Top 10 Natural Foods for Cat Health

If you are planning to feed your cat raw food, you should at least know the basic ingredients that are necessary to promote cat nutrition. Here are some of the top picks when it comes to giving your feline food that would support its complete nutritional needs.

Inventory Your Food Preservation

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

Samphire: A Superfood from Wild Shores

Samphire is the accepted name for the plant Crithmum Mairitinum, although along the banks of the River Dee where my grandmothers and great-grandmothers foraged for it, it was always known as sampkin. It is also sometimes known as glasswort, as it used to be used in the glassmaking industry. It is known in France as salicorn, or “horn of salt”. It is also, confusingly, sometimes called Sea Asparagus.

Healthy Food Begins with Community

Four refugees in Maine have started a cooperative farm producing fresh, chemical-free produce and prove that community is an important ingredient in healthy food.

Food Storage Options when Living Off-Grid

Because I like high-quality food but live somewhere that doesn't have a year-round growing season, the best way for me to ensure I have it available is to stockpile, store, and preserve food when it is in season and plentiful.

How to Make Fancy Sauerkraut

Fermented sauerkraut not only gives us digestive enzymes and probiotics, but the process itself makes all the vitamins and minerals present more bio-available. And it's delicious! We needn't eat a lot of it either. Condiments are vital go-alongs with our meals.

Home-Based Food Businesses Thrive in California

Whether your food product is gluten-free, a loaf of bread made with organic wheat, or chocolate carefully crafted with organic cacao, more culinary entrepreneurs than ever before are launching their food product business from their home kitchens thanks to their state’s “cottage food law.” California is leading the way with laws for cottage food operators.

Locavores (Eating Local Food) and Preparedness

Here are The Prepared Homestead‘s top 5 reasons to become a locavore. By the way, you don’t need to join groups or pay membership fees to become a locavore, you can just do it. Now. Today. You can also call it whatever you like.

State Fair Strawberry Jam Recipe

Nothing is more delicious than jam made from fresh, sweet strawberries. This easy recipe uses strawberries and sugar. That's all!

Mushroom Hunting in France

While staying in France this summer, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to forage for mushrooms. We were hoping for 'Ceps' and 'Chanterelles', but we found something we had never expected.

Freezing Broccoli and Beans

You get the most nutrient-dense vegetables by eating or freezing them immediately after picking. Don't know how to freeze broccoli or beans? Read on to learn vegetable freezing techniques.

Renewing Old-World Skills with a Modern-Day Twist

The revitalization of the “Back-to-Basics” movement has brought with it the old-world skills that the pioneers once used to survive, but with a modern-day twist. While no longer essential to survival, these skills are now being used by modern homesteaders to gain their freedom from dependence.

Homemade Nectarine Preserves Recipe

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.

Fermenting Knowledge at Fermentation Festivals (with Kombucha Recipe)

Filling in the information gap is exactly what the Fermenters Club’s Fermentation Festivals in San Diego and Oregon are all about. A transition to a diet filled with more live culture foods is a natural step to get our gut, and the microbes living there, in a healthier balance.

How to Make Glaceed Cherries

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 Jelly Using Apples for Pectin

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.

Sauteed String Beans Recipe

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

Tomato-Basil Bruschetta Recipe

Use sun-ripened tomatoes and sweet basil from your garden to craft this deliciously simple Italian recipe. Earthy and vibrant in flavor, this bruschetta is sure to become your new summer staple.

Tips for Buying Kitchen Staples in Bulk

Buying certain foods in bulk is a great way to save money, packaging, and shopping time, while opening up new opportunities to support good farmers. Here are some tips and considerations for buying and handling bulk foods in a homestead setting.

Foraging Wineberries: A Delicious Invasive

Wineberries are one of the most abundant wild summer fruits, and just as delicious as their blackberry cousins. They also happen to be an invasive species and you’re doing a good deed when you eat them. Here’s how to identify, gather, and eat wineberries.

Insights on Food Sovereignty from Cuba

Recently two members of the collective Grow Where You Are were selected to visit Cuba with FoodFirst.org on a food sovereignty tour. This exciting honor is still fresh in the hearts and minds of Nicole Bluh, Operations Coordinator and Maricela Vega, Agroecology Intern. Below each of them shares a bit of their reflections about local food systems and the people at the center of them.

Freezing Corn and Berries

Taking a little time to freeze some corn and berries this summer can not only save you some serious money, but it can make your winters much more pleasant. Here's how to freeze berries and freeze corn for year-long food security with summer flavor.

Natural Landscaping and City Codes (with Edible Weeds Fish Tacos Recipe)

There is a growing, sometimes contentious movement afoot: traditional lawns vs natural landscaping. Two years ago, we came up against Ohio’s laws regarding lawns and weeds and were heartbroken to have to mow our luscious long grasses. Last year, we enjoyed a reprieve and the serenity of our natural garden. This year, the grasses back!

Get Past Your Fears and Start Composting

Composting is beneficial for the earth in many ways: amending soil for gardening and diverting trash from landfills. But many people don't ever get started due to fears and misguided notions of composting. Learn your composting basics here.

Make the Most of Blueberry Season with Blueberry Preserves and Dehydrating

Blueberries are a superfood — one of the fruits highest in lycopene and antioxidants. Take advantage of their season and stock up. They do very well in the dehydrator and make scrumptious preserves to dollop on plain yogurt, slather on toast, or to fill quick little tartlets. This is a very thick, low-sugar preserve, very different from the Sure-Jel type.

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?

Homemade Peach Jam Recipe

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.

Low-Cost Garden Fertilizer from Sardines (with Recipe)

Garden fertilizer comes in all shapes, sizes, and formulas. Books and magazines maintain you can make your own by mixing this and that, and you’re flowers and veggies will amaze you. You can, however, follow our simple, sardine-based recipe for homemade garden fertilizer and not have to spend any extra money.

Homesteading Checklist for June: Wild Food Foraging, Berry Preservation, and More

Both tart and sweet, June is infused with the tangy taste of wild cherries, the sweetness of plump raspberries, and the succulence of wineberries. Though feasting, harvesting and preserving this sweetness is a priority, there is much more to do to make the most of this month. Below is a guide to homesteading and wild-food foraging in this juicy season.

The ABCs of Homesteading: E is for 'Edible Landscaping'

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.

How to Make Elderflower Syrup

Elderflowers can be found growing on wasteland, even in the heart of the city. Learn how to use the flowers to make a simple syrup for adding to refreshing summer drinks.

3 Low-Sugar Methods for Preserving Strawberries

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.

Dry Curing: The Tastiest Way to Preserve Meat

There are plenty of methods for preserving meat. Dry curing involves salting and then drying of meats until they are safe to eat and shelf-stable, even at room temperatures. With a little bit of salt, some time, and the right conditions, you, too, can turn your leg of venison into prosciutto or your farmstead's pork belly into pancetta.

French-Style Apricot Preserves Recipe

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.

How to Dehydrate Fresh Spinach

It seems spinach is a feast-or-famine kind of vegetable — it's gloriously prolific when it grows, then BOOM! Gone for the season. I wanted to preserve this spring goodness to enjoy later in the year, so I decided to dehydrate it. Learn how to dehydrate spinach here.

Ecotourism in San Diego, Part 2

Surprisingly, the San Diego area is home to one of the largest collections of small farms in any county in America. Green travel is boosted by these farmers supplying the farmers' markets and farm-to-table restaurants. There's a few lodging options for the eco-minded, too.

New Orleans-Style Crawfish and Shrimp Boil

For this huge celebratory feast, invite a dozen or more of your best friends. Stock up a supply of your favorite beverages, including iced tea, lemonade and some adult drinks, and get ready to party!

Keep Track of Your Preserving Projects with a Canning Journal

Have you ever made a truly superb batch of jam – and then forgotten which recipe you used? Just like a personal journal can help you keep track of your life events, a canning journal is a valuable resource for those of us who can and preserve fresh food.

Build a Mini Root Cellar that Actually Works

Got a basement “cold room” that doesn’t keep your fruits and veggies properly? You can make things better. A few simple modifications can turn that disappointing space into a reliable spot to store food without electricity and boost self reliance.

We Live on Planet Mother

Land-based people have a global culture of relationship with nature. This powerful experience of interconnection is extremely valuable too turn us away from the colonized food system.

Use Your Chickens as Compost Workers

If you have backyard chickens and you are not using them as composters and you have a garden, you are missing a valuable resource right at your fingertips. There are so many benefits to using your chickens, and it’s such a natural process for composting.

Composting FAQs Answered

There are many types of composting methods available for the urban homesteader — from fermentation bins called Bokashi systems that allow you to compost cooked foods, fish, dairy and meat, to vermicomposting, or worm composting systems, and everything in between. Learn the types of composting systems, along with what is compostable, the best compost material ratios for your situation, and troubleshooting tips for common compost problems.

How to Make Fruit Kvass with Probiotic Benefits

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.

Soil Sisters: 3 Ways Women Cultivate Food Change

Women make up one of the fastest growing groups of new farmers today, increasing over twenty percent in the last ten years alone. More than mounting numbers, these women rock fresh ideas when it comes to agriculture, farming and – ultimately – what’s on America’s plates. Here’s a sneak peak summary of what I’ll be speaking on at the FAIRS: Three ways women today are cultivating food system change.

Bottling Great Elderberry Flavor

Most great ideas start small. That’s how Katie and Ben Reneker, founders of the Carmel Berry Company, started out handcrafting small batches of syrups and cordials with elderberries or elderflowers wild-harvested or grown on their small farm.

Alternative Health When Living Off-Grid, Really!?

When was the last time you thought of the food you ate as medicine to feed both your body but also your well being? Modern medicine has recently started to focus on preventative care but historically has only been a way of last resort or once things have already gone bad. There needs to be a balance.

Complying with State Cottage-Food Laws for Home-Based Food Businesses

Making and selling processed foods legally involves more than filling containers with your favorite recipes and selling them at the local farmers market. It requires compliance with a variety of state and perhaps federal regulations and processing guidelines designed to ensure that food products are packaged safely and properly.

7 Food Nutrients that Promote Optimum Health

Many people take multivitamins, calcium or fish oil to help ensure that they get the essential vitamins they need. That said, the majority of people aren't aware that there are some other supplements and foods out there that may even more beneficial to the body.

The Realities of Hunting

An ethical hunter makes a point to explain what hunting is to those who have never done it.

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.

'Slow Fish': Justice on Our Plates (with Video)

Slow Fish 2016 celebrates movements dedicated to honoring food producers, protecting the land and waters we love, increasing food access, and celebrating our cultural diversity.

Dismantling Food Regimes

In our current food system, growers are undervalued and supermarkets hoard profits. How do we create solidarity between migrant workers, family farmers and urban growers to empower a thriving local food economy?

Preserving the Bounty: Dehydrating Cubed Potatoes

It's often much cheaper to buy a large bag of potatoes than to just pick up a few or buy a smaller bag. So when I see that large bag go on sale I grab them! But how to get good use of all those potatoes in that mammoth bag? I dehydrate them!

The ABCs of Homesteading: D is for Ducks

This is the second blog post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It covers how and why to raise Pekin ducks for a quick and easy introduction to home butchery, food preservation, egg production, and soil improvement.

Jam On: The Universal Jam Recipe

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.

Signs of Spoiled Meat

If you’re questioning, from a food safety standpoint, whether the meat you have is safe to eat or truly rotten meat, you need to understand the proper cooking temperatures for meat and how they work to eliminate most meat spoilage bacteria.

Scaling Up Local Foods Cooperatively

The Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative has a plan to take the local food movement to the next level. They're vying for big contracts with institutional buyers and competing with major corporations. And they're cooperatively owned and run by Maine's farmers and consumers.

Securing or Expanding Your State Cottage Food Law

Democracy is essential for the expanding cottage food laws in the US. There are many steps you can take to be able to sell homemade food products in your state. First, get the cottage food law passed that allows you the freedom to earn.

Freezing Whole Tomatoes

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

5 Survival Foods to Consider for Your Emergency Supplies

Five foods have been used throughout history to sustain people during winter months, for long-distance travel, or in times of famine: coconuts, flatbread, pemmican, butter tea, and dried plums. Find out how to prepare and store these foods for your emergency or travel needs.

The Prepared Homestead Kitchen: Top Appliances, Part 4

This last year I was able to preserve hops, apples, raspberries through making a puree and drying fruit leather, I made kale chips, dehydrated onions, dried mint and basil, zucchini, plums, and lavender. Yogurt was a common sight in my Excalibur up until our goats’ milk supply slowed down, we’re too busy drinking it to make yogurt right now. This is one of the appliances I really appreciate particularly in the summer/harvesting months. In addition to all of this, we even used the Excalibur to incubate chicks!

Best Kinds of Bird Food to Put Out This Winter

Putting out food for the wild birds in your area will help them get the nutrition they need to thrive through the cold months. Avian nutrition means much more than tossing out a few seeds. If you’re not sure what to put on your wild bird grocery shopping list, check out this list to get started.

Consilience Enhances Resilience: A Key Element of CSA Farms

As climate chaos intensifies, we have many reasons to cultivate resilience - the strength and flexibility to endure shocks and yet still function. Through CSA farms the quality of consilience - the linking together of principles from different disciplines - becomes a way for all shareholders to enhance the resilience of farms and thereby strengthen community.

Marchand de Vin Sauce Recipe

I love classic New Orleans food! Sometimes, though, the chefs are absolutely reckless with the butter, so I adapted this rich and very savory, New Orleans-style mushroom ragu for a healthier diet. I use portions of this Marchand de Vin sauce to enrich beef stews, other sauces, and in the version of Eggs Benedict called Eggs Hussarde. A dollop of this makes a plain meal into something really special.

The Prepared Homestead Kitchen: Top Appliances, Part 2

Over this last year my water bath canner has grown into a frequently used item. This time of year, it makes itself useful by simmering gallons of bone broth on our stove due to its generous size. In the summer and early fall, however, it is kept busy canning all the jams, jellies, and sauces I preserve for the coming winter months.

Using a Worm Bin to Create Compost in Your Kitchen

Make exceptionally rich compost quickly and easily by utilizing some of the planets very best eaters - worms! Vermicomposting, or using worms to break down waste materials, is a fast and effective way to turn kitchen scraps into worm castings, a highly valued form of compost.

Fun to Watch, Fun to Eat: Pickled Mixed Vegetables Brined in Glass

I love to ferment vegetables in gallon glass jars, which I leave on the kitchen counter so I can watch the colors mellow. A mixed-vegetable pickle is not only a thing of beauty and an adventure to eat; it’s also a practical use for homegrown produce. Here are complete instructions for making fermented pickles in a gallon jar, with suggestions for varying both the vegetables and the aromatic ingredients.

Hunting for Food

Hunting isn’t for everyone, but what I would like to do is share with interested readers, hunters included, how hunting and fishing helps me provide my own food and move a step closer to a sustainable life here on my farm.

Freeze-Dried vs. Dehydrated Food

Determine the difference between dried food and freeze-dried food to proceed with the preservation method that suits you best.

Pear Mincemeat Recipe for Water Bath Canning

Mincemeat is one of the best ways to preserve an abundance of fall pears. This delicious conserve makes a New England traditional spicy holiday pie. But it’s not just for pie — the chef of a Bon Appetit Top 50 Restaurants asked me for a quart of this to use as a garnish for a very special dinner. Consider a spoonful to garnish any pork or game entrée.

Getting Ready for Winter on Our Urban Farm

The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts for our area “Winter will be cooler and rainier than normal, with above-normal snowfall." To quote a popular television show “Winter is coming." Prepare for winter with this checklist and weatherization ideas.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe for Canning or Freezing

Cranberry sauce (or cranberry relish) is very easy make and preserve by freezing or canning. Use it through the holidays and beyond; it makes a great yogurt topping or spread for toast, as well as an accompaniment for Thanksgiving turkey dinners and the day-after sandwiches.

Preserving Milk: How to Balance Dairy Production Year-Round

Dairy animals such as goats produce milk in a seasonal cycle, requiring homesteaders to handle both an abundance and shortage of milk during the year. Freezing milk directly, and making & preserving cheese, are two ways to ensure a reliable supply of dairy year-round. Allowing your diet to change with the seasons can also reduce the impact of low-milk periods, replacing its nutrition with food crops or meat when milk isn’t convenient to produce.

Fermented Kale Tips and a Recipe for Kale Kimchi

Kale doesn't ferment as well as some of the other members of the brassica family but we still find ourselves wanting to preserve this delicious and nutritious green. Here are tips and a recipe to ensure success fermenting kale.

Know Your Egg Shed, Part 1

An egg shed could be defined as: the eggs produced within a certain distance that go to a specific place. That place could be your kitchen. In chicken-friendly, local food-supportive, low carbon-footprint communities, backyard flocks and small family farms produce eggs. The takeaway message is that egg shed needs for a family, or a community, are relatively easy to meet. A household or a community can somewhat easily be protein self-sufficient.

Food Preservation Through Water Bath and Pressure Canning

In a time where everything you could possibly want comes pre-packaged, pre-canned, filled with preservatives and is processed to last, why should we learn to can? Why should we use our valuable time and resources to learn a skill that has almost become obsolete? I think I can answer these questions in three simple words: to be prepared.

5 Tips for a Greener Christmas

Take notice of your environmental footprint over the festive period and follow our guide for a greener Christmas.

Preserve Your Food in a Root Cellar

Food preservation can be an energy-intensive proposition for any homesteader, but building a root cellar will pay off in the long run. This old-fashioned method of food preservation is one of the simplest ways to keep traditional storage crops like onions, winter squash, apples, pears and root vegetables like turnips, carrots and potatoes.

Community Farmers Convene in America's Heartland

For dozens of reasons, it’s time to convene in America’s heartland a conference of farmers involved in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Here’s a sampler of the key topics that will arise.

Apple Guacamole Recipe

Use the last fresh foods of fall to make a lively guacamole. The apple guacamole is not only a fine substitute to traditional guacamole, but it is lovely in its own right. It’s flavor is subtle, but complicated. It tasted great with homemade nachos. I can even imagine experimenting with different kind of apples for different flavors. The green apple gave is a sour punch, but a sweet apple could work too for a different effect.

The Real Cost Of Food Waste

The world's population is growing but we're wasting much of the food that's being produced. There are protections in place for those donating edible food, and there are many things you can do in your own home to reduce food waste.

Lacto-Fermented Pickled Peppers Recipe

Instructions for lacto-fermenting hot peppers into delicious pickles. These tips will help turn your peppers, whatever the variety, into pickled peppers.

How to Make No-Fail Sauerkraut and Other Ferments

No matter how many pounds of vegetables you are working with, a good tasting result is guaranteed if you ferment in canning jars because the ferments are never exposed to the airborne yeasts and molds that result in off-flavors. As fermentation gases build up, loosen the screw bands on the jars and allow the brine to overflow onto a saucer. In this way, gases leave the jars, but air does not flow back in.

Agroecology Techniques for the Fall

How do we apply life-changing agricultural practices in under-served urban areas? This is a brief sketch of agroecology in the urban, Southeastern region of the United States. Agroecology, food forestry and permaculture all begin by developing small densely planted, oxygen rich, microclimates that when linked in clusters or chains across and area drastically increase biological diversity and plant food production.

How To (Safely) Make Home-Canned Pumpkin or Winter Squash

Learn the correct method for safely making home canned pumpkin and winter squash. A few jars of ready-to-use canned pumpkin on your pantry shelf can save time when you want to bake a pumpkin pie, simmer a squash soup, or make any other favorite recipe calling for pumpkin puree.

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.

Canning for Home Food Preservation: Is it for You?

Canning your own foods can be a rewarding, economical and healthier way to preserve a garden’s bounty — but it’s not for everyone. Here is a bit of the lowdown on what is involved in the process for canning food so you can decide for yourself what will be best to preserve your garden bounty.

Vegetable Quiche Recipe from Leanne Brown’s 'Good and Cheap'

"Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day" is a cookbook demonstrating why having kitchen skills, not budget, is the key to great food. "Good and Cheap" is not a challenge to live on so little — it’s a resource for those who face this reality, or anyone in need of stretching a tight budget.

Safe Food Storage of Your Dehydrated Food

After you have dehydrated and vacuum-sealed your garden's goodies, it's time to store them either for use during the winter and early spring months, or for those people who wish to have on hand an emergency supply of food — this post covers both! From Mason jars to plastic lidded bins, here are safe food-storage tips right here on MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Dehydrating Blueberries

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.

Unusual Fruits, Part 3: American High-Bush Cranberries

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.

Preserving My Tomato Harvest (with Tomato Paste Recipe)

So, what to do when you are eating tomatoes at every meal and still have them coming? It is time to preserve them! There are 3 easy ways to preserve the tomato harvest for fresh from the garden taste year round: freezing, water bath canning, and drying.

6 Ways to Make Food Preservation Faster, Easier and Cooler

Freezing, fermenting, and using a steam canner can reduce the amount of time it takes to preserve foods. Some vegetables can be blanched without freezing, and some can be cooked in a finished dish to make efficient use of your time while the weather is still hot.

Quick Visual Guide to Vegetable Fermentation Questions

Fermentation goes against many rules that we have grown up with — don’t eat food from a can with a dented lid, that is frothing, or that has a bit of mold on top. Here is a a quick visual guide to common fermentation sights — but I don’t want to call it troubleshooting because often these things that look wrong are in fact fine.

Vacuum Sealing Food for Long-Term Storage

How to vacuum seal dehydrated food for long-term storage. Tip: get good bags and use oxygen absorbers. I'll be the first to admit that vacuum-sealing is the noisiest of our six steps, but it's the step where the kids can join in and have fun!

Taste of Fall: Easy Slow-Cooker Homemade Applesauce

I made and preserved homemade applesauce and it's super easy to do. Whether you enjoy eating applesauce as a healthy and natural sweet treat or use it as a replacement for some of the oil used in baking, making your own applesauce is a definite score for the environment as well as your food budget!

Getting Ready for Winter: Preserving Food, Part 1

Preserving food from the harvest is an excellent way to prepare for the winter ahead. Find out the necessary tools for home preserving and the basics for choosing food for preserving. With preparation, you can stock your larder to last all winter.

Plan Your Diet and Garden Together

Cover crops will build your soil and provide compost material. The time to plant is this fall, but you need to know what the next crop will be when deciding just which cover crop to plant where. Think through your garden plan for next year to make the best choices.

Pickled Okra, A Southern Standard

Okra should be a staple of every Southern garden, but most folks don’t grow it because they have no idea what to do with it. If you have a basket full from the garden or want to experiment with a few pounds from the store or the farmers market, give this pickled okra recipe a try.

Green Potato Myths and 10 Steps to Safe Potato Eating

Why do potatoes turn green? What can you do to reduce the amount of green skins on the potatoes you harvest and what are the dangers of eating green potatoes? Read on to learn what you can do to safely eat as much of your potato crop as possible.

Waste Not, Want Not with This Watermelon Rind Pickles Recipe

The white part of watermelon rind makes a delicious pickle! Be sure to take a little time to make some for a garnish on sandwiches or as a key ingredient in Red Pepper Relish. The recipe below has won several ribbons in State Fairs over the years.

One Man's Trash is Another's Weeknight Dinner: Lessons from a Dumpster Diver

Are you bothered by the food industry, landfills, or consumer culture and interested in free, quality eats? If yes, then look no further than your local trash receptacles. Unless a dumpster is located against a building or enclosed by a fence with “No Trespassing” signs, they are veritable treasure troves ripe for plundering.

Quick and Easy Fermented Dill Pickles

Have you ever wanted to make your own pickles, but became discouraged and overwhelmed with the amount of work involved with traditional recipes? Well, here’s a recipe that’s quick, easy and made right in the jar. These fermented dill pickles take very little work or prep time and are delicious, healthful and ready to eat in a week.

Eat Close to Home with Garden-Fresh Salsa

Tomatoes and peppers are plentiful in backyard gardens and at the farmers markets right now. Preserve this bounty in the form of salsa with your water bath canner and you can enjoy the goodness the whole year.

Putting Up Corn Relish

Making corn relish and canning it in a water bath canner is an easy and delicious way to preserve end-of-the-season corn. Open these colorful jars for a taste of summer in the middle of winter.

Pickled Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Pickling Brussels sprouts is an easy, cost-effective canning project. If you like pickled asparagus or pickled green beans, you’re sure to love pickled Brussels sprouts.

Pesto Three Ways

Every summer, I make sure that I get plenty of pesto made and put up in little tubs in the freezer — enough to get me through the winter. There are three different kinds I like to have on hand for use in various dishes: Italian Pesto, French Pistou, and Hatch Pesto. They’re easy to make, freeze well, and make an ordinary meal into something special.

5 Best Food Preservation Methods for Green Beans and Shelling Beans

Food preservation methods for green beans include freezing, drying, pressure canning, pickling, and dry salting. Shell beans may be enjoyed fresh, if harvested when immature. Immature shelling beans are best preserved by freezing. Fully matured beans are usually dried, and may also be pressure canned. This article contains instructions for preparing and preserving green beans and shelling beans by using all of these food preservation methods.

5 Top Tips for Cheese Making at Home

Who would have thought that making your own cheese at home could be so much fun? I have produced cheese as a hobby regularly since 2009, so I thought it would be practical to share with some valuable tips that I have learned along the way.

Quick Barbecue Sauce Recipe for Canning

If your tomato crop is like mine, right now you have just enough ripe fruit for salads and sandwiches with none left over for canning. Here’s a homemade barbecue recipe sauce you can make without waiting for the end-of-season tomato tsunami.

Home-Canned Chicken and Ways to Use It, Part 2

This is Part 2 of a blog series for how to can chicken. It includes great ideas for meals using canned chicken. All of these meals can be made with either home-canned or store-bought canned chicken, but the most satisfying is the meals you make with foods you have had a hand in preserving and preparing, as far back up the chain as you are able to go.

6 Simple Steps to Dehydrate Food Safely

Six simple steps is all it takes to dehydrate food at home. Preserve your garden's bounty by utilizing our easy-to-follow steps in this overview. In subsequent posts, I'll delve into vacuum-sealer bags so you can store your survival food safely.

Electric Dehydrator Accessories (With Tips to Make Your Own)

There are many useful accessories for electric food dehydrators. Here, we explain the Nesco and the Excalibur brand dehydrators' flexible tray inserts which help in the clean-up department. See our money-saving tips, too, for accessory substitutes you can make at home.

Preserve Summer for Winter with This Strawberry Jam Recipe

Strawberry jam just tastes like summer. I look forward to preserving that summer sweetness so I can enjoy it on a cold winter day or next month on a piece of warm bread. And there is an added bonus when you can give strawberry jam away as a gift and put a smile on someone's face.

How to Make and Can Jostaberry Jam

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.

Urban Food Sovereignty is Our Goal

Assisting urban residents in moving toward local food production is an innovative strategic plan for resilient growth. This blog post will outline some of Grow Where You Are’s core projects and outreach methods in an effort to share best practices for developing local food systems in communities that are most in need.

Home-Canned Chicken and Ways to Use It, Part 1

The author tells how to can chicken at home, and gives some ideas on meals to make with it. Last year, the author raised and butchered 75 chickens. But when you stare at more than 70 quarts of chicken in the pantry you start wishing you had more ideas for using canned chicken.

CSA Farms Address Profound Global Concerns

It’s going to take more than individual efforts to meet the profound challenges of global climate change. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is one proven pathway for organizing groups of people to apply their strengths and intelligence in this essential responsibility. We need hundreds of thousands more CSA farms.

Dehydrate Potatoes for Various Uses

A potato can be sliced, diced, shredded, cooked, or uncooked for dehydrating. If you know how you plan to use them in a future use, you can customize how you prepare potatoes for dehydrating.

Gardening Is Biology not Chemistry

Gardening is a biological process, not a chemical one. For a healthy, productive garden, help your plants cultivate the biology in the soil that will feed them.

How to Pick the Perfect Pectin for Homemade Jam

Before commercial pectins, our grandmothers made jam by cooking down fruit, slowly, slowly to keep it from scorching. Pectin is what makes a jam or jelly gel. A little known fact: Which brand of commercial pectin you buy matters in terms of taste, texture, and how fast you are likely to get in and out of the kitchen.

Is Steam Canning Safe?

New research shows that steam canning can be just as safe as water bath canning if performed properly to preserve acidic foods. Here are guidelines for operating a steam canner.

How to Turn Your Lawn into a Food Forest

How might we redesign our spaces to create edible abundance? Transform your water-guzzling lawn into a productive polyculture food forest. If you are ready to transform your lawn and your outdoor living space, read on.

Fermenting Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes, the young flower stems of the garlic plant, have delightful flavor and can be preserved through lactic-acid fermentation in pickles, a convenient flavor paste, or as an ingredient to kraut or kimchi.

Awakening Community Intelligence: CSA Farms as 21st-Century Cornerstones

In the shadow of increasing climate chaos, human survival requires not only the intelligent actions of individuals but also thousands of communities of human beings who have had their inate intelligence awakened and who realize the fundamental link between life and land. In this regard, Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) provides a useful and egalitarian model for sustainable food systems of the future.

How to Pickle Radishes (With Recipe Variations)

Radishes are among the very first non-leafy greens available in the spring. While radish pickles can be canned, I find them more delicious as refrigerator pickles. They can last up to 2 months (but trust me, you’ll eat them long before that time). I create all kinds of variations: Asian-style for use in ramen, sweet, spicy, citrus, and more.

Cubed Spring Radish Kimchi and 5 Reasons to Make It

Radishes are the red and white stars of my spring pickling classes. If you have more radishes in your garden than you can eat, or if you are just looking to try something new—I say pickle them! Not convinced? Here are five reasons radishes are to be fermented and a recipe for Spring Radish Kimchi to get you started.

‘The Wild Wisdom of Weeds’ by Katrina Blair

"The Wild Wisdom of Weeds," by wild-foods advocate and author Katrina Blair, is the only book on foraging and wild edibles to focus on thirteen weeds found all over the world, which together comprise a complete food source and extensive medical pharmacy and first-aid kit. Blair’s philosophy is sobering, realistic, and ultimately optimistic: If we can open our eyes to see the wisdom found in these weeds right under our feet, instead of trying to eradicate an “invasive,” we could potentially achieve true food security and optimal health.

Grow Where You Are: Community Partnerships Support Local Food Production

Grow Where You Are is a social enterprise focusing on assisting communities in creating local food abundance systems. After creating small-scale urban food systems nationally and internationally for over 15 years, we see that even the most effective systems can be easily dismantled without land security. We propose supporting local growers in a transition to home ownership with a dynamic web of community partnership.

Institutional Food

Hospitals traditionally are famous for their terrible food. A recent experience shows it has not changed much.

Commercial Tortillas

What do you have when chemicals and preservatives are added to a simple tortilla?

Drought-Pod 2014 Update

Cooler, wetter summer than usual in Oklahoma, but the tomatoes produced very well with no water from the tap. 2015 experiment begins.

Two Brothers Grow, Hunt and Forage for All Their Own Food for a Year

For calendar year 2015 brothers Edmund and Garth Brown are eating only food that they have produced on their farm or bartered for from a neighbor. To do this successfully they must raise and butcher their own meat, hunt, forage, and cultivate a large vegetable garden.

The Basics of Making Your Own Dog Food

Why are we feeding our dogs the same exact dog food every single day? Why are we feeding our dogs overly processed food when we try to eradicate processed foods from our own diet? Here are a few basic steps to switching your homestead dog over to a more natural diet.

The Chestnut Harvest

September brought a huge chestnut harvest that I delight in gathering and eating.

Shredded Kale Salad Recipe

With a little bit of elbow grease, you can turn kale fresh from the garden into a delicious raw salad in the middle of winter.

‘An Unlikely Vineyard’ by Deirdre Heekin

"An Unlikely Vineyard" by Deirdre Heekin tells her story of growing wine in the unlikely hills of Vermont and her quest to express the essence of place in every bottle. It is about the evolution of her farm from overgrown fields to a fertile, productive, and beautiful landscape that melds with its natural environment. A gentle narrative with lush photography, this book will appeal to anyone who loves food, farms, and living well.

How to Join the Seed-Sharing Movement

Seed sharing has come under attack and seed libraries across the country are being threatened with extinction. Here are nine ways to join the movement to keep seed sharing legal and free.

Let's Make Granola

Healthy homemade granola; easy on your budget, good for your family.

How to Store Carrots Under Straw for Winter

Not being a fan of frozen or canned carrots, I began to wonder how to store carrots under straw for winter to enjoy organic carrots throughout the winter. Living in Central Oregon where beach sand is not at the hand, I gathered garden straw from a local farmer. It is important that you know that straw for the garden has not come from crops treated with herbicides to control broad-leafed weeds.

How to Extract Seeds

How to effectively remove seeds from vegetables, fruits, flowers or herbs isn’t always obvious. Or easy. Sometimes you have to get creative.

How To Form a Successful Cooperative

A small food producers' cooperative in Missouri wins a national award and will share with others how to form a successful co-op that focuses on bartering, sustainability and the economy of neighborliness.

The Larder

Winter food storage in a naturally cooled space.

My 10-Day Local-Food Challenge Experience

The options for obtaining locally grown food have expanded in recent years, particularly with farmers markets. Expand your diet beyond your garden and meet the folks who can help you do that and stay local.

10-Day Local Food Challenge

Could you eat only food grown within 100 miles of your home for 10 days? Learn more about this challenge and why you should consider taking it on.

Simple Easy Blueberry Milk

Check out this delicious, refreshing treat that comes in handy when there are too many blueberries to know what to do with.

How to Save Seeds From Peppers

Saving seeds from peppers is easy. All you need is a pot of water, a drying screen, and peppers. And gloves if you're processing hot peppers...

Canning Summer's Bounty: Easy And Low Tox

Canning is a great way to preserve your own harvest. When canning acidic foods like fruit or tomatoes or anything using vinegar or sugar, you can likely use only a water bath. There are many chemical free canning jars available today for low tox canning.

How to Prevent Alzheimer's With Diet

Learn how to prevent Alzheimer's with diet. There is plenty of time for people to make brain-healthy lifestyle and dietary choices to potentially delay the onset of this dreaded and devastating disease.

What to Do With All That Zucchini

The zucchini harvest overflows. Learn how to preserve zucchini for year-round enjoyment and creative ways to eat it now.

Steadfast Garlic

Garlic is resilient, easy-to-grow, highly nutritious, and a natural antibiotic.

Preserving the Tomato Harvest

With bumper crops of tomatoes coming, there are some simple ways to preserve the fresh off the vine taste year round, no special equipment required.

Seed Libraries: Challenges and Opportunities

Seed libraries are meeting new challenges that point to the need for better education and understanding with the public, and with those charged with enforcing seed laws. Learn about the opportunities that are open in this evolving social movement.

How to Save Seeds From Dry-Seeded Crops

How you harvest and save seeds depends on whether a crop is dry-seeded or wet-seeded. Here are the steps for collecting and cleaning seed from a dry-seeded crop like chervil.

Foraging Heart-Healthy Hawthorn

Hawthorn fruits are in season in late summer and early fall. They are delicious, and also heart-healthy — eat your medicine!

The Beginning of a Root Cellar

A root cellar slowly is dug by hand, with the goal of increasing our homestead's food preservation and storage capacity through the winter.

How to Freeze Peppers

Use this simple technique to preserve your bounty of fresh summer peppers.

Subsistence Farming in Romania

While the grinding work of a Romanian subsistence farm isn’t anything that I would choose for myself, there are aspects of the life that are attractive. In particular, the practices that I think of as the circles of life — eating food one has grown oneself, saving seeds, feeding poultry with garden scraps, and then eating their eggs (or them), and preserving a fruit harvest to cement friendships with strangers.

Cherry Crostata Recipe

This Cherry Crostata Recipe is a simple, delicious way to use summer’s rubies.

A Salute to Food Heritage in France

France puts a premium on preserving its food heritage. Here's one example of that country's many food heritage sites, this one in Brittany.

4 Reasons to Avoid Food Preservatives

Processed foods contain a variety of chemical preservatives that have been linked to serious medical conditions. Here’s what to look for and how to avoid food preservatives.

Fit Farmers for the Future

In a post-carbon agriculture, much of the work of growing food will be done through physical labor and one in six of us will need to have our hands in the dirt. How do we foster a new generation of 50 million fit farmers?

Lessons Learned On a Seed Farm

Achieving real food independence means gaining the knowledge and skills to grow, harvest and store food. The best way to do this is working on a small, local farm.

9 Things to Do With Dandelions

Unlike many wild foods that take a long search, dandelions are found in almost every wood and meadow. And while many wild plants require special training to identify and discriminate from similar-looking poisonous plants, dandelions can be readily identified by every schoolchild.

How to Turn Suburbs Into Food Paradises

Ziggy Liloia examines two poignant books, Paradise Lot and Gaia’s Garden that turn the idea of needing lots of space to grow ample food on its head.

Early Spring Foraging: Violets

Violet leaves are one of the best wild edible salad greens. Their pretty, edible flowers are only in season for a few weeks.

Vandana Shiva to Visit Kansas City

Leading food sovereignty activist Vandana Shiva will present “Cultivating Diversity, Freedom and Hope” in Kansas City. Many other farming and gardening workshops and events are planned for April 17-18, 2014.

How Much To Grow

If you know much of each food from your garden you consume each year, you can better plan how much to grow.

Food as Local as Your Body

Beyond the global, environmental and social impacts of eating local, feeding your organs healthy fuel buys you precious time on earth.

Garlic as Medicine

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

Early Spring Foraging: Garlic Mustard

Garlic mustard has spicy, delicious leaves, flowers, seeds, and roots. It is an invasive species that may be harvested without sustainability concerns. In fact, you'll be doing your environment a favor if you eat this plant!

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.

Greek Country Bread Recipe

This heavy artisan bread is full of flavor, and will be ready by dinnertime if you start right now! The unexpected flavor comes from good quality honey olive oil and barley flour.

Grow Indoor Winter Crops

It is possible to grow fresh crops through the dark months even without a greenhouse, and even where we live, a thousand miles from the Arctic Circle, where the winter sun brings only brief and meager light.