Category: Featured

44

This Month On The Homestead: Bonfires In The Snow and Leisure Cilantro

January 2021 We are in the season of snow every day. Maybe a lot, maybe a trace. There’s no forecast to tell us what’ll happen: we look outside, we bring in more fire wood. It dips into single digits every night and still, we go outside every day. We hike, we sled, we cry (mostly the kids; sometimes me), and we love the cascade of monochrome. There is no beauty more distilled than fresh glitter...

107

Reader Case Study: Looking to Leave LA?

Kate is 30 and lives in LA with her kitten Cashew. She works in payroll at a university, which is a stable job with great benefits and low stress. As she approaches the five-year mark in her current position, she’d like to examine her options for moving to a lower cost of living area and a smaller town. Kate also hopes to have children one day and she’d like our help with determining a financial...

82

Fruit Trees And Other January 2021 Expenses

We’re planting a pear, peach, apple and elderberry orchard this spring! Because why not. In a year (two years?) of unrest and insanity, why not plant an entire fruit orchard. We have a long-standing goal of expanding the perennial foods we grow and this’ll be our latest and largest undertaking. In years past, we planted perennial blueberries, strawberries, currants, cherries and did major remediation work on our existing apple and plum trees. This’ll be our...

62

This Month On The Homestead: Pancakes, Snow and Tractor Stuff

December 2020 Christmas at home and online, daily hikes, snowshoeing, baking cookies, fires burning in the wood stove and wrestling children into snowsuits. These are a few of our December things. And Bernie’s visit to the Glamour Shed. Pandemic “Homeschool” Continues My ‘give them real jobs’ approach to “homeschooling” continues with countertop wiping, laundry folding, egg scrambling, dishwasher loading, vacuuming, sweeping and… scribbling on any important paperwork they happen to find. All day long Littlewoods...

40

Merry Pandemic Holidays! How We’re Celebrating, How Readers are Celebrating

Merry Pandemic Holidays!!!! We’re ready to celebrate how much we love our families by…. not seeing them!!! This holiday season will be different, but no less merry and jolly. Primarily I will achieve this by making as many desserts as I’d make if we were hosting 15 people. Since there are four of us x 1 pandemic x no childcare for 9 months, I feel the math is going to work out well. Also, going to...

22

The Uber Frugal Month is BACK!

You might’ve thought I forgot about the Uber Frugal Month and that would be totally justified because I DID forget about it in July. But NEVER AGAIN. You frugal mavens aren’t going to ring in 2021 alone–you’re going to do it WITH MEEEEEEE and thousands of other Uberly Frugal folks. The Uber Frugal Month is a thing I made up back in 2016 that has since become world-famous. Ok, slow down there, Mrs. Frugalwoods, let’s...

57

Christmas Lights, Lightbulbs, a Headlamp and other November 2020 Expenses

Let there be LIGHT!!!! I’ve surrendered all restraint and decorum with regard to Christmas decorations. This year, we are lit. It’s dark, it’s cold, there’s nowhere to go and so I transformed the interior of our house into a beacon of light/some might call it tacky. Up to this point, we’ve used hand-me-down and garage-sale-purchased strands of Christmas lights which, while cheap at the outset, were not cheap from an energy use perspective. This year,...

43

These Two Months On The Homestead: Halloween, Thanksgiving and of course, Wood Stacking

October AND November 2020 Oh yes, you get a double dose of homesteading because I neglected/forgot to write this up last month. But who even noticed?! It’s a pandemic! We had an election! This Month On The Homestead‘s timeliness does not rate. Fall in Vermont blows in with intention. No balmy leaf-crunchers here, fall is a rapid descent to winter. In a year that’s felt like a decade, November alone spanned several years. Wood Stacking:...

139

Want To Move To The Country? 15 Things To Consider

Moving to the sticks is all the rage right now. At least, that’s what I gather from the number of questions I’m getting about septic systems. Or, you all are just really interested in becoming rural waste management engineers. Assuming it’s the former, let’s talk about what it’s really like to live rurally. I’m no expert, I’ve only been here for four years, and I’ve only lived in Vermont, but I’ve devoted a lot of...

86

Dirt And Other May 2020 Expenditures

Boatloads of Dirt May was the month of the raised bed. Mr. Frugalwoods designed, built, and installed four enormous raised beds to serve as our kitchen garden. I’ll give the full rundown in my next This Month On The Homestead installment, but for today’s purposes, know that these beds required dirt. A lot of dirt. 5.5 yards of dirt, to be precise. And as I learned, dirt is not just dirt. At least, not when...