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

Homemade Bird Suet

Make your own suet cakes to keep your birds fat and happy throughout the winter.

Planting Living Fencerows

Fencerows and hedgerows not only demark property boundaries and help keep livestock contained, but they also provide important habitat to many species.

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

Tips for Getting Started in Beekeeping

Shopping

EXTREME SIMPLICITY

The perfect guide to self-sufficient city dwelling, Extreme Simplicity was written by a pair of gentle survivalists who brought nature to their Los Angeles home. Christopher and Dolores Lynn Nyerges are prepared for everything from power failures and terrorist attacks to droughts and earthquakes. They'll show you the path to self-reliance, with strategies for coping with disasters as well as making the most of everyday life.

The authors explain how to use available natural resources in an intelligent, efficient way. Their methods include growing and preserving garden produce and finding wild edibles; harvesting storm runoff for backup water supplies; preparing food with a wood stove and solar cooker; recycling everything from bottle caps to wood chips; keeping chickens, bees and other animals; and much more.

$14.99

2 CAR GARAGE WITH STORAGE E-PLAN

  • Width: 24'-0" Depth: 24'-0"
  • Standard Foundation - Floating Slab
  • Alternative Foundations - Slab
  • Building height - 12'-8"
  • Roof pitch - 4/12
  • Ceiling height - 8'
  • 16' x 7' overhead door
  • Windows and side entry add appeal
  • Functional and practical
  • Complete list of materials
  • Step-by-step instructions

Mother Earth News E-Plans are packed with practical information, innovative ideas and creative projects right at your fingertips. By supporting digital products like this one you are helping save millions of trees a year. Order your downloadable PDF and start building today!


System information: 574KB, load times may vary.

INSTANT DELIVERY ITEM: Order this e-plan and it will be delivered directly to your computer - no more waiting for delivery or paying expensive shipping and handling fees. For best results print at 100% on 11x17 paper or have the plan printed at your nearest print store.


DISCLAIMER

It is your responsibility to make sure that any project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation. All Ogden Publications' plans are offered AS IS for information and entertainment purposes only. No warranties are expressed or implied. By using this information or these plans you agree to hold Ogden Publications harmless from any damages or injuries of any kind that might result from errors, omissions or other causes.

This plan was provided by HDA, Inc.

$225.00

SHEEP GOATS CATTLE AND PIGS

Comprehensive, colorful and captivating, this definitive, in-depth guide offers detailed information about both common and heritage breeds. This attractive, at-a-glance reference covers 194 of North America's most significant breeds of cattle, goats and sheep.

From the large-rumped Karakul sheep to the wrinkled Fengjing pig, North America is home to an extraordinary array of livestock breeds. Increasingly, a rare breed renaissance celebrates heritage breeds for their contribution to biodiversity, adaptation to specific environments, curious appearance, or ability to produce singular meat, milk or fiber. At the same time, people continue to need up-to-date information about the major domestic breeds.

Storey's Illustrated Breed Guide to Sheep, Goats, Cattle and Pigs will appeal to anyone interested in North American livestock – small-scale farmers, conservationists, agricultural historians, gourmets, biodiversity champions, animal lovers and anyone dreaming about crafting fibers from sheep and goats. This indispensable reference showcases North American livestock breeds for what they truly are: fascinating, stunning and endlessly varied.

$24.95

YEAR-ROUND INDOOR SALAD GARDENING

Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening offers good news: With nothing more than a cupboard and a windowsill, you can grow all the fresh salad greens you need for the winter months (or throughout the entire year) with no lights, pumps, nor greenhouse.

Longtime gardener Peter Burke was tired of the growing season ending with the first frost, but due to his busy work schedule and family life, didn’t have the time or interest in high-input grow lights or greenhouses. Most techniques for growing what are commonly referred to as “microgreens” left him feeling overwhelmed and uninterested. There had to be a simpler way to grow greens for his family indoors. After some research and diligent experimenting, Burke discovered he was right—there was a way! And it was even easier than he ever could have hoped, and the greens more nutrient-packed. He didn’t even need a south-facing window, and he already had most of the needed supplies just sitting in his pantry. The result: healthy, homegrown salad greens at a fraction of the cost of buying them at the market. The secret: Start them in the dark.

Growing “Soil Sprouts”—Burke’s own descriptive term for sprouted seeds grown in soil as opposed to in jars—employs a method that encourages a long stem without expansive roots, and provides delicious salad greens in just seven to 10 days, way earlier than any other method, with much less work. Indeed, of all the ways to grow immature greens, this is the easiest and most productive technique. Forget about grow lights and heat lamps! This book is a revolutionary and inviting guide for both first-time and experienced gardeners in rural or urban environments. All you need is a windowsill or two. In fact, Burke has grown up to six pounds of greens per day using just the windowsills in his kitchen! Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening offers detailed step-by-step instructions to mastering this method (hint: it’s impossible not to succeed, it’s so easy!), tools and accessories to have on hand, seeds and greens varieties, soil and compost, trays and planters, shelving, harvest and storage, recipes, scaling up to serve local markets, and much more.

$29.95

WHEN TECHNOLOGY FAILS

There’s never been a better time to “be prepared.” Matthew Stein’s comprehensive primer on sustainable living skills — from food and water to shelter and energy to first-aid and crisis-management skills — prepares you to embark on the path toward sustainability. But, unlike any other book, Stein not only shows you how to live “green” in seemingly stable times, but to live in the face of potential disasters, lasting days or years, coming in the form of social upheaval, economic meltdown or environmental catastrophe.

When Technology Fails covers the gamut. You’ll learn how to start a fire and keep warm if you’ve been left temporarily homeless, as well as the basics of installing a renewable energy system for your home or business. You’ll learn how to find and sterilize water in the face of utility failure, as well as practical information for dealing with water-quality issues even when the public tap water is still flowing. You’ll learn alternative techniques for healing equally suited to an era of profit-driven malpractice as to situations of social calamity. Each chapter offers the same approach, describing skills for self-reliance in good times and bad. Chapter subjects include: a survey of the risks to the status quo; supplies and preparation for short- and long-term emergencies; emergency measures for survival; water; food; shelter; clothing; first aid, low-tech medicine and healing; energy, heat and power; metalworking; utensils and storage; low-tech chemistry; and engineering, machines and materials.

Fully revised and expanded — the first edition was written pre-9/11 and pre-Katrina, when few Americans took the risk of social disruption seriously — When Technology Fails ends on a positive, proactive note with a new chapter on "Making the Shift to Sustainability," which offers practical suggestions for changing our world on personal, community and global levels.

About the author

Matthew Stein holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. He is an engineer, author and building contractor. He has also worked as a schoolteacher, carpenter, and rock-climbing and ski instructor. As the owner of Aloha Aina Builders, Stein has built hurricane-resistant, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes. As a mechanical engineer and president of Stein Design, he has designed consumer water-filtration devices, commercial water-filtration systems, photovoltaic roofing panels, medical bacteriological filters, drinking fountains, emergency chemical drench systems, computer disk drives, portable fiberglass buildings, and automated assembly machinery for Applied Solar, Hewlett-Packard, Seagate, Plantronics, Duraflame, Haws and IGT. He currently resides with his wife, Josie, in the High Sierra Mountains near Lake Tahoe, Calif. For many years, Stein has pursued avid interests in renewable energy, alternative healing, sustainable growth and preventative medicine.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books to readers. For 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

$35.00