• Homesteading

    Butchering Supplies

    It’s true that you could butcher a whole animal with nothing more than a good, sharp knife, but it’d be an unpleasant task. When we began butchering, there were a few supplies we decided to invest in to make the job bearable, and over the years, we’ve added to our collection so as to be able to better deal with butchering of different animals. It’s deer gun hunting here in Wisconsin this week, and we’ve got meat to process! Aaron shot his second deer ever, the first for us for the season. It’s not our first time butchering deer, so we didn’t need to add any new supplies to our…

  • Homesteading,  Recipes

    First Time Sausage-Making

    It took nearly three years, but I FINALLY got around to using the sausage stuffer that Scott gave me for Christmas awhile back! I’ve been wanting to undertake this project for a very long time, and I feel like such a homesteading geek for getting so excited about this! Our first time sausage-making went well, and I’m glad to finally have it under our belts. After I was given the sausage stuffer, a relative stopped by with some ground beef they needed to clear out of their freezer, and I was all set to use that meat for our first sausage-making. However, this was when I was very pregnant with…

  • About Us

    Feast Days

    One of the things that I really loved that we did this year was celebrating Martinmas. St. Martin of Tours died November 11th, 397 A.D. He was a Roman soldier in his youth, and later became a bishop in Gaul. He was one of the first canonized saints to live a life as a Christian without facing persecution for it. (Though he did defend against heresies.) His feast day was celebrated at a time when the butchering and harvest were finished, and right before the men would go into the woods and cut wood and hunt. People would celebrate by eating a roast goose and tasting the first wine from…

  • About Us

    Another Season

    We’re just entering yet another “season,” and it’s got me thinking a lot about how much I love how many “seasons” there are in homesteading. I know they exist in other ways of living, and we all share the four basics (summer, fall, winter, spring), even if they may look different in different parts of the world, but there’s something very different about it when you’re living with the seasons. And our faith complements that flow really well, as we have the incorporation of the liturgical year into our lives as well. For instance. Just last week, I finished “butchering season.” Now, it’s possible I’ll still be doing more butchering…

  • Homesteading

    Preserving Meat: Why and How We Do It

    There are a few questions I tend to get from people when talking about how we butcher our own meat. One question is why we raise so much of it. The other is about how we store it. We’re not experts at this, but since we just wrapped up butchering season, and we’ve been getting a lot of these questions, I thought it would be good to address these questions. Question One I’ll dig into the question one, first. Why do we raise so much meat? This year, we butchered 16 chickens, 7 turkeys, and 2 pigs. We also bought a quarter of a cow, and now we’re hoping to…

  • Homesteading

    Pig Butchering Review

    While it’s still fresh in my mind, I’d like to do a review of the pig butchering process. We raised 2 pigs for butchering this year, and decided we’d butcher them ourselves. Lots of people we talked to thought we were a little nuts for planning to butcher ourselves rather than taking them in to be butchered, so we were interested to see if their thoughts were justified. And I’ve got to say, they weren’t. Not really. We felt fairly comfortable with the idea of doing it ourselves since we’ve butchered our own deer the last several years. Honestly, while the first pig presented a learning curve, the process really…