Common Sense Home Good News Letter 1/8/23

“Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.” ― L.R. Knost

It was such a blessing to finally see some sunlight streaming in the south windows this afternoon. We’ve been plagued with overcast skies this winter. Usually I wake up with the sun in the morning, but it’s been so dark for so long that hasn’t worked well at all.

Thankfully the chicken flock doesn’t seem to mind, as we are still getting eggs, and the ducks roll with it as long as their water basins don’t freeze immediately.

The plus side of the cloud cover is that for the most part, the temperatures have been mild. There was cold and windy weather around Christmas, but overall we’ve been closer to freezing for the high temp, sometimes even above freezing. The duck patrol was ecstatic for a couple of days when the ponds thawed out a bit and they were able to play in water where they all fit at once.

This week we are scheduled (once again) to have the heat hooked up in the bonus room. It’ll be a HUGE blessing to have that project done!

Sometimes I cringe a little bit at the idea of tackling the next big projects, given the delays we ran into last year, but sooner started, sooner finished.

We’re thinking about getting a tractor to help speed up some of the work around here, so if you have one you love, reply to this email and tell me about it. Odds are we’ll be limited by what’s available in the area, but we’re starting to research pros and cons of different brands.

We’re also looking at taking on interns this year to help with the permaculture projects around the homestead and the website, so if that’s something you might enjoy, you can reach out to us about that, too.

August is working on some articles about windbreaks for next week, and we got some excellent drone footage after the recent blizzard conditions clearly showing the differences in protection from the various plantings we have here and a standard snow fence. I hope you’ll enjoy both.

We’re brainstorming about content for gardening season, so go ahead and hit us up with your gardening questions, too.

All our best to you and yours,

Laurie (and August IV, August V, and Duncan)

This week’s featured articles…

Duncan made up a batch of haluski this week, and it was so good that I figured I should share the recipe.


I’ve been impressed by how our cabbages have been holding in storage. We gathered the last half dozen in mid October, and they’re still in good condition. (There’s only one more left now, but it’s great to be able to use our own crops months after harvest.)

We also made up some fruit leather with some of the storage apples. Those Ruby Red McIntosh apples make everything you prepare with them so pretty. We are definitely going to add a tree of that variety to our orchard.

homemade fruit leather

I’ve updated the fruit leather post to include drying instructions for the dehydrator or oven. There’s also the tip we use to stretch expensive fruits like raspberries.

Store shelves are filled with meds for treating acid reflux, but there are lot of safe and easy options that can help settle it down, right in your kitchen.

We share 10 home remedies for acid reflux, plus a quick discussion of the difference between reflux and GERD. Not surprisingly, long term use of some common meds has its own set of issues, so it’s better to avoid them if possible.

home remedies for acid reflux

Chelsea Green Publishing has extended their holiday sale until January 12th. This is a great time to pick up some winter reading.

Chelsea Green Holiday Sale

Some of our favorite books include:

The Woodchip Handbook – this covers the RIGHT way to use woodchips in the garden and yard. Lots of interesting bits here.

The Small Scale Poultry Flock – great info for home scale poultry production

Toxic Legacy – what glyphosate is really doing, and it’s not pretty

Trees of Power – the author’s enthusiasm about trees in contagious, in a good way

Human Heart, Cosmic Heart – when a heart surgeon realizes that the patients he “fixes” don’t have better outcomes than those who don’t undergo surgery, he rethinks everything he was taught about medicine

Popular on Instagram this week: meet Miss Fawn and Zoro soaking up the heat from the masonry stove.

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