The Life-Changing Magic of Self-Sufficiency

preserving foodThe day we installed our brand-new Baker’s Choice wood cookstove was the day our lives changed dramatically for the better. I mean that literally.

Living in the far north, wintertime heat is no small matter. For the previous fifteen years, our sole source of heat was a small inefficient woodstove located in an inconvenient corner of our house, which left the rest of the house hovering in the low 50s during cold weather. For years, we’d fantasized about having a proper cookstove in a more central location. Continue reading

Gardening Tools I Can’t Live Without

Editor’s Note: It’s our pleasure to welcome homesteader and writer Jill Winger as our guest blogger. She’s the author of The Prairie Homestead Cookbook and is sharing with us today her gardening insights. Enjoy!

Gardening in Wyoming is an extreme sport.

Between the violent hailstorms, too-close-for-comfort prairie tornadoes, Mother’s Day blizzards, and early September frosts, I like to joke that our state motto should be “World’s Worst Place to Garden.” Continue reading

Save Seeds, Plan Ahead: How B. Girard Does Garden 2014

Tasty fall harvest!

Tasty fall harvest!

Our seed order has been placed and major braggathon on the frugal me. This is the end of the fourth year of gardening for us, and in true form I have gone big already for year five!

And by go big I don’t mean that I am growing a garden that would feed the masses, since I don’t, and don’t intend to. This is about us, after all and about being frugal and sustainable, which I am learning are two things that are so completely intertwined in so many ways that they are practically impossible to separate. Continue reading