Monday, January 14, 2013

Seeds Ordered

My favorite part about winter is sitting indoors while it's freezing outside, looking through the countless seeds available to grow in my area! Yesterday, I did just that. I finally got my seed order placed through Baker Creek Seeds.

I still have several varieties that I saved from last years garden, but everyone knows that picking out new varieties is part of the fun of gardening. ;) Pictures will be posted when they arrive!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Back :)

Hi everyone, sorry I have been missing, if there is even anyone still reading these posts! We had a cray busy holiday season. Between changing jobs, finishing my class, a wedding 9 hours away, and then add all of the typical Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff, I had to take a break!

Here's to hopefully a new year of homesteading, pictures and some recipes!

Sunday, September 23, 2012


It's been too long since I've posted a blog post, unfortunately this one won't contain anything substantial, just life stuff.

Things have been crazy these last two weeks. My Grandmother was diagnosed with stage four cancer, so we have been grieving the news of this and taking care of her.

My sister is now engaged, and they are planning a wedding in December, so there is a lot a buzz about that!

Lastly, I just started my new position at work, working more hours and day shift, so this means less time to write blog posts (which I miss dearly!) Squeeze in homework and farm chores and that's my life right now!

With fall now here, I am itching to make some pumpkin-y type foods, and so I'll hopefully have on posted on here soon! :D Have a good day!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Stepping into Essential Oils: Tick Repellent

By nature, I am an extremely curious person. Combine that with my love (obsession?) for good smelly things, you would have thought that I would be exploring the world of essential oils and all their benefits already! No, this is something I had actually never really thought about. Then the flea/tick drops stopped working on the dogs and I knew I needed to look into something better (and more natural).

Please don't get me wrong. I know a lot of people completely shun any and all uses of chemicals and I understand why. But where we live, there is an increasing risk of diseases such as Lyme disease that is transmitted by ticks. Then there is West Nile Virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes. When they worked, I was willing to put them on the dogs to protect them from these diseases. Lately though, I have been finding numerous ticks on the dogs only a week after putting these products on them. I am finally fed up with putting chemicals on the dogs that aren't even doing what they are claiming to do!

I have tried several different brands, and have had the same experience with all of them. My sister's dog even developed paranoia after being administered Vectra 3D (the same tick repellent that we were giving our dogs).

I decided that even if I have to apply it everyday, I am going to find a better solution. A more natural solution. In this post I am going to give you the different methods I am trying and the recipes I have found from my internet research. Because we are nearing the end of "tick season" I doubt I will be able to share my results until next spring/summer. That is one thing that has frustrated me through my internet research. I wanted to find REAL people with REAL results. I found plenty of recipes, but not many people that said, "This worked great for me!".

Here is the recipe I came up with, after researching different recipes.

Tick Repellent
10 drops geranium essential oil
6 drops lavender essential oil
approx 1 cup water

Mix together in a spray bottle and apply as needed.

Since the ticks are gone for the season (yay!) I will report back in the spring/summer with results.

Another tip I have found, is to directly apply a couple drops of the EO on the dog's collar (NOT the dog, this can cause skin irritation and other problems. Essential oils should always be diluted) for added protection. I did this with  the geranium and lavender oils when I first received them and did not find any ticks. I'm not sure if it is related to the oils, or simply the fact that ticks are less common at this time of the year.

I bought my essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs, per the recommendation of friends on a forum, although you can use any therapeutic grade essential oil for the recipes.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Minestrone Bread Bowls

Soup is probably the most amazing meal there is, in my opinion. So quick and easy to throw together and you don't really have to have a recipe. Whatever you have on hand is normally enough to make a great soup and it's guaranteed to be a little different every time!

Hubby came home from work a couple days ago with the idea to make bread bowls and soup for dinner. So, I left the bread bowl making up to him while I was at work and I made the soup the next day.

Since I didn't make the bread bowls, I will give you the link to the recipe he used. Instead of using all white flour, he used half whole wheat flour. It also seemed to call for too much flour, so he ended cutting back on the flour.

The soup recipe was something I basically threw together with what I had on hand.

- 3-4 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 can tomato sauce (I used leftover homemade tomato sauce that was in the fridge)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup lima beans
- 2 cups cooked kidney beans
- 1 cup fresh kale
-1 cup cooked pasta
- half a chopped onion, sauteed in garlic
-garlic and onion salt/powder to taste

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Excalibur Dehydrator Giveaway by Modern Pioneer!

Modern Pioneer is giving away an Excalibur Dehydrator! This has been on my "must get" list for quite some time. Hurry though, there are only two more days to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Nichole's Modern Homestead is not affiliated with Modern Pioneer in any way. I am simply sharing this opportunity with my readers.

Monday, July 30, 2012

How to Use Cherry Tomatoes: Sun Dried Tomatoes

I think the cherry tomato is the one plant that is guaranteed to provide you with a bountiful harvest. While everything else in my garden is refusing to produce because of the drought, the cherry tomatoes just keep on chugging! This year I planted Large Red Cherry Tomatoes. These things are ginormous! There was no way I could just use them for salads, so I had to come up with a way to use them up. Well, I made a batch of salsa with them because I had a packet of store bought salsa mix laying around. That used up about 6lbs of them, but they were still pouring in.

So, I decided to make "Sun" Dried Tomatoes. I admit, I cheated. They would never dry out in our Indiana sun (although they might have during the heat wave last month!) so I popped them in the oven!

These are super easy to make. They take very little prep time, five minutes hands on and the rest of the time they just sit in the oven.

Simply wash and slice the cherry tomatoes in half. I tossed them in a little bit of olive oil, Italian seasoning and sea salt.

 Spread across a baking sheet and let them sit in the oven at about 150-200 degrees F for several hours until they are dried out. If your oven can't go that low, just put it on as low as it will go. You will need to keep a close eye on it though. The second batch I made was a little crispier than I would have liked, but they are still delicious!

This post is linked to:

The Country Garden Showcase

Barn Hop #73

The Country Homemaker Hop #31

Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #38

Little House in the Suburbs DIY Linky #10

Freaky Friday Linky

Growing Home