Making & Canning Tomato Juice

Homestead Bootcamp
February 14, 2017

I plant a lot of tomatoes in my garden every year. And I mean a LOT of tomatoes. My husband and I load up several 5 gallon pails for days. Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in tomatoes, and by the end of the canning season I don’t want to see another tomato for weeks!

I had already processed about 700 pounds of tomatoes by the time we shot this video. I make spaghetti sauce, salsa, tomato paste, and tomato juice.…

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Freshly Ground Flour

December 21, 2016

A few years ago my husband bought me a Kitchenaid. I absolutely love it (and him)! Since then, we have bought a couple attachments for it that I have been very pleased with. Today I will share my experience with using the grain mill attachment.

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Prior to purchasing the grain mill attachment I used my mother’s Champion grain mill. The flour that was made was a rather coarse whole wheat flour. I didn’t have a problem with it, but some might.…

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Egg Shells for Chickens

I have recently started feeding my chickens egg shells. Why do I do this? Simple. Egg shells contain large amounts of calcium. Chicken need calcium for producing eggs. Egg shells=eggs. 🙂 This is what I do to feed the egg shells to my chickens.

After I use an egg I will rinse the eggs out thoroughly. I place them onto a drying rack with paper towel underneath.
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Once the shells are dry I throw them into a bucket (that I only use for egg shells).…

December 14, 2016
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Protecting the Orchard Using Soap

Winter weather has come to Wisconsin. Snow has fallen and the cold wind is blowing. It’s that time of year for me to do what I can to insure my orchard will be happy and healthy next spring. I think that the biggest “predators” for my apple and cherry trees are deer. I have heard it mentioned numerous times that Irish Spring soap is the best at keeping deer away. I’m going to share with you how I use the soap method to deter deer from eating my trees.…

December 5, 2016
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Fresh Apple Cider

Homestead Bootcamp
October 27, 2016

A couple weekends ago we invited one of our daughters and a couple grand kids over to try out the new Whizbang apple grinder and cider press that we just finished making. The basic instructions for both devices came from Planet Whizbang.

The apple grinder is made using half of a double sink and a garbage disposal connected to an open end PVC pipe. The stand is all made with metal scraps because my husband works at a metal fabrication shop.…

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Chicken Plucker & Scalder

Homestead Bootcamp
October 20, 2016

We recently released a video showing the entire process we go through when butchering egg laying chickens. This video is a break down of our chicken scalder that had its maiden run when butchering those chickens. We also briefly show our chicken plucker which is also featured in its own video.

The scalder is made using the instructions from Planet Whizbang. This is also where we got the instructions for our chicken plucker and our apple grinder and cider press which will be featured in a video coming in November!…

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Butchering Egg Laying Chickens: From Barn to Can

Homestead Bootcamp
October 11, 2016

We recently had to make room in our chicken castle for some new egg layers, so the old birds had to go! Older egg laying chickens are not usually ideal for eating because they are very tough and just don’t have much meat on them. The best thing to do with these old birds was to can them. Canning chicken makes it wonderfully tender even on these less than ideal hens.

This video goes through our process from catching the chickens all the way to cooking them.…

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Saving Spinach Seeds

Homestead Bootcamp
September 23, 2016

In this video, I am showing how to save spinach seeds. You might be asking, “Why not just buy new seeds every year?” There are several reasons to save seeds.

Save Money
I realize that seeds are very inexpensive, but if you buy a lot of them it starts to add up. Saving your seeds may not save you a noticeable amount of money, but for some families every little bit helps.

Know What Works
We live in a plant hardiness zone where a lot of crops don’t do well because of our short growing season and extreme cold in the winters.…

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How to Make Elderberry Juice

Homestead Bootcamp
September 15, 2016

The ditches near our homestead have an abundant supply of elderberries in the late summer, so we like to take advantage of nature’s bounty by making elderberry juice.

Elderberry juice is not a drink that you take for the taste. It is often sweetened to make it more palatable. My husband and I each put a tablespoon of unsweetened elderberry juice in our daily dose of kombucha (which is a fermented drink). The addition of elderberry to kombucha makes both a little more pleasant to drink.…

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Plumple Sauce

Along with all the many apple trees we have at our home we also have a plum tree that produced an abundant amount of plums. I turned some into jelly, canned some whole (probably won’t do that again), froze some, and made plum-applesauce (known in my house as plumple-sauce). I will share the recipe that I used to make our first batch. You will probably want to reduce the amount of water you use only because ours is a little runny.…

September 14, 2016
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