Around the Homestead

It’s still very early in the season here, but the green onions are juuuuust big enough to start harvesting…so I celebrated with a special treat. It may just be becoming a tradition now that I’m thinking about it.

The first little seedlings for broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi and a few early bird basil and tomatoes. Outside, the strawberries, comfrey, rhubarb, and chamomile are also greening up.

And I’ve got my kombucha factory up and running! I did chopped strawberries in my first bottles. This batch I’m trying pureed blueberries.

5 Ingredient Soup

This is a soup I make almost entirely from my canning pantry, with some fresh refried beans.

2 cups/15 oz can refried beans
1 pint/15 oz can broth
1 pint/15 oz can corn
1 pint/15 oz can black beans
1 pint/15 oz can diced tomatoes (original recipe calls for rotel)

Mix refried beans and broth until combined. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 20+ minutes.

Around the Homestead

I suffer from SAD, so things really slow down around here in the winter. But now that the sun is back out and we’re getting some warm days, I have my energy back. I’m cooking more and am doing lots of fermenting. This is what I currently have going: milk kefir, apple chutney, kombucha, sourdough, ginger carrots, and piima.

I’ve got my seed starting schedule written up and setup my seed starting table today. I’ll be able to start next weekend 🙂 Outside the green onions, strawberries, and rhubarb are sprouting! The rabbit is about as excited as I am about spring, now that I’m finding the first of the greens for him. (

First dandelion of the season//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I already took advantage of a bit of warm weather to hoe and mulch the asparagus bed. We’ve got some freezes and snow in the forecast now though, so it’ll be a while before I can make any more progress.

We’ve been assigned 26 chapters in the next 2 weeks, so this will be my view most of the time. I’m really glad our main text is Joel Salatin’s book though. I like his writing style and methods, so the reading goes faster.

Year 7!

This will be my 7th year as an urban homesteader! My most exciting news for the year ahead, is that I’ll be spending my vacation in August with Jackie Clay!!!!!

I’m also working on my Sustainable Food and Farming certificate and should be done in December. I’m currently about halfway through my Pastured Poultry class.

Things are shaping up for this season. I’ve already got all the seeds I need for the garden, and will be starting them soon. On April 1st, I’ll start my 3rd season as a workershare.

On the local food scene, I’m really happy with all of the options I have now. Our grassfed butcher just hit it’s one year anniversary. I’m still a member of their CSA, and it sounds like they are re-designing it soon to allow for more variety, so I’m excited to see what they have in store.

I’ll miss the Winter Farmers Market when it closes…there is such an amazing variety! This is what I picked up this morning 🙂

Last week, I picked up cheese, apples, garlic, raw honey, a stewing hen and Lion’s Mane mushrooms 🙂

Potato Skins

5 large potatoes
butter
salt
3 cups shredded cheddar, divided
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup chopped bacon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

Wash potatoes.  Rub with melted butter and salt.  Bake at 400 degrees for 60-90 minutes, until soft.  Allow to cool and cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop flesh into large bowl, leaving enough on the skin to hold it’s shape.  Return skins to oven and cook 15 more minutes until crispy.  Meanwhile, combine flesh with 2 cups of the cheddar, and remaining ingredients.  When skins are done fill with mixture, top with remaining cheddar, and cook 20 more minutes until lightly browned.

Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bell peppers, diced
1 handful spinach, chopped
1 pint (or 14.5 oz can) diced tomatoes, with liquid
8 oz tomato sauce
1/2 cup bone broth
1/2 cup dry rice (I used soaked brown basmati)
1 TBSP Worstershire sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Use sauté function to brown beef with onion. Add all remaining ingredients except mozzarella. Hit cancel button and switch to manual for 4 minutes. Hit cancel when done and allow to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Quick release remaining pressure and pour mixture into a casserole dish. top with mozzarella and put under broiler for several minutes until browned.

Year in Review

Year in review :)

I had some pretty bad days this year. But the beautiful thing about looking back is that what you see is the good. And there was a lot of good! This year I met Eliot Coleman and had dinner with Joel Salatin (for my non-homesteading friends think: farming rockstars!). I watched my chickens go from chicks to freezer and learned to milk a cow thanks to the fabulous Carilee. I met Michelle and got to work at her farm and join her CSA. I was in two different meat CSA’s including Joe’s. I interviewed at a grass-fed farm (they totally hated me, but still…). I took a butchering class and started college again. I went on trips to Illinois and Ohio/Kentucky. I did my first plumbing fix and jumped straight ahead to remodeling a room. And somehow found time to garden, cook, can, ferment, dehydrate, hike, camp, and fish. Oh, and nerd it up at the day job.

Not bad 2016! Now lets see how much we can fit into next year 🙂

Mexican Hot Chocolate

1 cup raw milk
1.5 tsp rapadura (or sweetener of choice)
1-2 oz dark chocolate
Splash vanilla extract
Pinch cinnamon
Sprinkle cayenne pepper

Heat milk and sweetener until steaming. Add remaining ingredients and stir until chocolate is melted. Reduce heat to low and allow flavors to blend several minutes before serving.