No matter your cause for preparedness, from a financial need to getting ready for the end of the world, it’s impossible to have enough food storage to last forever. Even if you could, stored food will never have the nutritional value or financial benefits of gardening for yourself.
These posts should give you tips and experiences we have found as we’ve worked to get better at gardening ourselves. Learn to overcome the difficulties involved in growing food in Utah and the rest of the Intermountain west.
The other day I picked up a new gardening book from the hardware store. Its cover wasn’t cluttered with photographs like so many other gardening and home improvement books; in fact, the only photo on the cover was of an obviously-distressed leaf. The rest of the cover was largely devoted to the full title of the book: What’s Wrong With My Plant? (And How Do I Fix It?): A Visual Guide to Easy Diagnosis and Organic Remedies, by David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth. This was actually the first thing that caught my eye. I don’t like when books try to glam themselves up in an attempt to conceal the vapid content inside. This book looked like it was ready to get down to business, and so I picked it up and started leafing through it. It didn’t take me long to decide to buy it. Continue reading “Book Review: What’s Wrong With My Plant?”
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.
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: Continue reading “Super Easy Currant Jelly”
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.
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.
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”
This year has been a big experiment in new canning recipes, and foods. In doing that, my wife especially has been learning a lot as she has stretched beyond some of the basic recipes we’ve used in previous years.
Well, over on her own blog, my wife made a comment about something she’s learned this year. Go check out what she’s learned on the difference between liquid and powdered pectin.
And boy has she been using that a lot this year. I’ve been grabbing pictures to post up here, hopefully I can get to it soon.
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.
I have been searching for the best way to store zucchini and have found the answer: in bread. Instead of trying to freeze the zucchini itself, make it into bread first and freeze the loaves.
Other options that I am trying are freezing the shredded zucchini pre-measured in individual bags and as bread dough, pre-measured in individual, disposable baking tins. Freezing the shredded zucchini allows for convenience as you only have to thaw exactly what you need and it’s already measured for the recipe. The frozen dough is even more convenient as it only requires baking, saving you time and a messy kitchen. The most convenient option of course is pre-baked loaves though as they come out of the freezer ready to eat. I’m going to do some comparisons through the winter to see how much of a difference in taste and texture there is between bread baked from frozen dough and the pre-baked frozen loaves. If it turns out that the frozen loaves are just as good as freshly baked bread, then I will stick with that. It’s much easier and saves a lot of electricity to have a baking day where you cook it all at once. Continue reading “Store zucchini in bread”
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.