Dayton Thrifty Family

Urban Homesteading in Dayton, Ohio

On The Homestead!

As part of my revamp, I am thrilled to post that we have our acre of heaven! So far we have chickens, and a very nice sized garden! I am hoping to get meat birds within the month.

These are the "middle hens" as they are called on the farm. They are all feathered now and ready to play in the big coop! Hopefully they will be laying late summer into early fall. Farm fresh eggs can't be beat!

There are some vegetables that really love to grow in my garden. Squash is one of those vegetables! Luckily I found a recipe for "Zoodles" and am now anxiously awaiting these blossoms to turn into delicious veggie noodles!

 

Onions are also a staple in the garden. Our family of four goes through about four onions a week!

 

Winterize  Your Homestead

The crisp air has rolled in, and it has me thinking about winterizing the house. There are as many things to do to the house in the Fall, as there are things to do in the garden in the Spring. Here is a quick check list of ways to be prepared for Winter!

1.  New furnace filter - Haven't thought about the furnace in a while have you! I HATE the way the furnace smells when you have to click it on during that first frigid day. It's like burning dust, disgusting. Be sure to start off your furnace prep by replacing your filter!

2. Clean vents -  If you have animals in the house, no doubt hair has gotten into the vents! Be sure to clean the exterior as well as the INTERIOR of the vents! You may have to hire someone for this. I prefer to do it myself, but I have easy access to my furnace vents as we have a small house.

3. Test your heater -  Check to see that things are in working order, and turn it on about 80 just to get it kicked on and blowing. You should feel hot air in a few seconds.  If you have a gas heater, be sure to replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector.

4. Remove and store AC, or cover AC -  If you have an outside unit, be sure to cover it and preform the proper maintenance! If you have a window unit, remove it, clean it well, and store it safely

5. Turn off outside water from inside Any external faucets that you have hooked to city water need to be shut off from inside if possible, and drained!

6.Divert water reclamation - If your water barrels have a diverter, either remove it, and put a short patch of down spout in place, or plug the hole to your barrel. Each system is different, but freezing water in your reclamation system can ruin your barrels! 

7. Insulate hot water heater - Home repair stores sell water heater blankets for around $20, you can just leave it on year round, but it is extra important in the winter!

8. Rope calk windows - if your windows leak, fix them. Rope calk works well, You can locate leaks with your hand, or a extinguished match or incense. If the smoke goes anywhere other than up, you have a leak. You can simply press rope calk into the gaps. It doesn't interfere with the incoming sunlight like plastic. If you only have single pane windows, you may consider plastic wrap.

9. Weatherstripping on doors all around the top, sides and bottom need to be a tight seal!A rolled blanket at the foot of the door is a good stop gap (haha, what a pun) but unless you like moving rolls of blankets every time you come or go, you need to install weatherstripping. 

10. Clean gutters -  Leaves weight a ton, wet leaves weigh even more, frozen leaves will rip the gutters off your house, then it will thaw and leak into your house damaging your walls. Just clean your gutters!

11. Check roof flashing -  while you are on the roof cleaning your gutters, check your roof for damaged shingles, and check the flashing, make any repairs that are necessary!

12. Stain and seal deck If you added anything wooden, now is the time to make sure you have it stained, sealed and ready for snow and ice! Plus it will look good! 

September is Emergency Preparedness Month

I am an American by birth, when I was 17 on September 11th, 2001 I was in an English class when our Government teacher burst in, announced "they got the Pentagon" and turned on the T.V. I assumed he was talking about some boring government teacher politics topic, possibly aliens, he is an eccentric man. I never thought he meant planes. I'm sure you remember where you were too.

My family has always been prepared for a lot of events. Growing up LDS, we had a food storage. My father was a Scout Master, and we are just as at home in the woods as the living room. Since that day in high school, I have tried to be more vigilant about making sure I keep my skills sharp and my literal bags packed.  I use 9/11 as the day to refocus my efforts in being prepared for a disaster.

It doesn't always take an attack to define an emergency. It could be a personal emergency, like a job loss. A family 'emergency' like the early arrival of a baby. Or a local emergency like a power outage. Remember Ike in September of 2008 Daytonians? We were without power here for 8 days!

I encourage you to review your emergency plans as well!

Cloth Diapering

Currently using Green Mountain Diaper Infant prefolds with small thirsties covers. Thrifty Dad uses Medium Thirsties All-in-ones.  Check out Thrifty Kids for more on this!