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Posts Tagged ‘efficient’

Homesteading: Highlighting Our Need For Each Other

chickens, goats, and a young farmer feeding the animals

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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Permaculture Advice For Beginners

Gateway to a garden

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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The Phases of Composting

compost in a community garden

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

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

Barn in a field

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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Winter Gardening Without Heated Greenhouses

Greenhouse covered in snow

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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Four Books for Growing Food in Winter

Sprouts Growing in a Greenhouse

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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Preparing for Winter: Weatherproofing Your Windows

If thinking about the cost to heat your home this winter has you knitting wool mittens and piling on another layer of blankets, you’re not alone. But did you know that a large majority of that hefty bill comes as a result of poor energy efficiency? If you have older windows it’s likely that air…

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Resiliency: Becoming an Adaptive Human

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 to Make Your Own Mulch With Fallen Leaves

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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The Endless Arugula Bed

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

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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Why Cows are the Premier Dairy Choice

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

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

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

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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Appetite For Construction

Have you ever wondered why beavers build dams the way they do? Believe it or not, there is actually a method to the madness. Similar to the motives behind why humans manipulate the environment the way they do, beavers employ a strategic plan when building their dams. The animals are “among our closest ecological and…

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What Is “Good” Silvopasture Grazing?

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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Compost: Small Farm-Style

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

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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Good fences and good gates make good goats

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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Composting as if it Mattered

Composting is more than a way to minimize waste and supplement your garden. It is a method which can be practiced and perfected to “supply all the needs of [your] crops and the soil in which they live.” Composting master Will Bonsall has honed the craft to be so efficient that he has made over 200…

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Soil Blocks vs. Pots: Two Ways to Start Seedlings This Spring

When it comes to starting your first seedlings, are you a pothead or a blockhead? We’re talking about using pots versus soil blocks and no matter which you choose, our authors offer step-by-step methods and troubleshooting advice. Master gardener Eliot Coleman is an advocate for soil blocks. In the excerpt below from The New Organic Grower,…

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12 Books for Essential Earth Day Reading

Earth

As we celebrate Earth Day, you might be feeling inspired to do some reading about our great planet. We complied 12 books to get you going from farmland to global warming to economics. The best way to initiate change is to learn as much about the issues as possible and start conversations about what’s going…

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