Home & Garden

It's apple sauce time again!

It's apple sauce time again!

Apple season is in full swing and so we are in high apple sauce production!  We picked 3 pecks from Randall Orchards in Standish.  Here is a link to their Facebook Page.  I did this last year on this blog and if you'd like to see the video series where I did my own step by step apple sauce instructions CLICK HERE!  The only difference this year is that instead of sugar we used about 1 cup of honey per 10-12 pounds of apples and the result was nothing short of fantastic!  Try it!  All told we processed 11 pints and 4 quarts of apple sauce.  Ideally I'd like more but for now that will have to last us!  For the quarts it really helps to use wide mouth canning jars since the sauce can be sort of hard to remove from a standard quart jar.  Happy canning!

Bees - Drones kicked out!

Bees - Drones kicked out!

It's late fall and therefore time for the drones to leave the hive.  They have lived out their sole purpose which is to mate with the queen and so the worker bees are kicking them out of the hive.  It seems cruel but it is the way of things when it comes to bee culture.  It is part of their life cycle.  I noticed several dead drones and one that was still alive so I brought a few inside to look at.  Drones are easy to spot because they are larger than worker bees and have large eyes. 

Heritage wheat - Part 2

Heritage wheat - Part 2

My heritage wheat is planted!  We chose two raised beds for the site.  We weeded and added compost and then made rows.  I planted both varieties, emmer and banatka, in rows that are 12 inches apart and then 12 inches between seeds in the row.  So essentially this is 12 inch spacing.  After planting I covered the beds with remay cloth to prevent birds from digging up the seeds.  I will wait until the seeds germinate and then I'll remove the remay.  I'll be curious to see how much growth happens before they die back for the winter.

School Gardens to hold Open-House Events on Saturday, Sept. 29

School gardens around Maine will hold open-house events this weekend to showcase the effort of students and highlight the many benefits of educational gardening programs.
Participating school systems include Scarborough, Bath, Saco, Portland, Standish, Waldoboro and South Berwick. The open-house events are being coordinated through the Maine School Garden Network (MSGN), according to Kat Coriell, MSGN organizer. A full listing of school gardens in Maine is available at the MSGN web site.
“School gardens are one of the best things to add to a school curriculum,” Coriell said. “School gardens get children outside, exploring nature and science, being active and learning about eating healthy foods and good nutrition. Kids will even try broccoli if they grow it.
“We would like all parents, friends and visitors to see the exciting things going on across Maine in our school gardens,” the MSGN official said.

Harvest time in our big garden! 2012

Harvest time in our big garden!  2012

Well it's harvest time in our large garden and we are in high production!  We're harvesting potatoes, which is always fun.  Harvesting potatoes is like going on a treasure hunt.  You know where to dig but you have no idea what you're going to find!  Soon these lovely yellow and white orbs begin poking through the earth and it's like finding gold!  We've also harvested lots of tomatoes and we are canning them like crazy, over 30 quarts so far!  I did a video on canning tomatoes last year so if you'd like to see it CLICK HERE!

DOWNSIZING YOUR MOTHER'S HOUSE

DOWNSIZING YOUR MOTHER'S HOUSE

When you’ve lived a long, full life, chances are you have the “stuff” to prove it. Packed away in the attic, strewn about the cellar and garage, scattered throughout your entire home. If you’re like most people, just the thought of having to deal with it is overwhelming, let alone actually tackling the project. When it’s your parent’s house that needs to be cleaned out, the task is somehow even more daunting. Read more to get some great downsizing tips.

Avesta Housing hires Mindy Woerter as communications manager

Avesta Housing hires Mindy Woerter as communications manager

Avesta Housing, northern New England’s largest nonprofit affordable housing developer, has hired Mindy Woerter as its new communications manager.

In this newly created position, Mindy will oversee the organization’s media relations, online presence and branding initiatives. She has more than 10 years’ experience in journalism and most recently was online editor at Mainebiz in Portland.

A Topsham native, Mindy now lives in Durham.

About Avesta Housing

Avesta Housing is celebrating 40 years of providing and advocating for affordable housing. An award-winning agency, Avesta has grown to become the largest nonprofit developer in northern New England and one of the country’s most innovative leaders in affordable housing. Avesta manages a portfolio of more than 1,900 apartments in 31 Maine communities including Portland, Windham, Bridgton, Rockland and Kennebunk.