Best Green Homes of 2010
As Passive House Institute standards up the ante, USA Today’s “Best Green Homes of 2010” list reflects Americans’ desire for affordability, efficiency and style.
Net zero high rise is a self-contained sustainable community.
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.
I first ran into the Green Building Initiative last March at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s Building Energy conference in Boston.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Find out which states and countries have the greatest number of LEED Platinum certified projects, and where the Platinum projects are located. Plus, a list of some LEED Platinum rated homes and residential buildings, with links to case studies.
Green America offers savvy shoppers daily discounts--and reassurance that they're buying green--through GreenDeals.
In 45 years, Deltec Homes have never lost a house to high winds.
This morning in my inbox: Orlando Bloom announced at Wednesday night’s Global Green pre-Oscars party that he’s building a green, solar-powered home in London. And an RISMedia report stating that despite the downturn in the general housing market, demand for green homes continues to be a hot trend.
The Homestead Act of 1862 celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. The Homestead National Monument is hosting several activities to recognize this historical event that resulted in millions of self-sufficient homesteaders receiving free land. Learn more and participate!
One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.
Do you find yourself spelling out words to others, such as when you are spelling out your last name? Try out our Homesteading Alphabet to keep your listeners on their toes and your homesteader lifestyle a part of your daily routine in a whole new way.
You can build a small greenhouse in an afternoon!
Did you buy or build a home without going into debt? We're looking for stories on homes built with a small mortgage, or no mortgage at all. Here's what we want to know.
NXP's wifi light bulb would allow homeowners to turn LED and compact fluorescent lights on and off from anywhere, using any Internet-enabled device. Some say it's the first step toward building "smart" computer-controlled homes. Do we need this?
This Friday, Beijing will show off its green improvements when the Olympics begin.
Despite the worldwide increase in environmentally friendly lifestyles, the United States still ranks as one of the least eco-friendly consumer societies. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence shares ways to green your habits.
"Green" cleaning products are awash with misleading labels and false claims. Always look for a third-party certification to assure you're buying the healthiest, most environmentally friendly cleaners.
TerraChoice’s annual Sins of Greenwashing study finds that 95 percent of the products claiming to be green have used vague language, unproven claims and false certification labels.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi investigates the greenest way to move to a new house.
Kevin Danaher, the first keynote speaker of the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, proved an appropriate choice to kick off the event. His presentation, Green Jobs are the Future, was an upbeat assessment of what ordinary citizens can do to affect positive economic change. It also reminded everyone gathered that in order “to save the eco-system, we must transcend the ego-system.”
Potted greens are a good complement to greens in the hoop house soil.
Kathy Bennett and Scott Bergford will present workshops on raising sheep and keeping your green home safe at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
James Zitting of Bee Landing and Terry Phelan of Living Shelter Design Architects will present workshops on beekeeping and straw bale building at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.
See green building in action! The third and final season of the Greensburg TV series is scheduled to begin on May 2, 2010.
Andre Armantrout sent us this wonderful update from a Homesteading Education Month event featuring aquaculture at Snowy Pine Ridge, outside Spokane, Wash.
Dan Chiras discusses the long-term benefits of building a green home.
Offering paint that saves the rain forest and a full list of ingredients, this natural finishes start-up aims to change the industry. Unearthed is making a bold move by providing full ingredient disclosure for all of its products.
Information about energy-efficient washing machines and cellular window shades. These energy-efficient appliances and window shades will please environmentally conscious consumers.
A new Environmental Protection Agency website helps homeowners and renters decrease their energy consumption and cut carbon emissions.
More than 30 years ago, Michael Reynolds followed his vision of sustainable, energy-efficient homes that would work with nature. Today, his Earthships inspire green designers and architects.
Are you a modern homesteader with pioneering women in your lineage? My great grandmothers were all pioneers, but our lives could not be more different.
Vantem Outdoor Living partners with Lowe’s Home Improvement to deliver next generation shed and workspace structures.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce we have won a prestigious publishing award for our Guide to Green Cars.
It's time for our third annual call for nominations for outstanding modern homesteaders! Organic gardeners, do-it-yourselfers and general self-sufficient gurus are being sought for the opportunity to be named as one of our 2014 Homesteaders of the Year.
Do you know any modern homesteaders living a self-sufficient lifestyle? We want to know about them! Nominate a family, someone you know or even yourself to become one of our Homesteaders of the Year in 2012.
Readers share their winter gardening stories.
Learn more about the life and work of Malcolm Wells, the "Father of Earth Sheltered Design."
Dan Chiras talks about the benefits of passive solar design.
To make the best use of potato-growing season, use the technique of greensprouting.
An introduction to me, a home-schooled 11 year old.
Existing homes that are certified as “green” sold for 30 percent more than homes without such a designation, according to an analysis of the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan region released today by Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource. Newly constructed homes with a sustainability certification sold for 8 percent more than non-certified homes.
This result continues a four-year trend in which new homes with third-party certification for sustainable construction and energy performance have consistently sold for more than newly constructed homes that had not been certified. The term "certified home" includes homes that received an Earth Advantage New Homes, ENERGY STAR, or a LEED for Homes designation, or a combined Earth Advantage/ENERGY STAR certification.
Learn to build your own Hand-Crafted Log Home
I think testing your home for radon is a good idea, and these dogs agree with me!
Getting solar panels in Seattle is becoming more affordable with state incentives and net metering but still doesn't quite compare to other states.
It has become a Christmas ritual for me to clean out my mother's fridge. I find whiskery gnarled morsels, shoved to the back of the fridge many months previously, unseen, and untouched by my mother’s arthritic hands. Do I compost all this detritus?
Clean with vodka for a spic-and-span house and less of a headache in the morning! You can use the alcohol to freshen your laundry, remove mold and mildew, and even repel bugs. Vodka kills bacteria and dries clear and odor-free, making it an ideal addition to your cleaning cupboard.
Safely eliminate mice in your home with these house mouse control tips.
It is not difficult to set up a backyard hoop house to extend your growing season. The result is abundant, delicious greens and extra months with your hands in the soil. Share information here on backyard hoop house gardening and cuisine.
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
Non-gardeners and gardeners are very, very different creatures.
Making cheese was nothing like I expected, but in the end, I was successful.
Pick something new to learn this year from Granny Miller’s list of 101 basic homesteading skills.
ECOvention, LLC announced today that as of August 2010, more than 30 Whole Foods Market locations in the Rocky Mountain region will use the multi-functional, eco-friendly GreenBox to serve take-away customers at their brick-oven pizza counters.
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.
Our process of buying the land for our homestead had little to do with logic and a lot to do with emotion. For me, it was a chance to return to the plains where I grew up and be close to family.
A gardening expert discusses what you should do with your seedlings after they sprout in their indoor greenhouse containers.
JavaCycle has saved more than 40 tons of burlap coffee bag from landfills.
For one week, BuildingGreen is offering a free download of an insulation guide, available with a 30-day trial of BuildingGreen Suite.
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.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking nominations of self-sufficient modern homesteaders for our 2013 Homesteaders of the Year awards.
This two-day, alternative building workshop featuring energy expert Dan Chiras will be held March 13-14, 2010 in St. Louis.
As the youngest member of a new local food producers and artisans cooperative, 11-year-old Grace is learning business skills while perfecting her artistic talents with homemade jewelry, pot holders and more.
To me, the most important features of a sustainable building are not its technological wonders but its simple design features: common-sense strategies that should be incorporated whether the building becomes LEED certified, Energy Star certified, or is just trying to be environmentally friendly.
Earlier this month I visited Greensburg, Kan., and toured a few of its many green buildings. Here's what I found.
Find out what’s in your paper products with Greenpeace’s Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide.
To build a net zero energy home, you'll need to design for passive gain. That requires a shallower footprint to ensure that the low-angled winter sun can enter and heat each room.
Insulation under the slab -- and lots of it -- is vital for the performance of a net zero energy home. So is the footprint. You can make the most of passive solar by creating a longer, narrower house in which each room is heated by the sun.
Be sure to install under-the-footing conduit to run electrical and water pipes, including sewer. I like to run pipes and wire under the foot to prevent penetrating the band joist or the foundation to create a more airtight, water tight home.
Don't forget to budget in the cost of deeper excavation and add $1000 to $2000 as a budget contingecy in case you run into bedrock.
Insulating concrete forms are an excellent choice for foundations for passive solar, net zero energy homes. They create a highly insulated, air-tight foundation, so essential for extremely high energy performance.
ICFs are not the most environmentally friendly green building product, but result in super energy efficient home, and offer many other benefits, that offset their origin from petrochemicals.
ICF walls must be carefully braced to prevent blowout.
Creating a net zero energy home requires that we eliminate all thermal bridging loss -- heat movement into and out of a building. All this starts in the basement.
More tips, ideas, and considerations for choosing green gifts. A sequel/supplement to last year's article!
The Homestead Act of 1862 opened up 270 million acres of public domain land for settlement. The Homestead National Monument of America tells the stories of many of the people who claimed land and tried to "prove up" their claim.
We learned a long time ago that we couldn’t attract an audience for our magazines unless we gave our readers tools they could use to improve the world personally. A backyard organic garden is the perfect symbol of positive vision and commitment.
Builders and designers believe that low-e windows, engineered wood products and eat-in kitchens will be key characteristics of new homes in the future.
The Lehigh Valley Green Builders is presenting its third annual Green Home and Building Expo.
This index links to some recent and popular posts related to green building, design, remodeling, and home improvement. The posts cover a broad range of topics, from green products to projects to practices, as well as sustainable communities.
GO Home, built by architecture and construction firm G•O Logic LLC, received the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) 2011 LEED for Homes Project of the Year Award.
Sigi Koko of Down to Earth Design and some assistants demonstrate her method of constructing strawbale walls with clay at the 2011 Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pa.
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?
A lookout tower home, which features reclaimed materials, connects its homeowner with her past, present and future.
With resources from Mother Nature, you can make natural and beautiful homegrown holiday gifts.
Nathan Kipnis of Kipnis Architecture + Planning will present two workshops on green energy and building at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Aaron Gould, green builder, will present a workshop on the economics of ecobuilding at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Molly McCabe, green remodeler, will present a workshop about sustainable remodeling for kitchens and baths at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Sukita Reay Crimmel of Claylin and From These Hands, and publisher of Mother Earth News Bryan Welch will present workshops on building earthen floors and how to build a sustainable future at the Mother Earth News Fair, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, WA.
Doug Kennedy of TM4 Group will present a workshop on home owner operation and maintenance at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Reginald Beck, gluten-free baker and Bruce Glenn, straw bale builder will present workshops on gluten-free baking and straw bale building at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
There are many ways we can conserve energy, and be more eco-friendly, especially with the advancements that technology is making every day.
We'd like to hear about projects you have planned that will help you save energy, save water or otherwise make your home greener.
The ongoing debate between the merits and faults of Passive House design and passive solar design is important for those looking to build an energy-efficient home and for all enthusiasts of energy-efficient building. We've opened up the discussion to our online audience in this blog post. Please share your thoughts!
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
The invention of clear window glass allowed the ancient Romans to trap solar energy to enhance their gardening techniques to grow vegetables out of season and exotic non-native plants in Rome. A thousand years later, empire builders in Europe rediscovered the trapping of solar heat with clear window glass so they as well could enjoy the foreign plants in their own back yard and grow native vegetables throughout the year.
Suggestions for what to have on hand - and handy - when you hear a storm is heading your way.
A California couple is hitting the road in a greened-up Airstream to share and gather lessons on living sustainbly.
Replacing a task that uses electricity with one that does not is a no-brainer when trying to save on your energy bill — and air drying is one of the easiest ways to go.
Americans continue to believe that green homes make a difference--but they need to be more affordable.
An introduction to Paula Baker-Laporte's future readers : about Paula, multiple chemical sensitivities, Building Biology and the role of green building in health.
Enacting a law requiring builders to orient new homes toward the sun would drastically reduce home energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
A good layer of environmentally friendly mulch such as eucalyptus, pine bark or cocoa hulls will discourage weeds, keep soil up to 10 degrees cooler and help prevent plant disease. What's your favorite green mulch?
In this blog, I describe two of the first and most important design considerations -- the length and depth of the home and the layout of rooms for optimum passive solar gain.
We are collecting stories from our readers -- their older neighbors or relatives, too -- about self-sufficient homesteading and farming in the early 20th century. Read what we've found, and share your own story from yesteryear for modern homesteaders.
After Greensburg was destroyed in 2007, the citizens of Greensburg, with the help of GreenTown, have invested in green building for a better tomorrow.
The 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, is almost here! Follow this blog for news, photo and video from this FAIR and future events.
Catnip isn’t just fun for cats; kids can have fun learning about it, too. It’s also a hoot to sing about various catnip uses! Watch and see.
An attendee at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Penn.,
speaks to GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan about his experience
surviving on little more than kefir and common weeds for 40 days.
Grit Assistant Editor Caleb Regan chats with two attendees at the 2010
MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Penn., about their experiences
at the event.
Listen to the garden song and watch as kids dance along and imagine all the fabulous things beautiful gardens can contain!
How do plants help people? How do people help plants? Find out by watching these two nifty videos.
You can take a survey about the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa., Sept. 25 to 26, 2010.
We would like to thank these companies for donating prizes to the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Students from Chatham University's food studies program discuss their interests and goals at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
Author, activist and co-founder of Global Exchange Kevin Danaher gives a presentation about the bright future of green jobs at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
Author and food and farm advocate Gary Paul Nabhan gives a presentation on how we can change our food habits to become more sustainable at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
TV show host and author Wanda Urbanska talks about techniques for simple and happy living at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
America's Best Organics introduces American-made gift box.
Heating water is the highest drain that laundry machines and dishwashers have on your bill. Onaverage, water heating accounts for 18 percent of your energy bill.
In this blog, my architect James Plagmann and I begin to tell the story of the construction of Dan's new net zero energy homes. Dan begins by laying the ground, defining a few terms and describing his experience in this field.
Ben & Jerry's teams up with Greenpeace to bring the U.S. a cleaner way of freezing food, especially ice cream.
Ben & Jerry's teams up with Greenpeace to bring the U.S. a cleaner way of freezing food, especially ice cream.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi talks about buying her first home and discusses what eco-friendly goals she has for her new abode.
Scaffolding is required to access the walls to pour the concrete. Scaffolding also helps support the walls.
Additional reinforcement is required around the garage door opening.
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi spends her first night in her new home and reflects on the struggles and triumphs of the journey thus far.
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.
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.
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
Why and how to grow a variety of cold weather greens in most climates.
This spring, try more interesting salads with spicy, crunchy, and colorful greens.
Readers share information and recipes about their favorite eating and cooking greens.
Try to grow some sorrel in your garden this season. It has a unique, zesty flavor that adds a zip to many dishes — and it has a long growing season.
If you live in an area with high summer temperatures try growing one of these greens to replace your spinach.
An abundance of greens but a shortage of inspiration? Here are some ideas beyond just adding them to salads.
Baby greenhouse plants are spring babies too, just like the birth of baby animals. Here’s a way to keep them warm in the hoophouse.
This blog contains a detailed list of most of my initial design priorities for my net zero energy home so others may benefit from my thinking and experience on creating a passive solar, net zero energy, green home.
Here's a chance to transform your home into the greenest one on the block and then pay it forward to your neighbors to help paint your whole town "green."
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.
New photos of Lloyd House's Leaf House
Some large electronics can use as much energy as a light bulb while in "stanby" mode, meaning you should unplug them when you leave the house or know you won’t use them for awhile. Having a large electronic setup plugged into a power strip makes it much easier to completely power it down, especially if it has a lot of plugs like a home theater system or computer.
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.
Many people don’t know that most HVAC systems don’t produce more or less heating or cooling based on the room temperature – they simply blow air for longer.
Energy Star for Homes is a worthwhile green building certification with demonstrated market value.
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
Keep your greenhouse above freezing during short cold periods without paying for a heater.
A new wastewater treatment plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, will use methane gas to produce energy.
Since her first house move, MOTHER EARTH NEWS blogger Cathie Ackroyd, has become so very conscious of the impact we humans have had and are having on our planet’s environment and hoped to find a place to settle that would allow us to gain an element of self-sufficiency in a relatively car-free community.
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.
Building homes using dangerous and impactful industrial chemicals--in the name of energy efficiency--is not sustainable or ecological, a green building veteran says. His Health-Based Building model is an important step forward for green design.
Sawing their own lumber enables home owners to fulfill their dreams.
Stan Slaughter discusses a method to produce vermicompost in large quantities yearround.
The right recipe can convert people who think they don't like cooked greens, or energize cooks in need of fresh ideas. Here we offer a roundup of recipe ideas for garden-fresh greens from arugula to turnips.
Editor in Chief Cheryl Long recounts her journey from the airport to Seven Springs for the FAIR.
Some ramblings from a 5:30am Sunday morning dispatch about the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, on site. Written from condo rental bed.
I noticed, as I walked the FAIR yesterday, a broad section of America.
Fresh out of jury duty, Mandy Dobson of Cranberry Township, Penn., won tickets to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR via a Facebook contest.
Take a look at these photos from around the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Online Video Editor Christian Williams conquers his fear of heights and offers a birds-eye view of the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Professor Culpepper of Lily of the Valley Herbs teaches a group of children to identify the various parts of a flower at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Penn.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Assistant Editor Heidi Hunt visits with Laurye Feller of the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
GRIT Editor Hank Will talks to fairgoer Paul Gardner about saving tomato seeds at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan talks to two representatives from Shelf Reliance about their experiences advertising their company at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan chats with a representative of Nite Guard about his company's booth and his experience at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan talks to a representative of the Mother Earth Resources Co-Op, one of the sponsors of the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, about his company's vision and the reception he's gotten from fairgoers.
A presenter shows the audience the proper way to skin a rabbit at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
Charlotte Kymer talks about her time at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
John Rockhold, managing editor of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, talks about the recycling effort of staff and volunteers at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
A representative of the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association demonstrates how to make yarn from alpaca wool at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
Here's why MAX won't be at the FAIR. Sorry.
Homesteading with dogs in remote mountain living. Considerations in providing a good safe homestead environment for your cherished pets.
I am especially concerned with the electricity hogs that keep us burning coal.
Here is yet another possible building project presented to you which requires no formal training, very little money, and techniques/methods that anyone can use. This blog intends to inspire you to take on a natural building project like this one. Don´t have fear if this is your first time working with these techniques and materials — it often for us also! Swattlesfield Campground is frequented by many kinds of people for various reasons. The owner, Jonathan, wanted to introduce some activity which would draw people together. We had the perfect idea: pizza! Food, especially food that requires waiting, has a tendency to attract people. And once humans have a good reason to be in the same place, the rest (socialization) has a tendency to just work.
How to build a greenhouse of used sliding-glass patio doors that is warmer and less expensive than plastic, and keeps out burrowing animals.
The joy and sustainability of a greenhouse made of salvaged everything (well, almost).
Last weekend more than 12,000 people flocked to Washington, D.C., for a three day demonstration to demand the creation of green jobs, cuts in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels.
An introduction to Richard Hilderbrand’s new blog discussing climate change, plus the first installment. Learn how Earth utilizes greenhouse gases to ensure stable temperatures, or thermal equilibrium, as well as how fluctuations in solar activity relate to changes in global temperatures.
The embrace of environmentalism by professional sports provides us all with a new and large opportunity to educate people worldwide about the need to do something, however small it might seem, to protect our biosphere.
In this blog, I highlight the earliest decisions I had to make to create a net zero energy home: how I was going to build the foundation and walls. Thermal bridging, air tightness, insulation, cost, and greeness are all key deciders.
Get the most out of spring's cheap-but-healthy greens with this easy, nutrient-dense smoothie.
Many years ago, years before I moved to the country, I was what would be considered "a prepper." I saw disaster every time I turned on the TV, or read the news on the internet, or visited forums that talked about stockpiling beans and bullets. I panicked, thinking I could never have enough control for the sake of my family, never be "prepped" enough.
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.
Victoria Gazely considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin on 7 acres of fertile earth--purchased for $150--a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
Prefab is so much more than mobile homes! Explore your options for manufactured homes, modular homes and panelized homes made of wood, steel or insulated concrete.
The new metal roof was nailed down just hours before the storm hit.
Our Rural Property for Sale site helps you search for a sweet spot to put your future homestead, with handy filters to help you find just what you're looking for more easily.
This grandparents’ homestead housed a number of generations and everyone participated in daily chores such as pumping water for baths, melting lard for bread, and using cloth flour bags to make curtains, blankets and dresses.
Here are some resources where you can learn more about how a scythe can be useful on your homestead.
Custom Curve is the first glass window system with a structurally engineered framework that follows the curved wall of the yurt.
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?
For the first time since the U.S. Energy Information Administration began collecting data on greenhouse gas emissions in 1990, the United States saw a record-setting 5.8 percent decline.
The NH Permaculture Gathering is just a couple weeks away!
Small towns across the country in need of a population boost are literally giving away free land to attract new residents and boost their populations. Seekers of the quiet (and low-cost) small town lifestyle can now grab some free land to build their homes.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
Creating a micro-climate is an essential tool for your survival and homesteading skills. Making the right micro-climate for your plants specific needs will not only help them survive, but thrive as well.
In my quest for the most energy efficient ceiling fan, one model blows the rest away. Now is the time to install ceiling fans for lower electricity bills this summer--here's how.
We need a cloning machine workshop on top of all the plethora of other workshops organized at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. Or maybe not ...?
Jack McCornack tells the story of how he got lost in the Oregon outback and how MAX was damaged such that the DIY-, super-fuel-efficient car couldn't make it to the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
The Herb Companion Editor KC Compton talks to Sebastian, a young fairgoer who is passionate about growing herbs at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
Managing Editor John Rockhold chats with Jack McCornack — creator of MAX, the DIY and 100-mpg hopeful car — to get his post-FAIR thoughts.
Discovering an outsized pickling tub in our shed inspired me to try this tasty local recipe for greens preserved in soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
The Ogden Community Garden winds down, and one gardener marvels at the late October harvest, and on how much the garden has meant to everyone who has helped tend it.
Get an early spinach crop with this easy gardening tip.
Simran Sethi reflects on her first summer of yard-care and gardening.
In the final chapter of this five-part series, Lyn Fenwick finds the country cemetery that Isaac was burried in and pays her respects to the author of a treasured family heirloom, a 19th century homesteaders journal.
Three-day workshop announcement on net zero energy homes by leading authority on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Dan Chiras. Learn how to reduce your utility bill through conservation, effriciency, & clean, affordable, renewable energy.
For less than the cost of an SUV, a Michigan couple rehabbed their historic home to include solar panels and a geothermal system. The 110-year-old house now produces more energy than it needs.
This clever basement sump pump is designed to keep water out of your home during hurricanes and other severe storms.
Where we find a wealth of information for projects and enjoyable reading.
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.
With a few key supplies, you can revive worn wood flooring without heavy-duty sanding.
This is a summary of our attendance at the IBS show in Jan. Also a re-cap of Jan events and our transistion into the construction phase of the project. We also talk about the decision for the competiton to be moved off the Nationa Mall in DC
Learn the basic skills useful for mountain homesteading.
Gardening for the first time ever in a hoophouse is a lot like gardening elsewhere. But, it is gardening in a whole different climate!
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
We’ve been growing in unheated hoophouses for a decade now, and we can’t recommend them highly enough for commercial growers. If you have any dreams of market farming, the first thing you should buy is a hoophouse.
Step-by-step building instructions for a passive solar greenhouse.
Give your pots the protection they need when freezing temperatures arrive with a portable greenhouse. You can also bring in pepper plants for the winter and have fresh peppers indoors.
Is it too hot to grow spinach where you live? Try these fabulous alternatives.
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.
Scott Davis’ “Solar Projects, Big and Small” video offers inspiration for both solar energy enthusiasts and folks who are just curious. Tips and advice pertaining to solar energy can be found at the Yahoo! group Simply Solar, and you can make your dream project a reality with Gary Reysa’s instructions.
Jim and Julie are starting their homestead in Texas while still living in Australia. Managing the project by remote control is the challenge, and they are learning as they go. This is an adventure of faith and confidence.
Matt and Kelly Grocoff keep cool in Michigan by taking advantage of their 110-year-old home's natural ventilation strategies. It's as easy as opening a couple of strategically placed windows.
Forced to extremes by illness, these homeowners built sacred, beautiful homes completely free of toxic chemicals, petrochemical fumes and other poisons. For all three, better housing has meant better health.
From switching out light bulbs to bundling up your water heater, environmental journalist, Simran Sethi, shares some simple and stress-free tips on how to save energy in your home.
The Reincarnated McMansion Project aims to tear down one inefficient, climate-insensitive suburban house and replace it with two small, green, handcrafted homes.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi stays thankful for what’s important in the midst of a big move.
On the brink of settling into her new home, environmental journalist Simran Sethi shares some tidbits of eco-information, such as how to box and save for the move, and how a few simple changes can make your home cozier and more energy-efficient.
Jessica Kellner, managing editor with Natural Home magazine, talks with Deborah Niemann-Boehle about how easy it is to make bread at home.
GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan checks in on U.S. Belted Galloway Society and its Belted Galloway heifer contest at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Penn.
GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan catches up with Jeremy McMasters of Indiana, Penn., who has come to the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR to learn more about grass-fed beef among many other things.
Paul Carmichael of Lily of the Valley Herb Farm talks about his experience at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, including the top herbs and working with kids at the Treehouse Club.
What do you get when you put a pack of attorneys, environmentalists, and politicians in the same room? According to Richard Schrader, legislative director for the National Resources Defense Council, a fighting chance to save the planet.
Check out these photos of some of the animals that attended the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS RADIO host Andrea Ridout discusses her favorite moments from the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Assistant Editor Heidi Hunt chats with Dan Lepinski of MOTHER EARTH NEWS RADIO about converting sunshine into electricity at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
Environmental journalist and author Amanda Little gives a keynote speech about America's dependence on fossil fuels at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
Assistant Editor Heidi Hunt checks in with a quick report about Nate Poell's presentation on homebrewing.
Clipping the wing of a troublesome hen and tasting the first Chicago hardy figs was really great, but what was even more fantastic was seeing Anna's new book arrive and how beautiful it looks.
describing the upcoming fun photo contest with the theme being chickens and the fun they either have or give. Figs and more figs are at the heart of the obsession.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
In this posting we discuss how the record infection rate of West Nile virus is related to the record global temperatures of the past decade. We also discuss how these record temperatures have allowed the infections to occur in northern latitudes.
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
Living luxuriously doesn’t necessarily mean living large — at least not in these homes — and reducing a little waste doesn’t hurt, either.
Most of us would love to live in energy-efficient homes that are good for the environment and have low, low energy bills. But what are the best real options available? How do you create an extremely energy-efficient home that’s still affordable for most people?
Any net zero-energy home needs two things. The first is the sun, providing passive solar energy. The second necessity is retaining maximum heat.
Many gardeners take lettuce off of their summer planting lists, but shade covers can put garden-grown lettuce on your table more than a month sooner this fall.
Before space beneath your grow light is needed for onions and other early seedlings, fill it with baby lettuce grown in translucent clamshell salad containers.
Sauteed spring greens and mushrooms dress up polenta in this nutritious, satisfying main dish.
Sow leafy greens in late summer to reap abundant crops in the fall.
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.
Homesteads and farms often have fun or touching
names that etch themselves into our memories. Is there one that has stuck in
Fun is where you find it, in this case it is a hay ride for the family along our trail.
A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your homestead.
How we approached buying our property, clearing and selecting a home site.
We call our homestead Sunflower Farm and now we have the sign to show for it!
As we look into the future we prepare for a flatter terrain for a new homestead.
Outlining our process for locating a suitable location for finding a new homestead.
After many months of preparation and planning, we are very excited to be starting to build our homestead - a barndominium. The first stage is to get a good solid foundation so our new homestead will be solid for today and future generations.
The building of the barndominium is in high gear. After all of the ground work, the slab is poured, cured and the steel framework of the barndominium is erected in one day. With the progress, there were a few problems but quickly solved.
On what will probably be the last trip to Chateau Christie as Australians, we are trying to get the property to a livable stage - completing the electrical and plumbing and getting things ready for an inspection so we can sheetrock and finish.
Our striving to live frugally, monetary so, affects our everyday life choices. We choose to live without a lot of things that cost money. We make most of the cash we do need by running the Hostel in the summer months.
FamilyFarmed.org Good Food Festival & Conference partner Vicki Nowicki shares her experience living, learning, and teaching on her suburban permaculture homestead.
There are a lot of things you can do right now to experience the homestead lifestyle right in your backyard.
Watch Steve tell you his homestead story and how his two trucks have helped make good things happen.
Chainsaw safety equipment.
Stay warm, find a hobby and cull the livestock; here are some of the things we do to prepare for winter!
Using rabbit hypnosis and a pair of wire cutters we successfully perform dental surgery on one of our does.
Providing your own sewer, water and power can be more expensive and is certainly less convenient but that's not all there is to consider. This article takes a look at some of the other differences between public and private services.
This historical neighborhood, with a strong sense of community, offers the feeling of small-town living.
Bounty is in the eye of the beholder — whether it be a bowl of perfect berries or millions of maple seeds.
One woman's journey from life in urban America to a small town in Austria, then back to a suburban homestead in Dallas on which she tries her hand at keeping dairy goats.
Keeping a garden journal helps you know which varieties you grew were successful, which were not and how much you harvested from each.
For inspiration and education, take some time to peruse the hundreds of Modern Homesteading articles.
All the hard work of planting, weeding and watering comes to fruition in a bowl of berries and a plate of golden potatoes.
All of the work of readying the garden and waiting for it to produce is worth the wait once the harvest begins.
The garden is growing better than I could have expected in the raised beds at my "new" urban homestead.
Using natural products, such as grass clippings and homemade organic fertilizer, can turn the worst clay soil into an acceptable growing medium.
Moving to an urban homestead is a challenge, but the boxes are getting unpacked and the birds are at the feeders.
Making the move to a historical neighborhood will offer an opportunity to develop community ties and try some new gardening techniques.
Creating new no-dig garden beds is easier and quicker with raised-bed stakes and two-by-six lumber.
Here are a few helpful books on homesteading skills and old-time crafts.
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.
Brief description of our journey back onto the National Mall, our Flex Space design, and our Solar Thermal Skylight.
In this blog we talk about our three differnet types of solar technology that we have on the Homestead.
Sun-Lite HP for greenhouse glazing provides excellent diffused light.
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.
A new study finds that warming temperatures will cause up to two-thirds of the earth's permafrost to disappear by 2200, unleashing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
This blog explains how the carbon cycle regulates atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. The blog also discusses how the burning of fossil fuels has disrupted the carbon cycle which increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
In this posting we discuss the role of the positive Arctic Feedback Factor in amplfying climate change. We also discuss how this feedback factor triggers the release of methane from the floor of the Arctic Ocean and from the permafrost.
Since the U.S. House of Represenatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the U.S. Senate started work on its own energy and clilmate change bill.
We discuss the concept that carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels is partly responsible for the current atmospheric carbon overload. We also briefly discuss other human activities that contribute to the atmospheric carbon overload.
Lloyd meditates on the essentials of shelter and our memories of home.
A progress update on our book Tiny Homes On the Move
If you are hoping to build a new home or weekend cottage, we would appreciate your participation in this short survey, which will gauge your interest in a variety of possible kit home features.
Kids enjoy scoops of fresh-made ice cream in the Treehouse Club at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR
Architect Nathan Kipnis also presented 10 key areas that designers, builders and citizens should be striving toward in the post-peak oil era.