Updates from the Homestead

Wow.. the last week has just flown by..  We have been enjoying a few cool days and a few hot summer days!  My garden is growing like crazy.  So far I have harvested lettuce and cukes.  I have one summer squash about ready (and hopefully many more coming soon!) and lots of green beans that seem very close to the first picking.  The corn is getting taller and the flowers are starting to bloom..  so it all is looking pretty.    Oh.. and I have a nice tan from spending so much time working in the garden! LOL..   

The kids have all been busy with summer fun and work.  For Emily this has been finals week.  Then she gets a break for a week and will start up more online classes from Thomas Edison State College.  Leanne has been house sitting and caring for either goats or elderly ladies and seems gone lately more than she is home.  Doing these jobs has given her time to study and she is working on her first year CLEPS for her degree.  Jacob has been working quite a bit.. doing haying and other various jobs for neighbors and friends.  This weekend he is away on a camping trip with a friend and his family and I am sure enjoying the play time.  The younger ones (Sierra and Isaac) have been helping in the garden, helping dad by stacking wood for this winters heat, spending time in the pond and with friends.  Our summer is somewhat slow paced and very enjoyable.   

I took advantage of the cooler weather days and made bread and baked some cookies.  This next week looks like it will be a hot one so I am planning my menu accordingly.. sandwiches, salads, freezer stash meals and bbq meals!   

Speaking of summer heat and meal planning.. I have cooked a few meals outside on my deck in either my roaster oven or crockpot.   Salads such as taco salad work well for main dishes and right now my garden is producing lots of lettuce so I have been thinking of chicken salads and other main dish salads to serve. And of course we like to grill on the bbq.  Side dishes can be a challenge if you don’t want to heat up the house.  I was even thinking that my rice cooker could probably be set outside.  I love potato salads and macaroni salads but have to find a time of day to cook the potatoes and noodles that won’t overheat the house.  I was thinking at night (in prep for the next days meal)..  that way the house can cool down somewhat during the night.  Of course having meal starters in the freezer has helped me out quite a bit too.   

 How are you surviving the summer heat and meal planning?  What kind of meals do you plan for this time of year?  

Anywho..  that is all from the homestead!  I will try and not let another week go by and not blog..   

Don’t forget to check out The Family Homestead on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Family-Homestead/115582552812  One commenter said the link did work for her.. if you just search Facebook for “The Family Homestead” you will find it. 


  1. We do alot of the same things you mentioned like put the roaster over outside & cooler meals. I usually serve tossed salad or coleslaw. I made a recipe yesterday evening called chinese cole slaw, you had to cook it just a bit & then mix it all together. A strange ingredient was ramen noodles but it was REALLY good.

    Another favorite around here is just tomatoes & cucumbers sliced up & mixed with homemade ranch dressing.

    My family also loves your oriental chicken salad recipe.

    Hope you have a great day!

  2. You have such a beautiful and welcoming blog.

    We are new to homesteading and I just love all the ideas you have. We will be moving into our first farm and it has no A/C. I was wondering how I would get through the summer heat and cooking. It has a summer kitchen, but the stove was removed. You've given me the idea of placing my crockpot in there and possibly a roaster. Thank you. I am so glad I stopped by here.



  3. We love BLT's ( Bacon , Lettuse , and tomato sandwhiches) in the summer. I cook large batches of bacon and store in the frig so we can just pop the bread in the toaster and slice the tomatos and were ready.

  4. Just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed your blog. We live on ninety-two acres and in the past have enjoyed having a variety of livestock (goats, chickens, guineas, horses, turkeys, rabbits, etc.). I love living a simple life and have enjoyed quite a few of the recipes you've shared. My son has been recently diagnosed with celiacs disease so I have stepped up the preparation of everything at home a bit. You would be amazed at how many things have hidden gluten in them. I've also embarked on the adventure of making great tasting bread without wheat, rye or barley. We have found some really tasty recipes. Anyway just wanted to say hello and thanks for sharing your ideas with us.

  5. We use the roaster oven outside as well. I also do cooking late at night. We have been enjoying BLT salad on rustic bread...just bacon, lettuce, tomato and for the dressing mix mayo and red vine vinegar until desired consistency. Bagel sandwiches are a nice change as well. I like doing some baking/cooking late at night, then not so much to do when dinner time rolls around.

  6. We are eating lots of sandwiched and Im using my solar cooker. I also cook early in the mornings or late in the evenings because we don't have AC.


  7. I recently had a gastric bypass and need lots of protein and only healthy foods. I use my crockpot a lot and cook many meals overnight. Its quicker at suppertime and I have lots of leftovers. I cook a lot on the grill on my porch, and it keeps the house cooler and saves electricity. I love to feed my family organic, healthy meals and save $$. : )

  8. What a beautiful garden!



  9. Crystal, I loved your pics! I tried something this year with my lettuce and thought I'd share. I just thickly tossed lettuce seeds in a 2x2 bed and just go and cut it when I need some lettuce. It just regrows all summer long! So, no need for juggling succession planting. Another gardner friend tried this who has done lettuce in rows for 20 years or so and she is hooked! I love TFH and your blog!

  10. You just cut the lettuce about 1" above the soil or so.


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