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The Most Versatile, Useful Fruit Tree For The Off-Grid Homestead Is …

I have 80 acres of property in Michigan. It’s been in the family for five generations, and 30 years ago I was smart enough to plant a variety of fruit trees.

I planted sweet cherry trees for snacking and sour cherry trees for baking. I have continually lost the sweet cherry war with the birds. The sour cherries have done fine if you don’t mind pitting a bushel of sour cherries on a long weekend.

The pears and peaches have done well, and we “can” with them or bake with them. We also set them on the table for snacking, but we end up giving many of them away simply because we don’t have the time to process the entire harvest.

However, it’s all very different when it comes to the apple trees. We’ll easily get four bushels or more from each of our 10 trees for a total of 40-plus bushels — and we use every one of them. Over the years we keep finding new uses for apples, and I think it’s the most versatile fruit I’ve come across.

The ‘Fruit Gardener’s Bible': Your Complete Resource To Growing Fruits And Nuts!

Here are the top seven things we’ve learned to make with our apple harvest:

1. Apple cider

We pick up windfall apples off the ground. They’re a bit gnarly and often bruised, but we don’t care. We gather them, rinse them, grind them up in the apple grinder and toss the mash into the apple press to make apple cider. This kind of cider has to be refrigerated in some way. You could also process it with a heat process like you would use for traditional canning. The good news is that this usually takes place in autumn, and the overnight temps help with off-the-grid refrigeration.

2. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a natural disinfectant and cleaner and is a foundation for many food preservation solutions. It is reported to have significant health benefits, and its versatility crosses from marinades to salad dressings to brines and cures. Apple cider vinegar may be the most significant benefit of the apple tree.

3. Apple sauce

The Most Versatile, Useful Fruit Tree For The Off-Grid Homestead Is ...

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It’s so easy to make. Peel and core apples, and chop. Add to a sauce pan with some apple cider and a little sugar and cinnamon. Gently simmer, and either mash or leave in chunks. It is wonderful as an accompaniment to pork. Refrigerate or process with standard canning procedures.

4. Apple butter

Apple butter is apple sauce on steroids. This recipe is for a crockpot, and it takes 10 hours on low. Peel, core and finely chop six pounds of apples and toss into the crockpot with four cups of sugar, two teaspoons of cinnamon, one-fourth teaspoon of salt, one-fourth teaspoon of ground cloves and stir until blended. Set crockpot on low, and stir occasionally for about 10 hours. Serve, refrigerate or process.

5. Baked apples

We’ll gather a bunch of apples, and either wrap them in foil over the grill or bake them in the oven. We keep the skins on and core the apples, being careful to not cut down to the base. (You want a little pocket in the core of the apple). The standard ingredient is a tablespoon of butter in the core with a mix of brown sugar and spices.

Need Non-GMO Heirloom Seeds For Your Spring Garden? The Best Deals Are Right Here!

I usually blend one-half teaspoon of cinnamon, one-fourth teaspoon of nutmeg and one-fourth teaspoon of cloves with about two tablespoons of brown sugar for each apple. I dump all of that in the core of the apple and wrap in foil over indirect heat on the grill, or bake in the oven on a cookie sheet. I give them both about an hour no matter how I’m cooking them. Let them rest a bit or you’ll burn your mouth.

6. Apple pie

There’s a filling for apple pie that can be used across purposes, from a spooned pie-filling on a plate to a filling for an apple pie. The basic filling consists of peeled, cored and sliced apples tossed in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a cup of sugar, two teaspoons of cinnamon, two tablespoons of corn starch or flour, and a tablespoon of salt all tossed together and dumped in the pie shell. Bake at 350 (Fahrenheit) for an hour.

7. Dried apples

There are a lot of ways to make this, but the simplest is to cut them thin, toss them in sugar and cinnamon, and dry them in an oven at 225 degrees (Fahrenheit) for an hour or more. You’ll get apple chips that keep well and are fun to eat. Proportions are about a tablespoon of sugar and one-fourth teaspoon of cinnamon for each thin apple slice.

Final thoughts

Of course, there’s also simply apples on the table. We usually select the best and chill them in the fridge. They’re great on the table and at breakfast. Sometimes we slice them and dip them in peanut butter or chunk them up with granola or dipped in yogurt.

When you consider the benefits, varieties and uses for something as simple as apples, it just seems to make sense to have an apple tree on your property. Maybe two or three. As for me, I’m planting 12 more this spring.

Related:

The Easy Way To Make Vinegar From Scratch

Do you know of other uses for apples? Share your advice in the section below:

Every Spring, Gardeners Make This Avoidable Mistake — But You Don’t Have To. Read More Here.

This Article Was Originally Posted On offthegridnews.com Read the Original Article here

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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!

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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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