2019 Modern Homesteader’s Christmas Wish List


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

 

 

Modern homesteader's Christmas wish list | Christmas gifts for modern homesteaders } Christmas gifts for homesteadersDespite the fact that most modern homesteaders lust after some version of “the simple life” and like to challenge ourselves to make do with what we’ve got (and be resourceful AF), we also tend to be suckers for good quality kitchen gadgets, garden tools, cookbooks, preserving equipment, natural ingredients and products that either take us back to a simpler time (hello cast iron and wooden spoons!) or make balancing this whole homesteading thing with the demands of life in the 21st century just a little -or a lot- quicker and easier (I’m looking at you, Instant Pot!)

The awesome thing is, as modern homesteading gains traction and more and more people jump on the self-sufficiency train, the more old-fashioned tools and modern-day time savers are becoming available for those of us who are striving for a homegrown, homemade life.

Naturally, many of us already have a list a mile long of practical, useful gifts that would have us swooning on Christmas morning. But if you need a few ideas for the modern homesteader in your life, you’re looking to inconspicuously send a link full of your favourite products to someone who needs a hint *wink wink*, or you just enjoy browsing Christmas gift guides full of your favourite things (yes, seed catalogues absolutely count;), then this list is certain to have everything you’re heart desires and more. (And if it doesn’t, please let me know what’s missing so I can add it!)

I’ll admit, I couldn’t tell you the first thing about what songs are on the Top 40 list right now or what hashtags are trending on social media, but when it comes to what’s hot in the modern homesteading world, I’m your girl.

And so, without further ado, I present to you the first annual Modern Homesteader’s Christmas Wish List!

Because the greatest gift of the season is being close to your loved ones. But the second greatest gift is the one you really want;)

(Please note: I am an affiliate for the products listed below, which means that if you make a purchase through one of these links I may get a small commission for recommending the product. However this doesn’t cost you anything extra and allows me to earn enough to keep this blog (and all of the free content) going strong. Thanks so much for your support!)

 

Gifts for the Kitchen

 

Cast Iron Cookware

No homestead kitchen is complete without at least one piece of cast iron cookware. If you weren’t lucky enough to inherit cast iron from you meemaw, here are a few cast iron pieces that will help you build your collection (and maybe even ensure you’ll have some timeless pieces to pass down to the future generations in your family!)

 

Cast Iron Skillet 


Every homestead needs at least one classic cast iron skillet. Not only does cast iron make any modern homesteader feel just a little more like Ma Ingalls from Little House On the Prairie, it’s also a healthier and all around better way to cook food! 

Cast iron heats up and cooks food more evenly which helps prevent burning, and it actually adds iron, an essential nutrient, to your food. And there are no harmful chemicals that could end up in your food (which unfortunately can’t be said for non-stick pans). Plus, cast iron lasts forever and can even end up being a family heirloom that can be passed down through generations.

 

Dutch Oven


A dutch oven is another must on any homestead, whether modern or old-fashioned, on or off the grid. Most modern dutch ovens are made of plain cast iron or cast iron covered with enamel. They can be used to cook food on the stovetop or in the oven, making them incredibly versatile. 

There’s also this Spider Dutch Oven with feet that sit above hot ashes in a fire pit or wood burning fireplace and a concave lid that allows coals to sit safely on top, making it possible to bake food over an open flame. This is especially useful for homesteaders living off-grid or to have on hand in case of an emergency.

 

Cast Iron Pie Pan

 

If there’s any way to make homemade pie better, it’s with a cast iron pie pan. This cast iron pie pan ensures an evenly baked crust and a classic crimped edge for the perfect homemade pie. Add a rustic touch (and a dose of iron!) to any homemade pie!

 

Cast Iron Gift Set

Cast Iron Gift Set

 

 

 

 

 

 

This cast iron gift set is the ultimate Christmas gift for anyone with a penchant for old-fashioned living or healthier cooking! The set includes an 8″ skillet, 8″ lid, 8″ crock, handmade wooden trivet, stainless steel cleaning mesh, and organic seasoning paste. Perfect for a gift or as a starter set.

 

Small Appliances & Kitchen Gadgets

We could all use a little help in the kitchen sometimes. Consider the following gadgets and appliances a helping hand to assist you in getting from-scratch food on the table in record time!

 

Instant Pot


Ah, the Instant Pot. You’ve most likely heard lots about this handy modern kitchen tool and/or have stumbled upon about a thousand different Instant Pot recipes online. But you may also be wondering if this is just another trendy new kitchen appliance that will end up buried at the back of your cupboard. That’s what I thought before I got my own Instant Pot last Christmas, but OMG, let me tell you… I use it ALL the time. 

Like a couple weeks ago when I cooked short ribs for the first time and was trying to get dinner on the table at 6:00 at night when I realized they would take 4 hours to cook in the oven! Into the Instant Pot they went and were done in 45 minutes:)

Of course, I also use it for soups, stews, homemade chicken stock, chilli, pot roast, whole chickens, rice… You name it, the Instant Pot can probably cook it.

Dubbed a “multi-cooker” with a seemingly endless variety of functions, the Instant Pot is a pressure cooker, slow cooker and steamer, and has settings to cook everything from rice and porridge to soup and broth and even yogurt. You can even cook frozen chicken breasts to perfection in 10 minutes! Yes, you read that right. You don’t even need to thaw frozen meats when using the Instant Pot and you can still have dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes.

And if all of the amazing food you can make isn’t enough to make you want the hottest item on everyone’s Christmas list this year, you can also make infused oils, extracts, soap, salves and creams. There’s not much you can’t do with an Instant Pot, and while it won’t cook dinner for you and serve it to you at a candlelit table, it’s pretty much the next best thing.

 

Stand Mixer


I have to say, as much as I love my Instant Pot, there’s no kitchen appliance I use more often than my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. I use it to make our yeast bread, baked goods, pizza dough, quick breads, cookie dough, brownies, and the list goes on. Plus there are an endless number of cool and useful attachments for the from-scratch home cook, including a food processor, pasta maker, spiralizer, meat grinder and many more. 

 

Food Processor


I’ve lived without a food processor for years, and it sucks. Grating, julienning and slicing everything by hand is super time-consuming, and any time saved in the kitchen is the greatest gift of all for anyone who strives to make all her meals from scratch. This Breville food processor is a solid product and a workhorse that’s made to last in the kitchen. It’s also a godsend during preserving season when you’ve got 100 pounds of cucumber to slice and turn into pickles, cabbage to shred for sauerkraut and peppers and onions to dice up for homemade salsa:)

 

Mockmill Stone Grain Mill

 

Grinding your own flour at home means you get all of the health benefits of fresh, whole grains in your home-baked goods. This Mockmill 100 stone grain mill can grind up to 100 grams of soft wheat per minute with its ceramic grinding stones and industrial motor, making it the cream of the cop when it comes to grinding your own wheat berries and ancient grains the fast and efficient way! A must for the serious home baker.

 

Preserving Equipment & Tools

Preserving food goes hand-in-hand with homesteading. Luckily for us modern folk, there are a few useful tools and appliances that can help put up the harvest safely and with ease. Here are the preservation tools that every homesteader needs in their kitchen in 2019.

 

Water Bath Canner

Water Bath Canner

A water bath canner is an essential tool for any homesteader, whether modern or old-fashioned. This is the perfect tool for anyone just getting started (or wanting to get started) canning fruit, sauces, jams, jellies, pickles, salsas, spreads, chutneys, juices and preserves. A must-have in any homestead kitchen!

 

Pressure Canner


While water bath canners are great for jams, jellies, pickles and preserves, you need a pressure canner for serious canning of vegetables, meats, soups, stews and stocks. The pressure canner at the top of pretty much every homesteader’s wish list is the All-American Pressure Canner. There’s nothing you can’t can with this baby!

It can also be used as a water bath canner, which means it’s possible to can everything from pickles and preserves to meat, seafood, vegetables and combination recipes. You can literally preserve almost the entire harvest with just this one tool!

 

Dehydrator


I didn’t know how badly I needed a dehydrator in my life until I got an Excalibur dehydrator for Christmas a couple years ago. What a game changer!

Dehydrating opens up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to preserving, making it possible to make your own dried fruits, fruit leathers, dehydrated vegetables, “sun”dried tomatoes, dried herbs, powdered greens, veggie and kale chips, beef jerky, whole dried meals and even yogurt. And all you need to do is set it and forget it! No skill required:)

 

Food Saver Vacuum Sealer

 

A Food Saver vacuum sealer is the answer to your prayers when it comes to preserving food in the freezer. The airtight sealing system helps you extend the shelf life and prevent freezer burn for everything from fruits and vegetables to meats and prepared freezer meals. A must-have for any modern homesteader who uses the grid to her advantage;)

 

Canning Tools


Where would I be without my canning tools? Probably with third degree burns on my arms and a big mess on my counter. Honestly, I don’t know how people can foods without a few handy canning tools like these jar lifters, this canning scoop and this canning funnel.

My own canning tools are some of the most used items in my kitchen. I even use the scoop and funnel for other messy tasks like using the funnel to transfer dry goods into jars and using the scoop to transfer flour from the big bag into my flour canister, sans mess:)

 

Fermenting Kit


While you can totally ferment food the old-fashioned way (with nothing more than a fermenting crock), this fermenting kit makes it fun and easy to ferment any food with ease. A great gift for any beginner or seasoned fermenter!

 

Indoor Growing Kits

Grow food indoors all year long with these indoor growing kits for sprouts, microgreens and mushrooms and ensure you always have a supply of fresh, healthy food to add to your home cooked meals!

 

Culinary Herb Garden Kit

Culinary Herb Garden Kit

 

 

 

 

 

 

This rustic, barn-wood style planter box and culinary herb growing kit makes growing herbs indoors both easy and attractive. Don’t wait for warm weather! Grow herbs in your kitchen so you’ll always have them fresh when you need them to all your home cooking.

 

Sprouting Kit

Sprouting Kit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprouts are thought to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods known to man since they contain all the nutrition of full grown plants compacted into tiny sprouts that can be consumed en masse. The best part? You can grow them on your counter all year long! Even better? They’re ready to eat in just a few days and you don’t even need soil!

This sprouting kit comes with everything you need to start sprouting seeds at home even if you have no experience. Also comes with a large variety of seeds and includes stackable trays that can be used to sprout many different seeds at once. Also includes wheat berries and can even be used to grow wheatgrass hydroponically!

 

Microgreens Starter Kit

Micrograms Growing Kit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take your indoor growing one step further and grow some microgreens! Similar to sprouts, microgreens are simply baby seedlings that are eaten when they’re still small instead of being allowed to grow to their full size. (The difference is that sprouts are merely sprouted seeds whereas microgreens are allowed to grow into seedlings).

This microgreens starter kit has everything you need to get started growing microgreens indoors including growing trays, a selection of seeds and even the soil! Hydroponic microgreens kits are also available. Another great way to grow fresh, nutrient-packed food that’s ready to harvest in just a few days. Perfect for year-round growing indoors in any size space!

 

Mushroom Growing Kit

Mushroom Growing Kit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mushrooms are a fantastic food source to start growing indoors since they don’t exactly need a lot of sunlight. I once knew of a woman who lived in a tin high rise apartment in downtown Vancouver and she grew mushrooms in her bedroom closet! And it’s not hard to see why: This oyster mushroom growing kit comes with everything you need to grow right out of the box – just add water, and you’ll be harvesting delicious mushrooms to cook with in stir fries, pasta dishes, pizza or however else you enjoy mushrooms at home!

 

Odds, Ends & Stocking Stuffers

Here are a few more odds, ends and items that no modern homestead kitchen should be without.

 

Wooden Cooking Utensils


I use my wooden cooking utensils almost every day in my kitchen. Not only are they rustic and beautiful on display on my counter, they’re also all-natural and great for cooking food without fear of plastic particles or metals leeching into your food. A great stocking stuffer idea!

Silicone Oven Mitts


I LOVE my silicone oven mitts. Not only do they keep my hands safe and insulated from heat, the silicone exterior makes it easier to grip hot pans and casserole dishes without fear of them slipping out of your hands and making a big hot mess all over your kitchen. And the silicone also makes them easy to wipe clean when you get food on them and prevents burn marks. I got mine as a wedding present and have used them almost daily for almost 5 years now and they’re still just as good as new!

 

Fermentation Weights

 
These glass fermentation weights make keeping fermenting foods under the brine a breeze, which helps to minimize food loss and ensure a quality finished product. These make for a fantastic stocking stuffer for any modern (or not so modern) homesteader!

 

Oversized Mason Jar Storage Jar


There’s nothing a homesteader loves more than staring for hours on end at the pretty Mason jars of home-canned food that line her pantry shelves. But dried goods can sometimes be a bit of an eyesore in their packages, boxes and bags. The solution? Put them in this oversized Mason jar!

You can display dried goods like four, sugar, grains, dried fruits, nuts, etc. in this beauty on your countertop or tucked away in your pantry. Or you could store just about anything else in here (Lego pieces come to mind as I glance over at my living room floor… Kids.)

 

Cookbooks

What homesteader doesn’t love to flip through cookbooks for hours on end? It’s even better when the recipes are all made from scratch and actually easy to make at home! The following cookbooks are a mix of the hottest sellers right now and tried and true classics bound to give you the inspiration (and instructions) you need to make from scratch cooking a breeze!

 

The Prairie Homestead Cookbook

 

The Prairie Homestead Cookbook: Simple Recipes For Heritage Cooking In Any Kitchen is the hottest selling homestead-themed cookbook of 2019, hands-down.

Author Jill Winger, creator of The Prairie Homestead blog and host of The Old-Fashioned On Purpose Podcast makes traditional homestead and heritage cooking easy and accessible with simple, fresh farmstead recipes like Maple Sage Breakfast Sausages, Farmer’s BreakfastHash, Homemade French Bread, Honey Whipped Carrots, Tomato Basil Galette and Fudgy Sourdough Brownies, to name but a few. This book is also loaded with lots of other great information on growing and preserving your own food. This is the cookbook that’s topping many a modern homesteader’s wish list this Christmas (including mine!)

 

Handmade

 

Part cookbook, part memoir, part practical homesteading and general life advice, author Melissa K. Norris weaves together the story of her family, the wisdom passed onto her through five generations of homesteading experience and the from-scratch recipes that she’s inherited from those who came before her in her book Hand Made: The Modern Guide to Made-From-Scratch Living. Full of easy, straightforward recipes with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You’ll find everything in his book from sourdough bread to buttermilk biscuits (the best I’ve ever had!) to homemade soap to homespun Christmas decorations and more!

 

Homestead Kitchen

 

If you’re a fan of Alaska: The Last Frontier, then you’ll definitely be a fan of Homestead Kitchen: Stories And Recipes From Our Hearth To Yours. Written by ATLF stars Eivin and Eve Kilcher, this is a true homesteader’s cookbook that covers everything from Essential Cooking Staples and Tools to “Cooking the Homestead Way” to homestead recipes categorized by the origins of their ingredients. There are recipes from the garden, the henhouse, the pantry, the root cellar, the milking shed, the forest and the sea, to name a few. Plus many entertaining stories and tidbits of information about the Kilcher family sprinkled throughout.

 

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving


I can’t say enough good things about The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I call it my “canning bible” since it’s my go-to guide for canning everything under the sun. This book contains 400 canning recipes and complete step-by-step instructions for water bath and pressure canning so even a total newbie can’t go wrong. Another must-have kitchen “tool” for every modern homesteader.

 

Gifts for the Garden (and Barn) 

 

Hori Hori Multipurpose Garden Tool

Hori Hori Garden Tool

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hori Hori garden tool is a multipurpose tool that can be used for everything from digging to trenching, planting, cutting, and even opening your beer after a long day working in the garden;) Hori Hori, which translates to “dig dig” in Japanese, is considered one of the best all-around garden tools of 2019. And, of course, it’s a Japanese-made knife, which means it’s built to last.

 

Canvas Garden Apron

Canvas Garden Apron

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fashionable and functional, this canvas garden apron has 6 large and medium pockets to hold seed packets, tools, gloves, your phone and anything else you might need out in the garden.

 

Garden Tool Stool

 

 

 

 

 

 

As an avid gardener, I know how painful it can be to be on your knees on the dirt all the time. That’s why this fold-out canvas garden tool stool is a dream come true for gardeners of all ages! Not only does it offer you a place to sit comfortably anywhere in your garden, it also has eight large pockets to keep all of your tools and gardening gear close at hand.

 

Gardener’s Scissors Gift Set

Gardener's Scissors Gift Set

 

 

 

 

 

 

These beautiful and functional garden scissors make a perfect stocking stuffer for homesteaders and gardeners. Not only will they be well used come spring when it’s time to start snipping herbs and cutting twine, these stainless steel scissors with bamboo handles packaged in a reusable wooden box make this a gorgeous gift set that would pair well with a pair of quality gardening gloves.

 

Garden Journal

 

A garden journal is the perfect gift for homesteaders who love to get their goals and dreams down on paper, record their results and stay organized. This month-by-month guided journal helps to ensure you make the most of your garden by helping you plan your garden calendar all year long so you never miss an important task or date. There’s also space to write, doodle, plan and dream and to record your harvest, yield, seeds, crop rotation cycle and more to give you an advantage the following season too!

 

Egg Gathering Apron

 

An egg gathering apron is a must for every chicken farmer! (Yup, even the dudes;) Not only does it make gathering eggs easy and helps to ensure they don’t crack and break, it looks super cute too! Another fun and functional gift that makes homestead life just that much better:)

 

Gifts for the Home

 

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essential oils have changed my life in so many ways. They’re a key ingredient almost every homemade product I make, from candles and room sprays to body butters and salves to homemade cleaners and bath products. And they’ve become an integral part of my journey to creating an all-natural home and medicine cabinet.

There’s an essential oil for just about everything, from illnesses and injuries to stress and anxiety to helping you focus and easing fatigue. Plus they’re an all-natural, synthetic chemical free way to make your home smell ah-mazing. Essential oils are the perfect gift for anyone, and they’re a sure hit with homesteaders everywhere.

 

Diffuser

 

 

 

 

 

Every essential oil enthusiast must have a diffuser. Diffusing essential oils is one of the most common ways to enjoy them and reap their health benefits and their beautiful aromas. 
I currently own two diffusers and have a goal of someday having one in every room! I love using them to make my house smell amazing with just a little water and a few drops of essential oils rather than using synthetic fragrances. I especially love that I can diffuse relaxing oils like lavender in my daughter’s bedroom at night to help her sleep or I can add oils that help ease symptoms of illness that the whole family can benefit from when we’re under the weather.

 

Wood Stove Eco-Fan


Anyone with a wood stove needs one of these eco-fans! It helps to heat your living space by blowing warm air throughout your home, and it’s powered by the heat of the wood stove itself. Just set it on top of your wood stove, light a fire and enjoy the toasty warmth!

 

Oil Lamp

Oil Lamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing says “pioneer” like a good ol’ fashioned oil lamp. Not only does it complete the look of a vintage farmhouse, it’s also backup lighting for if and when the power goes out. Pick up a used one from your local second hand store or order new online (Yes! They actually still make these!)

 

16-Arm Laundry Dryer

16-Arm Laundry Dryer

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s just something about line drying your clothes that harkens back to a simpler time. Not to mention, hanging clothes to dry helps to preserve them longer and saves money and energy. You can hang your clothes to dry inside or out with this adjustable 16-arm dryer that folds up completely and was designed for use in any size space. Great for the apartment homesteader who still wants the benefits of hanging clothes to dry!

 

Laundry Soap Nuts

Soap Nuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soap nuts naturally produce saponin: a biodegradable, hypoallergenic and extremely effective detergent. A great stocking stuffer or companion gift for the drying rack!

 

Cast Iron Skillet Clock

Cast Iron Skillet Clock

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handcrafted in the USA, this cast iron skillet clock is the perfect cute but functional piece of decor for any homestead kitchen, old or new!

 

Handmade Gifts From The Heart

Every modern homesteader appreciates the art of the handmade gift as much (if not more than) store-bought gifts. Here are some quick and easy QUALITY handmade gifts you can make at home for yourself and for the people on your list, whether they’re homesteaders or not!

And as always, if you have anything you think should be added to the list, let me know in the comments below!

Wishing you a homemade, homegrown, homestead Christmas 🙂

 

 

 


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

1 Comment

  1. Lindsay

    Great list of homesteader items! In fact, I had a lot of these same items on my Honesteader’s Christmas article! I especially loved how you added non money gifts. The gift of time and help means so much! Thank you for a great blog post.

    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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Okay, I’m just gonna come out and say it: I’m a total sucker for pumpkin spice.

Call me #basic, but it’s the truth.

In fact, I’m all about everything fall: the colours, the coziness, the sweater weather, and yes, pumpkins and pumpkin spice. There’s just something comforting and nostalgic about it; Like grandma’s kitchen or the warm scent of pumpkin pie that wafts from the table at holiday dinners with family and friends.

What I’m NOT all about are the chemical preservatives and lab-created “natural flavours” in most store-bought and coffee shop pumpkin spice syrups and lattes. Not to mention, I don’t exactly love paying $5.00 or more for a single drink at a cafe.

This homemade pumpkin spice syrup, made with REAL pumpkin and spices and NO added preservatives solves all of these problems... It’s 100% natural and costs just pennies per batch. (And trust me when I say it rivals even the famed Starbucks #PSL when added to a homemade latte).

You definitely want to try this at home this pumpkin spice season. Er, I mean this fall 😉

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead for the full recipe or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-pumpkin-spice-syrup/
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#pumpkinspice #pslseason #pumpkinseason #homemade #fallvibes #flavorsoffall #homesteadkitchen
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As much as I'm honestly kinda over the garden by this time of year and ready to tuck in indoors and rest for a while, I know that the effort I put into my garden in the fall will pay a huge return come next spring and summer when we're ready to plant and then harvest our next round of crops.

For one, fall is the best time to amend and enrich your soil, so adding compost or manure or some sort of organic matter is pretty crucial this time of year.

Also, you should always cover your soil, especially over the winter months when soil is more likely to erode and nutrients can get washed away. A cover crop or a thick layer of mulch is a good idea to help keep your soil protected and intact.

And of course, garlic should be planted in the fall before your first frost to ensure huge bulbs next summer. Us homesteaders always have to be thinking ahead a few seasons!

I'm taking you into our garden as we're tearing it down and planting out our garlic. I'll show you our fall gardening routine and I'll walk you through planting garlic so you can start growing it at home too! (It's honesty the easiest, most rewarding crop that we grow).

It's time for the grand finale in the garden this year as we tear it down and prep it for next spring. Will you join me for one last hurrah?

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://youtu.be/llNFlxxUV-I
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#fallgardening #garlic #healthysoil #homesteadersofinstagram #humanswhogrowfood
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First batch of homemade candles for the season. It’s a cold, grey day and we’re about to light the woodstove for the first time this season too. Now I have some homemade spice-scented candles to go with the cozy vibe:)

I LOVE candles, but good ones are pretty expensive to buy. However, since I started making candles myself I haven’t bought a single one from the store and I’ve probably saved myself hundreds of dollars.

I make at least a batch or two (or three) of these scented soy wax candles every year around this time. I burn a bunch of them myself over the winter and we gift them for Christmas. I’ve even sold them for upwards of $15 a piece!

If you want an easy and rewarding DIY project to get into as we head into fall and winter, homemade candles is your answer.

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-soy-candles-essential-oils to learn how to make them yourself!
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#homemade #handmade #candles #diy
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Sometimes I question why I do what I do. Why do I take on so much? Why do I bother making everything from scratch and growing a garden and preserving food when I could just as well buy it from the store and save myself a ton of time and effort?⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣
Why am I working hard to build a business out of my passion when I could just as easily go to work for a pay check and just enjoy homesteading as a hobby on the side?⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣
Why do I choose to do everything the hard way and see against the grain? Why not just go with the flow and hope for the best?⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣
I can’t say for sure that I would have chosen to follow all the same paths that I’ve gone down over the past few years had I not become a mother, but what I 𝘥𝘰 know for sure is that my beautiful daughter is worth every ounce of hard work; every dollar I’ve invested in our future goals and dreams; every late night work fest and canning session; every seed planted and loaf of bread baked.⁣

She’s worth it because I want to give her the best I can in life. I want her to eat good food and live a long and healthy life. I want to teach her how to be self-sufficient so that she has the skills she needs no matter what kind of world awaits her in the future. And I want to show her that anything is possible and any dream is worth pursuing, even if the work that it takes to achieve it is harder than following the herd and taking the road of least resistance.⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣
This little human right here: this is my why. This girl and her goofy smile make everything worthwhile ❤️⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣
What (or who?) is your why?
...

This growing season has seriously been the strangest I’ve experienced so far. Summer came so late we thought it wasn’t gonna come at all. Our greens and peas and spring crops produced for weeks longer then they normally do as we waited FOREVER for our tomatoes and peppers and summer crops to grow and ripen.

Now that we’re into October, we’re having a warm spell and the garden is acting like it’s summer! The tomatoes are all just starting to turn red, the cucumbers and zucchini are still givin’er, the pumpkins and squash are having another growth spurt, and now the green beans are starting on round two after about a month of dormancy!

We’re supposed to be going fishing tomorrow, and I’m wondering if the salmon are a little late this year too...

If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us all it’s that nothing is ever certain. So even though I’m sort of ready to be done with the garden already, I’m reminded of how fortunate we are to have such abundance come from our property and our surrounding environment; To have so much when so many have so little; To live in such a beautiful, bountiful corner of the world surrounded by a kind-hearted community that values sustainability and self-sufficiency like we do.

I love making plans for the future, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without some pretty serious planning. But sometimes you’ve just gotta go with the flow and trust that even when things don’t work out exactly as you’d imagined, they work out exactly as they should.

I wasn’t expecting to still be busy with the summer garden in October, but I have to say, this year, no matter how ready to be done with it I might feel some days, I’m more grateful than ever for everything we’ve been blessed with.

What are you feeling grateful for this year? It’s Thanksgiving next weekend here in Canada, so we’ll be talking a lot about gratefulness this week in our house 🙏
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Can you imagine how bland and boring our food (and life) would be without spices??⁣

Seriously! We take them for granted nowadays because they’re so readily available in our pantries and on grocery store shelves. But for thousands of years throughout history, spices were coveted, revered and hard to get. For around 1,500 years, spices travelled overland on camelback and horseback on the Silk Road from China to the west. And then, just over 500 years ago, explorers set out into the unknown to find a maritime trading route, and one of those explorers just so happened to stumble on the Americas along the way, essentially shaping history and the modern world as we know it. ⁣

But besides history and geography, the science behind spices is just as fascinating. Their culinary and medicinal uses have had a huge impact on the world and on the dishes we enjoy on a regular basis today. Oh, and did you know that, scientifically speaking, it’s actually possible to GROW even the most “exotic” spices at home, right here in North America??⁣

I LOVE to geek out on this sort of stuff, so doing the research for the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine was actually so much fun. (If you hadn’t guessed, this issue is all about spices!!)⁣

I’d love to tell you so much more right here, but I’m a bit limited on space! However, you can read more about the fascinating story of spices, their culinary and medicinal uses, how to put them to use in your kitchen and yes, even how to grow them at home in the October issue.⁣

So if you’re already subscribed, be sure to check your inbox for the latest issue (it came out yesterday). And if you’re NOT yet subscribed, then head on over and click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to subscribe for FREE, and get the latest issue delivered straight to your inbox!⁣

Wishing you a rich, flavourful fall season full of spice, pumpkin and otherwise;)
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The weather this summer has been as unpredictable as 2020 itself. The cool, grey, wet start to the summer meant that our sun-loving crops got a slow start in the garden, and that’s led to an unprecedented number of green tomatoes at the end of the season.

You’ve probably heard me complaining about our green tomato “problem” all summer. We do, after all, have great fruit set and TONS of tomatoes on our plants. They’re just almost all green!!!

While I do love me some green tomatoes (green tomato relish is my FAVE and fermented green tomatoes and hot peppers are out of this world), I refuse to give up on luscious, red, homemade tomato sauce and salsa just yet. I refuse to accept that they’re all just green and that’s just the way it is! So I’m taking matters into my own hands and ripening them myself.

Luckily the process of ripening green tomatoes indoors is ridiculously easy, so if you’ve got more green tomatoes than you know what to do with too, or you’re just keen to get another batch of sauce on your pantry shelves, I’m sharing this simple trick with you today for ripening green tomatoes that has stood the test of time (for real... my great grandmother used to do this).

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/how-to-ripen-green-tomatoes-indoors/ to learn this simple hack!
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#greentomatoes #gardenhacks #tomatoharvest #homesteadhacks #puttinuptheharvest
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Okay, I MAY have totally messed up a batch of blackberry jam today, but check out this carrot! Thing’s almost as thick as my forearm and as long as my face! (Is that an accurate way to measure things?)🤷🏻‍♀️
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#homesteadersofinstagram #peoplewhogrowfood #humanswhogrowfood #homegrown #harvest
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September is such an odd time of year. It’s the time of year when we tend to find ourselves with a foot in two worlds: A transition season, if you will.⁣

In the garden, some plants are dead or dying. There’s brown, crispy stems, dried pea pods bursting with next year’s seeds and a natural layer of mulch in the form of fallen leaves. But at the same time there’s still so much life. So much greenery and colour. So much of summer still left.⁣

Indoors we’re busy putting up the harvest, stocking our shelves with jars of colourful food, baskets of cured onions and garlic, dried herbs hanging everywhere and crocks of fermenting foods on every countertop. But while we’re still dealing with the summer bounty, fall has begun, which means we’re back to schedules and routines and, for those of us with kids, school.⁣

But this year our return to our “normal” fall routines is anything but. For many families, there is no return to school. Not in the traditional sense anyway. Instead, more families than ever before have found themselves educating their children at home for the first time, whether by force or by choice. And trying to balance all of the usual September tasks with navigating full-time homeschooling can feel daunting, to say the least.⁣

I know we can all use as much help and expert advice as we can get at this time, so I’m honoured to have Ginny Aaron, a full-time homeschooling, homesteading mom of three sharing her wisdom on the blog this week. She’s generously shared her best tips for incorporating homeschooling with your existing routine and finding the teachable moments in the every day so that you don’t need to uproot your life or find another 7 hours in your day to recreate a classroom environment at home.⁣

I just love Ginny’s approach to homeschooling and if you’re anything like me, I think you will too. You can check out her full post by clicking the link in my bio or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homeschooling-on-the-homestead/

It’s also Ginny's first time guest posting so be sure to leave a comment while you’re there and let us know what school looks like for your family this year.⁣

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead
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I’ve been feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders lately. Between balancing work and the garden and all of the canning and preserving tasks this time of year, I’ve already got enough on my plate. Add a string of social commitments, back-to-school and extracurricular activities, and I’m definitely feeling the pressure, as I usually do this time of year.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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But lump on a pandemic, worsening political tensions, division and civil unrest, intensifying environmental disasters (we’re currently socked in with smoke from the California wildfires), and it all just becomes too much to bear some days.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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I know I’m far from the only one who’s feeling this way. And yet, we all have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going even when we’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed and burnt out. Even when the present is frightening and the future is uncertain.⁣

I’ve developed some strategies over the past few years that have helped me keep moving forward and get things done even when I’m feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, and I want to share them with others who need help coping with stress and overwhelm right now too.⁣⁣
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You can check out my list of 10 tips for managing stress and overwhelm on the homestead (and in life!) by clicking the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and then clicking the link to the full blog post at the top.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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You can also grab my free time management planner by clicking the link in my bio and then clicking on “Free Resource Library,” (find it under “Homesteading & Self-Sufficiency Resources” in the library).⁣⁣⁣
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No matter what you’re struggling with right now, I hope some of these tips help keep you navigate these extra stressful times and stay focused and moving forward with your to-do list, as well as with your big goals and dreams. But most of all, I hope it reminds you that if you are struggling and feeling overwhelmed right now, you’re not alone.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to read more.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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I don’t think I have a jar big enough for this pickling cucumber 🥒 ⁣

What do you do with the huge pickling cukes that inevitably get missed in the garden??⁣

Please leave suggestions below! I’ve got two of ‘em! 😂
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#humanswhogrowfood #homesteadersofinstagram #mypickleisbiggerthanyours
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Late summer is truly the time of abundance (and by far the busiest time of year for us).⁣⁣⁣
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We’ve got so much food that’s ripe for the picking in our own garden, plus baskets full of produce that we purchase locally when it’s in season and preserve for the winter.⁣⁣⁣
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Between harvesting and preserving (and trying my best to document it all for you along the way), there’s little time for much else in August.⁣⁣⁣
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We’re busy sweating in the garden and the kitchen, working around the clock to preserve all of the fruits (and vegetables) of summer so that come winter we hunker down and relax knowing we’ve got a pantry full of food to sustain us.⁣⁣⁣
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While there have been more times than I like to admit when I’ve asked myself why we do this when we could be at the beach or floating down the river like everyone else, come winter I am ALWAYS grateful for the time and energy we invested in the spring, summer and fall to grow and preserve all of the food that lines our pantry shelves.⁣⁣⁣
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With everything that 2020 has brought so far (and more uncertainty to come), this year I’m feeling grateful even in the thick of it; Even while I’m sweating and pulling late night canning sessions and constantly scraping dirt out from under my nails. This year it’s more apparent than ever how much growing and preserving our own food is worth the time and effort that it takes.⁣⁣⁣
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If you feel the same way and you’re looking to get even better at gardening, preserving and homesteading in general, or maybe you’re finally ready to start living a more sustainable lifestyle where YOU have control over your food supply, I highly encourage you to check out the Gardening & Sustainable Living Bundle (link in bio @thehouseandhomestead). It’s packed with almost $600 worth of resources designed to help you take control of your food security and live a more self-sufficient life, and it’s on sale today only for just $19.99!⁣

If you ask me, we would all be wise to invest in our own food security as we head into fall and winter 2020, so click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to grab your bundle now. The sale ends tonight at midnight so don’t wait!!
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