Garden Farming

The wait is finally over! Here’s GARDENING FARMING, a selected anthology and collection from almost 10 years of articles, tips, and personal considerations, from the ever popular but now retired homesteading and small farm website, GRANNY MILLER. This book is the second volume of the GRANNY MILLER series.
Illustrated with over a 100 images from life, GARDEN FARMING is an enjoyable and down-to-earth 260 page resource for new and not so new homesteaders and small holders. Katherine Grossman’s real-world experience and levelheaded, no-nonsense writing style is both pragmatic and positively captivating.
A sampling of the contents includes:

Gardening Farming and Self-Supporters
A Garden Planner for Home Food Preservation
Rejected Lambs
50 Old Time Weather Proverbs & Signs
A Guide to Canning and Freezing Tomatoes
Kitchen Herb Garden
Pick the Best Day for Hatching Eggs
Freemartin Heifers
Crystals in Canned Grape Juice
How to Render Lard and Tallow
Foot Scald & Foot Rot
Gardening With the Moon – Planting By The Signs
A Year’s Worth of Food and Supplies
Freemartin Heifers
Husband & Wife Trees
Choosing a Vegetable Garden Location
Dexter Cattle
How & When to Pick Pears
How to Can Grapefruit or Orange Sections
How to Preserve Eggs with Water Glass
Hypothermic Lambs and Kid Goats
Fruit Tree Grafting
How to Plan For a Year’s Worth of Food and Supplies
Tiny Chicken Eggs – A Natural Phenomenon with a Spooky History
A Realistic Assessment of Kerry Cattle
A Canning Primer
Small Animal and Livestock Euthanasia
The Difference Between Hybrid and Non Hybrid Seed
As Feather Loss in Chickens
“Soon As the Soil Can Be Worked”
How to Test Seeds for Germination Rate
How to Give Animal Injections – The How and Where
Mummy Fruit
Ram Marking Harness
How to Make Foolproof Crock Pot Yogurt
Head Whorls in Cattle
How to Preserve Meat in a Crock
Reasons to Use a Broadfork in Your Garden
Retained Placenta
How to Propagate Plants by Stem Cuttings
Canning FAQ

Excerpts from GARDEN FARMING –

“In the most general terms, homesteading, self-supporting, or small holding, can all be defined as the home production or home manufacture of goods and services; and the avoidance of unnecessary expense or consumption outside of a household economy. Self-supporting or homesteading begins with a particular mindset that moves from a purely consumer based lifestyle to one of increased self-reliance. Often the move to greater household sustainably begins in a patch of dirt.” – Garden Farming and Self-Supporters

Garden Farm

 

“In the early spring, choose a scion that has at least three or four well-spaced, plump buds. Choose the variety of root stock that you desire for your location. Cut the root stock with the grafting tool so that it’s about 12” to 18” long. Flip the grafting tool around, and cut the scion to the same diameter as the root stock. Join the two and secure with wax or tape.” – Fruit Tree Grafting

A Cleft Graft

 

“One bit of advice that was given to me by those far more experienced than myself was regarding the best time for setting or incubating eggs. The most favorable time for setting eggs under a broody hen or in an incubator is 21 days before a waxing moon is in the zodiac sign of Cancer. In order to determine what day that would be you’ll need an almanac for the current year. All good almanacs have tables or charts that map the course of the moon though the zodiac.” – Pick The Best Day For Hatching Eggs

Young Chicks

 

“Sandy soil will always be able to be planted sooner than clay type soils. Whatever you do don’t disturb the ground before it is ready or you’ll ruin the soil structure. To test if your soil is ready for planting, grab a fist full of soil into your hand and squeeze it together into a semi-conical or oblong shape. If the soil sticks and clumps together when squeezed with just a little pressure, the ground is too wet to plant. You’ll need to wait for the soil to dry out more.” – As Soon As the Soil Can Be Worked

Soil Is Ready For Planting

 

‘Why Do My Peaches and Tomatoes Float In The Jar?’
“Fruit will float in a jar if it was packed too loose or the syrup was too heavy. It is also possible that air remaining in the cell tissues of the fruit will cause fruit to float.” – Canning FAQ

Tomatoes Floating in a Jar

 

“Of all the old-time methods of preserving fresh eggs, the water glass method gives the best and most dependable result. Fresh, unwashed eggs kept in a solution of water glass will remain good and usable for 4 to 6 months when properly collected and stored.” – How To Preserve Eggs With Water Glass

Fresh Eggs Stored in a Crock of Water Glass

 

“It is vital to heat the milk to at least 180°F. The milk must be made sterile and free from all types of bacteria. The only bacteria you want growing in the milk will be the lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophiles that you will purposely add when you inoculate the milk. This is an especially important step with raw milk.”  – How To Make Foolproof Crock Pot Yogurt

Fresh Homemade Yogurt With Cranberries

 

“At one time every rural household stocked up on enough basic food and supplies to see them through the winter months. When food was plentiful it was plain old agrarian common sense to store food for lean times. Even the most cursory observation of the natural world teaches us that there is a built in cycle food cycle for all creatures. Summer is the time for abundance and winter is the time of scarcity. It takes no great intelligence or cleverness to acknowledge changing seasons or to provide or plan for an uncertain future. Squirrels and insects do it every fall without fail.” – Food Storage

Small Kitchen Pantry

 

“In the past few years, there’s been a growing movement for new homesteaders or inexperienced small holders to begin first with a family cow for a dairy animal instead of a good dairy goat. On one hand I don’t blame people for not drinking goat milk or eating chevon or capretto (goat meat), because I don’t eat or drink goat products either. But on the other hand, I’m troubled by so many ill-equipped, inexperienced, and ignorant people buying dairy cows who have no business owning them. It’s my opinion that a good dairy goat, and not a cow, should always be the first dairy animal for a homestead.” – The Homestead Dairy

“Katie” – A Saanen Doe

 

“Some people will use chamomile as a gentle wash for hemorrhoids. The soothing properties are sometimes used to treat minor skin irritations, and chamomile is also used as a mouthwash or hair rinse for blondes. To collect chamomile flowers for drying, pick a hot, sunny dry day. Make sure the morning dew is off the plants. You can pick the flowers individually or you can use a rat-tail comb with a double row of teeth and “comb” the flower heads off the plant.” – Kitchen Herb Garden

Chamomile Flowers

 

“Throughout most of the year our ordinary food scraps and kitchen waste will end up in one of two compost piles we keep near the garden. But during the summer months when we raise pigs the situation changes. During those months all the kitchen scraps and garden waste are fed to pigs instead of being composted. Pigs will eat most anything – including ham, bacon, and humans.” – Feeding Kitchen Scraps and Garden Waste

Pigs Eating Roma Tomatoes

 

“It’s worth mentioning that a ewe that experiences a relatively easy delivery sometimes will not have as strong a maternal instinct as the ewe that has had a harder labor and delivery. The intense pressure of the lamb in the birth canal immediately before the full delivery of a lamb stimulates a ewe to accept her lamb. Sometimes with an easy birth or twins coming quickly together, an inexperienced ewe will become confused.” – Rejected Lambs

Ewe With Her Lamb

 

“When compared to other types of cattle, either beef or dairy, Dexters are expensive to purchase and are not budget friendly for the average homesteader of modest means. Moreover, many breeders market Dexters as a feed efficient animal that can be finished solely on grass. That’s not exactly true.” – Dexter Cattle

A Dexter Cow

 

“For our ancestors, the understanding and application of natural lunar cycles and rhythms to their lives, was literally a matter of life and death. By applying the primeval principles that had been passed on to them by each preceding generation, our forefathers and mothers managed to survive famine and disease. Unlike us, they existed closer to the earth and didn’t have the benefit of drive-through restaurants, insecticides, antibiotics, or diesel tractors. It wasn’t important for our agrarian forebears to understand the science of why something worked. What mattered to them was that it did work.” –  Gardening With The Moon

The Moon Cycle

 

“Once the jam mixture has begun to boil, occasionally test the mixture for correct temperature and “sheeting”. To take the temperature of cooking jam, place the candy or jelly thermometer in the center of boiling mixture. But take care that you don’t rest the thermometer on the bottom of the pan. You want the temperature of the jam not the pan. Remember you need a temperature that is 9°F above the boiling point of water. “Sheeting” on a spoon is another method to double check and test jam or jelly. Sheeting is tested by dipping a cool, clean metal spoon into the mixture and quickly lifting it up and to the side.” – Making Jam Without Pectin

Jam Mixture Sheeting On A Metal Spoon