Dehydrating: Drying Foods for Long Term Storage

May 16, 2017

When planning and planting your garden, consider how much produce you can use and how much you need. You don’t want to plant rows and rows of spinach only to have most of it go to waste because you can’t eat it fast enough and you find that you only enjoy it fresh. Most produce can be frozen, canned, dehydrated or otherwise stored to be used throughout the winter months when nothing is growing. Due to a variety of reasons (some more practical than others), our clan has been slowly moving away from freezing and focusing instead on canning and drying.…

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The Many Uses of Stinging Nettles

Stinging Nettles
April 26, 2017

Over the past couple of years, I have unintentionally grown a pretty nice little stinging nettle garden on the border of my rhubarb garden. The young nettles are starting to come up now, so it is time to start harvesting them when they are in their prime.

So, what do you do with stinging nettles?

In a previous post, we talked about the benefits of nettle tea, but there is so much more than you can do with nettles.…

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Extracting Unframed Honey

Homestead Bootcamp
April 11, 2017

We have kept bees for several years now, and we have had two hives for the past several years. We have had to deal with swarming, disease, and wintering. Some winters our bees make it through fine and some they don’t because we live where the winters are harsh and unpredictable, and it is difficult to know how best to help our little honey making friends survive.

Last year, our bees did not survive. Sadly, we had both hives die out.…

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100% Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

April 5, 2017

I started making my own bread shortly after getting married almost 15 years ago. I started with store bought white flour and a bread machine. It was amazing! Later, I moved to store bought whole wheat flour. This was less than awesome. It just didn’t rise nice like it was supposed to. Even with wheat gluten added in, it was still basically a failure, so I stopped baking bread and just started buying 100% Whole Wheat bread from the store.…

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Bottling Hard Apple Cider from a Mr. Beer Kit

Homestead Bootcamp
March 7, 2017

We have moved on to the next step of making hard apple cider with our Mr. Beer kit.

This time we are on the bottling step. First, we sanitized our bottles and added a little sugar to aid in the carbonation. We could have left the sugar out and went with a flat cider, but we don’t particularly like the taste of hard cider in general so that didn’t seem like the route we wanted to go.…

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Making & Canning Tomato Juice

Homestead Bootcamp
February 14, 2017

I plant a lot of tomatoes in my garden every year. And I mean a LOT of tomatoes. My husband and I load up several 5 gallon pails for days. Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in tomatoes, and by the end of the canning season I don’t want to see another tomato for weeks!

I had already processed about 700 pounds of tomatoes by the time we shot this video. I make spaghetti sauce, salsa, tomato paste, and tomato juice.…

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Butchering Egg Laying Chickens: From Barn to Can

Homestead Bootcamp
October 11, 2016

We recently had to make room in our chicken castle for some new egg layers, so the old birds had to go! Older egg laying chickens are not usually ideal for eating because they are very tough and just don’t have much meat on them. The best thing to do with these old birds was to can them. Canning chicken makes it wonderfully tender even on these less than ideal hens.

This video goes through our process from catching the chickens all the way to cooking them.…

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Saving Spinach Seeds

Homestead Bootcamp
September 23, 2016

In this video, I am showing how to save spinach seeds. You might be asking, “Why not just buy new seeds every year?” There are several reasons to save seeds.

Save Money
I realize that seeds are very inexpensive, but if you buy a lot of them it starts to add up. Saving your seeds may not save you a noticeable amount of money, but for some families every little bit helps.

Know What Works
We live in a plant hardiness zone where a lot of crops don’t do well because of our short growing season and extreme cold in the winters.…

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How to Make Elderberry Juice

Homestead Bootcamp
September 15, 2016

The ditches near our homestead have an abundant supply of elderberries in the late summer, so we like to take advantage of nature’s bounty by making elderberry juice.

Elderberry juice is not a drink that you take for the taste. It is often sweetened to make it more palatable. My husband and I each put a tablespoon of unsweetened elderberry juice in our daily dose of kombucha (which is a fermented drink). The addition of elderberry to kombucha makes both a little more pleasant to drink.…

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Homestead Bootcamp Has Launched!

Homestead Bootcamp
September 8, 2016

We are excited to announce that we have launched our new YouTube channel called Homestead Bootcamp. It will feature videos of our family teaching you how to live off the land!

Our first video shows how to pick and preserve Puffball mushrooms which can be found in areas throughout the world. You could be missing out on delicious mushrooms growing right in your backyard!

We know that there may be some questions, so here are some answers to a few that you might have.…

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