Category: Self Sufficiency Skills

Guide to Saving Tomato Seeds

Guide to Saving Tomato Seeds

Your tomato plants have given you an entire summer of produce. However, the leaves are starting to brown, you’re not getting any more blossoms, and the days are getting shorter. As you’re wrapping up your last canning jars of spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce, it’s a good time to start planning for next year’s garden. Sign up for our newsletter

The Lost Art of Cooking Over a Fire

The Lost Art of Cooking Over a Fire

Today, the majority of people have fireplaces in their homes as aesthetic features that maybe produces a little heat. More likely than not it even sucks heat from the room! Not too long ago, however, it was the only source of heat or method of cooking anyone had. Whether you find yourself camping, without power, or simply want to experience how your ancestors did it, here are some pointers for cooking over a fire: Sign up for our newsletter

Preserving the Kale Harvest

Preserving the Kale Harvest

Here in Virginia, the Spring has been very generous with us. A few weeks of rain, and very mild temperatures. I absolutely love growing Kale, and grow it from seed every year. It is very easy to grow, and hardy and can withstand freezes and heat. This fantastic weather has ensured my Kale crop has exploded. We’ve been eating it daily and giving it away in bag-fulls. And I’m still drowning in it! Sign up for our newsletter

12 Uses For Wood Ash Around the Homestead

12 Uses For Wood Ash Around the Homestead

Throughout the Winter, and into the Spring, if you have a wood burning fireplace, you have to clear out the ash to make room for new wood. If you’re anything like me, however, you know things on the Homestead often have multiple purposes. What’s the old saying? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? Finding a second life for your wood ash covers all three ‘R’s. Sign up for our newsletter

How to Simplify Your Homestead

How to Simplify Your Homestead

  Homesteading is hard. There, I said it. It seems to be a dirty little secret among homesteaders. We all imagine that we’re getting back to a simpler way of life, but homesteading often means that a simpler way of life is a harder way of life. We make it ourselves instead of buying it from a store. Much more blood sweat and tears go into growing a tomato at home than driving to a store and buying on off the shelf. Sign up for our newsletter

Top 6 Hillsborough Homesteading Posts From 2016

Top 6 Hillsborough Homesteading Posts From 2016

As the year winds down, the animals are all tucked in, the garden’s been laid to rest, and days become shorter, we have time to sit back and slow down. Today, while the baby slept, I poured myself a cup of tea and took a moment to reflect. 2016 was a magnificent year. I gave birth to my first baby, got a new part time job that allows me to work from home while taking care of said baby, but on other hand, I got my heart broken over losing what I thought was our perfect homestead. I guess you can’t […]

Make Dandelion Wine at Home

Make Dandelion Wine at Home

While it might be fall, the dandelion wine I made in the spring is now mature enough to drink. It’s a tradition in my family, as the first frost is creeping in, and the leaves are falling, and we’re bracing ourselves for a long, cold winter, to break out our dandelion wine and enjoy a glass in front of the fire. It’s a lovely way to remind us of the hot, humid summer days, and to officially close the summer season. I love this wine. I love that it’s homemade, it’s painfully simple, and doesn’t require a lot of wine-making […]

How to Prepare Tomatoes for Canning

How to Prepare Tomatoes for Canning

Tomatoes are a homesteader’s boon. They’re a relatively easy crop to grow, one plant can produce many pounds of fruit and tomatoes can be used in countless delicious recipes. The only down-side to tomatoes is that they all tend to ripen at the same time and you’ve got to figure out what to do with your bounty! Sign up for our newsletter

Chicken Broth Recipe for Canning

Chicken Broth Recipe for Canning

This recipe couldn’t be simpler. It’s incredibly healthy, easy to make, frugal and full of home-grown goodness! What could be better?! I keep a large ziploc bag in my freezer whose sole purpose is to house cooking throw-aways for use in my broth recipe. All of the chicken bones, end bits of carrots, celery, onions, un-used garlic cloves, mushroom tips, just about everything. Once this bag gets big enough, I simply throw it in a crockpot, fill to the brim with water, and let simmer on low for 24 hours. This pulls all the nutrients and goodies out from the […]

Homemade Pasta Sauce for Canning

Homemade Pasta Sauce for Canning

Another one to add to my list of things you should stop buying and start making, ever since I learned how to make my own pasta sauce, I’ve never had to buy another jar! The hubby is a HUGE fan of spaghetti. Like…he wants his last meal on Earth to be spaghetti and meatballs. I love a man who’s easy to please! While he grew up on canned Prego, he now prefers my version better! And it’s easily canned to use all winter long! Sign up for our newsletter