If you’ve ever wanted to build your own self-sustaining homestead, there are a few things you should know about beforehand. To start with, you’ll want at least one acre of land. This land will help provide you with everything you’ll need, from livestock to fresh produce.

#1 – Raise a Dairy Cow

Dairy cows are the perfect animal to have on your homestead for a few reasons. First, they give you access to much-needed dairy products, like milk. Second, eventually your cow will provide you with a good amount of meat. Lastly, their manure can be used to fertilize pretty much everything else on your homestead.

Raising a dairy cow might cost a bit of money each year, but it’s great investment when you factor in how much you’re saving on dairy products, as well as how much healthier your soil is because of the fertilizer.

A self-sustaining homestead is difficult to manage without a dairy cow, but it can be done. Be sure to milk the cow regularly, or have experienced people do so when you cannot.

#2 – Crop Rotation and the Pasture

Once you have a cow, you’ll want to dedicate about half of your land to pasture. This land should be plowed about every four years if you’re wanting to rotate your crops. When rotating your crops, many experts recommend doing so in strips, or about one-quarter of your crops at a time. This makes for a well-sown, varied pasture that utilizes the land to the best of its ability.

#3 – Grazing

When it comes to grazing, proper maintenance is needed to ensure a healthy pasture. The grass cannot become overgrazed, or the cows will have to be moved. Ideally, you want to give the grass enough time to grow before being fully grazed or taken down.

One half-acre is enough to keep one dairy cow fed and happy, but you likely will not have any grass leftover at season’s end.

For the winter months, you will need to house the cow inside, somewhere with fresh air. If you do not, the likelihood of overgrazing increases.

#4 – Other livestock

When bringing other animals into the equation, it’s important to note that each one has different living requirements. Most will need some form of indoor shelter for the Winter. Preferably, some type of movable house and fencing works best for pigs. Chickens can be housed permanently in mobile coops or in a section of the garden.

#5 – Gardening

Now, we have a half-acre of land left. This is to be used to grow a healthy garden. This garden thrives if we divide it into four sections, allowing for a precise crop rotation.

While you will ultimately decide what types of crops to grow, an example of the ideal garden might look like this:

  • Plot 1 – Potatoes
  • Plot 2 – Legumes (Pea and Bean Family)
  • Plot 3 – Brassicas (Cabbage)
  • Plot 4 – Root Veggies (Carrots, Beets, etc.)


Using all of these ideas, it’s very possible (and fun!) to work on building a self-sustainable homestead on even just a minimal amount of land.

h/t Earthables

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This Unique Spanish Home Was Built Under a Rolling Hill and Is Completely Eco-Friendly

You wouldn’t know there was a home resting inside of this rolling hillside were it not for the roof sloping downward over a parked car and bicycles. Known as the Live Garden House, this vaulted home was built into a hillside and features traditional construction techniques practiced in Zaragoza, Spain.

Spanish designers sought to create a fully sustainable home that used locally-sourced materials for its construction. They achieve their vision with this zero-energy structure that lets in natural sunlight, has a natural ventilation system and features a rainwater collection system.

All of its sustainable features are made even better by placing them underneath an undulating green roof (which has plants and vegetation growing on top of it). Not only does the home look beautiful inside, it fits in perfectly with the surrounding landscape.

And the inside is just as welcoming and serene as the outside. Take a look for yourself!

h/t Inhabitat

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The REAL Reason Barns Are Usually Red

Almost every barn I’ve ever seen has been red, and I never knew why. I mean, I love red as a color, but it never really made any sense why every single barn I’ve ever come across had to be red. There are so many other colors to choose from!

The real reason barns are painted red actually has nothing to do with color preference, and everything to do with practicality.

When the very first New England settlers were building farms, many of them lacked the necessary funds to paint their buildings. However, they still needed a way to protect their barns’ wood from the elements, so they came up with their own solution to the problem: by mixing skim milk, lime, and red iron oxide, they successfully created a plastic-like substance that they could coat their farm buildings with to protect them.

Eventually, paint manufacturers would mix in chemical pigment and red was the favorite due to how cheap it was. And, as with many things in this world, people never sought to change it. So, red was how it began and red is how it has stayed.

h/t Business Insider

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Professor Who Predicted Donald Trump Becoming President Has a New Prediction: Impeachment

Image via: Max Goldberg from USA - Trump CAUCUS

Allan Lichtman, a professor at American University, has gained quite a bit of notoriety over the years as he’s successfully predicted the outcome of every presidential election to date, starting in 1984. He correctly predicted the Donald Trump would win the 2016 election and is now making another prediction: Donald Trump will be impeached.

"Now, he focuses on the 45th President of the United States and his next forecast, that it is not a question of if President Trump will be impeached, but a question of when," said Shelby Meizlik, spokesperson for HarperCollins.

In fact, Lichtman has written a book stating his argument for why Trump should be impeached. The Case for Impeachment is being published by Dey Street Books and will release to the public on April 18th.

Lichtman made the prediction that Trump would be impeached alongside his prediction that he would be elected and his book will go into detail as to why.

Lichtman told the Washington Post this past September:

"I'm going to make another prediction. This one is not based on a system; it's just my gut. They don't want Trump as president, because they can't control him. He's unpredictable. They'd love to have Pence — an absolutely down-the-line, conservative, controllable Republican. And I'm quite certain Trump will give someone grounds for impeachment, either by doing something that endangers national security or because it helps his pocketbook."

It certainly seems as though there is a strong case for impeachment, especially when considering Trump's Russian connections and the multitude of conflicts of interests surrounding his businesses, as Lichtman argues.

Do you think Lichtman’s fortune-telling capabilities will ring true once again?

h/t Time

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6 Bizarrely Beautiful Houseplants You've Probably Never Heard Of

Houseplants are a great addition to any home as not only do they bring a clean, fresh aesthetic to the space, they also help improve air quality. If you’ve ever wanted to bring plants into your home, but think that they’re kind of boring or not worth the effort, try out one of these bizarre houseplants that are anything but boring.

Mix it up a little with these six houseplants that are beautiful, but also a little strange.

Euphorbia Caput-Medusae
Succulents a great option for everyone who’s looking for a low-maintenance plant. They only need watering about once a week and even just once a month during the winter months. The type of succulent shown here is referred to as “Medusa’s Head,” a moniker taken on because of its likeness to the Greek monster with snakes for hair. It is native to South Africa.

The Trachyandra also looks as if it’s some type of snake plant, or maybe silly-string growing out of the ground. This plant is real and you can find it in Eastern and Southern Africa.

If you’ve ever wanted a plant that looks somewhat like it has antlers, grab a Platycerium. This plant, which is often called the “Staghorn Fern”, can even grow on the side of things, such as trees or walls.

Gentiana Urnula
These beautifully-patterned succulents are known as “Starfish Succulents” and are at home in the rocks. These are also a perfect option for those seeking low-maintenance plants.

Sedum Morganianum
These crazy looking plant is often called “Donkey Tail” and its stems regularly grow up to two feet in length. Its leaves are normally a bluish-green and it is native to Mexico and Honduras.

Haworthia Cooperi
This plant looks like some type of glass flower or maybe even some type of gelatin, but these clumps you see here are actually green leaves that simply look as though they’re something else.

h/t Woman's Day

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