Home & Garden

Making homemade cider!

Making homemade cider!

We just made some homemade cider and it was delicious!  I do not have a proper cider press but I did have a home made cheese press that I decided to try to use as a cider press.  It worked quite well!  First I cut up the apples into quarters.  Then I put them into a food processor with the metal blade and chopped them quite fine.  It almost looked like applesauce but more coarse.  Then I lined a cheese mold with cheese cloth.  A cheese mold is basically a cylinder of food grade plastic with no bottom and holes on the sides.  With the cheese cloth inside the mold I added my apple pulp.  Then I folded the cheese cloth over the pulp and put the follower in.  Then I put the top of my press in place and put rocks on top of that for weight!  Underneath the cheese mold is a plain old disposable 8x8 foil cake pan that has a hole poked in one corner.  That way all the cider flows to that little hole and down into a bowl.  And t

How to make Apple Pie from scratch!

How to make Apple Pie from scratch!

I like to make pies!  Years ago I learned how to make a pretty good crust by watching my Grandmother.  When I talk to most of my friends about making pies it seems to me that the biggest obstacle to making a home made pie is the crust.  I agree that at first it can be daunting, but with a little practice it can be done.  So I thought I would do a video series in NATE'S KITCHEN on pie crust and also on apple pie.  The first video is in the player above but to see the rest of them you'll have to go to my YOUTUBE channel by CLICKING HERE!  Enjoy!

Does Your House Look Like a HAUNTED HOUSE?!?

Does Your House Look Like a HAUNTED HOUSE?!?

Haunted Houses are scary and no one wants to go in them. You certainly don’t want your home to be labeled as such. Curb appeal in the fall and winter is just as important as in the spring and summer. If your house is currently on the market, consider doing these few things to make sure your home doesn’t look like a Haunted House this Halloween season and scare away any buyers. You want people to run into your home with smiles, not away in fear!

CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS!

With all the falling leaves and heavy rain we have had lately, it is important to make sure your gutters are not over flowing with leaves, pine needles or debris.

Western Maine Resort Towns, Downeast Coast Displaying Peak Foliage

Western Maine Resort Towns, Downeast Coast Displaying Peak Foliage

AUGUSTA, Maine - Peak foliage color has reached Rangeley, Farmington, Bethel, and the downeast coast, according to the fifth 2011 fall foliage report from the Maine Department of Conservation (MDOC).
 
Maine fall foliage conditions for Oct. 12. Credit: Maine Department of Conservation.
Currently, Maine Forest Service and state park rangers are observing peak leaf color, or at least 75 percent color change, in the western lakes and mountains region, covering the towns of Rangeley, Kingfield, Farmington, Rumford and Bethel. Peak color is also being reported along the downeast coast from Bucksport to Eastport and in interior Hancock and Washington counties.

Laying hens out on the grain field.

Laying hens out on the grain field.

We just moved our laying hens out into the grain field!  This means that we can let them out of their coop since the grain field is fenced.  This is their first taste of freedom ever!  It's such a pleasure to see them scratching, digging and flapping.  They will be working hard until the snow flies cleaning up after the grain harvest.  They will find almost every last scrap of grain that may have fallen in the harvesting process.  They will also eat weed seeds before they get a chance to work into the soil.  Part of their foraging process is scratching.  They take a step forward and scratch once with each foot.  Then they back up one step and bend down for a look!  Sometimes they find seed and sometimes they find a bug!  Of course during all this they are also dropping nitrogen rich manure onto the earth.  I've read that this technique, which is normally done with hogs, is called "hogging down" the land.  I think we sh

Harvesting barley with a scythe!

Harvesting barley with a scythe!

We just harvested all of our barley.  I'm finding it VERY hard to grow barley and wheat organically.  It just gets overtaken by weeds no matter what I do.  Plus this year hurricane Irene really damaged a lot of the crop.  Next year I may try to use a mulching tecnique whereby you shred leaves and scatter them all over the field just after the barley shoots emerge.  This is supposed to help keep weeds down.  The chickens are enjoying the barley as I write this so I can't complain too much I guess!