• 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…

  • Food

    Pantry Cooking

    Last month I had a request to share my go-to meals we make from the ingredients in our minimal pantry and today I’m sharing the best of the best with you! We do not use a recipe when we cook these meals as they are very simple and lend themselves to endless variation. I feel a great deal of satisfaction knowing I always have food on hand to cook up a satisfying meal at any time. With our well stocked but minimal pantry I’m prepared for the unexpected whether that is surprise guests or a snowstorm that keeps us home for days. Click here http://www.twosistersmn.com/the-minimal-pantry/ to see my blog post…

  • Homesteading

    A Plan to Minimalize

    The key to getting a grip on mindless consumption is a good old fashioned PLAN. We can make a significant impact on our wallets, our earth and our peace of mind if we eliminated the things we buy because we didn’t plan better. From grabbing food that is unhealthy and unsustainable to running around at the last minute to find something we suddenly need because we forgot to get it when we were at the store earlier, we spend more time driving around and spending money that we want to. A plan starts with a calendar. Some people are going to like an electronic version and some will like paper,…

  • Environmental

    Favorite Planet Friendly Items

    I realize that we are in the middle of talking about minimalizing your life and house and here I am talking about more things to buy. So I want to make it clear right up front that some of these items should be considered when you are replacing what you already have. No need to be wasteful and ditch stuff…that isn’t good for the environment! With that being said, the world is a wonderful place to live right now, full of beautiful AND useful products that are also ecological. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just things I use everyday and am very pleased with. Without further ado…..…

  • Homesteading

    The Minimal Pantry

    We live in a 400 sq. home with minimal storage space and all the food we cook is from scratch…so over the last 10 years we have whittled down our pantry to the bare necessities to make pretty much everything we eat. We have learned which ingredients we simply cannot live without. By pairing down our pantry to the minimum needed we have realized how little you need to cook up very satisfying foods Fats: extra virgin olive oil. Yep that’s the only one. we sauté with it, bake with is and make amazing salad dressings. We do have butter in the fridge. but we are talking about the pantry…