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rockingthehomestead

The Soil Will Save Us: RTH March bookclub selection

Book Club, Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Gardening, Random Fun Stuff, Sustainable/Resilient Living By April 4, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

The-Soil-Will-Save-Us-400

This post is late because it’s spring and this is a homestead. I’m pretty busy.

So, what did you guys think of The Soil Will Save Us? I was interested in this book because I am interested in both using tools to combat climate change, and sustainable meat production. This book had a lot of information in it, and it made me want to look into the scientists interviewed in it, and their work in general. There were quite a few scientists and prominent environmentalists interviewed, as well as a bunch of farmers. I wish there had been more practical information about soil carbon sequestration and how to do it yourself in your own environment, but over all I felt like I learned a lot and that is awesome.

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Indoor seed starting: How to prioritize when space and time are limited

Gardening By March 28, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , 7 Comments

Indoor Seed Starting: How to prioritize when space and time is limited

This weekend I finally got around to starting some seeds. I’m not super late for Colorado. Our last frost date isn’t until mid May, but I like to live dangerously and get some things in the ground a bit earlier if I can. Our growing season is so short, I like to do whatever I can to extend it. This means utilizing things like row covers, wall of waters, and early seed starting.

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Organic context: what do I mean when I use the word “organic”

Uncategorized By March 21, 2016 No Comments

Clearing up confusion over my use of the word "organic"

I used to get really annoyed when I heard or read people saying things like “The word organic is really vague. What does it even mean?”

The farmers who have organic certifications probably don’t feel there’s anything vague about it. I would think. And that’s true. Organic, in the context of food that you buy at the grocery store, has a very specific meaning, and there are very detailed, very strict standards that the person producing that food has to meet in order to be given a specific organic label, such as USDA Organic. But now that I’m writing about gardening and homesteading frequently, I can understand where some of the frustration comes from.

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An ode to clay soil

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Gardening By March 16, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

An ode to clay soil

Everyone in Colorado has clay soil. Okay, fine, maybe not the whole state, but most of the front range, particularly the Denver Metro area, is clay. I’ve lived all over this town and never have I dealt with anything else. It’s clay, clay, clay everywhere you go.

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Official Polyculture Lawn Plans

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Gardening By March 14, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments
Apparently this polyculture lawn is from a park in Missoula Montana. It looks pretty awesome, doesn't it? Hoping for a similar effect in mine! Image obtained here.

Apparently this polyculture lawn is from a park in Missoula Montana. It looks pretty awesome, doesn’t it? Hoping for a similar effect in mine! Image obtained here.

I discussed the concept of polyculture lawns earlier, but here are my actual plans for my lawn. Some of this stuff might not work out in the long run, but there’s only one real way to find out, so I’m giving it a try. To recap, my goals are increased carbon sequestration and improvement of biodiversity through cultivating a multi species lawn.

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Making meat more sustainable

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Home cooking By March 9, 2016 Tags: , , , , No Comments

Conventional meat production is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, producing approximately 15% of our greenhouse gasses. There are ways to raise livestock that is less carbon intensive, in fact, those methods may even sequester some carbon, but they take much more space than conventional meat production does. We can’t even produce enough meat for everyone on the planet to eat as much as Americans do using our current methods, we certainly are not going to be able to produce enough meat for everyone using the carbon sequestering methods. If we want to fight climate change, a reduction in the amount of meat Americans typically eat is probably going to be necessary.

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Why you should get an irrigation audit

Gardening By March 7, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Recently I went to several hardware stores near my home looking for something I thought was pretty simple, a set of irrigation audit cups. I looked in the irrigation sections and they were no where to be found. I looked in the home and garden sections and they were nowhere to be found. Finally, at one big box hardware store that shall go un-named (cough, cough, unless I out them in a meme), I decided to ask. Everyone I asked seemed to have no idea what I was even talking about. I felt like Ron Swanson.

Why you should get an irrigation audit

This was totally me.

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Polyculture Lawns – Increasing biodiversity, and maybe sequestering more carbon

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Gardening By March 2, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 8 Comments

Polyculture Lawns: An experiment in turning my turf into a more biodiverse, carbon sequestering environment

I’ve been learning all about lawn care in my Landscape Management class this semester. Since starting this program, I’ve found a deeper interest in lawn than I ever thought possible, which still isn’t that high. Turf is kind of boring, and most lawns are nothing but turf. You don’t realize just how boring turf is until you are staring at it’s auricles with an eyeloop trying to figure out if this is Kentucky bluegrass or fine fescue. But lawns and turf aren’t always the same thing, and lawn care has sparked my interest. Mostly, I am interested in how we can use lawn to create more biodiversity in the landscape and capture carbon. The more I thought about this, the more the idea of a polyculture lawn began to take shape in my mind.

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Edible Landscaping: The RTH February Bookclub Selection

Book Club, Gardening, Home cooking By February 29, 2016 Tags: , , , , No Comments
The February selection for our Rocking the Homestead bookclub!

The February selection for our Rocking the Homestead bookclub!

What did you all think about Edible Landscapes? Personally, I think this book is going to be an invaluable addition to my collection. The index of plants was spectacular, didn’t you think? And the accompanying photos were breathtaking. I got a ton of ideas about stuff to plant after reading this!

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Beyond Bikes and Busses, Part 2: Human Powered Transit

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Community, Social Justice By February 22, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

This is part four in a series I’m running about car culture. If you would like, feel free to read part one, part twopart three, and part four, which make the case for why we should move away from car culture, what barriers prevent us from doing so, and what alternatives we have to it. Subscribe and you’ll be notified by email when the rest of the posts in the series are published, as well as other cool posts about urban homesteading, environmentalism, and feminism!

What was originally meant to be one post on the various alternatives to a car centered culture has gotten so long that I decided to break it up into multiple posts. There are, it turns out, a lot of alternatives to car culture we could be utilizing, and that means there is a lot to discuss. That’s the benefit of discussing this in a series rather than trying to squeeze it all into one post. We left off talking about the different options for mass transit that we could use to replace some of our car usage in society, their benefits and their applications. Today, we’re going to discuss personally owned, human powered transit.

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