Author: Derek and Sara

How to Dehydrate Apples

How to Dehydrate Apples

apples, apple slices, dehydrated fruit, dehydrating apples, dried apple slices, apples and cinnamon, dried fruitWe love dried fruit, but Derek doesn’t care for store-bought ones, especially apples. We are also wary of store-bought dried fruit due to all the added ingredients, and all that added sugar! That is why we dehydrate our own, and when we do, we can’t get enough of them! Here we will tell you how to dehydrate apples.

The process is simple, especially if you have a dehydrator.  This one is similar to the one we have (there are more links below to similar dehydrators), and it works quite well for our purposes.  We would like to get another one in the future, perhaps one with a temperature gauge and an on/off switch, or even a solar one, but, for now, the one we have serves us well.

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Apple Time

Apple Time

Now that Fall is upon us, it’s apple time; apple harvesting time, that is!

apples, apple, apple peeler, apple corer, apple slicer, apple time

One reason we wanted to start homesteading was to spend more time together. Recently, we spent an entire Saturday picking apples from our trees and processing them. It was actually harder work than we thought it would be! Well… for Saira anyway.

Moving to this sort of lifestyle is quite an adjustment; you actually have to work for what you want. Well, work in a different sort of way.  It may seem “easier” to drive to the store, buy some apples, applesauce, dried apple slices, etc. But when you purchase everything you want or need, you are trading your time for money and money for those things.  By doing as much for ourselves as we can, we are still trading time, but not just for money. We are spending that time together, making the things we want, together, rather than spending the majority of our time apart, at work. And isn’t your time more valuable than money?

OK – rant over! Back to the topic at hand – Apples!

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7 Tips for Keeping Warm in Winter in an RV

7 Tips for Keeping Warm in Winter in an RV

7 Tips for Keeping Warm in Winter in an RV, RV, camper, cold weather camping

The challenges of living in a camper/RV can sometimes seem overwhelming. The lack of space takes some adjusting, but is manageable. Perhaps one of the hardest things to deal with is staying warm in an RV during the winter months. Keeping yourself, and the camper in general, from freezing, can be difficult at times. Even with an RV’s furnace running all the time, it can still get cold; not to mention, running the furnace that frequently, eats through your propane reserves rather quickly. Space heaters work wonderfully as long as you can connect to shore power; running a space heater on alternative forms of energy isn’t really feasible unless you have a huge battery bank. Being prepared for the cold months is key to surviving the sometimes harsh winter.  Here you’ll find our 7 tips for keeping warm in winter in an RV.

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Dehydrating Fruits and Vegetables with a Food Dehydrator

Dehydrating Fruits and Vegetables with a Food Dehydrator

Dehydrating, Fruits, vegetables, food, dehydrator, dehydrating, drying, preserving.Dehydrating Fruits and Vegetables with a Food Dehydrator, dehydrator, food preservation, preserving food, prepping, canning, jarring

Dehydrating is a great way to preserve food for long-term storage. When properly dried and stored, fruits and vegetables can last up to a year or more. One should ideally use the freshest produce available. Overly ripened fruits and vegetables tend to not be as crisp as fresh produce. Here, we will discuss dehydrating fruits and vegetables with a food dehydrator.

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How to Propagate Strawberries

How to Propagate Strawberries

Propagating Strawberries, Strawberry, strawberries, plant, plants, strawberry plant, garden, gardening, propagating, runner,How to Propagate StrawberriesStrawberries are one of the easiest plants to grow. As long as you are adequately watering them, they do not need much attention. The best part of growing strawberries is that they naturally want to spread and reproduce. This can be annoying if they are not properly contained and begin consuming areas that you don’t want them to. However, if your goal is to reproduce your strawberry plants, then you’re in luck because this post will cover just that: How to propagate strawberries.

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What is Homesteading?

What is Homesteading?

homesteading, homesteader, homestead, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, DIY
The term “homestead” comes from the American Homestead Act of 1862. This act was the federal government’s way of encouraging families of that time towards the western expansion of the United States; it offered them land if they were willing to live on and develop it. But what is homesteading?

Today, there are various definitions for what the word homesteading means; most of them boil down to self-sufficiency and living deliberately. However, homesteading seems to mean different things to different people,  so, here, we’ll attempt to describe what homesteading means to us.

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Meal Planning Saves Money

Meal Planning Saves Money

Buying food is expensive. Funny (in a sad kind of way) to think how the simple act of feeding yourself can cost so much. This is especially true if you are buying fast or “convenient” food most of the time. We have found a way to drastically lower our monthly food expenses through the somewhat simple process of meal planning. However, a lot like budgeting, it requires diligence and persistence to maintain. Speaking of budgeting, click here to see our blog about the importance of budgeting.

Meal planning is not only a great way to save money; it’s also a great way to eat better. Meal planning saves time and energy throughout the week. It allows you to not have to think about what you are going to eat each night of the week. We began meal planning many years ago to save time and money; we were less likely to eat out since we already had something ready for us at home.

The basic idea of meal planning is simple; come up with breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the following week. When we first did our “freezer meals” we basically made a bunch of dinners and breakfast items that would last 2-4 weeks. We would put the different meals into Ziploc baggies or similar sized containers, only full enough to feed us for one night, possibly with leftovers for lunch. We would take the container out of the freezer the day before wanting to eat it, and when we got home, we simply heated it up on the stove. No more microwave dinners for us!

Although we are working on doing monthly meal planning, we are currently planning our meals out on a weekly basis. Generally, we do smoothies for breakfast, which is great because you can blend up several smoothies and freeze them; then move them from the freezer to the fridge the night before you plan to consume them. For lunches we usually make something that will last the entire week, like a taco salad or wrap, and keep them in the fridge all week. For dinner we generally make two to three different meals and freeze them in separate containers, one container for each two-person serving. It really is that simple.

In future posts we will discuss, in detail, our meal plans. If you have some ideas for meal planning, we’d love to hear from you! Please comment below or contact us!

Composting Humanure Compared to Other Methods

Composting Humanure Compared to Other Methods

Composting humanure (human waste) seems to have a stigma attached to it. Most people find the process of composting humanure to be “gross” and would rather flush it down into the sewage system. However, the process of composting humanure compared to other methods (standard waste treatment process or septic systems) is quite easy and is far more sustainable. Furthermore, when properly composted, you are left with perfect composted soil for fruit trees and garden beds.

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