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What Should I Do?

Thyme - Daylillys

Multi-Functional Plants for the Permaculture Garden

The many reasons / uses for a variety of plants
Monday, September 29, 2014, 10:26 AM

If you have a choice of planting a tree, shrub, vine, herbaceous plant, or groundcover that only has one function or another species that fills that desired function and also provides three other benefits, why wouldn't you plant the more functional species. In permaculture, elements of our designs should serve at least 3 functions. Many species can do much better than that. Below is a list of some of my favorite multi-functional plants that I am currently using on my permaculture site. » Read more

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Phil Williams

Why Bother Composting?

The benefits of building great soil.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 7:01 PM

Composting can seem pretty complicated. Depending on who you talk to, or what you read, you will find tons of different advice on how to get just the right “brew”. You’ll hear about having the perfect ratio of greens and browns, and putting them together in thin shredded layers. Then you hear about occasionally turning the pile to let the right amount of oxygen in, but not too often, as you are losing nitrogen. Then you have to have the right cooking temperature. You have to have it hot, but not too hot. Hot enough to cook, but not so hot that you burn up your nutrients. » Read more

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Soil Sample

Testing Your Soil for a Pond Site

Understanding your soil before you build
Friday, September 19, 2014, 2:57 PM

If you are planning to build a compacted pond without a liner, it is a good idea to test the soil to determine the clay content. The clay content will tell you whether or not the existing soil can be compacted. If you have clay content of 30% or higher, you can be pretty confident that with proper compaction, your pond will seal. » Read more

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Hydroponic Gardening

Growing Food With No Soil Required
Monday, September 15, 2014, 3:22 PM

Can you grow a garden in the winter without soil?

Yes, it is entirely possible to grow a garden in the winter without soil. In fact, you can grow a garden in the winter without these things, using an increasingly popular technique called “hydroponics.” Hydroponics is an indoor soil-free gardening technique that has been used for thousands of years and allows the gardener to have complete and total control of their garden’s environment. With the hydroponics gardening alternative, you can grow just about any type of bountiful garden during those cold winter months right within your own home – even in your home’s kitchen.

If you’ve ever put a plant clipping into a glass of water, in hopes it will develop roots, you have practiced a form of hydroponics. » Read more

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Garlic Clove

How to Grow Garlic

A simpler primer on adding garlic to your garden
Thursday, September 11, 2014, 9:24 AM

Garlic is an extremely versatile cooking and medicinal herb. It is a great herb to grow in the backyard, because it is relatively easy to propagate at home, and it is expensive to buy at the store.

» Read more

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Phil Williams

How to Preserve Tomatoes with Dehydration

Preserving your tomoato harvest for future enjoyment
Friday, September 5, 2014, 4:14 PM

The end of the summer is the time for tons of tomato production, and preservation becomes necessary. There are many ways to preserve tomatoes, but dehydrating is definitely my favorite because it is simple and dried tomatoes taste great in soups, on top of winter salads, or even plain as chips.

      » Read more

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Potato Harvest: Phil Williams

How to Harvest and Store Potatoes

A simple way to store your spuds
Monday, September 1, 2014, 3:19 PM

Potatoes are an excellent source of calories that can be easily stored up for the winter. All you need is a cool, dark, humid place free from any rodents.

1. Dig up your potatoes after the plant has died back. Pick a dry day, and use a potato fork to carefully uproot your mounds of potatoes.

       » Read more

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shutterstock: 129129851

The 10 Mistakes of Raising Chickens

Things to avoid when starting out
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 5:07 PM

Raising chickens can be a very rewarding process. Besides providing you with fresh eggs, it can also be a teaching resource for your children and a way for you to become self-sufficient.

However, there are a few mistakes that people make when they first start raising chickens. Check out this list below and add your mistakes at the bottom to help others learn.

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Vacuum Sealing Corn: Phil William

How to Preserve Sweet Corn

Putting up your harvest
Friday, August 22, 2014, 8:32 PM

I really like sweet corn, but most of my corn comes ripe around the same time, so I can only eat so much fresh. The rest, I think blanching and freezing is the easiest and best way to preserve that sweet corn taste.

1. Pick your sweet corn at the proper time, not too late, and not too early. The best time to pick the corn is when the silk on top of the corn husk is brown and dry. » Read more

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Basil Plant - Phil Williams

How to Preserve Basil Efficiently

Saving your basil crop for more than just pesto
Monday, August 18, 2014, 3:25 PM

We use basil almost every time we cook. It is an extremely versatile herb that can be used in a wide variety of dishes. The problem with basil is that it is a summer annual that we only have fresh for about five months of the year. We always have a lot more fresh basil than we could ever eat. This of course leads us to want to preserve the excess basil. » Read more