Gardening

  • 10 Best Resources for School Garden Lesson Plans - School gardens are a wonderful way to build a connection between students and the outdoors all while covering necessary subjects in a hands-on environment. A difficult part of running a school garden is finding lessons to follow for the appropriate age group. Many organizations and schools have compiled free lesson plans and resources to help […]
  • Homestead Stories: Great Grandpa’s Rhubarb - The first heavy frost has just hit and the temperature has taken a nose dive well below freezing. The gardens are all tucked in their beds, well covered with leaves. Little nobs still poke their heads above the frozen earth, but the remnants of my great grandfather’s rhubarb are well blanketed with a thick layer […]
  • Jerusalem Artichokes - I first discovered Jerusalem artichokes about four years ago in Arkansas. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me when I saw the 5-foot stalk with a yellow flower that looked like a miniature sunflower without the seeds. I flipped through my edible plants book, surfed the web, did some research and was pleased […]
  • Gardening Gifts - ‘Tis the season of gift giving. Since colder weather has many of us stuck inside instead of in the dirt, we figured this holiday season is the perfect time to find the best in gardening gifts including gear, decor, reading – and of course, don’t forget some of those extra homesteading specialties. We’ve compiled over 70 […]
  • Homestead Stories: Secret Gardens - Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote a charming young people’s novel. First published in book form in 1911, “The Secret Garden” lures the reader into a world of discovery and possibilities, all in a garden, shut off from the rest of the world. It’s kept secret for years until a little girl discovers the key. Overgrown from […]
  • 40 Fermentation Recipes - Fermentation is a time-honored tradition that dates back to the mid-1800’s when the study of yeast first began. Since then, we have created recipes that ferment everything from milk to pickles. And of course, we can’t forget about good ol’ sauerkraut! So what’s the difference between canning and fermentation? Well for one, canning requires vinegar, […]
  • How To Get Rid Of Morning Glory - Morning glory (Ipomoea lacunosa) is a flowering vine that is native to the eastern and southeastern United States. On the East Coast and in the South, it’s a well-loved and beautiful part of well-tended gardens. #morningglories #blue #blueandwhite #thatcolor #thankyougod #latergram A post shared by Angela Dugas (@xubrnc) on Oct 19, 2017 at 4:29am PDT […]
  • Growing Roses - Roses are popular and beautiful flowering shrubs in many homestead gardens. However, starting a rose garden can seem like a bit of an intimidating challenge for new gardeners. It isn’t as hard as you might think. In fact, with planning and proper planting, most anyone can cultivate a successful rose garden. There is no argument […]
  • Growing Elderberries - A member of the honeysuckle family, the common elderberry (Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis), also known as American elder, wild elder, sweet elder, dwarf elder, hairy blue elderflower, European elder or Tree of Music, is a dense, woody shrub. It grows wild across the northern reaches of the United States and in the southern provinces of […]
  • Cultivating And Harvesting Wild Rice - Wild rice (Zizania palustris) is known as the “caviar of grains.” Contrary to its name, wild rice is actually the seeds of wetland grass. Other common names include water oats, Canadian rice, marsh oats, and blackbird oats. A native, aquatic, ancient cereal grain that grows in isolated riverbeds, marshes, and shallow lakes across North America, wild […]
  • Rain Chains - You know what’s perfect on a rainy day besides a good book and a roaring fire? Listening to the soothing sounds produced by a rain chain. There is something very zen-like about hearing the trickle of water during a light rain, or the roar of whitewater during a downpour! Rain chains were originally created in […]
  • Winter Squash Harvest And Storage Tips - Why do homesteaders grow pumpkins or winter squash? While the process may be challenging, the reward could be enormous. There are dozens of varieties of pumpkins and winter squash, weighing from 2 lbs. to 500! What’s in your garden? Read on to discover harvest, curing, and storage tips for the seasonal vegetable that is the […]
  • Cultivating Thimbleberries In The Homestead Garden - Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus Nutt.) is a common bramble plant found growing in the wild on sunny, sub-alpine, mountainous slopes and avalanche tracks from Alaska to California. In fact, thimbleberries are a circumpolar fruit that grows wild in Japan and Russia and all but the most southern regions of North America. Red when ripe, thimbleberries may […]
  • Storage Benches - Storage benches may be one of the most versatile pieces of furniture we can own. For anyone needing to maximize space, they’re the answer to solving storage and seating problems. They can also serve as a beautiful piece of home décor. The options for storage benches are endless. We’re using them in our living rooms, […]
  • Why Manure Is The Unsung Hero of the Homestead - When I lived in the city, I had the luxury of ignoring poop. If a neighbor’s dog left it on my tiny lawn, it was a rude, unusual inconvenience. Aside from what I delicately flushed into oblivion with the touch of a lever, my experiences with poop were largely nonexistent. My suburban upbringing trained me […]
  • Using Fall Leaves For Winter Mulch - I love my garden and I love working in it. Unfortunately, it’s a seasonal thing. Once winter approaches I do all I can to protect and preserve my garden for the next spring. Many people, myself included, cover their gardens with mulch. Others purchase mulch chips for their garden. Personally, I let the leaves fall […]
  • Wind Chimes - Wind chimes have been used by many cultures going back as far as 1100 BC. Believe it or not, they weren’t created to irritate cranky neighbors, but in fact were thought to ward off evil spirits. They’re considered a percussion instrument, and because their sound is created at random by the wind, their soothing, melodic […]
  • Bed Frames - For as much time as we spend in our bedrooms, it’s surprising how little attention we sometimes give that space. It’s likely because we feel like no one else will see it, so it can wait until we’ve addressed other rooms throughout the home. But what about you? Why shouldn’t your bedroom be the sanctuary […]
  • What I Did When My Compost Got Smelly - “Ugh! What’s that smell?” I still remember the exclamations that came from our next door neighbor, back in the day when we lived nestled way too close together in not-so-blissful suburbia. Over time the exclamations continued, “I can’t sit out here. It positively reeks.” After that came the pointing and glaring. The Source Of The […]
  • Shed Plans - Sheds are an important asset to any garden, backyard, or homestead. They keep our spaces organized and protect our tools from the elements. Whether you’re needing a traditional, simple shed for your home and garden products or a more decorative shed to bring aesthetics to your garden, there is a design out there that is […]
  • Bats Benefit The Environment—And Your Homestead - Worldwide, bats receive an undeserved bad rep. If asked, most people worldwide will say they don’t like bats. Bats smell bad, they’re creepy, dangerous, and are typically portrayed as scary in numerous horror films. The majority of folks questioned would likely tell you that bats are “flying rats” that carry disease. Simply put, they are […]
  • Rodent Control Without Poison - As the weather starts to cool, rodents such as mice, rats, chipmunks, and squirrels attempt to find a warm place to stay well fed during the cold winter months. While these rodent pests are small, they can cause huge problems for homesteaders. Rodents contaminate food and indoor surfaces with salmonella and a diverse array of […]
  • Bulb Planting In Fall - If you want a bold display of color in the spring, fall is the time to start planting. Bulbs like daffodils, tulips, crocus, alliums, and hyacinths, as well as tubers, tuberous roots, corms, and rhizomes should be planted in the fall before the soil freezes. These types of plants require a lengthy period of cold […]
  • 15 Seeds You Should Save - If you enjoy your current plant varieties, you may want to save the seeds for next year. A healthy garden, both flowers and vegetables, is certainly something to be proud of. Inevitably there will be some plants that you prefer over others, and as luck will have it, some of these plants will be annuals. […]
  • Growing Saffron Crocus Bulbs - Known around the globe as a spice worth more than its weight in gold, saffron is expensive, but the intense color and incredible flavor it brings to food is priceless. A single grain of pure saffron will add distinctive bright yellow color to 10 gallons of water, or embellish the flavor of 10 pounds of […]
  • How To Start A Blueberry Patch With Three Plants - There are many reasons why you should introduce blueberries into your landscape, and the first is they’re delicious. Blueberries are a tiny, but mighty fruit that packs a punch. Full of antioxidants, cancer-fighting, and having anti-aging properties, blueberries should be a part of your summer diet. These were absolutely delicious! #blueberries #eatyourfruit #summerdays #delicious A post […]
  • Our Dead Trees Became Living Fungal Art - Fungi are remarkable, and after many trees fell in our yard we discovered the beauty of living fungal art. Trees–they’re beautiful when healthy, but even long-living, solid trees can meet an untimely end. When we moved onto our one-acre country lot, we were thrilled with the bits of forest that surrounded our house. Not only […]
  • Biochar - When I first heard all the hype surrounding biochar, it was hard for me to believe that a material that looked as simple as charcoal could be the solution to some really serious issues. Biochar may be overlooked as simple pieces of charcoal, but don’t let its humble appearance fool you. From biochar’s ability to […]
  • Plantain Weed - Learning about Mother Nature’s edible and healing plants is a critical component of living a sustainable, self-sufficient, and prepared lifestyle. Broadleaf Plantain Broadleaf Plantain, commonly pronounced plan-tin, is a “common” weed that most folks recognize. You likely see it in your lawn, but chances are you don’t know its name. However, there is nothing common […]
  • Planting Currant Bushes - Currants are a great addition to any homestead. Native to the United States, currants are a flavorful and versatile berry used in jellies, jams, wine, cordials, puddings, and pies. Currants, no matter whether they are black, red, pink, or white, establish readily in the homestead garden where they will provide an annual abundance of sweet […]
  • How To Make A Healing Salve From Backyard “Weeds” - Before I was interested in natural ways of healing, I had no problem reaching for the common OTC cough syrups, ointments, and multi-syllabic pills available at my local big box store. However, as I learned more about the side effects of synthetic additives, petroleum-based ointments, and hormone-disrupting chemicals, I started wondering about the safety and […]
  • Rock Garden: How To Build Your Own - Does your homestead landscape have some empty space that could become a rock garden? Also known as a rockery, a rock garden adds dramatic year-round visual interest to any landscape while expanding the type of plants you can grow. Related Post: The Art Of The Dry Stack Stone Wall A rock garden, glowing with brightly […]
  • How To Get Rid Of Pests In Your Vegetable Garden - Pests can harm your garden, but there are natural solutions available. A new piece of property, fertile soil, and lots of sun and water is all you should need for a successful vegetable garden. However, there are the invasions that you probably didn’t consider. For instance, you have the blue jays that peck mercilessly at […]
  • Companion Planting For Beets - Do you want to improve the health and yield of your beet crop? Companion planting might be the answer. Companion planting is a time-tested, organic gardening method of planting compatible plants in close proximity to each other so that each may benefit from the other. Companion plants provide shade and shelter, control weeds, enrich the […]
  • Companion Planting For Turnips - Turnips are great for any garden, and you can use companion planting to help them grow even better. Permaculture Research Institute describes companion planting as “A gardening method which makes use of the synergistic properties found in nature: cooperation between plants to achieve optimum health and viability.” Growing different types of plants together with the […]
  • 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 […]
  • How To Choose A Greenhouse Material - By extending the growing season, greenhouse growing enables the cultivation of organic, pesticide-free produce all year around. Breaking into greenhouse growing can seem like a daunting task, but with the right information, you can decide which greenhouse is best for you.  Greenhouse Structure The design of a greenhouse greatly impacts its productivity and energy-efficiency.  Though other materials are […]
  • Indigenous Microorganisms (IMO) - It can be difficult to have a symbiotic relationship with microorganisms when you live in a world where Purell hand sanitizer dispensers line the wall of every doctor’s office and the words “bacteria” or “fungus” cause fear. It wasn’t until I took a soil science class at the Evergreen State College, where I was exposed […]
  • How To Remove Bramble Bushes - What is a bramble? For me it’s that spiky annoyance that scratches your arms and grabs your pant legs unexpectedly when you’re trying to take a walk or weed your garden. It’s prickly, invasive, and quickly takes root anywhere, making it impossible to eradicate. Did I say impossible? Well almost. It’s certainly a battle I am […]
  • The Best Amazon Prime Day Deals For Homesteaders - Amazon’s massive Prime Day promotion is starting Monday, July 10th at 9 pm ET (6pm PT). They’ll be announcing deals throughout the day and in the days leading up to the 10th. Each deal will be one of three types: Spotlight Deals: Deep discounts on top products that last until Amazon runs out of stock (in […]
  • English Garden Inspiration For Your Yard - As homes become more condensed, an English garden may be the perfect solution to a homeowner’s planting needs. Twenty years ago, we moved into a small, two-story, three-bedroom house in the suburbs. The front yard consisted of a large driveway leading to the garage, a path to the front porch, and a small ground space […]
  • 6 Plants That Like Wet Soil - When you consider gardening in a heavily watered area, it is important to know which plants will thrive. Anything, from the sun you get to the seeds you buy, can affect the growth of your plants. When people struggle to grow healthy plants, it’s often because they live in wet climates—either it rains a lot […]
  • Growing Blackberries - Blackberries are easy to grow. A diverse array of blackberry varieties are native to almost all of North America. They are especially abundant in areas with warm summer days, cool nights, and plenty of moisture. An aggregate fruit composed of many tiny fruits known as drupes, blackberries are similar in taste and growth habit to […]
  • Companion Planting For Sweet Corn - Companion planting can help you grow delicious sweet corn. The gardening method combines good neighbor flowers, herbs and vegetables that support the growth of each other. Good neighbor plants can provide essential nutrients to the soil, attract pollinators to the garden, provide shade, shelter or support for other plants, control weeds, and deter and confusing predatory […]
  • Polycarbonate Greenhouses - “Plastic” and “durability” aren’t usually words that should go together, but in the case of greenhouses they can. Long-lasting polycarbonate is worth considering as the covering material for your greenhouse, especially when compared to the traditional use of glass. In the case of modern tempered glass, rocks and hail shatter the panes with little effort. […]
  • Companion Planting For Eggplant - If you enjoy grilling outdoors, eggplant is a must in the homestead garden. Companion planting and a bit of effort will help ensure a bountiful harvest of succulent, sun-blessed orbs. During the height of the summer season, you will harvest several eggplants a week. Plant a few more, and they are a profitable cash crop […]
  • Growing Shiitake Mushrooms - We got involved with Shiitake Mushrooms through our Agricultural Cooperative Extension Agency. (This is a great resource for any farmer. Make it a point at least to visit your local office and see the different programs they have going on for the farmer.) Back in 2003, our local office started helping traditional tobacco farmers transition into […]
  • Companion Planting For Broccoli - Experienced organic gardeners bring diversity and balance to the garden with the age-old wisdom of companion planting, a time-tested method of close planting specific species based on their propensity to enhance each other’s growth and quality. Companion planting can help you grow a thriving crop of delicious, healthy broccoli. Companion plants offer shade or shelter, […]
  • Companion Planting For Celery - You can help your celery crop thrive with companion planting. Companion planting is a centuries-old method of organic gardening that places plants that support the growth and development of each other, near each other. Companion plants deter harmful insect pests, attract beneficial pollinators, provide support and shade, enhance the soil, suppress weeds, and conserve moisture. […]
  • How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes (Without All Of The Chemicals) - Nothing ruins a lazy, summer afternoon with a book and a tall glass of iced tea like a swarm of hungry mosquitoes. They buzz, they fly, they pinch and bite. Not to mention they can carry dangerous diseases that they can pass on to you and your family this summer. Come June and July you’ll […]
  • Companion Planting For Melons - As any experienced gardener will tell you, it takes a whole lot more than sun and soil to successfully cultivate a homestead garden. Moisture, nutrition, as well as weed and pest control are required. While many gardeners treat their garden with commercial insecticides to prevent insect pests, these noxious chemicals have the adverse affect of […]
  • Companion Planting For Okra - Companion planting is an organic method of disease and pest control accomplished by planting two or more types of plants, which have advantageous symbiotic relationships, near each other within a designated or confined garden space to the benefit of one or more of the neighboring plants. Selecting the right “good neighbors” for okra reduces unwanted […]
  • 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 […]
  • The 25 Most Gorgeous Garden Stools You Can Buy - You know how you sometimes have a dead space in a room, or on your deck or patio? You needs something that takes the place of furniture, but won’t eat up much space. Garden stools are the answer, and they’re having a moment right now. Their resurgence means we can solve the problem of dead […]
  • Bald Eagle Attacks Chicken - Reddit user mvar posted this near death experience for one of his chickens. Close call for one of my chickens this morning. Only damage was some missing feathers! The lesson, as always, is to have surveillance video covering your entire homestead so you don’t miss amazing stuff like this. Our chicken expert says that visiting […]
  • Companion Planting For Peppers - Do you love mild, crisp peppers in a broad spectrum of colors? Or hot red chili peppers that make your taste buds tingle and your eyes water? Grow peppers in your garden and you’ll have an assortment to add bold flavor to soups, stews, stir-fries, sandwiches, salads, and salsa. Folks who say they don’t like […]
  • The History Of World Naked Gardening Day - Wikipedia would like you to believe that World Naked Gardening Day started in 2005. But our photographic evidence proves a much earlier origin for this holiday, on the first Saturday in May, when “people are encouraged to tend their portion of the world’s garden unclothed as nature intended.” Some people need no such encouragement—including some […]
  • Growing Herbs Indoors - The long, cold, winter months or even the fate of living in a small apartment are not enough to stifle the need for fresh herbs. The smell of basil, the sight of green cilantro, is something that we should be able to enjoy all year round, no matter where we live. If it’s the weather, […]
  • Companion Planting For Summer Squash - Summer squash does everything but plant itself. If you seek a vegetable that is easy to grow, flavorful and nutritious, look no farther. You can help summer squash thrive by planting it with companion plants. If you have planted zucchini, patty pan, longneck, or yellow crookneck squash, you know what vigorous growers and prolific producers summer squash can be. […]
  • How To Sharpen Garden Tools - Ever tried to slice a tomato with a dull knife? In a pinch, I’ve tried. The jagged pink slabs I made might as well have been cut with a hammer and chisel. Broadly speaking, the same logic applies to garden tools, especially those designed to cut, slice, chop, or dig. The reason to keep a […]
  • Outdoor Planters - Choosing the right planters will infuse your personality and taste into your outdoor living space. Just treat it like you would the rest of your home! Choose outdoor furniture and accessories with the same care you’d take for indoor spaces. Select pillows and colors and lighting that you love and that reflect your personality. Look for […]
  • Companion Planting For Cabbage - Companion planting is one of the very best ways to keep cabbage plants healthy and free from insect pests such cabbage loopers, cabbage root maggots, slugs, flea beetles, diamondback moth, and aphids. Cabbage is easy to grow in the homestead garden if you select varieties suitable to your United States Plant Hardiness Zone, enhance the […]
  • 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 […]
  • Companion Plants for Lavender - Lavender can help protect your garden as a companion plant. The biggest reason is that deer, rabbits and other wildlife nibblers tend to ignore lavender due to its strong odor. Lavender is easy to cultivate in most U.S. Plant Hardiness Zones. The aromatic, herbaceous perennial adds a delightful scent to the air. The popular, colorful […]
  • 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, […]
  • How To Start Transplants - Winter’s almost over. Have you started your plants yet? This gardener can proudly say yes! In the late winter months, serious gardeners begin asking one another this question. As the daughter of a serious gardener, I learned at a young age that if you want to grow your own peppers and tomatoes here in Minnesota, […]
  • Companion Planting For Strawberries - The sweetest, juiciest strawberries you’ll ever enjoy will come from a home garden. By growing strawberries at home, you’ll enjoy fully ripened, chemical-free berries. Like other homegrown produce, the strawberries you grow at home will be more flavorful than whatever you could buy at a supermarket. One of the ways you can grow the best strawberries […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • Garden Shed Kits - I vividly remember parasailing across a South Dakota home improvement store parking lot. Not on purpose. I’d picked up a vinyl shed panel in the wind. It was 6:15 am and I’d just been sent to clean up after a recent blizzard. Sleeting snow and wind stung my face as I skated across the slush-filled […]
  • Greenhouse Plans - A greenhouse is one of the most well-known garden structures. Providing shielding from extreme sun, wind, and rain — greenhouses can significantly extend your growing season. These sunny buildings come in a variety of shapes and sizes too. Heated glass greenhouses can fight against snow and cold in severe climates. Plastic sheeting can help create […]
  • Companion Plants For Potatoes - It’s easy to cultivate potatoes on a homestead, and it’s well worth it: they’re a staple food that can be used in almost any kind of cooking. If you grow your own potatoes, you can be sure that they’re organic, non-GMO, and pesticide free. You can easily store them without freezing, drying or canning.   Companion […]
  • 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 […]
  • Garden Planners - A vegetable garden can give you organic, fresh produce year-round. But, as vegetables vary greatly in size, spacing, harvest time and growing conditions, planning tools are an essential part of any garden strategy. Vegetable Garden Software Vegetable Garden Online This item is a basic grid planner with drag and drop veggies. The website itself offers […]
  • Companion Plants For Tomatoes - Tomatoes are a staple of the American diet. You can grow many varieties of tomatoes—pick the ones that make the most sense for your garden based on your preferred texture, appearance and flavor. You can grow dozens of different varieties from miniature grape tomatoes to heirloom. Traditional favorites cultivated in homestead gardens include: Early Girl […]
  • Landscape Design Software - Landscape and garden design can be one of the most enjoyable aspects or property ownership, but it’s more complicated than you might think. Long-term landscaping requires knowledge of your microclimate, overall climate-friendly plants, sun, shade, wind, and even where you plan to walk around the property. You will want to be certain about where you […]
  • Buying Ethical Meat At The Store - So you’re at the supermarket, standing in the chilly wasteland of the meat aisle. You’re looking at all the options and wondering how do you really know which brand or label is better for the environment, the animal and your body. Perhaps wondering if there is any substantial difference at all. The biggest problem with […]
  • Planter Box Plans - Create a true gardenscape by moving your plants beyond the pot. Create your own planter boxes with these free online designs. I searched the internet to try and find a planter box to match just about any urban homestead and found some really great projects. Planter Box Plans for All Kinds of Homesteads Carpentry projects […]
  • Pecan Trees: Managing A Pecan Grove - Throughout much of the southwestern United States, pecan trees flourish. A tough and hardy tree, pecan trees can live and produce nuts for as long as 300 years. Pecan trees enhance the environment and can provide additional income from the sale of the nuts. If you have purchased a property blessed with pecan trees, either […]
  • Growing Leeks: From Starting Seeds to Blanching Bulbs - If you’ve never grown leeks, you don’t know what you’re missing! This straight-laced member of the allium family has a milder flavor than onions, and it’s extremely cold hardy, making it a great choice for Northern gardeners looking for fresh vegetables in the dead of winter. To reap the fancier flavor of leeks for your […]
  • Kitchen Compost Bin Options - With a greater focus on the environment than ever before, more and more people are trying to figure out how they can make a positive impact. If this sounds like you, then indoor composting might be a top solution for your home! Indoor composting is environmentally-friendly. Plus, the compost can also provide excellent fertiliser for […]
  • How To Build A Worm Composter - Worm boxes are excellent additions to the garden. Vermiculture (the process of using worms to decompose organic food waste) is a method of composting that’s been used for centuries. This is a guide on how to build your very own worm box. This is the final product. I didn’t want to paint my worm composter, […]
  • How To Grow Hops In Your Backyard - We live in the rugged mountains of Western North Carolina. Some question the suitability of growing hops here, or think that growing hops is a new idea. To some it may be new, but those of us who are native to this area know differently. You only have to look back into the Agricultural Census […]
  • Michelle Obama’s White House Vegetable Garden Will Likely Be Permanent - Turning a home over to new owners is never easy. All the renovations and decor you fretted over—the new owners may hate it and tear it out. All that work, dumped in the trash. Michelle Obama did not want the vegetable garden she installed on the White House’s South Lawn to suffer that fate. During […]
  • Cover Crops - What Are Cover Crops? Cover crops are planted in rotation with other crops to improve soil health, control erosion and hold nutrients. With the right rotation of cover crops for your climate and soil texture, you can increase your garden’s yield and reduce your environmental footprint. Cover Crops: What Not To Do My first summer […]
  • 20 Pumpkins You Should Have Planted This Year - In September you’ll start to see bins full of orange pumpkins at the grocery store. Why settle such a monochrome display? More than 30 different varieties of squash are grown in the U.S. These speciality pumpkins are for decorating, soup, even cutting slices off at eating raw. Find one to grow next year. Black Futsu […]
  • Best Canning Recipes - Canning is a fun project that gets your hands dirty, keeps your food fresh, and gives you a last-minute gift option when the holidays roll around. The key to successful canning is starting with a recipe you can trust. We pulled these gems from our favorite homesteading and farming blogs. We also recommended the best […]
  • 10 Awesome New Inventions For Homesteaders - Handy Camel Bag Clip The problem: Most bag clips are cheaply-made and used for light stuff like bags of chips. The solution: A hardy clip that seals bags without puncturing them, since the plastic “teeth” aren’t sharp. The tech: A handle on the clip lets you carry the bags around by the clip rather than […]
  • How Sunflowers Follow The Sun - Plants exist in a permanent spot on the Earth, while animals travel around it. That doesn’t mean plants don’t move—many orient themselves toward the sun as the day goes on. I’ve definitely had Sundays when my plants moved more than I have. What’s interesting is that the same mechanisms that govern how we move through […]
  • The Best Photos From The 2016 National Heirloom Exposition - In 2011, the National Heirloom Exposition started off as a simple gathering of people wanting to celebrate pure food and sustainable living. It has since blossomed into the world’s largest heritage food event. The 2016 expo attracted more than 14,000 visitors and 350 exhibitors showcasing their “cream of the crop”. The Expo is hosted at the Sonoma […]
  • Minnesota Homesteader Grows Beans From 1,500-Year-Old Seed - Homesteading expert Jackie Clay achieved a minor miracle in her garden this summer—growing pole beans from a 1,500-year-old seed. Obviously your local garden store doesn’t stock such a thing. Jackie says she got her hands on it when she was living in New Mexico. She emailed me with the full story: When we lived in […]
  • Earth Overshoot Day - Like a child devouring a batch of cookies, we humans are using Mother Earth’s resources faster than she can replenish them. But just how fast? The Global Footprint Network created Earth Overshoot Day to help us understand. Ideally, humans would finish December 31 having used no more resources than the Earth’s oceans and forests can […]
  • Too Many Apples Broke This Apple Tree - My Dad’s running a gardening experiment in his backyard. What happens if you let an apple tree fully fruit, instead of thinning the smaller fruits in the spring? This is what happens: Yes, the apple crop broke Dad’s tree. He didn’t launch this investigation on purpose—he’s had some health problems lately. I’m sure, if he’d […]
  • Meet Farallon And Roanoke, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company’s Newest Models - You now have two more dream tiny home possibilities, as Tumbleweed Tiny House Company just announced two new designs. Both designs answer a common request from Tumbleweed customers: Give us a house with a downstairs sleeping area! The designs incorporate a downstairs flex room. The room can be used as a second bedroom for kids/guests […]
  • NatureZap: Weed With Light, Not Chemicals Or Fire - Small weeds lodged in cracks are unsightly and aggravating. The traditional options for dealing with them are: Spray them with noxious chemicals. Get on your hands and knees and attack them with a special paving weeder. Incinerate them with a propane weed torch. The first is bad for Mother Earth, the second painful and sporadically […]
  • QUIZ: Which State Does Your Food Come From? - All the information for this quiz came from the 2016 USDA Vegetables Annual Summary. For just about every other vegetable or fruit they track, California grows the most, by far. Keep Reading: Gutter Gardening Water Ink Video Dewdrops On Dragonflies Earth Overshoot Day Firewood As Art Brushwood Fence Chicken Wire Sculpture Upcycled Junk Portraits By […]
  • Pollinators - This spring, my partner and I planted a small orchard on our new property. We ran into some confusion when deciding how far apart to plant our chestnut trees. Turns out there isn’t a simple answer, because of pollination! What Is Pollination And Why Is It Important? Briefly, pollination is how plants sexually reproduce, how […]
  • Galvanized Water Trough Planters - We’ve been looking for a good option for raised planters that were taller than some of our raised garden beds made with wood. After plenty of scrounging around on the internet we ended up deciding to use galvanized water troughs, also known as round end tanks, to fill these spaces in our yard. Check out […]
  • Best Dehydrator Recipes - If you’re lucky enough to have an overabundance of fruit, veggies, or meat, you also have a problem. How to preserve this bounty? Refrigeration may only keep the stuff fresh for a few days. Freezing? Maybe a few months—less if your power happens to go out. Dehydration is the best way to store food for […]
  • Understanding GMO Foods - The first time I heard the phrase “GMO” was at a rally, and I had to ask my 9th-grade science teacher what it meant. That was before ballot initiatives demanding GMO labelling and before Non-GMO Project logos became familiar on food labels. Since then, awareness about GMOs has increased dramatically. It is an issue that […]
  • Keyhole Garden - First made popular in Africa, the keyhole garden is catching on in Texas and other hot, dry places. A keyhole garden holds moisture and nutrients due to an active compost pile placed in the center of a round bed. Although most helpful in hot and dry locations, a keyhole garden will improve growing conditions in […]
  • Bark Furniture And Accessories - Birch-Bark is waterproof and will not rot, its familiar surface is richly graphic. Birch-Bark has been used for millennia in the making of canoes, wigwams, scrolls, Buddhist manuscripts, maps (including the oldest maps of North America), art, torches, fans, musical instruments, shoes, clothing, as a substratum for sod, birch-bark roofs and more… Birch Armoire-style-Cabinet-Louis-XV-style by Marché Dauphine – 140, rue […]
  • Dewdrops On Dragonflies - Dewdrops on Dragonflies, all photos captured by Martin Amm  Red Veined Darter covered in dew – Martin Amm Dragonfly Portrait with Dew- Martin Amm Emerald Damselfly – Martin Amm Red Veined Darter covered in dew – Martin Amm Dragonfly Birth – Martin Amm Free – wings still shrivelled, colors undeveloped – Martin Amm The larva lives for several weeks (or […]
  • Gutter Gardening - Gutter sculpture watering system… maison-deco.com During a very heavy rainstorm I would imagine dirt and water must pour out of these pretty gutters. Lakeside cottage, Lake Erie. Paint your old gutters attach to painted stockade fence. www.bhg.com Painted gutter garden. How to: au.lifestyle.yahoo.com Gutters on fence – filled with flowers blooming in a riot of color. pinterest.com […]
  • No Till Gardening: To Till or Not to Till? - You may have heard a phrase that makes you wonder if you’re doing your garden bed prep correctly. No till gardening is a trendy idea right now and you may be wondering—what the heck is it? How do I do it? Will I grow better food? Let’s take a look at what no-till gardening means, why […]
  • Brushwood Fence - Using undergrowth, twigs, tips and small branches to make fences. Brushwood fences were probably one of the earliest fence types constructed in Japan. Today brushwood fences are very popular in Australia as well. Bamboo brushwood fence. Using the twigs and tips of the bamboo. Via: japanesegardens.jp Brushwood fence at the Rakusai Bamboo Park in Kyoto […]
  • Heirloom Seeds: What Are They? - Heirloom seeds are what our great-grandparents called “seeds.” My mother often complained during my childhood that you couldn’t buy tomatoes like her grandmother grew. The tomatoes in the grocery stores were hard, mealy, and tasteless. When a farmer’s market opened in our neighborhood, she would buy a bag of heirloom tomatoes every week and eat […]
  • Metal Fire Pits - Few things express summer more than the smell of a campfire while sitting out under the stars. Add some marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers and you have the perfect setup for a summer evening. While many of us would love to go out camping, it’s not always possible. You don’t have to skip the smores […]
  • Organic Codling Moth Control - In Western Washington, our apple trees have two major enemies: codling moths and apple maggots. While codling moths can be a nuisance (they don’t ruin the apple), apple maggots can leave the entire fruit bitter and unusable, even for cider. Yet some of the easy solutions for apple maggots don’t protect from codling moth. The […]
  • Mycelium Guide - What Is Mycelium? Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus. It is a network of cells living within and throughout almost all landmasses on Earth. More than 8 miles of these cells can be found in a cubic inch of soil (Source: Mycelium Running). Here’s an awesome close-up photo of soil with mycelium growing […]
  • Worm Bin Essentials: Getting Started with Vermiculture - Starting a worm bin can feel overwhelming – where do I keep it? What kind of worms do I need? What if it smells awful? What if I kill my worms? Not to worry! Humans have been throwing food scraps in a pile for thousands of years. Worm bins are a great way to turn […]
  • 12 Chicken-Friendly Plants To Grow Next To Coops - If you’ve had chickens for long, you probably have noticed that they eat all day long. They peck and scratch at the soil and eat every last bit of our kitchen scraps and leftovers. Letting your chickens free range, or giving them access to plenty of natural vegetation and/or rotating their grazing parameters, is the […]
  • Bicycle Art - Every year about 109 million bicycles are produced, and 140 million people are born. That adds up to lots of extra bikes to make art with. Burning Man Festival 2007 by Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector Bikes reclaimed from garbage dumps and recycling centers form a 30 foot high archway. Pic: Jenene Chesbrough www.flickr.com Bicycle […]
  • Hugelkultur - Instead of putting those branches, leaves and grass clippings in bags by the curbside…build a hugel bed. Simply mound logs, branches, leaves, grass clippings, straw, cardboard, petroleum-free newspaper, manure, compost or whatever other biomass you have available, top with soil and plant your veggies. What’s Hugelkultur? Why Hugelkultur? Hugelkultur (HOO-gul-culture). It’s German for hill culture or […]
  • Green Roof Inspiration - A green roof—essentially, a garden atop any office building or home—helps save energy, promote drainage, and feed you. Why Build a Green Roof? Sod roofs are common on the Faroe Islands, west of Norway. Traditionally the roof was covered with sod on top of several layers of birch bark over wooden boards. Today, commercial roofing […]
  • 6 Reasons Why I Chose Clover as a Living Mulch - I mentioned in my post about building raised beds that I chose to add New Zealand white clover to the edges of the raised bed to act as a living mulch.First off, I should explain what a living mulch is, and how it differs from a cover crop: “In agriculture, a living mulch is a cover […]
  • Greenhouses from Old Windows and Doors - Calling all used awning windows, bay windows, storm doors, and clerestories back to service. 1) Recycled Window Greenhouse, Minnesota Greenhouse made from recycled windows by Jan and Ed Vitse of New Look Floral (a garden and floral business) in Rochester, MN. This little gem, made from recycled windows was built in 2003. The structure is 12 […]
  • Human Urine As Fertilizer - A study out of Finland has found that plants fertilized with urine performed four times as well as nonfertilized plants and just as well as plants given commercial mineral fertilizer. Urine plus wood ash (collected from a wood stove) produced as well, yet with the added benefit of reducing the acidity of the soil. The […]
  • Firewood As Art - Firewood Sculpture By Jaehyo Lee Wood ring. By Jaehyo Lee. leeart.name Wood chair. By Jaehyo Lee. leeart.name Wood chair. By Jaehyo Lee. leeart.name Wood Stool. By Jaehyo Lee. leeart.name Wood sculpture, 2009. By Jaehyo Lee. leeart.name Incredible Firewood Sculpture From Around The World Woodpile by Michael Buck. michael-buck.blogspot Hu Qingyan, “Firewood”, 2012; © Hu Qingyan […]
  • Wattle Edging - Wattle edging has surrounded kitchen gardens since gardening began. Has seasonal pruning left you with numerous, long, flexible tree suckers and saplings? You will need to move fast, as those branches will become too stiff to weave soon after cutting. Drive stakes. Weave like a basket. The firmer you press the wattle down, the sturdier the fence […]
  • Gun Art - In Arizona the governor signed into law an order banning confiscated or surrendered guns from being destroyed. One solution: turn them into art. ‘Gun Sculpture’ by Canadian artists Sandra Bromley and Wallis Kendal makes the secret life of weapons visible. Standing at 8′ x 12′ x 8′, and weighing 5 tons, the rectangular structure is a monstrous […]
  • Driftwood Sculpture - Carved by wind, water and sand, driftwood makes a striking material for sculpture. Driftwood Sculpture By Andries Botha Andries Botha has created more than 20 elephants from recycled materials for his global Human Elephant Foundation, Nomkhubulwane. “What will we do to change how we live? What will accelerate our commitment to create a more sustainable […]
  • Banksy’s Environmental Message - Banksy is the pseudonym of an English graffiti artist, political and environmental activist, film director, and painter. His true identity is unknown. These images are very powerful. The statement sinks as the ice keeps melting… Near the Oval bridge in Camden, north London. www.makechoice.tumblr.com “Reconditioned dolphin ride with crude oil and tuna net” Do we […]
  • Willow Tree Sculptures - Living willow structures or fences start with live cut rods or withies. Once inserted in the ground, they take root. Willow sculpture may use green wood but the rods are not planted, so the sculpture can be preserved if you want. The Most Amazing Willow Tree Sculptures Wicker Sculpture – Queen at Faulkland Palace, 2012. […]
  • Succulent Art - Just a spritz of water here and there and succulents take care of themselves. These artistic sculptures utilize wireframes and other methods to keep succulents in place. Succulent Topiary, created by Pat Hammer, Director of Operations of the San Diego Botanical Garden. Image ©Inspiration Green. “Succulent People” with clay faces and a bit of metal […]
  • Fairy Houses - Supply a home to our ethereal friends in your backyard, in a park, or in your city apartment. Great fun with kids, as the activity is usually outside in nature, and sparks imagination and creative play. Fairy Houses Fairy House on Monhegan Island, Maine. fairyhouses.com Fairy House. saras-toy-box.blogspot.com Fairy House by Aviary. pinterest.com Fairy House at […]
  • Terrace Farming - Farmland shaped into terraces are built for long-term success. When it rains, instead of washing away the soil, the soil stays in place. Nutrients are also held in place or carried down to the next level. Terrace Farming In China Terrace rice fields in Yunnan Province, China. Rice paddy cultivation has been in use for […]
  • Chicken Wire Sculpture - Why sculpt out of chicken wire? Ask the artist who’s started a Kickstarter to fund 8-foot high chicken wire sculpture of Minnie Pearl. “When people see sculptures, they often walk straight past but with chicken wire they double take and return to have a closer look,” writes artist Ricky Pittman. “You can see their brain […]
  • 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,” […]
  • Moss Art - Bringing out the beauty of this 350-million-year-old plant. Mud Maiden Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornall, England www.heligan.com Mud Maiden Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornall, England. www.heligan.com The Giant’s Head Lost Gardens of Heligan. By Susan & Pete Hill. www.heligan.com Mud Maiden (a newer sister to above) By Susan & Pete Hill – Private Collection. www.flixya.com […]
  • Vertical Herb Garden - Herbs, lettuces, and strawberries do not need as much soil as many other plants, so they are good candidates for vertical gardens. 20 Of The World’s Best Vertical Herb Gardens 1) Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Herb Wall Vertical herb garden in the edible garden at Atlanta Botanical Garden. The section to the right is a water […]
  • Living Willow Hedges - You can call them willow hedges but maybe a more accurate term? “Fedges” = fence + hedge. Willows, sallows, and osiers form the genus Salix (Latin for willow), a grouping of 400-ish species of deciduous trees and shrubs. Willow are native to moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Almost all […]
  • Underground Greenhouse - At most latitudes, the temperature six to eight feet below the surface stays between 50 and 60°F. An underground greenhouse uses calm below-ground weather to keep plants growing whether it’s snowing or sweltering. Underground greenhouse in Spetchley Gardens, UK. Stairs down to entrance on right. Image by Mezzapod via Flickr. Designs for an Underground Greenhouse […]
  • Insect Hotel - What Is An Insect Hotel? Insect hotels are winter lodgings for your backyard crawling and flying bugs. Usually made of found or upcycled materials around your yard, these hotels consist of different suites catered to each little bug’s preferred lodging taste. Most hotels are constructed with a strong protective frame of wood boards or pallets and […]
  • How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden - Fruit for the Butterflies
  • Urban Agriculture - Urban Agriculture, urban farming, rooftop gardens...
  • Organic Choices - Inspiration Green Organic Choices, See which foods have the least and most pesticide residues. USDA data.
  • Farm to Table - Inspiration Green. Farm to Table School Lunch Links and Reports. Green Gardening links and food/nutrition links.
  • Living Walls (Green Walls) - Green walled buildings, green wall inspiration...
  • Straw Bale Greenhouses - Straw Bale Greenhouses
  • Shed of the Year - Shed of the Year Contest
  • Seed Companies - List of safe seed companies that sell non-gmo, open pollinated, untreated, heirloom seed. How to steer clear of Monsanto seed. Buying non gmo seed.
  • Chemical Fertilizer Issues - The Issues with Chemical Fertilizers
  • Water Ink Video - To mark World Water Day, Solidarités International and its agency BDDP Unlimited rolled out a campaign to build awareness of the scourge of undrinkable water. Water ink _ BDDP Unlimited and Solidarités International – UK from ici Barbès on Vimeo. According to Solidarités International, unhealthy water is the world’s leading cause of death, killing 1.5 […]
  • 13 Year Old Copies Nature to Improve Solar Performance - Thirteen year old Aidan Dwyer was walking in the woods in Upstate New York in the winter and noticed a spiral pattern to tree branches. Aidan realized the tree branches and leaves had a mathematical spiral pattern that could be shown as a fraction. After some research he also realized the mathematical fractions were the same […]
  • A Practically Waterless Washing Machine - A new washing machine that uses just a cup of water, a pinch of detergent, and about 1,000 small recyclable plastic chips to clean clothes is coming to an appliance store near you, by the end of 2012. Cost will be comparable to the average price of a conventional machine. Plus, your clothes come out of […]
  • Upcycled Junk Portraits By Zac Freeman - From Zac’s website: “I started making assemblage artworks of this type in 1999. The artworks are made entirely out of collected junk, found objects, and general trash. I glue the bits of junk to a wooden substrate to form an image, usually faces, which only can be seen at a distance. I was interested in […]
  • Vertical Farming - Vertical farms, urban agriculture, hydroponic vertical farms, urban hydroponics, urban skyscraper farms, urban vertical agriculture, skyscraper farming...
  • Nikon Small World Competition 2011 - Nature abstracted. The 37th annual Nikon Small World competition’s theme was “Recognizing Excellence in Photography through the Microscope.” Some of the outstanding entries: Mosquito Larvae in a drop of water Dr. John H. Brackenbury University of Cambridge Cambridge, UK Laser-triggered high-speed macrophotography Fish Louse (Argulus) (60x) Wim van Egmond Micropolitan Museum Rotterdam, Netherlands Darkfield Giant Water Flea Eye (Leptodora […]
  • Best Fruit Trees for Seattle - At my permaculture design course last weekend the guest speaker was Douglas Bullock, of the well-known Bullock Brothers Permaculture Homestead on Orcas Island. Douglas was lecturing on the overall topic of soil, and specifically spoke about nitrogen-fixing plants, sheet mulching, microclimates, and last but not least, orchard design and his personal fruit tree recommendations for […]
  • How to Build a Raised Bed with Grass Sod Walls - Pictured Above: Here are our finished raised beds before planting. All together there are 7 beds, all roughly 5′ x 9′, totalling about 450 sq feet. It’s May, and I need to overhaul a large section of the yard to make way for this year’s vegetables.  I have big plans in store for replacing the […]