Category: Raising A Family (page 1 of 2)

How To Make Sure Your Kids Hate Homesteading

It would be so easy to do:  make your kids hate homesteading.

Having never even been around a farm while growing up, it’s been quite the learning process for me to be married to a man who’s never known anything else. The differences in our upbringings became especially noticeable when it came to raising our own children on our homestead.

It only makes sense that the only way he knows how to parent is to let children run free on the farm, as that’s how he grew up.  Likewise, it only makes sense that the way I know how to rear children is to keep them safe—away from the dangers of a farm and homestead—since that’s how I was raised.

We have both learned to compromise in our parenting.  The Farmer has reflected on his childhood and I can’t count how many times he’s come to the conclusion, “I can’t believe we all made it to adulthood.”  He is now more cautious with our children than he was when he was growing up.

And me?  I’ve had to let go of, “Don’t go near that horse!  It’s a wild animal after all!”

We’ve met somewhere in the middle.  He has realized that if you let them run completely free they’ll get hurt, or killed.  I have realized that if I sequester them too much, they’ll hate their farming experience and ultimately hate homesteading.

I don’t want them to hate this life that I love, so I’ve had to identify what I could do as a parent that would cause this, and I’m sharing that list with you.

Here are a few things to do to make sure they hate homesteading:

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Resolve To Take Control Of Your Family’s Food Supply

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It’s easy with our modern conveniences to forget that there are very real dangers and threats to our food system. At present time, most of us can travel but a short distance, purchase food, and bring it home to serve our families without worrying about what’s in it.

We forget that in the blink of an eye, this modern convenience could be gone. When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, nearly 90% of New Orleans was left underwater—as much as 20 feet under in some areas. Those who were left to ride out the storm had their food taken from them almost overnight.

In more recent news, the city of Flint, Michigan received the devastating news in April of 2014 that the entire city’s water supply was found to be full of lead and other toxins. Inhabitants had been drinking this water for years, and a solution is still in the process.

In less publicized stories, food sources all over the place are experiencing recalls due to contamination or some current study suggesting the foods we’ve all been eating haven’t been as safe as we thought they were. The biggest problem? Damage has already been done.

What about you? Is your food supply secure? Your water supply? Do you have a back-up plan? How do you know you’re providing your family with the safest foods and water possible?

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How I’m Preparing For A New Baby On The Homestead

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Baby’s coming soon, and preparations are coming to a close.  This one was a surprise.  We had finally entered the stage in our life where babies had stopped coming, and we thought we were done.  You can imagine our surprise (and joy) when we found out another little farmer (or farm-her) was on the way.

When we had our first child, I was still working and my preparation consisted of filling the pantry for my 3 month maternity leave and having everything we would need for the baby for at least the first 4 months.  I didn’t really need to do much else.

After my first couple children, I eventually stayed home and helped my husband with the homestead full-time.  Beginning with my third pregnancy, I realized preparing for a new baby on the homestead took on a whole new meaning.

So what do I do to prepare for the birth of our next child now that we are all living a mostly self-sufficient life?

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Raising Young Children On The Homestead: A Young Mother’s Guide To The Early Years

Do you dream of getting off the grid, but the thought of safety, provision, and laws stop you?  How about the thought of having babies off grid and raising them there?  That might be more frightening than considering if you can grow your own food and provide your own power.

Or maybe you are well on your way to being off grid (or otherwise homesteading) and you found out you’re pregnant?

In either scenario, one thing is for sure:  if living the off grid and homestead lifestyle is hard, starting a young family in this environment can be insanely hard. But it doesn’t have to be.

I’ve had the privilege in my life to live in multiple off grid scenarios around the world.  Some of them as modern as my current homestead, and some of them as primitive as you could imagine–like living in mud houses and hunting with handmade spears.  Really.

If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you can’t just give-up because kids make it harder; but you can learn to embrace the journey and thrive in the midst of it.

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Giveaway: Raising Young Children On The Homestead

It’s almost here Friends.  In just two weeks, my newest book, Raising Young Children On The Homestead:  A Young Mother’s Guide will launch–and you get to be the first to know.  Not only that, but you get to be the first to win it.

Before I moved to the homestead, I had the blessed privilege to serve in medical missions in third-world countries.  I got to stay in the villages with the locals–mud and straw huts.  I learned that it’s possible to raise children completely off-grid with surprisingly little–and they grew up happy.

You can imagine then, in our first-world homestead, I knew full-well it would be possible to raise my kids here.

That’s not to say that I didn’t worry about things like potty-training, keeping little ones out from underfoot of the herd animals, and keeping them away from dangers not present in a town setting.  I did.

It’s also not to say that when I had my first babe I didn’t wonder how or when I would be able to grow our food or get through the harvest.  I did.

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When One Partner Doesn’t Want To Homestead (It Used To Be Me)

I hear all kinds of stories from individuals who want nothing more than to get away from the rat race and become more self-sufficient.  Their desires range anywhere from just growing their own food to being completely off the grid.  The passion is high, but there is one thing standing in their way:  their spouse doesn’t exactly love the idea.

“What do I do if all I want is this life, but my spouse doesn’t want to homestead?”

It’s a hard question.  If that’s you asking this question, I’m not going to lie to you–I never had to win over my spouse, so I can’t put myself in your shoes or understand your desire.  What I can do is reassure you that all is not lost.

You see, I grew up in a large city.  I had a corporate fast-moving career.  I had big-city plans that all involved being on-grid.  I loved the technology, my world travels and experiences, and my home–complete with luxury–like electricity and city water, sewer, and garbage services.

I never wanted to be off-grid or doing it all myself.

Then I met my husband.  We had many conversations about what we would do if we got married, and I made one thing clear–he was going to move into my house. I most certainly was not going to move to his house out in the middle of nowhere with all those animals, and snakes, and a well, and laundry line, and…you get the idea.

In the end, he won me over.  Now I am just as happy as a clam living off the land and learning more and more the life of self-sufficiency every day from him.  And I’d love to share with you just how he won me over.  Perhaps you too can pick up some tips that could help you win your spouse over…

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Teaching Your Children Their First Homestead Recipes

A homestead kitchen is just like a modern kitchen in many aspects:

  • There is a place to store food
  • There is a place to prepare food
  • There is a means to cook the food

However, there is no doubt there are differences in these two kitchens as well. Homestead kitchens often have wood stoves if they are indoor, and open fires if they are outdoors.  The knives are bigger and more plentiful.

So how then do we get our kids working in the kitchen and cooking from an early age?

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Make Your Own Child’s Dress Form

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Most of the sewing I get done is after the kids go to bed.  And that means while I’m making clothes for the kids, they can’t try them on as I work.  If I don’t have a form to fit, then I can only get so far before stopping and waiting to fit them the next day.  With the amount of sewing I do (or would like to at times), it’s really helpful to have a dress form.

I would love, love, love to have an adjustable child’s dress form for the various stages of my children’s growth.  However, right now it’s just not an option for us. In lieu of going without, we simply make a form for each child.

Since a homemade dress form is not adjustable and children grow fast, it’s important to make one while doing a stack of clothes for that child.  After finishing the stack, move on to the next child, do his/her form and work through that stack of clothes.

Here’s how we just made dress forms for a couple of the girls:

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Keeping Kids Safe In The Homestead Kitchen

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Kitchens can be a dangerous place for kids (especially young kids).  A homestead kitchen is often even more dangerous for the wee ones than a non-homestead kitchen.

Wood stoves are always being opened and little eyes repeatedly see mom or dad putting wood inside.  What’s more, wood stoves get hot on every surface when a fire is going.  Touching them or setting something down could be a disaster.

During the summer when homesteaders are eating outside, everyone tends to gather around the fire as meals are prepared.

And let’s mention knives for a minute.  Most homesteads have a larger variety, and often more and bigger knives that one would find in a non-homestead kitchen.  That’s because homesteaders are often also harvesters of their own meat, and carvers of their own tools.

With the addition of more knives, stoves that are hot for hours on end, and fires that are kept going, what additional steps must be done to help children stay a bit more safe?

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16 Herbs To Avoid When You’re Pregnant

*This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on one and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no cost to you.  Thank you for supporting this site.*


Herbs are all the rage these days–especially with the growing trends of homesteading and sustainable living.  Indeed, they offer a variety of uses ranging from flavoring the food we eat to treating ailments.

With herbs being so widely available, and easy to grow, it can be easy to forget that they do not come with an FDA warning.  And due to the notion that if it’s grown in a garden, it must be good for you (not always true), the dangers of some herbs can be missed.

Pregnancy is an especially vulnerable time for the developing embryo as well as the mother, and warrants a review of herbs to avoid when you’re pregnant (and some to continue avoiding during breastfeeding).  Here is a list of just 16 common herbs to avoid in one form or another during pregnancy.  This is not an inclusive list.  Just because an herb is not on this list does not mean it is safe during pregnancy.

Always do your own research regarding herbs before using and/or ingesting them.  (See resources at the end.)

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