California Department of Pesticide Regulation
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has approved the use of methyl iodide, a pesticide toxic to humans, for application to strawberry fields. Methyl iodide is recognized as a carcinogen that can also cause late term miscarriage and permanent neurological damage. Scientists agree that farmers cannot safely use the pesticide, and a concerned coalition has formed to persuade Governor Brown to put a moratorium on the use of methyl iodide.
Team Austria wins the Solar Decathlon 2013 for building the most energy-efficient, cost-effective and most attractive solar-powered house.
Be sure to contact the Environmental Protection Agency and the Poison Control Center, as well as seek medical attention after experiencing pesticide drift.
Collegiate teams showcase affordable, energy-efficient houses in global competition.
Columnist Ann Fisher writes about the unfair animal ordinances in Worthington, Ohio, which may surprise chicken owners.
The victim of a spray drift incident often finds him or herself on the defensive.
The many problems associated with recognizing, treating and reporting pesticide drift exposures.
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 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.
British scientists have found that many pesticides--including those commonly found in food and 16 that were previously considered safe--disrupt male hormones.
A reader recently raised concerns that MAX is illegal in Uncle Sam's eyes. Here's the skinny.
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.
Learn how to identify pesticide drift on your property, and take action with these tips from Pesticide Action Network.
Concerned about pesticides in your food? The Pesticide Action Network’s online database helps you understand which carcinogens and pesticides are present in 89 common foods.
Want to know more about the food at your farmers market? Here's some advice from the farmers themselves.
EPA confirms that neonicotinoid treatment does not increase soybean yield.
Join the conversation about the best way to ensure a safe food supply.
In our culture we are used to government regulations telling us what to do – can we talk on our cell phones while driving? Or, should I wear my seat belt? Or has this food been properly processed? Raw milk is your chance to embrace your rights and freedoms and do your research and ask the hard questions – you have no one else to rely on to do this for you.
A new danger faces unborn babies and children, as exposure to pesticides increases the risk of brain tumors and other cancer-related illnesses.
Leafy greens are among the most nutritious foods you can eat, but what if they contain systemic pesticides like imidacloprid? New pesticides that are taken up by plants mean there may be pesticides in food crops like collards and kale, not just on the surface.
Check out this expert advice for keeping an organic garden pest-free.
Is MAX an actual modern-day vehicle, or just a high school shop class experiment? In this update, Jack answers sharp questions from an automotive engineer.
Home gardeners and urban farmers can come up against garden laws and regulations that can limit the size, style and components of their garden.
President Obama and the Department of Energy are creating new standards for energy-efficiency in lighting.
More money from the Stimulus plan has gone to hot and cold states for weatherization programs.
Like many things in nature, the catalpa tree and worm have a special one-on-one relationship.
This post outlines the process when an inspector from your state regulatory agency visits your property to view pesticide damage.
According to a German and Swiss scientific report, terrestrial pesticide exposure may be a cause of the globally declining amphibian population.
The Verdict discusses two possible findings of your spray drift incident after the State Enforcement Agency inspects your property.
This installment explains what complainants might encounter during the time between the State’s pesticide drift inspection and the results of this inspection.
Reporting Pesticide Drift outlines the steps you should take to report a pesticide incident to your state enforcement agency.
What it means to stick up for yourself when you experience pesticide drift.
How to report application violations of herbicide abuse.
The different emotions you may experience as you deal with Pesticide Drift on your property or your person.
Learn why systemic neonicotinoid pesticides widely used to grow corn are one of the reasons so many honeybees and other pollinators are dying.
Is rotenone organic? The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) sorts out that complicated question about a pesticide being used on some organic farms.
Are organic foods healthier? In the wake of a media frenzy revolving a “study” by Stanford University claiming to answer this question, many people were left wondering. Benefits of organic food go beyond the vitamin content: The overwhelming amounts and types of pesticides in our food play a major role in many shoppers’ decision to go organic.
The dangers of bud nip (Chlorpropham) and the effects of chemical herbicides on the food you're eating come to light in a potato project conducted by a smart, young lady.
After finding the illegal presence of genetically engineered wheat in Oregon, the USDA has found another, similar case in Montana.
By 2025 half of all children born will be autistic. Herbicides and pesticides are destroying the health of the American people.
Natural Home has been invited to decorate rooms in Blair House, the President’s guest house that hardly anyone ever gets to see, and the U.S. State Department’s Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, DC in the first-ever Magazine Holiday Design Showcase, a partnership between the U.S. State Department and the Magazine Publishers of America.
Learn how to easily wet felt wool using nothing more than wool scraps. It's so easy a two-year old can do it!
Learn how to make a simple "mealworm farm" out of readily available materials you probably already have in your home. Raise your own mealworms to feed to chickens, ducks, turkeys, quail, and other poultry as a protein rich treat.
Update on the homestead.
A reader from Pacifica, California wants to know what vegetables will grow best when.
California ranks No. 1 on the ACEEE's scorecard of energy efficient states. See how your state ranked here!
A week of no rain, kayaks and firewood in review.
Some of the best recipes are never written down. Thankfully, Rachel's mom recently transcribed her own grandmother's onion-celery dressing recipe. Lucky for us, Rachel shares it here. Pass it along!
I try a number of new-to-me tomato varieties every year, and they come from a variety of places. Here I will introduce you to some of my favorite sources for tomato seeds.
The author of STAND UP AND GARDEN discusses why it is safe to can and otherwise preserve produce that's grown in an environment in which pesticides are used.
This spring when the pests arrive in your garden try this radical strategy - Do nothing!
We may find it overwhelming to know where to begin in teaching others to eat healthily. People attempting to eat healthier find it difficult to know where to begin. "The Dirty Dozen" fruits and vegetables gives us all a place to start.
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.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel recounts how she went from half-hearted to full-breed-ahead when it comes to breeding goats.
We have a saying around our house: When the pest control truck is at the neighbor’s house, all the spiders come over to our place because they know it is safe. Biodiversity is a top priority in my Northern California rural/suburban garden, and I work hard to have many plants, animals, insects, and, yes, arachnids represented.
This listing links to information resources related to sustainable agriculture, organic farming and gardening, and growing and buying good, safe food.
A progress update on our book Tiny Homes On the Move
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel discusses using manure in the garden, including which type of animal waste is best for which crops.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan reflects on the changes that arrive with fall, including her own sense of melancholy.
After decades of gardening I’ve come to rely on a few essential gardening tools.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Missouri farmer Bryce Oates shares why he values reading (Eliot Coleman, especially) and how it impacts his fall growing season.
Follow Sarah Cuthill's search for a dairy mentor and her very first experience milking a goat.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle takes a young woman under her wing for a first lesson in homemaking.
60 years ago scientists at Bell Laboratories developed the first solar cell capable of converting enough sunlight into electricity for practical uses. Their discovery is the greatest breakthrough in the 6000-year history of solar energy, and the sire to today's solar revolution. Let's celebrate!
This is a listing of some of the green-themed films that came out between 2012-2014. These films are on a variety of topics, including food/agriculture, health, energy sources, water, climate change, animals, etc.
Chicken tractors are not for me — here's why.
Review of a great axe made by Vipukirves.
A review of the Husqvarna hatchet.
Lack of interest threatens ClimateSmart, a program that helps PG&E customers in California offset their carbon emissions, is about to be cut.
Highland Kale (Brassica carinata – aka Ethiopian Blue Mustard, aka Gommenzar) is not quite a kale and not quite a mustard. It is a very versatile, and delicious “winter” green, that’s also not just for growing in cool seasons.
Aji Amarillo peppers (Capsicum baccatum) are versatile, fruity peppers used extensively in Peruvian cuisine. We have found many uses for these bright yellow and orange peppers, and our journey to discover them has only begun.
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments until Nov. 28 on how it should rule on global warming pollutants.
These new vehicles may help the environment, but their soundless engines are a threat to the visually impaired, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will launch the city’s new bike share system – called “Divvy” – later this year, with the goal of expanding to 4,000 bikes at 400 neighborhood locations.
A new tool released by the U.S. Department of Energy allows drivers to compare fuel costs of electric cars with those of gas-powered vehicles.
University of Maine leads the United States in clean-energy technology, thanks to the development of a grid-connected wind turbine off the coast of Maine.
The “Remote Community Renewable Energy Partnership” exceeds Obama’s goal for supporting clean energy development in small native villages.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border to keep illegal immigrants, but have they thought about the wildlife that they will destroy along the way?
Check out how millions of gallons of water can be saved by Aug. 11, 2009!
Learn how to request your “closed” complete pesticide complaint file from the State agency through the Freedom of Information Act.
Let It Shine by John Perlin highlights the context in which solar energy developments have occurred and the people who have made the solar revolution possible, revealing a whole new group of unknown technological pioneers, as well as people famous for other accomplishments never before known for their work as the solar advocates and technologists they were.
A new report from Shareable and the Sustainable Economies Law Center details ways that city officials can harness the power of sharing to transform their cities for the better.
We all suffer from some sort of pain. The real green living question is how to deal with that pain.
Chainsaw safety equipment.
Green building expert Lloyd Kahn reviews Kevin Kelly’s new book Cool Tools, an amazing book for the homesteader, builder or anyone who likes cool tools.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares how she built a cheap greenhouse out of mostly scavenged materials - and how you can, too.
HOMEGROWN.org blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm says keeping animals in the garden improves her soil and fights weeds and pests.
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.
The following post summarizes Chapter 7 of the book "Let It Shine The 6000 Year Story of Solar Energy."
To see how much solar heat could be trapped by glass, Horace de Saussure, in 1767 built a solar hot box that consisted of several glass sheets covering an insulated box. Solar heat accumulated in the solar hot box, reaching temperatures far above the boiling point of water
This post will take a look at how we transplant vegetable seedlings in our certified organic greenhouses, especially tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.
Garden like the Native Americans by digging up 18-inch-diameter hills on four foot centers. Get your crops started, then worry about working the areas in between the hills.
Learning how to graft tomatoes yourself not only saves money but gives you unlimited options for what varieties you choose to graft. With a little practice, you can become skilled at this worthwhile technique.
An introduction to the North House Folk School.
A compendium of modern nomadic sweats.
Introducing our new chickens.
Here is a great article on straw bale gardening.
One of our readers made a fiberglass and carbon fiber roof for his own home-built MAX high-mileage sports car, and here's how he did it.
Earlier this month a plan was drafted to remove all plasma screen televisions from California retail shelves.
School gardens play a vital role in our nations educational systems. Though the concept dates back to the 1800s, their role has gained popularity in the last 20 years, and for good reasons.
Watch an interview with Rosemary Gladstar, during which she discusses the goals of the non-profit United Plant Savers and the importance of plant conservation. Plus, read about how Rosemary became a leading figure in American herbal medicine.
In conventional lending, underwriting decisions are based on averages, and algorithms, credit scores and cashflows. They do not reflect a would-be borrower’s character, and are un-nuanced — “black and white.” Kiva Zip, a non-profit based in San Francisco, is pioneering an innovative, character-based approach to lending that allows for a more colorful underwriting canvass.
This blog tells you how to test seeds that you’ve saved from last season to see if they are worth planting.
Native bees are a necessary component of maintaining native habitats. Their role is increasingly important as honeybee populations struggle with Colony Collapse Disorder. Learn what you can do to support your local pollinators this spring.
Spring bird migration is underway! Backyard gardeners play a valuable role in supporting birds during this vulnerable time. Learn what you can do in your own yard to help migrants.
Using rosemary plants in the landscape can offer a number of benefits such as being drought tolerant, desert soil and climate tolerant, aesthetically pleasing, great for cooking, attractive to honey bees, and more.
Learn how you can best support birds this spring by providing quality nesting materials.
Tired of pests? Here are five tips for knocking ‘em back without resorting to pesticides and toxic chemicals.
I got first bee removal call of the year yesterday. It’s a bit early, but hey, I won’t complain. The woman said that she thought there were three colonies in her wall.
Consumer Reports has stated that it recently found arsenic in food, The United States' rice supply is contaminated with this "group 1" carcinogenic.
Our declining industrial system has created a series of environmental and social problems and can no longer produce the wealth required to solve them. That means that ordinary citizens must shoulder the burden of changing the way things are done by creating biodiverse systems. Here is a place to start.
“Bed bugs” are small nocturnal insects that feed on blood. Here are some tips for keeping them out of your home, and for getting rid of them--without using toxic pesticides/insecticides--if they do show up.
How potentially dangerous chemicals are tested and are they really that safe for humans or not.
Simran Sethi writes about the importance of eco-friendly mattresses, bed frames, and bedding.
Don't like weeds? Well, maybe this will change your mind. An article in the New York Times, discusses possible ways that weeds could help fight global warming.
After years of caving to the chemical industry, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has delcared formaldehyde—common in particleboard, plastics and textiles—a known human carcinogen.
Concerned about the U.S. Department of Agriculture's refusal to stop Monsanto? Here are four steps you can take now.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall to create a barrier along the US-Mexico border. Although the wall will never completely stop illegal immigrants from coming into the country, it will risk the survival of animals and wildlife in the area.
Animal-vehicle wrecks cause about 200 human fatalities and 29,000 injuries a year. The fight between wildlife and urban developers seems never-ending, but wildlife crossings can be a solution. Learn how you can help just by giving your state's Department of Transportation a call.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border, despite petitions from the Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture deems Roundup Ready alfalfa safe, leaving organic crops vulnerable to contamination and paving the way for more superweeds.
Fearing a sugar shortage, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it would defy a District Court judge's ban on Roundup Ready sugar beets.
Use a digital tire gauge and learn how to check tire pressure regularly to get better gas mileage. While other types of gauges exist, the digital tire pressure gauge is an accurate and simple way to keep your tires properly inflated. Read this digital tire gauge review to see what digital tire pressure checkers you can buy.
Seth Leitman explains toxicity in our products and how green living is about recovering from these products.
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
Seth Leitman explains why social media, websites and crowd funding are essential tools for green businesses to survive today.
The Bureau of Land Management has approved construction of a California geothermal plant that will generate enough energy for 36,000 homes.
Fleas and ticks can bring severe itching, allergic reactions, discomfort, and even serious diseases (such as lyme disease) to your pets, so it’s important to protect your pets from them. However, studies have found that many common flea and tick control/treatment products aren’t just toxic to those bugs; they can actually poison your pets, as well. Find out which ingredients and products to avoid, and some safer alternatives to use.
Here are some simple steps you can follow when setting up drip irrigation for row crops.
The true essence of Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training and Archi’s Acres is about lending a helping hand and empowering veterans to create a sustainable positive future through agribusiness.
This blog post tells you how to set up a drip irrigation system in a raised bed garden.
This blog post takes a look at some of the methods we have developed over the last 25 years growing vegetable seedlings in our certified organic greenhouses. This time we take a look at the conditions required for healthy seedling growth.
This blog post shares some of the simple techniques learned through many years of experience by someone who grows vegetable seedlings for a living.
With 1/3 of the population of the US under a tornado watch today, these tornado facts, myths, and survival tips could save a lot of lives!
Website links to earthbag building projects.
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
MAX won an award at the 2014 Maker Faire Bay Area for...gosh, we don't really know, but it was best in its class.
Cycle Greater Yellowstone, an annual event tour launched in 2013, benefits the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
This blog takes a look at the steps taken to propagate lavender by taking cuttings.
Pollution isn't just hurting our environment. It is a bigger cause of death in Southern California than motorized vehicles!
California condors are on the verge of extinction, and lead ammunition has something to do with it. But they're not the only animals being hurt. Based on recent studies, people that eat venison risk exposure to lead as well.
Sun Light and Power, a solar installation co signed a deal with SolED to offer Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) in the State of California. This will help public or government buildings get these deals and save tax monies.
An index of posts related to energy, power, and climate, with a strong focus on solutions.
Integrating Eastern teachings to Western agricultural practices can help us develop a more holistic form of agriculture. The legacy of Fukuoka inspires us to embrace a peaceful relationship towards Nature that can take many incarnations. The core guideline behind Shumei Natural Agriculture is to follow one’s heart, not letting one’s mind steal mindfulness away, while remaining open for new ideas.
This article takes an insider’s look at how the seed business works, and what you can do to get the best-quality seeds.
Birds are survivors. Learn about different adaptations birds have to thrive during the dark, cold winter days. And, what you can do to support winter bird survival in your backyard.
Shifting our built environments from the current linear blocks of car-centric urban sprawl to more integrated human-scale and life-sustaining organisms is not much different in principle than turning a concrete yard into a permaculture plot. We have to think in terms of arrangement of vital nodes, distance between interdependent threads, paths of least resistance, utilizing existing natural conditions, and maximizing water, energy and food sources.
Tips for using yard and kitchen waste as useful mulch and/or compost in the garden.
Check out Annie B. Bond's list of 11 easy tips for making your kitchen more healthy and safe, from Care2.
Yellow jackets can pose a threat to honeybees. If yellow jackets have built a nest in your yard, here's a recipe for a natural, non-toxic solution that will get rid of them. Please share your own recommendations too!
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.
Slower growth in crop yields, high oil prices and use of food crops to make biofuels could push food prices higher for the next year and beyond.
The U.S. Department of Energy released a set of pumpkin-carving stencils celebrating Halloween through alternative energy.
HOMEGROWN blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel outlines strategies for responsible drought gardening in her home state of California--or anywhere.
President Barack Obama signed an executive order to help reduce automobile gas emissions in the United States. This is the first of many steps that the Obama administration plans to make to improve global warming.
Seed sharing has come under attack and seed libraries across the country are being threatened with extinction. Here are nine ways to join the movement to keep seed sharing legal and free.
A short introduction to the almond pollination adventure going on in California right now. Bee Culture spent 3 weeks exploring this annual event, traveling from Bakersfield to Chico, visiting orchards, beekeepers and almond growers.
Winter wasn't very hard this year, well at least so far, and even if it gets more normal winter like, there's not much time left. Our bees have done well, and it looks like it might be a great summer ahead.
My garden started out as just a need for feeding my family in the summer months. Over time, it not only needed to feed my family, but needed protection from various critters—including backyard chickens—that inhabit my yard. Learn how to construct raised beds, install shade cloth and build a fence to protect your plants.
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition won a major victory with the opening of the Cal Park Hill Tunnel — a world class facility that makes biking the quickest commuting option.
Conergy Projects Group has broken ground on a 725 kw photovoltaic system for T&P Farms out of Arbuckle, Calif.