American School of Sustainable Poultry Husbandry
The Sustainable Poultry Network and Western Piedmont Community College have combined forces to create the American School of Sustainable Poultry Husbandry, an intensive poultry workshop for anyone interested in poultry production, marketing, breeding, hatching, cooking, etc.
I’ll let you in on a little secret; there is no PERFECT knife. Cutting tools are only as effective as the handler wielding them.
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.
Springtime brings cleaning up from the winter, starting a new garden and finishing up home-school work.
Autumn is very busy at Stony Knolls Farm between the Common Ground Fair and Fall Goat School!
Find recommendations from a teacher for books to introduce and teach counting to your kids. These books could be especially useful as home-school lessons.
Advice on how to get the most tender and flavorful meat from your chickens.
Whole Foods has teamed up with Chef Ann Cooper to create The Lunch Box, an online resource that encourages schools to make meals healthy again.
The USGBC’s “50 for 50” green schools initiative aims to create a green schools caucus in every state legislature.
Ann Larkin Hansen of Storey Publishing will present four workshops on sustainable farming and bugs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Robert Zwald talks about his days in a one room school house, learning with all eight grades at once. This is part four of eight in Robert Zwald's stories, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
Animal Husbandry tent experiences from Day 1 of 2011 Mother Earth News Fair.
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
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.
The defeat of Congressman Jim Oberstar wasn't just a blow to Minnesota. It was a loss for everyone who bikes and walks.
Mayors from across the country have created an alliance to facilitate green buildings for K-12 schools.
With just about every breed of standard bred, heritage poultry, we have work to do. They are not producing like they once were.
Keeping a few hens for eggs is a wonderful part of growing your own food, but finding just a few female baby chickens can be a challenge.
If you're concerned about laws regarding keeping a few hens for eggs, take time to attend meetings on the topic.
Homeschool Moms for Moms is a safe place where moms are welcome to post photos of their children’s portfolios, work, crafts, artwork, and learning environments.
So, what makes a flock of poultry sustainable? What is standard-bred poultry? If you purchase chicks from a hatchery, are they true to the breed? Why does every hatchery sell Rhode Island Reds and they all look different? Why do the Cornish Cross meat chickens have so many problems? Raising standard poultry is the only true way to improve the sustainability of quality local food while preserving the strength of Heritage poultry.
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.
Send your children to school on foot or by bike on Oct. 9, 2013 to celebrate National Walk to School Day.
Three-hundred colleges and universities have been graded on their commitment to environmentalism. Did your alma mater make the Green Grade?
ForestryDegree.net provides a searchable database for people interested in forestry.
The Sierra Club’s top 100 greenest colleges and universities carve a clean energy future—students demand it.
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
In wake of slow federal action, Boulder, Colorado, parents make a grassroots push for healthy, nutritious school lunches.
Some of the practices of animal husbandry, such as clipping beaks and dehorning, can lead to discomfort and inconveniece for the critters.
There are many benefits with raising pigs for meat, and also some common sense ways of doing so in a sustainable way.
I was 9 when Mr. Posey “hired” me. Once I was certain he wouldn’t chase me off, I started spending nearly every spare moment there. It was my first job, and I loved it.
Today I gave the cows all a dish with a zinc mix, copper mix, and sulfur mix. I do this about once a week to see if they need to free choice those particular minerals. Today they liked the sulfur and zinc but did not eat much of the copper. It is amazing how farm animals know what they need and will take it if they need it.
Janice Spaulding teaches goat husbandry both at her farm in Maine, and around the country with her "Goat School."
The Child Nutrition Act will improve school lunches. Readers share homemade school lunch ideas.
Sign up for classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School and relive your childhood-camp experiences.
Parents and educators will find this new book helpful in education and efforts to reduce the harmful exhaust emissions children breathe on school buses.
Volunteers work to start the Sunset Hill Elementary School Garden in Lawrence, Kan.
Parents share stories about getting better food into school lunches.
American Farmland Trust will be holding the Farmland, Food and Livable Communities Conference October 20-22, in Lexington, Kentucky.
'Papago' beans are hard to find, especially when their name changed in the 1980s.
Check out this roundup of 10 favorite sustainable gifts for the gardeners on your list — all under $50!
Poultry producer turns manure into propane substitute with biochar as a byproduct.
Raising heritage turkeys is a great way to preserve rare breeds and add diversity to your homestead — or backyard poultry flock. Experts from S and S Poultry compare the qualities of six heritage breeds of turkeys.
Wild Muscovy ducks are moving into south Texas, and feral populations are causing problems elsewhere. But new regulations meant to control or eliminate the feral populations effectively make owning domesticated Muscovies illegal.
Build this portable poultry pen in an afternoon using only simple hand tools. It’s just the right size for a small yard, but you’ll find lots of uses for it around the homestead, too.
It’s time to get serious about heritage chickens. Talking Chicken is a wonderful resource to help you build a flock. The book covers selection, breeding, raising and marketing heritage chickens and eggs. Poultry experts from around the country have contributed short pieces that are interspersed throughout the book to round out the information.
Chicken eggs usually hatch on the 21st day of incubation, but this hen hatched two chicks on the 23rd day.
Some breeds of chickens are better at ranging for their own feed, hatching eggs and raising chicks. Others mature quickly or lay particularly dark-brown eggs. Which breed has the combination of traits you’re looking for? We’ve launched a new survey to determine the characteristics of each breed of chicken.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program has proposed new language for regulations concerning Muscovy ducks. The period of public comments will last until Dec. 30, 2010.
Nothing says spring like the sound of newly hatched chickens in my incubators. It's the time of year when folks stop into the feed store or local hatchery expecting to begin their selection of new birds.
I was wrong about Freedom Rangers. Freedom Rangers are pretty close to Cornish Cross chickens. The Freedom Rangers did well on pasture, and we had a pretty broad range of sizes in the flock. I’m satisfied with the efficiency and the cost, but I’m disappointed the growth rate was so fast that it caused leg problems.
A Danish study has found that concentration improves among students who bicycle or walk to school.
Celebrate harvest season by helping bring local food onto kid's lunch trays at schools across the country during Farm to School Month.
Goat School will be traveling to British Columbia and then to Ohio in September.
Walking to School promotes healthy living among young people.
There are many beekeeping associations in the U.S., national, regional and local. The two National Groups are discussed, looking at members, activities and goals.
The National Bike to School Day aims to promote safer routes to school, cleaner air and active transportation. Find out how to get involved in your community.
Walking School Buses make a big impact by improving health, building community and filling in where school budgets fall short.
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.
After a rocky start, the second half of breeding season ends happily for both goats and owners.
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.
Hiking The Ozarks' Lost Valley - Where getting lost is part of the fun! By Mike McArthy of Photozarks
Help keep cages and water sources clean with Solway Feeder's horizontal watering nipples.
ChickenWaterer.com’s new app, the Cluck-ulator, is available for iPhone and Android smartphones.
Last spring, I decided to raise my own free-range turkey for Thanksgiving. Here’s how that project turned out.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy Heritage has officially defined “heritage chicken.” Find out what a heritage chicken is, learn more about the certification process, and hear — firsthand — what an expert on heritage chickens has to say about pastured poultry and breed selection.
This collection of rare and historic poultry books offers an amazing amount of information on poultry.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) and Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch recently announced the definition of heritage chicken. The event included tasting meat of four breeds of heritage chickens.
If you are keeping a small flock of chickens in your backyard or on a small acreage, which breeds have you come to admire and why?
Lots of factors are involved in hatching poultry eggs successfully: consistent temperature, the right amount of humidity and frequently turning the eggs. Not all incubators work equally well, and some have features that make operating them easier. Read about our most recent incubator test.
While others are fighting crowds in shopping malls on Friday, you can start choosing the breeds of chickens you’re going to raise in 2011. We’re excited to launch a new digital tool to help you sort through the options. It’s fun, practical and loaded with photos.
Hatching eggs using natural or artificial incubation is great fun, but there are no guarantees. Things can go wrong with either system.
A unique feature of emu eggs makes them an excellent choice for carving. With a minimal investment in equipment, you can create marvelous art for a hobby or a bootstrap business.
Instead of using a heat lamps to brood just a few chicks, consider using a broody hen to do the job. This system takes less time to manage and uses no fossil fuels!
An experienced pasture-raised poulty expert, Robert Plamondon, shares his thoughts on the best methods of keeping free-range chickens. He gives tips on four different kinds of electric fencing designed to contain chickens and repel predators, and calls it a less time and money consuming alternative to other fencing options.
Discuss the strange and mysterious ways of broody hens. Plus, the Community Chickens project will be hatching duck eggs!
This is a great collection of information and tips on raising poultry, chicken coops and hatching poultry eggs. You can learn about brooders, coops and poultry equipment.
If you want a few hens for fresh eggs, but haven’t had the time (or money) to build a coop or chicken tractor, here’s your chance to win a free coop! The Handcrafted Coops portable chicken coop is an ark-style coop with space for three hens (or five bantams).
We’re looking for the most effective and creative solar-heated waterer for chickens. If you’re creative and love to build useful projects, make a solar poultry waterer and try it out this winter. Then submit your design for our contest. We’ll publish the winning entry in the magazine, and the designer will win a free Brinsea incubator.
Cotton Patch geese were historically cheap labor for keeping cotton fields clean. They have been used to weed other crops, such as corn and strawberries, too. After making numerous contacts and traveling more than 10,000 miles, Tom Walker found a few gaggles that were fairly representative of the breed. He has carefully selected and maintained these historic weeder geese, saving them from the brink of extinction.
Chickens naturally go into their coop to roost at dusk, but that’s about the time that many predators start hunting. When you’re not able to be home to close the coop door at the right time, your birds might be in danger. So, Mother Earth News is sponsoring a contest for the best design for a DIY automatic chicken coop door closer.
Lots of people order hatching eggs that are shipped through the mail before setting them in an incubator or under a broody hen. But what kind of results should you expect from shipped hatching eggs? Read what an expert has to say about realistic expectations.
Many people who keep chickens or other poultry have concerns about how to manage their flock when cold weather sets in. But winter shouldn’t be a problem for your flock, but rather a steppingstone to the following year! Check your poultry often, follow these guidelines and you can even raise baby chicks in the winter! Tips from an expert.
The Solar Nite Eyes Predator Protection System helps ward predators away from your poultry, bees, trees and more. The Solar Nite Eyes are inexpensive, effective and easy to use. Try this method of predator protection around your homestead.
Poultry expert and contributing writer for MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Harvey Ussery, is teaching a 2-hour online course to help you get started with a backyard poultry flock.
There are so many different “types” of goats! My last post was all about Angora goats and their fiber; this post will be about the meat aspect of goats. So what makes a goat a meat goat?
There is no “one size fits all” bunch of information that works every time in every location, every person, and for every goat.
"Garbage in, garbage out," is as true to goat nutrition as it is to the computer world and more folks should take heed!
Local farmers lease Amherst College land to provide for the school’s dining hall.
Maine and Minnesota Goat Schools are over, and a great time was had by all; Janice Spaulding recaps the events and prepares for the next one is in Ohio in September.
Headed back to school? Protect air quality, save energy and recycle for a healthier, greener school year.
An introduction to the North House Folk School.
California’s Kings Canyon school district recently debuted a new electric bus that will cut diesel emissions and help student health.
Shouldn't our kids' lunches be determined by nutritional value, not special interests?
Tips on how to improve air quality while driving your kids to school.
First time farmers plan for the growing season and lambing.
A new report from the League of American Bicyclists finds women cyclists now make up 60 percent of U.S. bike owners between the ages of 18 and 27.
For centuries social and international conflicts have been spurred by contrasts in one group's sense of tribal identity (whether cultural, ethnic or geographic) versus another's. This same conflict plays out today in the United States for those members of American society who, thus far, have been unable to recognize President Obama as part of their tribe. Bryan Welch argues that Obama, in fact, epitomizes the key characteristics of the modern American tribe.
Puhwem Native American corn was the mother corn of native people. It's one of the best corns for making corn flour.
Sixteen states have banned the sale of dishwasher detergents with high phosphate levels, and the American Cleaning Institute has urged its members to remove them.
Borrowing from a Native American tradition, utilize porcupine quills to make beautiful beads.
Ditch unhealthy school lunches with a fresh lunch idea for kids: school gardens. Beyond putting fresh, healthy food in schools, cafeteria gardens are a great classroom tool and a big step towards more sustainable schools.
Publisher Bryan Welch's conviction that we need a better vision for our future led him to consider the way we form images, which led him to holograms. Humanity’s perception of its present world and its vision for its future are formed from billions of individual perspectives. Each individual human being possesses a unique vision, a single point in the light field. Each perspective records the person’s place in space and time. Each point of light forms a complete image, a complete vision for the future. When we reproduce the light field projected by those billions of unique visions, we get a three-dimensional picture of humanity’s combined vision. Effectively, we can’t perceive the future in three dimensions without taking into account the entire light field. Find out more about how we can use this idea to create a model for a sustainable future that can be applied across the globe.
In most cases, we can't do all of the things we would like to live more sustainable lives — at least, not all right away. We can all do something, though, and making the choices and taking the steps that we can is an effective, satisfying way to make our lives more self-reliant and better for the planet every day.
Americans equate products made in the USA with sustainability and often choose American-made products over other options, a study finds.
Coporations continue to purchase interests in seed industries. Could this be a problem?
A ForestEthics report calls out the American Forest and Paper Association-backed Sustainable Forestry Initiative label for not protecting forests.
Most American homes are codependent with a lifestyle-support-system of roads, wires, pipes, lines of credit, satellites, and a collective identity determined by the supply side. Yet just about any household budget offers continuing opportunities for creating a healthier, less expensive lifestyle that’s also easier on the environment.
Quails make an excellent urban choice for poultry raising, chiefly for their tranquil nature, minimal noise and egg-producing efficiency. In this, the second installment of my series on quail-raising, you'll learn how to identify gender from color and marks and see how quail eggs compare with those of chickens.
Aggressive roosters are a nuisance and can be dangerous if they attack small children. Three simple methods can stop most aggressive behavior so that you can enjoy your entire flock of chickens, even the roosters.
Keep chicken water clean with this innovative watering design.
Raising baby coturnix quail is an exciting adventure. Taylor is completely new to raising poultry and shares his experiences.
The emotional realities of butchering and processing your own livestock.
How to avoid food poisoning from poultry, which is widely contaminated with Campylobacter.
We’ve compiled a list of chicken coops for your convenience.
Keeping a rooster with your flock of hens is beneficial but must be done carefully. Here’s how to introduce a rooster to your poultry flock.
Getting your very first chicks is an exciting experience and a very big step for most first-time homesteaders. Here is some advice for enjoying your new additions and avoiding any potential problems.
If you’re planning to buy a small backyard chicken coop to protect a few hens, you might be interested in this coop from GardenEggs.com.
I tested a new incubator against my old Styrofoam incubator. Find out which one is the best for incubating duck eggs. The difference was amazing.
We’re trying out several incubators with chicken, duck and quail hatching eggs.
The Community Chickens project is about sharing the joy of keeping poultry and spreading the knowledge to help people successfully raise chickens, ducks and other poultry. Here’s a summary of some things we’ve learned through the project.
Here are a series of short videos that show how to start raising free-range chickens with helpful information throughout the process.
We’re testing incubators, equipment and feed for the Community Chickens project.
Hens that lay white eggs are lighter weight and eat less feed to produce the same amount of eggs as brown-egg layers. So, does that mean that if you’re concerned about conserving resources and care about the environment, you should eat white chicken eggs instead of brown chicken eggs? Color is only shell deep. There’s more to this debate than meets the eye.
There are many benefits to purchasing grass-fed eggs, but finding them is not always easy. Robert Plamondon suggests ideas and resources for making grass-fed eggs more available and popular.
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.
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.
How do you keep backyard chickens safe from poultry predators? With a bit of elbow grease and a few tips, your girls will be safe from sharp teeth.
There are some things that you just aren’t going to wash very often, like your curtains, couch cushions, and probably even your favorite jeans. To spare the air, concoct a simple essential oil-infused linen spray, and spritz away until your definition of what “clean” smells like shifts permanently.
Store-bought deoderants contain aluminum and other harmful substances that find their way into your bloodstream. Try this recipe for natural homemade deodorant that uses baking soda with coconut oil and essential oil to create a effective and safe alternative.
Resist popping tabs this season and get familiar with the ultimate cola cure: soda syrups made from fresh fruits and herbs.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle shares a few strategies and suggestions for healthier school lunches.
A would-be farmer finds chills and perspective during a long winter on the farm.
Goat School needs a class room, visit our Kickstarter project and enjoy our video of Goat School!
No babies yet, so a few anecdotes about Angora kidding,labor
Traveling with Goat School on the Road, and learning all about newborn kid hoofs.
Kidding is quite a process! This blog covers the very first signs of impending birth.
Schools and cities all around the U.S. are using abandoned rail corridors to encourage foot and bike transportation in their communities.
Last year, more than 30,000 Americans participated in the National Bike Challenge and rode more than 12 million miles. This year, the League of American Bicyclists wants to know if riders are ready for a bigger challenge.
Instructional videos from the League of American Bicyclists provide basic bicycle safety tips.
The Environmental Protection Agency is trying to cancel the use of carbofuran, but FMC Corporation stands in their way.
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.
Land rich in biodiversity isn't just more productive than land planted with a single crop. It turns out that increased biodoversity also significantly effects the total "bioenergy" of the land, as well as its carbon footprint.
The North American Solar Stores (NASS) network announces their nationally recognized solar store brand to meet the solar energy demands of today's alternative energy-aware consumers.
Portland is the nation's most bike-friendly city, yet this Oregon community has had to deal with cycling disparities among its population. One nonprofit organization addressed this issue by developing new programs targeting low-income immigrant communities.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) will be celebrating 35 years of success at their annual conference on November 9-10 in Cary, N.C. Whether you’re a hard core farmer or backyard hobbyist, the conference is sure to have something to ruffle your tail feathers.
The American Highland Cattle Association is funding a Highland beef research study on fatty acid profiles, tenderness of cooked steaks and sensory characteristics of Highland beef.
The only practical means of creating abundance in our world requires examining the ratio between our capacities and our desires. Our capacities can be measured. Our desires can, presumably, be adjusted to fit within our capacities. And if we fit our desires within our capacities with some room left over then abundance is possible.
The highest goal of politics might be to instill a sense of fairness in society, since that sense of fairness promotes tranquility, productivity and prosperity. The cooperation that undergirds a healthy society — the social contract — is based on a sense of fairness. Without it, a society is unhealthy and unproductive and, ultimately, ceases to exist. As the next big challenges facing our species will be global challenges, considering fairness from a global perspective will be one key to creating true sustainability.
Fairness and repeatability share this essential value: They can be visualized today, even when sustainability cannot. If we make fairness and repeatability part of our criteria for decisions today, they contribute to sustainability in the long-term even if they don’t provide permanent solutions.
If we need a vision for a sustainable future then we need a lot of people to contribute their own ideas and energy to forming and realizing that vision. If we are to attract the energy of millions of people to the task, then we must start with beauty in the frame.
Over the years, we’ve had many experiences with injured and sick chickens. Sometimes the birds have pulled through, sometimes they have not.Such is truly the way of life.
What to do when the hot, humid days of summer create constant bickering in your children and in the flock.
Quail meat is making its comeback as there has been more of a demand due to the composition of the meat and exotic taste. Restaurants and grocery stores are supplying more quail meat to feed their consumers. There is a lack of producers, therefore education and encouragement is needed to increase the popularity further and meet the demands.
Cruel treatment is the norm in industrial poultry production. Consumers can help stop inhumane treatment by choosing to support local producers who do not put profit ahead of humane treatment.
It is officially spring at The Pomponio Homestead despite the icy drizzle and the date. I asked the universe, and it delivered - three hens.
When I asked some chicken-keeping friends what they wished they'd known about chickens when they first got started, the answers were varied.
Richmond, Virginia, legalized chickens in 2013. Since then, cities and towns have joined in legalizing family flock. The organizers of the Richmond Home and Garden Show (one of the largest on the East Coast) wanted to feature chickens and offered us free booth space.
When a chicken dies suddenly for no obvious reason, it's unsettling. But it's not uncommon. Here are some possible causes for that sudden death in your otherwise healthy flock.
Poultry predators are one of the biggest concerns of owners of chickens and other poultry. Here are a few tips for fighting chicken enemies. Plus some thoughts on common wildlife that are not predators of chickens.
Sign up to attend a free poultry webinar on the topic of starting a backyard flock.
Yes, spring is finally here. Time to start farming.
Robert Plamondon's Norton Press has reprinted three homesteading classics: Ten Acres Enough, We Wanted a Farm and Gold in the Grass.
Wondering when to buy chickens? February to June is the best time to buy baby chicks if you are interested in raising chickens, or if you are looking into getting different types of poultry. This timing not only helps the chicks, but will offer get deals for you. Also, check out the directory of hatcheries to make finding your poultry easier.
Hermann and Laura Weber are preparing to host their ninth annual pasture poultry seminar on their farm in Attica, N.Y. Speakers include Peter McDonald of Pasture Pride Farm, Dave Snyder from ADM Alliance Nutrition, Inc. and Brian Fleishman from the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce and the Wyoming County Tourist Program. Contact the Webers for more information: 585-591-0795.
If you’re new to raising chickens, you might be a little intimidated setting up house for your new flock. Homesteader Jenna Woginrich offers a straightforward overview of getting started, from preparing a brooder to providing feed and water.
KOR Water has announced the reusable Nava filtering water bottle.
Missoula, MT company awards home owners sustainable products.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium updates The Super Green List, a guide to helping you choose healthy and safe seafood from more sustainable waters.
Step Forward Paper is a new type of paper made most from wheat straw (80 percent to be exact) with the remaining 20 percent made of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood fiber.
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?
Look out guys — these women really know what 21st century farming is all about.
Help us discover ways to achieve an affordable sustainable diet.
Decision from the USDA: Farmers won't be allowed to break their CRP contract without penalty.
Wherever you live, you can practice sustainability and share your successes with your neighbors.
Asking if an idea or action is fair and repeatable is one way to determine if it will be useful in building a beautiful, abundant future.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence reviews the sustainably minded Fairmont Hotels.
BuildingGreen.com founder and Environmental Building News editor Alex Wilson wins Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing.
Living luxuriously doesn’t necessarily mean living large — at least not in these homes — and reducing a little waste doesn’t hurt, either.
In business, we build a vision of the company at its most successful and we articulate a set of questions to guide us toward that vision. If it works, more or less universally, in business, then why couldn’t we apply it to other large, complex undertakings?
Consider these simple steps for making your backyard flock-friendly.
Luke Dinan, a young man from Toronto, Ontario, is forging his way towards sustainable living and a self-reliant lifestyle; a path we can appreciate, strive for and maybe contribute to.
The book Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A Do-It-Ourselves Guide is a collection of skills, tools, and technologies usable by urban residents wanting to have more local access and control over life's essential resources.
During World War I, the federal government ordered people to keep a backyard flock of chickens. What happened? Why is it so hard today?
Baby kids do not always present in the correct position when descending the birth canal. Learn about the different positions and how to handle them.
Be prepared for kidding season! Set up your kidding kit ahead of time. This information will help you have the right equipment at your fingertips.
Horns or no horns, that is the question! Why should you disbud your goats, or is it okay to leave the horns on? This post discusses both options with a link to a great article about horns and their beauty.
Spring clean up on the farm doesn't only include cleaning fallen branches, but cleaning up the goats too! Getting ready for kidding and making sure the goats are all set is our most important spring task.
The babies have arrived, now is the time to take care of all of the other parts of caring for the newborns!
Why raw milk? Why goat milk? Things to consider for good health and nutrition for you family. Also a trick to get stubborn kids to nurse from a bottle.
Milking is a fun and easy chore! Here are some hints on milking in an easy fashion.
Getting ready for Goat School is always a daunting task, but once all of our new friends start arriving, we get excited! What a great time learning all about goats!
Goat School is over for a few months, and now the routine will be a little more normal! Great questions were asked at Goat School and some of those answers are shared.
The kids have finally arrived, and we have plenty of photos of them!
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.
The number of bike commuters is on the rise everywhere in the United States, but especially in Bicycle Friendly Communities where it has increased an average of 80 percent.
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.
A cheap plastic pin reveals allies on Capitol Hill.
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
Emmy-award winner, Dayton Duncan, likened trail advocates to John Muir at the American Trails National Symposium
Groovy Globe will donate 10 percent of its sales from each product sold to non-profit environmental organizations.
The American Garden Tool Company is an online source for American-made garden tools, products and accessories.
As the economy improves, the trend toward smaller homes is reversing.
ASES released a report that says 37 million green jobs are possible by 2030. Check out the study here!
Otto and Jim, two American Belgian draft horses, demonstrate their impressive strength to visitors at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Washington.
The League of American Bicyclists has compiled a database of state-specific highlights of traffic laws that affect bicyclists. Find out if you live in a bicycle friendly community.
American Airlines is the greenest U.S. airline for the third consecutive year in Newsweek's Green Rankings List, an annual environmental ranking of the country's 500 largest publicly traded companies.
A proper tea house is a luxury I believe in.
Hold onto your hats, Congress is debating climate change. Right now the U.S. House is considering the Waxman-Markey climate bill. Here's where you can find more information about what is, and isn't, in the bill.
The American College of Healthcare Sciences and Apothecary Shoppe have been re-certified as Green America Gold-Certified businesses.
You can find great reports from the field and footage of rare bird species at the American Bird Conservancy's Bird News Network. Plus, find tips for winter birding and check out highly entertaining footage of the moonwalking manakin bird.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy launches a national campaign aimed at the American Automobile Association.
Americans are being asked to turn up the thermostat 3 degrees on June 21. If you find you don't notice the difference, why not keep it up? You will notice the difference in your electric bill.
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) notes the environmental benefits of commuting and traveling on a motorcycle.
This video slideshow reveals the sacred magic
contained in the Native American corn that sustained many Indian tribes for
thousands of years before professional plant breeders turned it into an
The all-new RZT S ZERO is available in select markets and will be headlining the Cub Cadet Test Drive Experience Tour.
ForestEthics exposes Sustainable Forestry Initiative Greenwash, catalyzing growing corporate trend and grassroots consumer movement to avoid SFI.
This listing links to information resources related to sustainable agriculture, organic farming and gardening, and growing and buying good, safe food.
Many sustainable agriculture groups sponsor conferences in the winter. Learn more about these opportunities to continue your learning and broaden your network.
Sustainably harvested cork creates a beautiful flooring material that’s competitively priced with other kinds of sustainable flooring.
Hello to my new life and good-by to the old.
PBS will air Food, Inc. on TV Wednesday, April 21 at 9 p.m. Eastern.
Seventh Generation commits to using sustainable palm oil in all products by 2012.
We claim to live sustainably if we can harvest or extract the earth’s resources without depleting or permanently damaging them. By that standard, no one in a country that devours coal, oil and water—and uses up a quarter of the earth’s resources—can live sustainably.
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.
Be aware: Living sustainably can be hindered by homeowner association rules.
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.
Readers suggest sustainable oyster sources.
An interview with the founder of a small organic gardening business that focuses on education and helping gardeners go organic. Learn more about this company and vote for it to win funding from a small business competition.
Suggestions for the interior of your chicken house, including; feed storage, access to nest boxes, dividing the chicken-living area, and making a loft for storing bedding material.
Ever wondered about the real meaning behind terms like cage free, free range, and pasture raised?
As mama hens, is there ever really a time when we don’t worry about our little chicks?
An aging goose gains a family.
Our first trip to the New England Meat Conference and some of the lessons we learned.
This pentagonal structure was costly and tricky to build, but the finished structure is both beautiful and functional.
Pickled duck eggs pair well with Asian flavors in this easy recipe.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS interviewed poultry advocate Oprah HenFree at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Families can now enhance their diet with Omega-3 fatty acids from their homegrown eggs.
The Chicken Kooler keeps the water away from the chicken’s feet, where is can get filled with straw and dirt.
Keeping birds on the farm; how we went from chicken havers to duck lovers.
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
Land O'Lakes Purina Feed helps address the lack of Omega-3, an essential fatty acid, in American’s diets with their latest innovative feed: Purina Layena Plus Omega-3.
Like many things related to food, the free-range label misleads customers, so we explore the differences between free-range and pasture-raised.
Homesteader Cam Mather describes integrating new backyard chickens into his existing flock and the wonderful life his "ladies" lead.
Learn details regarding winter chicken care including ventilation for a cozy chicken house, heat for baby and grown chicks, and recommended poultry books.
What’s with glycerin? It’s a soap-making byproduct with antibacterial properties, but it’s often made with animal fat derivatives, which isn’t really our thing. So, we figured out how to make our own veggie version with coconut oil, opening up a whole world of kitchen pantry beauty concoctions.
After the kidding is over, we take good care of our girls! And, the babies need to be bottle fed, so here are the instructions on how we feed our kids.
The presence of bicycles on sidewalks has long been debated: Is it legal? Is it safer than the road? Shouldn’t children be able to ride on sidewalks?
Thoreau, Rachel Carson, Bill McKibbon, Terry Tempest Williams. Do you have a favorite nature or environmental writer? A book or story you can get lost in, that inspires you to action, or simply reminds you of how incredible nature is? Post a comment to share the titles that invite you into the wonder of the natural world — or have maybe even changed your life.
Homeowners are willing to splurge on kitchen and bath remodels, but they're not interested in building luxury or second homes, according to an American Institute of Architects survey.
A new study has uncovered a link between food and environmental allergies and chemicals found in pesticides, herbicides and other agricultural products and drinking water.
A California couple is hitting the road in a greened-up Airstream to share and gather lessons on living sustainbly.
An affordable prototype home helps revitalize a blighted Syracuse, New York, neighborhood--and could be the city home of the future.
Honey bees, the Boston tragedy, and our power to create the world we’ve been waiting for.
Restaurants in the United Kingdom can be evaluated and accredited based on choices such as purchasing ethical meat and dairy products, choosing fair trade coffee, monitoring energy use, supporting community charities and serving tap water.
A BIG issue in everyone’s lives today is increasing fuel costs. The seriousness and scope of our energy problems calls for an all-out effort for sustainable solutions, starting as soon as possible.
Passive solar design comes to Navajo families, as architecture students build homes on Utah reservations.
Animal products provide vitamin B12 in your diet, which is necessary for a healthy nervous system. Learn what and how much you would have to eat to meet your daily B12 need and other considerations for adding animals to a sustainable diet.
Focus on Food records an episode from Chaffin Orchards and discusses sustainable farming and the ethics of eating meat.
Eric, Michael and Loren decided to build a winter shelter from natural and re-used materials two winters ago, their first ever natural building experiment. This is an account of that experience that changed their lives in mysterious and unforeseen ways (for the better!).
For many people, going green seems like a daunting task, but in reality, a few simple lifestyle changes is all you need.
Permaculture is at the heart of the solution of many environmental crises. Permaculture is alive with the possibilities of positive change.
Celebrate meals with homegrown or local food. Tips for making your celebration gatherings zero-waste events.
In 'Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation,' author Tradd Cotter offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices, shares the results of his groundbreaking research, and offers creative ways to apply cultivation skills—whether the goal is to help a community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale.
ECO360 Trust produces sustainable T-shirts made from 100% recycled PET plastic water bottles. ECO360 Trust is a campaign of the non-profit Institute for Sustainable Communication.
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.
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.
Jacobs Farm in Santa Cruz, Calif. was recently awarded $1 million in damages for lost income due to pesticide drift.
The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s upcoming annual conference on sustainable farming will focus on how to achieve sustainability in our food system, as well as the future of agriculture in general.
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.
Save time and avoid blisters and burnout by following these common-sense guidelines this leaf season.
Arthur Bolduc shares his story of experiencing life near an Amish community in Ohio, where he enjoyed the exciting process of sorghum production firsthand.
Guest blogger and longtime advocate of sustainable food Gwen Roland reflects on the new popularity of local eating, and highlights some of the innovative local food projects funded by Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grants.
Secure grant funds for your farmers market, community-supported agriculture program and more by applying to the USDA by April 27.
Cam speaks to a group of university students about "sustainable" development...
Experiences getting started gardening in the 1970's and suggestions for beginning your own projects in 2012.
Sailors for the Sea presents its new Rainy Day Kits teach young sailors to care about marine ecology and the environment with fun, interactive games.
We know why we love heritage breed livestock, but why do you?
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.
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
SunRay Kelley’s Gypsy Wagon is an exciting, sustainable home on wheels built from a camper vehicle.
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.
Want to Save on Earth-Friendly Products? Check out Worm's Way's sale by clicking on the Earth Week banner at WormsWay.com and enjoy up to 20 percent off your purchases.
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.
Recently, I had an epiphany in a building supply center. Even though I’ve been in the building trades for over 35 years and made countless trips to purchase building supplies, this trip was different.
Recipe for Southern-style shrimp and grits, made with superb Floriani Red Flint grain corn.
The “One Good Chair” competition winners, announced at Winter Las Vegas Market, demonstrate that minimal materials can result in maximum comfort.
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
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.
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.
Raising chicks is easy as long as you pay attention to their needs for food, water, and housing. It also helps to learn their language.
It's not always easy to use natural remedies on your chickens. Here's a trick to keep up your sleeve that will have them begging for their medicine.
We've had a few surprises as we travel the road of backyard chicken raising - some of them pleasant, some not so much. Here are a few things we've learned that might help you as you decide whether or not to get chickens for your backyard.
Consumer Reports has stated that it recently found arsenic in food, The United States' rice supply is contaminated with this "group 1" carcinogenic.
One locavore takes responsibility for raising and slaughtering her own chickens.
The results of our latest nutrition tests show that eggs from hens raised on pasture (true free-range eggs) exceed commercially raised eggs in vitamin D content.
This week at Polyface Farm was a lot of fence installation, turkey processing and the making of some major life choices for some of my fellow interns.
After a tree crushed the back of their shotgun home (while 40 Hurricane Katrina refugees were camped out there), a Baton Rouge couple rebuilt a green, energy-efficient house that encourages connection with their neighborhood's "front porch" culture.
The bad news? Coal-fired power plants are our biggest source of industrial pollution. The good news? Solar grew by 67 percent last year, making it our fastest-growing energy sector.
An index of previous posts that have referenced green products. These posts have covered building- and home-related products, as well as chocolates, books, and other types of goods. Many of the products mentioned in these posts would make good gifts.
It is a busy time for planting here. Not tomatoes, peppers, or squash, though. We got in our order of trees from the Missouri Conservation Dept. last week. In the past, we had planted mostly walnut, but we have a good enough supply of our own walnut seedlings that we are focusing on native trees that could use a boost to restore the forest to what it once was. So we are planting pecan on the bottom areas, shortleaf pine on ridge tops where the soil is poor, and burr oak on the better upland areas.
It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked:
Why do we do all this work?
Who would think it’s possible to discover the artist in me, incubate a business, plus milk goats, grow a garden...all in one unforgettable summer. I'm a rich woman by any standard.
How feeding the hungry amounts to action on behalf of a planet on fire with a toxic yang imbalance.
What is Pesticide Drift? “Pesticide drift” is the movement of a pesticide through the air away from the intended target. You might actually see the drift in the form of a mist. You may smell it. But it can be invisible and odorless. The spray may be applied from the back of a tractor — referred to as a “rig.” Or it may be applied from a spray plane or helicopter.
Incorporating charcoal into the soil helped Amazonian farmers grow better crops, and its new industrial version is promoted as a panacea for both agriculture and the global climate. Those claims are not realistic.
“Grow a Sustainable Diet” is an upcoming book (spring, 2014) that helps you plan what to eat and what to grow, feeding you and the Earth while maintaining a small ecological footprint.
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.
Every now and then we need to re-evaluate our thoughts, just as we re-evaluate our things. Learn about making cloth Christmas gift bags and find out how walking barefoot in the grass is good for you.
"The Farm Then and Now" by Douglas Stevenson tells the story of The Farm: an intentional community that has defied the odds, blending idealism with a practical approach to create a model for sustainable living.
Self-dubbed “lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin describes how sustainable living and more conscientious agricultural practices can mend and revive a planet pushed near the brink.
While you may already look for eco-friendly organic wine when you select a bottle, you're probably not aware of the environmental implications of opting for a wine closed with natural cork in lieu of a less sustainable synthetic stopper.
Reynaldo Ochoa, the subject of a new short film, grows with a goal of teaching and practicing permaculture unique to an individual's region, emphasizing sustainable farming as opposed to “slash and burn” agriculture.
Organic gardeners often need to remove mammal pests such as groundhogs and raccoons. Like many, I use live traps. How to deal with a skunk you accidentally catch, without getting sprayed?
If you’re getting ready to build a home or begin a woodworking project, consider building with sustainable wood products. With help from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council databases, you can locate sustainably harvested wood.
My brief discription of sustainable beekeeping
Daniel Sheridan found a way to turn children's energy into electrical power with a see-saw that generates electricity. The see-saw should generate enough electricity to light a classroom for a whole evening after only five to 10 minutes of use.
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.
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.
Worldwide fish consumption is at an all-time high, so take action by eating only sustainably harvested seafood from ethical sources.
The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal has been popping up on coffee, tea, cocoa and fruit products all over the world. So what exactly does this certification signify? We’ve investigated.
Learn how to use less energy canning tomato products.
Our work in the woods starts long before we get the chainsaw and axe out; by being in the woods, observing and contemplating. We're looking for healthy trees that we can help to thrive and that will be of benefit in the future.
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.
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.
I briefly describe my journey from a kid on a large 2000 acre alfalfa farm in the west to a homestead beekeeper in the midwest, on our 35 acres that we call BeeLanding.
Thoughts on growing all your own food. How much space is required and other things to consider.
Managing compost now allows for more productive use the following season.
While conservation is neccessary for providing for an ever-growing human population, it alone cannot solve our problems. In fact, it may distract us from the real issue at hand.
With an understanding of your limitations, you can operate more safely and efficiently. Training in timber cutting techniques can greatly expand your capabilities
Even after 15 years, Cam still loves heating his home with wood that he cuts himself.
Our humble abode begins to take shape.
A quick look at different ways to be sustainable whether you are off grid or not.
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.
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.
Regeneration of trees on a harvested area give hope for generations to come.
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!
Weeding in the summer is all about species maintenance
Cities, counties and states across the country have created food policy councils in response to their concerns about future food security in their communities. The councils work to coordinate local food efforts, such as farmers markets, to develop a sustainable food system.
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!
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.
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.
Pass the cold, wintry months with warm thoughts of how you can eat more local food while supporting sustainable agriculture this coming season.
Grow to fill yourself up from your garden. Potatoes will give you the most calories in the least space and are an important part of a sustainable diet.
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?
A wedding using homegrown and local food and no disposable items. Decorations were things already on hand. The ceremony took place in a field and the reception was in a barn...and there was love-lots of it!
Cam describes why his method of harvesting firewood from his woodlot is the most sustainable way.
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.
We finally see walls and a loft floor.
From choosing affordable floods for the bedroom remodel to switching out the oven-hood incandescent, Jennifer details how much it cost to light her house sustainably, as well as forecast her long term savings.
Could you eat only food grown within 100 miles of your home for 10 days?
Learn more about this challenge and why you should consider taking it on.
In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel teach readers how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non timber products. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.
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.”
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Cuba's bike transformation was the result of a change in context induced by external forces. It was a disruptive event that forced them to adapt. Here in America, a land of such excess, no such sudden disruption looms (nor could it be predicted, I believe). Our transportation context is centered on the car. Our culture and economy are “driven” by the car. So, how do we create a culture of transportation that is dominated by bicycles?
Talking about the new Chocolate Turkeys we saw on Saturday and how to properly plant into a kill mulch without doing much damage to the killing.
Wabi-sabi teaches us appreciation for the good energy and soul that handmade items bring to our homes. Etsy, the premiere source for handcrafted home goods, offers an extensive list of items whose sale will benefit Japanese relief efforts.
Simran Sethi explains her bathroom-remodel goals to conserve water.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
I had heard there are thousands of new earthen houses in Thailand. That really amazed me, so I set out to learn the details about the modern earth building movement in Thailand.
Low-fired brick is a very sustainable building material with low embodied energy. They are made with locally procured clay and fired with rice hulls, a by-product of growing rice. Brickyards are located near urban areas to minimize transport costs.
Two years ago, the Natural Home & Garden staff had the honor of decorating President Obama's guest house with sustainable and handmade holiday decor. Try some of these "president-approved" projects yourself!
An overview of groups, initiatives, planning certifications, and neighborhood developments that promote sustainable communities, including Transition initiatives, ecovillages, One Planet Communities, LEED for Neighborhood Development, and others.
Don’t miss these featured documentaries showing on PBS’s Earth Day programming.
It was becoming pretty obvious the crowding and lack of light were real limitations to my mini garden. Then, the idea of a trough on the windowsill came to mind, combining a way to water all the plants uniformly and efficiently all at once. Great, now how to make this trough? Wood? Sheet metal? The choices all seemed expensive, clumsy, prone to leaking...then the light bulb went on in my head: gutters!
A three-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
Steve explains how one practical guy invented a way to burn pellets efficiently without an expensive pellet stove
Monsanto's Roundup Ready system transformed typical weed problems into a national superweed crisis, only healthy farms can correct the damage done.
Leading food sovereignty activist Vandana Shiva will present “Cultivating Diversity, Freedom and Hope” in Kansas City. Many other farming and gardening workshops and events are planned for April 17-18, 2014.
In Kenya, even for middle class families, much of what ends up on the dinner table is grown or raised at home. With food prices rising, more and more Americans are looking towards ways of growing some of what ends up on their table at home. Both in terms of personal health, and the environment, this is a very good trend—it's a food source as local as you can get.
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.
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.
One of our "14 Sustainable Food Companies You Can Trust," Plum Organics is good for your baby's health and the health of the planet.
Maddy Harland writes about principles that underpin our understanding and practical application of permaculture. She relates them to designing a green home and garden but also explains how permaculture can help us to create more sustainable lifestyle
Aside from the great stage presentations, the exhibitor booths have a lot to offer FAIR attendees.
While many of those visiting our Hostel are farmers and homesteaders themselves, some come from that “city culture” and seem to take their first hesitant steps outside of a flatly paved driveway when they arrive at our place. Wide eyes, a sense of adventure.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
are at the vanguard of thoughtful sourcing, choosing local, sustainable farms
and cooking seasonally.
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
Now's the time to redouble our efforts to tap into energy efficiency. The potential is huge and the benefits are even greater.
Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seeds and the toxic herbicides used to drench them, is calling itself a supporter of sustainability. You’re kidding, right?
Take a photographic tour of Finca Bella Vista, a sustainable treehouse community in Costa Rica.
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.
Sustainable farming expert Michael Pollan has some words of wisdom for the next president of the United States.
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
Begin your garden planning with what,and particularly how much, you want to eat. Take a look at what you are eating now and go from there.
Set up a washing station in your garden. Rinse your veggies there, saving the water for the garden and keeping your kitchen clean.
Eat carrots from your garden all winter! A little planning goes a long way toward more food with less work. Learn how to start with a winter cover crop of rye, with carrots following next in the rotation, maturing by the time the first frost.
Laundry detergent manufacturer reduces plastic by 66 percent in new easier-to-recycle bottles made from recycled cardboard and newspaper.
There are two situations which do not require you to be heating your home: when it is warm and when you are not at home. Since it is still a bit chilly outside, you may want to consider setting up a routine of turning down the set temperature on your thermostat when you head out in the morning and when you go to bed.
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
Monitoring energy use has led to increased motivation for conservation
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.
Let's stop for a minute and think about what we are doing!
Solar drying experiences in 2012, including tomato varieties Principe Borghese and Long Tom.
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.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
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.
Solar Energy International (SEI), the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service all offer events to educate participants in varying pursuits. This blog provides links to activity calendars and workshop schedules.
Sandy Boyce's sauerkraut was a hit, selling out each week, until her county health department asked her to stop. Across the nation, regulations can prevent small-time home producers from distributing their 'cottage foods' to the public.
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.
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!
Engineer Venkappa Gani leads by example when it comes to sustainable living. His entire backyard is an organic garden, an edible landscape that borders his rainwater harvesting tank collectors overlooked by solar panels that power his home (and more!). Gani is dedicated to sustainability, a word he lives by everyday at his suburban home in Austin, Texas.
Learn about using the Piteba to press your own homegrown oil.
Turning liabilities into assests.
More on the much-feared food safety bill, HR 875, and its Congressional counterparts.
Urban food forests and public gardens provide communities with an edible landscape for everyone to share. These public fruit forests are the new trend in urban agriculture and play an important role as sustainable local food systems in their communities.
Ordering bees in January doesn't seem to make sense, until you understand that April is the cruelest month. Plus, if you order bees in January, and then you don't need them - that's just a reason to celebrate! Order early!
Many criticize eliminating coal mining in West Virginia because of the amount of jobs the sector provides. A wind farm, however, would employ over 200 local residents during the two-year construction phase, and create 40-50 permanent maintenance jobs afterward. A wind farm would also allow the mountain to be used for other purposes, like sustainable forestry, mountain harvesting, and gathering of wild forest plants, creating additional jobs and the opportunity for stable income for locals.
Jim and Holly Smith, founders of Today’s Abundant Living, sent us this great review of a Homesteading Education Month open house and country skills workshop they hosted at their Michigan homestead.
These money- and waste-saving alternatives to paper and plastic products eliminate the temptation to resort to disposable for your summertime outdoor dining needs.
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.
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.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
Shocked that nearly everything in their Dallas home was made overseas, a family starts over and furnishes their home only with items made in the USA. ABC News challenges everyone to take a pledge to purchase products made in America.
Eating only homegrown foods on the Fridays in Lent.
What does it take to build truly sustainable houses – the kind people really want and can afford? If you build small and use natural building materials, then most likely you’ll be able to build your own home in a reasonable amount of time for cash.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
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!
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
What’s your idea of a delicious and wholesome breakfast? A fluffy, organic egg omelet made with fresh vegetables? Perhaps scrambled eggs and roasted garden veggies? No matter what your preference, it may surprise you to learn the link between the
Once a barren wasteland destroyed-like much of Costa Rica's land--by decades of cattle ranching, Rancho Margot is now a verdant and productive paradise. Find out how the Sostheim family has accomplished this in just seven years.
Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival inspired us to keep at those challenges that frustrate us on the farm.
Breaking down the last week of homesteading we've done over at WaldenEffect.org, and the Top Bar project we started as well as talk on Brix, biodynamics, and Plant Secondary Metabolites. Also have details on an external frame backpack modification.
Swamp Hut is a complex of four 8-by-12-foot huts surrounding a deck with a fireplace. This an off-the-grid, light-on-the-land summer getaway could easily be replicated in your favorite vacation spot.
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 list of links to orgs, associations, websites, books, and other resources related to local economies, community resilience, green business, corporate social responsibility, green jobs, environmental and social entrepreneurship, and investment.
If you have access to small diameter trees and wood pallets, and live in an area not restricted by building codes, then this truss design is one good low cost roof option. If you do all the work yourself, these trusses are virtually free.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
The roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.
Forget the time and money that goes into conventional giftwrap. Use these inspirational ideas to wrap lovely gifts with materials otherwise bound for the recycling bin.
Concrete rubble from collapsed buildings is a huge problem in Haiti. It is blocking roads and hindering reconstruction. Instead of spending millions of dollars trucking the rubble away and disposing of it, why not use it to build affordable housing?
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
Simran Sethi explores resolutions for healthy eating and offers a resource, The Cleaner Plate Club.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
The Obama Administration releases its plans for new renewable energy sources. Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, explains that the new solar energy zones span six states and keep both domestic energy and environmental preservation in mind. If completed, the power generated from these solar energy zones would provide electricity to roughly seven-million homes.
Building housing projects in developing regions is extremely rewarding, but also quite challenging. It’s prudent to draw ideas from as many resources as possible to improve the process. The following guidelines have proven effective.