In the Barnyard: Who are Bohemian Farmgirls?

Bohemian Farmgirl is something that has evolved over years of trying to figure out how to weave all of the meaningful parts of my life together. This is what it means to me, and if it touches part of your soul then my guess is that you are a Bohemian Farmgirl too.

1. Growing a Family--First and foremost, comes family. This may be your biological or chosen family, but whomever your family includes, it's roots dig deep and provide grounding for growth above the surface of the soil.

2. Planting a Farm--Modern homesteading is a way of life for a Bohemian Farmgirl. This may include anything from a windowsill garden to acres of land, buying local and supporting small farms to growing and raising all of your food yourself, and cultivating dreams of homesteading no matter if you live in the city or country.

3. Nurturing a Creative Life--This is the heart of a Bohemian Farmgirl and what brings us all together creating a community of ideas and inspiration. Living a creative life is the wellspring of joy that provides energy to make our dreams reality, no matter what the circumstances. And we all help each other along the way.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

My Custom Homestead: Steps 17, 18, & 20

I'm almost done with Jill Winger's 21 Days (Steps) to Your Custom Homestead (ebook available at  These next three steps are food related:  17. Learn How to Cook; 18. Plant Something Edible; and 20. Practice Preservation.  (Yes, yes, I skipped over step 19 for now.  I'll talk about that one in my next post.)
I agree with Jill when she says, "Learning how to prepare a meal from scratch could be the single most important skill you learn as a modern-day homesteader."  When you homestead, it's almost like your job title becomes "Professional Nurturer".  You grow food to nurture yourself, your family, your animals.  You nurture the earth.   So it makes sense that living off the land and learning to prepare what comes off the land become part of your daily life.

Creamed Chicken and Corn Soup from Slow cooker recipes

I love to create meals that require as few ingredients and as little time as possible.  That's great, because this adds to the quality of the simple life I long for.  Olive oil, butter, garlic, salt and pepper grace just about every meal, whether in the crock pot or the cast iron skillet.  In fact, my crock pot is my favorite and most used kitchen appliance.  Just throw everything in, turn it on, and come back hours later to tender, tasty food.  My now second favorite kitchen appliance is a vacuum sealer I picked up for $15 at a Goodwill store in Indiana on a family trip this past summer.  I can prepare a few days' worth of meals in one crock pot and freeze half of it for later.  And of course, my other favorite kitchen appliance is my thrift store bread machine, given to me by a friend.  Again, load the ingredients, push a button, and 3 hours later I have fresh bread to dunk into my crock pot stew.

If you don't know where to begin with cooking, I would suggest skipping the fancy cookbooks with complicated multi-step recipes with ingredients that you cannot find in your backyard or local grocery store.  Instead, opt for resources like Pinterest and search keywords like "clean food" or "whole food".  You can check out some of my saved recipes on my Farm Table board here:
Jill also has plenty of recipes on her blog at

Step 18, Plant Something Edible, just makes sense, even if you don't have your 1/4 acre veggie garden up and running yet.  This summer I bought herb plants from local farms at my farmer's market and grew them on my windowsill.  Easy peasy!  Step 20, Practice Preservation, makes me sweat just a little.  My how water bath canner lives at the back of the bottom shelf in a hard to reach cabinet in my kitchen.  But I promised myself that this harvest season I would practice storing up goods for the winter months.  I admit, my vacuum sealer is a lot more appealing than the anxiety-producing (for me) process of canning. I have procrastinated with practicing this skill since I don't have that veggie patch yet.  But I also know that when I am up to my eyeballs in tomatoes, it will be more stressful for me to learn to can then than now.  And besides, what if the power goes out and I don't yet have a back up generator?  My frozen harvest will not last long. . .

As with any and all of my blog posts, I would love to hear about what you've learned from your own experiences. Send me an email or post a comment!

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