dig this sponsor: Our Happy Homestead (giveaway!)

Well, at the end of Earth Week, I am so excited to introduce you and yours to this month’s sponsor: Our Happy Homestead.

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Really, when I first heard from owner Dave, I was wholly charmed as soon as my eyeballs glanced the business name. It makes me smile. And, after several e mail exchanges, it became clear that he, his wife Jesi and their family, are indeed thoughtful earth-dwellers and happy homesteaders. The couple signs their “about us” page on their website: Helping to make your homestead a happy one, David and Jesi Coles. What an inspiring and important mission.

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Their site is full of fabulously helpful items that will assist any person, seasoned or newbie, looking to connect with their happy homesteading self. In their words: At Our Happy Homestead, our vision is simple. From the products you need for rural and urban-rural living available here at our store to the insights and educational resources on our blog, Our Happy Homestead is here to equip you for a wholesome lifestyle.

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I asked Dave a few questions about Our Happy Homestead and his answers make me, well, happy. Read on, happy homesteaders, there’s a wonderful giveaway and reader discount at the end!

What inspired you to start your business?

Our family has been using most of the products that we now sell for more than a decade. We started well inside the city limits of a large metro area and have been working hard to find a self-sufficient and more natural lifestyle in that environment, even as we’ve been slowly moving towards the outskirts of the city.

The more involved we became, the more sense it made to move from a hobby and lifestyle into a family business; it’s been a fantastic experience in which we’ve been able to demonstrate hard work and entrepreneurship to our children while helping other people move towards the lifestyle that we love.
Our business philosophy is very simple; we’re more concerned with earning and keeping your business five or ten years from now than we are about the product you’re buying from us today.

What three Happy Homestead products does your family rely on the most?

We’ve worked very hard to make sure all of the products we carry are either products we use in our own home, products we have extensive experience with, or products with exceptional track records that we can stand behind. Obviously we can’t use everything since we want to offer a good selection of the best products, but we’ve very sensitive to the feedback we receive on all of our self-sufficiency supplies.

All of our family’s bread comes from our Wondermill Wheat Grinder (we’ve been using the same unit continuously for more than six years now) and our Bosch Universal Mixer. We also use the Berky Light water filter in our kitchen on an almost hourly basis. Our municipal water doesn’t taste the best and it saved us a considerable amount of time and effort last year when a broken water main forced our town into boil restrictions for three days. Finally, we’ve put the miles on our Open Country Meat Grinder which we’ve been using for the last three years to process all of our game and small livestock.
Sometimes it takes some extra effort to learn the skills necessary to prepare and process your own whole foods, but the results are more than worth it – our family hasn’t bought a loaf of store bread in more than seven years!

What ideas/advice do you have for urban dwellers who seek a more self-sufficient lifestyle?

As with anything new, take small steps and only go as far as you’re comfortable. It’s taken us years to slowly learn the techniques and methods to move towards self-sufficiency. Remember that “self-sufficiency” isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. There are a thousand ways you can bring the homestead into your urban or suburban home – most of our whole wheat customers live in larger city areas and are trying to bring some of the country back into their homes. Grain co-ops are prevalent in metro areas, often giving urban bread makers a wider selection of grains and beans at lower prices. Get started on your food storage if you haven’t already – pick up a few extra cans the next time you’re at the store. There are some exceptional resources on building and cooking from bulk food storage; our goal is to provide all the tools you’ll need to get back to basics.

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giveaway deets:

Leave a comment on today’s post and you’ll have a chance to win a Pragotrade Roma Sauce Maker Deluxe. What is this, you wonder? This is all you need to know: No more peeling or coring! Simply load the hopper and turn the handle to create fresh sauces and purees from just about any fruit or vegetable.

Hello, dreamboat. I bought one. My mind is swimming about the possibilities of baby food, tomato sauce, peach butter…and ALL THAT FREE TIME I’ll have because I won’t be manually pitting, coring, skinning, de-seeding for a million hours in my hot summer kitchen…
So the comments will close next Tuesday, April 27, at 9pm MST. I’ll randomly pick a winner and announce The Lucky Duck in Wednesday’s nuggets.
But wait! There’s more! For everyone else who isn’t The Lucky Duck, Our Happy Homestead is offering a killer deal on this food strainer/sauce maker: it’s normally $89.99 and, *just for you*, dear readers, it’s $69.99. Just enter ‘digthischick’ at checkout to get the deal (offer ends May 31). (Also, free shipping on orders over $99 so grab a few other happy homesteading items while you’re there and save big.)

69 Responses to dig this sponsor: Our Happy Homestead (giveaway!)

  1. Amy says:

    I would LOVE to have this..there are so many sauces I could make!

  2. Beth says:

    oh my goodness…I covet this!! Thank you for the chance to win!

  3. Dana says:

    That is so cool!! the kids could help!

  4. Jennifer says:

    Yes, yes and YES! I could use and love all the products they make. What a delightful business. I am already fantasizing about those summer tomatoes!!

  5. Britta says:

    OMG OMG OMG

    Great deal. I’ll be buying one even if I don’t win (although I hope I win!)

  6. Tammy B says:

    Well, that beauty would make for all kinds of fun in the kitchen! What an awesome company.

  7. Heather says:

    Ok so this about-to-have-a-baby-family is slobbering all over this here contraption. Word.

    Heather

  8. Danette says:

    What a generous give-a-way. Thanks for the chance to win.

  9. JT says:

    What a great giveaway item! I’d love ot use it for baby food.

  10. keewee says:

    Now that is what I call a labor saving device. I would like to own one of those.

  11. Amber says:

    This looks amazing…makes me hungry fro spaghetti!

  12. Anonymous says:

    What a fabulous item! The possibilities would be endless. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Zamma

  13. Lisa says:

    oh yay! This sauce maker is very exciting for me… I have been considering getting a foodmill for a while now for my general canning and sauce-making needs. This would be perfect. But, as soon as I read about this item, I had one thought: quince paste!

    When we moved into our house, the first thing I noticed was this lovely fruit tree in my neighbors’ front yard. That was June 2008 and I watched the little fuzzy fruits turn into hard, green, fuzzy, pear-like things. I had a notion these might be quince, but I didn’t know since I hadn’t seen them in real life before – they are such a forgotten antique fruit. So, I reasearched and lo and behold, they were indeed quince. And a long story short – my neighbor saw me looking one day and I asked her if she cooked with them and she said she didn’t know that you could eat them – I should please take all I want.

    How cool is that?! So, that first fall, I learned how to make all things quince, including paste, which turns out is the food of the gods! It tastes like roses and apples and lemons. I shared some with my neighbors and they too fell in love. Now, as soon as the blossoms form, they start hinting that I should make a bigger batch of it this year and I can take ALL the fruit. Last year, they gave me all the fruit off the whole tree and helped me pick it and waited eagerly until I brought them their paste.

    Well, the only trouble is that the straining process is murder! It takes forever and ever and ever to pass it through the strainer to smooth it out and remove the skins and seeds (which are initially cooked with it to give it more pectin), and so, I have a personal limit as to how much quince paste I can make in a season and then I feel guilty that they gave me all the fruit and I only produced a small amount of paste (I also make quince jelly, preserves, pies, tarts, etc, but those are easier due to no straining).

    So, to conclude the longest comment ever – I need this thing. I need it to be a good neighbor. So, I will be buying one either way. But, it would be lovely to win it!

  14. Cathy says:

    ooo throwing my hat in the ring :). Thanks. Thanks for sharing the site too.

  15. Jenny says:

    I think I could fall in love…what a wonderful tool to help this homestead momma in the making.

  16. kendra says:

    oh, i would so love to win! our goal is to preserve more this season, and this would help further our efforts!

  17. Lurky Mommy says:

    Well, I just love this! My raised beds are ready, the deer fencing is almost done, compost is coming tomorrow, and I am dreaming of all the things I can make and my family can eat throughout the winter. I am reading about canning as I have never tried, and this looks like a fabulous tool that I must have! Thanks for the site links, for the contest, and for all the other little things you post. I always love your nuggets:)

  18. Ann says:

    My husband is growing a “tomato tree” this year so I really need that to make lots of sauce which is the only way my boys will eat tomatoes!

  19. Shay says:

    I’ve got 18 little tomato plants growing downstairs, most will be made into sauce, and that hopper will make my job so much easier!!

  20. Kelle says:

    I’m so proud of you and all you are doing on this blog and how it so organically comes together to represent everything you are. You are mastering this blog/business thing, baby!
    xoxo

  21. Nicki says:

    Ok – as a mama who makes baby food – this would be GREAT to have!

    We can’t have a garden where we live, but always have LOTS of potted veggies on the patio.

  22. Madame S says:

    Mmmmm…the possibilities are endless! :D

  23. Anke says:

    I’d love to win this, it would really come in handy during canning season. Great product!

  24. Way, way, way cool. What a great business that I obviously need to check out.

  25. Oh yeah! I totally want this! Anything to save some time this Fall. Awesome. Thanks for the opportunity.

  26. scrumptious photos and descriptions… I’m headed to our happy homestead’s site now! I know my toddler would love to help make sauce goodness with a new toy.. I mean machine :)

  27. g and r says:

    Love it! What a fun giveaway!

  28. Amy says:

    Oh my…

    It’s inappropriate how excited I am at the chance to win this beauty.

    jibssa at gmail dot com

  29. Oh my goodness, Theo would be in heaven. He’s been begging me to take him to Williams-Sonoma to see a food mill in person (he hasn’t been begging to go to WS, that’s where I said I’d take him~this mama’s priorities~two birds with one stone~, you know!)

    Inspiring, Our Happy Homestead.

  30. Helen K. says:

    My son will be starting his first vegetable garden ever..his virgin harvest. He is already a wonderful cook. I would love to have this product for him. I can just see his eyes light up at the thought of all the goodness he could churn out…

  31. FinnyKnits says:

    Oh yes. This is a fine, fine resource. I’m bummed I didn’t wait until now to buy my juicer- they have the one I got!

    Meanwhile, this desire for self-sufficiency in the urban landscape totally speaks to me.

    Nice catch, Dig.

  32. Melissa says:

    Yes, what Finny said. The urban life is challenging, for sure . . . but guess what?? Leeor is getting a bike and will be taking the train down to Palo Alto and then biking around . . . so proud of him.

    And my goals for this year (somehow my “year” feels like it will begin once this girl is born) include yogurt and bread making, not to mention all the baby food i’ll make for her! Yay!

    I keep saying this over on 6512′s blog, but you two are really inspiring me to make some of these changes . . . but one at a time (:
    xoxo

  33. Liz H. says:

    Wow! Handcrafted sauce here we come….

  34. TRB Holt says:

    Just perused their site, WOW…. A new favorite place to shop! I have been wanting to buy a juicer…think I found the one here.

    Now attention readers IF, (big if), I win you know it was not rigged.

    :)

  35. uggh says:

    great giveaway………it is totally what dreams are made of

  36. how i would love a sauce maker deluxe! the possibilities are endless … though, i’m thinking canning, lots of it!

    great company. thanks for sharing it!

  37. Staci says:

    ooooo boy! I hope I’m a lucky duck, what a fantastic deal! The hours I would save on the gallons of sauce I put up every fall…..I could preserve even more!

  38. Anonymous says:

    I so need this! I am using a Velo press I bought ages ago! All the directions are in Italian yet it keeps popping off my table! Please please let me say caio tp my Velo!
    Becki/ Texaskaz@aol.com

  39. Dana says:

    Gah! This is just the wondertool I need! Good food mills are hard to find (at least in my neck of the woods, for some reason). I’m dreaming of all the small-mystery-plums I could process with this (we have a small-mystery-plum bush that delights us with basket upon basket of small-mystery-plums, and they make the *best* jam). Thanks for the opportunity!

  40. Amber says:

    So cool! No more canned tomato sauce!! I hear ya about the “hot summer kitchen”

  41. Colleen says:

    My fiance is Italian – wouldn’t he be impressed if I started making my own sauce! Thanks for the giveaway!

  42. lera says:

    Okay, I *need* this strainer. I wanted to buy one with my town council pay, but instead bought groceries. I’m dreaming up all kinds of things to make.

  43. My dream come true…thanks for the info!

  44. Ann says:

    The sauce maker looks amazing, so I will keep my fingers crossed that I’m the lucky one! Also, your post today made me think that I have to tell you about my new Penguin seltzer maker from Sodastream. Our family is kicking the canned/bottled soda habit and switching to seltzer we can make at any time from tap water. Check it out. I’m sooooooo happy about our drastic reduction in recycling already. Thanks for your thought provoking, homey blog. I love it.

  45. Erika says:

    Chances are pretty slim that I’ll win a second time after the seeds that is…but hey, it’s worth a shot. Dear Sauce Maker, If I don’t win you I will buy you! xo

  46. Cora Webster says:

    Great item for a giveaway. Great article too!

  47. Cora Webster says:

    Great item for a giveaway. Great article too!

  48. Kerri says:

    Oh wow, what an awesome company and super cool sauce maker!! The possibilities are truly endless!

  49. Asher Farm says:

    Our family recently bought our little farm and are continuing to work towards self sustainability and are loving the journey! We’ve had chickens for 5 years now and started out on our city sized yard! I would love this for baby food for my 4 month old and for making sauces to can from all my yummy garden veggies!! Thanks!

  50. Cameo says:

    Drooling over the possibilities. As in, quadrupling my salsa recipe based on not having to peel/seed my tomatoes! Jams/fruit butters and whatever else I can think of. FUN! Thought for sure this treasure was way out of budget and I’m super excited about the price! She WILL be mine…can’t wait to check out The Happy Homestead and see what else I can find.

  51. Liz W says:

    this happy homestead would love one of these puppies. thanks for featuring such cool businesses, nici!

  52. corina says:

    Mmmmm…smashed tomatoes…
    Thanks so much for the opportunity! Indeed, this machine would make life easier! Take care!

  53. Kelly says:

    Those last pictures of Bug were some of my favorite looking all grown up with her backpack on! And that Ruby is a gem! literally! ha

  54. Would love this so much! And I’m really enjoying your blog, great stuff!

  55. I just love your interviews with sponsors. It really makes me want to do business when I feel I “know” them.

  56. MamaMouse says:

    Wow, this is a fun blog … and a great Sauce Maker to win! My daughter and I have started our garden and I can tell it’s going to bring days and days of fun this summer – plus yummy strawberries.

  57. mamaof7 says:

    Oh! that looks like soooooooooo much fun! This year we have planted 4 differant types of tomatoes! Take care!

  58. Erin says:

    Wow, Momma! Another impressive sponsor! Dusty and I love hearing about other couples and families realizing their dreams of small businesses and “happy homesteads!” Thanks for this opportunity! –Erin

  59. I’ve been looking for a website like this! I am trying to go more “green” and I live smack dab in a large urban environment. We also are trying to backpack and camp more so some of the water filters and other small gadets look like they may come in handy. Thanks for the site!!

  60. Sue says:

    great giveaway… this will be fun to test when the produce from the garden is ready to harvest

  61. CC says:

    Our tomato starts are ripening in the kitchen window, it would be awesome to have one of these when those beauties start producing!

  62. Ryan says:

    What a super product! I just made ketchup from scratch so I could make BBQ sauce from scratch! This would have been great to have!

  63. We love making sauce together on the weekends, and this would absolutely make it even better! What a treat! Mangia, mangia, pasta tutti!
    -Kate, Kevin and Annie Emmerich

  64. Tracy B says:

    To honor my roots and the passing of my 98 year old Grams who spent every single day of her life on our Minnesota farm, I have begun to really dig deep and reignite my “art” of living simply and self-sustainably. Yur blog is so inspiring to me, and though I’m not sure if my Grams would approve of me taking a “shortcut” by using the sauce machine, this budding gardener is all about it.(and I think she would forgive me)
    –TracyB–your Central Missoula neighbor. :)

  65. Anya Vasquez says:

    This rocks! My girls would love making food into mush. :)

  66. Dr. Anthony says:

    This would be awesome!!!

  67. honey says:

    This would be a wonderful addition to my son’s kitchen “must haves”. He is a wonderful, creative cook. Always cooking for our very large family. He has started his “virgin garden” and is so excited about it. Thanks

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