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 


An interesting article from Lisa Steele and

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.  


“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


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


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!

New Product for Homesteaders Supply: Dynablend Blender with Unbelievable Options and Price Value!


We have just added a new product to our Homesteaders Supply webstore, and as most of you know we try to only have the best products out there.  We want our customers to have a quality product that will function as advertized and not have to break the wallet to afford it.

Newly offered product from Tribest is the Dynablend Horsepower Plus Blender designed to provide the power and capability that all other high power blenders do, but with added features and a reasonable price.

Here is why we think our customers will really like this product:

  • Comes standard with a heavy-duty glass pitcher and a versatile stainless steel utility scoop that can be used as a tablespoon sized measuring scoop or an agitator.  Other blenders on the market usually only feature these items in plastic these days.
  • It has a powerful 1+HP motor, unlike other small models with smaller motors that can’t keep up with tough jobs.
  • Motor provides for both variable speed control AND pre-programmed settings.
  • 10-year warranty!
  •  Unbeatable price point for such great value.

dynablend1 dynablend2

You really can’t beat the great low price with such high value on this product… the glass pitcher, the stainless steel agitator, the options of manual variable speeds AND the automatic settings!   With the manual variable speed, from low to high, and the convenient automatic settings: 60 second blending, 30 second pulse, or 60 second blend and pulse combination, you can choose your blending speed.


Here are some of the features for the Dynablend Blender:

  • Max. 23,000 RPM
  • Does all things power blenders do for half the price of competitors
  • Heavy-duty Glass Pitcher
  • Durable Stainless Steel Scoop, tablespoon sized
  • Manual Variable Speed from Low to High
  • 3 Convenient Automatic Settings
  • Plugged-in Warning Blinking LED Light
  • Programmed Action Ready Solid LED Light
  • On/Off Switch
  • 10 Year Warranty
  • Model:    DB-850
  • Weight:    11 lbs. (5 kg)
  • Dimensions:    6″ W x 16″ H x 6″ D

Now you don’t have to worry about the plastics, or whether it’s BPA free or formaldehyde free… even if it will stain or wear out.  We were so pleased to see this product with a glass pitcher and stainless steel agitator.  Now you can make your salsas, soups, protein drinks… and yes even to make your butter!  Want to know how to make butter in a blender?  Ask us!


Do You Know About the Non-GMO Project?

veggies in the garden

We all have heard about the GMO controversy.  It has been suggested that 80% of our food in this country is derived from genetically altered food sources.   The most common GMOs are soy, cotton, canola, corn, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, and squash (zucchini  and yellow).

When I think about GMOs my thoughts automatically go to the basic fruits, and vegetables.  What I didn’t know is how some companies are using them to create the ingredients used in packaged food.  Checkout the list of some of these Common Ingredients Derived from GMO Risk Crops as listed by The Non-GMO Project:
Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.

The biggest, and yet unsolved issue is how these GMO foods are affecting us when we consume them.  Don’t forget, it’s not just not our fruits, veggies that can affect us, but what about the meat products we consume? Most of our meat supply is being fed with GMO containing feeds. cows

We just don’t know all the ramifications of ingesting genetically altered foods. Some suggest that GMOs can be toxic, less nutritious, and cause allergy based illness such as asthma, auto-immume disorders, digestive problems, etc. The fact is that there has not been enough research before the  onslaught to the American consumer.  But there is plenty of information out there to show us that we should take care in what we feed our family and our animals.    You can read for yourself the extensive report GMO Truths and Myths from Earth Open Source.

And for those of you still not convinced that we are actually exposed to so much genetically altered foods, here is a bit of information that may help change your mind.   Monsanto is trying to corner the market with their variety of GMO for Sweet Corn, which swept the county by storm hitting the grocery stores, farmers markets and farmstands in 2012.   It is being being sold not only as fresh corn, but you can find it as frozen and canned products.   According to the Non-GMO project, GMO sweet corn is genetically engineered to be herbicide resistant (Roundup Ready) and to produce its own insecticide (Bt Toxin). Like all GMOs, genetically modified sweet corn has not been thoroughly tested to ensure that it is safe for consumption. sweet_corn

GMO tomato

Want to know what brands and products are verified Non-GMO products?  Check this out at the Non-GMO Project… it’s one of the things they provide for us!  And then make sure you buy Heirloom, Organic, Non-GMO seeds for your garden and create your own harvest for your table!

Non-GMO Project  a non-profit organization committed to preserving and building the non-GMO food supply, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices.
Earth Open Source is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assuring the sustainability, security, and safety of the global food system.

Simple little seed is chock full of beneficial nutrition!


The season is upon us now where Pumpkins are a plenty!  I couldn’t get a total count, seems there might be over 50 varieties of pumpkins that can be grown in your own garden from      heirloom seeds.  Within that variety are some amazing differences:

  • The most commonly known carving pumpkin, the Jack-O-Lantern, was not bred for eating.
  • The Smaller sweeter pumpkins are for eating.
  • Colors of pumpkins are just as diverse, such as the blue Jarrahdale from New Zealand and Queensland    Blues from Australia.
  • Pumpkins are considered a fruit because it contains seeds.


  •  Pumpkin can be used for soups, stews, bread, pickles, pies, puddings, ice cream, and even beer or ale!
  • You can even preserve pumpkin by canning (most advice is only as cubed, not mashed.)
  • Cattle, goats, pigs, chickens and turkeys all love pumpkins.

Here are some interesting facts about pumpkin seeds:

  • Most pumpkin seeds have hulls, unlike the Kakai Pumpkin seeds are completely hull-less.
  • Mexican mole sauce is made with pumpkin seeds.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds:


  • Contain lots of minerals such as zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese… for helping to optimize bone health and preventing osteoporosis.
  • Good source of B vitamins, Vitamin E, Vitamin K
  • They have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, improve prostate health, reduce inflammation related to arthritis, improve sleep and lower depression.
  • The only alkaline forming seed.
  • Contain high quality protein, and the content of protein actually increases with the age of the fruit.


Preparation and Use of Pumpkin Seeds:

  • Best to shell the seeds, then soak in water for 6 hours.  Soaking make enzymes and other nutrients more digestible.
  • Bake them in the oven at 160 to 170°F for 15 to 20 minutes.  You can even sprinkle different seasonings on them for a variety of flavors.
  • Many suggest dehydrating below 110 degrees F, will prevent of loss of nutritive value from over-heating.
  • Sprinkle them on top of salads, cereals, and yogurt.
  • Add them to soups, stews, and meatloaf.
  • Enjoy them raw as a snack!pumpkin_seeds_toasted



Are your chickens ready for winter?


The nights are becoming chilly at this time of the year. We’ve heard that many places are actually starting to experience a freeze at night.  So now is a good time to get down to the chicken coop, talk to the girls, sing them a song and make winter preparations for your chickens. 

Here are some quick suggestions:

  • Time to clean the coop thoroughly, which means remove everything and wash the floor, walls and stands.  We always spread some DE all around the coop. It is important to ONLY use food-grade Diatomaceous Earth for animal use, NOT the pool house supply! This will kill off any unwanted critters harmful to the chickens like mites and lice.  We use DE all through the summer to keep the fly population down.  This is a natural product that won’t hurt your animals.
  • Fresh bedding makes for happy chickens.  We provide fresh bedding of straw after each cleaning.  Straw bales are not too expensive. We open up the strings, remove enough to spread around, and then retie the strings leaving the bale available for the chickens to play with.  We find chickens are happy when they have something to do. They are very industrious critters and the bale of straw keeps them busy.  Come winter time we always leave them a pile of straw outside the coop too.
  • Check the coop for drafts.  You do want some airflow, but large openings for drafts can make it too cold in the coop for the girls.
  • Prepare a source for warming the coop.  Usually a good heat lamp works great. Make sure you use the kind of heat lamp with the metal guard, just in case it should fall to the ground the bulb won’t touch the floor.  The only difference between the white lamp and the red lamp is how much light you want in your coop.  Our chickens take their rest in late summer from laying eggs and to molt and are ready again to produce eggs come winter. Giving them extra light will help them produce eggs in the winter.  We set our heat lamp on a timer to provide light after sunset for 2 more hours, and to go back on providing light about 2 hours prior to sunrise.  When it is very cold, we will have two heat lamps, one white light bulb for extra light and one red bulb for heat that stays on when the white bulb for light is off. 

hi_lo_heat lamp


  • Chickens need lots of clean water.  We have found the best way to keep water the cleanest is by using poultry nipples installed in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket.  We hang this bucket so that the nipples are the height of the heads of the chickens.  If you coop is heated in the winter, we find that this type of watering system won’t freeze. But if it does, no worries … it will thaw without breaking the nipples!  Outside the coop, watering will depend upon how cold it gets during your winter.  In more temperate areas where it warms up during the days, fresh water in a chicken waterer every morning does the trick.  But if you are located in the areas of great freezing, you might want to get a heater for your waterer to sit on top.

heater_base poultry nipple




420011 push in nipple

  •  Feed needs change for chickens during the stress of the colder months.  We keep feeding the basic feed, but add a corn based scratch as a snack.  We continue to give them alfalfa hay every so often as a good source of protein.  And remember I said that chickens are very industrious? Give them some special food sources to keep them busy like a whole cabbage head or whole carrots.  And then the special treats: cooked oatmeal, pasta or rice.  Leftovers are great to give the girls, but we cook these treats especially for them.  They will love you for all wonderful things you do for them!





Getting PREPARED for Meat Processing…

Here’s the most unique meat smoker.  It’s the Country Smoker from TSM.

Many folks have asked us about our products for meat processing, pricing and availability etc.   There’s nothing like a slowed economy, and a tight wallet, to encourage us to shop for the best deals for taking care of your organic meats, grass fed beef, buffalo, moose, deer, etc.  You can find many of these in your Natural Food Stores. Now, even Costco is selling organic meats!  Most stores are starting to think seriously about what the American consumer is purchasing these days.  

And then of course hunting season is almost here and you probably will want to be ready with many of these same products.  You can save money and taking good care of yourself and your family by processing and packaging your own bounty! 

So, we have put almost all of our meat processing equipment on sale! And working on even more! We are hoping to keep these sales going for awhile, as long as the manufacturers don’t raise prices again.   And on the heavy items, we only have the sale price listed… we will give you the shipping quote separate from the sale, and also give you an accurate shipping quote right to your front door. There are all kinds of sales tricks… online stores are all fighting for your business.  Don’t be fooled though… sometimes free shipping is figured into the product price and it’s large enough to cover a wide range of shipping destinations. So we’ve decided to just give you a quote to your door!  We hope that will make you happy… the best price on the product and the best shipping price to YOUR door! If you ever feel any of our shipping charges seem too high…just give us a call and we will check.  

We also have Meat Mixers from three manufacturers available and on sale… from Weston, LEM, and TSM.  There are small ones from 20lb to 50 lbs, and then there is the  LEM 25 LB Stainless Steel Tilting Meat Mixers.  Talk about making a job much easier by having the tub tilt away from the frame and actually remove it for cleaning! And with this big puppy you can attach it to an LEM Commercial Grinder (sold separately) and have an electric meat grinder. What can be better?

Ever try sausage making?   Try it with this Sausage Stuffer from Weston… pack up to 5 lbs of meat using this all Stainless Steel Sausage stuffer with Stainless Steel Stuffing Funnels!!

We will be working more on our webstore… getting more of these products available to you at sale pricing… like Grinders, and Meat Tenderizers, and Jerky makers, etc.  
As always, we haven’t learned to read minds yet… so we depend upon feedback from you… our customers.  Tell us what you think, what you want, inquire about products you don’t see, etc.  We are always happy to answer your phone calls and emails!  We at are here to make your shopping experience a pleasure, and you will want to come back time and time again for your product needs!