What’s Happening on the Homestead: Sunflowers and Sunshine!

Sunflowers

We’re in the midst of summer and beautiful sunflowers have appeared. (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

What does July sunshine bring in Ohio? Some hot, sticky days to be sure but it also is the season of sunflowers, tomatoes, zucchini and more. After a cool, wet start to the garden season, the heat is making our popcorn and other plants grow almost in front of our eyes. It is now most pleasant to work in the garden in the early morning hours or the cool of the evening till we can’t see the weeds we are trying to pull. Popsicles made from homemade yogurt and fresh fruit are a main stay for getting through the afternoons. Continue reading

What’s Happening On The Homestead: The Battle In The Garden

Mulching

Organic mulching is one way we help control weeds in our garden. (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

Around here, the busiest months in the garden for me are May, June and September. May is a planting flurry, September is a harvest and preservation marathon, and June is the month where we win or lose the battle against the weeds. Thankfully, long days are in our favor and I am often out working in the garden till dusk. This year in much of our area, gardeners and farmers are all out working anytime that raindrops aren’t falling. A few things are behind schedule but most of my plants are benefiting from the good moisture, however, the weeds are enjoying it too. Continue reading

Living Off Grid 101: Water

Stacy watering the gardenEditor’s Note: They’re back! Our guest bloggers Doug and Stacy are sharing with us today their journey of providing water for their off-grid home.

The one thing we cannot live without is WATER. Somehow that thought escaped us when we bought our 11 acres in the Midwest. We, being Doug and Stacy who homestead off grid on YouTube and other social media, came straight from city life. The property we found had a little of everything except the most important thing which was a water source. The pond on the property was the only source for water, and we thought putting in a well could be a good option. What we didn’t realize was the average cost of a well in our area is $10,000 and up. This is with no guarantee that you will even hit water! We came to our property with no debt and so spending that kind of money was not in the plan. We knew that this lifestyle was going to require being solution focused and patient.
Continue reading

Living Off Grid 101: Lighting

Stacy with oil lamp

Stacy with oil lamp

Editor’s Note: Please welcome back our special guest bloggers Doug and Stacy from popular YouTube channel OFF GRID with DOUG & STACY!  Eight years ago, they decided to leave the rat race, cut that average $100 a month electric bill, and live a much more simpler life. Today they’re sharing with us how they light their home without electricity.

One of the biggest things people take for granted is electricity. The ability to flip a switch and turn a light on is rarely thought about or questioned. When you live off the grid like we do and embrace the pioneer lifestyle, turning the lights on takes a bit more thought and effort. Continue reading

What’s Happening On The Homestead: Garden Prep and Daffodils

seedlings

Gardening has begun here on our homestead. (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

After a slow and chilly start, we are excited for spring to appear in Ohio and it is luring the whole family outdoors to tackle spring chores around the farm. We are a homeschooling family so I consider many of our outdoor tasks as part of our learning experience and no one objects to abandoning books for a few hours to spend time in the sunshine. The teen boys are in charge of pruning fruit trees, our 10-year-old son is helping start seedlings and everyone pitches in to get the garden rolling. Continue reading

Our Journey To A Simpler Life: Doug And Stacy’s Story

Doug & Stacy

Doug and Stacy standing on the front porch of their off grid cabin

Editor’s Note: Today we’re welcoming two very special guest bloggers, Doug and Stacy from the popular YouTube channel OFF GRID with DOUG and STACY. They’re sharing with us their journey to a simpler life. Enjoy! Continue reading

10 Ways To Prepare For A Storm And Power Outage

oil lamp in power outageAs I write this, the snow is coming down in a solid white sheet, obliterating everything more than 20 feet away. The snow is expected to be followed by sleet and then freezing rain. Will we lose power? Probably, but I feel well-prepared to manage for several days without it. How about your family? What steps should you take when you know a storm is bearing down? Here’s a check list to get you started. Continue reading

Ways to Simplify Your Life – Part Two

mom & daughter gardeningEditor’s Note: Here’s the second installment of Glenda’s Simplify Your Life series. If you missed the first part, you can read it here. And feel free to share with us your journey to a simpler life in the comments below.

A simpler life is about taking another step forward on your journey to an intentional, fulfilling life. But why live a simpler life? Continue reading

Ways to Simplify Your Life – Part One

baking bread“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
– Leonardo Da Vinci, brilliant Renaissance artist

I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. Why should there be only one day a year when you are encouraged to make a fresh start?

That said, the beginning of a new year does make me think of ways to improve myself and the world in which I take up space. Because we stand for a simpler life, allow me to share some simple living thoughts running around my already-crowded brain this January. Continue reading

Winter Is A Homesteader’s Time To Plan

winter gardeningWinter is a time of sleep and rest. The work is still there, and it’s not easier…in fact, it’s often harder when you’re dealing with ice and extra shelter and bedding, and worrying about animals being warm enough. (Note: They are…Mother Nature gives them a natural winter coat. It’s not uncommon to see my Great Pyrenees out in 0 degree weather lying in the snow!) Continue reading