Chelsea Green Blog

Farming & Homesteading

Hip Hip, Hooray! It’s National Book Lovers Day!

August 9, 2018

 If you’re anything like us, this might be one of your favorite days of the year. To help you celebrate as only a book-lover can (with a stack of tomes in your favorite reading nook), we’ve rounded up a few Chelsea Green faves – from bestsellers to staff favorites to brand new, just hit the…

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Community Food Forests in Action

August 6, 2018

Alright. We’ve covered the basics of what a community food forest is, how to plan one, and which approach is best. Now it’s time to see some in action! Keep reading to learn more about some of the pioneers of the food forest movement. The following excerpt is from The Community Food Forest Handbook by Catherine Bukowski…

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Don’t Wear a Straw Hat: A Q&A with Mike Madison

August 1, 2018

In the following Q&A, Mike Madison, author of Fruitful Labor, reflects on over three decades of organic farming, talks about what it means to be sustainable, and offers advice and optimism for young farmers. Looking for even more insight?  Check out our other posts on Fruitful Labor: Profit or Loss from Farming A Farm is…

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Recipe: Simple, Greek-Style Yogurt

July 11, 2018

If you’ve got cows, you likely already know the joys of making your own yogurt. It’s easy, delicious, and oh-so-rewarding! If you don’t have cows, we think this recipe will convince you that you need some. The following excerpt is from Keeping a Family Cow by Joann S. Grohman. It has been adapted for the…

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What Is “Good” Silvopasture Grazing?

July 3, 2018

If you’re not familiar with silvopasture, you should be. The integrated system, which combines aspects of forestry, animal husbandry, grazing, and ecology, offers both the promise of land regeneration and economic livelihood. In order to succeed, however, you need to understand a key component of the system: the art of grazing. While it may seem…

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Agroforestry Versus Permaculture: Which Approach to Use for a Community Food Forest

July 2, 2018

Ok, so we’ve gone over some basics of community food forests:  Now it’s time to figure out how to plan one. There are two schools of thought on the best approach to building a community food forest: agroforestry or permaculture. The former offers a science-based approach while the latter incorporates elements of social design. Both work…

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What is a Community Food Forest?

June 27, 2018

The recent rise of community food forests and similar projects have come at an imperative time. More than 80 percent of the US population now resides in urban areas. This number is projected to rise in the next few decades. Not only can food forests provide a local source of food they can also serve…

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Focusing on Soil Remediation with Fungi

June 25, 2018

Nature does what needs to be done if we let her. Many people will step up to the task once provided with accurate facts and inspired by possibility. It really comes down to two simple concepts to take forward. One: Promote healthy plant metabolism as the guiding paradigm in growing anything. And two: Think and…

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Our Favorite Summer Reads

June 21, 2018

Wondering what to read this summer? Don’t worry, we have you covered! Grab your towel and claim the best pool chair or relax at your homestead with one of these perfect summer reads. Whether its nature reads, to healing your gut, everything wild, or inspirational books you’ll have your nose in a book all summer long…

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RECIPE: How To Make Blue Cheese

June 20, 2018

Attention moldy cheese lovers, this recipe is for you! It’s true, moldy isn’t usually a quality we look for in our food, but when it comes to blue cheese, the mold cultures contribute largely to its unique texture and bold flavor. Try your hand at making an authentic Rindless Blue Cheese using the ingredients and…

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A Gardening Tip: Pinching Flowers to Prolong Bloom, When and How

June 15, 2018

Flowers are starting to bloom! School yourself on flower pinching to determine whether or not you are getting the most out of your flowers. The following gardening tip is from The Flower Farmer: An Organic Grower’s Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers by Lynn Byczynski. Pinching can be used to increase yield and to…

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Profit or Loss from Farming

June 12, 2018

Most people don’t start farming to crunch numbers and expenses. Like any business, even small-scale farmers need to consider their income and expenses. In his chapter on economics, Mike Madison breaks down everything he reported on his Form 1040, Schedule F: Profit or Loss from Farming to give readers a good idea of what kind of accounting…

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Low-Risk Silvopasture: Chickens, Turkeys, Guinea Hens, Ducks and Geese

June 5, 2018

Interested in getting started with silvopasture? Consider purchasing a flock of poultry, which add plenty of value to your managed ecosystem (pest control, soil turnover, etc.) and derive benefits of their own to fluorish be productive livestock. You will have to decide, though, which type of poultry will work best with your particular ecosystem: chickens,…

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Compost: Small Farm-Style

June 4, 2018

Composting doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive, especially for a small farm.  There is a lot of expensive equipment on the market to precisely monitor your compost, but author Ben Hartman is here to share his strategies for avoiding those unnecessary costs. The following excerpt is from The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables by Ben…

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Mushroom Adventures: Mushroom Composting and Recycling

June 1, 2018

In the United States, an average of 35 percent of home waste and 60 percent of business waste is suitable for use as a mushroom growing substrate. Mushrooms can be grown on toilet and paper towel rolls, egg cartons, newspapers, magazines, coffee grounds, tea bags, old cotton clothing, tissue boxes, shredded paper, cardboard boxes, and more.…

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What in the world is Silvopasture?

May 31, 2018

Have you heard of silvopasture? This system of managing grazing animals in a temperate forest ecosystem is quite common in Europe but it didn’t quite make its way over to North America with the colonists. They must not have realized the benefits of silvopasture: healthier animals, better soil, less pest control and mowing, and climate…

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Victory Over Big Ag: How a small town said “Yes!” to a pesticide-free future

May 29, 2018

A Precautionary Tale shares the inspiring story of a group of citizens in Mals, Italy who fought Big Ag and won and, in doing so, became the first place on Earth to ban pesticides by a referendum vote. Their colorful, courageous, and ultimately savvy campaign is being heralded around the world as a landmark effort in…

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Gourmet Root Systems: Edible Mushrooms Wonders

May 25, 2018

For people who enjoy foraging for food in the wild, there are plenty of mushrooms to choose from — “ten thousand mushroom species to be considered on the North American continent alone”. But foraging for mushrooms should never be thought of as a game of chance. You need to know all the clues when it comes to identifying…

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How to Cook the Perfect, Tender, Grass Fed Steak

May 21, 2018

Memorial Day is one of America’s first “BBQ Holidays” of the year. It’s finally warm enough to grill outside in most of the country, and almost everyone has the day off to bask in the glory of the coming summer. Treat your tastebuds to an ethical feast: grill up some grass fed steak this year!…

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Good fences and good gates make good goats

May 17, 2018

So you’ve figured out how to move your goats, now how do you get them to stay in one place? We’re back with advice from fellow author and goat expert, Gianaclis Caldwell. She knows just how sneaky goats can be, so take her advice when considering the various options for fencing to keep your goats happy…

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From the Homemade Hooch Files: How to Make Dandelion Wine

May 15, 2018

Heads up: you definitely don’t want to be spraying weed killer on your dandelions. If your lawn is a total dandelion breeding ground, you are so close to having some delicious wine! Get out there and pick some so you can get started on fermenting a batch of flower wine. This drink is not only…

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A Farm is More than its Land: Why Farm Infrastructure Is Important

May 14, 2018

A farm is more than its land. A well planned and implemented infrastructure is just as crucial as great soil and hard work. We are facing serious questions about what farming will look like, and who will be growing our food. Many younger people are interested in going into agriculture, especially organic farming, but cannot…

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Are you Team Duck or Team Chicken?

May 9, 2018

Thinking about adding a laying flock to your backyard, but having trouble deciding between ducks and chickens? Agonize no more. Carol Deppe (The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties) has the lowdown on which type of poultry might be right for you. Deppe is a duck-lover at heart. In the following excerpt…

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The Perfect Mix: All Purpose Potting Soil Recipe

May 7, 2018

Potting Soil Annual plants require an early start to bear fruit in the short growing season of New England. The planting medium, daylight length, and temperature conditions are crucial factors for a healthy nursery of seedlings. In an attempt to localize our annual production we start seedlings on-site. This production requires specific timing and appropriate…

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Work Smarter, Not Harder: Goat Handling

May 3, 2018

If you have goats or are considering getting goats, at some point you’ll need to move them.  This can be a tricky task, as goats can scare easily and high levels of stress are not good for their health or productivity. Take some advice from author and goat whisperer, Gianaclis Caldwell, who has a handful…

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