Bee Keeping Classes in Utah County, Early 2011

 

Beginning Beekeeper’s Class

Bee Keeping is fun and relatively inexpensive.

Maple Mountain Bee Company is hosting another round of bee keeping classes over the next couple months. As you may recall, Bryan Esquivel of Maple Mountain Bees authored a guest post for us in the past about how he got started in bee keeping. You can find the article here.

These are free classes, held in Bryan’s home. If you have any questions on the schedule, please contact Bryan using the contact information below.

Continue reading “Bee Keeping Classes in Utah County, Early 2011”

Super Easy Currant Jelly

Our currant bushes finally put on enough currants this year that the kids couldn’t keep up with eating them all, so we had currants left to make some currant jelly.

Our currant bushes finally put on enough currants this year that the kids couldn’t keep up with eating them all, so we had currants left to make some currant jelly.
This is super easy jelly to make and one of my favorite flavors because it’s a nice combination of tart and sweet.  Here’s what you’ll need:
red currants
Continue reading “Super Easy Currant Jelly”

Beginning Bee Kepping Class in Utah County April 17th

Beginning Beekeeper’s Class

Bee Keeping is fun and relatively inexpensive.

I took this class last year and obtained my equipment through Maple Mountain bees. It has proven to be a fun and rewarding experience for my family and I. The 60lbs. of honey we got our first year wasn’t bad either!

Bryan Esquivel of Maple Mountain Bees authored a guest post for us in May of last year about how he got started in bee keeping. You can find the article here.

When:

April 17th (2pm-4pm).

Where:

1475 North 900 West Mapleton, Utah.
Continue reading “Beginning Bee Kepping Class in Utah County April 17th”

Book Review: All New Square Foot Gardening

Reviewing the square foot gardening book from a new gardener.

I first heard about square foot gardening a few years ago from a friend who swore by it. Looking at his garden, I could see why: he had a bounty of chiles and tomatoes to make any salsa enthusiast drool. At the time, I was unaware that there was a book involved; I thought that it was only a fad. Turns out there’s a little more to it than that.

I picked up All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew last year towards the end of the growing season. After careful consideration, I have broken the emphasis of this book into four main points: Continue reading “Book Review: All New Square Foot Gardening”

Growing and Harvesting Dry Beans

One of my garden experiments this year was growing dry beans.  Most of the “survival seed” packs have a variety of beans in them.  I had five different kinds of dry bean seeds in addition to my usual favorite green bean varieties, so had plenty of beans growing in the garden this year.  The dry bean varieties I planted were Calypso, Jacob’s Gold Cattle Bean, Jacob’s Cattle Bean, Black Valentine, and Mayflower.  I also planted Blue Lake Bush Beans and Royalty Purple Pod Beans just for eating.

Dry Beans, clockwise from top: Calypso, Jacob's Gold Cattle, Jacob's Cattle, Black Valentine, Mayflower
Dry Beans, clockwise from top: Calypso, Jacob's Gold Cattle, Jacob's Cattle, Black Valentine, Mayflower

One of my garden experiments this year was growing dry beans.  Most of the “survival seed” packs have a variety of beans in them.  I had five different kinds of dry bean seeds in addition to my usual favorite green bean varieties, so had plenty of beans growing in the garden this year.  The dry bean varieties I planted were Calypso, Jacob’s Gold Cattle Bean, Jacob’s Cattle Bean, Black Valentine, and Mayflower.  I also planted Blue Lake Bush Beans and Royalty Purple Pod Beans just for eating. Continue reading “Growing and Harvesting Dry Beans”

Dehydrating Peppers

Harvest season is upon us here in Utah, so I’ve been pretty busy preserving the harvest.  This year I grew pepper plants from seed and have LOTS of peppers in my garden.  Some are hot and some are mild.  This is a good thing if you like peppers a lot, but I do not.  Thankfully my husband does, but even a pepper lover like him can only eat so many peppers.  So what do we do with all those peppers?  We eat a few, put a few in salsa, and save the rest for later by dehydrating them.

Peppers courtesy of the garden
Peppers courtesy of the garden

Harvest season is upon us here in Utah, so I’ve been pretty busy preserving the harvest.  This year I grew pepper plants from seed and have LOTS of peppers in my garden.  Some are hot and some are mild.  This is a good thing if you like peppers a lot, but I do not.  Thankfully my husband does, but even a pepper lover like him can only eat so many peppers.  So what do we do with all those peppers?  We eat a few, put a few in salsa, and save the rest for later by dehydrating them.

Continue reading “Dehydrating Peppers”

Freezing green onions

green_onions

I pulled a bunch of onions this evening, sliced them up, and arranged them in the dehydrator to run through the night. A post on that will be coming soon. I thought I’d post a quick note about green onions tonight though. Just because you have more than you can eat, don’t throw the rest out. Freeze them! Green onions freeze well and they don’t even have to be blanched. The texture changes a little so you probably won’t want to each them in a salad, but besides that they do quite well. I have enough that I won’t need to buy green onions again. Really. I’ll still be pulling them out of the freezer when next year’s are ready to harvest.

Freezing broccoli and cauliflower

One of the most significant weaknesses in my gardening has been storing my harvest. Gardens aren’t just about fresh produce. People used to live off them year round. With so many people struggling to make ends meet or struggling to establish adequate food storage, I am surprised there are so few gardens. This year I have committed to educating myself on effective storage techniques and significantly adding to the variety and quality of my food storage with the fruits of my garden.

There are many ways to preserve and store food including canning, smoking, bottling, drying, and freezing. Each has it’s own advantages and weaknesses and varies in effectiveness depending on the food. For example, I could eat canned green beans with meatloaf every night of the week but would rather eat dirt than canned peas. Of course, if it really came down to it, I would likely choose to supplement the dirt with the canned peas to avoid death. Thus, I would recommend having a variety of food stored in several different methods.

Continue reading “Freezing broccoli and cauliflower”

Utah Garden Planning Documents

A while back we posted on a series of classes that the incomparable Gordon Wells was teaching throughout the Utah Valley. Some of you may have attended and hopefully have started out on your first gardening attempts or are implementing his teachings into your existing garden.

A coworker of mine went to the same class last year and implemented it in his garden that spring. He was amazed at the results he was able to obtain just by following the simple guidelines laid out by Mr. Wells. He was so impressed that he created a series of three PDF documents that simply and quickly illustrate when and what to plant. Continue reading “Utah Garden Planning Documents”

An attempt to build a rotating compost bin

I’m fascinated by compost. Watching kitchen scraps turn into dirt in just a few weeks time is exciting and anything I can do to improve my soil is worth the effort. I want the ComposTumbler, but finding $429 in the family budget (the price after you give them an email address) for a barrel that holds dirt is proving difficult. So, this past weekend I decided to build my own.

The project was not a success in my mind but I thought I would post this how-to article anyway describing what I tried and the lessons learned in the hope that it will save others of you time and money should you embark on such a project yourself. The unit is complete and in my garden cooking up a batch of compost at this very moment, but it is difficult to use, I have concerns about how long it will last, and the door doesn’t stay closed.
Continue reading “An attempt to build a rotating compost bin”

As my Garden Grows – So do my weeds!

My new garden is nearly a quarter acre, I had forgotten just how many weeds show up in a brand new garden!

corn1My new garden is nearly a quarter acre, I had forgotten just how many weeds show up in a brand new garden!

I’ve been gardening all my life – my Father got his Masters Degree in Agronomy and for as long as I can remember he has kept a very large garden, large enough to feed his family of 9.  Growing up we spent each spring building hills for the garden and planting, summers were spent weeding and maintaining and fall was always a huge harvest that the entire family participated in.

Continue reading “As my Garden Grows – So do my weeds!”

Gardening in Beds

I’m a relatively new bed gardener (just got ours built last year), but have already found that there are many benefits to laying out a garden in beds rather than rows.

I’m a relatively new bed gardener (just got ours built last year), but have already found that there are many benefits to laying out a garden in beds rather than rows.

Garden laid out in beds.  Pay no attention to the weeds--they are outside the beds!
Garden laid out in beds. Pay no attention to the weeds--they are outside the beds!

First is the increased production in less space.  Beans don’t need 18 inches between rows like the seed packet says.  That 18 inches is for you to walk between rows. Continue reading “Gardening in Beds”