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…

7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Blue Jarrahdale Pumpkins

Today I am going to share with you why I think everyone should grow Blue Jarrahdale Pumpkins! One of my most favorite foods to grow, are the beautiful blue Jarrahdale Pumpkins. Everyone who has a vegetable garden should grow them! If you don’t, you will see them at your neighbors house and wish you had some of your own! It is almost seed buying time, so definitely put these on your list! OK, here we go, these are the reasons why you need to grow blue Jarrahdale Pumpkins! And be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for a great list of other fun pumpkins to grow! You might also be interested in these other related articles: How to Preserve Pumpkin and Winter Squash by Roasting and Freezing Hearty Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats Recipe Our favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop! 1. They are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! Just look at them! They are a gorgeous blue-green-greyish color. They contrast beautifully with the traditional orange, or also look great with white pumpkins, for a more modern farmhouse design! Stack them in alternating colors on your front porch, and you will be the envy of your neighborhood! 2. They are a great investment! If you are trying to get a lot of bang for your buck in the food department, you need to grow these. If cured correctly, (let sit in the sun for 7-10 days after harvesting, which allows the skin to harden) they can last up to 12 months in a cool dark place in your home like a closet or unheated room, even under a bed. On average, mine have weighed about 15 lbs each, some get much larger than that even! That is easy peasy long lasting, whole, real…

Tips on How to Prune Apple Trees on the Homestead (with video)

Today I will be Sharing My Tips on How to Prune Apple Trees on the Homestead! Pruning apple trees is essential to keep them in good health, and to produce good yields. Many people are overcome and don’t know where to start when it comes to pruning their own apple trees. Let this article be your guide, and hopefully it will help alleviate your fears. Other related articles you may be interested in: Simple Easy No Work DIY Composting The Secret to Easy Gardening, use Mulch for NO WEEDING! Seed Starting 101: Winter SowingOur favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop! Tools to Use when You Prune Apple Trees These two tools are recommended by mastor arborist Paul Gautschi, who I talk about below. This Samurai Japanese pruning saw cuts through the branches like butter. And these Felco F-8 pruners, are excellent. Paul has used his pruners for so long, the red plastic layer on the handles has worn off to the blue beneath. I really like how they came with an extra blade as well. Do NOT use loppers. They are not the best tool for pruning. Where I Learned How to Prune Apple Trees Thankfully, I watched the Back to Eden gardening film online a few years ago. The film is a documentary, featuring Paul Gautschi, a master arborist. Not only does he share his famous no-till method of gardening with wood chips, but he also opens up his garden once a week in the summers for tours. He also opens up it up for pruning lessons in the winter and teaches people how to prune apple trees. I have on my bucket list to get over there and see his work first hand, as he is also in the Pacific NW…