Fire cider is a traditional folk elixir that has been lovingly brewed and used by generations of people across the world as a preventative medicine. Although the special ingredients differ from region to region, person to person, and even harvest to harvest, the core recipe remains fairly standard: raw apple cider vinegar, raw honey, onions, garlic, horseradish, hot peppers, and ginger, all combined then fermented for a minimum of two weeks and sometimes for over a month. Some people even bury it for a month or so instead of sticking it in a cool dark place.
Continue reading Add spice to your life with fire cider
Here’s to thee, old apple tree,
That blooms well, bears well.
Hats full, caps full,
Three bushel bags full,
An’ all under one tree.
Each year I wonder what to do with my abundant apple harvest. There’s the usual juicing for cider and canning for juice, pies, and applesauce. I dehydrate some and cold-store others for winter eating. Then, with an eye to holiday gift-giving I make Apple Pie Brandy. It tastes like apple pie in a glass!
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Once upon a time I bought bedding plants from the nursery to grow my first ever vegetable garden. They grew well and I had a nice harvest. I thought I’d save some money on the following year’s garden, so when those plants set seed I saved seeds to plant the following spring.
The results of my first seed saving efforts were dismal. Some of the seeds molded in their paper packets over the winter. Others failed to germinate in the next spring’s garden, and those that did were spindly and disappointing.
Continue reading Save seeds, save money, grow better
By Joe Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP
Home canning is a great way to have good things to eat, even in the coldest of winters, and more and more people are learning this useful skill. Indeed, Jarden Home Brands, which makes Ball canning jars, saw a 30 percent increase in sales last year.
Home canning techniques are much advanced from its beginnings about 180 years ago, with many scientific improvements that make it an excellent way to preserve food for later use.
Continue reading Avoiding botulism when canning food
By Ilene Duffy
I really enjoy spending quiet time in my vegetable garden. Preparing the soil in the spring, planning where the vegetables will go, turning the compost pile and finding tons of worms, even weeding to keep a tidy garden are all enjoyable tasks. Then in the fall, after everything gets harvested, my husband, Dave, helps me turn the soil over and gather leaves to spread and churn in to prepare for the winter rains.
Continue reading Bean and pumpkin soup
By Lacey Jean
“I would sleep on this. And wear it! I would bring it everywhere!” one cherub-cheeked youngster exclaimed as he pressed his face into the sheepskins hanging in my farmers market booth. Others stroked the tightly woven curls of wool and plunged hands deep into its fibers. Kids just get it. They don’t need to be told how to use sheepskins. At one time, I had my own sheepskin awakening at a market when I asked the vendor what I could use it for. Her eyes lit up as she said, “Well…”
Continue reading Tanning sheepskins