We are so busy on the homestead! This is our first year living outside of a big city, in a rural wilderness full of big predators and also hummingbirds, squirrels, and foxes with the occasional bald eagle.
Our big plan for our first year is somewhat boring: fencing. An underappreciated topic for farming and homesteading, fencing is essential for growing food, protecting livestock, and in our case, protecting ourselves and small children from bears and wolves.
We are also busily planting a lot of tree seedlings. We picked for this year to plant hazelnuts, oaks, edible pine nut trees, and a few heartnuts. With the latest heat wave, it’s been challenging to keep up with watering them all but we’ve noticed that once they get into the ground, they have opened their leaves and already some have grown about 1.5” in two weeks! We’ve noticed that hazelnut trees are quite tough. We learned this after getting some big seedlings from a friend who chatted with us while the trees dried out in the back of the truck for about 2 hours in the hot sun. They still survived just fine and are about to open their beaks (the flower on hazels), with lots of new growth. The wild hazelnut (called beaked hazel) is shown to be an “aggressive colonizer” of disturbed forest and forest edge areas, so that corresponds with our experience.
I’ve also been starting my tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, onions, cabbage, and other annuals out on our balcony. It will be nice to bite into that first tomato and harvest a basketful of lettuce from my acreage garden.
It is so wonderful to watch the sunset and see the hummingbirds flit back and forth at 9pm. And then to go to sleep with the sun and watch the glorious heavens open up with stars dotted and twinkling everywhere. Living out in the wild is like nothing else.
There are lows too, like having to wait three weeks for fence posts to get stocked in the nearest town and losing some plants due to drought. But it is all worth it in the end. And if you can wake up every morning and be grateful for where you live and how you live, then life is good. I’m grateful that we are all healthy and no one has gotten injured other than minor bruises and soreness from working hard physically.
I’ve been working on a new book, a journal or diary of food choices, exercise routine, and overall mental health. It’s been fun to design pretty pages that inspire me to make good choices. I’m sending a sample of my book to all my newsletter subscribers, so it’s been neat to hear how people enjoy it. And I’ve made up a small survey to get everyone’s opinion on the cover and design features. I would love your opinion if you have 5 minutes!
My latest recipe is a tasty gluten-free and dairy-free muffin recipe that I made for a friend who has a lot of allergies. I love the nutty flavor of buckwheat flour; it’s something I discovered about ten years ago and I like to mix it into my sourdough recipe every once in awhile for a different flavor. For these muffins, You don’t need a cast-iron muffin pan, but I love using mine! No need for muffin cups with cast-iron, just grease the pan and you’re ready to go. Currently I have to use a toaster oven for baking until we get a better kitchen set up. But luckily a cast-iron muffin pan fits perfectly in the toaster oven! Please let me know if you like this recipe and enjoy.
Buckwheat Banana Muffins
1 cup buckwheat flour
3 tbsp arrowroot starch
1 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp Water
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
1 ½ tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 ¼ cup)
¼ cup water or non-dairy milk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
1-2 tbsp honey
½ cup raisins or chocolate chips or chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Mix together chia seeds and water and let stand for 5-10 minutes until it gels. Or use 1 pastured egg as a substitute.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Then add remaining ingredients (bananas mashed, chia seed mix, non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, honey, and coconut oil) and mix thoroughly.
3. Add raisins/chocolate chips/nuts or any other favorite ingredient (such as coconut flakes, dried cherries, dried cranberries, chopped ginger candies, blueberries, etc.)
4. Grease cast-iron muffin pan or if using a normal muffin pan, put muffin paper cups inside.
5. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin pan, only filling ¾ of the way full.
6. Bake for 20 minutes, but check frequently after 12 minutes to account for elevation differences.
Let cool and enjoy!
Rosemary Hansenis an author, homesteading Mama, and a chef. She has spent the last 10 years “homesteading” in the city. She and her family have just started their off-grid homestead in rural British Columbia, Canada. Her books, Grow a Salad In Your City Apartment and Rosemary’s Natural Cosmetic Guideare a great way to ease into a healthy, pure lifestyle. Her books are 10% off until June 1st, 2019 for newsletter subscribers! You can connect with Rosemary at her website: www.RosemaryPureLiving.com or on her YouTube channel. Read all of Rosemary’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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