Goodbye August

Even before the end of August, we could feel the summer fading. The nights are cool enough to cook indoors, and the mornings are cold. We wear sweaters in the morning while eating oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon and dotted with new apples. The first morning of September dawned colder than any morning since May. Despite…

Making Soup

It’s hot again today. The flies are making us all crabby and the little trickles of sweat creeping down everyone’s backs feel like more intrusive flies. The goats are all pregnant, lounging in the heat, chewing cud and looking disdain at the sheep. I’m cooking barszcz on the stove, despite the heat. It needs to…

Stocking the Medicine Shelf: Oregano Oil

It’s mid-July, and no one is thinking about illness. Summer is the season of skinned knees and bug bites in our family, but I can feel winter approaching even now. I don’t know if this deep-rooted anticipation of cold is just a hang-over from last winter or a portent of blizzards to come, but it’s…

Rhubarb-Carrot Marmalade: The Makings of an Obsession.

Somewhere in the world, 2019 is a great growing season. But here in Maine, it’s been slow, wet, and disappointing. Each plant comes to fruition two weeks late (at least), and the season is fast. Peonies flowered and fell to pieces in two days, broccoli raab barely had the life of a perfectly ripen avocado….

My Favorite Books for Homesteading & Homemaking

Picky doesn’t even begin to describe my attitude toward homestead and natural living books. I’m definitely discerning; some people might say ‘harsh’. And honestly, they’d be right. I want books that are useful, beautiful, enjoyable, and lasting. As I mentioned in my review of The Grace of Enough, I’m just not interested in owning printed…

Bee Keeper’s Wife

Most of the animals on the homestead are mine. Or as much mine as animals can be in a family anyway. I have ducklings, goslings, tiny chicks, and guinea keets, and scraggly teenage pullets. I have goats, and Luba. Each summer, I have pigs. I’ve picked them all out, raised them up. I feed them…

Maple Sapping

We tapped the trees last weekend. My husband went out in snowshoes with buckets, spiles, and drill to welcome early spring. The snow is still so deep, and the nights are cold, but we’ve been told that this week will be warm enough for running sap. It’s a late season, I’m expecting the whole year…

Approaching Lent in Simplicity

If you’re on social media, you can tell Lent is near by all to kits, books, and other paraphernalia for sale. Whether it’s ‘sacrifice beads’, devotionals, Lenten journals, or homeschooling crafts to make Lent fun and engaging, the internet is full of ways to make Lent as consumer-driven as Christmas and Easter have become. Seriously,…

The Bohemian Benedict Option: Sustainability

I feel like I harp on the idea of sustainability, maybe I’m a bit obsessed. But sustainability is one of the most important goals in building a domestic monastery. A lot of homesteaders are very excited about self-sufficiency; many of them are prepping for a dark future: getting their homesteads ready to weather the storms…

Candlemas Updates..

We’re pouring candles. The whole house smells like beeswax! The cold is finally breaking up here, and tonight is supposed to be in the single digits! I’m so excited after a long week of nights in the negatives. We’ve been staying up late, feeding the fire, and eating piles of homemade cheesy-fries. Now the the…