Inventory Your Food Preservation

Keep an inventory of your jars, freezer packs and dehydrated foods to help prioritize your food preservation efforts.

A Pickling Story

Canning is a humbling production. I scribble a note onto my recipe page: Do not quadruple batch. It is easy to get overzealous, lured by the harvest and the jar count at the end of the day. I get excited about bounty and forget about endurance, every year.

Sauteed String Beans Recipe

Here's a recipe for sautéed green beans and guidelines for blanching and freezing green beans for garden food preservation.

Make Gazpacho Soup with Heirloom Tomatoes

I never much cared for gazpacho, and that’s probably because I lived in Colorado and Alaska most of my adult life. You must have great tomatoes to make great Gazpacho. After I tasted gazpacho made with heirloom tomatoes like 'Cherokee Purple', 'Brandywine', 'Marmonde' and others from my garden, I realized what I had been missing.

The Beauty of Imperfect Fruits and Vegetables

What needs to happen is a change in attitudes. Such a change is not coming soon enough to your favorite grocery store. If more of us buy imperfect-looking produce, grocery stores will be able to change our dependence on harsh chemicals used to grow perfect-looking fruits and veggies. It’s up to all of us to support the imperfect produce movement and bring back taste, nutrition and a healthier planet. How will you vote?

A Primer on Specialty Mushrooms (with Royal Trumpet Mushroom Soba Salad Recipe)

Here is a primer on specialty mushrooms. Exotic mushroom varieties are daunting to most consumers. They ought not be intimidated by these strange but tasty morsels. There are several sources for recipes including the Mushroom Council, my website, or by using search engines. Mushrooms deserve a place at your table due to taste, availability, and purported health benefits.

Fast and Easy Homemade Salad Dressings

If people knew how easy and delicious homemade salad dressings can be, store-bought dressing sales would plummet. You, too, can make your own salad dressings without having a culinary school degree or cooking experience. Learn to make Oil and Vinegar with Tarragon and Homemade Ranch with Roasted Garlic here.

First Lettuce Crop and a Sandwich, Too

After you grow your own organic greens, it’s hard to go back to grocery store crap. The good news is that greens are easy to grow in a multitude of environments. If you are short on space, try building a salad tray and grow your own greens on a patios or balcony. If you have a small patch of ground, do what I did and install a raised bed.

How to Render Oil from Beef Fat

My freezer is full of beef fat and I finally rendered tallow for cooking oil. We raise some pastured beef for our family, and while we enjoy the grass-fed beef, we have been slower to learn the art of cooking with homemade oil. That's changing. Read how and why I learned to render oil from beef fat to make homemade cooking oil (tallow).

Stalking the Wild Fruit: Foraging Local Fruit by State

There is wild fruit nearly everywhere, free for the picking. This spring, as soon as leaf buds swell in your area, go looking for blooms. Take a ride, get somebody to drive for you, so you can search roadsides and fields, along railroad tracks, in power line right of ways, and maybe even an abandoned homesite, looking for brushy shrubs, brambles, vines and trees with white flowers.

Real Food for Your Skin

Feed your skin real food with homemade skin-care recipes by Rosemary Gladstar.

Freezing Whole Tomatoes

Yes, you can freeze whole tomatoes! Preserve the harvest in a flash and save the saucing for later.

How to Make Great Kale Chips

Kale chips are the rage and they cook up quickly, but they can be tricky to make. Here are some tips to making great kale chips.

Make Raised Garden Beds with Logs

With hardwood logs and a tractor, House in the Woods Farm set up these easy raised garden beds. Here's how to make raised beds for your herb garden or vegetable plot.

Food Fermentation at the FAIR

Fermentation is the rage at the Pennsylvania MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. Here's a peak at Sandor Katz' presentation and some of the cool new vendors who have joined the fermentation revitalization.

Test Acidity for Canning Education

Test the acidity of your batch for water bath canning to ensure that you are meeting requirements for a high acid food. Testing acidity is a great way to understand the role it plays in canning safety. This is an educational tool and not a license to change lab-tested recipes.

Time to Mow Down Your Kale

Is your kale patch infested with insects? It may be time to mow it down and start a fresh patch for fall. But, don't worry: Here’s a chard variety to get you by in the meantime while you wait for your fall kale to come up.

Uses for Over-Sized Zucchini

Did you wait too long to pick your zucchini and now you grew baseball bats? Here are some ideas for making use of your oversized zucchini.

How to Make Your Own Mayo

A recipe for whisking up a batch of homemade mayonnaise and a full serving of DIY empowerment.

Fierce Farming Women, Part 2

The second in this month's two-part series of excerpts from the "Fierce Farming Women" chapter of "The Color of Food" book - honoring Women's Month.

Fierce Farming Women, Part 1

The first in this month's series of excerpts from the "Fierce Farming Women" chapter of "The Color of Food" book — honoring Women's Month in March.

Cheesemaking Trials

Ilene White Freedman starts her cheesemaking trials with an aged pressed cheddar cheese with goat's milk from the farm.

Fire Takes a Homestead

After fire took her friends’ award-winning historic, renovated home only a year after its completion, Ilene White Freedman asks “Who will rebuild their spirits?” A follow-up to her post about the home's renovation.

Tea Straws

A bombilla is a Latin American tea straw used to drink yerba mate. Why not use it to enjoy all kinds of loose herbal teas? Ilene White Freedman shares a story, a tea recipe and links to others recipes.

DIY Spice Mixes

Making your own spice mix is a quick, easy DIY project. Ilene White Freedman shares her chili powder DIY project woes. Learn from her discoveries before you start your batch.

How To Make Ancho-Chili Powder

It took a year for Ilene White Freedman to make homegrown, homemade Ancho-Chili Powder. Find out how she did it.

Phil's Dancing Carrots

If you are challenged by growing carrots, you might consider transplanting them and growing some dancing carrots.

Growing Corn Early

Growing corn early by transplanting may be unconventional, but its a great way to beat the challenges and...eat corn in July!

Goat Midwifery

Ilene White Freedman’s goat is in labor, reminding Ilene of her own natural childbirth experiences.

Hoop House Transformation

The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.

Making Echinacea Tincture

Echinacea tincture is easy to make. Getting through the psychological inertia might be the hard part of the process.

Garlic as Medicine

Learn how to take garlic as medicine — garlic is a potent natural antibiotic and immune-booster.

Large Pond Management Tips

From our last post learning about the difference between large and small ponds let’s jump into the large (below ground) ponds to discover what happens to them and what makes each pond unique. We’ll see that the watershed has a great effect on the pond water quality and the pond inhabitants have an effect on each pond even the wildlife that visits our ponds pose some challenges.

Candlemas: A Midwinter Homesteader's Holiday

Candlemas is an ancient midwinter holiday, when people would take inventory on their stock of candles, pantry food storage and hay in the barn to get the homestead through the second half of winter.

Sheep Come to the Homestead-Warming Party

Ilene White Freedman celebrates with her friends at their homestead-warming, after over two years of living in a trailer while renovating a dilapidated house. Their restoration includes the original logs and stone kitchen of a historic cabin. Some uninvited guests from the farm’s livestock take a house tour too.

Sarah's 'Farm Chi' Kimchi Recipe

Sarah is a friend to the farm who taught Ilene Freedman how to make "Farm Chi." Farm Chi is Sarah’s version of kimchi, fermented mixed vegetables from the seasonal farm harvest.

Rewriting Holiday Traditions

Ilene Freedman and her family reshaped their Chanukah tradition to feature family activities instead of presents.

Farming Is Hard Work

It takes a few good rationalizations to get through the busiest part of the growing season.

Honey Bees and Easter Eggs

We had a once in a lifetime opportunity over Easter this year to talk to more than 30,000 people about honey bees, pollination, honey and beekeeping. And the place we got to do this in was one of a kind.