Tag Archives: Gardening

Rehydrating & Enjoying Previously-Dehydrated Carrots

by Tammy Taylor~

Remember recently I ended up with a boatload of fresh carrots?  Now there was no way to consume that many carrots before they went bad.  So I was frantically sharing as many as I could with friends, family & neighbors but there were Still.  So.  Many.  Carrots.

So I dehydrated a huge bunch of them so I could enjoy them all winter long in our hot soups & stews. (you can read about dehydrating carrots here) These dehydrated carrots look awesome in my pantry in shining glass jars.  And they take no additional energy to store such as a refrigerator or freezer.  But I wanted to know how they would taste if I reconstituted them to enjoy as a veggie side dish.  Let’s check it out, shall we?

 

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Preserving Apples Deliciously: Fruit Leather Roll-ups

by Tammy Taylor~

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Apples, apples everywhere!  My aunt shared ten whopping bushels with us this year!  As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, there were many delicious things we did to preserve the apples but I tried something new this year:  Fruit Roll-Ups!  I made the fruit leather using nothing but homemade unsweetened applesauce.  There was no need to add sweetener, the apples were sweet enough all by themselves! And then I made another batch where I stirred in about a tablespoon of cinnamon & made apple/cinnamon roll-ups.  It couldn’t have been easier!  I share many of the ways I preserved these fresh apples at the bottom of the post, but for now let’s check out these fruit roll ups!

In preserving all the fresh apples my aunt shared with us, I decided to make fruit leather roll ups. It was easy! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Dealing With Discards: Exactly Where is ‘AWAY’?

by Tammy Taylor~

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Recently RancherMan & I were talking about things that have impacted us strongly over the years.  I recounted how an article I’d read decades ago kick-started my fledgling environmental bend into high gear.  Oh yes decades ago, way before worrying about the environment was the fashionable thing to do!

I’d read a story about how people throw things ‘away‘ never thinking about where AWAY actually was.  Yep, that broken whatzit is chunked into the trash as you tidily dust off your hands & walk off.  Then the trash bag is bundled up and placed on the curb.  A large garbage truck comes & takes it away.  Yep, it’s gone.  Taken care of.  Cleaned up.  It’s taken away.  But where is this mythical place of AWAY?

As I explained the premise of that article to RancherMan he shook his head enthusiastically and said that’s a viewpoint not often thought about. Everybody thinks they’ve taken care of a problem by throwing things away without really thinking about who really deals with the problem you’ve just passed on.  He begged me to write this post, so this is for him…

A garbage truck comes & hauls your discards away. Yep, it's gone. Taken care of. Cleaned up. But where is this mythical place of AWAY? #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrating Carrots

by Tammy Taylor~

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I was given a boatload of fresh carrots recently and I didn’t want them to go to waste.  Now I’ve written before about turning ugly carrots into beautiful carrots by chopping ugly carrots into uniform pieces.  But these carrots were already beautiful and there were WAY too many for us to eat fresh.  And I didn’t want to waste any of them so I decided to dehydrate them.

In past carrot dehydrating I’d steamed the carrots instead of blanching them.  Then I dehydrated them using my small household-sized dehydrator.  But now I have a 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator.  I can really do some damage to that mountain of carrots now!  Come see what I did.

I was recently given way too many carrots to eat before they went bad. So I dehydrated them, now I have lots for winter enjoyment. #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

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New To Composting? Don’t Worry, Compost Doesn’t Stink!

by Tammy Taylor~

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Any gardener knows that compost is ‘Black Gold’.  It’s invaluable to your garden, helping your plants grow strong & healthy using an all-natural fertilizer.  I plant a veggie garden every year and of course that black gold is incorporated into each planting hole.   There are some tricks to making a ready-to-use compost for your garden.   But for those just starting out, there’s often some hesitation.

You’re rotting things in a pile, doesn’t that stink?

The answer is:  No!  Well actually, yes and no – the result depends on you.

 

Don't Be Afraid - Balanced Compost Doesn't Stink! For those starting out with composting there's some hesitation. You're rotting things in a pile, doesn't that stink? The answer is: NO! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: MYO Low-Waste Chicken Feeder

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I enjoy raising chickens.  But we’re also fans of doing things ourselves.  So when we needed a chicken feeder we took a trip to a thrift store.  We made our own feeder from thrifted supplies costing only about $2 total.  All we used was an old metal lid and a plastic Rubbermaid canister.  It served us well for years but finally the canister portion succumbed to the elements.  Now what??!

You know what I say: “Use Whatcha Got!”.  Check out this Homestead Hack & see how we easy (and with NO out of pocket) repaired our chicken feeder for many more years of service.

Check out this Homestead Hack & see how we used an empty, repurposed coffee canister to make a low-waste chicken feeder for cheap! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How We Save Seeds To Save Money On The Homestead

by Tammy Taylor~

I have to have a garden every year.  It’s just in my blood.  My hands must be in the dirt, coaxing that young tender plant. The payoff is of course that home-grown produce to nourish our bodies.  Healthy produce picked right before supper.  Produce that I’m able to preserve for colder months, and share with others around me with my weekly #BlessingBasket.

I try to only grow heirloom plants in my garden.  One of the main reasons behind this is so that I can save the seed to plant each and every year.  You see, saving hybrid seed might not be productive.  That’s because hybrid seed may not come back true to the mother plant the next year.  But heirloom seed will!  You know exactly what you’re gonna get with heirloom seeds. Come see how I carefully put back that precious seed in anticipation of next year’s bounty.

Heirloom Seed-Saving for Next Year's Garden. I save garden veggie seed to plant each year. Come see how I put back that precious seed in anticipation of next year's bounty. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Garden Update: August

by Tammy Taylor~

Whelp, it’s August y’all.  In TEXAS!  August typically means hot and dry weather.  Late July and early August are usually when I quit fighting the garden altogether and let it go dormant.  I mean, when it’s this hot nothing wants to set fruit anyway.  And during our typical summer when the taps of rain turn completely off in June, it’s impossible to keep the garden watered too.  Oh you can mulch and you can water and of course it helps.  But the water you drop on the garden will probably be wicked away quickly without really soaking into the ground next to the plant’s roots.

But this year our July was different.  Oh it was stiflingly hot and humid, but we got rain.  NINE different days of rain!  And not just a paltry 1/8″ but good, healthy 1-inch rains!  So although the garden is still bound to go dormant this month I’ve been lucky to have some harvest remaining.

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Homestead Hack: Reusing Potato Bags In The Garden

by Tammy Taylor~

I.  Hate.  Plastic.  Now in our area of NE Texas, plastic bags are not recyclable.  Actually from what I hear, even much of the plastic bags that are sent for recycling end up in the landfill anyway.  There’s just not enough demand for the recycled material from plastic bags. I personally think recycling is only a tool, not the answer anyway. To me, the answer is PRE-cycling – or eliminating as much waste as possible in the first place.

Let’s take a bag of potatoes for example.  Buying individual potatoes is the way to go for environmental reasons of course.  But our tiny budget and the limited shopping avenues we have available out here in the boonies means we have to take what we can get.  Sometimes that involves a bag of potatoes.  Now that bag is purposely made with holes to allow the potatoes to breathe. So I can’t even reuse them for dividing servings of Cook-Once, Eat-Twice entrees for the freezer.  But when they’re empty they still don’t go to the trash.  Nope, I’ve got another use for them.  You know my battle cry: Use Whatcha Got!

Homestead Hack: Rusing Plastic Bags In The Garden! Sometimes we buy a bag of potatoes. I've got another use for the bag. My battle cry: Use Whatcha Got! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Make A Raised Planter Using A Small Tire

by Tammy Taylor~

A few months ago RancherMan & I joined my parents for a quick dinner at a local restaurant.  On the sidewalk outside the restaurant was a cute planter.  Upon closer inspection, it looked like a small, thick tire that was painted & planted.  RancherMan said it was probably a riding lawn mower or golf cart tire.  I loved it!  Heck you always wonder what to do with an old tire anyway.  And their disposal is always an issue.  Plus I often worry that planters that you buy just can’t hold up to the rough Texas weather year after year.

These repurposed-tire planters seemed to be the best of both worlds – pretty, very durable and using something previously wasted.  I decided to give it a try.  But I didn’t have an old lawn mower tire and I really didn’t want to buy a new one.  It seems like such a waste of resources to buy a perfectly good usable tire & paint it up!

A cute nearly indestructible planter that can endure year after year in the challenging Texas weather. A repurposed tire to the rescue! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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