Homesteading for the Average Jane

An average mom, trying her hand at suburban homesteading!


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I promise I haven’t been lazy!

So I haven’t posted in awhile but hat doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. The weather here in Tennessee has been horrible! The cold temps and wet weather has kept me inside, so aside from raking leaves into my flower bed to keep weeds at bay and turning my compost pile, most of my time has been spent indoors.

One of the things that I have not always been good at is organization but with homesteading I know I have to get my house in order. So I have been tackling the huge task of organizing all of my storage areas!

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First I started with my pantry. I cleared out all of the expired food and then arranged everything that was left. I have to say I hope by this time next year all of those tin cans will be replaced with jars of my gardens bounty!

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Last night I tackled my biggest project yet…my utility/laundry/closet room. This room is the work horse of the house. It has our laundry, storage, deep freezer, and litter box, while at the same time acting as our closet! To be honest it was nightmare and I’m glad I didn’t take a before pic because I would have been ashamed! I had tools, cleaners, automotive stuff, paint supplies, and a bunch of other things all over the place. So I worked into the weee hours and am so happy with the results!

I know that to have any success as a homesteader I have to be organized. Recently I spent 2 hours trying to find my hack saw (it was in the utility room of death!) Access to my tools and materials is going to be essential to having a great homesteading year! So while the weather is keeping me inside, it is not keeping me down or from realizing my dream to become a suburban homesteader!

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Late nights for Jane!

Ugh why is it that when I have a long day coming up I can’t seem to sleep? But I have been up researching what to do with my wood floors! Two days ago I decided to pull up all my gross carpet to reveal the not so beautiful hardwood floors. Now I am trying to figure out how to spruce them up. Don’t get me wrong, I am in love with the rustic look that we have going on but they are completely filthy from years of dirt seeping through and a family member that steam cleaned them every month! So my plan is to clean them really well and then wax them. Hopefully that will keep the rustic look but still make it where I can stand to walk around barefoot! This little homestead needs a lot of work inside and out but I’m up to the challenge! I will post some before and after pictures when they are all done!


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Straw Bale Gardening the Beginning!

Well here is the start! Today my mom and I loaded, hauled, and unloaded 42 bales of straw to my back yard. We went ahead and laid them out in rows the way I plan for them to stay. I have 4 rows of 10 bales and I have 6 extra bales. The 4 rows will be my main garden and the extras will be placed in another part of the yard for my melons and pumpkin plants. I want them to have plenty of room to spread out.  My next step will be to add my support stakes so that the bales stay close together and of course don’t roll down the hill. Over the next few months I will be treating the bales with urine and water to begin the composting process and have them ready for spring planting. I will post more pics of the process as it comes along!


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So I’m just an average Jane!

Well I’m just an average Jane, well Fran actually. I have a passion for homesteading…the only problem…I have never done it! I did grow up on a small farm and I have some experience with organic gardening, but to do this homesteading thing, I’m just an average mother and wife making a go of it. Throughout this year, I will be starting my own seeds (some in the spring…the traditional way) and some with a new winter seed sowing technique that I have learned about. I will be attempting to turn my back yard slope of death into a thriving straw bale garden and trying to raise chickens and possibly rabbits. Over the winter I will be building a lean-to potting shed, a green house area, compost bin, and rain barrels. I may be biting off more than I chew with a busy household of 5 kids but I am going to do my best. Tomorrow I am hauling home 40 straw bales! So I will have pics coming soon! Join me as I share my successes and my failures, it will be a lot of hard work but also a lot of fun!