Pickling 101: The Ultimate Guide to Everything Pickled


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

 

Pickling is one of the oldest forms of food preservation on the planet. Here's everything you need to know to get started pickling this summer.Pickling as a form of food preservation has been around for millennia. According to the Pickle History Timeline published by the New York Food Museum, archaeologists believe that pickling originated more than 4,000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia (modern day Middle East). Pickled cucumbers  (which we most commonly associate with pickled foods) are said to date back to 2030 BC in India, where cucumbers originated. 

Aristotle is said to have praised the curative benefits of pickled cucumbers, they are rumoured to have been one of Cleopatra’s secret beauty weapons in Ancient Egypt, and Julius Caesar apparently fed them to his soldiers for strength. Pickles have even been mentioned in the bible a couple of times! It’s safe to say they are likely one of the world’s oldest “processed” foods.

Since ancient times, pickles have played, and continue to play, an important role in the diets of many cultures around the world. Eastern Europeans have relied on pickling foods to store for the cold winter months and are most well known for kosher and Polish-style pickles, sauerkraut and pickled beets. (And I should know; My family is of good Ukrainian stock and we don’t do a family dinner without all three of these things on the table). The English are known for their sweet pickles, the French for their cornichons, the Middle Easterners for pickled lemons, Koreans for kimchi and Japanese for pickled daikon radishes and ginger root. 

Here in North America, home pickling dates back to the early 1600s. Later, in the mid 1800s, more modern canning practices and tools (including the renowned Mason Jar), led to more home canning of pickles the way we know them today.

 

What does “pickling” mean?

“Pickling” is the term used for preserving food in an acidic solution. There are typically two main ways to achieve this: vinegar and fermentation.

Vinegar: Foods pickled in vinegar can be canned and stored on shelves or in the refrigerator immediately. This is also called the “fresh-pack” or “quick-process” method. Since vinegar is acidic, it is the vinegar that preserves the food. You can use either white distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar, as long as the acidity level is 5%. This is the way most commercially-produced pickles are made and it is the method many people most commonly associate with pickling in modern times.

Fermentation: You can also make pickles “the old fashioned way,” through fermentation. Fermentation is the process of naturally-occurring sugars breaking down in foods as they are left to sit over a period of time time. In the case of pickles, fermentation can be achieved through placing certain foods in a salt-water solution and leaving it to sit until the sugars break down and create a substance called lactic acid. The lactic acid itself becomes the acidic solution needed for pickling, so the addition of vinegar is unnecessary.

While using vinegar is probably the easiest, quickest and least intimidating method of pickling for most people, fermentation provides many more health benefits. In fact, unless you’ve been living totally off-grid for the past few years (in which case thank you for choosing my blog as one of your few connections to the outside world!), you probably know that fermented foods are all the rage right now. Everything from sauerkraut and kimchi to kefir and kombucha is a product of fermentation, which explains their popularity at the moment. Alcohol is also a product of fermentation. Its popularity is timeless and has nothing to do with health benefits; That, however, is an article for another day!

Back to pickling: the lactic acid in fermented pickles produces all sorts of beneficial enzymes, nutrients and good bacteria that promote gut health. While one method of pickling is neither better nor worse than the other, you might choose to do one or the other depending on your comfort and experience level with home pickling and canning, how much time you have/want to devote and what health benefits you are looking to reap in the end.

 

What can be pickled?

Pickling is one of the oldest forms of food preservation on the planet. Here's everything you need to know to get started pickling this summer.The best practices for pickling different foods will vary depending on the food, and not all foods are shelf-stabled when pickled. For example, eggs can be pickled and preserved for up to about 4 months in the refrigerator, but should not be canned and stored at room temperature. In fact, according to the National Centre for Home Food Preservation, pickled eggs stored at room temperature have caused botulism, a deadly foodborne disease. So always make sure you follow tested instructions specific for the foods you are pickling and canning.

 

Pickling Styles

Aside from different methods of pickling, there are some notable styles of pickling as well. Here are a few of the most popular cucumber-pickling styles:

 

Dill Pickles

Dill Pickles are by far the most popular type of pickles in North America. They are made with dill (duh) and a vinegar solution, although they may either be fresh-packed or fermented. They may or may not have garlic (garlic dills).

 

Kosher & Polish-Style (Polski Ogorki)

I’ve combined kosher and Polish-style pickles here since they are very similar, and in fact kosher pickles have origins in Poland as well as other traditionally Jewish areas. Now, this description will be the longest as I could probably write an essay about these types of pickles alone. Suffice it to say that -from my understanding- they are both variations of dill pickles, however they are always fermented, never fresh-packed, and garlic isn’t an option, it’s an absolute MUST. 

Garlic is, after all, one of the few but mighty staples of Eastern European cuisine. In fact, while doing research for this article, I found many sources that claimed the addition of garlic to pickles is the thing that makes a pickle kosher. I don’t know that I’m sold on that and that alone, but garlic is a must anyway. Also, both kosher and Polish-style pickles are fermented in a salt-water solution. 

Traditionally both koshers and Polski Ogorkis do not use any vinegar and they are never fresh-packed, because hey, that wasn’t really an option in the old country. In fact, the traditional way of making these types of pickles was to put vegetables, including cucumbers, cabbage and beets, in large vats or barrels with a salt-water (and garlic… don’t forget the garlic!) solution and allow these vats of veggies to ferment in a warm place before moving and storing them in a cool location. When Jews and Eastern Europeans migrated to North America, they brought this pickling style with them and the rest is pretty much history. 

As far as the difference between kosher pickles and Polish-style, from my research (both online and talking to Jews and Eastern Europeans who all have a different opinion), it seems the biggest difference is simply that Polish-style pickles use a little more dill and spices, giving them a bit more of a kick. Also, some say that kosher pickles must be made with kosher salt while Polish-style can be made with regular pickling salt (which is how my mom makes hers). According to one Jewish respondent, “kosher pickles are simply pickles made by a Jewish mother on Brisket Sundays.” Hehe;) At least, I think he was joking…

One other distinction is that true kosher pickles must adhere to kosher food standards, including not having any animal products present or even traces of them. Therefore, to ensure a commercially-produced pickle is truly kosher, a rabbi must inspect the facility where they’re made and certify it. Or, of course, you could just make them at home, which is always the better choice.

 

Half-Sour

Half-sour pickles are pretty much exactly what they sound like: half-sour. They are made in a salt-water brine that doesn’t contain any vinegar (like koshers and Polish pickles). But instead of being left to ferment completely (sour pickles), half sours are fermented for less time; Typically only a few days. Many who prefer half-sours say they like them better because fermenting for less time makes them crispier. 

 

Sweet/Bread and Butter

Sweet pickles or “Bread and Butter” pickles are pickles that are sweet rather than sour due to the addition of sugar in the brine. They can be either fresh-packed or fermented. 

 

Pickle Do’s and Don’ts

DO: Follow a tested pickling recipe to ensure a safe and tasty end product.

DO: Follow recommended canning procedures from a reputable source to ensure a safe and tasty end product. I recommend the National Centre for Food Preservation or any of the Ball home canning guides. This one is my go-to. I use it so much I have bookmarked many of the pages!

DO: Use commercially-produced vinegars. Both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar can be used for pickling. White vinegar has a sharper taste but will not discolour your pickled products. Apple cider vinegar has a more subtle taste but can darken produce. Certain types of vinegar are better for different things, but whichever you use, it has to have 5% acidity.

The easiest way to ensure this is to use commercially-produced (store-bought) vinegars. For example, I make my own apple cider vinegar, but since it’s homemade, I can’t be sure of the acidity levels. In fact, I can taste that mine isn’t as acidic as the store-bought variety, so I buy some to use for pickling.

DO: Store opened pickles in the refrigerator. Pretty simple.

DO: Try pickling at home! As it has been well outlined above, you can pickle pretty much anything and there are so many ways to do it! Again, for a huge variety of tested, tried-and-true recipes, I HIGHLY recommend the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. This book has over 50 pickling recipes and 400 recipes in total! Aside from recipes passed down to me from my family, every single one of the canning recipes I use so far is taken or adapted from this book. 

DON’T: Get creative with recipes. It is very important when canning any foods that you stick to a tested recipe to ensure your canned food is safe to eat. When it comes to pickling, the ratio and percentages of salt and vinegar are very important, so don’t mess with these. Once you become more seasoned at pickle-making, you can add different herbs and spices, but even these can affect the safety and quality of your pickles if you put too much of any one thing. If you’re new to pickle-making, get your feet wet with tried-and-true recipes before attempting to put your own spin on things.

DON’T: Follow outdated canning procedures. Much like following tested recipes, it is super important to follow up-to-date safe canning methods as recommended by a reputable source. While you might have a grandmother or relative who says “we never boiled our jars of pickles in a hot-water bath and I’m still alive,” it is still recommended that you follow up-to-date procedures just to be on the safe side.

My mom doesn’t process her pickles in hot water. She simply turns her jars with her fermented pickles and hot brine upside down and lets the hot water inside seal the jar lids. But sealed lids aren’t enough! In order to ensure dangerous bacteria are killed, you must process your jars in hot water for a specified amount of time (usually about 10-15 minutes). 

Sure, my mom’s pickles haven’t killed her (or me) yet and probably never will. But I’m not taking that risk with my family. I love her recipe, but I use safe, tested canning methods to make sure I get to love her recipe for a long time to come.

DON’T: Use regular table salt for pickles. Most pickle recipes call for pickling salt or kosher salt, so use one of these two, or at least use sea salt if that’s your only option. While using table/iodized salt is not necessarily life-threatening, it can cake together, make the water cloudy and change the colour of whatever it is that you’re canning. 

DON’T: Freak out if your garlic turns blue when pickled! (I did the first time I pickled beans!) This can happen when certain compounds in garlic react to the acid in your brine. This blue garlic is still totally safe to eat, so no worries there. However if you don’t love the colour, you can try to prevent this from happening by using distilled water for pickling, using iodine-free salt, using stainless steel or enamelled cookware, blanching garlic before pickling, and storing fresh and pickled garlic in a cool, dark place (source: The Spruce).

 

Where to Begin?

Pickling is one of the oldest forms of food preservation on the planet. Here's everything you need to know to get started pickling this summer.If you’re just starting out, I recommend starting with the fresh-pack method (pickling in a vinegar solution). But nothing says you can’t try out some fermented pickles! I’ll be posting my mom’s recipe for Ukrainian-Style Garlic Dill Pickles (like Polish-style) when cucumbers are ready for harvest in a couple months.

As for any special equipment, I highly recommend a jar lifter for lifting jars in and out of your canner. I honestly don’t know how I would can without these. I’d probably have burned my hand pretty badly already. For a few bucks, they are well worth the investment to keep you from getting burned and keep your jars from breaking as the grip on these lifters is really solid.

You might also want to invest in a pressure canner if you plan on doing a lot of canning down the road. While you don’t need to pressure can pickles, you can use the canner for hot water-bath canning as well.

You can buy water bath canners, but I think they’re a waste of money (just my opinion). All you really need for water-bath canning is a regular cooking pot, so long as you place something (like a rack or even folded kitchen towel) on the bottom of the pot between the pot and your canning jars to prevent them from breaking. 

A water-bath canner does hold more jars, but so does a pressure canner, and you can can more types of food in it. You can’t can’t do that with a water-bath canner. See what I did there? That’s just my humble opinion though. I have two pressure canners passed down to me by relatives. My favourite is the All-American.

You’ll also need proper canning jars and lids. Any brand of canning jars (Mason Jars) will do: Ball, Kerr, Golden Harvest, Bernardin (which I believe is the Canadian version of Ball)… I usually buy mine for super cheap at local thrift stores.

You can totally reuse old jars over and over again, as long as you clean and sterilize them well (which you need to do anyway), and make sure there are no chips in the glass. You can also reuse the canning bands. But always buy new lids. Once they have been sealed and popped off once, the seal is broken and won’t work anymore.

As for any other canning equipment, nothing else is absolutely necessary, but I do love my canning scoop (for scooping brine, jellies and jams, sauces and other liquids into jars without spilling everywhere). I also really love my canning funnel/measuring tool. It helps me make sure all the liquid goes into the jar easily without a mess and also helps me accurately measure headspace in my jars: another super important part of canning.

Make sure to label your jars too. You should always label jars with what they contain (ie. Dill Pickles) as well as the date they were made. Most canned products have a guaranteed shelf life of up to a year or even longer, but you probably don’t want to be eating 15-year-old canned pickles. Dates are important. I need to get better at this myself. Canning labels come in new packs of jars, but if you buy them separately, I like these dissolving labels best because they wipe off the jars easily after you use up the content and wash them for their next use.

Last, make sure you store your jars in a cool, dark place, definitely out of direct sunlight. Also, if any jars don’t seal properly when you first make them you can store them in the fridge for up to 3 months. If you notice jars on your shelves are leaking or the food looks like it has somehow spoiled, don’t eat the pickles. Just toss ‘em. They’re not worth you or your family getting sick.

 

Pickling for beginners and pros alike

Over all, pickles are a safe, easy way to try your hand at canning for the first time. As long as you follow a tested recipe, you’ll do just fine! If canning isn’t for you but you just love pickles, you can make refrigerator pickles too. There are a whole bunch of refrigerator pickles in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving as well. (Have I mentioned how amazing this book is?) 

If, however, you’ve been canning and pickling for years, then I hope you learned something new or were at least entertained by this article! And surely you haven’t tried pickling everything there is to pickle. How about pickled watermelon rinds? Or lemons and limes? Or pumpkin (guess where you can find all those recipes? Yup! ——> BCBHP).

And as always, if you have any of your own pickling recipes, tips or “fun facts,” please do share in the comments section below! I love, love, love to hear from all my lovely readers! 

Now go forth! Pickle, preserve and procreate! (Sorry, I needed another “p” word). But hey, if pickling strikes your fancy, I am not here to judge! Just make sure to enjoy:)

Until next time,

The House & Homestead

 

 

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

4 Comments

  1. ashley

    This was super informative! I’ve been wanting to try pickling and had no idea this much went into it. I’ll definitely try out the fresh-pack method to start. Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Glad you found it useful! There’s definitely a rich history behind pickling and fermenting foods!

      Reply
  2. Jeff H

    Where do you stand on removing canning bands after waterbathing pickles

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      I can go either way with removing the bands. I’ve started to remove them more now, but I’ve never had a problem with keeping them on either. I think as long as you’re following proper canning procedure and rotating your food stores, not stacking jars on top of one another (at least within reason) that leaving the canning bands on is ok. However the professional advice is to remove them, if that helps;)

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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. 
You Might Also Like
7 Benefits of Cooking With Cast Iron

7 Benefits of Cooking With Cast Iron

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   There’s just something about cooking food in cast iron that feels so wholesome and old-timey; Like grandma (or maybe even great grandma) used to cook. A...

read more

Introducing the Candlelit Morning Challenge

Introducing the Candlelit Morning Challenge

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   As I write this, I’m staring out my office window at a gloomy, dark, rainy sky. Summer is officially dead and fall is alive and well. In just a few more weeks it...

read more

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
...

Our winter squash failed miserably this year.

As a gardener, it’s always disheartening when a crop fails. You put so much time and effort into starting seeds, nurturing seedlings, planting them out, weeding and controlling pests, and waiting months for your plants to mature before you harvest them.

But you also come to learn that no year in the garden is the same. There’s almost always something that doesn’t do so well, but on the flip side there’s usually at least one crop that exceeds expectations. It all balances out in the end.

Despite having a measly handful of tiny squash to show for our efforts this year, we’re blessed to have many amazing local farms in our area run by farmers and gardeners who are much more talented and experienced than us. I’m so grateful to these farmers for supplying our community with local food, especially when the global supply chain is faltering.

One of my favourite local farms for pumpkins and squash is @shamrockfarm. We’re planning on visiting this weekend and we’ll be getting most of our squash from them this year. When we do, spaghetti squash is definitely on the list!

Many people don’t know what to do with spaghetti squash. Due to its “stringy” nature, it’s not like other types of winter squash.

A great way to enjoy it is to use it in place of pasta noodles. Not only is it healthier and much lower in carbs, it’s also tastier in certain dishes in my humble opinion.

This recipe for Spaghetti Squash with Brown Butter and Sage is one of my favourite ways to enjoy it, and I’m pretty confident that if you try it it’ll become one of your favourites too!

Recipe link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/spaghetti-squash-brown-butter-sage/
...

What’s your favourite food preservation method??

For Angi Schneider of @schneiderpeeps, the answer is pressure canning, hands-down.

The fact is, there are many ways to preserve food, and each of them has its place and serves its purpose. But the only preservation method that allows you to preserve full meals that are ready to eat straight out of the jar is pressure canning.

Water bath canning allows you to preserve high acid foods like fruits, pickles, jams and jellies.

Fermenting adds beneficial bacteria, increases the nutritional value and adds a distinct (and acquired) flavour to foods.

Dehydrating and freeze drying are great long term storage preservation methods, and are a great option for preppers, hunters or anyone who needs to carry their food preps with them.

Pressure canning, on the other hand, allows you to have jars of food ready to serve and eat at a moment’s notice. It’s great to hand on hand during an emergency, but it also serves as practical, every day food that you and your family will actually eat.

Whether it’s a busy weeknight and you have no time to cook, you’ve got unexpected company or you find yourself in the middle of an emergency or power outage, having jars of healthy, homemade food –including full meals– on hand always comes in handy.

Angi and I sat down to chat about the many benefits of pressure canning, and about her brand new book Pressure Canning For Beginners And Beyond in an interview for the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine (out now).

To read the full interview and/or to check out Angi’s new cookbook (which includes some seriously drool-worthy canning recipes like Chicken Marsala, Beef Street Tacos, Maple Ginger Glazed Carrots and French Onion Soup), click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe and get your first issue free!

For a limited time, you can also become a member and get full access to our entire library of issues for just $7.99/year. Link in bio to get all the goods:)

Seriously though… What’s your favourite food preservation method and why? (There are no wrong answers!)

Let me know in the comments below!👇
...

For the past week or so, I’ve been sharing a new morning routine I've been committing to...

It's the simple act of lighting a candle to start each day.

In this age of unnatural blue light emanating from our screens, fluorescent and even LED lighting from overhead lights and lamps, it can be quite a shock to the system to go from sleeping in complete darkness to flipping on the bright lights and checking email on your smartphone first thing in the a.m.

By simply lighting a candle and allowing your eyes a minute or two to adjust before turning on the lights or checking a screen, you have the power to create a much calmer and more peaceful start to your day, and that has lasting effects that can and will stay with you all day long.

I know I’m not the only one who can benefit from this simple but powerful morning ritual, so I decided to start a challenge to encourage others to do the same.

If you'd like to participate, grab a candle and a pack of matches (or a lighter) and commit to lighting a candle to start your day for as many days as you can during the month of October.

Every time you share a photo of your candle/morning ritual on Instagram posts or stories and tag me @thehouseandhomestead and use the hashtag #candlelitmorning, you'll be entered to win a naturally-scented candle of your choice from Plant Therapy!

This being said, I know that good quality candles aren't exactly cheap, but you can save a tone of money by learning how to make your own!

If you're interested in learning how to make your own all-natural soy candles with essential oils at home, I'm currently offering my DIY Scented Soy Candles Masterclass for FREE as part of the Handmade Holiday Giveaway, hosted by my friend and fellow Vancouver Islander Diana Bouchard of @wanderinghoofranch

Other limited-time freebies include:

* Exclusive homestead holiday recipes
* Free knitting and crochet patterns
* Free homemade cocktail mixers course
* Cute printable gift tags and more!

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to check out everything that's included in the Handmade Holiday Giveaway.

And don't forget to join in the #candlelitmorning challenge right here on Instagram!
...

Sometimes I don’t post photos because I can’t think of a brilliant, thought-provoking caption to go with each one.

But then again, sometimes a photo speaks for itself:)

This weekend reminded me how important it is to be present, both with ourselves and with the ones we love. This weekend I was reminded of what I’m truly grateful for. 🧡

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

#givethanks #staypresent #familyiseverything
...

Drop a ❤️ below 👇 if you can relate!

A professional teacher turned homeschooling mom of two, Allyson Speake was spinning her wheels trying to keep up with her family’s fast-paced modern lifestyle until she made the intentional decision to slow down and quit her job as a teacher to stay home and educate her children at home. Nowadays she helps others do the same!

If you’ve ever stumbled across her Instagram page @tanglewoodhollow, you’ve likely been met with beautiful photos of children playing and exploring in the woods, nature crafts, treasures and toadstools galore. Her passion for slow, seasonal living and nature-based education shows in everything she posts!

But her inspiring Instagram page is just a glimpse into what she has to offer other homeschoolers, teachers, parents and guardians from all walks of life who want to bring a little more seasonal magic into their children’s lives, and who know that the best classroom is the great outdoors.

I sat down with her for the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine and she shared some real nuggets of wisdom for anyone with young children (not just homeschoolers!)

In the interview, Allyson shares that “on average three-year-olds can identify 100 different brand logos, and that increases to 300-400 by age 10.” If that’s not reason enough to turn off the TV and get outside, I don’t know what is!

“Whatever children are exposed to, they are able to soak it up like sponges, but they aren’t getting that exposure to nature,” she says.

Catch the full interview in the Fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. Subscribe for free to read your first issue free or become a member to get this issue plus access to our entire library of past issues for just $7.99/year!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

#homeschool #homeschooling #naturebasedlearning #naturebasededucation #wildandfreechildren #freerangekids
...

🛠 “Even the simplest tools can empower people to do great things.”
- Biz Stone

The other day I asked you what the most valuable asset is on your homestead, and I shared that mine is my dear husband @thehumblehandyman

Everyone who knows him knows he can build and repair just about anything. It’s a true talent, but he’s also spent years learning and sharpening his skills.

But talent and skills are only half of the equation; You’ve gotta have the right tools for the job!

As homesteaders, our main mission in life is to become more self-sufficient, and that extends to building and repairing things at home. But whether you’re an expert handyman or a fledgling fixer-upper, you can't do the job if you don't have the right tools on hand.

If you’re just starting out and wondering what tools to invest in, The Humble Handyman and I put together a list of 15 essential tools that everyone should have on hand for minor repairs and odd jobs around the home (and homestead), along with tips on how to actually use each one.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to check it out or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/15-essential-tools-home-toolkit/

Which of these tools do you already have?

Which ones are next on your list to invest in??

What are your go-to tools to use around your house and homestead??? (Duct tape totally counts 😉)

Let me know in the comments below! 👇

#toolsofthetrade #toolkit #diy #handyman
...

🪓 What’s the most valuable asset on your homestead?

For me, it’s this guy right here.

He was only away for two weeks, but that’s all the time it took for me to realize how much he brings to the table, and how valuable it is to have a live-in handyman on a homestead!

When our burner crapped out on our stove in the middle of a canning project last week, I had no idea how to fix it and was ready to buy a brand new stove, but luckily Ryan came home with all of his tools just a couple days later and fixed it for a fraction of the cost of buying a new stove.

When we were getting chickens, he built our chicken coop. When I wanted to put in new garden beds, he built them. Deck? Done! Firewood? Chopped! Bathroom? Remodelled! Car broken down? Fixed! (Did I mention he’s a trained mechanic too?)

If you don’t have your own handyman at home though, you can still learn the skills you need to become more self-sufficient when it comes to tackling new building projects and repairing and maintaining things at home.

I’m thrilled to announce that @thehumblehandyman now has his own regular feature in each issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, where he’ll share simple steps you can take to increase your self-sufficiency by learning how to DIY all sorts of projects around your house and homestead.

In his debut feature, he shares 5 simple steps you can take this fall to help you prepare your house and homestead for the coming winter, all of which could save you time, money and effort during the season of rest.

Check out the full article in the Fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, available now!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe and read your first issue free, or become a member and get this issue plus unlimited access to all past issues for just $7.99/year!

I’d love to know what handyman/DIY skills or projects you’d like to see featured in future issues. Leave a comment below👇and let me know!

#handyman #homesteading #diy #handymanhusband #skills #woodworking #jackofalltrades #selfsufficiency #selfsufficient #selfsufficientliving #sustainableliving #homesteadersofinstagram
...

Did you know you can now buy pumpkin spice ramen noodles, pumpkin spice Pringles, pumpkin spice macaroni and cheese, pumpkin spice sausages and even pumpkin spice dog treats?

It’s not exactly a stretch to say that we’ve taken the whole pumpkin spice craze a little bit too far.

But our obsession with pumpkin spice speaks to something much deeper than the flavour itself. (Let’s be honest, pumpkin spice ramen noodles sound gag-worthy).

The reason we tend to love pumpkin spice so much is because it triggers feelings of comfort and nostalgia; Memories of days spent with family at the pumpkin patch or around the Thanksgiving table. In short, pumpkin spice triggers our emotions as much as it tantalizes our taste buds.

But let’s be real, pumpkin spice Pringles ain’t it.

If you’re feeling all the fall vibes and craving a little pumpkin spice in your life right now, stick to the tried and true pumpkin spice latte, but ditch the expensive (and highly processed) commercial PSLs and make your own pumpkin spice syrup (with real pumpkin!) at home for a fraction of the cost! Keep it on hand to add to your coffees, teas and steamed milk beverages all Autumn long.

It’s super easy to make and will put pumpkin spice macaroni squarely in its place (and keep it there!)

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to grab the recipe or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-pumpkin-spice-syrup/

#pumpkinspice #psl #pumpkinspicelatte #fallvibes #fromscratch
...

I’ve been feeling pulled to slow down and retreat into my home lately; To turn off the news and social media and focus on the tangible things like lighting the wood stove, preserving the mountains of food still coming out of the garden, and slowly stirring a pot of soup as it cooks on the stovetop.

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, I know I’m not the only one feeling pulled toward hearth and home. This is a heavy time for all of us. No one person is meant to bear the weight of the world on their shoulders, but I've heard from so many people lately who say that's exactly how they've been feeling.

If you read my post from a few days ago, you know I’ve been feeling like that too, but luckily, I've learned how to soothe my soul in difficult times.

And so that's what I've been doing lately...

I've been focusing on the tangible things that I can control, like cooking meals and preserving food.

I've been lingering a little longer in the morning, taking time to sit by the river or sip my coffee in front of the wood stove before hurrying on with my day.

And I've been making a conscious effort to turn off the noise of the outside world and give my family and my own emotional health my full attention.

If you've also been feeling that pull to turn off all of the noise and immerse yourself in more nourishing, productive activities, I want to tell you about a collection of resources that will help you do just that.

The Simple Living Collective’s Autumn Issue includes seasonal guides, tutorials, e-books, recipes and more to help you slow down and reconnect with what matters this season.

* Learn how to forage for healing herbs and how to make your own natural medicine

* Find new ways to celebrate old traditions, and create new seasonal traditions with your family

* Discover new seasonal recipes and crafts to do on your own or with your kids

And much more.

If this sounds like it’s exactly what you're in need of right now, check out the Simple Living Collective and get the Autumn Issue for just $25. But this issue is only available until tomorrow, so don't wait…

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to grab it now before it disappears 🍁
...

I laid in bed the other night and couldn’t sleep.

I know that probably doesn’t sound out of the ordinary, especially considering the collective stress we’ve all been through over the past year and a half. But if I’m being totally honest, I’ve done a pretty good job of not letting it get to me.

I used to have really bad anxiety, and I made a conscious effort to learn how to manage it in (mostly) healthy, natural ways. I practice a lot of gratitude every day, and overall I’ve learned to deal with stress, anxiety and negative thoughts pretty well.

Lately though, I’ve been feeling the weight of it all. Aside from dealing with personal issues like our ongoing infertility/pregnancy loss journey and the every day stresses we all face, the bigger things have been feeling bigger and heavier lately; The mandates, the politics, the pushback, the arguments and attacks online, the divisiveness, and the seemingly never-ending pandemic that every single one of us is still dealing with in some capacity.

I’ve been seeing more and more calls to “choose a side.” I’ve witnessed my own close friends on both sides of the debate hurling insults at each other, defending their ground, and refusing to listen to each other’s valid points and concerns.

I’ve even witnessed a widening crack in the homesteading community, despite the fact that so many of our core values and beliefs align and are unique to us.

Despite the division, I would still argue that ALL of us have much more in common than not, and to see the divide continuing to deepen has started to get under my skin lately.

(Continued in comments…)
...

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal

Crafted with ♥ by Inscape Designs