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Composting with Chickens – A Permaculture Solution

Gardeners know the importance of compost. We compost grass clippings, leaves, kitchen waste – basically any organic matter we can get our hands on. The problem with traditional composting is that you need to turn the compost pile frequently to get a good finished product. That’s not a problem if you have help. Sometimes there […]

Are Rabbits the Next Hop on Our Journey to Self-Sufficiency?

When we decided to get chickens, I knew that might only be the beginning. I’ve always heard that chickens are called gateway animals. Now I know what they mean when they say that. After enjoying the benefits of eating fresh eggs every day, our family started talking about what might be next. I have already […]

No More Fluoride in the Water!

I grew up thinking it was normal to have fluoride added to the water. We saw it in commercials for toothpaste, so it had to be true. It was only in the last few years that information has become readily available questioning this practice. In the past, we were limited to what the media wanted […]

How I Met Tom Cruise

Yeah, I know. This has nothing to do with self-sufficiency. It couldn’t be farther from it. But sometimes things happen that make for interesting stories, and I thought I would share this one.

The company where I work has extra space available and we’ve developed a relationship with the film industry. We rent space […]

Don’t Expect Politicians to Fix the Economy

Let’s face it, the United States economy is in trouble. At least most people who read a blog like this and are interested in self-sufficiency think it is. Unfortunately too many Americans are oblivious to the facts and think things are much better than they really are. That’s partly because they get their information from […]

Water Catchment and Storage with IBC Totes

Back in 2009 when I first started my garden, I discovered that vegetables can fade and die pretty quickly without water in our hot summer climate. Early on I would water the garden with city water without thinking twice about where it comes from or what is in it. As I learned about permaculture, I […]

How I Applied Permaculture Principles to Workshop Storage

We all know the feeling. It seems like we never have enough storage. We put in some shelves and before you know it they somehow magically fill up with things. We’re right back where we started looking for more storage. When I expanded my workshop, I wanted as much storage as I could get. So […]

Surprise – It’s a Boy!

Back in August of 2013, we decided to get chickens and ordered 15 chicks through the mail. You can read about it in my earlier post here The Chick Is in the Mail. The package we ordered was 15 laying hens called the “rainbow layers.” The idea was that they would be all kinds of […]

A Lightweight Movable Chicken Run

In my previous post about the chicken run, I described how I built the permanent chicken run. I wanted to make sure the chickens always had a safe place to roam if we were seeing an increase in the threat from predators. What I learned quickly was that chickens will eliminate all living plant matter […]

An Inexpensive Easy-to-Build Solar Oven

It’s not hard to imagine using the sun’s rays to heat water or generate electricity with solar panels. But did you know you can cook with the sun? A solar oven is surprisingly easy and inexpensive to build. It is especially good at slow cooking things like what you would make in a crock pot. […]