A Family Builds a Homestead in the Rain

Posts in category Homestead

Three Geese A-Laying

Three Geese A-Laying

The season has arrived. The African and Chinese geese are all sharing a nest. I’m not sure if the two Chinese geese are a pair or both gals, so I don’t know if all of the eggs are fertile (or if there are only two geese a-laying). No one is yet setting on them while […]

No-‘Poo Hair Care

No-‘Poo Hair Care

I’m now four months shampoo-free and in love with the results! My hair has never been so soft, frizz-free, quick-drying and easy to brush out. It feels healthier, and if I do say so myself, it looks great. Shampoo and conditioner were the last products in my shower rack loaded with carcinogenic chemicals. After a […]

Pruning Time

Pruning Time

The next time we haul a load up to the property and get any work time in, it will be spring, so this trip was my last opportunity to prune the trees and vines before they begin to bud out. The property has endured many years of neglect, and opportunistic ivy and blackberry brambles have consumed most […]

The Garden: Winter Surprises

The Garden: Winter Surprises

A rather magical part of our new home is that it was clearly once a well kept, well loved place with nurtured gardens. The overgrown brambles and fallen trees add some to the mystique as spring bulbs nod through. Grape hyacinth lines a path along the creek, and new clusters of its thin leaves promise more […]

My Dad’s Dog

My Dad’s Dog

Gathering Nettles With Help

Gathering Nettles With Help

Our crop of stinging nettles has grown exponentially over the past few years, and we covet the bounty. We picked a pound or so today for a batch of nettle wine (recipe to come; same basic procedure as with mint wine) with some extra to dehydrate for tea. Any work in the barnyard brings a […]

Our Corner of the Earth

Our Corner of the Earth

This was the first time since beginning this transition that returning to California felt like leaving home. Maybe it’s because this time we moved all of our treasured and most frequently used books: cookbooks, field guides, reference books on animal husbandry and gardening. Maybe it’s because the crisp, piney mountain air had begun to do […]

Ghost of a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

Ghost of a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

Trouble with Free-Range Chickens (A Comedy of Errors)

Trouble with Free-Range Chickens (A Comedy of Errors)

When we moved to our home in California, it was our first place with land. I had grown up with chickens and even showed bantam Brahmas and Buff Orpingtons in 4-H, so a nice little laying flock was our first purchase. We chose Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, and Sex Links– all fairly standard selections. We […]

The Kitchen Floor

The Kitchen Floor

We spend a lot of time on the kitchen floor. When Suzanna started crawling, we barricaded off an area with chairs and padded the floor with colorful spongey squares. When she started climbing the chairs, we replaced them with baby gates. She soon began moving the plastic fences and slipping around them, so they too went […]

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.

Follow Along

Never miss a post! Receive updates by email.