If you’re a homeowner weighing your renewable energy options, you already know that thorough research is the best way to find the right system for your home. Here’s everything you need to know about the benefits of residential wind vs. solar power so that you can make your decision with confidence.
It’s a common misconception in the home gardening arena that asparagus is a crop that should never be started from seed. I am not sure when this became the standard dogma, but it is far from the actual truth. Asparagus is a crop that thrives when started from seed and those plants that are derived from home-grown stock tend to be larger and more robust than store-bought crowns. Growing asparagus from seed is a rewarding experience that is easier than you think.
Land-based people have a global culture of relationship with nature. This powerful experience of interconnection is extremely valuable too turn us away from the colonized food system.
In spring, we plant several crops into hay mulch to help control weeds, including reducing the "weed seed bank". Few weeds other than perennial grasses will come up through a 4-inch layer of hay. Mulches of natural materials keep the soil damper, which can mean higher yields and less need to water. This method is quick and easy, and more effective than mulching around the plants after transplanting.
There is nothing like growing your own veggies and canning the excess. A good place to start your search is your local farmer’s market. Ask one of the veggie farmers if you can come out and help on their farm and see where it goes from there. All it takes is a couple hours every week or two to learn the basics.
Growing your own localized varieties of vegetables allows you to customize the taste to your liking.
Caroline Snyder, Ph.D.,is Professor Emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts at the Rochester Institute of Technology. For the last 20 years she has researched the politics and science of using biosolids and industrial residuals as an agricultural "fertilizer". She founded Citizens for Sludge-Free Land and is a charter member of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Here, Dr Snyder shares with us her views on the role of anti-sludge activists.
If you’re starting to think about going solar, knowing that your home and solar are a good match makes the shopping process even easier. Here are the top five questions and answers that will help you determine whether solar is right for your home (they might surprise you).
After you grow your own organic greens, it’s hard to go back to grocery store crap. The good news is that greens are easy to grow in a multitude of environments. If you are short on space, try building a salad tray and grow your own greens on a patios or balcony. If you have a small patch of ground, do what I did and install a raised bed.
Megan Offner of New York Heartwoods is salvaging downed and damaged city trees to redirect material from our waste stream, decrease greenhouse emissions, and fuel the demand for local wood products.
Even though it's still too cold in Northern Wisconsin to be working the soil, the garden is already getting its kickstart inside!
Probiotics and digestive enzymes are important to our health. Fruit kvass is a fermented drink that can be made quickly and cheaply to provide digestive health benefits. Celeste Longacre shows you how and includes a basic kvass recipe with blueberry, strawberry, and orange.
The sheep are puffy balls of wool, but spring is coming, and with it one of the "rights of passage" to a new season - shearing!
Most great ideas start small. That’s how Katie and Ben Reneker, founders of the Carmel Berry Company, started out handcrafting small batches of syrups and cordials with elderberries or elderflowers wild-harvested or grown on their small farm.
Find out the unique needs of ducklings and goslings and how best to care for waterfowl.
There’s a lot to think about when choosing the right cow for a small herd or micro-dairy, but it is worth taking the time needed to select an animal that will best fit you and your farm.
Peat moss and cypress mulch come at great cost to not only the environment, but us as a species. These ubiquitous garden staples have a dark side and the simple solution is to stop buying them.
Achocha is a delicious and unknown member of the cucumber family with almost complete immunity from the diseases and pests which attack other cucurbits.
Making and selling processed foods legally involves more than filling containers with your favorite recipes and selling them at the local farmers market. It requires compliance with a variety of state and perhaps federal regulations and processing guidelines designed to ensure that food products are packaged safely and properly.
This is the time of year that salad greens and herbs shine in the edible garden. Lettuce, chard, parsley, cilantro, mustard, corn salad, and many other greens love the cool and moist spring days.
There are a lot of specific terms about poultry you might not be familair with. If you’re thinking about getting chickens, ducks, geese, or other fowl, it’s good to get used to these common terms. Here are some of the farmyard poultry terms you might come across.
After 18 years of gardening with slugs, I have learned a few tricks for control.
When we plant cover crops, we mimic nature's way of putting carbon into the soil and building humus. Cover crops also nurture the soil microbes; this gives us healthy plants and nutritious food.
This blog post introduces you to the new educational website www.FarmingwithCarnivoresNetwork.com. It is a collaborative effort of leading farmers, experts on guardian animals and fencing, and biologists whose work focuses on carnivores. Its purpose is to help create a farming of the future by sharing knowledge and experience with each other.
Will you bake a ham for your Easter dinner? Don’t throw out the bone or the fat scraps! One of the best ham “leftovers” is the stock you’ll make with the bone and scraps.
Beets are a wonderful tonic in the spring. Increase the potency of this marvelous ruby root with fermentation.
There is wild fruit nearly everywhere, free for the picking. This spring, as soon as leaf buds swell in your area, go looking for blooms. Take a ride, get somebody to drive for you, so you can search roadsides and fields, along railroad tracks, in power line right of ways, and maybe even an abandoned homesite, looking for brushy shrubs, brambles, vines and trees with white flowers.
Learn how to make your own decorative tray using repurposed materials!
Recycling in the home shouldn't be confined to the kitchen. The bathroom can be a haven for recyclable items too. This post shares some ideas on setting up a recycling system for the household bathroom.
Turning an old barn into something useable is a challenge, and it is a valuable skill to have when you are starting a farm.
Gingerbread isn’t just for dessert. It’s also a great way to start off the day – after all, molasses is full of healthy iron, calcium, and B vitamins – and makes a filling after-school snack.
In our current food system, growers are undervalued and supermarkets hoard profits. How do we create solidarity between migrant workers, family farmers and urban growers to empower a thriving local food economy?
Learn how to build a simple sled in less than 30 minutes from scrap lumber and logs!
Observing and documenting the seasonal phenomena that happen on your land can be a fascinating and important way to get an understanding of how it changes through the year. And it can be fun, too!
Less common, but proven, strategies for securing a child's college education can keep the child involved in the building and running of the homestead through their years of higher education while producing a more well rounded, responsible, mature, and competitive graduate, all at a fraction of the cost of more typical approaches.
Our changing weather pattern at high elevation.
There are always more decisions for the tomato enthusiast. This blog will help to untangle the confusion around often-misused terms and lead to more appropriate choices for each gardener.
Afraid you have a brown thumb? Here are worry-free veggies that can be grown in pots or in the garden. Try one or two or all ten for your first garden!
This blog post explains how the use of rodent poisons is having a serious effect on the health of carnivores. The very species that have the ability to control rodent populations are being negatively affected by the human use of poisons.
With forces and circumstances intensifying all around, this is the optimum time to take positive action for your family, your community, and your planet. CSA Signup Day on Feb. 26 gives everyone an opportunity for intelligent action by joining and supporting a community farm (CSA).
With so many tomato varieties available, choosing which to grow can be a daunting challenge. By understanding the difference between indeterminate, determinate and dwarf tomato varieties, better decisions for your particular growing conditions and needs can be made.
To be an avid gardener means you need to have special skills. Here's a list of 7 abilities that will take you to the next level.
A list of my 2016 vegetable catalogs that carry heirloom varieties, along with the veggies I chose for this year.
Most homesteads have trees that need to be cut down, but how can you ensure minimal waste and maximum benefit from every part of the tree? Trunks, saplings, green branches, dead branches, and more can all be used in multiple ways to save money and add value to your homestead, while capturing some of the carbon and nutrients in the tree. Here’s a look at how we break down an especially abundant and useful tree: the Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana).
Hugelkultur is the building of raised beds by burying wood and other organic material. Just because you are renting doesn’t mean you can’t implement one this season.
Democracy is essential for the expanding cottage food laws in the US. There are many steps you can take to be able to sell homemade food products in your state. First, get the cottage food law passed that allows you the freedom to earn.
Making your own glace citrus peels is easy. You can save the peel from lemons, oranges, grapefruit and pomelos as you eat them. Just toss the peel into a zipper bag and keep in the refrigerator up to 4 days. I used Jacques Pepin’s method as guidance here.
As we plan our gardens, it is often about obtaining seeds. Many of those seeds were saved by friends. An upcoming workshop from Seed Savers Exchange covers both basics.
So, the gals are on their way to New Hampshire to pick up heritage cows, and so far, it's going smoothly — but there are bumps in the road ahead, so hang on! (Spoiler alert: They all made it home fine: two cows, two pigs, and two galls.)
You're recycling as much as you can, but have you ever wished to lower what goes into your recycling bin while reducing that landfill-bound trash, too? Here are 6 simple ways to live a more zero-waste life.
January is the time to plan for next winter's dinners: cabbages, corn, potatoes and squash.