Archive for the ‘Household’ Category

Farm Store Open Saturday, August 5th, 12-4pm  This Saturday come say hello and do some shopping! This month’s special is 10% off our NEW Aroma Naturals candles and body wash! Details about the Aroma Naturals line and what we carry are in the article below. In the farm store we’ll be fully stocked with all of our amazing offerings: soaps and […]

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This week we received our latest order from Whispering Willow, our friends’ soap company in North Carolina. We are now fully stocked in all of the products we carry, including one new offering! We now offer a 64oz hand soap refill for $35 in all of the hand soap varieties: tea tree, peppermint, lemongrass, and […]

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This winter one addition to our farm store is our very own Immunity Booster tea blend. This tea is a caffeine-free blend of herbs that strengthens your immune system and helps you stay healthy during cold and flu season. The tea is packaged in a glass mason jar, making a beautiful gift. The jar is also […]

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Farm Store Open This Saturday 12-4pm We are enjoying our new arrangement of having the farm store open the first Saturday of every month. It’s great to have this regular time to welcome customers and share our offerings with you! We work very hard to offer high quality products, and it’s a joy to see […]

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We all have situations where we need to keep things cold. For some of you, that includes transporting home your farm fresh herdshare milk! For that situation and many others, I highly recommend flexible ice sheets. Here are some that are a great value. We bought these about a year and half ago, and they’re […]

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In anticipation of Loudoun’s Fall Farm Tour, we’re updating the farm store with some new products. Today I’ll highlight the farm-themed magnets we’ve made! These magnets were made ourselves from wood we had leftover from various projects. We cut the wood into squares, stamped them with fun farm stamps, sprayed a sealant, and attached magnets. […]

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Along with much of the East Coast, we just endured a record-breaking snowstorm. When you live on a homestead with livestock, weather is a big deal. The livestock need to be cared for every day, and that means getting to them, and making sure they can get around, no matter what the weather. As we […]

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If you’ve visited the farm, then you have probably seen our poor old shed. It had a rotten roof, rotten siding, and only a single garage style door going into the main portion. There were trees growing over it and dropping branches and other material on it, but we couldn’t get up there to clean […]

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It’s been another busy week on the homestead. This morning we’ve been busy preparing for the pekin ducks that will arrive next week! Look forward to some delicious, healthy pastured duck meat to be available around the beginning of May. Love for Whispering Willow Lip Balm I recently tested the Whispering Willow Lip Balm we […]

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I wrote this book review addressing the challenges regarding potentially hazardous chemicals in our everyday products. We have discussed how we would like to lessen any unnecessary chemical exposure in our home. Our homesteading work has done a lot to give us chemical-free options. Our organic garden gives us food free of herbicides and pesticides.  We […]

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Here is another post we started when we were in the town-house about 2 years ago but it never was published. We have continued to air-dry our laundry almost exclusively in our new homestead, using the dryer only for large items that are urgently needed. Original Article For several months now we have been primarily […]

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Recently I read The Non-Toxic Avenger by Deanna Duke. I first stumbled upon Duke’s blog a couple of years ago, and found some useful takeaways from her writing. Therefore, I was looking forward to reading her book. While poorly edited and containing many irrelevant asides, the book would be helpful for those curious about the […]

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The installation of our wood stove brought about a new need, firewood. The first round of wood we struggled to get to our house in the back of our jeep. It took about three trips to get the wood seen in the picture here to our house. That clearly was not very efficient, though the price (free) was right. Now that we had the wood we had to split it. After a few tries with our ax we realized that another tool was needed.

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Wood Burning Stove

Last summer we were researching alternate home heating solutions, well we settled on an option! We decided to go with a Jotul Wood Burning Cast-Iron Stove. We were able to pick up a floor model from a company that recently changed locations for a steep discount. We hooked it up through our existing fireplace and obtained a fire/heat resistant floor mat to place in front of the stove to keep our floor from melting.

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I’ve spent some time absorbing all of the information in The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live it by John Seymour. This book is an amazing resource that covers so many aspects of homesteading!  Since the book covers a wide range of topics, it doesn’t go into too much depth on any one.  I could […]

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Yesterday I read the book Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power by Mark Schapiro. This book was clearly written with a liberal bias.  The author praises the European way of addressing the chemicals present in everyday products, and is very anti-Bush administration.  I could be okay with […]

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We are about to get new windows!  We had a few replaced last year, and this year most of the rest. Here’s a picture of one of the windows we’re replacing:

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So one of the benefits of being self-sufficient and doing things yourself is not being restricted by what’s available on the market.  Last summer we hung up curtains in our living room.  The curtains that matched our style and color scheme were pretty flimsy, though. They weren’t lined, which we wanted.  We bought them anyway, […]

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We have some wonderful homestead dogs.  These poor dogs have had some struggles with homestead ticks, though.  Our region is a hotbed of tick activity, unfortunately.  I spoke to the vet about the problem, and she recommended a product that’s a new import the US market from Europe.  It’s a Scalibor Tick & Flea Collar.  […]

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Since it’s summertime, I’m off!  It’s a great part of being a teacher.  I enjoy doing some morning chores around the homestead a few days a week. I usually begin with filling a bucket from the rainbarrel, and using that water to water the plants around the yard. I will also take a bucket of […]

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When we moved into our homestead we found many of the appliances and household utilities to be in need of repair and/or replacement. The fans in our three bathrooms were all original, noisy, and did not seem to move much air. We decided last summer while we were re-painting all the rooms to replace the fans. Neither Martha or I had ever replaced a bathroom fan before but it seemed easy enough. But of course as with all household projects there are always unforeseen problems and challenges. I’m writing this post to share some of the experiences and nuances of replacing bathroom fans so that if you take on the task you might be better prepared, although I’m sure there will always be more challenges, unique to every situation.

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After receiving this wick material and these wick tabs I was anxious to start making candles! Here at Independence Homestead we try to reuse as many materials as possible, so I had the idea that we could make candles in containers using repurposed glass food jars.  We have quite the collection of baby food jars, […]

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We needed to melt down the beeswax in the comb so that we could use the wax for candles and other potential crafts. George did some research, and found that it was common to use solar ovens to do this. We had been wanting a solar oven for other reasons so it was a good opportunity to go ahead and build a solar oven!

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For a while now we have been wanting to build a solar oven.  This summer we’ve made it happen! First we did some research on solar ovens.  There are several different configurations one can build.  We went with a box cooker design.  This is not the type of solar oven that gets the hottest, but […]

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In this prior post, I wrote about George ripping out the carpet on our stairwell so we could redo the flooring. We were debating how to do the new flooring: put in hardwood, stain the wood that was under the carpet, etc.  George had the idea to paint the wood that was under the stairs […]

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