Clary Sage – Salvia sclarea Life cycle: Biennial / Ease of propagation: Difficult / Hardiness zone: 5-9 Clary sage is an incredible plant with many edible, medicinal, and ornamental benefits, making it an essential herb in a permaculture homestead. A member of the salvia family, it is valued for its aromatic qualities. Clary sage’s medicinal values include treating disorders of the stomach and kidneys as well as digestive problems such as wind and indigestion. It is also a calming…###
Featuring a vintage-style camper, this item encompasses machine appliqué and a tiny bit of hand embroidery. The tire is a vintage button and a bead makes up the door handle. Prairie points, representative of a bunting, adds to the authenticity of the vintage camper feel. Colours: Shades of pink and white. Fully pre-washed to minimize shrinkage, this 100% cotton towel is made from both regular cotton and waffle weave cotton. The tea towel measures 16 inches (40.50 cm) wide by 22 inches…###
Contents: 0.15 Fluid Ounce. Free shipping in USA contiguous 48 states. Silver is a natural anti-microbial which kills bacteria, viruses, fungi/yeasts, molds and protozoa parasites to help prevent spoilage. The product shelf life is in excess of one year from the manufacturing date, which is the lot number on the label. So, it will last longer than typical lip balms. Our USA origin all-natural ingredients contain no GMO’s, synthetics or colorants: Safflower Oil, Bees Wax, Shea Butter,…###
Here it is at last… THE VENDOR FEATURE OF THE WEEK!!!!
Today, we’re going to ask a few questions to reflect the ethics and ideologies of one vendor at HSCO, B & G Handmade. You can also find them on steemit @bghandmade!
Building a community is about clear communication and the willingness to support one another. As Homesteaders Co-op grows, we must keep in mind that the complexity and diversity of its
moving parts may also expand, so here we are helping this free market
stay running smooth together.
We found it essential for the good of everyone to highlight
the vendors of the HSCO market place. Wouldn’t be nice to know the
individuals and families offering their goods and services a little more?
Every week vendors are featured on the web site. As a community, we thought that every week, we should feature these vendors here on the Steem blockchain (@HomesteadersCoop) to give everyone that much more exposure.
It takes a village to raise a child, because when people help eachother life is easier for everyone involved.
Without further ado, here are a few question I’ve conjured up… let’s meet b & g handmade:
SC: Looking at your website and the photos of your paper products, it looks like you really enjoy
creating it all. Can you tell us about your thinking process and what
kind of intentions do you put into it while you create? Feel free to talk about your seed product or any other things you are selling alongside those awesome paper goods, by the way.
B&G: That’s a very broad question 🙂 Probably
the answer is going to cover the second question as well! For our
handmade paper, our initial intention was to find a creative outlet for
all the paper scrap we produce in the daily job (a small self-owned ad
agency, specializing in printed media). Yearly we deliver to factory
recycling over a metric ton of paper scraps, but some are just too good
to dump down the processing line.
So we thought, what could be made to not just recycle this junk
paper, but add value as well, upcycle as the term goes. And stuff like
papier mache and collages really are not our type of work, what we like
is getting down to the basics and creating a simple product from
We really wanted to underline the message of turning scrap into something useful and beautiful at the same time. We make great effort to educate our
prospective clients, as well as try to set an example with our daily
life and work. Yes, our product costs more than conventional printed
materials, but it’s also “open source” and everyone can try and do it
himself if so inclined. There’s no secret process, no secret ingredient,
all the steps are described on our website and we also do regular
workshops and demos – the kids love those, by the way! So if there are
any homeschoolers out there or just partens on the lookout for a
creative project for the kids, try handmade paper!
That was 10+ years ago and in this period there have been changes to
our process and thinking, as well as general perception of the handmade
paper craft. What started as a free time experiment turned into a medium
volume paying hobby that allows Geri to continue to be a “stay at home
working mom” and take care of the kids as well as doing most of the
actual work on the handmade paper project. Bobby is managing the orders,
customers, design, shipping and provides the business point of view.
Most of our orders are local, from Bulgaria. We don’t have an exact
number, but we usually do about 5-10 international orders per year,
while we have several dozens of local ones.
Working mostly locally has the great benefit of being able to see and
talk to your customers before the actual order is made. This allows a
better expression of our passion for handmade and natural things and
often a live meeting is the decisive factor in placing the order.
Another nice side-effect of working a niche market is that most of our
potential customers are already at least partially “tuned” to that
natural vibe and it’s easier to find a common ground and language.
Oh and a few words about the seeds we’re selling on the HSCO. We’ve
never sold seeds before! It was actually our acceptance to the platform
and seeing what great diversity others are offering that inspired us and
gave us courage to offer a few humble seed products from our otherwise
extensive collection! We hope in time to offer more seeds – all are
grown by us in our small family garden! We really like the idea of
exchanging a virtual currency, something “non-existent” for a real,
living thing like a seed that can heal you, feed you, bring you joy. Our
first customer in the shop, @captainklaus – purchased exactly seeds, our black and white chickpea mix so that was very exciting!
SC: This next one may go hand in hand with
“intentions” but I would love to hear about the desired outcome you’re
looking for in selling handmade or hand-picked product. How are you
looking to connect with your customer base?
B&G: We feel that has already been answered in
the previous question, so probably you could bundle both together or
paraphrase them before posting?
SC: You defenitely have answered this in the first
question and thank you for that. Let’s just move on. I think we can all
agree that through all the pollution and destruction we create, we’ve
put ourselves on a dangerous path that could lead to human extinction if
we don’t change our current situation. Without getting political, can
you tell us your stance on “carbon footprint”? And if you don’t mind
talking about what you do to help reduce human impact, that would be
B&G: This one is going to be hard to answer
without getting political 😉 In our opinion, short of some cataclysm to
shake people awake from their delusional existence, human population in
general will just continue the current cycle of self destruction.
That does not mean we should just collectively despair and do
nothing. But we’re not fans of the line of thought that “if everybody
did their part we’ll be living in the garden of Eden”. People are also a
part of nature and as such, they operate with a massive inertia and
also by seeking the path of least resistance. You cannot just make
people compost if that’s an inconvenience to them. You have to make them want to compost as the compost is something they will need…
for their garden! Suddenly compost is not an inconvenience, it’s a money
So what we’re doing is trying to lead by example. We grow a part of
our food and most of our medicine. We spend as much time outdoors as
possible. We eat mainly home cooked food. Of course we compost and drive
a small old car, wear second hand, try to buy as few packaged goods as
possible, separate trash, we even collect kitchen scraps from friends
who live in the city and use those in the compost as well. Sure that
won’t make a planetary impact. But it makes us happy, does not
inconvenience us in the slightest and kids grow to be healthy in body
eating straight from the garden, as well as in spirit, as they learn to
marvel at Nature and respect and take care of her.
SC: You’ve mentioned before that at your day jobs,
you end up with lots of paper and that’s why the paper you make is 100%
recycled. Could you please go into details on how your work may be
harmoniously in balance with your environment?
B&G: We got a bit into that in question #1. When
working with printed media, off-cuts are a constant waste stream. And
while we send the majority of it to a paper recycling plant, we keep the
most interesting pieces for our handmade paper work.
We’re not really sure if there will ever be a way for any modern
“job” to be in balance with the environment… We’ll have to go back
10-15000 years back, back to our hunter-gatherer days and “roving
horticulturist” ways for that to happen. Still it’s our intention to
lower the impact we’re making, even if it’s a minute amount, compared to
the whole of humanity.
A small example is convincing a client to choose a factory recycled
media for printing this promotional flyer. Or if he insists on specialty
paper, propose a FSC certified one. Then use the off-cuts for making
handmade paper business cards. This way we not only complete the order
in a more environmentally friendly way, but we also use the by-product
for additional income.
SC: I am curious to know how Bulgaria generally
regards those who chose a more “earth friendly” responsible path like it
seems you have chosen. But more importantly, I would like to know what
are your feelings on encouraging and influencing neighbors to lead a
more environmentally friendly life?
B&G: We’ll have to give some background and
context first! In general, the land that Bulgaria as a country sits on
was a rural country and most of the population lived in small villages,
spread like a large network of communities. That lasted for at least a
few thousand years… So the people were in most regards self-sufficient
homesteaders, resilient, eco-conscious, organic, call them whatever
modern term you’d like 🙂
That changed in mid-20th century with the coming of the Communist
regime after the Second World War. A massive process of urbanisation
began. In those 60 years, living in a village became an slight insult,
similar to how “redneck” is perceived in the States. People flocked to
the towns and cities, to the factories of the regime and the industry.
After the end of the regime in the 90’s, the population’s general
attitude was split – some, especially the old timers, born before the
regime, bemoaned the destruction of the social fabric of the old time
villages and small resilient communities. Others, especially younger
people, just fled the country and did not look back. Those that remained
were generally sceptical or ignorant about the “earth friendly” ways as
you call them, because most struggle with daily life and making ends
However, compared to the western world and especially the States,
life here is much less wasteful and much more frugal. A few examples.
Eating out here is a privilege for the upper middle class and above.
Most of the families cook and eat homemade food with produce from our
alternative to a “farmers market”. Canning food is something most
families also do, even if they don’t have personal garden – they just
buy the produce and can everything, as there’s little trust in the
industrial food processes.
Many families have a “village home”, an old house usually inhabited
by retired grandparents taking care of a small garden, orchard, a flock
of birds, a pig or two, maybe a few goats or sheep, sometimes a cow or a
donkey. On weekends and school holidays families gather for communal
work in the family “ranch”.
Very few things get thrown away, most stuff gets repurposed or
reused. After all those years of YouTube videos we continue to marvel at
what things you guys in the States can find in a local dump! Only a
very wealthy nation can produce so much high quality “garbage” that it’s
not really garbage at all!
So to get back to the question, what we’re trying to do is lead by
example. Get in touch with the younger part of our social circle and let
them know what we’re doing and the life we’re trying to live. Help them
experience Nature more fully by introducing them to different plants,
especially medicinal so suddenly a picnic in the forest becomes a field
We also try to influence middle aged neighbours and friends and
relatives, who effectively spent almost their entire life under the
regime and have no knowledge or trust in the Old Ways. It’s a bit weird
to teach a granny how and more importantly why should she save seeds,
but that’s something we do nevertheless 🙂 We help with planning the
gardens, making compost, seed saving, we give plants and seeds as gifts,
we show how mulching works and we even introduced red wigglers to the
manure pile of a sheep farmer!
SC: You guys are just amazing. We are building a sustainability education center (a sort of community based on permaculture, natural building and low
cost living), and what you do is truly inspiring to me. There is in deed
so much to re-learn from our old ways in terms of waste and re-using…
the west sure has become a single-use culture and I think the one and
only real way to change that is to lead by example.
I want to express my gratitude to you for having spent a serious
amount of thought and time into your answers. I can honestly say that I
would like to meet you face to face one day.
Once again, thank you for taking that precious time out of your day to answer my crazy questions 😁!
As a gentle reminder to check them out, here’s the link to their shop on HSCO: B & G Handmade!
Thank you so much for reading and stay tuned for next week’s featured vendor… Same time, same place!
Welcome back to another newsletter and to all those who celebrate it, I hope you had a lovely Easter. Here in Australia, we have another public holiday coming up tomorrow, known as Anzac Day. It commemorates the fallen servicemen of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. I always find it interesting to learn about other cultures and countries’ special days and celebrations.
Things happening in the community.
@eco-alex has made the @ecotrain question of the week a four-part one. While this week’s has just been wrapped up, he gave us all a heads up for the next week already in this week’s post. Anyone can write a post for the #ecotraintag, you don’t have to be a passenger. The passengers and driver are there to support and interact on content which reflects the ethos of the Ecotrain. So feel free to join in and add your input to the challenge.
The @homesteaderscoop continues to grow, with more vendors and variety from across the globe. See some of the featured products here.
There are still a few more days for redfish to get a chance to win a 200 SP delegation for a month or SBI shares with this round of “For the Love of Comments.” Nominating redfish is also very much welcomed and encouraged.
@goldenoakfarm had me fascinated with a shadowbox project she is undertaking with her sister. This is something new to me, but I love the creativity of it.
This veggie scramble and sweet potato waffles looks so good I felt sure it would just be purchased waffles with the scramble added. Not so. @gringalicious gives us the full recipe! It looks ambitious, but I hope I can try it, or maybe convince my daughter to try it in her waffle maker.
Thank you for stopping by. This week’s newsletter was brought to you by @minismallholding.
Funny little bear for this pocket notebook! Blank journal with a print of my original illustration, it is totally handmade by me. A little journal that you can use to collect your notes and sketches.For the cover I printed one of my illustration on the cream cardboard. Printed using only original toner cartridges that guaranteed for the maximum quality print with impressive colours, on cardboard and hand cut by me.In the notebook there are 30 pages totally hand cut (30 pages front + 30…###
A bar of handmade vegan soap with a combination of Colloidal Oats, Almond Milk & Tea Tree essential oil with a hint of vanilla sugar. It is as close to all natural as you can get. The oats are soothing to dry skin, while the almond milk and the glycerin aid in keeping in moisture to help your skin to heal. This listing is for “One” Oatmeal Almond Milk and Tea Tree Oil Bar of Soap The soaps are hand cut and vary in weight, approximately 3 – 3.5 oz each. This smaller bar is the…###
This is the witch hazel extract I made and wrote about this late fall/early winter, using the twigs, flowers and leaves of the witch hazel bush that I planted in our front yard three years ago. I wrote two posts about the process, and about the many uses for and wonderful properties of witch hazel, which I will link to below. They are long, but contain a wealth of information, and I recommend reading them in their entirety. Witch hazel extract has become of those items that is a vital…###
It’s already over halfway through April! Doesn’t time fly? Homesteaders and gardeners are busy the world over as they are well into preparations for the new season. It’s been lovely to read about what everone’s up to.
Things happening in the community.
A couple of weeks ago @eco-alex announced that the @ecotrain would be getting back on the tracks. After a busy couple of weeks, the new passenger list has been announced and everything is back in motion to support those ecological posts on Steem. For more details on how this will work read his post here.
250 grams of organic purple garlic. Speak to me if you’d like more or less. Comes from an organic, chemical free garden. Perfect for Easter planting in Australia. Large cloves but have some small ones too at a discount/negotiable price. Shipping as per Australia Post.###
Read more about us, our process and products in the “About & How Its Made” sections of our store! ps: We love love working on custom orders! In fact, most of our work is local and 90% bespoke. So if you like this product, but want a variation – a different size or color or shape, let us know!###
The Q10 COENZIME is a strong antioxidant cosmetic active, recognized for the special protection it gives to the skin against premature aging. It limits the collagen degradation of the skin and reduces the depth of wrinkles. THE HYALURONIC ACID is a natural humectant, preserves the elasticity and the firmness of the skin, with its moisture retention properties, gives skin a softer feel, and more youthful appearance, being one of the best natural moisturizing components used in…###
A while back, quite a while back I am ashamed to say, I posted about what it means to be a homesteader and whether or not you are one and don’t even know it…. you can read about it here.
In that post, a comment from one of our vendors and fellow homesteader, @bobydimitrov a vendor behind @bghandmade said this:
What I’d really, really like to see is a follow-up post in your own context – which one of the points you can check off your list, your daily or seasonal life and more photos of what looks like a great garden!
I am going to try to answer that question over a few posts, in no particular order of the first post, but as I am able based on the seasons and when I can photograph what I need to for examples.
But firstly, I believe I also promised to introduce myself in this post.
Who is Thistle-Rock?
My real name is Heather. Hello there!
I chose to call myself @thistle-rock here on the Steem platforms as it incorporates two things I do. “Thistle” because of Thistleworks Designs, the name of my shop at Homesteaders Coop and under which I have always marketed much of my work, and “Rock” for some of the art I create under rockAdoodle Art.
My husband and I live in north central Canada on the border of the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
A little confusing to some, while we live in Saskatchewan, a province that does not follow Daylight Savings Time, but we and the two nearby communities actually follow Manitoba time because most of the population around these parts works in the Province of Manitoba, who does follow Daylight Savings Time. This makes for interesting travel scheduling and conversations with people in other provinces or around the world.
Winters here appear long, usually very cold with lots of snow, and summers short. I cannot say we have very noticeable Spring and Fall seasons because by the time the snow melts, summer heat is upon us, and the snow usually hits us again by October before all the leaves have fallen from the trees. All this makes for a very short growing season outside of a heated greenhouse if you are lucky enough to have one.
Our small acreage is mostly covered with pine, spruce, poplar, birch and willow trees. Our soil is mostly clay. We need to do a lot of soil amending if we want a decent garden, or build raised beds.
Sometimes raised beds seems easier because even though we have cleared land for gardening, the roots of the poplar trees spread far and long and make hard work for tilling.
As our home is situated on the lake shore of a small lake, we draw our own source of water with a pump system (I will show that in another post in the future). We have beautiful clear water. A filter system within the house allows us to utilize the water for drinking and cooking with no chemicals required.
We do not live off-grid, and are fortunate to have power right to our house, we are not without basic necessities unless the power goes out. If the power should go out, this of course affects our ability to get our water which requires our electric pump, and also means we cannot flush toilets or run water during that time. Our heat is forced air, with a wood stove for backup or secondary heat source.
We try to follow a lifestyle which includes, as much as possible, zero waste, recycle, reuse, refurbish, and repurpose. I am saddened with how much waste the human race produces. The only thing I can do about it is to live a lifestyle of which I feel I am doing as little harm as I can upon the land we have been granted use of for the time we are here, and to share what I learn with others.
We try to grow our own produce, canning, preserving and freezing for future use. We make things we need when we are able, which may include tools, clothing, food, home decor and craft supplies.
Self-sufficiency with as little reliability on others as possible is a motto of our life. Sharing when we can our abundance of food or our talents and skills, and helping out our neighbours when needed.
I love the life we live, it suits my personality… I can’t imagine life any other way.
I’d love for you to follow along as I attempt to show you a few things we have done which allows us to live the life of a homesteader. Perhaps you will find some things of interest that will change the way you live too, perhaps you are a homesteader yourself and didn’t even know it!
My name is Daron and along with my wife I run the website Wild Homesteading and I post here on the steem blockchain Monday through Friday. Generally, my posts focus on what I call wild homesteading which is homesteading that is focused on working with nature.
My family and I live on a small homestead on just under 3 acres of land outside of Olympia Washington at the south end of the Puget Sound about a 2 hour drive south of Seattle. Our homestead is called the Wild Ride Homestead and we came up with that name because at times our life has seemed like a wild ride.
From living in England for a year, living on opposite sides of the state from each other in order for one of us to keep a good job while the other went to school, studying sustainability in Fiji, and raising a family… it sure has been a wild ride.
But now we are settled on our Wild Ride Homestead. Which does not mean the ride is over. There are always new projects and challenges to overcome as a homesteader!
Homesteading has been a dream for us since before we were married almost 10 years ago. But we are also very focused on supporting our local environment and creating a space for wildlife. Wild homesteading is our attempt to create a life that supports both our homesteading and environmental goals and values.
I truly believe that by fully integrating the natural world with homesteading you can achieve a more resilient life that is truly free from reliance on unsustainable inputs. Nature can be your best homesteading partner if you let it.
Monthly Homesteading and Business Advice Newsletter
So, what will I be writing about in my monthly Wild Homesteading and Business Advice Newsletter? Well the name kinda speaks for itself but here are some details.
The wild homesteading posts will be similar to what I’m writing on my own blog but with more focus on how working with nature can result in more freedom (time, food, financial, etc.) for you and your family.
Once in a while I will write business advice posts that will hopefully help you run a successful online business. Much of this advice will focus around what is working (and not working) in my own online business. These posts will also be tailored to the awesome @homesteaderscoop vendors but anyone with an online business or wanting to start one should get value from these posts.
My own business is only in its 5th month but during that time I have built an email list of just over 360 people and so far this month I have had almost 200 people visiting my site from search traffic (google, bing, etc.) alone. Last month in total I had over 1,700 unique people visit my site. In terms of getting traffic and building an email list I think things are going good for just being 5 months in!
I have been studying content marketing for a couple years now on a weekly basis and I’m happy to share what I have learned.
Thank You All!
So, I think that covers everything—I’m looking forward to contributing on a regular basis to @homesteaderscoop. The community here on the steem blockchain is really awesome and has really helped me get started. I’m hoping that by writing this monthly newsletter that I can start giving back to you all.
Also, each one of my posts on @homesteaderscoop will end with a call for topic ideas that fit within either wild homesteading or business advice.
So… what would you like to see me write about in my first full post? Please leave a comment with your idea.
Welcome back to another week of homesteading and natural goings-on.
Things happening in the community.
It’s been a busy week for me with decorating, a daughter’s 18th birthday and a 16th to come in a month. So when @riverflows announced that @naturalmedicine is adding Mindful Life,
which will focus on meditation and yoga, it’s like she was trying to
tell me something…again. You can also find more on it in @riverflow‘s post here. The @naturalmedicinecuration post is up again for their favourite natural healing picks and a reminder that the plant
medicine challenge still has another week to go, if you want to get
your entries in for it.
I’m not normally one to promote myself, but I think this is more
important than me. Do you have under 500 SP, or do you know someone who
is still a redfish, and would benefit from a 200 SP delegation for a
month? If so, pop over to the latest For the Love of Comments competition and add your comment to be in the running for the delegation and @steembasicincome shares. The competition still has a couple of days left to run and not many entries yet.
As always I hope the community can give them all a big welcome.
If you’re new here and feel like you’re struggling to fit in or get
noticed, then please reach out and talk to people. Often, when we get
busy, we won’t get around to reaching everyone and it helps to remind us
Growing food year-round can be a challenge in some areas, so I’m
always impressed by those indoor gardeners who have so much success. @r2cornell tells us a bit about his take on growing food in containers and his pictures show some tasty successes!
Two aprons in one! This item is totally reversible and suitable for either girls or boys. Made from 100% pre-washed quality cotton to minimize shrinkage, this reversible apron features double stitching around the pockets and perimeter of the apron. Straps and ties also feature extra reinforced stitching. Two pockets on the solid side, which is embellished with the same fabric from the print side to blend the whole thing together. Straps and ties show the reverse fabric on each…###
Hydrastis Canadensis Known by many other names (yellow pucoon, golden root…) goldenseal root has long been a favored medicine of North America. It has been used for countless generations by many indigenous people for a wide variety of conditions. Goldenseal has been primarily known for its antibiotic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti cancer activities. Scientific studies have linked these effects to the presence of berberine and hyrdrastine. Goldenseal has been used externally as…###
Discover everything you need to know about raising chickens in this informative, light hearted book about raising chickens. Take control of your food supply and enjoy the quality and convenience that comes with raising your own flock. Learn about coop design, breed selection, feed options, eggs and much more. Chock full of practical facts and personal anecdotes from a down to earth chicken keeper, it’s an easy read. Sometimes funny or sad, always practical, this book is the only one you’ll…###