Chamomile is beneficial to other plants.
If you have a sick plant place the chamomile in the soil next to your sick plant and you will have a 90% chance of the plant recovering.
Chamomile also repels insects and makes a good herb lawn.
Make some cider! It is not as difficult as you think!
Please see our 2 new pages dedicated to both self-sufficiency and home remedies.
Here are the links:
If you keep horses you can treat them for a number of conditions by keeping a green pole in their stables to gnaw on. If they have worms, a cough, have a bad coat, or even if your horse has a poor appetite, with poles cut from different trees, you can cure these naturally.
For a bad coat, cut a green pole from white-ash or popular trees.
For a poor appetite, use a quaking ash pole
For a cough, use wild cherry
For worms and urinary troubles, use slippery elm
Drying Apples in the Fireplace
I kept looking at my fireplace thinking that it was a waste not to use all that heat for just warming the room. I then hit on the idea that I could use it for making apple rings. Since then I have done so 3 nights in a row, and not only has it been great fun, but by the time the fire has burned out, the apple rings are ready.
You will know when your dried apples are ready if you put them in the jar and watch for any moisture on the jar. If so, then place them in front of the fire the following night. But don't dry them out too much. You still want them to be soft and chewy.
Core and peel your apples. Place them in either some white wine or some water with the juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon just so that it stops the apples from going brown.
Thread them on to a piece of bamboo. Place in front of your fireplace and let the heat do the rest.
The cuckoo eats 50 - 400 caterpillars a day
A Chickadee will eat 200 - 500 insects a day, or up to 4000 insect eggs.
Not only do these birds eat insects, but they eat large quantities of weed seeds.
Therefore it stands to reason why it is wise to encourage birds into your garden.
However, it is not just the birds that will help you out, so will toads.
Having toads in your gardens will go a long way to keep the population down of cutworms, caterpillars and leaf-eating beetles.
My first move from my hometown came a year before the birth of my first child, and we found ourselves the owners of a lifestyle block, where we owner-built our first house. Here we grew our own vegetables and fruit.
We collected strawberries by the bucket-load during the season and we made jams, preserves and canning when the fruit from the extensive orchards was harvested. Two Welsh ponies were added to the picture with chickens next on the list.
More children were added to the family, and they thrived on the fresh air and had access to the fruit and vegetables that were all organically grown. Nothing was wasted. The ponies and chickens provided good farmyard manure which went back on the veggies and fruit trees, enriching the soil in preparation for the next harvest.
Over the years we improved in what and how we planted and gained more knowledge of natural pesticides for our produce. In addition, we were lucky enough to be able to buy raw milk from a neighboring farm and had lots of fun making yogurt, soft cheeses, butter and buttermilk, and waiting impatiently for the cream to rise so that we could scoop it off.
For a while our self-sufficient lifestyle was forced to come to an end due to unforced circumstances and we ended up living far away from home in diverse places such as Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. However, no matter where we lived I grew my own vegetables and fruit on a smaller scale, and even learned the art of spinning, natural dyeing and pottery while living in these places.
Another move was on the cards, this time in a place where one finds it difficult to be have some semblance of self-sufficiency; the Middle East. However, even there, we have managed for five months of the year when the weather is cooler, to grow vegetables in raised bed gardens built off concrete floors, made marmalade, cordials and lime aid from the lime tree, used the dates that grew prolifically and even the mulberry tree obliged from time to time.
We still made our own compost, but this time from kitchen scraps, newspaper and some horse manure
from the racecourse horses a block away and the 10 laying hens we kept in the back yard.
Wherever we have lived, be it on a small holding, the suburbs or even on a large farm, we have always had some degree of self-sufficiency in our food. I try not to use too many chemicals in my home and so am also big on homemade cleaning products, homemade beauty products, healing herbs, making soap and homemade crafts.
Now, in our mature years, another exciting phase has opened up to us. We are the owners of a farmhouse in Tuscany where we are busy at present renovating the old farmhouse and plan to grow grapes, olives, cherries and have a truffle orchard, along with an orchard, vegetables, nut trees, chickens and ducks.
We are no experts in growing grapes, olives or truffles, but with a lot of hard work and research we believe that we will continue the same level of satisfaction we have always enjoyed in our path to self-sufficiency.
However, I also love traveling and photography and so this page is for those who also share the same passion.
- University of KwaZulu-NatalEnglish and Psychology, 1978 - 1980BA in English and Psychology
- Univeristy of KwaZulu NatalHigher Diploma in Education, 1981 - 1981Teaching Diploma
- Trinity College, LondonTESOL Dip., 2002 - 2002Diploma to teach students English as a second other language.
- www.countryfarm-lifestyles.comPublisher / Founder, 2008 - presentA home and garden site on country living.
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