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Sustainable Living • Farming • DIY • Gardening • Home Improvement

no-glue sheet vinyl feat

Sheet Vinyl Floor Installation

The No-Glue Option

I finally finished a project that nearly killed me, and for sure dampened my joy in home projects for a number of months. But, the end result is good, so all that pain really doesn't matter, does it? Continue Reading »


apple cake recipe

Steamed Apple Pudding Cake

It's almost September and apple season is just around the corner. Even devotees of apple pie won't be able to pass up this delectable cake from The Boston Homegrown Cookbook! Continue Reading »


Organic Soil

Organic Farming: Worm "Tea"

The Magic Elixir in Organic Soil Compost

Yes, you read that right: tea. "Worm tea," to be precise. This is the term author Peter V. Fossel has coined to describe a highly effective and inventive method of enriching organic soil with compost. In his book Organic Farming: How to Raise, Certify and Market Organic Crops and Livestock, Fossel describes this system of worm composting (or vermicomposting) in which red wriggler worms are fed kitchen scraps in an enclosed bin, and their castings are harvested for use as organic fertilizer. The "tea" is described below, and in his signature you-can-do-it voice, Fossel walks readers through the simple and cost-efficient process of producing this "magic elixir" for organic gardening. Continue Reading »


siding feat

Repairing Vinyl, Wood or Cementboard Siding

I just removed a through-wall air conditioner from my guest bedroom. The A/C unit may have been older than I am, and there was no way I was going to ever use it. Plus, it stuck out over the side sidewalk at right about eye level. After a fair amount of heaving and swearing, I did manage to extricate the unit from the wall. (It was actually plastered in on the inside.) The next step was to repair the hole in the wall, and fill in the new gap in the cedar shake siding. Continue Reading »


woodpecker

Build a Northern Flicker Nesting Box in 6 Easy Steps

By name, a woodpecker invokes images of a determined, beautifully-colored bird hammering its beak loudly at the bark of a tree, eating insects found within the wood. But not all woodpeckers use this method to source their food—the Northern Flicker, one of the larger woodpeckers in North America, can most often be found feeding on the ground. It has a long, sticky tongue that it uses to catch ants wherever it can find them. Continue Reading »


Country Skills

fence for chickens

Building a Fence for Chickens

The Best Types of Fence for Chickens and Poultry

Fences and gates are a necessary element of any farm life: they work double duty to keep livestock in and predators out, and there are many different types of material (wire, board, mesh, electric, and more) to consider when building a fence. Continue Reading »


Sustainable Living

CSA

CSA: Community Supported Agriculture

Help your farm thrive and include your customers in the success of your farm's products

Not only does Samantha Johnson and Philip Hasheider's book The Complete Illustrated Guide to Farming walk readers through the ins and outs of in-the-field work, it also explores the business of farming, which is prominently featured in the very first chapter. Continue Reading »


Home How-to

wiring feat

Electrical Testing Devices

Don't Be A Live Wire!

I don't do much electrical work beyond changing out fixtures or ceiling fans and replacing outlets. Continue Reading »


In the Garden

Square Foot Gardening with Kids seeds

Taking the Garden to the Classroom 

This is the time of year when everyone starts to think more about learning, whether you're in school, homeschooling, or way beyond your formal educational years. Continue Reading »


In the Kitchen

Preventing Plant Disease in Your Indoor Kitchen Garden

There's a lot of truth in the old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" (hello sunscreen and fresh flashlight batteries), and in the case of indoor kitchen gardening (think potted produce and herbs), an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of microgreens. Continue Reading »


Animals

Heritage Pigs

Get to Know Five Unique Heritage Pig Breeds

There are eight major swine breeds in the United States today that make up the vast majority of the registered and commercial pig population, and a number of minor or heritage breeds are gaining popularity among small-scale swine farms and those interested in preserving those breeds. Continue Reading »