Author Archives: Homesteader's Supply

Fresh Herbs – Healthy Option within Your Reach

Upon searching the internet you sure can find so many options for taking steps to help ourselves to better health.  But how do we know what works and what doesn’t? Sometimes we just have to try some things, but I’ve found it’s best to find a good resource.   

Shoshanna at the www.bulkherbstore.com is one great resource for natural healthy herbal solutions from improving your health to improving your recipes for cooking.  I’ve used the arrowroot powder as a thickener when making real ice cream! Some of the other herbs I’ve used as teas to calm myself after an intense day of work, and others to improve my cooking recipes, and even others just as great soothing teas. Over a year ago I interviewed Shoshanna and her mom on my radio show Beyond Sustainable and learned so much about the use of herbs, and of course about how they carefully select and purchase their products to sell to the public. 

The reason I decided to share this info with you today was because I received their catalog in the mail and read the article about making my own tinctures. I really didn’t realize how easy it was. And there are lots of how-to’s on their site and in the catalog.   Here’s a looksee onto their site… Isn’t this just inviting… Thanks Shoshanna for all you do!


Homestead Product Featured in Hobby Farms Magazine!

Hobby Farms Magazine contacted us several months ago and asked if they could feature one of our products in a spring issue. They had seen the product on our site and thought it would tie in perfectly with their spring line up of recommendations….

The Foldit Cart is the hardest working all-purpose carrier you will ever own. With the do-it-all Foldit Cart you can move up to 330 lbs. of cargo at a time, with hardly any effort. It is designed so loads are dispersed evenly over the axles. 20-inch wheels with pneumatic tires add maneuverability and stability over uneven terrain.
This amazing cart is also sold in two other models… One with a bike hitch and the other with a lawn tractor hitch! 

Be sure to check out the March Issue of Hobby Farms Magazine! 

Happy Homesteading from the Folks at Homesteader’s Supply!

Eco Mini-Pasteurizer and The Great Blue Cheese Kit!

We’re always looking for some new products that are exciting as well as functional and needed on the homestead. Jerri has hit a home run this week with a couple of new items!

New Item: FJ15 Eco Minipasteurizer

Eco Mini 3.5-Gallon Stainless Steel Pasteurizer will process 3.5 gallons/14 liters of milk to a temperature of 156 degrees F/70 degrees C in about 1 hour.  Inlet and outlet hoses fill a water bath which is sealed against any contact with the milk and which provides a constant and gentle heating function.  The water bath may be flushed with cold water to stop the heating process.  The Eco Mini model has additional insulation for a more energy saving construction.  Complete with thermometer and instructions. 120VAC.  Wt.  13.5 lbs.

Another item that is available only with Homesteader’s Supply is our new…

“The Great Blue Cheese Making Kit”

Finally, by popular demand… we have added our own Great Blue Cheese Making Kit!  But it’s not just any ol’ blue cheese… we have designed this to try your hand at making three different types:  Roquefort, Cambozola, and Camembert!   If you haven’t heard of Cambozola, it is a cross between a sweet cream type cheese and a Gorgonzola.
No frills, nothing to go to waste, the same supplies  and equipment used by professionals to make cheese are in this kit.  Everything you need is there except a rubbermaid or tupperware type plastic container with lid, which you may already have in your kitchen, this is what you’ll use as a cheese cave for this type of cheese.   And of course, you will need the milk!
We have provided 3 detailed recipes for Roquefort, Cambozola and Camembert cheeses.

Included in this kit is:
2 Camembert molds, P. Rogueforti, P Candidum, MA4002, Liquid Veggie Rennet, Liquid Calcium Chloride, 2 Ripening/drying mats, thermometer, 1 sq yard cheesecloth, and Kosher course salt.

We are very excited about this new addition because it’s been something that we’ve had requested for some time!

Please come back and leave us some feedback if you purchase either one of these great products!

Happy Homesteading!

The Folks At Homesteader’s Supply!

Increasing Humidity in the Winter

As a kid, I remember my dad filling the tank for the humidifier in the utility room. It didn’t smell all that good… blew out COLD air and was very noisy! I never understood the need for the humidifier until I was much older and in my own home. I was puzzled by the amount of static electricity I could create and wondered why my skin was so dry!

Our Chino Valley home had a wood stove and we used an old bread pan on the top of it to keep moisture in the air. I’d fill that pan several times a day, sometimes hourly, to keep enough moisture in the house. Now that we’re on the new homestead in Wisconsin, we have a humidifier built right into the duct work of the furnace. The furnace was already configured this way when we purchased the home and we’re very pleased with the lack of static in the air!

For those looking for a way to add humidity to their home that doesn’t involve plumbing and drainage to the furnace room, we have brought in a few new items to get you through the cold winter months…

 The Ultrasonic Digital Humidifier will run for 120 hours on a single tank of water when set to low using cool mist humidity.

This little unit will set to warm or cool mist and has a variable speed fan to adjust the amount of humidity you need in the air. This certainly isn’t my dad’s old humidifier with the big spinning filter belt and fan on the back!

We also added a less expensive 55 hour model as well as some very neat air purifiers. These items are located in our Healthy Home section on the site.

We’ve had quite a few requests for humidifiers and it’s an item that I never think of when looking for products for a homesteading store… but I have to say that it makes perfect sense to have a source of moisture whether you live in the city or the country!

I hope you enjoy your day and keep warm in this cold snap!

Happy Homesteading!!!!

Dealing With Ice Dams On The Roof


A few weeks ago, we were in the path of winter storm Draco. Our new little homestead was hit with 18 + inches of snow in a twenty four hour period. We spent all day the first day barely keeping up with the falling snow as far as driveways and access paths to the barn and pastures. We started the snow blower up at about 9 a.m. and finally went in to eat soup at about 6 p.m. that night. This photo is after the first 8 inches fell and was phase one of snow removal. The snow was a wet and heavy snow… with rain falling about mid day. Cookie and Do spent most of these two days in the barn. We had several extra barrels filled with water in their stalls just in case the electricity went out and the well couldn’t feed their automatic watering unit. We felt very prepared, knowing this storm was set to hit our area of Wisconsin especially hard. We had hay stacked up in the barn and plenty of supplies stocked to get through some time not knowing how snow removal would be up here on the ridge.

The planning and preparation were well worth the time! We were only snow bound for two days and never did lose electricity for more than a few fleeting seconds. Everyone did great. The horse’s blanket was soaked after the heavy wet snow, so we took it into the heated garage and draped it over some saw horses – by dinner time it was dry and ready for the single digit night time temps that were predicted for that evening.

The one thing we didn’t think of was how wet all of that snow was on the roof. Temps dropped so fast that night that by the next day the snow on the ground was light and fluffy. It was a week or so after the snow that we noticed the ice dam up on the roof of the house.  The snow on the shingles was so wet that when the temps dropped so quickly, the bottom layer created a thick blanket of ice over the roof.  This can cause all sorts of issues… damage to the shingles, water leaking into the attic space and with wet insulation there is the possibility of mold forming up in the attic space.  After some reading and research we went to Farm and Fleet and purchased a 22′ snow rake.

What a wonderful invention that is!!!

The pole extends to the length needed to remove snow built up on the roof. We set the length of the pole to remove 4′ of snow from the edge of each roof. Once that was done we realized the issue on the cabin. We had an ice dam of about 8″ thick at the edge of the roof line. The garage was just snow, same with the barn, but the cabin had quite the ice dam. The funny part was that it was only on the east side of the house. The west side was just snow and easily pulled down with the snow rake.

We have a spigot on the side of the cabin that is tied into the hot water heater and that was a blessing!!! Yesterday, after the snow was all raked down, we hooked up a hose to that hot water spigot and slowly worked at melting off the ice dam before it took down the gutter or started leaking into the roof of the cabin.

The first thing we had to do was thaw out the down spout, which was frozen solid. it took some time but soon was flowing freely and we were ready to start on melting the dam. The articles we read explained that all is needed is to get some shingle clear so the sun can melt off the rest of the ice. We raked up about four feet and then made sure to have 6″ of shingle completely melted  of ice. We took our time spraying off chunks of ice in about 2 foot sections. I cut through the sections with the hot water and Matt pulled them down carefully with the snow rake.  It was a very WET and cold job, but with insulated bibs and several changes of coats / gloves… I didn’t get too chilled. Be sure to spray the concrete with hot water to get a good grip with the ladder feet… it was slippery a bit until we sprayed down the concrete.

As of today, the snow up on the roof is still there, but what has melted is now flowing down into the gutter properly and draining off without issues.

I’m sure it was just so much snow and so wet that it created a perfect situation to create an ice dam!

Happy homesteading!

If you’d like to see more pictures from the storm… please visit our facebook page… there are tons of photos!
https://www.facebook.com/HomesteaderSupply

 

Top 5 Homestead Gift Ideas

I know we’ve all be overwhelmed with Black Friday deals…. Cyber Monday deals… and too many commercials and ads!!!! We aren’t a big department store and just can not do the huge sales that they offer simply because we keep our price are as low as possible all year around!!

So… I’d like to share our top five gift ideas for this holiday season!

#5 – Aluminum Folding Cart

The Collapsable Cart that is Big on Hauling and Small on Storage! 

*Free Shipping to the Lower 48 States only! This Cart will not ship to other areas!

  • Folds easily for convenient storage
  • Weighs only 33 lbs., but can haul up to 330 lbs.
  • Completely rust and corrosion resistant
  • Sturdy Marine Grade all-aluminum construction
  • Made with pride in the U.S.A.
We have some great deals on these carts due to being a new item. Check out the many varieties of carts available!!!!
Now available from Homesteaders Supply, starter culture for fermenting your raw vegetables!

Perfect for use with the Pickle Pro Fermenting Lids!! 

  • Manufactured by Homesteader’s Supply in Chino Valley, Arizona!
  • Ferments Vegetables for perfect pickles, kraut and anything you can imagine!

#3 – Cheese Cloth Drying Rack

This traditional Bamboo Pasta Drying Rack is perfect for drying your cheese cloth as well as your fresh homemade pastas before cooking or storing.  No more hanging cheese cloth on the knobs of your kitchen cabinet!

  • Made of high grade Bamboo
  • Stands 16” tall and 14” wide
  • Includes 5 cross bars to create 10 hanging arms
  • Easy to assemble
  • Disassembles for easy storage

And what an easy way to also dry small dish towels!

 #2 – Cheese Making Kit for Colby and Cheddar Cheese

Cheese Making Kit for making Colby or Cheddar Cheeses exclusively from Homesteader’s Supply!
 
This kit is the real deal, all the supplies you need for making real cheese just like the professionals, and there is enough culture to keep you going in your cheesemaking for a long time. And, who better to buy from than a company that does make cheese and will answer your questions! 
Add your favorite spices to create a variety of your favorite cheeses,  such as chilli peppers, dill, chives, cilantro, garlic, roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.  And with this same culture you can even make delicious fresh butter!

Most important because cheese making really is a science as well as a culinary art, we have added to this kit the best book called The Cheesemaker’s Manual by Margaret Morris. At Homesteader’s Supply Farm we have used many of the books available, but this one is great by far for an all around  how-to, and why, and trouble-shooting, along with photos to help.

This kit includes:

  • One Tome Mold and Follower
  • 2 slips of Vegetarian Rennet Tablets (20 tabs)
  • Mesophillic MA4002 culture  25 DCU
  • Natural Sea Salt
  • One Thermometer
  • 2 sq yard 90 count Butter Muslin Cloth
  • The Cheese Makers Manual by Margaret Morris

  

AND THE NUMBER ONE HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA…..
 
 
 

Ultimate Cheese Press

Newly released on the market! This Hardwood Cheese Press was made for home cheese makers, designed and manufactured by Homesteaders Supply right here in the USA!
Special Sale continues… We even add in some 90 count cheese cloth… all you need to provide is the cheese to press!

  • Perfect to make all types of hard and semi-hard cheeses.
  • Ergonomically designed handles and followers to reduce the stress to your hands and fingers.
  • Comes with 2 hoops, now larger and taller than other presses, to prepare a 1 lb to 5 lb cheese!
  • Designed to accept the hoops in perfect position every time!
  • Hoops are made of food grade heavy duty water pipe. Professional cheese makers prefer this type of hoop over the metal hoop type, as it won’t cause too fast of cooling the cheese during pressing time.
  • Made with all food grade materials, will last a very long time, sturdy hardwood with stainless steel fasteners that are made in the USA!.
  • Easy to use; small enough to just place it into baking pan to allow for draining… therefore no mess, no fuss…
  • Finished wood with all natural 100% Tung Oil, no odor, no petro-chemicals, FDA approved for food contact… makes the wood water proof, will not turn rancid. We use real wood, not plastic.. latest research confirms that wood inhibits bacterial growth, which is not the case for plastics such as melamine. Now you know why everyone is going back to butcher block cutting boards!
 
 All of us from Homesteader’s Supply wish each and every one of you a Happy Holiday Season no matter your faith or celebration!!!

Happy Holidays!