Katelyn from Simply Holistic Home is a homestead mama living on 2 acres in Northeast Texas with her husband and two children. Together they steward honeybee hives, chickens, pigs, goats, and a variety of produce. The following is an excerpt of a previous Instagram takeover.
I’m so excited to be hanging out with y’all for the next few days. First, let me introduce myself. Hey, my name is Katelyn from Simply Holistic Home. I’m a wife and mama homesteading on two acres in NE Texas. Any other Texans here?
My husband and I have two children aged 5 (son) and 2 (daughter). We are both passionate about stewarding our land + children well. Our homestead is small but mighty. We currently have 2 honeybee hives, 35 broilers, 18 hens and 1 rooster, 2 pigs, and a mama/baby dairy goat duo, plus a good sized vegetable garden, fruit trees, and herb beds.
Our newest additions are the dairy goats which was a HUGE homesteading goal for me 7 years in the making. What has been the biggest homestead goals you’ve reached for yourself? I love cheering on my fellow mamas!
Before my son could even sit up, he was teething on green beans in the garden. We have always let our kids help with harvesting even when they inevitably pick underripe tomatoes or accidentally rip out the whole plant. But, that’s part of the process and the best way to learn is to do! Each year they get more careful and helpful. Today we harvested probably 4lbs of pole beans and the kids helped to pinch off the stems and prepare them for pickling.
I truly believe that homesteading isn’t about the size of your property or the amount of food you produce, it’s a lifestyle of intentionality. It’s learning new (old) skills, making do with what you have, and sometimes creating something out of almost nothing just like our great grandparents did.
Can you homestead in a rent house or apartment? Sure. Learn to cook from scratch, bake bread, ferment vegetables. If you can’t grow your own food learn to forage and hunt. Learn alongside your children and teach them where their food comes from.
Let’s chat foraging with kids! On days we just need to get out and stretch our legs (or let’s be real ignore the house cleaning) we love to go for hikes. There are so many reasons I think it’s important for children to forage, but honestly the best is so I don’t have to bring so many snacks on the trail! In all seriousness, teaching my kids to identify plants and know which ones are edible is so rewarding. They catch on quickly and are so interested in finding new plants to learn about. Here are just a few of my favorite tips for foraging hikes with kids:
1. Download an app like the iNaturalist or Seek apps. These are so handy in identifying plants and smaller/faster/easier than field guides.
2. Invest in Camelbak backpacks for you and the kids. They carry a ton of water without lugging around bottles and my kids love that they can get a drink whenever they want vs asking me. Plus they have space for storing nature treasures. In mine I carry a small pocket knife, homeopathic remedies, band-aids, and extra snacks. This may seem excessive, but mamas know it’s way better to be a little overpacked and not deal with whining.
3. Lastly, get excited and be willing to try new things! What better way to teach our children to love learning than to do it alongside them.
For me, one of the biggest reasons to homestead is the food! Fresh + homegrown honestly just tastes so much better than anything in the stores. Yet, the reality is most of the time we are so busy with gardening, animals, raising our children we don’t have time for elaborate meals. Simple is always best in my opinion! One of my favorites to throw together is a simple veggie stir fry.
I start my rice in the InstantPot whenever I have a minute during the day so it’s ready for dinner when I need it. Grab any veggies from the garden (this particular one was onion, carrot, broccoli, green beans, and summer squash) chop and sauté in a healthy fat + a dash of sesame oil. Scramble some fresh eggs in the same pan. Once everything is nearly done, add some extra sesame oil and dump in the cooked rice. Stir fry everything together and add a bit of tamari or soy sauce.