Hi! I’m Jana Dziak, the founder, primary writer, recipe developer, and voice behind The Peasant’s Daughter!

A tall woman with long, dark brown hair wears a white dress and holds a duck in her hand. The duck is a male Rouen mallard. She is leaning against a rustic wooden fence next to a baby who is facing away from the camera. The baby is wearing a grey onesie and has light brown hair. It is late summer.

The Peasant’s Daughter is a journey of rediscovery into self-sufficiency and sustainable living.

Explore regenerative homesteading and no-till gardening on 3 acres. Learn about traditional farm-to-table cooking techniques and food preservation. Make family-friendly real-food meals with my growing collection of heritage American, Slavic, and Central European recipes. Learn all about small-livestock care for your chickens, ducks, geese, sheep and goats.

Start homesteading wherever you are with what you already have.

You can also find me on Instagram and Facebook for a more intimate behind-the-scenes look at everything we do here on the homestead.

I’m a Croatian immigrant married to a Slovak man. With our growing family of two boys, we are homesteading on 3 acres in Zone 6 after leaving the city behind forever.

I see myself as a steward of the land we are fortunate to live on, and I strive for regenerative and holistic homesteading practices that give back as much as we take.

Here you’ll find:

  • Old-fashioned recipes from the Slavic, Eastern, and Central European countries alongside classic American recipes.
  • Budget-friendly cuisine, peasant dishes, & family-friendly recipes for busy people.
  • Traditional desserts from America and Europe.
  • Gardening & growing guides that focus on regenerative, no-till, permaculture, and organic principles. The easiest and best ways to grow an abundant food garden in a way that gives back to the land.
  • Small flock and backyard chicken-keeping advice: take the mystery and hesitation from owning your own egg-laying and/or meat chicken.
  • Small livestock advice on sheep, geese, ducks, goats and more!
  • Small homestead advice — we have 3 acres, which is PLENTY for most of our needs. You may be shocked at what is possible on a small amount of land. Even your backyard can be designed to produce so much abundance for you and your family.

More About Me

My husband and I took a leap of faith and traded the chaos of city life for the tranquility of the countryside to follow our dreams of homesteading. I firmly believe that homesteading starts with you and that you can do nearly everything I do here from your condo, suburban backyard, or wherever you may live.

 

Family photo: me, my husband and our two young sons sitting on a stone wall.

My Story

I am a graduate of Horticulture at the University of Guelph, English Literature at The University of Toronto and also LEED.

I worked as an auditor and consultant for various corporations in ISO9001.

I have worked in many restaurants and grew up learning how to garden and care for animals alongside my family.

But my story starts long before all that.

That’s me as a baby with my mother and big brother in Croatia.

My mother was the youngest daughter of eight children; her parents were the typical subsistence farmers eking out an existence in the rugged mountains of our troubled but beautiful homeland.

My family had fled the seemingly never-ending political turmoil of the Balkans and escaped the communism and war of our Croatian homeland to make a better life in Canada.

I grew up between two places.

The first place was my new modern city life in Toronto; the second was in the dusty forgotten villages of my homeland, where I would go back in time each summer.

In many ways, my life stood in such stark contrast to my Canadian-born peers who ate differently and thought differently.

I would return to Canada, confused by who I was and my place in the world.

The peasant's daughter and son on the homestead

And as much as I tried to escape my roots and traditions, they would ultimately claim me.

This blog is a love letter to those traditions and a resource to those of you who feel the same yearning, and hear the same call.

The modern homesteading movement is a way to slow down and create a healthier and more wholesome life, one of connection to the land and to ourselves.

And the deep sense of meaning and contentment that this life brings makes sense in a way the modern world and all of its conveniences simply can’t.

Whether you have several acres in the country, a small suburban backyard, a community garden and a condo, or live off the grid far from society. None of that matters.

There is a movement of people like us, a remembering of the old ways, a return to the simpler and quieter lives of our ancestors.

The Peasant’s Daughter is a journey through the lives of the women that came before me.

Where to Start?

Follow me on Instagram for more personal, behind-the-scenes content.

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