• 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…

  • Canning,  Growing Produce,  Preserving

    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…

  • peaches in tree
    Growing Produce,  Pruning trees and bushes

    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…