DIY bee hive
Thinking about bees? Check out this DIY top bar hive!
I briefly describe my journey from a kid on a large 2000 acre alfalfa farm in the west to a homestead beekeeper in the midwest, on our 35 acres that we call BeeLanding.
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
My brief discription of sustainable beekeeping
My views on importing package bees verses natural breading.
Orchard soil health is a topic that gets covered as well as the new asparagus beetle management system and how it seems to be working better than we could have hoped for. Dielectric grease to prevent rust and corrosion on the golf cart battery post.
Why is honey the proper food for honey bees?
A look at how many hives to start with when beginning beekeeping.
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.
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.
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!
Our office was abuzz with bee activity this morning! We received four packages of bees today before they were delivered to their final garden homes.
A TED talk by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees: Making the Connection: Honeybees, Food, and You.
A Christmas Wish for all, inspired by the magic of the honey bee.
Over in the UK we do our beekeeping conventions a little bit differently than in the United States, and so I thought you might like to see a video of our latest one a few weeks ago: the BBKA Spring Convention.
If you are looking for gifts for beekeepers this blog post could be perfect encompasing books, clothes, equipment and even wrapping paper. This is perfect fodder for all of you that need to buy presents for beekeepers!
This overview of the yearly activities of a Warré beekeeper is for people trying to decide if they have the time to become beekeepers and experienced beekeepers who are curious about the Warré method. It also serves as an index of the many of the main topics that will be covered in depth by this blog.
Describes the timing and the nuts and bolts involved in expanding your apiary by making nucleus hives.
The vagaries of beekeeping jargon and its importance to the beginning natural beekeeper.
Readers vote on whether they think making beer, mustard or pickles sounds like the most fun, plus which seems easiest.
Ordering bees in January doesn't seem to make sense, until you understand that April is the cruelest month. Plus, if you order bees in January, and then you don't need them - that's just a reason to celebrate! Order early!
The no-waste way to render beeswax.
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.
Laura Weaver has managed BeeWeaver Apiaries, along with her husband, Danny Weaver, for nearly 2 decades. She has seen the bee industry and the public image of the bee change, as well as their own family bee business.
Breaking down the last week of homesteading we've done over at WaldenEffect.org, and the Top Bar project we started as well as talk on Brix, biodynamics, and Plant Secondary Metabolites. Also have details on an external frame backpack modification.
If, like many beginning beekeepers, you've been confused by how to perform an artificial swarm, watch this beekeeper training video to get a solid grasp on the concept.
Danny Weaver is a 4th generation beekeeper. He started out allergic to bee stings and overcame the dangerous allergy. Learning about how to tolerate bee stings is part of being around the bees.
Iain, working to build his socially responsible candle-making company, gets all his new equipment arriving from Holland.
Jennifer Ford, of Bees of the Woods Apiary, will share how she uses honey and beeswax from her beehives to make useful and creative gifts.
James discusses exactly how to paint a beehive. Sometimes it can be a fiddly job but using an array of stepladders and poles it can be pretty simple
This is a great first guest post for Geoff Fitzgerald and his beekeeping photography aspirations. Follow his journey here.
Beekeeping can bring many benefits other than a great hobby and honey production. Follow Iain as he tries to build a socially responsible company helping disabled people make beeswax candles.
Over the last 2 decades BeeWeaver has seen change in who keeps bees, and why they keep bees. The journey of the last 20 years has not been easy for the bees but the efforts of these New Beekeepers will keep the amazing honeybee a part of our word.
During the exceptional heat & drought in Texas this summer BeeWeaver worked hard to just keep hives alive... no honey, no divides.
Buzz is brewing about Bee-a-Thon 2011, an online "town hall" event scheduled for July 16, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. A variety of bee experts — from beekeepers to academics to environmentalists — will discuss the importance of bees and the critical challenges of colony collapse disorder.
Starting a new hobby can be intimidating when everything is unfamiliar. Walk through the basics of a beehive structure.
Talking about Annie Upshure and the Catholic Workers Movement and how Peace Farms moved into Appalachia.
What follows are my top 6 tips on how to start beekeeping; a most wonderful hobby that I urge everyone to take up.
When getting a top bar hive ready for winter, you need to know how much honey there is...and measureing these frames is different than measuring rectangular frames.
There's honey in the hive, peaches on the trees, and food on the table, but it's still a long way from self-sufficiency.
There are times when I find beekeeping stressful but most of the time not of my own making. I discuss here the weather, when bees decide to do things you don't want and when you are just totally unprepared!
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.
It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...
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.
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"!
Some things to know about the last fall hive inspections in preparing the bees for winter.
Worker B continues expanding product line with beeswax candles.
Listen to what happens when you have a hole in your jeans and angry bees!
To be a successful beekeeper we must overcome our initial fears.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary shares some beekeeping crafts and activities to pass the time until you can get back out in the beeyard this spring.
Don't over-stay your welcome at the hive. Give your bees space.
Use herbs from your garden,vegetable oil and beeswax to make a solid perfume.
A brief overview of keeping bees in a top bar hive from setup to overwintering.
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.
"Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?" is a new bee documentary that examines the global bee crisis through the eyes of beekeepers, scientists, farmers and philosophers. The film emphasizes the thoughts of biodynamic and organic beekeepers on Colony Collapse Disorder and highlights the impact of industrial agriculture on the relationship between humans and bees.
This week saw the first ever honey show in London, and what a joy it was for all involved. Based at the Lancaster Hotel in London, the first hotel in the UK to put beehives on their roof, it was the perfect location for such a great event.
Interested in beginning beekeeping? Here’s a simple checklist to get you started in time for spring.
Talking about how to make a DIY electric fence wire holder and how we got a tailgate transplant for around 150 dollars and some signs of spring.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary explains how to prevent, identify and stop robbing in the beeyard.
Blister beetles can be picked up fairly easily; just remember to wear gloves!
A bark beetle outbreak is causing widespread damage in Western forests, but we have every reason to believe the forest will recover.
Find out what the best home remedies are for easing the symptoms of bee stings.
Packages of bees originating from California last year had a high rate of failure due to the poor quality queens they contained.
The USDA has announced that it will now be easier for consumers to avoid tainted beef.
Having guests visit your beeyard takes a lot of planning and preparation. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary shares her experience having visitors in the beeyard, along with some tricks and tips to make the visit go more smoothly for everyone.
Harvesting honey from an experimental frameless beehive.
The forests in Colorado are dying at a fast rate. Find out what's to blame.
Iain continues to battle with the frustration of starting up a candle making business hitting trouble at every corner. Here he talks about his plans moving forward and how he still plans to succeed in his socially responsible candle making business
A hilarious beer sales dude discusses the need for mo betta beer education.
Being a father myself I really want my children to enjoy my passion and this is a great example of teaching children how to appreciate what bees get up to. With a little patience this is a fantastic family beekeeping activity enjoyed by all.
An introduction to a series exploring the world of beekeeping
An auspicious start to our beekeeping? Maybe!
If you have ever thought about beekeeping photography then this article is perfect. Geoff Fitzgerald talks about his motivation for the topic and what got him started on the rooftops of Brooklyn. There are also some fantastic urban beekeeping photos.
You'll love Anne Mendelson's recipe for the delicious cold beet soup from Poland known as chlodnik litewski.
Here's how you can find local breweries and wineries in your area.
This presentation from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash., explains how to get started with homebrewing.
Japanese beetles feed for six to eight weeks, and in that time, they are able to feed on over 300 plant species. Although collecting beetles may seem like an exhausting every day task, you're plants will appreciate it.
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.
Beef potpie is a favorite of guests and families alike. This variation is both unusual and delectable.
These beekeeping resources will help beginning beekeepers get started raising bees.
Follow this advice for avoiding and treating bee stings.
Did you know that you can learn a lot about the condition of your beehives simply by watching the entrance of the hive? Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain what to look for, and what it might mean. No smoke or hive tool necessary!
Top bar hive modifications, turkey traps, and gourmet potatoes are just a few of the topics covered in the past week of blogging we've been up to. Homesteading healthcare and a new virtual book club round off the week with several reader comments.
Learn how to keep your bees properly fed and also ensure a plentiful and delicious honey harvest!
Render beeswax from your wax cappings easily and inexpensively.
How to make beeswax fabric, an attractive alternative to plastic.
I'm going to the old Kerr canning book for this tried and true recipe for making simply wonderful pickled beets.
From cleaning raw beeswax to enjoying the final product, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will take you step by step through the process of making beeswax candles.
Clean out the hive at the end of winter
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.
When honeybees are unable to store enough food for winter, the beekeeper must decide how to support the colony through the winter.
Beekeeping basics and how to keep bees safely and simply.
What needs doin' in the beeyard?
Reasons to do a quick hive inspection as soon as possible. Dealing with deadouts and preparing equipment.
Beekeeping yields honey, but it can also make our lives complete.
Changing out old comb for new. Getting rid of old black comb.
Spring hive inspection in preparation for making splits.
How to install a package of bees
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.
Origins, constituents, and applications of propolis, including recipes for propolis remedies.
Just because the package says “local,” doesn't guarantee that it is.
Use spirulina or wheat grass instead of iffy chemical dyes to turn your beer green this St. Patrick's Day.
Anyone can brew beer. The article seeks to demystify the process and help jump start brewing by breaking down the equipment, recipe, and ingredients. This is a 2-part blog post.
Who knew that making a soda so delicious was so darn easy?! This office experiment is our most rewarding yet. I mean, Marlin is cool with his aquaponic system and all, but I definitely don’t want to drink fish water. (See aquaponic blog.) Our ginger beer is so refreshing, surprisingly effervescent and just plain awesome! So you’d like to know how to make it yourself, right? Well, I will gladly share the steps and recipe with you.
Special Lager Beer Crafted by New Belgium Brewing Celebrates Patagonia's 40 Years in Business.
A beginner beekeeper learns that the best way to raise healthy bees is to do less.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary talks about her experience with developing an allergy to honeybee venom, and how she manages this allergy to be able to continue beekeeping.
If this is your first year to keep bees, wear as much protective clothing that makes you feel comfortable but as you become more experienced try wearing less so that you can fully enjoy beekeeping. Just how much protective clothing should you wear?
Convert your old jeans into brand new items without spending a cent.
Build this classy Shaker-style laptop - desk - for letter writing or to support your laptop computer.
You can shingle your roof with hand-split shakes, crafted using a froe and mallet, and dry, straight-grained wood.
Find out what your options are for getting orange Asian lady beetles out of your house.
Wabi-sabi is never slobby, but we can allow ourselves to stop trying so hard and just appreciate our warm bed at the end of the day—whether it’s made or not.
When and how to feed your honeybees.
Our guest blogger is positively enchanted by the convenience, not to mention the benefits, of keeping worms in the garden.
A brief update on how the bees are faring during a break in the freezing weather.
There’s never, ever been a better time to get involved with honey bees and beekeeping.
Lean, grass-fed beef is perfect for making jerky.
GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan catches up with Jeremy McMasters of Indiana, Penn., who has come to the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR to learn more about grass-fed beef among many other things.
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 beekeeping presentation in the kids' booth at the Tree House Club was filled with enthusiastic kids. Check out what one kid had to say about his time spent with the bees.
Basil is a versatile herb that can be used for companion planting, bee forage, year-round herb as well as delicious pesto.
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.
I don't get grossed out very easy - but this special cut of beef made me cringe!
Planting flowers and vegetables that are attractive to honeybees will help to bring these garden pollinators into your yard.
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.
While it's almost impossible to completely avoid GMOs, you can minimize your exposure by eating organic and knowing which products are the worst offenders.
You can control damage caused by carpenter bees with these nontoxic methods.
The Solar Nite Eyes Predator Protection System helps ward predators away from your poultry, bees, trees and more. The Solar Nite Eyes are inexpensive, effective and easy to use. Try this method of predator protection around your homestead.
Ever wondered about the real meaning behind terms like cage free, free range, and pasture raised?
Here are three easy observations you can make every day to see how your animals are performing. Use them to constantly adjust your grazing program, instead of “flying blind” until sale day or weighing. They can help you adjust paddock size or give supplemental nutrients.
Cowpies are a valuable source of clues about your herd's health and productivity. A quick look at manure consistency in the pasture can help you manage for peak profit.
Government subsidies to corn growers results in foods that are less expensive then they should be, resulting in people eating more than they normally would.
Repair, restore, rejoin is the call to heed if we are to save this planet.
Beekeeping allows us to have not only honey, but also the wax. This is a story of how to make beeswax candles with molds and some of the difficulties I have yet to resolve.
All the principles of sustainable grazing management can be summarized in one rather strange statement: your cattle should appear not to have legs! Their short legs should be hidden in tall grass. Both animal genetics and pasture management contribute to this philosophy. In this article, I’ll start with cattle selection and care protocols. In Part 2, I will cover forage considerations.
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.
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 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.”
Two Ogden Publications employees turned beekeeping beginners seperate the honey from the comb in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS parking lot. Thier backyard hives are only four miles away for making sweet, local honey.
The mild winter, early sring and continued warm weather are really messing up the normal sequene of bloom and availability of honeybee food. What will happen this summer is anyone's guess. Be Prepared.
Bee populations in urban settings are increasing, but urban settings aren’t set up to provide lots of forage for honey bees... or are they?
This summary of a Warré Beekeeper’s regular seasonal activities gives you both a general idea of what this method entails in the long-term if you are considering adopting this method, and to provide you with a beekeeping calendar that you can use as a guide after you have gotten started.
What could be lurking in the commercial honey you buy? Maybe it’s not honey at all, and would you think honey is healthy if you knew it contained corn syrup? Let’s talk about how commercial honey is produced and why you might want to find a local source for raw honey.
OK, you’ve got a start: where to get equipment, groups to join, classes to take, and mentors to hook up with. Now’s the time, before you have bees, to take a long hard look at some of the rest of the things you need to be thinking about.
Two young Vermonters make the small farm a reality with some creative financing.
Making Beeswax candles at the Possibility Alliance allows member's to limit their use of carbon.
Need more storage space? Who doesn’t? You can make better use of the space you have available with some wooden shelves. Building free-standing shelves is easy and can be inexpensive. This is a great woodworking project for beginners.
Creamy, delicious Parsnip Flan with Roasted Beets takes advantage of the last of the stored winter vegetables. Pair it with fresh spring greens for a wonderful spring meal.
Happy Halloween! Now pop open a pumpkin beer.
Hoch Ybrig cheese from Swiss cheese maker Rolf Beeler is a standout on its own, but here are some delicious ideas for pairing it with honey, wine and beer.
We installed two packages of bees, one into a top bar hive and the other into a Warre hive. One colony absconded, so we ended up with only 12,000 bees.
Thanks to recent developments in photographic techniques, these ultra-detailed photos of insects might redefine your idea of "bug."
Honey bees began to disappear in October 2006 and continue to do so. Find out how you can help the problem.
Kim Walter shares how she became interested in beekeeping and what she has learned from her bees.
Tall Goldenrod is a fall favorite of the honeybee. Although it is most likely the bees are foraging on a variety of flowers, it is natural to assume the most prevalent flower at any given time is the strongest influence in the honey.
Miller Manufacturing expands the Little Giant beekeeping supply product line.
This is an explanation of how I use a late winter warmup to manipulate my hives in preparation for spring nectar gathering and to minimize swarming.
Finding the right book for yourself is hard. Even harder if you are trying to learn something new. A BeeWeaver beekeeper, Emerson Arehart, read many beekeeping books and came up with a short list and summary to help you get started learning about bees.
This is a followup to an earlier blog that reports on the successes and failures in creating nucleus beehives this spring.
Choices are available when it comes to feeding a new package of honeybees. Three of the options are discussed in this post. Choose the one that is right for you.
Describes how understanding the nectar flow in your geographical area helps you maximize colony health and honey production.
My bees shipped early - here we go!
The post office has called to say your bees have arrived! Now What? Step-by-step instructions on installing your hive.
Getting ready for new bees involves preparing equipment and the site. Planning ahead leaves little to disturb the bees once they are in their new home.
Catching a swarm of bees is awesome. Now learn how to take care of them.
This beekeeping blog post describes robbing behavior in honeybees, what causes it, and how to prevent or stop it.
Learn how and why to utilize a queen excluder in your beehives.
Worker B is returning to their beekeeping roots and adding raw honey to their collection of products.
Follow the sawhorse plans from our 1985 article (with a few variations), and you can build sturdy, inexpensive sawhorses.
Build a reflecting telescope to enjoy the nighttime celstial show.
Create memorable gifts for a youngster with a handcrafted toy or game.
Instructables is a great website for finding DIY projects, and recently site administrators have reorganized the site to make it easier to find the project you're looking for.
Grass fed beef benefits for health are remarkable indeed; but are they fabulous enough to justify the extra cost? And how do you know you are buying the real thing?
French Onion Soup au Gratin is a delicious, elegant soup, hearty enough for a meal in itself. Using your own homemade beef broth, you can create this soup for your family to enjoy at home.
Throughout the West, drought has led to a massive increase in wildfires, threatening the grass-fed beef industry in the U.S.
Small-scale local meat producers are teaming up with mobile slaughterhouses to make local meat more sustainable, accessible and affordable
Get a glimpse of some of the unique exhibitors at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Support America's artisan cider makers by putting locally made sweet and hard apple cider on the Thanksgiving table this year.
Check out the installation process of an urban beehive.
The owners of Runamuk quickly realized the high demand for local, raw honey after selling their first few jars of it. See how this home-based business opportunity grew out of beekeeping.
Not all beehives are created equal. This post examines Langstroth beehives, Top-Bar beehives, and Warre beehives in order to help a new beekeeper determine which system is the best for her bees.
North Carolinian Master Beekeeper, Tia Douglass, offers an introduction to chemical-free, natural beekeeping, bees and approach to raising pollinators.
Becoming a beekeeper takes a lot of planning and preparation. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain some steps you can take now to start getting ready to keep bees in the spring.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss some techniques for helping beehives survive through the end of winter.
Here I describe the honey harvest and how it varies from year to year.
Propolis is becoming a very popular “bee product” in the natural health arena. The fact that it is produced in nature does not make a product sustainable. We must always be aware of the toll that the harvest of that product makes on the organism that creates it.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss honeybee swarms, and how to try to prevent your bees from swarming.
Locating a queen in a hive full of thousands of bees can be hard. Here are a few tips.
In this blog, I hope to convince beekeepers that not feeding the bees is better for the health of the bees and for the beekeeper's bottom line.
Modifications I’m making and things to consider before building your own top bar hive.
Overcoming my personal fears and welcoming the newest addition to our homestead - honeybees
How do you manage offers of used beekeeping equipment? This post describes some creative options.
Beekeeping has its benefits: raw honey, beeswax and pollination. With a quick check, you can find out if your community offers a rent-a-bee program. For a fee, you'll get a queen bee, hive colony and a mentor to get you started.
A beekeeper, acting as the Guardian, discovers a hive that appears to have been frozen in early spring and then sees it come back to life before his very eyes. This beekeeping short story may surprise you, too.
Don't wait if you plan to start beekeeping this year. If you want to be a beekeeper, now is the time and this blog post will provide you with information to prepare for the coming season.
Beans are usually divided into two categories: shell and snap. Shell beans have thicker pods and are typically cultivated for their seeds. Snap beans are harvested before their seeds ripen and are grown for their tasty pods. However, I've discovered there is some leeway in how beans are harvested and used.
Learn why systemic neonicotinoid pesticides widely used to grow corn are one of the reasons so many honeybees and other pollinators are dying.
Tips on wasps and ways to get rid of nests around your house or property.
Buzz through the flowers in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
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.
The further degradation of our societal food skills are examined here, with small town food craftsmen becoming an endangered species, in this case, my local butcher.
One of the most fun parts of beekeeping is harvesting honey. Here we will look at the first part of the honey harvest, removing the honey supers from the hives, and how to store them safely.
Find out how to protect your hives and honeycomb from wax moths without using chemicals.
Bee populations in cities are increasing, but urban settings aren't set up to provide lots of forage for honey bees...or are they?
Jennifer Ford shows how she extracts and bottles her "liquid gold" honey at Bees of the Woods Apiary.
Beekeepers need a consistent way to document hive inspections including prompts to address all relevant areas while looking at a colony of honeybees.
A less meddlesome approach to beekeeping.
Tips for managing spring cover crops using only hand tools.
Pre-spring work up for beehives coming out of winter.
Anticipation of warm weather, bees, flowers, and HONEY!
Take a look around your property and decide where to put your new beehives. Some considerations for hive placement.
Keeping bees with neighbors in the city or the burbs.
Essential oils can be a useful supplement for honeybees. Lemongrass, spearmint and thyme essential oils are being used to encourage brood development and the overall health of bees.
Beekeeping supply arrived, it's light out and I have a fever!
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain how they perform the first beehive inspections of the year. This will be the first step in what will hopefully be a successful year in the beeyard!
Kim Flottum of "Bee Culture Magazine" and Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees discuss tips and techniques of keeping bees in different types of hives - top bar hives and conventional Langstroth hives.
Recap of 2010 growing season in Northwest Pennsylvania
Jennifer Ford, of Bees of the Woods Apiary, explains how to produce comb honey, and why it is such a valuable product of the hive.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will share her beekeeping goals for the New Year, along with some tips on how to make them happen.
Awesome facts about the amazing honeybee.
Deciding on urban beekeeping may just mean hosting a hive - some of the honey and none of the work!
These DIY furniture pieces can be cut and fabricated from any flat, sturdy material.
Macrameing has been a popular craft medium for decades. Share your most outlandish macrame project.
Have you ever let your imagination run wild and built a fanciful, unique … (spinning wheel, bat house, garden tool)
If you want to learn how to paint your house without the help of professionals, this article from the archives is for you. Exterior home painting can be a snap with the right tools and information.
You can build this simple, light-weight roof rack to transport your bicucles.
If you are planning to build a backyard deck, consider whether the best strategy for footings is using deck blocks or cement piers.
Natural Home and the Obamas are in sync on fun, waste-reducing holiday projects. Find out more about decoupage ornaments.
Wood pallets can be used as is or stripped and remade into new forms. What creative uses have you found for wood pallets?
You can fabricate this metal log lifter to make firewood cutting easier and safer.
Engaging in new projects around the house or yard can put us in unfamiliar territory where we might make mistakes that are potentially dangerous or just embarrassing.
Jim Oseychuk built this intricate garden shed for his wife and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Holiday gifts frequently come with "some assembly required" and can cause frustration for late-night Santas. What is your most memorable some-assembly-required experience?
Keeping your tools in good working order saves time and money.
Make your own hand-crafted broad axe with these easy to follow directions.
Learn how to make giant bubbles like a professional bubble artist at home with this DIY video. Complete with a recipe to make a giant bubble wand and your own homemade soap solution, you’ll be ready to impress everyone on your street with human-sized bubbles.
Purchasing the materials for a DIY project can involve making a number of decisions. When you’re deciding on the materials for an outdoor wooden project, are you more apt to be swayed by cost or durability?
You don't have to be a master carpenter to take on a DIY project. What building project have you done all on your own that you are the most proud of the results?
Here is a plan for a metal candle lantern made from a coffee can, metal clothes hanger and a stick of wood.
Easy DIY Halloween costumes for the lazy
Put a barrel or two on wheels and you can feed your flocks and herds with ease, including diagrams, photographs and instructions.
Learn how to make a bootjack from a branch and scrap of wood.
To make the pulp for homemade paper, look no further than your waste and recycling bins.
Build a highchair that will follow your child through years of growth and development.
Using wood you’ve harvested to start creative wood projects is not impossible. Many sawyers have created beautiful wood structures made from lumber they’ve cut themselves.
Can the clutter that threatens to chase you from your workshop be remade into usable items?
Donn Saindon built this beautiful 1,200 square foot home from reclaimed wood and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Joe Bonn built this impressive home in Colorado and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Robert Craig built this 960 square foot barn in Oregon and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
FrogTape’s latest painting tape provides endless design possibilities and masking protection.
Here's what you need to know about laminate flooring, from suggestions on how to choose it to tips for installing your own.
Each season brings its own work on a homestead. In the autumn, the garden and animals still require work, but this is also the time to put in a cistern and begin a smoke house.
Learn how to encourage good pollinators when growing plants under row covers to keep out the bad bugs.
Mark fenced in a new chicken pasture in the hot sun, an experience that was made possible by his homemade solar fan hat. Meanwhile, I played with scythes and bees and maps.
We're gearing up for spring on our southwest Virginia farm, planning the garden, pruning the perennials, and getting ready to raise bees, broilers, and mushrooms.
The flowers weren't just there to be pretty. They provided a long blooming source of forage for our bees and the native pollinators.
We heard from a variety of experts about the type and number of batteries to use in our DIY solar setup. Meanwhile, we checked in with the garden and bees.
Bee stings are so painful you feel like a burning torch has touched your skin! To get fast relief, here are 8 natural bee sting treatment options you can use at home.
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.
A little background on how Ric and Vicki moved from Detroit to a Tennessee homestead, and starting to get up to date on what they've done since.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
We dipped candles from our hive's beeswax to celebrate winter. Candlemaking is a nice seasonal craft. Here’s how we did it, plus some tips to get you started.
Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.
STIHL provides support to new online resource for do-it-yourself audience.
You can upcycle (make crafts from recycled materials) to beautifuly and simplify your world! Have a few old T-shirts that are past their prime? Make them into a rosette pillow! Use homemade recycled paper to send friends and family chic, personalized greetings cards. Overrun with stuff to recycle? Transform tin can lids into a melodious windchime! Have fun and get creative turning your old stuff into treasures!
Giving handmade gifts will save money while showing the recipient that you care. Homemade sugar scrub, rice pillows, glass magnets and iPod covers are all easy to make and exciting to receive. Spend time, not money, to give the perfect holiday or birthday gift.
Yes, you can make your own solar panels, but it won’t necessarily save you much money compared with buying commercial solar panels.
Use everyday recyclable materials to create personalized DIY stationery.
A review of hammers of friend Jack Fulton.
Offering paint that saves the rain forest and a full list of ingredients, this natural finishes start-up aims to change the industry. Unearthed is making a bold move by providing full ingredient disclosure for all of its products.
Home improvement stores offer free DIY classes. What project have you not started yet but dream of doing?
Instructions for building a cold smoker (and three other things you can do with steel oil drums).
Tell us about your all-time favorite fix-it tool.
For May Day on May 1, make one of these 10 May Day Baskets with recycled materials.
Share the story of your success with a DIY project home business.
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!
Blogger Steve Maxwell offers tips and a video explaining how to choose and use a router table.
Making wooden replacement handles for tools is easier than you think.
Homegrown.org's Amanda Hoover shakes off a DIY fail — an attempt at homemade natural food coloring — and holds her head high.
Reuse burnt-out lightbulbs to make this adorable, unique DIY holiday wreath.
What began as a hobby for her young son turned into a lucrative honey production business for beekeeper and MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Alissa Brandemuhl-Zengel.
Beekeeping expert Betty Taylor explains how to reliquify crystalized honey while maintaining color, quality, and nutrients.
Homesteads are keeping alive old skills and ways of raising crops and livestock that are being lost in the age of agribusiness.
How to prepare your hives for the winter to protect them from mice, skunks, opossums and other wildlife.
Encouragement for new beekeepers who may be confused and overwhelmed about all the conflicting advice about keeping bees.
Beekeeper Betty Taylor explains what for look for during an end-of-summer hive inspection.
Colony Collapse Disorder is threatening the future of bee pollination. Here's what we can do about it.
Describes the winter hive life of the honey bees.
What is a beekeeper to do during the long cold winter months? Eat honey of course.
A recipe for a grease patty that doesn't use hydrogenated oils.
For the hobby beekeeper, try treating Varroa mites with natural remedies.
Bees do not live on honey alone. Pollen provides honeybees with necessary protein.
Reading label ingredients is a must for your baby's health.
Allan Savory visits Polyface! This was a week of permaculture lessons, staying up late with birds, processing honey and winding down from Field Day.
In all that can go wrong in beekeeping, it's time to be grateful for a good season.
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
All you need to know about the island’s most fascinating export: New Zealand Manuka honey.
Don't wait until spring to get into beekeeping. Order your package honeybees now.
Being stung is the most often quoted reason for not keeping honeybees. This was also my fear before I started keeping bees. There are ways to reduce your chances of being stung. With just a few precautions, you don't have to let this keep you from a rewarding hobby.
What's going on with the hives, new developments in the Down-East Bee Lady's life, latest bee school news, etc.
There are many beekeeping associations in the U.S., national, regional and local. The two National Groups are discussed, looking at members, activities and goals.
A wakeup call for folks who want to keep bees without the work, stings and realities.
A blog about the joy of a mentoring relationship and the rewards for the mentor and a new-bee.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will offer some tips on preparing for a successful start to the beekeeping season!
Honey from our backyard bees provide us with a sweetener, but just as important, honey has many health benefits.
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.
Whether or not it was devised by clever Mexican potato growers, the cheap, easy to build, and space-saving potato tower is a unique alternative to rows, barrels, and other methods for planting, growing, and bringing in your season's spuds.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
This low-cost, easy-to-assemble fire pit from Instructables is made with concrete tree rings and rocks. Just add a grill and you've got the perfect backyard hangout, all for around $50.
Crafting laundry detergent saves time, money and lightens your environmental footprint. Plus it’s simple!
These DIY garden lights reuse plastic bottles and provide soft, natural lighting for evenings spent outdoors.
How to make a homemade cheese press in order to make a massive cheese.
You can build your own industrial-chic reclaimed-wood table with only a few hand tools, spending about $120 on copper pipe.
Make your own rotisserie spit that is solar powered.
Build a simple backyard barbecue pit with no more than a shovel and a good cover panel for your next barbecue party.
Bust the myths surrounding poison ivy and decide which DIY remedies are right for you.
Cam has found another way to save money - his wife cuts his hair now! He also describes how even though he isn't artistic he creates and enjoys the masterpieces from his garden.
Why spend hundreds of dollars on a commercial recumbent bicycle when you can make your own out of parts of recycled bikes?
Finding the perfect desk with just the right amount of work space can be a hassle and a financial drain. Build your own desk with this do-it-yourself tutorial, and you’ll have room for your computer, notebooks, phone, printer and any other work-time necessities, and you’ll save some serious cash in the process.
How-to online videos are a valuable resource for any do-it-yourselfer. But there are a lot of videos out there, so we’ve picked noteworthy ones and provided a few links to help you find more in the future. From building a workbench to changing your car’s oil, these engaging and instructive videos will inspire you to start a fun, new DIY project.
Borrowing from a Native American tradition, utilize porcupine quills to make beautiful beads.
Recycling building materials from other sources is a great way to cut the cost and reduce the environmental impact of your DIY projects. We want to know where readers go to find reclaimed or used building materials, and how they use these materials in home projects.
Robert Maxwell shares tips on maintaining motivation.
Learn how to make a pinwheel for a fun, outdoors toy.
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, share his make do tool tips with fellow DIY homeowners.
Hand crafted from recycled materials, each item one of a kind.
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, explains just how easy it is to install laminate flooring yourself.
What can you do with all those useless newspapers, paper bags and Yellow Pages books? Tear them into scraps and use them to decoupage walls and other surfaces. It's easy, cheap--and surprisingly elegant.
Turn empty oatmeal and salt containers into pretty storage canisters--in a snap.
Bring some spring into your life. Sprinkle some wheat grass seeds in an old apothecary jar and watch them grow.
Eating cicadas, building a porch, and hauling lumber for said porch all in the same week with several images of the action as well as some bee installation pictures.
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!
Beehive happenings since my last blog post.
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.
So maybe you can't afford the pricey furniture and decor on display at the design shows in Milan and Vegas. Just take a look at these ideas and start riffing.
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!
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.
Build an inexpensive bicycle trailer out of upcycled walkers and other easy-to-find materials.
Learn how to assemble a humane animal trap out of recycled material. It’s easy and effective!
There are some things that you just aren’t going to wash very often, like your curtains, couch cushions, and probably even your favorite jeans. To spare the air, concoct a simple essential oil-infused linen spray, and spritz away until your definition of what “clean” smells like shifts permanently.
This funky DIY bicycle helmet from Adafruit features colorful LED light strips to increase riders' visibility at night.
Gather a few pallets and get geared up to make your very own spacious rabbit hutch with just a few supplies for under $25 dollars!
Feels like I'm finally getting the ball rolling on my DIY Plug-In Hybrid Truck Project. I got a chance to visit Hot Rod Jim, talk about drive shafts, and even got the bed off the truck!
Watch this video to learn how a straw bale house goes together from start to finish.
Steve Maxwell spotlights the three myths that prevent people from realizing the full value of the self reliant lifestyle, and how to dispel them
Make your barn doors glide with skateboard wheels and other easy to find materials in this DIY project to create sliding barn doors.
You can make a simple bench for the garden or patio by recycling an old headboard.
Learn how to make your own bushcraft knife using only simple tools and materials, including an old file.
Skylight scoops are the latest design in skylights which help save more energy and enhance a building’s environment.
This easy-to-make mosquito-net tent will keep flying critters from bugging you throughout the night.
You can make these outdoor chairs for less than $80 by recycling a whiskey barrel and using a few other supplies from your workshop.
This acorn-shaped wool garland is easy to make and perfect for fall decor.
Learn how to build a simple, dual-burner rocket stove using recycled materials from your homestead, garden or workshop.
Take a seat on this comfy sofa you made yourself using recycled car seats.
You can stretch your budget for wedding flowers by growing some of your own. Learn how to select, schedule, and plant flowers — then make them into wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces.
Here’s what to look for when purchasing a portable table saw for DIY building projects around your homestead.
Don't have the budget for a hot tub? Check out how these homeowners saves money and space by planting vintage clawfoot tubs in their gardens.
See the power of gasification before we hit the road.
Personal users can now buy welding and cutting products and accessories online from the comfort of their home.
Announcing our new webcam that will be showing the latest flock of new born chicks in all their cute and feathery glory.
Need to get your kids out of the house? Learn how to build your own playground and give them a convenient place for outdoor playtime.
How to quickly and easily make a soothing herbal tea blend for children, plus bags and boxes to hold it.
Wrap drinking glasses in handmade paper for pretty, easy-to-make vases and votive holders.
One of the easiest ways to make your own newspaper pots.
Rechargeable tool packages use the same battery to power multiple tools: saws, drills, drivers and flashlights. What are the benefits of these systems?
Easy-sew step-by-step instructions (with photos) to repurpose feed bags into handy totes.
Leasing solar panels may be a way for you to have a solar electric system on your home. See what our expert has to say on leasing solar panels, from an operating lease to a capital lease. Plus, learn about the federal tax incentives that come with solar electric systems.
Realize that DIY inspiration is just a click away by checking out these great home remodeling blogs.
User of our CU photo-sharing website submits photo documents the building process on their new biomass and solar dome home.
Don't forget to submit your photos to our CU photo-sharing website. Your favorite moments could become famous on our homepage!
Doug and Jennie Ostgaard designed and built a photovoltaic system for their home, a project they was completed in six months. DIY photovoltaic solar has many benefits, and they outline a few of them here.
With photovoltaic (PV) panel technology you can tap into the amazing world of free totally renewable energy from the sun. You generally cannot find a better more reliable source of power on the planet that solar. In our book you will find that a DIY on grid/off grid system is very affordable and a wise choice for almost everyone.
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
How to make your own homemade deodorant that really works!
Skip the packaging and synthetic chemicals and learn how to make your own, cold-processed shampoo bars.
The last week of the month has been a busy one with are preparations for the ending of winter and the start of a new growing season. We've got some details on a new cover crop and why we choose and simple composting toilet system compared to others.
Talking about the excitement of Anna's new book cover that we got to preview from the publisher this past week and the anxiety of our new born chicks as they go out into the big world. Also have some details on how to make your own cleft graft.
Our experiments with an Alaskan small log mill attached to our chainsaw had variable results making planks from downed trees.
Robert Maxwell explains how to build your own limestone foundation for almost no money.
We now have something to walk on other than dirt!
At last, we construct the foundation.
Follow these easy instructions explaining how to make a fruit picker, and you'll never be tormented by out-of-reach fruit again.
What's it take to build your own SOLAR-POWERED Electric Car? How about starting small with some hardware store parts and an old child's ride-on toy? Read how a tinkerer Dad builds a Solar-Powered Power Wheels with just basic tools and skills.
So here's an idea - why not take existing technology and build a DIY diesel electric pickup truck? Is it even possible? I think it is, but I'll need your help!
The sweet smell and healing properties of bay, eucalyptus and ginger will make your sweetheart's Valentine's Day massage memorable.
Gina Luker of The Shabby Chic Cottage turns a flea market suitcase and baskets into a wonderful bedside table that doubles as valuable storage.
Bring back bottle-cutting! This contemporary candelabra, which gives new life to beautiful blue mineral water bottles, will make you rethink that old '70s craft.
Connect together inexpensive mending plates to make these top-shelf candleholders--perfect for patio and porch dining. This simple project takes minutes and costs next to nothing.
Whip olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice into a cheap, effective polish for wood furniture.
Make your own all-purpose cleaners, dishwasher detergent and mildew remover with safe, simple ingredients. Ever think you'd be doing dishes with Kool-Aid?
Turn terra cotta planter pots into candle holders. This super simple project is an inexpensive way to bring a little romance to your garden.
Give your bathroom a little flair--and have fun doing it--by creating a backsplash from pebbles, pennies or whatever's rattling around in the bottom of the toolbox. This fun, simple project is perfect for everyone--whether you're a DIYer or not.
With no building experiment and only the information they found online as their guide, Kyle and Jeannie built a sweet little home on wheels. In this video, they share what they learned in the process and invite you inside.
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
Looking for a great home metalworking project? Follow these DIY patio furniture instructions to build scrap-metal furniture for your patio.
It was becoming pretty obvious the crowding and lack of light were real limitations to my mini garden. Then, the idea of a trough on the windowsill came to mind, combining a way to water all the plants uniformly and efficiently all at once. Great, now how to make this trough? Wood? Sheet metal? The choices all seemed expensive, clumsy, prone to leaking...then the light bulb went on in my head: gutters!
With a few key supplies, you can revive worn wood flooring without heavy-duty sanding.
Making your own cleaning products using vinegar, baking soda and water is healthy, easy--and cheap. Learn how to whip up your own cleaners using foods you already have in your kitchen cupboard.
Making mosaics out of salvaged, broken tiles is a great project for free-form do-it-yourselfers. It's easy, fun and results in a brilliant surface--often for pennies. Check out this video and give it a try.
Give your hangers a little pizzazz--and protect your clothing--with this simple project that makes use of worn-out shirts.
Cam has had to learn lots of new skills living in his off-grid home!
It's easy to make your own air freshener spray. You'll avoid chemicals and delight in the fresh smell.
People often dismiss gardening as an expensive hobby that they can’t afford. While that can be true, it doesn’t have to be. There are way to make gardening cheap.
It might be the middle of the summer, but you should start thinking about getting your fall garden ready. If you don’t have much space, to plant everything outdoors, then you can certainly start your seeds indoors.
When you are apartment gardening in a small space, you are forced to be creative due to your space constrictions. Most traditional pots and containers might not work, so you become reliant on reusing objects to better fit your space.
With just three ingredients and two simple steps, you can clear away germs and freshen your home's air to welcome spring.
Reed diffusers are a great way to fill your home with the fresh, healing scents of essential oils--but they're pricey. You can save a bundle by making your own using repurposed bottles and plant stalks.
For an investment of less than $10,000 and about a week of labor, you could have a custom workshop, barn, garden shed or office.
Advancing their commitment to helping homeowners protect their lawns and gardens from damage caused by moles, Sweeney's, a leader in DIY pest control products, introduces the Deadset MoleTrap.
Two students have created an inspirational blog that features one upcycling project--something made from discarded materials--each day. They've committed to keeping it going for 30 days, but with your help it could go forever.
Save money and keep harsh chemicals out of your kitchen by making your own dishwasher detergent. It takes just seconds to make a powdered or liquid version.
Simple to make, this stone bath mat is a treat for your feet.
Claire finds a recipe for hard lotion and makes molded lotion bars to give as Christmas presents.
Have you ever considered using lard to make soap? It is easy to locate, inexpensive, and has a long history as a soap-making staple. This recipe adds a few extras to improve the conditioning qualities of traditional lard soap.
Put those big pieces of cardboard to work by turning them into furniture. This entertaining tutorial shows you how.
This DIY washing powder is simple to make, costs just pennies and smells heavenly.
Old mirrors are a dime a dozen at flea markets--but what can you do with them? Group several of different shapes together for a pretty, unique display.
Upcycle abandoned shopping carts into funky shopping cart furniture that is both fun and functional. This DIY shopping cart project takes some elbow grease, but is well worth the results.
Use old jars to make these cute, inexpensive candle lanterns--for a fraction of what you'd pay if you bought them at the store.
Use an old aluminum can and branch trimmings to make a rustic and beautiful vase. This simple project using humble materials costs nearly nothing and looks like a million bucks.
Growing your own food doesn't have to be an expensive activity. There are plenty of ways to cut back the costs and be earth-friendly as well. You can do this by giving a second life to items that have outgrown their initial purpose.
Rain chains are a smart, good-looking way to collect rainwater from your roof--but they can be pricey. You can make your own for next to nothing. Give your house a little bling.
Trying to sum up a few of the lesson learned while figuring out the best way to incubate and hatch cute chicks.
Learn how to waterproof fabric with these simple instructions for making tin cloth.
Invite the birds into your yard with this simple bird feeder made from a toilet paper roll.
Make your own “ginger bug” and natural soda from nothing more than ginger root, sugar, water, and fruit juice. The ginger bug, soda starter culture of healthy bacteria, consumes the natural sugars present in fruit juice and causes carbonation to make a fun experiment and soda pop you don’t need to be afraid to give your children.
Finally getting the barn roof repair project started was a big deal for us as well as a few other things that are worth checking out if you are interested in modern homesteading.
Talking about the recent past week where we got several items crossed off the Spring to-do list and managed to have some fun while doing it complete with pictures to illustrate the good times.
A brief announcement of the new Permaculture chicken ebook series that starts with chicken egg incubation.
This very simple indirect stepping stone technique allows you to make multiple stepping stones that will be beautiful and long lasting. It is good for individual stones and for large group projects involving all ages.
Here are three easy Easter basket items for you to make. Children can act as helpers, or you can surprise them. Make rainbow crayons, mini soaps and bath bombs.
Part I of a two-part tutorial on how to make soap for the absolute beginner. Readers will assemble materials and prepare the mold this week in anticipation of combining the ingredients to make a batch of cold-process soap.
Part II of a tutorial on how to make cold-process soap. The directions are intended for the absolute beginner and use easy-to-locate materials.
You can use items you find in your pantry like powdered drink mix, Jell-O and food coloring to make a beautiful dyed skein of yarn.
Make a cute, no-sew May Day basket using felt. Embellish it with buttons, beads and trim and it is ready to be delivered. Fill it with flowers and candy and you can hang it on a neighbor's doorknob like people did a century ago.
Celebrate all things beachy by making sand candles! Using paraffin, crayons and sand you can make a beautiful sand candle to commemorate a trip to the shore.
Use Epsom salt, lemon, aloe vera and other simple ingredients to clean up your kids when they have stubborn, sticky summer grime.
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, guides an inquiring homeowner on how to find the right circular saw.
Using newspaper, learn how to craft easy, biodegradable pots to start seeds.
What’s with glycerin? It’s a soap-making byproduct with antibacterial properties, but it’s often made with animal fat derivatives, which isn’t really our thing. So, we figured out how to make our own veggie version with coconut oil, opening up a whole world of kitchen pantry beauty concoctions.
Green is Universal and Etsy's The Art of Reuse Contest is a gold mine for DIY home project ideas. My favorite pays homage to Audrey Hepburn's ahead-of-its-time sofa made from an old clawfoot bathtub in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
This small project could gain you big time savings. Simply screw a few hooks inside a pretty cigar box, give it a knob and hang it near the door. Never search for lost keys again!
Tearing out wall-to-wall carpet is one of the healthiest things you can do. Dress up the scuffed wood floor underneath using plant-based paint and stencils. You'll never miss the rug.
What does it take to build truly sustainable houses – the kind people really want and can afford? If you build small and use natural building materials, then most likely you’ll be able to build your own home in a reasonable amount of time for cash.
Protecting the fig tree for the winter felt like putting it to bed for a long sleep. Chopping wood with the Chopper 1 is a thing of joy and beauty and that's no joke. Do it yourself corn bin helped our neighbor keep the racoons out.
Combine two of this hopeful season's symbols--herbs and eggs--in this simple project that celebrates spring.
Announcing our new automatic chicken feeder contest and how some lucky person could win a 10 pack diy kit or 3 premade watering units.
Talking about the back up generator failure along with recent golf cart modifications.
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.
Sensor Plug update along with a report on Sunflowers being used as a cover crop and when to properly harvest onions.
Tackling the old wives tale I heard recently down at the hardware store how a penny inserted into the flesh of a tomato plant stalk will help that plant fight off or maybe prevent a blight attack along with data on trying to trap a wild rabbit.
Get your garden ready for spring by making this sturdy, comfortable outdoor bench from recycled-plastic lumber and an old truck tire inner tube.
You can get your whole house fresh and shiny clean with just five ingredients: lemons, vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil and salt.
Porch building tips along with deer pressure notes and golf cart pickup bed instructions.Throw in a 5 foot high chicken wire fence and a rare appearance from a normally camera shy cat named Strider and you've got an idea of what we've been up to.
How to recycle a junked refrigerator into a refrigerator root cellar that works at keeping produce chilled but not frozen during winter months.
You could spend a fortune on flowers from faraway for Mom--but why? This sweet bouquet made from fresh-picked flowers and flea market finds is cuter than anything FTD could deliver. This one's great for weddings and graduation parties, too.
Noxious fumes aren’t conducive to happy cleaning. Give all your homemade cleaning solutions an invigorating and healthy boost by adding a few drops of pure plant essential oils such as lavender or lemon. Heavenly!
Learn how to make an herbal tincture with The Herb Companion team at the Mother Earth News Fair.
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.
Summing up the past week with a few highlights that help to illustrate how we've been getting along in the ending days of the 2012 winter season.
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food
A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.
Crushing a truck, harvesting garlic, and fixing a broken flywheel shaft key are just a few of the things that got done over the last week at WaldenEffect.org complete with photos of all the juicy stuff.
Pick some pretty leaves, paint them and press their likenesses onto an inexpensive shower curtain liner to make a shower curtain much prettier than anything found in stores.
The roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.
Cut old milk jugs into the shape of your choice, rough them up with sandpaper and string them together to make surprisingly pretty window shades that offer privacy while letting the sun shine in.
A story of life, death and rebirth of a hoop house.
Summing up the last week of activity by hitting on a few key stories that might prove note worthy to a few of the homesteading folks out there complete with photo montage of golf cart jousting and aquaponic trout.
Describing how we are trying to provide a low budget solar panel back up system for under 1000 dollars that will run our laptops and router along with a few other things if the local power grid has any issues.
Building the Cadillac of worm bins, a new barn door, testing the new garlic curing rack, harvesting big potato onions, mulching blueberries, and fabricating a low budget easy to build automatic chicken coop door opener and closer from easy find parts
I envision this chandelier—made entirely of items recovered from the recycling bin—hanging over a dining table on the patio. Making it is a pretty big project, though, and I would have to call in a friend with a jigsaw to help. (I don’t have the tools—or skills—that former Natural Home & Garden art director Susan Wasinger, who dreamed up this project, does.) Aside from the saw, the materials for this one are simple: used baby-food jars, a few yards of twisted wire, a couple repurposed barrel hoops and a length of rusty chain. And happily, I can make the “lite” version–pretty votive holders—which lets me stop before power tools are needed.
I had such a great time talking with attendees at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington, this past weekend about how to make green cleaners. As always, I learned a new trick or two, and I promised everyone I’d recap our conversation here for easy access. Today let’s talk about some of the unexpected food items—most of which you already have in your kitchen cupboards—that can be used to clean your home.
Use tea to remove old furniture polish and prepare wooden furniture for polishing. Simply soak a rag in room-temperature tea, then run it over the wood. The tea’s tannic acid makes your wood shine while removing all the dirt. Once that’s done, you can use mayonnaise to make the piece shine. Just rub the mayo into the wood, then follow with a damp rag and a few drops of vinegar to remove any residue. Olive oil is also a great natural furniture
Forget the time and money that goes into conventional giftwrap. Use these inspirational ideas to wrap lovely gifts with materials otherwise bound for the recycling bin.
If you have access to small diameter trees and wood pallets, and live in an area not restricted by building codes, then this truss design is one good low cost roof option. If you do all the work yourself, these trusses are virtually free.
Cap off your Hemp History Week celebrations by making hemp soap. Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids known for their excellent emollient and lubricating properties.
Building housing projects in developing regions is extremely rewarding, but also quite challenging. It’s prudent to draw ideas from as many resources as possible to improve the process. The following guidelines have proven effective.
Scott Davis’ “Solar Projects, Big and Small” video offers inspiration for both solar energy enthusiasts and folks who are just curious. Tips and advice pertaining to solar energy can be found at the Yahoo! group Simply Solar, and you can make your dream project a reality with Gary Reysa’s instructions.
Renovating a heritage log cabin DIY style isn't easy, but with some thought and attention to detail, it can be done - and cheaper than you might think.