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Tag Archives: homesteading

Off-Grid Micro-Hydro Homestead

Off-Grid Micro-Hydro homestead

Microhydro Electricity Unplugged



Microhydro, its simplicity is so attractive.  So, you have always wanted to do it . . . go off grid and be self-sufficient.   What does it actually take?  From everyone I have spoken to who actually has done it, the answer seems to be, “Take your estimated cost for time, energy and money and triple it.” 

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Feeding Pets Organically (& Deleting Corn from their Diet)

Feeding pets Organically

Although humans are eating more fresh fruits and vegetables as a part of our organic diet plan, this should also include our four-legged friends. Especially in the shadow of growing concerns and recent reports of pet poisoning from imported animal foods and treats, we need to be more conscious and aware of what we’re putting into our pet’s dishes. This is why we should all be feeding pets more organically.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know Before Reading This Blog

5 Things You Didn't Know Before Reading This Blog--Pantry Paratus

This blog is a shameless plug for my favorite winter pastime–snuggling up in fuzz gear with my favorite tea and a good read.  Now, I’m not much of a fiction reader, although I do enjoy a good classic now and again.  The truth is that my time is shredded in 10 different directions on any given day, and I have to make the most of my reading indulgence during the winter so that I am better equipped for summertime food production, preparation, and preservation.

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Healthy Food for a Healthy Dog

Healthy Food for a Healthy Dog

Guest Post by Allie Coleman

Allie gives us great tips, and reminds us that the needs of your pooch might change over time.  Please welcome Allie to Pantry Paratus by leaving a comment with your thoughts.  Also, be sure to check out some great dog food recipes at the end!

Healthy Food for a Healthy Dog

Making sure your dog gets regular meals is part of keeping him healthy, but how do you choose the best food for him? With so many options on store shelves, knowing which kind to get can be confusing. The following tips can make it easier for you to determine the healthiest food to purchase.

Take Age and Health into Consideration

Your dog’s age and overall health are the first thing to consider. If your dog is a puppy or senior, make sure you get dog foods that are designed for these age groups. These foods contain the nutrients that a growing puppy or an older dog need. If your dog has any dietary restrictions or health problems, talk to your vet about which ingredients your dog should avoid.

Read Labels Carefully

Look for dog foods that claim to provide complete nutrition and a balanced diet, but don’t take that at face value. A dog food that does provide this should have a statement on it that says the food meets the nutritional standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). This statement means that the food contains at least the minimum nutrient amounts required for a diet that’s balanced and complete.

As for the ingredients, look for dog foods that contain higher amounts of protein. The label should list the protein amount, and you can also tell by looking at the ingredients list. The first few ingredients should be sources of protein, such as chicken or venison. While meat byproducts might not sound appetizing, they can provide your dog with good nutrition.

What to Avoid

Avoid foods with high amounts of grains, which serve as fillers rather than nutritious ingredients. Also, stay away from foods with BHA, ethoxyquin or BHT, which could be harmful to your dog.

The author: Allie Coleman is the founder of the doggy bloggy startup:

  Read More:  How to Properly Store Pet Food

Dog Food Recipes

 Around the homestead, we know the value of utilizing every ounce of nutrition out of a butchered animal–even the ounces that we ourselves do not eat.  Stretching a dollar, placing a high value on nutrition and performance…whatever your reasons may be, here are some excellent homemade dog food recipes that nourish your pooch!

A Return to Simplicity

Angi from A Return to Simplicity explains the importance of real food, and how the switch to a more nutrient-dense style of feeding also resulted in cost savings, simply by sourcing wholesome ingredients from their own homestead and butchering.

Prepper's Guide to Homemade Dog Food

Erica from Mom Prepares guides towards what we need to know in preparing homemade dog food. She also expresses the sentiment we do here at Pantry Paratus–that to be truly prepared, you will need to know the “DIY” of the thing…and yes, that applies to pet nutrition too!  If you were unable to purchase dog food, what healthy alternatives will you have? It’s a great time to practice these skills.

Bacon Dog Treats

Rebecca from Letters from Sunnybrook gives us her recipe, but I must confess–bacon doesn’t last long on the plate at our house so I’m not certain it’ll get as far as into this recipe.  Her use of bacon fat, though, is something I will have to incorporate in the future!  Wilson used to make homemade dog treats for our boxers, but his recipe stank horribly–I do believe that this one will smell like a country breakfast on a summer day!

Whether purchasing or making pet food, your pet is depending on you for proper nutrition.  We know you love your pets as much as they love you; so let’s all make deliberate choices for our four legged friends.




posted on Sunday, February 15, 2015 6:14:28 PM America/Denver

I am happy to be seeing more articles and blogs on making your own dog food and treats. I have started doing this. One day I went to Walmart and started looking at the dog and cat foods. I stood there exasperated and another lady in the aisle started laughing. She said that she had been going through the bags and cans for over 20 minutes and couldn’t find anything on the ingredient lists that didn’t start out with corn!


posted on Sunday, February 15, 2015 6:19:42 PM America/Denver

Very good article! I’m glad more people are coming to their senses regarding pet food. I have started making my own healthy treats for our dogs and they really enjoy them!


posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 11:47:23 PM America/Denver

When it comes to health of my dog, I am very much concerned about his diet, his daily schedule which includes eating, This article has helped me learn a lot more about the precautions that I need to take care of while choosing the right food and what to consider according to the dog’s age. I read a lot over the internet and I came across your article where I encountered some great dog health tips. I am thankful to you for sharing this article because it helped me to learn something new which I was not aware of. Keep posting such articles.

4 Steps to Sanity: Setting Priorities for a Healthy Homesteading Life

4 Tips to Sanity: Setting Priorities for a Healthy Homesteading Life

4 Tips to Sanity


I surprise people when they discover I’m an introvert; I am a bit overdramatic in storytelling and the first to show up, with dessert in hand, to every party.  But here are some personality traits common to most successful homesteaders:  I draw my strength from being alone, and I measure the day by its’ accomplishments.  Even yet, my thirst for life often takes me everywhere from sewing costumes at midnight just days before the performance, to baking 4 dozen cupcakes for the car wash & bake sale. Can you relate? Continue reading

Pantry Paratus: Garden Tour 2014

Pantry Paratus:

Garden Tour 2014

We are on a family vacation deep in the Rocky Mountains, and I am often struck at the gardening contrasts found within our beautiful country.  Ohio’s peonies are replaced with Georgia’s Gardenias; Florida’s Birds of Paradise are replaced with Colorado’s “rock gardens.”  We are a diverse nation.  I asked our facebook and blogging friends to share their favorite garden spots with us so that we can tour the nation!


Jared, a friend who happens to run J & J Acres, shares his zinnias with us.  He is a true permaculturist at heart and reminds us that permaculture means so much more than just traditional food crops.  He says, “Growing flowers, like Zinnia, has multiple uses in a vegetable garden. They are, of course, beautiful to look at, but also bring in a lot of pollinators, like butterflies. Best of all, you can even clip a few to bring inside your home as well!”

 Zinnias at J&J Acres

And just as Jared hopes to educate others to positive food production, so does Christina, who works with the younger set.  I’d like to do the garden tour if that’s okay. Christina in Oklahoma is teaching her daycare kids to grow their own food with her opus, “Little Sprouts Learning.”

Little Sprouts

 I recently found some great advice on Green Talk about how to get rid of unwanted garden visitors, and began admiring her beautiful squash, which did its part in converting her to square foot gardening–you will have to check out Anna’s blog to see all of her great pictures and advice.  I was, however, wondering why I have never tried to grow daikon radishes when I saw this picture! It’s gotta go on my garden list for next year!

Green Talk

 Halfway Oak Farm tried a new method of gardening this year – raised beds. It was such a success, they have enough harvest to fill their pantry through the winter. Next year they plan to triple the number of beds. 


Halfway Oak Farm

Donna and I have something in common this gardening season–our eggplant!  Hers are still blooming in the Phoenix desert, whereas ours are about the size of your palm in Montana. She says, “Here in the desert, eggplant is one of the few crops that grows best in August.”  Read about her gardening adventures at Sharing Life’s Abundance.

Eggplant Blossom

 Erica from says “Plant it and they will come!” as she plugs flowers into the corners of her garden beds in hopes they’ll attract honeybees to pollenate her vegetables. And hey, they’re pretty to look at too!

Mom Prepares


Along with Erica, Samantha is doing her part to encourage the birds & bees.  Samantha at Runamuk Acres in Maine plants herbs and flowers with her vegetables as part of her companion planting strategy; and also to benefit her honeybees and local native pollinators!

Runamok Acres

Vegetables combine with flowers and herbs in Teri’s garden to create a overspilling hodge podge of edibles and soul-nourishing ornamentals. This garden was created using the sheet mulching, or lasagna gardening technique, which she writes about here. This was her garden in early July!

Homestead Honey Garden

Oh, there is so much to love on this garden tour, but this next picture is the most inspiring one yet (to me personally, anyway).  One Acre Farm entered their bounty of everything from vegetables to eggs to maple syrup to extracts, in their local agricultural fair, and pulled off second place in the Farm Products Display!

One Acre Farm

It’s always great to be reminded we can produce so much even with little space! Nicole may not have a huge garden, but she is doing everything she can to homestead right where they are to help supplement their pantry! By the way, she’s pretty convinced it’s gonna be a good year for salsa. 

Little Blog on the Homestead

Andrea from LittleBigHarvest gardens in all the nooks and crannies she can find on her 1/6 acre. Her favorite spot is the sunny south wall of the house, where there are currently tomatoes, peppers, onions, kale, kohlrabi, ghost..jalapeno…habanero peppers, cabbage, green beans, and plenty of herbs! Check out her latest projects here.

Little Big Harvest

The next garden is a little closer to home for Pantry Paratus, a Montanan–Annie and her family–put in a 7,000 square foot dream garden at their new homestead and planted close to 100 tomato plants to make homemade salsa, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and more! You just have to see more of what there are doing here.

Montana Homesteader

I hope that you are inspired.  And for those who may be beginners, I highly recommend starting with herbs!  You can get nearly immediate satisfaction and a new beginner can grow and preserve enough to enjoy their bounty throughout the upcoming year.  They are practical and reap a lot of economic benefits, especially considering the outrageous price they charge for fresh herbs in the grocery store.  So, to complete the tour, let’s look at 2 herb gardens.

It’s no secret that I’m an admirer of the gardens you will find at The Organic Kitchen.  Look at these herbs!

The Organic Kitchen

My friend Tessa from has this to say when I asked her for a recommendation on getting started:

“If you’re looking to start an herb garden this year or augment your existing herbal patch, mint is a wonderful addition to the garden.  Mint is easy to grow (although it does like to be damp-ish) and, once its established, you may discover it taking over if you’re not vigilant.  The flavor of mint may just be the most widely recognizable herbal flavor in the world.  From toothpaste to candy, you’ll find mint in many edible items.  It also lends itself well to handmade cosmetics and to home remedies for tummy aches and sore throats.  With a wide range of minty flavors (chocolate and orange being two examples), every gardener is bound to find a mint variety that appeals them.”


Spearmint by Homestead Lady

Let’s go grow something,


Pantry Paratus hopes to encourage you to produce, prepare, and preserve your own harvest.  Check out our full catalog of kitchen self-sufficiency supplies!

All photos were used with permission from the blog associated with each one, respectively.  Please honor these hard working homesteaders by enjoying their photos without taking them.

Produce, Prepare, & Preserve.