How to Naturally Treat Bee Stings

Homestead Bootcamp
June 2, 2017

Honey bees only sting when they feel threatened because a bee sting means the death of the bee, and each bee can only sting once. When a honey bee stings, it leaves the stinger stuck in the skin.

The first thing to do when treating a bee sting is to remove the stinger to keep the venom to a minimum. Bee venom is acidic which can cause a severe allergy in some people. Many other insect stings, such as wasps, have an alkali venom, so you may be allergic to bee stings but not wasp stings.…

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Hiving Our Honey Bees

Homestead Bootcamp
May 25, 2017

Our bees arrived, and the weather was finally nice enough to put them in our hives. This year we got the bees in a nuc rather than just a box that you dump in the hive. A nuc contains 5 frames that have some honey, and the bees have already started to establish themselves in it as a colony.

To hive them we had to remove 5 of our frames from our hive body and put the frames that come with the bees into the hive.…

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Our Indoor Greenhouse

Homestead Bootcamp
May 17, 2017

Every spring I start my seeds growing in the house, so I don’t have to buy plants. I start my plants in my dining room on a folding table. The table has a heated blanket covered by a thick plastic sheet to keep the water off. The plants sit on top of the plastic sheet. I keep a small fan on the table to simulate wind which helps the plants acclimate better when I put them outside.…

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Dehydrating: Drying Foods for Long Term Storage

May 16, 2017

When planning and planting your garden, consider how much produce you can use and how much you need. You don’t want to plant rows and rows of spinach only to have most of it go to waste because you can’t eat it fast enough and you find that you only enjoy it fresh. Most produce can be frozen, canned, dehydrated or otherwise stored to be used throughout the winter months when nothing is growing. Due to a variety of reasons (some more practical than others), our clan has been slowly moving away from freezing and focusing instead on canning and drying.…

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Making Hot Process Aloe Vera Soap in a Crock Pot

Homestead Bootcamp
April 25, 2017

We are showing you how to make your own aloe vera soap using a crock pot for all the hard work. This is a fast and easy soap that can be made in an afternoon and used the following day. It is great for your skin, too!

Gear:

  • safety goggles
  • gloves
  • white vinegar
  • kitchen scale
  • metal bowls
  • mold (Pringles can)
  • stick blender
  • crock pot/slow cooker
  • spoon, knife, spatula

Ingredients:

  • 8.4 oz olive oil
  • 7 oz coconut oil
  • 3.5 oz lard
  • 4.18 oz water
  • 3 oz aloe vera juice
  • 2.77 oz lye

Process:

  • Measure out oils/fats and add to crock pot on low heat.
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Housing New Baby Chicks

Homestead Bootcamp
April 19, 2017

We like to keep a rotating group of egg laying chickens to keep up the egg production. This spring we got a new batch of baby chicks to replace the older chickens that we plan to butcher this fall.

I bought 35 baby chicks from the local feed store. I was planning to keep 25 for myself and give ten to a friend. The friend was having second thoughts, so I am still not sure if I will be keeping 25 or 35 babies.…

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No More Pink Eye – Calendula Tea Instead

April 12, 2017

Pink Eye can be a bit of a nuisance on a dairy farm.  What makes it even more annoying is that it’s zoonotic.  That simply means that it can be transferred between animals and humans.  Several years ago, I developed a severe case of pink eye and went to the clinic to try to get rid of it.  They gave me some eye drops, and I was quite happy to use them as I was desperate for relief.  My eyes, however, just continued to worsen as the whites started to swell out past the iris.  I just kept using the drops thinking it would eventually help but to no avail.  After a quick call to the local clinic, I was advised to discontinue the use of the drops as I was having an allergic reaction to the sulfa in them.  That’s when I began my quest for a more natural remedy.…

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Extracting Unframed Honey

Homestead Bootcamp
April 11, 2017

We have kept bees for several years now, and we have had two hives for the past several years. We have had to deal with swarming, disease, and wintering. Some winters our bees make it through fine and some they don’t because we live where the winters are harsh and unpredictable, and it is difficult to know how best to help our little honey making friends survive.

Last year, our bees did not survive. Sadly, we had both hives die out.…

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Identifying and Tapping Your First Maple Tree

Homestead Bootcamp
March 21, 2017

Sap season has started here in Northern Wisconsin. We have tapped 105 trees this year, and as of today, we have collected a total of 445 gallons. This will result in approximately 11 gallons of syrup.

In the video, I will show you how to get started by identifying and tapping your first maple tree.

We make syrup strictly for the use of our family and friends. We don’t have a commercial operation, but we do try to mke as much as possible because our crew uses quite a bit over the course of a year.…

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Amish Cough Syrup

Homestead Bootcamp
March 14, 2017

Our family has been fighting some germs over the past couple of weeks, and the coughing was getting to be a little much. It was time we brought out the big guns – Amish cough syrup.

I came across this recipe online about a year ago on The Milk Mans Wife blog. The tincture on the blog is referred to as Snake Juice.

The recipe calls for lemons, onions, honey, peppermint schnapps, and blackberry brandy.…

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