How to Grow Your Own Saffron

how to grow your own saffron

Of all of the herbs and spices in the spice aisle at the grocery store, saffron is almost always the most expensive one you can find. Saffron’s high price tag makes it a special occasion spice rather than an everyday spice for many people. But since saffron actually comes from the inside of crocus flowers, it’s possible to grow your own saffron for a much, much cheaper price than you could ever buy saffron at the store. 

I decided to try growing my own saffron last year, and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy and simple the process was and by how much more economical it was than buying store bought saffron. Sometimes growing your own food ends up not really being much cheaper than just buying food at the grocery store, but in this case it’s definitely much cheaper.

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Old-Fashioned Herbal Hair Rinse for Shiny Hair

Old-fashioned herbal hair rinse for healthy shiny hair

If you’ve ever tried to use store bought shine-boosting serums, you’ve probably found that they tend to be on the pricier side and that they can also turn your hair into a sticky, greasy mess if you use too much. That’s why I love using this really simple and natural herbal hair rinse because it gives your hair a nice shine without weighing it down like using too much of a serum can do. 

I also love the fact that this herbal hair rinse recipe can be as simple as just one ingredient (or two or three if you want to add in some optional additional ingredients.) If you look at the ingredients list of any store bought shine serum, you’ll probably see a dozen or more ingredients, many of which are usually hard-to-pronounce chemicals. But this recipe is completely natural and good for your hair too.

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The Best Online Sources for Heirloom Seeds

The best online sources for heirloom seeds that are non-GMO and open-pollinated

Heirloom seeds are becoming increasingly more popular, but even so, they can often be difficult to find in garden centers and other places that sell gardening supplies and seeds. And even if you are able to find a few heirloom seeds, the selection is usually nowhere near as large as what you can find when you shop online. So today I wanted to share a few of my favorite online stores that I consider to be the best online sources for heirloom seeds.

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How to Make Your Own Maple Syrup – Part 2: Boiling Down the Sap

How to make your own homemade maple syrup - Part 2: boiling down the sap into syrup

If you have a few backyard maple trees and you live in a climate where it’s below freezing at night and above freezing during the day time, then it’s really quite simple to make your own maple syrup and boil down the sap into delicious syrup that you can drizzle over pancakes or use in cooking and baking. 

In my last post I talked about all of the things involved in preparing for sugaring off, including: identifying trees, choosing the right time and place to tap the trees, drilling the hole, and setting up the taps and collection containers for the sap. If you haven’t read that post already, you can find it here: How to Make Homemade Maple Syrup – Part 1: Tapping Your Trees.

Today, we’ll talk about the rest of the steps we need to take in order to be able to get from watery sap to sweet maple syrup. 

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How to Make Homemade Maple Syrup: Tapping Your Maple Trees

How to make homemade maple syrup: tapping your maple trees

There are some aspects of homesteading that are definitely more challenging for those of us who live in suburban areas with small yards, but if you have maple trees in your backyard and you have the right climate, then learning how to make homemade maple syrup is a simple process that’s easy for a suburban homesteader to do. 

Making your own homemade maple syrup is a great way to know that your syrup is pure and organic, and it’s also a way that you can save some money since the supplies you need are usually not very expensive if you’re tapping just a few trees and producing syrup on a small scale. And since good quality maple syrup can be pretty expensive, it can be economical to make some of your own.

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How to Store Apples to Last for the Winter

How to store apples properly so they last for the winter months.

One of the many reasons why apples were such a popular fruit in previous centuries is the fact that they are one of the few fruits that will keep well in long term storage. Unlike berries that will only keep for a few days if you don’t dry them or turn them into jams and jellies, apples that are stored properly can often last for several weeks or even months. This is one of the reasons why knowing how to store apples for the winter months was such an important skill for our ancestors who needed to have enough food in storage to last them until spring. 

For those of us living in modern times, though, it’s still a very helpful thing to know even if we aren’t dependent on our harvest to see us through the winter. Knowing how to store apples to last through the winter months allows us to enjoy having fresh apples for eating and for baking with for as long as we possibly can (because you can only make so many batches of applesauce with your fresh-picked apples, and it’s so nice to be able to enjoy eating fresh apples at Christmas time and beyond!)

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