Ryder Family Farm- Southern Illinois | do it more naturally
We to a big leap of faith, quit our jobs are moved to the the heart of the Shawnee National Forest to follow our dreams of self sufficiency and to make a go of living off the land… Can we help you feed your family?
Southern Illinois, farm, CSA, Goat Milk, Soap, Eggs, meat, local food
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do it more naturally

Canning Fairytale Pumpkin and Sweet Meat Squash

We drove up north last week to retrieve our award winning produce from the Duquoin State Fair. Nathan wanted the experience of entering stuff in the fair so that we could show our daughters what it is all about (they have been eager to enter stuff at the fair but have only recently become of age). He entered four different produce categories and placed 1st in three of them, he got 2nd place for eggplant and first place for his Fairytale Pumpkin, his pickling cucumbers and his hot peppers. We realized just before getting the prized pumpkin home that we've exhausted our frozen abundance of pumpkiny goodness from last year and *gasp* in our blur of activity this growing season I've overlooked planting pie pumpkin! Actually we didn't even plant the...

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Everly's first visit with a doctor, an integrated medicine physician.

Everly had her first doctors appointment this week, her 2 month checkup. We saw an integrated medicine physician who seems to be right up our alley in her care philosophy. She's not pushy about vaccinations and didn't freak out when we mentioned E was a homebirth baby. Integrated medicine is a mix between alternative medicine and traditional medicine. When there is a health issue things like nutrition, life style and various alternative therapies are often explored first before prescription medications or other more dramatic solutions are used. We prefer to take the natural route with our health care when possible, I am sure this is no surprise to you considering how Everly was born. Anyway, back to the updates. Everly weighed in at a whopping 11.8 lbs and had a great checkup with...

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Happy Earth Day! Earth day tips?

Today is earth day and there is no better day to try and minimize your negative impact on the earth. How to you celebrate earth day? Do you plant something or maybe you pick up litter along the highway near your home. Every effort is helpful whether you are making it on for one day or if you are setting out to try and do something differently for the entire year. Some of the things we are doing year round are rain water harvesting and grey water harvesting. I take baths often and am always feeling bad about sending the perfectly good water down the drain afterwards. Since I use biodegradable shampoo and soap I have been eager to siphon my bath water out into the garden. We life in the...

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How charting your temperature can give insight about your hormones.

Fertility awareness combines charting of your waking temperatures, and other signs of fertility to track, monitor and understand what is happening with your body reproductively speaking. People who are into doing things the natural way, those who are having trouble conceiving a child and those who are religious often learn the fertility awareness method. It allows you to conceive or prevent conception of children during your fertile years. Today I am outlining the two reproductive hormones Estrogen and Progesterone that are naturally produced by our bodies and how your waking temperature (BBT) provides information about your bodies production of these hormones. Obviously your waking temperatures can be inaccurately influenced by sickness, fever, the time you take your temperature from day to day, alcohol consumption and many other factors but if you are...

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Did we conceive? My NFP-FAM charting and ovulation.

Oh boy, looks like our chances for getting pregnant were good back on Monday & Tuesday. Using natural family planing/ the fertility awareness method I was just able to confirm past ovulation that was within a 1 day window from the time of intercourse. Now I just need to wait 2 weeks before I can take a pregnancy test and confirm with my waking temperatures whether or not we conceived. Conveniently enough I have the "woman doctor" appointment in 2 weeks. Oh, the suspense is killing me! If you are trying to get pregnant or even if you are trying to avoid pregnancy you should consider learning the fertility awareness method, it offers great insight about how your body works and gives you much more control over your fertility! I bought the book...

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It's a stormy weekend day, perfect lazy weather!

Today is a lazy day! I am crampy, achy and beat again and it is snowing so I started the laundry, folded a dry load and now am sitting in my bed writing this post. I can see the snow falling from where I sit and it's so warm and toasty here. My students did well yesterday. They got 7th place (out of 11) which is great considering they are all newbies except for one! They have much work to do (as do I) to get the show looking better for the next competition in 2 weeks. They did a great job though, we have 5 more weeks to work on and perfect the show be fore championships. Tomorrow marks the start of spring break for our schools so I will have...

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Upper respiratory infections in pets- Day 1 update

Jack's symptoms have greatly improved and he is acting more himself today, I only added a few drops of colloidal silver to water and orally gave it to him via dropper yesterday. I did not give him more today as he seems significantly better today! However, I have received much information from readers about the potentially harmful side effects of Colloidal Silver and I did want to disclose this information to all my readers. I do not want to give anyone bad advice or only provide one side of the story so I feel it is appropriate to update this post to include some of the potentially harmful side effects of Colloidal Silver. (I added all this stuff to the original post also) As with anything you should consult your doctor before hand...

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Upper respiratory infections in pets.

While we were moving in to our new place we were nicely greeted by a neighborhood dog. She was pretty and very friendly. She had a tag on that said her name was Lady and she apparently lived across the street from us. We gave her a pat, pat and our Dixie (our dog) played with her in our yard. Out here in the rural subdivision we live in people have the tendency to allow their animals and small children to wander about the neighborhood without supervision. I guess they must feel it is safer because we aren't in heart of a crime ridden city but still that is no reason to let everyone run amok. That is a rant for another day though. Anyway, we kept the friendly dog out of...

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Old-Fashioned Know How- Do it yourself remedies part 2

Good lord! The people have spoken and apparently old-Fashioned Know How- Do it yourself remedies are a favorite among my readers and fellow stumblers. A few days ago I shared a microwave cleaner I discovered and I also shared a home made recipe for spackle or wall hole patch and the comments/ hits went through the roof! It's surprising to me that others are also interested in my old-fashioned, simpler ways of doing things obsession and now I am not so embarrassed to share my tips. You know many people think a not so old girl sharing these discoveries/ tips is a strange thing but I am really into all this simple living stuff and I am glad you are too! So here are a few more of my favorite bits of...

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Make it from scratch blog carnival – Feburary 5th 2008

Being able to say you made something is a great achievement and Make it From Scratch Carnival has so many great make it from scratch ideas that anyone can try! The most popular topic for this edition of make it from scratch is food, these ideas are mouthwatering and I can't wait to try some of them out! If you are looking for creative recipes you have come to the right place. One of the best ways to enjoy the food you eat is the raise it/ grow it yourself. This is the ultimate in self sufficiency and it's easier than ever to Get Started Growing Vegetables. Home grown veggies are not old delicious but they are also very rewarding! I know I enjoy freshly grown zucchini, green beans and perhaps some salad...

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The Good Household Tip Meme- Garbage disposal cleaner

Okay I wasn't tagged for this meme but I did see it on Witchypoo's blog and also on Teeni's blog so I decided to take it upon myself to share my tip! Garbage disposal cleaner- You know how your garbage disposer gets that gross smell and sometimes a slimy film? Don't but store bought cleaners for this simple cleaning task make your own! Did you know that white vinegar is a powerful disinfectant/ cleaner? All you need to make your own garbage disposal cleaner is some white vinegar, and ice tray and a sealed baggie. Fill the ice tray with vinegar, freeze and when the cubes are nice and frozen transfer them to your sealed baggie for storage int he freezer. Once a week place 2-3 cubes in the disposer with a slow stream...

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Naturally and simply living- 1st edition

Happy new year everyone!! What is your resolution for the upcoming year, are you interested in living more simply and naturally? We are always looking for better ways to do things and we are very interested in getting back to the basics in life. Things like spending more time with family, adopting a more healthy diet, growing some of our own food, composting, recycling and all that good stuff! Have you ever needed to find a home remedy or a natural alternative? Did you find what you wanted searching the web? I thought it would be beneficial to offer some truly relevant and helpful information for you from writers all over the blogosphere! This is the goal of my naturally and simply living blog carnival. You can find submission info and...

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Burr…. 19 degrees? Thank goodness for free fire wood!

Well, the forecast is COLD as you can see by the screen shot above. Thank goodness for our local freecycle group and the nice lady that let us haul away a full truckload of free firewood this weekend. We are renting a home with a nice wood burning stove and we are stoked that we can heat the home for free especially since the price of oil has skyrocketed this winter. Apparently here in northern Arizona residents are being urged to refrain from using these fireplaces and wood burning stoves to heat the home as they are a "fire hazard".  I don't plan to stop using mine, we are responsible"fire users". How is winter panning out in your neck of the woods? Any snow  yet?...

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Find the miracle products in your home that will clean and save you money.

Hydrogen peroxide has a ton of household uses and is often forgotten or overlooked. Rinsing your mouth with a cap full of peroxide each day will whiten your teeth and kill tons of bacteria. A peroxide mouth rinse can save you the cost of name brand teeth whiteners and mouthwashes. Did you know that Listerine white strips, oxiclean and various other household items only work because of the peroxide in them? Why buy several different products for different uses that all contain peroxide when you can simply buy some bottles of regular peroxide and get many jobs done? Putting peroxide in your washing machine will also whiten and disinfect your wash, peroxide will also remove blood and other bodily fluids from your clothes. Peroxide will add highlights to and lighten your hair, it...

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Cheesy Bone Doggie Treats and Snow

Well, Nathan and I went for an afternoon walk into downtown Flagstaff for some coffee and snacks. We took Dixie and ended up at Late for The Train to sit outside with our new doggie while we at pastries, drank coffee and got snowed on. Dixie loved the snow, my hands were cold but other than that it was a nice exercising walk. When we got home and thawed out I went searching for a doggie treat recipe that I could whip up. While I made the doggie treats I watched the snow from our kitchen window. I wanted to share the doggie treat recipe and the snow pictures with you. Cheesy Bone Treats 2 cups all purpose flour 1 1/4 cup cheese, any kind, shredded 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup water Preheat oven...

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Arugula Chicken & Pasta Recipe and the CSA

We are experimenting with different foods now that we have our weekly basket of fresh vegetables and fruits from the Flagstaff CSA. This week we got Arugula (which looks like spinach but tastes zestier), Mustard Greens (these greens really have the spicy mustard taste), yummy Pomegranate, some sweet potatoes, garlic, a salad mixture and some onions. We are really enjoying being a part of the local CSA. It's nice to know where your food comes from and to be supporting our community farmers. We learned this summer that some foods may seem weird but they are often very good. We were turned on to lemon cucumbers (they are juicy, great for snacking and yummier that regular cucumbers), we made pickles out of these really strange spiky cucumbers and we...

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Alternative Hair Removal Recipe

Sugaring is an alternative form of hair removal. Some people believe it is better for your skin than waxing because all the ingredients are natural and less likely to clog pores. Sugaring is an ancient method of hair removal that was first practiced in the Middle East. The sugar mixture is heated to form a tacky paste. It is spread in the direction of hair growth, allowed to cool and is then ripped off the skin in the opposite direction of the hair growth. Some choose to use paper or cloth strips to press against the sugar mixture once applied to the skin. The cloth/ paper is then pulled off to remove the hair and the sugar mixture. Others choose not to use strips, they simply pull the tacky sugar mixture...

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