A step-by-step guide that lays out practical know-how, Fortier has done his due diligence to learn from those who have innovated in the past and compiled successful strategies into one small successful farm. In a time of “feel good stories” that may or may not be financially solvent, Fortier simply hands over to the reader the blueprints to confidently launch and run a small-scale market garden.
Being above the 56th parallel, we are in Zone 0, the harshest zone per Ag Canada. We're faced with a short, fickle growing season where frost can occur at any time during the summer months. We were faced with the daunting task of improving the poor boreal forest soil. Here is how we transformed the shallow, poor soils of the Precambrian Shield of our wilderness homestead into a rich garden loam.
Overview of July's garden harvests, preserving the harvest, and garden care.
Don’t just throw away those plastic pots your plants came in! Here are our six favorite ways to reuse and recycle plant pots.
Although you may hear the term "master gardener", there is no one right way to grow your garden. For all gardeners out there, the surefire way to learn how to garden is by conducting experiments — by setting a hypothesis, testing it, and recording your results in a gardening journal.
Planting the seedlings you’ve raised carefully indoors is a proud moment. But be sure to acclimatize them to their new outdoor home first, or you’ll risk losing your plants and wasting all that hard work. This is a process known to gardeners as hardening off plants.
Growing vegetables at a high elevation can be very challenging. Over the years we have had to be flexible and creative in order to manage a small garden. We grow enough for our needs but not enough to put any vegetables up for future use. This blog post outlines some of the challenges we have faced and how we overcame them.
A summer update from our wilderness homestead with an emphasis on how we get an early seasonal start to our gardens.
The smart home has a companion: the smart garden. It's now possible to harness the power of the internet to foster better gardening and, at the same time, help conserve energy.
While shade presents a challenge, it certainly needn’t stop you from growing your own fruit and vegetables. In this video we’ll suggest shade-tolerant vegetables and fruits, and share a few tricks of the trade to maximize the light your garden does receive.
Hard to find and surrounded in rumor, 'Hastings’ Prolific' corn is an heirloom dent corn that you don’t see often sold. Learn more about the true development of this variety as we grow it at Wolf Branch Homestead in 2016.
Wild Abundance offers this guide to harvesting, foraging, homesteading, and food preservation in July beneath the Swimming Moon.
Hoops bent from conduit pipe can transform your season-extension system. I have 10, enough to cover two 10-foot garden beds, and they have been transformative. Learn the technique here..
Get prepared for next spring by screening compost for seedlings during the summer and keeping it unfrozen over winter. You can even use it to grow a crop of winter lettuce in your greenhouse!
Take our fun, interactive quiz to discover what kind of gardener you are.
When we bought our homestead, the only gardening area was at the bottom of a fairly steep hill. Though fine for growing a winter’s worth of potatoes and squash, it’s less convenient for greens, which we prefer to grow close to the house. Having read about a method called "lasagna gardening" (named for its layers; learn the basics here), we decided to try it. Egged on by its success, we extended the garden the following year only this time incorporating hugelkultur techniques. Here’s how we did it.
We no longer used our 6-foot-by-10-foot dog kennel, and it looked like a sturdy frame for a greenhouse.
With herbs and lemongrass in your garden, you can keep out mosquitoes, add flavor and spice to your summer menu, and have the ingredients for your own homemade bug spray. This blog post shows you how to harvest and cook with lemongrass and offers two easy, all-natural mosquito repellents you can make yourself.
Composting is beneficial for the earth in many ways: amending soil for gardening and diverting trash from landfills. But many people don't ever get started due to fears and misguided notions of composting. Learn your composting basics here.
What needs to happen is a change in attitudes. Such a change is not coming soon enough to your favorite grocery store. If more of us buy imperfect-looking produce, grocery stores will be able to change our dependence on harsh chemicals used to grow perfect-looking fruits and veggies. It’s up to all of us to support the imperfect produce movement and bring back taste, nutrition and a healthier planet. How will you vote?
Spring is without a doubt the most exciting time of year for us gardeners. It’s the time to get sowing in earnest! But before you so much as tear open a seed packet, you’ll need to make sure your soil is warm enough and that late frosts won’t hamper your efforts.
This article highlights four herbs that repel mosquitoes naturally and you’re probably already growing them in your garden: 'Creeping Lemon' thyme, Rosemary, Mint, and Lavender! All these mosquito-repellent plants are easy to grow, do well in containers, and actually attract beneficial birds and insects.
You reap what you sow, but sometimes what you sow refuses to cooperate. Follow these seed-sowing tips to prevent gardening disasters.
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.
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.
Start your dream garden as you would any project — with a project plan. If you break down your end goal into step-by-step tasks, you will see your dream come to fruition in no time.
Building raised garden beds for your garden does not need to be expensive. Here is how I built a number of raised beds in my garden for the cost of one box of wood screws.
Are you worried about mosquitoes but want an alternative to chemical bug sprays? This post shows you how to add easy-to-grow and beautiful mosquito-repellent plants to your landscapes and get back outside with your family.
You may remember back in April when I found some of last year’s potato crop dying to get out into the ground. This post is a continuation of the life and success of those wild taters.
Sweet potatoes are easy to grow, if you have 90 frost-free days. The work involved happens at times of year when you probably have fewer other garden tasks. Planting on ridges reduces damage from flooding. Biodegradable mulch warms the soil and increases yields, while reducing weed growth.
Now, 4 years into growing much of the produce we eat, I realize that garden farming connects me even more deeply than I had imagined to the earth, the life cycle, my body and food. It is also more difficult not only physically, but mentally as well. Had I known more from the start, no doubt it would have been easier and more effective. It is in this spirit that I am sharing some of what I’ve learned.
Repurpose kitchen knives and more to use as inexpensive and effective garden tools.
Who says inanimate objects can’t talk! The well-used tractor tire that washed up on the beach during an early winter storm had been pleading with me for months for a chance to prove its worth. Learn to build a hotbox from an old tire for season extension using permaculture techniques.
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."
Building raised beds is a popular pastime among gardeners, and it isn’t hard to see why. We’ll show you how to build your own!
When and how to water a garden can be challenging especially for beginner gardeners. Read the tips that will make you feel like an expert on garden watering.
Enemy forces seemed to converge over my indoor green thumbs this year, resulting in a near complete seedling failure. What happens when undetermined circumstances produce "lemons?" You make lemonade, of course. Blythe shares how her failed seedling crop may just have changed how she manages her springtimes from here on out.
Heirloom Gardener magazine is looking for bloggers and reader-submitted gardening photos, stories, and more. The magazine has been acquired by Ogden Publications, the publisher of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, GRIT, and Mother Earth Living magazines.
Starting a garden can be intimidating, especially when there are all sorts of guru-gardening methods on the internet, but we are choosing to take an extremely straightforward approach that we want to share with you all!
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.
John Fred, drummer for the band Black Stone Cherry, writes about his search for a healthy lifestyle and how gardening and living wisely has contributed to his health successes.
Building raised vegetable garden beds has many benefits: They negate contending with poor soil, you can make them tall to avoid bending, avoid soil compaction and they look appealing to name a few. But how can you make them biodynamic? This post will tell you how.
“Golden” will be the first word to enter your mind when you see the roots, rhizomes and dormant buds of Hydrastis canadensis. You’ll understand immediately why the common name is “Goldenseal.” This very useful native woodland plant will not only charm and entertain you spring, summer, and autumn — it can even heal you.
There are a wide variety of ways to recycle, repurpose, reclaim, and reuse items in the garden. Blythe shares several useful tips in this blog about recreating her gourd patch for the season.
Have you ever made a truly superb batch of jam – and then forgotten which recipe you used? Just like a personal journal can help you keep track of your life events, a canning journal is a valuable resource for those of us who can and preserve fresh food.
It’s a common misconception in the home gardening arena that asparagus is a crop that should never be started from seed. I am not sure when this became the standard dogma, but it is far from the actual truth. Asparagus is a crop that thrives when started from seed and those plants that are derived from home-grown stock tend to be larger and more robust than store-bought crowns. Growing asparagus from seed is a rewarding experience that is easier than you think.
For this year's edible garden, I have my standby's I plant every year and new varieties to try. I plant a combination of vegetables, greens, herbs and flowers in my garden. Read on to learn which ones work best in the Midwest.
7 ways to use cut grass from mowing the lawn in the garden to reduce waste and recycle.
Take a moment, a day, to enjoy the world.
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.
Want the money-saving and health benefits of a personal garden? Where to put it is the first question to ask. Learn the basics here.
With a little TLC, there’s no reason our trusty garden tools shouldn’t last for many years. Find out how to maintain your tools to keep them as good as new.
Our first salad is a big deal for us, considering we were hitting -20 degrees Fahrenheit two weeks ago, and we still have patches of snow on the ground.
Homesteading is built upon a foundation of self sufficiency, but community is just as important. There is so much more to homesteading than the individual pleasure associated with it. There is true joy and friendship in the shared labor of land.
In spring, we plant several crops into hay mulch to help control weeds, including reducing the "weed seed bank". Few weeds other than perennial grasses will come up through a 4-inch layer of hay. Mulches of natural materials keep the soil damper, which can mean higher yields and less need to water. This method is quick and easy, and more effective than mulching around the plants after transplanting.
There is nothing like growing your own veggies and canning the excess. A good place to start your search is your local farmer’s market. Ask one of the veggie farmers if you can come out and help on their farm and see where it goes from there. All it takes is a couple hours every week or two to learn the basics.
Growing your own localized varieties of vegetables allows you to customize the taste to your liking.
When the performing of regular garden chores presents you with ethical or moral dilemmas, what is your normal course of action? Do you think about the wildlife surrounding you? Read here to find out who was hiding in Blythe’s carrot bed and what she decided to do.
Biodynamic growing can be thought of as the next step up from organic growing, as many of the principles of organic growing are followed in biodynamics. The biggest difference in biodynamics is that everything starts with the soil and the alignment of the sun and the moon in the cosmos for planting, harvesting and tending to types of plants. For those of you who are not familiar with biodynamics, let me set the scene for you here.
Learn how to create gardening microclimates right on your own property to help crops thrive in the conditions they like best.
What do you do when you don’t have a root cellar and the potatoes you store in the basement have decided to volunteer for planting? This post will show you the beginning of one of my botanical adventures growing potatoes in abundance.
Compost tea allows you to take a small amount of compost and give your plants the microbes and nutrition they need to resist disease and give you nutritious food. Making and using compost tea is both economical and easy.
I recently spent time visiting the micro worlds of my garden. It always thrills me to do such a thing and I often find surprises.
Even though it's still too cold in Northern Wisconsin to be working the soil, the garden is already getting its kickstart inside!
You can turn kitchen and farm "wastes" into compost, which is full of microbes and nutrition for your crops. In return, you will be able to grow disease-resistant plants that produce highly nutritious food with fantastic flavors.
Make your own potting soil, plus tips for starting seeds.
This is the time of year that salad greens and herbs shine in the edible garden. Lettuce, chard, parsley, cilantro, mustard, corn salad, and many other greens love the cool and moist spring days.
Each year at the start of planting season, I come to my senses and order only a few packets of things that I know will actually grow in my garden. This begins my annual process of starting a complete garden from little dry specks called seeds. Although seed catalogs can be pretty exciting and I want to grow everything I see, I need to be practical. Here are my personal priorities for buying and starting vegetable seedlings.
Blessed with hard clay/rock soil, Jesse and Alyssa have a small list of improvements they are doing this year to get their soil veggie-friendly!
Annual garden preparation, wild food foraging and food preservation in the month of April.
Are you looking to start a vegetable garden? Before you so much as lift a spade, you’ll need to decide on the best garden site to achieve excellent harvests.
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.
Do not let not owning or using a microwave prevent you from making up a batch of mozzarella cheese. Using this easy technique, you can have your mozzarella and ricotta without a microwave. We learned from a trip to the Belton, Texas, MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR and had a blast.
Last weekend I spent an afternoon studying different bushes, trees, and herbaceous plants in order to design the newest guild on our Permafarm.
‘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.
Looking to do some early seed starting to get a jump on the gardening season? Late-winter seed starting is possible if you follow these easy techniques.
Polypodium virginianum aka the "Rock Polypody" is native to just about every state east of the Mississippi, Alaska, almost every province in Canada and all the way north up to Greenland and Iceland. To grow it requires no master's degree in gardening or landscape architecture or any particularly colored thumb. It's really quite simple! This is the perfect fern for any shade garden or along the path of any shade border.
Building your own wildlife habitat in the style of a brush pile can be fun and easy. It can also help with several problems at once—where to dispose of clippings and branches, how to provide shelter for wildlife, and how to lower our carbon footprint are all solved in this one simple addition to your garden.
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.
Cymophyllus fraserianus is the perfect Hosta replacement for any native plant garden or any shade garden, especially if you have a deer problem as this is one plant that isn't on Bambi's menu or wish list.
Weeks after graduating high school, I was accidentally shot in the neck by a 14-year-old boy playing with a rifle in his home. This injury left me a quadriplegic. After months of hospitals and rehab, my desire for growing things began to reignite and I started with houseplants and a terrarium. That grew to lettuce and tomatoes on the patio. It doesn't matter if you plant something but have to have help somewhere along the way before your produce reaches the table. What is important is that you be involved in what you eat.
ne of the principles of Permaculture is “Stacking Functions” or making every structure/addition to your plan serve at least two, if not more, functions in the landscape. When we added solar panels to the homestead, we wanted to honor this principle—and constructing a small greenhouse allowed us to install the panels, as the light was not great on the roof of the house. The number of functions we have stacked on this small structure became very clear to me as I prepared for an upcoming solar homes tour.
Understanding a bit of the chemistry and biology behind building healthy soil allows us to work in harmony with nature to contribute to the health of our soil, plants, food and planet.
Wondering how to test your soil? Get the scoop on proper garden soil testing, evaluating soil pH, and home soil testing kits before you plant this season.
A hybrid is simply two different plant varieties crossed for specific reasons. You can save the seeds produced by these, contrary to what you may have heard. It’s just more complicated than saving heirloom or open-pollinated seeds.
Composting is a great way to lessen our carbon footprint and it doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, or difficult. Read this article to learn about Blythe’s relaxed, easy going approach of turning scraps into treasure.
The results are in: Starting even cool-weather crops inside is faster. See Seed-Starting, Part 1 for details on the set up.
Afraid you have a brown thumb? Here are worry-free veggies that can be grown in pots or in the garden. Try one or two or all ten for your first garden!
When you have become a good enough gardener that you are producing more than your family can eat, it is natural to think about selling some of your bounty. Here are some tips about making that jump from a homestead garden to a market garden.
February is garden planning and indoor seed-starting time!
Increase your garden’s productivity with growing vertically. Beans, peas, squash and cucumbers love vertical growth. Culinary herbs love the vertical pocket gardens.
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.
To be an avid gardener means you need to have special skills. Here's a list of 7 abilities that will take you to the next level.
Love kimchi? Grow Korean chili peppers for DIY Gochugaru powder to bring amazing homegrown fresh flavor to your kimchi and other spicy ferments.
Planting for abundance without over-producing can be tricky. Here’s a brief overview on how to estimate yields and planting area for crops in your home vegetable garden based off of the unique needs of your household.
A list of my 2016 vegetable catalogs that carry heirloom varieties, along with the veggies I chose for this year.
A review of popular seed catalogs and recommendations for seeds to start a medium-sized homestead garden.
It is easy, fun and a great time saver to have a small kitchen garden at your door. Follow these 6 steps to start your own kitchen garden this year.
Hugelkultur is the building of raised beds by burying wood and other organic material. Just because you are renting doesn’t mean you can’t implement one this season.
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.
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.
"...it was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
You always hear about making your garden plan ahead of time, but part of good garden planning should include evaluating that plan at the end of the season. Take time now to write yourself a letter about how last season went. Include the good and the bad and how you felt about everything. This will become your annual garden report.
January is the time to plan for next winter's dinners: cabbages, corn, potatoes and squash.
When our neighbors might not think we're gardening because the snow is flying and we're not as visible outdoors, there can be plenty of fun happening indoors. Dreaming, planning, plotting, and nurturing seedlings are all part of a gardener's life as well.
This video will show you how to sidestep three common mistakes beginners often make when they start growing vegetables.
If you want permission to garden with your own goals and comforts in mind, you'll find it here. Gardening is a consummate joy that can easily reflect the personality of its practitioner.
Have you been wondering what it is like to raise honeybees? Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will offer a peek into the life of a beekeeper in part one of a year long series. She will share what goes into maintaining a beeyard throughout the course of a year.
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.
An urban homestead is as unique as the individuals who own the property. Our homestead developed slowly. In fact, my wife likes to joke that we are “accidental homesteaders.” We did not buy our village home nestled on 1/16th of an acre with the goal of becoming urban farmers, it just sort of happened, out of necessity.
While this young couple had dreams of buying land to start their homestead, they were still stuck in an apartment in the big city so they rented a community garden plot. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Find ways to accomplish your goals and do what you love!
Mark pulled out the camera this week to share a few short videos about our winter garden and goats. Explore our December garden and goat pasture in these short homesteading videos.
Solstice Night is the traditional time to set goals. On that night, we sit by the fire, review the year, and plan for the next. I’ve been thinking about the goals for the garden already; two are building upon existing systems and the third is new. Once I am clear on my goals, I am going to post them in the greenhouse, so I will see them almost every day!
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.
Forward-thinking gardeners are working to develop new varieties of garlic and reverse the effects of thousands of years of cloning.
Did you know you can grow potatoes in an apartment? Whether you live in an apartment or on a hundred acre farm, you can take steps towards self reliance and lifestyle independence. Living with limited space doesn't have to be a setback towards homesteading, and there are many creative ways you can take advantage of your space to get the most out of it.
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.
Follow these simple tips for winter garden success. Increase winter garden capacity and yield while protecting crops from the winter cold with these helpful organic farming tips.
The local environment and pests place obstacles in the way of the project, much like the Pilgrims had to face.
Abundant Fields Farm is receiving the support of a business incubator process in much the same way other types of start-up businesses do. Sharing infrastructure with other beginning farmers helps make success possible.
Considering five lessons learned in the garden this year - mini-cloches, cover crops, etc.
How am I going to grow all these vegetables for Thanksgiving when I don’t own land? Easy — with a community garden.
Researchers have found truth behind the belief that gardening promotes physical and mental health, referring to the activity as horticulture therapy.
Here is help with planning for a successful installation of new plastic or replacement of old plastic over your hoophouse (high tunnel). This post provides a list of tools and step-by-step instructions.
Have you ever wondered what was served at the very first thanksgiving feast? If the question has ever crossed your mind, follow Kiara Ashanti as he answers the questions and describes how he creates the First Feast for Thanksgiving 2015.
Have an excess of leaves on your property? Here are some ideas for how to put them to use!
Now that this couple has moved into their new country home, they take time to plant garlic and a small fall garden in their “front yard.” One small step toward an established homestead, one giant leap for family morale!
'Orange Jazz' is a productive new tomato variety bred on Baia Nicchia Farm. It has a sweet-complex flavor, with hints of stone-fruit and unique coloration with yellow stripes over orange flesh.
With hardwood logs and a tractor, House in the Woods Farm set up these easy raised garden beds. Here's how to make raised beds for your herb garden or vegetable plot.
If you have a garden, then you have garden tools and supplies and you need a place to put them. Carefully evaluate what you have and what kind of space you need to store them. That allows you to choose (if you are buying) or to build a garden shed special to you.
One couple is raising hogs to “till” and fertilize their future garden space, as well as produce healthy meat and lard.
The Community Garden movement is sweeping the nation. For Americans nationwide who do not have the space to farm at home, community plots offer an accessible way to produce local healthy foods.
The time to be thinking about eating local food is in January, when you plan your garden, not in August and September, as you harvest and preserve. Fall and winter crops should be planted in June - but it is not too late to think about next year.
After four changes of plastic on our hoophouse (high tunnel we are ready to tell you some mistakes to avoid, mostly involving hoophouse plastic too tight or too loose, or cut wrong, and inflation blowers that didn't perform well enough. Our experience can save you from the same mistakes.
Herbs are an easy way to start gardening or expand your current gardens. The benefits are countless, including helping your health, adding spice to your recipes, and adding beauty to your garden.
In the parched Tehapachi Valley of California, where the yearly precipitation rate is only four inches, farmers are investing in growing heritage grains.
A permaculture convergence is a coming together of people interested in permaculture, with presentations, plenary sessions, networking, hands-on skill building, and tours of the site or nearby places of interest that show what applied permaculture looks like. The 2015 Northwest Permaculture Convergence took place in August in Eugene, Ore., with the theme “Greening Our Neighborhoods with Permaculture.”
Gardening is often hard work and often costly, but it doesn't always have to be. Here are some low maintenance techniques to help you garden smarter, not harder.
Growing plants to produce fiber for textiles can be an adventure. If your climate permits, you could grow cotton in your garden—even in your flower bed. Most climates can support flax that you can turn into linen fabric. Plan for that now when you plant cover crops so your garden beds are ready for cotton and flax when planting time comes around.
Cold frames offer a simple way to protect plants from frost, but take care to vent these season extension devices to avoid overheating your plants on sunny days.
Cereal rye, a popular fall-planted cover crop, will improve your soil, suppress weeds, add organic matter and germinate in temperatures as low as 34 degrees.
How what started as a humble seedling giveaway is spurring the creation of a neighborhood food system.
String weaving is a good method for training and supporting long rows of tomato plants. Plan now for next year’s crop. All you need is a simple handmade tool, stakes and twine. The winter storage space for the equipment is much smaller than with other support systems.
As an educator and ecologist, I am learning from my students that the most important survival ingredient may actually be a sense of community. Grow Your Own! was born in 2012 to address a problem: Local teachers and parents were building school gardens that were lying empty from disuse. The mission of GYO! thus became support for school gardens and their leaders through guidance, curriculum, and resources to foster gardens that were at the same time beautiful, educational, and functional.
The seeds you save from your favorite or best producing plants will with each season become even more adapted to your garden, growing more robust for your specific conditions with each passing year. It is super simple to do and a great cost saver, too.
Sheet mulch fosters soil life, reduces weeds and feeds the soil. By sheet mulching you will reduce ongoing weeding and free up more time to make your garden more productive.
My grandfather emigrated from Sicily and loved to cook. A recent trip back to the island by my mom, sister and cousin triggered a desire for me to learn what would be in a typical kitchen Sicilian garden. Much research later, this is what a heirloom "l’orto biologico" you would see growing in Sicily at the time my grandfather left his homeland for America in the early 1900s and is being brought back to life through efforts like the Slow Foods organization today.
As your summer crops wane, no doubt you are planting cover crops in their space, but leave room for garlic! Plant it this fall, mulch, and harvest in early summer.
Ramps, aka Allium tricoccum, are really wild leeks. They combine the taste of garlic with the taste of onion, although that's really somewhat of an oversimplification as the taste of ramps is bursting with other — so many other — flavors and nuances that they leave their actual essence difficult to verbalize.
My brother told me about breeding fruit trees in order for them to go to market both earlier and later than the main crop. He said, “The real money is made on the shoulders of the season.” But it takes some real thought and effort to bring in your crop on the shoulders of the season.
Further expand your awareness and interaction with your environment by adopting the conscious attitude of moving Toward a destination instead of going To a destination. This post describes how the author's mentor was always prepared to further enhance the landscape by making any general improvements using the caretaker's attitude.
Hoop houses have proven themselves to be invaluable for extending the gardening season in both spring and fall. But I didn’t expect to get even more use out of mine during our frequent and unpredictable hail storms!
Cover crops will build your soil and provide compost material. The time to plant is this fall, but you need to know what the next crop will be when deciding just which cover crop to plant where. Think through your garden plan for next year to make the best choices.
There are probably over 100 reasons that you should be growing shade-loving and native ‘Tasslerue’ Trautvetteria caroliniensis, but the main reason that you aren't growing it is because you've probably never heard of it, let alone had someone offer to share some with you. All that's about to change.
Brooklyn Grange Farm now operates two rooftop farms which encompass 2.5 acres. The farms combined harvest above 50,000lbs of organically grown vegetables, herbs and flowers per year.
The commonly used name for our beloved early-spring, native wildflower Sanguinaria canadensis is "bloodroot." Bloodroot was once used as a dye and as an herbal remedy by early Native Americans. Sanguinaria canadensis is native to every state in the US and to every Canadian province east of the Rockies. Consequently, it's considered hardy down to Zone 3.
Is your kale patch infested with insects? It may be time to mow it down and start a fresh patch for fall. But, don't worry: Here’s a chard variety to get you by in the meantime while you wait for your fall kale to come up.
Why mulch your garden? There are many benefits to a strong mulching practice in home gardens.
Jostaberries are a cross between black currants and gooseberries, combing the best of both fruits to make a tasty berry and an even tastier jam. You can use a water bath canning method to preserve this productive perennial fruit.
Permaculture premise is creating a self-sustaining garden that has a nurturing relationship with your yard’s environment and symbiotic relationship among the plantings.
Making your home garden productive is an in-depth and gradual process. Though you can work with a design professional to hash out a use plan and plant list early on, it still takes several phases and periods of acclimation for a garden to begin to really thrive. Start utilizing the margins in your garden and beginning yielding more for your community.
America’s favorite pastime is scoring big with the fans as more and more ballparks step up to the plate of sustainable food production by incorporating urban farming into their scenery.
On-farm enterprises often take root when a gardener produces more than they can personally use. Here is a brief guide to working with restaurants and creating a Farm-to-Table culture within your community.
Tips for choosing a garden shed that will address your needs and last for years.
You do not have to have “land” to farm. You can farm where ever you are. A 10th of an acre is enough and, on some days, more than you would want to can handle. Make the best use of your space, care for your soil, be thrifty with water and enjoy the garden and the fruits of your labor.
I’ve done what I can to reduce our household water usage; I am not sure how I could cut down any further and still keep my vegetable garden alive. These are the steps I have taken over the years. Use these five simple techniques to conserve water (and save money) on your homestead.
Trilliums just have to be the most beloved wildflower of any native or non-native plant. Trilliums are very easy to grow and are a long-lived perennial plant whose size can double every year when taken proper care of. And I know from experience, as I've spent the last 30-plus years building production stock beds of well over 100,000 trillium plants.
Basil is a favorite Mediterranean herb that is super easy to grow in the garden or container. There are simple ways to preserve for year round enjoyment of this flavorful herb.
If your garden is becoming a bit overwhelming this summer it might be because your paths have become overgrown with weeds. Getting (and keeping) your paths under control will make less work for you overall, and a more enjoyable experience in your garden. Here are some ideas for working with your paths.
Summer with children can be exciting. It is an opportunity to spend time with your children like never before. Here are some ideas for putting your children to work in meaningful ways that will benefit everyone.
Love herbs and gardening? Here are a few things you should know when it comes to companion planting and herbs.
We cannot all have farms, but we can all raise our own tomatoes.
There are many types of melons, including the new category of personal size, or individual serving cantaloupes. Lists of both hybrid and open-pollinated varieties are given here, along with information on when to harvest.
While building their own home and farm, one couple decides to learn from other talented and experienced market farmers about how to set up year-round gardening production. Here are some tips and photos from a trip to Four Season Farm, home of Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch, in Maine.
Calendula flowers make a lovely floral component for an organic vegetable garden. Plus, they pull their weight in terms of productivity: The petals are edible and can be used in skin-healing salves and balms.
Rethinking a garden bed - from problematic to perfect for garlic.
The Tao of Vegetable Gardening by groundbreaking garden writer Carol Deppe explores the practical methods as well as the deeper essence of gardening. She focuses on some of the most popular home garden vegetables—tomatoes, green beans, peas, and leafy greens—and through them illustrates the key principles and practices that gardeners need to know to successfully plant and grow just about any food crop.
In The Nourishing Homestead, Ben Hewitt along with his wife Penny tell the story of how we can create truly satisfying, permanent, nourished relationships to the land, nature, and one another. With plenty of practical ways to grow nutrient-dense food, build soil, and develop traditional skills, this book is sure to inspire a new generation of homesteaders.
Purchase romaine lettuce once, regrow it again and again! Use this simple tutorial to slash your salad bill while enjoying tasty, healthful greens.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel explains safe and easy ways you can use household items in your garden.
Gardens are possible, but having a successful garden at high elevation presents a different set of challenges.
This in-depth gardening infographic covers both good and bad insects, as well as companion plants, row covers and more.
Container gardening can be a great way to feed your family healthy food right outside your door. Lyle provides specific information on varieties of vegetables and the set-up of your container gardens.
Grow Where You Are is a social enterprise focusing on assisting communities in creating local food abundance systems. After creating small-scale urban food systems nationally and internationally for over 15 years, we see that even the most effective systems can be easily dismantled without land security. We propose supporting local growers in a transition to home ownership with a dynamic web of community partnership.
Recycle an everyday pallet to make a beautiful spring garden for your porch or patio.
We know you're anxious to get growing! But HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel says it's not time to plant seedlings just yet.
Compost piles don't have to be relegated to an out of the way bin. If your compost-making materials are being produced in your garden, as they are following biointensive methods, the best place for the compost piles are in rotation right on your garden beds.
Here is what I am planning on growing this year in our garden. Some tips for how to choose what you should plant this year, customized for your space and what you like to eat.
Spring tomato rituals and a discussion of good varieties for the Pacific Northwest garden.
Learn how to identify pesticide drift on your property, and take action with these tips from Pesticide Action Network.
Five tips for increasing your garden's productivity and yield. Utilize every inch, get the most from your space, and use all three seasons.
Shifting our built environments from the current linear blocks of car-centric urban sprawl to more integrated human-scale and life-sustaining organisms is not much different in principle than turning a concrete yard into a permaculture plot. We have to think in terms of arrangement of vital nodes, distance between interdependent threads, paths of least resistance, utilizing existing natural conditions, and maximizing water, energy and food sources.
Find out whether your home compost pile will benefit from commercial compost accelerators.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and pregnant Pennsylvania mama Michelle (Congrats, Michelle!) shares her plans for planting a baby food garden, including her entire seed order.
A great garden needs great soil. Regardless of a garden's size, there are always ways to improve the soil quality.
Crop rotation is good for your garden, but can be difficult to track. These tools will help you chart which crop families you plant so you can mix it up the following season.
March heralds the coming of spring and gardening. It is a great time to start your seeds and plants for veggies that thrive in cool temperatures.
Here are some easy things to do in your garden and yard to expand your sustainable foot print.
Chicken tractors, which sit directly on garden beds during fallow times, maintain soil, reduce insect pests and even provide fresh eggs.
Gardening at a high elevation presents challenges such as harsh sun and a shorter growing season.
You can grow food year round, even in small spaces and containers. This is the definition of a four-season garden.
With GMOs seemingly everywhere you turn, it’s hard to know where to buy non-GMO Seeds. Here’s how to keep GMOs out of your garden.
Just when you’ve got something broken in on a farm, the holes begin to appear. There’s a hole in the bucket, a hole in my muck boots — and of course there are holes in the fence! But it’s not all bad, so here’s a homesteader’s narrative that provides a good chuckle about life on the homestead with all its wrinkles…and holes.
Grasshoppers can be devastating in a garden, an insect in the locust family. There are ways to control them naturally without chemicals.
Seed starting techniques and timing for an urban homestead in the Pacific Northwest.
Some unique plants that will grow wonderfully in your perennial shade garden.
From no-till gardening to vertical gardening and container gardening, there are so many options for the creative gardener. Check out these 6 gardening options to try in 2015.
Gardening offers some amazing benefits to your mental and physical wellbeing.
January is the time to start your indoor seeds for spring planting. Here is a calendar for starting your spring and summer seeds.
Choosing, growing, and drying everlasting or dried flowers for beauty that can be enjoyed for seasons to come.
Put together your own mini-indoor garden with these clever ideas.
Definition of shade, and planning a shade garden.
"An Unlikely Vineyard" by Deirdre Heekin tells her story of growing wine in the unlikely hills of Vermont and her quest to express the essence of place in every bottle. It is about the evolution of her farm from overgrown fields to a fertile, productive, and beautiful landscape that melds with its natural environment. A gentle narrative with lush photography, this book will appeal to anyone who loves food, farms, and living well.
Anyone can have an indoor supply of fresh greens. Just try nutritious microgreens and sprouts year round.
Want to learn how to go your own dragon fruit cactus? Here's how!
Taking a couple of extra steps before planting your crops will help ensure healthy garden soil. Here’s how to prepare your garden for spring planting.
This article takes an insider’s look at how the seed business works, and what you can do to get the best-quality seeds.
Clean and organize garden tools.
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.
Carrots come in many colors and sizes. By picking the right ones, you can grow carrots year-round in the ground or in containers.
Why pay high prices at the grocery store when growing herbs outdoors is achievable all winter long?
Four questions I ask of new varieties, before ordering seeds.
There are many reasons to save seed. Why should you learn how to save seed?
Aji Amarillo peppers (Capsicum baccatum) are versatile, fruity peppers used extensively in Peruvian cuisine. We have found many uses for these bright yellow and orange peppers, and our journey to discover them has only begun.
It’s time to start garden planning for spring 2015! An uncomplicated way of collecting and organizing your information during those long winter days is to get some index cards, scissors and tape. Cut out the plant varieties from catalogues that you find interesting, with the pertinent information tape this information to the index card to take along to the nursery come spring.
Here is an idea of daily hoop house tasks and information on growing and harvesting abundant, healthy winter vegetables in your hoophouse, avoiding hazardous nitrate accumulation in greens.
Tap the Tomato Chooser app for info on 333 tomato varieties, plus help deciding which tomatoes to grow in your garden based on the traits you want.
Low tunnels are easy structures to build to protect your winter veggies. Keeping the covers on in windy conditions can be a challenge. Learn simple steps you can take to make your low tunnel covers stable, no matter what the weather brings.
Urban community green spaces are an essential component of our built environment. Their significance is becoming more and more apparent to city planners and urban residences all over the United States.
Not being a fan of frozen or canned carrots, I began to wonder how to store carrots under straw for winter to enjoy organic carrots throughout the winter. Living in Central Oregon where beach sand is not at the hand, I gathered garden straw from a local farmer. It is important that you know that straw for the garden has not come from crops treated with herbicides to control broad-leafed weeds.
Building garden boxes that keep critters out.
Use the cold winter months to start your own shade garden with native woodland plants.
Everything pauses during the time around the winter solstice.
The methods of landrace gardening can provide food, even when social or family troubles take us away from the garden.
Composting doesn't have to be tough! Learn to make easy compost without the stress.
Why it is important to stay on top of a garden.
Just in time for the holidays, here's a list of recommended garden tools made in the U.S. by family-owned companies.
Your veggies contain the nutritional content that the soil can provide the plant. Saying a plant only needs NPK is like saying all humans need is carbs, fat and protein. It is much more complicated than that.
A philosophical look at the coming of winter, with ideas for preserving the summer after the end-of-the-season pepper harvest.
The Food is Free Project has inspired thousands of individuals, families and groups around the globe to start front yard free gardens to share with friends and neighbors. They are losing their teaching farm.
If you want to start seeds indoors this winter, check out our video to learn which fluorescent bulbs are the best grow lights.
School gardens play a vital role in our nations educational systems. Though the concept dates back to the 1800s, their role has gained popularity in the last 20 years, and for good reasons.
Want a worry-free, weed-free, organic-matter-rich vegetable garden bed? It is doable and fall is the best time to put it in action!
Winter is the best time to step back from your garden and learn something new. Do some research, participate in learning programs, and work on your garden notebook. When the opportunity arises next year, visit the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Winter food storage in a naturally cooled space.
The first frost of fall is a significant change in the garden. It is a sign of summer vegetables finishing and cold crops coming into prominence.
Are you planning to put in an orchard next spring, or re-design your landscape with more edible plants?
The YardMap Network is a citizen science project designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat, for both people concerned with their local environments and professional scientists. The program is housed at the Lab of Ornithology, in Ithaca, New York. We collect data by asking individuals across the country to draw maps of their backyards, parks, farms, favorite birding locations, schools, and gardens.
The Fall garden is bursting and the canning kettle hot as we draw summer to a close in North Central Idaho.
The ripening time of a particular fruit varies from one location to another and from year to year, though the order in which varieties ripen stays roughly the same.
Keep those vegetable plants growing for a second harvest late in the year. Organically-grown, heirloom varieties will survive with a little help.
Could you eat only food grown within 100 miles of your home for 10 days?
Learn more about this challenge and why you should consider taking it on.
Using leaves as mulch to enhance soil fertility.
Beans are usually divided into two categories: shell and snap. Shell beans have thicker pods and are typically cultivated for their seeds. Snap beans are harvested before their seeds ripen and are grown for their tasty pods. However, I've discovered there is some leeway in how beans are harvested and used.
Using these techniques you can spend an afternoon building a deep mulch garden and stop tilling and composting for up to 30 years.
Though summer vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, basil and cucumbers grow at a reduced pace in the fall, cool season crops like lettuce, carrots, radishes, peas, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are coming into maturity throughout October and into November.
Permaculture has become the new buzzword in certain circles. What is it? Do we need it?
This blog post explores eco-friendly gardening tips to refreshing your garden tools, furniture, accessories and outbuildings without the need to buy mass-manufactured goods or use harmful chemical treatments.
It’s absolutely possible to be gardening in winter. You simply need to understand what to plant, when to plant it and how to maintain the best possible growing conditions in your home for indoor agriculture.
A gravity watering system can consist of a cistern to save roof top rain water and elevated tanks to gravity feed this water to your garden. As climate change makes rain less predictable, you can both water your garden and help save ground water.
Moving to a different climate and gardening zone can be a challenge, especially in the high desert. The best approach is to start small and add plenty of organic material.
Chard is a wonderful green, chock full of vitamins. It can be eaten when small in salads. The large leaves can be harvested for steamed/cooked greens. It is a perennial that with cover can be harvested all winter.
The first killing frosts of the season change the garden-scape.
Canning is a great way to preserve your own harvest. When canning acidic foods like fruit or tomatoes or anything using vinegar or sugar, you can likely use only a water bath. There are many chemical free canning jars available today for low tox canning.
Fall is the time to plant garlic. The cloves send down roots during the winter, popping their green heads out in early spring.
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.
You can be harvesting from your garden all year long, including through the winter months! It's time to plant the fall garden.
While summer's still lingering, tasks of fall have begun.
End of summer is a great time to tidy garden beds and harvest herbs. Now is the time to plant your fall, winter and overwintering transplants.
Tips for keeping your summer garden producing at top output. This is the time of year that warm season crops are at their peak. These 7 tips will give you continued bountiful harvests through the heat.
The actual footprint of a garden is only one of many factors for how much food that can be produced there. With succession planting, good soil and some planning the same garden area can produce substantially more food.
St. Paul, Minnesota, not only allows front yard gardens and promotes growing vegetables in containers, but encourages residents to beautify the boulevard with plants, including edibles.
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.
Follow these simple tips on fall gardening.
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.
Which grows better in Pacific Northwest gardens - kale or collards?
A good gardening tool is lightweight, ergonomically correct and has a positive impact on the soil. We only use hand tools (non-powered) in our gardens since we find that we can get the job done easier and more efficiently with a more correct impact on the soil and less impact on our bodies than we would with any machines.
Good storage conditions for your garden seeds are essential. These tips will help you learn how to store seeds.
This blog takes a look at the steps taken to propagate lavender by taking cuttings.
The Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service is looking for an organic farmer worthy of being named their 26th annual Organic Farmer of the Year.
A list of ways we could each show support or teach our friends and family to support the Local Foods Movement
Starting a new vegetable garden bed doesn't have to be a long, tedious, back breaking job. There are a few different ways to get the job done quickly and relatively easily!
The Food Is Free Project has become a food revolution in Austin, Texas
"Integrated Forest Gardening" is the first, and most comprehensive, guide about plant guilds ever written, and it covers in detail both what guilds are and how to design and construct them, complete with extensive color photography and design illustrations.
The greenhouse takes shape with the help of family.
Peppers and tomatoes are some of the easier plants to save seed from. This post covers isolation distance and introduces basic seed saving techniques.
When traveling, consider checking out the community gardens in the area. You can meet local people who are passionate about gardening and learn about the climate and crops that may be different than yours.
This blog post tells you how to set up a drip irrigation system in a raised bed garden.
You’d think that if you have some 10 acres you’d have a wonderful fields full of fresh vegetables and fruits. You’d think you’d have a simple way to create an awesome garden. And if you live where I live, you’d be wrong.
There are many tomato tales out there. If you want to know which farmer stories are true, read on to get tips on growing great tomatoes.
Learn how chickens and gardens make a great mix.
The garden is 58 by 112 feet and it's planted!
Chives and mint come to a duel for territory in the herb garden, while the spring sap-sucker marks time.
This post outlines the basics of garden planning to save seeds from cucumbers, melons, squash and gourds.
With the fence in (just barely), this rainy Wednesday looks just perfect for planting.
Here are some simple steps you can follow when setting up drip irrigation for row crops.
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.
Interested in seed saving but worried about mistakes? Have questions about seed saving? Here’s the chance to give your input in a new seed saving class!
A well-thought-out garden design will make your work enjoyable and manageable and will encourage the gardener's presence and attention.
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.
April's tips for controlling weeds and fertilizing your garden.
June is a beautiful and bountiful time in the garden. It is also not too late to put in a garden! With a few tips, you can get the best harvest ever.
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.
Tips that we have learned gardening at a high elevation.
Learn what to do when you spot garlic scapes growing on hardneck garlic types, and discover how to use garlic scapes that you remove from plants.
The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.
Do you eat garlic for its health benefits? Choose a Porcelain cultivar for maximum impact!
This post will take a look at how we transplant vegetable seedlings in our certified organic greenhouses, especially tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.
Zucchini is a summer crop that keeps on giving all season long. They are easy to grow.
Seed Germination depends on Soil Temperature. Transplants need to survive a late spring frost. Here are some handy charts and a lookup tool that will help your timing for a successful garden.
May is a busy time in the garden for planting. Frost-free weather is the time to get summer veggies in their pots or garden spot.
This blog post takes a look at some of the methods we have developed over the last 25 years growing vegetable seedlings in our certified organic greenhouses. This time we take a look at the conditions required for healthy seedling growth.
You're not just a beginning gardener - you're also a scientist!
Egyptian walking onions are one of my favorite crops because they produce food for my family from early spring until late fall.
Building a layered bed to develop organic material in the soil, hold moisture and decrease the amount of work.
Tips for determining when to prune and when to yank rosemary, lavender, sage and thyme.
How to revitalize your potting soil for another strong vegetable season. You can use your own compost and homemade fertilizer to give your container veggies the boost they need for the season.
In remembrance of a dear friend and steward of the Earth, a look at how others inspire us and how their legacy sculpts us.
Sam Benowitz and Tara Bittler are joining the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Blog Squad, and they break down the types of gardening and fruit-growing information they will share with you each week.
Get advice on all things garden seed, from organizing seeds and ordering seeds to understanding seed catalog terms such as open-pollinated and F1 hybrid.
What to plant in April for your vegetable garden, and what sized pot you need for your vegetable plant.
This blog post shares some of the simple techniques learned through many years of experience by someone who grows vegetable seedlings for a living.
Starting seeds with children indoors is a project that extends into outdoor planting of the seedlings in spring and harvesting produce in the summer. It allows you to share success and satisfaction with children and makes it more likely they'll eat their vegetables!
If you know much of each food from your garden you consume each year, you can better plan how much to grow.
How fast climate change will require you and your descendants to move north in order to keep farming and gardening a serious question you should be asking yourself.
Dragging my feet to get spring started, afraid to fail and making the decision to jump in an succeed or fail already!
Creating a micro-climate is an essential tool for your survival and homesteading skills. Making the right micro-climate for your plants specific needs will not only help them survive, but thrive as well.
Suggestions for what to have on hand - and handy - when you hear a storm is heading your way.
Our first project: building a small keyhole mound.
Life on a farm blanketed in snow.
Growing lettuce and other leafy greens indoors with an aeroponic system in a south-facing window seems like a wise move, especially during this long, snowy winter. Here I will explain the basics of growing greens with an aeroponic system, starting off with the initial expenses and moving on to pH and nutrient solution. Then I’ll hope the sun provides enough life-giving rays long enough each day to grow some leafy greens.
The innovative garden seeder from Simple Seeder increases speed and ease of planting.
Some tomato varieties wilt when temperatures get too hot. Find heat-tolerant tomato varieties that can grow robust tomato plants in hot climates.
Learning how to graft tomatoes yourself not only saves money but gives you unlimited options for what varieties you choose to graft. With a little practice, you can become skilled at this worthwhile technique.
Barebones strives to make the experience of outdoor recreation and hobbies a priority.
Showing where we were before our permaculture garden began.
Overview of the activities of a garden in March. How to prepare the soil for spring. What varieties I am planting this March in our Zone 6 garden.
Some crops survived the cold temperatures while others died. Which ones are most reliable for winter outdoors and in the hoophouse?
Garden like the Native Americans by digging up 18-inch-diameter hills on four foot centers. Get your crops started, then worry about working the areas in between the hills.
This blog post shares some of The Thyme Garden’s experience with growing hops for over 25 years. It includes history of hops, useful information about hops and how and where to grow them.
A copy of "Good Housekeeping" magazine from 1944 reminds us how housewives found ways to stretch meals, repair household items and plant gardens to overcome wartime rationing hardships.
When lettuce is mentioned, many think of the standard iceberg lettuce found in supermarkets and restaurant salads. That is changing with the growth in popularity of the different types of lettuces from Romaine to head and leaf-type lettuces, mainly due to the flavors and colors that they offer from deep red to almost white and noticeably sweet to tangy and slightly bitter.
A pragmatic approach to eliminating male sterility from a home garden. Includes a diagram and photos about what to look for.
Winter down-time from the garden is the best time for planning what vegetables you want to grow in the upcoming season. Having the seeds ready and knowing when to plant them can minimize the chaos in spring and maximize harvests in fall. It’s all about getting ready now.
Do you want a permaculture garden? An ongoing blog about our journey using permaculture design ideas, to develop the organic matter in soil and produce a higher yield.
EZ Tomato Cages are collapsible and sturdy unlike many currently on the market.
Learn growing methods, health benefits and preparations for echinacea, elecampane, sweet Annie, spilanthes and astragalus.
Here is a great article on straw bale gardening.
Cell Fusion genetic engineering is emerging as a hot topic in the Certified Organic seed and food industry. We can expect the resolution of this issue to impact both small-scale and large-scale growers.
Creating a landrace of promiscuously pollinated tomatoes. Details about my major plant breeding project for the next few seasons and a plea for help.
It is possible to grow fresh crops through the dark months even without a greenhouse, and even where we live, a thousand miles from the Arctic Circle, where the winter sun brings only brief and meager light.
You can grow your own Mediterranean Diet garden in the Midwest. Even a small garden can provide the staples of a Mediterranean kitchen garden.
Gardening is as easy as you want it to be!
Introducing Alpaca-Gold, a new company producing 100% all natural, organic Alpaca fertilizer.
If you have wondered what a four season garden is, the definition is simple. It is a garden that you can get produce from all year long through spring, summer, fall and winter.
A landrace market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks. Part 3: Storing the seeds. With careful forethought, it is possible to store seeds in a manner that will allow them to avoid or survive common seed destroying events.
Wintertime for a farmer is full of projects and planning.
In Kenya, even for middle class families, much of what ends up on the dinner table is grown or raised at home. With food prices rising, more and more Americans are looking towards ways of growing some of what ends up on their table at home. Both in terms of personal health, and the environment, this is a very good trend—it's a food source as local as you can get.
A landrace market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks. Part Two – Suggestions about the types and quantities of seeds to include in an emergency seed bank.
From the more practical, money-saving side of things, to controlling your own destiny, the benefits of a victory garden are many.
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.
Use herbs from the garden in your Christmas dinner. This post shares a complete Christmas meal using garden herbs.
A market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks, evaluating current offerings.
Review of The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast, a new book written by Ira Wallace.
Meredith Skyer outlines the history of victory gardens in the United States and why this nation, facing a food crisis, should start to sow for victory once again.
Each season brings its own work on a homestead. In the autumn, the garden and animals still require work, but this is also the time to put in a cistern and begin a smoke house.
With a small space, how do you choose what to grow? You can grow an amazing variety and amount of vegetables and herbs in a very small space, integrate veggies and herbs into your flowers, and maximize the use of pots.
It's freezing out - but that doesn't mean it's time to quit gardening. Learn how fall and winter are the key to next year's gardening success.
A Garden Planner subscription is a budget-friendly gift that offers the satisfaction of spending the chillier chunks of the calendar plotting the bounty ahead.
Grow enough seed for yourself and a little extra for seed swaps and you may never have to pay for seeds again.
The December garden is still full of life, both in the beds and under cover, providing fresh ingredients for home cooked meals. Winter farmers markets and CSA's are a great way to learn what grows well in your zone.
Give your pots the protection they need when freezing temperatures arrive with a portable greenhouse. You can also bring in pepper plants for the winter and have fresh peppers indoors.
The principles of landrace gardening can be applied at any scale from small annual gardens to multi-generational community wide tree farms.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel discusses using manure in the garden, including which type of animal waste is best for which crops.
Even if you only have garden pots to work with, you can still container garden in fall and winter to grow vegetables.
Sunroots are a typically-cloned crop with great potential as a locally-adapted survival-of-the-fittest landrace
Exploring my hopes and dreams for the landrace seed movement with suggestions about how farmers, merchants, and gardeners could cooperate to create a more robust, secure, and locally adapted food system.
Bringing back Victory Gardens could help ease hunger and dependence as U.S. social aid programs, such as Food Stamps, are drastically cut.
A photo essay documenting imported landraces that I started incorporating into my existing landraces during the current growing season.
The Keystone Center, in partnership with the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, is hosting a regional food workshop called “The Traditional Winter Garden: Fresh Food From December to March.”
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.
A photo essay showing off the beauty of landrace squash.
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.
These DIY garden lights reuse plastic bottles and provide soft, natural lighting for evenings spent outdoors.
Growing pine trees from seed will allow you to produce lots of trees very economically. Follow these instructions to propagate pine trees from seed.
“Aquaponics Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together” offers advice and insight into the world of sustainable gardening
An experiment in urban gardening produces a melon miracle.
A photo essay showing off the beauty of landrace crops.
Using leaves in the garden will boost the soil’s organic matter.
After decades of gardening I’ve come to rely on a few essential gardening tools.
How to use hybrids in a landrace garden.
Non-gardeners and gardeners are very, very different creatures.
Get creative in the kitchen by baking with your harvest. These sweet recipes will change the way you think about baking with fruits and vegetables.
Joseph Lofthouse shares tips for growing landrace popcorn.
Our Vegetable Garden Planner assists you in planting your fall garden by giving you planting dates specific to your location, projected harvest dates and more.
A perfectly ripe heirloom tomato is one of the great joys of summer, here are some tips for organizing your own heirloom tomato party.
“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.
Landrace gardening allows us to minimize fertilization by selecting for plants that thrive in the pre-existing soil.
Unprepared for their first foray into country living, Kristy Athens takes what she learned and focuses on 5 areas to be considered before moving to the country: Land, buildings, animals, food and community.
Joseph Lofthouse shares how to maintain thriving populations of landrace vegetables in the garden.
How my dad defended himself from overly generous gardeners.
Seed saving is an integral part of landrace gardening.
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.
This garden is practically maintenance free as it produces some of the most beautiful and most beloved flowers. After you have tried it, you will wonder, why didn’t I start growing hardy annuals sooner? Don’t miss the opportunity to garden in the forgotten seasons.
By growing potatoes from pollinated seeds we can develop locally adapted plants that thrive in our gardens.
Landrace gardening enhances food security by growing genetically diverse crops that are not as prone to crop failure as monoculture fields of near clones.
The journey to a self-sufficient life is a bumpy ride. Having a backup plan — or two — can make all the difference in your progress.
The set launch of Worm’s Way Group’s new website promises improved usability, more speed and exclusive web-based promotions.
By applying the principles of landrace gardening, you can help your plants win the race against weeds.
Blogger Crystal Stevens discusses her time working at a nature-based summer camp for kids.
Survivalist Gardener Rick Austin offers natural and long-lasting tips for repelling pests and insects in gardens hidden in the forest.
Using landrace gardening and promiscuous pollination to get what you want from your garden.
These sources can help you locate organic and other natural options for plants, seeds, and weed and pest control products.
Landrace gardening promotes hybrid vigor and avoids inbreeding depression by encouraging promiscuous pollination.
Allowing children the space to discover the beauty and wonder of plants through tending to their own garden builds character, teaches responsibility, gives insight into the beauty of nature and fosters their connection with where their food comes from.
Keeping your garden tools organized can help you be more efficient in your work in the garden.