Homesteading, Gardening, and Off-Grid Living

Author: Zac Friedman

  • Can You Put Shrimp Shells in the Compost Bin? 

    Can You Put Shrimp Shells in the Compost Bin? 

    Can you compost shrimp shells? Yes. Shrimp shells can be composted in a regular backyard compost bin or pile. They are great for compost. In composting, they are considered a ‘green’ material. They are rich in nitrogen and other valuable nutrients. Shrimp shells also contain materials that are beneficial for the microorganisms that decompose your…

  • Why Does Mulch Smell so Bad (And How to Fix It)

    Why Does Mulch Smell so Bad (And How to Fix It)

    Healthy mulch has a natural earthy smell. Bad mulch can smell like rotten eggs, vinegar, or manure. Mulch can develop a bad odor when it doesn’t get enough oxygen. This causes anaerobic decomposition. When this happens, microorganisms produce toxins such as acetic acid, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide that build up in the mulch. When mulch…

  • How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm

    How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm

    Christmas trees can be an incredibly profitable crop for small acreage farms. This low-maintenance crop is ideal for someone who wants to earn a bit of extra income from their land but doesn’t have much time to spare. By dividing up your land and planting new trees every year, you can produce reliable income year…

  • Should I Put My Compost Bin in the Sun or Shade?

    Should I Put My Compost Bin in the Sun or Shade?

    Compost doesn’t require direct sunlight but some sunlight can speed up the decomposition process. Sunlight provides warmth, which makes decomposition more efficient. When deciding where to place your compost bin, aim for a warm environment that isn’t excessively hot. This creates the ideal conditions for bacteria, fungi, earthworms, and other beneficial organisms to decompose your…

  • Mulching With Grass Clippings: Benefits and Drawbacks

    Mulching With Grass Clippings: Benefits and Drawbacks

    When mowing your lawn, you have two options when it comes to grass clippings. You can bag them or mulch them and leave them on your lawn. In this guide, I outline the benefits and drawbacks of mulching with grass clippings. I’ll also outline how to properly mulch with grass clippings and outline some alternative…

  • Pine Bark Mulch: Pros and Cons and How to Use It

    Pine Bark Mulch: Pros and Cons and How to Use It

    Applying mulch to the top of your soil can benefit your plants in many ways. One of the more popular types of mulch is pine bark. Pine bark mulch helps to retain water, inhibit weeds, and insulate your soil. It’s also attractive and long-lasting. Of course, there are some drawbacks to consider as well. This…

  • Cedar Mulch in Gardens: Pros and Cons, Uses, and Benefits

    Cedar Mulch in Gardens: Pros and Cons, Uses, and Benefits

    A common tip for gardeners is to apply mulch to the top of their soil. One of the more popular types of mulch is cedar. Cedar mulch offers a number of benefits. It’s long-lasting, insect-repellent, and weed-inhibiting. It’s also beautiful and has a pleasant aroma. Of course, there are some drawbacks to consider as well.…

  • How Long Can a Cactus Go Without Water?

    How Long Can a Cactus Go Without Water?

    Cacti have evolved to survive for long periods of time without water. Some species can go for as long as two years without a drink. Indoor cacti can go for several weeks without water. These desert plants have adapted to thrive in dry conditions. That said, they still need water to survive. In this guide,…

  • What is the Best Deer Food Plot for Sandy Soil?

    What is the Best Deer Food Plot for Sandy Soil?

    If you are a hunter and you want to attract deer to your property, one of the best ways is to grow a food plot. One common problem is sandy soil. Many crops just don’t grow well in sandy conditions. In this guide, we’ll outline the best food plots for sandy soil. We’ll outline the…

  • The Art of Scything: An Ancient Tool for Modern Homesteaders

    The Art of Scything: An Ancient Tool for Modern Homesteaders

    In the gentle morning light, a rhythmic swish breaks the stillness as a blade sweeps through the tall grass, laying it down in neat rows. This serene scene encapsulates the ancient art of scything, a traditional method of mowing and reaping that dates back to a time before the clamor of gasoline engines echoed through…