Make your own vinegar (all kinds)!


How to Make Vinegar

Click the links below to go to the recipes from


How to make cordage/rope (resources)

Cordage (rope and string) can be made from many fibers including (Bast) Dogbane, Milkweed, Nettles, Hemp, Flax; (Leaves) Cattail, Yucca, Agave, Douglas Iris; (Bark) Willow, Maple, Basswood, Cedar; (Root) Leather Root, Beach Lupine; (Whole stem) Tule, straw, Juncus. Each material has specific requirements for extracting and preparing the fibers, but there are only two basic ways for using the fibers to make a cord: braiding (or plaiting) and twining. Braiding was usually done with flat, split materials such as cattail or flattened straw. The instructions in this article will deal only with twining, specifically with two ply (S-twist, Z ply, also called right handed) cordage. Read more @

How to make cordage from plastic bags

More Resources:

How to Make a Skin-Nourishing Herbal Salve

Helpful SHTF tip!

herban lifestyle

If you have a yard, chances are you are growing the ingredients for a skin soothing herbal infusion without even trying! Plantain (Plantago major) is considered a weed, but it also contains natural constituents that are wonderful for your skin. Violet (Viola odorata) leaves are in the same category (not to mention that the flowers are delicious in salads or syrups!).

Violet is moisturizing, toning, healing, and great for sore nipples. Plantain is good for eczema, acne, minor cuts, stings, insect bites, poison ivy itch, and diaper rash.

The basis of a skin-nourishing herbal salve is an herbal oil infusion. Gather about 4 cups of plantain and violet leaves, making sure to choose ones that are fresh and green looking, with no major brown spots, rotten areas, or major insect damage. And make sure that they have not been sprayed with chemicals of any kind.

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How to Make a Solar-Powered Battery Charger

Just wonderful!

herban lifestyle

The storms that blew through the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic on June 29 left us, along with millions of other people and all of the businesses in my town, without power for several days. I was incredibly grateful for a handcrank/solar-powered radio that I’ve had for years. It keep me abreast of the news, and provided some musical entertainment. It also inspired me to figure out how to make some solar appliances for future power outages. I heard stories on the radio of  people buying up batteries, and it occurred to me that I would prefer not to have to rely on them.

So, I headed to a library a couple of towns away (the closest one that was open) and did some research. I decided to start with a solar-powered battery charger since it was an easy first project. It required knowledge of how to use a soldering iron, but…

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Soap Just Soap

T and D Organics and Designs

This is the equation for our soap:


A crock pot + three different oils + distilled water + 5 extra minutes in the check out because I have to get carded to buy lye = soap

Seriously: In this town I am carded for lye and Visine Advanced but not for Sudafed…

Moving on…

T and I are getting away from processed EVERYTHING. We are growing our own food, making our own candles, our own soap and shampoo.

I’m getting into this whole “If I can’t read it I’m not using it” thing and not because I’m one of those tree hugging, environmentalist, hippy fascists- I just don’t like the idea of using something that I have no idea what it is, what it does or what it was originally for (ie the pesticides we currently use in commercial farming were originally nerve…

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Aimed at the Heart

Bowl of homemade yogurt
I have been making yogurt (on and off) since September 2011. I have read a whole bunch of recipes and, through much trial and error, found a recipe that works for my family. Some things that I have learned are as follows:
1. The longer you let the yogurt ferment, the more tart it becomes. My family does not like tart yogurt so about 4-5 hours results in a milder taste.
2. If the milk boils over you can clean up the mess while it cools down and the remaining milk will still work for yogurt.
3. A thermometer is handy to have but not essential.
4. White/clear vanilla tastes much better than the dark stuff.
I will tell you my method but you may need to tweak it a bit for your family’s taste preference.
Materials required:
  • Container(s) for finished yogurt with a secure lid (glass or plastic works)

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Go Grafted!

Take Root with Dennis' 7 Dees

Seven reasons why grafted tomatoes are greater tomatoes!

  1. Increased production: 4-5 times the fruit of standard tomatoes!
  2. Extreme vigor for improved fruit quality.
  3. Superior disease resistance
  4. Tolerance to environmental stresses.
  5. Increased yields with a prolonged harvest.
  6. Greater resistance to soilborne pathogens and nematodes.
  7. Reliable production of larger and unique heirloom tomato varieties.

With a vision to aid gardeners in reliably producing more food in less space, we are excited to provide Ezra’s Organic Tomoatoes to our customers.
What are grafted tomatoes?!
Due to limited growing space vegetable top grafting was originally developed in Japan to allow growers to produce a large amount of produce in a small space. This technique gives vegetables increased disease resistance, vitality, and productions throughout the season. Ezra’s Organics accomplishes this by grafting a robust wild rootstock (bottom of plant) to flavorful heirloom and hybrid tomatoes (top plant). The result is extremely prolific tomato production, without…

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