Archive for the 'homesteading' Category

Steve Solomon, I’m a believer

Monday, June 13th, 2016

I talked a lot about soil remineralization for the past two years. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort, not to mention money, bring my soil into balance in the hope that my ever-sluggish garden would get some pep in its step… in other words, that my plants might actually grow big and produce to […]

Pretty purples

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

I always grow purple cabbages instead of green ones because of their higher nutrient density – after reading Nourishing Traditions I realized there are a lot of simple substitutions like these that I could make to boost my family’s health while expending zero extra effort. But also because I enjoy creating a kind of tapestry […]

Circle of Life

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Yesterday started out in the worst way possible. Death is never very far away when you’re raising livestock. Poor little duckie. A female, too. Every time a predator kills, it provokes feelings of grief, impotent rage and violation. Guilt over not having protected those who depend on me and frustration and – most of all – […]


Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

Of course now that I have way too many chicks, two of my hens go broody at the same time. Almost the same time. This hen sat on her eggs for 2 weeks or so ( more than 2/3 total incubation time) And then one night I opened the nest box to find this one […]


Saturday, May 21st, 2016

So the bees have been weird lately. First, despite my best efforts (checkerboarding the brood frames, adding on multiple supers which they persist in completely ignoring) both Darjeeling and Lady Grey swarmed. In fact Lady Grey produced two swarms. Which both obligingly rested side by side on a smooth vinyl fence and made for the very easiest bee […]

Greenhouse by leaps and bounds

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Stuff is doing so well in the greenhouse that it’s making me wish I’d done this years ago. I have never grown peas this exuberant, never grown lettuce and spinach with such gorgeous, unblemished leaves.  Here’s how the main bed looked in there in early April: That red-and-yellow box is a worm compost bin. An old cat […]

Fertilizer core

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

I have a friend in the Department of Natural Resources who hooked me up with the ultimate sustainable fertilizer: A particularly nasty invasive species, the Blueback Catfish is so good at killing off native species that the DNR periodically has to round them up and cull their numbers as best they can. Normally they’re just thrown […]

Supers installed, colonies limping

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Took advantage of the gorgeous weather this week to go out to the bee yard. Here in Maryland we have a very short, very intense honey flow from April 15th to May 15th, and that’s about it for the year. If honey is going to be made, it’s pretty much got to be made in that […]

Food Forest in a box

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

I scored an absolutely fantastic deal on a bundle of fruit trees. was advertising a special bundle through the Survival Podcast (a podcast with which I do not align politically but which is always interesting and has especially enlightening sections on homesteading and permaculture issues). Anyway, these fruit trees were all species I had […]

Super honey supers

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

I got a sweet deal on a table saw last Fall – a brand-new, in-original-packaging Skilsaw model for $40. Sure, it’s dinky and light and not accurate enough for really fine woodworking, but it gives me so much more freedom to create larger projects. Especially ones from plywood. With three hives overwintered, my new problem is […]