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Homestead

Blog posts or photos that have to do with homesteading in the rural Ozarks of northwest Arkansas.

Bringing Hay to Horses in Snow

After yesterday’s post where I reveled in the fact that we’d actually had a decent snowfall, we went out in the cold to bring hay to horses. The temperature was about 15*F with a windchill factor of I don’t know what, but I’m sure ridiculously cold. Rob takes the tractor and I go ahead of …

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Can’t see the Trees for the Forest, or rather, Snowflakes for the Snow

Yesterday we only had a little bit of snow and each little snowflake was easy to see and photograph. Now it is like not being able to see the trees for the forest. Can’t see the snowflakes for the snow. Snow Makes the Cold More Bearable … for a little while But I love it. …

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How to Identify Plants in the Wild, How to Search and Find Clues

Earlier this year I surveyed my newsletter members for their top questions. Here’s one about how to identify plants found in the outdoors. Top Questions It’s more of a comment than a question, but I’m creating this post in response to it. Although I’ve paraphrased some, I believe the underlying question would be “how to identify …

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Product Review: STABILicers Ice Cleats make Slippery Slopes a Cinch!

When it gets icy here, just walking down the back steps is a feat, but making my rounds to feed the critters is the whole circus. Ice cleats to the rescue. Biding time to try out the ice cleats So since it hasn’t gotten icy since they arrived in the mail, I haven’t had a …

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Homestead: Getting the Chainsaw Stuck … and Unstuck

Today was an outdoor work day, at least until the storm blew in. Feeding critters, excluding chickens, and getting the chainsaw stuck, and unstuck. Feeding Critters I did the usual thing first – fed the critters. It was a foggy morning, so I brought the camera with me. There are always good things to see …

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No Water

This morning I turned on the faucet to put some water on my toothbrush. Nothing but a few drops came out. Then, nothing. No water. No Water My thoughts immediately led to the question in my mind, which was “Where did all the water go?” This isn’t the first time I’ve had nothing at the faucet first …

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Homestead Work

We’ve been busy doing a lot of outdoor homestead work since we came home from our gold panning trip to Colorado. That’s why there’s been no recent posts from me. The weather has been atrociously hot and I’m just too worn out by the end of a day to even type. But I figured I’d better …

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Avoiding Burnout: Fun Days at Wild Ozark

Avoiding Burnout Anyone who has ever tried to build a homesteading life will know it’s a tremendous amount of work. So we also work at avoiding burnout. The list of things on the “to do” list is so long, our list is more of a scroll than a list and it has no end. So …

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Busy Burning Coffee Days at Wild Ozark

My efforts at multitasking yesterday ended with flames, billowing smoke and the awful scent of burnt coffee beans. Surprisingly, I did not stop to get a picture of this event to document it for this post. At first there weren’t any flames. That didn’t happen until I opened the roaster door. What to do? After unplugging it …

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Photos of Plants – Medicinal & Useful plants down the Wild Ozark Driveway

I’m still mostly stuck in the house because of my knee (dislocated it a little over a week ago) but I took the four-wheeler and camera down the driveway to get a few photos of plants unfurling or coming into bloom. Doll’s Eyes versus Black Cohosh Late last year, after the flood in summer, I …

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How to move a round bale without a hay spike by using the front-end loader instead.

I’ve been using a chain with the tractor and front end loader to move round bales to the horses. We don’t have a hay spike or fork attachment. This how-to assumes you have a tractor with a front end loader attachment. Before we had a tractor, I used to fork hay each day to the …

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Coyotes at Midnight

Then there were coyotes at midnight, just as the drift of dreams was beginning to take hold. It went on for so long I had time to turn on the audio recorder and go outside. Now you get to hear the sound of this ruckus, too.

Repairing Our Wild Ozark Spring Water Line

Today I repaired our Wild Ozark spring water line Since I’ve learned how to do this myself, I figured I’d do it while Mr. Wild Ozark was at work. Later this summer we have plans to change out the entire spring water line and bury them, but this smaller repair needed to be done sooner …

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A problem in our gravity feed spring water system

What is a gravity feed water system? We are fortunate to have our very own spring fed water source that runs all year long. It is a spring that pumps out enough water, without fail, to serve our household with daily water. Even more lucky to have gravity feed. The spring is located on the …

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Warm Egg on a Cold Day

There is something quite satisfying about finding a warm egg in the henhouse on a blustery 15*F morning. I tried something new to help me wake up a little earlier this morning. It wasn’t until 5 a.m. when the strange noises began that I’d remembered what I’d done, though. Fresh coffee brewing in the bedroom, …

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Yellow dock (Rumex crispus), one of the useful “weeds” to know

I saw a young Yellow dock (Rumex crispus) the other day when I walked down the driveway. Usually, unless I’m specifically looking for younger plants, when I notice this plant it’s already matured and ready to produce seeds. Yellow dock, while not native to our soil, is one that will make its way into the next …

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Exercising in Nature – or – Why it takes me an hour to walk to the mailbox and back

Exercising in nature is as easy as taking a walk to check the mail. It helps if you have a long driveway. One of my resolutions for the new year and the rest of my life is to get into better shape. So I figured I’d use our natural resources here at Wild Ozark to …

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Did you know Osage Oranges evolved with wooly mammoths?

Osage Maclura pomifera, also known as Osage Orange, Bois d’Arc, Hedge-apple, or Horse-apple, the osage tree is native to our area. Even so, there aren’t very many of them in our particular neck of the woods. Osage trees were once planted close together so their branches could be woven together as fencing that was “bull …

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Killing Pretty Roosters

First I tried selling pretty roosters. Then I tried gifting pretty roosters. Yesterday we killed pretty roosters. It was my chore to pick which ones. I felt a bit like Kali (Goddess who is both giver of life and bringer of death). Last summer and fall the hens hatched out some eggs and most of …

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Looking back on 10 years of roughing it in the Ozarks – Happy Thanksgiving 2015

Many would consider us still roughing it. Life is a lot more comfortable here now, but we learned a lot about survival since we moved to these wild Ozark hills. Our Wild Ozark Origins When we first moved here to the Ozarks from south Louisiana, we lived in a very old house. We were a …

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Wild Ozark Nature Journal on Kindle

What is a sketch / nature journal? Sometimes nature writers like to doodle while they’re interpreting nature. My nature journal is a combination of art and written journal entry. It is both nature sketching and nature journal. Here are some sample pages from my first collection. All of my work can be seen at WildOzark.com/naturejournal/as I do …

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