Normally apple stack cakes are a ton of work, requiring you to make a billion cake layers, but I came up with a no-cook version that requires almost no work at all. If you can find 10 minutes in your day, you can make this cake. Here’s the recipe. [Read more…]
Apples often look ready to pick long before they are, so how do you know when they’re really ready? Here are some ways to tell when your apples are ripe [Read more…]
We planted a small orchard in our backyard several years ago (tour my garden here), and it’s finally starting to spring into action. Last year our apricot bushes fruited for the first time, and our apple trees produced their second harvest. This year, it looks like our cherry bushes are going to get in on the action, too They’re flowering now.
It’s pretty exciting to see all of our hard work coming together, but with each stage comes new obstacles. The first year our apricot bushes flowered, there weren’t any bees out to pollinate them, so we built mason bee houses to attract early pollinators to our yard. That worked like a charm, and we had lots of apricots last year. I’m sure the pests that ate them really appreciated our efforts.
Just like the codling moths appreciated our first crop of apples and the birds appreciated our first two crops of grapes. It’s enough to make you want to give up, but we’ve stuck with it, and we’ve found ways to address every one of our pests. Now we bag our grapes to keep the birds off, and we stick codling moth traps out as soon as we spot the first leaves on our apple trees.
This year I’m hoping to build on that success by finding a pest control solution for our apricot bushes and a cheaper pest control solution for our apple trees. Here’s the scoop on what I’m trying. [Read more…]
My husband snagged three, $.99 bags of apples from the reduced-price rack this week, so I decided to make some applesauce. Here’s my easy-peasy crockpot recipe: