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  • diatomaceous earth

    Diatomaceous Earth: 14 Surprising Everyday Uses

    Diatomaceous earth (DE), also known as diatomite, is a soft sedimentary rock made up of the fossils of algae-like organisms called diatoms. It’s 80-90% silica and usually comes in the form of a fine, white powder, commonly used in things like water filtering, food manufacturing, skin products, and farming practices. You can buy two kinds […] More

  • bees on flower

    Plants That Will Help Save The Bees

    It’s no secret that our environment has been suffering over the years. The state of the bee population is one of the issues that worries me the most. Honey bees, along with other bees, butterflies and pollinators are responsible for the health and growth of a large percentage of our flowering plants. Pollinators like honey […] More

  • bee balms

    Bee Balms Or Bee Bums?

    “Mom,” my six-year-old called from the front walk where he had been riding his bike back and forth. He had paused in front of my display of red and purple, firework-like flowers and admired them. At an age where he wanted to know everything, it wasn’t unexpected that he would ask about the different flowers […] 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

  • watermelon

    8 Low Sugar Fruits: A Safer Way To Snack

    Fruits are nature’s candy and offer an array of flavors, colors, and textures for us to enjoy. But these sweet treats are so appealing because of their high sugar content, and if you’re on a low-sugar or no-sugar diet, you might want to avoid them. But some fruits are lower in sugar than others, making […] More

  • modern pergola

    Modern Pergola Inspiration For Your Backyard Oasis

    Though you can buy traditional pergolas in cedar, metal, and aluminum options, they all have the same general shape. Mediterranean-inspired with criss-cross beams and an earth-tone canopy is what you’d expect a pergola to look like. But if you’d categorize your style as modern and sleek, then traditional’s probably not the vibe you’re looking for in […] More

  • lodge cast iron pans

    The Best Amazon Prime Day Deals For Homesteaders

    Amazon’s massive Prime Day promotion is starting Monday, July 16th at 3 pm ET (12pm PT). They’ll be announcing deals throughout the day and in the days leading up to the 16th. This year’s Prime Day will last for 36 hours. Each deal will be one of four types: Spotlight Deals: Deep discounts on top products […] More

  • dandelion and lemon wine

    How To Make Dandelion Wine

    I wish I knew decades ago what I know now about the medicinal and nutritional benefits of dandelions: I remember my dad spending hours trying to get these sunny little “weeds” out of our suburban lawn. But savvy homesteaders, foragers, and DIY-ers know that the flowers, leaves, and roots of dandelions are edible. The greens […] More

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • trout lily

    Homestead Stories: How I Accidentally Grew Trout Lilies

    When I first moved to the country, I was amazed at the bounty of both wildlife and wildflowers. I had a big job ahead of me—tidying the forested part of our property. I wanted to clear out the brambles and remove the garbage that had been randomly dumped in a place the previous owners believed […] 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

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