Write for Homestead.org


“Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions.” –George W. Bush

The summer swelter stimulates some seriously stunning sunsets.

Photo by Jérémy Sauterel


Burnt Out on the Homestead

It's Not All for Everyone

By Kathy Bernier


     "Nobody’s life is without challenges.  But homesteaders are among the demographic of people who often find ourselves butting up against the very edges of our capacity to do what needs to be done, and it can be overwhelming.  Sometimes it is necessary to sit back and take stock of the situation.  Juggling necessities, accepting reality, and knowing when to say 'when' are a fact of life for everyone, but within the context of homesteading these can be particularly challenging.  Burnout is real. 


     In the same way that homesteaders do not fit into cookie-cutter shapes, there is no single right answer for addressing homesteading burnout.  It is a tough life, and it does happen.  But we homesteaders are a tough lot.  We have the strength and resilience we need to assess, cope, adapt, compromise, and accept whatever changes needed to be made."  Read more...


Jessica's New Homestead Cookbook

Cannoli Dip

By Jessica Shelton


     "Well, here we are again, but this time, it's worse.  Summer is in full swing and it is H.O.T. here in the Ozarks.  I don't know about where you live, but I can guess that, if it's practically anywhere in the Lower 48, you know all about the record-breaking temperatures across much of the country right now.  It's downright miserable and, frankly, dangerous out there.  So, I'm looking forward to a girls’ trip to the lake this weekend for some refreshment.  I want to take some kind of dessert for the girls and myself to enjoy, but you couldn't pay me to turn on the oven to bake something right now, and I want something a little more fun than a fruit bowl.  I also want something that's simple to make and would tickle my sweet-tooth, not wrestle it into submission, kicking and screaming.  After doing a little research on cold desserts, I found something I couldn't resist trying.  I hope you have the same impulse, because, mama mia, is this stuff delizioso! Read more...



Bramble Blood

By Trendle Ellwood


     "I liked the feel of the sunshine on my head and hearing the berries go ding and ping as they hit the insides of the metal pails.  There would be a certain change of mood in me when the berries stopped pinging and began thudding, landing on each other and filling up the insides of the pails.  It made me feel rich. 

     When I was eleven my family moved and we settled in the foothills of the Ozarks in Missouri.  The meadows adjoining our homestead hosted patches of wild brambles, which in the summers became laden with fruit.  As a teenager my berry-bramble-blood proved true and I braved the chiggers, snakes, and the notorious Missouri ticks to claim those berries as my own. Read more...



Mineral-Rich Weeds

By Lisa Maloney


     "Picking mineral-rich 'weeds' like dandelion, clover, chickweed and plantain is a great way to round out your nutritional intake during the spring, summer and fall.  Doing this is harder during late fall and winter when there's a dearth of new growth, but there is a way to enjoy the vitamin and mineral-rich nutrition and preventative health benefits of wild plants all year round: Put them in storage!"  Read more...



Housekeeping in 1879, by the Book

By Barbara Bamberger Scott


     "It was 1879, and the Civil War had been over just nine years, a war that had devastated the Commonwealth of Virginia as perhaps no other state, for there, in the “Old Dominion” the largest number of battles (2,000 by some reckonings) were fought.  Yet somehow, and for some reason, a woman named Marion Cabell Tyree decided to compose a positive, useful and now classic book for the benefit of women.  It was graced with this stirring title: Housekeeping in Old Virginia Containing Contributions from 250 of Virginia’s Noted Housewives Distinguished for Their Skill in the Culinary Art and Other Branches of Domestic Economy."  Read more...



Cast Iron

The Last Set of Cookware You Will Ever Need

By April Freeman


     "Every year or so, I had to replace my non-stick pans.  It didn't matter if I paid more money for higher quality pans.  After awhile, the coating would degrade, and I would have to buy one more.  

     Several years ago, from the back of the cabinet, I dug out pile of old cast-iron pans that I had inherited from my grandmother.  When I thought back, I never remember my grandmother cycling through cookware at the rate that I had.  Although these pans were very heavy and not quite as "cute" as the painted metal pans that I had been buying, I wondered if maybe they were the solution to my cookware problem. 

     I did a little research and found that cast iron cookware had many more advantages than I had ever imagined."  Read more...



Make Beer... Quit Paying Taxes

Well, Almost...

By Chris Devaney


     "Armed with a little information, some materials and enough of a desire, what we can do for ourselves, at some time or other, we end up doing.  And more often than not, we are better folks for it.  Rarely will a homesteader hesitate to expand the boundaries of experience beyond past 'excursions to the limit'.  So let’s push the envelope once again and take that next step to self-sufficiency and make our own beer or ale.  We’ll cut out the commercial big guys, we’ll cheat the government out of some alcohol tax revenue.  In the process, we’ll free more than a million yeast cells from imprisonment in a dark foil packet so they can spend their entire lives productively fermenting something worthwhile instead of just hanging around making food go putrid.  Best of all, we’ll satisfy our own taste buds.  No more will the lack of choice dictate what we consume.  Geez, I already feel good about myself and haven’t even started!"  Read more...



How to Buy a Very Used Tractor

By Neil Shelton


     "If you're shopping for a tractor, if you've never owned a tractor before, and if you're reading the pages of Homestead.org, then I'm going to assume that you're in the market of a pretty cheap tractor; a VERY used tractor. 

     This is not such a bad position to be in, because unlike when you're looking to purchase a car, the mere fact that the tractor you buy may be older than you are doesn't automatically mean that you'll wind up with either a museum piece or a pile of junk."  Read more...



Don’t Get Snookered

The Beginner’s Guide to Buying Cattle

By April Freeman


     "One goal of the homesteading lifestyle is to live as independently as possible, providing for oneself and one’s family.  Owning a few cattle can further that goal, since a cow or two can provide meat, milk, and lawn mowing.

     Some homesteaders are intimidated at the prospect of spending several thousand dollars on animals that are quite large and have their own unique needs.  Don’t get me wrong, it is quite an investment and it is a huge step for any homesteader.  However, the process of buying a cow or two doesn’t need to be so scary."  Read more...


Write for Homestead.org

All material Copyright © 2003-2016 Homestead.org