Living “Off the Land” in Africa: Finding Homestead Inspiration in an Unlikely Place


My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.I was recently interviewed on a podcast about why I started homesteading, how I learned the skills I know and use now and what advice I have for other homesteaders just starting out.

At first when I received the list of questions I would be asked, I glanced at them and thought to myself “this will be easy.” After all, they were intimate questions about myself, my life and my reasons for homesteading.

And who knows me more intimately than I know myself?

But as I pondered over my answers to these questions, I realized that I didn’t actually know myself as well as I thought I did. 

Why did I start homesteading?

When was the defining moment when I decided I wanted to embark on this journey?

Was there a defining moment?

The answer I wrote down in the end sort of surprised me.

I had thought I would say something about how I had always longed to live out in the country even though I was a born-and-raised city girl. And that’s definitely one reason. But that wasn’t quite it.

Then I thought I might talk about this time I went to visit friends out on their rural property and realized how at peace I felt staying with them as they lived the simple life, away from the rat race. That was definitely an “aha!” moment for me and I remember returning home inspired to live a simpler life. But that wasn’t quite the moment that changed me.

Maybe it was when I started watching homesteading reality shows like “Alaska: The Last Frontier” and “Live Free Or Die,” along with Netflix documentaries about people going back to the land. That is when the term “homesteading” started resonating with me and I started putting it all together that this was the umbrella term for the lifestyle I was after. 

But even though I didn’t know it as “homesteading” until this point, I knew already that I was on the path toward a homesteading lifestyle.

So then, when did I decide I wanted to live this way? What was the catalyst? When was that defining moment in time that changed me?

 

Related: Why I Homestead

 

I’ll admit even now I don’t know if I can pinpoint an exact moment or event that set me down this course I’m on now. But since I felt I needed to come up with some sort of a real answer, I said that it began when I was living abroad in Africa and was first exposed to the concepts community, of cooking from scratch with local, seasonal ingredients and of making do with whatever we had to work with.

 

Travelling helped make me a homesteader

This answer surprised me. I had never really considered how much this trip had affected my future life choices. In fact, I had never considered how any of my travels (and there were a lot in my early twenties) had affected my decision to start homesteading. (Well, actually, I did consider it, as evidenced here in my very first blog post. But I hadn’t really given it too much weight).

After all, when most of us think of homesteading we think of an agrarian lifestyle that is centered around the home, not a nomadic lifestyle that evolves out of travelling the globe.

And yet, I now realize the effect that travelling (and especially that trip to Africa) did have on my decision to embark on this very different type of incredible journey:

  • To start homesteading
  • To take an interest and active role in where my food comes from
  • To go back to the land and appreciate what my local environment provides for me
  • To make do with what I’ve got and be grateful for it

And so I wanted to talk a little more about this piece of my background that has helped shape who I am and where I’ve ended up today. Because I didn’t grow up homesteading. I didn’t learn the skills I know today from my mom or dad or even my grandparents. 

I sort of ended up here by accident (or perhaps by divine intervention). I don’t know that I ever “chose” this lifestyle. Moreover it found me, and I found it, much the same as two soulmates find each other. And we grew fond of each other over time, and now I can’t imagine my life without it, and I feel safe in its arms.

 

Related: The Difficult Path to the Simple Life

 

So, how did a trip to Africa set me on my homesteading path? I’m glad you asked:)

When I was 21 years old I had recently arrived back home from a study abroad trip in Europe. I had just spent 6+ months living in Vienna, Austria and travelling all over Europe. I had officially caught the travel bug, and at this point in my life all I consciously wanted to do was to see and experience as much of the world as possible.

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.And so when I came across an opportunity to apply for a volunteer program in Madagascar, I applied without hesitation.

The position was with the World Wildlife Fund, an organization that I respected and that aligned with my values and belief in environmental conservation (a value I still hold dear and that informs my homesteading endeavours to this day).

In the end I was one of 6 volunteers accepted to the program. I was beyond excited. Madagascar! Like, who goes to Madagascar? I was officially about to go way off the beaten path for the first time. Little did I know how “off the beaten path” this trip would take me.

To make a bit of a long story short, I didn’t end up going to Madagascar. A civil war broke out and we were advised to cancel our trips until further notice. But I couldn’t cancel my ticket due to restrictions on the airfare I had purchased. I could only change my ticket. So I changed it and flew to South Africa instead.

Only one other volunteer did the same thing. A girl from Australia who I ended up meeting at a market in Johannesburg, and who would go on to become one of my best friends to this day.

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.

My Aussie friend Sian (left) and me (right) posing for a selfie in Senegal.

As we waited to hear news about when it might be safe to fly to Madagascar, we enjoyed travelling around South Africa together, bonding over wine and new adventures.

Finally after a few weeks we were told that it was still unsafe to travel to Madagascar, and that our placement had been changed to Senegal. Senegal? I had no idea where that even was.

We looked on the map and located it on the coast of West Africa. Dakar is the capital city. The only thing that rang a bell was the Dakar Rally. Everything else was completely foreign to me. But we happily seized the opportunity for adventure and booked our tickets. And we were off to Senegal.

When we landed in Dakar, culture shock hit me like a brick wall. (And I had already been to some pretty intrepid places). But this was next level. 

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.

Shoeless children with tattered clothes held buckets up to our taxi windows as they begged for anything we were willing to give.

Women with bright coloured clothing and head scarves carried fruit and other merchandise on their heads as they competed with each other for our attention. And African men yelled back and forth at each other in a mixture of French and Wolof, the local dialect. It was all incredibly overstimulating, to say the least.

On top of the standard culture shock of being dropped in a third world country, Senegal is mostly Muslim, and we really didn’t have a clue what that meant before we got there. 

But we learned quickly that the Senegalese people were warm and accepting of us despite our clear ignorance of their culture.

I gained a great deal of respect for these people and their culture while I was there and encourage others not to believe everything you hear about other countries, cultures and religions from the media and from others who perpetuate misinformation. When you get a chance to travel and to meet people face-to-face you truly do realize how much more alike we are than different.

But I digress…

Dakar was not to be our final stop (and thank God, because I don’t think I could have handled the overwhelm of that city for our entire 4 0r 5-month stay). 

Instead we were stationed in a small fishing village called Joal-Fadiouth where we were tasked with uncovering the environmental challenges in the area and developing an environmental eduction plan for the local school system (at least, that’s what we ended up doing. As for what we were actually supposed to do there, no one ever really told us. To be fair, I don’t think anyone really knew).

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.

But here we found ourselves, for better or for worse, on this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime adventure. And some days were better and some days were worse than others.

The work itself wasn’t difficult. We were both educated young women with passion, motivation and resourcefulness to spare. But dealing with daily life and navigating our way in this new world was both challenging and overwhelming at times.

One of the biggest challenges for me was living with limited resources, little to no modern conveniences, sketchy access to electricity and running water at the best of times and, above all else, learning to cook and survive off of ingredients that were foreign and intimidating to me (with no refrigeration and nothing more than a single propane burner).

 

Living without mod cons: Making do or doing without

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.

This was our kitchen for almost 4 months while living in Senegal. At first I was intimidated but by the end I had learned that with a little resourcefulness and creativity, it was possible to create healthy, satisfying meals from scratch using only local, seasonal ingredients and a small, single propane burner.

You see, up until now I was pretty used to my modern, western, urban/suburban lifestyle where I had access to pretty much anything I could ever want at all hours of day and night, including food.

I was used to eating out and being able to go to the grocery store and buy microwaveable food in packages and a few fresh ingredients that were familiar to me.

But here in Senegal, most everything was foreign. And nothing was processed or pre-packaged. It was a violent shove into cooking from scratch and making do or doing without.

And I failed miserably at it. In fact, for the first month or so I pretty much survived off of bread and butter with Maggi powder seasoning that I would sprinkle on top for flavouring. I’m pretty sure if it weren’t for my Aussie friend who had some basic food and cooking knowledge, I would have returned home sick with scurvy, or worse.

There were no grocery stores. Only the local market. And most of the ingredients at the market were new to me and were unlabelled (or labelled in another language), so I was totally intimidated by the thought of going shopping.

 

First experiences with the local cuisine

I do remember making an initial trip to the market with our caretaker who gave us a quick tour. Then I remember “helping” her prepare the national dish “Thieboudienne,” which consists mainly of stewed fish, tomatoes, root vegetables and rice and is eaten day in and day out in Senegal.

While it is really quite a tasty dish, watching her throw the entire fish in (head, eyes and all) made my stomach turn the first time I saw it. I was definitely not used to this type of cooking that made use of the entire animal and I admit it freaked me out. 

* By the way, I do not use fish heads in my own version of this dish. But all the power to you if you want to try it the authentic way!

So I stuck to my bread and butter and seasoning for a while. I gained weight and I felt sick. I joked regularly that I was probably the only person who had ever travelled to Africa and gained weight. But my diet was extremely poor at first so no wonder.

It took some time getting used to eating the local dishes that were made with all fresh, local ingredients that were new to me, like tamarind and cassava root, and others that were killed the same day as they ended up on my dinner plate like goats and pigs. 

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”To be aware of the sacrifice an animal had to make for me to eat it made me appreciate its life just that much more.” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””][/perfectpullquote]

Hearing a goat scream as it had was being slaughtered was not a sound I was used to, nor one that I could easily forget. But I was grateful for goat meat after nothing but fish for days on end. And as I became accustomed to life in Senegal I began to understand that not only was this simply the way of life here, but it was really a positive thing to be so connected to the food that I ate. 

To be aware of the sacrifice an animal had to make for me to eat it made me appreciate its life just that much more. To know we could only get certain ingredients or foods at certain times when they were available made me grateful for those foods when I could get them.

 

Food is so much more than a meal

The way food connected people here was so intimate and almost spiritual. Most often when you enjoyed a local dish you enjoyed it with many other people and ate from the same plate and even drank from the same cup that was passed around. This was definitely strange and uncomfortable for me at first, but it truly was amazing how everybody shared and made sure that everyone ate and drank and no one went hungry. 

In the west we are so used to being greedy. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours, when it comes to food, shelter, money, things… In this little community in Senegal, everybody lifted each other up. No one let anyone else do without.

Now it wasn’t perfect. It’s still a third world country and there are human rights violations there that you wouldn’t believe. But on a community level, it really opened my eyes to how everybody can contribute to the greater good of many instead of letting others go without so that those with the means to do so could have more. It was a deeply inspiring show of humanity to say the least.

And it taught me a lot about cooking from scratch with local, seasonal ingredients and making do with what was available. Even though I didn’t do a lot of the cooking while I was there, I observed intently as others did. I went to the market with my friend who was savvier than I and learned how to buy a cut of meat and some veggies, cube the meat, chop the veggies, season them and throw them in a skillet to cook over a small flame and that this could be a tasty, healthy and satisfying dinner. 

 

The simple beauty of eating seasonally

I remember when the tides went out and the local women marched out on the mudflats, babies tied to their backs, and dug for clams. I had just never really considered how people could just go out into nature and harvest from the Earth or the sea!

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.

In my experience you just bought your ingredients from the store and they either came from commercial farms or perhaps professional fishermen with licenses. But watching these women harvest claims and feed their families and communities right from the land… it really was a new concept to me at this time.

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.

I remember we had “linguine con vongole” that night. My Aussie friend had the idea to procure some of those local clams and turn them into this favourite Italian dish. It sounds so strange now, but I was really in awe that she could take local Senegalese ingredients and turn them into an Italian dish. It was such a treat and a break from the norm while we were there. I remember that moment being really inspired to get creative and start cooking from scratch and empowered because I now knew it was possible to take whatever local ingredients were available and turn them into a satisfying meal.

The journey home 

I came away from this trip really motivated to start cooking from scratch at home. After all, I figured if it could be done with limited ingredients in Africa then it could be done in Canada. And so I started… Slowly at first. I learned a few basic dishes like pizza and different types of pasta and roast chicken. I began experimenting with different ingredients and just having fun playing around in the kitchen.

At the same time, this draw of leaving the city and living a simpler, more rural life began to take hold of me. But it would be a number of years and another trip abroad (this time to Australia to see my friend) before I would actually make the move. 

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.

 

In the meantime I worked on my cooking skills and took more of an interest in where my food came from and how it was produced. I started making a conscious effort to eat as locally and seasonally as possible.

I grew a small herb garden and a few tomatoes. I started foraging for blackberries and wild apples and learning about other local edibles. The homesteading journey (although I did not know it quite yet) had officially begun.

And the more I sourced ingredients locally, the more of an interest I took in preserving them so that I could enjoy them year-round and avoid buying certain ingredients at grocery stores. At first I just learned to freeze fo

 

ods. Then I started preserving fruits in alcohol. Eventually I began canning and the rest is history.

When we finally made our move out to the country a couple years ago, one of the first things we did was to build a greenhouse and some raised beds. Now we produce much of our own veggies and supplement what we don’t grow with ingredients from local farms and other sources. We cook and preserve and now I have started baking my own bread and making as much as possible from scratch.

This love for making things from scratch has also spilled over into other areas.

I make my own:

 

There is still so much we want to do. One day I want our own chickens and ducks and goats. I want a garden big enough to produce all of our food for the year. I want to learn to forage mushrooms and seaweed and other local edibles. I want to learn to fish and hunt. I want to get better at sewing and knitting and crocheting so I can make my own clothes…

There is so much more I want to do with this crazy homestead dream, but looking back on the girl I was when I first arrived in Senegal, eating my bread and butter and seasoning powder and not having a clue how to cook or care for myself with real food… Looking back on how far I’ve come, I can say I’m really proud of myself (and my husband who has come along with me for this crazy ride). 

 

Some advice for the beginner homesteader

  • Start now, wherever you are
  • Start small, one step at a time
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things
  • Don’t wait for everything to be perfect
  • Enjoy the learning process

If I had one piece of advice for that girl with her bread who was afraid to cook with strange ingredients because she had never tried it before, I would tell her to take the chance.

Get creative! Enjoy the learning process. If the food sucks you can always start over with a new dish. But don’t be afraid to try something new. Food is an adventure much like travelling, and cooking gives us a first class ticket to experiencing it all.

And if I had one piece of advice for anyone aspiring to live their own homestead dream, it would be to start now, wherever you are. 

Whether you live on 10 acres in the country, a condo in the city or a hut in West Africa, do what you can with what you have right now. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect.

You might not have the space to do everything you want right now, but you can work on building some of your skills. Cooking from scratch with local ingredients (whether you grow them yourself or buy them from your local market) is a great place to start.

Chances are you have a kitchen. And if you don’t, go out and get yourself a little one-burner propane stove. I promise it’s all you need to get started on your own self-reliance journey right now:)

As-Salaam Alaikum!

“Peace be with you,” friend.

The House & Homestead

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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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Winter often gets a bad rap for being the coldest, darkest, dreariest season of the year, when life as we knew it in the summer ceases to exist.

But winter offers us a much-needed reprieve from the busy-ness of the rest of the year;

A time to slow down, rest, reflect and dream;

A time to give ourselves over to the projects, hobbies, crafts and activities that we just don’t seem to have time for the rest of the year;

A time to devour books, soak up knowledge, learn new skills and sharpen old ones.

The winter issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine showcases just a few of the many unique activities, projects and opportunities that this season affords us the time to immerse ourselves in.

Here’s what you’ll find in this issue:

✨ Inspiration and ideas to help you make the most of winter on the homestead
🌱 The many ways to put a greenhouse to use all year long
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🪵 Winter woodworking tutorials with The Humble Handyman and Anne of All Trades
❄️ And more!!!

To read the full issue AND get instant access to our entire library of past issues (26 value-packed issues and counting!), click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

P.S. When you subscribe during the month of December, you’ll also get a coupon code for a free one-year subscription that you can gift to someone you love!

Give the gift of self-sufficiency this Christmas —> https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com
...

We’re all familiar with eggnog, but have you ever wondered what “nog” is anyway, or how this decadent holiday drink came to be?

The general consensus is that eggnog originated in England in the 17th Century and was made with eggs, milk and some sort of alcohol (aka. “nog”).

It may have even been enjoyed earlier than this, as a similar beverage called posset (a hot, milky, ale-based drink) has origins dating back to the 13th century.

As I was researching this topic, I found at least one source that claims eggnog was created by mixing alcohol with eggs and milk earlier in the season when egg and milk production was at a high. The alcohol was used to preserve the dairy products so that they could be consumed during the winter months when egg and milk production was low.

It was originally made with sherry or brandy, but when eggnog reached America it was typically spiked with rum because rum was easier to come by. Eventually some people started substituting American whiskey.

Nowadays we can drink eggnog with or without alcohol, but traditionally eggnog was always an alcoholic drink that wealthy folks (who could afford milk and eggs and alcohol) would use to toast to their prosperity.

Eggnog has remained a favourite beverage around Christmas time; One that most of us are accustomed to buying in a carton from the grocery store. But like most processed foods, store-bought eggnog is often loaded with additives like high fructose corn syrup and thickeners.

This holiday season, why not make your own eggnog instead?

All you need are fresh eggs, milk, cream, sugar and a little nutmeg (and an optional cinnamon stick) to garnish.

If eggnog is on your list of holiday must-haves but you’d rather avoid the processed grocery store stuff and make your own with fresh ingredients, you can grab the full recipe via the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or by visiting https://thehouseandhomestead.com/old-fashioned-homemade-eggnog-recipe/

What’s your position on eggnog? Do you love it or hate it? And if you spike it with alcohol, what alcohol do you prefer?
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One of the things I love MOST about homesteading is that it empowers us to become producers of goods rather than merely consumers.

It allows us to become less dependent on outside sources to provide for us because we can provide for ourselves.

But that doesn't mean we don't need any outside help or resources ever when we're striving to become more self-sufficient. In fact, it's even more important that we have the right tools, equipment and resources on hand so that we can be more self-sufficient and consume less overall.

Every year around this time, I compile a list of my favourite things: Things that I love and use on a regular basis, and things that I know other modern homesteaders will love too!

This year I've narrowed it down to my top 10 favourite things; Things I've been using for long enough now that I know they're a great investment and I can feel confident recommending them to others.

For the most part, these are things you're going to buy once and never have to replace.

I put a lot of thought into this year's list, made some ruthless cuts to last year's list and added a couple new things I've come to love over the past 12 months.

If you're looking to invest your money rather than waste it this holiday season –whether you're taking advantage of sales for yourself or looking to buy for others on your list– you have my personal guarantee that the items on this year's favourite things list are well worth the money.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/favourite-things/ to check out the full list if you’re looking for the perfect gift for yourself or for another homesteader on your list, or if you’re just curious to see what we use around our place:)

What are some of your favourite homestead-y things??
...

🥧 Wanna know the secret to a perfect, flaky pie crust EVERY TIME??

It all comes down to 3 simple rules…

Rule # 1 - Keep your butter (or lard) as cold as possible.

Freeze it even!

The colder the better when it comes to the fat source in a pie crust because you want the fat to stay solid until it melts in the oven. Then when it does melt, little air pockets will remain in the crust which is what makes it flaky and light (instead of everybody’s least favourite alternative: chewy and dense).

Rule # 2 - Keep the fat content as high as possible.

Fat equals flavour, and also helps keep the crust light and flaky.

Consider using whole fat milk instead of water, along with your butter or lard.

Rule # 3 - Don’t overwork your dough.

Unlike bread, pie crust should not be kneaded and should actually be handled as little as possible.

The more you work your dough, the more gluten strands will form, and which is what makes bread (and sadly some pie crusts) chewy.

Work your dough only as much as necessary to form a dough ball before you put it in the fridge to chill. The less you touch it, the lighter, flakier and more delicious your pie crust will be!

At the end of the day, homemade pie crust is almost always better than store-bought, but you’ve gotta follow a few simple rules to knock it outta the park.

I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting my own flaky pie crust recipe, which I use for sweet and savoury pies alike.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead for more tips and to get the full printable recipe or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/flaky-pie-crust/

What’s your favourite kind of pie? Answer with an emoji below!

(Mine’s 🍒;)

#pie #homemadepie #thanksgivingrecipes #homesteadkitchen #piefromscratch #fromscratch
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The worst part about every holiday dinner is being stuck in the kitchen cooking while everyone else is just enjoying each other’s company.

The second worst part is store-bought cranberry sauce —You know, the kind that makes that oh-so appetizing slurping noise as it slides out of the tin and into the bowl, still shaped like the can it came out of.

Homemade cranberry sauce is stupidly easy to make and tastes SO much better than store-bought. Plus you can add spices to put your own delicious spin on this holiday classic.

While it takes just a few minutes to whip together homemade cranberry sauce on the big day, you can make it ahead of time and either refrigerate it (up to 3 days), freeze it or even can it to enjoy later!

Canning is my favourite method of preservation when it comes to homemade cranberry sauce because I can make it well in advance and I don’t have to worry about remembering to defrost it ahead of time.

Canning it means you’ve always got a jar of made-from-scratch cranberry sauce ready to go in your pantry long before you’re ready to set the table (and trust me, it’s a lot prettier coming out of a Mason jar!)

Plus you can make enough for both Thanksgiving AND Christmas, all in one go, and even keep enough on hand to enjoy mixed into yogurt, oatmeal or over ice cream whenever you like!

Now is the time to start your holiday dinner preparations to ensure you don’t spend all day in the kitchen and get to soak up as much valuable family time as possible.

Yesterday I shared my family recipe for homemade Perogies, which you can make ahead snd freeze. Here’s just one more recipe you can make ahead of time and preserve to make your life easier this holiday season.

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Did you know that the fragrance industry has a stockpile of over 3,100 synthetic chemicals that they use to concoct their signature fragrances?😬

And get this: Because of trade secrets, they’re not even legally required to disclose the list of chemical ingredients in their products! 😱

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If you wanna learn how, you can check out my DIY Home & Body sprays Masterclass for FREE today only by joining me and a whole bunch of other simple living bloggers for the last day of A Cozy Gathering.

Learn how to create your own all-natural sprays, craft handmade rope coil baskets, cook delicious and nourishing winter soups, make herbal honey infusions and more!

If you’ve already signed up, be sure to check your email for the links to all of today’s presentations!

And if you haven’t signed up yet, there’s not much time left, so click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://bit.ly/307P0cT to sign up and watch for free before it ends tonight!

You also have the option of purchasing lifetime access if you miss it:)

I’ll be making more of these for Christmas gifts this year, along with candles and baskets of goodies from our pantry 😊

Let me know if you’ll be making some too!
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I woke up this morning and it was still dark as night.

The rain was pelting down on our roof and the wind was howling.

Outside it was cold and dreary, but inside I lit my morning candle, turned on the soft white fairy lights we have strung in our kitchen, put a few drops of oil in the diffuser and snuggled back under the blankets with a hot cup of coffee before it was time to “officially” start the day.

I just love this time of year!

I talk a lot about seasonal living, mostly because as a homesteader, you have no choice but to live with the seasons.

You’re either starting seeds and planting in the spring, tending your garden in the summer, preserving in the fall or sitting by the fire in the winter as you eat from the larder full of food you worked so hard to put up the rest of the year, and dreaming about starting all over again in the spring.

Our success as homesteaders really does depend on us changing up our routines and making the most of each season, though this can sometimes feel easier said than done when the weather outside is dark and miserable.

But there’s something magical and deeply nourishing about this time of year, should we choose to embrace it for all it has to offer.

If you’re looking for a little help or inspiration to help you approach the winter months with intention and make this season as cozy, joyous and restful as it can be, I’m so excited to invite you to A Cozy Gathering: a 3-day virtual summit featuring 16 expert speakers, giveaways, and a lifetime’s access to a wealth of information and actionable ideas for simple-living during all four seasons (but especially fall and winter!)

The summit starts on Monday, November 8th and is completely FREE to attend.
OR you can upgrade and get instant, lifetime access to the entire summit, including all of the presentations and exclusive bonuses for just $47 (until Sunday only).

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to register for free and save your seat, or purchase instant, lifetime access to A Cozy Gathering!

Tell me, what’s your favourite thing about this time of year??
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We woke up to a killing frost the other day. If you’re a farmer, gardener or homesteader, you know what that means…

It means our days to get everything done outdoors are numbered.

It means we need to make sure the chickens and rabbits have fresh, warm bedding.

It means we need to finish putting the garden to bed, which includes adding a layer of compost and mulch to feed and protect the soil until we’re ready to plant again next spring.

It means tidying up our tools, putting away our hoses and making sure the water’s turned off so it doesn’t freeze.

So much of life as a homesteader is dictated by the weather and the seasons, and while that can often mean a mad scramble to get everything planted, harvested and/or put to bed, there’s something invigorating about every seasonal transition and shift. It gets my adrenaline going!

But it’s still work. Nobody said that the “simple” life would be easy!

But it’s precisely that hard work that makes falling into bed each night so gratifying. It’s the feeling of a day well spent and a job well done.

If you’re looking for some tips on what to do now before the ground freezes solid to make sure you’re ready for winter AND ready to start all over again in the garden next spring, be sure to check out the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, which is full of tips and advice to help you wrap up the growing season and get a head start on the coming months.

As always, a little bit (more) hard work right now will definitely make life easier down the line.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to subscribe and read the latest issue if you haven’t yet, or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

#homesteading #homesteadersofinstagram #simplelife #selfsufficiency #winteriscoming
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Fact: You can use a cast iron skillet to cook your food, get extra iron in your diet and even to ward off criminals!

These are just a few of the benefits of cooking with cast iron. Wanna know more??

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/7-benefits-of-cooking-with-cast-iron

Do you cook with cast iron? If so, what do you like most about it? Let me know down below!👇

#castiron #castironcooking #homesteadkitchen
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