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  • 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

  • cast iron cooking set

    Insteading Giveaway – October 2019

    The days are getting chilly, the garden is nearly put to rest for the winter, and your pantry is stock pilled with all sorts of tasty canned goods. And with the change in weather comes all those cozy soups, pot roasts, and chili dinners. For this month’s contest, we’re giving away a cast iron cooking […] 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

  • hummingbird and flower

    20 Eye-Catching Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

    If you’re wondering how you can attract hummingbirds to your garden oasis, look no further. Here are 20 flowers you can plant that have bright colors, high-quality nectar, tubular-shaped flowers, and other features that will entice the charming flappers to your yard. Bee Balm USDA Zone: 4-9 Bloom time: Midsummer to September Useful for attracting […] More

  • straw and garden

    The Basics Of Straw Bale Gardening

    An ancient gardening technique dating back to the Romans, straw bale gardening is a simple concept. As a straw bale starts to decompose or break down, it turns into a raised, compostable, 40-gallon planter that’s ideal for growing vegetables. Straw bale gardens are inexpensive, easy to set up, easy to maintain, and biodegradable. Straw bale […] More

  • pepper plant

    Growing Peppers

    Peter Piper may have picked an inexplicably pickled peck of peppers (were they fermenting on the plants or something?) but in order to pick a peck, they first needed to be planted. Thankfully, the process of cultivating and harvesting peppers is a good deal simpler than the tongue-twisters they inspire! Considering that store-bought peppers of […] More

  • carton of duck eggs

    Why Duck Eggs Are The Best Thing You’ve Never Eaten (Yet!)

    Everyone always talks about the proverbial first appearance of the chicken and her egg, but where are the philosophical wonderings about duck eggs? Indeed, these wonderful waterfowl have been a part of farms and homesteads as long as chickens, but their eggs are yet to break into popular culture and everyday cuisine. Truly, this is […] More

  • rodgers flower on pond edge

    Rodgers Flower: A Shady Perennial

    “What is that huge plant in your shade garden?” The large, leafy plant with tall spiky flowers (extremely tall — almost my height of 5 feet) really caught my attention. I was visiting a nursery that specialized in perennials, and they had a wide selection of shade garden plants from all over the world. I […] More

  • frosted purple kale

    8 Winter Vegetables You Should Plant In Your Garden

    August rolls around, and lots of us start looking at the garden with a sad sigh. The cucumbers are petering out. The tomatoes are still going strong, but the first frost (is it really looming already?) will wipe them (and the okra) from the plot until next year. The summer squash is gangly and tired, and […] More

  • ground cover around flagstone

    9 Ground Cover Plants to Replace Your Grass Lawn

    Lawns. They started out as a status symbol, and they’ve been holding that dubiously positive rank since they were first carved out of the fields around castles. Back then, there was at least some strategic advantage. It’s pretty hard to have your army sneak up on an enemy stronghold when it’s surrounded by acres of carefully-trimmed […] More

  • flowers

    Getting Started With Self-Sufficient Living (And Why It IS Possible)

    Self-sufficiency. What other term in the homesteading sphere carries such a weight of history, responsibility, and hope? Visions of lush, productive gardens, cozy wood stoves crackling with hand-split hardwood, provisions lining the pantry shelves, and healthy animals moving through the fields; all dance in our heads backed by the resounding questions: Is it actually possible? […] More

  • strawberry in planter

    7 Fruits To Grow In Containers On Your Patio Or Balcony

    Once upon a time, fruits didn’t have much of a place in my garden. I didn’t really know it was possible to grow fruit trees or bushes in my small plot. I always imagined that fruits were best grown in tropical climates and in gardens with a lot of space. At the time, I was […] More

  • mourning dove

    Homestead Stories: I Love My Birds, But…

    Several years ago, my daughter informed me (with great excitement) there was a mourning dove nesting in my hanging fuchsia on the front balcony. “No way,” I declared. “Come see,” she insisted. Sure enough, in the center of my prized fuchsia was a mourning dove, packing things down to make a nest. I wasn’t too […] More

  • flowers and candles

    12 Natural Air Fresheners

    My mother survived stage IV lung cancer (!) but the effects of the disease forced her to be on oxygen 24/7. Needless to say, she’s had to make adjustments to her lifestyle. One thing she had to give up was traditional air fresheners. She loves a clean-smelling house and used chemical-ridden sprays and plugins regularly. […] More

  • pesto pasta with tomatoes

    13 Everyday Uses For Whey

    Whey is the liquidy by-product of cheese and yogurt making. Instead of throwing away the by-product and wasting it, you can use this incredibly nutritious and complete protein. Whey contains all nine amino acids! In addition, it contains a lot less lactose compared to other milk products. Because of its high protein content and nutritional […] More

  • bok choy growing next to lettuce

    4 Asian Vegetables You Should Add To Your Garden

    As homesteaders, we don’t eat out a lot because we prefer to raise our own healthy food. But sometimes it’s nice to splurge when we are out for the day. When we do, I love having Asian food. Chinese, Thai, and Japanese are some of my favorite cuisines when dining out. Asian cuisine features all […] More

  • letttuce in garden

    10 Fast-Growing Vegetables

    If you love to garden, but live in a region with a short growing season, you can still successfully grow vegetables outdoors in the homestead garden. Fresh scallions, chives, lettuce, spinach, basil, and radishes are all fast-growing veggies that are easy to grow, easy to harvest, and easy to sell as a supplemental cash crop. […] More

  • close up photo of fly

    How To Get Rid Of Flies: Natural And Effective Options

    Flies are everywhere. In fact, entomologists have named over 100,000 species of flies on earth. Not only are flies annoying, but they also carry germs and diseases. Though flies are a tasty treat for frogs, they are not good for us. The following article will provide you with a variety of tips to repel and […] More

  • salmon

    15 Of The Healthiest Meats You Should Add To Your Diet

    The American Heart Association recommends limiting the intake of red meat and opting for poultry and fish. Red meat is higher in saturated fat, and a higher consumption may lead to high cholesterol and heart disease. White meats (fish, poultry), on the other hand, contain omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to reduce heart […] More

  • duck coop

    10 Considerations For Your Backyard Duck Coop

    When it comes to barnyard livestock, ducks are probably the easiest-going of the bunch. When there is a slight drizzle, the goats complain and run in the barn. When the north wind blows ice crystals across the fields, your chickens are floofed-up and hiding in the coop. Meanwhile, the ducks are blithely waddling across slush […] More

  • rocks piled at base of big coop

    7 Chicken Predators And How To Protect Your Flock

    When I still lived in the city, I dreamed of chickens. I browsed breed lists like a bride-to-be looks through wedding catalogs. I anticipated morning egg gathering, rooster crows, egg-laying cackles, and lots of free fertilizer! But for all my research, I had no idea what it would feel like to face what I grimly call “predator […] More

  • camping on a dutch oven over fire

    20 Dutch Oven Camping Recipes for Your Next Outdoor Adventure

    I’ve always loved camping, and one of my favorite parts is the outdoor cooking experience. Food cooked over a campfire is something you just can’t replicate at home in your kitchen. A lot of times, you will see what I call traditional camping food. Hot dogs, hamburgers, various salads (prepared before the trip) and an […] More

  • mullein flowers

    Mullein: An Herbal Remedy, Not A Weed

    “Isn’t that a weed?” I asked my friend. I pointed to the pale green, hairy stem rising from the flannel-textured center rosette. “It grows tall, you know. I pulled one last week that was taller than me — at least 7 feet!” “No, it’s called mullein,” my friend replied. It’s actually a heritage plant, brought […] More

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