Homestead Blog Hop #23

Welcome to the Homestead Blog Hop!

Work begins on the new chicken coop this weekend! Or at least that’s the plan. Either way, I’m so excited! This is the first step of my Farm Stand Dream coming true! I’ll be doing a post with lots of how-to’s and chicken coop ideas along the way, so don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out!

Homestead Blog Hop | IdlewildAlaska

Now on to the hop…

Homestead Blog Hop will take place every Wednesday and is for all things homesteading: real food recipes, farm animals, crafts, DIY, how-to’s, gardening, anything from-scratch, natural home/health, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, natural remedies, essential oils, & more! Basically anything related to homesteading.

Meet the Hosts!

Jen- The Easy Homestead

Jenna- The Flip Flop Barnyard

Angi- A Return to Simplicity

Kelly- Simple Life Mom

Amanda- Idlewild Alaska (That’s me!)

Lindsey- Chickadee Homestead

Nicole- Little Blog on the Homestead

Bonnie- The Not So Modern Housewife

Featured Posts from the Last Homestead Blog Hop

Each week we will choose three posts to feature. Each post will be shared on all social media platforms by all of the hosts! Here are last week’s featured posts:

Featured On the Homestead Blog Hop: Hydroponics

1. Hydroponics Basics by Eight Acres Blog

  Featured on the Homestead blog Hop: Raising Ducklings

2. How to Raise Ducklings by The Frugal Chicken

How to Find a Good Local Farmer

3.  How to Find a Good Local Farmer by Mom Prepares

Congrats! Feel free to grab the featured on button for your post. Just right click and ‘save image as…’

Featured Post Homestead Blog Hop | IdlewildAlaska

Guidelines for Homestead Blog Hop

1. This is a family-friendly link up meant to inspire and motivate the homesteader in all of us. Please note that all giveaways, contests, and the like will be deleted from the blog hop, as well as anything not family-friendly.

2. Link your post back to the hop. If the hop isn’t linked to your post then you cannot be featured. All featured posts will be shared on all hosts’ social media channels.

3. When linking up your post to the Homestead Blog Hop please make sure you actually link to your post and not your homepage.

4. Please link up posts that you haven’t linked to the hop before. You are welcome to link old posts from your blog!

5. Link up to three posts each week!

6. Linking up gives us permission to use your photo on social media platforms {with a link back to your post) in order to promote your post if you are featured.

***Please note: in order to maintain the awesomeness of the hop all posts that don’t meet the above guidelines will be deleted.

Well, let’s see what’cha got!

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Categories: Homestead Blog Hop | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Everything You Need To Know About Getting Chickens

Chicken math. It’s real. You may start with two or seven cute little fluff balls, and before you know it, you’re working on plans for your second coop, because the few you have just aren’t enough. Why aren’t they enough? Because of chicken math. You NEED more chickens. So for those of you contemplating getting chickens for the first time, wondering what you’ll be getting yourself into, here’s a great list of everything you need to know about getting chickens.

Everything You Need to Know About Getting Chickens - IdlewildAlaska

If you’ve never had chickens, here’s a great place for you to start. How many are you getting? (You WILL be getting more, so just plan ahead. Even if you swear you’re not, you will.) What kind of coop do you need? Regular or deep litter bedding? What do you feed them? Are you hatching them yourself or buying pullets? What’s a pullet? Find it all here!


Thinking of Getting Chickens…

Check out 18 Questions to Ask Before Buying Chicks by The Coastal Homestead

Top 10 Things You Need to Know Before Getting Chickens by Grounded and Surrounded, written as a guest post on Little Blog on the Homestead.

Don’t miss What Wikipedia Won’t Tell You About Raising Backyard Chickens by Grounded and Surrounded. It’s funny and so true!

How to Start Raising Chickens at Home

Here’s Planning for you Backyard Flock by Five Little Homesteaders.

Get the pros and cons of chickens at Starting Your First Flock of Laying Hens.

Don’t forget Getting Started with Chickens by Better Hens & Gardens.

Here’s How to Start Raising Chickens at Home from Home Ready Home.


Ordering, Preparing, and Caring for Chicks…

Follow Operation: Chicken Hatch over at Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child.

Ordering Spring Chicks by Day’s Ferry Organics, a part one of two about chicks.

See what you need for Brooding Chicks by Make It. Grow It.

Brooding Chicks

Build your own DIY Brooder by Five Little Homesteaders. See their Guide to Chick Care here!

Everyone loves an easy DIY Chick and Quail Feeder by Linn Acres Farm.

Here’s what you need for Raising Day Old Chicks by Better Hens & Gardens.

And I seem to have a lot in common with Picky to Plenty in Pasty What? Lessons in Chick Rearing from a Wannabe Farmer.

See our most recent chicks HERE and our guide to hatching your own chicks HERE.


Starting with older chickens? Check these out!

Started Chicks and Ducks by Homestead Honey.

Adding Started Pullets by The 104 Homestead.


What do I need for their coop?

All You Need to Know About Chicken Nest Boxes and Free Plans for Your Own from Linn Acres Farm.

All You Need to Know About Chicken Nesting Boxes

Here’s a look at the different type of Chicken Coop Bedding from the Northern Homestead.

Read up on the benefits of Deep Litter Bedding by Better Hens & Gardens.

Tour our chicken coop HERE.


What do you feed them?

Here’s an excellent guide for When To Switch Your Poultry’s Feed by The 104 Homestead.

The Farmer’s Lamp has a great four part series on the Basics of Feeding Your Chickens.

Fermented Chicken Feed

Everyone wants to know What to Feed Your Chickens for Better Tasting Eggs by the Frugal Chicken.

Interesting in fermented chicken food or how grow fodder for your chickens?


Chicken Health…

Did you know that Chickens Don’t Take Water Baths?

Here’s excellent info on Natural Chicken Care from the Five Little Homesteaders.

Natural Chicken Care

Looking for more info? Murano Chicken Farm has a whole site dedicated to chickens! Want to put your girls to work? See how mine do my composting! Don’t forget to get YOUR copy of Chicken Hot Topics or Chickens From Scratch! Both are must have’s for every chicken owner’s bookshelf.

Think you know chickens? Think again! Get the answers in Chicken Hot Topics.

Hope this helps you with deciding to get chickens or with the chickens you already have!

Categories: Homesteading Life | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Homemade Steamed Dumplings

Quite a few years ago, I got to visit a friend of mine who was teaching at a university in China, outside of Beijing. I spent the week with her and her students. We went to museums, saw the sights around the city, and walked on the Great Wall of China (a dream come true!), but best of all was the food. The food was amazing! I didn’t know what I was eating most of the time, but everything was delicious. The only problem… I can’t find food like that here in Alaska. So after discovering gyoza wrappers in our local grocery store, I decided to make my own homemade steamed dumplings.

Homemade Steamed Dumplings - IdlewildAlaska

It seemed like dumplings were served at almost every meal. No two fillings were the same. The meats were mostly pork or chicken, but there were vegetarian and egg fillings too. And they were always steamed. I was never served a pan-fried dumpling during that entire week. I love the steamed ones. Talk about much healthier than the pan-fried! Any grease from the meat drips into the water below and no extra oil get sucked into the gyoza wrappers.

For my own recipe, I dug through the fridge. I know dumplings are traditionally pork or chicken, but I had ground beef on hand, so that’s what I used. I can’t stand recipes that call for some unusual ingredient that will sit in your pantry forever that you’ll never use again. I’m a firm believer in using what you have. So the recipe below is by no means a “traditional” recipe, but considering how every dumpling was different during my trip, I think that’s okay. Feel free to play around with your own ingredients!

Steamed Chinese Dumplings - IdlewildAlaska

Homemade Steamed Dumplings

1 lb beef

1/2 cup carrots, shredded

1/4 cup diced green onion

1 1/2 T minced garlic

1/4 c diced sweet or bell peppers

1/2 T honey

1 t sesame oil

1 T Tamari or soy sauce

1 egg (plus 1 egg yolk for later)

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least one hour. (I love that I can make this up ahead of time!)

Homemade Dumplings - IdlewildAlaska

Place 1 teaspoon of filling in each wrapper.

Homemade Gyoza - IdlewildAlaska

Using your finger, put egg yolk around edges and fold the wrapper in half. The yolk helps to seal the dough. You can get fancy folding the wrappers if you want. I didn’t, but I may try next time.

At this point, you can freeze some dumplings for later. Just spread out on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once they are completely frozen, put them in a freezer bag. (As putting the dumplings together takes some time, this is a great option. Have dinner all ready to go! I love freezer meals!)
Homemade Potstickers - IdlewildAlaska

Steam the dumplings for 10 minutes. (If frozen, thaw first.)

Steamed Dumplings - IdlewildAlaska

Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, or dipping sauce of your choice. I just used some stir fry sauce we had in the fridge, but I think I may try to come up with my own healthy sauce next time.

These are lots of fun for a chance to use chopsticks at home or even as finger food! Enjoy!

Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment