Chelsea Green Blog

Farming & Homesteading

8 Must-Read Books for Your 2019 Reading List

December 14, 2018

Are you new to the Chelsea Green community and aren’t sure which book to read first? Or maybe you’re a long-time fan and want to continue your binge-reading but need some fresh ideas. Regardless of how you got here, we can help! From the enlightening and thought-provoking to the quirky and fun, we, the Chelsea…

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Resiliency: Becoming an Adaptive Human

November 27, 2018

They say history is bound to repeat itself if we don’t take the time to learn from the past. Our decision-making skills are essential for survival but, for some, it’s difficult to connect the dots between the cause and effect of said decisions. However, in this day and age, it’s important to recognize our strengths,…

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How The Great Migration Led to Urban Farming

November 26, 2018

For centuries, humans have been migrating in search of better land, opportunities, and quality of life. For some, those migrations were voluntary while others were forced to move due to far more sinister circumstances. The Great Migration is one such case. During the 1900’s through 1970, over six million black people left the rural south…

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Worm Real Estate: Vermicast Structures

November 23, 2018

When you were little, you may have created homes for worms using twigs and leaves. It might surprise you then to learn that farmers all over the world are still doing that but on a much bigger scale. Farmers rely on earthworms to create vermicomposting systems and where the worms live and grow are the…

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A 15-Point Urban Food Manifesto

November 16, 2018

What if farms and food production were integrated into every aspect of urban living—from special assessments to create new farms and food businesses to teaching people how to grow fruits and vegetables so farmers can focus on staple crops. Urban farming is a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and of the…

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Lessons in Resilience: How to Plan a Successful Farm Business

November 14, 2018

Humans are extremely resilient beings. We have the capability to create wondrous things out of seemingly nothing and continuously reinvent ourselves. However, when the world is against us, it may seem impossible to accomplish our goals. Leah Penniman, co-founder of Soul Fire Farm, wanted nothing more than to be able to provide nourishing food for…

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How to Make Your Own Mulch With Fallen Leaves

November 12, 2018

As the last of the leaves fall from the trees, the time has come for countless hours of raking and hauling before the first snowflake falls. While this may be a nuisance for some, for Will Bonsall, this time of year is his “mulching bonanza.” Though the conventional wisdom about tree leaves is that they…

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How Vermicast Benefits Soils and Plants

November 8, 2018

Worms aren’t just the squiggly, pink creatures found on the sidewalk after it rains. They are so much more than that. These highly regarded specimens play a vital role in enhancing our soils and revitalizing the health of the plants we need to survive. But how do we get them to work their magic? Through…

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A Cluckin’ Good Time: Why Chickens Rule the Roost

November 5, 2018

If you’ve ever wondered what your life is missing, the answer is probably chickens. These feathery friends can help fertilize your soil, mow your lawn, and even lay the eggs you eat for breakfast. What could be better than that? To celebrate our favorite member of the poultry flock we’ve rounded up some wisdom and…

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DIY: Make a Self-Watering Planter

October 31, 2018

Whether you live in a four-season climate or a small apartment in the city, fresh food at your fingertips is easier than you think! Just follow the directions for this self-watering growing container and you’ll have an abundance of produce in no time. The following is an excerpt from Fresh Food From Small Spaces: The…

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How to End a Food Apartheid

October 30, 2018

Apartheid ended in 1994, right? Not according to Leah Penniman, a young, black farmer living in the South End of Albany, NY where a modern day apartheid is taking place. At the root of this issue? Food. Or better said, the lack of access to affordable, healthy food options in Black communities across the country…

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How Do You Like Them Apples?

October 23, 2018

Crisp air? Check. Vibrant foliage? Double check. It’s Autumn and that means orchards are overflowing with apples. As we tuck into our first warm apple pie of the season, we thought it would be a good time to reflect on this quintessential staple of the American diet. In the age of industrial food production, how…

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Farming Against Nature

October 17, 2018

When you’re walking around the grocery store looking at all of the different vegetables, it’s probably hard to imagine that a century ago there was twice the amount of options to choose from. Hundreds of years of growing crops and infusing the soil with chemicals have depleted the dirt of the essential nutrients needed to…

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Why Venture into Vermicomposting?

October 15, 2018

If you’re at all in tune to the agricultural news of late, you’re well aware that soil health is in decline all over the world –  an issue that is having a disastrous impact on our food systems. The answer to this international problem? Worms. And lots of them. But how, you ask? Well, vermicomposting,…

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The Importance of Planting Cover Crops

October 9, 2018

If you want to improve your soils, one of the most important things you can do is to plant cover crops. Not only do they provide diversity they also help to increase the amount of carbon in your croplands – an essential component of stimulating photosynthesis. But to understand which crops to plant, and when,…

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How To Make Your Own Chèvre Using Natural Ingredients

October 5, 2018

Making cheese at home may seem like a time and labor-intensive process, but what if you could make a delicious, high-quality cheese that practically makes itself?  According to David Asher, author of The Art of Natural Cheesemaking, you can. The following recipe for all-natural chèvre will change the way you look at homemade cheese! Related…

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October Garden Planning: 10 Tips for Success

October 4, 2018

Here in the Northeast, October signifies the true start of fall. The days are shorter, the nights and mornings are colder, the leaves are a-changin’, and the first frost is inevitably upon us. But that doesn’t mean our gardening work is done quite yet. There’s still plenty of time to wrap up the season, prepare…

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Harvesting winter spinach

The Winter Harvest Project

October 2, 2018

Four-season farmer Eliot Coleman strikes again with inspiration for all you cold-loving farmers out there! A master of extending the growing season, Eliot explains his strategies for successful winter harvesting and greenhouse design. The following excerpt is from The New Organic Grower, 3rd Edition by Eliot Coleman. It has been adapted for the web. Part…

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The Endless Arugula Bed

September 28, 2018

Let’s face it, buying fresh veggies in the dead of winter after growing your own all summer is a bummer. But what if we told you that you could extend your season, save time, AND save money? Ben Falk, author of The Resilient Farm and Homestead, experimented with overwintering a bed of arugula using a…

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How to Extend the Growing Season

September 27, 2018

Winter may be coming, but that doesn’t mean you should put away those tools just yet! With proper modifications, you can extend your growing season well past the first frost. We’ve compiled a few suggestions for season extension from Four Seasons Farm owner, and organic gardening pioneer, Eliot Coleman. The following excerpt is from The…

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How to Harvest, Store, and Cure Squash

September 26, 2018

Are you a squash newbie, afraid of ruining your crop due to rudimentary (at-best) knowledge? Fear not! Expert gardener and squash-enthusiast, Carol Deppe has some tried-and-true guidelines to make sure you  reap the benefits of your hard work. So before you even think about cutting a stem, read this! The following excerpt is from The…

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Why Cows are the Premier Dairy Choice

September 24, 2018

Let’s be honest… cows (should) rule the world. Well, at least the dairy world. While many grazing animals have been milked throughout the course of history (reindeer and horses included), none have been more valued than the cow – a producer of wealth and nourishment and stability. The following excerpt is from Keeping a Family…

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How to Build Your Own Root Cellar for the Fall Harvest

September 21, 2018

As we ease our way into autumn, make sure you are ready to preserve your root vegetable harvest in a soundly constructed, home storage system. In the following excerpt from Four-Season Harvest, Eliot Coleman shares his expertise on building a successful root cellar. For more step-by-step projects to jumpstart your season extension plans, properly prepare…

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5 Principles of Soil Health

September 19, 2018

Soil is all around us. We walk on it every day. We dig and play and plant in it. We harvest from it and nourish ourselves thanks to it. And yet, many of us aren’t aware just how critical a resource it is for our future. It’s the basis for healthy food production, is a…

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Easy to Make Drying Trays

September 18, 2018

Looking for a new way to enjoy your harvest well into the winter months? If you said, yes, then this one’s for you! By following this simple tutorial, you can expand the lifespan of fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and even herbs. It’s not only easy, environmentally friendly, and inexpensive — it also means you can enjoy…

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