Which Squash Varieties Cross-Pollinate?

Winter squash 2016

(My 2016 harvest of winter squash and sugar pumpkins)

This can be frustrating but once you learn the 4 families of squash related veggies, and only pick one from each family, you should be all set.

An excellent reference is:  https://agrowinggarden.com/blog/what-types-of-squash-cross-pollinate/

Another excellent reference for saving your own seeds is:  https://www.seedsavers.org/how-to-save-seeds


How to make small batches of fermented foods in Mason Jars!

We know the benefits of eating fermented foods (https://draxe.com/fermented-foods/) but how do you make a small batch?  We like sauerkraut and kimchi but don’t need to make a lot so this fermenting kit is just the ticket!  It has the 4 air locks, 4 sturdy white screw-on lids for wide mouth mason jars, 4 silicone gaskets, 4 grommets, 1 (2-sided) instruction/recipe sheet. All components are BPA-Free.  Does not include the glass quarts.

Fermenting lid.jpg

How to prevent apple scabs

Plant a fruit tree guild: a ring of plants under the fruit tree drip-line and rain will drop onto these plants preventing a splash back onto the apples which in turn would create scabbing on the apples.  See:  https://www.tenthacrefarm.com/2017/07/how-to-build-a-fruit-tree-guild/ (photo courtesy of tenth acre farm)

Fruit tree guild.jpg

Books we love on wilderness life!

We have read both of these and couldn’t put them down!  We Took To The Woods : “In her early thirties, Louise Dickinson Rich took to the woods of Maine with her husband. They found their livelihood and raised a family in the remote backcountry settlement of Middle Dam, in the Rangeley area” of Maine.

We Took to the Woods book

The other book, is My Life in the Maine Woods: A Game Warden’s Wife in the Allagash.  It tells about Annette Jackson’s North Woods experiences during the 1930s when she, her husband, and their children lived in a small cabin on the shore of Umsaskis Lake.

My Life in the Maine Woods book.jpg

Digging a Well

We located a good source of water and dug our well 12-14 feet with the backhoe. We lined it with black plastic pipe, surrounded it with stone and dug a trench to the house to lay the piping.  We sent our water sample out for testing before drinking it.  One of the best kits to get is the Watersafe kit.  It tests for contaminants, bacteria, lead, toxins from pesticides or fertilizer, and more. If the test shows the water is not good for drinking, it could still be used for other purposes such as gardens, livestock and washing, depending on the results of the test.

Water Test Kit.jpg

The Benefits of Corn Silk Tea!


How to make Corn Silk Tea:

  1. Boil 1 tablespoon of corn silk (chopped) in 1 cup of water.
  2. Once it is done, cover the pan and allow it to steep for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. When it is cold enough to drink, you can add 1 teaspoon of raw honey if you desire. This sweetens the tea for those who prefer it that way.
  4. You can store the remaining tea in your refrigerator for 2 to 3 days

Full of Vitamin C and great for Kidneys, Urine flow, Gout, Blood Sugar, Digestion and more!  See:  http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/health-benefits-of-corn-silk-tea/

Don’t over till your Garden!

Veggy Garden 2016 001

One of my 3 gardens last year…..my 2nd garden was just for squash and vine plants, the 3rd was for corn and tomatoes and shell beans to climb the corn.  We even grew popcorn!

Here are a few tips for a healthy soil:

How to Promote the Plant-Mycorrhizae Partnership

• Minimize soil tilling (kills earthworms and beneficial fungi)
• Always keep live plants in your beds, even in winter
• Rotate crops within your beds
• Avoid pesticides and chemical fertilizers
• Avoid applying too much phosphorus; a soil test every few years is a good idea