Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe


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

 

Elderberries are well known for their ability to boost immunity and treat cold and flu symptoms. Enjoy the many medicinal benefits of elderberries with this homemade elderberry syrup recipe, made with immune-boosting spices and raw, unpasteurized honey. #elderberrysyrup #homemadeelderberrysyrup #elderberrysyruprecipeElderberry syrup has gained popularity in recent years as a natural but powerful herbal remedy, particularly for treating colds and flu. After all, elderberries are packed with immune-boosting vitamins and antioxidants, and scientific study after scientific study has shown the efficacy of elderberries when it comes to easing cold and flu symptoms.

But there’s also some important safety information you should know about using elderberries and elderberry syrup,so before you skip to the bottom of this post to get my recipe for homemade elderberry syrup, I encourage you to take a moment to read through the following info. and brush up on your elderberry knowledge first.

Disclaimer: I am not a certified herbalist or health care practitioner. This information is for educational and entertainment purposes only, and you should always speak with your doctor or health care provider before using herbal remedies as part of your healthcare routine. Just because something is natural does not automatically make it safe, and there may be ingredients in the recipe I’m about to share with you that can interfere with certain medications and medical conditions. Always use good judgment and speak with your doctor before using medicinal herbs. You can read my full disclaimer here.

 

What are elderberries?

Elderberries are the fruit (berries) of the Sambucus tree/shrub. There are two types of edible elderberry plants: Sambucus nigra (European elderberry) and Sambucus canadensis (North American elderberry).

Both of these varieties produce black elderberries, which are both edible and medicinal. There are also red elderberries (Sambucus racemosa) but these red elderberries are poisonous and should never be consumed.

The Sambucus (Elder) plants first produce elderflowers in the spring. These tiny, delicate white flowers grow in clusters and are also edible. In the summer, the elderflowers die and leave behind small black elderberries.

While these black elderberries are both edible and medicinal, they must be cooked first as raw elderberries contain toxins, including glycosides that can cause a buildup of cyanide in the body.

 

Related: A Peek Inside My Natural Medicine Cabinet

 

Are elderberries toxic?

If eaten raw, elderberries can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, which is probably the last thing you want at any time really, but especially if you’re already feeling sick.

Once cooked, however, elderberries are perfectly edible and still retain all of their medicinal properties.

Elderberries are well known for their ability to boost immunity and treat cold and flu symptoms. Enjoy the many medicinal benefits of elderberries with this homemade elderberry syrup recipe, made with immune-boosting spices and raw, unpasteurized honey. #elderberrysyrup #homemadeelderberrysyrup #elderberrysyruprecipe

 

Medicinal benefits of elderberries

Elderberries are high in antioxidants, vitamins A and C, as well as antiviral and anti-inflammatory compounds.

Elderberries -and elderberry syrup in particular- are best known for their ability to help boost immunity and ease cold and flu symptoms such as fever, headaches, muscle pain, sore throat and nasal congestion. Lesser known medicinal benefits include elderberries’ ability to help ease constipation (presumably due to their high fibre content), lower blood pressure, soothe inflammatory skin conditions, including acne, and reduce wrinkles.

 

Related: How to Make Traditional Fire Cider

 

Is elderberry syrup safe for kids?

Yes. Elderberry syrup is generally considered safe for children over the age of one. Raw honey can cause infant botulism in very young children so this syrup should not be given to children under the age of one.

 

Fresh vs. dried elderberries (and where to buy elderberries)

You can use fresh or dried elderberries to make elderberry syrup. If you’re growing your own elderberries then by all means use the fresh berries to make your elderberry syrup! Or you can dry them in a dehydrator or oven and then use the dried berries. However if you’re not growing your own elderberries, then you best option is to purchase dried elderberries and use those to make your syrup.

If using fresh elderberries, use twice as much. For example, this recipe calls for one cup of dried elderberries, so if using fresh elderberries, use two cups instead.

Even if you have to buy some dried elderberries, they go quite a long way and you’ll get quite a few batches of elderberry syrup out of a bag of dried elderberries, so this is still a much cheaper option than buying elderberry syrup from your local pharmacy or health food store.

We planted a couple elderberry bushes in the spring, but they’re going to take a few seasons to get established and start producing enough elderberries for us to harvest. So in the meantime, I use dried elderberries.

In the past I’ve used Starwest Botanicals brand dried elderberries and I’ve been very happy with them. However lately I’ve been using dried elderberries from Farmhouse Teas (which is also where I get my herbal tea blends for flavouring my kombucha).

Farmhouse Teas also caries an Herbal Elderberry Syrup Kit,  which is an herbal blend that includes all organic ingredients including dried elderberries, orange peel, rose hips, astragalus, echinacea, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. I’ve used this kit to make my own elderberry syrup before and it’s a pretty strong contender with the recipe I’m sharing with you here!

Whether you opt for making your own elderberry syrup using this recipe or would prefer a ready-made kit, Farmhouse Teas is currently having a buy one get one at 20% off sale on all of their dried elderberry products from now through Saturday (September 10th, 2022). This discount also applies to the Dump & Go Mix Trio, which includes their elderberry syrup kit, as well as a dry fire cider kit and wild cherry bark syrup kit.

Right now you can buy one and get one for 20% off, plus get free shipping on all orders over $59 in the U.S. Get your elderberries here and save!

Elderberries are well known for their ability to boost immunity and treat cold and flu symptoms. Enjoy the many medicinal benefits of elderberries with this homemade elderberry syrup recipe, made with immune-boosting spices and raw, unpasteurized honey. #elderberrysyrup #homemadeelderberrysyrup #elderberrysyruprecipe

 

How to make homemade elderberry syrup

By making your own elderberry syrup, you’ll not only save money (have you seen how expensive bottles of elderberry syrup are at the store?), you’ll also get to customize your elderberry syrup by adding in a variety of other medicinal (and delicious) herbs and spices.

To make a basic elderberry syrup all you need to do is add one cup of elderberries and four cups of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to medium heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced by about half (roughly 25 to 30 minutes).

Strain out the elderberries, reserving the liquid and mix in one cup of raw, unpasteurized honey. Transfer to a bottle (I use these amber glass bottles, but a Mason jar or other glass bottle will work too) and store in the fridge for up to 6 months.

However the recipe I’m about to share with you also calls for cinnamon, cloves, ginger and lemon, all of which have medicinal properties of their own. But you can choose to omit one or all of these additional ingredients if you like. Or you can add in other medicinal herbs like rosemary or thyme. Customize away

 

My favourite elderberry syrup recipe

This is my favourite recipe for homemade elderberry syrup. It begins and ends with the basics (elderberries and raw, unpasteurized honey), but I also add cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel and cloves.

Not only does this syrup taste amazing, the added ingredients possess potent medicinal properties of their own.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and high in antioxidants.

Ginger: Ginger is antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, as well as being a potent antioxidant. Ginger is also well known for its ability to ease nausea and soothe upset stomachs.

Cloves: Cloves are antiseptic, antiviral, antimicrobial and anti- inflammatory, and are known for their ability to help ease sore throats.

Lemon peel: Antimicrobial. antifungal, high in antioxidants and vitamin C.

Unpasteurized Honey: Antibacterial, antifungal, high in antioxidants and helps to ease inflammation and sooth sore throats.

Add all of the powerhouse ingredients along with the elderberries and you’ve got a powerful herbal medicine that tastes good enough to pour over pancakes in the morning;)

 

Related: Homemade Vitamin C Powder

 

How to use elderberry syrup

Finally, you should probably know how to use your elderberry syrup once you’ve made it.

Preventative use: Due to its immune boosting properties, elderberry syrup is most effective when taken regularly as a preventative measure Take one to two teaspoons daily.

Curative use: If you’ve come down with a cold or flu, increase dosage up to 4 tablespoons per day until symptoms subside.

Culinary uses: You can also use elderberry syrup in place of other types of fruit or maple syrup and pour over pancakes, waffles or ice cream, or add to soda water for a refreshing drink!

 

Elderberries are well known for their ability to boost immunity and treat cold and flu symptoms. Enjoy the many medicinal benefits of elderberries with this homemade elderberry syrup recipe, made with immune-boosting spices and raw, unpasteurized honey. #elderberrysyrup #homemadeelderberrysyrup #elderberrysyruprecipe

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Yield: Approx. 3 cups
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried elderberries (or 2 cups fresh elderberries, washed and stems removed)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup raw unpasteurized honey
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly grated/chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel

Instructions

  1. Add elderberries, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, lemon peel and water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced by about half (approx. 25-30 minutes).
  2. Remove from heat and let steep for another 5 minutes or so. Then strain out the solids and reserve the liquid.
  3. Add the honey to the liquid and stir until dissolved. Transfer to a bottle or jar (a Mason jar works well) and store in the fridge for up to 6 months.

 

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

16 Comments

  1. charlene kinne

    Can I use frozen elderberries in this recipe?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Yes, absolutely!

      Reply
  2. Diane

    We harvested the berries locally so we are making a double batch. Is it possible to freeze the syrup so that it will last longer?

    Reply
    • Ashley Constance

      Yes, you can absolutely freeze it. Most sources say it will last about 6 months in the freezer. Some people like to freeze it in ice cube trays to make for easy thawing and dosing. -Ashley (assistant)

      Reply
  3. Monika

    What is the shelf life of the syrup? What is the difference between your recipe and the elderberry syrup they sell in stores to boost ones immune system? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ashley Constance

      Hi Monika, the syrup can be stored for up to 6 months in the fridge.

      As for the difference between this recipe and store-bought syrups… it really depends what you’re comparing it to. But generally, the benefit of making your own syrup comes down to cost (it’s generally much cheaper to make your own) and control over the quality and kinds of ingredients that you add. Enjoy! -Ashley (assistant)

      Reply
  4. Tina King

    Could I just dehydrate them and powder them and put them in capsules and take?

    Reply
  5. Julie

    Is there any that this syrup could be made in a slow cooker. I am always worried about how much goodness will be lost through the high heat of boiling

    Reply
    • Ashley Constance

      I don’t see why not, as long as the berries get thoroughly cooked. However, to get a syrupy consistency, you do need to simmer it until it’s reduced by about half, as per the recipe. It may be worth looking for a similar recipe that specifically uses a slow cooker, as the directions may differ.

      Reply
  6. Jeanne

    Can this syrup be canned? If so any idea how long to process in canner? Looks like a great recipe! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Jeanne,
      I would caution against canning this exact recipe for elderberry syrup as it hasn’t been tested as being safe for canning. I did find a great article explaining how to can elderberry juice (which you could then turn into syrup). The article explains that some elderberries have a higher PH than others and there’s no really way to know for sure what the PH is of the elderberries you’re using, so it calls for the addition of citric acid or lemon juice. You can read the article here. The other thing is that I wouldn’t can it with honey as the temperatures from the boiling water bath will kill off any of the beneficial properties of the honey and it will simply become a sweetener. It’s best to add the honey once the juice has cooled a bit so that you don’t inadvertently kill off the beneficial enzymes in the raw honey.

      Reply
  7. Annette Williams

    Can you reuse the dried elderberries after making a batch ( I’m a first-timer)

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Hi Annette,
      Once you use your dried elderberries to make syrup, their nutritional/medicinal goodness is used up. Some people have been able to dehydrate them again and make a tea but you are really just looking for some flavor and not the medicinal benefits. And it won’t have as much flavor as it did when you made the syrup.
      Most people just put them in their compost to nourish the soil instead. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Becky

    How much do you take of the syrup?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Becky,
      I usually take about a tablespoon per day, which is what I give to my daughter too. I know some people eat it over their pancakes or ice cream, so it’s not like most modern cough syrups where you have to be more cautious about how much you take. I wouldn’t overdo it, but we usually take one or even two Tablespoons per day for prevention and up it to four tablespoons a day if/when we get sick. Four tablespoons a day is what is typically recommended to help treat cold and flu symptoms.

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Never before have we had access to so much information at our fingertips. Whether you have a question you need answered, are looking for a tutorial to walk you through a specific task or are searching for a recipe to help you figure out what to make for dinner, all you have to do is Google it.⁣

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It’s been a minute since I popped into IG to say hi. (Hi! 👋) But before I share what’s been going on behind the scenes, I thought it would be a good time to (re)introduce myself, because I’ve never actually done that before!

My name’s Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader living in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. I live with my family (human, furry and feathered) on 1/4 acre property where we grow and preserve hundreds of pounds of our own food every year, and strive to live a more self-reliant lifestyle in all that we do.

I grew up in Vancouver and had pretty much zero experience homesteading before my husband, Ryan and I decided we wanted to escape the rat race, become less dependent on the modern industrial food system (and all modern industrialized systems), and dove head first into this lifestyle around a decade ago.

We packed up and moved to Vancouver Island where we live now, started our first garden, and the rest is pretty much history.

(Well, actually that’s not true… There have been A LOT of ups and downs, successes and failures, wins and losses, struggles, challenges and pivotal moments along the way, but those are stories for another day).

Over the past few years, our decision to follow a less conventional path that aims to break free (at least in some part) from “the system” has been affirmed over and over again. We all know for a fact now that our food system, healthcare system, financial system, transportation system and so much more are all really just a house of cards built on shaky ground. We’ve been lucky so far, but sooner or later it’s all liable to collapse.

But preparedness and security isn’t the only thing that drives us… The peace of mind I get knowing that everything we grow is 100% organic, and that the ingredients in our food, medicine, personal and household products are safe and natural is worth more than anything I could buy at the grocery store.

(I’m not perfect though. Not by a long shot. I still rely on the grocery store, on modern medicine, and on many modern conveniences to get by, but I balance it as much as I can:)

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I’m all about practical gifts; Gifts that will truly make life easier and contribute to my and my family’s wellbeing. And our family includes our animals!

One of the ways we make sure our chickens are taken care of is by letting them free range during the day, but making sure they’re locked up and safe from predators at night. But who wants to be up at the crack of dawn to open the coop, or wake up to a bloodbath because you forgot to close the coop the night before?

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Yes, you read that right…

Modern Homesteading Magazine is coming to an end.

This decision has not come easily, but there’s a season for everything, and more and more I’m feeling called to transition out of this season and into the next in both life and business.

And so this final farewell issue is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s the first ever annual issue, with 100 pages packed with brand new content that celebrates the best of the past 32 issues!

And it’s the first issue I’ve ever offered in PRINT!

But on the other hand, it marks the end of an era, and of this publication that I’ve absolutely had the pleasure of creating and sharing with you.

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It’s easy to romanticize homesteading, but the truth is that those homegrown vegetables, those freshly laid eggs, that loaf of bread rising on the counter, and that pantry full of home-canned food takes time, effort and dedication. It doesn’t “just happen” overnight!

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That’s where I’m at now. Life today looks a lot different than it did 10 years ago, when our homesteading and self-reliance journey was just beginning.

Back then we still lived in our city condo and were just beginning to dabble in all of this stuff. But my husband Ryan and I felt a sense urgency to start pursuing a more self-reliant lifestyle, and we committed to taking small steps, one day at a time to make that vision a reality.

Over the years we’ve continued to put one foot in front of the other, adding new skills and tackling new projects along the way that have helped us get to where we are today.

While there’s always more we want to learn and do, as I look around me right now, I’m so grateful that we took those first steps, especially considering what’s happened in the world over the past few years!

If you’re also feeling the urgency to take the first (or next) steps toward a more self-reliant life, this is your final reminder that today is the last day to join The Society of Self-Reliance and start levelling up your homesteading and self-sufficiency skills so that you’ve got what it takes to:

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There are so many reasons to grow your own food at home:

💰 Saves you money at the grocery store
🍴 Healthier than conventionally grown food
🔑 increases your overall food security
🫙 Gives you an abundance to preserve and share

But perhaps the number one reason is because it just tastes better!

Not only does food taste better when it’s freshly picked or allowed to ripen on the vine, there’s something about putting in the work to grow something from a tiny seed and then getting to see it on your dinner plate that just makes it so much more satisfying than anything you’ll ever buy from the store.

Plus, having to wait all year for fresh tomatoes or strawberries or zucchinis to be in season makes that short period when they’re available just that much more exciting!

With the world spinning out of control and food prices continuing to rise, it’s no wonder more people are taking an interest in learning to grow their own food at home. But that also means changing our relationship with food and learning to appreciate the work that goes into producing it and the natural seasonality of organically grown fruits and vegetables.

(It also means learning to preserve it so you can make the most of it and enjoy homegrown food all year long).

In my online membership program, The Society of Self-Reliance, you’ll learn how to grow your own food, from seed to harvest, as well as how to preserve it so you can enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor all year long!

You’ll also learn how to grow and craft your own herbal medicine, detox your home, become your own handyman, and so much more (because self-reliance is about more than just the food that we eat… But that’s a pretty good place to start!)

The doors to the Society are now open for a limited time only. Click the link in my profile or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society to learn more.

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If you’ve been watching events unfold over the past few years and you’re feeling called to start “cutting ties” with the system and begin reclaiming your independence, The Society of Self-Reliance was made for you!

When I first launched this online membership program last year, my goal was to create a one-stop resource where members could go to learn and practice every aspect of self-reliance, as well as a space to connect with other like-minded people pursuing the same goal. And that’s exactly what you’ll get when you join!

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🌱 Food Security and Self-Sufficiency: Learn the art of growing and preserving your own food, ensuring you and your loved ones have access to nutritious meals year-round.

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📚 Monthly Video Lessons: Gain access to our ever-growing library of video lessons, with fresh content added each month.

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I only open the doors to The Society once or twice each year, but right now, for one week only, you can become a member for just $20/month (or $200/year).

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32 0

Got out for an early morning harvest today. Been up since 3am, contemplating life, the future and the past, the order of things…

There is a rumbling right now, not just in North America, but around the world. Many of us can feel it, and know we are on the precipice of something big.

I’d been hearing about this new song that’s become an overnight viral sensation, written by an (until now) unknown singer named Oliver Anthony. His new song Rich Men North of Richmond has had 14 million views on YouTube in the past week alone, so I decided to check it out.

I also saw a clip of him playing a Farmers Market last week, and anything that has to do with Farmers Markets always has my attention;)

I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve already cried listening to that song. If you’ve heard it already, you probably know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, I highly recommend giving it a listen. All I can say is it’s been a while since a song resonated so deeply with me, and in this strange new world, I know I’m not the only one.

One of the lines in Anthony’s song is “Livin’ in the new world, with an old soul,” and that’s something I think so many of us in the homesteading community can relate to.

Trying to cling to better days; To a simpler time; To the old ways, all while doing our best to get by in the new world.

The world has changed drastically in the last few years especially, and it’s set to change in immense ways over the next few years. Today I’m feeling thankful for people like @oliver_anthony_music_ who give a voice to what so many are feeling right now.

Know that if you’re feeling it too, you’re far from alone. And while the future may feel uncertain and even a little scary, remember that if we stand united, we the people are a force to be reckoned with.

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Another garlic harvest in the books!

Garlic is easily one of my favourite crops to grow. It’s pretty much a “set if and forget it” crop. We plant in the fall and leave it to overwinter, fertilize a couple times in the spring, start watering only once the ground starts to dry out, and then harvest in the summer. We can even plant a fall succession crop after our garlic if we want so it really makes great use of garden space all year round.

Over the years we’ve managed to become completely self-sufficient with garlic. We now grow enough to eat all year (and then some!), plus we save our own seed garlic and usually have extra to sell or give away. And around here fresh, organic garlic ain’t cheap, so it’s a good cash crop for anyone who’s serious about selling it.

It took me a few years to really get the hang of garlic, but it’s one crop I’m now very confident with (knock on wood, because it’s always when we make statements like this that next year’s crop fails! Lol.)

A while back I compiled a comprehensive guide to growing, harvesting and using garlic both as an edible and medicinal crop. This is usually only available as part of a paid bundle (or in the fall 2022 issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine if you’re a subscriber;), but for a limited time I’m offering it for free, no strings attached!

Plus you’ll also get access to my step-by-step video lesson on planting garlic so you can set yourself up for success with your garlic crop this year.

Comment “Garlic” below or head to thehouseandhomestead.com/garlic-guide to get your free copy!
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#garlic #garlicharvest #homesteading #selfsufficient #selfsufficiency #selfsufficientliving #selfreliance #homegrown #groworganic #growfoodnotlawns #gardenersofinstagram #homesteadersofinstagram
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Going through photos and videos from our trip to the @modernhomesteadingconference and the vast majority are of our daughter having the time of her life!

Even if I personally got nothing else out of this gathering (which I most certainly did), watching her discover her own love of this lifestyle outside of what we do at home made my heart grow three sizes!

Homesteading is about so much more than homegrown food and self-reliance. It’s about passing on invaluable skills and an understanding of and respect for our connection to the land that provides for us to the next generation.

Being around so many other kids and families who are also pursuing a homesteading lifestyle helped show our little one that this is a movement that is so much bigger and greater than what our own family does on our little plot of land. This is a lifestyle worth pursuing, with a community unlike any other.

Glad to be back home and more excited than ever to involve my kids in everything we’re doing. But also, I think I speak for my whole family when I say we can’t wait to go back someday!
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#homesteading #modernhomesteading #raisinglittles
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If you’re simply looking for ways to save a little extra cash this summer and live well for less, here are 12 tried and tested frugal living tips for summer that you can use to save money this season without sacrificing a thing.
Head over using the link in my bio!
https://thehouseandhomestead.com/12-frugal-living-tips-summer/
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#houseandhomestead
#momentsofcalm
#pursuejoy
#simplepleasuresoflife
#thatauthenticfeeling
#findhappiness
#artofslowliving
#simplelifepleasures
#lifesimplepleasure
#simplepleasuresinlife
#thatauthenticlife
#authenticlifestyle
#liveanauthenticlife
#livinginspired
#savouringhappiness
#livemoment
#localgoodness
#simplelive
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#enjoywhatyouhave
#frugallifestyle
#homesteadingmama
#offgridhomestead
#modernfarmhousekitchen
#crunchymama
#rusticfarmhouse
#farmhouseinspo
#farmhouselife
#modernhomesteading
#backyardfarmer
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