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Wilderness Road Mercantile

Located in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. Our mission is to provide essentials to those preparing themselves for imminent tough times or just wanting to return to the roots of self-sustaining lifestyle through homesteading.

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Homemade Hummingbird Food: Save Time & Money

Merin Porter - May 11, 2020

I was at the local hardware store recently to buy a new hummingbird feeder when I noticed the price on a 32 ounce bottle of hummingbird nectar: $11.99. Admittedly, this store isn’t the cheapest in town, but it still surprised me to see a bottle of sugar water selling for that much.
My husband and I have been making our own hummingbird food for the past few years, and we’ve learned a few shortcuts along the way—on both the nectar-making and feeder-refilling sides of the equation.
So let’s get started with the recipe we use for our homemade hummingbird food, and then I’ll share our best tips for simplifying the whole process.
Homemade Hummingbird Food Recipe

8 c. white sugar
8 c. water + 16 c. very cold water

Combine sugar and 8 cups water in a large saucepot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring regularly, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in 16 cups of very cold water. This should cool the liquid enough so that you can use it to refill your feeders immediately.
We use this recipe to fill our three 72 ounce feeders, and usually end up with a little left over. To save the rest of the liquid for the next week’s feeder refill, we simply pour it into a mason jar, screw on the lid, and store it at room temperature.
Save Time & Money With These Shortcuts
Between our kids, our homestead, and our jobs, my husband and I stay pretty busy—so I’m always looking for ways to make things around the house just a little bit more efficient.

Make Faster, Cheaper Homemade Hummingbird Food

Since we make a large batch of hummingbird food at least once a week, I’ve come up with a trick that shortens the amount of time it takes (and saves a little money in the process):
• Buy white sugar in the large, 25 pound bags to reduce the price per pound.
• Take gallon zipper-lock bags (I use the store brand, and the regular—not freezer—variety) and measure 8 cups of white sugar into each one of them until you’ve filled 6 bags. (You should end up with about 2 cups of sugar left in the big bag. I just add this to my sugar canister so I can go ahead and be done with the large sugar bag.)
• Write the recipe ratio (“8 c. sugar to 24 c. water”) on the front of each zipper-lock bag. (This is the sort of simple recipe I think I’ll remember later, but then have to waste time looking up when I can’t precisely recall it the following week.)
• Store these bags of sugar in your pantry until you need to grab one to make another batch of hummingbird food.
• When you empty a gallon bag, simply place it back in storage with the other zipper-lock bags of sugar so that you can reuse it when it’s time to distribute another 25 pound bag of sugar.

Cut Down on Time and Mess When Refilling Your Hummingbird Feeders

Refilling feeders with homemade hummingbird food can be time-consuming and messy—but it doesn’t have to be.
To speed up the process of refilling multiple hummingbird feeders and to reduce spillage (and the stickiness that comes with it), I use two simple tools: a plastic pitcher and a funnel.
After making a batch of homemade hummingbird food, I pour the liquid directly into the plastic pitcher. If you’ve got a really steady hand, you could stop here and just refill the hummingbird feeders directly from the pitcher spout.
To make things even easier, though, I grab a medium-sized funnel, insert it into the refill opening of the hummingbird feeder, and then pour from the pitcher into the funnel until the feeder is refilled. I usually do this over the kitchen sink, just in case I misjudge and overfill one of the feeders.
This method is faster and less messy and wasteful than other refill methods I’ve tried, and it uses tools you’ve already got in your kitchen. What’s not to love?

Merin Porter is a writer, homesteader, Master Gardener Volunteer—and The Grow Network’s Director of Editorial Content. When she’s not busy dotting i’s and crossing t’s for TGN’s communication efforts, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, hiking, skiing, volunteering for local gardening organizations, tending to her flock of heritage-breed chickens, and continuing her pursuit of the perfect homegrown tomato.
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1 week ago

Homemade Hummingbird Food: Save Time & Money

Merin Porter - May 11, 2020

I was at the local hardware store recently to buy a new hummingbird feeder when I noticed the price on a 32 ounce bottle of hummingbird nectar: $11.99. Admittedly, this store isn’t the cheapest in town, but it still surprised me to see a bottle of sugar water selling for that much.
My husband and I have been making our own hummingbird food for the past few years, and we’ve learned a few shortcuts along the way—on both the nectar-making and feeder-refilling sides of the equation.
So let’s get started with the recipe we use for our homemade hummingbird food, and then I’ll share our best tips for simplifying the whole process.
Homemade Hummingbird Food Recipe 

8 c. white sugar
8 c. water + 16 c. very cold water

Combine sugar and 8 cups water in a large saucepot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring regularly, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in 16 cups of very cold water. This should cool the liquid enough so that you can use it to refill your feeders immediately.
We use this recipe to fill our three 72 ounce feeders, and usually end up with a little left over. To save the rest of the liquid for the next week’s feeder refill, we simply pour it into a mason jar, screw on the lid, and store it at room temperature.
Save Time & Money With These Shortcuts 
Between our kids, our homestead, and our jobs, my husband and I stay pretty busy—so I’m always looking for ways to make things around the house just a little bit more efficient.

Make Faster, Cheaper Homemade Hummingbird Food

Since we make a large batch of hummingbird food at least once a week, I’ve come up with a trick that shortens the amount of time it takes (and saves a little money in the process):
• Buy white sugar in the large, 25 pound bags to reduce the price per pound.
• Take gallon zipper-lock bags (I use the store brand, and the regular—not freezer—variety) and measure 8 cups of white sugar into each one of them until you’ve filled 6 bags. (You should end up with about 2 cups of sugar left in the big bag. I just add this to my sugar canister so I can go ahead and be done with the large sugar bag.)
• Write the recipe ratio (“8 c. sugar to 24 c. water”) on the front of each zipper-lock bag. (This is the sort of simple recipe I think I’ll remember later, but then have to waste time looking up when I can’t precisely recall it the following week.)
• Store these bags of sugar in your pantry until you need to grab one to make another batch of hummingbird food.
• When you empty a gallon bag, simply place it back in storage with the other zipper-lock bags of sugar so that you can reuse it when it’s time to distribute another 25 pound bag of sugar.

Cut Down on Time and Mess When Refilling Your Hummingbird Feeders

Refilling feeders with homemade hummingbird food can be time-consuming and messy—but it doesn’t have to be.
To speed up the process of refilling multiple hummingbird feeders and to reduce spillage (and the stickiness that comes with it), I use two simple tools: a plastic pitcher and a funnel.
After making a batch of homemade hummingbird food, I pour the liquid directly into the plastic pitcher. If you’ve got a really steady hand, you could stop here and just refill the hummingbird feeders directly from the pitcher spout.
To make things even easier, though, I grab a medium-sized funnel, insert it into the refill opening of the hummingbird feeder, and then pour from the pitcher into the funnel until the feeder is refilled. I usually do this over the kitchen sink, just in case I misjudge and overfill one of the feeders.
This method is faster and less messy and wasteful than other refill methods I’ve tried, and it uses tools you’ve already got in your kitchen. What’s not to love?
   
Merin Porter is a writer, homesteader, Master Gardener Volunteer—and The Grow Network’s Director of Editorial Content. When she’s not busy dotting i’s and crossing t’s for TGN’s communication efforts, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, hiking, skiing, volunteering for local gardening organizations, tending to her flock of heritage-breed chickens, and continuing her pursuit of the perfect homegrown tomato.

Great information...answering many concerns about COVID-19.

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2 months ago

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Homesteading means different things to different people.

As long as you are headed toward a self-sufficient lifestyle, whether it is producing all your food

or grow patio tomatoes, you can define yourself as a homesteader.

Homesteading is a mindset and dedication to being more self-reliant – just as simple as that!

Bruce McElmurray

Mother Earth News August 2013

 

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