Making the Most With What We Have
Welcome to our brand new series here on Little House Living, “Making the Most With What We Have”! This series will showcase individuals and families all over the US (and even outside the US!) that are making the most of what they have. We know that you can be a modern homesteader without 160 acres of land and a mule so this series will share the stories of these families so we can get a peek into their lives and learn from each other.
Come join in today to learn all about Megan’s story…
Where Do You Live?
We live on a 2.5 acre homestead in Iowa. Our home is a 1676 square foot brick house with an attached 3 stall machine shed.
What Are Your Dreams and Goals for Your Homesteading Journey?
Our goals are to be more self sufficient. To rely on ourselves more for our wants and needs. My main goal is to save substantially at the grocery store. We would like to grow more of our own fruits and vegetables and raise chickens for eggs and meat. Another goal is to cut waste by re purposing or updating things, such as painting an old dresser for a frugal, but beautiful, new look or making rice heating bags from scraps of fabric.
How Are You Making the Most With What You Have?
I have been learning to make my own laundry detergent tabs and household cleaners. We are also planning on expanding our garden next year by doubling it’s size. We can and/or freeze corn, zucchini, squash, green beans, peas, peppers, pears, peaches, applesauce, jams, jellies, tomatoes, and pickles, to name a few. We have a root cellar where we store carrots, potatoes, and onions. We know people with cherry, pear, and apple trees who always have an abundance to give to those whom will do something with it. We give people fresh produce too. My husband fishes and hunts and butchers everything himself, alone, or with the help of a friend.
What Are Some Things You Have Learned So Far?
I’m capable! 🙂 Whether it be sewing on my daughter’s girl scout patches or processing produce from the garden, I get a wonderful sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in taking care of myself and my family. Also, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help in learning a new skill. People enjoy passing on their knowledge to others who are interested in learning it. I was very timid with canning, but my sister walked me through it and we enjoyed our time together.
Share Your Favorite Recipe!
I received this recipe from my mother in law. It was passed down from her grandmother. I love it because it can be used in so many meals. Some of our favorite include chili and goulash. It can be used in any recipe in place of diced tomatoes. Warning: When you run out (since you can never have enough), its hard to go back to using canned diced tomatoes from the store. 🙂
4 quarts tomatoes, cut in chunk, not peeled
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup celery, chopped
4 tsp. celery salt
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix together in very large bowl. Pack in jars 1/2 inch from the top of jar. Put in pressure canner for 14 minutes at 5lbs. pressure. Makes 9 pints.
Share With Us One Unique Tip That Has Helped You
Living in Iowa and being the daughter and granddaughter of farmers, we have always had a lot of sweet corn. The safest way I can process corn is to stand the ear up in center of a bundt pan and cut straight down the sides. The ear is less likely to slip and the corn falls into the pan around the ear, where it is easily measured to be bagged and frozen.
Your Favorite Useful Homesteading Item
Anything Else to Share?
You don’t have to be perfect at everything! Things don’t always go as planned, but you always learn a lesson. Hard work can be very rewarding. Be proud of everything you have accomplished and keep learning throughout each stage of your life.
Want to be a part of the Making the Most With What We Have Series? You can read about it and fill out the interview questions here.
Thank you Megan for sharing your story with us!