It’s not quite time for one of those square meals of the day and I can feel my stomach rumbling. We have been cleaning, clearing, chopping, corraling, and contemplating the land lately; and with so much more time outside doing hard work, we are hungry homesteaders! I personally really enjoy baking and take a pride in knowing all of the ingredients that go into our food. So I have crafted many healthy snacks for me and my family to enjoy with simple, local, organic, whole grain or fresh ingredients. These are some of our favorite recipes for easy to grab and healthy snacks.
As we raise our children, it has become very clear that keeping them engaged is important. From the crying infant eagerly gazing out a window to the 3 year old begging to color with crayons, kids need to explore, see, hear, and experiment. They want nothing more than to learn about anything and everything. That’s why, multiple times every day, we make sure to share stories. While walking in the woods we craft yarns about squirrels and their families, riding in the car we recount memories of our own childhood to our kids, and, most of all, we read books.
I’ve been pondering a way to mount a pair of deer antlers I found while shed hunting, having had great success with the DIY Deer Antler Guitar Wall Mount project. It wasn’t until I was splitting some firewood that I found an idea that I loved. I was working through a few birch trees I’d cut in the fall , and realized how much I really enjoy that tree. Continue reading “DIY Deer Antler Mount You Can Make From a Scrap Log [instructions]”
We are really proud of our first farm endeavor (chickens), and it doesn’t hurt that they have proved to be delicious. Totally worth the time and effort. Last summer when we raised chickens, we were sure to use as much of the animal as possible. Making the most of what you have is a must for homesteaders. We can usually make a whole chicken last a week or at least for three big meals for our growing family. Typically, this means roasting a whole chicken one night (maybe a Saturday or Sunday on the meal plan), and then eating the leftovers in a salad or wrap for lunch, and then the carcass becomes meal number three in the form of amazing healthy chicken stock. Here’s how to make your own stock at home if you too don’t want your precious, pasture-raised, organically fed broilers to partially go to waste.
As we take steps into this gardening season, it is important to give ourselves a moment and take a step back to reflect, plan, and prepare. Review a chapter on mulching in your favorite gardening book, take a walk around your garden beds and see how the soil is doing, and… take advice from big commercial farms? Wait, aren’t they evil? Continue reading “5 Lessons We Can Learn from Commercial Farming”
Granulated maple sugar is made by removing all moisture from maple sap / maple syrup, leaving behind wonderful sugar crystals with maple flavor that can be used in an impressive number of ways, from substituting for standard sugar in a recipe to unique applications such as sprinkling onto blueberries and other fruits. And guess what, it’s easy enough to make in your kitchen today. Continue reading “How to Make Granulated Maple Sugar [infographic]”
My meal planning all started after I drove to town to get chicken supplies on Monday. Then back to the pet store on Wednesday for the dog’s food before her dinnertime. Then my daughter and I went on our weekly shopping trip to the grogery store. And after a long wind through the grocery store maze, I simply said “never again, if I can help it,” on the long drive home. Continue reading “My Meal Plan, My Budget, and Me!”
Every farmer has a system they swear by for planning their garden. Some use graph paper and sketch out their plots, others write scrupulous notes in journals and track all activity through the year, and others scratch notes into the beams in their shed with a pocketknife. One thing is consistent, though: to have a successful garden, you need to plan and pay attention. What do we do? Believe it or not, we choose to rely on some modern technology around here and use Google Calendar to plan out our vegetable garden, chickens, maple syrup, and any other chores we want to ensure get done at the right time. Google Calendar is a great way to do this that keeps us on top of things while being easily accessible on any of our devices. And best of all, it is FREE. Continue reading “Using Google Calendar to Plan Your Vegetable Garden and Other Farm Tasks”
I just threw out the trash. By my calculations, we blasted through 101 diapers in the first week of our second daughter’s life. No, I did not pick through the trash to count the dirty diapers. I know I started with two packages of 40 diapers, another gift of 20 teeny tiny newborn diapers, and the blessed first diaper that the midwives apply after the baby had her first weight and height measurements taken. Holy Baby Poop! Continue reading “101 Diapers in One Week!”
We were ambitious this year and tapped double the maple trees we tapped last year. Now we find ourselves with a year’s supply of syrup already and limited energy remaining to keep up the effort of evaporating the many remaining gallons of sap. To prevent the sap from just going to waste, we’ve come up with and tried out several ideas to use sap and make the most of our flowing bounty. Continue reading “3 Ways to Use Maple Sap Other Than Boiling Into Maple Syrup”