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Sustainable Living • Farming • DIY • Gardening • Home Improvement

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How Do Snowflakes Form?

It takes a bit more than cooling clouds to form a snow crystal. Even though we see each snowflake as an individual element, its development involves a rapid and sensitive interaction of water molecules responding to the forces of wind and temperature. Each intricate snowflake is amazingly complex in its distinctive six-branched symmetry. What are the origins of these elaborate designs, and why do snowflakes form in such varied, symmetrical shapes? How is it that the clouds command such artistry? Kenneth Libbrecht, author and photographer of The Art of the Snowflake, takes readers through the beautiful process of a snow crystal's creation. Continue Reading »


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­­How to Make Amazing Deep-Dish Pizza

(plus a little history on this super-thick-crust pie)

Source - Liz Barrett, Pizza: A Slice of American History Continue Reading »


Annuals

Why Plant Annuals?

Hint: Annuals are the workhorses of Southern gardens

Some gardeners look down their noses at annuals. They require yearly planting (too much work), you have to buy them every year (too much money), and you have to water, deadhead, and feed them regularly to keep them looking their best (too much maintenance). Annuals do require a certain amount of work and dedication, but in a Southern garden, annuals are the workhorses that carry gardens through seasons where there otherwise might be little going on. Through the hottest months of the summer, annuals like lantana, angelonia, and pentas keep right on flowering without missing a beat. Continue Reading »


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Great Resource or the Next Step for Gardeners

The Master Gardener Program

Maybe you have never gardened in your life, but have suddenly found yourself in possession of a house with a yard and you realize that you want to be part of this whole Chard Your Yard movement. Or, perhaps you are like me, you've been gardening since childhood and have heaps of gardening books (like Square Foot Gardening, Attracting Wildlife to Your Backyard, and Grow More with Less) and are wondering what's the next step. Fortunately for both, there exists a fantastic program, in every U.S. state, Canada and the U.K. (and in different iterations elsewhere) called the Master Gardener program. Master Gardeners are volunteers trained in all aspects of gardening ready and willing to answer your questions. Continue Reading »


Cans

How Does Canning Preserve Food?

How, exactly, does canning work? It's clearly more than spooning jam into a jar and popping a lid on top, but how does science play into the process? Author Daniel Gasteiger, canner extraordinaire, answers these questions (and a whole host of others) in his book Yes You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too: The Modern Step-by-Step Guide to Preserving Food. Continue Reading »


Country Skills

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Top 10 Safety Tips for Farm Machinery

A back-to-basics look at fundamental farm safety rules

Whether you're new to farming or your ancestry spans generations of working the land, you know that every kind of working farm requires a wealth of knowledge and skill in order to run well. Continue Reading »


Sustainable Living

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How to Pasteurize Goat Milk at Home

& Continue Reading »


Home How-to

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Basic Carpentry

Lumber Basics

A carpenter works with wood. Continue Reading »


In the Garden

Seed Packet Feat.

De-coding Seed Packets

What does TMVSWV mean? Plus, tips for testing older seeds.

Are you diving into the world of buying seeds, wondering what, exactly, all that info on a seed packet really means? Well wonder no longer. Continue Reading »


In the Kitchen

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Porcini-Crusted Filet Mignon 

When was the last time you treated yourself to a succulent filet mignon? If you have to scratch your head and wonder, then it's been too long. Continue Reading »


Animals

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Homemade Pet Food Recipe: Baked Veggies and Chicken

A Recipe for Dogs and Cats, Plus Combining Homemade with Commercial Pet Foods 

Thanks to Barbara Taylor-Laino's The Healthy Homemade Pet Food Cookbook, you can make healthy and tasty meals for your four-legged friend, right in your own kitchen. Continue Reading »