Monday, April 4, 2016

We've Moved

Cavegirl Homestead has moved to Nysia's Homestead Journey!

Check out all our NEW posts and let me know what you think of the new look!

Don't forget to forward our posts to all your friends! :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Angelica's Trip to Europe!

Angelica has been invited by the People to People Student Ambassador Program to participate in a once in a lifetime trip to London and Paris!

Please read her letter and if you can help please use the paypal donation link below (please be aware that paypal will assess a 3% surcharge on every donation which is taken from the donation amount) or shoot me an message here and I can send you our address.

Dear Family and Friends,
I have been invited to go on an educational trip this next summer to Europe for 14 days as a People to People Student Ambassador. I am trying to raise 6,000 dollars (the cost of the trip).
If I go I will get to see Stonehenge, go on the London Eye,  visit Buckingham Palace, go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, visit the Arc de Triomphe, visit the Louvre, and much more. I want to go because I think it will be a good experience to learn about the different cultures. I also want to go because I would like to learn about the history of the area.
On the trip I hope to develop leadership skills and broaden my thinking about the world. Going on the trip will also help me in school. it can help get me into a collage and if I write essays about my trip or make presentations I can earn 120 hours of high school credit. If you can please send donations. Every bit counts.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Local Gems - Soil Born Farms

Soil Born Farms is a local farm nestled in the middle of the city of Rancho Cordova. Started in 2000 when two ambition but inexperienced organic farmers received permission from the landowner to farm her property in exchange for produce.

Currently they produce food for local purchase and to provide food for Loaves and Fishes, and other charities. They have apprenticeships which teach organic farming as well as numerous classes in various scales of farming, processing and utilizing the fruits of their labors and how to run your own small farm.

"The goal of the apprenticeship program at Soil Born Farms is to provide a training ground for aspiring farmers by teaching the basic concepts and practical applications of organic food production. It is also our goal to teach Apprentices to use agriculture as a platform to see how food systems tie into the larger social issues of food security, social justice, and public health."

Events and Class Schedule

I have personally taken several classes on the farm and have yet to be disappointed in the knowledge and friendliness of the staff and instructors there.

"This beginning farmer and gardener training program designed to provide knowledge and hands-on experience to the aspiring urban grower."

2140 Chase Dr, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
(916) 363-9685

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

Friday, July 18, 2014

Herbal Glossary

relieves pain
Antioxidantprevents the production of harmful oxygen radicals. An antioxidant is an agent that inhibits or retards the oxidation of substances to which it is added.
AntisepticAn Antiseptic substance inhibits the growth and reproduction of micro-organisms. Antiseptic substances prevents putrefaction and infection. Generally speaking, an antiseptic substance is less effective than antibiotic substances in destroying specific bacteria but less invasive with generally less side effects.
AntispasmodicA substance that prevents or eases smooth muscle spasms. Examples of smooth muscle spasms are Digestive system spasms, Uterus spasms and Urinary tract spasms. (AKA Spasmolytic.)
Antiviral:Destructive to viruses. A substance that destroys or inhibits viruses in many ways. Evidence of antiviral properties in alternative (herbal and other) medicine is often anecdotal (as it is in conventional medicine) and not fully substantiated.
Carminative: A substance that relieves flatulence and abdominal distension. For the relief of discomfort and pain (cramps) associated with excessive build up of abdominal gas. It could also relieve gaseous distention of the abdomen and related painful spasms.
Cephalic: A substance that stimulates and clears the mind.
Diaphoreticpromotes perspiration (sweating)
Digestiveaids in the digestive process
DiureticCauses urine production. Release of water via urine.
Emmenagogue:Stimulates menstrual flow.
Expectorant:promotes the ejection of mucus (and other substances) from the lungs and other airways. Expectorants achieve this by reducing the viscosity of pulmonary secretions or by weakening the bond of these secretions to the walls of the lower respiratory tract.
Nervine:A nerve tonic, a medicine that acts therapeutically upon the nerves, particularly in the sense of a sedative that serves to calm ruffled nerves.
Sedative:a substance that has a calming effect, reducing nervous excitement. Sedatives calm, reduce irritability and reduce activity of some or all of the body's organs. Not all substances have the same sedative effect some affect specific organs while not calming others and often affect different people in different ways.
Spasmolyticable to relieve spasm of smooth muscle
Tonic:A general term that describes a substance that induces a feeling of well being to the body.
Vasodilator:gents that act as blood vessel dilators (vasodilators) and open vessels by relaxing their muscular walls.
Vulnerary: aid the healing of wounds (arrests bleeding and prevents tissue degeneration)

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Garden Goes In - Part 2

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul." ~ Alfred Austin

There is an art to gardening that I feel surpasses my understanding... When I go to a museum, I don't sit and stare at any one thing for hours basking in the nuances of color, texture, medium, canvas, or stroke.... I look at something, determine almost immediately whether I like it or not, and unless there is something immensely interesting about it, I tend to move on in about 15 minutes or so.  I am not artistic or creative, and I rarely have the time or patience for detailed work.  When it comes to gardening, the plants either get tough or die...

That being said, I know the basics... plants like to be planted at certain times of the year, and "x" number of inches apart, etc. Armed with my handy dandy planting schedule specific for my area, because I am not clever enough or determined enough to pour through endless info about "zones" for each plant, etc. (just did an internet search and a few came up, so try that if you don't have one for your own area) I dug through the many different kinds of seeds I had purchased over the years, or received from my mother in law who had a seed of the month club.

Now remember when I said that while I am trying to get my life to as natural a state as possible, I don't always have the money or time to go around hunting for and purchasing organic everything... The same can be said for my seeds... these are things I already had and I don't waste much, however if you are just starting out I highly recommend looking for non-GMO seeds, and heirloom/organic seeds whenever possible. I do believe that these will yield higher quality and better for your foods, even though anything you grow at home yourself is already heaps better than anything you will buy in the supermarket, labeled organic or not.

According to my planting schedule, the only plants that should be planted in our area at this exact time of year (2nd half of July) is head lettuce... I have two varieties of old seeds which will probably not sprout, and one variety from my MIL that is new and should produce fine.  I have about 2 more weeks before the next seeds should go in the ground, and about 2 weeks (10-14 days) for the lettuce to spout, so whatever doesn't come up by then will get replaces with new crops... I figure that worked itself out nicely and I didn't even plan it that way! :)

Angel and I then planted several other plants using old seed start containers and egg cartons... We have carrots, beets, chard, kale, one butternut squash, and broccoli.

In a couple of weeks I will post about how the lettuce did, and how our transplants are coming along... I will also have other seeds to put in the ground... radishes, turnips, potatos, onions, and more...


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Finally... the Garden goes in - Post #1

"There are blessings in being close to the soil, in raising your own food even if it is only a garden in your yard and a fruit tree or two. Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of food because of their foresight and ability to produce their own." ~ Ezra Taft Benson

Finally started the garden this morning!! :)  Actually we built the boxes several months ago, but as with most of our projects life and distractions usually have us sidetracked. The boxes were built simply from scrap plywood and 2x4s in roughly 4x4 squars.  We wanted them tall to minimize bending over and crawling on hands and knees and also in an attempt to keep the crabgrass from completely taking over the soil.  

We have 4 of these larger squares and then set up one to be longer and lengthwise for the tomatoes so as to take full advantage of the full sun this area receives all day long.  In order to save money on soil, we had two strategies.  One was to fill the bottom of the planter boxes with straw bails.

Side note on straw bails... do NOT make the mistake of asking for hay bails.. they cost more than twice as much.  I found this out the hard way.  Our wedding was cowboy themed and our reception hall was to be decorated with straw bails. I had purchased them before to decorate for a Halloween party one time and they cost around $5 per bail, when I called for the wedding I accidentally asked for hay bails and they wanted $20+ per bail!!! I was in a panic because I didn't want to spend that much, even though I new I would be using it in the chicken coop later. I couldn't understand the huge difference, and it took a couple of phone calls before one of the vendors finally asked me what I wanted it for and kindly told me that I wanted STRAW bails not hay bails. :) It still makes Caveman laugh to this day because I didn't know there was a difference.

Another way we were going to save money and a reason why it took so long, was that Caveman had planned to buy the soil at a discount from a local company by a truckload full instead of spending more than double to buy bags from the store. While waiting on soil the sink in our kitchen began to leak something awful every time we ran the faucet and I got tired of treading on water puddles whenever the kids finished loading the dishwasher.  

Instead of putting a nice new sink in our crummy old counter, we began work on the kitchen remodel we had put off for 6 years.  Several weeks into that project and I really had no hand in it myself, so I told Caveman I was just going to buy enough dirt to fill one box so I could get SOMETHING of a garden started... Well as usually happens when I say I want to do something contrary to what Caveman had planned, things start moving forward! ha!

Here is our lovely pile of soil compost with two of our more lovely children industriously shoveling wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow load of the stuff and we dumped it into the first box.

We made the mistake of filling the first box without wetting any of the layers of soil... so learn from that mistake, because once we got it full it took allot of effort and mixing to get the water to sink in and drain properly. Rather it floated on the top for a bit and my son had to stab and stir the soil with a rank handle.

After that first box, I decided to water each layer of soil as they went into the boxes and that worked out much better. Caveman and my son raked out the layers as they went in and mixed the soil to get it all nice and moist and ready to take seeds and plants.

Actually, my sons fancies himself more of a supervisor, but he still did an exceptional amount of work. :) Everyone did so much work this morning.  It was really gratifying working along side my children and husband getting something accomplished together as a family that will benefit us all.

So, there you have it!  Garden soil is in and ready to go.  Going to plant some seeds tonight and see what we can still get out of this summer and looking forward to trying some winter crops.  If you have a home garden or small farm plot, please post your comments, and ideas below! :) Part 2 - The Planting coming soon!

"If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Homemade Natural Deodorant Sticks!

 The Ingredients:


I have a dedicated quart jar that I use as a makeshift double boiler.  That way I don't have to worry about messing up a good pot (mainly a problem when using Zinc for sunscreen), and I don't have to wash it because most ingredients for making lotions and bars are the same.  

So.. placing the jar in a pot with about an inch of water, add the beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil and heat until completely melted. Stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly so as not to kill the probiotics when added.  

Add cornstarch, baking soda, probiotics, and any essential oils your using. (you can open the probiotics capsules by gently pinching and twisting apart the two haves of the capsule.)

Mix well.

Quickly poor/spoon mixture into molds or deodorant stick containers. Allow to cool for several hours before using.

Recipe as listed above made 4 sticks and a little extra. The sticks stay molded, but they will not be as solid as store bought deodorant.  You will need to only push up as much as you plan to use.

Purpose behind ingredients and Why it works!

Body odor is caused by bacteria which grows in the moist areas such as your under arms.
  • Both coconut oil and the essential oils suggested have natural antibacterial qualities which keep these little buggers from growing and smelling.  
  • The essential oils also have a pleasant smell that is good in and of itself. :)
  • Baking soda neutralizes the acids produced by the bacteria and help to maintain a normal PH under our arms which also controls smell
  • Corn Starch or Arrowroot powder (or other starch) absorbs sweat as well as the toxins that exit your body in your sweat.
  • Probiotics create a balance of beneficial bacteria to the body odor causing bacteria and help to maintain your body ph.
  • Shea butter and beeswax help create the solid deodorant form.

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c