Summertime for many of us means taking advantage of all the wonderful spoils and capturing that by using different methods of food preservation so that we have garden-fresh produce for many seasons to come. The videos below will show you how, along with a recipe for homemade fruit leather.
A commercial pectin recipe for this preserve calls for 4 cups of fruit to 7 cups sugar. I use about ¼ of that: at least twice as much fruit and half the sugar, so my jams and preserves taste of the fruit instead of sugar and have half or less calories. As well as the usual breakfast toast spread, try adding your own homemade preserves to plain yogurt.
You can easily make your own glace cherries for fruit cakes and your Christmas stollen. The cherries you do yourself will be a darker red instead of that false neon color and will be made with only cane sugar and very little or no GMOs. These will actually taste like sweet cherries, with no odd chemical aftertaste. You’ll also save money.
Making fruit jellies without a lot of added sugar is easy when you let chopped apples supply the pectin your fruit lacks. A simple test of jelly on a cold plate tells you when the jelly point is reached.
They go by many names, depending on the region: sow bugs, pill bugs, potato bugs, wood lice, and roly-poly bugs. There are actually many different genus of these pests and one of them is terrorizing my garden.
Wild Abundance offers this guide to harvesting, foraging, homesteading, and food preservation in July beneath the Swimming Moon.
I used to think I needed a fancy juicer and special ingredients to make a smoothie. Not so. I pulled out my old blender that I hadn't used since my margarita days a decade ago. Then, I poked around in the fridge to see what kind of fruit was on hand. I clipped some lettuce from the garden, added water and cinnamon and — voila — a terrific smoothie, easier than pie.
We are still learning about our little peach tree. Last year, our first real crop delighted us but in no way prepared for an almost doubling of the crop this year. However, friends had given us peaches in the past, and I took the opportunity to learn how to make peach jam. That effort and the tree seems to have each paid off and our shelves are now loaded with a new inventory of peach jam. The recipe is simple and straightforward and a great starting point for that bumper crop you have this year.
Don't waste that fabulous watermelon rind! Here's what you can do with the best part of the melon.
This is the third blog post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It covers ideas for starting an edible landscape on your homestead including: soil improvement, cover crops, perennials, attracting beneficial insects, and home-based food production.
Strawberries are a core component of our annual diet, as they’re one of the easiest fruits to grow and preserve. Many guidelines for strawberry preservation call for extraordinary amounts of added sugar, which we’ve found quite unnecessary for the fresh, sweet, high-quality berries we grow. Here are the three main ways we handle our fresh berries.
Blogger Wendy Akin makes the most of cherry season with these recipes and tips.
Apricots are easy to work with, as they don’t need peeling and the pits are easily removed. This jam has a much lower percentage of sugar than the usual recipes. Learn to make homemade, French-style Apricot Preserves for use as a base for a sweet and hot glaze and in Apricot Bread Pudding.
Being a touring musician poses challenges for a healthy life. I’m always trying to figure out how to get vitamins and nutrients without having to carry a garden behind the tour bus. There are things you can do in almost every profession to live more sustainably and help the environment, and I share some of my go-to tips here.
Mulberries are delicious and one of the earliest fruit harvests of the year. Here's how to forage mulberries and turn them into a delicious chutney.
My fruit and nut trees - peaches, pears, apples and almonds - are looking like they will be absolutely loaded with fruit this year! Thinning the fruit is the best way to get larger-sized fruits. There are also a number of other reasons for thinning fruit. The following are a few points to consider.
Probiotics and digestive enzymes are important to our health. Fruit kvass is a fermented drink that can be made quickly and cheaply to provide digestive health benefits. Celeste Longacre shows you how and includes a basic kvass recipe with blueberry, strawberry, and orange.
Bake some delicious rustic breads — Cranberry-Pecan, Apple, and White Chocolate Apricot — and stock the freezer for special breakfasts and “high tea.” All the fruits in these breads give the loaves a craggy surface that’s wonderfully crunchy. These all keep for months wrapped well in the freezer. If you get them out the night before, they’ll be ready to slice for breakfast, toasted or not.
Whip up incredibly delicious faux ice cream in just minutes. These guilt-free frozen desserts, including Peach Frozen Dessert, Banana Faux Ice Cream and more, are actually good for you!
Chocolate bark: Possibly the most effective way to eat chocolate, short of a bar of the pure stuff.
Make jam with whatever is in season! This recipe works with almost any fruit. The results are modestly sweet and balanced with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
A list of my 2016 vegetable catalogs that carry heirloom varieties, along with the veggies I chose for this year.
Making your own glace citrus peels is easy. You can save the peel from lemons, oranges, grapefruit and pomelos as you eat them. Just toss the peel into a zipper bag and keep in the refrigerator up to 4 days. I used Jacques Pepin’s method as guidance here.
The author tells how to dehydrate and use blueberries for delicious cooking and for snacks, such as in smoothies, muffins or even as flavoring for frostings. You can use an electric dehydrator or air-dry blueberries. Learn how fun and easy it is to do.
The American High Bush Cranberry is a neglected fruit that deserves more fans. Fruits are high in Vitamin C and anti-oxidants. The fruit is also high in natural pectin so it makes a great jelly. Fruits (drupes) are similar to Thanksgiving cranberries in color but with their own distinctive flavor. Whether you pick them from the wild or from your own planting, learn to tell the difference between the Native American High Bush Cranberry and the bitter European kind.
Once neglected, the elderberry shrub has made a comeback, welcomed by gardeners and cooks looking for multi-purpose plants that are useful for food, beautiful in the edible landscape, and have added health benefits.
The MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors threw a canning party with the Ball electric water bath canner and multi-cooker.
Jostaberries are a cross between black currants and gooseberries, combing the best of both fruits to make a tasty berry and an even tastier jam. You can use a water bath canning method to preserve this productive perennial fruit.
Today, a significant number of gardeners and cooks are trying out unusual fruits, but information about growing, using, and preserving them is often hard to come by. This is especially true of gooseberries, which can be turned into delicious desserts and can easily be preserved. Because they are rich in natural pectin, they make superb jams, jellies, and marmalade without the addition of commercial pectin.
Gardening in containers can address a number of gardening situations such as adding color to a patio, controlling soil pH, allowing sensitive plants to be portable, and water conservation.
Eating the whole fruit (peel, seeds, bloom, core and all) can have some surprising benefits. Do you eat the whole fruit?
Capture the flavor of seasonal grapefruit in this sweet and sour liqueur.
Want to learn how to go your own dragon fruit cactus? Here's how!
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.
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.
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.
You're not just a beginning gardener - you're also a scientist!
Cheribundi adds new Refresh Juice Blends to Rite Aid Stores.
After a terrible tart cherry season in 2012, Cheribundi was forced to expand their product line.
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.
Growing peach pits doesn't get much easier than this.
Figs, grapes, hazels, rabbiteye blueberries, and gooseberries are among the easiest plants to propagate using cuttings, layering, or just by digging up suckers.
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.
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.
Food preservationist Tammy Kimbler teaches you how to make apple pie fruit leather from urban-foraged apples.
With no care on my part, persimmons bear in abundance while mocking my empty efforts with my apple trees.
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.
A permaculture-based, 2,000-acre farm in Northern California integrates grassfed livestock with orchard farming.
Growing organic apples isn’t impossible! Follow these tips and methods for avoiding pest damage and growing apples organically.
A favorite for adults and children alike, fruit leathers are easy to make.
A look at the wonderful mulberry tree.
A profile of the wonderfully tough loquat tree.
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.
A profile of Japanese and American persimmons, excellent trees for the deep south.
A travel log of our family's mission to find local food sources on our trip to Puerto Rico.
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.
Avoid frost damage to your fruit crops by following these tips for planting fruit trees and protecting them from frost.
The author figures out a way to outsmart tree-damaging rodents.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
Growing fruit trees in a home orchard requires some study as well as some prep.
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.
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.
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.
Fall sheet mulching of perennial plantings assists in fertility and weed suppression.
Cole does a sausage-making workshop.
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.
A woman recalls her childhood memories on Three Mile Creek Farm including horses, a pig pen and a one-room school.
Maddy Harland introduces the shrub layer of a forest garden and gives six useful tips for establishing a low maintenance and healthy garden.
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.
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.
Pruning apple trees to a three by three central leader shape for strength against high winds and to prevent fungal infection.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In some circumstances, fruit pulp can be a good food for livestock. Here are a few examples of how it can be used.
Take plain old raspberry jam to the next level with the complex flavors of white chocolate and coffee liqueur.
Use freezer-damaged fruit to make tasty fruit sauces.
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.
"Local" is always the best answer, even when it comes to fruit trees.
Don't want your tomatoes to rot? Treat the problem here!
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.