• My Family
    About Me

    About me

    My grandparents on my mom’s side have an acre of land. In the front yard they have a fruit orchard with about 25 fruit trees. They have all kinds of fruit: apples, peaches, plums, pears, apricots, cherries and an almond tree. In the back yard is a very large vegetable garden. They also have grapes, as well as two types of raspberries, black and red.  Growing up I spent a lot of time at my grandparents house, especially in the yard. When they had a bumper crop of something my mom, aunt, and grandma would all work together to get the fruit preserved. We would go to grandma’s house early…

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  • Yellow Pears
    Dehydrating,  Preserving

    Pear Fruit Leather

    If you have three pear trees you end up with a lot of pears. I needed a way to use up a lot of pears at once. Our family’s favorite way to eat pears, besides fresh, is fruit leather. I pack it in lunches and share it with friends. It is so great we eat it like it’s candy.  Except I feel much better about giving my kids homemade fruit leather instead of candy. It is a pretty simple process, although it does take some time. But if stored correctly it will last over a year. The dehydration process preserves it.  I usually wash mine just to get the dust…

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  • pepper plant
    Garden,  Growing Produce

    Starting a Garden

    A friend of mine had some questions, and I want to answer them for her as quickly as possible. I thought there might be some others who would appreciate the questions she had. How do I compost quickly and easily to make the best garden? There are a lot of ways to compost. If you haven’t already read my post on our compost pile you can read it here. If this is your first spring planting a garden, you are probably too late to do much composting this year. I would start thinking about it for next year though. Composting is a great way to put nutrients back into the…

  • apple chips in glass jar
    Dehydrating,  Preserving

    Apple Chips

    My kids love apple chips! In fact, I have yet to meet a kid that didn’t like my apple chips. It is a great way to use apples. A bucket full of apples will fill up my dehydrator.  How to make apple chips the short version : clean the apples peel and slice apples  rinse  make them taste delicious: (these are all optional, but might make the difference between stored and devoured, just say’n) Lemon juice (so they don’t turn as brown) Sugar Cinnamon Nutmeg Cloves lay them out on dehydrator tray or baking sheet dry the heck out of them, in other words, wait try not to eat them all at…

  • tomatoes
    Preserving

    Tomatoes!

    I love tomatoes! There is nothing like a juicy red tomato on your sandwich. The sad pale pink things you get at restaurants just don’t compare to what you get out of a garden. Plus there is the added feeling of accomplishment of eating something that you grew. However if you do have your own tomato plant chances are you have more tomatoes than you can eat on your sandwiches. Soooo… What can you do with tomatoes? Here is a list of things I have tried and enjoyed: Salsa (canned or fresh) Spaghetti sauce (canned or fresh) dehydrated, you can use as “sun dried tomatoes”  tomato powder: put dried tomatoes in…

  • Uncategorized

    Grapes

    What do I do with grapes? This was actually my first year really harvesting a good batch of grapes. They were so overgrown when we got here that it was hard to find them and there were not very many.  As I may have mentioned previously, this is my grandma’s yard and she loves every growing thing in it. So, even though the grapes were terribly over run and an unrecognizable variety, I resisted the urge to just tear them out and start over. It turns out that that was the right decision.  When we moved in I didn’t know a lot about grapes so I scoured the interned to…

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    Our Great Peach Tree

    Our peaches this year were glorious! My grandma has like eight peach trees. I really like peaches, but I have to say, more than two or three peach trees is probably too many. However, in my grandma’s defense, there are only one or two of each variety. There are early peaches, one white peach tree, some regular free-stone orange peaches, and some cling-stone peach trees. The cling-stone trees are worthless to me. They are the last to ripen and the hardest to use. I hate to even give them away, at least not to friends; they might not stay my friends.  There is however, one peach tree that stands above…

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  • Growing Produce,  Preserving,  Thoughts

    Give Thanks!

    This week we celebrated Thanksgiving. It is great to be reminded to give thanks for all that we have. I got so busy toward the end of the summer that I just didn’t do anything on the blog. I put up a lot of fruits and vegetables. I took a lot of pictures and videos; but, I haven’t post anything for a long time. Now that it has started snowing I will take a break from working outside. I got a little bit overwhelmed at the end of the summer/fall. I had so much produce that I was trying to take care of,  I just couldn’t do it all. I…

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  • turning the compost pile
    Garden

    Compost Pile

    It is starting to feel like fall. The leaves have turned colors and are dropping off the trees. There is frost on the ground when we wake up. The garden season is officially over. Time to get ready for winter. This week we pulled up all the plants left in the garden and chopped them for the compost pile. We used a big shredder that my grandpa had in the shed. All the stuff went in whole in one end and came out in pieces on the other end.  We also raked the leaves and picked them up with the lawnmower. My hubby did that part. I raked everything away…

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    Peaches;When you have extra.

    What else to do besides can them? If you have already bottled all the peaches you could ever want. You gave away as many as you could and you still have more. What would you do with the rest of the peaches before they go bad? Try freezing them! They are great in smoothies or baked goods. You could even use them for jam later.  I recommend putting some lemon juice on them first to keep the color nice. I like to fill a bowl with water and a tablespoon of lemon juice that I drop slices in as I cut them. I just pull them out when I have…

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