Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

The Anatomy of a Homestead Landscape

Gene Logsdon, author of The Contrary Farmer and Living at Nature’s Pace, just published an article at OrganicToBe.org laying out a homestead landscape. For all those out there setting up your first homestead, your retirement homestead, or your the-bank-just-took-my-house homestead, you’ll find Gene’s tips helpful. Here’s an excerpt.

The kitchen garden should also be located as close to the house as possible, handy for a last-minute gathering of salad greens. The root cellar, if not an integral part of the house cellar, should also lie close by so that in preparing a meal, you need not bundle up in winter as you would for a long trip to the barn.

Just as the wood shed has come back into favor in many households, so could the summer kitchen of the pre-electric era. The summer kitchen usually was an annex to the main kitchen, a roofed step or two from the back door. The idea was, of course, to do the summer cooking where it did not heat up the whole house. If you have electricity, but not air conditioning, a summer kitchen is still a great idea when it’s time to can tomatoes, beans, and peaches—always in hot August.

The orchard should, ideally, be closer to the barn than the house so that livestock can be turned in and out conveniently. An apple tree under which sheep stand all day to escape the hot sun always produces bountifully. The scuffling hooves of the sheep “cultivate” the ground under the tree, and the sheep’s manure fertilizes it wonderfully.

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For the full article, click here.


Ask the Expert: Andrew Mefferd

Before writing The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook: Organic Vegetable Production Using Protected Culture, Andrew Mefferd spent seven years in the research department at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, traveling around the world to consult with researchers and farmers on the best practices in greenhouse growing. Andrew has graciously agreed to offer up his expertise to our […] Read More

Top 10 favorite goat facts (with gifs)

New this month from author Gianaclis Caldwell, Holistic Goat Care is the essential resource on caring for your herd. Goats have provided humankind with essential products for centuries; indeed, they bear the noble distinction of being the first domesticated farm animal. From providing milk and meat for sustenance and fiber and hides for clothing and shelter […] Read More

New French edition of The Resilient Farm and Homestead available

Great news for French-speaking fans of Ben Falk’s The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach. The French language translation is now available from Imagine Un Colibri, from French booksellers, and on Amazon.fr. Falk’s book is a technical manual that details the strategies he and his team have developed for […] Read More

How to Make Biochar

Doing some spring cleaning around your property? By making biochar from brush and other hard-to-compost organic material, you can improve soil—it enhances nutrient availability and also enables soil to retain nutrients longer. This excerpt from The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3, explains how to get started. To make biochar right in your garden, start by […] Read More

Generosity as Activism, and Other Homesteading Principles to Live By

“Like everyone I know, we occasionally find ourselves faced with a decision to which there is no obvious answer,” says Ben Hewitt, coauthor of The Nourishing Homestead. “Do we borrow money to build a bigger barn, or do we keep getting by with what we have? Do we spend our meager savings on trees and […] Read More
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