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5 Homesteading Characteristics Every Tried & True Homesteader Has

Home Homesteading Handbook 5 Homesteading Characteristics Every Tried & True Homesteader Has

Ever wondered what it takes to be a homesteader? Homesteading is not for the faint of heart, it takes hard work, diligence, sweat and even tears. It’s not all hard labor though, a lot of homesteading involves great compassion and a love for the earth and creatures around you. Keep reading to see if you’re made up of these 5 homesteading characteristics. As told by our favorite farm girls, who also happens to be our resident Homsteader…

5 Homesteading Characteristics Every Tried & True Homesteader Has

By Kathy Bernier

Farming, like most things, looks great on paper. But when it comes right down to the nitty-gritty of actually doing it yourself, you may have some misgivings. Sure, you like nature and animals and spending time outside, and you’ve been told you have a green thumb when it comes to plants, and you really value the idea of living sustainably—but do you really have what it takes?

As a farm girl who has had my share of both wins and losses, I have identified some of the traits which have put me on the right road and helped me keep it between the lines. Out of those characteristics, here are five words that most often describe successful farm girls, or in this case, homesteaders.

1. Homesteader’s Are Resilient

A farm girl can work hard all day on farm chores and lose it all to windstorms, spilled milk buckets, pig fence breaches, or Japanese beetles—and still, get up and do it again the next day. She tenderly scoops up the tiny quintuplet goat kids and carries them into the house where she sets them up in front of the wood stove and spends all night tending them. And after feeding them every hour using a tiny makeshift feeder rigged from an eye dropper and the weakest to die anyway, she grieves, but somehow finds the strength to nurse the other three to health.

A farm girl can strap on a headlamp and harvest vegetables until the wee hours of the morning when a sudden last-minute turn in the forecast calls for a killing frost. She can somehow summon the energy to troubleshoot what went wrong with the last batch of tomatoes when three of the canning jar lids did not seal, and resolve to do it again and do it better.

Resilience is defined as that which is able to recover from difficult conditions. In short, it is about bouncing back. But farm girls are psychologically resilient as well, adapting to stress and adversity. That which does not kill her makes her a better farm girl.

2. Homesteader’s Are Positive

5 Homesteading Characteristics Every Tried & True Homesteader Has

Most farmers are hopelessly optimistic. You know that old saying about how continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of crazy? That is what farm girls do each day, and the saying is probably right. It is a little crazy to cling to the belief that next lambing season will be better, or the next garden will yield a better crop, or there will be more time to get the hay put up ahead of time next year. But farm girls do not just keep blindly throwing ourselves at a doomed scenario. Instead, they tweak it a little each time, fully confident that they will eventually get the right combination. They try changing up fall breeding schedules for better timing of spring births, or vegetable varieties more compatible with our particular micro-climate, or delegating some responsibilities at a haying time.

From one farm girl to another, let me assure you—take heart! Stuff works out.

3. Homesteader’s Are Resourceful

5 Homesteading Characteristics Every Tried & True Homesteader Has

No curb alerts posted online or piles of junk out at the end of the driveway go unnoticed by farm girls. They are constantly on the lookout for cheap stuff for all manner of projects. A walk through the big box do-it-yourself store fills the heads of farm girls with musings of now what can I potentially do, make, fix, save, alter, or create with that?

They are resourceful in other ways, too. When one phone call ends in “sorry, none available,” and the next one is “no, we can’t do that,” a farm girl keeps trying until she gets a “sure!”

And when a crucial farm component breaks three days before payday, farm girls find a way to jeri-rig it together with whatever they have on hand. In the hands of a resourceful farm girl,
gear ties, carabiners, used hay rope, broken shirt hangers, clay pots, leftover buckets, scraps of
wire and fencing, bits of lumber, and mismatched shoelaces all end up doing the kind of duties their makers never dreamed of.

Do these signs sound familiar? Click To Read “You Know You’re A Farm Girl When…”

4. Homesteader’s Are Brave

5 Homesteading Characteristics Every Tried & True Homesteader Has

To be clear, bravery is not about being without fear. Bravery is about acknowledging fear and doing it anyway. A farm girl walks across a field even though she is afraid of snakes or ventures into the edge of the forest at dusk when a calf is missing. She dares to try backing up the utility trailer when there is nobody else around to do it and it has to be done. She reads the directions on the pressure canner and fills it full of jars of green beans even though she has heard horror stories about pressure canning explosions. She steadies the gun barrel and pulls the trigger when there is no other option, knowing it is up to her to save her livestock from predation.

But it is more than physical bravery. Being “farm girl brave” means to dare to try it at all—to leap in head first and invest time and money and heart and soul into farming.

5. Homesteader’s Are Realistic

5 Homesteading Characteristics Every Tried & True Homesteader Has

Plants don’t always come up in neat little rows and rarely reach maturity in the exact number of days it said on the seed packet. Some kidding seasons yield nothing but bucklings, which are worth less money and harder to sell, from all eight of a farm girl’s prized does.

Sometimes everyone needs to swallow a good strong dose of reality and accept the fact that the best case scenario is less likely to happen than the worst one.

Being realistic is not about being negative or defeated. It is simply being better prepared. For example, if a farm girl estimates she will need between seven and ten bales of hay a week, to get through a season of 26 weeks, she counts on a reality of around 300 bales total. Maybe math defies reality, or maybe math defines it. Either way, a farm girl needs to take intentional steps to ensure that she and reality are on the same side for a guaranteed win.

If all of these attributes do not sound quite like you, do not despair. Nobody is all of these things all of the time. Some of us occasionally find ourselves devoid of any of these traits. Remember, the very nature of farming is about growing things, not the least of which is our own skills and attitudes. If you have chosen the farming life, you can choose to embrace the characteristics of success. Just dig in, keep your chin up, and be proud to be a farm girl.

This is a spinoff from the series – You Know You’re A Farm Girl When… Check to see if you align with these signs!

Do you have these traits? Are you a true farm girl? A true homesteader? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?

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Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients



Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips



Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt



Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage



Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar



Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar



You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band



Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!

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9 SPRING VEGETABLES FOR YOUR GARDEN

Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!

Tomato

Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.

Eggplant

Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.

Beets

Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.

Spinach

Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.

Pea

Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.

Carrot

There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.

Radish

A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.

Asparagus

Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!

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