Permaculture premise is creating a self-sustaining garden that has a nurturing relationship with your yard’s environment and symbiotic relationship among the plantings.
Assisting urban residents in moving toward local food production is an innovative strategic plan for resilient growth. This blog post will outline some of Grow Where You Are’s core projects and outreach methods in an effort to share best practices for developing local food systems in communities that are most in need.
Making your home garden productive is an in-depth and gradual process. Though you can work with a design professional to hash out a use plan and plant list early on, it still takes several phases and periods of acclimation for a garden to begin to really thrive. Start utilizing the margins in your garden and beginning yielding more for your community.
Check out farming in the mid-1940s.
The 2015 Northwest Permaculture Convergence will be held in a suburban neighborhood for the first time. Also for the first time, outreach to the general public is a core part of this convergence with site tours and educational Expo, free and open to the public.
Just west of Applegate, Oregon, Barking Moon Farm is tucked into a clearing on the edge of the Siskiyou Mountains. Here, Josh Cohen is transforming challenging conditions into a highly productive farm.
This is Part 2 of a two-part post series explaining how biodynamic agriculture views your farm as a living organism. By tapping into the ecology that makes up your farm and viewing these systems holistically, you can utilize the natural world to grow healthy crops and achieve true sustainability. Your farm has a body and seeks wellness through biodiversity and habitat variability.
HOMEGROWN Life contributor Bryce contemplates the future of agriculture, food production, and their corresponding technological developments.
In February of 2015, Slow Money founder Woody Tasch gave a "State of the Soil" address at the Food + Enterprise summit in Brooklyn. Here you can read his thought provoking speech on the quality of American soil, Economics and General discourse.
Biodynamic agriculture views the farm as a living organism. By tapping into the ecology that makes up your farm and viewing these systems holistically, you can utilize the natural world to grow healthy crops and achieve true sustainability. Your farm has a body and seeks wellness through biodiversity and habitat variability.
How might we redesign our spaces to create edible abundance? Transform your water-guzzling lawn into a productive polyculture food forest. If you are ready to transform your lawn and your outdoor living space, read on.
Just west of Applegate, Oregon, Barking Moon Farm is tucked into a clearing on the edge of the Siskiyou Mountains. Here, Josh Cohen is transforming challenging conditions into a highly productive farm.
Lonely Lane Farm, which has called Mt. Angel, Oregon, home for three generations, has reinvented itself as a natural, sustainable livestock producer and added a meat processing capability to remain financially viable.
In the shadow of increasing climate chaos, human survival requires not only the intelligent actions of individuals but also thousands of communities of human beings who have had their inate intelligence awakened and who realize the fundamental link between life and land. In this regard, Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) provides a useful and egalitarian model for sustainable food systems of the future.
We built a couple of ponds on our homestead and share the reasons why, how we did it and our lessons learned.
Dylana Kapuler and Mario DiBenedetto are public-domain plant breeders and seed-saving stewards. Their Corvallis, Oregon company, Peace Seedlings, is focused on continuing the work and building on the legacy of Dylana’s parents, Alan and Linda Kapuler.
Dylana Kapuler and Mario DiBenedetto are public-domain plant breeders and seed-saving stewards. Their Corvallis, Oregon company, Peace Seedlings, is focused on continuing the work and building on the legacy of Dylana’s parents, Alan and Linda Kapuler.
Rethinking a garden bed - from problematic to perfect for garlic.
In The Nourishing Homestead, Ben Hewitt along with his wife Penny tell the story of how we can create truly satisfying, permanent, nourished relationships to the land, nature, and one another. With plenty of practical ways to grow nutrient-dense food, build soil, and develop traditional skills, this book is sure to inspire a new generation of homesteaders.
A story about Indigenous women taking care of their land in the Pacific Northwest by restoring the native ecosystem.
Increasing urban food production is true food access.
Located in the heart of southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley, Whistling Duck Farm has built a legacy of organic farming innovation in this rugged and independent part of the state, and now it's growing a successful fermentation business.
In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel teach readers how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non timber products. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.
How we found a home, started our urban homestead and gained several years work.
Grow Where You Are is a social enterprise focusing on assisting communities in creating local food abundance systems. After creating small-scale urban food systems nationally and internationally for over 15 years, we see that even the most effective systems can be easily dismantled without land security. We propose supporting local growers in a transition to home ownership with a dynamic web of community partnership.
Located in the heart of southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley, Whistling Duck Farm has built a legacy of organic farming innovation in this rugged and independent part of the the state, and now it's growing a successful fermentation business.
Donna Smith and Robyn Streeter provide daily proof that an abundant amount of organic produce can be grown in urban and suburban yards of all sizes. Part 2 of this excerpt looks at some of the challenges of farming 25 different locations.
This entry departs from our treatise on purely financial considerations of people who decide to move toward a full-time homesteading or farming lifestyle to explore issues that can be leveraged to reduce other "costs," such as time, labor and maintenance requirements. Up for discussion this installment are homestead location and layout, equipment, and free natural raw materials.
Donna Smith and Robyn Streeter provide daily proof that an abundant amount of organic produce can be grown in urban and suburban yards of all sizes. But getting this ground-breaking operation off the ground was not easy.
Greening our homes, neighborhoods and communities depends on friends and neighbors working together. This blog will show and tell several examples of friends and neighbors greening the neighborhood.
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.
In addition to raising livestock in a healthy and humane way, a major goal of John and Christine Deck and their children is to help reestablish family farming as a viable economic endeavor. Part 2 looks at the challenges faced when kids leave home.
In addition to raising livestock in a healthy and humane way, one of John and Christine Deck’s goals is to help reestablish family farming as a viable economic endeavor.
Allegheny Spurge is an East Coast member of the Buxaceae (Boxwood) family. All in all, it's difficult to find a better, all around, more useful, adaptable ground cover plant than Pachysandra procumbens.
Adaptive Seeds, inspired by an international seed sharing project, sells public-domain, open-pollinated seeds. In Part 2 of their profile, Sarah Kleeger and Andrew Still commit to Adaptive Seeds full-time.
This is the story of my family’s transition from a nomadic military lifestyle to one of rural homesteading. I talk about our preparation leading up to leaving the service and some of our current goals and projects for the property and our lives. I also talk about using permaculture as the design science methodology for our businesses and the development of the property.
Adaptive Seeds, originally inspired by an international seed sharing project, sells public domain, open pollinated seeds. Most of its seed is adapted to the Pacific Northwest and similar season northern climates.
With extensive training behind them, Rowan Steele and Katie Coppoletta make the choices that lead them to begin farming at Fiddlehead Farm in Corbett, Oregon.
Rowan Steele and Katie Coppoletta have embraced the profession of farming and, in turn, have discovered a way of living that suits them perfectly at Fiddlehead Farm in Corbett, Oregon.
"An Unlikely Vineyard" by Deirdre Heekin tells her story of growing wine in the unlikely hills of Vermont and her quest to express the essence of place in every bottle. It is about the evolution of her farm from overgrown fields to a fertile, productive, and beautiful landscape that melds with its natural environment. A gentle narrative with lush photography, this book will appeal to anyone who loves food, farms, and living well.
West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates explains why he has a problem with putting farmers, among others, on pedestals.
Taking out a driveway and reclaiming automobile space can be one of the most rewarding projects on the suburban frontier. Replacing it with a walnut tree, blackberries and a storage shed with edible landscaping over the roof is even better.
A simple, low maintenance compost toilet that makes instant fertilizer by separating solids (worm food) from liquids (fertilizer, ready-to-use). Two chambers allows one to compost while you make deposits in the the other.
These 10 organic solutions for vegetable garden pest control are easy enough for the beginner.
Transforming this suburban property has been one of the most satisfying and creative adventures in my life. No need to go anywhere. Making big changes was the plan from the beginning, 15 years ago, when I bought this quarter-acre property with a modest 1,100-square-foot mid-fifties suburban house. If I reincarnated as a house and suburban property, this would be it.
John Clark Vincent excerpts from his book Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement and shares information about new developments in sustainable farming practices coming out of the state of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. His interests range from seeds to slow food and include pretty much everything in between the two as they relate to Oregon’s sustainable farm movement.
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.
Spiller Farm has a history of growing incredible amounts of food for those in need. They are presently working on steps to make sure that their farm and land will always have a focus on agricultural undertakings.
A new approach to conventional agriculture would unite not only row crops and prairie plants, but farmers and environmentalists.
“You don't have to move to live in a better neighborhood.” Half of all Americans live in suburbia. It’s true that suburbia is on the receiving end of a lot of social, economic and environmental criticism with much of that criticism well deserved. While some of these criticisms may be justified, at the same time, suburbia offers enormous potential to become a critical new frontier for deep changes in our culture and economy through principles of suburban permaculture.
If you think it's important to prevent Monsanto and other corporate giants from controlling the seed supply, you may want to consider donating to Organic Seed Alliance. Here is a short video about the work they do.
Prepare simple hugelkultur beds utilizing organic materials found onsite. Use fallen trees, branches, pine needles, leaves and other organic material to build raised beds now for planting in the fall.
Permaculture has become the new buzzword in certain circles. What is it? Do we need it?
Chaya is one of the most delicious greens you've never tried. Learn to grow and enjoy this wonderful perennial!
The benefits of a membership in a CSA and how supporting local organic farming is not only good for you but good for the Earth as well.
St. Paul, Minnesota, not only allows front yard gardens and promotes growing vegetables in containers, but encourages residents to beautify the boulevard with plants, including edibles.
In 'Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation,' author Tradd Cotter offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices, shares the results of his groundbreaking research, and offers creative ways to apply cultivation skills—whether the goal is to help a community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale.
A study links Roundup herbicide and genetically modified maize to a wide range of health maladies, including liver and kidney damage.
"Integrated Forest Gardening" is the first, and most comprehensive, guide about plant guilds ever written, and it covers in detail both what guilds are and how to design and construct them, complete with extensive color photography and design illustrations.
Permaculture is about a self sustaining system that provides the food, nutrients and water in one yard. It is easy to adopt many of these approaches in your own yard and garden in the Midwest.
Heather Menzies studies her family's commoning roots in the Scottish Highlands in "Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good."
Building a nutrient rich, low water, drought resistant vegetable growing system.
Find all of the mulch you need for free in your own back yard.
Permaculture is at the heart of the solution of many environmental crises. Permaculture is alive with the possibilities of positive change.
Sourdough waffle recipe.
Nestled above an overgrown ridge-top meadow in the Appalachian Mountains, farmer Susana Lein proudly runs Salamander Springs Farm, a permaculture farm, homestead and “food forest,” where living, healthy soil is considered the most important resource.
Ziggy Liloia examines two poignant books, Paradise Lot and Gaia’s Garden that turn the idea of needing lots of space to grow ample food on its head.
Building a layered bed to develop organic material in the soil, hold moisture and decrease the amount of work.
Cage culture of fish has several sustainable techniques to consider adapting for a more innovative approach.
How fast climate change will require you and your descendants to move north in order to keep farming and gardening a serious question you should be asking yourself.
Reynaldo Ochoa, the subject of a new short film, grows with a goal of teaching and practicing permaculture unique to an individual's region, emphasizing sustainable farming as opposed to “slash and burn” agriculture.
Our first project: building a small keyhole mound.
Showing where we were before our permaculture garden began.
Do you want a permaculture garden? An ongoing blog about our journey using permaculture design ideas, to develop the organic matter in soil and produce a higher yield.
Cage culture can be a way to supply fish as healthy protein for your family or for a local market.
Self-dubbed “lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin describes how sustainable living and more conscientious agricultural practices can mend and revive a planet pushed near the brink.
You don't have to stick to corn and soybeans to nourish your flock. Chickens enjoy a variety of foods, including mulberries, worms and Japanese beetles.
In this blog we explore making your own ricotta and kefir, with recipes!
Many sustainable agriculture groups sponsor conferences in the winter. Learn more about these opportunities to continue your learning and broaden your network.
Support your local food systems while getting the most from your home garden.
I, alone, am no one. I do not grow food. I do not water the garden. I do not photosynthesize. I do not put the life force in the soil. I do not make the seed. A natural force other than I is responsible for all this. That same natural force uses this body I like to consider my own to garden.
One woman’s fascinating journey from a high-rise apartment overlooking Hong Kong Harbor to sharing the earthly pleasure of growing food.
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.
Incorporating charcoal into the soil helped Amazonian farmers grow better crops, and its new industrial version is promoted as a panacea for both agriculture and the global climate. Those claims are not realistic.
FamilyFarmed.org Good Food Festival & Conference partner Vicki Nowicki shares her experience living, learning, and teaching on her suburban permaculture homestead.
Proposals to weaken the links among conservation, farming and fair access to food would worsen the problems of U.S. agriculture.
The Department of Natural Resources seeks to fine a family for possession of prohibited swine.
Dairyman Nick Snelgar reflects on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health certification process and bagging hay for winter on his UK dairy farm.
Survivalist Gardener Rick Austin offers natural and long-lasting tips for repelling pests and insects in gardens hidden in the forest.
Flashy technologies billed as holding the key to an “age of plenty” cannot ward off future hunger. But strong rural communities working with, not against, nature can create an age of sufficiency.
The tall-tale vintage postcard collection consists of turn of the century photomontages depicting the utopian dream of agricultural America.
Author Rick Austin shares gardening advice from his book, “Secret Garden of Survival – How to Grow a Camouflaged Food Forest.”
These online tools can help you find the best sources for local food, including local farmers markets and community-supported agriculture programs.
Learn a few tips for efficiency from seasoned CSA Farmers: La Vista CSA Farm.
Permaculture methods and greenhouse innovations as told by a WWOOFer at Raven Crest Botanicals, an organic herb farm in upstate New York.
Tired of pests? Here are five tips for knocking ‘em back without resorting to pesticides and toxic chemicals.
It has been fifteen months since heritage breed hog farmer Mark Baker sued the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to stop the implementation of an invasive species order (ISO). The swine ISO supposedly targeted feral swine but could be applied to any domestic pig not raised in confinement. Baker has yet to have his day in court and it is still not settled when his trial will take place. It is common for lawsuits like this to turn into wars of attrition; the state has virtually unlimited resources while the farmers are bled of theirs over the course of the litigation.
A permaculture-based, 2,000-acre farm in Northern California integrates grassfed livestock with orchard farming.
The story of two ladies and their small CSA in the Rocky Mountains.
Animal products provide vitamin B12 in your diet, which is necessary for a healthy nervous system. Learn what and how much you would have to eat to meet your daily B12 need and other considerations for adding animals to a sustainable diet.
A few months back I heard a comment on an NPR radio program that really caught my attention. The program was about the local food movement and at one point the guest on the show said, “Now remember - just because it’s local doesn’t necessarily mean it has a smaller carbon footprint. That Argentinian apple that was shipped on a barge with thousands of tons of other apples may actually have required less fuel per apple than the apple than came from a few hundred miles away in the back on a farmer’s pickup.”
In this section you will find stories of real farmers across the country that made it work. You'll find their story, how they did it and who helped them. We hope these stories will inspire and educate new farmers, as well as land owners and community members to become involved in the new agrarian movement. A growing trust.
Honey bees, the Boston tragedy, and our power to create the world we’ve been waiting for.
Cuba's bike transformation was the result of a change in context induced by external forces. It was a disruptive event that forced them to adapt. Here in America, a land of such excess, no such sudden disruption looms (nor could it be predicted, I believe). Our transportation context is centered on the car. Our culture and economy are “driven” by the car. So, how do we create a culture of transportation that is dominated by bicycles?
The growing bike boom may be more than just a fad. It may be a full-blown movement toward a more sustainable mode of transportation.
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.
In this excerpt from Fair presenters Hank and Karen Will’s new book, Plowing With Pigs and Other Creative, Low-budget Homesteading Solutions, they’ll show you how to add small grains to your plot.
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.
FairShare CSA Coalition partners with health insurance groups to offer a rebate for selecting fresh, organic, local produce.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
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.
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
Urban food forests and public gardens provide communities with an edible landscape for everyone to share. These public fruit forests are the new trend in urban agriculture and play an important role as sustainable local food systems in their communities.
The 20th-Annual Organic Growers School takes place March 8 through March 10 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in Asheville, N.C. The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction and trade show.
Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc.
The Ecological Farming Association will host the 33rd annual EcoFarm Conference at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, Calif., Jan. 23-26, 2013. The conference will offer more than sixty workshops, as well as the opportunity for eight beginning farmers to win substantial grants.
Book reviews by permaculture educator Cindy Conner. Learn about Sustainable Market Farming, The Art of Fermentation, The Permaculture Handbook, and The Small-Scale Poultry Flock.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
A story of life, death and rebirth of a hoop house.
Raising worms for the compost material they make, vermicomposting, is the easiest indoor pet experience.
Andre Armantrout sent us this wonderful update from a Homesteading Education Month event featuring aquaculture at Snowy Pine Ridge, outside Spokane, Wash.
Hello to my new life and good-by to the old.
Managing compost now allows for more productive use the following season.
Steve Judge of Bob-White Systems in Vermont offers his Micro Dairy expertise in this blog series on how to start and manage a Micro Dairy, from farm and barn planning to selecting dairy cows, goats and sheep to daily operations and being profitable.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
International Homesteading Month is off to a running start! Here are two stories of events that are truly promoting education to foster more self-reliant communities.
New Holland Agriculture is unveiling new equipment, and exciting new technology at the 2012 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa.
Solar drying experiences in 2012, including tomato varieties Principe Borghese and Long Tom.
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
Set up a washing station in your garden. Rinse your veggies there, saving the water for the garden and keeping your kitchen clean.
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
Sandy Boyce's sauerkraut was a hit, selling out each week, until her county health department asked her to stop. Across the nation, regulations can prevent small-time home producers from distributing their 'cottage foods' to the public.
The NH Permaculture Gathering is just a couple weeks away!
Learn about using the Piteba to press your own homegrown oil.
Weeding in the summer is all about species maintenance
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
Ben Cartwright of Lawrence, Kan., is working on a book project about the city of Tianjin, China, where he worked and lived for several months, and he needs your help.
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
The Environmental Protection Agency has given the go-ahead to Dow Chemical for its genetically modified 2,4-D resistant corn.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Monitoring energy use has led to increased motivation for conservation
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.
Using 16-foot livestock panels in many ways on your homestead.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
A brief announcement of the new Permaculture chicken ebook series that starts with chicken egg incubation.
Eating only homegrown foods on the Fridays in Lent.
Participate in a clothing swap and make an economic statement
Growing and harvesting hazelnuts (filberts) in your garden.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
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.
Thoughts on growing all your own food. How much space is required and other things to consider.
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
New Holland Agriculture is unveiling a number of new tractors as well as new haytools and other equipment at the 2012 World Ag Expo in Tulare, California and the 2012 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky.
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
Homemade laundry detergent to save money and the environment.
Gathering leaves from the woods to mulch the garden and stump dirt to turn into potting soil not only provides free biomass for the garden, it also introduces beneficial microorganisms.
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.
Clearly the NACE considers “useless” degrees to be ones in which pay is low and availability of jobs is scarce. However, shouldn’t measuring the usefulness of an education take into account the actual benefits bestowed upon the person doing the study
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
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?
The best low cost (semi-reliable) options for getting animals and plants onto your homestead!
Permaculture is a holistic, integrative design for a sustainable future: registrations now open for D Acres' 2012 Permaculture Design Course!
You don't have to depend on nature to feed your bees. Take matters into your own hands and plant enough good food for your bees, so they have good, safe food all year long.
The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!
The ACTUAL benefits of weeds in your garden. Use and value diversity! Find the benefit!
Three U.S. regional beekeeping associations offer much to beekeepers at any skill level and experience. Beeyard adventures, workshops, lectures, honey shows, and the chance to meet hundreds of likemined individuals await you here.
A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your homestead.
Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
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.
Fall sheet mulching of perennial plantings assists in fertility and weed suppression.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
How the small town atmosphere can enhance your homesteading and living.
This post offers tips for winterizing a top bar hive - insulating, mouse guards, wrapping, closing entrances, protecting from wind. All things you can do to help get them through!
This blog post by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees describes some techniques for getting bees to draw straight comb in a top bar hive.
One way to overwinter a top bar hive in a northern climate is to provide good ventilation and some insulation. Enough food is needed, and good protection from the wind is too. We'll see how it works.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
Examining an community for your homestead.
Actor Carel Struycken is famous for his role as Lurch in Addams Family, as well as many other roles. He is also a big proponent of permaculture. Nyerges talks with Struycken at his Pasadena home about permaculture and sustainable farming.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
Maddy Harland explains how to make light work of establishing the ground layer in a forest garden, create a wildlife habitat and control pests all at the same time.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS interviewed poultry advocate Oprah HenFree at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
This is an excerpt from Christopher Nyerges' "Self-Sufficient Home" book (published by Stackpole) where he talks about some of his early gardening experiences and when he learned that the health of the soil is the most important aspect of gardening.
Using cold frames for fall salad greens can extend your season of fresh eating.
Once a barren wasteland destroyed-like much of Costa Rica's land--by decades of cattle ranching, Rancho Margot is now a verdant and productive paradise. Find out how the Sostheim family has accomplished this in just seven years.
When we stayed on an organic farm in Costa Rica, my kids and I experienced the beauty of self-sufficiency and saw how truly sustainable development benefits the local community as well as the global one. Mostly, we miss the homemade butter.
Beginning a discussion on top bar hives and standard hives in a question and answer format, getting the best of each for users of both kinds of hives.
This is a rundown of films that came out in the last few years. These films cover a wide range of environmental topics, from energy, climate, and fuel, to food, farming, and health. Many of the films have won awards or been critically acclaimed.
The workshop series "In Her Shoes: Sustainable Farming for Women, by Women" will provide on-farm, women-led sharing of resources, experiences and inspiration to further connect, encourage and support female organic farmers, entrepreneurs and agricultural leaders. These all-day workshops will be in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and each will cost $20 and include lunch.
By the 4th of July, there's a palpable shift in the feel of the beekeeping season. New beekeepers wish for more guidance, and may even be wondering why they started this project! Here's a little reassurance that you are not alone in your endeavor.
The Worldwatch Institute declares that many people worldwide are turning to organic agriculture to feed themselves and others, while feeling good about protecting the environment in a time of economic depression.
Maddy Harland introduces forest gardening – beautiful, low maintenance and productive gardens that provide for many of our needs – food, fuel, medicines and fibers.
The documentary Urban Roots takes a look at how city farming is transforming the city's vacant lots into community gardens, ultimately changing the community as a whole in the process.
In Arizona, an intrepid desert gardener harvests rainwater to grow his own food. A Missouri garden writer feeds his soil to feed himself. In Texas, a garden wall encourages community. These are a few of my favorite gardens.
It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...
We can learn a lot from the Amish, who have passed down wisdom on living simply and celebrating community for generations.
Maddy Harland writes about principles that underpin our understanding and practical application of permaculture. She relates them to designing a green home and garden but also explains how permaculture can help us to create more sustainable lifestyle
Maddy Harland introduces the three ethics behind permaculture design and explains why permaculture is more than a gardening technique — it’s a practical tool for a better, more creative life!
Productive urban landscapes, if managed correctly, can reduce pollution in local watershed.
Urban Agriculture activists and advocates work to change the zoning laws in Chicago to be more friendly to urban agriculture.
A quick essay regarding the "size" question of a top bar hive, from the bee's point of view - where it's all about the "volume"!
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.
Organic Architect's Eric Corey Freed shows designers what green really means during Dining by Design, a charity event featuring tabletop installations in New York.
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.
This blog post started life as an article in The Natural Farmer,published by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). It could be said to herald the birth of that entity we have come to call The Cynical Optimist.
As we watch the devastation's aftermath in Japan, the world will learn valuable lessons from a culture that reveres service to others, deep acceptance and community.
The owners of Finca Exotica on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula utilize their lush garden for everything--including a natural antidepressent.
The next time you stop to buy a bunch of flowers you will look for the Rainforest Alliance green frog seal — your assurance the flowers were grown in a way that respects both the environment and farm workers alike. Since the mid 1980s, growers in a Latin America have been increasing their production of roses, carnations and other blooming species. Ninety percent of the cut flowers and ferns imported to the United States come from Latin America.
Looking for a farming internship or apprenticeship? Search the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Center’s online directory of farming internships and apprenticeships to find one that interests you.
Concerned about the U.S. Department of Agriculture's refusal to stop Monsanto? Here are four steps you can take now.
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.
Pass the cold, wintry months with warm thoughts of how you can eat more local food while supporting sustainable agriculture this coming season.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture deems Roundup Ready alfalfa safe, leaving organic crops vulnerable to contamination and paving the way for more superweeds.
Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica’s verdant San Carlos agricultural region is a dynamic, living example of permaculture and biodynamic farming, where every being is part of a system that nurtures the body and the soul.
Finca Exotica is ideal for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the Osa Peninsula's bounty and learn about permaculture and sustainable building.
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.
Find out how wabi-sabi, an ancient Japanese philosophy that promotes attention, reverence, generosity and respect, can build the foundation of a happy home.
Grit magazine is offering a Belted Galloway heifer as a prize in a giveaway.
At least four major beef recalls due to E. coli tainted meat occurred in 2010. A substantial percentage of the meat was certified organic. With these beef scares in mind, the fact that Grist readers voted hamburgers as the second scariest food of 2010 comes as no surprise.
A recent report noted concerns about top seed and agrochemical corporations that are placing claims on multigenome crop patents, which could put the planet’s agricultural biomass at stake.
We know why we love heritage breed livestock, but why do you?
Amid mounting concerns over food security and sustainable food systems, the rise of urban gardens and agriculture has been on the rise. Due to a paralleled increase in the numbers of people interested in learning how to garden, programs in urban agriculture at colleges as well as nonprofit urban garden training programs have sprouted up across the country.
The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s upcoming annual conference on sustainable farming will focus on how to achieve sustainability in our food system, as well as the future of agriculture in general.
Photos from tectonic shift. Ruminations on MEN and MOTHER EARTH NEWS and masculine and feminine, and feminine planet.
In eggs from a healthy chicken, proteins found within the egg white control the growth of dangerous bacteria. If a chicken is infected with salmonella, the proteins can't protect you.
We produce wonderful, organically approved soil products for the independent garden centers.
What's behind the food contamination issues plaguing us of late? Poop. Plain and simple. The Cornucopia Institute weighs in.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
Weather.com now features customizable local weather applications, including an Agriculture Application with great tools for farmers and gardeners.
Recently a trend in farming called hydroponics has resurfaced and gained national attention that has grown in popularity with some, but has left others with mixed feelings.
There are a lot of changes we'd like to see made to our food system this year. Add your own.
The process of mechanically tenderizing steaks creates a food safety hazard by transferring bacteria that otherwise would be limited to the surface of a steak to the entire cut of meat, inside and out. Rare steak lovers, beware.
We've reported on the fraudulent practices of Horizon Organic and Aurora Dairy before. Now, a federal judge has suspended one of their suppliers, Promiseland LLC., from organic commerce.
For centuries social and international conflicts have been spurred by contrasts in one group's sense of tribal identity (whether cultural, ethnic or geographic) versus another's. This same conflict plays out today in the United States for those members of American society who, thus far, have been unable to recognize President Obama as part of their tribe. Bryan Welch argues that Obama, in fact, epitomizes the key characteristics of the modern American tribe.
Legislation to control the use of antibiotics on the farm is gaining momentum in D.C., and emotions on both sides of the issue are heating up. Tell us what you think of the bill.
Smithfield's hog farms produce a lot of meat and make a lot of money, but at what cost? Can we continue to look the other way as they pollute waters, abuse animals and terrorize their neighbors?
While conservation is neccessary for providing for an ever-growing human population, it alone cannot solve our problems. In fact, it may distract us from the real issue at hand.
The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal has been popping up on coffee, tea, cocoa and fruit products all over the world. So what exactly does this certification signify? We’ve investigated.
The Center to Expose and Close Animal Factories employs a strong legal background to take on industrial agriculture. Learn about their plan to clean up the business for good.
H1N1, or swine flu, didn't have to be the epidemic it is today. Are factory farms to blame?
More on the much-feared food safety bill, HR 875, and its Congressional counterparts.
Relax: HR 875 isn't a bill to outlaw organic farming, as you might have heard. But it's not exactly good news for pesticide-free producers, either. Here are the details.
Secure grant funds for your farmers market, community-supported agriculture program and more by applying to the USDA by April 27.
This coming Tuesday, March 17, new legislation will be introduced in an attempt to protect Americans from antibiotic resistance. The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2009 will end the use of certain antibiotics in agriculture unless animals are sick.
The National Animal Identification Plan will be easily implemented by large factory farms, but it means trouble for smaller operations. Will the system really keep us safe from disease, or will industrial ag and tracking system manufacturers be the only beneficiaries?
Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition, is now available in print and by download from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. Learn how to make your soil perform at its very best!
It's hard to shop responsibly sometimes, especially for meat. There are so many different label claims that it's hard to remember which are meaningful and which are just fluff. Here's a handy reference card that will give more power to your purchases.
It's official: The USDA has finally hammered out the details on country of origin labeling. The rule will take effect March 16, but some say it could use a little tweaking first.
Guest blogger and longtime advocate of sustainable food Gwen Roland reflects on the new popularity of local eating, and highlights some of the innovative local food projects funded by Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grants.
With population growing and oil supplies diminishing, more land than ever is being consumed to grow both food and fuel crops.
While productivity is often the name of the game at large farms, local food, minimal environmental impact and healthy conditions for farm workers also are hot topics today. Yet, our agriculture — and our living — have a greater impact on the environment and the life it supports than these issues alone address.
On Saturday, the G-20 will likely discuss trade policy that affects American farmers.
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.
Draughts alone don't cause desertification, but drought, overgrazing and bad agricultural practices — the results of overpopulation — create more desert land.
Sustainable farming expert Michael Pollan has some words of wisdom for the next president of the United States.
Jacobs Farm in Santa Cruz, Calif. was recently awarded $1 million in damages for lost income due to pesticide drift.
When I'm introduced to a new acquaintance, the introduction often ends with, "Bryan farms." Like it's the most interesting thing about me. Well, maybe it is.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is accepting public comment regarding a draft Guidance for Industry #187 — to clarify regulation of genetically altered animals.
We're probably on our way to a population-related catastrophe, after all.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Egg Board are being sued for using $3 million in public funds to fight a phase-out of inhumane farming practices.
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 finding the illegal presence of genetically engineered wheat in Oregon, the USDA has found another, similar case in Montana.