Jul 112014
 

Getting Started with Home Food Drying - 6 Things You Need to Know Plus a Great List of Resources

Want an easy way to store and preserve food?  Need a food storage method that doesn’t take up much space and requires very little equipment?  Want to make healthier snacks for your family to enjoy at home or on the go?  Looking for portable food for camping or backpacking?  If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should learn about home food drying.

What Equipment Do I Need to Dehydrate Food at Home? Continue reading »

Dec 062013
 

Granola Breakfast Cookies with Dried Fruit and Crispy Nuts @ Common Sense Homesteading

Cookies for breakfast?  You bet!  I’m not talking about a certain boxed cereal with fluffy little bits that leave you hungry an hour later, I’m talking about chewy, crunchy go anywhere granola cookies with all the stuff you want and none of the stuff you don’t.  These easy granola cookies can be gluten free if you use certified gluten free oats (oats do not naturally contain gluten, but can be cross contaminated).  They are also casein free (when the oats are soaked with vinegar) and soy free. Continue reading »

Oct 032013
 

How to Harvest, Cure and Store Onions - Root Cellaring, Braiding, Dehydrating and Freezing

You can enjoy home grown onions for months after the growing season has finished with just a little extra time and effort. In this post we’ll cover onion harvest, curing onions, and several different onion storage methods.

Which Onions are Best for Storage?

I usually grow onions from onion sets (the little mini onion bulbs).  Out of the red, white and yellow varieties I’ve tried, the yellow Stuttgarter Riesen has been the best keeper. Stuttgarter Riesen is a large, deep golden-yellow onion with firm white flesh.  The reds and whites I’ve tried have not kept as well, so I usually use them first.  My friend, Tami, said that the onions she started from seed were much more solid and less prone to rotting than the ones that she started from sets.  The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible recommends Stockton Reds for storage.  I’ve grown them, and they store fairly well, but the Stuttgarters store better.  He also recommends the varieties Copra and Prince. Continue reading »

Sep 152011
 
Spiced Crabapples and Honey Cinnamon Crabapples @ Common Sense Homesteading

Last week I got a call from my neighbor, Betty, about crabapples being ripe at another friends’ home.  (Everyone should have a neighbor like Betty.  :-)  Never one to let produce go to waste, I warned the boys that we were going to go pick crabapples.  My eldest, wanting to get done sooner, headed out to the wild trees at the border of out field.  These are normally so bug infested as to be inedible, but this year one had a bumper crop, and we were able to pick quite a few that were in nice shape. Continue reading »

Sep 132011
 

Preparing peaches for storage via canning and drying. How to peel peaches, how to can peaches, how to dehydrate peaches.

We purchased two cases of Michigan peaches so far this year – one from a local supermarket, and one from a roadside market up in Door County.  I decided to can most of them, as the boys adore canned peaches.  I also dried some in the dehydrator and make some peach jam.  For canning peaches, use those that are ripe but still firm.  I use the softer peaches for jam or drying.  For those who are new to preserving, I put together this easy guide on peeling, canning and drying peaches. Continue reading »