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Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm a mean parent!

Know what's fun about living out in the woods after your kids spent a large portion of their “grow up” time in the city, learning that you are a “mean parent”. I have found out today that I am not the only one thought this following link is to one of the blogs I follow seems he's a “mean parent” too!

I was politely informed (my teary eyed screaming preteen girl) that they shouldn't have to do any work on the week ends or when they get home from school because they “worked” at school all day. Uh-huh... I don't think that’s gonna fly here right now. After my daughter informed me of this I very calmly (which I have to say I was very calm.. and can also say I didn't break out laughing at the idea either) told her what did she think would happen when we finally get our animals here? That we'd let them feed themselves and have them clean up after themselves?

That's when I was told I was mean, now mind you they were only asked to move ten log pieces a piece. A log piece was only about1 ½ ft long, and if they were too heavy they could use our hand truck to move them. You'd also think with two of the three kids out in the field doing it they'd work together (son by the way was repileing the remainder of our foam insulation), yes you would think they would... but sadly no.

the younger girl said her older sister wouldn't let her use the hand truck.. which of course the older girl said she would. So considering we had already spent 2 hours of time with younger girl crying and screaming about how unfair it was she had to do some work and her older sister wandering around for the same time. My son taking his sweet time by picking up the pieces of foam one at a time and slowly walking to the pile taking his time. Seems he didn't want to move log pieces while his youngest sibling was having a fit... I don't blame him.

So I came up with a solution, told the youngest if she really thinks that about her sister, fine. Had the older girl come into the building and sat her on a stool while her sister did her work, and would send her out when the younger one was done. Well, after the initial scream over that idea ten minutes later she was done. So I told her, “you do realize that if you had just done that little bit of work you would have been done hours ago?” She responded with a yes but that I was mean for making her do any work, now mind you she is 11 and her sister is 12; so it's not like I was asking a 5 year old to do it.

The other “reason” they think they shouldn't do any work is they say their friends don't do any. Again I managed to not laugh at my child at this idea; then I pointed out that we were now living in the country and that the farm kids generally did to work. Even in this “modern” era of farming, there are generally chores if the family has a “personal” cow, for milk or beef; or (wow) the friend of theirs that has the horse. Well I guess for a child who wants a horse the idea of taking care of it doesn't enter into their minds, I guess children just need to learn the hard way sometimes.

You know I always worry about posting something like this as I always hear how people who “homestead” or live on farms seem to have an easy time getting their kids to do things so it bugs me sometimes that if it's something we need done I have to fight over it with the kids. Which I don't want to do, and it makes it so I can't do work if I have to stand over them to get the work I set them. I always tend to wonder how these “super parents” manage it, now saying this my kids do have moments where they will do things I ask then and have utterly no problem with it. The problem is right now we need to clear out the place our house is going to go and with Silver having his RA flare up with the changes the weather has been going through in the last couple of weeks having the kids move pieces of log.. a few a day doesn't sound all that rough to me. However, it seems the kids think it's a horrible thing.; by the time I was 5 I knew if my parents told me to do something I better do it. Maybe it's just a generational thing, and the kids now who spend a lot of time playing the aforementioned video games; they don't have the capacity to do the work now?

For the record the “incident” I mentioned before happened 2 weekends ago, this weekend was spring cleaning inside. Which they did with a lot better humor than the move 10 log pieces... I still don't get how what wound up being 10 minutes of work was the “bad” job while spending almost all day cleaning house was OK?

Maybe it's just me...

Be well and Blessed Be...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Confessions of a video gamer (and other things)

OK, I know I normally only post about things relating to our Homesteading part of life but I have a confession to make...

I'm addicted to video games!

When the weather is not good enough to be outside (winter for example) I tend to play then a great deal, now I do spend time online doing research for our home; reading other blogs and so forth. However, I generally have some kind of game running in the back ground.

Well, I am weaning myself off them; albeit slowly. I am down to about around 3 hours a day playing them now, which for me is wonderful! I do guess I am so “into” them, because my mother thought I was to smart to be interested in them so while I was growing up I was not permitted to play then. Considering I am of the “Nintendo” generation, that was sooo mean! So now I play a number of games on facebook (some of which I picked up checking them out for the kids), I am going to slowly wind myself down to about 1 game eventually maybe two.

I will say I've getting lots of good advise from friends I have picked up online about growing things, including a number of new seed companies I am planning to buy from as time goes along. So for those of you how know me on facebook and play the games on there with me, now that weather is getting soooo much better be warned I won't be on (unless of course it's raining cats and dogs). With good weather we do not have to worry about the incoming money to do any work, we have a bit of clearing to do where the house is going to go.

Then while the “foundation” (which will also have the “Cage” in it) is drying we will be doing the same for our future chicken coop. Watch out kids (mine) we will be working!

Speaking of work my son got to experience a “work shadow” program at school back on Friday, he wants to be a chef so he happily went to the local Subway for the day as it's the closest to professional cooking we have around here (yes there are some “little” dinners but the school would only OK Subway). He had a blast, they let him open the bread ovens grins; it takes so little to make a teen happy sometimes.

He spent this afternoon learning how to air up his bike tires so he could ride it up and down our dirt road. I just hope he watches the mud pit so he doesn't come home covered in mud, though I guess I could march him across the street and dump him in our neighbor's pond. Might be cold but he'd learn it's not a good idea to let mom see you get muddy on purpose.

We also had some fun the last couple of days with first me and Silver watching then the kids and us “Julie and Julia”. Wonderful movie, especially for a family; and it's was so cute to watch the process of the woman's blog. Sometimes I wonder like Julie did at first if people are actually reading this... but then I get a few random comments; so at least I know someone reads it sometimes. Also the numbers on my “map” show people are looking at it at least.

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wild Yeast Experiment Part 2

OK so I left off at the bread dough rising for 8-12 hours. After it has spent this time and by now it should be double in size, flour your work space. You need to set your oven (bread stone if you got one) to 500 degrees mine runs hot so our was at 400. Put in the oven a cooking vessel that has a lid on it, please rememberer that plastic does not do well in the oven. Gently pull the dough out of the bowl not popping any bubbles if you are able. Then (do not flour top) take each of the "four sides" and just fold them in like you were folding clothes.

Next Open your oven and carefully (as the pan,pot whatever will be hot!) put the dough in the cooking vessel and cover. Close the oven and cook for 20 minutes. then take the lid off and cook another 20 minutes.

This is my result, it's a little light as I took it out early (as I said my oven runs hot and it's electric element is on the bottom); I should have left it in longer but it was blackening a slight bit on the bottom. Considering the size of my oven to bake this it has to be right over the heating element for me.

I am making another loaf today, I have also learned that the liquid I got from the jars I used makes about 2c of yeast, so when I did it this morning I took about 2 teaspoons of the yeast and put it back and "fed" it. I do hope it grows more, this loaf of bread has a good chewy hard crust and smelled wonderful. So I'd hate to lose the good yeast I grew.

Well, it looks like growing yeast is fairly simple; and with the right bread recipe it can be an amazing thing to do on your own. Especially if you want to "do it all" yourself. I might try this when we are in blackberry season with some fresh berries, we will see. If I do I will post my results here.

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wild Yeast Experiment Part 1

Well I said I'd post about my attempts with growing my own yeast, and in doing this what you are actually doing is "capturing" a wild one and making it grow for your use. I was surfing through youtube one day looking for good sourdough bread videos and I "stumbled" upon a video about making your own bread yeast. It is a British video that has a Asian baker showing how she makes her own yeast. So I though after watching how easy it was I'd give it a try.

Step 1: You need 1 jar per item you are going to grow from, now I'm using raisins and dried cranberries. In the video I watched the woman used almost any fruit, she did say she had tried potatoes, and cabbage but that the cabbage had stunk big time. As she had used in the 3 batches she tried in the video included 2 raisin variety I thought dried fruits of other kids might work too.

Step 2: Place some of the (in this case fruit) item you are trying to grow from in the jars, I went for just under half way full. The video I watched didn't give exact amounts so I guessed from what I saw.

Step 3: Add water, my guess though is to make sure it is non-chlorinated water. Fill it to just over half so there will be an air pocket between the lid and the water. Now after this close the jars tightly! Yes I said tightly. They will sit in a not cold spot room temperature is fine, you need to "swirl" then once a day every day and open the jar for a couple of minutes a day as well. after about 7 days you should hear a sound when you open the jars.

The fruit should rise to the top when it is ready and you should see bubbles, though probably small in the jar. Now the video I watched wasn't too clear on the next part what they said was to strain it and let the liquid sit 7 days then they brought it back to the baker. Well that didn't make much sense to me so what I did was divide the liquid in half. Half I put in a bean pot like bowl and the other half I put in a sterilized jar..btw the bowl was as well.

I few what was in the bowl enough flour to make a paste with it..I took a picture of it but it was over exposed...grrr... if you've had sourdough starter you want it about that consistency. Which is not quite toothpaste consistency, a little "looser".

I imagine you could probably feed the fruit to your chickens after (I wish we had some right now), but just so you know I just tossed mine in our burnables. Now only the raisins seemed to grow as the cranberries are still sitting on the back of my stove not doing anything.

The part of the liquid I fed right away did grow slowly in the next couple of hours so on Silver's advise I added 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar to it and mixed it in. It started to grow faster. This morning after letting it grow all night (pretty bubbles it formed), I looked up a "no knead" sourdough recipe; only requires 1 C starter (yeast) 1C water (NON-CHLORINATED) 2 teaspoons of salt and 3 C of flour. Mix it all together until blended (you did feed your left overs right?), cover it with a bowl then let it sit 8-12 hours in a warmish place.

Well this is the point I am at right now, however I will say I could not feed my leftover yeast as after growth it was only 1 C of it. So I decided to go ahead and grow the rest of the liquid. Poured it into my bowl, added the flour; this time putting the sugar in too at the start. I checked it an hour ago and all I can say is WOW! It has more than doubled in size, in a lot less time that the first half of the liquid. It's sitting in my fridge right now as if it gets too much bigger it'll outgrow the bowl.

I'll be posting more on this tomorrow with Part 2 of my experiment provided our net is still on.

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Problem with GMO Crops

I read something disturbing today, it was a news article from, and another blog commented on it (I believe it was No Groceries For a Year pardon if I got the name wrong guys). Both state that ranchers have discovered that cattle feed GMO feed have been having problems with infertility and spontaneous abortions.

Here is the link to the Natural News article.. it includes a letter to the head of the USDA about it.:

Well... first I'd love to know how they got a copy of the letter that Col (Ret) Don M. Huber sent to the USDA, but that aside it is disturbing to think that something in the chemical makeup of Roundup and the RR seeds has helped an unknown pathogen that causes this to spread.

It also has been seen to reduce the viability of the same crops that are RR, so will this increase yields? No... it will reduce them. Then if it continues there is a possibility of crop failures, which have been seen in other countries, if I am not mistaken India is one such country.

Then we also have to wonder if it affects all these other parts of our "ecosystem" (as our food cycle is our ecosystem) are affected what affect will it have on humans? If it affects humans lets see home much GMO products you may eat in a day.


Well if you are a eggs and bacon person (I know I am) then well you have after affects of GMO products right in your breakfast. The chickens that layed your eggs (unless you have your own hens and don't feed GMO crops to them) have been fed GMO corn based feed. Same thing with the bacon in this meal, the pig in the "fattening pen" they are put in befpore slaughter are given a feed that contains GMO crops in it. why because it is the cheapest.

Now if you are into just cereal for breakfast, this is what is in General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios (TM):
"Whole Grain Oats (includes the bran), Sugar (most likely made from GMO sugar beets), Modified corn Starch (GMO), Honey, Brown Sugar Syrup, Slat, Tripotassium Phosphate (anyone know what that is?), Canola (GMO) and/or Rice Bran Oil (soon to be GMO), Natural Almond Flavor. Vitamin E (Mixed tocopherols)(<--what is that one?)Added to Preserve Freshness.

So lets see,w ell seems breakfast is not GMO free... what about lunch?

Now if you are partaking of a sandwich made with some kind of meat; you've got GMO's it's in the animal feed. I'd look up bread ingredients but I don't have any store bread in house I bake mine. So how about Soup for lunch? Campbell's Tomato soup ingredient list:

"Tomato Puree (water, tomato paste), high fructose corn syrup (GMO), wheat flour, water, salt, Potassium Chloride, flavoring, citric acid, lower sodium Natural sea salt (so there's non-natural sea salt?), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), Monopotassium Phosphate"

Well that has a t least one GMO crop in it, oh btw.. a few of the ingredients in both of those my spell check did not like, guess that means they aren't real words. Oh and here is the ingredient list for Campbell's Select Harvest Garden Recipes Harvest Tomato with Basil soup for comparison:

"Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), water, wheat flour, sugar (if from beets it will be GMO soon) contains less than 2% of: Lower Sodium Natural Sea Salt (again is there unnatural out there???), Potassium Chloride, Natural Flavoring, Salt, yeast extract, citric acid, dried basil

So there you have it their "healthier" version for now is kinda OK, but like I said you need to know where that sugar comes from. So what about dinner?

Well any meat again has most likely been fed off GMO feed, I have also heard there is GMO sweet peppers out there; so be wary of that salad. Don't think beverages get you off the hook either, if you drink prepared canned drinks they most likely use corn syrup in some form in the sweeting. Also don't go for the "diet" beverages, at least one of those "sweeteners" they use in "diet" drinks is actually poison.

so my advise would be... grow your own, but if you cannot... what your labels and make your own foods!

On another note, i am still working on my yeast growing experiment, i have the liquid from my fruit (week sitting) divided between 2 containers to see if I need to let it sit longer or if it is ready now. I do hope to have a post on it tomorrow, but that's if my one with the flour already grows overnight!

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rainy days and Frozen pipes

Well things get interesting sometimes when you live with limited means (seriously considering the book I'm planning to be called "Homesteading on a Shoe String"). Well lets see, the long distance on our phone is off but the internet is on. We had rain yesterday when we still need to dry out as the mud here is terrible, considering it's all clay mud. Then because we forgot to put on the heater in our well house last night our water remained frozen until about, 11:45am.

The other downside to the temperature is now not ideal to go out and me and Silver haul the chopped wood. As in the wood from the trees we cut last year that are in the way of building the house, the kids moved some over the weekend. Boy was that fun (notice the sarcasm), my youngest spent 20 minutes whining about how she didn't want to. Only asked each child to move 10 pieces of wood and they had to be bigger than their arms. So then she complained her sister wouldn't let her use the hand truck as oh my the pieces of wood were too heavy. I said OK, had the older girl come inside and sit while her sister did her work. Ten minutes later, she comes in and said she was done. So of course I had to point out that if she had done that in the first place she could have been done an hour or 2 before hand.

Now about this idea of a book called "Homesteading on a shoestring", I guess my best feat in life is my ability to stretch a meal. Take for instance last night, we had a lovely boneless ham I found at sheatlers (sp?). We had that with some scalloped potatoes last night, this morning we had loaded scrambled eggs using the ham, and for lunch and dinner tonight a pasta salad made from the ham too. In a few days it'll be a roast chicken that might make it through 4 dinners!

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Monday, February 21, 2011

I am a (non) Urban Homesteader!

Well I can't quite say I am an Urban Homesteader living in the country as I do, so for today I will have the (non) put in front of the term while I use it. Today is "Urban homesteader Day of Action" and us here at Wolf Woods wish to participate.

So for those of you who have not been following us fully welcome to our (Non) Urban homestead!

We started this off technically years ago for both me and Silver with just an idea (even before we met each other), we both felt the need to grow our own and live in the quiet of the country and take care of ourselves. As much as we possibly can. Over the years I have read countless information on Urban Homesteading, trying to get ideas to apply to my hopeful future "on the farm".

Oddly enough most ways of farming that Urban Homesteaders use can be applied to a small scale farm in the country, and this we are going to try on our 5.29 acres. The big thing here is our ground is a very thin layer of dirt and lots of clay under it, so we need to do raised bed gardening. The best place to find the most info on raised bed gardening is through Urban Homesteaders.

Now as you might be able to see here you can grown in the soil here, even with little added to it. These are my hot peppers from last year, and boy did the plants grow; granted the sweet peppers grew taller. They only had my lovely goat manure/bedding mulched over them, and they did not produce as much as I would have liked, but dang they grew!

I have my own ideas for setting up a raised bed but it takes a year to prepare it, and here I shall give it to all Urban Homesteader and (non) urban homesteader alike:

First you need to build your raised bed it has to be wide enough to fit a bale of straw in it while that bale is still bound. After you have made this raised bed if you used wood you probably want to line the sides (btw have the bottom open). Next place a whole straw bale in it, then cut the bindings -DO NOT LOOSEN IT!-(as in leave it intact after removing the binding). Now over that add a layer of peat moss, then a layer of manure (make sure there is no chemicals in it), and then on top of that a layer of soil. Continue layering till almost to the top of the raised bed, then take another straw bale and unbind it and spread a thick layer of straw over it. During the course of the year make sure you pull anything growing in it out, and in the late fall rototill the bed (yes rototill); then again add more straw. When the next spring rolls around rototill again add a little peat,soil, manure if you need more substance in the bed and plant away!

Now the reason for leaving the bottom open is that this way you are amending the soil underneath, just doing it a space at a time, and somewhere down the line the ground will have wonderful soil. However you can just keep using the raised bed, infact when I get to build mine they will be permanent.

Back to my little history of us:

When me and Silver first met we both discovered we both liked the idea of growing our own food, and both of us wanted to own some land so that we could do this. After about 2 years of looking at one website that offered us land with no down-payment and no credit check (the drawback is the cost, but hey my credit sucks!), we spent that 2 years looking at the same property as well. An opportunity (as we see it anyway) popped up for us to take and buy and leave where we lived so we did.

We moved here to Wolf Woods, with no house, and no working well.

We spent most of our first year here in this tent, that "blue pile" was our "stuff" we brought with us. Camping out is tons of fun... however camping out for 6 months with 3 kids is not fun! Also cats seem to like to climb on tents and we we had to "spot fix" the tent a lot or we'd get wet when it rained.

We also started off with a dug well that had a pump in it, but as we were not sure if the pump worked we waited 4-5? months before we even tried hooking up the well to the electric.

We were so happy when the water started flowing that we even called our friend 10 miles away to let them know the wire they picked up for us worked! The best part was, we didn't have to ask our neighbor's for water anymore, and that for us was a big relief. Also made taking baths much easier as we could do it every day now not just ever couple of days when we'd get water.

Our next "big moment" here was when we got our "Winter home" as I'm calling it now though our "offical name" for this building is "The bunk house".

Our pretty blue/green shed 12x24 in space and 5 people live in it, we put in a sawdust toilet, which I wonder if there is a way for an Urban Homesteader to try to use one as that would lower your water usage greatly. I have also come to love the sawdust toilet a lot more than a flush one, and when our house is done being built we are going to just keep using sawdust toilets in it.

During our winter months we finally finalized our ideas for our house building which for us is what we really need to accomplish next. We are going to use the ideas on this website as the base of our ferrous concrete geodesic domed house:

We are even considering using this idea for our chicken coop (I'd free range, but... last time I did our garden got eaten; and my lab just loved chasing them!), we are also going to build our animal barn this way. Now on the subject of animals while Urban Homesteaders have done amazing things in their cities with raising livestock (where they can), as we are planning on a cow (2 prob) we need ideas from somewhere else. I found the methods from PolyFace Farms the best:

The man who owns this farm uses techniques that mimic the animals "wild" ancestry, for instance giving the cattle pasturing that mimics what buffalo would have done. The animals are kept close in small pastures and are moved daily to another one. The plan here is to take 1-2 of our acres and divide it into 1/4 acre plots all connected half saved for "field hay" for winter food of course and the others for the few animals we will have. so with that plan every 4 days they are back on the first one, we will see how it works, we might have to increase the amount of plots or shrink the pasture size.

Right now we are trying to set up what growing we will do this year, and cleaning up the space where the house will go; also seeing if our chainsaw will start. It died last fall guess we just over worked the poor thing...

Anywho like I said, I love Urban Homesteading, but as I am rual I'n a (non) Urban Homesteader!

Be Well and Blessed Be...


(I am a blogger and not a reporter therefore please note that some of my materials may not be all there is out there in the world or internet on the subject and I might get something wrong. I'm sorry but it's human nature to make mistakes) <--- This is going to be the newest joke on the web.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

True Community in Country Living 2/19/2011 - UnderTheWillowTree | Internet Radio | Blog Talk Radio

True Community in Country Living 2/19/2011 - UnderTheWillowTree | Internet Radio | Blog Talk Radio

A day in the Woods

Well we took some time this morning to "walk the property" it is beautiful; yes we seem to have a large number of downed trees from an ice storm a few years ago. No big deal though they will eventually become firewood. I have taken a few pictures while on our walk and discovered that our lens on the camera now has some kind of problem so sorry in advance about "foggy" images.

This is one of 2 rocks I found like this yesterday while we were cleaning up out back, I thought the combination of the moss and lichen(sp?) and the limestone rock wonderful in the late morning sunlight.

Here is the other one:

isn't she pretty?

This is one of two pictures I took of "green" popping up out from under the leaf litter, all this warm weather has gotten everything to start to grow out here. I do hope we do not have a nasty cold snap which would probably kill it.

This one has some lighter green leaves which are from some plants my girls brought home from school last spring. Their teacher called it "pillow weed" and when they get bigger I'll post a better picture (hopefully) so someone can tell me what it really is.

Now this next picture is of our "potato experiment" for this year.. I do hope I can oder heirloom seed potatoes before too late. If not I will buy some nearby. For now I do have a few sprouters in my kitchen, most of which are fingerling's. I am going to plant them too, I have planted 2 of the fingerling's already just to see if I can get them an early start.

This is the remainder of the goat manure I harvested from my neighbor last year. it has spend time since I'd say midsummer last year till now sitting in a pile and getting weathered on. WE are going to dig small holes for the seed potatoes and lightly cover them, then go and get some straw bales and use the straw to cover the plants as they grow; as thickly as possible. We will see what comes of it!

Alright one more picture from my "walk" It is one of my favorites it's a dead tree:

I personally thought this was a pretty tree for a dead one, the light and dark on it in just the right proportions. The clear forest field around it leftover from the canopy it must have had. It must be a great home for bugs (woodpeckers yeah!), and who else knows living in it. I can't wait to see what spring will bring to my little piece of the woods!

On another note I have heard -FROGS-! these last few days I guess they got woken up from all this warm air. Yesterday when we were cleaning I found a very small woolly Caterpillar(sp?) too and we saw a grasshopper this morning! I haven't experienced weather south of Chicago since I was about 5 so I am enjoying what I consider "an early spring"!

BE Well and Blessed Be...


(I am a blogger and not a reporter therefore please note that some of my materials may not be all there is out there in the world or internet on the subject and I might get something wrong. I'm sorry but it's human nature to make mistakes) <--- This is going to be the newest joke on the web.

Derveas= Dan Quale?

I thought I'd try to play “devil's advocate today and look into something that struck me this morning. Technically the Dervaes' family is claiming they created and started the urban homestead movement. Well I sat there this morning while getting breakfast ready for the kiddies and though, “hey if they created urban homesteading then Dan Quale created the internet. He spent lots of time and possibly money telling everyone he created it after the internet existed.

This is the wikipedia entry on the internet:

The origins of the Internet reach back to research of the 1960s, commissioned by the United States government in collaboration with private commercial interests to build robust, fault-tolerant, and distributed computer networks. The funding of a new U.S. backbone by the National Science Foundation in the 1980s, as well as private funding for other commercial backbones, led to worldwide participation in the development of new networking technologies, and the merger of many networks. The commercialization of what was by the 1990s an international network resulted in its popularization and incorporation into virtually every aspect of modern human life. As of 2009, an estimated quarter of Earth's population used the services of the Internet.

From “the history of the internet” on Wikipedia:

These research efforts included those of the laboratories of Vinton G. Cerf at Stanford University, Donald Davies (NPL), Paul Baran (RAND Corporation), and Leonard Kleinrock at MIT and at UCLA. The research led to the development of several packet-switched networkingsolutions in the late 1960s and 1970s, including ARPANET, Telenet, and the X.25 protocols. Additionally, public access and hobbyist networking systems grew in popularity, including unix-to-unix copy (UUCP) and FidoNet. They were however still disjointed separate networks, served only by limited gateways between networks. This led to the application of packet switching to develop a protocol for internetworking, where multiple different networks could be joined together into a super-framework of networks. By defining a simple common network system, the Internet Protocol Suite, the concept of the network could be separated from its physical implementation. This spread of internetworking began to form into the idea of a global network that would be called the Internet, based on standardized protocols officially implemented in 1982. Adoption and interconnection occurred quickly across the advanced telecommunication networks of the western world, and then began to penetrate into the rest of the world as it became the de-facto international standard for the global network. However, the disparity of growth between advanced nations and the third-world countries led to a digital divide that is still a concern today.

So as I can see yes! Dan Quale created the internet... just like the Dervaes started the Urban Homesteading movement …

Wikipedia entry for “Urban Homesteading the “history” section:

aving an allotment or vegetable garden has been common throughout history, notably, victory gardens during the WWII era, immigrant gardens, and the inner-city community gardening movement in the 1970s. The "back-to-the-land" movement of the 1960s, exemplified by numerous groups, such as Tennessee's The Farm, has recently been reformed into a "back-to-the-city" movement. A wealth of urban homesteading books (Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne, Erik Knutzen; The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan; Urban Homesteading by Rachel Kaplan, K. Ruby Blume; Toolbox for Sustainable City Living by Scott Kellog) have been published in the past decade. All over the world, people have found ways of growing their own food in inner-city urban areas.

Now there is proof this term has been in use since before the 1990's, I have seen people quoteing seeing it mentioned in the 1970's. I do have a link that goes to an article in “Mother Earth News” from 1980 about “urban Homesteading”:

So it looks like the Dervaes came up with this “claim” on this term after all the work had been done just to get their bit of money because now you need to quote them, or point back at them when you use it. (I'm sorry folks that ain't happenin here) Many, many people have written books on this subject and have used it for years before this family has decided they needed to own it. FINE! Trademark, “The Dervaes Institute style of Urban Homesteading”, that is fine by me and I'm pretty sure many others would be Ok with that too.

However trademarking a phrase that a whole movement has access too, that is wrong. You have made it so that many people are now considering “urban homesateading” a bad word, this “movement” is/was a community of like-minded people. Who now wants to seperate Dervaes family from it any way possible; as the members of this community are all about free sharing of information.

Yes I have a donate button on my own blog... GUESS WHAT? I don't expect people to send me money (it would be nice we do need it) , I don't want people to give me money because I am begging for it. I looked at your website cause oddly enough not long before this debacle started I acctually was thinking about looking your family up as I remember seeing the article on your family and wanted a closer look at the pictures from that article. Guess what? After looking over your website and saw the multiple times your family asks for money I hit the brakes at full stop; it was too much. Seeing as how your family makes money selling produce to restaurants (hey anybody check their books lately?), you don't need whatever money I might beable to send your way.

Now I -DON'T- live in an “urban” area.. I'm country here and quite happy to be here, I look into “urban Homesteading” to get ideas for useful things I can use on my “little homestead”, now I will make sure that if people ask me for info on it I won't send them too you.

I have also noticed that you (dang I wish I knew where the link was) want to move to South
America and buy 900 acres for your family plus whoever... Guess what -THATS NOT URBAN- not unless you are planning to build a city on the edge of it.

Anywho folks this will be my last post on this family.. however I will be participating in the online protest Monday.. so bear that in mind. Later today I'll have new pictures up from my “Homestead”, for all who want to see it!

Be Well and Blessed Be...


(I am a blogger and not a reporter therefore please note that some of my materials may not be all there is out there in the world or internet on the subject and I might get something wrong. I'm sorry but it's human nature to make mistakes) <--- This is going to be the newest joke on the web.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Looks like the "truth" is not posted here

Yep you read right, no truth here; nope not one bit. At least according to the "Dervaes Institute's" Press Release:

Specifically this quite from this press release:

"Blogging is often confused with reporting; and there are now cases where people have engaged in a negative blogging campaign aimed at discrediting the Dervaes family. Whereas professional reporters substantiate their news before publishing stories and are careful not to make slanderous statements, bloggers have no editors and often demonstrate little or no interest in supporting their claims with fact. As a result, irresponsible or malicious blogging can cause harm to people and businesses."

So those of us who blog do not post truth nor facts, well first off to this "family"; -YOU HAVE A BLOG TOO-. I guess what they post there isn't factual either, and make slanderous statements about others too. You guys at the "Institute" are not professional writers either, nor are -YOU- reporters.

Another question do you give "credit" to those you "borrow" things from? Here take a lookie here, I personally did not write this but as the person wants to keep their name out of it all I will say is thank you to the person who passed it along to me.

One of the cornerstones of the D's work is their 10 minute "Homegrown Revolution" video. I count 3 popular songs used in that video. The first sounds like Bob Dylan, not sure about the 2nd, and the 3rd might be U2? I wonder if they got the proper permissions (or paid the fee) to use those song? Doesn't YouTube pull down content that is copyrighted?

HOMEGROWN REVOLUTION - Radical Change Taking Root
HOMEGROWN REVOLUTION T-SHIRTS NOW AVAILABLE: MEN'S: WOMEN'S: Path to Freedom presents 'A Homegrown Revolution' A collaboration of select

Plus, they have a longer video that they offer for sale on their website. I haven't seen it, but I'd be the farm (so to speak) that it also contains those 3 songs. Anybody know how to navigate the YouTube complaint system and inform them that copyrighted material has been posted without permission?

So again I'd like to point out according to this "family" we who blog don't check facts, and since we aren't reporters we must not be truthful. -HEY GUESS WHAT-? I never stated anywhere I was a reporter. However I do "report" things I do, or find so that I might share them with others who think as I do. Part of this "Urban Homestead" or just "Homestead" movement is to -SHARE- our ideas and ways of life with others so that others may learn and grow with the information provided.

The best thing in the world about humanity is the ability to make choices in what we believe or want to do with ourselves. So you know what? If you don't like our information then -DON'T- use it.. -PLEASE DON'T- use it, I'd hate to give someone information they don't want to use and they felt they had to; but hey that is a choice to use or follow something.

You also say we are hurting you by blogging about how we think it is wrong, well know what? If someone -WANTS- to follow you and they know everything everyone says about you (or at least the large portion there of) then they will follow you if they believe in you. Guess what? Not everyone is happy worth you due to the fact that this "Movement" is suppose to be about sharing information.. generally for -FREE-, limiting the flow of information is a -BAD- thing which is what you are doing.

I -PERSONALLY- (note I said personally therefore it is a opinion) hope you lose these 2 trademarks; and that maybe you might get some sense and if you feel you need a trademark then trademark:

"The Dervaes Institute Urban Homesteading Style"

That would be a great trademark for you.. but then again as I am not a reporter just a blogger (poor me), it's only an opinion and not based on fact. (at least according to you)


(I am a blogger and not a reporter therefore please note that some of my materials may not be all there is out there in the world or internet on the subject and I might get something wrong. I'm sorry but it's human nature to make mistakes) <--- This is going to be the newest joke on the web.

Be Well Folks and Blessed Be...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Trade Mark Form letter

For those of you upset over this "trademark" issue I have written up a email form letter for the trademark office, if you use it don't forget to email it to the owners of the trademark as their "terms"a re used in it.

trademark office email:

Dervaes family email:

Form letter:

To Whom it may concern,

I as a member of the public, would like to know why a couple of generic terms have been trademarked. The terms are:

“Urban Homestead”, and “Urban Homesteading” (trademarked by the Dervaes Family)

If you search the web or contact homesteaders and homesteading magazines they will inform you as to how long the term has been in use by the public. One news article has listed the google search on “urban homestead” came up with 343,000 items .

Article on web here:

Can you please send me a reply email informing me of what reason this generic term has been trademarked, as a great many people are asking the same question.


Trade Marks!

Watch out everyone who uses the word "urban" with the word "homestead" or "homesteading", it has been trademarked by a family.

Kelle posted a link to this on her blog and now I will too -PLEASE READ-

Maybe everyone should boycott them for this... it's ridiculous...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Warm Weather

Well, the last few days have been warm and like I posted before we are enjoying our bathtub again, today is no exception. There was one slight problem though, -MUD- lots of it; and it's everywhere.

This is a good solid oak board we have put out by our bathing area as the mud is so bad on that side of the shed Silver's boots got caked. It was serving a good purpose under our clothes line and we have a few sheets of paneling that will substitute it as they got wet during the winter.

This lovely patch is what is left of the goat manure I dug up in our neighbor's barn last year. It has been sitting since I last used some mid summer last year. I have plans for this pretty stuff, tomorrow I plan on stirring it up and then moving it to near where I want to try to grow potatoes this year. I have a few store bought (yes I know that they shouldn't grow) that have been sprouting. I have located a place that has heirloom seed potatoes thanks to a friend of mine!

That is the web page you can find them on, I am hoping when I get my taxes done and it comes back and before to much longer I will order some from them. Otherwise i will keep my eyes open for them locally.

On another note, again there is a good possibility our internet will be off when we get up tomorrow morning, if it is i will not be posting for at least 2 weeks. Also if people want to give us a hand somehow and don't feel comfortable with that "donate" button hanging up there. I have set up (even though I do not like some of their policies) a wishlist, a mailing address is included so if you want to order us one of the books on it please feel free too. It is listed under my gmail which is:

Thanks in advance if you choose to do so, I will post thank you's on here when I can to all who do.

That's all for now folks,

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fun Days...or not

Well this morning was beautiful, gorgeous sunrise; not too cold. We went out grocery shopping this morning first driving to Sheatlers, spent less money than I thought we would and bought more than I planed; which is always good.

Then on the way over to Penny Pincher in Marshfield, we swung by Baker Creek; partly out of curiosity and partly due to the fact the kids wreaked my catalog from them. Silver pretty much dragged me there as I really wanted to finish grocery shopping as it has been warmer and we had meat in the car. Then after I walked in the seed store, he had to drag me out to leave *grins*.

We headed then to Penny Pincher via Hartville as it's the only way we know to get there on that side of Hartville, and as we turned the corner at 38 I heard a odd noise; and figured we must have drove through a pot hole.

Well we got halfway between Hartville and Marshfield when we started hearing a funny noise, Silver stuck his head out the car and then promptly told me the driver's side front tire was flat. Oh Goodie! By this time it was faster to drive all the way to Marshfield, than drive back to Hartville.

Well, it lasted almost all the way into Marshfield and we had to pull over at a mini storage and see if the spare was holding air. As you can see it apparently is holding air, so we are now dealing with "Toy Tirehood" again. Though as we were leaving Marshfirld we did discover that it might not have had enough air in it and had to scrap up the last bit of cash to air it up (no free air yuck). including using up one quarter I was saving, I'm a 1976 baby so when I find a bicentennial quarter I save it. I had managed to keep one in my wallet for the last year, but needed to go home more; and I would have felt silly keeping a quarter and calling for a tow when I probably will find another. Did I also mention as we changed the tire we noticed the front axle is going bad?

I will say I am sooooooooooooo sick of this car! HEY! anyone near me know of someone selling a truck that's inspectable for under $1000?

With all the shopping today and feeling wonderful about managing to stay in budget and get a little more than I normally would. We forgot 2 things peanut butter, and bread yeast; guess I am trying to grow my own bread yeast sooner than I expected. We found something interesting though at Sheatlers, me and Silver love hot foods and we found a pepper jack version of "Velveeta" cheese (yeah I know it's not good for you but it's affordable right now); will let everyone know if it tastes good (making hot mac and cheese tonight).

On that "healthy eating note", I'd like to point something out. Silver and I have cut soda pop completely out of our diets, also aside from the "oh my Gods I'm hungry" moments while shopping no "junk" food either. I have not eaten a bite of commercially made cereal in at least 2 months, I have felt much better than normal since as has Silver.

Now I will say if you do something like this and get offered when you go out a pop... don't give in... you -WILL- regret it. I had gone over to the neighbor's one day when Silver was not feeling good to do laundry and she offered me a pop, well I accepted it and drank it. The rest of that day after I got back home I felt so sick to my stomach, the only thing "different" in my diet was that one soda; just one to make me sick for half a day. That should say something to everyone about the "benefits" of ingesting them.

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Fun Freebie!

OK for those of you who belong to the Yahoo Ozark group this link I am going to provide you know about, so I am posting this for everyone else (This means you Jana!). This link is to get a free sourdough starter, the -ONLY- cost is a SASE, I had this link a couple years ago and lost it then a wonderful person on the Ozark Yahoo group provided it to us all. I am ordering mine today!

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Psychiatry Labeling Kids with Bogus Mental Disorders - CCHR -

This is a PSA (Public Service Announcement) about clinical diagnosis of children and how wrong they are. Take a couple of minutes and watch it, it may surprise you!

Psychiatry Labeling Kids with Bogus Mental Disorders - CCHR -

Simple Pleasures

Simple pleasures mean different things to different people, I am no different in this. Being a homesteader also gives light to simple pleasures you would not normally consider as pleasures. Today for instance We got to use our bathtub... Oh it was so nice to take a hot long bath after this long winter. Now this does not mean we don't bathe, but as we have no shower or tub in our shed we sponge bathe aside from once a week were me and Silver go to our neighbor's for a shower (sometimes we go to the truck stop and use their's too). the kids go to a firend's house once a week for a shower.

For those of you who follow us, you may know we have a "little room" behind our shed that is a flat truck topper and surrounded by tarps for privacy. One of those tarps pictured here with the bath tub is a canvas tarp, a very nice find at a garage sale last summer for $7.00. The tub itself is our neighbor's who lent it to us last spring which we were very grateful for as those camping solar showers suck big time after a short period of time.

So we have an enclosed room to bathe in, however if the weather is not warm enough we can't use it. also as we have to heat water on the stove walking outside when it's below freezing doesn't keep the tub water hot enough. It takes us about an hour or two to fill this tub using 2 large stock pots to heat the water, and let me tell you living as we do it is heavenly to use it once a day; when we can.

This next week at least looks like we will be partaking of our wonderful tub on a daily basis, instead of using my dish washing tub and one pot of boiling water to sponge bathe. Aren't Simple pleasures wonderful?

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Building Plans Finally!

OK folks we now have definite building plans and the idea for them came from this website:

We do still have some clearing work to do where we are going to build, that after this weekend's thaw we will be getting started; though I do hope my shoes will survive it. (I still need a good pair of work boots)

This is about where the center of the house will be, we are planning to "build in" a rocket stove in the center column as this design is made to allow a chimney.

This is the wood pile we started last spring when we started clearing the land we are going to build on, we will defiantly be adding to it as we finish our clearing for the house.

The hardest part I think will be getting the kids to help out with the clearing then house building, last year they were not too thrilled with the idea of helping us out moving cut logs and branches. After a winter in a shed though, they seem much more happier to help us get the house built faster. So we will see if they are more helpful or not.

We are going to put down after we have dug down a little; a load of gravel before we pour cement for the foundation we are going to need. Also the rebar we need for the base of the house will need to be placed before the cement gets poured as it needs to be in that first layer of cement. We are debating having the gentleman who dug the trench for the rest of the road to get electricity come and push the stumps out and make our job easier, but we will see.

For all those out there who like the "Missouri Journal" by Mark Chenail the following blog is from his building partner Jon:

They are our figurative neighbors, being 10 miles away I know it can be considered close neighbors *grins*; we are going to be getting some new neighbor's down by them *crosses fingers* hopefully by mid-march. Maybe all of us can get together for a big dinner once we all have stable houses to live in, granted Jon and Mark have one already.

On another note ...

sometimes I worry about the fact that me and Silver are doing all this with the limits we have but we are still loving every minute we are here and the fact that Silver has gotten healthier since we have moved here is a big plus. we have learned a thing or two since we moved here back in April of last year the biggest is.. even if you can't buy everything you need _BUY SOMETHING_ you'd be surprised at how fast you can acquire things if you buy them slowly over time. If we had bought building supplies before we got this shed we could have had something built, so please learn from us; and buy what you can. That is how I am doing my seeds this year I have 5 ordered and I will be ordering more in the next couple of months.

Hope everyone is staying warm

Be Well and Blessed Be...