Who doesn't like a cool refreshing smoothie in the heat of the Sacramento summer? Smoothies are a quick, easy to make snack that we enjoy anytime of the year on our urban homestead and if you've spent any amount of time working with us, you already know.
Besides being super easy to make, the multiple combinations and flavors are endless. They are the perfect cure for a sweet craving, easy on the digestion, and can be a great energy boost.
I enjoy discovering new ways to whirl ingredients together in the Vitamix, and when I came across this recipe I didn't hesitate to give it a spin. I've been reading up on the health benefits of Turmeric and was anxious to try this in a smoothie. Turmeric is a perennial rhizome that grows as a shrub in Asia and India. Traditionally. it has been used traditionally to dye fabrics and is the main ingredient in most curry blends. The ancestors have been known to use turmeric to ease heartburn, soothe an upset stomach, and for good liver health. Many natural practitioners recommend it to use for depression and even ringworm.
Drink up to good health!
I've tried several recipes and many ways to preserve olives. This one is a winner! Gather your friends, family, to preserve and share in the abundance of the harvest! Besides, you'll need all hands on deck for this process.
Who knew eggshells make the perfect size seed starters?! They are a natural way to germinate your seeds and they can be planted right into the soil. The eggshells are biodegradable and will supply good nourishment to your soil. Eggshells are also a good line of defense for plants prone to damage by slugs and snails such as tomatoes. So stop throwing out those eggshells. We tried this simple project for our home schooled 1st grader's science project. We saved shells from our own backyard hens and decided to make our eggshell seed starters following a science lesson title, 'What's inside a seed?' You'll Need to gather:
1. When cracking the eggshells, slice the top part of the egg (narrower end) with a sharp knife and save the egg contents for later use. 2. Reserve eggshells, rinse well inside and out with water. We boiled the shells for a few minutes to be sure no trace of egg remained. The remaining egg residue foamed when boiled and we simple removed the foam. 3. Rinse eggshells again, and gently place them back in their egg carton to dry. Once dry, gently chip any rough edges of the eggs to desired opening size. 4. Use awl, or wide sharp needle to gently puncture a single hole in the base of the eggshell. This will create a drainage hole for your egg planter. I punctured our shells from the inside against a thin kitchen towel, then reinforced through the back-end to ensure proper drainage could take place. During this step, you may have to remove parts of the thin membrane alongside the eggshell. 5. With a small spoon, gently scoop planting soil into each eggshell to fill. We used a mixture of soil and organic compost from our pile. 6. Plant seeds. We planted radish seeds, two per egg. 7. Water and place in the greenhouse. If you don't have a greenhouse, an area outside in full sun will do. 8. Water as needed and wait. It took just a few days for our seeds to sprout. When the seedlings are ready, just crack the egg and place it directly in the ground. Enjoy!
One day we had an idea that we wanted to make candles. We already had beeswax from the bee hive. We were ecstatic and exuberant when we started. First we had to review the process before we began to make sure we had everything we needed. We gathered, a small stainless steel bowl, wicks, candle holders, a large pot, fragrance oil, several spatulas, and of course – beeswax! The process is quite long and well worth it.
The first step is gathering the bees wax. It was so exciting to know that the beeswax we used came from our hives right here on our homestead. The second step is to break the beeswax apart and put it into a small bowl. While someone is doing that, our older brother, Tobiyah made the water bath. What is a water bath? A water bath is a big pot that has boiled water in it.
The third step is boiling the beeswax/honey mixture by placing the small bowl containing beeswax, into the water bath. This step is important to separate the remaining honey from the wax. We wanted to be sure there was very little or no honey left as leftover honey in a candle will create smoke as a candle is burning. We were ecstatic to see the beeswax and honey boiling the water bath. The smell of the combination of warm honey and beeswax is naturally sweet and mouth-watering. We enjoyed the whole process a lot, but seeing the wax and honey bubbling together was our favorite part. Somehow, Naomi got a tiny bit of honey on her lips and she said it tasted so yummy.
After we took the small bowl from the water bath, we allowed the mixture to cool. Once cooled, the beeswax rises to the top to harden and the honey separates and remains at the bottom of the bowl. Now separated, the wax can be scraped off the top and placed in back in the water bath to melt the wax.
Now that we have removed all honey from the wax, we melt it again. This time we added a fragrance to the wax. We used honey vanilla and it smelled delightful! We used a tiny bit of wax to set our wicks in the candle holder and used a bobby pin to make sure the wicks remained straight while we poured the delicious smelling wax in the voltive candle holders.
We allowed our candles to sit and cool for 24 hours before burning them.
This process was fun and we look forward to doing it again.
By: Athalyah, Naomi and Jada
P.S. If you want to see pictures of this wonderful creation, visit the HIA Homeschool Page.