How to Grow Shiitake Mushrooms in Your Own Backyard!

I’ve always been a mushroom-lover… blame it on my upbringing. I grew up in the woods, with two generations of wild mushroom foragers before me. I’ve eaten a lot of really amazing fresh mushrooms in my life- and while I love foraging for them, it’s even better to be able to grow Shiitake mushrooms in our own backyard! Growing mushrooms has been one of our …

Homemade Raspberry Jello Recipe {From Scratch with Real, Healthy Ingredients}

My grandma was a farmer and an avid gardener- she always had a flock of chickens and at least one goose that always chased us down her driveway. She had a gorgeous raspberry patch, and I remember her freezer was always full of Cool Whip containers filled with homegrown raspberries. And she made the best homemade raspberry jello! Now, it was made with raspberry flavored …

Homemade Honey Lip Balm {As Featured in Mother Earth News Magazine!}

Every year when the weather turns cool (the start of chapped lip season!) I make a new batch of homemade lip balm. It always ends up slightly different, but it’s always the best lip balm I’ve ever used. Homemade is best and nothing store-bought can even compare! My goal when I set out to make homemade lip balm was to create a recipe that was …

Cucumber Lemonade Sweetened with Honey

This Cucumber Lemonade is summertime in a glass! It’s the perfect refreshment to cool down with after a long day spent in the garden or doing outdoor chores in the hot sun. Trust me, we have a lot of those around here! It’s incredibly refreshing. Even Karl likes it, and he doesn’t especially care for cucumber, or anyone else in the cucurbit family for that …

Strawberry Basil Dressing Recipe

It’s one of my favorite times of the year on the homestead! We’ve worked hard all spring, and high summer finally brings the fruits of our labor. Fresh produce is starting to roll into the kitchen, and there is no shortage of herbs around. The garden is overflowing with basil just begging to be showcased! While I’m usually okay with a simple drizzle of olive …

Wild Rose {Old-Fashioned} Lard Soap

Making lard soap… is there anything more homestead-y than that? Karl’s grandma (a real-deal homesteader and farmer) tells a story about how when she was young, she would bring home the used tallow from the fryers at the local diner she worked at, and they would make big batches of tallow soap cooked in a kettle over an open fire at their farm. I just …

Apple Cider & Maple Glazed Ham Recipe

Ham doesn’t need much in my opinion… I mean, it is smoked pork, after all- it’s already delicious by definition. This maple glazed ham with a touch of apple cider is the perfect recipe for your holiday dinner, a special brunch, or even just a weeknight! This maple glazed ham is easy to make, and uses only 4 simple, clean ingredients-┬áplus I love that it …

How to Render Lard the BEST Way – And Why I WON’T Use a Slow Cooker

Eventually everything comes back into style, doesn’t it? I’m happy to see lard back in a positive light, and even happier to see old-fashioned skills, like learning how to render lard making a resurgence! While you can buy rendered lard that’s ready to cook with, making your own is often more affordable, plus it’s a great skill to have. Before we get into the details …

Smokey BBQ Brussels Sprouts Recipe + How to Cook the Perfect Sprout

These are really really good brussels sprouts… about as good as you can hope for a brussels sprout to be. They’re crispy, salty, full of flavor, golden brown, and delicious. We love all things Brassica (that’s the cabbage-broccoli-kale-brussels family) in this household, so it’s no surprise we’re a couple of brussels sprouts fans. And if you’re not, might I gently suggest it’s because you aren’t …

Maple Bourbon Wassail Recipe + How to Wassail an Orchard

Wassailing- you did what?! This is something I think is so cool. And something that also makes me feel like a huge dork, if I’m being perfectly honest. At least the Maple Bourbon Wassail recipe turned out AWESOME! There are two parts to this: the act of Wassailing, and the drink Wassail. Wassailing is a medieval Christmastide ritual that used to be (and actually still …