A Family Builds a Homestead in the Rain

Three Months On The Homestead

With autumn peeking around the corner of September, with my daughter’s second birthday days away, with cool afternoons finally settling in, we’re looking back on our first three months here. Life is feeling lush, productive, and happy. The guestroom bed is covered with jars– canned blackberry jam, blueberry jam, applesauce, preserved lemons. The kitchen table […]

Braised Greens in Spicy Broth

My husband and I share (and sometimes fight over) the meal-cooking duties in our home– he’s the wildly talented cook, really– but there’s one dish in particular that brings me to the stove most often. It’s a household favorite that evolved from classic Southern collard greens, though I often use kale, chard, or dandelion. We […]

A Trip to California

A Trip to California

To celebrate my grandparents’ anniversary last week, we drove down to Sonoma County for a family reunion. My dad came up for his own vacation to stay on the homestead and care for the dogs, livestock, and garden. Having made the 9-hour trek (14 or 15 hours total with stops for the dogs and toddler) to […]

Lessons From a First-Year Garden

Lessons From a First-Year Garden

This year has reportedly been a tough one for many. I remind myself that we’ve only been living on our new property for two-and-a-half months. Planting was late; spring prep was minimal. The land was raw and clayey. Oh, and I’m gardening with a toddler. All of those excuses aside, our garden has not been […]

Canning Blackberry Jam Without Pectin

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We’ve been eating wild berries everyday for weeks, but now that blackberry season is in full swing, picking is getting more serious. In the intense dry heat, many of the blackberries are small and firm, but their flavor is intense when cooked. The aroma of simmering jam in the kitchen is intoxicating. Many blackberry jam […]

Anticipation of Fall

Anticipation of Fall

In the midst of summer, under July heat and between berry-picking and trips to the lake, my mind always begins to move to fall. On chilly mornings, or when a breeze picks up and thrashes the plants out front, I feel it coming, though its arrival is still months off yet. It’s always been at this […]

Cucumber Salad with Corn, Feta and Herbs

Cucumber Salad with Corn, Feta and Herbs

At the height of summer, on long days of working and playing outside, nothing is better than a refreshing garden-fresh salad. The lemon cucumbers that have been ripening back-to-back on our vines are deserving of better than a humble supporting role. We’ve enjoyed plenty sliced with a pinch of salt. As a basis of a more substantial […]

17 Tips for Easy Homemade Broth

17 Tips for Easy Homemade Broth

Chicken, vegetable, and other broths are some of the most versatile and easy-to-make staples in the kitchen. They turn a spent carcass or papery onion skins into one more meal– almost for free! Most importantly, homemade broth is dramatically superior to what you can buy in a can or box at the market, and without […]

Summertime

Summertime

Summer is not my favorite season by any stretch, yet in spite of unprecedented weeks of heat here in the Pacific Northwest, this summer has been filled with charm and simple luxuries. The creek is at what neighbors say is a record low for this time of year, and I believe it. But it still offers […]

Dying Fabric with Berries

Dying Fabric with Berries

My husband and I married in a fun, lighthearted celebration on a grassy hill. I hand-stitched my own lacy gown, along with the bunting and other decor. Late in that perfect evening, while guests drank, danced, and played lawn games, I changed into a casual white sundress that I’d picked out a few days before. During […]

Welcome!

I'm Kelly. Writer, crafter, forager, country winemaker, cook. Mama of an awesome toddler and married to my best friend. We recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, where we're setting out to grow, make, and learn as much as we can as the future unfolds.

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