Food Storage Analyzer™ Preparedness Pantry Blog Independence Acres: 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

 Future Bunny Houses

This is the type of Bunny houses we are wanting to build soon, as we know bunnies multiply like crazy!

Brrrrrr, it's cold outside!!!!!

    The past few days have been exceptionally windy and cold here in Middle Georgia, I'm looking forward to warmer weather later this week as I have loads of planting yet to do! We still have to clear our side plots and till, and then amend the soil so we can broadcast Winter Rye and Hairy Vetch as a cover crop. We also have several rows of red onions that need to be RE-planted, Thanks to our rotten Guineas!

   We just picked up 7 new Californian rabbits Saturday afternoon to add to our homestead for producing great organic fertilizer for our gardens. We use Purina NaturalAdvantage to feed them, and so far they are adjusting well to their new home. The great thing about bunny manure is that it can be added directly to gardens without composting first, as it doesn't burn the plants. Given the size of our gardens, the bunnies will make growing our gardens more affordable, and has the added benefit of lowering our carbon footprint. <<Pictures to come soon>>

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Top 3 DIY Laundry essentials- You don't wanna miss these! We are currently using the Lavender and Vinegar fabric softener and it is awesome and super easy to make! Check out the directions here . I hope you enjoy!!
I know you've probably heard about making laundry soap at home, but who knew you can make a years supply of laundry soap for under $30 a year! To learn how to make your own, check out the directions here as well as everything you will need for this project! What a great way to save money and try something different! Have Fun!!!!

Autumn Scented Homemade Woolen Handwarmers

I found an awesome idea for creating special, scented hand warmers, it can be found here . What a neat idea!!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Homemade Pancake Mix-Yummy!

I found a great, money saving recipe for homemade pancake mix- and since we go through a ton of the stuff this is a real money saver for us! I've shared a link for the recipe source at the bottom of the page so you can check it out, she has tons of great information and recipes on her site!


(makes 4 recipes)
8 C. flour
6 T. + 2 t. baking powder
4 t. salt
1/2 C. dry egg powder
2/3 C. sugar
1 1/3 C. dry non-instant milk powder or 2 2/3 C. instant milk powder
Mix dry ingredients together WELL (and make sure your baking powder is still good!) and store in an air tight container.


2 3/4 C. pancake mix
2 1/4 C. water
1/3 C. oil (or bean puree)
Mix ingredients together until smooth.  Pour onto pre-heated griddle.  Flip pancakes when bubbles form.


2 C. flour
5 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 eggs (2 T. dry egg powder + 1/4 C. water)
3 T. sugar
2 C. milk (1/3 C. dry non-instant milk powder or 2/3 dry instant milk powder + 2 C. water)
1/3 C. oil
Beat eggs, add milk, stir in oil, add dry ingredients.  Beat until smooth.  (If you’re using all dry powders, you can simply add all your dry ingredients, water, and oil.


EASY!  Change the mix recipe to be…
8 C. flour
4 T. baking powder
3 T. baking soda
4 t. salt
1/2 C. dry egg powder
2/3 C. sugar
2 2/3 C. buttermilk powder
Mix dry ingredients together WELL (and make sure your baking powder is still good!) and store in an air tight container.
You’ll make the pancakes from the mix the exact same way.

My Thanks to Crystal over at Everyday Food Storage for sharing such a great recipe! She has many more good recipes over there so check it out!

Garden Update Week Ending July 27, 2012

Well we have learned that we definitely have a calcium deficiency in our soil here. Our Roma tomatoes, Yellow Squash, and our Watermelons are all showing signs of Blossom End Rot, which is caused by a calcium deficiency. We had to throw all of our watermelons to the chickens yesterday as the blossom end was rotted and brown. If you get a watermelon that is wrinkled and brown on the end, chances are it is blossom end rot. At any rate, I will be adding some bone meal to the soil to hopefully counteract this so we can get melons this year! Our cucumbers have had a rough time with all the heat but they are still producing, albeit much slower than before. Our bell peppers are looking great, but have a poor taste, unlike last years crop. After research it appears that not enough water is the culprit. Apparently Bell Peppers like moist soil and will taste bitter or bland without adequate water. Our zucchini have produced a little but everything seems to be having a rough time in the summer heat. The tomatoes have been having issues with brown caterpillars that look like tomato hornworms, which come to find out are both Tersa Sphinx caterpillars; they just come in both green and brown.

Hectic Week

Okay so it has been a hectic week- We finally got our well fixed, come to find out we needed both a new Well pump and a well tank- but we have water and it is working like a champ! We did end up getting an impressive thunderstorm last night and a good bit of rain so hopefully that will help the garden some.

Monday, July 16, 2012

How to build Community

A friend of mine shared this on Facebook, I really wish I knew who the artist is so that I could give them credit, this is so true! A strong community is vital, get to know your Neighbors!

Orange Peel Oil Candle

This is a really cool idea! Using an orange and some olive oil to make an oil lamp!

Mulch for the plants

Since I've had no work to do today we are working on mulching around the plants in the front yard-mainly our grapes, Catawba trees, Blackberries, blueberries, and Comfrey plants. Mulch has really made a huge difference in the amount of required watering in our backyard garden so we are hoping it will help in the front yard beds as well. We are trying to make sure these are well established before winter so hopefully next year when we are ready to add the drip irrigation we will only need to toss on a bit more mulch and be done :) I'd love to hear any and all suggestions on effective watering as this drought has hit Georgia hard for the past few years, and it makes gardening tough sometimes!
Asking your local county workers to drop some off when they trim trees, or by asking your local tree trimmers is a great way to get a few truckloads of mulch for free or next to free! We still have a 3 foot tall pile of mulch from early summer, and it is great for adding nutrients to the soil as well.

Well Pump Woes

This weekend was fun- our well pump decided to go kaput so we have been roughing it for the past few days-just like camping but with no running water. I guess you could call it a personal SHTF situation as it is tough keeping a house clean, water to drink, and four kids clean with no running water. We do keep water on hand so it wasn't as bad as it could have been but I never knew it took 2 gallons per flush every time we flush the toilet! I can't lie, even though most people would probably have found it upsetting we took it as a challenge to see if we could "get by" until the well guy gets here. He was supposed to show Friday or Saturday but didn't, we are still waiting for him today(Monday) but no show so far. At any rate, it gave us a good indication that the water we have in case of an emergency wouldn't be nearly enough for just a few days with our well pump working. I really want to install a hand pump so that we always have water as our lights also went off this weekend for a day due to storms. It really makes sense to me to always have a backup plan for your backup plan! Oh, and always store twice the water you think you will need!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Spring Gardener Gable Greenhouse" I'm wanting to purchase one of these for the spot I cleared in back.

Life, Liberty, and Happiness~

Just in case you haven't heard, this week the House of Representatives is planning to consider a provision to the House Agricultural Appropriations Bill that will fundamentally undermine the concept of judicial review. This provision will deal another blow to the freedoms we have always held dear. Please follow the link below to petition Congress to stop the Monsanto Protection Act, which has been buried in section 733.

Goodies from the Garden

This is some of what our garden gave us in the past few days~ We are 100% Organic here, from fertilizer to pest control. We are lucky to have a large population of beneficial insects in our garden, so that really helps keep the bad bugs out! If you are just getting started and need a hand please feel free to drop me a line, I will help in any way that I can.

I'm a BzzAgent and I just tried the Awesome Pizza, Tortilla Cupz, and Lime Fruit Bars this past weekend and I was very pleased. The pizza tastes better than the premium brand we usually purchase, the tortilla cups were great with homemade dip, and the Lime Fruit Bars tasted like real fruit! Kroger makes it easy to have family night and have a great meal!

Work a little, "Play" a little

Today I'd like to think I got a good bit of work done, both at work and in the garden. I work from home so my breaks usually consist of taking a break to work outside awhile in the garden. Today we harvested a load of Cayenne Peppers, Cajun Bell Peppers, Heirloom Beefsteak tomatoes, Cucumbers, and a load of Zuchinni Squash. I also went and did a bit of grocery shopping and managed to dehydrate a pound of mushrooms I got on sale at the store yesterday. Then we went out and worked this afternoon in the garden spreading cow manure and wood chip mulch around the watermelons (the poor wilting things). It seems I can't water them enough, and with the added issues with my well not pumping correctly it looks as if I will need rain barrels sooner, rather than later! I watered them probably two minutes before our water shut off again. I definitely need to get someone out to look at the well, and soon! We also got four eggs today, one of the ladies had to have laid two as our pullets are too small to be laying yet. We now have 2 Black Australorp Hens, 1 Barred Rock hen, 1 Barred Rock rooster, 2 Rhode Island Red pullets, and 4 Copper Maran Pullets in our main pen. We have 2 Cochin, 2 Guinea Fowl, and a pair of Bantams in the chicken tractor at the moment. We are hoping to add Muscovies,a few more Guinea fowl, and a turkey or two(for holiday dining). Eventually we hope to add some to raise on pasture as well for the freezer. We are also looking into replacing our rabbits, and maybe getting a milk goat. Pigs are not allowed here due to covenants but other livestock is permitted so I think a goat will be perfect. We have loads of Kudzu so graze shouldn't be an issue :)

Monday, July 9, 2012


After an exhaustively hot day we have rain!! Not just sprinkles, but
rain! Our well has been acting up lately so any rain is a blessing, but a good heavy rain like we have this evening is twice as good! We managed to harvest two cucumbers today, and two large zucchini. In other news, something has been devouring our beefsteak tomatoes, but I was unable to find anything on them but a roly poly and several sugar ants. We managed to mulch around the zucchini plants and cucumbers late yesterday afternoon, and it seems to be helping already. Most of our watermelons appear to be doing well, at least the ones who are mulched. The UN-mulched melons were wilting badly from this heat we have had. I can hardly wait until the weather cools off some!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Back to the Garden

It's been a week or so since I last posted, unfortunately we have been very busy with tasks in the garden. We've managed to get weeds pulled on our main vegetable beds, and we are currently in the process of adding a thick mulch underneath. I'm hoping that the mulch will help reduce the need for irrigation as we have been in drought conditions here for the past 10-12 years. We've harvested an amazing amount of cucumbers this season, especially given the excessive heat and overactive weeds. We have 2 crisper drawers full in the fridge plus the shelf above, time to make some tasty pickles! We've also harvested a good bit of zucchini, which we have cut into matchstick size pieces, steamed or sauteed-delicious!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Of Chickens,Ducks, and Guinea Fowl

I can hardly wait to find some Guinea and some Muscovy Ducks-we have a real tick problem here on the homestead and I'm tired of picking the evil little things off myself and the kids. We do have chickens who would eat them, but unfortunately they also like to peck holes in the blueberries and pierce the tomatoes with those razor sharp beaks! So now we are on the hunt for ducks and guinea, seeing as neither of those eat what we are trying to grow for ourselves. I've learned from experience that the Muscovy duck is an amazing forager, and a great addition to the homestead. They are excellent layers, have a docile temperament, and are willing to forage for the majority of their food. They will also hatch off chicken eggs if added to their nest, although I'm not sure if that is typical behavior as there is a difference in the incubation period. Now Guinea Fowl, on the other hand, are birds of a different caliber. I've been unable to keep more than 2 Guinea Fowl as the others flew the coop several days after purchasing them. I was rather distraught, to say the least! Either way, I've been told that they will not fly away if penned for several weeks before allowing them to range. Now all I have to do is find some :)

Rain Rain...

It's been a few days since I last posted, we've had loads of rain this past week, which makes working outside darn near impossible! The good news about all the rain is that I'm not lugging the garden hoses all over the front acre around the house! Now that's thinking positive! I have been able to get some organizing done around the house, and I've been working on taking inventory of what seeds I'd really like to get more of. I was able to get some weeding done around my pink buddleia and it had butterflies on it earlier when the sun came out for a few minutes. The lavender is blooming now, as is more of my canna, which I have been offering as a trade for seeds and cuttings I don't have. I have 3 varieties of canna, an orange, a red, and one with dark burgundy leaves that has yet to bloom. I'm really looking forward to seeing what color that one is :). I also found out my well bladder may be going bad, which will be bad news indeed as I have no idea how to fix it. So we need to call someone to fix the porch roof and someone to fix the well- That will definitely cut into the plant fund! In other news, my chicks I purchased several months ago are getting big, I should be able to release them into general population soon. Mr. Roo will be happy to have a few new ladies for his harem, and I will be happy to get the extra eggs!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Food Storage Analyzer Review

I just tried out the Food Storage Analyzer from Emergency Essentials, and I am hooked! The Analyzer gives you several options including the ability to Add your own items-and the best part is that it is free! I found it to be a handy tool for food storage inventory and planning; it looks like a great way to fill in any gaps in your emergency plans.You can use this tool by clicking the link below:
Gift Card Giveaway

June 07, 2012- Timber!!

Today we spent the day trying to clear a spot for our greenhouse and raised beds, I think we dropped about 15 trees today! The boys came out and helped by using the machete and ax to strip all the branches off as they were cut. The view from the house is nothing short of amazing, I'm looking forward to the greenhouse so I can start cuttings for next year this winter. I absolutely love the new place, 4 acres of paradise!

Welcome to my New Blog!

I was having issues with my old blog so this is my new one. I will be keeping this blog updated as life at the new Homestead unfolds. Thanks for taking the time to read and I hope you'll come visit again soon :)