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 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…

How to Preserve your Pumpkins and Winter Squash by Roasting and Freezing

Fall is in the air, and it is almost time to harvest those pumpkins and winter squash. These are one of my favorite foods to grow in the garden. They are super easy, just plant and forget about them. Than as fall comes around, it is like a treasure hunt to see how many you can find. Please check out all of our favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools over in our Amazon Shop! You might also be interested in our articles 7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Blue Jarrahdale Pumpkins as well as our Hearty Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats recipe. Preserve your Pumpkins and Winter Squash by Roasting and Freezing I always plant a lot of varieties of pumpkin and winter squash and we all enjoy harvesting them together. Most pumpkins and winter squash will easily keep for months if stored in a cool dark cupboard. I like to roast some of them and then put into the freezer for those lazy cooking days and it is nice to have on hand. You may also can pumpkin or squash in chunks using a pressure canner, but it is not safe to can it in a pureed form. In this article, I will teach you how to preserve your pumpkins and winter squash by roasting and freezing it. Also see my article on why you should also freeze some of your tomato harvest! Choosing the Pumpkins or Squash for Roasting My favorite pumpkin or squash to use for roasting is the Jarrahdale Pumpkin. It is a beautiful blue flattish pumpkin that is just stunning to look at. See my article 7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Blue Jarradahl Pumpkins. The meat of this pumpkin is similar to Butternut Squash, which is another favorite and works well with this method. But…

Benefits of Freezing your Tomato Harvest

Today I will share the many benefits of freezing your tomato harvest. You may ask, why post this now, in the spring, instead of late summer, when the harvest is rolling in? Well, last week, it was finally time to make some room in my freezer, and I pulled out the remaining nine one gallon size zip lock bags of frozen tomatoes. This was only about half of my tomato harvest from last year. I pulled out the other half back in November. Using up my frozen tomatoes, I thought now would be as good a time as any, to share all the benefits,  before it comes time to harvest the tomatoes, so that you will freeze some too! And maybe you will want to plant a few extra tomato plants! If so, check out my article on how to grow tomatoes from seed. Now let me tell you all the reasons why I freeze my tomatoes. Please be sure to check out all of our most favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop! Reason Numero Uno The main reason is, I don’t have a lot of time to deal with the tomatoes at the time of year when most of them are harvested. SO MUCH goodness is coming out of the garden at the same time, it is very difficult to try and preserve it all at the same time! The last week of August and first week in September, is one of our busiest times here on the homestead. My kids have shown at fair for over a dozen years, and those two weeks are fair weeks. Throw in the start of school, and the weeks before fair prepping everything. I am lucky if I have time to actually harvest the tomatoes! This is…