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Homesteading

Chicken play: Boredom busters for your flock

July 20, 2018

Chickens are intelligent and curious, and, like most other animals, your hens need an interactive environment that provides opportunities for stimulation. Zoos and other captive animal care facilities use the term “environmental enrichment” for the many methods they use to provide mental and physical activities and challenges for animals in their care. We call it […]

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The best breeds for your backyard: Picking chickens

July 20, 2018

From the easy-to-appreciate, fluffy, blond Buff Orpington, to the slightly bizarre, stilt-legged Malay and buzzard-like Naked Neck, there’s something to appreciate about all chicken breeds. Robert and Hannah Litt’s favorites for backyard chicken keeping are known for their utility, appearance, temperament, novelty, or a combination of those traits.

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The New Rules of the Roost

July 20, 2018

Robert and Hannah Litt founded the Urban Farm Store in Portland, Oregon. They’ve been featured on Planet Green’s Renovation Nation, National Public Radio, and Oregon Public Broadcasting as respected chicken experts, and here, they describe their inspiration for the principles outlined in The New Rules of the Roost.

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Permaculture for any space

March 31, 2017

To determine the best placement for plantings and structures, permaculture offers you a way to look at the garden in terms of zones, and there are sustainable options for gardens of every size.

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Are you wasting energy?

March 31, 2017

For existing buildings, an energy audit is a great place to start. You can do your own simple energy audit or have a professional consultant do a more thorough, technical job. Some cities, states, and utilities offer incentives for doing an energy audit on your home. Ultimately, an energy audit will tell you where inefficiencies […]

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Harvesting rainwater in the Southwest garden

March 25, 2016

Growing the Southwest Garden author Judith Phillips on the importance and practicality of harvesting rainwater in dry climates.

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Words to live by: Quotes that inspire practical permaculture

April 30, 2015

Just as permaculture is inspired by natural systems, co-authors Jessi Bloom and Dave Boehnlein hope to inspire you to more sustainable gardening with their book Practical Permaculture. The following quotes are some of the words that inspired them to such practices and to write about it.

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How to create a permaculture homestead

April 28, 2015

An inside look at how (and why) Practical Permaculture co-author Jessi Bloom turned her property into a permaculture homestead.

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The 12 principles of permaculture

February 21, 2013

One way permaculture differs from other methods of gardening is that it is not just a set of practical techniques; it is a way of thinking and of adapting to a particular ecology. Whether you are starting a new garden, or introducing permaculture practices to an existing garden, these principles will help you to understand […]

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Dispelling the Myth: Chickens and Gardens Don’t Work Together

May 22, 2012

When I first got chickens many years ago I had two initial goals: one was to let my flock roam free range and live as close as possible to how they would naturally. I imagined a sunny pastoral farm scene of them clucking around and chasing bugs. My second goal was to build my soil […]

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