Author Archives: Taylor-Made Homestead

About Taylor-Made Homestead

Taylor-Made Homestead is located in Northeast Texas. This blog reflects our desire to live gently on the land - gardening, home cooking, food preservation, solar cooking, saving money, etc.

New To Composting? Don’t Worry, Compost Doesn’t Stink!

by Tammy Taylor~

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Any gardener knows that compost is ‘Black Gold’.  It’s invaluable to your garden, helping your plants grow strong & healthy using an all-natural fertilizer.  I plant a veggie garden every year and of course that black gold is incorporated into each planting hole.   There are some tricks to making a ready-to-use compost for your garden.   But for those just starting out, there’s often some hesitation.

You’re rotting things in a pile, doesn’t that stink?

The answer is:  No!  Well actually, yes and no – the result depends on you.


Don't Be Afraid - Balanced Compost Doesn't Stink! For those starting out with composting there's some hesitation. You're rotting things in a pile, doesn't that stink? The answer is: NO! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Grandma-Approved Cleaning Techniques For A Cozy Home

by Tammy Taylor~

I come from a long line of housekeeping neatniks.  Not just tidy, but CLEAN!  We used to tease each other that grandma’s house was clean enough to eat off the floors if we wanted to!  (and I’m thinking we probably COULD HAVE!)

Even with today’s fast-paced lifestyle we can all learn a thing or two about cleaning from grandma.  These days the grocery store shelves are filled with all manner of specialty cleaners.  Heck there’s a different cleaner for each different surface! But are they really needed?  I wonder why we’ve complicated cleaning these days?  We just seem to be too busy to keep a tidy house anymore.  But can we learn to clean like grandma did?  Here are a few things we do in the Taylor Homestead that grandma would surely approve of…

Why have we complicated cleaning? Here are a few cleaning techniques at the Taylor Homestead that grandma would surely approve of. No need for toxic cleaners. . #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Fall-Back Friday: Crazy Canning Lady!

by Tammy Taylor~

This time of year is so busy for us.  We’re currently weaning calves, preparing pastures for winter pasture planting and preparing for a fall garden.  But since I suffer with severe ragweed allergies that means RancherMan’s outside tending to the fences, pastures & cattle.  I’m currently tucked inside preserving fresh fruit.   I mean there’s so much fresh produce available!  My aunt always shares massive quantities of amazing fresh apples from her tree.  This year she shared TEN bushels with me!  TEN!!  Oh don’t worry, I shared some of the apples with family & friends and then I got to canning.  I wanted to make sure none of those delicious apples went to waste.

I typically also can pears that a sweet neighbor shares with us this time of year.  And all this fruit preservation happens at one time.  Oh sometimes it’s really a comedy of errors too.  I turn into Crazy Canning Lady!

Lots of fruit preservation happens all at one time. Oh sometimes it's really a comedy of errors too. I turn into Crazy Canning Lady! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: MYO Low-Waste Chicken Feeder

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I enjoy raising chickens.  But we’re also fans of doing things ourselves.  So when we needed a chicken feeder we took a trip to a thrift store.  We made our own feeder from thrifted supplies costing only about $2 total.  All we used was an old metal lid and a plastic Rubbermaid canister.  It served us well for years but finally the canister portion succumbed to the elements.  Now what??!

You know what I say: “Use Whatcha Got!”.  Check out this Homestead Hack & see how we easy (and with NO out of pocket) repaired our chicken feeder for many more years of service.

Check out this Homestead Hack & see how we used an empty, repurposed coffee canister to make a low-waste chicken feeder for cheap! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Snap Judgements: All Is Not Always As It Appears…

by Tammy Taylor~

I love Facebook, and I especially love our Facebook Followers.  I get much enjoyment out of social media. From our ~TMH~ Facebook page I get to interact with some mighty fine folks always willing to help.  And on my personal page I get to keep up with my family and our grandbabies and lots of friends.  You know, stories about what they’re doing, the fun they’re having, etc.  But sometimes my social media newsfeed is filled with half-truths being touted as true. It frustrates me to no end!

I’ve been very open about my feeling that everyone has the right to feel the way they do.  Not everyone feels like me, and I’ll probably not have the same opinions as everyone else either.  And that’s OK!  But the thing that bothers me is someone hearing a story purposely tilted by friends or the media and then taking the ball & running with it.  They get busy spreading the rumor themselves feeling there must have been a gross injustice done.

But just because you read about it online (or even hear about it from a friend or family member) doesn’t make it true!

I’d like to share a real-life example with you why snap judgements about a situation might not be as it appears.

All is not always as it appears! Don't make snap judgements & participate in character assassination. Just because someone tells you so doesn't make it true! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homemade Strawberry Shortcake Dessert

by Tammy Taylor~

I love strawberry shortcake, don’t you?  Recently I wrote about making homemade strawberry shortcake dessert for my handsome RancherMan and two of our grandbabies.  It was a lip-smacking dessert that looked and tasted like I’d been in the kitchen for hours.  I’ll never tell them that it was super-easy to whip it all up from scratch – even the shortcake!  C’mon y’all, I’ll let ya in on how I did it.

I wanted to make Strawberry Shortcake from scratch & was pleasantly surprised at how easy & quick it was - even the whipped cream! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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September 11th – We Will Not Forget

by Tammy Taylor~

September 11th has become a somber day of remembrance. What were YOU doing on that fateful day?  I’ve written before about my experience with that horrible day. September 11th, 2001.  A day I’ll never forget.  Do you remember where you were on that day?

September 11th. A sad day in our history. My prayers continue for our beloved country, that we may always remember who we are. We're Americans. That's what's important! #TaylorMadeHomestead

But although those memories are painful, they’re still part of our history.  In those days of horror there was a real, shining thing to see.  We witnessed real American moxxy.  We came together as a nation.  We dropped our petty bickering about the trivial matters of the day and we came together to help each other.  We quit being ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ and just became Americans.  Strong.  Proud.  Americans.

My prayers continue for our beloved country, that we may always remember who we are.  We’re Americans!


C’mon by & sit a spell!  Come hang out at our ~TMH~ Facebook Page. It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea.  There are lots of good folks sharing!  And you can also follow along on Pinterest, Twitter or GooglePlus.

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Fall-Back Friday: Quick & Easy Laundry Scent Booster

by Tammy Taylor~

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Well TGIF y’all!!  It seems the days are getting shorter and cooler too.  I’ve always loved hanging our laundry out on our *Retractable Clothesline instead of using our dryer.  RancherMan recently installed a natural cedar-branch laundry pole for a little more natural look  in our yard.  So after the laundry’s dry I simply retract the lines & bring the clothesline inside and Boom!  Everything’s uncluttered again.  Love it!

But laundry’s even more pleasant lately with the cooler temps we’re enjoying.  Our clothes are air-dried no matter what time of the year it is.  I line-dry even in the cold months, although if it’s wet outside I’ll bring out the *folding racks & dry laundry inside.    Oh we have a higher-end dryer in the utility room and we’ll certainly use it if an emergency pops up.  But it hasn’t been turned on in years.

Not only is line-drying an environmentally-friendly choice and better for your clothing, but I love the scent of sunshine on our clean laundry.  But you know, sometimes you want a little extra scent on your guest towels or cloth napkins.  No worries, I whip up an easy laundry-scent booster in minutes for just such occasions!  And to celebrate Friday I’ll fall-back into the archives and bring that post to the surface for you today.  Enjoy!

I love the scent of sunshine on clean laundry but want scent on guest towels or cloth napkins. I whip up this easy laundry-scent booster in minutes! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Keeping Our Hens Mite Free On The Cheap

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I really enjoy raising hens each year.  We don’t really have a market for the eggs since I no longer work in an office.  Most folks around here are raising their own chickens for their own eggs.  And a friend of mine is selling eggs the local Farmer’s Market so I don’t want to move in on her business.  So every year we just buy 3-4 hens.  It’s enough to provide us with the eggs we want.  And we allow them to free range part of the day so they get much extra protein (and some excitement) from running around the house eating grasshoppers and such.  The garden pests are eliminated by them while providing us with even healthier eggs.  That’s really a win/win, no?

We typically sell these girls in the late fall.  They’re prime-age egg layers but we don’t want to have to overwinter them and their value is much higher as productive egg-layers than meat in the freezer.  Then in the spring we’ll buy new pullets and start again.  So I’m far from a chicken expert, but I thought I’d share what we do to keep our girls happy & mite free.

We use wood ash to reduce or eliminate mites on our chickens. We get happy hens using something that was previously just wasted. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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