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February 27, 2017

Dousing Flames with Low-Frequency Sound Waves

A new type of extinguisher that uses sound waves to put out fires has been built by two engineering students in the US. Both chemical- and water-free, the invention offers a relatively non-destructive method of fire control, which could find applications in fighting small fires in the home, and the researchers now hold a preliminary patent application for their device.

While the concept of using sound waves to extinguish flames is not new, previous attempts to realize the principle – including efforts by teams at West Georgia University and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – had not been successful.

Undeterred by this, as well as initial [...]

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April 8, 2015

How To Build Your Own Polytunnel to Grow Food All Year

Polytunnels seem to be popping up all over the place – and with good reason! They’re a fantastic gardening tool that can increase crop size, extend the growing season, and protect your plants from the elements. And, you get all of these benefits without the hassle that comes with erecting a permanent structure such as a greenhouse. Around 90% of people who purchase pre-made polytunnels choose to erect them themselves, because it’s incredibly simple to do, and can save a significant chunk of cash compared to hiring a handyman or builder to do it for you. So here’s an easy guide to walk you through the process of building your very own polytunnel.What Is a Polytunnel?Basically [...]
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April 7, 2015

Which Donkey Kicks Ass?

Gone are the days when the lowly long-ear’s only prospect was to be a beast of burden, banished to the fields. Today, donkeys are sought out as riding animals, livestock companions, novelty cart-pullers and flock guardians. There are rare breeds gaining recognition, from the hearty Andalusian to the shaggy Poitou. And, for the down-on-his-luck donkey, there are even rescue programs. If you’re looking for one of your own, you’re in luck: You might say we’re in a donkey renaissance. (Or a donkey ren-assance?)“Donkeys have always been steady and reliable,” says Leah Patton of the American Donkey and Mule Society. “They live longer on less feed and are in general easier to get along with [...]
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April 7, 2015

The Nourishing Homestead

Ben and Penny Hewitt take a holistic approach to farming 40 acres in northern Vermont — their experience as farmers has led them to a way of life that prioritizes natural rhythms, respect for nature and a rejection of consumerism.They have come to refer to this ethos as “practiculture,” a catch-all term for the farming techniques they use as well as the “belief that cultivating our soil, skills, and spirits on this land and in this community is far more practical than relying on industry for the essentials of our wellbeing.”The Nourishing Homestead reads as part back-to-the-land missive, part guide to the workings of a full-time family farm, from soil quality to butter production. [...]
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April 7, 2015

A 45-Page, Handwritten, Illustrated Essay From an Amish Organic Farmer

The Modern Farmer team got a treat via parcel post last month.
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April 5, 2015

“Let Us Not Spend Nature’s Accumulated Fortune in Riotous Farming”: Some Thoughts on Shepard’s ‘Restoration Agriculture’

The lovely quotation in my title represents the words of a perceptive 19th century Kansas farmer, which I came across in Geoff Cunfer’s fascinating book On The Great Plains. I’ll talk about Cunfer’s work in an upcoming post, but here I’m going to be looking at another book – Mark Shepard’s Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture For Farmers (Acres USA, 2013), which the quotation helps illuminate. I’m writing two posts on Shepard’s book – so I’ll come back to riotous farming in the next one. And to the person whose comment (which I can’t track down) here on Small Farm Future first drew my attention to Shepard’s book, thank you sir.Now then, first of all let me say that there’s [...]
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December 18, 2014

How to Regenerate Soil Using Cover Crops and Regenerative Land Management

By Dr. Mercola

High-quality soil is crucial to grow nutrient-dense plants. Tragically, most of our soil is being significantly damaged, thanks to modern farming methods. Gabe Brown is a true pioneer in teaching about regenerative land management, which helps restore soil health.

Gabe was originally trained as a traditional farmer of the conventional mindset, using heavy tilling, genetically engineered (GE) crops, and chemical principles in his challenging growing farm environment of North Dakota.

I actually had the opportunity to personally met Gabe last week when I was keynote speaker at the ACRES USA conference in Columbus. He is every bit as knowledgeable [...]

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December 17, 2014

Small Vegetable Garden Ideas

Small Vegetable Garden Ideas

Small vegetable garden ideas. Would you just love to grow vegetables, but you don’t have the space? While a big sprawling garden may be the ideal, quality vegetables can be grown even in the absence of a garden. Many people who live in flats in crowded towns and cities still manage to grow great vegetables to enjoy.

Small Vegetable Garden Ideas – Container Garden

Image by scostello22 via Flickr

When you don’t have a garden to plant in, you can turn to container gardening to grow your fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s easy to find pots and other containers, both large and small that work great on small back [...]

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December 17, 2014

How to Start a Vegetable Garden

How to Start a Vegetable Garden

How to start a vegetable garden? Begin in a small way, don’t be too ambitious. Learn how to vegetable garden and enjoy eating your own fresh produce.

There is a great surge in interest in growing vegetables and fruit for family use and this has to be a good thing if not only to save money, fuel and reduce our carbon foot print.

Image by The hills are alive (back for a bit….) via Flickr

A vegetable garden is a long term commitment. You need to give up time for planning. Regular hours to work your vegetable plot, prepare the ground, sow seeds and set out vegetable plants. Maintenance such as weeding, feeding and [...]

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December 17, 2014

How to Create a Butterfly Garden with Bees in Mind?

How to Create a Butterfly Garden with Bees in Mind?

How to create a butterfly garden? Is it simple to do and will a butterfly garden also attract bees?

When you start your first garden it can be quite a challenge. Not just physically but gaining the knowledge about what and how to plant. You look at professional gardens or amateur’s established gardens and think that it cannot be that difficult.

Gardening is one of those hobbies where you never stop learning but at the same time can create something while in that learning process. Sow hardy annual seeds directly into the soil, buy a shrub or two, maybe a rose and a climber. Whatever takes your fancy. But [...]

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December 17, 2014

Birds In Your Garden – Garden Wildlife and Wildlife Gardens

Birds In Your Garden – Garden Wildlife and Wildlife Gardens

Birds in your garden along with other garden wildlife bring your garden to life. But are wildlife gardens essential to attract garden birds?

It depends upon how you define a wildlife garden. There is a difference between a wildlife friendly garden and a wildlife garden. For the vast majority of us, the best approach is to create a wildlife friendly garden.

The size of your garden will restrict what you will be able to plant but it is viable to provide something on even the smallest flat balcony or back yard.

Here are some hints and tips about designing your garden and choosing, planting and [...]

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