Front Yard Farming

Butternut Squash Harvest

Remember all those volunteer butternut squash vines that came up in our front yard? We just harvested our squash this morning, and ended up with 24 for us, and a few damaged ones for the chickens. Pretty sweet deal.

Next year, I’ll plant squash in our front yard on purpose. It’s led to many interesting conversations with our neighbors and the CSA families that pick up at our house (we’re a CSA pick-up spot for our friends’ farm). One of our neighbors came over Friday to ask about buying some of our squash, and someone driving by this morning, stopped and bought one. I wasn’t really planning to sell any, but I’m happy to see people excited about eating real food.

If you grew butternut squash this year, I’d recommend waiting until the stems are a tannish-brown before you harvest yours. If you look closely, you’ll see my stems are still a bit green. I’m working on a secret plan that required me to pick mine a bit early. They’re fully edible at this point; they just won’t be good storage squash. I’ll puree them, and get them into the freezer sometime in the next couple weeks.

Here are some guidelines to help you determine when to pick butternut squash.

See Also:

Coupons for Real Food

Coupons for Real Food

People say you can only find coupons for processed foods, but that just isn’t true. Check out this list of coupons for real foods and real ingredients, and see for yourself:


  • $1 off one Once Again Nut Butter product



  • $1 off one Olivari Olive Oil
  • $1 off one jar of Star Olives, 7 oz. or larger
  • $1 off Wholesome Sweeteners brand Organic Sugar, Stevia, Agave or Honey
  • $1 off any three Dole canned fruits


  • $.75 off one flip-top dispenser of Domino Sugar (Quick Dissolve Superfine or Pourable Brown)
  • $1 off one bottle of Domino Organic Blue Agave Nectar
  • $.55 off one Florida Crystals Sugar product
  • $.75 off any two Domino Sugar products, 2 lbs. or larger

Common Kindness

  • $1 off Alter Eco Unrefined Mascabado Cane Sugar
  • $1 off Alter Eco Thai Sticky Purple Rice
  • $.75 off any Clover Stornetta Farms product
  • $.75 off any Country Choice organic canister oats
  • $1 off any one Star Olive Oil, 7.2 oz. or larger
  • $.50 off any Uncle Matt’s organic 12 oz. juice
  • $.75 off any Uncle Matt’s organic 59 oz. juice
  • $1 off any Woodstock Frozen Fruit or Veggies
  • $1 off any Woodstock Organic or Natural Nut Butters

  • Click “Sign Up Now.” Register for a free account, and print a coupon for $1 off any fresh pork product

Like this list? I’ll be updating it weekly, so be sure to check back.

Make Consignment Sale Drop-Off Easier

Consignment Sale Items

This morning I dropped off my stuff for the fall Kids’ consignment sale. All 206 items.

More Stuff to Consign

That’s a full back seat …

Consignment Sale Stuff

and a full trunk.

When you have that much stuff, you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve to make drop-off easier. And I do. Because let me tell you, I volunteer at the sale every year, and I’ve seen a lot of people do it the hard way.

Here’s what I recommend:

Rubberband Hangers

  • Sort your clothes by size and gender. Then, wrap a band around the top of the hangers to hold each bundle together. This will make it easier to put your stuff out on the racks, and it’ll help to keep things from sliding off their hangers during transport
  • Sort toys, books, shoes, bedding and other loose items into several different bins, so they’re easy to put out, too
  • Stick an address label on your bins and racks. Volunteers may help you put your consignment items out on the floor, and this will ensure that your stuff gets back to you (or at least make it easier for you to identify if it doesn’t)
  • Load your stuff into a clean car. You don’t want a dirty trunk or seats to undo all of your hard work
  • Sign in before you unload anything. Then, ask if they have any racks available. Wheeling all of your stuff in on a rack is so much better than hauling it in by the arm load
  • Unload your clothes first. Most sales check clothes for holes and stains before you’re allowed to put them out, and it can take a while. Work on putting out your toys and other loose items, while you’re waiting
  • Bring extra tags, pins and a pen with you, so you can make any last minute fixes

Consignment Sales Floor

Crabapple Butter Recipe

Crabapple Butter Recipe

Quick somebody make some biscuits. I currently have four jars of crabapple butter in my fridge, and I’m dying to crack one open. The smell. The taste. The color. It’s fall in a jar.

But don’t take my word for it. Make some, and see for yourself. Here’s my recipe. [Read more...]

Crabapple Sauce Recipe

Crabapple Sauce Recipe

We picked five gallons of crabapples the other night. Now I’m busy turning them into tasty things. Like this crabapple sauce. Isn’t the color gorgeous? And the house smelled so good when I was making it. If you have a crabapple tree that you’ve been eyeing, you have to make this recipe at least once. It’s a lot of work – I’m not going to lie – but the end result is pretty spectacular.

Ready to give it a go? Here’s the recipe. [Read more...]