The Work is Just Beginning!
Today, the work begins! We may only be doing this for a few weeks, but keep in mind – those who lived during the Depression Era found themselves challenged on a daily basis. They worked hard to feed and clothe their families. Everyone used the skills and every drop of ingenuity and creativity they had.
This Challenge is designed to offer you food for thought on how you can adapt your lifestyle today in order to better maneuver any hardships you may go through in the future. You will have a chance to hone the skills you have, start learning others, and find creative ways to adapt what you have to what you need.
During the Depression, families, neighbors, and communities joined forces. People helped each other in any way they could. Collectively, they met the challenges and did their best to survive. As you work your way through the Challenge, think about how you can help others in this group, and how you might need encouragement or support yourself!
PLEASE NOTE: When you offer a comment, there may be a delay in it showing up. To keep all of us from being spammed, I do have my settings rather high, which means I have to approve each comment. If I am outside working, this may take me a bit more time to get them approved, so please bear with me! (Or, y’all can volunteer to come feed cows, chickens, work in the greenhouse, clean my house, and practice cooking from scratch in my kitchen – I would LOVE to have you come ‘visit’! 🙂
Each week you will be asked a question that applies to the topic. Be sure to share your response, thoughts, and ideas in the Comment Section below!
Share your favorite Gardening Hack
Disclaimer: This announcement is preceded by my Disclaimer. I am an affiliate for Etsy, and if you make a purchase through this Special Offer, I may make a small commission – but it will not affect the price you pay!
This just in: Lisa at The Self Sufficient Homeacre contacted me. She has been enjoying taking the Depression Era Challenge and in light of this week’s Challenge, has offered anyone who is part of this group a 25% discount on any purchase in her Etsy Shop! Just Click this link HERE to check out her products. When you head to the check out, enter the Code DEPRESSIONCHALLENGE to get your discount.
One thing I love about Lisa – she just keeps on going. In addition to offering this great discount, she has also offered to give away a copy of her How to Raise Backyard Chickens for Farm Fresh Eggs: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Flock of Laying Hens and the Companion Workbook AND her Garden Recipe eBook as a BONUS PRIZE!
One lucky name will be drawn at random to receive this great prize. How do I know it’s great? I have a copy, and I love it! I already raise chickens, but Lisa’s eBook and Workbook gave me a few new tips and a perfect way to keep better records.
Be sure to visit Lisa and check out not only this new eBook and Companion Workbook, but also her latest Giveaway – you can get a free copy of her Egg Tracker Log, and get a look at all the other fun and great products she has to offer!
Want to Learn More About This Week’s Topic?
This section will be updated every week with specific posts by each blogger to help you learn more about the weekly topic. Be sure to stop in and visit with each one. You will find great information to help you move even further along in the Challenge and on your daily life journey!
Whether you are just starting out or need a nudge to ‘grow’ bigger, these posts are sure to help you out!
Julie B. @ Dogwoods and Dandelions – From vegetables, herbs, and flowers to seasonal gardening, Julie B. is a great Gardening Resource! Check out all her garden posts HERE.
Kathi @ Oakhill Homestead can help you with your gardening needs – common gardening term for beginners to growing in tiny spaces and raised beds and more. Read her posts HERE!
Annie @ Road to Reliance offers great gardening posts from getting started to creating a fall compost bin. Let Annie guide you through your garden HERE!
Janet @ Timber Creek Farm – Save money on chicken feed, creating a natural dye garden and building a garden box are on Janet’s list of gardening tips. Get them HERE!
Lisa @ The Self Sufficient Homeacre spends a lot of time in her garden. Find out what she’s up to in her garden HERE!
Julie @The Farm Wife – The greenhouse and the garden are two of her favorite happy places! Find out how she ‘grows’ HERE!
Just in case you can’t get to all the posts: The final segment will offer you a free printable list with all of the websites and posts mentioned. Just add them to your Depression Era Challenge Notebook for future reference!
(And don’t forget to drop the bloggers a note and let them know you stopped in. They all LOVE hearing from their readers! Just tell them I sent you!)
February 24 –
Welcome & Introduction
March 3 –
Basic Skills / DIY
March 10 –
March 17 –
March 24 – Feed Your Family
March 31 – Community
April 7 – Final email
As with most anything in life, there are a few rules you need to agree to follow:
Keep It Kind – This Challenge isn’t just designed as a learning experience. It is also meant to be fun. Be kind to one another!
No Profanity, Judgement, Ridicule, Criticism or Insults – No one wants to feel uncomfortable sharing. Each of us are at a different point along our journey. Some are beginners, others are well-versed, and many of us are in between the two. Instead – always be supportive, encouraging, and KIND. Please keep it clean!
No Sharing! – To keep this Challenge only for those who have signed up, please do not share links, coupon codes, freebies, newsletters, etc. Instead, simply encourage your friends to sign up and take the Challenge with you! (Don’t forget – as of February 23rd at midnight, sign-up for the Challenge will be closed. Be sure to invite your friends before the deadline!)
In the Comment section below, please share your thoughts, ideas, support and encouragement! If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask – there really isn’t a ‘dumb’ question, and there is also a good chance that others are wondering the same thing.
Any Challenge worth taking needs some type of incentive. For this challenge, three prizes will be awarded by a random drawing + a Bonus Prize. The prizes are:
1st Prize: a FREE copy of the Depression Era Challenge Manual – Regularly priced at $24.99 (an 80+ page downloadable manual that goes deeper within each category and offers more tips, worksheets, and information) + A FREE copy of the Survival Guide to High Prices – Regularly priced at $12.99 (a 40+page eBook to help you find ways to stretch your budget during tough times)
Total Value: $37.98
2nd Prize – a FREE copy of the Depression Era Challenge Manual
Total Value: $24.99
3rd Prize – a FREE copy of the Survival Guide to High Prices
Total Value: $12.99
BONUS PRIZE – a FREE copy of How to Raise Backyard Chickens for Farm Fresh Eggs & Companion Workbook AND the Recipes for Your Garden eBook – compliments of Lisa from The Self-Sufficient Homeacre!
Total Value: $15.98
*Note: Etsy will not allow Lisa to refund money. With that in mind, if the winner has already purchased these products, she will allow them to choose a different product from her Etsy store!
(To learn more about these products, click the links!)
[NOTE: Winners will be notified by email. If you are chosen, you must respond within 2 days (48 hours) to accept your prize. If you do not respond, another name will be drawn. If you have already purchased the prize you are awarded, I will refund your money through Pay Pal. All you have to do is email me a copy of your receipt!]
Group Member Questions
At first, I thought it an excellent idea to post Group Member Questions here. And although I still love the idea, this page may end up too long to fit the format with all the questions and answers.
With that in mind – Questions and Responses will need to be in the Comment Section. PLEASE read through the comments and respond to any questions, offer encouragement and support, and ask any questions you may have!
Are You Ready to Get Started?
Then the Challenge is ready! I can’t wait to meet and visit with all of you. But before you go, there will be quite a few Freebies you can get in this Challenge. If you want to make sure you get them all, just download this HANDY CHECKLIST. That way you can be sure you don’t miss a single one!
If you are on Instagram or Twitter, be sure to take photos or just leave comments to share your progress using #depressionerachallenge. This way, we can all follow each other’s progress.
A couple of the group members have asked me to share my Research notes. Because of the extent of information available, I realize what I have found so far is just the tip of the iceberg.
I am not, nor do I pretend to be an expert on the Depression Era. But the very idea of comparing what is happening in today’s world to things happening in the late 1920s through early 1940s, gave me pause. One thing my dad told me is that history repeats itself. If I truly wanted to understand what was happening, why it was taking place, and what I could do to change my personal circumstances, I should look backward, instead of forward.
It was his words that gave me the final push. The more I researched, the more I learned. The more I learned, the more I wanted to have a better outcome than some of the folks who finally succumbed to the hardships.
Things may not be exactly the same yesterday as they are today, but the similarities are concerning. I decided that if there is any way I can circumvent as many of the hardships as possible, I want to be prepared. And if nothing changes, I haven’t lost anything. Instead, I have gained confidence, new skills, and a bit more contentment in my journey towards living a Simple Life.
When researching the Great Depression, I read many books and articles, trying to get an overall feel for the Era. Many of them repeated each other, some were more statistical, and others very basic and general. There are actually too many to list, but the ones below are some I went back to read again.
The books listed are ones I added to my personal library, and articles seemed to give me the best overall view of the time period. After speaking with some family, friends, and neighbors in the older generation, I was able to piece together their memories of stories handed down to them by parents and other family members who lived through the Depression – and these books seemed to go hand-in-hand with their memories.
Some of the conversations were of tough times taking place well after the Depression ended. These similarities were eerily close to what their parents and grandparents had gone through during the Depression – which just reiterated what Dad told me all those years ago; History really does repeat itself.
If you have other resources you would like to share, please let me know. I haven’t finished my research and am interested in learning as much as I can!
(And who knows? If anyone is interested, I may just do a Digging Deeper Challenge next!)
Just so you know: This post contains affiliate links; if you click on a link and make a purchase I might make a small commission, but it does not affect the price you pay! For more information, please see my Disclosure Page.
Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression, by Studs Terkel
The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, by Amity Shlaes
A Secret Gift, by Ted Gup
The Great Depression: America 1929 to 1941, by Robert S. McElvaine
Great Depression: Black Thursday, Facts & Effects – HISTORY
The Great Depression | Federal Reserve History
Everyday Life in 1930s – Washington State
Americans React to the Great Depression | Great Depression and World War II, 1929-1945 |
Effects of the Great Depression.pdf (thompsonschools.org)
Life and death during the Great Depression | PNAS
Life During the Great Depression
Family and Home, Impact of the Great Depression on | Encyclopedia.com
If you love reading, I have found many similarities between the Depression Era and the ideals of homesteaders. Their goals are to be as self-sufficient as possible through gardening, frugal living, and more. If you want some great books to read on homesteading, check out Annie’s list of books she recommends HERE.
Hi All! Hope everyone is enjoying the garden challenge this week. My garden hack is soil blocking. It is a great way to start your indoor/greenhouse seeds without all those tiny seedling trays. It also allows the roots of your new seeds to expand and get stronger before you pot or you can even place the blocks directly into your garden bed. I find I use less soil mix and can fit more plants into my space.
Kaitlin – A friend of mine uses the soil block method and loves it as well. I want to try it next year!
You should! It is easy and so worth it for the awesome plants you will get out of it!
We all should be starting a victory garden. Even if it is just a few pots it will still be a victory. I live in the city where homes almost touch the next. Have been trying to save to get out but seems the money pit eats more and more. I have to thank God because I am blessed. I have a paid off home, may not be the greatest and the neighborhood has changed for the worse but God has me here for some reason. I will not go into debt ever again and with the way the world is I do think it is smart not to. Have grown food all my life. Remember every little bit counts. Even if you get a grow light and grow greens indoors, it is less than you will have to spend at the store. Blessings to all
My “garden hack” is not really a hack, but rather it is something I learned from my Dad many years ago. He was a USAF fighter pilot and we moved quite often. He loved fresh veggies and loved to garden. However, he never really knew if we would be in one place for long enough to reap what he sowed, and I asked him once why did he keep planting if we might not be able to eat those wonderful veggies. He told me the key was to just go ahead an plant a garden, even if it is small, in a container or whatever. It was the “doing” not the end result that was important. And if we had to leave it, someone else would enjoy the fruits of our labor. So, my “hack” is “just do it!” Even if you’re not sure of the outcome, enjoy the process. I sometimes plant something new that I’m not sure will do well or whether or not we will love it, but I enjoy the process and if we don’t like it (kale, LOL) someone else will and you will make their day!
I can’t find a way to comment so I have to comment on your wonderful post! We live on a farm and buy lick buckets for our cows. After they have finished we then use the buckets for garden plants! We’ve grown some great veggies in them and with little weeds!
We use lick buckets to plant veggies in! We’ve been very successful with them!
We use the lick tubs as well. The Country Boy plants things in them that he wants to try out, but don’t have enough space in the main gardens to grow.
Hi All! I enjoy this weeks challenge. My family reviews our spending every 6 months to look for places we can cut back or keep in check. It helps us plan for future expenses and rein in anything unnecessary. Being on top of this gives me a really good feeling of security even if things are tight.
My favorite frugal tip is to have a shelf or drawer where you store things that might have a use before throwing them out. If the items haven’t found a permanent storage home or use by my 3 month cleaning schedule, they get tossed or recycled.
An unconventional, or maybe less talked about thing that we decided to do to save money was choosing to only have two kids. We looked at our earning potential on a good track and decided it made the most sense to limit our family size. I know a lot friends that have even decided a family isn’t in their financial cards.
I appreciate reading $ saving tips! My paternal grandparents were born in 1901. My grandfather worked for National Cash Register (NCR) & when the depression hit, no one needed cash registers! He became a pastor to a small church, and my aunt told me how he had worn holes in the knees of his suit pants, so he used blue ink to cover his skin so the holes wouldn’t be obvious. I remember him telling us in a Bible class that the offerings were only coins then, but one night, when he went to count the offering, there was a folded up $50 bill–just enough to pay the electric bill; he had NO idea who put it in the offering! Both grandmothers knew how to garden, stretch food & meals & how to can food!
Like the piggy bank challenge I save all the change. Husband empties his pockets and he gives me all his change also. It is all ours anyway. Raised poor but never knew anything else. Been poor all my life. went though a bad marriage but stayed for 28 years because of beliefs but couldn’t take it anymore and left with the clothes on my back. Meet my husband 20 years ago and he had life the way I did. his wife cleaned him out and left him with all these bills that she charged. We are now debt free but there isn’t much left when all is done. We don’t go out and I cook from scratch every meal. I know I have to even tighten our belts even more so I play little games like keeping every $5.00 and depositing them once a month in savings. Last year we saved over $1425.00 , goal this year is to do it again and hope to save more. We are all so blessed with what we have. Roof over our heads , food in our belly and clothes on our backs. I just try to remember that every day and know God is in charge
I replaced the candy from the first week with some storebought, sugar-free cookies… a real treat for me but better for my A1C than candy. 🙂
I couldn’t take as much time off from electronic screens as I would like, but I have been limiting it to work only.
I’m enjoying the videos and hearing what other people are doing for the challenge!
I am excited for this challenge. I live in NW Alabama and want to start canning and preserving foods and challenge ready on my farm.
So what is everyone doing with their extra “offline” time so far? I updated/organized my recipe binder – threw out recipes that we didn’t like or I realized I would never make and rewrote all the scrap paper ones onto full-size paper. We don’t have a printer so I have to write all my recipes by hand.
For strongest/weakest skills, I’d say organization is my strongest and getting overwhelmed by a huge task is my weakest.
Brooke – as for my offline time, we have been moving a fence (tearing down and rebuilding) to incorporate a larger garden area. I’ve also been hand drawing plans for a new bee garden and am hoping to get started learning how to make pasta. I’ve also been drafting out a project for using pin looms. I’m finding I like all this time away from my computer and other technology. I only use my phone when absolutely necessary!
Well, I know what I’ll be doing for the next few days – moving/enlarging the doe pen in our pole barn! Last night we unexpectedly got a new goat! Our friends bought 2 Oberhasli does and, on a whim, 1 Nigerian Dwarf doe. She was getting bullied by the bigger two so they asked if we wanted her. She kidded two weeks ago so we’re going to be getting a LOT more milk now. Time to learn to make cheese!
Forgot strength and weakness…
strength oddly enough is refusing to quit.. weakness is staying focused on one thing. I always seem to have 1000 things going at one time but never really get anything finished til last min just before I need it.
Good Morning And Happy Monday.
Mondays are my down time where I am not running around like a chicken with my head cut off.. Had a chance to sit down and read this weeks challenge. And Learned I need to hide my candy. I bought a bag of dum dums and well my children helped themselves to them while I was at work.
I will be honest I somewhat groaned at this weeks challenge. MY label Maker only answers emails and my boss only uses emails as well.. And I am in the process of making labels for my boss.. I know I know I am paying someone to make my labels while being paid to make someone else’s. But other then work I am not online much, We dont have wifi here at home except for the hotspot that we have with limited use. One of the great parts of living in the middle of no where I guess. Night time is the hardest time for me normally unless I tire myself out. This week happens to be the week I don’t have a car and cant work in the garden yet because its buried under a foot of snow.. But I might actually get the garden planned out properly for once.
I seem to be in the kitchen constantly cooking everytime i want something quick i always find ingredients , I wanted cookies yesterday and the only way to get them was to make them. I ate two and have no clue how many are left because the guys found them.
I’m not on Facebook, Twitter or any social media so that part of unplugging won’t bother me at all. I do text when I have to (my job) but normally I don’t like being on the phone.
My strongest skill I would have to say is getting things done when they have to get done. However, my weakest skill is doing tooooo much so nothing ever gets fully accomplished (if that makes any sense).
Tanya, you are truly blessed to have a good friend that took you in and you can do whatever you want on the property.
Thank you, Hope!
I agree!! I’m very thankful!!
Good luck in the challenge!!😊
Same here, Hope. My husband and I left social media years ago. Terrible places – mostly just people yelling at each other or trying to show off, and the companies that run them are experimenting on your emotions and manipulating your behavior. Did you delete your accounts at some point too, or were you wise enough to never sign up?
Brooke, I never signed up in the first place. I could never understand why people feel compelled to post their life for all to see.
Hi All, this weeks unplugging challenge will be hard, but I am going to continue to limit what I can each day. I think it is safe to say this is my weakest skill LOL. I’d also add sewing of any kind to that list as I leave that to my husband and have never had much interest to learn. For a strength, home cooking from scratch is one of my favorite things to do and I often wing it with whatever ingredients we have on hand (I challenge you to find something you can’t put into a taco or stir fry). I am also a hard worker with a pretty easy going stance so I can fall into whatever job needs to get done.
Sometimes I feel like I have a lot of “skills” or talents that are not very marketable or chalk them up to being an unnecessary expense to get the project off the ground. If a real world challenge came up, I am not sure I would take the leap to export my skills outside of my home and family even though I probably have more than I give credit for.
I did groan a little when I read this week’s challenge. Not texting will be tough! I don’t know if I can do it but the rest of the challenge I can manage.
I really don’t have any idea what my strongest skill is. I dabble in a lot of things so maybe learning is my strongest? I do love plants though. Ask me what something is, how to grow it, what it’s used for, etc…. I’m your girl. My weakest skill is probably staying focused if something doesn’t interest me. Lol. And I can’t make bread even if I was starving.
Tamara – I wish you were closer – I’d teach you how to make bread! And yes – this week is definitely a challenge – but I have faith in you! (and me…I really want to look up a few weaving drafts, but I am limiting my computer useage to work only!)
It’s funny that you ask how many people groaned at this week’s challenge – I actually prefer this one to last week’s! After a lot of thinking, I decided to defer the “candy” challenge to a week following the rest of the challenges. I’m coming off of the Whole30 diet and am not yet allowed to have sweeteners of any kind (you slowly reintroduce foods that you avoided during the diet.) Trying to sub in dried fruit or something for the candy didn’t feel right since I don’t even like dried fruit all that much, but I kept thinking. Yesterday I had an idea that would really be a challenge! I so look forward to having my coffee with milk and sugar after going without for months, so when I finally get the milk and sugar back, I will have ONE at the beginning of the week and then black coffee for the rest of the week. I will do that for a month.
Now for this week’s challenge, we’re not off-grid by any means but we do try to limit technology and electronic gadgets. We have no microwave or dishwasher, no electric mixer, a food processor that I only really use to make peanut butter and to rice cauliflower. We have a “dumb” flip-phone that we only use for calls and text. Things I wish we had: a wood furnace to heat the house, a clothes line… I do use my email quite a bit, but I will make sure to get my emails sent off tomorrow and only check in briefly to make sure that there’s nothing I need to handle right away. One extra thing I’m really going to try not to do this week – online shopping. I’ve always got a running list of things we need for the homestead, kitchen pantry, for our daughter, etc. So I usually spend a lot of time online doing research and price comparisons.
This challenge also made me think about a phone call with my husband’s parents a few days ago. We were making carrot kraut (which we’ve never done before but we had a glut of carrots from our local produce co-op) and so my husband was grating 8 pounds of them on our box grater while he talked with his parents. They both at different points said “You should get a machine to do that” – right as they were opening a new electric juicer which I guess they got because his dad likes to have fresh lemon juice with honey in his water. Well, my husband’s mom immediately starts complaining about how big it is, and that it’s too loud, and too expensive. Cut to me looking at our little glass manual juicer that cost less than $10. I had to chuckle a bit.
His dad has also suggested that if we get more dairy goats (we have 6, with 2 in milk right now) we’re going to need a milking machine. Sorry, no, if we ever have so many goats in milk that we’re tempted to get a milking machine, we need to sell some goats. Haha!
Brooke – First, many people in the group chose something different than the candy – and I love that they did! Deferring it is also a great way to keep the Challenge in the forefront of your mind once it is over. I will say this – the heat in our house is provided by a fireplace on one end of the house, and a woodstove on the other. The woodstove will make the house HOT – so we had to learn how to ‘feed’ it properly in order to keep the heat bearable, lasting, and even. I highly recommend them. And I do admit to having an electric mixer, but for most things, I prefer doing it by hand – especially my breads. We have a dishwasher, but it is only used when we have so many dishes to wash we need the racks for draining purposes. Other than that, I’m not really sure if it works. And I am laughing over your conversation with the in-laws! I had a family member give me a grating attachment for my Kitchen Aid – and quite frankly, I’m not sure where it is. Instead, I have a flat and boxed grater than works just fine! (Btw – I’m guilty of having a small milking machine. Even though we were only milking one (we had both a Jersey and a Holstein) both got too antsy with how much time it took us to milk by hand. But we only used it about half the time, as I love the slower process of hand milking! We are milk cow free right now, but I am already searching for my next Jersey, as I love having the fresh milk!
I imagine that milking a cow does take quite a bit longer! My husband can milk our Nigerian Dwarf does in about 5 minutes each. Neither of them are at peak milk production anymore ( ~3 cups a day) so I expect that time will increase if one of the others kids this spring and we are getting 1-2 quarts daily from her. Fresh milk is the best! We don’t get a lot right now, like I said, but it’s enough to drink, cook with, and make a quart of yogurt every week or so.
I still have my grandmom’s orange juice glass squeezer too! She passed in 73 when I was still in high school. I’m 65 now. I still have a lot of her kitchen things. Her rolling pin is my favorite! I was 15 when my pop was asking who wanted what, everyone else took jewlery and I grabbed the kitchen goodies!💕
What a wise 15-year-old you were, Karen! My own grandma has just passed at 101 years-old this December. I don’t know how much handy kitchen stuff she had anymore, but I did get dibs on a beautiful wooden chiming tabletop clock and (a few years ago) a nice deep cast iron skillet that still needs a little TLC before we use it.
I swear this comment was not visible a moment ago. Oh well, haha!
I left a reply/comment here two days ago and then yesterday I noticed it was gone. Very weird.
Anyway, I said that you were a very wise 15-year-old, Karen! My own grandma passed this December at 101 years-old and I got dibs on her collection of mason jars, a beautiful wooden chiming tabletop clock, and (a few years ago) she gave me a nice deep cast iron skillet that was too heavy for her to lift anymore. It needs a little TLC before we use it, but we are big fans of cast iron here so I’m glad we have it.
Brooke – I’m checking to see why it disappeared! I am so sorry about that!
That’s ok, Julie. They all seem to be back, for now. It wasn’t just that I couldn’t see some of my own comments. I read some new comments from others and then they weren’t visible later, either. Ghost in the machine?
Hey y’all! I’m Carla. My husband and I live on our black angus farm in Oklahoma. We were both “late in life” babies. Our parents grew up
In the depression. We want to learn all the skills they used to survive! I already grow a garden, can, make butter, sew, and raise chickens in addition to cows. I want to learn to
make all kinds of cheeses.
Welcome, Carla! It sounds like you have a great start. To get started with cheese making, be sure to check out Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead’s posts. I know she has a couple of types she makes!
Unplugging will also be difficult in my job but I think I will try to do less with technology this week. I would like to hear about what skills everyone is learning. I want to expand my own skills and sometimes it’s hard to think of what new ones might be important to learn. I am really liking the challenges. Thanks for doing this!
You’re welcome, Karen. I’m glad you are liking it! As for new skills, I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone is going to try to do, as well!
I really can’t say that I have any top skills, I’m definitely an over achiever type personally and with my ADHD I just jump right into anything without even thinking. I can’t follow directions very well because if it takes more than a few seconds to read I just go straight to a photo and I’m off and running. I cringe when people ask “Can you show me how you made that? Or can you send me a recipe?” No because reading or listening goes right in one ear and out the other! I memorize recipes and change the ones I do read. I always color outside of the lines.🤣
My husband says I only need one book in the house because I will forget what I read by the next day! But tell me or show me something and it stays with me forever. I call myself a VISUAL learner.🤣 I guess that’s why all my teachers sat me in the back of the class so I’d stop disrupting the entire class because I was bored.
So I guess my worst skill would be reading! But show me a photo and I can do it!
I’m the same way with directions. Don’t ask me how I made dinner last night. I opened the spice drawer, pantry, and fridge. I love to read for fun but have to force myself to slow down and absorb when I’m reading for knowledge. My husband thinks I’m insulting him but I’m truly not when I say he’s better at tedious things. Pressure washing? Who can pay attention that long. But hand weed my garden and I can do that for hours. I’m interested.
I certainly have already cut down on IPad time. I’m so busy getting my yard,garden and spring chores done around the house I haven’t had much time to browse at all. It it’s sunny, I’m outside,If it’s raining or cold I’m crafting or preparing meals for my diet. I never realized how much time is actually spent eating healthy! I do spend about 1/2hr each day on Noom, writing in my meals and activity and reading how to actually eat healthier. It’s working, I’m down 12lbs in just three weeks!
I don’t follow any mainstream news, except to listen to the weather. I’m not a TV watcher by nature, I think that’s why I craft so much. My favorite app. Is Pinterest🤣 it gives me a lot of inspiration and great ideas. I love following all the farm girls and guys and learning new things.
My strongest skill is any type of needle work, i.e., sewing, crocheting, knitting, embroidery. My weakest skill is getting back into the swing of things as far as baking, preserving, etc. is concerned. In other words, I find myself getting pulled back into the “quick and easy” life. I am inspired by you and all of the rest of the group as I read through the comments, so hopefully I will stay the course!
I love that quick and easy, Karin! However, sometimes, slow and steady actually creates a better result. I have been wanting to make a coffee cake lately, and was really
tempted by the box mix type. But box mixes usually turn out dry and without much flavor, so I am going to just go ahead and mix one up by hand. And if the temptation overcomes
you to go the quick and easy route, just email me and I’ll try to put you back on track!
Week 2 begins with a challenge on reducing technology usage. This is tricky for me and my jobs, but perhaps I will take an afternoon this weekend and unplug. I’m definitely spending Monday as a day to visit people in person.
There was a video as a part of the challenge that began with thinking about the last time you were lost while driving. What if there was no cell service? As a good Mainer, I always have the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer in my car, as so much of Northern Maine has such terrible service. I use it often when planning trips. I *think* but am not sure that getting a copy is a requirement here in Maine when you first get your license. Just kidding. But I learned to read it and use it when I started to drive, and now 35 years later, still make sure I always have a copy of it.
I’ve certainly been enjoying this challenge and have a lot to think about.
I’m with you, Amy. I depend on my computer to maintain my blog, podcasts, and Challenges like this one. I even use electricity to run my sewing machine. So – in order to meet the Challenge this week, I am searching for ways to work around my techonolgy dependency. I’ve already warned quite a few folks to not expect a text back from me this week! And yes – in the glove compartment of my car I have an assortment of maps from a bunch of different states!
The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer is so big it won’t fit in the glove box, but I keep it in a pocket on the back of the passenger seat!
Guess one of the first things I’ll do is prep for a power outage tomorrow. More snow! Argh. Likely to lose power, it happens, and it always helps to be prepared. Luckily I am working on a GREAT book about a local midwife and healer in the 1700s. Nonfiction, based on her diaries. If I lose power, I can keep myself very entertained!
Ooh, Amy – what is the title of the book? That one sounds interesting! I can’t think of a better way to spend time during a power outage than reading!
It’s called “A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812” by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. It is so interesting.
Hi, I’m Molly from Virginia and I have dabbled in many of the homemade products and found the hardest part is getting the fragrances right in soaps. Using essential oils for the fragrances doesn’t last. I also struggled with finding an herbal program that is affordable and has access for more than 6 months to a year. So any helpful information or direction would be helpful.
Molly – I’m not sure what she has, but be sure to go to the list of Helpful Topics – Heidi and Healing Harvest Homestad may be able to help you!
Definitely check out herbalista! They are folk herbalists in the Atlanta area, and have TONS of free classes and information. Herbs for the people! http://herbalista.org/
If you can split the membership (super cheap) with friends they encourage it and you get access to so much more.
It’s a great way to get some free classes and resources.
Over the last several years , we ( my husband and I ) are using less and less tech. We do two nights a week without any electric so we know how to do things if and when the power goes out. We have one night we play board games and its fun. you interact more with the person than watching mind numbing TV where you hardly ever talk to the other person. We don’t eat out. I cook and love doing it. Still trying to learn things daily. Life is getting harder and harder with this world.
Kimberly – I LOVE your ideas! We don’t do it often enough, but I do ask the Country Boy to cook our meal outside over an open fire. I think I may ask him to do that again, and then challenge him to a game of Dominoes, cards, or even Backgammon!
Hi , I’m Tanya from Idaho.
I’m excited about this challenge, because I want to learn about living without amenities.
We do prepping and have a lot of things in place for what may lie ahead.
My goal is to live off-grid someday, so I am always looking to improve!
I was divorced last year after 37 years, so now I am living with a dear friend who has opened her home and – just under a 1/2 acre ,” to do whatever is in my heart” on her land. I always wanted to homestead and have animals, etc., but my previous life was on a very different path, until my divorce. I turned to the Lord and to the land. Animals, gardening, and the like have been my healing and therapy.
Over the years I have taught myself to garden, can and preserve foods.
I’ve studied herbs and how to make my kid’s herbal medicines, make my own skincare products, and cleansers.
Since my divorce, I’ve learned to spin fiber. I have an angora rabbit for fiber and also, added chickens for eggs, and meat birds that we processed ourselves (my friend and I)! Meat rabbits, and for selling offspring. It has been an adventure since last year that I am so thankful for! We just added a wood cook stove to our prepping skills that I am eager to learn to cook on! If anyone has recipes, tips, etc., I’m all ears!!😊
I’m Lisa and I live in Northern Illinois on a 1-acre homestead. I have chickens, some fruit trees, and a garden. I can, dehydrate, and freeze fruits and veggies. I grew up doing this kind of stuff so moving to a homestead was a dream of mine for many years.
One of the reasons I joined this challenge is because I’m concerned about more shortages, price increases, and supply chain issues. I’m trying to improve more of my self-reliance skills. 🙂
Best wishes to everyone!
Regarding the penny candy – since I don’t eat anything with artificial colors/flavors or ‘bad’ ingredients (have a lot of allergies) I made dark chocolate bark which I will do the challenge with.
Great idea, Hope – and those sound delicious!
I just want everyone to know – I am AMAZED! I love how you took this week’s Challenge and adapted it to what would work for you. This tells me y’all already have a heart and mind for applying Depression Era ideals and making them work for you. Way to go, y’all! I am IMPRESSED!
Hi, I am Carla. I am at a place that is really hard for me right now. I am single with an 18 and 20 year old. I am trying to learn how to cook just for me most days. It is so easy to just run and grab fast food or buy things like that at the store. I was a stay at home Mom for all my kids growing up years and cooked from scratch, gardened, dehydrated and canned lots of foods to keep our money with us. The only hand work I do is cross stitch. I would love to learn to sew and have a sewing machine. I have never dumpster dived but have picked up free things along the road . Nice to meet you all . Also I have chickens and sell my excess eggs.
Carla – Transitioning to cooking for one can be tough. Have you thought of cooking one or two meals a week, making frozen meals with part of it, and using the rest of a different dish? I’m
thinking baking a chicken and vegetables as a meal. From there, make one or two frozen dinners. Then slice part of what’s left for roll-up type sandwiches, and/or dicing part of it for a chicken casserole.
I agree – it is easier to just do fast food, but once you get started, you may just find you enjoy doing it – and then you can use the money you save for a sewing class!
To learn sewing – reach out to a neighbor you may find someone who can show you the basics. Community colleges often have extension courses for free that you can sign up for. You will love all you can do. This weekend I patched up our favorite log carrier. In hind site it would have been faster to just make a new one – but I did not have the fabric for the handles. The patched carrier is working well and not much skill was needed.
I have to eat a very low-carb, low-fat diet and the rest of my family doesn’t. So I usually make a meal for them and something else for myself. When life is busy, I make microwaved mug meals. You can make scrambled eggs, baked oatmeal, mug cakes, mac and cheese, and a bunch of other meals that are one serving and fairly quick to make. Just do a search for microwaved mug meals… if you don’t have dietary issues I am sure you will find a number of yummy things to make quickly. I hope this helps!
I’m Janice from Northern Colorado. My adoptive parents grew up in the depression. They adopted me in their 40’s. My mom canned some, but I didn’t pay much attention. I live on 1/2 acre in a small town. We plan to put in a garden. I knit, spin, sew and weave. My husband is semi-retired. Hoping to learn more about the Great Depression and the lessons that have been lost.
I may be too late to join the challenge since i just saw it in Kathi’s email. Anyway, years ago when we lived in a suburb of philadelphia we were able to grow all our fruits and vegetables and have assorted fowl on a tiny quarter acre lot. It was a great time. We were looked at as oddballs by our neighbors until the raspberries that were planted along the road came in. Folks didn’t mind eating handfuls of them as they walked by. No one minded finding an egg or two in their cellar window well either. It was a great time. Now we have 67 acres and and i try to find the wild edibles (i scold my husband for killing any mullein he sees) on the property. Nettle is one of my favorites. Good luck everyone.
Eva – check your email – I sent you a message about this. It will come from email@example.com!!
I was reading thru all these lovely comments, and realized I hadn’t introduced myself. My name is Cathie and I live in North east Texas. I’m a 65 yr old grandmother of 10 and live with my wonderful husband of 43 years.. We live on a small “hobby farm” with chickens and I do container gardening as we have moles that eat up anything I’d plant in the ground.. I learned to sew basic things from my mother. I can produce and some meat, dehydrate and freeze other things. I am learning more about fermenting and cooking with sourdough. I am very grateful for this opportunity to challenge myself to greater frugality and to learn from all you lovely people. This first challenge will be tricky, as I usually eat a bit of chocolate almost daily….perhaps just being mindful of a “rationing” attitude and having less will do 🙂
Hi Cathie, can you tell me more about some of canning you do with meat? I pressure canned some beef soup last fall that was a big hit for my family and am looking to expand with some tried and true recipes. Thanks!
Hi All! Went to the store yesterday to buy my candy. I had the help of my twins (3.5yrs) so we picked a bag of snickers minis. Picking a candy treat isn’t something new for them as we do it for family movie nights often; but not getting to enjoy it right away is not their strong suit yet. It got me thinking about how we completely take that action for granted. And near the snickers was a bag of peppermint patties which were my great grandma’s favorite candy. She lived in the Depression Era and in her old age indulged in candy as often as she could (it was never safe around her!). It was a good reminder of a lot of things.
Then when I logged on here and read the comment by Amy, it really mirrored some of the thoughts I was having on privilege and the luck of living when and where we do. So for my first weeks challenge my goals are focusing on finding ways to remind my family of our blessings and hopefully adding the time to enjoy the simple things we have at the time we have them.
Kaitlin – Amy’s words rang too true for me, as well. What a great goal to have. I know I’m guilty of taking many things for granted around here – I need to remind myself of the blessings I have, and then teach that same thing to my grandkids. Thank you for sharing your goal!
This is one part of the challenge that is much too dangerous for me. I need to get all the sweets out of the house. I just started to try using potatoes and sweet potatoes as the treat. I am surprised that it works. Fills the craving, cheap and no sugar.
Good luck with your mini snickers and peppermint patties – I love both.
Question #1 I make soap which I use for skin and hair.
Question #2 I grow flowers to confuse garden pests, encourage pollinators, and for making health care products.
Here in Central Texas most of the “old-timers” had cellars in the ground just outside the kitchen door where canned goods and produce were stored.
Hi, I live in Orlando, FL with my husband of 45 years. I spent 30+ years as a registered nurse in the operating room but had to retire early due to my husband getting a progressive degenerative disease which has left him a quadriplegic. My mother taught me how to can and sew. I taught myself how to crochet and knit. I live on a less than 1/4 acre suburban lot but have a garden as well as fruit trees. I can, dehydrate, and freeze the garden bounty and try to do everything I can to save money since we are living on a fixed income. Looking forward to the challange. I was able to find all the books you mentioned at our local library and will be getting them through their home delivery system.
Using the library is one of the most frugal things I do!
Yes, I am an avid user of the library. And in my area they make it really easy as I can get books on line. If I really like the book or need it as a reference then I can go out and buy it. But often I get the key points and move on to the next book.
One book that I didn’t see listed (which was very eye opening to me) is “The Worst Hard Time” by Timothy Egan. It is a very well written account of those who went through the Dust Bowl. It is amazing what people will do to survive.
Thanks for the heads up, Cathie! I haven’t seen that one, but I will add it to my list!
Anna from Central Wisconsin. Brought up in a large family. Had my own large family – six children, which are grown and have their own. Thrifty was a way of life. Always cooked mostly from scratch (I consider brown rice a convenience food — nothing to peel, just measure and cook ). Like to garden and do a lot (some say way too much) of canning and freezing which much gets given away. Love reading and learning about cooking. Always been interested in herbs and how to use them for medicine. Love crafts but don’t have time for them now. Have our own family business of custom wrought iron. I consider me and my husband and our family very capable. Looking forward to learning more.
Hi,I’m from Maryland. I’m retired and loving life, I’m a bit of a homebody so I garden a lot and raise just two chickens and two dogs. The horses are all gone since my two knee replacements! I do a lot of canning,I put up over 500 jars last season just for hubby and myself. I dehydrate also and make a lot of prepared meals ready to go.
The most fun I have is trying every craft you could imagine! My husband and I recently constructed a log cabin dollhouse. I made it look like a running farm all around it. I have it posted on my Facebook. I now have been dabbling in needle felting as well. I’ve made a few animals and I’m working on a purse now. I quilt,and sew clothes for the grandkids also.
Most of my time when we aren’t on the boat fishing and crabbing is spent doing genealogy. I have over 12000 just in my tree and almost that in my husbands. I’m sure a lot of those relatives were there during the Great Depression.
I’m looking forward to some new ideas and learning some skills from like minded women. Karen
Very impressive work in finding so many ancestors in your lines. My husband is very interested in his genealogy too. Unfortunately for his research, most of his documentation needs to be found in Poland and Eastern Europe.
Denise from SW Ohio at present. We moved here in 2021 from NJ and other numerous places before that. Military back then. I was born and raised in upstate NY. Both my parents were youngsters during the Great Depression and I learned much about it from them. Look forward to learning more.
Hi Everyone, I’m Jenn I live up in the Northern Adirondacks of New York. Right now I think we live a pretty simple life raising cattle,goats,turkeys and Chickens. I had a crazy obsession with the Great Depression for a bit now. Looking into the cause of the stock market crash, reading books of Diaries of farm owners both wives and farmers, blue collar workers, the transformation of the food industry during that period of time. My Parents were children during the period of time living with their parents, grandparents,cousins,aunts and uncles in the cities. I at one time lived in my mothers grandmothers home that my parents inherited and couldn’t fathom there being so many people living in the household that had only two bedrooms. well Now that i just blah blah blahhed on i will go.. lol
Hello from central Ohio. We have a 5 acre hobby farm with chickens, sheep, a horse and a family milk cow. We grow out the calves for the freezer and sell the lambs to help with the hay bill. We have 1 large garden and a second one in progress that will be for perennial flowers, asparagus, and berries. We also added a small greenhouse last year.
I grew up sewing and my mother and grandmother passed down their knowledge of canning.
My Mom was a little girl during the Depression and the time period is very intriguing to me.
A very good book I read recently is The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. It’s about families that stayed in the Dust Bowl rather than leaving.
Hi, Fletcher! It sounds like y’all stay busy – and have a great basis for handling any hardships. Thanks for the heads up on the book – I’m going to check it out!
Fletcher you might like the Square meal as well. Its the culinary history of the great depression
Ooh, thanks, Jennifer, that sounds really good.
Hi everyone, Kelli here from Camp Douglas, WI. Can not wait to start this class I heard lots of stories about the Great Depression from my grandma. She would tell me that she wouldn’t buy curtain vegetables, because she would have to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She lived on the farm with her aunt and uncle. Grandma would not go back to any farm to save soul. Grandma didn’t like the Depression time period and it showed no more canning, no more hand be downs, and there were several ‘no mores’ in her life. Where do I live at? On a farm.
Kelli – when talking to some of the older generations, I heard this quite a bit. Some of the women went so far as to refuse to do any handcrafts – stating they could get the
same thing at Wal Mart. I love the idea of you living on a farm, in spite of your grandparents’ feelings about them. History may repeat itself, but I often think things
skip a generation as well! Around here, city kids can’t wait to move to the country – and country kids can’t wait to head to the city!
My father will not eat green beans. He said he had too many on the farm when he was a child. His sisters didn’t think they had it bad at all. They were not necessarily rich, but didn’t think they were poorer than most folks.
I live in Kansas and just retired, so trying to live a little leaner now. Love this challenge. I used to watch Depression era cooking with Clara on YouTube. I can’t wait to see what all recipes and skills come up. Thanks for the Challenge.
Welcome, Carla! I’m glad you joined us. Let us know if you have a skill or recipe you want to share!
I lead a privileged life. I have food in my cupboards and fridge. I have a roof over my head. I have a good paying job that enables me to take care of myself. I wasn’t always food secure, there were times when my daughter was young that I had no idea where the next meal was coming from. Or my big meal of the day would be “frybread,” essentially just water, flour, and a little salt. Living like that for so long has made it a bit hard for me now. I tend to get a bit panicky about having enough food.
But I think this challenge will help me appreciate what I have. I need to be more thrifty for sure, and this will help. There is a good, free workbook for the challenge and the nice group page to post our reflections.
I haven’t bought my bag of candy yet, but I’ll pick one up after work. I’m not much of a candy eater, so I know it will last.
Amy – I believe if we really think about it, we are all privileged in some fashion or another. The key is to learn to appreciate what we have. We have struggled to pay bills, feed our kids, and just
survive. I think that’s why I am so fascinated by how folks survived during the Depression Era. As for the candy – I’m not a big sweets eater either, but I just got a bag of individually wrapped
Life Savers. What I don’t eat, I know the grandkids will!
Thanks for your words Amy! Your thoughts mirrored a lot of those I have been having too with the start of this challenge.
I’m curious as to how/where you did research on this topic. I’m also wondering if you will provide a list of recommended books and websites to do more research ourselves. I think that both sources would be great to add, if you hadn’t planned on it. I have 2 books on the subject and am working on getting a few more.
Tonya – I did quite a bit of my research from books and word of mouth, and some from websites. I will be happy to put together a list for you. Give me a day or two to pull up my notes and format it as pdf!
Have you heard/read the Foxfire Books series?
Yes, we have several of the Foxfire books.
I left a comment and it was removed? Wondering why?
Beth – I’m sorry! I see your comment from yesterday where you introduced yourself – and this one. I haven’t deleted any comments, and don’t see a third one from you. I will say,
I do have it set to approve all the comments, but don’t have one here that needs to be approved. I’ll keep looking, and see if something happened from my end!
I’m Beth, from Indiana, and live on a small farm with a variety of animals. While we call ourselves a homestead with hopes of being self sufficient and live as simple as minimal we can, I believe we have become more of a hobby farm.
We do harvest our pigs, chickens, eggs, and when devoted enough our vegetables and fruit.
Now to answer the questions …
I do not dumpster dive but I’d never decline the opportunity if asked.
I love free things. But we do have a trading account post to where we can find some free treasures, and have!
There’s plenty of funny stories to share! Ha. Seems like more with the animals than anything else though.
We unfortunately live on a very busy road. So having an animal loose is always a concern. But occasionally we do have one get out. Once our boar decided to venture out to that road during the day. My hubby saw him out there from our front window with a car stopped not knowing what to do.
As soon as “Uncle” saw my husband he just followed him up our driveway like a farm dog would. I guess the driver of the car just watched in shock. Like what just happened?!? Lol.
Mind you our pig is over 300 lbs. he’s now 6 yrs old!
Welcome, Beth! We need to get together. My cows are always getting out, no matter how strong we build our fences. I’m so glad we live on a quiet road – otherwise, it could end up
being a problem!
I have not dumpster dived. But I have definitely done curbside recycling. There have been some really nice items I have found but probably my favorite is a nice small older side table on small wheels that I have my 2 small size aero gardens on where I grow lettuce in the winter.
A funny story I can think of is some 45 years ago when newly wed, my late husband and I were trying to stretch out buying a newer car so my husband drove this rusty old car to work (he really didn’t mind). On the way to work one day the car died. He got out and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. He finally checked the gas tank. The gas tank was gone! It had fallen off some ways back (never found it). Needless to say we had to buy another car.
Oh, Hope! It’s one thing to have your gas stolen, but quite another to lose the gas tank! Y’all sound like use it til if falls apart! But I love your curbside find!
Hi, I saw on here where someone said to freeze your dried goods before they go into storage long term (I’ve seen this elsewhere also), but I put some dried beans in the freezer and when I took them out they had condensation in them. How do you put them into long term storage when you know they’ve been wet?? Scares me into thinking that they will turn moldy.
Hi, Karen – I’ve heard (and done) the same thing for my beans, flour, meal, and other dry goods – so your question made me wonder about it. I did just a touch of research, and from what I can see, most posts
I read said that freezing them can cause moisture, which will in turn cause mold. Several stated that it may kill the bugs, but not the eggs. What I have read recommends oxygen-free buckets, or those tiny
moisture absorbing packets (like the ones you get in some packaged goods). I do have a dedicated freezer (I bake so much it is basically like having a separate pantry to hold all of it) for my dry baking supplies
(yeast, flour, meal, etc.), but I only remove them to measure out what I need, and then put it back. My flour and meal are stored in 2-gallon zip top bags, with the air removed, before putting them in the freezer.
I’m not sure if this answers your question – but maybe it will start you out in the right direction!
I have been doing this for years because I buy in bulk and had a pantry moth infestation and it was AWFUL!! I don’t generally freeze my beans or sugar products but rice, noodles, flours, all of that gets frozen for 7 days in the deep freeze. I then take it out and there is condensation on the outside (but I’ve never seen it on the inside!) and I let it sit for at least 24 hours until the moisture is evaporated from the plastic bags. Then I store. The 7 days is long enough to kill the bugs and the eggs. And all of my nuts are permanently stored in the freezer as well as storage oil (olive, sweet almond, etc) so that the oils don’t get rancid. Hope that helps!
I have never frozen dried beans unless I cooked them first. Really for convenience to have some beans fast and cheaper than canned. For items like flour I have not had problems, but I plan next to try storing the flour in a 5 gal bucket with some bay leafs and a good lid. Apparently the bugs don’t like the bay leafs.
CathyG in SW Oregon, excited to learn some new skills! My husband & I have 115 acres with chickens, ducks & pigs (year 2 of piglet production, piglet ETA is May!), which we bought 7 years ago as raw land. We lease grazing land to local cattle ranchers.
Dream is to be completely off-grid and sustainable energy & food-wise, working in that direction. Great garden last year but hadn’t the guts to try the new pressure canner so I froze everything, want to learn more methods for this year & use the canner! Tilled a much larger area this year, going for hog feed and canning candidates. Have an old apple & pear orchard that needs renovating, want to install bees this year.
Our land has a lot of medicinally-useful plants, herbs & trees, which I want to develop. I work an off-farm job 80+ hrs/week remotely, while my husband takes care of the farm & supports (read: feeds) me, our large Labrador, barn cats & a roaming rooster (Colonel Cluck).
1-I’ve never made my own cleaning products but would like to learn.
2-I usually grow flowers to pollinate, as pest control/companion planting, for medicinal and beauty.
3-More curb-diving than dumpsters. Most fun thing I found– I’m a sucker for tables & chairs, esp. tables.
Hi All, I don’t make my own cleaning products, but I do use flowers in the garden for deterring pest and to dry for arrangements for winter month and some for tea.
I am a homemaker for almost 32 years now. I’ve been gardening my whole life, I am an herbalist, I preserve the food and medicine that we grow (and get from our Mennonite farmer friends) in many different ways, I do many handicrafts and I’m always looking for ways to honor my ancestry of PA Dutch. We live a simple life and as self-sufficient as we can be, always looking for ways to learn from the past and keep the old ways alive. I asked my Granny once how the Depression affected them and she told me that it wasn’t too bad, people always were able to scrape a few pennies together to buy chocolate. You see, her whole family worked at Hershey Chocolate Factory! I am also very blessed to be the caretaker of my Grandpa’s journals. This is what my very Dutchie Grandpa wrote about the Depression in 1979. “And at the Great Depression in 1929, 50 years ago, I shall never forget. I, Daddy, was 15 (he was actually almost 17), as we our big family, 13 of us (children) and that year and years we worked hard on the farm, not as I heard my Dad say, “Well boys we did not earn a single dime the past year.” But we had our living, my Dad ran a threshing rick (sic, rig), that means we threshed, I counted them then and threshed from 36 to 50 farms and besides filling silos too in the fall and doing our big farm work too which includes 2 stables of milking cows, 1 stable steers 17, cows 35, and a stable of young cattle and a stable and ½ mules, which had to be fed and watered every day, and large bunch of hogs, which was my job and we knew nothing (of the want that is). My Granny and Grandpa were (and still are in the memory and honor of them) my greatest influences. Their strength through hardships live in me! Here’s to cultivating resilience!
Did your family ever make ‘Dutch Cheese?’
One of my readers shared his recipe and I’ve been wondering if it was a common cheese because I had never heard of it.
Not sure what they meant by Dutch Cheese…there is egg cheese and cup cheese, but not sure about the dutch cheese. I make egg cheese but since we don’t have a milk cow and didn’t growing up either, cheese making is more of a holiday thing for me than a regular thing.
Hi, I’m Hope from a southwest suburb of Chicago. I’m in my late 60’s, a widow, mother of 2 and grandmother of 8 and live on a small suburban lot. I garden in 2 fairly large size raised gardens and 49 containers (I’m hoping to add 2 more raised gardens this spring). I freeze, dehydrate, pressure can and since January freeze dry. In answer to Kaitlin’s question – deciding what method to do: freeze drying definitely takes much longer but is more nutritionally dense than dehydrating so I save for tomato sauces, fruits, vegetables and occasionally dense meals such as beef stew when I can rehydrate with hot water when I’m out and about. Dehydrate stuff that won’t take long such as herbs, orange/lemon peels. Pressure/water bath when you have a lot of something such as soup, broth, applesauce, pears/peaches cause you won’t have a lot of space in freeze dryer and when you will be giving jars as gifts. Answer to Kathy: I check a lot of youtube channels for freeze drying ideas. Answer on where to put all the jars of food: anywhere you can. I have mine in closets, garage cabinet (surrounded by towels and insulated material), bookcases that I made ‘curtains’ to protect from light. Answer to #1: I use to make my own cleaning products but for me it wasn’t worth it. My daughter sells Norwex so I use and love their enviro cloths. Answer to #2: I grow flowers for bee pollination. I’m excited for this challenge because I love learning.
Good morning, all! I’m Amy from Jacksonville, Florida. I am currently studying herbalism. I sew, quilt, have an embroidery machine and several digital cutting machines. I grew up canning and freezing fruits that we picked from local farms, and making jam, but I’ve never really grown my own food. I’m going to try adding some fruits and veggies to my herb and flower garden, and see if I get get them to produce.
As a product of my mother, I have grown up saving/reusing/recycling everything I can, so I’m looking forward to the challenge to see how “on track” I am.
I love to learn new skills and refine some that I already have. I live in PA on some acreage and have ducks, bees, and a garden. I’ve only been here a little over 4 years and my husband and I started the small farm but then he passed. I’m interested in so many things but it’s hard to find enough time some days.
I do not make my own cleaners.
I do plant flowers for medicinal uses and also for pollination for my garden. Some flowers are also great trap plants or repellants.
I’m Karen from northeast Indiana. We live on a farm that has been passed through my family since 1834, and I love this place! Gardening and such runs in my blood, so I have been growing and preserving food all my life. This year I am hoping to learn to make hot process soap (my Grandma always made all of her own laundry soap … I will NOT be that dedicated!). Looking forward to the challenge.
🍓🥦🌻 I’m Angie from Western NC. My Grandparents farmed & traded for things they did not have on their farm. They had 11 children(from 1919 – 1943). My father was the baby of their family. They had a horse or maybe a mule & a wagon,they never owned a car. They had a good life. They were married over 60 years! They were amazing people. I miss them very much. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I have a small garden. My father farmed vegetables & apples for a living. I helped him each year in his fields. Lots of hard work but I learned quickly where food came from & to appreciate it. I’m interested in growing herbs & edible things that return each year. 🌻🧅🧄🍅🌶
Hello everyone. This is a great idea. Our family lives on a 96 acre farm in Ontario, Canada. We have been trying to be more self sustainable over the years and this challenge will be a great help! Thank you!
The two questions…. we made soap and hand cream but that’s it for bath and beauty products. I’d love to make more but I’m challenged for time.
Flowers… we actually do not grow a lot of them as we have focused on veggies. I have been looking into growing flowers for medicine but it’s finding a good supplier for seeds in Ontario.
Thanks everyone. This is exciting!
Hi all! I’m Amy and I live in a small rural town in Maine, just off the coast. I care for just an acre, but it’s enough for us. We have a very small flock of chickens, who are more spoiled pets than anything else. 🙂
I have a rather large vegetable garden and a big herb garden for medicinal, culinary, and dye plants.
I grow flowers if they are edible or can be used for medicine or dyes! I did inherit some ancient peonies when I bought the house and a beautiful old lilac bush. I am going to grow some other flowers this year, in one of my fruit tree guilds.
I do make a lot of my own cleaning products, infusing citrus in vinegar for cleaning, etc. I also make my own soap.
It’s still pretty cold in Maine and a fair bit of snow, but I’ll be starting some pepper seeds this week and making a plan for the garden. We planted 2 20 foot rows of garlic last fall, and have a row of Jerusalem artichokes that comes back each year. Most of my herbs are perennials too.
Nice to meet you all!
It’s nice to meet you as well, Amy! I have a feeling I could learn a lot from you. Growing flowers for dyes is something I’ve been looking into. If you have a good book you can
recommend, let me know!
Hello. My name is Cindy and I live in east central Oklahoma. This will be my first year to try container gardening. I am both nervous and excited!
Answer to question 1 is yes. I make orange vinegar that I use all over the house. I also make my own “febreeze”. I have made laundry detergent in the past.
Question 2 is nope. I have barely kept house plants alive, but this is the year to grow things…. I hope🙄
Hi, Cindy! Glad you can join us! Karen uses buckets for her containers, if you need an inexpensive way to get started. We have faith in you – your garden will be great!
(And if you need help, there are plenty of ‘Green Thumbs’ in this group who will be happy to help!)
Hello everyone! I am from North Florida in the big bend area and close to the GA line. We have a few acres (downsized by 10). I also had health issues and became disabled. My husband is nearing 70 so I guess you could say we’ve definitely downsized our homestead. As for things I do, I can, garden in buckets mainly potatoes and tomatoes, sew, quilt and bake and cook from scratch. My mother lives until she was 92 but unfortunately didn’t do my much of these things. I learned to cook, bake, quilt and sew from my grandmother. I am so looking forward to learning more and improving in a more frugal, time honored capacity. Thank you so much for creating this challenge and I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone.
Welcome, Karen! My neighbor and I were just talking about gardening in buckets yesterday. She uses them to extend what she can grow inground. I love that idea!
Hello from Wisconsin! Live on a small farm with sheep, chickens, a horse and mini donkeys. Looking forward to the challenge and everything that I can learn!
Hi, Karen! I’m so glad you joined us! It sounds like you stay busy!
I plant marigolds and nasturtiums in my garden to help deter bugs.
As to yesterday’s question, I use homemade cleaning product in my shower. Hope to make personal lotions soon.
Kathy from NW Georgia. My husband & I have 20 acres now, mostly wooded. We have a small garden which will be doubled this year with 55 gallons barrels cut in half. Down to 2 chickens, had rabbits for a couple years but not now. I sew, crochet, knit, can,dehydrate, and freeze dry. Love to do anything with fiber, even have a loom but still learning it. Learned alot from my parents, who lived through the depression. They always canned and cooked from scratch.
Welcome, Kathy! You had me at ‘loom’! I’m a weaver and am also learning how to spin. What type of loom do you have? It’s always fun to meet another weaver!
I’m Vickie from Indiana. I usually don’t involve my self in these types of things but this challenge made me stop and think. The Depression era has always intrigued me. The trials families had to go through to stay together and survive has always left me humbled. My grandfather once made the comment that the Depression didn’t affect them alot. They raised their own food on the farm and had animals that supplied the meat and milk. What they didn’t raise they did without. He could fix anything and my grandmother could make anything. Thanks for this opportunity!
Hi, Vicki! I am so glad you chose to do this challenge. It was definitely a very humbling experience for many. And I felt humbled as well as I researched it. I don’t often have
heroes, but those who lived during the Depression are definitely on my list now!
Gardening is the best. I am trying to create a garden using permaculture (we just got started 2 years ago). My goal is create systems that I can use for my canning, fresh eating, and animals. I love that my kids get to help me grow this project too.
My biggest goal is to create a space that can age with me. I want to be able to use it as I get older and be that granny that always has a tomato to pick or a big basket of blackberries to make into treats.
My biggest kitchen challenge would be clutter! Too many one time tools/items. I would love to learn how an older kitchen worked so well with just a few things.
I don’t really have a favorite handcraft. Between an active college resume, jumping into the work force for long weeks, and now having twins (3.5 years old), I never really took that time for myself. Plus, my art looks like it belongs in a preschool class! I would love to try pottery at some point…
In response to yesterdays question: I love being in the kitchen and constantly create new projects there. My biggest challenge at the moment is deciding how I want to expand my food storage space. Where do you all find the balance between canning, freezing, and dehydrating?
That’s a good question, Kaitlin. I’m adding that to the questions for the Group!
Finding space and balance take time! We live in a small cottage and space is at a premium! You have to get creative with finding and concealing storage, that’s for sure! As far as the balance, you have to think about how you use things, how you like to eat them, that sort of thing. Some things you might not like frozen or canned but dried is the key. Say for instance, in our household, we don’t care for frozen green beans, and aren’t really big fans of canned green beans (except for dilly beans!) but dried take up so little space and the flavor is phenomenal! They re-hydrate really well too with a slight chewy texture that we find wonderful. So the biggest key is to try things and figure out how you like them/use them, keep notes, and go from there. Hope that helps!
Thanks Tonya, that is great advise!
I am new to freeze drying. Does anyone have any tips that they can share of do’s and don’ts
Following! I would also like to know more about freeze drying.
Me, too, Kaitlin!
I saw a youtube on freeze drying avocado, limes and cilantro. I tried it last week and it worked well. Maybe not as great at the youtube – but when I can find a great price on avocados it is worth it. From my experience, I think mashed will work better than pieces. The limes work great you can reconstitute and use just like fresh – no more taking up freezer space. And the cilantro was a big win. I try growing it but it is too cold now and then it will be too hot. Any tips there would be appreciated – I am good at getting the seeds as it bolts before I get enough plant to use.
Hi, I’m Syndie from Iowa. I don’t really have anything passed down to me. The oldest thing I do would be canning. For me, the most versatile veggie in my garden would be the sweet potato. My biggest kitchen challenge would be space. My pantry was not insulated when they built it. I cannot store food back there. The jars freeze and break during winter, and overheat and unseal during summer. The basement is too damp to store in. And we have one window air conditioner in the living room. How did the older generation keep there food!?!?
Syndie – I feel your pain. We live in what was at one time two houses that sat out in a cotton field, then moved out here and joined together. There is NO insulation! As for your
question about how the older generation stored their food, I think that is an excellent question, and I’m going to go ask it in the group. I’m also going to do some research on it,
and see if we all can’t work together to get you an answer!
Insulation materials are available in sheet form and fairly thin. How about adding some internally. It will cut down on the depth a little but it might be worth it.
Ok, so far I have canned and preserved, grown my own gardens for food supplies plus an orchard
and blackberries, but I hate canning. Much prefer freezing but in a power outage I would (and have) lost those supplies. Need to learn more about dry storage and possibly dig a root cellar….
I think this is a popular skill many folks want to learn!
That generation used root cellars and ice boxes. You can find instructions online for creating “root cellars” with buried plastic garbage bins and the like. More practical for you would be using spaces within your house for storing food. Under beds is a great place for canned goods. I am able to buy used 5 gallon food grade buckets from a local store that does bulk foods, and I use them for storing my dehydrated foods, plus extra foods I buy to have on hand (rice, dry beans, flours, etc.) I would recommend that you first freeze any dry foods you buy for long term storage – just for a few days, to kill off any bug eggs that might be in there.
Check with local restaurants and bakeries – they get lots of product in food grade buckets. I managed to collect 20 most with lids that are great. All free. Turns out the restaurant cleans them out and then tosses then in the recycle bin. They were happy to save them and pass them along. Probably didn’t hurt that I took them extras from my garden.
Hi Syndie, it’s Lindy from Central Texas and I thought of a friend’s mother who used a refrigerator to store her dishes. A non-working fridge might work for you in your basement. They are insulated, bug free and cheap. Just make sure it is dry inside. Hope this helps.
Hi everyone from Minnesota! I think my oldest skills are dehydrating as a way of preserving food, and knitting and crocheting some of my clothes. I think a very versatile vegetable is the tomato. It can be used to make spaghetti sauce, ketchup, soup, added to sandwiches & salads, even just eaten as is.
Rita – I envy you! I’m trying to improve my crochet skills so I can learn to make sweaters for my granddaughter!
Love to know your recipe for ketchup. I just heard about one today that is just tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. I am big on no sugar so I will try it.
I am Kathy from the Sierra Foothills in Northern California. My husband and I retired here from San Diego. Not sure what the oldest skill is that I use. I love crafting but haven’t been at it for a while. I have gardened off and on for all my life. The last 4 years have presented new challenges at our elevation, lack of water and fires. The growing season is June to early Nov. The most versatile vegetable I grow is summer squash. I keep finding more things to make with it from Breakfast to snacks, lunch, dinner and desserts.
Hey y’all from Oklahoma! I’m so excited to do this challenge with everyone! So much to learn!
The oldest things I’m using are my dad’s plow and my husband’s Grammy’s butter churn.
The most versatile veggie to me is the tomato!
Hi form Mm. I’m 71 and have been gardening all my life. I used to have a big garden but now just a small raised garden my son built and 5 gallon buckets for tomatoes. I get most of my vegies from farmers markets now. I think the most versatile vegie is the potato. You can fix it so many ways. My oldest habit is canning tomatoes. My daughter says they’re much better than store bought.
Jo Anne – a friend of mine planted his entire garden in 5-gallon buckets, and always had a huge harvest. I think that’s the smartest ‘container garden’ I can think of!
We use lick buckets too! Great way to recycle and our veggies do terrific in them!
I like the idea of expanding my garden using 5 gal buckets. How do you water them? And do you load the bottom of the bucket with gravel or foam for drainage or just drill holes in the base?
Gardening in buckets is easy. But they do require frequent watering. I put several holes in the bottom of the bucket and a small layer of gravel before filling with potting soil. Make sure to use potting soil. You need to fertilize more often with buckets as well. And put your supports in as soon as you plant too. I use the round tomatoe cages for my beans and peas as well as maters.
Hello from Washington State! Looking forward to learning with this challenge and finding gaps that can be filled in to make a simpler life. I grew up farming, gardening, and canning along side family members but always feel like a novice because of all the information out there still to gain. Can’t wait to see where this challenge take us all!
Welcome, Kaitlin! In many ways, we are all novices, but that can be a good thing. It makes us more willing to learn. Like you, I can’t wait to see what I can learn from this Challenge and all the fun people who have signed up for it.
Be sure to offer your tips and tricks along the way!!!
Wendy raised in Atlantic City New Jersey live in North East Texas. Have been in TX since 1980. Bought a “hobby farm” in 2016 we started with Chickens and Rabbits added Goats and a feral donkey. Since that time, the goats did their job and getting rid of all the Thicket and we decided to go away from Rabbits. We now have a second Donkey sheep pigs and a bit of cattle. We just got rid of our milk cow as she nursed for three months, barely any milk and then stopped looking to buy a miniature jersey, this go around round. This year we will be focusing on gardening. We have done a bit of gardening and built up our orchard and asparagus beds, but haven’t really had the time to go fall into gardening. At our old house we did garden and it was a wonderful garden here we’re going to have to amend soil a lot might take us a couple of years to get it to where the other one was as that’s about how long it took to get that one good. Can’t wait to see how far I am in this journey. I think we could all use this type of a challenge in life.
Hi, Wendy! I’m glad you joined us. I’m in Northwest Louisiana, so we are ‘almost’ neighbors. You sound like you stay busy! If you do get a miniature jersey, keep me posted on how that
works out. My jersey passed on a couple of years ago, and I am hoping to replace her. And just keep plugging away. Time passes so fast, before you know it your garden soil will be
Hello from the Upstate of South Carolina! My husband and I are on a mission to build a small homestead and become more self-reliant. And though we see the necessity, given the signs of the times, this has always been a dream of ours and we are loving the life! Our scale is smaller and our pace is slower, since we started this journey a bit later in life, but we are steady and focused on our progress. I am not cheap, but I am very frugal at heart and love learning new ways to reuse, repurpose, and put up. The old adage “Waste Not, Want Not” is always on my mind. I am looking forward to doing this Depression Era Challenge along with y’all! 😀
Welcome, Christi! You just related one of my favorite things about homesteading and living a Simple Life. You can do it as small as you need, or as big as you have time and room for.
But, like you, I do see the necessity of at least having a basic understanding of what has (and is) taking place and finding ways to work around it. Congratulations of following
your dreams. If you have questions, be sure to ask. Someone here will surely have an answer!
Hello from NW Alabama. I am learning how to garden and can everything I can. My grandmother used to have jars and jars of things in her basement we would open when we would spend summers with her. I want to be more self sufficient now that I have 25 acres to do something with.
Mary – I’m so glad you are here! You can do a lot with 25 acres. Keep us posted on your plans!
I’m Brooke, from Upper Michigan. We have only been homesteading/farming since 2020 when we moved here with our 6-month-old daughter from Madison, Wisconsin. Now we have worked our way up to 10 chickens, 6 dairy goats on 10 acres. Our gardening has been underwhelming so far as we adjust to the different soil and short growing season. Last year we also raised and slaughtered 10 meat chickens for the first time – this year we want to do 30 birds so we can have a roast chicken every other week for over a year. I have gut issues that appeared last year so we cook all our own meals and have to be careful of the ingredients. Our “oldest skills” are probably cooking from scratch (me) and milking a goat (husband). I want to learn (and DO!) so much more but our now-3-year-old takes up most of my time so it’s a slow process. 🙂
Hi, Brooke! It sounds like y’all are off to a great start. Kids can make it a slower progression, but what an amazing life lesson you get to teach her! I hope this Challenge helps you –
I’ll be adding posts for more reading and research with each Challenge segment. And if you have any questions, just ask – or drop a note to one of the bloggers. We all LOVE to visit!
I live in mid-east Ohio. I want to live a simple life and be as self-sufficient as possible. I want to be prepared no matter what life may throw at me. Plus, I love history and how women managed through hardship.
Welcome, Darlene! It was my own love of history that drove me to creating this Challenge. I’m so glad you joined!
Sue from Ohio. I have always been interested in this subject.
Hi, Sue! Welcome to the Challenge!
Born and raised in Ga!
What brought me to this challenge and what I hope to learn was I want to learn to live like my granny and great granny and also be more frugal and learn more old fashioned skills.
The great depression brought about some of the toughest and thriftiest people. I want to be like that.
Where do you stand in your journey?
Hi, Elizabeth! I’m with you – I want to get tougher and thriftier. Be sure to share any tips you learned from your grannies!
Hello everyone. I am from upstate NY.I live in the snowblet up here so look forward to some gardening starts. I already raise chickens and rabbits, plus garden, sew.
Welcome, Kimberly! I’m glad you’re here. If you have sewing tips, be sure to share them. That is one of the skills I’m trying to improve on!
I’m born and raised Floridian. Looking forward to new ideas and different points of view.
Glad you made it, Sondra! I am looking forward to the conversations as well!
Stephanie from Conifer, CO. Elevation 8,330 ft. I’m looking forward to all the new information we’re going to get. I also look forward to hearing from likeminded souls…
Welcome, Stephanie! We’re looking forward to hearing about your perspective on things as well!
Bonnie here in North TX. Waiting for spring and the surprise ice storms to be over! I have chickens that aren’t laying much now, 3 retired cows, and little bits of garden that made it through the ice with covering up. Gardening has always been a challenge here so finding ways to help ‘survival’ skills will be fun. thank you!
BTW- under your No Sharing paragraph you have April- I think you meant Feb?
Welcome, Bonnie! I’m glad you are here. I’m with you – I’m tired of the cold and rain. I hope we can help each other in the Challenge, but if you still have questions,
I can help you find the answers! (And thanks! I’ll go fix that!!!)
Hi! I’m Sue. I live in Northwestern Montana. I love to garden and keep chickens. We have two cows and use 4 goats for weed control on our acreage. I’m looking forward to learning more and increasing in confidence in sustainable living.
Hi, Sue! Welcome to the Challenge!
I live in Arizona. I have always been fascinated by the Depression era and the stories from my grandparents and parents. We live in the Valley of the Sun but bought 2 acres up near Prescott. I want to learn a lot more about how to live more frugally since I am now and we are preparing to permanently relocate to our “homestead”. I look forward to this challenge!
I’m glad you joined us, Karin! I hear Arizona is beautiful. Congratulations on the new homestead!
Hi, We moved to north west Arkansas a year ago. I have always been a gardener, a DIY, prefer the simpler life, all its challenges and glory. I have done some canning, but I want to know more. I reuse everything that can be. I am always looking for freebies. This year I am starting a lot of seeds indoors, and growing a lot of herbs that I use on a daily basis, and of course a lot of vegetables I have never tried to grow in South central Texas. I am open to ideas and information, and hope to find some of that here.
Welcome, Patricia! You are going to love growing your own vegetables and herbs. If you don’t find what you need in the Challenge – I can send you links
to some great sites. I’m going to be checking around this week, and see if I can find bloggers who live in the areas the Challenge takers are in!
Howdy neighbor! I’m right across the border from you. Welcome to our neck of the woods!
I am a 65 yr old grandmother of 10 living in Texas. I am wanting to learn more about gardening and stretching our dollars in difficult situations and passing on that knowledge to my grandchildren. Thank you for putting this together!
You are welcome, Cathie! I am so glad you joined us. And I LOVE that you want to share your knowledge with your grandchildren!!
I live in Pennsylvania, This is something I have been reading more and more about. I live in a city and they will not allow chicken which I have tried to get them to change their minds . The answer is no to me. I garden and that is my real joy. really looking forward to this challenge. My journey is always to learn Wanting to find a way to save more. I want my husband to be able to retire and I want that sooner than later. We no spring chickens and I had some health issues that took me out of the work force so I try every way I can to spend below our means. Good luck to all that join. God bless
Kimberly – I’m so glad you joined! I think we are all in the same boat. We want to save more and be secure in knowing we can take care of ourselves. I’m so sorry you can’t get chickens.
But more and more cities are allowing it to happen. Maybe yours will follow suit soon!
So excited this starts on my birthday.
Is your birthday on the 10th or the 23rd? Let us know so we can wish you a Happy Birthday!
My birthday is today February 24th . God has blessed me to live this long. Have lost one brother and one sister to cancer that didn’t live as long as I have. Can’t wait to learn more and pray God will find a way so we can get a farm.
Happy Birthday, Kimberly!!!! I’ll be praying for you as well! Having a farm is truly a blessing, and I know you will love it when it happens!
Happy birthday Kimberly !
My birthday is tomorrow. When growing my best friend’s birthday is the 24th. We loved them being so close together. Born in the same hospital.
I live in the mountain of central Virginia and love it here.
I like to think I live a frugal, simple life. I joined the challenge to find other ideas.
Journey wise? Closer to the end than the beginning! Always looking for ways to live that simple, peaceful life.
I’m excited you joined, Margaret! I’m looking forward to hearing your perspective on things!
Sharon from Northern Michigan here! Right now enjoying some warmer temps in Florida as we both relax AND work online. Looking forward to this challenge as husband & I both desire to whittle down our “cost of living” as we near possible retirement (maybe 3 years from now.
Sharon – enjoy some of that warmer weather for me! I’m glad you joined. I can’t wait to hear more about your thoughts!
I live in Texas. My husband and I are both retired and living on limited income. I want to live a simpler life. I have already begun the journey by learning basic skills, gardening, soap making, knitting and herbalism but want to continue to expand my knowledge. The depression era is a great history lesson where life skills were necessary!
Welcome to the Challenge, Jacquelyn! I’m so glad you have started your Simple Life journey. If I can help in any way, let me know! One of the bloggers who has helped me with the Challenge has some great pointers about downsizing.
Her post might help, too. It won’t let me add a link in the comments, but you can find Kathi’s post at Oak Hill Homestead (www.oakhillhomestead.com) and search for ‘Downsizing’!