No matter if you are producing eggs, honey, milk, or meat, a well-considered animal-husbandry program is essential to the financial success of any homestead operation. Animal husbandry addresses a diverse array of variables, including physical surroundings, space, housing, nutrient intake, pest management, and water, in a manner that encourages farm animals to live in optimum health to grow, mature, and reproduce.
For many homesteaders, living in the cold northern regions of the country, prop...
Do you want to improve the health and yield of your beet crop? Companion planting might be the answer. Companion planting is a time-tested, organic gardening method of planting compatible plants in close proximity to each other so that each may benefit from the other.
Companion plants provide shade and shelter, control weeds, enrich the soil, improve flavor, and repel pesky insect predators without the use of noxious chemicals. This guide will tell you what companion plants work best w...
Planting trees can help the environment, and your wallet. Agro-farming methods incorporate trees into the homestead landscape. In turn, the trees provide food and shelter for wildlife, and help control erosion. Additionally, the methods serve as a windbreak and offer shade and shelter to people, plants, and animals.
From a homesteading standpoint, agro-farming helps to define property boundaries, retain soil moisture, and provide a sustainable, income-producing environment for the homesteader...
If you want a bold display of color in the spring, fall is the time to start planting.
Bulbs like daffodils, tulips, crocus, alliums, and hyacinths, as well as tubers, tuberous roots, corms, and rhizomes should be planted in the fall before the soil freezes. These types of plants require a lengthy period of cold weather to develop strong roots and prompt the growth process that produces spring flowers.
If you live in the northern part of the country (United States Plant Hardiness Zones...
Known around the globe as a spice worth more than its weight in gold, saffron is expensive, but the intense color and incredible flavor it brings to food is priceless. A single grain of pure saffron will add distinctive bright yellow color to 10 gallons of water, or embellish the flavor of 10 pounds of food with a pungent, earthy essence.
Steven Jackson / Flickr (Creative Commons)
In cultures worldwide, most every country has a dish complemented by saffron.
Just to name a few:
As the weather starts to cool, rodents such as mice, rats, chipmunks, and squirrels attempt to find a warm place to stay well fed during the cold winter months. While these rodent pests are small, they can cause huge problems for homesteaders.
Rodents contaminate food and indoor surfaces with salmonella and a diverse array of other nasty bacteria. They also carry ticks, fleas, and other parasites into the home. Rodents that infest the home can also damage furniture and chew cables a...
Blackberries are easy to grow. A diverse array of blackberry varieties are native to almost all of North America. They are especially abundant in areas with warm summer days, cool nights, and plenty of moisture.
An aggregate fruit composed of many tiny fruits known as drupes, blackberries are similar in taste and growth habit to raspberries. Blackberries bloom in profusion beginning in late June. The fruit is ripe by mid-July.
The flavor of blackberries is dark and rich with a uniq...
Does your homestead landscape have some empty space that could become a rock garden? Also known as a rockery, a rock garden adds dramatic year-round visual interest to any landscape while expanding the type of plants you can grow.
A rock garden, glowing with brightly colored perennials, can add a splash of color to an otherwise dark corner of your landscape. Planted with perennial culinary and medicinal herbaceous plants, the homestead rock garden adds value to the property. The pla...
Currants are a great addition to any homestead. Native to the United States, currants are a flavorful and versatile berry used in jellies, jams, wine, cordials, puddings, and pies. Currants, no matter whether they are black, red, pink, or white, establish readily in the homestead garden where they will provide an annual abundance of sweet and succulent berries for decades to come.
Currant bushes are an attractive addition to the home garden, taking up scant space against walls, trel...
Learning about Mother Nature’s edible and healing plants is a critical component of living a sustainable, self-sufficient, and prepared lifestyle.
Broadleaf Plantain, commonly pronounced plan-tin, is a “common” weed that most folks recognize. You likely see it in your lawn, but chances are you don’t know its name. However, there is nothing common about Broadleaf Plantain, a perennial leafy, low-growing plant in the Plantaginaceae family.
Long recognized for its in...
Freezing rain, sleet, high winds, heavy snow, ice, and extreme cold can present serious hazards, so it’s imperative that your homestead is ready. Whether or not you think it’s too early, it’s always a good idea to begin prepping your homestead for the winter.
Preparation For Power Outages
Cold temperatures and winter storms can be hazardous. Keep your homestead and family healthy and safe by planning and preparing for power outages. Even if power disruptions are infrequent in your area...
Worldwide, bats receive an undeserved bad rep. If asked, most people worldwide will say they don’t like bats. Bats smell bad, they’re creepy, dangerous, and are typically portrayed as scary in numerous horror films.
The majority of folks questioned would likely tell you that bats are “flying rats” that carry disease. Simply put, they are dirty and that they transmit rabies. Even more outlandish, many people believe that bats will fly into your hair and become entangled.
Many Americans experience the tight squeeze of tough economic times. In many parts of the nation, unemployment statistics may unexpectedly soar to an all-time high. When this happens, jobs are hard to find. If you are in a situation where you need to cut back on living expenses to stretch your budget, reducing the amount you spend on food is one of the easiest and most immediate ways to save money. Ben Franklin’s sage advice continues to hold true: “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
Gross, slimy, smelly, and dangerous to people and pets, mold is the last thing you want to see growing in your home. Mold won’t necessarily destroy your homestead, but it can make family members and pets sick while it makes your home, barns, outbuildings, chicken coop, root cellar, livestock pens, and pump house look awful and smell bad.
Mold can weaken the structural integrity of the home, diminish comfort, negatively impact indoor air quality, and erode property values.
Frank Steiner / Flic...