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Dandelion pesto is one of my favorite ways to use dandelion greens. I get a head start on wild harvesting dandelions thanks to the high tunnel. While the dandelions outside are still dormant under the snow the “weed” dandelions that managed to grow in the tunnel are weeks ahead.

Thanks to Eaters Collective on Unsplash for the pasta salad photo. I’m still learning how to use all of the settings on my new camera. Hideous doesn’t describe the photos I took of my pasta salad. I’m not a food photographer by any means. It’s an art, and that’s not an art I have gotten good at yet.

Imagine pasta salad with Dandelion Pesto. mmmm! Wild Harvesting Dandelion Greens

Dandelion pesto should be made with greens that are harvested before the flowers open. I prefer mine before the flower even forms. The earlier the better. If you wait until the flowers are open the greens are likely to be too bitter to use. In that case, pick the flowers and make Dandelion Flower Fritters. There’s a lot you can do with dandelions!

Always wild harvest in safe areas. If you have pets be sure they aren’t using the area as a bathroom. Avoid yards that are sprayed with pesticides. Stay a safe distance off the road to avoid accidents and pollution. Ask for permission before cutting dandelion greens from someone else’s property. It’s nice to share some of your dandelion pesto with the people who let you harvest from their yard.

Health Benefits of Dandelions

Dandelions are a health food. Did you know this? The greens provide iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. They have vitamins A, B, C, E and K. They’re full of fiber, might lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and lots more.

Print
Dandelion Pesto – Wild Harvesting in Spring
Dandelion Pesto is one of the first recipes I make when wild harvesting starts in spring.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword dandelion, easy recipes, pesto, wild harvest
Prep Time 20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 6 cups dandelion greens washed and dried
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2/3 cup parmesan cheese chopped into 1/4″ pieces
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh
Instructions
  • Place the dandelion greens and garlic in a food processor. Blend on pulse until 50% processed, scraping the sides as needed.
  • When the greens and garlic are 50% done, continue to process and pour in the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, walnuts and Parmesan cheese.
Notes
Dandelion pesto can be served on Crostini, crackers, pasta, or baked potatoes. It’s a great way to change up pizza sauce. Add a spoonful to pasta and potato salads to spice them up. I love eggs over easy on toast with a dollop of dandelion pesto on top.

The post Dandelion Pesto – Wild Harvesting – On The Fire appeared first on A Life In The Wild.

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Sprinter arrived. It’s the end of March, our typically snowiest month of the year, but not in 2019. It was an odd winter with more than average rain that kept the snow pack down. We haven’t had more than two feet of snow on the ground for more than a few days at a time. Imagine that. Our last day of snowshoeing was March 23.

Sun and Snow Spring Migrants Female Purple Finch

Purple finches returned two weeks ago. A red-winged blackbird, grackles, a merlin, and grackles are back. Tom turkey comes around every few days. He gobbled in the driveway yesterday. Gobble, look around, listen. Look around, gobble, start to fan out but stop. Gobble. Repeat. I don’t think he got any replies. I’m waiting impatiently for robins. There isn’t enough bare ground yet but it won’t be long.

Today, March 30, there’s a little bit of bare ground that’s bare on its own, not from plowing. I can see Creeping Charlie <insert swearing here>, lemon thyme, and two poppies. It really won’t be long before I can start digging up plants, planting seeds, transplanting, and hopefully getting ahead of that Creeping Charlie. There are two columbine in the high tunnel that are ready to be transplanted to the perennial garden. I’m ready to start taking you along with me through these garden and business changes…as soon as they start.

Loose for the first time this Sprinter Khaki Campbell hen on a bare patch of ground. I think it’s a Khaki Campbell’s feather, down by the pond Birch Bark. I brought this in to use in crafts. Crazy Week

I have a crazy week coming. My birthday is Monday. I’ll be 55! Fifty-five. How cool is that. I have a fly tying, a workshop on healing gardens, a meeting I’m very excited about, and baking. I need to plan for On The Fire earlier in the week than usual, and then record Friday morning. For an introverted homebody, I’m on the road a lot.

The post Sprinter – Spring Came but it’s Still Winter appeared first on A Life In The Wild.

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You’re going to need your imagination for this project. It’s March 4. We’ll have eight inches of fresh snow by night fall. Spring is a month or more away. Imagine a 60 foot long high tunnel that’s somewhere around seven feet tall. This is what we have to work with. For placement perspective, the food plot is to the left and the tall tunnel to the right. Imagine vines on a high tunnel. Can you see it? Maybe if you squint and lean in closer? See it?

Food plot to the left Tall tunnel to the right

Hip and baseboard will be repaired, and then channels can be replaced. The channel screws to the hip boards. Poly is secured to the tunnel with wiggle wire inside the channels. The north side will roll up. The south side is permanently closed because it cuts down on rain blowing in. A wide door makes bringing the extra large wheelbarrow in and out easy.

Picture firewood stacked in 25% of the long tunnel to cure. I’ll plant pumpkin, squash and gourd seeds at the base of the ribs. I’ll attach twine to the ribs and train them to grow up. Use your imagination. It’s unattractive today but six months from now pumpkins, gourds, squash and their green vines on the high tunnel will be beautiful.

Garden Plans

This is the first of what should be a lot of gardening entries this year. I have big plans. I’ve held back on sharing my plans because I’m afraid of embarrassing myself by failing. So be it. I’ll share the failures as well as the successes so you can learn along with me. I’m starting a large perennial garden that will eventually spread out to the orchard (right of tall tunnel), over to the pond, into the back yard, and to the bakery.

Bakery Plans

Plans for Tressa & Trudy (bakery) are evolving into a small store of homestead-grown and made foods and crafts. It will open in the spring after work on the building is done.

Dreaming big. It will take time but it will come together. I’m sure of it. Or I’m not sure of it but I’m going to do my best!

The post Vines on a High Tunnel – Gardening in 2019 appeared first on A Life In The Wild.

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You can make your own Beef Stew Seasoning instead of buying it in the store. It’s flour, salt and seasonings. That’s all. You can make a full cup of seasoning with the flour you’ll dredge the meat in for about .25 cents. You can’t go wrong! And as always, start here and then adjust it to suit your personal tastes if you’d like!


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This week’s episode of On The Fire where I give this recipe for Beef Stew Seasoning and chat with Gundy.

This beef stew seasoning is also excellent with deer, moose, bear, elk and other wild game. Trim fat from the meat. Rinse and dab away excess water but don’t pat it dry. Mix the meat and seasoning together in a bowl. I use butter to brown the meat. Follow a stew recipe from there, or if you cook like I do, wing it from here on out.

Homemade Beef Stew Seasoning Mix
Print
Beef Stew Seasoning
You can make your own beef stew seasoning! Adjust the ingredients to your liking. Also excellent for wild game meats.
Course Seasonings
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Author Robin
Ingredients
  • 1 cup AP Flour
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
Instructions
  • Whisk all ingredients together. This stores well in a Mason jar in a dark cupboard or drawer.
  • Use 1/4 cup of seasoning for each pound of stew meat. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces. Coat well with the seasoning. Pan fry in butter until brown. The flour in the mix will help thicken the stew.

The post Beef Stew Seasoning Recipe appeared first on A Life In The Wild.

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The bakery is behind schedule. It’s honestly been a disaster. I’m still baking in the house but I really wanted to be in the new building in December.

There have been a lot of tears shed over this building. The craftsmanship in what I got doesn’t match the display buildings. We spent a lot of time fixing a big mess. Work I’ve had to hire out hasn’t been finished. Time spent waiting gave my mind time to wander. It wandered right out into the perennial garden, the one that doesn’t yet exist. From there it took a turn to a table and chairs under a canopy and sat down for a lesson, one that hasn’t been written yet. After that it got crafty and added new products to the bakery. Then the bakery became a store with seedlings for sale in the spring… I’m building a place for community.

Tressa & Trudy is evolving. I don’t expect to open in the new building until April. When it does, I’ll make it a big deal with samples and sales.

It’s coming but it’s a work in progress for a while yet.

The post Bakery Update appeared first on A Life In The Wild.

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At the end of a busy week – pizza night. It’s not a planned night. Every Friday night isn’t pizza night. It’s a wind down with pizza and beer night. It’s been a busy week. Why would I want to take the time to make pizza dough after a busy week? First, nobody delivers pizza, or anything else, out here. Second, that feeling of my butt sinking into the chair and the exhale, the ahhhhhhh I made it feeling that comes with that slice of homemade pizza, is worth it.

Homemade Pizza Dough. Recipe Below. Pepperoni, mushroom, green pepper. Homemade crust.

It’s been a busy week, like I said. I had a colonoscopy on Tuesday so Monday and Tuesday were crossed out on the calendar. Monday for prep, Tuesday for totally milking the “I had anesthesia and can’t drive or make decisions today” opportunity. I’m telling you this because colon cancer killed my Mum. The 20th anniversary of her death is next month. If it’s time for you to have one – go do it. You’ve already spent more time running to the bathroom for a stomach bug than you will for the prep. You get a nap and naps are one of life’s little luxuries. Then you get the rest of the day off. Ask for the first appointment of the day, by the way. I don’t have to go back for five years. Chances are you’re good for ten.

That left Wednesday through Friday to get the week’s worth of work done. Exhale. ahhhhhhh. Pizza and the end of a busy week. You know what I mean.

How was your week?

Print
Pizza Crust
Homemade pizza crust is easy to make. Keep kneading.
Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour Not all-purpose
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water 105° to 110°
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
Instructions
  • Mix the water and yeast together in a bowl. Add the olive oil. Add the flour and salt. Mix.
  • If the mix is very dry you can add water, one tablespoon at a time.
  • Lightly flour the countertop. Put the dough on the counter and knead vigorously for about ten minutes. Feel the changes in texture as you go. When you can pull a spot in the dough into a paper thin window without it breaking, it’s done.
  • Put the dough back in the bowl, cover it, and let proof (first rise) until it doubles in size. It could take as much as an hour. Don’t rush it.
  • When the dough has doubled, spread it out on the pizza pan/stone.
  • This recipe makes two large thin crust pizzas – approximately. Thicker crust, smaller pizza.
  • Top the pizza the way you like it. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. The amount of time needed will depend on how thick or thin the crust is. Add more time as needed.

The post Pizza Night appeared first on A Life In The Wild.

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Chocolate Applesauce Cake is a favorite recipe from my childhood. Mum would have a piece with a cup of coffee in the afternoon and if we were home, we got a treat, too. You can leave the cocoa out if you want plain Apple Sauce Cake. I remember Mum sometimes sprinkling a bit of sugar on the top before baking.

Chocolate Applesauce Cake
Chocolate Applesauce Cake is quick to mix up and bake. If you need a dessert or treat in an hour, this is it.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Keyword applesauce, cake, dessert, On The Fire
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cups chocolate chips 1 cup mixed in, one cup on top
Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Mix the wet ingredients together.
  • Mix the dry ingredients together.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients and then add in one cup of chocolate chips.
  • Pour into a sprayed 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Top with the other cup of chocolate chips.
  • Bake at 350° for 34 to 40 minutes.

The post Chocolate Applesauce Cake appeared first on A Life In The Wild.

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Self Reliance Bloggers Mega Giveaway!

Some of the bloggers from our Self Reliance Challenge have contributed to a mega giveaway for our readers. If you haven’t taken a look at the challenge you can do so by following the link above. The information and photos shared in these blogs is incredible.



Giveaway begins at 7 am on January 14th and ends at 7 pm on January 26th, 2019.

Canadian Readers may visit Farm Gal over at Just Another Day on the Farm for her giveaway for Canadian citizens! 

Check out the amazing sales and a great selection of heirloom seeds from Mary’s Heirloom Seeds! Use Promo Code SelfSufficient for more savings! Find more information here. Giveaway Prizes!

Total value of prize package is $199.31….that’s almost $200 of self reliance goodies that will go to one lucky person! Here are all of the prizes offered for this amazing giveaway…

Learn how to save seeds from heirloom crops. Packets for shaving seeds and plant tags for identifying your plants included!

Seed Sowing And Saving: Step by Step Techniques for Collecting and Growing More Than 100 Vegetables, Flowers, and Herbs valued at $19.95, 50 Bamboo Plant Labels in Gift Box valued at $9.99 & 50 Blank Seed Saving Packets valued at $4.99 sponsored by The New Homesteader’s Almanac

Learn how to garden organically with this ebook and course!

Getting Started with Organic Gardening Ebook and Course valued at $29.95 sponsored by The Experimental Homesteader

The lucky winner will munch on a cookie while reading some amazing books!

One Dozen Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies by Tressa & Trudy Bakery shipped value of $20 sponsored by A Life in The Wild

This is the book that inspired my homesteading adventiures

The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It by John Seymour value of $35 sponsored by The Farm Wife

Mary’s Heirloom Seeds has a great selection of seeds for only 99 cents a packet. Choose the varieties that you want to grow!

Winner’s choice of 15 packets of 99 cent seeds valued at $14.85 sponsored by Mary’s Heirloom Seeds

Filled with recipes, tips on gardening, natural cleaning and beauty products you can make, and stories from the author’s homestead…Melissa Norris is an entertaining author!

The Made From Scratch Life: Simple Ways to Create a Natural Home by Melissa K. Norris valued at $12.99 sponsored by Organic 4 Greenlivings

These 2 fertilizers are organic and all natural! Your vegetable garden will thank you for feeding it!

Fertilizer Combo of Mountain Flower Root Boost 1 pound package valued at $9.95 & Mary’s Organic Plant Food 4-6-2 1 pound package valued at $8.95 sponsored by Stone Family Farmstead & Hidden Springs Homestead

One of the most popular home preservation guides you can buy (or win!), the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving is loaded with useful advice and delicious recipes!

Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving 37th edition $12.60 value, sponsored by Nancy On The Homefront

The lucky winner will get to choose from one of these wonderful ‘How to’ ebooks by herbal guru, Heidi Villegas!

Winner’s choice of e-book: Hot Process Soap Making or Herbal Salves, Oils, Butters, and Balms valued at $10 sponsored by Healing Harvest Homestead

Handmade seed saving packets designed and drawn by Lacey from Home & Harrow are sure to please any gardener! (You might want to frame these instead of putting seeds in them!)

10 Hand Drawn Seed Saving Packets for popular seeds value of $9.99 sponsored by Home & Harrow

Enter For A Chance To Win This Amazing Prize Package!

Self Reliance Giveaway 2019

OptionsBegins: 1/14/2019 7:00 AM ESTThis giveaway will begin soon.Terms & ConditionsBy submitting an entry to this giveaway you agree to the following Terms & Conditions:
This sweepstakes giveaway is sponsored by The New Homesteader’s Almanac, a division of Tohoca, LLC 1643 N. Alpine Road Suite 104 #520 Rockford, IL 61107 No purchase is necessary to enter for a chance to win this prize.A purchase will not enhance the odds of winning prize.You must complete at least one entry option to enter for a chance to win prize package.Additional entries are optional, and will increase your odds of winning.One winner will be chosen at random by an automated tool on the Giveaway Tools website, after the giveaway ends at 6pm CST on Saturday, January 26th, 2019.Sponsors, their businesses, employees, and families are not eligible to enter the givaway or win the prize.You must be 18 years or older to be eligible to win the prize.You must be a citizen of the United States (including all 50 states and the District of Columbia) to be eligible to win the prize. Some prizes may not be available for shipping outside of the contiguous United States and will be forfeited by entrants with mailing addresses outside of the contiguous United States.Any entrant found to be in violation of the sweepstakes giveaway terms and conditions will be ineligible to receive prize and a new winner will be randomly chosen.All decisions are final and are at the sole discretion of The New Homesteader’s Almanac.Winner will be contacted by email after the giveaway ends. If the first randomly chosen winner does not reply to claim their prize within 48 hours of notification, a new randomly chosen winner will be contacted. The odds of winning this prize depends on the number of entries.Upon acceptance of prize, winner accepts sole responsibilty for reporting value of giveaway prize as ‘other income’ on their state and federal taxes, as required by law. Sweepstakes sponsor is not responsible for taxes or fees, if there are any, on prize package.
You also agree to the Giveaway Tools’ Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

large Side bar graphic 300 x 900 Contest Rules

Terms & Conditions of Self Reliance Challenge Sweepstakes Giveaway

  • This sweepstakes giveaway is sponsored by The New Homesteader’s Almanac, a division of Tohoca, LLC 1643 N. Alpine Road Suite 104 #520 Rockford, IL 61107
  • Individual prizes in the prize package are sponsored as listed above.
  • No purchase is necessary to enter for a chance to win this prize.
  • A purchase will not enhance the odds of winning prize.
  • You must complete at least one entry option to enter for a chance to win prize package.
  • Additional entries are optional, and will increase your odds of winning.
  • One winner will be chosen at random by an automated tool on the Giveaway Tools website, after the giveaway ends at 6pm CST on Saturday, January 26th, 2019.
  • Sponsors, their businesses, employees, and families are not eligible to enter the givaway or win the prize.
  • You must be 18 years or older to be eligible to win the prize.
  • You must be a citizen of the United States (including all 50 states and the District of Columbia) to be eligible to win the prize. Some prizes may not be available for shipping outside of the contiguous United States and will be forfeited by entrants with mailing addresses outside of the contiguous United States.
  • Any entrant found to be in violation of the sweepstakes giveaway terms and conditions will be ineligible to receive prize and a new winner will be randomly chosen.
  • All decisions are final and are at the sole discretion of The New Homesteader’s Almanac.
  • Winner will be contacted by email after the giveaway ends. If the first randomly chosen winner does not reply to claim their prize within 48 hours of notification, a new randomly chosen winner will be contacted. Please add the email address lisalynn@newhomesteadersalmanac.com to your contacts to be sure your notification email does not get lost in your spam folder, or check your spam folder for the notification email.
  • Upon acceptance of prize, winner accepts sole responsibility for reporting value of giveaway prize as ‘other income’ on their state and federal taxes, as required by law. Sweepstakes sponsor is not responsible for taxes or fees, if there are any, on prize package.
  • Giveaway sponsor retains rights to substitute prizes or equal or greater value in the event a prize becomes unavailable, choose a new winner, if notified entrant is found to be in violation of terms & conditions or does not respond within 48 hours of notification, or change terms of giveaway if found to be in violation of any state or federal law.
  • The odds of winning this prize depends on the number of entries.
  • By entering this giveaway you are accepting the terms and conditions of this sweepstakes giveaway.

Visit Just Another Day on the Farm and Farm Gal for the Canadian giveaway for our Canadian readers!


So there it is! Nearly $200 in prizes to one winner. How could anyone resist entering!?! Good luck!

The post Mega Giveaway! Self Reliance Challenge 2019 appeared first on A Life In The Wild.

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This is a great chowder to fill you up, warm you up, and keep you going during these cold winter months.

roasted Poblano Chicken Corn Chowder
Roasted Poblano Chicken Chowder
Roasted Poblano peppers add a little heat and a lot of flavor to chicken chowder. Poblanos, chicken, potatoes, corn and beans make this a hearty chowder. This is great for a cold day spent ice fishing, skiing or snowmobiling.
Course Chowder
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken, chowder, On The Fire
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Ingredients
  • 2 to 4 Poblano Peppers Choose size and amount depending on how much heat you like
  • 4 cups potatoes bite sized pieces
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 8 slices bacon topping
  • 2 cups chicken shredded
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 1 large red Bell pepper Orange or yellow works too; you’re after color
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • 1 15 oz can corn or 2 cups frozen
  • 2 limes 1 quartered, one halved. You’ll use the juice from the halved lemon.
  • Queso Fresco topping
  • cilantro topping
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  • Roast the Poblanos. You can do this under the broiler or if you have propane or natural gas, over the flame. Roast until half or three-quarters of the skin is black.  Move the roasted peppers to a container and cover. They will continue to cook briefly.
  • Cook the bite-sized potatoes in the chicken stock until fork tender. Drain but KEEP THE STOCK. Don’t drain it down the sink like I once did.
  • Cook the bacon until crispy. Set aside to cool and then chop the bacon. Keep the bacon fat.
  • Cook the chicken. You can roast or pan fry.
  • In the bacon pan, saute the onion, pepper and garlic until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the flour to the bacon fat, onion, pepper and garlic and stir to make a paste. Adjust the flour as necessary.
  • Mix in the chicken stock and stir until the flour mixture has dissolved.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, Poblanos, chicken, potatoes, corn and beans. Stir well. Does it need salt and pepper? Probably at least pepper. If the chicken stock was salty, probably no salt needed.
  • Add 3/4 cup cheddar, the cream and the sour cream and stir.
  • Add the juice of 1 lime. This little bit of juice makes a big difference in flavor!
  • Top each bowl with a little Queso Fresco, bacon crumbles, cilantro and a lime wedge.
Roasted Poblano Chicken Corn Chowder Recipe

The post Roasted Poblano Chicken Corn Chowder appeared first on A Life In The Wild.

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