About - Melissa K. Norris


Howdy, I’m Melissa

I’m just a plain country girl who loves Jesus, playing in the dirt, stuffing food into Mason jars (after I wash my hands of course), and hunting down as many traditional old-fashioned skills as I can to put into use on our homestead.

Occasionally I chase down a chicken and I’ve been known to wrangle a cow or two back into the pasture when they get the hankering to leave our field.


Our Homestead

We live on 14.96 acres in the foothills of the North Cascade mountain range of Washington state. We raise 100% of our own meat from our organic grass fed beef (holler to the sturdy white faced brown Herefords), a flock of hens for fresh eggs, meat chickens we butcher ourselves, and organic pork (cuz you haven’t eaten bacon until you’ve had home grown).

I’m a 5th generation homesteader who married a city boy… but that city boy quickly became a country boy and turned into a bonafide farmer when he moved to our family property. With our two children we believe in keeping the old ways alive, that our food shouldn’t come in boxed packages with ingredient lists a mile long you can’t pronounce. We still grow and seed save the same strain of heirloom Tarheel green pole beans my family has been cultivating for over 100 years, because there’s some things worth saving.

A cancer scare

Even though I grew up a homesteader and always raised a summer vegetable garden and canned, I didn’t realize the convenience items I was using to cook with, condensed cans of this, boxed mixes of that, were a far cry from organically raised whole foods. Until age 29, when I had to have my upper stomach and esophagus biopsied for cancer.

Thankfully, the tests came back negative, but they showed I had cellular change and erosion, which means the next time, I wouldn’t be so lucky. The good Lord above gave me the chance to make changes. We increased our food production, cut out GMO’s, no processed fake ingredients, and went to whole foods.

And it worked. I was able to get off of the 6 prescription meds I’d been taking for stomach acid and heal completely. We noticed a huge change in the way we felt. But I quickly realized in order to avoid questionable ingredients and practices with our food, I had to make and grow it ourselves.

We increased our fruit plants, vegetable garden, and livestock to where we now raise 100% of our own meat, 75% of our own fruit, and 50% of the vegetables we eat year round.


The homestead mission

I shared the recipes, tutorials, and things I was learning here on the blog. After our local radio station interviewed me twice, they invited me to have my own radio show, which is how the popular Pioneering Today Podcast was born.

I quickly learned my passion for food grown at home, Mason jars filled with home grown goodness lining the shelves, homemade soaps and cleaners made from natural ingredients, and easy farm fresh meals, were also the passion of thousands of others joining this homesteading and simple life movement.

When an editor from a publishing house visited my blog, she asked me to compile our recipes and tutorials into a book to help others with the same mission. Of course, I said yes, actually, it may have been a squeal followed by a holler. And The Made-from-Scratch Life book was born and its follow up, Hand Made: the Modern Guide to Made-from-Scratch Living.


Be warned

If you join me in this way of life, you’ll quickly find yourself in addicted to Mason jars… because everything tastes and looks better in a Mason jar.

You’ll find yourself talking about heirloom seeds, finding a homemade recipe, and filling the larder with food for winter.

And you’ll find there are thousands of others out there doing it right along with you.

We are the seed savers, the backyard chicken owners, the bread bakers, and the home canners. We are modern homesteaders… and we’re growing, won’t you join us!

Let's be friends!

Friends share the best from scratch recipes, tips to make raising your own food easier & naturally (amen!), their favorite natural health remedies, and invite you over when you need someone to share your homestead victories and set backs, you with me?! -->