2012 farm bill
According to a recent Congressional Research
Service report, nearly 40 programs, from
land conservation to support for beginning farmers and ranchers, are set to
lose funding in the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill.
Seattle leads the way in asking the federal government to implement a comprehensive, health-focused food system.
Keeping birds on the farm; how we went from chicken havers to duck lovers.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce shares 5 things to consider before starting a farmstead—not the least of which being winter.
The U.S. Farm Bill will be renewed in 2013 with a plan to cut major funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
On Saturday, the G-20 will likely discuss trade policy that affects American farmers.
A beautiful old, old, rambling rose bush that grows on my moms corner fence post greets us with pink blooms each spring.
American Farmland Trust will be holding the Farmland, Food and Livable Communities Conference October 20-22, in Lexington, Kentucky.
As Congress considers the 2013 Farm Bill, it has the opportunity to enact legislation that protects and supports the nation's family farmers and market gardeners, in addition to protecting consumers and the environment.
In The Land Institute senior scientist Stan Cox's critique of the 2013 Farm bill, it's argued that more federal support could be shifted to food security and conservation if less were going to Big Ag.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan reflects on the changes that arrive with fall, including her own sense of melancholy.
Bob-White Systems is bringing the cows back home by providing supplies, equipment and support for Micro Dairies, Home & Farmstead cheesemakers and small-scale producers of local and farm fresh dairy products.
In the wake of the summer solstice, HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan takes time to appreciate the longest days of the year.
A description of farmers' even tempered dispositions.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares how to install drip irrigation in your home garden.
Steve Judge of Bob-White Systems in Vermont offers his Micro Dairy expertise in this blog series on how to start and manage a Micro Dairy, from farm and barn planning to selecting dairy cows, goats and sheep to daily operations and being profitable.
You may need special farm liability insurance if you plan to sell eggs, produce or other products from your farm or at the farmers market.
In Japan, more and more people are combining farming with other work. My neighbors and I fit the pattern, but what's it all mean for the future of farming?
Do you love showing off your FarmTek products? Think you're using them in a unique and interesting way? FarmTek would love to see!
While the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Mountain Resort may have been John D. Ivanko's family’s primary destination (as speakers about renewable energy, sustainable living and farmstead cooking), it definitely wasn’t their only reason for eco-touring the region known as the Laurel Highlands.
You have read every garden, homestead and back to the land book in your library system. Your dreams of coffee at sunrise set to the chatter of fowl made real. With hoe in hand and 914,760 square feet rolling out from your feet like a magic carpet; where do you start?
Discover the extensive resources available in the newest edition of the Farmer's Almanac.
The annual Organic Farming Conference put on by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service featured a series of workshops designed for young farmers looking to get started.
Revolutionary molded EVA boots from Billy Boots take whatever the job dishes out and come back for more.
Lay Htoo, a Burmese refugee, has been enrolled in the Farm Business Development Program at Cultivate Kansas City and is setting out to start her own urban farm.
The Farm Aid concert is a chance for us to shine a spotlight on these people who work every day to put good food on our tables.
MaryJane's Farmgirls is a network of women's groups across the country who meet to discuss and share their experiences in modern homesteading, including sewing, cooking, voluteering and more.
HOMEGROWN blogger and homesteading mama Michelle explains why road trips are worth packing 3 kids, 2 adults, and 2 dogs in a camper for weeks on end.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel recounts how she went from half-hearted to full-breed-ahead when it comes to breeding goats.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick honors the determination of women farmers, even as she observes a bittersweet month on her farm.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel discusses using manure in the garden, including which type of animal waste is best for which crops.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Missouri farmer Bryce Oates shares why he values reading (Eliot Coleman, especially) and how it impacts his fall growing season.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle takes a young woman under her wing for a first lesson in homemaking.
Summer marks the start of buzzing AC units, but this doesn’t have to waste energy or drain your wallet. By accessing the energy leaks in your home with a simple energy audit, you’ll save money on utility bills. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how to perform a home energy audit.
America’s Farmstand delivers all-natural, sustainably farmed fresh foods, grown to exacting standards, direct from family farms to table – with no warehousing.
A beginning farmer starts to realize that first impressions of the farm will make all the difference.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time of being a goat herder, it’s that at breeding time, the goats are in charge.
Dyan writes about the changing season at Bittersweet Farm, and introduces us to the newest member of the flock, a black sheep named Little Man.
The U.S. Congress has retuned from summer recess, but conflict might keep the Senate from drafting climate and energy legislation quickly.
The workshop series "In Her Shoes: Sustainable Farming for Women, by Women" will provide on-farm, women-led sharing of resources, experiences and inspiration to further connect, encourage and support female organic farmers, entrepreneurs and agricultural leaders. These all-day workshops will be in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and each will cost $20 and include lunch.
First time farmers plan for the growing season and lambing.
These tough vinyl tarps can be used singly or glued together to make larger waterproof coverings.
Make your own hand-crafted broad axe with these easy to follow directions.
A hard look at the state of the food industry and the impact of factory farming on polluted run-off, animal rights, and small family farms across America.
A few simple steps to make sure your tractor is ready for spring.
How we found our first piglets and the lesson I learned about the importance of hands on training
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Michelle's annual road trips out west renew her love for the heartland and the American farmer.
Nature challenges us: Can we love the world around us unsentimentally? Our enormous achievements have brought most of the planet more or less under our control. Now that we have this powerful role in the world, are we capable of accepting our responsibility? Nowhere is this question more present than on a farm, where we live among the animals that will one day provide a meal, and where providing a humane death is not only neccessary for our nourishment, but for providing a good life for the rest of the animal residents.
Want to know more about the food at your farmers market? Here's some advice from the farmers themselves.
As the number of farmers markets grows, now may be the perfect time to join in on the market gardening fun.
Responsible investment secures land for a young organic farmer in Minnesota.
The Ecological Farming Association will host the 33rd annual EcoFarm Conference at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, Calif., Jan. 23-26, 2013. The conference will offer more than sixty workshops, as well as the opportunity for eight beginning farmers to win substantial grants.
The House votes on the Climate Energy Bill Friday and President Barack Obama encouraged the passage of the bill.
Consider this One-Day Workshop For Horticultural Farmers Ready To Take Steps To Improve Farm Profits.
Robert White explains why he's attending the Growing Farmers workshops, and describes what he learned in the first session.
In this blog, Robert White of Quail Acres Farm shares some of his experiences in the Growing Farmers workshops as they relate to planning for his upcoming move to the farm to establish his market garden and small livestock business.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares her New Year's resolution for 2014: buying food directly from farmers.
Look out guys — these women really know what 21st century farming is all about.
Decision from the USDA: Farmers won't be allowed to break their CRP contract without penalty.
Fond memories of a self-sufficient farm in Armstrong County, Pa., show how hard work and family together results in a truly meaningful life.
A humurous description of the beginning of an adventure in farming.
Calling all gardeners — If you want to view a remarkable series of photographs of vegetables as art, check out Lynn Karlin’s exhibit, Taking a Stand: the Pedestal Series. You can view the series here http://goo.gl/K1apd or at the Maine Farmland Trust in Belfast, Maine from September 28 to November 14th.
Trying to follow directions out in the country can be challenging!
Virtual farmers markets make buying and selling fresh farm goods easy and can grow into a thriving business!
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
One farm is able to combine cost savings, with energy sustainability by using a Savonius rotor.
Missouri farmer and HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates tackles the Enbridge Flanagan South Pipeline, which would cross 1 mile from his area's water intake.
Rice Intensification uses less water and fewer seedlings to produce greater yields of rice, which helps both poor farmers and the environment.
A poem on the plight of the American farmer - the one percent.
If you want to sell produce through an online farmers market, you'll want to feature mouth-watering photos of your goods. Here are some tips to show you how.
Humorous real-life stories of moving and adjusting to farm life.
Facing massive snow drifts, HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick forges a new path to her barn and finds inspiration in the process.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan Redick considers how inextricably the lives of farmers and fishermen are intertwined in her coastal Maine town.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates discusses why his family works so hard—both on and off of the farm—to practice subsistence farming.
Buying a tractor? How much tractor do you need? What are the horsepower requirements for mowing?
Things to consider when purchasing a new or used tractor.
Rachel and her husband committed to a year without groceries, and they made it! She shares her experiences in local food in this post.
Once our bodies and our imaginations are engaged, the incremental change begins. Then it gets easier and easier to envision humanity occupying this planet–this beautiful, abundant planet–far into the future.
A beginning farmer learns that keeping does and keeping bucks are two different things.
In the Spring of 2010, I quit my job as a high school theology teacher, because I wanted to be a farmer. I am now entering my fourth year of full-time farming, even though I had almost no experience farming. Here’s how I did it, and some tips to help you on your way.
Tell the U.S. Department of Agriculture to abandon their efforts to create and enforce a National Animal Identification System. We've made it easy for you with sample wording and directions on where to submit your comments.
Help save this small family farm in Michigan, and stand up for our right to live sustainably!
Recap of 2010 growing season in Northwest Pennsylvania
Senator Bernie Sanders’ new bill would promote installation of 10 million new rooftop solar energy systems and 200,000 solar hot water heating systems in the United States in the next decade.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed a bipartisan bill that does not go far enough for some environmental groups.
In this section you will find stories of real farmers across the country that made it work. You'll find their story, how they did it and who helped them. We hope these stories will inspire and educate new farmers, as well as land owners and community members to become involved in the new agrarian movement. A growing trust.
Look for local foods, such as fresh peaches, from your local farmers' market to make delightful summer desserts such as peaches and cream.
New Roots for Refugees, a program in the Kansas City area, helps fleeing refugees establish a new home and contributes to the local food system.
A farmers market is not only a place to purchase fresh produce; you can also count on going home with a new recipe or tip on how to prepare those yummy veggies and fruits.
If you’re a market gardener battling the heat, you’ll want to check out these great tips for keeping yourself and your crops cool.
The White House will launch an open-to-the-public farmers market.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
Some things have come full circle, so now we have a chance to fix it right this time!
Looking for a farming internship or apprenticeship? Search the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Center’s online directory of farming internships and apprenticeships to find one that interests you.
Coming back to agriculture and the farming life, I think every farmer should spend time as a fisherperson. If that were the case, I have a hard time believing Industrial Agriculture would have ever taken its foothold. Manure runs downhill as they say
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan learns that giving up control, whether over a mischievous flock or a single lamb, can have its own rewards.
Wood Prairie Farm encourages citizens to sign a petition in support of family farmers and to attend the citizens assembly on January 31st, 2012.
A 30-acre organic and biodynamic farm is the beating heart of the thriving 1,000-acre Serenbe community near Atlanta. As more developers integrate agriculture into suburbia, the joys and benefits of farming are becoming available to everyone.
Watch a video of a traveling sheep shearer at work and tell us about small-scale farming artisans in your region.
As farmers markets open across the country, here are 10 good reasons to get out and support your local farmers. (The freshest seasonal food is just a part of it.)
Air conditioning accounts for as much as 20 percent of the average homeowner's utility bill. These simple tips can help you reduce your mechanical cooling needs, meaning more money for you and better-quality air for the world.
In 2010 former horse-powered produce grower Michael Hari launched Equicert, a business that provides services to horse powered farms.
Congress is accused of bait-and-switch tactics when they propose millions in reductions to the conservation-related program assistance that helped pass the 2008 farm bill.
Jacobs Farm in Santa Cruz, Calif. was recently awarded $1 million in damages for lost income due to pesticide drift.
Secure grant funds for your farmers market, community-supported agriculture program and more by applying to the USDA by April 27.
When done right, you can reduce your feed costs by up to 75 percent - even after taking your fuel costs into account.
Growing Power believes that youth working in city farms will grow, bloom and thrive right alongside the crops they cultivate.
Government subsidies to corn growers results in foods that are less expensive then they should be, resulting in people eating more than they normally would.
Silicon-based LEDs, expected to hit the market in two or three years, could lower prices by as much as 75 percent.
Contact your senators now to encourage them to support the clean energy initiatives in the new stimulus package.
Future factors set a high standard for sustainable products and activities
I started my poultry quest way too early for New Englanders: January! I marked my calendar in red and drew childish pictures of a chicken on the calendar blocks. I was as impatient as a 6-year-old waiting for Christmas morning.
A few years ago the ALBC launched its Heritage Chicken promotion; if you’d like to get involved, here’s what you need to know.
Meet Amelia, Honey, and Tilda — an Ameraucana, Buff Orpington, and Rhode Island Red, respectively. We keep our little flock of three in an Eglu, which has an egg-shaped hen house attached to a wire-enclosed run.
Until we built a barn of our own and experienced the kindness of neighbors firsthand, I would have thought the notion of a barn raising to be a quaint relic of the past.
My boyfriend and I traveled from Orlando, FL with the expectation that we were going to encounter a life-changing experience. It was well worth it. I felt like a kid in a candy store.
The second Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Wash. was a huge success! A whopping 12,000 people flooded the Western Washington Fairgrounds over the course of two days.
Coporations continue to purchase interests in seed industries. Could this be a problem?
Farming isn’t a skill that can be easily learned from a book. Here’s some advice and a collection of resources to help you decide whether you’re ready to try your hand at it.
Check out these great searchable databases and other resources for finding local food and farmers.
These online tools can help you find the best sources for local food, including local farmers markets and community-supported agriculture programs.
A few months back I heard a comment on an NPR radio program that really caught my attention. The program was about the local food movement and at one point the guest on the show said, “Now remember - just because it’s local doesn’t necessarily mean it has a smaller carbon footprint. That Argentinian apple that was shipped on a barge with thousands of tons of other apples may actually have required less fuel per apple than the apple than came from a few hundred miles away in the back on a farmer’s pickup.”
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.
Jenna Woginrich discusses the more difficult aspects of homesteading, and why it's worth it anyway.
If you have a constant, overwhelming urge of wanting to be outside breathing in the fresh air and partaking in various farming activities, you may be suffering from barnheart.
After a completely miserable potato harvest this year we’ve decided to pull them out of the ground and do them in boxes made out of pallets. That way we can use weedblock under them to eliminate the whole bindweed issue. So today, the boxes went up.
How to Schedule your Planting by the Moon
A beginning farmer realizes that time may be the farm's most important commodity.
The flowers weren't just there to be pretty. They provided a long blooming source of forage for our bees and the native pollinators.
A beginning farmer loses a friend and finds that solitary farming isn't all it's cracked up to be.
So, yes, I have become a lover of goats (and ducks have won me over, too). But the truth is, I can’t wait to eat the boys.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan recalls how the seasons affected her childhood and how they guide her activities now on her Maine dairy farm.
It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked:
Why do we do all this work?
Raising and growing your own is more than a lifestyle — it is life.
None of these items' primary use is for gardening or livestock keeping but here we are using them all the time. So here's my list of items that you should keep around if you are an avid gardener or own livestock.
I am off to Polyface Farm to intern for the summer and I’m so excited! I plan to write every week to explain to you what we are learning, how we spend our days, mistakes we make (that you can learn from) and basically anything that can help readers become better farmers and homesteaders. I’ll include lots of photos too, so make sure to check back!
Cover crops are grown between planting seasons as a way to give back to the soil what cultivation takes from it. And cover crops aren’t just for large-scale growers—they can help you get the most out of your backyard vegetable garden too!
Kubota Reinforces Important Tractor Safety Reminders in Observance of Harvest Season National Farm Safety and Health Week, September 20-26, 2009
Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica’s verdant San Carlos agricultural region is a dynamic, living example of permaculture and biodynamic farming, where every being is part of a system that nurtures the body and the soul.
Robert White is remaking himself as a farmer, and will return to his family's land to start a market garden. Here's why.
All of us farmers,large and small, are a big part of the engine that drives the economy
of rural communities, rural counties and rural states.This year, we are learning a lot about what happens when that engine sputters.
After months of waiting, worrying and hoping, the clouds finally arrived here at Yellabird Farm last week and brought us the long-sought gift of good rain. It was a great two days of slow and soaking moisture that the cracked soil guzzled up...
Rodale Institute today announces the launch of Your 2 Cents, an innovative program that unites consumers and companies in support of the next generation of American farmers.
It's hard to shop responsibly sometimes, especially for meat. There are so many different label claims that it's hard to remember which are meaningful and which are just fluff. Here's a handy reference card that will give more power to your purchases.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comments on how to implement the new Conservation Stewardship Program. Here's the lowdown, plus instructions on how to submit your opinion — it's easy!
Ever wondered about the real meaning behind terms like cage free, free range, and pasture raised?
There are many ways farmers can benefit from renewable energy, including wind energy, solar energy, energy efficiency and biofuels.
The National Animal Identification Plan will be easily implemented by large factory farms, but it means trouble for smaller operations. Will the system really keep us safe from disease, or will industrial ag and tracking system manufacturers be the only beneficiaries?
Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition, is now available in print and by download from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. Learn how to make your soil perform at its very best!
We strongly support keeping a few chickens (hens only) within city limits. Feel free to use this statement if you're working to get an ordinance passed to allow chickens in your city.
Challenge yourself to more deeply explore how you think about our impact on the world. In his newest blog post American farmer and activist Joel Salatin focuses on "integrity living" and opening up to a wider sustainability focus.
In a Boulder, Colorado, neighborhood, residents are getting off the grass. They're donating their front yards to a community organization that grows enough fruits and vegetable on the former lawns to feed 50 families. Now, that's local food.
What if I told you that you could catch fish for dinner right in your own backyard, and they were growing the veggies for the rest of your dinner until you caught them? This is all within reach using a new style of gardening called aquaponics.
Arlo was twelve when the two of us headed to the Fair in Seven Springs. I had only a couple of rules: We pay for any book you want as long as he reads it, and that he find something to keep himself occupied while I was working.
Easy, practical, delicious – growing an organic food garden is a skill anyone can learn: that's my main message! It doesn't have to involve a lot of work and certainly doesn't require a big investment in special products or equipment.
The menus for the Seven Springs FAIR have been finalized!
In North Carolina’s Triangle region, Crop Mob is reviving community farming.
It is hard to believe but after more than 20 years of successful federal investment in biking and walking facilities, Congressional leaders are poised to eliminate dedicated funding for biking and walking.
When Joan King Salwen is invited to speak with Bill and Melinda Gates about The Power of Half, she learns how valuable homemade gifts can be.
The environmental advocacy group, Earth Day Network, is rallying environmental activism through a climate rally and a new site where the environmental community can learn about issues and events. Learn more about their efforts and how you can get involved.
Bill McKibben is doing a national tour to raise awareness about climate change and to build a movement around changing the way we use energy.
Blueberries are a true fountain of youth. This article will introduce you to the health benefits, how to grow, how to harvest, and how to eat this wonderful fruit.
Former Vice President Al Gore thinks 2009 needs to be the year that America creates a climate bill. And he's got a plan to back it up!
The “Cash for Caulkers” home-retrofitting program, known as the Home Star program, is expected to pass the Senate this summer. The bill offers rebates for 13 different types of retrofits, including insulation and air and duct sealing
Learning the basics about electricity will help you conserve energy.
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
Why raise chickens? Because they’re the pet that makes you breakfast.
What I like about MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIRS is that they encourage an active, participatory human presence in nature. Too many environmentalists think that human activity or presence is incompatible with environmentalism.
Cooking is great improvisation and I think that’s what I like most about it. You can say the word, “burger,” to any cook and be surprised by every interpretation that you get.
Members of the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA) are inviting the public to visit their farms and ranches on National Alpaca Farm Days on September 24th and 25th, 2011.
Local farmers lease Amherst College land to provide for the school’s dining hall.
Here's a helpful guide to help you make sustainable choices while shopping or out to eat. What else do you do to support sustainable farming practices?
If you think Bambi is cute, try keeping him out of your strawberry field!
It's snake season, and I found a black snake out my back door!
Farmers in northern Michigan urge county officials to support hemp farming.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence reviews the latest proposals banning urban chicken farming.
Urban Agriculture activists and advocates work to change the zoning laws in Chicago to be more friendly to urban agriculture.
Radical homemaker Karen Keb introduces her new blog, which will cover topics as diverse as baking bread to raising livestock.
Farming brings with it a lot of dirt, manure and blood, not to mention death. But it's these that also make it so full of life.
From breadlines in the city to hanging clothes to dry, a woman shares memories of her family’s move from Los Angeles to a farm in Oregon during the Great Depression.
A woman recalls her childhood memories on Three Mile Creek Farm including horses, a pig pen and a one-room school.
Carolyn shares nostalgic summer memories of life on the farm including owning a pet rooster, picking wild blackberries, and eating fried turtle.
Here are a few sources that can help you find affordable farm land.
KIOTI embarks on a major process upgrade to exceed the needs of their customer base.
Putting up a hoophouse expands the growing opportunity into the barren winter months. A USDA program is helping market growers purchase a hoophouse to find out if local farmers and consumers reap benefits from extending local growing seasons.
Before stocking up on chocolate treats this Halloween, learn where chocolate comes from, and at what cost to the environment and cocoa farming communities. Enjoy a spooky and sustainable holiday with Rainforest Alliance's tips for a green Halloween.
There's no need to be afraid of canning. With basic skills a cook can safely prepare and process excess produce during the summer and have a ready supply all winter. An easy way to start is with dill pickles, with extras like garlic and hot peppers.
A nine-to-fiver turns a corner and leaves behind a twenty-year career to grow food amongst housing developments and strip malls.
A beginning urban farmer grows nothing without a smartphone.
A beginner farmer learns about taking on the responsibility of raising animals.
We wanted to write up a post about asparagus to explain how farmers look at the crop, but also as a sort of apology to our customers. We have spent many hours in the field and on the phone seeking farmers with an existing asparagus supply. We had man
Drought is hard on us out here in Farm Country. But drought in the midst of boiling hot summer is amongst the worst conditions I can imagine.
Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.
One thing I know for sure is that many in the local farm and food scene are working through the same issue. We are numbers people in search of numbers. We aren’t crazy unscientific loons like our industrial brothers and sisters think we are.
Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc.
Teddi Irwin sent us this
great update on a Homesteading Education Month event held at IN A GOOD WAY, a
training farm established to use therapeutic methods of farming to improve the
lives of Native American men.
This fifth story from Robert Zwald talks about his efforts to keep his family farming through the depression, even after they lost their own land.
Robert Zwald talks about farming equipment and selling his harvest in the 1940s. This is the sixth part of Robert's stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
Kansas City has a thriving city farming scene, and recently hosted an urban farms tour to showcase several of the city’s market and community gardens. One of our editors pedaled along with a bike tour group to see what the city farmers have to offer.
HOMEGROWN blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel outlines strategies for responsible drought gardening in her home state of California--or anywhere.
Tell us what kind of barns and sheds you prefer for your poulty and farm animals.
Have you ever been injured on the farm? Tell us how you're doing, and share your advice on how we can avoid the same accident.
Farm fencing expert Todd Harne talks about choosing the right gate for the right situation. He suggests that the weight of the gate is more critical than the gauge, but heavy gates aren’t necessary for all situations.
A year of many departures leaves a homesteader reeling.
It's spring! Time to think of installing permanent fencing.
Rhode Island plans to install large wind far off it's Atlantic Ocean shore.
We passed the "phosphataze" test with the Health Protection Agency and know that the milk from our dairy farm is safe to sell.
David Goodman tests the Meadow Creature broadfork on his Florida farm and finds it to be amazing as heck.
It's possible to live without chickens in your back yard. But why would you want to?
Bikes Belong needs your pledge to show the public, policymakers and the media that one million Americans want better policy and funding to promote bicycling.
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI) assures consumers that manufacturers have rectified many of the issues related to using CFLs, making them into mere myths. These issues include usage in three-way fixtures, non-compatibility in dimmers, the high price of CFLs and CFL use in fans and candelabras. Additionally, CFL users should understand the lifespan of the bulb and causes of flicker.
The urge to eliminate clutter and create space for ourselves is a healthy sign of self-respect. Why, then, is it so darn hard?
There’s never, ever been a better time to get involved with honey bees and beekeeping.
Change is not only possible, it’s inevitable. Within the next few decades, great change is coming, because the way things are done today literally cannot continue. America's use-it-up-and-move-on way of life is in its endgame.
Green living is similar to taking yoga. It is a ‘practice’ – the more you get into, the more there is to learn. It really comes down to three simple things. Are you ready, willing and able to start living green?
Day Length, Molting and Egg Production in a Small Flock
The Organic Materials Review Institute was formed by organic certifiers back in 1997 to focus exclusively on the products and materials used by farmers.
I’m a handmade gardening gal – part eco-friendly, non-traditionalist; part crafty creative with more ideas than money, and an abiding aversion to off-the-shelf shopping. My garden is my canvas, my vision, and my voice.
A lot of people have been asking us what incentives are still in place for 2012. The answer: All of them. While there were a few changes in 2011, the majority of programs that will impact the average homeowner remain the same. Here is an overview...
How lucky was I to find a pair of folks just as crazy about farming, working horses, working dogs, as I was? Us two women, practically Luddites in our past times, found each other because of an online publication of Barnheart at Mother Earth News.
At last year’s Mother Earth News Fair I had started my talk when someone in the audience said, “But how do you know all this stuff?” I guess I’ve fallen into that small-town habit of not introducing myself! Let me make up for that now.
Can you milk a goat if it was not bottle-fed? Do you have any trouble selling kids if you don't bottle-feed? Can you show a goat if it was dam-raised? These are just a few of the questions I've been asked over the years.
I don't know why, but somehow I think of myself as a lazy farmer. Perhaps it's because I know that I'm not a real farmer. Sure, we ate out of the garden all summer and I sold our excess produce at the farmer's market, but gardening is hardly farming.
Is there a more heartwarming and majestic sight than gorgeous old-fashioned cows in a peaceful grassy meadow, calves scampering by their sides? Awesome. But have you given much considered thought to exactly how those calves will come to be?
Like Thoreau and the Nearings, we feel more alive and participative in the natural world around us on our 5.5 acre homestead and organic farmstead than Lisa and I ever did walking through a corporate cubicle maze in the city.
If I could only pick one season extending structure, it would be a cold frame. Incredibly versatile, a simple cold frame is the key to taking your garden from a two or three-season plot and turning it into a year round vegetable factory.
Dive in, work with passion, and take all the other important elements of your life with you. Here are four reasons why such blending yields strategic sense.
We folded down the back seats in our Subaru wagon, lined the whole back area with a heavy tarp and a thick layer of straw, and headed down to Nash's Delta Farm to catch us some ducks.
When I first got chickens many years ago I had two initial goals: to let my flock roam free range and live as close as possible to how they would naturally, and to build my soil with their manure.
Let’s put water back into the soil where it belongs. Permeable or porous surfaces, like a gravel path or patio, allow rainfall and irrigation to percolate into the ground rather than spill into the street.
One thing we can all agree on is that is time for things to change. So perhaps we need to look at the world more like prey and less like predators.
Enter attractive easy to assemble garden structures that attractively stake, prop and gently guide plants while never stealing the spotlight from the beautiful garden starlets they support.
Can a civilization this profoundly removed from the visceral participation in farming and food even survive? Can the assumptions, like cheap energy, cheap grain, and processed food that can be nutritious, really continue into the future?
When a vegetable garden doesn’t look like a vegetable garden, what is it? A polyculture, where gardeners strive to address this simple truth: The most effective way to grow healthy plants is to create gardens that replicate nature.
Deciding where to buy seeds can be a perplexing challenge. How does a conscientious gardener choose seeds that will grow well, look lovely and taste great, but also support sustainable seed farmers and healthy environments?
Research tells us that a basic source of unhappiness is feeling out of control of our lives. And that’s practically a definition of American life today. What can we do to give ourselves more control?
I grew up with bobolinks. All my life they have nested on our farm, but the bobolinks are in serious trouble, especially in the Northeast, largely on account of changes in agricultural practices.
Why do we believe that math must be done one workbook page at a time, at the kitchen table? Anyone who’s ever kept chickens can tell you all the math that can be found in the hen house.
The thing about self-sufficiency, working with nature, making delicious food: There’s always something new to learn.
‘Pluck A Lotta Chickens: A Live Demonstration’ was in the Timberstone Room, which holds several hundred people. I sat second row, center. Once they started the process, it wasn’t nearly as bizarre as I thought it was going to be.
A common problem rabbit raisers face is lack of litters in the fall. One big reason is hot weather in the summer, and we are having plenty of that across the country.
We do a lot of things on our farm, but the primary way we earn a livelihood is selling wholesale potted herbs and heritage food plants to garden centers throughout Colorado and northern New Mexico.
Solar expert Joe Utasi hopes to have his home solar panel installation complete and running, and will have lots of pictures to show and discuss by the time the Seven Springs Fair arrives.
Sustainable farming expert Michael Pollan has some words of wisdom for the next president of the United States.
Relax: HR 875 isn't a bill to outlaw organic farming, as you might have heard. But it's not exactly good news for pesticide-free producers, either. Here are the details.
Creating your own start-up is full of obstacles, but rewarding. MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Jessica Vaughan shares advice from her experience as a first-time small business owner who teaches clients how to grow organic produce.
In a recent study, researchers found that watching videos about wind farm-related illnesses made participants claim the same symptons.
More on the much-feared food safety bill, HR 875, and its Congressional counterparts.
“The Cleaner Plate Club” co-author Beth Bader shares an adventure to the farmers market with her daughter, her “eat local” food values, and her recipe for Lemongrass Tomato Soup.
The Spirit of Hope garden in Detriot offers a safe, nurtuting place for plants and children to grow.
Recently a trend in farming called hydroponics has resurfaced and gained national attention that has grown in popularity with some, but has left others with mixed feelings.
A potential solution to rising food prices, food insecurity and the obesity epidemic may call into play raising farms inside the city limits.
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service held its 25th conference from Feb. 27 though March 1. Here are the main takeaways about where organic farming has come from and where it's headed.
It's a challenge to describe the place where I take my livestock when it's time for them to cease being my companions, and to become my product instead. I call Steve's Meats in DeSoto, Kansas, the "packer." And, indeed, when I stopped off there this morning they had about 800 pounds of beef frozen and packed, ready for me to take home. It filled the freezer to the rim.
Using horses rather than tractors may turn out to be the greenest way to farm.
Cam learns to appreciate country music.
Dealing with potties out in the country.
Things that come to mind while watching my husband and son work in this heat.
September is here and I'm expecting the weather to break!
Cam has a great deal of respect for farmers.
The fields that were laid out in 1843 for livestock farming are teeming with hay-making grasses.
To protest the ban on hemp farming, six hemp activists symbolically planted hemp seeds on the lawn of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Robert Zwald finishes his short memoir with a record of his Wisconsin farm in the 1960s and the growth of his family. This is the eighth part of his stories, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
A boy growing up in Appalachian Country shares the farming practices of his family.
Vickie Evans describes her grandparents’ life in Winfred during the Depression and the years following. Both came from farming families and used their land and farming knowledge to help the local community.
Manure-spreading day is a big event on the farm, for everyone from the chickens to the border collies. And it's part of a wonderful seasonal cycle that's the foundation of self-reliance and sustainability.
Contemplations on what we eat and why we pay close attention to our food.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!
If you like steam- and gas- powered engines and farm equipment, you will love these three magazines and websites: Farm Collector, Gas Engine and Steam Traction.
Todd Harne shares his "must-have" pieces of equipment to tackle his spring chores around the farm.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick discovers a kindred soul in E. B. White when she reads the essay Memorandum, from his 1944 collection, 'One Man's Meat.'
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan Redick divides her time differently these days, Before Milking and After Milking, in the wake of spring births on her Maine dairy farm.
Save the date for the Polyface Farm "Save Your Bacon" event.
Originally from small Prussian villages, th Bruchmillers immigrated to Kansas and started a farm. Now the current owner of the same farmland, the author describes the immigrants' stories in Part Two of a four-part series on tracing farm history.
Learn what a typical family homestead in the late 19th century produced: The diversity and efficiency is surprising and inspiring information for any modern homesteader! This is Part Three of a four-part series on the author's work to discover the history of her farm.
Learn what a typical Kansas family homestead in the late 19th century produced: The diversity and efficiency of their farm sales is surprising and inspiring information for any modern homesteader! This is Part Three of a four-part series on the author's work to discover the history of her farm.
As fall wanes, HOMEGROWN Life contributor Dyan spends time observing and learning from the language of animals on her Maine dairy farm.
Teaching a farm dog — a livestock guard dog — which animals to protect and which animals not to isn't an easy task. Learn about the protector/protectee animal relationships at Rancho Cappuccino, and about how the Rancho guard animals are taught to protect their charges.
Publisher Bryan Welch doesn't make his living on the farm, which he says is a good thing. He writes about his steps and missteps in his first year using an automatic waterer for his cattle, and the first winter test.
Dixie Chopper, the manufacturer of The World’s Fastest Lawn Mower, offers the Zee 2 series, its newest and largest line of residential zero-turn lawn mowers. Ideal for large property owners, Zee 2 mowers include a variety of features for fast performance, quality cutting and comfortable operation.
New Holland has introduced its next generation of hardworking utility tractors, the T4 Series. This tailored offering produces between 84 to 106 horsepower thanks to powerful 4-cylinder engines with Common Rail technology and a Cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation system to meet Tier 4A compliance.
Kasco Manufacturing introduced a new 10’ wide Vari-Slice seeder at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky. The Vari-Slice seeder is suitable for applications including pasture seeding, beef, dairy and horse farms for worked or no-till conditions and where tight germination of grass seed is needed.
It’s never easy to be the new guy (or gal), and that goes for new farmers and ranchers, too. Since beginning a farm, one homesteader writes how she found her own sense of belonging as an urban transplant in rural setting.
Sometimes even HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm needs a reminder why she puts up with the goat feed, the chicken poop, the cat puke, and the never-ending mud. Here's a hint: It involves good food.
You can start a productive small farm business rather quickly if you use a business operations approach from the beginning. You may have what it takes if you own some property and are willing to work hard for successful results. Farming is also a practice in which traits like patience and persistence come in handy when everything goes wrong at the same time. These are all parts of the farming business and should be considered valuable lessons learned because they are only attained by experience.
How sheep teach and humiliate a grown man.
On the farm their can be lots of animals. Do you remmeber your first farm animal?
This picture will bring a smile to your face and make you think of your own family pet.
With a well-designed dog pack, you can take your dog to the farmer's market and your pet won't mind helping you carry a few groceries.
Jenna has three new sheep on the homestead and she's already learning a lot.
You don't have to be a homeowner to homestead. No matter where you live, you can start practicing the skills you need for a more self-reliant, sustainable life.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm covers the essentials of how to can safely.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates shares his approach to improving soil health and preparing a soil microbe brew.
Part One of a four-part series describing one homesteader's search for the history of the farm she and her family now call home. Her search leads her back in time, starting in Germany and following the lives of the immigrants through settling down in Kansas and, finally, to the day she and her husband purchased the property.
While productivity is often the name of the game at large farms, local food, minimal environmental impact and healthy conditions for farm workers also are hot topics today. Yet, our agriculture — and our living — have a greater impact on the environment and the life it supports than these issues alone address.
The 20th-Annual Organic Growers School takes place March 8 through March 10 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in Asheville, N.C. The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction and trade show.
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
It's always wonderful to meet someone who is passionate about what they do!
Milk, meat, eggs, veggies-- see how it's done on a small urban farm!
Finding friends out in the country can be challenging.
Cam enjoys a visit with Ken & Madeline who farmed this property many years ago and Cam realizes how hard farming was back then....
Learning to raise cows is more of a challenge than you would imagine!
It's been a rough summer for gardeners and farmers alike. Here's how we've been dealing with drought and a few tips on watering.
When it's too hot outside, the work moves inside, and is still REALLY HOT.
Arthur Bolduc shares his story of experiencing life near an Amish community in Ohio, where he enjoyed the exciting process of sorghum production firsthand.
Free-range, backyard eggs are better for your health and your ethics.
Focus on Food records an episode from Chaffin Orchards and discusses sustainable farming and the ethics of eating meat.
Proposals to weaken the links among conservation, farming and fair access to food would worsen the problems of U.S. agriculture.
Productive urban landscapes, if managed correctly, can reduce pollution in local watershed.
The Worldwatch Institute declares that many people worldwide are turning to organic agriculture to feed themselves and others, while feeling good about protecting the environment in a time of economic depression.
Writer and Canadian farming enthusiast, Joseph Graham sent this review of the event that he and his wife hosted for Homesteading Education Month.
It takes a few good rationalizations to get through the busiest part of the growing season.
Real estate and land use demands have many people left on a waiting list by their local community gardens. Never fear: There's still plenty of options to get growing!
A description of a pioneering workshop featuring no-till, cover crop cocktails and mob grazing. Douglas County Conservation Service educated local farmers in cutting-edge biological farming techniques.
I, alone, am no one. I do not grow food. I do not water the garden. I do not photosynthesize. I do not put the life force in the soil. I do not make the seed. A natural force other than I is responsible for all this. That same natural force uses this body I like to consider my own to garden.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
During the exceptional heat & drought in Texas this summer BeeWeaver worked hard to just keep hives alive... no honey, no divides.
The federal government spent more taxpayer money on 2012 severe weather cleanup than on schools or roads, reports the Natural Resources Defense Council.
My husband Alan’s first gift to me was Helen and Scott Nearing’s Living the Good Life. The books we turn to regularly have changed, although some we go back to again and again, year after year. A list of our top 10 favorite books follows.
A horse trainer once said to me, 'Animals don't think, they just make associations.' I responded to that by saying, 'If making associations is not thinking, then I would have to conclude that I do not think.'
Nobody can resist fluffy baby chicks, so what would be better than hatching your own? Let us put your mind at rest and make your first time incubating an enjoyable experience you will want to repeat.
The factory farm creates the wealth for the doctors, lawyers, government regulators, and bankers … is it ironic that these same professionals will choose a Beechnut Turkey or an Oaknut Ham from Big Horn Ranch for their family gathering?
Heritage breeds are survivors, although some may be in for a very challenging year. The national drought is about to have a huge impact on the American economy and now is the time to plan ahead.
Sometimes even — perhaps especially — those whose lives are full with experience, knowledge and good living can find that as their time begins to dwindle, there isn't quite enough. Not that that's anything other than as it should be.
Mahindra USA, the leader in affordable, high-quality farm equipment, continues its commitment to provide hard-working, high value tractors in the United States with the launch of 13 new models for the 2011 season.
NativeEnergy, an innovator in the United States carbon market, today launched its year-long 10-Year Anniversary program.
NativeEnergy, an innovator in the United States carbon market, today launched its year-long 10-Year Anniversary program.
The bar has been raised once more as AGCO Application Equipment introduces for 2012 three new RoGator high-clearance sprayers designed with even more power.
New Holland Agriculture is unveiling new equipment, and exciting new technology at the 2012 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa.
Kubota reinforces tractor and heavy equipment safety for the whole family.
The solar-powered tractor was painted Terry’s favorite color—green—before the motor was strapped in. After the motor was installed a battery stand was welded over the top of the DC drive motor which is large enough to accommodate twelve 250-amp deep-cycle batteries. Once the performance controller was installed battery cables were run, linking the batteries together.
Dogsleds are clean, green and run on renewable energy.
Jenna gets a pack goat to help carry gear for hiking trips. Share her experience of buying a buck kid and raising him to be a pack goat.
Jenna Woginrich reflects on her journey from fresh out of college, city-dwelling designer to determined homesteader, and offers encouragement to those with similar dreams.
Homesteads and farms often have fun or touching
names that etch themselves into our memories. Is there one that has stuck in
The American Society of Safety Engineers’ Ag Branch encourages purchasing tractors with a Rollover Protection Structure. Programs exist that will help offset the cost of the ROPS to add to older tractors. Tractor rollovers are common accidents that will lead to severe injury or death, but an ROPS will keep the driver safe.
A few hundred protestors from across the country arrived at the White House last month, the culmination of the two-week GMO Right2Know March that began in New York City on October 1. (Congratulations all you brave marchers - my feet ache just thinkin
The importance of a good pickup truck for the modern homesteader.
Carmen Ortiz shares stories of visiting grandpa on his urban farm where she learned to milk cows, avoided the outhouse and gained an appreciation for gardening.
Work on the farm gets easier as kids grow and get physically able to tackle chores with more strength.
We buy a Jersey cow to use as a calf foster mom.
Two young Vermonters make the small farm a reality with some creative financing.
A WWOOFer (Worldwide Opportunity on Organic Farms reflects on her second visit to an organic herb farm, where she learned more about plant harvesting, medicine making and natural building
The peaceful tranquility of farm life is often more or less controlled chaos, especially during the busy spring season!
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel, of Dog Island Farm, argues in favor of her favorite chicken breed, the Buckeye.
Yes, spring is finally here. Time to start farming.
Five shops depend on Whitey Top farm for fresh milk supplies.
Now the milk is in the chill room and we can eat cheese and freshly made chiabata with nearby cheese and horseradish sauce.
Take a look around your property and decide where to put your new beehives. Some considerations for hive placement.
KIOTI tractor company realizes significant growth in North American markets.
In this post, Jan Dohner describes the different roles a livestock guard dog can perform on a farm or homestead - a full-time livestock guardian, a general farm guardian, or a family companion.
21 things you should know or wish you had known before starting a goat farm.
In our last few posts, we’ve been looking at the various breeds of livestock guard dogs. But before you start looking at advertisements or litters of puppies, there are a few more questions for you to ask yourself. They are centered on two broad issues – your predator problems and your farm or homestead.
This blog post tells what life was like on the self-sustaining farm of Olen and Anna Mae Showman located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia during the middle of the 20th century.
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) hosts its 23rd annual Organic Farming Conference, February 23-25, 2012, at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wis.
While corporate progress toward sustainability may seem agonizingly slow, GreenBiz editors found plenty to cheer about in 2010--and believe 2011 will be a banner year for green initiatives.
Professional team ropers David Key and Jade Corkill are the new Grand Champions of the 29th Annual George Strait Team Roping Classic.
Clearly the NACE considers “useless” degrees to be ones in which pay is low and availability of jobs is scarce. However, shouldn’t measuring the usefulness of an education take into account the actual benefits bestowed upon the person doing the study
It has been fifteen months since heritage breed hog farmer Mark Baker sued the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to stop the implementation of an invasive species order (ISO). The swine ISO supposedly targeted feral swine but could be applied to any domestic pig not raised in confinement. Baker has yet to have his day in court and it is still not settled when his trial will take place. It is common for lawsuits like this to turn into wars of attrition; the state has virtually unlimited resources while the farmers are bled of theirs over the course of the litigation.
Recent approval by the Obama administration of the Massachusetts based Cape Wind project creates the potential for 130 offshore wind turbines, which are predicted to produce up to 468 megawatts of wind power.
There's nothing like an old cookbook filled with good recipes to warm your kitchen and your home!
Jenna Woginrich’s latest book, “One Woman Farm,” whisks readers away.
OK, you’ve got a start: where to get equipment, groups to join, classes to take, and mentors to hook up with. Now’s the time, before you have bees, to take a long hard look at some of the rest of the things you need to be thinking about.
Beginning July 1, 2011 and continuing for the next five months, legal residents of the U.S. and Canada can enter to win a five-year lease of a New Holland Boomer 30 compact tractor and loader with the industry-leading Boomer Guard5.
The Oakland, California-based urban farming company manufactures grow-your-own oyster mushroom kits with soil made from recycled coffee grounds.
As New Year's Eve approaches, friends butcher the ducks they've raised in their rice paddies and share some thoughts on "The Power of Duck."
Clearing your land to ready it for farming can be quite a challenge!
Don't let your wanderlust for more space hold you back from creating your homestead in the city.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!
Even dairy goats can have self-esteem issues...
C. Murray shares his experiences finding work to support his family as a child during the Great Depression.
The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
Weeding in the summer is all about species maintenance
Blackberry picking only happens at the height of summer, but is well worth the thorn wounds!
This current situation is a perfect example of the 80/20 rule of homesteading: 80 percent of your time, energy and effort is spent on maintenance; 20 percent on progress towards the dream. A majority of your time homesteading is spent covered in chicken poop, squashing potato bugs, figuring out why gas isn’t getting to the carburetor in the ATV and shoveling snow after dark by headlamp.
Doug Van Haitsma of the Mon Valley Initiative will present a workshop on micro farms at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Important provisions in the Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act have been removed, which would leave the Gulf of Mexico open to damage from unsustainable fish farming methods.
When you grow your own food, you not take a step towards self-sufficiency. You also make a move towards better health and whole new relationship with your food.
Check out the installation process of an urban beehive.
As I go along, I pull out pebbles occasionally, but only one large stone. Time and time again, however, my hands pry free the remnants of bricks. As late afternoon turns to early evening and my work for the day is nearing completion, a collection of the ruddy-colored artifacts is stacked to one side. The sight of them calls up something nostalgic in me, broken bits suggesting a history that is largely lost.
This rustic, resourcefully sustainable dog fence fits right into the landscape. Before you install a fence, look around your place first to see what's already available.
Rene' Skaggs of the Pierce Conservation District will present a workshop on increasing pasture productivity at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees will present a workshop on beekeeping at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Steven Moize of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy will present a workshop on rotational grazing at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Daniel Kosel of Red Poll Cattle will present a workshop on Red Poll Cattle Ranching at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Cheryl "the Pig Lady" Ouellette will present workshops on meat processing, growing meat for market, free-range pork, and growing what you love at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Darrel Frey, permaculture specialist, will present workshops on permaculture and bioshelter design at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Kirk Haffner, solar power expert, and Jeff Swotek of the USDA will present workshops on solar power and USDA programs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
Learning to clear fields can be fun!
Weather.com now features customizable local weather applications, including an Agriculture Application with great tools for farmers and gardeners.
Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will present a workshop on localized food systems and pastured livestock at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
As a third-party certifier, the Rainforest Alliance ensures that farms and forests are sustainable environmentally, socially and economically. The green frog seal and the FSC logo have become widely recognized, credible symbols of sustainability.
For many homesteaders, taking a job during the winter months to earn extra income is an appealing option. Here are some options to consider if you're looking for off-farm income.
Life with goats, sheep, cows, chickens and other livestock isn't all roses. Publisher Bryan Welch considers the value of finding and keeping the right partner for tackling life on the farm, goose poop and all.
The RTA12 & RTR12 Series Rotary Tillers from Land Pride till soil for seedbed and planting preparation with uses and applications in landscaping, gardens, and residential areas.
Houston-based Mahindra USA is doing its part to help prevent fires during this drought season by reminding rural residents of a few simple things they can do to help prevent catastrophic damage to their homes and property.
KIOTI Tractor, one of the fastest growing utility tractor manufacturers in North America, is pleased to announce the addition of the DS3510, a 34 horsepower compact utility tractor.
New Holland has announced it is now backing its compact tractors with an industry-leading 5-year Boomer Guard5 limited warranty on all Boomer 30/35/40/50 deluxe compact tractors.
New Internet Presence Offers Users Simple, Value-based Experience
YMT has set aside every January to include sightseeing of particular interest to farmers and ranchers on their most popular Hawaiian vacation.
Mahindra USA leads in several survey categories and ranks among top three overall.
If you’re the first of your friends to move to the country, get some chickens and plant an organic garden there will be some inevitable social fallout.
A fresh, modern approach to keeping chickens- the perfect resource for newbies and seasoned pros!
How we turned our plain old yard into a productive farm, and how you can do it too!
Let’s break down the soap-making process and start scrubbin’ with homemade bars!
Rachel describes how to turn her heirloom corn crop into beautiful blue corn tortillas!
Patricia Schick shares some of her grandparents' life on a family chicken farm in the early 20th century.
The morning started off with a decent lecture on poultry operation, production, and marketing. After a midday break, lectures resumed, this time being led by a different fellow, on the subject of free-range, humane certified broiler production. I won
A recipe for sourdough starter.
A Grade 1 group come through the farm for a tour
All things good accomplished with some old lumber and a nice summer day.
Many a homesteader and farmer can use help, and many a young person wants to learn homesteading skills. Having apprentices is an important means to assure a continuation of farms and farming,as well as teaching youth essential survival skills.
How to make your own homemade deodorant that really works!
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel shares the basics of landscape design.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates sings the praises of mixed-species perennial pastures for in-between seasons—even if they don't fully alleviate the need for watching and waiting.
HOMEGROWN.org introduces Find Good Food, a new page that includes national and state-by-state resources for locating family farmed eats near you. Read it! Share it! Add to it! Make it your own—and help make it even better.
Quick report from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. Stonyfield Farm supplied ingredients for awesome, fresh-made ice cream.
Two Brooklyn filmmakers found a way to grow fresh food in the city--in the bed of a 1986 Dodge pickup.
Despite the recession, farmers, on average, have been more successful than non-farmers. So why keep expanding their subsidies?
A first look at the newest vegetable crops in the garden before the CSA harvests begin.
Celebrate harvest season by helping bring local food onto kid's lunch trays at schools across the country during Farm to School Month.
One of the oldest CSAs in the country and how they do it.
Sharing some of what we have learned about treating Pink Eye naturally, as in our region, this has been an epidemic summer due to all the rain and flies.
Growing up on a farm during the Great Depression was no easy feat, but MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share these stories of their or their elder's time on a farm.
Ann Larkin Hansen shows that typically mundane tasks like record keeping and planning can be a satisfying process that can help you reflect on the successes of the year before.
Robert Zwald grew up in the 1900s, farming with his father in Minnesota. This is part one of his stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
Robert Zwald grew up in the 1900s, farming in Minnesota. This is part two of his stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
Support these longtime anti-GMO activists and organic farmers in the construction of a new repair shop for their vintage seed equipment.
An aging goose gains a family.
Beekeeping expert Betty Taylor explains how to reliquify crystalized honey while maintaining color, quality, and nutrients.
Homesteads are keeping alive old skills and ways of raising crops and livestock that are being lost in the age of agribusiness.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle shares a few strategies and suggestions for healthier school lunches.
How to prepare your hives for the winter to protect them from mice, skunks, opossums and other wildlife.
Tackling the GMO issue is a priority for food activists, but there are a number of perspectives on how to go about it. The Great GMO Debate will help you decide how and who should inform consumers about what biotech ingredients are lurking in their food.
Ilene Freedman and her family reshaped their Chanukah tradition to feature family activities instead of presents.
Encouragement for new beekeepers who may be confused and overwhelmed about all the conflicting advice about keeping bees.
Beekeeper Betty Taylor explains what for look for during an end-of-summer hive inspection.
What is a beekeeper to do during the long cold winter months? Eat honey of course.
Describes the heartache that can come of now observing and working with nature when raising goats.
Musing on how most of us believe "the end" is near for various reasons.
Describes the winter hive life of the honey bees.
How to make a cheap hay feeder for goats that cuts down on wasted hay.
Ventrac unveils the 3400 tractor, the newest sub-compact tractor to their product lineup.
This series of posts chronicles Betty Taylor's adventures in goat farming. This first post covers selecting a goat breed and breeder, costs, and preparing for arrival of my goats.
A would-be farmer finds chills and perspective during a long winter on the farm.
At Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica's southern Arenal district, guests get a true farm-to-table culinary and educational experience.
Rancho Margo in Costa Rica's Arenal district is a self-sufficient farm and intentional community that sends guests home with a new sense of what's possible in sustainable living.
When we stayed on an organic farm in Costa Rica, my kids and I experienced the beauty of self-sufficiency and saw how truly sustainable development benefits the local community as well as the global one. Mostly, we miss the homemade butter.
If you would like to be represented by more elected officials who support environmental safeguards for our air, water, and land, take a look at these resources, including the League of Conservation Voters' National Environmental Scorecard.
Jenna Woginrich writes about the beauty of Cold Antler Farm, a small homestead that she shares with Pig, her rabbits Benjamin and Doe and several chickens. Taking care of her animals on cold winter nights is a challenge for Woginrich, but one she gladly accepts armed with a water bottle and affection. Woginrich's modest barn provides shelter for her animals and a useful space to feel at home.
The 651 Project has been established to assist students Nationwide in their pursuit of agricultural skills and knowledge.
Both organic and local food are important if we want to eat nutritious and delicious food. Furthermore, our current food system is in jeapordy because petroleum and water supplies are dwindling and climate change is resulting in more extreme weather.
Farms which have earned Rainforest Alliance certification go beyond conserving the environment and improving the lives and livelihoods of farm workers; they also help to curb climate change.
Growing potatoes in containers allows you to increase your yield in a small amount of space.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner.
Donna Pellegrin shares her mother's stories of growing up on a fertile, bountiful farm during the Great Depression, and of the homesteading skills that kept them well fed.
When one of her goats starts looking for love for the first time, and hollering her little head off, Angela has to do some quick thinking to keep her precious pets from becoming that night's dinner!
Permaculture is a holistic, integrative design for a sustainable future: registrations now open for D Acres' 2012 Permaculture Design Course!
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
Monitoring energy use has led to increased motivation for conservation
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
Book reviews by permaculture educator Cindy Conner. Learn about Sustainable Market Farming, The Art of Fermentation, The Permaculture Handbook, and The Small-Scale Poultry Flock.
Elizabeth Van Deventer has been on a quest to find the answer to sustainable farming and an ethical diet most of her life. Follow along as she discovers the impacts of producing tea, palm oil and fruit, and how she eventually settles on a lifestyle that is in tune with the earth and all of its creatures.
This story recounts one father's hard work to help his family survive by raising chickens and farming during the Great Depression. The author also describes his family-owned homemade brooder house, which helped shelter the chickens that provided meat and eggs during hard times.
One of my earliest vivid childhood memories is sitting on my father’s lap as a young girl reading the magazine together in the 1980s and all throughout my childhood. He would read aloud while I studied the pictures of passive solar building, vegetable gardening, sheep shearing, building your own sugar shack and the beautiful array of topics which he read to me frequently. Those images, along with the camping trips in the mountains, the whitewater and canoeing excursions, and our family trip to Alaska, have been etched in the catacombs of my childhood memories and have sculpted the person I have grown to become.
A permaculture-based, 2,000-acre farm in Northern California integrates grassfed livestock with orchard farming.
Completing tasks in preparation for a few days away from the homestead
Animal Husbandry tent experiences from Day 1 of 2011 Mother Earth News Fair.
In this excerpt from Fair presenters Hank and Karen Will’s new book, Plowing With Pigs and Other Creative, Low-budget Homesteading Solutions, they’ll show you how to add small grains to your plot.
Finca Exotica is ideal for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the Osa Peninsula's bounty and learn about permaculture and sustainable building.
University of Florida entomologist Russell Mizell investigated ways to attract stink bugs to trap crops rather than cash crops—with great success. His experience can help you learn how to design trap crop scenarios of your own.
In the United States, we are feeling the effects of the rising food prices as well. When you take a deeper look into the prices, it’s not the food that is causing the price to rise. It’s everything else that goes into getting the food to your plate t
Containers are great for those that are gardening in small spaces. Though there is the fear of not knowing when or how often to water them. This is why I started to make my own self-watering containers.
Growing your own food doesn't have to be an expensive activity. There are plenty of ways to cut back the costs and be earth-friendly as well. You can do this by giving a second life to items that have outgrown their initial purpose.
If you are new to growing your own food in containers, these are some simple tips that should help you to get a better yield and results from your containers.
A post by Maria Rodale called A Harvest of Healing got me thinking about how gardening and growing your own food is much more than what you harvest.
Whether you are new to gardening or experienced, you will make some mistakes. Get over it and learn from it. That’s the most important thing.
Take these into consideration the next time you are making your food purchases.
When you are apartment gardening in a small space, you are forced to be creative due to your space constrictions. Most traditional pots and containers might not work, so you become reliant on reusing objects to better fit your space.
Parents will often say that they don't have time to grow their own food because they have kids. Don't let kids be the excuse. Instead make them part of the experience too. It's what families have done since the beginning of time. The past 100 yea
Some people use gardening as an escape from the trials and tribulations of the real world. It’s their time to get their hands dirty, connect with the earth and just be in their garden.
People often dismiss gardening as an expensive hobby that they can’t afford. While that can be true, it doesn’t have to be. There are way to make gardening cheap.
We are taught when we are kids not to waste food, but it doesn’t seem as if that lessen has stuck with us.
It might be the middle of the summer, but you should start thinking about getting your fall garden ready. If you don’t have much space, to plant everything outdoors, then you can certainly start your seeds indoors.
It’s the middle of summer and you are likely enjoying the harvests. There is` so much to do with all that fresh and flavorful produce, but what should you do?
What if I told you that you could grow 50 plants in 4 square feet?
Organic is a phrase that’s tossed around and abused a lot by marketers these days. Not all “organic” products should be treated equally.
According to FDA data, the quantity of antibiotics sold for livestock use in this country continues to rise, topping 29 million pounds in 2011. This has a direct effect on the efficacy these same drugs will have on us. Sam Spitz has personal experience with a resistant illness and FamilyFarmed.org asked him to tell his story. It’s a cautionary tale that should have us all making better food choices. Read how we can all influence the campaign to end the misuse of antibiotics in livestock and keep antibiotics working for us when we need them!
Have you ever dreamed of taking your part-time homestead to a full-time salary? What's holding you back? Business books say most people are more afraid of success than failure.
Learn how bats can be beneficial for organic farmers, dramatically reducing the need for costly and harmful pesticides.
The documentary Urban Roots takes a look at how city farming is transforming the city's vacant lots into community gardens, ultimately changing the community as a whole in the process.
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
When people ask why they should grow their own food, the answer that I give is often simple. I tell them, "It's because we are humans."
While there are many events that have lead us to where we are today in terms of food, there are some things/events that stand out the most in my mind. Growing your own food is one way to reverse the trend.
Farm life is not always predictable, and some of the surprises turn out to be the most valuable lessons. This story from the ranch about some strong winter-born goats, a protective cow with motherly instincts, and a calf that’s making it against all odds will not only inspire you, but it may teach you something about the wonderful spirit of community support.
Hay season on the Keith farm means lots of work for the wood-powered truck! Check out these videos of Wayne's farming operation.
Gasification guru Wayne Keith shows us some of his daily farm operations.
Micro Dairy Industry Leader, Bob-White Systems, Launches E-Commerce Site.
New Holland Agriculture is unveiling a number of new tractors as well as new haytools and other equipment at the 2012 World Ag Expo in Tulare, California and the 2012 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky.
Land Pride is proud to announce four new skid Grapples in 12 different sizes as well as a skid-mounted Stump Grinder. These completely new attachments feature the same quality and durability that you’ve come to expect from Land Pride.
June is National Safety Month, and the Kubota Tractor Corporation’s safety program reminds its customers to make tractor safety a priority.
I am the Flock-Tender here on HOMEGROWN.org. I am keeping a chronicle of my experiences learning, living, and growing a homegrown lifestyle fresh out of college. Am I doing this life right?
Rachel gets a scare with Daisy the goat - is it bottle jaw or something else? A trip to the vet provides some lessons.
Using cold frames for fall salad greens can extend your season of fresh eating.
Christopher shares an experience of painting his family farmhouse, but when he used flat, not glossy paint, his uncle was not happy. How could the uncle have responded in a more productive manner?
Debbie Mildfelt shares memories of her grandmother's stories, exploring the life of a large family on a small Kansas farm.
Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.
Virginia Grace Abraham shares stories from loved ones about life during the Great Depression and WWII, her stories explore all aspects of the time from hunger and hard work to young marriage and the commonly over-looked woes of the farmer's wife.
This fall, while the chickens were still living with the goats, we had decided to fence off the leg and seed it with pasture seed. I wasn't sure if we should seed it for the chickens or for the goats. After doing some research we ended up going with
A beginning farmer makes the most practical fencing choice available to her: electric nets. And gets tangled up, occasionally.
Deb Murphy shares her dad's boyhood stories about making ends meet on the farm in 1930s Nebraska.
Tomatoes are the gray area of canning. They're not quite acidic enough to just straight can like fruit but the right amount of added acid can keep you from having to pressure can them. Here are the basics on canning tomatoes.
Christmas is just about upon us, and here's a very easy, quick and simple fudge recipe. You can embellish it any way you want with several options for fruits, nuts, and liqueurs. Your taste buds will thank you (not to mention friends and family).
At the Mother Earth News Fair, I always enjoy speaking with fellow farmers and gardeners about inputs, organic standards and sound practices in the field. At the OMRI booth, we always provide free OMRI Products Lists of approved input materials, to help you find the right fertilizer or livestock feed additive and keep your farm or garden truly organic .
The different emotions you may experience as you deal with Pesticide Drift on your property or your person.
Have you started your tomatoes and peppers yet? 'Tis the season to start seeding long season crops indoors. If you normally buy organic starts from your local nursery, try your hand at seed starting.
The Department of Natural Resources seeks to fine a family for possession of prohibited swine.
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
Learn how to pinch back basil tops for a particularly bushy plant, then make delicious pesto with your harvest.
Try doing something different this winter by growing mushrooms. It's entertaining, and it provides you with an edible treat!
Safely bring a new goat herd home and getting them used to you and their new surroundings.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
The place I call home these days is The FarmSchool, a fertile 180-acre strip of ridge top in Athol, where 15 student-farmers are spending a year learning the ins and outs of growing food, managing forests, and raising animals for meat. I arrived at the farm in October, just as the leaves were reaching their peak brilliance. The Farm School — which offers three-day programs for schoolchildren, a summer camp, a full-time middle school, and the apprenticeship program I’m in — takes us through all seasons of farming, weaving together class work and on-farm training.
Honey bees, the Boston tragedy, and our power to create the world we’ve been waiting for.
This is a rundown of films that came out in the last few years. These films cover a wide range of environmental topics, from energy, climate, and fuel, to food, farming, and health. Many of the films have won awards or been critically acclaimed.
Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival inspired us to keep at those challenges that frustrate us on the farm.
Organic Pond is pleased to announce that the Organic Materials Research Institute (OMRI) has reviewed the company's PureBacteria+ Biological Pond Muck Reducer and has listed PureBacteria+ for use in organic production.
Fall sheet mulching of perennial plantings assists in fertility and weed suppression.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
Global Greens Farm in West Des Moines, Iowa, helps refugees transition from growing food for their families to operating small businesses that sell produce at farmers markets, local grocery stores and to area restaurants.
Introducing the serviceberry, a beautiful landscape tree or shrub suitable in much of North America, to the edible landscape. Serviceberry -- or sarvis -- comes in many regional forms and produces edible berries.
How to make candles you can really light from the peel of Clementine oranges. A wintertime craft...just oil and an orange peel!
A travel log of our family's mission to find local food sources on our trip to Puerto Rico.
Cooking meals on a vacation can be easy. Bring some essential items with you and enjoy homecooking, on vacation.
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
Rancho Margot in Costa Rica is completely off the grid and constantly closing the circle. Nothing is wasted on this self-sufficient ranch, where everything is considered a resource--including methane from the compost ovens.
Learn about the advantages of urban farming from those who are leading the way. The benefits include improved food production, increased revenue sources and reduced energy use.
Ira Wallace explores good winter gardening reads, gives advice on how to use the winter lull wisely to plan and prepare, and shares an update in the ongoing court battle to protect family farmers from agri-giant Monsanto.
A story of life, death and rebirth of a hoop house.
We dipped candles from our hive's beeswax to celebrate winter. Candlemaking is a nice seasonal craft. Here’s how we did it, plus some tips to get you started.
Inspired by back-to-the-landers Scott and Helen Nearing, Kate NaDeau grows her own food and enjoys the simple pleasures of seasonal living in her handbuilt stone cottage in Maine. She is the epitome of good wabi-sabi living.
In Costa Rica, all the elements are in place for a Slow Food revolution. Check out the organic bounty--and enjoy a delicious gourmet take on a traditional native dish.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
For those of us who hate to use chemicals in our gardens, in our homes, or with our livestock and pets, diatomaceous earth may be a safe and efficient substitute. It may worm your animals, rid them of fleas and lice and even handle indoor pests.
Baking the Great American Apple Pie chases away the blues and grays that sometimes afflict the homestead.