The 2014 Homesteader’s Gift Guide!

gift ideas for homesteaders, farmers, hobby farmers, or anyone who loves a simpler way of life!

Say goodbye to the fruitcakes and ugly sweaters…

The 2014 Homestead Gift Guide is here and ready to roll!

You know,personally, I think us homestead-types are pretty darn easy to buy for. I mean, we’re pretty much interested in everything, and easily amused too, for the most part. (Canning jars? YAY! A new egg basket? YAY! Knitting needles? YAY! New muckboots? YAY!)

BUT if you need a jumpstart to your gift-buying efforts, I know you’re gonna LOVE this 2014 edition of the Homesteader’s Gift Guide! There something for both hardcore homesteaders and wannabe homesteaders alike, you’ll be supporting small businesses in the process, and many of the companies have provided exclusive coupon codes just for Praire Homestead readers! Win, win, WIN!

And of course, if you’re a homesteader yourself, you can always send the link to this post to those people who are asking what to buy you for Christmas… *hint hint*

The 2014 Homestead Gift Guide


Homesteader’s Supply

Your source for self-sufficient living, featuring the Ultimate Cheese Press and cheesemaking supplies, butter making tools, fermenting crocks and kits, farm animal equipment, meat processing, canning supplies and more!

Jill’s Pick: I’ve been drooling over this 13-quart stainless steel milk pail. It’s looks to be more solid than the bucket I’ve been using, and I could use another one anyway. And this basic cheese kit is the perfect start for the person who is looking to add cheese-making to their list of skills in 2015!


Coupon Code: Get 5% off your order with coupon code: JOYFUL5 (good for US orders to the lower 48 states only)


Nicks Sticks Logo

Nicks Sticks

All of the goodness, none of the garbage! All of these snack sticks are made with the Midwest’s finest grass-fed beef or free-range
turkey. No MSG. No Nitrates. No Antibiotics. No Hormones.… [Continue Reading]

Homestead Barn Hop #186 – End of an Era


“Cultivating the Homestead Community”

I never thought this day would come, but here it is. I’ve been debating it for a while, and have felt torn for sometime, but the time has come.

Today will be the last day I co-host the Homestead Barn Hop.

This Hop has been my baby for almost four years. I started it way back at the beginning of my blogging journey, and it has grown with me. I’ve enjoyed seeing the hundreds of submissions each week as folks share their best stories, recipes, and tips.

However. It’s not going away entirely, as the fabulous Shaye and Kendra will still be running it on their blogs. So, you can still absolutely participate and share over there.

I feel really driven right now to create more of the really meaty homesteading content that ya’ll are asking for: the animal tutorials, the hardcore DIY stuff, the from-scratch recipes, and everything in between. Stepping out of the Barn Hop commitment  will free the space up on the blog and my calendar to pursue these new posts & topics.

I hope you’re ready for 2015, but I have so many ideas and projects swimming around in my head, I can hardly sleep at night. I’m so darn excited and can’t wait to share it all with you. It’s gonna be good. :)

So a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who have faithfully participated in and read the Barn Hop for all these years. You made it a fabulous success, and I hope you’ve gained as much from it as I have. <3

Now, on to the Barn Hop!

This hop is hosted by The Prairie Homestead, New Life on a Homestead and The Elliott Homestead.

Did you share any homesteading related posts on your blog this week? If so, we’d love to have you link up below!… [Continue Reading]

Lemongrass – How to Grow It and Use It

how to grow lemongrass and tips for using it

By Anni Winings, contributing writer

I first came across lemongrass while visiting a farmer’s market in Florida while we were traveling. The little old man handed me a bunch of lemongrass stalks and said, “You put those in water and they grow again.” He picked up another stalk and showed me how to chop it and use the inner part of the lemongrass. It smelled amazing when he chopped it up, and I bought a couple of bunches of lemongrass.

Since then, I’ve used lemongrass to add a “what is that!” element to rice; to add a light, slightly spicy lemony flavor to smoothies (not to mention all its purported healing properties); and in all sorts of variations of stir-fries and soups.

As the old man promised, when I stuck the ends of the lemongrass in a jar of water, they did begin to sprout roots. I’ve moved twice since that time, and haven’t been able to take my potted plants across the borders of the new states we’ve moved to, so I’ve regrown lemongrass both from stalks found in oriental shops and from seed.

Once you get a thriving bunch established, you’ll have more lemongrass than you know what to do with.

how to grow lemongrass and tips for using it

How to Grow Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a sub-tropical plant and can’t handle hard freezing temperatures. If you live anywhere colder than about a zone 9a, you’ll want to grow your lemongrass in a pot, and bring it indoors for the winter. And even then, you might want to bring it in, just in case you get an unexpected temperature drop (the weather seems to be doing all sorts of funny things these days).

Grow your lemongrass in full sun, with plenty of water, in a rich, well-draining soil. If you’re growing it in a pot, top-dress it with compost or worm castings every couple of weeks, to make sure it’s getting plenty of nutrients.… [Continue Reading]

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

homemade cranberry sauce recipe -- you won't believe how easy it is to make it yourself!

*Slurp* *Plop!*

Ah… the lovely sound that canned cranberry jelly makes as you delicately extract it from the can…

Even back before my real food transformation, it always seemed out of place. I mean, you spent all day basting the turkey, and making the rolls, and mashing the ‘taters, only to have the last item you put on the table be this bizarre ridged cylinder of store-bought cranberry jelly. But hey– who was I to argue with tradition?

As a young newly-married cook, I had a life-changing moment: I realized you could make cranberry sauce FROM SCRATCH. (Ok, ok… I know those of you who grew up with homemade cranberry sauce are rolling their eyes right now… but you have to realize I had my head in the sand for a good many years…)

Ever since then, I look forward to making this cranberry sauce recipe every year. It’s sweet enough that you won’t pucker, but sweetened with honey and orange juice so you don’t get a sugar-rush from it either. It’s pretty much cranberry perfection. And here’s the recipe—>

homemade cranberry sauce recipe -- you won't believe how easy it is to make it yourself!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

  • 3/4 cup orange juice (about 2 large oranges if you are freshly squeezing it)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup honey (see note below) (where to buy- affiliate link)
  • 12 ounces whole cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

In a medium saucepan, combine in the orange juice, honey, and zest. Bring to a gentle boil, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the cranberries and continue to cook them until they burst and the mixture thickens (about 15 minutes).

Spoon the cranberry sauce into a mold (or bowl, or whatever you want) and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, or until set.

Kitchen Notes:

  • I like to use freshly squeezed orange juice, but if that’s not available, premade orange juice will work too.
[Continue Reading]