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…]

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…]

Transform Your Landscape with Vertical Gardening

Transform Your Landscape with Vertical Gardening - 10 Reasons to Garden Up Instead of Out to improve your home landscape, make your garden healthier and more productive and create visual interest.

Often when people start talking about integrating a garden or other food crops into the landscape, the design ideas still tend to focus on two dimensional diagrams.  How many fruit or veggie plants can I fit per square foot?  While there’s nothing wrong with this per se, it means you’re missing out on some great opportunities to optimize growing space you might not even realize that you have.

If you haven’t tried vertical gardening, hopefully this post will win you over.  Yes, growing up instead of out takes a little more work initially, but the end result is well worth it.  I use trellises throughout my garden to make plants easier to care for, reduce disease and predation, and produce a larger crop in less space.  In the flower garden, vertical elements add visual interest and focal points – and can be just plain gorgeous.

[Read more…]

Before You Plant Sunchokes, You Need to Read This Post

Before You plant sunchokes, you need to read this post.  What are sunchokes? What are the health benefits of sunchokes? Why you shouldn't plant sunchokes in your regular garden.

It all started innocently enough.

Somewhere I read about this native vegetable that was great for diabetics – or maybe it was that episode of Top Chef where one of the contestants made a sunchoke and spinach puree that the judges just raved about.  It could have been an article on easy care perennial vegetables.  I honestly don’t remember.  Whatever prompted me to grow sunchokes, there’s a few things I need to share with you so you don’t make the same mistakes I did. [Read more…]

Introduction to Permaculture

Introduction to Permaculture - Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is an ethical, sustainable food system. Learn how one family is transforming their own land and helping to teach others.

I was busy in June ’14 cutting swales all over the garden. It is up to almost 2 acres of hand dug swales in under 8 months. It can be done for free and by one person!


This is a guest post by Matt Powers, author of “The Permaculture Student”.

Have you heard of Permaculture?

I hadn’t until I really began exploring organic gardening and saw a divide between those that were just changing their inputs to organic and those really gardening naturally. I was on a mission to find clean and healthy food for my wife, a 3 time cancer survivor. I was not going to be satisfied with good or better; I was going to find what was best. That’s what permaculture is for a gardener – it’s the best way to garden, but it’s also a whole lot more than gardening. In fact, gardening may end up being just a small part of it. [Read more…]