Tag Archives: Modern Homesteaders

What if I had a do-over?

What would I do different if I could or would start over again?Start over doing what exactly?  Some people think I am a prepper, to which I laugh and reply “If I was I would not last much longer than anyone else.”  I’d like to think I have more knowledge than the average suburban dweller, but I am hardly prepared.  Others think I am a farmer, which makes me smile.  Sadly I am not a farmer, but rather a guy who’s hobby is backyard farming. 

Lately I’d like to think of myself as a micro-farmer.  I do a lot of things that I consider are much the same as a real farm, but just on a smaller scale.  The goal is to learn as much as possible, and with a scalable plan, one day make the whole concept larger.  Perhaps that will be the leap into modern homesteading.

How some friends think I live or at least how I must be prepared.

So, what would I do differently?  In a word, go bigger.  In nearly all respects I have expanded, with the only exception being the worm bin.   I suppose I was initially concerned with both time and labor to manage it all, but in the end going bigger with the coop, garden, and greenhouse doesn’t add more to my chores, not significantly anyway.  The only challenge would have been gathering the resources (materials, cash, etc.) and getting the time to build it all.  Remember, chickens are a gateway drug, er animal!

Before I began this journey, I just started with a small garden in a less than ideal location, the north side of wooded edge where Japanese knotweed thrived in a soupy clay soil.  This was my second garden attempt.  The first one was in a great location in terms of sun, but was on the other side of the property, and thus out of sight and out of mind.  Far too often I neglected the chores of watering, weeding , and harvesting and the whole venture just didn’t work.  The present location is straight off the back door about 65 feet away.  I see it every day and so my thought was I would neglect it less, which was true.  But the location was really lousy.

The clay soil was easy to overcome.  With a few bags of good dirt, compost, and time, the soil was the least of the issues.  The shade from the woods was not ideal, but I did manage to grow a few things in three raised beds.  Certainly did not have the bountiful harvests I imagined.  The worst part was my extreme lack of understanding just how resilient Japanese knotweed can be.  Fighting this evil back consumed a lot of my time and resources plus tempted me with all sorts of chemicals in order to remove it.  It took about two years of pulling, choking, and smothering to get rid of it, and yet it still pops up here and there.

 What if I had a do over?Young, relatively tender knotweed shoots, maybe a month or so into growth.

Knotweed isn’t all bad.  In the spring the young shoots can be prepared much like rhubarb, in the summer the chickens and goats like eating the leaves.  In the fall it flowers which provides a great food source for the bees and a great flavor to the honey.  But thinking I could pull it out and plant a garden in the same spot, let’s just say I felt like such a fool.

Japanese Knotweed KerryWixted What if I had a do over?Looks like these guys surrendered to the knotweed, stuff is like Zombies.

Since my 2nd small garden I have expanded to about an area 30 x 70 or so with raised beds (without framing on most).  I have plans to expand further toward better light.  Slowly I am taking over the lawn and replacing it with garden.  I would rather garden then cut the grass any day.  What would I do different?  I would find a better location initially that is naturally more conducive to a garden versus trying to undo what nature has already done.  I would make the garden much larger even if I wasn’t going to use or work it all right away.  I don’t look forward to pulling the metal t-posts.

I started with three chickens, and no coop.  It was an impulse buy, a way to force me to start something I’ve wanted to do for years, keep animals.  I had to scramble to make an enclosure and run which was simply a large dog crate and dog kennel.  I then spent the summer building the 4×8 chicken condo,  it became a race to get it finished before the hens got too big for their dog crate and before winter set it.  I would not recommend this method as the stress of time and resources was less than ideal.  I planned for 8 hens but I now have 14.  Chickens are addictive, like crack addictive.  Build a bigger coop and run.  Even if you never get more chickens, it will just be a one-time build.  I studied countless plans and viewed hundreds of videos on how others do it.  I have since learned chickens, for the most part, love being outside, with the exception being heavy or fresh snow which they cannot understand.  Their indoor space is really only used to sleep, and if you integrate next boxes, to lay eggs.  Chickens are simple so just keep it dry, well ventilated, and big enough for all the hens.  I do a deep litter method which really is the only way to go in my opinion.  I would also recommend a deep litter method for the run or their outside enclosure.  Chickens turn just about any confined space into the lunar surface if you give it enough time.  A stinky lunar surface if it is exposed to moisture.  I’d cover it more for rain and snow protection and make the ground deep with straw.  Chickens love a good scratch.  Why not let them make compost in addition to eggs.  It will do wonders for your poor native soil.  So, I would make a bigger coop, a larger covered run, and add a lot of straw to their run area to give them plenty of scratch and in the end gives me great soil.

innocent Briggs

I also raise goats.  Nigerian Dwarf goats.  They are the right size for the property.  This year I decided to put them to work clearing brush and browse in the woods versus keep them confined and on feed I had to pay and store.  I do this with portable electric netting fencing, which is awesome.  It does not do that great in really heavy wind or snow, but for the summer months it helps provide rotational paddocks and free food.  Next time I would fence off a larger area to make this a bit easier.  I would provide a larger covered area that is still outside.  Goats detest moisture.  They run for cover if it even mists.  Mud and goats are not friends.  If you have mud, consider pigs, not goats.  I would make my feed storage close to the hay feeder.   I would run water to their housing area as for now I use a garden hose in summer and haul 5 gallon buckets in winter.  I would start with does, period.  While I have a couple wethers and a doe, one wether just doesn’t accept he isn’t a buck.  And bucks can be a challenge.  He is rude, loud, sometimes a bully, and an overall stinky prick, but yes at times very sweet and protective of his girlfriend – any goat nearby seems to do.  So I would not get a buck, and since my wether thinks he’s a buck, I would just get does.

Apiary.  I am also a beekeeper.  An apiarist.  Recently I found my bees all died.  I think the early cold snap caught them not quite ready for winter.  I chose a spot that was less than ideal, much like the garden idea.  I chose a spot I could see and was away from neighbors, but it was in part shade along the north side of the wood line.  After a couple years with bees they proved to be good neighbors.  They are less than 60 feet from the house, less than 30 feet from the pool, and they are unnoticeable.  We rejected the best location due to proximity to other humans.  Next year I will be moving the apiary or bee yard to the BEST sunny location.  Bees like to be warm.  And the warmer they are the more productive they can be.  Where they are currently they would not get sun until 10:30 or so and be in part sun to shade the rest of the day.  Bees that wake early and return home late are just more productive.  The winter sun would help them manage in the winter.  Right now they have no good wind break.  Next year they will get full sun and have a great windbreak of tall pines.

What would I do differently?  I would save some resources before I jumped in.  This includes materials and cash.  It would be less stressful and I would have what I need when I needed it.  I would go bigger.  Not huge, but bigger than I initially thought, maybe by at least a third to a half.  Bigger coop, bigger run, bigger goat cover, bigger gargen, bigger greenhouse.  If you have the space, go bigger.  If not, can you go vertical?

ah, when they were innocent and adorable, vs. stinky and bullish…but they still have their moments

I would centralize resources better, mostly structures.  Can I keep chickens on one side, goats on the other, garden on another, and store their stuff on yet another?  Can I plumb it?  Can I run electric to it?  Right now I have a great closed system, but it does need tweaking (and walking around fencing).  My hay feed and straw move from the greenhouse storage to the goat house and hay feeder.  The goats soil the straw and waste a bunch of hay they drop to the ground.  This waste gets mucked out and moved to the chicken yard.  Some I use for litter, but mostly I use it for scratch.  The chickens love to scratch any loose material.  They will pick out any bugs and turn it all over nicely.  Once they have broken it down, the chicken yard gets raked out and moved to the compost pile.  The scraps the worms don’t get (due to supply or current feeding),  go into the compost heap, along with any other yard waste.  In the fall and spring I use this compost to build the garden beds.  The soil is amazing.  I built five beds this way and the harvest proved it works.

So in conclusion, it’s ok to just jump right in, but it will have some consequences.  It’s ok to plan and analyze forever, but the reality will be different, trust me.  Take time to observe.  Observe animals you are interested.  Observe the weather in your yard.  Observe the sun.  Don’t be afraid to slap stuff together, the animals never mind.  Shelter from wind, rain, sun, and snow is all they ask.  Fresh feed and fresh water will eliminate most health issues.  Fresh bedding with some DE goes a long way to mitigate bugs.    It’s ok if you have to redo something.  You are learning, which is great.  Wisdom is making plenty of mistakes and doing your best not to repeat them.

007 1 What if I had a do over?
Farmer Mike

Hi, my name is Farmer Mike from Awosting Farms and I am trying to use what resources we have as a learning experience towards sustainability. Some people talk of being green, being eco-this or sustainable-that, but I am attempting to take a more practical approach in my learning by actually doing what I can, where I am, with the patience and support of my family and friends. So far the journey is rewarding, educational, and entertaining.

 

This article can also be viewed at Modern Homesteaders.  Check out their membership program as well!

 

 

46 Pioneer Skills for the Modern Homesteader

46 Pioneer Skills for the Modern Homesteader / The DayOne Gear BlogThese days, most people define “homesteading” in terms of lifestyle.  This is especially true among preppers who seek self-sufficiency by embracing old-style, pioneer era skills to define their independence from traditional supply chains and government interference.  This does not necessarily mean we live off-grid in some far out location where there are no modern conveniences whatsoever.  Quite the contrary.

21st century homesteading is a mindset that can take place in the city core, an apartment, a planned community or suburbia.  And of course, the homesteading mindset prevails in rural communities, farmlands and other more traditional homestead-type locations.

Becoming a 21st century homesteader means downsizing, minimizing and living a healthier life.  Today I share 46 skills that most modern homesteaders will want to learn as they strive to live a better, yet simpler, life.

46 Pioneer Skills for the Modern 21st Century Homesteader

  1. Vegetable Gardening
  2. Cooking on an Open Fire
  3. Baking
  4. Herb Gardening
  5. Herbal Medicine
  6. First Aid and Emergency Medical Care
  7. Animal Husbandry
  8. Butchering
  9. Fire-starting and Fire Building
  10. Carpentry
  11. Masonry
  12. Plumbing
  13. Sewing
  14. Knitting and Crochet
  15. Weaving and Spinning
  16. Hunting
  17. Fishing
  18. Canning and Preserving
  19. Home Brewing
  20. Gunsmithing
  21. Soap Making
  22. Candle Making
  23. Power Generation (Solar and Wind)
  24. Vehicle Maintenance
  25. Mechanical Repair and Maintenance
  26. Equipment Operator
  27. Home Maintenance
  28. Welding
  29. Blacksmithing
  30. Leatherwork
  31. Well Building
  32. Foraging
  33. Knife Sharpening
  34. Bartering
  35. Milking
  36. Beekeeping
  37. Seed Harvesting
  38. Orchard Management
  39. Waste Management
  40. Pest Control
  41. Grinding Wheat and Other Grains
  42. Interpersonal Skills
  43. Leadership
  44. Patience
  45. Perseverance
  46. Faith

The Final Word

The homesteading mindset embraces using less energy, eating wholesome, locally sourced food, and making life choices relating to a rich and rewarding family life.  It means living comfortably yet within the bounds of doing as much as you can in a sustainable manner.

In addition to having pioneer skills, most 21st century homesteaders are good citizens and community minded.  They are also preppers of the highest order.

Can you think of some other useful pioneer skills for the modern, 21st century homesteader?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

This article can also be viewed at Backdoor Survival.  Check out Gaye’s new Ebook below!

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Pond Management: Fish Stocking

Pond Management: Fish Stocking / The DayOne Gear BlogMost ponds only support warmwater fish species like largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish year round. Trout require cold water temperatures (less than 70° F) and high oxygen levels. Many warmwater pond owners across the Commonwealth are enjoying seasonal trout fishing by stocking catchables in October and harvesting them out before the onset of hot weather. Unless trout can find a cool refuge in a pond during the summertime, they are likely to die.

Except for supplemental stocking of channel catfish, a pond that already contains fish generally does not need to be stocked. Only stock additional largemouth bass or sunfish after evaluating the size and numbers of fish you are catching from the pond and some seining in the pond. The following information is for new ponds without an existing fish population.

Moving fish from your neighbor’s pond or a local lake to your pond is not recommended. Many sunfish species are similar in appearance. You could mistakenly stock sunfish that are not desirable in small ponds. Also, there is a good possibility of transmitting fish diseases from pond to pond. To reduce the risk of stocking undesirable fish species or diseased fish, purchase your fish from a reputable hatchery.

Fish to Stock

Largemouth Bass

This fish is best recognized by its large mouth and dark stripe or blotches along its sides. Young bass feed on zooplankton (microscopic animals) and insects until they are 2 to 3 inches long, when they switch to a fish diet. Adult bass usually eat fish, but they will also eat insects, frogs, and crayfish. In Virginia, bass should be 12 inches long in 2 to 3 years. Bass spawn once each spring when water temperatures reach 60-65° F.

Bluegill

Bluegill (bream) are recognized by their small head and mouth, black spot at the base of the dorsal (back) fin, and plain black gill flap. Bluegills prefer to eat insects, but they sometimes eat small fish. Their rate of growth depends on the amount of food available and the number of sunfish in the pond. In Virginia, bluegills should be 5 inches long in 3 years. Bluegills spawn several times between May and October when the water temperature is higher than 75° F. Since they produce many young, they serve as the primary food for bass in ponds.

Redear Sunfish

The redear (or shellcracker) is shaped like a bluegill, but has a larger mouth, no dorsal fin spot, and a red or orange colored border on its gill flap. Redear usually feed on snails and insects on the bottom of the pond. Because they eat different foods than the bluegill, redear are a good addition to a pond. Redear grow faster than bluegill, usually reaching 6 inches in 3 years. Redear do not spawn as often as bluegill, so they rarely become overpopulated.

Channel Catfish

This species is recognized by its chin whiskers, forked tail, dark spots on its sides, and spines in its pectoral and dorsal fins. Channel catfish will eat almost any food item, but they prefer insects, small fish, and crayfish. Feeding them pelleted fish feed will increase their growth rate. In Virginia ponds, channel catfish should reach 14 inches in 3 years. Channel catfish can spawn in ponds, but they are often limited by lack of proper spawning structure. Milk cans, 5-gallon buckets, hollow logs, and wooden boxes make good spawning structures for catfish. To be effective, these structures must be laid on their side so the catfish can swim in and out of them. Because of egg predation by sunfish and fingerling predation by bass, few of the young survive. In channel catfish-only ponds, do not add spawning structure, because the catfish are likely to overpopulate and become stunted.

Trout

Three species of trout are commonly found in Virginia: brook, rainbow, and brown trout. Of these, only brook and rainbow trout are recommended for stocking into ponds. Brown trout are very predacious, hard to catch, and few commercial hatcheries produce them. Brook trout work well in ponds that are primarily spring-fed. They thrive when water temperatures remain below 70° F. Rainbows are generally the preferred trout to use in a pond because of their ability to handle warmer water temperatures than brook trout, their willingness to take lures or bait, their spectacular fighting ability, and their availability from local rearing facilities. Golden rainbow trout can be purchased for pond purposes. However, they are extremely attractive to birds of prey and poachers.

Generally, trout do not spawn in ponds and must be restocked periodically.

Stocking Options for New Ponds

The typical stocking plan for establishing a largemouth bass, sunfish, and channel catfish pond uses fingerling fish for economy. The sunfish should be stocked in late summer or early fall (following pond construction and filling) so they can grow large enough to spawn the following spring, providing young bluegill for the bass to eat when they are stocked. You may begin harvesting sunfish 1 year after stocking, but largemouth bass harvest must be restricted for 2 years after stocking. If channel catfish catches decline 4 to 5 years after the first stocking, stock 50 (6 to 8 inches in length) catfish per acre every other year.

Another option is to stock adult fish, but this costs more than stocking fingerlings. This option allows sunfish and largemouth bass harvest from the pond during the first fall. Fathead minnows can be added to provide food for the bass before the sunfish spawn. Under this option, channel catfish (6 to 8 inches in length) can be added to ponds stocked during the fall of every other year at 50 per acre.

Because largemouth bass are easily overharvested in ponds less than one acre in size, a good option for small ponds is to stock only channel catfish.

Suggested trout stocking rates are 100 adult (greater than 8 inches) per acre or 200 sub-adult (less than 8 inches) trout per acre (Table 4). Smaller fish are cheaper, easier to transport, and can be fed with commercial trout food until they reach catchable size. If sub-adult trout are stocked into a pond with a healthy population of adult predators (largemouth bass, channel catfish, large trout), these predators may eat the young trout. A trout pond should be stocked every two to three years depending on harvest rates.

Fish to Avoid

Crappie, bullheads, yellow perch, pumpkinseed, and green sunfish should not be stocked because they tend to become overpopulated and stunted. Carp, including Israeli carp, and suckers are not recommended because they stir up the bottom, keeping the pond water muddy. Flathead and blue catfish are not recommended because they can consume the sunfish population in a small pond, resulting in unbalanced fish populations. Threadfin shad and gizzard shad are not recommended because they will become overpopulated.

Fish Suppliers and Stocking Techniques

Many commercial hatcheries produce fish for sale to pond owners. It is best to consult several suppliers to see who has the best prices and delivery schedules (see enclosed insert). In most cases, the chemistry of the water your fish are shipped in is different from the water in your pond. When your fish arrive, adjust them to your pond water before releasing them or they may die! This is done by gradually mixing pond water into the shipping container over the course of at least 30 minutes. Then, lower the container into the water and let the fish freely swim out when they are ready. Do not pour the fish out!

Article originally posted by the Virginia Department of Game and inland Fisheries.

This article can also be viewed at Modern Homesteaders

The Many Uses of Natural Herbs and Oils

Now a days, there is a variety of essential oils, roots, and herbs available to support healthy living. These natural products can be used for treating ailments, flavoring your food, skin care, create perfumes, and making environmentally safe cleaning products.

If you do not have room for a garden, a few herbs planted by a sunny window are enough to get you started. All you will need then are some essential oils and you are ready to embark on a wonderful journey to natural herbal remedies and medicine.

Essential oils versus blended oils.

Rosemary Essential Oil

The first to consider is the essential oils. Only the purest oils will do for therapeutic purposes. Do not be fooled into thinking that you are purchasing pure oil when in fact it is a blend of several oils. Blended oils are acceptable for fragrance such as perfuming a room, but pure oils are necessary for medicinal intent.

A general guide to the purity of oil is its price. Pure oils are normally more expensive. For instance, common oils such as lavender and geranium are less expensive than frankincense and carnation oil. Therefore, it is advisable to become familiar with essential oil prices and then rely on this knowledge when purchasing oils. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. In addition, a price list from a reputable dealer is a valuable resource when buying essentials oils.

Typically, pure oils cannot be applied directly to the skin and must be mixed with a base oil to lessen their strength. Base oils such as almond oil or wheat germ oil are generally used for this purpose. Base oils are generally derived from seeds, nuts, or vegetables.

 

Basic oils and natural remedies

 

Essential Oil of Peppermint

Lavender, without a doubt, is one of the most useful and desirable oils. It will work wonders on cuts, bruises and burns, and promotes sleep and relaxation.

The Tea Tree and Eucalyptus oils are useful for treating a variety of respiratory ailments. These are excellent medication for colds and coughs. These oils can be massaged into the chest or burned in an oil burner to help clear the airways and prevent congestion. Tea Tree oil is a natural antiseptic and can be dabbed on cuts, bites and stings. It is often used to treat spots and pimples and when diluted with water, acts as a mouth gargle (keep in-mind it should never be swallowed).

Geranium oil with its characteristic perfume and pain relieving properties is a basic antiseptic. This herbal remedy should be part of your essential oil and natural herbal remedies garden.

Peppermint oil treats digestive upsets and may be used for breath freshening.

Patchouli and Ylang-ylang oils in an oil burner can perfume a room and add a sense of ambiance.

Orange oil mixed with Cinnamon oil is a pleasant winter scent that brings to mind seasonal holiday smells. Besides their perfume qualities, all four of these oils have other properties. Patchouli treats eczema and dandruff. Ylang-ylang is reputed to relieve stress, palpitations, and high blood pressure. Orange is used in natural remedies for depression and nervous tension. Cinnamon is excellent for warts and viral infections.

Thyme and Rosemary are considered herbs and can be grown in pots and used when needed. Both of these herbs can be used to create oils or flavor food. Thyme and Rosemary are also antiseptics and can be used in skin care preparations.

Lemon oil and fresh lemons will purify water. When lemon is mixed with honey, it is an effective herbal remedies for colds and flu. Lemon and white vinegar are highly effective cleaning agents that can be used for domestic cleaning tasks without damaging the environment. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant or mix it with water to clean windows and wooden floors.

If you want to keep the insects in the summer, Citronella oil or Garlic will do. Add a capsule of garlic to your dog’s food and your dog will not be bothered by fleas. You could also soak a soft dog collar in Citronella to keep fleas and mosquitoes at bay.

Garlic helps to promote a healthy immune system. When the weather turns cold and the viruses begin to circulate, adding garlic to your diet will leave you less susceptible. In fact, most of the oils and herbs listed above are effective in helping to prevent many common winter illnesses.

If you are looking for natural herbal remedies or nature friendly products, the oils and herbal remedies recommended above should help you get started.

A variety of Essential Oils

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Saving Seeds Part 2: Techniques, storage, and just get started already

Ok, so you planted your seeds, tended to your plants carefully, and with luck had a bountiful harvest. So how can you perpetuate that success? Well, you will need some discipline at the very least. Why? Because a couple those beautiful big ripe tomatoes might provide even better ones next year. Saving seeds is also about being selective. You’ll want to save seeds from the best characteristics you prefer. Be choosy, it’s ok. So go around, identify a few plants that you want to save from, and just let them continue their natural course until you are ready.

 

This could be several weeks beyond typical harvest after the plant bolts or the fruit looks a bit different. That’s ok. Remember you selected for their look at harvest time, not seed saving time, the genetics are still there.
Last time in Part 1, we left off with dry seeds and wet seeds. Recall that dry seeds are seed exposed to the elements of wind, water, and sun, which can be dropped in place, blown away, or carried away by the rains. For example, like grains of wheat, barley, and corn, etc. Wet seeds are in the fruit or vegetable itself, for example tomato, squash, or cucumber. This makes two major distinctions in the technique you will use to collect seeds. However there can be a few more.

Dry Seeds: Some dry seeds can be collected simply using a fan, a screen, and a large plastic tote. Set the tote on the ground, the fan on a table. Shake or rub the dry part of the plant containing the seed in front of the fan (adjust speed according to the size of seed and chaff). The premise is the lighter parts will blow further than the tote and with luck, the seeds will fall into the tote. You might have to repeat this a few times or use screen mesh, but you get the idea. Fine seeds like lettuce might not need a fan, just a screen.

Other dry seeds, such as those in a pod, could be done by hand. Think about beans and peas. Select as desired, and let them age and dry out a bit, and then simply remove the large chaff bits by hand. Jalapeno peppers could also be cut and left to dry out and you could acquire the seeds by pulling the pepper apart and gathering the seeds with a fork.

Wet Seeds: The typical types are the cucs, toms, squash, eggplants, etc. Think about any fruit or veggie (not going to get technical here) that has a wet, fleshy outside with seeds inside. These seeds are naturally packaged with a protective coating in order to survive inside the plant and until the next season. Once again, let the desired veggie go beyond harvest. The veg might look a lot different, but just remember you selected for its quality at harvest, not seed saving appearance. I’d say collect the veggies before they get rotten, or turn brown, and before temps get too cool. You will want a few days of weather between 60-75f, so don’t wait too long.

Scoop out the seeds and put them in container with water (water amount and container size depends on how many seeds you’re collecting). You need to help nature remove that protective coating by a process called fermentation. Fermentation also allows the good microbes to eliminate any bad ones. Let nature takes its course for a few days and the good, nutrient and genetically dense seeds will sink to the bottom of your container, and the less desirable ones will float. Drain off the nasty bits and fluids; being careful not to dump out the good seeds which should be on the bottom and nearly last to come out. Give them a rinse then spread the seeds on a screen and let them dry out someplace with good ventilation to relieve the excess moisture.
There are many tutorials on the web that show the wet and dry processes to saving seeds. I encourage you to view several to get the idea. Remember you don’t want to save the F1 hybrids unless you really like unpredictable and potentially unproductive crops.

Lastly, storing your seeds after all your hard work is important. One year I completely overlooked the fact that my freezer Ziploc bags were no match for hungry mice who ate every seed I had. Seeds that have been cleaned, dried, and identified, need a home until the next season. Paper envelops with their names in sharpie work well as individual packaging. Then a glass jar with lid will do, or an ammo box (just because I have an extra one) works great to keep the critters out. Start collecting those silica gel packs (from shoe boxes, packing material, etc., the packets that say ‘Silica Gel – Do Not Eat’). Ask your friends to save them as well. They will help manage the moisture in the seed storage container. Keep your seed container in a cool dry place until the following year and you are all set.

007 1 Saving Seeds Part 2:  Techniques, storage, and just get started already.
Farmer Mike

Hi, my name is Farmer Mike from Awosting Farms and I am trying to use what resources we have as a learning experience towards sustainability. Some people talk of being green, being eco-this or sustainable-that, but I am attempting to take a more practical approach in my learning by actually doing what I can, where I am, with the patience and support of my family and friends. So far the journey is rewarding, educational, and entertaining.

This article can also be viewed here at Modern Homesteaders.  Like them on Facebook while you are there!