Connect with us

Self Sufficiency

Benefits Of Garden Crop Rotation Farming – The Right Way to Produce Produce

The satisfaction of eating food you grew on your own, in your own garden, is indescribable. There’s something basic and rewarding about producing your own produce – you know exactly where it came from, how it was grown, and what fertilizers and which pesticides were used. Plus they taste pretty damn good too. One way to make them taste even better? Rotation crop farming.

Rotation Crop Farming: A Healthier and Smarter Garden

Needless to say, home gardens are really cool: they are useful; they are economical; they are healthy for the earth and for you, the owner. But cultivating a productive garden isn’t as easy as throwing out some seeds, sitting back, cracking a beer and watching your bounty grow, hose in hand. If only it were. Agriculture is one of mankind’s oldest forms of science, and over the millennia we’ve developed a lot of tricks, tips, and methods for perfecting the art of farming successfully. The study is immense.

One of the most effective tricks for improving your garden’s health and crop yield, is known as “crop rotation farming”. Crop rotation farming is, in a nutshell, the systematic approach to picking which crop to plant where, and how to cycle each from one year to the next. Before you get intimidated by that description, just hear me out: this form of farming is a lot easier than it may at first sound – it does require marginally more effort on your part, but the payoff is well-worth it.

Crop rotation is not a new trick. It is not a trendy hipster secret or some kind of sexy life-hack. This is an ancient, tried and field-tested method for maintaining quality soil, healthy plants, and high crop yields. It goes back as far as Mesopotamian farmers, who employed basic crop rotation tactics over 8000 years ago! Anything that has been around for that long has to be pretty effective!

Why Crop Rotation is SO Beneficial


rotation crop farming

Well, actually I’m going to start by explaining why monocrop (or monoculture) farming is so bad. Monocrop farming is exactly what it sounds like – farming the same crop in the same field season after season without change. It’s basically the exact opposite of crop rotation farming.

Monocrop farming is bad for two main reasons: First and foremost, it’s unhealthy for the soil. It doesn’t allow the soil any time to recover and offers no variation in nutrients – meaning that fertile farming soil dries out and essentially dies. And when your soil goes bad, your crops die, and when there’s no crops to hold down the soil, you get the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. And nobody wants another Dust Bowl.

The second reason is most easily explained by the old adage, “Never put all of your eggs in one basket.” If a particular type of parasite or disease breaks out and all of your crops are the same, you are vulnerable to losing all of your produce in a single fell blow, with nothing to fall back on. Think of Ireland’s Great Potato Famine

Conversely, crop rotation farming diversifies the soil nutrients, making a rich and highly fertile blend. This makes it easy to grow plants, which prevents soil erosion, and makes produce grow plentifully. It’s a win-win-win situation – the environment is happy, you’re happy, and your crops are happy (until they’re eaten, that is). It also helps reduce problems with soil dwelling insects and soil borne diseases.

The How To

crop rotation farming

crop rotation farming

You don’t need a degree in agricultural sciences to perfect the art of rotation crop farming – you just need to put in a little extra work (which pays off big in the end). You don’t even need that big of a garden, either. Size matters little when it comes to rotation crop farming – whether you have tens of acres of land you want to utilize solely for agriculture, you’re garden is just a small corner of your backyard, or even if you just have a handful of ceramic pots – rotation crop farming works on all scales.

It is best to have separate beds for separate families of produce, but you don’t need to. You can just divide one bed into several crop areas and rotate them thusly. The only downside to this is that, if you do get a soil borne disease or parasite, it will spread much more easily from crop to crop.

Familiarize yourself with the different families of produce. This is how you will group your rotation batches. Here is a general list of families to plant by:

  • Nightshades (Solanaceous): Tomatillos, tomatoes, eggplants, okra, peppers, potatoes
  • Squash, Melons, and Cucumbers (cucurbits): Musk melon, cucumbers, summer squash & zucchini, watermelon, gourd, pumpkin
  • Morning Glory: Sweet Potato
  • Goosefoot (Amaranthaceae): Spinach, quinoa, beet, orach, chard,
  • Sunflower (Asteraceae): Jerusalem artichoke, sunflower, lettuce, artichoke, endive
  • Cole (Brassicas): Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, radishes, collards, kohlrabi, turnip, rutabaga, mustard
  • Onions: Onions, chives, leeks, garlic
  • Peas (legumes): Runner beans, garbanzo beans,peas, fava beans, bush beans, peanuts
  • Grasses: Millet, corn, rice, wheat, barley, rye
  • Parsley: Carrots, parsley, parsnips, celery, cilantro/coriander, fennel

You can have as many different families in rotation as you want, but generally, you need at least two to flip-flop crops. Then, after each season, when the crops have yielded their bounty, rotate all of your crop families to a new bed when you’re ready to replant. Rotation crop farming is like musical chairs for a garden!

It is also highly encouraged to keep a bed/field “fallow” each season. That is to say, leave one bed/field unplanted so that the soil can truly rest and recuperate. If your land is large enough, many farmers keep livestock (like chickens and sheep) on their fallow field, because the animals aerate and fertilize the soil even more, so that when you do plant there next season, the soil is extra fertile and super healthy.

If you don’t have livestock, you can plant a “cover crop” on the otherwise fallow field/bed – like alfalfa, white Dutch clover, or rye – to add fertility and improve drainage. That way you still get some use out of an otherwise empty bed.

Do It the Right Way

rotation crop farming

rotation crop farming

If you’re planning on starting a garden, or already have one and want to improve upon it, crop rotation is the most effective method for doing so. There are no drawbacks to it – only positive effects and benefits for you and your environment.

This video posted by GrowVeg makes crop rotation simple:

As I mentioned, there’s something truly, genuinely good about growing your own food. But it isn’t always easy, and there are a lot of tricks and methods for it that can sometimes get confusing. That doesn’t mean they are unachievable though! So whether you are growing produce in a tiny greenhouse, in your backyard, or on a decent sized farm, you might as well do it the right way – with crop rotation. You will be surely glad you did.


This Article Was Found On Read the Original Article

Continue Reading

Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

This Article Was Originally Posted On Read the Original Article here

Continue Reading

Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!


Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook!



Suggested Videos

This Article Was Found On Read the Original Article

Continue Reading

Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




Suggested Videos

This Article Was Found On Read the Original Article

Continue Reading