How to Can Pumpkin

How to can pumpkin-- it's possible! You can the cubes and then mash when you are needing puree. Easy peasy.

I don’t claim to have much of a green thumb…

But I can grow a mean patch of pumpkins.

Okay… Okay. Pumpkins are pretty easy to grow, so don’t be too impressed…But still… I’m going to take full advantage of my bragging rights.

This year I poked a handful of heirloom pumpkin seeds into my hugelkultur bed, just to see what would happen. (If you’re wondering “hugel-whaaaa??” then read this post). Last year, my maiden voyage as a hugelkultur gardener was a complete and total flop. But being the stubborn homesteader that I am, I decided to give it another try–after applying a generous amount old manure, of course. (Because manure fixes everything).

how to can pumpkin

Apparently, the seeds loved the whole hugulkultur-thang, and they thrived. I ended up with around a dozen happy pumpkins from just a small corner of my garden.

I saved a couple of the littlest pumpkins to adorn my dining room table (because they are so cuuuuuuuute) and set to work preserving the rest. In years past, I’ve baked my pumpkins (using my finger-saving, no fuss method),  blended them, and crammed the puree into gallon-sized freezer bags. But honestly? I was dreading the process this year…

I don’t like the whole freeze-the-pumpkin-in-a-baggie method because:

a) It’s messy to put in the pumpkin puree into the bag, and wastes a lot of pumpkin when you are trying to remove it.

b) It takes up valuable freezer space.

c) I am the WORST about remembering to thaw stuff before I need it, so having jars ready at a moment’s notice makes me super-duper happy. (This is the same reason I can my beef broth instead of freezing it...)

Therefore, you can imagine my homesteader-delight when I realize you can indeed can pumpkin. There are just a few rules you need to follow first:

How to can pumpkin-- it's possible! You can the cubes and then mash when you are needing puree. Easy peasy.

 The Rules of Canning Pumpkin

1) If you are going to can pumpkin, you must, must, must use a pressure canner--no exceptions.… [Continue Reading]

How to Grow a Medicine Cabinet {Top Ten Healing Herbs}

Cultivate your health and grow these 10 plants in a Salve Garden!

For most of us, gardening & growing season is wrapping up. However, you can still scheme for next year! Quinn from Reformation Acres is sharing her best ideas for growing your own medicine cabinet today. 

Summer may be over, but does a homesteader’s work really ever end?

There is a lot of work to do to get ready for those chilly winter days we’re facing. Are you feeling it yet?

I know I sure am!

But it’s to be expected. Homesteading can be rough.

From sunburns, to cracked hands, chapped lips, sore muscles, aching backs, poison ivy, bug bites, bee stings, bumps, bruises, or worse yet wounds, our bodies take a beating but it’s a life we all love.

When we have the privilege of taking in the sweet scent of a cow as the morning sun hits you warm on the back while listening to the swishing of the milk in the pail, or breathing deep the musty smell of soil just as it begins to rain when you’re pulling weeds in the garden, or the taste of that first homegrown tomato of the season, all the pain and toil is so easily rewarded.

Still, it’s no fun to get stepped on by the cow when you’re leading her back to the pasture, or pecked at by a hen who’s gone broody while you’re trying to work out whose eggs those actually are. The bees don’t realize you’re trying to help them out by checking on the hives and you’ve got the stings to prove it! And then there’s the sunburn you got in the garden that makes it hard to rest your weary bones when you lie down at night.

For all the hard work we do trying to grow and raise the best food possible for our families, we deserve to treat ourselves well by taking control of our own health and well being!… [Continue Reading]

The Best Essential Oil Diffuser Recipes for Fall

the best collection of essential oil diffuser recipes for fall: spiced chai, immune booster, and more!

I kicked my candles to the curb.

And I was quite the candle addict… So that’s saying a lot.

There’s nothing I love more than being enveloped by a warm, spicy scent when I walking into the house on a brisk, fall day. And who doesn’t love the flickering of a candle on a cozy winter’s night?

But once I started learning about some of the toxic junk my candle addiction was releasing into my house, suddenly my “warm sugar cookie” scented candles didn’t seem quite as appealing… Bummer.

As far as candle toxicity goes, it seems as though paraffin and lead-cored wicks are the two biggest concerns:

Thankfully, soy, beeswax, or tallow candles are much cleaner burning and non-toxic, so they are still a good choice if you still crave the ambiance a lit candle creates.

But What About Air Fresheners?

Sadly, they aren’t much better. I published a post a few months back that highlights some of the issues related to aerosol room sprays and plug-in air fresheners.… [Continue Reading]

Maple Walnut Blondies with Maple Butter Sauce

maple walnut blondie cookie recipeThe cool weather we’ve been having has me in the mood for baking! Today Jamie from How to Do Just About Anything shares her mouth-watering recipe for maple walnut blondies with a decadent maple butter sauce.

There are few things better than biting into a brownie…

And this warm, maple walnut blondie, with a cold scoop of vanilla ice cream and hot buttery maple sauce dripping down the sides is brownie heaven.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love chocolate, especially since it contains a mineral many are deficient in. It’s my number one dessert of choice, but this blondie is definitely in my top three.


Applebee’s makes the maple blondie that inspired my creation. Every time I go there, which admittedly is only once every year or so, I indulge in the guilty pleasure of a maple blondie. The waitress brings the gooey dessert out on a cast iron skillet. The maple butter sauce sizzles on the skillet, as the sweet vanilla ice cream trickles down the sides.

And although it’s delicious, it’s loaded with unhealthy white sugar, white flour and who knows what else.

This recipe is something I really enjoy eating and don’t feel bad about serving to my family.


 One of the main ingredients is pastured butter which is one of the few sources of vitamin k2. This nutrient is vital for healthy bones and teeth and can be found in pastured animal products. Right now is a great time to use pastured butter before the cold weather of winter takes the grass away.


Blondies also typically rely on white chocolate chips to give them their moist, rich and mellow flavor. This recipe though uses coconut butter, which tastes amazing by itself, but gives baked goods that extra depth of flavor and creaminess.… [Continue Reading]