MADE in Lake County: Tips for Creating a More Sustainable Homestead

Green Living

MADE is a paid partnership with Little Lake County.

Welcome to MADE in Lake County! MADE introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. Because we’re celebrating spring and Earth Day this month, it’s my pleasure to have introduced you to Village Homesteading Mundelein and one of its board members, Alicia Dodd. Alicia has a successful homestead here in the fringes of suburbia. Read the first part of her interview here.

MADE in Lake County: Alicia Dodd, Village Homesteading Mundelein

This week, Alicia’s giving us tips to get greener. No matter if you’re a newbie, intermediate or expert homesteader,  Alicia has some tips and ways for creating a more sustainable homestead.

Tips for Creating a More Sustainable Homestead

Sustainability for the Newbie

1. Switch to organic lawn care.  Use organic fertilizers instead of synthetic.  Mow over your leaves in the fall and leave the chopped bits to decompose on your grass as a natural fertilizer.  Keep your grass longer in the summer to protect the soil from drying out in the hot sun.

2. Use native plants when adding to your landscape.  Native plants have deeper, more extensive root systems than exotics and are better equipped to handle drought and winter weather. Find some ideas to attract butterflies here.

3. Join a CSA or support local farmers at a farmer’s market this summer. {Hyacynth’s note: the next Homesteading with Hyacynth post will focus on CSAs because ’tis the season! Stay tuned for that on Wednesday!}

Sustainability for the Intermediate Greenie

1. Compost! You can turn many of those food scraps you toss in the trash into valuable soil amendments instead of filling up our landfills.  30% of the garbage that gets hauled away could be transformed into life-supporting organic matter.

2. Read about the benefits of fermented foods and give fermenting your own vegetables a try!  Contact Village Homesteading Mundelein about attending a free class on fermentation.

3. Start a small vegetable garden with easy to grow plants such as kale, chard, tomatoes, and herbs and discover how satisfying grow your own produce can be.  Join our Fremont Township Garden group to learn more about gardening during hands-on workdays through the year.

Sustainability for the Hard-Core Gardener

1. Read about Permaculture and learn how you can maximize your land, water, and landscaping to the fullest and in a way that supports nature, your family, and your community.

2. Convert your existing landscape into a living ecosystem that supports life! Either feeding your family, using edible landscaping techniques, or providing an ecosystem for the creatures around us that are vital to our existence, by planting natives.

3. Add another season to your vegetable garden.  Add companion or interplanting techniques.  And learn how to use cover crops to add organic matter to your soil.

So which tip resonates with you? Perhaps pick one and implement it on Earth Day?

Also, don’t forget to connect with Village Homesteading Mundelein for more resources, education, and information!

MADE in Lake County: Tips for Creating a More Sustainable Homestead
About Hyacynth 22 Articles
Hyacynth Worth is wife to John and mother to two boys and two girls. She writes about motherhood, healthy living and faith at Undercover Mother. She is Little Lake County's managing editor and the author of Homesteading with Hyacynth. She promises to be candid, amusing and only slightly neurotic. Most of the time.

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