Ed Essex





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4/22/2013
An article about when the best time is to start a new homestead.
10/8/2013
Looking back the past three years and identifying what we have learned from our experiences.
7/10/2013
Instead of throwing out that empty feedbag, get creative and turn it into something new! Homesteader Ed Essex shares ideas for finding new uses for old objects.
8/6/2013
There are a lot of things you can do right now to experience the homestead lifestyle right in your backyard.
9/9/2013
Each year we learn more and more about living off grid and homesteading. These are just a few of the third-year experiences we wanted to share.
12/5/2013
Learning to appreciate seasonal differences.
12/5/2012
The cost to install and operate our solar electrical system.
1/2/2014
Providing your own sewer, water and power can be more expensive and is certainly less convenient but that's not all there is to consider. This article takes a look at some of the other differences between public and private services.
2/22/2013
Sharing our first experience with an indoor/outdoor vertical hydroponic garden.
8/22/2012
A typical day of activity on a modern homestead and off grid.
10/17/2012
Things that occur when switching from summer to winter mode. Fall is almost non existent.
3/13/2013
A short a story about our very first ice fishing and snowmobile ride.
10/24/2014
Expense checklist for anyone wanting to plan a new homestead.
2/13/2013
How we stay busy in the winter even though we live at 4200', three miles off the road, and somewhat isolated.
2/17/2012
A brief description of our experience with a masonry heater.
6/7/2013
Learn about our experience attending a Mother Earth News Fair as an exhibitor.
3/9/2012
A short simple explanation of how to project your electrical needs in order to size your electrical off grid system.
2/10/2012
This post is about our water cisterns and what we use them for. It also contains a caution that many local governments would like to tell you what you can and can't do with rainwater.
7/12/2012
Things to look for in your soil before you break ground on your new home or cabin.
9/25/2013
Real life experiences with chickens spanning a 50 year period.
5/3/2012
The generators we use for living off the grid and a multitude of other tasks.
2/19/2014
Ed and Bruce compare the weather and its impact on their mountain homesteads at different elevations and mountain ranges.
2/28/2014
Two homesteaders from Washington and Colorado comment on their greatest weather fear in the mountains.
2/12/2014
Bruce McElmurray and Ed Essex collaborate on how the weather dictates to their mountain homesteading.
3/17/2014
Ed Essex and Bruce McElmurray compare their weather experiences living at 4,200 feet and 9750 feet elevation respectively.
1/31/2014
Tips to help you get started planning your very own homestead. With proper planning you don't have to be experienced to do it right.
10/3/2012
Some of the downside of free ranging your chickens.
9/19/2012
How we have adapted from salt water fishing to freshwater and what we do with our catch.
7/18/2012
What it is like to live higher up.
12/28/2011
This blog is an introduction to how we went from a condominium lifestyle to off grid modern homesteading in the mountains. It also includes an explanation of the meaning of "off grid".
8/29/2012
A comparison of costs between on grid and off grid utilities for our circumstances.
3/22/2013
Our experiences in learning to pressure can and use reusable canning lids.
1/12/2012
This blog is about all of the choices we have for the type of home we want for off grid living and some of the construction materials involved. It turns out there are a multitude of options we have to choose from.
10/24/2012
Ed and Laurie struggle with making time for visitors while dealing with all of the daily business and homesteading tasks.
3/1/2013
How both we and the chickens have gotten better at surviving the cold winters where we live.
3/2/2012
Two easy steps to reduce your electrical use whether you live off grid or not.
2/3/2012
Things you can do to prevent fire damage to your home from an external source.
8/16/2012
A description and pictures of a tornado force winds in Washington State in 2012.
5/31/2012
A short history of my own horse riding adventures.
3/16/2012
A simple explanation of our solar power generating system and cost.
2/24/2012
A quick look at different ways to be sustainable whether you are off grid or not.
12/19/2012
Fun facts about our first year of blogging for Mother Earth News.
1/9/2013
A brief description of our experiences with solar tubes in our off grid home.
9/5/2012
Success at growing food at the 4200' elevation and some of the challenges.
5/10/2012
Tips on how to keep water away from your home and water damage prevention.
9/12/2012
When we moved into the country, we had no idea that small critters would be such a nuisance.
1/30/2013
A description about something unique - a wood burning masonry kitchen stove.
10/31/2012
Design features we incorporated into our new off grid home.
12/10/2009
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras shares details about The Evergreen Institute's new Renewable Energy Educator Certificate program, designed to prepare teachers to train a new generation of renewable energy professionals to meet the needs of a growing industry.
5/27/2005
I’m more than a little late in posting this week. I’m having a hard time shaking that “no worries, mon” mentality that seeped into my pores (along with a lot of sand and a little sunburn) while I was at the Colorado State University Sustainable Practices in Design and Construction course at Maho Bay in St. John.
5/22/2013
A few thoughts on why so many people are hesitant to make the transition to produce their own power.
3/20/2014
Two homesteaders discuss their experience with the weather applicable to their mountain homesteads in Washington and Colorado.
5/24/2012
After the snow leaves to do list for us.
2/6/2013
How we avoid most clutter but manage to keep good leftover products for future use.
4/27/2012
Tips for snow removal around your house and down the road.
1/16/2013
In this blog we share someone else's story about old fashioned home made ingenuity concerning deep well pumps that operate without electricity.
12/13/2012
A snapshot of winter life living remote and off grid.
4/6/2012
If you want to live independently, it's always good to have backup because no one else is coming to the rescue. This is how we did it.
8/9/2012
This is the hands on portion of how a solar power system operates.
6/27/2012
How to make your OWN insulated window coverings.
11/21/2012
Things we have done to earn an income from home in a down economy.
7/25/2012
How and why we chose to have a livestock guardian dog and what they are like.
4/13/2012
Where we have chosen to draw the line between convenience and sustainability - for now.
5/17/2012
Short stories about our chicken experiences
11/7/2012
Things we did to make our new home more sustainable.
6/11/2012
Our first experience as a vendor or spectator at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, WA
3/23/2012
Options for phone service if you live in a remote location that doesn't have cell service or landlines available to you.
6/20/2012
How to make insulated shades at home.
11/14/2012
Costs associated with providing your own water.
3/30/2012
Our take on the positive and negative points of insulated concrete forms.
8/1/2012
Short description of our solar system and the everyday things we do to operate them.
1/5/2012
These are the first steps we took to make the change from city living to off grid living. It describes the questions you should ask before you buy property and the research required to make sure you can do want you want with your property.
4/20/2012
An article about how we learned to double our growing season and have home grown fresh veggies almost all year long.
8/14/2012
Edamame soybeans are tough,fast-maturing plants that can withstand extreme garden conditions. They have few problems with disease or insect pests. The green pods are delicious and high in protein, and make a good addition to an edible landscape.
7/7/2010
The GeoSpring hybrid water heater from GE continues its impressive run of firsts.
4/20/2010
This is a test short description.
3/30/2010
This is a test of blogger on IE 8 by Jenn.
1/19/2012
This part of the series deals with window size and location, ceiling heights, eave length, and other design and passive design choices you can make for your new home. These choices apply whether you are on or off the grid.
1/27/2012
This is the last of a series in home and energy options available to us. It is a short summary of all of the choices we have when designing a new home on or off grid that will benefit your energy use.
5/16/2014
Twin Oaks Seed Farm’s focus has been producing seeds on contract for a handful of small seed companies. The author discusses involvement in starting a new cooperative retail seed project, Common Wealth Seed Growers.
6/25/2014
Peppers and tomatoes are some of the easier plants to save seed from. This post covers isolation distance and introduces basic seed saving techniques.
7/30/2014
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.
9/26/2010
GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan catches Mike Ard, who has come to the FAIR from Ohio and has recently inherited a 60-acre dairy farm. Mike's main challenge is choosing between the numerous FAIR sessions.
12/26/2013
With more than 40 years of expertise on how to live on less (and love it!), MOTHER EARTH NEWS introduces our Guide to Self-Reliance and Country Skills app. This app, available for both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, contains advice and how-to on organic gardening, raising backyard chickens, canning and preserving your harvests, and how to save money by applying a DIY mentality to your life.
5/29/2014
A relative of the artichoke, burdock is a common and versatile wild vegetable.
5/16/2014
Identifying, harvesting, and cooking the nutritionally complex spring treat, stinging nettle.
6/5/2014
How to identify and use red clover (Trifolium pratense), plus a recipe for red clover blossom soda bread.
7/26/2012
Enter attractive easy to assemble garden structures that attractively stake, prop and gently guide plants while never stealing the spotlight from the beautiful garden starlets they support.
4/25/2012
I’m a handmade gardening gal – part eco-friendly, non-traditionalist; part crafty creative with more ideas than money, and an abiding aversion to off-the-shelf shopping. My garden is my canvas, my vision, and my voice.
7/2/2012
Let’s put water back into the soil where it belongs. Permeable or porous surfaces, like a gravel path or patio, allow rainfall and irrigation to percolate into the ground rather than spill into the street.
9/18/2014
A series on fall mushrooms for foraging.
10/17/2014
Meet the king of the mushroom kingdom, Boletus Edulis, spotlighted in this fall series of mushroom foraging.
7/11/2011
Fusion Bread Salad makes use of the cherry tomatoes and basil that are prime right now--and you don't have to heat up the kitchen to make this hearty, nutritious main dish.
5/25/2011
This 19th-century Creole cottage was disassembled, moved and meticulously reassembled and restored on a new site in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Built for its climate, the welcoming home is an excellent example of passive cooling and material reuse.
6/2/2014
This post outlines the basics of garden planning to save seeds from cucumbers, melons, squash and gourds.
3/14/2011
Wind power grew by 30 percent and solar power grew by 40 percent in 2010, according to a new report.
6/1/2011
Alabama Chanin makes sumptuous fabrics from scraps, Mona Hoffman imagines the people she's crafting each lamp for as she makes it, and potter Shiho Kanzaki believes that attitude is everything. These are a few of my favorite wabi-sabi artists.
10/5/2011
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
6/12/2014
Don't be fooled by false species. Enjoy real morels and fiddlehead ferns. Tips for identification and lessons learned from misidentifications.
6/7/2012
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
8/27/2014
Hawthorn fruits are in season in late summer and early fall. They are delicious, and also heart-healthy — eat your medicine!
7/10/2013
Daylilies are usually appreciated for their showy flowers, but they also provide four different tasty ingredients. Wild food forager Leda Meredith shows you how to use the edible parts of the plant.
10/22/2008
You can sneak a few attractive, low maintenance food plants onto your lawn, and your neighbors will never even notice.
10/27/2014
Are you planning to put in an orchard next spring, or re-design your landscape with more edible plants?
8/22/2011
During tough economic times, local university not only survives, but thrives. Bastyr University announced today it will open a new campus in San Diego, CA, with plans for the first class to begin in Fall 2012.
8/17/2007
An interview with the founder of a small organic gardening business that focuses on education and helping gardeners go organic. Learn more about this company and vote for it to win funding from a small business competition.
12/4/2012
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce we have won a prestigious publishing award for our Guide to Green Cars.
12/22/2011
Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.
8/8/2013
How to identify, harvest and cook with wood sorrel and sheep sorrel, both common weeds that have the same exquisite lemon flavor as cultivated French sorrel.
11/6/2013
What to do with the three edible parts of roses, including the hips (fruit) that are in season fall through winter.
11/25/2013
Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a common garden weed that thrives in the cool temperatures of late fall and early spring. Here's how to identify and use this delicious wild vegetable.
9/4/2013
Tastes like lemonade, has the beautiful blush color of rose wine, and comes from a plant that's almost certainly growing near you - here's how to make and use sumac extract.
5/9/2014
Lamb's quarters, also known as wild spinach, is an abundant wild vegetable. It's a nutritional superstar with a delicious, mild flavor.
2/10/2014
Birch trees are easy to identify in winter thanks to their distinctive bark, and they offer a hot drink, aromatic flour and sweet syrup to cold weather foragers.
10/14/2014
The new apple orchard we're planning for our homestead won't be the classical lawn-layout most people are accustomed to. Our edible landscape will mimic a natural landscape with the goal to reduce interference such as spraying while providing organic fruit, berries and herbs for many months of many years.
11/9/2009
Geoff Taylor thanks the publications that inspired his writing career.
9/7/2012
International Homesteading Month is off to a running start! Here are two stories of events that are truly promoting education to foster more self-reliant communities.
10/1/2012
Writer and Canadian farming enthusiast, Joseph Graham sent this review of the event that he and his wife hosted for Homesteading Education Month.  
11/16/2009
Check out these renewable-energy courses to see if there’s an Evergreen class for you.
9/8/2010
Share your favorite places to learn about food preservation.
4/6/2011
Growing Power believes that youth working in city farms will grow, bloom and thrive right alongside the crops they cultivate.
8/23/2010
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
8/3/2012
Looking ahead to September, it gives us all an opportunity to expand our horizons with furthering our knowledge and skill sets, baking and otherwise.
12/8/2011
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
9/25/2011
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
11/25/2011
Fall sheet mulching of perennial plantings assists in fertility and weed suppression.
1/5/2012
Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!
1/11/2013
Good news for businesses! An Oregon report shows cyclists and walkers spend more than motorists.
4/17/2014
Engineering is helping to solve some of our biggest environmental challenges. Learn more during EEWeek.
3/30/2011
Whether you’re a teacher, parent, school administrator, or homeschooler, you might be interested in some of these online resources related to environmental education and green curricula. Most of these websites are related to K-12 education.
4/11/2012
A beginning farmer realizes that time may be the farm's most important commodity.
6/15/2010
Henry Red Cloud moved back to the Pine Ridge Reservation 12 years ago and started looking into renewable energy. Since then he has started a solar heating system company and a renewable energy training center to serve the Native American community.
9/17/2012
We received another great review of a successful Homesteading Education Month event. Read about a well-received sustainability fair in South Dakota.
5/13/2010
Students from the University of Kansas spent spring break installing solar panels in a low-income neighborhood in Oakland, California.
8/16/2013
Learn how to celebrate homesteading this September by promoting community self-reliance skills!
1/18/2010
Solar energy organization Show Me Solar comes highly recommended by renewable energy expert Dan Chiras for its 2010 list of workshops, webinars and other educational opportunities.
8/17/2012
Musings on a few delicious, nutritious edible weeds, plus a salmon salad and purslane recipe.
7/3/2012
Grapes can grow anywhere, thriving in a variety of climates and soil types. Growing grapes is rewarding, because after a few years they produce abundant fruit and quickly provide architectural interest in the edible landscape.
3/15/2011
Far from being weeds, spring's earliest greens are packed with nutrition and help detox the body.
6/24/2012
A birdbath in the garden does much more than a birdfeeder. Attract birds to the garden with water, and they will help with pest control, soil aeration, and much more as they get the water they need for drinking and grooming. Wasps love a drink too.
5/31/2012
Popcorn is easy to grow and makes an attractive and delicious alternative to sweet corn, especially in a small garden. Kids will love the cute little ears, and adults will treasure the superior flavor of homegrown popcorn. Plant in late spring.
9/8/2010
Engineer Venkappa Gani leads by example when it comes to sustainable living. His entire backyard is an organic garden, an edible landscape that borders his rainwater harvesting tank collectors overlooked by solar panels that power his home (and more!). Gani is dedicated to sustainability, a word he lives by everyday at his suburban home in Austin, Texas. 
8/7/2012
Giving your ornamental and vegetable garden a thorough cleaning in midsummer not only leaves the landscape looking better, but can help prevent damage from diseases and pests by removing the conditions in which they thrive.
4/22/2011
Gathering weeds from your garden or yard can make a quick, healthy spring meal.
6/5/2009
If you live in an area with high summer temperatures try growing one of these greens to replace your spinach.
10/27/2011
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
11/10/2011
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
10/13/2011
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
5/31/2012
Introducing the serviceberry, a beautiful landscape tree or shrub suitable in much of North America, to the edible landscape. Serviceberry -- or sarvis -- comes in many regional forms and produces edible berries.
11/28/2012
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
5/10/2012
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
2/9/2013
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
10/8/2012
Roses are easy to grow successfully if you follow a few guidelines: provide good air circulation around the canes and keep the plants clean and not too damp. Roses come in many forms, including bush or shrub, climbing, and miniature.
7/12/2013
Learn how to request your “closed” complete pesticide complaint file from the State agency through the Freedom of Information Act.
9/28/2012
Kerr-Cole Sustainable Living Center in Taylor, Arizona celebrates national homesteading month with a display of solar ingenuity.
10/4/2012
Rural Living Today founder and advocate, Marie James, told us about a Homesteading Education Month event she and her family hosted in Northeast Washington to teach gardeners how to grow vegetables in cold weather.
10/10/2012
Teddi Irwin sent us this great update on a Homesteading Education Month event held at IN A GOOD WAY, a training farm established to use therapeutic methods of farming to improve the lives of Native American men.
2/16/2010
Courses in solar energy taken through The Evergreen Institute now apply toward the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s site assessor certificates.
10/11/2012
Andre Armantrout sent us this wonderful update from a Homesteading Education Month event featuring aquaculture at Snowy Pine Ridge, outside Spokane, Wash.
9/28/2009
More and more people are looking for jobs in the renewable energy field. If you're interested in this type of career, here's how you can get started.
1/20/2012
Permaculture is a holistic, integrative design for a sustainable future: registrations now open for D Acres' 2012 Permaculture Design Course!
4/24/2012
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.
2/21/2012
Cycle Oregon in support of tree research and education.
12/3/2009
Will a degree increase your employment prospects? Absolutely. Here are some programs to look into.
9/2/2011
The 651 Project has been established to assist students Nationwide in their pursuit of agricultural skills and knowledge.
1/26/2012
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) hosts its 23rd annual Organic Farming Conference, February 23-25, 2012, at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wis.
4/26/2012
Robert Maxwell discusses why he chose self-directed education over formal college, and how this option might work for others, too.
2/3/2012
Clearly the NACE considers “useless” degrees to be ones in which pay is low and availability of jobs is scarce. However, shouldn’t measuring the usefulness of an education take into account the actual benefits bestowed upon the person doing the study
3/22/2011
Sixty-one percent of Americans say they understand our nation's energy issues, but more than half have never heard the term "smart grid." We have a lot to talk about.
1/5/2010
Dan Chiras, founder of The Evergreen Institute, shares information on locating renewable energy training facilities.
1/9/2012
Robert White is remaking himself as a farmer, and will return to his family's land to start a market garden. Here's why.
6/16/2010
A brief announcement of a rare educational opportunity ... a wind turbine installation. We'll be installing a 2.5 kW Skystream wind turbine on a 127-foot tilt-up tower.
9/7/2011
Bastyr University and Premera Blue Cross today announced the launch of an innovative pilot program aimed at preventing or reversing childhood obesity.
10/9/2009
When you're looking for a job, there's just no substitute for getting out and meeting the professionals in the industry. 
10/10/2012
Comparing different home made do it yourself chicken carriers for the Tractor Supply animal swap this past Saturday. Reporting on edible mushroom cultivation harvest and what it takes to pick the right disease resistant apple variety.
9/12/2012
When autumn brings a glut of orchard fruits, capture the goodness as juice by cooking extraction or cold pressing. Juices can be used alone or mixed to produce sweet or hard ciders, wines, syrups, and more.
12/2/2012
Growing some of the most delicious and sometimes expensive gourmet vegetables doesn't have to be hard. Artichoke, bronze fennel, kohlrabi, leek, and savoy cabbage are among the vegetables that grow well from seed.
10/25/2012
An article from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise covering an International Homestead Education Month event that took place at Paul Smith's College on September 29, 2012.
11/5/2012
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.
4/20/2011
To learn more about large wind energy degrees, Brittney Tyler-Milholland and Brenna Long talk with educators at Iowa Lakes Community College about the wind energy degree program in this Wind Energy blog. Iowa Lakes had the first wind energy program in Iowa.
1/13/2010
Dan Chiras announces that five of The Evergreen Institute's workshops currently qualify as continuing education credits for LEED Accredited Professionals.
2/14/2011
The Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products asks designers and builders to spec materials with lower carbon footprints.
1/22/2013
Urban food forests and public gardens provide communities with an edible landscape for everyone to share. These public fruit forests are the new trend in urban agriculture and play an important role as sustainable local food systems in their communities.  
9/7/2014
At the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Wash, I listened to lecturers cover topics from re-newable energy, small-scale farming, green building, organic gardening, simple living, and citizen solidarity building. While I listened, I pondered ways to weave these powerful themes into our children's lives.


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