My best tips for keeping a busy preserving day running smoothly and stress-free!
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A busy preserving day can mean, by days end, that you're wiped out with no more energy for cleanup or cooking.

In this video, Carolyn is sharing all her best tips for preserving day to help you keep the day as stress-free and productive as possible.

Some of the top tips are:
– To prepare dinner in the morning so that it's ready to go by dinnertime.
– ALWAYS start with a clean kitchen, clear of any excess clutter!
– Get out into the garden or to the farmer's market as early as possible.
– Make use of all your appliances and extra hands to make the process go faster.
– Most importantly, remember WHY you're doing what you're doing!

WELCOME! We're so glad you're here! We are Josh and Carolyn Thomas. Together with our nine children, we are The Homesteading Family where we’re living a self-sustainable life in beautiful North Idaho. Let us welcome you and show you a bit about us here:

Grow, Preserve & Thrive with us!
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A few highlights you don't want to miss are our FREEBIES!!

Click any of the links below for instant access to free video training resources:

– Healthy Healing at Home- Free 4 video workshop on our herb course Herbal Medicine Cabinet: Colds
– Bread Making workshop- Free 4 video workshop on our masterclass, The Art of Homemade Bread
– Meals on Your Shelf- Free 4 video workshop on canning. The Abundant Pantry: Canning

Click any of the links below for instant access to these free downloadable PDFs:

– Homesteading Family's Favorite Holiday Recipes – A PDF download filled with our family’s favorite holiday recipe.
– 5 Steps to a More Self Sufficient Life- Simple PDF download on 5 steps anyone can take wherever they are to start a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
– Thrive Wellness Checklist- A simple PDF download for healthy living.
– Permaculture for Your Homestead- PDF download that is an introduction to permaculture with some strategies for applying it to one’s homestead and garden.
– Carolyn’s Cottage Garden herb list- PDF with Carolyn’s favorite herbs for growing at home.
– Carolyn’s Make-Ahead Breakfast Casseroles- Carolyn’s favorite make-ahead breakfast casseroles.
– Your FREE Guide to Preserving Eggs- PDF download with multiple ways to preserve eggs.
– 5 Steps to a Healthy Garden- PDF download with an explanation of what makes healthy soil and 5 steps you can take to improve your garden
– Save the Crumbs- Several Recipes for using bread leftovers, a less committal entry to bread than the workshop.
– Fearless Fermenting- A PDF on basic lacto-ferments.
– Fermenting Tomatoes- PDF download on fermenting tomatoes
– Preserving Culinary Herbs- Downloadable, step by step directions to drying, freezing and salting culinary herbs.
– Render Your Own Lard- PDF with instructions on how to render your own lard.
#gardenharvest #preservation #preserving #canning



  • rawfoodelectric

    I love you, Carolyn…you are as sweet as those sun-kissed raspberries! And you look wonderful and have kept your figure after having your children. I hope to see a new one soon!

  • Elissa Ward

    I loved seeing you walking through the garden. Such a nice change of pace. I would love to see you and hubs do a garden tour.

  • Stacy

    I needed an uplifting nudge today. I’ve been overwhelmed with work plus all the homesteading duties. Thank you for this reminder.

  • Kim r

    I love your instructional videos. You have such vast experience in all thing’s organizational and encouraging

  • Amanda W

    Oh I needed this! I have 80 cups of chopped peaches waiting for me to start making jam and 4 bushels of tomatoes anxiously awaiting attention! So much more yet to pick in the garden I’m sure. I’m currently folding laundry to get the house a little less chaotic and to restock the kitchen towels so that the canning goes smoother and the reminder is just what I needed as the weight of the work and needs of 4 young kids are dangling over my head!

  • Rebecca O

    Great advice! I have been thinking that people need to hear how to organize their day for processing!

  • Megan E. Ippoliti

    Thank you for this quick gentle reminder that we can do this! I did know not about the sweetness of fruit being best in the morning. I am already implementing a lot of what you are saying. However, I need to be more positive and give thanks to all the beautiful busyness of our blessed abundance of food to preserve and happy/healthy children to help their mama.

  • Maria Hurley

    I miss having young kids with small hands that can get into the regular mouth canning jars.

  • Monica

    I’m going to have to take a Xanax just listening 😂😂😂 kidding!

  • Connie Atkins

    Thank you for this video. I truly needed the words of encouragement at the beginning of my busy day.

  • Little Willow Homestead

    Thank you! It’s been really hard this year.. Lupus drains me but I know I need to buckle down and preserve more

    • Aname Aname

      Real Hippies!! Not the wierd hipster version! Although, the hipster version will brew you some craft beers, so it depends on your taste! Haha! I’m kidding 🙂 be well!♡♡♡

  • LifestyleOfLaura

    Great tip to pick fruit in the morning. I agree about the clean kitchen. Yes! The reason for canning & persevering the food is to eat well in the winter. Thank you for sharing!

  • Kristie Reynolds

    Putting up basil, ketchup and beans today. Having all our children helping makes the time go so quickly. No sure what I am going to do when they are gone.

  • Sheryl Wright

    I keep a bowl of clean water in my fridge to drop my cucumbers in after harvest. Keeps them fresh and crisp even a couple days later. Just finished my pickling for the day. 🙂

  • Jennifer Binder

    Such valuable advice. I’ve been doing this for 29 years and I still get so much good out of your videos. Also what a great community! So many experienced gardeners and putter-uppers! God bless you.

  • Joan Reid

    Beautiful, encouraging video. Thank you for reminding us to enjoy the moment, our harvest blessings.

  • Arminda Comas

    I was about 5 years old when I was standing on a chair washing jars. I felt special because my hands where small and I could get the inside so much better than the adults. Canning was a family experience and everyone was involved. Some of my best memories where sitting under the huge maple tree snapping green beans. I know I probably did not do a good job but grandma was always happy to have me help and proud that I was working with the ladies. Those memories are so important for children. I felt special that I was with the adults and they wanted me to help.. we desperately need to involve our children.

    • Metella44

      I’m going to use this in a book I am writing – so heartwarming how you described your feelings of importance !!!

    • Arminda Comas

      Metella44 children love to feel that they are helping and my grandma was the best at that. She always had room for me to help her. The chair was always mine to do whatever she job she gave me no matter what it was. She would be rolling out pies and I had a handful of pie crust that I would roll out to make the cinnamon rolls that we all loved. From the time that I was 4 years old I was helping cook and clean. Most of the time I was on drying dishes on the chair and my job was to find any missed spots. Now as a adult I know it was harder to have me with her than it would be to do it herself but she always made room for me. She was my best friend and the most important person in my life as a child young adult and middle age adult. This is amazing because she did not read but told the most amazing stories.

    • Cathar Anne

      @Arminda Comas That was beautiful thank you for sharing that. I loved “helping” mum can and bake and all that. Such good times. That brought back some good memories 😊

      And yes that realization once a person get a bit older that we were “helping” 😋. We were helping my dear, I don’t think my Ma (I certainly wouldn’t) would trade a few mis-cut carrots for the world. The company and the opportunity to (hopefully) pass on some of that good old fashioned self sufficiency was all that matters. 🤗

  • Martin Kids

    I feel like you made this video to address my fb comment about harvesting but struggling to get everything preserved. Thanks for the tips!

  • Rachel C.

    Thank you for the lovely video Carolyn! Great tips. I was canning tomatoes the other day and listening to the sound track from Funny Girl, singing and dancing away. I agree that listening to music truly enhances the canning experience!

  • Deb Ritch EnRITCHed Refuge

    Just what I needed this Gorgeous Day! Garden Exploding with Goodness and preparing to ferment my tomatoes peppers onions garlic and Herbs into a delicious healthy fermented salsa in my ‘Pickl-It’ Jars!
    Thanks again with Blessings for all of you!❤️🙏😊😇

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