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How To Choose The Right Ax

October 29, 2014


Photo credit Andy Carter.

I received an e-mail recently from a relative interested in finding a good ax. He was less than pleased with the selection at Tractor Supply and other local chain hardware stores. Rather than buying a piece of mass-produced subpar Chinese junk, he wanted something good. Problem: I’m no ax expert. I’ve never done much wood […]

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6 Unexpected Uses For Oak Trees

October 26, 2014


Photo credit

When I first bought my homestead there were a couple dozen oak trees in the yard. Unfortunately, they were water oaks. Those are the kind of oaks that spontaneously fall over and crush things. Since I needed sunshine in order to plant my food forest and create my garden beds – and since I was […]

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Easy Gardening Solutions for Lazy Gardeners

October 24, 2014



Sometimes I wonder: does a person’s garden follow his personality? Is the love of weeds, praise of borderline chaos and embracing of wild animals simply an outgrowth of a disordered mind? On the flip side: are perfect beds, straight lines and precisely timed plantings the result of latent OCD? (I once created a quiz on gardening personality types […]

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Book Review: Edible Landscaping With a Permaculture Twist

October 23, 2014



It’s no secret that I dig (sometimes literally) edible landscaping. I’ve written about its value before, particularly in a crash situation in which obviously edible plants are liable to be stolen. I gave a talk a few weeks ago in The Villages. For those of you not familiar with that particular slice of Orwellian central […]

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Grow Chaya for Years of Free Greens

October 18, 2014



Chances are you’ve never heard of chaya. Heck, I hadn’t heard about it until just a few years ago – and I’m a plant geek. Now that I have it, however, I’d never go without it again. This is a must-grow vegetable for anyone in USDA Zone 8 and south. Further north it’s probably still […]

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Gardening Tasks for Fall

October 3, 2014



The air is crisp and the leaves are hanging tenuously on the branches. Even the weeds are starting to fade as the chill of fall sends its first tentative tendrils through the air to caress away the faded heat of summer. In some places – my condolences if I describe your home state – the weather is already freezing. […]

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