Real Homesteading!

I feel like a real homesteader now!  At least as much as a person living in suburban North Texas can.  I have been canning for about a year now.  Once a friend got me started, I have continued to explore canning on my own using the Ball Canning Guide and other approved sources.  I pressure-can vegetables and meats, water-bath can fruits, make jellies and jams, and I turned fifty pounds of tomatoes into salsa for my man a couple of weeks ago.  We will see how long it lasts!

More recently, I have been learning to make fermented milk products.  So far, that includes buttermilk, cream cheese and farmer’s cheese, yogurt and ricotta.  In order to continue with more kinds of cheese, I will track down a favorite source for rennet.

I have only grown a few things in my garden.  I am still learning about the importance of good, excellent soil.  However, my green onions returned this fall without any prompting from me.  All of the fruit trees have survived the summer, (peach, plum, apricot and pear and grapevine in the back yard) and two kinds of figs and gooseberries in the front yard.

Non-stinging pollinator mason bees love to visit all the flowering plants, red and blue salvias, Rock Roses, Mexican Sage, Texas Sage, Pink Skull Cap, Turk’s cap, Yellow Bells, Mexican Hat, Mexican Petunia.  Since I find more trees cropping up, I know the birds are doing their work well, too.

I have three fleeces to process, but that won’t happen soon.  Someone will have to remind me how to spin again with my drop spindles again once I get past washing and combing the fleeces.

Quilting continues, however.  I might finish the top of my “Moonscape” quilt.  I’m only a couple of rows of sashing away.  My “Leaves of Green” quilt needs wider borders to be big enough to cover the bed. My “Bird of a Feather” first applique quilt needs a few more special rows of sashing to complete the top.

I love how all the projects fit together to make a home.  They are all good breaks as I continue my business of writing Music Stories of songs, chants and fingerplays for young children ( and start my day with spiritual study and posting for

 © 2013 Kathryn Hardage


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