Practical and actionable inspiration and tutorials to help you create the homesteading life of your dreams!
The Old-Fashioned on Purpose Show is available on all the major podcast providers.
Practical and actionable inspiration and tutorials to help you create the homesteading life of your dreams!
The Old-Fashioned on Purpose Show is available on all the major podcast providers.
Welcome to the very first episode of Old Fashioned On Purpose! On today’s episode I’m thrilled to share with you my very unlikely foray into homesteading. You’ll hear why growing up as city kids didn’t prevent my husband and I from achieving our goal of owning milk cows, cultivating our own gardens, building our own farm, and so much more.
It’s summertime, and beyond the beautiful weather, it means that all of the amazing fruits are in season. What does in-season fruit mean? Jam of course! While I love to make jam, I’ve always found that most jam and jelly recipes are loaded with added sugar. If you’re anything like me, you want to use as little added sugar as you can. Today I’m going to teach you how to easily create incredible tasting jams with having to overload them with white sugar.
When Christian and I started our first garden on our homestead, we began with a traditional in-ground garden. After a somewhat comical mistake involving manure, we quickly had a yard growing in our garden. Certainly not an ideal situation. Though a temporary solution worked for a while, we discovered a deeper issue as a result of previous pesticide use. Enter raised beds. Listen today to find out if raised beds are the right solution for your homestead.
One of the most common concerns I hear from people looking to get into homesteading is what happens when you need to leave or take a vacation? While we want all of the joys that a homestead provides, certainly there can be issues when needing to be away for a prolonged period of time. Fear not my friends, I’m here to explain how you can leave your homestead without a great deal of worry. Listen today to find out how we prepare for trips away from the homestead. This episode is sure to inspire some ideas of your own.
By far the number one fear I hear the most in regards to canning concerns food poisoning. Better known as botulism, this phenomenon has the potential to cause some very serious health problems. While botulism has the can be extremely dangerous, I’m here to provide some guidance to help you mitigate any possible risk. From acidity to temperature to different types of canning, listen to find a comprehensive guide on canning safely.
Today you’re going to learn about a special fertilizer that is sure to produce miracles in your garden. You’ll learn the difference between aerated and non-aerated tea, why non-aerated tea is my weapon of choice, and how you can make it for free.
Hail is one of the most destructive forces when it comes to the health and well-being of your garden. If you’re anything like myself, you can relate to the devastation of walking outside and seeing your garden in tatters following a hail storm.
Unfortunately, a recent storm crushed months of hard work, time, and money. Even though I was bummed and initially wanted to quit gardening, it ultimately wound up creating a positive shift in my attitude. Today I’m going to outline several strategies on how you can salvage, recover, and rebuild moving forward. Don’t miss my idea on how to protect your plants from future storms.
Who knew canning tomatoes was such a controversial subject? When you stumble across canning discussions on Facebook or in other homestead groups, this seems to be one of the most hotly contested topics. Why you might ask? Primarily because many canning organizations challenge certain traditions in terms of how foods should be canned. Fear not my friends.
In today’s episode, I share a simple solution that will allow you to utilize any canning method you desire. I also dig deep into the different factors that can affect the acidity, which ultimately effects the canning method you should use. If you’ve ever wondered how you can stay true to whatever canning method you desire, then this is the podcast for you!
Yes, it’s that special time of year that we all love: Fly Season! For all of my fellow homesteaders currently in the throes of fly season and the ones about to experience it, I’m here to deliver my top four strategies on how to mitigate our pesky little friends.
Are you tired of dealing with soft, squishy pickles? I’m sure I’m not the only one who has dealt with this problem. After years of experimentation and fighting with different recipes, I’ve collected these 5 simple tips to take your pickles to the next level. We’ll learn why small cucumbers are the best, why immediate canning leads to crunchy pickles, and why the blossom end might be our biggest enemy. You’ll also hear about my favorite way to keep pickles fresh for the long-haul.
Have you ever struggled to keep your weeds at bay? It’s one of the most common problems for any homesteader. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want to be spending three hours a day in my garden just to keep my weeds under control. Over the years I’ve tried dealing with this issue in many different ways. Today I’m here to share my most effective tips in weed control. These will not only save you time, but they will also give you peace of mind.
As we’re approaching harvesting season on the homestead, it’s crucial to be prepared for the bounty of food that’s about to roll in. Whether it’s coming from your own garden, a farmers market, or other local producers, understanding how to properly preserve the harvest will provide wonderful meals for months to come. Today we’re going to focus on my favorite method of food preparation: canning. In particular, I’m presenting the 5 most common mistakes people make when it comes to canning.
We all make mistakes. Let me tell you, Christian and I have made quite a few on our homesteading journey. In today’s episode, I’m going to dive into the top 5 mistakes we’ve made over the last few years. These learning experiences are sure to save you time, money, and headaches in the process. No matter if you own a homestead, are interested in becoming a homesteader, or simply enjoy learning about the lifestyle, there are valuable lessons to learn throughout.
Eating fruits and vegetables fresh off the vine is always the preferred method for optimum nutritional value. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to consume our fresh foods before they go bad. So what’s the best way to preserve the harvest? Research shows that proper canning is the best way to ensure nutrients remain locked in your foods as long as possible. Listen today to discover everything you need to know about the shelf-life of nutrients when it comes to preserved foods.
Today I’m going to talk about several different options on how you can create raised beds on your own. You’ll also get a detailed explanation on how we built own very own, incredibly unique raised beds made out of steel. I’m hoping this episode will make it clear that there’s no right or wrong way to build a raised bed, it simply comes down to finding something that fits your specific needs.
Although both dairy goats and milk cows are viable options, find out why Christian and I eventually moved to milk cows and sold our goats. Learn the main differences when it comes to cost, pasture space, transportation, and overall taste of milk. If you are considering entering the world of home dairy or contemplating making a switch, this episode will provide everything you need to make an informed decision.
When Christian and I first started out, we were relying on his single income as an electrician. By staying out of debt and focusing on doing anything we could do to earn extra money, it allowed us to build our homestead piece-by-piece. Regardless of where you’re at financially, it’s possible to get into the homestead game. Before you begin on your journey there’s some key things you should know. First and foremost, it’s going to take a serious amount of discipline along with rock solid intent. Second, there’s no right or wrong way to do this. Listen today to find out how Christian and I managed to make our dream a reality and learn some tips and tricks so you can do the same.
Whether or not you are currently a homesteader, I’m willing to bet that we both share this common problem. Time is our most valuable commodity, and usually the first and easiest thing to sacrifice is a good home cooked meal. Today I’m here to not only explain why you don’t have to sacrifice cooking from scratch but also provide the tools you need to make your home cooked meals a reality.
When is the “simple life” not always simple? For those of you transitioning into the homestead lifestyle, it’s pretty much all the time. From barn construction to dairy goats to him baked bread and so much more, it’s a never ending cycle of building and improving. How do I know? I’ve been there. Even with all the homesteading experience Christian and I now have, we still find ourselves overwhelmed at times. Today I’m going to demystify the process of starting a homestead and provide every tip and trick you need to take action today.
On today’s episode, you’re going to learn how Christian and I are managing to raise old-fashioned kids in the modern technological world. How our we accomplishing this? Mostly by providing our kids with unstructured time. It turns out that allowing time for your children to be bored will actually increase their creativity. Who knew? Listen to find out why letting go of your kids is actually the best thing you could ever do as a parent.
If you’re anything like me, you’re always searching for different ways to maximize the yield from you harvest. While I love canning, sometimes the volume of your harvest simply doesn’t warrant going through the process. On today’s episode I’m detailing my favorite way of quickly preserving even the smallest amount of vegetables. Listen to find out the entire process of quick-pickling, the tools you’ll need to pull it off, and some of my favorite recipes.
Herbs have always seemed to be hit or miss for me. While I love the flavor fresh herbs bring to my cooking, I tend to either have more than I know what to do with or none at all. If you’v ever experienced this problem, this is the episode you’ve been waiting for. I detail my four favorite methods of preserving herbs for the long haul. Many of you are likely aware of dried herbs. While I do cover dried herbs, I dive into three other techniques that are less common but just as effective. If you want to prepare tasty meals through any season you don’t want to miss this episode.
Potatoes are by far my favorite vegetable. I’d imagine it’s pretty safe to say I’m not alone in my affinity for spuds. No, it’s not even due the fact I was born in Idaho, better known as the home of the potato. My favorite part of harvesting potatoes is the act of digging them up. It’s like treasure hunt every time. Today’s episode is dedicated to everything potatoes. From harvesting to storing to preparing and everything in between, this will prepare you and your family for the coming harvest.
The seasons are changing. Depending on the part of the country you’re in, winter can mean vastly different things. While it’s great to enjoy the current harvest, a homesteader always has to plan ahead with the upcoming season in mind. On today’s episode I dig deep into my favorite tactics on preparing for winter, including amending your soil, cleaning up your plants, adding compost, and so much more.
Apples hold a special place in my heart. This incredible fruit is the very first thing I ever canned on my own. In today’s episode I detail my favorite way to preserve apples for the long-haul. Find out which apple varieties are the best for canning and why naturally sweet apples are always the best choice. Today’s episode will teach you how you can create incredibly tasty, crispy apple slices with minimal use of sugar.
Today I’m here to provide you a very organic, extremely affordable way to fertilize your soil, suppress weeds, increase organic matter, and prevent erosion. I know what you’re thinking. This sounds way too good to be true. I’m happy to tell you, this is very, very real. On this special episode I’m joined by Parker from True Leaf Market, the non-GMO seed company that is literally a dream come true for homesteaders like you and I. By now I’m sure you’re wondering what this incredible and magic solution is. Join Parker and I as we dig deep into cover crops and how they can transform your garden.
Winter is slowly creeping up on us, especially here in Wyoming. After our first frost last week, I knew it was time to start prepping for the season ahead. That being said, we don’t have to give in and close up shop at the first sign of winter. There are a number of different tactics we can utilize to squeeze the last bits of life from our gardens. In fact, the tips I’m outlining in today’s episode have the potential to extend the life of your garden by 6-8 weeks! Pretty incredible, right? Tune in today to discover there easy and relatively inexpensive ways to keep your garden producing into the early stages of winter.
Fermented foods can be a polarizing topic. For quite some time, they literally left a bad taste in my mouth. Have you ever experienced this yourself? It wasn’t until I ventured into the world of crocks that I finally cracked the fermentation code. No matter what side of the fermentation fence you sit on, today’s episode will provide a thorough guide to help you get started.
If you’re on the verge of stepping into the homestead life, this episode is a must listen. Today I’m diving into the most important issues to consider before making an investment in a property. Find out why thinking small can leave you stuck, why climate considerations matter, and why overall lifestyle is important to keep at the front of mind. No matter if you’re purchasing your first homestead or if you’re on the lookout for an upgrade, you’ll find plenty of information to help you make a more informed decision.
Without a doubt, by far the question I get asked the most is how I got started in homesteading. In reality, the better question to ask is why does homesteading even matter in the first place? In today’s episode, I take a deep dive into why homesteading serves such an important purpose in today’s ever increasing technological world. The truth is, no amount of convenience can replicate or replace the satisfaction that comes from homesteading.
It’s no secret. Out of all the aspects of homesteading, the animals are the one thing I can’t live without. Today I’m going to walk you through everything you need to consider prior to adding your first animals to your homestead. You’ll learn where to buy, what to look out for before buying, why quality is always the best route, and so much more. Discover why bloodlines not only lead better animals, but also more dollars in your pocket. Even if you currently have animals on your homestead, this is an episode you won’t want to miss!
Let’s face it. The modern kitchen isn’t built for the homestead lifestyle. Even after several renovations, my relatively small kitchen requires several key tools to create maximum functionality. If you’ve ever wondered the key items I simply can’t live without, well today is your day. From dutch ovens to wooden spoons and everything in between, load up on these simple tools to make your daily food preparation a breeze.
For many health conscious individuals out there, fat might as well be a four letter word. The sheer thought of using fat to cook might even send chills up your spine. Fear not my friends. Not only do the right fats add a ton of flavor, but many are even good for you. I did a ton of research while building my ideal homestead kitchen, and fat was the common ingredient tying the best recipes together.
Have you ever wondered how you can eliminate sugar from your recipes replace it with 100% natural sweetener that’s actually good for you? This might seem like something made I just made up, but I promise you this is a real ingredient that you can start using immediately. Today I’m joined by homesteader, author, photographer, and maple syrup expert, the incomparable Michelle Visser. Michelle walks us through the incredible process of how to make syrup from beginning-to-end. She also digs deep into why homesteading matters and why she initially had a difficult time with the transition from suburbia.
Cooking with oils tend to be looked at as a no-no in the culinary world. However, with a little practice and some care, essentials oils have become a vital addition to my kitchen cabinet. Today we’re going to investigate how to asses any dangers with essential oils, the efficacy of cooking with them, and the incredible flavor benefits from good oils. Most important, you’ll learn how to separate the good oils from the bad so to ensure you’re putting quality oils in your food.
4-H played a pivotal role in my life growing up. Because of this, I have been counting downs the days until my daughter was able to start participating. Though I had experience of going through 4-H as a kid, it’s entirely different going through it as a parent. In today’s episode, I’m here to share the most valuable tips I learned from my first go-round as a 4-H parent. My goal with this episode is to prepare you and your family for success with 4-H.
No, the title isn’t a mistake. After gaining a reputation online as “the milk cow” girl, once again we have milk goats. Why do we have milk goats again after all these years? Our daughter Mesa decided to use some of her fair money to buy two Paper Nigerian Dwarfs. Listen today to find out why I’m excited to once again have goats on the homestead and what we could be doing with them in the future.
As I sit here today, it’s very clear to look back and see how homeschooling gave me the tools needed to succeed. The disciplined instilled in me at young age allowed me to build the habits that let me excel in college and in business. It gave the me the freedom to explore passions that I never would’ve been able to if I attended public schools. To be very clear, I’m not saying homeschooling is the only way or that public schooling is bad. I’m here to relay my experiences and explain how homeschooling can be beneficial in the long run.
When push comes to shove, I always prefer to let a broody hen hatch her eggs rather than getting chicks from the feed store. However, sometimes it’s just not that simple. If you’ve ever been curious about broody hens or have dealt with this yourself, this is the episode you’ve been waiting for. What I have for you today is a crash course on everything you need in order to successfully deal with a broody hen. Keep your pen and pad handy. This episode is full of useful gems.
What’s it like to be a homesteading, homeschooling, entrepreneur, from-scratch-cooking, mom-of-three? I’ll be the first to admit, it can be exhausting. While I work to keep a set schedule, depending on the seasonal duties I have I need to keep things a little fluid. Fair warning, my schedule isn’t to be used as a template for everyone. I’m simply here to show you how I manage my busy life with the hope that you can take some bits and pieces to improve yours.
Home dairy is a bit of a status symbol in the homesteading community. However, there are three very big myths that prevent most homesteaders from even getting started. In today’s episode I expound on these myths as well as outlining many incredible uses for home dairy (hint: it’s not just milk).
If you’ve followed me for any period of time, you’d certainly know my deep love for all things butter. It’s by far my favorite dairy-made product. Today you’ll learn the process of making your own butter at home and the incredible advantages it provides over store bought butter. To be honest, you’ll be shocked at how easy this really is to do. I hope this inspires you to start making butter of your own today!
There is no shortage of information out there when it comes to homesteading. The unfortunate thing is that most of it is just fluff. Today I’m here to provide you a quick start guide so that you can get on the correct path on your journey. Learn why food is always the top priority on the homestead and how you can start weeding out poor choices immediately. Find out why the most important part of starting a homestead will always be taking action.
Have you ever used ancient grains in your cooking? If you’re new to the game, you’ll likely realize that using Einkorn flour produces a much different experience when it comes to cooking and baking. Today we’re going to explore the health benefits of using Einkorn and other ancient grains. We’re also going to dig into different uses and what to expect when you first go to use ancient grains in your cooking.
Yes my friends, it’s that wonderful time of the year. Thanksgiving is upon us and for most of us that means one thing: turkey. On today’s episode, I’m thrilled to share my favorite way of cooking a turkey. Brining offers the best combination of deep flavor and juiciness. Beyond brining, I’ll share some of my favorite turkey related stories. If you’re stressed out about the big day, fear not. This show will provide all the information you need to make cooking your turkey a breeze.
Are you tired of the same old processed foods you’ve been eating at Thanksgiving? I’m here today to show you why cooking Thanksgiving the homestead way is the absolute best way to go. On today’s episode I’ll explore my favorite way to cook a turkey, why mashed potatoes are the best, my ideal way to prepare cranberry sauce, and so much more. This episode will provide the blueprint for crafting the most incredible home-cooked Thanksgiving ever!
Do you ever dream of the homestead life, but shutter at the thought of living so far away from town? I can’t even begin to count the number of people that’ve voiced this exact concern over the years. Don’t worry. I get it. The full-on homestead life isn’t necessarily for everyone. Don’t fret my friends, today I’m here to offer up ideas on how you can get a taste of the homestead life without ever leaving suburbia. On this episode I cover everything from gardening to keeping your own animals. This is a must listen for anyone that wants to get a taste of the homestead life!
Time is by far our most valuable asset. While I love cooking delicious, healthy, and wholesome food, it can be an extremely time consuming task. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve wasted in the kitchen on a daily basis Today I provide my favorite tips and tricks to save time every single week. Find out the staples that are always in my kitchen and on the shopping list, how to batch, and why it’s important to keep a list of easy-to-make meals on hand. If you’re spending too much time in the kitchen on a daily basis, this episode is a must listen.
Milk is magic. It’s an incredibly versatile liquid that has the ability to morph into so many amazing things. Today I’m focusing on three of my all-time favorite milk recipes that will leave you coming back for more. Specifically I’m talking about yogurt, ricotta, and buttermilk. These three recipes are not only delicious, they’re also easy to make! Want to make these phenomenal recipes in your very own kitchen?
The word ‘cast iron’ exudes strength in-and-of itself. For some reason, the internet might have you believing these types of pans are delicate little flowers. No matter what you think at this point, I’m here to bust some common cast iron myths that will have you converting in no time flat. Listen today to learn how to properly season your pan, how to save rusty pans, and hear me bust the largest, most common myth when it comes to cast iron.
Have you ever dreamed of publishing your own book? I can tell you from experience, it is one of the most challenging and rewarding processes you can ever undertake. On today’s episode, I’m drifting a bit from the traditional podcast. Come with me as we take a journey from initial idea to published book. We’ll talk literary agents, the difficult editing process, the computer crash that nearly broke me, and everything in between. Whether you’re interested in writing a book or not, you’ll gain immense behind-the-scenes insight on how my cookbook was actually assembled!
This is what we all dream of, right? Of course our love of the homestead life is why we get involved in the first place, but the idea of actually making a living off the homestead (or even just a little extra money) can seem far-fetched. Today I’m not just here to explain why this is entirely possible, but I’m also providing 6 proven ways to start making money off your homestead. From selling animal products to creating homestead experiences and everything in between, I know one of these ideas are sure to spark something in your mind. Have you done anything to make money on your homestead? If so, be sure to share!
Are you struggling to keep up with an increasingly busy schedule filled with 4-H, homeschooling, tending to the milk cows, and all of the other wonderful things that come with life on the homestead? I’m in the thick of it right now and let me tell you, it ain’t no joke ya’ll! Like most of you listening, I’ve always felt a certain way about freezer meals. My first association had always been bland, lifeless casseroles. As a proud homesteader, they always felt like cheating to some degree. It wasn’t until I took a serious deep dive into into meal prep that I realized the power and convenience of well thought out freezer meals. On today’s episode, I explain how and why my mindset shifted around freezer meals. I also offer up my favorite tips and tricks to maximize flavor and make efficient use of your time. Let’s get cooking!
Are you dreading the oncoming winter nights? For quite some time, winter really got me down. More than anything, I was bored. After spending almost all of my time outside in the spring and summer months, I felt sequestered to my house as the frosty months passed by. I’m happy to say this has drastically changed over the years. By picking up new hobbies, learning to appreciate the change in seasons, and generally getting outside my comfort zone, I’ve learned how to shake the cold-weather blues.
As I detailed in a past episode, there’s a lot of misinformation and folklore when it comes to cast iron. This incredible cookware is a staple in my kitchen and it deserves a special place in yours as well. For anyone who has been intimidated by cast iron in the past, this episode will not only ease your fears, it’ll give you the confidence to use cast iron on a regular basis. I even explain how I cook scrambled eggs in cast iron! Tune in to find out how to start utilizing this amazing tool in your kitchen.
Depending on the part of the country you’re in, you’re likely finding yourself in the thick of winter. While I’ve learned to love some of the winter moments, there are several keys you must keep in mind to ensure your animals stay safe throughout the cold months. On today’s episode, I layout how we stay prepped for the rough weather. This includes anything from shelter, watering systems, adjusted feeding schedules, and so much more. No matter if you’re a seasoned pro or a homestead newbie, you’re sure to take a lot of value from this podcast.
Although I was born in Idaho, I still call Wyoming my home. Wyoming is an incredible place, but before you pack up the chickens and head this way, I’m here to explain the good, the bad, and the ugly about homesteading in Wyoming. In today’s episode I describe why your diet can affect where you choose to establish a homestead, why weather needs to be a serious consideration, and how to determine the ideal situation based on your needs. If you’re still sitting on the sidelines when it comes to homesteading, this episode will provide a number of important things to consider before jumping in.
Winter in Wyoming means frequent trips outside to grab firewood for our wood stove. So why heat with wood in the first place? Economy, efficiency, and independence highlight the incredible benefits of heating your home with a wood stove. While I do profess the use of wood, there are a number of things you need to consider before jumping in and installing a wood stove in your home. Man sure to check out the link below for even more information!
Modern life is convenient, but is this always a good thing? Generally speaking, if something is becoming easier, quality is likely being sacrificed in the process. As things become easier, we become more-and-more comfortable. We become complacent and eventually stop growing. While I’m not here today to bash technology and all of our wonderful modern conveniences, today I’m here to explain why taking on a challenge is essential for our long-term growth. For me, it’s chopping firewood in the cold. What is it for you?
Looking back on how things started, it’s truly quite incredible to reflect on how I arrived at the point. For anyone that has followed for any length of time, you’d know that my entire venture into entrepreneurship started with a blog. When I first started, I had no intention of making money. All I really wanted to do was tell my story. It wasn’t until a friend reached out to me asking for advice that I realized the possibilities that were in front of me. If you’ve ever wondered where I got my start and how I’ve progressed in the business world, this is the episode you’ve been waiting for. I can only hope that this inspires you to start a journey of your own.
One of the most common questions when it comes to homesteading is “What do you do to keep the animals warm in the winter?” Naturally, our first instinct is to grab lamps or other forms of heating elements. The thing that most of us forget is that the vast majority or animals are designed to withstand the cold own their own. Above anything else, animals just need a way to get out of the wind and a way to stay dry. On today’s episode I’m going to explain what we do in our chicken coop and provide the essential elements need for ever coop.
Once again we’ve arrived at that magical time of the year. The special time where hope springs eternal and a new year is upon us. I’ve always loved this last week of the year because it gives me the opportunity to reflect on the past year and plan what’s to come. On today’s episode, I layout the steps I always take to ensure I’m ready for success going into the new year.
Intentionally or unintentionally, sometimes we can hide parts of ourselves that others would really like to see. If you follow me on social media or any of the other places my brand shows up to the world, it might be easy to assume that I always live some perfect curated life. The truth is, we all have things about ourselves that might surprise other people. On today’s episode, I’m here to share some things about myself that I’ve never openly talked about. I’m sure that this episode will turn some people off and that’s fine. today’s all about releasing things that you’ve been suppressing and shifting into the truest version of yourself.
It seems that today that many kids lack one of the most important skills that leads to long term success in every area of life. This of course is creativity. It seems that creativity could be getting stifled by the evolution of technology. As things become easier and easier to access at the push of a button, we’re filling our free time with mindless activities that don’t allow for precious boredom to set in. Creativity essential to develop is because it teaches us how to solve problems, how to deal with failure, and how to overcome obstacles. Listen today to find out how I’m personally developing my own creativity and how my kids are as well.
When it comes to homesteading, one of the most overlooked essentials is a well-stocked pantry. Whether it’s an unexpected road closure, a blizzard, or a few additional guests, planning for the unexpected is sure to save you time and stress. On today’s episode, I walk you through the absolute must-haves from my very own pantry. Learn why to buy meat in bulk, what fats I always keep on hand, and so much more.
On previous episodes, I’ve discussed how homeschooling has reaped massive benefits in my life. I’ve even discussed how my children are benefitting from the exact same practice. On today’s episode I’m here to pull back the curtain on how Christian and I homeschool our children. I discuss everything including schedules, books we use, the main differences between homeschooling and public schooling, and so much more.
Yes. I said it. I don’t like ‘homesteading’ anymore. When I first got involved with ‘homesteading’, the word carried a certain endearing quality. It somehow encompassed the animals, the open fields, the freedom, and the community. Most of all, ‘homesteading’ represented being a bit of a maverick. In the very beginning there weren’t that many homesteaders. Today, it seems everyone is taking their shot at homesteading. No longer is what we call homesteading confined to the farm in Wyoming. All across the U.S. and all around the globe people are diving into what I’m now referring to as an old-fashioned lifestyle. Listen today to find out exactly what I mean by this and how you can get involved now.
While I absolutely LOVE living in the country, there are certainly some challenges you have to deal with. One of the biggest challenges is grocery shopping. While we do grow and produce many different food items on our homestead, due to our growing seasons and climate restrictions it simply isn’t possible to produce everything we need on our own. So how do we cope? I’m glad you asked! On today’s episode I’m going to layout my method for supplementing our own produce with market and store bought items, big box stores, online marketplaces, and much, much more.
Cast iron can be intimidating. With all of the misinformation floating around, it’s easy to understand why some avoid it all together. Cast iron is by far my favorite way to cook, but it can present some real challenges for any new user. Today we cover the difference between standard cast iron, enamel coated cast-iron, when you should and shouldn’t season your pan, what to do with a pre-seasoned pan, some brands to check out, and so much more. I explain what to look out for with garage sale and Goodwill finds, and I also go why you basically can’t go wrong with any cast iron. If you’ve been wanting to get into the cast iron game but didn’t know where to start. This episode is specifically for you.
With the rapid evolution of technology and modern conveniences in our society, it’s easy to ask if the old ways are falling to the wayside. While it’s true that some things are bound to disappear, it’s also true that from the hustle of New York City to the calm of the Wyoming countryside, more-and-more people are discovering homesteading each and every day. It might not be a full-on homestead as you and I know it to be, but people are growing their own food and raising animals despite their location and climate restrictions. Even with the growth of society at large, today I discuss why I don’t see the old ways disappearing anytime soon.
While I thought that some people might question how we pull off homesteading with kids, it turns out this is one of the most-asked questions among listeners. The truth is, it has everything to do with our parenting style. While I’m sure there are people who will disagree with some of our ideals, this is just me explaining what works for our family on the homestead. It’s not perfect by any means, but our ultimate focus is to get our kids comfortable with being uncomfortable, teach them how to deal with challenges, let them learn how to entertain themselves, and so much more.
I’ve failed in nearly every way imaginable attempting to make sourdough. So why would you listen to me? I’ve taken the lumps so you don’t have to. On today’s episode, I’m walking you step-by-step through my favorite way to make a sourdough starter. Not only have I found this method to be extremely effective, but you’ll be amazed at how simple this process really is. I’m here to show you that heritage cooking doesn’t always have to be difficult.
As a gardening fanatic, one of my favorite times of the year has arrived. I don’t know about you, but when my seed catalogs arrive at the beginning of the year I find it hard to contain myself. About seven years ago I started using heirloom seeds exclusively. Why did I make the switch? On today’s episodes I dive into many different reasons why I prefer heirloom seeds and the characteristics that make them different from traditional seeds. I even provide my two favorite resources for heirloom seeds. If you’ve ever been curious about heirlooms, this episode will give you everything that you need to know to get started on your journey.
Perhaps the biggest road block anyone faces on the homesteading journey is trying to figure out how to buy land. It’s such a big issue that it prevents most people from considering the homestead life in the first place. On today’s episode, I explain several strategies that we utilized in order to make our homesteading life work. Beyond simple strategies like cleaning up debt and working extra jobs, I explain why the correct mindset can power your through any barrier keeping you from living the homestead life. Today we’re going to focus on asking ourselves ‘what if’?
For quite some time I was terrified of nitrates. In all honesty, it was a big source of anxiety for a long time. This didn’t relent until sometime last year when I started digging deep into the truth behind nitrates. Come to find out, nitrates aren’t all that bad. Many are even naturally occurring in our favorite meats. Today’s episode is dedicated to busting nitrate related myths and reassuring you that they in fact are not carcinogenic. Be sure to check out the links below for some incredible information I found regarding this very subject!
Have you ever dreamed of starting your own garden but have no idea on where to start? You are in luck my friends. Starting a garden can be extremely intimidating for any first timer. This episode provides a ground-up plan that is so simple anyone can get into the game. I cover key aspects like checking your gardening zone, what equipment you’ll need, types of seeds, and the benefits of soil testing.
Frugality is something that I’ve always seen as an admirable quality. As most of you know, this is how I grew up and how Christian and I generally live our lives. Believe it or not, there are times where frugality can hurt you. Today I’m going to address two specific warning signs that frugality is getting the best of you. While I’m not here to preach a right-or-wrong way of doing things, I am encouraging you to take a look at your own habits and behaviors to see if these warning signs are getting the best of you. It’s incredible the amount of stress you can relieve with a few minor changes. This is a must listen for all my frugal homesteaders out there.
I don’t know about you, but we are in the dead of winter out here in Wyoming. Inevitably during this time of year, our chickens just don’t produce the same amount of eggs as they normally do. While the weather is certainly a factor, the are a number of possible reasons why your chicken isn’t producing. If you’re ready to figure out how light, age, molting, and so much more have the potential to dramatically shift the production you’re getting out of your chickens. Don’t worry my friends. I’m not here to just point out problems. I’m here to offer solutions. If you’re someone who’s dealt with the frustration of a broody hen, this episode is a must listen.!
Few things that strike greater fear into the heart of a homesteader than the word botulism. If you’re anything like me, you’ve come to have a healthy respect for canning safety due to the potential serious consequences of improper canning. On today’s episode I detail why recipes that contain dairy, flour, and high levels of fat shouldn’t be canned. You’ll also learn why canning is the one place in the kitchen where you don’t want to mess around with changing a recipe.
Natural health remedies seem to share a certain distinction when it comes to health care. While that may be the case, we’ve found many different herbs and essential oils to be a key component of maintaining good health. On today’s episode, I explore the different tactics that I’m utilizing with my family. This involves everything, including simple habits like getting more sleep and eating less sugar to how to maintain proper gut health. You’ll also get my opinion on the ever important hand-sanitizer debate. If you’re seeking some extra things you can do to help maintain the health of you and your family, you’ve come to the right place.
One of my favorite days of the year has arrived. The seeds for my garden showed up! If you’re anything like me, you’re in full-on garden prep mode. On a recent episode, I discussed my long-term love for heirloom seeds. On today’s episode, I dive deep into what I have planned for my garden this year. From broccoli to peppers to spinach and everything in between, I explain why I’m planting each of these crops and why some may-or-may not work for you. I also share an important lesson that I learned over the years: plant what you eat, not what you think you should.
Do you ever reach the end of the day and wonder where all your time went? Do you look at your “to-do’s” and wonder how you’ll ever get it all done? Fitting the homestead lifestyle into the speed of the modern day world can create some serious problems. When it comes down to it, there’s little we can do to speed up the pace of mother nature. This means as homesteaders that we need to focus on time management in the areas of life that we can control. On today’s episode I share 7 of my favorite ways to save time both short-term and long-term. Some of these tips will require a bit of setup but will make your life so much easier in the long-run.
Personal development has been an essential tool over the years. Looking back, I realize that some of the assesments I’ve taken have provided the biggest opportunities for growth. They help point out common personality characteristics and their underlying tendencies. On today’s episode, I’m proud to present a creation of very own. See if you identiy with any of these 4 types of Homesteaders. How can this information help you?
Winter on the homestead has become one of my favorite times of the year. It’s that special time of year when I can come inside, cozy up next to the fire with a warm drink, and lose myself in good book. On today’s episode I’m sharing what I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the winter. I’m also sharing my favorite sources of reading material, including new and used books, audio books, magazines, and more. What are you reading this year? Drop me a comment and share what you’re excited to read in the coming months. I’m always looking for new suggestions.
Innovation and technology serve us in so many different ways. Whether it’s making things more convenient, easier, or faster, new tools and techniques allow us to live our lives in different ways. Needless to say, new isn’t always better. When it comes to the kitchen, wooden kitchen tools still reign supreme on the Winger homestead. On today’s episode, I expand on why these phenomenal tools deserve a place in your kitchen. I explain what you need to do in order to properly clean and care for your wooden utensils. I also discuss the most common myth with wood in the kitchen (hint: bacteria) and provide some information that’s likely to shock you.
Thanks to social media, I might appear to be some type of super woman. The truth of the matter is, Instagram and Facebook posts never tell the full story no matter how transparent I try to be. I’m able to “Do It All” because I’ve become extremely efficient with time management and have realized that I simply can’t do it all. On today’s episode, I explain how things like finding help, saying no, and blocking time have enabled me to not only become super productive, but also free up more time in order to pursue other things that fill me up.
If you’ve been listening or following me for a while, you’d know that it was horses that actually spurred my initial interest in homesteading. While most people wouldn’t consider a horse as a traditional ‘homestead’ animal, I’ve found that they hold a very special place in our daily lives. On today’s episode, I explain how to make sure you’re getting the right type of horse for you and your family. More important, I explain why a horse is NOT your dog.
I’m not going to lie. This episode is likely to ruffle some feathers. However, this is a topic that’s been weighing on my mind for quite some time. On various videos or social media posts, I’ve received a number of questions about how Christian and I have been able to afford our homestead. Many assume we come from a wealthy background, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m here to explain how we found a small property, got out of debt, worked odd jobs, and built our homestead overtime. Let me tell you, it’s incredible how creative you can get when you want it bad enough.
Believe it or not, many of the best ways to use up leftover sourdough starter have nothing to do with baking bread. If you’ve ever wondered what to do with your leftover sourdough starter, then this is the episode you’ve been waiting for. Join me on today’s show where you’ll learn my top 5 favorite discard recipes, including pancakes, waffles, and biscuits. So slow your roll, don’t ditch that dough, and find out how to take advantage of that discard in this incredibly helpful episode.
Between late frosts in the spring, early frosts in the fall, blizzards in the middle of May, and everything in between, Wyoming is one of the most difficult climates you’ll find to grow a garden. So I do I combat this every year? I focus on understanding the frost cycle and only grow what will thrive in our zone. I start seeds inside to capitalize on prime growing season. Learn why you should be leery of the big box stores and why working with local suppliers who know your zone is crucial. If you’ve thought gardening was impossible in your area, this show is an absolute must listen!
It’s no secret by now. If you’ve been listening at all to the podcast lately, you’d know that I’ve got gardening on my mind. I’ve said i many times before but I’ll say it once again; gardening is likely a close second on my “what I love about homesteading list”, trailing only the animals. Wha’s the best news out of all this win it comes to gardening? It’s far easier than you think. Listen to today’s show to find out why and gain some valuable tips on how you can get started today!
While I love to cook, at times it can become a drag. With everything we have going on with the kids, our various businesses, and the responsibilities of running a homestead, at times I end to fallback on the tried-and-true recipes that my family has loved throughout the years. While this might be easy and efficient, things tend to get stale over time. On today’s episode I’m here to share some of my favorite ways on how to shake the funk and get the creative juices flowing. Whether it’s finding new ways to cook old recipes, committing to cooking at last one new meal per week, or buying some new herbs you’ve never tried, there’s always a way to get yourself out of a rut.
Have you ever jumped head first into starting seeds and quickly find yourself overwhelmed? Trust me, when I first started expanding my garden I was right there with you. The truth is that this will always be the case unless you build a system for planting seeds. Well my friends, with the days getting longer and the air outside feeling a bit different, it’s finally time to start the seeds. Today I’m going to walk you through my own system for starting seeds, complete with full instructions so you can tame this beast once and for all. If you want to find out what coconuts and aluminum foil have to do with getting your garden ready for the spring, listen to this episode now!
While we’d all love an open, sunny spot to plant our garden, the reality of it is some things are beyond our control. Rest assured, a shady spot doesn’t always mean a death sentence. On today’s episode, I explain how it’s possible to grow a garden even without ideal sunlight.
Contrary to popular belief, I wasn’t born into the homestead life. If you go back and listen to some of my first episodes you can get the full story on how Christian and I caught the homestead bug. In the end, learning how to homestead has been nothing more than an insatiable desire to learn and taking massive imperfect action everyday. Listen today as I dig into some of my favorite places to gather information. I know some of you will be inspired to take some action of your own.
Have you ever tried to save a piece of cast iron and found yourself in way too deep? This was my story just last week. After staring at a skillet in my kitchen for years, I finally decided to do something about it. After testing several different solutions, most unsuccessfully, I stumbled upon something that finally worked! Listen today to find out how coconut oil, lard, or flaxseed oil might be your savior when it comes to that old, beat up skillet.
To say the world is full of uncertainty is a bit of an understatement at the moment. We’re living in some uncharted waters as a country and as humans in general. I for one can say my mind has been spinning over the past couple weeks. Even with the craziness in the world, the events of the past few weeks has reassured me the choice we made to begin the homesteading journey. Not only are we in a position to produce for for our family, but if it’s needed, we can help the community and inspire others to adopt some of our ways. As you listen today, I’d like for you to keep this in mind; we have a responsibility to help and share knowledge in this time of need. How can you help?
Seemingly in the blink of an eye, the world became homeschoolers. For some of you listening, it’s business as usual. For others? Full time panic mode has ensued. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a rookie doing this for the first time, I’m here to offer some guidance that anyone can use regardless of experience. I explore some of the most common issues people have when it comes to homeschooling (hint: you don’t have to be perfect) and offer solutions that are sure to ease some stress. Rest assured, most of these ideas are extremely simple and require zero expense. I’m excited to share these ideas with you, and I know they’ll have a positive impact on your homeschooling experience.
What do you do when everything goes as you hoped, or perhaps even better than you hoped? While it’s great to be able to produce our own food on the homestead, sometimes we find ourselves with a perishable bounty that needs to be dealt with. On today’s episode, I explain how I’m dealing with an excess of eggs. While selling some is always an option, listen to find out how I use this abundance in order to inspire new dishes. I also share some of my favorite preservation techniques so you can still enjoy your eggs when they’re off-season. If you have chickens on your homestead, this episode is a must listen!
With everything going on in the world today, it’s important to always check back in on some basics. For everyone that has followed me for any period of time, you’d know canning is easily one of my favorite things when it comes to homesteading. I know what many are you thinking right now: why can dry beans? On today’s episode I’m going to explain the many benefits of canning dry beans as well as share my favorite canning method.
The chicks are here! Yes, it’s that time of year. Last year we were a bit behind the eight ball and missed out on meat chickens. Not this time my friend. If you’ve ever wanted to raise meat chickens but have yet to take the plunge, this episode is for you. I dive deep into what makes a great meat chickens, why you shouldn’t let your chickens grow too fast, what to feed your chicken, and so much more.
On today’s episode, I’m taking a bit of a departure from my traditional format to dive into the present state of our homestead. I cover everything from prepping raised beds, meat chickens, what we’re doing with our milking setup, and so much more. While we might still be waiting for the cold weather and the snow to pass, things are slowly starting to ramp up in our world. Let’s get ready for spring!
Lately it seems Christian and I have been talking a lot about our dreams for the homestead. More than anything, we’ve realized we share a strong desire to increase our food production this year. Listen today as we take our vision well beyond just adding more chickens and cows. We’re taking steps to further protect our crops from hail and other natural elements to preserve our final yield. Most important, we’re taking steps to produce more food to help provide for our community. During this uncertain time, find out why I think all of us homesteaders need to take a look at ourselves and ask how we can help our communities.
During uncertain times, basic survival needs like food security become a topic of daily discussion. While I realize homesteading is essentially preparing us for times like these, not everyone that listens to this podcast are on a homestead. Many of you live in a city or in suburbs and don’t have a ton of extra space. Today I’m here to lay out what I’d do if I had to start over in the suburbs. Learn the essential vegetables to grow, why you need to own a grain mill, and how I’d stock my pantry. Find out why one of the most important things you can do to boost your food security is developing and maintaining relationships with local farmers and food producers.
Time and time again, I get inundated with questions about sourdough. On this very special episode (which was broadcast live on Facebook) I answer every sourdough question you could throw my way. We cover everything from why sourdough starter separates, why it molds, how to tell if sourdough is active, and everything in between. If you’ve ever had any questions as to why your sourdough isn’t panning out, then today is your lucky day!
What is and isn’t a homesteader? If you’re anything like me, this question has weighed on your mind at one point or another. To be honest, the deeper I dove into this topic, I quickly realized how difficult it is to define what homesteading is. I’ve come to find that homesteading is less about certain behaviors or checking off certain boxes and more about living by a mindset and a lifestyle. Listen today to find out what that is.
Have you ever discovered a forgotten piece of equipment at just the right time? With the madness going on at the grocery, I stumbled upon an old dusty grain mill. While I’ve stuck to all-purpose flour for quite some time, our current circumstances have forced a slight pivot in terms of the grains I use. If you’ve never used a grain mill and you find yourself running out of flour, this episode will help you find several options to fortify your wheat supply. You’ll learn about the different types of grain mills, where to buy wheat berries, how to lengthen the life of your flour, when you can (and can’t) use whole wheat flour, and so much more.
While this most certainly is a homestead focused show, the whole reason I’ve been able to sustain and grow my homestead is because I took the time to establish other businesses. Whether you’re currently pursuing another business or have been thinking about venturing out on your own, growing an online presence is a necessity at this point. Case in point, many of you listening arrived at my podcast only after following my blog, my website, or my social accounts. On today’s episode I address the most important aspects of starting and growing a blog. This means finding your purpose, deciding the type of blog you want to run, and what you share with the world. If you’re ready to shift your blog into high gear, click play now!
Somehow, someway, more chicks have found their way onto our homestead. In the name of food security and the uncertainty surrounding our current time, I broke a promise I made to myself just a couple weeks ago. If you’re feeling that same itch or you have yet to purchase chicks this season, I’m here to give you a thorough rundown on the best practices when it comes to finding the right chicks to suit your needs. Learn about some specialty items like heat plates, heat lamps, electrolyte solutions, and much more. I promise, this is it for the chicks!
It’s a rather interesting time to be alive, isn’t it? Even though I tend to spend a lot of time at home under normal circumstances, the current state of the world has made it even more extreme. Even though I haven’t been going anywhere, it feels like I have even less time than ever before. Are you feeling that way as well? After getting too caught up in things I have no control over, I knew it was time to refocus and make a change. Now I’m focusing on distancing myself from the devices and honing in on more productive activities like reading, cleaning, and tending to our calves. If you’ve been feeling off because of everything going on in the world, tune in today to refocus and find clarity to push forward through these trying time.
For a long time, I’ve lived under the belief that gardening season in Wyoming runs from June to September. In the midst of the Covid-19 epidemic I’ve been obsessively reading about new and different approaches to gardening that quite frankly have blown my past beliefs to pieces. Today I’m dishing out my favorite new tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the past couple weeks and explain what I’m getting ready to implement in my own garden. Learn how to always have a constant, quick supply of greens, root vegetables, and much more. This is a great episode for anyone looking to bolster their food security for the coming months and beyond.
While most parts of homesteading are extremely fun and rewarding, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Sometimes I make mistakes. Sometimes Christian and I face serious challenges that simply aren’t pleasant to deal with. If you’ve been listening to the podcast or reading the blog over the past couple months, you’d know that we’ve been working on breeding goats. When my daughter Mesa went to check on the goats this week, she discovered something tragic. It turns out our goat had given birth to triplets, but all three had passed away. Listen to find out how we’ve been dealing with this horrible situation and how we’re going to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future.
If there’s one positive to come out of our current situation, it’s the incredible surge of interest in gardening. Now more than ever, people are realizing the importance of growing and producing their own food. As any veteran gardener knows. your soil is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to successfully growing your own food. While it’s not necessary for everyone to get their soil tested, on today’s episode I explain when and why you should do it, where you can get it done, and what you should do with the results. Finally, I explain what happens when you have high levels of nitrogen or carbon and what can be down without it. Whether you’re a veteran gardener or a total novice, this episode is a must listen!
After nearly 10 years of talking about it, we’re finally taking the plunge. As discussed in previous episodes about increasing food production, now is the time to put a greenhouse on our homestead. In all honesty, I’ve been getting tired of the short growing seasons we have here in Wyoming. On today’s episode I share the in-depth research I’ve performed over the past couple months on different ways to extend your growing season. Whether it’s a cold frame, a greenhouse, a low tunnel, or a high tunnel, today’s discussion will help you determine what option is the best for you and your climate.
In one of the more exciting developments on the homestead over the past couple months, we have calves! For many of you, the idea of dairy producing animals might be completely foreign. On today’s episode, I’m here to demystify the process of breeding milk cows. I cover topics such as artificial insemination, when and how to begin the milking process, and how to ensure you wind up with heifers. Listen to find out how were dealing with our new calves and discover why beef bulls can be used for breeding purposes, but it’s not the ideal solution in the long-term. If you’ve ever been interested in adding dairy animals to your homestead but have no idea where to start, this episode is sure to get the wheels churning.
Just a few weeks ago, I made mention of our mission to increase our food production this year. While I’ve already covered several topics regarding food production, chicken power is one we’ve never really utilized. While this might be a foreign concept to some, it’s truly incredible how useful (and even entertaining) chickens can be on the homestead. From disposing of food waste to pecking compost and even tilling sod, listen today to discover how these little birds are so much more than just efficient egg layers.
Tomatoes are easily one of my favorite things to grow. These versatile vegetables can be eaten off the vine, turned into pasta sauce, and so much more. On today’s episode, I explain my preferred process for growing tomatoes and what I do to get the best yield. Find out whether it’s best to plant your own seeds or buy them from the store. Learn why you might be getting “leggy’ seedlings and what you should can do about them. I also discuss some of the best companion plants you can put in your garden to boost the quality of both plants.
Recently I’ve been sorting through my library of homesteading books. I’ve read countless books over the years, but the ones that still remain on my shelf today are the one’s that I truly cherish. Finding great homesteading books can be a pretty difficult task. Many books tend to be more of a broad brush rather than digging into specific topic. Listen today to find incredible reference books for extending your seasons, organic gardening, beef cows, cheese making, cookbooks, and everything in between. No matter where you’re at in your homesteading journey, you are sure to find a valuable source of information you can implement immediately!
Even prior to our current situation, there has been an explosion of interest in local food production. While we’ve always produced food for our own use, it wasn’t until this year that we chose to start producing for our community. For our family, grassfed beef was an obvious place to start. On today’s episode, I begin from the ground up with everything about grassfed beef. Learn why every calf is typically grass fed but not always grass finished. Discover the health benefits of grassfed beef, why the government can effect the taste of your food, and why your gut will appreciate grassfed animals. If you’re unsure of what exactly constitutes something as grassfed and what the true benefits are, this episode is sure to open your eyes.
With the widespread quarantines across the country, we’ve witnessed disruption in nearly every single industry. Perhaps has this been most apparent within the food supply chain. Isn’t it incredible that we’re seeing both food shortages in areas at the same time farmers are dumping out excess crops? It seems what we’re feeling at the moment are some of the repercussions of a shift away from small businesses over the last 10-20 years. Today I’m going to dive into why I’m choosing to take the hard road in this chaotic time and make a commitment to support our small businesses. Listen today to discover how you can take steps immediately to start supporting small businesses without ever leaving your home.
It’s no secret. The vast majority of the world considers us homesteaders to be a bit of an odd bunch. If we’re being honest with ourselves, what we do on a daily basis is certainly abnormal in modern society. Even my non-homesteading friends have a major misconception when it comes to why we actually do what we do. I must admit, it certainly would be much easier to go to the store and buy a gallon of milk than it is to own your own milk cow. It would also be much easier to grab a cheap loaf of bread than make fresh sourdough from scratch. If we’ve learned anything over the years, easier is not always better and it’s a concept that some people will never understand. Tune in today to see why shoveling manure is cathartic, why dirt under my nails is a badge of honor, and why the best time to mow the lawn is when you’re mad.
Even amongst the homestead community, raw milk isn’t necessarily a common topic of conversation. Maybe it’s a product of our current situation, but in our household we can’t get enough raw milk at the moment. For the completely uninformed, raw milk is simply unpasteurized milk. On today’s episode, I go well beyond the unpasteurized label and explain the phenomenal benefits of raw milk, including how it’s made, the incredible taste, and the wonderful cream. While I cover the amazing benefits of raw milk, it’s also important to inform you of some potential risks that do exists and the steps you can take to mitigate them. Most important, I explain how and where you can find raw milk where you live. Tune in today to jumpstart your education on evrything raw milk.
No matter how excited you might be about your homesteading venture, I can guarantee you not everyone around you shares this same excitement. How do I know? I’ve been there myself. Sharing your passion with loved ones only to get instantly shot down is one of the most discouraging things that could ever happen. The truth of the matter is when you do anything that is as far out of the norm as homesteading, you’re bound to get pushback from friends and family alike. On today’s episode, I explain how I’ve dealt with this issue and how you can do the same. What’s great about this topic is that this advice will benefit you in any sort of “weird” adventure you choose to take in life.
The fear of failure can prevent even the strongest among of from pursuing dreams and passions that will lead to a truly fulfilling life. I know Christian and I have had our own share of fear throughout the process of building our homestead and dealing with it hasn’t been easy. Over the years I’ve actually come to see failure as my best friend. Crazy, right? On today’s episode I’m going to explain to you why fear will never disappear from your life and what you can learn to harness it and use it to your advantage. You’ll also get to hear our six biggest homestead failures over the years. Without a doubt, I know you’ll be able to relate to one of these failures.
For many different reasons, grassfed meats are all the rage at the moment. While the incredible benefits are obvious, there seems to be one issue most people run into when preparing grassfed meats; if you’re not careful it can become extremely tough. Don’t fret my friends, this simply means that grassfed meats tend to be much leaner due to more time in the pasture. Listen today to learn best practices for defrosting, how to to season a good steak, how to use your grill and oven to cook a perfect steak, the art of the sear, and everything in between. Beyond cooking tips, I explain why grassfed meats tend to cost more than grain finished products and why the method of finishing the meat can dramatically change the taste. This episode is a must listen if you’ve ever had any interest in grassfed meat!
Now more than ever, interest in locally grown food is booming. Not only are people looking to support small and local businesses during this chaotic time, but they’re also coming to realize the high quality food that exists outside of their normal grocery store. On today’s episode I’m here to help guide you on your journey of tracking down some incredible locally sourced food. Believe it or not, the internet will be your best friend on this quest. Facebook has become the most effective place to find local producers. Also, learn the surprising reason why choosing local food is always better than organic. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to help guide you down the path of supporting your local producers. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!
Homesteading with kids isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re up for the challenge it will certainly make an incredible impact on their lives. I know with our kids, life on the homestead has taught them the value of hard work, how to establish boundaries, and how to be creative. More than anything, perhaps the most valuable lessons kids can learn is learning how to fail. If you’v ever doubted your decision to raise your kids on the homestead, I encourage you to listen to this episode. It’s sure to erase that doubt and help you understand why raising a prairie kid (as I like to call mine) is one of the best gifts you could ever give them.
I don’t believe it’s any secret by now; we like to raise our own meat. More than any part of the process, people question how we handle the butchering of animals. While it isn’t always easy, I’ve come to recognize that butchering animals ourselves has only helped us to gain an even greater appreciation for the meat the we raise for ourselves and our community. While some might find it inhumane or even try to convince us to go vegan, most would be surprised to know animals raised on the homestead tend to live vastly better lives than their industrial counterparts. On today’s episode, I explain when and how we get our kids involved in the process, why I believe every meat eater should experience butchering once, and how we honor our animals in both life and death.
If you’ve watched any of my videos or have seen any pictures on my social media, it’s pretty easy to tell that I’m not a gadget girl when it comes to the kitchen. I must say that this does come with one key exception; the instant pot. Being the control freak that I am, I understand there is a bit of irony in me using an appliance I’m not supposed to touch. On today’s episode, find out why the instant pot is the best way to make farm fresh hard boiled eggs, bone broth, beans, rice quinoa, and more. Tune in to find out why this is one of the few gadgets I use in my kitchen and how it’s made certain aspects of my cooking a breeze.
To put it lightly, this year has been one of revelations on our homestead. As I’ve discussed in previous episodes, our goal to become producers for our community has necessitated some changes. We’ve raised meat birds for almost five years now, but as you’ll find out today virtually nothing is the same from when we first started. Listen to find out why we ditched the chicken coups, how we sped up our plucking process, and discover the best $200 I’ve ever spent in my adult life.
If you’re hoping to grow high quality plants, you must first dig deep (no pun intended) into your soil. Much like the foundation of a house, your soil sets the tone for everything that follows. In today’s episode, I’m going to cover a variety of tips and tricks to help you strike the perfect balance in your soil that will allow your crops to flourish. Learn about the three primary components of soil, how to determine if you have clay in your soil, and why organic matter is your best friend. Discover how cover crops can be used to mend your soil and how I’m using them in my own garden this year. No matter where you are in your gardening journey, you are sure to find some information you can put to use immediately.
After being hardcore proponents of hand milking for a decade, we finally made the decision to cave in and buy a milk machine. So why is now the time to make a change? As I’ve mentioned in recent episodes, we’ve committed to becoming producers for our community. Simply put, in order to be able to produce milk in large quantities, it was no longer viable to milk by hand. While I did have some reservations at first, I soon found out the time saved greatly outweighed any cost or additional clean up that came with the milk machine. If you’re thinking about getting into home dairy yourself, listen to find out if and when a milk machine is right for you.
Today I’m thrilled to be joined by Darryl Bosshardt of Redmond’s Real Salt. Darryl is a true salt expert. His grandparents founded Redmond’s 60 years ago and they have been my salt of choice for as long as I can remember. As we discuss today, salt is an essential mineral for our daily lives, but it’s often misunderstood and sometimes carries a negative connotation. Darryl provides an advanced course in everything related to salt as we talk about the harmful use of dextrose, why sea salt isn’t always better, and how to identify the best sources of salts. We also dive deep into why various types of salt have different colors, how this can affect the flavor, and how it should be used. The incredible thing is what I just wrote barely scratches the surface of Darryl’s expertise. Tune in today and be ready to take notes!
Let’s take a closer look at how to start canning. Summer is here, and that means canning season has arrived.
Have you ever had garden amnesia? It’s that time of year you get so excited about beginning your garden that you completely forget about all the time and hard work needed to make it happen? That’s where I’m currently at right now. Even with the well-documented struggles I’ve had, I’m ready and raring to go for this gardening season. Why you might ask? This year I’m armed with three secret weapons that I know will save tons of time and prevent many headaches throughout this busy summer. Listen today to find out why working in zones helps you focus, how mulch reduces weeds, and why setting water to a timer will save your pantry.
Potatoes are by far my favorite food and it’s not even close. This easy to grow vegetable is not only versatile in the kitchen, but they last long in storage and are fun and easy to harvest from the ground. In today’s episode, I’m going to discuss how my potato growth has evolved over the years and provide my top tips for increasing your potato yield. If you’re looking to take your potato game to the next level you have come to the right place.
If you’ve come to know anything about me over the years, you’ve likely recognized that the phrase “slow down” simply doesn’t exist in my vocabulary. As summer began and nearly all of our planned events and obligations were cancelled due to Covid-19, I started to seriously investigate my life and how I’m spending my time on a regular basis. On today’s episode I discuss the Pareto Principle, a surefire method to increase efficiency and free up more time to do exactly what you love to do. I also talk about the very real consequences of decision fatigue and ways you can avoid it. This episode also includes several very important announcements, one of which belongs to this podcast. Listen in to catch the latest news!
No matter the time of the year, there’s one topic that always remains in high demand. Whether you’re on the homestead or in the city, every single one of us has to eat. While I’m definitely not a meal planner by any stretch of the imagination, over the years I’ve learned several great tricks to save countless hours in the kitchen. In today’s episode, I fill you in on what we’re eating this summer. Listen to find out some of my favorite ground beef recipes, why I love sheet pan dinners and some incredible options for crockpot dinner.
Starting a homestead can be a daunting task. It can be even more overwhelming when you compare yourself to a seasoned homesteader such as myself. While “how do I start a homestead?” is one of the most common questions I receive, after living the homestead life for almost 12 years I’m a little disconnected from the startup portion of the journey. Today I’m happy to announce that my sister Jenna has come to save the day. Recent life changes have driven her and her husband to buy a 10 acre property and begin their own homesteading journey. Join us as we chronicle the building of Jenna’s homestead from the ground up. Today’s focus is on the feeling of becoming a first time homesteader. Jenna realling the moment she realized the whole thing is real was a magical experience. If you’ve wanted to start a homestead but had no idea where to start, start here!
Raising beef can seem like a difficult and daunting task on the surface, but suprisingly it’s one of the easiest methods of producing food on the homestead. While we’ve had issues in the past with other food sources, that’s never been the case with beef. In today’s episode I cover the essentials you’ll need to begin growing beef of your own. Learn about the different fencing options, the differences bewtween heifers and steers, how to determine the type of animal you need, and so much more. Also, if you happen to be one of those individuals that simply don’t have the space to grow your own beef don’t fret. There’s still a number of ways you can get into the beef game and stop relying on the mass producers. If you’ve ever thought of raising your own beef, this is a podcast you won’t want to miss.
Yes, you read that correctly. We bought a house. Rest assured, we haven’t decided to abandon the homestead and head into the suburbs. On the contrary, we’re making an investment in our future and and the future of our community. Join me today as I explain our plans to (hopefully) generate more income and jump start the growth of an old town. Follow along with our thought process of investing in tools over toys and how this can excel your growth in every area of your life. Don’t get me wrong. Im still processing this whole thing as we speak, and it’s taken overcoming some fears to get to this point. Listen to find out why learning to push past fear will take you wherever you want to go in life.
While kefir might be the newest addition to the long list of things growing in my kitchen, it most definitely isn’t new to my life. After taking a round of anti-biotics, I took to kefir to help repair the bacteria in my gut. Upon discovering some of the incredible benefits of this tasty beverage, I started digging a little deeper. Incredibly I found out that kefer can be used to make cheese culture! While this might not be a huge deal for you, all my cheesemakers will soon discover why kefir is a true gift. On today’s episode, I walk you through my own process of making kefir as well as share many of the other great uses of this product.
Dreams. Everyone has them, but not everyone achieves them. Why is that true? Believe it or not, a large number of people never even voice their dreams let alone create an actual plan to accomplish them. On today’s episode, I’m once again joined by my sister Jenna. As she continues on her homesteading journey, we begin discussing Jenna’s big goal for what’s left of 2020 and the objectives she can hit to prepare herself for succes in 2021. My hope is that today’s episode will serve as inspiration to aim high as well as a guide on how to start planning how to hit those lofty goals.
For anyone that’s followed me for some time, I don’t have to explain my long-time love for canning. It’s perhaps my favorite kitchen activity on the homestead. However, there’s a lot of potential for error in the canning process, and for some, it can be intimidating to get started. On this special episode that was recorded live on Facebook, I answer all of your questions and concerns when it comes to canning. If you’ve ever had any questions in regards to canning, then press plays now. No stone is left unturned.
Hail is easily one of the biggest enemies that exist on our homestead. As some of you might know, last year a hail storm destroyed one of my gardens (and our trampoline). While there are many different solutions to this problem, we had to be mindful of not only the hail but also the extremely high winds that occur in this part of the country. Because of this, we knew we needed a heavy-duty, permanent structure, and not some of the lesser solutions that might be fine in other regions. Listen today to find out how Christian and I put together our hail defense unit, and how you can prepare yourself if hail is an issue in your area.
For any new homesteader, the mountain of tasks and to-do’s can seem overwhelming. Even a more experienced homesteader such as myself tend to have several projects in motion at once and about a hundred others waiting to be started. While it’d be great to snap our fingers and have everything done at once, that’s simply not realistic. On today’s episode, I’m joined by my sister Jenna as she continues to build her homestead. We break down her goals, talk through short term and long term plans, and discuss how to chunk down goals into actionable steps. If you’ve ever found yourself stuck and not accomplishing those lofty goals you set for your homestead, this episode is the perfect guide to jumpstart your productivity.
Garlic is by far one of my favorite crops to grow. It’s easy to plant, easy to grow, requires almost no maintenance, and adds flavor to every dish. In today’s episode, I walk you through my garlic growing process. I explain the difference between softneck and hardneck, what to look for when buying garlic seeds, how to harvest it, and some simple uses in the kitchen. Listen today to find out how to add a serious punch to your cooking with minimal effort. In all seriousness, you’ll forget that you even planted garlic until it’s almost ready to harvest in the spring.
While I do my best to be thorough in my podcast topics, it’s inevitable some things fall through the cracks. Most of the time these questions get raised in my Facebook groups, on Instagram, or Youtube, and I’m simply unable to address each and every one of them. On today’s show, I’m thrilled to be doing my first ever ‘Ask Me Anything’ episode. I’m fielding all of your questions from my Instagram post addressing anything from buying health insurance, my worst kitchen failures, the role of faith in my life, and everything in between. Listen today to see if your question got answered!
While my garden is in a bit of a lull at the moment, I know in the back of my mind that harvest time is just around the corner. Perhaps this year more than ever, I’m focused on preserving everything I possibly can. In today’s episode, I cover the four primary methods that I use to make sure our family takes full advantage of our harvest: canning, freezing, dehydrating, and fermenting. Discover why a method of preservation could be great for one type of food but not good for another. I also reveal my all-time favorite way to store foods for the winter (hint: this should be pretty easy to guess for my long time listeners).
With the unprecedented nature of pretty much everything in the world right now, homeschooling is the one topic that has been coming up more frequently than anything else. With the uncertainty of what’s going to happen in public schools, more-and-more parents are looking into the possibility of taking their children’s education into their own hands. While I will be the first to admit that it’s not for everyone, in today’s episode I’m going to walk through some of the incredible benefits of homeschooling as well as some of the potential downfalls. Find out some good sources for teaching materials, why homeschooling won’t set your kids back, and why you don’t have to have a degree in childhood education to make sure your kids are getting what they need. Also, I discuss the elephant in the room for every homeschooler: socialization. Whether or not you plan to homeschool, this episode is sure to offer some great tips on how to make sure your kids get through what is sure to be a strange year.
A fall garden can be an incredible way to extend your growing season and add extra food reserves for the long winter. However, for quite some time I held the belief that a fall garden was something you started in the fall. While I’d like to say I learned my lesson after missing it the first time, this definitely wasn’t the case. In today’s episode I explain how to determine when you start planting your fall garden, when to harvest, and what types of foods will grow in your climate at this time of year. If you’re like me and looking to squeeze every last drop from your garden this year this is the episode for you.
County fairs across the country have been canceled. Thankfully here in Wyoming, we were still able to participate in this great tradition. If you’ve never been to a county fair, it’s effectively a lot of sitting around mixed with moments of controlled chaos. Why do we do it? That’s the question we get asked most frequently by friends and neighbors. With the significant amount of time and effort required to move our entire life to the fairgrounds for a week, on the surface it wouldn’t seem to make much sense. However, the true gift of the fair and the homestead, in general, is the independence it teaches our children. It fosters curiosity and accelerates their growth as children and sticks with them well into adulthood. Listen today to find out why everyone in your family will greatly benefit from the county fair.
With the uncertainty that currently exists in school systems across the country, more-and-more people are looking at the possibility of homeschooling for the first time. Though it can be quite confusing at first, I’m here to help make the transition as easy as possible. Today I’ll explain how our curriculum has evolved from years past. I’ll also go over all the books and tools we’re using for school this year. Whether you’re looking to be a full-time homeschooler for the first time or you’re seeking some ideas to fill in gaps that remote schooling might leave, this episode will help you to make sure your kids don’t fall behind.
No matter what type of shape your garden is in or what type of soil you have, there is one thing that is guaranteed to help: compost. Sometimes referred to as black gold, compost can remedy nearly any issue in your garden. In today’s episode, I detail some of the best options for creating your own compost. This includes the four elements needed for compost, hot and cold composting, and what constitutes green and brown material. Learn how easy it is to create and use this incredible organic material to take your garden to the next level.
While I’d like to tell you that I have a special schedule I follow every day, it’s simply not the case. In what might come as a surprise to some of you, there are even some days when I’m not doing anything that most would constitute traditional homestead activities. In today’s episode, I’m going to explain how I go through planning on a weekly and daily basis to ensure everything gets done. I discuss why planning everything minute-by-minute is sure to lead to failure, why getting your kids involved in chores benefit everyone, and how to fit in time for passions that fill you up. This has always been one of my most requested topics, so I know almost all you will gain some valuable information from today’s show.
What can I say? It’s no secret that my favorite thing about the homestead is without question the animals. Whether you already have animals on your homestead or not, introducing something new can sometimes be intimidating. Today we’re once again joined by my sister Jenna as she embarks on a chicken journey of her own. We cover all of the basics including how many chickens you should buy, what you need to feed them, and the type of shelter they’ll need. If you need to start from the ground up, this is the perfect episode for you. If you already have chickens and just need a few laughs, Jenna and I are sure to keep you entertained.
While bringing in a giant basket of your favorite vegetable might be every homesteaders dream, for most of us it’s never the reality. Instead, our harvests tend to look more like a smorgasbord of a small number of various vegetables. Rather than let them go bad waiting for the rest of the harvest, today I’m going to explain several methods of utilizing and preserving your micro-harvests. From pickling to stir-fry to soup, the options for maximizing your micro-harvests are endless. What are some of your favorite tricks?
While gardening season is coming to a close for most of us, there are a few important things to do as we head into cooler weather. First of all, congratulate yourself! Whether you’re a first-time gardener or a seasoned professional, it’s great to take time and look back at the things that went well. Reflecting on your wins will only serve as greater motivation moving forward. However, as much as we’d like to ignore it, we need to analyze what went wrong and why. Praising your wins and assessing your failures is a sure-fire way to have a better gardening season next time around. Listen to find out what worked and what didn’t in my garden this year.
Outside of pressure canning, fermentation might be the most intimidating process to tackle in the kitchen. For most of you it’s probably difficult to even name any fermented foods you enjoy eating. Believe it or not, fermenting foods is much easier than you might expect, and this process creates some amazing foods like pickles, sauerkraut, and yogurt. On today’s episode, I cover everything you need to know to get started with fermentation. This includes jars, starters, step-by-step instructions, and so much more. Also, discover the amazing health benefits of fermented foods and why they’ll help you kick that pro-biotic supplement to the curb.
No matter what I was told, I wanted to grow fruit on the homestead. Over-and-over again my attempts at growing fruit fell flat. I soon realized I wasn’t a failure at growing fruit. I was failing to embrace my surroundings. On today’s episode, I go over what I’m growing in my garden, how to determine what will thrive in yours, and why you might need to change your expectations when it comes to fruit on the homestead.
Look, I get it. Sauerkraut isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when dreaming of your ideal homestead kitchen. In fact, I went years swearing off sauerkraut. It wasn’t until I made it myself that I actually enjoyed eating it. In today’s episode, I explain why the change happened, how to make your own sauerkraut, and dive into the incredible benefits of kraut and other fermented foods. While I’ve touched on fermented foods in the past, this is a special episode dedicated to fermented foods and the incredible probiotics they contain.
One of the most common questions I receive on a weekly basis is “how do you get it all done?” First off, let me reiterate that no matter what social media might have you believe, I don’t have it all figured out. What I have figured out is that writing things down greatly helps me with recalling information. For this reason, I lean heavily on paper planners to keep me on track with goals and projects. Listen today to find out how I use my planner along with time-blocking, food prep, and to-do lists to maximize my time and efficiency throughout the week. Also, be sure to listen all the way to the end for a very special surprise for my homestead planners!
For those of you in harvest right now, hopefully, you’ve already done your homework. If you haven’t, today I’m going to provide a crash course in tomato preservation. I talk about dehydration, food mills, sauce, what makes paste tomatoes different, and so much more. I even cover a few tips and tricks to help get tomatoes to ripen. This episode is a true tomato 101 and will have you getting the most out of your harvest in no time.
While it seemed like this day would never happen, we finally have a greenhouse on the homestead. Why did it take so long? Truthfully, we didn’t make it a priority and we somewhat suffered from “paralysis by analysis.” In today’s episode I explain how to determine which greenhouse is right for your climate, why there’s no one size fits all solution, and my long-term plans for making the most of the greenhouse. If you’re ready to extend your growing season year-around no matter your climate, this episode is for you!