The first bird out of the nest.

For the past few months it was really quiet over here at HFH. The blog and my social media presence took a major time out. Back in March when I launched HFH I was really naive to think that I would have the time and effort to do this site justice.  Then in May it hit me like a ton of bricks, my first baby, our hard working farmhand, our precious daughter was graduating high school and leaving us.

I know that this is a hard time for many people in our situation. I made the conscious choice to just stay in touch through my Instagram page, and otherwise just soak up every minute left with my oldest under our roof. I’m happy to say that it was the best decision I could have made.

The summer months went by like days and the days went by like seconds. Before I knew it August was here and it was time to move my girl to school. I was sad because I would miss her, but happy for the exciting things that would happen in her future.

(One last picture after we set up her room and I left her on her own)

The days and the past few weeks that followed were hard on us for a few reasons.

  • Our house felt so empty (even though we still have one more at home and added another as a host family for a college student).
  • I was scared and worried for her safety constantly.
  • I worried that the “real world” would chew her up and spit her out.

(Her first day of college picture that she sent to please her mama.) 

She’s been there for a month now, and I’ve had some time to think about it and while I still worry because I am her mother and she’s only 17 and living 100 miles away from me, I’ve come to peace with it for the following reasons.

  1. She’s a farm kid. – One of the biggest compliments we heard about this engineering school is that they LOVE farm kids. They want them in their programs because they are hard workers and are able to problem solve better than kids who were not raised on or near a farm.
  2. Her incredible work ethic. – Farm/Homesteading kids have a great work ethic, because they learned from an early age that chores need to be done and done well before any fun begins. Animals, crops, family members, all depend on them getting their work done and done right.
  3. Trusting my parenting. – This was the hardest for me the first few weeks, but I’ve honestly come to peace with it.  My husband and I have spent the past 17 years parenting her and doing the best that we know. And now it’s time to trust ourselves and our parenting and let her navigate the world on her own.

I’m sad, because I miss her, but I know she misses me, or at least I think she does….enough to text or call me when she doesn’t know how to do something. I know she still needs me, and goodness knows, I still need her.

Preserving Your Harvest: Freezing Broccoli

I know that I’ve been MIA for awhile. I’m learning how to balance this new life we’ve entered into. I can’t express how much your life changes when you add livestock to your homestead. Currently we have 28 chickens and have also added 4 hogs (meat hogs). However, I’m back on track. The garden exploding at an exponential rate and the harvest is coming quickly.

Many have asked how I preserve our harvest and have been begging for videos of how I do it. I’m new into the foray of videos, especially those I upload on YouTube. However, I have a series of them that will be coming this week. The first one is one of the easiest to do. You can use this method with broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini and squash. It is simply blanching and preparing for the freezer.

Watch the video below. Let me know what you think and what you would like to see next!

3 Things you should think about before starting to homestead.

Because it is a Monday, I’m in a sucky mood. I know, I know, “suck” is a bad word that a lot of people don’t like, but that’s how I honestly feel about Mondays. It has nothing to do with my job, I love it. It’s just because I have a psychotic love affair with my weekends and by Monday I’m just feeling resentful that Saturday and Sunday have left me.

Speaking of suckage (if that’s not a word it should be), I was recently listening to one of my favorite podcasts, and they were talking about “embracing the suck”. The were talking about prepping, but I honestly feel that it could also apply to decisions regarding homesteading tasks.

Homesteading is super cool! I’m not going to lie. Raising bees, or chickens, or goats, harvesting beautiful bounty out of your garden, making your own clothes through knitting and crochet, making your own soap, going off grid, it’s all AHHHmazing! You should do it, you totally should! But before you jump in headfirst there are a few things that you should think about.

  1. Will I MAKE the time? No matter which aspect of homesteading you decide to take on, remember that it takes TIME. Do you have the time to devote to it? This is especially a question that you should ask yourself if you are going to grow veggies or herbs, or if you are thinking about raising animals.
  2. Do I really want to do this? The answer to this question is almost always a resounding YES, however, the question you should ask yourself is, “Will I want to do this a month from now? A year?” Homesteading is a commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
  3. Am I ready to embrace the suck? This is the biggest question that you should think about. With all the cool and amazing things that come along with homesteading, are you ready to do the less cool things? Are you willing to weed your garden on a regular basis? Are you willing to tend to chickens (including wiping their butts? Yes this is something you will have to do), Are you willing to clean your hive frames after the season? Are you willing to get your hands dirty and add compost to your garden?

The fruit of your labors are going to be worth it, but are you willing to put in the work? If you answered yes to these questions then get busy and start today! If you aren’t ready to embrace the suck and make time just yet, then you can still homestead in small ways:

  • buy local produce
  • create home cooked meals with real food
  • garden in small containers
  • learn to knit, crochet, or sew
  • reduce your footprint (conserving energy, water, etc)

You don’t have to go all out to  be a homesteader, like I’ve said before it is a mind set.

Want to talk about it? Have questions? Come visit our Hough Family Homestead Facebook Page and join the conversation today!