Self-sufficiency being the goal of the homesteader, it would seem we have crossed our first little milestone.  We’ve been here going on 14 months and since living sustainably and off-the-grid as far as energy, water, waste and transportation are such far-reaching and challenging goals, we have focused first on the food.

Saturday night was the closest we’ve come to a truly local meal, with 75% of it coming from these 55 acres.  Soups and stews have long been my specialty, and this one was the best I’ve ever made.   Since last week I was as irritated and frustrated as a caged up ‘coon, for a change of pace this week I’d like to share this little success story with my fabulous new recipe and a few fun photos.  Bon Appétit!

Homestead Stew

From the forest:  Leftover roast deer and leftover wild pig BBQ short ribs deboned and cut into chunks

From the garden:  onions, new potatoes, fennel, turnips, Greek oregano, French tarragon, German thyme, banana peppers (still frozen from last summer’s harvest!)

From the store:  several slices bacon (will make our own someday, but that’s not an easy one), 1 cup red wine (ditto on the wine) , celery (requires advanced gardening skills, I’ll get there though), salt & pepper (no hope there)

Chop the bacon and sauté with the diced onion, celery and peppers.  Add the chopped new potatoes, fennel and turnips.  Deglaze the pan with the wine, add the herbs and leftover meats, and cover with water or stock.  Et voilá, 20 minutes later a truly delicious stew.

For his Mother’s Day handy hubby made a fabulous berry cobbler from the last of the frozen dew berries picked last spring, because it’s time to fill the freezers back up again with this year’s crop!  And I can’t wait for those free-range, farm fresh eggs!!

Finally the cricket and grasshoper population is under control in the garden!

Finally the cricket and grasshoper population is under control in the garden!

In the kitchen garden: spring lettuce mix, Cinnamon, Thai and Sweet basil, French tarragon, Greek oregano, German thyme, cilantro, mint, lavender, sage

In the kitchen garden: spring lettuce mix, Cinnamon, Thai and Sweet basil, French tarragon, Greek oregano, German thyme, cilantro, mint, lavender, sage

Growing fine: several varieties of corn, tomatoes, beans, peas, summer and winter squash, potatoes, onions, melon, peppers

Growing fine: several varieties of corn, tomatoes, beans, peas, summer and winter squash, potatoes, onions, melon, peppers

born-free

Born Free!

Happier chickens are tastier chickens!

Happier chickens are tastier chickens!