Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Utilizing What You Have on Your Land ~ Being Creative


"That's the way Great-grandmother did it. She looked in the larder, the cellar and then took a walk through the garden to see what she had. And then she made menus for the next couple days."


The more productive our land is, the less we need to purchase. Or, the more creative we are with what little we have, the same applies. Those words by Carla Emory have been a huge source of inspiration to me this year. I would love to use what we have to the maximum potential by creating my meals from our harvest rather than a grocery store list. Despite the garden produce, eggs and meat/dairy animals we are raising, we have tried to be innovative with other items. Here are some examples of what we did with the fruit producing plants on our farm...


Grapes

Our grapes have seeds in them so they are not our first snack choice. The solution we found is to squeeze them using an old-fashioned orange juicer. We use the juice in reduced-sugar canning recipes where grape juice is substituted as a natural sweetener. We have also mixed this with seltzer water and ice for a sweet and refreshing summer drink (this is a treat since we don't purchase "drinks"). If you have seedless grapes, they are excellent when frozen as an icy snack. Next year I think I am going to try my hand at grape jelly. What other ideas do you have to utilize grapes? I would love to hear them!


Pomegranates

We do love to eat the pomegranate seeds but had much more than we could keep up with (three trees). What we do with our excess is juice them. You can simply drink the juice (which is way healthy!) or add sparkling water for a summer style, italian "soda". We also froze some juice in ice-cube trays and added them into our smoothies. Delicious! Any other suggestions?


Figs

My husband likes to eat the figs as a fig. To be honest, they freak me out (I think it is the texture) so I turned them into jam. I think this jam would be a nice filling for jam bar recipes or making your own fruit and grain bars. Any other inspiration for the fig?


Conclusion

There are many opportunities if you really investigate your little piece of earth. It can be anything, small or large to produce something usable. For instance, I have shared how to make lavender infused cleaning products using your lavender flowers. The more we glean from our land (city dwellers too!), the less we need to rely on those price increases at the grocery stores. 

What creative ideas do you have in this same line…
to use what you have on your land
and increase your larder (pantry) supplies?


"Duchess went into her larder and took the pie off a shelf and looked at it."


"He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread…"
~ Proverbs 12:11a

This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: Modest Mom Monday'sMake it Yourself MondaysCountry Momma CooksHomestead Barn HopNatural Living Tuesday'sTeach Me Tuesday,  Domestically Divine TuesdayRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpFrugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Farmgirl Friday and Deep Roots at Home. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. (P.S. All the paintings are done by dear, Tasha Tudor with the exception of the drawing by Beatrix Potter.)

23 comments:

  1. Your blog is great with so many resources and help for the home. I'm working to turn my backyard to a beautiful edible place. Oh, how I'd love to have pomegranates!!
    Blessings to you:)

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    1. Thanks for your words of kindness!!! :) Hope your growing ventures are successful!

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  2. JES,
    I was thinking about your family this morning. I am praying for you even more now that I know you had a trying day (as mentioned in your comment to me).

    "Love the LORD, all you his saints!
    The LORD preserves the faithful
    but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
    24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
    all you who wait for the LORD!" Psalm 31: 23-24

    I was just reading this this morning..the whole of Ps. 31 is so uplifting. I send a blessing now to you all in Jesus' name!
    Love,
    Jacqueline

    PS I love using what the Lord has growing on our land to supplement our food stores! I, too, wish we had pomegranates!

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  3. I love your blog. New fan here - I hope you'll come share this post on my Farm Girl Blog Fest: http://fresh-eggs-daily.blogspot.com/2012/09/farm-girl-friday-blog-fest-1.html

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    1. Thank you for the invitation. I will have to make a visit :)

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  4. Your blog is beautiful! I like to harvest wild herbs, as well as grow my own.

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    1. Thank you :) Learning to recognize wild herbs is something I am trying to learn. Slowly but surely!

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  5. With our grapes, we make wine each year. It is not strong, but nice for us. I also canned grape juice last year and it is good. Didn't know about using grape juice as a sweetener!

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    1. Thank you for sharing. Canning grape juice sounds like a good option for us! And yes, you can use it as a sweetener if you use certain kinds of LOW/NO SUGAR PECTINS. It will be written on the package which one will take to grape juice. Have a wonderful week!

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  6. We too try to use up what we have. The things we have in abundance are far different from yours (oh how fun it would be to be able to grow some figs!) but we have learned a variety of ways to be able to use squash, zucchini and raspberries. God blesses us not only with an abundance of food but also with minds that can creatively figure out various ways to use it.

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  7. Love those photos. We just planted grapes and are looking forward to harvesting them next year. I am just starting a new homestead related link up, and would love you to join. If you get a moment, come by and check it out! http://www.simplejoyfulliving.com/2012/09/backyard-farming-connection-bees.html

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    1. Thank you, I will have to make a visit :)

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  8. I agree. I live in a city but refuse to always be running to the store. Waste of fuel and money. I cook from the pantry and freezer and my garden all the time. Great post.

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    1. Wonderful! I love to hear from kindred-spirits! Thanks for sharing :)

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  9. That is inspiring to see your beginning and end product. My husband, a gardener and homesteader wanna-be, would love your site. I will bookmark it for him. I'd like to feature your blog on my USA book tour. I'm inviting only ten blogs from each state and (ten internationally). You can learn more here: http://renee-joyjourney.com/2012/09/get-featured-on-total-home-makeover-usa.html. I hope to feature you. Thanks, Renee

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    1. Thank you Renee for your kind comments. I would love to take a look ;) Have a wonderful week!

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  10. LOVE this post! I have apples, plums, walnuts and blackberries on my property. In the beginning, I didn't appreciate the plums as much as I do now. And the walnuts are SO MUCH WORK!!! But I'm glad I have them.

    I wish I had 1 apple instead of 3, and had a pear and/or another type of fruit, but this year I'm going to try and TRADE someone local who has a different kind of fruit. I tried last year and couldn't find anyone. Fingers crossed about this year! Thanks for the post, love the blog.

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    1. Thanks for sharing Kimberly! Trading is an excellent idea. We do that as well. Any abundance we take to the neighbors. They grow citrus and are always very generous as well. Getting to know your neighbors is a real blessing and helps to give you a wider variety of fresh foods and friendship :) It's a win, win!

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  11. We have seeded grapes as well. The vines are young, so we only got a handful last year, but I've been wondering what to do with them once we get enough. Thanks for the tips!
    I was given BAGS of fresh pears last year. I dried some for snacks, assembled a few pear crisps to freeze, canned pear butter, and froze chunks to put in smoothies.

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    1. Ooh, gifted bags of fresh fruit are such a blessing! I love your resourceful ideas, too. Thanks for sharing Nikki!

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  12. An excellent article as usual. I really find encouragement on your site.
    Blessings,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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