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

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

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