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Seedless Raspberry Jelly Recipe

How To Can Raspberry Jelly

January 1, 2014 – 10:01 am

Here’s an easy way to make delicious, seedless raspberry jelly. This is by far my favorite jelly EVER!

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Off Grid

The struggles and freedom of life without electricity.


How-to’s for beginners, and lots of good tips on raising food to sustain your family.

Canning Recipes

Canning Recipes to help you put up all your favorite foods!


Food storage, emergency preparedness, survival skills, and more.

Natural Remedies

Herbal recipes, essential oils, and old-fashioned remedies for supporting your family's health naturally.

Gardening, The Homestead Life »

Busy Summer Days. Gardening and More.

July 3, 2015 – 10:25 am


It’s the time of year when I don’t get around to posting much on the blog. Too much to do outside! (Not to mention I’m now writing full time for The Prepper Project!)

dying peas

I’m kinda disappointed that none of the vines I planted have covered the arch trellises we installed. The garden has been somewhat pitiful this year. I’m not sure if it’s the heat or a soil issue, but the harvest has been meager. I do know what I did wrong with the peas. Apparently, peas should never be planted with onions. See how pitiful my pea vines look? That’s what happens when you plant peas in the onion bed. Remember our pea harvest last year? That’s what the peas should have looked like. Lesson learned. I’ve replanted bush peas with a fresh crop of carrots in a newly turned over raised bed for a fall harvest. Peas and carrots grow well together… “like peas and carrots”… easy to remember.

blossom end rot tomato

I can’t tell you how many dozens of tomatoes I’ve thrown out due to blossom end rot. I planted them with lots of crushed eggshells, and I’ve added Epsom salt to the soil around the plants, but so far I’m still having a lot of loss. Maybe I planted too many too closely?

ripening tomato

Fortunately, not all have been bad. I’ve been picking the good looking ones before they’re fully vine ripened to finish ripening indoors, trying to avoid more rot.

2015 onion harvest spring

Our onion harvest was decent. To cure the onions I let them sit in the hot sun for about three days. Now they’re sitting under the cover of our back porch to finish drying for another week or so- until the outer skins are papery and have lost their moisture.

onion harvest

I’ll braid the biggest sets to hang in our kitchen until I’m ready to use them. The smaller bulbs will probably be frozen. I tried pickling them last year, but found we weren’t fond of pickled onions.


Handpicking squash bugs and their eggs seems to have done the trick. Our plants are looking healthy, and have been producing a nice little crop for us.


What we haven’t eaten fresh, I’ve frozen to enjoy down the road.

onion and carrots

The carrots did okay, though I didn’t plant nearly enough. At least the kids enjoyed them straight out of the garden. I still have a lot canned from last year. I just planted more carrot seeds yesterday for a fall crop, so maybe we’ll get more.



I’ve been trying to stay on top of picking our raspberries as they’ve ripened on our bushes. We’ve also been foraging lots of blackberries to eat fresh and to freeze for later. I haven’t made any raspberry jelly or jam because I still have so much from previous years of canning.


japanese beetles

The Japanese Beetles have been awful this year. They’ve almost completely defoliated our fruit trees and rose bushes, and are now devouring our raspberries and grapevines. I’ve spent a lot of time handpicking them from our plants, dropping them into a jar of water to feed to the chickens (which love them, by the way). I finally purchased a couple of Japanese Beetle Traps, which have definitely helped. Next year I’ll put them out in early June to catch the bugs before they have time to reproduce. I’ve also read that sprinkling your yard with Organic Milky Spore Powder will kill the grub stage of Japanese Beetles.


Fortunately, Japanese Beetles don’t eat grapes… only the leaves. So far, anyways. I wish I could say the same for the raspberries.


mama hen and chicks

On June 18th we had more chicks hatch out. Mama hen hatched 6 out of 8 eggs… 3 yellow and 3 black chicks. Watching babies hatch and grow never gets old! They’re still small enough to fit through the fencing, but the hen calls them back when she wants them closer. We also let them out to free range so she can teach them how to scratch and forage.

Staying Cool

kids swimming in pool

Summers are hot and extremely humid here in the southeast. Spending time at the creek and in the pool definitely helps! I love that these silly kiddos are learning to swim well also, a skill we should all have.

We’ve also decided to stay partially connected to the grid in order to use our air conditioner. I’d like to write more in depth on this at some point, but since we’ve learned that it is possible to switch our home between grid power and being 100% off grid, we’ve decided to stay connected as a backup to our solar system and for severe heat. Our A/C is set to come on when it gets 81* inside, which is surprisingly comfortable once you’re used to it. But once it gets much higher than that we all begin to suffer. I don’t like suffering, especially knowing we can avoid it. After trying to go without for as long as possible, I’m extremely grateful for air conditioning!!

Speaking Engagements

prepper expo

My family has also been traveling to Prepper Expos and other events where I’m teaching canning seminars and selling my At Home Canning DVD. I’ll be a keynote speaker at the next RK Prepper Expo in Raleigh, NC, July 11-12th. We’re still debating on the Atlanta show in August. We’ll also be in Saluda, NC for Rick Austin’s Prepper Camp, Sept. 18-20th. I always love talking to you guys at my booth, so come on out and say hello if you’re in the area!

I guess that pretty much catches you up on what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks, in a nutshell. I hope you’re all enjoying your summers!!

Cabbage and Noodles. A Delicious and Cheap Meal.

June 6, 2015 – 7:31 pm
cabbage and noodles recipe

This simple and delicious recipe feeds my family of six for less than $3!

Organic Cabbage Moth Control

May 24, 2015 – 8:21 pm
cabbage moth new life on a homestead

Here’s what I do to keep my cabbage free from cabbage worms naturally. I’d love to know what works best for you!

Emergency Preparedness: Personal Library Essentials

May 17, 2015 – 8:38 am
Building Your Survival Library 40 plus books you'll want to have!

“They say “Knowledge is power”, but in a survival situation it could mean more than that, it could mean life or death. The right kind of books can help you get through the hardest of times. Here are 40+ of my favorite books for emergency preparedness and survival.

Natural Remedies For Motion Sickness

May 16, 2015 – 10:19 pm
Xia and wristbands

No more kids throwing up in the car! Here are three things I do to keep carsickness at bay.

How To Freeze Strawberries

May 15, 2015 – 12:23 pm
How To Freeze Strawberries

Freezing strawberries is a great way to quickly preserve an abundant harvest to enjoy for months ahead!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

May 14, 2015 – 10:53 am
Eating Seasonally: Strawberry Spinach Salad

Here’s a delicious seasonal salad we enjoy when spinach and strawberries are both ready to harvest in the garden.

In The Garden: May 2015

May 11, 2015 – 8:31 pm
In The Garden May 2015

A lot has been growing since my last garden update in March!
For the past few weeks, we’ve been harvesting asparagus, spinach, lettuce, and a few herbs. Strawberries are just coming in now, which is super …

How To Make Ink From Huckleberries

May 6, 2015 – 8:20 am
how to make huckleberry ink

This was a fun one for the kids and I to do together. Step-by-step instructions on how to make ink at home from berries.

Emergency Preparedness: Food Storage

April 26, 2015 – 8:29 am
thrive food storage

What foods you should store, how much you should store, where you should store it, and so much more. All the info you need to start building your emergency food storage today.

16 Delicious Flower Jelly Recipes

April 22, 2015 – 7:28 am
16 Delicious Flower Jelly Recipes

You won’t believe how many edible flowers can be made into a delicious flower jelly. You just might have some of these growing in your yard right now!

Dandelion Greens Salad

April 21, 2015 – 8:54 am
Dandelion Greens Salad Recipe

Did you know there’s food right under your feet? You’ll never go hungry when you know how to find it! Dandelions are an easy wild food for beginner foragers. Here’s a yummy recipe to get you started with wild edibles.

Solar: Installing A Power Transfer Switch

April 2, 2015 – 8:13 pm
breaker box and transfer switch

Connecting a transfer switch to our breaker panel was one more thing we had to do before we could disconnect from the grid. It enables us to run our home on either a generator or solar power, alternating between the two forms of power as necessary.

13 Condiments You Can Make From Scratch

March 29, 2015 – 7:53 am
Barbecue Sauce

Here’s a list of the most popular condiments you can make from scratch, with simple recipes using ingredients you can grow and harvest yourself!

How To Can Chicken On The Bone: Hot Pack and Raw Pack Methods

March 27, 2015 – 2:42 pm
two ways to can chicken legs

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on TWO ways to can chicken on the bone: hot pack and raw pack methods.

My Interview With Tammy Trayer

March 27, 2015 – 1:45 pm

I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Tammy Trayer of Trayer Wilderness on her Mountain Woman Radio Show. We had a great time talking about life as homesteaders, what it’s like living off …

Seed Potatoes and How To Plant Potatoes In A Raised Bed

March 25, 2015 – 8:14 am
colorful seed potatoes

What’s A Seed Potato?
The first time I ever heard someone talking about planting potatoes from seed, I wondered to myself, “Where are the seeds in potatoes? I’ve never seen seeds.” I was completely serious. I …