Author Archives: Nancy Wolff

Deciding whether or not to tackle a gardening job yourself will depend on many things. How much strength you have, your level of knowledge, your time, and your degree of interest in taking on the project. It’s never wise to take on something you can’t finish, or you can’t do properly, because unfinished projects cost you most in the long run.

There are many good DIY projects for example:

Planting a GardenGarden all planted!
Building Raised Beds

Transitioning to raised beds.

Transitioning to raised beds.

Transplanting small scrubs and trees.
Amending the soil with compost.

gardening, composting, prudent living

Compost

Making compost bins

composting, prudent living

Three Bin Composter


Creating new garden space.hostas, perennials
Drawing Up a Landscape Plan.

gardening, plan

Sample garden plot


Building a cover for your blueberry bushes

berries, protecting, prudent living

Blueberry Cage

Tasks For a Pro:
Major grading and terracing
Correcting major drainage issues
Felling trees
Digging out large tree stumps
Removing large boulders
Building Retaining walls.
Pruning and cabling large trees

What sort of tasks do you handle yourself? What tasks do you leave for others.?

Linked to some of my favorite link parties!

One of the major expense in your home is probably your energy bill(s), with most of it going to heating and cooling your home. Here are several low cost solutions to help make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.Frugal tip, prudent living

Cover Drafty Windows
Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or use a window sealing kit to cover your windows during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is tightly sealed.71JGT5beQGL._SL1500_

Find and Seal Leaks
About 1/3 of hot (or cold) air escapes through leaks and cracks. Some of the quickest dollar saving tasks you can do are caulk, seal and weather-strip seams and cracks in your ceilings, walls and floors.

Seal air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes, gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.

Add caulk or weather-stripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.

Install foam gaskets behind wall outlet and switch plates.foam gaskets

Install a programmable thermostat
Over an 8 hour period, a savings as much a 1% can be gained for each degree that you set your thermostat back. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to automatically set back the temperature in your home. Some models allow you to adjust your home temperature through smartphone apps!programable thermostat

Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs to produce less heat, which can cut energy costs associated with home cooling. They also use less energy than traditional bulls.

English: Image showing both a fluorescent and ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lower your water heating cost by turning down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120). Properly cover your water heater tank with an insulating blanket.

Have an annual tune-up for your heating system. This will help extend the life of your heating system while ensuring that it’s operating safely. If you have an older system you can replace it by installing a new, highly efficient system.

Hire a professional to come in and take a look at your current home and see what they would advise for ways to save on your energy costs.

Linked to some of my favorite link parties!

 

 

While you may think of salt as simply a white granular food seasoning, there are many more uses for salt. It is true; salt does accent the flavor of meat, brings out the individuality of vegetables, and deepens the flavor of delicate desserts. No other seasoning has yet been found that can satisfactorily take the place of salt.

Table Salt

Table Salt

Salt also has many other uses around the house and for this reason I find salt is an essential pantry ingredient. When doing the dishes salt will remove tea and coffee stains from light colored cups and mugs. Just rub the stained areas with salt and a little water. Wash as usual.

Salt can be used to clean a copper bottom pan. Spritz the bottom of the pan with white vinegar. Let sit until you see the tarnish evaporating. Sprinkle salt on top of the vinegar and scrub the entire surface with a no scratch scrub sponge. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

Salt added to water makes the water boil at a higher temperature, thus reducing cooking time!Add salt to water.

Salt will also extinguish a grease fire. Just toss the salt on a grease fire to smoother the flames.

Cleaning your sink drain. Pour a strong salt brine down the kitchen sink regularly to eliminate odors and keep grease from building up.Fill your sink and add vinegar.

Use salt to clean your wooden cutting board. Clean a wooden cutting board with Dawn dishwashing liquid and a little water. Follow cleaning by dipping a damp cloth in salt and wiping the board until the salt is gone. The salt treatment will leave the board looking, smelling and feeling fresh!Clean your cutting board.

Red Wine Spill. Next time you spill red wine on your tablecloth, immediately blot up all the moisture from the red wine spill, then sprinkle the area with salt and let sit for 15 minutes. Clean the area with a mixture of one part vinegar and two parts water.

Did you know you can add ½ cup salt to the wash cycle to prevent colored fabrics from running?Use vinegar in your washing machine.

Need to get rid of a mildew stain? Make a thin past of lemon juice and salt; spread the paste on the mildew stain. Lay the clothing out in the sun to bleach it, then rinse and dry.

Preventing mold. To prevent mold on cheese wrap the cheese in a cloth dampened with saltwater before refrigerating.

Want a natural way to get rid of weeds? Boil 1 quart of water, then add 2 Tbsp of salt and 5 Tbsp of white vinegar. While the water is hot, pout the mixture directly onto the weeds that creep up between the cracks in sidewalks and in your driveway.

With the many uses of salt you can see why I consider it an essential pantry ingredient!table salt, kosher salt, sea salt, prudent pantryLinked to some of my favorite link parties!

Right now I am watching what I eat and making healthy choices. I am also following the 21 Day Fix which is an incredible program of teaching you portion control, healthy eating and exercise. If you want more information let me know and I will point you in the right direction! Recently I made this Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese, which was delicious. It makes four servings so you can enjoy it for two meals, if there are two of you! I’m already thinking ahead to summer and how good this salad would be in a lettuce wrap! You may notice I totally forgot the goat cheese! Tasted delicious anyway!Lentil Salad

Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese

6 cups of water
1 cup of green lentils, rinsed and drained
¾ tsp salt
2 celery stalks (can include the leaves), diced
2 carrots, shredded
1 small onion, minced
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh dill
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp black pepper
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Bring the water, lentils and ½ tsp salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until lentils are tender. About 15-20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Ingredients for lentil salad.

Ingredients for lentil salad.

Add celery, carrots, onion, vinegar, dill, oil, mustard, pepper and remaining ¼ tsp salt and stir to combine.

Lentil Salad

Lentil Salad

Just before serving add the goat cheese. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Lentil Salad

Lentil Salad

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 Welcome to The  HomeAcre  Hop!

We’ve been enjoying some beautiful, sunny days. So nice to have temperatures above freezing! It’s been an exciting week as we’ve had a daily visitor, a Barred Owl. He (or she) loves to sit on our bird feeder which enables me to get some awesome photos!Barred Owl

Looking forward to having you  join us this week and share your homesteading, homemaking or homeschooling post! After you’ve shared your favorite post be sure to stop by and visit some of the other bloggers as well. Visit the other hosts too! We would love to have you follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Etsy, Google+, Instagram or by email

The HomeAcre Hosts are:
Tracy @ Our Simple Life
Sandra @ Clearwater Farm,
Kathi  @ Oak Hill Homestead,
Lisa @ The Self Sufficient Homeacre,
Mary @ HomeGrown On The Hill
Heidi @ Pint Size Farm
and Me! (Nancy @ On The Home Front)

Each week I will be sharing the most  visited post as well as my own favorite. In addition each host will also pick their own favorite. Visit each host to see if you were featured! (Remember – If you would like to be featured, be sure to link back to the hop otherwise you will not be featured!)

Most liked post:
8 Lessons Learned From The Great Depression, written by Missy from Graceful Little Honey Bee.8-Lessons-Learned-from-The-Great-Depression

 My featured post:
Where To Get Your Seeds written by The Farmer’s Wife over at Grace Garden and Homestead.Where-To-Get-Seeds-e1425788857819-676x329

Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board where we share our Hop Favorites each week.

We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading, homemaking and homeschooling. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week! If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog!

Congratulations to our featured posts! Be sure to grab your “I was featured” button!

Prudent Living on the Homefront
 You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, Homemaking, and Homeschooling! There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog… in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
  • No giveaways please!
  • Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted!
Prudent Living on the Homefront

 


Linked To: WordlessWednesday, WeeklyTopShot

Do you live in an area of the country with a short growing season? If you are interested in having your own vegetable seedlings you will have to start your seeds indoors. After reading last week’s post on  Time To Plant Seeds you will know how to figure out when to start your seeds indoors. It’s very important not to start your seeds too early or you will end up with very leggy seedlings to transplant into your garden!The tomato seedlings are doing just fine.

I always look forward to this time of year, we may still have snow on the ground outside but in just 8-10 weeks I will be transplanting my seedlings into the garden!

My seed starting set up is fairly simple. I would love to have a greenhouse but instead my husband made me a wonderful grow table. It just fits my two grow lights and when placed in front of our kitchen window it seems to work just fine as a spot to start my seedlings.

grow lights, seed starting

Seed starting set-up.

As mentioned last week, I keep track of what seeds I start and when they were planted. I also mark the containers so I can keep track of my seedlings.

Keeping track!

Keeping track!

Since last week I have started my onion and leek seeds. In another week I will be starting my peppers and tomatoes. I usually use small containers to start my seeds but this year I will also be using another type of seed starting container as well.seed starting

I have mentioned before that I make my own seed starting mixture. If you missed that post you can find my “recipe” HERE.

seed starting mixture, gardening

Homemade seed starting mixture.

One rule of thumb is to plant the seeds 2-3 times as deep as the seed is wide. Leek and onion seeds are rather small and are pretty much sprinkled on the top of the soil.

Once my seeds are planted I make sure the soil is moist. One way to do this is to fill a plastic bin with water and float the pot in it until the surface is damp. I then label each container with the date and the name of the plant. This will help me keep track of how many days it took the seeds to germinate and will also help me when it comes time to plants the vegetable plants in the garden. I may be able to tell leeks from broccoli but it is very important to keep track of the variety of peppers and tomatoes.

Seeds planted.

Seeds planted.

Cover the seeds with a plastic or glass cover to create a mini greenhouse.  You need to keep the seeds warm; a heating pad may be necessary. You do not need a grow light until the seeds sprout. Once you see the first seed sprouting remove the cover and place under your grow light. Keep a close eye on the seedlings, as you don’t want them to dry out.

It’s a wonderful feeling to finally have some seeds planted. I will continue to plant more as the weeks go by. Won’t be too long before I’ll be able to be outside working in the garden!

Linked To: TuesdayGardenParty, TuesdaysWithATwist, WonderfulWednesday, GardenTuesday, OutdoorWednesday, HomesteadBlogHop, PennyPinchingParty, WildcraftingWednesday, WhatToDoWeekends, FromTheFarm, SimplyNaturalSaturday, CleverChicksBlogHop

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