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shelter in place: the urban homesteader's dream?

Posted: March 21 2020

How might we make the most of these unfolding, uncertain times? In the face of COVID-19, folks across the country find themselves holed up, whether self-isolating, quarantining, or social distancing -- the jargon goes on.

We at the greenhorns propose to YOU: allow these mandates to motivate your homesteading genius! If you are fortunate to have a safe home space to operate in, we inspire you to pick up and start off in your very own kitchens. Extra time in the house means extra time to invest in trying new recipes, going deeper into fermentation projects, harvesting seasonal greens from your neighborhood and making pesto -- the list goes on. Farmer's markets are largely being kept open: support local and stock up on nutrient-dense produce. Whatever slew of culinary, carpentry or other crafty projects you've been eager to take a stab at: there is no time like the present!!

Distract your brain by working with your hands (an effective way to process anxiety and bottled up emotions, not to mention). Rake the backyard and finally hang some lights! Sow some seeds! Read on for project ideas from your's truly, as well as urban homesteader friends across the country. (Email [email protected] with more project ideas, and she will add them to this post for the world to discover).

Nasturtium Greens Pesto
Food processor or blender
Local nasturtium plants to harvest from
Freshly harvested nasturtium leaves
Olive oil
Minced garlic, OR fresh green garlic (chopped into small rounds)
Nutritional yeast, OR grated parmesan cheese
Nut or seed of choice (pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower, walnuts or pecans, all great!)
Fresh lemon juice (of 1-2 lemons)
Salt & Pepper
For more flavor: dash of curry powder, small pinch of dried thyme, and a little cayenne pepper.
Blend together all ingredients for a peppery, bright-green, immune-boosting, delicious pesto!! Add a dollop to just about any savory dish for zest and zeal. Nasturtium greens contain vitamin C and iron, and have antibiotic properties (at their most effective just before the plant flowers).

Freshly foraged late-summer chanterelles sizzling on Smithereen Farm's timber frame stove top.

Butternut Squash Seed Milk
Blender, nut milk strainer bag or cheese cloth, butternut squash
Hollow out 1-2 butternut squashes, plopping the seeds into a bowl of water.
Cover completely with water and let soak overnight for slight sprouting effect.
After soak, separate seeds from squash flesh, lay in a baking tray (atop parchment paper recommended) and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.
Let cool, and place in a jar for storage in the fridge.
When desired, blend seeds with hot water (+honey, a little salt, and spices of choice! such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, turmeric) and strain through a nut-milk bag or cheese cloth (or, enjoy chunky!).
Add to your favorite hot tea for a delicious, nutty, nutrient-dense non-dairy milk.
Butternut seeds are rich in zinc, calcium, and also contain magnesium, vitamin A & C, potassium and iron.

Ophir's Tahini Oat Bread
Small loaf recipe:
3/4 cup oat flour from ground oats
1/4 cup oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup tahini (can substitute with other seed or nut butter)
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
3 tbsp olive oil (or other oil)
4 eggs
Optional: 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cardamom
Extra seeds or nuts as you like
Combine in separete bowls your dry ingredients and wet ingredients. Helpful to gently heat (I.e. double boil) your wet ingredients to thoroughly mix together. Tenderly and with love, sprinkle dry ingredients incrementally into wet ingredients, folding together to create a beautiful batter. Pour into baking dish, and decorate with seeds and spices on top. Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees, or until loaf has fully risen and become golden brown around all edges! (Check for a baked inside by inserting toothpick, bread done when only tiny crumbs remain).

From author and fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz:
Sweet Potato Fly!
A delicious tonic beverage native to Guyana. Follow link for the recipe. Consider making a simple rennet or farmer's cheese to obtain whey, which you can use as a starter for your Sweet Potato Fly.

From herbalist Aisling Badger of Urban Moonshine, a beautiful recipe for Immune Tonic Soup.

From herbalist Rosemary Gladstar and Mountain Rose Herbs, spicy and powerful Fire Cider Recipes. Hop to it!

Kate processing algae harvest in Smithereen Farm timber frame kitchen.