An accessible guide for the aspiring modern homesteader from the craftsmen at Living the Country Life magazine! Grow your own crops, raise backyard animals, and preserve your bounty for the winter months and beyond.
Once upon a time, people had a real connection with the land. Instead of being mere consumers, they were producers and makers. Traditional skills were learned to eliminate a reliance on others, enabling the self-sufficiency that’s at the heart of the Do-It-Yourself movement. And this artisanal wisdom was passed on to family and friends.
The editors at Living the Country Life magazine have collected this essential expertise into Modern Homesteading, a guide to rediscovering the crucial skills to truly go from farm to table. Whether you live in the country or just want to reconnect with nature in your own backyard, Modern Homesteading provides guidance to:
* Build a chicken coop, raise and care for chicks, and produce farm-fresh eggs for the breakfast table
* Grow your own fruits, vegetables, grains, and herbs for a healthy and delicious bounty
* Preserve and can your favorite fruits and vegetables to enjoy their flavors throughout the year
* Customize your garden for a harmonious mix of plants that yield what you need, when you need it
Whether you’re raising urban chickens behind your Brooklyn brownstone or feeding your family from a front-yard organic veggie plot, this book can bring a little self-sufficiency into any life.
42 Get a Start in Beekeeping Thinking about raising honeybees? Here’s what you need to do.
LEARN ABOUT BEES Invest time in learning about the world of bees. Join a local beekeepers club or find a mentor.
SELECT A SITE Look for an out‑of‑the‑way location with distance from neighbors, livestock, and public spaces. A southeastern‑facing spot with morning sun, afternoon shade, wind protection, and nearby nectar sources is best.
PURCHASE SUPPLIES You’ll need a hive, supers (boxes for honey storage), a smoker (to calm bees when working the hive), a hive tool (to remove frames and supers from the hive), a bee veil (to protect your face and neck when working the hive), and gloves. Check farm supply stores, online suppliers, and local apiarists. Starter kits sell for U.S. $250 to $500.
CHOOSE BEES Talk with local beekeepers to find out the best types of bees for your area, then order stock for a spring delivery or pickup. While bees can be shipped, it’s best to buy a “nuc” (nucleus hive, typically four or five frames with bees and brood) from a local apiarist.
HIVE THE BEES Late afternoon or early evening is the best time to hive the honeybees. Ask your supplier for detailed instructions. Check on the hive after a few days and begin following standard beekeeping practices.
61 Churn Your Own Butter START TO FINISH: 10 MINUTES MAKES: 1 2/3 CUPS (300 G) 1 quart (1 L) whipping cream* ½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt (optional)
STEP 1 Place the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the cream on medium‑high about 8 minutes or until the fat and liquid separate. (Place a towel over the mixer to avoid getting splashed toward the end of mixing.)
STEP 2 Line a large sieve with a double layer of 100%‑cotton cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Pour the mixture through the sieve. Gather the cheesecloth around the butter and squeeze to get as much of the liquid out as possible. (Reserve buttermilk for another use.)
STEP 3 If desired, place butter in a medium bowl and use a rubber spatula to knead in salt. Pat butter with a paper towel to remove any excess liquid. Transfer the butter to a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper. Form into a log or square, wrap, and chill until ready to use or up to 2 weeks. *RECIPE NOTE If using ultra‑pasteurized whipping cream, it may take longer to beat before the butter separates from the liquid (about 12 minutes total).
PER 1 TABLESPOON BUTTER: 102 cal., 12 g fat (7 g sat. fat), 31 mg chol., 2 mg sodium, 0 g carb., 0 g fiber, 0 g pro