Tree rings tell the tale. It is nice and green here now but our plants and weeds are acclimated to semi arid and have deep roots.
Beware. I’m stepping up on the soapbox for a minute.
Cam is getting worn out trying to keep up with watering during a drought.
Cultures around the world wove boats: Tibetans floated in Ku-Drus of woven wood and yak skin, Eskimos lashed sealskin around their long umiaks, Arabs traversed the Tigris and Euphrates in quffahs, and the Celts of the British Isles — Irish, Scots and Welsh — had an amazing variety of coracles for fresh waters and curraghs for the sea.
The Homestead Act of 1862 celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. The Homestead National Monument is hosting several activities to recognize this historical event that resulted in millions of self-sufficient homesteaders receiving free land. Learn more and participate!
Part One of a four-part series describing one homesteader's search for the history of the farm she and her family now call home. Her search leads her back in time, starting in Germany and following the lives of the immigrants through settling down in Kansas and, finally, to the day she and her husband purchased the property.
Drought has been displaced by winter storms in the headlines, but persistent water shortages are plaguing much of North America, and the past 18 months have seen a global outbreak of water emergencies.
Building a nutrient rich, low water, drought resistant vegetable growing system.
Tips for water conservation during a drought.
The drought conditions at Sunflower Farm are making Cam rather cranky.
Ranting about the drought worked! We got rain here at Sunflower Farm!
A map released by National Public Radio shows viewers the extent of the ongoing drought, and how it's changed from January 2011 to now.
Tips on how to enjoy fireworks safely!
The summer garden is coming to an end. I think most of us can agree it has been a challenging year for our gardens. It is time to regroup and learn from our experiences.
Are the grasshoppers devouring the garden that you are working so hard to keep alive? I say fight fire with fire!
When it's too hot outside, the work moves inside, and is still REALLY HOT.
Are we headed into another year of drought? Already, we are behind on precipitation for this year, and for the last two years. What strategies can we implement to utilize minimal rain and resources better?
It's been a rough summer for gardeners and farmers alike. Here's how we've been dealing with drought and a few tips on watering.
Cam describes some family heirlooms - especially his favorite one - a shovel!
Many farms of the 21st Century are, comparatively speaking, biological wastelands. Plowed, fertilized and cultivated from property-line to property-line, much of the world’s most productive land has been stripped of its wildlife.
Our innovations have made possible a rapid expansion in the quantity of human life on earth. But the same technological foundation is used, with equal facility, to improve and sustain the quality of human life.
Human history gives us plenty of evidence to support a pessimistic outlook, but history also gives us plenty of reason for optimism. On the humble foundation of skin clothing and bone jewelry we have built a wondrous technological superstructure.
A concise history on the subject of bread and yeast. This is about how it was developed, where it came from, and what we've done with it.
Cam enjoys a visit with Ken & Madeline who farmed this property many years ago and Cam realizes how hard farming was back then....
Heirloom Vegetable Gardening (1997) by Willam Woys Weaver profiles 280 heirloom varieties, with growing advice and recipes. This introdution is the beginning of a series of excerpts to be posted from Weaver’s book to walk gardeners through sowing, cooking recipes at harvest and saving heirloom seeds through the winter.
The history of Samhain reminds us that we once celebrated holidays because of a shared human connection that resonated with the Earth’s cycles — the weather, the moon, the harvest — rather than needless consumerism or “heroic” dominance.
Our mission in preserving food heritage is to research, collect, preserve, and then explain America's food heritage and historic sites likely cannot be done without help. Want to contribute?
The DEA spends more than $10 million to eradicate "ditchweed"--the remaining stalks of heirloom hemp that were protected by the military and considered a national treasure during World War II.
With the Drought Pod, the organic mass is inside the pod where it never dries out and by planting the tomatoes, or any vegetable directly beside the barrel, the plant roots can tap into the nutrients and moisture as they so choose.
The Drought Pod experiment assists growing tomatoes in drought.
the head doesn't always rule the heart, even during drought
Experiences building a water-saving bath house out of salvaged logs.
Tips to help wildlife beat the heat with fresh water.
Tips on how to prepare for emergencies and/or natural disasters.
Growing raspberries and other vegetables at high elevation and the challenges.
This Easter bread will want to fly around your kitchen: it has wings! An Italian bread of historic proportions, the family will be delighted by this creation for Easter breakfast.
Solving the mystery of finding broken shards of china and pottery in an old garden. Discovering the history of the land and its first settlers.
France puts a premium on preserving its food heritage. Here's one example of that country's many food heritage sites, this one in Brittany.
Originally from small Prussian villages, th Bruchmillers immigrated to Kansas and started a farm. Now the current owner of the same farmland, the author describes the immigrants' stories in Part Two of a four-part series on tracing farm history.
We’re here to confront our own biology, the essential nature that tells us to keep reproducing and expanding. If you could view the entirety of human experience from the dawn of our evolution to the present, if you could pick the human century you’d like to witness first-hand, you might choose this one.
Learn what a typical family homestead in the late 19th century produced: The diversity and efficiency is surprising and inspiring information for any modern homesteader! This is Part Three of a four-part series on the author's work to discover the history of her farm.
Learn what a typical Kansas family homestead in the late 19th century produced: The diversity and efficiency of their farm sales is surprising and inspiring information for any modern homesteader! This is Part Three of a four-part series on the author's work to discover the history of her farm.
Emma Jane James of Appalachia, Virginia, inquires about her Kansan family tree and reminisces about better days in her coal-mining town, before mountaintop removal and pollution took their toll.
Some of the most enduring food heritage sites are those devoted to the basics, eating and drinking.
A sepia photo of a North Carolina family in front of their farmhouse reveals food heritage.
Arguably America's oldest ice cream company, Bassetts, is still a fixture at Philly's Reading Terminal Market. Both it and the Jersey Tomato hail from Salem, New Jersey, and therein lies the heritage tale.
Celebrate hemp, one of Mother Nature's most useful plants, during Hemp History Week. This versatile, multi-purpose plant has a rich history in the United States. Unfortunately, it's now illegal to grow it here.
One thing I know for sure is that many in the local farm and food scene are working through the same issue. We are numbers people in search of numbers. We aren’t crazy unscientific loons like our industrial brothers and sisters think we are.
Drought is hard on us out here in Farm Country. But drought in the midst of boiling hot summer is amongst the worst conditions I can imagine.
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.
During the exceptional heat & drought in Texas this summer BeeWeaver worked hard to just keep hives alive... no honey, no divides.
One of the first steps to building our homestead in Texas was to get water and electricity on the property so we had the basics from which we could build. This blog discusses how we implemented the first phase of our utilities.
After months of waiting, worrying and hoping, the clouds finally arrived here at Yellabird Farm last week and brought us the long-sought gift of good rain. It was a great two days of slow and soaking moisture that the cracked soil guzzled up...
Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.
All of us farmers,large and small, are a big part of the engine that drives the economy
of rural communities, rural counties and rural states.This year, we are learning a lot about what happens when that engine sputters.
When the farmer's away, the animals will play (safely, please!!). Preparing your farm for a farmsitter
Tucked in the pines, this preserved New Jersey food heritage site is where cultivated high bush blueberries were born.
Get your St. Patrick's day celebration off to a great start with this wholemeal, authentic, Irish Wholemeal Bread.
Examining an community for your homestead.
It's Easter Time, and one's thought's naturally turn to Hot Cross Buns (at least mine do), those yeasty, spicy little treats with the cross on top.
What we have found as an advantage of having a rural hardware store close by.
A Chicago food heritage site — a meat-packing plant built in 1925 — becomes a 21st-century, net-zero producer of food.
More than 15 tips for saving water inside your home and outside in your yard and garden. Reducing your water use will not only lower your water bills and help prevent water shortages during drought periods in your area. It also...
In an era of increasing volatility of the weather and climate, we need new coping skills. Preparedness is an important factor in dealing with bad weather events.
Wabi-sabi is never slobby, but we can allow ourselves to stop trying so hard and just appreciate our warm bed at the end of the day—whether it’s made or not.
If the DEA can't tell the difference between hemp and marijuana plants, says a former Kentucky governor, how can it distinguish between powdered sugar and cocaine? Hempsters: Plant the Seed is a must-see movie that gives pro-hemp activists a voice.
Here are three great reasons that hemp cultivation should be legal in the United States: food, health and shelter.
How many people wonder (pun intended) about industrial white bread? A new book out by Aaron Bobrow-Strain shows that he has. It is a fascinating description of how white bread got to be where it is today politically, economically, and culturally.
Over the last 2 decades BeeWeaver has seen change in who keeps bees, and why they keep bees. The journey of the last 20 years has not been easy for the bees but the efforts of these New Beekeepers will keep the amazing honeybee a part of our word.
Read this excerpt about heirloom beans from Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Growing, Seed Saving and Cultural History by William Woys Weaver. This book will help you re-discover heirloom vegetables from our American culinary and gardening roots.
Take a tour of the mills and mountains of the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas, home to some of the finest remaining historic gristmills that still exist in the U.S.A. Based on the popular Historic Ozarks Mills book created by award-winning photographer Mike McArthy. Hydropower's energy-producing capacity is getting well-deserved attention these days, and these old mills provide inspiration.
Cap off your Hemp History Week celebrations by making hemp soap. Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids known for their excellent emollient and lubricating properties.
Earth Days, a poignant, 2009 Sundance Film Fesitval success, will premier on Facebook April 11, and on the PBS Network April 19.