The tale of my family’s barrel composter.
Soup swaps are a great way to fill your freezer with real food.
Pot scrubbers are an easy kitchen gift to crochet.
Clear those almost-empty jars out of the fridge in no-time flat.
A different way to make these old time favorite crocheted dishcloths.
A healthy and great-tasting muffin recipe.
A delicious way to use your favorite cranberry sauce, relish or chutney.
A yummy way to make mornings easier.
Have you ever tried eating only what you've grown for a day or eating only food sourced withing 10 miles? Cindy Conner and Vicki Robin have. Learn more about the thoughts behind these adventures.
Getting ready for new bees involves preparing equipment and the site. Planning ahead leaves little to disturb the bees once they are in their new home.
Picking the best strawberries is easy with these gardening tips.
Learn why it is helpful to have a group of fellow homesteaders, then start a group of your own in your local community.
Though the rumors that spaghetti squash is a good pasta substitute may seem far-fetched, I’ve found them to be true.
Bread baker Heather Alf shares her experiences baking quick breads. She includes a quick and healthy easy banana bread recipe.
A story of farmers’ markets, local food, and saving the family farm.
Many sustainable agriculture groups sponsor conferences in the winter. Learn more about these opportunities to continue your learning and broaden your network.
A perfectly ripe heirloom tomato is one of the great joys of summer, here are some tips for organizing your own heirloom tomato party.
A healthy comfort food!
Tips for those with “Barnheart.”
Cover crops protect your soil over the winter and are beneficial for soil building. Learn more about your cover crop options and the time to plant them.
What would you do if the trucks stopped coming to the grocery stores? Find out how a community college class project spurred students to make plans for just such an experience.
Using up CSA produce is often difficult, but I found a fun and easy way to do it.
Once the frost has finished the warm weather crops, the cool weather crops take center stage for a fall and winter harvest. Learn how to make that happen.
My second visit to the seventh annual Monticello Heritage Harvest Festival.
Seed Savers Exchange members and friends in the southeast region of the U.S. gathered on September 8, 2013 in Louisa, VA. This event was facilitated by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and the Virginia Association for Biological Farming.
It doesn’t matter how much you know already, there is always something to learn at the Mother Earth News Fair.
Includes two recipes to enjoy over the holidays along with time saving tips.
Find the best places to store your harvest in your home through the winter.
Noticing the cycles of the plants, animals and insects around you, which is the study of phenology, will help you become more attuned to your garden. Soil temperature has a lot to do with those cycles.
Celebrate meals with homegrown or local food. Tips for making your celebration gatherings zero-waste events.
Are you new to backyard chickens? Raising chickens is easy once you get the hang of it, but a little knowledge will help you skip these beginner mistakes.
While the snow's flying, this is a good time to plan your garden rotation, order seeds, preheat early spring garden areas, and more.
This blog teaches readers how to make homemade Greek-style yogurt.
How to make a quick, healthy dessert on Three Kings Day.
When I asked some chicken-keeping friends what they wished they'd known about chickens when they first got started, the answers were varied.
America needs one million new farmers. Veterans want the job.
Find out the easy way to make hard-boiled eggs.
For the last week we had no propane and as a result I have had to cook all of my food on an electric skillet. Holy week usually involves a lot of baking in preparation for Easter Sunday.
Make the best use of your cold frame by having lids designed to be easily adjusted or removed.
Chocolate peanut butter cups make a lovely Mother's Day present. They're all the better when you can make them organically, inexpensively, and sustainably.
A seed library is a place to get free seeds to grow out and donate back. It is a means of keeping seeds in the hands of the people and out of corporate control. Learn how to begin to start a seed library in your community.
Description of how to unroll and fasten edges of biodegradable plastic mulch without using tractors or mulch-laying equipment. Discussion of different types of biodegradable plastic, and how to store them.
Richmond, Virginia, legalized chickens in 2013. Since then, cities and towns have joined in legalizing family flock. The organizers of the Richmond Home and Garden Show (one of the largest on the East Coast) wanted to feature chickens and offered us free booth space.
How to grow enough sweet corn for the whole summer, in eight easy steps.
Ever wondered about the real meaning behind terms like cage free, free range, and pasture raised?
Sharing some of what we have learned about treating Pink Eye naturally, as in our region, this has been an epidemic summer due to all the rain and flies.
“Grow a Sustainable Diet” is an upcoming book (spring, 2014) that helps you plan what to eat and what to grow, feeding you and the Earth while maintaining a small ecological footprint.
Learn about what goes on at the Heritage Harvest Festival in Virginia and the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania, both held in September.
Reading between the lines of the seed catalog variety descriptions is a science and an art. How not to get carried away by all the positive exclamations and miss some basic fact that would tell you this variety is not for your farm? This post provides tips.
Using only honey and water, you can make naturally fermented mead to enjoy at home.
Every now and then we need to re-evaluate our thoughts, just as we re-evaluate our things. Learn about making cloth Christmas gift bags and find out how walking barefoot in the grass is good for you.
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.
With all the TV shows depicting "survival", I will sort through the various groups and argue that the reality shows are far from reality.
You can get twigs to graft onto your rootstock for the price of shipping a padded envelope, allowing you to grow rare fruit-tree varieties for nearly nothing.
I am off to Polyface Farm to intern for the summer and I’m so excited! I plan to write every week to explain to you what we are learning, how we spend our days, mistakes we make (that you can learn from) and basically anything that can help readers become better farmers and homesteaders. I’ll include lots of photos too, so make sure to check back!
Kefir is a yogurt-like dairy substance that you can easily culture at home using grains and milk.
My favorite source for raw peanuts in bulk, and how to make homemade peanut butter.
To create a chicken tractor that will keep both you and your hens happy, you'll want to focus on weight, shelter, doors, handles, and more.
Everywhere is full of micro-climates. Discover the places in your garden where the soil warms first, or last, by watching the snow melt and taking pictures.
Western culture has taught us to eat all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons.
This post informs readers on the advantages of using whey in baking. It includes a recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread.
This is the story of how I learned to make yucca rope.
Figs, grapes, hazels, rabbiteye blueberries, and gooseberries are among the easiest plants to propagate using cuttings, layering, or just by digging up suckers.
If you know much of each food from your garden you consume each year, you can better plan how much to grow.
This pentagonal structure was costly and tricky to build, but the finished structure is both beautiful and functional.
March brings us into spring - celebrate the season in your garden with easy-to-grow root crops: potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yacon. Learn how to give these roots the best start in your garden this spring.
Organic gardeners often need to remove mammal pests such as groundhogs and raccoons. Like many, I use live traps. How to deal with a skunk you accidentally catch, without getting sprayed?
Twin Oaks Seed Farm’s focus has been producing seeds on contract for a handful of small seed companies. The author discusses involvement in starting a new cooperative retail seed project, Common Wealth Seed Growers.
Peppers and tomatoes are some of the easier plants to save seed from. This post covers isolation distance and introduces basic seed saving techniques.
Temporary brooder setup for CSP, chicks in Gossamer Foundation's office (in February).
Cleaning the chaff from the seeds you want to save can be done with screens of different sizes. There are options for all budgets, including using the strainers and colanders you already have in your kitchen.
This blog post covers receiving baby chicks by mail, minimizing chick starve-out, brooder waterers and feeders, and getting chicks contentedly settled in.
Review of The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast, a new book written by Ira Wallace.
Among a slew of other awards for her outstanding writing, Barbara Pleasant has received the 2013 Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association for her Gardening Know-How column.
Some crops survived the cold temperatures while others died. Which ones are most reliable for winter outdoors and in the hoophouse?
Thoughts on managing an event with lots of people and having minimal or no trash.
This post outlines the basics of garden planning to save seeds from cucumbers, melons, squash and gourds.
Lessons learned from my first week as a summer intern at Polyface Farm.
Kristen learns more about poultry and rabbit shelters, and salting hay at Polyface Farm.
Week three of my Polyface Farm summer internship! Lots of hay and some other things, too.
One month into my Polyface Summer Internship! This week was focused on processing birds, hay and a lesson on Cow Days with Joel Salatin.
If you just happen to need white dinner rolls for a crowd at Thanksgiving, here's the recipe. Also, check out some really cool contests and special offers from King Arthur Flour.