Homegrown Food Summit

This April 6th-12th there is an online gathering of 30+ experts in backyard food production, homesteading, and off-grid living.  Presented by the worlds leading researchers, organizations, and best-selling authors to help you become free of supermarkets an drugstores.

The Homegrown Food Summit is a free online event.

The Homegrown Food Summit is the biggest event for home grown food ever organized online.  Sponsored by Mother Earth News, The Natural News, The National Gardening Association, The American Preppers Network, and The Livestock Copnservancy just to name a few.

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The magic of homegrown food

It’s hard to describe the feeling of my first egg. There was a sense of thrill and excitement, followed by a sense of disappointment the first time I found an egg in our coop. There were two of them actually, both pretty big which meant they weren’t true first eggs. One was cracked. Both were frozen. What started out as excitement, quickly turned to failure. It had been months since we brought the chicks home. It had been months since we starting feeding them expensive organic feed. It had been months of feeding, refreshing water and cleaning up poop — lots and lots of poop. Finally, there were eggs and they were garbage.

Sigh. I must be a chicken failure.

There is something magical about homegrown food.

There is something magical about homegrown food.

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13 Ways to Connect With Your Food

Do you ever wonder about the story behind the food you put in your grocery cart? Do you imagine where it was grown and by whom it was picked? Would it surprise you to learn that many imported fruits and vegetables are picked by children, paid pennies a day? According to a new Ipsos Reid poll commissioned by World Vision, the majority of Canadians have no idea about the origins of the food they eat. More than half of Canadians polled do not believe they consume any products made by children. Yet much of what they eat, drink, wear and use are made by children, from blueberries to running shoes.

13 Ways to connect with your food | www.pickytoplenty.com

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The health is hidden in the flour

When I originally came up with the name for this blog I had planned to share recipes for recovering picky eaters like myself. When I finally decided to take the plunge and register a domain, I was at a turning point in my life. It was a time when I decided, we decided, to live a little more simply. To grow our own food. To raise our own animals for meat. To eat whole, nutritious foods. As we got further and further into this lifestyle, this blog became about more than sharing some recipes but about inspiring a way of life. My mission became to inspire people to become involved with the food that they eat. To form a connection with it. The original idea for this blog got a little lost along the way, but I’ve decided to bring it back and make it a recurring theme here on my Internet space. I give you “picky palate pleaser” recipes which will appear once a week on my blog and share the ways I have adapted recipes to suit my picky palate.

Using sprouted grain flour makes items like breads, cookies and cakes easier to digest.

Using sprouted grain flour makes items like breads, cookies and cakes easier to digest.

This week, I am starting with adding extra nutrition to foods by using sprouted grain flour. This sneaky ingredient adds a nutritional punch to favourites like breads and sweets and is easier for your body to digest than traditional flours. If only my mom had this trick hiding up her sleeve, I would have been eating “veggie” bread without even knowing it. A little later in this post I will share an easy recipe for sprouted whole wheat bread.

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Treat your dog with homemade pumpkin, banana, coconut treats.

Pumpkin, banana and coconut homemade dog treats

I think my pickyness might have rubbed off on my dog. One of my dogs anyway.

Nico is the pickiest dog I know. Unlike his “brother and sister”, he investigates his food thoroughly before diving in — and this includes homemade dog treats. I am pretty sure I could feed Donzi, the youngest of our pack, a bowl of lemons and he would polish it off before he realized how sour they are. Isis, the middle child and spoiled princess who oddly enough is affectionately referred to as “pig”, is the same. If it’s food, she wants it. Pickles included.

My picky dog goes crazy for these pumpkin, banana, coconut dog treats | www.pickytoplenty.com

These pumpkin, banana, coconut homemade dog treats are picky dog approved.

Nico, however, is the opposite. He, like me, is a picky eater. He’s not fussy for fish, unless it’s cooked, or pork, unless it’s bacon — and really, who can resist bacon? He actually covered his eyes with his paw when we placed a sprig of asparagus in front of him. I think he was trying to will it to disappear. It was obviously not the bacon-wrapped kind.

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Winter sowing vegetables: an experiment

I stumbled across something potentially life changing last week. Something that will make it possible to start hundreds of seedlings without completely taking over the two front rooms in my house.

It’s called winter sowing and I came across it while checking out the site of fellow Homestead Bloggers Network member The 104 Homestead. Last week she wrote a great tutorial on how to sow seeds outdoors in the dead of winter. Life changing, I know.

Save space in your house by starting your seeds outdoors in mini, recycled greenhouses.

Save space in your house by starting your seeds outdoors in mini, recycled greenhouses.

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Pepper prep | A Picky to Plenty guide to growing peppers

Growing peppers is easy if you meet the right conditions from the start | www.pickytoplenty.com

Growing peppers is easy if you meet the right conditions from the start | www.pickytoplenty.com

The pepper is a staple in our food gardens. We have been growing peppers as long as we have been growing food. It’s been growing in our gardens since the first time we planted a tiny little one in the corner of the yard at our first house. I love the pepper for two reasons: growing peppers is relatively easy and incorporating them into meals is just as easy and even more fun.

Growing peppers is a pinch if you have the right conditions. They require little care as long as the plant’s basic needs are being met. The pepper is not a needy plant, if you set the plant up in the right conditions you will be growing peppers before you know it.

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An easy way to freeze leftover stock

Have left over stock? Freeze it in ice cube trays for those recipes that only need a little | www.pickytoplenty.com

Have left over stock? Freeze it in ice cube trays for those recipes that only need a little | www.pickytoplenty.com

 

When I make a batch of chicken stock, I usually end up with much more than I need for a pot of soup for two. When I first started making my own stock I would freeze it in tubberware containers. Great if you are planning to use the entire tub of stock to make soup, not so great if you just need a tablespoon or so to add flavour to a recipe.

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Check out my first guest post on The Naked Label

I am so excited to report that I have just published my first guest blog since starting this small space on the interwebs nearly one year ago. Briana Santoro, founder of The Naked Label (which is an awesome site by the way that strips down food to reveal the big, bad secrets), was kind enough to offer me an opportunity to share some tips on organic gardening.

For those unaware, the Dirty Dozen are the 12 fruits and vegetables you absolutely should purchase organic because they have higher exposures to nasty pesticides. In my post, How to Easily Grow Your Own Dirty Dozen, I offer tips for conscious growers with even the smallest of spaces.

Just click on the image below to check out my article. Have a look around while you are there and check out the great work the folks over at The Naked Label are doing.

 

Grow Dirty Dozen

The satisfaction of homemade chicken soup

You may recall from my recent post on raising chickens for meat that it was an expensive venture. This is the one time I am glad I am so terrible at keeping records. The chickens themselves were not expensive but the cost of raising them made them worth more per pound than I have ever paid. So why bother? What’s the point? I could call it quits and settle for grocery store meat. I could give up on my dream of one day being totally food self-sufficient. But where would the satisfaction be in that?

There is nothing more satisfying than putting food on the table. Check out my recipe for basic chicken stock and a bonus homemade chicken soup recipe at www.pickytoplenty.com

There is nothing more satisfying than putting food on the table. Check out my recipe for basic chicken stock and a bonus soup recipe at www.pickytoplenty.com

There is nothing more satisfying than growing and raising your own food. It is a small act of rebellion that can have a large ripple effect if more people started doing it. If we grow and raise our own food, we lessen the demand for the lab-created foodstuffs that destroy our health (for a great source on why you should stop consuming these GMOs check out my friend Richard’s e-book Why Shouldn’t I Eat Genetically Modified Foods). Growing and raising your own food also gives you full control over the food that goes onto your plate. How does it taste? Pretty darn satisfying — like a big bowl of steamy homemade chicken soup. It’s kind of like giving the finger to the crooked food industry while at the same time filling your tummy with a delicious meal truly made from scratch.

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