Cover Crops For The Home Garden

cover crop  home garden cloverWhat Are Cover Crops?

Cover crops are plants that are grown not for the food they produce, but for other beneficial work they do.  Also know as  “living mulches” or “green manure”, a cover crop is an essential part of sustainable agriculture.  Cover crops help bridge the gap between removing matter from the field in the form of the harvest, and returning or conserving  matter in the field by returning biomass, nutrients, and offering protection for existing topsoils. Continue reading “Cover Crops For The Home Garden” »

(VIDEO) How To Compost at Suburban Stone Age

How To Compost

Learning how to compost is an essential skill for an organic, sustainable garden.  In this video post, I discuss how to compost by using materials from our garden at Suburban Stone Age.  I’ll take you step by step through the process, beginning with preparation of the materials, to mixing a batch, and on to the finished product.

Continue reading “(VIDEO) How To Compost at Suburban Stone Age” »

Edible Landscaping Under Trees: A Cautionary Tale

overwatered tree damage edible landscaping suburban stone ageI’m learning a painful lesson right now about edible landscaping. This picture is of a patch of dead leaves that has been steadily growing on my Chinese pistache. Underneath this tree are several tomato vines, pumpkins, basil, lettuce, and melons.

In my eagerness to try out some edibles in the former lawn under the tree, I recently transplanted some vegetable seedlings. Why not try to maximize the space with food, right?  Trouble is, Continue reading “Edible Landscaping Under Trees: A Cautionary Tale” »

Edible Landscaping: Backyard Orchard Care

When considering edible landscaping options, a backyard orchard may make a lot of sense.  However, it is important to consider that while fruit trees can be lovely and highly productive, they are not without maintenance.  If you are considering fruit trees as a part of your edible landscaping designs, here are some backyard orchard tips on caring for your fruit trees.

backyard orchard suburban stone age

Winter: Pruning

Keep your fruit trees pruned for branch strength, tree health, ease of access, and size.  Although some say the time to prune is “when the shears are sharp”, I prefer to prune for structure, strength, and access in the winter, and for size in the summer.  Your style and technique may vary with your climate and personal preference, but nevertheless, pruning is a must for backyard orchard care.  For tips on pruning fruit trees in detail, go here. Continue reading “Edible Landscaping: Backyard Orchard Care” »

Go Solar! Our Experience Putting Solar Panels On Our Home, Part 1

Our Solar Story

solar power for home

The purpose of this article is to share our personal experience installing solar panels on our home.  Our hope is by sharing the details as our project progresses we can encourage  folks to ask questions and learn more about solar energy.

Clean, Renewable Energy : Why Did We Go Solar?

For us, the decision to go solar by putting solar panels on our home was about making a commitment to live more sustainably. We wanted to utilize as much clean, renewable energy as possible Continue reading “Go Solar! Our Experience Putting Solar Panels On Our Home, Part 1” »

Straw Bale Garden: Your Own Personal Bale Out – Progress Report

How Are the Straw Bale Gardens Doing?

We started on July 3, 2012,  looking like this.  After conditioning the bale, we planted eight squash starters into our bale.  How have things been going?  So far, so good.

 

This is how the bale looks as of today.  The plants look happy and are growing well, but have not produced the same amount of food as the control plants in the garden. Continue reading “Straw Bale Garden: Your Own Personal Bale Out – Progress Report” »

Preserving and Dehydrating Food, Stone Age Style Part 2

 What Are We Up To?

In our last episode, we set out to rediscover how to dehydrate food using the oldest Stone Age method – piercing it with a stick and leaving it in the sun and wind to dry. To test, we used sliced tomatoes and apples and whole peaches, all skewered on willow branches and set out on a rack. It was put up and out of reach of marauding creatures (like Roxy, the ever-hungry and curious family dog).   Today we check in to see how things went, what we learned, and what we are going to change for the next round. Continue reading “Preserving and Dehydrating Food, Stone Age Style Part 2” »