Midwest Self Reliance Festival in Des Moines, IA June 28th – 30th

We’re happy to be attending the new Midwest Self Reliance Festival in Des Moines this June 28th, 29th and 30th. This will be our first visit to the midcentral states, so if you’re in the, be sure to drop in and visit us. We’re bringing plenty of good old fashioned sustainability tools and we’re looking forward to a great show. The Ploughshare Institute of Sustainable Culture will be there as well giving seminars on topics such as beekeeping, soapmaking and cheesemaking.

How To Save Seed


Saving seed of open pollinated (non hybrid) seeds is easy.
1)Pick seed from healthy, mature fruit.
2)Dry on butcher paper.
3)When dry, put the seeds in a jar, and sprinkle a little diatomaceous earth on top.
4)Put the lid on and set in the refrigerator until next season.

NOTE: For sticky seeds like tomato, put the seed in a strainer and blast with water until the seeds are clean. Let them dry on a non stick surface. Then follow steps 3 and 4.


Canning supplies and Apple Butter recipe

Here’s an Apple Butter recipe that will get your taste buds going!

APPLE BUTTER: yields about 3 pints
4 pounds apples
4 cups granulated cane juice (or sugar)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves

TO PREPARE PULP: Wash apples. Core, peel and quarter apples. Combine and 2 cups water in large saucepot. Simmer until apples are soft. Puree using a food processor or food mill, being careful not to liquefy. Measure 2 quarts apple pulp.

TO MAKE BUTTER: Combine apple pulp, granulated cane juice and spices in a large saucepot. Cook slowly until thick enough to round up on a spoon. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes a boiling-water canner.

NOTE: If butter becomes too thick, add water or apple juice for desired consistency.

Click below for our canning products: