What is Homesteading?

 

Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency.  

                                                                                                     Homesteading is about taking a step backwards and living a simple, purposeful life.

 

Homesteading is about learning basic independent living skills that

            were common skills to your grandparents daily lives.  

 

These skills are becoming lost in the consumerism and fast paced life of many Americans.  The corporate greed, indifference, and

waste have opened the eyes of many consumers who now want

food free of pesticides and GMOs.  Consumers are turning to

homesteading to take control of their food sources, medical

needs, home repair needs, and moving toward a debt free life.

 

 

Homesteading and Preparedness

 

  Homesteading combines old time practices and skills with DIY

and the "reduce, reuse and recycle" mindset.  Along with

learning new skills homesteaders are adding emergency

preparedness plans to their lives.  The events that homesteaders

prepare for vary depending on their location and

circumstances.  the most common events they plan for are

job loss, natural disasters, power failures, and illness or

injury.


 

Harvest Time

It is such a joy to walk out into my garden and pick fresh green beans, celery, and potatoes.  I cleaned the harvest and put the vegetables into a crock pot.  I added onions and ham.  As it cooked the aroma filled the house and it smelled delicious. In the pictures below I included the celery start and the plant at harvest.  Last spring I bought a celery stalk at my local grocery store.  When I prepared a meal using the celery, I cut the bottom off and put it in water to sprout roots.  After a month I planted the celery start in a pot and placed it in my kitchen window.  A few months ago I transplanted the celery plant and it has doubled in size.  I should have transplanted it sooner but other projects kept me busy.   That is how easy it is to grow celery.      



 

Fall Fun

Fall is my favorite season.  The hot muggy days of summer slowly slip away and the cooler crisp days of fall arrive.  The greenery of summer fades away and fall brings a burst of colorful foliage. There are so many fall activities to enjoy.  Pumpkin picking, fall festivals, hayrides, Halloween, apple picking, corn mazes, bon fires, and hot cider.  And of course, it is a time to harvest and preserve your garden produce.  It is a busy time, canning, freezing and dehydrating your produce for the long winter ahead. I have canned 7 quarts and 15 pints of bread and butter pickles and 10 pints of mint jelly.  I put a dozen corn on the cob in the freezer and next weekend I will can salsa.  I made an inexpensive homemade drying rack out of recycled window screens and I dried mint, basil, and orange peels.  I also, chopped basil and froze it in olive oil cubes.  In the next few weeks I will have potatoes, green peppers, tomatoes, hot peppers, onions, chives, and a few green beans to harvest. After the harvest it will be time for me to enjoy the fall fun. Fall - I love it.  


Canned Bread & Butter Pickles

My garden is producing cucumbers faster than I can find ways to use them.  I canned bread and butter pickles last night.  By this weekend I need to find another cucumber recipe.


What do you do with the veggies from your garden?

  I didn't plant squash this year but a friend has supplied me with more than I know what to do with. I have to rotate the cooking methods so that we don't get tired of the same recipe.  Sunday night was fried squash and Monday night was sauteed squash with onions and peppers.  Tuesday night may be a casserole. This may be a book idea "101 Squash recipes."   Do you have a good squash recipe?  Email it to me and I can post it on the HPC website.


Granny's Country Cooking

  Both of my grannies made homemade milk gravy.   Granny Chadwell poured the gravy over toast and Granny Adkins poured the gravy over biscuits.  According to medical professionals and nutritionists this recipe would be unhealthy.  I am not too concerned because both of my grandmothers lived into their nineties. This is a simple recipe when you have very little in the cabinet.  When you fry bacon save the grease.  Put the grease in a can and store it in the refrigerator. The gravy recipe requires bacon grease, flour, and milk.  Take a spoon full of grease and warm it in the frying pan.  Heat on medium and slowly add flour.  Brown the flour.  Add milk to the desired consistency.  I like a medium consistency.  Not too thick but not too thin.  If it is too thick add more milk.  Too thin add more flour.  Add in small amounts.   Note that the gravy will thicken some as it cools.  Add salt and pepper.  Prepare toast or biscuits and add your gravy.    


 

  Take a Garden Inventory

 In the spring as plants are emerging I sometimes have trouble

determining if the plants are weeds or something that I planted.

 So, I created a list, map, and I took pictures to help me

identify the plants.  also, it is a good idea to save the plant tag

when you purchase your plants.  

 

MY GARDEN INVENTORY.   IN MY FRONT YARD I HAVE A RAIN GARDEN WITH

ECHINACEA, LIVE FOREVER – AUTUMN JOY SEDUM, NORTHERN SEA OATS,

NINEBARK, JOE-PYE WEED, GOLDENROD,BLACK-EYED SUSANS AND

SWITCHGRASS.  IN THE FRONT YARD AROUND THE PORCH AREA I HAVE

CORAL BELLS, CANNA LILY, BOXWOOD, AZALEA, BLANKET FLOWER AND

JUNIPER.

ON THE FRONT PORCH I HAVE LETTUCE GROWING IN CONTAINERS.  UNDER

THE TREE I HAVE CHIVES, HOSTAS, BLUE FALSE INDIGO, DOWNY WOOD MINT,

HAIRY BEARDTONGUE, BLUE CLIFF ASTER, AND SUCCULENTS. I ALSO HAVE A

RAISED BED GARDEN WITH TOMATOES, CUCUMBERS, PEPPERS, AND SNAP

PEAS.

ALONG THE CURB I HAVE BUTTERFLY WEED AND GOLDEN ALEXANDER.  AT THE

CORNER OF MY FRONT YARD I HAVE PEONIES, DWARF RED BARBERRY AND

LITTLE PRINCESS SPIREA.

IN THE BACKYARD I HAVE BLACKBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES, STRAWBERRIES,

RUSSIAN SAGE, LAVENDER, BASIL, OREGANO, CANDY TUFF, SILVER MOUND,

GOLDENROD, BLACK-EYED SUSANS, LEMON BALM, AND VARIOUS

GRASSES.  I HAVE A SMALL POND AND TWO BIRD BATHS IN THE BACKYARD.

AT THE SIDE OF MY HOUSE I HAVE SWISS CHARD, MILK THISTLE AND GREEN

BEANS GROWING.  I AM SURE THAT I HAVE FORGOTTEN TO LIST

SOMETHING.  DO YOU THINK THAT I SHOULD PLANT SOMETHING ELSE?

 

 

  I have installed a water collection system in the front yard by the porch and next summer I will install a system in the backyard. I plan to add an enclosed compost system, dwarf fruit trees, more edible pond plants and berry plants.

Click on the images to view


 

 

Are You Berry Picking? 

June 2016

My blackberries, blueberries and strawberries are ready to be picked.  I enjoy going out in my garden early in the morning and picking a few berries for breakfast.  The birds are enjoying my berries too.  Have you planted berries?  Do you have any fun berry picking experiences or recipes to share.  Email HPC with your story or recipe and it may be included on the website. 

Consider planting berries if you do not have berries on your property.  After planting it will take a year or two before you have berries but they are very easy to grow.   Once you have them started, with proper care you will have years of berry picking. 

 

The birds love to visit my pond.

 

June 2016

My first tomato and pepper of the year.  It was a nice surprise to see that my Swiss Chard and Milk Thistle came back this summer.


Chive Vinegar

There are many versions of this recipe online.  

Ingredients:

Chive Blossom and White Wine Vinegar

The amount of ingredients will depend on the size canning jar you choose.  You will need enough chive blossoms to pack the jar and vinegar to cover the chive blossoms.  Sterilize the jar before adding the ingredients.  

1. Pick chive blossoms and rinse under cold water to remove dirt.  Shake off excess water and put aside.

2. Warm white wine vinegar in a pot.  Do not boil.

3. Pack chive blossoms in canning jar and pour warm white wine vinegar into the jar.  Let vinegar cool.  Place the lid on the jar and set the jar aside in a dark, cool spot for 2 to 3 weeks to infuse the ingredients.    

Use the Chive Blossom Vinegar over salads. 

 

 

 


It is April 29th and my Azaleas are blooming.


It is April 28th and my berry plants have buds.  It won't be long and I will have fresh strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.


I stopped in Rural King the first week of April and I saw chicks for sale.  If I had a coop I would have bought chicks.  I love fresh eggs. Maybe next year.

 

 


Cabin Fever 

The weather was beautiful last weekend and I had cabin fever.  I had to get out and work in my yard.  I planted a few flowers and lettuce.  Of course, my perennials are coming up - Phlox, Chives, Lilies, Hostas, Northern Sea Oats, Daffodils, Coneflowers, Violets, Black Eye Susans, and Sedum.

April 2016


Freedom comes from strength and self-reliance.
— Lisa Murkowski
You are responsible for your own victory.
— Jeffrey Benjamin
My goal is to help people get off of reliance on government and move them to self-reliance.
— Bill Brady
Being your own light ensures that you will never need another to pull you out of darkness again.
— Gary Hopkins

The pictures below are projects in progress and finished.  A solar heater, patio installation, a raised bed installation - stone and wood, inoculated mushroom logs, sprouting, homemade Christmas gifts, growing a new celery plant from a leftover celery stock,  easy four item dinner, seed saving, drying herbs, preserving food, and cooking with garden produce.  

 

Click on the images to enlarge


What We've Achieved

  Each member of the collective team has accomplished their own level of sustainability depending on their area and situation.  The levels of self reliance range from small urban gardeners to families who grow and preserve most of their food.