Thursday, September 28, 2017

Autumn abundance and gorgeous-ness in our neck of the woods

So much happened in the past two weeks, I don't even know where to begin.  Big emotions are happening here, I can tell you that.  Our three homeschooled kids are now in public school, and it's bringing up lots of sadness for me, but also incredible pride in how well they are doing.  I'm happy to hear from their teachers something I knew all along: that they are all great kids, leaders, courteous and motivated.

Oh, and also this:



I've never seen my oldest kid in a tie, but last week at homecoming, he showed off his newly acquired outfit (which I purchased at Value Village).  Actually, obviously the focus of his pride here is not his clothes, but his date, who was crowned homecoming princess the night before at the football game.

This is mind-blowing on so many levels.

First, my son is old enough to have a girlfriend?????? (He's almost 15.)
Second, can you believe that I now attend football games????? (I hate football, mostly because I don't understand the rules.)

I'm happy to see that my kids fit in well.  I'm thrilled to know they are expanding their horizons.  I'm glad that I'm overall pleased with this small public school, about which I've heard such bad things for years.  I think the teachers are all incredibly nice and helpful and committed there.

But Gosh darn it, I hate putting my sleepy kids on the bus every morning at 6:30am and welcome them back home at 4pm.  I'm having a hard time getting used to them being gone all day, doing things I have no idea about, learning stuff I have no control over...

It's a good thing, really, it is.  It's just that my mother's heart misses them.  I'm so glad they are growing up.  But this transition is so sudden and feels so harsh.  I feel so many conflicting emotions.  But it's a good thing.  But... but... but...

Here's the bottom line: My kids are getting used to school, and they like it.  They are thriving.

Having all this time freed up during the day leaves me to pursue my own passions.  I'm working on something amazing for you (actually several awesome new things), but I'll tell you about them another time.

Besides working, I also take time for self care.  Mostly, this means biking and spending time in nature.  Cause if you have a place like this, why would you not want to be out in it?




The garden is winding down, and I sowed cover crop in many of my garden beds.  I have to put floating row cover on the soil, lest the pesky birds gobble up all the seeds. 

It definitely feels autumnal, with colder temperatures, plentiful harvest bounty, and ripening fruit.

I just picked a bunch of our European plums, and also some of the daliahs blooming in my garden.

We had to light our wood stove for the first time the other day, and our twinkling lights in the kitchen turn on earlier every night...







Remember the baby ducks our mama Ancona hatched?  They are now almost full grown - it happens super fast with ducks!  (And human children.  Sigh.)

They hang out with our chickens, share food and compete with Raka the dog for food scraps I throw out into the yard.

And talking of food: I'm making a lot of it right now.  There's nothing like a perfectly grilled chicken on our new Traeger BBQ to welcome my kids back from school.

And bread!  Bread!!!  Look at these perfect, beautiful loaves.  They taste as good as they look, and I'm sorry to keep pushing this, but you should take my online course to learn how to make this, along with other things like sauerkraut, greek yogurt, kombucha and beet kvass.  The whole course is only $39, it's totally self-paced, you get to watch me demonstrate how to make all this in my kitchen, and if you read my students' testimonials, you'll want to buy it.


Don't you want to make and eat this bread? Sure you do! Take my online workshop!








In other news of the week, I'm not the only one bitten by the biking bug.  On Sunday, my seven-year-old daughter rode 20 miles with me, and not just on flat, smooth blacktop.  No, she biked up and down some pretty tough logging roads with big hills.  This kid rocks.

Also, we've been spending some quality time at the river.  The salmon are spawning, and it smells ripe out there.  Unfortunately, we can't fish because the season is closed, but we still like to watch the salmon with their huge humps battling in the water.











I'll leave you with images of other busy-ness last week:

Making lip balm with my lemon balm infused and calendula infused oils...

Knitting more hats and head bands.  Winter is coming, people...

And my favorite picture of all, the care package I put together for my friend who just gave birth to her baby son.  The basket includes all things made and raised here on our land by us: a loaf of bread, Gouda goat cheese (I teach another online course on how to make Gouda), tomatoes, cucumbers, smoked salmon caught by Luke last year, goat milk soap, fig jam, a tin of homemade salve, and some pork chops.





Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Wanna go to Hawaii or Germany with me? Please help me plan by taking my short survey!

I'm cooking up a new idea: Leading a retreat in Hawaii, and then one in Germany.

We've been leading homesteading retreats on our beautiful homestead here in the Pacific Northwest for years.  So when one of my blog followers contacted me and asked me: "Do you want to come over to Hawaii and teach what you do here? People need what you have to offer?" --- it was no-brainer.

Go to Hawaii, teach what I know, and connect with cool people?  Gheee, I don't know.  Twist my arm?

And then I was thinking, since I'm German and have lots of connections there, why not organize a retreat over in Southern Germany?  People would learn skills like cheesemaking (and visit a local creamery), sauerkraut making (and eat famous German sausage with it), have me as a native speaking tour guide, and lots of others cool stuff.  Maybe I could teach how to make wine or mead, and then visit one of the local breweries?

It's all still in the dreaming phase, as you can tell, but hey, can you do me a HUGE favor???  I put together a short little survey to see if this is a totally dumb idea or not.  It would help me so much to get your feedback.  

Will you please take a couple of minutes to help me and fill out my survey?

Create your survey with SurveyMonkey

Friday, September 22, 2017

What would you do?

In light of all the recent disasters with hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires, I've been thinking of emergency preparedness.  Do you ever plan on what you would do in an emergency?  I want to be prepared to take care of my family and animals in case of a disaster, and maybe you do, too.

So let me share something awesome with you, because when I run across something amazing I feel I would be doing you a disservice to not let you know about it.



Enter Jennifer and Bill Osuch, the creators of The Prepper Bundle, who I’ve been working with lately. You might know them from their website Self Reliant School where they teach gardening, real food cooking and preserving skills. They’re our kind of people!


They have put together an outstanding eBook and eCourse bundle. You might have seen one of their Back to Basics Bundles. Now, they are offering another bundle geared towards all aspects of preparedness. From food storage to bug out bags, from primitive survival skills to first aid and alternative medicines, the content is an in-depth collection of quality content geared toward the modern day Prepper.


The quality of resources, the step by step getting started guide, the seamless and incredibly easy to use download area, their unprecedented customer service (their goal is your happiness), and all the bonuses included in the bundle are incredible.

Since, I know you care about homesteading and living a wholesome life, I think you’re going to love this bundle! But it’s only going to be available for a limited time!

The Prepper Bundle includes 30 resources to help you better prepare for the unknown. You will learn about:

  • Alternative cooking techniques and recipes
  • Seed saving and gardening
  • Edible and medicinal wild plants
  • Creating a wholesome, healthy food storage
  • Learn about bushcraft and primitive survival
  • How to build the ultimate bug out bag
  • The blueprint to a first class first aid kit
  • Preparing for extreme weather
  • Plus learn how to do more things yourself, manage a small homestead, and much much more!

If you were to buy each of these resources separately you’d pay over $300, but for this short sale it’s 90% OFF!

It’s a super deal, no doubt! But it’s more than a great deal, it’s the information you need to help you ensure that you and your loved ones are prepared for any type of crisis or disaster.

But it’s kind of like buying in bulk, there’s a ton of stuff and it can be overwhelming. That’s why they have created a getting started guide to help you utilize the most relevant information to you so you can begin preparing immediately.

They have had thousands of satisfied customers from their bundles! No doubt because of Jennifer and Bill’s commitment to detail, excellence and sincere commitment to self sufficiency.

The bundle is only available until Monday at midnight!

Monday, September 18, 2017

The tastiest, easiest salsa recipe ever


If you grow a successful garden, you are overflowing with tomatoes just about now.

We sure are, and I want to share the recipe we use to transform this bounty into one of the tastiest, easy-to-make salsas ever invented.

I gave a jar to our foodie friends, who called us after eating it asking what the secret ingredient is, because it is so damn good.  

If you own a food processor, you can make a quart of salsa in less time that it takes five people to eat it.  Why do I know this?  Ahem.  

We made 3 gallons worth of salsa in an hour, so do the math!  This recipe is one batch at a time, so just multiply the recipe according to how many tomatoes you have!



Here's how to do it, one batch at a time:


Ingredients


8 tomatoes
1 bell pepper
1 cup cilantro
1/2 cup red onion
juice from 1 lime
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne or anything spicy (optional) to taste

A word about the tomatoes: We grow several varieties, including Roma, Big Beef, Cherry, Early Girl, and a bunch of heirloom ones.  Some of these are considered good for fresh eating, some for sauces, some for canning, and so on.  For the purpose of this salsa, we don't care about it.  Use whatever you have, and mix them all up.



A word about spice: I'm a wimp.  Period.  I don't do spicy.  At.  All.  So if you want spicy salsa, add cayenne or hot sauce, or whatever it is you people like to add to food to make it inedible spicy.  Some members of my family add hot sauce to their own bowls.  More power to them.

A word about cilantro:  Some people don't like cilantro, and that's okay.  We still love you.  I use cilantro every single day and even put it in my smoothie.  Why?  It's an incredible detoxifier and immune system booster, helps the body get rid of heavy metals, is a powerful antioxidant and protects against cardiovascular disease.  In other words: eat your cilantro.


Directions

- Cut tomatoes in half, cut out the green stem part.

- Cut onion, garlic, and bell pepper into large chunks.


- Throw this into a food processor and pulse five to ten times, enough to break the pieces down but not liquefy them.


- Add cumin, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper (and the spicy stuff if you want it).


- Pulse again until you like the consistency.  We like some chunks in our salsa.



Eat it!  Eat it!  Or it keeps in the fridge for some time.

Since we make gallons of this stuff, we freeze it in ziplock bags.  It's super easy that way, and although it makes the salsa a little runny after it defrosts, who cares?  We don't mind it at all, and use the more liquid stuff that's left over after everyone dipped the chunks up with chips for making omelettes and stir fries.

Don't ask me about canning this.  You have to make sure there's enough acid in salsa if you want to can it, and it's best to use recipes that are specifically for canning.

Also, it helps to use tomatoes with noses.






Thursday, September 14, 2017

Summer's winding down, and the last squeezed-in fun!

If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you have seen pictures of the insane amount of salsa we made in the past week.  And let me tell you, that salsa is so good that I have to restrain my kids from eating all three gallons we cranked out.  I dole it out a quart jar at a time, and every jar is gone in 15 minutes.  Hmpf.  You gotta be fast around here if you want in on the salsa action.

I promise I will give you the recipe soon - it's very, very easy to make - and the best one I've ever had. 

In the meantime: Look at those gluttons.



The day we made salsa, we also smoked salmon.  It's from last year's catch, and we wanted to try out or brand new Traeger Barbeque/Smoker/Grill.  I love that thing!  We got it on sale a few weeks ago, and we have used it almost every day.  You can smoke, grill, bake and bbq food in it. 

I've never eaten barbequed chicken more tender or salmon smoked more flavorfully than in the Traeger.  It runs on wood pellets and imparts an absolutely exquisite flavor to everything - even veggies.


Talking of smoke, fortunately the smoke from the wildfires has lifted.  Fall is in the air, and nights get pretty cold.  

We're cleaning up the garden and harvesting a bunch of veggies, including carrots and garlic.  There's still lots of cauliflower left as well.  We'll leave the squashes in the ground just before frost.  The edamame beans are all gone by now, but green beans are still growing.

A couple of weeks ago we went to the other side of the mountains to harvest blue elderberries.  I made a bunch of elderberry syrup, since this is our cold and flu preventer, and I have the recipe and tutorial on how to make this wonderful stuff here.  

Go make it.  You can use dried elderberries that you can purchase online.  You will save a lot of money making your own elderberry syrup instead of buying it in small bottles at the store - for a lot of money!!!





On the trip to the other side of the mountains, we also threw the bikes and tents in the van, and lots of mountain biking happened.

If you're local and you've never hiked Cutthroat Lake, do it before the pass closes.  It's such a pretty, easy hike, and marvelous mountain biking.

That night, one of the wildfires blew up.  We slept in our tent with smoke in the air, and when we woke up, ash covered our car and tent...

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I cannot wait for the never-ending rain to start.  This summer was hot, bone-dry and a little scary.  The rivers are lower than the old-timers have seen them...










I'll leave you with images of summer: blackberry picking!!!  We picked 20 pounds of these precious morsels, which we will transform into blackberry wine.  I'll write a blog post and tutorial about it, so you can try it, too!

And my goats: They don't like the smoke either.

How about your neck in the woods?  Is summer winding down?



Saturday, September 9, 2017

An update on the non-homeschooling thing. And also our Homesteading in Paradise movie for August!

Darlings, here is our Homesteading in Paradise movie for August.  I cried my way through making this one, because it marked the end of our homeschooling lives.  The scenes in this clip feature large on our kids, of course, because they have always been so involved with our homestead.


I have to remind myself that they will continue to be involved, just not as they were before.





What can I say?  I go from being a mess because I'm grieving the loss of letting my kids go, to elation because I can start my day with yoga, and I have hours of uninterrupted time.  By myself.  In a quiet house.

And then I start crying again, because... well, because the house is so damn quiet.

This is such a huge change for us as a family, and as individuals.

The truth is, I can't write about my kids starting public school right now.  It's too emotional, I'm too exhausted.  But many of you have asked me how the transition is going, and I wanted to tell you that we're doing fine.  Really.

I will write more soon, I promise.

In the meantime, please remember that I'm teaching in this free online summit.  My "How to make Chevre cheese" presentation is tomorrow (Sunday), among lots of other presentations, lasting a whole week.  You can learn awesome self-sufficiency skills, for free and online, on your own time.  I'm sorry if you've been inundated by reminders of this event on my blog and social media.  It's just that it's an amazing opportunity, and a great gift, really.

I'll be participating in this summit as a teacher AND student.  There are things I want to learn, and I'll sit in on several presentations, for example the ones on thermal cooking, year-round gardening, natural skincare for families, extreme grocery budgeting, heirloom seed saving, making mead, and how to embrace an off-grid lifestyle.

Hope to "see" you there!



Thursday, September 7, 2017

Only a few more days left - this could change your life!

If you are subscribed to our blog or follow us on social media, chances are you are interested in a more sustainable, healthy, wholesome life.

This is why I am so excited to tell you about the FREE online Back to Basics Living Summit!


It's a gathering of some of the top influencers in the back to basics movement, covering topics from gardening, preserving food, backyard livestock, urban homesteading, and more, and it's all ONLINE and FREE, so you can learn from the comfort of your home, or barn, or wherever you choose to spend your time!

And guess what? I'm considered a top influencer (who would have thought?), and I'm one of the presenters!  My video presentation is on making Chevre cheese.


30 different experts teach via interviews, video content, slideshow tutorials, and ebooks.
 

View presentations on:
  • Saving Money and Getting Out of Debt
  • Achieving Real Health Naturally
  • Growing Your Own Food Year Round
  • Being Prepared for Crisis
  • Food Storage
  • Seed Saving
  • Canning
  • Off-Grid Lifestyle
  • Cooking
  • Brewing
  • Cheese Making
  • Natural skin care
  • Jump Starting Your Urban Farm
  • Back Yard Livestock
  • Solar Cooking
  • Starting your Homestead From Scratch
  • …and MORE!!!
Registration is FREE! Follow this link to reserve your seat today, and I will see you on the inside.


If this is your first time attending a summit, here are some things you should know:
  • There is NO ENTRANCE FEE and it is available 100% Online!
  • It begins September 10th
  • It runs for 7 full days
  • Each day has unique content!
  • Over 22 hours of video presentations for you to enjoy
If you want to be included in this summit, register HERE to reserve your FREE ticket!
Only registered attendees will get the entire itinerary!
Come join us for this educational and entertaining event.
Mark your calendar!
I’ll see YOU there!


Many blessings,

Corina Sahlin



PS: 


If you didn’t already know, you have the option of purchasing lifetime access. While viewing the presentations during the event is 100% FREE of charge, if you would like to watch on your own schedule as many times as you like, then LIFETIME ACCESS to the full content is the best option.

By upgrading your “seat” at the summit, you won’t have to wait to watch the presentations you want, and you can watch (or listen) to them as often as you like!

If your schedule just doesn’t allow for you to catch all the presentations, or you want to binge watch them all, NetFlix style, grab some popcorn and ENJOY them at your own speed!
You don’t want to miss any of this great content!

Unlock your UNLIMITED ACCESS before Tuesday, September 12th to qualify for:

An impressive door buster discount
Over $180 in bonuses
The ability to WATCH, SKIP, REPLAY, DOWNLOAD, and LISTEN at your own pace

The discount is a limited time offer – check out the details HERE.

Even if you plan to just watch the videos as time permits FOR FREE, check out this link anyway for new details about the event.

Become a patron!!!

If you like our blog, please become a patron. What the heck does that mean? As a patron, you give us as little as $1 a month (or as much as $20 a month) to show your support and get exclusive, patron-only content from us. You will get tutorials, recipes, inspiration, and support from us, the homesteading, wilderness and homeschooling experts! You can cancel anytime!

https://www.patreon.com/Marblemounthomestead

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