Nature & Environment
Explore how sustainability creates a connection between our communities and the natural world that sustains us.

Use Bat Houses for Mosquito Control

Controlling mosquito populations can be tricky. Luckily, you can summon a natural ally by building a homemade bat house.

5 Edible Wild Greens

Learn the basics of backyard foraging and your taste buds will thank you.

Thousands of articles. Infinite inspiration. Browse all Nature & Environment articles.

Essential Reading

Keystone Species: How Predators Create Abundance and Stability 
Wolves, bears, otters, starfish — these ecosystem engineers affect nature in overt yet surprisingly subtle ways.

This Land Is Your Land: Why National Parks Matter
Our national parks are public treasures that provide more than a window to our past or a means to preserve the natural bounty within them. They’re some of the most beautiful places on Earth, where you can rekindle your sense of awe and adventure.

Why We Need Wilderness 
During a nearly 60-year career, Pulitzer-Prize winner Wallace Stegner, known as the Dean of Western Writers, wrote eloquently about the value of wild places.

Raptors, the Sky Masters 
Eagles, hawks and falcons: From their awesome aeronautics to their precise predatory instincts, these birds are the pinnacle of flight.

Brain Birds: Amazing Crows and Ravens 
No matter where you live, they’re your neighbors. You might want to watch them — carefully.

Barn Owl Magic 
Beautiful and mysterious, barn owls also are prolific predators of rodents.

Fireflies: The Twinkle in Nature's Eye  
Fireflies bring magic to warm summer evenings.

Featured Video

Hay Baling for the Small Homestead

Shopping

Yarn Works is the ultimate sheep-to-sweater reference book for fiber enthusiasts everywhere. Have you ever wondered what the best spin method is for a chunky yarn? Or how to dye fiber to the color you want? Or perhaps your yarn isn't holding its shape when you knit … This how-to book answers all of those questions and more in a detailed manner. The better you understand the science behind the subject, the better you'll be at applying your creative inspiration to spinning, dyeing, and knitting your own yarn.

This book is divided into four main sections (Fiber Workshop, Spin Workshop, Dye Workshop, and Knit Workshop) and includes a brief history on each subject. Each short, informational workshop takes you through the essential learning activities for spinning, dyeing, and knitting, giving you the hands-on experience you'll need to master the subject.

$29.99

THE NEW LIVESTOCK FARMER

How can anyone, from a backyard hobbyist to a large-scale rancher, go about raising and selling ethically produced meats directly to consumers, restaurants and butcher shops? With the rising consumer interest in grass-fed, pasture-raised and antibiotic-free meats, how can farmers most effectively tap into those markets and become more profitable? The regulations and logistics can be daunting enough to turn away most would-be livestock farmers, and finding and keeping their customers challenges the rest.

Farmer, consultant and author Rebecca Thistlethwaite (Farms with a Future) and her husband and co-author, Jim Dunlop, both have extensive experience raising a variety of pastured livestock in California and now on their homestead farm in Oregon. The New Livestock Farmer provides pasture-based production essentials for a wide range of animals, from common farm animals (cattle, poultry, pigs, sheep and goats) to more exotic species (bison, rabbits, elk and deer).

Each species chapter discusses the unique requirements of that animal, then delves into the steps it takes to prepare and get them to market. Profiles of more than 15 meat producers highlight some of the creative ways these innovative farmers are raising animals and direct-marketing superior-quality meats.

In addition, the book contains information on a variety of vital topics:

  • Governmental regulations and how they differ from state to state.
  • Slaughtering and butchering logistics, including on-farm and mobile processing options and sample cutting sheets.
  • Packaging, labeling and cold-storage considerations.
  • Principled marketing practices.
  • Financial management, pricing and other business essentials.
This book is a must-read for anyone who is serious about raising meat animals ethically, outside of the current consolidated, unsustainable CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) system. It offers a clear, thorough, well-organized guide to a subject that will become increasingly important as the market demand for pasture-raised meat grows stronger.

$29.95

EVERYTHING I WANT TO DO IS ILLEGAL

The Salatin family farm, known as Polyface and located in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, is one of the nation's premier ecological farms and has been featured in countless print, radio and video media. Exemplifying local food systems and imbedded community-based agriculture, the farm caught the attention of Michael Pollan in his runaway New York Times best-seller The Omnivore's Dilemma (when Salatin refused to ship T-bone steaks to New York).

Behind the glitz, however, the farm struggles with a labyrinth of government regulations and cultural perceptions that terrorize the antidote to mad cows, avian influenza, and food fears. The solution is simple: allow freedom for traditional food growing and purchasing choices.

This book brings to life, with humor and verve, the everyday conflict between the entrenched industrial food system and the local artisanal neighbor-friendly farmer-entrepreneur.

Joel Salatin is also the author of: Pastured Poultry Profit$, Salad Bar Beef, You Can Farm, Family Friendly Farming, Holy Cows and Hog Heaven.

$23.95

CHICKENS FOR THE BACKYARD HOMESTEADER

Chickens are back! More-relaxed suburban and urban ordinances on raising and housing chickens, plus the desire for homeowners to become more self-sufficient as "backyard homesteaders," has led to renewed interest across the country in keeping chickens. Chickens for the Backyard Homesteader is packed with tips, strategies and advice that gives readers the confidence to look after their hens and avoid common problems.

$14.95

WHY WE GET FAT

Building upon his critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Gary Taubes revisits the urgent question of what's making us fat-and how we can change.

He reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century-none more damaging or misguided than the "calories-in, calories-out" model of why we get fat-and the good science that has been ignored. He also answers the most persistent questions: Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat, and what foods should we avoid? Persuasive, straightforward and practical, Why We Get Fat is an essential guide to nutrition and weight management.

$15.95