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....

Eat Fresh (or Frozen) Jun09

Eat Fresh (or Frozen)...

Growing a successful, lush vegetable garden is a rewarding experience. Of that, there is no question. For those who have two green thumbs, harvest might mean picking more than you can chew. Learning how to properly preserve and freeze vegetables is a great way to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor. Cultivated has featured articles from Mother Earth News before, and for good reason. This article comes from the ever-wonderful Janet Chadwick, author of ““The Beginner’s Guide to Preserving Food at Home”. When living and pursuing a sustainable life, little to nothing should be thrown away. Luckily, a bit of technology can save a bunch of veggies. ...

Food Every Year: Perennial Fruits and Vegetables Jun07

Food Every Year: Perennial Fruits and Vegetables

Planting a new crop every year takes quite a bit of work and dedication. Thankfully, the world has given us fruits and vegetables that you can plant one year and enjoy for the next several. Perennial fruits and vegetables are a great way to build a sustainable garden without spending dozens of hours each planting season. You might instantly think “apple tree,” but there are many, many more options out there that produce food year in and year out. The site Village Green Network offers some pretty great articles on all things sustainable, and this is one of their gems. When you think perennial, start thinking guacamole made from avocados, crunchy asparagus,  and sweet and sour raspberry pie....

Dry Your Own Herbs May06

Dry Your Own Herbs

And no, not those kind of herbs (I’m looking at you, Colorado). If you have any space indoors or out, growing herbs like basil, mint, parsley and others is a no-brainer. We have some growing right outside our front door below the porch. Although they taste great fresh on eggs, pasta and the like, you can also easily dry them. Taste of Home actually has a great little tutorial on how to go about drying herbs. Their article  “How to Dry Herbs” is a great start for those who want to try out a few drying methods. Stop spending your hard earned money on herbs that barely have a taste to them at all. Begin cultivating a more self sustaining life....

Morel Mushrooms Grown at Home May04

Morel Mushrooms Grown at Home

Sounds impossible. Sounds improbable. It can be done. Morel mushrooms might just be some of the tastiest mushrooms to grow in North America. In my neck of the woods, the things can be found by taking a walk in the park, having a mushroom identification book on hand, and slicing them down the middle to be sure of no false-positives. One thing is for sure, morels are not easy to find (and can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are looking for). So why not take the guess work out of it entirely? Mushroom Appreciation.Com  is a great resource for the mushroom lovers out there. In one of their more useful posts, the site discusses four different ways to grow moral mushrooms at home. The article “Different Ways of Growing Morel Mushrooms” is a god-send for all those seeking a better, safer, more convenient way to enjoy the tasty mushroom treat....