A Day in My Shoes

  A few fellow bloggers and I decided to show you a day in our shoes on our homestead.  Enjoy looking through all of our videos and how different "homesteading" means to each of us. Enjoy       A Day in the Life by Ashley of Whistle Pig Hollow On The Farm: A Peek Into Our Life by Ashley of The Browning Homestead The Answer to "And what did YOU do today?" by Chris of Joybilee Farm A Day in the Life of an Urban Homesteader by Connie of Urban Overalls A Day in My Shoes by Emilie of The Toups Address Homesteading Rhythm with Little Kids & A Bump by Isis of Little Mountain Haven Homestead Truths, Minus the Sugarcoating by Janet of Timber Creek Farm A Day of Homestead Living by Jessica of The 104 Homestead A Day in the Life of a Homesteader by Katie of Livin Lovin Farmin A Typical Day of Homesteading by Laurie of Common Sense Homesteading It's Not About The Work by Leona of My Healthy Green Family Life, Unfiltered by Melissa ... [read more]

Homemade Vanilla Granola

My little sister is visiting this week and she's requesting cereal! Hmmm...we don't normally eat cereal and my kids aren't yet old enough to ask for it (I don't even think they know what it is.) But it got me thinking is there was something I could make that would be similar. Granola....of course. It's crispy crunchy and great in a bowl covered in raw milk or dolloped with fresh vanilla yogurt. She totally approved and it was so good that we went through the first batch in under two days! This recipe is just sweet enough, delightfully crunchy and pretty frugal too. Most of you will already have most of these ingredients in your pantry and this recipe is so easy, you can play with the ingredients and add in other flavors, nuts etc. Granola doesn't have to be boring. So ditch the over-priced, sugar-laden store bought granola cereal! Seriously, that stuff has more sugar in it than a candy bar. With homemade granola, you have complete control over the healthy ... [read more]

How to Render Tallow (the easy way)

Tallow.....what the heck is tallow anyways?   Tallow is rendered beef fat (suet). It is similar to lard except from cows instead of pigs. No, you probably aren't hearing about your friends rendering their beef fat last week. Tallow is a traditional fat  used by your grand and great-grandparents. From grass-fed cows, it's a much MUCH healthier - rich in Vitamins A and D -  option than Crisco shortening and vegetable oils.  Unfortunately with the introduction of highly processed plant based oils, tallow has become somewhat hard to find. Unless you render you own or buy it (here), it can be nearly impossible to obtain. Tallow is rich in several components that are great for our health -  Omega 3 fatty acids –  These are essential for good health. Since our bodies cannot make them, they must come from food. "they also lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve blood vessel function, and, at higher doses, lower triglycerides and may ease ... [read more]

Birth on the farm…..A Dairy Cow’s Birth Story

On a sunny Sunday morning... The second the light came through my window, I started my day the same way as I had the past 4 mornings. I threw on my jacket and bolted out the door to check on Belle. Nope...no calf at her side. By this point I had googled "signs your cow is in labor" at least 1000 times. The signs were all there, but not the calf. I climbed back in bed to savor a few more moments of warmth while my husband made us a fresh cup of french press coffee before getting breakfast together and picking out clothes for the children to wear to church. While I was getting the kids into the car, and checking to make sure they both had the right shoes, Trent let the animals into the back pasture for the day. He came back and noted that Belle had a little clear discharge, but I lightly dismissed it saying she'd had that a couple of times before in the past few days. She was acting totally normal this morning and went right to grazing beside the sheep just like she does ... [read more]

Belle: Our Family Milk Cow

We got a milk cow. Sometimes I think back to before.....when we just got married, both worked and lived in a small subdivision, content with buying milk from the store. (and 2% at that) My how times have changed. We now live on a 20 acre farm-in-progress. (Can I actually call it a farm?.....I'm not sure, but we are getting there) Two beautiful children and another one on the way (April 2015). And we now have A MILK COW.   We seriously searched high and low. After a little searching for the perfect family milk cow, we found Belle. She's a pure bred Jersey and the sweetest little thing. We hadn't much a clue about milk cows except what I've read in this book. We knew we had a barn and a pasture of grass but that was it.....We just HAD to bring her home. Belle is currently 7 months bred and we can't wait till after Christmas for the arrival of her calf. NOT TO MENTION the beautiful, delicious, creamy milk we will be getting from her!   I've ... [read more]

Beating the Spring Burnout

So I will be the first to admit.....Spring has me burned - out! I had 346457 things I wanted to plant this Spring and I have about 7 of those done. This morning I woke up to a beautiful cool day and instead of trying to conquer something on my mountain of a to-do list, I spread a blanket on the ground and served myself and the kids breakfast outside. My way to beat the burnout? Take a break.     Spread a blanket under a tree and have breakfast outside. Soak up some sunshine and inhale the Spring air. Sometimes our to-do list says we can't take a break, but I did.   Breaks make everyone happier.   And now instead of agonizing over the rest of the things I haven't planted yet, or the mountain of laundry that I have left to fold inside, I'm going to be thankful for the things I DID accomplish. I have tomatoes growing, strawberries are starting to turn red, and blooms on my squash, zucchini and cucumbers!   After a day of relaxing ... [read more]

How To Prepare The Ground For Your Spring Garden

Prepping the ground to plant seeds and seedlings for your spring garden can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be. Here are some ground prepping rules! 1. Make sure the soil is dry enough! If the soil is still too wet from melting snow and spring rain, tilling and working the soil will only make it compact even more. One quick test is to form a ball of soil in your hand and drop it from 2-3 feet. The soil should quickly crumble apart. 2. Adding Organic Material Dig up at least 6-8 inches of soil and work in some rich organic matter like compost, well aged chicken, rabbit or goat manure, shredded leaves and yard clippings, or a mixture of some of these. 3. Avoid Commercial Fertilizerand Weed Killers! First off glyphosate, the active ingredient in Round Up, kills earthworms and beneficial insects that assist your garden. It also stays in the soil for up to two years! Synthetic fertilizers cause pollution problems and kill the soil. Since the soil is ... [read more]