Aug 06

7 Recipes for Campfire Cooking

Campfire Cooking

Campfire Cooking

What would you do if you were ever in a survival situation? Would you know what to do? Would you know how to keep you and your family nourished?

Most of us have roasted s’mores, maybe even cooked a hot dog or two, on a campfire. While this is a fun pastime for many when camping with friends or family, it takes significantly more skill to cook an actual meal on an open flame. This skill, in particular, is very handy during times when our survival is on the line.

In a disaster, one of the first things that go away is electricity and if you have an electric stove top, it won’t be much help. In fact, the only thing you’ll probably be able to use it for is extra shelving. Your Foreman grill, microwave oven, or any other electric devices used to prepare foods will be rendered moot as well. Patio grills, on the other hand, are great in an emergency situation and so are camp stoves – if you are stocked up on fuel.

Aluminum foil is also a great item to have on hand during survival situations. This is because the meals you can cook using this method can be very satisfying and tasty if they are done right. Thankfully, aluminum foil makes cooking relatively easy, simply take your favorite ingredients, wrap them in foil, and place them on your grill to cook for about ten minutes or so. They require no pots, pans, plates, or clean up – all you need is a heat source and a fork. But, it is important to note that you must be careful when handling the hot packets.

Now that you’ve gotten how to cook out of the way, the next thing you must worry about is what to cook. Thankfully there are plenty of campfire cooking recipes that can be used to make delicious and healthy meals for you and your loved ones. And, if you have a sweet tooth, there are savory desserts that can be made as well. Want to know more? Check out these 7 campfire recipes for some inspiration:

** Grilled Fish

What You Will Need:

  • Your favorite type of fish
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon slices
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Aluminum foil

What You Must Do

  • Heat up the grill to medium heat
  • Place the fish on a square piece of aluminum foil
  • Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper
  • Pour the lemon juice over the fish
  • Sprinkle olive oil on the fish
  • Place lemon slices on top of the fish
  • Wrap the fish in the foil and place on the grill.
  • Cook each side for about five minutes

** Ramen Noodles with Chicken or Beef

What You Will Need

  • 1 3 oz package of Ramen soup mix
  • ½ chopped onion
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken or beef
  • Canned peas or other vegetable
  • Powdered cheese
  • Your favorite spices

What To Do

  • Cook the ramen noodles on the stove top as per the instructions on the package but don’t use the flavor packet. If you are using frozen vegetables, cook them with the ramen.
  • Saute the onion on a skillet over medium heat for a full minute.
  • Add the chicken/beef, the peas/vegetables, and the flavor packet to the skillet. Mix well and cook for about five more minutes.
  • Sprinkle the dish with your favorite spices and serve

** Hummus

What You Will Need

  • 24 oz of chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 6 tbsp of tahini
  • 4 pieces of garlic
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp of water (optional)

What To Do

  • Mash the chickpeas with a fork until they are nicely pureed
  • Ad the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  • If the mixture is too thick, add the water and mix well.

** Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

What You Will Need

  • 2 cups of Macaroni
  • 1 package of cheese powdered soup
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes

What To Do:

  • Cook the macaroni over the stove top on medium heat
  • When the macaroni is al dente, drain all but half of the water and place the stove top on low heat.
  • Add the tomatoes and the cheese soup. Let simmer for about 7 minutes.
  • Add water is necessary

** Beans and rice

What You Will Need

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of white bans
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ¼ sliced onion
  • 2 pieces of crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp of Olive oil

What to Do:

  • Place water in a pan on the stove top, add olive oil, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil and add the rice. Cook until it’s edible.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and bring the stove top down to a simmer. Keep it on the heat until the rice is thoroughly cooked.

** No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

What You Will Need:

  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of margarine
  • 3 tbsp of powdered milk
  • 4 tbsp of water
  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • 1 cup of peanut butter
  • ½ cup of your favorite nuts
  • ½ tsp of vanilla
  • ¼ cup of chocolate chips

What To Do

  • Mix water, powdered milk, margarine, and sugar in a pan over the stove top on medium-high heat Bring to a boil
  • Reduce to medium heat and boil for 3 more minutes, stirring constantly
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and add chocolate chips, vanilla, nuts, peanut butter, and oatmeal
  • Use a spoon to portion and drop each spoonful on a flat surface, a pan lid will suffice. Let sit for about ten minutes

** Chicken fajitas

  • 2 cups of freeze dried chicken
  • 2 tsp of chicken soup base
  • ½ cup of tomato flakes, freeze dried or dehydrated work well
  • ½ cup mixed peppers, freeze dried or dehydrated work well
  • 1 tsp of fajita seasoning
  • ¼ cup of salsa
  • ½ cups of cheddar cheese, freeze dried or dehydrated cheese powder work well
  • 1 tsp of vinegar
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of garlic granules
  • 1 package of flour tortillas

What to Do

  • Rehydrate peppers on the stove top using one cup of water, cook until tender. This will take anywhere from 3-5 minutes
  • In another pan, add 1 cup of water, meat chunks, and the chicken soup base. Cook on low heat until the meat is tender and all the moisture is absorbed.
  • Add 1 cup of water, peppers, salsa, fajita season, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar to the chicken mixture Simmer until the sauce has thickened.
  • Add the cheddar cheese.
  • Serve in flour tortillas.

Important Considerations

As you can see, survival meals don’t have to be relegated to fruit bars, beef jerky, and other unappetizing foods. In fact, these meals can be quite delicious, and if you get your family to help you prepare them, it can be quite a bonding experience. Plus, if you do your research, there are plenty of other survival meals to be found on the internet, which will provide you with plenty of new and exciting foods to cook on the grill or stove top.

It is important to note that all of the above recipes can be changed dependent on the types of food (freeze-dried, fresh, canned) that you have on hand. In fact, when in a pinch it’s highly unlikely you will have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe on hand. Don’t be afraid to experiment, doing so may reveal more about your personal tastes than you’ve ever imagined. Overall, it’s not about the specific recipes but rather using creativity to figure out which ingredients can be used as effective substitutes for those that you don’t have or that will combine well with the ones you do. Plus, this type of experimentation is inexpensive, nutritious and delicious.

In Conclusion

In a survival situation, it is important to be prepared, especially when it comes to your meals. You must figure out how to prepare your meal, what you can eat, and how it can be more appealing than it would normally be. In this way, you and your loved ones can gain some much-needed nourishment to keep hunger at bay until help arrives.

 

Jeffrey Howie is a hunter and survivalist with a fanatic interest in survival gears and wilderness survival techniques. He regularly publishes articles on his blog: http://www.survivalcrib.com. Survival Crib is the ultimate resource for anyone looking for survival tips and techniques. To learn more, visit Survival Crib (survivalcrib.com).

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 06

How to Build a Campfire for Cooking

CampfireA fire is needed in almost any backpacking, hiking, or camping survival situation. It may seem like a simple task building a campfire, but most people struggle building one. Furthermore, it can be more difficult to build a campfire if you run out of matches. Whether it is a campfire for cooking or for providing heat during cold nights, it is essential that you know the proper way to build a campfire, with or without matches, when camping.

No matter how fascinating the scenery, campfire meals are always the highlight of the camper’s day. Nothing beats the appeal and taste of meals cooked over the campfire. The freedom to cook over an open fire today is a privilege due to restricted areas of camping and declining firewood stocks in many campgrounds. This calls for utmost caution and respect.

Requirements for Building a Campfire for Cooking

  • Fire location

Pay attention to the ground where the fire is going to be lit before starting to prepare the fire place. It is recommended you build the fire over a rock. In case it is not possible on a rock, you should ensure that the base of the fire is on a bare mineral soil. The fire will be burning all evening, thus will have lots of time to burn through the organic layer of the soil. When the time comes to put out the fire, a simple bucket of water won’t do-have a fire extinguishing mechanism in place. First, look out for previously established pits, if any, before scarring the area with more fire pits.

  • Wood

Campfire for cooking needs to be clean, and burning hot. You will achieve this only with a dry, seasoned wood. Getting green wood from trees won’t bear fruit as its fire burn poorly and create unnecessary smoke. You can pack in dry wood to carry along in case it won’t be available. Call ahead to see what’s available as many public campgrounds supply firewood.

  • Wind Shelter

Strong winds are hazardous in cooking. And can cause sparks getting away, which can ignite forest fire. Strong winds reduce firewood quickly and provide much less cooking time. Therefore, a wind shelter is necessary to daunt significant winds from interfering with your cooking.

  • Tinder

These are small materials that ignite easily and quickly with a spark. They include dry grasses, fungus, mosses or shredded dry bark. The material need to be as dry and finely shredded as possible.

  • Kindling

Medium-sized materials that would catch fire from tinder, quickly. Kindling may include small twigs, dry leaves, larger pieces of barks, or sticks. Kindling material must be dry, small items in order to catch fire.

Building a Campfire for Cooking

When building a campfire for cooking, the objective is to have all the wood turn to coal at the same time. This would produce an even fire with no flames going up to the food or blackening your cookware. This also builds the longest cooking time from the fire produced.

  • Site preparation

The fire site should be located at least 8″ from bushes or any combustibles. Ensure no tree branches hang around the site. Use green logs or large rocks to make a U-shaped perimeter around the fire place. If using logs for the perimeter, have them wetted down from time to time. In case of a breeze, have back end of fire place face the wind. Create some form of chimney; you can have a large flat rock put at the rear of the fire place, to help direct the smoke up and away.

  • Laying the Kindling

Spread the fire area with tinder. Place kindling material over the tinder in layers, interchanging direction with each layer. You can employ use of thin splits of wood or small dead branches. Do not place kindling materials the “teepee style”. Cover the whole fire area with the kindling stack. Have a bucket of water near the fire area. To start the fire, light the tinder material.

  • Blazing the Fire and Grading the Coals

When the kindling material is ablaze, add firewood. The wood should have the same size, as much as possible. You can use hardwood or hardwood branches. Spread wood evenly over the fire bed. When flames start to die down leaving mostly white coals, remove the white coals by pushing them at the lower level at the front and back end at a higher level. This would level the remaining coal to your liking. Set rocks or wetted green logs around the fire for setting the cookware or grill for cooking.

Best Method of Building a Campfire for Cooking

There are three popular methods of building a campfire for cooking; the log cabin, the platform, and the tepee. Although the tepee method is more popular, the log cabin method is the best for cooking.

  • Log Cabin Method

First, you build a small tepee of tinder and kindling in the center of your fireplace. Then stack wood logs a foot or less apart in an interchanging pattern around the tepee in the shape of a square. The space between logs allows for air circulation from bottom to top of the fireplace. Build the wood logs as large as you’d like. Light the kindling in the middle. You can blow into the tepee if the fire struggles to set ablaze or dig small air holes beneath the base logs. Keep the fire at a reasonable and safe size.

  • The Platform

This is achieved by building a solid log cabin, with the largest logs at the base and something about the size of your wrist on top. The platform is for those who want a nice bed of coals to cook on. Light fire on the top and let it burn down through the logs, which will create a big, thick bed of hot coals. You don’t have to wait for all of it to burn down before you start cooking. You can use a cast iron cookware, placing it directly on the hot coals as soon as that first layer of logs is burning solidly.

The platform method is known as “upside down” fire when bigger logs are used. It is upheld for its ability to burn for a long time, unattended. Remember to put the biggest logs on the bottom and scale up to smaller stuff at the top. Light fire at the top. As you practice, you’ll figure out the right size of wood needed to create fire that burns on its own, all night.

It can be a little bit difficult learning how to create campfire using platform method. The trick is to create a large enough teepee on top so as to create a bed of coals that will be capable of burning down through the first layer, igniting it, building a larger bed of coals etc.

  • The Tepee Method

Compact the tinder into a ball formation, about 4″ in diameter. Then place it in the middle of the fire place. Stack the kindling material into a corn formation, around the tinder. Lean wood logs on the kindling. Leave an opening in the teepee for lighting the pile of tinder from the bottom with matches. The fire spreads to the kindling and logs when the tinder lights; giving you a great campfire. You can blow softly on the fire to get it spread to the kindling and wood. In case the fire goes out, add more tinder or kindling. Once the blaze is going, keep adding logs in the tepee pattern.

Never build your campfire closer than 6 feet from your shelter, near low-hanging branches, or vegetation.

Conclusion

There are a bunch of ways to build campfire, but the key here is to practice, find the method that most suits your cooking and you are comfortable with. You can even customize the fire to your unique needs on a given night, Practicing the hard way, with Ferro rod, knife and tinder, and leaning to prepare your own wood with limited tools helps develop key skills for survival.

 

Jeffrey Howie is a hunter and survivalist with a fanatic interest in survival gears and wilderness survival techniques. He regularly publishes articles on his blog: http://www.survivalcrib.com. Survival Crib is the ultimate resource for anyone looking for survival tips and techniques. To learn more, visit Survival Crib (survivalcrib.com).

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 06

How to Make Crawfish Traps From Plastic Bottles

Red Boiled Crawfish

Red Boiled Crawfish

You can call them crayfish, crawdads, or mudbugs; crawfish happen to taste great. This is reason enough to get out and catch some craws. You can just use your set of hands, a piece of raw fish head, and an inexpensive trap. Many styles and sizes of traps are employed in trapping crawfish. Making crawfish traps from plastic bottles is an inexpensive, simple, and yet effective way to trap crawfish. If you have a waterway or water body near you, make a crawfish trap from plastic bottles and see if you can catch some. Plastic bottles perform very well and are easy to store. You can try to make your own trap out of a two liter soda bottle. You just cut off the pouring end, put some bait inside the bottle, and then invert the top end back into the bottle. You staple in and you are good to go. Actually, there are many variety of plastic bottle traps for trapping crawfish. But, we’ll get into that in detail later on.

Where can you Catch Crawfish?

You can catch crawfish in just about any lake, river, stream, creek, or pond, in urban or rural areas. For example, on a fairly weedy lake with a rocky shore, you can catch all of your crawfish in the shallow water along the shore. Crawfish like to hide in the rocks that line the shore. Crawfish are most active at night, therefore, you can set up your trap in the evening, and check them in the morning. By putting the trap in the water in the evening, the bait will be at its most potent as this is the time crawfish are most active.

A general rule of thumb for time of catching crawfish is night time. Night time gives crawfish a huge advantage of catching fish. A crawfish can catch and eat a trout up to 6 inches in length. They are adept hunters even during the daylight; striking from above, pouncing like coyotes, and stalking like cats.

Some places may be filled with crawfish, while other places may have a lower population. Part of the fun of catching crawfish is finding a place with the highest population. Look for areas that provide cover for crawfish, such as roots, rocks etc. these areas not only provide cover for them but are also prone spots for algae, which is also food for crawfish. Such areas also provide a good place for crawfish to hide while hunting. The area provides a cover from the different predators and is also a feeding ground for crawfish themselves.

The best places have lots of rocks; where rocks have been used to shore up the river or lake banks. They provide massive areas of deep cover and have high population of crawfish. Heavy grass is also a great cover for crawfish, but tend to hold low numbers. Ponds that don’t contain fish can host large numbers.

Crawfish population is growing at an alarming rate, posing a threat to game fish in rivers and lakes. So, most states encourage harvesting of crawfish. Look into areas that may provide cover for crawfish, such as roots, rocks etc.

Baits to Use

Bait is very important as it makes all the difference in the world whether you are going to catch 2-3 pounds per catching or 15-20 pounds per catching. The kind of water body also plays a factor. Some water bodies have a large population of crawfish, so, you’ll end catching more with the correct bait. Bait boxes are a must during the prime time of crawfish. Don’t confuse a bait box with a bait jar since they are not the same. A bait box allows crawfish to feed and send a broadband of scent throughout the water body for a longer period of time. Also with bait boxes, it is easier to freeze bait, which fit nicely into gallon freezer bags.

Fish heads, chicken carcasses, and bacon are some of the baits you can use to trap crawfish. A slightly unusual bait is a tin of cat food with a few holes punched in. Cat food bait is advantageous over the others as crawfish can’t actually get to it through the can, so it should last the night. Using bullhead; slicing them in half will attract plenty of crayfish. You can freeze them to use them later.

Actually, baiting crawfish comes down to personal experience as people use all sorts of weird and wonderful things as bait. But, crawfish are choosy eaters, so baiting with something known to work would help. But choosing a fresh bait is the key; fish based is preferred. Take into account when baiting your trap that crawfish are big eaters. Therefore, in prime season, get more bait food.

  • But Fish Makes the Most Enticing Bait

Even though you have variety of baits you can use, fish makes the most enticing bait that surpasses all other baits. Conventionally, crawfish in most regions are baited with fish. A commercial craw fisherman can bait with salmon heads and other oily fish.

Things You’ll Need

  • Soda bottle
  • Bait
  • Razorblade or scalpel
  • Thin rope
  • Bread bag twist ties
  • Awl (optional)

Cut the top off one soda bottle beneath the cap using a razor blade. Try to make the opening a couple inches in diameter. When using the razor blade, be careful as the soda bottle is a little slick, so the razor can easily slip through. Below the cut you just made; a few inches away, cut through the bottle again to produce a funnel form.

Holding the soda bottle, place the funnel into it, with the small part of the funnel inside the soda bottle and the wide opening of the funnel even with the cut edge of the soda bottle. It should look like you pushed the top of the soda bottle inside itself.

Make some holes through the bottle and right through the funnel, spaced about ¼ inch from the cut edge. Use an awl to make these holes, if you have one. Or you can use a razor blade but ensure you don’t cut a slit pointing towards the cut edge-this may keep ripping the plastic bottle and the hole may rip often. Cut horizontally if using a razor blade.

Cover through the holes in the soda bottle and funnel with the bread bag twist, making sure it keeps the two pieces together. This will be the part for opening and closing when putting in the bait and when getting the crawfish out.

Take your bait, undo the twist and set the bait inside, then close the trap back up. Go to the source of your crawfish; lake, river, pond etc. and look for a shallow area, a few feet deep or less, which does not experience a lot of current. Think where crawfish would hide and set the trap there. Hide the trap from crawfish in water weeds or rocks.

Tie a rope around the trap and set it into the water, making sure the inside of the bottle fills with water. The opening allows water in, which equalizes the pressure. But you still need to hold the bottle down in the water until it fills in. Once the trap is filled in with water and set at the bottom of the stream, tie on the other end of the rope to something nearby to prevent the trap being washed away.

You can leave the trap in the water for some hours or even overnight. It is recommended you leave it overnight as crawfish come out mainly in the evenings and night. Pull the trap up after your scheduled time out to see if you have managed to trap some crawfish. If not, move the trap to another area or try a different bait until you get the hang of it.

 

Jeffrey Howie is a hunter and survivalist with a fanatic interest in survival gears and wilderness survival techniques. He regularly publishes articles on his blog: http://www.survivalcrib.com. Survival Crib is the ultimate resource for anyone looking for survival tips and techniques. To learn more, visit Survival Crib (survivalcrib.com).

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 06

Five Reasons Why You Should Grow Heirloom Seeds

Fresh salad with spinach, arugula and heirloom tomatoes.

Fresh salad with spinach, arugula and heirloom tomatoes.

Heirloom seed is regarded as a cultivar that is a kind of seed that was nurtured and transmitted from one generation to another generation. These seeds have been such popular, they have dominated the plant industry in the recent time. Heirloom seeds were preferred because they would always produce offspring, which has identical characters; this means that there would never be a variation. Apart from that, research has shown that heirlooms are genetically stable. They are often regarded as the true to type. Usually, this type of seed could cost less than hybrids, and that why gardeners would always many of them in their homes and gardens.

Gardeners prefer heirloom seeds for its various advantages. Many people would opt for it because of historical interests they have for such plants while many people who have interest in the traditional organic gardening would likely opt for it than the other types of seeds species. People grow it to preserve it for the next generation. This way that specie would never disappear from the market.

Other advantages gardeners derive from heirloom seeds is that it is always more sustainable, which means that it is easier for them to preserve it than to preserve other types of seeds. Furthermore, it is renewable, which means that you can always renew it anytime that you think that it is necessary. It offers better nutrition and taste. You would also discover that they are eco friendly, which means that they are safer and better for the environment. In addition to that, they do not often require fertilizers and are open pollinated. It is not surprising that they are becoming more popular than other types of seeds.

You have seen some of the great benefits that you can derive from cultivating heirloom plants in your garden. Other plants species cannot compare to these advantages.

Planting various types of heirloom is needed if you want to create and maintain a thriving botanical variety. This is necessary at this time when several cultivars are confronted with extinction of various types of plants. Here are the five major reasons you should grow heirloom seeds in your garden:

Sustainability

The first and the most important reason that you must opt for this type of seed is because of its sustainability. It is easier for the seeds to grow in any environment and in any climatic condition such as weather, because they depend mostly on insects and wind in order to reproduce. This implies that you can always produce offspring from seeds previously saved, and the offspring would be true to type.

Disease resistance

Another important reason you can always grow heirloom seed in your garden is because of its strong disease resistance. These plants have the capability to resist all types of diseases, and they can stand the test of time. It resists diseases more than species.

High flavor

Heirlooms seeds are known to possess intense flavor. They cannot be compared to hybrids that are usually bred just for their uniform and healthy appearance, heirlooms on the other hand packs great flavor more than what you can get from other types of species.

Maintenance

Heirlooms have been around for generations because it is easier to take care of them. This is why it could easily survive than other types of seeds; this is why it has survived over the years. You have seen that these seeds can easily resist pests. The reason for this is that they can be easily adapted to their environment. That makes it easy to survive. Apart from that, they can withstand the harsh climate and that is because they have adapted to the environment.

Facilitates connection between friends and families

Perhaps the greatest benefit that you can derive from heirlooms seeds is that you can easily connect to your friends and family members by simply sharing the seeds to them. This does not only ensure that you have seeds that can span to generations. This enlivens your dream of botanical heritage.

In conclusion, you have seen the great benefits that you can derive from heirloom seeds. It is the greatest seed that you can plant in your garden. It can always add to your good nutrition, and other daily diets. At the same time, you can save different species for the plant for future use.

 

Jeffrey Howie is a hunter and survivalist with a fanatic interest in survival gears and wilderness survival techniques. He regularly publishes articles on his blog: http://www.survivalcrib.com. Survival Crib is the ultimate resource for anyone looking for survival tips and techniques. To learn more, visit Survival Crib (survivalcrib.com).

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 06

7 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Homestead

father and son gardening on their homesteadAre you tired of the rat race? Would you like to start living a simpler life? If so, homesteading may be a good option for you.

When most of us think of homesteading, we imagine a log cabin similar to the one used by the Ingalls family in the pioneering days of this country. But, in all honestly, homesteading can be a rewarding experience that pays off in many different ways.

Want to know more? Keep reading for 7 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Homestead:

1. Your Desired Level of Self-Sufficiency

This may sound like something simple, but it is actually the single most important consideration before you start homesteading. There are those who simply want to grow their own vegetables and others who want to raise their own animals. There are those who take things even further and live completely off the grid. No matter which category you fall under, it’s important to gain a deeper understanding of how self-sufficient you want to be so you can plan accordingly.

If you’ve achieved your goals and you decide that you want to take things a step further, don’t be afraid to try new things. But, having that initial goal is great motivation for beginners.

2. How to Garden

If you are going to be a homesteader, you will have to know how to garden properly. Doing so will that ensure you can produce healthy plants to feed you and/or your family.

There are tons of different gardening methods, so you will have to do your due diligence to find a technique that works well with your needs and capabilities.

3. How to Preserve Your Food

Whether you would like to compensate during tough financial times or are concerned about a time where going to a grocery store isn’t an option, being able to grow and preserve your own food is an essential skill to have.

Important elements to learn include:

** 1. How to process the food safely

** 2. The materials you will need to preserve the food

** 3. Delicious recipes

You will also need plenty of mason jars, as well as lids and rings to seal them. A pressure canner can drastically reduce the amount of time this process takes and gives you the option to water bathe or pressure can your food.

4. The Best Land for your Needs

It’s possible to homestead on a working farm with tons of acres or something as small as a half-acre, it all depends on the needs of the individual. To find the right amount of land for you, you must decide how self-sufficient you would like to be. For instance, if you would like to have cows, pigs, and other farm animals on your land, you will need more space than someone who just wants a small garden and a few chickens.

The most important thing that you have to understand when searching for land is that everything must have its place. So, map out everything you want to see if it will fit. You might be surprised at how little land you will need.

While you are searching for your land, it’s also a good idea to figure out the type of home that you would like as well, choices include RVs, old mobile homes, inexpensive tiny houses, and more. It’s your land so the choice is up to you, just remember to pencil it into your map so you will have enough space for everything you need.

5. How to Build Any and Everything

At first glance, this tip may be intimidating, but you must not let it deter you. While it’s important for every homesteader to have some carpentry skills, you don’t have to be an expert, as long as the things that you make are functional. Also, having the ability to build things will save you a lot of money and you can upcycle many times as well.

6. How to Upcycle

The successful homesteader doesn’t waste anything. Scraps can be used for compost for animals or soil. Rabbit and chicken drippings can be used for fertilizer. Ashes from the fireplace can be used to enrich your garden soil. Do some research on the internet to find out all the other amazing ways that you can upcycle and save yourself some real cash.

7. The Type of Equipment You Will Need

Believe it or not, you won’t need much equipment to begin homesteading, just the basics like nails and a hammer. As times goes by, you may need to invest in a tiller and other tools to make your life easier, but this isn’t something you should worry about in the beginning

Homesteading isn’t easy, but if you take your time and put it in the effort, you will find yourself on a journey of amazing knowledge and freedom.

 

Jeffrey Howie is a hunter and survivalist with a fanatic interest in survival gears and wilderness survival techniques. He regularly publishes articles on his blog: http://www.survivalcrib.com. Survival Crib is the ultimate resource for anyone looking for survival tips and techniques. To learn more, visit Survival Crib (survivalcrib.com).

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 06

Natural Goat Care

Mother Goat

Mother Goat

Therefore, natural care for goats requires that proper structures should be built to house these goats as well as finding the best conducive environment in other to yield the best results.

Environment

Goats need some kind of shelter whether it is a small barn or shed. Although they do well in cold environments they can be very sensitive to extensive heat. To care for these goats naturally, some of the important requirements areas follows:

  • Protection during the rainy season because goats can develop hypothermia if drenched to the skin from rainfall.
  • Protection from dogs
  • Protection from thieves
  • Shelter should be well bedded, clean and draft-free.
  • The floors of their shelter should stay dry since goats can be prone to foot rot.

Maintaining a good and clean shelter will decrease the spread of bacteria. It will help maintain a healthy animal.

Feeding

Feeding your goats the proper foods and placing their food appropriately is very important. A mixture of foods is used to feed many goats, but water should always be nearby and accessible for these animals for goats generally drink to 1 gallons of water per day.

Goats demand balanced diets to maintain their health, weight, vigour and appetite. These ruminants are particular eaters refusing soiled foods or that eaten by other animals. A combination of forages (hay and browse), grain and grain by-products (corn, wheat, sorghum and even sunflower and cotton seed), and nutritional supplements (minerals, salt) is recommended in the feeding program.

Health

Caring for goats requires you take all the relevant steps to maintain a healthy herd. The health care programme should include hygiene and disease preventative measures. Bond with your herd; get to know your animals and their daily routines. Notice if there are any changes in their appearance, behaviour or temperament. There are many indications that could signify a problem. For instance, goat having a dull coat may indicate parasites; refusing to eat, not being alert, or having a droopy tail could all signify problems. These are just a few examples but, there are many more.

Keep up with their immunizations and medical history. Maintaining proper goat care will allow them to live long and stay happy.

Breeding

There are three (3) basic breeding strategies, each having different results. Goat producers must select the strategy that best suits them. The options involve selecting animals for reproduction based on:

Line breeding:  Line breeding mating related animals (either distantly related or closely related). Line breeding (or inbreeding) results in genetic uniformity of offspring, in terms of appearance and performance. On the downside, line breeding leads to loss of vitality and reproductive performance.
Crossbreeding:  It involves the mating of animals of two different breeds.
Line crossing:  This is the crossing of different lines within a breed.

Whatever way you choose to raise your herd,make sure you make it work for you.

Birthing

Steaming up – six to eight weeks prior to kidding, increase concentrate gradually to 1kg/day. This encourages proper development of the foetus during the most demanding period for growth.

Prepare well ventilated and bedded area for doe.

Have experienced herdsman on spot on day of expected kidding.

Signs of pregnancy

The first sign is that the doe does not return to heat three weeks after breeding. Twelve weeks after breeding, the abdomen enlarges noticeably. Pregnancy can be detected as early as sixty days after breeding with the aid of ultrasound prognosticators.

Signs of birth:

  • Swollen vulva
  • Does appear hollow in flank and either side of tail
  • Restlessness
  • Turns head towards the tail
  • Isolates self from herd
  • Produce low bleat as if she is talking
  • Udder increase in size and may drip constantly
  • Frequent urination
  • Lies down and stands up repeatedly
  • The water bag ruptures and the kid is produced
  • Placenta to be expelled 12 hours after birth

Care of Newborns

After birth, let the mother lick the kid(s) to develop good relationship with their off spring. Licking kids is also necessary to remove mucous that can hinder breathing, causing death. Wipe nostril and mouth dry only if kid still fails to breathe properly.

Dip navel in diluted iodine daily for 4-5 days in order to prevent infections.

Weigh kids.

Ensure that kids get colostrums within the first 15-30 minutes of birth. If the kid is too weak to suckle by themselves, feed colostrums from a nipple bottle

Doe and kid should be placed in covered pen, which is well bedded, dry and well ventilated.

Record birth of kid in field diary.

Identify kid by applying tattoo (preferably in its ear) as soon as kid is strong enough.

Introduce grain concentrate, fodder and minerals 1-2 weeks after birth. These should be palatable and easily digested, however.

Kids can be dehorned at 14 days of age or as soon as the horn buds appear.

Give the kids the necessary vaccinationsat 6 weeks toprevent against diseases. This is followed by a booster shot at 12 weeks of age.

Do first deworming at 8 weeks, primarily for tapeworms.

Wean kids at 12 weeks of age.

Separate male and female kids at weaning.

Observe for lice infestation and dip or spray if necessary.

Weigh at monthly intervals from birth to market (8 – 10 months) for males and to breeding (10 – 12 months) for females.

Care

Barns should be cleaned every 2 weeks, as goats can produce up to 10 pounds of waste daily. The presence of faeces and urine promotes the spread of flies as well as bacteria. It could also cause illnesses such as pinkeye. Regular cleaning will ensure that goats have a dry and healthy space to sleep in.

Remove stale feed from feed troughs and thoroughly clean troughs before supplying fresh feed.

There now, you see that caring naturally for goats is quite a joy. I’ve put together these steps and first-rate tips for you to take your first steps in your natural care for goats so that in a couple of weeks, you too will be a proud professional since there’s every likelihood that you will be able to visually see some results.

 

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 03

Organic Milk Soap Making For Beginners

Handmade SoapEven if you’ve never made soap before, I guarantee that organic milk soap making is so easy and worthwhile, that you will never buy another bar of commercially made soap.

Milk soap making has always been popular because of the benefits milk has to offer such as proteins, amino acids and Vitamin A which help to nourish the skin and leave it feeling lovely and soft. Organic milk soap making offers a natural and less abrasive form of cleansing bar and the ingredients needed to make multiple bars cost a fraction of what you would pay in a store for ready made bars.

Various types of milk can be used for organic milk soap making such as goat’s milk, cow’s milk, sheep’s milk and buttermilk. The recipe below uses organic goats milk which, incidentally, can be used to treat mild to moderate acne. You can add your own choice of essential oils to add a lovely aroma.

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz. organic olive oil
  • 5 oz. organic palm oil
  • 5 oz. organic coconut oil
  • 3.5 oz. lye
  • 8 oz. organic goats milk
  • 1/2 cup organic oatmeal
  • 1 oz. essential oil for fragrance (optional)

Plus you will need soap molds, a pair of rubber gloves and safety eye goggles

Always wear protective clothing when milk soap making as lye is caustic and can burn your skin or blind you. I always wear long trousers, an apron, eye goggle and rubber gloves to make sure that I don’t accidentally splash myself.

  1. Get yourself some molds. Chocolate or candy molds work well, but do not re-use them for chocolate once they have contained soap!
  2. Mix half a cup of organic oatmeal with 1 oz of your chosen essential oil and set aside
  3. Mix all remaining soap base materials together in a stainless steel or enamel bowl
  4. Heat inside a slow cooker on a medium heat until melting occurs. Do not reuse the slow cooker for food preparation.
  5. Add the oatmeal and essential oil mix to the melted ingredients in the slow cooker and mix well.
  6. Pour soap mix into the molds once it has cooled down enough to handle safely.
  7. Cool soap mix for 24 hours and then unmold. Store in a cool place with room for the air to circulate between the soaps.

And that’s all there is to it. See I told you it was easy!

 

Whether you are looking for fresh ideas for a hobby or looking to generate a much needed second income, then I have just the product for you. I have written an informative e-book which contains all the information you need to be successful at selling your products, plus it contains over 80 different and original recipe ideas. So if you want to learn more about milk soap making [] and other spa quality products plus how to start your business from home, then visit my website at www.homemadeskinproducts.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 03

How to Make Liquid Soap

How to Make Liquid SoapThere’re lots of good reasons why you might want to master liquid soap making, the most important reason being that you can tailor make the soap for your own skin type and fragrance of your choice. Also liquid soap making can be a great way of making inexpensive, personalized gifts if you have a limited budget.

Liquid soap making is done by using glycerin which can be bought from in bulk from most pharmacies or health food stores. Glycerin is a thick almost gelatinous liquid that is produced from animal fats. It is often added to beauty products and cosmetics because of its moisturizing properties. The strange thing about glycerin, however, is that in its pure form it can actually remove moisture from sensitive skin and even cause blistering. Therefore it is always sensible to wear rubber gloves when working with glycerin.

You can make a simple liquid soap that uses bar-soap as a base but personally I prefer to start my liquid soap making from scratch, using the following basic recipe, which I personalize by using several different variations.

You will need:

  • 6 ounces of water
  • 3 ounces of potassium hydroxide
  • 8 ounces of non hydrogenated soy bean oil
  • 4 ounces of coconut oil
  • 4 ounces of sunflower oil
  • Half a cup of glycerin
  • Essential oil or blend of oils of your choice

First mix the water with the potassium hydroxide and leave on one side. Then combine the oils together (not the essential oil) and heat slowly, stirring well.

After the oils are well mixed bring the mixture to about 150 degrees F and stir in the water/potassium hydroxide mixture. Mix vigorously to prevent the different elements from separating. Once the oils have stopped rising to the surface, allow the mixture to cool. You then let this mixture set for a week or so, stirring occasionally to prevent the oils from separating.

Finally, add half a cup of glycerin and the amount of essential oil that gives the strength of smell that you are aiming for, and then give the mixture a final stir. You can then add water until the mixture is the consistency you require – for a liquid soap add more water and for a body wash add less. Pour into pump bottles, ready for use.

Variations – For a herbal soap replace the 6 ounces of water with a blend of strong herbal tea. Chamomile and mint work well as does green tea. Also if you want more of a body scrub effect then try adding a bit of oatmeal into the mix which will act as a gentle exfoliator. You could also add food coloring and even body glitter for different results. For more variations substitute the coconut and sunflower oil with other carriers such as almond oil or avocado and try adding different and interesting blends of oils.

Have fun with your liquid soap making and remember the only limit is your imagination!

 

Whether you are looking for fresh ideas for a hobby or looking to generate a much needed second income, then I have just the product for you. I have written an informative e-book which contains all the information you need to be successful at selling your products, plus it contains over 80 different and original recipe ideas. So if you want to learn more about liquid soap making and other spa quality products as well as how to start your business from home, then visit my website at www.homemadeskinproducts.com.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 02

Honey Soap Making – Good Enough to Eat!

Handmade Soap with Honey

Handmade Soap with Honey

Honey is nothing short of a miracle! Nectar is gathered from flower blossoms by bees, transported back to hives and then the worker bees weave their magic and you are left with a wonderful, thick syrup full of moisture and sweetness. Little wonder that honey soap making is so popular amongst soapers!

Honey has been used for centuries, predominantly by women, for bathing in and for washing their hair and has been well documented for keeping skin moisturized and hair looking glossy. Honey is a remarkable liquid that has both moisturizing properties as well as healing and soothing powers. Because honey is a humectant, which means it naturally attracts moisture to itself and has good retention, it lends itself extremely well to honey soap making, producing wonderful bars of moisturizing soap with a light, warm sweet scent. The high sugar content in honey is what also makes a wonderful creamy lather.

You can buy melt and pour bases with the honey already incorporated and you can also add honey to just about any hot or cold process soap recipe. One of my favourite honey soap making recipes is Sweet Citrus Honey. I love the combination of honey and citrus because the colour and the smell is just wonderfully warm and inviting and the soap when crafted to look like a piece of honeycomb, makes you feel like taking a huge bite of it!

Sweet Citrus Honey Soap

Ingredients:

  • 180 grams of lard
  • 270 grams of coconut oil
  • 90 grams of castor oil
  • 90 grams of shea butter
  • 1 tsp orris root powder
  • 18 grams of beeswax
  • 2 tsp liquid honey
  • 3 tsps sweet orange essential oil
  • 3 tsps oz grapefruit essential oil
  • 3 tsps lemon essential oil

Line the bottom of a soap mold with a piece of bubble wrap with the bubbles facing up. Cut another piece to place on top of the poured soap.

Melt the beeswax with the hard oils and then add the honey and orris root.

Make the soap as usual for any hot process soap

Combine the essential oils and add them when the mix is at light trace.

Pour the soap into the prepared mold when the mix is at a medium trace. Top with the remaining piece of bubble wrap, bubbles facing down, and press gently.

Put the soap to rest as usual and cut when cooled.

Well done! You have a soap that looks good enough to eat!
I wouldn’t mind betting that now you have learned about honey soap making, that you soon get addicted to other types of soap making.

 

Whether you are looking for fresh ideas for a hobby or looking to generate a much needed second income, then I have just the product for you. I have written an informative e-book which contains all the information you need to be successful at selling your products, plus it contains over 80 different and original recipe ideas. So if you want to learn more about honey soap making and other spa quality products then visit my website at www.homemadeskinproducts.com. You’ll also find lots of information about setting up your own small business from home.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Jul 30

10 Great Uses for Baking Soda

Baking Soda 2Baking soda is affordable, widely available and great for many uses. It is commonly used for deodorizing your refrigerator, but did you know that you can also use it for heat rash and as a substitute for spackle?

Here are 10 great uses for baking soda.

  1. Substitute for spackle: Mix a small amount of baking soda with a small amount of white glue to make a paste. Apply the paste to fill in the whole.
  2. Heat rash: Take a lukewarm shower using a cleaning product such as Dove that does not contain soap. Towel dry and apply a paste of baking soda on any area that has heat rash. Leave the paste on as long as possible.
  3. Vinyl flooring scuffs: To remove scuffs from vinyl flooring, put a little bit of baking soda on a damp sponge and rub away scuff.
  4. Musty scent on clothes: If your clothes dryer turns off before your clothes are completely dry and your clothes smell musty, sprinkle baking soda on your clothes and place back in dryer. Turn the dryer back on and allow your clothes to completely dry.
  5. Spraying cat: If Fluffy has sprayed your carpet, make a paste of baking soda and water, apply to area, cover, and leave at least three hours or overnight. After the treated area has dried, vacuum up the remaining powder.
  6. Clean chrome: To clean the chrome in your house, rub chrome with baking soda and a dry cloth. The chrome will have a great shine!
  7. Sunburn pain: To relieve the pain of sunburn, apply a paste of baking soda and water to soothe and cool the affected area.
  8. Bathing suit mildew: If you cannot rinse or wash your bathing suit right away, place the bathing suit in a large zippered plastic bag filled with ¼ cup of baking soda. Shake the plastic bag well. The baking soda will keep the musty odor away by absorbing the moisture from the bathing suit.
  9. Crayon on chalkboard: To remove crayon marks from a chalkboard, apply baking soda to a damp rag and clean the chalkboard. The baking soda will remove the crayon’s wax and make the board ready for chalk again.
  10. Dishwasher smells while you’re away: Sprinkle a tad of baking soda in your dishwasher and leave the door open a little bit. This will keep your dishwasher from smelling musty when you return from that relaxing vacation to the beach!

As you can see from the above tips, there are many ways to use baking soda in your home. Don’t forget about the great deodorizing powders of baking soda. You can use baking soda in musty closets, diaper pails, trash cans, on pet beds, on carpets, and even in the laundry.

 

Lesley Dietschy is a freelance writer and the founder of http://www.HomeDecorExchange.com – The Home Decor Exchange is a valuable website full of information and resources about home and garden decorating.

In addition to editing the Home Decor Exchange website, Lesley is a crochet pattern designer and needle fiber artist. You can view her crochet patterns and needle fiber designs at: http://www.ErinOliviaDesigns.Etsy.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com