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2017 Huglekulture Greenhouse Update….Year in Review!

2017 Huglekulture Greenhouse Update….Year in Review!

It’s been a while since I talked much about our hugelkulture fortified greenhouse experiment.  This last season has seen some significant changes in the old greenhouse so I thought I would share a little about what we’ve done and what our experiments have taught us, so here goes…. We’ve reskinned the hoophouse with a product called Solawrap….it’s basically bubble wrap on steroids and it has been a significant improvement over the single layer of greenhouse poly! The solawrap creates dual…

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Homesteading Must Have?—Scythes!!!

Homesteading Must Have?—Scythes!!!

The more I use the scythe the greater the appreciation I have for the versatility and tranquility of using this age old homestead standby.  I’m not talking that $5.00 yard sale find that looks like something from a grim reaper cartoon.  If you’re going to experiment with a scythe do yourself a favor and get one of the European or Austrian style scythes.  They’ll take a razor edge relatively easily and are feather weights compared to the more common American…

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Why and When to Thin Your Apples….

Why and When to Thin Your Apples….

Well now that Spring has finally arrived up here on the homestead in North-Central Idaho the grass is growing and the apples are finally starting to bloom.  I don’t know about you but I’ve always kind of wondered how you can have so many apple blossoms and only have a few take hold and produce and actual apple!  Well here you go…..a beautiful explanation of the why, when, and how of thinning your apples………………….   I noticed one of the…

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Comfrey Propagation Video (by Spirko)

Comfrey Propagation Video (by Spirko)

It’s getting to be that time of the year when things are really starting to thaw out up north here and getting out to work the land and gardens is beginning to become a very real possibility on the old homestead!  We are still a couple month shy of our last frost though so I really have to be careful not to get too ambitious.  That’s where planting and propagating some of the more hardy perennials can hold a guy…

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Forest Gardens

Forest Gardens

I stumbled on this fine example of what a forest type garden can look like.  With a little planning and properly timed disturbance this style of garden can be incredibly productive and requires little inputs.  This example is from across the “pond” in England… From the outset a forest garden is designed as a natural system. We provide the physical structure – various edible trees, climbers, shrubs, herbaceous perennials and some annuals – to make the best use of the…

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Fruit Tree Propagation

Fruit Tree Propagation

There’s an old saying that goes something like “The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago, the second best time in today!”  Productive, healthy fruit and nut trees are a must for the modern homesteader.  The next question is how to afford all of those trees.  Well the good folks over at Deep Green Permaculture put together a nice article on the ins and outs of fruit tree propagation I thought you all might enjoy!  Ever wonder…

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Homestead Heros Plants of Promise: Elderberry

Homestead Heros Plants of Promise: Elderberry

The common elderberry is oftentimes overlooked in its value on the homestead.  While it is native in many areas it has also naturalized in so many places that most folks take it for granted.  Elderberries can easily be wild harvested in many parts of the country.  Until fairly recently, improved cultivars have been rare and relatively expensive here in the States. The elderberry forms an attractive shrub or can be trained into a small tree reching 10 to 15 feet…

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Sheet Mulching Our Front Yard!

Sheet Mulching Our Front Yard!

I wrote a while back about our battle with thistles on the homestead.  One of my strategies for dealing with them on a small scale had been sheet mulch.  We started the first section of the transformation of the front “lawn” last fall, so I thought I would share with you guys what we’ve learned and what we were able to accomplish….   We made some adjustments for phase two based on some observations and we’re hoping to optimize the…

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Greenhouse & Hugelkulture Video Update (Aug 2016)

Greenhouse & Hugelkulture Video Update (Aug 2016)

Here is the promised video update of our greenhouse and a couple of the hugelkulture berms.  We had some setbacks in the greenhouse that delayed planting quite a bit, but those problems are solved now, so better late than never!  You’ll be able to really see the difference a year of establishment makes with the hugel berms.  We haven’t planted anything in the hugels this season and the production of the older berm is just phenominal!  Enjoy….

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