Setting Up the Outhouse and a Dilemma…

Last week I wrote about our visit to Judy’s old homestead and how we moved her outhouse to our farm. This past weekend, we got busy setting up the outhouse.

 

setting-up-the-outhouse-27It wasn’t too hard, about half a day worth of work, but this is because we have a tractor with a backhoe attachment so the hardest part of digging the hole was done by the machine.

 

setting-up-the-outhouse-25-1We chose a spot about 100 feet from everything else, measured the dimensions, and started digging. In the beginning, it was very easy, but once we got about 4 feet deep, we hit rock and because the hole was small, it was hard for the backhoe to dig any deeper.

Everywhere I read, said you should have your hole dug 4 to 6 feet deep. We tried to use a shovel to deepen it a bit, but it was really hard. So finally we decided to add a bit of soil on the bottom of the hole so it’s not an exposed rock down there, and set the outhouse on it.

 

setting-up-the-outhouse-03Next we worked on positioning the concrete frame and level it. We used bricks and treated wood to raise the pieces and bring then together.

 

setting-up-the-outhouse-04Nothing fancy really.

 

setting-up-the-outhouse-05Once the frame was leveled, we used the tractor to carry the concrete slab…

 

[Read more…]

From the Farm Blog Hop – Nov. 21st 2014

I am so excited to be joining the amazing ladies hosting the From The Farm Blog Hop. From now on, I will host the link here on Lady Lee’s Home every Friday morning at 7am. I hope you’ll come by to link some of your fabulous posts.

fromthefarmhopEach week, I will share with you my favorite post from the week before. This is going to be extremely hard since there are too many awsome posts to choose from.

 

AftertheFrostThis week I chose After the Frost from Oak Hill Homestead. I know most of you already had their first frost weeks ago, but here in NC the temperatures are only now starting to really cool down. We woke up this week to a few mornings of ice and frozen dew everywhere. I can’t imagine how it feels like to wake up to 5 feet of snow! And then go outside to do the farm chores… Pahhh! How are the Winters where you live? Is your area covered in snow yet? Or are you a Floridian enjoying the 70F days and a good laugh at the rest of America?

Now, let’s get on with the party, shall we??? This week’s favorites: 

[Read more…]

Moving an Outhouse and a Visit to an Old Homestead

I couldn’t contain my excitement when we moved the privy to the farm a couple of weeks ago. I sent my family a text message with a picture saying my dream is coming true, we are moving an outhouse to the farm. My mom wrote back saying she doesn’t know why she deserves all this crazy. You see, my mother wears six pounds of jewelry at all times, she never leaves the house without makeup, and her nails are always meticulously done. My father, on the other hand, owns rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, a dog and a few chinchillas, he collects house plants and pretty much everything else. My brother prefers sleeping in the desert, where he spends his time with his altered Jeep meant for off-road driving only and his dirt bike. On the same day we moved the outhouse he got a new ATV.  He keeps her on an almost-heart-attack state constantly while her daughter is moving an outhouse, planning to run a vegetable farm with three little kids while at the same time building a house of mud.

I texted her back saying she is our mother; she should know where this crazy comes from. Of course, she blamed my dad without hesitation ;-)

Such is my lovely family.

 

moving-an-outhouse-03It all started from a Craigslist ad. My husband found a tiny house for sale, and we contacted the lady asking to come see it.

David ended up going to check it by himself a couple mornings later. He called me after his visit, and I could hear the excitement in his voice. My husband does not get excited easily so I figured this must be good.

He liked the tiny house very much and wanted to move it to the farm. Even though we have some experience with moving things by ourselves, we know this time we will have to call the professionals because it was too tall and heavy. It will take some time to find someone to move it for us.

“Meanwhile,” he said, “we can take the outhouse.”

“The outhouse!” I exclaimed, jumping with joy, “there is an outhouse?”

“Yes, and she is giving it to us for free!”

I’ve been talking my husband’s ears off about my outhouse obsession for months by then, and I am sure, most of all he was just happy there was a chance I will finally shut up and leave him alone.

On Saturday, we loaded up the kids and drove to Judy’s old homestead to pick up the outhouse.

 

moving-an-outhouse-19And what do you know… We stepped back in time. Only 25 minutes from our home, practically inside the city limits, between beautiful pastures, we found this handmade, rustic, homestead. I kinda forgot about the outhouse; I had to hear the stories first.

Judy explained that the 92 acres the homestead is on, are owned by an older couple. This whole place is now pastures and forest, but back then, in the seventies, it used to be a hippie commune. Judy’s house and another we passed on our way are the only two left. The couple let Judy stay on the land as long as she wants with the condition that she keeps it rustic. Her house used to be very small, but with the help of friends and family she kept adding to it over the years. She raised three boys here, all grown now.

 

moving-an-outhouse-23The first thing to catch my eye was the plumbing system. Water flows from the metal roof down the gutter into 6 inch pipes…

[Read more…]

Non-Alcoholic Echinacea Tincture

A few weeks ago I wrote about 6 Natural Remedies to Prevent Flu and Cold. Number 3 on my list was echinacea tincture. Yesterday I made a batch of the good stuff, and I would like to share this simple tincture with you.

 

nonalcoholic-echinacea-tinctur-12Most tinctures are made with alcohol. If you use alcohol to make a tincture, you need to make sure you use something that has 80% to 100% alcohol in it. Do you know what happens to me of I smell something with 80% alcohol in it? Yes, I just need to smell it and I am drunk. Staying healthy this Winter sounds great, healthy and drunk? Mmmm…. Not so much. This is the reason I make my tincture with apple cider vinegar.

 

prevent-cold-and-flu-naturaly-5Echinacea is a group of nine species that are part of the daisy family. This perennial is as useful as it is beautiful. The roots and the rest of the plant are used in herbal medicine to boost the immune system and prevent cold and flu. Here is a great post about how to grow echinacea from Ever Growing Farm.

Non-Alcoholic Echinacea Tincture:

 

nonalcoholic-echinacea-tinctur-07I don’t have echinacea in my garden at the moment, so I bought echinacea root from Mountain Rose Herbs (in the picture is a 4oz bag). To make a tincture, you will also need a jar and some good apple cider vinegar. I used Bargg’s.

 

nonalcoholic-echinacea-tinctur-08Fill the jar with as much echinacea root as you want…

 

nonalcoholic-echinacea-tinctur-09I used the whole 4oz bag.

[Read more…]

First Planting at Kismet Farm

We worked so hard to get to this moment. Many times, it felt like there was no way we could make the next step happen. Sometimes it felt like there was no way we are going to be able to pull  together the resources we needed to make this dream a reality. If it was the bank’s agreement to financing the land, or the tools we needed to make the land ready for planting. Sometimes we felt that maybe we were biting more than we could chew. But since the moment we stepped foot on those 20 acres of farm land, everything just happened as if it was directed from above. As if it was our fate, our destiny. This is why we named our farm Kismet Farm. And on Sunday, October  26th, with the help of our dear friends, we planted the first seeds at Kismet farm.

 

First seeds on Kismet FarmWe were looking for land for two years. I became addicted to the real estate web sites. I knew every parcel of land in a 30 mile radius of our home. Where was it, its price, how long it was for sale, when it was sold, how much it was sold for. I say 30 miles because we didn’t want my husband to have to drive more than that to get to our locksmith store in town, so when I saw this piece of land, I ignored it. It was 45 miles away. Simply too far.

But it stayed in my mind, and I wasn’t sure why I kept thinking about it from time to time. At fist, I thought that it will sale in a week since the price was low. I mean, three times lower per acre compared to another  farm land in the area. It also had two creeks on it, and it was cleared. Some of it was in production of soybeans in the past.

But it didn’t sale. It was sitting there looking back at me every time I went looking for land online. Seven months after I first found it, I asked my husband to go see the land. I told him it was too far anyway and I just needed to see it so I can put it aside and forget about it. He agreed, thinking it will be a nice Sunday drive in the country.

I don’t know how to explain what happened next… We parked, got off the car and met an old redneck who spoke in a way we could not understand a word he said. There was no way to even walk the land since it was overgrown, so we kind of walked along one side of it. We saw nothing but brush, understood nothing, but knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is the land we want.

Now, both you and I know that what you want is not always what you can get. You see… We had a major problem here, four months earlier we happen to come across a great commercial space for our business. The business paid the down payment and all the other expenses of the purchase, and the business is paying the mortgage, but because our business is young, the bank insisted the space will be listed under our name rather than the business name. This simply means additional debt on our name. We set in the car on our way home after seeing the land, and we both were thinking the same thing…. There was no way we can find a bank to finance this farm land because our debt to income ratio is just too high. Couple that with the fact that it is extremely hard to find someone to finance bare land far from the city those days, and our chances to get what we wanted were almost non-existent.

I was in deep though. You see, I had this farm planned in my head since the first grade, and now that we found it I wasn’t going to give up so easily.

So the next day, when the kids hit their beds for naptime I hit the phone. I called and got turned down. I called another bank and got turned down again. Then again, and again. They wouldn’t even take an application because there was nothing on the land. I was about to give up when I found someone who will at least let me fill the application. “I’ll see what I can do,” he said, and it did not sound promising at all. I filled my husband in when he came home, and we just figure we will have to wait until we save more money or consider selling our house.

What do you know… Two days later the guy from the bank called and said he got the loan approved. I was so shocked I couldn’t talk. How did that happen I had no idea, but I wasn’t going to ask him anything besides where he wants me to sign.

A year and a couple of months later and here we are. This past year, we bought and fixed an old RV so we have a place to stay when we go to work. We purchased a Suburban to tow a trailer to haul our new (to us) tractor with its gazillion attachments. We purchased a mower, a tiller, a seeder.  We installed a driveway, we got a farm number, we got an address, and we were ready to start planting. But since we have zero experience with farming it wasn’t that easy. We got to the farm a few times and instead of doing what we planned on doing we found ourselves messing with the tractor the whole day. We broke some bolts, couldn’t get the tiller to attach properly to the tractor, then we couldn’t get it off the tractor, then realized we can’t just use the tiller, we really needed a plow… and so on and so on. Frustrating. We wished we had an old farmer friend that we could call and ask a question, but there is no such contact. So we came back home, researched, watched some You-Tube videos and went back to the land again. All this work was done on the weekends only, and it took forever.

But last Sunday, we finally put some seeds in the soil.

 

First Planting at Kismet Farm-07To prepare the soil, we started by plowing…

[Read more…]

Simple White Bread Recipe

If you make your bread at home, you know how important it is to have a simple recipe on hand. A recipe that doesn’t take a whole lot of time to make, a recipe with simple ingredients that you probably already have in your house, and of course, that tastes great. This simple white bread recipe answers all those requirements.

 

Simple White Bread RecipeThis bread reminds Italian bread very much. It’s got only six ingredients in it, and it is great with both sweet or savory toppings.

 

Simple White Bread Recipe-03To a large mixing bowl, add seven cups of bread flour (all-purpose flour will work too, just make sure to sift it). I knead my dough by hand, but if you use a mixer, you’ll add the ingredients to the mixer’s bowl.

 

Simple White Bread Recipe-04Add one tablespoon of sugar…

[Read more…]

Harvesting Sweet Potatoes and Saving Slips

I love growing sweet potatoes in my garden. This year, in the middle of April, I planted three kinds; purple sweet potatoes (purple on the inside and outside), Covington sweet potatoes (which are the regular orange ones), and Hawaiian sweet potatoes (white on the outside, purple on the inside). A few days ago we harvested our sweet potatoes.

 

Harvesting 3  Kinds of Sweet Potatoes and Saving Slips.Last year, I planted sweet potatoes in one of my garden beds. The potatoes loved it, the vine crawled everywhere and very fast covered the whole bed. I liked it a bit less since my garden is very small, and I couldn’t use the bed to grow anything else the whole Summer.

 

Sweet Potato-05So this year, I tried to grow the purple potatoes and the Hawaiians in containers, and I made another bed especially for the Covingtons. The problem with the new bed was that I couldn’t find time to fence it. The rabbits kept coming back to nibble on the leaves and the plant just couldn’t keep up. Anyway, we got to harvest a few Covingtons from that bed, but the more exciting part was the containers.

 

Sweet Potato-06We laid nylon in front of the containers….

[Read more…]

Exalibur 9-tray Dehydrator Giveaway!

dehydrator-giveaway-landscapeThis amazing machine is definitely on my wish list! Probably on every homesteader’s wish list.

The black, 9 tray Exilibur dehydrator has a total of 15 sq ft of drying space, it’s got a 26 hour timer, an adjustable thermostat, 7 inch fan, 600 watts, and it is made right here in good old USA.

What can you use this machine for? Most people use it to dry fruit and veggies. For example, how about serving your kids zucchini chips, or kale chips, or maybe carrot chips? Of course, you can also make your own potato chips, or maybe sweet potato chips. How about drying tomatoes, or you can also dry onion, then grind it and make your own onion powder.

You can dry any kind of fruit. Use it as a snack, or add to baked goods or use in cooking. But if you thought this dehydrator is only good for fruits and veggies, think again. How about drying kitchen towels? Or a wet paper? You can dry used coffee grounds and eggshells, you can dry your cell phone if you happen to drop it in the toilet by mistake. The list go on and on. This post will give you some ideas.

I know you don’t need any more convincing, especially after the cell phone example… ;-)

Make sure to pay the participating bloggers a visit and give them some love! Maybe LIKE them on FaceBook or follow them on Pinterest.

Bloggers participating in this wonderful giveaway: Grow a Good Life, Timber Creek Farm, MomPrepares, Little Big Harvest, The Flip Flop Barnyard, Walking Softly Upon the Earth, The Easy Homestead, Little Blog on the Homestead, Montana Homesteader, Untrained Housewife, The Free Range Life, The Cedar Hill Chronicles, Imperfectly Happy, Pint Size Farm, Feathers in the Woods, Homestead Lady, ShneiderPeeps, Musing of a Modern Hippie, Lil’ Suburban Homestead, One Acre Farm, The Tattooed Homestead, Trayer Wilderness, Abundant Living With Less, Pasture Deficit Disorder, Letters From Sunnybrook, Homestead Bloggers Network, Lady Lee’s Home –  that’s me! Make sure you like my FaceBook page and follow me on Pinterest!

This giveaway is open to residents of the congruent United States. Entrants must be age 18 or older to enter. Giveaway runs from October 15th – 22nd. Winner will be drawn October 23rd and emailed. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to the email before another entrant is chosen.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

 

 

Old Fashion Semolina Porridge and the Real Story of Goldilocks

Did you ever read one of those classic fairy tales to your child and thought ‘this does not make any sense, at all!’  Well, it happens to me all the time when I read the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I mean, what little girl will wonder off by herself in the woods, trespass into a house, where lives, none other than a family of friendly bears, then eat a hot porridge, which tasted better because it was in a small bowl, then break a child’s size chair, where usually a bear sits, only to fall asleep peacefully without messing the house. Yeah, right.

You know why it doesn’t make sense? Because it is not the real story, that’s why! For years, they (not sure who ‘they’ are exactly…) lied to us. Generations of kids grew up on false information. But one thing in the story remained true to this day. The hot, sweet, milky porridge. And if you ask me, it must have been an old fashion semolina porridge.

So, I am here today, to tell you the real story of Goldilocks and to give you this easy recipe for a wonderful old fashion semolina porridge.

 

old-fashion-semolina-porridge-11The story of The Three Bears was first published in 1837 by Robert Southey. Some suggest that Southey was not the first to come up with the story, in fact, it is said that a very similar story had been told much earlier starring a fox as the antagonist.

In Southey’s tell, the three bears are not a family, but three bachelor bears living in a house in the woods. Already makes much more sense, right? Anyhow, they are described as a small bear, a medium bear, and a large bear, and they have always been friendly and trust-worthy.

Goldilocks, on the other hand, was not a sweet, curious girl with gold curls. Far from it. She was a filthy, ugly, foul-mouthed, bad, old lady. A criminal, really. Some suggest that Southey heard the story of the fox and confused it with an old, dirty lady. Goldilocks? Dreadlocks! That was her real name.

 

old-fashion-semolina-porridge-13

Anyway, the criminal lady broke into the three bachelor bears house, ate their porridge, broke their furniture in search of gold and went upstairs to take a nap since she was homeless and a warm bed sounded good. When the three bears came back home and found her, she ran away before they could fetch the forest’s police. Exactly what every criminal would have done.

Now, THIS story makes perfect sense!

[Read more…]

6 Natural Remedies to Prevent Cold and Flu

In the past few Winters, we got sick many times. Even though we try to eat healthy, we get plenty of outdoor exercise, and our kids don’t go to day care, somehow we managed to catch a nasty cold more than once. So this year I am determined to prevent us from getting the flu or cold. And I am determined to do it naturally.

 

prevent-cold-and-flu-naturaly-11So I did some research and came up with 6 natural remedies to prevent cold and flu. 6 easy things we can start doing now that will help us stay healthy this Winter.

Flu and cold are triggered by a virus, not a bacteria like many believe. Those viruses are floating around us constantly, the reason we “catch” them in a certain season is because of the seasonal change in our body. Even though the trigger of the illness is a virus, the cause for the illness is a weakened immune system.

 

prevent-cold-and-flu-naturaly-11. Cod Liver Oil

As the seasons change, the day become shorter, the temperatures drop, and the sun is not as strong as in the Summer months. We spend less time outdoors, soaking up less and less good old vitamin D from the bright circle up above. Researches show, that “catching” cold and flu might be a symptom of a vitamin D deficiency. Lower levels of vitamin D in your body will weaken your immune system significantly. So, the first thing to do as Winter approaches, is to make sure we keep the vitamin D level in our body optimal. One natural way to do this is by taking cod liver oil. Among the other many goodies in this oil, it is also very rich in vitamin D, and will help strengthen your immune system significantly. You will probably be able to find good quality cod liver oil in a local natural foods store or a health store, or you can purchase it online Here.

[Read more…]