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


Why Homestead?

          Homesteading is living self-sufficient pertaining to agricultural products, such as garden-grown produce and raising animals. Most of us have that in our head. But sometimes we have to sit back; like on one of those rainy days that does the watering for us, and ask ourselves WHY. 

      Whether you do it for enjoyment, education, self-sufficiency, or as a way of income, you also have to keep in mind the word of preparedness. I have yet to touch on this subject, but it seems like this world is gripped with fear. As if it’s waiting for something catastrophic to happen. While many just refresh the news and hang on to youtube videos, there are those of us who are working hard to establish a homestead. Maybe its not the land we’re attached to, but the skill. We’ll know how to grow our own food instead of running to a grocery store. And who knows, maybe there will be NO access to a grocery store. 

    I’m not saying you need to have those ’emergency buckets’ containing high-protein food for a month sitting down in your basement, though, you can easily purchase them. I am saying we should value keeping our cupboards just a bit fuller with canned goods. Several decades ago, it wasn’t unusual for folks to keep back portions of summer gatherings, can them, and keep them for winter when conditions were bad, or when men weren’t able to work due to seasonal jobs. This slowed the increase of expenses and padded the conscience of the family.

     So next time you have a summer harvest or raise an animal for meat, make those pickles, can those peaches, and package meat to freeze. Rationing now will help with rations later.

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

download (1)

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. 

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!