More stories

  • the holly and the ivy

    Homestead Stories: The Holly And The Ivy

    “The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown. Of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown.” I hummed the tune happily as I dialed my parents’ number. I would be going home in a few days to spend Christmas with the family. I was excited and […] More

  • bulk food in jars

    Frugal Living: Everything You Need To Know

    It’s no secret that modern living is a bit of a morass of consumerism, waste, and debt. In a world where the latest smartphone debuts less than a year after its previous iteration, where the Joneses are always one step ahead of you, and where mountains of plastic are clogging up waterways and oceans, the […] More

  • small backyard

    15 Small Backyard Ideas To Make Your Space Feel Larger

    No, you won’t be building an Olympic-sized swimming pool back there, but your small backyard can still be an oasis for your plants, your friends, and your mind. We’re going to take a look at several small backyard ideas that can transform your cozy yard for maximum use and enjoyment. 1. Make Use Of Your […] More

  • red pipe shelf

    25 Pipe Shelves To Add Rustic Flair To Your Home

    Nothing brings rustic vibes to home decor quite like pipe shelves. The antique and vintage feel of exposed pipes contrasts well with farmhouse-inspired wood shelves. That being said, if rustic isn’t your style, these shelves can still be for you! There are plenty of more modern, industrial pipe shelf options that would fit with your […] More

  • july contest featured image

    Insteading Giveaway – July 2018

    With any luck, as the summer progresses you’ll have so much food from your garden that you just aren’t sure what to do with it all. Canning is a time-honored tradition that makes those strawberries, peaches, and cucumbers last all year long. Whether you’re new to canning or learned from your grandmother years ago, everyone […] More

  • gopher

    How To Get Rid Of Gophers

    There’s nothing like planting a beautiful garden, only to have burrowing animals eating your carrots and making tunnels through your lettuce patch. Despite being cute and fluffy, gophers are a farm and garden pest. Along with rabbits and field mice, gophers are some of the most common mammals that disrupt growing crops. There are plenty […] More

  • solar panels

    Living Off-Grid: What It’s Actually Like

    When people learn that my husband and I moved our family to the Ozarks to go off-grid, we sometimes get interesting responses. Living off-grid evokes images of end-of-the-world preppers stocking up MREs and ammo, wild-haired hermits digging in the dirt for acorns and mushrooms, or maybe criminals attempting to elude capture. But if you visited […] More

  • lavender

    Repel Mosquitos With These 7 Plants

    Looking for a mosquito-free garden? We know that plant extracts and oils are effective as mosquito repellents, but some garden plants also help keep pesky insects away. “Mosquito-repelling plants tend to be highly aromatic,” says Amy Lawhorne, Vice President of Mosquito Squad, a national tick and mosquito control company. “Some have appealing scents, while others will […] More

  • 34 Unique Solar Lights For Paths, Gardens, And Backyards

    Whether you’re wanting to illuminate a pathway or add a bit of ambiance to your backyard or garden, solar lights offer a lighting source that won’t add any extra expense to your electricity bill. A solar light charges during the day and typically turns on automatically at dusk. Most lights can last 8-10 hours on a […] More

  • jack-in-the-pulpit

    Jack-In-The-Pulpit: A Beautiful Flower With A Weird Name

    Growing up in the 1960s, just about everyone in my class at school went to church, and most churches were similar in layout, including, at the front by the choir, a pulpit. So, when the lessons turned to studying the wildflowers of Ontario, the one plant which captured our attention was the Jack-in-the-pulpit. The teacher […] More

  • false solomon's seal

    Homestead Stories: What’s False About False Solomon’s Seal?

    “False Solomon’s seal? What’s that? And why is it false? What’s the real thing?” Questions. Always lots of questions. Each new discovery on my country property opened up a new page of learning, understanding, and appreciating. I had been studying the knee-tall foliage that arched over my flower beds. With oval-shaped leaves draping along the […] More

  • ducks

    Homestead Stories: The Day I Butchered My First Duck

    Our Pekin duck was a problem. Belligerent and lascivious, he had taken the peace of our small flock and turned it on its head. Our ducks had stopped producing eggs due to his voracious affections, and his “favorite” had the bald spots on her head and the foaming eye to prove it. The rest of […] More

  • hanging planters

    Hanging Planters Perfect For Flowers And Succulents

    Every spring it seems like even after the garden beds are filled and the containers are sprouting with flowers, we always want to grow more! So if all the grounds in your garden are filled, it’s time to start taking advantage of all that vertical space that you probably haven’t thought twice about. Hanging planters […] More

  • inside of greenhouse

    25 Small Greenhouses (For Nearly Any Space—2×2 And Up)

    A small greenhouse allows just the right amount of sun and moisture to come in while keeping insects and bad weather out. And the easy access panels or sliding doors make tending to your tomatoes or lettuce easy labor. If you’re a hobby gardener who likes to grow a few veggies on your patio, or […] More

  • cardinal on bird bath

    24 Truly Unique Bird Baths (Starting At Less Than $25!)

    Enjoying the beauty and birdsong of avian visitors can be a delightful and relaxing way to spend time in your backyard. There’s something special about slowing time down to watch birds look for food or call to one another. Many bird enthusiasts look for ways to attract more feathered friends to their outdoor spaces, and […] More

  • 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

  • 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

Load More
Congratulations. You've reached the end of the internet.
Back to Top