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Sustainable Living • Farming • DIY • Gardening • Home Improvement

A Colorful Winter Garden

Winter snow doesn't have to cancel out color in your garden

You'll want to bookmark this one, just in case spring fever has you in its grips and winter is but a distant memory. With the advent of May, we're blissfully surrounded by blossoms, new sprouts, and a riot of color—and none of us wants to think about the gray doldrums of January. But winter will show up again, and with Nellie Neal's expertise in The Nonstop Color Garden, you'll be ready to keep color in your garden (despite the snow!) when next winter rolls around. Continue Reading »


hairy tongue

On Bee-ing Solitary

Not all bees are social insects.

It is a common notion that all bees are social insects. They epitomize busyness as they work to support the hive and their queen. But not all bees sway to the beat of a group's drum beat. Case in point, Lasiogossum albipes, otherwise known as the Polysocial Hairy-Tongue. We found this beautiful bee in the upcoming book Bees: An Up-Close Look at Pollinators Around the World. Here's an excerpt about this interesting specimen: Continue Reading »


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How to Make a Birdbath

Customize this easy DIY project with unique pie plates and bowls from a thrift store – a great project for kids!

If you were to draw a three-part Venn Diagram about gardening, DIY, and backyard wildlife, do you know what would be in the middle? This birdbath project from Renata Fossen Brown's book Gardening with Kids. Yep, this unique and easy-to-make birdbath is the perfect craft to make with thrifted bowls, plates, and candlesticks, and it's a fun way to encourage a child's interest in outdoor wildlife. Continue Reading »


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Water Conservation--Advanced

Gray Water Collection

My grandmother was exceedingly frugal. You could match her head-to-head against the most eco-conscious person you could find today and she would have won by a long shot. Her frugality was born of years of living in harsh conditions during trying economic times. However, when conditions got better, she continued to save energy and resources. For example, she cooked all her food for the week on one day then ate cold food for the week. That included her dessert of popcorn, which she popped up then stored in a large glass jar. To this day I prefer slightly stale popcorn because it reminds me of grandma! Continue Reading »


Eco-friendly Lawn Replacements

To mow or not to mow, that is the question.

The next time you haul out your lawnmower, slather on the sunscreen, and reach down to laboriously yank the mower's starter cord, ask yourself this: do I really want a lawn? If your answer ranges between "heck no" and "at least maybe not this large of a lawn," you'll want to hear author Vincent Simeone's discussion of weed-suppressing lawn replacement plants. From functional groundcovers to beautiful and sustainable lawn alternatives, Grow More with Less shines a light on ways to roll that mower back into the garage…for good. Continue Reading »


Country Skills

Conservation on the Farm: Shelterbelts

Balancing farm production and preservation, and a look at natural windbreaks

Creating a successful farm means more than just producing excellence; a successful farm also means caring for the land and prioritizing a balance between production and conservation of agricultural habitats. Continue Reading »


Sustainable Living

Sustainable Gardens and Organic Matter

Building sustainable soil, conserving natural resources, and why organic matter matters

Happy Earth Day! Today we're taking a look at sustainability – what it means to grow a sustainable garden, what sustainability means for your garden's soil, and why organic matter is the magical resource-saving sponge every garden needs. Continue Reading »


Home How-to

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How to Build a Simple Teepee Trellis

It features pretty climbing plants!

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In the Garden

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How to Build a Simple Teepee Trellis

It features pretty climbing plants!

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In the Kitchen

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Recycling Water

Reusing water & a look at how grey water works

Reducing our water consumption is a big deal, and it's something we think about throughout our daily routines: washing dishes, brushing teeth, bathing the kids, watering plants, etc. Continue Reading »


Animals

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Calving Positions

Normal versus abnormal 

What do you know about raising cattle? And what do you know about birthing calves? Chances are, not much. Continue Reading »