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Chelsea Green Blog

Farming & Homesteading

a couple gazing into the distance

Finding and Keeping a New Age Farm Partner

February 22, 2019

Anything involving farming almost always requires the help of another person, whether you’re feeding the animals or trying to decide if you want to expand the barn. Partnerships not only help with your personal life but the success of your business in the long run as well. Having someone to share the work and ease the…

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sheep looking out on farm

Becoming Resilient in an Ever-Changing World

February 19, 2019

One of the most important skills to have in life is to be able to adapt to the changes that come your way. Being resilient sets you up to succeed with any challenges that may arise, but it’s not always an easy task. However, if you follow a few simple guidelines you can better prepare…

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hens eating food scraps

Common Applications for Composting with Animals

February 18, 2019

When you think of a typical farm, you probably think of going out to feed the animals with a bucket of scraps. This has been one of the most common ways to recycle food for many years and helps reduce your waste footprint. However, composting with the help of animals is another technique used on…

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teenage farmers sitting in the field

Young Farmers: Back to the Land and Down to Business

February 15, 2019

If you haven’t been working on a farm since childhood or weren’t lucky enough to inherit one from your family, it can be difficult to build one from the ground up.  Farming takes more planning and thinking than meets the eye, but it’s not impossible. We’ve got you covered with how to proceed with your…

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chickens, goats, and a young farmer feeding the animals

Homesteading: Highlighting Our Need For Each Other

February 14, 2019

Homesteading isn’t meant to be a solitary adventure or done in isolation. Building and living on your land takes at least one partner, if not several. That’s why homesteaders have come to rely not just on their specialized skills but on the skills of their neighbors, family, friends, and other homesteaders as well. It doesn’t…

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air shot of farming village

Farming for the Long Haul: It Takes a Village

February 13, 2019

It’s almost impossible to be a successful community without a group of caretakers behind the scenes, making sure everyone’s needs are met. For hundreds of years, women made up these “caring communities,” supporting families, making food, and bettering community life. Though the makeup of these caring communities has changed over the years, the support provided…

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farmer picking vegetables

Go Lean: Ten Types of Farm Waste

February 12, 2019

Spring cleaning is a big deal for those who want to get rid of unnecessary clutter. People get rid of everything from old furniture to clothes and games. However, this doesn’t only apply to households–farms also have a lot of waste to get rid of that isn’t strictly food scraps or broken tractor parts. But…

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Gateway to a garden

Permaculture Advice For Beginners

February 11, 2019

Trying something for the first time can be intimidating, especially when it’s something as big as learning how to live off your land. But like with any new adventure you shouldn’t bite off too much at once. Instead, it’s better to take the time to properly plan and educate yourself on what it will take…

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compost in a community garden

The Phases of Composting

February 8, 2019

Although the stages of composting are very closely intertwined, each separate one has its own value and needs to be nurtured accordingly. The materials used go through several transformations: physical, biological, and chemical. Understanding each phase of this process is the first step in creating the best nutrients for your plants. The following is an…

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Perennial Power: Why You Need Them in Your Garden

February 7, 2019

Keeping up with a garden can be a lot of work—especially when you start planning for the upcoming season. Luckily, there’s a secret (okay, maybe not so secret) weapon you can use to take away some of your stress! Perennials are the perfect addition to any garden and the best part is you only have…

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Barn in a field

A Farm is More Than Land: Why Farm Infrastructure is Important

February 6, 2019

The basis for a good farm isn’t just about finding a piece of land with great soil. No, to truly succeed on the farm you need a well-planned and implemented infrastructure coupled with hard work, dedication, and will-power. As farming practices continue to change, it’s important for the next generation to remember that insight and…

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Tractor clearing a field

The “American Farmer” Fallacy

February 5, 2019

For those who aren’t in the know, it may seem like all farmers are created equal, but that’s simply not the case. In fact, there is such a wide variety of farmers that it’s nearly impossible to put a label on them. But that doesn’t stop organizations from trying. The following is an excerpt from…

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Black Land Matters

February 4, 2019

As a young black girl, Leah Penniman struggled to understand who she was and where she fit in with the world. There was one thing she did know – when she was connected to the earth she felt at home. But what did that mean? Was the land trying to tell her something about who…

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farmland with hay

Who Are We as Farmers?

February 1, 2019

Recently, farmers have been making the headlines because of the hardships they’re facing to sustain their farms. With larger, corporate farms running smaller, privately-owned farms out of business, it seems like many farmers are fighting an uphill battle. But, despite the small amount of money, long hours, and constant threats from the “big guys” farmers…

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sugarbuckets attached to trees

Maple Syrup 101: Spouts, Tapping, and Trees

January 25, 2019

Everything’s better with maple syrup. At least that’s what you’ll hear when you ask Vermonters. So what better way to solidify your love for all things maple than to learn how to make it yourself? We’re counting down the days until sugaring season begins and we can start setting taps, running lines, and collecting sap.…

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Garbage truck with caption "What if everything could be used again?"

Breaking Down the Core Principles of Composting

January 24, 2019

Composting is about more than just flinging your food scraps into a heap in your backyard. It’s about figuring out a way to give your unwanted food a new purpose while also helping the environment. And the best part is, the fundamental building blocks of composting systems are the same regardless of scale. The following…

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Lettuce growing in a deep water culture system

Hydroponic Versus Soil Growing: Which Should You Choose

January 23, 2019

You probably learned when you were young that plants need soil to get the essential nutrients needed to grow. However, there is another way you can give your plants what they need to flourish. A hydroponic system uses water-based fertilizer as opposed to soil fertilizer. This practice is relatively new to farmers, though it is…

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cold frame with plants covered in snow

Get a Jump on the Planting Season: Build Your Own Cold Frame, Part 1

January 22, 2019

The trees are bare and the ground is cold, hard, and forbidding in New England. If you’re an amateur gardener who wants to grow your own food, it can be a little intimidating. There are plenty of hardy plant breeds that will grow in winter, or you can do something a little more fun and…

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Greenhouse covered in snow

Winter Gardening Without Heated Greenhouses

January 16, 2019

It might seem like a myth that you can grow food in an unheated greenhouse during the winter, but we’re here to prove you wrong. As long as there is sunlight there are several techniques you can use to keep your crops warm enough to harvest well into the cold weather. The key? Layers. Just…

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Tomato Plants in a Greenhouse

Deciphering the Many Varieties of Tomatoes

January 15, 2019

If you’re a tomato connoisseur you probably already know just how many varieties of these delicious summertime staples there are. But do you know what makes each one unique? Or how to cultivate them depending on your growing environment? No? Well then sit back and enjoy the read! The following is an excerpt from The…

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How to Use Climate Maps to Navigate the Winter Harvest

January 11, 2019

Continuing to grow your crops and harvest them well into the winter months seems like an impossible task. How can they grow when weather conditions are far from warm sunny days? It’s all about adapting to what the season gives you. With the proper techniques and studying the patterns of your area’s climate, growing and…

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Sprouts Growing in a Greenhouse

Four Books for Growing Food in Winter

January 8, 2019

Don’t let cold weather stop you from producing and enjoying your own food! For many, the coming of winter simply means cultivation moves indoors or under cover. Small farmers, homesteaders, home gardeners, and commercial growers can extend the growing season by following just a few of the techniques outlined in the books below. And, there’s…

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Presenting the Four-Season Harvest

January 7, 2019

For most gardeners, a typical season begins with planting in the spring and ends with a big harvest in the fall – one that the frugal home-gardener hopes lasts through until spring sprouts again. And if it doesn’t, well, then it’s off to the store to pick up whatever measly, unfresh produce is available. But…

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Agri-Culture: Source of a Healthy Culture, Society and Mother Earth

January 3, 2019

In Call of the Reed Warbler, Charles Massy’s stunning observations of interaction between nature and society is nothing short of eye opening. “By arrogantly having placed ourselves outside the functional operating parameters of Earth’s systems, we now see nature and the Earth as separate from us and so just available for use – while all the time…

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cold frame with sprinkler system

Get a Jump on the Planting Season: Build Your Own Cold Frame, Part 2

January 1, 2019

The design of the cold box is the most important thing to keep in mind if you want it to be an effective tool for growing crops in the winter. Though it may seem like a complex task making a structure to shield against the winter chill, it’s a lot easier than you think. You…

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