Category: Lifestyle

Wild Edibles – Morel Mushrooms and How to Find Them

Wild Edibles – Morel Mushrooms and How to Find Them

Morels. What can I say about these adorable, delicious, fun guys (get it???)? Hunting for morel mushrooms is easily one of my favorite ways to get outside in the Spring. If you’re new to foraging, or could up your morel-hunting game, I’ve compiled a complete post with my favorite tips and tricks. Morels are a great beginner’s mushroom as there’s only one look-alike and it’s super easy to tell the difference. They’re also fairly simple to find (they follow basic rules) and they’re extremely versatile in the kitchen. In fact, they are so prized by professional and home chefs alike, […]

How to Get Started Homesteading Exactly Where You Are

How to Get Started Homesteading Exactly Where You Are

I’m a member of a number of homesteading and off-grid living Facebook groups and one simple question seems to pop up every couple of days: “How can I get started homesteading?” Often the question has a slight variation to it: “I’m a renter, how can I get started homesteading?” or “I don’t have time (or money), what can I do to homestead?” So instead of writing a lengthy answer to each person individually, I wanted to dedicate an entire post to that question: what can YOU do to homestead exactly where you are? What is Homesteading? I’ve dedicated an entire post […]

9 Easy Ways to Use Lavender On the Homestead

9 Easy Ways to Use Lavender On the Homestead

Lavender is one of the budding herbalists’ best friends. Whether you’re just learning about herbalism, or are looking for a way to get more use out of these easy-to-grow herb, I’ve come up with a list of 9 ways to use lavender around the homestead. If you’re not familiar with using lavender in the medicinal sense, I highly recommend checking out the post I made: Medicinal Plant Profile: Lavender. One of the best short-courses from Herbal Academy is their Materia Medica course. They walk you through how to create intense monographs on individual plants to help you self-study herbs and […]

Start Now – Plant an Extra Row

Start Now – Plant an Extra Row

While we’re putting our gardens to bed this Fall, and Spring-dreaming surrounded by snow, we can start to plan for a better future. Currently, in the US 6.5 million children live in food-insecure homes, where they were unsure where their next meal was coming from. (Source: USDA) On the other hand, 42 million households are growing vegetable gardens. (Source: Garden.org) If only a fraction of the households in the US planted an extra row of vegetables, or donated their excess produce, we could solve the problem of food insecurity in the US. As many of you know, when I first […]

Canning Time Guides – Free Printables

Canning Time Guides – Free Printables

In a lot of the canning recipes I’ve found over the years, they’re designed for making pints or quarts. However, for some of them I’ve found myself wanting to double the recipe and can quarts, or halve the recipe and only can a few pints. I can do the math to change the recipe, but always got caught up on the processing times. In my post on Everything You Need to Know For Home Canning Safety, I explain why knowing the processing times for what you’re canning is so important. In my research, I can across a handy guide to […]

10 Ways to Stay Warm and Lower Your Heat Bill During the Winter

10 Ways to Stay Warm and Lower Your Heat Bill During the Winter

Winter is coming. No really. Luckily, unlike in Game of Thrones, Winter only comes once a year. Whether you have electric heat, oil, or use wood to keep warm over the Winter. There are easy things you can do to stay warm, without using all of your resources. 1. Program Your Thermostat If you have a programmable thermostat, take advantage of it! Play around with the temperatures that feel right to your family. In my household, we keep it around 65 during the day, and let it drop to 60 at night. If we plan to be away for the […]

Everything You Need to Know About Home Canning Safety

Everything You Need to Know About Home Canning Safety

Home canning is an economical way to preserve your harvest for years to come. If you’re growing a home garden, or can go to local farmers/farmers’ markets and purchase in bulk, canning foods can save your half the cost of buying from the store. All vegetables begin losing some of their nutritional constituents the moment they are picked. The amounts of vitamins A and C, thiamin and riboflavin decrease within a matter of days. Even home canning will destroy some of the vegetable’s nutrition, however, if they are canned soon after harvesting, they can be more nutritious than the fresh […]

Our First Month on the New Homestead

Our First Month on the New Homestead

So we’ve just finished out first month (month and a half, really) and I wanted to share what we’ve done, and haven’t been able to do in our first month. For those of you who haven’t been following our blog, however, a little background first: My husband and I grew up in a small farming town in Northern Virginia — yes, there were small farming towns here 20 years ago — and enjoyed childhoods of chasing fireflies, riding our bikes on dirt roads, and generally getting into good, wholesome trouble. We both feel “at home” and “ourselves” when we’re outside […]

This Is Why We Homestead…

This Is Why We Homestead…

This is the reason that we homestead: Meet Jack. This sweet, bubbly, happy, FULL of energy little boy is my one and only. When my husband and I first got married, we decided we didn’t want kids. We loved our laid-back lifestyle. We loved sleeping in on the weekends and having the freedom to do whatever we wanted. However, about a year into marriage, I changed my mind. We weren’t lazy people by nature. We both thrive on projects, accomplishments, and challenges. So this lifestyle we enjoyed so much, was actually very counter to our own natures. It was too […]

History of Canning

History of Canning

The Invention of Canned Foods We owe the invention of canned food to Nicolas Appert, a French confectioner and chef. During the late 1700’s, he began experimenting with was to preserve food stuffs and discovered that the presence of air led to spoilage. He wasn’t entirely correct, but he was on the right path. Napoleon’s war caused the French government to begin the quest too. They offered a prize of 12,000 francs to anyone who could successfully preserve food. An Army marches on its stomach, right? While it is actually the combination of heat and lack of air that preserves […]