Cam Mather





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10/12/2010
Cam loves his four-wheel drive truck ... despite being an environmentalist!
6/6/2011
At this time of year, Cam feels a little overwhelmed by the gardening chores ahead of him.
6/24/2011
Cam has an exciting evening when his neighbor drops off another expectant cow.
7/18/2011
Michelle discovers a new threat to her basil plants!
2/17/2012
After 35 years together, Cam can still make Michelle laugh. He just has to try a little harder...
3/26/2012
Our 4 eggs a day suddenly became just one egg a day and so we had a mystery to solve!
4/17/2012
We've added a rooster to our small flock and he's fitting in just fine!
6/7/2012
Cam has found a new use for old rice bags - turn them into man purses!
9/4/2012
A chicken describes a typical day of treats at Sunflower Farm.
8/9/2010
Cam shares his love affair with garlic and explains the work involved with growing and processing organically-grown garlic.
8/16/2010
Cam grows a patch of wheat to see how much work is involved. He will never take a loaf of bread for granted again!
10/20/2010
Cam considers the effect of Peak Oil on our wandering ways....
10/24/2010
Cam considers how peak oil will impact our love of travel.
10/28/2010
It's been quite a fall for mushrooms around here...
11/30/2010
Cam learns to appreciate country music.
1/11/2011
Cam considers the care and upkeep of an outdoor skating rink as an art form.
1/17/2011
Sometimes the wildlife can get kind of wild around here....
2/7/2011
Cam appreciates his local volunteer fire department.
2/24/2011
Cam describes how an act of kindness many years ago has inspired him to help others.
3/2/2011
Cam has a feeling that this concept of "cloud computing" is all going to end in tears....
3/11/2011
Cam welcomed a group of high school students to his home/office recently.
3/22/2011
Cam enjoys a sense of accomplishment many times a day as he uses his sidewalk!
4/13/2011
Cam promotes the return to our independent roots.
5/20/2011
Cam describes a mosquito infestation INSIDE his house.
6/1/2011
Cam gives an update on his new chickens!
6/13/2011
Cam and Michelle enjoy having their first "HelpX" volunteers to help out in the gardens!
6/17/2011
Cam babysits a baby goat for the weekend.
6/29/2011
Cam thinks his chickens resemble Captain Jack Sparrow. Has he been spending too much time in the sun?
7/13/2011
Cam describes his weight loss program which involves lots and lots of gardening....
7/20/2011
Michelle knows how much work it is to grow strawberries.... and she's happy to be able to buy them at any price!
7/28/2011
Cam enjoyed another week with some volunteer helpers!
8/24/2011
Cam is getting worn out trying to keep up with watering during a drought.
9/23/2011
Cam has a great deal of respect for farmers.
10/14/2011
Cam shares six important lessons that he has learned from his chickens.
2/10/2012
Cam is appalled by how much stuff he has accumulated and how much stuff other people have too.
3/15/2012
Every fall Cam is tired of gardening and vows to make his vegetable garden smaller. Every spring he is excited about getting back in the garden and ends up making it bigger!
4/24/2012
Cam describes the zen-like state he achieves while splitting firewood.
5/10/2012
Cam ponders the wisdom of starting a CSA at the ripe old age of 52.
5/15/2012
Cam describes a recent encounter with some aggressive dogs.
6/5/2012
Cam is mourning the loss of his beloved dog Morgan.
6/19/2012
Cam found a way to expand his chicken coop without spending a lot!
7/10/2012
Cam is exhausted but exhilarated by the early success of his CSA.
8/14/2012
Cam is enjoying a bumper crop of onions this year!
8/28/2012
It's Week #11 of our CSA and we can't find boxes big enough to fit all of the great produce!!
1/23/2013
Cam discovers he isn't as young as he once was while enjoying a sense of community at the local arena.
6/16/2010
The weather is heating up, the sun is shining and backyards are ripe for grass-stained jeans and fingernails coated in dirt, yet children today are spending more time than ever inside. The National Wildlife Federation has found a cure for the computer zombies summer vacation creates: the sixth annual Great American Backyard Campout fundraiser.
7/10/2014
Ditch the cheap tent and go "glamping" in a luxurious yurt from Pacific Yurts.
8/6/2010
Garlic is a very labour-intensive crop to grow but the rewards are worth it!
8/11/2010
Cam shares what he has learned about corn smut in his organic garden.
8/18/2010
The second post (of three) describing an organic gardener's attempt to grow his own wheat.
8/20/2010
The right dog can be a very useful member of the family when you are growing corn!
8/23/2010
Cam shares the results of his experiment growing wheat in his vegetable garden.
8/25/2010
Cam compares the population density of his home to some of the most densely populated countries in the world....
9/9/2010
What's the most efficient way to boil water?
10/4/2010
It's always wonderful to meet someone who is passionate about what they do!
10/8/2010
Cam shares some of the things he is grateful for....
11/2/2010
Cam describes some family heirlooms - especially his favorite one - a shovel!
11/16/2010
Technology allows us to live where we live, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with!
12/20/2010
Being in control of your own home heating.
12/29/2010
Providing the firewood to heat his home has become a pleasurable hobby for Cam Mather.
1/3/2011
Cam hates shopping but occasionally he is forced to venture out....
1/13/2011
Cam has been playing with and skating on thick ice lately.
1/19/2011
Cam blames horror movies for his overactive imagination.
2/3/2011
Cam is glad to find out that he has been successful at encouraging people to embrace renewable energy.
2/11/2011
Cam finds getting around in the country, especially in the winter, so much easier with his 4X4 truck.
2/18/2011
Cam considers the environmental implications of using paper diapers vs. cloth diapers.
2/22/2011
Cam can't help but get involved and speak up when he disagrees with things. Sometimes it works!
3/7/2011
Cam speaks to a group of university students about "sustainable" development...
3/9/2011
Cam learns a lot by spending time with people who "get it."
3/15/2011
Just so you don't think it's all fun and games living out here in the country....
3/18/2011
Cam has always enjoyed playing with water. Now he lets his solar-powered pump do some of the work!
3/24/2011
Cam appreciates all four of our seasons!
3/28/2011
Cam and Michelle enjoy a visit to their neighbour's "sugar shack" during maple syrup season!
4/4/2011
Cam is hoping that the Queen attends his gardening workshop this weekend at the Royal Botanical Gardens....
4/6/2011
Cam describes the challenges of winter driving and cutting down trees.
4/8/2011
Cam makes himself laugh sometimes....
4/11/2011
Cam describes a natural disaster on a small scale near his home.
4/18/2011
Cam is getting burned out on technology and considers growing food to earn a living.
4/22/2011
Cam considers the environmental implications of different forms of transportation and urges people to stop flying!
4/25/2011
Cam loves growing his own heat!
5/4/2011
Cam describes how our solar electric system has evolved over time.
5/9/2011
In our ever-growing quest to produce our own food we've acquired two egg-laying chickens!
5/13/2011
Cam describes the building of his chicken coop.
5/16/2011
Cam considers one of the causes of high gas prices....
5/18/2011
Cam describes "double digging" as a way of creating a new garden without losing precious topsoil.
5/25/2011
Cam has a "reality check" moment and realizes how lucky he is!
6/15/2011
Our HelpXers Mike and Melissa share their experiences as volunteers here at Sunflower Farm.
6/21/2011
A cow is born at Sunflower Farm!
6/27/2011
Cam has found another way to save money - his wife cuts his hair now! He also describes how even though he isn't artistic he creates and enjoys the masterpieces from his garden.
7/5/2011
Cam enjoys a visit with Ken & Madeline who farmed this property many years ago and Cam realizes how hard farming was back then....
7/7/2011
Cam battles with scarabs in his raspberry patch.
7/11/2011
Cam discovers that his chickens have unique personalities....
8/5/2011
Cam has been doing some radio and podcast interviews lately with some interesting hosts.
8/12/2011
Cam loves growing and selling food!
8/15/2011
Cam describes a recent adventure involving round bales, train tracks and a stressful drive home.
8/29/2011
Cam considers how Peak Oil will affect our lives....
9/12/2011
Cam celebrates his daughter's engagement but considers the impact of flying across the world for the wedding.
9/21/2011
Cam has been busy harvesting and sorting potatoes.
9/29/2011
Cam appreciates the simple things like rotten hay and beautiful vegetables from his garden.
10/7/2011
As we approach the celebration of Thanksgiving here in Canada, Cam reflects on what he is thankful for.
10/11/2011
Cam has been an Apple Mac fan since the beginning.
10/18/2011
This summer Cam became a market gardener and actually got paid for something he loves to do - grow vegetables!
10/21/2011
Cam was generously offered the loan of a small backhoe and had a whale of a time getting jobs done!
10/31/2011
One of the realities of country life is having to get your septic tank pumped every few years.
11/4/2011
Cam notices how many chicken-related expressions we use in our every day language!
11/8/2011
Cam enjoyed a recent workshop he held at Sunflower Farm, and the participants seemed to enjoy it too!
11/10/2011
Cam hates to see good scrap wood go to waste and so he cuts it into kindling and has even started selling it!
11/23/2011
Cam discusses the decision to go off-grid or on-grid and shares his experience with batteries and the dangers of high winds to solar panels.
12/5/2011
Cam loves living in a place where he can enjoy the night skies.... even if he doesn't completely understand what he's looking at some of the time!
12/7/2011
Cam dressed up as a bunch of blueberries for our local parade, and spoke to a group of university students about peak oil. Never a dull moment....
12/9/2011
Cam describes how the seasons progress through one messy task after another at Sunflower Farm.
12/12/2011
Cam battles with the flying squirrels who want to inhabit his guesthouse using some unique weapons.
12/14/2011
Cam rationalizes his hoarding behaviour....
12/28/2011
Michelle and Cam continue to debate whether a real tree or a fake tree is the better choice from an environmental perspective.....
1/10/2012
You might be surprised to read Cam extolling the virtues of television!
1/17/2012
Cam enjoys a magical walk through a winter wonderland while cutting and hauling firewood.
1/20/2012
Cam sees the bright side of having to deal with a flat tire.
1/24/2012
Cam shares his enthusiasm for the sun and the wind at his off-grid home.
1/27/2012
Cam believes in the Boy Scout's "Be Prepared" motto when it comes to all aspects of his life....
2/3/2012
Cam shares the "joys" of a living in a house with a metal roof.
2/8/2012
When you only drink one cup of coffee a day, the mug you use is pretty important.
2/15/2012
Cam thinks people worry about the small things (bugs), when they should be more concerned about the big things (climate change).
2/28/2012
Cam has a (temporary) job outside of the house and he has gained a new appreciation for being self-employed.
3/1/2012
Cam loves sharing his homesteading skills in Hands-On Workshops at his off-grid home.
3/8/2012
Looking after your chickens in the winter and cutting with a solar-powered electric chainsaw.
3/9/2012
Cam is reminded to be grateful for what he has.
3/21/2012
Cam & Michelle recently enjoyed a visit from an ethnographer who is studying off-gridders.
3/23/2012
Sometimes being off grid doesn't necessarily mean that you're green.
3/28/2012
Cam often finds himself relating to song lyrics.
4/12/2012
The second of the 3Rs is re use. Cam has been a re-user for a long time!
5/1/2012
We call our homestead Sunflower Farm and now we have the sign to show for it!
5/8/2012
Cam always wanted to be the kind of guy who could swap out a motor and now he is!
5/22/2012
Cam is frustrated by new technology that just doesn't work - and prefers old-fashioned DVDs to watching movies online.
7/18/2012
Cam finds an new old-fashioned way to keep the wildlife out of his garden.
7/23/2012
Cam has a recurring nightmare in which the land across the road is being developed and his peace and quiet and isolation is threatened.
7/25/2012
The drought conditions at Sunflower Farm are making Cam rather cranky.
7/27/2012
Ranting about the drought worked! We got rain here at Sunflower Farm!
7/31/2012
Cam contemplates the meaning of life while picking strawberries.
8/10/2012
It's an aromatic time of year at Sunflower Farm - time to clean the garlic!
8/16/2012
Cam undertakes an experiment to see how much food he can produce on his one acre of garden space.
12/18/2012
Wind turbines kills birds, but not as many as are killed by tall buildings and other hazards.
1/11/2013
There's more reason than ever to be prepared for natural disasters, no matter where you live!
1/18/2013
The challenges of dropping out - going off the grid - and living your authentic life.
2/13/2013
Cam can't think of anywhere he'd rather be than on his own private skating rink.
1/5/2011
Cam is not a big fan of "ebooks."
1/4/2012
Cam's wife Michelle considers the economics of keeping egg laying chickens.
5/12/2011
Cam responds to a negative comment about a previous blog.
12/18/2013
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
7/29/2008
Sign up for classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School and relive your childhood-camp experiences.
1/25/2011
How to avoid food poisoning from poultry, which is widely contaminated with Campylobacter.
5/27/2012
How our friend John Dougherty took a normal covered utility trailer and converted it into a camping unit.
12/17/2013
Handy Camel multi-purpose bag clip earns several awards during release year.
5/6/2014
Clearing overgrown land can be a daunting task. Choose the right tool for the job and it can be a breeze! Here are 5 of my favorites that make clearing overgrown land satisfying and fun!
9/7/2010
Mother Nature has a way of filling in the blank spots....
11/8/2010
Quirky behaviors involving shaving, moisturizing, socks and water conservation!
1/7/2011
The difference between power and energy and how it relates to toast!
1/24/2011
When it's -30 degrees outside you can make your own snow!
1/26/2011
Cam shares his experiences getting lost in the woods.
1/28/2011
Cam describes why his method of harvesting firewood from his woodlot is the most sustainable way.
2/14/2011
When you live in an off-grid house in the country, it's important to be handy!
2/16/2011
A typical winter morning chore - cleaning off the solar panels.
3/30/2011
Cam leaves his lights on during Earth Hour since he generates his own electricity with solar and wind!
4/15/2011
Some of Cam's best inspirations come to him in his sleep!
4/27/2011
Cam describes some recent speaking engagements including the thrill of being "piped in."
5/2/2011
Cam talks about getting mistaken for a garden centre employee and also the time that his house appeared to get sold out from under him!
5/6/2011
Cam admits to admiring Oprah and watching her show from time to time.
5/30/2011
Cam is back riding his solar-powered electric bike and he loves it!
7/15/2011
Cam describes the benefits of writing this blog and his recent book.
7/25/2011
Cam is handling this heatwave much better thanks to his solar-powered air conditioner!
8/10/2011
Cam describes why he was anxious to leave the city for a life in the country.
8/18/2011
Cam prefers the view from his office in his country home.
9/15/2011
Cam wonders why more people don't prepare for blackouts.
10/26/2011
Cam is getting burned out on technology and seeks solace in his "low tech" garden.
1/31/2012
Cam describes his ongoing inner dialogue concerning his carbon footprint.
3/6/2012
Cam thinks its important that we all have a Plan B, no matter where we live.
4/4/2012
Cam recently spoke to a Transition group about the challenges ahead and how to prepare for them.
5/17/2012
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
6/12/2012
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
6/21/2012
Four new hens joined the flock at Sunflower Farm and it has taken some time to re-establish the pecking order.
7/3/2012
Cam describes the method he used when planting his sweet potatoes this year with hopes that he'll end up with a prettier finished product!
7/16/2012
Cam contemplates his place in the universe while weeding his corn patch....
7/20/2012
Cam describes a typical summer day at Sunflower Farm using tweets.
1/28/2013
Even after 15 years, Cam still loves heating his home with wood that he cuts himself.
10/11/2012
Cam enjoyed a very successful sweet potato harvest!
2/9/2011
Cam readily admits to being obsessed about his use of energy.
1/3/2014
Cam looks back at the challenges of moving to his off-grid home.
1/30/2014
Our chickens aren't fond of the snow and the wind, but we found a way to let them enjoy the sunshine from the comfort of their coop!
12/12/2013
Canadian homesteader Cam Mather sinks into the village life and discovers the joys of small-town living.
3/19/2014
The basics of using a woodstove to heat your home.
3/31/2014
The best way to start a fire in your woodstove.
6/10/2013
Open to the public, the Seed Savers Exchange Conference and Campout is ideal for those interested in sharing seed-saving and gardening experience or learning from the more seasoned and those involved in current plant breeding and propagating research.
4/25/2014
Your soil can be your best friend or your worst enemy as you prep your garden. Find out what you're up against with one of these three easy methods!
12/1/2008
Promote AIDS awareness, not just on World AIDS Day, but every day!
7/10/2014
Electronic waste, aka e-waste, is the fastest growing waste stream of our time. E-waste is considered hazardous waste and more often than not, is recycled improperly. But there are ways to avoid contributing to the growth of this toxic waste.
7/22/2014
Congress passed a piece of legislation which could have a serious impact on the nation's job crisis. This post explains the act, analyzes its impact, and notes that the whole renewable job sector has been pretty much ignored.
8/4/2010
An introduction to Cam Mather's off-grid home and lifestyle.
2/28/2011
Cam is amazed at the level of awareness concerning Peak Oil amongst today's youth.
4/21/2011
Cam has had to learn lots of new skills living in his off-grid home!
8/30/2012
Cam contemplates the amount of energy that goes into our food production and shows how he prepared corn for freezing the zero carbon way!
5/14/2014
TERA-Light is a perpetually renewable fire starter that requires no batteries, no chemicals — only air and organic plant material!
9/23/2013
You can make a simple bench for the garden or patio by recycling an old headboard.
3/19/2014
If you’re considering buying a new log splitter, you may have begun to debate whether you want an electric log splitter or a gas-powered model. What’s the difference? DR Power Equipment has some useful insight for you.
3/28/2014
Washboard road is often considered a fact of country life. It's uncomfortable, wreaks havoc with your vehicle, and can cause expensive damage. Here's the one simple trick to preventing it almost completely!
5/6/2011
In my hometown of Boulder, Colorado, kids are leaving town and dumping a lot of really good, useable stuff. If you have a college in your town, it's a great weekend to go Dumpster diving near campus.
6/9/2014
At a time when greenhouse gas emissions from cars and electricity generation around the world are at an all-time high, Heifer International in Cameroon is leading initiatives and programming to help reduce such emissions from livestock production there.
7/20/2011
Karen and Tony Tipsword's rehabbed 720-square-foot cabin allows them the freedom and independence to live their dream of running a campground. "Being happy does not mean a large home filled with things," Karen says.
2/26/2013
According to FDA data, the quantity of antibiotics sold for livestock use in this country continues to rise, topping 29 million pounds in 2011. This has a direct effect on the efficacy these same drugs will have on us. Sam Spitz has personal experience with a resistant illness and FamilyFarmed.org asked him to tell his story. It’s a cautionary tale that should have us all making better food choices. Read how we can all influence the campaign to end the misuse of antibiotics in livestock and keep antibiotics working for us when we need them!
7/5/2014
The Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, proposed on June 2, 2014, by the Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan not only limits our carbon pollution but also injects life back into our domestic workforce.
9/28/2010
The Camping Accessory People expand their already extensive product line.
10/26/2011
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about growing up on the frontier for both her and her husband. Her book about Almanzo's childhood recalls some of his favorite foods, including "fried apples 'n' onions".
4/13/2012
Robert Maxwell discusses the benefits of a rural lifestyle.
8/9/2012
As everyone gathers around this campfire this fall, unite this variety of flavors into one savory skillet that will be enjoyed by all.
10/24/2013
While the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Mountain Resort may have been John D. Ivanko's family’s primary destination (as speakers about renewable energy, sustainable living and farmstead cooking), it definitely wasn’t their only reason for eco-touring the region known as the Laurel Highlands.
2/4/2011
Kitchen Gardeners International's 20ate campaign urges Americans to say no to junk food.
4/4/2011
The urge to eliminate clutter and create space for ourselves is a healthy sign of self-respect. Why, then, is it so darn hard?
2/6/2012
The tale of Carlotta's last day. A trip to the processor. Real happenings on a goat farm, it's not always lollipops and rainbows.
7/9/2013
Blogger Crystal Stevens discusses her time working at a nature-based summer camp for kids.
7/22/2012
A story of one of our camping trips to Torreya State Park, Florida.
6/17/2011
Last October, President Obama filled us all with hope when he announced he would install solar panels on the White House by this spring. The panels haven't materialized, and the White House isn't talking. Call Obama and find out what's up.
6/21/2011
Lemony sorrel is the base for a classic Eastern European soup that's equally good served hot or cold. It's fast, easy and tastes of spring and early summer.
7/16/2013
Watermelon rind is this frugal pie's summery secret ingredient. Think of it as summer mincemeat.
1/1/0001
With its recent FDA approval, the first LiLi pasteurizer was purchased for use at a New York micro dairy.
12/18/2013
Readers responded eagerly to our call for recipes to use up green tomatoes. An Ohio woman wowed the judges with her entry.
1/31/2013
Use care when cooking red kidney beans in the crockpot. The beans contain a toxin that can be activated if the beans are raw or undercooked.
6/5/2012
Easy-sew step-by-step instructions (with photos) to repurpose feed bags into handy totes.
4/17/2012
Michigan invasive species order takes aim at heritage and Old World hogs.
11/18/2011
During World War I, the federal government ordered people to keep a backyard flock of chickens. What happened? Why is it so hard today?
2/2/2012
Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seeds and the toxic herbicides used to drench them, is calling itself a supporter of sustainability. You’re kidding, right?
8/5/2011
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce the release of the How to Can app, a free app to help you safely put up summer's bounty in a jar.
3/12/2014
If you've been considering an electric pressure cooker, consider the Instant Pot. It’s well-made, durable and has many functions.


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