Baking, Homesteading, News, Uncategorized

Festivities and Fun

It’s boxing day and we are enjoying a relaxing day appreciating the beautiful place we live in. I have marigold jelly simmering on the stove top, Nyah and Dane have gone for a walk in the paddocks and Banjo is engrossed in his new puzzle. Bliss!

Yesterday evening after a day of family and too much food the kids were so exhausted from all the fun they were out cold by 6pm. I decided to take the christmas tree down for a fresh start this morning. After the decorations were packed away I took it outside to stick it in the compost stopping on the way to give Kisses a pat and let her investigate the pine needles. Well she must not have taken kindly to me removing the tree from her mouth because on my return to give her another rub she gave me a HUGE head butt that lifted me into the air and left me sore and tender! Fortunately she hit the space with the most padding but it was a painful lesson nonetheless and I will be watching her even more closely around the kids. She is the most gentle cow but she is still a large heavy animal!

For Christmas Eve Dessert we enjoyed a delicious Raspberry Cheesecake with our berries (Let me know if you would like the recipe ) . I do wish we were already milking so it was our own cheese but I can always make another can’t I!

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The rest of our eve meal was made up of produce from our garden and Lamb gifted to us by our neighbor it was such a wonderful feeling knowing the majority of our food was so fresh and had so much love put into it.

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beets

We harvested the first Zucchini of the season and made a Zucchini , Feta, Chickpea and chard salad a fennel, orange, water melon radish and nastursium salad. We roasted some of the baby beets and they looked so amazing when cut open that I had to take a photo!

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For our feasts today we are spoiling ourselves with delicious cheese and smoked salmon on homemade sour dough toasts. I have been making sourdough twice a week and I’m loving the complexity of flavour my starter is getting. As I am baking regularly now I have not been putting it in the fridge like I used to and it’s very lively. I’m a lazy baker when it comes to breads I struggle to knead properly and I’ve now got a great system of no knead bread going this means we get regular loaves with minimal effort. Miss Nyah still complains of the hard crust but we just tell her to leave it for the chooks.

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No Knead Sour dough Bread

Ingredients

4C flour

2C Sourdough starter

1TBS Sugar

1Tsp salt

2C water

Method

Plonk everything into a bowl mix and cover to rise/come together for 8-12 hours

stick it into a greased pan (Here you can do a second 2 hour rise or stick it in the oven)

In a preheated oven cook on 230C for 20 mins reduce to 170C for 30mins

Eat and enjoy 🙂

 

Fermenting, gardening, Homesteading, News, Preserving, Uncategorized

Here we go round the Raspberry Bush!

We have been busy here harvesting and preserving our raspberries. Our predictions of a bumper crop this year are ringing true as we Harvest around a 1kg a day. We pick in the early morning and late afternoon to avoid the hot parts of the day. I love our time picking as we go out as a whole family. The novelty has worn off for miss N but she sits in the shade of the bush playing with our cat Whiskie (Who spends her day in the bush) and sings us songs. Banjo still needs to be carried in the baby carrier on my back as the other young plants in the patch will not survive his brute strength!

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As the weather warms and we are harvesting and preserving more I’m finding less and less time for posting but if you would like to keep up to date with our antics I have recently started a facebook page. This is mainly to keep people up to date and advertise products for the market stall but I also like to post nice events and things happening in and around the homestead so please Like the page https://www.facebook.com/Hunter-Gatherer-416223725239665/

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This last week there has been lots of experimentation of raspberry based products. Today at the end of the post (After I finish my ramblings) I will share my recipe for Sparkling Raspberry Wine this is a new one for me and a adaptation of the Raspberry soda I made last year. I am yet to see the results as I want to wait a few months for extra fermentation but I will share with you anyway.

My Other Raspberry pursuits have included Raspberry Jam , Raspberry Chilli Jam, Peach and Raspberry Jam (YUM YUM), Raspberry cordial, Raspberry sauce and a raspberry BBQ sauce which I’m very excited about as this is one of the first recipes I have developed all by myself ( with Danes imput of course) It feels wonderful to have reached this point in my journey with food. I have always “altered” recipes to suit me but I’ve only just started writing things down so they become MY recipe and I can do it exactly the same next time.

In other Garden adventures I have FINALLY manged to grow the perfect carrot! I’ve always felt a bit of a failure when it came to carrots they were either to much top and no carrot or weird unpeelable mutants and usually ended up as snack food for our jersey. This time Nyah and I loaded up the soil with lots of buckets of Sand and it made a huge difference lovely straight perfect delicious carrots!! I love the joy Nyah gets from her carrot garden these are her favorites to grow and pull up and I always make sure we plant the new seeds together.

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Anyway onto the recipe

Raspberry Sparkling Wine

Ingredients

  • 300g Fresh or frozen Raspberries
  • 1 packet sparkling wine or cider yeast
  • 5 litres of water
  • 4 Cups sugar
  • 1 lemon cut up

Method

In a 5 litre bucket/Container dump in all ingredients except yeast and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Pour in Yeast and give it another stir. Cover in cloth with rubber band and leave to ferment for 3 days stirring daily to avoid mold

Strain off fruit and pour liquid into bottles leave to ferment for as little (at least one week)or as long as you want for example we will enjoy a bottle at Christmas after a 2 week ferment but will try another after 2 months and another in a year.

Enjoy 🙂

Fermenting, Foraging, gardening, Homesteading, News, Preserving

Weekend Work and Foraging Fun

We had a wonderful day at our stall at our local Oberon Farmers market we nearly sold out of Kombucha and met so many lovely people who were new to the area and had lots of great chats about foraging and preserving. One of these chats revealed the whereabouts of a wild elder flower tree not far from our place.

This morning after our regular chores of watering the garden, chickens and animals I spent some time bottling Tepache which is a mexican beer recipe made by fermenting pineapple skins, brown sugar and spices. I will leave one bottle to do a second and maybe another to do a third ferment to be alcoholic and I can’t wait to try it at Christmas time!

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After the Tepache is was time to bottle more Kombucha I decided this time to try out a new flavor of Hibiscus, Honey and Jasmine. It will be a real struggle to wait another week to try this one as it smells heavenly.

While I kept bottling Dane went out to collect the seeds from our Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Kale. We have huge amount of seeds much more than we will need but I hope we can use them to Barter with other growers to get some more varieties of seeds later on.

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Kombucha bottled we discussed our plans for the day and decided we would go on a adventure to try and find this elder tree to forage some more flowers for cordials. I didn’t have high hopes as generally when we go on adventures to try and find things we don’t have the greatest success but this tree was exactly where we were told it was the only problem was all the best flowers we would need a cherry picker to get too!!

We collected enough to make 7 litres of cordial and 5 litres of Sparkling wine

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I had already been making fermented soft drinks last year and I discovered the process is very similar to country wine so the only thing I did differently is add the wine yeast IMG_4846

I will let everything sit for a few days in the container stirring it everyday and then I will bottle it and give it a few months where I will open a bottle in winter to enjoy the tastes of summer.

it is now getting cool enough outside that we can venture back out and collect some raspberries. I haven’t managed to get enough for my products yet as the kids keep hoovering them up as soon as they come off the bush!

Until next post enjoy the rest of your weekend

Fermenting, Homesteading, Preserving, Uncategorized

Fermented Watermelon Soda

Last year before I started making Kombucha I started experimenting with fermented soft drinks. I loved making them but the recipes I used I found overly sweet as they called for about 10 cups of sugar! After some experimenting I mastered the recipe for Fermented Watermelon soda you can Lacto-ferment it if you want but I prefer using my Kombucha to get it started you could use cider vinegar or something else with the MOTHER.

I used a 5litre food grade bucket to make my batch as I make very large amounts at once but you could use a fermenting jar or whatever you have handy. I have given the recipe for the smaller quantity below.

The flavor of this yummy and healthy soda is sour and sweet at the same time and a beautiful pink colour that your kids will go mad for!

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Fermented Watermelon Soda 

4 Cups Watermelon pureed

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/4 C Kombucha , Keffir, Whey, Apple cider vinegar,or ginger bug

1 Litre of warm water

  1. Place sugar and water in your vessel and stir to dissolve
  2. Add pureed watermelon
  3. Add the Kombucha (or starter of choice) and stir
  4. Cover with a cheesecloth and let it sit on the counter for 2 to 10 days I did 4 days as it is hot and summer here in Australia but it will depend of your climate and taste buds. The longer you let it ferment the less sugar there will be as the bacteria will consume and convert the sugar during fermentation.  Swish the soda around once a day to prevent mold from forming on the surface.
  5. Strain the puree out and bottle leaving some head space for a second ferment to increase carbonation for a few days to a week and then pop in the  fridge.

Enjoy Ice cold 🙂

Baking, Homesteading, Uncategorized

Raspberry and Custard Tea Cake

Summer is here and we have been coming out of hibernation and socializing more. I make it a rule to never show up at a friends empty handed and the same rules apply when visitors are coming for a cuppa at our place. This delicious tea cake is a favorite of mine and the recipe makes a delicious moist but firm teacake perfect for any occasion. I am including my recipe for custard but if you prefer using a custard mix by all means go ahead you can even use apples or pears if you prefer ( Like I did in the bottom two photos).

For this I used the last of my frozen raspberries from last years harvest as we have started munching on this years haul and we are all licking our lips in anticipation of the crop! To me raspberries mean summer, family time and a huge range of delicious treats. This year I plan to make Jam, Vinegar, flavor Kombucha, Raspberry chilli sauce and BBQ sauce not to mention all the endless scrumptious desserts!

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Raspberry and Custard tea Cake 

Ingredients

250g butter, softened

zest from whole orange

1 1/2 cups (330g) caster sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups (225g) self-raising flour

1/2 cup (75g) plain flour

orange juice from whole orange

1/2 cup (60g) ground almonds (almond meal) (optional)

150g fresh or frozen raspberries

1/4 cup (20g) flaked almonds (optional)

icing sugar, thickened cream for serving

CUSTARD

2 tablespoons corn flour

1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar

4 egg yolks

1 cup (250ml) milk

20g butter, chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Preparation method

1. CUSTARD: Combine the corn flour and sugar in a bowl and whisk Heat  milk and once warm add a tablespoon to the cornflour and egg yolk mix to temper slowly continue to add the milk and then transfer back into the saucepan
 Cook, stirring, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat, stir in butter and vanilla. Press a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming; Refrigerate until cold.
2. Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Grease a deep 22cm springform cake pan. Line base and side with baking paper.
3. Beat butter, rind and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually fold in combined sifted flours, orange juice, then almond meal.
4. Spread two-thirds of the cake mixture into the prepared pan. Dollop small spoonfuls of custard over cake mixture. Spoon the remaining cake mixture over custard: carefully spread with spatula to completely cover the custard. Sprinkle over raspberries, then flaked almonds.
5. Bake for about 1 hour 25 minutes or until cooked when tested. Cool cake in pan. Transfer cake to cake stand and dust with sifted icing sugar. Serve with thickened cream, if desired.
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gardening, Homesteading, News, Preserving

Elder Flower cordial

It’s been too long since I’ve posted and I do apologize. My only excuse is that we have been spending lots and lots of time outside and my inside free time is dedicated to making preserves and getting ready for the market tomorrow.

Lots of beautiful things coming up in the garden and I’m stating to get excited about summer produce!

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We had a very sad event a few weeks ago with the loss of the quails we were quite devastated as they had just started laying and I love the gorgeous spotted eggs. Originally we thought a fox had got into the cages they were flipped and holes dug but now we think it was more likely a dog. We will be looking into getting a dog next year for protection of the flock. We may get quails again one day but not for a while. The last eggs I have blown out for keepsakes.

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Last week we visited a friend on their stunning property and spent some time touring the garden and right at the end was the biggest Elder tree I have ever seen. We talked about the berries and I asked if she had ever made cordial from the flowers. We mentioned we had tried the cordial at BOOMTOWN festival when we were in the UK sold to us by a troupe of children pulling a cart. It was the most beautiful thing I had tasted and I have been wanting to make it ever since but alas before I got the chance our chickens devoured our free and I had been mourning the chance until now. We were gifted a nice big bag of flowers and I got to work.

This is my recipe for elderflower cordial I have made it up from my experience experimenting making lots of cordial syrups recently and this is the best method I have found that works for me.

ElderFlower Cordial Syrup

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  1. Wash your elderflowers to remove bugs and then pop in your bowl ( I use a 5 Litre food grade bucket but I like to make HUGE amounts) pour boiling water over the flowers and leave overnight.
  2. Using a muslin cloth over a colander strain the liquid to remove the flowers plus any bugs you might have missed washing.
  3. Measure the Liquid and place in a saucepan for very cup of liquid add a cup of sugar.
  4. Over medium heat stir to dissolve sugar and bring to boil
  5. Once boiling add 1 teaspoon Tantaric acid and boil for another 2 minutes.
  6. Bottle in sterilized bottles and can with preferred method or store in the fridge.

Easy!!

You can follow these instructions for basically any herb syrup so get out in the garden and get experimenting!!!

gardening, Homesteading, News

In the Garden

In the garden my stresses melt away. When the kids or I are feeling grumpy and start snapping at each other some time out in our oasis feeling the soil is always soothing. There is so much happening in our garden at the moment and I hope I don’t fall behind and miss out on this amazing weather we have been having. I’ve been watching the weather predictions and I fear another long drought may be on the way with El nino so I am even more conscious of preserving this seasons harvest in case next year we have more difficult times.

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I am doing a trial Ferment with the purple sprouting broccoli these will be used in salads as the weather gets warmer. I think I will also try and do some jars of Broccoli pickle as I’ve already frozen a bunch and I’m not sure we would really use it dehydrated.

I’ve decided for the rest of this post I’ll take you for a walk through our front garden. I’ve had a lot of friends say they are interested in gardening but aren’t sure where to start or always manage to kill everything. I’m by no means a expert in gardening but I have come a long way in the last 3 and a 1/2 years. I too used to kill things but a big factor in successful gardening it learning from mistakes and of course growing and nourishing!

Our first successful gardening attempt was with seedlings bought at the local market. This was a good starting point because really we just had to stick them in the ground in a sunny spot and water them everyday. We now grow everything from seed unless we want something established like a fruit or berry plant.

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^ These are my Nasturtium plants. These were planted by seed which I raised in mini greenhouses last summer they self seed and Miss N has been taking great care of them. They are by our front door and look lovely when full and flowered.

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On the other side of the path next to the Nasturtium I have a huge crop of apple mint (and some nettles) I’m planning on making some cordial with this Apple mint (Actually I’ve been planning this for 2 years!) In the next few weeks I will make a batch. We brought these roots with us from our old house in the Mountains and when we buy I will do the same and spread the seed!. Next to them I have some daisy and marigolds which I have just transplanted.

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^ As we don’t have recycling collection in our town we recycle our milk bottles  as mini green houses or clotches when I first transplant into the bigger beds or pots I pop one of these on for a few weeks to help the seedling survive the elements.

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Beans and Peas coming up we have some old fencing posts a friend gave us to help them climb.

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^This is my ” Transition house” a old bird cage partially covered in builders plastic but still so the plants get partially exposed to the outdoor temperature.

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Our Greenhouses the old covers got lost and damaged when we moved a few years ago. I have recently re-covered them in plastic and they are working wonderfully for raising our babies.

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Lilac flowers I am about to make a cordial out of these flowers and I can’t wait to taste it!

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^Radishes, Baby spinach, Borage and Daisy

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^Beetroot and silverbeet seedlings, Lemon Balm and Beetroots

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^Chammomile and Marigolds^

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^ Parsley, Chives and chard – Lettuce and rocket^

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^carrots and the beginning of my accidental chamomile lawn!^

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^Old storage boxes make great mini greenhouses for baby beet^

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The “Berry orchard” Blueberries, Logan, Black and red currants and a peach tree.

Well I hoped you enjoyed looking at our garden there’s plenty more happening out there I haven’t mentioned. Now I’m off to re-pot some seedlings 🙂

Fermenting, Homesteading, Perserving

Kombucha

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Recently I’ve been researching the wonders of Kombucha and decided to try it for myself I ordered a Scoby off a lovely lady on Ebay and started my first batch. I must say I’m hooked! I like it much more than milk Keffir (which I won’t make again until we re-start milking) it’s delicious and very easy to make. We will be selling it by the cup at the Tarana markets on the 27th for anyone interested in trying it.

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I first heard about Kombucha from my friends on the NSW north coast who run Warinyan farm (https://www.facebook.com/warinyanfarmproduce?fref=ts) they sell bottled Kombucha and other delicious ferments at markets for check them out!

Kombucha is a ancient chinese femented tea beverage called “the immortal health elixer” it is made from a sweetened combination of green and black tea that’s been fermented by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (a SCOBY, a.k.a. “mother” because of its ability to reproduce, or “mushroom” because of its appearance) the scoby eats the sugar so by the time it comes to drinking the sugar content is very low. Kombucha contains vinegar, b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic), which are tied with the following effects:

  • Improved Digestion
  • Weight Loss
  • Reduced joint pain
  • Increased Energy
  • Cleansing and Detox
  • Immune Support
  • Cancer Prevention

We use a continuous brew method because I like keeping things simple!

Ingredients
  • One kombucha SCOBY (I bought mine off Ebay for $12)
  • 1 black tea back 1 green tea bag (I use loose leaf green tea with mango and mandarin in a homemade tea bag)
  • 1/4 C white Sugar
  • Starter tea from a previous batch of Kombucha or vinegar (this came with my scoby)
  • Filtered water (preferably free of chlorine, chloramines, and fluoride- we use rain water so don’t filter ourselves)
Instructions
  1. Prepare the sweet tea. I use 1 tablespoons of loose tea, 1 tea bag and 1litre boiling water plus 1/4C sugar
  2. Let tea cool to room temperature and make sure it is really cool! This step is very important as too hot of tea can kill your SCOBY.
  3. Once tea is cool, pour into glass jar, leaving about 20% of the room at the top. Pour in the correct amount of liquid from a previous batch of Kombucha plus your scoby
  4. With very clean hands, gently place the SCOBY at the top of the jar of tea. Some float some don’t Mine didn’t so i left it to do its thing.
  5. Cover the jar with a muslin cloth and rubber band tightly so no bugs get in.
  6. Put the jar in a warm corner of the kitchen but not in direct sunlight
  7. Let sit to ferment for around 7 days, though the length of time may vary depending on your temperature. You can taste test the Kombucha to see if it is done. It should taste tart but still very slightly sweet also I like day 4 at the moment but maybe that will change in the summer
  8. At this point, Kombucha is ready for a second ferment. If you aren’t doing the second ferment, just pour the kombucha into another jar or jars with airtight lids and seal until ready to drink.
  9. For continuous brew, we dispense in to plastic soft drink bottles (no metal) leaving about 20% of the room on top.

So what are you waiting get fermenting!!!

Homesteading, News

Today

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Today I have been appreciating what we have. We are very lucky to be renting in such a beautiful spot where we have the freedom to pursue our homesteading and gardening goals without first seeking permission and I know many people would love to be in the position we are in right now.

Banjo is still sick but it’s a lovely warm sunny day and I don’t want to stay cooped up inside as Nyah is desperate to finish some of our projects we started in the garden. Thankfully one of the only places he will settle is on my back in the baby carrier so we are free to do our chores!

One of the projects we recently started is a raised bed made up of dead branches Dane pruned off a bush. They were sitting in a pile ready to go to the kindling basket when I had a brainwave to try and weave a garden bed out of them.

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It’s starting to take shape and it’s such a fun project to do with the kids as there’s many jobs involved that are easy for them to handle. This ones a bit chaotic but I plan to do some more around the garden and they are bound to improve. I hope to use this one for some of the medicinal herbs I’m starting so I can make my own tinctures.

After this we surveyed the havoc wreaked by the wild winds the night before. Sadly a few of my makeshift greenhouses had blown over and my seed pots all scattered about. We picked everything up and will replant some tomorrow. Nyah has been asking a lot recently to plant more carrots so we made a sandy little bed with her dutifully carting buckets from her sandpit. We have our fingers crossed  these ones won’t end up looking like mutants!

After this it was time to go in for a break and some lunch. I set Nyah up with some playdough and got stuck into making my own dough for bread and dinner rolls I didn’t use a recipe this time so I’m hoping I’ve done it right.

Back outside and we are checking all the chickens water and giving them some more food we’ve started feeding them less food but more frequently to try and cut down the wild birds as beautiful as they are they bring disease to our flock and tempt the cat (who we have now made catbibs)

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We talk about the beautiful blossoms and how we hope for lots of plums this year. Kisses is hanging around the fence so we let her in and give her some hay and a brush. Again I am struck by the beauty of this place.

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After our cuddles with Kisses we picked some Kale for the soup I will make for dinner where I will open my first pressure canned jar of homemade chicken stock. Now we are in for a well earned rest and later we will go back out check on all the animals and collect our eggs.

Homesteading

Natural Cat Worming

We have been busy here as usual and are throwing ourselves into gardening. Dane has done a great job fencing off the front yard so we now have a fantastic chicken free zone and I (hopefully) no longer have to fight the chooks for my seedlings or wipe the chook poo out of 11 month old Banjos mouth!

While I am sitting with a sick sleeping bub on my knee I can hear chicks cheeping in the incubator (photos later when I’m free) and it will be up to me and Miss Nyah to care for them while Dane takes on a new work opportunity.

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With all our animals and ourselves we prefer to use natural health care where possible we use garlic and onion to prevent worms in our chooks and I have started brewing my own Apple cider vinegar whenever we have scraps.In my search for alternatives recently discovered the use of Diatomaceous Earth for worming cats. Now cat worming is my most hated chore – forcing a tablet upon something with claws is not my idea of a good time so you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon this alternative.

We buy our Diatomaceous Earth from the feed barn but the brand is Poultry Planet and we use two tablespoons to 1kg of dry food pop it in the box tape it back up and shake every feed. It’s that easy and it constantly worms them. We will still use a tablet twice a year as they get a lot of rabbits and mice here but I’m much more comfortable with this.

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What is diatomaceous earth?

Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons are made of a natural substance called silica. Over a long period of time, diatoms accumulated in the sediment of rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans. Today, silica deposits are mined from these areas.

Silica is very common in nature and makes up 26% of the earth’s crust by weight. Various forms of silica include sand, emerald, quartz, feldspar, mica, clay, asbestos, and glass. Silicon, a component of silica, does not exist naturally in its pure form. It usually reacts with oxygen and water to form silicon dioxide. Silicon dioxide has two naturally occurring forms: crystalline and amorphous. Most diatomaceous earth is made of amorphous silicon dioxide. However, it can contain very low levels of crystalline silicon dioxide. The first pesticide products containing silicon dioxide (diatomaceous earth) were registered in 1960 to kill insects and mites.

How does diatomaceous earth work?

Diatomaceous earth is not poisonous; it does not have to be eaten in order to be effective. Diatomaceous earth causes insects to dry out and die by absorbing the oils and fats from the cuticle of the insect’s exoskeleton. Its sharp edges are abrasive, speeding up the process. It remains effective as long as it is kept dry and undisturbed.

Other uses for Diatomaceous Earth ?

Pest Control

Looking for a solution to aphids, caterpillars and beetles? Try sprinkling a bit of diatomaceous earth on the soil around your plants. The diatomaceous earth dehydrates insects by sucking up the lipids from their exoskeletons – kind of gross – and kills them.

You can also use it for dealing with insects inside the home, like cockroaches, silverfish and fleas by placing powder near doorways and under furniture. Be sure to add another coat after mopping, or after a rain if you put any outside.

The most effective diatomaceaous earth for pest control is uncalcinated earth, which means it wasn’t heated before packaging.

Absorbent

Because diatomaceous earth can soak up 1.1 times its body weight in water, it’s great for cleaning up spills – especially toxic chemical spills (which are rare in the home environment). It also soaks up oil, so if you spilled olive oil or any other type of cooking oil, putting some diatomaceous earth on it will make it much easier to clean.

If you have a cat, putting diatomaceous earth in the litter box is an effective way of absorbing smells and moisture. Using our recipe for home made kitty litter, you can replace the baking soda with diatomaceous earth, which will make for a coarser kitty litter.

Facial Mask

Diatomaceous earth’s absorbant qualities also work well in facial masks, especially since it gets rid of excess oils. It also works as an exfoliant. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of diatomaceous earth with some water and add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil until you get a nice thick paste and there you have it! Alternatively, you could mix the earth with honey, rose water or milk. There are some great recipes out there, including some suggestions from Carolina Finds.

But be careful not to use it too often – you don’t want to dry your face out too much! You should also avoid scrubbing too hard with it – it can be abrasive.

In the garden

Since diatomaceous earth is so good at killing bugs, it can be used for preserving food. You can put it on unearthed potatoes that you’re saving for winter and it kill any insects that may be thinking to feast. The good news is that ingesting diatomaceous earth is not harmful to humans, so on its own, this is a pesticide we can stand behind. Be careful, though. The safe kind is called food grade diatomaceous earth, but you want to avoid the kind that has been used in pool filters (industrial grade). There could be chemicals added to it.

There are many other great uses for this great product if you’d like to explore it further it’s even a ingredient in toothpaste!