ANSWERS FROM THE URBAN HOMESTEAD

Q. Curious about your waffles- do you have a cast iron waffle maker that goes on a stove burner? – susan

A. Thanks for your question, Susan. Continuing our ongoing attempts to keep the urban homestead’s kitchen unplugged, I am borrowing a non electric stove top waffle maker from a friend. Whenever I get a chance purchase a stove top waffler for myself, we plan on offering it through our online store. Stay tuned.

 Q. I have one of the pumpkins in the photo- the pale orange with the bumps on it. I had never seen this variety before. Would I just cook it and use the pumpkin pulp for breads, pies, etc.. or do I cook it like a squash. – connie

A. Thanks for your question, Connie.  Isn’t that “warted” pumpkin neat? The variety is called Galeux d’Eysines is said to be possibly the most beautiful of heirloom squash. And yes, you cook/use it just like any winter squash, pumpkin in soups, pies and more. Our stash of winter squashes are so beautiful to look at one hates to eat the such lovely harvest display.

Q. How do you like your top bar hive? I’m hoping to put one on the roof of our addition next spring. We could probably support a dozen up there but we’ll start with one. Just till I get my bee legs, or swell up like a balloon and die. kidding! – ss

A.  Thanks SS for your question, glad to hear you are interested in keeping bees.   Head urban homesteader is a longtime beekeeper (his love affair started in late 1970’s with these sweet creatures) has used the traditional white stacked Langstroth hives.  A simple, sustainable approach to small-scale beekeeping is the use of top bars and this is our first year using top bars. You can read more about top bar hives here and here So far our experience has been good…..But wait there’s more! For all you newbie or novice beekeepers who are looking to produce local honey, have natural pollinator laborers/helpers or just preserve and protect these fascinating and vital creatures look for prebuilt top bar bee hive and learning video coming to PTF online store

Q. Hello- Saw your picture of the fava beans you have growing. What is your experience with the yield these give? Also- what’s your plant spacing on the favas?Thanks-Todd

A. Thank you for your question, Todd.   Good question, the yields all really depend on the year. We’ll keep you posted on they do this year.  As for spacing our urban farming method of spacing is quite tight (less than 6′) as you can see from the photo. The head resident urban farmer with nearly 20+ years of growing experience tries to emulate nature in his planting methods in what he likes to call “square inch gardening.”   I know we need to write a book… that and much more is hopefully coming in the year/years ahead.  

Q. Aren’t you guys tired of pomegranates yet? Can you preserve them any way? margie

A. Thankfully, no. One can never really tire of such a deliciously tart treat, especially in fall and winter where there’s little in the way of fresh fruit here on the urban homestead (the guava and orange crop were effected by the deep freeze in January) so we are thankful for such food. We have been blessed with a good harvest and have preserved a bunch already.   With such a local, homegrown diet one eats what one has growing in the yard and oftentimes you’ll have to eat it until it comes out of your ears. Such is the malady of a local diet.   Any of our readers affected with the same malady – what do you have coming out of your ears?

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  1. David says:

    Thanks Anais for the bee links. I’m assembling a langstroth hive from plans I’ve found here: http://beesource.com/plans/10frlang.pdf . Look forward to your posts, keep up the informative journal.

  2. Urban Homesteader says:

    Hey David

    Thanks for your comment, glad you enjoy reading the journal. Appreciate the postive response.

    Good luck with your beekeeping project.

    Anais

  3. Patty says:

    When I lived in CA I made pomegranate jelly. Wonderful on waffles! Just use the recipe on the pectin box. This makes great gifts, too.

  4. Patty says:

    I made pumpkin pies from my son’s pumpkin after Halloween. You just cut the scorched or dry parts out. The pies weren’t quite as sweet or quite as orange-colored, but they were still good. 🙂