MIT





7/25/2016
If you are trying to stay away from chemical fertilizers, stack the functions of the plants and animals on your property and save money then these simple fertilizer teas are just for you. There are many different kinds of fertilizer “teas” and we will be covering three of them in this blog. We will talk about comfrey, rabbit manure and vermicompost tea!
6/29/2016
In the case of hops, Humulus lupulus, there is too much goodness to not consider this addition to the homestead. The quick answer? Hops provide excellent shade, prolific forage for animals, superb medicinal benefits and, of course, they are great for home brewing beer and cider.
4/15/2016
There is much controversy over the health benefits of bone broth, you can find articles all over the web that fall into one of two camps: bone broth is another unscientifically supported health fad or bone broth is a health booster. I fall into the second camp. This type of broth is a fairly new phenomenon in the west, but it certainly isn’t a new thing.
3/31/2016
Harvesting animals is not our favorite part of homesteading, but it is a necessary part. We think the aspect of harvesting, processing, slaughtering, and butchering provides the deepest connection with the land. It is the thing that makes a connection with food the most real.
3/24/2016
Last weekend I spent an afternoon studying different bushes, trees, and herbaceous plants in order to design the newest guild on our Permafarm.
3/18/2016
This post covers the importance of having a comprehensive water plan for your property. Most homesteaders are simply dependent on their wells, which are predicated on cheap and reliable energy. Don’t misunderstand me: I love being able to flip a switch and get light and turn on a faucet and get water — it’s wonderful! However, we need to develop a resilient water plan that accounts for potential disruption in that system but also to develop other systems to increase the fertility of the land.
3/11/2016
Because our flock is now running around 40 birds, we are in dire need of an updated coop for our hens and their roosters.
2/29/2016
Having a plan allows all our energy to go toward accomplishing the necessary tasks rather than having to prioritize and build objectives on a daily basis.
2/3/2016
This blog is part of a homestead goal-setting series. Goal-setting for the homestead is so crucial it can’t be overstated. There is always a gap between a dream and reality. Goals are the glue that makes those two much closer together. This iteration is how to take your major goals and get them accomplished. You must support your major goals with mid-term and short-term goals. After that, you have to make a plan to get stuff done! It is geared toward homesteading but can and should be applied to all areas of life.
2/1/2016
Goal setting for the homestead is so crucial it can’t be overstated. There is always a gap between a dream and reality. Goals are the glue that makes those two much closer together. This blog is about the nuts and bolts of goal setting. It starts with a dream, moves toward purpose and ends with goals. It is geared toward homesteading but can and should be applied to all areas of life.
1/21/2016
In the military, we were taught combat first aid with these four life-saving steps: Stop the bleeding, start the breathing, protect the wound and treat for shock. I want to relate these life-saving steps to handling finances in preparing to homestead.
1/15/2016
Before we started homesteading I would sit and imagine how idyllic and peaceful it would be. Reality is not prettier than what I imagined, but it’s better.
12/30/2015
This last year I was able to preserve hops, apples, raspberries through making a puree and drying fruit leather, I made kale chips, dehydrated onions, dried mint and basil, zucchini, plums, and lavender. Yogurt was a common sight in my Excalibur up until our goats’ milk supply slowed down, we’re too busy drinking it to make yogurt right now. This is one of the appliances I really appreciate particularly in the summer/harvesting months. In addition to all of this, we even used the Excalibur to incubate chicks!
12/24/2015
Integrate chickens and a greenhouse to provide a synergistic effect for the homestead.
12/21/2015
For any prepared kitchen I think a hand grinder is an absolute must and my preference is the Family Grain Mill for its versatility, ease of cleaning, durability and convenience.
12/11/2015
Over this last year my water bath canner has grown into a frequently used item. This time of year, it makes itself useful by simmering gallons of bone broth on our stove due to its generous size. In the summer and early fall, however, it is kept busy canning all the jams, jellies, and sauces I preserve for the coming winter months.
12/10/2015
Losing power is a reality that homesteaders must prepare for. It is not a matter of if, but when, and for how long. As a homesteader/farmsteader we have a responsibility to keep the home running regardless of “power.” This series of blog posts discusses homestead preparedness for power outages, part 2 covers generator usage, communications, water strategies and dry-composting toilets.
11/30/2015
I’ve always enjoyed cooking — it’s something I’ve considered a serious hobby. One of the first goals I made when I moved here last year was to start baking all my own bread and other baked goods. Because we got through so many loaves a week (about eight) every day I am very grateful for my Bosch Universal Plus mixer. I would consider this one of the top five most-used appliances in my kitchen.
11/27/2015
Losing power is a reality that homesteaders must prepare for. It is not a matter of if, but when, and for how long. As a homesteader/farmsteader we have a responsibility to keep the home running regardless of “power.” This series of blog posts discusses homestead preparedness for power outages, beginning with fuel storage, gas cooking and wood heat.
11/5/2015
In a time where everything you could possibly want comes pre-packaged, pre-canned, filled with preservatives and is processed to last, why should we learn to can? Why should we use our valuable time and resources to learn a skill that has almost become obsolete? I think I can answer these questions in three simple words: to be prepared.
9/15/2015
One of the wonderful aspects of permaculture is the mindset of integrating systems in ways that enhance each other. Composting is a great example of integrating systems in a synergistic manner. Learn how the "problem is the solution" in this post.
9/7/2015
Emergency preparedness is a necessary part of any well-functioning homestead. Here's what an Idaho family learned when a fire started less than a 1/4 mile away.
8/21/2015
Small hive beetles are typically considered a secondary pest in the honeybee hive, paling in comparison to the Varroa mite. But they can be more than a nuisance. Left unchecked they may wreck the hive. There are ways to combat this secondary pest.
6/16/2015
We built a couple of ponds on our homestead and share the reasons why, how we did it and our lessons learned.
6/9/2015
Forging metal means a lot of time standing over the fire, holding the metal – with tongs, obviously – in just the right place to get the proper amount of heat, and withdrawing it at just the right moment. Too much heat and it sparks and disintegrates, too little and no amount of hammering can budge it. Movie blacksmiths look like bodybuilders slamming white-hot metal with sledgehammers; the reality involves a lot more frantic and often delicate tapping, as the smith has only a few seconds to make the right changes before it cools again.
5/13/2015
The particularly dry spring has prompted us to move up some of our water-harvesting strategies on the project list. Swales are an integral part of our overall water plan.
5/11/2015
27 million Americans today live with Osteoarthritis. Here's a look at many of the options available to them for relief.
4/16/2015
The steps involved in receiving a building permit require some advance planning and paperwork. If you’re hoping to build in the future you’ll want to review the building permit requirements in your area several months before your planned construction start date.
4/7/2015
There are many reasons to raise meat rabbits: meat, fertilizer, breeding capacity, small space required, pelts and more.
3/19/2015
This is a short video that shows some of the major highlights on the homestead during the month of February.
2/18/2015
Livestock guardian dogs are renowned for their protective instincts. They have been bred for thousands of years to be aware, work independently and to protect their charges at all costs. But do they also break up fights between quarreling livestock?
2/12/2015
This is the story of my family’s transition from a nomadic military lifestyle to one of rural homesteading. I talk about our preparation leading up to leaving the service and some of our current goals and projects for the property and our lives. I also talk about using permaculture as the design science methodology for our businesses and the development of the property.
2/11/2015
Compact fluorescent bulbs are very energy efficient, but disposing of them can cause complications because of the mercury in them. It is good to be informed about proper recycling and make informed decisions to minimize greenhouse gases.
1/28/2015
How bamboo differs from hard-wood flooring and why it's a wonderful green alternative.
1/26/2015
Second part of article regarding home wine making.
1/25/2015
One couple recounts how they pursued a land zoning waiver in order to secure a building permit on their recently purchased rural property.
1/12/2015
Before you begin to make your own wine in the Midwest, it’s good to have an overview of the craft itself and also determine if your area of the country is an area where grapes be successfully grown and utilized for wine production. As with many hobbies, it is not just the end result, but the process itself, that provides an intriguing experience.
1/7/2015
The first of 12 posts, seed saving begins with an introduction to the stories behind seeds and why they are so important. From preserving our shared botanical heritage to protecting a diverse and decentralized food supply, the story of seed is as varied as the people who plant them.
5/6/2014
For the hobby beekeeper, try treating Varroa mites with natural remedies.
1/8/2014
With all the TV shows depicting "survival", I will sort through the various groups and argue that the reality shows are far from reality.
12/23/2013
I’ll let you in on a little secret; there is no PERFECT knife. Cutting tools are only as effective as the handler wielding them.
8/2/2013
In our culture we are used to government regulations telling us what to do – can we talk on our cell phones while driving? Or, should I wear my seat belt? Or has this food been properly processed? Raw milk is your chance to embrace your rights and freedoms and do your research and ask the hard questions – you have no one else to rely on to do this for you.
2/1/2013
Why we adopt rescue dogs.
1/23/2013
We're getting revved up for winter seed swaps, and planning our tomato plantings to account for all the great tasting events next summer and fall. Find out how to find your own local events, or host your own!
1/15/2013
Talking about Annie Upshure and the Catholic Workers Movement and how Peace Farms moved into Appalachia.
1/3/2013
Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc.
12/30/2012
A good idea that could work for wildfire mitigation.
10/25/2012
An article from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise covering an International Homestead Education Month event that took place at Paul Smith's College on September 29, 2012.
8/3/2012
A contribution for wildfire mitigation.
7/13/2012
How we have taken measures to mitigate and reduce our wildfire exposure.
5/1/2012
There's honey in the hive, peaches on the trees, and food on the table, but it's still a long way from self-sufficiency.
4/2/2012
We wade through deep snow to trim limbs and cut dead trees and nothing goes to waste.
3/29/2012
A beginner beekeeper learns that the best way to raise healthy bees is to do less.
3/25/2012
How we prepared out homestead for the best wildfire prevention possible.
2/14/2012
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.
1/27/2012
Baking the Great American Apple Pie chases away the blues and grays that sometimes afflict the homestead.
1/4/2012
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
10/6/2011
Most conventional paints and coatings emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which can contribute to poor indoor air quality as well as to smog. This overview includes a link to a product listing of healthier low-VOC, zero-VOC, and natural paints.
6/5/2011
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold talks with Jonathan Holloway about the Mitsubishi i, an all-electric car on display at the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Washington. Mitsubishi is one of the FAIR's main sponsors.
3/14/2011
A cheap plastic pin reveals allies on Capitol Hill.
3/11/2011
Transportation rock stars, Janette Sadik-Khan and Congressman Earl Blumenauer, tell National Bike Summit attendees that local advocates are the real headliners in the bicycle movement.
11/28/2010
Show your thanks for bicycle and pedestrian advocacy leaders by nominating someone you know for a national Advocacy Award.
11/7/2010
The defeat of Congressman Jim Oberstar wasn't just a blow to Minnesota. It was a loss for everyone who bikes and walks.
10/11/2010
Bikes Belong needs your pledge to show the public, policymakers and the media that one million Americans want better policy and funding to promote bicycling.
7/10/2009
This week the G-8 met and talked about climate change but did not accomplish most of their goals because of a lack of cooperation from developing countries.




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