A Practical Guide to Making Firewood from a Fallen Tree in Your Garden

A Practical Guide to Making Firewood

Many of you may have gardens littered with fallen trees from strong winds or lightning. What are you going to do with all these fallen trees? The simple answer is: make firewood. There are certainly many alternatives to firewood in this day-and-age, such as gas and electricity.  However, firewood is a very budget-friendly source of fuel in comparison to gas and oil. You may feel unsure of the how to turn fallen trees into neatly-chopped firewood. If this is the case, then this article was written especially for you!

Continue reading A Practical Guide to Making Firewood from a Fallen Tree in Your Garden

Kitchen Self-Sufficiency: Breaking Free

Kitchen Self-Sufficiency: Breaking Free

We talk a lot about kitchen “self-sufficiency” but I think we all know that there is no such thing, honestly, since I cannot produce and preserve 100% of my spices, produce, and meats. I want to make some clarifications as to our philosophy and what we are attempting to inspire in you.   Self-sufficiency is not referring to the mountainside prepper with 12 children and concertina wire.

Continue reading Kitchen Self-Sufficiency: Breaking Free

10 Reasons Why I Bother Homesteading

apple tree in bloom


Wilson milking cow

It isn’t glorious, glittery, or glamorous.  Hard work and empty pockets.  So why do I bother? 

 This is not philosophical, discussing the next generation raised in an agrarian society or any such thing.  This has far more to do with the taste of a real tomato.

10 reasons I homestead:


1.  Daily life has many sides.  From creativity to accounting, to creative accounting; the need for ingenuity and need for routine,  even ingenious routine…I  actively use both sides of my brain.

  Homesteading requires both sides of your brain!

2. No one’s egg tastes better than the ones I find under the wheelbarrow or in the playhouse. 

Farm Fresh Eggs 

 No other apple rivals that from the tops of my own trees.

 One of our apple trees


  3. I have a constant awareness of just how small, minute, and meaningless I am as an individual in comparison to the marvels of Creation.

 Keeping Perspective

I have a constant awareness of how much the little things matter.

Both extremes keep everything else in perspective.


 4. I know what I am eating.  I can pronounce it.  I can recreate it.  Heck, I probably even named it.

 I know where my food comes from.

 5. Duty.  I am fulfilling a rather joyful obligation to take care of the earth (man’s first directive from God himself). Some do this with a flower box on a balcony, I do this on the side of a hill, but we can all take part in this one.

 6. I have something to show for my work at the end of a day.  Often, anyway.


  7. I have no commute, no big city monthly parking fee, no homeowner’s association & no need for a gym membership.


No commute, no traffic

8. I get to play in the dirt.

  9. I have always loved the combined smell of wet grass and manure, ever since I was a little girl.  Who’s with me on this one?

 Alternatively… the smell of the early spring blooms, the buzz and hum of the birds and bees working hard towards that end.  The slightest breeze, the gentle beginnings of a summer rain. The taste of the carrot straight from the ground, the tomato from vine-to-mouth…the happy honking of a goose or the taily-wag of an excited outdoor companion…these are the things that construct my day as I homestead.

 Carrots, Potatoes from Garden

 10.  I know where my food comes from, and I know what to do with it!



*Catch the next blog (a continuation, of sorts): Homesteading: 10 Things I Have Learned 


Nothing in this blog constitutes medical advice.  You should consult your own physician before making any dietary changes.  Statements in this blog may or may not be congruent with current USDA or FDA guidance.



Photo Credits:

Unless otherwise stated, all photos are property of Pantry Paratus.  Feel free to share them on your social media, but please keep proper attribution.


“lapolab” via photopin cc



My Less than Altruistic Motives for Kitchen Self-Sufficiency

Top ten list


Self Sufficiency, it is a goal.  To that end, we started Pantry Paratus to help other people produce, prepare and preserve their own food surplus.

So how do you know when you have gotten there?  What is the definition of self sufficiency?  Do you get there when you reach food self sufficiency?  How about economic self sufficiency? 

It is my goal, so I may never reach complete self sufficiency (as in autonomy), but here are the top ten  reasons why I make the pursuit: 

10.  If I take some time when I might have it then I have worked ahead on my kitchen prep for dinner on those days when I just do not have it in me to get it all done.

Rolling Pin

9.  I am cheap.  Frugal.  Economically inclined.  However you wanna say it. 

Tater Skin Crispies by Kitchen Stewardship
Tater Skin Crispies by Kitchen Stewardship

8.  If my house smells like fresh bread straight from the oven, it does NOT smell like poopy diaper or sweaty boy. 

Challah Bread with Frontier Sesame Seeds
Challah Bread with Frontier Sesame Seeds in Bulk

7.  A garden fresh tomato is not to be compared to the hormonally-ripened red replicas you buy in the grocery store.  And since I ca not grow them all year around, dehydrating or canning them gives me that instant mental vacation back to summer days. 


bowl of tomatoes

6.  Most of my daily tasks do not result in immediate gratification; a row of cooling jars on the counter from an hour in the canner, now THAT is something I can see!


5. Most of my daily tasks do not require a great deal of skill (diapers, dishes, laundry), and I enjoy trying a new recipe or developing new skills to stretch myself.


4. I want my sons to marry girls who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and who know how to work hard.  I figure I probably ought to model that for them. 

carrots potatoes from garden

3. I want my daughter to be feminine, yet rugged in her ability to work from sun-up to sundown (and in a Northwest Montanan summer, that’s saying something) and I figure I probably ought to model that for her. 

Chaya building the goat shed
Chaya building the goat shed

2.  I still love to wiggle my naked toes in cool dirt.  I still love to eat produce straight out of the garden, unwashed.  My kids do too; these are the memories of summer.

1. I get better and faster at these skills as I go, and I can whip something up to wow last-minute dinner guests with very little effort! 

Gluten-Free Nacho Pizza
Gluten-Free Nacho Pizza

Self Sufficiency, it is a worthy goal.  What are your reasons?  Leave a comment below!



Photos Credits:

Rolling Pin by scottchan http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1701″

Tomato by Simon Howden http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=404

Carrots by Simon Howden http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=404