Organic Gardening
Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.

Is Wide Garden Spacing Really Wasteful?

david the good wheel hoe 

Tiny yards, tiny houses, tiny garden beds. Over the last few decades, “tiny” has gotten big.

This is especially true in gardening. Even when I was growing up and learning how to garden, I learned that wide garden spacing was the “old way” to do things and was an artifact of commercial farming and tractor usage. See, if you had tighter spacing, a tractor couldn’t get through the field. Wide spacing in your garden is just a waste of space – after all, didn’t John Jeavons and Mel Bartholomew prove that you could grow tons of food in really tiny spaces?

Great-Grandpa’s methods went out with gas lights and top hats, don’t you know? But, maybe there’s more to know that we think. Today we’ll reconsider the current “common wisdom” on intensive gardening. Despite the mighty army of tiny raised-bed aficionados, mthere are good reasons to adopt wider spacing andlarger garden plots.

Gardens with Wide Spacing Require Less Water

Some years ago I was getting ready to plant corn in a sandy, unirrigated field near Ocala, carefully marking out lines at 18” apart. As I did so, the neighbor stopped by to see what I was doing. He was an old farmer with a cowboy hat and a collection of aged tractors.

“What are you plantin’?” he asked.

“Field corn,” I replied. I knew this farmer grew corn without irrigation, so I asked, “am I doing it right?”

He shook his head. “Too close.”

“Too close?” I said. “It’s at 18”!”

“Three foot,” he said.

“I need to plant my rows that far apart?” I asked, incredulous.

“Three foot,” he replied.

I did what he said. And that corn grew and yielded a crop without irrigation. It was like magic to me. I had always grown plants close together in the modern, fashionable way… and had to water them all the time to get a harvest. When you plant your crops at wider spacing, the roots can take advantage of the limited water in the soil and sometimes grow without any extra irrigation at all.

Crops are pretty good at getting what they need from the soil when competition is suppressed and they have room to spread out. Watering an intensive garden bed twice a day to keep it from wilting is common, yet a widely spaced garden might go three days on one good soaking.

Hoeing and Maintenance are Easier

If you’ve ever grown a tightly-spaced little garden bed, you know how time-consuming weeding can be. It’s a job to be done by hand, not by hoe. When you utilize wider spacing in your garden, you can use a hoe without crouching down and hand weeding. Extra space around the plants makes your job easier.

One of my favorite weeding tools is the Planet Whizbang wheel hoe. It’s a re-creation and re-invention of a classic gardening implement and it saves me a ton of time. If I plant in rows with adequate spacing, I just walk in between the rows with my wheel hoe and decapitate all the weeds in a couple of minutes, then do a little cleanup work with my standard garden hoe right around the crops themselves. No crouching required.

Widely Spaced Plants Are Happier

Though we hear a lot about tiny spaces and HUGE yields, it can actually take more inputs to grow an intensive garden bed than a widely spaced traditional garden.

When you pack a bunch of plants together, they fight for water, nutrition and sunlight. Since I focus a lot of my gardening on growing the most of food for the least amount of work, I don’t like having to baby plants. I’d rather let them take care of themselves – and they can do that better when they have room to spread out without much leaf and root competition.

I’ve seen this first hand and you probably have as well. Once year I grew a big patch of turnips by broadcasting seed across a tilled area. The turnips in the middle where the seed was thickest grew leaves but not a lot of roots, whereas the turnips in the thinly seeded areas grew fat rapidly. As I pulled turnips, the remaining roots got some breathing room and started to fatten up as well. With many crops you won’t be that lucky and if you overplant an area, you’ll get next to nothing.

Think about it: you’re better off planting six tomato plants with lots of room than packing in a tomato seedling every six inches.

As you plant your gardens this year, I recommend you set aside some of your land and give wider spacing a try. If it worked for the settlers – who didn’t have fancy amendments and running water yet fed themselves from their gardens – it will work for you.

David The Good is a gardening expert and the author of five books available on Amazon, including Totally Crazy Easy Florida Gardening, Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting and Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening. Find new inspiration every weekday at his popular gardening website and subscribe to his YouTube channel for lots of entertaining videos.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

Practicing Patience Without Becoming a Patient

Bread Testing 

Warning: Homophone humor ahead. They say, “Patience is a virtue.” My response to that has always been, “Patients are for hospitals!” While I may appear to be a very patient huming on the outside, inside I’m always wanting to speed up time until I can do the next thing I’d rather be doing. Early spring, in particular, is one of those hurry up and wait times for me.

One trick that I’ve stumbled upon to help pass the time is to fill it with activities that help me inch toward my future goals while still feeling somewhat productive in the moment. I have no trouble making time for artwork but adding pieces that will end up in a garden project helps me feel connected to nature more quickly. Cooking and testing recipes for my cookbook is productive but starting seeds for things that will end up in a dish created from one of those recipes at the same time feels much richer.

A more directly related garden activity is easing my body from its wintertime slowness into the 8+ hours I’ll soon be spending outdoors. I can do this by tackling big chores in smaller bits each day when weather permits. One such chore is the removal of over-abundant of wild onions (Allium canadense) from various beds in my garden.

Removal Tools 

In just one hour on a cool spring day, I was able to fill a bag with those pesky onions (which are edible if one so wishes). I prefer to remove by digging rather than use a non-organic method such as spraying pesticides. I was also able to visit with our outdoor cats while cleaning up a portion of my sweetgrass bed. While I wasn’t expending a lot of energy or hard manual labor, I was getting my body used to many of the movements and postures I’ll be using on those longer days outdoors.

This chore takes a little patience but very few tools as I work free the small bunches of bulbs. As pictured, I use a large shovel, a smaller hand spade, a kneepad, and a reused bag for the pickings. I also grab a bucket of arborist chips from my pile so that I can cover up the area afterward—this makes the worked area look a little nicer and adds an extra layer of protection for any earthworms I’ve awakened. These favored hard-workers tend to be much more lethargic in the cold and I want to make sure to keep them happy.

I admit that I’m hard on tools because I expect them to dig in right alongside me with heavy duty effort. The hand spade pictured in the photo is not one of my better tools and frankly is on its last legs because my patience urges me to rush rather than spend time loosening the ground first. My favorite spade is more like this one. I’ve found the flatter spades to be much less sturdy unless working in pre-loosened soil. Similarly, kneeling pads are not all created equal. The one in the photo is just one of several that I use.

Whatever tools you use, I have no doubt that you can find productive steps to fill your time as you wish Spring forward. I know there’s no reason while I’m twiddling my thumbs waiting for my daffodils, tulips, and garlic (the cherished members of my bulb family) to progress to their pronouncement of Spring that I can’t move some of the peskier members out of my garden.

The Good Bulbs 

Blythe Pelham is an artist that aims to enable others to find their grounding through energy work. She is in the midst of writing a cookbook and will occasionally share bits in her blogging here. She writes, gardens and cooks in Ohio. Find her online at Humings and Being Blythe, and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

Planting Tips for a Better Potato Harvest


Chit (sprout) your seed potatoes in a cool, well-ventilated area before planting to give them a head start and help boost yields. Plant potatoes in a sunny spot, into rich soil. You can add extra nourishment for the plants using a slow-release organic fertilizer such as chicken manure pellets.

Growing Potatoes in Trenches

Growing potatoes in parallel trenches makes them easy to hill as they grow. Plant seed potatoes with shoots facing upwards a foot apart, in rows one and a half to two feet apart depending on variety. If your soil is loose enough you can excavate a hole for each seed potato instead of digging a trench.

Hilling up increases the amount of organic matter around the roots so there’s more space for the tubers to grow. It also prevents any that grow near the surface from turning green. You can hill up using the surrounding soil plus other organic matter such as dried leaves, well-rotted manure or grass clippings.

Start hilling once the shoots are up to your ankle, and keep doing so until the foliage has filled out between the rows.

No-Till Potatoes

Potatoes can also be grown in a no-till system. Simply nestle the sprouted potatoes into the soil surface, then cover them with an eight-inch-thick layer of organic matter such as compost, dried leaves, hay or straw. Check with your supplier that there’s no risk of any herbicide residues if you’re using hay or straw.

There’s no need to hill. When the potatoes are ready, simply pull back the now partially decomposed organic matter to reveal the tubers beneath.

Extra Early Potatoes

You can plant extra-early potatoes up to three weeks earlier than normal in generous-sized tubs or sacks in a frost-free greenhouse or hoop house.  This method works best in cooler climates, as potatoes will stop producing tubers if the roots become too hot.

Place the tubers onto a four-inch deep layer of potting soil, then cover with another four inches of potting soil. Hill up by adding more potting soil whenever the foliage reaches about six inches high. Keep hilling until you reach the top of the sack. Once the weather has warmed up, move the sacks outdoors to finish growing.

Harvesting Potatoes in Winter

Plant ‘second early’ varieties in late summer in a container, then bring them under cover when the weather cools for a fall crop.

In milder climates, plant a maincrop variety in garden beds in late spring. When the foliage begins to die back, cut the stems to the ground and simply leave the tubers in the soil until you need them. They should store in the ground for several months.

Get More Tips with These Great Gardening Resources

Our popular Vegetable Garden Planner can help you map out your garden design, space crops, know when to plant which crops in your exact location, and much more.

Need crop-specific growing information? Browse our Crops at a Glance Guide for advice on planting and caring for dozens of garden crops.

More Videos

Watch more videos on gardening techniques and other self-reliance, DIY topics on our Wiser Living Videos page.

The SOIL Stewardship Act of 2018

soilIn March, Representative Tim Walz (D-MN) proposed a bill that will make on-farm conservation easier and more accessible for farming families. The Strengthening Our Investment in Land Stewardship (SOIL Stewardship) Act would strengthen the 2014 Farm Bill’s two major land conservation programs, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). As well as helping these two programs, SOIL Stewardship will put a new emphasis on maintain soil health through preserving water quality, water conservation practices, and wildlife habitats.

“Maintaining our soil health is critical,” said Representative Walz. “Farmers are some of our best conservationists in this regard; it just makes good business sense. By empowering our farmers and ranchers to continue to feed, fuel and clothe the world while maintaining the health of our resources, this commonsense bill benefits both the environment and the producer’s bottom line.”

CSP is a unique farm bill program, since it helps farmers and ranchers across the country solve resource concerns using whole farm conservation systems. It is also the largest conservation program by acreage, with over 72 million acres currently enrolled in America under CSP. This bill is also the only in effect that focuses on solving priority environmental concerns by striving for continuous improvement using stewardship metrics. This aspect of CSP will grow stronger under the SOIL Stewardship Act.

The SOIL Stewardship Act also incentivizes the adoption of cover crops and resource-conserving crop rotations to make soil health a top priority. Farmers are rewarded for engaging in comprehensive conservation planning.

Under this bill, 500 million dollars would be reserved annually to fund EQIP to protect drinking water sources, as well as create and sustain wildlife habitats. While EQIP is not yet empowered to make these changes and to protect our natural water resources, under the SOIL Stewardship Act, EQIP would finally have the funding to take action to protect and maintain our healthy water sources.

In addition to these extra provisions, the SOIL Stewardship Act would have the funds to continue protecting the acreage already protected under CSP and EQIP. Allowing this Act to pass would continue to strengthen these two existing bills, and would make the business of agriculture even stronger and protected for the future.

This press release is presented without editing for your information. MOTHER EARTH NEWS does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.

Organic Seed Alliance Webinar Videos

fieldThe Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) University of Madison-Wisconsin, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), and eOrganic will host a two-part webinar series on how to conduct on-farm variety trials.

The most important tool on any farm are their seeds, so being able to identify the best varieties for each farmer is a huge part of the job. Strong seeds are particularly important for organic farmers who avoid chemicals pesticides, because it means their seeds must be stronger enough to protect themselves from disease or pest pressures.

OSA has created this webinar series to provide horticultural crop and small grain growers with the skills and knowledge to conduct their own effective farm trials, so that they can better discover and understand what works best for their farms. This includes showing farmers updated methods for conducting simple on-farm trials, with an introduction to a new online tool that helps growers manage their trial data. The webinars also address how to manage risk in crop variety and seed sourcing decisions.

While these webinars are open to everyone, they are more geared towards farmers with at least two seasons of production experience. There are two webinars that each tackle different subjects; the first deals with trial planning, planting, and management, while the second discusses trial evaluation, analysis, and interpretation. The first is set for March 20, with the second planned for April 11. Both of these workshops are made possible thanks to a grant awarded through the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA).

These webinars are a great way to help farmers get connected with farming technologies bring their farms into a successful and modern age. The first webinar is coming up fast, so register today and get involved with the future of farming.

This press release is presented without editing for your information. MOTHER EARTH NEWS does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.

Spring 2018 Featured Flower Seeds

The best gardens are blooming with colors of spring and summer flowers that you have planted and grown with your own hands. While there are hundreds of varieties of flower seeds available in store and online this upcoming season, these few breeds will be flying off the shelves as the best and brightest seeds of the season.

flowerAllium Millennium

The Perennial Plant Association has selected the Allium Millennium as the 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year, and it is easy to see why. These lavender globe-shaped flowers from Wayside Gardens bloom by the dozens, and grow during the late summer months, giving your garden one last flare of color before the colder weather begins to arrive. This breed brings with it a dense bouquet of dark green stems, topped with vivid purple blooms bobbing in the wind.

The flower heads bloom perfectly round, each reaching about a 2-inch diameter orb of fluffed purple florets tinged with red coloring. It also has a bit of the typical Allium scent, which wards off rabbits and other fuzzy creatures form nibbling on your garden. However, bees and butterflies will find the find the blooms enticing, and will be flapping and buzzing around your garden until the summer is over.

flowerZinnia, ‘Forecast’

This new zinnia seed from Burpee is a long-lasting breed that will bring striking summer colors to your garden all season long. These annual plants bloom purple, pink, orange, salmon, yellow and cream petals, with an average diameter of 2- to 3-inches.

The ‘Forecast’ zinnia is mildew resistant, making it an ideal flower choice for damper regions such as the Pacific Northwest or Canada. It can be grown indoors and transplanted outside after frost, giving you a head start at growing these beauties and giving your home a little color in the meantime. Zinnias attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees, so your garden will always be full of wildlife activity that is beneficial.

flower‘La Park’ Floribunda Rose

Named after the original headquarters of Park Seed Company for their 150th anniversary, the ‘La Park’ Floribunda Rose will be another big seller this season. Park Seed is honoring their company roots by introducing a rose that combines the best of old and new in glorious double-flowered blossoms.

The La Park Rose breed blooms 4-inch blossoms in unmatched colors, with no two blooms exactly like each other. The roses sit upright on strong branches, sporting a strong scent known as spinoissima, which some heritage rose lovers may find similar to the scent of the Old Scot Briar Rose. The flowers are banked by deep green, very glossy foliage that keeps its good looks all season, and grow as high as 4 feet high.

flowerSunset Magic Crape Myrtle

With true and vibrant red flowers, these easy-care Sunset Magic Crape Myrtle blooms from Nature Hills are a must-have for your garden this year. In full bloom, these flowers cover the entire shrub, giving the beautiful sunset effect they are named for. Surrounded by dark purple-black leaves, the intense redness of the flowers stands out in your garden.

Sunset Magic is an easy plant to care for, making it wonderful for beginner or armature gardeners. They respond well to pruning, but naturally grow to a manageable size of about 5 to 10 feet tall and 4 to 8 feet wide. The Sunset Magic breed is also highly resistant to typical Crape Myrtle issues, such as Cercospora.

flowerHibiscus ‘Pinot Noir’

Hibiscus flowers are known for their overwhelming size, but Logee’s new “Pinot Noir’ Hibiscus is pushing their reputation even further. This new breed produces an exceptionally large 8- to 9-inch flower with light lavender petals and a maroon center. There is also a hint of pink hidden in the petals for a more complex and rich coloring.

These hibiscus flowers are easy to grow, especially in areas with plenty of sun and rich soils. Since the hibiscus is usually grown in a tropical climate, plants should be grown outside in a container and brought inside during colder months for most USDA growing zones.

If your garden is more veggies than flowers, check out our Spring 2018 Featured Vegetable Seeds.

This press release is presented without editing for your information. MOTHER EARTH NEWS does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.

Best Gardening Books

favorite gardening books

It’s that time of year when all thoughts turn to gardening—at least if you’re the kind of person who likes to dig in the dirt. Like most gardeners, I have quite a few books on the subject, and like most gardeners, I have my favorites: the ones I turn to over and over again when I have a gardening question. Here are seven books at the top of my list for all-around best gardening books.

The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener 

This is my A-1, go-to, favorite gardening resource of all time. Like all books by Storey Publishers, it’s on high-quality paper, the photography is out-of-this-world gorgeous, and the writing quality is superb.

This beautiful book, written by Nova Scotia gardening maven Niki Jabbour, is divided into two parts. Part I explains how you can stretch your gardening seasons. Part II (my personal gardening bible) features a one-to-three-page-long look at each of more than forty vegetables from arugula to winter squash. For each plant, she provides an overview, tells you when and how to plant, and provides important growing and harvesting information.

She also lists a few of her favorite varieties of each vegetable, a guide I’ve found invaluable. She’s introduced me to all sorts of veggies I’d previously either never heard of or knew nothing about growing: Bright Lights chard, mache, claytonia, pak choi, celeriac. There’s also an informative section on herbs.

The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener is both practical and a delight to read—Jabbour’s inimitable gardening enthusiasm shines through its pages. And it’s so inspiring! For one thing, the author manages to successfully grow food outdoors year-round in Canada’s Maritimes. That alone should encourage the rest of us.

My favorite thing about this book: the planting calendar that accompanies each variety. It provides an easy-to-use schedule for when to start your seeds (indoors, outdoors, or in a cold frame or tunnel) and when to transplant those that were started indoors for both spring and, when it’s appropriate, fall planting. 

garden planning guide

Homegrown Pantry

The full title of Barbara Pleasant's book (another by Storey) is Homegrown Pantry: A Gardener's Guide to Selecting the Best Varieties & Planting the Perfect Amounts for What You Want to Eat Year-Round. It  provides the answer to my ever-present gardening question: how much of each crop do I need to plant to get us through the year.

This lovely book is broken into three major sections. The first provides a quick overview of the whys and hows of growing your own food. Part Two tells you enough about the five primary preservation methods to get you started. The starring attraction, though, is the discussion of specific vegetables, fruits, and herbs—more than fifty in all—some of the most likely ones to be found in a home garden which can be preserved in one way or another.

The vegetable section is the most in-depth, covering an overview, how-to-grow, best types to plant with preservation in mind, pests and diseases, harvesting, and food preservation options, as well as other tips unique to specific vegetables.

My favorite thing about this book: well there are two. First is the well placed how-much-to-plant reference. I’ve checked out resources before that purported to answer that question, but they were either too vague or too complicated (or both) to be of any use. This one is distinctly different. For each of the twenty-eight vegetable varieties covered, Pleasant tells you how much to grow per person. It’s the first thing you see under the heading for each of the vegetables presented.

The other is a real treat: in many cases, the author provides a “Harvest Day Recipe.” As she describes it, these tasty offerings are some of the “fastest and easiest ways to make use of a big harvest quickly.”

I consider Homegrown Pantry a must-have for a serious gardener who wants to feed a family on good garden food all year long even if you limit your actual gardening to the traditional growing months.

Epic Tomatoes

First you need to know a little something about the author. Craig LeHoullier, known as the NC Tomato Man, has trialed more than 1200 varieties of tomatoes and introduced more than 100 to the wider world, the most famous of which is probably the ever-popular Cherokee Purple. Clearly, he knows what he’s talking about.

The book's full title is Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow the Best Varieties of All Time which kind of says it all. LeHoullier tells you how to plant, grow from seed, maintain, and harvest tomatoes. In addition, he explains how to save heirloom seed for future use and how to breed new varieties yourself.

But wait! There’s more. The book includes a myth-busting Q and A section, a troubleshooting guide, a list of 250 tomato varieties he recommends for growing, a list of resources and sources for seed and supplies, and a helpful glossary.

This is yet another stellar publication by Storey. Its many color photographs are so luscious you’ll be tempted to eat them.

My favorite thing about this book: what I learned about LeHoullier’s preferred tomato-growing method—container gardening. His system accommodates growing many more tomatoes than you might otherwise be able to. Moreover, since you start with sterile containers and a fresh soilless mixture each year, this technique is the most viable for avoiding diseases. For those of us with relatively cool summers, there’s the added benefit that roots get more heat than if they were in the ground or even a raised bed.

Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales

This is another book by Craig Lehoullier. Growing food in straw bales may the easiest way ever to garden. For one thing, you barely have to bend over. Nor do you have to dig or build a garden space. You can move your garden from one year to the next. The bales become compost material at the end of the season. Still, straw bale gardening has its downside, and LeHoullier covers it all in this slim volume.

I don’t know how he manages to pack so much solid information in so few pages, but he does. The book is straightforward, detailed, and highly readable. He answers your questions before you’d think to ask them. Both the book and a straw bale experiment are well worth their cost, in my estimation.

My favorite thing about this book: its simplicity and clarity, while somehow managing to be so thorough.

Good Bug, Bad Bug

One of the best things about Jessica Walliser’s book is that she accompanies the description of each insect she covers with a clear color photograph. She provides information on prevention, organic control, and how to spot the damage done by each bad bug. For the good bugs, she offers advice on how to attract them to the garden. She discusses the twenty-four most damaging gardening insects, as well as a dozen beneficials.

My favorite thing about this book: its easy-to-identify bugs shown in full color photographs. The book has a concealed wire binding and is written on laminated stock so it’s perfect to take to the garden for easy identification. 

good bug bad bug

Grow a Living Wall: Create Vertical Gardens with Purpose

Shawna Coronado’s on a mission: to encourage gardeners to plant enough to donate some for those who are hungry and, in the process, to produce more flowering plants to encourage the future of pollinators. She truly wants to make a difference and to help you do it, too.

To this end, she advocates growing vertically, a way to grow more in less space. The author further promotes living walls as a way to save water and energy, lower utility bills, and solve unique design problems. She discusses types of living walls, how to get started (including issues such as soil and compost when growing vertically). The gorgeous photographs of various vertical growing methods will inspire any gardener to try at least one of them, whether on a fence bordering your property, a wall of your home, hanging boxes on a balcony. It’s a perfect gardening method for those with limited space.

Grow a Living Wall is show-and-tell at its best. Some wall-garden systems can be purchased and merely put in place—Coronado explains how; but others are DIY from start to finish, a great way to keep costs down. The author lays it out for you with a list of materials and supplies for each project and photographs that clearly explain the process.

What I love about this book: the inspiring photographs along with Coronado’s passion and enthusiasm which shine in every word and picture.

Backyard Foraging

For a different type of gardening experience, follow author Ellen Zachos' lead: instead of going to all the trouble of growing a garden, seek out good things to eat from the plants already growing in your yard and neighborhood. The easiest gardening system ever!

Yet another Storey Publishing book, this one does not disappoint. Zachos takes you on a tasty romp of sixty-five common plants you're likely to find in your own yard that are not only edible, but delicious. For each plant, you'll find at least one full-color photo (usually more) and guidance on harvesting and eating. Even better, she gives you basic recipes and advice on how to preserve some of these wild delicacies.

What I love about this book: it's all in the details. With Backyard Foraging in hand, you'll have complete confidence in your food finds. Bonus: Zachos doesn't lead you on a wild goose chase. The plants she describes are common ones and easy to identify.

Carole Coates is a gardener and food preservationist, family archivist, essayist, poet, photographer, modern homesteader. You can follow her Mother Earth News blog posts by following this link. You can also find Carole at Living On the Diagonal where she shares her take on life, including modern homesteading, food preparation and preservation, and travel as well random thoughts and reflections, personal essays, poetry, and photography.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.