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  • stevia plants

    Stevia: A Sweet Perennial Herb

    Stevia is a very cool plant: It’s a little perennial herb that is beautiful to look at, easy to grow, and is a deliciously sweet herb to use in your teas and cooking. Stevia (official name Stevia rebaudiana; in the family Asteraceae, along with sunflowers and daisies) is of South American origin and has been used […] More

  • ginger root

    Growing Ginger (With Tips For Indoor And Outdoor Growing)

    Full disclosure: I may have more than a mild obsession with ginger. These days I’m finding myself craving it regularly. I love it added to my favorite Asian or Indian-inspired dishes, drinking it in tea form, and having ginger dressing no less than three times a week on my salads. The slightly spicy, savory flavor […] More

  • amaranth plant

    Amaranth: Weed Or Superfood?

    If you’ve been in a health food store or a gluten-free bakery recently, chances are you have heard of amaranth. If you’re a gardener, you’re probably familiar with amaranth as a common weed. What is this plant anyway? The history and production of amaranth are full of contradictions. Amaranth is the genus name for a […] More

  • green beans

    Growing Green Beans

    Nothing says summer quite like the refreshing crunch and snap of a green bean on a hot day. These legumes—also known as string beans—are classics in all kinds of recipes from the infamous green bean casserole to char-grilled with butter and lemon. People who hated green beans like grandma used to make them (out of […] More

  • potting plants

    Potting Benches

    Potting benches are functional pieces of outdoor garden furniture that not only allow you to pot your plants with ease, but offer all sorts of storage for your gardening tools. Cabinets, drawers, and hooks work to keep your tools easily accessible and organized. Once you’ve invested money in high-quality trowels, hand rakes, and pruners, the […] More

  • june featured image

    Insteading Giveaway – June 2018

    Ah, summer. The sun is shining, the days are longer, the kids are out of school, and if you’re lucky, a good portion of your day is spent in the garden! Whether your tending to your tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, or flower beds, there are some tools that come in handy to make sure they are […] More

  • wild grapes

    Wild Grapes

    31Among the wild food just waiting to be plucked from open fields, deep forests, lush riverbanks and country roadsides, wild grapes have got to be a favorite. If you’re a fan of the delicious fruit, you’re not alone. It turns out that humans have likely been gathering grapes for 15,000 years before we were cultivating […] More

  • bird in pussy willow shrubs

    Homestead Stories: Growing Pussy Willows

    “What is that yellow fluff covering the bush in the corner?” I asked. It was my first spring living in the country, and I still had a lot to learn. I had been watching the snowdrops and the crocuses do their early spring color display, and I was keeping an eye on my lilac bushes, […] More

  • goats

    What Do Goats Eat?

    Many of us—particularly those who didn’t grow up on a farm—have some strange stereotypes embedded in our minds about what farms are like. All cows are black and white, all farmers wear overalls, all barns are painted red. One of the oddest ones I remember inheriting is the idea that goats enjoy munching on tin […] More

  • hand holding herbs

    How To Dry Herbs From Your Garden

    Growing fresh herbs is a delightful task. Raising basil, dill, cilantro, oregano, mint, parsley, and other fragrant plants provide a fun distraction each day as you caretake your little greens. But the best part about growing herbs is that you get to enjoy a wide variety of flavor in your foods on a budget! But […] More

  • bakers rack

    Baker’s Racks

    Once, cooks used them to cool down fresh pies. Now, baker’s racks help keep kitchens clutter-free. Between pots and pans, small appliances and dishware, your kitchen can get unorganized quickly. Whether your kitchen decor is rustic and farm-inspired or sleek and modern, consider adding a baker’s rack. Your kitchen supplies deserve to have their own home […] More

  • japanese beetle on sunflower

    How To Get Rid Of Japanese Beetles

    I didn’t know about Japanese beetles until I moved to the Southeast. As it turns out, the early summer heat makes Tennessee a literal hotspot for these pests. To my dismay and endless frustration, they made quick work of my rose bushes and feasted on the broccoli plants in my garden. Present in every state […] More

  • flower trellis

    30 Lovely Garden Trellises

    A staple of backyards and gardens for decades, trellises can serve as functional garden bed additions and decorative works of art. By supporting climbing plants, vines, and flowers, empty trellises can transform into beautiful, natural garden features—with a bit of time and patience. Larger trellises can serve as a privacy screen, while smaller, more narrow […] More

  • Outdoor Fireplaces

    Fireplaces offer a warm, cozy spot to snuggle up with a good book after a long day. Why not take that relaxation outside? With outdoor fireplaces, not only are you creating a great relaxation spot for yourself, but you’re creating a gathering area that will serve you and your family and friends for years to […] More

  • dresser drawers

    How To Upcycle Broken Dresser Drawers Into A Shelf

    My brother had a dresser he was looking to get rid of. It was no longer usable … as a dresser that is! I could see the DIY potential, so I upcycled and repurposed what I could salvage and made some shelves for the kids’ playroom. This project is super simple and doesn’t require too […] More

  • pea gravel

    Pea Gravel Patios

    Using natural materials in hardscaping is among one of most the popular trends in patios right now. Among these natural options, pea gravel is one of the best. Pea gravel is visually appealing as the small, round stones offer a soft look to the space they occupy. The gravel is also versatile and can accommodate […] More

  • persimmons

    How To Eat A Persimmon

    When I first moved to California, the house we rented had a mature Fuyu persimmon tree in the front yard. I had never tasted a persimmon before and didn’t know what to make of them. It wasn’t long before the tree’s boughs began to bend with the weight of plump fruit, and I suddenly had […] More

  • soap made with hops

    Making Homemade Soap

    I started making my own soap out of necessity, but eventually it became one of our farm products. Around 2000, I started having severe rashes. I had combination allergies, which made me allergic to soaps, shampoos, laundry detergent and even toothpaste! I started out making my soaps with melt-and-pour glycerin, but that proved to be […] More

  • school buses

    10 Amazing School Bus Conversions

    Converting a school bus into a permanent residence is a bit like a coming-of-age story. You take a school bus, probably one very similar to the one you rode in elementary school, gut it entirely, and build a tiny home out of it. To me, the whole process just feels very charming, sustainable, and appealing. […] More

  • lettuce growing

    Growing Lettuce

    There is nothing more foundational to eating fresh vegetables than lettuce. It comes in many varieties and in many dishes on your table. Though usually not spectacular to eat on its own, it is a cornerstone of many beloved salads and a topping for an infinite variety of wraps, sandwiches, tacos, and so on. It’s […] More

  • wild strawberries

    Foraging for Wild Berries

    If you are looking to find berry variety beyond what your local grocery store or farmer’s market offers, you can look to berry foraging to seek and find a delicious array of berry options in your backyard or further afield. When you forage for berries, you’ll learn about your environment, connect with nature, and diversify […] More

  • making queso fresco

    How To Make Queso Fresco

    There are so many reasons to skip the supermarket and stick to your kitchen these days. If you want to avoid the crazy crowds, save money, and make healthier choices, then you’ll love this easy recipe for homemade queso fresco! Any chance we get to make homemade, wholesome recipes, feels like a win in our […] More

  • dandelions

    Why You Should Keep Your Dandelions

    Yellow, yellow everywhere. Interspersed with the yellow, were just as plentiful white puffballs of fluff. Hardly any green. It was a dandelion haven. As a child, I recall picking dandelions as a flower bouquet for Mom or Gran. They loved them, or so they claimed, and made a big deal of placing them in water […] More

  • strawberries on vine

    Growing Strawberries

    Everyone who gardens knows that homegrown food is more delicious than what you can buy in the store. Strawberries are the prime example. Since a perfectly ripe strawberry is even more juicy and soft than a ripe peach, they are practically impossible to pick and transport commercially. Industrial farms grow hardy breeds of strawberries that […] More

  • smoking meat

    DIY Smoker Plans

    Smoking is a prehistoric practice, and we have records of it in ancient sources of food and cooking. At its most basic, smoking meat just means hanging salted meat over a slow, smoky fire. Smokehouses haven’t changed much in thousands of years, but today there many different sizes and styles of smokers available commercially and […] More

  • hanging spider plant

    Low Light Plants

    Not all of us have the luxury of owning a plot of land to fulfill our gardening dreams. Some of us just have to face the fact that we are, for now, apartment-dwellers. Not only do I live in an apartment with no garden space, but I happen to live in what feels like the […] More

  • chipmunk

    How To Keep Chipmunks Out Of Your Garden Naturally

    They’re cute. They chirp and flirt around, scurrying from one food source to another. But don’t deceive yourself. If you love your garden, you don’t want to be overrun by chipmunks. One chipmunk means many chipmunks. They’re rodents, and like mice and rats, they multiply quickly and they love to dig. They dig holes in […] More

  • newspaper covering weeds around tomato plants

    7 Ways To Get Rid Of Weeds Without Roundup Or Herbicides

    Even the most dedicated permaculturalist has probably had moments of weakness. Sure, you know that pulling weeds by hand is the most sustainable method for your soil and plants, but you’ve probably seen a neighbor or relative spraying Roundup and walking away, knowing that they don’t have to do any more work. Of course, there’s […] More

  • quonset hut at night

    Quonset Huts

    The Quonset hut, designed for military use, is finding its way into contemporary living— with some important upgrades. The original huts, developed on Quonset Island, Rhode Island, were cheap, temporary housing for troops on the move. They were easy to put up, easy to take down and pack, and made of inexpensive materials—corrugated steel and […] More

  • the geodesic dome house

    Geodesic Domes

    Geodesic domes are enjoying a resurgence as more people seek out eco-friendly building options . Architect Buckminster Fuller invented the geodesic dome. The American Institute of Architects calls it “the strongest, lightest and most efficient means of enclosing space known to man.” No doubt you’ve seen geodesic domes before. Some as public structures, some as […] More

  • person holding watermelon to sky

    How To Tell If A Watermelon Is Ripe

    To say my daughter is a melon fan is a gross understatement. This child could live on melon alone, and left to her own devices, she probably would. Her favorite melon being the watermelon, we made it our joint mission years ago to learn how to choose the best one. Even at 8 years old, […] More

  • Heirloom Tomato Varieties

    “Oh, my! That’s an interesting vegetable. What is it?” I looked at the colorful display of greens and reds and purples that made up the market stand, admiring, in particular, the luscious glossy red of the Beefsteak tomatoes. Between the red tomatoes and the yellow and green zucchini, there was a small, roundish vegetable that […] More

  • pink flowers

    80 Awesome Earth Day Tips

    Earth day is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than choosing to make some positive changes in your everyday life! Whether you want to reduce your carbon footprint, teach your kids about the importance of protecting the environment, or support a company that makes donations to earth-conscious charities, we’ve found 77 […] More

  • chicken perching

    Chicken Mites

    Like many animals, chickens can play host to parasites that live on skin, in feathers, and around their living spaces. One such parasite is Dermanyssus gallinae, the chicken mite, a tiny pest found worldwide, that stresses chickens, reduces egg production, and can also transmit diseases. Finding parasite infestations in your birds is always scary, but […] More

  • peanuts

    Growing Peanuts

    Peanuts are one of the most familiar staples of American childhood culture, from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to roasted peanuts at a ballgame. They are also notorious for causing deadly allergic reactions in some people. But surprisingly enough, most people don’t know anything about how they are grown or even that they are not […] More

  • garden fence surrounded by sunflowers

    Garden Fencing

    Garden fencing serves all sorts of purposes. Those needs might be practical, or you might just want a nice accent to mark the edge of your yard. This guide will help you choose the right material and recommend a few vendors. Why Does Your Garden Need A Fence? Every land owner’s needs are different, but […] More

  • findhorn community nature sanctuary

    Wofati

    There’s a charm to underground homes and so-called ‘hobbit homes’, but many former owners of such buildings have moved out due to problems with moisture and related conditions. But, earth might be the best insulator available, and it’s definitely the cheapest. Permaculturalist Paul Wheaton, owner of the forums at permies.com as well as richsoil.com, set […] More

  • fly traps in trees

    Homemade Fly Traps

    So you have a fly problem. That is truly annoying—we’ve all lost sleep as a black fly buzzes around the bedroom. If it’s in the kitchen, it’s probably grossing you out. You’ve made dozens of swatting attempts, with no success. Your arm is tired and you’re frustrated. What to do? Here are three options, with […] More

  • deer in neighborhood

    6 Deer Repellents You Need To Try

    Just. One. Deer. That’s all it takes to undo hours and hours of painstaking yard work. Just one deer can wreak havoc on a beautiful garden. Those vegetables? Flowers? Uprooted. Well-raked planters? Trampled. Fortunately, there are several low-impact ways to deter and repel deer. You don’t have to resort to poison or nasty chemical solutions […] More

  • wild asparagus

    How To Harvest And Transplant Wild Asparagus

    Asparagus has gone wild! Foraging for asparagus is easy and fun. When it’s asparagus season, you can dodge the high prices at the supermarket just by going out and harvesting some for yourself. Where To Find Wild Asparagus My favorite spring vegetable is wild in every U.S. state and most of Canada. Asparagus grows wild […] More

  • japanese futon

    Shikibuton

    Japan has a long history of developing thoughtful, tidy design ideas. That’s why the traditional bedroom setup in Japan is perfect for anyone who lives in a tiny house or any other sort of close quarters. Why You Should Use A Shikibuton Before we get into that, think about a typical Western tiny house or […] More

  • alan harvesting honey

    To Catch A Honeybee Swarm

    What is swarming? It’s when one colony of bees breaks off and forms a new colony. If the colony stored enough over the winter and early spring, a new brood will hatch, and the old hive becomes too small for all the bees. When the bees are calmost ready to leave the old hive, they […] More

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