More stories

  • Guinea Fowl

    My sister and her husband recently visited our homestead, and upon being “greeted” by our male guinea, my brother-in-law exclaimed good-naturedly, “Oh look, it’s a space chicken!” And really, that’s pretty much how it feels to meet a guinea for the first time. Though the guinea fowl has been on farms and homesteads for centuries, […] More

  • spinach raised garden bed

    Growing Spinach

    Originally hailing from 4th-century Persia, spinach has a long and storied past as a health tonic, a poor man’s food, a favorite of big-forearmed sailor men, and a choice food of health gurus. We are constantly hearing about how important it is to eat your leafy greens, and for good reason—they’re fantastic for you and […] More

  • homestead clothesline

    Why You Should Start Using A Clothesline

    When I think of using a clothesline, I think of a conversation I had when I still lived in the city. While hanging my laundry, my neighbor’s little boy poked his head through the fence. ”Whatchoo doing?” “Hanging up my laundry.” “Ain’t you got a dryer?” “We got rid of it. The sun and the […] More

  • pruning a tree

    Pruning Apple Trees

    Apple trees truly are giving trees. In spring, their fragrant, pale blossoms dot the landscape with a welcome, hopeful change from the soggy grays and browns of late winter. In summer, their lush foliage offers shade from the bright sun. In fall, their juicy fruit is the stuff of the best memories—hay rides at the […] More

  • rainwater barrel and plant

    Rainwater Harvesting: The Basics And Why You Should Start Today

    Lead contamination. Chlorine and fluoride. E.coli. Fracking pollutants. Toxins and pharmaceuticals. There are so many things that might be mixed in the water that flows from the faucet, that turning on the tap may feel more like playing a chemical form of Russian roulette than getting a drink. But what if I told you that […] More

  • sunflower field

    Summer Flowers: 10 Blooms to Make Your Garden Pop With Color

    Summer is a time of bold barbecue flavors, bright sunlight, vivid green on the fully-leafed trees, and hot temperatures. The garden would be remiss if it didn’t have colorful flowers to match the intensity of the season! Move aside, you pale pastel spring flowers, these eye-zinging blossoms are here to fill the garden beds with […] More

  • ducks

    What Do Ducks Eat?

    Ducks, like chickens, are omnivores. So what do ducks eat? Typically, ducks eat foraged food including weeds, seeds, grasses, slugs, and other pests. Ducks also eat natural, homemade feed or commercial feed. To know what ducks want and need to eat, look no further than a wetland in your local park. There, in the early morning, you’ll […] More

  • dead nettle

    Shade Plants: 15 Garden Greats To Grow In Full Or Partial Shade

    You are a garden warrior. You have taken the ground allotted to you in your acreage, however big or small, and have tilled the rough sod into soft, pillowy submission. Your compost has been aged to perfection and spread with care. The pH of your garden beds is impeccable. Leaf miners, cabbage borers, and slugs […] 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Egg Substitutes For When The Chickens Have Stopped Laying

    As happens on many homesteads, our chickens have stopped laying with the shorter winter days. We decided to let them follow their natural rhythms with the seasons and haven’t put a light in their coop to keep the eggs coming. We figure, if they naturally take a break for the season, we’ll let them follow […] More

  • acorns in hand

    Eating Acorns: From Foraging To Cooking & Recipes

    This summer, my family and I moved to our homestead. We were not able to get a garden into the rocky, wild ground, but somehow we’ve had a fantastic fall harvest and have started accumulating jars of dry goods from the plenty. How was this possible? One surprising word… acorns. When we had first discussed […] More