How To Make Sure You Actually Eat What You Grow This Year

If you have not started seeds for your garden yet this year, you are thinking about it.  The thrill starts when you open that seed catalog and start dreaming.

Then they come in the mail and you stare at your calendar until the day you can start putting them in the soil and giving them water.  You spend your hours trying not to check on them as often as possible until they finally germinate.

The day eventually comes when you can take them outside—and finally—plant them into the ground.  These are your babies.  Pride swells as you watch them grow.  Then one day, they are ready.

If you are like 99% of the vegetable growing population, you have planted too much of something at least once in your journey.  Maybe you even plant too much of one thing (or several) on a yearly basis.  (You would not be alone my Friend.)

We may grow different fruits and vegetables in our gardens, but the one thing we have in common is that we all have to figure out how best to utilize our loot or else watch it rot.  Here are some tips to make sure you are making the most of your haul this year.

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Serviceberry Syrup: AKA Saskatoon Berry Syrup

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We spend exactly one full day in July making a foraging trip in hopes of bringing home at least 5 gallons of serviceberries every year.  We’ll eat as many fresh that week as we can.  They don’t stay good long, so we have to preserve them as quickly as possible.

We do this by making serviceberry raisins, serviceberry fruit leathers, and freezing them.  If time permits, we make serviceberry juice and can it up as well.

Sometime during the winter, when I’m trying to empty my freezer, I’ll pull them out and get to canning other things like pie filling, jams, and today, serviceberry syrup.

This gives me more freezer space, and fills those pantry shelves that have been emptying out over our cold winter.

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How To Love A Farmer

One might think that you love a farmer the same way you would love another man.  That person is…wrong…

When I say love a farmer, I mean to love a farmer who is your other half—the man that completes you—the man that you would only be half a person without.

These men are special.

These men go without so others may have.

They love with a love so big that’s it often unseen.

These men are part of the hardworking providers that take care of many more than just their own families.  They feed my family, and they feed yours.  In their busy lives, they need a special kind of wife that knows just how to love them.

 

I don’t pretend to be perfect in the love I give to my Farmer.  I am flawed.  I make hideous, embarrassing, huge mistakes.  Yet my Farmer loves me anyway—unconditionally.  In our years, I have tried to pay very close attention to the main Farmer in my life, as well as the many others around me.

They are indeed, a very special breed.  They should come with special care instructions.  But, alas, they do not.  So I offer only what I believe to be the basic needs of any modern farmer.

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Canning Homemade Cranberry Sauce By Water Bath

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

 

I love cranberry sauce.  I love being able to make homemade cranberry sauce even more.  Canning my own cranberry sauce?  Heaven.

I’m not worried about all the extra ingredients, or if I’ll be able to find it at the stores on one of my two shopping trips to town each year.  I don’t have to worry about finding just the right brand, or going to another store if I can’t find what I want.

If I want it spiced?  Then I can make it just exactly how I like it.  I’m hoping to share with you how super easy and quick it is to make up the day you want it for dinner, but for today I’m sharing how I just canned up the last of this year’s loot.  I like to make 4 pints a year.  This recipe will make just that (plus a little bowl for consuming right away).

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Make Your Own No Sew Blanket

Fast, easy no sew blanket you can do in an hour. #NoSew Grace Garden And Homestead

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In our home, we make presents for each other, in lieu of worrying about what to buy for everyone—which often leads to gifts that just fill a box instead of leaving a lasting impression on a loved one’s heart.

A popular one this year was the no sew fleece blankets.  Kids as young as 7 in our home were making these.  It’s the perfect gift for those little hands as well as bigger ones that don’t sew.

And who wouldn’t want a soft, fuzzy blanket to cuddle up to?

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11 Things To Do With A Bumper Crop Of Onions

*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.*

 

Growing onions from bulbs is easy for a novice (or expert) gardener to do.  I regularly plant upwards of 600 a year myself.  Rarely, if ever, does a bulb decide not to grow into a large, juicy onion.

So what’s a gardener to do when an excited day in the spring garden leads to a bumper crop of onions in the fall?  I’ve got a few ideas for you…

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Nurturing Creativity: A Modern Twist On Vintage Toys

*This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are 100% my own.*

 

When I was around five years old, I remember my mother telling me she vowed when she was younger that her children would be part of the solution to this broken world—not the problem.  It’s stuck with me my entire life.

I’d be lying if I said my husband and I haven’t vowed the same thing for our children.

Our children will be part of the solution.

And in order to be part of the solution, we’ve got to nurture their compassion, selflessness, and creativity.

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How To Freeze Blackberries So They Don’t Stick Together

I generally only get one morning to pick blackberries each year—two if I have a ton of time on my hands.  This means we eat fresh berries every day for about a week.  Since blackberries don’t stay fresh for long, I have to preserve the rest as fast as I can.  For me, this means I freeze blackberries until I can pull them back out either for canning jams and sauces, or baking with them.

One of the most frustrating things I hear others complain about when it comes to freezing blackberries is that they are a solid mass of berry once they get pulled back out of the freezer.

Good news:  Not only do I know how to freeze them so they come out of the freezer as individual berries, but I’m also going to share that with you.  Don’t worry, it’s easy.

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Growing Self Sufficiency: Start Your Journey Of Self Sufficiency

*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.*

 

Self sufficiency is a growing trend right now–and for good reason.  Once you get a taste of providing for yourself, you realize it’s one of the most rewarding adventures you could pursue.  From having a few potted plants or a beehive on your balcony, to having full-out acreage with larger animals, there is a level of self sufficiency we can all achieve when we’re willing to put in the time and sweat.

Knowing where and how to start is often what keeps us from taking that first step.  Once we map out our direction and choose a starting point, this new plan becomes our driving force.

If you are looking for that driving force, or just want a little bit more information before you further your journey, then this is one resource you’re going to find incredibly helpful.

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Homemade Pink Grapefruit Curd For Home Preservation

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Pink grapefruit curd for the freezer. These dutch babies look so good--and I think these would make good macaroons too.

One thing we can’t grow this far north in our short cold season is citrus.  I love citrus.  And although grapefruit isn’t my favorite, I don’t pass up a good slice of grapefruit pie.

Since we don’t really have the time to eat pie right now, I just made up a bunch of curd to freeze for future pies, tarts, and maybe as cookie filling in the future.

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