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5/20/2016
Radon is colorless, odorless, and invisible but it can give you lung cancer. Learn to test for radon in your home and techniques to mitigate its impacts.
5/2/2016
When we built our current home in 1992, there were very few rules and codes that could damage or destroy our dream of doing most of the work in building our cabin ourselves. Times like that are rapidly disappearing and those who build now must endure permits, inspections, delays and forced compliance. The dream of building your own home could be more complicated than just knowing construction techniques nowadays. Read our story.
4/27/2016
Chicken saddles are fabric "vests" you can put on hens that are suffering from overly, ummm, romantic roosters.
4/15/2016
We thought we were doing the right thing when we moved to a remote area to live 19 years ago. The community is a landowners association with some who desire to change a beautiful remote-living area on acreage to resemble what they left. We thought living in an area with covenants and rules would protect our investment, but one should recognize that living remotely in a covenant community offers both positive and negative aspects.
4/4/2016
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.
4/3/2016
I have a long-standing fear and dislike of spiders — especially big ones. You could say I was not a likely candidate for conversion to a spider lover. This story is about the Yellow Agriope spider I found in my tomato plant and the unlikely garden friendship we developed.
3/28/2016
Wildfire is our greatest threat living in the mountains with all the dead vegetation and dead trees providing fuel. Here in Southern Colorado, where population density is less and forest growth is thick, sensible people plan ahead to mitigate wildfire risk. Plan ahead with these tips for wildfire mitigation.
3/10/2016
We provide bird houses for nesting birds and they provide us with insect control.
2/22/2016
Our changing weather pattern at high elevation.
2/3/2016
It takes special diligence and caution to keep domestic pets safe when living with wild predators around.
1/25/2016
Learn what biodiesel can do to a fuel system if not properly treated against gelling.
1/21/2016
This is an easy-to-make, fragrant, delicious and nutritious meal. It takes minimal prep work and simmers for a couple of hours until the meat is practically falling off the bones.
1/13/2016
Tiny homes range anywhere from 80 to 400 square feet and are sometimes built on a trailer chassis and sometimes built to go on a more permanent foundation. It is a relatively new concept and if we believe what is being said about the tiny home, its popularity is growing like wildfire.
12/30/2015
Soap making is fairly easy and rewarding, especially when you make a soap that’s better than anything you can buy!
12/24/2015
Since moving to the mountains of Southern Colorado, we have encountered many black bears and because of those encounters, we have learned much about the species. I find it incredible that bears and other smaller critters can hibernate. Our winters are sometimes 7+ months long and for any animal to put itself into a dormant state for that long is simply amazing. Read more insights into how bear hibernation works.
12/8/2015
More than 20 years ago, we made the decision to live a more simple life. Living in the big city, we had accumulated many possessions that had, at best, limited function. When we decided on a more uncluttered and simple lifestyle, we called an auctioneer and had him auction off the majority of our possessions. When we moved to our small cabin in the mountains we were immersed in nature.
12/8/2015
A hearty and delicious soup, made with a leftover duck carcass (or other poultry), fresh vegetables, wild rice and mushrooms and flavored with smoked ham, sherry and curry powder. Just in time for the holidays!
11/23/2015
Homesteading in the mountains can be inconvenient, dangerous, challenging and lots of hard work.
11/18/2015
Bone broths are all the rage these days. And with good reason! You can find plenty of articles explaining that nourishing bone broths, rich in protein, gelatin and minerals, are soothing to the gut and healthy for bones, skin, hair and joints. And for someone recovering from surgery or illness that needs to be on a very light or liquid diet, bone broths are soothing, light and nutritious.
11/3/2015
In our many encounters with black bears, we have had no serious incidents. Achieve harmony living in bear territory by staying calm and giving bears favorable distance.
10/23/2015
We put a lot of thought into being prepared for mountain winters and it requires a lot of work to be fully prepared.
10/20/2015
I’d been experimenting with sourdough (no added yeast) bread for more than a year. The final result is the easiest—and best—bread I’ve EVER made or tasted. I mean seriously, I’m so excited about this recipe!
10/6/2015
Canning your own foods can be a rewarding, economical and healthier way to preserve a garden’s bounty — but it’s not for everyone. Here is a bit of the lowdown on what is involved in the process for canning food so you can decide for yourself what will be best to preserve your garden bounty.
9/30/2015
Drones can be used to survey areas to develop more accurate maps. They can be equipped with heat sensors and used in search and rescue at far less cost than putting people out there searching for those lost. This post counts the beneficial uses of drones, or airborne robots.
9/25/2015
There is one time of the year in the mountains that is special and above all other seasons in my opinion. Fall time in the mountains is invigorating and refreshing. It is the season the invigorates all five senses. For a little Rocky Mountain fall-time inspiration, read on.
9/15/2015
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!
9/1/2015
Can animals actually tell us what the weather has in store for us?
8/31/2015
Have you ever wanted to make your own pickles, but became discouraged and overwhelmed with the amount of work involved with traditional recipes? Well, here’s a recipe that’s quick, easy and made right in the jar. These fermented dill pickles take very little work or prep time and are delicious, healthful and ready to eat in a week.
8/18/2015
Introducing a new dog to your existing dog or pack depending on how many you have is not always as easy as it seems. I am neither a professional dog behaviorist nor a trainer but I do observe our canine members and believe there is a proper way to bring in another fur family member so the chances of success are greatly improved.
7/31/2015
Lessons learned from watching birds.
7/1/2015
Our experience in purchasing a tractor for our homestead.
6/18/2015
We had a visit from a deer that looked to be in bad condition and the result was fibromatosis, a non-life-threatening skin condition afflicting mostly young male deer.
6/11/2015
How we environmentally maintain our wood lot.
5/26/2015
We took some test pans of dirt to see if we had any gold coming out of our springs. Sure enough some small pieces of gold.
5/18/2015
Two issues to consider before heading out to high elevation. Altitude sickness and snow melt issues.
4/30/2015
Gardens are possible, but having a successful garden at high elevation presents a different set of challenges.
4/24/2015
Using the right component improves the chance of success when gardening.
4/6/2015
Cutting firewood in the winter opens time for other activities during the short summer and fall seasons.
3/26/2015
How we discovered a cut-glass prism that told us the exact first day of spring by producing rainbows.
3/13/2015
Going from raw undeveloped land to a functional homestead is hard work, but it's rewarding.
3/3/2015
Gardening at a high elevation presents challenges such as harsh sun and a shorter growing season.
2/16/2015
We have found that there are down sides to legalization of marijuana in Colorado.
2/2/2015
We use the winter to mitigate our wildfire exposure as opposed to the summer when we are involved with other needed tasks.
1/23/2015
How we repurposed an old leaky wood stove to use outside to cook meals on.
1/19/2015
Dovetail joints that are hand made are a strong woodworking joint.
1/14/2015
When we produce locally what we consume locally creates cells of sustainability. The shorter our supply lines the more resilient we become. More importantly, sustainable cells produce a healthier and more beautiful way of life.
12/31/2014
Making New Year's resolutions for a remote homestead.
12/18/2014
No homestead is complete without our canine companions.
12/10/2014
Typical suburban landscaping is a maintenance expense with no return to the owner and often diminishes the habitat for the living things around us. One alternative is to create a forest island that provides flowers for pollinators and food for people with little to no maintenance cost.
12/9/2014
Putting a safety fence around a woodstove keeps small children and pets safer.
12/3/2014
Building garden boxes that keep critters out.
11/25/2014
Using manual control of weeds as opposed to chemical control.
11/21/2014
Grow food year round with no operating costs and no waste by using integrated closed loop production in a heat retaining enclosure.
11/14/2014
Whether you're planning a last minute day trip or a multi-week expedition, these five hiking tips are a must for seasoned hikers and newcomers alike.
11/6/2014
Selecting a tree, reducing it to logs, milling out the logs into lumber and using that lumber for specific projects.
11/2/2014
There are multiple philosophies that describe what characterizes a green home, but all have low energy loads in common.
10/31/2014
Climate change is a sign of the end of the industrial age. If humans are going to survive the end of the industrial age it will be because individuals and groups of neighbors take these matters into their own hands. It cannot happen any other way.
10/22/2014
Building a closet from lumber milled from standing dead trees.
10/19/2014
Tarps are lightweight and inexpensive alternatives to conventional backpacking shelters. Consider switching to a tarp for shelter in order to minimize pack weight and maximize your enjoyment in the great outdoors.
10/17/2014
Living in the mountains or remotely requires physical endurance as well as being fit.
10/7/2014
Using these techniques you can spend an afternoon building a deep mulch garden and stop tilling and composting for up to 30 years.
10/6/2014
Though wolves are commonly misunderstood animals, not all of what you hear is true.
9/24/2014
We have a large population of hummingbirds in the summer and observing them and their flying antics is amazing.
9/17/2014
Our declining industrial system has created a series of environmental and social problems and can no longer produce the wealth required to solve them. That means that ordinary citizens must shoulder the burden of changing the way things are done by creating biodiverse systems. Here is a place to start.
9/15/2014
Make a winter checklist to follow in preparation for winter in the mountains.
9/8/2014
The benefits of owning a home wood mill and the economic advantages if you have available timber.
8/27/2014
How we convert standing dead trees to usable lumber.
8/15/2014
How we prevented birds from flying into our windows.
8/6/2014
Should you do it yourself or hire a chimney sweep to clean your chimney?
7/23/2014
Learn how to clean your own woodstove and chimney.
7/15/2014
How a single purchase of a magazine in newsprint in 1970 changed my life.
6/17/2014
How having a rhythm and routine assists in accomplishing difficult tasks.
6/4/2014
How to report application violations of herbicide abuse.
5/23/2014
How to flush a small engine and repair a clogged carburetor.
5/15/2014
Tips that we have learned gardening at a high elevation.
5/8/2014
How to cope mentally with living in a remote location.
4/28/2014
Is a pressure washer something that would be beneficial on your homestead?
4/14/2014
Other than the four regular seasons there is a fifth season in the mountains called mud season.
4/7/2014
Taking time to reflect on the past brings renewed appreciation to the present.
3/24/2014
Fly season is upon us. Here are some helpful and easy hints to control those buzzing beasts at your homestead this year.
3/21/2014
The benefits of Kombucha are many. Find out why you should add this healthful probiotic to your life.
3/20/2014
Two homesteaders discuss their experience with the weather applicable to their mountain homesteads in Washington and Colorado.
3/17/2014
Ed Essex and Bruce McElmurray compare their weather experiences living at 4,200 feet and 9750 feet elevation respectively.
2/28/2014
Two homesteaders from Washington and Colorado comment on their greatest weather fear in the mountains.
2/28/2014
In this episode we will cover the 3 major steps in the alcohol distillation process
2/20/2014
The spirits industry is changing dramatically. However, owning and knowing how to use a still could be of great benefit to you. Knowing how to make a strong alcohol puts you in an immediate position of power.
2/20/2014
Peppermint is a wonderful and versatile herb that can be utilized for many everyday ailments.
2/19/2014
Ed and Bruce compare the weather and its impact on their mountain homesteads at different elevations and mountain ranges.
2/12/2014
Bruce McElmurray and Ed Essex collaborate on how the weather dictates to their mountain homesteading.
2/7/2014
A fun, but informative tutorial on making your own unique lap quilt, from the first-hand experience of a novice quilter. A perfect single day project and a great gift idea!
2/5/2014
Make a delicious homemade bread with this easy tutorial.
1/29/2014
It takes commitment and determination to live remotely in the mountains.
1/22/2014
Learn the basic skills useful for mountain homesteading.
1/9/2014
Mountain homesteading in a remote area.
1/8/2014
There is hard work homesteading in the mountains and the weather dictates much of those challenges.
12/30/2013
Transforming a tree to lumber and then to a piece of furniture.
12/30/2013
The discovery of an uncommon remedy for blood poisoning in my pantry.
12/24/2013
Snow in the mountains is different than snow found at lower elevations.
12/17/2013
Living remotely with wild animal encounters and how to come out safely.
12/4/2013
Selecting a power option for your homestead.
11/23/2013
Homesteading with dogs in remote mountain living. Considerations in providing a good safe homestead environment for your cherished pets.
11/22/2013
Learn to make Queso Blanco, by far the easiest cheese in my opinion, as the only ingredients are whole milk and white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar if you like).
11/14/2013
Cabin Fever: noun, ‘Boredom, restlessness, or irritability that results from a lack of environmental stimulation, as from a prolonged stay in a remote, sparsely populated region or a confined indoor area‘.
10/31/2013
Viewing elk herds from the comfort of our home.
10/15/2013
We love our lifestyle and all the hard work that is associated with this lifestyle is just a small part of it.
10/2/2013
There seems to be limited testing done by the EPA on the toxicity of some chemicals.
9/26/2013
Coping with SARDS (sudden acquired retinal degeneration) in dogs and practical ways to help a blind dog.
9/12/2013
A sudden onset of a canine eye disease called SARDS leaves dogs totally blind very suddenly. Bruce McElmurray explains this disrder from a personal perspective.
8/29/2013
When defining the term homesteading, consider the various options available.
8/15/2013
Don’t let this tricky pipe slow down your projects — these CPVC basics will help you ease into those plumbing repairs.
7/31/2013
Are GMOs good or bad for civilization?
7/26/2013
Are GMOs good or bad for civilization?
7/19/2013
From log to the mill to the project in no time at all.
5/31/2013
We are inundated with green messages that can sometimes be confusing or misleading. This phenomenon is especially true when it comes to the paint industry. There is much talk about No-VOC and Low-VOC paints, but what is the truth behind it?
5/16/2012
The final in a 6 part series on Ft. Garland, Colorado
5/5/2012
This is a true account of an end of life journey. A beautiful backyard Burial and all the steps that were taken in order to do it. This story is written in two parts, part two will be posted next week.
11/22/2011
To give your bedroom a boost, consider new paint suited to your personality. AFM Safecoat's Ayurveda Essence line allows you to choose colors based on your dosha, or personality type, within Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicinal system.
11/6/2011
How the small town atmosphere can enhance your homesteading and living.
8/12/2011
Our area is abundant with history. We have a limber pine tree nearby that I estimate is over 2,100 years old and still very much alive. History - we have an abundance of it.
7/28/2011
Alma Hecht's renovated century-old cottage is artistic and beautiful--and it inspires her to create wonderful watercolor paintings. Her home is both an outlet and a source for her creativity.
7/6/2011
Wabi-sabi is sinewy, flecked browns and yellowed greens, the myriad stone and moss shades, a slate-gray cloud’s washed violet underside. Like nature, wabi-sabi paints in multidimensional swatches that are never what they appear to be.
6/14/2011
After a wildfire destroyed their off-the-grid compound in Colorado, Betty and Rolland rebuilt—better than before—following Rolland’s creed: no plywood, no plastic and nothing that smells bad when it burns. The wildlife around their home approve.
12/17/2010
Some of Natural Home’s favorite paint and wallcovering companies get pretty in pink.
11/5/2010
A heart warming story about a feral cat that traveled many miles across harsh terrain to be back to familiar ground.
10/27/2010
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
10/27/2010
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
5/8/2010
So many paint colors to choose from for Simran Sethi’s home, but one standard must be met: no VOCs or harmful chemicals.
9/11/2008
The forests in Colorado are dying at a fast rate. Find out what's to blame.


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