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How to Ripen Green Tomatoes Indoors

We’ve had a summer growing season as strange and unpredictable as 2020 itself. Despite a warm, sunny spring, the summer got off to an unseasonably cool, wet start in June and July. This meant that some of our heat-loving crops like tomatoes and peppers got off to a...

10 Tips for Managing Stress and Overwhelm on the Homestead

If I had to choose a single word to sum up 2020, it would have to be “stressful.” Or “overwhelming.” Or… Okay, I’d choose two words. Between the coronavirus pandemic, sky-high political tensions, adapting to the “new normal,” going double speed on all of our homestead...

Homeschooling on the Homestead: Tips to Help You Get Started

Homeschooling has, traditionally, gone hand-in-hand with homesteading. Families whose lives centered around their homes have often chosen to homeschool their children on the homestead too, blending curriculum seamlessly with domestic life. Nowadays, many homesteading...
Homemade Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Homemade Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Hot cross buns. Hot cross buns. One a penny, two a penny, unless you can’t buy them from the store and have to make your own instead. Okay, that’s not really how the song goes. But those may as well be the lyrics right now because with the entire world shut down due...

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Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

Did you know it's possible to make homemade pasta without a pasta maker? Because it is, and it's actually a lot easier than you might think! I’ve wanted to learn how to make homemade pasta from scratch for quite some time now. The thing is, when...

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Top 10 Best Crops for Your Victory Garden

Top 10 Best Crops for Your Victory Garden

Victory gardens gained popularity in both WW1 and WW2 when American and Canadian citizens were encouraged to grow as much of their own food as possible so that commercially grown food could be sent to troops and allies fighting overseas. Today, victory gardens are...

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Turmeric Scrambled Eggs And Garlic

Turmeric Scrambled Eggs And Garlic

I’ve always loved eggs, but ever since I started doing Keto a couple months ago, my egg consumption has gone through the roof. These days, it’s not unusual to find 4 dozen eggs in our fridge at any given time, and we don’t even have laying hens...

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Low-Sugar Mango Jam Recipe

Low-Sugar Mango Jam Recipe

Every year around this time, I start craving all things tropical: Tropical fruits, piña coladas, Hawaiian-style barbecues, reggae music, an all-inclusive beach vacation in an exotic locale… By late February/early March, I’ve pretty much had...

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How to Grow An Heirloom Vegetable Garden

How to Grow An Heirloom Vegetable Garden

If you’ve never eaten an heirloom tomato fresh off the vine, then you, my friend, haven’t truly lived. Honestly, when it comes to most vegetables in the garden, you just can’t beat the flavour of heirloom varieties.  Buttery French heirloom pumpkins. Fresh, juicy...

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ABOUT

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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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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You know it’s blackberry season when it looks like you just murdered someone with your bare hands 😂 ⁣

To be fair, I think the red drips down my legs are a 50/50 mix of blackberry juice and blood from the blackberry thorns. #worthit⁣

We have an invasive species of Himilayan blackberry, as well as local species where we live and both have gone gangbusters this year (maybe all that rain??) so we’re taking advantage of the bumper crop this year.⁣

What are you foraging right now??⁣
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#blackberries #foraging #eatwild #wildedibles
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It’s another grey, rainy day here in the Comox Valley: The kind of day when all you wanna do is cuddle up with a good book, a cozy blanket and a warm cat on your lap!⁣

It’s been such a strange summer (as if the rest of 2020 weren’t strange enough already). We’ve had so much rain and overcast skies... We JUST picked our first red cherry tomatoes yesterday and almost all of our paste tomatoes are still completely green. Last year at this time we were drowning in ripe tomatoes!⁣

Luckily we did just come off a stretch of sunny days that the garden really needed, and that we really needed too! We spent the past week camping, at the beach and almost totally unplugged which was so, so needed. Now we’re back home, and while I know there is food that needs being preserved, weeds that need being pulled, computer work that needs being done and laundry that needs being folded (see the laundry pile photo bombing my cat in the pic above), all I really want to do today is just rest and relax. ⁣

I’ve felt the weight of everything that’s happened so far this year -both good and bad- hit me this past week. Maybe it’s because I was unplugged and took a bit of a break that it had time to creep in, sort of like when you finally take a break after pushing really hard and you get sick because your body finally gets a chance to relax.⁣

In either case, I’m perfectly content to have this handsome boy on my lap right now and while there is constant work to be done in the summer, these grey rainy days help me to feel like it’s okay to just take a day to recharge, even in the middle of August.⁣

I hope that wherever you are, the weather’s good and the tomatoes are ripe and red! But I also hope you’re taking time to rest and relax too. We talk so much about being prepared for the fall and winter by working hard over the summer to put up food and get everything done, but I believe we also need to prepare our hearts, bodies and souls for whatever lies ahead by taking time to recharge our batteries too.⁣

And if you have a cat, invite him or her onto your lap for a while. If your cat’s as heavy as mine, you’ll have no choice but to relax because you won’t be able to move your legs;)
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For the past month or so I’ve been working hard “behind the scenes” on my very first home canning course, and I’m super pumped to announce that the doors to the 𝐘𝐞𝐬, 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐂𝐀𝐍! home canning course are officially open!⁣⁣⁣
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If you've ever canned before, you probably know the indescribable feeling of standing back and staring at your jars of home-canned food. There's just something so satisfying about it; something comforting and so rewarding about knowing that no matter what's happening in this crazy world, you're able to feed your family delicious, nutritious food that you prepared and put up with your own two hands.⁣⁣⁣
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I want EVERYONE to experience that feeling, now more than ever.⁣⁣⁣
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That’s why I knew this was the year I had to pass on all of the food preservation knowledge and canning skills that I've picked up over the past 5 that's helped me go from ZERO jars of food ever canned to HUNDREDS of home-canned jars of food on my pantry shelves each year.⁣⁣⁣
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Over the course of 4 modules, I'll teach you everything you need to know to get started canning your own food at home SAFELY and easily so that come winter, you can won't need to rely as heavily on the grocery store. Instead, you can go grocery shopping from your very own food store in your pantry!⁣⁣⁣
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Whether you've never canned before or you've done a little but are ready to take it to the next level, the 𝐘𝐞𝐬, 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐂𝐀𝐍! Home Canning Course was designed for you.⁣⁣⁣
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Since I’m still adding lessons to the course as more food ripens and becomes ready for harvest, I'm currently offering this course for a whopping 50% off the regular price of $99, which means you'll pay just $49 for lifetime access, which includes any future updates or additions to the course.⁣⁣⁣

So if you're ready to get started canning up all of the abundance of summer before who knows what hits us in the winter, click the link in my bio or go to https://seed-to-soil-school.teachable.com/p/yes-you-can/ to enroll or learn more!⁣⁣⁣
No matter what lies ahead, there's one thing we know for sure: winter is coming, and you can't go wrong with a pantry full of home-canned food.
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#canning #preserving #homecanning
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🥒 Well, it only took 4 days but all 50 lbs. of cucumbers have been turned into pickles and canned for the winter.⁣

25 jars of dills, 17 jars of sweet pickles and 3 jars of mustard pickles for something a little different!⁣

In truth, this will probably last us two years, which means I won’t have to make pickles next year and instead can focus on preserving something else! We also gift pickles at Christmas and for random hostess/housewarming gifts and to trade with our neighbours (I traded our neighbour a jar of pickles, a jar of strawberry jam and a dozen eggs for some cherries and beef jerky the other day!)⁣

In so many ways, canning is like currency; Like insurance for the future. Tuck a little away now and you’ll have food to eat, gifts to give and something tangible to trade in the future.⁣

If you want to learn how to can and preserve food so that you can put a little (or a lot!) away now for the future, click the link in my bio and get your name on the waitlist for my brand new home canning course, launching in just a couple days!⁣

Waitlist members will get access to exclusive advance enrolment and be eligible for my bonus video lesson and eBook on How to Make Herbal Infusions At Home, so you can preserve your herbs for food and medicine too!⁣

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to save your spot and make this the year you stock your pantry to the hilt with homemade, home-canned, maybe even homegrown food!⁣
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#canning #preserving #preservetheharvest #yesyouCAN
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