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Building an Off the Grid Tiny House

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 20:42

Beginning in Winter of 2013, my husband Brian and I began the process of building an off the grid tiny house on our homestead, from scratch. While the infrastructure creation process is far from over (we still are living without running water), I wanted to put all of our posts about building a tiny house […]

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Homesteading Book Reviews

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 23:41

I’ve read some wonderful homesteading books this winter, filling me with ideas and inspiration. Even in the busy months of spring, I like to have a few books going at all times. Here are a few homesteading book reviews to keep you inspired this spring! How to Embrace an Off-Grid Lifestyle by Tammy Trayer I’ve long […]

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Nettle Beer Recipe

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 21:27

Nettles, also known as Stinging Nettles, are delicious and versatile wild plants. Their signature sting disappears when the nettles are cooked, so they can be harvested as greens, drunk as a mineral-rich tea, or even used to make this delicious nettle beer recipe. Although nettles are so widely distributed that they are easy to wild […]

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Lacto-Fermented Radishes Recipe

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 21:23

Each spring I sow radish seeds amongst my beets and carrots. Because radishes are such a fast-growing crop, I’m able to harvest them when the beets and carrots are still young, allowing plenty of space for the root vegetables to continue their growth. And while radishes are a treat to eat fresh in salads, or to […]

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Planning a Fruit Tree Guild

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 00:04

My vision for planting our fruit tree orchard was to eventually fill in the entire area with perennials to create a huge food forest. The first fall after planting the fruit trees, I dutifully planted daffodils in a circle around the trunk and mulched with wood chips, planning a fruit tree guild for each fruit. Soon, I realized […]

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Herbal Cold Relief Chest Rub

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 03:00

This winter our family has been hit by one cold after another. Perhaps it’s the totally crazy NE Missouri winter weather this year – 75 degrees F one week, 20 degrees the next – or perhaps we’re just hanging out with more kids than usual and sharing germs, but we’ve found ourselves with stuffy noses […]

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Butchering Pigs on our Homestead

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 20:20

{Please note: There are some graphic images in this post.} This week we butchered these two pigs for meat. This is our fourth time raising or co-raising pigs for meat. The first time was back in Oregon, in 2009, when we started with two organic Tamworth weaner pigs, raised them on a diet of whey, food […]

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How to Achieve your Homesteading Goals in 2017

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 22:47

Do you love the New Year as much as I do? A fresh new year is full of possibility and the perfect time to set new intentions, pick your word of the year, and declare goals. But to actually achieve your goals takes a different kind of energy, a more focused, dedicated energy. Whether your […]

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Top Homesteading and Off the Grid Posts of 2016

Sat, 12/31/2016 - 18:08

Each year I dive into my blog’s statistics to find the top homesteading and off the grid posts of the year. Not surprisingly, these are the posts that focus on what I love to write about most: Homesteading, gardening, off the grid living, food, and finances. I share them in one place at the end of […]

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How to Preserve Beet Greens

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 12:00

With a hard freeze on the horizon, I spent much of the weekend preparing the garden for the cold and harvesting vegetables for the root cellar. Although my beets may have survived the freeze, I opted to lift them out of the ground – after all, the sooner I prepare my garden for winter, the […]

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Foraging for Autumn Olives

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 12:00

An annual Fall tradition in our community is foraging for Autumn olives. From late September through October, the bushes of Elaeagnus umbellata are loaded with ripe fruits which can be turned into jam, fruit leather, sauce, barbecue sauce, liqueur, pies, and so much more. What is an Autumn olive? The Autumn olive is a bit of a […]

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Persimmon Cake Recipe

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 20:28

One of my favorite Autumn fruits is the American Persimmon, Diospyros virginiana. This native persimmon grows across much of the Southeast and lower Midwest, and produces small orange globes of fruit on stately trees. We have planted a few trees on our property and have access to a few mature trees, each with hundreds of ripening fruit for […]

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Vegetable Storage in a Root Cellar

Tue, 10/18/2016 - 19:16

This is the second winter that we are enjoying the fruit and vegetable storage capacities of our homestead root cellar. Root cellaring is my personal favorite method of food preservation because it is the least labor-intensive, and it preserves food as close to its fresh-out-of-the-garden state as possible. Whenever you are root cellaring, you want […]

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How to Grow, Harvest, Cure, and Store Sweet Potatoes

Mon, 10/03/2016 - 22:56

Over the past few years, my gardening efforts have shifted from growing a bit of everything to growing what does best in my climate and what actually fills the bellies of my family. That has meant fewer melons and more potatoes; only one trellis of cucumbers and three beds of winter squash. And because they are […]

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Living in a Tiny House with Kids

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 23:16

Although tiny houses are often viewed as ideal dwellings for singles or couples, there are many families living in tiny houses with kids. Ours is one of them. We have lived in a 350 square foot house with two children, now ages 5 and 8, for three years. Living in a tiny house with kids has its […]

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Planning and Planting a Fall Garden

Wed, 08/10/2016 - 21:05

Over the past three years, I’ve shifted my gardening focus more and more toward planting spring and fall gardens. This is primarily because there is an abundance of fresh produce from July-August available at the Farmer’s Market, and to a lesser extent, in our local grocery store. However, the Farmer’s Market does not open until […]

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How to Hang Onions for Storage

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 20:13

Many years ago, a friend taught me her method of hanging onions for storage. I tried it right away, and was hooked! This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to hang onions, because it only uses a rope, and the onions themselves. What I love most about this method is that you can easily […]

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How to Make Shrubs, or Drinking Vinegar

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 22:25

During a recent heat wave, Brian and I found that water was not replenishing our bodies or quenching our thirst. We did not have any of our homemade sodas on hand, so we searched through cookbooks to find a simple, refreshing drink that we could make with ingredients we had on hand. We found shrubs. […]

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Building an Outdoor Pizza Oven

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 16:24

One of the most exciting projects we have completed on our homestead this summer was building an outdoor pizza oven. Years ago in Oregon, my husband Brian built an amazing brick bread oven, following Alan Scott’s plans detailed in the book The Bread Builders. The oven was huge – he could bake 20+ loaves of […]

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How to Make Sauerkraut

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 11:00

One of the easiest fermented foods to make at home is sauerkraut. With only two ingredients – salt and cabbage – it’s hard to get wrong, and the results are so delicious that you’ll want to make it again and again. Check out this tutorial on how to make sauerkraut, and once you’ve mastered the basic […]

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