How-to Care for Muscovy Ducks


George the Muscovy Duck

George the Muscovy Duck

Self-sufficiency is something we could all try our hand at, it ensures a person’s family will get the very best organic foods, handmade clothing and even the greatest education to be had. Muscovy ducks seem to fit the homesteaders’ bill just right; they provide lean and delicious meat, soft down, perfect insect control along with nearly perfect weed control. A person can have it all, all in the form of a good sized, quiet and easy to care for duck, the wonderful Muscovy.

Getting Started With Muscovy Ducks

Unlike many forms of livestock, Muscovy ducks can just about take care of themselves. They are efficient foragers, excellent broody mothers and have fantastic flying and perching capabilities. They are also not prone to trust potential predators; they will take flight, or stop and defend their offspring viciously. Anyone who has seen the claws on a Muscovy duck can vouch for the possibility of bloody wounds if the animals are not handled correctly or feel very threatened. They also have very powerful wings and a hooked bill to add to their arsenal. This may sound scary but it is a good thing; Muscovy ducks have retained their wild instincts, and this makes them very successful in the natural world. If they lay a fertile egg, you can just about bet that egg will hatch and many of the ducklings will survive. Muscovy ducks are not mean without cause; a “good” Muscovy will not attack unprovoked, as they would rather mind their own business of eating pests as opposed to a bloody battle.

Read More … How to care for Muscovy Ducks

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Introduction: Keeping Freshwater Clams In Aquariums


Clams (bivalves) are wonderful additions to the aquarium. Undue to popular belief, they are not difficult to keep successfully in a properly maintained and aged home aquarium.

Freshwater Clam Care

Freshwater Clam Care

Clams are filter feeders meaning they acquire life-sustaining nutrients by filtering the water around them. In most home aquariums, there are not enough proper suspended particles throughout the water in order to sustain the bivalve’s life. In cases such as these, the clams require supplemental feeding or they will starve.

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Spirulina Face and Body Mask How-to and Review


This is a review on using the algae ‘spirulina’ as a topical treatment for acne, redness and to reduce pore size. Included also are the recipes and techniques I used while doing the treatments.

Author with Spirulina Mask

Author with Spirulina Mask

This recipe I am using is simple and requires only two ingredients; spirulina and carrot juice.

Mix enough spirulina powder with carrot juice to make a runny paste. The paste should be the consistency of melted chocolate.

Apply this mixture to a clean face and allow it to dry for at least twenty minutes. Wash off with cool water and pat your face dry.

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Chantix Review and Results


This is a review and the results I had while taking Chantix to quit smoking. I am not getting paid by the company or trying to promote this product.

Pink Carnation

Quitting Smoking with Chantix

…Avoiding food is hard as well. I am not hungry, just feel the need to nosh because I want to keep something in my mouth. I do not want to gain forty pounds, LOL. So far plastic straws, chopsticks and peppermints are my good friends!

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How to Use a Deodorant Stone


The best method I have found is to apply your deodorant stone directly after bathing. Do not dry your armpits, as the stone needs the moisture in order to work.

Place your thumb where you arm bends—measure 4 inches up and then four inches down. Apply the stone to this area. Swipe it several times. If you apply it to too small an area, it will not work.

Another use for this stone I discovered is it cleared up a contact dermatitis rash I had on my breasts. I simply rubbed a bit onto the affected areas and the next day I had nearly, completely healed. The rash was caused by my favorite perfume. Sighhhhh

Growing Stevia Rebaudiana


Stevia Bloom

Stevia Bloom

The stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana) has a long history of use as a natural, no calorie sweetener. Read More about Stevia Plants …Stevia Care


Just as with many of my Frugal Gardening Momma articles, more in depth work will be found in my upcoming book. Keep a check on my site for updates!

The stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana) has a long history of use as a natural, no calorie sweetener. Stevia is native to the lands of North and South America most notably, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. With a genus of roughly 240 species, the more common S. rebaudiana is one species in a large plant family.

Its growing requirements are simple as it is an undemanding plant that is not often attacked by pests or diseases. The leaves, stems, roots and blossoms of the stevia plant can be used as sugar substitutes—though the parts of the leaf between each vein is thought to be superior as a sweetener with little to no aftertaste.

Place stevia in full sun with well-drained soils that contain a lot of organic matter. The key is to keep the soil moist until the plant is well established. Once established, stevia is drought tolerant–though it grows better if given plenty of water.

Fertilize stevia plants with organic foods such as worm castings, tea and coffee grounds, cow and chicken manure, and compost teas. Avoid the use of synthetic fertilizers whenever possible. Pinch the growing tips of each branch to promote a bushier habit and more sweet-tasting leaves. USDA zone 11—or 32 degrees fahrenheit.

How to Harvest Clay for Shampoo, Face and Body Masks


The process is simple and only takes a few hours to get usable results. This project is best started outside as it can be very messy. Baking the clay is an essential step to kill any parasites that may be living in the soil. Try to save the water runoff for flowers or other gardening chores. Remember, “Waste not, want not.”

Finished Clay

Things You’ll Need

  • Bucket
  • Shovel
  • Cheesecloth
  • Baking Pan
  • Oven
  • Water

Directions

  1. In an area that you know to be clean and free of all pesticides/herbicides, get a shovelful of yard clay and place it in a bucket. Use a strong jet of water from the hose to fill the bucket.
  2. Stir the soil vigorously to dislodge large particles. Wait a few seconds before scooping the floating debris off the top. Repeat this step several times until most of the large particles are removed.
  3. After the last stirring, before the particles settle, pour the water out slowly. Fill the bucket again and repeat step 2.
  4. The final step in rinsing the clay is to stir and the pour the clay and water through cheesecloth into wide mouthed containers. Allow this mixture to settle for several hours. The sediment is very fine and can take overnight or longer to completely fall to the bottom.
  5. Once the clay has settled, pour off as much water as possible.
  6. Place the clay into baking dishes and bake at 350-degrees until the clay is fully dried. The time depends on how much water is left in the clay.
  7. Once finished baking, pound the clay into a fine powder or leave it in chunks.

To use this mixture as shampoo simply add enough to a bowl of water that a runny “melted chocolate” consistency is achieved. Apply to the scalp, roots and oily part of your hair and massage gently. Leave on for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water. This mixture is easy to remove and leaves hair clean. For blondes; it may be a good idea to do a strand test or use a clay that is white. I am a brunette so if this mixture stains hair I wouldn’t notice.

The same consistency should be made for face and body masks. Leave on the skin until completely dry. Rinse with warm and then cool water. Moisturize as needed.

Natural Garden Ideas


A natural garden will usually combine plants native to your area. Non-native plants will look like they belong if colors and textures match the surrounding, native flora. A natural garden forgoes the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides. These plans offer wildlife sustenance and shelter in such a manner with no obvious formal lines and detail. Once established, natural gardens should remain easy to care for.

Bloody Cranesbill Geranium and Trillium

Hummingbird Garden

Providing perches of varying heights will allow dominate birds to choose their favorite spot for preening, sunning and checking out their territory. Dominant hummingbirds are aggressive, pushing meeker birds away from feeders and watering stations. Provide several feeding stations hidden from one another so subordinate birds can feed unbothered by the more aggressive dominates. Add red accents and plants to attract hummingbirds to the area. Provide a mixture of nectar rich plants to keep them coming back. Plants suitable for hummingbird gardens include trumpet vine, columbine, larkspur, jasmine, soapwort and sweet peas. Humming birds require protein, especially during the breeding season. In the wild, they catch small insects to supply this need. Set out dishes of rotting banana and other fruit to attract fruit flies. Shallow dishes with water provide a place for the birds to bathe and condition their feathers.

Read More …Natural Garden Ideas

Plants of the Everglades


One hundred tree species and more than 100 seed bearing plants grow in the Florida Everglades. This ecosystem is diverse in not only plant life but animal life as well.

Great Blue Heron in the Florida Everglades from MorgueFiles.com

Red Mangrove

Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) can grow up to 60 feet but is usually found growing only twenty feet in the Glades. The leaves are up to five inches in length with a width of two inches and arranged oppositely to one another. Its blossoms are yellow and pale in color appearing in spring. The fruits of red mangroves are brown and send down roots before falling to the ground to finish growing. Mangrove tree roots offer breeding and nursery habitats for invertebrates, fish and sharks. Red mangroves are at risk due to coastal development and the introduction of the non-native species, Australian pine (Casuarina equistifolia) and the Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius).

Read More …Plants of the Everglades

Ideas for Landscaping Acreage


Having acreage presents nearly as many problems as it does gardening opportunities. Careful planning like walking through your property during every season prevents gardening failure for this large undertaking. This will allow you to see any seasonal problems that could arise. Potential problems include summer dry sites that remain wet during the winter and spring, heavy pest animal activity or even pollution from roads such as salt spray in the winter. After your evaluation is over, you may decide to turn a portion of your land into something for charity. Even a little used corner of land can help a lot of people or animals.

Landscaping Acreage Ideas

Community Garden

Opening your land to other people brings with it the risk of lawsuits. It is a good idea to contact an attorney and discuss potential problems before proceeding further. Providing this service to the community brings people together while feeding the masses food they have all helped to grow. If having strangers on your land is more than you are ready for try donating the food you grow to churches, homeless shelters, and food kitchens. If you plant heirloom vegetables, fruits and flowers, save the seeds for future use. They can also be given or traded to other community gardens.

Animal Rescue

For those who have a big heart and love animals, an animal rescue is another idea for acreage. Such causes may require permits so thorough legal research is suggested. Rescue work is costly when food, medications and other factors as addressed. After deciding on the animals you wish to rescue, it is a good idea to set aside a part of your land for providing food for them. This in itself will cut rescue costs. If birds are being helped you can grow most, if not all of their food yourself through grasses, flowers and fruit and nut trees. For those with strong stomachs and that have chosen to save carnivores, you can raise your own meat in the form of fish, chicken and even goats. If properly planned a small portion of acreage can feed several hungry mouths. Building a pest proof storage barn will help to ensure seed and grain harvests are good throughout the winter. Freeze meat animals slaughtered during the warm parts of the year.

Animal Rescue Food Charity

If rescuing animals is too involved for your tastes, you can still contribute by growing foods for other charities. The cost of keeping one elephant is around one thousand dollars a month. Even small donations of fruit and vegetables are helpful to charity owners. If you have enough land, you can grow enough variety to feed several species a month.

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