8 Ways to Preserve Food At Home


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

There are many ways to preserve food at home. Learn which foods can be canned, dehydrated, fermented, infused, dry cured and more with this in-depth guide to home food preservation. #foodpreservation #waystopreservefood #preserving There are many ways to preserve food at home. Learn which foods can be canned, dehydrated, fermented, infused, dry cured and more with this in-depth guide.

* * *

Whether you consider yourself a homesteader, a farmer or vegetable gardener, or simply a foodie who strives to eat as locally and seasonally as possible, learning how to preserve the harvest in the summer and fall months saves you money, helps make sure that nothing goes to waste, offers some level of food security in case of emergency, and provides you with healthy, organic homegrown (or locally grown) homemade food all year long.

The good thing is, preserving food isn’t as difficult as it might seem to a novice (and I can vouch for that considering I was a novice myself just a few years ago). Once you can your own homemade strawberry jam, ferment your first batch of sauerkraut or make your first batch of homemade fruit leather in your dehydrator, you quickly realize that home food preservation is both safe and easy, not to mention fun and addicting!

To be honest, one of the hardest parts of preserving food is knowing which preservation technique to use with which foods, because trust me when I say that zucchini does not lend itself to canning and cucumbers don’t freeze well.

Luckily there are many different ways to preserve food, both modern and ancient. So whether you’re just getting acquainted with your freezer or you’re building a smokehouse for this year’s salmon run, you’re guaranteed to find a food preservation technique to fit your skill level and comfort zone, and that also works well for the type of food you want to preserve. 

Here are nine ways to preserve the harvest no matter what you’re puttin’ up! So break out your Mason jars and freezer bags and get started stocking your pantry shelves!

 

Eight ways to preserve food at home

 

Freezing 

Freezing is the most common form of long-term food preservation in our modern era. Even city folk with no inclination toward homesteading or stocking their pantries can use a freezer in the most basic way. For this reason, freezing is a great way to get your feet wet with home food preservation if you’re looking to preserve some berries from your local U-pick farm or some vegetables out of your garden. 

Freezing is incredibly easy and versatile, so it works for a wide range of foods from meats and dairy to fruits and vegetables. The downside is that it relies on electricity to stay cold and keep your food from spoiling, which means you’re out of luck if you’re off-grid or if the power goes out for some reason.

Nevertheless, freezing is an important food preservation method to utilize in today’s world and even modern homesteaders rely heavily not their home freezers to put up a large part of their garden harvest, or at least freeze it until they can get around to canning it or preserving it another way later in the season.

Below are some foods that freeze particularly well. Just make sure to wash them all well first and remove any stems and debris from fresh fruit!.

Foods that freeze well:

  • Berries & Cherries (flash freeze them on a tray first and then dump into freezer bags. This helps ensure they don’t stick together in the bag. Blueberries are the exception. They can go right into the bag!)
  • Peaches & Mangoes (flash freeze first and then pack in freezer bags)
  • Bananas (slice and flash freeze to use in smoothies or baking or pop them in the freezer whole to thaw and use in banana bread later on)
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, snap peas and shelled peas (blanch for two minutes first)
  • Carrots (blanch first)
  • Avocados (here’s how to freeze avocados if you’re lucky enough to have ‘em!)
  • Pumpkin and winter squash (peeled and diced or cooked/puréed)
  • Tomatoes (to be canned or turned into sauce later on)
  • Shredded zucchini (for zucchini cake or brownies)
  • Herbs (frozen as-is or chopped up and frozen in oil, as pesto or in a compound butter)
  • Shredded or diced cooked potatoes (must be blanched first or they will turn black!)
  • Meat, poultry and seafood
  • Dairy (milk, cream, cheese and butter)
  • Eggs (I’ve never frozen eggs, but check out this article to learn how)

Foods that DO NOT freeze well:

  • Whole or sliced cucumbers
  • Whole or sliced zucchinis
  • Uncooked potatoes
  • Most raw vegetables

 

Cold Cellaring/Root Cellaring

Next to freezing, cold cellaring is probably the easiest form of food preservation. In fact, it’s even easier than freezing because it requires almost no prep work. It does, however, require access to a root cellar or at least a cold room in your house or garage that will keep foods cool and moist.

Check out this article from Mother Earth News to learn more about cold/root cellaring.

The best part about cold cellaring is that you hardly have to do any prep work in advance. Pumpkins, apples, potatoes and cabbages can be preserved whole and raw in a cold cellar. Carrots and beets do best when stored in boxes of moist sand. Ferments like sauerkraut and kimchi store exceptionally well in a cold cellar too, as do garlic and onions.

Foods that store well in a cold cellar:

  • Pumpkins and winter squash
  • Cabbage (whole heads or fermented)
  • Potatoes & turnips (just brush the dirt off but don’t wash)
  • Apples and pears (wrap in paper first to keep them separated and slow the release of ethylene gas which can cause food to spoil. Because one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch!)
  • Carrots & beets (remove green tops and store in layers in boxes, buried in wet sand)
  • Garlic and onions (cure both first, then braid and hang to dry or clip off hard neck garlic stems and store in an open basket that allows air to circulate)

Foods that DO NOT store well longterm in a cold cellar:

  • Tomatoes & peppers
  • Berries and soft, fleshy fruit (ie. peaches, plums, bananas, etc.)
  • Zucchini & cucumbers 
  • Raw meat (should be salted and cured first)
  • Raw dairy (some homemade cheese can be aged in a root cellar)

 

Water bath canning

When we think of homesteading and food preservation, canning is usually the first thing that comes to mind, and for good reason. 

Canning was invented in France by a man named Nicolas Appert in the early 1800s as a means to feed the armies during the Napoleonic Wars. Later, in 1858, right in the thick of the pioneer days in America, the Mason jar was invented by John Mason and with that, home canning as we still know it today was born.

There are two types of home canning: water bath canning and pressure canning. Water bath canning is the least intimidating and most accessible form because it doesn’t require much in the way of special equipment. Really all you need is a large stockpot and a canning rack to put in the bottom, or a water bath canner with a built-in canning rack. And of course your Mason jars and canning tools.

Water bath canning is safe for jams, jellies, salsa, pickles, most sauces, canned fruit, pie filling and generally safe for all acidic fruits and vegetable with a PH level of 4.6 or less. 

For a full rundown, check out my Beginner’s Guide to Water Bath Canning.

Foods that can be water bath canned:

  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, mulberries, etc.)
  • Stone fruits (peaches, cherries, plums, mangoes, etc.)
  • Apples and pears
  • Pineapple
  • Grapes
  • * Tomatoes (the PH balance of tomatoes has changed over the years through hybridization so  not all tomatoes have a PH lower than 4.6 now. Tomatoes that are water bath canned require the addition of lemon juice in order to guarantee acidity and make it a safe product to water bath can. For more information on acidifying tomatoes, click here.)
  • Pickled vegetables (cucumbers, carrots, asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, etc. But they MUST be pickled in order to make them safe for water bath canning).

Foods that CAN NOT safely be water bath canned:

  • Meat, poultry and fish (must be pressure canned)
  • Low acid vegetables (most vegetables need to be pressure canned less they are pickled)
  • Eggs and dairy (shouldn’t be canned at all)

 

Pressure Canning

Pressure canning is the source of most home food preservation nightmares. May people fear they’ll either blow up their kitchen with a pressure canner or they’ll poison their families with botulism. They’re legitimate fears too. These things have happened in the past, and although pressure canners are made with all sorts of safety features that make them pretty much impossible to explode, carelessness and unsafe canning practices can still run you the risk of botulism, so a little healthy fear isn’t a bad thing.

However, as long as you follow safe canning practices, including following a tested recipe and using a pressure canner for low acid foods like the ones on the list below, pressure canning is extremely safe and easy.

Honestly, the danger lies more in your water bath canner if you’re canning a low acid food, and most modern cases of botulism were due to low acid foods that should have been pressure canned, but that were water bath canned instead. 

So embrace pressure canning! Just don’t embrace your pressure canner while it’s operating. That would NOT be a safe canning practice;)

Oh, and check out my No-Fear Guide to Safe Pressure Canning to learn more and ease any worries you might have:)

Foods that can (and MUST) be pressure canned:

  • Meat and poultry
  • Root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, etc. Must not be mashed!)
  • Winter squashes (pumpkins, butternuts squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, etc. Must be cubed and not puréed. For more info, check out this post on pressure canning pumpkin at home)
  • * Tomatoes (if lemon juice is not added to acidify them, or in the case of some sauces and combination recipes)
  • Beans (green beans and shelling beans)
  • Peas (shelled varieties only, not snap peas or snow peas)
  • Combination recipes (soups, sauces and stews that contain a variety of vegetables and/or meat products)

Foods that CAN NOT safely be pressure canned:

  • Puréed pumpkin or winter squash (the thickness of the purée makes it impossible to kill all harmful bacteria even in a pressure canner)
  • Leafy greens (they will just turn to mush)
  • Brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussles sprouts, romanesco, etc. Again, this is more of a quality issue than a safety one, but they will also just turn mushy)
  • Pasta and rice (again, this will turn mushy with the high heat and pressure so for combination recipes like chicken noodles soup, just add the pasta at the time of cooking).
  • Flour, breads, oats, barley, etc.
  • Eggs and dairy

 

Dehydrating

Dehydrating is another fun and easy way to preserve food, and it’s one of the least intimidating because there’s really no way to go wrong with it. In the rare case that the food isn’t dry enough, the worst that will happen is it will grow obvious, visible mold and you’ll have to throw it out. You don’t have to worry about botulism or food poisoning with dehydrated foods.

You can use your home oven at the lowest temperature, or you can dry food in the sun (raisins and sundries tomatoes are good candidates). But my favourite way by far is to use an at-home food dehydrator. It makes dehydrating so incredibly easy.

All you do is lay your food out, set the temperature and the time and let the dehydrator do the rest. You can leave it on as you sleep or go about your day without having to keep an eye on it. Plus it allows me to make healthy snacks at home like fruit roll-ups (aka. fruit leather), kale chips, vegetables chips, dried apple slices and dried cherries, strawberries, etc. to mix into granola and trail mix. 

My dehydrator is by far one of my favourite food preservation tools. I use an Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator (affiliate link), which is what I recommend if dehydrating is something you want to get into.

There are some cheaper, smaller ones on the market, but with the amount that we preserve I find I regularly use all nine trays at once. Plus Excalibur dehydrators are the best quality dehydrators on the market and come with a built-in five-year warranty. So ya, I’m a fan:)

Foods that can be dehydrated:

  • Berries (small berries can be left whole as long as they are pitted and stemmed and pricked to allow shrinkage (like in the car of blueberries). Larger berries like strawberries should be sliced.)
  • Sliced fruit and fruit leather (dehydrated apples, pears, peaches, mangoes, bananas, etc.)
  • Tomatoes and peppers
  • Meat and fish (red meats and fish like salmon are the best candidates for jerky)
  • Kale and some leafy greens (make kale chips or dehydrate kale and other greens like spinach to make a powder that can be added to soups, stews, sauces, meatballs, sausages, etc.)
  • Cucumbers and zucchinis (make great veggie chips)
  • Root vegetables (carrots, beets and potatoes should be sliced and blanched first and then dehydrated)
  • Citrus fruits (sliced into rounds)

Foods that should NOT be dehydrated:

  • Eggs (technically you can dehydrate eggs if they’re scrambled, but from my research they don’t rehydrate well and the texture can be rubbery and off-putting. However they can be freeze dried, but that’s some next level food preservation that we’re just not going to get to in this post!)
  • Dairy, including milk and butter (the fat content is too high)
  • Avocados (high fat content means dried avocados will go rancid)
  • Fatty cuts of meat (again, fat doesn’t dehydrate well!)

 

Fermenting

Fermenting is another ancient form of food preservation that can seem a little intimidating to many people at first. There’s still a lot of confusion surrounding fermentation and lots of people worry about the bacteria growth on fermented foods, and wonder what the difference is between fermentation and food simply going bad. 

But fermentation is definitely not the same as spoiled food. In fact, it’s the exact opposite since the lactic acid produced during fermentation acts as a preservative and is used to produce and preserve all sorts of foods and beverages, from beer and wine to yogurt and pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi to kefir and kombucha… all of these foods are made possible thanks to the process of fermentation, which has been used to brew beverages and preserve foods for at least 10,000 years (source). Plus, fermented foods are full of healthy probiotics that are great for supporting healthy gut bacteria and overall health and immunity.

Fermentation requires no special equipment other than glass jars, some cheese cloth and some sort of weight to keep certain foods below the surface of the liquid. The weight could be as fancy as these glass weights made specifically for fermentation, or as simple as using a small jelly jar or even a clean rock!

You can also purchase airlock fermentation lids (which I’m eager to try out soon!). But personally I’ve never had a problem just using some cheesecloth and a canning band. Some quart-sized Mason jars and a couple gallon jugs will go a long way. And always keep cheesecloth on hand. It comes in handy in so many ways in the homestead kitchen!

Foods that can be fermented:

  • Cabbage (sauerkraut and kimchi)
  • Cucumbers (lacto-fermented pickles)
  • Most vegetables (can be fermented in a mixture of salt and water)
  • Dairy (yogurt, sour cream and kefir)
  • Apples (can be fermented and turned into apple cider vinegar or hard cider)
  • Grapes (can be fermented and turned into wine)
  • Most fruit (can be fermented and turned into wine, mead or alcohol of some sort)
  • Soybeans (miso, soy sauce, tempeh, etc.)
  • Eggs (lacto-fermented eggs)
  • * Fruit can also be added to kombucha on the second ferment and will ferment and flavour the kombucha, as well as help it to carbonate)

Foods that should not be fermented:

Most foods can be fermented in one way, shape or form, but not all foods are as easy or tasty to ferment for homesteaders and beginner fermenters. Here is what I would recommend against fermenting (unless you’re really adventurous):

  • Meat & seafood (unless you’re curing meat, which I’ll cover briefly under the “salting” preservation method outlined below).
  • Potatoes (unless you’re making vodka!)
  • Lettuce and other delicate, leafy greens like spinach (kale can be fermented and holds up in vegetable mixes)

 

Infusing

Infusing is a lesser-known food preservation method, because when it comes to infusing, you’re not really preserving the food itself, but rather the nutrients and flavour of the food or herbs that you are infusing into a given solvent.

An infusion is made by immersing herbs in a liquid solvent and infusing the properties of that herb into that solution. The solid matter is discarded and the liquid infusion, otherwise known as an extract) is reserved and used, usually either as food or medicine (or in some cases, in beauty and personal care products). Solvents include water, oil, vinegar, alcohol, glycerine and honey. 

Fresh or dried herbs can be used for infusions, however only dried herbs must be used in honey and oil infusions meant for consumption due to the risk of botulism. Also, I don’t recommend making any herbal oils for consumption, and if you do, be sure to follow the safety guidelines outlined here. Rather, use herbal oils topically by creating medicinal salves or using as a carrier oil with essential oils.

Foods that can be infused in a preservative solvent:

  • Herbs & medicinal flowers (use fresh or dried in alcohol, vinegar and glycerine infusions, and dried in honey and oil infusions. Plus, follow safety guidelines for herbal oils intended for consumption).
  • Fruit (in vinegar and alcohol)
  • Garlic and onions (in vinegar infusions like fire cider)
  • Hot peppers (in vinegar or alcohol)
  • Roots like ginger, turmeric and horseradish (alcohol or vinegar)
  • Citrus fruit rinds (in vinegar or alcohol

Foods that should NOT be used in infusions:

  • Most vegetables (except the ones listed above)
  • Meat, poultry and seafood (never!)
  • Egg and dairy products (also never!)

 

Dry Curing & Smoking

Both salt and sugar inhibit microbial growth and have been used as preservatives for thousands of years. Salt is an important ingredient in any pickling brine, but in this case we’re talking specifically about dry curing (without any additional liquid brine). 

Salting is used predominantly to cure meats, including ham, salami, jerky and bacon, but you can also preserve herbs in salt, as well as citrus fruits. Sugar is sometimes used in tandem with salt and spices when dry curing meat.

Smoking is an extra step in the curing process for most meats and seafood like salmon, although it is still recommended that you can or freeze smoked salmon and some smoked meats (unless they are dried completely and turned into jerky and then vacuum-packed). Some salt-cured meats can be stored in a root cellar as well.

I have never personally tried salt curing or smoking for preservation purposes, so please make sure to do your research before trying it out with meats if you don’t plan on pressure canning them after or using refrigeration/freezing to preserve it. For more info on curing and smoking meat, check out the latest information from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Foods that can be salted and/or smoked and cured:

  • Meat and poultry (ham, salami, pepperoni, deli meats, jerky, etc. should be stored in the fridge, although it’s possible to store some cured meats in a cold cellar)
  • Fish and seafood (salmon, trout, oysters, etc. should all be smoked and canned or frozen after)
  • Herbs (dried first and preserved in salt)
  • Citrus fruits (preserved lemons in salt is a popular Moroccan preserve)
  • Egg yolks (check out the following post from Ashley over at Practical Self Reliance to learn how to preserve egg yolks in salt!)

Foods that shouldn’t be dry cured in salt:

  • Most vegetables (must be preserved in a liquid salt brine)
  • Most fruits (will be too salty)
  • Whole eggs
  • Dairy

Whatever it is you’re harvesting, if you have a substantial amount, you’ll surely want to preserve some for later, so having at least a few of these food preservation skills in your apron will serve you well. Plus, nowadays there are more (safe and tested) ways to preserve food than ever before, including some methods we didn’t even cover here, such as freeze drying and, of course, good ol’ refrigeration for short or medium-term food preservation.

So, tell me… What are you preserving right now and what method(s) are you using? What food preservation method do you want to learn more about?

Let me know down below:)

I'm a modern homesteader on a mission to help you create, grow and live a good life... from scratch!

 

 

 


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

2 Comments

  1. Janna

    We need to get away from all the processed, pre-packaged, chemical filled foods that are in the grocery stores and re-learn the old skills so that we can eat naturally, the way YHWH God intended. Preserving food is a wise thing to do. It ensures we have what we need when a crisis strikes and it is also a great convenience, having everything you need when you want to make something at the spur of the moment. These foods are much healthier and when we do get sick, having various tinctures and extracts are a natural way to help us recover without relying on the chemicals that Big Pharma promotes. We need to slow down and look at the more gentle, healthy ways of living and eating.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Absolutely. I think there’s definitely a place for modern medicine, and I believe in integrative health (blending modern medicine with traditional for optimal results). But I think we should always first look to natural cures and preventative healthcare (ie. eating healthy, taking care of our bodies, eliminating processed foods etc.) and use modern medicine as a last resort.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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. 
You Might Also Like
Homemade Yogurt (Plain & Greek Style)

Homemade Yogurt (Plain & Greek Style)

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   I’ve known that homemade yogurt was “a thing” for a long time. I always considered making it myself, but it was never really at the top of my list of skills to...

read more

How to Grow More Food In Less Space

How to Grow More Food In Less Space

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   One of the biggest problems that every homesteader runs  into sooner or later is the issue of wanting to grow more food than their garden space allows for....

read more

🥔 Potatoes, po-tah-toes...

However you say it, potatoes are one of the best crops to grow in your garden if you’re going for maximum food production.

Back during wartime when people were encouraged to grow their own food at home and the concept of Victory Gardens was born, potatoes were a staple crop in most vegetable gardens, and for good reason...

Potatoes have been a staple “survival crop” for millennia. They’re calorie-dense, carbohydrate-rich and high in essential nutrients like fibre, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. They’re also easy to grow and can be grown in the ground, in raised beds, containers, grow bags… even garbage cans.

Potatoes will give you more calories per square foot than just about any other crop. They also store well in cold storage and are extremely versatile and can be turned into everything from hash browns and French fries to mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, gnocchi, potato pies, pancakes and perogies!

They’re truly a must-have in any victory garden. But they’re just ONE of the best crops to grow in a Victory Garden (aka. a garden with the main goal being food production).

I’ll teach you about all the others and much more in my video presentation on the 10 Best Crops for Your Victory Garden, airing today as part of the FREE Backyard Vegetable Gardener’s Summit!

My video goes live today at 2:30pm PST. It will be available to watch for free for 24 hours after it airs (or you can grab the all-access pass to watch any time).

I’ll also be live in the chat box to answer any questions you might have when the video goes live this afternoon!

If you haven’t got your FREE TICKET yet, head over and click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/backyardvegsummit to register and watch for free!
.
.
.
#gardenersofinstagram #organicgardening #homegrown #victorygarden #vegetablegarden #vegetablegardening
...

I'm trying to take a more proactive approach to food preservation this year. In the spring, when everything is small and new, it's easy to think you've got loads of time to worry about preserving. But summer comes quickly, and before you know it you've got baskets full of food all over your kitchen that needs to be preserved all at once.

This year I'm trying to preserve food as it comes on, which means I've already started preserving herbs from our spring garden!

Spring is actually an ideal time to preserve herbs and leafy greens because they're fresh and new and in their prime. While I love drying herbs for use later on, there are some herbs that just don’t dry well (chives are one such herb, and they’re abundant right now). Plus I like to preserve herbs in a variety of different ways to enjoy all year long.

One of my favourite ways to preserve fresh herbs is by making herb butter (aka. compound butter).

I chop up fresh herbs like chives, parsley, mint, rosemary and even garlic and then mix them together with softened butter. Then I usually reserve some to use right away and I freeze the rest to use later. And ya know what? We’re still eating herb butter from our freezer that I made last year!

If you’ve got herbs growing in your garden now and/or you want to make sure you’re on top of your preserving game right from the get go, this is definitely a “recipe” you want to have in your arsenal.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-herb-butter/ to get my recipes and full instructions!
.
.
.
#herbs #homemade #fromscratch #homesteadkitchen #homemadeisbetter
...

Did you know that dandelions were actually INTENTIONALLY brought to North America by European immigrants centuries ago due to their many benefits?

Despite what many people think, dandelions are actually really good for lawns and gardens. Their long taproots help aerate the soil and their colourful flowers are some of the first blooms to attract pollinators to our gardens in the spring.

Second, dandelions are a nutritious and completely edible plant. In fact, every part of the dandelion plant is edible from the roots to the leaves to the flowers. You can make dandelion root tea, dandelion leaf salad and even fried dandelion flowers!

But perhaps most impressive is the fact that dandelions offer a huge range of health benefits from strengthening bones and fighting diabetes to detoxifying your liver and nourishing your skin in all sorts of ways.

Dandelions are also anti-inflammatory as well as high in antioxidants, and when applied topically they can help nourish and clear skin, fight skin infections and help relieve muscle and joint pain, including pain caused by arthritis.

One of my favourite ways to use dandelions is by making an infused oil and then turning that oil into a healing salve. It's super easy to make and it's a great way to put those dandelions in your yard to good use this year!

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/diy-dandelion-salve/ to learn how to make your own dandelion healing salve. Then grab a basket and start gathering up dandelion flowers as soon as they make their appearance this spring! Just make sure to leave some for the bees:) 🐝
.
.
.
#diy #savethebees #dandelion #dandelions #natural #naturalhealing #springflowers #homeapothecary #herbalism
...

If you’ve been following my stories this week, you probably saw the bumblebee I tried to save. We found her in the middle of our driveway and moved her so she wouldn’t get squished.

She clung onto my hand and wouldn’t let go at first. It was almost as though she was just thankful to have someone caring for her in what would be her final days and hours.

We knew she probably wouldn’t survive. She wasn’t even attempting to fly. She seemed weak, and I couldn’t just toss her to the ground to die. So we got her a little plate of water and gave her a few flower blossoms and set her down.

At first she didn’t move at all. Then, the next day she seemed a little more lively and was crawling around on the flowers. Much like when humans are about to pass, they often get a short, “second wind.” But then yesterday I came out to find she was gone, and although she was just a bee, I felt connected to her in those moments we shared.

The fact is, we ARE all connected to each other, and we ALL depend on each other for survival. Bees and humans in particular have an important relationship. Did you know that honey bees alone are responsible for pollinating over 80% of the world’s fruits and vegetables?

And yet, there are many things that us humans do to our food (like spray it with pesticides and herbicides), that’s killing off bee populations in massive numbers. Because of our dependence on bees in order to feed our global population, their demise could spell our demise.

Whether or not you’ve ever felt personally connected to a bee like I did this week, I guarantee you’re connected to them through the food that you eat. And that’s why it’s so vitally important that we take steps to help bees out whenever we can.

I happen to have a few easy ideas that anybody can implement at home right now to help save these little pollinators from extinction, and in turn, help save our food supply too!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/3-easy-ways-to-help-save-the-bees/ to learn 3 EASY ways to help save the bees, and the many reasons why it matters!
...

Hot Cross Buns have always been one of my favourite parts of Easter. Growing up, I remember going with my mom to the bakery to pick up a dozen of these sweet buns, and we’d proceed to devour half the box before we even got home.

Honestly, I STILL love Hot Cross Buns from there bakery.But fresh out-of-the-oven HOMEMADE Hot Cross Buns are next level delicious, and they’ve fast become one of our family’s most anticipated spring treats!

If you love Hot Cross Buns as as much as we do, I highly recommend trying your hand at making your own this year!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-hot-cross-buns-recipe/ to grab the full recipe and instructions!
.
.
.
#hotcrossbuns #easter #baking #homemade
...

🥄 I’ve known for a long time that homemade yogurt was something that many homesteaders pride themselves on making.

I always considered making it myself, and I have to admit I’ve always been a bit jealous when I’ve seen other people making gorgeous batches of thick, creamy homemade yogurt, often made with milk from their own dairy cow. But since I don’t have my own dairy cow (or even dairy goats), homemade yogurt (and home dairy in general) has just never really been at the top of my list of skills to learn.

Plus, without my own dairy cow, I figured I would need to find a source of raw milk to make yogurt (which is illegal where I live) and I knew that even if I could get it, it probably wouldn’t be cheaper than buying it from the grocery store, so why bother?

But when I started putting the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine together (all about Home Dairy) I knew I needed to at least give homemade yogurt a try.

I quickly learned that you don’t need your own dairy animal or even a raw milk source in order to make your own homemade yogurt. I also learned that it’s possible to make it with the best quality, whole, local, non-homogenized milk, and still have it come out cheaper than it would cost for me to buy a comparable quality and quantity of yogurt at the grocery store.

Plus, it’s stupidly easy to make...

All you need is some whole milk, some yogurt starter culture (aka. plain yogurt from the store with live active cultures), and a way to heat up your milk (ie. a pot and a stove), and keep your incubating yogurt warm for a few hours after (a slow cooker, Instant Pot, dehydrator, warm oven, etc.)

While the original recipe appeared in this month’s issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, you can also grab the full recipe and instructions by clicking the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or by going to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-yogurt/

Also, if you haven’t yet subscribed for FREE to Modern Homesteading Magazine, go to thehouseandhomestead.com/magazine to get the Home Dairy issue delivered straight to your inbox:)
...

🥕 Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where we could trust that all of the food we buy from the grocery store is actually safe for us to eat??

But hundreds and THOUSANDS of dangerous chemicals are still managing to find their way into the foods that many of us eat.

Here are a few stats that should have us all deeply concerned:

- A recent study by the Environmental Working Group found that about 70% of fresh produce sold in the US contained pesticide residues, even after washing.

- The USDA recently found a staggering 225 pesticide residues on 47 different conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables.

- The EWG reported finding at least 2,000 synthetic chemicals in packaged foods.

- Most produce travels around 1,500 miles before it hits your plate, and begins losing nutrients the minute after being picked.

- GMOs are present in roughly 60 to 70 percent of foods on supermarket shelves.

- About half of all synthetic chemicals used on conventionally-grown foods have been shown to be carcinogenic, AND roughly the same amount of "natural" chemicals used on organic foods have been found to be carcinogenic as well.

I could go on, but I think you get my point.

If you want to take control of both your food supply AND ensure that your food is free from GMOs and harmful chemicals, learning how to grow your own food at home really is the best way to go.

That's why I'm so excited to announce that my Seed to Soil Organic Gardening Course is now open for spring 2021 enrollment!

Over the course of 12, step-by-step lessons, I’ll teach you everything you need to know to take a handful of seeds and turn them into baskets full of food. Plus you’ll get access to some pretty sweet bonuses too!

So if you're ready to ditch bland, nutrient-deficient, chemical-laden grocery store food in exchange for nutritious, delicious, picked-at-the-peak-of-ripeness homegrown food, now's your chance to get started right away!

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://www.schoolofmodernhomesteading.com/p/seed2soil to enroll or learn more!
...

It's almost hard to believe that we've been living with the pandemic for an entire year now. But what a year it's been.

Last March, when COVID-19 was first declared a global pandemic, people everywhere panicked and cleared out grocery store shelves quicker than you can say "toilet paper."

Now that we've had a year to adapt, grocery store shelves have been re-stocked and food shortages are no longer a top concern for many people. But there are lingering effects from the pandemic, which is not even over yet.

According to the USDA, food prices in the US are expected to rise a further 1% to 2% in 2021. And in Canada they're expected to rise between 3% and 5%. That means it will cost an average of $695 MORE this year to feed a family of four.

Preparedness and self-sufficiency are becoming increasingly important in a world where natural disasters, civil unrest, surging food costs and the risk of new and worsening pandemics and health threats become more common.

This is where homesteading comes in; Not only is learning how to grow your own food at home a great form of insurance against, well, pretty much everything, it’s also empowering to know that in a world where so much is out of your control, one thing you do have control of is your family's food supply.

But if you're new to gardening or have struggled to get a good harvest before, learning how to grow your own food at home can feel overwhelming, and it can be disheartening to think about sinking a bunch of time and effort into your garden only to get a few scraggly, bug-eaten vegetables in the end.

But gardening and growing food at home really isn't all that complicated when you have a trusted roadmap to follow. This is exactly why I created the Seed to Soil Organic Gardening Course; I wanted to create a step-by-step process that anyone could easily follow and get results in their garden.

Enrollment is now open for the 2021 gardening season, so if you’re ready to learn how to take a handful of seeds and turn it into baskets full of homegrown food, I would love to show you how!

Click the link in my bio or go to https://schoolofmodernhomesteading.com/p/seed2soil to learn more.
...

Every year we seem to start more and more plants from seed, but we can only expand our gardening space so much to accommodate them all.

One day we have grand dreams of having more acreage, but for the foreseeable future, this 1/4 acre property of ours is where we make our stand.

Our actual growing space only totals about 450 square feet, but we still manage to grow hundreds of pounds of food every year, and we even produce enough of certain crops to get us all the way through to the next harvest without ever having to purchase them from a grocery store.

But growing more food in less space does take a little bit of creativity and smart garden planning, so before you go planting out your garden all willy nilly, I've got a few tips to help you maximize food production on your property and, ultimately, get a bigger harvest in the end.

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to learn how to grow MORE food in LESS space and make the most of the garden you have this year!
.
.
.
#growmorefood #growmorewithless #homegrownfood #growfoodnotlawns #growyourown #gardenersofinstagram #humanswhogrowfood #homesteading
...

I freaking LOVE this time of year!

The garlic has popped up, the crocuses and snowdrops are in bloom, the sun has returned and it’s warm enough to hang out in the garden with just a t-shirt during the day ☀️

We’re still getting some hard frosts at night, but spring is finally well and truly on its way and we’re working on prepping our garden for the 2021 season and starting ALL the seeds (even though we really should probably try practicing more restraint).

This time of year brings so much promise and excitement! No matter what happened last year or even last season, spring is a new chance to get it all right.

Everything begins again; The garden, especially, is like a blank slate that we can choose to fill in any way we like.

This is the time when we decide what we want to be enjoying and harvesting out of our gardens MONTHS from now, and even what we want to be pulling from our pantry shelves next winter.

That’s what makes this time of year so special, and so crucial to homesteaders and home gardeners everywhere.

When it comes to the garden, the choices we make and the things we do right now will have a huge impact on how the rest of the season will go. That’s why I’m hosting a free LIVE WEBINAR this weekend, all about the 3 things to do NOW to ensure a healthy, bountiful harvest this year.

Join me at 10 am PST this Saturday and I’ll teach you exactly what to do right now to start things off on the right foot and set yourself up for success in the garden this year so that, ultimately, you end up with more HOMEGROWN FOOD on your dinner table and lining your pantry shelves!

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to sign up for the webinar and save your seat! And don’t worry too much if you can’t make it live as I’ll be sending out a replay afterward:)

Spring has sprung folks. Let’s do this! 💪
.
.
.
#growyourownfood #growfoodnotlawns #humanswhogrowfood #gardenersofinstagram #growingfood #organicgardening #springgarden
...

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal

Crafted with ♥ by Inscape Designs