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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Rhubarb Bread

Rhubarb
May 3, 2017

I like to make quick breads for my kids to eat with their breakfast. One of the most popular is banana bread. I also shred and freeze zucchini in the fall for making zucchini bread throughout the winter. I don’t like to feel trapped with making the same breads over and over, so I set out to find something new.

I was quick specific in my searching because my rhubarb is starting to come up, and I wanted to use up some frozen rhubarb from last season.…

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The Many Uses of Stinging Nettles

Stinging Nettles
April 26, 2017

Over the past couple of years, I have unintentionally grown a pretty nice little stinging nettle garden on the border of my rhubarb garden. The young nettles are starting to come up now, so it is time to start harvesting them when they are in their prime.

So, what do you do with stinging nettles?

In a previous post, we talked about the benefits of nettle tea, but there is so much more than you can do with nettles.…

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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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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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100% Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

April 5, 2017

I started making my own bread shortly after getting married almost 15 years ago. I started with store bought white flour and a bread machine. It was amazing! Later, I moved to store bought whole wheat flour. This was less than awesome. It just didn’t rise nice like it was supposed to. Even with wheat gluten added in, it was still basically a failure, so I stopped baking bread and just started buying 100% Whole Wheat bread from the store.…

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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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DIY All Natural Extracts

March 15, 2017

I have been on a breakfast shake kick lately and have been using a lot of mint in the shakes. It doesn’t take very long to strip a small mint plant of all its leaves, though. I needed a way to make my mint last longer, so I decided to pick all of the leaves and make mint extract with them. This way, I can use a bit of the extract in my shakes and make the leaves last a lot longer!…

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