Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kingdom F.E.S.T. In Owego, NY

I am so proud of my husband Larry. This weekend he performed at the Kingdom F.E.S.T. in Owego, NY at the Abide In The Vine Fellowship. It was a day of worshiping our Savior, Christ Jesus through music. Many different musicians and bands took part. A group of people from our church came to hear him, as did his sister, Pat and her husband Tim. After it was over we met Pat and Tim at my father-in-law's house where Larry's brother, Ken also lives. So it was a perfect ending to a perfect day. His father is 89 and is in the process of losing his sight as well as his hearing and is not able to go to an event like that. He was very proud of him though. I believe his mother was with him in spirit. She wuld have been so proud of him and this is what she wanted for him to do. Kind of like following in her footsteps......

The weather wasn't great and that may have kept many people from attending. The children who were there had a wonderful time with the Christian Clowns who put on a very funny skit. They were dressed so colorful and really caught your eye.

I loved the Abide In The Vine Dance Team! They were awesome! The lights were turned down low and they flowed.....they danced. So graceful and peaceful........really enjoyed this. I think they must do this every Sunday at Abide In The Vine Fellowship.

Tammy Gendron did a wonderful job of putting this whole thing together. She did not do it alone, but I do not know everyone who helped her. This was the second one that has taken place. We will hopefully be part of it again next year.

We have been getting a lot of rain for the last few days here. Fall almost always brings us that cold rainy weather. Our horses hate that but are looking forward to the snow......which my husband is not. Winter is pretty tough here and many times lately we have thought of alternatives for this coming season.

Have a good homesteading day and hope your day is very blessed!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn In New York

Here are some photos I have taken with my new camera showing the coming of fall here in upstate NY. Our trees are turning color fast as well as dropping leaves. It is a pretty time but it is also a warning that we better get prepared for winter.

Yesterday was my husband's birthday and the first day of Autumn. This is a photo of our paddock in the early morning when we were having our coffee. A cool day here in NY but not unpleasant. And not cool enough to need a woodstove fired up. We always joke that we close the stove down near my birthday in late June and start it up around his birthday. Not quite. But pretty close most years.

In fact, our winter visitors, the Conifer bugs are already back from the forest and are trying to find their way into the house to sleep for the winter. I wouldn't mind these bugs so much but would rather they find some other place to hold up for their winter sleep. I never could understand why these bugs want to live in a house anyway. Aren't they supposed to be outside? They are also known as "stink bugs" as soon as they know you are looking at them they start to stink. Sometimes we do not even know they are around but they tell on themselves with that smell and we start searching for that little stinker!

This Saturday my husband will be performing at the Kingdom F.E.S.T. in Owego, NY at the Abide In The Vine Fellowship at 1277 Taylor Road. He will be playing in the gymnasium at 3:00 PM and will be playing songs that he as written. They are really awesome....very moving. His mother would have been so proud of him and I think she will be there in spirit with him. Most of his family is musical and it came from her.

Today we will be going to my friend's new home that is only four miles from here for a birthday lunch for my husband. She is a spinner and will be bringing her horse there in October and then later her goats, sheep and rabbits. She milks the goats and makes cheese and yogurt with the milk and maybe some soap. The sheep and Angora rabbits she spins their fiber. None of her animals are for meat. And she will not sell them for meat either. It is nice to have a friend close by. She got a good deal on a huge house with a small barn and just enough land for her little flock and her Haflinger horse. Has a real nice woodstove right in the center of a large living room - kitchen area with straight pipe all the way. That's the best!

Enjoy your nice Autumn Day!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Do You Already Have The Perfect Homestead?

Over the ten years that I have been living here at Peaceful Forest I have met many people who are always looking for a perfect homestead. Many of these same people seem to think that my homestead is just perfect. It is not. It never was perfect. There is no such place. You can make any place into a homestead and in time, it may even become perfect.

Peaceful Forest was an old farm house that was built in 1850 in a little development around the Ludlow Creek. There was a saw mill along the creek and from the old foundations in this area it was a thriving community. I can just picture the various families in their buggies, on horseback and people traveling by foot passing by this house on their way to Oxford.

When we purchased our house it was being advertised as a snowmobile camp as the roads surrounding it are designated as snowmobile trails. It had been used as hunting camp though since 1924. We wrote up an offer and it was accepted and here we are. Since it is off the grid, most people were not interested in it unless it was for a vacation or hunting camp. The house needed a lot of work and the woods came right up the house almost.

A perfect homestead can be made from any house or property. It just takes time and patience and of course, money. And...oh did I forget to mention hard work? Lots of hard work! As I said the woods came right up to our house and needed clearing. My husband cleared our entire yard and paddock and garden area by himself with no heavy equipment. Just him and his chainsaw. In 2000 we had a pretty bad tornado that assisted in that job. It is only recently that all that wood has finally been used up. It kept us in firewood for all those years!

It is important in the beginning to know what kind of homestead do you want? Will it be centered around a garden? Livestock? Now livestock is the real challenge. They need housing, fencing, most need pasture or a turn out area. We have three horses but have no pasture. They have a paddock area that is quite large and grass is starting to grow there. In the beginning it was much smaller and over the years we have cleared more and more and moved the fence to accomodate it. We have no livestock for food but if you want that you need to make sure you have it all in place before you bring your first animal home. Nothing is worse than not having a place for those animals while you are building what they need.

We have decided we really don't want any more animals than what we have. Our goal is to eventually not have any so we can go to Florida during the winter. It depends on what your plans are. For us the garden is the big thing. We have been working on remodeling the root cellar, pantry and kitchen. That is where a good share of our food comes from. The next big thing for us is our alternative power source which right now is only the solar panels and our generator. So our property has to accomodate that. Another major interest for me is the wild plants and the forest. So that is where I focus much of my energy.

You just need to take stock of your present home and see what changes you would need to make it a homestead centered around your homesteading goals. Make a list and then work from that. What do you wish you could do on your homestead that you can't do now? Then figure out what it would take to do that. Save the money up for those projects. Sometimes people put their lives on hold waiting for something to change.......sometimes that causes them to miss out on their dream. So stop wasting time waiting for that day and start making those changes right now.

Moving from place to place looking for your perfect homestead costs a lot of money. Just think if you were putting all that moving expense money into your present home how far you could. Other places always look better than what you have unless you get to work on it immediately. Do little things and it will add up. One day you will think to yourself that you have found the perfect homestead already!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Harvesting Red Clover

Yesterday, I harvested for the third time a good amount of red clover (Trifolium pratense). I have it growing in the raised bed that I previously had garlic growing in. It must be a good year for it as there is an abundance of it. I have always harvested it around here but not quite this much. My tin for it is not as big as I need now so I am having to get another one that is much bigger. We drink Red Clover infusions pretty much all year long. Not every single day.....but on a regular basis.

This is my Red Clover patch that is growing in one of my raised beds out back. Yesterday I harvested more Red Clover. Every time I tried to cut the flowers this big ole bumble bee would start working in that area. One time he got on a flower and I really don't know what he was doing to it....... I don't think I want to know! He was doing something and I went to get my camera but when I came back he had left and didn't come back.

According Susun Weed's New Menopausal Years - The Wise Woman Way:

"Use Red Clover before and during your menopausal years to:

Keep yourself hormonally fit.
Reverse premature menopause.
Improve your chances of having a child after age 40.
Moderate the intensity of your hot flashes.
Prevent and reverse breast cancer.
Improve memory, clear confusion, increase energy.
Ease your anxiety.
Relieve muscle and joint pain, diminish headaches.
Keep your skin supple and healthy.
Increase vaginal lubrication.
Ease incontinecne, relieve cystitis.
Prevent Osteoporosis.
Prevent strokes."

As with any herbal remedy try a little at first and increase. Take in moderation. I like to use different ones for variety and heal and soothe all parts. That way you are not taking huge amounts of one thing that could cause a problem. The only thing I drink every single day is my Essiac tea. My husband does too. It gives us a peace of mind.

If you have cut back on your soy use due to it's "black side", as Susun Weed calls it. Try the Red Clover instead. It provides all the benefits soy does but with none of the bad stuff. Instead of leaching the minerals from your bones red clover gives generously to your bone's health. Red clover also helps to normalize your thyroid and it is a known fact that Red clover prevents and works against breast cancer. Plus it contains more active phytoestrogens in greater quanity than soy. So what would you rather be using? Soy or Red Clover? Easy answer for me.

Clinical studies and double blind tests have not been done and are therefore not endorsed by the FDA. Information provided is for educational and experimental purposes only and my opinion only. If you have any questions, please consult your physician

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Canning Again

I canned 19 pints of corn yesterday and this morning. I love canning and even though it seems like a lot of work when you are cleaning your vegetables or cutting the meat up it is well worth it. It is kinda like childbirth......later you forget about the work and are glad and proud you did it. I don't eat corn anymore due to it being a high carb food. My husband likes it though so I like to have it in the pantry for him. I also can beets and carrots for him and they too, are high carb vegetables. I might grab a serving of one of them from time to time but not too often.

The last week here including yesterday I have been harvesting herbs that I grow. Right now I have sage, parsley (both kinds), oregano, lemon balm and red clover. It smells so good! You wouldn't believe how great it smells compared to store bought. I usually buy my spices and herbs at my local Mennonite market, Pine Ridge in Bainbridge, NY. It is fresher than the grocery stores and sold in bulk so it is less money. But believe me....nothing compares to growing and drying your own.

The time I spend canning our food is some of my favorite time. I feel like every jar is valuable. When we first moved here I already had hundreds of jars from our previous garden. So when my husband was in a very bad work related accident and we had no money coming in at first, we still had lots of food.

The difference between canning your foods and freezing your foods is that your canned foods last indefinitely. If you keep those canned jars clean and dry - especially dry, they will keep for years. I am very familar with freezing foods also, as for years that is what I did in my previous life. I am also very familar with throwing foods out with freezer burn or trying to find something in the freezer that is not there or that became unwrapped. I never have enjoyed my vegetables with ice crystals on them. Know what I mean?

Another aspect of canning is that you never have to worry about losing your food if you have power outages for a period of time. I hear so many people say that if that happens they will just can all the frozen foods! LOL Now come on! If you are in the middle of some disaster or something like that do you really think you will start thawing the food out to can it? Canning is a process that must be done strictly by the rules to make sure nobody gets sick from your canned foods. I don't think if I was in the middle of a major emergency such as hurricane, wild fires, blizzard or whatever that I would want to start canning my food. I can't even be on my computer or do much else in the middle of canning. My foods are canned and ready to eat, no fussing just warm them up. Perfect in emergency times.

As far as tasting good.....believe me that my husband is a very critical eater. He loves my canned foods as do I. We love the canned meats as they make my time in the kitchen when preparing our meals so much easier. Plus you know what you put in each jar. I look for foods without sugar and it's relatives and they are hard to find these days. I look for foods without words I cannot pronounce. Or for foods with ingredients that I know exactly what those ingredients are. Since I follow a low carb eating plan this is a very critical point for me......it is a matter of my health.

Have a great day!