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Paige's Highlights

1. Preserving Herbs. My parents tell me how they used this same technique to prep baby food for me. Take your veggies, pasta, meat, etc. blend in a food processor then freeze in ice cube trays. "What's Paige having for dinner?" "Well, a green cube, and orange cube, and a tan cube. " (peas, carrots, and chicken) Also, popping them out frozen made them keep well if you had to carry them around in a diaper bag all day. Here's the technique for preserving herbs--try it with basil and oregano then pop in a cube to your tomato sauces.
Fresh basil is another herb we preserve for our soups and casseroles in the winter When it is abundant, we puree it with enough oil to make a paste, then freeze it in ice cube trays. One cube will season a sauce, more will make a lovely pesto.
2. Top-Bar Bee-keeping. Another option for the homesteaders who don't use too much honey and/or want bees more for the pollination effects. It's less expensive than traditional supers and easy for the average person to built from scraps of lumber. Also, a good alternative if you want to be harvesting honey comb with your honey. Here's the link to the article. Be sure to also check out the more detailed plans (link in the article.) Also, I got to looking around a bit and found a great blogger about his top bar bee experience (see my list to the left). He said that he harvested two of these bars and got 4.5 quarts of honey from them. Definitely more than enough for me! And it's much less equipment intensive since he wanted to keep the wax for his wife to make candles out of. He just put each comb in a gallon-size plastic bag, crushed, then strained through several layers of (new) nylons. No supers, no centrifuges, just common, inexpensive equipment for home use. I like. :)

3. A good quote. I tend to avoid politics when possible...they depress and stress me out. But taken in small quantities, it's not too bad. Here's a quote that I've found fitting and a warning to the current actions taken on Capitol Hill.

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money”

Alexis de Tocqueville quotes
4. Renovating Pasture. This is something that I've thought about a decent amount. Most any new farmer will certainly have to make some adjustments to the land that they just bought. Many times it was a single crop growth for haying or a harvest crop. Either way, it will likely be in some need of some TLC. Nature's Harmony Blog had a good outline of revitalizing pasture and getting rid of weeds, namely--mechanical, shading, grazing, and seeding. Not pesticides, no fancy machinery, and great results. Enjoy!

5. Whizbang Applesauce. Well, as you know, I'm a bit obsessed with The Deliberate Agrarian's blog. His most recent entry was exactly something that I had been rolling around in my mind....If you can make apple cider easier with the grinder and cider press plans, what else can you apply it to? I mean, if you're going to go to the trouble of making the thing and spending the money on the supplies, I'd like to have more than one application for it than apple cider. Well, my brain immediately started thinking about other juices like grape juice. Also, what about apple sauce--just avoid the pressing part and just grind. Then there's other sauces--tomato sauce and pear chutney for example. Well, the other day, Mr. Herrick Kimball posted about his most recent efforts at usuing the grinder to make apple sauce.

I think that his post also raises another point--along with getting away from the over-processed food taste, there's going to be a texture difference as compared t home-made food. I know that I've encountered it when I've sampled friends' canning efforts. Their foods taste very different and FEEL very different from what my tongue was expecting-whether that was apple sauce, peach pie filling, or pickles. And I would venture to say that it should. You're processing less, you're adding less salt, less sugar, no preservatives, no added flavors or colors. The entire food experience varies. If you wanted to recreate a "healthier" version of a store-bought food and make it look, taste, and feel exactly the same, I think that's missing out on part of the beauty of the difference. So, expect a difference in taste and texture--and be open minded as to what food should taste like-I'm sure that's changed a lot over the past generation or two.


  1. Hi Paige! So interested in the beekeeping info. A less expensive way to get started with bees sounds great. Also, so cool that you are listed on The Deliberate Agrarian blog! How exciting! Aimee


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