Cam describes how much he has learned after running a CSA for 5 years and offers a workshop for those interested in learning from his experience.
At Sunflower Farm we strive to provide our chickens with the best accommodations!
These food science books on the chemistry of cooking will expertly answer all your kitchen queries.
Finding authentic, plant-derived, high quality essential oils and knowing what to look for is a challenge, particularly given the power of marketing. What do we mean by the terms genuine, authentic, plant-derived and unadulterated anyway? This post explains how to hone your senses and find the best suppliers of top-quality essential oils.
While searching for essential oils on the internet you may come across some companies claiming to be approved by the ISO or to meet and/or exceed guidelines established by AFNOR or to be GRAS-approved and even one company claiming to have Certified Pure therapeutic grade/FDA approved. What exactly do the terms and certifications mean?
Discover how to expand your olfactory palate to be able to determine qualitative differences between essential oils and learn what all the terms used in the marketing of essential oils mean. Feel more empowered in choosing a supplier and learn key elements to look for when making that decision.
Cam shares his joy in picking blueberries and growing food.
Cam contemplates the meaning of life from the comfort of his off-grid homestead in Eastern Ontario.
If you are new to aromatherapy, start building your home kit with these 19 essential oils!
Cam's newest book, "The Sensible Prepper," is now available.
Cam shares his thoughts about one of his elderly "ladies" who seems wise beyond her chicken years!
A comprehensive roundup of available science and study disproves the arguments that industry uses to support genetically modified food and crops.
Cam shares his experience trying to fix a broken hot-water tank.
Meat, eggs and dairy from grass-fed animals provide superior nutrition. Join our nutrition testing program for proof you can use.
If you have the cream and a bit of time, the method for making fresh, rich butter can be as high or low tech as you want.
Cam describes the joy and elation he feels when he skates on his very own pond.
Cam Mather tries out a battery-powered chainsaw at his off-grid homestead in Ontario.
Homesteader Cam Mather describes integrating new backyard chickens into his existing flock and the wonderful life his "ladies" lead.
Learn how to clean cast-iron cookware that’s old and rusty, and get some tips on seasoning cast-iron cookware to revive it even further.
With its recent FDA approval, the first LiLi pasteurizer was purchased for use at a New York micro dairy.
The best way to start a fire in your woodstove.
The basics of using a woodstove to heat your home.
If you've been considering an electric pressure cooker, consider the Instant Pot. It’s well-made, durable and has many functions.
You know when a dreaded cold is coming on: Your throat and voice feel a bit scratchy, your nose begins to run, your eyes resemble those of a frog, your energy dips, you get the chills, and, in general, you feel like a blob. Compound these symptoms with muscle aches, joint stiffness, occasional nausea and fever, and you’ve got the flu.
Our chickens aren't fond of the snow and the wind, but we found a way to let them enjoy the sunshine from the comfort of their coop!
Cam looks back at the challenges of moving to his off-grid home.
Readers responded eagerly to our call for recipes to use up green tomatoes. An Ohio woman wowed the judges with her entry.
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
Canadian homesteader Cam Mather sinks into the village life and discovers the joys of small-town living.
Watermelon rind is this frugal pie's summery secret ingredient. Think of it as summer mincemeat.
Cam can't think of anywhere he'd rather be than on his own private skating rink.
Use care when cooking red kidney beans in the crockpot. The beans contain a toxin that can be activated if the beans are raw or undercooked.
Even after 15 years, Cam still loves heating his home with wood that he cuts himself.
Cam discovers he isn't as young as he once was while enjoying a sense of community at the local arena.
The challenges of dropping out - going off the grid - and living your authentic life.
There's more reason than ever to be prepared for natural disasters, no matter where you live!
Wind turbines kills birds, but not as many as are killed by tall buildings and other hazards.
Bill McKibben is doing a national tour to raise awareness about climate change and to build a movement around changing the way we use energy.
Cam enjoyed a very successful sweet potato harvest!
Therapeutic grade essential oils have a tonne of uses on the homestead - here's how we've used them effectively, and how they bring us peace of mind.
A chicken describes a typical day of treats at Sunflower Farm.
Cam contemplates the amount of energy that goes into our food production and shows how he prepared corn for freezing the zero carbon way!
It's Week #11 of our CSA and we can't find boxes big enough to fit all of the great produce!!
Cam undertakes an experiment to see how much food he can produce on his one acre of garden space.
Cam is enjoying a bumper crop of onions this year!
It's an aromatic time of year at Sunflower Farm - time to clean the garlic!
Cam contemplates the meaning of life while picking strawberries.
Ranting about the drought worked! We got rain here at Sunflower Farm!
The drought conditions at Sunflower Farm are making Cam rather cranky.
Cam has a recurring nightmare in which the land across the road is being developed and his peace and quiet and isolation is threatened.
Cam describes a typical summer day at Sunflower Farm using tweets.
Cam finds an new old-fashioned way to keep the wildlife out of his garden.
Cam contemplates his place in the universe while weeding his corn patch....
Cam is exhausted but exhilarated by the early success of his CSA.
Cam describes the method he used when planting his sweet potatoes this year with hopes that he'll end up with a prettier finished product!
Four new hens joined the flock at Sunflower Farm and it has taken some time to re-establish the pecking order.
Cam found a way to expand his chicken coop without spending a lot!
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
Cam has found a new use for old rice bags - turn them into man purses!
Easy-sew step-by-step instructions (with photos) to repurpose feed bags into handy totes.
Cam is mourning the loss of his beloved dog Morgan.
Cam is frustrated by new technology that just doesn't work - and prefers old-fashioned DVDs to watching movies online.
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
Cam describes a recent encounter with some aggressive dogs.
Cam ponders the wisdom of starting a CSA at the ripe old age of 52.
Cam always wanted to be the kind of guy who could swap out a motor and now he is!
We call our homestead Sunflower Farm and now we have the sign to show for it!
Cam describes the zen-like state he achieves while splitting firewood.
Michigan invasive species order takes aim at heritage and Old World hogs.
We've added a rooster to our small flock and he's fitting in just fine!
The second of the 3Rs is re use. Cam has been a re-user for a long time!
Cam recently spoke to a Transition group about the challenges ahead and how to prepare for them.
Cam often finds himself relating to song lyrics.
Our 4 eggs a day suddenly became just one egg a day and so we had a mystery to solve!
Sometimes being off grid doesn't necessarily mean that you're green.
Cam & Michelle recently enjoyed a visit from an ethnographer who is studying off-gridders.
Every fall Cam is tired of gardening and vows to make his vegetable garden smaller. Every spring he is excited about getting back in the garden and ends up making it bigger!
Cam is reminded to be grateful for what he has.
Looking after your chickens in the winter and cutting with a solar-powered electric chainsaw.
Cam thinks its important that we all have a Plan B, no matter where we live.
Cam loves sharing his homesteading skills in Hands-On Workshops at his off-grid home.
Cam has a (temporary) job outside of the house and he has gained a new appreciation for being self-employed.
After 35 years together, Cam can still make Michelle laugh. He just has to try a little harder...
Cam thinks people worry about the small things (bugs), when they should be more concerned about the big things (climate change).
Cam is appalled by how much stuff he has accumulated and how much stuff other people have too.
When you only drink one cup of coffee a day, the mug you use is pretty important.
Cam shares the "joys" of a living in a house with a metal roof.
Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seeds and the toxic herbicides used to drench them, is calling itself a supporter of sustainability. You’re kidding, right?
Cam describes his ongoing inner dialogue concerning his carbon footprint.
Cam believes in the Boy Scout's "Be Prepared" motto when it comes to all aspects of his life....
Cam shares his enthusiasm for the sun and the wind at his off-grid home.
Cam sees the bright side of having to deal with a flat tire.
Cam enjoys a magical walk through a winter wonderland while cutting and hauling firewood.
You might be surprised to read Cam extolling the virtues of television!
Cam's wife Michelle considers the economics of keeping egg laying chickens.
Michelle and Cam continue to debate whether a real tree or a fake tree is the better choice from an environmental perspective.....
Cam rationalizes his hoarding behaviour....
Cam battles with the flying squirrels who want to inhabit his guesthouse using some unique weapons.
Cam describes how the seasons progress through one messy task after another at Sunflower Farm.
Cam dressed up as a bunch of blueberries for our local parade, and spoke to a group of university students about peak oil. Never a dull moment....
Cam loves living in a place where he can enjoy the night skies.... even if he doesn't completely understand what he's looking at some of the time!
Cam discusses the decision to go off-grid or on-grid and shares his experience with batteries and the dangers of high winds to solar panels.
During World War I, the federal government ordered people to keep a backyard flock of chickens. What happened? Why is it so hard today?
Planet Connect's Get Green Video Contest wants you to show how you can Green Your City with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Cam hates to see good scrap wood go to waste and so he cuts it into kindling and has even started selling it!
Cam enjoyed a recent workshop he held at Sunflower Farm, and the participants seemed to enjoy it too!
Cam notices how many chicken-related expressions we use in our every day language!
One of the realities of country life is having to get your septic tank pumped every few years.
Cam is getting burned out on technology and seeks solace in his "low tech" garden.
Cam was generously offered the loan of a small backhoe and had a whale of a time getting jobs done!
This summer Cam became a market gardener and actually got paid for something he loves to do - grow vegetables!
Cam shares six important lessons that he has learned from his chickens.
Cam has been an Apple Mac fan since the beginning.
As we approach the celebration of Thanksgiving here in Canada, Cam reflects on what he is thankful for.
Cam appreciates the simple things like rotten hay and beautiful vegetables from his garden.
Cam has a great deal of respect for farmers.
Cam has been busy harvesting and sorting potatoes.
Cam wonders why more people don't prepare for blackouts.
Cam celebrates his daughter's engagement but considers the impact of flying across the world for the wedding.
Cam considers how Peak Oil will affect our lives....
Cam is getting worn out trying to keep up with watering during a drought.
Cam prefers the view from his office in his country home.
Cam describes a recent adventure involving round bales, train tracks and a stressful drive home.
Cam loves growing and selling food!
Cam describes why he was anxious to leave the city for a life in the country.
Cam has been doing some radio and podcast interviews lately with some interesting hosts.
Cam enjoyed another week with some volunteer helpers!
Cam is handling this heatwave much better thanks to his solar-powered air conditioner!
Michelle knows how much work it is to grow strawberries.... and she's happy to be able to buy them at any price!
Michelle discovers a new threat to her basil plants!
Cam describes the benefits of writing this blog and his recent book.
Cam describes his weight loss program which involves lots and lots of gardening....
Cam discovers that his chickens have unique personalities....
Cam battles with scarabs in his raspberry patch.
Cam enjoys a visit with Ken & Madeline who farmed this property many years ago and Cam realizes how hard farming was back then....
Cam thinks his chickens resemble Captain Jack Sparrow. Has he been spending too much time in the sun?
Cam has found another way to save money - his wife cuts his hair now! He also describes how even though he isn't artistic he creates and enjoys the masterpieces from his garden.
Cam has an exciting evening when his neighbor drops off another expectant cow.
A cow is born at Sunflower Farm!
Lemony sorrel is the base for a classic Eastern European soup that's equally good served hot or cold. It's fast, easy and tastes of spring and early summer.
Cam babysits a baby goat for the weekend.
Our HelpXers Mike and Melissa share their experiences as volunteers here at Sunflower Farm.
Cam and Michelle enjoy having their first "HelpX" volunteers to help out in the gardens!
At this time of year, Cam feels a little overwhelmed by the gardening chores ahead of him.
Cam gives an update on his new chickens!
Cam is back riding his solar-powered electric bike and he loves it!
Cam has a "reality check" moment and realizes how lucky he is!
Cam describes a mosquito infestation INSIDE his house.
Cam describes "double digging" as a way of creating a new garden without losing precious topsoil.
Cam considers one of the causes of high gas prices....
Cam describes the building of his chicken coop.
Cam responds to a negative comment about a previous blog.
In our ever-growing quest to produce our own food we've acquired two egg-laying chickens!
Cam admits to admiring Oprah and watching her show from time to time.
Cam describes how our solar electric system has evolved over time.
Cam talks about getting mistaken for a garden centre employee and also the time that his house appeared to get sold out from under him!
Cam describes some recent speaking engagements including the thrill of being "piped in."
Cam loves growing his own heat!
Cam considers the environmental implications of different forms of transportation and urges people to stop flying!
Cam has had to learn lots of new skills living in his off-grid home!
Cam is getting burned out on technology and considers growing food to earn a living.
Reed diffusers are a great way to fill your home with the fresh, healing scents of essential oils--but they're pricey. You can save a bundle by making your own using repurposed bottles and plant stalks.
Some of Cam's best inspirations come to him in his sleep!
Cam promotes the return to our independent roots.
Cam describes a natural disaster on a small scale near his home.
Cam makes himself laugh sometimes....
Cam describes the challenges of winter driving and cutting down trees.
Cam is hoping that the Queen attends his gardening workshop this weekend at the Royal Botanical Gardens....
Cam leaves his lights on during Earth Hour since he generates his own electricity with solar and wind!
Cam and Michelle enjoy a visit to their neighbour's "sugar shack" during maple syrup season!
Cam appreciates all four of our seasons!
Cam enjoys a sense of accomplishment many times a day as he uses his sidewalk!
Cam has always enjoyed playing with water. Now he lets his solar-powered pump do some of the work!
Just so you don't think it's all fun and games living out here in the country....
Cam welcomed a group of high school students to his home/office recently.
Cam learns a lot by spending time with people who "get it."
Cam speaks to a group of university students about "sustainable" development...
Cam has a feeling that this concept of "cloud computing" is all going to end in tears....
Cam is amazed at the level of awareness concerning Peak Oil amongst today's youth.
Cam describes how an act of kindness many years ago has inspired him to help others.
Cam can't help but get involved and speak up when he disagrees with things. Sometimes it works!
Cam considers the environmental implications of using paper diapers vs. cloth diapers.
A typical winter morning chore - cleaning off the solar panels.
When you live in an off-grid house in the country, it's important to be handy!
Cam finds getting around in the country, especially in the winter, so much easier with his 4X4 truck.
Cam readily admits to being obsessed about his use of energy.
Cam appreciates his local volunteer fire department.
Cam is glad to find out that he has been successful at encouraging people to embrace renewable energy.
Cam describes why his method of harvesting firewood from his woodlot is the most sustainable way.
Cam shares his experiences getting lost in the woods.
When it's -30 degrees outside you can make your own snow!
Cam blames horror movies for his overactive imagination.
Sometimes the wildlife can get kind of wild around here....
Cam has been playing with and skating on thick ice lately.
Cam considers the care and upkeep of an outdoor skating rink as an art form.
The difference between power and energy and how it relates to toast!
Cam is not a big fan of "ebooks."
Cam hates shopping but occasionally he is forced to venture out....
Providing the firewood to heat his home has become a pleasurable hobby for Cam Mather.
Being in control of your own home heating.
Cam learns to appreciate country music.
Technology allows us to live where we live, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with!
Quirky behaviors involving shaving, moisturizing, socks and water conservation!
Cam describes some family heirlooms - especially his favorite one - a shovel!
It's been quite a fall for mushrooms around here...
Cam considers how peak oil will impact our love of travel.
Cam considers the effect of Peak Oil on our wandering ways....
Cam loves his four-wheel drive truck ... despite being an environmentalist!
Cam shares some of the things he is grateful for....
It's always wonderful to meet someone who is passionate about what they do!
What's the most efficient way to boil water?
Mother Nature has a way of filling in the blank spots....
Cam compares the population density of his home to some of the most densely populated countries in the world....
Cam shares the results of his experiment growing wheat in his vegetable garden.
The right dog can be a very useful member of the family when you are growing corn!
The second post (of three) describing an organic gardener's attempt to grow his own wheat.
Cam grows a patch of wheat to see how much work is involved. He will never take a loaf of bread for granted again!
Cam shares what he has learned about corn smut in his organic garden.
Cam shares his love affair with garlic and explains the work involved with growing and processing organically-grown garlic.
Garlic is a very labour-intensive crop to grow but the rewards are worth it!
An introduction to Cam Mather's off-grid home and lifestyle.
Calculating your fuel economy is easy and can help you save big bucks at the pump.