Clean Up Your Fall Garden and Give it a Boost for Next Year!

how to prep garden for winter

I’m at the annual doTERRA essential oil convention this week, so I’m thrilled to be welcome Anni Winings of Homestead and Gardens to the blog as she shares her best tips for cleaning up your garden for the fall and giving it a boost! I’ll be doing my garden clean up sooner than I originally planned, especially after our freak snowstorm last week!

It’s nearing the end of the season, and all that luscious growth in your garden will die back as the cold winter months come. Why not turn it into a big boost for your garden next spring?

garden waste at the end of the year -

As a general rule, compost-ables fall into two categories – Greens and Browns. Many gardeners clamor for the greens, but both have a lot to give to your garden.

The greens?includes anything that is still alive or wet – green leaves, over-ripe produce, kitchen scraps, fresh grass clippings, etc. The greens contain more nutrients, including nitrogen, which is the number one nutrient people fertilize their garden with. Greens tend to compost more quickly.

The browns are dry, dead material – fallen leaves, bean pods, straw, dried grass clippings, etc. The browns do contain nutrients, but not as much as the greens. What they do have in abundance is carbon which, when composted, has a large nutrient-holding capacity (to hold all the nutrients from your composted greens) and the perfect light, airy, crumbly structure your plants love to sink their roots into. Browns compost more slowly.

Whatever you choose to compost, make sure it hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals. Perhaps your neighbor down the road thinks he’s doing you a favor by giving you all his grass clippings for your garden. But if he has sprayed his lawn with a broad-leaf herbicide (such as 2-4D) or preen (a pre-emergent herbicide that prevents seeds from sprouting), you really don’t want that on your garden.… [Continue Reading]

Homestead Barn Hop #176


“Cultivating the Homestead Community”

It’s been… a bizarre week. Our mild, yet pleasant, summer gave us an early dose of winter when we were blanketed with an inch or two of snow on Thursday night. I ended up having to intervene for my poor tomato plants and covered some of them with quilts while harvesting the others early. (I may or may not have been grumbling a bit while I harvested…) We are supposed to get back up into the 80s this week, but that’s Wyoming for ya!

To top it all off, I nearly accidentally grabbed a rattlesnake while harvesting the ‘maters on that chilly afternoon. It was curled up trying to keep warm, and I didn’t see it until it was way too close for comfort. Thankfully it was too cold to pose much of a threat!

And, don’t forget this is the LAST DAY to grab your copy of the Ultimate Healthy Living bundle. If you haven’t grabbed yours yet, promise me that you’ll at least take a look to see if it’d be a fit for you? It’s such a spectacular deal that only comes around once a year, I’d hate for anyone to miss out if they want it!

yespleaseYou can get all the details and the full list of books, classes, and bonuses included HERE. There’s a 100% money back guarantee, so even if you are unsure, there’s nothing to lose!

Onto the Barn Hop!

This hop is hosted by The Prairie Homestead, New Life on a Homestead and The Elliott Homestead.

Did you share any homesteading related posts on your blog this week? If so, we’d love to have you link up below! Even if you don’t have a blog, we always welcome your comments!

Some Simple Guidelines:

1. Please remember that the Homestead Barn Hop is meant to be a place to share homesteading related encouragement and inspiring ideas specifically related to homesteading. 

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Rustic Pear Tart with Cream and Spice

pear tart recipe

Confession time:

If I have to choose between a sinfully rich chocolate dessert and a fruit dessert, I usually pick the chocolate.

Scandalous, I know…

It’s not that I don’t enjoy fruit desserts, because I do, (especially my homemade peach pie!), but chocolate will always hold a special place in my heart. Especially when it’s combined with some sort of cream. I mean, can you really compete with that?


The tables may have turned, thanks to this knock-your-socks off pear tart recipe that I recently discovered. It came at the perfect time, considering I had just lugged home a very heavy box of Barlett pears from my latest Bountiful Baskets order.

how to make pear pie

I absolutely adore pears, and my favorite way to eat them is raw. However, I knew there was no way to eat ‘em all before they started going bad, so I had to get creative. It took a concentrated day in the kitchen canning whole pears, making cinnamon pearsauce, and whipping up this tart, but I think I finally have a handle on this pear situation.

This mouth-watering recipe comes straight from the From Scratch cookbook, authored by one of my favorite homesteading bloggers, Shaye, from The Elliott Homestead. Shaye is a girl after my own heart, and I think it’s probably a good thing she lives in Washington and I live in Wyoming, otherwise, we would get into all sorts of trouble…

Rustic Pear Tart with Cream and Spices

You will need:

  •  1 1/2 cups finely ground nuts (I used almond flour–although any fine nuts will work)
  •  5 tablespoons softened butter
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  2 tablespoons sucanat or other granulated sweetener of your choice.
  • 5-6 medium pears, peeled and sliced thin
  •  1 teaspoon cinnamon
  •  1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  •  1/4 cup sucanat or natural sweetener of choice (honey will work)
  •  1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.… [Continue Reading]

Can I Tell You a Story?

Once upon a time, there was this girl…

She was pretty typical, as far as young American gals go.

She grew up in a quiet little neighborhood on the outskirts of town, always kept her grades up, and never really questioned much about the world around her.

The girl back then...

The girl back then…

She ate typical American fare growing up: processed cheese in the thin plastic wrappers, Chef Boyardee ravioli, and yes, even the 29 cent packages of Ramen noodles. She had a special love for McDonald’s french fries, and thoroughly enjoyed an ice-cold Coca-Cola alongside them.

Cooking always seemed to get in the way of things she’d rather be doing, and she never found much enjoyment from it anyway, so she mostly avoided it whenever she could.

As far as being green, or trying to be “natural,” that was just stuff for hippie-folk. Recycling and repurposing were a silly waste of time. People like her didn’t worry about that stuff, and she most certainly didn’t.

After college, she continued along in her ways, happily filling her cart with frozen taquitos, chemical cleaners, and 1% milk anytime she went to the grocery store.

But that’s not the end of the story.

Fast Forward 10 Years…

That very same, standard American girl now lives on 67-acres of windswept grassland in the middle-of-nowhere Wyoming. She spends the majority of her days in her kitchen and finds special pleasure creating from-scratch version of foods she used to buy from the grocery store; things like chewy french bread, creamy whole-milk yogurt, and maple-kissed marshmallows.

The girl now… All grown up.

Her favorite moments are spend in the barnyard tending to the animals she raises. She’s passionate about growing as many of her ingredients as possible, so her barnyard menagerie includes a gentle Brown Swiss milk cow, a flock of laying hens, several hogs, and various meat birds.… [Continue Reading]