Pioneering Today with Melissa K. Norris

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Melissa K. Norris found her own little house in the big woods, where she lives with her husband and two children in the Cascade Mountains. Her goal is to help you implement the best of the pioneer lifestyle into your modern one. She hopes you’ll be inspired to grow your own food, cook real traditional food, increase your home food storage, consider livestock, and drawer closer in your relationship with Jesus. 

She is the author of Pioneering Today-Faith and Home the Old Fashioned Way, and Pioneering Today-A Homemade Christmas.

You can visit Melissa’s website here.

Some of the above links may contain affiliates. This allows us to keep the blog, shows, and website free and costs you no more. If you make a purchase we receive a small commission. Regardless, we only recommend products we personally know and love. Thank you for your support.

Pioneering Today: Bee Keeping, Part 2 of 2, Why Bees are Crucial to Our Survival

Episode8June 13, 2014: It’s estimated that without bees mankind would cease to exist within two years. Find out how these important insects work. In this episode we discuss:

  • Types of pollen for honey flavor
  • Which pollen creates different flavors and color of honey
  • Life span of a hive
  • The truth behind organic honey
  • How pesticides/chemicals affect bees
  • Difference between local raw honey and store bought honey
  • How to alter recipes calling for sugar with honey
  • How bees make their wax

Pioneering Today: Bee Keeping, Part 1 of 2

Pioneering Today: Bee Keeping Part1June 6, 2014:  Bees are very important to our food supply and survival. In today’s episode we’ll discuss with professional bee keeper and owner of The Valley’s Buzz, Seth Smith:

How pesticides affect bees

How to start a hive

Costs of starting a hive

How many honey bees live in one hive

Difference between Mason and Honey Bees-which one is right for you?

How to harvest honey

How to rent hives

Pioneering Today: Canning 101

Pioneering Today: Canning101May 30, 2014:  The pioneers didn’t depend on supermarkets for their food source, and neither do you. In today’s episode we’ll discuss:

  • Waterbath Canning

  • Pressure Canning

  • Acidic vs. non-acidic food

  • Shelf life

  • Rotating stock

  • How to use a pressure canner

  • How long to boil your foods when eating homecanned goods

  • Which option is best for your family

I look forward to sharing with you. Please email me at melissa(at)melissaknorris(dot)com with questions or comments. I’d love to have a readers show where I answer your questions. Or leave your question in the comments section below.


Low Sugar No Pectin Strawberry Jam

No Pectin Cherry Jam

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Apple Butter

Apple Pie Filling

Marinated Pickled Asparagus 

Waterbath vs. Pressure Canning

Pioneering Today: The Pioneer Kitchen – Reprise

Pioneering Today: 2013-12-27 22.06.04May 23, 2014:  The pioneer kitchen wasn’t filled with the chemicals and processed foods found in the modern kitchen, and neither should yours! In today’s podcast we’ll discuss:

  • Safe and more efficient cookware
  • How to care and season cast iron
  • Dutch oven cooking
  • Choosing which processed food to replace in your home
  • Making fresh bread without kneading or tons of time
  • Quick recipes for processed replacements


Cooking with Cast Iron

Fresh Bread in Less than 5 Minutes a Day

Grandma’s Best Ever Flaky Pie Dough in 15 Minutes

Dutch Oven Cooking

Homemade White Sauce Chicken Pizza

Pioneering Today: Off Grid Cooking with a Dutch Oven

Pioneering Today: Dutch oven cookingMay 16, 2014: Why you need a spider Dutch Oven Seasoning cast iron.


  • Ways to do this off grid
  • Step by step to cooking with a Dutch oven
  • Ways to cook outdoors
  • My number one preparedness priority
  • How to cook with an open fire
  • How to use a Dutch oven as a slow cooker or oven
  • Keeping your Dutch oven clean when water is scarce
  • Tips for poor weather cooking
  • Tools and tips for using with your Dutch oven
  • Tips for lowering and increasing the temperature

Dutch oven recipes:

Pioneering Today: 10 Tips to Grow Your Own Food

April 18, 2014:  Growing your own food is beneficial to your health, preparedness, survival, and frugality. These tips will help you grow your own food, regardless if you’re a first time gardener or a life timer grower.In this episode we’ll discuss:

  • Why you need to know your last frost date
  • How to grow and plant potatoes
  • Why and how to find your soil type
  • Easy way to tell your soil type without a test
  • Direct sow methods
  • Which plants like acidic soil and which don’t
  • How to amend your soil
  • Composting options-including how to get it for free
  • Tips for not being overwhelmed
  • Natural predator tips
  • Container plant options


How to use coffee grounds in your garden

How to plant and grow potatoes

10 Easy Steps to Grow Your Own Food (including links for last frost date, home soil test with baking soda and vinegar, and heirloom seed companies we trust) We’re an affiliate for Seeds for Generations and love that this dad started his seed company to teach his children about growing your own food.

Free Heirloom Gardening Guide-Plant to Save Money

How to Grow Basil without Soil Indoors

Seeds of Generation

Pioneering Today: The Benefits of Growing Your Own Food

April 11, 2014: In this episode we’re going to talk about one of my favorite subjects and past times, the benefits of
growing your own food. We’ll discuss:

  • The 5 main benefits of growing your own food
  • The nutritional factor
  • The different type of plants/seeds
  • Grow your own food even if you don’t have much space

Resources: 10 Easy Steps to Grow Your Own Food

Seed Starting Tips

Pioneering Today: Raising Your Own Grass Fed Beef

April 4, 2014:  In today’s episode we’ll discuss:
Pioneering Today: IMG_0718
Reasons for Grass Fed Beef
Difference between grain and grass fed animals
Amount of pasture needed per animal
How to raise cattle if you don’t own land
How much beef do you need for a year
Fencing options and tips
Do you need a barn?
Shelter options
Breeding options- Do you need a bull?
When to butcher your cattle, time of year and age
Danger of breeding too young and how to avoid it


Pros and Cons of Raising Grass Feed Beef (including tips on how to purchase beef if you can’t raise it yourself)

Pioneering Today – Spring Foraging

IMG_0704March 21, 2014: Learning to forage can greatly reduce your grocery bill and increase your self-
sufficiency. In today’s episode we’ll discuss:

  • Spring foraging candidates
  • Why you should forage
  • How to forage morel mushrooms
  • When and where you can find morels
  • Safe picking techniques
  • How to safely prepare morels
  • Medicinal benefits of Nettles
  • How to forage nettle leaf
  • How to dry nettle leafs
  • How to make nettle leaf tea and infusions


How  toForage Morel Mushroom (has the link to the false morel)

Morel and Asparagus Quiche

The below information is what first put me on the path to using Nettle leafs. I’m a proud  affiliate for the Nourished Living Summit as it changed my health and life for the better, from just one of the presentations. I only endorse products I feel will benefit my readers and myself. It is free or you can purchase some of the recordings.

If you make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps me cover the cost of my website and my podcast. I truly thank you. But you really do get to listen for FREE!

Have you ever felt overwhelmed when it comes to making the best choices for your family?

The Nourished Living Summit brings together 69 natural health, wellness, and parenting professionals who are dedicated to helping parents care for their family naturally. These experts know that this parenting gig is not easy and as such are arming you with the information you need to either begin, continue, or expand your journey as a natural-minded parent.