Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Garden

Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Garden

Most gardeners don’t live in the tropics or have acres of land to spare, so choosing the right crops and materials to start a garden with is something you aren’t going to want to take lightly.  It could be a third of the way through your growing season before you realize that you wasted all of that time, energy, money, and space in your garden just to grow crops that you aren’t going to benefit from. Over-enthusiastic seed purchases One thing to avoid is getting your ideas of what crops you are going to grow from a seed catalog.  Seed sellers don’t make most of their money […]

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2 Ways to Preserve Spinach

2 Ways to Preserve Spinach

Spinach is a very easy vegetable to grow, and it offers a ton of nutrients. Plus, it’s tasty, and you can use it for numerous recipes. Of course, if you want to use your spinach after the growing season is done, you’re going to have to know how to properly preserve it. Here are a couple of simple preservation techniques that will keep your family eating spinach all year long. Dehydrated Spinach Rinse your spinach, remove any brown or unappetizing spots, and cut off or tear out thick stems. Once your leaves are prepared, lay them out evenly on a […]

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How to Make Yogurt

How to Make Yogurt

Yogurt has increased in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. It’s a wonderful source of healthy fat and protein as well as millions of beneficial probiotic bacteria. It’s also delicious! Did you know you can make your own easily at home? Yogurt is nothing more than cultured milk, and, like sourdough, all you need is a starter to get going-which is actually just about 1/4 of a cup of yogurt! There are many different methods for making yogurt, and this is simply one of them. You can make it in a specially-designed yogurt maker, in a crock pot, […]

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Tips for Keeping Chickens Warm This Winter

Tips for Keeping Chickens Warm This Winter

We recently covered how to care for chickens in hot weather, but as fall seems to be whizzing around the corner, we thought it would be a good idea to cover how to care for them in cold weather, because it’s important to plan ahead. It’s simpler than you think really-chickens can, with the right conditions, keep themselves warm surprisingly well. 1. Let them breathe It seems like you’d want to make their coop completely insulated and airtight to protect them from harsh winter weather right? Wrong. While insulation is very important, and you should start fixing leaks in the roof and […]

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A Simple Guide to Alternative Flours

A Simple Guide to Alternative Flours

There are many reasons people are flocking to alternative flours today. Gluten intolerance is becoming very common, but there are also many diets that eliminate wheat or grains, such as the whole 30, primal or paleo diets. There are a few reasons gluten-free and grain-free diets can be beneficial for your health, but that’s another post for another today. Today we’d just like to discuss a few of the basic non-wheat flours. This is useful to know for homesteaders, in case you’re interested in growing and milling some of your own flours. A note: all grain-free flours are also gluten-free, […]

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How (and Why) to Render Tallow

How (and Why) to Render Tallow

Tallow used to be commonplace a few hundred years ago, before it was replaced with mass-produced cooking oils like canola, corn and soy. What it is is rendered animal fat, (it’s normally called tallow for beef fat and lard for pig fat, but the same principles apply for each) and it can be used in many ways. Why Render Tallow The reason this is ideal for a homesteader is it’s always ideal to use every part of a butchered animal, and tallow gives you a great way to use up all the fat. But it’s not just useful-its super healthy and […]

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Dairy Cow Basics

Dairy Cow Basics

Dairy cows are a wonderful addition to any homestead. The nourishment their fresh milk provides is liquid gold-raw milk is highly nutritious and can produce delicious, top-notch butter, cream, buttermilk, cheese and yogurt. I think when anyone thinks of farming or homesteading, they think of owning a dairy cow. If you’re interested in getting a dairy cow, here are a few basic considerations: Your Homestead’s Capacity What breed of cow, how many to get, how often to breed and what to feed the cow(s) will depend on your homestead, what facilities you have, how much acreage you have, how much […]

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4 Crafty Ways to Reuse Mason Jars

4 Crafty Ways to Reuse Mason Jars

Mason jars. Are they not one of the best inventions of all time? Originally designed for canning, mason jars (or Bell, or Kerr, or other canning jars…wide-mouth canning jars are just all-around awesome) have so many uses. They’re sturdy, difficult to break, have a big capacity-well, a quart! Lately, the annals of Pinterest have shown us that there are dozens of ways to use mason jars, so we picked a few particularly clever uses.   Mason jar herb garden Probably the most homestead-applicable, a simple mason jar herb garden is pretty much exactly what it sounds like! In lieu of […]

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Benefits of Compost Tea

Benefits of Compost Tea

When it comes to a thriving, healthy garden, one of the quintessential components is a good fertilizer, and homemade compost is one the best things you can make. Using kitchen scraps, garden cuttings and locally sourced organic waste like grass clippings, manure, coffee grounds, egg shells, etc., you can-and should-make your own compost pile for a consistent supply of amazing plant superfood. There are many different options for how to build a compost pile and what to build it with, so if you’re not already composting, you’ll want to start there. But if you do already have a successful compost […]

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How to Get Started Knitting

How to Get Started Knitting

It’s only the middle of August, but apparently snow is already accumulating above some US states-can you believe it? It’s already time to start thinking about getting out that winter gear. Or, if you want to learn a new skill-making it! Knitting is a wonderful skill to have, and it’s never too late to learn. It’s actually has some surprisingly health benefits, like improving cognitive function, memory, coordination and relieving stress. Not to mention you get scarves, hats, and or any of the many other things you can knit right at home! It’s a great way to give an original […]

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The Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps

The Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps

Himalayan salt lamps have been increasing in popularity lately, and for good reason. The pretty pink chucks of salt fitted with lamps on the inside make lovely additions to any decor, but they also provide amazing health benefits. They are called the “vitamins of the air”. The way they work is by emitting negative ions, which cancel out harmful positive ions. Positive ions are created by electronic devices and radiation from electronic fields such as WiFi or cellphone networks. Positive ions can exacerbate issues such as allergies, insomnia and stress. Himalayan sea salt is the purest sea salt on earth. […]

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Homemade Dog Food

Homemade Dog Food

Our dogs are our best friends, and they deserve homemade meals too! Unfortunately, a lot of store-bought dog foods have a lot of preservatives and additives that you might not be so thrilled for your canine companion to be consuming. And high-dollar dog food, with real food ingredients, can be really pricey. So a great alternative is to just make your own at home! First, you’ll want to determine what the best nutrition is for your dog. Not every dog is going to have the same nutritional needs, but in general, dogs need protein, like from meat, fish, dairy and […]

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3 Tips for Growing Potatoes

3 Tips for Growing Potatoes

Potatoes are one of the best staple foods for almost any diet. They’re full of fiber, complex carbohydrates, and nutrients that can enhance anyone’s health. Better yet, potatoes are actually pretty easy to grow in your garden, making them even more attractive to homesteaders everywhere. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you grow better potatoes in your garden. Pick a Sunny Spot No matter what kind of potatoes you’re growing, always pick a spot that gets full sun. You should also ensure that the soil is light, loose, and slightly acidic (ideally with a PH of 5.0-7.0), […]

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The Ultimate Guide to Chicken Coops (Infograph)

The Ultimate Guide to Chicken Coops (Infograph)

Raising chickens is awesome, but you definitely need to have everything they will need to thrive. In most cases, this will include a properly constructed and well-equipped chicken coop. Even free-range chickens will need somewhere to roost at night. There are many options out there for homemade chicken coops, and this will probably be the best option for most people as you can customize it to your flock size, climate, and budget needs. There are a few crucial components to a chicken coop, which this great infograph from Gardenaholic.com put together. They also have a great article on how to […]

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3 Tips for Prepping When You’re Broke

3 Tips for Prepping When You’re Broke

Whether you’re prepping in case of a disaster, you’re preparing to be an off-grid homesteader, or anything in between, you know that prepping and learning survival skills can take up a lot of time and money. That really doesn’t have to be the case, though. In fact, there are a number of ways that you can be prepared, even when you can barely pay your bills. Focus on Learning New Survival Skills First of all, being prepared isn’t just about buying cool equipment that will help you put up a tent anywhere or stay warm outside on the harshest winter […]

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Tips for Saving Seeds

Seed storage seems like it should be simple, but it’s actually more involved than you might think. After all, you don’t want your seeds to germinate while they’re in storage. With proper storage, though, a good collection of heirloom seeds could help you grow a full garden, complete with all of the fruits and vegetables for your cooking needs. Put Them in the Fridge and Leave Them There First of all, seeds do best when they’re stored in cooler temperatures. 40 degrees – the temperature of most refrigerators – is perfect for keeping seeds fresh and avoiding early germination, mold, […]

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Top 3 Reasons You Should Be Growing Your Own Food

Top 3 Reasons You Should Be Growing Your Own Food

Whether or not you’re a homesteader, there’s no arguing that vegetables fresh from the garden just taste better than the ones you buy at the store. Even organic store-bought veggies just don’t have that same delicious taste that you get from vegetables that you grew yourself. If that isn’t enough to convince you to grow your own food, let’s take a look at just a few of the top reasons you might want to start a garden today: No Fear of Food Recalls Every year, we hear about different food recalls in different areas. People get sick from eating tomatoes, […]

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How to Make a DIY Gnat Trap

How to Make a DIY Gnat Trap

Gnats and fruit flies can be a real pain, especially when you keep fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden around the house. If you have a gnat infestation, and you’re looking for a way to get rid of them but you don’t want to spray chemicals everywhere, try one of these DIY gnat traps. The Vinegar Trap To make your trap, you’ll just need a few household items, including: A mason jar A lid Apple cider vinegar First, take your lid and poke several holes in it. You may want to use a punch or a sharp knife. Whatever […]

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Caring for Your Chickens in Hot Weather

Caring for Your Chickens in Hot Weather

Did you know that chickens have a higher body temperature than humans? As a result, they will almost always feel increases in heat faster than we do, which means that they can really suffer on hot summer days. So how can you ensure that your chickens stay healthy and cool all summer long? Follow a few simple tips. Provide Cool Water and Shade Chickens will naturally gravitate toward shady areas to stay cool on hot days. Provide yours with plenty of shade, and put their water in the shade, as well. Basically, if the water is out in the sun […]

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Treating a Toothache Naturally

Treating a Toothache Naturally

There’s nothing quite like the pain of infected teeth or gums. With other ailments, you can work through the pain, lie down and forget about it for a while, or find other relief, but you just can’t get away from the pain in your mouth. So what can you do when this happens? As you’ve built your homestead, you’ve no doubt tried to think of everything you’ll possibly need for healthy, comfortable living. As a result, you no doubt have an herb garden where you grow delicious herbs that have numerous healing properties. Your garden could be the key to […]

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