Blue Yurt Farms
Homesteading, Yurts, Travel, Life!
Learning about conservation of our precious forests, engaging in tree planting activities and leading a ‘greener’ way of life is what we’re about here at Blue Yurt Farms. Join us to learn more about living a simpler life that celebrates the important things in life.
Hello, and welcome to my personal ‘homestead’ blog. My name is Erin Baker and I am extremally excited to share my experiences with other people that are interested in healthy eating, farm life, and responsible travel. I don’t claim to be an expert on any of these subjects but I do promise that you’ll get some valuable info and some great stories from me.
And I don’t break promises!
Responsible Travel & Homesteading
Unfortunately for our planet, responsible travel is not the most popular way of getting around the globe these days. That said; things are shifting and more people are becoming aware of the dangers that we face if BIG action isn’t taken by each and every one of us. Even though I like to travel, I’m committed to doing it as ‘responsibly’ as possible and my aim is to inspire others to do the same.
My blog is my ‘homestead’ to do just that!
If you look back throughout history, there have been many different housing trends. People have adjusted their home style to fit their way of living at that time. The exception is today’s world in which we seem to be taking a look back at “simpler” times. It is shown most in how we are seeing a trend of farmhouse motif increasing straight across the board and in areas all around the United States.
A Journey Throughout Housing History
Just looking at home history since the 60s, we have seen a variety of different trends. The 60s were a time of ranch homes, which are still undeniably popular. These homes can have split levels or multilevel.
In the 70s, we chose homes that would offer multiple levels. The Raised Ranch style home, as well as apartment-style homes, gained popularity.
The 80s were the perfect counter to the large 70-style home. Some people focused more on the idea of “less is more” and chose to own small condos. Others wanted massive homes with family rooms and more than enough space for the people in their family.
This flowed into the 90s when every home had at least two stories and a basement for extra space. Master bedrooms were massive in size as well.
The early 2000s focused on doing more with less area. Open concept homes that were smaller were the preferred style of choice.
In today’s world, we have seen homes continue to get smaller. Think of tiny homes and how many people dream of owning a home that can fit on a small trailer or be towed by a pickup. Then you also have the other side of it. People that enjoy both big and small tend to enjoy farmhouse sinks, wooden cabinetry, and more “rustic appeal.”
Rustic Beauty, Simple Style
One of the biggest things about rustic style furniture is its design. It is designed to be “natural”. If there is paint, it is earth tone colors and often scuffed as though it has been there for years. Beyond that, you have the farmhouse doorways, sinks, and tables. The more wood you have, the more rustic it appears, the happier most people are with the end result.
One of the most popular techniques for working with rustic furniture is the use of liquid glass for table top and bar tops. This allows people to put a protective layer of beautiful, natural wood. It brings out the color in the grain and allows fantastic wood pieces to be used in all areas of the home without worry.
Creating Farmhouse Decor is Fun
Anytime you create something, you will be happier with the final product. By creating with the idea of rustic charm, you can broaden your horizons and take creativity to the next level. This includes creating wooden countertops, tables, coffee tables with photographs or keepsakes encapsulated, river tables, and more. It allows you to bring the charm of a wood cabin to your city home if you choose.
Small farmers have a lot of different things to worry about. A sudden freeze when newly planted seeds and sprouts can be devastating to their crops. The same is true for too much rain or too little of it. They must also worry about a rapid increase in insects. However, most farms, and homesteads, prefer to avoid using chemicals or pesticides on crops, fearing that it will cause more damage than good. Instead of pest control chemicals, many have begun to discover the effectiveness of natural pest control for small farms.
Damage Bugs Cause
There is no denying it. Bugs are all around us. For a gardener, not all of them are bad, but many of them are. There are some bugs that may linger around the garden, simply to eat the bugs that are bad for plants. They are a farmer’s best friend. Chemicals and pesticides would get rid of each type, and most farmers don’t want that. The worst bugs for a garden include aphids, corn earworms, tomato hornworms, vine borers, cucumber beetles, and many others. They use your plant as food, often killing it or eating the fruit that it may produce. Then, you must also think about the moisture content of your garden, and the unsavory creatures that are going to be drawn to it. This includes mosquitoes and no-see-ums. Even if they do not directly affect the crops, you may still want them gone in order to avoid being uncomfortable while you pull weeds or collect the fruit of your labor.
Naturally Keep Bad Pests Away
If aphids are attacking your garden, you can use a dish soap and water solution. Simply spray it on your plants and aphids will move out immediately. If you have a garden that is filled with ants, you can sprinkle cayenne pepper on the ground. Watering will wash it away so you may want to invest in a fair amount, but it will be worth it. It also keeps cats out of the garden where they may go in search of a litter box. A good all-round natural pesticide is diatomaceous earth. Epsom salt sprinkled around plants will run off insects and help the plant’s roots to become healthier.
If you are searching for plants that can help you, you can choose marigolds, chrysanthemums, lavender, mint, basil, and more. Citronella grass is also useful for keeping mosquitoes out and will naturally reduce noseeums. This means it will benefit you as well as your garden.
Watch Your Garden Grow Healthy
Part of the enjoyment of growing a garden is being able to watch it flourish and provide you with fruit and vegetables. Your enjoyment should not be diminished because of a bug infestation, whether it is insects that bother you or kill your plants. By knowing tricks that you can use to naturally eliminate them, you can avoid the issue of, “to spray or not to spray” and simply enjoy knowing you are providing a healthy place for your garden to grow. Naturally.
In today’s world, there are many people choosing to live “off the grid”. They build homes in the middle of nowhere. They travel from place to place in tiny homes. They are unconnected to traditional power lines and happier than ever with their choices to be free. Since they live off the grid, you may think that they have to give up the things we love the most about our modern lives. This is not true. There are many off-grid power generator solutions that can power heat and air units, refrigerators, and more.
An Off-Grid Lifestyle
When living off the grid, you ditch the traditional way of life. You may grow your own food. You may embrace hunting and fishing. You may harvest rain water for flushing your toilet or watering your garden. There are many options available. It simply depends on how far off the grid you want to be. Most people live off the grid without sacrificing television, smart phones, laptops, or other technology. This is made possible by the power generators that they set up wherever they go.
Powering and Off-Grid Life
The people who embrace living off the traditional power grid have discovered ways to have it all. They ditch expensive power bills by choosing other power solutions. The main three options include:
This type of power uses a wind to provide power. As the wind blows it spins a propeller blade. These blades capture kinetic energy and send it to a generator inside the rotating housing behind the blades. From this, it generates electricity.
Generators are used both on the grid and off. Even your power company will use a generator. There are portable generators available to people who want to live off the grid. A quiet generator can power homes in all locations using natural gas, solar power, gasoline, and diesel. Some are designed to work off more than one type of fuel, depending on availability in your area.
Solar power is the use of our sun to provide power using photovoltaic solar panels. They are often installed on the roof of an off the grid home. On sunny days, your solar panels will harness the sun’s power in a battery, where it will be stored until it is necessary.
Pros and Cons
If you want the most efficient type of natural power, then many say that solar is your best option. There are fewer moving parts in solar panels than there are in wind power generators. However, if you look at the numbers, at most 20% of the sun’s energy can be converted and about 60% of the wind can be converted into power. Therefore, it has been proven that wind power is available 24/7 and one wind turbine can provide as much as a thousand solar panels. Wind does provide the most power output, but wind turbines require a lot of space. They are also not easily moved from one place to another. A generator can provide ample power for most homes, even larger ones. You only need the fuel to power them.
The cost of solar or wind power is dropping, but so far solar is cheaper to run if you want to use a renewable energy source. It still requires quite an investment to get solar power setup. You could pay up to $29,000 depending on the size of your home. Most generators can be purchased for a few hundred dollars.
When trying to decide which is best for your off the grid lifestyle, you will have to make sure you do your research. What can you afford, how much power do you need, and how permanent do you want it to be? These are all important questions for you to consider before you decide.