How To Start A 1-Acre, Self-Sustaining Homestead (Mother Earth News) Expert advice on how to establish self-sufficient food production, including guidance on crop rotations, raising livestock and grazing management. Your 1-acre homestead can be divided into land for raising livestock and a garden for raising fruits, vegetables, plus some grain and forage crops. Illustration by: Dorling Kindersley Everyone will have a different approach to keeping a self-sufficient homestead, and it’s unlikely that any two1-acre farms will follow the same plan or methods or agree completely on how to homestead. Some people like cows; other people are afraid of them. Some people like goats; other people cannot keep them out of the garden. For myself, on a 1-acre farm of good, well-drained land, I would keep a cow and a goat, a few pigs and maybe a dozen hens. Cow or no cow? On the other hand, the food that you buy in for this family cow will cost you hundreds of dollars each year. An ideal crop rotation might go something like this:
5 Old Foods To Throw In The Garden Instead Of The Garbage About two months ago, we were FINALLY getting our seedlings put into the garden. (It snows in May in Colorado, so we get started later than most folks.) On one of the many trips inside the house to fetch a tool I’d forgotten, I noticed an old potato sporting many eyes in the pantry. Normally this all-seeing potato would probably have ended up in the trash, but since we were in the process of gardening anyway, this time I decided to plant it. I didn’t read any books or how-to guides for growing potatoes from, well, other potatoes. And now we have 5 healthy potato plants growing away in our garden! This got me thinking about other “spoiled” or “unusable parts” plants that can be re-born in the garden. Love This? Thanks for subscribing! Read on to discover more foods that should be planted, not tossed, when they begin to sprout because of age. 1. Image credit: energyandintensity via Flickr 2. Image credit: danielle_scott via Flickr Related Reading: 7 Good Reasons To Eat More Sweet Potatoes 3. 4.
ISU Forestry Extension - Trees of Iowa: An Interactive Key This interactive dichotomous tree key was developed to help identify the most common trees in Iowa. The key is based on vegetative characteristics such as leaves, twigs, fruits, and bark. It is not a complete key. It does not include all trees grown in Iowa. The proper use of the key may be compared to the use of road signs where a choice of two directions must be made at each intersection. One must always chose the best route which matches the characteristics of the tree. If at the end, the solution does not match the specimen, one can usually identify a point in the process where the choice of direction was in doubt. Acknowledgements: Some of the pictures on these web pages are from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service Trees and Shrubs Pocket Guide, The Sibley Guide to Trees, and Forestry Images.
4 Ways to Profit With a Bamboo Business Profitable bamboo products - garden art There are many plants out there that you can grow for profit. One of the plants you should really consider growing is bamboo. Over half the world’s population depends on it in one way or another. Not only is bamboo the fastest-growing plant, it is also extremely tough. A grove of bamboo that was located at ground zero in Hiroshima actually survived the atomic blast and sprouted new shoots the very next day! Bamboo has many uses too. So how can you make a big profit with a bamboo nursery? 1. If your town allows it, you should consider selling bamboo for landscaping directly to the public. 2. Here’s your chance to get creative. 3. You can make great profits selling directly to landscapers. 4. Like landscapers and commercial gardeners, garden centers have to get their plants from somewhere, so why not you? These are four of the ways you can make big profits growing bamboo.
9 Easy Garden Plants For Hardworking People It’s a common dilemma … you love the looks of a flourishing garden, but don’t have a lot of time or energy to put into keeping it up. You’re too busy with the demands of job, caretaking, and just plain living. The good news is that gardening can be a lot simpler than you think. It’s mainly a question of choosing the right type of plants. Here are 9 shrubs, flowers, and vegetables that will require minimal care. Green Plants Image credit: katerha via Flickr Shrubs Busy people tend to be impatient people, so you may wonder why we mention shrubs. Vines Vines are another choice which will provide you with both privacy and beauty. Succulents Love This? Thanks for subscribing! Succulents are beloved of busy indoor gardeners, due to their appealing appearance, low maintenance, and limited need for water. Flowers Image credit: botheredbybees via Flickr Bulbs Plant bulbs in the fall and fugeddabout ‘em. Perennials (Day Lilies) If you’re looking for a hardy perennial, the day lily is for you. Edibles Herbs
Can You Buy a Quality Cabin For $5k? This Company Thinks So. | Tiny House for Us Let’s get this out of the way at the beginning: it’s not a Quonset hut. This isn’t a Black Friday deal. It’s newly built by a Houston-area business called Arched Cabins, and while it does bear more than a passing resemblance to the WWII-era structure – both are prefabricated corrugated galvanized steel – you’ll notice upon a second glance that the cross section is different. Unlike the Quonset hut, which had a semicircular roof, the Arched Cabin has one that’s, well, arched, making for a higher ceiling and more interior space. Arched Cabins can apparently be ordered in any length in a choice of 14, 16, 20 and 24-foot widths costing $200, $220, $260 and $320 per linear foot respectively. All-in, for this example, you’d be looking at approximately $7,500 – $14,000 depending on where you live and whether you want to install the Arched Cabin yourself or pay the company to do it for you. Arched Cabins are also durable (there’s a 40-year warranty on the panels!)
20 Houseplants To Clear Toxins From The Air In Your Home! Bringing a bit of nature into your home does more than brighten the atmosphere. Introducing houseplants into various rooms in the house can help reduce the chance of getting seasonal sicknesses (such as the common cold), remove airborne contaminants (volatile organic compounds, or VOCs), reduce the chance of headaches, lift your mood, decrease your blood pressure, reduce allergies, improve sleep and much more. The 20 plants listed below are specifically known for their air purifying properties. So why not breathe a bit easier and enjoy the beauty of a new houseplant at the same time! (All plants listed will clear CO2 and may clear more VOCs than noted.) 1. Golden Pothos (Scindapsus aures): clears formaldehyde and other VOCs. 2. Ficus Alii (Ficus maeleilandii alii): Good general air purifier. 3. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Clears benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. 4. Lady Palm (Rhapis Excelsa): Good general air purifier. 5. Love This? Thanks for subscribing! 6. 7. 8.
Earthships: The Amazingly Innovative Completely Off-Grid Home Earthships! If you haven’t heard of them, this will be a pleasant surprise. It all started the first time I was traveling across Canada. We were driving in a purple minivan with Collective Evolution decals on the side. We received an email from someone saying they saw us driving around Ottawa and wanted to invite us over for a chat at their earthship. I says to my travel buddy I says “What is an earthship?” “. . . the Earthship is the epitome of sustainable design and construction. As the creators Earthship Biotecture describe it “An earthship is a type of passive solar house made of natural and recycled materials.” Heating & Cooling This is probably one of the most exciting things about earthships as they take care of some of the most expensive aspects of a home; heating and cooling. The design of the walls creates thermal mass which allows the home to collect heating during the day from the sun and store it in the walls. Foundation and Walls Windows Water Tire walls and foundation.
NASA Has Compiled a List of the Best Air-Cleaning Plants for Your Home Many of us spend most of our time indoors, so it’s important to cultivate a space that’s a healthy one. A simple—and beautiful—way to do this is through houseplants; they add some green to your home while being an effective way to purify the air. NASA hardly seems like the organization that would give us insight into these types of plants, but in the late 1980s, the US government agency collaborated with the Associated Contractors of America (ALCA) to come up with a list of the most beneficial flora for your home. So, what are the best air-cleaning plants? Love the Garden created a helpful infographic that will tell you which house plants are best and what chemicals they filter: With some help from these plants, your air can be cleaner and healthier: via [Lifehacker, Freshome]
Permaculture for Urban Homes and Small Spaces | These Light Footsteps One of the best things about blogging is discovering a new community of people with shared interests and goals. One such kindred spirit is Mari of the blog Gather and Grow. She is a fellow lover of permaculture and has graciously shared some great tips and inspiration for many of us who are interested in being more self-sufficient but feel limited by the space constraints of the urban environment. Whether you live in an urban environment, or on many acres of land – I think you’ll find something useful here! Permaculture designers love challenges. What if we apply this principle to a challenge that many of us are all too familiar with: living in small urban spaces with little or no access to actual soil on which to grow food? The permaculture answer: you can still do a lot. Permaculture for apartment-dwellers Capture the energy of sunlight. Image source: npr.org Look at the space you do have with new eyes. Image source: permaculturesunshinecoast.com Think about different forms of growing.