Homestead Barn Hop

  A while back I found the blog "Homestead Revival" it is one I have enjoyed as the writer and I share many of the same interests and goals. On Mondays she a few others homesteading bloggers are hosting a Homestead Barn Hop where they encourage others to link up posts telling about their "homesteading" activities of the past week. That sounds like fun to me so I have decided to join in.

  To me the idea behind a homestead (by the way, I looked up the term in the dictionary and it simply said "Any dwelling with land and buildings where a family makes its home") is having a place where you can try to go back to the basics. I think of a homesteader as someone who tries to produce as much of their own food as possible, make much of their own things and live a simple lifestyle. I was very blessed to grow up in this way. When I was a baby my parents bought 40 acres of land where they slowly (without going into debt) built our home and outbuildings, they raised goats, poultry and other animals at times to provide meat, milk and eggs, they have large gardens to supply much of their produce and make a lot of things on their own. I very much enjoy this way of living and even though my little family hasn't done things on our own quite to that level we are doing what we can on our 1 1/2 acres.

Here are a few of the "homesteading" activities we have enjoyed this past week:

: : Making cinnamon raisin bread with wheat we ground.

 : : Making Rhubarb Crisp with Rhubarb we had harvested and froze.
 : : A Fire Making Contest.
I have been reading a book on Survival skills out loud to the kids and after reading the book on fire we decided we needed to brush up on our fire starting skills. If you are in an emergency situation starting a fire can often be very helpful for keeping you warm (this is especially important in Northern areas such as we live in), cooking food and heating water and also helping you feel more secure, safe and happy. Many people in emergency situations are not that good at starting fires, they get frantic and they don't do a good job of it often wasting the few matches they may have. Practice makes a person much more confident.

 We decided to have a race the boys against girls and I was the advisor to both teams. They were each given 5 matches and instructions to use as few as possible. The boys made a new fire pit and the girls used our existing fire pit. They had to find dry material outside in our snowy conditions to make their fire with.
 The boys ran into some troubles and their fire ended up going out every time it got started but they will try again another day.
 The girls (Mara with Megan watching) got a good fire going. We decided to cook our supper over it. I started a pot of split pea soup on it but realized I had used the wrong pot and the handles were getting ruined so I moved it indoors to finish its cooking. We did however make Indian Fry Bread over the fire.
 Ken had a meeting that night so he wasn't home for supper but the rest of us decided to eat outside around the fire. March is pretty early for a picnic here but it was sunny, we wore coats and the fire helped to keep us warm. It was quite fun.
 Here is our simple and yummy supper:
 One more food item for this week:
: : Making Waffles from wheat I ground and enjoying them with Maple Syrup.
We had run out of Maple Syrup for the year but when we went over to help my parents with the tree tapping Mom found out that I was out and sent me home some extra they had from other years. We do love our real maple syrup!
 : : Working at finishing the Quilting on my Quilt.
: : Crocheting a rag rug.

I am looking forward to sharing some of our "homesteading" activities on as many Mondays as I can. Have you been working on any "back to the basics" activities lately?