North Carolina





8/11/2016
Not only is recycling your used wooden pallets helpful for the planet, but it can help you stay young in brain and body by encouraging you to learn new skills. You can also have great fun as a family working on wooden pallet recycling ideas.
8/8/2016
There are three types to choose from: the top-bar, Warre, and Langstroth hive. Each hive has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the one you choose depends on your needs and preferences.
8/5/2016
This is the fifth blog post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It covers considerations for how to raise goats on your homestead, including research strategies, space planning, herd management, the fundamentals of milking goats, pasture development, and making cheese and yogurt.
8/4/2016
If you have a small amount of garden space and need a crop that is versatile, beets should be your crop of choice. Here are ideas for market use of beets and a Pickled Beets recipe for homestead use.
8/3/2016
When starting a farm business, make sure you know your states rules and regulations. You can contact your states Department of Agriculture and/or your county Cooperative Extension Agency for info. Make sure you know what you need to know about the basic safety and maintenance of goats to begin with: What are their needs when it comes to health, shelter, food, etc., and what are concerns such as plant toxins and predators?
7/27/2016
Goat rentals are a good way to "value-add" your goat herd, as well as provide additional rotational-grazing space. But, sometimes you run into problems. This blog series about how we started our rotational-grazing goat-rental service wil outline what some of those problems are and how to deal with them.
7/6/2016
Learn how to recognize a honeybee swarm and prepare for it ahead of time! These tell-tale signs will put you on the path to catching your own swarm, complete with a queen.
7/6/2016
Wild Abundance offers this guide to harvesting, foraging, homesteading, and food preservation in July beneath the Swimming Moon.
7/5/2016
This is the fourth blog post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It covers animal feed sources for homesteaders and highlights the importance of a good friend and family support networks as part of your homestead continuity plan.
7/5/2016
We just love everything about the Berkshire pig — so we decided we would raise a breeding pair and produce heritage-breed piglets. Berkshire pigs are gentle enough to pasture with other animals and can be trained to harness/lead.
6/29/2016
Beekeeping is a fun yet rewarding experience. Not only you can produce a sustainable, nutritious natural sweetener, but you can also benefit the environment by keeping bees in your backyard. This post will help you get into beekeeping.
6/23/2016
Use solar panel buying guides to ensure that you're getting the best offer and value for your solar power system.
6/14/2016
Both tart and sweet, June is infused with the tangy taste of wild cherries, the sweetness of plump raspberries, and the succulence of wineberries. Though feasting, harvesting and preserving this sweetness is a priority, there is much more to do to make the most of this month. Below is a guide to homesteading and wild-food foraging in this juicy season.
6/14/2016
This is the third blog post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It covers ideas for starting an edible landscape on your homestead including: soil improvement, cover crops, perennials, attracting beneficial insects, and home-based food production.
6/6/2016
You've heard of a one-horse town? Well, we are a one-goat micro-dairy! That doesn't mean we only have one goat to milk, but that our milking parlor is set up to take only one goat in at a time for feeding and milking. Here is a story about a little goat kid who wouldn't give up so, how could we?
6/1/2016
The more tomato varieties you grow – especially if you delve into the wonderful world of heirlooms – the more you realize that not all tomato plants look alike. Look closely at the leaves and you will find lots of variations; once you become familiar with a particularly favorite variety, you may even be able to distinguish it early on just by its leaves. Pictures tell the story and take the mystery away from the commonly used tomato foliage terms "regular leaf" and "potato leaf."
5/31/2016
If your cover crop was successful, and crowded out all of the weeds, you can go ahead and plant your new crop right into the cut cover crop. If your timing is right (with your cover crop in flower, cut very low to the ground, and is one of the crops listed) you can plant right into the undisturbed roots of your cover crop.
5/24/2016
Your hens are supposed to lay eggs this morning, but she isn't. What happened to her? Should I worried? What can I do about it? This article answer your frustration.
5/19/2016
The price of solar energy is at an all-time low, according to a recent report. The average installed price of photovoltaic (PV) devices has fallen by more than 50 percent since 2009, making the initial investment cost of system installations feasible for a much wider range of homeowners and businesses.
5/16/2016
Many people believe they can grow anything anytime when they just got their own greenhouse. You can, but that’s not always the case. Sure, it depends on what you’re planting in the first place. But, it also depends on the greenhouse itself and how you plant it.
5/12/2016
I gave you five things you should consider when building your chicken coop in the first part of this blog series. Here are the remaining few points that you should take into consideration when building your fluffy chicken friends their perfect home.
5/2/2016
As the days stretch closer to their full summer length, we are welcomed to sow directly into the warming ground. We are invited to harvest from the woods, which are coming to life with new abundance. Now, we step into the light of the growing season, and we plant beneath the poplar moon! Learn how to prepare your garden and what to harvest in the month of May.
4/29/2016
Hops have not been recognized for their full potential! I often ask people, "do you know what hops are?" I always get the same response: "It's what people use to make beer, isn't it?" Well, yes, but they are much more than that. Read about how to grow hops in your backyard and the many uses beyond brewing for this specialty crop.
4/18/2016
Building a chicken coop is a big deal. It is something that will remain on your property for years to come. It is the beginning of turning your yard into your own ‘starter homesteader.’ But wait — there are a few things you should take into consideration before you break ground on your new friends’ home.
4/11/2016
I combined my love of jelly making and my love of flowers. Using flowers in some sweet form is not something new. Mountain people have always known that there are plants that have the ability to cleanse, uplift, heal and so on. I start my process with the first early (Native) flowers of Spring. Red Bud bloom (from tree) which is high in Vitamin C, Violet (we call them Johnny Jump Up), Dandelion and Forsythia.
4/6/2016
Make your own potting soil, plus tips for starting seeds.
3/30/2016
Annual garden preparation, wild food foraging and food preservation in the month of April.
3/29/2016
I start a lot of seedlings each spring – far more than I can fit in my garden. We don’t have much room – this is our home, after all, not a nursery. Yet, with a sunny south facing window, some inexpensive heat mats, a garage with suspended shop lights and sunny driveway, I start hundreds (in some years, thousands) of seedlings successfully. Here are what I consider to be a list of the most important details to pay close attention to.
3/28/2016
If you are growing your corn to sell, you can sell it fresh (to eat) without any additional license or permit. When you change the corn in any way such as drying, grinding, etc., this is considered value-added. If you are selling your corn product at market or other outlet, make sure you have looked at all the legal aspects. Read on to learn about all aspects of packaging and selling homegrown corn, including recipes.
3/21/2016
‘Bloody Butcher’ usually takes 110 days for full maturity. If you want to dry the corn for use, there are a couple of methods we use here in the mountains. This post will outline what works for us and give tips for shelling and grinding your harvested corn.
3/14/2016
We were looking for an organic product we could grow on the farm and provide food for chickens, goats and pigs. We wanted something that was heirloom and not hybrid so we could save our own seeds to plant and not have to buy seeds each year. We found just the product: ‘Bloody Butcher’ corn.
2/16/2016
This is the second blog post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It covers how and why to raise Pekin ducks for a quick and easy introduction to home butchery, food preservation, egg production, and soil improvement.
2/16/2016
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.
2/12/2016
Though sap flow occurs in a wide variety of trees, there is one variety that produces a sap sweeter than them all: The Sugar Maple. For a six-week window of time before the break of spring, the sugar maple flows. The sap can be tapped, and then boiled down on a wood burning stove at home to make golden, luscious homemade maple syrup.
2/8/2016
This is the first post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It will start with simple preparation ideas (Asceticism, Borrowing, Creativity) and move into more hard-hitting how-to advice (Ducks, Edible landscaping, Fodder, Goats, Horticulture, etc.).
2/2/2016
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.
1/25/2016
At Wild Abundance, reconnecting with the land means living and working in sync with the cycles and seasons as they unfold. Here is a guide to the very beginnings of the East, when the earth is waking up, and moving from the slowness of winter into the flurry of action of spring: Harnessing the Maple Moon of February and the New Growth Moon of March on your homestead.
1/20/2016
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.
12/31/2015
This is a perfect time for reflection and planning, because the 2016 gardening season is peeking around the corner. Seed catalogs are arriving. I am sure that all of us are really missing freshly picked tomatoes. Here are 5 ideas to use in planning your 2016 tomato garden.
12/14/2015
In Part 1, I posted a series of questions to ponder over the winter. Now it's time to take things further and start to devise a tomato growing garden plan for next year.
12/1/2015
For much of the country, the tomatoes we are eating now are not the prized specimens plucked from our gardens. They are emerging from our cupboards (dried, canned) or freezers – certainly wonderful enhancements to our cooking endeavors, but not elucidating the summer time level of excitement. But the end of the growing season doesn’t equate to a long, tomato thoughts-free sabbatical. This post outlines how to be planning for next tomato-growing season.
10/13/2015
Finding authentic, plant-derived, high quality essential oils and knowing what to look for is a challenge, particularly given the power of marketing. What do we mean by the terms genuine, authentic, plant-derived and unadulterated anyway? This post explains how to hone your senses and find the best suppliers of top-quality essential oils.
9/21/2015
While searching for essential oils on the internet you may come across some companies claiming to be approved by the ISO or to meet and/or exceed guidelines established by AFNOR or to be GRAS-approved and even one company claiming to have Certified Pure therapeutic grade/FDA approved. What exactly do the terms and certifications mean?
9/15/2015
Discover how to expand your olfactory palate to be able to determine qualitative differences between essential oils and learn what all the terms used in the marketing of essential oils mean. Feel more empowered in choosing a supplier and learn key elements to look for when making that decision.
9/9/2015
Hive pests increase at this time of year while colony numbers decrease. Check your hives every two weeks. It doesn’t take long.Attentiveness over the autumn months pays off.
8/24/2015
Here, I share this very simple method for rendering beeswax that will take you from sticky mess to wonderfully fragrant disks of clean beeswax ready for your crafts and beauty products while costing very little of your time and precious energy. Your bees will actually benefit from it!
7/28/2015
To make potent extractions of the medicinal properties from plants growing nearby, you can easily learn to make your own tinctures and infusions. Alcohol-based tinctures are often used for acute or specific concerns, while water-based infusions are strong, medicinal teas which gently strengthen the body over time.
7/9/2015
Why everyone should consider eating slow growing, standard-bred chickens!
5/18/2015
Hive inspection to check for queen cells, hive health, nectar, honey, pollen, and whatever the girls might need.
5/6/2015
Keeping animals in good condition is important for the health of your homestead. Here's how to get past the fluff and make sure your rabbits are in top shape.
4/23/2015
MOTHER EARTH NEWS fairgoers could choose a vehicle from a fleet of Ford hybrid cars to test-drive on the rolling countryside outside Asheville, N.C.
4/15/2015
Get more intense flavor and more nutrients by slicing olives into a simple spinach and chickpea salad. This thrifty recipe also shows a streamlined salad-making process.
4/14/2015
Rabbits are a fabulously healthful, economical and ecologically sound source of meat, and they don’t have to be kept in hanging cages. Rabbits can be raised on pasture to produce food for your family while improving the quality of your land.
4/2/2015
Potlucks make sharing a meal about as easy as can be. With just a few changes from the usual all-disposable approach, potlucks can be green, thrifty, and more enjoyable too.
3/19/2015
Even store-bought mushrooms create vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Use this nifty trick and my tasty recipe to keep up your supply of this essential vitamin.
3/4/2015
Add an efficient solar cooker to your winter emergency kit for hot meals during power outages. Even when you could have power, it's fun to roast potatoes or bake dessert off-grid on sunny winter days.
2/17/2015
A forty-something woman stumbles into a booth at a farmer's market, looks up, and sees a handsome farmer. You may know that the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey also begins with a tumble and winds up with love. It's no coincidence: my book Fifty Weeks of Green is a comic response to Fifty Shades that celebrates sustainable living.
2/4/2015
Gather your extended family around the table to share home-cooked, healthy meals on a regular basis. Reap the rewards of laughter, pleasure, and deepening relationships for very little money. Get started with my recipe for Beans with Caramelized Onions and Carrots. Ten servings cost about ten dollars using organic, heirloom beans and about seven dollars using pinto beans.
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.
1/6/2015
What's going on with the hives, new developments in the Down-East Bee Lady's life, latest bee school news, etc.
1/2/2015
Awesome facts about the amazing honeybee.
10/20/2014
The no-waste way to render beeswax.
9/16/2014
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
9/11/2014
The only recipe you’ll ever need for wonderful homemade broths plus deliciously versatile chicken and veggie soup.
9/4/2014
A sepia photo of a North Carolina family in front of their farmhouse reveals food heritage.
8/7/2014
Asheville has a long history of attracting people searching for a tranquil place for personal retreats and wellness. For Day 3, it’s time to chill, revitalize ourselves and do some rebalancing of our mind, body and spirit on a health and wellness tour.
7/22/2014
Raw honey isn’t just delicious — read on to learn some of the medicinal uses for it.
6/30/2014
One woman's vision of a family farm comes to life in her back yard thanks to one friendly goat.
6/26/2014
Keeping bees with neighbors in the city or the burbs.
6/19/2014
Introducing a revolutionary new book about the "drinkable landscape" and how you can use organic gardening to produce a huge array of beverages.
6/17/2014
Day 2 in Asheville, North Caroline, is about the eco-high adventures to be had, both in the trees on a zipline and when hiking to the Catawba Waterfalls.
5/27/2014
Discover how to grow various members of the onion family: bulb onions and scallions, leeks, garlic, ramps, shallots, and chives. Each one has different requirements and habits, yet all are rewarding for organic gardeners.
5/20/2014
Beehive happenings since my last blog post.
5/19/2014
Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest, with the Great Smoky Mountains to the southwest, Asheville, North Carolina, is the perfect basecamp for an ecotour, cultural trip and culinary adventure. Experiencing the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair held here this past April was just the start for my wife and me.
5/5/2014
Gardeners don't have to live in a semi-tropical zone to grow organic lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus fruits. Proper technique with potted plants can yield a bounty of delicately flavored, vitamin-rich citrus.
4/29/2014
Modifications I’m making and things to consider before building your own top bar hive.
4/11/2014
Some examples of passive solar design applied to homes in the southeast, where cooling, as well as heating, is a concern.
3/21/2014
Anticipation of warm weather, bees, flowers, and HONEY!
3/9/2014
Learn about the benefits of baking with this ancient grain.
3/1/2014
When and how to feed your honeybees.
2/7/2014
Colony Collapse Disorder is threatening the future of bee pollination. Here's what we can do about it.
2/6/2014
Energy Star for Homes is a worthwhile green building certification with demonstrated market value.
1/20/2014
A recipe for a grease patty that doesn't use hydrogenated oils.
1/2/2014
What needs doin' in the beeyard?
12/17/2013
A less meddlesome approach to beekeeping.
12/16/2013
North Carolinian Master Beekeeper, Tia Douglass, offers an introduction to chemical-free, natural beekeeping, bees and approach to raising pollinators.
11/21/2013
A brief overview of keeping bees in a top bar hive from setup to overwintering.
10/25/2013
Not all beehives are created equal. This post examines Langstroth beehives, Top-Bar beehives, and Warre beehives in order to help a new beekeeper determine which system is the best for her bees.
10/9/2013
The little used herb lovage makes an attractive addition to the edible landscape and provides a smoky flavor to soups and stews.
9/19/2013
With just about every breed of standard bred, heritage poultry, we have work to do. They are not producing like they once were.
9/17/2013
As fall nears, sunflowers are beginning to die off and it's time to harvest their seeds! In this post I bring you through the steps to harvest and prepare your sunflower seeds for eating!
9/11/2013
Non-gardeners and gardeners are very, very different creatures.
9/6/2013
I learned an important gardening lesson from fighting tomato blight.
8/26/2013
So, what makes a flock of poultry sustainable? What is standard-bred poultry? If you purchase chicks from a hatchery, are they true to the breed? Why does every hatchery sell Rhode Island Reds and they all look different? Why do the Cornish Cross meat chickens have so many problems? Raising standard poultry is the only true way to improve the sustainability of quality local food while preserving the strength of Heritage poultry.
8/12/2013
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
8/6/2013
How my dad defended himself from overly generous gardeners.
7/30/2013
Over the past year, I have made countless mistakes on my garden. In this post, I share four of my most frustrating gardening mistakes and how to avoid them.
12/10/2012
In the hollows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this true Christmas celebration was simple, inexpensive and rich with tradition.
10/11/2010
Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.




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