Autumn Olive Berry Jam

I discovered Autumn Olive Berries by accident.  Bought a couple of bushes from One Green World on line.

Turns out they also grow wild in Virginia.  I have a bright red and bright yellow bush/tree.  To my delight, the deer, bugs, birds, etc. also take no interest in these bushes and berries!

After a few years they were loaded with berries so as an experiment I made a jame out of them. I used the same recipe as other fruit jam except I ran the berries through a food sieve to extract the skin and large seed.   Then with each pint of pulp I put in at least one large or two medium Jalepeno peppers seeded and minced fine.

The resulting jam is amazingly good!  My mother hoards her Autumn Olive Berry Jam to put on hotdogs instead of catsup, or on omlets, toast, chicken or fish.   YUM!

Gold Autumn Olive berries in early August

Gold Autumn Olive berries in early August

Red berries

Red berries

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Getting back to blogging!

It’s been a while but the gourd farm is progressing. Spring here was very very dry and it took quite an effort to keep the gourds watered but the rains are starting to return in late July and August.

Held a first sale July 4th weekend with not much luck. Went to the Blacksburg farmer’s market with a friend who sells banana trees (want one???) this week and sold two gourds – one of them pictured here! I will be posting here gourds that I create and plan on a sale at a new sale barn in late October.



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First Deberosa Craft Sale Oct 25-27

The Deberosa Craft house is open for business!  This weekend will be a combination yard sale and a variety of crafts.   In a few weeks seasonal wreaths, garlands and trees will be available every weekend through Christmas!

Here are some of the mason jar art from my mother plus votive candles made of soy wax, gourd art and other crafts.


More of the mason jar art and other crafts.


THis is a unique piece carved from a solid piece of wood from Bali.    IMG_6457-new

Antler art, paracord art and bead work. IMG_6456-new

Bead art and gourd art – more added weekly! IMG_6454-new

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Miscellanious Gourd Art $25

This post has various gourds that represent the beginning of my journey with this medium.



IMG_5019 IMG_5018 IMG_5017 IMG_5016 IMG_5011IMG_5013

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Autumn Leaf Gourd Bowl – $45

This bowl has a rim of this gourd is woven pine needles.


IMG_5035 IMG_5034

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Soil Tests

I got the soil tests back from the Extension today.   We tested 3 separate areas on the homestead that have been cleared.   Most of these areas have been in evergreen nursery trees for many years.


It wasn’t surprising that the soils are acidic, so lime will be needed in all beds.   One surprising mineral that is short and had a significant impact on plants is Boron.     Phosphorus and calcium were also low so bone meal seems to be a good organic alternative for that deficiency.

With the information from the Pocket Farm Class and the soil test results, I’ll be calculating and creating an order.

I’m lucky enough that my friends Freda and Marino at Harmony Organics (  are local dealers for Seven Springs Farms (  which saves me a trip out to the farm for supplies.   Check them out in Blacksburg!



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Pocket Farm Class

I am taking a Pocket Farm class through Sustain Floyd.   Just got home from the second of 6 sessions.  The class is currently focussing on the planning for a produce operation but still getting lot’s of information.  I’ll add links to Sustain Floyd for your reference.

It makes for a long day but my dream of retiring and partially supporting my farming habit is still alive for me!

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