Passing

I have been wanting to share so many things this week – my sweet potato update, seed order, thoughts about baking with kids – and I will get to these things in the very near future.  But this week, my mind is called elsewhere, to ponder the passing of my 92 year old Nonni, who died in her sleep yesterday.  I will join my family on the east coast and celebrate her life with others who enjoyed her spunky, sassy energy, and benefited from her no-nonsense approach to life.

Nonni and girls Silly Nonni

Four generations of women who know how to get silly.

Until next time, give those you love an extra hug.

Teri

Welcome!

Driveway2

Come on over!  Drive on up!  Because now, you see, we have a driveway!!  A sweet, curvy, meandering driveway that takes in the beautiful northwest views and the oak forest.  It is lovely, and it is finished.  Let the building begin!!

And I’m happy to announce that the winner of the Radical Homemakers book giveaway is Julia!  Congratulations Julia!  Thank you to everyone who said hello!

Enjoy your weekend!

Starting Sweet Potatoes

Gardening in a new climate is both terrifying and exhilarating.  (And yes, I do realize that these are strong words, but I get a bit worked up about my garden!).  On the one hand, I feel like I’ve just landed on another planet trying to figure out what works here and what doesn’t.  When is the best time to plant?  What about the rain that falls in the summer time?  What kinds of pests will I encounter?  Luckily, I have many knowledgeable gardening friends in the area, and they will undoubtedly coach me through my first year of Missouri gardening.

In the exhilarating category are all of the new plants that I will be able to grow: watermelons, big bell peppers, eggplants, corn, and sweet potatoes!  After gardening in a cool creek side hollow for 13 years, I am ready for some full sun exposure and warm weather crop success!  Last week, I learned it was already time to start sweet potatoes.  I found some good resources online (this link and this one were helpful), and enlisted Ella’s help in beginning some sweet potato slips.

Since I’m brand new to this, I’d recommend consulting other more experienced folks for more fleshed out instructions, but the basic steps are to place a sweet potato in a jar of water, and fill it so it covers about half the potato.  You can hold them in place with toothpicks.  Set the jars in a warm place and check on them occasionally to replace or add water.  In a few weeks, the sweet potatoes will grow leafy sprouts on top, and roots into the water.  (The next step, which is rooting the slips, I’ll share in a few weeks!)

Sweet Potatoes 2Sweet Potatoes 1  Sweet Potatoes 3

I’d love to hear what you have going in your garden, or what your plans are for the coming months.  And if you have experience gardening in the Midwest, do you have a favorite watermelon, corn, or tomato that you grow?  Please share!  I’m getting ready to place a seed order and welcome any suggestions.

And, in case you have not done so already, I’d love for you to enter my giveaway for a copy of the book Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes.  The giveaway ends tonight, so hop on over to this post, and share a comment to enter. If you want extra chances to win, you can share my blog post on social media, “like” Homestead Honey on Facebook, or join my email list.  But be sure to come back and comment again to let me know you’ve done so!!  I’ll announce the winner later this week.

Have a great day!

Teri

 

Homesite Picnic

 

HomesitePicnic1 HomesitePicnic2 HomesitePicnic3 HomesitePicnic4

Taking advantage of some warm, sunny winter days, we enjoyed a home site picnic last week.  The western view from our hilltop is just stunning, and it was easy to imagine including a deep covered porch in our house design to take advantage the evening sunsets.  Tucked in against a northern forest, the future house site just feels so right, and so exciting.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might notice that this land looks somehow different than what you’ve seen before.  That’s exactly true – we have decided to relocate to a piece of land just to the north, and join two other families in creating a community land trust on 60 acres.  How this came to be is really a result of trusting our intuition, being open to new possibility, and communicating openly about feelings and desires.  And there is a tiny dash of crazy thrown in there for good measure, but this decision does not in any way feel impulsive, but rather like a curvy path to getting to what was meant to be.

I am so excited to share this journey over the next few months as we begin to literally dig into new ground.  Right now our nightly conversations center around driveway construction, gravel trucks, hiring Amish neighbors to plow a field, ordering local oak lumber from the Amish mill, and designing a “summer shanty” to move to in April.  We’re in a time full of overwhelming details and almost impossible goals.  But it feels really good to remember my intentions for 2013:  TRUST.

Wishing you a beauty-filled weekend! Teri

P.S.  I’m giving away a copy of the book Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes.  If you’re interested in a chance to win, check this post out, and say hello in the comments!  The giveaway will close on Wednesday January 23rd!

Milestones and a GIVEAWAY!!

This past week I celebrated a few milestones that were significant to me, although perhaps unnoticed by anyone else!  First, it has been three months since we left our Oregon home.  Three months is a long enough time to feel somewhat grounded (I don’t have to pull out a road map every time I leave the house!), and to feel a new sense of connection to this land and this place.

I also quietly celebrated the first birthday of this blog!  Yes, a year ago I finally typed out my first few posts, first secretly, then publicly sharing with a few trusted friends, and now actually linking to my posts on Facebook!  It actually has been a significant experience for me to put myself out into the world like this, and to flex my writing muscles.  And I am so happy to have this blog. It gives me an outlet to share my creativity and thinking, and also has connected me with amazing people!

To celebrate this milestone, and to share my blog with some new folks, I am hosting a giveaway.  Do you know this book?

Radical Homemakers book

To say that it changed my life would not be an overstatement.  When I first read this book a few years ago, Brian and I were deep in discussion about a vision for our lives (part of which included a potential move to Missouri).  Reading Radical Homemakers re-framed the discussion for me, opening up a whole new world of possibilities about what my life could look like.  Here is a description of the book from author Shannon Hayes’s website:

Radical Homemakers is about men and women across the U.S. who focus on home and hearth as a political and ecological act; who center their lives around family and community for personal fulfillment and cultural change. It explores what domesticity looks like in an era that has benefited from feminism; where domination and oppression are cast aside, where the choice to stay home is no longer equated with mind-numbing drudgery, economic insecurity, or relentless servitude.

Radical Homemakers nation-wide speak about empowerment, transformation, happiness, and casting aside the pressures of a consumer culture to live in a world where money loses its power to relationships, independent thought, and creativity. If you ever considered quitting a job to plant tomatoes, read to a child, pursue creative work, can green beans and heal the planet, this is your book.

I would love to share this book with you, so I am giving away a brand spanking new copy of Radical Homemakers.  If you’d like to be entered into the giveaway, please comment on this blog post, and to make me really smile, tell me something about yourself, or how you found my blog, or just say hello!  If you would like additional chances to win, you can do any of the following:

1.  Sign up to receive Homestead Honey via email!  (In the box above to the right!)

2. Share this giveaway via Facebook, Twitter, your email list, etc.

3.  “Like” Homestead Honey on Facebook.

Once you’ve done any of these extras, leave me another comment, so I know!

I will close the giveaway on Wednesday January 23rd at Midnight, EST.   The winner will be selected by Random Number Generator shortly after.

COMMENTS ARE CLOSED.  THANK YOU FOR ENTERING!

***I am willing to ship this in the US, but if you’re international, please help by contributing to shipping costs.  Thank you!

Sewing together

Ella and I have embarked on a slightly more structured homeschooling journey this year.  While I’ve always had a Waldorf-inspired home, with lots of song, outdoor time, natural materials, open ended creative play, and child involvement in homemaking, this year we’ve been making time to do more formal Waldorf “school” which usually involves circle time, a story, and crafting or handwork.

Last week, I came home from the library with Amy Karol’s book Bend the Rules Sewing, and flipped through the pages with Ella, who instantly wanted to create something.  Napkins seemed like the easiest idea until I realized that the hem would provide a challenge to me (I am really quite new to sewing and don’t like anything smaller than a 1/2″ seam allowance!).  So we decided to create a place mat together.  Nothing is more fun to this five year old than to be let loose in mama’s fabric bin.  She held up endless combinations of background and accent material, until we narrowed it down to a purple plaid and turquoise floral!

It was Ella’s first time using an iron, and she was somewhat hypnotized by the process.  Over and over the fabric she would go, smoothing it out just so, and then flipping it over and doing it all over again.  I cut the pieces to size, she ironed and ironed and ironed.

Ella sews2

Piecing the place mat together was relatively simple, so she and I worked the sewing machine together, with her on my lap.  After an hour or so, we had it finished!

Ella sews

It’s a tiny bit crooked, the seams are definitely not even, and heck, it’s not even centered!  But we created it together, it looks beautiful on our table, and I didn’t even let my creative control freak side get the best of me!

What are your favorite crafts to do with kids?

 

** Joining Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On today.  Head on over there for more crafty fun!