Gardening: How to Grow a Survival Garden for Beginners

Growing your own food must be sounding pretty good right about now, eh? And you’re not alone, based on the current run on seeds. The seed companies can’t keep up with the demand and are having to close for days at a time just to catch up on backed up orders. I have received emails…

Wildlife: Painted Lady Butterflies

Last summer we had some borage come up as volunteers in our garden. Did I say “some”? I meant thousands of plants. We didn’t have borage plants, we had borage patches. This was our first year with a borage explosion, so we thought we’d let some of it live, not realizing just how hardy it…

Living With Less

Howdy friends, Lately I’ve been trying to recenter the framework for this blog. One of the things that keeps coming up is that life here on the homestead is so often about making do and accepting a humble lifestyle. A long period of underemployment has recently broken (yippee!), but during those months, watching our savings…

Food Issues: Vegetarian – To Be Or Not To Be?

Why I Embraced Vegetarianism… And Why I Gave It Up One evening as a young teen I was babysitting for some family friends. The baby was safe and sound in bed and all I had to do was eat my dinner and peruse a pile of magazines. I happened upon a blurb about Madonna being…

Quotes: Allowing Nature to Return

“Although it would be highly arrogant of us to think we could actually design ecosystems, we believe that we can create a balanced ecological agricultural landscape by allowing nature to return to the land.” – Darrel Frey in Bioshelter Market Garden

Alternative Christmas Traditions

Even those of us who don’t celebrate Christmas for religious reasons might still choose to enjoy the festivities of the season. At this time of year I enjoy taking some time to read about the pagan roots that lie behind our Christmas traditions. Since these roots came from rituals honoring Nature, it seems like a…

Why Eat Wild Food?

Getting to Know Plants My first gardening experience came when I was a teenager. Back then “gardening” for me was an after school job at a small, family-owned garden center, lugging around a heavy, interminable garden hose to water, section by section, the herbs, the perennials, the shrubs, and the flats of annuals. Out alone…

Composting in the Desert

Anyone who gardens or simply cooks a lot of vegetables quickly finds out – you must have a compost pile! Vegetable waste translates into useful fertilizer and soil very quickly if you compost, so it is a huge waste NOT to create some composting system – not to mention the cost of buying bags of…

How to Attract Birds to Your Backyard

Last weekend I took a class on birds. It was a great crash course in ornithology and I was delighted to learn all sorts of interesting things about our feathery friends. The main purpose of the class though was to learn how to attract birds to our backyards with native plants. Because I love to share, here are…

The Affordable Organic Sofa

If you’re interested in creating a healthy, healing natural environment in your home, don’t overlook the sofa. Conventional sofas are made with petroleum-based foam and have added flame retardants. It may be somewhat easier to find a conventional sofa without adding flame retardants now (Ikea carries some), but a sofa made with only natural ingredients…