Tag Archives: Gardening

My Fresh Herb-Drying Setup – No Energy Required!

by Texas Homesteader~ 

I love herbs & spices, don’t you? But several years ago I ran out of thyme. So I went to the store to buy more. WHEW! You know, there are some herbs and seasonings you can buy pretty cheaply. A big jar will cost very little.

But for some reason thyme was pretty pricey (IMO). Heck, for what they were charging for that little jar of thyme, I could buy a whole plant and harvest from it year in, year out!

So I did…

My most-used herbs are thyme, sage, oregano, basil and rosemary. So I make sure I always have them available, whether fresh or dried.

A Facebook follower asked about my herb-drying setup. Y’all know I’m all about simplicity! So I thought I’d show how I dry my fresh herbs.

Herb drying doesn't need to take any energy or special appliances. Come see my herb-drying setup. #TexasHomesteader

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Don’t Throw It Away! The Surprising Benefit Of Leaves

by Texas Homesteader~

This time of year, many are dealing with all those falling leaves. It seems they’re EVERYWHERE!

Those leaves can actually be a fun autumn tradition. We used to enjoy raking up huge piles of leaves and laughing as the kids ran through them again & again. Aaaahhhhh sweet memories.

But oftentimes when leaves are raked into a pile they’re simply stuffed into huge plastic trash bags & sent off to the landfill.

But those plastic-entombed leaves sitting in a landfill do no good there. Maybe there’s a better use? Something that could actually benefit me in some way?

As a matter of fact – yes. Leaves can offer many benefits in the garden, including healthier plants, cooler summertime soil temps, better moisture retention, and/or less weeding.

That all adds up to a healthier garden with less work. What’s not to love??!

I use leaves for mulch instead of raking and bagging them and sending them to the landfill. There are lots of ways the garden benefits. #TexasHomesteader

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Roasting Peppers On A Gas-Powered Stove

by Texas Homesteader~

When the garden is pumping out those peppers I’m going through them almost as fast as they’ll produce. Jalapenos, poblanos, bell peppers, banana peppers – I love ’em all!

But we especially love poblanos and bell peppers. I’ve discovered that although they’re delicious in many ways, my favorite flavor is accomplished by roasting them.

But, you know – peppers are producing most prolifically during those hot & humid months of summer. I can’t stand the thought of turning the oven on high and roasting those peppers. Even for the delicious end result.

So when I’m making Chile Relleno or Creamy Hatch Sauce and wanting to use my garden peppers, I take the shortcut in roasting them.  You like to use shortcuts here too? Check out this Homestead Hack, y’all.

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Repurposed Coffee Can For Deep Soak Watering                 

by Texas Homesteader~

In the heat of summer, the rain taps typically turn completely off here in NE Texas. It’s typical for us to struggle keeping everything watered.

I suppose I complicate things by insisting that all outside watering be done only though Captured Rainwater. I’ve never liked the idea of treated, drinkable water being pumped from miles away just for me to pour on the ground.

So with a few exceptions such as during drought when the trees could die if I don’t offer assistance, plants are watered only with rainwater. But keeping plants watered during the hot, dry Texas summers requires some conservation. Come see my conservation tips.

A repurposed coffee can can be used for deep soak watering in the garden. It conserves water while allowing water to slowly drip. #TexasHomesteader

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Garden Update: Gardening In Hot & Humid August

by Texas Homesteader ~

Whelp, it’s August y’all. In TEXAS! August typically means hot and dry weather. And typically the end of the garden too. 

Usually this is when I quit fighting the garden altogether and let it go dormant. When it’s this hot and dry – even if I can keep the plants alive – nothing wants to set fruit anyway.  

But this year I’m actually still in the garden most days. Not to harvest, oh no! But hopefully to squeak things through for a fall garden. This year all has not been lost. Come see.

August is usually so hot & dry the garden goes dormant. But this year we've had some successes too. Come see! #TexasHomesteader

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Repurposing Empty Coffee Canisters For Garden Harvest

by Texas Homesteader ~ 
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RancherMan & I drink coffee that comes in a handy lidded container. But I’ve been on a constant quest to find ways to use them once they’re empty.

But as gardening season hits in full swing, I’m reminded of another great use. Check out this Homestead Hack.

Homestead Hack - using empty coffee canisters for grape harvest. #TexasHomesteader

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Vegetable Garden Update: July

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Aaaahhhh, gardening in Texas. July and August are certainly the biggest challenge months of the year. You’ve gotten a good start on your garden but the heat & humidity typically hits HARD in July!

Even with a few surprising struggles this year, I still have had a few successes. Come see how we’re faring here in our zone 8 veggie garden.

July Garden. Even with a few surprising struggles this year, I have a few successes. Come see how we're faring here in our zone 8 veggie garden. #TexasHomesteader

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You Can Peel A Whole Head Of Garlic In Seconds!

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

We love garlic. And thankfully it’s easy to grow garlic in our NE Texas garden. It adds a healthy yet powerful flavor to our food. We especially love it with Tex-Mex flavored dishes.

I recently harvested the garlic from our garden. I’ll allow it to cure for several weeks and then I typically hang whole garlic heads in my pantry. That garlic will be ready and waiting to be used at a moment’s notice.

But I grow & harvest lots of garlic every year. There’s no way I can use it all fresh before it goes bad. So to preserve some of the garlic further I also like to keep a jar filled with peeled garlic cloves in my freezer.

But ugh, peeling that many cloves is going to be a long, sticky chore, right?

Nope.

Come see how I can peel whole heads of garlic cloves in seconds.

We love garlic, how about you? I have a shortcut to peel garlic too. I can peel a whole head of garlic cloves in seconds. Come see how! #TexasHomesteader

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