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Tag: Harvest

Why and When to Thin Your Apples….

Why and When to Thin Your Apples….

Well now that Spring has finally arrived up here on the homestead in North-Central Idaho the grass is growing and the apples are finally starting to bloom.  I don’t know about you but I’ve always kind of wondered how you can have so many apple blossoms and only have a few take hold and produce and actual apple!  Well here you go…..a beautiful explanation of the why, when, and how of thinning your apples………………….   I noticed one of the…

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Homestead Harvest….Using the Whole Chicken!

Homestead Harvest….Using the Whole Chicken!

It’s one of those sad realities of life on the homestead that the day will come when Little Red Hen will out stay her welcome on the farm.  When that fateful day finaly comes it is incumbent upon us, the homesteaders, to honor that ultimate sacrifice by harvesting and making use of as much of that animal as possible.  This leads us back to Little Red Hen, and her compatriots down at the hen house…fall is the traditional time of…

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Preserving the Harvest….BACON!

Preserving the Harvest….BACON!

So it turns out making your own bacon is super easy, way cheaper, and way tastier! A while back I attended a butchery course taught by Brandon Sheard of the Farmstead Meatsmith. We were cutting a beef, but one of the things we talked about quite a bit was curing meat. Brandon has used a super simple cure on all types of meat with great success, and I’m gonna let you in on that secret here…. A basic dry cure…

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Preserving the Harvest: Homestead Chicken Sausage?

Preserving the Harvest: Homestead Chicken Sausage?

It’s a bit overdue, but we butchered a few of our meat chickens yesterday.  We didn’t harvest them all, just the roosters and one gimped up hen (RIP Limper).  We’re keeping the rest around for a while since they started laying eggs!  That’s right meat birds that lay eggs, breed, are hardy, forage, aren’t morbidly obese, and are interested in more than just the feed dish….I’m talking about the Red Ranger meat chicken.  We got ours from Murray McMurray Hatchery, needless to say we…

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Preserving the Harvest: Rendering Tallow

Preserving the Harvest: Rendering Tallow

How to Make Your Own Tallow Keeping with one of the quintessential homestead values of frugality, we decided to have our butcher set aside all of the trimmed fat from our grass finished beef from this year.  Now a person might wonder why would someone want to render beef fat. First off it seems wasteful and almost disrespectful to the animal to not keep and utilize this fine resource.  The fat from your animal harvest is part of God’s bounty…

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Seed Saving on the Homestead

Seed Saving on the Homestead

Homestead Seed Saving The knowledge and ability to save your own seeds from one season to the next is one of those homesteader skills that may not seem important at first.  When you think about the frugality, and self sufficiency aspects of homesteading then it really starts to make sense.  That little packet of seed from the garden shop will only last you so long, and if you are contemplating growing your own food on a large scale those little…

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Hardy Garden Vegetables for Your Winter Harvest

Hardy Garden Vegetables for Your Winter Harvest

Overwintering Garden Crops for a Year Long Harvest In the spirit of my previous post on starting your fall garden NOW, I put together this convenient infographic listing crops by hardiness, organized by the temperatures that they can withstand. This is by no means an exhaustive listing, but I think it is a pretty good starting place to help give you ideas of what you can plant and reasonably expect to be able to harvest through even the most difficult…

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Preserving the Harvest: Biltong

Preserving the Harvest: Biltong

I know you might be thinking “What the heck is a biltong?”, but stay with me for a second and all will be revealed!  Simply put biltong is like South African style jerky… sort of.  There are some significant differences in how biltong is made vs. jerky, but they are both ways to preserve meat by drying it.  While you may be more familiar with how jerky is made, I hope you will appreciate the simplicity, flavor, and low energy…

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Traditional Catholic Beef… Grass Finished How-To

Traditional Catholic Beef… Grass Finished How-To

Well now that we have officially finished, butchered, cooked and eaten our grass fed/finished beeves, I feel like I can share how I did it.  First I will say that the results were pretty much everything we  were hoping for.  The meat is tender, and absolutely screams with beef flavor.  Not really any hint of “gaminess” that you sometimes will come across with grass finished animals.  The only negative was the meat is very lean (could be a positive, if that’s what you’re in…

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Preserving the Harvest: Lacto-Fermented Kale

Preserving the Harvest: Lacto-Fermented Kale

Kale is one of those polarizing veggies that you hear so much about!  You either love it or hate it, most folks have an opinion once they’ve tried kale.  There is a lot to love about kale (even if you can’t stand the flavor, or texture, or whatever!).  Kale is one of the most nutrient dense greens you can grow.  Couple that with it’s cold hardiness, and the fact that it actually gets tastier once it gets hit with a…

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