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loose stools
rule of thumb
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Homesteading Life Test
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Homesteading Life Test

Hiking through the mountains in Southern California when I was 14 years old, it dawned on me that I wanted to live a homesteading life. Not that I thought of it in those terms back then, I just knew that I wanted to keep chickens and goats and lots of dogs. That was as far as my thinking went. At the time the only life I knew was one of living in cities. Do you find yourself longing for a quieter, simpler life? Well homesteading life might be the life for you. This little quiz should help you figure out what you need to learn in order to succeed at a life on a small farm.

  1. How do you know how to encourage your chickens to lay in the winter?
  2. Do you know how to make bread without a recipe?
  3. Do you know how to get your goats to come to you if they "escape"? (this works for cows too)
  4. How do you know how to keep your hose from freezing in winter?
  5. What do you give your goats if they have loose stools?
  6. Can you catch a wild swarm of bees to start your hive?
  7. Do you look at trash from a perspective of what can "this" be used for?
  8. Do you know the rule of thumb for home canned food?
  9. Do you know the difference between quick pickles and brine pickles?
  10. Do you shop by what you are going to cook this week, or do you cook this week by what you have stored in your pantry and freezer?

The answers to these question I will go over briefly, but they should get you thinking in the direction of acquiring knowledge on a wide range of useful subjects when it comes to considering living the homesteading life.

1. To encourage chicken egg laying in winter, put a light bulb in their coop.

2. To make bread, you mix flour (roughly 4 cups) with a dash of salt. Put about 2 tsp of yeast in a cup of hot (not boiling) water with a few sprinkles of sugar. Once the yeast starts bubbling, dump that water in with your flour. Keep adding water and stirring until the dough pulls from the side of the bowl. Knead in enough more flour by hand so that your dough is smooth and elastic. Let it rise until double in size, kneed again gently, and just a couple times, then shape into a loaf or put in a loaf pan. Turn the oven on to 400 degrees. Let the oven heat while the bread rises again. If you are not going the loaf pan route, brush the loaf with water for a crisp crust or milk and egg for a shinny soft crust. Make a slit or two, quickly with a very sharp knife or razor, almost all the way through the dough. Put the loaf in the oven for 15 minutes at 400, then turn the oven down to 350 until the loaf is done. usually about 40 minutes total. You can tell if it is finished by turning the loaf over and sticking a skewer in it, if there is nothing on it the loaf is done. It should also sound hollow when you tap the underside. Let it rest on a rack until cool. Enjoy with lot of butter and homemade jam.

3. Grain in a bucket will get your goat or cow to come to you, they just have to see it.

4. You walk a hose to empty it. Unhook it from the facet then go hand over hand from one end to the other.

5. You can give your goat Pepto Bismol to clear up loose stools - this is a wonder drug in my opinion.

6. Read this article about catching a swarm of bees to really get the feel for beekeeping

7. Part of living in the country is that you can't just run to town every time you think you need something. So leftovers are saved for animal food or compost. Even what you clean out of your barn is used again to fertilize your garden. You just have to change your habits.

8. If you are cooking home canned foods that have been pressure cooked (have low acidity) boil on high for 10 minutes minimum before sampling.

9. Quick pickles are made of vinegar and can be eaten with in a few days, where as brine pickles go through a process that is much longer.

10. If you live in the country you are going to have some sort of food storage going on because it just isn't practical to run to the grocery store if you don't have a particular item to cook with. You will learn to cook with what you have, not have to have all the ingredients to make what you want.

Homesteading life is fun and challenging. I hope that this little quiz has giving you some ideas about where to begin your journey towards country living.


Street Talk

I loved your article. The question & answer part worked really well; you made me want to know the answers.I'd love to have an almost-homesteading life - just not quite to the degree you are, but close. Thanks.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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