A Year of Picnics


The Essential Book of Homesteading















  • Suffice to say Alistair dominated my feed in 2017 Seemshellip
  • Cold as ice Hominy Creek which runs beside our roadhellip
  • I went in for the coconut cake SO! GOOD! andhellip
  • Hello darkness my old friend The cold comfort of winterhellip
  • When I think about my intentions and resolutions for thehellip
  • Stay frosty Huxley but dont grow up too fast okay?hellip
  • Oh what a long strange trip its been Exactly onehellip
  • Happy birthday to this Brazilian beauty You know those kindhellip
  • In 10 days Alistair and I fly from Asheville tohellip
  • Snow day snow cream sundae making me all kinds ofhellip
  • We made snow cream sundaes and hot chocolate and watchedhellip
my sponsors
budha hill natural toysImagine Childhood
Imagine ChildhoodBlissful Belly
Sponsorship Information
blog archive
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008

Fundamentals of Homesteading Series at Fifth Season (+ Giveaway!!!)

5th Season Classes
The more I write, the more I realize that, while I truly do love the writing process, I especially love when I close my laptop, leave my beloved cove (ugh, I am SUCH a homebody!), and head somewhere to do my next favorite thing, teach! I adore teaching. Whether it’s a class on pie-making (which I did this past November, in partnership with nearby Hickory Nut Gap Farm), or my regular gig at AB-Tech on “Backyard Chickens” (I think I’ve now taught this class around 16-17 times), or demo-ing how to make your own lip balm and other DIY body care products at a local library, I find great joy in sharing what I’ve learned through trial and error and research with others who are equally enthusiastic about homesteading and natural living.

To that end, I am especially excited to share with you about an upcoming 4-part series I’ll be teaching. In partnership with Fifth Season, I’ll be presenting a “Fundamentals of Homesteading” workshop in their Asheville Market location (across from the Asheville Mall). Fifth Season specializes in pretty much every area of interest to modern homesteaders. Whether it’s organic gardening, beekeeping, preserving, fermenting, beer-making (their beer-making equipment and ingredients selection is vast!), chicken-keeping, hydroponics, orchid-care, tea-drinking, or more, they’ve got you covered. From tools specific to the task at hand, to books, to decor, Fifth Season has a little something for everyone. You can pop in and purchase a fruit tree, a ceramic planter, a smoker for your beehive, some gardening shears, and a sunhat, and then stop by their bar for a cappuccino, kombucha, or glass of wine or pint of beer to sip while you look over your newly acquired items. Nirvana, right?

The Asheville Market location opened this past November (2015), and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I didn’t make it into the store myself until the end of last month. When I did, though, I was floored. Firstly, I had no idea of the size of the store. It’s massive! Secondly, I had no idea of its scope, which is to say its wide range of offerings. Pretty much every one of my homesteading interests and pursuits was accounted for there, including “nonessentials” that are nonetheless highly desirable, like decorative furniture for fairy houses and air plants!

What endears Fifth Season to me even further are their ongoing class offerings. It’s one thing to be able to purchase what you need for whatever project you’re pursuing. It’s another to be able to learn more about it from someone experienced in that field, or to learn a new pursuit altogether! From charcuterie, to beer-making, and beyond, Fifth Season‘s classes, and large classroom, jockey them as a valuable resource in the community. Speaking of communities, they have 6 locations, two in Asheville (their South Slope location, the flagship store, focuses mostly on hydroponic growing), one in Carrboro,NC, one in Raleigh, NC, one in Greensboro, NC, and one in Charlottesville, VA. But you don’t have to live in those locations in order to purchase their items, as they also maintain an expansive webstore.

For my classes, which will run each Monday in June from 7:00-9:00, I’ll be chatting about the 4 topics in my Homemade Living book series, Keeping Chickens, Canning & Preserving, Keeping Bees, and Home Dairy. You can opt to take all four classes for $90, or sign up for them individually at $25 per class. Here’s where you sign up:

*Keeping Chickens, June 6th

*Home Dairy, June 13th 

*Canning & Preserving, June 20th

*Keeping Bees, June 27th 

*Entire series, June 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th

Because I want you to experience Fifth Season for yourself, whether it’s at one (or all!) of my classes next month, or on your own time, the store has generously offered to host a giveaway, two, technically! To enter to win one of two $25 gift certificates, just leave a comment below telling what homesteading/DIY project you’re most excited about. It could be something you’re already doing (chickens! bees! pickles! yogurt!), or something you’d like to get into (beer! mead! butchering! composting!). I’ll run the giveaway for one week, beginning today and concluding midnight EST May 24th. Open to U.S. residents only. Once I select the randomly chosen winners, I’ll be in touch to obtain mailing/contact info for where to send the gift certificates.

Whatever the case, if you win or not, if you take one of my “Fundamentals of Homesteading” classes or not, do yourself a favor and check out Fifth Season, whether here in Asheville, in one of their other locations, or virtually. A wide selection of items, a knowledgeable staff, and an exciting roster of classes make this an ideal space for anyone interested in growing, learning, and living the good life!

34 Responses to Fundamentals of Homesteading Series at Fifth Season (+ Giveaway!!!)

  • Tammy Allen says:

    I am in the process of creating a compost area at my home.

  • Patty says:

    I would like to learn more about fruit preservation and fermentation. And I wish I lived closer to Fifth Season!

  • J says:

    Definitely bees.

  • KC says:

    My favorite springtime homesteading activity this year has been cultivating a native pollinator garden into a colorful second year. I especially love seeing the bright purple of the spider wort every morning, and the electric orange of the butterfly milkweed is stunning.

  • Heather S says:

    We’re just embarking on bee keeping….sooooo exciting!!

  • Kristin W says:

    On behalf of all of us at Fifth Season, thank you for taking the time to include us in your beautiful blog! We can’t wait for the series– we love seeing so many folks becoming increasingly interested in taking steps towards self-reliance. Cheers!

  • Amanda says:

    We are excited to be making cheese soon. Our jersey is providing great milk and our next homesteading project is to make cheddar. Amanda

  • kate jocelyn says:

    Always looking for ways to keep life real and glad there are businesses and individuals such as yourself in support of this! Kate

  • JD says:

    I like to make yogurt, I am building an herb bed for medicinals (thanks to your mention of Chestnut School) and I have a fun butterfly garden going strong. Right now, I would love more information on organic gardening, which we have already instituted, but would love to learn more about.

  • Amber Lax says:

    I would love to learn more about home dairy…have only gone as far as to make creme fridge and kefir. Also, so looking forward to seeing you and your offerings this Saturday at the spring swap!

  • Tara Granke says:

    I just moved to a place in East Asheville and am finally able to raise my own chickens! I have barred rocks, orpingtons, and speckled Sussex. Really looking forward to learning more!

  • Whitney says:

    Bees and meat birds on are the horizon

  • Kim Prue says:

    Kombucha! Having fun trying new flavor pairings from our yard-favorite so far is rose petal and cardamom. Certainly interested in learning more about charcuterie and whole animal butchery.

  • Melissa Wray says:

    Learning to make cheese and sauerkraut are on my list of new things to try this year.

  • Matt goddard says:

    Turning our new home/yard into edible homestead,to feed our family neighbors and folks walking by can take from the garden if they are in need.

  • Laura Crawford says:

    We keep bees (have 6 hives) and have a pretty large garden. I’m fairly new to the whole canning/preserving process. I look forward to learning more about that and trying out different ways to preserve our garden goodies to enjoy year round! I’m also trying to compost more to use in our garden. I hope to start keeping chickens soon too.

  • Care says:

    I am ALL about the pie baking and trying to try new local in-season natural ingredients. I have a friend who is new to bee-keeping and it so fun to read abt her adventures. I am curious abt making my own yogurts and cheese.

  • Lorraine Readling says:

    Chickens and gardening…and planting plants that chickens won’t eat.

  • Carrie B. says:

    I don’t drink coffee, but am very excited to rescue the grounds each morning, once my husband has imbibed. They are going straight into an increasingly fragrant tub, to be used as compost and more!

  • Amy Williams says:

    Love my chickens, but would love to explore the bees and do some more canning and . . .

  • Stephanie D'Souza says:

    I would love to learn more about preserving food and raising chickens particularly. I just purchased 12 acres in Fairview and it’s basically a blank canvas so there are many projects to keep me occupied and I would love more info on where to start.

  • Melissa Hill says:

    I’m most interested in learning about beekeeping. I’m planning to set up a couple of hives next year on our newly acquired farm, and although I took a beekeeping class locally several years ago, I need some reassurance that I can actually do this!

  • Roxy says:

    Keeping BEES!!!

  • Susan Zakanycz says:

    My favorite thing is to use things from my garden such as tomatoes , cucumbers etc and pickle or ferment them.

  • Eliza says:

    This is my third year as a beekeeper and I’m excited to split my first hive this year! Time for a challenge!

  • Sarah says:

    Hmm…. Canning, since I’ve played around with it but I’m not any good, or chickens, so I can help my neighbors with theirs.

  • Angela says:

    Love this store!
    After spending about a decade as a farmer but never having the time to can or preserve my harvests, I am hoping to take advantage of my sabbatical from farming (to be a mama) and start canning and preserving. Jams! Pickles! Sauces & salsas! But most of all, making kimchi is my goal of the year.

  • Sara says:

    We have chickens and veggies, but I would love to have a flower garden with easy cut flowers.

  • Kara says:

    Yay! I would love to get back into keeping bees (something I did before I moved). I would also love to learn how to can/preserve foods and make mead!

  • Gloria says:

    I must say I’m not much of a homesteader, but it interests me a lot! I think having chickens would be awesome! I’d also love to garden more and do some canning. DIY projects I do currently: sewing for my family, myself and my business. : )

  • Molly says:

    5th Seasons new store is really great. My favorite homesteading activity is definitely gardening, followed by hanging out laundry :-)

  • Jill says:

    With our garden going strong already, I really need to up my canning game!

  • Katie says:

    I would love to know more about gardening and back yard chickens!

  • Heather G says:

    I love to preserve and can and can(!!) always use more supplies! We also grow a lot of our own food and they have a wonderful selection of seeds to choose from to encourage experimenting with something new and exciting! Thanks y’all!