Gardening

All the things involving growing our own food and plants!

  • Gardening

    Homesteaders Goals

    A 2019 review and 2020 plan It is a great time to look back AND ahead….so let’s get to it! Peach House Goals 2019 edition: Complete the courtyard in our front yard. DONE! Install maintenance free decking on the front entry. Not done. It was a very rainy summer, plus we took a vacation in August that wasn’t planned when I made this list, so we ran out of time. It is slated for the spring! Finish the front entry project. This hit a major hurdle and frankly, not sure when we will be able to do it. We found out that we have plumbing going through the closet we…

  • Gardening

    9 Gift Ideas for the Homesteader at Heart

    Do you have someone on your gift list who loves to make, bake, grow, raise, cook or forage…basically anything DIY? I have pulled together 9 gifts ranging from under $10 to over $200 to meet any budget that are unique and useful. #1 Wall-O-Waters Every gardener working the soil in a cold climate wishes they had a few more weeks of the growing season. These little green water filled tents called Wall-O-Waters create a lovely little microclimate for seedlings to thrive outdoors 6 WEEKS EARLIER than normal! This is the type of gift the person receiving it might not even know they want, but you’ll get a call in the…

  • Gardening

    How to Host an Easy, Breezy Holiday Party

    I really love planning parties. I love adding little details to make it memorable, trying new recipes and just gathering ideas, even if I never use them. I really should have been a party planner, to be honest. But as I get older, and my time gets abbreviated, I have looked towards streamlining my hosting duties. I don’t to sacrifice ALL of the things I love about having a party, but I am trying to be a little smarter about how I incorporate them. Do 1 or 2 “special” items – Make a unique cocktail, or fancy appetizer. Put together one of those giant charcuterie boards that have been sweeping…

  • Gardening

    What Worked This Year (and What Didn’t)

    Another gardening season has passed and it is time to add up our wins and losses. Dee’s Take: It was a good season for me this year at The Peach House. We had a lot of rain, but for the garden is was a perfect amount so that I never had to water! Awesome! However, we went on vacation in August and I feel as if I missed out on a lot of the harvest because of it. Oh well, it was totally worth it. Let’s start out with what went well: Artichokes. Hoooo wheee, did I love growing these! May wasn’t as warm as I would ideally like, so…

  • Gardening

    Top 8 earliest spring vegetables.

    On the Crow Homestead, the animals are starting to get territorial and the smell in the air is starting to change, which means spring is on her way! Yes…we still have many feet of snow on the ground, but the sun is out well into evening and we are getting ready for the big thaw. We can finally start planning for the earliest spring vegetables. Here is a list of the very first edible plants we enjoy from our property. #1 Herbs: Our perennial herbs are the first to emerge and in our zone 2 garden they include chives, thyme and a fuzzy kind of oregano. We add the fresh…

  • Gardening

    #1 way to save money gardening: starting seeds

    Starting seeds can be tricky but I live  in the dark and cold tundra of northern Minnesota without electricity….. so if I can do it so can you! Starting your own seedlings is the #1 way to save money gardening.  If you are buying seedlings I guarantee you are spending more money with a garden than you need to. In most of my life I barely  miss electricity, but man would it be a bonus when starting seeds!!!  I’ll tell you how I do it off-the-grid AND how my sister does it with the benefits of electricity. Start out with good seeds. If you have any questions about the vitality…

  • Gardening

    5 Tips to Ordering Seeds

    The arrival of seed catalogs in the dead of winter is such pure joy for these two sisters that we believe it should be a holiday!  Dee and I had our first annual Seed Celebration in February 2018, where we discussed the previous years’ gardens, and enjoyed some snacks and libations.  Oh yeah, we also hatched the plan to start this blog!  Definitely seems like an annual tradition to us. In honor of our new, totally made up holiday, we bring to you The Top 5 Ways to Succeed When Ordering Seeds… Order seed catalogs from similar climates as you This year we ordered from Seed Treasures, Bakers Creek and…

  • Gardening

    2018 Crow Homestead Hits and Misses

    2018 was an exciting growing season on the Crow Homestead!  We buckled down and started 100% of our own seeds, we live in one of the coldest places in the continental U.S. and we were able to start tomato and pepper seeds inside without electricity….this is like a mini miracle people!  We expanded the garden by adding four more 8 x 4 foot raised beds and built the fence. We also added to the orchard by planting pairs of apricot trees, chokecherries and Nanking cherry bushes.  Mr. Crow has been VERY busy!  As with everything we do, we had some failures and some successes.  But I do not view our…

  • Gardening

    2018 Peach House Hits and Misses

    Since the garden is all sad and empty now, I thought it would be a good time to recap the season.  Lin will be doing hers as well this week, so come back for that! I tried several new things this year: a tomato trellis system, dried beans, potatoes, brassicas, squash (butternut and spaghetti) and onions.  I also planted sweet peppers, peas, green beans, carrots, kale, watermelon and zucchini!  Here’s the good list: Successes: Red beans – this was so fun for me to grow!  I planted maybe 12 vines, they did not take up a lot of space, and I got a substantial harvest from it (maybe 2 cups…

  • Gardening

    How to Start Saving Seeds.

    I can’t wait for the day I don’t need to purchase anything in the spring for the garden.  In my fantasy we will produce enough compost to feed all of our beds, attract enough good insects to battle the bad pests, utilize companion planting to perfection and save ALL of our own seeds.  But we are far from that and I have only started dipping my toe into the world of seed saving!  If you have purchased “open pollinated” or ” heirloom” seed you can save the seeds in the fall and plant them again next year.  With open pollinated seeds you always get offspring that are the same as…