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TAG : Homesteading

Urban Foraging for a Nut Harvest

For the past five autumns we’ve watched squirrels devour the hundreds of butternuts that fall from the huge butternut trees in our neighborhood. Butternuts have a high oil content, providing a lot of calories to the squirrels in the form of fat and protein. The nuts have a large green ...

A Tale of Two Dishcloths

It was the best of dishcloths, it was the worst of dishcloths ...Before my mother passed away, she made so many colorful and useful dishcloths, hand crocheting each one from cotton yarn. They have been used daily for a few years. Some are showing their wear, some have faded, and some have ...

Berm Building and Mulching for Water Retention

I come from a long line of people with soil under their fingernails from playing in the garden or in the fields. My father's parents' families were farmers for a couple of generations before him. He was a nursery owner, landscaper, an agronomist, crop adviser and farm consultant. I learned a ...

Preserve Your Pepper Harvest

Our garden grows peppers like nobody’s business. Jim and I would have to eat about a pepper a day each all year long to keep up with our production. Last year we harvested bushels of bell peppers and froze 26 quart packages. Come July this year we still had 8 packages in the freezer as we ...

Your Country Lifestyle Will Be Different

It’s Cheaper to Live in the Country… or Is It?I have heard this so often I could gag. No! It is not cheaper to live in the country! If you are extremely handy and good at repairing things, if you have a double, triple green thumb and everything you plant grows in leaps and bounds, if you ...

Canned Hamburger Dill Pickles

I've canned bread and butter pickles many times, but this year I decided to give dill pickles a go. I always thought dill pickles had to be fermented in a crock or something like that, but it's not true. They can be canned just like the bread and butter.I checked my grandmother's 1939 ...

Everything But the Kitchen Sink

Does anyone else use the cooking philosophy that any recipe can be changed pretty much in any way? That's my cooking method through and through, especially at this time of year; we're starting to run out of certain vegetables from our freezer and cold cellar. We ran out of onions two weeks ...

Storing Pumpkins and Winter Squash

Last summer we only grew about 200 pounds of squash and pumpkins. I say "only,"because the year before we hit 290 pounds! For the last five years, we've been in the 150+ pounds range for this crop.We've tried every storage method you can think of. We tried putting them up as is. We tried ...

Building a Driveway Gate

The journey to building our home on our new homestead will require many projects. One project I recently completed was building a driveway gate. I researched designs on the web and other various other places, and I came up with a plan for a double main gate across the driveway, each side ...

Mountain Night

As our children grew old enough to look after themselves for a few hours, my wife and I began a routine of going out on Saturday night for a date night and some “us” time. This has now been going on for over a decade. We both look forward to this time and rarely miss a week. We feel like ...

Downsizing Our Stuff

Our journey to a homestead has continued in earnest lately. Our primary focus right now is preparing our current home to be sold. There are many small projects to do, like patching sheet rock, painting, and replacing broken floor tiles. But the one project that we’ve really been focusing on ...

Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms

I have always wanted to try to do something with squash blossoms. What held me back was simply that I didn’t know how to distinguish between male and female flowers. I was afraid to pick flowers that might turn into squash. Come to find out, it’s easy to distinguish between the two.To ...

Land

My dad was a minister. When I was very small, we owned 40 acres in Troupe Co. Georgia. I remember a couple of things about the old farm. He had issues with our cows getting sick. I think they called it “Black Leg”. Also, we owned an old mule named “Jack”. My oldest brother actually ...

Dragging Poles, Encroachment and Native Azaleas

When you clear a lot of trees, large or small, it’s a lot of work. When you have little or no equipment, it’s even more work. This past weekend, we finally had a day to go work on our little 5 acre property. We’ve had a really busy spring (check out my blog Grandchildren, Vacation, ...

Grandchildren, Vacation, Retirement and Graduation

We haven’t worked on our land now for over a month. It’s amazing at the things life can throw at you. I spent the winter planning and dreaming about the work I would get done once the weather got better. It certainly makes sense to do as much as one can before the hot summertime gets here. ...