Home & Health Blogs

September 13, 2017

We don’t call it “fall” around here for nothing. If lots of leaves have fallen in your yard, why not put them to good use right at home? Here are eight ways to use fall leaves. The colorful foliage that delights the senses and draws thousands of tourists (New Hampshire’s biggest industry) precedes the literal fall, when most of the deciduous trees send their leaves drifting to the ground. Fallen leaves rustle underfoot. They smell good. The wind sometimes whips them into a frenzy of dancing ... more

September 12, 2017

It’s apple season again! (I mean the kind that grow on trees, not the latest iPhone.) Here are some of the numerous health benefits of apples, as well as some of their other interesting uses! At our farm, we don’t grow tree fruit, but we do buy and enjoy a lot of local apples from late September through the winter months. In seasons when the Baldwins or Northern Spys are abundant, I generally buy a bushel to stash in the root cellar, alongside the homegrown cabbages and carrots. (They store... more

September 10, 2017

What single ingredient can make or break a dish? The answer is salt. Many readers ask us about the different types of salts—table salt, kosher salt, and so on. Let’s look at six common salts and their best use. Whether it’s used to form a crust around a thick juicy steak, or sprinkled over a chewy chocolate-covered caramel, salt makes food memorable. Too much and you’ve blown it, too little and you’ve missed an opportunity to make taste buds explode. It’s also calorie free. That “salty” taste... more

August 28, 2017

Millions of Americans are hard at work canning, freezing, drying, pickling, and fermenting the abundance of late summer fruits and vegetables from our home gardens and local farms. Here are a few things you should keep in mind to keep your hard-earned harvest safe to eat. Surveys show a huge resurgence of interest in home gardening and buying direct from growers at farmers’ markets, pick-your-own operations, community-supported agriculture enterprises, and farmstands. Besides a belief that... more

August 28, 2017

Preserving your harvest or farmers’ market haul in a pressure canner has many benefits. Here’s how to (safely) use a pressure canner at home, as well as when you should use pressure canning instead of traditional water bath canning. Why Can? Canning is a cooking method that enables you to save (preserve) fresh vegetables and fruit to enjoy months later. People can for many reasons: Maybe you’ve inherited your mother’s pressure canner and three shelves of glass canning jars? Perhaps you... more

August 14, 2017

Looking for a natural alternative to common over-the-counter medications? The cure may be closer than you think. Learn more about natural remedies using honey! Honey, that wonderfully sticky elixir, could be the key to righting what ails you. Before you go rushing to the kitchen though, keep in mind that most supermarket honey is processed and devoid of any nutritional or medicinal value. Local, raw, unprocessed honey is the golden ticket. Is Honey Good for You? At 64 calories per... more

August 8, 2017

Although I grow many herbs fresh in pots and in my greenhouse for year-round use, I also like to preserve an abundant supply for the long season when nothing grows outdoors. It’s fun and not all that time-consuming. I think of an “herb” as any aromatic plant used for food, seasoning, or medicine. I’m thinking Greek oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, dill, parsley, and the various mints, as well as the medicinals: yarrow (leaves and flowers), elderberry flowers, plantain, comfrey, heal-all, and... more

July 24, 2017

If you’ve ever tended a big food garden in a region that gets frost—the kind of garden that you hope will feed your household all year long—you know the alternate reality that late summer brings. It’s hard to think of anything else, much less do anything but monitor the crops, harvest, process, and store all of those fruits, vegetables, and herbs exploding with abundance. In one morning of gardening, every stockpot, bowl, and bucket we own overflows with just-harvested crops: a half-dozen... more

July 24, 2017

How healthy are cucumbers? Cucumbers are much more versatile than you might think, so here are tips for cooking with cucumbers, a few cucumber health benefits, and easy natural remedies with cucumbers. Close relatives of squashes, melons, and gourds (the Cucurbitaceae), cucumbers originated in northern India around 4,000 years ago. After surges and dips in popularity, they have risen to become the fourth most-cultivated vegetable in the world. They come in an astonishing variety of shapes,... more

July 22, 2017

String beans. Green beans. Snap beans. Not only are they healthy for your body but also they are good for the Earth! Whatever you call ‘em, green beans are the immature form of the common kidney-shaped bean, Phaseolus vulgaris, harvested before beans begin forming inside the pods. Modern varieties of this native American vegetable no longer have “strings” down the sides of the pods that need to be pulled off before eating. Green Beans Health Benefits Not only are green beans a nice,... more

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