Friday, July 31, 2015

Homesteader of the Year


Some exciting news here at The Cools.
I am sure many of you are readers of Mother Earth News Magazine ( and if not you should totally pick up a copy, best magazine ever!)

Anyhoo, we were recently informed by them that were have been selected as ; Mother Earth News Magazines 2015 Homesteaders of the Year!

You can find a small article about us and our Homestead on page 30 of the Current Aug/Sept issue!
Or you can read about us here online

we are the second story titled ; "The Bees Knees"

We are just honored and completely tickled ( and still in shock) to be chosen for such and amazing title by probably our favorite magazine ever!

Just thought I would share this exciting news , and hope to get a more lengthy post in here soon!

The Cools

Monday, July 20, 2015

family, food and farmin'

(this post was written last week.. hehe, just now getting it posted) 



Hello! well I am still without a couple of keys on my keyboard so please forgive any typos!
Well I often feel like I am repeating myself, but life has been extremely busy on the homestead.
Mid July is a time for full on harvest of veggies, canning, soap making and labeling, pulling honey , filling jars and attending the market, butchering chickens . and on and on....
I feel like I should post about some new amazing remodel project that is going on , or some craft I have been working on, but there is just NO time right now.
We have numerous  minor house repairs that hopefully Robb can eventually get too once Bee season slows down and I cant wait to get behind my sewing machine again! Another month or 2 of full on busy and we will really start to slow down and exhale!

On another note, my Dad came to visit this past week. We had WONDERFUL time.. He wanted to be here to Norah off to Camp and then spent a few extra days with us, and was a wonderful help! He helped Fill honey Jars, chop wood( I think he was a bit puzzled that it Is July, we heat completely with wood and had an empty woodshed, I assured him this was the norm and we would catch up,,hahah) We even got creek time in , along with some relaxing evenings enjoying each others company.

Miss Norah is at Camp for an entire week at Turtle Island Preserve. If you are not familiar with this place, or Eustace Conway, you owe it to yourself to check it out. We are very lucky to be able to send here to such an amazing place! I am hoping she is having a blast and cant wait to get her back on Saturday and here all about her experience.

Life is Good!
How is Summer in your neck of the woods?

The Cool Family

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A picture is worth a thousand words...

A picture is worth a thousand words......................

and luckily this Is very true!!! my S key  is broken along with a couple others ,so shifting between the keyboard and online keyboard to type has been a pain in the butt..

So for todays post I will let the photos speak for themselves :)



The Cool Family

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

100 degrees

Holy smokes, is it warm in the holler! We have been hovering around 95-100 degrees that past few days, with about 70% humidity. Add to that me canning the bounty, being off grid with no A/C and limited fan use, and cooking doesn't really sound all that  inviting.

Luckily everyone has been happy with watermelon and popcorn,,hahaha, but I figure I should probably actually make something up with substance today...

The following recipe, is my new summer go to, Its amazing! We have a lot of Kale growing, and this is a great way to use it without sauteeing.

Summer Time Kale Salad

1 very large bunch of Kale
1 cup almonds
3/4 cup raisins or cranberries
1/2-1 cup diced red onion
Blue Cheese to taste, I use about  3/4 cup or so
1/4 cup White Balsalmic Vinegar
3/4 cup Olive oil
2 tsps. Dijon mustard
pinch of salt

chop up your kale very small,,add diced onion, almonds) or walnuts), cranberries, blue cheese
whisk the dressing thoroughly , pour over salad,, let sit for an hour..

SO easy to make , healthy , delicious, and a great way to use up all that kale in your garden!!!

**** Keep in mind, I don't measure much, hahaha,I just kinda eye it, but you get the idea

 and For Dessert..............................

Blueberry Popsicles
1 cup Fresh Blueberries
1 cup almond milk
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt.
Raw Honey (optional, if using Plain yogurt I would definitely  add honey or they wont be sweet)

Put all ingredients in blender,,, pour into popsicles containers and freeze

My daughter and husband LOVE these.. We make them with Peaches too :)
I would love to hear your favorite summertime recipies!

The Cools


Monday, June 8, 2015

Hello June!

Is it June already!?

Time has slipped away from me, as it usually does this time of year..

I figured I would stop in and say hello and give ya quick update on whats been going on, on the homestead!
* We welcomed 4 baby chicks into the world
*gardens are growing and we are harvesting all kinds of  beautiful veggies!
 * We pulled our first 2 rounds of honey
* 17 chickens were processed last week and filled up the freezer!, and we have another 20 to do next month
* The Farmers Market has started so we have been quite busy with that as well....

Ill leave you with some eye *candy* of our June happenings....

                                 One of our many gardens, filling in nicely

                                         Norah running the booth at the market

                                             A beautiful frame of Spring honey!

                                                Extracting Honey with Dad

                                      A Freezer full of Chicken
Processing chickens

Until Next time..........................

The Cools

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Herbs and Herbal Teas

So, for the past couple weeks I have been busy harvesting and drying Herbs in an effort to blend some Herbal Teas for my shop and for the upcoming Farmers Market.

We have an abundance of Stinging Nettles throughout the Forest! ( if you are not familiar with the benefits you can read my previous HERE post to find out more!)

My first Herbal tea blend : *Cool It** A blend of Nettles, Catnip and Lavender..

Its absolutely delightful! I am so happy with the flavor and aroma. Its good as an iced tea as well as  hot tea.. a wonderful way to decompress after a long day or just to ease those nerves on those stressful days.

and of course I would recommend you pair it up with Bee Kind Family Farms Raw Honey ( which we will have available very very soon!)

Mug is made By Artist Molly Johnson Of Molly Johnson Ceramics ...

The Cool Family

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Glimpse of the Gardens



I absolutely revel in this time of year, soaking in every beautiful moment. The gardens are thriving and growing rapidly! Soon the bounty with be plentiful!!!!
I am maintaining 5 gardens right now.. I added a 5th this year ( not pictured) , in which I planted  30 additional tomato plants, more beans , carrots and bunching onions. I also have a smaller side garden which is home to Miss Norahs Garden ( I am sure she will want to share some pictures soon, maybe after she weeds it, haha)
The bugs don't seem to bad so far.. which is strange.. I have seen the cabbage moths fluttering about and have been covering my cabbage with some floating row covers

Right now we are feasting on  Chard, Kale, arugala, lettuce radish, cilantro and sugar snaps.
We should be able to pull some new potatoes, bunching onions,beets, blueberries, and carrots soon!

The only hurdle we have had so far this season, is lack of rain, So I have been having to water. Luckily the days have been super sunny which allows me to use our hose . Our well is run off of Solar so I can only use the hose when the weather permits.. I have been watering by hand as well, but the rainbarrels are near empty again.

What's growing in your Garden??