Making the Most With What We Have: Alissa’s Story
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Making the Most With What We Have
Welcome to our 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 be inspired by Alissa’s story!
Where Do You Live?
We live on a tiny, 1/8 acre lot in a smallish city in Ontario, Canada. Our home is a 1,000 square foot brick bungalow built in the 1950s. I purchased this home specifically because the lot had absolutely no trees on it – just a nice blank slate for us to make our own. 🙂 In the past year since we bought it we have put in 4 raised beds and hope to add more this year!
What Are Your Dreams and Goals for Your Homesteading Journey?
My dream is to become as self-sufficient as possible on this little 1/8 acre lot, and what we can’t grow or make for ourselves we try to buy as locally and sustainably as possible. We are a homeschooling family and I believe that homesteading is the best education I can possibly give my children: Teaching them how to be self-reliant and to make the most of what we have! My goal is to raise my children to be producers rather than consumers.
How Are You Making the Most With What You Have?
In order to save money, I buy apples by the bushel and store them in my cold room. They had started getting a little soft, and the kids wouldn’t eat them as the skins were starting to wrinkle and bruise. We washed, peeled, and sliced them all up and put them in the dehydrator to make dried apple slices (which, of course, the kids gobbled up!!), and then used the cores and skins to make apple scrap vinegar. After the vinegar was finished, the cores and scraps went into the compost pile. Nothing was wasted, and we ended up with lots to show for our otherwise wilting apples!
What Are Some Things You Have Learned So Far?
I have learned that often, the only restrictions we have are the ones we put on ourselves. I’m a single mom of 3 kids, and I feel like as a team, we can do anything we put our minds to! My children are my inspiration for this lifestyle; their love and appreciation for nature inspires me each and every day and reminds me that we are indeed on the right path. We are continually learning and growing together, and focusing on living as lightly on this earth as possible.
Share Your Favorite Recipe!
One of our favourite recipes is homemade Paleo pizza!! I double this recipe so it fills a large cookie sheet.
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut flour
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 tsp honey
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, mix the wet ingredients, then add to the dry ingredients.
Let sit for a few minutes so the coconut flour will absorb the moisture.
Oil a large cookie sheet and spread dough out evenly on cookie sheet.
Top with your favourite tomato sauce and toppings and bake for 12-15 minutes.
Remove and slice! 🙂
Share With Us One Unique Tip That Has Helped You
I have learned that a penny saved is worth more than a penny earned. Often when we are struggling financially, my first instinct is to think of how we can bring in some extra income. When in fact, the answer is usually to find ways to cut our costs. About a month ago, after receiving an insane hydro bill, we made the decision to unplug our dryer. Although we live in Canada and still have snow on the ground, I have a large indoor drying rack, and as long as we do a load of laundry each day I can stay on top of it, without resorting to using the dryer. Keeping it unplugged is just enough of a reminder of what my goals are, that when I feel the urge to just throw stuff in the dryer I realize that the extra 5 minutes it takes to hang it up is well worth the effort.
Your Favorite Useful Homesteading Item
My Square Foot Gardening book! This was the first gardening book I purchased, and it has truly been my bible for learning how to garden!
Anything Else to Share?
The biggest piece of advice I can offer is don’t bite off more than you can chew! Take on one or two new changes at a time. Whether it’s starting a small garden, or learning to sew, or making your own household cleaners and personal care products. Try something new, tweak it until it works for you, and then move on and try something else. I’m a huge advocate of baby steps. One step at a time, and before you know it you will be well on your way to living a simpler, more fulfilling 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.
We love square foot gardening! I’m so looking forward to adding more raised beds. Isn’t it awesome what you can do on a small piece of land?
It was great to hear from a fellow Ontarian! I enjoy reading this series as I learn something new from each family.
Way to go, Alissa. Homeschooling and Homesteading. You are doing a great job.