Can I Tell You a Story?

Once upon a time, there was this girl…

She was pretty typical, as far as young American gals go.

She grew up in a quiet little neighborhood on the outskirts of town, always kept her grades up, and never really questioned much about the world around her.

The girl back then...

The girl back then…

She ate typical American fare growing up: processed cheese in the thin plastic wrappers, Chef Boyardee ravioli, and yes, even the 29 cent packages of Ramen noodles. She had a special love for McDonald’s french fries, and thoroughly enjoyed an ice-cold Coca-Cola alongside them.

Cooking always seemed to get in the way of things she’d rather be doing, and she never found much enjoyment from it anyway, so she mostly avoided it whenever she could.

As far as being green, or trying to be “natural,” that was just stuff for hippie-folk. Recycling and repurposing were a silly waste of time. People like her didn’t worry about that stuff, and she most certainly didn’t.

After college, she continued along in her ways, happily filling her cart with frozen taquitos, chemical cleaners, and 1% milk anytime she went to the grocery store.

But that’s not the end of the story.

Fast Forward 10 Years…

That very same, standard American girl now lives on 67-acres of windswept grassland in the middle-of-nowhere Wyoming. She spends the majority of her days in her kitchen and finds special pleasure creating from-scratch version of foods she used to buy from the grocery store; things like chewy french bread, creamy whole-milk yogurt, and maple-kissed marshmallows.

The girl now… All grown up.

Her favorite moments are spend in the barnyard tending to the animals she raises. She’s passionate about growing as many of her ingredients as possible, so her barnyard menagerie includes a gentle Brown Swiss milk cow, a flock of laying hens, several hogs, and various meat birds.… [Continue Reading]

Why I Stopped Being Dogmatic About My Diet…

fad diet,paleo diet,grain free

**Please Note** This post is NOT referring to people who must be on certain diets because of allergies or health problems. I fully acknowledge that is a different issue entirely.

I’ve been noticing an interesting phenomenon lately…

If you want to start a debate online, mention either religion or politics.

But if you want to start an all-out war, start talking about food.

I suppose I understand it to a certain extent…

Food IS important. We ARE  indeed what we eat. And in some cases, the proper food CAN mean the difference between life or death for certain folks.

honey cinnamon canned peaches

However.

Can I just say I’m growing a wee bit weary of all the different dietary bandwagons?

Vegetarian, vegan, paleo, primal, raw, Weston A. Price, Trim Healthy Mama, and the list goes on. And on. And on…

Most everyone who is a member of those different “camps” is passionately, adamantly convinced that their diet is the ONLY way to eat.

The problem? 

They all contradict each other… So doesn’t that mean somebody, somewhere, has to be “wrong”?

My husband and I often joke that if you look long enough, you’ll find someone that is “against” pretty much every single thing a human can put into their mouth.

Depending on who you talk to:

  • Meat is bad.
  • Dairy products are bad.
  • Eggs are bad.
  • Whole grains are bad.
  • White flour is bad.
  • Actually, all grains are bad.
  • And don’t forget the legumes. They’re bad too.
  • Potatoes are bad.
  • Carbs are bad.
  • Cooked food is bad.
  • But certain raw vegetables aren’t great for you either.
  • Fruit is bad because of the sugar.
  • And of course, sugar is bad–even unrefined sugars.
  • Fat is bad.
  • Vegetables are good, but only if they are uber-organic, non-GMO, and grown in your own backyard– (providing no one has sprayed pesticides within 30 miles of where you live)
  • Don’t eat too many nuts because they contain phytic acid (and that’s bad.)
  • Water is OK.
[Continue Reading]

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Blogging {Well, Almost…}

how to blog

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately…

…in regards to this whole blogging gig, so I figured I’d take you behind-the-scenes today and talk nuts-and-bolts about running a blog.

Now, I realize this topic may be horrifically boring to some of you, and if that’s the case, feel free to skip this post altogether. Or jump over to this week’s Homestead Barn Hop and peruse all the homesteading posts over there.

But if you are a bit of a blog-nerd like me, then grab that cup of coffee (or tea, or raw milk) and let’s get started!

My Story…

Sometimes I look back at my blogging journey and I don’t know how the heck I got here… As much as I’d like to say that I had the perfectly laid-out vision of what I wanted my blog to be before I started it, that’s simply not the case.

I started The Prairie Homestead on a whim. And honestly? I’m not even sure why… Although I suspect it had a lot to do with my need to share all that I was learning about natural lifestyles and whole foods at the time–and my friend’s and family’s eyeballs were starting to glaze over, so I figured I’d spew it all over the world wide web instead. ;)

Several months into my blogging journey, I realized that I could encourage folks everywhere that homesteading was possible–regardless of where they lived. That gave me a bit more of a direction, and my vision gradually grew into what it is today.

I’m not sure I’d recommend that people follow my exact path to “success” since it’s a pretty crazy one with a lot of detours. I’m sure there’s a faster way to do it, but I’m thankful for my unorthodox journey, since it taught me some priceless lessons along the way.… [Continue Reading]

What 2013 Taught Me and My Homestead Goals for 2014

homestead goals

Crazy.

If I had one word to describe 2013, that’d be it.

But I’m not complaining, because as you know, we rather like a bit of organized chaos around here.

I’ve been doing a lot of pondering about the last 365 days and thinking about what I learned, the mistakes I made, and the adventures I’ve had. And instead of keeping them to myself, I thought I’d share them with you (cuz that’s what bloggers do, after all) ;)

20 Lessons I Learned in 2013

1. Perfection is overrated.

2. Thou shalt not die if your house is not perfectly in order all the time…

3. If you are a homesteader, the summer months are not a good time to decide to write a research-heavy eBook.

4. But finishing that 200-page research-heavy eBook is the BEST FEELING EVER.

5. A good camera makes all the difference.

6. I am not naturally talented at gardening. In fact, my thumb seems to be getting browner as time goes by.

7. You can’t do it all.

bull snake

8. Finding a snake in your house is a good way to get your heart pumping.

9. Geese are mean, but definitely seem to deter snakes. (Except in the house…)

10. Water Kefir: If you have a bottle that’s been fermenting for a while, open it outside–pointed away from your face. And blueberry water kefir is not fun to clean off of your ceiling.

11. Having a wood stove in my house is even more awesome than I thought it would be.

12. If you are a one-year old boy, a toilet is the most fascinating item in the universe.

christmas1

13. It IS possible to mix up your own GMO-free chicken feed. Not easy, but possible.

14. God answers desperate pleas for rain.

15. And a torrential downpour after a year-long drought is so beautiful it will make you cry.… [Continue Reading]