.50
Item:19 - Qty:1, (O717) SUGAR ANN SNAP PEA - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.75
Item:21 - Qty:1, (O7049) ORANGE BELL PEPPER - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.50
Item:22 - Qty:1, (O7055) MARCONI RED PEPPER - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.50
Item:23 - Qty:1, (O7043) JIMMY NARDELLO`S PEPPER - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.50
Item:24 - Qty:1, (O7007) LONG RED CAYENNE PEPPER - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.50
Item:25 - Qty:1, (O82) BIG MAX PUMPKIN - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.00
Item:27 - Qty:1, (O4010) WALLA WALLA ONION - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.00
Item:30 - Qty:1, (O9001) BUTTERNUT SQUASH - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.00
Item:32 - Qty:1, (O147) ROMA TOMATO - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.50
Item:33 - Qty:1, (O116) AMISH PASTE TOMATO - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.50
Item:35 - Qty:1, (O6017) BLENDS - GOURMET SALAD BLEND - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, Price:$2.00
Item:36 - Qty:1, (254) BLUE LAKE POLE BEAN, Price:$1.99 

We've started a ton more of fruit trees and will of course be buying more that are much bigger,lol. One we will definitely be adding is the pink banana. How great is that? We will also be buying and planting more berries, grapes and anything else we can of that nature. We also have to finish digging up the blackberries that are way in the back and moving them to the garden area. I still have to locate a soapnut tree....
 Cheese making resumed yesterday and boy have i missed it. We made cheese curds yesterday and ill be making Panir in just a few minutes, then tomorrow or the next day ill make a oh so missed batch of farmers cheese.
 Home school too has had a few adjustments made. Adam will be continuing onto 5th grade while Alexander will be going down to 3rd. No, don't diss its an accelerated curriculum and he will stay on grade for anything that does not involve intense reading such as math and science..... It was a tough choice to make but I had to make it and everyone seems pretty happy with my decision. Mariam is doing well and has chosen to mostly teach herself. I'm good with that as long as we still see progress. Isaac is starting writing but would rather have fun with paint and play dough.  Well off to make cheese! God bless and have a great night.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More baby goats!

 Two days ago Marshmallow gave birth to 3 beautiful girls. Two black and white ones and one tiny solid white one that looks just like her mom. Good job Marshmallow! Unfortunately in the night after the births we almost lost the white one we named mini Marshmallow or mini mellow. She somehow got separated from her stall and into another where she was trampled by Tippy the other mama goat. Since she was not in the right stall there was no one to keep the tiny one warm and she suffered hypothermia. Needless to say we saved her and she is now a bottle fed house goat. 3 seems to be more than she wanted anyway or maybe she just thought something was wrong with the baby and so left her to die. She does not seem worried about her baby at all but that could just be because she knows I'm taking care of it. Mini is very week but starting to eat and trying to walk. We look forward to her growing strong and and one day being a great milker for us. Praise the Lord we found her in time for she has stolen all of our hearts. Most of the babies will be sold in the future although i wish we didn't have to. But hubby says that of course we don't have room for them all and we really do need the money for feed until we can grow our own. Due to the fact that they are great milkers I expect to get 300-400 for each of Marshmallow's babies {med-larg breed Saanen/ mini Nubian mix} and 100-200 for each of Tippy's babies {small breed mini Nubian}.Of course if anyone is interested in one of our babies you can leave me a message here or email me at There is a screening process as we will only allow them to go to good homes that really want or need them and will provide them with natrual care.
  We choose the mix the Saanen and mini Nubian to get a great milker that gives more than the mini Nubian and has more butterfat but is slightly smaller. Our Nubian gives us an avg of half a gal after the second kidding while our Saanen gives us 1-1.5 gal a day. The Nubian would be great for a small family or couple and the Saannen for a larger family or someone interested in drinking milk as well as making cheese or soap. We do all three and I'm more than happy to help anyone looking to learn cheese making or soap making. Just shoot me a email or look at the link for fiasco farms. It's a great place to start.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Micro Barn for a Micro Farm

  Two days ago we started the building of a mini barn with attached chicken coop to make access easier and keeping track of the kids a breeze.It's nearly done I'm proud to announce that it has three stalls the next one bigger than the last to accommodate the different sizes of our 3 grown goats. Mommy goats of  course received bigger stalls to allowed room for the kids. Each goat now has their own pallets for sleeping and keeping hay off the ground, water buckets, feed buckets and for the kids cinder blocks to play on. In the future lights will be installed to make early morning milking and feeding easier. We are still waiting on Marshmallows babies to get here. I'm so excited to see them i have gotten to feel and see them moving, its amazing.
  A nice coop has been attached to the left side in order to make sure we can care for all the animals in one place eliminating carrying buckets of water the length of a football field. Tomorrow a large walk in run will be installed for the chickens to keep them safe...we have a hawk were trying to get rid of. They will of course be allowed free run of the yard but, we have to be extra careful right now. The coop will also have a light in the future to help with winter heating.
  The first set of raised gardens are being place on just the other side of the fence so that i can keep track of baby critters and the kids in the other fenced areas ( playground and more gardens). Speaking of fencing hubby has dug the holes needed down our property line for our privacy fence needed to keep our boy goat in, lol. He breaks out to come visit us in the house. He's also already set the posts and has it ready to start the rest.
  Now, down to the hard stuff getting the family on a working schedule.........its in progress and not all the kids are real happy about it but I think they get the point that its here to stay.  Most of the kids seem very content in knowing what is going to go on when and where everything should go. Even my youngest has commented and said ty. I've made a few more adjustments to school so that reports are done on Friday instead of the weekend. I didn't like school interfering with seeing the grandparents. Of course they don't have all the reading on Friday or the other writing assignments since there are two one page book reports or reviews done. Hopefully everything will iron itself out soon and things will be even more peaceful.
  I have decided to attend the Ultimate Homeschool Expo  Ultimate Homeschool Expo and look forward to its starting on May 3, 2010. Cindy Rushton is just wonderful and she always has great speakers and teachers. I had a blast at the Ultimate Woman's Expo Ultimate Womens Expo and imagine that this will be just as fun and helpful. Well its time to tuck in kids so i better get to it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Ugly Frog

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain

I've been working on my ugly frog all day. Yes, even throughout the seminar, thankfully my children cooperated with me! Homeschool, yep that's my frog. I have plans and grades that need to be entered on the computer, somehow this quarter i fell behind on doing it. At least i did keep records. Also, motivating my children to just get it done instead of wasting the day fighting me over it. So far so good. Were having to redo a few assignments and i realized these are the areas where they should be doing the work together instead of separate. This means of course i need to make some changes. So... I'll work all that out as well..
 Here goes my plan excluding Bible because i don't count it as school. I dont feel they should be graded in that area.
   McGuffey's 4th Reader- The class will now be done together with reading Mon.-Thur. With review questions they may answer together on Fri. (10 min.)

Free Reading- Two chapters a day read together Mon.-Fri. then discussed. A one page report on what they read that week will be done over the weekend individually and due Sun. night by 7 pm. (30min) Current book is Kidnapped by David Balfour.

Math- Each child will have one page of math currently 9 problems ##.## * ##.## Mon-Fri. (15-30min depending on the child)

Copy work- Each child will do one page a day in cursive. We are currently working on The Rules of Civility by George Washington. Rules 1-22. We will do these over and over #1 on Mon. #2 on Tue......through the set then repeat until they are learned and practiced in daily life. (30 min.)

Spelling- Copy each word from the lesson 3 times each on Mon. Tue. study for 5 min. Wed. make sure they know what each word means and how to use it. Thur. study for 5 min. Fri. Test on 15 words from the list. (5-15 min)

Penmanship- The Palmer method. Each child will spend 15 min Mon.-Fri. practicing penmanship in the lesson they have progressed to. (15 min)

History- One chapter a day will be read together Mon.-Fri. With a one page report on what they read that week will be done individually and due Sun. night by 7 pm. (45min.) Current book is A Child's History of England by Charles Dickens.

Total time spent in school a day = 2.5 hrs.-3hrs. This gives a bit of wiggle room.
Total days a year 160

Science, farming, wood working, PE, Computer skills, Spanish, Gardening and other interests will be followed and encouraged in non school atmosphere. Meaning outside as much as possible or allowed to us Lesson Pathways after the chosen lesson is approved by me. This will give them more of a choice in what they study as far as somethings go and how much time they spend on it. I do not include science in my general lesson plan because they have a natrual interest in it and i like seeing the directions they choose to follow. We also live on a homestead........there's science everywhere, lol.

  Feel free to comment or add suggestions / ideas. I'd love to hear them.


Saturday, February 13, 2010


   I'm pregnant! Yep the Lord has chosen to send us sweet child #5. Im about 8 weeks pregnant {we think} which puts me due on September 19th. What a blessed family we are. Now, what a busy family we are,lol. There's lots to do to get ready and i don't like to wait till the last minute so im starting now. We've decided if possible a crib will be made from an old barrel and covered with pretty fabric if its a girl or left with the nice stained wood if its a boy. Here are the easy directions Of course there is also the issues of space since this is a small home. Bunk beds and shelves will be put up and about 1/4 of all our stuff cleared out. Hubby cant figure out what in the world we could get rid of but i see a few starting points.
  A new barn is being built as well as a new coop. This should start this Wednesday and be finished the same day. Keep your fingers crossed!  It will have closer and more convenient location and layout making it easier to tend all the animals at once as a family. We're hoping this will strengthen us as a family and create an more fun atmosphere since we will be able to share the work and joke around more.  I hope it will also make learning and teaching about the animals easier and give me more chances to see how the children interact with them and their preferences.
  Home school is well on its way to ending for the yr. Due to exciting events we'll be taking a break that we normally wouldn't. Of course we will continue to do a bit of math and read daily but that's about it other than book reports of course. This will leave more time for playing and studying personal interests.
WOW, what an exciting beginning for a new year. Thank You Lord it truly looks like this will be a wonderful and interesting journey.
 I will be updating the garden list here shortly. We were able to get some wonderful organic heirloom seeds from Oh i almost forgot we just bought 20 more chickens to stock up our flock after the fox and dog attack. Amazingly enough we were able to get the Buffintons, Astrolope, Americanas a couple of mixes that were to cute, a breed i cant remember that's reddish and a rooster that isn't fully grown yet but weight 15 lbs.! He was a runt and so we got him at a nice price instead of paying 30$. We are hoping that by mixing him in the new breeds will still be great egg layers but larger for more meat. Oh and  honestly hes beautiful. I cant wait to see how the chicks turn out.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Spring Cleaning Outside

Ok so today we spring cleaned outside. The back yard is looking great, we even took the pool out of the back yard since the pump burned up adding a great space for 3 sister gardens. We set up a nice porch at the back door so there is no more slipping down a ramp. We also used the mass amount of pine needles we have to create non muddy pathways throughout the back yard to make tending animals easier and more pleasant.
Tippy had two beautiful babies that are set up in the closest mini barn in the playground most of the time though they are let out to play during the warmest times of the day. Tippy really seems to enjoy her time away from the heard with her two little ones. Marshmallow is due to have her babies anytime now i believe since were not real sure when she was actually bred. Shes huge and obviously ready to get them out, lol. I cant wait either, more babies YEA!
We have set up an appointment to buy more black Astrolope hens and chicks, also some Americanas on Friday, maybe even a couple of silkies. The only chickens left to buy will be some white buffingtons and golden buffingtons. Maybe well get buckeyes again at some point but not this year. We took out the two rooster game chickens for dinner after they caused a fuss with one of the neighbors. Apparently they thought that Mrs. Nan, a sweet older lady, and her nurse do not get up early enough like 4am!
The men have been steadily working on the plumbing for the bathroom and that laundry room. It looks as though they will finish it tonight. Its been an amazing amount of work for them.
Well off to spend a few min with hubby before he has to go back under the house.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Babies!

Whew! What a day. I would like to announce that today two new baby goats entered this world. Both girls born by Tippy. You go girl! Both of your kids are the cutesiest things ever. One black all over with 2 brown stripes on the check bones and a white star on the forehead while the other and oh so sweet one is white with brown splotches. Both probably poled without knobs even it seems. How great is that? Thank the Lord for today is a wonderful day even with its lack of sleep and things undone. Now if only i can remember this feeling all year long with my family.... I take this opportunity to once again thank the Lord for my servants the stove, dishwasher and last but not least washer and dryer. In these times of tending new life and freezing cold it is so nice to have the helping hand and less wet laundry hanging up in my house,lol. Oh and also thank you Lord for the central heat we have been enjoying as of last night. WOW what a treat. Ty Honey for all you do around here to make things easier on me/us.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Appliences, Colds and Peace

 Ok, so we've all been down with colds. 3 extra people staying here two left yesterday third is still helping us install a 2nd bathroom and real laundry room LOL, ! Anyway all of our appliances we had left broke down. So we were down a stove, oven, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer. That's 9 people we were washing dishes for and hand washing clothes for, while it rained for a week. Nothing was dry. Then everyone caught colds. I broke down grabbed the credit cards and some cash. We bought an inexpensive but good stove, dishwasher, front loading clothes washer and dryer. Both are more efficient so i needn't feel so guilty for using them during the rainy and busy season like now.
  We have a medium sized dairy goat named Tippy that is about to have babies and a large dairy goat named Marshmallow that will have babies right after her. Roo our black atrolope rooster is back outside and diaper free once again. His leg has healed well and he  is happy to be back with the flock.
  Through all this home school is in full swing. Our year runs a bit odd since we need to take time off for gardening and preserving as well as a vacation around September. Kids are doing ok but not totally happy with the changes we've made.
 Electric in the laundry room in as well as almost all the plumbing for the bathroom! WAHOO! Hubby and friend have really done a lot. They  plan on tilling the garden this week so i can get started on the food stuffs. Go guys your doing a great job. I'm hoping to put up some pics of the room later if i can.
  This weeks moments though not always pleasant are teaching me to have moments of peace even when it seems there is none. When the toddler is sick and crying. When the older ones don't want to do chores or school, when you daughter feels she needs you all the time all while you hubby remodels the house and works a ton of hours, there is peace and positive things to be found.Well off to check the bread and refried beans I'm making. God bless.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Washing clothes on the homestead- hand washing how tos

  Hand washing your laundry?! You ask with an incredulous look on your face. Yep hand washing my laundry, lol. Our washer and dryer recently broke so we decided to just go back to the basics since we couldn't afford a new washer anyway. Its really not as bad as people make it out to be. We have ours set up in the kitchen right now since its cold out. Tools needed? A washtub, washboard, plunger, double sink or two buckets and of course, soap, water and clothes. Here is a four part series on youtube that can show you better and I could explain it. The videos are courtesy of the pockets of the future homestead. The last link is a video showing you how to make your own laundry soap that will cost you only a couple of pennies a load and is the best stuff ever. That video is courtesy of Homestead Acres.
  Just a note to those who really wonder if its worth it, yes it is. Your clothes will be cleaner than they have ever been. Guess what? Your bottom will thank you too, lol. In two weeks of hand washing our clothes in this fashion has toned and firmed my rear better than 6 months of squats, lunges, and yoga. Who knew I could actually like how I look in my shaving shorts! Goodbye lunges, lol.
  Good luck and have fun. This is also a great time to have the kids take turns reading some wonderful books allowing you to knock out history class while y'all take turns washing.