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How to Grow All The Food You Need In Your Backyard – Homestead Handbook

Home Self Sufficiency Food How to Grow All The Food You Need In Your Backyard – Homestead Handbook

Are you ready to take a leaf from the homestead handbook and learn how to grow all the food you need to survive in your own backyard? This 11 Chapter series will walk you through all the backyard gardening details for you to create raised garden beds and grow your own vegetables for survival. Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get your hands dirty, this is going to be fun.

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

Introduction

Welcome to “Back Yard Farmer—How To Grow All The Food Your Family Needs in 3 Square Feet of Land”! The purpose of this guide is to help your family become independent, self-sufficient, and healthy by turning just 3 square feet of land in your yard into a productive garden.

Millions of Americans have transformed their family lifestyle by becoming successful gardeners. While this may seem like a lofty goal to some, this step-by-step manual is meant to guide beginners and experts both through the process of building and harvesting their own garden crops. Did you know that about fifteen million people a year who would like to become gardeners simply fail to begin, because of all the talk of hard work, time, and expense, or because they have failed to yield results in other types of gardening, such as single-row? If you are one of these millions, this guide will help you kick that doubt! This activity should not be hard work—it should be fun for your whole family!

Square Foot Gardening first became popular back in 1981, and revolutionized the way people in America garden. Many gardeners became dissatisfied with the traditional “single row garden”, which is a technique that is typically what beginning gardeners are familiar with. But there are lots of issues with single-row gardening. It takes up far too much space and sometimes without yielding much food. Gardeners are encouraged to spread both enriched soil and fertilizer over the entire garden in a wasteful manner when plants are only in tiny rows. And of course there is the watering of such a space, another wasteful endeavor, especially if one is living in a western state. Gardeners familiar with this technique will surely share their stories of how plentiful and hearty the weeds in their gardens became thanks to this wasteful style! Hoeing such weeds is exactly what the three-foot rows between plants are for, but what If there was an easier way? What if you could arrange your garden in a more space, soil, seed, and water-friendly manner that also acted as its own weed-prevention?

Garden 1 | How to Grow All The Food You Need In Your Backyard

Another issue with single-row gardening is how your plant and food yields are arranged. If you have a 20-foot long single-row garden, how likely is it your family is going to want to eat an entire 20-foot row of tomatoes or peppers? Unless you are a farmer or planning to sell your extra fruits at a market or to friends, this makes for a waste of time, space, and money. Your garden should reflect your family’s lifestyle, its eating habits, and its space.

The problem is, all the “experts” on gardening, from academia on down, will swear by the single-row method, simply because this is how gardening has been done in the past. Tradition is all fine and well, but it’s time to acknowledge the restrictions and needs on the modern family, and upgrade the practice of gardening to fit those needs. If you’ve ever driven by a large scale or commercial farm, you will recognize the single-row technique, because this is what farmers use. But these farmers are purposely intending to grow huge surpluses of a single crop, and typically have the room and money to “waste” on the previously mentioned supplies. Unless your family is planning on going into the farming business, it’s time to ditch this tradition in favor of something with actual efficiency!

Garden 2| How to Grow All The Food You Need In Your Backyard

Traditional and inefficient single-row garden. Who needs all that cabbage?

Let’s do an experiment. How many lettuce seeds do you think are in the tiny paper envelopes of you purchase at your local gardening store? 20? 50? 100 or more? Try over 1000! Were you planting these in a single-row garden, the experts would tell you: plant many, many seeds, and when the plants sprout, spend the time and work to go through and spread the plants out every 6 inches. That means you will be uprooting the very lettuce you just planted and sprouted, all to make room for others. What a waste of time and money and energy! If plants only need 6 inches of room to be healthy, then having 3-foot gardening rows is also a waste of time. Instead, one could plant in two or three rows, 6 inches apart in all directions, and have a much more space-friendly and controllable yield.

Click the links below to continue your read. One new chapter will be released each day!

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Chapter 1 – Square Foot Gardening

Chapter 2 – Planning Your Square Foot Garden

Chapter 3 – Raised Garden Beds

Chapter 4 – Soil Prep for Backyard Gardening

Chapter 5 – Planting Seeds

Chapter 6 – Tending Your Vegetable Garden

Chapter 7 – Grow a Vertical Garden

Chapter 8 – When to Plant a Garden

Chapter 9 – Tips For Unique Backyards

Chapter 10 – Gardening Tips For the Family

Chapter 11 – How to Grow an Herb Garden

Thanks for joining us on our homesteading journey! We wish you the best success in backyard raised gardens, and hope you grow all the wonderful nutritional vegetables you can, to your hearts content.

What do you think of these homesteading tips? Let us know below in the comments!

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Self Sufficiency

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?

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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.

Ingredients:

  • 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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Self Sufficiency

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:

  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

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.

Eggplant

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

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

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.

Pea

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.

Carrot

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.

Radish

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

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.

Asparagus

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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