Living Off Grid 101: Heating

Doug & Stacy with Cook Stove

Doug and Stacy from popular YouTube channel OFF GRID with DOUG and Stacy

Editor’s Note: Doug and Stacy left the city life to live off grid like the pioneers. Today they’re their experience with us of how they heat their home.

After living off grid for eight years, it’s funny now to reflect back on how we thought we could heat our home with a small pot belly stove we found in an ad in the newspaper. We had sold our home and moved into a small one bedroom apartment getting ready for our new off-grid life together. Lots of ideas and ways of going off grid were discussed during our transition time. In the end, both of us decided to live without public utilities such as electricity, water, sewer services and even a few modern conveniences like a refrigerator and air conditioning. Besides, a good challenge would do us good! Continue reading

What’s Happening On The Homestead: Thanksgiving Time!

holding gourds

Thanksgiving is almost here…what are you thankful for this year?

In the spirit of the first Thanksgiving, this is an ideal season to celebrate using the best of local bounty for your big meal. Food coming out of jars and cans from the store shelves simply weren’t options when that inaugural three day feast happened in 1621. Everything was by default hyper local. Foods were hunted, foraged or harvested by hand and every delicious dish was made from scratch and eaten with thankful hearts. Sure sounds like a celebration worth repeating in our day of fast food and grumbling. Continue reading

What’s Happening on the Homestead: The Family Larder

cold frame gardening

We’re busy preparing our homestead for winter from preserving food to putting up cold frames (pictured) to protect our harvest.

October is when we are near the end of gathering and preserving food for the winter ahead. In olden days, this cache of food squirreled away was sometimes called a larder and had enough sustenance for a family to stay well fed till spring. In our modern times, many folks depend on the super market to be their sole larder and expect the shelves to always be full. However, in the event of a political crisis, natural disaster or other disruption that might not be the case. When preparedness guru Kathy Harrison visited Lehman’s this fall, she shared that we are 9 meals away from anarchy if a disaster would hit because people today simply do not have that amount of food stored at home. Financial advisors often suggest keeping a 2-3 month emergency cash fund and perhaps everyone should wisely consider having a 2-3 month supply of food on hand for their family. Continue reading

The Satisfaction of Heating with Wood

old fireplaceEditor’s Note: The following article comes to us from Scott Ervin, husband of Glenda Lehman Ervin (VP of Marketing and daughter of company founder Jay Lehman). He shares with us his experience and joy of heating with wood. Continue reading

What’s Happening on the Homestead: Fantastic Fall Flowers

Picking flowers

Fall is here, which also means some beautiful fall flowers are in bloom! (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

September is a very full month for us on the homestead as we continue to preserve food for winter plus one of my cash crops is in full bloom and needs harvested frequently – dahlias! A good portion of our one acre plus garden space is for growing food for our family, but we also have space for some cash crops to help with farm income. Continue reading

Managing Life as a Homesteader

girl with goatBurnout. It’s a real thing…and not just when it hasn’t rained enough one summer and your garden is struggling. As a new homesteader, it’s tempting to get one of everything that sounds interesting…especially if it’s a good deal. I mean, if two feeder pigs is good, then a breeding pair is better! If a beehive is good, then two is better. If a few pet goats to nibble the brambles is good, then OF COURSE a pregnant dairy goat is better. Continue reading

What’s Happening On The Homestead: Savoring the Harvest

Drying food in a dehydrator

This month we savored the harvest, from baking gourmet treats to drying our fresh produce for later. (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

August means everything is ripe on the homestead. After many months of planting and weeding, we are finally reaping an abundant harvest. The garden is gushing forth produce, fruit trees and berry bushes are laden, chickens need processed, flowers need picked almost daily and more. Continue reading

Profit On The Homestead And Other Wisdom From The Country Living Workshop

Joel Salatin speaking at CLW

Here’s Joel Salatin speaking at the 2019 Country Living Workshop at Lehman’s.

There were so many good takeaways from the 2019 Country Living Workshop at Lehman’s. We literally took home some nets and crawdads from the Kids’ creek stomping class as well as homemade noodles from their first class. Continue reading

Learning the Rules of Homesteading

basket of fresh eggsDid you know that there are unwritten rules in homesteading? I’ll admit, with seeing so many different ways of doing things out there when we’ve been trying to learn all there is to know in our baby days of homesteading, I would have told you there’s no one way to do things. How much easier would it have been if someone would have handed me the ABCs of Homesteading: The ten simple steps to having the perfect homestead of your dreams when we closed on our house. But of course it’s not that simple. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes at the 2019 Country Living Workshop

Joel Salatin at Country Living WorkshopEditor’s Note: Did you miss this year’s Country Living Workshop? No worries! Local homesteader and contributing blogger Sarah Kroger is sharing with us her experience and what she learned.

With six children 12 and under in my house, you can imagine that finding one thing with the ability to hold everyone’s focus and keep everyone entertained is a challenge, to say the least. There are times the big kids have to endure yet another Word World for the sake of the 4 and 6 year olds and there are times the little ones feel left out when the big girls get to stay up a little later to watch a movie. One playground has great slides for big kids, but might as well be scaling Mt. Everest to the little ones. You get the idea. Continue reading