Hydroponics and Zesty Snacks

     The fire hits, your throat constricts with the feeling of horseradish-like scents try to run to your esophagus, then they escape through your nose, producing instant tears as it feels like no nose hairs remain, then as fast as it came on, it disappears. 

    This is the effect of Wasabi Peas. I buy them locally. It is an addicting treat, at least for me. The first time I discovered them was when we were with my husband’s cousins. We were doing a Wasabi Challenge, because the more you eat at once, the higher the concentration of spice. I believe record high was 40 peas (and a crying man). 

    I’m very interested on getting my hand on wasabi stems as a start in hydroponics. It’s in the family of cabbage, mustard, and horseradish, grown in Japan. Because it’s a submerged plant, its not necessarily a root, but more of a stem! It is very difficult to start and maintain and can be quite expensive to purchase. 

    Maybe in the future you will see a post of my own wasabi stems, but for now, I am pretty focused on productions from my tea garden and my cucumbers and lettuce. 


Retrieved from Pinterest, Found on moichizen.exblog.jp Discover Japan


The First Step To Homesteading

     If you already are, or desire to be self-sufficient, you may realize that it takes quite a bit of energy. For energy, you need at least decent health. Homesteaders can last up till their last days if they have excellent health. Now, for some of us, back pain, hip problems, and joint aches are unavoidable. I want to share with you 10 ways to improve your health, be it immunity or bodily pain

#1 Hydration

    Make sure you are drinking a sufficient amount of water. Each person’s body is unique in this aspect. For instance, my body holds water, my husbands does not. He can drink and drink and drink, and it doesn’t show. I drink sixteen ounces and immediately bloat. A good ratio of water is 50% of your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 120 pounds, drink 60 fl. oz. a day. If you’re a bloater, slowly work your body up to that amount. When you begin to consume the water amount required for your body, you will find more energy being given to you


#2 Adequate Sleep

    Some people get 4 hours, others get 9-10 hours of sleep. However, sleep is one of the most sensitive areas in our life. Too little, and you will be facing burn out. Too much, and your body craves sleep like sugar. 6-8 hours is a good amount for most individuals, however, this may be an experiment that will take a while!


#3 Vitamin D3 and B12

    These are essentially the feel good, get going vitamins. If you are a person who spends many hours a day out in the sun, D3 shouldn’t be much of a concern for you. However, if you are suck in a windowless building for most of the day, you should increase your intake of vitamin D3. Minimum suggestion is 400 IU/day. However, you can get capsules with doses as large as 10,000 IU. I will take a 400 IU tablet if I spend a short time outside. If it’s rainy for more than a day, and I’m indoors, I will take a 2000 IU tablet. B12 is a natural energizer. Many people are short on this vitamin. These can be boughten in small amounts and are excellent in dissolving capsules!


#4 Healthy Diet

     Weed out unnecessary sugars, fake sugars, and high carbs from breads. These are energy killers and fat producers. Eat more natural proteins from beans, fish, lentil, and chicken to gain energy. For that sweet tooth, pick up some pineapple, blueberries, and strawberries. Uncooked veggies will supply most of the vitamins your body needs. Listen to your cravings. 


#5 Pain Salve 

    If pain still does not ease up, great pain salves can relieve the stress put onto your body. Many use Hot and Cold, Bengay, and drug store products. Another well known natural pain reliever is Pain Relieving Liniment from J.R. Watikins, which I will have up for sale on this blog by next week! 

#6 Go for a Walk

   Walking is very beneficial. It improves metabolism, helps strengthen the heart, improves lung capacity, is an anti-depressant, and gets you out for exercise! Hopefully, this is a routine you can incorporate into your homesteading lifestyle!

#7 Set Goals

     This may seem like it has no relation to health, but it increases productive hours, which aids in increasing stamina throughout a long day. So, set a few goals in the morning and get rolling!


#8 Start a stress relieving Hobby

     If being a homesteader is a hobby to you, well then, your all set. If not, try to find something relaxing, whether its reading, writing, sewing, baking, or fishing. Take a load off your feet and enjoy life between work!

#9 Think of things that bring JOY and be POSITIVE

   Nothing can have a greater influence on your longevity than a happy, carefree soul!

#10 Repeat These Actions Daily


Top Ten Resources for Gathering my Homesteading Information

Whether you like it or not, sometimes you have to learn. You have to put those tired eyes in search of black words on white paper- unless you’re reading off of an ipad or computer. The sources I used to get these books range from the library, Barnes and Noble, EBay, to Amazon. I love EBay for the fact that I can get top dollar books for a really small amount of money. It’s mine to keep. However, the downside is you have to wait several days for the book to get to you. The library is free for renting books. Barnes and Noble does charge top dollar for their books, however, you also have the option of sitting at their cafe while reading the book. I usually take a whole evening or so when I approach the use of Barnes and Noble.

I won’t keep you waiting for the list of resources I’ve gathered and used.

#1 Barnyard In Your Backyard


This book covers most of your typical ‘farm’ animals. It’s a great handbook when adding to your homestead. As you start out with different species and animals, you want to have a good idea of what you’re supposed to be doing. You don’t want to go into it cold turkey and end up with sick or diseased animals. I rented this from the library, though I’ve seen this on the shelves of many other book stores. It’s a moderately expensive book, ranging from $13.95-$22.00

#2 Becky’s Homestead

Becky was an encouragement to me when I first desired to start off with homesteading and self sufficiency. I was first introduced to her videos on youtube, later to find her website. As a woman, she finds many ways to make her own items. She focuses more on raising her own animals than gardening. But what really caught my attention was that she built her own log cabin. That takes a woman of dedication and hard work!

so, in case you’d like to check her homestead out, you can visit her website at


#3 Mini-Farming: Self-sufficiency on a 1/4 acre


A perfect book for beginning homesteaders. Touches base on most aspects of gardening and gives examples of different methods. Although the instructions are brief, it gives a good overview. It helps you to know what you need to know, and you can go from there with more detailed research

#4 The Backyard Homestead

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This focuses on growing better, more efficient, organic crops. Truly helpful for those who are concerned with a natural diet and aim to eat organic produce.

The Next few are some of my detailed favorites. The headers are pretty self explanatory, so with no more hesitation, I will go ahead and give you the link to these sites!

#5 How to Raise Ducks


this is a website for retrieving the ebook How to Raise Ducks.


#6 Composting


#7 Common Sense Homesteading


#8 Homesteading

http://www.motherearthnews.com (the original guide to living wisely)

#9 Vertical Gardening


#10 Self-sufficiency



     As I’ve probably mentioned earlier, we live in a weed infested community. It seems that some of us struggle with taming down nature more than others. I suppose it all has to do with what we have around our home. It doesn’t matter if we pull up every last root, shovel out old soil, insert matting, and layer it with stone. These buggers are a nightmare! I’ve even done a full natural de-weeding treatment. To no avail, they march right back into existence within days. 

    It wasn’t until a while ago that I began talking to my father about a friend we have whose words backed up some research I had done regarding weeds. When I was planning on turning a grassed area into a raised garden bed, I read about covering the ground with layers of newspaper. Perfect, I had my answer to not growing a raised grass bed! It didn’t cross my mind that it would indeed work on weeds as well.

    5-6 layers is a pretty sure amount when smothering out any unwanted greens. As we all know, newspaper sheets can be pretty expansive. Though we do not get a daily paper, we do happen to get a weekly one. Going at this rate, it will take months to cover our two infested flower beds. By asking family and friends for unwanted newspaper this process can be sped up. A full newspaper can cover a 2 ft by 3 1/2 ft area. Hence, it takes a lot of newspaper!

   The best part of this project is, you can either leave it on from late fall to early spring, or simply cover the newspapers with fresh compost and soil. 

It’s the Little Things

     You might say I’m dedicated for posting early every morning. In reality, I’m just trying to wake up. At this time the sun is still hiding and crickets are happily chirping away. Daisy and Daffy, however, are getting their morning exercise by scavenging my house. Often times they’ll find a drug in leaf by the front door which becomes a new specimen of food. Or they’ll attempt to help me write articles for my blog, which I had to take this picture with my phone the other morning. Daffy is more of a writer than Daisy. Daisy gets distracted easily by sweatpants strings.

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     It has been so much fun having the neighbors children involved. I think their little comments on the ducks are the things that keep a smile on my face. The little girl ran over to ask if her friend could look at the ducks, so I gladly said yes. I was just about to bring Daisy and Daffy in for the evening, so I left her pet Daisy. Then, it was like a child magnet activated and soon all of the girls’ brothers and sisters were gawking at the little duckling. Surprisingly Daisy didn’t seem to mind. She’s probably my tamest duck. With about 5 stubby hands on her body, she managed to start falling asleep on my hand. One of the boys piped up, “Wow, her feet feel like bubblegum when you blow a bubble out of your mouth!”

    Very descriptive, kiddo! Not the first thing that came to mind for me. Then, one of the little girls flopped down in the grass and sighed, “I could just watch these ducks all day”. Apparently even her mother gets quite the entertainment while she’s washing the dishes. I’m blessed to have neighbors who enjoy sharing the fun with these two footed anti-depressants. 

First Year Strawberries and A great infusion to come!

So yesterday was another productive day with decently warm weather in the early morning hours. Lately its been quite chilly. Around 7:00 a.m. I began about 2 hours worth of weeding, and still much to do! We live in quite the weed sanctuary…if only they were useful! We’ve done everything from applying natural weed treatments to covering the ground with matting and rock. But, what’s homesteading without weeds? I mean, there’s got to be something to keep me busy throughout the day (Like I have nothing else to do!)

Our wild Strawberry plants have been transplanted into their respective homes. We’ve got a few buds on them. They are late bloomers this year, however, I do believe it is because of the cooler weather this summer. Wild strawberries tend to bud out in spring and late fall and remain dormant throughout winter and summer.

Wild strawberries are much smaller than our typical boughten strawberries. They can be encouraged to grow a bit bigger with cultivation. I don’t believe I will be using the berries this year. I’ll pick them to say I’ve had a harvest, then they’ll probably turn into a lovely treat for Daffy and Daisy. However, I am using the leaves, which has officially been my first ‘infusion’ gathering this year.

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These are our first year plants. As you can see, I’ve used two regular pots which I had sitting around waiting to be used. As you can see I have done a little recycling shown in the picture on the right. Barely visible is my U shaped wire. These strawberry plants will latch themselves onto everything, and I’d rather have them grow slightly upward rather than to run themselves from the pot to the ground. We have old fencing sitting back in our shed. The lower part of it was quite rusted, so I cut out the top part, which stands about 10″ high from the pot. I decided on a U shape so I can easily access the pot to pull any weeds that might wonder in.




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On the left here, I have my leaf harvest which I did before transplanting. That will probably give us a good five pods to make hot tea with. I have learned with much research that strawberry leaves are nothing to mess around with! It can be very dangerous to make tea. Because I left my leaves sit for about an hour, I was left with no choice but to go through the drying process with them. They can be used when they are just picked, but as soon as they start going through the wilting stage, they start expelling a toxin that can cause nausea. However, once fully dried, they return to their beneficial state.

Benefits of Strawberry Infusions:





I’m contemplating on throwing some Chamomile in with the strawberry, but I may do my first batch with just strawberry and honey so I can experiment with taste!