Coexisting with nature · Herbology

Austin plant walk with the Wildflower School

Carla and Stephanie, teachers at the Austin-based Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine, led our eager group on an early evening plant walk in the Muller Development in East Austin. I’ve posted the brief comments they made about each plant, to the best of my ability. Please note that many of these plants have fantastic medicinal… Continue reading Austin plant walk with the Wildflower School

General · Prepping

Big Brother is watching… me?

I just got a tip on Facebook from a fellow blogger (Save Our Skills) that the Department of Homeland Security is checking up on prepper-type blogs. According to SurvivalBlog.com, the FBI has been visiting sites and even tracking users. They note that the FBI “surreptitiously collected the IP addresses of [their] site visitors. In all,… Continue reading Big Brother is watching… me?

Homesteading · Money savers · Recipes

Making Homemade Piggie Soap

In my previous post, I described how to render fat to make lard. In this post, I will show you how turn that lard into homemade lye soap (cold process) that’s better than anything you’ll ever buy in the store. Before I begin, I should note that this post has lots of information. Don’t let… Continue reading Making Homemade Piggie Soap

Homesteading · Recipes · Sustainable food

Rendering fat for cooking and soapmaking

Rendering fat is much easier than you might expect. All you need is a good stock pot, some heat-proof utensils and bowls, and… some fat to render. It’s a great way to use “waste” products and turn them into either tasty stirfry or, better yet, homemade soap. To get the fat, you can take the… Continue reading Rendering fat for cooking and soapmaking

Coexisting with nature · Herbology · Urban skills

Eight reasons not to mow my lawn

With all the rain that drought-stricken Austin has experienced lately, my lawn has gone kind of crazy with green growth. In addition to the weedy grass that inevitably grows there, I have a great herbal pharmacy and salad bar. So far the following plants have graciously popped up in my front yard: Dandelion Milk Thistle… Continue reading Eight reasons not to mow my lawn

Homesteading · Recipes · Urban skills

Mmmm… the world’s best meatballs!

One important aspect of “survival” and self-sufficiency is being able to cook tasty food that is both inexpensive and simple to prepare. Recently I was going through a bit of ‘food fatigue’ where my usual dinner fare just wasn’t exciting me, and I found myself wanting to pick up BBQ or something on the way… Continue reading Mmmm… the world’s best meatballs!