The Coastal Homestead

A self-reliant journey to better living

Christmas Re-Tree

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Re-cycle, Re-use, Re-purpose that

Christmas Re-Tree

Are the presents all open and nothing left but the credit card bills? The lights lost their twinkle? Are Jingle bells stuck in your head, and that’s not a good thing? Is your tree looking more like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree and less like the beautiful green specimen that your family once adored?

 

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Many argue that fresh Christmas trees are not green, on the contrary, most tree farms raise their trees responsibly, are environmentally friendly, sustainable, provide homes to wildlife and pollinators, help clean the air, and most plant 2 or more trees for every one that is cut. When the Christmas season is over there are many Green options you can do with your tree. Unlike the artificial tree that can not be recycled, they off-gas chemicals, and are made overseas.

Did you make a resolution to be more green this year? I have some fantastic ideas that will help you keep your resolution and get rid of your Charlie Brown fire hazard.

The Christmas Re-Tree inspirational ideas

Option #1 Compost/Mulch

Many counties offer free pick up of your fresh trees that they turn into mulch . Contact your local waste management authority to see if they offer this service. If not, you may contact a local tree service and see if they will mulch your tree for free

Option #2 Artificial Reef

Help the fish with an artificial reef. If you live by the coast or by a body of water the county may offer free pick up or a designated drop off site for your fresh tree. You can also contact your local DNR  and ask  if they know of a place to take your tree

Option #3 Potpourri

Keep the scents of the season all year with all natural homemade potpourri. Free from petrochemicals and full of wonderful scents (makes a great gift too)

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Option #4  Pine Needle Tea

When life gives you pine needles, make pine needle tea! Pine needle tea has amazing health benefits and taste delicious , best of all?? It’s FREE

 

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Option # 5 Move the party outside

After all of your lights and decorations are packed tightly away take your whole tree and place outside for your local feather and furry friends. The critters will love their new pine tree hotel. To offer them executive suites ,make some all natural treats and place on the branches. This is a fun project to do with the kids.

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 Add a little treat to your tree for the feather and furry friends

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Option #6 Deck the halls

If some of your branches are still showing signs of life, cut clippings and make: wreaths, swags, centerpieces and more! There are a ton of great ideas here on Pinterest. You can even cut the trunk to make ornaments for next year or turn them into drink coasters

 

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Homemade Herb Pressed Ornaments

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Call me old fashion but my favorite gifts to receive (and give) are home made, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this statement.

Let’s be honest, how many more lotion thingies, coffee cups, Christmas dish towels, or candles do we really need? And how many of us try to re-gift or find a new homes for such items? Be honest….. and when you re-gift them how many of you worry about the original owner finding out? I’ve actually gave a gift so bad it made it’s way back to me as a gift from someone else! Well it’s the thought that counts you say. Bah humbug. I would appreciate just a hand written note over a plastic whatchamacallit I could never use any day of the week.

There are many bonuses with this little craft I’m going to show you

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4 Easy DIY Fire Starters

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You’ve all seen it before; some idiot pouring gasoline on a pile of wood to get a fire started then **poof!** Worse yet, turpentine, lighter fluid, paint thinner, and any other flammable liquid people can get their hands on. Without going into the obvious reason not to use any of these methods mentioned above; fire safety, wildfire spread, personal injury, toxic fumes, combustion, just to mention a few. DON’T DO IT!!!!  There are tons of other ways you can get that inner pyro on without putting yourself and others in danger, and lets not forget our environmental impact.

If you think using charcoal is a good option… think again.

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Garlic Info to Keep the Vampires Away!

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Garlic has to be one of the favorites of both the culinary and medicinal world. It has been in use for over 5000 years and it’s popularity is growing stronger than ever. I’m not sure if that is due in part of the Twilight series becoming so popular or the ever-increasing amount of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Given only one choice, many herbalist and chefs alike would pick garlic over any other herb for its versatile uses.

 

Garlic was use at the beginning of recorded history and was found in Egyptian pyramids and ancient Greek temples. There are Biblical references to garlic. Ancient medical texts from Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and India each prescribed medical applications for garlic. Garlic (Allium sativum) is: an antiseptic,  antimicrobial, antibacterial, used in preventing and treating the common cold and flu, treat ear aches, supports cardiovascular health, helps reduce cholesterol, effective in treating MRSA, helps prevent scurvy, lowers blood pressure, treats sore throats, stimulates white blood cell production, and even used in treating livestock parasites.

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How I trained my chickens

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Would you believe my chickens are potty trained, stay in the yard without a fence, and can clean out their own coop?

No???? Well good because those type of chicken skills are way beyond my reach and I’m pretty sure next to impossible. However, I have been able to successfully train my chickens to coop up at an early age and go in their pen whenever I need them to.

First a little back story. We live on a small lot in a subdivision in a tourist town. Although we live in a developed area we have many predators. These predators have become very ballsy due to the development of their land and are in search of food. The predators we face here (Coastal SC) are; Fox, Opossums, Raccoon’s, Hawks, Cats, Dogs, Owls, and Snakes (just to name a few), and they all want my chicken for dinner!

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Adding Goats to our Coastal Homestead

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Goat ahead and call me crazy, everyone else does. Haha! See what I did there? goat? doe’s ? Yes, I have officially lost it and I am one straw away from a full bale, but I am diggin’ my life y’all (literally). Okay, no more puns but I can’t help to laugh. Sometimes I think I’m laughing at myself and sometimes I think I’m laughing with myself. I know when I share our story I make others laugh and that makes me laugh too, although I can never figure out if they are laughing at or with. Either way I am having fun.

Now if you live in the country or have a lot of farms close by you may be saying “big deal, she got a couple of goats. Want to impress me? Get a thousand.” It’s not the notion that we got goats that tickles those we know, it is our location. We live on the coast, on a small lot, in the middle of a tourist destination (by Myrtle Beach, SC). Goats, Chickens, Livestock, etc are not something you typically see around here. More like surfboards, flip-flops and golf clubs. Even gardening is somewhat obsolete because so many live in condos, timeshares, HOA restrictions, apartments and the like.

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DIY Fire Pit; Quick, Easy, and Cheap

 

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Quick, Easy, and Cheap

My three favorite words!

Who doesn’t love roasting marshmallows and sitting by a fire when there is a slight chill in the air? Well you don’t have to be Bob Vila or even Bob the Builder to have a functional fire pit. Sure all of those internet pictures and ideas look AMAZING, but fall is soon approaching and I don’t want to dip into my holiday shopping money to have a fire pit.

I only try my hand at  DIY projects when hubby is at work so I won’t feel compelled to ask his permission and he doesn’t feel compelled to take over and do it his way. I remember one year (while he was working) I removed the dinning room wall  and when he came home staring at a complete mess I shouted enthusiastically  “this is where I want an island bar!” . There was no turning back at that point and now I have an open kitchen with a bar. This project was a lot less invasive than the wall, less time-consuming but equally rewarding because we really enjoy being outside.

Cool weather is soon approaching so let’s get started!

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Life at The Coastal Homestead

 

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Many of you may already be familiar with the term Homestead, some of you may not know the definition of Homesteading but you know that you want a Homestead of your own!

“Broadly defined, homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of foodstuffs, and it may or may not also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale. Pursued in different ways around the world — and in different historical eras — homesteading is generally differentiated from rural village or commune living by isolation (either socially or physically) of the homestead. Use of the term in the United States dates back to the Homestead Act (1862) and before. In sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in nations formerly controlled by the British Empire, a homestead is the household compound for a single extended family. In the UK, the term ‘smallholder’ is the rough equivalent of ‘homesteader.”

Modern homesteaders often use renewable energy options including solar electricity and wind power and some even invent DIY cars. Many also choose to plant and grow heirloom vegetables and to raise heritage livestock. Homesteading is not defined by where someone lives, such as the city or the country, but by the lifestyle choices they make.

So there ya have it, the broadly defined definition of Homesteading . Many people are under the assumption in order to practice Homesteading you have to own a lot of land, a farm, or live in the country, and that is not so. You can have 100 acres or live in an apartment. It is a lifestyle you can do in the space that you have.

Because so many think they must have a lot of land to experience the Homesteading lifestyle I wanted to share our story and hope to inspire you to achieve big things with a little space.

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Helping Hands in the Home

 

 

 

 

When I grew up, helping with the housework wasn’t an option, we didn’t get paid to do it, there wasn’t a bribe involved, it was an expected part of being in a family and we didn’t question it. If chores weren’t accomplished we often couldn’t eat until they were and we certainly couldn’t play. If you had a close friend that always ate dinner with you, they were expected to chip in too!

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Landscaping and Gardening on a Budget

Did your money tree fail to produce this year? Do you want a pretty yard or a lush garden but low on cash? Have no fear, The Queen of the frugal gardeners is here!

I am frugal for two reasons; # 1 out of need. We are a self-employed family of five who practices eating a whole food, organic diet. As you can imagine most of our budget goes to sustaining us. #2  I am frugal because I like a challenge and don’t believe in wasting.

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