Birdwatching…Beginning

Neither my wife nor I have been birdwatchers…until this morning. She noticed several beautiful birds in the tree outside our kitchen window. We don’t know what type of bird they are. Like I said, we are new to this. Nonetheless, we are interested, and we are becoming birdwatchers. So, here is our first foray. Anyone know what it is?

My wife took the pictures. She was so excited.

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Growing Playlists of Videos On Our YouTube Channel

I’ve been gathering onto our YouTube channel a great selection of homestead-related videos from across the YouTube world. I realize one can search directly on YouTube for these. However, I find it easier to have many of them on one site…thus our YouTube channel. Eventually, I will be uploading some homemade videos too.

So far, I have selected over 120 videos. Here are the playlists on the channel so far.

  • Canning
Learn how to can food, so you have real healthy food in your pantry to last you all year.
  • Construction Methods
If you are inclined to make a go at building your own home, here are some different methods to consider.
  • Contraptions & Art
I have a fondness for finely crafted unique wooden creations. Here are some great ones, along with other fascinating pieces.
  • The Good Life
It’s a must visit for anyone interested in British sitcom. On his 40th birthday to be precise, Tom Good decides that he’s had enough of the rat race and that he and wife Barbara will become self-sufficient.
  • Homemade Toys
A topic dear to my heart and my children’s hands. Here are some wonderful examples of homemade toys. Also of note here, are discussions of important legislation and the efforts of the Handmade Toy Alliance.
  • Homestead Inspirations
Seeing others’ homesteading efforts is inspirational and informative.
  • More Homestead DIY Skills, Tools, & Tech
There are so many skills to learn and enjoy. We are capable of doing so much for ourselves. Often it is more fulfilling than paying someone else to do it.
  • Real Food versus GMO
If we don’t take back control of our food supply we and future generations will suffer the loss of food diversity, our health, and personal independence. Find out what really is going on behind the scenes in our food supply.

Video series on Canning added to our YouTube channel

I just added a well done six part series to our YouTube channel. The series goes step-by-step through the whole process of canning food. I haven’t done any canning yet, but I plan to do much canning come Spring harvest. Here is the first clip in the series.

The full series can be seen here on our YouTube Channel.

GMO=bad

Genetic engineering: The world’s greatest scam?

The Good Life show from BBC Says What I Want To Say

I just came across a television series from the BBC called “The Good Life”. It ran from 1975 to 1978. It starred Felicity Kendal, Penelope Keith, Paul Eddington, Richard Briers, and Reginald Marsh.

Here is what the BBC has to say about the show.

…On his 40th birthday to be precise, Tom Good decides that he’s had enough of the rat race and that he and wife Barbara will become self-sufficient.

Tom and Barbara

The pair convert their garden into a farm, get in the pigs and chickens, grow their own crops and on one memorable occasion, try to dye their own wool with nettles.

Tom and Barbara would just be lone loons were it not for their neighbours, the henpecked Jerry Leadbetter and wife Margot, a social climber who cannot bear chickens wandering the back garden.

Margo and Jerry

The Good Life attacked the middle class and the ‘alternative’ lifestyle at once, showing Margot’s snobbishness as blindness, and Tom’s fanatical self-sufficiency as going too far.

I’ve watched only the first episode, but it spoke to me and made me laugh out loud. Toward the end of the episode, Tom Good  makes the case to his wife. I thought, that’s me. That’s the ‘it’ I am looking for too.

I highly recommend watching at least the entirety of the first episode which can been seen here, in three parts.

Episode 1, part 1

Episode 1, part 2

Episode 1, part 3

It also is on the Going Homestead YouTube channel here.

A Case for Returning to Homegrown Heirloom Organic Foods

nutrientdecline

Here is the complete article in pdf.

nutrient_decline

Heirloom organic fruits and vegetables generally are more nutritious and more flavorful. Additionally, there is a huge variety in nearly every type of fruit or vegetable that isn’t to be found on grocery store shelves. By leaving food production to corporations and retail entities who, compared to what is available to the independent home grower of today, offer a narrow range of choices due to logistical considerations and profit-driven motives, people are missing out on the wonderful selection of foods available in nature.

If you are looking for more choices, consider Seed Savers Exchange, for example. They offer 25,000 different seed varieties. Why not grow your own? It isn’t terribly hard.

Homeschooling, Unschooling, Lifelong Learning?

booktreasure

We have one child in a private school and two younger kids not yet in school. I went to public school, for better or worse. Looking back, I think I learned more on my own and through interactions with my friends and family than I did in school, though it is difficult to measure such things. As I incline toward a life and a philosophy of homesteading, I find myself more frequently pondering how people learn and what makes a good education.

We have opted for a religious classical private school for our first child’s kindergarten year. Thusfar we are quite happy with our choice. Most days he enjoys school. He has new friends, and respect for his teacher. He exhibits a seemingly exponential rate of growth in his knowledge, including vocabulary, reading, and the general capacity to think more deeply about matters. I do not have a chart or gauge against which he must perform, in terms of learning. However, I do review his work and assess generally his abilities and his outlook on learning. At this point, my main hopes for his first year of school are that he learns to read, to perform fundamental mathematics, to wield a general familiarity with a broad array of concepts, to develop good social skills, and most importantly to develop a healthy and fertile appreciation for the wonders of learning and of how knowledge makes ones life a richer experience. He’s well on his way.

With two more kids in pocket, I look down the road… Will all three go to the school our first now is attending? Will we try our hand at homeschooling? Is unschooling too unstructured? What is most important in life? How can we aid our children to grow to adulthood with ample knowledge and confidence to be happy, secure, and good people? These are large questions, some of which are open-ended.  There are many pieces to this puzzle.

Certainly some of the most fundamental building blocks for our children will be the love and security they feel at home, the moral compass each will hold by knowing God as the fixed point by which to navigate through life, and the appreciation of learning as the key to the joyful treasure that is the creation and the yet to be created.

Ultimately, our children will learn and develop under every circumstance, for good or bad. As parents, we have the privilege of providing them with opportunities, conversations, and examples to be emulated. So, we will share with our children what we know, what we love, and how they can pursue their own interests. We will advise them that the possibilities are without limits, and that hard work’s rewards are worth the effort.

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