Category Archives: gardening

I have been Slooow about Blogging!

Some Followers have  been wondering where we have been and what happened to our Blog Posts?

While I seriously wanted to start writing some serious Blog Posts about Homesteading,  Life around our Homestead has been keeping us busy.  I thought I would go ahead and share what we have been up to – What’s worked out — and— What hasn’t!

Back in Mid-February I was installing a Propane Heater in our Home and somehow – someway- I ended up pulling a muscle in my knee.  I am still not sure what happened or what I did. Needless to say I ended up going through the X-Ray’s, MRI’s and subsequent Knee Surgery ( which I didn’t need)  That’s another story for another day–

The Gardening Part —–

Soon after the healing began, my wife and I began our Gardening Adventure. We opted for the Cool idea of raised bed gardening and experimenting with what we could grow and not grow at our new homestead in Tennessee. We found vegetable plants galore at our local Produce stand and at the Mennonite Community a couple of hours away.  We came home with several varieties of Pepper plants, Tomato Plants, Broccoli, Kale, Lettuces, along with a couple of Raspberry bushes. 

She started from seed with Carrots, Arugula, and some other varieties which failed to produce much.  It seems we may have planted too late as they mostly like the cold/cooler weather to survive.

We also enclosed the raised beds in a hand built enclosed area to thwart any intrusion by deer and other hungry creatures. It Seems to be working to keep them at bay with a nice supply of Tomatoes, lettuce, and we are waiting to see what the Broccoli does. Let’s keep our fingers crossed on those!

The Cooking Part—

While my wife has been doing alot of cooking with the Crockpot, a countertop convection oven and an — occasional — Charcoal in ground grilling, we still don’t have a stove yet.  We are really waiting for the time to finish our cabinets and countertops in our kitchen before investing in a small electric range.   We decided in the meantime to purchase a large liquid Propane gas grill which would provide us with many more options for cooking and baking.

Instead of investing that money in a grill and leaving it outside to the elements of nature we decided to build a covered deck to keep it- and us – out of those same elements.

We purchased most of the materials to build from our local Hardware and Lumber Supply store and added on to our existing front porch and cabin. In the near future we have a plan to add an extension to our front porch and screen that in as well. We also purchased the matching roofing metal from our friends at Rocky Top Metals near Spencer Tennessee.  We plan to screen the grilling deck at the same time we build the extended front porch. If you happen to have some interest in building a deck like this stay tuned for my next Blog Post….I’ll be providing simple instructions to Build Your Own!

Our Next Project — We will finally install our ceiling inside our cabin – We have decided on an Industrial Vintage look and will share once it’s completed!

As always, Feel free to write us and ask a question — Or— Just leave a comment and tell us your experiences!

 

10 Fruits You Can Easily Grow On Your Homestead – Guest Post

10 Fruits You Can Easily Grow On Your Homestead

Everybody has a different goal when it comes to homesteading. Some people like the idea of being able to grow all their own food simply for the old-fashioned, idyllic nature of it all. Some people are trying to prepare for long-term self-sufficiency or guard against natural disasters or emergencies. Others just want to save a bit of money at the grocery store. 
Personally, I like growing my own food because it is liberating. I like the idea of producing everything that I eat, and while things like vegetables and chicken eggs are easy to produce, fruits have always been my Achilles heel.
However, there are some fruits that thrive in most climates that can be grown with relatively little skill. Regardless of whether you are a newbie to the world of gardening or you have been doing it for decades, you should consider growing these ten fruits on your homestead this year.

 1. Cantaloupes

 

Nothing quite compares to the crunch of a homegrown cantaloupe. These fruits are easy to grow and easy to preserve – but definitely will be hard to share! They have a short date to maturity, with many producing fruit in as little s sixty-five days. Many homesteaders have success when planting cantaloupes via succession planting, growing multiple crops so that they have a consistent harvest throughout the season.

2. Strawberries

 

Strawberries are an obvious choice on our list of the easiest fruits to grow. This is because they are incredibly versatile, enjoying success regardless of whether they are grown in hanging baskets, in the ground, or in containers.
 
They prefer well-drained soil and lots of sun. As your strawberries develop, remove any runners that appear. This will help encourage fresh growth and a greater volume of fruiting. We grow our strawberries in raised beds, which helps to combat weeds and maintain proper soil quality and structure.

3. Blueberries

 

Blueberries love acidic soil, and produce nutritious berries toward the end of summer. These fruits can be grown directly in the ground or in containers, but we recommend growing them right in the ground as a landscaping feature, as they’ll produce gorgeous, scented flowers in the spring.
 
When you select your blueberry bushes, only choose those that are self-pollinating. Otherwise, you will need more than one plant to produce fruit, which can be cumbersome to deal with.

4. Watermelons

 

Watermelons are so much fun to grow, particularly for small children who have a tendency to over water plants. You really can’t overdo it on water for these moisture-loving melons, and they are both delicious and nutritious.
Easy to grow in any garden, watermelon is hardy in zones 3 to 11. This includes a majority of the United States, and you can modify when and where you plant your watermelon to meet the ideal growing season length and conditions for your watermelons.
 

5. Raspberries

 

The raspberry is a homestead classic, growing well in areas that were once ravaged by fire. These opportunistic fruits grow well in acidic soils, and there are both summer and autumn-fruiting varieties. They prefer good drainage and ample sunshine, but can also thrive in the shade depending on the variety you select.
Grower’s tip – after you harvest your raspberries, remove any branches that once produced fruit. The ones that are left will provide you with next year’s fruit, and the plant won’t have to expend extra energy toward repairing old branches.

6. Apples

 

While some people claim to have success growing apples in containers, I personally find it easier just to care for apple trees when they are planted directly in the ground. Apples prefer well-drained soils and full-sun, and should be pruned every winter to simulate growth.
Keep in mind that if you already have apple trees on your property, they might not produce the kinds of apples you are used to eating from the grocery store. Wild apples are perfectly safe for consumption, but will have thicker outer skins and a more intense, bitter flavor. They are suitable for baking, but otherwise should just be left to your livestock.

 

7. Pears

 

There’s nothing quite like a pear to add a savory flavor to your dinners or desserts. There are multiple choices when it comes to growing these beauties, too. You can grow them like bushes from dwarfing root stock, or even grow them against a wall or lattice.
Some varieties of pears are self-pollinating, so you will only need one pear tree to be successful. However, raising more than one is definitely recommended, so that you’ll end up with tons of fruit. Peaches taste great when canned in syrup as well as when they are frozen, so there’s no reason not to plant tons so that you can have enough to snack on during the winter months, too.
8. Plums

 

Plum trees are super easy to grow, but are often overlooked by homesteaders. However, if you are considering growing fruit on your small farm, you should definitely consider growing plums. These don’t have the need for pollination, as most varieties are self-fertile, and will produce plenty of fruit throughout the middle to end of summer.
As you are growing your plum trees, make sure you keep the fruits at least two inches apart. Thinning the fruit will ensure that your fruits develop appropriately and also that you will have a good crop in the following year, too. Consider planting them against a wall or another structure to grow outward as a fan, and always make sure you plant plums in full sunlight.

9. Figs

 

Figs are sun-loving trees that provide a taste of the Mediterranean to any dish. They have a sweet, chewy flavor that make them ideally for including in salads or side dishes. They also take great on their own, and can be dehydrated and stored for long-term use.
Figs can be grown in containers to help restrict their roots, and this also allows you to overwinter them. This is particularly important if you live somewhere with harsh winters, where your fig trees might not be able to survive a rugged winter outdoors. You can add supplemental compost to ensure that all of the fig’s desired nutrients are being provided.

 

10. Peaches

 

Many Thanks to Rebekah White for Submitting this Article!!

Rebekah Pierce is a writer for J&R Pierce Family Farm, and owns a small farm in upstate New York. 

 

 

 

 

How To Plant An Onion That Has Sprouted? Grab These 9 Easy Steps Now!

Our Guest Article  is from Lucy Clark, Chief Editor at Garden Ambition

Hi there! I’m Lucy – founder of GardenAmbition.com and  
I’m a self-confessed garden fanatic. Gardening has always been a passion of mine and 
will always be my favorite pastime. Now that I am married and have one adorable son, I 
have the time to write and share my personal experiences with other garden enthusiasts 
like me.

Did you know how to plant an onion that has sprouted? If not, then now is the best time to add spice and yummy flavors to raw or cooked dishes through growing your very own onions. But how can you grow one?

 

 

Compared to other vegetables and plants, onion can grow again through planting either the part with a rooted mass on the bottom or an entire onion bulb. As soon as you planted and watered it, the roots located at the bottom will start to develop. After that, green onions will start to grow right at the top of the old onion.

HOW CAN YOU GROW A SPROUTED ONION?

Consider these step-by-step procedures if you want know how to plant an onion that has sprouted:

A Small onion held by hand with fertilizer

 

  1. Choose a healthy-looking onion which has sprouts in 8 inches or 12 inches pots. Pick one in every pot. Don’t forget to cut off rotted, pitted, or moldy parts prior to planting. Take care and maintain the core and the roots of the bulb.
  2. Start filling every pot with a good potting mix. As much as possible, leave some inches space on the top.
  3. Create a hole in the middle of the soil which about the depth and width of the vegetable.
  4. After that, put every onion in one pot carefully while layering it with enough soil to allow the base of the shoots meets the surface of the soil.
  5. Gently but firmly press down the soil to get rid of the air pockets.
  6.  Then thoroughly water the pot until the water goes out from the drainage holes.
  7. Next thing to do when you want to learn how to plant an onion that has sprouted is that you have to place the pots under a shaded spot for a few weeks. Let them get sufficient amount of sunlight but never expose them directly to the light. You should know that their roots need time to adjust and cultivate. Moreover, don’t forget to add fertilizer. You can also used shredded leaves and twigs as a natural fertilizer for your onions.

 

A closer look of onion while inside the plantation

  1. Slowly expose them to more sunlight after a couple of weeks. You may start at partial shade, then after some time, allow them to have a full sun exposure.
  2. If necessary, harvest the sprouts. You could utilize onion sprouts on anything you would utilize onion. It will surely make a delightful garnish.

 

IS IT SAFE TO EAT SPROUTED ONIONS?

The answer to that question would be a resounding Yes. It’s still good especially if the shoots and roots are still tiny. In fact, some individuals out there love to eat sprouted onions. This vegetable is well-known with vegans as they contain plenty of proteins.

 

Closer look of onions in the field

Just be sure to check for rot or mold particularly if this thing has been stuck around in a cool and dark area for more than one week. When you notice that there are molds, simply cut that part out and eat the rest. However, if the onion is already black in color or too mushy, throw it away.

 

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO PLANT ONIONS?

Another thing to take note if you are determined to learn how to plant an onion that has sprouted is the right time to grow it. Many people plant their own onion as soon as spring comes. However, did you know that it is possible to have a head start right on your harvest through planting during fall too?

 

A fresh sprout in an onion

Why opt to plant during fall? Primarily, this is the time when there just a few tasks that you need to do. In addition to that, onions that are planted at this moment are more reliable and more productive than their counterparts. Most of the time, they are less prone to pests, which enjoy munching on these vegetables. To get rid of these pests, spray chemicals.

TIME TO HARVEST!

After knowing how to plant an onion that has sprouted, it’s about time to learn how to harvest it. Once you’ve noticed that the growing onion raised a bit out of the soil, and the leaves begin to turn yellow, this already indicates that it is time for harvest.

 

A bulb onion which has a short sprout

Generally, through bending its leaves, you are stopping them from growing further. Cut off the flowing sap so that you can divert all energy of the plant into the growing bulb. Approximately 50% of the top should be broken over prior to harvesting onions.

You can leave the onion in an open sunlight for a couple of days to dry the tops and necks. Take note that it is not advisable for extremely hot areas. Better use shady, airy places to avoid direct sunlight which might damage the bulb.

Fresh onions which can be found in the market

FINAL THOUGHTS

There you go – the things you need to know on how to plant an onion that has sprouted. Just like other veggies out there, you need to exert effort, time, and accuracy to achieve better results. Planting onions, as an essential kitchen staple, is a great help. Aside from the fact that it reduces the need to buy from supermarkets, it also assures you that you will receive fresh vegetables.

Thank you for reading this article, and don’t forget to share! Hope it helps you a lot.