The Homestead Cookbook

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"If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace." - John Lennon

Photo courtesy faungg's photo


To Sew or Not to Sew

By Melody Cox


     "When people think about all the many different tasks that are done on the homestead, sewing may or may not make the mental list.  Coming from a sewing background—and now a full time homesteader myself—I would like to suggest that sewing is an important and very useful skill to have as a homesteader.  With the rush back to the basic skills of life that so many are pursuing, this skill should be named right alongside canning, gardening, cooking, etc.  In my own 'back to the basics' journey, I rediscovered the value of sewing and also realized that it was a great winter activity when some of my other tasks went into hibernation.
     So what benefits can homesteaders gain from knowing how to sew?  How is this simple art-form useful on today’s homestead, especially when you can so easily purchase clothing and other sewn items?  Even though sewing has been vital in history past, is it that important for today’s basic skills list?...  Upon returning to life’s basic skills five years ago, I have found sewing to definitely make my survival list!


Jessica's New Homestead Cookbook

Italian "Zoodle" Salad

By Jessica Shelton


     "Love pasta salad but hate the carbs?  Or, like myself, don't love the texture of pasta salad but love the flavor?  Well, you're in luck because this week's recipe has all the flavor of an Italian-inspired pasta salad, without all the carbs and mushy pasta.  This dish is zesty, fresh, and healthy with the substitution of zucchini 'noodles', or 'zoodles', for pasta.  Salami and provolone give it the heartiness you might miss from the pasta, and I promise, you'll never use that tired old rotini again.  It's simple, quick, and serves four people for only about 180 calories per serving."



Getting Started with Spinning

By Allena Jackson



     "One of the questions that I get asked a lot is, 'Why should I spin my own wool, and knit a sweater, when I can buy one for $20 at the store?'  That’s a fair question, but it demonstrates a lack of knowledge about the benefits of wool, and why people are taking time to spin and knit their own clothing. 

     Wool is a natural and renewable fiber—that makes it good for the environment.  Wool is also extremely warm and durable to wear—that makes it good for you!  Cotton is also a natural renewable fiber, but lacks the warmth qualities of wool.  High quality, 100% wool products are difficult to find, and often quite expensive"




Marketing Homestead Products

By Regina Anneler


     "At one time or another, nearly all homesteaders desire to make their homestead self-sufficient and begin to search for ways to achieve that self-sufficiency.  Even the beginning homesteader hopes to find a way to make an income off the excess products their homestead produces.  Today there are several ways to market homestead produce; anything from crafts to crops can be turned to cash with a little know-how.  There are several venues open to those who choose to try their hand at this money-making approach and who are willing to spend a little time investigating their marketing options.

     Most people have heard of their local farmers’ markets and many have even visited them relatively often.  These are a great place to buy fresh produce; because of this, they are also the most obvious place for a homesteader to market some of their excess products.  Farmers’ markets are known for vegetables and produce.  Many also sell fresh eggs, cheese, even homemade soaps."



Homestead Woodlot Management

By Doug Smith


     "You might suspect that when you say farewell to the bright lights of the big city, pack the belongings and head to your own piece of rural Eden that you have to tell all things culture, 'Goodbye'.  But that’s not the case, because living rural lends itself to another kind of culture... silviculture!

     Silviculture is the term used for growing, tending, and harvesting trees to produce a healthy forest.  It’s a system practiced by federal and state forestry agencies, as well as managers of large tracts of private forested land, but it’s also beneficial for the individual landowner, whether you own two or two hundred acres.   

     It’s rewarding and assuring to own acreage.  If you own land, your very own piece of the Earth, you’ll always have a place to go.  You have your own place to live, to abide, or settle down come what may.  There’s room to house all your possessions, a place to roam and romp and enjoy nature, and if you treat it right your land can help sustain you—and even turn a profit.



Adventures of a Beekeeper's Wife

By Trendle Ellwood



     "'You are about to enter a whole new world,' the retired beekeeper informed me, his eyes shimmering with humor.  My husband was just starting out with honeybees and was buying some used equipment from the lively fellow who willingly bestowed me with this sage prediction.  Over seven years now, I have been living with a beekeeper and the old-timer was right on, it is a whole new world! 

     As a beekeeper's wife, I admit, I participate as a co-dependant to my husband's enthusiasm for these buzzing insects.  Only those who love keeping bees, (and those who love their beekeepers) realize that keeping honeybees is not a hobby, it is not merely a business, nor is it just an occupation; keeping honeybees is a passionate obsession.

     The whole world seems to be obsessed with bees these days.  I have been informed that honeybees are second only to human beings on Internet searches.  The recent Colony Collapse Disorder scare seemed to have caused the general population to realize how important bees are to our livelihood.  As a beekeeper's wife, bees are not only essential to my livelihood; they are a big part of my life.  I have had bees in my living room and kitchen, in my hair and bed... and even up my skirt."



Itty Bitty Bovines

By Adrianne Masters


     "If you manage a home garden, you know well the satisfaction that comes from growing your own produce.  That same pride manifests when you fill your basket with the fresh country eggs your home flock dutifully supplies.  You’re eating off your land; you are becoming more self-sufficient all the time.  When you go to the grocery store for what you aren’t producing on your own, you find you’re buying less.  What’s left on your dwindling grocery list?  Milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and beef?  Then the next logical step is to look into purchasing your first cow. 

     In reality though, you will probably need to get a pair of cows at least.  Cows are herd animals and thrive best in groups, much like families and close groups of friends.  To support your new herd, you will need several acres of pasture for grazing, and you should plan to feed hay, grain crops, and any extra produce you have available and aren’t going to preserve.  You will need a place to shelter your cattle for calving and in inclement weather, and sturdy and complete fencing is a necessity.  Sound like a lot?  Well, it depends on the size of your cows."



We're Being Mugged by Mother Nature

By Neil Shelton


    "One of the reasons I enjoy living out in the woods is the wildlife. 

     Not that wild life.  That life gets decidedly less wild with each passing year, and incidentally, it wasn't that wild out in the woods to begin with.  (Anything else you may have heard is a vicious lie.)

     No, I'm talking about all the fuzzy little woodland creatures that make up our neighborhood.

     As I say, I really enjoy the wild animals.  I'm not much of a pet person.  All my personal relationships with animals have ended tragically, and I don't care to go through that any more.  Also, there are some animals that I am not so fond of, just as there are humans that I am not so fond of. 

     While I don’t care to name any names, let me just say that I am not overly fond of humans who jump up and lick me in the face, so it's not a matter of prejudice or anything like that."



Unschooling: The World is Our Classroom

By Kelly Ramos


     "I am hesitant to write this piece and declare to the world that we have taken the road less travelled, especially when it is about unschooling; and more so in this country [Philippines] where education is the lodestone, the holy grail, the way out of poverty; a step up (the only step up), where anecdotes tell of parents in the countryside selling their carabaos so that their children could go to school in the big city; where 'dropout' is a bad word conjuring visions of neglect, of children left to fend for themselves in the streets; unloved, without futures, jobless and a bane to society.

     I have not told the family and only a few friends know.  But tell this story I must, for it is a big part of what we are now.


     There are many ways to approach alternative learning and within the unschooling movement itself, many ways to define it.  Going by the core principle of unschooling which values the independence and individuality of each learner, we plunge into this new adventure without a map but with open minds and much excitement."


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