Food Preservation

Food Preservation

Preserving the food we grow at home or buy in bulk from a local farmer can seem daunting to the beginner. We know that food safety is important, but how do we achieve it? This food preservation site from K-State has the answers. Many resources have been combined into one convenient location. Learn more about: Canning. Curing and smoking. Dehydrating. Food business. Freezing. Jams and … Continue reading Food Preservation

Veggie Wash

Veggie Wash

Homegrown vegetables are good for you, but they are frequently dirty. Veggie Wash is an all-natural cleaning spray that seems to do a good job getting the produce clean and ready to eat. For things like tomatoes, apples, and peaches, just spray the fruit and rub it clean under running water. For berries and lettuce, fill the sink with cold water, add the produce, and … Continue reading Veggie Wash

Keeping a Garden Journal

Keeping a Garden Journal

Gardening season is finally upon us! If you’re like most gardeners, you are looking forward to planting seeds with the full expectation of making this the best gardening year yet. While much of gardening comes down to experience, diligence, and creativity, having the right tools makes a big difference. One handy tool is the garden journal.   Advantages of Keeping a Garden Journal Permanent record. … Continue reading Keeping a Garden Journal

Luster Leaf Rapitest Soil Test Kit

Luster Leaf Rapitest Soil Test Kit

Knowing the state of your garden soil is handy, but if your garden is for personal family use only, you probably don’t feel justified in ordering a professional lab analysis. Fortunately, inexpensive test kits are available online. This kit by Luster Leaf seems to do a fair job. It tests: pH. Nitrogen. Phosphorus. Potassium. As you can see, only the bare basics are included. The … Continue reading Luster Leaf Rapitest Soil Test Kit

The Family Garden Journal

Family Garden Journal Introductory Price Ends January 2017

The new compact edition of The Family Garden Journal, published by Homestead on the Range, is currently available for $19.99 at Amazon.  This offer will end at the beginning of the new year! This beautiful paperback journal can help you or a loved one develop a green thumb while creating a keepsake: Start by planning for success with our Step-by-Step Gardening Guide. Check items off … Continue reading Family Garden Journal Introductory Price Ends January 2017

Get Ready for December 2016

Get Ready for December 2016

Christmas will be here before you know it! Prepare tasty treats and heartfelt gifts from your own homegrown offerings, and snuggle up on the couch for a little storytelling. Retell the story of Sod Corn Jones. Read Scripture passages about the meaning of Christmas. Make a sweet potato beetle. Encourage your child to start an EcoJournal. Give a weather diary this Christmas. Create homemade gifts … Continue reading Get Ready for December 2016

Walnut Toxicity

Walnut Toxicity

To protect themselves from competition, black walnut trees exude a toxin called juglone.  Gardens planted near black walnut trees or roostocks frequently fail to thrive due to this toxin.  Many plants can be affected, but tomatoes and potatoes show the greatest susceptibility. Juglone enters the soil from the roots, bark, leaves, and nut hulls of the walnut tree.  It cannot move far, as it is … Continue reading Walnut Toxicity

Top 10 Books for Beginning Farmers

Top 10 Books for Beginning Farmers

Just getting started? Whether you are still in the early planning stage or are trying to overcome your first obstacle, one of the best things you can do is to read extensively. Many others have walked the path before you. Why not smooth your own learning curve and take advantage of their experience? While there are many excellent books we could recommend (just check out … Continue reading Top 10 Books for Beginning Farmers

Verticillium Wilt

Verticillium Wilt

Verticillium wilt is caused by six different species of fungus, all of the genus Verticillium.  These six fungi can attack most of the plants and trees that gardeners like to grow, including vegetables, fruits, and ornamental plants. Verticillium fungi spend the winter in plant debris lying on the ground.  Cool, wet weather triggers it to spread rapidly, creeping into wounded tissue or entering the soil … Continue reading Verticillium Wilt

Powdery Mildew

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is caused by one of the most common and widely distributed fungi that plague gardens.  The disease can attack a wide range of plants, as it is caused by several species of the order Erysiphales.  A sampling of commonly affected plants includes: Cucumbers. Pumpkins. Squash. Melons. Grapes. Phlox. Peonies. Lilacs. Bluegrass. Fescue. The fungus arrives on the scene in the form of spores … Continue reading Powdery Mildew