How To Grow HOTTER Jalepeños This Year

Genetics plays the biggest part of how a pepper will taste, but did you know that the way you grow your plants also effects how they taste? We didn't. Last year we grew jalepeño peppers because, well, we love spicy food. We grew them with compost, plenty of water, everything a plant could want. They grew huge! Of course, I was thrilled... that is until we tasted them. Th...
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Fodder Update: Adding clover sprouts

We recently started growing fodder, or sprouted seeds, to supplement the feed for our chickens and turkeys. Its been going well so far, and the results have been very rewarding. Every morning I pull out 6 lbs of fresh sprouted grains to feed our birds, and in return egg quality has gotten noticeably better. Yolks seem to be richer in color, and the whites are denser and les...
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Homegrown squash, now what?

This summer, we grew gourds for the first time! We went with Baby Butternut, Jack O' Lantern Pumpkins and Cucumbers. The cucumbers were prolific and we had lots of fun with them (Spicy IPA Pickles). The Pumpkins were a bit harder. They got a bad case of Powdery Mildew, we did however get 2 or 3 pretty nice ones. Now, the Baby Butternut... it was wonderful. Or is! We should stil...
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Food for food: our hydroponic fodder system

In an effort to improve the feed for our chickens and turkeys, and cut feed costs, we've decided to grow hydroponic fodder. Fodder is basically sprouted grains, and we're growing ours in irrigated trays without soil. In addition to increasing in weight by simply adding water, the activity of sprouting makes more of the nutrients within the seed available, so it seemed like ...
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Building simple raised planter beds

Once we got everything going in the large planter beds, we realized quickly that we were going to need more space for vining things. The cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and the like were all going to need way more space. Since we built the initial beds with a good amount of space in between, we were able to add the lower beds right in between. They are a more simple design and buil...
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Cheap and easy: Hog panel trellises

We constructed our lower beds with the intention of growing our plants vertically, to make better use of the space and to fit more varieties of plants. After the effort of threading 1/4" wire for trellis on the upper beds, I decided the lower trellis would need something simple and fool-proof. It would have to be strong to support heavy fruit, but easy to dismantle and remo...
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Making compost from table and yard scraps

The benefits of composting are abundant. By making your own compost, you can cut down on household waste, improve your soil to grow healthier plants without chemicals, and reduce the costs associated with your garden. So the decision was easy, but starting this adventure was not quite so straight forward. First things to consider... Space - For starters you'll need to ...
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Building the road- Fruit Tree Alley

When we bought our property in February 2014, we almost immediately started planting our Fruit Tree Alley. The plan was to build a road the length of the backyard in between the trees. This would (eventually) allow for easy access to the chicken coop and to the planter beds (the planter beds are featured briefly in this post). The road will also serve as extra parking or space ...
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How to Start Your Garden from Seeds

Starting a garden  from scratch can end up being a big investment. We didn't even have a shovel to break ground with when we started this adventure, so after we purchased our shovels, rakes, trowels, gloves, materials to build raised beds, I could keep going... equipment which will serve us for years, the last thing we wanted to cut a large budget for was plants. So, we decided...
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