Believe it or not, 2018 was my first full year writing Practical Self Reliance. The first posts went up in June 2017, and now just 18 months later there are a total of 332! It’s been a busy year, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of sharing our adventures here on the homestead. I wanted to take this time to look back at the top posts of 2018.
Personally, my favorite posts are the foraging posts because they get me outside hunting chanterelles or bushwacking for Japanese Knotweed. I still have yet to write up some of the tastiest edibles I found, and those are coming this year.
Maples may make the most syrup, but they’re not the only trees you can tap for syrup. One of the first posts I wrote this year, based on our work tapping just about every deciduous tree on our landscape. Ironwood syrup had a particularly interesting taste…
Ginger is really easy to grow, both indoors or outside, regardless of where you live. Here in zone 4, farmers are growing it as an annual outdoors. We grow it in pots indoors year round, as it prefers shade anyway. We also grow cocoa trees, lemongrass, and lemon trees indoors.
Living off grid means learning about super-efficient appliances to minimize your power usage. Here’s what we’re using (and a few things we hope to upgrade in the near future).
As I write this midwinter, we’ve been iced in for about 2 weeks now, but it doesn’t matter much. We both work from home and earn our income without ever leaving our little piece of paradise.
Mmmm…pickles. This one’s a huge hit in the summer months, and even in the winter, it’s amazing how many people are making pickles down in the southern hemisphere. I now have a bread and butter pickle recipe, as well as a tiny French Cornichon recipe too.
Since this beginning soapmaking article did so well, I went ahead and added an even easier recipe for melt and pour goats milk and honey soap, along with a guide to how to make melt and pour soap. If you are just getting started with soapmaking and you’re ready to tackle working with lye, this beginners recipe is a good jumping off point.
We’ve raised quite a few pigs here on the homestead, and even supplementing heavily with kitchen scraps, it’s not cheap to bring up your own meat. We tracked the costs for 4 pigs raised through the summer months, and then two we overwintered.
Clearly, there’s a lot of aspiring soapmakers out there, and I’m hoping to put out some more soapmaking troubleshooting guides in 2019.
Living off-grid doesn’t mean living without modern conveniences. With good planning, you can live any way you choose while generating your own power.
If you’re not trying to make a full time living from your homestead, there are plenty of ways to pick up a side hustle to help make ends meet. All of these are tried and true methods.
Ideas and Inspiration for Next Year?
These were the most popular articles from the past year, which gives me some direction for the year to come. What would you like to learn about in the new year? Nothing’s more fun for me than researching and writing detailed tutorials that are useful to the world at large. If there’s something you’d love to learn, let me know in the comments below.