Grow Shade-Loving Vegetables and Fruits

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.

Seed-Starting, Part 2

The results are in: Starting even cool-weather crops inside is faster. See Seed-Starting, Part 1 for details on the set up.

Make a Corn-Sheller Box

Shelling corn by hand will soon put blisters on your thumbs. You can acquire a corn sheller to help you do the job. Learn how to make a sturdy box to mount your corn sheller on to make your work easier.

Minto Island Growers Seek Balance As Their Farm Expands, Part 2

Elizabeth Miller and Chris Jenkins have turned Minto Island Growers into a multifaceted farm that features a tea plantation, vegetable CSA, u-pick berries, food cart, farm stand, and more. Now they’re finding that growth brings many new challenges.

Drying Herbs to Savor the Flavor

There are so many ways to dry herbs: in an oven on low heat, in a dehydrator, in the sun. However, overr time under well ventilated conditions, herbs will dry all by themselves with no additional encouragement.

Minto Island Growers Seek Balance As Their Farm Expands, Part 1

Elizabeth Miller and Chris Jenkins have turned Minto Island Growers into a multifaceted farm that features a tea plantation, vegetable CSA, u-pick berries, food cart, farm stand, and more. Now they’re finding that growth brings many new challenges.

Urban Food Sovereignty is Our Goal

Assisting urban residents in moving toward local food production is an innovative strategic plan for resilient growth. This blog post will outline some of Grow Where You Are’s core projects and outreach methods in an effort to share best practices for developing local food systems in communities that are most in need.

Perfect Rhubarb Pie from Garden to Table

Rhubarb, a once-neglected fruit (or vegetable) that was hard to find, is making a comeback as a result of the real food movement among gardeners and cooks. Based on decades of self-reliant living, I give the reader all the information that is needed to produce a perfect rhubarb pie from garden to table, from planting, growing, and harvesting, to producing a pie with a never-fail pie crust.

Homegrown, Handspun Cotton Vest

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to make an article of clothing from seed to finished product? I have. Check out my homegrown, handspun, handwoven, naturally-colored cotton vest.

Growing Up in Farm Country

HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates reflects on how growing up in farm country impacts a student's choice for their future.

Growing and Using Multipurpose Calendula

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.

How to Regrow Lettuce

Purchase romaine lettuce once, regrow it again and again! Use this simple tutorial to slash your salad bill while enjoying tasty, healthful greens.

Raising Romeo: A Love Story

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan shares a preview of her children's book about raising lambs.

Planning a Baby Food Garden

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and pregnant Pennsylvania mama Michelle (Congrats, Michelle!) shares her plans for planting a baby food garden, including her entire seed order.

Keep Track of Crop Rotation (Video)

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.

Shaking Off a DIY Fail

Homegrown.org's Amanda Hoover shakes off a DIY fail — an attempt at homemade natural food coloring — and holds her head high.

Deciding Which Seeds to Order

Homegrown.org blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares tips for deciding which seeds to order — in other words, which vegetable varieties to grow.

The Problem with Pedestals

West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates explains why he has a problem with putting farmers, among others, on pedestals.

A Great Herdswoman's Legacy Lives On

Homegrown.org blogger Dyan Redick of Bittersweet Farm honors - and helps keep alive - the legacy of fellow Maine goat herdswoman Pixie Day.

How to Join the Seed-Sharing Movement

Seed sharing has come under attack and seed libraries across the country are being threatened with extinction. Here are nine ways to join the movement to keep seed sharing legal and free.

A Great-Grandmother's Onion-Celery Dressing Recipe

Some of the best recipes are never written down. Thankfully, Rachel's mom recently transcribed her own grandmother's onion-celery dressing recipe. Lucky for us, Rachel shares it here. Pass it along!

An Early Thanksgiving

When her parents fall ill, Michelle takes a step back to care for them, to take stock of all she has learned from them, and to observe an early Thanksgiving.

Onions: Everything You Need To Know to Grow 'Em

If you are confused about what type of onion to grow in your garden, this blog will give you the info you need. Onions are perennials, easy to grow, and have little to no pest problems. A must have addition to every garden!

Gourmet Garlic: Turbans

Is your growing season a bit too short for gourmet garlic? Turban garlic cultivars may be the solution!

Determining Days to Maturity

Learn when to expect your crops to be ready to harvest. Giving attention to the days to maturity for the varieties you choose to grow will help you in your garden planning.

A Granola Recipe to Feed the Masses

Going camping, hiking, or canoeing this summer? HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares a big-batch granola recipe that will feed your entire group—or one hungry teen.

Farmers Swim, Too

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missourian Bryce Oates explains how he and his family survive summer on the farm. Two words: swimming pool.

My Goats Have Green Thumbs

HOMEGROWN.org blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm says keeping animals in the garden improves her soil and fights weeds and pests.

Growing Corn Early

Growing corn early by transplanting may be unconventional, but its a great way to beat the challenges and...eat corn in July!

Uncovering My New Homestead's Old Secrets

When HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania mama Michelle Wire discovered a hidden treasure on her property, she found a new appreciation for her home along with it.

Building a Cheap Greenhouse

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares how she built a cheap greenhouse out of mostly scavenged materials - and how you can, too.

County Fair Season Is Here

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Missouri farmer Bryce Oates traces the history of county fairs from their origins in the country life movement to his own kids' involvement.

DIY Wheat Thresher

Reader Jenna Winkeller of Gilbert, Ariz., wrote to us about a homemade device that can make small-scale wheat cultivation far more efficient: a DIY wheat thresher crafted from just a bucket, drill and chain. Check out a video of it in action, and get instructions for assembling your own version of this wallet-friendly, timesaving tool.

Finally Signs of Spring on the Farm

HOMEGROWN blogger Dyan finally spots signs of spring on her Maine dairy farm, from sunrises to newborn goat kids to eggs of every shade. Lovely!

Moving Tips for Homesteaders-to-Be

Pennsylvania mama Michelle has finally found a homestead! Get her moving tips on take-back programs, packing mason jars, buying cheap appliances, and more.

The Nature of Growing Up

4 or 40, growing up isnt always straight up. Branches, bumpy outcroppings and the occasional low hanging fruit serve as speed bumps on the road of life.

A Farmer Mulls Vegetarianism

HOMEGROWN.org blogger and West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates shares his thoughtful position on vegetarianism.

Garlic Oil

If you eat raw garlic for its health benefits but find it difficult to consume, garlic oil can be an effective alternative. You can even make it at home!

Rethink Everything

Every now and then we need to re-evaluate our thoughts, just as we re-evaluate our things. Learn about making cloth Christmas gift bags and find out how walking barefoot in the grass is good for you.

The 2013 HOMEGROWN Holiday Gift Guide

HOMEGROWN.org unwraps its 2013 holiday gift guide, featuring lots of homemade presents, as well as a few stocking stuffers for under $20.

HOMEGROWN Life: Let’s Talk About Poop

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.

I Love Lovage!

The little used herb lovage makes an attractive addition to the edible landscape and provides a smoky flavor to soups and stews.

HOMEGROWN Life: A Melancholy Season

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan reflects on the changes that arrive with fall, including her own sense of melancholy.

Get Going With Garlic

Growing garlic is easy if you just know the right time to plant it: in fall, not spring or summer!

Coösauke Kale

The process of saving seed for next year begins while the growing season is still going strong

HOMEGROWN Life: Geeking Out on Goats

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel recounts how she went from half-hearted to full-breed-ahead when it comes to breeding goats.

Double Your Tomato Plants

Tomatoes are a great vegetable, perfect for all occasions and relatively easy to grow. Here is a way to double, even triple your seedlings while boosting your existing ones.

HOMEGROWN Life: On the Road (Again)

HOMEGROWN blogger and homesteading mama Michelle explains why road trips are worth packing 3 kids, 2 adults, and 2 dogs in a camper for weeks on end.

Children in the Garden

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.

HOMEGROWN Life: Giving Up Control

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan learns that giving up control, whether over a mischievous flock or a single lamb, can have its own rewards.

Bricks and Potatoes

As I go along, I pull out pebbles occasionally, but only one large stone. Time and time again, however, my hands pry free the remnants of bricks. As late afternoon turns to early evening and my work for the day is nearing completion, a collection of the ruddy-colored artifacts is stacked to one side. The sight of them calls up something nostalgic in me, broken bits suggesting a history that is largely lost.

Gutter-Planted Garden Greens

It was becoming pretty obvious the crowding and lack of light were real limitations to my mini garden. Then, the idea of a trough on the windowsill came to mind, combining a way to water all the plants uniformly and efficiently all at once. Great, now how to make this trough? Wood? Sheet metal? The choices all seemed expensive, clumsy, prone to leaking...then the light bulb went on in my head: gutters!

How to Store Potatoes in Your Garden

Simply by covering your potatoes with ample mulch, storing potatoes in the ground is not only possible but incredibly easy and successful. Learn how to store potatoes in your garden and enjoy crisp, homegrown spuds through winter and into spring.

Introducing Find Good Food on HOMEGROWN

HOMEGROWN.org introduces Find Good Food, a new page that includes national and state-by-state resources for locating family farmed eats near you. Read it! Share it! Add to it! Make it your own—and help make it even better.

Growing Day-Neutral Strawberries

Day-neutral strawberries are smaller and easier to manage than June-bearing strawberries. Learn more about the requirements of day-neutral strawberry varieties. 

From Gardener to Farmdener

I’d like to introduce the words farmden and farmdener into the English language. I wonder if there are any other farmdeners out there. And just what is a farmden? It’s more than a garden, less than a farm. That’s my definition, but it also could be described as a site with more plants and/or land than one person can care for sanely. A gardener and garden gone wild, out of control.

Illegal Front Yard Vegetable Gardens: Des Moines Considers Home Garden Ban

Des Moines, Iowa, gardeners may soon find themselves in hot water with their City. A local resident recently took front yard veggie growers to task for what the resident feels to be unsightly lawn growth. Beets and berries, it seems, do not have the same aesthetic appeal as a green, freshly-mowed front lawn.

HOMEGROWN Life: Thank you, E. B. White

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick discovers a kindred soul in E. B. White when she reads the essay Memorandum, from his 1944 collection, 'One Man's Meat.'

HOMEGROWN Life: The Farmer Goes Fishing

Coming back to agriculture and the farming life, I think every farmer should spend time as a fisherperson. If that were the case, I have a hard time believing Industrial Agriculture would have ever taken its foothold. Manure runs downhill as they say

HOMEGROWN Life: The Making of a Hugelkultur Bed

Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc.

A New Twist On an Old (Chicken) Saddle

This durable, puncture and tear-resistant chicken saddle will protect free-range chickens from pecking, cannibalistic behavior and predators.

Growing Calcium

Grow calcium in your garden with collards, kale, and parsley. Suggestions are given for including these crops in your meals. Learn about companions to plant among your collards and kale to deter harmful insects.

Growing Protein

Learn which crops you can grow in your garden to provide protein in your diet.

HOMEGROWN Life: A Change In Seasons

Dyan writes about the changing season at Bittersweet Farm, and introduces us to the newest member of the flock, a black sheep named Little Man.

Growing Calories

Grow to fill yourself up from your garden. Potatoes will give you the most calories in the least space and are an important part of a sustainable diet.

HOMEGROWN Life: Milking with Frannie

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time of being a goat herder, it’s that at breeding time, the goats are in charge.

HOMEGROWN Life: Canning Tomatoes 101

Tomatoes are the gray area of canning. They're not quite acidic enough to just straight can like fruit but the right amount of added acid can keep you from having to pressure can them. Here are the basics on canning tomatoes.

Teaching Homesteading--in a Nutshell

Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food

Fig Obsessions and a Chicken Photo Contest

describing the upcoming fun photo contest with the theme being chickens and the fun they either have or give. Figs and more figs are at the heart of the obsession.

HOMEGROWN Life: The Gift of a Good Rain

After months of waiting, worrying and hoping, the clouds finally arrived here at Yellabird Farm last week and brought us the long-sought gift of good rain. It was a great two days of slow and soaking moisture that the cracked soil guzzled up...

HOMEGROWN Life: More on the Drought

All of us farmers,large and small, are a big part of the engine that drives the economy of rural communities, rural counties and rural states.This year, we are learning a lot about what happens when that engine sputters.

Pesticides and Home Canning

The author of STAND UP AND GARDEN discusses why it is safe to can and otherwise preserve produce that's grown in an environment in which pesticides are used.

HOMEGROWN Life: I Quit

Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.

Dill Pickles ... and Straight Talk About Canning

There's no need to be afraid of canning. With basic skills a cook can safely prepare and process excess produce during the summer and have a ready supply all winter. An easy way to start is with dill pickles, with extras like garlic and hot peppers.

What is an OMRI Listing?

Organic is a phrase that’s tossed around and abused a lot by marketers these days. Not all “organic” products should be treated equally.

HOMEGROWN Life: An Ode To The Elusive Asparagus

We wanted to write up a post about asparagus to explain how farmers look at the crop, but also as a sort of apology to our customers. We have spent many hours in the field and on the phone seeking farmers with an existing asparagus supply. We had man

Planning for a Successful Farming Business

In this blog, Robert White of Quail Acres Farm shares some of his experiences in the Growing Farmers workshops as they relate to planning for his upcoming move to the farm to establish his market garden and small livestock business.

HOMEGROWN Life: The Scary Side of Sustainability

The morning started off with a decent lecture on poultry operation, production, and marketing. After a midday break, lectures resumed, this time being led by a different fellow, on the subject of free-range, humane certified broiler production. I won

HOMEGROWN Life: A Bit Of ATreat

This fall, while the chickens were still living with the goats, we had decided to fence off the leg and seed it with pasture seed. I wasn't sure if we should seed it for the chickens or for the goats. After doing some research we ended up going with

HOMEGROWN Life: Utility or Useless?

Clearly the NACE considers “useless” degrees to be ones in which pay is low and availability of jobs is scarce. However, shouldn’t measuring the usefulness of an education take into account the actual benefits bestowed upon the person doing the study

Resolve to Build a Hoophouse This Year

We’ve been growing in unheated hoophouses for a decade now, and we can’t recommend them highly enough for commercial growers. If you have any dreams of market farming, the first thing you should buy is a hoophouse.

HOMEGROWN Life: The Potato Bin Experiment

After a completely miserable potato harvest this year we’ve decided to pull them out of the ground and do them in boxes made out of pallets. That way we can use weedblock under them to eliminate the whole bindweed issue. So today, the boxes went up.

Cover Crops: Add Some Oomph to Your Soil

Cover crops are grown between planting seasons as a way to give back to the soil what cultivation takes from it. And cover crops aren’t just for large-scale growers—they can help you get the most out of your backyard vegetable garden too!

Conferences to Teach About Growing Flowers Commercially

If you’re interested in learning more about growing flowers commercially, winter is a great time to do it. Many of the farming conferences held throughout the U.S. include tracks on cut flowers. I want to tell you about two big ones coming up soon.

Learn to Grow Food

These resources will help you learn how to grow food and start a garden.

How to Plant Garlic

The Garlic Gurus at Seeds from Italy give you the scoop on growing your own garlic. This post answers questions of when and where to grow garlic, what varieties to grow, how much to grow, where to buy garlic, and how much to plant.

On Permaculture

This is an excerpt from Christopher Nyerges' "Self-Sufficient Home" book (published by Stackpole) where he talks about some of his early gardening experiences and when he learned that the health of the soil is the most important aspect of gardening.

Take a Bite of Farm Aid!

The Farm Aid concert is a chance for us to shine a spotlight on these people who work every day to put good food on our tables.

4 Recipes for Your Summer Harvest

It’s the middle of summer and you are likely enjoying the harvests. There is` so much to do with all that fresh and flavorful produce, but what should you do?

Living HOMEGROWN: Am I Doing This Right?

I am the Flock-Tender here on HOMEGROWN.org. I am keeping a chronicle of my experiences learning, living, and growing a homegrown lifestyle fresh out of college. Am I doing this life right?

DIY Seed Starter Pots

It might be the middle of the summer, but you should start thinking about getting your fall garden ready. If you don’t have much space, to plant everything outdoors, then you can certainly start your seeds indoors.

Food Waste in America

We are taught when we are kids not to waste food, but it doesn’t seem as if that lessen has stuck with us.

Gardening Doesn't Have to Be Expensive

People often dismiss gardening as an expensive hobby that they can’t afford. While that can be true, it doesn’t have to be. There are way to make gardening cheap.

The Politics of Gardening

Some people use gardening as an escape from the trials and tribulations of the real world. It’s their time to get their hands dirty, connect with the earth and just be in their garden.

A Modern Homesteader's Shame

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...

Growing Food as a Family

Parents will often say that they don't have time to grow their own food because they have kids. Don't let kids be the excuse. Instead make them part of the experience too. It's what families have done since the beginning of time. The past 100 yea

Two Ways to Use a Shipping Pallet in Your Garden

When you are apartment gardening in a small space, you are forced to be creative due to your space constrictions. Most traditional pots and containers might not work, so you become reliant on reusing objects to better fit your space.

A Hoophouse on the Horizon

Putting up a hoophouse expands the growing opportunity into the barren winter months. A USDA program is helping market growers purchase a hoophouse to find out if local farmers and consumers reap benefits from extending local growing seasons.

The Spiritual Side of Growing Your Food

A post by Maria Rodale called A Harvest of Healing got me thinking about how gardening and growing your own food is much more than what you harvest.

Time to Start Sweet Potato Slips

I can't imagine my garden without sweet potatoes! Sometimes it is hard to find sweet potato slips for sale, so I start my own with some of last years potatoes.

How To Make a Self-Watering Container

Containers are great for those that are gardening in small spaces. Though there is the fear of not knowing when or how often to water them. This is why I started to make my own self-watering containers.

Three Ways To Reuse Soda Bottles in Your Garden

Growing your own food doesn't have to be an expensive activity. There are plenty of ways to cut back the costs and be earth-friendly as well. You can do this by giving a second life to items that have outgrown their initial purpose.

Food Prices Might Be Rising, But You Can Do Something About It

In the United States, we are feeling the effects of the rising food prices as well. When you take a deeper look into the prices, it’s not the food that is causing the price to rise. It’s everything else that goes into getting the food to your plate t

Take Our Nationwide Companion Planting Survey

Companion planting can be a great strategy for organic gardeners. Take our nationwide companion planting survey to help us gather useful information about this gardening technique.

How Did America Lose Its Connection With Food?

While there are many events that have lead us to where we are today in terms of food, there are some things/events that stand out the most in my mind. Growing your own food is one way to reverse the trend.

There’s Always Room for Growing Herbs

Herbs are versatile plants that enhance our lives by adding beauty, aroma, nutrition, seasoning, and a varied landscape. Because they can be grown indoors, or outdoors in pots, as part of landscaping or in the garden, everyone has room to grow herbs.

Reconnect With Your Food and Grow Your Own

When you grow your own food, you not take a step towards self-sufficiency. You also make a move towards better health and whole new relationship with your food.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS Grows Shiitake Mushrooms

Read about our mycological journey, starting with our process of inoculating several shiitake mushroom logs. The process is easy enough for most anyone intersted in producing their own shiitake mushrooms at home — plus, it's fun and a big money-saver!

Tomato Grafts Create Cool, Two-Headed Plants

Creating tomato grafts may be a great way to grow tomatoes organically. Tomato grafting has emerged as one good way to bring resistance to soilborne diseases to susceptible heirloom varieties.

Build Homemade Tomato Cages

Done with flimsy, store-bought tomato cages that fall over when the wind blows? Build long-lasting, heavy-duty tomato cages to fit your garden with one of our four plans.

Re-Greening My Thumb

Simran Sethi starts dreaming of spring gardening, with the goal of renewing her efforts to grow real food.

"Plant it Forward"(2)

This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.

Ohio Court Ruling on GMOs and rBGH Milk Asks: Got Pus?

Concerned about unlabeled food products that contain artificial growth hormones and genetically modified organisms? A recent court ruling in Ohio took the first step in reversing laws limiting consumer awareness about what’s in their milk.

Share the Yard

Simran Sethi teams up with two neighbors to "grow food, not lawns."

Blueberries: Fountain of Youth

Blueberries are a true fountain of youth. This article will introduce you to the health benefits, how to grow, how to harvest, and how to eat this wonderful fruit.

Gardening in Small Spaces: My Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter

I’ve learned that gardening in small spaces can be challenging, but I’ve had great success with a Topsy Turvy tomato planter this year. Have you used similar products in your home? How do you handle gardening in small spaces?

No-Tool Raised Beds Get Gardens Started Quickly

For anyone who has ever wanted to build a raised garden bed, but didn't have the tools, know-how, time or potentially the space, former teacher Jill Plumb invented the M Brace, an easy, eco way to build raised garden beds without tools.

Self-Pollinating Apple Trees: An Easy Way to Grow Apples!

Self-pollinating apple trees allow homeowners with little space to reap the benefits of this fresh, nutritious fruit. While typical apple breeds require planting at least two trees in the same space so they can pollinate each other, self-fertile trees can produce fruit without another tree around.

Seed Starting Tips

Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.

The Thrill of Gardening

The experience of growing one's first garden is a thrill one will never forget.

Grow a Quick Crop of Lettuce Indoors

Before space beneath your grow light is needed for onions and other early seedlings, fill it with baby lettuce grown in translucent clamshell salad containers.

Grow Mushrooms This Winter!

Try doing something different this winter by growing mushrooms. It's entertaining, and it provides you with an edible treat!

Why, How and When to Plant Garlic

Garlic is one of the easiest plants you can grow, and fall is the time for planting. Here are a few resources to help you get started.

Savoring Bean Gleaning Season

In addition to the beans you planted to harvest dry, a good gleaning may yield a surprising harvest of gourmet beans.

Three's Not a Crowd

Growing the three sisters (corn, beans, squash) in the same plot of land actually helps yield healthier crops of each.

Can Milk Control Brown Rot?

Brown rot is a serious disease of peaches, plums, and other stone fruits. For organic gardeners, spraying at-risk fruits with a milk solution can give good control.

Make Your Own Fruit Juice From Berries

Cobbler is not the only solution to a bumper crop of berries. If you can boil water, you can turn the juice from big-flavor berries into tasty beverages that are naturally rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Make extra juice to freeze or can for year-round enjoyment.

Garlic Farming Video

Watch this video of garlic farmer Bob Anderson discussing his love of all things garlic.

Plant Garlic this Fall

Plan to plant garlic this fall, and enjoy unique varieties and their incredible health benefits.