HSCO Featured Vendor | Meet “Crescendo Of Peace”


Hello again from @SenorCoconut,

Today, we’re going to ask a few questions to reflect the ethics and ideologies of one vendor at HSCO. Crescendo Of Peace. (@creascendoofpeace on steemit)!

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 Crescendo Of Peace:

SenorCoconut: In the description of your online shop with HSCO, you’ve explain how your Art, Food and Medicine products are made, can you tell us about your thinking process and what kind of intentions you put into your creations? Feel free to talk about any other things you will be selling in the near future.

Crescendo of Peace: For the most part, as odd as it may sound, I like to let the work define itself. What I mean by that is that I don’t always plan out my creations, but allow my intuition, or my muse if you will, to choose the direction I take, and the materials or ingredients I use.

This has served me well throughout my life, in cooking as well as making art, and a lot of things I’ve learned to do simply by trying to see if they would work. And, more often than not, they have, though there have also been a share of projects I’ve had to seriously tweak before they came out as I wanted. It’s an evolutionary process, as is life.

One example is my shagbark hickory syrup. When our forester first mentioned it to me, I had never heard of it, and it took some searching online to find a recipe, which I then used as my starting point.

Over the years, however, I’ve gone with my intuition and altered the original recipe substantially, so that the syrup I make today is nothing like the first batches I made, and it keeps getting better and better. And it bears little resemblance to the commercial hickory syrups with which I am familiar. It is much deeper, richer, and more complex.

20180215_010817 Shagbark Hickory Syrup  new batch.jpg

As far as intentions are concerned, my intentions in art, cooking, natural medicine, writing, and pretty much everything else are similar: I endeavor at all times, and in all ways, to be a part of the solution, rather than a part of the problem. I don’t always succeed, as I’m a fallible human, but I succeed a lot more often than I would if I didn’t try.

Another intention that goes along with that is to create in such a way that is not harmful to the environment. Again using hickory syrup as an example, I collect all the bark here on my place, so I know for a fact that nothing has been sprayed on or near these trees for at least nine years.

I prefer collecting fallen bark, which is usually plentiful after a storm or high winds, and when I do collect directly from the tree, I collect only bark that has naturally separated from the trunk, and is ready to come off on its own. In that way I am not harming the mother tree, nor opening wounds that might lead to infection or infestation, thus shortening its’ natural lifespan.

Similarly, when collecting herbs, vegetables or fruit, I take care not to harm the plant in the process, to take only what I need, and if needed, to do any pruning that the plant needs to grow better.


I go by the rule taught to me by my grandmother, when collecting from plants in the wild; always leave some for the birds and animals, some for the next forager, and some for the plant to remain healthy and strong. Unless there is a life or death emergency, never take it all, as that is disrespectful to the plant, to the othrcreatures in its environment, and to nature.

SenorCoconut: 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?

Crescendo of Peace: I look to connect with people human to human, soul to soul. What else is there?


My overall desire is that people learn more about plants and grow them, that they learn more about health in order to grow healthier themselves, and that they expose themselves to more art, literature and music to feed their souls and become happier.

And time in nature is always time well spent.

When I owned my art and framing studio in Florida, several of my customers liked to just come hang out, as they liked my vibes and the vibes of my place, which was filled not only with art, but also with plants and animals.

I’m basically a friendly person, I like people and generally steer clear of drama, so I’ve been called a calming influence, and some came by just to chill. My personality type is that of a peacemaker, and has been since childhood. Ideally my customers will become friends over time.

Additionally, I consider myself to be accidentally in the position of educator, just because I’m interested in a lot of different things, and I’ve amassed a fair amount of knowledge over the years. I was also blessed with parents who nurtured and encourged that part of me, so I try to do that for others, where I am able, and to give them any information I think is important for them to know about what they are purchasing in that moment.

As an example, if there is a story behind how I got started making a particular item, I often share that, if I think it will interest them. If the materials or ingredients are rare or uncommon, I share that information, and often a lively conversation begins from there.

Or, more obviously, if they are purchasing heirloom seeds or a kombucha kit, I give the needed instructions for them to succeed with them the first time, and every time.

SenorCoconut: Looking through your blog on steemit and your shop description on HSCO, you strike me as someone who really loves life, but also someone who is well aware of the damage we (humans) are creating to our planet. I think we can agree that through all that pollution and destruction, we’ve put ourselves on a dangerous path that could lead to human extinction if we don’t change our ways. 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.

Crescendo of Peace: I went to college to become a marine biologist, and part of why I did not continue on that path is that, as an empath, what I was seeing happen to my beloved marine environment and her inhabitants was breaking my heart. Most of my charitable giving goes to environmental causes, and has since I was a teen.

I grew up in coastal California, and spent much of my adult life in Tampa Bay, Florida, both of which are squarely on the environmental front lines. And in both states, despite glib talk by those in power, building permits are still being granted for sites with delicate and irreplaceable habitats, against scientific recommendations and plain common sense. Housing developments are being built in the Everglades, which is a travesty, and more and more water-hungry lawns keep popping up all over the desert Southwest.

Individual humans can be incredibly intelligent. Governments, large and small, are generally not.

As for reducing my own human impact, despite loving children, I chose against having children of my own. It seemed the kindest course of action overall, to them, and to the planet. I am sorry for depriving my parents of grandchildren.

So my children have fur, feathers, fins and scales, and lots and lots of needles and leaves. I’ve planted well over a hundred fruit and nut trees and bushes, so far, along with numerous perennial and self-seeding herbs and vegetables, and I’m getting ready to start several patches of culinary and medicinal mushrooms. And I’m just getting started.

Increasing the diversity on our place has always been one of my primary goals, as the more diverse the species being grown, the less likely that there will ever be a catastrophic crop failure . . . in any climactic situation, something is bound to do well, or at least adequately.


The massive monocropping that’s been going on for the past hundred years or so is nothing more or less than idiocy in action, even without the toxic GE crops and chemicals. Any decent gardener knows that if you grow a whole bunch of any one thing, without a break, you’re setting yourself up for a constant battle against the pests that like that crop, while providing zero habitat for beneficial insects and birds that would prey on those pests and keep them in check.

In Florida, for example, over sixty precent of the agricultural land was planted in citrus, with predictable results. Yes, there is still a lot of citrus in Florida, though nowhere near as much as there once was. Most of the large groves are being hit with citrus greening, which is a fungal disease that is threatening the entire industry, which took hold because there were so very many susceptible trees being grown in close quarters.

But I saw a video a few days ago by a man who was filming in Brooksville, Florida, about an hour north of Tampa, showing dozens and dozens of vibrant, healthy citrus trees, mostly tangerines, that were completely unaffected by citrus greening.

They were growing wild. These were bird-planted trees, growing as understory in the dappled shade beneath much-larger oaks, with lots of other species all around, and they were thriving on neglect, with absolutely no input from humans of any kind.

So. Acre after acre of citrus trees are being chopped down and bulldozed due to citrus greening, when the real answer isn’t monocropping, chemical and antifungal sprays, but intercropping with lots of other species, allowing nature to be nature, and allowing life in all her glorious abundance to thrive. And the cirtus trees can thrive along with them.

This is the beauty of permaculture and forest farming.

Earth and all of nature has amazing and humbling regenerative abilities. We fallible humans simply need to get the heck out of the way and allow it to take place. Now.

SenorCoconut: You mentioned that you are regenerating the native plant population and restoring your woods. Could you please go into details on how your products reflect the overall health and balance you wish the environment to have?

Crescendo of Peace: Among the products I will ultimately have in my store are living plants and seeds, fresh and dried herbs, herbal tea blends, tinctures and extracts, and more, none of which would be possible without a healthy and balanced environment in place.

My little corner of the southern Appalachians is second growth forest, as the old growth forest was chestnut-oak-hickory, which was changed forever when the American chestnut was wiped out by chestnut blight, a fungal disease introduced by planting ornamental chestnut trees from China and Japan.

Yet another example of idiocy in action: we wiped out the foundation tree of the Appalachian forests, as literally one in every four trees was an Americn chestnut; along with generations, communities and entire lifestyles, all for the love of a foreign ornamental chestnut from China. That worked out well.

The loss of the American chestnut may have also been the final nail that sealed the fate of the passenger pigeon, as chestnuts constituted the majority of their diet. Wholesale and unrestricted hunting didn’t help either.

So one of the goals closest to my heart is to bring back the American chestnut on my place, to bring back the chinkapin and hazelnut, also affected by introduced blight, to repopulate the understory plants, herbs and fungi that were here prior to European settlement, and to establish my place as a living seed bank for the Calfkiller River ecosystem, and the larger Caney Fork floodplain into which it drains.

Thus far I’ve planted three Dunstan chestnut trees near the road, as Dunstan is a hybrid of roughly 7/8 American and 1/8 Chinese chestnut, reputed to be immune to the blight. One of them died back almost immediately after leafing out the first spring, and never resprouted. The second did fine that year, but died back the following year, but did resprout from the roots. The third has never died back.

Oddly, though all three trees had remnants of blossoms when I bought them, none have bloomed here in the three years since planting. They are just now beginning to leaf out.

As an experiment, and in hopes that it may help to confer some immunity to the blight, which may well be why these trees are failing to thrive, I will be planting horseradish around their base, as horseradish is antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal. I have two varieties of horseradish, and will be planting three of one variety around chestnut two, and three of the second variety around chestnut three. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, I’ve ordered 24 germinated Dunstan chestnut seeds, along with five seedling American hazelnut trees, which tyically grew in close proximity to the native chestnuts. I am hoping that we can introduce these chestnuts at the edges of our woods, in areas where we take out trash trees, and along the river, which if successful will provide a lot of food for wildlife, as well as us, and be a step toward reclaiming our woods for native species.

A further goal is to establish a series of medicinal gardens devoted to worldwide systems of care, such as an Ayurvedic garden, a Traditonal Chinese Medicine garden, a Native American medicine wheel garden, and so on, with the most important food plants as part of each medicinal garden. These will be situated in what is currently our front pasture area, near the road.

I would ultimately like to reclaim some additional land that has been clear cut, strip mined or otherwise environmentally trashed, and bring it back into productivity with an intelligent succession of native plants, with the ultimate goal of establishing highly productive mixed chestnut woods that will act as additional living seed banks for the surrounding areas.

This could be a real and highly effective way of ameliorating the horrific practice of so-called mountain top removal, which has destroyed so many previously pristine areas in the Appalachians.

And, ultimately, I plan to record and document everythign I’m doing as it is being done, to discuss what is working well and what needs to change, and to leave guidelines for others who follow to be able to follow in our path, and to create similar systems wherever they find themselves.

The final goal is to leave a charitabe foundation in the hands of a capable board willing to continue the work long after I am gone.

SenorCoconut: It seems you have chosen a more “earth friendly” path than most, and I’m sure it shows on your mini farm, I would like to know how you encourage and influence your neighbors to lead a more environmentally responsible life?

Crescendo of Peace: I live in a farming community, and most of my neighbors are fairly responsible already from an environmental standpoint, as they live close to the land.


That said, I readily share what I know, the unusual plants and techniques in which I think they may have an interest, and they already know that I garden organically, that I recycle like a madwoman, and that we generate very little actual garbage as compared with most households.

I have tried to educate a few on the dangers of Round-up and glyphosate, with mixed results, as not everyone is open to new information. So I do what I can, but I don’t shove my own beliefs down anyone’s throat, as all that does is alienate the very people with whom I am trying to build a cooperative alliance.

I do do my best to share those practices not requiring chemicals as an alternative to the Round-up. Hopefully some listen.

I’m a big believer in sharing and giving to others, and most of my immediate neighbors have received gifts from me over the years ranging from wine jelly to hickory syrup, hot soup, fresh eggs, heirloom seeds, and even seedling apple trees. And several neighbors have returned the favor, including one neighbor who has given me several plants I absolutely love, including heirloom hydrangeas and a couple of gorgeous blooming cacti.

I had the great good fortune to buy land surrounded by great neighbors, and I do my best to be a good neighbor in return, whether that takes the form of watching someone’s animals when they are away, helping them learn how to better use their computer, or simply bringing my dog inside when he starts barking at night.

And my neighbors have let me know that they have my back, keeping an eye on my place when I’m away, or when they know I am here alone, and they have helped to make me feel very welcome and at home.

Bottom line, being a good citizen really does come down to the Golden Rule, treating others as we want to be treated ourselves, and that’s how I try to live my life, albeit imperfectly. And it’s a great life overall.

I want to thank you for taking precious time out of your day to answer these questions, and what an inspiration you are! I am truly impressed with your answers, I have learned quite a few things…for example shagbark hickory sirop and the dunstan chestnut tree, a hybrid reputed to be immune to the blight, are things I had never heard of. You are a wealth of knowledge!

I wish everyone could take another look at the golden rule and perhaps apply it to their way of life.

Once again, thank you @crescendoofpeace for letting us have a peak into your life, it was a pleasure to read 😁 and good luck with all your projects!

For those of you who would like to look at her shop at HSCO here a quick link: Crescendo Of Peace!

Thank you so much for reading and stay tuned for next week’s featured vendor… Same time, same place!


PS: Special thanks to @Riverflows for the graphics on that first image at the top of the post 💚 and of course @Homesteaderscoop for being an awesome community!

Homesteaders – Living Naturally, Newsletter. 1st May 2019

Well look at that, it’s May Day! The first day of the last spring month in the north and autumn in the south. I’m pretty relieved because we got our first decent rainfall in months last night, here in South Australia. It’s amazing how quickly brown grass can start to look greener again when it gets a good drink. Let’s hope we have a break in the droughts on the agenda this winter. Weather has been rather contrary the world over, these last couple of years and you are certainly more aware of it when you live with the land.

Things happening in the community.

@sagescrub has put forward a support application on behalf of @homesteaderscoop for @curie‘s Community Building effort. If accepted this could be a good boost to help the Co-op with marketing and growth. If you are fairly new to what the Homesteaders Co-op is about, this application gives a great explanation.

Another like-minded community making their @curie application is @naturalmedicine. Read more about them and how they plan to use the support if received here.

Over at @theinnerblocks there have been updates to their dApp as the project continues to move forward. Read more about it here.

@ecotrain has part 2 of its challenge up. They are taking entries until 9th May, so there is plenty more time to get them in. You don’t have to have completed part one and you don’t have to be a passenger to enter, so have a look at the challenge and see if you can come up with something.

On the subject of contests and challenges, @wildhomesteading is running one for homesteaders and gardeners. Full details can be found in this post. Also, @simplymike‘s Community Garden Journal Challenge has two days left for entries. It’s a busy week for challenges and these are always great opportunities for getting your work noticed if you’re still fairly new here.

Welcoming Newcomers


I didn’t find any newcomers this week, but a fairly new and upcoming user who stood out to me is @clifun who arrived in September last year. I’d like to share their most recent post on discovering the benefits of learning how to sharpen a chainsaw blade instead of buying a new one each time. Waste not!

Some highlights of the week


@sustainablyyours is hoping to grow 100 pounds of potatoes in a box. Read about his research in preparation for this and you can follow on with his video on preparing and planting the box..


@thebigsweed is on a mission to build a garden which gets you off your knees! Follow his step by step to building a raised planter.


Have you ever read the ingredients lists on boxed cereals and do you ever feel guilty about all that packaging which goes to waste when you’ve finished the box? To me, the huge lists of ingredients rarely make sense when the obvious ingredients are really that simple. @homesteadhippy shares this simple and wholesome strawberry granola recipe which looks and sounds just delicious.


Two food posts this week!? I’m sorry, but I couldn’t resist. Here’s another from @artemislives that I just had to share and plan to try myself to see if my family like them before I go a bit mad and buy chickpeas in bulk. These Crunchy Indian Marsala Chickpeas look mouthwateringly good!

Thank you for stopping by. This week’s newsletter was brought to you by @minismallholding.

Weekly Featured Sustainable Products – 29th April 2019

This week’s product highlights are here! Each week three random vendors are chosen. One random product is picked from each vendor’s store. Let’s go!

Clary Sage Seeds

Clary Sage Seeds

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…###

This product is available for STEEM, SBD & USD

brought to you by @sagescrub
browse all products in Seeds

Seeds of Abundance

Seeds for natural gardeners, urban homesteaders and permaculturalists.

Oregon, United States (US)

Clary Sage Seeds

Follow @sagescrub
View all products by Seeds of Abundance

Tea Towel Pink Shabby

Tea Towel Pink Shabby

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…###

This product is available for STEEM, SBD & USD

brought to you by @thistle-rock
browse all products in Household Goods

Thistleworks Designs

Offering quality handmade items where beauty meets functionality; with a few items of whimsy thrown in just for fun.

Saskatchewan, Canada

Tea Towel Pink Shabby

Follow @thistle-rock
View all products by Thistleworks Designs

150ppm Silver Lip Balm – Super Moisturizing

150ppm Silver Lip Balm – Super Moisturizing

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,…###

This product is available for STEEM, SBD & USD

brought to you by @ppmsilver
browse all products in Oils, Creams & Salves

PPM Silver Cosmetics

We make and sell high silver concentration cosmetics, including Smart Colloidal Silver. Use 10% discount code STEEM for Steem & SBD orders only.

Oklahoma, United States (US)

150ppm Silver Lip Balm – Super Moisturizing

Follow @ppmsilver
View all products by PPM Silver Cosmetics

HSCO Featured Vendor | Meet “B & G Handmade”.


Hello again from @SenorCoconut,

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 scratch.

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 well .

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 saving scheme!

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 meet.

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 lesson.

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!


PS: Special thanks to @Riverflows for the graphics on that first image at the top of the post 💚 and of course @Homesteaderscoop for being an awesome community!!!

Homesteaders – Living Naturally, Newsletter. 24th April 2019

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.

This week’s challenge from @naturalmedicine is a little different to usual. They are asking “Do we live healthy lives to avoid or postpone death?” Entries are due in by Friday 26th April. You can also catch up with the latest curation post from @naturalmedicine here.

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.

Welcoming Newcomers


@jannamarie has made a short intro post and revealed a love of gardening. I hope we see them posting much more; although I’m slightly disconcerted that the picture looks rather like me in my younger years!

Some highlights of the week


@gardeningchannel has a video up on natural ways to keep the garden pests from taking all your crops and you might be surprised at some of these clever tricks!


Over in the east of Australia @bearone has been building grow house and sharing her adventures and learning curve along the way.


@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.

Weekly Featured Sustainable Products – 22nd April 2019

Happy Earth Day!!

This week’s product highlights are here! Each week three random vendors are chosen. One random product is picked from each vendor’s store. Let’s go!

little bear pocket journal blank notebook – hand binding travel Journal – bear notebook – bear illustration

little bear pocket journal blank notebook – hand binding travel Journal – bear notebook – bear illustration

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…###

This product is available for STEEM, SBD & USD

brought to you by @silviabeneforti
browse all products in Paper

silvia beneforti

Welcome to my shop where you can find my artworks and my handmade products for a nice lifestyle

Viterbo, Italy

little bear pocket journal blank notebook – hand binding travel Journal – bear notebook – bear illustration

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Handmade Colloidal Oatmeal Soap, Vegan-friendly

Handmade Colloidal Oatmeal Soap, Vegan-friendly

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 product is available for STEEM, SBD & USD

brought to you by @sunscape
browse all products in Soaps

Sunscapes Soap Shop

Welcome to Sunscapes Soap Shop where we offer you handmade, quality products to enhance your lifestyle.

New York, United States (US)

Handmade Colloidal Oatmeal Soap, Vegan-friendly

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Witch Hazel Extract – 4 Ounce with Flip Top Cap

Witch Hazel Extract – 4 Ounce with Flip Top Cap

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…###

This product is available for STEEM, SBD & USD

brought to you by @crescendoofpeace
browse all products in Tinctures

Crescendo of Peace

Unusual and Heirloom Plants and Seeds, Natural Remedies, Arts and Crafts, Ingredients Locally Wildcrafted and/or Grown Without Chemical Inputs, Always non-GMO.

Tennessee, United States (US)

Witch Hazel Extract – 4 Ounce with Flip Top Cap

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Homesteaders – Living Naturally, Newsletter. 17th April 2019

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.

Over at @naturalmedicine you can read the week’s picks in the curation post. Also, the winners for the plant medicine challenge have been announced and there is a chance to get an entry into the Archive Amnesty.

Welcoming Newcomers


@wowcrypto joined Steem in January last year, but has made a recent return and shared some pictures of a little container garden growing on their balcony. I’m hoping we can give a good welcome to encourage them to stick around this time.

Some highlights of the week


@eco-alex has been transcribing and editing a biotecture lecture by Michael Reynolds. This is part four, but you can find the links to the first 3 parts towards the end of the post. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in eco-building.


@smithlabs shares with us how to make a tincture from what turns out to be a very useful weed. Find out how useful shepherd’s purse can be here.


@mountainjewel has written about how trees heal our land and potentially our climate.


They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but often we’re rushing out and don’t get the best of breakfasts, if any at all. @celestialcow gives her solution with this immune boosting, soaked oats recipe

Thank you for stopping by. This week’s newsletter was brought to you by @minismallholding.

Weekly Featured Sustainable Products – 15th April 2019

This week’s product highlights are here! Each week three random vendors are chosen. One random product is picked from each vendor’s store. Let’s go!

Purple Garlic

Purple Garlic

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.###

This product is available for STEEM, SBD & USD

brought to you by @Riverflows
browse all products in Plants

River Flows

Victoria, Australia

Purple Garlic

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70 oval handmade paper tags

70 oval handmade paper tags

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!###

This product is available for STEEM, SBD & USD

brought to you by @bghandmade
browse all products in Paper

b & g handmade

Sofia, Bulgaria

70 oval handmade paper tags

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Vegan Antiaging Wrinkle Face Cream Hyaluronic Acid Colagen Q10 Skincare, Moisturizer, Bath & Beauty, Cosmetics, Facial Care Cold cream

Vegan Antiaging Wrinkle Face Cream Hyaluronic Acid Colagen Q10 Skincare, Moisturizer, Bath & Beauty, Cosmetics, Facial Care Cold cream

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…###

This product is available for STEEM, SBD & USD

brought to you by @purplemoon
browse all products in Oils, Creams & Salves


Natural Lovemade Cosmetics from an ecovillage

Granada, Spain

Vegan Antiaging Wrinkle Face Cream Hyaluronic Acid Colagen Q10 Skincare, Moisturizer, Bath & Beauty, Cosmetics, Facial Care Cold cream

Follow @purplemoon
View all products by UndaNatural

Following up…. and finally, an introduction!

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.

photo © Heather JohnsgaardWe live on the Precambrian Shield, a place where it is not uncommon to find vegetation growing out of the nooks and crannies of the rocky earth, and which I wrote about here.

Our home is on the outskirts of a fairly remote community which is based around a mine, the product being zinc and copper plus a little bit of gold.

On the Saskatchewan side, the nearest major community from us is about a four hour drive each way.

Neither Calendar nor Dates Make the Seasons it Seems

photo © Heather Johnsgaard

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.

photo © Heather Johnsgaard

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!


Introducing @Wildhomesteading – Monthly Wild Homesteading and Business Advice Newsletter


Hello! @wildhomesteading here and this is my introduction post as a new contributor to @homesteaderscoop.

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.

Thank you all!