Tag: Links

4 Reasons We Use WordPress.com
The Business

4 Reasons We Use WordPress.com

4 Reasons We Use WordPress.comHomestead on the Range has come a long way since we launched our website almost five years ago. Our site was originally self-hosted, but about a year ago we moved to WordPress.com, and we haven’t looked back.

If you are considering launching a new website for your farm, small business, or personal enjoyment, or if you have been dissatisfied with your current arrangement, you might want to consider hosting your site on WordPress.com. Here’s why:

  1. Security. No site is immune to being hacked, and maintaining the integrity of a self-hosted site, especially one that uses a database, can be an absolute nightmare. Our previous setup was an amalgamation involving WordPress.org (the free open-source version), a theme, and a multitude of plugins. In short, a patchwork quilt of sometimes incompatible pieces, all regularly requiring updating and all regularly breaking when updated. WordPress.com is a complete package, and it updates in the background. No supervision required. (And no vetting of plugins to sort the good ones from the malware!)
  2. Intuitive design process. The WordPress.com interface is incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. You don’t have to know anything about coding in HTML or CSS to get started (although learning these two languages will give you greater flexibility). Pick a theme that looks nice to you. Then use the drop-down menus and drag-and-drop widgets in the Customizer to change fonts, select a color scheme, upload a header image, and set up sidebars and footers. It’s really that easy.
  3. A plan for everyone. WordPress.com offers four plans, so there is something to fit every budget. The basic plan is free. For a custom domain name (e.g., myfarmwebsiteexample.com instead of myfarmwebsiteexample.wordpress.com) or for a little more flexibility about how your site looks, select from one of the paid plans. The highest package offers almost total control over all aspects of your website.
  4. Excellent documentation and support. Have a question? WordPress.com offers extensive and easy-to-understand documentation to guide you every step of the way. Plus, if you get into a real bind, you can browse the support forums or contact their extremely responsive staff.

And then there’s a whole host of nice features we use daily and love, such as the diverse selection of themes, the built-in share buttons and contact forms, and the attractive gallery feature (check out this page from our gallery). The entire system is novice-friendly and super easy to use.

Highly recommended!

Territorial Kansas Online
The Sunflower State

Territorial Kansas Online

Territorial Kansas OnlineLooking for an extensive depository of digitized primary source material related to the turbulent territorial days of Kansas? Try Territorial Kansas Online, a project developed by the Kansas State Historical Society and the University of Kansas.

Territorial Kansas Online displays a wide range of artifacts dating from 1854 to 1861, including:

  • Letters.
  • Speeches.
  • Articles.
  • Pamphlets.
  • Photographs.
  • Legislative acts.
  • Meeting minutes.
  • Sheet music.

There are several ways to browse the content of the site:

There is also a helpful timeline of major events in Kansas territorial history along with links to relevant materials.

Please note that this impressive collection of documents represents a wide range of perspectives, some of them unthinkable or offensive to the modern reader. However, studying primary source materials is essential for an accurate understanding of history and of the events that unfolded in Bleeding Kansas. Territorial Kansas Online is an excellent, easy-to-use way to experience these primary sources.

Merry Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas 2017It’s Christmas time once again!

Thank you for another great year at Homestead on the Range! We are looking forward to bringing you even more helpful country living information in 2018.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for some helpful resources to start the new year right or just for a little interesting reading, allow us to make a few recommendations.


Best of 2017

From Homestead on the Range

3 Ways to Stay Posted3 Ways to Stay Posted


The Worst Jokes I Know (and I Know a Lot!)The Worst Jokes I Know (and I Know a Lot!)




Introducing Cowboy PoetryIntroducing Cowboy Poetry


Pros and Cons of Niche MarketingPros and Cons of Niche Marketing


Keeping a Garden JournalKeeping a Garden Journal


Winkler CraterWinkler Crater: A Kimberly Pipe in Kansas


What is a Landrace Breed?What is a Landrace Breed?


Seeds From the TombsSeeds From the Tombs


8 Reasons to Memorize Scales8 Reasons to Memorize Scales


The Wonderful Wizard of OzThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz


5 Tips for Improving Your Writing5 Tips for Improving Your Writing


British and Continental Cattle BreedsBritish and Continental Cattle Breeds




Ox Yokes and CollarsOx Yokes and Collars


Dog BreedsDog Breeds


Pros and Cons of Hot CompostingPros and Cons of Hot vs. Cold Composting


The Agricultural Adjustment Act in the Great Plains: Part 1The Agricultural Adjustment Act in the Great Plains


Kansas GovernorsKansas Governors




Web Soil SurveyWeb Soil Survey


Murray McMurray Chick SelectorMurray McMurray Chick Selector


Stockdog SavvyStockdog Savvy


How to Master the English BibleHow to Master the English Bible




Food PreservationFood Preservation


Top 10 Marguerite Henry BooksTop 10 Marguerite Henry Books


Cover Crop Decision ToolCover Crop Decision Tool


An Introduction to Heritage BreedsAn Introduction to Heritage Breeds


Kansas Ag ConnectionKansas Ag Connection




Luster Leaf Rapitest Soil Test KitLuster Leaf Rapitest Soil Test Kit


Pick PunchPick Punch




Shetland SheepdogShetland Sheepdog


Kansas Ag Connection
The Farm

Kansas Ag Connection

Kansas Ag ConnectionLooking for a good way to keep up with daily agriculture-related headlines? Give Kansas Ag Connection a try!

Subscribers to On the Range, our weekly country living update (read more), may already be familiar with this site as a source for some of our headlines. There’s a reason for that. Kansas Ag Connection is a clutter-free aggregator of news stories and press releases of interest to farmers small and large across the state.

Kansas Ag Connection offers a way to keep up with the latest stories on:

  • USDA news.
  • Updates from the governor and state legislature.
  • Health issues currently affecting Kansans.
  • KU and K-State research on health, nature, and agricultural topics.
  • Press releases from Kansas-based companies.
  • State and regional crop and weather reports.
  • Conferences and workshops coming to Kansas.
  • Ron Wilson’s Kansas Profile column, featuring Kansas entrepreneurs with rural roots.

Links are also provided to more headlines from neighboring states, across the nation, and around the world.

Highly recommended!

Cover Crop Decision Tool
The Farm

Cover Crop Decision Tool

Cover Crop Decision ToolLooking for the right cover crop? Give this Cover Crop Decision Tool from the Midwest Cover Crop Council a try.

First select from one of the following states:

  • Iowa.
  • Illinois.
  • Indiana.
  • Kansas.
  • Michigan.
  • Minnesota.
  • Missouri.
  • Ohio.
  • Ontario.
  • Wisconsin.

Then choose options that take into account your growing conditions:

  • County (for frost/freeze date estimate).
  • Planting and harvest dates.
  • Drainage situation.

Finally, fine-tune your choices by noting your goals:

  • Increasing nitrogen levels.
  • Building soil.
  • Fighting erosion.
  • Fighting weeds.
  • Creating a new source of forage for grazing or harvest.
  • And more!

Once you’ve found a cover crop or two that meets your needs, click on the name of the crop to learn more about about its pros and cons, as well as its planting and termination requirements.

An easy-to-use way to choose the right cover crop for your unique growing conditions!

5 Handy Resources for Writers
The Skills

5 Handy Resources for Writers

5 Handy Resources for WritersEvery writer has a preferred modus operandi, including diverse details such as when we write, where we write, and what we use to write.

For those of you who write in a research-intensive style or genre, here are a few tools that can make your life easier:

  1. Microsoft OneNote. And its equivalent, Evernote. You will doubtless have your own preferences about the connectivity of the software you use that will determine which version of which program works best for you. In any case, there is nothing like this note-taking tool to organize everything from new book ideas to outlines to project to-dos.
  2. Scrivener. For really big projects, we cannot recommend this organization assistant heartily enough. Import research documents, take notes, write your manuscript—all in one place!
  3. Zotero. And if you need a bibliography, let this free database program do the hard work for you. Just enter the necessary information about your source. Zotero comes preloaded with several useful citation styles, and more can be added. Works seamlessly with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, or LibreOffice.
  4. Newspapers.com. For those of you with a historical interest, there is a searchable goldmine of information just waiting for you here. You may be able to access the database through your local library. If not, try the free site Chronicling America from the Library of Congress.
  5. ALT Codes for Windows. Depending on what you write about, you may have occasion to use a lot of strange foreign characters. Penn State offers tables to help you find keyboard shortcuts for some of the most common. Accent codes for Mac are also provided.
3 Ways to Stay Posted

3 Ways to Stay Posted

3 Ways to Stay PostedDid you know that Homestead on the Range offers three different ways to keep up with the latest country living information?

  1. On the Range. Your weekly country living update! With a free subscription to On the Range newsletter, you will also learn about additions to the bookshelf, new photos in the gallery, and important post revisions. In addition, you receive exclusive seasonal suggestions, country living news headlines, and food for thought. While you’re at it, sign up for our periodical publishing newsletter for book releases, specials, and freebies.
  2. WordPress. You can also opt to let WordPress send you new posts from Homestead on the Range, even if you don’t have a website! While you can read our posts in the WordPress Reader, you may enjoy setting up an email subscription for convenience. Just click the floating Follow button in the lower-right corner of the screen, or scroll down to the signup form in the footer.
  3. RSS. And, of course, there’s always our feed, ready for use with your favorite reader.

We’re looking forward to making your country living adventure a success! Enjoy!

Saving Faith
The Lifestyle

Saving Faith

Saving FaithSaving faith is one of those pivotal topics that are important to get a handle on. Here’s a great sermon by Charles Spurgeon based on Luke 7:50 and 18:42.

After noting the similarity between the two verses (“Your faith has saved you,” and, “Your faith has made you whole”), Spurgeon examines the text to find the answers to three questions:

  1. What was it that saved the two people in these texts?
  2. What kind of faith saved them?
  3. What does this teach us about faith?

Along the way, we will discover many truths:

  • The importance of faith.
  • The foundation of faith.
  • Similarities in the way faith works in all Christians.
  • Differences in the way faith works in all Christians.
  • The certainty of salvation where faith is present.