How to Grow and Plant Beets

Our goal is to have vegetable crops growing in our garden as close to all year as possible. One way to do this is to plant some cooler weather crops, or plants that will grow before the last frost date. We grow garlic over the winter, and already have our potatoes in the ground. Beets is one of these plants.How to plant and grow beets, soil type, planting tips, and why your beets won't grow if you don't do this crucial step

Beets seems to be one of those foods that you either love or hate, kinda like oysters. I tend to not like oysters, much to the happiness of my husband, because he loves oysters and that means more for him. Beets are a vegetable I have grown into. As a kid, I wasn’t so crazy, but as an adult, I’m a newer convert. Continue reading

How to Make Your Own 3 Ingredient Lotion Bars

Do you know what you’re putting on skin? After undergoing an endoscope and biopsies on my esophagus and upper stomach four years ago (amen they came back cancer free) I took a good hard look at our home and food.

Photo credit and recipe to

Photo credit and recipe to

I researched GMO’s, what was really in the processed foods at the store, and the use of pesticides on commercially grown crops. Continue reading

Wild Edible Plants-How to Make Nettle Leaf Tea

Do you know how to safely harvest wild edible plants? Do you know which ones are excellent candidates for not only food, but also medicinal purposes?

Almost all of my life I’ve viewed stinging nettles as, well, a stinging nettle. I mean, those suckers can pack patch a zinger. Building forts as kids we always managed to get zapped by one of those pesky plants. They like to invade the yard and are a nuisance. Or so I thought.How to harvest wild edible plants and make nettle leaf tea. Did you know all the medicinal reasons to use nettle leaf tea? Recipe and tutorial here

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How to Cook on a Wood Stove

Why should you learn to cook on a wood stove?

As a little girl, I remember my mother cooking stew on top of our wood stove during the winter months. We have a decent size forest on our homestead and every year we lose a few trees to a windstorm or old age, so a wood stove is the perfect way to use our resources.6 Tips for Cooking on a Wood Stove Did you know you could bake on a wood stove? Put your heat source to work as your cooking source and save money.

Cooking on a wood stove takes me back to the pioneer days and to my grandmother’s kitchen, where she had an old wood cook stove. My parent’s still have a hybrid 1940′s Monarch half wood and half electric stove. You could say I come from a long line of wood stove cooking.

Learning to cook on a wood stove is smart for survival type situations, such as power outages, but I cook on mine even when we have power. It’s extremely frugal to cook on a wood stove, like as in free.  You’re already using your wood stove for heat, so using it as a cooking source is doubling your resources. Continue reading

Grow Basil Indoors Without Dirt All Winter!

I don’t know about you, but I cringe every time I see a $6 price tag on a bottle of organic (or not organic) dried herbs at the grocery store. Know why I cringe? Because I know how easy and frugal it is to grow your own herbs at home.

How to grow basil indoors all winter long without any dirt. Harvest fresh herbs all year with nothing more than water, basil, and a windowsill.

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8 Tips for Eating Real Food-Ditching the Processed

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links, if you click on them and make a purchase, I receive a tiny commission. They cost you no more and allow me to keep this website and blog free. I’ll always be upfront about affiliate links, cuz I don’t like dishonest people anymore than you do.

Who doesn’t have the goal of eating healthier? I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say, I want to eat more junk. But eating healthier is so subjective. Everyone’s version of healthier is going to be different based on their normal diet. My healthy might be your bad, or vice versa.

Despite the specifics of each person’s diet, some gluten free, dairy free, nut free, enter whatever your item is _______________ free, I believe eating the most unprocessed cooked at home version of whole foods is going to be the healthiest. And while I don’t have it all figured out, over the past three years, we’ve made a huge revolution in the foods we eat and how we prepare them at our home.8 tips for eating and cooking real food, from scratch, in a busy house at

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How to Make a Book Page Merry Christmas Banner + 2 Free Fiction Stories


How to make a book page banner Simple Christmas Decorating

When I spied this Merry Christmas Banner in a photo on my friend Amanda Dykes Facebook page I instantly fell in love. If you hadn’t noticed, I have a things for books, re-purposing, and Christmas. This project is the perfect marriage.

I invited her to share it with my readers and she graciously wrote up this tutorial so you can make yours. Plus, we have some extra fun free things involving books at the bottom of this post.

Let me introduce you to my talented friend.

Amanda here: Simple trimmings warm my heart in December. A little touch here, a sprig of berries there… vignettes sprinkled throughout to warm the home.

One of the things I love about a simple style of decorating like this, is its ease and affordability.

The hanging pine cone bouquet, for example, which you can read more about in Melissa’s new release, Pioneering Today: A Homemade Christmas.Merry Christmas banner Make Your Own Tutorial at Homemade Christmas


Here’s what the banner looks like over your mantel. Doesn’t it make you want to sing a carol or two? Continue reading

5 Tips to Beat Holiday Stress in the Kitchen

With next week commencing the kick off of the six week official holiday season between Thanksgiving and News Year Day, I know a lot of people get a tad stressed out. It can be difficult to find time to breathe, let alone cook things from scratch, and enjoy the season.

What’s a person to do? I can help ya out with some of that.5 Tips to Beat Holiday Stress in the Kitchen Pioneering Today Don't let time constraints keep you from serving loved ones unprocessed, from scratch, homemade food this holiday season

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How To Render Lard and Why You Should

We practice many pioneering skills at our homestead, from butchering pigs, raising beef cattle and chickens (a proud flock of 6 laying hens), heirloom gardening and seed saving, with traditional cooking and meals, but before today I had never rendered lard.

Well, not in the traditional sense. I’ve saved bacon grease from the pan after cooking and poured it into a small jelly jar and stored it in the fridge. Which on a small scale is exactly what rendering lard is, but I’ve been wanting to do it on a larger scale for some time.How to render lard and why you should

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How to Make Low Sugar Grape Vanilla Jelly

One of the best things about the changing seasons is the new fresh fruits and vegetables that come with them. While we’re wrapping up most of the fresh produce for winter around here, I still have grapes to harvest.Grape Vanilla Jelly Pioneering Today

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