canning, cooking, corn, farming, gardening, harvesting, homemade, homesteading

Harvest Season, “it’s not what you have to do, it’s what you get to do”

  This blog has been a long time coming. I have been wanting to get a new blog out for our loyal, as well as new, followers, but our fellow homesteaders will agree that finding the time between August and October is nearly impossible because……It’s Harvest Season! My husband recently shared a post with me… Continue reading Harvest Season, “it’s not what you have to do, it’s what you get to do”

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Raising Your Own Thanksgiving Dinner

its almost that time again

two branches homestead

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When we decided to raise our own turkeys it seemed like something we should have been doing already.  Thoughts of a huge Thanksgiving dinner complete with our own bird ran through our minds.  We had several years of knowledge with other types of poultry,  so we dove right in.  Once we started our research, we found that we would need to order our turkeys fairly early and that a local farm store would be a better option than mail order.  Mail order required a 6 bird minimum and shipping was very expensive.  Because room is at a premium on our homestead we opted for the farm store, their price per bird was less, and they only had a 4 bird minimum, perfect for our needs. We also chose broad breasted whites, due to the fact that they had the best feed conversion (2:1), and grew the quickest.  Now that the…

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Homestead Harvesting, When the Real Work Begins

its that time of year it always seems overwhelming but with some persistence you can reap the rewards

two branches homestead

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As summer begins to wind down and the warm days of August begin to get shorter, we are blessed with the fruits of our hard labor. Plans made in February have now come to fruition. If we are lucky, large bags of produce begin to come in from the garden.  In some years we have failed crops, which have turned into lessons.  This time of year is a busy time and it is easy to see why our forefathers would have a party or festival after harvest time ends.  A few times of year will test your resolve as much as harvest season, that is why it is important to not only have a plan, but to posses the skills needed to make the most of your harvest.  Another consideration is space for your freshly grown food.  Early on we would often run out of freezer space and/or mason jars. …

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farming, gardening, growing onions, homesteading, onions

Ditch Your Sets For Huge Onions

Change is never an easy thing.  There are so many unknowns, and sometimes changing can feel like giving up.  It is important when growing things to experiment and learn.  Whether it be moving a crop to a new location, or changing soil additions we are always experimenting on the homestead.  Sometimes we try a new… Continue reading Ditch Your Sets For Huge Onions

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Freezing Kale, The Test of a Marriage

two branches homestead

Why would freezing kale for the winter be a test of a marriage? Let us explain….

We live in the Northeast and our winters can be very long, and for an anxious gardener, it can be tough mentally. So as soon as possible, we like to get our hands dirty and get our cold weather crops in the ground, those that can tolerate a cold spring and even a little frost, such as spinach, collards, broccoli, some lettuces and of course, kale.

We jumped on the kale bandwagon a few years ago. We were curious about this proclaimed “super food”. We already loved spinach and all the ways it can be used, so why not try kale? It was love at first bite. We use kale in many ways, sautéed with a little garlic and olive oil, raw in salads, creamed kale, used to stuff pork loin and venison roasts…

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