Apr 052014
 

Build Your Own Simple Seed Starting Shelves with room for up to 576 seedlings under the grow lights. Sturdy, moveable and easy enough for a weekend project

Each year I start several hundred vegetable, herb and flower seedlings.  Almost all of them begin on the simple seed starting shelves my husband built over 15 years ago. I wasn’t blogging then (I started that around five years ago), so I didn’t snap any photos. Heck, I didn’t even have a digital camera back then.  Photos or no photos, these indoor planting shelves have served me well, and are fairly inexpensive to make.

The lights are suspended from chains on hooks, so they can easily be adjusted up or down.  Mounting casters on the bottom makes it a snap to move – even from one house to another.  If you use standard 22″x11″ nursery trays with 72 cells per tray, there’s room for 576 seedlings under the grow lights, plus an extra 288 seedlings on the top shelf, if you have room for it in your greenhouse, sun room or very well lit room.  Cross supports and water proof paint make it sturdy and durable.  I pair it up with a fan on a timer, to help keep the seedlings sturdy, and I also use a timer to turn the grow lights off at night.  Once the seedlings get bigger, they graduate to the greenhouse or cold frame, and then are hardened off (gently exposed to the elements over several days) and planted out into the garden. Continue reading »

Don't Miss the Green Living Bundle!

7 e-books - 4 Videos - Tons of Bonuses
You'll Learn How To: Be more self-sustainable • Grow your own food • Forage for food • Make eco-friendly skin care • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle • Improve your health and happiness • Save tons of money

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Sep 192013
 

Extend Your Growing Season - how to use seed starting, microclimates, raised beds, cold frames and greenhouses for season extension in your garden.

On the Common Sense Homesteading Facebook page, one of the questions that comes up regularly is “How do you extend your growing season?”.  I live in northeast Wisconsin, so I do use a variety of techniques to help add growing time in spring and in fall.  I don’t do *everything* that can be done to potentially keep food growing here year round.  From my perspective, it’s easier to spend time preserving some crops than battling the elements to keep them going outside.  My favorites are the ones that hold “as is” with little or no effort.  You can read more about these crops in “Root Cellars 101” and “Above Ground Root Cellars – Enjoy Your Local Produce Longer“. Continue reading »

Don't Miss the Green Living Bundle!

7 e-books - 4 Videos - Tons of Bonuses
You'll Learn How To: Be more self-sustainable • Grow your own food • Forage for food • Make eco-friendly skin care • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle • Improve your health and happiness • Save tons of money

Learn more about this limited time sale.

Jul 272013
 

The Planet Whizbang Idea Book for Gardeners - Review and Giveaway

The Planet Whizbang Idea Book for Gardeners:  An eclectic selection of inspiring  project plans, useful tips, and how-to advice for people who enjoy growing their own food by Herrick Kimball offers a great combination of tools, tips and stories to enlighten and inspire just about any gardener.  From sturdy trellis systems, cloches and raised beds to biochar and Brix meters, this is one you’ll come back to year after year.  (Yes, this is written by the creator of the Whizbang Chicken plucker.)

Sprinkled throughout the text are excerpts from old books, magazines and almanacs dating back to the 1800′s.  So often we think we’re creating something new, when we are really rediscovering what was lost.  Take this featured quote by E.P. Roe from The Home Acre (1886) about cheaper vegetables: Continue reading »

Don't Miss the Green Living Bundle!

7 e-books - 4 Videos - Tons of Bonuses
You'll Learn How To: Be more self-sustainable • Grow your own food • Forage for food • Make eco-friendly skin care • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle • Improve your health and happiness • Save tons of money

Learn more about this limited time sale.

Apr 122013
 

 Dear Better Homes and Gardens

Dear Better Homes and Gardens,

I double dog dare you to show some working kitchens and gardens.  Take a tour of the Midwest during gardening and canning season, and introduce yourselves to some homespun guys and gals with stains on their cloths and dirt under their finger nails.  Sure the celebrities and high priced decorators you usually feature are swell, but most folks I know have little or nothing in common with these people.  Money is tight, and kitchen tools and appliances are picked because they’re needed, not because they are a fashion accessory. Continue reading »

Don't Miss the Green Living Bundle!

7 e-books - 4 Videos - Tons of Bonuses
You'll Learn How To: Be more self-sustainable • Grow your own food • Forage for food • Make eco-friendly skin care • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle • Improve your health and happiness • Save tons of money

Learn more about this limited time sale.

Mar 302013
 

Working with Nature - Shifting Paradigms - Review and Giveaway

Working with Nature – Shifting Paradigms:  The Science and Practice of Organic Horticulture was one of those books that had me jumping up and saying to my husband and boys, “Look at this!”  The author, Heide Hermary, has opened my gardening world to a whole new range of ideas and possibilities.  (Congratulations, Heide, you have indeed shifted my paradigm.)

How is Working with Nature – Shifting Paradigms Organized?

Working with Nature – Shifting Paradigms is divided into eight chapters: Continue reading »

Don't Miss the Green Living Bundle!

7 e-books - 4 Videos - Tons of Bonuses
You'll Learn How To: Be more self-sustainable • Grow your own food • Forage for food • Make eco-friendly skin care • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle • Improve your health and happiness • Save tons of money

Learn more about this limited time sale.