Pioneering Today with Melissa K. Norris

We raised and butchered a year's worth of meat birds for our family of 4 in 2 hours. The actual butchering took 2 hours, but the setup, clean up, and packaging were longer. I walk you through our process and tips we've gleaned over the years of raising our own meat birds. For step-by-step photos go to

Direct download: Pioneering_Today_Episode_263.mp3
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You'll want to make sure you're turning some of that fresh summer fruit into this easy homemade vinegar that uses only, are you ready for this, 1 ingredient!! This is the easiest food preservation and fermenting you'll ever do. Learn how, troubleshooting, and favorite ways to put that homemade vinegar to use with my guest Autumn (and find out what I've been doing wrong). To get a printable recipe & show notes go to 

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20262.mp3
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One of the questions I get asked the most is how do you manage to get so much done with work and a homestead? Today I'm sharing the truth about balance, seasons, and the fallacy of doing it all. I also give tips on how I've learned to keep the homestead functioning while still working a full-time job (including a day job off the homestead) and what my current schedule looks like. For links/resource  Get The Family Garden Plan HTTP:// 

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Learn the 10 things most organic gardeners forget about to help you grow more food in the space you have, even if it’s not ideal full sun! Many of us need to grow our own food this year, but not everyone has a really large space. Nicky and Dave live in a very urban environment & using the concept of permaculture and a food forest, they have the first-hand experience in growing in a smaller urban space they're sharing with us today. Resources and links Grow &  harvest a years worth of food with the Family Garden Plan free charts here

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Learn how to integrate new chicks into existing flocks, plus, all your questions on mixing meat birds with laying hens and how to keep dual-purpose chickens. Common mistakes you NEED to avoid for the health of your chickens and what to do if your chicken is being bullied by the rest of the flock. Resources at 

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Even without going Amish, we can glean a lot from their lifestyle to help us live more self-sufficient and simple with these 7 tips. Learn how one company has helped preserve the Amish way of life while coming full circle and offering Amish and homesteading tools to the public. Episode resources at Go to from May 22 to June 30, 2020 to receive 10% off any order $50 or more. Enter code PIONEER at checkout.

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While a productive garden is the goal, they should also be a place of sanctuary and beauty. Adding in these elements (even if you battle with shade) or small spaces, can bring you more joy in the garden, something we all could use more of, including weed suppression tips. For resource Join the Pioneering Today Academy now for your step-by-step plan to raise and preserve your own food

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What you need to know to raise chickens for meat, including what breed is best, where to purchase, how much food they need, butcher age, and what you need to do differently with meat birds to avoid early death or leg problems. Links and resources at Snag your free seat in my newest live class here How to Plan Your Crops & Harvest for a Year's Worth of Food


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These 8 common mistakes made by new gardeners are easy to avoid once you know what they are and though common with new gardeners, even us veteran gardeners may be making some of them! Resources and links at Free seat for the Organic Gardening Workshp over 6 days of videos walking you through growing your own vegetables in your backyard.

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These are non-food items to keep on hand at all times with tips to make sure you have what you need to run your home and homestead smoothly, from the vehicles, equipment and the cleaner/medicine cabinet. I share my favorites & where I get them. For resources, recipes, and guides go to Learn how to make homemade soap, herbal salves/ointments, beeswax candles and more

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These are the 13 pantry items I always have on hand and the amounts I'm now keeping as a bare minimum since COVID19. Having these items on hand ensures you can make a number of different foods for your family, no matter what is or isn't going on in the world. For links and resources go to 100+ of my best from-scratch recipes inside Hand Made

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We're implementing steps right now to raise more of our own food than ever before. I share how we're walking through these decisions, what we're adding, and what you should evaluate now on your homestead to have everything in place, including planning for livestock and feed. Resources at Grow a Years Worth of Food with my book The Family Garden Plan HTTP://

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What's better than planting something once and having food for years to come? Pretty much nothing! How about some fruit & nut tree varieties that will produce sooner than most? Now we're talking and we added in some uncommon edible plants you probably haven't heard of but make a gorgeous addition to your yard (where we're all spending a bit more time than usual!) Resources at Get the Family Garden Plan HTTP://

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Many of us are relying on our gardens this year for food than ever before. In this episode, I, Jill from the Beginners Gardener and Kevin from Epic Gardening share what our preparedness garden plans look like this year and our top 3 crop choices from 3 very different gardening climates to help you create YOUR gardening plan to feed your family. Get the free how much to plant per person for a year's worth of food chart HTTP://

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These homemade reusable substitutes for single-use store-bought items will serve you well, especially in these times when toilet paper can be hard to come by. Learn valuable tips for homemade versions of paper towels, toilet paper, plastic wrap and more! Resources at

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Having a home that is beautiful and functional is extremely important, especially now when many of us are spending more time there. These tips will help you create a vintage and handmade home with easy frugal ideas with inspiration from Lisa of Farmhouse On Boone. Resources at 

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Today I answer your questions on growing your own food straight from your messages. Now more than ever people are needing to grow a garden to provide for their family and I answer your questions. Snag resources at Get your FREE seat in the Organic Gardening Workshop NOW

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20247.mp3
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During this unprecedented time with the Coronavirus, I'm sharing what we're doing (and you can too) to stay calm, be prepared, and help others. Where to find staples (and what we're stocking), plans for growing food and herbal medicine, plus involving the family and kids. FREE Organic Gardening Workshop and links to tutorials resources from today's episode 

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Weeds have long plagued me in the garden & weed fabric does NOT work, but I've finally found some things that do work to keep weeds out of the garden naturally long term. Resources at Get your seat to the FREE Organic Gardening Workshop here from seed starting to permaculture 

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No matter what your thoughts are on the coronavirus this is the time to assess how your food storage and supplies are. Where I live schools are being shut down and my guest has people in quarantine around her, stores are empty of supplies, and she shares how being in the real midst of this affects your mindset. This is not meant as fear-mongering, but what is a reality where we are and how to use this time to assess your skill sets where they stand right now. Resources at Free Organic Gardening Workshop

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Sustainability and food security is a huge factor in why people start homesteading and can be created with a home garden. Luke from MIGardener shares how much he grows in a small area and how his garden sparked him to start a seed company that made seeds affordable (less than $1 per packet). Go to for resources AND a 15% off coupon code. Get the Family Garden Plan to know exactly how much to plant for your family and grow from seed to jar

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Learn how to care for fruit trees in fall & winter, including how to determine your pruning based on YOUR climate (this was fascinating!). Know what to do in fall and what you need to do in winter to ensure the vitality of your fruit trees and how to keep disease down. Go to for 10% off coupon code from Raintree Nurseries. Want step-by-step tutorials and lessons on growing and preserving your own food seasonally? Doors to the Pioneering Today Academy are only open for a short time

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Evaluating where we're spending our time, especially when we feel overwhelmed, is extremely important for anyone, but especially homesteaders. Not only do I share tips on how to evaluate activities when you don't have enough time but also what you need to know about the podcast moving forward (and no worries, it's not the last episode but it is the last Wednesday episode for the time being). To dive deeper with me check out the Pioneering Today Academy here while we're still open for new members

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Tips on how to declutter and organize your home. A homestead has more moving parts than most homes and without systems in place, it can quickly become a jumbled mess. Today TracyLynn gives tips on how to start with room resets and creating systems that work based on your habits and triggers for an organized home so you can get more done with less stress. Resources and links

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Learn where to buy whole grains in bulk, my favorite sources, and which grains I buy in bulk. I'll dive into how I use each of those grains in my baking and cooking to help you create a well-stocked pantry. Grab resources and links including recipes and guides for grinding your own flour at home and picking the best wheat berries for your family's needs.


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Small space vegetable gardening is doable and Kevin Espiritu from Epic Gardening shares how he grows a TON of food in a small urban environment and how these tips will help you grow more no matter how much or little space you have. Plus, he walks me through growing herbs indoors with hydroponics during the winter months! Get the links & resources hurry and snag your spot on the waitlist for the Pioneering Today Academy

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Not blessed with great gardening soil? No worries, these 3 easy tips on how to improve soil for gardening will help you out, especially if you have clay, compacted, hard, or sandy soil. We have good soil and I still use these tips every year in the garden. Links & resources at Get on the waitlist for the Academy for special exclusive videos and resources

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Using herbs medicinally isn't something I was raised with, but over the years, I turn to my natural medicine cabinet first but one needs to understand how to brew a medicinal cup of tea differently than just a regular cup of tea. Learn choosing the correct herb, medicinal herb sourcing, how to brew your tea medicinally & growing your own. Resources & links Get on the waitlist for the Pioneering Today Academy

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Picking the best location for a vegetable garden, herbs, or fruit trees depends on your growing climate and land. I walk you through the steps I take when putting in any new plants, beds, or moving ones that haven't been thriving so you can choose the best position for your garden with the 4 basic microclimates every yard has and how to identify microzones easily in the winter months. Resources at Get the Family Garden Plan for step-by-step planning, growing and harvesting a year's worth of food 

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Breeding chickens naturally using selective breeding for eggs and chicks, either to build up your own flock or to create a homestead income from your chickens. What you need to know about heritage breeds, picking a breeder, where to get started with your flock, and how to create your breeding plan, either for your own flock or business, with best tips for pricing, shipping and more! Get links here The Pioneering Today Academy only opens for new members a few times a year, get on the waitlist for exclusive goodies 

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Crop rotation is one of the easiest ways to make a big difference in your garden's health and decreasing disease, but people often get confused on how to implement it. I walk you through the 4 main vegetable families so you can easily use crop rotation either yearly or seasonal, based on your garden space and crops. Resources for today's episode Get on the waitlist for the Pioneering Today Academy

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20233.mp3
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Learn how to get started with no till gardening (including the pro's to this method) with Jo Lamp'l. Why you should consider no till gardening methods for healthier soil, including less weeds, and easy tips to transition existing beds to this method. Plus, excellent tips on growing tomatoes in containers successfully including some fun new varieties and how to use these tips for other container plants. Resources and links Your step-by-step tutorial to raising a year's worth of food The Family Garden Plan 

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I share how we plan our homestead year based on what we need to produce from the homestead and how that works into the calendar year. How we evaluate what and how much to raise for meat and adding in or adjusting infrastructure to make sure that happens, including how we phase things when budget and time is an issue. Links and resources at my step-by-step plan and guide for raising a year's worth of vegetables & fruit in The Family Garden Plan

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20231.mp3
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Just how many fruit and berry plants do you need to grow a year's worth per person in your family? I break down how many fruit and berry plants we have per person, how to choose which options are best for you based on your climate and space, and average yield amounts. Get the chart and info in the blog post at and snag your copy + bonuses of The Family Garden Plan to grow a year's worth of food for you family

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20230.mp3
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The exact list of heirloom varieties I grow in our garden each year. These are my tried and true must-have every year. I also share how much of each variety I plant to take us through an entire year. Get The Family Garden Plan for all the resources and charts to help you grow a year's worth of food here for the written list visit the blog post at

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20229.mp3
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Find out where I buy heirloom seeds and why you should be using some heirloom seeds in your garden if you're not. I also break down the difference in heirloom, hybrid and what GMO means for backyard gardeners as I still see a lot of WRONG info on what GMO seeds actually are. Grab my favorite sources and get your garden planning going with me! Resources & links at Grow your best garden ever this year with less work and higher yield with the Family Garden Plan

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Learn how to read seed packet information to help you pick the best varieties for your garden. What you must know about days to harvest and germination, spacing, and descriptions that turn in to your secret weapon to growing more food for your family in the same amount of space! For links and resources go to get signed up for the free worksheets and charts in the garden planning challenge

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20227.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am PDT

The biggest garden planning mistakes & how to avoid them. Common advice is to start planning your garden with where you're going to put your plants but that is NOT where your gardening should start. I walk you through how to plan your garden strategically based on 20+ years of gardening and raising a year's worth of food for my family based on said garden. Get link/resources for today's episode at Join my FREE 5 Day Best Garden Plan Challenge here 

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20226.mp3
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Get the top takeaways from this year's vegetable garden so you can make next year's garden better and increase the harvest based on this year's experience. I walk you through my biggest takeaways, what I won't be planting again, what I'll be doing more of, and my disease prevention plan. Get links and resources at Order your copy of The Family Garden Plan and claim bonuses at  to help you grow more food organically.

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It doesn't get much better than a from-scratch Christmas dinner menu based on what was raised in the garden. Let's be real, that's how the homesteaders and pioneers of old did it. I share what we're serving this year for Christmas dinner along with recipes. Get ideas for your meals and what crops you might want to consider putting in if you aren't already growing them! Get recipes, links, and resources at Use The Family Garden Plan to plan out your crops so you'll be serving your holiday menus from your own garden produce 

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20224.mp3
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Think you can't grow much on just 1/3 of an acre in the middle of the city? We talk about how Greg from Urban Farm U is growing 80 fruit trees, vegetables and herbs on 1/3 acre in the middle of Phoenix and how you can use the same 3 easy steps to become an urban farmer and growing food not only for your family but your community as well. And if you have more space or acreage, you're definitely want to listen in on some of the techniques he uses as well. Grab the links & resources at Grow a Year's Worth of Food with The Family Garden Plan & bonuses at 

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20223.mp3
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Over the past 20 years of homesteading I've compiled my top favorite homestead related gifts I've received as a gift. Some of these are surprisingly small but will give you ideas for either your own gift giving, sharing with your "santa", or perhaps to save up for or be on the lookout for in the upcoming year. Plus get a behind the scenes look at my newest book and what it involved (and why I never want to be a model) For links and resources go to 

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Living like it's the 1800's in a modern world, seems like a contradiction doesn't it, but even if you do have electricity and running water, there are some valuable tips to be learned that can help you save money now and if you do decide to go off-grid, help you make the transition. One of my favorite tips in this chat with Jacquie is how to bake pies and bread on top of a wood stove without any special equipment or using coals but she also shares some great ideas and inspiration for your garden. Get resources and links at Want to raise a year's worth of food for your family without being overwhelmed? Get your copy of The Family Garden Plan and bonuses here 

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A week in the life on the homestead, what it looks like on our homestead in a week, especially when freezing temps and storms are rolling in. How we prep the garden, livestock and house when temps are supposed to be in the low teens with high winds, and how you can use the same checklist. Get links and resources at and grow a  year's worth of your own food with my new book & get FREE charts here 

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Does homesteading really save money when you take into account the items you need to buy, livestock, supplies, and the time required? Today we dive into this not often talked about subject with Amy Dingham on when you may or may not actually save money homesteading, what to expect, up front costs, evaluating ways to save money (and if they do) in this honest conversation about still an often taboo subject, money. For resources and links go to

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Your homesteading skills will not only save you money but they can help you MAKE money. I share how I'm using our homesteading skills during this holiday season to raise money fast for a fundraiser and how you can do the same thing, for yourself or a fundraiser. Snag my recipes in today's blog post at get my special Holiday Family Bundle right now at 65% to learn how to bake like Ma Ingalls & make your own homemade products

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This is my favorite "lazy" way to compost and build up our vegetable garden soil. If you didn't get to cover crops or a traditional compost pile, you're going to love my sheet mulching method. Learn which manures are best and what materials I prefer for the top layer and why it isn't too late to do this. Get links to all the resources at Increase your harvest and maximize the space you have using organic and natural methods to raise a year's worth of the fruits and vegetables your family enjoys & get all the pre-order bonuses with my new book The Family Garden Plan at

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What you need to know to get the best cuts of meat on your cut and wrap order, what to tell the butcher, and the cuts you MUST ask for that the butcher won't offer unless you do. Learn how to make sure you get the most out of your beef and choose the best cuts for you and your family in Part 2 of our Grass Feed Beef Series! For resources, recipes, and links go to

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These baking hacks and tips show you how to freeze dough for delicious and easy homemade baked goods during busy nights and times without sacrificing any time or flavor! It can be a struggle to always get homemade food served, but these tips come in handy year round but especially during the holidays. I share how I prep pie crust, cookies, bread, rolls and cinnamon rolls ahead of time and what you need to know make it easier and successful. Get my recipes in today's blog post For over 100+ from scratch recipes get my book Hand Made: the Modern Guide to Made-from-Scratch Living  Need simplified steps and you're a visual learner, then check out the Homemade Bread & Baking System here

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When raising grass fed beef there are key things you need to know on butcher day to get the most out of your cow. What to do before the butcher arrives and what cuts to ask for, and some are going to surprise you. How to get the best flavor on your meat and our favorite ways to prepare these lesser heard of cuts. Get the show notes and resources at including our Freezer Space for Meat Guide, so you know exactly how many feet of freezer space you need per animal. Get Melissa's newest book with bonuses at

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How to have vegetables growing all year long (or as close as possible), including which plants will still grow during frosts and hard freezes, which ones can be left in the ground, and for those more tender veggies, how to use plant covers to extend the growing season. For links to resources and the plant covers Melissa uses go to and for the guide to raising your own fruits and vegetables pre-order and get over $96 in bonuses the Family Garden Plan at

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Learn what hygge means and 6 tips for implementing it on the homestead (and why you should!). Melissa talks with Kathie from seasonal homespun living on why embracing hygge during the winter months is good for both the body and soul and practical tips for this Danish tradition. Get all the resources, including recipes and links, at and take Melissa's free sourdough training series here 

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Snag these tips for bread baking to help you get the perfect homemade loaf. If you've ever had bread turn out too dense and heavy or your sandwich loaves are crumbly or too dry, these tips will help you turn them into delicious perfectly textured loaves, especially if you're using sourdough and are having trouble getting your bread recipes to rise correctly. Sign up for the FREE sourdough starter training series here and get more bread resources for this episode at

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20211.mp3
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These cheap (or free) garden ideas will save you money and have a big impact on your garden and homestead success. Melissa dives in with Amy from the Sow Edible Podcast on how to improve red clay soil, an easy cheap (and all natural) way to fertilize and feed your plants, along with a few small but very important things to track that will help your garden and food production in a big way. Grab resources and show notes at and snag your pre-order bonuses for The Family Garden Plan: Grow a Year's Worth of Healthy and Sustainable Food at

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20210.mp3
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Almost all of your garden success comes back to the health of your soil and learning how to improve soil health is the answer to virtually every gardening issue you have. Plants not actually producing food, stunted growth, lots of green growth but your carrot or beet is super tiny, blossom end rot, yellowing leaves, all signs of poor or imbalanced soil health. Get blog post/resources at and access our full detailed soil amendment guide as a pre-order bonus for the Family Garden Plan, get all the details here 

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20209.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:15am PDT

Learn the surprising health benefits of maple syrup, an old-fashioned sweetener with wonderful properties beyond the flavor, that no other sweetener has, from antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals, immune boosting, prebiotic and more. Plus using this old time sweetener at home in your kitchen, as well as tips for making this delight yourself from your own trees, or how to make sure you're getting pure maple syrup if purchasing yourself. Join Melissa and backyard sugar maker Michelle to find out how to harness the power of maple syrup in your kitchen, get links and resources at

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6 tips on how to treat fruit trees organically and when to spray for disease and pests. Learn what steps to take now in the fall for your fruit trees to decrease pest and disease load, what times of year to spray your fruit trees organically, and options for naturally keeping bugs off your fruit trees that damage the tree or fruit. All the resource links found at and pre-order bonuses for the Family Garden Plan

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Category:general -- posted at: 11:14am PDT

Self sufficient homesteading tips for the long haul from beginning your homestead journey to more experienced. Melissa talks with Anna who started her homesteading journey in a city apartment and in just four years has moved out of the city to their homestead. She shares tips on homesteading while renting, what to look for when purchasing a homestead property and how they're earning an income from their homestead and implementing that. Get the show notes and Anna's free monthly homestead magazine at 

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20206.mp3
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Learn what to do with your berry plants in the fall to increase your harvest next year. How to evaluate overall health and location of the plants, when to move the plants if need be, fertilize and mulching, and more so you have the best berry production next year. For the blog post go to and to check out the pre-order bonuses on Melissa's newest book The Family Garden Plan: Raise a Year's Worth of Healthy and Sustainably Food go to

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Raised bed gardening tips, we'll discuss the pros and cons of raised beds, which type of soil and crops are best for raised beds, what you need to consider before constructing, weed management and pest/animal solutions with raised beds with Melissa and Jill from the Beginner Gardeners Podcast. Catch Jill's presentation on Raised Bed Gardening inside the free online Organic Gardening Workshop here Full blog post and resources at

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Learn organic pest control for vegetable gardens. Melissa shares how to identify which organic options is the right one, preventative vs infestation use, plus her two favorite options, one is a powder and one is a spray that are like a swiss army knife (they work for almost every pest) and what you need to look out for when purchasing these to ensure it truly is all natural. Get links and resources at and snag your seat today for the Organic Gardening Workshop

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20203.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:03am PDT

Learn how to choose the best herbal home remedies during the cold and flu season for your body. Melissa interviews clinical herbalist Rosalee De La Foret on how to use the 4 components of energetics when you're not feeling well to determine which herb will serve you best. Rosalee shares her best home remedy for a hot fever and one for a fever where you have the chills. She also walks through best herbs for cold and flu use as well as her top 5 herbs to grow in the home garden to stock your medicine cabinet. Get Rosalee's free chart with Melissa's affiliate link to discover a proven way to learn about herbs… that requires NO memorization or book study. It’s the lost herbal skill that all of our ancestors once knew for the tea recipes and show notes go to

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What is organic gardening and how to incorporate these practices into a home garden. Learn what organic gardening actually means, tips on how identify if your soil is organic and steps to take if it's not to get it there. Do you need organic seed and starts? What organic certification requires and why it's not important for home or backyard gardeners but how we can adapt it for our use. Sign up for the free Organic Gardening Workshop here and snag all the links and show notes at

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Category:general -- posted at: 11:33am PDT

Healthy garden soil is the foundation of your entire garden. If you get this right, you'll drastically improve your harvest and health of your plants. These tips break down what you need to look at in your soil, where to improve it, and how to improve sandy and clay soil (and how to make it better). PLUS, Melissa is offering a giveaway on seed packets of her family's 100-year-old strain of heirloom Tarheel green pole bean and October bean seed + other goodies in celebration of 200 episodes. You can enter the contest at and get the written notes and links to resources for this episode at 

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode202002028WOOT20WOOT212129.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:58pm PDT

A few quick time saving tips on getting your medicinal herbal flowers ready now for next spring. What to do with the flowers you have in the garden this year and how to get a jump start on next spring's herbal flowers, especially those that require seed stratification. Melissa walks you through which plants require seed stratification, her favorite medicinal herbal flowers, and which ones she's adding to the homestead herbal garden and you should consider too! Get today's resources at and make sure you have your seat saved (especially if you want to learn about companion planting with herbal flowers in the vegetable garden) for the Organic Gardening Workshop here


Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20199.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00pm PDT

These 9 garden hacks will help you assess this year's garden to increase next year's harvest and give you a clear plan of action to improve your garden to fit you and your families needs. Melissa walks you through how to look at this year's harvest yield, disease, pests, how much time you spent, and more from your garden to decide what to do differently next year. Grab the full post and resources at  Make sure you sign up for the FREE online Organic Gardening Workshop coming up in just a few weeks here

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20198_Mono.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:42pm PDT

Learn the best time to harvest your herbal flowers for medicinal purposes. Melissa walks you through her favorite top pics for medicinal herbal flowers, how to use all 3 parts of the echinacea, as well as lavender, chamomile, and calendula. You'll get a detailed explanation of what signs to avoid on the blossoms you want to use medicinally and best time of day to harvest. For resources on this episode, including a video, go to Make sure you get your free seat for the Organic Gardening Workshop, where you'll learn how to use flowers as a companion plant, and a whole lot more here 

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20197.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am PDT

Learn these 9 tips on how to prepare for winter and emergencies on the homestead now. Melissa walks you through where to start if you're beginning, how to do so without being overwhelmed, and where to build once you have your foundation so you're prepared no matter what winter or other emergencies come your way. For links to the resources and supplies Melissa uses on her homestead go here

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20196.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:51am PDT

Siphoning, or liquid loss after canning, is common among canning problems. Learn these 5 easy steps to help prevent it and the guidelines for safety (when is too much liquid loss unsafe). What you need to know about headspace, temps, and more in this canning Q&A episode. Snag resources and full blog post at and sign up for Melissa's free online canning video series with pressure canning at 

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20195.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28am PDT

Learn how to cure onions for long term winter storage, how to pick the best spot for drying, two methods to use for drying your onions (pro's and con's of each) and how long to cure onions before bringing them inside to store for winter. For video and full blog post show notes go to Make sure you get registered for the FREE upcoming Organic Gardening Workshop now for extra special early bird perks, click here to get on the list

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20194.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30pm PDT

Learn how to harvest onions at the right time for best long term storage, what to do if onions have bolted (flowered), and best type of onions for winter storage on the pantry shelf. For video and full blog post show notes go to Make sure you get registered for the FREE upcoming Organic Gardening Workshop now for extra special early bird perks, click here to get on the list


Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20193.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30pm PDT

Your pole bean growing guide, we'll go over when to pick pole beans based on the different stages for eating, shelling and seed saving. Troubleshoot common pole bean problems, like blossoms but no beans, hot weather and frosts, and benefits of pole beans vs. bush beans. For pics and full blog post show notes go to Make sure you get registered for the FREE upcoming Organic Gardening Workshop now for extra special early bird perks, click here to get on the list

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20192.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:36am PDT

Learn what to plant in August for fall and winter garden crops. Melissa breaks how to tailor planting time for your gardening zone and climate, what should be done from seed, and what plants can be put in as seedlings. This is a great way to get as close to year round gardening as possible and have fresh food in the garden even after the frosts settle in. Grab the full list and video at and make sure you get registered for the FREE upcoming Organic Gardening Workshop now for extra special early bird perks, click here to get on the list

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20191.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:37pm PDT

Canning in electric pressure cookers and other pressure canning questions. What you NEED to know about using electric pressure cookers as a pressure canner (despite what the manual may say), what to do if the pressure falls, using well water in canners, double stacking jars inside a pressure canner, which pressure canner is best for your stove type, is it safe to use an older pressure canner (how old is too old), and how long do you have to wait between runs (multiple batches) when pressure canning? Get Melissa's free pressure canning video series here and visit the show notes for more links and resources at Today's show it sponsored by the Home Canning with Confidence e-Course, everything you need to know to safely can a  year's worth of food for your family, from jam, pie filling, pickles, tomatoes, salsa, vegetables, broth, meat, soups and more!

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20190.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:31am PDT

5 tips on how to avoid overwhelm on the homestead, because let's face it, this old-fashioned way of life, it adds another layer of work and tasks. It's worth it, oh is it worth it, but it's important to make sure we're enjoying the process and not allowing ourselves to get too close to burnout. Melissa and Stacy Lynn Harris share their strategies and tips to avoid being overwhelmed or worse, getting closer to homestead burnout. This episode is brought to you by Melissa's free 4 part pressure canning video training series, designed to take away your fear of pressure canning and to take away the overwhelm of wondering if what you're canning is safe. Go here to learn how to pressure can safely! For resources and links go to 

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20189.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:04pm PDT

The best ways to water your vegetable garden to help organically increase your harvest yield and eliminate disease, all in the way you water your vegetables! Melissa shares how often to water your vegetables in summer and best techniques for both the plants, ease of implementing, and cost based on what they do on their homestead garden and have found to work the best.

Get links to resources and the full written blog post at also save the date October 2nd, 2019 for the upcoming FREE Organic Gardening Workshop!

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20188.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18am PDT

How one makes money homesteading, they went from the suburbs to their homestead and earning their living on their homestead in three years time. Melissa talks to Todd from Sustainable Simple Living Family about their main forms of income from their homestead, mistakes they made, how they made the transition, and what to expect when focusing on earning a living solely from your homestead or small farm. Even if you're not planning on earning a full living from your homestead, you'll get valuable tips on earning some type of money from your homestead skills. Grab all the resources here

Direct download: Episode23187.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55am PDT

Learn how to design a cottage garden or pull elements of one into your own yard. Melissa interviews Carolyn Thomas of Homesteading Family for a close up look of creating a cottage garden with plants that have forgotten medicinal and edible properties. Learn how hollyhock can be used medicinally and some older plants that have wonderful properties to them. List of favorite plants, how to use them, as well as elements you should consider. Grab the lists and full blog post at

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20186.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 8:01am PDT

Learn how to store you home canned foods safely, what the official sources actually say about storing jars with the canning rings (bands) on or off and what you need to know about jar stacking. Which practices Melissa uses on her canning of 600+ jars a year. What it means if you remove the bands and your lose your seal and more. Get resources and links at Make sure you're signed up for Melissa's free Home Food Preservation Video series at The Pioneering Today Academy is your one stop place for step-by-step videos and download guides on how to preserve your food and build up a real food pantry filled with fermented, dehydrated and home canned food

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20185.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 4:19pm PDT

Use these pro tips for home food preservation so you know which foods are ready seasonally by the month and the best ways to handle and preserve them so you aren't overwhelmed with all the summer produce coming on, either from your garden or purchased from u-picks or farmer's markets. Armed with this info you won't miss a crop either. Melissa shares her summer preserving plan and how to use the same steps to customize YOUR home food preservation. Sign up for her FREE Home Food Preservation Workshop with step-by-step tutorials on dehydrating, canning and fermenting here get all the resources and show notes for this episode at

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20184.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 12:24pm PDT

What it's really like to live off grid, tips you can take and use now, even if you're not off grid, and if you're planning to go that way, what you need to know before starting. Melissa interviews Doug & Stacy, a couple of self-proclaimed city slickers, who moved completely off-grid eight years ago. What the transition has been like, what they've learned (and wouldn't do again) and more! Check out the resources for fermenting tutorials/recipe, pressure canning, monthly seasonal garden planting guide and more in the full blog post here 

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20183.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 1:15pm PDT

Learn how to use and grow these 8 medicinal herbs and their uses for an easy herbal tea garden. Harvesting tips, medicinal uses and preparations, cautions to be aware of and best growing tips. Know which do best in containers, location, and growing habits. Melissa shares her favorite herbs for hormonal balance, cooking, anxiety and calming help, digestion, and of course, immune boosting power. Hear part of the herb charts and info from Melissa's book Hand Made . See pictures, video tour of Melissa's herb garden and more at 

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20182.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 12:03pm PDT

Use these 5 tips to maximize your garden yield (aka more vegetables) & beat overwhelm. How to ensure you have a continual harvest of fresh vegetables rather than a huge glut all at once for your non-preserving crops, how to make sure you don't miss crucial planting times, and how to increase the harvest of your existing plants so you don't have to plant as many. Plus, use my garden weeding tip to help you stay on top of it without wanting to pull your hair out. Grab all the links & resources, including my FREE monthly seasonal planting guide at

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20181.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 9:38am PDT

In this podcast, Melissa shares 10 tomato growing tips from planting, what your leaves are telling you your tomato plants are low on, how to avoid blight and blossom end rot, crop rotation, if indeterminate or determinate tomato varieties are best for you, trellising, and more. Learn these secrets to disease free tomatoes and a large harvest! Grab the FREE Tomato Growing Guide bonus and other resources at

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20180.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 4:29pm PDT

Learn how to start beekeeping with in depth guide on choosing the right place for your hives, types of hives, where to buy bees, how to choose the best bees based on your climate, what supplies you must have to get started (and some frugal options), what to look for when performing hive checks, how much  honey to expect, and how much setting up a backyard hive costs. Get the full blog post and resources for this episode at

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20179.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 11:05am PDT

In this episode Melissa and guest Shaye Elliot from the Elliot Homestead share their tips for natural weed control at planting time so you can spend less time weeding and more time enjoying your garden, especially with the addition of heirloom flowers. You'll learn how to create a cottage style heirloom garden that provides you with beauty through every season with less work, best flowers, how to plan it, resources and more! This special episode will have you weeding less (and with a weeding plan to take away overwhelm) and putting in heirloom flowers to life long enjoyment. Go to the blog post here for resources and Melissa's Instagram to win a copy of both her book and Shaye's!

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20178.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 9:50am PDT

In this episode Melissa shares about traditional fire cider™ including it's medicinal benefits, recipe, and the controversy involving trademarks of old time herbal remedies and recipes. Melissa brings on Rosemary Gladstar, one of the founders of the fire cider recipe made popular with home herbalists to share its rich history, how to know if it's right for you, uses, keeping herbal medicine open to everyone, and getting started with growing and making natural medicine in your kitchen. For the recipe, resources, and more go to

Direct download: Episode201772028INTERVIEW29.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 9:35am PDT

Learn how to homestead in small spaces for self-sustainability with both a garden and your own meat practicing urban homesteading. How to evaluate your space for maximum crops, what to raise instead of chickens if they're against the law where you live, how you can homestead and produce a good portion of your own food on less than 1/10th of an acre. Harold shares how he recovered from cancer, started urban homesteading, and does all of this on 1/10th of an acre while still working a full time day job. Read the full post here

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20176.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 12:22pm PDT

Learn some easy tips to germinate your seeds, aka, get the seeds to sprout and grow faster. Because the faster your seeds sprout the sooner you get to harvest. Plus, how to gauge the weather for the fastest growth of your seeds. For all the links and resources Melissa shares in this episode go to Plus, for this week only the Pioneering Today Academy doors are open!

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20175.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 10:47am PDT

Learn how much time it really takes to raise a year's worth of food, can you really raise a large vegetable garden and fruit with just 2 hours of work per week? Melissa breaks down the amount of hands on time they spend on their fruit plants and vegetable garden for a family of four that provides them with over 50% of their produce for a year. Grab the resources and links (cuz there's some good ones) here at the blog post

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20174.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 10:15am PDT

Get real life tips on how to get homemade traditional foods on the table every day when you're busy, plus, some confessions on what it really looks like in a homesteader's kitchen and how cooking like Ma Ingalls meets real life. Join Melissa and Jill from the Prairie Homestead as they share their best tips for traditional cooking while being busy as well as the importance of mindset. Tips for grass fed roast turning out melt-in-your mouth tender, easy planning, and more! Grab the full blog post and resources links here

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20173.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 4:05pm PDT

These easy spring gardening tips with help increase your harvest yield and the amount of fruit and vegetables you bring in this summer. Do these now during early spring to set yourself up for an exceptional growing season. Learn how to apply these tips to your property and garden. Get show notes and resources at 
Melissa shares what's worked in their homestead and how to avoid some of the common mistakes they made early on. 

Direct download: 28FINISHED2920Episode20172.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 6:48pm PDT

Learn why every garden should have heirloom vegetables growing in it and some of our favorite 10 unique heirloom vegetables to grow in your garden and homestead this year. Why heirloom seeds are the true homesteading garden seed and what makes them so special in every garden and table, hint: it has to do with flavor! Grab each variety in the blog post w/ photos here and find out how to get some of Melissa's family strain of heirloom Tarheel green bean seed as a FREE bonus coming up very soon!

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20171.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 1:19pm PDT

How to prepare for a snow storm or any extreme weather emergency on your homestead without running to the stores or heading out into the weather. Melissa shares the exact steps she goes through when a storm is on the way, including livestock prep. Get the blog post and full show notes for this episode at

Direct download: 28FINISHED2920Episode170.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 2:18pm PDT

Starting an orchard with the correct fruit trees and berry plants for your climate is crucial to getting a harvest. Choose the correct variety and pollination type for your area with these tips. Melissa walks you through the best fruit types for small areas, larger areas, pollination (cross pollination vs. self-pollination), growing berries, chill hours, adding in new varieties, increasing your harvest. Snag the full written show notes at

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20169.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 12:10pm PDT

Learn how to use herbs and natural remedies, how to build your own natural medicine cabinet using plants that you can either grow at home or get fairly easily, and when to use home remedies and when to turn to modern medicine. All this and more as Melissa chats with Marjory Wildcraft on learning the traditional and age old use of herbs in your natural medicine cabinet. Get the full blog post at as well as the link to the FREE 4 part herbal video series to take you even deeper.

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode2016820With20Marjorie20Wildcraft.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 6:18pm PDT

8 medicinal plants you need to add to your garden this year, not only are these some of my favorite power house medicines on the homestead, but they're beautiful to grow just for appearances. Learn their medicinal properties, best growing practices, and how we use them in our natural medicine cabinet. Grab resources, links, and full blog post at

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20167.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 2:44pm PDT

Learn why sourdough is so amazing for your health and how to get started with making your own sourdough starter. Grab my FREE 4 part sourdough video series walking you through each step, start to finish, of making a sourdough starter, including using gluten-free grains, fresh ground wheat, ancient grains, and regular flour from the store. Hurry, it's only up for a short time, grab the link here

Direct download: Pioneering20Today20Episode20166.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 7:07pm PDT

Use these 8 easy tips on how to meal plan from scratch healthy whole food meals for your family with less stress and time. Tips for putting your pantry staples to use for you. Sample meal plan and items from our homestead kitchen and my favorite time saving tips when it comes to getting food on the table. Visit the show notes here for the meal planning bundle and my upcoming free sourdough series

Direct download: 28FINISHED2920Pioneering20Today20Episode20165.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 3:45pm PDT

Learn how to use these 14 tips to plan out your homestead for your most productive and STRESS FREE homestead year. When it comes to gardening, livestock, fruit trees, preserving, cooking from scratch, and being able to afford our homestead, planning now will help things run smoothly and ensure you don't miss an important step. Plus, planning really does help you save money and time. Snag the free download planning chart, links and resources here

Direct download: 28FINISHED2920Pioneering20Today20Episode20164.mp3
Category:Leisure -- posted at: 1:17pm PDT