Nailed It, Failed It: Lessons From Last Year’s Garden

Alli Planting Her GardenIf you have read some of my blogs, you know that I love growing my own fruits, veggies and flowers every summer. It connects me to the earth, relaxes me, and makes the meals I cook with fresh produce all the more delicious. The sense of satisfaction I get from turning dirt and seeds into a fresh salad or salsa is priceless. Continue reading

A Power Outage Can Light Up Your Life

genie III lamp

Everyone has the power go out once in a while. For many, it’s a great inconvenience.  For others, it can be an enjoyable break from everyday hectic living. The glow of oil lamps, the delicious smell of soup simmering on the cookstove, a lively board game taking place on the kitchen table… Continue reading

Paper Gardening: How to Grow a Successful Garden Now

Maine Garden HodJanuary and February – traditionally the coldest, bleakest months of the year – have one highlight, something like the gardener’s version of the swallows returning to Capistrano: the arrival of seed catalogs in the mail. Continue reading

Safely Heating a Yurt With Wood

the yurt before chimney

Here’s a photo of Hannah’s yurt last summer before the chimney was installed.

My 24-foot diameter yurt is a 450 square foot living space, with lightly insulated cloth walls over a wooden lattice structure. When I think about building a fire in there, I think it had better be done safely! I also notice that the space heats up quickly, as it’s not all that large after all, but the heat dissipates quickly after the fire goes out, too. Better insulation than mine would be a must if I needed to count on my dwelling staying above freezing when I’m away for the day. Continue reading

Chicken Co-Op: Homesteading With Neighbors and Friends

Wire Egg BasketYears ago, when all 7 of the kids were home, a flock of chickens was a necessity. I could go through 18 eggs for a single breakfast and custard for that hungry bunch used up another dozen. Things have changed. Only my youngest remains at home and a dozen eggs lasts me for several days, even with the occasional batch of custard. A big flock of layers seems like overkill, especially as most of the neighbors have chickens too. Continue reading

Dreaming of a Garden As It Snows…

Classic Gardner Tool SetPunxsutawney Phil may say there are six more weeks of winter but apparently, he is not from Western Massachusetts. We see snow well into April and a late frost can wipe out the garden in May. So, what’s a garden girl to do while the snow lies deep and yet another storm is forecasted for the weekend? Well, she hunkers down with her seed catalogs, graph paper and last year’s records and starts planning her garden. Continue reading

4 Common Sense Ways to Soothe Winter Colds

stainless steel spout kettlesEditor’s Note: This article was originally published in February 2016.

When the “common cold” strikes – as it will for most of us, at least once this year – try these time-tested ways to soothe those annoying symptoms and promote healing. Continue reading

5 Winter Steps to a Rockin’ Summer Garden

fresh veggies on the tableSpring will be here before you know it! Have you ever heard someone say something like that? Sounds kind of silly when we are in the coldest snap of my memory and my breath is freezing on my hair and we’re taking five trips a day to the barn with water for the animals. Continue reading

Warm Up With Slow Cooker Chili and Easy Corn Bread

lehman's diamond jubilee cookbookIt’s that time of the year where warm, hearty meals truly hit the spot. Today we’re sharing with you two simple recipes from Lehman’s Diamond Jubilee Cookbook. We hope you’ll feel warm and content with this yummy, filling chili and corn bread. Continue reading