Kidding Season in Full Swing on Vermont Farm

Ah, spring — the most fickle season of the year. This is a time for tender shoots to sprout from the earth, and for migratory flocks to fill the air with their familiar songs once more. Continue reading

Real Food, Real Life: City Girl Churns Butter

Alison and her husband Jacob.

Alison and her husband Jacob.

This might be the coolest blog post I’ve written in a long time, if not ever. It’s all about the magical, real essence of butter. Continue reading

The Old Ways: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?

Here’s something interesting: My two grandmothers are almost exactly the same age (late 80s). They are from the same generation – both lived through the Great Depression with their large families. And yet, today they have almost completely opposite views of “the old ways” that were part of their everyday lives. Continue reading

Homemade Butter: You Can Be A Homesteader!

spigos-butter-1

The tomatoes have long ago been canned, or maybe you just ate them fresh. Last autumn’s onions, garlic, root vegetables and squash have been happily sitting in your root cellar, or even on your kitchen shelf, for months. Continue reading

It’s Dairy Month! Make Some Creamy Avocado Ice Cream

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A month before I had our twins, I received doctor’s orders to stay off my feet to delay their entry into this world as long as possible. We asked a young Filipino woman to come and stay with us for a time. She needed help and so did we. Medy taught us how to make an amazing typical Filipino avocado ice cream. Continue reading

Homemade Farm-Fresh Butter: 2 Ways

butter on toastMaking fresh, creamy, preservative-free homemade butter is simpler than you think! All you need are a couple easy-to-find ingredients, the right tools and a little bit of time. Enjoy these basic recipes for small batch and big batch homemade butter, in honor of National Dairy Month!
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Foolproof Homemade Yogurt

yogurt maker

Our children seriously love yogurt. They will eat it every day, in a bowl by itself, with various toppings, in smoothies, right out of the container, you name it. I know it’s good for them. However — and I’m probably the last mom on the planet to notice this — most store-bought yogurt has an obscene amount of sugar in it. Also, yogurt is not cheap, especially the all-natural/organic varieties I like to buy. So, in order to save money, feed their (healthy) yogurt habit, but reduce the (not so healthy) sugar habit, I invested in a yogurt maker from Lehman’s – and I made my own! Continue reading

Better Butter = Homemade

kilner butter churn

It takes April in New England to fully appreciate a good pair of rubber boots. I slogged through the mud and muck yesterday to reach my neighbor’s barn. The reward was well worth the effort. By the door of the milk parlor were 6 ½ gallon jugs of fresh raw milk, the deep yellow cream already rising to the top. Continue reading

Enter to Win Your Christmas – On Us!

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Always wanted to try ___? Start smart with a kit.

Contrary to popular opinion, it just isn’t possible to make a living selling some

Our starter set includes everything you need to make several batches - enough to wash more than 800 loads at less than 7¢ per load.

Our starter set includes everything you need to make several batches of homemade laundry soap – enough to wash more than 800 loads at less than 7¢ per load.

honey, maple syrup and candles at a farm stand. I have to do other things — many, many other things — to avoid leaving home and hearth to pay the bills. I do a fair bit of writing and I teach a lot of workshops. Some have to do with my work with children impacted by abuse, neglect and foster care (my other life) and many are focused on teaching traditional skills like soap making, candle dipping, food preservation and making herbal salves and ointments.

I teach classes on how to do these things the traditional way, but I’m definitely not a purist. In fact, I’m a big fan of beginner’s kits. There are all kinds of kits available for all of the skills mentioned and just about any other you can think of. In fact, I got my start in mastering a lot of skills by purchasing said kits. Continue reading