Julie’s Blog

Cakes and other desserts

A Tall Thanksgiving Order

Each year I rack my brain for creative cooking ideas to prepare for Thanksgiving. They’re always yummy, but the holidays are all about tradition, and I wanted one. This year, I faced the ultimate challenge, making Granny Nell’s famous coconut cake. Read on to find out how it turned out.

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Painting wood floor with a roller.

Painting Wood Floors

This summer, I committed what any self-respecting lover of natural building materials would call a cardinal sin. I walked into our old farmhouse with nearly 100-year-old pine floors, and when my husband asked what we should do with them, I replied, “Paint ’em!” Read on to see how to it turned out.

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Green June beetle on leaf

Attack of the Green June Beetles

I headed out to my garden early to pick vegetables and had charged well into the tangle of tomato plants before I heard and saw hundreds of huge, green June beetles swarming and buzzing all around me! Read on to find out more.

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Corn eaten by deer

Vegetable Garden Price to Pay for a Summer Vacation

Deer are abundant on our farm, but for most of the summer, they’ve left my garden well enough alone. However, when I went out of town for July 4th, the deer decided to have an Independence Day feast of their own, and our garden was the main dish! Read on to find out more.

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Pesto in bowl

Summer’s First Pesto Sauce!

My herb garden has taken off this summer, with basil leading the way. It seems like I had just planted the little green and purple basil seedlings; but pretty soon they were bushy, tall, and it was time to make the first pesto of the season! Read on to find out more.

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Jars, cucumbers, and ingredients for making pickles

Making Homemade Pickles

Before leaving town on vacation, I gathered all the cucumbers in my garden, got out my canning jars, and made pickles. I’m no canning expert, but making pickles isn’t that hard if you follow a few simple steps. Read on to find out more.

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Tomato plants surrounded by straw mulch

Weed-Proofing a Vegetable Garden

After planting her garden, my grandmother would spread layers of old newspaper between the rows, topped with straw, to make a weed-suppressing barrier that still let moisture through. This year I decided to give her method a try myself. Read on to find out how I went about it.

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Tiller sitting in plowed garden

That Special Spring Exhaustion

With spring threatening to give way to summer, it was high time we got some things planted. So, we had what can only be described as an epic work weekend around here, including putting in a vegetable garden, an herb garden, and planting grapevines. Read on to find out more.

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