Deborah Niemann's Blog

December 25, 2014

We are taking the day off at the Thrifty Homesteader to spend time with family and friends. Here's hoping you are having a beautiful day filled with love and delicious homegrown food!
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Published on December 25, 2014 06:00

December 22, 2014

We all have our traditional Christmas dinner – usually it involves turkey or ham, mashed potatoes, and lots of sweets. Even though the menu for Christmas is less set in stone than Thanksgiving, people have similar meals. However, that is not so across the world. There are some very interesting – and less than appetizing – Christmas meal traditions upheld in other countries. Here are the top five that seemed most intriguing to us.

In Japan, people eat KFC for Christmas dinner. Yes, you did read that correctly. Kentucky Fried Chicken is the main dish for Japanese people during the holiday. Today I Found Out tells us that this tradition came about due to a huge advertising campaign done in 1974. KFC’s “Kentucky for Christmas!” ad was extremely successful and is the main reason you will see people lined up outside KFCs in Japan – some people even call ahead and order their chicken months before Christmas!

The Polish people have 12 different dishes. According to Food Reference, each one represents a month of the year. Many of the dishes include fish of some sort, but are otherwise meatless. They eat Polish dumplings, various vegetables, and fish soup. If you want to try something different his holiday season, you could try a traditional Polish dish -- or twelve.

In 2010, Burger Kings in the United Kingdom served the “Sprout Surprise Whopper” around the holidays. It was a typical Whopper topped with Brussel sprouts and emmental cheese. The typical Christmas dinner in the UK does include Brussel sprouts, so perhaps Burger King was just trying to make the holiday easier for the cooks in the family. Needless to say, Food Reference tells us that the “Sprout Surprise Whopper” did not show up again on the menu in 2011.

In their Christmas celebrations, the people of South Africa follow many British traditions, being a former British colony. However, some people partake in caterpillars. According to the Sunday Times, they deep-fry Emperor Moth caterpillars as part of the festivities of Christmas Day. Although it might be interesting to see what your guests say if there are deep-fried caterpillars on your table, you'd probably have trouble finding them at your local grocery store.

The people of Greenland have some very intriguing dishes served at their Christmas dinner according to Sunday Times. Mattak, part of a traditional holiday meal, is a mix of raw whale skin served with a side of blubber. Greenlanders also dig into kiviak, which is a Christmas dish made of auk birds that are placed inside the skin of a seal and left to ferment to seven months.

As you celebrate the holidays this year, you can reflect on the diversity that exists around the world. It can be easy to focus on your tradition as the only one out there, but there are a multitude of cultures celebrating Christmas throughout the world.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
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Published on December 22, 2014 06:00 • 4 views

December 17, 2014

A few years ago, a family friend asked one of our daughters, "So, where do you buy eggs when your hens stop laying?" My daughter replied that we never buy eggs. He responded with disbelief, and my daughter told him that we had not bought eggs since our first hens started laying in 2002. The friend had a hard time understanding how we lived without eggs during the winter months, but it's really not that unbelievable. Here are some simple strategies for living without eggs during the months when chickens don't normally lay eggs.

1) We know the hens will stop laying, so we plan ahead. When we see that the egg production is slowing down, we slow down our consumption of eggs. We stop making quiches and eating eggs for breakfast and only use eggs in baked goods where they are absolutely necessary.

2) We use recipes without eggs. There are so many things to eat other than eggs. But if we get a craving for something that normally uses eggs, we create our own recipes! As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and without eggs one cold winter, I invented the most amazing chocolate chip muffin recipe.

3) We look forward to spring! If you have chickens in a part of the country where they stop laying during the winter, then you know that when they start up again in the spring, they lay so much that you are suddenly drowning in eggs! After not having eggs for a few months, we are happy to be eating them two or three times a day -- egg drop soup, homemade noodles, creme brulee pie, pudding, omelets for breakfast, boiled eggs on salad for lunch, quiche for dinner, and more!

Why don't our hens lay eggs this time of year?

In case you're wondering why we don't have eggs in the winter, it's because the days are too short for the hens to continue laying. Commercial farms use artificial lighting to fool the girls into laying twelve months a year, but on our farm, we think that if nature dictates that the girls need a holiday, the girls should have a holiday.
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Published on December 17, 2014 06:00 • 8 views

December 15, 2014

Light bulbs – we all need them, but is it worth it to make the switch to more environmentally friendly bulbs? According to University of Illinois Campus Recreation, replacing 25% of your light bulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) can save you around half of your lighting bill! Energy Quest encourages people to change the bulbs to fluorescent in the lights that are used most frequently.  They also say that if everyone changed just one incandescent bulb in their house to compact fluorescent, the state of California alone could "reduce garbage by keeping up to a billion (yes, a billion) bulbs out of the trash" because CFLs last so much longer. You can save money and help the environment at the same time!

Below is an excerpt from Ecothrifty: Cheaper, Greener Choices for a Happier, Healthier Life, with more information about CFLs.

Nine years ago we decided to change all of the incandescent bulbs in our house to compact fluorescent light bulbs, sometimes called CFLs, and we saw an immediate decrease in our electricity bill. Compact fluorescent bulbs use less than one-fourth as much electricity as their incandescent cousins. For example, a thirteen-watt fluorescent bulb puts out 825 lumens of light, which is comparable to a sixty-watt incandescent bulb that emits 840 lumens. At a rate of 10 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity, you will save $37 in electricity over the life of the fluorescent light bulb, which is estimated to be about 8,000 hours. CFLs also produce 90 percent less heat than incandescents, which I find especially important during summer months.

When compact fluorescent bulbs were first introduced, consumers had several objections, such as price, which has decreased dramatically in recent years, although the initial cost per bulb is still four to five times as much as an incandescent. The early bulbs also did not turn on instantly. The one- or two-second delay was enough to stop some people from using the bulbs. Instant-on bulbs are now available, although some still require a few seconds to reach full brightness.

People also complained that like all fluorescent bulbs, the compact bulbs contained a small amount of mercury, which created a disposal hazard. Although CFLs do contain mercury, it is 1 percent of the amount that is in an old-fashioned mercury thermometer.

As recycling programs grow across the United States and Canada, proper disposal of CFLs is easier than ever. Some retailers are even starting to accept used CFLs. A quick online search should yield some positive results for disposal sites in your area. Because CFLs last so much longer than incandescent bulbs, disposal is not a frequent activity.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs are an obvious green choice, but they are not the only choice. LED light bulbs are available for home use. LEDs use even less electricity than CFLs. However, we have not been able to find many locations in our home to use them because the light output of these bulbs tends to be dim. We have two, three-watt bulbs in our living room. They stay on most of the evening providing adequate light for walking through the area but not enough light for reading, conversing or any other activity. LEDs are popular as landscaping lights that can be powered by small solar cells.

I remember one of my high school teachers would leave the lights on in our classroom when we went to the library. When I asked why he didn’t turn off the lights to save energy, he said that it would take more energy to turn them back on than to leave them on for the hour that we were gone. Unfortunately, a lot of people still believe this myth today. The fact is that you should turn off lights—fluorescent or incandescent—if you will be gone from a room for more than a few minutes. These lights do draw a bit more current when being turned on, but this amount pales in comparison to the amount of energy used if lights are left on for extended periods of time. A light that is left on all the time will need to be replaced sooner than if it is turned on only when you are in the room. In the end, you will save money on your electric bill and in bulb replacement costs by turning off the lights when you are not in the room.
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Published on December 15, 2014 06:00 • 6 views

December 12, 2014

Have you heard about chia seeds? And I am not talking about chia pets here, although they do use chia seeds to create those bizarre creatures. Chia seeds are actually a very nutritious food. They are a vegetarian source of omega 3, and they have lots of fiber, as well as some calcium, iron, and magnesium. One tablespoon of chia seeds has a whopping 5 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein! But most people don't want to just toss a tablespoon of seeds in their mouth, even if it is super nutritious. So, what to do?

Using chia seeds is just about the easiest thing imaginable. You can sprinkle them on any food or add them to a drink. When added to liquid, they absorb it like crazy and thicken the liquid. If you go looking for chia seed recipes online, you will find lots of pudding recipes. There are several great things about making pudding with chia seeds ...

No cooking! Just add the chia seeds to milk -- 2 tablespoons chia seeds per 1/2 cup milk -- let it sit for a couple of hours, and you've got something that is the consistency of pudding. (Recipe coming in a minute.) This also means that you can use raw milk to make the pudding, and it stays raw. (When you cook pudding, it automatically pasteurizes the milk.)You can make a single serving of pudding. This is good if you live alone or don't trust yourself with a lot of pudding sitting around.It's not any more difficult or time consuming to make six or eight servings of the pudding than it is to make one serving, so you can easily make enough for a big family.The chia seeds don't really taste like anything.You can be creative and add whatever you want to create the flavor you want. Below is the recipe I used for spiced chocolate pudding, but you could add a couple tablespoons of peanut butter and blend it with the milk and chocolate in a blender to make chocolate peanut butter pudding.And it's good for you!

Chocolate Pudding
(serves 1) 2 tablespoons chia seeds1/2 cup milk1 tablespoon Ghirardelli sweetened baking cocoaA dash of cinnamon and nutmeg Whisk together the ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup and let sit for two hours to thicken. Stir, pour into a dessert dish, and put it in the refrigerator to thicken for another couple of hours. Eat and enjoy! Simply double, triple, or quadruple ingredients if you want to make more servings of the pudding. (And use a bigger mixing bowl!) If it sounds like you're making chocolate milk and adding chia seeds, yep, that's about right!
Want more inspiration? To see 14 chia seed recipes, check out this web page. Need more pudding ideas? Here are 17 chia pudding recipes!

Want some free chia seeds to try? The folks at Garden of Life are giving away five, 12-ounce bags of Super Omega 3 Organic Chia Seeds. Winners need to be in the U.S. and have a street address where UPS delivers. You will get three entries for leaving a blog comment. No fair clicking on that option if you do NOT leave a blog comment. Sadly, those who do that are automatically disqualified. Although you only get one entry for following @deborahwrites on Twitter or tweeting about the giveaway, you can get another entry every day for tweeting about it again. More details are below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on the chia seed picture and order them from Amazon, you'll pay exactly the same price as you normally would, and Thrifty Homesteader will receive a small commission. The chia seeds were sent to me by Garden of Life in exchange for writing this post and hosting the giveaway.
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Published on December 12, 2014 06:00 • 4 views

December 10, 2014

by Bethany Staswick

"Is that a CHICKEN in your yard?"

We get the question all the time as people walk by on the city sidewalk.

Yes, it is a chicken. And, in fact, we have ten of them.

When we bought our house in the city with the extra side lot attached (take the yard tour here), we didn't intend to raise any animals. But less than a year into living there, we met some friends in the city who had a chicken coop in their yard. Since we were already starting to become interested in where our food was coming from, keeping chickens in the city for our own fresh eggs really intrigued us. We learned that in Chicago, there aren't any restrictions on keeping chickens, as long as you comply with their sanitation guidelines. We had the space, our neighbors liked us, and always up for an adventure, we dove right in.

We bought the chicks in the early spring, housing them in a plastic tub with a heat lamp and wood shavings until they were old enough to withstand outdoor temperatures. We built the coop once the ground was fully thawed, and in no time our curious and spunky pullets quickly became the neighborhood celebrities.

Late that summer, we started collecting our first eggs.

Keeping chickens in the city can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. We love that our city dwelling family can be more connected to the food chain by having our own fresh egg supply. At the same time, we are also teaching our children responsibility in caring for our animals as well as the importance of knowing and caring about where their food comes from.

If you live in the city, yet want to be more intentional in growing your own food, keeping chickens is a great step in the right direction! Here are seven important things to consider when keeping city chickens:

1. City Ordinances

The number one question you want to be asking is what your particular city has to say about keeping chickens. Although Chicago allows chickens, many of the surrounding suburbs either don't allow chickens, or have tighter restrictions on what you can do. If you choose to live in the city, it's important to be living in accordance with the city ordinances. Do your research first. If chickens are specifically prohibited in your city, quails or ducks may be an option.

2. Yard Space

Chickens need a coop. The first year we kept chickens, we let them run around our yard and be (relatively) free to graze. Unfortunately, our gardens also fell under the chicken's definition of "graze." This year, we created a fenced in yard around the coop for the chickens to enjoy the outdoors without our gardens being under constant attack. But regardless of where the chickens roam, they still need a draft free area to roost and lay their eggs.

Look at your outdoor space. How much square footage do you have? Would a small coop fit? Also consider city ordinances on setbacks, if a permit is required to build your coop, etc.

3. The Coop

If you live on a large piece of land out in the country, the aesthetics of an outbuilding may not be high on the priority list. BUT, if you live in the city, aesthetics are EVERYTHING. In the city, most of our houses and yards are separated from the neighbors' houses and yards by only a few feet. Not only that, but unless you have a privacy fence, every curious person who walks by and sees a chicken hopping around is also going to be looking in.

Personally, I would rebuild our coop if we had the time and money to do it. While it does it's job well, and it is hidden from the street, there are a lot of things I would change about it, both aesthetically and when it comes to functionality.

Take the time to plan your coop's design to fit in with your surroundings, and also be pleasing to the eye. You don't have to go over your budget when building the coop, but keep these things in mind during the planning stage and you will be able to build a coop that can be very simple, budget friendly, and yet aesthetically pleasing.

If you have a larger budget to work with, and you prefer not to build from scratch, you can also buy complete kits for building chicken coops, and the design options seem endless.

4. Neighbors

This is a big one. If your neighbors complain about your chickens, they can call streets and sanitation out to your yard for an inspection. In my opinion, it is a good idea to chat with your neighbors first before jumping into buying that first box of baby chicks. It could save you from losing your flock later! Tell them your ideas, show them your coop plan, assure them that you will be in compliance to the city ordinances, and promise them cartons of your own fresh eggs. And then make sure to follow through with that promise and give them a dozen eggs every month or so as an act of your appreciation. We talk to our neighbors often and ask if anything about our chickens or the coop is bothering them. It shows them that we care and are approachable if there is ever an issue. I would rather my neighbors come to me with a complaint than to the city with a complaint.

5. The Rooster

You live in the city? Forget keeping a rooster. I wouldn't even try it. Some chicken keepers here in the city do, but after having a rooster myself, I think it's just plain rude. Roosters are loud, and city space is small. We got stuck with a few roosters in the past that arrived in our chick box and we decided to try and keep them. Though absolutely gorgeous, once they started crowing, they couldn't be stopped. We tried a rooster box, a crow collar, and the crock pot. The crock pot won.

If a neighbor gets tired of hearing your rooster crow at all hours of the day, they have the freedom to call the city, which can then land you in trouble. Happy neighbors equals happy chickens. Keep yourself and your flock of hens on the safe side, and dream of roosters out in the country someday. But today, dear City Dweller, is not that day.

6. Feed

Chickens need to eat. While we feed our chickens all of our edible kitchen scraps, they are city birds now and don't have access to a pasture full of plants and bugs. To get the vitamins, minerals, and protein that they need to be healthy birds and have optimal egg quality, city chickens need an additional food source. Thankfully, in Chicago there are enough chicken keeping city folks around to support a small feed store a few miles from us. We buy our chickens bags of layer feed there or at another feed store whenever we happen to be out in the country.

Make sure you have a consistent source for your layer feed. There are a number of options including making a trip out to the country to get feed on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. There are also services in Chicago that will deliver the feed for a small surcharge. If you don't have a feed store, check at an independent pet supply store. Sometimes a pet supply store will agree to place a personal order for you. Again, this is something that you want to have in place before you buy your chicks.

7. Predators

City predators are going to look different that country predators. While we may have the occasional raccoon or opossum who gets bored searching in the garbage can and spots your chickens, we don't have the foxes or coyotes to worry about here. Our main concern? The neighbor's dogs. An unleashed dog can jump your fence and kill off a few chickens in under a minute. We lost a few chickens this last winter to a black lab who jumped into our yard uninvited. Be prepared for the predators. Keep your chickens shut safely in the coop at night and get them care during longer absences.

So why even bother?

With all there is to consider in keeping chickens in the city, some might ask, why even bother? Eggs aren't that expensive to begin with and we certainly aren't saving money by doing it ourselves. True, you probably won't save any money. In fact, the price of your eggs compared to the grocery store is now exponentially higher, since you're now providing care to the bird. So why do we do it? It probably is true that we are a little crazy. We also think that the fresh eggs from our chickens are the best tasting eggs we've ever had (in all honesty). We love knowing exactly how our birds (who make our eggs) are being treated and the care and nutrition they are receiving (since we control both!). And our kids are in love with the chickens. Turns out, city chickens make great pets! They never come in the house (win for me!), and the kids can hug and kiss them to their hearts' content! Not only that, but keeping chickens in the city has opened up friendships with the neighbors that weren't there previously. It educates and inspires other city dwellers and their kids, many of whom have never seen a live chicken before! That alone makes it worth it for us to keep chickens in the city.

Eric and Beth live in the city of Chicago on 1/10th of an acre. In addition to chasing around their city chickens, they also raise urban dairy goats, muscovy ducks, quail, and five children under the age of five. Read more about their urban farming endeavors and crazy animal stories at
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Published on December 10, 2014 06:00 • 5 views

December 8, 2014

Everyone knows that turning down your thermostat in the winter helps the environment as well as your energy bill, right? But did you know there are other benefits to lowering the temperature a couple degrees?

According to , you can save about 1% on your heating bill for each degree your thermostat is turned down during cold weather - as long as the temperature is changed for a period of 8 hours or more. Your house actually loses heat more slowly if the temperature is lower. That means the myth that tells us that heating your home back up to a comfortable or higher temperature negates energy savings is a misconception. Save money this winter: turn down your heat a couple degrees.

Don't want to be bothered by changing the temperature two or three times a day? For the same price as an old-fashioned thermostat, Ecothrifty suggests buying a programmable one that can be set to automatically change the temperature at pre-determined times so that you never have to come home to a cold house. If you want to spend a little more money, you can get really fancy with touch-screens and computer programming that you can access from your smart phone.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends setting your thermostat around 70 degrees when you are home and awake and turning it down to 62 degrees when you are out or asleep. This will reduce your use of energy - thus helping out the environment - and lower your bills! However, there are even more benefits to lowering your thermostat in the winter.

In addition to saving money and energy, BrightNest lists four other reasons to turn down the temperature this holiday season.

1. Your plants will live longer. 
If your house is at a temperature below 75 degrees, your plants will be cool enough that they require less water. They will live longer and you won't have to worry as much if you're heading out for a holiday vacation.

2. You can lose weight! 
Now, this is not a quick-fix miracle cure. However, it is a fact that you burn more calories when the temperature is lower. If you turn your thermostat below 70 degrees, you can burn up to 100 more calories a day - which, over time, will turn into weight loss!

3. Your fridge and freezer won't have to work as hard. 
Give your refrigerator and freezer appliances a break - turn down the heat a bit. They will not have to work as hard, which means they won't need as much maintenance and will have a longer lifespan. (Just remember not to turn the temperature down so low that you have to deal with frozen pipes!)

4. You will get a better night's sleep.
When your home's thermostat is turned down about 5 degrees, your body will not take as long to get to its required temperature for your brain to fall asleep. You will fall asleep faster and get a more restful night's sleep than when your room is too warm.

There you have it: lowering your thermostat this winter can save you money and improve your life in multiple other ways. So why not give it a try? Help out the environment, your own well-being, and your wallet in one simple move: turn down your heat.
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Published on December 08, 2014 08:00 • 5 views

December 4, 2014

One glance down the cereal aisle at the grocery store, and you know that oatmeal is far from the most popular kid on the block. In fact, oatmeal accounts for a tiny percentage of foods consumed at breakfast. And that's really sad because oatmeal is versatile, delicious, inexpensive, and good for you.

It costs far less per serving than a bowl of commercial cereal, is completely natural, and has no sugar in it, making it much healthier. Sure, you say, but it tastes like a pile of paste! Well, if that's what you think, you haven't had real oatmeal, and you haven't used your imagination.

What's real oatmeal? Most of the oats sold in stores are rolled oats, whether old-fashioned or quick. There is a third category called steel cut oats, which have been cut into smaller pieces rather than rolled flat. Perhaps the rolled oats became more popular because they cooked faster, but the steel cut oats win hands-down when it comes to "mouth feel." When you eat a bowl of steel cut oats, it feels like you're actually eating something, rather than just moving it around in your mouth before swallowing it. It feels like you actually need to chew it.

Because steel cut oats take about half an hour to cook, I like to soak them overnight to shorten the cooking time a little. Overnight soaking also saves time in the morning. I just walk over to the stove and turn on the burner. And if you want to wake up to a pot of warm oatmeal, just use your slow cooker with a timer on it. Set the timer so that the slow cooker will turn on a couple of hours before you wake up. I love waking up to a warm breakfast, especially during the cold winter months!

Fine, you say, but the taste is so bland! You say, "bland," I say, "consider the possibilities!" There are so many things you can add to oatmeal to make it just as tasty as those higher priced cereals. Just think about some of your favorite flavors. If you like fruity, add a tablespoon of jam. If you just like sweet, add some brown sugar and maple syrup or honey. You'd be amazed at how sweet it tastes after adding only a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey. I like to add a tablespoon of peanut butter for protein and about eight or nine chocolate chips to complement the flavor. Peanut butter and honey is also a nice combination. The photo above shows a recent bowl of oatmeal with walnuts and maple syrup. Use your imagination to come up with your own personal favorite flavor that can't be found anywhere else!

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Published on December 04, 2014 06:00 • 5 views

December 1, 2014

If you've been thinking about diving into homesteading, you may have a few questions. And if you've already been living the modern homesteading life, you've probably been asked a few questions about it. Below are answers to the seven most common questions we are asked about our homesteading lifestyle.
* Homesteading? I thought homesteaders were the people in the 1800s who went out west and got free land. Can you do that in Illinois? (or Florida? or London? or ______?)
Although there is no such thing as free land any longer, the term homesteader has been picked up by those who embody the homesteading spirit. We have the same independent and self-reliant spirit as the homesteaders of the 1800s. We've simply decided to live a more self-reliant life and start producing some of the things that we use rather than buying everything.
* Can you learn how to do this stuff if you didn't grow up on a farm?

Absolutely! When we moved out here, our livestock experience consisted of two cats and a poodle. We learned by reading books and finding mentors over the internet. And we made a lot of mistakes!

* You don't seem like the type to do this sort of thing. You look so normal. Isn't it mostly hippies who do this? (or conservative Christians? or the Amish? or ______?)
{cue laughter} I've never been into tie-die shirts, and I don't think the goats really care what I'm wearing, so I think it is safe to say that you don't have to be a hippie to be a modern homesteader. You also don't have to have any sort of religious beliefs to do this.
* Are you off grid?
I wish! Although we would love to be off-grid, we are not willing to live without electricity, and so far we have not been able to fit solar panels into our budget. Unfortunately, we have too many trees on our property to make a wind turbine practical. We are hoping to have solar panels someday!
* How do you make money? Do you have a job, or is this all you do?
The goal of modern homesteading is more self-reliance, not subsistence farming, so unless they're retired, with a nice pension, most modern homesteaders have a day job. Depending upon where they work and how long their day is, whether they have to travel, or how flexible their job is, they may or may not have certain livestock or take part in certain activities, such as gardening.
* What do you do about things like salt and sugar? Do you buy clothes?
You would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't buy anything. Even the homesteaders of the 1800s bought things like salt and sugar, as well as coffee and flour and other staples. There is no rule that says you can't still buy things. But a lot of homesteaders are more likely to buy local produce rather than going to the big box grocery store. I'm a terrible seamstress, and I'm too busy to make my own clothes, so yes we buy them. 
* I wish I could do that, but I live in town. (or ... you have to have a lot of land to do that, don't you?)
A moveable chicken pen used by urban homesteadersLots of modern homesteaders are living the dream in suburbia or even in big cities. Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts, a Google group, has more than 500 members! When I was writing Homegrown and Handmade, I interviewed several of those members and learned that many of them also have gardens or bees. Some compost, and some live without a car, which is pretty easy to do in a city with a great mass transit system. I interviewed one couple that lived in an apartment, and on the roof of their building, they had chickens, bees, and hoop houses for winter gardening. They also did a lot of canning!

As you may have concluded by now, there are no hard and fast rules about what a modern homesteader can or cannot do. However, it's the self-reliant attitude of most modern homesteaders that sets up apart from those who are content to buy everything from the store, eat fast food daily, and work out at a gym. We want to eat real food and get real exercise without ever lifting a dumbbell. And rather than viewing cooking, chopping wood, and domestic arts as drudgery, we see them as a way to increase our self-reliance and live a more meaningful life.
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Published on December 01, 2014 08:00 • 6 views

November 28, 2014

If you're reading this the morning after Thanksgiving instead of standing in line at the mall, good for you! If you have a friend or loved one who would like to have one of my books for Christmas or another upcoming holiday, you'll be happy to hear that I have some great deals available that will save you some money. My publisher recently offered me a big discount on my book, Ecothrifty: Cheaper, Greener Choices for a Happier Healthier Life, so with that in mind, here's a thrifty book deal! I am giving away copies of Ecothrifty for FREE! (You can't get much more thrifty than that!)

To get your FREE autographed copy of Ecothrifty, just buy a copy of Homegrown and Handmade, Ecothrifty, or Raising Goats Naturally at regular price by midnight Dec. 5, and we'll include a copy of Ecothrifty at no additional charge. Please note that to get the free copy of Ecothrifty, you have to order the books from me. Click here, and use the links at the top of the page. (The links on the lower half of the "Buy" page are links to Amazon.) And if you want the book inscribed to someone special, be sure to put that information in the "Message" box when you check out. This special is good for as many copies as you want -- so for every copy you purchase of Homegrown and Handmade, Ecothrifty, or Raising Goats Naturally, I'll include a copy of Ecothrifty, all shipped to you at no additional cost!

Happy Holidays!~Deborah
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Published on November 28, 2014 04:00 • 7 views