The Best Dual-Purpose Chicken Breeds
The Prairie Homestead Blog
by Jill Winger
1w ago
How can we close our chicken loop? It’s a question that’s been rattling around in my brain since a long-ago podcast conversation with Kate from Venison for Dinner. In that episode, we talked about reducing outside inputs in our home food production. And I’ve been working towards it in small ways for a while by: Saving more seeds Shuttling volunteer seedlings around the homestead to eliminate buying certain plants Using cover crops in the absence of dependable compost (thank you herbicides) BUT. Closing the loop with our livestock has proven to be trickier– especially when it comes to chicke ..read more
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The PERFECT Place to Homestead
The Prairie Homestead Blog
by Jill Winger
1w ago
“Where’s the perfect place to homestead??” The question comes up on every conference panel and podcast Q&A. I’m tempted to use the opportunity to shamelessly plug Wyoming (because I would LOVE more homestead-minded folks to join our community)… But instead, I figure it’s better to share the truth, so I reply, “The perfect place to homestead? Well….” It doesn’t exist. Northern states are wintery with minuscule growing seasons. The Pacific Northwest is gloomy and everything molds or floods. The Midwest has tornados and too much corn. The South is oppressively hot and humid (plus bugs). The ..read more
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The Best Mulch for Your Vegetable Garden
The Prairie Homestead Blog
by Jill Winger
3w ago
I’ve become a bit of a mulch evangelist. It started with my discovery of Ruth Stout all those years ago and has progressed into a full blown obsession. Now I find myself blathering on about mulch in almost every gardening conversation I have.  Nothing else has impacted my soil health and fertility as much as mulch. And while results won’t happen overnight, I’m continually blown away at the improvements that come faster than I expected. My mulched soil is softer, crumblier, and is filled with happy worms– just like nature intended.  Mulch vs. Bare Dirt: Why It Matters Stop what you ..read more
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How I’m Letting My Garden Be Easy This Year
The Prairie Homestead Blog
by Jill Winger
1M ago
“What if the garden was easy this year?” The thought landed in my brain and I instantly felt uncomfortable. I love hard things. Impossible challenges are my oxygen. When people tell me something can’t be done, their pessimism becomes my fuel. If I’m not climbing a mountain, I’m restless. (read more of my thoughts on that here) I had been reading Effortless by Greg McKeown and when he proposed the idea of “letting things be easy,” my feathers ruffled. “Our culture has enough easy,” I thought… “Meaningful challenge is what we truly need…” And I still stand by that belief. BUT. Two thi ..read more
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Salty Roast Chicken Recipe
The Prairie Homestead Blog
by Jill Winger
1M ago
I’m not into pretentious recipe titles, but this one is a new low… even for me… I considered calling it “Salt Encrusted Roast Chicken with….” And then I got stuck because there is no “with.” The ingredients are salt and chicken. That is it. (Plus it sounded stuffy anyway.) Anyway… The ingredient list may be humble, but the final dish is spectacular. The magic lies in the technique. I first learned this method from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat— a brilliant cookbook by Samin Nosrat. The first time I tried it, I almost bailed halfway through. This is one of those recipes that screams at you to “ABORT T ..read more
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Why I Don’t Live Like the Sky is Falling
The Prairie Homestead Blog
by Jill Winger
1M ago
“I initially didn’t listen to your podcast because I assumed it was going to be full of conspiracy theories like all the other homesteading shows… but I’m glad I was wrong!” I stared at the DM and my heart sunk. It wasn’t the first time I’d received a message like that. I was torn between feeling grateful that they gave my show a chance and feeling sad. The homesteading movement has changed so much in recent years. A simple movement once fueled by love of food and land has seemingly transformed into a frenzied mob selling fear and paranoia 24/7. I’m not a fan. It’s not that I don’t believe we ..read more
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Crusty Dutch Oven Bread Recipe
The Prairie Homestead Blog
by Jill Winger
1M ago
If you would have told my 18 year-old self who HATED cooking that she’d someday write a best-selling cookbook, she would have called you crazy. Little did I know that I’d fall in love with cooking on a windy Wyoming homestead miles from civilization. It’s funny how life surprises us sometimes, isn’t it? The Prairie Homestead Cookbook celebrated its 5th birthday this week. It’s been a best-seller, named an Amazon Editor’s Pick, and even won a book award. But more importantly, it’s made its way into countless kitchens across the globe and accomplished the mission I set for it at the very beginn ..read more
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Parenting by Subtraction
The Prairie Homestead Blog
by Jill Winger
2M ago
“Are you SURE we can’t help it??” My son peered anxiously into the incubator as the little beak poked through the pea-sized hole in the shell. The project started 3 weeks prior when my two youngest children (8 and 11) carried four goose eggs into the house with a pleading look. “Pleeeeease mom… can we incubate them?” Our female goose had built a half-hearted nest before deciding she’d rather spend her days cavorting with her boyfriend. My kids had been monitoring the situation for several days and finally snatched up the abandoned eggs. I hesitated at their plea. The eggs were likely not viab ..read more
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Simple Crowd-Pleasing Chili
The Prairie Homestead Blog
by Jill Winger
2M ago
Chili is such a polarizing dish. Popular? Yes. But everyone has strong opinions as to what makes the best chili…. Beans or no beans? Tomato or no tomato? Spicy or mild?  And that’s just the beginning… But at the end of the day, debates aside, chili is one of my favorite ways to serve a crowd, especially when time is short. It’s easy to get paralyzed by the myriad of possible chili ingredients. But over the years I’ve perfected this simple recipe that uses the simplest of ingredients, and it’s a hit every time.  It’s taken me a while to write it down since I usually adjust it depend ..read more
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Impossible Arrogance
The Prairie Homestead Blog
by Jill Winger
3M ago
“We can continue to improve [our meatless product] now until forever, and the cow is not going to get any better at being meat.” -Patrick Brown, Founder of Impossible Foods during an interview with Vox We recently sat down as a family to watch You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment on Netflix… It wasn’t until halfway through the first episode that I realized it was a propaganda piece for artificial meat. (Christian had to pause the show a couple of times so I could holler at the TV.) Needless to say, it provided us with a wonderful opportunity to teach the kids about bias, che ..read more
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