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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.
Are you ready? Today we are learning about Missy’s story…
Where Do You Live?
We are a family of four from Arkansas who lives in an 1120 square foot three bedroom home that sits on a one acre lot in town. A creek runs around our property along with several trees including an old Arkansas Black apple tree that still produces. We also have a large garden and a few chickens.
What Are Your Dreams and Goals for Your Homesteading Journey?
My husband grew up on a large cattle farm so he feels a little uneasy living in the city. 🙂 We would one day like to find a slightly larger home out of town with at least 5 acres, but preferably more. For now, we plan on expanding our garden and chicken flock in the coming year. I would also love to have more fruit and nut trees when we are settled in our next home. In fact, I would love to one day have a u-pick farm or at least be big enough to have a produce stand. And I’m sure we will be getting more livestock once we have a place to put them.
What Are Some Things You Have Learned So Far?
Each day is a learning experience. Since my parents aren’t into simple living and my grandparents are hard pressed to get around and show me what they know, I’ve had to basically pick myself up by my bootstraps and teach myself. Since getting married I’ve learned how to garden, can, dehydrate, cook from scratch, sew, knit, crochet, care for livestock, make my own cleaning products, etc. all while staying within a budget and raising a family.
My advice to someone who is just starting out would be to have patience and focus on learning one new skill at a time because trying to do it all at once is overwhelming. Also, learn all that you can from online communities like this one or check out books from your local library.
How Are You Making the Most With What You Have?
I feel like we’re producing and preserving a decent amount of food with the resources that we have with plans to expand in the future. We also try to eat simply (basic meals, little meat, etc.) and shop thrift stores for most items. I try to give homemade items such as apple butter or jam with baked treats around the holidays instead of traditional gifts. Also, I sew and crochet a lot of things for my children. We keep screen time to a minimum and encourage playing outdoors and with open ended toys such as blocks, books, musical instruments, etc. I clean with baking soda and vinegar and I use essential oils where possible. We would much rather spend time as a family in the garden or going on a hike than shopping or going to the movies (not that those things are wrong!). We want to be intentional about instilling strong moral character into our children and we believe the best way to do that is to live life alongside them while teaching basic life skills.
Share Your Favorite Recipe!
Easy Egg Muffins (Toddler Approved!)
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup bacon bits or diced ham
1/4 cup shredded veggie (carrot, zucchini, etc)
Mix all ingredients
Pour into greased muffin tin
Bake for 18-20 min at 350 degrees
Share With Us One Unique Tip That Has Helped You
Our family has learned so much from The Homestead Blessings DVDs which is a series of instructional videos on topics such as canning, soap making, sewing, bread making, etc. I love to watch them over and over again! They star the West Ladies which are a simple living family (no electricity!!) who live in Tennessee. There are 11 DVDs total and I know your family will enjoy them as much as mine has!
What is Your Favorite Useful Homesteading Item?
My slow cooker!
You can visit Missy’s blog, Graceful Little Honeybee here.
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 Missy for sharing your story with us!