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Gardening Tips For the Family [Chapter 10] Homestead Handbook

Looking for some family friendly gardening tips? Tips to get the gardening ideas flowing for children, moms & dads, and our elders. Any age is a good age to be a gardener. This portion of the Homestead Handbook is dedicated to gardening tips for all the different gardeners.

Check out Gardening Tips For the Family [Chapter 10] Homestead Handbook at are reading Chapter 10 of our gardening series in The Homestead Handbook:

How to Grow All The Food You Need In Your Own Backyard


Gardening Tips For the Family

Likewise, not all gardeners are built equally! This appendix will address solutions for special gardeners, including children and the elderly, so that they too can enjoy this fulfilling activity.

Gardening can be a wonderful activity for grandparents and grandchildren to share. There are many places in which gardening is a “lost art”, since grocery stores have made life so convenient for families to gather their fruit and veggies. Connecting children to this age-old activity is important and can be very fulfilling. We encourage grandparents to nurture this habit in their grandchildren by building the kids their very own boxes, where they can grow whatever they please; something they can take responsibility for and care for. You would be surprised how much more often the grandkids check in and visit when they know they have their garden to tend! And every step of the way, grandma or grandpa is there to teach them how to plant, trim, harvest, and care for their plants, passing on wisdom the child will use and appreciate forever.

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Check out Gardening Tips For the Family [Chapter 10] Homestead Handbook at

Check out Gardening Tips For the Family [Chapter 10] Homestead Handbook at

The only trouble is that occasionally, grandma and grandpa might themselves be having trouble gardening. Aches and pains are very common, and many seniors might find it difficult to perform the constant kneeling and standing typical in gardening. Luckily, the square foot garden has a solution. Since your garden boxes are customizable, it’s as simple as building the garden box to the ideal height of the gardener! This is a wonderful solution for other gardeners with disabilities; someone in a wheelchair can have the garden built to their ideal reaching height and voila. Because the square foot garden doesn’t require a ton of maintenance, it also means that there won’t be a lot of standing for long periods of time, either. Seniors can rest easy knowing it just takes a quick stroll outside to do some harvesting or trimming, and their garden will still be maintained to perfection. Using a plywood bottom on your square foot garden is also highly recommended, because it makes the box portable, so no matter what happens in the future, you can find ways and room to keep your garden going.

Square foot gardening is so ideal for seniors. The method has removed most of the work and hard labor of a single-row garden. It has eliminated the need for heavy and sometimes dangerous tools. Even the act of carrying in your harvest is made safer, because you as a gardener are no longer lugging in more crop than your family can eat in a month—instead you are taking only a few crops at a time, much easier to manage. There is no more digging, no more hoeing or weeding.

Almost everyone can benefit from the square foot garden system. Special needs gardeners such as veterans, the disabled, even prisoners and troubled youths, have benefitted from the installation of square foot gardens by volunteers. This opens up a whole new world to most of these groups of people, and allows them the chance to build and grow something of their own, and to see the tangible results of their hard work.

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It may surprise some readers to learn, but kids really love to be in the garden—especially if they are included in its maintenance. They want to grow things, they want to learn how to make a garden work. And when you teach a child to garden, you are exposing her to all sorts of different skills and worlds, including ecology, biology, math, and even a bit of engineering. They will get to learn about different insects as they protect their garden from pests. Older children can be taught basic genetics by learning about different fruits, seeds, and hybrids. Perhaps most importantly, the child will be learning how to take responsibility for something, and the value that hard work towards a goal can bring.

If you are community minded, another thing you may want to consider with your new-found knowledge is building a community garden. Many Americans live in urban or other environments which may not see many gardens; most of these families probably rely on the grocery store for their imported veggies and fruits. But imagine how you could transform a community with even a small square foot garden space. Take a look around your neighborhood—maybe there is an empty lot or small space where one could be built that you have passed by many times, but never thought about. You may want to even consider calling your city parks system to find out if they would be interested in hosting such a project in an actual existing park, or perhaps they can recommend areas you may not have considered. At the very least, a call is worth the time.

Even in a small garden, each family or person could be given a typical 4×4 box. Starting small is the best idea, to gauge interest as well as experience, before you dedicate a lot of time and space to a larger project. Expansion is usually possible, but it’s much more difficult to cut down once you’ve begun with a large project. Just like the plants in your garden, you want to start small, and grow big!

Planning a community garden will take a bit more time and preparation than your family’s garden, as you probably suspected. Usually a community garden will have its own set of rules or guidelines for startup. These guidelines usually consider issues such as interfering with neighboring properties, use of water, maintenance schedules, distribution of crop, and use of things like fertilizer or pesticide. Luckily you do not need either fertilizer or pesticides in a square foot garden, and maintenance schedules will be minimal since you will also not be tangling with any weeds.

Your community garden should, of course, consider the needs of the community. Gardens should be built to accommodate everyone, from children and the elderly to neighbors with special needs. You may want to even consult other local groups that might be interested in participating in a project such as this—think of scouts, children’s groups, or even church groups. Check the internet or your phone book to see if there is a garden or botanical club in your area.

Check out Gardening Tips For the Family [Chapter 10] Homestead Handbook at

Check out Gardening Tips For the Family [Chapter 10] Homestead Handbook at

For most Americans, gardens are simply a wonderful addition to their lives. But to people in other areas of the world, a garden can literally be a guard against starvation. The square foot gardening method is completely ideal for use in many areas that are dealing with starvation. This space, energy, and water-saving method of gardening undercuts many of the issues that are currently plaguing such impoverished areas. The method will require some tweaking—for example, the use of straight compost in their optimized soil recipe, due to the implied lack of access to peat moss or vermiculite in their area. Compost can be created for free, which means they have access to basically everything they need to thrive. The best part about the square foot gardening method for this use is that it teaches communities and families to be self-sufficient. While humanitarian programs that provide food directly to these communities are incredibly important, it is not an ideal situation for those receiving the food to depend on foreign aid. It is all too horrible to imagine what would happen if the complex system that brings them food from were interrupted or ceased altogether. Thus it is in the best interests of these communities to be able to sustain their own livelihoods as much as possible given the conditions, so that food-giving humanitarian programs become just an extra aid, instead of their lifeline. Consider the good you could do by teaching someone in this situation how to create a square foot garden. Much like the philosophy of “paying it forward”, you have no idea who will benefit down the line from teaching this method. Starting a community garden this season could wind up helping communities in far-off places you’ve never heard of!

That was Chapter 10: Gardening Tips For The Family from our Homestead Handbook: How to Grow All The Food You Need In Your Own Backyard

Click Next to Read Chapter 11 >>

<< Click Here to go back to the Table of Contents

Check out Gardening Tips For the Family [Chapter 10] Homestead Handbook at out Gardening Tips For the Family [Chapter 10] Homestead Handbook at

Originally posted on June 17, 2015 @ 1:00 AM



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NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!


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Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




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