Tag Archives: Homestead Hacks

Homestead Hack: Frozen Water Bottles in the Kitchen

by Tammy Taylor~

OK, I’ve made it no secret that we own a nice, newer, high-end CRAPPY refrigerator/freezer.  It was exorbitantly expensive because we required a specific size to fit into our kitchen layout.  Although it looks great and is labeled ‘Energy Star’ to conserve electricity, it’s…  well…  it’s crap!

One of the biggest deal-breaking problems with it is the ice maker.  Although there are only two of us in this house on any given day, it can’t keep up with our ice needs.  Now we work outside in the Texas heat all summer, ice is a necessity!  Of course we could buy ice cube trays blah, blah, blah but instead I just make sure to reserve ice use for cooling our drinks.  But when I’m making homemade yogurt I need to cool the heated milk.  Now I used to do that in a bowl filled with ice – what do I do now?  Check out this Homestead Hack, y’all!

Homestead Hack: Repurposing Frozen Water Bottles In The Kitchen is a Double-Win For The Environment. See How I Use Them! #TaylorMadeHomestead Continue reading

Homestead Hack: Repurposed Plastic Jar For Deep-Soak Watering

by Tammy Taylor~

Summer is hot & humid in our part of NE Texas – I’m doing all I can to keep my plants watered.  A cistern mishap involving a split hose drained all the rainwater from my 18′ deep cistern so I’m trying to conserve water as much as possible.  I came across a large-mouth bottle with a built-in grip on the handle and a metal-center lid and the thought occurred to me – maybe I can use this to keep my container garden of spinach watered.  You remember my battle cry, “Use WhatCha Got!”.  Check out this homestead hack.

I've used a wide-mouth plastic jar and repurposed it into a way to easily deeply water my potted plants. Check out this homestead hack! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Separating Cream From Fresh Milk

by Tammy Taylor~

As many of you know, recently I had to bring a mama cow into the barn and milk out one of her quads since her newborn calf neglected it long enough for it to get very large.  I didn’t want to risk her getting mastitis and the longer the calf neglected it the larger it became.  Although our cows are not a dairy breed, she gave me about a half gallon of fresh milk from just that one quad!  I’d never milked a cow before & I was pretty excited to get that fresh milk, so I sat out to put it all to good use.  I decided to make homemade yogurt with it, but I turned to my Facebook Followers to find out how they easily skimmed the cream from the milk.

I was looking for an easy way to separate cream from fresh milk. A spoon was too time consuming, a gravy separator was better, but check this Homestead Hack! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Deviled Eggs With A KICK!

by Tammy Taylor~

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Recently during our annual RanchFest family reunion, RancherMan declared the meal would be comprised only of finger foods.  There would be smoked brisket sandwiches, chips/dips, veggie trays, stuffed bacon-wrapped jalapenos, fresh fruit trays, cheese/cracker trays and oh-so-much more!  But Y’all know with our homestead hens we’re getting lots of eggs these days and I’d really like to put them to good use.  Since it’s a finger-foods feast I planned to make deviled eggs to go with our no-utensils-required cuisine.  But I didn’t want to make plain ole ordinary deviled eggs, oh no.   This is RANCHFEST – I wanted deviled eggs with a Texas KICK!  Check out today’s Homestead Hack for ramping up the flavor of deviled eggs.

Homestead Hack: Deviled eggs with a kick. Give it a try, it's a delicious spicy twist on an old favorite! #TaylorMadeHomestead   Continue reading

Homestead Hack: Repurposed Items As Plant Markers

by Tammy Taylor~

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Well garden season is in full swing in NE Texas.  Before I ever planted my garden I first laid out what would be planted where using my multi-year spreadsheet.  It allows me to take advantage of past year’s garden successes, avoid past year’s failures and even take advantage of companion planting.  Then I used my indoor greenhouse to plant my heirloom seeds so I could get a head start with seedlings in the ground when planting time came.  When the danger of last frost had passed I dropped those tender seedlings into the ground, being sure to mark their base with a stick (great homestead hack from last year) so I’d know what foliage was veggie plant & what needed to be weeded away, as well as the location to water when the vines get to rambling.  But I’ve found an easy way to repurpose items I already have in my home for the actual plant markers.  Using these markers helps me to remember what I planted where without having to look it up. Check it out!

I've found a cute and easy way to repurpose an item I already have in my home to use as veggie plant markers in my vegetable garden. #TaylorMadeHomestead Continue reading

Homestead Hack: Keep Wild Birds Away From Chicken Feed

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all already know we split the garden area this year. About 40% of that area became the chicken ranging area and the other 60% remained my veggie garden, but more efficiently arranged.  I love the symbiotic relationship of chickens/garden – the chickens will keep grass scratched away from the adjoining garden area to help me win the fight against Bermuda grass and they will also eat all the bugs & grasshoppers coming toward my garden from their area.  I can toss over grubs or produce that didn’t make it, and the hens provide me with fresh eggs.  Win/Win!  I recently shared with you a low-waste chicken feeder RancherMan whipped up for me and while I love how much it reduces the chicken’s slinging it to the ground and wasting it, the wild birds were also loving the free open buffet.  We’re feeding organic laying pellets, I certainly didn’t want to be feeding that to the birds! But oh we’ve discovered a secret – check out today’s Homestead Hack.

Check out this Homestead Hack - Sometimes it's true you can use low-tech methods to successfully address a problem. Love it! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Cleaner Vegetable Chopping

by Tammy Taylor~

Today I was chopping a fresh tomato to include with my egg salad (oh yeah, those chickens are laying lots of eggs so I’m making homemade egg salad often!)  Anyway as I chopped the tomato it occurred to me:  Although I’ve done this for years, perhaps others would benefit from this little homestead hack.  You know my battle cry: “Use Whatcha Got!”.  This particular hack has a couple of benefits – using something I’ve already got handy and keeping those veggie juices corralled.  Check it out, y’all!

This Homestead Hack has 2 benefits when chopping veggies - using something I've already got & keeping juices corralled.  #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack – Killing Weeds

by Tammy Taylor~

Now that we have free-range hens again I’m using up those fresh eggs in many various ways.  RancherMan loves for me to boil them up & have them for him in the fridge ready for a quick high-protein snack, and I’ve been making Egg Salad Sandwich Spread to replace his traditional purchased peanut butter sandwich preference for lunch.  Since I’ve found out how much healthier free-range eggs are compared to their commercial counterparts I find I’m always boiling eggs, (thankfully I found an easier way to peel those very-fresh eggs.)  But egg salad isn’t the only benefit of boiling up fresh eggs, I’m also killing weeds in the bricks of my sidewalk.  How you say?  Y’all know my battle cry: “Use Whatcha Got!”  This isn’t a new idea, but it’s a great one to keep in mind.

Killing weeds in the bricks of my sidewalk. Y'all know my battle cry: "Use Whatcha Got!" This isn't a new idea, but it's a great one #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Easy Baking Measurement Reminders

by Tammy Taylor~

As a matter of routine I make my handsome RancherMan his favorite sandwich bread since I’ve FINALLY been able to nail down a homemade bread recipe that resulted in a light fluffy loaf.  Since I make bread often I have come up with some Bread-Making Shortcuts so that I’m not starting out from scratch each & every time.  One of the shortcuts involves amending my 2-loaf recipe to three loaves since my oven will hold 3 loaf pans at one time.  But y’all know how confusing it can be when you’re changing a recipe and wondering how many cups you’ve already added. I started using today’s Homestead Hack waaaaay back when my children were young.  It seems they were constantly coming into the kitchen breaking my concentration while I was baking.

HOMESTEAD HACK: EASY MEASUREMENT REMINDERS. I'd often stop and ask myself "Was that 4 cups or 5 that I just dumped in the bowl?" but NO MORE! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Easily Saving Painting Supplies

by Tammy Taylor~

So if you Follow us on Facebook you already know that RancherMan & I are about to jump into beekeeping – we’re so excited!!  Our bee boxes and supplies have been purchased, the site for our future hive has been located and we’ve secured our first bees to be picked up in early April.  Upon reading about our setup we find that it’s best to coat the exterior of the boxes in linseed oil, allow to dry and paint only the exterior surfaces with oil-based paint.  RancherMan was able to get the linseed oil coating done before this week-long spring storm rainy streak came and now he’s anxious to begin painting but he can’t get outside to complete the painting of the box exteriors.  So he’s painting sections of each box in his shop and allowing each side to dry before moving to the next section, but this will involve short painting sessions over the course of several days.  What about the cleaning of the brushes between painting sessions?  Will the brushes be ruined on day 2?  Day 3?  Day 4?  What if it takes several days before he can even resume painting?  C’mon y’all, see what we do to preserve the brushes and roller to resume painting at a later date – you’re gonna love this!

Homestead Hack: EASILY SAVING PAINTING SUPPLIES - see how we preserve brushes to resume painting at a later date - you're gonna love this! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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