How to Store Root Vegetables

As part of my deep love for gardening, I have always been interested in how to properly store, process and preserve the bounty of produce we bring in each summer. One method we tried out, with great success, was storing root vegetables in our basement.

Root cellars are fascinating, it’s amazing how well a cool, dark location can extend the shelf life of your produce.  I’ve done a lot of reading on different methods – from building a separate, underground root cellar, to how-to’s for basement storage.  Our basement is below ground, cool, with some moisture, making it ideal for storing. Continue reading “How to Store Root Vegetables”

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Harvesting Acorns

One fall activity I look forward to doing every year, is harvesting acorns. We have an abundance of oak trees on our property, and in the surrounding preserve, making these nuts easy to come by. The last two years, we have been blessed with a good, strong bumper crop – something I am sure the deer and wildlife love as much as we do!

We primarily use our acorns for making acorn bitters, an woodland take on Angostura bitters that is tannic, earthy and has a warm nutty flavor all at once. We add them to our fall cocktails, and they are a truly delicious treat! However there are many people out there who also use acorns to make their own acorn flour. Continue reading “Harvesting Acorns”

Composting – An Easy How-To Guide

Composting is a really easy and beneficial practice for any homestead or property. It’s a great way to utilize the inedible portions of fruits or vegetables, as well as scraps and bits that don’t make it into your dish. (For another use for vegetable scraps, check out our post on DIY: Stock!

Your compost pile can be as small or large as you like, and in addition to giving these scraps new life, you are building your very own supply of natural, organic fertilizer! I have been using our own compost as my only form of fertilizer and nutritional support for my garden beds for years now. Continue reading “Composting – An Easy How-To Guide”

Garden Planning Tips

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I absolutely love garden planning, to the point that I tend to start thinking about next year before I’ve even put this year’s garden to bed. I even find myself slightly disappointed in the lack of “work” there is to do in planning these days – I’ve honed in on those tried-and-true varieties, and really gotten the layout of my vegetable bed down to a science. Really, it plans itself nowadays! Continue reading “Garden Planning Tips”

Homestead Update: A Greenhouse

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One project that has been underway since March on our property is the building of our very own greenhouse – shed. This combination building was really an exciting project for me, as I have dreamed of having a greenhouse for years. With our growing homestead, we needed a space to organize the gardening tools, yard implements, our chicken bedding, feed and tools, as well as our new assortment of beekeeping equipment.  Continue reading “Homestead Update: A Greenhouse”

How to Keep A Garden Journal

I’ve been keeping a garden journal for several years now. Some years were more detailed than others, or I kept more frequent notes, and other years I only jotted down my varietals and a few early weather notes. Since moving to our current property, I’ve “upgraded” my note taking to include all homesteading things: wildlife sightings, chicken and bee keeping notes, gardening, weather, seed starting, and even our canning totals!

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Keeping a log or journal can seem like a daunting task at first – how do you get started? What do you need? I’ve found that over the years my needs have changed, and being open to adapting and changing your format is key to a successful journal.  Continue reading “How to Keep A Garden Journal”

How to Choose a Location for your Beehive

While my husband and I are still very much novice beekeepers (ahem, to date, we have only had our hives for three days), we hungrily read books and articles, scoured the web for beekeeping blogs, watched YouTube videos endlessly, and took a local Beekeeping 101 course. Eager to learn all we could before the arrival of our new neighbors, one of the biggest decisions we had to make was where to place the hives.

Continue reading “How to Choose a Location for your Beehive”

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