Thursday, March 29, 2012

win a copy of homegrown & handmade!

Deborah Niemann and I met at the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania this past autumn. She introduced herself and we shared a meal during the chaos and frenzy of all the homesteader pornography going on around us. I mean, what could be more in our element than an event where Joel Salatin is talking about pasture rotation, a girl is making smoothies with a bike-powered blender, and baby alpacas are yodeling in a tent a few feet away?

I met her there and that was our introduction. I didn't know about her book or blog, and that is no fault or shortcoming on her part. I am so behind on the farm-blogging scene it is shameful. (I only read a handful of my neighbor's blogs), but it was nice as hell to meet a fellow farm writer gal in person.

Recently she asked me if we wanted to do giveaways on each other's blogs? She gave away a copy of barnheart, and I am offering a signed copy of her great book, Homegrown and Handmade today. To enter, just leave a comment in the comment section about your own favorite niche in homesteading? Tell us both about your farm, your animals, your cheese, yarn, seedlings, veggies, or dreams? Share some of your spirit and you might be the lucky random winner to go home with some new fine readin'

Here's a excerpt from the book! On a subject we all love!

Frugality

Perhaps the biggest lie that corporate advertisers sold us is that our time is too valuable to make anything from scratch, whether it is food or clothing or anything else. “You deserve a break today” was named the best jingle of the twentieth century by Advertising Age magazine. Advertisers know they are not selling the most nutritious or delicious food out there. They are selling a lifestyle. You deserve to have someone else cook for you.

Almost everyone believes their time is “too valuable” to be bothered with menial tasks without even thinking about the logic of the statement. If you don’t cook dinner, how much will someone pay you to do something else? Normally, no one is paying me to do anything in my spare time. I can’t work every waking hour of every day, but by cooking from scratch, I can save money, which ultimately leaves more money in my bank account at the end of the month.

In 2008, KFC aired a television commercial in the United States claiming that you could not make seven pieces of chicken, mashed potatoes, and four biscuits for the ten dollars that they charged for the meal. They showed a mom and her two children taking the “KFC $10 Challenge,” going into a supermarket and becoming exasperated as they see the prices of various ingredients. The little girl asks about the price of fried chicken at the deli counter, which is a far cry from homemade. Finally, the mom is tapping away at her calculator and is ecstatic when the total is more than ten dollars. She and her son give each other a high five because they are going to KFC for dinner now.

After watching the ad, I did a little math and calculated that a biscuit costs about eight cents to make from scratch, even when using organic flour. A pound of mashed potatoes would cost thirty to fifty cents, depending upon whether you buy a five-pound or ten-pound bag of potatoes. If you buy a whole chicken and cut it up, you have two legs, two thighs, two breasts, two wings, plus a back and neck. Add breading, which will cost pennies, and you have a bigger meal for under five dollars. In less than an hour, you have saved five dollars as well as the gas that you would have used if you had driven to KFC. Buy an organic chicken if you can afford to spend ten dollars on dinner, and you still will have saved the cost of gas for driving to KFC, and you will have had an organic dinner.

If you look at the makeup of any grocery store, it’s obvious that most of the aisles are filled with ready-to-eat food or mixes. The interesting thing about using mixes is that in most cases they save only a minute or two of preparation time. A simple cake recipe will use eight to ten ingredients. Most cake mixes require three ingredients be added to the mix. If you are not accustomed to cooking, it may take you longer to do things initially, but like anything else you do, you will get faster with time. When I first started making biscuits from scratch, it took me exactly the same amount of time to mix them up as it did for my oven to heat up, which was fifteen minutes. Now, however, the biscuits are mixed up, rolled out, and waiting on the baking pan in half the time.

Entertainment
Although a lot of people look at what we do and think it is a lot of work, I have to admit that a lot of it is just plain fun. I love trying new foods from our garden and watching baby goats bouncing through the pasture. Lots of people love knitting or baking bread. When I was telling a friend about how busy I had been lately, she asked, “When do you do anything for yourself?” I laughed, and explained that everything I do is for me. We do not have to do any of the things that I write about in this book. That means that if I am doing it, I love doing it. Rather than watching television, working out at a gym, or getting season tickets to the theater, I spend my time doing things that are practical and real.

231 Comments:

Blogger Bo said...

My favorite things about homesteading are chickens and Garden plans!

March 29, 2012 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I cook with the thought of "Food remembers the acts of the heart and the hand" from growing, purchasing and cooking the food for my family I cook with thoughts of kindness for the world and myself, thinking of the farmer who grew my food and the nice lady at the farmer's market who sold it to me along with thoughts of love for my family and friends. Every meal tastes gourmet when my thoughts and actions are humble, loving and kind. Would love to win this book!

BTW- what other farming/homesteading blogs do you read Jenna?

March 29, 2012 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

What a great givaway!

My favorite niche in homesteading is the home dairy. I adore working with my Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats and making an array of dairy products myself instead of depending on the grocery store. I love knowing what my animals ate and that they were on clean pasture in the fresh air and sunshine. :-D

March 29, 2012 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Anke said...

My favorite things about homesteading? I love being able to grow a portion of our own food in the backyard and cooking and preserving it. I also love to knit, spin and sew and down the road plan on adding chickens to the mix. Just thinking about that gets me very excited!

March 29, 2012 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

My niche right now is with fiber. I haven't gotten into owning any animals yet, but I do just about every other part of the process, spinning, dyeing (mostly with natural dyes I've grown, like Japanese Indigo), knitting/weaving/felting. I love this process and I'd love to eventually get some fiber animals so everything in the process from animal to clothing is done by me!

March 29, 2012 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

My favorite niche is a toss up between my chickens and knitting!

March 29, 2012 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

My favorite niche in homestead is DIY cleaners and making things myself for the home via knitting or sewing. I love it because I can make it exaactly to my tastes. I know that what I am making is good for me.

Thanks for hosting this really cool giveaway. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of CAlifornia, Heather :)

March 29, 2012 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

My favorite niche is anything that simplifies. I've had the most success, thus far, with vegetable gardening over the years, but I desire to increase feathered friends around our place, soon. I've been dabbling now, in homemade products to simplify cleaning, and housekeeping. I'm also on the path of feeding my family like my great grandmother would have, with real food. But it's all a journey, sometimes too slowly for me and sometimes too quickly for my family, but we're moving along together, and that's what is really important to me.

March 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger memeeps said...

I love hearing about people who make their own food! I've always wanted to be self-sufficient and I'm reading up on growing a few things indoors (I tried and failed to keep catgrass alive so I'm worried)The thought of spinning my own yarn and baking my own bread and keeping chickens is just so fantastical to me I'd love to start soon.

March 29, 2012 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger Raquel said...

I am excited to have a chance to win this book. It was mentioned in Mother Earth Mag this month and I thought to myself...I must pick up a copy.
I am excited about our up coming plans to start a garden, and we are installing our very first vermi composter today!

March 29, 2012 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Plushroom Soup said...

I'm in love with fiber--knitting, sewing, spinning, felting, dyeing.
I love the satisfaction of wearing something I made with my own hands, the connection I get from good friends while doing such handiwork together, and the knowledge that as I cultivate and connect literal threads with my hands, I also connect myself to similar strong, vibrant traditions through the threads of the past, and ensure they will carry into the future.

I plan to have my own fiber farm in the next year or so. Alpacas mainly, but eventually sheep and goats too. And of course I won't forget the chickens. When I can step outside and gather eggs for a fresh farm breakfast--hoo boy, that will be the most exciting day ever.

March 29, 2012 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger the piemaker said...

Cheesemaking and raising rabbits are my two current favorite things.

March 29, 2012 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Caitlin-Cats Critters said...

My favorite niche is my chickens (eggs and fertilizer for the garden) and gardening.

March 29, 2012 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I live in "the city" right across the river from Manhattan but I love my small yard. I grow zuccini/squash and green beans along the fence on one side. Morning glories on the other (in the fall I collect all the seeds and give as Christmas present - everyone in my family has morning glories now!) In buckets I grow tomatoes (cherry & plum) - It's almost HEAVEN!

March 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM  
OpenID adogafarmacanvasaquilt said...

Oh I love her blog! My favorite niche so far is learning about raising goats... and some of the great forums out there for near instant gardening help.

Thanks for the great giveaway!

March 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I live in "the city" right across the river from Manhattan but I love my small yard. I grow zuccini/squash and green beans along the fence on one side. Morning glories on the other (in the fall I collect all the seeds and give as Christmas present - everyone in my family has morning glories now!) In buckets I grow tomatoes (cherry & plum) - It's almost HEAVEN!

March 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Rosalyn said...

I'm just starting on my homesteading journey, but I love baking and cooking from scratch, preserving, and making DIY home cleaning and body care products. I'm currently waiting on approval from city council to get some chickens, and will be coordinating the development of a new community garden this spring! I'm also hoping to start cheese making this year. :)

March 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

I dream of starting seedlings and then placing those seedlings in the ground. I dream of gathering eggs and honey from my own chickens and bees. I dream of making dairy products from locally sourced milk. This book looks amazing!!! Thanks for the opportunity, Jenna. P.S. I attended one of your workshops last night in my dreams...it was a big time! :)

March 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger polly said...

My favourite niche - is literally the big hole in my heart whenever I read a new idea I relate to. In spite of the realization that it exists, this hole instantly brims up and overflows (via my eyes); I feel connection to others through stories and spirit, and it feels better than anything I've felt in a long time.

In a few short weeks we will finalize a short sale; been 'negotiating' to keep our home for 3 years and finally realized the futility of it as the balance crept higher and higher. The banks will speed us out in under 3 months! Our heads are spinning still...

However, last week out of nowhere we found a rental with a couple acres and landlords who not only encourage chickens and will allow a big (ruth stout-stlye) veggie patch, but also perhaps a couple of SHEEP. Can you believe it? We are going up today to cogitate and drool in anticipation, and map out some more big plans about the ideas I've picked up from blogs across the country.

I can really feel this nation finally getting turned onto something else... something older and wiser yet new to us. It fills up the big hole in me with a swiftness that takes my breath away and leaves my voice shaking and eyes red.

Grateful for you all.

March 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger leslie said...

i'm new to all of this! i got 10 chickens in august and i am so in love with them and my new lifestyle. i'm now baking bread, making jelly, and we've planted an orchard of fruit trees so soon i hope to pick fruit from my own yard for my jam :)

March 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM  
OpenID mountainchicken said...

Where to start?

I love the spring chicks, smell of homemade bread, and those first delicate sugar pea flowers; I adore baby goats, thrift store finds, and home made scarves; I live for sun brewed tea, backyard omelets, and farmer's market Sundays.

However you want to label it, the backyard homesteading/small scale farming/sustainable living life is chock full of good things: learning, making, befriending, and growing.

Mostly, I choose to live this life because it makes me a more present person; I'm conscious and conscientious of my actions and much more mindful. Each day is full, and none is wasted.

How's that for a sappy answer?

March 29, 2012 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Firefly Mom said...

My favorite thing would be the food. Cooking it, canning it, growing it. We'd love to have a few acres someday, but we're using our 1/5 acre suburban lot as our "practice farm." We have 7 girls who keep us supplied with eggs, and we're getting really creative in seeing just how many different edibles we can grow here (which is a whole lot more than we ever thought possible!)

March 29, 2012 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Jeane said...

I'm just a wannabe homesteader. I love growing veggies, just looking at my bright green seedlings in the coldframe and mini-greenhouse (built myself!) makes me feel so happy. I'm learning to bake bread and can. I'd love to raise chickens and perhaps rabbits someday. Looks like this book would only fuel my dreams!

March 29, 2012 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger City Sister said...

I love my chickens...I love growing my own food and knowing where it came from and that my kids know that food grows and isn't manufactured...I've been reading both of your blogs for a while and enjoying both!

March 29, 2012 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Whether I win this give-away or not I am gonna read that book. That excerpt just did its job.

Thanks Deborah & Jenna.

Good luck everyone for winning such a winner.

March 29, 2012 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Casie Duberstein said...

My current homesteading plans include raising chickens and gardening, though I'd like to add more animals in the future. Goats, sheep and/or bees would be great!

March 29, 2012 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger coley said...

I love frugality although I am still trying to learn what it means. I absolutely love farming and have even gotten my video game loving husband to where he likes it. We are still starting out with three young kids , a garden that has yet to flourish(like I dream of), a few outdoor cats, and 25 baby chicks. We are hoping to get rabbits to raise for meat this year, bees at some point, a horse or two, and a couple of cows for meat and milk. I have learned how to make homemade laundry soap and currently make almost all my meals from scratch which really seems to baffle people who say they don't have time for it but love how my cooking looks and tastes. We have been able to can jam and pickles so far in the few years that we have been trying. We also have close to 100 blackberry plants that we use for our homemade jams etc. and hopefully to sell this summer when we get extra. I am trying to spread this lifestyle to people that I know just by simply talking to them.

March 29, 2012 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Nic said...

I love homesteading as a whole, love the work, love the products, love the concept! I just moved to a half acre property and this year will focus on getting raised beds and veggies going. I would like to get chickens too, probably next year. Fruit trees soon too. I love to knit, sew, cook, bake and eat!!

Nic

March 29, 2012 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Alix said...

My favourite niche is gardening and preserving. Which is funny because growing up on a farm those were the chores I hated most (when mom mentioned weeding my sign would fill the whole house!). The frugality excerpt really spoke to me because that's the primary reason I returned to cooking from scratch - the tastiness and healthiness was just an added benefit!

@memeeps - don't feel bad about the catgrass, I consider myself to have a decent green thumb and I can't keep the stuff alive either!

March 29, 2012 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger the Dyhanaverse said...

I love the look on someone's face when I say, "and it all came from the yard" I even eat alot of the weeds and they are quite nutritious. Hope to add on some poultry later.

March 29, 2012 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

We do many things here on the Phony Farm. We sell nothing. Everything is for our own or neighbor's use. Currently, the garden is tilled. I will plant three different kinds of heirloom squash, cucumbers, corn, green beans, Long Pie Pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, and okra. There are blooms on the blackberry bushes. The small fruit trees are putting out leaves. I will preserve the harvest by canning, freezing and drying.
I produce some of our own clothes and also knit, crochet (with Alpaca wool) and tat. Our bed covers are handmade quilts produced here at home. Soap is curing on the kitchen counter.
We cut and heat with wood which is also handy for camping. Open windows provide air conditioning. I sold my meat goats several years ago in order to long distance hike on the Appalachian Trail. Our neighbor runs some grass fed beef cattle on our property. They are helping to rehab the property.
We are professionals and work 2-3 days/week.
We have lived the homestead life for years and I encourage all who dream to give it a try.
Our property is the Phony Farm because we live in a rural area with "real" farms.

The Phony Farm, Wartrace TN

March 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger chris. said...

I am often saddened by how much of our past we have given up to be in this modern world, not because we have to, nor because the two are incompatible, but because we were fleeced--both innocently and maliciously--into thinking that constant consumption and exploitation of natural materials is superior to anything that has come before. I love finding ways to do things without electricity, not just because I'm convinced we won't have it in the future (at least not in the form we have it today) but because it just feels cool to do something manually--it makes me feel useful, like I am a part of my environment.

March 29, 2012 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Lisa at lil fish studios said...

I think my chickens would be peeved if I didn't say *they* were my favorite niche in our adventures in homesteading. I sure love the growing, canning, cheese-making, etc. but they're sitting at the kitchen door giving me the skunk eye so... chickens it is.

March 29, 2012 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

I am all about the handmade life! Don't have much land yet, but someday we will. For now, we provide our family with as much local and handmade as possible! Thanks for the giveaway!

March 29, 2012 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Eve said...

We are so excited about every small step in our homesteading journey. We live in town on a regular lot, but we've been growing a good-sized garden and preserving our own food for more than 10 years. (Since Y2K, LOL) We joke that our green tomato sauce came out so great at the end of the season last year, we may not let any tomatoes get red this year! I've been dabbling with DIY cleaning products and homemade versions of things I used to buy like coffee creamer. Our city recently approved urban chickens, so that's next up, and we're looking forward to the Mother Earth News Fair to get info on all the skills we'll need when we are finally able purchase our dream homestead!

March 29, 2012 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Tealah said...

Right now the niche I find myself in is chickens - raising and selling day-old chicks and eggs - but my favorite thing that I find myself missing would be raising rabbits. The science of it has always fascinated me, the genetics and the mixing of feeds and everything, and to get meat and pelts and compost and companionship out of the deal as well makes it a practical fascination as well.

March 29, 2012 at 4:28 PM  
OpenID kristaandjess said...

I thought I loved being a beekeeper more than anything, but then we got chickens and they are so lovable. I still adore my bees, but I am totally absorbed by my chickens.

March 29, 2012 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Right now my favorite niche is raising chickens. That would be because currently it is our only niche LoL This will be our first spring on our farmette and we are hoping to bust out the vegetable garden, geese, b bees and we are desperately looking into a way to add a small cow or couple or dairy goats!

March 29, 2012 at 4:36 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

My favorite niche is being a part of the life cycle which is creative instead of being a ignorant bystander with everything provided by chain stores who have no part in making what they sell and they couldn't milk a cow if they had to to restock the store. I know this probably isn't what you meant.

March 29, 2012 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger jim said...

well we now have a few acres, small barn, small raised bed garden
and kinda feeling our way along. What i really need is about 40 tons of horse manure to make this texas clay a bit better- you'al have a great day------sunny and 77 here-garden is up.

March 29, 2012 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

My favorite niche is being a part of the life cycle which is creative instead of being a ignorant bystander with everything provided by chain stores who have no part in making what they sell and they couldn't milk a cow if they had to to restock the store. I know this probably isn't what you meant.

March 29, 2012 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

P.S. Don't enter me in the giveaway. I'm buying the book tomorrow, payday!

March 29, 2012 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

My absolute favorite part of homesteading is removing the wax from my homemade farmhouse cheddar after cure time is up. Start to finish, milking the cows to cutting to curd, to pressing the cheese in wax, I do it myself. Makes me feel so proud.

March 29, 2012 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

My absolute favorite part of homesteading is removing the wax from my homemade farmhouse cheddar after cure time is up. Start to finish, milking the cows to cutting to curd, to pressing the cheese in wax, I do it myself. Makes me feel so proud.

March 29, 2012 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger Kelsie said...

My favorite things about homesteading are trying as many new-to-me varieties of heirloom fruits/veggies and possible (the more poetic the name, the better) and trying as many new recipes as possible--coming up with interesting ways to serve certain veggies. For instance, this year, I grew a fine crop of rutabagas. I'd never even eaten them before and just assumed I'd hate them...but they are SO GOOD. I'm going to miss them until fall when I can grow them again. Cream of rutabaga soup with smoked paprika is one of my new favorite cold-weather dishes. :)

March 29, 2012 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Yart said...

My favorite thing about homesteading is the canning. I love canning and I love seeing all the jars on the shelf for the upcoming winter.

March 29, 2012 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

What a lovely book!
My seasonal niche at the moment is cheesemaking - I milk a Jersey. I do a lot of canning in the summer, and we share a lot of produce with neighbors. I make soap and shampoo for my family. My next big goals are to learn how to spin and dye wool. It just looks so interesting.

March 29, 2012 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Right now chickens and weaving. I'm amazed that I raised these hens up from tiny little things and that they provide so much for my little stead.... fertilizer, food and bug patrol! I'm also still pretty darned amazed that I can make cloth. I can now weave cloth to make anything I might choose, and I've made a few rugs already, too. I hope to one day weave curtains for the rooms where I don't need a lot of thermal layers and to eventually weave all of my own kitchen linens. It's just one of those things that still seems a little magic to me.

March 29, 2012 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Right now my favorite thing about homesteading is my chickens, and learning how to use all the eggs they provide.I can't believe how many ways there are to cook an egg.

March 29, 2012 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger mommadreamsofafarm said...

I love sitting at the fate of my fence at dusk, listening to our 3 chickens eating their last bit before they roost for the night. The smell of freshly turned earth. The first
Seedlings to sprout in early spring. We dream of land, a goat, and a donkey in our future. I Love reading your blog everyday and look forward to our farm in the future!

March 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

What a lovely book!
My seasonal niche at the moment is cheesemaking - I milk a Jersey. I do a lot of canning in the summer, and we share a lot of produce with neighbors. I make soap and shampoo for my family. My next big goals are to learn how to spin and dye wool. It just looks so interesting.

March 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger sco_oter said...

My favorite is sitting down to a meal that my husband and I grew ourselves. It was the best tasting meal known to man. I think our world would be more pleasant if we all got back to the land and lived.

March 29, 2012 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Geode said...

My favorite things are sewing and knitting, but I just bought some chickens for the first time last week and I think I will enjoy watching chickens run around the yard this summer. I'm also building my chicken coop, and I have quite enjoyed playing with power tools (all fingers and toes are still intact)!

March 29, 2012 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

My favorite niche is home dairying! :D

March 29, 2012 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger kristi.durbin said...

Thanks for this giveaway!

I love growing my own herbs and veggies from seed. I may not have a ton of space (yet), but I make the most of it. Cultivating my own food from seed to plate is so rewarding.

March 29, 2012 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger SouthernGirl said...

Cheesemaking and chickens!! We are ankle deep (literally) in our garden prep, pulling up and eating the last of the collards and carrots. (Those are the only things left!) I am also really excited about preserving some of our bounty this year.

I am captivated by anything that brings our food and lives back to an original simplicity. Whole, real foods are my mantra right now.

I, like a previous poster, would be interested in knowing what other homesteading blogs you read.

March 29, 2012 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger jules said...

Well, we started out with a very small garden plot, which evolved now to six larger garden plots, chasing the sun over the course of a year. One plot only gets sun in the winter, so it's our greens bed.

I'd LOVE to get meat rabbits. It's on our list.

I'd also like to get into making my own cleaners, and learning to sew so I can do my own alterations and home decor sewing.

Thanks for the giveaway. Sounds like an awesome book!

March 29, 2012 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Elsie said...

We have urban ducks, goats and a garden. I do some knitting and sewing and lots of cooking. My husband can build pretty much anything. The only thing we need is a few more hours in the day!

March 29, 2012 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger Asia said...

Gardening, being able to create something out of tiny seed, watch it grow, develop into succulent lettuce or tomato. The way my 13 year old goes ''shopping '' for salad in the garden, coming back with bowl full of greens and grin on her face, that “look what I found” expression.

March 29, 2012 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger unpackingtreasure said...

My all time favorite is chickens...love the critters...oh, and fresh garden salads!

March 29, 2012 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Marci said...

We raise and grow most of our own food. We raise all of our meat (grass fed lamb & beef, pork, pastured broilers and turkeys) and have a huge garden. We have bees and laying hens. We have a Jersey milk cows and make all of our own cheese, butter, yogurt, kefir, sour cream, etc. We want to teach others. We are going to be offering classes locally in all sorts of things. Cheesemaking, whole grain bread making, soap making, an introductory course to eating real food. We love what we do and feel blessed to be able to do it.

March 29, 2012 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger delpasored said...

My niche is growing about 25% of our food - chickens for eggs and meat, rabbits, lots of vegetables and some fruit. Lots of money saved and much better health long term. I just made my first batch of soap and will be starting bee keeping next.

March 29, 2012 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger CarolG. said...

Cooking with "original ingredients" instead of boxes, I'm influencing my families' eating habits and teaching my son what I hope will be the lifelong habit of good nutrition. Of course, the fact that we really like the food is a big help.

March 29, 2012 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger Whiffletree Farm said...

Awesome giveaway! The answer to your query has got to be the choices that become available to the homesteader -- I make so many important choices that impact us in good ways that each additional choice simply adds to the satisfaction and fulfillment of the whole dang lifestyle. I am not a servant to consumerism, I am a conductor in the orchestra. Much nicer position.

March 29, 2012 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger Whiffletree Farm said...

Awesome giveaway! The answer to your query has got to be the choices that become available to the homesteader -- I make so many important choices that impact us in good ways that each additional choice simply adds to the satisfaction and fulfillment of the whole dang lifestyle. I am not a servant to consumerism, I am a conductor in the orchestra. Much nicer position.

March 29, 2012 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger michele.h said...

Food preservation......root cellaring and canning are my favorites. Expanded the garden this year......between the expansion and the four apple trees, ten blueberry bushes and the pear tree I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first hive of bees!
Thanks for sharing your life and for offering up this great giveaway.

March 29, 2012 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Kristi C. said...

Canning has been my go-to the last few seasons: jams, tomatoes, applesauce. It is wonderful for my whole family!

March 29, 2012 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Ana Pana said...

My favorite part of homesteading, although I could hardly claim that this is what I do , is sharing it. We have five chickens and grow a lot of our own veg; I bake bread occasionally and make yogurt. It's not hard, very rewarding and a delight to explain to others so they can do the same :) self-sufficiency must tap into a primitive sense of security or something; it feels so empowering and right , sharing it is the best feeling!

March 29, 2012 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

I'd love to win this contest!

Hmmm, for the inventory. I love my knitting, my spindle and my veggie crops, as well as clothes drying on a sunny spring day. Quilting and sewing round out my repertoire, but lately, I don't have much time for that.

I'll get better at this as I learn more and have a place of my own, but for now this property will do.

March 29, 2012 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

We had to leave our 17 acres in PA temporarily while my husband is working a job in Wisconsin. My current "homestead" is a 2 BR apartment with a balcony. Every windowsill is lined with planters filled with spinach, lettuce and radishes. Last night's dinner included a salad picked from a big pot on the balcony. The pepper seedlings are growing nicely. I miss my chickens.

March 29, 2012 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger VTGrown said...

We've just started our homesteading adventure. I cook alot from scratch - trying to do more and more every week. We just tapped sap for maple syrup this year for the first time and we're starting veggie seedlings and hoping for bees and egg laying hens within the next few months (plus turning off the cable). What I love most about this life is the peace I find and feeling present in my skin and in my life more and more... I feel like I am becoming 1/2 way between a red neck and a hippie and I love it.

March 29, 2012 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger Dawn Dutton said...

I have this book. I recommend it highly. Great idea.
Good luck everyone. And thanks Jenna for the give away!

March 29, 2012 at 6:29 PM  
OpenID janetgordon said...

I am getting a little too old for more than a bit of container gardening now a days but in the past I planted a large garden annually and have always knit, sewed and burned wood. Today I concentrate on keeping my needs simple and my footprint small by buying local, and am pleased to see my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren embarking on homesteading. I also support Jenna's farm by subscribing to her wool CSA. I will read the book if I win and then pass it on to my daughter's family

March 29, 2012 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

My niche is in canning - I'm more proud of my canned goods stash than anything else in my house!

March 29, 2012 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

Currently, my favorite thing is gardening. Building a raised bed and starting the cute little seedlings.

I've also have a little love affair with fiber arts going.

Most of all, I just love getting that itch to take on a new aspect of homesteading. For some reason or another I start out thinking "Oh, maybe later down the road or I don't know if I could do that." After a while it turns to "dammit, I'll figure it out or modify it to fit my current lifestyle." Whether its a rocky road or smooth sailing, the end result involves learning and knowing that I can do things for myself.

March 29, 2012 at 6:35 PM  
OpenID T. Crockett said...

I made my own ricotta recently and loved how capable it made me feel. Suddenly I'm imagining ricotta with herbs and more places to use ricotta

March 29, 2012 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

Currently, my favorite thing is gardening. Building a raised bed and starting the cute little seedlings.

I've also have a little love affair with fiber arts going.

Most of all, I just love getting that itch to take on a new aspect of homesteading. For some reason or another I start out thinking "Oh, maybe later down the road or I don't know if I could do that." After a while it turns to "dammit, I'll figure it out or modify it to fit my current lifestyle." Whether its a rocky road or smooth sailing, the end result involves learning and knowing that I can do things for myself.

March 29, 2012 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

My favorite part of my backyard suburban "farm" is my sweet,huge German angora rabbits. I spin and knit their amazing wool into all kinds of soft, warm things. They also fertilize the garden and eat garden leftovers.

March 29, 2012 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger sloejennfizz said...

Cheese making. I wish I could do more of it and I love what I get to do!

March 29, 2012 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger ~ Janis said...

I am fortunate enough to be able to make my own authentic kefir every day, saving $6.99 a quart.
If I can do it, anyone can do it. I also make kefir cheese too. Tasty. My heritage breed chicks make me smile and my small herd of beef cattle keep me busy teaching others how to raise and manage a few steers. My favorite events are seed swaps and garden parties!

March 29, 2012 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Land of Lisa said...

My favorie part of homesteading is getting up early and working in the garden with my golden retreiver supervisors keeping a.close watch. Then my husband calls me about 9 am when the sun is taking its toll and serves me his homemade gravy and cat-head biscuits for breakfast!

March 29, 2012 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Titian Librarian said...

My niche is learning how to feed myself with the same care that I give to other parts of my life. This has involved getting a chest freezer, making food in bulk (hello homemade applesauce and soups!) and freezing them in individual portion sizes. I'm still learning and growing, but it's so nice to come home exhausted to a home-cooked meal just waiting to be warmed up!

March 29, 2012 at 6:57 PM  
Blogger Land of Lisa said...

My favorie part of homesteading is getting up early and working in the garden with my golden retreiver supervisors keeping a.close watch. Then my husband calls me about 9 am when the sun is taking its toll and serves me his homemade gravy and cat-head biscuits for breakfast!

March 29, 2012 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger ebwhite said...

My small urban homestead includes citrus trees (grapefruit, lemon, satsuma, and Persian lime), grapeviines, an apple tree, a large onion bed, lots of herbs, a couple tomato and pepper plants. Indoors I concentrate on quilting and making jelly or jam. Working with my hands is very centering.

March 29, 2012 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger phaedra96 said...

I love cooking...I garden somewhat but hit the farmer's market as soon as they start the new season. I sew, I knit, embroider. Used to have pigs, chickens, turkeys...I am to tired now for all that. We put a half beef in the freezer when SIL has one to go. I hope soon, cause I am down to hamburger!!

March 29, 2012 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

I have loved trying many new things over the years, but right now I am so busy trying to keep up with my market garden and farmers market stand that little time is left to "play" at anything else. I'd have to say that the animals (sheep, chickens, ducks, and geese) are my favorite part, even though they are not where the majority of my income comes from. Or perhaps that is why they are my favorite part of this enterprise.

March 29, 2012 at 7:07 PM  
Blogger Alisha said...

My favorite niche is probably canning. It is a lot of work (I picked my own fruit and canned the same day) but SO rewarding. I can't wait to start "canning season" again this year. I think I will have my system streamlined to reduce the workload a bit. I feel pride when I look at my canning guide and it has stains on it and wrinkled pages after only one season. I'm just sorry I didn't help my Mom can growing up - since now she is 12 hours away and coaches me over the phone. It would have been better to have one-on-one instruction, but sadly I wasn't interested as a kid. Thankfully, I was interested in picking fruit so that habit is a part of me. I can't wait to have a bigger canned goods closet someday.

March 29, 2012 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger Mamabuzz said...

I love gardening. In the process of crossing yet another dwelling off of my "I never" list, my two sons and I live in a mobile home park in the California desert. It has been a fun challenge to see just how much food we can grow in our tiny yard. We landscaped the front with two apple trees, I have raspberries and blackberries, two dwarf fruit trees (cherry and plum), three raised beds and a green house. It's fun to watch the neighbors rubber neck as they drive by to see what the crazy lady is going to do next. By the way, it will be strawberries planted in a vertical recycled pallet!

March 29, 2012 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Mamabuzz said...

I love gardening. In the process of crossing yet another dwelling off of my "I never" list, my two sons and I live in a mobile home park in the California desert. It has been a fun challenge to see just how much food we can grow in our tiny yard. We landscaped the front with two apple trees, I have raspberries and blackberries, two dwarf fruit trees (cherry and plum), three raised beds and a green house. It's fun to watch the neighbors rubber neck as they drive by to see what the crazy lady is going to do next. By the way, it will be strawberries planted in a vertical recycled pallet!

March 29, 2012 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Linden said...

I love my Babydoll Southdown sheep and my chickens. Thanks for the chance tow in what looks like a great book!

March 29, 2012 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Dreams! I grew up on a Holstein farm, but would LOVE to one day have a place in the country with dairy sheep. For now, we're continuing chemical-free cleaning,visting the farmers' market down the road and starting a few raised beds in the backyard. Love your work!

March 29, 2012 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Dreams! I grew up on a Holstein farm, but would LOVE to one day have a place in the country with dairy sheep. For now, we're continuing chemical-free cleaning,visting the farmers' market down the road and starting a few raised beds in the backyard. Love your work!

March 29, 2012 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Imagine you will fly... said...

I love my East-Freesian Milk sheep for their soft long wool and good milk which we use for yoghurt, kefir and soft cheese.

I love to start my tomatoes and other vegetables from seedlings ... and then to do my gardening with companion plants ... having Marigolds and other flowers and herbs all over between my veggies.

I enjoy harvesting and making preserves ... I like to do a bit the unusual, so I made Hawthorn wine and Dandelion wine ... A big part of the land has never been treated with herbicides ... so it’s a pleasure to collect native healing herbs on my farm.

I am in love with the beauty of it all and am taking lots of pictures ... be it a sliced up red onion while cooking or a cabbage or different pumpkins in all their glory ...

Not everything is a success, but above all, I love to keep on learning ... every day may bring new challenges and new rewards.

March 29, 2012 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger kelly said...

I've been lusting over alpacas for a few years now... There is a farm nearby with them, perhaps they wouldn't notice if a few were missing? :)

March 29, 2012 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

I'm currently building a small hand-craft business. I've been making goat milk soap for a while now, lip balm with things like local beeswax, and using fiber to knit and felt things.

March 29, 2012 at 7:32 PM  
OpenID fmicrofarm.com said...

Oh my gawrsh I want this book so bad! I'm a bit of a book junkie...
We just started homesteading/micro-farming this year. So far we got a hold on working with chickens and beekeeping. And we just started breeding our French Angora rabbits this month. Hopefully we will have a litter or two in the first week of April. We are so excited to have more wool-producers and I am going to try my best to butcher a few for the table. Geez, I feel like I'm bragging, but I really am in love with what we have accomplished for our family thus far.

March 29, 2012 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I love growing vegetables and fruit in my own yard, then "putting it up" to eat throughout the year. I also enjoy our little flock of backyard chickens and the way they turn our scraps into lovely fresh eggs.

March 29, 2012 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger becky said...

I don't know if their is a favorite niche in farming. I wanna do it all raise my own meat milk make my own cheese my own clothes from wool from my sheep be as self sufficient as possible

March 29, 2012 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger Windhaven Farm said...

I love all the livestock.... chickens, sheep, pony, bunnies... we love them all here! Like all the homemade stuff and gardening too, but it's the livestock that really is fun and entertaining as well!!

March 29, 2012 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

My husband & I are late-in-life homesteaders. We have 8 acres of land, a barn and chicken coops and we live in a small log cabin. We heat with wood and are looking into the possibility of solar power for our home. We have 20 chickens and have just ordered more. We have 2 golden retrievers and plan to get some other animals to round out our little farm. Our garden is completely organic and we are planting heirloom seeds so that the big companies (like Dow-Monsanto) can't poison our garden in the future. We hope that we will be able to furnish our friends and family with healthy food throughout the year.

March 29, 2012 at 7:51 PM  
Blogger Kristin T. said...

I agree completely with the excerpt. I like to cook from scratch, know what ingredients my food is made from and where they come from.

March 29, 2012 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Marlo said...

I hope to return my 40' by 40' garden back from the brink of broken soil and overgrown weeds. Growing kids, outside work and life got in the way of my gardening. I am in love with the farm to table movement. Baking and cooking everything from scratch and from my own garden (hopefully this year)is my dream. The book excerpt is great. Thank you for all you do. Your blog is an inspiration.

March 29, 2012 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger Kristina Mercedes said...

Sign me up!! Canning and preserving all manner of food has been a revelation for me in the past few years... but I wouldn't be the homesteader I am today without my chickens, bees, garden and angora bunnies...

March 29, 2012 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Pick me! Pick me! I could use some help with our little farm! Livestock is great and I enjoy ours very much!
Lisa in Maine

March 29, 2012 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger macbew said...

I'm still a wannabe. I don't have my own land yet but the thought of food without chemicals to give me cancer or lord knows what is a continous prayer. And that includes meat, large or small(depends on how much land their is).

March 29, 2012 at 8:05 PM  
Blogger Katie Swanberg said...

My favorite part of homesteading is gardening and simple living. I would love to say chickens, but they are not part of it just quite yet...

March 29, 2012 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger goatgirl said...

I have loved the idea of homesteading since I was a child. What teenager do you know that has a subscription to Countryside Magazine? I raised goats in 4H and still keep a small herd.
We milk them, turning the milk into delicious cheeses. Chickens for eggs...the usual. I really get a kick out of serving an entirely local dinner. Some I grow myself and some I buy from my local produce stand at the end of my road.
I loved the excerpt so I hope I win the book!

March 29, 2012 at 8:09 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Hi Jenna! My favorite part of homesteading is the peace of mind. Here on our little corner of the world we have sheep, llamas, bees, chickens, ducks, a *huge* garden (new just this year, and we started over 100 seedlings!), and soon a heifer calf that will one day be our dairy cow. I love all of these things, and one of the best parts is that I get to work from home and care for the homesteading menagerie. I'm a potter, so it's nice to be able to take a break from work and go visit the sheep whenever I want. :)

March 29, 2012 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger kwdiving said...

My favorite thing about homesteading, would be the satisfaction on doing it yourself. Knowing where it came from, how it was handled and what was (or was not) added to it would be a very close second.

March 29, 2012 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger mush said...

I am happiest barefoot in the garden. I will be putting in a test Back To Eden garden. Im going to give this little experiment three years. Fingers crossed, Im hoping it will work out.

March 29, 2012 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Harmony said...

Although I am currently going to college and do not homestead I would have to say that my favorite part will always be the animals. From chickens to horses, I love caring for and working with them all.

March 29, 2012 at 8:22 PM  
OpenID astralisfarm said...

Love bees and veggies--and homemade bread is the best!

March 29, 2012 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger oukay said...

I enjoy gardening and canning. When I give my sister-in-law jars of jams and marmalades (which she loves), she always asks when I have the time to make things like that. I always tell her that is what I enjoy doing in my "spare time"!

March 29, 2012 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Melody said...

I love everything about the homesteading life. Although health problems have changed the life long dream of having our own small farm, I am still able to get raw milk for cheeses, butter, etc., get grass grown organic beef, last year we rasied our own pig, turkeys and meat chickens, and we have laying hens year round. My favorite saying about our eating habits is " if I don't grow it, I don't know it" Love your blog

March 29, 2012 at 8:34 PM  
Blogger downeast becka said...

Growing Great Garlic...for over 17 years now, i have been saving my own seed and replanting, the garlic gets bigger and better every year...the one thing i can be assured to not run out of!

March 29, 2012 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger downeast becka said...

Growing Great Garlic...for over 17 years now, i have been saving my own seed and replanting, the garlic gets bigger and better every year...the one thing i can be assured to not run out of!

March 29, 2012 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

We have an urban mini- farm with fruit trees, veggies, chickens, ducks (a recent addition, thanks for the push to just go for it!), more veggies and three goats which adds milk and cheese and yogurt and kefir and so much joy to our little family, oh and I share this paradise with my husband and two kids. Thanks for the chance to win, the inspiration and sharing your life with all of us!

March 29, 2012 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Beautifully written!...My niche is re-use! Re-purpose, get creative, 'Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without!' is the Yankee adage guiding us these days....among lots of other do-it-yourself skills we're cultivating.

March 29, 2012 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

My niche is Caning, & Weaving! Just a handful of us do these crafts. These crafts will help me move from the city to the country,
& then build on the crafts. First
gardening then to checkens, etc.

March 29, 2012 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I love that my farm is my own piece of the world where I feel like the things makes sense. I know where my family's food comes from and my time is spent doing things which matter to me - producing rather than comsuming, being a part of the flow of life rather than observing it from a distance as so many seem to do. Even more, I love passing on this life to my son and am excited to do the same for our next child due in April. Making my own bread and other foods from scratch and raising animals connects all of us to our little piece of the world and that gives me a strong sense of peace and contentment. Thanks for the giveaway! thedawnharris@hotmail.com

March 29, 2012 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Northwest Girl said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 29, 2012 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger Northwest Girl said...

I would love to win - thanks Jenna. My passion in homesteading is knitting - I love the texture and color of yarn. It just feels wonderful to make something lovely out of a string of yarn.

March 29, 2012 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

My favorite part of homesteading is the sense of place, the ability to root (metaphysically) in one soil, one plot of land, and to know and love it. To embrace it in ever aspect of every season.

My niche right now is gardening and wildcrafting. Fiber arts. Cooking.
But animals - domestic and wild for food for fiber and for milk and eggs and honey are in the near future.

March 29, 2012 at 9:25 PM  
OpenID 3088c854-7a09-11e1-91e1-000f20980440 said...

I just love my large potager garden and watching my chickens be silly chickens!!! This year I am adding fruit trees and honeybees!!!

March 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM  
OpenID 3088c854-7a09-11e1-91e1-000f20980440 said...

I just love my large potager garden and watching my chickens be silly chickens!!! This year I am adding fruit trees and honeybees!!!

March 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Joanie said...

My favorite part of homesteading in my connection to our land and all it encompasses, even as we dwell in a major city. I love the seasons, tending our fruit and veggie crops, preparing to build a chicken coop for our new baby chickens this year, answering questions for friend and neighbors and sharing our bounty with others... It's a good life.

March 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I am a vegetable grower, and have been since I was 15. Love bringing real food from seed to table. Just getting into chickens, too!

March 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger kristin said...

Right now my fav thing is all things fermented: beer, soda, sourdough bread, kraut, kimchee, etc. we finally have some land so we cant wait for a proper garden and chickens this year!

March 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM  
OpenID 3088c854-7a09-11e1-91e1-000f20980440 said...

I just love my large potager garden and watching my chickens be silly chickens!!! This year I am adding fruit trees and honeybees!!!

March 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

Here in Newfoundland, a lot of the old skills are still used. Traditional cooking,knitting,preserving,foraging,hunting and fishing have not been completely lost. I don't have the land to have a farm but I do have a great spot in a community garden so I do get to grow some of my own veggies.

Would love to win the book !

March 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger Kelly A said...

Living in the city I never thought of homesteading as an option. Until visiting your farm last weekend for the urban homesteading workshop, I didn't realize how much I could do, even in my yardless one bedroom apartment! I now have the start of a windowsill vegetable and herb garden and have made some delicious butter. I am very excited to try my hand at homebrewing next.

I have always enjoyed knitting felting sewing and weaving. I am looking forward to someday having a larger place with a yard for proper gardening, some chickens for fresh eggs, and some fiber rabbits

March 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger drey1116 said...

I enjoy my own organic vegetables, brewing my own beer and a little moonshine now and then!

March 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger drey1116 said...

My favorite things are my own organic vegetables, brewing my own beer and a little moonshine now and then!

March 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

I hope to grow a vegetable garden this year, so I guess that is my 'niche' for now, as my family and I are new to homesteading. We're fixing up our current house to either sell or rent out so we can buy a farm. Love the excerpt- sounds like a great read!

March 29, 2012 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

My dream is to own a few acres, calling a realtor tomorrow. I have already started veggie seedlings and hope to put them in raised beds, instead of containers. My dream is to also build a greenhouse, use solar and wind power, and plant berries, fruit trees and nut trees. I would also like to learn wild foraging.

March 29, 2012 at 10:16 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 29, 2012 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger KiwiGirl said...

I'm a big believer in doing my own cooking/baking from scratch - at least I know what my family is eating in their meals, biscuits and cakes. Also bread baking is pretty easy really. Looking forward to knocking out some hot cross buns this weekend for everyone - the just-baked smell filling our place is awesome! Oh, and I've been knitting now for about 3 years - just finished a big knitted blanket. I get such a kick from knowing that the blanket I'm snuggling under was made by me.

March 29, 2012 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger Carissa Kennedy said...

My favorite thing is trying to figure out how much I can actually grown in my tiny in-town 1 bedroom apartment! With a porch, a window sill and a well placed bookcase it's surprising how much you can actually grow yourself!

March 29, 2012 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger Speaktrue said...

I love going out to my garden to pick veggies and herbs for dinner...most nights of the week. i love feeding my family organic and local food and teaching my 15yo the importance of nutrition and healthy eating habits.

March 29, 2012 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

So far, my favorite thing about homesteading in reading Barnheart! haha Actually, by husband and I have taken the first steps in changing our lifestyle. We're going to have an alpaca farm - not sure when or where yet, but it's gonna happen.
I've been worm farming for about a year and will soon harvest the castings to use on my herbs and vegetables.

March 29, 2012 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

My niche would probably be my knowledge of mushrooms. I have been mushroom hunting with my dad ever since I was a little girl. It's so much fun...kinda like christmas every time you find a glorious edible mushroom! And last year I got a nice dehydrator and dehydrated mushrooms for the first time- they were superb!

March 29, 2012 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger lemontreelane said...

-we like to tend our own veggies... i love watching my kids pick off a cherry tomato-right off the vine- and seeing their eyes light up when they bite into the warm juciy-ness!
-i also like to discover ways where we can use the 3 R's and "use it up, mend it or do without.."
-that book sounds great!

March 29, 2012 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger Kristy said...

My favorite nitche is traditional crafts. I raise Angora goats and Scottish Blackface sheep. I have started spinning, knitting, and braided rugmaking. Soon I hope to learn to weave too.

March 29, 2012 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Kristy said...

My favorite nitche is traditional crafts. I raise Angora goats and Scottish Blackface sheep. I have started spinning, knitting, and braided rugmaking. Soon I hope to learn to weave too.

March 29, 2012 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Kristy said...

My favorite nitche is traditional crafts. I raise Angora goats and Scottish Blackface sheep. I have started spinning, knitting, and braided rugmaking. Soon I hope to learn to weave too.

March 29, 2012 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Kristy said...

My favorite nitche is traditional crafts. I raise Angora goats and Scottish Blackface sheep. I have started spinning, knitting, and braided rugmaking. Soon I hope to learn to weave too.

March 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Kristy said...

My favorite nitche is traditional crafts. I raise Angora goats and Scottish Blackface sheep. I have started spinning, knitting, and braided rugmaking. Soon I hope to learn to weave too.

March 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Kristy said...

My favorite nitche is traditional crafts. I raise Angora goats and Scottish Blackface sheep. I have started spinning, knitting, and braided rugmaking. Soon I hope to learn to weave too.

March 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

I found Antiquity Oaks blog about the same time I did Coldantler Farm and have enjoyed both. I am gardening in raised beds until I can move out to my farm in the country.

I would Love to have the book and will continue to enjoy both your blogs.

March 29, 2012 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

I found Antiquity Oaks blog about the same time I did Coldantler Farm and have enjoyed both. I am gardening in raised beds until I can move out to my farm in the country.

I would Love to have the book and will continue to enjoy both your blogs.

March 29, 2012 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger Robyn said...

My favorite is knitting. These days, I'm really amazed at what I can create with my own hands- far more than I'd ever thought. And I'm getting better all the time!

I also adore gardening and now help with a community garden due to lack of space for one of our own. Baby steps, find the work where you can find it.

March 29, 2012 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

Wow, loved the excerpt, thanks for sharing that and for the chance to win a copy! So much has been lost in the name of convenience, and I often get asked why I bother growing food, raising animals, etc. when it's so "easy" to buy these things. They don't really believe me when I tell them it's not only an ethical/political/social issue, but also that I love to do it - oh, if only they knew how alive farming makes you feel!

Right now, our niche is most definitely eggs! We share a lot of what we grow with our extended family, and they are constantly raving about the eggs from our chickies :)

-Jaime

March 29, 2012 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

My favorite thing is gardenIng--being able to raise food that not only saves us money, but is healthy and fresh. I also love sewing and knitting.

March 29, 2012 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I'm not a homesteader. Even if I don't win this giveaway, I will buy the book! I like what I've read so far.
Nancy

March 29, 2012 at 11:09 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I'm not a homesteader. Even if I don't win this giveaway, I will buy the book! I like what I've read so far.
Nancy

March 29, 2012 at 11:10 PM  
Blogger Brittany Aukett said...

Gardening~ For sure!!

I have converted most of my backyard and front yard into garden space, the only area thats safe is the chicken area and duck area ( i may even end up gardening in there.. lol) I am addicted to gardening, homemaking, and homesteading books so heres hoping I win!!! :)

March 29, 2012 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I love how one thing leads to another. I bought a house, it had a back yard, I put in a few rosebushes and a lilac. Eleven years later, that 20x20 space is planted to its last square inch: 4 blueberries, currants, garlic, onions, potatoes, green beans and shell beans, peas, beets, carrots, lettuces, arugula, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes and more. Plus the original 15 roses and the lilac - I can't give up the scent. I've also squeezed a coop and 2 chickens in there, and I'm trying to convince a neighbor to let me start a community garden in his empty lot.

That being said, my favorite of all is sewing, always has been - but it takes a back seat in peak garden season, because I love to dig in the dirt, and then come in and turn it into dinner.

Loved the book excerpt!

March 29, 2012 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

My favorite thing about homesteading is the feeling of a finished job that I did-be it a homecooked meal with foods that I grew, raised or hunted for, the blanket that I crocheted with my own two hands that has taken me way to many years to finish, or drying off a newborn baby lamb from a ewe that was raised on our property. I'd love this book!

March 29, 2012 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

I'm making my own laundry detergent and home cleaning products and growing vegetables on the balcony and dreaming, always dreaming of more.

March 29, 2012 at 11:55 PM  
Blogger Rosie said...

I would love to learn more about dairy and making cheese. I really like the fact that homegrown milk products give you such control over what you eat. I've raised chickens and rabbits and gardened but dairy oh and raising sheep and goat is on my list of next to conquer. My current niche is taking care of grass fed grass finished cattle. I'll ride out on horseback and see if we have a new calf or two. We have a couple mama cows who looked close.

March 29, 2012 at 11:57 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Love, love, love working with goats! And soap-making.

March 30, 2012 at 12:11 AM  
Blogger Mamma Lucy said...

Really luv everything about homesteading

March 30, 2012 at 12:34 AM  
Blogger Mamma Lucy said...

Really luv everything about homesteading

March 30, 2012 at 12:34 AM  
Blogger English sheep gal said...

Following the encouragement from Jennas books, and blog postings to stop talking / dreaming about it, and get on and do it - I spend my day off from a job in a city helping out at a neighbors farm. I emailed to suggest it after I met her at a Fiber Festival last year. I love spending time with her Shetland sheep, llamas and chickens. I help muck out the barn, gets hands on animal care experience, she gives me spinning lessons, explains the prep work involved in the various fiber products she sells in her Etsy shop, and sends me home with fresh free range eggs. My new folding Lendrum spinning wheel was delivered today, the lambs are due this week - winning the book would be the 'icing on the cake' for this wannabe homesteader, trying to take practical steps towards making the dream a reality. (... I did get some strange looks at work today when I tried to discuss with my colleagues the huge variety of Youtube clips there are of lambs being born in all those different presentations I've only seen in books until now!.... is that a symptom of Barnheart?) Hannah, NY State

March 30, 2012 at 12:38 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

The book sounds great. I'm homesteading in the city but have maxed out my yard with 15 dwarf fruit trees, 8 grape vines, numerous blueberry,gooseberry,blackberry, and elderberry plants and a garden that largely sustains us as well as a large area for chickens. My neighbors are my customers for eggs. So, being maxed out I am closing on a tiny 5 acre off-grid barn with a lean-to that I am planning to convert to a home this May . Lot of excitement but also a bit of anxiety as I am single mom to two boys and the farm is away from family. But my dream is to have goats, sheep, more chickens and a bigger garden/orchard. I wish everyone the best with their dream1

March 30, 2012 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger Tidepool said...

Sounds fun! I love home canning. I've recently been getting into canning soups in the pressure cooker. But so far my favorite canned good is strawberry fig jam!

Thanks!
Sasha

March 30, 2012 at 1:03 AM  
Blogger TransFarmer said...

I love gardening and canning.

March 30, 2012 at 1:18 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

My husband and I live in a small home (almost 1100 square feet) with a back yard the size of a truck, in the middle of a city that does not allow chickens. My heart breaks every time the city denys petitioners the right to house these precious creatures saying they are "unsanitary". Just dumb I say! I desperately want them, however we are not in a position to be purchasing a new home with land....yet. So, we make the best of it, turning half of our back yard into a garden and creating a compost bin. I make my own laundry soap and dish cloths, crochet our sock caps and scarfs, and try to bake as much as I can from scratch. I bring home stacks and stacks of books from the library on homesteading, sheep, pigs, horses, and goats. Jenna, I would love to win this wonderful homegrown & handmade book (and not have to take it back to the library)!

March 30, 2012 at 2:08 AM  
OpenID cathmiller said...

My favourite is preparing food with eggs from the 3 chickens and ingredients from the garden, then feeding the scraps to the chickens, then collecting the eggs, then preparing food with eggs from the 3 chickens and ingredients from the garden, then feeding the scraps to the chickens, then collecting the eggs... and so it goes on, day after beautiful day. Next stop on the journey is dairy goats and growing/milling our own grains for flour making us 90% self sufficent for food, to go with our 100% water and power.

March 30, 2012 at 3:00 AM  
Blogger saralexis said...

Love this giveaway. My niche is whatever my latest project is, right now I'm making preserves for the first time, love it!

March 30, 2012 at 3:38 AM  
Blogger blind irish pirate said...

My favorite niche in homesteading is... not yet knowing. Working on breaking into it this year, one step at a time, and references & inspiration are always needed. :)

March 30, 2012 at 4:12 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

My niche is menu planning I plan the menu to eat well while reusing and not wasting

March 30, 2012 at 4:50 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

There's something so satisfying about growing your own produce. My garden is small, but I'm planning on expanding. And I'm dreaming of chickens for their eggs. Still working on convincing my husband too!

March 30, 2012 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger Barbara Dykes said...

Thanks Jenna
While I am still just a "Borrowed Land" Gardener - on her way to a farm, my favorite homesteading thing is baking bread from scratch. Kneading by hand. And SEEDS. I love seeds. Saving them year to year - that's homesteading.

March 30, 2012 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

I love knowing that my food is fresh and healthy because I've grown it. I'm not in the position to "grow" my meat and eggs, but I'm getting there.

March 30, 2012 at 7:29 AM  
Blogger Jennifer King said...

Sometimes I fantasize about having more "free time" and eliminating some of my less favorite tasks related to having a small farm. The truth is I couldn't do it....not for long. Nor could I serve my family a KFC dinner. Cooking an planning meals for a family of 5 takes up a good portion of my day but the investment in our health is worth the time. This book looks great! Thanks for the chance.

March 30, 2012 at 7:29 AM  
Blogger Rachael said...

One of my favorite thing about homesteading is the babies! Chicks, cria, lambs, kits, they are all just so darn adorable and fun to watch grow. This book is actually on my wish list. It looks like such a great read!

March 30, 2012 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I would love this book. My town friends think I'm a bit loony, but they sure do like the "real" eggs I get from my girls. lol

March 30, 2012 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

My favorite is cooking from scratch and preserving things via drying and canning.

March 30, 2012 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger 10a said...

My niche, ah.
Well, at the moment that would be the oven-light-yoghurt I have made for several months now, and the 3 (sunniest and raised) square metres of garden dedicated to vegetables. After reading Joel Salatin's 'Folks, this aint normal' I am trying to convince my husband that three chickens would surely fit into our terraced house garden, but this is erm..., work in progress shall we say!
Yes Jenna, I know you'd say just do it, but he lives here too, so, yeah... You just count your 'free range' blessings for the time being ;-)

March 30, 2012 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Cristhiano said...

Gardening is the love of my life and I just saw my first artichoke in the garden yesterday !!! I just can't wait to have some chicken as well !!! Well, I need to move to another house since I currently own one that is in a HOA :-(

March 30, 2012 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Pit Stop Farm said...

That excerpt about "entertainment" perfectly describes me. Members of my family will often question why I spend soo much time gardnening, or "dealing" with chickens,...and that I should slow down and enjoy life while doing other apparently more commercial things. I garden because I love the entire process from starting seeds to canning the abundance. I also want to know exactly where my food comes from and enjoy eating fresh fruit and veggies when they are in season. What is my favorite niche within this lifestyle? It's not exactly a specific niche or skill, but using my beautiful land to nourish my mind, body, and soul is what I love the most. It is the most peace I have found in this life.

March 30, 2012 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

Gardening is my spiritual sanctuary. I've been gardening since I was 3 (I'm now 34), when my mother would let me place the seeds and tamp down the soil. It's my first love of homesteading.

I also adore preserving the food I grow (and the local meat I purchase). One of the best investments we've made in the last couple of years was a deep freezer. I love our local farmers markets here and what I don't grow or raise, I can get there. One chicken can feed me and my husband multiple meals. Yes. Local and organic meat is expensive, but it's something that we budget for since we wear our clothes out and I shop at thrift stores and consignment sales.

The next step... raising our own chickens.

March 30, 2012 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Sage said...

I hope I'm not too late! I loved the frugality excerpt. I suppose my favorite homesteading activity is knitting and spinning and weaving...That's three. Oops!

March 30, 2012 at 10:07 AM  
OpenID meghaninparis said...

My favorite thing is probably cooking and baking from scratch. But I also love knitting and gardening - it's so hard to choose!

March 30, 2012 at 10:13 AM  
OpenID meatbagz said...

i love being able to sit back and watch my kids wander into the garden to get themselves fresh, off-the-vine (or off the plant) snacks all summer. it could be cooler to know that my hands planted the seeds, cared for the plants, and now those veggies are caring for my children and helping them grow strong and healthy!

March 30, 2012 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger aralyn said...

I would love a chance to win. I am getting chicks for the first time and could use any help I can get!

March 30, 2012 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Renman said...

I love the comfort having an urban homestead brings. It is my refuge after a long day at work.

March 30, 2012 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Noël McNeil said...

My husband and I are starting our farming adventure, reading You Can Farm by Joel Salatin, and working on fixing fence to prepare for more animals. We currently have 3 sheep, 2 cows, a dog and a cat. We are wanting more sheep, cows, and next spring...chickens!!! We want to make a living doing this and are excited to do so. We are working on paying off our house and the kids and I are going to be planting some seeds for some seedlings in the spring for our garden. We are loving going back to our roots and giving our children the best way to grow up! Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

March 30, 2012 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger K. lee K. said...

I never thought worms and vermicomposting would hold my attention the way it does!
Kendra

March 30, 2012 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger K. lee K. said...

I never thought vermicomposting would hold my attention the way it does. We have to start small as we live above the arctic circle!

March 30, 2012 at 11:45 AM  
OpenID nobohomestead said...

I think cooking a meal with food you have grown in your garden or wearing a scarf on a cold day that you took the time and effort to knit up yourself are my favorite parts so far about homesteading. Being able to meet these basic needs yourself is very empowering!

March 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger RLFaller said...

I love the feeling of independence when it comes to homesteading the most whether it's because I can grow my own food, or spin my own yarn. I don't need to depend on Kroger or Kohl's to get the things I need. That in itself is the most liberating feeling.

March 30, 2012 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I'm only getting started living free - free from the food industry raising my own veggies in the city and eating non processed food. I'm hoping to branch out and include more homemade in my life. It is such a great feeling to made it yourself.

March 30, 2012 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Green Zebra Market Garden said...

I really love growing heirloom tomatoes. In fact, I started breeding my own variety last year. I won't be able to make any selections until the F2 generation (2013), so hopefully they'll survive this year!

March 30, 2012 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger Reason's Whore said...

What a wonderful quote. I will have to get that book. I like the author's attitude.

The thing I like best about our farm is raising our own food. I love putting up preserves, baking, getting fresh eggs from our own hens, and have really enjoyed learning to make our own cheese, from our own raw goat milk.

The thing I like least is dealing with animal deaths (whether through butchering or through illness), mud and shit.

But then I guess I wouldn't want to move back to the city either.

I would like to be fully self sufficient and independent of the commercial agriculture industry. It's much, much more difficult than most 21st century people appreciate. After 7 years of admittedly slow progress, we are maybe 30% of the way there. I think if you had to rely solely on your own labor and land to subsist, you would have some very lean times and years.

March 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger The Weekend Homesteader said...

I don't know if I have a niche, but I really enjoy canning and preserving the food I grow. We love our chickens and rabbits as well.

March 30, 2012 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger karental said...

I couldn't post on here, so I just went ahead and bought it.

March 30, 2012 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

I like that after failing at something I've never tried before, I can try again. Each season is a fresh chance to start over.

March 30, 2012 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

This sounds like a wonderful book...we struggle with our backyard garden but love it and the food it grows. Cooking a meal for my family makes me feel satisfied and successful. Helping to cultivate a "simpler" life for my daughter, hoping to help ground her as she learns to fly...

March 30, 2012 at 2:01 PM  

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