Annie's Homestead


view:  full / summary

Make It Yourself: Candlemania!

Posted on October 13, 2013 at 12:50 PM Comments comments (1)

When i decided to take on candle making a few years ago, I thought it couldn't be easier. Melt the wax, pour into molds with a wick, and let it dry. "How hard can it be?"- famous last words!!

Making candles can be fun and easy if you know a few tricks, and I am here to share mine with you today! I purchase all of my candle making supplies at Candlewic- they have excellent quality, and haven't steered me wrong yet. (Yes, I am an affiliate, but only because I believe in their company so much!)

So let's get to it!

What You Need:

Candle wax: (1 lb. of wax will make about 10 votive candles)- votives are small, so a specialty wax really isn't necessary. Beeswax works fine as well as the soy wax work just as well as the pillar/votive wax for these.

Double Boiler (if you don't have a double boiler, a soup pot and a glass pyrex measuring cup with canning lids in between works great)

Wicks: I prefer to use wicks that are made for votives- they have metal discs at the bottom to keep them flat and anchored.

Coloring: This is optional. I use coloring made for candles, but I have heard of people using crayons as well.

Scent: Also optional, but who doesn't love a great smelling candle! I use scents designed for candles. A good amount of scent to use is 5-7%.  Essential oils work for this as well, but remember that essential oils are potent, so start small and increase as desired.

Molds: I as lucky- When I first decided to make candles, there was an offer for free votive molds, so mine were free! In case don't want to spend the money on metal molds, I experimented for you, and found that the little plastic "bath cups" you buy at the grocery store work too! The cups I used were 3 oz. plastic cups that I picked up for a couple of dollars for 100 cups. These are bigger than votive candles, so you will get fewer candles per pound.

After the tutorial, I will show you a few other candle ideas I have done with make shift containers and molds.

Thermometer: A candy or meat thermometer is great for this- 175 degrees is the perfect temperature for votive candles.

Parchment or Wax Paper: No matter how careful you are, making candles is messy. Having this layer between the molds and your counter not only speeds up clean-up, but will save your counter from the coloring stains. (voice of experience)

Let's make candles!!

1.) Set up the double boiler on the stove and put your wax on top to melt.

2.) While you're waiting for your wax to melt, set up your molds, wicks, coloring, and scents. Don't forget your layer of parchment or wax paper!!! Once your wax is melted, it goes pretty quickly.

3.) Once your wax is melted and consistently has a temperature of 175 degrees, it's time to put in your color and scent. Stir for several minutes to make sure evenly is mixed evenly.

4.) You're finally ready to pour you wax into the molds! Pour it close to the top, but not quite. Save some wax- once this has cooled, you're going to top it off with more. This is one of the tricks I had to learn along the way...

5.) Once you start to see a bit of wax hardening along the top edge, it's time to put in your wicks. Focus on getting the bottom centered- once that's centered, you'll have a few minutes to play with the string part. Don't worry about messing up the wax- we're going to add another layer, remember?

6.) Once the wax had hardened and cooled, reheat the remaining wax, and pour to top off your candles. I personally like a little lip at the top of my votives, so I pour as much as I can in mine. Make sure your wicks are straight. This will dry relatively quickly- about 15 minutes and you can remove from the molds.

7.) Enjoy your candles!

Tips For Easy Clean Up

Since you used parchment paper on the counters, that's easy, but you still have your molds (if you're using reusable molds) and your pans from your double boiler. Here's a fantastic trick I learned along the way:

Heat your oven to 200 degrees. Place your waxy stuff upside down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and put in the oven for about 15- 20 minutes. The wax melts off, and can be wiped clean with a paper towel! Then, wash as normal.

Other Fun Candles:

You can use just about anything that will hold hot liquid as a mold, but there are a ton of things you can use for container candles as well! The only differences in technique from above is that you will hot glue your wick to the center bottom of your container, and obviously, you won't pull your candle from the mold! Check these out!

Tea cups or coffee cups! Hot glue the saucer to the cup- these are too cute! Keep an eye out at thrift stores for cute looking cups!

Using canning jars is an easy, accessible option. These are little 4 oz. jars. I have done up to pint jars. If you want bigger candles, make sure your jar is a wide mouth so the flame gets enough oxygen to keep it going.

I have seen cute candles made with terra cotta pots as well, but I haven't personally tried it yet. Use your imagination and see what great things you can come up with!

Looking for incredible candles without the mess? Look no further! Check out our Homestead Candles!

Candlewic Candle and Soap Making Supplies

Make It Yourself: All Natural Hand Sanitizer

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I get it- the world is a germy place...and everyone wants to keep away from all of the icky germs that make us sick. BUT I have always been against using store bought hand sanitizer. Not only is it full of nasty chemicals that I have a hard time pronouncing, but most hand sanitizer not only kills the bad bacteria, but also the good bacteria that protects us from the bad.

Essential oils, on the other hand, have been used for their antibacterial and antiviral properties for centuries. They can keep the bad bacteria away without killing off the good bacteria.

Making your own is so quick and easy, you'll wonder why you haven't done it before now. The following recipe has vodka in it, but you can easily substitute it for more witch hazel. Alcohol is a fabulous disinfectant, so please don't discount it quickly.


2 tsp. witch hazel
2 oz. vodka
5 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil (antiseptic, antibacterial)
5 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial)
10 drops Lemon Essential Oil (antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, disinfectant)

Put all of the ingredients together in a spray bottle or roll top applicator and use as normal.

Another option is to add aloe vera gel until it's a nice thicker consistency /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} , and put in a small squirt bottle (like the store bought versions).

This is a power packed combination with a nice, clean lemon scent- you can't go wrong!

Want All Natural Hand Sanitzer, but don't have time to make it? You can buy it here!

Make It Yourself: Nail and Cuticle Salve

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Having healthy fingernails and cuticles isn't just for girly-girls. Admittedly, I don't spend a lot of time primping my nails- you'll find no sparkly nail polish, and in the summer, I'm lucky to get them clean. But, having healthy, strong fingernails has saved me from many potential finger disasters, and I can't deny the help they bring me on a daily basis.

Repairing and strengthening our nails and cuticles can be done without expensive product or chemicals- and I'm going to show you how!

What You'll Need

1/2 oz. Oatstraw- contains a high amount of silica essential to strengthening and repairing weak   and brittle nails

1/4 oz. Chamomile- anti-fungal and anti-bacterial

1/4 oz. Calendula- healing, nourishing, and strengthening

6 oz.  Olive oil ( I always make more than the needed recipe- 4 oz. for this recipe- some always gets lost)

1 oz. Beeswax

1 tsp. Neem Oil- Contains Vitamin E which is healing for both nails and cuticles

1/2 tsp. Tea Tree Oil- antiseptic and anti-fungal

1/4 tsp. Lavender essential oil- antibacterial, anti-viral, and it smells nice

Oven safe dish

Double boiler



tins or jars

How To Make

1. Put the herbs in an oven safe dish and cover with oil. mix together to make sure the herbs are covered in oil. Place in a 150-200 degree oven for 2-3 hours. Strain with cheesecloth- make sure to squeeze all of the goodness out of the herbs!

2. Place 4oz. infused oil and the beeswax over a double boiler, and heat until the beeswax is fully melted.

3. Remove from heat and add the neem oil, tea tree oil, and lavender essential oil. Give it a good stir to distribute the new oils evenly.

4. Quickly pour into tins or jars and allow to cool completely.

Once it's completely cooled, label and apply twice daily to strengthen and repair nails and cuticles! It will last at least a year. 

 Want the benefits of this salve, but no mess? You can purchase it here!

And the Winner of the Summertime Herbal Remedy Pack Is....

Posted on July 1, 2013 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Woo Hoo! It's finally time to pick the winner for the Summertime Herbal Remedy Giveaway! This has been such a fun sweepstakes to have! I got to hear all of your summer plans, talk to new people at the Farmer's Market, and most of all, I have a chance to help someone become more natural in their lives! I think I win as much as the winner! Thank you all so much for entering!

The Winner will receive:

Pure and Natural Anti-Itch Soap

All Natural Bug Repellent

Herbal Antiseptic Spray

Sunburn Soother

Quit Bugging Me

No More Itch Stick

Honey Burn Relief

Herbal Pain Relief

Poison Ivy/Oak Relief

All Natural Healing Salve (2 oz.)

Black Drawing Salve (2 oz.)

Swimmer's Ear Relief

all in a convenient cooler! A $75 Value!

AND I also added in the NEW Poison Ivy/Oak Relief Spray!

This prize is so awesome, even I'm jealous!

Alright...enough teasing...the winner of the Summertime Herbal Remedy Giveaway is....

Drumroll, please....

Mary Schaefer!!!

Congratulations Mary, you will be receiving an email shortly!

If your name was not selected, the Summertime Herbal Remedy Kit is available for purchase here!

There is also a mini kit available here!


Before you leave, I have an exciting announcement! For the month of July, all Pure and Natural Soaps are 30% off! This deal happens about once ayear! Hop on over to the web store to stick up on your favorites!

Also, beginning August 1, I will be raising the price of the Pure and Natural Complete Sampler Pack by $5.00. I have added several new soaps since the pack has been introduced, and now it's time for the price to reflect it. You still have all of July to try each and every kind of Pure and Natural Soap for a great Price! (The new price is great too!)





Summertime Herbal Remedy Pack Giveaway!

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (40)

It's summertime! It's hot, sunny, and the air carries the smell of fun! What are your fabulous plans this summer? Going on a long holiday? How about some camping time in the woods? Or maybe, you'll be staycationing at home in the peace of your garden?

Whatever your plans, sometimes accidents happen. Wouldn't it be great to have this herbal remedy kit ready for your cuts, scrapes, bruises, burns, bugs, and poion plant encounters? I have one just like this ready to go!

The kit includes:

Pure and Natural Anti-Itch Soap

All Natural Bug Repellent

Herbal Antiseptic Spray

Sunburn Soother

Quit Bugging Me

No More Itch Stick

Honey Burn Relief

Herbal Pain Relief

Poison Ivy/Oak Relief

All Natural Healing Salve (2 oz.)

Black Drawing Salve (2 oz.)

Swimmer's Ear Relief

all in a convenient cooler! A $75 Value!

How cool is this?!

There are three chances to win!

1.) You can like my facebook page (you already do, don't you?!)

2.) Comment on this post telling me what your fabulous summer plans are!

3.) Follow Annie's Homestead/The Holistic homestead's blog (click the Follow Me on the right)

4.) Visit me at the Lynchburg, TN Farmers Market Fridays from 3p.m.-6p.m. and fill out an old fashioned entry.

It's that easy! On July 1, 2013, the all knowing Rafflecoptor will pick a winner- will it be you?! Good Luck to all of you!

My First Attempt at Making Lotion

Posted on June 3, 2013 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I have to admit, making lotion never seemed to be tops on the priority list. I don't use it very  often, I never have. When I researched making some to sell, I couldn't find a way to make it last very long without adding something unsavory to it...defeats the purpose. And, to be perfectly honest, a lot of lotion tutorials can be quite intimidating...until now.

Without being intimidating, the basics of lotion making is that you need a water base (it is the green tea here) + an oil base (calendula infused oil) + an emulsifier (beeswax) to bind the oil and water together. It's not too difficult when you put it that way, right? There is actually a lot more science to it-as in the percentages if your three major ingredients, and there are a lot of websites that go into it, but it may be better for this post to share the recipe and then let you make it your own.

So here it is!

Basic Moisturizing Lotion

This recipe will make about 16 oz. of lotion.

1 cup Green Tea, steeped and cooled- you can also use water, infused water, etc.

3/4 cup Calendula Infused Oil ( how to make infused oils) - you can also just use olive oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, etc.

1 oz. Beeswax- vegans can use candellila wax

Optional: a few drops of essential oil of your choice

How To Make Lotion

1. Pour your green tea in a blender.

2. In a double broiler (don't have one? Check below), heat your oil and beeswax until it melts completely. Once melted, remove from the double broiler and let cool for 2-3 minutes.

3. Remove the middle stopper of the lid, put the lid on and start the blender at medium speed. Slowly pour the oil and beeswax mix through the top to begin the emulsifying process. If there is still water on the surface, turn up the blender and mix until thoroughly blended. If you're adding essential oil or other additives, now would be the time to add them.

**I must intervene here- this is what the recipe said. What I found was that I had to stop the blender several times and mix through with my spatula- then blend more.**

4. Using your spatula, transfer the lotion from the blender into glass jars (or container of your choosing). Let sit, uncovered (you can lay cheesecloth on it if you'd like) for one hour, or until room temperature. Placing the lid on while it's warm will cause condensation to form under the lid, which will water down the lotion and form bacteria. When it's cooled, you can put on the lids.

This will last for 3 months on the counter, or 6 months in the fridge.

And that's it!

This is the one and only time I have made lotion. If I do it again, I may forgo the blender and use my stick mixer. The blender was a pain to clean afterward, and I think I may have more control with the stick mixer.

Hopefully this basic recipe will get you to try to make lotion. From here, you can create lotions to suit you!

You can use infused oils with herbs that work with your skin type. I used Calendula infused oil because it's great for all skin types, soothing, and simple.

You can use different water bases- rose water, some even suggested milk, but having not tried it, I can't say how it works.

Use essential oils that are good for your type of skin, or just pleasing to your sense of smell. We used the blend I make for my Love soaps and sprays.

The sky is the limit with what you can do with this basic recipe!

Dont have a double boiler? Try this!

Three canning lids at the bottom of your pot! Fill half way with water and insert your pyrex measuring cup to add your oil and beeswax.

May Morning Madness- Enjoy the Ride!

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I read a blog post this morning about a fellow homesteader having what I will call a "less than romantic" day. I think all of us homesteaders begin with a vision of how life is going to be. A dream, a memory, of a quiet, slower, peaceful life. We fantasize about living off the land, tilling the earth, taking care of our animals, our families, ourselves. We see ourselves baking bread, hanging laundry on the line, and sitting on our porches shucking corn or breaking beans for our meals, while the laughing children frolic in the yard. Then, at night, we dream of climbing under our homemade quilts into the arms of our loving, happy lover and partner.


The mortgage is behind, the gardens have yet to be planted, the not-so-new puppies are still not-so potty trained. The kids would rather fight over a video game than frolic anywhere, and to top it off, that loving, happy partner would rather live in a condo than your country oasis. The laundry has piled up- you use your clothes dryer because you are still doing laundry in the middle of the night. Now the cats have chosen your sweet seedling flats as their new littler box. Your cultivator is duct taped together and hopefully, if you're lucky, you'll get another row or two finished before the engine falls off...again.

NO!!!!    STOP!!!!!

I think all of us, homesteaders and non-homesteaders alike, live this way. We have a dream life in our heads and sometimes, maybe even most times, reality hasn't received the memo. Don't lose heart. Hang on to those dreams. Do your best to make them reality, but be flexible and forgiving. We all have 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week. It's the choices we make that determine the outcome. You ALWAYS have a choice with what you do with your time. Let me repeat that- You ALWAYS have a choice! The most important choice, and one we often forget in our busy schedules, is to enjoy the ride. It doesn't take any extra time, but it makes all the difference.

My advice to you on this beautiful May Morning is to make a list of those goals, dreams, memories (Here's one of mine). Write them down, print them out, commit them to memory- whatever. Cling to them like they are the most precious thing on the planet. Then get to work- start small if you like. It's time we all take responsibility for our time, our choices, and our lives! Do it your way- I believe in you! And remember to enjoy the ride!

Make The Most Out Of Your Milk

Posted on April 27, 2013 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I was born in the Dairy State (yes, Wisconsin, not the other one), and I can't remember a time that dairy wasn't part of my life, and life was good. If you know me at all, I can't imagine life without cheese!

Wednesday I pick up my milk. The first thing I do is skim the cream off for butter. There are a lot of different ways to make butter, but I'm going to stick with mine.

Making Butter

I fill a mason jar (or four) half way with cream. This can be heavy whipping cream from the grocery store as well, just stay away from the Ultra Pasteurized stuff.

I let it sit on the counter until it warms up a bit- a little cooler than room temperature. I was talking to someone the other day about using it frozen, but I haven't tried that yet.

Once it's a little warmer, shake it! Shake it like it's nobody's business. My kids call it my shake weight! This step takes about 10 minutes. You'll know when it's ready- you'll see the butter, and the buttermilk are now separated.

Drain the buttermilk into a container- you can use it in baking. (I completely forgot about this for the picture!)

Rinse the butter to remove excess buttermilk, and lay on a plate. Take a spoon or spatula and smoosh it (technical terms) to remove every last bit of buttermilk. Your butter will go bad quite quickly if you skip this step.

You're finished! You can put it in a dish, or put it in pretty molds- you decide! I always throw mine in the freezer until I need it.

The next step I took with the milk was String Cheese!! Yummy, yummy string cheese! since I already have a post showing how to do that, I'll skip by it. If you would like to see it, you can check it out here!


Once the string cheese was done, I decided to make Ricotta cheese with the whey! I had made ricotta from milk before, but never from whey. Here's what I did...

Making Ricotta Cheese From Whey

What You'll Need


* 2 large stainless steel pot or any aluminum or non-cast iron pot. You can also use a large heat resistant bowl for one of them.

* Thermometer (it will need to read accurately to 105 degrees F)

* Colander/strainer

* Cheesecloth or flour sack towel

* Slotted spoon

*small pitcher or Pyrex measuring cup


I used two gallons of milk to make the string cheese (we REALLY like cheese), so I had plenty of whey left.

Put your whey into your large, stainless steel, thick bottom pot, and set your heat to high. Your whey needs to get to 200 degrees. the directions said to stir occasionally, I stirred quite a bit. You may or may not begin to see the curds start to form at around 180- I didn't, so don't worry if you don't.

While you're waiting, line your strainer with the cheesecloth or towel and place it over the large pot or bowl.

Once your whey heats up to 200 degrees, take it off the heat. This is what mine looked like.

Here's where it got interesting. I personally didn't see anything going on with my whey, and almost gave up. DON'T! Your ricotta cheese is really in there!

With your pitcher or pyrex measuring cup, begin to pour your whey/cheese into the cheesecloth. My set up looked  like this...

As you continue pouring, you'll have to scrape the cheese on the bottom of your cheesecloth. Keep doing this until all of your whey/cheese is through. This process took quite awhile for, I ended up doing this...

Once the whey is completely drained, you have ricotta cheese! I began with almost 2 gallons of whey- this made about 2 cups of cheese.


I was still left with a gallon and a half of whey! Don't throw this away! My cats love it, my dogs love it, my chickens love it! There are also certain plants that love it! You can use it in baking! Use it! Use it! Use it!

To Recap: I started the journey with two gallons of milk. I hit the finish line with a two molds of butter, about 18 oz. of string cheese (it's actually an estimate- we eat a lot of it while it's still warm), roughly two cups of ricotta cheese, and a 1 1/2 gallon of whey for my plants and animals! Not too shabby!

I personally felt that the ricotta from the whey was more trouble than it was worth. As I said earlier, I have made ricotta from milk, and nothing could be easier- this was time consuming, messy, and all for about 2 cups of cheese. Next time around, I think I'll go right to the "give the whey to the animals" after the mozzarella/string cheese.

As far as getting the most out of my milk, I think I did pretty well!

Making Tinctures and a Recipe for Soothing Bug Bites

Posted on April 21, 2013 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

It all starts with a little bug...with an appetite- then ZAP- He got you! The itching, the redness, it's maddening!!!

What if I told that one drop could ease your pain? It's true, and I'm going to show you exactly how to make it!

BUT FIRST...let me take you back a few months...

There are three tinctures in this recipe, so let's go over how to make a tincture.

How To Make A Tincture

Making a tincture is so easy, and requires only two ingredients- herb and alcohol (I use 100 proof vodka).

Fill a mason jar about 3/4 way of herb (1/3 for roots) and cover completely (I usually fill the jar) with your alcohol. As I said before, I always use 100 proof vodka.

Label your jar with the herb name, the Latin name (ok, I'm being a geek, but I always do), and the creation dat.

Store in a cool, dark cupboard for 8 weeks, shaking every other day. make sure to check your alcohol level- if it's evaporating to show the herbs, add more.

Once the 8 weeks has past, strain the liquid from the herb and keep in a dark bottle, in the cupboard or cool, dark spot. This will last for years.

A great post to go further in depth with tinctures is one of my favorite blogs: The Mountain Rose Blog.

Now, on to the Bug Bite Relief!!!

Bug Bite Relief


4 tsp. witch hazel
1 tsp. aloe vera juice
30 drops plantain tincture
30 drops calendula tincture
30 drops yarrow tincture
24 drops lavender essential oil
6 drops tea tree essential oil

Combine all the ingredients and shake well. Keep in a dark glass bottle. You an either use a dropper (what I did) or a mister top. Use within 6 months.

This makes a little over an ounce, but as I said earlier- one drop/spritz does the trick!

Want relief without the hassle of making it yourself? You can purchase the finished product here!

My No Waste Chicken Experiment

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I posted an article on the Homestead's Facebook page the other day titled, "Food Security 101" by Rowena Aldridge that inspired me like crazy! If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it.

I am the queen of the clearance priced chicken- Some people hunt for bargains on clothes or shoes, maybe purses- my eyes spot those brightly colored price reduced stickers on chicken! It embarrasses my kids to no end. I have been known to stop at the grocery store for one thing, see the chicken and mutter, "Get a cart". It's a gift.

Anyway, this story starts with three of those wonderful, clearance priced birds. The first thing I did was cook them up. For the purpose of my experiment, I canned the chicken, but you can cook them for dinner, or a mix of both.

I boiled the birds, then separated them into three piles- meat, bones (pick 'em clean except for cartilage , and for lack of a better word- gook (skin, pieces that were less than lovely, etc) Keep your broth!

Top Left: bones, Top Right: gook, Center: juicy, yummy, chicken meat!

How I Can Chicken

1. Boil, steam, or bake chicken until 2/3 cooked. (I always boil). Keep your broth- you'll use it!

2. Separate the meat from the bones (as I said before), and slice the meat into nice sized pieces.

3. Sterilize your jars (I use pints for chicken meat), rings, and lids.

4. Put chicken into jars leaving one inch headspace- cover with broth leaving one inch headspace.

5. Using vinegar, wipe the rims- vinegar is great for the greasy residue.

6. Attach rings and lids, and pressure can chicken at 10 pounds pressure for 1 hour 15 minutes for pints, 1 hour 30 minutes for quarts.

For this experiment, I canned a little over 7 pints of chicken.

I gave the gook pile to the animals (dogs and cats) who gobbled it up within minutes. Two piles gone and still no waste...

I put the bones back into the broth (2-3 chickens worth of bones to roughly a gallon of water) and simmered for about 24-48 hours to make good wholesome bone broth. You can add veggies or seasonings, but I usually let it be.

**Note: A lot of places instruct you to skim off the fat before canning. I personally don't do this. I have never had it go rancid, but you do what you feel to be best for your family.

How I Can Broth or Stock

1. Pour the broth into sterilized jars leaving one inch headspace.

2. Wipe rims with vinegar, put on rings and lids.

3. Pressure can broth at 10 pounds pressure for 20 minutes for pints, 25 minutes for quarts.

For this experiment, I canned 5 quarts of broth, and had a  little left over for the cats.

After simmering in the broth for about 48 hours, my bones came out soft and crumbled between my fingers! Here's where it gets exciting for me, as I have never done this part!!!

Maiking Bonemeal for the Garden

I simply had to take my rolling pin and roll it over the bones a few times, which made a paste. I took the paste and placed it in my dehydrator for a few hours, and voila- extra fertilizer for the gardenl!

In the end, three chickens came together to make 7 pints of meat, 5 quarts of broth, a bowl full of noms for the animals, almost 2 cups of bonemeal for the garden and absolutely zero garbage!

Concluding my experiment, I want to add that the bones of three chickens only took up two of my dehydrator trays...The electricity of running the stove and the dehrdrator for countless hours needs to be taken in to account as well. What would I do differently? I think I will freeze my bones until I have enough to cover more trays- it might take awhile to come up with that many bones! Or maybe just wait until I collect a lot more chicken and do 10 at once?