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Paonia Farm and Home Supply, also known as Paonia’s do-it-yourself center, wants to show your project(s) with pictures to inspire our community to get started with their project.  Please come into the store and share your before, during, and after pictures of your projects, gardens, remodeling efforts, and farm animals.

Apple Fruit Crisp

Use tart cooking apples for best flavor

Use tart cooking apples for best flavor

An easy, delicious dessert in our valley of abundance is a fruit crisp.  Substitute peaches, apricots, cherries, nectarines, pears, rhubarb in season, or any combination of fresh or frozen fruit in the basic recipe for a quick and tasty dessert for all occasions.  The following recipe is for an 8 X 8 inch baking dish.  Double the recipe for a 9 X 13 pan.


Mix the fruit, sugar and flour together in a mixing bowl and then evenly arrange the fruit in the bottom of an 8″ X 8” baking pan.

5 Cups sliced apples or other sliced fruits
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 TB flour
squeeze of lemon juice


1 Cup flour
1 Cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 egg

Mix the topping ingredients together until it is like a crumb mixture and sprinkle evenly over the fruit. Pat down and then carefully and evenly pour the butter over the topping.

1/2 Cup (one stick) melted butter

Bake the Crisp for 55 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until the topping is evenly brown.

This simple device will save hours of old-fashioned peeling

This simple device called an apple/potato peeler, sold in the store,  will save hours of old-fashioned peeling.


Homemade Applesauce- Frugal to the Core

Homemade Applesauce put up for the winter

Homemade Applesauce put up for the winter

With an abundance of apples to harvest this year consider making some homemade applesauce!  Super easy to make,  the taste is delicious, simply amazingly superior to the commercially available sauces.

Making applesauce at home requires no special equipment, just  apples, cinnamon, and sugar is optional.  Preparing the tangy sauce at home is a fun, frugal, practical and a realistic activity for the whole family and all levels of cooking ability.  Use #2, or slightly blemished apples to save money and simply cut-away the bad spots.


For my family, applesauce making has been a fall tradition transcending more than thirty years, ideal for our cooler Fall days.  By utilizing our abundant North Fork apple crop, you can use up the less than perfect apples inexpensively.  If you use at least three different varieties of sweet apples such as Gala, Red Delicious, Golden delicious, Fuji, Honeycrips,  or Romes you will eliminate the need for sugar.  Picking apples yourself makes the process really inexpensive and gives you the added sense of satisfaction of using up what otherwise might go to waste.

For a detailed, illustrated step-by-step PDF for making homemade applesauce, Click Here.

Basic Steps to Homemade Applesauce:

1.  The first step is to collect the equipment you will need if you are making enough to freeze or can.  Small batches can be made and stored in the refrigerator up to two weeks.

  • Large Stockpot
  • Knifecanningsupplies
  • Pint or quart canning jars
  • Jar lids or Tattler reuseable jar lids
  • Jar Funnel, optional
  • Foley Food Mill, Norpro or other Saucemaster, Food Processor or potato masher, optional
  • Water Bath Canner (if freezing the sauce the Canner won’t be needed)

apples-in-wheelbarrow2.  To make 7 quarts applesauce to freeze or can you will need about twenty pounds or more of a variety of different apples for the best tasting sauce.  If you only have one tart variety, the applesauce will still be yummy.  If your apples are bland, you can enhance the flavor substantially by using lemon juice to taste.

3.  Wash the jars in hot soapy water and then rinse in hot water, or better yet, let the dishwasher do the job and keep the jars warm.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA4.  Then wash, peel if desired,  and chop the apples up.  If you have a Saucemaster or Foley food mill, you can leave the skins and seeds in the apples, and the food mill will remove the waste for you.  I also like to leave the skins on for the added pectin in the sauce and the pinkish color to the sauce imparted by red skins.

5.  Fill your stockpot to the top with apples, and add about an inch of water and once the pot is boiling adjust the heat to medium high to steam the apples for about 30 minutes or until the apples are soft throughout the pot.  Stir occasionally.images

6.  Run the apples through the food mill or mash them up by hand with a potato masher.  Add cinnamon to taste.  I use about 1 Tbsp of cinnamon per 3-4 quarts of sauce.  (I also mix the cinnamon with a little sugar so it mixes into the sauce smoothly.)

Fill the jars to 1/2” for pints to within 1” for quarts or 1 1/2 inch for jars of sauce to be frozen (to allow plenty of room for expansion).  Plastic containers are also a great inexpensive way to preserve the sauce if you don’t have a Water Bath Canner.

7.  Process the Jars according to the following chart based on your elevation.


8.  Remove the processed jars with a jar lifter and place them on a dish towel covered wooden cutting board or other heat-safe surface.  Check the jars for sound seals after 24 hours and store the jars in a cool, dark place.


For a detailed, illustrated step-by-step PDF for making homemade applesauce, Click Here.

Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce

Roasted tomatoes with onion and garlic makes amazing Marinara sauce.

Roasted tomatoes with onion, basil, and garlic makes amazing Marinara sauce.

The beauty of roasting end-of -the-season tomatoes is that you use what you have left, including any kind of tomato, not just Roma’s, onion, garlic, fresh basil, and other herbs.   Oven roasted vegetables of any kind are extra flavorful and so is this sauce!  After roasting the tomatoes, onions, garlic, etc make the sauce by putting the roasted veggies through a blender or food processor.  Fantastic for spaghetti, lasagna, tomato soup, or anything you would use a marinara sauce for.

In the middle of winter, pulling your garden Marinara sauce out of the freezer will remind you of the bounty of summer and remind you that summer is coming!

Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce:

1.  Using a deep roasting pan(s), drizzle the bottom of the pan with olive oil about 2 Tbsp.  Fill the pan with chopped tomatoes – any kind or combination of tomatoes is fine.

2.  Slice up 1-2 medium onions and arrange over the top of the tomatoes.  Add herbs such as basil, garlic, oregano, thyme, and rosemary to taste along with some hot red peppers if desired.

3. Sprinkle salt over the vegetables. Roast the onions/tomatoes for 2-3 hours or more at 325 degrees F.  Allow the veggies to cool.  Run the tomatoes through the blender and package in 2 – 4 cup portions and freeze what you aren’t using in the next few days.

Roast any kind of tomatoes you have.

Roast any kind of tomatoes you have.

4.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

I enjoy using this sauce in lasagna.  My friends have tried it over buttered spaghetti squash with Parmesan Cheese.  How do you like to use your sauce?

Plant Garlic This Fall


The best time to plant garlic is in the Fall, 4-6 weeks before the ground freezes.  Netted packages of both types of garlic are now in stock in the store.  Below are the basic types of garlic available and simple planting instructions.

Hard Neck Garlic:

We have a nice assortment of garlic for Fall planting in the store.

We have a nice assortment of garlic for Fall planting in the store.

  • Sharper flavor
  • Produces stiff stem through the center
  • Hardier – best survival during a cold winter
  • Somewhat shorter shelf life

 Soft Neck Garlic:

  • Relatively mild flavor
  • Best choice for garlic braids

garlicplantingPlanting Guidelines:

  • Plant garlic in our area 4-6 weeks before the the ground freezes.  In our area that would be mid-to-late October.
  • If you are replanting garlic you grew this year, choose the largest heads, the bigger you plant, the bigger you will harvest.
  • Loosen the soil, add organic compost, and plant 8 inches apart.

Harvesting and Curing:

  • Garlic will be ready to harvest in late July, when some leaves are beginning to yellow.
  • Be sure to cure the garlic properly for storage, by shaking off most of the dirt, layout on a sheet, not touching each bulb to one-another.  Be sure there is no direct sun on the drying garlic.
  • When the stems are completely dry and papery, exterior has tightened around the clove, remove stems, leaving a 1″ stem.
  • Trim the roots
  • Store in a dry dark place.

    Plant garlic in mid-to late October

    Plant garlic in mid-to late October.  What a great way to get a headstart on next years garden!