Making compost is a fairly easy process: you take a bunch of scraps, toss in some old leaves, add your used coffee grinds and dryer lint. You can leave it alone and let it slowly meld together or hurry things along by actively turning your pile. In the end, a bunch of odds and ends metamorphs into a rich resource that will make your garden soil so much stronger.

I spend a fair amount of time wandering the vast wonderland that is the Internet seeking out nuggets of wisdom and inspiration to incorporate into my suburban homesteading lifestyle. I’ve come to think of it as a form of mental composting–odds and ends go in; enriched ideas come out. Each week I’ll post a few links to the most interesting things I’ve found for you to toss into your own mental composter.

  • 7 Low Cost Low Emission Foods. My family routinely eats 6 of the 7 foods listed. The only one we have never tried is homemade almond milk, and that feels like a challenge. I like to be challenged, so keep an eye out for a future post on making almond milk.
  • Save Money (and Water!) With Rain Barrels. Oh, how I want some rain barrels. They’re in line to be the next big purchase made for the homestead. This article sums up my reasons quite well.
  • A Town Fights to Save an Oasis of Baguettes. I am a big advocate of local businesses-especially local eateries-so this news piece moved me to tears. Not to long ago my favorite pizza guy closed up shop and vanished without warning, leaving a void for thin crust Tuscan-style pizza and charming Italian men in my life. I miss him, and if I had been given any warning, I would have fought this hard to keep him in our community. Do not take your local small businesses for granted!
  • TED Talks Tim Ferriss: Smash fear, learn anything. I have become a huge fan of the TED talks, which my wonderful sister introduced me to a few months ago. This one is a 16 minute talk give by productivity guru Tim Ferriss that sums up my thoughts on trying to learn new things. Don’t let fear keep you from trying.
  • Seasonal Recipe-Small Batch Strawberry Jam. Late May through early June is strawberry season here in New Jersey. I take the family picking at least twice and fix up several huge batches of strawberry jam, and I’ll post about that process soon. If the thought of spending all day picking, prepping, and canning berries intimidates you, and you’d like to start small, you can try the small batch method shown in this video tutorial.