How To Keep Deer Out Of The Garden

Deer can destroy even a large garden in as little as one or two trips.  Although we love their beauty and they can be quite entertaining to watch, we are not often overly happy to share our food with them.  There are exceptions of course, but our family eats what we grow–so it’s really important to us that they stay out.

If you have deer in your area like we do, then take a look at these six techniques to keep them out of your garden, or at least from eating your produce.

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Hoss Wheel Hoe And Attachment Review (Plow, Sweeps, Hoe)

* I was provided the following garden tools from Hoss in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.*

 

For a short and intense season each year, our family is immersed in our garden.  Yes, immersed.

By 5 a.m. most members are in one of the gardens or fields.  We are busy cultivating, dreaming, planting, laughing, watering, weeding, sharing, eating, living, harvesting.

This is an almost daily ritual that consumes our mornings, and eats our days until lunch time.  And as soon as the evening starts to cool, we are often back for more.

Nothing grows a family together like growing a family garden and running a family farm.  And you better believe, all my children have a work ethic.  Growing food brings us together, teaches us values, commitment, loyalty, and a love for the soil.

This year, we were generously supplied the Hoss Double Wheel Hoe with some attachments.  We have been using the cultivating teeth, oscillating hoe, plows, and sweeps in our garden growing rituals and they have been a real blessing.

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Starting A Farm Without Debt: Buying Equipment First

One of the most heartbreaking things a farmer has to go through is purchasing necessary items for his/her farm.  Land and equipment prices are often into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  By the time you buy even a small piece of land, minimal equipment, and a small herd/flock, you could be in debt a million dollars.

Farming, however, isn’t like other businesses–you don’t necessarily make back what you put in monetarily.

Out of curiosity the Farmer and I looked into a small (couple hundred acre) farm loan and what it would take to pay it off.  After we did the math we learned two key things:

First, we would have to have a great crop each and every year in order to have a chance of paying it off.  If there was ever one year when a natural disaster happened, we couldn’t make it and all our work would have been in vein.

The second thing we learned was that even if we had excellent yields on a consistent basis, the odds were we would never live long enough to pay off our loans.  It was highly likely one (or more) of our children would inherit our debt.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d love to think that one or more of my children will want to stay on the farm and finish paying it off.  But…what if they don’t?  What if the Farmer and I put our blood, sweat, and tears into a farm and upon our death our children just got rid of it.  In our eyes, that would mean we’d never own our farm.

These are sobering facts.  When you do the math, it becomes clear pretty quickly that taking a loan out to start a farm puts you in a position of being a slave to the payments–most likely for the rest of your life.

Sound depressing?  Maybe so–and that should be even more of a reason why if you want to start your own farm you should try to do everything you can to avoid debt.

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Evolution Of A Homestead Orchard: From The Beginning

We have 11 apple trees that our grandparents planted on our smaller portion of the larger family homestead.  I can’t even begin to count how many plum trees we have.  There’s a double line of russian olives that act as a wind break.  At the time that we began thinking about putting in an actual orchard, that’s all there was.

If we wanted serviceberries, chokecherries, elderberries, pears, or other produce, then we needed to forage for them.  Some fruits that we desired weren’t even available to forage and we had to purchase or barter for them if we wanted them.

We decided when the family started growing and our economic situation allowed us, that we would start growing an orchard.  We had to answer questions such as, How much do we plant?  What do we plant?  Where will we put it? and How will we water it?

After we figured this out, we realized we couldn’t plant an entire acre (the portion of land we chose) all at once.  We needed to add trees each year.  Two more questions that we now needed to answer came up.  Where do we start? and How do we keep the weeds away?

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Making And Canning Blueberry Pie Filling

*This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on one and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no cost to you.  Thank you for supporting this site.*

 

We’ve been trying to decide how to preserve our berries this year.  I thought about making blueberry syrup this year, but changed my mind at the last minute and decided to make blueberry pie filling instead.

So far no one has complained, and there are just enough berries leftover to make a breakfast cake.

Pie filling is not hard to make, but does take an eye for detail and a bit of fast hand-work.

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Have You Discovered Your Local Forest Yet?

Here in the Rockies, the sight of nature is no stranger to our eyes.  Specifically here in Idaho, we are surrounded by beautiful scenic nature at nearly every turn.

Even so, our family absolutely loves to get out when farm life allows and explore our local ice caves, trails, canyons, and of course, forests.  We are blessed to be surrounded with such majestic areas such as Craters Of The Moon, The Soda Springs Geyser (the world’s only captive geyser), natural hot pools, ice caves, and more.

For a longer drive, we can visit the Grand Teton Mountains, Caribou-Targhee National Forrest, and our 2016 summer getaway destination: glorious Yellowstone National Forrest.

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How To Dehydrate Asparagus

Because asparagus is such a short-seasoned vegetable, it’s important to know how to preserve it a variety of ways if you want to enjoy it throughout the rest of the year.  If you know how to dehydrate asparagus, then you’ve got a key ingredient for your casseroles, soups and sauces all winter long.

Since we are huge fans of asparagus, a good cream of asparagus soup as the snow falls is always welcome.  To prepare for that, we keep all the ends and pieces that aren’t long enough to pickle in the late spring and pull out our dehydrator.

Here’s how to dehydrate asparagus yourself:

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A Toolkit For Women Farmers

*This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may make a profit at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for supporting this site.*

 

Although it hasn’t always been true for me, farming is now a way of life that I have quite comfortably woven my life around.  I eat, sleep and breathe farm life.  There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that we work hard, and with God’s grace are able to produce clean quality food that will feed many families.

Our crop variety and production as well as the meat we supply, rotate with the markets in an ever changing way that not even we understand at times.  But one thing remains a constant: my Farmer who was born on and raised as a farmer on this homestead has always known what to do and how to do it.

It’s not a secret in our tight group of friends that should the Farmer pass away first, I would not be able to run the farm the same way he does.  Even though I am involved in so much of what goes on and the decisions made, without him, I couldn’t even pretend things wouldn’t have to change.

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Starting A Farm Without Debt: Buying Land First

Farms are expensive.  Very expensive.  In fact, anyone buying a sizable farm will likely not pay for that farm in their lifetime.

There will always be repairs to be made, tractors to upgrade, new bulls to be purchased, and seed to be bought.  But when you’re just looking at start-up costs, you can easily spend half a million dollars on a small 100 acre farm.

Farmers don’t have this kind of money.  I’m not talking about huge corporate farms–I’m talking about a family who just wants to grow good, honest, healthy food for folks.

So when your dream is just to grow food, and you aren’t loaded going into your journey, where do you start?

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Saving Money In The Garden And On The Homestead? Easy.

*This is a sponsored post and contains affiliate links.*

 

Any serious gardener will tell you that gardening is an expensive hobby.  Even when you are growing all your own crops and plants from the seeds you save every year, you still have to think about structures.  There will always be raised beds to build, fences to erect, gates to attach, and barns to update.

Using reclaimed and recycled materials can get you a long way if you’re determined to save money.  But there are some projects that you just need to go out and buy materials for.

We’re in that place right now.

It’s fencing season.  We are needing to repair a mile of pasture fence, and repair our deer fence around the main preservation garden.  We will need new supplies: posts, panels, and fencing staples for both projects.  The cost?  Into the thousands of dollars.

We’ve been putting it off for a couple years, but this year we have to get it done.  We are in a position now where we have to figure out a way to pay for some new materials.

And then we were told about the most amazing news we’ve heard all month.

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