My Other Works

Grow Your Own Spices and available for pre-order Weed-Free Gardening

eBooks (available from The Grow Network)

  • Raising Backyard Chickens for Eggs, Meat, and Fun!
  • The Ancient Art of Making Vinegar
  • Simple & Effective Watering Systems for Livestock
  • Hydration Handbook

You can also see my multi-part training videos on raising chickens, ducks, and goats as a subscriber to The Grow Network Academy.

My Blog Posts

If you want a down and dirty look at real life on our homestead, please also visit Reluxe Renderings. That’s where I post seasonal photos from the homestead and updates on what we’re working on. That’s also where I share the tough stuff like animal losses, emergency processing, lessons learned, etc. Plus, personal essays and thoughts on things like our environment, money, guns, and more may show up on that site.

Morning Chores


This is an awesome site for all things homesteading. You can check out my posts below or just head to to see all the amazing resources they have to offer.

Calculators for Homesteaders and Gardeners

Garden Planting Calendar – Find the Right Time to Plant Vegetables

Fertilizer Calculator: Find Out How Much Fertilizer to Use in Your Garden

Carbon to Nitrogen Compost Calculator: Create the Perfect Compost Pile

Incubation & Gestation Calculator for Livestock, Insects, and Aquatic Animals

Material Volume & Weight Calculator for Mulch, Compost, Gravel, Sand, and More


The Mega-List of Fertilizers for Your Organically-Grown Garden

How to Grow Exotic Spices for Self-Sufficiency At Home

Herbs vs. Spices: What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter for Gardeners?

Try Indoor Landscaping to Grow Beautiful Plants Indoors All Year

How to Grow Exotic Spices for Self-Sufficiency At Home

Herbs vs. Spices: What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter for Gardeners?

Try Indoor Landscaping to Grow Beautiful Plants Indoors All Year

Perennial Food Gardening Methods – What Are the Differences?

5 Tips for Creating a Duck-Friendly Garden for Everyday Pest Control

11 Ways to Put Your Garden to Bed in Winter

Blister Beetles: How to Identify and Control this Toxic Pest

Harlequin Bug: How to Control This Pest in Your Garden

How to Grow and Train Your Own Topiary Plants

Growing Rapini (Brassica Ruvo): Best Varieties, Planting Guide and Care

The Compost Tea Controversy and Tips to Use ACT & PCT Correctly

Understanding What ‘Disease-Resistant Plants’ Actually Means

How to Create a Delightful Herb Border Hedge

22 Practical Hedges for the Homestead That Add More Value Than Just Beauty

Plants that Grow Well Indoors to Expand your Indoor Garden

15 Forgotten Garden Hacks to Help You Get the Most From Your Veggie Garden

1-Day Projects to Add Beauty to Your Homestead Landscape

15 Tips to Make Gardening for Seniors Easier and More Accessible

When and How to Use Humic Acid Fertilizer to Improve Soil

How to Decide the Correct Plant Spacing in Your Garden

When and How to Use Rock Dust for Your Garden

10 Tips on Long-Term Garden Care for More Productivity

13 Ideas to Make an Elegant French Garden

11 Healthy Crops to Plant in Your Garden Year-Round

Choosing Plants for Your Garden – Everything You Need to Consider

14 Tips for Managing a Large Garden with Minimal Work

How to Plan an All-Purpose Herb Garden

How to Use Intercropping Wisely to Increase Your Harvest

How to Grow Gochu (Korean Chili Peppers) for Gochujang

How to Improve Your Landscape Hydrology to Minimize Fire Risks

Landscaping Techniques You Can Use to Reduce Risk of Fire

10 Tips to Help You Maximize Your Greenhouse Space

18 Fall Gardening Activities to Take Your Garden to The Next Level

Why You Should Grow Baby Vegetables and How to Do It

How to Create an Exotic Edible Landscape in Your Greenhouse

Downy Mildew: Identification, Plants at Risk, Prevention, and Treatment

Are Nematodes a Friend or Foe for Your Garden and Livestock?

A Beginners Guide to Using Fungicide in the Organic Garden

How to Kill Spotted Lanternfly and Save your Fruit Trees

Growing Fenugreek: Plant Varieties, How-to Guide, Problems, and Harvesting

5 Best Summer Cover Crops and How to Use Them

Seed Stratification: A Comprehensive Guide to This Seed Germination Trick

How to Use Leaf Mold to Restore a Weedy Garden Bed

Growing Poppies for Decorative Seed Pods, Spice, and Beauty

Allelopathic Plants: What Are They, The List, and How To (and Not To) Use Them

What You Need to Know to Safely Compost Dog Poop

How to Extend Your Cool Season Crops and Spare Your Soil Despite the Heat

The Good and The Bad About Using Urine as Garden Fertilizer

What is a Walipini Greenhouse and Do You Need One?

5 Common Gardening Myths Debunked (Backed with Research and Experience)

How to Start a Cut Flower Bed in Your Vegetable Garden

How to Use a Broadfork to Promote Good Drainage in Your Garden

5 Ways to Improve Your Gardening Skills

Landscaping with Moss Can Create a Magical Fairy-Tale Garden

Weed Control Plan for an Organic Vegetable Garden

Hotbed Gardening: Add a Little Heat to Your Gardening Repertoire

How to Make and Use Aerated Compost Tea (ACT) in Your Garden

Plant Roots 101: Going Back to Our Roots in the Garden

How to Store Seeds Correctly and Why It Is Vitally Important

How to Make Even More Compost Using Bokashi

14 Do’s and Don’ts of Growing an Organic Vegetable Garden

Get an Early Start on Spring Gardening with These 8 Off-Grid Tricks

6 Smart Strategies for Starting Seeds on a Shoestring Budget

20 Low to No Cost Gardening Hacks for Homesteaders

Potting Shed: Why You Need It and 15 Tips on How to Use It

How to Make Organic N-P-K Fertilizer Mixes at Home and Save Money

How to Create Moss Scapes to Bring the Outdoors into Your Home

20 Easy-to-Grow Spices You Can Grow at Home

Growing Saffron: A Complete Guide to Planting and Taking Care of Saffron at Home

Use Cloches to Add Charm, History, and Functionality to Your Garden

Buying Seeds Strategically: A Frugal Gardener’s Guide to Ordering Seeds

How to Create a Potager Garden: An Aesthetically Pleasing Kitchen Garden

How to Use Plant Labels to Keep Your Garden Organized (and 10 DIY Plant Marker Ideas)

The Fall Transition Gardening To-Do List

6 Tips to Help You Start Your Fall Garden Now (and Why You Should)

How to Get Prepared for Planting Fruit Trees and Bushes This Fall

Use the Right Winter Cover Crops to Supercharge Your Spring Garden

5 Reasons to Start a Pollinator Garden (and 6 Tips to Help You Do It)

20 Practical Ways to Use Weeds on Your Homestead

Growing Egyptian Walking Onions: How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest These Unique Onions

How to Save Lots of Money Propagating Plants from Stem Cuttings

Growing Horseradish: How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Horseradish

When to Pinch Pennies and When to Pay for Quality as a Homesteader

An Essential Guide to Self-Sufficient Gardening with 17 Staple Crops

10 Easy-to-Grow Alternative Greens to Diversify Your Salad

Growing Asparagus: How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Asparagus

12 Underused Herbs Every Smart Gardener Should Know and Grow

Why You Should Have a Herb Spiral and How to Build It in 4 Steps

How to Propagate New Plants with Minimal Work Using Layering

Many Benefits of Mints and Their Surprising Versatility for Gardeners

Edible Landscaping: How to Start a Beautiful Perennial Plot for Food Supply

3 Easy Ways to Radically Improve Your Soil Using Trench Composting

How to Grow a Salad Garden from Seed to Table

Keyhole Garden: Why You Should Build a Keyhole Bed and How to Do It

How to Grow Duckweed and Water Hyacinth for Cheap Livestock Fodder

Poultry (Chickens, Ducks, Turkeys)

The Complete Guide to Raising Healthy Ducks for Beginners

How Much Protein Do Ducks Really Need?

How to Prevent and Deal With Niacin Deficiency in Ducks

How to Butcher and Process Ducks Humanely

Can You Feed Ducklings Medicated Chick Starter?

15 Forgotten Garden Hacks to Help You Get the Most From Your Veggie Garden

Duckquaponics: How to Use Duck Manure Water in Your Garden

9 Options to Keep Ducks Around the Homestead

How to Raise Ducklings More Naturally in a Brooder

Complete Guide to Incubating Duck Eggs for Optimal Hatch Rates

How to Choose the Right Duck Breed for You

How to Introduce New Chickens into an Old Laying Flock

10 Tips for Taming Chicks so They Become Friendly and Social Chickens

How to Keep Hawks Away and Protect Your Chickens

20 Money-Saving Chicken Care Hacks for Every Chicken Owner

Turkey Anatomy: Revealing the Mysteries of Snood, Caruncle, Wattle, and More

9 Reasons Why Raising Turkeys Might Not Be Right For Some Homesteaders

12 Odd Tips on Raising Heritage Breed Turkeys You Need to Know

20 DIY Poultry Brooders from Low Cost to Beautiful and Durable

When Poultry Predators Attack: Investigation and 11 Prevention Tips

Everything You Need to Know about Duck Molting and Care

5 Ways to Use Duck Poop to Enrich Your Edible Landscape Soil


12 Spring Transition Tips to Keep Your Goats Happy and Healthy

How to Safely Introduce a New Goat to an Existing Herd

Beginner’s Guide to Raising Goats for Milk Production

Basic Goat Care Management Responsibilities for New Goat Herd Owners

American Lamancha Goats: Breed Info, Characteristics, Breeding, and Care

Suckling and the Vital Importance of Colostrum for Goat Kids

5 Goat Birth Complications You Need to Know Before Kidding Season

How to Get Ready for Goat Kidding Season

10 Super Simple Goat Care Hacks That Can Make Your Job Easier

12 Easy Ways to Get Your Goats Ready for Winter and the Freezing Cold

A Comprehensive Guide to Goat Breeding for Beginners

How Train Your Goat to Milk on a Stand the Easy Way

How to Train Your Goats to Use a Litter Box (and Save $40 Easily)

The Homestead Kitchen

How to Make Homemade ‘Champagne’ and Enjoy Sparkling Wine

How to Dry Lavender at Home

Best Herb Drying Methods for Every Level of Harvest

6 Eggcellent Uses for Leftover Egg Whites and Yolks to Prevent Waste

Confit: What Is It and How to Do It at Home

24 Interesting Ways to Use and Preserve Your Plums

How to Make Homemade Kimchi from Your Fall Garden Produce

How to Make Powdered Spices Easily at Home

Shiitake Mushroom Uses and Recipes to Inspire You

How To Make The Easiest Fermented Pickles Ever

15 Solar Cooking Tips to Help You Cook Better With Sunshine

How to Make Goat Cheese (Chèvre) in Only 6 Steps

The Life and Times of Cornbread: From Ancient History to Being the Gluten-Free Alternative

Bring the Wide World of Flatbread to Your Homestead

6 Easy DIY Cheese Cave Ideas for the Cheese Lover

3 Steps to Savor Your Personalized Homemade Herbal Teas and Infusions

5 Tips for Making Herbal Vinegar and Other Infused Vinegar Recipes

How to Make Vinegar Extractions (plus Infusions, Tonics, Fire Cider, and Shrubs)

13 Creative Kombucha Recipes for a Flavorful Health Brew

How to Make Homemade Cordials or Fine Spirits in 6 Steps

How to Make an Endless Supply of Kombucha with Very Little Work

Fermentation: What Is It and How to Ferment Food at Home

10 Easy Steps to Make Homemade Elderberry Wine

5 Steps to Start a Homemade Cheese-Making Routine

How to Make a Homemade Palak Paneer from Scratch with Whey Vinegar

4 Tips on How to Cook “From Scratch” Like a Homesteader

Miscellaneous Topics

How to Create a Home Library and Inspire a Culture of Reading

6 Homestead Edit Tips to Makeover and Maintain an Elegant Homestead

8 Ways to Pretty up Your Porch and Still Use It for Homestead Activities

15 Tips and Ideas to Help You Create Decorative Garden Fences

How to Create A Multi-Purpose Outbuilding to Make Homesteading Easier

Insider Tips from an Old Farmhouse Renovation – Modernizing the Past

Ferme Ornée: Creating the Beauty of an Ornamental Farm

Epicurean Homesteading: How to Be Self-Sufficient While Making Your Life More Pleasurable

1-Day Projects to Add Beauty to Your Homestead Landscape

20 Self-Sufficiency Hacks You Can Implement Right Now

21 Things to Know Before You Buy an Old Farmhouse

How to Cope With COVID-19 and Self-Quarantine as a Homesteader

Urban, Suburban, and Rural Homesteading: Which Type Is Right for You

Winter Homesteading Activities To Fill Your Freezing Cold Days

20 Tips to Help You Become a Minimalist Homesteader

Create a Cozy Small Courtyard in Your Backyard Using a Few Cheap Tricks

6 Reasons to Get a Farm Dog and 5 Reasons You Might Not

5 Homestead Clothing Trends for Comfort, Safety, and Style

DIY Mold Remediation on the Homestead

How to Create Farm-to-Table Outdoor Dining Area

How to Design and Create a Cozy Bistro Dining Area in your Garden

How to Create a Beautiful Homestead Office that Works for You

25 Practical Indoor Homesteading Hacks at Zero Cost in Less Than 5 Minutes

10 Indoor Homestead Skill-Building to Beat the Winter Blues

3 Steps to Turn your Home into a Homestead for $500 (and Save Thousands of Dollars)

How to Right-Size Your Homestead Dreams Right Now!

20 Tips for Winter Preparation for your Homestead (from Personal Experience)

Celebrating Christmas on the Homestead: 5 Ways to Make It More Meaningful

Growing Shiitake Mushrooms – a Guide to Getting Shiitake Done

Top 10 Homesteading and Self-Sufficiency Books for Cold-Weather Reading

10 Inspiring Fall Homestead Activities to Reconnect with Nature

10 Fall Homestead Projects That Will Give You a Headstart to the Busy Spring Season

5 Creative Ways for Effectively Managing Mud on the Homestead

18 Relaxing Activities to Beat the Fatigue from Your Summer Chores

5 Homestead Layout Planning Tips to Save You Money in the Long Run

Mother Earth News


Year-Round Greenhouse Gardening Using Passive Solar and Microclimates

The ABCs of Homesteading Series

The ABCs of Homesteading: A is for Asceticism, B is for Borrowing, C is for Creativity

The ABCs of Homesteading: D is for Ducks (Also published in the Grit Guide to Raising Chickens)

The ABCs of Homesteading: E is for Edible Landscaping

The ABCs of Homesteading: F is for Fodder

The ABCs of Homesteading: G is for Goats

The ABCs of Homesteading: H is for Horticulture

The ABCs of Homesteading: I is for Income (Also published in Mother Earth News Magazine)

The ABCs of Homesteading: J is for Jack of All Trades Journeyman (Also published in Mother Earth News Magazine)

The ABCs of Homesteading: K is for Kitchen Skills

The ABCs of Homesteading: L is for Legal Considerations

The ABCs of Homesteading: M is for Meat

The ABCs of Homesteading: M is for Mushrooms

The ABCs of Homesteading: N is for Nutrition Management

The ABCs of Homesteading: O is for Organic and Beyond

The ABCs of Homesteading: P is for Ponds and Preparedness

The ABCs of Homesteading: Q is for Quiet Reflection

The ABCs of Homesteading: R is for Responsibility

The ABC’s of Homesteading: S is for Seeds, Storage, and Spice

The ABC’s of Homesteading: T is for Tools

The ABC’s of Homesteading: U is for Uncertainty

The Grow Network (TGN)


The Grow Network, led by the fearless Marjory Wildcraft, is the host of the Homegrown Food Summit, which is totally free during Summit week. They also have tons of great information on homesteading, gardening, personal health and wellness, and home herbal health care. They gave me my start writing about homesteading and making videos and have been like family to me over the years.

Organic Gardener’s Tool Kit Series

The # 1 Tool for Organic Growers – Organic Matter

The # 2 Tool for Organic Growers – Mason Jar Test

The # 3 Tool for Organic Growers – At-Home Soil Test Kit

Special Challenges to Managing NPK in the Organic Garden

The # 4 Tool for Organic Growers – 6 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizers for Healthier Soil

Mycorrhizael Inoculant: A Powerful Solution to the Organic Gardener’s Catch-22

5 Reasons Your Green Beans Are Thriving (When Nothing Else Is)

7 Keys to Good Water Management

11 Irrigation Techniques for a Happy Garden

Vegetable Growing Guides

Growing Kohlrabi: A Sweet and Tangy Cool-Season Crop

Growing Mâche: The Little Lettuce that Lasts All Winter

Growing Spinach: Pack a Punch in a Little Bunch

Sweet Potato Vines: How to Grow This Antioxidant Powerhouse

Purslane: The Omega-3 You Can Grow for Free! (With Recipe)

Heat? Drought? Delicious Oak Leaf Lettuce Thrives Anyway!

Chard en Garde Manger: The Delicious 3-Season Green for Food Security

In Praise of Growing Parsley (With Recipe)

All Hail, Kale! Growing Kale at Home (With Recipe)

Growing Arugula: The Rocket in Your Salad Bowl and Garden (With Recipe)

Mustard Greens: What You Need to Know Before You Grow (With Recipe)

Pig Processing Related

Preparing for a Pig Slaughter

The Pig Slaughter

Hog Processing: Skinning, Scalding, Scraping, and Eviscerating

Hog Butchering at Home

Make Delicious Homemade Bacon in 6 Easy Steps

Have You Ever Been to a Hog Killing: Part 1 – Hog Raising

Have You Ever Been to a Hog Killing: Part 2 – Hog Killin’

Have You Ever Been to a Hog Killing: Part 3 – Hog Cookin’

Crop Rotation

Crop Rotation for the Home Garden, Part 1: Pest Control

Crop Rotation for the Home Garden, Part 2: Pathogen Prevention

Supercharge Your Garden! 4 Steps to Vibrant Soil Using Compost and Crop Rotation

Chicken Related

Crowing Hen? Is That Even Possible?

Cold-Weather Chicken Care: How to Keep Chicken Water From Freezing

Cold-Weather Chicken Care: Cold-Hardy Chicken Breeds

Cold-Weather Chicken Care: The Tale of the Frostbitten Chicken and Lessons Learned About Prevention and Treatment

Cold-Weather Chicken Care: 11 Quick Ideas to Improve Chicken Comfort

CBD Series

My editor at TGN asked me to do some in-depth research into CBD and write an articles series on it. I warned her that I was a CBD skeptic because of its newness and all the legal confusion surrounding it. But she said, that’s exactly why she wanted me to write the series. As such, these CBD posts are are not meant to advocate or discourage CBD use, they are just an examination of the issues.

CBD: How to Choose Between Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and Isolates

Are CBD Oil and Hemp Oil the Same Thing?

5 Reasons Why CBD is Such a Big Deal

3 Hidden Dangers of Buying CBD and 3 Simple Ways to Protect Yourself

Is CBD Legal?

Miscellaneous Subjects

14 Tips for Training Your Livestock Guardian Dog

How to Potty Train Your Dog

Dog Training 101: Good Dog + Good Trainer = Right Results

20 Healthier Alternatives to Granulated Sugar

Garlic: You Might Be Using It Wrong

Is Your Food Grown in Human Poop or Sewage?

Siberian Ginseng: The Adaptogen for Astronauts, Athletes, and Anyone Under Stress

How to Label Homemade Herbal Medicines and Why You Should

How to Make Herbal Infusions

How to Make a Tincture

10 Incredibly Powerful Antiviral Herbs

5 Ways to Find Farmers in Your Area

Make Peace With Your Poop (and Then Make Compost With It!)

The Ongoing Farmer Crisis (and What You Can Do About It)

8 Simple, Succulent Ways to Cook Duck

Are Banned Drugs Making Meat Unsafe to Eat?

Benefits of Bone Broth: Myth or Magical Mystery?

5 Keys to Food Security in Extreme Weather, for Home Gardeners

The Art of Growing Onions

4 Uncommon-Sense Guidelines for Food Safety and Nutrition

Extreme Weather and Food Resilience, for Home Growers

From Weeds to WOW – The Weed Island

Are You Prepared for Peak Chicken?

Your Mental Edge – Trusting Your Intuition in the Garden

Homesteading – A Radical Re-Evolution

The Way Back

This site belongs to my partner in homesteading Matt Miles.

Three Years In: A Self-Assessment and the Work to Come

Ode to Matt

Care and Feeding

Romantic Rendezvous at the reLuxe Ranch

Merry Christmas – A Tale of Two Stories

Natural Born Killer

Hog Killin’ at the reLuxe Ranch

re-Visions at the reLuxe Ranch

Christmas in July

Silence of the Ducks: Thoughts on Raising, Butchering, and Eating Animals

Dumpster Dilemma

Hanging Tomato Vineyard (Note – I don’t recommend hanging tomatoes unless you have serious blight issues. Too much watering is necessary! We now use the hanging garden structure as a kiwi trellis.)