canned jars on shelves

Gleanings from December

Pantry envy & labeling… inspiration for my never-ending desire to get more serious about putting up food for the winter months.

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

Using caging in the squash bed… small spaces, no place for bugs to hide, reduces disease susceptibility because the leaves aren’t in contact with the dirt.  Might be a trick worth trying.

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

Equipment for the home cheesemaker. Pepper gets weaned this month and I’m excited at the prospect of having enough milk on hand to make cheese again. Even then though I doubt I’ll be able to do any more than dabble as I have in the past. I’m enjoying this series a good deal, but the set up and organization she shares on this post is amazing and I look forward to learning more.

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

Cast iron on display

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

DIY Solar Dehydrator

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

A little garden inspiration… a wall of green beans & zinnias.

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

Is Pressure Cooking Healthy? The short answer is a resounding, “Yes!” I’m so glad because I have been seriously considering investing in a pressure cooker and learning to can with it. (See pantry envy above.) Coincidentally, I saw this article pinned minutes after I pinned Cook’s Illustrated top two picks for pressure cookers, this Fissler is “Highly Recommended” followed by this less expensive Fagor. I’m thinking that even if I purchased the more expensive one, our annual dining budget that I am desperate to reduce to $0 would pay for the cooker alone, not to mention the benefits to our health.

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

Embossing Canning Lids…. beautiful!

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

Herbs for colds & flu… anti-viral & immune herbs, teas, gargles, steams, throat sprays, and rubs. Looks like there is some really great remedies to try here.

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

Clever repurposing of a dresser turned brooder.

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

Wondering if there is anywhere in our home to fit a  wood burner range cookers

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

Wooden Spoon carving tutorial & video – Repurpose fallen tree limbs into functional kitchen tools is such an appealing idea. Frankly the wooden “spoons” (they’re more like stirrers than spoons anyway) are junk and ours always break or splinter. I imagine something hand carved to be much more solid & durable.

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

Dreaming of a pastured rabbit addition to the ole’ homestead…

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

Honey Cough Drops recipe

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

Rubber tubing to a rake for row markers… for those of us whose husbands like neat rows.

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

Preserving dry goods for a year with “oven canning”

Gleanings from December on Farmstead

Make your own potting soil

Organic Gardener’s Composting by Steve Solomon
A free ebook on Project Gutenberg… I’ve yet to read it, but I expect it to be full of wisdom.

The Dust Bowl Documentary by Ken Burns

Free to watch on Youtube…. probably for a limited time. I’ve heard of it, of course, but knew very little about this part of our American history and I’m glad for that. I don’t think that I would have viewed this at all the same before as I did now. I kept thinking over and over of a quote I wrote down this summer after hearing Doug Phillips give a lecture from the Reformation of Food & Family Conference,

We need more Christian farmers who are epistomalogically, self-consciously trying to proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ over their cattle, over their land, over the biosphere that God has given them for which they have to be stewards.

If the Depression era farmers had cared for their land,  stubbornly refusing to cave into greed and societies pressure & demands for the industrialization of agriculture, what a difference they could have made and an example they could have set! What a shame that we haven’t learned from the lesson they teach!

A Real Food Diet is an Act of Worship

When we care about Him, we care about taking care of what He has given us: our bodies, our health and our lives. In practical terms, though, what does that look like?

Education is Too Often Misunderstood

So next time you hear the debate start to rage, next time you start to hyperventilate at the thought of upcoming standardized tests, next time that friend or relative starts to express his concerns about your priorities, take a deep breath and remind yourself of what is most important. True education. It’s too often misunderstood.

How Walmart is Devouring the Food System (Infographic)

Farmers are getting less. With fewer processors and retailers bidding on their products, farmers are struggling to get a fair price. Their share of consumer food has plummeted…. Consumers are paying more.

10 Great Uses for Beeswax… including some I’ll bet you’ve never heard of…

Have you seen anything new or interesting around the web lately?

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  1. So many great links here ~ I will have to come back when I have time & have a closer look!

  2. inspiring…I love the wood range and the dresser brooder! Can not imagine owning all hose cast iron pans but they look just lovely hanging on the wall. I love the two I have. Rabbits we have thought of that too and when the boys are older we may just use the idea you posted here. Thank you for the links. I lurk about on pinterest too and found a good link for sprouting lentils which I am doing this winter in jars on my counter for extra freshness during the cold months. But the best find I discovered was a link to making the most adorable cloth dolls with natural fibers. I wish I had girls.

    1. Sprouting (& microgreens) have been on my mind lately too. Seems like such a great way to get greens in the winter when nothing is growing. Maybe next winter?

      Thanks for sharing the link…. those are some beautiful dolls! What amazing talent she has!!

  3. I LOVE my pressure canner. I just processed 22 quarts of venison and have done soups, chicken, pork not to mention vegetables in the past as well. A bit harder now that there are more of us and the kids are getting bigger, but it’s so nice to have dinner half to mostly finished once I open that jar. Saves on freezer space let me tell you.

    1. Good for you! Do you have any book or site recommendations where to get started. I’ve never even been in the same room with a pressure canner & am clueless how to get started.

  4. We are going to let our squash (acorn and spaghetti) grow up cattle fencing next year. The ones that accidentally climbed last year did not have the squash bugs that the ones on the ground did. Good idea for the non trailing squashes in the cages!

    1. A testimony that is convincing enough to make me want to follow your example! Any weapons in the battle against the squash beetle, I’ll take!! Thanks!

  5. So much amazing inspiration! I love the pantry! Wow, I would love to learn how to can! Oven canning sounds interesting. As for the squash in the cage – works marvelously! I love my cast iron skillets and think it’s so beautiful to arrange them this way! Love to have a kitchen like that to. But will be content with the one God has blessed me with. Thank you so much for taking the time to share all of this!

    1. A welcome admonition and disclaimer that ought to come on all Pinterest pages…. my biggest complaint is that it does have a way of fostering discontent sometimes. We can try to use it as a tool for bookmarks & ideas, but I’ve found that one definitely has to be careful not to cross that line into discontentment or coveting! Thank you for the gentle reminder 🙂 Blessings!