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  • black truffles in basket

    How To Grow Truffles

    If you’ve ever heard of truffles or been lucky enough to taste them, it’s probably been in the context of gourmet dining. A truffle is a type of edible fungi that’s much more difficult to cultivate than other types. Like other crops requiring patience, truffles are considered a delicacy and fetch a high price because […] More

  • purple passionflower

    Homestead Stories: The Purple Passionflower

    “Did you know there are hundreds of varieties of passionflowers?” I thought I was talking to my husband, but he had wandered off to another part of the nursery while I studied the array of color in front of me. Glancing around, I realized I’d been talking to myself with others giving me wary looks. […] More

  • rhubarb plants

    Growing Rhubarb

    Rhubarb pie does eternal battle with apple in my heart — each of them vying to reign as favorite. But I have to admit, there’s something about the tart-sweet of rhubarb that demands attention, and piques longing when it’s not there. I can’t be alone in this appreciation for rhubarb dessert. It wasn’t called “pie […] More

  • snowdrop flowers covered in frost

    10 Winter Flowers To Add Color To Gray Winter Days

    It can be rather sad to see the blooms of summer fade. As your summer flowers die back and prepare for winter, plant some of these winter-blooming varieties to create color for otherwise dreary landscaping. You can fill containers with winter-blooming annuals like pansies and violas, and plant perennials in the landscape for color that […] More

  • lettuce up close

    How To Grow Lettuce Indoors

    Can you grow lettuce indoors? Absolutely! In fact, lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow both outside and indoors. When the temperatures drop below zero, it’s possible to grow delicious, tender, leaves of lettuce inside the comfort of your own home. Sun Requirements All plants need some degree of sunlight (lettuce included). However, […] More

  • eggplant in field

    Growing Eggplant

    “What’s in your sandwich? It looks gross.” It’s a weird moment realizing you are THAT KID at school lunch. Surrounded by bologna, pb&j, and ham and cheese, the shiny, black skin poking out of my eggplant parmesan sandwich did look a bit unusual, I guess. With my Sicilian father often puttering at the stove, eggplant had been […] More

  • anguloa uniflora

    Homestead Stories: Swaddled Babies Or Baby In The Cradle?

    “I have a swaddled baby to show you,” a friend said over the phone. “Like a baby in the cradle. Want to come over and see?” The words caught my curiosity. My friend was too old to have a baby in her arms — at least, not one of her own. And since she never […] More

  • basil

    12 Types Of Basil To Grow In Your Garden

    It may be hard to believe, but there was a time when I hated basil. I found it overly pungent, and it always seemed to overpower any dish. Thinking back on it, I might have been tasting bad quality basil — either basil that was past its prime or grown in stressed conditions. Today, I […] More

  • Growing Gourds

    To those unfamiliar, there may not seem to be much difference between a gourd and squash. Fruit-wise, they share a lot of similar attributes — cool shapes, hard rind, seeds hidden inside, and beautiful colors. But once you try to grow one, you will quickly notice the enormously long, trailing vines, the beautiful, night-blooming flowers, […] More

  • succulent terrarium

    19 Terrarium Plants For Your Miniature Garden

    A terrarium garden is much like an aquarium, but a habitat for plants rather than aquatic life. A terrarium can be constructed in a diverse array of glass containers. When planted, it should look like a miniature forest or fairy garden; its own unique little world. Terrariums are fun to craft for home decor or […] More

  • harvesting squash

    Growing Squash

    Take a glance at anyone’s backyard garden. No matter where you go, you’ll likely find a squash plant growing. There’s something about these easy-to-grow and generous plants that demand a place in your garden bed — wherever you can manage to fit it in. So whether you grow succulent zucchinis and crookneck varieties for summer […] More

  • brazilian grape tree

    The Brazilian Grape Tree

    I had spent another morning doing battle with the proliferous wild grape that grew across my rock wall border. I had nothing against grapevines, especially when they bore fruit (which these vines did), and I’d collected bunches to make into jelly. But once they climbed my rock wall, took aim at my lush tree line, […] More

  • mulch

    How To Mulch For A Beautiful, Weed-Free Garden

    I don’t like to describe anything as a miracle when it comes to gardening, but honestly, mulch comes close. Before I discovered this wonderful tool, I was plagued with problems. While my square-foot garden did a good job of choking out weeds on its own (due to close spacing), my garden soil still seemed to […] More

  • hummingbird and flower

    20 Eye-Catching Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

    If you’re wondering how you can attract hummingbirds to your garden oasis, look no further. Here are 20 flowers you can plant that have bright colors, high-quality nectar, tubular-shaped flowers, and other features that will entice the charming flappers to your yard. Bee Balm USDA Zone: 4-9 Bloom time: Midsummer to September Useful for attracting […] More

  • straw and garden

    The Basics Of Straw Bale Gardening

    An ancient gardening technique dating back to the Romans, straw bale gardening is a simple concept. As a straw bale starts to decompose or break down, it turns into a raised, compostable, 40-gallon planter that’s ideal for growing vegetables. Straw bale gardens are inexpensive, easy to set up, easy to maintain, and biodegradable. Straw bale […] More

  • pepper plant

    Growing Peppers

    Peter Piper may have picked an inexplicably pickled peck of peppers (were they fermenting on the plants or something?) but in order to pick a peck, they first needed to be planted. Thankfully, the process of cultivating and harvesting peppers is a good deal simpler than the tongue-twisters they inspire! Considering that store-bought peppers of […] More

  • rodgers flower on pond edge

    Rodgers Flower: A Shady Perennial

    “What is that huge plant in your shade garden?” The large, leafy plant with tall spiky flowers (extremely tall — almost my height of 5 feet) really caught my attention. I was visiting a nursery that specialized in perennials, and they had a wide selection of shade garden plants from all over the world. I […] More

  • frosted purple kale

    8 Winter Vegetables You Should Plant In Your Garden

    August rolls around, and lots of us start looking at the garden with a sad sigh. The cucumbers are petering out. The tomatoes are still going strong, but the first frost (is it really looming already?) will wipe them (and the okra) from the plot until next year. The summer squash is gangly and tired, and […] More

  • ground cover around flagstone

    9 Ground Cover Plants to Replace Your Grass Lawn

    Lawns. They started out as a status symbol, and they’ve been holding that dubiously positive rank since they were first carved out of the fields around castles. Back then, there was at least some strategic advantage. It’s pretty hard to have your army sneak up on an enemy stronghold when it’s surrounded by acres of carefully-trimmed […] More

  • strawberry in planter

    7 Fruits To Grow In Containers On Your Patio Or Balcony

    Once upon a time, fruits didn’t have much of a place in my garden. I didn’t really know it was possible to grow fruit trees or bushes in my small plot. I always imagined that fruits were best grown in tropical climates and in gardens with a lot of space. At the time, I was […] More

  • mourning dove

    Homestead Stories: I Love My Birds, But…

    Several years ago, my daughter informed me (with great excitement) there was a mourning dove nesting in my hanging fuchsia on the front balcony. “No way,” I declared. “Come see,” she insisted. Sure enough, in the center of my prized fuchsia was a mourning dove, packing things down to make a nest. I wasn’t too […] More

  • flowers and candles

    12 Natural Air Fresheners

    My mother survived stage IV lung cancer (!) but the effects of the disease forced her to be on oxygen 24/7. Needless to say, she’s had to make adjustments to her lifestyle. One thing she had to give up was traditional air fresheners. She loves a clean-smelling house and used chemical-ridden sprays and plugins regularly. […] More

  • bok choy growing next to lettuce

    4 Asian Vegetables You Should Add To Your Garden

    As homesteaders, we don’t eat out a lot because we prefer to raise our own healthy food. But sometimes it’s nice to splurge when we are out for the day. When we do, I love having Asian food. Chinese, Thai, and Japanese are some of my favorite cuisines when dining out. Asian cuisine features all […] More

  • letttuce in garden

    10 Fast-Growing Vegetables

    If you love to garden, but live in a region with a short growing season, you can still successfully grow vegetables outdoors in the homestead garden. Fresh scallions, chives, lettuce, spinach, basil, and radishes are all fast-growing veggies that are easy to grow, easy to harvest, and easy to sell as a supplemental cash crop. […] More

  • close up photo of fly

    How To Get Rid Of Flies: Natural And Effective Options

    Flies are everywhere. In fact, entomologists have named over 100,000 species of flies on earth. Not only are flies annoying, but they also carry germs and diseases. Though flies are a tasty treat for frogs, they are not good for us. The following article will provide you with a variety of tips to repel and […] More

  • mullein flowers

    Mullein: An Herbal Remedy, Not A Weed

    “Isn’t that a weed?” I asked my friend. I pointed to the pale green, hairy stem rising from the flannel-textured center rosette. “It grows tall, you know. I pulled one last week that was taller than me — at least 7 feet!” “No, it’s called mullein,” my friend replied. It’s actually a heritage plant, brought […] More

  • stack of radishes

    How To Store Radishes

    Radishes come in several shapes, sizes, and colors, all with their own unique flavor. The radish is an easy to grow vegetable that is great for beginning gardeners. This cool weather root vegetable is hardy, grows quickly, and can be planted multiple times within a growing season. Radishes can be enjoyed raw or cooked. There […] More

  • Growing Horseradish In The Homestead Garden

    Horseradish, a member of the mustard family and a close cousin of both cauliflower and the common radish, deserves a place in the homestead garden. Cultivated for its thick, creamy white or yellowish roots, horseradish derives its heat from isothiocyanate, a unique volatile compound oxidized when exposed to air and saliva. The spicy taste, pungent […] More

  • succulents in pots

    20 Types Of Succulents For Your Desktop Or Rock Garden

    Generally, a succulent refers to a plant with chubby, fleshy greenery. The word on its own evokes a particular image, so if you think it’s a succulent, it probably is. The thick leaves are often plump because they’re designed to retain moisture for these drought-tolerant plants. Most succulents are fairly low maintenance and produce flowers […] More

  • soft top gazebo

    The Best Amazon Prime Day Deals For Homesteaders

    Amazon’s massive Prime Day promotion started Monday, July 15th at 12 am PT. They’ll be announcing deals throughout the day. This year’s Prime Day will last for 48 hours. Each deal will be one of four types: Prime Day Deals: Deep discounts on top products that last until Amazon runs out of stock (in some cases, […] More

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