Archive | Homesteading RSS feed for this archive

{diy project} Mint Extract & Thin Mints

The first time I used fresh mint from the garden to make mint chocolate chip ice cream, it didn’t taste right. I was so used to store-bought peppermint ice cream that fresh mint tasted strange. However, over the past couple of years I’ve come to love that fresh mint taste. I’ve used mint from our […]

Continue Reading

{DIY Home & Body} Laundry Powder

Editor’s Note: Jennifer Wilkerson has given us recipes for homemade bread & dinner rolls, farmer’s cheese, Lemon Syrup, Lemonade & for your cleaning needs lemon vinegar and now Laundry Powder. She’s a keeper! -Christina Our family has sensitive skin. After the birth of our daughter twenty years ago we began buying dye-free, perfume-free laundry products. Over the years as we […]

Continue Reading
Bowls of tomatoes, waiting for fruit flies to find them

The Garden’s Last Gasp: Fried Green Tomatoes

We pulled our tomato plants just before the killing frost last week and although we simply threw most of them onto our long-term compost pile, we hesitated over the remains of our heirloom plants. We decided to pick out the rest of those tomatoes, both green and red.  Michael said, “How about fried green tomatoes?” […]

Continue Reading
Rye ready for harvest. 3


Grain Brains Challenge A recipe challenge to help you get whole grains into your mouth, not just your kitchen. I grew rye this year. My son and I planted it in the fall, in a much smaller plot than we’d planted wheat the year before. That year, we had new land that we’d scraped of urban rubble […]

Continue Reading
Market stand and my kiddo hanging out with me.

{my farming journey} The Big Wrap Up

I can hardly believe it, but I only have about a month left of markets. I’ve been selling at the Thursday Ballston Spa Market, and this market was perfect for me for several reasons. For starters, the area I grow on is small. At most it’s about 500 square feet. This means I don’t have […]

Continue Reading
wheat heads

Experimenting with Green Wheat: Freekeh & Gruenkern

While obsessively researching wheat on the web, my husband Michael came across a description of freekeh, or Gruenkern (pronounced groon cairn), that is, green wheat.  It is apparently something of a craze in certain foodie/grainy circles of people and a traditional food in both the Middle East and a few villages near Wurzburg, Germany; go […]

Continue Reading
The finished product.

{recipe} Vivid Choi Salad Dressing

This week is the first time I’ll be working at a farmers’ market for myself. For 4 years I have (and still do) work with Kilpatrick Family Farm at the Saratoga & Glens Falls Farmers’ Markets. I really, truly love it. Since starting Little Sparrow Farm I was uncertain about how I’d sell my products […]

Continue Reading

{diy project} Open Hearth Cooking

This year we decided to try cooking on our temporary outdoor fireplace while we boiled our sap into maple syrup.  Cast iron is perfect for cooking on coals.  Being pack rats, we just happen to have a vintage cast iron twelve-inch three-legged Dutch oven that someone gave us a couple of years ago because he […]

Continue Reading
{a few of our feathered flock}

{FSC Time Machine} Backyard Chickens Part 1

Its ‘spring’ (although I have a foot of snow on my lawn) and its time to start thinking about finally making that jump into Backyard Chicken Land! Whether you hatch them yourself or buy from a local farmer you trust, we have insights from two contributors that have lots of experience: Liz and Jillian. We […]

Continue Reading
four buckets

{FSC Time Machine} Tap Your Own Maple Syrup

Over the course of a few winters, Dianna has compiled a detailed series of posts on tapping maple syrup in your urban & suburban surroundings. The time is now to read up on the techniques, supply list and process so that you can begin tapping in another couple of weeks as spring is right around […]

Continue Reading
The view looking out over the new field.

{my farming journey} Starting Little Sparrow

The following is the very basic tale of how I’m starting my own micro-farm in Ballston Spa. It’s called Little Sparrow Farm, and yes, it’s named after Dolly Parton. Last summer I was telling a friend how I was going to be ordering a lot of garlic. The amount I ordered ended up being over […]

Continue Reading
Standing wheat, ready for harvest

{home wheat production} Crackers From Scratch

We have been wandering in the desert of home wheat production for three years now.  We could see the mountaintop, but were not sure we could get there.  Although it is not that hard to grow wheat, harvesting, threshing and milling all present real technical problems to overcome for home growers. We learned how to scythe, then […]

Continue Reading
a layer of scallions

{community voices} Homemade Veggie Bouillion

Editor’s Note: FSC Community Voices Contributor, Gina M, a local blogger at ModSchooler and a guest contributor at Albany Kid, is back with another doozie of a post: Homemade Veggie Bouillion.  Its getting food preservation serious up in here! Her first post, No-Fuss Slow Cooker Beans is also terrific, perfect for the summertime no-heat kitchen! […]

Continue Reading

{communty sharecropping} A Homemade Wheat Thresher

We have been growing wheat for three or four years in our community sharecropping plots.   Wheat is not hard to grow and not all that hard to harvest although there are some pitfalls.  The hard part is removing the teeny wheat berries from the inedible straw and glumes that surround them, which is called threshing.  […]

Continue Reading

{scaling up the northeast grain system} The Harvest

If it weren’t for my friend Howard, my wheat would still be in the field. When I got home from vacation last Saturday, I found a message that the wheat was ready. Howard had toured my plot, and found the grain passed the crack test. When the wheat is ready, the seed should feel hard, […]

Continue Reading