• Gardening

    Homesteaders Goals

    A 2019 review and 2020 plan It is a great time to look back AND ahead….so let’s get to it! Peach House Goals 2019 edition: Complete the courtyard in our front yard. DONE! Install maintenance free decking on the front entry. Not done. It was a very rainy summer, plus we took a vacation in August that wasn’t planned when I made this list, so we ran out of time. It is slated for the spring! Finish the front entry project. This hit a major hurdle and frankly, not sure when we will be able to do it. We found out that we have plumbing going through the closet we…

  • Gardening

    9 Gift Ideas for the Homesteader at Heart

    Do you have someone on your gift list who loves to make, bake, grow, raise, cook or forage…basically anything DIY? I have pulled together 9 gifts ranging from under $10 to over $200 to meet any budget that are unique and useful. #1 Wall-O-Waters Every gardener working the soil in a cold climate wishes they had a few more weeks of the growing season. These little green water filled tents called Wall-O-Waters create a lovely little microclimate for seedlings to thrive outdoors 6 WEEKS EARLIER than normal! This is the type of gift the person receiving it might not even know they want, but you’ll get a call in the…

  • Gardening

    How to Host an Easy, Breezy Holiday Party

    I really love planning parties. I love adding little details to make it memorable, trying new recipes and just gathering ideas, even if I never use them. I really should have been a party planner, to be honest. But as I get older, and my time gets abbreviated, I have looked towards streamlining my hosting duties. I don’t to sacrifice ALL of the things I love about having a party, but I am trying to be a little smarter about how I incorporate them. Do 1 or 2 “special” items – Make a unique cocktail, or fancy appetizer. Put together one of those giant charcuterie boards that have been sweeping…

  • Gardening

    What Worked This Year (and What Didn’t)

    Another gardening season has passed and it is time to add up our wins and losses. Dee’s Take: It was a good season for me this year at The Peach House. We had a lot of rain, but for the garden is was a perfect amount so that I never had to water! Awesome! However, we went on vacation in August and I feel as if I missed out on a lot of the harvest because of it. Oh well, it was totally worth it. Let’s start out with what went well: Artichokes. Hoooo wheee, did I love growing these! May wasn’t as warm as I would ideally like, so…

  • Environmental

    Plastic Free July

    It seems that plastic has wiggled it’s way into all parts of our lives, but what seems so convenient in the moment is reeking havoc on our planet. Plastic Free July is a challenge where you pledge to take on eliminating single use plastic during the month of July. Even though I’m not usually a “joiner”, my sister talked me into it and we signed up last year. As sisters tend to do, we went about incorporating it into our daily lives very differently, but we both found it to be an eye opening and useful exercise…..so much so we are doing it again this year! Crow Homestead 2018 Last…

  • Kids

    Summering with Teens

    Summer is finally upon us here in Minnesota, and with that comes long days, so every spring I try to come up with some sort of a plan or system to keep our lives running somewhat smoothly during these few months of togetherness. A little backstory…I have been a sahm since my oldest was born, 16 years ago. Around 8 years ago, my husband took a new job and started working from home. For 9 months out of the year, it works great. But summers are always a little tough, at least at the beginning, because the house seems to be brimming with people when all 5 of us are…

  • Gardening

    Top 8 earliest spring vegetables.

    On the Crow Homestead, the animals are starting to get territorial and the smell in the air is starting to change, which means spring is on her way! Yes…we still have many feet of snow on the ground, but the sun is out well into evening and we are getting ready for the big thaw. We can finally start planning for the earliest spring vegetables. Here is a list of the very first edible plants we enjoy from our property. #1 Herbs: Our perennial herbs are the first to emerge and in our zone 2 garden they include chives, thyme and a fuzzy kind of oregano. We add the fresh…

  • Off-the-grid

    How we do things off the grid.

    When I tell people we live off-the-grid the questions start rolling in! How do you cook, bathe, see…..live? We have no water on site, no septic system, no solar, nothing runs on propane (except our grill) and we have no car. Some of those details will hopefully change over time, but those are the facts right now. The Crow Homestead is located in Northeastern Minnesota in one of the coldest places in the continental US. We live 15 minutes from a small town with a grocery store and hardware store. Having lived off-the-grid for 10 years there are many things I would do differently, but I love our lifestyle and…

  • Food

    Old Fashioned Donuts Taste Test

    On Presidents day this year, we found ourselves with a quiet day at home and a desire for something fun to eat. My middle kid is somewhat of a donut connoisseur, having received a gift card to a supermarket with an impressive baking department for his birthday, he has been working his way through their case of goodies. Lately, he has been enamored with old fashioned donuts, and I can’t say that I blame him! The nooks and crannies give it some crunch with the soft, and they just plain taste awesome! Of course, that lead me to wanting to make my own. Now let me preface this by saying,…

  • Gardening

    #1 way to save money gardening: starting seeds

    Starting seeds can be tricky but I live  in the dark and cold tundra of northern Minnesota without electricity….. so if I can do it so can you! Starting your own seedlings is the #1 way to save money gardening.  If you are buying seedlings I guarantee you are spending more money with a garden than you need to. In most of my life I barely  miss electricity, but man would it be a bonus when starting seeds!!!  I’ll tell you how I do it off-the-grid AND how my sister does it with the benefits of electricity. Start out with good seeds. If you have any questions about the vitality…