It has been a bit quiet on the blog for the last few months. It is hard to believe I haven’t written a post on here since the end of July! There is good reason for this blogging break though. I’ve been taking a little break from the blogging world and living my life a bit more “screen free”. My energies have been focused elsewhere, like on our growing family. Yes, you read that correctly: our growing family. We are expecting the arrival of a new baby homesteader this spring. In just a few more months, Little A will be a big sister!
We are still continuing our homesteading journey, although for this next year we are scaling back our goals a bit. I’d love to grow our 7,000 square foot garden again, but realistically I know that won’t happen this year with a newborn babe to care for. This year I’m aiming for a much smaller garden and I doubt we’ll be raising 30+ baby chicks like we did last spring! I may not have the time or energy to post on this blog every week for a little while, but I’ll continue to share about our homesteading adventures when I can.
As we wrap up one calendar year and look forward to the new, I always like to look back and reflect on all we have to celebrate and be grateful for from the last year. I find it helps me to shape new goals and dreams for the new year and inspire me to continue living this homesteading life I love. This post is dedicated to the most popular post in each month over the last year. I loved looking back over the blog statistics and seeing what you all were really digging into on this blog each month. Here’s to another year of homesteading inspiration!
The Best of Montana Homesteader 2015
January: Organizing Garden Seeds
Every year after the busy holiday season ends, I start thinking about spring gardening. Last year my seed packets were a jumbled mess so I decided to finally tackle the mess and organize all our garden seeds. After writing this post on organizing garden seeds, in the fall I started another binder of seeds since our seed stash outgrew the first book I did thanks to all the heirloom seeds we saved! I now have one book of seeds just for vegetables and another seed book dedicated to herbs and medicinal plants.
February: Easy Homemade Quiche Recipe
February is national hot breakfast month so sharing our favorite quiche recipe was a big hit! We make this recipe often and love how it is such a filling meal made with our homegrown produce and chicken eggs.
March: Planting Garlic
This post was quite popular in March which makes me smile since it means there were quite a few of you out there who are like me and often forget to plant garlic in the fall! Last year I actually remembered to plant garlic in the fall but it didn’t happen this year. As soon as the ground can be worked this spring we’ll be planting our spring garlic crop.
April: How to make dandelion salve
We love our dandelion salve and always have a jar of this homemade medicinal goodness in our stash of herbal remedies. Who would’ve thought that a flower many people view as a weed could make a lovely homemade salve that soothes our aches and pains!
Aside from eating the sweet honey, rendering beeswax from honeycomb is my favorite thing about beekeeping. I love the process of melting down a big, messy pile of honeycomb into beautiful golden wax to use in our homemade body products and crafts.
June: Pineapple Weed Tea
Our pastures around the barn are filled with pineapple weed. I love walking through that area when the pineapple weed is in bloom since it smells so wonderful. This is another one of those plants often viewed as a weed but is actually wild chamomile and makes a delicious herbal tea- iced or hot!
If you have cutworms in your garden, you know how frustrating they can be. All your hard work in the garden can be destroyed quickly by these little pesky beasts. The first year we lived on our homestead, we had a terrible cutworm problem and used a variety of methods to get rid of them. Last year we had our chickens in the garden all winter and early spring. Those chickens did an amazing job eating up those cutworms since I found only a couple in the whole 7,000 square foot garden!
August: Preserving Beet Greens
We love our healthy, yummy beet greens! Every year we turn our homegrown beets into my favorite pickled beets with ACV and honey and preserve the greens in the freezer to eat all winter long.
September: Green Tomato Salsa Verde
This salsa is our all time favorite homemade salsa to eat all year long!
October: Rose Hips Foraging and 25+ Recipes
We usually harvest rose hips in the fall, but we’re still finding them in the woods even in the middle of winter here in Montana!
November: Natural Remedy for the Common Cold
This is my go-to remedy I start using at the first sign of the sniffles. It is easy to make and yummy too- sometimes I drink this just as a healthy daily tonic and not just to treat a cold.
December: 100+ Homemade Christmas Gifts
The holiday season is wrapping up around here, but many of the homemade gift ideas in this post can be used for gift giving year round.
Happy new year to all of you and happy homesteading in 2016!