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Sustainable Living • Farming • DIY • Gardening • Home Improvement

How To Grow Cole Crops

Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Kale, and Kohlrabi

My seven-year-old self is not digging the subject of this blog post. But then again, that seven-year-old self just didn't get it: at such a tender age, she didn't appreciate how delicious cole crops are. Broccoli, kale, and collards? She wasn't a fan, but the adult me is a fan of cole crops. Big time. I'm guessing many of you can relate. I'm guessing you didn't grow up loving these veggies, but now you wait in line at your favorite farmers market stand, eager to gather beautiful heads of broccoli, stalks of sprouts, and bunches of kale so colorful you'd happily pop them in a vase and call them a bouquet. Continue Reading »


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Powder Room Remodel, Part 2: Preparing to Tile by Installing Cementboard Underlayment

Once you have removed fixtures, vanities, baseboards, existing floor surfaces, etc. it is time to prepare the underlayment. The most important step in the success of your tile flooring project is evaluating and preparing the area. A well-done tile installation can last a lifetime, whereas poor preparation can lead to a lifetime of cracked grout and broken tile. Because of the weight of ceramic and stone tile, it is important to assess the condition of the joists, subfloor, and underlayment. Check with your tile dealer for the specific requirements of the tile or stone you have chosen. Continue Reading »


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Vertical Gardening in Skinny Spaces

Solutions for Planting in Narrow Beds

All gardens have their challenges, and as often as not, gardening up is where the answer lies. Authors Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet guide readers through those answers with an abundance of gorgeous photos and features in their book Garden Up! Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces.  A planting bed so narrow there's barely room for one plant, let alone a combination? No privacy from your neighbors? With a little planning and the right plants, even the narrowest plots can be transformed into beautiful garden spaces. Continue Reading »


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Capturing the Art of the Snowflake

How Photographer Kenneth Libbrecht Reveals the Beauty of Snow Crystals

Have you ever wondered how photographers capture the unique beauty of snowflakes? How do they photograph individual snow crystals in such dimensional detail? How is it even possible to work with such a microscopic subject in such a fleeting window of time? Continue Reading »


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Vegetable Blender Soup

I daresay that most people in the United States might be contending with leftovers within the next week. And, at least in my family, there's really only so much warmed-over food you can eat. This soup from Chef Rosa Ross in The Hamptons and Long Island Homegrown Cookbook would be a great way to use up some of those leftovers. It's really more of a concept than a recipe – round up veggies, cook until tender (or heat until warm), and blend until smooth. The possibilities are endless! 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

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Home How-to

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Powder Room Remodel, Step One

Wallpaper, Vanity, Toilet, and Tile Removal

Now that I've been forced to move my projects indoors for the winter, it's time to tackle the first floor powder room. Continue Reading »


In the Garden

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Hardiness Zones in the South

Gardening and Microclimates in the Southern States

When you pick up a gardening book like Troy Marden's Southern Gardener's Handbook and begin reading about plants, you may see frequent references to a plant's hardiness or what zone a plant is hardy to. Continue Reading »


In the Kitchen

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Making and Freezing Fruit Pies

You, too, can become a pie-making champion

Picture this: it's Thanksgiving Day (or any day, for that matter), and your kitchen is redolent with the intoxicating aromas of apple pie, raspberry-pear pie, peach crumble pie, strawberry-rhubarb pie, blueberry pie, and every fruit pie you can imagine. Continue Reading »


Animals

Pigs With Personality

Scene-Stealing Pigs in Literature, Film, and Folklore

In his book How to Raise Pigs, author Philip Hasheider introduces readers to the art of selecting, housing, raising, breeding, managing, and showing pigs, supported by a wealth of practical and accessible research: in previous posts we've highlighted Hasheider's insights into the history of pigs, heritage pig breeds, buying your first pigs, and housing pigs. Continue Reading »