Saturday, March 23, 2019

The most beautiful naturally dyed easter eggs, how to make nettle pesto, and how to use a broadfork

Easter is a month away, but the stores are already filled with Easter stuff.  I don't like all the hype and commercialism around holidays, but I do love the simple rituals that go with special holidays.

Enter easter egg dyeing. For years now, our family has used an easy method to create the most stunning easter eggs, involving cabbage, vinegar, leaves and panty hose (or cheese cloth).

>> Here's my tutorial if you want to make these. << 

You totally should! It looks so complicated, but it's NOT!

Spring has arrived here. Last week, most of the snow melted (except on the North side of our five acres), and we worked in the garden with T-shirts and shorts. 80 degrees, people! Crocuses are blooming!

Luke and I planted garlic. I shovelled our home-made compost (which is gorgeous!) from our finished-compost-pile, hauled it over to the garden in the wheelbarrow, spread it over the designated garlic-growing-bed, and Luke helped me dig it in with the broadfork.

If you have never used a broadfork, you should watch my video where I explain why it's so much better for the soil, and how to use it. Or you can read the blog post I wrote about it here.

We've been picking the first nettles for cooking in soups. Ohhhh, our bodies are loving this extra nutrition!

Many people don't know that nettles are edible, let alone a famous powerhouse of a food that nourishes your body like few other greens.  If you want to learn more about why nettles are so good for you, how to harvest them, and how to make nettle pesto, watch my video tutorial here, or read my blog post here.

Last weekend, my hubby Steve, our nine-year-old daughter Eva and I set out for a bike ride on the Cascade Trail, which goes from Concrete to Sedro Woolley. It's a lovely gravel trail meandering through farm land, forest, and along the Skagit River.

I am proud to say and not at all shy about bragging: it's a 23 mile bike ride, and we did the whole thing. Our daughter rocks! She's strong... although she did complain after a few hours. We bribed her with many treats and the promise of ice cream, and it worked!

We started out at 5 B Bakery in Concrete, with a belly-full of breakfast.

We met buffalo along the way...

And ran into a flooding trail that gave us wet feet.

On a break at the river, we fed Eva who was kind of sick of the whole trip by then, let her rest a little, and I got to sit and knit...

Eva got a second wind at the end of the trip and sprinted to the restaurant where we met her brother Kai, who would drive us back home. We stuffed our faces with Mexican food and were grateful for chairs that didn't make our butts hurt like our bike saddles...

Let me share some other favorite pictures of the week with you, including

~ Steve and Luke building a bike ramp (can you tell why my heart is in my throat a lot of the day with Luke doing all these crazy potentially neck-breaking mountain bike jumps???)

~ A bonfire after pruning our orchard, and drinking hard apple cider that we made from our own apples last year... Heaven!

~ Taking my computer outside and working on the porch, as if it were summer!

~ Reading to Eva at night while she knits, after a long day of work. To be honest with you, some nights I just want to go hide and not interact with anyone, or space out on Netflix, and that’s OK. But when I can rally no matter how tired I am and really go the extra mile to spend quality time with my kids, it usually turns out to be very rewarding. I am aware of how fast they are growing up. 

It can be tricky to balance this desire to be the best mothers we can be with also taking care of our own needs, right, Mamas?

How are you doing? Is spring happening where you live? What are you doing in the garden? Please leave a comment below and share with us!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Our homesteading retreat at our homestead is scheduled for August!

We finally got our act together and scheduled this year's homesteading and wilderness retreat at our homestead!  It's gonna be August 24 and 25, Saturday and Sunday.

>>> Go here for more information or to register <<<

These retreats can truly be life-changing for people.  Steve and I love teaching what we know and are so passionate about, and participants in our retreats get to soak up all our knowledge!

When you go to the website, you can read more details and can also find blog posts and movies about past retreats.  You can also read the raving testimonials from participants.

Please keep in mind that the retreat is limited to ten people, so sign up now if you are interested!

Hope to see you this summer!!!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Mardi Gras in our small town, a weekend getaway, and a freezing bike ride

I'm writing this as things are dripping and dropping and melting around me.  There's hope, y'all.  The snow is going away. Every day more of my garden is getting exposed.  Oh, it feels so good!

I'm sure you are sick of everyone complaining about the snow, so I won't do that.  Instead, I'll tell you how our family dealt with this cold, snowy winter.

We were selected Royal Family for this year's Mardi Gras celebration in our town, which involved dressing up outrageously, leading a parade, dancing in the street, and consuming large amounts of candy. We even had our little dog's tail dyed Mardi Gras colors (don't worry, it's washable and non-toxic!)

I love our little hometown of Concrete!  There's always a real sense of community at this parade, visiting with friends who were hiding away during winter, lots of laughter, dressed up people and critters.

Let me present to you the Royal Family:

As spring is approaching with its temperamental weather swings, where it snows one day, and the other you can sit on the porch without a coat, the chickens are waking up again and laying eggs.

The other day, I dug up some of our own ham from our very own pigs, and I scrambled them up with some spinach and our very own eggs.  I finally feel like a homesteader again, making fresh food straight from the farm instead of heating up frozen pizzas.

That Sam I am
that Sam I am
I really like green eggs and ham!

On one of the first snow-free days, I dusted off my bicycle and rode along the Skagit River.  Yes, it was cold, and yes, I wore four layers of clothing, but as soon as I laid eyes on the unique color of my beloved river, the icy wind blowing the cobwebs out of my head, I felt elated.

The endorphins from the exercise sure helped, yes, siree!

Look at that, will ya?

And then it snowed again the next day.

My man surprised me with a weekend trip.  He could probably tell that I was getting severe cabin fever, so he found us a great Air B and B room ($50 a night!!!), loaded up the kayaks and bikes, and off we headed to Fidalgo Island.  It's just 80 minutes away from us, harboring our most favorite places to play and eat. (Hello, Adrift Restaurant!)

The sun shone the whole time!  Lucky us!!!

I shall leave you with a few other snap shots of our week:

~ Our oldest kiddo Kai being inducted into the National Honor's Society

~ My knitted skirt coming along

~ On a hike in our backyard

How about you?  Is your snow melting?  Have you started gardening yet?

Click on the image to download my free ebook and to join my mailing list

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!

Popular Posts