preserving homegrown fruit
Cobbler is not the only solution to a bumper crop of berries. If you can boil water, you can turn the juice from big-flavor berries into tasty beverages that are naturally rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Make extra juice to freeze or can for year-round enjoyment.
Judy Mimranek shares her father's time-tested tip for digging a root pit and covering it with layers of straw and cow manure in order to store fruits and vegetables through the winter.
There's no need to be afraid of canning. With basic skills a cook can safely prepare and process excess produce during the summer and have a ready supply all winter. An easy way to start is with dill pickles, with extras like garlic and hot peppers.
Take plain old raspberry jam to the next level with the complex flavors of white chocolate and coffee liqueur.
Don't want your tomatoes to rot? Treat the problem here!
Farmer and HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates doesn't need a calling. He’s got plenty of other stuff to keep him busy in his small Missouri town.
Exploring preparing meals of only homegrown food.
HOMEGROWN blogger Dyan finally spots signs of spring on her Maine dairy farm, from sunrises to newborn goat kids to eggs of every shade. Lovely!
When her parents fall ill, Michelle takes a step back to care for them, to take stock of all she has learned from them, and to observe an early Thanksgiving.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study on the nutritional value of vegetables and fruits. Check out the top "powerhouse" vegetables and fruits to add a few to your garden this year.
Go Greens - Super Fruits and Veggies supplies the natural antioxidant power of 6 servings of vibrantly colored organic fruits and vegetables in every handy “stick” pack. To Go Brands plans to continue to expand the Healthy To Go® product line.
Growing fruit trees in a home orchard requires some study as well as some prep.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick recounts a poignant start to lambing season on Bittersweet Heritage Farm.
Western Missouri farmer Bryce Oates shares his thoughts on the USDA's once-in-five-years census.
Pennsylvania mama Michelle has finally found a homestead! Get her moving tips on take-back programs, packing mason jars, buying cheap appliances, and more.
West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates explains why he has a problem with putting farmers, among others, on pedestals.
After deciding to take a year off from lambing, Maine dairy farmer Dyan has a change of heart and gets a four-legged Valentine, a baby lamb.
Simple suggestions on preserving vegetables and herbs
A gourmet guide to preserving the last harvest from your garden.
A woman recalls her childhood memories on Three Mile Creek Farm including horses, a pig pen and a one-room school.
"Local" is always the best answer, even when it comes to fruit trees.
In some circumstances, fruit pulp can be a good food for livestock. Here are a few examples of how it can be used.
After a terrible tart cherry season in 2012, Cheribundi was forced to expand their product line.
Cheribundi adds new Refresh Juice Blends to Rite Aid Stores.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missourian Bryce Oates explains how he and his family survive summer on the farm. Two words: swimming pool.
Cooking pumpkin for pie is as easy as, well, pie! Make your own homemade pumpkin purée with this simple recipe calling for either pumpkins or squash.
This blog post discusses growing enough produce for canning.
I'm going to the old Kerr canning book for this tried and true recipe for making simply wonderful pickled beets.
Drag them... pull them... tie them to a chair! Whatever you have to do to get your family to sit around a table and eat healthfully--do it! We are losing the simple act as gathering as a family a sharing a meal. Do you hear the dinner bell? Let's go!
Haven't made any New Year's resolutions yet? No worries. HOMEGROWN.org has you covered with 10 ways to change the world in 2014, starting in your own backyard.
Some of the best recipes are never written down. Thankfully, Rachel's mom recently transcribed her own grandmother's onion-celery dressing recipe. Lucky for us, Rachel shares it here. Pass it along!
Maddy Harland describes the canopy layer of a temperate forest garden and shares some useful tips on designing and planting useful and edible tree crops.
Fruit butters are easy to make, in fact – they are almost foolproof. They allow for a little more creativity than many soft spread recipes and are perfect for using up odds and ends of fresh fruit.
Follow these easy instructions explaining how to make a fruit picker, and you'll never be tormented by out-of-reach fruit again.
Painting tree trunks white can help you reduce the effect of erratic temperatures on the trees’ bark.
Grow organic fruit trees and harvest bug-free, chemical-free fruit by covering your fruit with homemade bags made from row cover. Use row cover bags as an alternative to plastic bags. Row cover bags are more effective and have fewer issues than plastic bags.
Want to learn how to go your own dragon fruit cactus? Here's how!
Avoid frost damage to your fruit crops by following these tips for planting fruit trees and protecting them from frost.
Preserving herbs from your garden is easy, whether you freeze or dry them.
Another easy way to enjoy the fresh taste of gourmet garlic year-round is with these convenient cubes!
Preserving meat at home by making pork confit.
A great recipe for the holidays or any time of the year!
Fresh pesto is great in the summer, but it's even better in the middle of winter!
My own special recipe for Pumpkin Maple Butter using organic pumpkin and Canadian maple syrup.
No juice extractor? No problem! This easy method for making fresh, delicious apple juice will have you sipping in no time.
Dehydrating is a great way to preserve food.
HOMEGROWN blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel outlines strategies for responsible drought gardening in her home state of California--or anywhere.
This blog post describes the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff's afternoon spent harvesting their homegrown garlic.
Learn about using the Piteba to press your own homegrown oil.
HOMEGROWN blogger and homesteading mama Michelle explains why road trips are worth packing 3 kids, 2 adults, and 2 dogs in a camper for weeks on end.
In the wake of the summer solstice, HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan takes time to appreciate the longest days of the year.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel recounts how she went from half-hearted to full-breed-ahead when it comes to breeding goats.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick honors the determination of women farmers, even as she observes a bittersweet month on her farm.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates discusses why his family works so hard—both on and off of the farm—to practice subsistence farming.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel discusses using manure in the garden, including which type of animal waste is best for which crops.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm covers the essentials of how to can safely.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan reflects on the changes that arrive with fall, including her own sense of melancholy.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Missouri farmer Bryce Oates shares why he values reading (Eliot Coleman, especially) and how it impacts his fall growing season.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and homesteader Rachel, of the Bay Area's Dog Island Farm, shares her method for cooking the very best Thanksgiving turkey ever.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates shares his approach to improving soil health and preparing a soil microbe brew.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle takes a young woman under her wing for a first lesson in homemaking.
HOMEGROWN.org blogger and West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates shares his thoughtful position on vegetarianism.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Michelle Wire explains how homestead parenting works in her house, where sons and daughters learn the same skills.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan Redick considers how inextricably the lives of farmers and fishermen are intertwined in her coastal Maine town.
Homegrown.org blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares tips for deciding which seeds to order — in other words, which vegetable varieties to grow.
Facing massive snow drifts, HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick forges a new path to her barn and finds inspiration in the process.
Homegrown.org's Amanda Hoover shakes off a DIY fail — an attempt at homemade natural food coloring — and holds her head high.
A favorite for adults and children alike, fruit leathers are easy to make.
My favorite graft for these tree makeovers is known as a bark graft and the time to do it is just as leaves are beginning to poke out of recently dormant stems and the bark easily separates from the wood. Which is now, early May, here in New York’s Hudson Valley. Ideally, foot-long scions of one-year-old wood (last years growth) have been gathered a few weeks previous and have been kept dormant with refrigeration.
With no care on my part, persimmons bear in abundance while mocking my empty efforts with my apple trees.
Espalier allows a gardener to grow a dwarf fruit tree along a wall or fence, binding it for support, and sculpting the branches to follow certain lines, as Japanese artists do with bonsai trees.
Sam Benowitz and Tara Bittler are joining the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Blog Squad, and they break down the types of gardening and fruit-growing information they will share with you each week.
A profile of Japanese and American persimmons, excellent trees for the deep south.
Maddy Harland introduces the shrub layer of a forest garden and gives six useful tips for establishing a low maintenance and healthy garden.
Use freezer-damaged fruit to make tasty fruit sauces.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares how to install drip irrigation in your home garden.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan learns that giving up control, whether over a mischievous flock or a single lamb, can have its own rewards.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Michelle's annual road trips out west renew her love for the heartland and the American farmer.
HOMEGROWN.org unwraps its 2013 holiday gift guide, featuring lots of homemade presents, as well as a few stocking stuffers for under $20.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle reflects on how she lost the Christmas spirit of her youth — and how she got it back.
Looking for land? HOMEGROWN.org blogger Michelle Wire shares resources and practical advice for anyone considering buying a homestead.
When HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania mama Michelle Wire discovered a hidden treasure on her property, she found a new appreciation for her home along with it.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares how she built a cheap greenhouse out of mostly scavenged materials - and how you can, too.
HOMEGROWN.org blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm says keeping animals in the garden improves her soil and fights weeds and pests.
A few hundred protestors from across the country arrived at the White House last month, the culmination of the two-week GMO Right2Know March that began in New York City on October 1. (Congratulations all you brave marchers - my feet ache just thinkin
Going camping, hiking, or canoeing this summer? HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares a big-batch granola recipe that will feed your entire group—or one hungry teen.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce shares 5 things to consider before starting a farmstead—not the least of which being winter.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel, of Dog Island Farm, argues in favor of her favorite chicken breed, the Buckeye.
Coming back to agriculture and the farming life, I think every farmer should spend time as a fisherperson. If that were the case, I have a hard time believing Industrial Agriculture would have ever taken its foothold. Manure runs downhill as they say
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and pregnant Pennsylvania mama Michelle (Congrats, Michelle!) shares her plans for planting a baby food garden, including her entire seed order.
Debbie Mildfelt shares memories of her grandmother's stories, exploring the life of a large family on a small Kansas farm.
Our books are making a larger impact than we know!
People are often apprehensive about preserving their own food, whether they're intimidated by the process, or concerned about the safety of the finished product. As Sherri Brooks Vinton explains, it's time to bring canning back to the home kitchen.
A homemade solar food dryer allows you to dry tomatoes and apples for delicious and nutritious winter snacks and addition to your meals.
Food preservationist Tammy Kimbler teaches you how to make apple pie fruit leather from urban-foraged apples.
Growing organic apples isn’t impossible! Follow these tips and methods for avoiding pest damage and growing apples organically.
Gardeners don't have to live in a semi-tropical zone to grow organic lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus fruits. Proper technique with potted plants can yield a bounty of delicately flavored, vitamin-rich citrus.
Figs, grapes, hazels, rabbiteye blueberries, and gooseberries are among the easiest plants to propagate using cuttings, layering, or just by digging up suckers.
You're not just a beginning gardener - you're also a scientist!
Painted rocks or pebbles can potentially deter birds from pecking at ripening fruit. Tell us how this technique has worked for your, plus check out other readers’ tips and responses.
Canning is a homesteader essential skill. Sometimes canning can simply be a way to create and spread love and kindness, rather than just putting by necessary foods. Try out this Peach Orange Marmalade recipe for a change of pace.
A profile of the wonderfully tough loquat tree.
The future of the Pavlovsk Station in Russia is in jeopardy due to a pending housing development project. Find out what you can do to help save the world’s largest holding of rare berries and trees.
Self-pollinating apple trees allow homeowners with little space to reap the benefits of this fresh, nutritious fruit. While typical apple breeds require planting at least two trees in the same space so they can pollinate each other, self-fertile trees can produce fruit without another tree around.
A look at the wonderful mulberry tree.
Growing peach pits doesn't get much easier than this.
A neglected, overgrown, old apple tree does have charm, its gnarled, elbowed branches seemingly ready to reach out for a hug. The fruits, unfortunately, more often than not are too small, too pest-ridden, and too high in the tree. My fear of heights makes the last deficiency most important to me. Large, clean fruits are for nought if I can’t bring myself to climb a ladder or the branches for harvest.
You can get twigs to graft onto your rootstock for the price of shipping a padded envelope, allowing you to grow rare fruit-tree varieties for nearly nothing.
Roses are easy to grow successfully if you follow a few guidelines: provide good air circulation around the canes and keep the plants clean and not too damp. Roses come in many forms, including bush or shrub, climbing, and miniature.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan Redick divides her time differently these days, Before Milking and After Milking, in the wake of spring births on her Maine dairy farm.
Missouri farmer and HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates tackles the Enbridge Flanagan South Pipeline, which would cross 1 mile from his area's water intake.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle shares a few strategies and suggestions for healthier school lunches.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick gets through winter — and goat breeding — by taking a page from her herd and sticking together.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares her New Year's resolution for 2014: buying food directly from farmers.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Missouri farmer Bryce Oates traces the history of county fairs from their origins in the country life movement to his own kids' involvement.
After a completely miserable potato harvest this year we’ve decided to pull them out of the ground and do them in boxes made out of pallets. That way we can use weedblock under them to eliminate the whole bindweed issue. So today, the boxes went up.
A recipe for sourdough starter.
How to Schedule your Planting by the Moon
The morning started off with a decent lecture on poultry operation, production, and marketing. After a midday break, lectures resumed, this time being led by a different fellow, on the subject of free-range, humane certified broiler production. I won
Homegrown.org blogger Dyan Redick of Bittersweet Farm honors - and helps keep alive - the legacy of fellow Maine goat herdswoman Pixie Day.
HOMEGROWN.org introduces Find Good Food, a new page that includes national and state-by-state resources for locating family farmed eats near you. Read it! Share it! Add to it! Make it your own—and help make it even better.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick discovers a kindred soul in E. B. White when she reads the essay Memorandum, from his 1944 collection, 'One Man's Meat.'
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates sings the praises of mixed-species perennial pastures for in-between seasons—even if they don't fully alleviate the need for watching and waiting.
So, yes, I have become a lover of goats (and ducks have won me over, too). But the truth is, I can’t wait to eat the boys.
None of these items' primary use is for gardening or livestock keeping but here we are using them all the time. So here's my list of items that you should keep around if you are an avid gardener or own livestock.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel shares the basics of landscape design.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan recalls how the seasons affected her childhood and how they guide her activities now on her Maine dairy farm.
Dyan writes about the changing season at Bittersweet Farm, and introduces us to the newest member of the flock, a black sheep named Little Man.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time of being a goat herder, it’s that at breeding time, the goats are in charge.
How to make your own homemade deodorant that really works!
The flowers weren't just there to be pretty. They provided a long blooming source of forage for our bees and the native pollinators.
Rachel describes how to turn her heirloom corn crop into beautiful blue corn tortillas!
Let’s break down the soap-making process and start scrubbin’ with homemade bars!
Urban food forests and public gardens provide communities with an edible landscape for everyone to share. These public fruit forests are the new trend in urban agriculture and play an important role as sustainable local food systems in their communities.
When autumn brings a glut of orchard fruits, capture the goodness as juice by cooking extraction or cold pressing. Juices can be used alone or mixed to produce sweet or hard ciders, wines, syrups, and more.
A permaculture-based, 2,000-acre farm in Northern California integrates grassfed livestock with orchard farming.
The author figures out a way to outsmart tree-damaging rodents.
Pruning apple trees to a three by three central leader shape for strength against high winds and to prevent fungal infection.
The Organic Trade Association is vital to the success of the organic industry and I’m thrilled to serve alongside such a talented and well-respected group of industry leaders.
Brown rot is a serious disease of peaches, plums, and other stone fruits. For organic gardeners, spraying at-risk fruits with a milk solution can give good control.
Costa Rica's hospitable climate nurtures the most amazing produce, from hearts of palm to starfruit.
It's mid-February, time to start thinking about spring! Ira Wallace helps us make our garden plan, remember our perennials, and Plant a Row for the Hungry this year.
Cole does a sausage-making workshop.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
The Farm Aid concert is a chance for us to shine a spotlight on these people who work every day to put good food on our tables.
Tomatoes are the gray area of canning. They're not quite acidic enough to just straight can like fruit but the right amount of added acid can keep you from having to pressure can them. Here are the basics on canning tomatoes.
Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.
I am the Flock-Tender here on HOMEGROWN.org. I am keeping a chronicle of my experiences learning, living, and growing a homegrown lifestyle fresh out of college. Am I doing this life right?
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
Rachel gets a scare with Daisy the goat - is it bottle jaw or something else? A trip to the vet provides some lessons.
Rachel and her husband committed to a year without groceries, and they made it! She shares her experiences in local food in this post.
All of us farmers,large and small, are a big part of the engine that drives the economy
of rural communities, rural counties and rural states.This year, we are learning a lot about what happens when that engine sputters.
After months of waiting, worrying and hoping, the clouds finally arrived here at Yellabird Farm last week and brought us the long-sought gift of good rain. It was a great two days of slow and soaking moisture that the cracked soil guzzled up...
Drought is hard on us out here in Farm Country. But drought in the midst of boiling hot summer is amongst the worst conditions I can imagine.
Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc.
One thing I know for sure is that many in the local farm and food scene are working through the same issue. We are numbers people in search of numbers. We aren’t crazy unscientific loons like our industrial brothers and sisters think we are.
This fall, while the chickens were still living with the goats, we had decided to fence off the leg and seed it with pasture seed. I wasn't sure if we should seed it for the chickens or for the goats. After doing some research we ended up going with
Clearly the NACE considers “useless” degrees to be ones in which pay is low and availability of jobs is scarce. However, shouldn’t measuring the usefulness of an education take into account the actual benefits bestowed upon the person doing the study
We wanted to write up a post about asparagus to explain how farmers look at the crop, but also as a sort of apology to our customers. We have spent many hours in the field and on the phone seeking farmers with an existing asparagus supply. We had man
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
A travel log of our family's mission to find local food sources on our trip to Puerto Rico.
Fall sheet mulching of perennial plantings assists in fertility and weed suppression.
Cover crops are grown between planting seasons as a way to give back to the soil what cultivation takes from it. And cover crops aren’t just for large-scale growers—they can help you get the most out of your backyard vegetable garden too!
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.