‘Tomato Stuff’: Tapenade-Style Tomato Spread for Sauces, Dressings, and More

With a bonanza supply of dehydrated tomatoes put by, I made this delicious spread that we’ve always called just “tomato stuff.” It’s like a tapenade, although without anchovies. I use it by itself to spread on thin slices of baguette or water crackers for an elegant appetizer and also use it by the big spoonful for enrich a pasta sauce instead of tomato paste, make a quick pizza, add body to a vegetable soup, add big flavor to a vinaigrette dressing, dress a plain dish of spaghetti, and put a bit of zing into a bland stew.

Meet Delilah, Our Black-Mouth Cur Guardian Dog

The Black Mouth Cur mountain dog is not one of the more popular breeds in the homesteading community, and yet, it used to be one of the most popular homestead dogs around. Let me introduce you to our new pup, Delilah, the Black-Mouth Cur, and tell you about the amazing abilities and history of this homestead dog breed.

Canine Homeopathic Treatments for Natural Pet Care

We live in the mountains with our four German shepherd dogs. Our nearest veterinarian is approximately 45 miles one way and so we often treat our furry family members with homeopathic remedies. These have worked for us in the past, and although I am unable to say that the natural remedies always work, these are worth giving a try.

Tomato-Basil Bruschetta Recipe

Use sun-ripened tomatoes and sweet basil from your garden to craft this deliciously simple Italian recipe. Earthy and vibrant in flavor, this bruschetta is sure to become your new summer staple.

About Livestock Guardian Dogs

Livestock Guardian Dogs, or LGDs, have been used by shepherds and farmers for centuries. Bred and trained to instinctively protect their herd from predators, LGDs are an alternative to attempting to hunt or scare off threats to your farmyard. Read on to learn the basics for how LGDs work and tips for choosing the right livestock guardian for your homestead.

How to Make Great Kale Chips

Kale chips are the rage and they cook up quickly, but they can be tricky to make. Here are some tips to making great kale chips.

Creating Catnip Mousies with Dried Herbs

Learn how to create a simple catnip mouse toy for your cats. This project is a great one for children and other beginning sewers, or someone with a lot of cats on their gift list.

Fig ‘Salami’ with Figoun Infused Red Wine Recipes

Fig Salami is a unique substitute for the usual cured sausage on a cheese plate; because it’s fruity, it works as well before or after dinner. It takes minutes to make, but plan ahead so it has time to set up and “cure” four or five days — after that, it will keep weeks in the refrigerator.

Before You Buy a Livestock Guardian Dog or Puppy

With the increasing use of livestock guardian dogs, we are seeing more inappropriate breeds or crossbred dogs being offered for sale as LGDs. Keeping these guidelines in mind will help you avoid the pitfalls or potential problems of LGD shopping, and will greatly increase your chances of success.

Cooling Herbal Recipes for Your Canine Companion

Dogs may have had nothing to do with the naming of the season, but they, like us, will most likely desire some respite from the heat. Here are several cooling herbal recipes for your furry friends to try at home!

Introducing a New Dog to an Existing Pack

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.

Turn Wood into Free Motor Fuel with a Wood Gasifier

Imagine being able to turn dead tree branches from your own property into motor fuel. Make power just about anywhere, at any time...for free. Sounds futuristic, right? Fuel your back-up electrical generator with wood gas and save a trip to town. Learn build tricks from a pro for a reliable system on a DIY budget.

How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Rug

Indoor air pollution can be even worse than outdoor. For this reason, choosing eco-friendly floor coverings is essential to a healthy home.

How to Clean Outdoor Rugs the Naturally Effective Way

The outdoor rugs that line my garage and mud room get filthy and need a good cleaning every now and again, a cleaning that usually goes beyond just vacuuming. But this cleaning can be done in an eco-friendly way, without the use of harsh chemicals.

Carpet-Sample Rug

Turn a collection of carpet-sample pieces into an eclectic rug for your kitchen or bathroom! This resourceful DIY project can be made with just four materials - some of which may already be in your home.

Owl Hunting!

During a quiet, pre-dawn moment, an owl hoots softly. Is this connected with the bounty of mice and a big harvest?

How to Store Carrots Under Straw for Winter

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.

Brownie the Milking Angus

I can hear it now: “What the devil? Angus? They are not milk cows!” Well, it all got started when the neighbor purchased four, what he was led to believe were, Black Angus calves from someone in a valley some distance from us. But the udders on these two cows were huge! They clearly had more milk than the calves could handle.

Man's Best Friend

The benefits of adopting a pet. And the sadness that occurs when they die.

Safer Flea Control for Your Pets

Fleas and ticks can bring severe itching, allergic reactions, discomfort, and even serious diseases (such as lyme disease) to your pets, so it’s important to protect your pets from them. However, studies have found that many common flea and tick control/treatment products aren’t just toxic to those bugs; they can actually poison your pets, as well. Find out which ingredients and products to avoid, and some safer alternatives to use.

Why Having Pets Makes Us More Human

Through all of the tears and the heartbreak, I have found that having a pet makes us more human. Please why everyone should have at least one best friend that is furry.

Towards Perpetual Motion Machines-Part 3

A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.

Michigan Attacks Heritage Hogs; Farmers Fight Back

It has been fifteen months since heritage breed hog farmer Mark Baker sued the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to stop the implementation of an invasive species order (ISO). The swine ISO supposedly targeted feral swine but could be applied to any domestic pig not raised in confinement. Baker has yet to have his day in court and it is still not settled when his trial will take place. It is common for lawsuits like this to turn into wars of attrition; the state has virtually unlimited resources while the farmers are bled of theirs over the course of the litigation.

Towards Perpetual Motion Machines - Part 2 of 3

A three-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.

Toward Perpetual Motion Machines

A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.

Making Music on the Front Porch

Michael Johnathon is a folksinger, songwriter, author and playwright. He also created and hosts the weekly national broadcast of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, heard on over 509 public radio stations, American Forces Radio network in 173 nations. In this blog, Michael muses on discovering the joys of folk music and songwriting.

Missing Morgan

Cam is mourning the loss of his beloved dog Morgan.

Vinegar: A Controversial Subject?

Learn about advertising-induced fear of an innocuous, food-grade substance, vinegar. Plus, get interesting information about vinegar being used for bioremediation of extremely dangerous chemicals.

Dedicated Roofers Cross Dangerous Creek

Talking about the recent past week where we got several items crossed off the Spring to-do list and managed to have some fun while doing it complete with pictures to illustrate the good times.

How to cut planks with a chainsaw

Our experiments with an Alaskan small log mill attached to our chainsaw had variable results making planks from downed trees.

Fostering From Fat to Fit

Fostering can help overcome an unexpected side effect of life in a rescue kennel---obesity.

Plan a doggie spa date and change a life

Adult dogs need a little help to compete with pups in the adoption game. A spa date with a groomer or in your own back yard can give that older shelter dog more than a shiny coat. It can open the door to a new life.

Starting a Pet Food Pantry

Compassionate people without a county animal shelter organize a non-profit group to help low-income families keep their pets during hard times and to support Good Samaritans who take in abandoned pets

How to Make Homemade Apple Juice

No juice extractor? No problem! This easy method for making fresh, delicious apple juice will have you sipping in no time.

RecycleMania 2011: College Recycling Competition

The 2011 RecycleMania Tournament, a college recycling competition, ended April 2. See the college recycling statistics, and find out how college recycling programs across the United States and Canada are doing.

A Useful Space for Pigs, Chickens and Rabbits

Jenna Woginrich writes about the beauty of Cold Antler Farm, a small homestead that she shares with Pig, her rabbits Benjamin and Doe and several chickens. Taking care of her animals on cold winter nights is a challenge for Woginrich, but one she gladly accepts armed with a water bottle and affection. Woginrich's modest barn provides shelter for her animals and a useful space to feel at home.

A Recycled T-Shirt that Prevents Green Washing

ECO360 Trust produces sustainable T-shirts made from 100% recycled PET plastic water bottles. ECO360 Trust is a campaign of the non-profit Institute for Sustainable Communication.

Innovative Environmental Policy to Green America

Branded as smarter capitalism, the Petition for a Green Recovery seeks a new kind of environmental policy to green America. Using financial incentives, this idea plans to create a marketplace that takes into account environmental and social costs while increasing the green jobs sector.  

Winning Heritage Chicken Cooking Competition Recipes!

The winning recipes of the Heritage Chicken Cooking Competition — hosted by Frank Reese of Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch — have been announced! The Grand Prize winner was Ann Knowles of Salina, Kan., with her Baked Chicken a la Tucson. Heritage chicken breeds are an integral component of sustainable farming and add to poultry’s overall genetic diversity, as opposed to industrial chicken breeds that comprise the vast majority of chickens produced in the United States.

Revelation to Action: Community Innovation Contest

Know of a group that's doing great work to support your community or have a community-building idea of your own? If you live in the Northeast United States, Green Mountain Coffee and Ashoka's Changemakers are holding the "Revelation to Action" contest to find and help fund the most innovative ideas to bolster communities in the Northeast states. 

Heritage Chicken Cooking Competition

Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch announces the heritage chicken cooking competition. With the right recipe for whole-bird, cut-up, de-boned or barbequed heritage chicken, you could win $1,000. Plus, you'd be contibuting to a worthy cause — promoting heritage breeds.

Have You Considered Raising Meat Chickens?

There are layer chickens, and there are broilers. We talk a lot about eggs, but now we'd like to hear your thoughts on raising and butchering your own meat chickens. Is it too much reality? Is it worth the unpleasantness?

Odyssey Day

Odyssey Day embarked from Washington D.C. a few weeks ago as a nationwide effort to encourage and promote the use of petroleum-free fuel. The day is sponsored by the Department of Energy's Clean Cities, which has helped reduce petroleum use by almost more than 2 billion gallons so far.