Tag Archives: Home Front

By July 1, 2017, The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation assures that waste haulers and drop-off centers must provide food scrap collection. I am more interested in managing my food scraps at home, it is simple and low-cost, and I can make wonderful compost, which is like black gold for my garden.gardening, composting, prudent living


The benefits of composting are many. It is a great soil amendment for my garden. Compost helps promote root development, enhances retention of water and nutrients and makes the soil easier to cultivate.What To do With Food Scraps


How to go about making compost from your food scraps? One simple method is to use a compost bin made of recycled plastic. Here in Vermont I can actually purchase these bins from the Solid Waste Management District. They are also available at our local hardware store. Once the snow has melted find a suitable site that’s convenient but also out of the way. It should be shaded and out of the wind. We have ours tucked in the corner of the yard. Our compost bin is within easy walking distance from the house yet not really visible when you drive in the driveway.What To Do With Food Scraps?


I also have a small compost container, which sits on my counter and is filled almost daily. When the container is filled it is brought outside and emptied into our larger bin.What To Do With Food Scraps?


When collecting materials to compost you want them to be in small enough pieces so that they will compost quickly. It is a good idea to layer your compost using one part of green material to 3 parts brown. Green materials are food scraps, manure, freshly cut grass, coffee grounds, and vegetable and fruit scraps. Brown materials are dry leaves, sawdust, shredded egg cartons, ground up eggshells, hair and wood ash.


Do not add meat scraps, diary products, oils or bones as they will attract pests. Do not use grass clippings that have been treated with pesticides or pet manure. Remember you will be putting your compost into your garden and you want it to be beneficial to your plants.


As the compost pile builds up you can either stir it with a shovel or remove the fresh compost from the bottom. We usually empty our compost bin each spring and dig it into our garden.What To Do With Food Scraps?


There are also other compost bins that you can build using pallets or wire. The bottom line is that composting is easy. Compost will take your food scraps and give you a supply of dark, crumbly hummus that will enhance your garden.What To Do With Food Scraps?


We are about to re-list our home with a new realtor. Hopefully this is the year we see a sale! Setting the right price and making an excellent first impression are both essential to attracting buyers so we can sell our home. Here are 10 tips to sell your home more quickly.Selling Your Home Quickly


10 Tips To Sell Your Home More Quickly

  1. The most important tip is to price it right from the start. After interviewing three realtors we chose the realtor that we thought would do the best job and price the house to sell. We don’t want to list high with the thought that we can lower the price later. If we price it too high many buyers may stay away thinking we’re not serious or we’re not willing to negotiate.


  1. We want to make a good first impression from the minute they drive in the driveway. It’s still too early to plant flowers or make sure the lawn is mowed but we can make sure the snow is shoveled and the path to the house is clear and the deck is free of snow.


  1. The Interior and Exterior should be clean and updated. We painted the exterior of the house in the fall and repainted the steps to the house. All the walls on the inside have been freshly painted and the carpeting was new two years ago. We have updated the light fixtures in the bathroom to give it a more updated look. The only thing we didn’t do is update the kitchen but the new owners will have to have something to do to make the house their own!10 Tips To Sell Your Home More Quickly


  1. As you know we have been packing and de-cluttering since the house first went on the market. The fewer things that are in the house the more open it will look. We have removed all the knickknacks and excess furniture. We have also taken down all the family photos so prospective buyers can envisions their family in the house. The only thing left to do is hire a cleaning service to do a deep cleaning.


  1. The rooms are all staged to show how they are supposed to be used; the office looks like an office, the family room looks like a family room. We do not have any odd rooms in our house where someone might wonder what it could be used for. The rooms are clean and spacious.10 Tips To Sell Your Home More Quickly


  1. We plan to make the property easy to show. We will be flexible and allow the prospective victors to visit when it is convenient for them. We also plan to leave the house when it is shown so the would be buyers can feel free to move about without feeling like intruders. This will give them the opportunity to discuss the pros and cons between themselves.


  1. We no longer have any pets but if we did we would remove them during a showing. When a prospective buyers is looking at a house they shouldn’t even know that a pet lives there.Pugs, dogs


  1. Before we even hire our new realtor we will discuss with him where the house will be listed. We want to make sure the house is listed on Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com and that the realtor will make good use of Facebook as well. The more exposure the house has, the more likely that we’ll find the right buyer.


  1. The listing should have top-notch photos. We actually rented a camera lens to take excellent interior shots. The realtor is welcome to use them or take shots of their own. Most homebuyers start their search online and decide which homes they want to look at based on the photos.10 Tips To Sell Your Home More Quickly


  1. Make sure the listing also includes photos of nearby recreation and area attractions. We have to remember that we not only selling our home we are selling a lifestyle.10 Tips To Sell Your Home More Quickly


By following these tips you should be able to sell your house more quickly. Of course real estate markets vary drastically depending on where you live. Here in Vermont sales are slow and it is a buyers market meaning there are lots to choose from.


Spring is the most popular home-buying season. The weather is good, and families with children can make a smooth transition before the new school year starts.


For some reason I have the perfect conditions to grow an aloe plant. The Aloe Vera plant is a popular houseplant with medicinal properties. The sap from the leaves has wonderful topical benefits, especially on burns and sunburns. I think I first started growing aloe plants when we lived in Florida over twenty years ago! These plants are an ideal addition to your home, and they are very easy to care for. In fact not only are they easy to care for, but propagating an aloe plant is also extremely easy.Propagating an Aloe Plant


My plant does so well that I find myself passing along baby plants to my friends. You might wonder how I do this. While you can actually grow an aloe plant from a leaf cutting it is much easier and more successful to propagate from offsets or “pups” .Propagating an Aloe Plant


Aloe vera is a succulent and as such, is related to the cactus. Cacti are fairly easy to propagate from cuttings, but aloe vera cuttings, with their high moisture content, rarely become viable plants. Rooting an aloe vera plant leaf seems like it should work, but all you will get is a rotten or shriveled leaf.


It is much easier to share this wonderful plant by removal of offsets. This is a simple process that anyone can easily do. If you look carefully at your aloe plant you will notice little aloe plants (offsets) forming off the mother plant. As a general rule the offset should be about 1/5 the size of the parent plant and should have several sets of true leaves.Propagating an Aloe Plant


When the offset is large enough remove the dirt from around the base. When you remove the offset you want to make sure it has a complete root system attached.Propagating an Aloe Plant


Plant the newly removed offset in a dry cacti-potting mix or make your own with one part potting soil and one part sand. Allow it to sit for one week and then water the soil. After this you would care for the aloe vera pup the same way you would the mother plant.Propagating an Aloe Plant


To successfully grown an aloe vera plant remember that the plant is a succulent and does well in a dry environment. They should be planted in a cactus potting soil mix and should have plenty of drainage. They do not like standing water. They also need bright light and do best in south or west facing windows.


Now you can not only grow your aloe plant successfully but you now know that propagating an aloe plant is easy and you can pass the aloe plant pups off to your friends!Propagating an Aloe Plant

No our house hasn’t sold but moving, packing and de-cluttering is on the forefront these days. There are so many things to consider when making a move! I’m a planner and a list maker and although it will be many months before we’re actually making a move I thought I would gather my thoughts and think about the things to consider when making a move.Making a Move


We no longer have children at home so one thing we don’t have to think about is schools! My husband also works from home so trying to find a location near a place of employment is also something we don’t have to think about.


Top of the list is sorting and purging your belongings. We have been in this process for the last year. We are currently going through old slides! Between my husband and I we have reels of old slides and then boxes of loose slides. It’s tedious work but every evening we sort through a couple of reels tossing most of the slides but keeping the few treasures we come upon. It’s funny because as a teenager and in my early twenties I took so many scenic photos and very few photos of people. The scenic shots are pretty but how many photos of flowers and marshes do you want to keep?Preparing for a move


Anyway going though every room of your house and deciding what you’d like to keep and what you’d like to get rid of is time consuming. However when you’re paying for the move yourself you want to make sure that you’re moving exactly what you want and need and nothing extra! I have a box for items I want to sell and another box for items to donate. We’ll be having another yard sale this summer.


Now is also the time to do a little research regarding moving companies. What are the options? I called many of the bigger firms only to be told they don’t service our area. Guess we’re a little rural! Get an estimate in writing from each company and make sure it has a USDOT (US Department of Transportation) number on it if you are moving to a different state.


Now you’re beginning to collect a bit of information and it would be a good idea to use a binder or folder to keep track of everything – all your estimates, your receipts, and an inventory of all the items you are moving! I’m trying to keep an inventory of everything I’ve already packed but sometimes I’m not so organized and just write something like “cookbooks” on the box! I’m doing my best!planning a move


If you do have school age children go to your children’s school and arrange for their records to be transferred to their new school districts. This should be done about two months before you move.


Six weeks before you move you want to start collecting boxes and other supplies such as tape, bubble wrap, and permanent markers.Making a Move


Start using up things that you don’t want to move, like frozen or perishable foods and cleaning supplies.Making a Move


By now you’ve figured out where you are moving. Check the room dimensions of your new home, if possible, and make sure larger pieces of furniture will fit through the door. We have an extremely tall grandfather’s clock. When we’re looking at new homes we’re always looking to make sure there is a tall entry wall where the clock will go!making a move


Take steps now to ensure that you have an organized move. Stay tuned, as I will be posting another article on what to do in the weeks before a move! Hopefully I will follow all these suggestions myself and we’ll have a very organized move!

Welcome to the Simple Homestead Blog Hop!

We are so glad that you have stopped by for a visit! We encourage you to look through some of the great posts shared by our readers and then take the time to read those that interest you. If you are adding to our list, thank you for sharing your homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts with us. It’s so much fun to read your hints, tips, and happenings. We hope you have fun exploring all the great ideas everyone has shared with us.

Meet Our Great Co-hostscohost-photos1

Tracy at Our Simple HomesteadFacebookTwitterPinterest

Nancy at On the HomefrontFacebookTwitterPinterest

Dash at Bloom Where You’re PlantedFacebookInstagram

Delci at Heritage Club StablesFacebookGoogle+PinterestYouTube

Sandra at Clearwater Farm – FacebookPinterestInstagram

Featured Posts

Each week we’ll feature the most-viewed post from last week’s hop. Each host also features her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. Visit each of our blogs to see if you were featured this week.

Our most-visited post from last week’s hop was:
Live Like Your Grandmother Did

My Favorite Post:
Make Your Own Unpaper Towels



Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

If you were featured be sure to pick up your Simple Homestead blog hop button below. Just highlight the text in the box and paste into your blog sidebar; the button will show up automatically.

Nancy On The Home Front


The Rules

You are invited to share your original homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts. We have a few little rules:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted.

Let’s start hopping!

Monday Muffins: Roasted Banana Muffins


I have made banana muffins many times but this was the first time I’ve made Roasted Banana Muffins. Roasting the banana seems to intensify the flavor. These muffins have more of a cake-like consistency and they are delicious and freeze well. These roasted banana muffins are perfect to go with your afternoon cup of tea.Roasted Banana Muffins


Roasted Banana Muffins




2 ripe bananas

2 cups flour

1 ¼ cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup milk

1 large egg, beaten

4 Tbsp butter, meltedRoasted Banana Muffins




Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Make a three inch long slice down each banana and lay the banana on a baking sheet. Roast the banana until the skins turn black and the juices in the bananas start to run from the slits in the skins, about ten minutes. Remove the bananas from the oven and keep the oven on.Roasted Banana Muffins


When the bananas are cool enough to handle, discard the peels and place the bananas in a bowl. Mash with a fork and set aside.


In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk to blend evenly. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and melted butter. Stir in the mashed bananas. Thoroughly combine the dry ingredients with the banana mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to blend well.


Place a paper liner in each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin. Spoon the batter into the cups, filling each about three quarters full. Bake until golden brown or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to let cool.Roasted Banana Muffins Makes 12-14 muffins depending on the size of your muffin tin.Roasted Banana Muffins

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