The Principles of Permaculture (And How to Make Them Work For You!)


* This article contains an affiliate link. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

Learn the 12 design principles of permaculture and how to implement and apply these principles to benefit your garden, homestead and life. #permaculture #permcultureprinciples #principlesofpermaculture #permaculturedesignKnowing how to apply the principles of permaculture to your property can make your homestead more productive with less effort on your part. But first you have to understand what the principles of permaculture are and, of course, what permaculture is!

Permaculture has been a buzz word in the homesteading world for a while now. It’s also a practice that’s been featured in various mainstream food and environmental documentaries, and is often touted as the solution to all sorts of environmental problems ranging from climate change to topsoil erosion and desertification to large-scale industrial agriculture.

But permaculture can also be a bit of a tricky concept to grasp at first, mostly due to the academic sounding principles and philosophies that guide it. However. once you understand the basic principles behind permaculture, not only does it start to make sense, it can start to make so much sense that you might wonder why more farmers, gardeners and homesteaders aren’t applying the principles of permaculture to their own properties already!

 

What is permaculture?

Permaculture comes from the root words “permanent” and “agriculture.” It aims to make food production (aka. agriculture) easier and more sustainable by mimicking the permanent, regenerative systems that can be found in nature.

The idea is that in the wild, ecosystems don’t need any input from human beings. They regenerate all on their own. Permaculture, therefore, aims to replicate many of the natural systems that exist in order to produce more (higher yields) with less human input (aka. time, energy and resources).

In short, permaculture works with nature rather than against it, which is in sharp contrast to conventional agricultural models that require constant management and input (ie. planting, fertilizing, irrigation, herbicides, pesticides, etc.) in order to produce a yield, and typically do a lot of ecological and environmental damage in the process.

But permaculture isn’t just some hippy dippy environmental movement (not that there’s anything wrong with that;) It’s actually a super practical way to design your homestead, your home and even your entire life in order to make things easier, cheaper and less time consuming overall. Because once you do the initial work of setting your permaculture systems up, you get to reap the benefits of those systems without having to constantly manage them, which always ends in higher yields for less work.

Related: How to Grow More Food In Less Space

 

The origins of permaculture

The term “permaculture” was first coined by friends and coworkers Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in Australia back in the 1970’s. They envisioned a new agricultural design that was both permanent and sustainable, using available resources in a way that offered high output (yields) while producing little to no waste.

Mollison and Holmgren envisioned a set of 12 principles that permaculture practitioners could use to design everything from a small backyard garden to a large piece of property. While many of the principles apply to the initial phases of the design process (ie. designing a brand new garden or homestead), they are certainly beneficial to anyone interested in improving their gardening or homesteading setup, no matter how well established.

 

The ethics and principles of permaculture

While we often think of permaculture as being directly related to agriculture, it’s actually more of a design concept than an agricultural practice (although it is both).  

Permaculture design can be applied to everything from our gardens to our homes to our communities and even ourselves. It’s all based on a code of ethics and a set of principles that can be applied to everything we do.

 

Earth Care, Fair Share & People Care

Permaculture is based on 3 main ethical standards: Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share

Earth Care is all about making sure that our actions improve (or at least maintain) the earth and the natural environment. So for example, when it comes to gardening that means we are using organic methods to make the land more productive and diverse and steering clear of herbicides, pesticides and GMOs.

In the home, Earth Care could mean using natural cleaning products and practicing good habits like turning lights and taps off when we’re not using them. In the community, Earth Care could mean walking or cycling instead of driving or picking up litter.

People Care is all about making sure the needs of the people around us are met in sustainable, self-sufficient ways. Feeding ourselves, our families and our community members with the food that we grow is one way of caring for people, but it is certainly not the only way.

Fair Share is all about taking only our fair share. In other words, take only what you need from nature and allow renewable resources time to regenerate. Cut down on consumption and waste as much as possible and harness the power of natural energy from sun, wind, rain and biomass instead of relying on the grid to support all of your activities.

 

The 12 design principles of permaculture

Permaculture follows 12 basic design principles. While you don’t have to follow every principle in order to implement permaculture design on your own property, the more of them you understand and incorporate, the more sustainable, efficient and self-sustaining your homestead (and your life) will be! It’s best to start with the first principle, and then move through each of the remaining principles in chronological order, although it’s not required to implement each one in order

Here’s a summary of each of the 12 principles of permaculture…

 

1. Observe and Interact with Nature 

Observe the land and the systems that are already functioning naturally to help you decide how to make these natural systems work for you.

Familiarize yourself with your land. Walk it throughout the year, observing such elements as climate, weather, soil types, areas of sunlight and shade, and water movement during periods of rain. Getting a good feel for your property will allow you to decide on the best place for your garden, where to plant fruit trees, where to put your chicken coop or barnyard, where you can add more growing space or increase your yield by utilizing the natural microclimates that exist around your property, and so on. 

 

2. Catch and Store Energy 

Collect natural forms of energy when and where they are available to use when needed.

This could also be translated to “catching and storing resources.” This means finding ways to harness and use natural energy and resources like solar energy, wind and rain. Examples include harnessing the sun’s energy by planting in full sun or using solar panels to power your home or equipment. It could also mean designing your home in a way that captures the sun’s heat in the winter while keeping it cool in the summer.

When it comes to harnessing natural sources of water, collecting rainwater or diverting runoff water to the garden are good examples.

Related: Homemade Rain Barrel DIY Project

 

3. Obtain a Yield

The goal of permaculture is ultimately to produce as much food and as many useful resources as possible from your land.

When we think of a yield in the traditional sense, we tend to think of the annual yield we from our garden crops. But in permaculture, a yield can be anything that is useful in some way (ie. fruits and vegetables, herbs, firewood, nuts, seeds, or even flowers). Even weeds and pests that are typically seen as a nuisance can produce yields of food and medicine, food for livestock (chickens love weeds and bugs!), and organic matter for your compost pile.

Meat, eggs and dairy are also yields that can and should be counted on a permaculture property, along with the fertilizer that animals like chickens, rabbits and cows produce.

Likewise, a rain barrel can produce a yield of rain water, and solar panels can produce a yield of solar energy. 

 

4. Apply Self Regulation and Accept Feedback

Always assess and reassess what is and isn’t working and make necessary adjustments.

Feedback can come from several sources; Our own reflection on our gardening practices, our successes and failures and advice from experts are just a few examples. Permaculture teaches that we need to listen and be open to receiving feedback from all sources, and most importantly we need to be willing to make changes when necessary.

 

5. Use and Value Renewable Resources 

Try to use resources that are renewable over those that aren’t. Don’t take too much, use only your fair share and allow these resources the time the need to regenerate.

The backbone of permaculture is sustainability, so we should always be looking for ways to use and value renewable resources whenever possible. There are many easy and inexpensive ways to do this.

Your property can produce food (both garden vegetables and weeds) that can feed your chickens and your compost pile, and then your chickens and your compost pile will produce fertilizer which can then feed your garden. Perennial plants and trees are renewable, along with the yields they produce. So are the seeds that we collect from our annuals to plant the following year.

Trees provide firewood, which is a renewable source of energy that we can use to heat our homes. Leaves, wood chips and grass trimmings provide a great mulch in the garden, which acts as a weed barrier, feeds the soil, helps retain moisture and provides protection from frost and cold temperatures to our perennials. 

 

6. Produce No Waste

While it is difficult not to produce any waste at all, try to make use of the waste you do create (ie. use grey water to irrigate, repurpose old packaging, fix old tools, compost, etc.)

Some practical ways you can do this include feeding unwanted or unappetizing portions of your harvests (including bugs and weeds) to your chickens and then using their manure as fertilizer for your garden, or feeding kitchen scraps (including meat and dairy) to your pigs.

It could also mean composting food scraps and weeds, using straw or wood shavings as bedding for your hens or other animals and then using it as next year’s mulch, reducing the number of plastic bags of garden soil you purchase by building your own compost, or using wood ash produced by your wood stove (a byproduct of heating your home) to amend your garden soil or to make lye for soap. 

Producing no waste also means being conscious of what we are bringing onto our homesteads and making a concerted effort to give everything more than one use. You can do this by reusing any single use items that do find their way onto your property in new and innovative ways, such as using old milk jugs as cold frames or using plastic cups as seedling pots in the spring. Be mindful of any and all waste and let your imagination provide solutions! 

Related: 11 Frugal Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps

 

7. Design From Patterns to Details

Be intentional with the way you design your garden, homestead and property. Observe first and then design your property to take advantage of the naturally occurring systems already in place. 

First of all, look for the patterns found in nature: water, sunlight, wind, slopes, shady areas, etc. How can you use these patterns to design or improve the functionality of your property? For example, for the best yield, you’ll want to plant sun-loving plants like tomatoes and peppers in full sun. But tender greens grow well in partial shade. A slope on a hillside can mean erosion during the wet season and could be a very difficult pace to grow food, but if designed correctly with swales and berms, this could be the perfect place to plant fruit and nut trees along with other edible perennials.

Another important pattern to look for is how you and your family use and interact with your property. What areas of your property do you naturally visit the most? The least? Design your property so that the things that you use or need to visit the most (ie. your herb garden or your chicken coop) are closest to where you go in and out of your house, and things that you need visit the least (ie. your orchard or forested areas) are farthest away. 

 

8. Integrate Rather Than Segregate

Set things up to work together and make connections between different elements of your homestead so that they can benefit each other through their interactions with one another. 

For example, you might want to integrate your chickens with your vegetable garden by placing your chicken coop next to your vegetable garden so that you can easily toss your chickens weeds and excess produce to eat, and then easily shovel fertilizer from the chicken coop back to your garden beds. By integrating these two elements rather than keeping them segregated from each other, it makes your workload easier and produces a symbiotic relationship between your chickens and your vegetable garden.

Companion planting also falls under this principle. Growing vegetables, herbs, fruits, nuts and flowers together (either in your garden or in a food forest) rather than separated in market-style rows can help to deter pests, suppress weeds, attract pollinators and even provide shade or support for other plants. Some companion plants are even said to improve the flavour of others, such as companion planting basil with tomatoes.

 

9. Use Small and Slow Solutions

Focus on establishing plants and systems that take time to set up and produce up front, but will produce massive yields later on. Likewise, when changing anything on your homestead, start by observing and making small changes over time.

take your time, observe, accept feedback and adapt as you go, and don’t dedicate all of your time, energy or resources to a big change that might not work out. Again, the goal is to mimic nature, and nature adapts and changes slowly.

This principle can apply to big things changing things like your soil’s PH balance or planting an orchard, but it can also apply to trying out new vegetable varieties or adding new garden beds.

Want to try a new variety of vegetable, but you’re not sure if it will thrive in your garden or if you’ll even like it? Try growing just a few plants next year while dedicating most of your growing space to tried and true crops. That way you’ll still get a good harvest of things you know you like to eat, and if the new variety doesn’t work out, it won’t be a huge loss. Don’t have time or money to build all those raised beds this year? That’s ok.  Build what you can and save the rest for next year. Use the extra time to gather your building materials (you might even be able to get them for cheap or free!) This is more sustainable in the long run, and sustainability is the backbone of permaculture.

 

10. Use and Value Diversity 

Plant a variety of different crops and raise a variety of different animals (if you choose to raise animals). The more diversity, the healthier the ecosystem on your property and the better chance you’ll get a harvest even if one or more crops fail.

Growing and raising a diversity of plants and animals not only makes things more interesting and provides you with a more well-rounded harvest (and diet), it also helps to maintain the health of your garden and property and improves the efficiency and output of your homestead, as well as helping to ensure that if one crop fails, you’ll still have others to fall back on.

As the famous saying goes, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” And never plant just one variety of tomato;)

 

11. Use Edges and Value the Marginal

Utilize as much of the space on your property as you can. The edges of your property are great for planting fruit-producing shrubs and bramble or trees for harvesting wood. Don’t neglect or overlook the far corners of your property.

As you walk around your garden and property, pay close attention to areas that are not being used. A couple prime examples of this are fence lines and shady areas. Could you use your fences as vertical support to grow pole beans, peas or squash? As for shady areas, there are numerous varieties of vegetables and herbs that grow very well in shade and partial shade. Adding in those varieties could substantially increase your harvest. 

If you have pastured and forested areas on your acreage, consider the edge of your pasture where it meets the forest. Edible weeds like nettles like to grow in this area, and so do some fruit trees and berry bushes. Livestock like cows and pigs (but also chickens, geese, goats, etc.) also like to hang out along the forest edge because it provides a variety of different forage, as well as shade. Forest edges are also great for hunting and harvesting firewood. 

 

12. Creatively Use and Respond to Change

Find a way to adapt to the changes instead of fight them. Grow things that thrive in new environments. Start at square one again. Observe and then design. Always work with nature, never against her.

Every gardener knows that no two growing seasons are the same. Nature is always changing, and as homesteaders and gardeners, we’re constantly having to adapt and respond to this change. The climate is changing, new pests can emerge seemingly out of the blue, seasons change, and of course the weather is always unpredictable!

Maybe you’re noticing that your summers are getting hotter and drier. This might mean that lettuce and brassicas bolt earlier in the season, so you might want to adapt your gardening plan to plant these crops in your fall garden instead when the weather will cool off. At the same time, you might consider planting more tomatoes, peppers, melons and heat-loving plants in your summer garden.

Understanding, adapting and planning for the inevitability of change is another key aspect of sustainability and a way of life for those following the principles of permaculture. How we respond to that change is laid out for us in the previous 11 principles of permaculture: Observe nature, diversify, use creative solutions and work with nature and both you and your homestead will thrive!

For a more comprehensive understanding of the 12 principles of permaculture, check out David Holmgren’s book Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability.

For a practical guide to designing a home-scale permaculture garden or homestead, I recommend Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway.

 

Permaculture zones

A permaculture homestead can typically be divided into five zones. These zones provide a design template that can be personalized to suit you and your unique property, as well with how you interact with it. No two zone maps look exactly the same, because it all depends on your individual needs and goals, along with your behaviour and your property.

Ideally, the five zones are set as concentric circles with your home being the centre point, or “Zone 0.” Immediately next to Zone 0 is Zone 1, which would be the next most highly trafficked area, and then Zone 3, Zone 4 and finally Zone 5 is the zone you visit the least (typically the farthest zone from your house).

As with all things permaculture-related, the point is to “work smarter, not harder,” and permaculture zones help you do just that. Think of each zone as containing tasks that need to be completed or resources that need to be accessed. Those tasks that require daily attention or resources that you use most often should be located as close to your house as possible. Conversely, those tasks or resources that require the least amount of attention should be located farthest from Zone 0.

Here is a breakdown of the permaculture zones and suggestions for what should (or could) go in each one.

 

Zone 0

Your house. This is considered the nexus or centre point of your homestead, even if it’s not at the geographical centre of your property, because this is where you spend the most time. 

 

Zone 1

This zone requires the most thought because, aside from Zone 0, it’s the one you will frequent most often. Herb gardens, potagers (aka. kitchen gardens) and small chicken coops are often found in Zone 1.

Other ideas for Zone 1 would be recycling bins, worm compost containers, and perhaps a small greenhouse with seedlings that need to be tended to frequently. Small animals like rabbits could also benefit from being in this zone.

 

Zone 2

Tasks that need to be completed a few times a week are located in Zone 2.  Large annual gardens, market gardens, greenhouses, berry patches, compost piles, sheds and barns are well suited for Zone 2.  

Livestock are typically best suited for Zone 2. While some (like a small number of chickens or rabbits) might end up in Zone 1, typically most livestock will be houses in Zone 2.

 

Zone 3

Zone 3 is also called the “Farming Zone.” Elements in this zone will still find their way on your “to do” list, but on a much less regular basis. Pastured land, grazing animals. animals, beehives, mushrooms, grains such as wheat and corn, and fruit and nut trees would all be good choices for Zone 3.

 

Zone 4

Some uses for this “semi-wild” zone include fishing and hunting, foraging for wild edibles, forestry and wood harvesting. 

 

Zone 5

This zone is the “true wild” and is typically used only for observation, conservation, reflection, and learning. If you’re lucky enough to have a wilderness zone on your property, you might consider building a small cabin or packing your tent up for an overnight camping trip to Zone 5!

 

Zone 6, 7, 8, 9 and so on…

While there are 5 “true” zones in permaculture, the zones could technically keep going forever. So long as you start at zone 0 and then work your way out, you could look at your larger community, your county, state or province and so on as zones. Maybe you forage for food in parks in your community.While that’s not technically on your property, it can still be considered a zone.

There are no hard and fast rules about what constitutes a permaculture zone. And the idea of zones can be applied anywhere, even to an individual person! A good friend of mine who practices permaculture once told me that he considers his consciousness to be Zone 0, his thinking mind to be Zone 1, his physical body to be Zone 3 and his environment to be Zone 4. As with most things in permaculture, how you apply the design principles are highly personal, adaptable and up for interpretation:)

 

What about you? Do you practice permaculture principles on your own homestead or in your life? What does this look like for you? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

2 Comments

  1. Kelly

    We have begun mulching our garden walkways and some of the beds with either straw, wood shavings or chipped tree trimmings. We put our kitchen scraps in a compost pile and use all our animal manure on the garden and fields. I’ve begun shredding all our paper for a compost pile too. We haven’t produced our own usable compost yet, but it is one of the next things on our list. We bought an old farm, so it can be challenging to work with what is already here rather than being able to put things where you would prefer them. I have learned that having vegetables in two different places is inefficient and creates more work. We’ve come a long way and have a loooong way to go, but life is a journey.

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      It sounds like you are well on your way then, Kelly!
      It is definitely an ongoing journey. 🙂

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
7 Benefits of Cooking With Cast Iron

7 Benefits of Cooking With Cast Iron

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   There’s just something about cooking food in cast iron that feels so wholesome and old-timey; Like grandma (or maybe even great grandma) used to cook. A...

read more

Introducing the Candlelit Morning Challenge

Introducing the Candlelit Morning Challenge

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   As I write this, I’m staring out my office window at a gloomy, dark, rainy sky. Summer is officially dead and fall is alive and well. In just a few more weeks it...

read more

Fact: You can use a cast iron skillet to cook your food, get extra iron in your diet and even to ward off criminals!

These are just a few of the benefits of cooking with cast iron. Wanna know more??

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/7-benefits-of-cooking-with-cast-iron

Do you cook with cast iron? If so, what do you like most about it? Let me know down below!👇

#castiron #castironcooking #homesteadkitchen
...

Our winter squash failed miserably this year.

As a gardener, it’s always disheartening when a crop fails. You put so much time and effort into starting seeds, nurturing seedlings, planting them out, weeding and controlling pests, and waiting months for your plants to mature before you harvest them.

But you also come to learn that no year in the garden is the same. There’s almost always something that doesn’t do so well, but on the flip side there’s usually at least one crop that exceeds expectations. It all balances out in the end.

Despite having a measly handful of tiny squash to show for our efforts this year, we’re blessed to have many amazing local farms in our area run by farmers and gardeners who are much more talented and experienced than us. I’m so grateful to these farmers for supplying our community with local food, especially when the global supply chain is faltering.

One of my favourite local farms for pumpkins and squash is @shamrockfarm. We’re planning on visiting this weekend and we’ll be getting most of our squash from them this year. When we do, spaghetti squash is definitely on the list!

Many people don’t know what to do with spaghetti squash. Due to its “stringy” nature, it’s not like other types of winter squash.

A great way to enjoy it is to use it in place of pasta noodles. Not only is it healthier and much lower in carbs, it’s also tastier in certain dishes in my humble opinion.

This recipe for Spaghetti Squash with Brown Butter and Sage is one of my favourite ways to enjoy it, and I’m pretty confident that if you try it it’ll become one of your favourites too!

Recipe link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/spaghetti-squash-brown-butter-sage/
...

What’s your favourite food preservation method??

For Angi Schneider of @schneiderpeeps, the answer is pressure canning, hands-down.

The fact is, there are many ways to preserve food, and each of them has its place and serves its purpose. But the only preservation method that allows you to preserve full meals that are ready to eat straight out of the jar is pressure canning.

Water bath canning allows you to preserve high acid foods like fruits, pickles, jams and jellies.

Fermenting adds beneficial bacteria, increases the nutritional value and adds a distinct (and acquired) flavour to foods.

Dehydrating and freeze drying are great long term storage preservation methods, and are a great option for preppers, hunters or anyone who needs to carry their food preps with them.

Pressure canning, on the other hand, allows you to have jars of food ready to serve and eat at a moment’s notice. It’s great to hand on hand during an emergency, but it also serves as practical, every day food that you and your family will actually eat.

Whether it’s a busy weeknight and you have no time to cook, you’ve got unexpected company or you find yourself in the middle of an emergency or power outage, having jars of healthy, homemade food –including full meals– on hand always comes in handy.

Angi and I sat down to chat about the many benefits of pressure canning, and about her brand new book Pressure Canning For Beginners And Beyond in an interview for the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine (out now).

To read the full interview and/or to check out Angi’s new cookbook (which includes some seriously drool-worthy canning recipes like Chicken Marsala, Beef Street Tacos, Maple Ginger Glazed Carrots and French Onion Soup), click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe and get your first issue free!

For a limited time, you can also become a member and get full access to our entire library of issues for just $7.99/year. Link in bio to get all the goods:)

Seriously though… What’s your favourite food preservation method and why? (There are no wrong answers!)

Let me know in the comments below!👇
...

For the past week or so, I’ve been sharing a new morning routine I've been committing to...

It's the simple act of lighting a candle to start each day.

In this age of unnatural blue light emanating from our screens, fluorescent and even LED lighting from overhead lights and lamps, it can be quite a shock to the system to go from sleeping in complete darkness to flipping on the bright lights and checking email on your smartphone first thing in the a.m.

By simply lighting a candle and allowing your eyes a minute or two to adjust before turning on the lights or checking a screen, you have the power to create a much calmer and more peaceful start to your day, and that has lasting effects that can and will stay with you all day long.

I know I’m not the only one who can benefit from this simple but powerful morning ritual, so I decided to start a challenge to encourage others to do the same.

If you'd like to participate, grab a candle and a pack of matches (or a lighter) and commit to lighting a candle to start your day for as many days as you can during the month of October.

Every time you share a photo of your candle/morning ritual on Instagram posts or stories and tag me @thehouseandhomestead and use the hashtag #candlelitmorning, you'll be entered to win a naturally-scented candle of your choice from Plant Therapy!

This being said, I know that good quality candles aren't exactly cheap, but you can save a tone of money by learning how to make your own!

If you're interested in learning how to make your own all-natural soy candles with essential oils at home, I'm currently offering my DIY Scented Soy Candles Masterclass for FREE as part of the Handmade Holiday Giveaway, hosted by my friend and fellow Vancouver Islander Diana Bouchard of @wanderinghoofranch

Other limited-time freebies include:

* Exclusive homestead holiday recipes
* Free knitting and crochet patterns
* Free homemade cocktail mixers course
* Cute printable gift tags and more!

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to check out everything that's included in the Handmade Holiday Giveaway.

And don't forget to join in the #candlelitmorning challenge right here on Instagram!
...

Sometimes I don’t post photos because I can’t think of a brilliant, thought-provoking caption to go with each one.

But then again, sometimes a photo speaks for itself:)

This weekend reminded me how important it is to be present, both with ourselves and with the ones we love. This weekend I was reminded of what I’m truly grateful for. 🧡

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

#givethanks #staypresent #familyiseverything
...

Drop a ❤️ below 👇 if you can relate!

A professional teacher turned homeschooling mom of two, Allyson Speake was spinning her wheels trying to keep up with her family’s fast-paced modern lifestyle until she made the intentional decision to slow down and quit her job as a teacher to stay home and educate her children at home. Nowadays she helps others do the same!

If you’ve ever stumbled across her Instagram page @tanglewoodhollow, you’ve likely been met with beautiful photos of children playing and exploring in the woods, nature crafts, treasures and toadstools galore. Her passion for slow, seasonal living and nature-based education shows in everything she posts!

But her inspiring Instagram page is just a glimpse into what she has to offer other homeschoolers, teachers, parents and guardians from all walks of life who want to bring a little more seasonal magic into their children’s lives, and who know that the best classroom is the great outdoors.

I sat down with her for the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine and she shared some real nuggets of wisdom for anyone with young children (not just homeschoolers!)

In the interview, Allyson shares that “on average three-year-olds can identify 100 different brand logos, and that increases to 300-400 by age 10.” If that’s not reason enough to turn off the TV and get outside, I don’t know what is!

“Whatever children are exposed to, they are able to soak it up like sponges, but they aren’t getting that exposure to nature,” she says.

Catch the full interview in the Fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. Subscribe for free to read your first issue free or become a member to get this issue plus access to our entire library of past issues for just $7.99/year!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

#homeschool #homeschooling #naturebasedlearning #naturebasededucation #wildandfreechildren #freerangekids
...

🛠 “Even the simplest tools can empower people to do great things.”
- Biz Stone

The other day I asked you what the most valuable asset is on your homestead, and I shared that mine is my dear husband @thehumblehandyman

Everyone who knows him knows he can build and repair just about anything. It’s a true talent, but he’s also spent years learning and sharpening his skills.

But talent and skills are only half of the equation; You’ve gotta have the right tools for the job!

As homesteaders, our main mission in life is to become more self-sufficient, and that extends to building and repairing things at home. But whether you’re an expert handyman or a fledgling fixer-upper, you can't do the job if you don't have the right tools on hand.

If you’re just starting out and wondering what tools to invest in, The Humble Handyman and I put together a list of 15 essential tools that everyone should have on hand for minor repairs and odd jobs around the home (and homestead), along with tips on how to actually use each one.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to check it out or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/15-essential-tools-home-toolkit/

Which of these tools do you already have?

Which ones are next on your list to invest in??

What are your go-to tools to use around your house and homestead??? (Duct tape totally counts 😉)

Let me know in the comments below! 👇

#toolsofthetrade #toolkit #diy #handyman
...

🪓 What’s the most valuable asset on your homestead?

For me, it’s this guy right here.

He was only away for two weeks, but that’s all the time it took for me to realize how much he brings to the table, and how valuable it is to have a live-in handyman on a homestead!

When our burner crapped out on our stove in the middle of a canning project last week, I had no idea how to fix it and was ready to buy a brand new stove, but luckily Ryan came home with all of his tools just a couple days later and fixed it for a fraction of the cost of buying a new stove.

When we were getting chickens, he built our chicken coop. When I wanted to put in new garden beds, he built them. Deck? Done! Firewood? Chopped! Bathroom? Remodelled! Car broken down? Fixed! (Did I mention he’s a trained mechanic too?)

If you don’t have your own handyman at home though, you can still learn the skills you need to become more self-sufficient when it comes to tackling new building projects and repairing and maintaining things at home.

I’m thrilled to announce that @thehumblehandyman now has his own regular feature in each issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, where he’ll share simple steps you can take to increase your self-sufficiency by learning how to DIY all sorts of projects around your house and homestead.

In his debut feature, he shares 5 simple steps you can take this fall to help you prepare your house and homestead for the coming winter, all of which could save you time, money and effort during the season of rest.

Check out the full article in the Fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, available now!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe and read your first issue free, or become a member and get this issue plus unlimited access to all past issues for just $7.99/year!

I’d love to know what handyman/DIY skills or projects you’d like to see featured in future issues. Leave a comment below👇and let me know!

#handyman #homesteading #diy #handymanhusband #skills #woodworking #jackofalltrades #selfsufficiency #selfsufficient #selfsufficientliving #sustainableliving #homesteadersofinstagram
...

Did you know you can now buy pumpkin spice ramen noodles, pumpkin spice Pringles, pumpkin spice macaroni and cheese, pumpkin spice sausages and even pumpkin spice dog treats?

It’s not exactly a stretch to say that we’ve taken the whole pumpkin spice craze a little bit too far.

But our obsession with pumpkin spice speaks to something much deeper than the flavour itself. (Let’s be honest, pumpkin spice ramen noodles sound gag-worthy).

The reason we tend to love pumpkin spice so much is because it triggers feelings of comfort and nostalgia; Memories of days spent with family at the pumpkin patch or around the Thanksgiving table. In short, pumpkin spice triggers our emotions as much as it tantalizes our taste buds.

But let’s be real, pumpkin spice Pringles ain’t it.

If you’re feeling all the fall vibes and craving a little pumpkin spice in your life right now, stick to the tried and true pumpkin spice latte, but ditch the expensive (and highly processed) commercial PSLs and make your own pumpkin spice syrup (with real pumpkin!) at home for a fraction of the cost! Keep it on hand to add to your coffees, teas and steamed milk beverages all Autumn long.

It’s super easy to make and will put pumpkin spice macaroni squarely in its place (and keep it there!)

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to grab the recipe or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-pumpkin-spice-syrup/

#pumpkinspice #psl #pumpkinspicelatte #fallvibes #fromscratch
...

I’ve been feeling pulled to slow down and retreat into my home lately; To turn off the news and social media and focus on the tangible things like lighting the wood stove, preserving the mountains of food still coming out of the garden, and slowly stirring a pot of soup as it cooks on the stovetop.

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, I know I’m not the only one feeling pulled toward hearth and home. This is a heavy time for all of us. No one person is meant to bear the weight of the world on their shoulders, but I've heard from so many people lately who say that's exactly how they've been feeling.

If you read my post from a few days ago, you know I’ve been feeling like that too, but luckily, I've learned how to soothe my soul in difficult times.

And so that's what I've been doing lately...

I've been focusing on the tangible things that I can control, like cooking meals and preserving food.

I've been lingering a little longer in the morning, taking time to sit by the river or sip my coffee in front of the wood stove before hurrying on with my day.

And I've been making a conscious effort to turn off the noise of the outside world and give my family and my own emotional health my full attention.

If you've also been feeling that pull to turn off all of the noise and immerse yourself in more nourishing, productive activities, I want to tell you about a collection of resources that will help you do just that.

The Simple Living Collective’s Autumn Issue includes seasonal guides, tutorials, e-books, recipes and more to help you slow down and reconnect with what matters this season.

* Learn how to forage for healing herbs and how to make your own natural medicine

* Find new ways to celebrate old traditions, and create new seasonal traditions with your family

* Discover new seasonal recipes and crafts to do on your own or with your kids

And much more.

If this sounds like it’s exactly what you're in need of right now, check out the Simple Living Collective and get the Autumn Issue for just $25. But this issue is only available until tomorrow, so don't wait…

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to grab it now before it disappears 🍁
...

I laid in bed the other night and couldn’t sleep.

I know that probably doesn’t sound out of the ordinary, especially considering the collective stress we’ve all been through over the past year and a half. But if I’m being totally honest, I’ve done a pretty good job of not letting it get to me.

I used to have really bad anxiety, and I made a conscious effort to learn how to manage it in (mostly) healthy, natural ways. I practice a lot of gratitude every day, and overall I’ve learned to deal with stress, anxiety and negative thoughts pretty well.

Lately though, I’ve been feeling the weight of it all. Aside from dealing with personal issues like our ongoing infertility/pregnancy loss journey and the every day stresses we all face, the bigger things have been feeling bigger and heavier lately; The mandates, the politics, the pushback, the arguments and attacks online, the divisiveness, and the seemingly never-ending pandemic that every single one of us is still dealing with in some capacity.

I’ve been seeing more and more calls to “choose a side.” I’ve witnessed my own close friends on both sides of the debate hurling insults at each other, defending their ground, and refusing to listen to each other’s valid points and concerns.

I’ve even witnessed a widening crack in the homesteading community, despite the fact that so many of our core values and beliefs align and are unique to us.

Despite the division, I would still argue that ALL of us have much more in common than not, and to see the divide continuing to deepen has started to get under my skin lately.

(Continued in comments…)
...

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal

Crafted with ♥ by Inscape Designs