Homestead Kitchen Skills

Food Preservation

Learning to preserve the harvest as well as any excess you have access to is key to maximizing your sustainability efforts. Learn to water bath jams, jellies, and pickles. Become proficient at pressure canning beans, broths, vegetables and meats. You CAN do this!

food preservation


While fermentation can be a valuable part of your food preservation plan, it also serves as a vital tool for maintaining vibrant health. Explore the diversified world of fermentation via cultured dairy, sparkling beverages, and delightful fermented vegetables and fruits. Add a little culture to your kitchen!

Home Apothecary

Perhaps one of the most overlooked homestead kitchen skills is the development and use of a home apothecary. Wouldn't it be nice to be confident that one special corner of your kitchen contains powerful anti-virals, pain relievers and wellness-building tinctures that serve your family well? This can be your reality as you take the time to build your home apothecary skills step-by-step. Let's use the plants God has given to build incredible health and longevity!

home apothecary elderberry syrup
cotton farmscape


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, yes, yes!  I think at some point we have all desired a lifestyle change that we may not have all the “perfect” pieces for at the start.  Begin right where you are and learn the basics that will allow you to confidently rely on your skills once you arrive where your plans take you.  We can all do more wherever we are to practice skills and live a more sustainable life!

Yes, in fact, you are a genius if you do so.  We never grow enough dry beans for what our family uses each year.  Buying beans in bulk and canning them for quick use in meals has been a life-saver.  Likewise, if you are able to score a deal at the Farmer’s Market on a load of fruit 0r vegetables, do not hesitate to take it home and preserve the harvest before it goes to waste!

I have a detailed blog post and demonstration on this.  Basically you will remove (and use) your discard, leaving just a bit of starter in your jar.  You can re-use this jar or transfer to a new one.  Feed your remaining starter equal parts water and flour.  For example, I use 40g whole wheat flour, 80g organic, unbleached flour and 120g filtered water each feeding.

I would say that you should honestly evaluate it for taste and presentation yourself.  If it did turn out “right” and you are convinced this is in their best interest, then continue to offer it.  Sometimes when replacing processed items from the store for homemade versions the shock factor is great.  Use wisdom to help you know which changes are vital, and which, if any, can be neglected or attempted later.

You can use a gradual replacement approach as you build one skill at a time.  Many will never notice a difference.  Young children who are fed real food from the start will never have to un-learn bad eating habits; so begin early with a firm resolve.  If they are a bit older, involve your family in the selection and preparation of your garden as well as meal-planning.  Use this as a learning tool to further their interest and involvement in their own good health for life!

You are in good company.  While the homestead life is the best life, it is often presented in somewhat idyllic and unrealistic ways.  Our IG highlight reels are not a 24-hour play-by-play of all this life involves.  Remember that when you are tempted to compare your life to others.

Most of us did not have an upbringing that prepared us for the amount of work and purposeful dedication that this good life requires.  Many of us often have to completely uproot our families when we move to our property.  Starting over is a huge undertaking with emotional and physical impacts that cannot be overlooked.

That is why it is vital that you a have a source of constant encouragement online to see you through the tough days.  Find your people locally and develop friendships that speak life into your efforts.  Turn down the volume on the naysayers and focus your time and energy on the loved ones right in front of you.

Often a little time spent relaxing and enjoying my family is just what I need to remind me of my “why” and give me the renewed energy I need to keep me going.  The health and wholeness that this life provides me, my spouse, and kids is more than enough reason to continue giving this life my best.

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