Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Christa Nelson's Blog (8)

Tapping Maple Trees and Making Maple Syrup


Mapling, or sugaring, is the process of collecting and boiling down the sap from maple trees in order to make syrup. It is an ancient practice, being one of the few sugar sources found in the northern hemisphere. The entire process takes a bit of time, but after tasting the…


Added by Christa Nelson on February 21, 2011 at 12:00pm — 9 Comments

autumnal campfire coziness: making homemade pumpkin doughnuts and mulled wine

Crisp air and chilly nights makes me want to have a campfire, and I thought some homemade seasonal goodies to go with it would make an extra cozy touch. Pumpkin doughnuts and mulled wine seemed to fit the bill.

First of all, I started with the mulled wine, as that needs time to cook. You can make it on a stovetop, but I chose to make mine in a crock pot. There are many…


Added by Christa Nelson on October 16, 2010 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

wild onions

Ever since my third grade teacher read "My Side of the Mountain" by Jean Craighead George to us, I've had visions of living off the land. As a child I always noticed wild onions, and thought that if I were to live off the land that this would definitely be part of my diet.

As an adult, wild onions are often more of a nuisance, popping up everywhere in the garden, yet I still use them as an ingredient for cooking.

There are… Continue

Added by Christa Nelson on October 6, 2010 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

shopping homegrown at a country market

We here at Homegrown are all about the gardens, farmers markets, and CSA shares, yet I thought I'd highlight yet another outlet for fresh, homemade, homegrown produce, dairy products, meat, canned goods, and other things one might find at a farmers market--the country market. Country markets are yet another avenue for local food producers to sell…


Added by Christa Nelson on October 4, 2010 at 4:00pm — No Comments

harvesting forgaged black walnuts

Black walnuts are native to eastern North America, ranging from Ontario to northern Florida, and west to Texas. There are quite a few of them here in south central PA, and considering that they usually sell for about $13/lb, I thought I'd try harvesting some myself.

Finding a tree is easy--just look for the fallen, institutional green fruits, which somewhat resemble Asian pears. I found mine along a back country road dappling an… Continue

Added by Christa Nelson on September 25, 2010 at 4:30pm — 6 Comments

Your Friendly, Neighborhood Cooperative Extension Office

Today was my third experience this year with gardening trainings provided through the Penn State Cooperative Extension Office of Cumberland County. I've been very impressed with content and quality of the trainings, and I felt that it was time to share this wonderful resource with any of those not familiar with the Cooperative Extension office and what they offer the community.

Cooperative Extension is a collaboration between the… Continue

Added by Christa Nelson on September 18, 2010 at 7:30pm — 4 Comments

making homemade apple sauce and apple butter

'Tis the season......fall harvest time will all the fall fruits, and all the yummy goodies that come from these.

A neighbor with a few apple trees gave me permission to harvest apples, and while they're not exactly the most perfect things, they still taste good and I thought they'd work well to cook with.

I've always associated the apple spice flavors of apple butter with autumn, so that seemed an appropriate way to make… Continue

Added by Christa Nelson on September 12, 2010 at 12:00am — 2 Comments

harvesting and curing bamboo for garden trellis or other projects

I'm in the process of planting for the fall, and one of the things I was going to try is fall beans. The other day I was thinking that I would need a trellis for them, when I thought of the bamboo grove in the treeline next to the house and realized, "Heck, I'll just make one from the bamboo!"

Bamboo is something found all over the US, often in abundance, and is a useful building and craft material. Many folks have it in their backyards, or often you can find growing in abandon fields… Continue

Added by Christa Nelson on September 5, 2010 at 6:00pm — 4 Comments


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