What Should I Do?

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What Should I Do?

Shutterstock: Country Pond

Pond Planning

Steps for constructing a pond
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 11:47 AM

There is a lot to consider when planning for your pond installation. It is a good idea to thoroughly plan you pond installation prior to the machines arriving. I personally like to measure, get the levels, and paint the site to see for myself what the pond will look like. Often times a design on paper doesn’t survive this process. You will often find that the pond will be different in real life than you were thinking it would be on paper. » Read more

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Raising Pigs

Should you raise pigs?
Friday, July 18, 2014, 4:04 PM

I’m sure you saw the title of this article and immediately thought, “I already live with a few.”

However, whether you’re a self-reliant homesteader or just want to cut away from your food budget, raising pigs (of the porcine variety) is a great way to become more self-reliant and sufficient. If you raise your own meat in any scenario, you will have more control over how it is raised and fed, and you can make sure that it is essentially raised organically (whether or not you apply for organic certification). Raising your own meat is less expensive than purchasing meat that is not factory-farmed. » Read more

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How To Harvest Honey Using An Extractor

A primer for those new to beekeeping
Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 8:01 PM

Once your bees have filled your hives with honey for you, how do you get it out?

This is a question that most aspiring and novice beekeepers don't know the answer to. If you're curious to learn the answer, read on...

I had my first honey harvest of the year this past weekend, and I took pictures of the major steps in order to create this primer and de-mystify things. » Read more

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Swale construction

Creating Swales

Surveying and Installation
Monday, July 7, 2014, 4:32 PM

Swales are simply ditches on contour (contour is a level line across the landscape), with the excavated soil from the ditch being placed downslope to form a berm. The purpose is to rehydrate landscapes, add texture and microclimates, and to be used as a tree growing system. You can also use swales to increase catchment for ponds. » Read more

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How to Control Squash Vine Borer

Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 8:29 PM

Squash vine borers are terrible pests of the cucurbit family of plants that include squash, zucchini, pumpkins, melons, and cucumbers.

Squash Vine Borer Larvae » Read more

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Should You Raise Goats?

Considerations before you start
Thursday, June 26, 2014, 3:04 PM

Raising goats is a great way to save money and become more self-sufficient as a family. Goats are really easy to raise and can provide you with meat and milk.

Despite what you may have heard, goats aren’t smelly, messy or eat things like tin cans. Many people who own goats compare them to dogs – they play, don’t smell bad, and can be trained to follow you or play. Goats are very social animals and are very friendly to raise.

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Pear Tree Guild

Planting Fruit Tree Guilds

A practical example
Friday, June 20, 2014, 3:37 PM

Last year, I prepped and installed some of my fruit tree guilds. I had planned to install the following guilds around my zone 2 fruit trees. As with most plans, they did not go exactly according to plan. I had trouble getting some of the plants and seed, and I decided to plant more chicken friendly edibles, as these trees are inside the chicken paddocks. Having said that, my original plan was good, so I am listing it below, in case you might want to copy it. The important thing is that you install ample nitrogen fixers, nutrient accumulators, pollinator attractors, and pest repellants. » Read more

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Portable Electric Chicken Fencing

Chicken Paddock Shift

Rotational free ranging chickens
Monday, June 9, 2014, 2:22 PM

I am a big fan of the paddock shift method of raising chickens. It is the healthiest way to raise chickens, and it allows you to control where they go, and where they are excluded. You end up with a healthier pasture which gives you healthier chickens, therefore healthier meat and eggs. » Read more

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Food Storage Buckets

How to Best Store Your Food Storage

Protecting your food resliency and investment
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 1:05 PM

One of the largest questions with food storage is “Where should I put this?”

Where you store your food storage has a large impact on how long it will last and how good the food will taste once you use it. What type of container you use to store the food and the conditions of the area you store it have a large impact on the food.

Below we’ve listed out a few things you need to consider with your food containers and the conditions in which you store them. Let’s get started!

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Broadleaf Plantain

Edible Weeds

An abundance of nutrition from "common" weeds
Friday, May 30, 2014, 10:53 AM

I think it is a good idea to be aware not only of the lifecycles and functions of common “weeds”, but also their medicinal and food value. It is really surprising to me how many common “weeds” are actually edible.

As a disclaimer, this is for informational uses only. I am not a nutritionist or an expert on wild food, so if you eat something listed in this article, you are doing so on your own. Please bear in mind that some edible weeds look very similar to other poisonous species.