Canning, Garden, Pioneer spirit

Pickled Radish

Good morning! Last weekend I canned some pickled radish, and they are delicious!  They are great for a salad, adding a little zing to a taco, wrap or burger. The possibilities are endless! I got the recipe from  this website…http://www.foodpreserving.org/2012/05/day-9-pickled-radish-slices.html?m=1 they have lots of great canning recipes! 

My hard work! This little bit took two hours to can!

I just did a small batch, I didn’t have enough radishes to make as much as I would have liked! I used the radish I grew and I also purchase some from a local, organic farm that grows them on a much larger scale then I do. However, we just harvested some more so I will make another batch tonight! Canning is such a great skill to learn, there is such a sense of accomplishment when you hear the *ping* of the lid sealing the mason jar. It’s food security. I would love to have an entire pantry full of canned preserves and dried goods! Maybe one day 😋


This pantry is a goal and an inspiration. I found it here: http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?p=1375800#post1375800

Happy Canning! 😜

Canning, Critters, DIY, Essential Oils, Foraging, Garden, Pioneer spirit

My journey to becoming more self-sufficient…

 My journey started about a year and half ago. I started looking into how to cut back some of the chemicals that I used in our day to day life. I wanted to find recipes for soap, laundry soap, cleaning solutions etc. That is when I realized the more stuff I made, the more I wanted to learn. I wanted to learn the skills of yester-year. I wanted to know that if another depression hit, I could still provide for my family in a lot of ways. One aspect of learning that I still struggle with a little bit is frugality. I am really good with some things, and then other things I just want to ‘buy’ what I need to get the project done. Even if it means spending more money up front. This is something I am striving to work on. It is hard to shift your mindset from being a consumer to a producer. Our culture has taught us convenience, convenience, convenience. Pay more for something if it saves you time. I saw a quote by Robin Williams that said “We used to be hunter-gatherers, now we are shopper-borrowers.” I want to shift my mindset away from this thinking, but it is challenging when you are a working mom with 2 small children, but I strive every day to lean more towards frugality. Some of the skills I have learned in the last couple of years include:

– Canning (which I have found a passion for, I LOVE it!)

– I now make my own laundry detergent, cleaning products, body butter, chap stick, candles, body scrub, essential oil perfume etc.

– Baking bread (still learning this one, hard to get light fluffy bread)

– Hanging clothes on a line (not all of the time, but I try and dry all towels and bedding like this)

– Animal husbandry: chickens, quail, and bunnies (we have rescue bunnies as pets, not meat rabbits) I do use their poop for fertilizer, so they do contribute!

– Vermicomposting (Worm bins)

– Organic gardening

– Drying herbs and fruit, dried fruit tastes like candy 

– Sewing (still learning, I am definitely at the beginner level)

– I used to know how to crochet as a child, my grandmother taught me, so I would love to re-learn that skill

– Very small scale foraging (morels, fiddlehead ferns)

– Brew my own Kombucha (I will be doing a post on Kombucha soon!)

– Essential oils

Skills I would like to learn…

– Pressure canning (I have purchased a canner but have not tried it yet- slightly scared of blowing it up, not gonna lie)

– I would like to get better at ‘scratch cooking’

– Improve knowledge of medicinal herbs and plants

– Improve foraging skills

– Knitting/crochet

– Making ACV

– Fermenting

Beeswax candles, I bought the wax from a local Apiary
Salsa made with heirloom tomatoes
Pickles!
One struggle that I have encountered is that my ‘housekeeping’ has suffered a bit in this process. I now have so many things to do outside, watering, weeding, feeding animals, cleaning coops and hutches, that I have noticed the inside has taken a backseat a bit. I have to learn to give myself some grace sometimes. When you are raising young children and working, now with the added outdoor duties, you have to learn to prioritize. That has been a learning curve for me. I am working on it every day.

Some of my role models on this journey include:

Eve Kilcher from the show ‘Alaska the Last Frontier.’ She is an amazing homestead women. She has skills that would blow your mind. Watching her is extremely inspiring, they live off the land and between her and her husband Eivin, and they provide almost 100% of the food they eat. They grow enormous gardens, hunt, fish, and raise their own animals for eggs, milk, and bees for honey. It really is an amazing shows to watch and learn from.
Another role model is actually a friend of mine who owns a 7 acre horse farm. They board horses, raise and breed chickens and geese, grow food, preserve, bake etc. Surrounding yourself with likeminded people is so important, because you will encounter people that think what you are doing is weird, and they won’t understand. People will say, “but why would you bake bread when you can buy it at the store?” or “Eggs are 2 bucks a dozen at Walmart ya know.” So being part of internet communities and finding people in your area that have the same passions will motivate you to keep going! Leading a more simple life isn’t ‘easy’ but it’s definitely worth it! 
😄

Garden, Kids!, Pioneer spirit

Harvest time! 

It is so important to get your kids involved in all aspects of homestead life. That is how they learn, by doing. Today we harvested radishes and strawberries and my girls were so happy to be helping me, and got right in there and starting pulling them out of the soil (watch out though, radishes have prickly leaves!). They helped me wash them, and put them all in the basket and carried them in the house. The excitement they get from counting the zucchinis that are on each plant, to watching the flowers on the cucumber vine bloom. It really is wonderful to see their passion for gardening at such a young age. I wish I could have triple the amount of garden space that I have, I would love to grow 70-80% of our vegetable intake. However, I work 40 hours a week, with a ½ hr commute each way. So I know at this time it is not possible and that I have to be thankful that I am able to tend to the garden that I have. It is important to stay within your means and not overwhelm yourself. It is tempting to want to jump right in with two feet, but you WILL tire yourself out that way. Adding to your homestead should be slow and steady. Test the boundaries of what you can handle and stay within them.

Radish (purple, red and white) and strawberries
My ‘farm hand’ lol
The strawberries have already been eaten, and the radishes are going to be pickled! I will be doing a post on that, and sharing the delicious recipe with you also!

Happy harvesting everyone! 🌱🥕🥒🍆🍓

Essential Oils, Kids!, Recipes

Ticks … ew. Keep them away, make your own spray!

I don’t know about you guys, but the ticks  in southern Ontario are horrendous this year. It is by far the worst season for them. Maybe it was the mild winter, and not enough of them died off. Whatever the case is, it is important to protect yourself and your family and pets from the dreaded Lyme disease and tick fever. So, I made a batch of tick spray for my family and friends this year. There was a good recipe which called for eucalyptus and lemongrass essential oils. Mix distilled water with 20drops of each for every 4oz of water in a large glass bottle or a dark plastic spray bottle approved for use with EOs. I spray it on my kids socks, shoes and legs. I also give my dogs coat a light spray. DO NOT USE ON CATS 🐱 their body cannot metabolize essential oils. I use Young Living brand, it is pure, therapeutic grade oil. It’s so nice to make your own products and know that you are not spraying chemical laden products on your children. It is a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way and a 8oz bottle will lat a long time!

8 oz and 4 oz bottles of tick spray

Copyright: All photos and posts are the property of their creators. Lily and Rose Homestead grants non-exclusive use of one photo and up to 50 words from posts with attribution and link back to the original post on this site. Please contact me for more information/details
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, lawyer, or veterinarian. Please use the knowledge acquired from this site responsibly.

Foraging

Foraging

This is one aspect of living a sustainable lifestyle that I struggle with a little bit. It is intimidating, and I am afraid I am going to screw up. There I said it. I’m scared. So many wild plants are delicious, and have awesome medicinal properties. Not to mention if you hit the jackpot on something, it saves you on the next food bill. I am just afraid of what *could* happen if I identify something wrong. For example, Queen Anne’s Lace is also known as a wild carrot, you can dig up the root and eat it. Poison Hemlock looks very similar and can make you really sick!

So, because I am a nervous Nelly, I stick to Morel mushrooms, Fiddle Head Ferns and wild Strawberries. I know them, and can identify them.
Morels have a pretty distinct look, but you still do have to be careful. There are false morels. The way you can tell the difference is to cut one open. If the center of it is hollow, it is a true morel. If the stem goes all the way up, it is a false morel – DO NOT EAT a false morel!!!

It’s hollow!

Fiddlehead ferns are also easy to identify, I have looked everywhere and cannot find the photos I took of the ferns I picked and cooked. They happen to be growing in the back of my parents’ property, so that was a bonus. Fiddlehead ferns do have to be cooked though. There are instructions on Wikihow on how to prepare them. I sautéed them in butter, and it was delicious. They are very expensive to buy at the grocery store, so it is bonus if you can find them and eat them for free. Also, do not eat them if they are open, they taste the best when in a tight spiral.

Happy foraging!  🌱🌾

 Copyright: All photos and posts are the property of their creators. Lily and Rose Homestead grants non-exclusive use of one photo and up to 50 words from posts with attribution and link back to the original post on this site. Please contact me for more information/details

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, lawyer, or veterinarian. Please use the knowledge acquired from this site responsibly.

Kids!, Pioneer spirit

Having a ‘Pioneer spirit’

As a kid my favorite show was Little House on the Prairie. I owned all the books, I had a dress-up box full of bonnets and long dresses, my sisters and I would love dressing up and playing ‘house.’ As I grew older and got into sports and school, the love for ‘pioneer life’ quieted. However, as an adult and raising my own kids, my passion is back X 10! Hanging laundry on a line, canning, animal husbandry (quail, chicken & rabbits), gardening, and DIY cleaning and beauty products. Finding these has brought my passion for that life back. The simple days where people ‘worked from home’ with their families, planting, tending, harvesting & cooking. I think that is why I am so fascinated with Amish and Mennonite cultures, because they still live this way. Hundreds of years have passed and they still operate in the exact same way they did before. Although, I cannot mimic this lifestyle in my own life (I have to go to work to pay the bills L) I am trying to learn as many old skills as I can so that I can pass them down to my daughters. Our society is heading in the direction that these skills will be lost forever if people don’t take a vested interest in learning them and preserving them for the generations to come. My girls have the pioneer spirit in them. They love to play outside, help with the garden, and can strawberry jam with me. With the help of one of my grandmothers I was able to sew a dress for each one of my girls to wear to heritage day in our area, they love wearing bonnets and enjoying the activities there.

There is a photo circulating around Facebook that reads, “Grandma survived the depression because her supply chain was local and she knew how to do stuff.” This is my mission! I want to consume less and produce more. It’s been fun learning new skills, and I hope to add from year to year! There are a lot of homesteading websites that have inspired me and helped me immensely. That is one of my reasons for starting this blog. Even if I can just reach out and help a few people, it is worth it! 

My cute little pioneer gals…