This is our first spring living at our new little homestead! We are putting a lot of attention on our garden and hope to do a lot of canning, fermenting, drying and eating fresh from the bounty!
We have enjoyed it so much! With planting our cool weather plants, working in our mini green house, making new raised beds, Cold frames, putting up gates and putting in raspberries, and more- we have been joyfully busy! It has been a lot of fun taking some pictures we thought y'all might enjoy! We will even share the how-to’s on a few ideas we had and thought you might like to try them yourself.
We are raising our own zinnias from seed I just planted about a fifty foot row (where blueberries will go this fall, after the Zinnias are through blooming.
I love to grow the California Giant Zinnias - they get huge and grow well in our clay soil! These colorful beauties make wonderful bouquets too! Check out my Youtube video about growing Zinnias!
find a six or four pack of small zinnias or begonias or some other small but bright flower
(you may want to by several of these packs, depending on the amount you wish to work with)
Put a single flower plant in a Peat Pot (3”or so ) covering roots with a light potting soil(water lightly so pots don't get to soggy)
We've put these small sweet little flower pots in baskets, tins and other cute containers.
We even made these for “name tags” at the meal table by using one peat pot of flowers, if you like, tie jute around the out side of the pot with a cute bow, write one name on one craft stick - then push the craft stick down in the soil of the flower pot with the name showing ! They are so cute and you can even send them home with your family, friends or guests! Let them know that when they get home, they can dig a little hole and plant pot and all in their garden, if they want!
This could also be a great learning- by-doing project to get your children involved in-they will love watching and helping these beautiful plants grow. They may also learn as they harvest the potatoes from the ground that growing their own food is something they can do and that come time for supper sweet potatoes taste very good!
A wonderful way to preserve and prepare many easy to grow veggies is by fermenting! (Now, our veggies weren't ready for harvest yet so we purchased some organic cabbage, carrots, etc from a local farm stand- you could do the same!)
The process is fairly simple and the food, once its ready, is so good and very healthy for you!
Fermenting vegetables helps to keep your food fresh without freezing or canning! Which is really handy for us off-griders It is an age old, proven art of ”putting food by.” Fermented food contains many enzymes, nutrients, and probiotics. This super-food is so good for your digestion and builds your friendly bacteria that is so helpful for your body’s health. Ferments are just full of life! A book that I refer to often and keep on hand, this time of year is called-
Keeping Foods Fresh-Old World Techniques and Recipes!
Here is a great ferment/kraut recipe that we were introduced to lately, we made up a batch a couple of weeks ago and have been enjoying it every day since!
Use organic ingredients-this is a BIG batch yielding approx. 5 quarts- we fired up the generator & used our food processor to shred everything & the juicer for the celery.
Juice 1 Bunch of Celery
Shred the following Veggies:
2 medium heads of Cabbage (save a few outer leaves for later)
15 large Carrots
1 large Golden Beet
1 Granny Smith Apple
1 bunch Parsley
1/2 bunch Cilantro
4 inch piece of Ginger
1 bulb of Garlic (yes the whole bundle of cloves-garlic helps the fermentation process start)
You can add a jalapeño if you like!
In a LARGE bowl, mix all the shredded vegetables (& apple!) together and add 1/4 teaspoon of liquid Kyolic Garlic and the Celery juice, mix thoroughly.
Pack the vegetables (and juices) into quart jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Place a cabbage leaf over the top of the packed vegetables, tucking it into the jar, put the lids on loosely so it can breathe. Keep in a cool, dry, dark place for 7 days (we put the jars in a roaster pan to catch any bubbling juices), then your ferments/kraut is ready! Store in a cold place like a refrigerator or a cooler with ice- this slows down the fermenting process. The ferments/Kraut will keep for up to 3 months.
by Amanda Feifer