Cool Weather Gardening

What a winter. It seems like it might never end in many areas. It’s nice to day dream about cool weather gardening while the garden is still covered in snow and weeks away from thawing.

Cool Weather Gardening

Homesteader Supply has a long list of cool weather gardening seeds. You can wait until the ground is ready to plant, and you can start some of your seeds indoors to get a jump start on the growing season. Seeds started six to eight weeks before the soil is ready for transplants gives you plenty of time for germination, transplanting into containers, and growth. You want your seedlings to be well developed without being root bound. Transplant shock is minimized when the roots aren’t too heavily disturbed.

Detroit Dark Red Beet, cool weather gardening

Beets are a good choice for cool weather gardening.

Beets can be seeded a few weeks before your average last frost date. There are multiple seeds in each cluster so be sure to plant them at least two inches apart, and be ready to thin when the time comes.

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Pac Choi, kale, lettuce, peas, radishes, spinach and turnip are cool weather plants. If a seed package says “sow as soon as the ground can be worked,” take that to heart. The ground can be worked when you squeeze a fistful of soil and it crumbles when you let go. If water drips from the soil or it forms a mud ball rather than crumbling it needs a bit more time to drain. Planting in soil that’s too wet can cause a loss of seeds by rotting in the cold soil, and by crusting. If the soil crusts as it dries the cotyledons will have a hard time breaking through. Better to wait a bit longer than lose seeds and have to replant.

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Pac Choi and kale are great seeds to start indoors to have ready for transplanting. Cauliflower isn’t quite as cold hardy as the others in this list and should be started indoors for early spring transplanting. Start cauliflower seeds two to three weeks later than the others to give the ground more time to warm. When plants are stressed by cold or heat the heads might take on a pink to purple tinge.

Snow Crown cauliflower seedling, cool weather gardening

Snow Crown cauliflower seedling

Cool weather plants don’t have to be grown only in cool weather. When your peas are spent you can toss the plants into a compost bin, amend the soil, and plant again. You’ll want to time this so that plants blossom after the hottest part of summer. Most cool hardy plants won’t be affected by a light frost, and for some, like peas, a day under the late fall snow will be just fine.

Tis’ the Season for Homesteading and Giving Gifts

Homesteading Supplies make the best gifts for everyone!

The holidays are just around the corner and traditionally are a time for reflection and gratitude.  But it’s also a time when we have to figure out what gifts we will need to give.  We at Homesteader’s Supply appreciate your business especially knowing that many of you have experienced hard times this past year.

thanksgiving web pictureHomesteader’s Supply is a home-grown venture, offering friendly customer service just like an old-fashioned store. You deserve to be treated well when you spend your money!  We were just selected as a 2013 winner of the Talk of the Town Customer Service Awards with their top rating!

Our store always tries to provide the best prices on our quality products, all year round, not just Black Friday or Cyber Monday, so keep checking in for our special sales!

So read on and get an idea of some of our homesteading supply products and best sellers.  Because of what is happening in our economy today, it’s a great time to buy functional gifts for your family and friends… gifts that can actually used for a self-sustaining endeavor, no matter how big or how small. And best of all, this is a good time to pick up a good offer for your own homesteading venture.

In General WE OFFER PRODUCTS FOR:

  • Encouraging self sufficient, self sustainable living and homesteading of all varieties… family farm, urban homestead, country homestead, or even in NYC!
  • Environmentally friendly products, U.S.A. made and manufactured whenever possible
  • Dairy Milking equipment and supplies!
  • Livestock care.
  • Poultry, equine, bovine and even pet supplies!
  • Canning / Preserving / Processing of Fruit, Veggies and Meat!
  • Heirloom Gardening
  • Cultures and supplies for Cheese Making! Even our own kits!
  • Variety of items for the homestead kitchen and so much more!

Check out some of our current best sellers:

Our own in house designed and manufactured Ultimate Cheese Press, almost two years in the making and go strong with overwhelming great feedback. cheese press

Very easy to use, ergonomically designed, presses your cheese the same every time!

 

And we also carry all the cheesemaking supplies you need to make just about any favorite cheese.   You will find only our HS Cheese Kits such as our best selling  Best Basic Cheesemaking Kit  and our Supreme Cheesemaking Kit which are flying out the door!   We designed all of our kits to contain the same supplies professionals use, and only the supplies you will actually use.  supreme_kit_2

basic_kit_updateSM

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in fermenting supplies?  We offer our own designed and manufactured Pickle-Pro Lids to fit both wide mouth and regular mouth sized canning jars.  Lacto-Ferment all your veggies and fruits into delicious foods which are better for your health.  We even offer fermenting cultures and the Polish Crocks!   PP05

4gal fermenting crock

 

 

 

 

 

What a great time to get a good deal on Meat Processing Supplies!  All of our smokers are on sale.  Homesteading folks and others just love the Country Smoker… smoker inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then another best seller is our Stainless Steel Manual Meat Grinder

10 SS meat grinder

 

And we have everything else you might need like jerky and sausage making supplies, meat tenderizers, meat mixers and patty makers, and more.  Don’t see what you are looking for, give us a call.. We carry the three main suppliers products… Weston Products, TSM, and LEM…  and we can probably get what you need.  Want to bargain for a better price or better shipping charge… you know website software is not always accurate and we want you to pay exactly what is charged to your home. So give us a call if you have any questions about a product you want.

Here is a great peek at some of our other best sellers for your homestead.  We have used many of these products on the HS homestead and put our stamp of approval on them.  How about the Squeezo Strainer and Sauce Maker  which we believe is the best strainer out there and will last a lifetime… hs squeezo4sm

 

 

 

 

The WonderMill Electric Grain mill wondermill

 

 

 

 

 

WonderMill Junior Manual Grain Mill  … the delux model has both burrs and stones and so it can do just about anything.  Dry and Wet grains… even your coffee beans!wondermill_junior_deluxe

 

 

 

 

Now would be the perfect time pea sheller newto get the Electric Mr Pea Sheller!  Most folks wait until their crop of beans come in and then need a sheller yesterday, Get prepared and be ready! This unit will last you a very long time.

 

And a few of our other best sellers….

wine press stainless Stainless Steel Wine Press… these go very fast!

 

Everyone needs a Stainless Steel Dehydrator! It’s the way to dry and preserve a good part of your bounty… veggies, fruit, jerky etc.  ss dehydrator

 

 

 

 

 

Not everyone needs one of these, cherry stonerbut it sure comes in handy if you have a large crop of cherries to pit.  This Cherry Stoner is all Stainless Steel and at a great value. Will last a lifetime!

 

 

 

 

 

And of course, let’s not forget our furry friends!  Eco-Naps-w-Dog luxury_cat_beds_greta Organic-Bumper-w-Dog-OttoWe now carry Pet Beds made here in the United States with natural materials.  We decided to carry these products because of the company standards in providing a great natural product to ensure our pets will be healthy and happy! And of course, a great way to support another American Small Business!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well folks, we hope you have enjoyed our presentation of suggestions for gift giving this holiday season.  We wish everyone a time full of peace and happiness!

Have questions or concerns, or just want to say hey… give us a call.

From all of us at Homesteaders Supply, we wish you all a wonderful and safe holiday season! jerri HS_logoNewSm

Beyond Sustainable – Advice on Homesteading and Chickens

Beyond Sustainable … a weekly blog from Homesteaders Supply Here we will highlight articles from homesteaders and related helping organizations blogging about their experience and insights for creating a sustainable lifestyle. Many of these articles will demonstrate their creative ingenuity for income, insights into the care of the land and their animals, and how to effectively grow, preserve, and prepare the foods we need for a healthy lifestyle.  We will also highlight articles from organizations that are helping us in our efforts toward a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

Homemade Non-GMO and Organic Chicken Feed Mix

By   on the website blog for gnowfglins.com

Homemade-Chicken-FeedHomesteading starts usually with having a couple chickens and enjoying the bounty of their wonderful eggs.  But what about what we feed them?  Read Tracey’s store and the recipe she shares for making organic and Non-GMO chicken feed!

“After plunging into backyard chickens to rid our yard of chemical laden pesticides, we began enjoying the great benefit of having chickens: the eggs! That was until we read what we were feeding them. Handfuls of words we couldn’t pronounce, nor did we have the faintest clue what they could be. Certainly, I thought, our eggs were better than ones in the store, yet in my mind remained a nagging doubt. Were they really?”  Read more for her homemade NON-GMO recipe for chicken feed…

Homesteading advice from the master… an interview with Joel Salatin

by Carol J. Alexander, photographs by Amber Karnes, originally published in the June/July 2013 From Scratch Magazine

salatin-for-web

“FS: Living a sustainable lifestyle is a trend. Never in my life have I seen a more powerful thrust to provide for one’s own family, live off the land, reduce one’s carbon footprint, eschew chemicals, cook whole foods, etc. And everyone wants a front-row seat on the green bus. But is everyone cut out to grow their own food? Share with us the traits the successful, modern homesteader possesses.

JS: Everyone can’t grow their own food, but everyone can live as if they were. And everyone can do something, even if it’s just a vermicomposting bin under the kitchen sink and using cloth diapers instead of disposables. The point is that every single act should be a physical manifestation of our thought process, a conscious decision. Mindless acts have no place in our lives. Even wanting to do something mindless like watch a silly movie should be for a reason: “I need a break from the 120 percent I’ve been giving all day to such-and-such an activity.”   While I appreciate the desire for self-reliance, I’m much more in favor of mutual inter-dependence. Sometimes we can become so independent we do things we’re not good at or deplore, and then burn out or fail miserably. Part of self-reliance is building a resilient community of hard goods and soft goods (spiritual, emotional, educational) around us, proximate, and relationally-oriented. All that said, here are some traits to think about:   ”  Read more…

fields_of_farmers

Get Joel Salatin’s newly published book Fields of Farmers

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Treat Chart The Best Treats For Backyard Chickens

by Buff Hooligans  posted on Backyardchickens.com

chicken and lobster

“This is a list of everything you can feed a chicken. However, everybody’s chickens have their own tiny brains full of likes and dislikes, so while one person’s chickens may come running for grapes or watermelon, another person’s chickens may turn up their pointy little beaks at it. Anything on this list is worth a try. AND …  Don’t feed the following things to your chickens:”  Read More for both lists….

Is there a best time to harvest and consume your vegetables?

Is there a best time to harvest and consume your vegetables?

Is there a best time to harvest and consume your vegetables?

 

Is there a best time to harvest and consume your vegetables? The concept makes sense if you remember that vegetables are living entity. But what about after they are harvested… are they still able to change their nutritive dependent upon the time of the day, lighting, darkness, and other factors?

I decided to search for more information on the topic of the timing of when to harvest and eat vegetables based on the best nutritive value and found there really is limited information.  And this most likely is because the research is really just beginning.  Here is what I found on recent research by Janet Braam.    If you know of more information, please comment and share with us.

Is there a best time to harvest and consume your vegetables?

Is there a best time to harvest and consume your vegetables?

Vegetables Respond to a Daily Clock, Even After Harvest

Interview by Ira Flatow on NPR  June 21, 2013

“Vegetables plucked from grocery store shelves can be made to respond to patterns of light and darkness, according to a report in the journal Current Biology. Janet Braam and colleagues found that cabbages change their levels of phytonutrients throughout a daily cycle.  Read More…

Beyond Sustainable Nov 2, 2013

Beyond Sustainable … a new weekly blog from Homesteaders Supply Here we will highlight articles from homesteaders and related helping organizations blogging about their experience and insights for creating a sustainable lifestyle. Many of these articles will demonstrate their creative ingenuity for income, insights into the care of the land and their animals, and how to effectively grow, preserve, and prepare the foods we need for a healthy lifestyle.  We will also highlight articles from organizations that are helping us in our efforts toward a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

How to Wax Cheese

by Wardee Harmon from www.Gnofglins.com

(This article will help the novice and those of us who can use the reminder about how to wax our cheese.)waxed-cheese-2

Before I tell you how to wax cheese, let me tell you why. Waxing cuts down on mold and putrefying bacteria’s access to cheese while it ages, and it also prevents cheese from drying out too much. Both good things.  Read more…

Millions Against Monsanto: Five Lessons from the Battle Against GMOs

By Ronnie Cummins
Organic Consumers Association, October 30, 2013 stop-gmos-bw sweet_corn

There are arguably more important issues facing us today than the battle against Frankenfoods. The climate crisis and corporate control over the government and media come to mind. But the rapidly growing anti-GMO Movement illustrates the powerful synergy that can develop from the combined use of social media, marketplace pressure and political action. Recent developments in this sector indicate that out-of-control corporations, media, politicians and the proverbial “one percent” can be outsmarted and outmaneuvered. And quite possibly defeated.   Read more…

Broth is Beautiful

by Sally Fallen Morrell

(Find out why we need real broth in our diets and how to make them. Great recipes at the end of the article. Don’t forget, much better to make your broth using Stainless Steel stock pots.)74352598.jpg

A cure-all in traditional households and the magic ingredient in classic gourmet cuisine, stock or broth made from bones of chicken, fish and beef builds strong bones, assuages sore throats, nurtures the sick, puts vigor in the step and sparkle in love life–so say grandmothers, midwives and healers. For chefs, stock is the magic elixir for making soul-warming soups and matchless sauces….  Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.  Read more…

Fields of Farmers

New book now available by Joel Salatin

fields_of_farmers

America’s average farmer is sixty years old. When young people can’t get in, old people can’t get out. Approaching a watershed moment, our culture desperately needs a generational transfer of millions of farm acres facing abandonment, development, or amalgamation into ever-larger holdings. Based on his decades of experience with interns and multigenerational partnerships at Polyface Farm, farmer and author Joel Salatin digs deep into the problems and solutions surrounding this land- and knowledge-transfer crisis. This book empowers aspiring young farmers, midlife farmers, and nonfarming landlords to build regenerative, profitable agricultural enterprises.  salatin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Sustainable Tip from Dr Tomas Cowan of The Fourfold Path To Healing : Did you know there is an optimal time for eating your food after harvesting to obtain the best nutritional value? 

“Another reason for growing and picking your own vegetables is that some vegetables have nutrient cycles that suggest an optimal time for eating after harvesting.  For example, the sugars and nutrients in zucchini start to degrade after only 30 minutes post-harvest (you can tell this by the taste, which also degrades after about one hour), whereas lettuce, if harvested 6 hours before consumption and put in the refrigerator for those 6 hours, develops certain phyto-nutrients that aid in our nourishment as a result of their “injury” (being picked).”

 We invite comments, questions and suggestions.  Contact us if you would like your blog featured here!

Thank you from Homesteaders Supply!

 

Beyond Sustainable

Beyond Sustainable,  a new weekly blog from Homesteaders Supply!

Here we will highlight articles from homesteaders and related helping organizations blogging about their experience and insights for creating a sustainable lifestyle. Many of these articles will demonstrate their creative ingenuity for income, insights into the care of the land and their animals, and how to effectively grow, preserve, and prepare the foods we need for a healthy lifestyle.  We will also highlight articles from organizations that are helping us in our efforts toward a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

12 Fascinating Facts about Chicken Eyesight 

chicken_eyesight

An interesting article from Lisa Steele and Fresh-Eggs-Daily.com

I always wondered why my chickens tilt there head when looking up at me, now I know!   Did you know that Just before hatching, a chick turns in the shell so its right eye is next to the shell (and absorbs light through the shell) and its left eye is covered by its body. As a result the right eye develops near-sightedness to allow a chicken to search for food, while the left eye develops far-sightedness, to allow a chicken to search for predators from afar. That is why when a hawk flies overhead, you will notice your chickens tilt their heads with their left eye to the sky.   read more 

A Green Tea Take on Obama Care

a blog from our friend Shannon Hayes, author of the book Radical Homemakers, and more.  

healthcare_hayes

“This story has been popping into my mind a lot these past few weeks as I listen to the media, neighbors, and friends discuss the Affordable Care Act. In spite of the approximately 50 million Americans who are uninsured, I am hearing folks express a lot of fear of the unknown. Some who are uninsured are defiantly choosing to pay the tax penalties rather than purchase a policy. Some are seething with anger that their tax dollars will be paying for someone else’s healthcare. Others are simply petrified that if they move forward and enroll in the exchange, they will suddenly be without any coverage. As a nation, we are being asked to take the first steps to leave behind a cruel relationship. We are collectively confronting a great big unknown. Suddenly, all the homelessness, suffering, and bankruptcy offered by our current system seems preferable to confronting something new and different. It is as if we’ve become co-dependents to our existing abusive healthcare system.”  read more….

Julia Child Was Wrong: Don’t Wash Your Raw Chicken, Folks

julia-child-roast-chicken

by Maria Godoy from her NPR blog ‘the salt… what’s on your plate’

“It seems almost sacrilegious to question the wisdom of Julia Child. First with her opus Mastering the Art of French Cooking and later with her PBS cooking show, the unflappably cheerful Child helped rescue home cookery from the clutches of convenience food. She taught us how to love — and take pride in — making something from scratch.

And yet, in at least one important kitchen skill, Child got it dead wrong: rinsing raw poultry.”   read on…

Food Safety Modernization Act:
Stand Up Today for Food and Farms!

From the the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

fsma_homepage_image_main

The US Food and Drug Administration has proposed new rules this year that will have a huge impact on how fresh fruits and vegetables are grown and processed in the US. This is a big deal for farmers and eaters! Everyone has a role in ensuring safe food from field to fork – but FDA’s new proposed rules as written will unfairly burden family farmers, target sustainable and organic farming, and reduce the availability of fresh, local food in our communities. Right now, we have a chance to tell FDA that this is unacceptable – and we need your help to do it.

As currently written, the rules will:

  • put many farms out of business;
  • reduce the supply of fresh, local produce in schools and hospitals;
  • push farmers to tear out wildlife habitat; and
  • increase the use of chemicals rather than natural fertilizers.

FDA’s new food safety rules must:

  • Allow farmers to use sustainable farming practices, including those already allowed and encouraged by existing federal organic standards and conservation programs.
  • Ensure that diversified and innovative farms, particularly those pioneering models for increased access to healthy, local foods, continue to grow and thrive without being stifled. 
  • Provide options that treat family farms fairly, with due process and without excessive costs.

Now stand up for your farmer, stand up for your food!

FDA is seeking comments from the public – that’s you! The #1 most important thing you can do to help fix FSMA is take a few minutes RIGHT NOW to submit a comment to FDA either online or through the mail.  Read more on how to take action:

We invite comments, questions and suggestions.  Contact us if you would like your blog featured here!