DIY Soil Test in a Mason Jar...

Growing your own food and gardening the day away can be fun and relaxing. It can also be frustrating and downright disappointing. One way to mitigate the possible frustration is to do your homework before you ever start planting. Trust me. I wish I had taken my own advice. A great (and pretty simple) step to doing your due diligence is to try your own soil test. All you need for this little test is a mason jar, some elbow grease, and a bit of time. Knowing what percentage of clay, sand, and silt in your soil can help you understand what you might need to add or modify to get your garden going. The brilliant Shelle Wells over at Preparedness Mama helps people find ways to be self-sufficient and get prepared....

Building for Free with Papercrete Sep02

Building for Free with Papercrete

You have WAY too many newspapers on your stoop. Junk mail accounts for as much as 50% of your garbage. Your printer is evil and spits out hundreds of misaligned pages. Even if, by the grace of all that is holy, none of these descriptions currently fit your life, the odds are that there is excess paper somewhere in your vicinity. Good news! You can build something out of it. Up-cycle. Recycle. Reuse. Whatever you want to call it, re-purposing old materials to make something amazing is something of an art form. Papercrete is the medium by which some of the most amazing reuse projects are completed (including much of the house to the left). A doghouse? Sure, done. A shed? Give me a few weeks and you will have one free of charge. A house? Well, maybe. The amazing people over at Survival Life have put together a brief history and tutorial of the material. If you’ve had a hankering to build but didn’t have the funds, now you have no excuse. Oh, wait, but that means I don’t either....

Crowly Folk School Aug14

Crowly Folk School

Remember those things your grandfather just knew how to do? Almost like the knowledge came down from the heavens in the form of flannel-and-hat manna. And, just like the Hebrew people, you grew tired of the gift. Well, thankfully, all is not lost. Folk schools teach skills that are being forgotten with each passing generation. Crowly Folk School is one such  institution bringing back the skills it takes to live off the land and make beautiful things by hand. Their classes on cooking, growing, hiking, and making are beginning to take off.  Sponsored and managed in part by the Crowley Museum and Nature Center based out of Sarasota, Florida, there are many opportunities to help out and learn a thing or two along the way....

Homemade Feta Cheese Jun06

Homemade Feta Cheese

Sometimes, you just need a little cheese. Most of the time, you don’t have the money for it (or at least I don’t). From the prolific blog Foodie With Family comes one of the most comprehensive recipes for making delicious, savory feta cheese. Here at Cultivated, we love the sustainability of raising goats, and one of the most enduring benefits of raising goats is the chance to make cheese. Just a few goats can produce way more milk, cheese, and yogurt than a small family can eat. The actually process of making cheese can be a bit intimidating for first timers. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This recipe is a pretty comprehensive list of ingredients and detailed instructions for first timers making their own cheese. With a modified recipe for those using goat’s milk, this might be the only post you will ever need to read to create some amazing, Wisconsin quality DIY feta cheese....

DIY Jar Comb Honey May05

DIY Jar Comb Honey

Just to preface this, there is no one article to rule them all when it comes to beekeeping. There are, however, thousands of dedicated beekeepers who give their advice freely on sites like the BeeSource Forums. It’s a good thing, too. Bees are integral to the ecosystem. Without them, life would be much harder (and less delicious). So I thought, why not post a forum discussion on how to create stunning, incredibly effective Jar Comb Honey DIY beehives? This DIY Beekeeping thread shows how beekeeping can be a lifelong passion. If you grow a garden, have fruit trees, love the taste of honey, apply raw honey on skin blemishes, own a flower patch, or just generally respect the earth, try out this stunningly elegant solution to encourage the bee population in your area (and enjoy a tasty treat too).    ...