10 Fall Gardening Tips For A Productive Garden Next Year


The best way to ensure a productive garden next spring and summer is to start this fall! Here are 10 fall gardening tips that will help you have a productive, healthy garden next gardening season. #fallgardening #fallgardentips #organicgardening #howtofertilizegardenHere are 10 fall gardening tips that will help you have a productive, healthy garden next gardening season. Because the best way to ensure a productive garden next spring and summer is to start this fall! 

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Fall is famous for being harvest season. It’s the time of year when we’re plucking all that remains from the stems and the soil and bringing it into the kitchen to be eaten fresh and preserved for the long winter months ahead. It’s also the time when the flowers die back and the leaves fall from the trees, leaving nothing but bare bones until they come alive again next spring.

Indeed, fall typically marks the end of the gardening season. But there is still work to be done outside, and following a few simple fall gardening tips can help you to have a healthier, more productive and even more beautiful garden next season.

Here are 10 easy steps you can take to prepare your garden this fall for an even more productive gardening season next year. 

Related: A Complete Guide to Organic Gardening for Beginners

1. Pull out all annual plants and weeds (and save your seeds properly)

The best way to ensure a productive garden next spring and summer is to start this fall! Here are 10 fall gardening tips that will help you have a productive, healthy garden next gardening season. #fallgardening #fallgardentips #organicgardening #howtofertilizegarden

 

Pull out any dead annuals and weeds and add them to your compost. If they’re diseased, dispose of them by burning or putting them in yard waste bags. Do not add old diseased or pest-ridden plants to your compost as this can spread problems and negatively affect the health of your future soil. Annuals will die off and they won’t come back so pull them up now and get rid of them. Pull weeds now too to prevent them from going to seed and spreading.

You can leave root crops like carrots, turnips and beets in the ground along with cold-loving greens like cabbage and kale until after the first frost. Root veggies are even known to get sweeter if you leave them in the ground past the first frost date. But pull them up before the ground freezes solid if you plan on using them this year. You can overwinter some vegetables in milder climates, especially if you add a thick layer of mulch. Check guidelines for your local area and unique garden zone to find out more.

Also, be sure to save, dry and label any seeds you save from your garden this year too so you have some seeds ready to go when it’s time to plant next year. Always be sure to label the type and variety of seeds so you know what you’re planting come spring! Because trust me, if you don’t label them and it’s not obvious what type and variety they are, you are bound to forget. So take an extra few minutes to label them now and even consider writing down planting instructions. This will make life exponentially easier when you’re ready to start planting.

Related: How to Save Seeds: A Beginner’s Guide

2. Feed and amend your soil

Once you’ve cleaned up your garden, feed your soil. Fall is the best time to fertilize as there is ample time for compost, manure, mulch and store-bought organic fertilizers to break down and release nutrients into the soil before spring.

You might want to get your soil tested to see if there are specific nutrients or amendments your soil could benefit from. Adjusting the PH balance of your soil correctly can make all the difference for your garden, and a soil test can help you determine exactly what your soil needs and how much of it. 

You can contact your local extension office if you’re in the U.S. or your local municipal or regional district office in Canada to find out about getting your soil tested at a lab in your area. You can also purchase at-home soil tests, but sometimes readings are inaccurate. If you’re going to go through the trouble, you may as well send it to a lab to be sure.

For most small-scale home gardeners though, covering your dormant garden beds with a one or two-inch thick layer of compost, mulch or manure or lightly tilling in some organic store-bought fertilizer is enough.

3. Plant garlic and spring bulbs

The best way to ensure a productive garden next spring and summer is to start this fall! Here are 10 fall gardening tips that will help you have a productive, healthy garden next gardening season. #fallgardening #fallgardentips #organicgardening #howtofertilizegarden

Fall is the time to get your garlic and your spring bulbs in the ground. Plant garlic cloves roughly two inches deep and four inches apart in well-drained soil. Water and cover with mulch and allow them to overwinter. They’ll start growing again in early spring and will be ready for harvest next July. Click here for more garlic growing tips.

Plant tulips, daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, bluebells and other spring bulbs now for a beautiful flower garden come spring. Be sure to water them well to help them get established. Add a couple inches of mulch over the soil if you get extremely cold winters.

Be sure to label where you plant things as well so you don’t forget what you planted and where. This helps to ensure you don’t plant anything else in that same area and it also helps you remember the type and variety of bulb planted so you can plant more next fall if you really love them!

4. Plant winter crops & cover crops

The best way to ensure a productive garden next spring and summer is to start this fall! Here are 10 fall gardening tips that will help you have a productive, healthy garden next gardening season. #fallgardening #fallgardentips #organicgardening #howtofertilizegarden

You don’t need to wait until spring to start growing food again! Some crops will do well all winter long in milder climates, especially if grown in a greenhouse or under cover. Cold-loving winter greens like kale, collards, bok choi, mustard greens and even lettuce can be grown into the winter, sometimes right into spring. Be sure to check guidelines for your local area and gardening zone to find out what you can grow over winter. 

You might also want to plant a cover crop over your annual garden bed. Cover crops provide many benefits to your garden including controlling weeds, preventing soil erosion, oxygenating soil, and adding nitrogen and other key nutrients and organic matter back in.

Here are some ideas on what types of cover crops to plant in your garden.

5. Mulch

The best way to ensure a productive garden next spring and summer is to start this fall! Here are 10 fall gardening tips that will help you have a productive, healthy garden next gardening season. #fallgardening #fallgardentips #organicgardening #howtofertilizegarden

I’ve mentioned mulch a couple times already, but it deserves to stand alone on the list of fall gardening tasks.

Mulching is a great way to keep soil warm while seeds and spring bulbs are germinating and establishing themselves. Although some plants love the cold, they still need some warmth when they’re in their infancy just like all babies.

Likewise, mulching around perennials, shrubs and trees helps to keeps roots warm in areas that experience extremely cold winters. So mulch around the base of plants in the fall to keep them warm throughout the coming months.

Mulching also helps to add nutrients and organic matter to the soil, so consider adding it to your dormant annual beds as well. You can till it in lightly or leave a layer on top and till it in the spring.

6. Prune

Some perennials are more productive the following year if they’re pruned back in the fall. Perennial woody herbs like sage, thyme, rosemary and oregano can be pruned back by one-third in the fall and will regrow with vigor come spring. More herbaceous perennial or biennial herbs like parsley, mint and chives can be cut down to within an inch of the ground as they will die off when it gets too cold anyway. Pruning herbs in the fall offers the added bonus of being able to dry or otherwise preserve them and use them all winter long!

Rhubarb is another hardy perennial plant that can be cut right back to the ground in the fall and will rebound with fresh growth the following year.

Some other perennial plants (mostly ornamentals) do best when pruned in the fall too. Here is a list of perennial plants to prune in the fall. Some other ornamental shrubs and trees also benefit from fall pruning but there is debate over whether it’s actually best to prune in the fall or in the late winter/early spring as pruning late in the season but just before complete winter dormancy can actually harm the plants. You might want to check with your local garden store to verify what you should prune and when in your area.

7. Plant ornamental trees & shrubs

Fall is a great time to plant ornamental shrubs and trees. Fruit trees and bushes do better when planted in early spring, but ornamentals like Japanese Maples, Evergreens and even Hydrangeas and Rhododendrons can be planted in the fall, although most need to be planted a few weeks before the first frost to give them time to get established.

Once again, it’s best to check with your local garden centre to find out what you can and should plant in the fall in your specific area.

8. Tidy up and put gardening tools away

The best way to ensure a productive garden next spring and summer is to start this fall! Here are 10 fall gardening tips that will help you have a productive, healthy garden next gardening season. #fallgardening #fallgardentips #organicgardening #howtofertilizegarden

Be sure to tidy up your tools as well as your garden. Once you’ve cleared your beds, fertilized, planted, mulched and pruned, put away any garden tools and empty pots laying around. This includes watering cans and hoses if possible to prevent freezing and cracking (I personally lost my favourite watering can when the rain water that collected in it a coupe winters ago froze and expanded and cracked the bottom right off).

Give your garden tools a wipe down and knock off any dirt. Then hang them up or put them away in your garden shed or undercover somewhere to prevent rusting and cracking over the winter.

If you’re really ambitious you might want to wash some of them and rub a layer of oil over them for protection. Motor oil and boiled linseed oil are two suggestions, but both of those options have synthetic properties and personally I don’t want that transferring to my garden. To go all natural, clean and dry tools well and then rub a light layer of vegetable oil over your tools with a towel. A little olive oil goes a long way in protecting your garden tools over the winter.

You may also want to put away empty pots and even take some potted plants indoors or into your greenhouse if you have one. This helps prevent pots from freezing and cracking over the winter and can prolong the life of other plants like potted herbs, or keep them from getting too cold and dying completely in the winter.

9. Record your results this season

While it’s no doubt best practice to keep a garden journal from seed to harvest, if you didn’t quite get that far this year, don’t despair. You can still make a few notes about this year’s garden that will help you better plan for next year.

One important thing to write down is where you had everything planted. It’s always best to rotate your crops to avoid disease and nutrient deficiencies and give them the best chance at being strong and healthy. Consider drawing a rough sketch of your garden and noting where things were planted so you know where not to plant them next year.

Another easy way to do this is simply to take photos in the summer when your crops are in the ground. Then refer back to your photos next year to remind yourself where things were planted so you don’t plant them in the same spot again.

Also make notes of what crops did exceptional well and what didn’t fare so good, as well as what you did or might try differently next year. And note at least a rough estimate of what you planted and whether it was just right, too much or not enough come harvest time. This can better help you plan for how much to plant next year.

10. Make a plan for next year

Perhaps the best part of all is the part where you get to start planning next year’s garden! Am I the only one who starts planning for the following year while this year’s garden is still in full production mode??? Please tell me I’m not alone.

Fall is a great time to start thinking about next year’s garden as you put this year’s garden to bed and even start planting bulbs for the following year. While you certainly don’t have to start planning yet, it can be fun and useful to take a little time to evaluate your successes and setbacks, what worked and what didn’t, what you loved growing or didn’t love growing, what you want to add to your garden next year and what you can live without and where you want to plant things next year. 

The best way to ensure a productive garden next spring and summer is to start this fall! Here are 10 fall gardening tips that will help you have a productive, healthy garden next gardening season. #fallgardening #fallgardentips #organicgardening #howtofertilizegarden

It’s funny… I feel like I spend the better part of the year thinking about winter and preparing for the cold season, but come fall I’m already thinking about spring. I guess that’s why planning and preparedness are oft-found skills in a homesteaders toolkit.

While we love living seasonally and enjoying the simple things in the moment, we’re also future-minded and always looking for ways to make tomorrow, or next season or next year a little healthier, more productive and full of beauty and yummy, homegrown food:)

P.S. To get your hands on my free printable fall gardening checklist, head over to my Free Resource Library and find it under “Gardening Resources.”

Happy fall, y’all;)

 

 

 

 


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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Okay, I’m just gonna come out and say it: I’m a total sucker for pumpkin spice.

Call me #basic, but it’s the truth.

In fact, I’m all about everything fall: the colours, the coziness, the sweater weather, and yes, pumpkins and pumpkin spice. There’s just something comforting and nostalgic about it; Like grandma’s kitchen or the warm scent of pumpkin pie that wafts from the table at holiday dinners with family and friends.

What I’m NOT all about are the chemical preservatives and lab-created “natural flavours” in most store-bought and coffee shop pumpkin spice syrups and lattes. Not to mention, I don’t exactly love paying $5.00 or more for a single drink at a cafe.

This homemade pumpkin spice syrup, made with REAL pumpkin and spices and NO added preservatives solves all of these problems... It’s 100% natural and costs just pennies per batch. (And trust me when I say it rivals even the famed Starbucks #PSL when added to a homemade latte).

You definitely want to try this at home this pumpkin spice season. Er, I mean this fall 😉

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As much as I'm honestly kinda over the garden by this time of year and ready to tuck in indoors and rest for a while, I know that the effort I put into my garden in the fall will pay a huge return come next spring and summer when we're ready to plant and then harvest our next round of crops.

For one, fall is the best time to amend and enrich your soil, so adding compost or manure or some sort of organic matter is pretty crucial this time of year.

Also, you should always cover your soil, especially over the winter months when soil is more likely to erode and nutrients can get washed away. A cover crop or a thick layer of mulch is a good idea to help keep your soil protected and intact.

And of course, garlic should be planted in the fall before your first frost to ensure huge bulbs next summer. Us homesteaders always have to be thinking ahead a few seasons!

I'm taking you into our garden as we're tearing it down and planting out our garlic. I'll show you our fall gardening routine and I'll walk you through planting garlic so you can start growing it at home too! (It's honesty the easiest, most rewarding crop that we grow).

It's time for the grand finale in the garden this year as we tear it down and prep it for next spring. Will you join me for one last hurrah?

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First batch of homemade candles for the season. It’s a cold, grey day and we’re about to light the woodstove for the first time this season too. Now I have some homemade spice-scented candles to go with the cozy vibe:)

I LOVE candles, but good ones are pretty expensive to buy. However, since I started making candles myself I haven’t bought a single one from the store and I’ve probably saved myself hundreds of dollars.

I make at least a batch or two (or three) of these scented soy wax candles every year around this time. I burn a bunch of them myself over the winter and we gift them for Christmas. I’ve even sold them for upwards of $15 a piece!

If you want an easy and rewarding DIY project to get into as we head into fall and winter, homemade candles is your answer.

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-soy-candles-essential-oils to learn how to make them yourself!
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Sometimes I question why I do what I do. Why do I take on so much? Why do I bother making everything from scratch and growing a garden and preserving food when I could just as well buy it from the store and save myself a ton of time and effort?⁣⁣⁣
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Why am I working hard to build a business out of my passion when I could just as easily go to work for a pay check and just enjoy homesteading as a hobby on the side?⁣⁣⁣
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Why do I choose to do everything the hard way and see against the grain? Why not just go with the flow and hope for the best?⁣⁣⁣
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I can’t say for sure that I would have chosen to follow all the same paths that I’ve gone down over the past few years had I not become a mother, but what I 𝘥𝘰 know for sure is that my beautiful daughter is worth every ounce of hard work; every dollar I’ve invested in our future goals and dreams; every late night work fest and canning session; every seed planted and loaf of bread baked.⁣

She’s worth it because I want to give her the best I can in life. I want her to eat good food and live a long and healthy life. I want to teach her how to be self-sufficient so that she has the skills she needs no matter what kind of world awaits her in the future. And I want to show her that anything is possible and any dream is worth pursuing, even if the work that it takes to achieve it is harder than following the herd and taking the road of least resistance.⁣⁣⁣
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This little human right here: this is my why. This girl and her goofy smile make everything worthwhile ❤️⁣⁣⁣
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What (or who?) is your why?
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This growing season has seriously been the strangest I’ve experienced so far. Summer came so late we thought it wasn’t gonna come at all. Our greens and peas and spring crops produced for weeks longer then they normally do as we waited FOREVER for our tomatoes and peppers and summer crops to grow and ripen.

Now that we’re into October, we’re having a warm spell and the garden is acting like it’s summer! The tomatoes are all just starting to turn red, the cucumbers and zucchini are still givin’er, the pumpkins and squash are having another growth spurt, and now the green beans are starting on round two after about a month of dormancy!

We’re supposed to be going fishing tomorrow, and I’m wondering if the salmon are a little late this year too...

If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us all it’s that nothing is ever certain. So even though I’m sort of ready to be done with the garden already, I’m reminded of how fortunate we are to have such abundance come from our property and our surrounding environment; To have so much when so many have so little; To live in such a beautiful, bountiful corner of the world surrounded by a kind-hearted community that values sustainability and self-sufficiency like we do.

I love making plans for the future, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without some pretty serious planning. But sometimes you’ve just gotta go with the flow and trust that even when things don’t work out exactly as you’d imagined, they work out exactly as they should.

I wasn’t expecting to still be busy with the summer garden in October, but I have to say, this year, no matter how ready to be done with it I might feel some days, I’m more grateful than ever for everything we’ve been blessed with.

What are you feeling grateful for this year? It’s Thanksgiving next weekend here in Canada, so we’ll be talking a lot about gratefulness this week in our house 🙏
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Can you imagine how bland and boring our food (and life) would be without spices??⁣

Seriously! We take them for granted nowadays because they’re so readily available in our pantries and on grocery store shelves. But for thousands of years throughout history, spices were coveted, revered and hard to get. For around 1,500 years, spices travelled overland on camelback and horseback on the Silk Road from China to the west. And then, just over 500 years ago, explorers set out into the unknown to find a maritime trading route, and one of those explorers just so happened to stumble on the Americas along the way, essentially shaping history and the modern world as we know it. ⁣

But besides history and geography, the science behind spices is just as fascinating. Their culinary and medicinal uses have had a huge impact on the world and on the dishes we enjoy on a regular basis today. Oh, and did you know that, scientifically speaking, it’s actually possible to GROW even the most “exotic” spices at home, right here in North America??⁣

I LOVE to geek out on this sort of stuff, so doing the research for the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine was actually so much fun. (If you hadn’t guessed, this issue is all about spices!!)⁣

I’d love to tell you so much more right here, but I’m a bit limited on space! However, you can read more about the fascinating story of spices, their culinary and medicinal uses, how to put them to use in your kitchen and yes, even how to grow them at home in the October issue.⁣

So if you’re already subscribed, be sure to check your inbox for the latest issue (it came out yesterday). And if you’re NOT yet subscribed, then head on over and click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to subscribe for FREE, and get the latest issue delivered straight to your inbox!⁣

Wishing you a rich, flavourful fall season full of spice, pumpkin and otherwise;)
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The weather this summer has been as unpredictable as 2020 itself. The cool, grey, wet start to the summer meant that our sun-loving crops got a slow start in the garden, and that’s led to an unprecedented number of green tomatoes at the end of the season.

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Luckily the process of ripening green tomatoes indoors is ridiculously easy, so if you’ve got more green tomatoes than you know what to do with too, or you’re just keen to get another batch of sauce on your pantry shelves, I’m sharing this simple trick with you today for ripening green tomatoes that has stood the test of time (for real... my great grandmother used to do this).

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September is such an odd time of year. It’s the time of year when we tend to find ourselves with a foot in two worlds: A transition season, if you will.⁣

In the garden, some plants are dead or dying. There’s brown, crispy stems, dried pea pods bursting with next year’s seeds and a natural layer of mulch in the form of fallen leaves. But at the same time there’s still so much life. So much greenery and colour. So much of summer still left.⁣

Indoors we’re busy putting up the harvest, stocking our shelves with jars of colourful food, baskets of cured onions and garlic, dried herbs hanging everywhere and crocks of fermenting foods on every countertop. But while we’re still dealing with the summer bounty, fall has begun, which means we’re back to schedules and routines and, for those of us with kids, school.⁣

But this year our return to our “normal” fall routines is anything but. For many families, there is no return to school. Not in the traditional sense anyway. Instead, more families than ever before have found themselves educating their children at home for the first time, whether by force or by choice. And trying to balance all of the usual September tasks with navigating full-time homeschooling can feel daunting, to say the least.⁣

I know we can all use as much help and expert advice as we can get at this time, so I’m honoured to have Ginny Aaron, a full-time homeschooling, homesteading mom of three sharing her wisdom on the blog this week. She’s generously shared her best tips for incorporating homeschooling with your existing routine and finding the teachable moments in the every day so that you don’t need to uproot your life or find another 7 hours in your day to recreate a classroom environment at home.⁣

I just love Ginny’s approach to homeschooling and if you’re anything like me, I think you will too. You can check out her full post by clicking the link in my bio or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homeschooling-on-the-homestead/

It’s also Ginny's first time guest posting so be sure to leave a comment while you’re there and let us know what school looks like for your family this year.⁣

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead
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I’ve been feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders lately. Between balancing work and the garden and all of the canning and preserving tasks this time of year, I’ve already got enough on my plate. Add a string of social commitments, back-to-school and extracurricular activities, and I’m definitely feeling the pressure, as I usually do this time of year.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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But lump on a pandemic, worsening political tensions, division and civil unrest, intensifying environmental disasters (we’re currently socked in with smoke from the California wildfires), and it all just becomes too much to bear some days.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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I know I’m far from the only one who’s feeling this way. And yet, we all have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going even when we’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed and burnt out. Even when the present is frightening and the future is uncertain.⁣

I’ve developed some strategies over the past few years that have helped me keep moving forward and get things done even when I’m feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, and I want to share them with others who need help coping with stress and overwhelm right now too.⁣⁣
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You can check out my list of 10 tips for managing stress and overwhelm on the homestead (and in life!) by clicking the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and then clicking the link to the full blog post at the top.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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You can also grab my free time management planner by clicking the link in my bio and then clicking on “Free Resource Library,” (find it under “Homesteading & Self-Sufficiency Resources” in the library).⁣⁣⁣
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No matter what you’re struggling with right now, I hope some of these tips help keep you navigate these extra stressful times and stay focused and moving forward with your to-do list, as well as with your big goals and dreams. But most of all, I hope it reminds you that if you are struggling and feeling overwhelmed right now, you’re not alone.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to read more.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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I don’t think I have a jar big enough for this pickling cucumber 🥒 ⁣

What do you do with the huge pickling cukes that inevitably get missed in the garden??⁣

Please leave suggestions below! I’ve got two of ‘em! 😂
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Late summer is truly the time of abundance (and by far the busiest time of year for us).⁣⁣⁣
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We’ve got so much food that’s ripe for the picking in our own garden, plus baskets full of produce that we purchase locally when it’s in season and preserve for the winter.⁣⁣⁣
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Between harvesting and preserving (and trying my best to document it all for you along the way), there’s little time for much else in August.⁣⁣⁣
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We’re busy sweating in the garden and the kitchen, working around the clock to preserve all of the fruits (and vegetables) of summer so that come winter we hunker down and relax knowing we’ve got a pantry full of food to sustain us.⁣⁣⁣
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While there have been more times than I like to admit when I’ve asked myself why we do this when we could be at the beach or floating down the river like everyone else, come winter I am ALWAYS grateful for the time and energy we invested in the spring, summer and fall to grow and preserve all of the food that lines our pantry shelves.⁣⁣⁣
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With everything that 2020 has brought so far (and more uncertainty to come), this year I’m feeling grateful even in the thick of it; Even while I’m sweating and pulling late night canning sessions and constantly scraping dirt out from under my nails. This year it’s more apparent than ever how much growing and preserving our own food is worth the time and effort that it takes.⁣⁣⁣
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If you feel the same way and you’re looking to get even better at gardening, preserving and homesteading in general, or maybe you’re finally ready to start living a more sustainable lifestyle where YOU have control over your food supply, I highly encourage you to check out the Gardening & Sustainable Living Bundle (link in bio @thehouseandhomestead). It’s packed with almost $600 worth of resources designed to help you take control of your food security and live a more self-sufficient life, and it’s on sale today only for just $19.99!⁣

If you ask me, we would all be wise to invest in our own food security as we head into fall and winter 2020, so click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to grab your bundle now. The sale ends tonight at midnight so don’t wait!!
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