Christmas Bird Count
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.
Help scientists study how bird populations are changing during the Great Backyard Bird Count.
Yes, you can keep your birdbath from freezing during the winter. Here's how.
A reader interested in making concrete countertops inquires about their good and bad points.
Here are the steps you should follow to help an injured bird.
Although trying to care for an orphaned baby bird may seem the compassionate thing to do, this advice will help you determine a more appropriate course of action for the bird’s well-being.
Here's the scoop on the best way to feed birds.
Here are some natural disinfectants you can use for wild bird feeders.
Check out this expert advice for the best way to position a bird feeder near a window.
Are your granite countertops safe? Have you noticed a strange glow about them? Could they power a nuclear energy plant? Some granite has been found to be radioactive.
A birdbath in the garden does much more than a birdfeeder. Attract birds to the garden with water, and they will help with pest control, soil aeration, and much more as they get the water they need for drinking and grooming. Wasps love a drink too.
We enjoy observing and creating habitat for wild birds.
Use old CDs and soda cans to keep pests out of your garden.
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.
Here's what you need to know to participate in the Audubon Society's annual bird count. It's a fun and easy weekend event for anyone!
A Life Cycle Assessment from Ellipsos, a sustainable development strategy firm, suggests that natural Christmas trees generate fewer greenhouse gases per year than artificial trees.
The unique call of the winter wren arrives at Coosauke to mark the arrival of Spring.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Missouri farmer Bryce Oates traces the history of county fairs from their origins in the country life movement to his own kids' involvement.
Minimize your post-Christmas impact. Earth911 offers great tips for keeping your Christmas tree out of the landfill.
We want to hear your county or state fair stories: What did you enter this year? How did you do? If you're still waiting for yours, what are you preparing to enter?
Wish your friends and family happy holidays with our free, fun and animated e-card.
A transplanted Choctaw and Southerner, a grandmother shows her strength and creativity during the Industrial Revolution and shows how one can face and adapt to life’s challenges.
To counteract life's stresses and strains, to slow down the pace of life, stop and smell the roses...or any flower. In the absence of flowers, you'll find another way to bring a smile to your face, the songs of birds.
I keep chickens, and my rooster is driving me crazy. He always wants to fight me What’s the best way to deal with an aggressive bird? People often tell me, “I went out to the chicken yard to collect eggs,
It’s spring or promises to be, and so, again, I need to be among the Cranes. There’s an actual ache in my breastbone which pulls me to get my feet wet in the meadows, to watch the Sandhill Cranes eat and dance in the farm fields, to hear them wake and call to one another at dawn, and to see them ride thermals on the brighter, south wind days, kettle, then fly to the river to roost together on the sandbars in the river at dusk.
I enjoy the sweet, simple memories of Christmas that the comforting smell of a cedar tree brings to my mind.
Painted rocks or pebbles can potentially deter birds from pecking at ripening fruit. Tell us how this technique has worked for your, plus check out other readers’ tips and responses.
Mistletoe is such an interesting parasitic plant! Have you spotted it in your treetops?
After weeks of planning (and a little bit of panicking), the Natural Home team finishes decorating the Blair House and State Department for the holidays with a selection of fair trade, artisan-made items that benefit our planet and its citizens.
Tips on how to feed birds during the winter.
Absolute Bird Control offers a few easy to implement tips for deterring swallows from nesting on, or near, your home.
You can build a low-cost, squirrel-proof bird feeder using simple tools and inexpensive materials. All you need is some plastic drain pipe and caps, hardware cloth and a bit of wire (or a wire hanger). In no time at all, you’ll have all sorts of birds at the feeder — and the squirrels will be perplexed!
Making tallow container candles out of bison fat.
Cam hates shopping but occasionally he is forced to venture out....
Michelle and Cam continue to debate whether a real tree or a fake tree is the better choice from an environmental perspective.....
During the holidays it is nice to have a rich, creamy, yummy cheesecake as a sophisticated dessert to share.
WorldofGood.com by eBay sells ethically sourced and eco-friendly products.
Shopping and lack of shopping is a hot topic right now with the economy, but it's also a question of what your holidays are all about. What would your celebrations be like without (or without so many) presents?
Tips on how to choose the best Christmas tree and what to do with it after the holiday season.
How to make tallow candles from bison suet.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle reflects on how she lost the Christmas spirit of her youth — and how she got it back.
If you want a live Christmas tree, plan ahead and take steps to help it prosper after the holiday season.
Trying to follow directions out in the country can be challenging!
If you're pondering a move to the country and think your life will suddenly get blissfully silent, think again.
If you've been on this rural living or modern homesteading journey for decades, or just starting out, how do you know when you've arrived?
Wind turbines kills birds, but not as many as are killed by tall buildings and other hazards.
After discovering a family of wrens in his sawmill, Dave Boyt decides to take a break from sawmilling and make some necessary repairs to his antique tractor.
Audubon's annual Christmas Bird Count allows citizens to help scientists understand how bird populations have changed over the past century.
The Great Backyard Bird Count in 2013 runs from February 15 through February 18! Help scientists gain a snapshot of how winter bird populations are changing across North America.
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.
Participate in Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count to help scientists study winter bird populations: www.earthgauge.net/?p=33409
Small but mighty: birds have smart strategies for surviving cold weather.
Duncraft introduces a new concept in bird feeding - the patented Underneath Bird Feeder
Check out one reader's fun action photo of a splashing bird, each water drop captured in mid-air, from MOTHER's See You photo-sharing website.
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.
Tips on creating nature art, winter bird feeders and children's art.
In the hollows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this true Christmas celebration was simple, inexpensive and rich with tradition.
Timidity nearly doomed Johnny to a life sentence in the rescue kennel until one determined family saw through his issues to the dog he was meant to be.
We had a once in a lifetime opportunity over Easter this year to talk to more than 30,000 people about honey bees, pollination, honey and beekeeping. And the place we got to do this in was one of a kind.
The contest is in honor of National Wild Bird Feeding Month.
Invite the birds into your yard with this simple bird feeder made from a toilet paper roll.
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!
Thoughts and ideas about purchasing a recumbent bicycle for a cross country trip.
Rick Stiles shares chronicles the first two weeks of his cross-country trip on a recumbent bicycle.
What skills are you learning in hopes of saving money?
Jenna gets a pack goat to help carry gear for hiking trips. Share her experience of buying a buck kid and raising him to be a pack goat.
The American Society of Safety Engineers’ Ag Branch encourages purchasing tractors with a Rollover Protection Structure. Programs exist that will help offset the cost of the ROPS to add to older tractors. Tractor rollovers are common accidents that will lead to severe injury or death, but an ROPS will keep the driver safe.
Welcome to by blog “City to Country, One Step at a Time.” Here’s how I ended up as a modern homesteader on a little acreage in the Canadian West Coast bush.
If you are growing vegetables, making a few homemade wares here and there ... you are practicing good, old-fashioned homesteading techniques.
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.
Cam often finds himself relating to song lyrics.
Winter is over and the colors of spring are here!
My vision of the Texas homestead, complete with family and doting grandchildren nearby took a hit this year when my daughter and husband split and my daughter moved to Austin. Could I reinvent the vision? Or would this issue derail our plans?
Household hints from 1909 reveal useful tips for hanging clothes out to dry.
The diva of re-use, Annie Warmke, talks about simple steps to take in the barn yard for re-purposing and reducing waste. After reading this article you won’t be able to think about things like llama poo or beer bottles in the same way again.
17 ideas to lower the cost of holiday gifting, entertainment, decorating and office parties.
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.
These are buttery, not too sweet Dutch cookies with a yummy cinnamon sugar and walnut topping.
See what the water reflects in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
Tips to help wildlife beat the heat with fresh water.
What are you thankful for this season? Our editors know what they are thankful for, now let's hear from you.
That extra hour of sleep was great, but your animals may not think the same thing about that same hour.
Simplify the Christmas season with these 12 tips for gifts, gift wrapping and decor—as well as steps you can take to make your celebration light on the planet.
Finally! Design experts and contractors say granite and marble have lost their luster. Find beautiful, natural alternatives to that and solutions to other common design mistakes, including dull color pallettes and overused water features.
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.
Fostering can help overcome an unexpected side effect of life in a rescue kennel---obesity.
Compassionate people without a county animal shelter organize a non-profit group to help low-income families keep their pets during hard times and to support Good Samaritans who take in abandoned pets
With country living, you expect a quiet night's sleep. But surprise, surprise - nature has its own alarm clock.
As New Year's Eve approaches, friends butcher the ducks they've raised in their rice paddies and share some thoughts on "The Power of Duck."
A hundred-year-old recipe for turning apple trimmings into vinegar yields mixed results, but lots of nostalgic fun.
The Environmental Protection Agency is trying to cancel the use of carbofuran, but FMC Corporation stands in their way.
Get a great idea for a bird feeder in this week’s Photo of the Week. Keep submitting your photos every week for a chance to be the Photo of the Week!
Former first lady Lady Bird Johnson will be remembered for her significant conservation efforts, especially with wildflowers and the preservation of native plants.
A traditional fall recipe for the Japanese version of sauerkraut.
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.
Cam describes why he was anxious to leave the city for a life in the country.
Cam prefers the view from his office in his country home.
I love rural life and modern homesteading, but there are days when the comfort of a city condo would be welcome indeed. And honestly? A relief.
The different sounds that you hear in the city or country are as different as the people that live there.
Robert Maxwell discusses the benefits of a rural lifestyle.
A key choice was what type of house to build. We aren't in Texas more than a few weeks a year until we make our final move back. We wanted a structure we could enclose to protect the interior from the elements and yet build in stages as time and money allow.
If know you're destined to live in the country, or just more self-reliantly, but are overwhelmed by all the choices, here's a place to start.
It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked:
Why do we do all this work?
How did Victoria Redhed Miller and husband David end up living on an off-grid homestead in the foothills of Washington State's Olympic mountains? Grid? What grid? Electricity was something one took for granted; it came from those outlets on the walls. I was hardly aware of it except during one of the infrequent power outages.
Weeks three, four and five of our cross country bicycle trip start in Missoula, Mont. and end in North Branch, Minn.
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.
In order to build skills for our move from Australia to Texas, we have been taking various classes and workshops. Recently, we took a weekend workshop at an excellent cheese factory close to where we live on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne.
Keeping bees is something I've wanted to do on our new homestead. But would I like it? Taking a class is a good way to find out.
A pressure canner greatly expands the range of foods that can be safely canned at home.
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.
At first glance George Siemon and Doc Hatfield don’t appear to have a whole lot in common. But George and Doc and a bunch of conspirators are revolutionizing agriculture: they are putting consumers back in touch with the people who grow their food.
The nation's largest community-owned solar array in Rifle, Colorado, will provide clean energy for up to 350 residents, who don't even need a roof to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.
Our hands take a beating. Be kind to them and make this amazing hand scrub with ingredients right from your pantry!
Rescue stale bread and veggies and make homemade stuffing mix! You'll never look back!
Protect children's health and the environment by choosing responsibly made toys that are free of lead and other toxins.
Former editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence shares the lessons of holiday simplicity she learned as a young, busy, working mom.
You don't have to go to Italy to turn out an authentic Italian Panettone for Christmas. Here's how, so now you don't have to go to a bakery or supermarket to get one.
Christmas is just about upon us, and here's a very easy, quick and simple fudge recipe. You can embellish it any way you want with several options for fruits, nuts, and liqueurs. Your taste buds will thank you (not to mention friends and family).
The Yule Goat is an ancient Scandinavian tradition which predates Christianity. Learn about how our oldest farm animal became the symbol of Christmas.
To benefit from the meat of backyard chickens, one must learn to process them. This includes how to kill, scald, pluck, and eviscerate, and then get them into the freezer. This article describes how we are learning to improving this process.
The third and last of a three part blog on chemical herbicides.
By observing the birds and wildlife we learn valuable lessons to apply to our lives.
Bird-X, Inc., a leader in producing humane pest and bird repellent products since 1964, is raising the bar even higher for the pest control industry, offering ‘green’ solutions for every pest and bird problem.
In Japan, more and more people are combining farming with other work. My neighbors and I fit the pattern, but what's it all mean for the future of farming?
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.
This is a simple beginning recipe to use your sourdough starter to make biscuits. These biscuits will definitely have the sourdough "tang" associated with these breads.
The Blacked-capped Chickadee, a frequent visitor to backyard bird feeders, loses a surprising amount of weight each night. Don't try this diet!
Saying ‘Yes’ to a cross country bicycling trip
was easy. After I fully realized what my
mouth had done, my brain had second thoughts.
Starting in North Branch, Minn. and ending in Brantford, Ontario, author Rick Stiles continues his cycling across the country — and the border.
People are often apprehensive about preserving their own food, whether they're intimidated by the process, or concerned about the safety of the finished product. As Sherri Brooks Vinton explains, it's time to bring canning back to the home kitchen.
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.
As part of my education on how to be more self-sufficient when we make our move back to Texas, I've been taking classes while here in Australia. One of the more enjoyable classes was in beekeeping. This is our class practical exercise.
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.
The EPA is now defining a CAFO (formerly confined animal feeding operation) as a Country Animal Feeding Operation.
Change we can believe in? The Obama administration paves the way for more than 300,000 megawatts of coal-fired energy.
Ride the Future Tour, a 43-day cross-country trip in electric vehicles, will start July 4 in South Carolina. Event organizers hope to build awareness for green transportation and break a few records along the way.
Collegiate teams showcase affordable, energy-efficient houses in global competition.
Weeks eight and nine of our cross country bicycle trip start in Brantford, Ont., and end in Bar Harbor, Maine.
With more than 40 years of expertise on how to live on less (and love it!), MOTHER EARTH NEWS introduces our Guide to Self-Reliance and Country Skills app. This app, available for both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, contains advice and how-to on organic gardening, raising backyard chickens, canning and preserving your harvests, and how to save money by applying a DIY mentality to your life.
Another set of Great Quotations. These seven quotations have direct relevance to gardeners and farmers, but they offer wisdom that everyone can learn from and enjoy.
A Christmas Wish for all, inspired by the magic of the honey bee.
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.
On our journey to self-reliance, my husband, Darren, and I have been gathering human-powered tools when we can find them. It’s surprising and sad how quickly hand- and foot-powered tools were junked when electricity became available. From 1850 to 1890, more than 100 apple-pealing devices were patented. Then none, except those running on electric power. And so it goes with thousands of other nifty human-powered appliances.
Bird-X's new Bed Bug Alert is a business card-size device that can be slipped under a mattress or into any tight spot to attract and trap bed bugs--alerting you to a problem before it's too late.
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.
Jenna Woginrich writes about the beauty of Cold Antler Farm, a small homestead that she shares with Pig, her rabbits Benjamin and Doe and several chickens. Taking care of her animals on cold winter nights is a challenge for Woginrich, but one she gladly accepts armed with a water bottle and affection. Woginrich's modest barn provides shelter for her animals and a useful space to feel at home.
The 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.