Battling Summer Garden Pests Successfully – Without Harsh Chemicals!

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Winning the war against summer garden pests without harsh chemicals. Summer is here. And so are the myriad of insects, animals and pests that love to invade you and your landscape! From Japanese beetles, tomato hornworms, aphids, cabbage worms, slugs, rabbits, and

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The Farm, House and Garden Photo Update – One Year After Breaking Ground!

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The Farm, House and Garden Photo Update One Year Later. It’s hard to believe that it has been one year since we broke ground on building our Simple House at the farm! And in those 365 days that have passed

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How To Eradicate Weeds From Overtaking Your Garden. Make Gardening Easy!

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How to eradicate weeds from the garden and make gardening fun… “Can you please tell me how to stop weeds from overtaking my garden!” Every garden season, that is the question that arrives in our inbox almost daily. Weeds can

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Fertilizing Vegetable Gardens Organically – When, How And What To Use!

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When it comes to fertilizing vegetable gardens, nothing can top good old, time-tested organic solutions! Not only are they safe to use on the plants that will feed your family, they are extremely economical. Organic fertilizers, with their natural nutrients,

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4 Unique Garden Plants To Try Your Hand At Growing This Year!

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What is it about gardeners having a passion for growing unique garden plants? It seems that no matter where we go to visit a fellow gardener, they always have one or two “special” plants that they love to grow and

The post 4 Unique Garden Plants To Try Your Hand At Growing This Year! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Planting The Garden – 3 Tips To Get Vegetable Transplants Off To A Great Start!

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The end of April is here, and with Spring in full force, it’s time to start thinking about planting the garden. I’m not talking about planting the early seed crops that get us out into the garden for the first

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Outdoor Living – Creating A Space To Live, Eat and Entertain Outdoors!

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If there is one thing we enjoy more than anything else, it is outdoor living. In fact, we live for it! Whether working in the garden, planting flowers, mowing, grilling out, throwing a frisbee, or sitting on the back porch late at

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Early Spring Farm Photos From The Old World Garden Farm And Homestead

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Happy Easter! The farm and garden have started to come to life as we pass the mid-point of April. We thought it would be a great time to get the camera out for some early Spring photos. A lot has changed

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Gardening Made Easy – How To Create Simple Raised Row Garden Beds From Scratch!

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With simple raised row garden beds, you don’t to have break your back or the bank to have a great garden. Whether you are already an avid gardener, or want to grow vegetables for the first time, raised row garden

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The Struggle To Keep Our Bees. What Is Really Happening To Honeybee Hives?

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Our two honeybee hives at the farm provide us with so much more than just incredible honey. They also help to pollinate many of the fruit trees, vegetable crops and flowers in our garden and landscape. In addition, they are simply

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The Farmhouse Porch Is Complete! Creating Homemade Porch Railings From Rebar

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Who knew creating homemade porch railings could be so easy? I guess we’ve never been ones to stay traditional. So when it came time to put deck railings on the back porch of the Simple House, we certainly didn’t want to

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How To Acid Stain Concrete Floors, Patios or Basements In 4 Simple Steps

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Ever since publishing an article last summer about using acid stain on the concrete floors in our Simple House, we have been bombarded with requests for more information. So today, we thought we would take you through the entire process

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Raised Row Gardening Grows – The Simple Growing Method Takes Center Stage!

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Raised Row Gardening has certainly come a long way! What started as a simple method for us to try to garden smarter, and not harder – raised row gardening has taken on a life of its own.  The advantages of

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Building With Shiplap – How To Use Shiplap To Build Anything!

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When it comes to building with shiplap, the sky really is the limit! This incredible wood can be used for so much more than just great looking walls. It is actually the perfect wood for DIY’ers looking to build nearly

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The Baby Chicks Are Coming! The Joy and Ease of Raising Backyard Chickens

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In just a few weeks, the farm will have a few new residents! 18 of them in fact. Cute, fuzzy, little balls of fur that will grow to be our latest flock of chickens at the farm. More and more

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5 Simple Yet Essential Garden Tools That Every Gardener Should Have!

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The best part of gardening is that it doesn’t take a lot of expensive equipment to have a great looking space. With that said, there are a few inexpensive tools that can really lighten the load when it comes to

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Top 10 Photos From The Farm For 2017 – And An Aerial Flyover Tour!

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Taking a look back at our top 10 photos from our life at the farm for 2017. First and foremost, Happy New Year to all! On this rare and special occasion that our Sunday Farm Update falls on New Year’s Day,

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Christmas Decorating And Winter At The Farm – In Photos

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Christmas decorating and the full force of Winter came alive this past week! A mid-week snowfall and the Christmas season collided for a beautiful scene at the farm. What a way to wrap up the last month of the year in

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Creating An Annual Goal List – Setting The Goals To Accomplish Life

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It’s hard to believe, but another year has come and gone, and its once again time to plan out our annual goal list! Without a doubt, our Annual Goal List has been the most pivotal factor in helping us create

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What Is Your All Time Favorite Christmas Cookie? We Want Your Vote!

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So what is your favorite Christmas cookie of all time? Is it the famous sugar cookie cut-out, beautifully decorated with classic icing? Or perhaps the more decadent thumbprint cookie filled with a favorite jelly? No  matter the choice, there is no

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Creating A Homemade Gift Basket, Celebrate Christmas With Love & Food

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Nothing quite captures the spirit of the Christmas season like a homemade gift basket.  In  a world that moves way too fast, there is something incredibly special about receiving a gift filled with the care and love of home-grown or

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The Farm House Photo Tour Update – 45 Days After Move In

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The Farm House Photo Tour Update – November, 2016. It has been just 45 days since “move-in-day” at the new farm house. It’s hard to believe that in just 7 short months, the hill overlooking the farm has gone from a grass-covered space,

The post The Farm House Photo Tour Update – 45 Days After Move In appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

The DIY Scrabble Wall! The $24 Idea That Solved A Decorating Dilemma

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The DIY Scrabble Wall Project. Who knew the classic game of Scrabble could provide the answer to our decorating dilemma! A few weeks back, we asked readers to help with decorating ideas for what we now call the “Big Wall”

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Creating DIY Furniture For The Home – Big Savings With A Unique Look

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Creating DIY furniture for your home can save big money when it comes to your household budget. But even more, it really adds a unique, one-of-a-kind look to your space.  One of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of building

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Acid Staining Our Concrete Floors – An Expensive Look At Little Cost!

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This weekend, it was time to start acid staining our concrete floors. I will admit that we both were a little nervous to get started, especially knowing this will be the final look of the flooring in the house.  So as

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Creating A Finished Garage On A Shoestring Budget. A Clean, Low-Cost Look

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When it came to creating a finished garage space, we knew for us, versatility would be the key! Our garage has always been part storage space, part workshop and the some. At our old house, we used the space to build pergolas,

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Autumn Scenes From The Farm – A Photo Tour of Fall’s Beauty

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Fall’s beauty is on full display at the farm. This autumn has simply been spectacular here in Ohio. I’m not sure why, but this just seems like one of the best ever. Perhaps it has been the incredible stretch of

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How To Find Unique Ways To Create Storage Space In A Small Home

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If there a key to smaller home living, its finding enough storage space to keep things neat and uncluttered. When we decided to downsize to a floor plan of just over 1000 square feet at the farm, we knew we would

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Creating A Tiny Cabin In A Garage – A 264 Square Foot Guest House

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Although it may not have a trailer base, wheels, or the ability to move – the 250 foot square foot tiny cabin we are creating in the extra space of our garage certainly would qualify as tiny house living. We  wanted to create a private space at the

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The Simple House Photo Tour Update – One Week Till Move In Day!

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It’s hard to believe, but we are down to just 6 short days until Move In Day at the farm! The water, electric, gas, heat and air have all been hooked up – and the mad dash to complete a million little last-minute projects is

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Creating An Accent Wall With Reclaimed Barn Wood And Pallets

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When it came to adding an accent wall to our master bedroom, we turned to an old favorite, barn wood! For us, it is a great way to bring a little history from our farm into our new home. It  was just

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The Upside Of Downsizing, The Freedom Of Living Smaller

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I can still remember the looks of shock and disbelief on many of the faces of our friends and family when we told them we were going to build a 1000 square foot home at the farm. Where will put

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The Garden Bucket Experiment – A Container Garden Made Easy!

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Tucked away in a tiny corner of the garden this year, was our Any Age, Anywhere Experimental Container Garden. It was our little trial to see how our tomato and pepper plants would grow in simple containers. And the results certainly surprised us! 

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The Simple House Budget – Thinking Outside The Box To Lower Costs

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When it comes to the Simple House budget, one of the ways we have been able to keep the overall cost down is by using a variety of organic and industrial materials in place of more expensive “standard” building materials.   For those

The post The Simple House Budget – Thinking Outside The Box To Lower Costs appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Fall – The Perfect Time To Plant Shade Trees, Fruit Trees and Shrubs

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There is absolutely no better time of the year to plant shade trees, fruit trees, and shrubs in the landscape than when the cooler, less humid temperatures of early fall start to settle in. Even though we have plenty to

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The One Must-Do Fall Chore For Your Garden – Plant A Cover Crop!

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Without a shred of doubt, I can tell you that THE single most important key to our garden’s success each year is the planting of our fall cover crops. With one simple, quick, and inexpensive task – we help to recharge,

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4 Big Winning Plant Varieties From Our 2016 Garden Trials

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One of our favorite things to do every year is try out a few new plants in the garden. Whether it’s a new variety of an heirloom tomato or a fiery hot pepper, it’s always fun to see what new taste will

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A Love of Life, Gardening And Food. How We Came To Be Jim and Mary

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This past week was a big milestone for the blog as we passed our 30,000,000th visitor to the site. When we first started talking about gardening, canning, cooking and living a more simple life – neither of us realized just how many people really

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The Simple House Photo/Video Tour Update – 41 Days To Completion!

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The end is in sight! It seems hard to believe that exactly two months and eight days ago, the first bit of earth was scraped aside to make way for our Simple House Project at the farm. In those short 70

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The Vegetable Garden Tour In Photos – Mid-July At OWG Farms

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Like many of our followers, there is simply no place we would rather be than in our garden. Although this has been an incredibly exciting year with the publishing of the book, the book tour, and construction of our home at

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Our Best Time Saving, Weed Free Garden Experiment Ever!

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As many of you that follow us regularly know, we like to try out a few new things in our garden each growing season. It’s always fun to see what might work and what won’t. Although some fail miserably, others have

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The Farmhouse Build In 19 Seconds – A Simple House Rises At The Farm

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After a tremendous amount of dreaming, planning, and preparation – the walls and roof line of our farmhouse finally went up this week at the farm!  Around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, after a powerful set of overnight storms, the building crew from Weaver Barns rolled

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The Farm In Photos – Gardens, Flowers, And A Home Begins

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June is flying by, and it is hard to believe that July is just a few weeks away! For the last month, the farm has been a whirlwind of activity.  We dubbed this the “year of chaos”, knowing that the

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Planning To Can and Freeze – Stocking Our Pantry From The Garden

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Garden season is starting to heat up, and that means it won’t be long until the produce starts to roll in! As much as we love creating meals from all of the fresh berries, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and more during growing season –

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How We Prune Tomatoes For A Healthy, Productive Crop

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It’s hard to believe that the first week of June is nearly in the books! But as the temperatures start to warm up, and the garden begins to take off  – it means it’s time to start pruning our tomato

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5 Amazing Facts About Honey Bees

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No matter how hard we work, or how many hours Mary and I might put into our chores, we can never come close to matching the work level of our honey bees at the farm. Our two hives, and the thousands upon thousands of

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Breaking Ground On Our Version Of A Tiny Home

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It happened! This past week, after a few years of designing, planning and re-designing, we finally broke ground on our future “Simple House” at the farm. I have to say that for both of us, it was a pretty incredible moment

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2 Big Garden Experiments For 2016

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I don’t think we’ve ever been as excited for a garden season as Mary and I are for this summer’s version. Not only is it our chance to build and finally move to the farm full-time – but also the year we

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How To Avoid The 5 Biggest Garden Mistakes

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Each year as “Garden Season hits” – we start to get a flurry of emails from all over the US and beyond about issues in the garden. Without fail, a large majority of those issues each season always seem to center

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25 Million Reasons To Simplify – Sharing A Chapter Of Our LIfe

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It is truly amazing how many people from all over the world want to slow down, simplify and get back to the basics of a meaningful lifestyle. Maybe that means planting their first garden. Maybe it means learning how to can or

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Staying Calm Through Chaos – One House Sells, And A New Life Begins

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It happened. Less than one month after going on the market – our current house is now under contract, and with that, the move to the farm and the building of the simple house is full steam ahead! We have

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The Secret To A Great Garden – Raised Row Gardening!

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As we head into our 6th growing season at the farm – I can’t imagine life without raised row gardening. For us – it has made all the difference in successfully growing the majority of our family’s food without spending all of

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5 Great Gardening Tips for New Gardeners

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It’s nearly impossible to believe that in just a few weeks, we will be heading into our 6th planting season at the farm. That is of course if Mother Nature finally starts figuring out that planting a garden actually requires

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Unplug , Get Outside, Get Dirty, And Garden!

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Yesterday was one of those days that make Mary and I realize just how lucky we are to get to do what we do. We had the pleasure and honor of presenting the key note speech at the Licking County

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The Growing Simple Book – The Dream Is Finalized!

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This is the Sunday Farm Update that we have been waiting to share for nearly a year! Our book, Growing Simple has been completed, and the official release date has been set for Tuesday, May 2nd!   I think that both

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The Recycled Chicken Coop Pallet Project

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Creating A Chicken Coop From Recycled Materials Ever since creating Old World Garden Farms in late 2010 – we’ve tried to really show that you can build much of what you need using recycled, re-purposed and reclaimed materials. More importantly – that

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The 3 Secrets To A Weed Free Garden

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If there is one thing that gardeners from around the world all dream about – it’s a weed free garden! Weeds are not only unsightly – but compete with the vegetable plants and flowers in your garden for the valuable minerals, nutrients and water

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Downsizing Room by Room. Less Space, Less Stuff Equals Less STRESS!

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It’s time to let the downsizing begin! This past week, we put our suburban home up for sale in anticipation of building and moving into our “Simple House” at the farm this summer. Our “Simple House” is all about downsizing to

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The Garden Redesign – Adding A Little Flair

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It seems like each and every year  – we find ourselves writing a Sunday Farm Update about changes to the garden. Our garden has changed a lot since those first vegetable seedling went into the ground in the Spring of 2011. It has always been

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Raising Backyard Chickens – Chicks To Coop

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As more and more people begin to think about raising backyard chickens – we thought for today’s farm update we would take you through the basics in raising your own – from chicks to coop!   There is little doubt

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7 Must Grow Veggie Plants For 2016

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We are just a few weeks away from starting our seeds indoors for this year’s garden – and as always – it’s time to share our top seven must grow veggie plants for the garden! Our garden is used not only for

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The Keys To Starting Vegetable Seeds Indoors – Spring is Near!

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For us, starting vegetable seeds indoors is a long-awaited signal that Spring is right around the corner! All of those long Winter months of cold and frosty mornings somehow become more bearable when those little seeds start to sprout through

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3 Simple Ways To Start Eliminating Preservatives From Your Diet – And Save Money!

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One of our big goals for 2016 is to all but eliminate preservatives from our diet.   Without getting into specifics on the negative health impact of preservatives – I think it’s pretty fair to say that reducing or eliminating them can be

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It’s Time To Say Goodbye – Moving On Is Never Easy!

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Sometimes, you grow a little too much to handle everything – and when it comes to our Old World Garden Farm’s website – that is exactly what happened! When we first started the little OWG blog in 2012, it was really intended as a way to let our family and friends keep up with our projects and the progress at the farm. We never really intended for it to become a gardening, cooking and diy site – but somehow it did. We have gone from a few views and followers after the first month’s launch in early 2012 – to over 600,000 visitors a month and just under 70,000 followers at the end of 2015. With that said – we have simply outgrown our space on the site and the server where it all began. A few weeks back, we found out we were nearing the maximum capacity – and would need to move to a larger platform to handle it all. So……that is exactly what we are doing! Although probably not the best time for it to happen to us with the book nearing publication and the house project beginning in full swing – we have to take the leap! The Good News… […]

The Simple House Project Update #4 – Determining What We Can Do – And What We Can’t

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Today is the 4th installment of 26 in our year-long series called “The Simple House Project.” Every 2 weeks, we publish an article or video covering the process from start to finish. From permits, plans, and construction of the exterior, to the complete interior finish – we hope to document the challenges, trials and tribulations of creating a simple house that is extremely cost-effective, energy-efficient and earth-friendly – using only the space we truly need to live comfortably. One of the most exciting aspects of our “Simple House Project” is that so much of it will be created with our own four hands. For Mary and myself, it’s not only critical to keeping the house affordable and on budget – but a way for us to do what we love together  – create and build! Although the complete timeline and budget of the project will be covered in a future update – today’s article is all about separating the tasks we can complete, and those we can’t. The real key to success in any large project is knowing what you can do – and making sure you have great people doing what you can’t.  There are four major areas of the house that we are leaving […]

The “Growing Simple” Book Launch Date Nears, And A Dream Becomes Reality

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It seems hard to believe that just 8 1/2 months ago, the Kickstarter campaign for our “Growing Simple” book reached its goal, and our dreams of writing our first Home and Garden book became a reality. To say that taking on the project was a gargantuan effort might be the biggest understatement of the year for us! We had originally hoped to complete the entire writing process by the end of October or the first part of November – and have the book out by late December. Looking back – that was a bit of an aggressive plan!  I think with it being our first ever book –  we probably (well, not probably, more like definitely) underestimated how much time creating, writing and editing would take! But somehow, through the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons, with a little effort each and every week, we have worked our way through the creation of the book. We have loved absolutely every minute of the process – but wow – does it take time to go back and forth to complete! With that said – the end is in sight. We should wrap up the final two chapters by the end of the year, have final edits in […]

The Exit Plan – Remodeling, Downsizing, and Preparing to Sell While Building

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Today is the 3rd installment of 24 articles in our year-long series called “The Simple House Project.” Every 2 weeks, we will publish an article or video covering the process from start to finish. From permits, plans, and construction of the exterior, to the complete interior finish – we hope to document the challenges, trials and tribulations of creating a simple cost-effective, energy-efficient and earth-friendly house. With the new house plan well underway, one of our biggest concerns now becomes our current house – as in finding the time to prepare it for sale and deciding when to put it on the market. We also need continue to pare down to prepare for living in a smaller home. The good news is that we have been preparing for this for a while – the bad news is that time is beginning to run short – and we need to get the house ready for sale at some point next year. As many of you know – we are both big believers in using daily to-do lists and yearly goals to help motivate and keep us on track – and those have both played a huge role in helping us get the house ready to […]

Bringing Back Sunday Dinner – Sharing Meals and Traditions That Matter!

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From the feasts and banquets of ancient Greece and Rome, to Sunday Supper at Aunt Bee’s in Mayberry, USA – food has always served as a great way to bring people together for great conversation. Yes – as shocking as it may seem, there was actually a time not too long ago – before cell phones, iPods, televisions, computers and busy work schedules – that people actually looked forward to getting together to prepare and share a meal! They were real meals prepared from real ingredients – many from home-grown gardens or local farmers – but the meaning went far beyond just the food on the table. It was in preparing those meals that family recipes, cooking skills and long-standing traditions were passed on to the next generation. It was how children learned about respect and how to talk to adults – and how older generations learned the latest and greatest from the kids. I can remember back to my own childhood that on nearly every Sunday evening, my family would sit down together for dinner. We were joined many times by my older siblings, their husbands and nieces and nephews  – along with a visit now and then from Uncle Tom, Aunt Helen and Uncle Johhny, Eddie and Sis and […]

Creating A Simple Home Design To Live With Less – Comfortably

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Today starts the first official installment of “Building The Simple House”, our 12 month series on designing, building and creating our home at the farm. Over the next year, we will publish an article every two weeks covering the entire process from start to finish. From permits to plans, construction of the foundation, walls and full exterior – right down to creating and pouring our own concrete counter tops and finishing off the interior – our hope is to document the challenges, trials, tribulations and excitement of building “The Simple House.” Our goals for the house are simple and straightforward:  Design and build – as much as possible on our own – a minimal cost, energy-efficient, low maintenance home that utilizes only the space we need. A simple home that allows us to live and enjoy the farm now and forever. There is a tremendous amount of freedom in living with less. In reality, it will allow us to live with so much more.  More freedom to travel, garden, spend time with family and future grandchildren – and not be held captive by the space, energy and expense of a larger home. When it comes right down to it – every person, every couple and every family has different […]

What’s In Your Food? Grow It – And You’ll Know It!

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Sadly, the majority of food products that end up on the dinner table today have been grown with heavy doses of synthetic fertilizers, sprayed with tons of pesticides, and then are processed to contain a seemingly endless list of preservatives. It doesn’t take a scientist to know that the effects on our long-term health are anything but good.  In fact, all of the above have been linked to a plethora of health risks from cancer to diabetes and everything in between.  Maybe it’s time we all start to take charge of our own food sources – and grow a little more of our own food. There is really only one way to ever know for sure what is in your food – and that is to grow it! And believe me when I say that the health benefits go far beyond just eliminating the harsh and sometimes deadly preservatives that are found in nearly all of the commercially grown and processed food today. In fact – growing your own organic-based vegetable garden covers every aspect of a healthy lifestyle – from getting a dose of fresh air and sunshine (a great and NATURAL source of Vitamin D), to the exercise gained and […]

The 2015 Garden Experiments – What Worked, And What Didn’t!

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We have had quite a few emails over the last month inquiring about our 2015 garden experiments.  Many wanted to know how the red plastic mulch in the tomato rows worked out – while others were curious about the method of growing all of our potatoes in crates. So we thought for today’s Sunday Farm Update – we would take a little time to go over the results and share some of the winners – and losers of the 2015 garden experiments. We have a lot of fun trying out new things each year in the garden, and just like in life – some work out perfectly – while others you simply chalk up to a lesson well-learned!  But as the old saying goes, when you stop trying – you stop learning – and where is the fun in that?! So with that said – here is a look at our 2015 experiments: What Worked: The Potato Crates After successfully experimenting last year with growing some of our potato crop in home-made wooden crates – we went “all-in” this year, planting our entire crop with the crate method. We planted them in a loose mixture of straw, compost and dirt – filling up the crate […]

The 49¢ Secret to Accomplishing The Daily Tasks Needed To Reach Your Dreams

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“How in the world do you two find the time to get everything done? What is your secret?” Those two questions seem to always come up in the conversation when someone talks to us about balancing our careers and family life while building the farm, tending the garden, and writing articles and recipes for the blog. It can certainly get a little crazy at times – and although we, like many, rely on a digital calendar to keep track of meetings, family functions, school events and travel schedules  – its actually a simple, low-tech system that powers us to accomplish the daily goals and tasks of our life. In fact, in an age of technology, time management devices, electronic calendars, alarms, reminders and task lists – I think most people are fairly shocked when they find out that our “secret” to “getting things done” is none other than a tiny, 49¢, 3 x 5″ spiral notebook. How The Notebook Works For Us:   5 minutes in the morning,  5 minutes at night…and a whole day of accomplishment! For us, it actually all starts with the realization that no single large project, goal or dream ever gets completed without a lot of little accomplishments happening to pave the way. […]

One Step Closer To The Dream – The House Building Journey Begins

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Sometimes, things just simply happen for a reason – especially when you least expect it. With a lot on our plates for the next 6 months, including the book release in January and subsequent tour in the early spring – we had made the decision to hold off breaking ground on the house until late 2016 or early 2017. We decided instead to look into building our garage over the winter or spring, and at the very least have a place to store things for the eventual house build. And then fate stepped in. As we left the farm one evening, Mary asked me to stop in to a nearby store to pick up a copy of the local paper for an article on the kid’s football team. And that little stop sent the entire house building project into full gear – all thanks to a little brochure placed at the checkout counter. As we stood in line to pay,  I noticed a Weaver Barns brochure laying on the counter – it caught my eye because the little cabin and barn on the front cover had the look and feel of our existing barn and chicken coop we had built at the farm. So as we […]