Our friends at Aquitic Designs are having a end of season garage sale. If you missed the open house party here is another chance to get some deals. Summer fish food, plants, and fish are on sale now and then the clean our the garage of parts, lights, pumps, fittings etc is another opportunity to save for the DIY systems.
Here are some remedies we have tried at home. Each recipe has been proven for different applications. Disclaimer we are not doctors or medical practitioners and you should consult your own doctor before using. We can only say we have used these recipes and have worked for us as a family.
Skin care – This recipe has been used for a variety of applications such as diaper rash, heat rash, minor burns, cuts, scrapes, abrasions, applied to kids lips who have a habit of licking or sucking top lips. We used this for raw noses during cold season.
Lavender essential oils
Warm jelly to liquid state about ½ cup jelly
Add lavender essential oil about 20 drops mix well, place in small containers with tight lid (small Tupperware) and allow to cool. Apply mixture as needed. Do not use on deep wounds or severe burns.
Poison Ivy treatment – Both my wife and I are susceptible to poison ivy. Once afflicted with the rash 1-2 treatments or 2-3 days should clear it right up.
In a pint jar add apple cider vinegar, Lavender oil, tea tree (20 drops each), Shake well, store tight jar away from light, apply with cotton ball or Q-tip 1-2 times a day.
Equal parts by wt feverfew, lemon balm, peppermint herbs in pint jar (we filled the jar loosely)
Cover with 100 proof vodka, shake every day for 2 weeks, strain and place in jar away from light
¼ teaspoon in liquid every ½ hr until gone, not exceed 2 teaspoons in one setting, may be habit forming in that if used regularly for long enough, once you stop using it, you may develop a migraine.
Just a couple of topics covered today; Using clover as a living mulch, rabbit poop collection system, automatic watering system, massive rainfall in the Midwest, and some related news.
We have been busy with another site www.townofwingate.org as it is related to our activities we do on our little homestead. Upon moving to this small little rural town of 267 we thought all our practices and livestock would be just fine. After all, our neighbors had chickens, we are miles and miles from urban areas, it is a farming community, there are horses in town, we thought sheep were in town as well. Low and behold the town has an ordinance prohibiting chickens. After offering to help the town write a more updated ordinance, more inclusive (it was written at least 30 years ago), even offering to put together a website, our offers were ignored and the town council seemed to make us public enemy number one. We made it our mission to educate the town’s people who seemed to live in constant fear, who were kept in the dark about ordinances, laws, what was going on in the town, and even what their rights were. We are now publishing town council meetings online, put the ordinances online, put relative information online and made it FREE to the people. Since that wasn’t good enough, we are now also running for town council seats so that the HOA style mentality can be replaced with a more libertarian stance. Not really an excuse for lack of publication here, but does tell you what we have been up to. Try to change the things you can, and if that doesn’t work, be the change you want to happen. We needed to stop complaining and take action. Knowledge is power.
On a more farm note, this year we had some experimental garden beds where we used clover as a cover crop, and living mulch. We used dutch white clover. So far the results have been very positive and I think we are going to expand into larger areas. The clover only grows about 4 inches high, so any plants taller than that have done very well. They are bringing much needed nitrogen into the soil. It appears that the clover has also choked out many of the seeds as it is a thick blanket across the soil. We did till this particular bed as noting had ever been planted in the area and we wanted to break thinks up. This also has been an unusually wet season and normally I would think the think clover would have kept moisture in the soil. I really cannot make that claim as everything has had rain, and cannot really tell a different in the clover bed vs. non clover.
In our current animal enclose we are housing chickens, ducks, and rabbits. The guardian goose seems to think it is a dog or human and refuses to interact with the other birds. She lives inside for the moment. In our rabbit area, our breeders are in cages and are suspended about eye level and are in a U shape. Each rabbit has their own cage, roughly 2 ½’ x 3’. There is 4 foot space between the rabbits and the ground. We have been using deep litter (straw) in their area as well as the duck/chicken area. We are needing grow out pens for a future meat rabbits. The initial idea was to put them under the breeders, but then how to keep the waste off the meat rabbits? I had some old EDPM liner from a pond laying around and fashioned a trough/roof for the meat rabbits. In theory it should have allowed the pellets (poop) to roll off to the back, and same with urine. It didn’t work. Because of the weigh, and I didn’t secure it well enough the poop, urine, un eaten pellets, greens, and hay all dropped into the “diverter” and collected in one pool. That was a stinky nasty mess. Lesson learned, make sure the liner is taught. Once we install the meat rabbit gage, and clean it up a bit I will post a video of how we set everything up.
While still on rabbits, I have a 275 gal auto watering system. It means I do not have to fill bottles every day, they always have a water supply, and I do not have frozen waterers in winter. So I thought. Usually when I go and feed the rabbits I also make sure the water is still flowing by a quick push on one of the rabbit nipples. It has been hot, they have not been eating as much, and my wife fed them for a few days. I never told her about checking the nipples to see if water is still flowing. One day we bring our doe into breed with the buck, and he is just not doing his job. While waiting, and waiting, and waiting I check the nipples, no water! Went to check things out, and started trouble shooting. After about 10 minutes, we figured out the pump that recirculates the water had pulled something into the line and it had become clogged about half way through the 100 ft of tubing. Using the hose we were able to backflow and flush the clog out. Lesson learned, while it may seem intuitive, and repetitive task, always have someone follow you though farm chores. What you say and what you do may be two different things. This lesson was repeated when helping on a friend’s farm. He knows the electric fence is ALWAYS on and well, assumed I did too. NOT the case! Lesson learned there, assume all fences are electrified unless told or tested otherwise.
Reposting for Sherri
Recently it came to my attention that some people believe our animal care and farm practices are dirty and unkept. 1st before making assumptions you might want to get facts straight, learn what you are talking about before opening your mouth, and lastly ask us, we would be glad to tell you all about it.
We will educate the uneducated and ignorant. Grass should not be cut 1/4 inch above the dirt. It is very unhealthy, longer grass survives drought better, and longer grass will hold more water in both roots and green tissue. The ability to hold water has been important lately.
What one person views as weeds is actually medicinal plants we grow for FREE , do not require a prescription, doesn’t have nasty side effects. It is also food for our animals. This is why we do not spray any chemicals on our property.
We let grasses grow longer because it has more nutrients for animals, reducing our dependence on buying processed feed. Ask any rancher using grass fed techniques.
We clean our combined rabbitry and coop every 3 months. We use deep litter bedding inside to absorb and hold wastes. After 3 months it moves out to the compost pile where it is turned into soil for future gardens. Properly managed neither have an odor. I have the training and experience on both. Due to the excess rain and poor stormwater drainage in our area, some of this bedding became wet. we immediately changed and dried it out once we were able.
We house our rabbits and poultry together to harness heat in the winter, and the chickens reduce any worms or parasites, as well as till the litter naturally and help it all break down faster.
We even installed fans this summer to keep both rabbits and poultry cool, and help keep air moving in the coop.
All of our animals have names. When the chicken went past their prime for laying, they remained and are still productive, just not as many eggs a week. We did not butcher them. They still eat bugs, they still turn the compost, they still have a name, and they still process food waste from our kitchen. When old age finally takes them, we will look at replacing them.
For more on chickens read my post on In defense of the back yard flock
We used to give tours, and will do it again soon. We are still working on many things, since moving in March, and because of Avian flu we do not want additional traffic if we can help it. We had to start a great many plants and systems all over, so we would like to showcase more than just concepts, but actual practice.
To make sure our rabbits had access to water all winter long we made a rabbit watering system that does not freeze. Our rabbits (4) have access to 275 gallons of water 24/7. This is our system from Indy but we rebuilt here in Wingate
We have had Animal control on our property (for a neighbors issue, not ours) and were commended on how well we took care of our animals. We have had a vegans, and staff of animal control and also tell us how well we take care of our animals.
What one person sees as “unsightly” another sees it as a 40% reduction in a grocery bill of all natural all organic food. Some people see it as beautiful and natural. Being ignorant and failing to educate yourself is ignorant in itself. Singling one person or a group of people out because you dislike something is called discrimination. Using position of power to go after that group is called harassment. Both of which can land someone in court. Since some people are ignorant of what I mentioned above I just thought they may also need some education on the latter as well.
Here is a great chance to meet new like minded people, ask questions, get some deals, get great ideas, and generally have a fun time. I will be presenting a class, have Q&A, so ask about aquaponics, ask about permaculture. ask just about anything. it is FREE
August 8th 10:30 AM -7PM
Since we moved from Indianapolis we have found our new small town somewhat lacking of available information to what we were accustomed to in Indianapolis. Where there was a need I filled the gap for both ourselves, and to better educate and share with my new town. Seemed a bit of a waste to just put information on there, so I opened it up to classified for the town, idea generation, living history of the town, and FREE webpages for any business in town. So, anyone following us in and around the Wingate area there is a new site www.townofwingate.org. All of this is FREE to the townspeople and surrounding area.
Details in the link. Orders Due in September, pickup in October
Purdue now has a program to help farm families maintain a central location for critical documentation. This is key of there is a disaster, for instance flood, fire, or tornado. The LAST thing you want to be thinking about is having to PROVE to government agencies and insurance companies you are who you say you are, you own the property that was just wiped out, your kids belong with you, your critical financial documents bank accounts etc.
Imagine being woken up in the middle of the night, leaving in the car with only the clothes on your back, your kids, maybe your pets, and fleeing your home, only to come back and it is all gone. You have no wallet, no birth certificate, no bills to prove address, no contact for you bank, no checkbook for accounts, no ATM or credit cards. Where will you stay, how will you get money out of the bank. Worse, it happened on a holiday weekend. Insurance companies not available at the only number you have in your phone, no policy numbers available, no ATM card. What are you going to do? How do you prove you are not a looter when police come by and see you picking through what was once your home? Scary thought isn’t it? Don’t let this happen to you. It can be prevented. We offer help with the Be Prepared Series of classes. Purdue is also offering limited help with a program for farm families and small businesses in the form of their “Code Red” program.
Recently I got this e-mail from Sherri Atwell asking for help in the Marion Co Rezoning effort. While I am no longer in Marion Co. I still think it is important to curb some of the changes that affect many homesteaders and will do all that I can. As I am no longer a resident, my opinion and voice doesn’t’ carry as much weight as it once did. That doesn’t mean I WON’T voice my opinion. I am passing along her letter to you all as I couldn’t have said it any better. Please share it around and get more momentum.
Did you know that Indy Rezone is being presented to City Council July 13th?
I am writing to you because last summer an e-mail went out to you after the public meetings regarding Urban Agriculture. I just replied all to that e-mail, so my apologies if you do not want this info, I am hoping you do! I came away from these meetings feeling like the overall response to the Indy Rezone draft was not positive. Most people were very concerned about the new restrictions.
This past year the public info about Indy Rezone has been largely non-existent until the end of May when the news reported that they hoped it would go to City Council in June. Finally the document was posted to the Indy.gov website June 1. This document passed the Metropolitan Development Commission June 17 and will be presented to city council July 13 at 7 PM.
It can be seen here:
There are over 700 pages so here is what may interest you most:
- Agricultural uses, Farmers Market, Garden as Primary use (Pg. 483-486)
- Personal Garden, Personal Livestock (pgs. 526-528)
- Personal Livestock License Draft: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DMD/Planning/Zoning/ordinances/Indy%20Rezone%20Docs/Personal%20Livestock%20License%20061715.pdf
- The only thing that would be considered “Grandfathering in” what you currently have/are doing- Applications and Nonconformities begins pg. 118.
After Reviewing this info, do you believe these restrictions are truly making Indy more sustainable or putting us in a box of additional restrictions? I also urge you to look up any other issues that may be of concern to you. This link takes you to a searchable Word document you can download, so you can look up key words if you are having trouble finding what you are looking for: https://copy.com/pAwC1I46qpOItu1F
Something that caught my eye is that all the livestock info says “For Personal Use Only” – the implication there is not being able to sell eggs, chicks, baby animals. Also, some livestock is not listed as permitted, do you or your friends have Turkeys, Guineas, peafowl? Do you have un-neutered male goats?
The City Council represents us- the constituents. They need to know how each of you, your friends, neighbors and customers feel about Agriculture and other issues in Indy Rezone.
I hope you can take the time to make your voice heard. Please do not assume you can fly under the radar because there is no way this can be enforced. Not everyone has that luxury. Many of us have a persistent complainer in our neighborhoods that makes it impossible to fly under the radar. If anyone complains, code enforcement will be at your door!
You may have good neighbors now, but will you next year or the year after that?
You can make yourself heard in more than one way:
- Contact Indy Rezone – These two people are on staff with Indy Rezone:
Tammara Tracy 327-7834 email@example.com
John Neal 327-5265 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact your Councilor -put in your address and check “elected officials here http://maps.indy.gov/GovProfile/ If that does not work call the Council Office at 327-4242
- Also Contact the At-Large Councilors.
- Go to the City Council Meeting July 17 and the committee meeting thereafter. The leadership of the City-County Council will decide what Committee is assigned the ordinance. The schedule of meetings can be seen here: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/Council/Meetings/Documents/Calendar15.pdf
- Contact as many people as you can and pass this information on to them.
- Post info on social media. Help get people informed and to the City Council meetings.
It would be great if someone would step forward and begin a petition drive to recommend this does not pass, or at the very least, gets delayed so that people can review it an fix the glaring issues. If anyone is interested in organizing or participating in a petition drive, please contact me or my husband Barry. His email address is email@example.com.