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  • 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

  • may contest image

    Insteading Giveaway – May 2018

    There’s nothing quite like taking that first bite into a homegrown summer tomato. Whether you’re growing large, hearty, beefsteak tomatoes, or small, sweet cherry tomatoes, you’ll need lots of sun, water, and some helpful gardening equipment to make sure you have the best season yet. For this month’s contest, we’re giving away a Tomato Growing […] 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

  • purslane

    Purslane: Weed Or Delicacy?

    Have you seen this plant in your garden? If you have, you probably have a lot of it. It’s purslane, one of the most persistent weeds in North America. Have you seen this leafy green in your salad? It’s purslane, a leafy green that was enjoyed by early Americans like Martha Washington. It was cultivated […] More

  • black and white lighthouse on the beach

    Lighthouses For Sale

    Buying a lighthouse is more than a real estate transaction. It’s a lifestyle change that links you to a proud American tradition. The best way to find lighthouses for sale is via a US Government lighthouse “property disposal”. These happen sporadically. When one is going on, the General Services Administration lists available lighthouses on this […] More

  • cured meats

    How To Cure Meat

    Most meat eaters have had salumi, ham, lox, pancetta, beef jerky, or bacon. All those foods fall into the same category of cured meats, but we don’t often stop to think about what curing means and how it affects the meat. Are cured meats healthy? What does curing meat actually involve, and how do you […] More

  • black walnuts being processed

    Black Walnut Trees

    The black walnut tree is a part of the tree species Juglandaceae. While they’re native to some parts of Canada, you will most likely find black walnut trees in the United States. In the states, black walnut trees are found in Georgia, Florida, South Dakota, and Texas. In Canada, you are most likely to see […] More

  • Self Watering Planters

    Every gardener has that one plant that seems to have a never-ending thirst. You water it, tend to all your other plants, and next thing you know, the soil is all dried up again! Plants that like (or tolerate) wet soil include mint, snowdrops, canna, astilbe, and calla lilies. This soil preference makes all of […] More

  • apples in boxes

    How To Store Apples

    It sounds like the title of a Hulu-only horror movie but it’s a fact: Picked apples are alive! “Fruit does not die when harvested,” cautions agricultural experts at Iowa State University. “It remains a living organism that continues to take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide.” After an apple is picked, it eats itself […] More

  • easter lilies

    How To Care For Easter Lilies

    Walking into church Easter morning, the air is rich with the powerful scent of lilies. But not just any lily, the prolific white lily, popularly known as the Easter lily. Its symbolic association with Christianity stems from Biblical references, but its association with Easter is evident in the shelves of blooming white lilies in grocery […] More

  • cabbage patch

    Growing Cabbage

    Cabbage, a dietary staple in cultures around the world, is a hardy, green leaf vegetable packed full of vitamins. Although it establishes itself easily, cabbage can be somewhat challenging to grow. A magnet for many garden pests, cabbage requires cool temperatures, fertile soil, excellent drainage, and plenty of moisture. Plant Description A member of the […] More

  • bamboo

    How To Grow Bamboo

    Bamboo is an amazing plant! It has so many benefits to offer on so many levels. Not only does bamboo produce oxygen, which helps to clean the area where you grow your plants, but many varieties are edible! And above all, gardening is just great for your health in general. Unfortunately, growing bamboo is often […] More

  • meat smoking

    How To Smoke Meat

    Nothing quite complements the savory flavor of meat as well as the tang of smoke. Smoking meat is a low and slow cooking method that gives delicious flavor to any type of meat or other foods like cheese. With the right equipment and a little basic knowledge, it’s very easy to get started smoking meat. […] More

  • bird and bird house and feeder

    10 Steps To Attract Birds In The Winter

    Do you want to attract winter birds to your homestead landscape? Do you enjoy their sweet sounds and would like to have more feathered friends come to visit? Birds make the garden magically come alive with beauty, color, music, and motion. Read on to learn more about foods that will attract specific birds to the […] More

  • Hammock Chairs

    When the sun comes out there’s nothing more relaxing than lounging in your backyard garden. Once you’ve worked hard all spring to care for your flowers and plants, the only thing you’ll want to do is kick up your feet and relax. Hammock chairs are a great spot to chill out with a good book, […] More

  • sage in pot

    All About Sage

    Experienced homesteaders suggest that if you want to attract birds, bees, butterflies, and wildlife to your rural homestead, plant and grow sage. Sage is a favorite in homestead herb gardens because it is one of the easiest plants to grow. A member of 200 genera and more than 3,200 species of the plant family Lamiaceae, […] More

  • homemade butter in mason jar

    How To Make Butter

    There’s nothing more delectable than a smear of creamy, fresh butter on warm bread. Whether you’re baking French pastries, sautéing green beans, or serving hot popcorn, you’ll want butter within easy reach. Skip The Supermarket Real butter, not margarine or butter substitute, can get pricey, especially if you do a lot of home baking or […] More

  • herb garden

    Herb Gardening 101

    Planning and planting an organic herb garden is a traditional part of the homestead lifestyle goal of self-sufficiency. Growing rare and beautiful culinary and medicinal herbs is a glorious gardening experience. Herbs offer brilliant flowers, delightful fragrance, eye-catching foliage, and they are one of the easiest types of plants to grow. Think of the herbs […] More

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