How to Use Your Berry Harvest – Farm Fresh Tuesday (#11)

This week in our Farm Fresh Tuesday Blog Hop, our featured posts will give you some great ideas on how to use your berry harvest, and how to go berry picking with your kids! Scroll down to find out more! Tips on Growing Your Own Berries I grow a lot of berries on our homestead. So far, we are growing Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackerries, Honey Berries, and Currants.  So I thought I would share a couple of my own tips on growing berries here, before I share ideas from our featured posts on how to use your berry harvest! Mulching Your Berries   My first tip, is to MULCH! Mulching really really cuts down on weeding and watering! It basically makes your job growing berries, easier! And you will get a bigger berry harvest! Check out my article The Secret to Easy Gardening, NO WEEDING with Mulch! Protect Your Berries from Birds and Deer My second tip, is to protect your most valued crop of berries from birds and deer. We finally had to do this for our blueberry bushes. You can do this by using a simple bird netting. However, when I used that cheap one, be forewarned, the birds can get caught up in it very easily and die. Especially if it is just draped over the pushes. It is best to build a framework over your berries, that supports the netting. This can be made quite simply with PVC or 2×4’s. But if you want to really protect the birds, consider using this Deluxe Bird Barricade Netting which is designed to prevent the birds from getting caught in the netting. Freezing Your Berry Harvest My third tip, is grow as many berries as you can, and FREEZE THEM! It is so easy to…

How and When to Harvest Garlic

When is it time to harvest your garlic? Today I will share the clues you need to know it is time! Today we are talking all about how and when to harvest garlic as well as how to cure and store garlic! How Long Does Garlic Take to Grow? For the largest garlic cloves, garlic seed which is actually just garlic cloves, should be planted in the fall, before the first hard freeze. Because of this, I like to think of planting garlic, as the beginning of a new growing year. In our neck of the woods, zone 8b outside Seattle, Columbus Day is usually the target date, or mid October. For the best selection of garlic, it should be ordered online mid summer. Most places run out quickly of favorite varieties. Here is a page showing what Amazon currently has in stock: Garlic Seed My absolute favorite variety is Music Garlic. Great flavor and huge cloves! Big cloves are key to being one of my favorites. I have grown varieties where the cloves are teeny tiny and it is no fun peeling them! You can plant it later and it will do fine. In fact, you can plant it in early spring if you like. However, you will get much smaller garlic cloves as a result. Around here, harvest time is usually late June to early July. So that makes it around 8-9 months for it to grow and be ready for harvest. Related Article You May Be Interested In: How to Store Onions Thru the Winter The Benefits of Freezing Your Tomato Harvest How to Freeze Your Green Bean HarvestOur favorite Homesteading & Gardening things in our Amazon Store! Pros and Cons of Hard Neck vs Soft Neck Garlic What’s the difference between these two…

How to Freeze Your Green Bean Harvest

Today we are going to be talking about different ways to preserve string beans, with a tutorial on how to freeze your green bean harvest! Beans are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. Therefore, it is a good idea to know how to preserve them so you can enjoy them for a long time to come, fresh out of your garden! Preserving Your Green Beans In this article, I will share a tutorial on how to freeze your green bean harvest. I think this is the easiest way to preserve them, and the method that retains some of their crisp fresh flavor the best. You can also can them or pickle them. I will talk about each of these methods in more detail below. Other articles you may be interested in: The Easiest Way to Preserve Berries, Freeze Them! The Benefits of Freezing Your Tomato Harvest How to Preserve Pumpkins & Winter Squash by Roasting and Freezing Our favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop! Fresh Green Beans vs Dry Shelling Beans Just to be clear, when I say green beans, I am talking about string beans vs dry beans. Varieties of string beans that I am talking about are Provider Green Beans, Yellow Wax Beans, Kentucky Pole beans and many others. These are also referred to as snap, green and wax beans. I am not referring to beans that you grow for dry shelling beans, such as Black Turtle Beans, Cannellini Lingot Beans or Dark Red Kidney Beans. Dry Shelling Beans, are grown for the seed inside the string bean, whereas string beans, are grown for the whole bean , where you eat the shell and the seed beans inside. Preserving Dry Shelling Beans These are the easiest beans of all to preserve. You let the beans…

The Easiest Way to Preserve Berries, Freeze Them! (step by step instructions!)

Don’t let your berries go to waste! If you can’t use them fresh, simply freeze them! Berry season is right around the corner, and in this article we will teach you the easiest way to preserve berries, freeze them! Freezing berries this way allows you to grab just what you need, when you need them, all year long, and it is super simple to do. Learn how to freeze raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and more! Other articles you may be interested in:The Easiest Way to Preserve Beans Benefits of Freezing your Tomato Harvest How to Preserve Pumpkins and Squash by Roasting and FreezingCheck out all of our favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop! Berry Season Preserving: Strawberries, Raspberries and Blueberries! Berry season begins here in the PNW in June. Starting with strawberries, than raspberries and blueberries. These are the 3 types of berries we have had for years and always enjoy. But we are trying to broaden the types of fruit we have on the homestead. So last year we planted some currants, elderberries and golden raspberries. This year we planted some honey berries and I have my eye on Josta berries too but haven’t found them locally yet. Benefits or Freezing Berries Having loads of homegrown berries in the freezer is an excellent way to preserve them. They are great for adding to smoothies, cereal or ice cream toppings, pies, crumbles or what have you. Another benefit is you can pull them out to can jam, jelly or pie fillings, in the dead of winter. There is also a lot of cost savings freezing your own, vs buying fresh or frozen berries thoughout the year. Sometimes I find we are just too busy at harvest time, to get all…

Which Pressure Canner Should You Get?

Which pressure canner should you get? If you are currently pondering this question, than you are in the right place. If you aren’t wondering which one to get, than either I hope you already have one, or, you should read my article 15 Reasons Why You Should Be Pressure Canning. Today I am going to compare two of the most popular models of pressure canners, the Presto 23 Quart and the All American 30 Quart. See all of my Food Preservation related posts here. Please check out all of our favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop! Pressure Canning Hobby Pressure canning is a fun and productive hobby that is also very rewarding. And I don’t know about you, but a hobby that SAVES me money, instead of costing me money, is a big win in my book. Now, if you are thinking, I don’t know, pressure canning sounds scary. Trust me. It is not. However, I will be the first to admit, when I got mine for Christmas a few years ago, it sat in my closet because I was scared. Until the following August when I had beans to harvest. Then, after using it only a couple of times, I really could have kicked myself for not using it sooner. And then I bought myself a second one. Because really, if you are going to run one of them, why not run two? Get the Biggest Pressure Canner You Can Afford OK, now onto my tips about buying a pressure canner. For the same reason I bought myself a second pressure canner, I will recommend getting the biggest pressure canner you can afford. If you are going to go thru the process of running a pressure canner, don’t…

15 Reasons Why You Should Be Pressure Canning

follow my blog with Bloglovin Today, I am going to share with you 15 reasons why you should be pressure canning. Many folks are frightened by pressure canners, but they really shouldn’t be. They are easy to use, and if used correctly, there is nothing to be scared of. You might also be interested in my article Which Pressure Canner Should You Get? where I compare two of the most popular models, the 23 Quart Presto and the 30 Quart All American. Please check out my other articles on Food Preservation! And also check out our favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop!   Educating Yourself on How to Safely Use a Pressure Canner If you are interested in getting a pressure canner, please treat yourself to this book: The All New Ball Book of Home Canning and Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled and Preserved Recipes. This is a link to the latest edition, which came out in May of 2016. It is best to own a copy, because you will refer to it again and again and again. Mine has many notes and bookmarks on favorite recipes and I am sure yours will too. Please do not use older editions, as many aspects of canning have changed over the years, and things that may have been deemed safe years ago, may no longer be considered safe. Same goes for how your mom or grandma canned. Things they did back in the day, may not be safe methods to follow now. Please always follow safe canning practices for the sake of your family and friends who may partake in your canned goods.Once you have your hands on this book, think of it as your in house canning guide. Read it from…