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Category: Farm Dreams

Books: The Owner-Built Homestead

Books: The Owner-Built Homestead

“Reduced to its simplest terms, a homestead is an ecosystem in which humans evolve in mutual association and coexistence with plants, animals, and other life forces. In this cohabitation the various components of the homestead germinate, develop, and mature at varying rates for varying purposes, all interdependent and individually supportive of life therein.” – Barbara and Ken Kern, The Owner-Built Homestead.  The Owner-Built Homestead, Barbara and Ken Kern, 1977 (Second Edition). The Owner-Built Homestead is a classic text on neo-homesteading…

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“Can American Soil be Brought Back to Life?”

“Can American Soil be Brought Back to Life?”

When North America was first settled there was rich, thick, virgin soil all the way from the Eastern seaboard through the Great Plains. This incredible fertility was a major driving factor in the country’s unprecedented economic growth. However, the soil has been taken for granted, plowed, shredded up, worn out, washed away, and covered in chemicals- left as little more than a sterile growth medium. When the famous Dust Bowl took place much of the damage had happened in just…

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Ruth Stout Soil

Ruth Stout Soil

I’ve been growing skeptical of the Ruth Stout soil mulch method, which I used for two of the beds this season. I don’t know if it is targeted for this climate, but also think it may have been applied at the worst time for keeping seeds viable and giving them exposure when things are planted. Also, her claim that this doesn’t leave a towering mass of organic matter threatening your plants did not prove true. And it does seem to…

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Early Accidental Honey Harvest

Early Accidental Honey Harvest

I made a million mistakes with the bees, had no harvest equipment, tons wasted I’m sure, but fresh honey is the most glorious thing ever. even compared to locally produced raw honey I can buy in the area, you have no idea how much better this is. My modest and sad haul from my freshman mistakes (but I have a bunch of wax!)

Ruth Stout Potatoes

Ruth Stout Potatoes

I did some experiments with the Ruth Stout mulch method this year. Had trouble in the brassica bed but it was a terrible brassica year for everyone. My potatoes sure are happy though, but potatoes usually are. These were just set on the ground and covered in mulch

“A feel like a wet seed wild in the hot, blind earth” – Dewey Dell Bundren

“A feel like a wet seed wild in the hot, blind earth” – Dewey Dell Bundren

It has been a major struggle to actually start blogging, because there is so much content I want to be available right away. None of it is, I have to do with a piece at a time. Like a wet seed wild in the hot, blind earth, this blog is full of potential which could just as well be realized as be destroyed by natural forces. For an introduction, my name is Brad and I have the fortune of living…

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