The Gardening Notebook–A Book Review


I have kept a gardening notebook for years. I’ve used a spiral notebook and drawn sketches of my garden and made lists with dates of when I planted, harvested, yields, that sort of thing. Here is a picture of that gardening journal. Ghastly, isn’t it?

gardening journalWell you should see my other gardening books. You know, those reference materials that I go to again and again because I can’t remember how far apart to plant the cabbages or broccoli. They look almost as bad from getting dirt smears and hose spray on them. And those books cost a pretty penny.

Recently, I was asked to review The Gardening Notebook by Angi Schneider. I’m so glad I agreed. This little e-book is more than pages to draw your garden on. It also includes all that information that I forget from those reference books. She’s included a page devoted to the popular vegetables with planting instructions, typical problems and pests, and harvesting information.

TGN originalThe jewel in the book is the section of printables. A garden calendar, charts with when to sow what, graph paper for your drawings, and an expense worksheet are just a few you will find.

At 111 pages, this book can be printed affordably at home, hole punched, and put in a three-ring binder for taking out to the garden. By using a three-ring binder, you can add pages as you need them each year or season.

Angi Schneider is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mom to six children. She’s also the owner of the blog SchneiderPeeps where she journals their homesteading and homeschooling adventures. Angi and her family have been gardening for 20 years in the South Texas area.

So hop over to SchneiderPeeps and get your own copy of The Gardening Notebook. You will be glad you did.


I was given a copy of The Gardening Notebook in exchange for this review. This review is my honest opinion.


Lessons from the Seed Catalog–Revised


I can not believe it’s been three years since I first wrote Lessons from the Seed Catalog. I’m even more amazed that folks still love it. :)

But love it they do. Why? Lessons from the Seed Catalog takes something as ordinary as a seed catalog and turns it into school lessons for the kids. Easy lessons for mom and dad that the kids enjoy doing, too. As homesteading homeschoolers, we like all the school lessons from the homestead that we can get.

If you’ve never seen it, hop over to the Lessons from the Homestead page and take a peek. I recently revised Seed Catalog and had a new cover designed. Doesn’t it look fabulous?

LFTSC_ebook coverWhile you’re over there, check out all the Lessons titles. Lessons from the Homestead is a series of e-booklets designed to assist you in getting all the farm chores done, and the schoolwork too. Each title includes at least 50 lessons in math, language, science, and more appropriate for all ages.

So shake a leg and go see for yourself. For $3.99, you can’t get a better deal.



Pressure Canning Safety

pressure canning safetyI don’t know how I would survive without my pressure canner. I use it to can dry beans so that I don’t have to plan ahead and soak and cook for hours. I use it to can my own stock, meat, and mixed vegetables. I use it to can whole chickens. Honestly, my pressure canner just makes life a lot easier.

Many homesteading homemakers are afraid of their pressure canner. Or worse yet, they don’t even own one because they are concerned with pressure canning safety. Perhaps I’m talking about you. You saw your mama’s pressure canner explode and spew broken glass and green beans all over the kitchen. She was crying in gratitude that no babies were playing at her feet. Your papa was amazed that she came through it unharmed. I understand that fear.

I can’t tell you that your canner will never explode. I can’t tell you that accidents don’t happen. But I can tell you that more folks are killed driving to the grocery store than are harmed by canning their green beans. And we still drive to the grocery store every week of our lives. In fact, when we were 16, we couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel of a car because it represented freedom. We could come and go at will. We didn’t have to rely on our parents or older siblings to take us places. We were free.

Homesteading homemakers can be free, too. Using a pressure canner gives us that freedom. Imagine, coming in weary from a day of gardening and facing the fact that the gang needs fed. Everything is frozen and you’re too tired to cook. That is not a problem with canned goods on the shelves. Open a few jars, heat, and serve. Supper is ready before the gang gets the garden dirt washed off their hands.

affiliate statementIf you are afraid of using a pressure canner, let me suggest a few things.

  • Find a friend. Hitch yourself up with a neighbor or friend with canning experience and have them train you in the use of the pressure canner.
  • Take a class. Check with your local extension office to see if they offer any classes in canning.
  • Read up on canning. Get yourself the Ball Blue Book and Putting Food By, at least. These two are my favorite canning resources.
  • Watch a DVD. Kendra from New Life on the Homestead has a wonderful resource that will dispel all fear. The At Home Canning DVD will walk you through using a water bath and pressure canner every step of the way. She includes a special segment on pressure canning safety and some great recipes.

Don’t let another season pass by without adding this skill to your homestead. Not only will you find a satisfaction you never had before, your family will thank you, too.

And when you do learn to run that pressure canner, come back here and tell me what you canned and how wonderful it felt to see all those jars fill your shelves. I want to celebrate with you.


This post is linked to the HomeAcre Hop.

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