Outdoor Skills: Ash Cakes / ‘Stick Bread’ Recipe

This super simple recipe is the Traditional "Mountain-man" breakfast food, no utensils, pots or pans required. Ash Cakes consist of equally simple ingredients... make sure you use 'Baking Powder' though (rather than Baking Soda). You can also jazz them up by adding toppings or fillings of other things you have handy that are in abundance, see ideas below. You will also want to use hardwoods any time you cook directly in or on a fire. Hardwoods do not contain resin like your softwoods do, such as pine. Softwoods can impart their resinous flavor into food, which may not be desirable. You w...
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DIY: Essential Oil Aphid Spray Recipe

Use this simple essential oil spray mixture recipe to control aphids on house or garden plants. You will need: 14oz. spray bottle 6 drops Black Pepper essential oil 6 drops Clove essential oil 6 drops Cinnamon essential oil water Instructions: Fill spray bottle with water. Add essential oils. Shake and spray, be sure to get underneath leaves too. It works like a charm. (the aphids are the small green colored insects in this image) These are the essential oils I use and recommend.
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Make Your Own Homemade Kefir and Save Money

Make Your Own Homemade Kefir and Save Money
Milk kefir grains are live active cultures consisting of yeast and bacteria which exist in a symbiotic relationship. Adding the kefir grains to fresh milk yields a probiotic drink within 24 to 48 hours. This dairy kefir culture is reusable and with care, will allow you to make kefir over and over again. Once a batch of milk kefir has finished culturing, simply remove the kefir grains and place them in fresh milk. The taste of finished kefir varies greatly based on the type of milk used (cow versus goat for example) and the length of time it is allowed to culture.  Generally speaking, milk k...
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Parting with Our Things: what to keep, what to sell

The attachment we have to our things is an interesting one. Sometimes I wonder where they are derived from; is it good marketing or our own thinking that we need these things. Whatever the origin the fact remains that we all have way too much stuff in our homes and in our lives. We're getting ready to move to an eco-village that's off-the-grid and sorting through our things, what to keep and what to sell, has taken on a new meaning. Some things it's easy to make a decision on; get rid of it or keep it. Other things aren't so easy. Like keeping the flat screen TV, is it practical? On the one...
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Maintaining Your Garden Tools

It is very important to maintain your tools by keeping them clean and free of rust, properly adjusted and sharp. You also need to do some repair if the metal is deformed like the point on a pick (it tends to get blunt when striking rock) or the tip of your spade. Supplies and tools needed: Files - several different sizes and shapes Screwdrivers Hammers Saw sets A bench vise Steel wool (several grades from rough to fine) Medium to Light oil - such as 3-in-1 oil Sharpening stones and slip stones - I recommend water stones as they don't clog easily Grinder - I recommend a b...
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Essential Oil Body Powder Recipe

This essential oil body powder recipe has a sweet exotic scent. When therapeutic-grade essential oils are used it can be quite beneficial for the skin too. I use and recommend Young Living Essential Oils, they're pure and unadulterated; find them at my aromatherapy website. You will need: 1oz. cornstarch or rice flour 5 drops orange essential oil 3 drops sandalwood essential oil 3 drops coriander essential oil 2 drops ylang ylang essential oil 1 drop patchouli essential oil Directions: Put the cornstarch or rice flour into a glass jar, then add the essential oils, stir well. T...
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Outdoor Skills: What I Learned While Taking a Wilderness Survival Class

This past spring I had taken a class that I have been wanting to take for some time, 'Wilderness Survival.' I was very excited that it was nearby and the instructor had a great deal of experience. The class was with Richard Cleveland, founder of Earth School: Nature Awareness and Self-Reliance, in western North Carolina. I made the 45 minute drive to the location of the class in the Smoky Mountains of western N.C. The morning was warm and sunny, perfect weather to participate in a class of this type. I had read everything on Richard's website and had spoken and emailed him several times bef...
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Simple Living Skills: Acorn Bread Recipe

This recipe came to me via my friend Richard Cleveland, teacher of primitive living skills in western North Carolina. Check out his site, LoveTheEarth.com, and sign up for a class or two, they're highly educational and loads of fun! Self Reliance Tip of the Month by Richard Cleveland Acorns ! Acorns are very abundant this year. I've gathered several baskets of them. Why? To make acorn bread of course ! That's right, acorns can be made into a delicious and extremely nutritious bread. It amazes me that people ignore this abundant food source. It does require some preparation though. Here'...
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