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.
A summer update from our wilderness homestead with an emphasis on how we get an early seasonal start to our gardens.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Observing and documenting the seasonal phenomena that happen on your land can be a fascinating and important way to get an understanding of how it changes through the year. And it can be fun, too!
The results are in: Starting even cool-weather crops inside is faster. See Seed-Starting, Part 1 for details on the set up.
Several experiments in seed starting: inside, in the greenhouse and in the ground.
Seasoning a cast iron skillet might seem daunting, but it's a simple task that will reward you with a great kitchen tool.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Use the last fresh foods of fall to make a lively guacamole. The apple guacamole is not only a fine substitute to traditional guacamole, but it is lovely in its own right. It’s flavor is subtle, but complicated. It tasted great with homemade nachos. I can even imagine experimenting with different kind of apples for different flavors. The green apple gave is a sour punch, but a sweet apple could work too for a different effect.
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.
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.
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!
Radishes are among the very first non-leafy greens available in the spring. While radish pickles can be canned, I find them more delicious as refrigerator pickles. They can last up to 2 months (but trust me, you’ll eat them long before that time). I create all kinds of variations: Asian-style for use in ramen, sweet, spicy, citrus, and more.
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.
Five tips for increasing your garden's productivity and yield. Utilize every inch, get the most from your space, and use all three seasons.
You can grow food year round, even in small spaces and containers. This is the definition of a four-season garden.
You can eat carrots and greens from your garden and grow cover crops to feed back the soil the rest of the year. Learn how Cindy Conner does it with this 3-bed plan.
With a little bit of elbow grease, you can turn kale fresh from the garden into a delicious raw salad in the middle of winter.
Why pay high prices at the grocery store when growing herbs outdoors is achievable all winter long?
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.
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.
The first killing frosts of the season change the garden-scape.
You can be harvesting from your garden all year long, including through the winter months! It's time to plant the fall garden.
The zucchini harvest overflows. Learn how to preserve zucchini for year-round enjoyment and creative ways to eat it now.
Building a greenhouse out of an old carport destined for the dump.
Summer is about fresh, beautiful, and flavourful. Fresh produce, and oh yes, a yummy recipe for devilled eggs.
Sourdough waffle recipe.
Use fresh avocado, sweet corn, and other seasonal ingredients to create a sensational salsa. Paired with homemade tortilla chips, it is truly out-of-this-world.
Use the freshest spring veggies to create a cost-effective dish packed with nutrition and flavor. It's seasonal eating at it's best.
Tips that we have learned gardening at a high elevation.
The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.
Make the best use of your cold frame by having lids designed to be easily adjusted or removed.
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.
Everywhere is full of micro-climates. Discover the places in your garden where the soil warms first, or last, by watching the snow melt and taking pictures.
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.
Wintertime for a farmer is full of projects and planning.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and homesteader Rachel, of the Bay Area's Dog Island Farm, shares her method for cooking the very best Thanksgiving turkey ever.
Use venison to create a pot of rich, meaty chili perfect for warming up on cold, fall days. So good, there won’t be leftovers to freeze.
What would you do if the trucks stopped coming to the grocery stores? Find out how a community college class project spurred students to make plans for just such an experience.
Even as far north as Maine I can harvest produce from March to December with parsnips to dig from under the frost in February without the use of row covers or a greenhouse. In some beds I do two or more succession plantings that together with the root cellar keeps me with fresh produce all year.
The process of saving seed for next year begins while the growing season is still going strong
I know how popular and much hyped season-extending materials are in the world of organic gardening, but is it a necessity to eat fresh lettuce year round?
Get a materials list and step-by-step insructions for low tunnel construction for your backyard garden.
Making delicious homemade marmalade from Seville oranges.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan recalls how the seasons affected her childhood and how they guide her activities now on her Maine dairy farm.
We dipped candles from our hive's beeswax to celebrate winter. Candlemaking is a nice seasonal craft. Here’s how we did it, plus some tips to get you started.
Often time choosing the right name for your kids is the most difficult part of kidding! Here is a little help on picking out names that are appropriate!
Participate this year in the annual Christmas Bird Count from December 14, 2012 - January 5, 2013 and help scientists understand how bird populations have changed over the past century.
Join us in fighting the threat of GMOs: California's Right to Know (Prop 37) for GMO labeling leads the nation, and the Southern Exposure lawsuit against Monsanto continues to push through the courts. Plus, fall gardening can be easier than summer!
The challenges that we encounter trying to grow a garden at high latitude.
Giving your ornamental and vegetable garden a thorough cleaning in midsummer not only leaves the landscape looking better, but can help prevent damage from diseases and pests by removing the conditions in which they thrive.
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
Former editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence shares the lessons of holiday simplicity she learned as a young, busy, working mom.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Check out these resources to learn more about heirloom apples, as well as the how-to and history of cider-making.
Try one of our favorite dessert hard ciders this season.
These resources will help you learn how to eat seasonal foods in order to save grocery money.
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
A simple, practical and easy option for priming seasonal water systems.
Steve shares an approach he installed at a friend's place for easing the burden of priming seasonal water systems
How can someone who claims to be a 'modern homesteader' not have planted her garden by the end of June, you ask? Well, let me tell you...
Cam appreciates all four of our seasons!
While some can't wait for the warmer days to return and others are invigorated by the seasonal briskness, most of us have some cold-weather habit, holiday activity or winter ritual that we hold dear. Whether it's burrowing under thick piles of blankets, watching for the first snow flakes or getting a head start on garden planning, what are your favorite winter moments?
Sweet potatoes are vitamin-packed powerhouses, and have a sweet, rich flavor that lends itself to a variety of recipes. From fun sweet potato biscuits to a traditional molasses sweet potato pie, use these healthy sweet potato recipes to enjoy one of fall’s best flavors.
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
Weather.com now features customizable local weather applications, including an Agriculture Application with great tools for farmers and gardeners.
Restaurants in the United Kingdom can be evaluated and accredited based on choices such as purchasing ethical meat and dairy products, choosing fair trade coffee, monitoring energy use, supporting community charities and serving tap water.
It can be challenging to stay physically healthy and keep your spirits up during the winter months. You tell us, what do you do to say healthy this time of year?
Here's how to make your own cajun and creole seasoning blend.
How to make a Thai seasoning mix.
How to make Thai-inspired fried green tomatoes.
How to roast green tomatoes to be eaten alone or to boost the flavor of other recipes.
Learn how to make fried green tomatoes with a cheesy crust with this twist on a classic Southern recipe.
Readers share recipes and ideas for using up all those end-of-season green tomatoes.
We received more than 900 responses to a recent poll about flu shots, and we want to know: Are you getting a flu shot this year, and why or why not? Plus, share your tips for staying flu-free, flu vaccine or no.
Try this refreshing herbal lemonade recipe.
Share your spring seasonal recipes for the month of May.
Spring brings an abundance of arrivals and changes, from returning birds and newborn critters to budding plants and warming breezes. We want to know, what are you most looking forward to this spring?
Share your spring seasonal recipes for the month of April.
Happy Thanksgiving! Want a new vegan dessert to serve at Thanksgiving? Try the Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Pie from the Web site Care2 Inc.
Vegetarians and vegans can enjoy an excellent meatless Thanksgiving dinner. Check out these great vegetarian and vegan recipes and websites.
Roasting is the best way to cook winter root vegetables, because dry heat coaxes out and concentrates flavors. Use this simple method and fool-proof tips to bring out the best in parsnips, carrots, rutabagas and other root vegetables.
Try doing something different this winter by growing mushrooms. It's entertaining, and it provides you with an edible treat!
Roasted pumpkin and squash seeds are a yummy, healthy treat. And it's easier than you think. Here's how to roast squash and pumpkin seeds in just four easy steps.
Enjoy each season for the sensual experiences each affords.
The right recipe can convert people who think they don't like cooked greens, or energize cooks in need of fresh ideas. Here we offer a roundup of recipe ideas for garden-fresh greens from arugula to turnips.
Organic Valley's new Pasture Butter is a standout among cultured butters and organic food products. This is one of the few products available today that respects Mother Nature by paying attention to the seasons, not to mention the needs of our food-producing animal friends.
This great recipe offers a new way to enjoy pumpkin.
When the right bread envelopes sun-ripened tomatoes, one of the most righteous tastes of summer is yours to enjoy.
You'll love this recipe from William Woys Weaver for garlic scapes sauteed with tomatoes, white wine and sheep's milk cheese.
Bruschetta, the classic Italian appetizer, brings out the best of a few basic ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil and fresh bread.