Featured posts

Today, I tell the story of the little duckling who could – or rather the little duckling who got herself into a predicament that almost resulted in a foot being cut off. Spoiler alert: she still has her foot and is in the bathtub infirmary recovering.

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Today, I will talk through four ideas for homey and homemade gifts you can start now in preparation for Christmas.

This is the fourth time I have done this episode and it gets harder each year. If you do not find something you like in this one, you can go back and listen to the past three. I have provided links to them in the show notes.

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Past Gift Idea Episodes

#HollerHatWednesday: Where is she and who is she with?

What’s Up in the Garden

  • Thinning out plants to make room for the fall garden
  • Basil is coming on strong
  • Tomatoes are about done but I found a survivor
  • Malabar spinach is taking off — need to trellis it
  • Grabbed and 89 cent bag of leeks at aldi and planted them
  • Getting fall transplants in this week because I found some

Main topic of the Show: Four Christmas Gift Ideas to Start Now

  1. Reusable hand warmer
  2. Brownies in a jar
    1. https://delightfulemade.com/2014/05/08/mm-brownies-jar-free-printable/
  3. Bitters
  4. Fire Starters
    1. Reference LINK: http://mylittleredtractor.com/index.php/2017/11/08/diy-fire-starters/

Make it a great week!

Advisory Board

The Booze Whisperer

The Tactical Redneck

Chef Brett

Samantha the Savings Ninja





We still have 3 seats left for Green Chili day!

Did you hear me talking about September 14, green chili day? That’s right, you are welcome to come out and see how we process green chilies, as well as share some food and fun at the Holler Homestead. After members had their crack at seats, we have ended up with three seats left!

Sign up here.


Join us at the Holler Homestead for Green Chili Day! September 14, 2019 – 10am-8pm. Camping available for Saturday night.

  • Awesome food
  • Fun walks to be taken
  • See how we preserve Hatch Chilies (Canning, salsa, drying, smoking, freezing)
  • Some adult beverages
  • Great community

Specifics: Starting 10am Saturday, we will be roasting and processing hatch chilies for winter. This is a fun day of great chili-laden food and hanging out. Event ends at 8pm but y’all are welcome to camp if you have been imbibing. Please leave by 9:30am Sunday.

Request that adult language be avoided until after 8pm as there will be some children here.

This is a free event, however we rarely are sad if folks show up with something to contribute. 😀

Today I was inspired by a listener who posted a quote over on the Mewe group for Living Free in Tennessee to remember to take life’s detours in stride – and we had a doozy this weekend!

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Several years ago, Chef Brett handed me a Christmas present with three little spice tins produced by Bourbon Barrel Foods out of Kentucky. While all three samples were tasty, the one that stood out the most was the Bourbon Smoked Paprika – a true paprika with a little bit of heat and a ton of smoke. Within a month, this single spice became one of the most important dried herbs in my kitchen. I used it on eggs, in salsa, in stews, in stir fry, on steak, on chicken – on everything. Just a tiny bit of this spice packs a flavorful punch.

Today, we are Cooking With What We Have by rolling a roasted chicken into a tasty stew and here is what it will be:

  • 1 chicken carcass and related left over chicken meat
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 diced onions
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • 1 large cubed potato
  • the last 8 ounces of last week’s green chili stew
  • 1 quart green beans
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp bourbon smoked paprika

Directions: Cook in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours. Remove chicken bones – salt and pepper to taste.

What happens with this stew is that the bones make the water into a great broth and the additional liquid from the green beans and other vegetables mellows into it for additional flavor. The bourbon smoked paprika lends that smoky overtone to the soup.

Like the Himalayan salt I like to keep on hand, Bourbon Barrel Foods’ Bourbon Smoked Paprika is something I always have in my kitchen. One of these tins usually lasts a year.

The only drawback to this product at all is the packaging. I find it difficult to unscrew the lid on this style of tin, perhaps because as I get older, my gripping power appears to be waning.

I cannot recommend this product enough. Full disclosure, the Amazon links do result in a tiny commission for me.

Today’s topic was suggested on the Mewe chat group. Someone wondered if I could give a breakdown of project tracking systems and pros and cons. Then Mama Sauce showed up in town and I thought what better way to do this than to interview her – the person who has been with me through practically all of the gyrations and tribulations of FIVE different tracking systems until we have landed on what we use today.

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It is Wednesday so it is a homesteading day and what better topic to think about, dream about and focus on when it is 95 degrees outside and 95% humidity, than preparing for winter? 

#HollerHatWednesday: WHY IS SHE WITH THE TRN AND what is everyone around her doing?

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 Today, I talk about some of the mental instability that is increasingly visible because of tools like Mewe and Facebook – and to encourage reactions in kindness.

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You’ve heard me talk about the Encyclopedia of Country Living before on the show. This is a guide to everything household from growing food, to cooking a rattle snake, managing livestock, to handling a birth at home. Carla Emory set out to collect recipes and processes from the moment she began her life in the country. She noticed that much of this information was being lost as people grew old and died. What started as a book she thought would be written quickly grew into a giant reference.

And yet, the Encyclopedia of Country Living is also a good read. Carla’s writing style is accessible. She does a great job if interspersing stories with processes. And she knows her stuff.

If I only had one book that I was allowed to have out here in the Holler, this would be that book. I keep it close at hand for reference for anything from canning times to bacon curing ratios. In fact, I have bought two copies of this book because I wore out my first one from reading it so many times — and I do not usually read things more than one time.

If you are already on your homestead, dreaming of going to one, or simply interested in learning new skills as part of your urban homestead experience, this is the book to get.

A look at the homesteader as a whole person. What makes a homesteader successful or not successful? Well, it turns out that there are some things that many successful homesteaders have in common and today we will talk about four of them.

#HollerHatWednesday: Where is she and who is she with?

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