Back in February I stumbled across The Homestead Experiment. JulieAnn and I share a lot of the same philosophies and goals relating to modern living and living slowly. It’s a challenge sometimes to marry the two, but like JulieAnn and her family, Chris and I area always working toward that goal.
After reading through post after post on JulieAnn’s blog, I was inspired to create my own list. I jotted about a million ideas down in Evernote , but here is the slightly more organized version. It includes some items not directly related to homesteading, but that will make our home life cleaner and more streamlined.
- Buy half a cow
- Join a CSA
- Make pasta and freeze it
- Rebuild our container garden and give it another go
- Buy an upright freezer to store goods
- Make our breads and granolas
- Can/dehydrate/freeze fresh produce
- Large glass containers from Walmart for: flour, granola, laundry detergent
- Put coffee stuff on a tray in the kitchen
- Make a cover for the Kitchen-Aid
- Create shelf for laundry room for storage
- Make the “laundry room” really a mudroom
- Consider making our own detergent again (once a month commitment)
- Put washer and dryer on lifts
- Make a meal plan
- Stick to the meal plan
- Don’t eat out except on Friday nights/Saturday lunch
- Go to the library
- Buy used/vintage more instead of buying new so much
- Buy LESS
Most of these ideas requires just a little bit of time and attention and a system that supports the good habits we’re striving after. Even without a ton of focus on these ideas, I’m happy to say we’ve made a lot of progress! The garden is going great. I don’t make our laundry detergent, but I do order it from Honest, and I’ve been really pleased so far. We’re members of a CSA now, so my next big step is figuring how to cook and manage all of the food that is coming our way every Wednesday.
The first area I’m going to focus on is our kitchen at home and our systems for eating and cooking. I’ve already started to make a little bit of progress, and I’m excited to share that with you. We have started using a free menu planning system that works with our digital lives and is accessible for both me and Chris, so whoever is making dinner on a given night can see the menu and associated recipes. Since our CSA share includes a lot of vegetables we don’t normally eat, I’m researching new recipes for these foods. I’ll be sharing the best recipes here.
Although I don’t foresee us setting up a chicken coop any time soon (chickens wouldn’t last long with Sydney around!), I am thoroughly enjoying our own little urban homesteading experiment. It has enriched our lives so much over the last few years, and it gives us a deep sense of well-being to grow our own food and consciously make healthy choices for our family. I hope the stories we share, as well as tips and ideas that have helped us along the way, are enjoyable to read and helpful in your own journey, as well.