Canning Green Tomatoes

Last weekend we harvested 15 gallons of veggies from the garden (again!) and another 5 gallons that went to the chickens. We also spent a few minutes cleaning up our mess. Continue reading “Canning Green Tomatoes”


Apartment Prepping – A Creativity Challenge

It comes up alot in my emergency preparedness meetup group. We all know that being prepared takes planning, it takes a bit of commitment, and above all else it takes space to store the things you think you will need. For those living in apartments, this opens up another facet of preparedness – creativity. Continue reading “Apartment Prepping – A Creativity Challenge”

Reasons to Prep – Hurricane Matthew a Catastrophic Category 5 Strike

Featured image: A flooded building in Lumberton, N.C. ~ Credit Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Hurricane Matthew strengthened overnight on its way to the heavily populated Atlantic coast. Here are the latest evacuation orders by state…More than 1.5 million Floridians are currently in evacuation zones.

via Hurricane Matthew Evacuation Orders for Florida, Georgia, Carolinas (10/6/16)

Continue reading “Reasons to Prep – Hurricane Matthew a Catastrophic Category 5 Strike”

Orchard – Apples

“And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart:

Your seeds shall live in my body,
And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
And your fragrance shall be my breath,
And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.”

Kahlil Gibran

Why Apples?

Apples are my first pick of fruit trees for my orchard for several reasons.

Because I am practical, the first and foremost reason is that apples readily grow in cold climates and so will be the easiest to grow on our property.

Apples are very good for you overall. They contain soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamin C, and polyphenols (antioxidants). They have proven benefits in fighting heart disease, cholesterol, cancer, and help regulate blood sugar.

Also, apples lend themselves to a variety of purposes. They are great for cooking, canning, dehydrating and they store well. You can use them in desserts, as part of savory dishes for a hint of sweetness, the juice can be used as a natural sweetener, and apples are just plain tasty when eaten

My Plan

Once again, we will probably end up with 5 varieties of apple trees. Most varieties of apples require cross pollination for successful harvests. Also, some varieties such as Granny Smith, lend themselves to canning and pies more readily that a softer variety such as a Red Delicious.

If you go to the Stark Bros page, there are literally 105 varieties of apples to choose from!

Varieties I plan to have:

  1. 2 Fuji
  2. 1 Honeycrisp (Michael’s favorite)
  3. 1 Granny Smith
  4. 1 Red Rome Beauty (to pollinate the Honeycrisp)

Most apples require cross pollination. To ensure successful pollinations, they need to be planted no more than 50 feet apart. Michael and I talked about planting our trees in a circle rather than in rows since our orchard will be small. It would be a 10 foot circle with each tree 10 foot from the other around the center – no tree is more than 10 feet from the tree next to it. This formation of trees not only allows for greater cross pollination, but also allows for harvesting within the center of the circle. Less overall movement = reduced strain on our old bodies. LOL!

Soil needs are important to consider. While I do intend to amend our soil somewhat, it is already well drained. It is mostly sandy, so I plan to amend with coco-peat to put back some carbon/organic matter into the soil, as well as some of the abundant pine needles which will add acidity.

Apple trees are not water hogs, they only need water about once a week. Using a modified drip system similar to what I did for my garden, I am confident I can rig up an auto drip system that will deep root water my orchards.  So far, according to Stark Bros., apples and almonds have similar water requirements.

Apples produce fruit within 2-5 years. Looking forward to some crunchy sweetness. YUMMY!

Do you have experience growing apple trees?


Drip Irrigation System

Earlier this summer, my plants were sad. Michael began driving over the road and my daughter and I could hardly keep up with the intense heat drying out our garden beds. Continue reading “Drip Irrigation System”


I have always wanted to try bartering. I am not sure I have enough guile or ability to keep a straight face if I really want/need something. I would probably get taken to the cleaners, so to speak. But, I am also a bit stingy, as my husband would attest, so I am not likely to give up much more than I planned on to make a deal. Hopefully those two characteristics can balance each other out. Continue reading “Bartering”

October Top Posts!

I have totally been feeling the love lately! Thank you all for visiting. Our work on the property has ground to a halt do to winter’s arrival, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t busy. 🙂 I have been canning, planning baby showers, working on our still-producing home garden, and catching up on back posts.

More to come! Continue reading “October Top Posts!”

Proper Battery Storage (aka How I Almost Lost My Home)

A few weekends ago, we had planned to leave for the property on a Friday afternoon. My office had been given time off early Friday for the holiday and we were to leave when I got home. With Michael’s crazy schedule and the fact that our friend had need to cancel going with us, Michael and I decided we had more to do at home rather than on the property. We decided to stay home as well. Continue reading “Proper Battery Storage (aka How I Almost Lost My Home)”

Cream of Asparagus Soup, Paleo

20161022_205314-1.jpgWe recently went through all our old books and either boxed them up or purged them. One of the areas purged was our cook book collection.  I had a full shelf of cookbooks from my mother, Sunset, Better Homes, etc. I only used a select few of those, and only 1 or two had sentimental value. My husband had his own shelf of cookbooks that he inherited as well. So we narrowed down our collections and have now only 1 shelf of cookbooks that we plan to keep for our homestead.

Over the weekend I went shopping and I picked up some asparagus to make some Cream of Asparagus soup. I wanted to make it paleo of course so when I was sitting with my husband, I whipped out my phone and said, “I need to look up a paleo cream soup.” Continue reading “Cream of Asparagus Soup, Paleo”