5 Great Benefits of Having Succulents in Your Home

5 Great Benefits of Having Succulents in Your Home

Plants help clean the air, add oxygen and any number of other benefits.  The problem?  Not everyone has a green enough thumb to keep their plants alive, let alone flourishing. Fortunately, you don’t have to have a degree in botany to enjoy having plants indoors; you have to pick the right ones. Enter the succulent.  Succulent plants, or succulents, are a type of plant that displays parts that are especially thick and fleshy.  This characteristic lets the plant retain water in drying climates and soil types in a similar manner to cactus plants. These wonderful little plants have become even […]

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How to Prune your Roses the Proper Way

How to Prune your Roses the Proper Way

  Roses come in a plethora of species. Over a hundred of them are available to be exact. They can be climbing, bushes, or trailing with long stems. You can grow just about any color that you can imagine at this point as a result of cross-breeding different ones to achieve the desired shades. They are gorgeous, they have a pleasant aroma, and they brighten up the exterior of any homestead or home. That’s why they are one of the most popular flowers found in gardens all over the world. Even though roses are pretty easy to grow and to […]

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The Best All Natural Fertilizers For Your Garden

The Best All Natural Fertilizers For Your Garden

  Store-bought fertilizers can get expensive. On top of that, they don’t always produce the results you are looking for. They aren’t natural, so there’s no guarantee that they are going to work the way they’re supposed to. Instead of heading into town to pick up an overpriced bag for your garden, go to your kitchen and mix up your own batch with any of these natural fertilizer recipes.   Egg Shells After breakfast, don’t toss your egg shells. Wash them up and crush them. They are 93% calcium carbonate. With that there, it’s effective to use near peppers, tomatoes, […]

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4 Completely Natural Ways to Rid Your Property of Mice

4 Completely Natural Ways to Rid Your Property of Mice

  Mice can be the bane of the homestead pantry, and feed shed, and garden, and…well, you get the idea. One thing that is important to understand is you will never have only one.  You may see only one, but there where there is one there is the potential for dozens more.  With a very short breeding cycle, mice can overrun a food source in a matter of weeks if left to their own devices. For many of us, the first reaction to the idea of mice is to go out and buy some chemical bait that will get rid […]

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4 Things Baby Chicks Need for Healthy Living

4 Things Baby Chicks Need for Healthy Living

  Baby chicks.  Fuzzy and cute, warm and cuddly, they are adorable beyond words.  Sometimes called the “gateway drug” to adding animals to a homestead, the chickens these chicks grow into can add any number of benefits to your property, from pest control to fresh eggs to a Sunday Roast. If you are contemplating joining the thousands of people across the world to raise their own chickens for meat and eggs, here are some things you will need to be prepared with.   A Brooder Brooder is a fancy way of saying container.  When you first receive your chicks, they […]

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Is Grass Fed Beef Really Better Than the Alternative?

Is Grass Fed Beef Really Better Than the Alternative?

  As people work to become more health conscious, we are taking a closer look at the foods we eat regularly.  And, while some have chosen to avoid animal products altogether, others have instead made an effort to find healthier versions of the product they already know and love. Take beef, for example.  Most of us know from grocery shopping that it’s now possible to buy items like ground beef with different levels of fat in them.  And, you would think that when spending the extra money per pound on 93% lean beef that, that is hormone/additive free you’d be […]

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4 Critical Methods to Improve Your Garden Soil

4 Critical Methods to Improve Your Garden Soil

You have the perfect spot picked out for your new garden.  It gets just the right amount of sun, its easy to access and there is plenty of room to plant whatever your heart desires.  Just one problem.  The ground in your perfect spot is less than optimal for growing anything more than plastic plants. What do you do when your potential garden’s soil is more akin to just plain dirt that the rich compost you dream of getting your hands into?  Pick another site?  Probably now very practical. Fortunately, there are several natural ways you can inject your ground […]

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5 Fantastic Benefits of Living in a Yurt

5 Fantastic Benefits of Living in a Yurt

  Yurts are the ultimate example of efficiency in residential construction.  Their structural design, insulation and covering keep them cool in summer, warm in winter, and extremely wind resistant.  A yurt’s round walls allow for much less surface area for interior heat to escape while letting the wind move more organically around it instead of pushing against it. The framing of the support system is completely self-sufficient and a wonder of engineering.  The roof is supported by the use of a tension band and compression ring leaving the interior completely open and available to any interior design you could need. […]

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8 Extremely Natural Ways to Treat a Rash

8 Extremely Natural Ways to Treat a Rash

  Rashes can be at the least, inconvenient, and at the worst incredibly painful.  There is any number of reasons a rash may appear.  Allergies, toxic plants, and illnesses are the main categories, but within those, especially allergies, it can sometimes be impossible to figure out why the rash is happening. Please note, if a rash progresses rapidly, appear for no external reason, or it accompanied by other symptoms like sinus or chest congestion or trouble breathing this may be a sign of a severe allergy.  In these cases, you should seek medical treatment and work with your doctor to […]

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Can You Grow Miniature Fruit Trees and Non-Native Plants?

Can You Grow Miniature Fruit Trees and Non-Native Plants?

Can You Grow Miniature Fruit Trees and Non-Native Plants? Well, the short answer?  Yes. It is possible to grow just about anything on a homestead or even in an urban environment, with the right care and maintenance. And, if you are successful, you can provide yourself with your own rice, coffee, citrus fruit and more. The main trick?  Growing everything in planters and pots, essentially creating a mobile farm.  During the summer they can be kept outside.  When it turns cold you have a few options: Cover the plants with clear plastic to create mini-greenhouses Move them inside your home […]

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Identifying and Understanding Poison Ivy

Identifying and Understanding Poison Ivy

The bane of every campers’ weekend getaway, poison ivy, interestingly enough is not actually in the ivy family.  It’s a relative of the almond family.  Who knew? Most of the time, you only have to worry about avoiding it when you are in the great outdoors and away from urban areas.  However, occasionally it will pop up in your yard.  If this happens, you’ll want to make sure you wear protective clothing and accessories like gloves and even a mask to avoid the worst itching you can ever imagine. Also, you’ll want to be very cautious about how you dispose […]

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DIY Recycled Planters

DIY Recycled Planters

  When you are getting ready to start seeds for spring planting, you may find yourself with more seeds than starter containers. Instead of running right out and buying some at your local garden center, try digging through your plastic recycling bin instead.  Empty plastic soda and water bottles are durable enough to handle taking on plants but easy to cut down, trim and otherwise alter to create a handy little planter to suit your needs. Here are two options to create plastic planters.   Standard Planter Cut or punch drain holes around the bottom of the bottle. Any easy […]

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Never Waste Water Again

Never Waste Water Again

  Picture this, for every inch of rain that falls on a 500 square feet area of your roof; you can collect up to 300 gallons of it to use around your property. If you live in an area that doesn’t restrict the use of rain barrels, you could be saving money every month on water. Rainwater can be used for a variety of tasks including: Rinsing off your garage floor Watering your indoor plants Watering your outdoor plants Flushing your toilet Creating an outdoor shower And more I know a potter who has a studio in her garage.  If […]

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13 Drought Tolerant Plants for Low Maintenance Landscapes

13 Drought Tolerant Plants for Low Maintenance Landscapes

Whether you live in a desert climate, or just don’t want to use a lot of water to have a beautiful landscape, drought tolerant plants are a great option.  There are a large variety of species available to choose from, from succulents to blooming plants.  To help you narrow down your options, here is a list for you to consider.   Cactus Not just for the desert, cactus plants are an obvious choice for a drought tolerant garden. They can also serve a very practical purpose.  Plant the lower lying varieties under exterior windows, and you automatically have an extra […]

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Don’t Make These Common EDC Mistakes

Don’t Make These Common EDC Mistakes

When putting together an EDC kit, it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between selecting an item because it could really be useful, and selecting an item because it’s really, really cool. To start, ask yourself some questions as you contemplate each possible item.   Will this tool be helpful in the region I live in? Example, an ice pick is probably going to be of less use in a tropical or desert region.   How many functions are included with this tool? Double check to see how many different uses you can get from a single item. […]

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The Undeniable Benefits of Coffee Grounds in Your Garden

The Undeniable Benefits of Coffee Grounds in Your Garden

  Coffee grounds and gardening are naturally a good fit. Whether you are composting with them or applying them directly to your garden and around your yard, you’ll discover that coffee can affect your plants in much the same way it does you. If you think your garden is in need of a pick-me-up, get ready to be amazed at the effects it will produce.   Used Coffee Grounds Make Great Fertilizer When added directly to the garden soil, the grounds add to the organic material makeup of the soil itself.  This addition aids in the retention of water, improves […]

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More Natural Mosquito Repellents

More Natural Mosquito Repellents

  From the early 90’s encephalitis scares to today’s news of Zika and West Nile virus, people are looking for as many options for mosquito repellent as possible.  And, thanks to the chemical scares that occurred long before, effective organic options are highly desired. Fortunately, there are a number of options to make spring and summer night much more comfortable and much less life-threatening.   From Lemongrass to Citronella Oil One of the most well-known mosquito repellent plants is lemongrass. Lemongrass is the plant citronella oil is extracted from. Use as a natural spray, burn in candles or put in […]

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Building Your Very Own Smokehouse

Building Your Very Own Smokehouse

  There are a number of DIY smoker methods, ranging all sizes and prices.  If you only need to smoke small items or one medium item at a time, like a Christmas turkey, all you need is a large terracotta pot or unused metal trash can. But, if you need a good-sized smokehouse to help you prepare for winter on a homestead or other rural area, this design based on pallet wood should provide what you need without breaking the bank.  Its also designed so that you only need the most basic of woodworking skills to complete it. An important […]

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Game Meat: From Field to Freezer

Game Meat: From Field to Freezer

You’ve chosen your weapon, you’ve stalked your prey, you’ve made your shot, you’ve downed your first kill…Now What?   First – Get Those Guts Out The faster you can remove the entrails, the better off you’ll be.  But what is fast?  Most experts will tell you if you can get it accomplished in less than 4 hours after the kill, you’ll probably be OK.   Next – Skin the Hide You’ll need to remove the skin shortly after the guts so the meat can begin to cool. As you go, avoid puncturing the meat or cutting through the hide to […]

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Simple 15 Step Chicken Hoop House

Simple 15 Step Chicken Hoop House

  If you are gearing up to add chickens to your homestead, or your current chicken coop isn’t cutting it, here’s a design that works well and doesn’t take a lot to put together. The goal of this design is to have a good amount of space for the chickens to graze, in an area that was safe from predators and that can be moved around as needed. For this project you will need: 2x4s Cattle Panels (enough to cover the roof) Hardware Cloth (enough to cover the cattle panels and the side walls Expanded Metal (enough to cover the […]

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