Updates from the Homestead


Our visit with our son was wonderful! He was here 3 weeks and we so enjoyed that time with him. He left yesterday to head back to Ft. Bragg.  He really enjoyed the time at home too, it was necessary and needed recovery time from Iraq for him. He left with some fresh enthusiasm and better defined plans for the upcoming year and I am very excited for him!    

But now it is time to get my life back in order and get the family back on our regular schedule.  We will start school officially on Monday.  Sierra and Isaac already picked up their math books and started getting a few lessons done this week.  But the rest of the school work will start back up on Monday.   

Today I need to head to the grocery store and run a few errands.  Leanne and Sierra will come along to help.  After that there is laundry and food preps on my to-do list. 


In the Kitchen: Nourishing Traditions 

One of my new year goals this year was to be more diligent about incorporating more “Nourishing Traditions” type of food prep to my routines.  I love the book and agree with so much of what she (the author Sally Fallon) has written but putting it into practice and keeping it going has been a big challenge.  So as part of my new year goal planning I decided to come up with a plan to start small, focus on just a few things and work to keep that as a regular part of my cooking and meal preparations.   

So far this is what I have come up with:  

1. Work to have some sort of cultured milk product in the house at all times.  Nothing like needing a bit of whey or kefir or yogurt to make something or soak some grains and realize you need to make it first!  Kind of kills the inspiration to go farther.   

So with that in mind I plan to make a gallon of kefir this weekend. It is easy to reculture and the last batch of kefir I made I was able to reculture it from early in the summer to late into the fall.  Then it stopped working very well and I tossed it with the good intentions of getting more started but have not.  So that will be on my list this weekend.  I use powdered kefir cultures that I buy from Leeners.com  I highly recommend their cheese cultures.  I could not believe how many gallons of kefir I got from just one packet of cultures..  very worth it!  You can see my picture tutorial on making kefir from powdered cultures here: http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/makingkefirinpics.htm  

Also I plan on making more whole milk yogurt so I can have the whey and the yogurt cheese from it.  Right now I have a quart of yogurt I made on Thursday hanging and dripping to catch the whey (for my sauerkraut) and then we can enjoy the yogurt cheese and use that like you would cream cheese.   

2. My second goal is to try and have some type of lacto-fermented veggie going weekly.  My favorite is sauerkraut (you can find my instructions on making it here: http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/homemadekraut.htm  ).  I have made a ton of this but never seem to have it in the house on a regular basis.  I have also fermented other veggies like carrots, garlic, cucumbers, and tomatoes (which is more like fermented salsa and VERY good!).  I would like to keep up with some of my favorites and try a few more too. 

3. I am going to start making more homemade stock.  Right now I have some beef bones defrosted from the cow we purchased last year and I plan on starting beef stock this morning.  Today while I am shopping I plan on buying a couple of organic chickens for chicken stock.  I will freeze the stock so I can have it on hand.   

4. Add more coconut oil and coconut milk into our diet.  That I will do by cooking with them and adding them to our foods.   

None of these goals are difficult, so for me it is just a matter of being more diligent to incorporate them into my routines.  I will add more to this list as soon as I feel like I have these basics down regularly.  I will keep you posted on my progress.   

That is all from the homestead today..  but I will be back to share more on these topics this weekend!  Hope you have a great Friday on your homestead! 


  1. Thnks for the powdered kefir tutorial. I have used the kefir grains before but never the powder. The smoothie looks yummy. I will have to try that now.

  2. Thanks, I just ordered some culture. I do want to make the sauerkraut. I tried some once but it didn't develop right so it is off to see you tutorials. So glad you visit with your son came out so well. Blessings

  3. My family makes fermented green beans which we call "sour beans" and they are the BEST. Run fresh green beans through a food processor, then ferment them exactly as you do sauerkraut. Can or freeze after fermentation. Then the finished product we put in a crock pot with white beans (great northern usually) and meat of some kind - ham or sausage or what have you, and cook for a few hours. YUM!

  4. So glad that your visit w/you son was as lovely as you wanted it to be! Always sad that they have to leave. Some of our friends' son was in for a month from his Army base in NY. He just left yesterday.

    You nutrution goals sound excellent. Sally F. is a wonder, isn't she? I started changing our family's diet and the way I cook about 2 years. (Not to say that we don't have "naughty treats" every once in a while. :-) ) Granted we all feel better and I think our over-all "look" is better, but I have been disappointed that my husband and I have not lost most weight. I'm still working on that.

    I've also started making my own skin care and LOVE it! Actaully, far mor that I ever thougtht I would. I'm almost 50 and my skin is still as oily and acne-prone as it was when I was 16. (That has goods and bads.) If you familiar w/Clinique, I'm a #4...not the best. I was a make-up artist from the ages of 19 to 35 and actually worked for Revlon (waaaaay back when Revlon was still behind the counter in cosmetics depts) and then for Clinique before I went free-lance. But I digress. :-/ Anyway, I NEVER would have thought that something home-made would have work as well - or BETTER - than something manufactured. And they are such simple things. I'm thrilled. But I DO believe that not only the things I've made are making a difference, but my nutrition, too, has made a difference in my skin. I very RARELY get acne any more and I my skin very soft and smooth. To me, a person who struggled w/bad skin my whole life, it's simply amazing.

    Keep up the good work. I'm loving the things you're writing about! Sorry I haven't posted in so long...I've become a lurker. lol

    Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><


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