Homesteading experts share their wisdom about seeking self-reliance in rural, suburban and even urban settings. No matter where you live or where you are in your own journey for more sustainable living, these experts’ real-world advice on simple living will give you the inspiration to jump-start your own quest for change.
By Vicki Matter
PHOTO: TERRY WILD
Although their adjustment to living off the grid wasn’t always easy, this Ontario family is successfully generating its own power and growing its own food.
By Cam Mather
Living off the grid is just one way of becoming independent, but even if you are connected, you can still make yourself more self-reliant. The final step on our path to independence was creating a vegetable garden. We have sandy soil, but discovered that the area around the old barn foundation had good topsoil. I started by turning over pieces of sod to create the garden, but eventually got smart and purchased rotten hay that I spread on the areas where I wanted to expand the garden. The hay killed the grass, and as it rotted, it added organic matter to the soil. After six to nine months with the hay on the soil, I could rototill the hay in and be ready to plant. [Keep reading….]
YES! Donating seeds to Biodiverseed is a pretty awesome thing to do!
-NO GMO SEEDS: BiodiverSeed is a network devoted to the exchange of primarily self-harvested, organic, and heirloom seeds, with the goal of preserving maximum genetic diversity
-Give the full common name, including variety, and latin name if you know it
-Include a picture if possible
-Indicate the quantity you have available, and how many you are willing to trade
-Indicate what you would like to swap for (if anything)
-Give potential swappers a means to contact you to exchange shipping information: either by leaving your askbox/fanmail open, or leaving a public email in the listing (not recommended)
-It is the responsibility of both parties in the swap to research the invasive potential of the plants being traded, and the local laws about shipping organic material. DO NOT SHIP INVASIVE SPECIES.
-Seeds should be cleaned and packaged properly, and be treated in order to prevent the transfer of pathogens (options include giving them a brief hot water bath, or using chilli, tea tree, clove, or garlic oil)
-Before trading, research how to properly disinfect, check for viability, and package the variety you plan on sending
-Use all relevant tags to make your listing easy to find (you must use the “seedswap” tag)
-By accepting the terms of submission, you indicate you have read and complied with these instructions
-Enjoy! Sign up for the newsletter (here, or top right corner) to get a weekly update on new listings.
-The suggested donation for submitting a seed listing is $0.25, but the service is 100% free to anyone who wants to use it