• Entertaining

    5 things to do today to make Thanksgiving easier

    The stress of getting that Thanksgiving feast to the table is a REAL issue!    These 5 tried and true techniques will help you get everything done and hopefully still enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday.  This year Thanksgiving on the Crow Homestead will be pretty quiet…just  Mr. Crow and I, but that won’t stop us from doing it up right with ALL the trimmings! To get everything done on time requires a great deal of planning on my part.  Of course cooking the whole meal on a small wood stove creates it’s own unique challenges, but the following tips can help anyone whether your on or off-the-grid….or if your serving 2…

  • Food

    One Cut of Meat = Three Meals

    The Crow Homestead does not have electricity so keeping our food from spoiling can get pretty complicated.  It takes some planning and one of the main issues is ensuring meat is used quickly and very little is wasted.  Regardless if we get our meat from the grocery store, or from the woods we generally need to consume it within three days.  We have found a good plan that has us eating like kings while wasting very little, and I thought ….why not share this easy, efficient and satisfying plan with others?!?  Please remember when we buy meat we always buy it WITH bones… none of this boneless, skinless meat for…

  • Homesteading

    Animals on the Crow Homestead

    We love our animals and they make our lives SO much more enjoyable!   Now…. Since we live off-the-grid and want to be as self sufficient as possible we expect everything to earn it’s keep.   Our Animals included! Here is the menagerie of beings that make up the Crow Homestead: DOGS Our Boris is the watchdog. He likes to stick by the house and never strays when he is out with us in the woods. He is big and strong, but he knows the chickens and ducks are off limits and almost always keeps the desire to chase them at bay. He is a rescue dog who was 9…

  • Gardening

    2018 Crow Homestead Hits and Misses

    2018 was an exciting growing season on the Crow Homestead!  We buckled down and started 100% of our own seeds, we live in one of the coldest places in the continental U.S. and we were able to start tomato and pepper seeds inside without electricity….this is like a mini miracle people!  We expanded the garden by adding four more 8 x 4 foot raised beds and built the fence. We also added to the orchard by planting pairs of apricot trees, chokecherries and Nanking cherry bushes.  Mr. Crow has been VERY busy!  As with everything we do, we had some failures and some successes.  But I do not view our…

  • Drinks

    Homemade Mead

      These two sisters have been known to share a libation from time to time, and we enjoy it even more when it is homemade. Dee loaned me a book from her always expanding library called “Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Ellix Katz. The first recipe we have explored is T’ej which is an Ethiopian Mead.  Mead is an alchohol made from honey.   The recipe piqued Mr. Crow’’s interest because  it required few ingredients, all of which we had on hand  that moment the mood struck him to start the process. We used honey, some strawberries (but any fresh fruit will work), basil (again, any herbs will work) and water.…

  • Gardening

    How to Start Saving Seeds.

    I can’t wait for the day I don’t need to purchase anything in the spring for the garden.  In my fantasy we will produce enough compost to feed all of our beds, attract enough good insects to battle the bad pests, utilize companion planting to perfection and save ALL of our own seeds.  But we are far from that and I have only started dipping my toe into the world of seed saving!  If you have purchased “open pollinated” or ” heirloom” seed you can save the seeds in the fall and plant them again next year.  With open pollinated seeds you always get offspring that are the same as…

  • Food

    Fall Meal Plan

      I love a good meal plan!  It ensures we take advantage of what is in season, minimizes food waste and limits the number of trips to the grocery store.  Plus, having to figure out everyday around 4:oo P.M. what the heck we are going to eat never seems to end well for us. Fall is my absolute favorite season, as I take after my Nanny who had a deep love for meat and potatoes.  On the Crow Homestead, fall starts in September as small game season begins, root veggies are harvested and the the snow is flying.  (we had snow just this week!)  We start having fires inside and…

  • Off-the-grid

    Why We Live Off The Grid

          When we tell people that we live off-the-grid, the first questions we always get are logistical… Do you have solar? (Nope) Do you have running water? (No, we have a well and carry it inside by hand) Do you have an outhouse? (NO, we have an indoor humanure toilet) Do you have propane refrigerator, stove and lights? (Negativo, we have a cookstove and candles) They stop for a little bit to take it in… and then they ask. Why? Why would you choose to live like that? That is a hard thing to answer…it was a multiyear process that took many twists and turns. Ultimately Mr. Crow…

  • Gardening

    Homestead Journaling

      Let’s just start this off with a confession, I have an obsession with journaling…..I blame the film The English Patient, I have dreamt about the journal from that flick…. with it’s leather cover, drawings and journal entries! I kept a consistent diary from ages 16-21, and I have annual notebooks from every year we have been living off-the-grid (2008-2018).  In those notebooks,  I make life plans, lists, notes from books I’m reading or programs I listen to, meal plans and list the goals I try to attain.  But the most treasured of all is my homestead journal, one that I have been keeping since 2008.  A homestead journal is…