Virginia Lee





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11/20/2012
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.
7/3/2013
I ponder the benefits of, and experiment with, compost tea.
7/2/2013
The sweet spot in self sufficiency is to have just enough...with a bit of surplus to meet your needs and a few friends and neighbors.
10/29/2010
Learn what it means to have LEED-certified home and about the LEED for Homes program that started in 2008.
8/10/2012
It's an aromatic time of year at Sunflower Farm - time to clean the garlic!
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.
4/23/2013
I feed my vegetable and fruit plants organically, taking into account our ocean-dwelling ancestors.
10/23/2013
My nutty endeavors have reaped nutty - and delicious and healthful - rewards.
6/7/2013
I separate the fact from the fiction with use of soluble fertilizers.
7/30/2013
I feed and water my compost “pets,” and they do the same for my plants.
5/13/2013
My favorite graft for these tree makeovers is known as a bark graft and the time to do it is just as leaves are beginning to poke out of recently dormant stems and the bark easily separates from the wood. Which is now, early May, here in New York’s Hudson Valley. Ideally, foot-long scions of one-year-old wood (last years growth) have been gathered a few weeks previous and have been kept dormant with refrigeration.
9/11/2013
With no care on my part, persimmons bear in abundance while mocking my empty efforts with my apple trees.
3/22/2013
In addition to my taste for shelling peas, I also want to get the first taste of the season to show off my gardening prowess.
4/10/2012
Morton Buildings is a proud ENERGY STAR® partner and also employs LEED Accredited Professionals to assist customers looking to achieve certification.
10/2/2009
President Obama plans to help earn the White House LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
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?
12/10/2011
Ira takes us on a winter garden tour of the experimental gardens at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. She describes the various experimental cold frames for winter gardening and winter starts. Includes a winter recipe for Sweet Potato Leek Soup.
12/16/2013
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
2/26/2013
A neglected, overgrown, old apple tree does have charm, its gnarled, elbowed branches seemingly ready to reach out for a hug. The fruits, unfortunately, more often than not are too small, too pest-ridden, and too high in the tree. My fear of heights makes the last deficiency most important to me. Large, clean fruits are for nought if I can’t bring myself to climb a ladder or the branches for harvest.
8/28/2013
The tale of my family’s barrel composter.
10/15/2013
Soup swaps are a great way to fill your freezer with real food.
11/11/2013
Pot scrubbers are an easy kitchen gift to crochet.
10/2/2013
Clear those almost-empty jars out of the fridge in no-time flat.
11/7/2013
A different way to make these old time favorite crocheted dishcloths.
11/29/2013
A healthy and great-tasting muffin recipe.
3/31/2014
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.
4/11/2014
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.
6/9/2014
Picking the best strawberries is easy with these gardening tips.
1/2/2014
A delicious way to use your favorite cranberry sauce, relish or chutney.
1/29/2014
A yummy way to make mornings easier.
10/17/2011
GO Home, built by architecture and construction firm G•O Logic LLC, received the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) 2011 LEED for Homes Project of the Year Award.
1/20/2012
Find out which states and countries have the greatest number of LEED Platinum certified projects, and where the Platinum projects are located. Plus, a list of some LEED Platinum rated homes and residential buildings, with links to case studies.
1/13/2010
Dan Chiras announces that five of The Evergreen Institute's workshops currently qualify as continuing education credits for LEED Accredited Professionals.
8/15/2013
Learn why it is helpful to have a group of fellow homesteaders, then start a group of your own in your local community.
11/8/2013
Though the rumors that spaghetti squash is a good pasta substitute may seem far-fetched, I’ve found them to be true.
12/18/2013
Bread baker Heather Alf shares her experiences baking quick breads. She includes a quick and healthy easy banana bread recipe.
9/30/2013
A story of farmers’ markets, local food, and saving the family farm.
11/23/2013
Many sustainable agriculture groups sponsor conferences in the winter. Learn more about these opportunities to continue your learning and broaden your network.
8/19/2014
While livestock and gardening are part of homesteading, it's not all there is. At its core, homesteading is about learning new skills to increase your self-sufficiency.
4/29/2013
It was becoming pretty obvious the crowding and lack of light were real limitations to my mini garden. Then, the idea of a trough on the windowsill came to mind, combining a way to water all the plants uniformly and efficiently all at once. Great, now how to make this trough? Wood? Sheet metal? The choices all seemed expensive, clumsy, prone to leaking...then the light bulb went on in my head: gutters!
10/3/2010
Who the heck is Paul Goodman? The car-free visionary who inspired a new documentary and bicycle contest.
2/7/2013
I’d like to introduce the words farmden and farmdener into the English language. I wonder if there are any other farmdeners out there. And just what is a farmden? It’s more than a garden, less than a farm. That’s my definition, but it also could be described as a site with more plants and/or land than one person can care for sanely. A gardener and garden gone wild, out of control.
7/6/2011
Frontier Natural Products Co-op announced today that it has been awarded LEED Silver certification for a major renovation at its manufacturing facility.
3/2/2011
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
12/2/2012
Growing some of the most delicious and sometimes expensive gourmet vegetables doesn't have to be hard. Artichoke, bronze fennel, kohlrabi, leek, and savoy cabbage are among the vegetables that grow well from seed.
12/5/2011
The New York Times reports our carbon emissions in 2011 were the highest on record. Reduce your family's carbon footprint by choosing vegetarian recipes such as Fennel and Leek Soup and Delicata Squash Stuffed with Wild Mushrooms and Herbs.
8/16/2013
A perfectly ripe heirloom tomato is one of the great joys of summer, here are some tips for organizing your own heirloom tomato party.
11/23/2013
A healthy comfort food!
9/5/2013
Tips for those with “Barnheart.”
10/8/2013
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.
10/25/2013
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.
12/11/2013
Using up CSA produce is often difficult, but I found a fun and easy way to do it.
11/7/2013
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.
9/13/2013
My second visit to the seventh annual Monticello Heritage Harvest Festival.
9/17/2013
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.
10/15/2013
It doesn’t matter how much you know already, there is always something to learn at the Mother Earth News Fair.
2/13/2014
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.
3/14/2014
When I asked some chicken-keeping friends what they wished they'd known about chickens when they first got started, the answers were varied.
1/27/2014
While the snow's flying, this is a good time to plan your garden rotation, order seeds, preheat early spring garden areas, and more.
6/19/2014
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.
4/8/2014
America needs one million new farmers. Veterans want the job.
5/12/2014
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.
5/21/2014
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.
6/2/2014
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.
5/7/2014
Make the best use of your cold frame by having lids designed to be easily adjusted or removed.
7/3/2014
How to grow enough sweet corn for the whole summer, in eight easy steps.
1/31/2014
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.
1/17/2014
Find the best places to store your harvest in your home through the winter.
2/13/2014
Celebrate meals with homegrown or local food. Tips for making your celebration gatherings zero-waste events.
4/23/2014
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.
4/9/2014
Find out the easy way to make hard-boiled eggs.
3/9/2014
This blog teaches readers how to make homemade Greek-style yogurt.
1/20/2014
How to make a quick, healthy dessert on Three Kings Day.
1/3/2014
Includes two recipes to enjoy over the holidays along with time saving tips.
8/14/2014
Malabar spinach is an easy-to-grow green that loves the heat of summer. Make it part of your garden plan for tasty summer meals.
8/15/2014
A low sugar recipe using whatever fruit you have on hand!
8/15/2014
Learn when to expect your crops to be ready to harvest. Giving attention to the days to maturity for the varieties you choose to grow will help you in your garden planning.
9/17/2014
We called in friends to help us with brain-tanning a buffalo hide that was donated to us.
3/4/2011
Shocked that nearly everything in their Dallas home was made overseas, a family starts over and furnishes their home only with items made in the USA. ABC News challenges everyone to take a pledge to purchase products made in America.
7/29/2013
Ever wondered about the real meaning behind terms like cage free, free range, and pasture raised?
8/27/2013
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.
8/15/2013
“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.
8/2/2013
Learn about what goes on at the Heritage Harvest Festival in Virginia and the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania, both held in September.
12/13/2013
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.
9/4/2013
Using only honey and water, you can make naturally fermented mead to enjoy at home.
12/20/2013
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.
2/28/2014
Western culture has taught us to eat all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons.
2/26/2014
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.
2/7/2014
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.
3/6/2014
This is the story of how I learned to make yucca rope.
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.
6/24/2014
Temporary brooder setup for CSP, chicks in Gossamer Foundation's office (in February).
7/21/2014
This blog post covers receiving baby chicks by mail, minimizing chick starve-out, brooder waterers and feeders, and getting chicks contentedly settled in.
4/2/2014
This pentagonal structure was costly and tricky to build, but the finished structure is both beautiful and functional.
5/16/2014
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.
4/24/2014
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?
7/17/2014
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.
6/25/2014
Peppers and tomatoes are some of the easier plants to save seed from. This post covers isolation distance and introduces basic seed saving techniques.
2/17/2014
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!
3/5/2014
Figs, grapes, hazels, rabbiteye blueberries, and gooseberries are among the easiest plants to propagate using cuttings, layering, or just by digging up suckers.
2/27/2014
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.
4/3/2014
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.
3/14/2014
If you know much of each food from your garden you consume each year, you can better plan how much to grow.
2/21/2014
My favorite source for raw peanuts in bulk, and how to make homemade peanut butter.
3/5/2014
This post informs readers on the advantages of using whey in baking. It includes a recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread.
2/20/2014
Kefir is a yogurt-like dairy substance that you can easily culture at home using grains and milk.
7/30/2014
We are trialing 135 varieties of cucumber, winter squash and muskmelon - with a focus on Downy Mildew resistance and fruit quality. An introduction to our trials and to the importance of variety trials in general.
8/11/2014
This blog covers baby chick nutrition and avoiding delayed starve out.
8/21/2014
Allan Savory visits Polyface! This was a week of permaculture lessons, staying up late with birds, processing honey and winding down from Field Day.
8/28/2014
This week was a lot of fence line and firewood work, a water systems discussion with Joel Salatin, fun with turkeys and my birthday on the farm (with a surprise guest).
9/17/2014
Ground cherries were once a popular staple in backyard gardens. Urbanization and lost space to grow our food led to ground cherries falling out of favor. Though older folks may remember eating ground cherry jam, they’ve only recently begun reappearing at farmers markets and in seed catalogs. Ground cherries are easy to grow and pack an unusual flavor punch in jams, pies, savory sauces.
1/12/2011
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
2/20/2011
An overview of groups, initiatives, planning certifications, and neighborhood developments that promote sustainable communities, including Transition initiatives, ecovillages, One Planet Communities, LEED for Neighborhood Development, and others.
2/4/2011
One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.
6/10/2011
  Existing homes that are certified as “green” sold for 30 percent more than homes without such a designation, according to an analysis of the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan region released today by Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource. Newly constructed homes with a sustainability certification sold for 8 percent more than non-certified homes. This result continues a four-year trend in which new homes with third-party certification for sustainable construction and energy performance have consistently sold for more than newly constructed homes that had not been certified. The term "certified home" includes homes that received an Earth Advantage New Homes, ENERGY STAR, or a LEED for Homes designation, or a combined Earth Advantage/ENERGY STAR certification.  
12/4/2013
Review of The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast, a new book written by Ira Wallace.
10/17/2013
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.
6/10/2014
Lessons learned from my first week as a summer intern at Polyface Farm.
6/20/2014
Kristen learns more about poultry and rabbit shelters, and salting hay at Polyface Farm.
7/9/2014
One month into my Polyface Summer Internship! This week was focused on processing birds, hay and a lesson on Cow Days with Joel Salatin.
7/7/2014
Week three of my Polyface Farm summer internship! Lots of hay and some other things, too.
6/2/2014
This post outlines the basics of garden planning to save seeds from cucumbers, melons, squash and gourds.
4/24/2014
Thoughts on managing an event with lots of people and having minimal or no trash.
2/20/2014
Some crops survived the cold temperatures while others died. Which ones are most reliable for winter outdoors and in the hoophouse?
8/14/2014
Ira shows how you can keep sowing and planting through late summer and into fall. Learn how to keep your garden producing abundantly through the cold months ahead.
8/13/2014
Polyface Farm Field Day! This week was all about prep for all our visitors, lot of processing and for some last minute hay making.
8/21/2014
Consider planting these three categories of vegetable crops during late summer and fall: Warm weather crops that will die with frost. Cool weather crops that grow well in spring and fall, but don’t thrive in your summer. Cold-hardy crops to grow over the winter and get off to a fast start in early spring.
9/2/2014
This week at Polyface Farm included mornings with rabbits, fence line work, moving calves and my first foray into canning.
9/8/2014
This week at Polyface Farm was a lot of fence installation, turkey processing and the making of some major life choices for some of my fellow interns.
9/9/2014
This week of my Polyface Farm summer internship included a forestry lesson from Joel Salatin, installing my first fence, and the introduction of Polyface’s new guardian dog puppy, Cody!
9/15/2014
Week thirteen of my Polyface Farm summer internship brought two high volume chicken processing days, lots of chicken catching, moving pigs and catching a loose steer.
9/15/2014
Clean up your garden now and plant cover crops that will protect your garden soil through the winter and provide compost and mulch material for next year.
9/17/2014
This week at my Polyface Farm Summer Internship, I spent working with turkeys, touring our local USDA inspected abattoir, prepping for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund’s annual fundraiser and processing stewing hens.
1/6/2011
Simran Sethi describes the choices she made for her eco-friendly kitchen remodel.


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