When I say we have tons of leaves in our yard, I'm not exaggerating. How many leaves are actually in a ton? How many of those plastic bags will it take to collect them all? How many pickup truckloads to haul them off? How much compost will they produce if they're piled up? What about burning?
A few friends living in opposite directions of the county, called within minutes of each other to say that their sweet cherries were ripe, the birds were gathering, and rain was in the forecast! If we wanted cherries, we better hurry. We dropped what we were doing, gathered containers and a ladder, and headed out. The race for the cherries had begun!
A Keyhole Garden is a raised bed, lasagna garden, composting, and recycling system all rolled into one. The design creates a garden that uses recycled materials, less water and maintenance, and can be made handicap-accessible!
A good friend purchased cloth grow bags for her potato planting a few years ago. Being a frugal fixer (tightwad, penny-pincher, etc.), I thought I could make the same thing using a roll of old landscape cloth and my sewing machine for much less than she had paid. To my surprise, not only did they work beautifully, but I am still using them! Here is my "Tater Totes" tale and tips on non-sewing versions for others to consider!
My great-grandparents used to sprout potatoes for spring planting using leftover potatoes stored through the winter from the previous harvest. I have always prepared my store-bought seed potatoes in the same manner. I did not know this prep was called "chitting" until recently. In researching how to properly chit potatoes, I learned that there were a few common sense considerations despite the method.
Did your elders reminisce about the horrid-smelling acifidity bags they were made to wear during their childhood to protect them from the flu, disease, and evil spirits? Most did not know what was in the bags, but I do!
I had been soaking a pot of pinto beans before the snowstorm came and took down the power, so I put them on our gas stove to cook as planned. As I stirred the pot, I thought of my great-grandparents who always kept a pot of beans warming on the enormous cast-iron stove in their farmhouse kitchen. As I looked out the sunny window to see the heavy snow-filled trees and the birds dashing about for food, my mind took me back to my perfect snowstorm as a child on my great-grandparent's farm atop a big mountain.
Gardeners need gardens! We need to get our hands dirty long before spring arrives. Taking our plants indoors for the winter or outside for the summer is not a issue if they are in containers. We can create miniature gardens with a few selected plants and have something to occupy our gardening urges all year. Here are a few suggestions to get started.
Our lives are continuously barraged at times by stress from work, family matters, cost of living, illness, world events, along with the upkeep of a household and yard. When the death of a family member is tossed into the mix, it can trump everything else for a while. You may think that gardening at this time is more of a chore than a pleasure, but it can be your best cure for grief and stress which is often accompanied by, or the cause of some, depression.
Do you have hickory trees on or near your property? Then you may have a great food source; a necessary component for grilling and smoking meat and fish; recycling materials for the yard and garden, and with a little imagination, a bonus resource for craft projects.
Do you have too many pears with a pantry already full of the same old canned preserves? Then try this easy no-fuss recipe that uses a lot of pears, produces two very useful treats with one effort, and make great gifts too. "No honeybees were harmed in making this honey!"
There is a movement afoot calling for the eradication of several out-of-control nonnative species via knife, spoon, or fork! A human that hunts, harvests, and devours invasive species that threaten their local environment is known as an invasivore. I suppose that also makes them a locavore, and possibly an omnivore, if both plants and animals are on the menu! You can easily become an invasivore, too, if you know where to look and how to cook.
A sure cure for scurvy; a remedy for cold, flu, obesity, dementia, bladder, and kidney issues; antidepressant; anti-hypertensive; anti-tumor; render chemotherapy less toxic to patients, and many more potential health improvements and nutritional benefits, can all be found in the Christmas tree you dispose of yearly!
What are the best-dressed kitchens and cupboards sporting this season? Custom Can Clothes! Recycle those scraps of material and old shirts and jeans into decorative cover-ups for fermenting jugs, dry produce jars, or dress-ups for those canned gift-giving goodies! There are designs for sewers and non-sewers!
Why aren't you making hand cream for those rough, scratched, and aching gardening hands? You probably have all you need in your kitchen, garden, and yard. If not, you may be able to get what you need locally!
How many shirts or skirts have you ruined by pulling them up and filling with nuts, herbs, fruits, and vegetables? I ruined a bunch until I finally made myself a harvest apron. Here is my quick fix so you can make one for yourself!
You can create sun-dried tomatoes using an old world technique, without canning, freezing, or even the sun, and have the same authentic delectable taste as the expensive imported brands! My sunless-dried tomatoes receive the most compliments and recipe requests of all the garden-crafted gifts I give, so here is how they are made.
Why don't all gardeners try to grow luffa gourds? There are so many uses for this sponge-filled novelty. The immature fruit is a healthy vegetable prepared like squash, it does not cross-pollinate outside it's species, and when fully grown, can be put to work scrubbing and cleaning, insulating and sound-proofing your tool shed, filtering and straining, and to create useful handcrafted items!
I experimented with an arched trellis made with concrete re-mesh wire and metal fence posts for my tomatoes and pole beans last year. It was a great success despite the late tomato blight, so this year I wanted a more structurally sound arched trellis and the cattle panels were the perfect size, sturdy and easy to manage!
Regardless of where I placed the tiny goldfish pond, or the bird shower, in my small yard, the water features would not escape the falling pin oak debris. I had to create covers that would allow sunlight and rain to penetrate, keep out the never-ending fall of leaves, acorns, and twigs, yet blend into the surroundings. I hoped the pond cover would keep potential predators away from the fish, and possibly add a touch of decorative whimsy in the yard, too!
You can have fresh vegetables in just a few days from tiny kitchen counter gardens. These vegetables are the most nutrient dense food you can eat raw in salads, or add to soups and casseroles, all without worrying about the weather, the season, your zone, or grow lights. These little gardens furnish much more produce than you might imagine in such small spaces!
After nearly forty years, and many attempts, I finally quit smoking cigarettes using the same weeds that grew in my yard! If your New Year's resolution was to stop smoking once and for all, check out this herbal quit-smoking method that worked for a friend and me!
As a child, I remember having Russian spice tea around the Christmas holidays, as that was the only time we had an over-abundance of citrus fruits. It seems like such a waste to just throw out the oranges and lemons after the tea is finished, so I tried making marmalade from it. I now have an exceptional jam to give out for little gifts!
My family calls me a pack-rat, and I guess that is what I am. The reason for this obsession is, once I find a use for something; I see it as a raw material, not trash. I collect as much raw materials as possible and keep a check on the recycle bins, just like our midnight marauding skunk, to see what I have to work with before I start a project.
There is a HUGE difference in the taste and texture of homemade pasta noodles compared to the prepackaged store-bought pastas. There is NO limit to what can be added to your own homemade pasta! As many herbs become ready to pick and use, let's spice up basic pasta dough with herbs. Get your taste buds set for some new bursting-full-of-flavor foods with healthy benefits!
This article will discuss the sun clocks you can set up with free information available on the Internet. The interactive analemmatic "human" sun clock is the focus for my needs, but others will be listed for you to create a sun clock to suit the amount of space in your yard.
Some herbs do not like the fertilized loamy soil you plant them in. Despite their possible lush growth, their flavor, aroma, and medicinal strengths will suffer. Mediterranean herbs do best when allowed to struggle a little in the dry alkaline, and rocky soil of their origins, making them well suited for xeriscaping.
The World Health Organization estimates that four billion people (80% of the world's population) use herbal remedies for part of their primary health issues along with, or instead of, over-the-counter medicines and prescribed drugs. Herbal tinctures are one of the strongest uses of the herbs growing in your yard that can be made at home.
Did you know the cooking herbs and spices found in your kitchen pantry may prevent you from catching a cold or the flu, or at least ease the symptoms? Why is chicken soup called “Jewish penicillin”? Have you unknowingly dodged winter bugs by sipping your favorite herbal tea?