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  • potatoes

    Growing Potatoes (The Best Varieties, Avoiding Disease, And Harvesting Tips)

    Potatoes have a place in our kitchen and our culture that is unlike any other crop. They are cheap to buy and easy to grow. They are filling and delicious. From the Irish potato famine to the American potato chip, no other vegetable carries a legacy of such mythic proportions. And can you really call […] 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • chicken perching

    Chicken Mites

    Like many animals, chickens can play host to parasites that live on skin, in feathers, and around their living spaces. One such parasite is Dermanyssus gallinae, the chicken mite, a tiny pest found worldwide, that stresses chickens, reduces egg production, and can also transmit diseases. Finding parasite infestations in your birds is always scary, but […] More

  • peanuts

    Growing Peanuts

    Peanuts are one of the most familiar staples of American childhood culture, from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to roasted peanuts at a ballgame. They are also notorious for causing deadly allergic reactions in some people. But surprisingly enough, most people don’t know anything about how they are grown or even that they are not […] More

  • cured meats

    How To Cure Meat

    Most meat eaters have had salumi, ham, lox, pancetta, beef jerky, or bacon. All those foods fall into the same category of cured meats, but we don’t often stop to think about what curing means and how it affects the meat. Are cured meats healthy? What does curing meat actually involve, and how do you […] More

  • meat smoking

    How To Smoke Meat

    Nothing quite complements the savory flavor of meat as well as the tang of smoke. Smoking meat is a low and slow cooking method that gives delicious flavor to any type of meat or other foods like cheese. With the right equipment and a little basic knowledge, it’s very easy to get started smoking meat. […] More

  • sausage in coils

    How To Make Sausage

    Do you love sausage but get tired of the limited options your grocery store sells? Making your own sausages gives you control over the quality of the ingredients, the spice mix, the link size, and any allergens. The flavor of fresh, homemade sausages is completely unique, and the process of making it yourself gives you […] More

  • aphids on arugula

    How To Get Rid Of Aphids

    If you’re a gardener, you’re probably familiar with finding colonies of tiny, gray insects and eggs clinging to the underside of a leaf. If you’re unlucky, you may have even taken a bite of a kale leaf and spat it out quickly. Aphids are a common and persistent pest that lives all over North America. […] More

  • three chickens on a fence

    Gifts For Chicken Keepers

    As the holiday season approaches, many of us are struggling to decide what to get for our friends, to show thoughtfulness and care, without breaking the bank. This can be an especially hard decision to make if your friend is a down-to-earth, outdoorsy type who doesn’t care much about possessions. What gifts can you get […] More

  • Chicken Hatcheries

    When you want to start a flock of chickens or grow your existing flock, you have a number of options for how to go about purchasing chicks. Check out our article on where to buy chicks. One of the most cost-effective methods is to buy live chicks directly from a hatchery. So fluffy! ? Watch […] More

  • chicken standing on coop fence

    How To Clip Chicken Wings

    Clipping the flight wings on your backyard flock is a harmless and helpful domestic trick that is easy to learn. Clipping a chicken’s wings doesn’t hurt them and can be done at any age. Clipping a chicken’s wings is usually unnecessary until your chickens become adventuresome enough to try to escape their enclosure. Wing feathers […] More

  • Chicken Feed

    Mixing your own feed ration, rather than buying prepared feed, is one of the best ways to save money if you raise chickens (or any animal). You can also be certain about the quality and origin of what your animals are eating. However, to make sure your birds stay healthy, you have to mix the […] More

  • chicken in their chicken run

    Chicken Runs

    Despite the misleading title and the plot of a 2000 movie, a chicken run is intended to let chickens out as well as keep them in. A run is an outdoor enclosure that chickens or other animals can get into on their own. Usually, it’s attached to their coop. It allows them to get exercise and […] More

  • Growing Cucumbers

    Growing cucumbers is a rewarding experience. Nothing is quite as satisfying on a hot day as that juicy crunch when you bite into a fresh cucumber. These delicious vegetables can be a little tricky to grow, especially in cool climates, but there’s no looking back once you find the varieties and practices that work for […] More

  • How To Start A Farm

    So you want to start a farm. You’ve got the green thumb, the know-how, and the gumption to grow your own food. Now you’re ready to start selling it. Buying a little piece of land and starting a farm is the dream, right? Speaking as someone who is in the middle of transforming a young […] More

  • Chicken Diseases

    When you are raising animals, it is always stressful and frightening when they get sick. Here are some common ailments that can strike backyard chickens, and tips for prevention and care. Not all chicken deaths are caused by disease. Check out our article on chicken lifespans to find out more about how long a chicken […] More

  • milk being poured

    Raw Milk

    There is nothing more bucolic and familiar in our imagination of a farm than the image of milking a cow by hand into a bucket, and then pouring a glowing glass of milk for two or three smiling children. How charming. How American. There is a serious disconnect between that image and the reality of […] More

  • broccoli plant

    Growing Broccoli

    Broccoli is an undervalued but delicious crop that is easy to grow in many climates and versatile in the kitchen. If you are new to broccoli, or just looking to improve your harvest, find some tips and tricks on growing this classic crop. Varieties of Broccoli There are more exciting types of broccoli than most […] More

  • fried chicken gizzards

    How To Cook Chicken Gizzards

    The gizzard is an extremely strong and tough muscle with grit inside it, which doesn’t sound appetizing, but it is actually my favorite chicken organ. It’s the part of the chicken’s digestive tract that holds small stones and grit which helps them grind their food. It is shaped like a small fist, with a cavity […] More

  • chickens pecking about the yard

    How To Humanely Kill A Chicken

    People learn to kill chickens for many reasons. As interest in local and ethical food increases, many meat-eaters have challenged themselves to raise and slaughter their own meat. People who keep backyard chickens for eggs often kill older chickens when they have passed their prime laying age. Even people who keep chickens as pets may […] More

  • Scott Woods-Fehr / Flickr (Creative Commons)

    How Long Do Chickens Live?

    When you pick up half a dozen fluffy, charming little chicks from the feed store and bring them home, it can be hard to remember—or to explain to your kids—that backyard chickens, like all creatures, eventually age and die. But how long do chickens live anyway, and why do they die? Here are some basics […] More

  • bunches of basil

    Growing Basil

    Nothing adds that je ne sais quoi to a dish like basil. Whether you use it as a garnish, a dried seasoning, or in pesto, basil is delicious. And lucky for us, it’s not hard to grow! Here are some tips and tricks for growing basil. There are dozens of types of basil, from culinary […] More

  • red onions

    Growing Onions

    Onions are easy to grow, and they’re the first ingredient in my culinary toolbox. Almost every dish I make starts with caramelized onions, so my garden is never complete until I have grown my season’s worth of onions. Since organic onions are so cheap, it can be easy to put off growing onions in favor of other, […] More

  • asparagus ready to cook

    Growing Asparagus

    If you had told my 10-year-old self that I would one day be deeply emotionally invested in growing asparagus, I would have said “Gross!” Love it, or hate it, this early spring crop has a unique place in both the kitchen and the garden. But even after I developed a taste for asparagus, I hesitated […] More

  • salad greens growing in fertile soil

    Soil Testing

    The gardener’s greatest asset is healthy soil. No matter where you are or what you are trying to grow, taking care of your soil will help your crops. Learning soil science can be overwhelming. It involves lots of chemistry, and you can easily get lost in technical details. We are here to help, with this […] More

  • lots of cherry tomatoes

    Growing Tomatoes

    Delicious, versatile, juicy, nothing says summer to me like fresh tomatoes still warm from the sun. As the song goes, “there’s two things money can’t buy: that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.” One of the gardener’s favorite staples is the tomato, but it can be a finicky plant, especially in cooler climates. I’ve grown tomatoes […] More

  • planting garlic

    Growing Garlic

    So you love garlic, and you are ready to take the leap into growing your own. This culinary staple is easy to grow and has a long shelf life, to keep your kitchen stocked all year. Look no further for the basics of growing garlic, along with some tips, tricks, and recipes. Varieties Of Garlic […] More

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