Wen 3920 16″ Scroll Saw Review

Wen 3920 16 Scroll Saw





Wen 3920 16″ Scroll Saw Review


For more woodworking reviews check out The Porter Cable AC160 Benchtop Joiner.
wen-3920-16-scroll-saw

“It Isn’t Hard To Be Thankful At Thanksgiving When You Don’t Have To Do The Dishes”





"It Isn't Hard To Be Thankful At Thanksgiving When You Don't Have To Do The Dishes"

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Pies are being baked, casseroles prepared, store shelves looted and emptied, checkout lanes bulging with the weight of humanity and metal rolling carts. Traffic growing thicker. Kids skipping those half days of school with substitute teachers filling class time with old movies. Folks begin loading up the SUV. Mom is coordinating with her parents over who is bringing what and when they'll arrive. Dad is checking the NFL schedule for the early game. The kids are packing ear buds and battery chargers. "Who double checked the cat's food and water?" "Did anyone remember to put the dog in the garage?" Grandma is setting out the dinnerware and fine glasses while reminding Grandpa to do a good job running the vacuum. The table is covered in assorted candy dishes, veggie platters, nut trays over an elegant table cloth.
Streets and highways across the country laden with families trading questions of what did they forget, when will they get there and when will they leave, what is the name of Aunt Lil's new husband again, the apprehension, the anxiety...the joy? Thanksgiving can quickly spiral into a vortex of stress. 

Continue reading

US Wood Burning Stove Model 2000 Review

US WoodBurning Stove Model 2000 Review



US Wood Burning Stove Model 2000 Review

Also here on YouTube!

If you are interesting in seasoning firewood take a look here.


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DIY Coconut Oil Hand Soap

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We are quickly approaching that time of year again where it seems as though everywhere we go, there are people around us struggling with the seasonal cold and flu germs. We can’t stop the germs themselves, but we can stop the attack it enforces on our wallets. Have you ever stopped to think about how much money we spend during this time of year? Sure, the holiday spending is expected. What about our wellness protection? The tissues, hand sanitizers, over-the-counter prescriptions, etc. I get sick just thinking about all of that!

Something I have learned in recent years is the importance and appreciation for homemade items. Homemade gifts are always cherished, but it’s also the homemade remedies that we really benefit from as a family as well. The everyday items we take for granted are all things that I have found myself making more and more of as time goes on. During this time of year, every penny counts. If I can save my family money and put more into our holiday budget, that’s a win in my book. That’s why I have perfected my own recipe of hand soap in order to keep one step ahead of whatever I might contract from the grocery cart handle or my 100 different methods of over-protection simply failing me yet again. Biohazard suits worn by the general public are still frowned upon, so I’m told.

What I like most about this recipe is the coconut oil (aside from the fact that I just enjoy concocting whatever smell I can whip up from the arrangement of various essential oils). Coconut oil is a great natural alternative for using as a substitute, whether it be for cooking, cleaning, you name it. Coconut oil does great things for our skin, especially during times when we’re exposed to the harsher elements of the season. I find that my hands feel hydrated and smooth for longer than they would with any store-bought brand I’ve tried in years past.

This Kroger store-brand coconut oil is the best one that I’ve tried so far. For those that do not care for coconut or would prefer that the smell be a bit more muted, this is the perfect choice (in my opinion, of course). I have tried countless other brands and this has been the least expensive and least offensive smelling above all the rest. This large 30 ounce jar costs around $4 at my local Kroger store.

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Aura Cacia Oils

I also prefer the Aura Cacia pure essential oils for my DIY projects as well. They have always been extremely fragrant and have lasted for quite some time, even after multiple uses. The Sweet Orange is our family-favorite. We do just about everything from adding a few drops to our garbage disposal and occasionally to our mopping solution to give our hardwoods a pleasant smell throughout the house. These two scents are rather common and also some of the cheaper ones, costing between $5 or $6 a bottle (I know that sounds like a bit for a bottle containing .5 ounces. Remember, you only need a couple drops per project so your essential oil should last for quite some time before you need to restock).

 

To make my natural hand soap, you will need only the few following ingredients:

  • ½ tsp. fractionated coconut oil AKA “liquid coconut oil”
  • 2 Tbsp. liquid castile soap of your choice
  • 12 oz. purified water
  • 10-15 drops of any essential oils of your choice
  • Recycled soap dispenser (the ones found here are ideal for this project)

Start by pouring the necessary amount of oil and liquid castile soap into your preferred soap dispenser. Next, add your desired essential oils and then fill the remaining space of the dispenser with your water. You will want to make sure that you leave just enough open space at the top so that you leave room for the foaming pump. Once the pump is screwed on tightly, shake gently to ensure that each element of the recipe is mixed well.

This recipe is great because you can make as little or as much as you want and ultimately save quite a bit of money, especially during this holiday season. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or share your favorite recipe with us as well!


Tapering A Table Leg Using A Joiner

Tapering A Table Leg Using A Joiner
You can also catch American-Outdoors.net on youtube
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Hitachi GX160 Gas Powered Compressor





Hitachi GX160 Gas Powered Compressor
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The Art Of Hot Water Bath Canning




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Homesteading is a lifestyle consisting of the trials and tribulations of self-sufficiency[/dropshadowbox]. From an outsider’s point of view, one might see the instant benefits of this choice as a sense of newfound freedom, privacy, independence, and simplicity. However, those considering this lifestyle also know the deeper layers to homesteading, beginning with arguably the most important factor- food preservation. Those of us living in regions affected by the harsh elements of our ever-changing seasons know just how important it is to stay prepared.
Nowadays, we can hardly run through a department store without our eye catching some sort of artwork or novelty home décor piece that displays the simplicity of a mason jar. I find myself becoming the object of someone’s judgement as I stand in line to pay for my 12-pack, feeling as though a different 12-pack of some sort of liquid redemption might catch less attention than my hollow glass jars. The first and only question I ever receive as soon as I grab them from the grocery store shelf, “What sort of craft are you making?” I already feel guilty and I haven’t even responded yet.  Continue reading

Husky 22 Ton Log Splitter Review





You can also follow us on our youtube channel American-Outdoors.net
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Husky 22 Ton Log Splitter Review

In case you are looking for something to burn that firewood in check out our review of the US Model 2000 Wood Stove.


Getting Your Duckweeds In Order

If you have a pond with little aeration, or still water, lots of runoff, a nearby septic system that is failing, maybe near timber and/or decaying leaves and vegetation, even a buildup of sediment, then its a strong candidate for duckweed. Hi and welcome to American Outdoors.net.  IMG_7448

Duckweed, which I’ve also heard called Bayroot is a very small plant with 1 or more tiny leaves and a hair like root that floats right at the surface of the water. It is usually introduced into ponds from the feet or feathers of migrating ducks, geese or even small animals. My experience with duckweed is it is like a zombie; it’s difficult to kill completely, it will survive vast fluctuations in temperature and ph levels and flourishes in water sources rich in nitrogen and phosphorus.
Once it is in your pond, it will reproduce very quickly and can in short order completely cover it. This creates a smothering effect, blocking the plants below the surface from creating oxygen needed by fish. It’s no fun to swim in either.

The one positive I’m aware of are that it is a high protein food source. I’ve read that some folks like to eat it and consider it a super food. Good for them.IMG_7352

There are two methods to treating your pond against duckweed after the fact; naturally and chemically. I prefer the natural methods, however their effectiveness is limited more so before the fact. This pond is a small ground water pond, not quite a half acre in diameter and about a dozen feet deep in the middle. Duckweed first appeared here about two years ago. In less than two months, the entire water surface was covered with a green carpet of the stuff that was in some areas 2” thick. If this plant appears, and it usually shows up in the spring, you need to begin measures almost immediately, because if left unchecked, it can take years to eradicate and just because it may thin out or disappear in the fall doesn’t mean its gone. Duckweed sinks into the sediment of the pond and lies in wait over winter. Once the days grow long again and the sun returns, it’ll pop back up to the surface and get back to work. Grass carp are used as one means to reduce duckweed and we have stocked our pond with them in the past, but it is an over rated cure. They can only eat so much; my chickens eat duckweed too but it’s just a side dish to them. Aeration systems are all over the internet and they do make a difference. A properly set up unit can maintain a constant source of oxygen and agitate the surface to prevent standing or still water which is a breeding source waiting to happen. Electric, solar or even the windmill operated systems work. Expect to pay a thousand dollars and up for a setup designed for your size and depth pond.
The free method, which is may be effective but requires time, effort and later some muscle relaxants is to skim or rake the pond. It will not eliminate the problem, but considering how fast they spread over just a 24 hour period, it can keep the duckweed at a manageable level. 1 plant x 1 plant =2 plants. Easy to get rid of.
1 million x 1 million = 2 million. Not so easy.
Make a point to rake the plants up onto and past the bank. Leaving them along the water line won’t kill them; they’ll wash back with the next rain and start right where they left off.
So, knowing that natural or “organic” methods are limited in their effectiveness, there is plan “B”. Chemicals.
The first is called Diquat, or “Reward” as seen on store shelves. Diquat
This is a contact herbicide that is usually comes in concentrated form, mixed with water and used in tank sprayers. It requires a surfactant, or an additive that adheres to the plant long enough for the diquat to take effect. That usually also comes concentrated and should be available locally. You’ll know it is working as the duckweed will turn brown in short order; what remains green will continue to crank out more duckweeds. The stuff isn’t too expensive, about $75 for a gallon and another $12-$15 for the surfactant, depending on the amount of water you need to treat. A drawback, in my opinion, is that it only lasts about a week, so it needs to be used often during the summer months.
Fluridone. or “Sonar” or also called “Avast”, needs much less effort. Typically an initial treatment followed up around two weeks later and the success rates are pretty high. It will remain active in the water for about a month and you don’t need to buy the surfactant. It is slower acting and results won’t appear as quickly as with the Diquat. It is also much more expensive, as a gallon can run $350 or more. Floridone
Supposedly after a few days you can swim in it, let your dog drink out of it and fill your swimming pool up with it. I don’t know about any of that.

This pond was about 30% covered earlier this year and was treated with Diquat for about a month, with a lot of skimming and raking, using a pond rake, my wife and several minimum wage teenage offspring. You can see the difference now, and I expect it will continue to remain this way with only about an hour of work every week. By staying on top of the duckweed before it gets out of control, I hope to avoid spending any money on chemicals the rest of this year and next.

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If you made it thru all of this, then I’m not as boring as I thought, and should you have any comments or questions about this video, hit us up at American-Outdoors.net. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you soon.

The Demographics of the American Food Gardener

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Here are some handy little statistics provided by the National Gardening Association about the makeup of the average food gardener in the United States.
54% are female.
68% are 45 years old plus.
79% either attended or graduated from college.
They average about 5 hours each week tending their gardens.
The average food garden is approximately 600 square feet.
As of 2009, 37% of American households had some sort of food garden, with 21% of those being first timers.
23% were located out west, 26% were from the midwest, 29% were southern and 22% were from the northeast.
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The most popular items are in order:

Tomatoes 86%
Cucumbers 47%
Sweet Peppers 46%
Beans 39%
Carrots 36% carrots
Summer Squash 32%
Onions 32%
Hot Peppers 31%
Lettuce 28%
Peas 24%
Sweet Corn 23%
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We tend to grow about everything on the list in addition to some beets, rhubarb, broccoli, and a few other odds and ends. It has been estimated that a 1/4 acre of land can feed a family of 4 year round. We do some canning, however it is usually limited to jams. Everything else is either vacuum packed or prepared and frozen. We do dry our hot peppers. There are some studies that speak to the best methods for retaining the vitamins and/or longevity to your preservation methods I would dispute the NGA's finding on the 5 hour week, although I'd say most folks don't calculate the time they spend doing what they enjoy. I'd also add that we don't necessarily save money growing our own food;the time and labor my wife exerts picking beans is surely worth more than the 3 cans for 99 cents at the local supermarket. We do however, know that they are pure 100% organic.
The statistics above don't paint the picture of grandpa and grandma in the bibs and house dress working the soil, rather it is just as likely the suburban soccer mom who wants a healthy alternative to the processed and packed, chemically preserved and shipped foods that end up in our cupboards.https://american-outdoors.net/2015/03/03/demographics-american-food-gardener/

“Can You Go to Walmart For Me?”

It’s my fault. I know better. I knew better… I went anyway.

I parked my truck out in the “back 40” trying to make  a conscious effort to avoid shopping carts, nincompoops without the ability to stop opening their door before it comes into contact with the vehicle next to them and gain some small nugget of physical exertion walking to the door. I had barely taken the key out of the ignition before a battered white compact pulls up into the next spot adjacent to me, using the yellow parking stripe on the passenger side as some sort of guide to straddle.  It’s a typical Sunday afternoon and I notice the regulars are all here; the driver in the large SUV blocking the lane waiting for the grandmother to finish emptying her cart into her trunk, all while three cars sit impatiently behind them. This is all so they can park 8 spots away instead of 12. Of course they can’t park in front of the store as the firelanes are already taken up by the early birds. I look both ways before crossing the pedestrian “right of way” grid since it has been interpreted by many to mean that someone walking or pushing a cart across this area only has the right of way when there are no vehicles visible.  I see their slogan “Save money live better” and I’m thinking “Stay home and live longer.”  Continue reading

Treating Rain Barrels for Mosquitoes

Treating Rain Barrels for Mosquitoes

We use the blue or white 55 gallon commonly found plastic barrels similar to the ones pictured. They are mounted beneath our chicken coupe, each fed from a downspout. If you have your barrels outside during periods of dry weather, still standing water is an inviting little breeding ground for mosquitoes. 

You can always drain the barrels if you don’t plan on using them, however if you are determined to only use rainwater for your gardening needs you really don’t want to chance dumping the water and then running short later on. I found a simply and quick solution was to just cut screens and install over the open tops. Less than $10 bought a roll of screen door material from the local hardware store. I cut them slightly oversize and secured them with twine on some and bungee cords on the others. The screens not only keep the bloodsuckers from setting up shop, they greatly filter the runoff and keep the gunk out of the barrel.  

Mosquito “dunks” are also a handy and inexpensive solution. They can usually be found in packets that will last you the summer, depending on how many barrels you want to treat. You simply drop one in and voila. They will not harm your plants. Another method that won’t require you getting into your car and driving anywhere is to add a tablespoon of liquid dish soap to the water. The soap will stay on the top of the water and create a barrier that will kill any mosquitoes before they can lay their eggs. FYI, do not use the store bought off the shelf type soaps unless it is 100% organic or environmentally friendly. Products like Dawn are harmful to plants and vegetation. Another item found in most cupboards is vegetable oil, also highly effective for killing the larvae. Depending on the size of the barrel, usually just enough to cover the surface of the water, maybe 1/3 cup, will suffocate the little buggers.

 

 

Sweet Corn Facts and Recipes

Sweet Corn……an all time southern summer favorite! It is naturally low in fat and sodium (so don’t pile on the butter and salt!), cholesterol free, and has a nice supply of vitamin C. We normally grow sweet white corn and sweet bi-colored corn. Both are equally tasty and the bi-colored can add some pizzazz to the table. Fresh corn will have firm, green husks with a pale brown tassel at the top. Sweet corn can be eaten both on or off the cob. The best thing to remember is NOT TO OVERCOOK it. If on the cob, shuck and clean the corn, bring your water to a boil, drop corn in, and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the corn from the water and serve quickly - don’t let it stand in the water. 

Storage And Handling Refrigerate corn immediately after bringing it home. This will delay the process of the sugars turning into starch and you’ll have a much fresher tasting product. If you store it with the shucks on, you’ll keep the kernels from being mashed, bumped, and drying out. Shuck and wash just before cooking. 

Freezing Corn: This can be done with the shucks on or off. Fresh corn is definitely a local taste you will want to enjoy all year long……so take the time and put it up! Corn on the cob: Water blanch small ears (1 1/4 inches or less in diameter) 3 to 7 minutes, medium ears (1-1/2 inches in diameter or more) 5 to 9 minutes. Cool in an ice water bath for approximately the same amount of time as blanching. Cooling quickly and completely is probably the most important part of blanching! Drain and package in gallon-size zip closure freezer bags. Push excess air from the bags, seal and freeze. Leave space between each bag until frozen. 

Freezing Corn off the Cob (Kernels) Water blanch corn on the cob for 4 minutes. Cool promptly and completely in ice water for 4 minutes. Drain and cut corn from the cob. Cut kernels from the cob about two-thirds the depth of the kernels. Package in zip closure freezer bags. 

Freezing Corn In The Husks If you have the freezer room, you can freeze with the husks on in a brown bag and microwave for about 3 to 5 minutes when you are ready to enjoy! 

HINT: If you cook your frozen corn in the microwave, allow several minutes to cool before you remove the husk. Steam builds up inside the husk and if you remove this protective layer too quickly, you may get BURNED! BE CAREFUL!


Vegetable Gardening for Beginners

Raised Beds               

Starting a vegetable garden? Dream big, but start small and expand as you gain experience. Raised beds make efficient use of space and keep maintenance to a minimum.

GROWING your own vegetables is both fun and rewarding. All you really need to get started is some decent soil and a few plants. But to be a really successful vegetable gardener — and to do it organically — you'll need to understand what it takes to keep your plants healthy and vigorous. Here are the basics. Kitchen Garden Planner

"Feed the soil" is like a mantra for organic gardeners, and with good reason. In conventional chemical agriculture, crop plants are indeed "fed" directly using synthetic fertilizers.

When taken to extremes, this kind of chemical force-feeding can gradually impoverish the soil. And turn it from a rich entity teeming with microorganisms insects and other life forms, into an inert growing medium that exists mainly to anchor the plants' roots, and that provides little or no nutrition in its own right.

Although various fertilizers and mineral nutrients (agricultural lime, rock phosphate, greensand, etc.) should be added periodically to the organic garden, by far the most useful substance for building and maintaining a healthy, well-balanced soil is organic matter.You can add organic matter to your soil many different ways, such as compost, shredded leaves, animal manures or cover crops.

Organic matter improves the fertility, the structure and the tilth of all kinds of soils. In particular, organic matter provides a continuous source of nitrogen and other nutrients that plants need to grow. It also provides a rich food source for soil microbes. As organisms in the soil carry out the processes of decay and decomposition, they make these nutrients available to plants. For more on this subject, read Building Healthy Soil.

Make Efficient Use of Space

The location of your garden (the amount of sunlight it receives, proximity to a source of water, and protection from frost and wind) is important. Yet just as crucial for growing vegetables is making the most of your garden space.

Lots of people dream of having a huge vegetable garden, a sprawling site that will be big enough to grow everything they want, including space-hungry crops, such as corn, dried beans, pumpkins and winter squash, melons, cucumbers and watermelons. If you have the room and, even more importantly, the time and energy needed to grow a huge garden well, go for it. But vegetable gardens that make efficient use of growing space are much easier to care for, whether you're talking about a few containers on the patio or a 50-by-100-foot plot in the backyard. Raised beds are a good choice for beginners because they make the garden more manageable.

 

Get Rid of Your Rows

Shop for Raised Beds

Make your own raised bed with our Raised Bed Corners, or choose a complete kit. Elevated raised beds allow for no-bend gardening.

The first way to maximize space in the garden is to convert from traditional row planting to 3- or 4-foot-wide raised beds. Single rows of crops, while they might be efficient on farms that use large machines for planting, cultivating, and harvesting, are often not the best way to go in the backyard vegetable garden. In a home-sized garden, the fewer rows you have, the fewer paths between rows you will need, and the more square footage you will have available for growing crops.

If you are already producing the amount of food you want in your existing row garden, then by switching to raised beds or open beds you will actually be able to downsize the garden. By freeing up this existing garden space, you can plant green-manure crops on the part of the garden that is not currently raising vegetables and/or rotate growing areas more easily from year to year. Or you might find that you now have room for planting new crops — rhubarb, asparagus,berries, or flowers for cutting — in the newly available space.

Other good reasons to convert from rows to an intensive garden system:

Less effort. When vegetables are planted intensively they shade and cool the ground below and require less watering, less weeding, less mulching — in other words, less drudgery for the gardener.

Less soil compaction. The more access you have between rows or beds, the more you and others will be compacting the soil by walking in them. By increasing the width of the growing beds and reducing the number of paths, you will have more growing area that you won't be walking on, and this untrammeled soil will be fluffier and better for plants' roots.

Grow Up, Not Out

Shop for Vegetable Supports

Get the right support for every vegetable. Tomato cages, trellises and more.

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Next to intensive planting, trellising represents the most efficient way to use space in the garden. People who have tiny gardens will want to grow as many crops as possible on vertical supports, and gardeners who have a lot of space will still need to lend physical support to some of their vegetables, such as climbing varieties of peas and pole beans. Other vegetables that are commonly trellised include vining crops, such as cucumbers and tomatoes.

The fence surrounding your garden may well do double-duty as a trellis, so long as the crops grown on the fence can be rotated in different years. Other kinds of vegetable supports are generally constructed from either wood or metal. However, no matter which design or materials you use, be sure to have your trellis up and in place well before the plants require its support — preferably even before you plant the crop. With some vegetables, such as tomatoes or melons, you may also have to tie the plants gently to the support, or carefully weave them through the trellis as they grow.

Keep Crops Moving

Crop rotation within the vegetable garden means planting the same crop in the same place only once every three years. This policy ensures that the same garden vegetables will not deplete the same nutrients year after year. It can also help foil any insect pests or disease pathogens that might be lurking in the soil after the crop is harvested.

To use a three-year crop rotation system, make a plan of the garden on paper during each growing season, showing the location of all crops. If, like most people, you grow a lot of different vegetables, these garden plans are invaluable, because it can be difficult to remember exactly what you were growing where even last season, much less two years ago. Saving garden plans for the past two or three years means that you don't have to rely on memory alone.

A Continuous Harvest

Planting crops in succession is yet another way to maximize growing area in the garden. All too often, though, gardeners will prepare their seedbeds and plant or transplant all their crops on only one or two days in the spring, usually after the last frost date for their location.

While there is nothing wrong with planting a garden this way, wouldn't it be easier to plant a few seeds or transplants at a time, throughout the course of the whole growing season, rather than facing the herculean task of "getting in the garden" all at one time?

After all, a job almost always becomes easier the more you divide it up. Plan to plant something new in the garden almost every week of the season, from the first cold-hardy greens and peas in late winter or early spring, to heat-loving transplants such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant once the weather becomes warm and settled.

Then start all over again, sowing frost-hardy crops from midsummer through mid-fall, depending on your climate. Keep cleaning out beds as you harvest crops to make room for new vegetables that will take their place. You can even interplant crops that grow quickly (radishes) alongside other vegetables that require a long season (carrots or parsnips), sowing their seeds together. This makes thinning out the bed easier later on, since you will have already harvested the quick-growing crop and given the long-season vegetables that remain some much-needed elbow room.

Another benefit of succession planting, of course, is that your harvest season lasts longer for every crop. This means that, instead of getting buried in snap beans or summer squash as your plants mature all at once, you can stagger plantings to ensure a steady, but more manageable supply of fresh vegetables.

Print Your Plans

If you use the Kitchen Garden Planner, you can print your plans, make notes and save them for future seasons.

Keep Good Records

Finally, we end up where we started — with the realization that, although vegetable gardening can be rewarding even for beginners, there is an art to doing it well. There is also a mountain of good information and advice from other gardeners available to you. Yet one of the most important ways of improving your garden from year to year is to pay close attention to how plants grow, and note your successes and failures in a garden notebook or journal.

Just as drawing a garden plan each year helps you remember where things were growing, taking notes can help you avoid making the same mistakes again, or ensure that your good results can be reproduced in future years. For instance, write down all the names of different vegetable varieties, and compare them from year to year, so you will know which ones have done well in your garden.

Many people keep a book in their car to record when they change their oil and perform other routine maintenance. In the same way, get in the habit of jotting it down whenever you apply organic matter or fertilizer to the garden, or the dates on which you plant or begin to harvest a crop.

Over time this kind of careful observation and record-keeping will probably teach you more about growing vegetables than any single book or authority. That’s because the notes you make will be based on your own personal experience and observations, and will reflect what works best for you in the unique conditions of your own garden. As in so many other pursuits, so it is in the art of vegetable gardening: practice does make perfect.

For another informative blog related to this article please visit http://www.loyalgardener.com/square-foot-gardening-the-ultimate-how-to-guide/


5 Best Dairy Goat Breeds for the Small Farm

5 Best Dairy Goat Breeds for the Small Farm

Nigerian Dwarf    nigerian dwarf

The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a miniature breed, but also one that produces a lot of milk for it’s size. It is one of the top choices for those homesteading on a small piece of land. They can give from 1-2 quarts a day- which is pretty impressive considering they are only around 18 inches in height! Their milk is also one of the highest in butterfat which ranges anywhere from 6-10%. That means their milk is very creamy and makes delicious cheese, ice cream and yogurt. Because of their size they make great goats for kids as well as those in a more urban setting.

Nubian     nubian-goats

Nubians are a medium to large sized goat with adorable cute floppy ears. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns and have the ability to produce up to 2 gallons a day, with the average being closer to 1 gallon a day. They have one of the highest butterfat contents of the standard dairy breeds at 4-5%. If you need a lot of milk and plan on making cheeses or soaps, Nubians can’t be beat. They can be a bit loud at times, I call ours crybabies, so they might not be right for those who live in subdivisions and make sure you neighbors won’t mind before bringing them home. Nubians are my personal favorites!

Alpine     alpine goat

Alpines originated in France and are a steady, dependable goat. They are medium to large in size and are very consistent milk producers with one of the longest lactation cycles. They average over 1 gallon of milk per day with a 3.5% butterfat content. Alpines come in almost any color imaginable and are adaptable to almost any climate. The average size of an Alpine doe is 135 lbs.

LaMancha     LaManchaGoat4-12_600

LaManchas are a medium sized goat that are most easily recognized by their lack of ears! They have a friendly, easy going temperament and are very hardy animals. LaManchas are good producers with an average of 1-2 gallons per day, with a butterfat content around 4%. Personally, I like floppy ears, but I have heard many LaMancha owners say that if you give them a chance you’ll fall in love and be hooked on them forever!

Saanen     saanen goat

Saanens are the largest of the dairy breeds and are often considered the Holstein of the dairy goats. Saanens can produce a lot of milk- up to 3 gallons per day- with an average production closer to 1.5 gallons per day. While they do produce a lot of milk the butterfat content is low compared to some of the other breeds. At 2-3% butterfat the Saanen’s milk will not seem as creamy and will not produce as rich of cheese or yogurt. These girls are big, so you will need to make sure you have enough of a pasture for them to stretch their legs in and a fence strong enough to withstand a larger weight.  Saanens are usually all white in color and very mild mannered. This is the breed we started with- on a 1 acre lot in a subdivision!

Each breed is a little bit different. If you are very short on space or only need enough milk for fresh drinking, Nigerians might be the best way to go. If you need a large quantity of milk to make yogurt, buttermilk, cheese, soap or just to feed a large family you will probably want to go with one of the standard breeds. I would also suggest looking for quality animals as opposed to the first craigslist ad you see. You will be much happier if you purchase a quality goat with a strong milk lines.

This post has been linked to Tuesdays with a Twist, From the Farm, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, The Homestead Barn Hop, Homemade Monday, Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Modern Homesteaders Hop, Creative Home and Garden Hop,

© 2013 – 2014, Sarah Toney. All rights reserved.

via 5 Best Dairy Goat Breeds for the Small Farm - The Free Range Life.