Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Canning, Canning and More Canning!!

Yesterday was a busy day on the Small Homestead. Hubby found himself at home and made good use of his time building on our chicken house. At the rate these little Australorps are growing, they are going to need larger accommodations in the very near future!!

Just the beginning of a beautiful home for our hens!
I helped him hang a few pieces of siding, but my time was spent in the kitchen!! I needed to wrap up what I call odds and ends in canning...you know, a few jars of this and a few jars of that.

On Friday I had made a beef roast in the crockpot for supper and typically I will make noodles with the broth or I will bless our dog babies with broth over their dog food. I then had a brilliant ( I thought) idea!! Why not can that broth to use in soups this winter! So that's just what I did.

I had already strained the broth Friday evening so on Monday all I had to do was take it out of the fridge and skim the fat off the top. I prepared my jars, rings and tips and poured up the broth. I ended up with four pints and since my canner needs at least eight pints to work properly, I also canned four pints of water....which I used in my dishwater later---no wasting here!!

Hubby had also pulled our tomato plants up and I had several green tomatoes so I decided to make pickled green tomatoes. The recipe tells me I will need to wait four weeks to give them a taste....

Then the dessert of the day...I had some apples and made twelve half pints of Apple Cinnamon Jam!!! Oh my gosh is that stuff wonderful!! A plate of hot, homemade biscuits is certainly in our future!!

It was an exhausting day. Homestead living is not for the lazy or faint at heart for certain! It is so very rewarding though. It is a pure blessing to look at the shelves of food that God has provided for us and I admit I get a warm fuzzy when I see the labor my hands has done in order to provide for my family.

In the coming posts I will share a few of the recipes and the canning procedures that I follow. It's important to do that canning safely!!!

Make sure to leave a comment and chat a while!! We love to hear from you here on the Small Homestead!

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Cooler temperatures have sure been a welcome site around the Small Homestead. We are enjoying coffee on the front porch in the early morning before the day begins.We are enjoying supper on the porch in the evening as the day winds down. In the middle of the day that same porch finds me breaking beans while listening to Biblical or homesteading podcasts in the background. So very, very peaceful.

The compost pile is complete and filling up and the rabbit hutch is complete with occupants! Let me introduce Shiloh, Timothy and Sarah!! Sarah was our first addition and the oldest of the rabbits, while Shiloh and Timothy are still very much babies and in need of a tender touch....they aren't very people friendly yet!!
(I owe you a better close up of the rabbit family!)

Our chicken babies are growing like crazy!! I read it but just didn't comprehend how quickly Black Australorps grow!!

In this picture they are 12 days old and napping quite peacefully. While they are not totally sure they can trust us giants, they are great entertainment running and jumping and acting fearless---that is until us giants come around... :-)

I have to admit, I've missed this. There was a time when I was firm that once the animals we had went home to the great beyond I was done!!
 No. More. Critters.
 And I meant it! But the desire to slow down, to live more naturally, to go back to simple pleasures is what I truly desire.

Leave a comment and chat a while, then come back and visit with me!! We love company here at the Small Homestead!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Homestead--New Life

This is not our first trip to the world of homesteading. We tried many years ago...when the kids were small....when we had mountains of debt...when hubby had to work a full time job and then some.....when we were not focused, not on the same page, not working as a team.

We had chickens and turkeys. Rabbits and milk goats. A bull and large gardens. All did very well, but in the end......we failed miserably.

Go forward about 15 years. The kids are grown, married and on their own. We are debt free!!! Hubby is in business for himself so we are able to manage his working away from the homestead hours around homestead necessity.

But we ARE starting over.....

A visit back to the Amish community we lived in for a time reminded us just how much we missed the slower paced, back to basics life. When we tell folks we are beginning our homestead the first thing they say is, "Oh!! You're prepping!!" Well, no...we are not prepping the way that the world today views it. We are not stocking up to wait on an economic collapse or who knows what, although, in our opinion, being prepared is a VERY good thing!!! We are changing our lifestyle. We have decided that we have been commercialized and materialized to beyond the max and all we see is chaos. At 50 years old, both of us are beyond chaos and drama...

In a month we have constructed a compost bin, a cage for our chicks that will arrive one day this week, and we are preparing for our fall garden.

I have spent a very busy summer canning and dehydrating veggies, and while I'd love to double this next year, I'm very pleased with what is sitting on those shelves today!!

So, Small Homestead Living is live, running and blog posts will be increasing!!!

Share your thoughts but keep it nice, even if you disagree with us or what we're doing...because you see, drama is draining and has no place on the homestead!

Friday, September 12, 2014

With Every New Thing Comes Change!!

Life is all about changes. Our circumstances can change very quickly or slowly progress over time. One thing is certain though....change DOES happen!! And change isn't always a bad thing!!

Over the next few weeks One Single Minute will be undergoing a pretty dramatic change. First of all, regular posts after a four year hiatus will be happening. I will still be talking about being a godly wife, saving money, yummy recipes and the like, but I will always be posting about our life change.....becoming more self-sufficient---Homesteading!!

We are so excited to begin this new chapter in our lives and we want to share what we know, our successes and failures with you!!...and hopefully we can encourage you to become a bit more self-sufficient whether you live in the middle of a big city or in the middle of a vast plain or mountainous region.

So hang on!! It might get really strange around here for a short time but good things are coming your way!!

God's blessings!!!