Yes, we are here!

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-234-3368 or by email. Stay safe!

Improve Your Homestead Through Notebooks

| 10/3/2018 9:27:00 AM

November Sunset

As a homeschooling family, I am discovering new learning tools that I often want to try out for myself. One tool that we make a lot of use of in our homeschool is notebooks. I’ve come to see the value of keeping notes, and in particular, how such notebooks can benefit modern homesteaders. So, taking a cue from my children, I’ve started keeping some notebooks about our property and all the activities that we pursue upon it. These books have proved themselves very useful, so I thought I might share with anyone interested.

We keep track of annual milestones in a book of firsts. This “book” is actually an ongoing log where I track when the natural world’s milestones occur around our homestead. What results from my keeping a book of firsts is a growing awareness of the natural rhythms that surround us. We’ve come to know when to expect certain events or to recognize if something is occurring later or earlier than it typically has in the past. We can also anticipate when to begin looking for particular milestones. For example, when to start looking for certain mushrooms, or when the wild black raspberries should be ripe.  

Here are a few examples of what I include in my book of firsts: spring peepers peeping, cicadas singing, first ripe tomato, and ice on the pond. These items are relevant to my place on this beautiful planet, southern Ontario. Obviously, people living in Arizona, Florida, or Oregon would want to keep track of milestones relevant to their locations. That’s the beauty of keeping notebooks, you keep track of what is important to you.

In addition to a book of firsts, a person can keep a more formal notebook/journal. We could call this a farm journal, homestead journal, property journal, or something else. Such notekeeping is nothing new. A lot of gardeners already keep a garden journal, in which they document what they plant, where they plant it, how it fared, and if it’s worth growing again. Furthermore, It’s rather common for some people to carry around a notepad and pencil to jot down to-dos as they pop into their heads.

A farm journal could be an expansion of a garden journal or observations noted alongside a list of to-dos. Or it could be something else all together. Maybe it would only be useful for a short span of time. For example, prior to starting a new venture, spend some time in careful observation and note what takes place at a given location; how it changes with the seasons, where the water pools, where the soil is richest, how weather patterns affect it. Maybe the journal would become more of a diary and become something that you make notes in each day, perhaps even sketches.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me