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



     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. 

Upcoming Posts

Other than keeping you all updated on our little homestead, I will be posting several different things throughout next week, so keep your eye open for these featured articles on my blog!

1. Top 5 ways to get second (or first) hand items for super cheap.

2. 10 favorite books, websites, and articles that I highly recommend to any new homesteader.

3. 5 D.I.Y. projects to lessen costs and eliminate household waste

4. The first step to homesteading and 10 things to assist you with the goal


   Occasionally I come up with a few random thoughts that pop up at unnecessary moments. When I remember, I like to share my opinion with you all. If there’s ever anything you’d like to see on this blog, topics you all are interested in hearing more about, leave a comment! We love to hear from you.


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!