Vacuum Sealing Mason Jars

I’ll admit, by the first few weeks of September I’m getting tired of canning. Two runs a day for 2 weeks straight, dozens of quarts, double-dozens of pints, and I’ve had enough of the preparation, the cleaning, the water, the heat. Don’t get me wrong: even at the tail end of the harvest when I’m “canned out”, there is still no greater satisfaction than cracking a canner load of beyond-organic salsa from all garden-grown produce, and knowing I’ve taken another […]

Just Add Water

I woke up at 4:00 AM today, thanks to Gambit the World’s Smartest Dog. My son made the mistake of attempting a furtive trip to the bathroom, which set Gambit to growling. Like he’s never seen the lad before. I think he’s hard of seeing – the dog, that is.

Controlling My Woodchips

I’m a huge fan of mulching, and living in the woods like I do, I have access to a nearly limitless source of mulching materials. The saplings that sprout up along the edges of clearings every year are perfect for making what’s called ramial chipped wood mulch, ramial referring to branches and other small diameter wood that’s still tender and soft compared to larger diameter parts of the tree.

Things I Learned in a Hole in the Ground

I once had a major project in the works to build a greenhouse for the homestead. For various reasons, the project needed to be canceled, but I recently found the notes I made at the time on lessons learned from the experience. I figured they might be interesting here and now, and they might also provide a little perspective about where my preparedness thinking was four years ago compared to where it is today. –APB I’ve been planning a greenhouse […]

The Indispensible Machete

If you were to come to me and say, “I’ve taken away all you homestead tools. You can have one tool back. Which would it be?” Hands down, I’d choose my machete. Then, I’d kick your ass and get back the rest of my stuff. Who do you think you are, anyway? Stop messing with my stuff. I stumbled upon the machete as my main woodlot tool by accident – literally. While we were building our house, I tripped over something while […]