The Family Larder: Why It’s Still Important

canned food in jarsLarder may not be a familiar word in our modern times, but it was a very important thing in your great-great grandma’s day. It was the stash of food that families pickled, smoked, salted and preserved for the winter months ahead. A well stocked larder was often essential for survival for the pioneers since many times they lacked the luxury of a grocery store they could frequent if their supply ran short. Continue reading

Making It Yourself: Why Bother?

Kathy's homemade soap. Find the supplies you need to make yours at Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Kathy’s homemade soap. Find the supplies you need to make yours at Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

I recently taught a workshop on soapmaking at our local folk school. I was telling a friend about it and she asked a pretty profound question: Why do you bother? Continue reading

Get the Pantry Ready – It’s National Canned Food Month!

canned food in pantryFebruary is all about canned food. In fact, it’s officially recognized as National Canned Food Month.

The convenience of canned food has many perks – no refrigeration, little to no prep time, and it can speed up getting dinner on the table, which is a huge help when you’re short on time or have unexpected company.

So, sticking with the theme of the month, we gathered up some of our favorite posts all about canned food, including some delicious recipes. Happy eating! Continue reading

Living Off Grid 101: Food

Doug & Stacy with pumpkins

Doug and Stacy from YouTube Channel, OFF GRID with DOUG & STACY

Editor’s Note: Welcome back our special guest bloggers, Doug and Stacy. Today they conclude their four-part series of living off grid with one very important topic – food. 

“Get closer to your food.” For eight years, we have been on the quest to do just that. Now when we say “quest”, we mean that we sold everything, left the city life and built a log cabin from scratch. We decided that we wanted to slow down and be more intentional with our time and our health. On our 11 acres in the Midwest, we have begun the journey. In this day and age of toxic food sources, we wanted actions to speak louder than words. We wanted to be in charge of where their food came from, how it was treated, and what went in it. Continue reading

A Wish List for Advanced Homesteaders

diamant grain millWe hear all kinds of advice for novice homesteaders, those brave souls just venturing into the exciting world of self-sufficiency. But eventually novice homesteaders become experienced homesteaders. Through a combination of book learning and trial-and-error, people learn the intricacies of country skills and lead lives of great independence. Continue reading

A Wish List for Novice Homesteaders

digging in gardenOne of the most joyous steps you can ever take is to sign on the dotted line to purchase your new homestead, that little slice of rural paradise you’ve always wanted. And now it’s yours. Your imagination takes flight at all the things you want to accomplish: a huge garden, chickens, cows or goats, an orchard. The sky’s the limit! Continue reading

Canning In A Small Kitchen

Enamelware CannerAt the point when you have (almost) eaten your fill of fresh produce, but still see tomatoes coming off the vine or onto the tables of your local farm stand, it’s probably time to consider putting some up for the cold season. There are no shortage of articles, books, and personal advice on how best to put food by, and I am nary an expert. Rather, I am a mother and a home cook who prefers to use seasonal ingredients year-round. In summer it’s easy to eat seasonally—corn on the cob is a meal in its own right! But when we are deep into February and I have exhausted every potato recipe I know, it pays to have cans of bright red tomatoes tucked away for just such an occasion. If it feels too cumbersome to can tomatoes in the heat of summer, remember: come winter, you will thank you. Continue reading

Cold-Packed Sweet Dill Pickles: Canning Without a Pressure Canner or Jar Prep!

sweet dill pickles ready to enjoyBrie, turkey, hummus. As random as it sounds, all three of these things are pairings our family has loved to enjoy with fresh dill pickles. Continue reading

Canning for Beginners: 10 Things To Know Before You Start

canning jars with toolsMy dear friend, Sarah, is new to the homestead life and there is a lot she wants to learn. Canning tops the list. She asked me recently what the most important things were for her to consider before she begins. I came up with this list. Continue reading

Canned Vs. Freeze-Dried Food: Which Is Right For You?

emergency foodWe all know that having a well-stocked pantry is an important aspect of being prepared, but what food should you stock? What’s best when you have no refrigeration? What will last on your shelves?

Both canned and freeze-dried food are great options for a reliable food supply and will give you peace of mind when you put them in your pantry. But before you pack your pantry full, it’s wise to determine what type of food is the best fit for your household.

Continue reading