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Who says you need to do your gift shopping at the mall? All homesteaders have access to a wide variety of wonderful homemade gifts to share with their loved ones.

Depending on how you farm, you have access to all kinds of flora and fauna to make affordable, thoughtful gifts. One of my favorite ways to share the homestead goodness is to gift flavored homestead honey.

Flavored honey recipe

Keeping bees is an art that so many of us love, but few actually attempt. If you keep bees, you likely have people banging down your door for honey or beeswax. Sate their love of the sweet stuff with a jar of homemade honey.

If you also keep a garden, consider spicing up that Mason jar of honey by infusing it with herbs. Flavors like lavender, orange, rosemary, lemon, or ginger taste excellent in honey. The herbs can even enhance honey’s natural medicinal powers, too. Follow this quick recipe to infuse your honey in a jiffy. Scale the recipe up to make enough honey for everyone on your Nice list.

Ingredients

● 1 cup honey
● 2 tablespoons of your herb of choice

Directions

1. Heat the honey over a double boiler until it reaches 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Stir in your herb or spice of choice.
3. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes. If it starts boiling, lower the heat. You want to keep it at 115 degrees.
4. While the honey is simmering, make sure your jars and lids are nice and clean.
5. Strain the honey if you would like it to be smooth.
6. Pour the honey carefully into the prepared sanitized jars.
7. Seal the jars appropriately and wrap them for easy gifting!

The best thing about gifting honey is its long shelf life. Honey can last years on the shelf and still be safe to eat. Of course, with honey this delicious, it’s sure to fly off the shelf in no time!

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What Fruits To Start Growing In Your Small Garden

Due to how complex it is, not a lot of people consider fruit farming. Also, it takes up a lot of space, not to mention you need the time and patience to put up with the demands of growing a fruit tree. This is the main reason why many people stick to growing vegetables instead.

If you’re low on space, you can try growing your fruit in containers that you can keep quite easily. Here are some of the fruits you can start growing at home without needing too much space or time.

Raspberries

Growing your own berries helps you avoid buying the expensive varieties from the organics section. There are different types of raspberries, and the one that you should look for is the kind that produces fruit during the summer and winter. While these grow best in raised soil beds that offer plenty of drainage, they can do well with containers as well. Also, they need lots of sunlight so that they grow to be plump and ripe. Once you’ve harvested the season’s crop, you should shear the cane till soil level and the upcoming plant will produce new crops.

Figs

An uncommon delicacy that you rarely get to enjoy, figs have a distinct, chewy and sweet flavor that can’t be compared to any other. You can grow these at home because a fig tree’s roots need to be restricted for ideal growth. This means they’re the best fruit you can grow in containers. Just make sure that you keep the container in an area that receives a lot of warmth and sunshine because that’s what they love. You will need to wait a long time, though, because figs that start to form in autumn aren’t ready to be harvested until the upcoming summer.

Strawberries

The fun and sweet taste of strawberries are loved by every family, so why not grow some in your home. While these can be grown in a bed, they thrive equally well in a container. You can grow them in those versatile flower pouches and even in baskets that hang through your garden. Just make sure that you keep the container or basket in a place with lots of sunlight and in soil that’s well-drained. If you consider yourself a strawberry lover, then choosing different varieties, such as Cambridge Favorite, Florence, and Flamenco, that grow in different seasons is recommended.

Blueberries

If you’re determined to grow your fruits out of containers, then blueberries will be a good option. Blueberry plants have pretty colored leaves and you can harvest your fruit at the end of summer. But you’ll need to get some acidic soil from the farmer’s market for this plant; otherwise, they don’t need a lot of care. Make sure that you pick a variety that self-pollinates so you don’t need to grow another plant.

Blackberries

You can have a whole berry plant collection at home once you grow these and they don’t even need a lot of space. You can train its stems to act like wires that can be tied to a fence so that they get plenty of sunlight. They do, however, prefer acidic soil with more moisture. Plant at the onset of spring, and after harvesting your first yield, cut the plant and leave six inches so that berries grow back for the next year.


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