On September 26th, I learned that the month of September is designated National Preparedness Month. Did you know that? The month is done; but any month or day is a good time to prepare for emergencies – floods, earthquakes, blizzards, tornadoes, and nasty human behavior. As we’ve seen over the […]

Growing a Disaster Preparedness Kit

vertical gardening herbs
I miss our backyard garden – the battle with the red clay, the monster zucchinis and tomatoes, plentiful peppers, even the dispirited cantaloupe. When the yard was re-graded a few years back, the last remnants of it were wiped away. So there’s this large backyard with nothing to do. It’s […]

A Basement Garden. Chapter I – A Wishful Need

fresh compost
By some estimates, 30 percent of materials going into U.S. landfills could be repurposed. I’m not talking about boxes and containers but living things. Or, more accurately, once living things. Food, plants, dried leaves, inedible produce and other organic materials can make your gardening and farming efforts, well, bloom. Out […]

Compost – Organic Recycling is Gaining Ground

DIY dresser air fresheners
A great way to improve the freshness of a linen closet or dresser drawers is to make these little all natural air fresheners. These DIY closet and dresser air fresheners are super easy, incredibly inexpensive, and highly effective. Items needed: Small jars (re-purposed or recycled glass jars are great for this) […]

DIY Closet / Dresser Air Fresheners

dog in bathtub with DIY shampoo
In this article, we will make a really luxurious homemade dog shampoo. Using some simple ingredients, one can craft a very high quality dog shampoo that smells wonderful, cleans effectively, and moisturizes your dog to cut down on itching. You will want to use it on your own hair and […]

Homemade Dog Shampoo: Luxurious Cheap and Easy

DIY Moisturizer
Skin so dry that it looks like a dried riverbed at high noon? Welcome to winter. Although these cold temperatures bring relief from many allergies, risk of heat stroke and clammy skin, they also reduce the amount of moisture in the air. For many, this causes a season of misery […]

Winter Skin Care

diy rain barrel
One thing that can be easily incorporated into the urban homestead and which is very useful to the backyard farmer is the rain barrel. Rain barrels can be purchased in a lot of places these days but they are quite easy to make as well. We’ll discuss how to do […]

Build these DIY Rain Barrels for Gardening

snow cave diy
In the winter in North Central Ohio, we get a lot of snow.  One really awesome thing to do is to build a Quinzhee or Quinzee snow structure. The quinzhee is surprisingly big on the inside (you will be shocked).  The walls of a quinzhee are thick and strong, and in […]

How to build a Quinzhee Snow Structure

rain garden
It’s raining. Again. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac and AccuWeather, the theme of Summer 2016 is above normal rainfall and heat. The rain will enable crops and gardens to flourish but it will also bring flooding and provide opportunities for many batches of mosquitoes. Putting this free resource to […]

Harvesting the Rain

raising convict cichlids
Convict Cichlids named for their black and white stripes, are a very popular fish for home aquariums. People like them because they are one of the easiest fish to take care of and do not get as large as other cichlids. They are fascinating to watch and will come out for […]

Raising Convict Cichlids

micro aquaponics system
What is Aquaponics Aquaponics is the combination of 2 things: Aqua Culture: The practice of Raising Fish Hydroponics: The practice of Growing Plants using water, chemicals and a non soil medium like gravel Aqua Culture is pretty self explanatory. But let’s talk more about Hydroponics. What is Hydroponics Hydroponics is a system […]

What is Aquaponics and How to Build a Micro Aquaponics ...