It’s time for A Time to Keep again – this time for the sassy month of June! Summer is in the air with kids itching to get out of school, gardens fully underway and so many ideas for the coming season. There are a lot of fun things to learn and do this month with your family and friends – or even on your own!
Chocolate Ice Cream Day – June 7th
It’s June so that counts as summer and summer means homemade ice cream. This is my absolute favorite ice cream maker ever and it’s the one featured in this post on how to make homemade ice cream like a boss.
Fabulous Farm Girl, Leah shares her Chocolate Mint Ice Cream recipe with essential peppermint oil!
If you want more terrific, real foods, chocolate ice cream recipes, you need look no further than Janet from Our One Acre Farm; no joke, here are her chocolate ice cream recipes (she has others and they’re all divine):
Sewing Machine Day – June 13th
I have a strict rule in my family that my kids have to learn how to sew by hand before I’ll let them learn to sew on a machine. However, once they can sew on the machine, hallelujah! It’s so fast and versatile. I actually don’t like fashion sewing AT ALL – I like having the finished product, but I hate following a pattern (all of which seem to be written in Egyptian, which I don’t speak). I used to enjoy quilting before I had five kids. These days, though, I’m looking for quick projects that work as tutorials for both me and my kids since I still have a ton to learn. Here are a few projects you might enjoy yourself or doing with your children:
These are one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time! I love these coil rope baskets, and thanks to Angi at Schneider Peeps, we have a glimpse into how to make them. By the way, in case you’d rather buy these than make them – hey, we’re honest with each other, right? – Angi sells these in her Etsy shop.
I’m a big fan of upcycling and so I really like this post from Joybilee Farm on making DIY Market Bags from Upcycled T-Shirts – big bonus, these are so easy that even I could make them! How about a Shower Curtain Made From Vintage Bedspred from Daisy Mae Belle – this is so sweet. This is from one of my favorite blogs, Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth and something I really, really need to make – Make a Clothespin Apron ~ A Simple Sewing Project.
Here’s a Children’s Crayon Bag pattern and instructions for a kid’s 72-hour kit from Food Storage Moms, as well as a Survival Bed Pouch you can make from a pillow case. Want more on preparedness sewing? How about this DIY Double 2 Liter Bottle Tote so you can easily carry more water with you in case of emergency. Also, here’s how to sew a Wonder Box style insulated cooker. Both of these come from Food Storage and Survival. And, just for the fun of it, how about this no-sew picnic blanket – great idea from Survival Mom and it’s waterproof, too!
And, because it happens, here’s an easy Sewing Machine Repair post. Here’s how to read a commercial pattern – yeah, need this one. Also, tips on cutting out the fabric and ideas for teaching sewing to kids. Thanks to Angi, again, at Schneider Peeps for those last three!
For more repair tutorials, visit Krystyna at Spring Mountain Living for How to Mend Ripped Jeans and How to Mend a Straight Rip or Tear. Also, How to Repair a Frayed Shirt Collar by Food Storage and Survival.
Fudge Day – June 16th
All from Whole New Mom. Nuff said.
Eat Your Vegetables Day – June 17th
The best kind of vegetables to eat are the ones you grow yourself. I love farmer’s markets for the years when I don’t grow everything I want but there’s a lot you can grow yourself. If you haven’t really ever grown a vegetable garden before, click here for a few varieties of veggies to try.
One of the hardest parts for new veggie gardeners, though, is learning all the tricks of the trade to make your gardening life easier and more successful. To help with that, here are some great how to posts for the vegetable gardener:
Building the Right Compost Bin by Tenth Acre Farm
DIY Potting Soil by The Easy Homestead
Create an Instant Garden with Sheet Mulching by The Homestead Honey
Planting Potatoes in a Back to Eden Garden by The 104 Homestead
Easy Ways to Stake Tomatoes by Chickadee Homestead
9 Crops to Grow for Food Storage by Grow a Good Life
Hollerin’ Contest Day – June 21st
I seriously think one of my kids could win this contest! Ok, this is just a bit of whimsy but, after living in North Carolina, I know how serious hollerin’ can be. Besides, according to Wikipedia, contestants from this show have appeared with cool dudes like Johnny Carson and David Letterman. Here’s a You Tube video with actual hollerers! If you’re thinking about joining, just visit the official website here.
Forgiveness Day – June 26th
Buddhism shares this with us on the sometimes difficult topic of forgiveness:
When you forgive me for harming you, you decide not to retaliate, to seek no revenge. You don’t have to like me. You simply unburden yourself of the weight of resentment and cut the cycle of retribution that would otherwise keep us ensnarled in an ugly samsaric wrestling match. This is a gift you can give us both, totally on your own, without my having to know or understand what you’ve done.
Here’s a short video for the kids – this one is Christian based, but the message is universal.
Paul Bunyan Day – June 28th
I’ve always loved the stories of Paul Bunyan, John Henry and Pacos Bill from the early American west. They’re such big stories – stories to match their times, appropriately called tall tales. We go through spells where we read them for our family reading time at night. Whenever we start a Paul Bunyan phase, flapjacks for dinner is a must. If you’d like to jump into that tradition, too, visit The Nourishing Gourmet for a sourdough pancake recipe; or Stoney Acres whole wheat pancake recipe.
Ever heard of an Ebelskiver? Here’s how to make a sourdough version; just click here. Here’s a Spelt Oatmeal Pancake recipe, as well as Gluten Free Vegan Pancakes with Natural Yeast and Hidden Veggies, both of which are from Melissa over at The Bread Geek. Have you ever used Teff? Here’s a teff pancake recipe from Whole New Mom.
Here are two more gluten free options from Spring Mountain Living: one is a basic buckwheat pancake recipe and the other is for one made with buckwheat and almond flour, without dairy, and includes juneberries that Krysyna’s family foraged themselves on their property – just click here for that one.
To learn more about Paul Bunyan, here are a few pins on Pinterest that might interest you and the kids: Paul Bunyan craft; the lowdown on the Paul Bunyan statue in Minnesota that made Time’s list of the top 50 American roadside attractions; and an adorable, handmade Paul Bunyan doll from a crafter on Etsy.
As you may know, the big man considered himself a protector of the forests and the loggers who worked in them; apart from loving the land, wood cutting was his life. Fresh firewood and timber, as well as responsibly managing forests and open spaces, is a big part of a homesteaders life. Here are a few woodsy links that might be of benefit to you:
15 Trees for Wildlife-Friendly, Edible Landscaping from Our One Acre Farm. Planting Plum Trees from Montana Homesteader. Grow a Nectarine from Seed by Attainable Sustainable. Also, The Benefits of Growing Fruit by Schneider Peeps.
Fruit trees are a popular choice with homesteaders so it’s good to know How to Plant Fruit Trees and to learn about Selecting Fruit Trees for your Homestead – thank you to Teri from Homestead Honey for those last two articles.
If you’re a permaculturist, here’s how to plant a cherry tree guild, a term that refers to a group of plants that work together to provide compost, mulch, pollination and other benefits for a primary crop plant, in this case a cherry tree. That one comes from our friends at Tenth Acre Farm and so does this next one – 5 Step to Planting a Fruit Tree. Honestly, you can read too many of these posts before you dig that hole for your coveted apple tree. You’ll always learn something new!
Do you heat your home with wood fuel some or part of the year? Since Paul Bunyan isn’t here to advise you, how about these bloggers?
Make Your Wood-burning Stove Work Harder this Year and Get the Most out of Your Wood Burning Stove from Spring Mountain Living.
7 Tips to Save Money Heating Your Home with Wood by Montana Homesteader.
Here are some of my favorite Paul Bunyan books:
What are your plans for this wonderful month of June?