I am wife to Stewart, mama of four, homeschooler, homebirther, home cook, fermenter, head dish-washer and chief fire-puter-outer. I also work in recipe development and freelance writing for a few small businesses. I try to be in the garden and write a little something every day. This is where I tell our story... of building a sustainable off-grid homestead in a Christian agrarian community... of raising this growing family of ours... of the beauty and the hard and the joy in all of it.
725 articles written by Shannon


I am sitting in our new office, which is really just the location in the old cabin where our bed used to be. It’s 4:00 p.m. on July 31st here in Central Texas, the girls are napping, and I am not sweating. I’m not sweating because it’s only 80 degrees. I know that doesn’t sound like news, but it’s big news. To say this summer has been less brutal than the last two would be an understatement.

The thickest part of summer begins now, on this eve of August. The melons are beginning to yellow, the sunflowers are opening, and the chickens are on the all-you-can-eat grasshopper buffet in this thick of summer. We are planning for the fall garden, grasping for each breeze, and doing more school than homesteading projects in this thick of summer.

Stewart and I have also been taking on a little bit of extra work while it’s too hot for the physical labor of bigger homestead projects. Here’s a roundup of some of my latest recipes, tutorials, and fermentation adventures.

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Here’s a confession for you: I have yet to successfully grow an actual heap of compost for our garden. One reason (or is it an excuse?) is that I’m intimidated, having never really delved into the necessary combination of carbon, nitrogen, and other plant matter. The real reason, though, is probably because I haven’t made much of an effort. Compost takes a bit of time and I’m not sure I have the patience or wherewithal for that during this time in my life.

Instead, I’ve been making this wreaking jar of goodness a few times a week. It’s quick and simple and hasn’t killed anything yet, so I figure something’s going right. Right? Oh, and everything I’ve put this stuff on is not only still alive, but seems to be doing well.

This compost tea uses up two common kitchen scraps that most of us use on a daily basis and it’s dead simple to make.

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When I posted some soundbites from the garden, I realized that I haven’t fully shared here a broader look at the gardens. We have three main garden areas – the chicken field, the pallet garden, and this year’s new addition of the (how have I not told you about this?!) food forest.

This little man has a passion for all things propagation and plant, so I thought I’d let him show us around. Care to join us?

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