• 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • Gardening

    5 Tips to Ordering Seeds

    The arrival of seed catalogs in the dead of winter is such pure joy for these two sisters that we believe it should be a holiday!  Dee and I had our first annual Seed Celebration in February 2018, where we discussed the previous years’ gardens, and enjoyed some snacks and libations.  Oh yeah, we also hatched the plan to start this blog!  Definitely seems like an annual tradition to us. In honor of our new, totally made up holiday, we bring to you The Top 5 Ways to Succeed When Ordering Seeds… Order seed catalogs from similar climates as you This year we ordered from Seed Treasures, Bakers Creek and…

  • Holidays

    How we celebrate the winter solstice

    Winter is when we cozy up in the house and really slow down and enjoy all bounty of the homestead. The Crow homestead is located in northern Minnesota and we experience significant changes in the daylight between summer and winter. Because we live off the grid our daily lives are deeply impacted by these natural rhythms….and it turns out to be one of my favorite parts of our lifestyle! The winter solstice is the longest night of the year. Today on the Crow homestead the sunrise was at 7:55 am and it will set at 4:20 pm. We have a couple of traditions to celebrate the dark and the cold.…

  • Homesteading

    3 Tips to Keeping Chickens in Winter

    Chickens are an important part of the Crow Homestead and keeping them happy in the winter takes a bit of work and planning.  The biggest factor for us is that we are located in a seriously cold place…typically in the winter we have several nights dip below -45 F!   Along with the brutal cold, we do not have any electricity….no solar, no nothin’.  This means we cannot use heat lights or heated water containers for our gals. Tip #1 Choose the right animals and the right breed The most important thing to successfully keeping any animal is to choose ones that are best suited to where you live. For…

  • Holidays

    Christmas on the Crow Homestead

    We are all about starting new holiday traditions on the Crow Homestead.  I will admit Christmas has been a bit complicated for us because it sometimes can be about things we are not  fans of…… consumption and waste.  But instead of being all bah hum bug we are finding ways to celebrate this wonderful season that resonate with us. Traditions:  This year we are starting a new tradition that I heard about on the radio; I believe it comes from Finland.  On Christmas Eve everyone receives a book and after dinner everyone gets nice and cozy in their pajamas and cracks open their new book.  I love this idea and…