Home & Garden

Blueberry netting project.

Blueberry netting project.

About a year ago I planted out six blueberry bushes on our property.   With brand new plants you must be patient since you really are supposed to wait THREE YEARS before harvesting any blueberries.  We are just THICK with deer so to protect the plants I set up a small wire cage around each one.  Well now the plants are outgrowing the cages so I decided to build a larger structure that would protect the bushes from birds and deer.  I'm sort of experimenting here.  I don't really know of anyone else doing something quite like this.  My plan is to use large T-Posts that will hold up some heavy weight netting over the entire blueberry patch.  This netting will surely keep the birds away and my hope is it will deter the deer as well.  This is only part one of this project.  I don't have the netting yet.  I'll post results when I finish the project!

Homemade applesauce at Nate's KITCHEN!

Homemade applesauce at Nate's KITCHEN!

It's time to preserve more food!  This year's apple crop is just about to finish up so get into your kitchen and cook up some applesauce!  It's very easy to make and it really hits the spot with holiday ham or during those cold winter months.  This video is the first part in a multi-part video on my youtube channel NATE's KITCHEN which you can find by CLICKING HERE!  Enjoy!

Planting garlic for next year.

Planting garlic for next year.

Fall is the best time to plant your garlic crop for next year.  Garlic is a bulb which means that each little clove of garlic can produce a brand new BIG head of garlic with lots more little cloves for cooking!  The thing is a bulb needs a "wintering over", a cold period to set it's clock running.  Then in the spring when the earth gets to just the right temperature the bulbs begin to grow, just like a crocus or daffodil.  So the important thing to do is plan where you'd like to have your garlic patch for next year and then sow your garlic!  We planted these bulbs 4-6 inches apart and 2-3 inches down.  I should also mention that we have lots of heads of garlic in our basement from our harvest this year.  With proper storage techniques, ie. cool, dark and dry, we will have garlic right through the winter!

Morning chores on the farm.

Morning chores on the farm.

Every morning I have to take fresh water to our little flock of laying hens.  Occaisionally my daughter, Jane will join me.  I cherish these special times with my daughter.  Sometimes a teaching opportunity shows up but mostly we just enjoy being together.  That's what I like about my farming hobby.  It gives us common goals which also presents us with  more opportunities to do things as a family! 

Apple Pomanders Part 1

Apple Pomanders Part 1

When you make apple cider one of the byproducts is apple pulp or pomace.  A good use for this pulp to make something called a "pomander".  That's a small round ball of perfumed material that is tied up in fabric.  This can then be hung on a Christmas tree or around the house where it gives off sweet fragrances.  So we mixed cinnamon, clove, and ginger into the pulp and then shaped it into balls.  Then we rolled the balls in yet more cinamon and have set them on a pan to dry.  We've got the pan under our wood stove at the moment and it makes the whole living room smell wonderful!  As you can see my daughter, Jane really enjoyed making them!

Making homemade cider!

Making homemade cider!

We just made some homemade cider and it was delicious!  I do not have a proper cider press but I did have a home made cheese press that I decided to try to use as a cider press.  It worked quite well!  First I cut up the apples into quarters.  Then I put them into a food processor with the metal blade and chopped them quite fine.  It almost looked like applesauce but more coarse.  Then I lined a cheese mold with cheese cloth.  A cheese mold is basically a cylinder of food grade plastic with no bottom and holes on the sides.  With the cheese cloth inside the mold I added my apple pulp.  Then I folded the cheese cloth over the pulp and put the follower in.  Then I put the top of my press in place and put rocks on top of that for weight!  Underneath the cheese mold is a plain old disposable 8x8 foil cake pan that has a hole poked in one corner.  That way all the cider flows to that little hole and down into a bowl.  And t