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Shaye Elliot headshotShaye Elliott is the founder of the popular blog, “The Elliott Homestead” And author of two farm-to-table cookbooks, From Scratch and Family Table. She is a chicken keeper, cow milker, pig wrangler, avid gardener, and spends much of her summer preserving a variety of foods for the winter larder. Shaye lives with her husband, Stuart, and their four children in Malaga, Washington.

The homesteading movement is continuing to grow, as more people are stepping up to have a hand in where their food comes from. Whether you want to dabble or immerse yourself completely in the do-it-yourself, back-to-basics lifestyle, WELCOME TO THE FARM is a comprehensive, fully illustrated guide to growing the very best food right in your own backyard. Shaye Elliott takes readers on a journey that teaches them how to harvest baskets full of organic produce, milk a dairy cow (and make butter), plant a homestead orchard, can jams and jellies, and even raise chickens and bees. From her experience running The Elliott Homestead, Shaye provides all the how-to wisdom you need to know about:

  • The benefits of a home garden
  • The basics of seed starting
  • Building your own greenhouse
  • What belongs in the winter garden
  • Canning, freezing, and dehydrating techniques and recipes
  • The pros and cons of caged vs. free-range chickens
  • Keeping a dairy cow and what to do with all the milk
  • Raising animals for meat
  • Making your own cider and wine
  • And so much more!

WELCOME TO THE FARM is aimed to serve homesteaders and urban-farmers alike, guiding them through the beginning stages of small-area farming and utilizing whatever amount of space they have available for optimal and delicious food production.



Junket is cheese . . . in a way. But it’s totally not cheese. Junket is flan in a way . . .
but totally not flan. And junket is custard-esque . . . but not at all. Junket is in a
category all its own.

  • 1 quart raw, organic milk
  • 1 tablespoon active kefir or whey
  • ½ cup maple syrup or honey (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 drops liquid rennet or 1⁄16th of a rennet tablet
  • ¼ cup filtered water

Warm your milk gently on the stove in a small saucepan until it reaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit and then turn off the heat.

Add the kefir into the milk, cover the pot, and allow it to incubate for 1 hour. This will allow the good bacteria time to grow and flourish. It’s like microbial science right on your stove top. I can’t be the only one who thinks this is insanely cool.

After incubating the milk, mix in the maple syrup, salt, and spices. Stir to combine.

Dissolve the rennet in the filtered water and add this to the milk. Gently stir to combine.

Pour the junket into cups or serving dishes of your choice. I use coffee mugs. Because they’re pretty, yo. And that’s important. Individual serving dishes work best.

Let the junket set for 1 to 2 hours, or until firm. Junket can be kept in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve, but I enjoy it best at room temperature and right away!

Homemade Bacon

Homemade Bacon

Back in the day, people knew how to do cool things. Well, I think they’re cool. Surely I can’t be the only one in the world that thinks it’s exceptionally cool to cure pork belly and hang it in your kitchen.

  • Fresh pork belly from the best-quality hog you can find (If you can’t grow your own pigs yet, find a local pork farmer or talk to a high-quality local butcher)
  • About 6 cups dehydrated whole cane sugar
  • About 6 cups coarse sea salt

Combine the sugar and salt. Generously rub the flesh side of the pork belly with the mixture.

Rub the sugar and salt into the flesh some more.

Did I mention you need to rub the ol’ pork belly down with the sugar and salt? Make sure to get the sides too—anywhere water can accumulate.

Stack the uncovered pork belly into a large plastic bin. Stick it in the refrigerator and forget about it until the next day. Dump the accumulated liquid out of the plastic bin and rerub the flesh with the sugar and salt. Stack it all back in the tub and stick it in the fridge again.

The next day, dump out any accumulated liquid and rub the sugar and salt mixture on any part of the pork belly where the salt and sugar has completely dissolved. A thin layer will do. Repeat this process every day until liquid stops accumulating in the bin. On average, around a week or two will do.

Rinse the pork belly with water, using your fingertips to scrub off any remaining sugar and salt. Pat dry.

Voila! Cured bacon.

At this point, you can run a meat hook through a corner of the bacon slab and store it at room temperature while you cut off pieces to cook up as you wish! We bring out our slab on special mornings, cut off a piece, and fry it up. Everyone loves bacon day.

These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:

Recipes from WELCOME TO THE FARM: How-to Wisdom from The Elliott Homestead by Shaye Elliott. (Lyons Press; April 1, 2017; $21.95/Paperback, ISBN: 978-1493026012).

Contact: Jess Kastner
(203) 458-4511