Purchasing a Wood Burning Stove

fireplace

When we first moved to the home on our homestead we were on the fence about purchasing a wood stove. On the one hand we liked the idea of being able to heat with wood, and the warm atmosphere a fireplace provided. On the other hand, wood stoves are expensive. They take up space, space that for us at least, is tight already. I was also, believe it or not, afraid of them. I could see us burning down the house the first time we used it. After discussing the situation back and forth for thirteen months, looking at the situation from every angle, we finally decided to take the plunge. Our new wood burning stove was installed last week.

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Live in Harmony with the Seasons

Live in Harmony with the Seasons

One of the unspoken goals I have had since moving to our homestead has been to synchronize our lifestyle to the rhythm of the seasons. To me, this is a concept that goes way beyond eating tomatoes in the summer. To me, it means bringing the outside indoors, duplicating the four season pattern of rest, renewal, growth, and reflection into our every day habits. Here are four suggestions for living in harmony with the seasons as suggested through The Homespun Seasonal Living Workbook by Kathie Lapcevik.

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Rustic Lamb Stew and A Few Words About Soaking Grains

lamb stew

This past week we saw some of the coldest days of the year. Those kind days where you crave something nice and hot, something that warms one from the inside out. Unfortunately, one of these days occurred when I had not planned for something nice and hot. We were nearing the end of our grocery cycle and there was little on hand to work with. At a loss, I scanned the freezer and the cupboard for inspiration and, at the last minute, threw together a concoction that, had I tried, could not have been any more delicious.

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Grocery Shopping when One Lives Miles from a Store

bulk groceries

Real home-grown food and our fondness of it: beautifully prepared is one of the primary reasons we homestead. However, while we do attempt to grow the majority of our meat and produce, the key word there is majority. We are not a completely self sustaining homestead and I don’t know if we ever will be. There are some things I feel are beneficial to our diet that our climate will not support, and there are also many things we enjoy eating for which I make special allowances. Add to that the fact that we include a lot of traditional, fermented, and cultured foods in our diet, and our grocery list consists of things one cannot find at the “local” store twenty miles north. Grocery shopping is no longer a simple, one afternoon affair. It takes some planning, strategizing, and sometimes compromise in order to pull it off.

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Cultivating an Attitude of Contentment

snowy sunset

I know that a lot of people select words as the theme for an upcoming year and this year’s word, for me at least, is contentment. Merriam-Webster defines contentment simply as “the state of being happy and satisfied”. It seems that contentment has always been my struggle in one way or another: struggling to be content with the direction life is headed, struggling to be content with outcomes over which I have no control, struggling to be content with who I am and where I am at. Here are some practical ways in which I’m choosing to cultivate an attitude of contentment in 2014.

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