• Uncategorized

    Black Raspberry Jam

    When our fruit starts to ripen it seems like it is all we can do to keep up with the harvest. To give myself a little breathing room I have discovered that freezing raspberries is a big time saver. When my raspberries are ripe I try to get out and pick them every morning. That is the way to get the raspberries at their peak of freshness. I don’t always have enough raspberries in a single day to make much jam with. And the times I have tried to save up two days worth, the first day’s pick either gets soggy or it gets eaten, which isn’t necessarily a bad…

  • pile of pruned sticks
    Growing Produce,  Pruning trees and bushes

    Why I Prune Fruit Trees

    If you have a fruit tree, you should prune it. I have learned this through personal experience. The first time we pruned my grandparents trees we had a bunch of family come and help. We were only planning on staying for one semester (ha ha, so much for plans) and it had been a few years since the trees had been pruned. I figured I would learn a lot. I was totally shocked when my family members started asking my opinion on which branches to cut. I quickly realized how clueless I really was. When we didn’t end up moving out at the end of the semester I decided I…

  • A freshly turned compost pile
    Garden

    Turning Compost

    One of the things we do during the winter to make our garden better is to keep a compost pile. My husband is the one who really gets credit for this. I am just along for the ride, but I am learning a lot. I have posted about compost before, so I won’t go into detail about how we get the compost pile going. Just read the other post if you want to know more. This month we have turned it a couple of times, and I got some really great pictures that I wanted to show you. After we finished turning it. (Yes, I actually took a turn pitching…

  • Garden,  Growing Produce

    Starting Seeds Inside

    Last week, February 6th, We woke up to a foot of snow on the ground. And yet, we thought it would be a good idea to start our seeds. A little crazy. But, it also gives me hope that the dark cold days will end at some point. We decided to try planting our own starts again this year because we have a few varieties of plants that we really liked and we are not sure if they will be available at the nurseries near us. By the time we find out, it would be too late. Two years ago we found a variation of the Santa Fe pepper that…

  • girl and carrot
    Garden,  Growing Produce

    Why Garden?

    I was surprised by how much I have enjoyed gardening. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, such as myself, are encouraged to be self sufficient. One way we can increase our self sufficiency is by growing our own food. My parents and grandparents have always had gardens. As a kid I often helped in the garden. I have good and bad memories of that I usually got the impression from my parents that it was something that we should do and not something that they wanted to do. That may have just been because I was a kid and didn’t really want to be pulling weeds.…

  • 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…