How to Make Tallow Emergency Candles

how to make tallow candles

Before we get started, I want to set the record straight…

These candles don’t have to be *just* for emergencies. They could also be:

I-want-to-try-my-hand-at-making-candles” Candles.

Or…

These-would-make-a-fun-gift” Candles.

Or…

I-can’t-resist-anything-that-comes-in-a-mason-jar” Candles.

But they make especially nice emergency or survival candles since they are fairly inexpensive and you can make a bunch at once.

You can make candles out of many different materials, but I especially like using tallow since it allows me to put ALL of our home-raised beef to good use and it’s super-frugal. People have been burning candles made from animal fat for thousands of years, and it’s kinda fun to follow in their footsteps.

Here’s my detailed tutorial that’ll show you how to render beef tallow yourself. But if you don’t want to use tallow to make candles, you can also follow this same tutorial and use soy wax instead. (affiliate link)

How to Make Tallow Emergency Candles

You will need:

I didn’t include exact measurements for anything because this recipe is super-duper flexible. I like using pint-sized mason jars, but you can really use any size. The amount of tallow you need will depend on how many candles you want to make and what size your containers are.

First off, melt your tallow or wax in a double-boiler. I don’t have a double boiler, so I rigged up a DIY double-boiler instead.

I placed the tallow chunks inside a #10 can, and placed the can inside a stock pot filled half-full with water.… [Continue Reading]

Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu Season

natural remedies and essential oils for cold and flu

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. The information contained in this post is for educational and entertainment purposes only.

I’m sure you’ve all probably heard the recent hysteria over the flu “epidemic” this year….

While I’m not too sure if this year’s outbreak warrants all the panic, I do know one thing:

You won’t catch me or my family getting a flu shot– Not last year, not this year, not ever.

I’m not interested in injecting myself with a bunch of preservatives and mercury, plus there is no guarantee that getting the shot will actually prevent you from getting “the flu” since there are so many strains of it…

I prefer to arm myself and my family with natural defenses against illness– and I am happy to say that I don’t even remember the last time we went to the doctor for a flu or cold.

My hubby came down with a nasty bug over Christmas… I can’t say for sure if it was the “official” 2012 flu, but I do know it was bad stuff… Fever for many days, chills, aches, and a nasty cough. Hubby got it the worst, and Prairie Girl caught a milder version. I immediately started taking preventative measures for myself, and neither Prairie Boy or I ever came down with it. (I’m still amazed he didn’t get it, because he was only 2 months old… However, I’m pretty sure the combination of breastfeeding and a lot of prayer did the trick. ;))

Here is how we dealt with our recent bout of flu– no antibiotics or conventional medications required!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and these ideas are not to be taken as medical advice– they are simply what works for us. If you are using essential oils for medicinal purposes, make sure you are using a high-quality oil. 

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How We Treated a Dog Bite with Natural Solutions

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. The statements in this post are meant for educational and entertainment purposes only.

If you follow along on The Prairie Homestead Facebook page, then you probably know that we lost one of our dogs in the early part of December due to accidental antifreeze poisoning.

We had no intention of getting another dog so soon, but we heard of a young female South African Boerboel (Mastiff) that needed a new home.

“Rue” is a great dog. She’s only about 8 months old and still has a lot of puppy in her, so we are working to teach her about homestead life (don’t chase horses, don’t chase chickens…) She’s coming along well, but occasionally she can be aggressive towards certain other dogs.

The week after Christmas, she started a fight with our Blue Heeler, so hubby stepped in to break it up. In the confusion, she accidentally bit his hand. (Yes, we are 100% positive it was an accident. If we even had the slightest idea that she did it on purpose, she would be gone in an instant.)

Thankfully, she only got him with one canine tooth, but it was pretty deep. I don’t have a lot of experience with dog bites, but I knew I wanted to avoid a trip to the emergency room if at all possible, so we decided to go the natural route. (She has been vaccinated for rabies, so we knew that wasn’t an issue.)

And the results of our natural treatment? Absolutely astounding!

The bite wound has healed incredibly well- no redness, no swelling, no bruising, no infection.

And the best part? We didn’t use a single “modern” antibiotic– no ointments or prescriptions. (Why do we avoid antibiotics? This link explains one reason.) Here is how we did it:

How We Treated a Dog Bite with Natural Solutions

natural treatment dog bite

First off, I brought hubby into the house and we cleaned the wound thoroughly.… [Continue Reading]

How to Prepare Your Homestead for Wildfire

Photo Credit

I’ve never, ever thought about fire as much as I have this year…

I know that some of you in other parts of the country are dealing with too much moisture and cool temps. But, we are the exact opposite here in our corner of Wyoming.

We’ve had various wildfire raging all over the parts of Wyoming and Colorado that are somewhat close to where we live. As I type, there is a out-of-control wildfire burning in the areas north of us. Last I heard, it was over 90,000 acres with little containment. That particular fire isn’t threatening our homestead at all, but the smoke blew in yesterday and turned the sky snow-white as it blocked out the sun. I could barely see the landmarks less than a mile away from our house…

Photo Credit 

Although in the past, I’ve complained about the serious lack of trees out here on the prairie, this year I am thankful. Generally, grassfires are somewhat easier to estinguish than the fires in timber. However, with the epic drought conditions we’ve been suffering from this year, that doesn’t mean our property still isn’t at risk from fire.

All it would simply take someone tossing a cigarette out the window on the road bordering the backside of our property, and our pasture could be on fire in minutes…

Obviously, there is a lot to think about when it comes to preparing or evacuating in the case of a fire.

I spent some time the other night talking with my husband about our fire preparedness plans. He is a volunteer fire fighter and shared some great ideas that I thought some of you might find useful as well.

Photo Credit 

Ultimately, God is in control of well-being of my homestead, and I won’t lay awake worrying about it since He know what will and will not happen.[Continue Reading]