Companion Planting – The Three Sisters

Whether you’ve got a sprawling rural ranch or a tiny urban yard, growing your own organic food is definitely worth the work you put in. But, if you can grow your own organic food, and get a higher, healthier yield per foot, that makes the whole process even better. As long as you’ve got 4 […]

beef jerky for dogs

How to Make Beef Jerky for Dogs

Beef jerky for dogs. What dog wouldn’t do just about anything for something so deliciously meaty and chewy? Our dog doesn’t get nasty processed dog food – if we don’t eat processed food that’s had fillers, chemicals, and who-knows-what-else added to it, why should he? My regular readers know I’m a huge proponent of real […]

how to grow spinach

Growing Spinach: The Ultimate Guide to Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Spinach

Growing spinach is comparatively easy, as long as you choose the right varieties and give your plants the very best start. Spinach is delicious – providing you don’t let it get too bitter. It’s versatile, too – young leaves are a tasty addition to salad and the more mature leaves make a great leafy green. […]

best chicken breeds for laying eggs

10 Best Chicken Breeds for Eggs – up to 300 Per Year, Per Bird!

Fresh eggs from your own hens are amazing – you can’t beat them. We get through a lot of eggs in our household, from baking, tasty breakfasts, and lunches, to in the dog’s dinner or as a yummy healthy dog treat (I make our dog’s food from scratch). I also hate waste, so I give away […]

Foraging 101: Foraging Gorse

Gorse, also known as furze pas, whin, and prickly broom, has edible flowers that are traditionally used to make a light and refreshing cordial and wine. It’s native to much of Europe and northwest Africa, and has been naturalized across North America. A member of the pea family, this grow-anywhere, scruffy plant blooms all year […]

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How to Care For Your Garden Tools

Caring for your garden tools is an essential part of maintaining your growing space, and getting the most from it. Without proper care, your garden tools quickly degrade, resulting in poor performance, less efficiency and productivity, and eventually forcing you to replace them prematurely. I’m not just talking about your tiller or your hedge cutter–although […]

How Much Does it Cost to Keep Chickens?

If you think you’re going to keep chickens for eggs and save loads of money, you’re wrong. There are ongoing costs associated with keeping a flock of hens, whether you’re keeping them for meat or eggs. The benefits of keeping chickens are many and varied, but saving money isn’t one of them. The benefits of […]

17 Easy Ways to Make Your Food Last Longer

Throwing away food is something most of us are guilty of. It’s wasteful, expensive, and frustrating. According to a report in the Guardian, Americans throw away an incredible 50% of fresh produce. This equates to one third of all food. That’s 60 million tons of food and costs approximately $160 billion every year. The Environmental […]

How to Make Peanut Butter

It’s surprisingly easy to make peanut butter. A good peanut butter recipe contains only a few basic ingredients and takes no more than five minutes to make. The only danger is that is tastes so good, you’ll want to spread it on everything! If you look at the ingredients of commercial peanut butter, it often […]

How to Stop Destructive Behavior in Dogs

  Do you go to bed and come down in the morning to chaos? Do you leave the house only to come back to a doggy-induced nightmare? Cushions ripped to pieces? Favorite shoes decimated? Cupboards chewed? Sofa with gaping holes? Chewed table and chair legs? Stripped wallpaper? It’s a common problem for those with dogs […]

Teaching Your Dog To Leave

This is a basic command that’s absolutely invaluable, yet many people never manage to master it. It’s actually really easy to train your dog to “leave” anything – including food. Because of the recent disturbing spates of poisoning and glass-filled baiting incidents across the country, I thought I’d postpone my planned post and get you […]

Foraging 101: How to Identify and Harvest Hawthorn

It’s pretty easy to identify and harvest hawthorn – I’d go so far as to say it’s one of the easiest plants to forage because it’s so distinctive and grows in abundance across much of the world. Like all wild plants, hawthorn needs to be harvested with care and respect, and there are a number […]

How to Make Hawthorn Tincture With or Without Alcohol

It’s surprisingly easy to make hawthorn tincture, with or without alcohol. Hawthorn is an amazingly powerful healing herb, chock-full of natural compounds. Hawthorn berries, flowers, leaves, and bark are all used to treat a variety of ailments, particularly those associated with the heart, digestion, mental health, skin complains, and more. The oldest known healing herb, […]

hawthorn berries and leaves

Discover All the Health Benefits of Hawthorn Berries, Flowers, Leaves, and Bark

Hawthorn berries, also known as haws, mayblossom, thornapple, and mayflower, are readily available and have an array of potential health benefits. The berries, flowers, leaves, and bark are all used in traditional preparations. All varieties of the hawthorn tree are related to apples and roses. Many varieties, including the Common Hawthorn, are native to Europe […]

50 Simple Ways to Go Green

Most of us would like to be greener, but sometimes it seems like such a huge effort to transform our homes and lifestyles into the ultimate temples of green, zero waste, carbon neutral, uber healthiness. Because it seems like such a huge feat, many people simply don’t bother making any changes. So we’ve compiled a […]

DIY Natural Deodorant That Really Works

Easy DIY Natural Deodorant Recipe That Really Works!

It’s hard to find a DIY natural deodorant that really works. I tried loads of recipes and products, but nothing really seemed to suit me or my family, so I eventually came up with my own natural deodorant recipe, and it works! We all smell lovely and fresh, and we aren’t putting nasty chemicals and […]

How to Grow Strawberries From Scraps

Strawberries are a delicious summer treat. Naturally sweet and bursting with good stuff. They are versatile and, as long as you choose the right varieties, they are easy to grow, and you’ll have beautiful fruit from early summer to early fall. But you really don’t need to spend a small fortune on expensive hybrid plants […]

how to get rid of ants naturally

11 Ways to Get Rid of Ants Naturally That Really Work!

Red ants, brown ants, black ants — there are over a thousand species of ants in North America alone, and most of them are a serious pain the rear. They eat our crops, bite us, and farm aphid colonies to further wreak havoc on our fruit and vegetables. And if they get in your house, […]

warming winter hotpot

Warming Winter Hotpot Recipe

  Delicious, succulent, and warming, this winter hotpot is simple, versatile, and a sure-fire family favorite. It freezes well and is a great choice for a slow cooker recipe, as well as for the oven. Perfect for a winter’s evening, hotpot it’s filled with meat, beans, veg, and tangy, sweet, spicy flavor. Although you can […]

Seed Saving Basics: How to Save Seeds for Beginners

Saving your own sounds super easy. And it is to a degree – but there are some things you need to know to get it right. Otherwise there’s a strong possibility that your saved seeds won’t germinate, won’t produce fruit, will deliver a poor or mutated crop, or otherwise won’t be stable. Learning how to […]

green web hosting review

GreenGeeks Web Hosting Review — How Does This Green Web Hosting Company Stack Up Against Mainstream Rivals?

GreenGeeks web hosting rivals the market leaders and is quickly taking the web hosting market by storm, surpassing many of its older, more established competitors. Yes, there are a few niggles, just like with any other hosting company, and this GreenGeeks review will cover them. But overall, there’s very little to be discontented with when […]

gluten-free banana bread recipe

Gluten-Free Banana Bread Recipe. Yummy Goodness!

Oh, banana bread. It’s so difficult to find decent gluten-free recipes that taste good. Particularly for gluten free cake and bread recipes. More often than not, the recipes you find taste weird, don’t come out at all like the pictures demonstrate, or just plain don’t work. But, as part of my healthy, tasty, goodness groove, I’ve […]

easy lamb tagine recipe

Easy, Hearty One-Pot Lamb Tagine Recipe

I love lamb. It’s a beautiful meat. And slow-cooked lamb that just falls apart is undeniably moreish. But it’s hard to find a really good, really simple lamb recipe that’s easy enough for a weeknight dish, so I’m sharing my outrageously tasty take on a slow cooker lamb tagine recipe. You can just prep it […]

real self sufficiency, facts about slugs, control slugs naturally, natural ways to control slugs, slugs

10 Fascinating Facts About Slugs

Slugs. An absolute menace in the vegetable garden. The swines will devour just about anything. None of our fruit or vegetable plants are safe. Controlling them naturally is a continual battle and you can find out how by checking out “How to Control Slugs Naturally“. Slugs are, however, pretty interesting little critters. Frustrating and intensely […]

salomon 4d ii gtx review

Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX Review

After our recent walking boot buying guide, we got quite a few questions about our recommendations for the best walking boots. So, we decided to write a review of the Salomon Quest 4d 2 GTX midweight backpacking boots. While they aren’t our one and only choice, they are a damn fine pair of all-rounders, good […]

Easy, Tasty, Healthy Orange Chicken Recipe

Our family adores orange chicken, but here’s the rub: one of us is gluten-intolerant, another of us can’t eat much fat, and none of us like eating poorly anyway – we dislike the low, drained, “bleugh” feeling that sets in for a day or so after eating junk. But we love flavorsome food. Nobody wants […]

salomon quest 4d 2 gtx review

Real Self-Sufficiency’s Complete Walking Boot Buying Guide

Now originally, I had planned on writing some scrumptious recipes and some seasonal organic growing advice this week, but then something happened: Mother-in-law, a sprightly 70-year-old, broke her leg whilst out with the dog when she lost her footing in the woods. This was largely due to inappropriate footwear. Yes, she was wearing walking shoes, […]

real self sufficiency, control slugs naturally, natural ways to control slugs, slugs

How to Control Slugs Naturally

Slugs are an absolute nightmare in the vegetable garden. They’re bad enough in your ornamental garden, but among your fruit and vegetable plants, these little mollusks are the gardener’s nemeses. The rasp away at your plants and can devour entire crops in short order. Young, tender seedlings are often the victims of the insatiable appetite of an […]

fall garden tasks: Bring in the harvest

Fall Gardening Tasks to Make Life Easier Next Spring

The autumn garden is bitter-sweet. You’re drowning in gluts of beautiful fruit and veg like apples, pears, and squashes, which is, of course, wonderful. And, if you preserve them properly – whether you’re a master canner or you’re the queen of dehydrating, your bountiful harvest will see you right through the winter and into spring – […]

apple recipe roundup

Fall/Winter Dessert Recipes: Happlebacks

With an abundance of apples coming off the trees, you’ve probably got all the apple sauce you can handle and likely think you never want to see another apple pie ever again. But apples are a fabulous seasonal fruit and, if you store them properly, they’ll carry you right through the winter, too. Combine them […]

ants farming aphids

Ants Farming Aphids & What to do About It

Ants farm aphids. They care for them, offer protection, and literally “farm” them – much like humans farm their livestock. Picture ants wearing the frayed straw hat, dirty blue dungarees or coveralls, and the good ol’ fashioned wellies. This prime example of mutualism is fascinating, annoying, and often brutal. And it can be exceptionally troublesome […]

control aphids naturally

How to Control Aphids Naturally

They’re a menace. A total nightmare in ornamental and edible gardens alike. The bane of many gardener’s lives, these tiny pests wreak havoc, and can weaken or destroy huge numbers of crops. But don’t despair and reach for the expensive, harmful, and pretty useless chemical pesticides just yet – we’ve got quite a few different […]

12 Best Herbs and Flowers for Companion Planting With Vegetables

Two of the main challenges we face when we grow our own food organically are controlling pests and maximizing our crop yield. Knowing the best companion planting combinations helps you solve both problems without resorting to nasty chemical solutions. You can of course further optimize your crop yield by using any of our homemade organic […]

excalibur 3926TB dehydrator review

Dehydrator Review: Excalibur 3926TB

If you’ve been toying with the idea of dehydrating, or you’ve been doing your dehydrator research, or, in fact, if you already dehydrate food stuffs, you’ve most likely heard of Excalibur, and probably heard that it’s the bee’s knees of the home dehydrator brands. Excalibur is known for its quality and durability, but its models […]

Find Out Why You Should Use a Home Food Dehydrator

Recently we’ve repeatedly heard “Why should I bother with a dehydrator?”, so we thought we’d lay out the best reasons to use one. A home food dehydrator is a great investment for your kitchen, but they’re not for everyone. Read on to decide whether a dehydrator would work for you. They’re relatively simple to use, […]

8 Foods to Regrow From Kitchen Scraps

Every day we throw away or compost piles of fruit and vegetable peelings. But did you know you’re actually wasting an awesome source of free food? No, we’re not suggesting you suck on potato peelings! Regrowing food from your kitchen scraps – and knowing which foods you can buy once and grow forever – is […]

wall of strawberries

6 Genius Ways to Grow Strawberries

Strawberries are delicious when they’re fresh off the plant and yes, you can grow them directly in the ground if you have enough space. But planting strawberries at ground level is like ringing the dinner bell for every pest in a 5-mile radius. Aside from destruction from rats, mice, squirrels, slugs, birds, and just about […]

garlic

How to Use Garlic as a Natural Antibiotic, Antiseptic, Antifungal, and Antibacterial Home Remedy

Garlic – tasty but stinky. Super nice added to bolognaise. But is that really all it’s good for? Not a chance. In actual fact, fresh garlic contains allicin, which is a potent antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial. It’s been in use for at least 4,000 years. And modern medicine is finally paying attention. Because allicin […]

7 Natural Ways to Keep Spiders Out of Your Home

Spiders aren’t exactly man’s best friend and no-one really wants them in their home, especially when they create copious amounts of cobwebs. Many people simply cannot get close enough to capture them and remove them outside, so the best thing is to prevent them coming into the home in the first place. While there are […]

wild asparagus

Easy Asparagus Recipes for Any Occasion

Now that you know how to forage asparagus, you’ll have a plentiful supply in your kitchen when it’s in season (and when it’s not if you preserve it correctly). We thought we should share some of our favorite asparagus recipes. So, other than steaming it or wrapping it in bacon and having it as an […]

Anker PowerPort portable solar charger

Anker PowerPort 21W 2-Port USB Solar Charger Review

We found the Anker PowerPort portable solar charger on sale at a great price, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to review it. Now, portable solar chargers are great if you’re camping or pursuing other outdoor activities. If you’re smart, however, you can easily increase their value. Even when you’re at home, you can […]

green money

Foraging For Beginners: Why Bother Foraging?

Well, foraging has a huge range of benefits, if it’s done correctly, and it’s something humans have been doing since we first clambered out of the ooze and into the sunlight. Let’s look at some of these benefits:

Physical Activity

foraging exercise

If you’re going to forage, whether for salad greens, seeds, nuts, or anything else, you’ve got to get out of the house and move around. In the digital age, we humans don’t do anywhere near as much physical activity as previous generations, because everything’s done for us. Our predecessors had to work to get anything done, from making their own bread to going to the green grocers, the butchers, the chemist, the haberdashery, and a variety of other vendors to get their weekly supplies. We hop online and get it all delivered, or else we just drive up the road to the nearest supermarket, where everything’s all crammed together in one place. So many of us lead very sedentary lives, with some getting no real physical activity, and the extent of their contact with nature and the great outdoors is the trip from the front door to the car. We all know we should get out more and do more, but it can be a challenge. Foraging allows you to focus on something other than actual exercise. You’re busy looking for food, after all, so you bend, stretch, walk, and generally move around. Which means you’re exercising without consciously doing so, improving your general health, flexibility, and range of movement. You’ll find yourself enjoying the great outdoors, getting back to nature, and away from the television, tablet, laptop, desktop, game console, and the rest of our electromagnetic radiation-generating devices. This helps to recharge your batteries, lift your mood, and improve your mental and physical well-being.
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Natural Dog Treat Recipes: Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Balls

We all want what’s best for our dogs, and it’s nice to be able to give them a treat – whether we’re actively training them or just giving them a little reward for being fabulous. But the vast majority of treats you buy from the store are seriously full of nasties. Filled with oil, “meat and animal derivatives” (which essentially means all the garbage that’s no good for anything else), chemicals, and synthetic flavorings. Yuk. Do you really want to put that inside your dog??
pumpkin biscuits




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foraged fruit

Foraging For Beginners: 6 Basic Things You Need to Know

Foraging sounds like a great idea, right? Get back to nature, save loads of money, get some exercise, get loads of free food, and so on. And it is – but there’s a bunch of things you need to know. So, before you go haring off to harvest anything and everything, there’s a variety of basics you need to be aware of. Please, please take the time to understand the basic essentials of foraging.

foraged fruit

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wild asparagus

Foraging For Beginners: Wild Asparagus

Asparagus officinalis, or common asparagus, is the regular variety that is cultivated by people across the globe, but it’s also the most common type that you’ll find in the wild. It escapes from kitchen gardens and allotments and goes “feral”, reverting back to its natural state quickly, where it produces large numbers of long, slender […]

Cotton’s Dirty Secret: The Shocking Reasons to Avoid Dirty Cotton and Choose Organic

cotton

Cotton – harmless and cheap – right? Sadly not. In fact, regular, everyday cotton, more accurately known as dirty cotton, is exceptionally dangerous. Yes, it’s cheap in terms of your bank balance, but it’s devastatingly expensive in terms of your health, the environment, wildlife, and the people who live and work in and around dirty cotton production. You hear “Organic cotton is just a silly fad. There’s no difference.” But there really, really is. Let’s look at some of the more shocking reasons you should avoid dirty cotton at all costs and why you should switch to the safer alternatives.
Read more about Cotton’s Dirty Secret: The Shocking Reasons to Avoid Dirty Cotton and Choose Organic

natural diy laundry detergent

Easy, Natural DIY Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent is a household essential. But do we really need heavily scented synthetic detergents filled with nasty chemicals? No, we don’t. These detergents cost a small fortune and really aren’t great for your health. So, instead, why not make your own natural DIY laundry detergent? It smells fabulous, contains no synthetic chemicals, is really […]

winter garden

10 Things To Do In The Garden In Fall and Winter

We all know that gardening is more enjoyable in the spring and summer. But, for those who want to maximize their crop yield, there’s plenty to do in the garden during fall and winter, too. Whether you’re growing fruit and vegetables or flowers, getting outside in the colder months is good for your health and […]

reduce energy consumption

10 Simple Ways to Reduce Energy Consumption

We’re all guilty of wasting energy from time to time. Our busy lives mean that sometimes we just don’t stop and think about the energy we’re consuming. Yet reducing the amount of energy you use isn’t just about saving the planet – it’s about saving you money, too. So, if it helps you remember to […]

14 Simple Sustainable Living Ideas

Sustainable Living. It’s a term we hear a lot – but what does that really mean? While this term means different things to different people, in essence, it’s about minimizing our impact on the planet and living in harmony with Mother Earth instead of mindlessly plundering her resources. While ideally, huge numbers of us would […]

gluten-free bread recipe

Dairy and Gluten-Free Bread Recipe: Hearty Seven Grain Loaf

Tasty bread is hard to come by when you’re following a gluten and dairy free diet. However, with this delectable recipe, you can eat your fill of fresh, tasty, handmade bread that’s packed with grains and goodness. Chock-full of scrumptious goodness, this dairy and gluten-free bread recipe is definitely a winner – and very popular […]

peppery winter stew

Hearty, Healthy One Pots: Peppery Winter Stew Recipe

When the nights draw in and the weather turns colder, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a thick, warming winter stew or a fabulously flavorful seasonal soup, particularly if you include some veggies that you’ve grown yourself. To make these dishes even more satisfying, they’re comparatively healthy, too, without compromising on taste. And, to cap […]

DIY Carpet Cleaner

Store-bought carpet cleaner is filled with potentially harmful chemicals, which you want to avoid at all costs, particularly if you have children or animals. It’s expensive, too and many products also cause stains or discoloration. Yet stale carpets have a distinctively unpleasant odor, and, let’s face it, our carpets get seriously abused. The pets and […]