potager · Spices

Growing, Harvesting, and Curing Saffron at Home (with Video)

Saffron is one of the most exotic seeming and expensive spices in the world. Yet I grow an abundant perennial crop of it in a weedy, but compost rich patch of ground in my North Carolina backyard. My backyard. Okay, so my backyard isn't exactly a typical yard. It's a homesteader's fantasy of organic food… Continue reading Growing, Harvesting, and Curing Saffron at Home (with Video)

Inspiration · potager

Decorative and Useful Garden Fencing

You know that expression "good fences make good neighbors"? Well, I always thought of that turn of phrase as negative. That's probably because Robert Frost's poem, Mending Wall, made it seem so divisive and futile. Yet, it doesn't have to be that way. Good Reasons for Fences There are many ways a good fence can… Continue reading Decorative and Useful Garden Fencing

potager · Spices

Growing and Harvesting Ginger at Home (with Video and a Peak in My Fall Garden)

Hi everyone! It's finally fall here in Northwestern North Carolina. After the intense heat, humidity, and heavy rains we've had for the last two months, this weather is an amazing gift. I just wish I could wrap it up and share it with the West Coast for awhile to help all those brave people out… Continue reading Growing and Harvesting Ginger at Home (with Video and a Peak in My Fall Garden)

Ducks

Raising Ducklings Week 1 (with Video)

Mama Madge, one of my free range Muscovy ducks, hatched out 13 adorable ducklings on August 26. Up until two years ago, we had so little predator pressure on our homestead, that she could have raised these ducklings to maturity on our large pond with no help from me. Unfortunately, the predators finally found us.… Continue reading Raising Ducklings Week 1 (with Video)

Inspiration

Fast-Track to Greater Self-Sufficiency

Creating a functioning homestead takes time, effort, and resources. It's not something you should rush into or do without careful planning. Yet, often in the middle of a crises, we feel an overwhelming urgency to make radical changes to increase our sense of security. Unfortunately, that can be the hardest time to get started. Fear… Continue reading Fast-Track to Greater Self-Sufficiency

Herbs · Uncategorized

Harvesting, Preserving, and Propagating Spring Herbs

Each year in early to mid-spring, my perennial herbs start putting on huge amounts of new growth. In order to keep those plants tame, make them bushier, keep evergreens from becoming woody, and delay premature flowering, harvesting quite a bit of that early growth is necessary. It seems counter intuitive to harvest heavily when plants… Continue reading Harvesting, Preserving, and Propagating Spring Herbs