• homemade soap

    DIY Soap Recipes

    As an urban homesteading enthusiast, I definitely have the DIY bug. Gardening, landscaping, and chickens are all great for outdoor ideas, but in rainy Seattle it’s nice to find an indoor project too. I love all of the crazy scents available at our local farmers market (thai basil & lemongrass?!), that I chose this as […] More

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  • thrive market review packaging

    Thrive Market Review

    Editor’s Note: We’ve been hearing awesome things about Thrive Market, but before we plunked down the $59.95 membership fee, we needed to know: Is it better than other online and local organic food options? We decided on a two-part strategy: Our writer road-tested the service, which she wanted to try anyway. Meanwhile, we compared the […] More

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  • Is Organic Agriculture a Myth, or a Viable Reality?

    Please forgive me for the long piece. But as someone with a lot of knowledge about pesticides and their use, and organic, new and novel farming techniques, I found this article by Scientific American to be an appalling hit piece against non-conventional agriculture. It’s so laden with misdirection, half truths and outright lies that I feel the need to address it directly. More

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • Why Does Organic Seem Larger Than It Is?

    For a long time we have been hearing that “Organic is the fastest growing segment of the food industry.”  Organic advocates make the claim that Organic could “feed the world” or that it could be “the solution to global warming.”  There is definitely enough buzz about Organic to make all of this seem plausible.  The […] More

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  • Can Someone Explain “Organic Tobacco” to Me?

    I was at a turf industry trade show yesterday talking to a salesperson from a company that markets Organic fertilizer to golf courses (they describe it as the “natural amino acids found in feather, blood, meat and fish meals”).  There are actually a lot of better, controlled-release nitrogen fertilizer options for turf, but I decided […] More

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  • Critical Reasoning vs. Anti-Organic Backlash: Don’t Swallow the Hype!

    A May 2012 study attempted to link ‘exposure to organic food’ with ‘harsher moral judgments,’ and the popular media gleefully ran with it. Proclaiming the allegedly proven immorality and selfish jerkishness of organic shoppers, the blogosphere blew up with ‘study proves organic shoppers are smug a-holes!’ articles. But guess what? It had nothing at all to do with organic shopping! There’s a huge amount of well-funded anti-organic backlash in US media right now, and this kind of foolishness is a perfect example of why an ounce of critical thinking is worth a pound of hyperbolic pseudoscientific nonsense. More

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  • USDA Organic: 20 years Later

    [social_buttons] We are coming up on the 20th anniversary  of the The Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C.A. § 6501-22, November 28, 1990) in which Congress commissioned the USDA to develop a comprehensive national rule for what could be marketed as “Organic.”  It took until October of 2002 for the “Final Rule” to become law.  […] More

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  • bar soap and liquid soap

    Why Bar Soap Is Better For The Environment Than Liquid Soap

    If you care about the environment, buy bar soap. The force behind this directive comes from Zurich’s Institute of Environmental Engineering. Scientists there assessed three categories of cleaners: laundry detergent, body soap, and surface cleaners. The goal was a first-ever life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) of these types of products. An LCIA takes into account […] More

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  • A Moon Gate For Your Garden

    A moon gate rises out of the earth, like the moon rises in the sky; both spheres celebrate the continuous cycle of birth and death…rising and falling… 33 Stunning Moon Gates 1) Un-Mortared Granite Moon gate, built of unmortared granite blocks, built in 1996 by Dave Araneo of Massachusetts. “It’s is one of the oldest technologies around,” […] More

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