Zombies vs. The Joy of Canning: Motivation in the Productive Home

Blanching Tomatoes

“Hey, we were planning on getting together later today, right?” I asked my friend. “Yeah, but after dinner.” “Can we push that back to later in the week?” I was exhausted from Can-o-Rama and the idea of a social commitment after dinner was more than I could handle. “Sure. What’s up?” “I’m pretty tired. I [Continue Reading...]

Three Book Giveaway: Build The Life You Really Want

Lisa Kivirist (1)

An advertising agency in Chicago used to pay Lisa Kivirist one big paycheck. Now, hundreds of people pay her lots of very small ones. All these little paychecks – over a thousand last year – allow Lisa, her husband John and their son to live the life they want: rural, sustainable and meaningful. People write [Continue Reading...]

By Popular Demand: Pressure Canning Planning Sheets For Low Acid Foods

Pressure Canning Planning Sheet

A few of my readers mentioned that a planning sheet for low-acid foods to go with last week’s Canning Planning Sheet would be pretty useful. Ask and ye shall receive, Gentle Readers! You’ll find this on the downloadables page paired up as a two-page PDF with the (Water Bath) Canning Planning Sheet, so if you want both you [Continue Reading...]

More Organized Food Preservation: A Canning Planning Sheet

Canning Planning Sheet Thumbnail

I’m a bit late to the game this year in terms of laying out my canning goals. But, with the majority of the summer harvest still to come on in this area, it’s not too late to make a game plan. For a canning overview, I like to list out my canning projects by type (jam, [Continue Reading...]

Giveaway: Honeybee Democracy – For Beekeepers And More

Honeybee Democracy

Thomas Seeley’s fascinating Honeybee Democracy has received press in some unusual circles for a book about insect behavior. Everyone from homemade mead-makers to The New Republic has weighed in with glowing reviews on this study of honeybee swarms. The reason for this broad appeal is simple: Seeley does an excellent job describing the how and why of honeybee group decision-making, [Continue Reading...]

The $332 Fantasy Facial (Or: An Anthropological Expedition to the Mall)

Makeup Store (5)

“If you get nothing else, please, please just get the moisturizer,” the overly plumped and overly plucked sales-cultist implores me. “You know, these are the years that really count for your skin.” The moisturizer is $75 for a two-ounce jar. The jar, it must be said, is a very pretty sandblasted green. It’s worth at least [Continue Reading...]

Lunch In A Jar: How Mason Jars Can Make Your Brown Bagging Easier

Mason Jar Lunches (4)

Do you run short on reusable, environmentally-friendly containers when you are packing lunches? In the, “this may be too obvious to be a blog post but may also change your lunch hour for the better” category, I’d like to talk about using your stash of mason jars for things other than canning (or margaritas). Like brown [Continue Reading...]

The Urban Homesteader Food Pyramid

urban homesteaders food pyramid

I’ve been thinking about self-sufficiency: what that means, and what is truly achievable in a small space, such as our 1/3-acre property. The key to eating more food from your own backyard, it strikes me, is to have a diet that focuses more on foods that can be grown in your backyard. Even though we [Continue Reading...]

Giveaway: Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient

Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with your Grandmother's Secret Ingredient

Update: This Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Jill! Jill, please check your email for information on how to claim your prize. Just a warning, friends: expect a lot of giveaways in the next several weeks. I spent last weekend at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup and was more than happy to bring [Continue Reading...]

Would You Rub Pork Fat On Your Face?

Lard as Moisturizer

Do you love lard? Then this is the week for you. Make sure you come back tomorrow – I’ll be reviewing and giving away a copy of Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient and a one-year subscription to GRIT Magazine: Rural American Know-How, both courtesy of GRIT Magazine, the fabulous country-living focused [Continue Reading...]

Giveaway: ReCAP Mason Jar Pour-Spout Lids

I freaking love my reCAP lids. I have 10, a thank-you gift for supporting the initial Kickstarter fund-raising campaign that helped turn reCAPs from a really great idea into a really great reality. The BPA-free plastic, pour-spout lids transform any regular mouth mason jar into a leak-proof, easy-to-use pourable container. I have my Mason Jar Stir-Fry [Continue Reading...]

Urban Farm Magazine Seed Starting Challenge Winners

Urban Farm Magazine

Big Congrats to Marie, the winner of our seed starting challenge! Marie is growing strawberries and artichokes from seed for the first time. Great job! Check your email for info on how to get your certificate for a year’s subscription to Urban Farm Magazine. Also congrats to At Home On Paradise Cove, who is the [Continue Reading...]