PPM Silver Cosmetics – high silver concentration cosmetics, including Smart Colloidal Silver

@ppmsilver is one of Homesteaders Co-op newest vendors and also relatively new to steem. Their new business is centered around offering high quality Colloidal Silver products which among many other benefits, is well reputed as a strong anti-microbial.

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I know from speaking with @ppmsilver that they, as a family, are dedicated to sustainability in their lives which is apparent in their decision to homestead, raise bees, chickens, gardening, and fishing. They buy and barter as much as possible in their local community.

@ppmsilver now accepts STEEM, SBD and USD for Colloidal Silver products. They are offering a 10% discount for products purchased in STEEM or SBD.

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In their own words (borrowed from their Homesteaders Co-op store):

In late 2014, we began creating the process and apparatus to make real colloidal silver we could use around our northeast Oklahoma homestead. Our manufacturing process soon advanced beyond anything else we knew of. I partially retired in mid-2016, limiting my work to part-time consulting, so I could allow more time to further improve our colloidal silver manufacturing method. We continued to refine the process over the next two years, ultimately producing over a hundred test lots. The resulting colloidal silver was as good or better than anything else available, in terms of quality—smaller in particle size and higher in concentration.

During the development, family and friends found additional uses for our colloidal silver, and they began encouraging us to sell it. In mid-2018, we decided to scale up the manufacturing process to support sales for household and cosmetic uses. Smart Colloidal Silver was born.

You can browse @ppmsilver‘s products at: Homesteaders Co-op

@ppmsilver is based out of Oklahoma, United States and ships within United States. (Homesteaders Co-op is an international marketplace)

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Learn more about PPM Silver Cosmetics and browse their products: https://homesteaderscoop.com/store/ppm-silver-cosmetics/

Challenge Winners: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why?

I was really delightfully surprised to see how many people came out to chime in with their thoughts on the Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why? With this amount of interest I am inspired to open up new challenges from time to time around the theme of freedom and resilience.

I sure did learn a lot and came away very inspired to see real examples of what can be done to accomplish food sovereignty for families and communities with a good plan, some hard work and a lot of love.

Incredible! We had 12 entries sharing lots of wisdom and inspiration about food sovereignty.

It was extra hard to choose the winners of this contest because there were so many amazing entries!! But alas I narrowed it down to the following three:


1st Place: @wildhomesteading

Your post My Response to – Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why? was really telling of your knowledge, hard work to build food sovereignty for your family, and your willingness and dedication to invite your local community to learn with you, as well as dedicating yourself to teaching online. I’ve transferred your 10 STEEM winnings to your wallet. Congratulations!

One of my current sites used to be a homestead but was abandoned years ago – now I’m restoring it for wildlife habitat. But there are a lot of old and amazing fruit trees growing wild on the property. The above picture is one of these trees.

This site will be opened to the public in the future as part of what we are calling the Inspiring Kids Preserve. It will be a place for kids, families and the community in general to come and learn and reconnect with nature.

But I also want them to connect with the idea of growing their own food.

So to help with that we have teamed up with a local fruit tree group to run free workshops to teach people how to prune and take care of their own fruit trees by practicing on our wild fruit trees.

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2nd Place: @ligayagardener

You really outdid yourself with two entries to this challenge! Part 1 and Part 2. Number of entries aside, your dedication to your family’s food soveriengty is impressive. Supporting already 60% of your family’s diet, despite a small growing space, and increasing every year is quite a feat. I was especially impressed by your willingness to share your time with your community to build spaces to share food, knowledge, inspiration and community resilience. Great going @ligayagardener! I’ve transferred your 5 STEEM winnings to your wallet. Congratulations!

I got the first ‘Grow Free’ cart established in Gawler and that lead to 4 more being started These carts are part of a rapidly growing movement and are for folks to leave and take produce as needed. If you have surplus, you leave it. If you are in need, you take. It’s a really simple Idea that works.

We are part of the local Saturday morning food share. This is where like minded folk catch up every week or when they can and we swap and give any excess from our gardens. Really, anything garden related is OK at these swaps.

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Until last year, when the trees weren’t big enough, we got about 20% of our food needs from the garden, mostly through annual plants . This year, it’s about 60% as the trees and bushes are beginning to yield and we have made the small, experimental aquaponics system into a big one. Even with the big extension to the aquaponics, that only adds a bit less than 10 square metres to the equation but it does allow paved and fence space to by utilized.

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3nd Place: @riverflows

I was personally really drawn to your post A Revolution in Dirt and Seeds: Answering @Sagescrub’s Challenge on What We Can Do to Increase Our Food Sovereignty, but I also believe your words have the potential to inform and inspire many others. I appreciated the bit of history and culture that you opened with. It was really beautiful to know how you have generously shared your time and effort with your community to inspire and empower them to garden for community resilience. Great work @riverflows! I’ve transferred your 5 STEEM winnings to your wallet. Congratulations!

I live in a rural area that was once a big wool production area and at the edge of a wheatbelt too. There’s a lot of farming folk around here, but there’s also a lot of people with small acreages or at least big blocks of land where they have the capability of growing food for their own table. It’s been fantastic to share inspiration, seeds, plants and knowledge, and we’ve been having monthly food swaps. So succesful has this been that the town over from us has started their own group and also do swap meets, and many members are in both groups.

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Keep scrolling for the rest of the wonderful entries to this challenge. Thank you everyone for contributing your time and thoughts on this subject!


FOOD SOVEREIGNTY – WHAT IT MEANS TO ME

by @papa-pepper

After some reflection and contemplation, I decided to record an attempt at a coherent ramble, so hopefully it worked and people will understand what I’m up to and why. Basically, I believe that there is much wisdom in taking control of things as precious as your own food supply, and much of what is considered to be “food” is becoming increasingly compromised. Here, we want to first of all do it ourselves, and in the process, encourage, inspire, educate, and equip others to do the same. (I cover more in the vlog below.)

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Food sovereignty, how we participate.

by @warfsterveld

Now after years of trial, error and lots of learning we grow most of our food ourselfs. Still there is always more knowlegde and skills out there and that is a great asset as well. Once you’ve grown that tomato plant you will eat so much that you don’t know what to do with it anymore. That is when you start you first skill: canning. Nowadays besides canning we also make bread and cheese quite regularly. However my favorite crop of all remains the potato.

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Eco-$aver Potlucks

by @eco-locals.com

Our food is a primordial connection to all things. It is one of our biggest expenses and can be a huge stress on our health, environment and quality of life. Let’s use these insights to build stronger and greener communities. Here’s how it works. Find a few friends, the more the better.

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Is Food Sovereignty Possible in a Harsh Climate?

by @minismallholding

At the moment we have mains water and access to chicken feed. We are able to supply ourselves with eggs, most of our fruit and vegetables when in season and some meat. All our herbs come from the garden and excess is shared with neighbours. It’s not much, but it is a way of reaching out to the community and making those connections. For such an introvert, I was actually quite surprised to realise that I now know more of the people on our street than some of our chattier neighbours.

Community is essential when things get hard so cultivating that is important for me. Most of my neighbours aren’t particularly interested in growing their own food, but the fact that we are doing it has started a seed of thought within some of them.

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A Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why? My Response…

by @porters

We have coal oil lamps and the oil to go in it plus we do have a small solar system set up on our camperized van which we could bring to the house if needed.
Sad to say, but we have prepared for the internet no longer being available, which it very well could be, with a good library of books and music plus a tight local community.

We have a good supply of grains and seeds, pulses and rice in a storage room that keeps cool and dry.
We know how to cook things from scratch, can and preserve our foods and have a diet that we are happy with and are not reliant on the stores to maintain it.

This past year we took our gardening one step further and began our indoor gardening project.

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The (non)Violent Gardener: My Feeble Attempts at Food Sovreignty

by @nateonsteemit

Our efforts here to establish our own food forest and a tree-guild-based sharing garden are just the start. A big part of the sharing garden is going to be my marketing attempts to spread information about permaculture and home food production to everyone I am blessed enough to serve. When people come to pick berries and food, I’m going to greet them with a hug (I’m a hugger) and a small book or brocure of permaculture information.

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Homesteaderscoop Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why? Stanmr’s entry

by @stanmr

Food security is something I’ve been working on for years now. I guess we always think about taking care of our own first. Food sovereignty is a newer concept for me. I’m the kind of person that usually thinks, I can do this all on my own. It was part of why I became interested in gardening in the first place. I used to dream about feeding my large family from our little garden plot. We ended up with a few good meals in the summer. Or sometimes we were able to supplement some peppers and tomato’s for part of a meal. Then a big haul of winter squash and other end of the season bounty. I was content with that for many years but was, and still am concerned with how much we put in the pantry every fall. How to stretch the growing season. Or how to convince my children to eat healthier.

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HomeSteadersCoop Challenge: Salt sovereignty for myself, my community, and my Queen…Why?

by @yestermorrow

Which all the furor about various means of attaining food for all people’s, and caring for your community in the centuries to come after Lili takes her revenge upon mankind… Nobody seems to be speaking about Salt…

I won’t go into the particulars of it, (in fact, you should ask the folks @steemstem) but salt is an absolute necessity for all Earthly Life.. If even the children of Mama Evie need it, then you can damn well bet that Aunt Lili’s children need it… It’s just physics… If you had access to every possible resource, but no salt… You would die…

HARD…
Normally, Salt is harvested from the Sea… It’s quite easy to get it from there, and nobody even makes a fuss about it anymore… But inland.. Folks who don’t have access to salt-water, need take a different approach. How does one manufacture table salt with no Sea-Water?

Tawatinaw Spirit – @wwf & @carey-page offering natural food, medicine, healing and knowledge while stewarding the land

I am so proud and honored to introduce you to Tawatinaw Spirit, one of our newest vendors in Homesteaders Co-op. Tawatinaw Spirit is run by @carey-page and @wwf, a couple who have dedicated their lives to seeking truth, independence, self reliance, spirit and community. They are living off grid on their homestead in Canada and have decided to open their new online shop to share their handmade, homegrown products and ethical services to our steem communities.

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What I really appreciate from getting to know @wwf here on steem is that he and @carey-page are both dedicated to healing and reconnecting with spirit. The most incredible thing to me is that they are committed to not compromising their ethics. The results of their work is apparent in their teachings, their language and their actions.

I am excited that @carey-page and @wwf have decided to open up shop and share the results of their hard work and joy for living naturally and simply.

Tawatinaw Spirit now accepts STEEM, SBD as well as USD for handmade items, healing herbs, spiritual mentorship, and ebooks

In their own words (borrowed from their Homesteaders Co-op store):

My husband @wwf and I have been homesteading since 2007 and work hard to be spiritual stewards of the land so that all life may prosper. I am a medicine woman and I practice homeopathy and a whole range of healing modalities, health and wellness. We pick food and medicine from the land and want to offer our knowledge and products so that others may learn to steward the land for themselves.

We harvest sustainably from the land that we steward. We have 72 acres of virgin northern boreal forest on the banks of the Tawatinaw Valley in northern Alberta. We only harvest when the season permits it. What we do harvest is then dried in our solar food dehydrator and stored for the coming year. Any excess food and medicine will be offered to our friends so that you all may experience the type of life style that we have embraced for over a decade.

All of our writings, crafts, etc is made with solar energy and materials gathered off the land or salvaged and then repurposed. There are a few items that we are not currently able or willing to make ourselves, so those items are purchased so that we can complete specific projects.

We currently do not have an inventory of products, but will work hard this coming season to build that up. We will do our best to mark when products will be available.

We are willing to do custom orders. Those orders will require time in order to complete them.

You can browse @carey-page and @wwf‘s products at: Tawatinaw Spirit on Homesteaders Co-op

For Canadian customers

@carey-page is offering this beautiful handmade crocheted bag! I can appreciate that a lot of time and love must have gone into crafting this hand bag.

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And then there are the dried medicinal herbs and seeds grown and wildcrafted by @carey-page and @wwf such as Nettle, Hazelnut Tree leaves and Pueblo Tobacco Seeds.

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Hazel nut trees are amazing plants. The shaft has been used for thousands of years by the indigenous peoples to help toddlers while they are teething. The squirrels engage in agriculture here as they plant hazel nuts every fall resulting in a lot of hazel nut shrubs on this land. We use the green fresh leaves in salads during the summer and dry them for tea. We urge people to do their research before consuming natural products to ensure they do not interact with current medications or other sensitivities.

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I do believe that @carey-page will be adding more handmade items, herbs and other homegrown products as time goes on. I believe I heard that she may even consider offering her healing services in the near future.

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I have already read the first few chapters of @wwf‘s Graduating Life with Honors and it has already begun to help me shift my understanding of our world and learn how to be a more independent thinker. For those that can’t afford the eBook @wwf has a free version on steem. But at $2.50 there is nearly no excuse not to support his hard work with a purchase.

Here is an excerpt from chapter one:

I see people waking up all over the world. Since the release of UNGRIP back in October 2011, I have been contacted by thousands of people who resonated with the idea of self-governance, taking back our power and declaring peace. People recognize that there is something terribly wrong with the world right now. Our political, economic, financial and social systems are broken and very sick. That illness has manifested in significant damage to the environment, our health, the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. People are dying or suffering greatly, so people are hitting the streets in droves in many countries around the world. People know something is wrong and they are standing up and speaking their minds. This is a healthy step in the process and is one that I encourage as long as it remains peaceful.
[…]
My goal and intent for this book is to speak directly to all the spirits out there who are in possession of a physical body and caught up in the fictional realm that we all co-created. I want to reach out to you all and show you that we are all capable of finding a meaningful balanced and centred life through self-governance that is rooted in a deep and profound relationship with the Creator, ourselves and others, all based from the point of view of the I AM, the soul/spiritual being rather than the point of view of the body caught up in the Physical Realm or the person caught up in the Fictional Realm.

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Here is another beautiful offering by @wwfSpiritual Mentorship

Spiritual Mentorship is a journey that works to heal our relationship with self, Creator, others and Mother Earth. It requires a balance approach between the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Just as we all had teachers to help us learn a specific subject, parents to guide us when we were young, we too should have a Spiritual Mentor to help challenge us along our individual journeys. Spiritual Mentors can help provide guidance or share their own wisdom in certain circumstances. Perhaps there are key skills or knowledge required in order to accomplish specific goals or tasks. Maybe you are facing some tough choices or feel stuck and need somebody to bounce ideas or share feelings. A Spiritual Mentor is somebody that can provide that help to guide the individual’s personal growth towards Spiritual Health and helping us fulfill our live purpose. Spiritual Mentors will hold us accountable, engage with us on an individual basis and help us embrace this physical experience from a Spirit centric modality.


Tawatinaw Spirit is based out of Canada and ships only within Canada. eBooks and Spiritual mentorship are available anywhere. (Homesteaders Co-op is an international marketplace)

Learn more about Tawatinaw Spirit and browse their products: https://homesteaderscoop.com/store/tawatinaw-spirit/

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The Barter Economy is Online at Homesteaders Co-op

Today I am very proud to announce that we are now featuring a barter marketplace in our Homesteaders Co-op. This post is an update to our fundition project.

Our marketplace of sustainable goods and ethical services is now organized into three main markets:

  1. Shop – Monetary exchange for goods and services (STEEM, SBD and USD).
  2. Barter – Goods and services are exchanged for like value. No money is needed. [New]
  3. Gifts – A market of gifts. [New]
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What is Bartering?

A barter, or a trade, is an exchange of goods or services between two or more parties without the use of currency. Bartering for a good or service is different than purchasing a product because there is no money involved. Bartering is a form of non-monetary exchange.

Often monetary value is used to find an equivalent or roughly equivalent value of goods or services that are being bartered. Since most of us are used to valuing goods and services in currency, currency can be a convenient measure of value. However, it is not necessary to use currency to measure value. Often, value can be very personal and when monetary value is removed from the picture, expression of value can be more open and less constrained.

Hybrid barter and Monetary Exchange

It is certainly possible and normal to use money (such as STEEM, SBD or USD) to make up for some value when the agreed value of goods/services being bartered are not equal.

Proof of a Desire to Barter

We gave our vendors the option to elect whether they are open to bartering. 8 out of 21 vendors have already specified that they are open and willing to consider bartering with customers and/or vendors. Nearly half of our vendors already see value in being able to barter. This is very positive feedback we are on the right track.

The Fear of Missing out on Profit

Aren’t we worried that we won’t be able to oversee bartering activity or profit from it? What if vendors barter and we can’t control their activities?

This is exactly the fear that we want to avoid. Fear of loss of profit can lead to greed. As mentioned above our vendors have already expressed through their actions that they would like to have the option to operate in non-monetary exchange of goods and services.

By letting go of fears and letting go of control we are able to open our marketplace to new possibilities in personal freedom and economic choice. These freedoms and choices are not new but they may not be obvious or easily realized in our dominant economy, dictated by industrial commerce.

Opting Out of Greed

By not seeking profit, our market’s participants may interchange [ @wwf ] goods and services for like value. By not choosing profit we can opt out of middlemen in our transactions. Middlemen of transactions historically seek profit. A middleman that chooses to grow, and is able to grow, plausibly passes a point of seeking profit that turns into a greed snowball. Greed places dollar signs on the backs of customers, shoppers and advertisers until they are no longer seen as humans, but are seen only as profit or lack thereof. All decisions are made based on maximizing profit or minimizing loss, rendering ethics, morality and humanity obsolete.

Homesteaders Co-op is not a middleman in any transactions, whether they are made with money, by trade or as a gift. By choosing not to be a middleman we have the unique opportunity to opt out of greed. Certainly it is possible for greed to make its way into our marketplace, our minds and our actions. But our initial success and track record has been built on generosity, independence, empowerment and choice. Our actions and reputation are on the steem blockchain for anyone to audit.

What is possible, that wasn’t possible before, when we put our ethics first and fear takes a back seat? This is what we hope to continue to reveal as we continue on with this intention.

First Successful Barter

I appreciate that @papa-pepper (of Pepper Family Homestead: vendor of seeds, accessories, crafts and more in Homesteadesr Co-op) recently made this request to barter with my seed project, Seeds of Abundance. He was interested in a few of the seeds that we are offering and suggested a trade. I had already been interested in some of The Pepper Family Homestead’s products and found a few more that interested me and we set the terms of our barter by email, outside of the Homesteaders Co-op marketplace.

It was a true peer to peer exchange. It was a successful barter [ @sagescrub ] inspired by our marketplace and transacted outside of any system, even outside of Homesteaders Co-op.

In my experience bartering can (but doesn’t always) lead to generosity, especially when I am bartering with people I know, people I respect or people that I can share interest or values with.

Trust

Because we are communicating about an exchange we have the opportunity to exchange ideas, language and ideally build more trust. When we are bartering we have a relationship that goes beyond the typical add to cart and checkout – click, click, swipe, swipe. And in the case of this barter, @papa-pepper inevitably offered to share some plants that aren’t available in his store, and that led me to feel more generous and offer more seeds to Papa Pepper that aren’t available in my store. We both got more value than we expected and a feeling of gratitude to share and trade with each other.

There is a certain lack of perfection in this type of transaction. A computer or a businessman might call this transaction messy and having a lack of accountability. But isn’t life often messy? Nature is messy and imperfect. Being of nature, perhaps we humans are also meant to be less than perfect. Perhaps it is ok not to hold ourselves to a standard of perfection, a standard of clear reconciliation and a maximization of profit.

And so I celebrate money because it gives us opportunities to transact with people we may not have been able to transact with otherwise. And I celebrate bartering because it reminds me of my humanity and brings me closer to the people that I transact with (those whom I trust), which leads to more pride and humility in my actions and appreciation and respect for my peers and our community.

Sustainability, Self-Reliance: What Does It All Mean?

There seems to be a trend to pursue a more sustainable life, especially out here in the western hemisphere. We can see plenty of internet pages and videos referring to projects or lifestyles exploring (and exploiting) the world of sustainability and self-reliance. I have heard words like homesteading, off-grid, survival, autonomy, sovereignty, self-sufficiency, sustainability, permaculture… you name it, they have been increasingly thrown around for well over ten years.

The variety of slightly different meanings can be heard across the web without a doubt. As @MondoShawan said in this challangeA Viewpoint Is Always As Unique As The One Having it.

We can take everything out of a dictionary to define the meaning of each one of those words mentioned above, but some of us will still have viewpoints that differ from one another. And I think this is because we all read from different perspectives.

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Image source

Looking at the root of a few words:

AUTONOMY (One of my favorite words in this sphere).

Its roots come from Greek, auto meaning “self” and nomos meaning “custom” or “law.”

In other words, “self-law” or “self-governance”. For me this one word, Autonomy, says it all… A word that really says Let me live my life how I want to live it.

I can definitely get behind this word, especially when we can create more food sovereignty on the homestead and it even suggests a hint of anarchy! With autonomy, we alone create and abolish our own regulations and restrictions as we see fit.


SUSTAINABILITY (I find this one to have a broad range of meanings).

From its Latin root sustinere, sustainability literally means “the ability to hold up from below”. It has been widely used as the word to suggest “long term (perhaps unbreakable) support systems”, especially in a space where our environment is increasingly becoming dangerous for human survival.

I used to call what we are building today, a place of self-sustainability. While the idea of an unbreakable sustained system is very attractive, I wasn’t so sure we wanted to go down that road. For me a fully sustainable life entails not only growing your own food but also making your own clothes and cheese and everything! Once I start bartering for something we need we’re no longer self-sustainable.


SOVEREIGNTY (Perhaps the most powerful word in its class).

It holds roots in Latin and Old French, literally meaning “ruler above all” or in more modern terms, “supreme power or authority”.

Breaking it up into two parts, we get super-reign. The old Latin superanus means “chief” or super meaning “over” or “above”. On the French side of things we have reign (from latin regnum) meaning kingship!

I really like this word, I find it very powerful and I believe is very event specific, for example Food Sovereignty (Don’t forget the food sovereignty challenge that is still going on, there are just a couple days left to enter). Our beauty product could be one of those events, the Self is another or even the way we communicate, maybe? Eitherway it can be applied to so much, as long as it’s none violent, I’m all for Sovereignty.


SELF-RELIANCE (This is a choice bundle of words for preparedness and goes hand in hand with modern-day homesteading)

To RELY means “to depend on with full trust or confidence”. From Old French relier meaning “bind together”. We can easily see how its original sense “gather together” later became “turn to, associate with”, and than “depend upon with confidence”. Dependence is like glue, it is binding.

So self-reliance than should be self-dependance; depending or relying on oneself for anything one wishes. Achieving Self-Reliance seems much more attainable than other terms in this sphere because it can be completely customized to each individual as they please.


Researching the definitions and origins of the above terms was a pretty eye opening exercise for me. I have been on a mission to define this multi-family-artist-homestead, with re-wilding and anarchist tendencies. I would like to be able to describe what we want to build with one or two words, but perhaps our lauguage isn’t yet equipped with the right tools. We need more words 😁!

Sources for this post are from several dicrionaries such as Webster and Oxford, Wikipedia/Wiktionary were used as well as Dicionary.com, Vocabulary.com, Etymonline.com and my own knowledge of latin bases laguage.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and that you’ve learned a little something today, I sure have! And please don’t feel discouraged to use the word in your own sense, but knowing its origins may help all of us communicate better in the end.

Until next time…
@SenorCoconut

PS: If you, or anyone you know want to build the kind of tribal lifestyle I mentioned above, please get in touch with me 😁!

Community Witness Votes Report – February 5th 2019

@homesteaderscoop is voting, by proxy, for the top 30 witnesses as determined by our community members


Witness Votes by Proxy

We can determine and vote for our community members’ favorite witnesses. We are sharing our community vote with our:

  1. Contributors – Our community leaders, authors and voices
  2. Vendors – Stores accepting STEEM, SBD and USD for sustainable, handmade goods
  3. Delegators – Those that delegate at least 100 SP to @homesteaderscoop

All of the witness votes made by each member will be tallied. If one member falls into more than one of the groups above, their votes will only be counted once.

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Active Contributors

@allyinspirit@nateonsteemit@riverflows@sagescrub@senorcoconut@stortebeker@thistle-rock

Vendors

@bghandmade@carey-page@celestialcow@drapis@eaglespirit@elamental@flemingfarm@frejafri@irenethemachine@makinstuff@mountainjewel@ofsedgeandsalt@papa-pepper@ppmsilver@professorbromide@purplemoon@quochuy@sagescrub@thistle-rock@trucklife-family@walkerland

Note: Vendor are taken from the steem username that vendors supply in their store profile.

Delegators of 100 SP or more

@da-dawn@eaglespirit@enginewitty@immarojas@jeffjagoe@makinstuff@papa-pepper@pennsif@riverflows@sagescrub@senorcoconut@stortebeker@trucklife-family@walkerland@yabapmatt

Top 30 Cumulative Witness Votes

@homesteaderscoop is now voting for the following witnesses as determined by our community members:

VotesWitness
14@ausbitbank
13@curie
12@aggroed
11@timcliff
10@blocktrades
10@lukestokes.mhth
10@roelandp
10@therealwolf
10@yabapmatt
9@drakos
9@enginewitty
9@helpie
9@themarkymark
8@arcange
8@mahdiyari
8@ocd-witness
8@pharesim
8@quochuy
8@someguy123
8@steemcommunity
8@utopian-io
7@c-squared
7@good-karma
7@gtg
7@jackmiller
7@patrice
7@qurator
6@followbtcnews
6@krnel
6@reggaemuffin

Special Witness Shout Outs

These witnesses deserve an extra mention because they are important to our community. Please consider voting for them.

@quochuy witness

@quochuy is a vendor in Homesteaders Co-op and an active member in #homesteading#gardening@naturalmedicine@ghscollective as well as our @homesteaderscoop – he is adding tons of value to the blockchain! ✅ Vote @quochuy as Witness

@yabapmatt witness

@yabapmatt, is a strong supporter of our community! He has made generous donation of Steem Monster packs to spice up our past contest and is an ongoing delegator to our community account! ✅ Vote @yabapmatt as Witness

@justyy witness

@justyy provides free APIs and tools for interacting with the steem blockchain. We use one of his free APIs in our WooCommerce Steem Payment Method plugin which helps to power Homesteaders Co-op‘s STEEM/SBD payment tracking. ✅ Vote @justyy as Witness

The Gift Economy is Online at Homesteaders Co-op

Last week I updated Homesteaders Co-op with the ability for our vendors to specify products as gifts in our marketplace. You can read about it here.

Today I’ve made a new update to our website that has completely separated Shopping from Gifting.

  • Our Shop section now includes all products that are denominated in some amount.
  • The new Gifts section shows all of the gifts that are available at no cost (except shipping).
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The significance of this re-organizing

I prefer to keep products for sale separate from the Gifts. I don’t want gifts to detract from the products that are for sale. And yet I want the gifts to have their own prominence. I prefer that gifts are making a statement.

Why?

Because we are operating different than other marketplaces that prioritize profit over people. We are putting people in front of profit. A marketplace that wants to squeeze as much profit as possible out of their vendors and their customers would never encourage gifts unless they were sure it would mean more money for them.

The Gift Economy

In our case, by looking past profit, our marketplace has the unique ability to explore more than one form of exchange.

Suppose you ask me this: Why would someone provide a gift on this marketplace rather than asking to be paid for a product?

I believe there is opportunity to feel rewarded in gifting to our fellow humans. The reward of giving can be very satisfying and has the potential to be equal or greater in value than the monetary value that is placed on a physical object.

Perhaps our relationships can become deeper if we look past the physical level and deeper into our spiritual connections with each other.

Interchange

I give credit to @wwf for coming up with this observation. Because we are not seeking profit, and because we are seeking fair exchange of value (shoppers and vendors alike) – we are not dealing in commerce (whose rules are set by captains of industry). We are interchanging with each other as we seek to exchange our goods and services for an equivalent value; not value plus profit.

My first gift exchange

My Seeds of Abundance store is already offering several varieties of seeds as gifts to our Steem friends that for one reason or another we decided not to sell but have enough amounts that we want to share.

This weekend we just received our first order that included a gift request from @nateonsteemit. He ordered a packet of seeds from us and also requested some seeds we are gifting. I am really glad to see that he already used this feature and am excited to be able to share some surplus with him!

More gifts available

@quochuy has generously shared his e-books for worm composting/farming and composting with black soldier flies as gifts in Homesteaders Co-op.

Now that these new features are available I will be letting our vendors know that they can offer gifts if they so desire.

What do the gifts mean to the Vendors?

I won’t encourage any vendor to offer gifts in our co-op unless they have an interest in it. I completely understand the importance of earning money. It will be completely up to the vendor whether they operate completely financially, completely in the gift economy or any combination. They are also not obligated to fulfill a gift request.

Thanks so much for reading. There is so much more planned and if you like what we are doing I encourage you to stay tuned. Lots of fun updates will be coming!

Food Sovereignty Challenge – Highlights & 6 days left

I was pleasantly surprised to see a lively discussion on the topic of Food Sovereignty spurred from this challenge:
Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why?

If you are interested in participating you have about 6 days left. See the link above for the full details of the Challenge which is rewarding one 10 steem prize and two 5 steem prizes to 3 winners.

This topic is near and dear to my heart and imo one of the most important issues of our time. I was so glad to see many folks that I respect come out and voice their opinions about food sovereignty and also providing examples and proof that it is possible to claim food sovereignty for ourselves.

I am also really appreciating the entries from those individuals that are just starting down the road to claiming independence via food – it is not an easy road but it is a worthwhile and very fulfilling endeavor. Thank you all for your efforts, your stories, thoughts and wisdom.

Here are some excerpts from the entries that we have received so far!


A Revolution in Dirt and Seeds: Answering @Sagescrub’s Challenge on What We Can Do to Increase Our Food Sovereignty.

by @riverflows

I live in a rural area that was once a big wool production area and at the edge of a wheatbelt too. There’s a lot of farming folk around here, but there’s also a lot of people with small acreages or at least big blocks of land where they have the capability of growing food for their own table. It’s been fantastic to share inspiration, seeds, plants and knowledge, and we’ve been having monthly food swaps. So succesful has this been that the town over from us has started their own group and also do swap meets, and many members are in both groups.

garden

Is Food Sovereignty Possible in a Harsh Climate?

by @minismallholding

At the moment we have mains water and access to chicken feed. We are able to supply ourselves with eggs, most of our fruit and vegetables when in season and some meat. All our herbs come from the garden and excess is shared with neighbours. It’s not much, but it is a way of reaching out to the community and making those connections. For such an introvert, I was actually quite surprised to realise that I now know more of the people on our street than some of our chattier neighbours.

Community is essential when things get hard so cultivating that is important for me. Most of my neighbours aren’t particularly interested in growing their own food, but the fact that we are doing it has started a seed of thought within some of them.

Apples

A Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why? My Response…

by @porters

We have coal oil lamps and the oil to go in it plus we do have a small solar system set up on our camperized van which we could bring to the house if needed.
Sad to say, but we have prepared for the internet no longer being available, which it very well could be, with a good library of books and music plus a tight local community.

We have a good supply of grains and seeds, pulses and rice in a storage room that keeps cool and dry.
We know how to cook things from scratch, can and preserve our foods and have a diet that we are happy with and are not reliant on the stores to maintain it.

This past year we took our gardening one step further and began our indoor gardening project.

Indoor Gardening

The (non)Violent Gardener: My Feeble Attempts at Food Sovreignty

by @nateonsteemit

Our efforts here to establish our own food forest and a tree-guild-based sharing garden are just the start. A big part of the sharing garden is going to be my marketing attempts to spread information about permaculture and home food production to everyone I am blessed enough to serve. When people come to pick berries and food, I’m going to greet them with a hug (I’m a hugger) and a small book or brocure of permaculture information.

Birches

Homesteaderscoop Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why? Stanmr’s entry

by @stanmr

Food security is something I’ve been working on for years now. I guess we always think about taking care of our own first. Food sovereignty is a newer concept for me. I’m the kind of person that usually thinks, I can do this all on my own. It was part of why I became interested in gardening in the first place. I used to dream about feeding my large family from our little garden plot. We ended up with a few good meals in the summer. Or sometimes we were able to supplement some peppers and tomato’s for part of a meal. Then a big haul of winter squash and other end of the season bounty. I was content with that for many years but was, and still am concerned with how much we put in the pantry every fall. How to stretch the growing season. Or how to convince my children to eat healthier.

Bread

My Response to – Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why?

by @wildhomesteading

One of my current sites used to be a homestead but was abandoned years ago – now I’m restoring it for wildlife habitat. But there are a lot of old and amazing fruit trees growing wild on the property. The above picture is one of these trees.

This site will be opened to the public in the future as part of what we are calling the Inspiring Kids Preserve. It will be a place for kids, families and the community in general to come and learn and reconnect with nature.

But I also want them to connect with the idea of growing their own food.

So to help with that we have teamed up with a local fruit tree group to run free workshops to teach people how to prune and take care of their own fruit trees by practicing on our wild fruit trees.

Apple tree

HomeSteadersCoop Challenge: Salt sovereignty for myself, my community, and my Queen…Why?

by @yestermorrow

Which all the furor about various means of attaining food for all people’s, and caring for your community in the centuries to come after Lili takes her revenge upon mankind… Nobody seems to be speaking about Salt…

I won’t go into the particulars of it, (in fact, you should ask the folks @steemstem) but salt is an absolute necessity for all Earthly Life.. If even the children of Mama Evie need it, then you can damn well bet that Aunt Lili’s children need it… It’s just physics… If you had access to every possible resource, but no salt… You would die…

HARD…
Normally, Salt is harvested from the Sea… It’s quite easy to get it from there, and nobody even makes a fuss about it anymore… But inland.. Folks who don’t have access to salt-water, need take a different approach. How does one manufacture table salt with no Sea-Water?


Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why?

by @ligayagardener

I got the first ‘Grow Free’ cart established in Gawler and that lead to 4 more being started These carts are part of a rapidly growing movement and are for folks to leave and take produce as needed. If you have surplus, you leave it. If you are in need, you take. It’s a really simple Idea that works.

We are part of the local Saturday morning food share. This is where like minded folk catch up every week or when they can and we swap and give any excess from our gardens. Really, anything garden related is OK at these swaps.

Grapes

A Garden Made of STEEM: Opportunities in a Decentralized Space!

It’s here, we can finally grow food, powered by cryptocurrency!

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The image above is from the Botanic Garden in Brooklyn back in the spring of 2018.


A currency depends on movement to sustain itself. It needs to be passed around from hand to hand so that it may function as something trusted to hold value. STEEM and SBD for example, mean absolutely nothing if they cannot be exchanged for something else. Yes of course as it stands right now, you can purchase FIAT currencies and many different Crypto-currencies through various exchanges, but what if we could acquire the things we need directly with our beloved Steem coins?

It is time to think about our economic freedom.

As our world seems to be slowly unraveling like an old sweater and we gain more ability to connect with like-minded people across the whole planet, we can learn to become independent or we can follow the masses, do nothing and wait for that brick wall.

If we chose independence, we can learn from one another to become self reliant and while this digital grid keeps us all together, we can achieve freedom from bank fees and waiting times to exchange the goods and services we are looking for.

The best part of it is that our political stance doesn’t matter in this space, all we have to do is follow our passions. Crypto-currency can be an extremely valuable tool for reaching economic freedom. It that can really save both entrepreneurs and consumers the many headaches that come with banks and regulations. Transactions become cheaper and cleaner… no greedy middle men involved!

This makes me think of Agorism, a term I have only heard recently but a term I hear more and more. Here it is in a few words, from wikipedia:


Agorism is a libertarian social philosophy that advocates creating a society in which all relations between people are voluntary exchanges by means of counter-economics, thus engaging with aspects of peaceful revolution.


With that being said, I am happy to announce my second time purchasing something with Crypto directly (I know it’s a small step but a step none the less)!!!

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This year’s garden will be partially made of STEEM!!!! I am so happy, it’s a very exciting step in the adoption of cryptocurrency. Thank you for this abundance of seeds @sagescrub, I will enjoy growing this garden in a different way this time!

While I still plan on re-wildling last year’s tomatoes, I would also like to try new things…


I’d like to end this post by saying that homesteading and self reliance extends passed the walls of our homes and gardens. Sure we can barter, but know that bartering is just another currency. If the day comes, when exchanging a grown pig for carpentry work becomes too troublesome, be educated in the exchange procedures of crypto, you never know!

In hopes to on-board new crypto enthusiasts, I wish you all a happy day…

@SenorCoconut

Cooperative Medicine: @mountainjewel’s Goldenseal Tincture Review and Product Feature

Howdy y’all! Nate again. It’s been a while.

I’m back with a review of one of the many products I’ve bought through Homesteaders Co-op.

Backstory:

The past few weeks I’ve been dealing with some respiratory issues that I think are stemming from lack of sleep and exposure to welding fumes at work. These two things have stressed my immune system to the point that, after I’ve worked to resolve them, I’m left dealing once again with my all-too-familiar upper respiratory problems.

Symptoms:

Low endurance, shortness of breath, productive cough with sweet tasting, foul smelling mucous production, bloody sinus drainage, extremely frequent yawning indicative of inefficient breathing, and light wheezing.

Course of action:

Being keen on avoiding a modern medical systems (i.e. debt and unwholesome solutions), I turned to the greatest and easiest alternative economic model available: Homesteaders Co-op.

I looked over the available medicinal products and discovered @mountainjewel‘s Goldenseal Tincture:

Internally, it has been used primarily to treat infections of mucus membranes; sinuses, respiratory tract, throat, mouth and urinary tract.

Sounds good! I ordered and consulted Wren of @mountainjewel.

A few other herbs were recommended (Mullein, echinacea, and elecampane), which I will be buying Monday, as I’ve not had the time to get to the herb store this weekend. We need a medicinal herb vendor (or ten) in the Co-op…

Of course the tincture arrived promptly as always with incredible communication from Wren and Ini. I was planning on checking the tracking information the day after it ended up arriving.

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What a beautiful label. I’m told by Ini that the label was all Wren.

Dosage instructions are 10-30 drops daily. Good to go, 30 drops is about 1/2 of the glass part of a dropper. This photo is almost two doses.

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I love the beautiful warm color of it. The taste in water is very powerfully green. After four doses, I’m feeling the effects. My cough has lessened, mucous production is down, and I’m yawning less, indicating my breathing is more effective.

As the medicine was recommended in conjunction with the other herbs, I’ll be pursuing the complete route as mentioned. I’m looking forward to the complete resolution of my issue without modern antibiotics. As more herbs become available on the Co-op, it will be more possible to not only participate in an alternative to the industrial medical system, but the fiat money system as well, making this a holistic counter-economic endeavour.

In the name of holistic health and the search for a long term treatment of this recurring issue, I’ve been focusing on getting better sleep by sleeping with ear plugs and an eye covering. I sleep during the day, which is unnatural and sadly unavoidable for me right now. Light and noise from the family are inevitable factors as a result, and these new sleep practices are proving helpful. I’ve also started using better respiratory safety practices at work and I’ve been getting back on my gallon a day water consumption. A holistic approach is the best way to deal with health issues.

Of course it would be prudent of me to explain that I’m not a doctor and I’m not fit to give medical advice to anyone else, and am taking my own health in my own hands. That deep of a personal choice is yours to make for yourself.

I hope this review of my second tincture purchase will help someone else in their search for a natural alternative medical treatment. The empowerment of people through this co-operative is growing in leaps and bounds, and I aim to highlight that with every contributory post. This is the kind of social progress that people look for in blockchain. Freedom of money that can lead to freedom in many other parts of life.

Be blessed.
Be fruitful.
Stay relevant.

Nate