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:
- Curing and smoking.
- Food business.
- Jams and jellies.
- Special diets.
On each of these topics, choose from an extensive list of resources, including PDFs, videos, and external links.
Just to give you a sampling of the questions you can find answers to:
- What special methods do I need to use to can low-acid fruits?
- How do I build my own smokehouse?
- How do I make beef jerky safely?
- How long can I store frozen foods?
- Is it safe to use a pickle recipe written before 1994?
- Where can I find good jelly recipes?
- How do I make my own horseradish sauce?
- Where can I find canning instructions that are safe to use?
- What is the science behind canning?
- How do I adjust canning times for my altitude? (No, Kansas is not flat!)
- What are the regulations on selling home-preserved foods at the local farmers market?
Also, every other month you will find a new issue of the Preserve It Fresh, Preserve It Safe newsletter—two pages of seasonally relevant advice and sometimes a recipe.
A great resource for the dedicated home canner, with plenty of other information for those looking for simple but safe ways to preserve the harvest.
What child doesn’t love Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books? Now they can see firsthand what it might have been like to live in Laura’s time!
The World of Little House by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christine Wyss Eriksson introduces the people and places of the Little House series in a fun, child-friendly format.
After a biography of Laura, each chapter begins with an introduction to a little house that she lived in and a description of her daily life there. Then comes an explanation of the historical objects and events that shaped her experience, such as covered wagons or railroad construction.
Next are activities that children can try out:
- Stitching nine-patch quilt squares.
- Making homemade butter.
- Pulling molasses candy
- Creating thimble pictures.
- Making an autograph book.
- Replicating Mary’s beaded bracelet.
- And many more!
Once young readers have enjoyed imitating aspects of pioneer life, they can look at an excellent timeline to see how Laura’s life fits into the broader context of history. Wrapping things up is contact information for the various places that Laura lived, many of which have been restored and converted into museums.
A fun and informative book for young Little House fans.
Are you considering getting a dairy goat? Before you get started, you might want to read this handy guide from Storey Publishing.
Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats by Jerry Belanger and Sara Thomson Bredesen covers all the basics:
- Purchasing goats.
- Keeping records.
Along the way, you will find helpful diagrams, schedules, recipes, and more. You will learn about goat meat, milk composition, and the truth about goat-related myths.
In Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats you will find answers to many of the questions you may have about getting started and probably some advice on things you haven’t yet considered. Take the time to read this book before you buy your first goat. It may prove to be a big help to you.
Looking for a gift idea for a young gardener? Here’s a book that may spark an interest.
Practical but inviting, The Christian Kids’ Gardening Guide by Rebecca Park Totilo makes the gardening process fun and simple. Besides discussing the basics of planning, planting, and caring for plants, this book offers projects galore:
- Make seed tape.
- Plant trees.
- Create compost.
- Mix up bug repellant.
- Bake carrot cake.
- Turn pumpkins into decorative pots.
- Press flowers.
- Mix up herbal soap.
- And more!
Four interesting garden designs are provided:
- The Salad Bowl Garden.
- The Moon Garden.
- The Butterfly’s Buffet.
- The Healing Cross Garden.
Super-small-scale ideas are provided for apartment dwellers, as well.
And while children are learning about plants and how to raise them, they will learn about the plants of the Bible with verses and simple devotions.
A book with substance, but plenty of fun, as well. Great choice for that fledgling gardener in your family!
Since fall migration is picking up, some of you may be looking for ways to attract new birds to your yard. Here’s a friendly book that will give you some ideas.
The Backyard Bird Feeder’s Bible: The A-to-Z Guide to Feeders, Seed Mixes, Projects, and Treats by Sally Roth is arranged alphabetically, starting with accessories and ending with zinnias. Entries are grouped into eight categories:
- Plants for Food: How to grow flowers and trees that birds love.
- Bird Foods: Tasty treats using ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
- Birds: All about common species of backyard birds.
- Bird Behavior: Why birds do the things that they do.
- Bird Watching: How to sharpen your skills.
- Animal Visitors: Attracting and deterring the mammals that show up at the feeder.
- Feeders and More: Everything you need to know to buy, build, or maintain a feeder.
- Seasonal Subjects: Responding to the changing needs of backyard birds.
The Backyard Bird Feeder’s Bible is absolutely packed with handy information, but it is by no means a dry or heavy book. This guide is extremely inviting and easy to use. Projects and recipes add a fun dimension and may spark your own creativity.
If you love birds, The Backyard Bird Feeder’s Bible will probably become one of your favorite resources. It makes a great gift, too. Excellent starting point for the beginner, but also a good reminder to the seasoned birder of why he started watching birds in the first place. Highly recommended!