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Rope Making 101

DYI tutorial for creating your own rope.
Monday, June 29, 2015, 10:03 AM

Knowing how to make rope is a great skill to have in an emergency. You might be able to find weaker materials like twine, string, yarn, plant fibers or even plastic bags but they won’t be able to hold anything strong until they are bound together as rope.

Making rope is a great skill to know and very easy to do. Below, we’ve listed some instructions on how you can make a simple rope design. Keep in mind that there are multiple ways to make a rope and many materials you can use.

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Phil Williams

How to Build and Plant Large Hugelkultur Berms

The steps to creating fertile plants spaces
Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 12:02 PM

Hugelkultur is basically soil over wood. Hugel beds can be any size, use different sizes of stumps and branches, and different decomposition stages of the wood & different types of wood. There are allelopathic trees that you would not want to dominate your wood. It is OK to have a little black walnut, spruce, or hackberry but these alellopathic trees should not predominate. Also, if you use mostly pine, you will end up with more acidity in the soil. » Read more

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Phil Williams

How to Control the Dreaded Potato Beetle

Tips for managing this terrible pest
Monday, June 15, 2015, 1:46 PM

The Colorado potato beetle is a leaf beetle that is THE major pest of potatoes. They can also be to a lesser extent a pest of eggplant. The adults are 3/8th of an inch long yellowish in color, with black stripes on their back with a dark orange head. The eggs laid by the adults are orange clusters, typically on the undersides of the potato leaves. The larvae do the majority of the damage by eating the leaves of the potato plants. If left unchecked the larvae will completely defoliate a potato patch. » Read more

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Phil Williams

How to Build a Grey Water Wetland

DIY water conservation
Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 6:39 PM

How much almost clean water is wasted down sinks, washing machines, and showers? At my house, my wife and I use thirty to forty gallons a day, but the typical household can use up to 200 gallons. It is poor house design to not take into account reusing grey water in a safe effective way. I decided to rectify this situation at my own home. Please bear in mind that you may have local codes and ordinances against grey water systems. » Read more

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Make a Food Dehydrator with Household Items

DIY food preservation
Thursday, June 4, 2015, 1:59 PM

Dehydrating your own fruits and vegetables is fun, easy and makes a great nutritious food storage snack your whole family will love. » Read more

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Fire Blight: Phil Williams

Managing Fire Blight

A disease of fruit trees
Wednesday, May 27, 2015, 4:41 PM

Fire blight is a devastating disease that predominately affects pears and apples, although pears are more susceptible. It is caused by a bacterium. It typically occurs in the early spring when temperatures are over 60 degrees, and the humidity levels are high with rain. » Read more

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Phil Williams

How to Make a Chicken Waterer

In 5 Minutes for $15
Monday, May 18, 2015, 6:31 PM

I use overhead chicken waterers that my chickens cannot foul. I am going to describe how to build your own in less than five minutes for between $13-$16. These waterers work great to deliver clean water to your flock. A 2 gallon waterer will last about a week for six chickens. I use (2) for my flock of twelve. The plastic bucket will last longer if kept in the shade. In the winter you may have to switch out the buckets when frozen, and when really cold, you will need a heated water bucket. » Read more

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Drip Irrigation - Phil Williams

How to Water a Garden

Tips and methods for best results
Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 7:31 PM

Watering a garden is not as simple as just hosing down your garden every evening. In fact if you are doing that, you are not necessarily helping your plants.

Waterfall » Read more

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Smoking Meat

Methods and tips for success
Thursday, May 7, 2015, 6:59 PM

Before freeze drying or refrigeration, people would preserve foods by smoking them – especially meats. Smoke would extend the shelf life for the winter and add flavor while making the meats tender.

Now, smoking has evolved into a fun way to add tons of flavor to your cuts of meat. You might think that it’s as easy as putting meat on the grill – but it’s a very different process. Here are some things to consider when you want to smoke meat: » Read more

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How to Build a Timber Forest Area

Creating woodland resources
Monday, April 27, 2015, 3:22 PM

I have installed two areas that I would consider my timber forest area and my zone 4. I originally planned for three areas, but I decided against making a timber area in front of the pond as I already have a swale here with fruit trees that I did not want to shade too bad. Also, I have existing forest that is moving in, so I will simply let it go for the area that I want to cover without shading the sun for my fruit trees. » Read more