Fall is upon us.  Here in Minnesota and Wisconsin, we can feel it in the air.  If you have a garden, you are probably doing a lot of labor right now.  You are harvesting vegetables and herbs, preserving your harvest (dehydrating, freezing or canning) and gearing up for a quick fall crop.

Canning and food preservation is in full swing this Labor Day

I canned some Spicy Dilly Beans, peppers and Dill Pickles last weekend – August 2019

That’s what I am doing now.  I have been slowly building up my stores of Dilly Beans, some Dill Pickles and now tomato sauce these past couple weeks.  I am working this in on the weekends when I have a few hours to wash, chop and prepare the cans for water bath canning.  It takes some labor, sweat and effort to can produce, but the rewards are worth it.  Julie likes to see the numbers check out on the budget and the savings grow; I like having a stockpile of canned veggies in my pantry in the basement.  It is funny how that works out, isn’t it?  It is a one-two punch of self-reliance and financial freedom that we like to do here at Small Scale Life!

Even if you don’t have a garden, you should be hitting the local farmer’s market and storing up on low cost produce that is in season.  Of course, we should talk about WHY you don’t grow something offline or at smallscalegardening.com…I can help you!  You can still preserve those vegetables and herbs for those cold days in January and February.  Yes, it is a lot of work and labor to get all of that done, but the rewards are totally worth it.

Not knowing how to preserve vegetables and herbs is not an excuse.  Yes, I am shaming you a bit here.  There are a lot of resources out there to help you learn how to can, freeze and dehydrate produce.  You can do it, and if you need a teacher, I can think of no better one that my friend Sharon Peterson at Simply Canning.  She has a whole academy with great videos to teach you how to safely can and preserve food.  If I can do it, you can do it.  Click the link and head over to the Simply Canning Academy.

If you want to learn to pressure can there is a class just gor you, and you can get to it by clicking this link.

Join me there and learn something new!


With that said, we can move on to the Picks of the Week!

Small Scale Life Highlights of the Week

Preparing for the Next Phase of Life. planning, goal setting, goals 

This week, I posted a podcast episode that I recorded while in the mobile podcast studio and driving through the Mississippi River Valley.  A lot of our peer group from across the country is sending their young adults to college for the first time.  Some are going through a mini-depression as their young adult is out of sight and out of reach.  It can be a difficult adjustment!  We know, we have been there and done that twice with our boys.

I give some advice for handling emergencies while that young person is away.  We know from experience with this as well: not having a couple extra numbers of close friends can lead to disaster.  Get the phone numbers and keep them close (just in case).  Make sure you have a plan!

I also talk about preparing for the next phase of your life.  You WILL be an empty nester in the future, and you should plan for that time when you don’t have those young people living in your house.  A dream turns to a plan, and a plan becomes reality through execution. 

 Check out that podcast to learn more!

Julie’s Pick of the Week

Of course we had to highlight a podcast episode that Julie and I completed recently!

News from Around the Bend: Happy Labor Day 2019

Renew You Fitness and Finance | Tom And Julie Domres – Small Scale Life

Intellectual Agrarian – Terrance Layhew

Julie and I had a great conversation with Terrance Layhew on the Intellectual Agrarian Podcast. We discussed the Health and Fitness Renew You Challenge including some of the things we learned and some of the additional lessons learned as a content creator that is running an intensive 7-day content blitz.  Julie and I also talk about Financial Freedom and the Government Shutdown, and we finish the podcast discussing Small Scale Gardening and why gardening information will be posted over at that site.

I listened to this podcast again today, and I have pulled some quotes and notes from the conversation.  It was a lot of fun talking with Terrance, and I hope to have him on the Small Scale Life Podcast to talk philosophy and go down some rabbit holes on other topics.  Thank you, Terrance, for having us on the show!

Tom’s Picks of the Week

I had a chance to catch up with some friends this week, and I got to sample some excellent podcast episodes.  Here are my picks of the week, and maybe you will want to take a listen to those episodes as you travel or hang out this Labor Day weekend.

Sunset, Earth Day, Lake Superior, Northshore, vacation

Making REAL Changes with Mark Shepard

The Contrary Farmstead – Greg and Susan Burns

Greg and Susan are back and talking briefly about the summer, lake life, kayaking and biting off more than they can chew (and swallowing it cold).  After the introduction, Susan and Greg talked about the Restoration Agriculture Workshop with Mark Shepard at Hooting Hills Organic Farm.  Greg was a speaker, and both Greg and Susan participated in the workshop activities.

Greg and Mark Shepard had a chance to sit down and talk about making real changes.  It was a fascinating discussion about the Back to the Land Movement in the 1960’s, but some of these Movements start much earlier than that.  As Mark said, “These things pop up and disappear for a bit.  Later they come back, and everyone has to have it.”  He was referring to evolution, but it ties directly into how Movements start and grow underground.  I am a student of history, and it was VERY interesting to hear who came around and “did stuff” during the 1960’s that later turned into powerful companies we see today.  I was really blown away to see the connections from the 1920’s to today.

I think what is also important to point out is that these people did not sit somewhere and pine away, writing in journals or smoking their lives away.  Sure, I imagine there was plenty of “stuff” going on, but these people got busy and did the work.  They did the labor to establish a piece of their movement, and they used the technology at their disposal to push the boundaries and grow.  They did not wait for someone to DO IT for them; they got busy and did stuff.  We can learn a lot from those pioneers.  We need to do the labor to achieve our own goals and objectives, and maybe we’ll create a small movement of our own. It might take a lot of work and late nights, but it can be done.

While Greg apologized about the “bootleg” nature of the interview with Mark Shepard, I thought it was awesome.  This is the kind of conversation you WANT to capture because it was so authentic.  I loved the clinking bottles, the dogs barking and even the young child crying at one point. It is real life, and it is how people have communicated for eons.  Good on ya, Greg, for posting this one!  I loved it!  The only way it could have been better is if it was around a crackling fire.


5 Excuses for Not Starting Your Business – Episode 196

Living Free in Tennessee – Nicole Sauce

Nicole never let’s the grass grow too long under her feet!  It has been a busy summer for her in the Holler Homestead.  She has been hard at work rebuilding rental houses, roasting coffee and recording podcast episodes.  This episode was really very good as she discussed 5 typical excuses for not starting your business or side hustle.  A lot of the excuses come down to “perfection is enemy of the good,” and all of us would be entrepreneurs stall out trying to develop the perfect business plan, website, logo, widget and content before acting.

Nicole’s point is that you need to get into the game and do the work.  Nothing goes viral overnight, and usually it takes a lot of labor to push the boulder up hills before it begins to gain momentum on the other side.

Trust me: I know! We talked about that on Nicole’s show a bit ago.

Get in the game.  Start DOING the thing and see what opportunities come your way.  If nothing else, you will learn as you do, and you will grow as you learn.

One thing is true: you will not succeed or achieve anything if you don’t start and do the work!  Labor….it’s kinda funny how that works, isn’t it?


Enjoy Your Labor Day!

Small Scale Life Newsletter, Campfire Conversations, Bonfire

Make sure you enjoy this Labor Day Weekend with your family and friends.

Turn off the phone. 

Get outside. 

Have a fire.

Tell stories, roast marshmallows and soak in the moments. 


This is what a Small Scale Life is all about!