The Ozark Homestead

The Journey to a Simplier Self-Sufficient Life

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Cell Phone Apps that Aid Homesteading

While visiting the University of Missouri Extension website, I learned that they offer an app to aid in identifying 400 weeds common to Missouri.  After scrolling through the list of weeds, I identified a couple of weeds that I had seen in my pasture.  I discovered they were not the toxic plant I thought they were.  Sheep love weeds even more than grass so I always get concerned that they will eat something not so good for them.  It can be time consuming trying to find a plant that looks like what you are seeing in the field.  I think it will be a lot easier and quicker to scroll through the list of photos and compare it’s characteristics and be able to quickly tell if it is toxic and needs to be killed.

In addition to the ID Weed app, I also downloaded an app from Mother Earth New called How to Can.  Being new to canning, I welcome all the help I can get.  One of the feature that I like is that the app will help you determine how much of crop you will need to grow to get the number jars you want.  It also has information for high altitude adjustments.  We live at 1150 feet in elevation so I won’t have to adjust many recipes, but it is handy to have that information.  It is also handy to know that I will need 21 pounds of whole tomatoes for 7 quarts and 13 pounds for 9 pints.  It tells you that a bushel of tomatoes weighs 53 pounds.  It takes an average of 3 pounds of whole tomoatoes per quart.  A quart of peaches requires an average of 2 1/2 pounds of peaches.  I think this app will be a very useful tool to learn canning.

I also have an app for mushrooms that is much like ID Weeds, but I am so leary of eating a poisonous mushroom, that I would not trust it to find mushroom to eat.  I remember hunting what in Kentucky we call “hickory chickens” and loved them, but I would never eat any mushroom unless an experience person confirmed was not poisonous. 

I  use my smartphone here on the homestead for record keeping and reminders and making lists and appreciate any tool I can use to make efficient use of my time. During lambing, I can make notes about the lamb and calendar when to vaccinate it, when it will need its hooves trimmed and when to wean.  If I could find an app for that I’d use it too.

 I love the photo I saw on Facebook yesterday where a dad holds out a snow shovel to his son and the caption reads, “Sorry son, there’s not an app for that.”