Living a homesteading lifestyle, the rhythm of my year is an extension of the seasonal changes and activities of the homestead. Planting in spring, tending in summer, harvesting in fall, resting in winter. But while the agrarian calendar is rather firmly integrated into my life, I still rely on a homestead to do list to ...
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The black walnut tree (Juglans nigra) is a fantastic source of food and medicine. Unfortunately, too many people let these nuts go unused, frustrated by the mess they cause in their yard rather than appreciating all of the many uses for black walnuts. Although Central Vermont is not within the native range of black walnut ...
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Like many gardeners, when Autumn comes around I obsessively check my weather app for signs of frost or a hard freeze. I put a lot of work into growing a late summer and fall garden, and know that my future harvest depends on protecting plants from frost. Luckily, it’s easy to protect plants from frost ...
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To tell the story of a simple basement I should backtrack to the beginning of our time here in Vermont. We moved here in August 2018 with a few plans in place: A beautiful rental house, a school we adored, and the knowledge that some close friends from Oregon and Missouri lived nearby. After many, ...
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As we select fruit trees for our homestead orchard, I’m considering how we will actually use the fruit we grow. With apples, for instance, one of the primary ways we preserve and enjoy apples is making hard apple cider. So, as I research apple varieties that will do well in our zone 4 climate, I’m ...
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Wandering around my new workplace, a dairy farm turned apple orchard turned school, I have been wondering how I can make use of the dozens of crabapple trees growing on the land. Crabapples are common throughout the United States, often found in neighborhoods and backyards, but like me, few people know all the uses for ...
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Just when you thought you survived peak harvest season, with all of its picking and preserving, garlic planting season arrives! In preparation for fall garlic planting, let’s discuss hardneck vs. softneck garlic. Garlic is one of my favorite crops to grow because it is no-nonsense. It grows almost anywhere, and once you plant it in ...
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In September, 2020 I began a 24-month lease on a 2020 Nissan LEAF, a fully electric vehicle (EV). Since then, I’ve navigated the somewhat challenging, but ultimately rewarding combination of living off the grid and driving an electric vehicle. In this article, I’ll share my experiences with my EV and offer suggestions on living off ...
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Do you dream of harvesting bushels of ripe fruit from your homestead? Crunching on apples and nibbling on sun-ripened plums? Because fruit trees are a perennial planting – a gift of food that keeps on giving – they are an extremely valuable asset to your homestead. And as the old proverb goes,“The best time to […]
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If you are serious about foraging for wild edibles, you’ve probably wondered how to add more starch, fats, and proteins to your foraged diet. After all, berries and wild greens are delicious, but they don’t fill your belly. Acorns and other wild nuts and seeds can help round out your foraged diet and are abundant […]
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After months of dreaming and preparing, a group of friends joined us in building a 25 foot yurt for our off the grid homestead! It must have been 6 or so years ago that we met Ken of Two Girls Farm and Yurts. At the time we were living in Missouri and neither planning to […]
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One of the most revered spring wild edibles is the wild ramp, Allium tricoccum, a North American member of the garlic/onion family that is found the eastern United States and eastern Canada. A truly seasonal delight, one of the easiest ways to preserve ramps is to make a wild ramp pesto. I’ll share my recipe […]
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Sharing the homesteading lifestyle with the kids in your life can be incredibly rewarding. But sometimes it’s hard to get past the question of “How do I teach my kids how to homestead?” Having homesteaded throughout my entire experience of being a parent (my daughter’s first experience out of the house was a trip to […]
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What is a root cellar garden? I like to think of it as a garden that provides you with a large quantity of food that you can store in a root cellar. Think root vegetables, apples, pears, potatoes, squash, onions, some brassicas, etc. Planting a root cellar garden takes a little bit of planning to […]
I don’t know about you, but by the time September and October roll around, I am ready to put down my canning pot and take a break from food preservation. Luckily, there is a method of food preservation that requires very little effort: Root cellaring. A garden full of vegetables can be enjoyed all winter […]
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This time of year I tend to get what I think of as “heavy food gut.” Thanksgiving meals heavy on starch, salt, and fat, holiday cookies and treats, winter stews and soups … as much as I adore these foods, they are lacking in the bright, sour qualities that I love in summer salads and […]
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When Autumn temperatures start to climb below freezing, I immediately think of all the beautiful kale still growing in the garden. Sure, I’ve eaten my fill over the spring and summer, but it feels horrible to imagine those abundant beds of kale turning into mush in freezing temperatures. It’s time to get serious and preserve […]
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Making hard apple cider is one of the easiest ways to preserve your apple harvest. After following the instructions on How to Make Hard Cider, read on to learn (from my husband Brian) how to rack and bottle your hard apple cider. We left off with your batch of freshly pressed cider happily sealed in […]
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It’s been my goal over the past few years to build my herbal medicine cabinet so I have ready-to-go remedies on hand for common ailments. We now have plenty of salves, a healthy supply of elderberry syrup, and various tinctures and teas. But after a few occurrences of mild indigestion, I knew I needed to […]
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If there are two foods that epitomize Vermont for me, they are maple syrup and apples. In late winter, conversation frequently turns to “how’s the sugaring going?” (at least in my circles of friends and acquaintances!) and come spring, every rural roadside is white with the blossoms of apple trees. That’s why I think this […]
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