• Garden

    Grow and Eat Garden Beets

    I will admit that there are a few vegetables that, grown in the garden, do not taste significantly different/better than their grocery store relatives–onions, I suppose, and maybe cauliflower.  But most, fresh from the garden…there is just no comparison.  Take freshly harvested garden beets.  If you don’t grow them for their beauty alone, you should absolutely grow them for their fresh, earthy yet sweet flavors. Beet Varieties There are so many varieties of beets, it can be difficult to choose!  Many heirloom varieties are available; options include color of the beet (red, yellow, orange, white and even striped), shape of the beet (round or cylindrical), and leaf/stalk color (greens and…

  • Garden

    Garden Lettuce

    This is it! No more grocery store lettuce…is my pledge. This right here is my first lettuce harvest of 2018, but the beginning of a quest to grow and pick lettuce year-round. With so many different ways to grow lettuce, even in cold northern climates, such as our zone 6b area, year-round homegrown garden lettuce is a distinct possibility. Lettuce in the Garden This is where my lettuce is growing now. I started seeds in March and April and transplanted then to the garden in early May. This year, my lettuce seedlings were placed (along with most other crops) in holes in landscape fabric laid over garden rows. This technique…

  • photo of compost from deep litter
    Garden,  Homestead Animals

    Deep Litter Benefits

    This is the stuff gardeners dream about.  It can be elusive and expensive, but it is so rich, and I always want more.  Black gold.  Or you may know it as…compost.  There are many ways to make or procure compost, but one of the easiest is to collect the final product of a winter’s worth of deep litter from the animals in the barn and chicken coop. Managing animal waste is an issue to consider when adding animals to the homestead.  The small homesteader tries to minimize the amount of inputs to their farm in order to decrease cost, time and effort.  For example, each trip to the garden center…

  • photo of sprouts in garden soil
    Garden,  One Hour Project

    Build a Mini Hoop House: A One Hour Project

    Mini Hoop House Project Do you have one hour to spare?  Has spring fever hit?  This simple project was the cure for me:  setting up a mini hoop house in the garden to start early spring vegetables.  Although it is still nearly six weeks until our last frost date here in northeast Ohio, I already have vegetable plants growing…outside! The secrets to starting an early spring garden are: choose cool weather crops that can tolerate light frosts raised beds planting under cover Cool Weather Crops Many garden favorites, such as tomatoes, peppers and zucchini cannot be planted outside until after the danger of frost has passed (around May 20 here).…