My Favourite Things – 2022 Edition (aka. The Modern Homesteader’s Christmas Wish List)

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


From kitchen gadgets to books to home and body products and more, find the perfect gift for the homesteader in your life with the modern homesteader's Christmas wish list! (aka. My favourite things;)Every year around this time, I compile a list of my favourite things: Things that I love, use or covet for my own homestead, and things that I know other modern homesteaders will love too! 

As each new holiday season approaches, I update the list to include new gadgets, products, books, and items that have made their way onto my favourite things list over the past year, and I curate the list even further. This year I’ve narrowed it down to my top 20 favourite things, brands and collections of the year!

As a general rule, I’m all about quality over quantity, and while that certainly doesn’t necessarily have to mean expensive, it does mean I look at items as investments, whether they’re for our family or for someone else’s.

The list below includes a mixture of higher-ticket items like kitchen tools and preserving equipment that are true investment pieces (and absolute workhorses in a busy homestead kitchen), to lower priced items and even stocking stuffers and digital gifts (for yourself or someone you love!) that cost less than $20.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for the homesteader on your list or you’re just curious to see what I use on a regular basis around our place, read on to learn more about the equipment, tools, books and products that I love and highly recommend.

These are a few of my favourite things!


Products & Brands I’m Loving Right Now…

Cultures For Health


If you or someone on your Christmas list is interested in fermenting or culturing foods of any kind, Cultures For Health has everything you need to get started making your own fermented vegetables, kombucha, sourdough, yogurt, kefir, cheese and more at home!

They sell everything from starter cultures like kombucha SCOBYs, sourdough starters, yogurt starter cultures, kefir grains and cheese starter cultures to full fermenting kits and equipment

I’m currently learning how to make my own water kefir with Cultures For Health kefir grains and have an Heirloom Yogurt Starter and Italian Cheesemaking Kit on order, which comes with everything I need to make my own mozzarella, ricotta and mascarpone cheese at home. Yum!

I reached out to Cultures For Health and they were kind enough to provide me with an exclusive coupon code to share with you!

–> Enter coupon code HH10 at checkout to save 10% off your entire order! 



I recently discovered Apothékary’s line of ready-made herbal remedies and started swooning over their clean, natural ingredients in gorgeous packaging that would make for for beautiful, thoughtful and (most importantly) useful holiday gift ideas!

While I love making my own natural medicine and stocking my own home apothecary with homemade herbal remedies, Apothékary products are a great addition or starting point for anyone who’s just dipping their toes into the world of natural medicine. 

One of their most popular products is their Restore Starter Set which includes their signature “Chill the F* Out” blend that tastes like peppermint hot chocolate and combines Reishi mushrooms and Ashwagandha for stress and immune support, and their “Do Not Disturb” blend which combines well-known medicinal herbs like holy basil, lemon balm and cinnamon with lesser known exotic herbs like mucuna and lucuma to help reduce stress and induce sleep.

The Focus Starter Set and Glow Starter Set are equally popular, or you can sample all of their signature blends in The Littles Sample Pack.

They were also kind enough to send me their Baby Bloomer Set for new moms, which makes a gorgeous gift for pregnant and nursing moms.

Or you can use their single herbs like Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Ashwaganda, Astragalus and Maca on their own or as part of your own herbal concoctions at home!

–> Use coupon code HOMESTEAD15 at checkout to take $15 off your order!


North Spore Mushrooms

Over the past few months I’ve developed a bit of an infatuation with the fascinating and diverse world of edible and medicinal mushrooms, and I’m not the only one. Medicinal mushrooms in particular are having a bit of a heyday right now as more and more research is revealing the incredible healing powers of mushrooms like Reishi, Chaga, Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps. But equally as beneficial and intriguing are edible mushrooms, both wild and cultivated.

North Spore Mushrooms specializes edible and medicinal mushrooms, both wild and cultivated, which is what led me to reach out to them for an interview for the upcoming winter issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine (out December 2022!)

Not only did I learn a ton during our interview, I also discovered a world of amazing products ranging from indoor and outdoor mushroom growing kits to medicinal mushroom capsules, tinctures and teas and more!

Being that I’m in Canada, I’m not able to order any medicinal mushroom products, but I just got my first order of indoor grow kits in the mail the other day, which includes the pink, blue and golden oyster mushroom grow kits as well as the lion’s mane mushroom grow kit. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited to try growing my own mushrooms indoors this winter!

If you’re looking for something a little different for yourself or another homesteader on your list but not sure where to start, be sure to check out North Spore Mushrooms’ Holiday Shop for unique gift ideas! 

–> Use coupon code HOUSEANDHOMESTEAD at checkout to save 10% off your order!

P.S. If you’re in Canada and looking to get started with medicinal mushrooms, I purchase mine from Harmonic Arts, located near me on Vancouver Island. I especially love their mushroom elixirs and I take a little Reishi tincture in my coffee every morning to help boost immunity, relieve stress and even grow a healthy baby… Yes, you read that right: there’s a whole host of positive research on “Reishi babies,” but please speak to your doctor or midwife first if you’re pregnant and wanting to use medicinal mushrooms or herbs of any kind.


Farmhouse Teas

Farmhouse Teas

I started using Farmhouse Teas herbal tea kombucha flavouring packs a few years ago and was sold immediately. I now turn to Farmhouse Teas for everything from handcrafted organic looseleaf tea blends to herbal medicine (one of my go-to products is Farmhouse Teas’ Dump & Go Mix Trio, which includes elderberry syrup mix, dry fire cider mix and cherry bark cough syrup mix, which all make great additions to our natural medicine cabinet).

I think I’ve tried most if not all of their kombucha flavourings by now, which include flavours like apple pie, turmeric and ginger, rosemary citrus and strawberry mojito, to name just a few. For the holidays I love their seasonal tea blends like Country Christmas Breakfast, Gingerbread Spice, Sweet Maple Chai and Winter Wonder Berry, among many others! Browse their tea collection right here or shop Farmhouse Teas’ Christmas sets here.

Farmhouse Teas also offers artisan foods, natural skincare products, kombucha starter kits and even seeds and gardening supplies to grow your own herbs and herbal teas at home!

But what I love most about Farmhouse Teas is that they’re 100% organic and family-owned. The founder, CeAnne, and I have become friends and I absolutely love that every time I place an order I know that I’m supporting a family-run small business. I’ve had so much great feedback from readers over the years who have tried Farmhouse Teas due to a recommendation in one of my blog posts or emails that this is one company that makes my list of Favourite Things time and time again:)

–> Check out everything that Farmhouse Teas has to offer right here or wait until Black Friday to save big (use coupon code FARMHOUSE20 at checkout from November 24 to November 28, 2022 to save 20% off all teas, hot cocoa mixes, kombucha tea flavourings & kits, tea accessories, artisan foods and gift sets!)


Plant Therapy Essential Oils & Products

I’ve been raving about Plant Therapy for years now, ever since I stumbled upon them on my quest to find high quality affordable essential oils.

Plant Therapy oils are 100% pure and third party tested, which means they’re held to strict, high purity standards. But unlike some other popular essential oils brands, Plant Therapy sells direct to consumer (ie. it’s not an MLM company), which means they’ve been able to keep their prices extremely affordable so that you don’t have to sell their products just to be able to afford them!

I’ve amassed quite the collection of Plant Therapy products myself, including bottles of essential oils numbering in the hundreds, diffusers, naturally scented candles, body lotions, lip balms, natural cleaning products, etc. I get especially excited whenever they release a new seasonal line of products, like their 2022 holiday line.

The only thing I haven’t had a chance to try yet is their line of full-spectrum CBD products (because they can’t ship those to Canada… darn!) But if you’re in the U.S., you’re in luck:)

–> Check out Plant Therapy’s full line of essential oils and products here and be sure to check out their holiday deal of the day every day from now until December 15th, 2022.


Jase Case Emergency Antibiotics

With all of the craziness and uncertainty in the world these days, I’m turning to more practical products and gifts for my family and loved ones this year, including emergency items that will help to ensure health, safety and security if the S really does HTF.

I recently partnered with a company called Jase Medical, which provides emergency antibiotics to anyone in the U.S. or Canada without a doctor’s prescription.

Across the North America right now there is an ongoing shortage of amoxicillin, which is one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for both adults and children. There have been stories on our local new channels lately about parents who have been desperately searching for these antibiotics for their kids when they’ve needed it most, but it’s in short supply and not easy to find right now. Experts have warned this may cause a domino effect of antibiotic shortages as health care providers begin prescribing other types of antibiotics in place of amoxicillin, and now those are at risk of running out.

While I always turn to natural remedies first, antibiotics are a God-send when we need them and nothing else will do, like when my daughter got a bad double ear infection earlier this year or when I contracted a severe Campylobacter bacterial infection from handling our chickens when I was 19 weeks pregnant this summer.

Antibiotics are one of those things I’d rather have and not need than need and not have, which is exactly why I’ve placed my own order for an “Jase Case” emergency antibiotics kit and will be ordering one for my mom for Christmas as well. 

You do need to set up a consultation with one of Jase’s in-house physicians before placing your order just to go over your medical history and specific needs, including any allergies or medical conditions so that they can ensure you are prescribed antibiotics that are safe for you and your family. But they will then send you an emergency supply, which means you don’t need to be sick with something in order to get a prescription.

Each kit comes with a range of common antibiotics including amoxicillin, azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, doxycycline and metronidazole, as well as an emergency antibiotic guide written by board-certified physicians as a companion to the use of your prescribed antibiotics, and unlimited physician follow-up for any questions relating to the use of any medication prescribed.

Give the gift of safety, security and self-reliance this Christmas with a Jase Case kit or gift card

–> Use coupon code STOCKUP20 from November 23 to 28 to save $20 off a Jase Case emergency antibiotics kit.


West Coast Seeds & True Leaf Market

No homesteader’s Christmas wish list would be complete without some high quality garden seeds, and this list is no exception.

With ongoing supply chain shortages, unprecedented inflation and increasing uncertainty around our global food supply, what better gift to give yourself or your loved ones than the gift of homegrown food security?

Now is also a great time to stock up on high quality seeds, well before the spring gardening rush. I purchase almost all of my seeds, including vegetables, flowers, sprouts, microgreens and cover crop seeds from West Coast Seeds, which is a local seed supplier close to where we live here on the west coast of Canada. However they also ship across Canada and the U.S. so you can order from anywhere in North America.

If you’re in the U.S., however, True Leaf Market is a fantastic source for seeds and growing supplies of all kinds, including garden seeds (herb, vegetable, flower, etc.) as well as sprouting kits, microgreens, cover crops, wheatgrass growing kits, and even fermentation kits, juicers and emergency seed supplies, among many other specialty items, kits, and gift sets.

–> Check out the huge selection of seeds, seed starting supplies, sprouts, microgreens and more from West Coast Seeds, or check out the Holiday Gift Guide from True Leaf Market and use coupon code GROWGIFTS15 at checkout to save 15% off all gift items!


Fave Cooking & Food Preservation Tools & Equipment…

All-American Pressure Canner

Photo c/o

I waited a long time to invest in an All-American pressure canner, but last year I finally took the plunge, and all I can say is that it’s well worth the investment.

I used to only use my water bath canner for a few months out of the year when fruits and veggies were in season. I’d make my jams and jellies and pickles and pie fillings, salsas, etc. and that would be it. But now that I have a good, reliable pressure canner that’s built like a tank, I find myself canning sauces, soups, stocks and broths, meats, vegetables and full meals all year long!

With another baby on the way soon and with food prices continuing to increase, I’ve been obsessed with canning meals lately, both to preserve meats and vegetables in a shelf stable way, and also to stock the pantry for when baby comes so I have ready-made meals that I can heat and serve in no time.

The All-American pressure canner features a metal-to-metal seal (which means no gaskets to replace) and multiple safety mechanisms that ensure I never have to worry about whether our home-canned food is safe to eat.And that peace of mind is worth every penny!

These canners have been hard to find at times over the past few years, but there are a couple places (that I know of) where you can find them in stock right now, including Lehman’s in the U.S. and Good2GoCo here in Canada (which is where I bought mine from).

You may also have luck on Amazon or direct from the All-American website, but they’re often sold out on both of these websites.


Excalibur Dehydrator

While canning food is still my favourite method of long-term, shelf-stable food preservation, my dehydrator sees about as much action as my canner during the spring, summer and fall harvest season. From drying herbs to fruits and vegetables to homemade beef jerky and “cheesy” kale chips, there’s very little I can’t dry with my Excalibur dehydrator.

There are other dehydrators on the market, but much like the All-American is considered the “Cadillac” of canners, the Excalibur is considered the Cadillac of dehydrators. 

I have the 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator with a 26 hour timer, which makes it really easy to dry a bunch of food at once, set the timer and pretty much forget about it until it’s done. Unlike other dehydrators, the Excalibur also has a fan in the back (instead of at the top), so it dries food much more evenly and doesn’t require any rotating of trays.

It also reaches high enough temperatures to make it safe to preserve meats like beef jerky, while other dehydrators can finish meats but they must be brought to temperature in an oven to ensure they’re safe to eat.

Needless to say, this is another workhorse in our kitchen that has more than earned its keep over the years, and I highly recommend it for your kitchen too!

–> Check out the full lineup of Excalibur dehydrators and accessories here


Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

I have to admit, this is one piece of kitchen equipment that I don’t personally own yet, so I can’t speak from personal experience, but I’ve done quite a bit of research on the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer and it’s hot at the top of my wish list!

The difference between a freeze dryer and a regular dehydrator is that a freeze dryer will flash freeze your food first and then dry it. This makes it safe to dry things that a normal dehydrator can’t, like eggs, dairy and even whole meals! It also apparently won’t change the texture like a regular dehydrator does. Sometimes you want the texture to be different, like in the case of beef jerky or fruit leather. But when it comes to eggs, dairy, dried meat and vegetables that you plan to reconstitute, etc. it’s nice to have it rehydrate and have the same texture as it did when it was fresh.

There are a couple reasons why I haven’t taken the leap into the freeze drying world quite yet, one of them being that we don’t really have space for a freeze dryer until we renovate our laundry room/pantry area (which is also at the top of my wish list!), and two being that you can expect to invest at least two to three thousand dollars (or more) in a home freeze dryer, so they’re not cheap. But I believe they’re well worth the investment, and from what I’ve heard from other homesteaders who have invested the money, they feel the same.

So chances are slim I’ll be getting one of these for Christmas this year, but I’ve got my eyes (and heart) set on 2023! 

If you want to get your hands on one now, you can take advantage of their Black Friday special and take up to $500 off a freeze dryer of your own. Check out the sale right here AND enter to win a medium freeze dryer!


Instant Pot

Confession time: When I first got my Instant Pot for Christmas a few years ago, I wasn’t sure I’d actually use it. But when I started using it and realized how quickly I could get a delicious, from scratch, fall-off-the-bone meal on the table, I quickly became an Instant Pot convert.

While you can slow cook in the Instant Pot, it’s also a pressure cooker, which means you can cook foods that would normally take hours to slow cook in significantly less time.

I love using my Instant Pot to cook dried beans because I don’t even have to pre-soak them and they’re read in under an hour! I also make all of my bone broth in my Instant Pot (it takes me two or three hours vs. the 8 to 12 hours it usually took on the stovetop). And even the toughest cuts of meat come out of the pot moist and tender in less time than it takes to have takeout delivered.

Hands down, the Instant Pot is a worthwhile investment that has consistently my list of favourite things every year since I got mine:)

–> Get the 8 quart 7-in1 Instant Pot Duo right here.


KitchenAid Stand Mixer


While you can find a KitchenAid stand mixer taking up space on many a kitchen countertop, ours truly is a workhorse that gets used multiple times a week for everything from kneading bread dough to mixing cookie batter to whipping mashed potatoes to grinding meat to making homemade pasta and more!

It’s built like a tank and has so many different functions and uses that when it comes to from-scratch cooking, the KitchenAid Stand Mixer is the ultimate modern convenience.

There are lots of models and attachments on the market, but personally we own this model along with the pasta maker attachments, meat grinder attachment, spiralizer and ice cream maker (and I’ve currently got my eye on the grain mill for grinding fresh wheat berries for bread making:)

–> Check out the full line of KitchenAid Stand Mixers and attachments available from Amazon


Breville Anything


While we’re on the topic of kitchen equipment that’s built to last, I can’t say enough good things about Breville!

Over the years we’ve come to own many different Breville products, along with many other popular kitchen brands, and both my husband and I have come to notice a distinct difference in the quality of Breville products over other brands. Everything we’ve ever owned that’s made by Breville is a solid piece of machinery that has stood the test of time (and the wear and tear of our busy kitchen).

Some of our favourite Breville products that we use on a regular basis include our Breville Espresso Machine, Breville Coffee Grinder, Breville Immersion Blender, Breville Sous Chef Food Processor and Breville Juicer, which is a workhorse during harvest season when I use it to process hundreds of pounds of apples into fresh, homemade apple juice. It makes juicing quick and easy and makes cleanup a cinch!

At the end of the day, if you’re in the market for any kind of small kitchen appliance and you’ve got a choice between Breville and another brand, well, I think you know what my advice would be;)

–> Check out the full range of Breville appliances from Amazon


Cast Iron Cookware

I’ve been in love with my cast iron skillets since I got them. Not only do they heat up and cook more evenly than stainless steel or non-stick pans, but they’re much healthier to cook on too. You can learn about the many benefits of cooking with cast iron here.

Much like the All-American canner, cast iron is built solid and made to last. In fact, well-seasoned and cared for cast iron can be passed down for generations!

If you’re in the market for some new cast iron cookware, I recommend either the Lagostina or Lodge brand cast iron (since those are the two that I have;) If you’re in Canada, like me, you can usually find Lagostina cast iron cookware at Canadian Tire for a steal, especially around Christmas when all the kitchen stuff goes on sale. Otherwise American-made Lodge brand cast iron is my go-to. You can get this entire set, complete with a griddle, 2 skillets and a dutch oven for less than $100!

Whether for yourself or someone else, you can’t go wrong with cast iron. Pair with a set of wooden spoons and a jar of homemade lard for seasoning and you’ve got a thoughtful and valuable gift that won’t break the bank.

–> Collect the whole set!


Favourite Books & Learning Resources…

The Prairie Homestead Cookbook

This is another favourite of mine that has made this list 3 years in a row now. As far as cookbooks go, this is one I usually find myself using at least once or twice a week, and after cooking through at least half of the recipes in this book with nary a complaint, The Prairie Homestead Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Heritage Cooking In Any Kitchen by Jill Winger (of The Prairie Homestead blog) has earned its place as my overall favourite cookbook on my shelf, and on my list of favourite things!

Every single recipe I’ve made has been delicious. Not to mention, all of the recipes are made with simple, whole-food ingredients that most homesteaders, modern and old-fashioned alike, tend to have on hand (ie. eggs, milk, flour, butter, fruits and veggies, various types and cuts of meat, etc.)

This is one cookbook that belongs on every modern homesteader’s shelf, and I have a feeling it will be on mine for a long time to come:)

–> Get your copy of the Prairie Homestead Cookbook here


Pressure Canning For Beginners and Beyond


When I interviewed Angi Schneider for the Fall 2021 issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, she had just released her brand new pressure canning cookbook, Pressure Canning For Beginners and Beyond. She was kind enough to gift me a copy, and I knew as soon as I flipped through it that it was the best pressure canning cookbook I’d ever laid eyes on (and I have a number in my collection). 

It took me almost a year to finally open up that cookbook again and start cooking and canning from it, but I’ve already worked my way through a few recipes, including Swedish Meatballs, Carnitas, Baked Beans and Chicken Enchilada Soup have a laundry list of others earmarked to make and can before the newest addition joins our family next month!

Whether you’re a beginner pressure canner just getting started with home canned vegetables, meats, soups and stocks or you’re looking to branch out and try canning some exciting new recipes like Lemongrass Chicken Soup, Spicy Pineapple Pork Chops or Red Curry Duck, this cookbook is a must have addition to any home canner’s kitchen! 

–> Grab your copy of Pressure Canning For Beginners and Beyond here


Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide


I’ve been making a concerted effort to invest in more tangible items and physical reference books whenever possible. Between the censoring and cancelling of information online and the looming threat of a potential cyber attack (or similar), I figure it’s best to be prepared with hard copies of important information on hand. 

Herbal medicine is one of those things that I definitely want to have reference material about on my bookshelf, and while I have collected a few books on this subject, my favourite one by far is Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide by famed herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. (If you’re unfamilliar with Rosemary, she’s the one who “invented” fire cider).

This is a great herbal reference guide that includes information on 33 familiar herbs and spices, including how to identify them, grow them and use them at home. The book is filled with practical information and easy-to-follow recipes and growing and foraging instructions. As the name says, it’s a fantastic book for beginners just dipping their toes into the world of herbalism and natural medicine, but it’s also a must-have reference even for more advanced herbalists and homesteaders alike.

Mush like the aforementioned cookbooks, this herbal reference book is well worth the small amount of space it will take up on your bookshelf!

–> Grab your copy of Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide here


The Family Garden Plan


Just as it’s important to have hard copy reference books on topics like cooking and natural medicine, having a reliable source of gardening information on your bookshelf is incredibly valuable. Of all the gardening books I’ve read and collected over the years, none is quite as dog-eared as my copy of The Family Garden Plan by Melissa K. Norris.

Melissa was my very first homesteading mentor. I learned how to do just everything homestead-related –from starting seeds and growing a productive garden to canning food and baking sourdough bread– from Melissa’s books, blog and online academy. Nowadays I have a pretty solid understanding of how to do all of these things, but I still find myself referring back to her books, recipes and lessons from time to time when I need a refresher.

When it comes to gardening, I love how straightforward and simple the information in this book is. Even if you’ve never sown a seed before in your life, you can follow the information in these pages and get a pretty solid grasp on how to start growing your own food at home. And even if you have years of gardening experience under your belt, you’re sure to glean new information, whether it be on topics like soil health, crop rotation or companion planting, or how to calculate your family’s food needs for a year.

If I had to pick just one gardening book to keep on hand, this would be it. 

–> Grab your copy of The Family Garden Plan here, and be sure to grab a copy of Melissa’c companion gardening journal, The Family Gardening Planner!


The House & Homestead’s Home Canning Handbook

I couldn’t forget to include my own canning eBook –complete with 30 of my favourite recipes for canning everything from fruits and vegetables to stocks and sauces to meats and meals– on my list of favourite things!

When I first started writing this eBook last year, I knew I wanted to create an easy-to-follow guide that even brand new home canners could follow, and compile recipes from easiest and least intimidating to more complex throughout the book, and that’s exactly how the book is laid out.

Learn the basics of home canning, from the history and science behind this form of food preservation to the safety rules you must follow and equipment you need to get started, to how to water bath can and pressure can your own food at home. Then get started canning your own fruits, jams, jellies, pickles, pie fillings, sauces, salsas, soups, stocks, meats and meals in a jar!

Recipes include Easy Applesauce, Apple Juice, Low-Sugar Strawberry Jam, Blueberry Pie Filling, Spicy Garlic Dilly Beans, Spiced Pears, House Salsa, Whole Tomatoes, Chili Con Carne, Spaghetti Sauce and more!

While this is an eBook and not a hard copy like the other books on this list, you get instant access to the download and can easily print it at home or have it printed and bound at your nearest Staples or print shop.

Oh, and the best part is that for a limited time, you can grab a copy of my Home Canning Handbook for 50% off, which works out to less than $10!

–> Grab your copy of my Home Canning Handbook here and be sure to use coupon code SAVE502022 to save 50% off your purchase!


Modern Homesteading Magazine

Last but most certainly not least, I’m proud to include my very own digital magazine on my list of favourite things!

When I published the very first issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine back in September 2019, I had no idea that it would grow to be what it has become today, or that I would even still be publishing regular issues 3 years later.

What began as a monthly digital download a few years ago has now grown into a robust quarterly digital publication full of seasonal homesteading tips, advice, recipes, ideas, inspiration and more. From organic gardening and backyard chickens to herbal medicine and sourdough bread, all things related to homesteading, farming, gardening and self-reliant living can be found in the pages of Modern Homesteading Magazine.

The first 24 monthly issues each focused on a specific topic such as canning, fermenting, home dairy, heritage cooking, permaculture and more. In September 2021, the magazine transitioned to a more diverse, quarterly format, with each issue focusing on a range of different seasonal topics that appeal to a much broader readership.

Every subscription to Modern Homesteading Magazine includes an annual subscription (minimum 4 new issues) and unlimited access to our entire digital library of past issues.

To ring in the holiday season, all new subscribers will also get a bonus digital gift certificate for a free one-year subscription to gift to a friend!

–> Subscribe to Modern Homesteading Magazine and claim your FREE bonus one-year subscription now!


Well, that’s a wrap for this year folks! Now I want to know, what are YOUR favourite things???

I’m always on the lookout for new tools and products to make life on the homestead just a little bit easier or more enjoyable! If you have any products or items that you love and use all the time, comment below and share!

And remember, while favourite “things” can certainly compliment our lives and make things a little easier and more enjoyable, at the end of the day, the best parts of this season are the things that are priceless. So above all else be sure to take time to slow down, spend time with the people you love most and make a conscious effort to be grateful for everything you already have. As Bing Crosby reminds us in White Christmas, “you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.”

Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons…




  1. Debbie

    Another thank you for your suggestions. I have been using an immersion blender for a few years now as I hate pulling out my huge blender and I have “gone through” a number of cheap immersion blenders. The plastic parts always seem to break down. I took your advice and purchased a Breville. It is fantastic. I’ve had it for a couple of years now and use it on a regular basis. Definitely worth the money instead of replacing the cheap stuff over and over again and being frustrated when they break down in the middle of using them. This would be a great Christmas gift for someone you love. Breville is the best.

  2. Debbie

    OMG, Love, love, love Plant Therapy. Thank you for introducing it to me. I also have tried many brands especially the ones that are in the stores around Christmas. None of them are even close to Plant Therapy. My very favourite essential oil is Persian Lime. I use it daily. I haven’t found it anywhere else but Plant Therapy. Thanks again for bringing this into my life.

  3. Kristina

    I think you should check out Doterra essential oils. They are non-chemical based essential oils, and they have many other products on there that are natural too. I for one use the laundry detergent (its even gentle enough to use for my 8 month old clothes and bedding); I use their essential oils for a variety of different things, like on dryer balls.

    • Anna Sakawsky

      I actually did try DoTerra when I was looking for a brand of oils I liked. But they’re way too expensive and I don’t like the MLM business model. After doing a few years of research on reputable oil companies, I discovered Plant Therapy oils are just as natural and effective but at a fraction of the cost and without the predatory business model. I also use them on my wool dryer balls:)


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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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If you haven't checked-in lately, the last week or so, we've sorta been in the trenches of homesteading and life over here. While some make it out to be glamorous all the time there are high's and low's just as there are in life. ⁣

With all that's going on, I've been making a point to find my way back into the garden, which is not only needed to feed my family, but also for some personal spiritual nourishment. ⁣

I just want to take a minute to love on my favorite veggie today, Broccoli! 🥦 It's one we plant over-and-over and I'm leaning into its abundance this year. ⁣

Not only is it one of my favorites, but we've also found it's one of the easiest veggies to grow so if you haven't tried it or added it to your garden yet, there's no better time than the present. ⁣

I've got an entire post on How to Grow Broccoli from Seed here: if you're looking for any tips or tricks.⁣

In my "How to" post you'll also find a link to one of my favorite recipes for Cream of Broccoli Leaf Soup!

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Can I be honest?

Sometimes you've gotta take a step back and look at the life you've created for yourself and ask yourself "is this truly what I want?"

The other day I shared about losing two of our rabbits this week to Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease. The stress of losing them comes amidst a backdrop of heightened tensions around here...

From work pressures for Ryan to me trying to run a business and handle a very fussy, colicky 2-month-old (and a very busy 6-year-old), to things ramping up in the garden again and all of the other million things that need to get done (including multiple loads of laundry a day thanks to more spit up than I ever knew a baby was capable of producing), I finally felt like I was ready to crack this week.

Oh, not to mention we're doing this all on next to no sleep thanks again to our sweet boy.

I know this is all part of what we signed up for, but when it all happens at once, it can feel completely overwhelming. And when I'm completely overwhelmed and stressed out, that's exactly when I get sick too, which is exactly what happened a couple days ago.

Then yesterday (Saturday) I woke up feeling awful and decided to scroll Instagam as I nursed Noah. I saw other mothers with 6, 8 or even 10 kids somehow keeping it all together getting three square meals on the table every day while managing to keep a tidy kitchen and find time to Instagram about it.

I saw other homestead bloggers reaching new levels of success in their business that I can only dream about right now. And as I sat there in bed, covered in spit up with a ravenous baby nursing off me as I tried to console him, I felt sad for myself in that moment that I couldn't live up to the folks I was comparing myself to.

Later in the day I had to work, so Ryan took the kids to the beach and I stayed home. And I felt sad once again; Sad that I was missing out on yet another weekend with my family because I had created a life where I now have to work weekends just to keep up.

But the silver lining was that the work I had to do yesterday forced me out into the garden, and it was probably the most soothing thing I could have done for my soul.

(Continued in comments…)

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Sometime homesteading looks like homegrown vegetables and freshly laid eggs and sourdough rising on the counter.

And sometimes it looks like tears when you have to bury one of your animals 😔

Ryan went out to feed the bunnies yesterday and Flopsy -our little black and white bunny- was laying dead in the pen. There was no blood, other than a little bit by her mouth. Seems like something internal happened. We’re not sure what.

Evelyn helped lay her to rest yesterday. It was a hard weekend for her. First she stayed with grandma and went with her to put her sick, 17-year-old cat down. Then she came home to the news that Flopsy was gone.

But I believe she’s more resilient because of it. We talked to her about how death is a part of all life, and allowed her to go through the stages of grief and process it however she felt she needed to.

Homesteading isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and snuggly barnyard animals. Homesteading teaches us hard lessons and helps us to become stronger and more resilient by challenging us daily.

Yesterday was a sad, hard day. But I’m glad we got to experience it together as a family.

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A few years ago, Forbes published an article titled Dear Homesteaders, Self-Reliance is a Delusion.

Let’s unpack this…
What does self-reliant really mean? Is it actually achievable, or just a pipe dream?⁣

Over on the blog today I'm unpacking all of these thoughts, and the things I do know for sure as a homesteader, mother and member of a strong and self-reliant community. ⁣

But I really want to hear from you! Post in the comments below what self-reliance means in modern times, or what steps you're taking to be more self-reliant. ⁣

Read the full article here: or at the link in my bio

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The spring issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine is out now!

It’s that time again...

The time when things begin ramping up in the garden, the barnyard and the home.

From trays of seedlings to baskets full of eggs, spring is in the air and I don’t know about you, but I’m here for it!

It’s also time for a brand new issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, and boy do we have a good one for you…

In the spring issue, we cover a diverse range of topics from how to trade your skills for land to the realities of going off-grid, from seed-starting to what to do with too many eggs, and from the simple joys of a homemade herbal cocktail to the sometimes heavy emotional toll of raising meat animals.

In this issue, you’ll find:
🌱 What it really takes to live off-grid, with Tammy Trayer of Trayer Wilderness
🌱How you can trade your skills for a piece of land with the SKIP program from the folks at
🌱 Everything you need to know about seed-starting to set your garden up for success and abundance!
🌱 What to do with too many eggs! Author Mimi Dvorak-Smith shares 800+ ways to use ‘em up when your hens start laying.
🌱 How to make your own healthier cocktails with homemade botanical syrups
🌱 Dealing with the emotional toll of raising meat animals on the homestead

Visit to login to the library and read the spring issue (current subscribers) or subscribe for just $19.99/year to read this issue and gain instant access to our entire library of past issues!

#modernhomesteading #homesteading #selfsufficiency #springonthehomestead

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If you grow plants from seed (or if you want to), you’re likely going to want to start a few of them indoors. And if you start your seeds indoors, something that will make your life so much easier (and make your seedlings bigger, stronger and healthier) is an indoor growing stand with grow lights. ⁣

I've got a post I'm sharing with you today that will walk you through choosing the best type of lighting for whatever you're growing and then a step-by-step guide of how to make your grow stand, along with product recommendations if you want to make yours just like mine! ⁣

Ours can accommodate up to about 200 seedlings, but you can make yours as small or big as needed:)⁣

You can check out the post here or at the link in my bio. ⁣

Let me know in the comments what you're growing new, or what you're most excited about in your planting journey this year!

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Theme of the Month: ADIDAS ⁣
No, not the textiles brand, it stands for: 𝗔𝗹𝗹 𝗗𝗮𝘆 𝗜 𝗗𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗔𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗦𝗲𝗲𝗱𝘀 because it's officially March and we are in full swing around here! ⁣

Before you just start throwing seeds in the ground or into red solo cups on your windowsill, it’s important to take some time to read your seed packets and get to know each crop’s specific needs.⁣

Understanding the information on a seed packet is super important when it comes to gardening, especially if you want your plants to get a strong, healthy start and produce an abundance of food for you. And what gardener doesn’t want that?!⁣

Set yourself up for success and take a minute to read through my 𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘰 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘥 & 𝘜𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘚𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘗𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘵𝘴 𝘎𝘶𝘪𝘥𝘦, before your weekend gardening plans begin. ⁣

Grab the guide link in my bio, or get it here:⁣

Happy Planting:) ✨

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This all-natural homemade toothpaste recipe is made with just four simple ingredients that are good for both your body and your bank account!⁣

I’m on a personal mission to replace every commercially-made, toxic product in our home with homemade, all-natural alternatives. One-by-one, I’m getting closer every day.⁣

The benefit of making all-natural toothpaste at home is avoiding the unhealthy additives found in most commercial toothpastes by substituting ingredients with proven benefits for oral health.⁣

So if you’re also on a mission to rid your own home of toxic products and replace them with healthy, all-natural versions that actually work, then I highly recommend whipping up a batch of this all-natural homemade toothpaste.⁣

Wishing you health, wealth and squeaky clean teeth… The all-natural way;)⁣

You can find the recipe here or at the link in my bio.

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It's that time of year 🌱 seed starting season! ⁣

I know you can feel it too. The transition from winter to spring is truly a special time. It’s when life begins again. It’s the very first taste of all that lies ahead.⁣

So before you go just planting any and every seed you can get your hands on, I've got a list of 8 Things to Think About Before Starting Seeds, to get you off on the right food! ⁣

I will walk you through, planning, sowing, containers, watering, lighting and more, and if that's not enough you can download my Seed Starting Cheat Sheet at the end to lay it all out. ⁣

I hope you're as excited as I am for the beautiful Spring season that lies ahead:)⁣

You can find the list here or at the link in my bio.⁣

What are you planting this year? Anything new you've never tried before? Share with me in the comments!

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Ever thought about growing mushrooms at home??

A great EASY way to get started is with one of these mushroom grow kits from @northsporemushrooms

All you need to do is cut open the pack, spray with a little water (the kits even come with a handy little spray bottle), and then sit back and watch the magic happen!

And seriously, watching mushrooms goes does feel a little like magic because they grow so fast you can practically see them growing, no time lapse necessary!

The mushrooms are ready for harvest in just a few days. No gardening experience or land necessary! Even a newbie homesteader in an apartment in the city can grow these babies!

This is a great way to dip your tow into the much bigger world of mushroom growing and harvesting, and to try out a few new varieties that you probably won’t find anywhere else.

I grew Pink Oyster Mushrooms, Lion’s Mane and Blue Oyster Mushrooms (all pictured here). I’ll be using the Pink Oyster Mushrooms in a rigatoni pasta for dinner tonight. I turned the Lion’s Mane into Lion’s Mane “crab cakes” and the Blue Oyster Mushrooms are delicious as part of a stir fry or sautéed in butter and spooned over sourdough toast.

If this reel intrigues you, you can grab your own mushroom grow kit (along with time of other mushroom related products, including fruiting blocks, outdoor log kits, medicinal tinctures, capsules and more) at Use code HOUSEANDHOMESTEAD for 10% off your order!

And if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out my interview with Louis Giller of North Spore Mushrooms in the winter issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. You can also find my recipe for Lion’s Mane “Crab Cakes,” along with other delicious mushroom recipes and an in-depth feature on medicinal mushrooms including Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Chaga and Cordyceps in the winter issue.

Visit to subscribe or login to the library and read the current issue.

Mushrooms really are pure magic, don’t ya think? 🍄 ✨

#mushrooms #mushroomhead #shrooming #eatyourshrooms #mushroomsaremagic #modernhomesteading #urbanhomesteading #homegrown

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If you’ve been following me for any length of time, it probably comes as no surprise that I don’t exactly love relying on the grocery store to provide for me and my family, and that sentiment is only getting stronger as time goes on.⁣

Between supply chain issues, rising food costs and the plethora of unhealthy ingredients, chemicals and GMO foods on grocery store shelves, I’d rather toil in the garden and kitchen all year to grow and preserve my own food than have to rely 100% on grocery stores to provide for me.⁣

But that being said, we are in no way 100% self-sufficient so when I do go to the grocery story, I haveI have some ingredient guidelines in mind that I use when shopping for my family. ⁣

Check out my shopping tips, what I do and don't buy, and where and who I like to buy from here at this link or at the link in my bio.

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Usually by late February/early March, right about nowish, I’ve pretty much had enough of winter and the thought of enjoying a tropical fruit platter and a cold adult beverage on a sunny beach in *insert tropical vacation destination here* seems to be just about all I can think about...⁣

But with a newborn at home that's about the last thing on our to-do list right now! So this year, I will be visiting my tropical escape via my favorite Low-Sugar Mango Jam recipe. ⁣

If you do have tropical vacation plans, have a piña colada for me 🙏🏼, but if you don't then this recipe may be just what you need to "escape" for a few minutes into that tropical paradise:) 🥭🍹⁣

Check out the recipe here or at the link in my bio. ⁣

Let me know how the recipe works for you, and if add in any additional fruits to change it up!

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