Homestead Permaculture Project – Site Overview

The Common Sense Homestead Permaculture Project - Part 1 - Site Overview, Our Homestead Permaculture Goals, Determining Permaculture Zones.Our homestead permaculture project officially began this spring. I’ve been nibbling at the edges of the idea for some some now, primarily since reading  Restoration Agriculture:  Real World Permaculture for Farmers

I’ve always liked the idea of working with nature instead of battling against it, and Mark Shephard’s comment (in Restoration Agriculture) that we really need to “stop trying to grow things that don’t want to grow and killing things that do want to grow” really struck a cord with me.  When we were stuck in limbo not knowing if we were going to have to sell this place or not because August couldn’t get a job closer to home (more on that on the About page), it didn’t make sense to invest in long term plantings.  [Read more…]

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6 Ways to Use Garlic in the Garden

6 Ways to Use Garlic in the Garden and Yard - From Pest and Disease Control to Companion Plantings, garlic is a "must have" for any organic garden.

This post is for the garlic lovers – or those who aren’t sure if they like garlic but do like to use natural and organic practices in their gardens.  It turns out that this fragrant bulb is good for more than just cooking, and can be a real helpmate around the yard and garden.  So – without further ado – 5 Ways to Use Garlic in the Garden and Yard. [Read more…]

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The 5 Easiest Vegetables to Store

The 5 Easiest Vegetables to Store - These crops are so simple to store they should be a staple in every garden or "stock up" item from the farmers market.

In this post I’ll discuss the easiest vegetables to store and how to store them.  These crops have all moved onto my “must plant” list because they  require little or no processing and last reliably in storage for months.  I also have a quick video of our awesome new root cellar makeover.  August and the boys did a great job adding a ton of storage to the root cellar under our front porch. [Read more…]

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10 Tips Everyone Should Know About Small Space Gardening

10 Tips Everyone Should Know About Small Space Gardening - Learn how you can maximize your home food production with small space gardening techniques for high yields in even the smallest planting areas.
This is a guest post by Amber Bradshaw of the Coastal Homestead.

Small space gardening has seen big growth in recent year.  From rooftop gardens to urban homesteads, people are taking back the control of their food supply by planting gardens. Through creative gardening techniques, people are growing enough food to sustain their families and have enough left over to sell and generate an income on less than 1/10 of an acre, producing high yields in small spaces.

If you are like me, you don’t have the luxury of living on a farm or owning acreage, but that shouldn’t stop you from growing your own food.

Here are ten tips to help you grow more food in less space. [Read more…]

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5 Reasons I Want Weeds in My Garden

Buzz off, Monsanto! 5 Reasons I Want Weeds in My Garden. From free food and medicine to wildlife habitat, weeds are a natural part of a healthy garden.

I know this is going to sound crazy to many of you, but I let some weeds grow in my garden on purpose.  This wasn’t always the case.  When I was growing up on the farm, we had a huge garden for fresh eating and preserving.  With long, straight rows of veggies and paths in between each row, weeding was a never ending chore.  My stepdad used to run the tiller up and down the paths, while the rows themselves were tediously weeded by hand.  Inevitably by the end of the season, weeds that escaped the hoe would be overgrown and seeding out, to be tilled into the soil and start the whole cycle again.  I dreamed of a garden without weeds.

Fast forward to the 90’s, and my very own garden beds to arrange any way I wanted. I discovered the magic of mulch and planting in blocks instead of rows with nekked empty space between.  Instead of dirt paths that turned to dust when things got dry and mud when it got wet, I had raised beds with tidy paths between, perfect for a suburban yard.  Then things changed again.  Attached to the end of another article a friend had copied off for me was a page of another manuscript – “Weeds:  Guardians of the Soil“.  It caught my eye, but I had no idea where to read more as the book was no longer in print, and the friend passed away.  [Read more…]

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