Life Lately: gardening, chicken co-op, and family life

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We have been super busy around here at the Healing Throughout Homestead with preparations in gardening, a revamped chicken co-op and a home pen for our Mini Nubian goats from Snowdale Acres  There is no time to just lay around at our homestead, so we make sure to keep busy with daily life duties.

As a mom of four children life here is exciting!  There is always something to do and as my children get older, the extra hands make chores so much easier for this mama. I am always on the ‘go-mode”, but it keeps me trim and  healthy.  Who need a gym,when your hauling hay, feeding all your critters, maintaining a homestead, schooling and just breathin…hogwash, I have my build in gym right here at home.

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This month my husband found the time to put together a another chicken coop. Ours has needed an upgrade for a while now. Our previous coop was really large and raking out the straw every week was getting to be a huge chore. We where inspired by this video on how this farmer doesn’t feed his chickens any feed and wanted to try it with our layin ladies;  This is a bit hard to do in the desert, but we are trying on a much smaller scale. Anyway, I really liked his chicken coop. It reminds me of a lifeguard station.

The best part is: it was completely free! We used parts of the old coop, and wood lying around our backyard to make it. Down to the hinges we took off an old gate and nails we found from old boards, this coop is a recycled condo!

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We also have seen tremendous growth with our family garden.  It is super exciting to see LIFE come thru the ground. The tomatoes this year, despite the California drought, have been divine. Our melons are looking fabulous from old seed last year coming up and to the new planting I did this year.  I just may have melons thru mid October. Only in a homestead gardening, can this be! Thank you Yahweh!

 

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We also have been busy with being a family and learning about the true meaning of LIFE.  Life is an adventure and we are just passing thru this place called planet earth. As a believer in the Messiah, I know this is not my home. I am “renting” a place here on earth with my “new  home” that awaits me. With the world changing at such a fast rate, we have to be mindful of what this world really can offer us.  Honestly, it can’t.  You may find satisfaction in the little things life has to offer and be content for a season, but in time it will loose its taste and become a bitter taste in your mouth.  Only in Yahweh (Lord) will you find complete satisfaction and contentment knowing that He is all you need.  The bible says O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”  Psalm 34:8 The flavor the Father can offer thru His son, Yeshua, will never taste bitter, but always sweet.  Life may throw you some hard blows to knock you off your feet, but with Him that journey  will be filled with joy and comfort only He can offer.

Well, back to my motherly duties, I hope you enjoy this post. Love to hear your comments below. If  you are homesteading, whether in an apartment in the city  or a bigger country scale, love to hear from you and how you enjoy it.

Blessing and Shalom,
Mama Bell-The picture below is of my Nonna Rosa in Italy tending to her flock. A natural.

Nonna Rosa

A Raw Dinner

I am on a 30 day Detox with the Juice Lady.  I am excited to be back on track with a raw diet.  I have been told by numbers of family, one being my husband that should go back on a 100% raw diet to aid in my health with my current health issues.  BOY was he right!  Not only am I enjoying this cleanse, I  have to say I am cleansing, BIG TIME!    Not fun, BU T so needed!

Here are some latest pictures of one of our meals we had a few days back…it was incredible and to taste every living bit, my palate was doing a gig!    My photography daughter, took some incredible pictures that don’t do this blog justice. You had to be there to enjoy the flavor.  But, for now, taste and see that the Lord is good!

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First the salad! Trust me, the picture does not do it justice. Although you can do any number of toppings, I chopped up: cucumbers, red onions, mushrooms, beets, carrots, avocados, tomatoes (fresh from our garden), spinach, red leaf lettuce, and ground sunflower and pumpkin seeds. It was ssssoooo good! It would be even more amazing with this dressing, or this creamy ranch.

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Now for the soup. Yummy-ness! It was partly inspired by this recipe. I didn’t have everything that the recipe called for so I improvised.

My version is below:

(serves 2)

1/2 cucumber chopped

2-3 stalks of celery chopped

1/2 small white onion

a pinch of salt

the meat of 2 young coconuts (and just enough water to make it creamy. There will be leftovers for you to drink :)

1 small lemon squeezed

2-3 handfuls of cashew (optional. The cashews do make it more creamy.)

Some peas/chopped red onions (for the toppings)

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender (I used my Vitamix), until smooth.

Enjoy!

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My daughter’s bowl (with added cashews).

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Delicious and enjoy!!!

Home made Tomatoes Canning

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In our first attempt this year to learn and start our adventure on canning, my daughter did pretty welhealingthroughout-canning-tomatoes2l!  I am impressed and blessed!  With the abundance of tomatoes in our garden this year, I needed to do something to preserve them.  For long term storage, canning was the way to go.

I prefer to dehydrate the tomatoes, but I am waiting for the parts for my Excalibur to get here so I can fix it and start dehydrating my raw goodies.. More on that later, so look out blog posts in the coming weeks on raw treats.

So here are some pictures on what we canned in a simple recipe I found online with just tomatoes, sea salt and lemon juice.

Easy and delicious!

 

 

A Raw Italian Dinner

The hot days of summer, here in the high desert make this mama not wanna cook much at all! Actually, I have been on a raw diet kick for a while and really loving it. One of my favorite dishes is zuchunni pasta, and being Italian, it hits the spot!    And when the ingredients come right from your garden or an Abundant Harvest Box, man oh man, the taste is fantastico!  There is just NOTHING like home garden veggies when preparing your meals!  The taste is just so full of live and vitality-no comparison!

As you can see from the vibrant pictures below, there are a few things you need to zuchunni tomatos garlic carrots celery fresh basil sea salt and olive oil!

Mind you, I don’t have a “recipe” and just place everything in a Vtamix blender. Blend till smooth.  Then you take your zuchunni and make your pasta with a Spiral Vegetable Slicer and make some really cool raw noodles.

As for the cashews, grind them up and add them as a raw cheese.

Serve a plate and enjoy every bit of taste.

Enjoy!

 

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Homesteading in the Desert-It Can Be Done!

We have finally put in our garden to begin our homesteading journey.  It is a beautiful site to see all this greenery and life sprout up in front of my eyes..or as I sleep.  I have taken a liking to gardening and when weather permits, and  truly enjoy getting my hands dirty.

My soil is rich with nutrients and the worms are just lovin it!  I am very excited to start this season with a bountiful harvest of local organic produce right in my front yard.  Every bit of life from my garden and an incredible taste of nutrient dense food of how it should be. Once you eat a more local plate of food, your taste buds are so thrilled to enjoy what food was meant to taste like.

Along with gardening, we also host Abundant harvest Organics in our high desert community. Between gardening and this fabulous CSA, I have a table full of organic local produce-farm to table!

Soon to be coming to our homestead is our mini nubian goat.  Hoping to have her set up with her doe here soon and enjoying the benefits of raw milk and home made raw cheese, kefir and yougart. Nothing like farm style food!

Shalom,

Mama Bell

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Life Lately: Getting Back Into My Artwork

For those of you who don’t know, I used to paint windows for a living. Since having children, running a business, and living life, I haven’t painted or done much artwork at all. Until….

Today, my youngest daughter was searching for something to do. She sees me on the computer working, and she wants to be just like her mamma. There was a big board in the garage (left over from who knows what project), and so I drew, with markers, a layout of “her-work-desk”. She was so delighted with it, that she set up her old keyboard and corded mouse, and started typing away.

Here’s a close up….

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dots….dots…and….more…dots…. (my small, little trademark…..)

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A marker “portrait” of the Bell family + our dog. (you can’t ever forget the dog. lol) Of course there is the ever faithful rock salt lamp, that actually sits on my computer desk, and the clock. (like the dog: essential.)

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Adding the phone was a last minute addition. My daughter came back to me asking for an “old-fashioned” phone. So we Google-ed pictures of “old-fashioned phones”.

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Coloring it blue….

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Shading it in…..

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The finished product! (clock, salt rock lamp – it even plugs in!, family portrait, computer screen, a flower in a vase, a collection of pens, a phone ringing off the hook, and a sign – “Shalom in the Home“……….but that’s a whole other post!

 

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I did do some editing to these photos to make them insta worthy. Please feel free to share below!!!

 

XOXOX,

Mama Bell

Olla, Olla…oh Olla where are you now…lalalala

LOCALS ONLY! 

Ollas are here, well as soon as we get an GROUP order in of 25 or more. Healing Throughout is  partnering up with The Urban Homestead to add our high desert order to theirs. Great way to conserve water and keep your garden well hydrated!

Hey folks. Many of you have inquired about other methods of watering, including the use of Ollas to be water wise. Healing Throughout is working with a place in Pasadena to make these available to our group with bulk pricing. IF you are interested in trying this method out and wish to be part of the group purchase, please contact her OFF LINE to discuss. I am choosing to share this information as it is a GREAT way to water your garden in our desert climate. You may get more info by Private messaging her or at http://www.healingthroughout.com/portfolio/clay-pot-olla-2/

Any ? you may have your welcome to email us or just click the link above for more details!

{Healing Throughout} Experiments

This week, the Healing Throughout house has been the breeding ground for experiments (and good deals!) We made this beet kvass and invented a new dressing! And found a great deal for Organic Plantain bananas at our local Alberstons 

 

First things first-Beet Kvass.

I first heard about Beet Kvass by listening to the Healthy Gut Summit

 

Second-Coconut, Cashew Dressing

This is literally one of the best dressings I’ve ever made. It’s creamy, coconut goodness.

The Recipe

One young coconut (meat+milk)

1/2 cup of cashews

sea salt (to taste)

one orange or lemon (squeezed) I prefer oranges.

Olive oil (1/4 cup-ish)

one clove of garlic

a small splash of apple cider vinegar (optional, but it gives the dressing a little bite)

Spices to taste (dill, black pepper, and rosemary are my staples. I mix and match them…some of this and some of that…hence the “experimenting” part.)

Water (depending on the consistency you desire)

Toss all into a Vitamix and blend on high until creamy. Enjoy!

 

And Last-The Deal!

Organic Plantain bananas at our local Alberstons 

I was so blessed to see organic plantains at our local grocery store. If you like to cook with plantains then I would encourage you to ask you local grocery store to carry them.. That is what I did.  A little persistence, goes a long way.

I have used conventional  plantains, but as since non organic produce is highly sprayed, I didn’t want to continue eating them.  I wanted to find the organic plantains and I am so glad I did.

We have done so many creative recipes with plantains, cookies, pancakes and muffins.  My family is just diggin over the taste of plantains in our recipes.

We that is all for now…Be blessed and well

Shalom, Mama Bell

Leftover Cookie Dough:)

Shalom and Good Day!

Got creative one eve and decided to make a late night snack and a video to share.  Had a fun time making these and they are tasty too!

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Don’t ask for the recipe. haha…it is in my head!  I shared the recipe on the video, so do take notes. I didn’t make them super sweet, cutting down on all sugars here, and they do still taste good.  The chips if you are not local to our area, you can probably find them at any health food store.

Let me clarify and edit..I am personally not a coffee drinker, so when I said ‘I am not fond of Tonyan Coffee”, it wasn’t because I don’t like their coffee, it is just cause I don’t like coffee.  I totally support their business and family. They are a personal friends of mine..so please let them know Mama Bell from Healing Throughout referred you!

Here is their website http://www.tonyancoffee.com/

Enjoy!

Mama Bell

 

Abundant Herbs

Today was a day filled with getting ready to serve our Abundant Harvest Community, here in the high desert.

With new faces to see and veteran ones to welcome back, the group is surely a blessed site!  It really is a wonderful to see our community getting  healthy.  Just to start with eating produce that is local in our state and fresh is the beginning of good health habit.  The produce from AHO is so good, I am really impressed. After running a community co-op, for several years and putting together our produce boxes, I have to say Abundant Harvest Organic sure has it together!  Well, they have been farming for years and a few years up on this mama!

Here are some of the herbs I brought with me to offer our community right from my garden. What a fragrance these beauties have.  It was a joy to bring them and enjoy the beauty of fresh herbs. I am planning on ordering more seeds to start a herb garden and add to what I already have.

Enjoy your eve,

Hugs Mama Bell

 

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Lookie What I Got!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME..Today is my 48 year on planet earth..Thank you Yahweh for your mercies are new every morning.  Mind you I am 48 yrs YOUNG!!!

My husband surprised me a day early with a beautiful hand made gift, ALL BY HIMSELF.  He made this as you see below. A wooden bed frame.   After being married a wonderful 25 years and more to come, I  finally got one of my hearts desires-a wooden bed frame.  I have had our bedding for some time now and never have had a head board with it.  Reading has become a challenge and now I sit, relax and read  away, well that’s when I have time.  Working on that one.  We are now believing the Father for a new mattress.  The box spring is gone. WHOOHOO!

So tonight my birthday slumber will be sweet!

Nighty night!
Mama Bell

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Abundant Harvest Post!

Hello there..from time to time, I will be having AHO Scott Bell(hubby extradonaire!) guest post about the Abundant Harvest Hosting!  If you havent heard about this amazing California local CSA-ya all need to!

More information see here

 

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone is having a great Friday. I want to thank you all for your support of local California farms.

After receiving a couple emails and some comments about the last 2 weeks deliveries, I have decided to write all you to discuss my experience with you. The comments range from quailty to quanity of produce.

First , AHO gives a 100% gaurantee on their product. If you are unhappy with anythingyou recieve you can email, call, or use the “how are we doing” link under where it says Past Deliveries within your account. AHO is more than happy to send replacements. Same goes for anything missing from your box. Simply contact them and they will send replacements on your next delivery.

Due to the heavy drought here in California, which is making very hard for farmers all over, California farms are struggling with the yeild on produce with affects us all. On Tuesday I spoke with another AHO host who has been involved with AHO for 6+ years. This is the first time that she has seen these types of issues. Yeah, we are all human, someone can miss putting strawberries in box when you are packaging 100 plus shares a day. But, bad product and lack of product are in a large portion to the drought.

My wife and I ran a co-op here in Apple Valley for 7 years, Bountiful Harvest and or Living Baskets. Our experience is that whenever the seasons change there is a lull in the amount & quanity of produce available. In the midst of the season there is abundance and and boxes are very full. As the season winds down the is a gap between summer and fall for example where the price goes up and the quality goes down. We ordered from the same distributor as Bj’s does here in Victorville and have seen this everytime the seasons change. For those who have been involved with a CSA or co-op you understand what I mean.

So we have two factors here that affect our produce shares, a heavy drought and the inbetween season. Please be patience as California is in a transitions in trying to overcome these obstacles which are part of life, and know that in time, as we get over this hump, it will get better! Hey the winter crops are coming in soon, your produce share are going to be lovely.

Please use the communication tools on the website available to you to provide feedback. AHO can then address these items and improve the service. Thank you all for our patience and support.

Your Host, Scott Bell

PS May I encourage you to PRAY for rain..our land needs it!

Homemade Sauerkraut

Well today was the day I decided to check my homemade sauerkraut that has been bubbling and brewing in my Harsch Earthenware Crock.

I put the organic cabbage in over a month ago, so it has defiinately fermented well..and may I say WELL.. Amazing flavor and taste.   I noticed that the longer I keep it in the crock the better the taste is,yet I was seriously craving some of it with our home made bone broth.  Oh the smell of my kitchen is beautiful, and with it being winter, a bowl of homemade bone broth and sauerkraut hits the spot.

I don’t really “follow” any recipe and just go for it,  I never make the same thing twice. So if it taste good, ya better have some, cause you won’t probably taste it again.  LOL  And this particular batch was divine!

Here is what I do:  Please make sure if you are wanting to follow a recipe, good ole google can help or get yourself a good read on fermenting foods.  Beware of following mine, remember I just wing it!

Mama Bell’s Recipe for Home made Sauerkraut:

4 Medium to large organic green cabbage, wash well and finely chopped length wise

4 TBS of pink Himalayan Pink Salt ea salt

Place in a large bowl and pound with a wooden tamper to break open the juices. (Great, if you have boys to have them do this part!)

Once the juice starts to form, place in the Harsch Crock.

Place stone inside,  put the lid on and add filtered water to the well

Cover and place in dark dry place for a couple of weeks or longer (I do about a month or more)

Make sure you add water daily to the well so the cabbage doesn’t dry out and start to mold. (Bummer if that  happens, esp after a month of waiting for the cabbage to ferment!

And there you go!  HOMEMADE ORGANIC SAUERKRAUT!

Enjoy!

Here is where I got the Harsch Crock..great company!   http://www.wisementrading.com/foodpreserving/harsch_crocks.htm

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