Spring is finally here, and it is time to plan for the upcoming gardening season. While it is easy to just get back into the routine of how you have typically gardened in the past, it is worth considering that there are now many techniques that can make your gardening easier, more productive and even require less space.
One of these making-gardening-easier techniques is known as an herb spiral, a specialized raised-bed gardening method that originated from permaculture.* An herb spiral is essentially a three-dimensional helix that coils up to 20-30 linear feet of growing space into a vertical spiral that measures approximately five feet across.
The mound shape of an herb spiral ensures that plants are growing in all directions and in a variety of microclimates. For example, the sunny south-facing slope creates hotter conditions than in the north-facing slope, and the soil at the top of the spiral will be higher than the soil at the bottom.
An herb spiral has many of the advantages of a raised bed garden, but with additional features:
- Herb spirals allow you to easily grow many different plants within arm’s reach without the need to bend over very far to access most of them. This is great for older and wiser folks and those with back problems!
- Because of its raised bed nature and the fact that you can add the best soil and materials to grow in, herb spirals allow you to grow a productive garden despite poor soil conditions on site, and to significantly reduce the opportunities of weed growth from seeds that are present in the soil on site.
- You can take advantage of the opportunity to grow different plant varieties in a variety of microclimates (e.g., hot and dry conditions at the top as well as moist and cooler conditions at the bottom).
There are other reasons you should consider an herb spiral. For example:
1. Grow a variety of plants. Although herb spirals are ideal places to grow herbs, you can grow many different types of small plants in them, such as strawberries, lettuce salad greens, and flowers. Both annual and perennial plants can be grown in herb spirals.
2. Build it within an afternoon. Because the process of building an herb spiral simply involves laying down bricks or rocks on top of one another into a spiral pattern, you don’t need any special carpentry or masonry skills to build one.
3. Save space. Because you are primarily growing vertically instead of horizontally, you can grow many plants within a much smaller garden space than a traditional herb garden.
4. They look beautiful. An herb spiral is a very attractive addition to your garden and yard. After your neighbors see your beautiful new herb spiral, they might want one of their own!
Read to get started? Then try these tips for successful construction and maintenance …
Add additional compostable substrate materials to your herb spiral at the beginning of each garden season if the growing substrate in your herb spiral is composed primarily of organic materials such as straw, twigs, logs and leaves that break down over the course of a gardening season.
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To help provide some bulk and support for the growing substrate in your spiral, you can place some rocks, concrete rubble or subsoil at the base and add your topsoil for growing in over that. Primarily using soil for the bulk of the substrate in your herb spiral will help to support your growing medium structurally, but you will want to regularly enrich the soil with organic matter or compost, just like you would in any other garden.
To build the structure of your herb spiral, you can certainly buy new rocks or bricks, but an herb spiral can also be constructed using extra rocks or bricks that you have lying around on your property.
You can also check with your neighbors or on websites like Craigslist to see if anyone is getting rid of these materials for free. This typically occurs in the spring, when people are doing landscaping projects in their yard. Access to a pickup truck or a trailer will come in very handy to haul these materials!
Put down a few layers of cardboard prior to laying down any stones or bricks to keep weeds from being able to grow through your spiral.
Build your herb spiral close to your back door, where you can easily access it and harvest fresh herbs and other plants for preparing meals in your kitchen.
Do you have any tips on building an herb spiral? Share them in the section below:
*Permaculture is an ecologically-inspired design system founded in Australia in the mid-1970s for sustainable living and land use that can be applied to many areas of our modern lives, including gardening, farming, building design and local economies. Permaculture design projects are being used today on both small and large scales around the world.
This Article Was Originally Posted On offthegridnews.com Read the Original Article here
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.”
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?
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
- 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
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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This Article Was Found On pioneersettler.com Read the Original Article
9 SPRING VEGETABLES FOR YOUR GARDEN
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:
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!
- 50 Gardening Tips And Tricks To Become A Successful Homesteader
- 10 Vegetables To Grow Indoors For A Productive Garden
- Self-Sustaining Ideas For Living The Homesteader’s Dream
This Article Was Found On pioneersettler.com Read the Original Article
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