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  • canned peaches

    Canning Peaches

    After spending many memorable summers in the south, I am addicted to the smell and taste of peaches. Aunt Mildred and Uncle Elmer nurtured several different varieties in the peach orchard of their rural Georgia homestead. I loved joining Auntie Millie and the cousins, picking, peeling, preserving, and putting up peaches. Although most of the […] More

  • fence and sunset

    16 Cheap Fence Ideas For The Suburbs And The Country

    When buying a new property — whether in the city, suburbs, or country — you may also inherit broken-down, ugly, or absent fences. With a small patch of land, this may lead to privacy concerns. On a larger acreage homestead, bad or nonexistent fencing can lead to problems like your sheep escaping and eating the neighbor’s […] More

  • pickled peppers

    Canning Peppers

    Whether you overplanted peppers in your garden this year — or stockpiled a bunch that were on sale at the store — don’t let them go to waste! After you’ve made your red pepper soup and spicy jalapeno salsa, consider canning the rest of those peppers to store through the fall and winter. If you […] More

  • duck egg

    10 Delectable Duck Egg Recipes

    Duck eggs, a favored delicacy in China, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines are quickly gaining popularity in the United States. If you’ve never tried them, duck eggs are richer, contain larger yolks, and (due to their thicker shell) stay fresh longer than chicken eggs. Not only are duck eggs considerably larger than chicken eggs, but […] More

  • dryer

    40 Smart Uses For Dryer Sheets In Your Home And Garden

    When you put laundry in a dryer, static builds up on the clothes, sheets, and towels that bounce and tumble in the heat. Throwing in a dryer sheet can reduce static cling and leave your clothes smelling fresh. That said, dryer sheets have gained a bad reputation because they contain quaternary ammonium compounds that can […] More

  • lady fern

    How To Grow And Forage For Lady Fern

    I am in love with lady ferns and tuck every variety into shaded crevices, niches, nooks, and crannies in my homestead rockery. Apple-green in the spring and a glorious golden-yellow in autumn, lady fern is one of the easiest plants to grow in moist, shaded locations. With hundreds of species of lady fern and dozens […] More

  • person planting in straw

    12 Best Plants For Straw Bale Gardening

    Straw bale gardening is an ideal way to overcome nutrient-limited soil. Like other forms of raised-bed gardening, straw bale gardening lets you control the nutrients in your soil. Straw bale gardening utilizes straw bales in place of other types of containers and is a low-maintenance, eco-friendly way to grow plants. Straw bale gardens consist of […] More

  • man collecting basil from underwater herb garden

    Are Underwater Herb Gardens The Future? [Video]

    If sea levels keep rising, where will we grow our food? Researchers in Italy are exploring one option: Underwater gardens. Nemo’s Garden in Noli, Italy is an agricultural project that’s attempting to grow herbs and other lettuce greens in a place where no one thought you could: underwater, in the middle of the ocean. They […] More

  • clean shower head

    How To Clean A Showerhead: 5 Natural Options That Actually Work

    A showerhead is one of many often-neglected home fixtures. When was the last time you gave your showerhead a proper scrubbing — or even thought about it? You might not think much about washing this fixture during regular bathroom cleanings. And why bother? Water spurts out the holes and knocks away any nasty grime anyway, […] More

  • monkey orchid

    Homestead Stories: The Monkey Orchid

    If my Insteading readers have been following the orchid stories, you’ll know how much I love this charming plant. There’s my general, informative article on orchids, the unusually-shaped bat flower, and the swaddled babies. I keep finding more orchid varieties as I browse the local nurseries or share my discoveries with friends. I want to […] More

  • wall art

    20 DIY Wall Art Ideas To Give Your Home Some Personality

    Wall art provides the finishing touch to a room and can pull an entire space together. The addition of wall art creates a focal point, adds texture, offers a splash of color, and shows the unique personality that makes your space feel like home. Here are 20 amazing DIY wall art projects to spruce up […] More

  • person holding peas

    Growing Peas

    Every vegetable that bursts out of the ground is a gift to me. The wispy little feathers of emerging carrots, the blink-and-they’re-there sprouts of lightning-quick radishes, and the first true leaves of a tomato plant — heralding the impatient wait for it to grow and produce the fresh tomatoes of summer. Peas, however, are extra-special. […] More

  • dishwasher powder

    17 DIY Dishwasher Detergent Recipes

    I’m probably one of the few people in this world who loves doing dishes — I love to load up the dishwasher and forget them, that is! Washing dishes by hand is an annoying and time-consuming task. And did you know it often uses more water than dishwashers? Handwashing dishes can use up to 27 […] More

  • radishes

    Growing Radishes

    Every garden has its challenges: Florence fennel that refuses to make a sizeable bulb, spinach that bolts immediately, corn that’s full of tunneling, or kernel-wrecking worms. But every once in awhile, there comes a plant that gives and gives and doesn’t ask much more than a space to give it. Like radishes. I see these […] More

  • pumpkins

    20 Pumpkins You Should Have Planted This Year

    In September you’ll start to see bins full of orange pumpkins at the grocery store. Why settle such a monochrome display? More than 30 different varieties of squash are grown in the U.S. These specialty pumpkins are for decorating, soup, even cutting slices off at eating raw. Find one to grow next year. Black Futsu […] More

  • lettuce varieties in garden

    7 Of The Easiest Vegetables To Grow

    Do you wish to practice self-sufficiency and grow and preserve your own vegetables — but are concerned that you have little time to tend a garden? No worries! There are lots of easy-to-grow vegetables that won’t take too much time and effort to grow successfully. Many homesteaders new to vegetable gardening are intimidated by the […] More

  • irish soda bread

    How To Make Irish Soda Bread

    Irish soda bread traditionally contains only four ingredients: flour, salt, buttermilk, and baking soda. Purists would say that anything beyond these four essentials makes an entirely different bread. There is even a society dedicated to the memory and preservation of traditional Irish soda bread! For many a hard year during the poverty-stricken times of the Great […] More

  • nasturtium flowers

    Homestead Stories: A Colorful Mosaic Of Nasturtiums

    “I love my nasturtiums,” Mom declared years ago as she led me on a walk through her extensive garden. The nasturtiums were everywhere. Every color imaginable — from solids pinks, reds, yellows, and oranges, to multicolored mixes. The long stems wove through and around the other plants, cushioned by the large umbrella leaves that served […] More

  • blue eggs

    Jazz Up Your Flock With Chickens That Lay Blue Eggs

    Before I got into caring for my own flock as a homesteader, my understanding of chicken eggs was pretty much unchanged from childhood. There were the white ones that I could buy in a Styrofoam package at the Mega-Mart, and the brown ones that my dad sometimes brought home from his friend “in the country.” Now […] More

  • driveway and mailbox

    12 Driveway Ideas to Transform Your Home’s Exterior

    After months of planning, house hunting, and endless emails to your very patient realtor, you’ve finally found the house of your dreams — but the driveway is showing every crack and oil spill from the previous owners, and maybe even the owners before them. Your home’s exterior is the first thing your family, friends, (and […] More

  • homemade laundry detergent

    17 Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes To Save You Money

    It wasn’t until I began my journey toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle, that I found out there are many things you can make yourself. Many common household items that you can make, will save you money and are good for the planet. If you take a look at the ingredients in major brands of laundry […] More

  • wyandotte chickens

    Chicken Wormers: A Guide

    New animals are an exciting addition to the homestead, but there’s always a risk when outsiders come into the fold. You never know what extra parasites may accompany them, and potentially damage your healthy herd or flock. This was the case with our new Brahma hen. We loved her beetle-green feathers and quirky feathered feet, […] More

  • vegetable garden beds

    What Size Is Best For A Vegetable Garden?

    So you’ve taken a long, hard look at the sunny space in the back yard, and you’ve decided it’s time to grow more than useless grass. Maybe you’ve just moved to a new property that is full of potential and devoid of a garden, and your green thumb’s itching something fierce. Or, perhaps, you are […] More

  • cubed lard

    Lard: What It Is And How To Use It

    Lard is a type of animal fat specifically derived from a pig. It’s available both rendered and as unrendered fat. When fatty cuts of pork are cooked, lard is the liquid left behind. Its primary use is culinary, and it’s often used as a replacement for other types of fat in a variety of cuisines. […] More

  • fennel plant

    How To Grow, Harvest, And Use The Fennel Plant

    We didn’t go to farmers’ markets often when I was a kid. When we did, my dad always purchased a fennel bulb with the huge spray of feathery leaves that make it so attractive. I think he liked how it looked sticking out of the bag he carried. He would rip off a few leaves, […] More

  • black truffles in basket

    How To Grow Truffles

    If you’ve ever heard of truffles or been lucky enough to taste them, it’s probably been in the context of gourmet dining. A truffle is a type of edible fungi that’s much more difficult to cultivate than other types. Like other crops requiring patience, truffles are considered a delicacy and fetch a high price because […] More

  • purple passionflower

    Homestead Stories: The Purple Passionflower

    “Did you know there are hundreds of varieties of passionflowers?” I thought I was talking to my husband, but he had wandered off to another part of the nursery while I studied the array of color in front of me. Glancing around, I realized I’d been talking to myself with others giving me wary looks. […] More

  • grains in jars

    A Beginner’s Guide To Buying In Bulk

    There are many reasons to shop in bulk. For one, bulk shopping can minimize your impact on the environment by reducing the use of plastic bags and single-use packaging. Shopping in bulk can also save you hundreds of dollars and cut down on trips to the grocery store. Buying in bulk can be intimidating, however. […] More

  • rhubarb plants

    Growing Rhubarb

    Rhubarb pie does eternal battle with apple in my heart — each of them vying to reign as favorite. But I have to admit, there’s something about the tart-sweet of rhubarb that demands attention, and piques longing when it’s not there. I can’t be alone in this appreciation for rhubarb dessert. It wasn’t called “pie […] More

  • snowdrop flowers covered in frost

    10 Winter Flowers To Add Color To Gray Winter Days

    It can be rather sad to see the blooms of summer fade. As your summer flowers die back and prepare for winter, plant some of these winter-blooming varieties to create color for otherwise dreary landscaping. You can fill containers with winter-blooming annuals like pansies and violas, and plant perennials in the landscape for color that […] More

  • composting toilet

    5 DIY Composting Toilet Ideas And Details To Consider

    Most of us were raised on flush toilets. You go in the bathroom, do what you’ve got to do, and then the press of a shiny lever flushes all your unpleasantries into oblivion, never to be thought of again. But that modern luxury — and it is a luxury — is something that many of […] More

  • lettuce up close

    How To Grow Lettuce Indoors

    Can you grow lettuce indoors? Absolutely! In fact, lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow both outside and indoors. When the temperatures drop below zero, it’s possible to grow delicious, tender, leaves of lettuce inside the comfort of your own home. Sun Requirements All plants need some degree of sunlight (lettuce included). However, […] More

  • eggplant in field

    Growing Eggplant

    “What’s in your sandwich? It looks gross.” It’s a weird moment realizing you are THAT KID at school lunch. Surrounded by bologna, pb&j, and ham and cheese, the shiny, black skin poking out of my eggplant parmesan sandwich did look a bit unusual, I guess. With my Sicilian father often puttering at the stove, eggplant had been […] More

  • outside of cabin

    A Guide To Organizing A Log Cabin

    After moving to our mountain cabin, it took us over a year to find the best ways to organize it. We had to learn how to get creative with our space and think about storage in new ways. How you organize the space is key. If you do it well, you can maximize small corners, […] More

  • basil

    12 Types Of Basil To Grow In Your Garden

    It may be hard to believe, but there was a time when I hated basil. I found it overly pungent, and it always seemed to overpower any dish. Thinking back on it, I might have been tasting bad quality basil — either basil that was past its prime or grown in stressed conditions. Today, I […] More

  • Growing Gourds

    To those unfamiliar, there may not seem to be much difference between a gourd and squash. Fruit-wise, they share a lot of similar attributes — cool shapes, hard rind, seeds hidden inside, and beautiful colors. But once you try to grow one, you will quickly notice the enormously long, trailing vines, the beautiful, night-blooming flowers, […] More

  • sourdough bread

    25 Delicious Sourdough Recipes For Your Home Starter

    Sourdough starters used for baking have been around since the cultivation of edible grasses began thousands of years ago. People have been creating healthful and delicious breads of an astounding variety for millennia. It was only after the advent of large-scale industrial baking that instant yeasts (with their quickness and ease of use) asserted themselves as […] More

  • succulent terrarium

    19 Terrarium Plants For Your Miniature Garden

    A terrarium garden is much like an aquarium, but a habitat for plants rather than aquatic life. A terrarium can be constructed in a diverse array of glass containers. When planted, it should look like a miniature forest or fairy garden; its own unique little world. Terrariums are fun to craft for home decor or […] More

  • red cow

    Getting Started With Raising Cattle

    When we moved out to the country, we never planned on breeding and raising a herd of cattle. Mostly, the reason we bought cattle was to help keep the grass mowed on our property, and (hopefully) pay for some horses — the animal we thought we wanted. Fifteen years later, the four horses have come […] More

  • harvesting squash

    Growing Squash

    Take a glance at anyone’s backyard garden. No matter where you go, you’ll likely find a squash plant growing. There’s something about these easy-to-grow and generous plants that demand a place in your garden bed — wherever you can manage to fit it in. So whether you grow succulent zucchinis and crookneck varieties for summer […] More

  • brazilian grape tree

    The Brazilian Grape Tree

    I had spent another morning doing battle with the proliferous wild grape that grew across my rock wall border. I had nothing against grapevines, especially when they bore fruit (which these vines did), and I’d collected bunches to make into jelly. But once they climbed my rock wall, took aim at my lush tree line, […] More

  • mulch

    How To Mulch For A Beautiful, Weed-Free Garden

    I don’t like to describe anything as a miracle when it comes to gardening, but honestly, mulch comes close. Before I discovered this wonderful tool, I was plagued with problems. While my square-foot garden did a good job of choking out weeds on its own (due to close spacing), my garden soil still seemed to […] More

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