Life Insurance Exercise| James Christie

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While this page is to promote our small Homestead and share family recipes and stories, this post is to say simply say that living this lifestyle takes two. 
While I’m the primary caregiver to our animals, our gardens and the dreamer behind this homesteading adventure, my husband James wears many hats. He has been incredible in bringing this dream to fruition, building almost anything I ask for. 

As we all know, nothing is built for free…

While our ultimate goal is to be as self sufficient as possible, we are not there yet. Not even close. 

While I’m home with our kids and the farm, James is working, traveling and creating…. He works for Lincoln Financial Group and I am so proud to share his latest project here! 

If you’re reading this, give him views, shares and subscribe to his YouTube page. 

I could not be more proud of him, his message and all that he does for our family. 

Click on the link below and SHARE!!

Life Insurance Exercise| James Christie

Why Life Insurance?

Wishing for warmer days…Fresh Avocado and Crab Cakes

We’ve had quite a bit of snow here in New England over the past couple of weeks. 

It is New England though…we had a snow storm one day and sunny skies and temps in the 50s the very next day. 

The warmer days instantly drive cravings of seafood, light and bright flavors, BBQ, freshness! 

So I decided to splurge and buy fresh Maine jumbo lump crab meat, ripe avocados and the freshest salmon I could find. 

These Avocado Crab Cakes are certainly not an everyday thing here at the homestead but are truly delicious and worth every penny. 

Here’s how I made them-

Fresh Avocado and Crab Cakes|

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes 

  • 1 lb fresh jumbo lump crab meat
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsp mayo 
  • 1/4 tsp old bay seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish

Start by halving your avocados, removing the pit and dicing in a cross-hatch pattern within the skin before removing the fruit with a spoon…

Next, toss the diced avocado with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a pich of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Now it’s time for the crab. Mix the crab meat, mayo, old bay, and another pinch of salt and pepper. 

Grab a ramekin, I used a 1 cup ramekin…take two heaping tbsp of your crab mixture and pack it tightly into the ramekin. Then pack the same amount avocado on top of the crab. Once both are packed in tightly, take the back of a knife and run it along the inner edge off the ramekin; separating the avocado and crab cake from the ramekin slightly. 

Quickly turn the avocado and crab onto a serving plate and there you have it!!! 

Top it with a little squeeze of fresh lemon and some chopped cilantro. 

Summer on a plate!!!

Perfect with seafood, steak or chicken! Like we’re having tonight!!

People will think you’re all “fancy” when you make this dish. But really… all you need is 3 ingredients and a ramekin. 

Oh and a fork!! 

Homestead Blog Hop #13

Blog Hoppin!

Recreational Gardener

Welcome! The Homestead Blog Hop will take place every Tuesday and is for all things homesteading: real food recipes, live stock, crafts, DIY, how-to’s, gardening, homeschooling, natural home/health, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, natural remedies, essential oils, & more!

chicken eggs in pan on rustic wooden background with strawMEET YOUR HOSTS:

Featured post from the last Homestead Blog Hop:

Every week the co-hosts will choose a post to feature and share on our social media platforms. This week’s featured post from the last blog hop is:

Different Types of Wood and Their Uses by Hillsborough Homesteading

thmb56cc708f65006Link-up-long-rectangle-blog-hopOur Guidelines:

  • Family friendly posts only!
  • Please visit at least 2 blogger links from this post and leave a comment.
  • Please link back to the Homestead Blog Hop in the post you share. Feel free to grab the banner at the top of this post to link back to…

View original post 45 more words

The Homestead Root Cellar

I absolutely love this post from Farmer Hick! What a beautiful job they’ve done with their root cellar!
#homesteadgoals

Farmer Hick's Homestead

What would a homestead be without a root cellar?

A lot of vegetables that are grown right here on the homestead end up being stored in the root cellar for winter eating. Let me show you how it can be done.

Situated right next to our house is another underground building. Farmer Hick did not connect this directly to our house, one of the things he’d do differently now. There’s a 3-4 foot wall of dirt between the house and the cellar, retained by railroad ties (you can’t see this because the whole wall is covered in board and batten). Three sides of the cellar are hidden in the ground, the Southern side contains the door.

005 cellar entrance

The cellar measures 10 x 10 feet, opposite the door are the shelves that hold our dairy, eggs and fresh food in winter, the squash and pumpkins from the garden, our basket…

View original post 770 more words

Mind Your P’s & Q’s

 Pigs and common Questions about raising them|

Believe it or not a couple years back when we first began our homesteading adventures, I would have never dreamt of raising pigs for meat. 

I was scared of their smell. I was scared of slaughtering them. And for whatever reason that scene from Animal Farm always really stuck with me. 

 
Photo credit deviantart.com

As time went on I became pretty decent in the garden. I learned to can a large portion of our harvest and my hens were laying a couple dozen each week. I realized it was time to expand my horizons, and so the discussion began between James and I. What would be a realistic next step? 

Our dreams of raising a dairy cow or two just seemed too large of an undertaking at the time.

James is a hunter and I admit, having a freezer full of venison for the winter, along with our fresh and canned vegetables made for a rewarding season. It seemed that raising our own meat would be the next step toward true homesteading and self sustainability. 

I read and read, and read some more… I mean, I really did my homework people! I had so many questions but when push came to shove we just lept in… Figured it out- and now I can’t imagine a spring that I won’t be raising pigs. 

I can honestly say that it was one the the most rewarding experiences of my life from start to finish. It was emotional at times, but I learned that it should be. Quality of life for any animal is what makes the difference. Whether they be a household pet, or livestock that you raise to feed your family- providing a happy and healthy life will produce a wonderful product, and give you peace of mind and heart. 

Saying goodbye in sacrifice or illness is inevitable on the homestead, and  will always really hit you in the feels. 

But let’s get back to the rewarding part shall we??

I can remember writing down question after question about raising the pigs before we picked them up for the first time. I was a little embarrassed to even ask fellow farmers because I felt like I should already know the answers. WRONG!

You never know everything there is know until you experience it first hand and even then, nature will probably throw a curve ball at you. It’s just natures way. 

So if you’re considering raising pigs to feed your family or sell for profit on your small farm, I’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions before you get started.

Q: how much space do you need to raise pigs?

A: our entire homestead sits on just three acres and the pigs barely seemed to take up any room at all. Our pigs had a simple 8×4 shelter, equipped with hay for bedding to keep warm, and a 30×60 double fence. I call it a double fence because it really is. The inner fence being an electric fence that is solar powered.  Pigs can be escape artists so it was important to us to run the electric fence first. Two feet around the perimeter of the electric fence, my husband and I built a wooden fence for extra stability and to keep our free range children, chickens and dogs from any shocking encounters.   

  
We only had four pigs this past year and this was more than enough room for them. They will dig up the earth and eat all of the grass and roots. Make sure they have a pasture like this to root up and keep busy.  

 
Q: can you only raise 1 or 2 pigs?

A: two is better. There is a sense of safety in numbers plus having a cuddle buddy will help them to stay warm at night. They love to lay on one another and one little baby alone would be sad to say the least. 

 
Whether they are approaching slaughter weight or still young, they WILL fight over food a bit, however in my experience- if you give them plenty they learn to figure it out on their own.  

 
Q: what is the cost of a piglet?

A: it will vary depending on your location but I would bet $100.00 to $150.00 for a wormed,  35lb piglet is pretty accurate. 

Q: how old will the pig be before it is fully grown and ready for slaughter?

A: pigs are ready for slaughter once they reach the 250 lb  to 275 lb mark. There are different measuring techniques out there for you to research but for us… Our 35 lb babies from April were fully grown and ready by October 25th-November 1st.

Q: what vaccinations will they need?

A: they should come to you wormed and at least have been given an iron shot. It’s important not to introduce too much into their system as it will change the quality of the meat. Pigs are not immune to infections such as pneumonia. If you notice your pig is not interested in their food or seems sleepy and withdrawn they may be sick. In most cases penicillin can be administered to help. Call a veterinarian or a fellow homesteader at first suspicion of illness. 
Q: what should we feed our pigs and how much per day?

A: pigs need a constant supply of water. Make sure you have a system in place that is easy to access so you aren’t hauling buckets of water to them all day, everyday. Pigs love to roll around in water and mud to keep cool and protect from bugs and pests, so havering a watering system is key!!

We fed our pigs all natural pig and sow grain. This will range anywhere from $10.00-$15.00 per 50 lb bag. Go for the good stuff. You are what you eat as they say!

Pigs will eat around 6-8 lbs of grain per day. I got into the habit of splitting it up into two feelings per day. Morning and night. I was also fortunate enough to supplement with old fruit and vegetable scraps from my local grocer. I highly recommend researching your options for this as well. Your pigs will love you! 

 
Speaking of love…

Q: how can I avoid becoming attached to my pigs?

A: you can’t….

These guys and girls will steal your heart.  

   
Try not to name them, that’s my best advice. Give them a good life and take heart, not every pig is so lucky. 

All in all these animals are a delight to raise and they provide a surprising  amount of meat. One 250 lb pig gave us 170 lbs of lovely organic pork for our family. It is well worth the effort…. And the feels.