What herbs should I grow? A guide to common herbs that are easy to raise.

When planning an herb garden there are many choices: an indoor herb garden in containers, outdoors in containers, or in a garden or raised bed. It all depends on what you have available and what works best for you.

The most important question is, “What should I grow?”. The answer is, “Anything you want to, but make sure you’ll use it”.  Here are a few herbs that are easy to grow and are commonly used in the kitchen.

Basil

 

Chives

Oregano

Cilantro

Rosemary

Thyme

You can start all of these plants from seeds, but it can be difficult if you don’t have heat lamps and an indoor set up. The easiest thing to do is to buy seedlings, which you can do from most garden centers. In fact, I saw that Lowe’s, Atwoods, and Wal-Mart had all of these available while I was out shopping for other things today.

All of these herbs are quite hardy, and you will find they need little care. No fertilizer is needed as long as you harvest from your plant often. An inch of water will do per week, and some mulch around the base will help the plant retain moisture (if planted outside) . One of the biggest mistakes people make with herbs is letting it get dry, which quickly stuns the plant.

All of the herbs above couldn’t be anymore perfect for planting in pots, indoors or out. Try to put one plant per 12 inch pot as you will find that the seedling can use all of the space. Be sure to keep your potted basil in a warm spot where it gets plenty of sun. If you need to, move the pot around as the sun shifts in order for it to get a solid 6 hours of warmth.

If you are new to herb gardening, like I said in the previous post, I would just stick to picking 3 herbs to start with and then add later, if you see some success. It is also important to not get too crazy with the planting. If you are not planning on preserving (through drying or freezing) or using your herbs as soon as harvested, then you really want to go small. These babies can get big and overwhelming to a new herb gardener quickly.

As with anything, moderation is key. My favorite part is the smell of these herbs. There is just something about them and how they immediately make me feel. Do you have any tips to share? Let me know in the comments, or over on our group Facebook Page.

 

The Beginner’s Guide to Homesteading

You have decided that you want to homestead, or you already do…. a little. Now what? Once you start looking at blogs, websites, journals, Pinterest, you fall down the rabbit hole of overwhelm. There is so much to do, to make, to be responsible for! The result, is that you don’t end up doing any of it and simply just wish you did.

Sound familiar? It does to me. I also came up with lots of excuses as to why I couldn’t EVER do THAT! I forgot about doing it, but that nagging little voice in the back of my head kept telling me that I should homestead.

Where do you start?  The key is to pick one or two small things to make a change. Then after 30 days or so pick up something else

Start a container herb garden with no more than 3 herbs. As they grow USE them in the food that you cook.

  

Start a small garden with no more than 4 types of vegetables. As they grow USE them in the food that you cook.

Re-purpose old items. Instead of buying something new all of the time, and constantly throwing things away, re-purpose them. That old mayonnaise container? Wash it out and use to to hold something in your craft closet. Old socks? Use them for dust rags. Old chicken feeders? Turn them into bee feeders.

  Make you own __________________. Laundry detergent. Soap. Jams/Jellies. Clothes. Dishcloths. Bread. You name it. Pick one thing that you can make to benefit your household and do it.

So think about what is easy or smart for you and your family. Do it for 30 days and then add something else if you feel inclined, or just do that one thing and perfect it.

I’m going to help. This week I’m going to be focusing on how to start an herb garden and how to use it. This is honestly how I started my journey and it’s a great baby step. If you’re way past that, then you’ll enjoy some of the recipes I’ll share with fresh herbs. It’s going to be a fun week. Stay tuned.

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!

What is modern homesteading?

Welcome to the official launch of Hough Family Homestead! I’m so glad that you are here! Look around and become familiar with the site.  In the coming days and weeks you will find everything you need in order to start or to continue homesteading.

So what is ‘homesteading’? Is there is a difference between the homesteading of the 1800’s, the 1900’s and now. There is no question. So what we do now I call ‘modern homesteading’. To me, modern homesteading is making a home. It is also taking small steps towards being more independent of “the system” in whatever ways (large or small) you can.

What does ‘homesteading’ look like at my house?

We garden, preserve our harvest, beekeep, and I knit. But that’s not what it looks like for everyone. Some people container garden, have raised beds, or just completely have brown thumbs. Other homesteaders have animals such as goats, chickens, ducks, etc. Still others choose to only buy locally, make their own household supplies, or a combination of any of these. There is no “right” way to homestead. It’s how YOU want to make your home.

There are a few things that all homesteaders do have in common…..

  1. A homesteader is a person of action. They don’t know just say their going to do something, or think about it, they actually do it.
  2. A homesteader is a life long learner.  Homesteaders are always wanting to learn more, or learn something new.
  3. A homesteader is a servant. Homesteaders are stewards to the land, to animals, and are willing to help others (in their own family, friends, and community).
  4. A homesteader is a part of a community. Being a part of a community is a way to learn and to grow as a homesteader. Homesteaders tend to flock to one another because they feel that they can learn from one another.

As I’ve said many times to anyone who will listen, homesteading is a frame of mind, a philosophy, and a lifestyle. It’s not having a large garden, living off grid in the woods, or making your own clothes (but you sure can if you want to), homesteading can be done anywhere by anyone. If this sounds like you, stick around and visit a spell. We’ve got a lot of things to learn from one another.