Cat-Proof Raised Beds

Vegetable seeds have been getting gently tucked into the garden beds for several weeks now, but neighborhood cats have been a major problem. They see this seemingly “empty” area of fine textured soil and think it would make a great litterbox. Adding composted steer or chicken manure to your beds is one thing, but cat poop… Read more »

Early Spring Indoor Seeds

Early spring has officially arrived and it’s time to start planting the garden. Seeds should be started indoor pronto, so it’s high time to get organized and get to it! I started my seeds a couple weeks ago inside under a grow light. In past years I have made newspaper seed pots, which then get… Read more »

Fall is Planting Time

Fall is the best time of year for planting trees, shrubs and many perennials – including all those fabulous bulbs and tubers. Mother Nature will keep them watered and comfortable for several months, giving them lots of time to get established. Temperatures are cool and the ground is usually soft from autumn rain. Everything needs… Read more »

Front Yard – 2014 Update

We’ve lived in our little house for about eight years, but the front yard was the last garden I really put much effort into. In the fall of 2012, I finally took the time to draw up a landscape design. It was based on perennials from the backyard that would be easy to cut and… Read more »

Winter Compost Maintenance

There is one garden chore that doesn’t take a break in the wintertime: making compost. It’s a good excuse to get outside, get some exercise and prepare for the springtime garden. I have loved our three bin compost system, which gives us ample space to process all the garden waste, kitchen scraps and used chicken… Read more »

Fall Plantings

Fall is a great time of year to plant new trees and perennial shrubs for two big reasons: it gives your plants several months to work on establishing roots and there are all kinds of crazy deals right now as nurseries close out their summer stock. Just be sure to get your new purchases in… Read more »

Protected Raised Beds

Vegetables and herbs grow all around the homestead, but a big portion of the harvest is grown in our four raised beds. They are as attractive as they are functional, but unfortunately we are not the only ones who feel that way. Neighbor cats and our backyard chickens also love the raised beds. The cats… Read more »

Front Yard Design

It’s time to divide and conquer. Flowering bulbs and perennial shrubs are going to sleep for winter – the perfect time to split them apart and replant. With a couple sunny fall days this past weekend, I managed to divide and replant the entire front yard. Our front yard has always been the forgotten garden… Read more »

Homestead Baby Care

Adding a baby to the homestead has presented new challenges in our quest to live simply. When it comes to baby care, I ask myself the same questions I ask about other homestead care: how can we create the least amount of waste, save some money and minimize our environmental impact? Here are some of… Read more »