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  • pruning a tree

    Pruning Apple Trees

    Apple trees truly are giving trees. In spring, their fragrant, pale blossoms dot the landscape with a welcome, hopeful change from the soggy grays and browns of late winter. In summer, their lush foliage offers shade from the bright sun. In fall, their juicy fruit is the stuff of the best memories—hay rides at the […] More

  • watermelon

    8 Low Sugar Fruits: A Safer Way To Snack

    Fruits are nature’s candy and offer an array of flavors, colors, and textures for us to enjoy. But these sweet treats are so appealing because of their high sugar content, and if you’re on a low-sugar or no-sugar diet, you might want to avoid them. But some fruits are lower in sugar than others, making […] More

  • wild grapes

    Wild Grapes

    31Among the wild food just waiting to be plucked from open fields, deep forests, lush riverbanks and country roadsides, wild grapes have got to be a favorite. If you’re a fan of the delicious fruit, you’re not alone. It turns out that humans have likely been gathering grapes for 15,000 years before we were cultivating […] More

  • persimmons

    How To Eat A Persimmon

    When I first moved to California, the house we rented had a mature Fuyu persimmon tree in the front yard. I had never tasted a persimmon before and didn’t know what to make of them. It wasn’t long before the tree’s boughs began to bend with the weight of plump fruit, and I suddenly had […] More

  • strawberries on vine

    Growing Strawberries

    Everyone who gardens knows that homegrown food is more delicious than what you can buy in the store. Strawberries are the prime example. Since a perfectly ripe strawberry is even more juicy and soft than a ripe peach, they are practically impossible to pick and transport commercially. Industrial farms grow hardy breeds of strawberries that […] More

  • person holding watermelon to sky

    How To Tell If A Watermelon Is Ripe

    To say my daughter is a melon fan is a gross understatement. This child could live on melon alone, and left to her own devices, she probably would. Her favorite melon being the watermelon, we made it our joint mission years ago to learn how to choose the best one. Even at 8 years old, […] More

  • apples on tree

    9 Tasty Apple Varieties You Should Try

    Dad climbed into the passenger seat. The children were already settled in the back. We were off to the orchard to pick apples, bring them home, and make some much-loved applesauce and apple pie. Dad asks, “What kinds of apples do you plan on getting? Your mother always loved the Northern Spy. She said they […] More

  • rhubarb garden

    Homestead Stories: Great Grandpa’s Rhubarb

    The first heavy frost has just hit and the temperature has taken a nose dive well below freezing. The gardens are all tucked in their beds, well covered with leaves. Little nobs still poke their heads above the frozen earth, but the remnants of my great grandfather’s rhubarb are well blanketed with a thick layer […] More

  • thimble berries in hand

    Cultivating Thimbleberries In The Homestead Garden

    Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus Nutt.) is a common bramble plant found growing in the wild on sunny, sub-alpine, mountainous slopes and avalanche tracks from Alaska to California. In fact, thimbleberries are a circumpolar fruit that grows wild in Japan and Russia and all but the most southern regions of North America. Red when ripe, thimbleberries may […] More

  • How To Start A Blueberry Patch With Three Plants

    There are many reasons why you should introduce blueberries into your landscape, and the first is they’re delicious. Blueberries are a tiny, but mighty fruit that packs a punch. Full of antioxidants, cancer-fighting, and having anti-aging properties, blueberries should be a part of your summer diet. These were absolutely delicious! #blueberries #eatyourfruit #summerdays #delicious A post […] More

  • Planting Currant Bushes

    Currants are a great addition to any homestead. Native to the United States, currants are a flavorful and versatile berry used in jellies, jams, wine, cordials, puddings, and pies. Currants, no matter whether they are black, red, pink, or white, establish readily in the homestead garden where they will provide an annual abundance of sweet […] More

  • blackberries on trellis

    Growing Blackberries

    Blackberries are easy to grow. A diverse array of blackberry varieties are native to almost all of North America. They are especially abundant in areas with warm summer days, cool nights, and plenty of moisture. An aggregate fruit composed of many tiny fruits known as drupes, blackberries are similar in taste and growth habit to […] More

  • pile of watermelon

    Companion Planting For Melons

    As any experienced gardener will tell you, it takes a whole lot more than sun and soil to successfully cultivate a homestead garden. Moisture, nutrition, as well as weed and pest control are required. While many gardeners treat their garden with commercial insecticides to prevent insect pests, these noxious chemicals have the adverse affect of […] More

  • strawberries nearly ripe

    Companion Planting For Strawberries

    The sweetest, juiciest strawberries you’ll ever enjoy will come from a home garden. By growing strawberries at home, you’ll enjoy fully ripened, chemical-free berries. Like other homegrown produce, the strawberries you grow at home will be more flavorful than whatever you could buy at a supermarket. One of the ways you can grow the best strawberries […] More

  • canned asparagus in jars

    Best Canning Recipes

    Canning is a fun project that gets your hands dirty, keeps your food fresh, and gives you a last-minute gift option when the holidays roll around. The key to successful canning is starting with a recipe you can trust. We pulled these gems from our favorite homesteading and farming blogs. We also recommended the best […] More

  • apples in bucket

    Too Many Apples Broke This Apple Tree

    My Dad’s running a gardening experiment in his backyard. What happens if you let an apple tree fully fruit, instead of thinning the smaller fruits in the spring? This is what happens: Yes, the apple crop broke Dad’s tree. He didn’t launch this investigation on purpose—he’s had some health problems lately. I’m sure, if he’d […] More

  • dehydrated habanero peppers

    Best Dehydrator Recipes

    If you’re lucky enough to have an overabundance of fruit, veggies, or meat, you also have a problem. How to preserve this bounty? Refrigeration may only keep the stuff fresh for a few days. Freezing? Maybe a few months—less if your power happens to go out. Dehydration is the best way to store food for […] More

  • apples spoiled by codling moths

    Organic Codling Moth Control

    In Western Washington, our apple trees have two major enemies: codling moths and apple maggots. While codling moths can be a nuisance (they don’t ruin the apple), apple maggots can leave the entire fruit bitter and unusable, even for cider. Yet some of the easy solutions for apple maggots don’t protect from codling moth. The […] More

  • Organic Choices

    Inspiration Green Organic Choices, See which foods have the least and most pesticide residues. USDA data. More

  • Douglas Bullock

    Best Fruit Trees for Seattle

    At my permaculture design course last weekend the guest speaker was Douglas Bullock, of the well-known Bullock Brothers Permaculture Homestead on Orcas Island. Douglas was lecturing on the overall topic of soil, and specifically spoke about nitrogen-fixing plants, sheet mulching, microclimates, and last but not least, orchard design and his personal fruit tree recommendations for […] More