It’s Tree Tapping Season! A Quick Guide to Homemade Pure Maple Syrup

Syrup season heralds spring. It’s the first early spring food, a sweet reward for making it through another cold and gray winter, arriving with those first bursts of 50 degree, sunny days, just when the forest feels like it’s coming back to life. Sap flows when it’s freezing at night, forcing the tree to take in more water and nutrients from the ground and then around 45-50 degrees during the day. It needs to be just warm enough to unfreeze those nutrients on the inside of the tree, but not so warm that the tree starts to bud, generally speaking at least 42 degrees. Here in Indiana, as a result, the season lenth varies greatly each year–sometimes giving us a heady month, and others, just a few short days.

Dear White Church: A Love Letter to the Forest Behind our Homestead

We bought our home 11 years ago because it was pretty much all we could afford. We were young and had few resources but big dreams. We had lived in my parents’ home for 3 years. Chloe, our daughter, slept in her own room. Liam, our baby son, slept in a co-sleeper he’d long outgrownContinue reading “Dear White Church: A Love Letter to the Forest Behind our Homestead”

Finding the Home in Homestead

Oh hi there. *sheepish wave*. So, yes, it’s been 9 months since I last updated the blog. In my defense, I got the kids through their homeschool year in the middle of a global pandemic, dealt with the uncertainty of (yet another) year as contingent faculty (“will I have a job or won’t I?”) whileContinue reading “Finding the Home in Homestead”

Welcome Back: Late Spring Homestead Updates

It has been quite a long time since I have felt up to writing a blog. Working a full-time, demanding job in academia, homeschooling both my kids, doing as much homesteading as possible, and living through a devastating global pandemic while also in the midst of all of the historical socio-political and cultural touchstone momentsContinue reading “Welcome Back: Late Spring Homestead Updates”

Let’s Talk About Self-Care and “Doing it All”

Yes, We Know Self-Care is Important (an Introduction):A few years ago, just after I graduated with my MA, I was was asked to participate in a panel discussion for incoming graduate students. One of the students posed a question to the panel about self-care, and balancing work and life in grad school, and everyone turnedContinue reading “Let’s Talk About Self-Care and “Doing it All””

Homeschooling 2.0: Spring Semester Changes

Happy Saturday morning, lovely readers! It’s been a whirwind couple of months here at the Homestead, so I need to start providing some updates on our goings-on because it’ll be Spring before we know it. In fact, I just ordered seeds a few days ago! But before we get into that, I’d like to talkContinue reading “Homeschooling 2.0: Spring Semester Changes”

Christmas 2020: Bake All The Cookies!

We made it through the Fall semester, both with Homeschool and my university’s semester! Celebrate! I still have some things to button-up in both places before I can say “Winter Break!” and even then, the kids will get a break, but I will be planning the next unit for them while also planning for myContinue reading “Christmas 2020: Bake All The Cookies!”

Homestead Homeschool: The First 4 Weeks and Work-Homeschool-Life Balance

In (Pandemic) Life Updates: The “Lost” Two Months, I gave a quick synopsis of the struggles both kids were having with remote learning and announced that Chloe had decided to homeschool for the remainder of the school year, but that Liam had improved enough that we were keeping him enrolled in remote learning public school.Continue reading “Homestead Homeschool: The First 4 Weeks and Work-Homeschool-Life Balance”

Potato Soup with Herbed-Roasted Mushrooms, Potatoes, and Corn

Once upon a time, in what feels like a different life, I co-owned a boutique wine shop with a small upscale cafe, where I was the executive chef. I served everything from wine-inspired appetizers, pizzas, and soups/salads/sandiwches to 5 course $150 a head wine dinners. But, during this time, I also had two very smallContinue reading “Potato Soup with Herbed-Roasted Mushrooms, Potatoes, and Corn”

(Pandemic) Life Updates: The “Lost” Two Months of Remote Learning

Oh my goodness it’s mid-October already! We’re still editing vlogs from South Dakota. I haven’t updated the blog in awhile. And we’re putting the garden to rest for the season while also loading in the greenhouse. So much is happening at the Homestead to talk about, but before I can start the post routine again,Continue reading “(Pandemic) Life Updates: The “Lost” Two Months of Remote Learning”