2018 Home & Garden Tour Part 2: Our ¼-Acre Rancher


This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouseIf you’ve been following us along for a while, you probably already know that we recently moved from our original house and homestead to our brand spankin’ new one! It’s super exciting for us because this is the first house we’ve actually bought and owned. And it’s also the first place Ryan and I have ever lived together that was completely empty when we moved in.

In the past we’ve always rented places that were full of furniture and other people’s items. Our last house (which I take you on a tour of here) was a 100-year-old farmhouse that had never been home to anyone outside of the family who originally built it. Built in 1914, it was passed down through the generations and accumulated literal tons of stuff over the decades: heavy old vintage furniture and decor pieces, old books and magazines and tools and Mason jars and all sorts of other things already filled the house when we moved in 3 years ago.

Before that, we lived in our suburban condo on the outskirts of Vancouver: a condo that we rented from my family when my grandmother moved out and into a home. And so that house, too, was already full of dining room sets and buffets, desks and side tables, clocks and dressers and bags and bags of stuff my grandma had seemingly bought, stored away and forgot about. (Plus a massive jewelry box full of Shopping Channel jewelry… I’m sure I’m not the only one with a grandma who had one of those;)

And before that we lived in Australia together, first on our friends’ couch, then in a tent, then in a more permanent tent on a concrete slab, then in a cockroach-infested double wide trailer, and finally in an old Victorian rooming house with about 4 or 5 other people.

Oh, and did I mention that we used to live in Vancouver where a basic single family home on a tiny plot of land costs upwards of a million dollars?

So ya, we were pretty stoked to get this place! Houses are still not cheap where we live, but they’re much cheaper than the city. And we’re making it work by converting our garage into a coach house to rent out.

The Grand Tour

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

This was the original photo on the listing for this house. See that big ol’ fenced garden in the front? It was love at first sight:)

The entire process, from making an offer on the house to actually moving in, took roughly 6 or 7 months. And we still have a lot of work to do on the place (right now the push is on to get the coach house done and get a renter in before Christmas). But we managed to renovate the interior from top to bottom, luckily because Ryan works as a manager for a building supply store and is incredibly handy, so we were able to renovate for about a quarter of the price it would normally cost.

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

This is the garage we’re converting into a coach house. It will serve as a rental suite to help us supplement our mortgage payments. As homesteaders, we’re always thinking about how our property can help provide for us!

The land itself needs some work. But that’s gonna need to wait until spring. The bones are good though, and although we are moving from a one-acre property to a ¼-acre plot of land, our new, smaller space actually has a lot more garden potential than the last place which was mostly lawn (which we didn’t exactly have the authority to tear up).

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

A view of the backyard. A greenhouse adds to the ample outdoor garden space at the front of the house.

The garden space was a huge selling point for us -especially for me- when we were looking at places. There’s a massive fenced garden in the front of the house where we get the most sun (and the most deer, hence the fencing).

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

There’s also a big established greenhouse with a giant raised bed in the backyard, plus lots of spaces around the house and property where we plan to grow our herbs, rhubarb, berries, flowers and other things of that nature.

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouseThis is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

We’ve got three huge rhubarb plants already as well as blackberries, red currants and a few different types of herbs. Plus an established hazelnut tree that we just recently discovered!

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

We also have a tool shed -which is an absolute necessity for Ryan- a lean-to which will act as our garden/potting shed and space outback to build another shed to house our seasonal items like outdoor cushions, summer toys, sleds and wagons.

Beside the tool shed, Ryan built a rabbit pen for our pet rabbit, whom we may or may not breed for meat rabbits in the future, depending on various factors.

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

This big boy’s our pet though. We adopted him from a shelter that took him in when he was abandoned in a cage outside of the hospital in our old hometown. I have a slight(ly intense) Alice in Wonderland obsession, so when I saw a giant white rabbit up for adoption a few years ago, I just had to.

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

We also have two lovely indoor kitties. And one day when we have our forever property, we’ll have lots of barn cats and I will eventually become a crazy cat, chicken, goat, rabbit and duck lady. But for now I’m just going to work on our gardens on this little ¼-acre plot:)

Now for the inside of the house…

Come On In!

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

The house is a 3-bedroom rancher, not much bigger than the condo where we lived in the city. This is ironic since I used to say that I loved our condo so much that if I could have picked it up and put it on a piece of land in the country, I would have happily lived there for years to come.

We also have a two-year-old daughter, Evelyn, and did have another baby on the way. Phoenix was due to be born just a couple weeks from now, but we lost him back in June. It’s been hard to look at the third bedroom knowing it was meant for him. One day it will belong to another little babe that we’ll welcome into our lives when the time is right. 

But my point to bringing up our children, is that I absolutely love that it’s a small rancher because I don’t have to put up baby gates or worry about stairs, and it takes way less time to clean up the kid-made mess at the end of the day.

So just like the gardens, the bones of the house itself were just what we were looking for. Basically, we lucked out big time. Oh ya, and the best part is that it’s on a cul-de-sac at the end of a no-thru road that backs onto a forest. Our old place was right on the busiest highway between the two nearest towns, so we are beyond grateful to be enjoying the peace and quiet at our new place.

But not everything was awesome right from the get-go. The interior needed some serious work to get it to where we wanted it to be. 

We took out a bathroom, removed part of a wall, re-floored and re-painted the entire place, redid the kitchen from top to bottom, shiplapped the master bedroom, built a custom built-in theatre system in our living room and took out the massive fireplace that took up what felt like ¼ of the living room (we’ll soon be putting in a wood stove I scored for FREE off of a local buy and sell page!) 

Here are some before and after photos of the inside…

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

The kitchen was one of the nicest areas of the house. The doors and cabinets were solid pine and the general layout of the kitchen was great for folks like me who do a lot of cooking, preserving and prep work in the kitchen. The skylight, sliding glass door and window over the kitchen sink make this a naturally bright space in the house.

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

 

 

 

 

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouseThis is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouseIn the end we decided to overhaul the kitchen and dining room anyway. We went with all white cabinets and countertops, white subway tile backsplash, stainless steel appliances and a new stainless steel farm sink, replaced the light fixtures and painted the walls a subtle sage green colour.This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouseThis is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouseThis is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

As I write this, Ryan is installing the hardware on our cabinets: black rod iron handles to match our black rod iron look faucet (which looks amazing with our farm sink if I do say so myself;)

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

I’m so excited to finally have a window over the kitchen sink! I spend enough time here doing dishes that a window is a major bonus, and one I’ve never had before. It’s the simple things in life:)

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouseThe fireplace that was here was large and intrusive. It took up a good portion of the already small living room. This was one of the first things to go when we bought the place. We have yet to put in our new wood stove, but I can’t wait to heat our house with wood this winter!

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouseRyan built this floor-to-ceiling built-in home entertainment unit for us. The corner beside it is where that old fireplace was. The tile and wood stove is going in soon!This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouseThis space apparently used to be a garage that the previous owners had closed in. It was total bonus space, but it was pretty segregated from the rest of the house and would have just ended up being a magnet for storage and clutter. So we opened up the wall between this room and the living room and turned it into an office for me. Now I have an awesome space to work on my blog without interruption!This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

Lol. Just kidding. It’s just one more space for my child to drive me crazy while I’m trying to get work done:)

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouseYou can see the doorway we cut to connect the living room to the new office space in the background. There’s much more of a flow in the house now that the rooms aren’t so cut off from each other.

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouseAfter doing laundry in a spidery basement for the past 3 years (and sharing a laundry room before that) I was over-the-moon about having an actual laundry room in this house. I figured I might even enjoy doing laundry now!

So far that has not proven to be true. But I do enjoy it a heck of a lot more than I used to.

That extra bathroom in the corner though? That had to go. We only need one bathroom, but we have definitely learned we need more storage space. So we pulled out that bathroom and put in storage shelves and a laundry sink. This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse
It’s a bit of a mess at the moment. But it’s a great place to store all of my canning jars as well as our canners and dehydrator.

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

The bedrooms are pretty basic. This first pic is of the master bedroom, and trust me, there was nothing special about it! But we made it more inviting by redoing the floors, painting the walls dark grey, installing white shiplap on the back wall and putting in soft mood lighting. Ryan says it’s like a cozy cave now. I agree:)

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

 

Yes, that’s my child watching Peppa Pig in our bed while I take photos. Otherwise said photos would have just been picture of toys spread all over the house. All the mamas out there, you know what I’m talkin’ about.

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

This bedroom (which is now Evelyn’s room) had perhaps the ugliest carpet I have ever seen. But we took care of that too:)This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

There is literally always a tea party happening in here.This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

There were no closet doors on any of the bedroom closets either, so we added mirrored doors to make the rooms look bigger. This last bedroom was intended for our son. It will one day fulfill its purpose as a nursery.This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

For now it’s just a spare room for storage and such.

Y’all Come Back Now!

This is our 1/4-acre property that we're turning into a homestead and real modern farmhouse. Come along fora home & garden tour and watch the transformation! #hometour #farmhousetour #homesteading #modernfarmhouse

So that’s pretty much the tour of the whole house (save for the bathroom, which is pretty standard too and which we never bothered renovating because we were using it to shower while living in the old house without a shower. Read more about that in Part 1 of this post).

Next year we plan to go hard on the gardens and outdoor area, but for now we’re busy with finishing touches, with getting the coach house up and running and with finishing renovations on the old place. As well as getting rid of about half of everything we own so we can fit comfortably in this house without all of the unnecessary clutter!

I’m so honoured to have had the opportunity to open my doors to you at last, and to share in the next leg of our journey with you. 

While this isn’t intended to be our forever home, it suits us just fine right now and I’m very excited to turn it into a small but mighty functioning homestead over the coming years. And I’m even more excited to share the transformation with you every step of the way.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

The House & Homestead

 

 

 


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HOMESTEADING
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NATURAL LIVING

3 Comments

  1. Lynda Lu Gibb

    I have been blessed watching the changes you have experienced while living in our “back yard”.Although I am very happy for you and your family to have your first home , watching your excitement , and disappointments along the way as well, it selfishly saddens me that we won’t be on the frontlines anymore.. I hope we will be able to stay connected and I think we will.. but it just won’t be the same..Enjoy this “season’ OF YOUR LIVES..as you already have stated firsts only happen once!

    Reply
  2. Gretchen

    Anna, I am happy for your new home! Wishing you all the wonderful blessings of a home of your own.
    I am in the last weeks of a three+ year renovation/restoration of a 1910 2700 sq. ft. farmhouse. The house was originally built w/no indoor bathroom… but it did come with a three-seater outhouse ?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Oh wow! Congratulations on being almost finished! The old place we lived in also was built without indoor plumbing and they added a bathroom on later on. The brick chimney in the kitchen was the original chimney but they built an addition to accommodate the bathroom, hence why it’s now indoors. It really was a funky house, but we’re super excited to own our own place now and have total control over what we do with it:)

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Okay, I’m just gonna come out and say it: I’m a total sucker for pumpkin spice.

Call me #basic, but it’s the truth.

In fact, I’m all about everything fall: the colours, the coziness, the sweater weather, and yes, pumpkins and pumpkin spice. There’s just something comforting and nostalgic about it; Like grandma’s kitchen or the warm scent of pumpkin pie that wafts from the table at holiday dinners with family and friends.

What I’m NOT all about are the chemical preservatives and lab-created “natural flavours” in most store-bought and coffee shop pumpkin spice syrups and lattes. Not to mention, I don’t exactly love paying $5.00 or more for a single drink at a cafe.

This homemade pumpkin spice syrup, made with REAL pumpkin and spices and NO added preservatives solves all of these problems... It’s 100% natural and costs just pennies per batch. (And trust me when I say it rivals even the famed Starbucks #PSL when added to a homemade latte).

You definitely want to try this at home this pumpkin spice season. Er, I mean this fall 😉

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead for the full recipe or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-pumpkin-spice-syrup/
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#pumpkinspice #pslseason #pumpkinseason #homemade #fallvibes #flavorsoffall #homesteadkitchen
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As much as I'm honestly kinda over the garden by this time of year and ready to tuck in indoors and rest for a while, I know that the effort I put into my garden in the fall will pay a huge return come next spring and summer when we're ready to plant and then harvest our next round of crops.

For one, fall is the best time to amend and enrich your soil, so adding compost or manure or some sort of organic matter is pretty crucial this time of year.

Also, you should always cover your soil, especially over the winter months when soil is more likely to erode and nutrients can get washed away. A cover crop or a thick layer of mulch is a good idea to help keep your soil protected and intact.

And of course, garlic should be planted in the fall before your first frost to ensure huge bulbs next summer. Us homesteaders always have to be thinking ahead a few seasons!

I'm taking you into our garden as we're tearing it down and planting out our garlic. I'll show you our fall gardening routine and I'll walk you through planting garlic so you can start growing it at home too! (It's honesty the easiest, most rewarding crop that we grow).

It's time for the grand finale in the garden this year as we tear it down and prep it for next spring. Will you join me for one last hurrah?

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://youtu.be/llNFlxxUV-I
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First batch of homemade candles for the season. It’s a cold, grey day and we’re about to light the woodstove for the first time this season too. Now I have some homemade spice-scented candles to go with the cozy vibe:)

I LOVE candles, but good ones are pretty expensive to buy. However, since I started making candles myself I haven’t bought a single one from the store and I’ve probably saved myself hundreds of dollars.

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#homemade #handmade #candles #diy
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Sometimes I question why I do what I do. Why do I take on so much? Why do I bother making everything from scratch and growing a garden and preserving food when I could just as well buy it from the store and save myself a ton of time and effort?⁣⁣⁣
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Why am I working hard to build a business out of my passion when I could just as easily go to work for a pay check and just enjoy homesteading as a hobby on the side?⁣⁣⁣
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Why do I choose to do everything the hard way and see against the grain? Why not just go with the flow and hope for the best?⁣⁣⁣
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I can’t say for sure that I would have chosen to follow all the same paths that I’ve gone down over the past few years had I not become a mother, but what I 𝘥𝘰 know for sure is that my beautiful daughter is worth every ounce of hard work; every dollar I’ve invested in our future goals and dreams; every late night work fest and canning session; every seed planted and loaf of bread baked.⁣

She’s worth it because I want to give her the best I can in life. I want her to eat good food and live a long and healthy life. I want to teach her how to be self-sufficient so that she has the skills she needs no matter what kind of world awaits her in the future. And I want to show her that anything is possible and any dream is worth pursuing, even if the work that it takes to achieve it is harder than following the herd and taking the road of least resistance.⁣⁣⁣
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This little human right here: this is my why. This girl and her goofy smile make everything worthwhile ❤️⁣⁣⁣
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What (or who?) is your why?
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This growing season has seriously been the strangest I’ve experienced so far. Summer came so late we thought it wasn’t gonna come at all. Our greens and peas and spring crops produced for weeks longer then they normally do as we waited FOREVER for our tomatoes and peppers and summer crops to grow and ripen.

Now that we’re into October, we’re having a warm spell and the garden is acting like it’s summer! The tomatoes are all just starting to turn red, the cucumbers and zucchini are still givin’er, the pumpkins and squash are having another growth spurt, and now the green beans are starting on round two after about a month of dormancy!

We’re supposed to be going fishing tomorrow, and I’m wondering if the salmon are a little late this year too...

If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us all it’s that nothing is ever certain. So even though I’m sort of ready to be done with the garden already, I’m reminded of how fortunate we are to have such abundance come from our property and our surrounding environment; To have so much when so many have so little; To live in such a beautiful, bountiful corner of the world surrounded by a kind-hearted community that values sustainability and self-sufficiency like we do.

I love making plans for the future, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without some pretty serious planning. But sometimes you’ve just gotta go with the flow and trust that even when things don’t work out exactly as you’d imagined, they work out exactly as they should.

I wasn’t expecting to still be busy with the summer garden in October, but I have to say, this year, no matter how ready to be done with it I might feel some days, I’m more grateful than ever for everything we’ve been blessed with.

What are you feeling grateful for this year? It’s Thanksgiving next weekend here in Canada, so we’ll be talking a lot about gratefulness this week in our house 🙏
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Can you imagine how bland and boring our food (and life) would be without spices??⁣

Seriously! We take them for granted nowadays because they’re so readily available in our pantries and on grocery store shelves. But for thousands of years throughout history, spices were coveted, revered and hard to get. For around 1,500 years, spices travelled overland on camelback and horseback on the Silk Road from China to the west. And then, just over 500 years ago, explorers set out into the unknown to find a maritime trading route, and one of those explorers just so happened to stumble on the Americas along the way, essentially shaping history and the modern world as we know it. ⁣

But besides history and geography, the science behind spices is just as fascinating. Their culinary and medicinal uses have had a huge impact on the world and on the dishes we enjoy on a regular basis today. Oh, and did you know that, scientifically speaking, it’s actually possible to GROW even the most “exotic” spices at home, right here in North America??⁣

I LOVE to geek out on this sort of stuff, so doing the research for the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine was actually so much fun. (If you hadn’t guessed, this issue is all about spices!!)⁣

I’d love to tell you so much more right here, but I’m a bit limited on space! However, you can read more about the fascinating story of spices, their culinary and medicinal uses, how to put them to use in your kitchen and yes, even how to grow them at home in the October issue.⁣

So if you’re already subscribed, be sure to check your inbox for the latest issue (it came out yesterday). And if you’re NOT yet subscribed, then head on over and click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to subscribe for FREE, and get the latest issue delivered straight to your inbox!⁣

Wishing you a rich, flavourful fall season full of spice, pumpkin and otherwise;)
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The weather this summer has been as unpredictable as 2020 itself. The cool, grey, wet start to the summer meant that our sun-loving crops got a slow start in the garden, and that’s led to an unprecedented number of green tomatoes at the end of the season.

You’ve probably heard me complaining about our green tomato “problem” all summer. We do, after all, have great fruit set and TONS of tomatoes on our plants. They’re just almost all green!!!

While I do love me some green tomatoes (green tomato relish is my FAVE and fermented green tomatoes and hot peppers are out of this world), I refuse to give up on luscious, red, homemade tomato sauce and salsa just yet. I refuse to accept that they’re all just green and that’s just the way it is! So I’m taking matters into my own hands and ripening them myself.

Luckily the process of ripening green tomatoes indoors is ridiculously easy, so if you’ve got more green tomatoes than you know what to do with too, or you’re just keen to get another batch of sauce on your pantry shelves, I’m sharing this simple trick with you today for ripening green tomatoes that has stood the test of time (for real... my great grandmother used to do this).

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/how-to-ripen-green-tomatoes-indoors/ to learn this simple hack!
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#greentomatoes #gardenhacks #tomatoharvest #homesteadhacks #puttinuptheharvest
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Okay, I MAY have totally messed up a batch of blackberry jam today, but check out this carrot! Thing’s almost as thick as my forearm and as long as my face! (Is that an accurate way to measure things?)🤷🏻‍♀️
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#homesteadersofinstagram #peoplewhogrowfood #humanswhogrowfood #homegrown #harvest
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September is such an odd time of year. It’s the time of year when we tend to find ourselves with a foot in two worlds: A transition season, if you will.⁣

In the garden, some plants are dead or dying. There’s brown, crispy stems, dried pea pods bursting with next year’s seeds and a natural layer of mulch in the form of fallen leaves. But at the same time there’s still so much life. So much greenery and colour. So much of summer still left.⁣

Indoors we’re busy putting up the harvest, stocking our shelves with jars of colourful food, baskets of cured onions and garlic, dried herbs hanging everywhere and crocks of fermenting foods on every countertop. But while we’re still dealing with the summer bounty, fall has begun, which means we’re back to schedules and routines and, for those of us with kids, school.⁣

But this year our return to our “normal” fall routines is anything but. For many families, there is no return to school. Not in the traditional sense anyway. Instead, more families than ever before have found themselves educating their children at home for the first time, whether by force or by choice. And trying to balance all of the usual September tasks with navigating full-time homeschooling can feel daunting, to say the least.⁣

I know we can all use as much help and expert advice as we can get at this time, so I’m honoured to have Ginny Aaron, a full-time homeschooling, homesteading mom of three sharing her wisdom on the blog this week. She’s generously shared her best tips for incorporating homeschooling with your existing routine and finding the teachable moments in the every day so that you don’t need to uproot your life or find another 7 hours in your day to recreate a classroom environment at home.⁣

I just love Ginny’s approach to homeschooling and if you’re anything like me, I think you will too. You can check out her full post by clicking the link in my bio or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homeschooling-on-the-homestead/

It’s also Ginny's first time guest posting so be sure to leave a comment while you’re there and let us know what school looks like for your family this year.⁣

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead
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I’ve been feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders lately. Between balancing work and the garden and all of the canning and preserving tasks this time of year, I’ve already got enough on my plate. Add a string of social commitments, back-to-school and extracurricular activities, and I’m definitely feeling the pressure, as I usually do this time of year.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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But lump on a pandemic, worsening political tensions, division and civil unrest, intensifying environmental disasters (we’re currently socked in with smoke from the California wildfires), and it all just becomes too much to bear some days.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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I know I’m far from the only one who’s feeling this way. And yet, we all have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going even when we’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed and burnt out. Even when the present is frightening and the future is uncertain.⁣

I’ve developed some strategies over the past few years that have helped me keep moving forward and get things done even when I’m feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, and I want to share them with others who need help coping with stress and overwhelm right now too.⁣⁣
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You can check out my list of 10 tips for managing stress and overwhelm on the homestead (and in life!) by clicking the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and then clicking the link to the full blog post at the top.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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You can also grab my free time management planner by clicking the link in my bio and then clicking on “Free Resource Library,” (find it under “Homesteading & Self-Sufficiency Resources” in the library).⁣⁣⁣
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No matter what you’re struggling with right now, I hope some of these tips help keep you navigate these extra stressful times and stay focused and moving forward with your to-do list, as well as with your big goals and dreams. But most of all, I hope it reminds you that if you are struggling and feeling overwhelmed right now, you’re not alone.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to read more.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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I don’t think I have a jar big enough for this pickling cucumber 🥒 ⁣

What do you do with the huge pickling cukes that inevitably get missed in the garden??⁣

Please leave suggestions below! I’ve got two of ‘em! 😂
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#humanswhogrowfood #homesteadersofinstagram #mypickleisbiggerthanyours
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Late summer is truly the time of abundance (and by far the busiest time of year for us).⁣⁣⁣
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We’ve got so much food that’s ripe for the picking in our own garden, plus baskets full of produce that we purchase locally when it’s in season and preserve for the winter.⁣⁣⁣
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Between harvesting and preserving (and trying my best to document it all for you along the way), there’s little time for much else in August.⁣⁣⁣
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We’re busy sweating in the garden and the kitchen, working around the clock to preserve all of the fruits (and vegetables) of summer so that come winter we hunker down and relax knowing we’ve got a pantry full of food to sustain us.⁣⁣⁣
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While there have been more times than I like to admit when I’ve asked myself why we do this when we could be at the beach or floating down the river like everyone else, come winter I am ALWAYS grateful for the time and energy we invested in the spring, summer and fall to grow and preserve all of the food that lines our pantry shelves.⁣⁣⁣
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With everything that 2020 has brought so far (and more uncertainty to come), this year I’m feeling grateful even in the thick of it; Even while I’m sweating and pulling late night canning sessions and constantly scraping dirt out from under my nails. This year it’s more apparent than ever how much growing and preserving our own food is worth the time and effort that it takes.⁣⁣⁣
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If you feel the same way and you’re looking to get even better at gardening, preserving and homesteading in general, or maybe you’re finally ready to start living a more sustainable lifestyle where YOU have control over your food supply, I highly encourage you to check out the Gardening & Sustainable Living Bundle (link in bio @thehouseandhomestead). It’s packed with almost $600 worth of resources designed to help you take control of your food security and live a more self-sufficient life, and it’s on sale today only for just $19.99!⁣

If you ask me, we would all be wise to invest in our own food security as we head into fall and winter 2020, so click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to grab your bundle now. The sale ends tonight at midnight so don’t wait!!
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