Do the Math Tour
Bill McKibben is doing a national tour to raise awareness about climate change and to build a movement around changing the way we use energy.
Cam describes a recent encounter with some aggressive dogs.
A Grade 1 group come through the farm for a tour
Cam describes "double digging" as a way of creating a new garden without losing precious topsoil.
Cam describes the challenges of winter driving and cutting down trees.
Cam is mourning the loss of his beloved dog Morgan.
In previous posts, we have looked at how guard donkeys work and we’ve examined the pros and cons of using a donkey as a livestock guardian. If you are contemplating using a donkey, let’s look now at how to select a good candidate and how to integrate him or her into your stock.
Outdoors Expert and author Len McDougall feeds venison bones that he's hacked up to his extremely grateful sled dog teams of Siberian huskies. Meat is a carnivore's natural food, and you can see from the health and fitness levels of even his old dogs that the diet agrees with them.
Although used less commonly than dogs or llamas, here is one more possibility for a livestock guardian – a guard donkey.
Dogsleds are clean, green and run on renewable energy.
Experienced LGD owners can easily come up with a list of myths, misconceptions, and misinformation about their dogs. A quick glance at various LGD forums, email lists, or Facebook pages will reveal that these misconceptions are not only widespread but they are also responsible for the majority of problems new LGD owners find themselves in.
Can I use a Great Dane as a LGD? Or a St. Bernard? How about a heeler and Golden crossbred? Being a LGD is not a job you can train any other breed to perform. LGDs are a specialized group of breeds.
The right dog can be a very useful member of the family when you are growing corn!
Many people waste too much time each trying to get motivated to work. As a result, they get a lot less done than they need to or would like to. In this blog, I show a way that has helped me for many years get motivated to work and stay on task.
Beano, Rancho Cappuccino's resident guard donkey, appears to be experiencing maternal envy. Without a baby of her own, she's taken to borrowing (unasked, of course) the lambs and kids of the sheep and goats she protects.
Cam has had to learn lots of new skills living in his off-grid home!
Plant pathologist Dr. Don Huber brings attention to concerns surrounding Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, glyphosate.
Americans are turning to smaller, affordable housing. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks into this trend.
When you live in an off-grid house in the country, it's important to be handy!
With its new clothing tags, Levi’s encourages consumers to donate unwanted clothes to Goodwill.
A mysterious "ailment" brings our first frost to the goat pen.
Ed and Joan Kobrinski left a large family home for a smaller, simpler cottage—and they’ve never looked back. Their tips for downsizing and living in smaller spaces could help make your transition easier.
The newest member at Goat Song Farm: A 3 week old, purebred Nubian doeling named 'Rose Of Summer'.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
Livestock guard dogs were found in a sweep of cultures from southern Europe through Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and central Asia. They worked in the company of shepherds who often spent weeks on high summer pasture or on long migratory routes.
Jan Dohner explains how the different Livestock Guard Dog breeds were developed and introduces us to their differences in style of work, temperament and other behaviors.
In a previous post, “What is a Livestock Guard Dog?,” I described what livestock guard dogs do but it is also exceptionally important to know how they do this job. Understanding how not only helps us work with our LGDs but also explains why other breeds or crosses with non-LGD breeds are not likely to perform this same outstanding job.
Livestock guard dogs are an attractive choice for predator control on the farm. Jan Dohner gives us an honest look at the pros and cons of choosing a Livestock guard dog versus a guard donkey or llama.
Re-homed adult or rescue LGDs are another option when you are looking for a working livestock guard dog for your farm.
In our last few posts, we’ve been looking at the various breeds of livestock guard dogs. But before you start looking at advertisements or litters of puppies, there are a few more questions for you to ask yourself. They are centered on two broad issues – your predator problems and your farm or homestead.
In this post, Jan Dohner describes the different roles a livestock guard dog can perform on a farm or homestead - a full-time livestock guardian, a general farm guardian, or a family companion.
In Part One of this post, Jan Dohner explained how the different Livestock Guard Dog breeds were developed and introduces us to their differences in style of work, temperament and other behaviors. In Parts Two and Three, we take a brief look at some of the more common LGD breeds available in North America.
Repairing or replacing trim around a door is easy, and you need only a few simple tools.
You’ve done your homework – examining your needs, situation, and breed preferences – and now you are ready to select your LGD. This is an expensive, long- term commitment of time and energy. This LGD will be protecting your farm and stock. Please take your time to choose your pup carefully.
Roger Doiron, a MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributor and the found of Kitchen Gardeners International, recently spoke at a TEDx conference about the power of gardening.
If you want a superior doughnut (or any product), start with the best.
Boulder Food Rescue is a non-profit what is helping to redefine food waste in America.
Dole, with 2009 net revenues of $6.8 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas and producer/shipper of organic pineapples.
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.
So, I separated my bicycle gear for the cross-country cycling trip into two piles: needed, and nice. The needed items came in at 43 pounds. I will be traveling through towns almost everyday so replenishing items like soap, insect repellant, sun tan lotion, first aid items, bicycle parts, and personal hygiene should be easy. With this in mind I drastically reduced the quantity and different types of consumables: 37.8 pounds.
My friend Tom and I arrived in the USA on June 13th, ready to start the biggest cycle of our lives. It didn't start smoothly. We have completed 361 miles to date after 7 days of cycling, this is pretty much bang on schedule which is a good position to be in for the Trans-America cycling tour.
The Trans-America trail cycle across America.
A new film called 'Behind the Water' is an engaging story of the men and women searching to find clean water. The film takes viewers on a wild ride through some of the world’s most rural and restricted areas, many captured on film for the first time.
North Carolinian Master Beekeeper, Tia Douglass, offers an introduction to chemical-free, natural beekeeping, bees and approach to raising pollinators.
America needs one million new farmers. Veterans want the job.
It’s that time of year when the flying, buzzing, blood-sucking insects are at their peak annoyance, and, if you want to comfortably enjoy the great outdoors, you’ll need to apply some sort of bug repellent to your body. Try this non-toxic, herbal remedy that Stephanie Tourles has for you!
We are trialing 135 varieties of cucumber, winter squash and muskmelon - with a focus on Downy Mildew resistance and fruit quality. An introduction to our trials and to the importance of variety trials in general.
Last December, the Quimby family paid $1,100 to heat and power their Winthrop, Maine, farmhouse for the month. Something had to be done. Jeld Wen, manufacturer of energy efficient doors and windows, came to the rescue.
Although livestock guard dogs are the oldest and most traditional livestock guardians, Jan Dohner gives us a look at the other two livestock guardians – llamas and donkeys.
In Part One of this post, Jan Dohner explained how the different livestock guard dog breeds were developed and introduces us to their differences in style of work, temperament and other behaviors. In parts two and three, we take a brief look at some of the more common LGD breeds available in North America.
This fall's Fuel for the Body T.O.U.R. ("Total Organic Understanding Ride") will educate the public on the benefits of living a green lifestyle that includes eating organic food and supporting local, organic farmers.
Take a seat on this comfy sofa you made yourself using recycled car seats.
Springtime in Urbania can be fraught with temptations at the stores. I have managed to navigate these temptations, sometimes just by 'smelling the clover hay'! Now that the veggies are in, all we have to do is wait for the summer vegetable frittata!
On Saturday, the G-20 will likely discuss trade policy that affects American farmers.
Mary Quinn Doyle shares a background about how she became involved in a volunteer project traveling around Maine for over two years visiting over 180 unique farms to take photos and write stories about them for an educational book and website.
Anticipation of warm weather, bees, flowers, and HONEY!
Planet Connect's Get Green Video Contest wants you to show how you can Green Your City with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Recent studies and stories from around the world indicate that bicycle travel of all kinds has increased in popularity. The Adventure Cycling Association lists nine new indicators that bike travel and tourism are booming.
Following a disastrous investigation into the Energy Star program’s certification process, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency are making major changes, including scrapping automated approval and requiring stricter lab results.
Odyssey Day embarked from Washington D.C. a few weeks ago as a nationwide effort to encourage and promote the use of petroleum-free fuel. The day is sponsored by the Department of Energy's Clean Cities, which has helped reduce petroleum use by almost more than 2 billion gallons so far.
You know when a dreaded cold is coming on: Your throat and voice feel a bit scratchy, your nose begins to run, your eyes resemble those of a frog, your energy dips, you get the chills, and, in general, you feel like a blob. Compound these symptoms with muscle aches, joint stiffness, occasional nausea and fever, and you’ve got the flu.
The Coturnix Quail egg is very nutritious, has been in many civilizations as the treatment for many ailments, now it is back in our era as the only dietetic egg due to its amazing components.
Find all of the mulch you need for free in your own back yard.
Saying ‘Yes’ to a cross country bicycling trip
was easy. After I fully realized what my
mouth had done, my brain had second thoughts.
Here are things to consider when choosing your cat or dog food.
Read dozens of reports of reader's homesteading adventures.
How to build a greenhouse of used sliding-glass patio doors that is warmer and less expensive than plastic, and keeps out burrowing animals.
This rustic, resourcefully sustainable dog fence fits right into the landscape. Before you install a fence, look around your place first to see what's already available.
Dogs can perform a variety of useful tasks on farms and rural properties, but can cause problems if they stray.
Great Pyrenees have a reputation as great livestock guardian dogs, but they also protect poultry. Read what two owners of Great Pyrenees have to say about the dogs’ innate ability to protect poultry and other livestock.
In this blog we explore making your own ricotta and kefir, with recipes!
At breeding time, things aren't always what they seem. Sometimes things can really go awry!
Ben Davis, of Ben Does Life, has a truly inspirng weight loss story, but it's how message about how to be happy that is most motivational.
John D. Ivanko discovered that those in the hospitality business on Mackinac Island showcase the best of the past, blending it perfectly with modern sensibilities and, by default of it being an island, an ecological awareness to protect and preserve exactly what the millions of visitors come to see and experience every year.
Short overnight trips are a great way to introduce your family to bicycle travel.
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!
Check out this magical photograph of an energy-efficient dome home and the surprise above.
Shorter length and smaller kid friendly hand loop makes it easier for children to handle their four-legged friends
Calculating your fuel economy is easy and can help you save big bucks at the pump.
Tour will highlight food and farming systems in Italy’s northern piedmont region.
Guard donkeys and a good pen for nighttime can be vital to protecting new lambs and kids, especially with coyotes on the prowl. Find out how all it takes is one small mistake to produce fatal consequences on the farm.
Today, resourceful homeowners are creating more space without moving walls. One innovative solution uses heavy-duty sliding door hardware to show how a vacation home benefits from more efficient floor space.
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
Quail meat is making its comeback as there has been more of a demand due to the composition of the meat and exotic taste. Restaurants and grocery stores are supplying more quail meat to feed their consumers. There is a lack of producers, therefore education and encouragement is needed to increase the popularity further and meet the demands.
What needs doin' in the beeyard?
Jump start your tomato harvest two months before everyone else with these simple instructions!
For more than 40 years, The Farm Community in Tennessee has been on the forefront of farming, gardening and the green lifestyle.
You can grow a year's supply of beans in a surprisingly small amount of space.
Researchers from the University of Michigan have developed a way to “pressure cook” algae to produce biocrude. The process shows promise in the development of green fuels.
This divine herb has a multitude of properties – it’s a potent skin-cell regenerative, mucolytic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, circulatory stimulant, vulnerary, antioxidant, antifungal, analgesic and deodorizing agent. I use both the essential oil and the infused oil in formulas to relieve sinus and respiratory congestion, muscle tension and soreness, and headaches; to soften and fade scar tissue; to stimulate memory, creativity, confidence and mental energy; and to stimulate circulation to encourage hair growth.
One of the favorite events among attendees to the Puyallup MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR was investigative author Doug Fine’s Hemp Bound talk. Here are his thoughts on why hemp matters so much, a belief that was translated into a passionate and funny workshop.
Get a materials list and step-by-step insructions for low tunnel construction for your backyard garden.
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.
"Life", a Discovery Channel nature documentary series on unique animal behaviors, will air on Animal Planet beginning June 6.
Are you one who can't get things done on time or follow up on promises? If so, you are probably an excuse maker. To get off the hook, you'll come up with a thousand reasons why you didn't get your work done. Read this blog and put an end to excuses.
Many of us hold convictions about others and the world around us that are so wrong that they seriously misguide us, even rob us of happiness and contentment. Don't believe everything you think. Question your beliefs and discover the truth.
Adult dogs need a little help to compete with pups in the adoption game. A spa date with a groomer or in your own back yard can give that older shelter dog more than a shiny coat. It can open the door to a new life.
We may find it overwhelming to know where to begin in teaching others to eat healthily. People attempting to eat healthier find it difficult to know where to begin. "The Dirty Dozen" fruits and vegetables gives us all a place to start.
Alternative transportation magazine, A To B, is chock-full of innovative bicycle tecnology reviews and test drives for everything from folding bikes to E-motorcycles and all the accessories in between.
Green & Black’s, an organic chocolate company, takes a two week trip to the Dominican Republic to dig an 11.5 km trench. The trench will supply water to their cocoa farmers, helping product the cocoa which makes Green & Black’s chocolate bars.
A historic ice house on the LeDuc-Simmons Estate and a local ice harvest at Lake Rebecca demonstrate how ice and other perishables were kept cold in the hot summer months during the 19th century.
Our third child arrived the night of July 30, 2012. After many weeks of waiting and 12 hours of labor that stalled, we welcomed our daughter Nathalia Christine earthside. This is Part One of our birth story.
Make your barn doors glide with skateboard wheels and other easy to find materials in this DIY project to create sliding barn doors.
This recipe is a great introduction to all the joys and possibilities the world of home made pizza represents.
Here are some ways to make real pizzeria style pizza, complete with homemade crust, a choice of toppings and cheese, and two ways to make your crust. Plus, when you want to go all out for a pizza oven, a Big Green Egg might be your answer.
The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, expected to pass this summer, offers rebates for windows, doors, skylights, window films and storm windows and doors.
Global Greens Farm in West Des Moines, Iowa, helps refugees transition from growing food for their families to operating small businesses that sell produce at farmers markets, local grocery stores and to area restaurants.
Horns or no horns, that is the question! Why should you disbud your goats, or is it okay to leave the horns on? This post discusses both options with a link to a great article about horns and their beauty.
Why pre-1960 race cars were more efficient than post-1960 race cars, and thus a better example for high efficiency highway cars.
If using a livestock guard dog is not the right decision for you or your farm, Jan Dohner takes an honest look at another option – the guard llama.
Natural escapes to ecological preserves minutes away by bike in Hollywood, Florida. A vast sawgrass and gator-inhabited wilderness, including the Everglades National Park, found less than an hour’s drive from the Miami skyline. What surprised my family and me the most on our recent ecotourism adventure in the Miami or Fort Lauderdale areas were their accessibility – and beauty.
Michael Morley is making progress on the SIPs home he's building in Lawrence, Kan. The roof is in place and the shell is essentially done.
Michael Morley has an exciting update on the house he's building in Lawrence, Kan. The dome is starting to go up!
A scientists who has studied plant pathogens for more than 50 years warns that Roundup Ready crops could cause "a general collapse of our critical agricultural infrastructure."
Recently my passion for pickles was reignited, burning green, burning bright, and leading me to think constantly about food, even as I'm thinking about bike touring. Pickles led to bread, stew, then fudge (the kind my grandma used to make)...
Going camping, hiking, or canoeing this summer? HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares a big-batch granola recipe that will feed your entire group—or one hungry teen.
I've been living in my tipi for almost a month now. Last night, under a chorus of screech owl trills and whinnies, I spent a little time reflecting on some things I've learned about this curious way of living. Enjoy.
One of the secrets of healthy dogs is to feed them healthy food, and raw meat is their natural diet.
Make a homemade kaleidoscope that rivals the most expensive models with a PVC pipe and a reflector made from mirrors and wood. Point it at anything or use the special reflector tray to make unique kaleidoscopic designs.
Drying food is a good way to eat local produce all year, and if you make this solar food dehydrator for yourself, you’ll be well on your way to delicious meals during colder months.
Many snakes are actually helpful around the homestead because they hunt rats, mice and other small rodents. But if you have a snake problem, a terrier can help keep them under control.
How our electronics save us space and provide even more room in a small home.
Our selection of a house, downsizing and getting the home built.
How we had to adjust to a smaller home, the isolation and quiet.
Healthy home advocates are concerned that wireless power and gas meters, which are being installed in homes across the country, could release dangerous radiation.
Read about new legislation that would stop the government from funding the fossil fuel industry. Then, sign your name to the petition and make a difference.
Wondering where to vote or what's going to be on the ballot? Find answers to these and many other election questions (plus, a game!) with these resources.
For three days before the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, held at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort, John D. Ivanko and his family rafted, biked, toured some of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes, and savored farm-to-table cuisine that blew us away at The Historic Stone House.
Use programmable watering timers in your garden to help you maintain a regular schedule, keeping your plants well hydrated with less work.
South Dakota and Alaska electric cooperatives received the award for 2012 Wind Cooperatives of the Year.
In light of the environmental, economic and other damage caused by the Gulf oil spill, has your opinion about increased domestic drilling changed? Yes or no, we want to hear your thoughts on the topic.
Fresh pesto is great in the summer, but it's even better in the middle of winter!
We no longer have to make what we need to get by day by day, but for many the desire lingers—and even surges as a strong cultural movement from time to time. Making and growing things yourself is a gentle rebellion against a mass-produced world.
Addition to our family and our homestead. Echo a GSD with a new chance at life in his furever home.
"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.
Despite killed well, production continues on The Frontier, an independent feature documentary that celebrates coastal Louisiana.
A new episode in the PBS series Journey to Planet Earth, hosted by Matt Damon, will feature Mother Earth News contributing editor and visionary Lester Brown’s “Plan B” on how we can save civilization in the face of global climate change.
Beehive happenings since my last blog post.
After months of waiting, worrying and hoping, the clouds finally arrived here at Yellabird Farm last week and brought us the long-sought gift of good rain. It was a great two days of slow and soaking moisture that the cracked soil guzzled up...
From switching out light bulbs to bundling up your water heater, environmental journalist, Simran Sethi, shares some simple and stress-free tips on how to save energy in your home.
All of us farmers,large and small, are a big part of the engine that drives the economy
of rural communities, rural counties and rural states.This year, we are learning a lot about what happens when that engine sputters.
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.
Stephanie Tourles, author and Seven Springs, Pa., FAIR Speaker, shares how to make a delicious, ice-cold watermelon cooler. Refresh after a day in the heat with this super easy and nutritious drink.
Building a pantry is a great way to store your groceries and home produce.
Tell us about your all-time favorite fix-it tool.
A beginning farmer learns that keeping does and keeping bucks are two different things.
The DOE and NREL released a study outlining ways to build grocery stories and medium-sized businesses that need 50 percent less energy.
In partnership with the Department of Energy, Chevrolet offers free home charging stations to 4,400 owners of its newest electric car, the Volt.
This picture will bring a smile to your face and make you think of your own family pet.
With a well-designed dog pack, you can take your dog to the farmer's market and your pet won't mind helping you carry a few groceries.
Manure-spreading day is a big event on the farm, for everyone from the chickens to the border collies. And it's part of a wonderful seasonal cycle that's the foundation of self-reliance and sustainability.
Teaching a farm dog — a livestock guard dog — which animals to protect and which animals not to isn't an easy task. Learn about the protector/protectee animal relationships at Rancho Cappuccino, and about how the Rancho guard animals are taught to protect their charges.
Selecting a good potential guardian llama, bringing him home, and introducing him to your stock.
To counteract life's stresses and strains, to slow down the pace of life, stop and smell the roses...or any flower. In the absence of flowers, you'll find another way to bring a smile to your face, the songs of birds.
This recipe gives cooks another use for a common pizza dough recipe.
Here's your opportunity to win a dough whisk from King Arthur Flour. This odd-looking contraption does a fantastic job of mixing together all kinds of dough.
Every once in a while we need to rebel against the machines. Hand a towel to your significant other and ask him to dry while you rinse. Sweep the floor with a real broomcorn broom. Have a real conversation. Enjoy things happening slowly.
Three nuclear reactors in Japan have been destroyed by a 9.0 earthquake. Radiation levels are on the rise. The world watches helplessly, wondering if escaping radiation will eventually find its way to them. Are we not witnessing in Japan the dark side of nuclear energy? It is not that hard to see this happening in United States, is it?
Our winner of the KAF dough whisk is Dea Keen, and here is her pizza dough recipe.
While the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Mountain Resort may have been John D. Ivanko's family’s primary destination (as speakers about renewable energy, sustainable living and farmstead cooking), it definitely wasn’t their only reason for eco-touring the region known as the Laurel Highlands.
Cycle Greater Yellowstone, an annual event tour launched in 2013, benefits the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
Today as I was researching Habitat for Humanity, I learned how far its helping hand reaches. Even more interesting to me, though, was that Habitat continues to build in such war-torn counties as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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!
Trying to interpret and understand scientific reports and their failure to come to a consensus.
Adult males and post-menopausal women are quite likely to suffer from health problems caused by excessively high levels of iron in the blood. Donating blood is the safest and most useful way to deal with this potential problem.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares her New Year's resolution for 2014: buying food directly from farmers.
A beginning farmer loses a friend and finds that solitary farming isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Stony Knolls Farm has a new dog and getting him here was a wonderful, and amazing journey that is well worth sharing! Rescue dogs are so grateful for their new homes.
YMT has set aside every January to include sightseeing of particular interest to farmers and ranchers on their most popular Hawaiian vacation.
National Solar Tour couldn't have more perfect timing.
Known for their popular bike touring website, Pathlesspedaled.com, this spring Russ Roca and Laura Crawford are embarking on their next big bike touring adventure, aided by Amtrak, but otherwise astride two Brompton folding bicycles.
Watch this short video to hear how bicycle travel can save small town America.
A couple of weeks ago, the Adventure Cycling blog called attention to the Roanoke Mountain Campground's threatened closure via the Blue Ridge Parkway's Draft Management Plan (DMP).
Inspiring video by two female bicycle travelers crossing borders, making friends, and documenting the human effort to keep the natural world connected despite our nation state boundaries.
Empty nesters Ed and Joan Kobrinski downsized their lifestyle and moved to a smaller home where they could grow more vegetables. "We've learned to enjoy and appreciate living comfortably and contentedly with less," Ed says.
Sue McKay Miller divested herself of nearly everything she owned and moved into a yurt in the wilderness to determine how much she really needs to live a satisfying life. Turns out, she really doesn't need much.
Prepping for major emergencies - earthquakes, floods, tornadoes - is important, but so is emergency planning for less dramatic events. Find out what you can do to reduce the potential for stress.
I love my two-story log cabin, which combines recycled and an array of green building materials.
You can be harvesting from your garden all year long, including through the winter months! It's time to plant the fall garden.
Who the heck is Paul Goodman? The car-free visionary who inspired a new documentary and bicycle contest.
This initial blog post tells the story of how Phillip Vannini became interested in off-grid living and how he began — together with Jonathan Taggart — to do research on the off-grid lifestyle in Canada.
Try these easy and unique homemade gifts--from your kitchen and from nature--for your loved ones this year.
Learn how to make a pinwheel for a fun, outdoors toy.
Build your own wood-fired earth oven for baking fluffier, more flavorful bread and other baked delights.
Done with flimsy, store-bought tomato cages that fall over when the wind blows? Build long-lasting, heavy-duty tomato cages to fit your garden with one of our four plans.
Handmade candies are always better than store-bought. If you're a fan of the peanut butter-and-chocolate combination, mix up these delicious little truffles.
Second in a series of blog posts about how to convert a lawn mower or other gasoline small engine to run on propane.
Homesteading with dogs in remote mountain living. Considerations in providing a good safe homestead environment for your cherished pets.
Coping with SARDS (sudden acquired retinal degeneration) in dogs and practical ways to help a blind dog.
Beware of what you use in your garden! Cocoa bean mulch may cause serious gastrointestinal problems for dogs, if eaten in large amounts.
Feel protected in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week! Plus, learn more about guard dogs and Great Pyrenees dogs.
Taking time to just have fun and enjoy life in the face of serious living.
Watch Dogs That Changed the World on PBS this Sunday to learn more about where or what your beloved pet came from.
As tick and flea season approaches, Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence won’t be dousing her dog, Rug, in flea medicine or attaching a flea collar because she knows that these can be harmful—both for Rug and for her. Flea collars often contain tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) or propoxur, which can jeopardize Rug’s immune system and leave damaging lifelong effects.
No homestead is complete without our canine companions.
For those of us who hate to use chemicals in our gardens, in our homes, or with our livestock and pets, diatomaceous earth may be a safe and efficient substitute. It may worm your animals, rid them of fleas and lice and even handle indoor pests.
In this blog, I highlight the earliest decisions I had to make to create a net zero energy home: how I was going to build the foundation and walls. Thermal bridging, air tightness, insulation, cost, and greeness are all key deciders.
This article describes an alternative roof design for those building in areas without building codes. A little extra effort working with poles will reward you with a stunningly beautiful wood ceiling and superinsulated roof at very reasonable cost.
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
Rewarding volunteer efforts involving German Shepherd Rescue.
The babies have arrived, now is the time to take care of all of the other parts of caring for the newborns!
The kids have finally arrived, and we have plenty of photos of them!
As soon as my wife, son and I stepped off the Shepler’s Ferry, one of only three ferry services to Mackinac Island, our connection to motorized transport ceased to exist. Since 1898, cars and nearly every other form of motorized, gas-guzzling transportation are illegal on this Michigan island.
The owners of Finca Exotica on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula utilize their lush garden for everything--including a natural antidepressent.
Michael Morley is posting regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). Here he talks about HVAC work and installing windows.
Otterbine Barebo Inc. expands their Air Flo 2 diffused air system product line by releasing 2-dome and 1-dome diffuser manifold options to the original 4-dome option.
With the summer fast approaching, it’s time to make those last minute vacation plans! Plan your trip using SustainableTrip.org to find tourism businesses that conservce the environment and support local communities!
Live in a dome home in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
HOMEGROWN blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel outlines strategies for responsible drought gardening in her home state of California--or anywhere.
This week of my Polyface Farm summer internship included a forestry lesson from Joel Salatin, installing my first fence, and the introduction of Polyface’s new guardian dog puppy, Cody!
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
Ride the Future Tour, a 43-day cross-country trip in electric vehicles, will start July 4 in South Carolina. Event organizers hope to build awareness for green transportation and break a few records along the way.
Kansas City has a thriving city farming scene, and recently hosted an urban farms tour to showcase several of the city’s market and community gardens. One of our editors pedaled along with a bike tour group to see what the city farmers have to offer.
Cycle Oregon in support of tree research and education.
The Front Yard Coop Supplies Innovative and Elegant Chicken Coops to Meet Rapidly Growing Interest in Raising Hens.
Steve Maxwell spotlights the three myths that prevent people from realizing the full value of the self reliant lifestyle, and how to dispel them
Chris Lubkemann of Fox Chapel Publishing will present a workshop on whittling at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Mike Orr of Fox Chapel Publishing will present a workshop on homemade instruments at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Learn how to make soap with Robin Bedford of Possum Hollow Farm Soap.
Kiko Denzer of Hand Print Press will present a workshop and demonstration on modern homesteading, do-it-yourself building with mud at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
With resources from Mother Nature, you can make natural and beautiful homegrown holiday gifts.
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!
Life on a family farm is never dull and full of surprises to keep a farmer on their toes.
Tips on how to dispose of pet waste properly for National Dog Day!
Keep your pet safe by learning the dangers posed by certain flea- and tick-control products.
HealthyCoat offers high quality and a highly digestible source of Omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids, Vitamin E and Lecithin, fortified with Niacin, Biotin and Vitamin B12.
The benefits of adopting a pet. And the sadness that occurs when they die.
After the kidding is over, we take good care of our girls! And, the babies need to be bottle fed, so here are the instructions on how we feed our kids.
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.
Rancho Margo in Costa Rica's Arenal district is a self-sufficient farm and intentional community that sends guests home with a new sense of what's possible in sustainable living.
Follow these simple guidelines to make the most of your small space: contain clutter, find furnishings do double-duty, and make maximum use of color and light.
Cam has found a new use for old rice bags - turn them into man purses!
Our 4 eggs a day suddenly became just one egg a day and so we had a mystery to solve!
We've added a rooster to our small flock and he's fitting in just fine!
A chicken describes a typical day of treats at Sunflower Farm.
After 35 years together, Cam can still make Michelle laugh. He just has to try a little harder...
Cam loves his four-wheel drive truck ... despite being an environmentalist!
Cam has an exciting evening when his neighbor drops off another expectant cow.
At this time of year, Cam feels a little overwhelmed by the gardening chores ahead of him.
Michelle discovers a new threat to her basil plants!
In support of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above energy strategy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Nov. 19, 2012, 10 small business-led projects to speed solar energy innovation from the lab to the marketplace.
Follow along as we journey to Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, where sustainable development, organic agriculture and ecotourism are thriving.
After the snow leaves to do list for us.
First in a series of blog posts which will cover conversion of lawnmowers and small engines from gasoline to propane.
Soapmaker Anne-Marie Faiola will present a workshop on soapmaking and Dr. Andrew Iverson will presenet a workshop on natural health at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
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
Don't throw away the Peeps left at the bottom of your Easter basket. They're the building blocks of many good projects.
Use old maps to wallpaper a room, shade a window, create a scrapbook, and other useful household crafts.
Boy! Did I learn my lesson when I left our young pullets out back with our trusted dogs. I'll never do that again.
How and why we chose to have a livestock guardian dog and what they are like.
Take a tour of the mills and mountains of the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas, home to some of the finest remaining historic gristmills that still exist in the U.S.A. Based on the popular Historic Ozarks Mills book created by award-winning photographer Mike McArthy. Hydropower's energy-producing capacity is getting well-deserved attention these days, and these old mills provide inspiration.
The Obama Administration releases its plans for new renewable energy sources. Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, explains that the new solar energy zones span six states and keep both domestic energy and environmental preservation in mind. If completed, the power generated from these solar energy zones would provide electricity to roughly seven-million homes.
Earth Days, a poignant, 2009 Sundance Film Fesitval success, will premier on Facebook April 11, and on the PBS Network April 19.
Cam thinks his chickens resemble Captain Jack Sparrow. Has he been spending too much time in the sun?
Cam describes his weight loss program which involves lots and lots of gardening....
Michelle knows how much work it is to grow strawberries.... and she's happy to be able to buy them at any price!
Cam shares six important lessons that he has learned from his chickens.
Cam enjoys a sense of accomplishment many times a day as he uses his sidewalk!
Cam describes a mosquito infestation INSIDE his house.
Cam considers the care and upkeep of an outdoor skating rink as an art form.
Cam is enjoying a bumper crop of onions this year!
Cam describes how an act of kindness many years ago has inspired him to help others.
Cam and Michelle enjoy having their first "HelpX" volunteers to help out in the gardens!
It's been quite a fall for mushrooms around here...
Sometimes the wildlife can get kind of wild around here....
Lemony sorrel is the base for a classic Eastern European soup that's equally good served hot or cold. It's fast, easy and tastes of spring and early summer.
Cam discovers he isn't as young as he once was while enjoying a sense of community at the local arena.
Cam gives an update on his new chickens!
Cam welcomed a group of high school students to his home/office recently.
Cam is exhausted but exhilarated by the early success of his CSA.
Cam has a feeling that this concept of "cloud computing" is all going to end in tears....
Cam shares his love affair with garlic and explains the work involved with growing and processing organically-grown garlic.
Cam appreciates his local volunteer fire department.
Cam ponders the wisdom of starting a CSA at the ripe old age of 52.
Cam considers the effect of Peak Oil on our wandering ways....
Cam promotes the return to our independent roots.
Cam describes the zen-like state he achieves while splitting firewood.
Every fall Cam is tired of gardening and vows to make his vegetable garden smaller. Every spring he is excited about getting back in the garden and ends up making it bigger!
Cam enjoyed another week with some volunteer helpers!
Cam found a way to expand his chicken coop without spending a lot!
Cam learns to appreciate country music.
Cam is getting worn out trying to keep up with watering during a drought.
Cam considers how peak oil will impact our love of travel.
Cam babysits a baby goat for the weekend.
Cam grows a patch of wheat to see how much work is involved. He will never take a loaf of bread for granted again!
Cam is appalled by how much stuff he has accumulated and how much stuff other people have too.
Cam has a great deal of respect for farmers.
It's Week #11 of our CSA and we can't find boxes big enough to fit all of the great produce!!
Learn how to clean cast-iron cookware that’s old and crusty, and get some tips on seasoning cast-iron cookware to revive it even further.
Life really is good when you live on a dirt road.
Watermelon rind is this frugal pie's summery secret ingredient. Think of it as summer mincemeat.
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
Readers responded eagerly to our call for recipes to use up green tomatoes. An Ohio woman wowed the judges with her entry.
With its recent FDA approval, the first LiLi pasteurizer was purchased for use at a New York micro dairy.
Cam shares some of the things he is grateful for....
Just so you don't think it's all fun and games living out here in the country....
As we approach the celebration of Thanksgiving here in Canada, Cam reflects on what he is thankful for.
Cam enjoys a magical walk through a winter wonderland while cutting and hauling firewood.
Cam has been an Apple Mac fan since the beginning.
This summer Cam became a market gardener and actually got paid for something he loves to do - grow vegetables!
Cam has a recurring nightmare in which the land across the road is being developed and his peace and quiet and isolation is threatened.
Cam's wife Michelle considers the economics of keeping egg laying chickens.
Cam finds an new old-fashioned way to keep the wildlife out of his garden.
Cam is not a big fan of "ebooks."
Wind turbines kills birds, but not as many as are killed by tall buildings and other hazards.
Cam shares the results of his experiment growing wheat in his vegetable garden.
Our HelpXers Mike and Melissa share their experiences as volunteers here at Sunflower Farm.
Garlic is a very labour-intensive crop to grow but the rewards are worth it!
Cam battles with the flying squirrels who want to inhabit his guesthouse using some unique weapons.
What's the most efficient way to boil water?
Cam loves growing his own heat!
Cam describes how our solar electric system has evolved over time.
Cam can't think of anywhere he'd rather be than on his own private skating rink.
Cam contemplates the meaning of life while picking strawberries.
Technology allows us to live where we live, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with!
Cam shares the "joys" of a living in a house with a metal roof.
Cam appreciates all four of our seasons!
A cow is born at Sunflower Farm!
Cam believes in the Boy Scout's "Be Prepared" motto when it comes to all aspects of his life....
Cam celebrates his daughter's engagement but considers the impact of flying across the world for the wedding.
Cam is frustrated by new technology that just doesn't work - and prefers old-fashioned DVDs to watching movies online.
Cam makes himself laugh sometimes....
Cam discovers that his chickens have unique personalities....
The second post (of three) describing an organic gardener's attempt to grow his own wheat.
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.
Cam responds to a negative comment about a previous blog.
Cam is hoping that the Queen attends his gardening workshop this weekend at the Royal Botanical Gardens....
Cam describes some family heirlooms - especially his favorite one - a shovel!
You might be surprised to read Cam extolling the virtues of television!
Cam always wanted to be the kind of guy who could swap out a motor and now he is!
Cam describes a recent adventure involving round bales, train tracks and a stressful drive home.
Cam was generously offered the loan of a small backhoe and had a whale of a time getting jobs done!
It's an aromatic time of year at Sunflower Farm - time to clean the garlic!
Cam sees the bright side of having to deal with a flat tire.
Cam has been doing some radio and podcast interviews lately with some interesting hosts.
Cam is glad to find out that he has been successful at encouraging people to embrace renewable energy.
The second of the 3Rs is re use. Cam has been a re-user for a long time!
Cam loves sharing his homesteading skills in Hands-On Workshops at his off-grid home.
The drought conditions at Sunflower Farm are making Cam rather cranky.
Cam describes the building of his chicken coop.
Sometimes being off grid doesn't necessarily mean that you're green.
Providing the firewood to heat his home has become a pleasurable hobby for Cam Mather.
Cam undertakes an experiment to see how much food he can produce on his one acre of garden space.
Cam has a (temporary) job outside of the house and he has gained a new appreciation for being self-employed.
Ranting about the drought worked! We got rain here at Sunflower Farm!
Michelle and Cam continue to debate whether a real tree or a fake tree is the better choice from an environmental perspective.....
The challenges of dropping out - going off the grid - and living your authentic life.
Cam describes a natural disaster on a small scale near his home.
Cam enjoyed a recent workshop he held at Sunflower Farm, and the participants seemed to enjoy it too!
Cam compares the population density of his home to some of the most densely populated countries in the world....
One of the realities of country life is having to get your septic tank pumped every few years.
Cam has a "reality check" moment and realizes how lucky he is!
Cam has been busy harvesting and sorting potatoes.
Cam & Michelle recently enjoyed a visit from an ethnographer who is studying off-gridders.
We call our homestead Sunflower Farm and now we have the sign to show for it!
Cam considers the environmental implications of using paper diapers vs. cloth diapers.
Cam hates shopping but occasionally he is forced to venture out....
Cam is reminded to be grateful for what he has.
Being in control of your own home heating.
Cam hates to see good scrap wood go to waste and so he cuts it into kindling and has even started selling it!
Cam often finds himself relating to song lyrics.
Cam thinks people worry about the small things (bugs), when they should be more concerned about the big things (climate change).
Cam speaks to a group of university students about "sustainable" development...
Cam has always enjoyed playing with water. Now he lets his solar-powered pump do some of the work!
Cam learns a lot by spending time with people who "get it."
Cam notices how many chicken-related expressions we use in our every day language!
Cam describes how the seasons progress through one messy task after another at Sunflower Farm.
Cam has been playing with and skating on thick ice lately.
Cam considers one of the causes of high gas prices....
Cam can't help but get involved and speak up when he disagrees with things. Sometimes it works!
Cam rationalizes his hoarding behaviour....
Cam dressed up as a bunch of blueberries for our local parade, and spoke to a group of university students about peak oil. Never a dull moment....
In our ever-growing quest to produce our own food we've acquired two egg-laying chickens!
Cam considers the environmental implications of different forms of transportation and urges people to stop flying!
Cam considers how Peak Oil will affect our lives....
It's always wonderful to meet someone who is passionate about what they do!
Cam enjoys a visit with Ken & Madeline who farmed this property many years ago and Cam realizes how hard farming was back then....
Cam and Michelle enjoy a visit to their neighbour's "sugar shack" during maple syrup season!
Cam shares his enthusiasm for the sun and the wind at his off-grid home.
Cam loves living in a place where he can enjoy the night skies.... even if he doesn't completely understand what he's looking at some of the time!
Cam loves growing and selling food!
Cam discusses the decision to go off-grid or on-grid and shares his experience with batteries and the dangers of high winds to solar panels.
There's more reason than ever to be prepared for natural disasters, no matter where you live!
Looking after your chickens in the winter and cutting with a solar-powered electric chainsaw.
Cam battles with scarabs in his raspberry patch.
Cam shares what he has learned about corn smut in his organic garden.
Cam is getting burned out on technology and considers growing food to earn a living.
Cam blames horror movies for his overactive imagination.
Cam finds getting around in the country, especially in the winter, so much easier with his 4X4 truck.
When you only drink one cup of coffee a day, the mug you use is pretty important.
Cam appreciates the simple things like rotten hay and beautiful vegetables from his garden.
Cam describes the joy and elation he feels when he skates on his very own pond.
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.
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.
Canadian homesteader Cam Mather sinks into the village life and discovers the joys of small-town living.
The basics of using a woodstove to heat your home.
Cam looks back at the challenges of moving to his off-grid home.
Our chickens aren't fond of the snow and the wind, but we found a way to let them enjoy the sunshine from the comfort of their coop!
The best way to start a fire in your woodstove.
Cam describes why he was anxious to leave the city for a life in the country.
Cam is back riding his solar-powered electric bike and he loves it!
Cam describes a typical summer day at Sunflower Farm using tweets.
Cam describes the benefits of writing this blog and his recent book.
Cam describes the method he used when planting his sweet potatoes this year with hopes that he'll end up with a prettier finished product!
Cam describes some recent speaking engagements including the thrill of being "piped in."
Cam wonders why more people don't prepare for blackouts.
Cam prefers the view from his office in his country home.
Cam enjoyed a very successful sweet potato harvest!
A typical winter morning chore - cleaning off the solar panels.
Cam recently spoke to a Transition group about the challenges ahead and how to prepare for them.
Cam leaves his lights on during Earth Hour since he generates his own electricity with solar and wind!
Four new hens joined the flock at Sunflower Farm and it has taken some time to re-establish the pecking order.
Even after 15 years, Cam still loves heating his home with wood that he cuts himself.
Use care when cooking red kidney beans in the crockpot. The beans contain a toxin that can be activated if the beans are raw or undercooked.
When it's -30 degrees outside you can make your own snow!
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
Cam is getting burned out on technology and seeks solace in his "low tech" garden.
The difference between power and energy and how it relates to toast!
Easy-sew step-by-step instructions (with photos) to repurpose feed bags into handy totes.
Cam describes his ongoing inner dialogue concerning his carbon footprint.
Cam is handling this heatwave much better thanks to his solar-powered air conditioner!
Mother Nature has a way of filling in the blank spots....
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
Cam talks about getting mistaken for a garden centre employee and also the time that his house appeared to get sold out from under him!
Some of Cam's best inspirations come to him in his sleep!
Cam thinks its important that we all have a Plan B, no matter where we live.
Quirky behaviors involving shaving, moisturizing, socks and water conservation!
Cam readily admits to being obsessed about his use of energy.
Cam contemplates his place in the universe while weeding his corn patch....
Cam admits to admiring Oprah and watching her show from time to time.
Cam shares his experiences getting lost in the woods.
Cam describes why his method of harvesting firewood from his woodlot is the most sustainable way.
Homesteader Cam Mather describes integrating new backyard chickens into his existing flock and the wonderful life his "ladies" lead.
Black bears and rural living go hand in hand in many parts of North America. So how do you keep bear/human conflicts to a minimum?
If you've been considering an electric pressure cooker, consider the Instant Pot. It’s well-made, durable and has many functions.
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?
During World War I, the federal government ordered people to keep a backyard flock of chickens. What happened? Why is it so hard today?
Michigan invasive species order takes aim at heritage and Old World hogs.
Cam is amazed at the level of awareness concerning Peak Oil amongst today's youth.
Cam contemplates the amount of energy that goes into our food production and shows how he prepared corn for freezing the zero carbon way!
An introduction to Cam Mather's off-grid home and lifestyle.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce the release of the "How to Can" app, a free app to help you safely put up summer's bounty in a jar. A new 2014 release includes instructions to safely can several types of meat.
Cam Mather tries out a battery-powered chainsaw at his off-grid homestead in Ontario.