How to Plant Cucumbers
How to Plant Cucumbers
By Erin Huffstetler | 05/08/2018 | No Comments
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Here’s everything you need to know to plant cucumbers, whether you’re growing them in a container, a raised bed or one of your garden beds.

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How to Grow Potatoes in a Cage
How to Grow Potatoes in a Cage
By Erin Huffstetler | 05/03/2018 | 9 Comments
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I have a small yard, so I’m always looking for ways to squeeze in as many plants as possible. Growing my potatoes in cages is one of the ways that I do that. With this method, I can grow a crop of potatoes in as little as two square feet, and I don’t have to do any digging either. But the real icing on the cake? I actually end up with more potatoes by growing them this way.

Want to try it out for yourself? Here’s how to grow potatoes in a cage.

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How to Plant Peppers
How to Plant Peppers
By Erin Huffstetler | 05/01/2018 | 3 Comments
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Give your peppers the best start possible by planting them the right way. Here’s what you need to do now to maximize your harvest and minimize problems all season long.

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Tomato Soup With Goat Cheese
Tomato Soup With Goat Cheese
By Erin Huffstetler | 04/30/2018 | 9 Comments
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This tomato soup with goat cheese is one of my go-to recipes for busy nights because it comes together so quickly. Just throw six ingredients into a soup pot, and in 15 minutes you have a dinner that tastes like it took much longer.

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How to Plant Tomatoes
How to Plant Tomatoes
By Erin Huffstetler | 04/27/2018 | 5 Comments
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Plant your tomatoes the right way, and you’ll have a bigger harvest, plus fewer pests and problems to contend with throughout the season. Here’s what you need to know to tackle the job like a pro.

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Bowl of Strawberries
How to Keep Birds From Eating Your Berries
By Erin Huffstetler | 04/05/2018 | No Comments
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Sharing your berry harvest with the birds wouldn’t be so bad, if they were actually willing to share. But their idea of sharing seems to entail them taking a bite out of every ripe berry and leaving you with the remains. If you’re tired of battling the birds for your berries, here are some cheap and easy things that you can do to protect them. These tips will work for strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and any other berries that you’re growing in your garden.

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Tub Tea Recipes
Tub Tea Recipes
By Erin Huffstetler | 12/03/2017 | 2 Comments
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Use dried flowers and Epsom salt to whip up a quick batch of tub tea to enjoy yourself, or give as a gift. You can even use dried flowers from your garden.

I have two tub tea blends to share with you. They both smell amazing and will do wonderful things for your skin.

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Homemade Pumpkin Puree
How to Make Pumpkin Puree
By Erin Huffstetler | 11/01/2017 | No Comments
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Pumpkin is a staple in my house. We use it in soups, pasta dishes, pies, muffins – heck, we even feed it to our chickens. So, when fall rolls around, I get busy making lots of pumpkin puree. If you’ve never made it before, it’s definitely worth the effort.

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Peppermint Ice Cream Aerial Shot
Peppermint Ice Cream with Fresh Mint
By Erin Huffstetler | 07/16/2017 | No Comments
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Treat your taste buds to homemade peppermint ice cream made with fresh mint. It’s just the thing to help you cool off on a hot summer day. Here’s the recipe.

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Peppermint Bark Made with Fresh Mint
Peppermint Bark with Fresh Mint
By Erin Huffstetler | 07/11/2017 | No Comments
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Peppermint bark doesn’t have to be something you only enjoy during the holidays. Use fresh mint from your garden to make this summertime version.

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How to Make Lemon Extract
How to Make Lemon Extract
By Erin Huffstetler | 06/27/2017 | 12 Comments
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Lemon extract is a delicious addition to pound cakes and many other baked goods, but it can be a bit on the pricey side. Learn how to make your own, and you’ll never have to settle for the imitation stuff. Here’s what you do.

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How to Make Peppermint Extract
How to Make Peppermint Extract
By Erin Huffstetler | 06/21/2017 | 18 Comments
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Have peppermint growing in your garden? Go pick some, and use it to make your own peppermint extract. It makes a great gift during the holidays. Here’s what you do:

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Basket of Homegrown Grapes
How to Keep Birds from Eating Your Grapes
By Erin Huffstetler | 05/31/2017 | 31 Comments
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Grapes are easy to grow, but hard to protect from birds. The first year our grape vines produced, I decided to hold off on netting our grapes, until I saw the first sign of birds munching on them. Well, the very next morning all of our grapes were gone. Clearly the wait and see approach was the wrong approach to take.

Having learned from the experience, we netted our grapes as soon as they set fruit last year. And that worked brilliantly, until a mocking bird figured out how to get inside of our nets. She had quite the feast at our expense, and we were left with just a few grapes (not grape bunches) to sample.

But that’s all in the past. This year, we will be the ones to eat our grapes. And we’ve taken drastic measures to ensure that it ends up that way …

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Homemade Codling Moth Trap with Bugs
Cheap Organic Pest Control for Fruit Trees
By Erin Huffstetler | 04/26/2017 | 7 Comments
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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.

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Onion Sets
How to Plant Onions
By Erin Huffstetler | 03/29/2017 | 5 Comments
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This year I’m growing my onions from sets. They’ve been in the ground for two weeks, and they’re already off to a great start. If planting onions is still on your to-do list, here are step-by-step instructions to take you through the process.

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