Not long ago, my Dad came to my house and we were out in the garden. I was talking about growing dried beans and he asked me about what the plant looked like. When you’ve only seen beans in bags from a grocery store, it totally makes sense. I remember wondering how dried beans grew too! I actually find that quite a few people who visit my garden find the dried beans fascinating. I hope this guide dispels all the mystery and helps you feel confident in growing dried beans!Read More
I am starting a new series of blog posts that will be come out the first week of each month. It is “Getting Started with a Year Round Garden”. Even though much of the things I will talk about will be applicable to any garden season there are definitely other things that will really help you if you plan on gardening through fall and winter.
And perhaps you already have a garden established but there will still be lots of information that can be applied to an existing garden. I have a tendency to think big and imagine an idealized garden even though there may not be such a thing in existence. That being said, I think it’s good to know what the ideal would look like so you can strive for it even when your garden is less than ideal. I think with enough determination anyone can make an amazing garden even out of the most unlikely garden site. We have had to deal with less than ideal sites in 2 out of 3 of our gardens.Read More
I have a very special guest post today by Cameron! He is the builder around here and because he can explain this way better than I can, he is going to give you all the details on how to build a low tunnel. I also made my first ever YouTube video to explain the process if you prefer to just watch rather than read (please keep that in mind as your watching haha!).Read More
I talked all about the basics of crop rotation in the home garden in THIS article. I wanted to go beyond the basics and address an issue that often comes up with crop rotation. The problem is growing a lot of one crop family, resulting in an uneven rotation of crops. In most cases this is the nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, etc.)Read More
I’ve never been naturally thrifty. It takes a conscious and consistent effort for me to be frugal. However, it is something that I find important to because we have a budget that we need to stick to and I want to keep our homestead garden profitable. And by profitable, I refer to the money I “make” by saving money at the grocery store. I like to keep a tally of garden expenses vs. garden returns.Read More
If you are growing an organic garden, prevention of diseases and pests is so important. We have several preventative tools to use. In last weeks post, I talked about the importance of cover crops in the home garden. The next step in maintaining a healthy garden is crop rotation. Crop Rotation means moving different crops around the garden in set time intervals. A common practice is to rotate crops yearly. However, if you have a long enough season to do some succession planting, rotating crops may happen more often.Read More
We often hear of cover crops used on large scale farms but what about the home garden? I’m here to tell you, you can do this as a home gardener and it will improve your garden soil and as a result your yields. I personally have used several cover crops in my home garden and they are worth the effort and not hard to do.Read More
The first time I experienced cabbage worms was on my kale plants. I planted them in May right after my last frost date and by June I was finding holes riddled throughout the leaves.
If you’ve had cabbage worms on curly kale before, you know the crop is pretty much done for. Finding those worms in the folds is about impossible and the idea of accidentally eating one never really appealed to me. My husband often says “it’s extra protein” and while he’s right, I just can't do it. At least not on purpose.Read More
I’ve been trying to grow strawberries organically for the last ten years. Eight of those ten years have been complete failures. I had one good year, my second year where I was taking in bowls of healthy strawberries but every year after that I was dealing with major diseases.
I finally had a BIG breakthrough this year! I did all these things on my list and it worked! Where we live in Arkansas there is a multitude of diseases because the heat, humidity, and rain. If you are struggling with healthy strawberries just follow these tips and you will have success.Read More
When it comes to growing a lot of food in a small area, I have so many tricks and tips to share with you! My own garden is 5000 square feet right now but it wasn’t always that way.
And to tell you the truth, since we are growing a year’s worth of food for six people, I still constantly employ all my methods for growing a large amount of food in a small space. If you check out my Guide on How Much to Plant Per Person for a Year’s Worth of Food, you will see that you need to be creative to make that happen with the space you have.
Want to know the first BIG secret to growing more food in a small area?Read More
I’m a huge believer in having the right tools for the job. When you put a lot of effort into something like a garden it can be so frustrating to fail because you didn’t have the right supplies.
To be honest, I wish I would have found these tools years ago. I could have saved hundreds of hours of back breaking labor. I’m not kidding you. A great garden tool is like a shortcut to your best garden ever!Read More
Overwatering. My kids recently experienced this one. They get so excited for starting their seeds and want to take the best care of them. It’s kind of like smothering a pet, you love it so much it hurts the pet. Don’t do that with your seeds. Wait until the soil is beginning to feel almost dry to water. And I mean almost dry, not completely dry. There should still be a bit of moisture in the soil. Your little seedling babies will be ok, I promise.