Monday, December 31, 2012

How to Store Safe Clean Water for Emergencies or Homesteading Supply

Here’s what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)[1] says about preparing containers and water for storing:

• Containers for water should be rinsed with a diluted bleach solution (one part bleach to ten parts water) before use. Previously used bottles or other containers may be contaminated with microbes or chemicals. Do not rely on untested devices for decontaminating water.

• If your water is treated commercially by a water utility, you do not need to treat water before storing it. Additional treatments of treated public water will not increase storage life. [emphasis added]

• If you have a well or public water that has not been treated, follow the treatment instructions provided by your public health service or water provider.

• If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or state health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.

• Seal your water containers tightly, label them and store them in a cool, dark place. It is important to change stored water every six months.

If you wish to treat our water prior to storing it, I recommend the site for the latest information on disinfecting water with chlorine bleach. Any “clorox” type bleach product will work, as long as it only contains 5.25% or 6% sodium hypochlorite as its active ingredient and does not contain brighteners or scents. Per the Clorox site use the following amounts of bleach to disinfect water: 4 drops per quart, 16 drops per gallon, 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons; shake or stir the water and let sit for 30 minutes before using. If, after 30 minutes, you cannot smell chlorine, retreat and wait 30 minutes. On my used barrels from the local bottling plant, I treat my stored water with a saturated iodine crystal solution, just for insurance. Again, if you have confidence in the cleanliness of your local tap water, using it as-is is okay also.

Some may advocate the use of potable water-compatible hoses to fill large barrels. However, I just use my garden hose, running the water for several minutes to ensure I am getting fresh water direct from the water main in front of my house. Again, YMMV; use what you’re comfortable with.
Except for those containers which I note that I have no experience with, I have listed water storage containers in order reflecting my personal preference and experience. Currently, I have over 450 gallons of water stored, with approximately 330 gallons in the water storage containers discussed in this FAQ.

With one exception, none of these containers have leaked. Your personal circumstance and preferences (cost, need for robustness, convenience, storage space, amount of water to store, etc.) will determine what’s best for you. This FAQ is designed to help you determine what to containers to store the amount of water you feel you need. All prices shown represent the North Alabama area during 2002.

Freezing water containers: Most of the containers listed here are freezable, with certain limitations. Sufficient headroom must be left in order to prevent splitting or bursting the container since water expands when it freezes into ice. Headroom is nothing more than air left at the top of the container. The only exception to the headroom rule are store bought 12 and 20 oz. water bottles that can be frozen as they come from the store; all larger containers need to have headroom to ensure the container will survive the freezing and water expansion process. Usually ¼ of the container’s volume is sufficient headroom.

Cleaning previously used containers: First make sure you know what has been previously stored in your used containers. This usually means that you bought the container new with its original contents (e.g. pop bottles) or you have confidence of its previous use from a commercial source (e.g. a Coke Cola or Pepsi bottler). Under no circumstances would I use containers that I was not sure what it might have been used for in the past. For example, I do not recommend that people collect used pop bottles from recycling centers or bins for use as potable water containers.

To clean small used containers, I rinse out several times, allow the container to soak filled with hot water a couple of times, and then fill with tap water and call it good. For larger containers like barrels, I will use a solution of Clorox and water (1/8 cup per gallon of water) and rinse several times afterwards. I do not recommend that you use any type of detergent or other cleaning solutions to clean your containers. If the containers are really dirty, grungy or contain visible signs of algae, I would not use them, unless you can ensure you can fully clean the container (i.e. can physically remove the dirt, not just rinse) or use them for non-potable water uses.

To clean new containers, I usually just rinse them out a few times, fill them with city tap water and call it good to go. I have tested my city water (Madison, AL) several times for chlorine and it always has a very high level of free chlorine. YMMV, especially if you are using well water. All of my smaller containers are filled from the water tap; the larger containers are filled with a standard garden hose, well flushed to ensure clean, fresh water is stored. For the ultimate in cleanliness, a water potable hose could be used; these are available from RV suppliers. I personally don’t feel its necessary, but feel free to use what you think is best.

Attributes assessed for this FAQ: Cost, robustness, size, convenience, and FDA approved materials along with other comments as necessary.

Cost assessment is important to people new to preparedness; they almost always looking to save money when they are starting down the preparedness road. Cost is also important in order to maximize dollars for water stored.

There is another dimension to cost that most people might not think about. Suppose there’s a crisis in your area and you’ve prepared but your friends, neighbors and relatives haven’t. A neighbor comes to the door asking for water knowing you have several hundred gallons stored; will the decision to share easier knowing that you can give him several gallons in containers that cost you nothing vs. the possibility of losing a $20 USGI water can? Exactly. There are a number of good reasons to share with others during times of crisis and the possibility of losing expensive water containers shouldn’t be an impediment to so doing.

Robustness is important for 2 reasons: mobility and longevity. People need to know which containers they can take with them if they are forced to evacuate, having confidence the containers and therefore their water will survive travel; longevity is important so containers don’t have to be replaced once they are bought. Furthermore, people usually store their water with their stored food; it’s important to know that your water containers are not going to leak and destroy your food supply.

Size is important to people with very little storage area available for preparedness items because they live in an apartment or small house. Size also allows everyone to maximize their storage capability. Size is important if you have to carry your water container any distance to fill or use.

Convenience is important to those who may be aged or are not strong enough to move heavy weights or may have children that need to use the water. Water weighs 8.3 lb/gallon and cannot be condensed or dehydrated (despite what you read on the Internet!). Having comfortable handles makes it easier moving and using water containers.

All weights shown below are for the water only; container weights are usually pretty negligible compared to the weight of the water; exceptions are large barrels and other very large water containers. Even an empty 55-gallon barrel is pretty easy for even a child to move.

Very large containers (i.e. +100 gallons) may be more difficult to move or handle.

Containers made to FDA specifications for potable water is obviously important because we want our stored water to be healthy and safe when we need it. However, just because a container is not made to FDA standards does not mean it’s not useful for preparedness: water stored in non-FDA containers such as water beds or swimming pool water can be used for non-potable water uses such as toilet flushing or bathing. This leaves the precious stored potable water for drinking and cooking.
Containers specifically NOT recommended for storing water:

Glass containers: too fragile, especially in earthquake , tornado and hurricane prone areas; glass is heavy, making it harder for people to move the containers when filling, emptying, etc. Glass containers are especially hazardous if you are forced to evacuate.

Metal containers: will impart a metallic taste to water and will eventually make the water undrinkable. Note: I have no experience with FDA approved lined steel containers designed for storing water. Assuming the liner remains intact (big assumption IMO), the only objection would be cost and the fact that metal containers would be heavier than equivalent sized plastic containers. For example, the 5 gallon metal jerry water cans sold by Back Country Trailers cost $49 each, plus shipping i.e. +$10/gallon of water stored!

Milk jugs and other containers made of milk jug type plastic materials: This material, while approved by the FDA for contact with food, are made of Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), which is a very thin container material and designed to biodegrade; it is guaranteed to leak after a couple of months, sooner if exposed to light.

Used bleach jugs: Designed to biodegrade plus the added hazard of using a hazardous material container for potable water; not made of FDA materials approved for potable water; thin material, will leak within a couple of months, especially if exposed to light.

Plastic fuel cans: Material not made of FDA approved materials for potable water; also increases the chance of contamination with petroleum products. It’s just a bad idea to use any hazardous material container, new or not, for a water storage container.

Any container that previously contained any hazardous materials, chemicals, pesticides, petroleum products or food products that will impart an objectionable taste to water (i.e. pickled eggs, meat products, condiments etc.)

“Desert Patrol” water containers: Although designed for water storage, I’ve personally had both of my units leak. I ended up destroying both of them. Furthermore, I’ve heard from at least 3 other users that their Desert Patrol containers also leaked.

“Collapsible” containers: made of LDPE, not robust enough to hold water permanently and the fact that they are collapsible almost guarantees they won’t be filled until the crisis occurs, then it will be too late to discover this container has a pinhole and leaks.

[Article taken from read more on the website!]

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Treasure of the Ozarks: Laura Ingalls Wilder Home to be Upgraded & Renovated for $2 Million!

Many of us are familiar with the books and the T.V Show "Little House on the Prairie" from Laura Ingalls Wilder, and according to "Greene" magazine, an Ozarks based and all about the Ozarks magazine, tells us that for about $2 million the Mansfield, Missouri historic home of the famous writer will be renovated and turned into a "historic home and museum" on Rocky Ridge Farm which will "assure the Wilder homestead its rightful legacy" states the author, George Freeman.  Tim Rosenbury, architect from Springfield, MO will be on the job for the renovation of the Rocky Ridge Farm.

Check out Laura's home on Rocky Ridge Farm!

If you're like many of us who long for the day to go back to the "simple" life of way back when and live much like the families within Laura's "Little House" books and are interested in homesteading on land with no building restrictions, or maybe you're looking to be the next Laura Ingalls Wilder let us help you with your source for inspiration!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Save Money by Saving Seeds: Here's How to Do It!

We're edging into the Winter months, but Spring is on the mind for those who are looking ahead at gardening and planting time, so here's some tips to keep in mind when growing your crops this coming up 2013 year for saving seeds for the future. You can save $ money $ and can make a little, too!

7 Reasons to Save Seeds:
  1. Money Savings. When you buy seeds, invest in high-quality seeds for the first planting, then you will have high quality seeds in a much higher volume to save, thus saving you more money in the long run.
  2. Seed Security. Instead of industry corporations who have discontinued some varieties of seeds to sell lucrative hybrid seeds, saving your own seeds gives you seed security in the fact that you control the supply of the seed variety you chose to plant, especially now hard to find seeds that aren't always available in the catalog (perhaps offer extra seeds to sell to other interested gardeners thus making you more money).
  3. Regional Adaption. When you save seeds grown on your land and in your climatic environment, you are developing over time, better adapted varieties best suited to your soil and climate conditions and growing practices.
  4. Consistent Quality: Corporations use open pollination in their seed crops, which means that their seed packets may contain several off-type seeds because they rarely rogue their fields for bad or poorly growing plants, which then pollinate and add to the seed crop. In saving your seeds and doing the picking, cleaning and hoeing yourself, you pull out the suckers, the weaker plants, etc and thus provide a more consistent pollination to your own seed crop that has better quality seeds each time you plant.
  5. The Joy of Learning.  The more seeds you save the more you learn about botany and the plant kingdom, this is a great thing for kids to get into especially for science projects!
  6. Explore Heirloom Varieties. Some people like to grow heirloom varieties because doing so gives them a connection to our garden heritage, others choose non-hybrid seeds because they don't want to support the industrial Agriculture system that is increasingly controlling our food supply and some older, open-pollinated varieties produce more nutritious crops than do modern hybrids bred mostly for high yields and long shelf life.
  7. Influence Crop Traits. Gene pools are incredibly elastic. By carefully observing your plants, you can save seed from those plants that best meet your needs for germination, ripening time, yield, specific fruit shape, flavor, storage, qualities, less seediness, better disease resistance, bloom color, or other unique trait within the variety of plant. Over time, most of the plants you grow from your saved seeds will end up having the desired traits you like.
Seed-Saving Tips

  • Always choose OP (Open-Pollinated) varieties for seed saving, these are non-hybrid plants with seed that's true generation after generation. (Self & Cross-Pollinating plants are OP)
  • The easiest crops to save seeds from are: peas, beans, tomatoes, and peppers (Self-Pollinators).
  • Cross-Pollinating crops need to be isolated from other varieties of the same species. The simplest solution is to grow only one variety of a given species and you can just save seeds from one or two plants, but to maintain long-term health and vigor, you should buy new seed every few years or trade seeds with other growers. Cross-Pollinating crops to save seeds from are: brassicas, corn, carrots, beets, squash, cucumbers, and melons.
  • Soak "wet" seeds, like Tomatoes and Squash which have a gel sac around the seeds that prevents germination, in order to remove the sacs and dry on a screen.
  • Seed crops are often harvested at different times than food crops, in order to keep your garden organized and track of which crop you want for seed, mark off the row with a ribbon or tie or other marker that you will know means a seed crop.
  • Flower heads are usually harvested as they dry.
  • Using screens as filters or rubbing seed pods between your hands is a couple ways to remove chaff from the seed.
  • Store seeds in glass jars, plastic bags or paper envelopes. Though glass is always best as it prevents moisture from getting to the seeds. (I have used baby food jars for small amounts of seed saving, but they are thoroughly washed, sterilized and dried before putting in the seeds).
  • Store seeds in a cool, dry place, ideally at less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit and at a relative humidity level of less than 50 %. In general, for every 10 degrees colder the storage conditions, seed longevity doubles, so it's best to keep seed in a covered container in a refrigerator. As long as the seed is very dry, it will last longest if you keep it in a freezer. All seed should be dried to a brittle state, ideally less than 14 % moisture (so ice crystals don't form on the seeds while in a freezer). When you're ready to use freezer stored seeds, allow the storage jar to come to room temperature before opening it to avoid condensation on the seed.

**(Information acquired from Mother Earth News Magazine, December 2012/January 2013 edition, Article " Saving Seed 7 Reasons Why and Dozens of Tips for How" by Roberta Bailey pgs 38-44 )**

Monday, November 5, 2012

Homesteading in a Camper or Travel Trailer during Winter

I reviewed some online articles concerning how to homestead in a travel or camper trailer during the Winter to keep warm in about -9 degrees F, these helpful tips were gleaned from "The Tiny Voice of Reason"  and Homesteading Today's websites/forums.

    You can use hay bales as insulation for the skirting around your travel or camper trailer, however, keep in mind that the mice will be moving in and that hay is prone to spontaneously combust and is a fire hazard. Another form of insulation that would work would be creating a wind break by using permaculture, or various sized plants in pots or planted in the ground in various heights and staggering areas to create a barrier for the wind as wind is the main cause of heat loss during Winter, especially if you have no trees or are in an open area.

    Wood siding for sheds is a good skirting for campers and trailers for winter, consider adding foam board and heavy plastic to the underside of the trailer and over the crawlspace to conserve more heat and buff the cold winter winds. Also, get the vent cushions to cover your AC during winter, these are often found in RV stores or online.

   Buy some cheap shower curtain liners, fold them in half, cut to your window size and put them over the windows on the outside of the camper/trailer just to where they overlap the window frame (and if you have a patio door frame, do the same) and make sure to tape with outdoor heavy duty tape found at Home Depot or other hardware stores and also consider caulking with wet weather caulk on the interior of the camper/trailer where there's cracks, such as around the around the main doors, windows & closet seams where they meet the floor and use expanding foam to fill the areas around the floor seam of the popout if you have one.

rv homesteading
   Invest in Styrofoam insulation panels (12 pack for $8) from Home Depot and  put those inside the cabinets, closets, the storage space in the bedroom closet and under the sinks.  Under the tub, and that small space behind the toilet where the pipe sits in front, and stuff in fiberglass bats and make an inside cover with a square piece of Styrofoam insulation. Insulate your sinks as well!

    Put a wool blanket under your flat sheet on your bed, and consider layering two or three thick microfiber blankets on top for warmth when you sleep, also layer thin and thick blankets for your bed coverings, layers do wonders and if you don't have electricity, consider investing in a hot water bottle or pack, otherwise plug in that heating blanket!

    Put thermal curtains or blankets over your windows, open them while the sun is out for passive solar heating and close them up when it starts to get dark. Also, consider painting a few 2 Liter soda bottles black, fill them with water and let the sun heat them up during the day outside, bring them inside to let the warmth leach into the camper/trailer, if you find one or two isn't enough try a few more but larger water containers will take longer to heat up and may end up freezing and having the opposite effect instead.

Invest in a generator if money allows and stock up on fuel when it's the cheapest. Do not store fuel next to your camper/trailer, but in a safe area a good distance away in approved containers.

Some have installed wood stoves into their travel trailers, this can be a dangerous fire hazard and if you have one installed make sure that you have at least two fire distinguishers handy and never leave your camper/trailer unattended with a live fire in the wood stove.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Build a High-Protein Dispenser for FREE Chicken Food!

Found a nice little article that will help all those who have chickens, through the winter and the rest of the year saving you money by feeding natural, and high-protein, and FREE feed to your chickens with a little material found 'round the homestead or farm with a dollar or two thrown in for some minor materials.

The article I gleaned this info from is out of the "Countryside & Small Stock Journal" Vol 96 No. 6 November/December 2012, Page 61, by Jeff Hoard.

Basically the articles author explains how to create a maggot dispenser for your chickens using some simple materials:
  • Flat plywood- to put under dispenser to catch & feed chickens on a clean surface.
  • 5 gal. bucket with lid, bottom cut out but leave a 1" lip around it to hold a round piece of grate or heavy wire mesh.
  • Grate or Heavy Wire Mesh
  • Charge (dead animals, meat scraps, or raw fatty meat products. Don't use anything sick or dying.)
  • PVC Coupler
  • Long piece of ABS pipe
  • Auto Heater Vent Hose
  • Skirting-for little bird & wind barrier
  • Tools for cutting & Drilling
 The author goes on to explain how he put the dispenser together and how it works:

     "I mentioned ours being a deluxe model and I'll explain. The hanger/vent was made out of scrap pipe. At the top I inserted a long piece of ABS pipe. The horizontal hanger is another short pipe that is welded over a hole that I cut in the main vertical pipe. A little below that are two more short pieces of pipe in a v-shape that stick out on each side of the hanging bucket. These serve as bumpers. On the lid of the bucket, I inserted an appropriate sized PVC coupler and a piece of auto heater vent hose, which attaches from there up to the hanging pipe.  This is how the odor is vented up and out at the top of the long ABS pipe. Like the vent system, the "skirt" that was installed on the bucket is certainly not a necessity but does perform some added functions. first, it keeps smaller birds from hanging off the bottom trying to eat their fill. Second, the skirt serves as a wind catch. Third, as the chickens go for the maggots they hit the skirt to hopefully dislodge a few more. Fourth, it helps keep the charge from drying out (very important). I did drill one small hole in the center at the top of the bucket's lid to allow for moisture to be added onto the charge if needed. " (page 63)

The author continues with some tips, "Install the dispenser 20 ft away from the chicken house,  in the shade, this will help draw the flies away from the flock and the flies are immediately drawn to the charge. They then lay their larvae on the charge and the larvae then turn into maggots, hundreds at a time and as they grow larger they get heavier and eventually fall through the grate and onto the plywood below to be gobbled up by a waiting chicken. It usually takes about 5 days for the maggots to start dropping and as long as the charge is refreshed," there is a constant supply of high-protein feed for your chickens and it's free! Chickens can keep laying with this feed and greens for quite some time, without the need for corn scratch!

I scanned the image directly from the magazine in order to show you all what they've created and about how it'll look when finished. It's in pdf form so you will need Adobe PDF viewer to see the file>> PDF

Tips for the Cold & Flu Season without Meds

Got these helpful tips from 

8 Tips to Treat Colds and Flu the 'Natural' Way

With no cure in sight for the cold or the flu, over-the-counter treatments can at best bring symptom relief or shorten the duration of those symptoms. Or you can take the natural approach. WebMD explores some home remedies that may help you feel better along the way.

No. 1: Blow Your Nose Often -- and the Right Way

It's important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your head. But when you blow hard, pressure can cause an earache. The best way to blow your nose: Press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other. Wash your hands after blowing your nose.

No. 2: Stay Rested

Resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle. This battle taxes the body. So give it a little help by lying down under a blanket.

No. 3: Gargle

Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief. Try a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water, four times daily. To reduce the tickle in your throat, try an astringent gargle -- such as tea that contains tannin -- to tighten the membranes. Or use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey or a mixture of honey and apple cider vinegar, a popular folk remedy. Steep one tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in two cups of hot water and mix in one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling. Honey should never be given to children less than 1 year old.

No. 4: Drink Hot Liquids

Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, help prevent dehydration, and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat.

No. 5: Take a Steamy Shower

Steamy showers moisturize your nasal passages and relax you. If you're dizzy from the flu, run a steamy shower while you sit on a chair nearby and take a sponge bath.

No. 6: Apply Hot or Cold Packs Around Your Congested Sinuses

Either temperature may help you feel more comfortable. You can buy reusable hot or cold packs at a drugstore. Or make your own. Take a damp washcloth and heat it for 55 seconds in a microwave (test the temperature first to make sure it's not scalding). Or take a small bag of frozen peas to use as a cold pack.

No. 7: Sleep With an Extra Pillow Under Your Head

This will help with the drainage of nasal passages. If the angle is too awkward, try placing the pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.

No. 8: Don't Fly Unless Necessary

There's no point adding stress to your already stressed-out upper respiratory system, and that's what the change in air pressure will do. Flying with cold or flu congestion can hurt your eardrums as a result of pressure changes during takeoff and landing. If you must fly, use a decongestant and carry a nasal spray with you to use just before takeoff and landing. Chewing gum and swallowing frequently can also help relieve pressure.
Remember, serious conditions can masquerade as the common cold and a mild infection can evolve into something more serious. If you have severe symptoms or are feeling sicker with each passing day, see a doctor.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Best MO Counties for Hunting Bucks as per Missouri Game & Fish Magazine!

Just found a wonderful spread in the Missouri Game & Fish Magazine about the Top Counties per Region in Buck Harvest for last year, which serves as a great forecast for this hunting season!

The article is on page 32-34 & continues on page 57 from the November 2012 issue.

For our area which is the Eastern Ozarks the top county is Texas, followed by Howell and then Wayne counties. The buck harvest for 2011 in Texas County was 1,987, Howell County 1,888 and Wayne County 1,477 that's a lot of bucks, mounts and deer chili for dinner! Now the article does go into the surrounding counties but I wanted to highlight on the areas where we have most of our owner financed land and hunting leases.

"This 17-county region [ Eastern Ozarks Region] came in fourth place out of eight regions in the estimated number of antlered deer with 52,681 bucks.  Hunters reported taking 20,112 antlered deer in this region last year, which also ranked it near top at second place statewide. The top three antlered buck harvest counties in were Texas 1,987 (first statewide); Howell 1,888 (second); and Wayne with 1,477 (11th). None of the 17 counties in this region are included in the APR zone. [Antler Point Restrictions]" (Missouri Game & Fish, "Missouri's 2012 Deer Outlook-Part 2 Finding Trophy Bucks" by Tony Kalna Jr, page 57)

The article continues to say that "a trophy buck can be killed just about anywhere in Missouri, but the numbers don't lie. Some counties and regions simply are better when it comes to having more bucks and more trophy-class bucks." So, this bodes well for this years hunting season, if you've been wondering where your next big buck and possible winner of the Boone and Crockett record breaker is, then why not come down into Howell and Texas counties here in the Missouri Ozarks and bag your next big break!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How to Salvage Junk and use it for your Garden as a Root Cellar or Veggie Storage!

You might be thinking, "I don't want junk in my garden, why would I salvage junk?!" 

      Well, let me explain, instead of going to the expense of putting in a cellar yourself, whether through paying for physical labor, the cost of cement, etc you can simply bury a large freezer that no longer works and putting straw, raked up leaves or other insulation material on top of tarp that covers the top of the freezer door, this helps keep out critters and keep your stored food insulated in the winter months, or perhaps you need something larger and assuming you have the space for it, ever consider making use of that old, broke-down school bus lying in the local junk yard by burying it up to the rear access doors? Voila, instant Root Cellar! What about that old galvanized trash can out back that's just taking up space, bury that and you have a great little covey for your root veggies, all you need is straw for insulation and it's already rodent-proof!

That get your attention?


 Now let me delve further into the method to this madness.

 First off, be mindful of where you stash your garden treasure troves, preferably on the Northern side of your land or home and remember keep safety in mind, disable latches so kids or elderly don't get trapped in by accident.

Bury A School Bus!

Consider burying a junked school bus, yes you will need to dig a proper sized hole and make sure that the bus is water tight (sealant or wrapping will be needed) and you will also have to allow for access to the rear doors and be sure to board up the windows and seal them for effective insulation. Also, you will need at least two PVC pipe vents for air flow as with any root cellar.

Bury Garbage Cans:

(Image from Mother Earth News )

    You can also use Garbage cans that are sealed or galvanized for smaller storage areas or land allotments, you simply need a can (cut the bottom out or poke holes for drainage), straw and a bit of dirt for the inside in order to place your winter squash and root veggies in, the straw will be used to cover the top of the lid of the trash can in order to insulate it- of course you will need to dig a hole big enough to stick your can into.

To access your veggies, simply remove the tarp (opt), straw bale, and lift off the lid (if you want an additional security from rodents and moisture, put black tarp down over the straw bale on top of the lid and make sure there are drainage ditches on either side of the can and secure the tarp with cement blocks or heavy rocks) and then snatch however many veggies you need for supper and replace your insulation!

Remember to layer leaves or straw between the veggies!

Figure 4. A well box that supports an access hatch above ground level
Here is a good article from Back Woods Home Magazine that shows you how to build a small cold storage bin.

 Bury a Freezer or Refrigerator:

Stuff You’ll Need:
Straw Bales
Clear Plastic Sheeting
Plastic Sheeting
Shovel and Pick
Old Deep-freeze Or Refrigerator

Step 1:
Remove motor, shelves and lock from door (so no child can get locked inside).
Step 2:
Dig a hole large enough to hold the deep freeze where the top of the freezer is ground level or slightly below ground level.
Step 3:
Place some rocks in bottom of the hole for drainage.
Step 4:
Place the freezer into hole on its back. The door will open like a lid.
Step 5:
Fill around freezer with soil.
Step 6:
Place vegetables in freezer. Follow storage guidelines for vegetables just as if you were using a cellar.
Step 7:
Cover freezer with a sheet of plastic to keep water from freezing the lid shut.
Step 8:
Place bags of leaves or bales of hay or straw on top of the freezer to help with cold weather.

 Notes: Dig the hole one foot larger than the refrigerator on all sides to create drainage.  The refrigerator should sit just below ground level.  Line the hole with gravel or rocks.   Pour gravel in the space around the sides of the refrigerator.  Run a small vent pipe into the refrigerator for ventilation. Protect from water by covering the top with a large mat, board or other water resistant material.  Cover with bales of hay or straw to insulate. 

The amount of insulation will depend on your cold weather climate, so insulate accordingly, some will need more some less.

Looking for land in Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, or Minnesota in which to start your own homestead or garden in order to try out these new ideas?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Upcoming Local Events!

Here is a list of the upcoming local events in the Missouri Ozarks that you might want to mark on your calender to take the whole family to and enjoy!

Pioneer Days, September 29th all day. Held in Mountain View, Missouri downtown area near the Football Field and the "What" Park, there are vendors with hand made items, Food, Car Show, Cake Walk & Prizes, Music/Entertainment, Parade & Pioneer Days Trade vendors (IE: Blacksmiths/Old Crafts). Make it a family event, dress up as 1800's Pioneers and get pictures taken, so if you've ever wanted to dress up like the Beverly Hillbillies or Huckleberry Finn then here's your chance to some make memories this Saturday!

Here is the schedule of events:

6:30 am-11am Flapjack Breakfast at the Community Center
8:00 am: brad Jester will sing the National Anthem, following J.B Cantrell will ask a blessing for the day.
--Antique Car Show, sponsored by Landmark Bank, will be held on Oak Street again this year. It will be all day long, so drop by to see the old antique cars, trucks and tractors on display.
9:00 am: Lil' Darlin; & Lil' Dumplin Contest, sponsored by West Plains Bank/Liberty Branch
9:45 am: Billy Randolph will take the stage to perform. Billy is always a big favorite with the crowd.
10:00 am: The Bow Shoot, sponsored by the MO Dept of Conservation and Gary Lee Taylor, will be at the airport.
--The Conservation will once again be here to teach children how to fish.
10:00am: Wood competition will take place, sponsored by Roberts Wood Products.
10:15am: Red Hatters will line dance.
10:30am: On the stage is the big "Hillbilly Idol Contest". This event is being sponsored by Smith Flooring.
--Once again the Red Hatters will take the street to dance.
11:15am: Oren Granier and Roy Lee bond will be singing on the main stage.
--A new event this year is the Watermelon Eating Contest, sponsored by Mountain View Fabrication. Five contestants will site and eat watermelon to see who is the fastest.

Following this, the rest of the day as follows:
--Keith Bradshaw and Country Connection
--Women's Chamber Harvest Queen Contest
--Concert featuring country music singer Candy Coburn brought to you by Romines Ford of Houston. Following Candy's hour long concert, the Country Fire Cloggers will take the stage. They clog so hard and fast they shake the stage!
--Oren and Roy Lee will perform again.
3:00pm: Keith Bradshaw and the Country Connection
3:00pm: Parade lineup at Wayside Park
3:30pm: Country Fire Cloggers
4:00pm: Parade will roll down toward town.
--While waiting for the parade, Country Connection will keep the crowd entertained and you are encouraged to dance in the streets.

National Federation Bull Blast, Rock'n V Arena, September 29th at 7pm., Hwy 60 just out of Mountain View come and enjoy a great rodeo, mingle with Cowboys & Cowgirls and have a great time!

Farm Fest-Rootin' Tootin' Alpaca's held in Houston, Missouri located at the Rootin-Tootin Alpaca's Farm 16967 HWY B in Houston, 9am-4pm come see the animals on show, vendors, Alpaca wool home made scarfs, clothing and other accessories, food and more!

Summersville Pumpkin Fest, 10am - 4pm, October 6th, 2012 on the Square, Summersville, MO
Come and enjoy the day with games for the kids, contests, a tractor parade, a golf cart race, craft booths,  a Pumpkin cook off and much more!

Oz-Fall Fest, October 6th, 2012, 9am- 3:30pm, Willow Springs, MO on down town Main Street,  come follow the Yellow Brick road for Fun & Entertainment, Vendors, Games, Crafts, Contests, Booths and other Activities!

Dutch Oven Cook-off, Raymondville, MO located at the Raymondville Fairground on Saturday, October 13th, 2012 the cook-off will include a three pot dutch oven cook off with a Bread, Dessert and a Main Dish. Food turn will be at 12 noon, 12:30pm and 1 pm, there is a $20 entry fee per team. Awards will be presented to the first three places for each division.  Come out and watch or compete and enjoy some wonderful food! There are also other activities scheduled as part of the Raymondville Fall Fest. For an entry packet, contact Bob Roach at 417-457-6248 or email at

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tips on How to Buy Farmland, Even if you think you can't!

Here's some tips that we've found from an article out of Mother Earth News magazine that we hope will help you in your search for farmland, and you can also apply these tips and suggestions to looking for that perfect homesteading plot as well.

(Cite: "How to Buy Farmland, Even if you think you can't" By Ann Larkin Hansen, Mother Earth News Magazine.)

  1. Be clear and realistic about the budget you'll need to support yourself and your farm, and about how you'll get the income you need.
  2.  Do your homework on the neighborhood and the land you're looking at to make sure it suits you and the type of farming (or homesteading) you want to do.
  3.  Think outside the box: Be open to different options and timetables for buying land.
  4. If you apply for a loan (or go through Owner Financing through our website), find out what mortgage lenders require from borrowers and get those requirements in order. (Homestead Crossing makes it easy to get the land you want with low monthly payments and down payments with Owner Financing with no interest for the first three years!)
Create a Farm Marketing Plan:

Good resources on this topic are "Growing for Market"  and the book "Market Farming Success" by Lynn Byczynski and the NSAIS is a great resource to figure out what you want to grow or raise and how to sell it. Also, consider veterinary costs into what your plan will be.

In the event of homesteading you will want to factor this in with your everyday expenses as well, and if you don't plan to sell the food you grow then allot for home canning costs, storage projects, etc.

Consider farm internships if you have no experience, you can find helpful resources on obtaining a local internship from the NSAIS website. Also, consider thinking outside the box, invent new ways of doing old things in a better, more efficient manner!

"Moooove over city living, hellooooo farm life!"

Monday, September 17, 2012

How to keep your Chickens laying Eggs through Winter without the use of Laying Pellets!

It can be frustrating and disappointing come winter time when you go out into the coop to get a nice dozen or so home grown farm fresh eggs for breakfast omelets and find that your hens are sitting together in a huddle with no eggs beneath them. Here are some tips to help your girls keep on laying through Winter and giving your family those delicious deep yolked eggs you love so much- without the need for laying pellets!

Light. A hen’s laying is influenced by her pineal gland, which in turn is controlled by daylight. Sixteen hours of light each day, supplemented by a 60-watt incandescent light bulb or two on a timer, is ideal for keeping birds active – and laying eggs. Also, this can shorten their egg laying lifespan.

Roosts. By nature, chickens like to roost at night. This is also their way to stay warm: with feathers fluffed, they share body heat by roosting close to each other. Make sure your chickens have comfortable roosts with 6-8 inches of roost space per bird. 

Heated water. Depending on how cold it gets where you live, you might need to keep the hens’ water supply from freezing. Feed stores sell heater bases that fit underneath the typical galvanized metal chicken waterers.

Deep litter. The deep litter method is low-maintenance, and it keeps hens warm through winter as the litter and manure slowly compost and release heat into the coop. Just start with a clean coop and about 4 inches of litter (hay, straw, wood shavings, or a mix) in the summer or early fall. Simply add more litter throughout the season as needed to keep the bedding fairly dry and clean. By winter, the litter should be about 8 to 10 inches deep. It will be composting nicely and giving off heat. The chickens’ scratching will keep it aerated and turned, especially if you throw scratch grains in the coop for them, but you can give it a hand with a pitchfork every once in a while.

Additional Notes:
You can also make a "sun room" for your gals in winter, like a green  house addition to the coop where they can get out and stretch their legs and not be smushed together over the cold months and spred a bit of straw or hay on the snow or icy ground, chickens don't like getting their feet cold below the 30 degree mark.

   Also, you can add a cabbage "ball" to the pen for them to play with and keep from getting bored, just tie the cabbage from the rafters and hang it low enough that your chickens can peck away at the ball and have a little fun too. Will keep the girls from going stir crazy- happy chickens = laying eggs!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Build a Hoop House for Garden Greens all year Long!

Found a nice little article from the "Backwoods Home Magazine" (their website) that gives the materials needed, a diagram and some good tips regarding how to keep fresh leafy greens all year long in what this designer calls a "hoop house" which is basically a retractable greenhouse and he's from the Pacific Northwest.

 Vern Harris offers help through his email and he's willing to help with supplies and any questions you may have.

 Cover 137

Materials Needed: (pg 54 of Sept/Oct 2012 Ed. of Backwoods Home Magazine)
(3) 2x6 inch X 8-foot untreated fir
(5) 1/2 inch Schedule 40 PVC pipes, 10 ft long (cut to 9 feet)
(2) 3/4 inch Schedule 40 PVC pipes, 10 ft long
(1) 3/4 inch Schedule 40 PVC pipe, 4 ft long
(2) 3/4 inch Schedule 40 PVC 90 degree angle pieces
(10) 1x1/2 inch Schedule 40 PVC tees.
(10) 1/2 inch aluminum tubing cut in half-inch lengths
(30) Lath screws, size #8x1/2 inch (These hold the plastic cover to the PVC hoops)
(10) Wood screws #12x2 inch (to hold the rails to the wooden frame of the beds)
(1) 3/16 inch x 30 foot length of polyester clothesline
(2) 3/16 inch eye screws for attaching clothesline
(1) piece 9 x 10 foot Dura-Film Thermax plastic for the cover and one piece 4 x 10 feet for both ends.

(Taken from page 55 of Sept/Oct 2012 Ed. of Backwoods Home Magazine, Article "Build a simple DIY hoop house and you'll have fresh greens all year" by Vern Harris, author.)

"These hoop houses consist of 3/4 inch PVC pipe for the bottom rails and 1/2 inch PVC pipes for the hoops. The ends of the hoops fit into 1 inch PVC tees which glide on the rails. These hoops are covered with a professional-grade greenhouse plastic that is heavier than most hardware-store sheeting. The type of plastic I use features condensation control and is guaranteed for five years. At the bottom of each hoop is a 1 inch tee which holds the hoop on to the rail. The tees glide over the rails to open and close the greenhouses.

 The only (minor) complication was figuring out how to attach the rails to the existing raised beds and how to get the tees to glide smoothly over them. I needed some kind of support to hold the rails slightly above the wood frames of the beds, and the support had to be designed so it wouldn't interfere with the movement of the tees. The diagram shows the solution to that problem.

 I simply pre-drilled screw holes all the way through each rail, set the rails on the 1/2 inch tall pieces of aluminum tubing (to stand them away from the wooden frames of the beds), and screwed down through the rails and the aluminum into the wood. Voila! Rails attached to beds. Note that the rails extend about 18 inches beyond the beds on one end. This allows me to pull the cover completely away from the growing plants beneath. This extension should ideally be on the north side so no part of the opened hoop house ever casts shade over the bed.

Next, as you see in the diagram, I cut away the bottom of each tee and slid the tees onto the rails, five tees on each side of the bed. The 1 inch tees are a little sloppy so they can slide smoothly over the 3/4 inch pipe of the rails. With their bottoms cut away, they don't run into the aluminum supports.

Then I took five 10 foot lengths of 1/2 inch PVC pipe for the hoops, cut them down to 9 feet and pre-drilled holes to hold the plastic cover. I insterted each piece of 1/2 inch pipe into a tee on one side of the bed, then carefully bent it into an arch shape with the holes facing to the outside, then inserted the pipe into a tee on the opposite side of the bed. 

Next, I added the cover. The plastic i use is called Dura-Film Thermax. It is very good for this purpose due to its extra thickness, long life, and ability to help control condensation-which can be a real problem in greenhouses. First I cut the plastic to 9x10 feet. Then I attached it to the five hoops (using 1/2 inch lath screws, which have washer heads to help prevernt tears and leaks) so that the 9 foot dimension left a 6 inch overhand on each end and the 10 foot dimension lay over the arch to give 6 inches of extra length on each side. This extra length comes down over the raised bed frame.

I then cut two pieces of plastic, 4x5 feet, one for each end. I attached one to the hoop on the extended end of the bed using the same fasteners. The other end is not permanently attached. When the hoop house is closed you can pick i t up and clamp it to the  hoop.

Finally, I attached a length of 3/16 inch clothesline to the bottom of the front hoop on each side using 3/16 inch eye screws. These serve as pulls to slide the cover over or away from the raised bed. And that's it!

In a harsher climate than mine you could attach a second cover inside or outside for greater protection from the weather, but I've found that the single cover is enough to keep the inside of my hoop houses above freezing even on the coldest north-west days. And man, those fresh garden greens sure do taste good in January and February."

Pictures and diagrams are listed in the Backwoods Home Magazine, if you want a better idea of the hoop house design.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How to preserve your Land, Livestock and Family during a Drought in Missouri

We just had some rain come in these past few days from Hurricane Isaac, however a reprieve from the heat, Missouri is still in a drought. Here's a good resource taken from the Missouri Department of Agriculture's  website regarding good tips on preserving yourself, family, land and livestock during the drought.

Our area is in the red zone, or the extreme drought zone.

Here are some resourceful links to pdf pamphlets that the MDA has put together free to the public.
Nitrate Accumulation in Plants, Feed
Invasive Fire Ants in Hay
Tips for Managing Farm and Drought-Related Stress

Good links for more information:
Crop Insurance Information
USDA Farm Service Agency

Remember the Missouri Department of Agriculture and Missouri Department of Conservation are great resources to refer to when looking for and planning a homestead, land development, or other uses.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bee Keeping in the Missouri Ozarks

I found an interesting source on bees and bee keeping here in Missouri from the Missouri Department of Agriculture's  website and I wanted to add a little excerpt from their article on Bee Keeping and some information about these fascinating flying helpers to your garden and flowers. Not to mention tasty honey makers!

Bee Facts

"Most people tend to group all bees into the same category – those that produce honey and sting. Truth is, there are more than 30,000 species of bees and the majority of bees do not sting.
Missouri alone is home to more than 400 species of the 4,000 different types that live in North America.
Bees play an important role in agriculture as pollinators of flowering plants that provide food, fiber, spices, medicines and animal forage. Three-quarters of all flowering plants rely on pollinators such as bees to reproduce. In Missouri, that means our cucumbers, pumpkins, fruit trees, berries, tomatoes, soybeans and corn rely on bees to keep them growing strong.
Many of the state’s agricultural crops would not exist without the bee. It is estimated that bees contribute more than $14 billion to the value of U.S. crop production. That’s a lot of food!"

Identifying Bees

"With hundreds of bee species buzzing about Missouri, it is sometimes hard to distinguish the type. Below are some things to help you identify that bee flying about:
honey bee
Honey Bees – Honey bees are not native to the U.S., but were brought over by Europeans in the 17th Century. It’s safe to say that these buzzers have been here a long while. Most honey bees live in large social colonies with 30,000 or more living in man-made hives and natural places such as tree hollows. If you see them swarming, they most likely are locating to a new address or nest. Look for a heart-shaped head, black to amber body with pale and dark stripes on abdomen.
bumble bee
Bumble Bees – Researchers have been trying to determine why some native bees such as the bumble bees are disappearing. They are important to pollinating flowering plants, like tomatoes, that require vibration to release pollen. Bumble bees live in social colonies and nest underground – in old rodent burrows. You can recognize a bumble bee by its robust hairy black bodies covered with black, yellow, brownish or orange hairs bands.
Leafcutter bee
Leafcutter and Mason Bees – With a broad head, black body with pale bands of metallic green or blue on the abdomen, these bees are solitary. They nest in aggregations in natural or man-made holes such as beetle holes, nesting blocks, soil or stems. Some line their nests with leaves while others use mud and resin."


"The first evidence of beekeeping appears to have been on the wall paintings in ancient Egypt. Today, USDA estimates that there are more than 200,000 beekeepers across the U.S. – most of which are classified as hobby beekeepers with less than 25 hives.
Many beekeepers have bee hives in their own backyards and some are kept on city roof tops. Bees can travel for miles to collect nectar and pollen but most areas in Missouri, both rural and urban, have plenty of flowers and crops nearby to keep bees making a good crop of local honey."

A Few Simple Steps to Get Started

  • Get Involved – Join a local beekeeping association for tips and additional resources. is a great place to start.
  • It’s Bee Time - Beekeeping is a seasonal hobby, and therefore, the time varies with seasons. The busiest time of the year is the warm days of early summer. Hives should be checked weekly to prevent swarming. In the winter months, very little needs to be done except to check for physical damage or snow blocking the bee’s entrances.
  • Start right – Build at least one of your new bee hives from scratch. If you are handy with wood, building hive boxes and supers (compartments that support the honeycomb) is easy. Or you can order the hives put together already.
  • Placement is everything – Be sure to put the apiary near a great source of nectar and pollen. Our first pick is near your garden. Ornamental trees and plants also provide for a great location. If you are in the city, ornamental plants can provide for an extended honey flow. Bees need water so be sure to have a water source. A shallow pan filled with water and rocks to rest on is an excellent addition to your apiary. This will keep the bees in your yard and now your neighbor’s.
  • Purchased Equipment – Buying new equipment is best, but if you do purchase used, be sure to contact us for an inspection. (It is required by law.) Check out the equipment essential at


"Honey is honey – and the perfect sweetener. A bottle of pure honey contains the natural sweet substance produced by honey bees from the nectar of plants or secretions of living parts of plants. When scientists begin to look for all of the elements found in this wonderful product of nature, they find a complex of naturally flavored sugars as well as trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids.
Honey is made by bees in one of the world’s most efficient facilities, the beehive. The 60,000 or so bees in a beehive may collectively travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey.
The color and flavor of honey differ depending on the bees’ nectar source (the blossoms). There are more than 300 unique kinds of honey in the U.S., originating from such diverse floral sources as Clover, Eucalyptus and Orange Blossoms. Lighter colored honeys are mild in flavor, while darker honeys are usually more robust in flavor."

Forms of Honey

"Most of us know honey as a sweet, golden liquid. However, honey can be found in a variety of forms.
  • Comb Honey – Comb honey is honey in its original form - that is, the honey inside of the honeycomb. The beeswax comb is even edible!
  • Cut Comb – Cut comb honey is liquid honey that has added chunks of the honey comb in the jar. This is also known as a liquid-cut comb combination.
  • Liquid Honey – Free of visible crystals, liquid honey is extracted from the honey comb by centrifugal force, gravity or straining. Because liquid honey mixes easily into a variety of foods, it’s especially convenient for cooking and baking. Most of the honey produced in the United States is sold in the liquid form.
  • Naturally Crystallized Honey – Naturally crystallized honey is honey in which part of the glucose content has spontaneously crystallized. It is safe to eat.
  • Whipped (or Cremed) Honey – While all honey will crystallize in time, whipped honey (also known as cremed honey) is brought to market in a crystallized state. The crystallization is controlled so that, at room temperature, the honey can be spread like butter or jelly. In many countries around the world, whipped honey is preferred to the liquid form especially at breakfast time."

Honey’s Nutritional Profile

"Honey is composed primarily of carbohydrates (natural sugars) and water, as well as trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Providing 17 grams of carbohydrates and 64 calories per tablespoon, honey is an all-natural sweetener without any added ingredients.
Darker honeys have higher antioxidant content than lighter honeys.
For a complete nutrient listing, please visit USDA’s National Nutrient Database,"

Friday, August 24, 2012

Design and Build your Dream Cabin without needing a lot of room!

I was browsing some resources online for homesteading options and came across a helpful little site that has designs for cabins 1 story, 1.5 story and 2 story homes that you can customize and fiddle with the design to create the dream cabin you have always wanted to build and they don't take up much room but looking at them and the designs it seems they're huge but really they're not that big but they have a lot of space.

Here are a few pictures from the website, they offer the designs for a price but you can see them also in pdf form as well.

I personally like this outdoor rustic look and they list it as a Solar Saltbox Home!

Solar Saltbox from SW
 If you're more after a cottage or smaller quaint home, check this design out! This is listed as a Universal Cottage and has been used in many styles.
2-story Universal cottage with side porch

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

September is around the corner and there's lots to do in the Missouri Ozarks!

Afternoon everyone, today was a wonderful day in the Ozarks, just beautiful! The weather is a nice cool 80 degrees compared to our heat wave of 100-105 degrees that we've had over the last several weeks. Coming up in September are some local events that you don't want to miss, Pioneer Days in Mountain View, MO and Oz Fest in Willow Springs, MOs these two of many local events are times when everyone gets together, has some fun, enjoys great local music and there are many vendors that offer home made or hand crafted items, there's car shows, games, prizes and more so you don't want to miss it, I will be updating with the September dates soon!

Hunting season is just around the corner starting September 15th, so if you're looking for a place to set up those blinds in the perfect spot, it's time to get on the ball and get your hunting ground set for that perfect buck or Tom then check out these lots available that are riddled with wild game.

Get your own private lake and over 100 acres for hunting, recreation, horseback riding, ATVing or just park and RV and live in peace and quiet with a great view of the lake! Nab this Great Opportunity before its GONE for only $2495/year! NO DEPOSIT!

We also have an outstanding hunting parcel, 100 acres, 4 creeks and wild game galore!

This turkey was pictured on the property, and there's more waiting to be proudly mounted on your wall or as a delicious entree' on your dinner table! Best your Hunting Buddies and bag this Deal! Only $2,375/year NO DEPOSIT!

OR Find the perfect hunting or homesteading land for you today!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How is your part of the world?  The Ozarks have been quite pleasant this past week.  The weather is cool at night and not unbearable during the day.  We are still hoping for rain,doing many rain dances and made up songs for it.  We are fast approaching the most colorful time in this area.  Still good floating and hiking and certainly prime time for family, or just you and that special someone, to have a picnic.  The woods are filled with vocal creatures,especially at night.  Imagine having a place of your own to sit outside and listen to the night time sounds and wake to the sun coming up over the Ozark hills.  It is a good place to be.

I will give you a heads up on a few properties that we have on our website right now.  There is a location called Pomona Missouri  that is all country.  A gas station is close by and a post office.  Not far from Pomona is Twin Bridges a good place to swim.  If country life is somewhat alarming to you, have no fear West Plains and Willow Springs are withing driving distance for a sudden attack of must have ice cream.  Pomona land listings are 35 acres for $590 a month with $300 down and 15 acres for $350 a month for $200 down.  Check out the pictures on our website

Another favorite spot of mine is the Gentryville area in Missouri.  Gentryville is almost the middle of everything.  Right off of hwy 95 and near hwy 14.  You can get to Ava,Norwood,Mtn Grove,Willow Springs,Gainesville,and West Plains easily.  Not to mention Rockbridge where there is an amazing restaurant.  The places to have fun outdoors are close by.  Hammons picnic,swimming,and hiking is a family favorite.  The land listed in Gentryville is a setting with a rustic cabin on 11 acres $350 month with $200 down.  Gentryville land goes fast.  My family has walked the Gentryville area a very long time.  My great grandfather rode his horse all through these hills.  I have heard many stories about the moonshiners, horse thieves and hill people.  There were even gypsies that used to travel through on their way to other parts of the world.

That's about it for the day.  I have roads to clear.  Have a good one.  achris property manager

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Almost There...

Good Morning Everyone,
   I hope that you are having a good week so far! We are halfway through this week...and I wanted to give some important information out about Missouri's hunting season that many are already gearing up for. Deer archery season starts here in Missouri on Saturday September 25th and ends on Friday November 9th. It starts up again on Wednesday November 21st and ends again on Tuesday January 15th. Deer youth season starts Saturday and Sunday November 3rd & 4th. And deer firearms season starts November 10th and ends November 20th. And deer firearms antlerless season starts Wednesday November 21st and ends Sunday December 2nd. Hopefully that gives all of you hunters out there a better idea of when our hunting seasons are here in Missouri. I hope that you all have a great week and if you or anyone you know is looking for a property to hunt on here in Missouri. Check out our website and see what we have to offer you!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Happy Monday!

Good Morning Everyone,
   I hope that everyone had a great weekend! According to the weatherman it looks like we will be getting a little break from the scorching hot heat this week, temperatures are supposed to be in the low 90's. Now if we could get some more rain, we would be in good shape. You are probably going to have to keep watering your gardens and lawns for now though...doesn't look like we are going to get much rain. Don't forget that this is the last chance for sports physicals. They are taking place TODAY at the Munford gym in Willow Springs, starting at 8 a.m. School starts next week on August 15th for Willow Springs, Mo. There is going to be a back to School Fair for Willow Springs School district, on Saturday August 11th, for students (kindergarten through 8th grade), 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, sponsored by Willow Springs Rotary Club. Also on Saturday August 11th is the next Farmer's Market, at the Booster field. Hope you have a great week!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy Thursday

Good Morning Everyone,
   I hope that you are having a great week so far! The temperatures have been holding steady near 100 here in Willow Springs, Missouri. I thought we were going to get some rain the way it was lightening and thundering last night, but nothing more than a light short sprinkle. Don't forget that the Farmer's Market will be open Saturday August 4th at the Booster field opening at 7:30 a.m. Then, on Monday August 6th is the last chance for sports physicals for the upcoming school year. They will be in the Munford gym, starting at 8 a.m. Are you looking for a small piece of land that is close to town? If so, we have a 4 acre parcel that is only 12 miles from Ava, Missouri. If this sounds like something you or someone you know would be interested in...Come check out our website and give us a call for a showing. We would love to meet you and show you just what we have to offer you!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Good Morning Everyone,
  I hope that you all are having a good week so far! As I said in the title for today's blog...the temperatures for this week are going to be hot hot hot!! Yesterday it got to 107 degrees here in Willow Springs, Missouri. Whew! According to the weatherman we shouldn't expect temperatures to drop below 100 all week long. But we should have some cloud cover, and scattered showers every now and then. Tomorrow is the Willow Springs Farmer's Market opening at 7:30 a. m. at the Booster Field. Stop in and check out their selection of home grown fruits and vegetables! Next Monday August 6th is the last chance for students to get their physicals to be able to participate in school sports. Physicals will start at 8 a. m. in the Munford Gym. And don't forget that school starts back for Willow Springs on August 15th!! If you or someone you know is wanting to move to the area we have a nice 35 acre piece of land in Pomona, Missouri that has a seasonal creek. This would be close to town while still having all the comforts and privacy of living in the country. To look at this parcel and see what else we have to offer, please check out our website.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Monday!

Good Morning Everyone,
   I hope you had a great weekend! It doesn't look like we are going to get any relief from this heat anytime soon. The forecast is in the 100's for the rest of the week. So keep your grass and those gardens watered. These hot temperatures do not make being outside much fun...unless your swimming or doing something on the water to stay cool. The Willow Springs Water Park is open Monday through Saturday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3.50 per person, except on Tuesdays and Thursdays admission is only $2.00 per person. This Wednesday at the Booster Field here in Willow Springs the Farmers Market will be open at 7:30 a.m. This is a great place to get fresh, home grown fruits and vegetables. I hope that everyone has a great week this week! If you or anyone you know is looking for a piece of property...come check out our website and see what we have to offer you!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

End of the Week!

Hello Everyone,
   We made it to the end of the week! I hope that everyone has had a great week and that you have some exciting things planned for a good weekend as well. Looks like today is going to be the coolest day for the next 7 days here in Missouri. We are looking at temperatures over 100 next week. Don't forget that next Saturday the 28th is when Skyfire in Pomona has been rescheduled! The gates for this event will open at 5:30 p.m. and they are charging a dollar per person to help with the expense of everything (children in a car seat are free). Don't miss it! There will be food, fun, live entertainment, and fireworks after dark. If you or anyone you may know is looking for a property near the lake...we have a property that is near Lake of the Ozarks. There are 9.2 beautiful acres with endless possibilities, if you would like to check out this property please visit our website.   I hope that you have a great weekend!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Again Already?!

Hello Everyone,
   I hope that you had a good weekend. I had a good weekend, but wish that it could last longer! It looks like the weather here in Missouri is going to be back up in the 90's this week, but there is a chance for a short shower this afternoon. Skyfire 2012 was postponed early in July, but has now been re-scheduled to take place July 28th. "Dates and times for the event will stay the same: Gates will open at the airport at 5:30 PM, and live music, featuring finalists from the regional semifinals of the Texaco Country Showdown, will start at 6 PM. Other events scheduled for Skyfire include a fly-over at 6:30 PM, and an aviation expo by MPA and EAA from 7-8 PM. Fireworks will commence at dark.
In the past, the event has been held at the West Plains Regional Airport with a variety of games, activities, and vendors. The cost in previous years was by donation, however, to help defer the rising cost of fireworks, an admission charge of $1 per person will be charged. Children who can comfortably fit in a car seat will be admitted for free. For more information on Skyfire, call the Ozark Radio Network at 417-256-3131." ( Tomorrow there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony, for the new Farmer's Insurance Office in Willow Springs at 123 East Main St. This will take place at 1 p.m. Also, the annual Willow Springs athletic physicals will take place tomorrow at 8 a. m. The physicals are for any Willow Springs student participating in athletics or cheerleading in grades 7-12. Insurance, consent, citizenship and drug testing forms will be available on the physical dates. Athletes will not be allowed to practice or participate without the proper forms being signed and turned in. If you miss these physicals...there will be another one taking place August 6th at 8 a.m. Things are starting to get busy again, with school starting right around the corner. Hope that everyone has a great week!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Halfway There

Good Morning Everyone,
   Hope that you are having a great day so far! The temperatures here in Missouri have been pretty nice this week. We are staying in the lower 90's which is much better than the 100's we had last week!! There was actually some fog out in some places this morning. Also, don't forget that today at the Booster Field in Willow Springs is the Farmer's Market. I am sure that you will be able to find a lot of good quality home grown fruits and vegetables. Once again, be safe if you are having to work outdoors today. Make sure and stay hydrated and try to work in the shade when possible. Hope that you have a great rest of the week!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Start of a New Week

Hello Everyone,
   Hope you had a great weekend. I know that I really enjoyed the rain that we got here in Willow Springs yesterday. We were in dire need of it that is for sure. This week temperatures are supposed to be a little more bearable and in the 80's. I am looking forward to getting out of those 100 degree temps for a while. For anyone interested in getting fresh, home grown produce, the Willow Springs Farmer's market will be open Wednesday July 11th at 7:30 a.m. at the Booster Field. And if you or anyone you know is looking for a piece of land near the river as well as close to town, we have a 1.5 acre parcel that is only a mile from Birch Tree, Mo and close to many rivers and springs! To find out more about this parcel and to see what else we have to offer, come visit our website. I hope that everyone has a great week and stays cool in these hot temperatures!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Thursday

Hello Everyone,
   I hope that you had a great time celebrating the 4th of July yesterday with friends and family. I know that I had a very good day filled with lots of food and fun! Please keep in mind though, that if you purchased fireworks to be very very cautious when setting them off. Because it is still extremely dry out there, and we don't want to start any forest fires! The temperatures have still been in the 100's for the week, I know that today in Willow Springs, Mo it was 102 degrees. So remember that if you have to be outside, to stay hydrated, drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and try to be in the shade as much as you can. Also, if you are looking for a piece of property that is near the lake, so that you can enjoy some fun summer activities....we have a 9.5 acre parcel near the Lake of the Ozarks. If you would like to learn more about this property, and see what else we have available check out our website. Hope you have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Independence Day Festivities

Good Morning Everyone,
    Sorry about the delay in my blog posts. The holiday being in the middle of the week sort of has my schedule all out of whack. I hope that everyone is having a great July so far. I wanted to let you know about some of the festivities that are going to be happening around the area. As of last Friday Skyfire, which is located in Pomona has been postponed til a later date due to the extremely dry temperatures. But in Willow Springs, J-Lo's pool hall will be having a fireworks display starting at 9 p.m. There  are supposed to vendors and a band earlier in the evening. There is also the Fourth of July parade in Willow Springs starting around 10 a.m. going down Main Street, with fireworks at dusk at the City Park. There is going to be a big festival in Eminence tomorrow, at the "old" City Park. Mountain Grove is also having fireworks at the Mountain Grove Baptist Church at 6 p.m. tomorrow evening.  Festivities for the 4th in Cabool, Mo have been cancelled due to everything being so dry. I hope that everyone has a good and safe holiday!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Stay Hydrated

Hello Everyone,
    Be sure and drink plenty of water today to stay hydrated in this scorching hot weather this week! And if possible try to just stay inside, temperatures in Missouri are near 100 for today and the rest of the week. I hope that you are enjoying your summer, I know that my girls are really enjoying pool time during this hot weather. Try to stay cool and have fun. If you are looking for piece of land with a creek, we have just what you need. We have 45 acres near Ava available, with a seasonal creek. If you would like to see pictures of this property or see what else we have to offer, take a look at our website. Hope you have a great week!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy Friday

Good Morning Everyone,
   I am happy to be back from my vacation, and I hope that all of you are having a great Friday so far! Yesterday was the first official day of I hope that you have lots of fun and exciting plans for what is left of Missouri's summer. I know that I am really looking forward to the fourth of July and all of the wonderful festivities that come along with it. I heard at the office today that our 45 acres on the skyline parcel #1 is back on the market. If you are interested in this property or just want to take a look at what we have to offer, come check out our website! Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gardens Growing?

Good Afternoon Everyone,
  I am sure that everyone's gardens have been enjoying the rain that we have gotten the past two nights. I am glad that the sun came out today and brought  back the beautiful summer weather that we are used to here in Missouri. Don't forget that this Sat. June 2nd is the Fun Run at the Willow Springs Nursing Home for the Special Olympics. Contact Charley Hogue at (417) 469-0189 or the Nursing Home at (417) 469-3152 for more information. I just saw a nice piece of land that we have that is really close to the Black River. So if you are looking for a small piece of land that is close to something for the family to do this summer, this 3.1 acre parcel would be it! Come visit our website for pictures and more information. I hope that you are having a great week so far! I will talk to you again on Friday! Have a good evening everyone.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Good Afternoon Everyone,
   I hope that you had a great Memorial Day weekend! Don't forget to thank a veteran or current military servicemen or woman for all that they have done or are doing for our country and for fighting for the many freedoms that we have today. For anyone that is interested, there is going to be a Fun Run to benefit the Special Olympics, at the Willow Springs Nursing Home. The 5k run/ walk will take place Saturday June 2nd at 8:45 a.m., and the kiddie run will be at 8:30 a.m. Contact Charley Hogue at (417) 469-0189 or the Nursing Home at (417) 469-3152 for information. I hope that you have a great week!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Birthday!!

Good Afternoon Everyone,
   I hope that you are having a great week so far! Yes, as you can tell by the title of today's blog that it is someones birthday.....It is our very own Ed Johnson's birthday of Homestead Crossing Inc! Happy Birthday Ed, and hope that you have a great day. I hope that everyone else has their holiday weekend planned out and full of some great summer activities. I am sure that all of the rivers, lakes, and campsites will be packed full! Also, I heard today about a really cute trailer on 2 acres that we have. If you would like more information or to see pictures of this trailer, please visit our website. Hope that you have a great Friday tomorrow and a fun and safe weekend!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Just A Week To Prepare

Good Afternoon Everyone,
   I hope that everyone had a great weekend. I know that I sure did, enjoying this beautiful Missouri weather. And speaking of beautiful weather, for all of you with big plans for this Memorial Day only have a week left to prepare! That's right Memorial Day is next Monday, so I hope that you have all of your camping reservations made and canoes all ready to go. I am sure that all of the rivers and lakes are going to be filled with people celebrating. I hope that everyone has a great week and a good and safe weekend.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Schools Out

Good Morning Everyone,
   I hope that you are having a great week so far! This week has been really busy for my family and I, because this is the last week of school. The Willow Springs school lets out today for the summer at 11:45. So summer is officially starting for school students and their families today! This means time for bbq's, camping, float trips, ice cream, and catching fire flies. I love summer, it is my favorite time of the year. If you are looking for something to do for vacation or maybe just for the weekend, we have several good rivers and lakes close that you can take advantage of this summer. Norfork lake is pretty close and the jacksfork river is also very popular for summer float trips, or just a place to go swimming and spend the day. On another note, I heard at the office that we now have 45 acres available with two creeks near Ava, Mo. If you would like to see this property or any of the many others we have, please check out our website. Hope you all have a wonderful week!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Again Already

Good Morning Everyone,
   I hope that you are having a good Monday so far. And I hope that everyone had a great time celebrating Mother's Day this weekend! I know that I had a nice, relaxing day, enjoying my two little girls. Well, now it is about time for all of the summer activities to begin. School here in Willow Springs, Mo will get out on Wednesday at 11:45. And don't forget that this Saturday May 19th is Armed Forces Day. This is a special day where we can pay tribute to all of those that risk their lives' everyday for us and our country! We can at least take this one day to show appreciation to them and their families for all of their hard work and sacrifices that they make. I hope that everyone has a great week!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend

Good Morning Everyone,
   I hope that you have had a great week so far! I know that I have sure been enjoying this beautiful Missouri weather. Don't forget that this Sunday May 13th is Mother's Day! Remember to treat the special Mom's in your life as special as they have treated you over the years.

"Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever."-Unknown

 Also, I heard at the office Wednesday that we have 15 acres near West Plains, Mo with a seasonal creek. If you want to know more about this land, or see what all we have to offer, please visit our website. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Oh Monday

Good Afternoon Everyone,
  Hope that you are all having a great Monday! I am glad that the rain stopped and that the sun decided to make an appearance makes for a much happier day when the sun is shining! Speaking of a happier day, tomorrow is Teacher Appreciation Day. Make sure and let the teacher in your life know  how much they are appreciated! Have you been trying to decide what to do with your family this summer? How about enjoying the great outdoors with some camping? Homestead Crossing Inc. has a couple of great places available for your camping pleasure! Come check them out at our website under the heading campsites. Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happy Friday!!!

Happy Friday Everyone,
 You made it to the weekend!!! I hope that everyone had a great week. I know that my schedule is filling up with summer now upon us, and school getting out soon. It is supposed to be in the 80's all weekend into next week, here in Willow Springs, Mo. As long as it isn't as humid as it was today I will take it! Don't forget that Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow...go out and eat some Mexican and take advantage of those good drink specials!! And more importantly Mother's Day is only two weeks away...better get to thinking about what you want to get that special woman in your life! Be safe this weekend and I will be back to chat again shortly.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cinco de Mayo

Good Evening Everyone,
   Hope that your week is going good so far! You have officially made it halfway to the weekend! And don't forget that on Saturday is the celebration of Cinco de Mayo, which is a national holiday in Mexico, that celebrates the victorious win at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Also wanted to let you know that yesterday Ed mentioned that we are getting 25 acres near Cabool, Mo. If you would like to see more of what land we have available, please visit our website. Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and I will be back here on Friday! Adio`s