How to be of help to a Firefighter Family

Asking for help is really hard for me. Even accepting help is not easy. I don’t know why us wives and moms think we can do it all. We may appear to be holding down the fort while our spouses are on shift, but I think most of us are just making do with the situation.  Truthfully, we are quite stressed and burning the candle at both ends.

I will be the first to admit I wont ask for help. And if you say “call me if you need help” I probably won’t. But in the past week I’ve started saying “yes please, I need help.” And boy does one small act of kindness really make a difference. One friend offered to watch my daughter while I went to Costco. She loves grocery shopping, but she’s 40 lbs more in my cart so I accepted the offer.  My fire wife friend up the road met me as I pulled in my driveway from Costco (by the way Costco is 45 minutes away) and unloaded everything up the stairs to my house and noticed I had tossed two bags of chicken feed by the driveway and took them to my chicken coop for me. At 32 weeks pregnant these tasks would have landed me with horrible Braxton hicks and exhaustion.

I was reminded that “accepting gifts of time or talent is actually a blessing for the person offering.” A women commented on my blog post asking what would be the most useful way to help the family of a firefighter. Not knowing how to answer this, I turned to one of my favorite Facebook support groups specifically for CalFire wives & girlfriends.

When wives began answering the questions there seemed to be some reoccurring themes. Below is a list of ways you could bless a fire wife and their family while their other half is on shift.

  • Mow the lawn. Just say “what day works best?” Or better yet do it before they even get home from work. I love mowing. But many of us have small children that need to be watched. Just about every wife said this *Hint Hint!
  • Provide a meal. Cooking for small humans or for one is not easy or fun. Even before kids, when my husband was on shift, often dinner was a smoothie or cereal. Unfortunately, our family dinners don’t happen as often with dad gone. I usually just eat what they don’t and try to hurry and clean up the kitchen while they are occupied with food.
  • Be a listening ear and provide adult conversation. We don’t always get enough time on the short & infrequent phone calls with our husbands to speak our mind, help us with struggles or everyday life.  Talking to my children is lovely and I am so thankful to stay home with them, BUT days go by and I have had zero adult interaction!
  • Offer to watch the kids for an hour so we can do something like laundry, mow, or run a quick errand. Buckling kids in & out a 5-point harness and packing food just to go to the store for diapers and bananas is quite the ordeal. Or better yet, call or text “I’m heading to the store is there anything you need?” When my husband is home, usually I can run to the store real quick alone for something I forgot on the previous trip. Many of us have been without our other half for weeks or a month.
  • Handyman work! Without fail the moment our husbands leave the driveway something breaks. Help fix a sprinkler, dryer, gate latch, hang a shelf, change a light bulb, move something heavy, etc. We are all fully capable strong women, but lets face it my 5’5″ petite build will NEVER be able to do the things my 6’4″ husband does effortlessly. (My ceiling light went out literally 10 min after my husband left for shift July 11th.  Today is August 12th. The cover has bugs in it. I need a small ladder that is out in the barn. I’m sure the ladder is filthy & my kids will try to climb it. I’ll make do without a light!)
  • Drag our trashcans down our long driveway. Maybe even crush all our Amazon boxes! I still don’t know how my husband fits so many boxes into a can.
  • Check in on us. We often feel forgotten. Maybe even show up with a coffee and hug.
  • This morning, August 12th, my husband got off shift!! 32 Days away. He will be home later this afternoon. We get to keep him for 3 whole days before he heads back to his station.

Be Wild. Live Naturally. Love Genuinely,
The Homeacre

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2018 A late-summer update from a CALFIRE wife

 

IMG_2368Wow, where did this year go? It’s August? Most of you know me from reading my blog post at the beginning of the year titled “2017 A year in the life of a CalFire wife.”  If you havent read it please read it first and come back!

I have such a great update, our year is going so wonderful. I know a lot of you fire families had the same year we had last year, and the year before as we did and have been up against another long year. I won’t refer to it as a “Fire Season” anymore because that has changed. My husband is in is 14th year as a firefighter and I have been by his side for 8 of those years. It takes a long time for them to put in vacation requests. You can’t always do it as a seasonal for the following year and then when they finally get a promotion, attend a lengthy academy 10 hours away that they are notified about 72 hours in advance, your vacations aren’t always easily planned. They accrue an incredible amount of paid days off, just don’t always have the opportunity to use them.

After the longest year in 2017, my husband was finally in a position to request some good chunks of vacation days. My husband works a 72 hour shift (If there are no fires, no short staff, no staffing pattern, no shift trades, and the stars are aligned!!) when he requests one shift off, he can also get the 4 days on either side off which makes for 11 days off. This is a great amount of time and allows him to rest when he gets home, help pack for a trip and then also decompress and get some things done at home after vacation.

My husband has worked some decent stretches of a few weeks at a time, but guess what? They haven’t been too unbearable. You know why? Because he has all these approved vacation times which is my “light at the end of the tunnel.” I know that on a specific day he will be home, and not just for 18 hours, a guaranteed 11 days. You know what effect this has on the health of our relationship and family? I can’t even explain it. I just know that in previous years the never-ending stretches of 56 days apart followed by 96 hours off have been almost detrimental to our relationship. He would come home and it was like heaven for a few hours then strictly business having him help me get work done at the home before leaving again and not knowing when he was coming home.

In my post “2017 A year in the life of a CalFire wife,” I wrote “we hope 2018 allows us to be a family in person, to grow and strengthen our relationships with each other that have weakened and to enjoy the everyday ups and downs TOGETHER. (Maybe even a date with my husband? We haven’t been alone without a child since March 2016).” I am happy to say that its August and in the past 7 months our family has spent an incredible amount of QUALITY time together. We did a Disneyland trip in May and IMG_9858.jpgsaw a lot of other awesome Fire Families there. We went on a week-long tent camping trip to McCall, ID. We spent many days at our lovely one acre farm; fixing fences (kids and I watched), planting a garden, building a playground from scratch (ok we watched that part too), catching chickens & ducks, cleaning the coops, doctoring pets, disciplining children, cooking, cleaning, organizing, doing bath time, bedtime, yelling & laughing, parenting and being a husband & wife in person. Just like we hoped and prayed. And guess what? We finally had our first date alone without kids for the first time in over TWO years! It was actually a 30 hour date away to Tamarack Resort.

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Would I say this year has been easy? Absolutely not. We still face all the ups and downs that goes with marriage, raising kids, owning a home, and everyday struggles. The important thing is we have been able to handle these things without the added stresses of being a long distance family the entire year. My husband has been able to watch the kids grow and learn in real-time not text messaged videos.

I know so many fire wives got a quick visit home around Christmas from their husbands before they got sent to academy and then off on strike teams for another never-ending year of uncertainty. (It’s truly amazing how there are so many of us pregnant right now!)I am nowhere near a “seasoned fire wife” but I would like to offer this advice. Use the vacation time. Request a bunch of it. Spread it out through the year and don’t feel selfish or unworthy of it.  Your children are only little for a short window of time and no amount of overtime money will ever compare to the times spent as a family. There will always been over-time now that fire season is all year.  And while there will be days, weeks, months that your firefighter is held on shift without an option of getting off, having had the family vacations throughout the year has allowed us to make so many memories.  And if you don’t have children or you are empty nesters, use the vacation the time to build and maintain a healthy relationship with each other.

I know a lot of families just keep on with the old ways of the fire-life and don’t use their vacation time.  They save it until right before retirement or they try to work as many days of over-time during summer to ensure they have the savings to make it through winter. But remember what I wrote above? It’s now a FIRE YEAR, there is now always an opportunity for overtime most of the year.  Request the time off.  Build and maintain your relationships at home. Make time to enjoy your hobbies.  Steven and I were chatting on our drive to our childless date, and we both said we don’t want to be the fire couple that come retirement has a business relationship and doesn’t know how to be husband and wife because the time and effort was never intentionally made to keep the fire burning.

When my Husband left on July 11th, I had an overwhelming sense of loneliness. He leaves the evening before his shift and I always put on TV for the kids and I go in the kitchen to prepare dinner.  I can’t describe the feeling so well, but it is an aching heart along with a pit in my gut. Thoughts of Can I do this on my own? Can I keep these children, this garden, these pets, and my very pregnant-self healthy? Can I survive the challenges that always seem to arise when my husband is on shift? The feeling usually lasts a day or so until I establish a routine of my own.  I tend to use an abundance of essential oils (and chocolate) to help with these emotions. The kids really miss him and it is hard for them to express their emotions about dad being away. The other night my 4-year-old daughter cried herself to sleep after telling me “I think daddy might not ever come home.” My heart broke and I was all choked up consoling her as I had just been reading the tragic news of the fires.

img_3134 img_3131It is now, August 6th and my husband is still on shift. The soonest he could be home will be August 12th for a few nights. My children and I miss him to the point of feeling sick, but we go about our summer days finding fun things to do and explore.  Sadly, in the first 3 weeks he has been on shift, we lost three brave firefighters in the line of duty on the fires in California. Words cannot express how tragic this is. We only were able to discuss it through texting until this weekend.  We were talking about how wonderful the ceremony for Braden Varney was and that is when he broke down. We still haven’t had an in-depth conversation about it due to time. He never had a chance to meet him, but our families are the same age and I think thoughts of “that could be my wife up there speaking and my children left without a father” really uprooted emotions that often get buried in this line of work.  Recently, he was on a fire and I would get a “Good Morning I Love you” text really early and then not hear from him until super late that night or the next morning. As a fire wife, you start searching through all the Fire incident reports and forums looking for their Engine, helicopter or dozer number to see where they have been called to or what the fire situation is. Then you just continue to pray for their safety. When my cell phone made a tone for his text, I felt instant relief. He is okay. I didn’t even care that his text said “Don’t know if I’m gonna make it home tomorrow.”

I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant and have only 56 days left until my due date. Not only have the children done lots of growing since he left, but so has my belly. Between now and my due date of September 29, my husband has for sure one hunt but maybe two Archery Elk hunts if he draws a tag. We NEED the meat in the freezer so it is necessary that he goes. Our Elk supply is extremely low and we can see the bottom of the deep freezer. He does have a new satellite phone that I will be able to contact him on incase this baby comes before 40 weeks.  Our last child was born at home on his due date 4 hours after my first contraction! img_3146We continue to pray he will fill the freezer and be home for the birth of our third child whom we don’t know if it is a boy or girl!  Being a firefighter wife & a hunters wife is quite the adventure, but I am grateful to be married to a hero and a man who provides a freezer full of meat.  He is taking six full weeks off, just as he did with the first two children, to be home with me & love on our sweet children.

Stay in touch! Subscribe to my Blog with your e-mail.  You can follow me on my Instagram TheHomeacre to keep up to date on what is happening around our one-acre farm.  I have been trying to tend to the garden & begin preserving things.  I’m still learning a lot about homemaking and would love any tips or tricks you could share with me.  If I can figure out a way to squeeze more time into my evenings, I would share some recipes with you on my blog! For now, please enjoy the lovely photos I share on IG.

Be Wild. Live Naturally. Love Genuinely,
The Homeacre

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Camping with kids

 

camping18-31We just got back from a 4 night camping trip in Ponderosa State Park McCall Idaho. Have you been to this park? It is so beautiful and has the best trails for hiking with small children. We hiked here last year with 2 dogs and 2 kids and had to go back. The park is a Peninsula on a lake. There are so many great trails and animals to see.  We saw lots of deer and fox. I would love to see a moose one day!

Both my husband and I grew up camping and sleeping in a tent. I’ve never actually slept inside a camp trailer, but I would imagine it would be a much different camping experience. Being in a tent and hearing Raccoons viciously fight over food 100 ft away, the trees squeaking above you in the wind or an animal brush the side of your tent in the middle of the night is quite exhilarating. My husband never seems to hear it and I’m always kicking him “Do you hear THAT?” From my observations camping with our kids, there didn’t seem to be too many other families with small children in tents. Everyone had some sort of trailer, pop-up trailer or much older children in tents. Did you or do you camp in a tent with your small children? I would love to know.camping18-11.jpg

The first night in the tent our daughter said “you know what the best part of camping is? Sleeping in a tent!” That made me feel good. I do think a trailer would be convenient and nice to have, but that is a different experience than I would like our kids to have. I love not having the modern conveniences of a sink or microwave. (I may feel differently after baby three, but would still rather build a garage than have an RV!) At night we would warm up a pot camping18-25.jpgof soapy water over the fire or stove and wash them up. They both had a look of pure relaxation when I wrapped their smelly camp feet in a steamy hot wash cloth while they sat on the edge of their sleeping bags.

While I wouldn’t say how awesome it was to sleep on the ground 6 months pregnant with just ONE pillow, no bathroom and a low of 30*, I will say we made some fantastic memories and I am proud of myself and kids.

I admit that tent camping with my husband might be much more luxurious than you may think! See, he is a firefighter of 14 years & a hunter since like birth which makes him practically a wilderness professional! He is incredibly efficient and routine with his set up. He is one or two steps ahead of me on everything. The fire never dies, food is always hot and ready before the kids get grouchy, he does almost all the dishes & every morning & night he critter proofs our site. I kept the tent tidy and swept and made sure kids were covered at night.

The afternoon before we left, he smoked 2 racks of ribs, made delicious elk chili in the Instant pot, chopped a watermelon and gathered 90% of our camp gear. We always eat well and for the most part healthy on our camping trips with some added treats. I premade a broccoli salad and Hawaiian chicken kabobs. We packed a bunch of fruit, camping18-16jerky, nut bars, fresh eggs, coconut water & yerba mate teas. Before kids, we would just pack ingredients and enjoy an evening cooking in the Dutch oven, but now we pre-make all of our dinners! My husband is the better cook, so I let him do that and I am the better baker, for now! All the photos of the delicious food is on my husbands phone and he is currently battling the Lane Fire in CA with minimal contact.

Last summer we invested in a nicer tent and received my Father-in-Laws old rusty tent stove that keeps us warm. Actually, it pretty much roasts us like a marshmallow. Before bed my husband will set up the stove so all that needs to be done is to light it. As soon as I think the kids and I are too cold to sleep (usually about 3-4 am) I wake my husband to start the fire. Within 5 minutes the tent goes from 30*-110* and we are all sprawled out on-top of our sleeping bags trying to unzip the door for a breath of fresh air.
camping18-29The downside to the stove is there is a whole in the floor and roof of the tent which is inviting to bugs. The awesome part is that we get coffee in bed! We set up our coffee percolator so all we have to do is put it on the stove. (Ok, maybe he does that too!) We keep a small plastic bin with a jar of cream & sugar, tea bags, coffee cups, and a spoon in the tent. This year we also brought some instant oatmeal cups, bib, spoon & pot with a bottle of water. Our 17 month old wakes up starving everyday so we were able to make him a healthy cup of oatmeal & drink our coffee and daughter an herbal tea before we get everyone dressed and out of the tent to make a real breakfast usually cooked in bacon grease. Mmm.

The kids each brought a few books, a stuffed animal, sand toys and some coloring supplies.  I’m not a huge fan of toys at home and when we go on vacations I only let them bring a couple which never seem to get touched.  As usual, they read socamping18-9.jpgme books and played with their sand buckets & shovels, but preferred to play with the natural elements in the campsite than anything else.  The beach was really pretty, quite windy, & the water was freezing. The kids could care less.  I volunteered myself to hold down the beach tent so it didn’t blow away and watched my husband get in the freezing water with the kids.  I really am a hands-on mom & am usually the one that has to get in the freezing water or chase them around, but any opportunity I have to watch him do it, I gladly take it.

Everyone is always overly friendly at a campgrounds pair that with people in Idaho being awesome and you have the nicest people camping around you. There was a large group of girls that took up 5 sites and had a whole staff to cook & supervise them. We camping18-30-e1529901750685.jpghad fun watching them and we had to pass by them on my 1000 waddles to the bathrooms. They just loved our kids and gave them each a balloon on a stick. This occupied them for TWO days!! One family offered us their firewood, another their dinner, and my husband was approached by three older couples that had the kindest things to say about our family. My viewpoint was much different. I felt I was trying hard not to yell at the kids for throwing pinecones and dirt at each-others faces and running by the fire. Also, that I was spending too much time in my camp rocking chair playing mom-police while husband cooked & cleaned. Always nice to hear compliments about how you are raising your kids.

We went on a 3 mile hike on our second day. I was pretty proud of myself because I’m not as energized this pregnancy. I was also very impressed with our 3 year old daughter. She hiked the whole way with a hydration pack and had us carry it the very last part. The following morning we hiked another 2 miles. She was awesome. Our son literally passed out in the Kelty all 5 miles. This wasn’t really “hiking.” I’m sure it was painfully slow for my husband! If you have ever hiked with him or heard any fire or hunting stories of him and his fitness capabilities, then you know he was incredibly patient with us on our nature walks we like to call hikes!

On the morning we left, my husband took the kids on an hour walk while I packed up the inside of the tent. Then when he came back I kept the kids alive while he packed up the entire campsite. We had to be out by 11am, and as we were pulling out of the campgrounds all loaded up, I looked at the dash clock and it said 10:59! Our kids were passed out 4 minutes later.

Please enjoy these photos of our trip,

The Homeacre

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Elk Lettuce Wraps with Cilantro Cashew Sauce

Elk Lettuce Wraps

It was a rainy Fathers Day here which was awesome. All I had planned was to make something with Elk steaks. This is a Homeacre original recipe. I browsed Pinterest for some ideas and then went through our cupboards and while we were outside puddle stomping with kids, I went to see what was ready to pick in our garden. The Lettuce, Cilantro, Jalapeno, & Onion are from our garden.  The Elk compliments of my husband.  I winged it and was/am completely congested and couldn’t smell or taste it, but I was told it was delicious. For best results, use fresh organic ingredients!

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Elk Lettuce Wraps with Cilantro Cashew Sauce

  • Servings: 2ppl
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 3 Small Elk Steaks, thinly sliced
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Green Onion, chopped (separate whites & greens)
  • 1 Head of Lettuce. Romaine or anything good for wrapping
  • 1 Large Carrot, grated
  • 1-2 Limes
  • A Handful of Cilantro (I would have done more but it was all that I had)
  • 1-2 Jalapeños, sliced
  • 3/4 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Cup Raw Cashews soaked for 3+ hours & drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh water
  • 2 Cloves Pressed Garlic

Directions:

Heat olive oil on Medium in cast iron skillet. Add chopped onion white and stir until browned. Add chili powder & cumin. Stir. Add Elk steaks and cook until they start to brown, then flip. I cooked it medium. Remove steaks from pan and squeeze 1/2 a lime over it. set aside.

 

For the Sauce:

  • half of your Cilantro
  • 1 Jalapeño, sliced
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 TBSP Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Cup soaked Raw Cashews, drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh water
  • 2 Cloves Pressed Garlic
  • 1/2 lime juice

Place all the above ingredients in a blender or food processor. I just used our single serve Ninja cup. Blend until smooth.

To Serve:

Place lettuce leaves on plate. Add Elk, carrots, top of green onion and remaining sliced jalapeños. Drizzle with sauce. Sprinkle other half of cilantro on top and garnish with lime slices. There will be lots of extra sauce for dipping!

Enjoy!

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Preparing for Winter & Homeacre Elderberry Syrup

Preparing for WinterFall 2017

Fall weather came so quickly and I know winter wonderland is just around the corner.  This will be our second winter in Idaho and we intend to be more prepared than we were last year.  Apparently, it was the worst winter anyone had ever seen around here! After the first snow, we expected it to melt away, but instead we accumulated more and more and it eventually turned into solid ice.  We had tools, hoses, toys, sprinklers, and all sorts of yard stuff stuck under ice and snow for months on end; which was not visible when we had the snow plowed. Last year most my brain went to planning the home birth of our son and little thought went into preparing for the North Pole! He was born right at the beginning of the snowpocalypse.

My husband was gone 24 days in October working endless hours fighting fires in Napa, CA and the first 6 days in November (It is only November 9th as I type this) he was on an Elk hunting trip with is dad and brother.  I feel like when he left for shift in early October the leaves had just started turn and when he arrived home from hunting they were gone and I was starting to panic about the amount of work that needed to be done to prepare for another winter.  We don’t have a garage so everything has to go in a small shed (that needs a cleaning) or on/under the porch.

This is all new to me as where I grew up in CA we mainly got tons of rain and a rare snow day.  Some of the things to prepare for winter here include: running a power cord to chickens with heated water, flagging sprinklers, putting all the outdoor kids toys away, fixing the broken steps on porch, put a survival kit in the cars that include extra diapers, food, blankets, water, and anything needed if we get stuck in freezing temps with small kids, heated dog & cat waters, raking and burning a ton of leaves, and aquiring more winter apparel for the kids.  I often feel overwhelmed by the tasks because doing this alone with two small kids on top of our daily stuff is challenging, but then my husband comes home and knocks out a big ‘honey-do’ list in an afternoon and I feel so much better!

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One amazing thing we can check off our list is filling the deep freeze. My husband, his dad and brother ALL got an elk beginning of this week, such a blessing. This was the first year he didn’t pay for out-of-state tags which saved us a ton of money. My husband and his Captain went backpacking on an archery hunt in August and his Captain shared a generous portion of his elk with us. We are set!  You know what else that mean? BONES!! You can find my Homeacre bone broth recipe here

Last night, my husband made fried elk heart. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous to taste it because I’ve never eaten elk hunt2heart before, but it was delicious and I had seconds. You can read what The Wellness Mama has to say about organ meats Here. The heart was the size of a football! Have you eaten organ meat before? I would love to hear your expierence.

 


Elderberry Syruphomeacre elderberry syrup

Taking elderberry syrup is a great way to stay healthy this fall and avoid catching a cold/flu. As I mentioned in my previous post about boosting my immune system, if you aren’t interested in making it, find out if someone local makes it before you buy it from the store.  If you live in the Treasure Valley, message me to see if I have any available for purchase. There are only 3 ingredients required to make a Basic Elderberry Syrup, but I like to add a handful of other beneficial and delicious herbs to mine! I purchase all my ingredients at the local Co-op or from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Elderberries
“Elderberry Sambucus nigra is one of the most effective plants for boosting immunity and shortening the duration of colds and flu” (Gibson, 58).  “Elderberries contain fruit acids, vitamin B1 and C and folic acid, as well as essential oils. Elder also promotes expectoration, which makes it a good treatment for coughing and bronchitis” (Natural Health).

Hibiscus
“Hibiscus flower is high in vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and antioxidants.  It is helpful in restoring and maintaining overall health, supporting immune function, and warding off colds and flus.  Aside from all of this, hibiscus tea is one of the most lovely natural beverages and children generally adore it (Gladstar, 19).

Rose Hips
“Rose hips have an impressive amount of vitamin C, which is one of the best methods to boost the immune system. Vitamin C stimulates white blood cells and is also essential in the prevention of asthma and the general health of the respiratory system. This can be seen in the reduction of respiratory conditions such as cold and flu through the intake of rose hips and its high levels of vitamin C (Organic Facts).


Homeacre Elderberry Syrup

  • Servings: 1 Pint
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic dried elderberries Sambucus Nigra L.
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 TBSP organic hibiscus flower
  • 1 TBSP organic rose hips
  • 1 TBSP organic ceylon cinnamon
  • 6 whole organic cloves
  • 2 TBSP fresh grated organic ginger root or 1 TBSP dried ginger root
  • 3-4 organic star anise
  • 1-2 cups of local raw honey

Directions:

Place all of the ingredients in a pot except for the honey. Simmer on low for 30-45 minutes or until it is reduced by about half.  Smash the berries in the pot.  I like to use a potato masher. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and/or cheese cloth. I like to strain it into a large glass measuring cup so it is easy to pour into my jar. Let cool to less than 95* so it doesn’t cook your Raw Honey.  I like to put my honey into a mason jar and then pour the warm elderberry mixture over the honey and stir very well.

Notes:

Adults: Take 1 TBSP daily

Children over 1: Take 1 tsp daily

If sick, up your dose to every 3 hours

Store in the refrigerator for 2-3 months.  Don’t forget to label and date the top of your jar!


 

*References
(Gibson, Margie. “Amazing Elderberry.” Mother Earth Living Nov/Dec 2017 pp. 58.)
(Gladstar, Rosemary. “Herbs for children’s health.” pp. 19)
(The Complete Guide to Natural Healing. Group 1. Card 7 Medicinal Plants)

 

Homeacre bone broth

I love when healthy things become trendy.  Bone broth is not just delicious it is incredibly healing to your body. You can read more about benefits of bone broth here. I began making it 3 years ago with chicken feet and elk bones that I begged my husband to save from his hunt.  It has become one of those recipes I make without measurements. I just throw a little of this and a bit of that in a pot and voila!

I have heard a few people say they didn’t like the taste after making it.  My reaction is very similar to when people tell me they don’t drink coffee! If you don’t crave a big cup of broth on a cold day, then use the broth in soups, stews, mashed potatoes, pastas and gravies. Your recipes will taste so much better, I promise. Both my children love to drink bone broth as a meal- Mom Win!

The first recipe is for Chicken and the second recipe is for Elk/Beef/Venison

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Homeacre Chicken Bone Broth

  • Servings: 12+
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2+ pounds quality bones (preferably organic). Chicken feet and/or whole chicken carcass
  • Splash Raw ACV -Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 carrots*, roughly chopped
  • 1 leak*, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic*, crushed
  • 1 onion*, quartered
  • 1 TBSP sea salt
  • 1 TBSP whole peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf*
  • 1 bunch of fresh Parsley*.
  • Optional: 1 sprig of fresh sage* or rosemary* (this gives a much stronger flavor)

*Organic ingredients are best!

Directions

Rinse chicken feet in cold water and remove any skin or shells on the talons that may have been left on.  Put bones in a crock pot or pressure cooker.  Add the ACV and a few cups of water.  This helps draws the minerals out of the bones. You are supposed to let it sit for 30 minutes so I let them sit while I prep the rest of the ingredients.  Add all remaining ingredients and fill your pot with water to right below the fill line.

Crock pot: Bring to boil then simmer for 24 hours stirring just a few times.

Instant Pot: Set your pot to Seal. Press Manual and add 120 minutes. Let the pressure release on its own.

When it’s all done, I strain it with a mesh strainer into a pot then pour it into several half-gallon mason jars. Let cool. You can scoop off the fat that solidifies on the top.  Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes:

  • I usually end up with 12-16 cups of bone broth
  • You can reduce it down in a pot for space-saving storage in freezer
  • I always freeze some into ice-cube trays and then put them in a gallon ziplock.  Then I can pull some out when I just need a small amount

Homeacre Elk/Beef/Venison Bone Broth

  • Servings: 12+
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2+ pounds quality bones preferably organic or wild. Joints & marrow bones work wonderful
  • 1-2 TBSP Olive Oil*
  • Splash Raw ACV -Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 carrots*, roughly chopped
  • 1 leak*, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic*, crushed
  • 1 onion*, quartered
  • 1 TBSP sea salt
  • 1 TBSP whole peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf*
  • 1 bunch of fresh Parsley*.
  • Optional: 1 sprig of fresh sage* or rosemary* (this gives a much stronger flavor)

*Organic ingredients are best!

Directions

Rinse bones in cool water. Pat dry with paper towel. Place bones on a cookie sheet.  Brush the bones with olive oil and lightly season with S&P.  Roast at 400* for 30 minutes.  Put bones in a crock pot or pressure cooker.  Add the ACV and a few cups of water.  This helps draws the minerals out of the bones. You are supposed to let it sit for 30 minutes so I let them sit while I prep the rest of the ingredients.  Add all remaining ingredients and fill your pot with water to right below the fill line.

Crock pot: Bring to boil then simmer for 48 hours stirring just a few times.

Instant Pot: Set your pot to Seal. Press Manual and add 160 minutes. Let the pressure release on its own.

When it’s all done, I strain it with a mesh strainer into a pot then pour it into several half-gallon mason jars. Let cool. You can scoop off the fat that solidifies on the top.  Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes:

  • I usually end up with 12-16 cups of bone broth
  • My Elk Bones always have so much marrow still inside and meat on them I back in the Instant pot with water and any extra fresh ingredients I have from the list above.  I Pressure cook it again for another 60 minutes.  You can keep doing this until your bones are clean. I like to use these 2nd and 3rd rounds for cooking Quinoa or Pasta
  • You can reduce it down in a pot for space-saving storage in freezer
  • I always freeze some into ice-cube trays and then put them in a gallon ziplock.  Then I can pull some out when I just need a small amount

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