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  • 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

  • Insteading Giveaway – September 2019

    Fall is right around the corner and as you’re harvesting your last few tomato plants, soon you’ll find yourself putting the garden beds to rest for the winter. Along with weeding and planning out next spring’s garden, fall is a wonderful time of the year to prepare compost to enrich your empty garden bed’s soil. […] 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

  • stack of radishes

    How To Store Radishes

    Radishes come in several shapes, sizes, and colors, all with their own unique flavor. The radish is an easy to grow vegetable that is great for beginning gardeners. This cool weather root vegetable is hardy, grows quickly, and can be planted multiple times within a growing season. Radishes can be enjoyed raw or cooked. There […] More

  • Growing Horseradish In The Homestead Garden

    Horseradish, a member of the mustard family and a close cousin of both cauliflower and the common radish, deserves a place in the homestead garden. Cultivated for its thick, creamy white or yellowish roots, horseradish derives its heat from isothiocyanate, a unique volatile compound oxidized when exposed to air and saliva. The spicy taste, pungent […] More

  • succulents in pots

    20 Types Of Succulents For Your Desktop Or Rock Garden

    Generally, a succulent refers to a plant with chubby, fleshy greenery. The word on its own evokes a particular image, so if you think it’s a succulent, it probably is. The thick leaves are often plump because they’re designed to retain moisture for these drought-tolerant plants. Most succulents are fairly low maintenance and produce flowers […] More

  • soft top gazebo

    The Best Amazon Prime Day Deals For Homesteaders

    Amazon’s massive Prime Day promotion started Monday, July 15th at 12 am PT. They’ll be announcing deals throughout the day. This year’s Prime Day will last for 48 hours. Each deal will be one of four types: Prime Day Deals: Deep discounts on top products that last until Amazon runs out of stock (in some cases, […] More

  • goat fence

    5 Goat Fencing Options And Details To Consider

    Among goat owners, there’s a well-known saying: “A fence that won’t hold water won’t hold a goat.” And though that hyperbole may seem extreme … it’s certainly proven true by the generations of goat-escapees that have tested the patience of their fence-builders. I think it’s also safe to say there is no one perfect solution for comfortably containing […] More

  • osage oranges

    Osage Orange Trees: Durable Hardwood With Alien-Like Fruit

    Grown for decades by farmers and gardeners across the mid-western United States, Osage orange trees are incredibly versatile and can serve all sorts of purposes on the homestead. The wood from the Osage tree has been used to make tool handles, fence posts, livestock stockades, and furniture with a stable, durable wood that can withstand […] More

  • trellis plant on wall

    15 Trellis Plants For Your Wall, Pergola, And Arbor

    Pergolas, arbors, and trellises look mighty boring without a plant wrapped around their nooks and crannies. But why should you bother finding a trellis plant to cover your garden structure? It might be to provide privacy, add a decorative element, or save space in a small area. And if you’ve run out of room on […] More

  • male and female muscovy duck

    Raising Muscovy Ducks And Why You Probably Want Them

    With their clawed feet, bizarre-looking caruncles, mohawk-like crest, and lack of quack, Muscovy ducks don’t quite fit the “bill” (if you pardon the pun) for what you might consider a “normal” duck. But on our homestead, these are the only ducks we want to keep because they have won our hearts with both their utility […] More

  • lettuce

    12 Vegetables That Can Grow In Shade

    Just because your yard, porch, or plot of land is permanently sitting in dappled shade, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on gardening or providing your family with homegrown goodness. Plenty of vegetables are perfectly capable of growing in partial shade. You’d be surprised at just what you CAN grow! Full Sun, Partial […] More

  • okra

    How To Grow, Maintain, And Harvest The Okra Plant

    Okra seems to be one of the foods synonymous with the south — alongside fried chicken, collard greens, and cast-iron cornbread. And indeed, the warm-weather crop does best in places where the temperatures are sizzling! This delicious, nutritious, and versatile vegetable need not be constrained below the Mason-Dixon Line, however. Growers all over the country […] More

  • drought tolerant landscape

    8 Beautiful, Drought-Tolerant Plants For Dry Landscapes

    You’ve heard the rain. All that free water falling from the sky, keeping the hills and valleys green. But if you live in a drought-prone area that cooling summer rain may seem more like a fever dream than reality, and all the lush, beautiful vegetation associated with rain — as far away as the clouds that […] More

  • sunflower and sky

    How To Grow Sunflowers

    I love sunflowers. Sunflowers display a bright splash of cheerful color against the garden fence, they provide an abundant crop of seeds which both our family and the birds enjoy, and they are so easy to grow. It doesn’t matter if you have a green thumb or not. If you can stick a seed in […] More

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