A step-by-step guide that lays out practical know-how, Fortier has done his due diligence to learn from those who have innovated in the past and compiled successful strategies into one small successful farm. In a time of “feel good stories” that may or may not be financially solvent, Fortier simply hands over to the reader the blueprints to confidently launch and run a small-scale market garden.
You may remember back in April when I found some of last year’s potato crop dying to get out into the ground. This post is a continuation of the life and success of those wild taters.
Now, 4 years into growing much of the produce we eat, I realize that garden farming connects me even more deeply than I had imagined to the earth, the life cycle, my body and food. It is also more difficult not only physically, but mentally as well. Had I known more from the start, no doubt it would have been easier and more effective. It is in this spirit that I am sharing some of what I’ve learned.
Turning an old barn into something useable is a challenge, and it is a valuable skill to have when you are starting a farm.
Sweet Home Farms Meats is located on acreage in the central Willamette Valley that includes a picturesque stream which offers both water for the farm and a great place to cool off on hot summer afternoons. The farm is a work in progress for two young urbanites who now love the country.
This is the season we change. This year, pause and reflect how best to invest your gift money.
Sweet Home Farms Meats is located on acreage in the central Willamette Valley that includes a picturesque stream which offers both water for the farm and a great place to cool off on hot summer afternoons. The farm is a work in progress for two young urbanites who now love the country.
How do we apply life-changing agricultural practices in under-served urban areas? This is a brief sketch of agroecology in the urban, Southeastern region of the United States. Agroecology, food forestry and permaculture all begin by developing small densely planted, oxygen rich, microclimates that when linked in clusters or chains across and area drastically increase biological diversity and plant food production.
Motivated by a desire to connect youth with food and farming, Kara Gilbert and Elaine Walker are working to build their farm’s finances and support so they can introduce educational programming.
Many rural Nepalese faced persistent food insecurity even before the recent earthquakes. Now, because of the destruction of livelihood assets, the situation is substantially worse. With support from Groundswell International, family farmers in post-earthquake Nepal are learning and using ecological agriculture principles to restore their farms, become more resilient, and create a more equitable landscape for women.
A farm-to-table feast that challenges chefs to cook with ingredients found only within 250-miles inspires new conversations about what “local” truly means.
When I first started gardening in this place, I was surveying my four by ten raised bed of greens with pride one afternoon. “You really are a farmer, not a gardener,” a friend observed. Take this short quiz to see if you are a gardener or have slid into the realm of "urban farmer."
Brooklyn Grange Farm now operates two rooftop farms which encompass 2.5 acres. The farms combined harvest above 50,000lbs of organically grown vegetables, herbs and flowers per year.
Elizabeth Miller and Chris Jenkins have turned Minto Island Growers into a multifaceted farm that features a tea plantation, vegetable CSA, u-pick berries, food cart, farm stand, and more. Now they’re finding that growth brings many new challenges.
Assisting urban residents in moving toward local food production is an innovative strategic plan for resilient growth. This blog post will outline some of Grow Where You Are’s core projects and outreach methods in an effort to share best practices for developing local food systems in communities that are most in need.
America’s favorite pastime is scoring big with the fans as more and more ballparks step up to the plate of sustainable food production by incorporating urban farming into their scenery.
Check out farming in the mid-1940s.
Just west of Applegate, Oregon, Barking Moon Farm is tucked into a clearing on the edge of the Siskiyou Mountains. Here, Josh Cohen is transforming challenging conditions into a highly productive farm.
This is Part 2 of a two-part post series explaining how biodynamic agriculture views your farm as a living organism. By tapping into the ecology that makes up your farm and viewing these systems holistically, you can utilize the natural world to grow healthy crops and achieve true sustainability. Your farm has a body and seeks wellness through biodiversity and habitat variability.
Until we get electric or solar-run heavy equipment, here's a few tips on how to use less fuel when operating your equipment around the farm or construction site.
Biodynamic agriculture views the farm as a living organism. By tapping into the ecology that makes up your farm and viewing these systems holistically, you can utilize the natural world to grow healthy crops and achieve true sustainability. Your farm has a body and seeks wellness through biodiversity and habitat variability.
Dylana Kapuler and Mario DiBenedetto are public-domain plant breeders and seed-saving stewards. Their Corvallis, Oregon company, Peace Seedlings, is focused on continuing the work and building on the legacy of Dylana’s parents, Alan and Linda Kapuler.
The changing landscape of farming and farmers.
The author’s thoughts about raising chicks changed when he returned home from a vacation and couldn’t find one of his hens. He discovered her the next morning, sitting on a clutch of eggs under a porch. When her chicks hatched and he saw how much she cared for them, and how much her chicks adored her, he knew then that every chick deserves a good mother hen.
Increasing urban food production is true food access.
In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel teach readers how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non timber products. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.
Shifting our built environments from the current linear blocks of car-centric urban sprawl to more integrated human-scale and life-sustaining organisms is not much different in principle than turning a concrete yard into a permaculture plot. We have to think in terms of arrangement of vital nodes, distance between interdependent threads, paths of least resistance, utilizing existing natural conditions, and maximizing water, energy and food sources.
Soy is currently the leading source of protein in most animal diets, but mealworms offer a more efficient and sustainable alternative.
With spring on its way, I am thinking about gardening, home grown food and what it takes to grow plants from seed.
How farm life will keep you fit so you can live a healthier and happier life.
For first-time chicken owners (or even for experienced chicken enthusiasts), selecting, purchasing, and preparing for your home chicken flock can seem like a daunting task. After thirty years of raising chickens, here’s Forrest Pritchard’s personal guide to ensure your new flock remains safely tucked beneath your wing so you can start a flock of chickens without worry.
Exploring the roots of the CSA concept.
Get the inside scoop on how successful farmer and author Jean-Martin Fortier farms 11/2 acres using soil building and no-till methods.
This is a must see film about the poverty America’s migrant farm workers faced 55 years ago. Although many of these scenes are far from pretty it can be used to inspire and motivate people to support their local and sustainable farms.
This post features a short excerpt from my book "The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming" and introduces my motivations in food, agriculture and community empowerment.
Our quest to make pasture egg collection more efficient.
Farmers markets are becoming more common every day, but many fail after a year or so, and others are having trouble getting off the ground. Here are a few ideas from a couple of long-time Oregon farmers market pros that might help keep your market going strong.
West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates explains why he has a problem with putting farmers, among others, on pedestals.
January is a great time to count your seeds and share the extras with others through a seed swap or seed library. Find a seed sharing event in your community or start one with friends.
Homegrown.org blogger Dyan Redick of Bittersweet Farm honors - and helps keep alive - the legacy of fellow Maine goat herdswoman Pixie Day.
The six owners of Oregon’s Winter Green Farm have effectively navigated the journey from homestead to successful biodynamic farm. This profile of Winter Green Farm has been excerpted from "Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement."
The Missouri Organic Association is gearing up for its 2015 Annual Conference in Springfield, Mo, on February 5th, 6th and 7th at University Plaza Hotel and Conference Center.
Originally founded as a homestead in 1980 by Jack Gray and Mary Jo Wade, Winter Green Farm has grown to become a successful biodynamic farm in Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley. This profile of Winter Green Farm has been excerpted from "Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement."
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.
Tanya Fields, named the Eco-Warrior of the Food System, discusses how she came to be an urban farming and food sovereignty activist working to empower women and change the food landscape in the underserved neighborhoods of New York City.
Lindsay Fernandez-Salvador explains the best ways to use animal manure while organic farming.
K.C. Compton takes a glance at more than two dozen trends that are shaping our future, which are documented in the Worldwatch Institute’s latest publication, "Vital Signs, Volume 21."
Young, pioneering aquaponic farmers like Josh and Alicia Davis, who own and operate an aquaponics farm in the Midwest, are reshaping the future of food in the United Sates. Folks like these surely do inspire others to think differently about their food.
Garlic is resilient, easy-to-grow, highly nutritious, and a natural antibiotic.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missourian Bryce Oates explains how he and his family survive summer on the farm. Two words: swimming pool.
The Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service is looking for an organic farmer worthy of being named their 26th annual Organic Farmer of the Year.
One woman's vision of a family farm comes to life in her back yard thanks to one friendly goat.
Permaculture is at the heart of the solution of many environmental crises. Permaculture is alive with the possibilities of positive change.
Monsanto's Roundup Ready system transformed typical weed problems into a national superweed crisis, only healthy farms can correct the damage done.
Is rotenone organic? The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) sorts out that complicated question about a pesticide being used on some organic farms.
Organic gardeners often need to remove mammal pests such as groundhogs and raccoons. Like many, I use live traps. How to deal with a skunk you accidentally catch, without getting sprayed?
Miller Manufacturing expands the Little Giant beekeeping supply product line.
Reynaldo Ochoa, the subject of a new short film, grows with a goal of teaching and practicing permaculture unique to an individual's region, emphasizing sustainable farming as opposed to “slash and burn” agriculture.
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service held its 25th conference from Feb. 27 though March 1. Here are the main takeaways about where organic farming has come from and where it's headed.
HOMEGROWN blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel outlines strategies for responsible drought gardening in her home state of California--or anywhere.
KIOTI embarks on a major process upgrade to exceed the needs of their customer base.
I am off to Polyface Farm to intern for the summer and I’m so excited! I plan to write every week to explain to you what we are learning, how we spend our days, mistakes we make (that you can learn from) and basically anything that can help readers become better farmers and homesteaders. I’ll include lots of photos too, so make sure to check back!
A description of a pioneering workshop featuring no-till, cover crop cocktails and mob grazing. Douglas County Conservation Service educated local farmers in cutting-edge biological farming techniques.
I, alone, am no one. I do not grow food. I do not water the garden. I do not photosynthesize. I do not put the life force in the soil. I do not make the seed. A natural force other than I is responsible for all this. That same natural force uses this body I like to consider my own to garden.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan reflects on the changes that arrive with fall, including her own sense of melancholy.
It takes a few good rationalizations to get through the busiest part of the growing season.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates discusses why his family works so hard—both on and off of the farm—to practice subsistence farming.
Proposals to weaken the links among conservation, farming and fair access to food would worsen the problems of U.S. agriculture.
It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked:
Why do we do all this work?
The fields that were laid out in 1843 for livestock farming are teeming with hay-making grasses.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan learns that giving up control, whether over a mischievous flock or a single lamb, can have its own rewards.
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
Focus on Food records an episode from Chaffin Orchards and discusses sustainable farming and the ethics of eating meat.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares how to install drip irrigation in your home garden.
Completing tasks in preparation for a few days away from the homestead
As I go along, I pull out pebbles occasionally, but only one large stone. Time and time again, however, my hands pry free the remnants of bricks. As late afternoon turns to early evening and my work for the day is nearing completion, a collection of the ruddy-colored artifacts is stacked to one side. The sight of them calls up something nostalgic in me, broken bits suggesting a history that is largely lost.
A permaculture-based, 2,000-acre farm in Northern California integrates grassfed livestock with orchard farming.
Have you ever dreamed of taking your part-time homestead to a full-time salary? What's holding you back? Business books say most people are more afraid of success than failure.
A few months back I heard a comment on an NPR radio program that really caught my attention. The program was about the local food movement and at one point the guest on the show said, “Now remember - just because it’s local doesn’t necessarily mean it has a smaller carbon footprint. That Argentinian apple that was shipped on a barge with thousands of tons of other apples may actually have required less fuel per apple than the apple than came from a few hundred miles away in the back on a farmer’s pickup.”
In this section you will find stories of real farmers across the country that made it work. You'll find their story, how they did it and who helped them. We hope these stories will inspire and educate new farmers, as well as land owners and community members to become involved in the new agrarian movement. A growing trust.
Honey bees, the Boston tragedy, and our power to create the world we’ve been waiting for.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan Redick considers how inextricably the lives of farmers and fishermen are intertwined in her coastal Maine town.
A hard look at the state of the food industry and the impact of factory farming on polluted run-off, animal rights, and small family farms across America.
This current situation is a perfect example of the 80/20 rule of homesteading: 80 percent of your time, energy and effort is spent on maintenance; 20 percent on progress towards the dream. A majority of your time homesteading is spent covered in chicken poop, squashing potato bugs, figuring out why gas isn’t getting to the carburetor in the ATV and shoveling snow after dark by headlamp.
Free-range, backyard eggs are better for your health and your ethics.
Facing massive snow drifts, HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick forges a new path to her barn and finds inspiration in the process.
According to FDA data, the quantity of antibiotics sold for livestock use in this country continues to rise, topping 29 million pounds in 2011. This has a direct effect on the efficacy these same drugs will have on us. Sam Spitz has personal experience with a resistant illness and FamilyFarmed.org asked him to tell his story. It’s a cautionary tale that should have us all making better food choices. Read how we can all influence the campaign to end the misuse of antibiotics in livestock and keep antibiotics working for us when we need them!
One of my earliest vivid childhood memories is sitting on my father’s lap as a young girl reading the magazine together in the 1980s and all throughout my childhood. He would read aloud while I studied the pictures of passive solar building, vegetable gardening, sheep shearing, building your own sugar shack and the beautiful array of topics which he read to me frequently. Those images, along with the camping trips in the mountains, the whitewater and canoeing excursions, and our family trip to Alaska, have been etched in the catacombs of my childhood memories and have sculpted the person I have grown to become.
In this excerpt from Fair presenters Hank and Karen Will’s new book, Plowing With Pigs and Other Creative, Low-budget Homesteading Solutions, they’ll show you how to add small grains to your plot.
The place I call home these days is The FarmSchool, a fertile 180-acre strip of ridge top in Athol, where 15 student-farmers are spending a year learning the ins and outs of growing food, managing forests, and raising animals for meat. I arrived at the farm in October, just as the leaves were reaching their peak brilliance. The Farm School — which offers three-day programs for schoolchildren, a summer camp, a full-time middle school, and the apprenticeship program I’m in — takes us through all seasons of farming, weaving together class work and on-farm training.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
The 20th-Annual Organic Growers School takes place March 8 through March 10 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in Asheville, N.C. The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction and trade show.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan recalls how the seasons affected her childhood and how they guide her activities now on her Maine dairy farm.
Ira Wallace explores good winter gardening reads, gives advice on how to use the winter lull wisely to plan and prepare, and shares an update in the ongoing court battle to protect family farmers from agri-giant Monsanto.
Coming back to agriculture and the farming life, I think every farmer should spend time as a fisherperson. If that were the case, I have a hard time believing Industrial Agriculture would have ever taken its foothold. Manure runs downhill as they say
Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc.
This story recounts one father's hard work to help his family survive by raising chickens and farming during the Great Depression. The author also describes his family-owned homemade brooder house, which helped shelter the chickens that provided meat and eggs during hard times.
Elizabeth Van Deventer has been on a quest to find the answer to sustainable farming and an ethical diet most of her life. Follow along as she discovers the impacts of producing tea, palm oil and fruit, and how she eventually settles on a lifestyle that is in tune with the earth and all of its creatures.
The Ecological Farming Association will host the 33rd annual EcoFarm Conference at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, Calif., Jan. 23-26, 2013. The conference will offer more than sixty workshops, as well as the opportunity for eight beginning farmers to win substantial grants.
Book reviews by permaculture educator Cindy Conner. Learn about Sustainable Market Farming, The Art of Fermentation, The Permaculture Handbook, and The Small-Scale Poultry Flock.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
One thing I know for sure is that many in the local farm and food scene are working through the same issue. We are numbers people in search of numbers. We aren’t crazy unscientific loons like our industrial brothers and sisters think we are.
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.
Arthur Bolduc shares his story of experiencing life near an Amish community in Ohio, where he enjoyed the exciting process of sorghum production firsthand.
Writer and Canadian farming enthusiast, Joseph Graham sent this review of the event that he and his wife hosted for Homesteading Education Month.
Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival inspired us to keep at those challenges that frustrate us on the farm.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
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...
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
When it's too hot outside, the work moves inside, and is still REALLY HOT.
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.
Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.
The Oakland, California-based urban farming company manufactures grow-your-own oyster mushroom kits with soil made from recycled coffee grounds.
Hay season on the Keith farm means lots of work for the wood-powered truck! Check out these videos of Wayne's farming operation.
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
Blackberry picking only happens at the height of summer, but is well worth the thorn wounds!
None of these items' primary use is for gardening or livestock keeping but here we are using them all the time. So here's my list of items that you should keep around if you are an avid gardener or own livestock.
Drought is hard on us out here in Farm Country. But drought in the midst of boiling hot summer is amongst the worst conditions I can imagine.
Weeding in the summer is all about species maintenance
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
So, yes, I have become a lover of goats (and ducks have won me over, too). But the truth is, I can’t wait to eat the boys.
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
Gasification guru Wayne Keith shows us some of his daily farm operations.
A beginning farmer loses a friend and finds that solitary farming isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Organic is a phrase that’s tossed around and abused a lot by marketers these days. Not all “organic” products should be treated equally.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
This blog post tells what life was like on the self-sustaining farm of Olen and Anna Mae Showman located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia during the middle of the 20th century.
What if I told you that you could grow 50 plants in 4 square feet?
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 wanted to write up a post about asparagus to explain how farmers look at the crop, but also as a sort of apology to our customers. We have spent many hours in the field and on the phone seeking farmers with an existing asparagus supply. We had man
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
It's snake season, and I found a black snake out my back door!
Monitoring energy use has led to increased motivation for conservation
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
A beginning farmer realizes that time may be the farm's most important commodity.
Learn about the advantages of urban farming from those who are leading the way. The benefits include improved food production, increased revenue sources and reduced energy use.
A beginner farmer learns about taking on the responsibility of raising animals.
Watch a video of a traveling sheep shearer at work and tell us about small-scale farming artisans in your region.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
The Spirit of Hope garden in Detriot offers a safe, nurtuting place for plants and children to grow.
A beginning urban farmer grows nothing without a smartphone.
A nine-to-fiver turns a corner and leaves behind a twenty-year career to grow food amongst housing developments and strip malls.
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
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.
Permaculture is a holistic, integrative design for a sustainable future: registrations now open for D Acres' 2012 Permaculture Design Course!
The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
How to Schedule your Planting by the Moon
Robert White is remaking himself as a farmer, and will return to his family's land to start a market garden. Here's why.
Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!
When one of her goats starts looking for love for the first time, and hollering her little head off, Angela has to do some quick thinking to keep her precious pets from becoming that night's dinner!
Some things have come full circle, so now we have a chance to fix it right this time!
Lay Htoo, a Burmese refugee, has been enrolled in the Farm Business Development Program at Cultivate Kansas City and is setting out to start her own urban farm.
After a completely miserable potato harvest this year we’ve decided to pull them out of the ground and do them in boxes made out of pallets. That way we can use weedblock under them to eliminate the whole bindweed issue. So today, the boxes went up.
Donna Pellegrin shares her mother's stories of growing up on a fertile, bountiful farm during the Great Depression, and of the homesteading skills that kept them well fed.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Robert Zwald finishes his short memoir with a record of his Wisconsin farm in the 1960s and the growth of his family. This is the eighth part of his stories, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
Robert Zwald talks about farming equipment and selling his harvest in the 1940s. This is the sixth part of Robert's stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
If you think Bambi is cute, try keeping him out of your strawberry field!
This fifth story from Robert Zwald talks about his efforts to keep his family farming through the depression, even after they lost their own land.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
C. Murray shares his experiences finding work to support his family as a child during the Great Depression.
Even dairy goats can have self-esteem issues...
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
Animal Husbandry tent experiences from Day 1 of 2011 Mother Earth News Fair.
Cam has a great deal of respect for farmers.
Doug Van Haitsma of the Mon Valley Initiative will present a workshop on micro farms at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
Carolyn shares nostalgic summer memories of life on the farm including owning a pet rooster, picking wild blackberries, and eating fried turtle.
A woman recalls her childhood memories on Three Mile Creek Farm including horses, a pig pen and a one-room school.
From breadlines in the city to hanging clothes to dry, a woman shares memories of her family’s move from Los Angeles to a farm in Oregon during the Great Depression.
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
September is here and I'm expecting the weather to break!
The 651 Project has been established to assist students Nationwide in their pursuit of agricultural skills and knowledge.
Things that come to mind while watching my husband and son work in this heat.
A boy growing up in Appalachian Country shares the farming practices of his family.
The Farm Aid concert is a chance for us to shine a spotlight on these people who work every day to put good food on our tables.
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.
It’s the middle of summer and you are likely enjoying the harvests. There is` so much to do with all that fresh and flavorful produce, but what should you do?
It's been a rough summer for gardeners and farmers alike. Here's how we've been dealing with drought and a few tips on watering.
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.
Learning to raise cows is more of a challenge than you would imagine!
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.
The workshop series "In Her Shoes: Sustainable Farming for Women, by Women" will provide on-farm, women-led sharing of resources, experiences and inspiration to further connect, encourage and support female organic farmers, entrepreneurs and agricultural leaders. These all-day workshops will be in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and each will cost $20 and include lunch.
We are taught when we are kids not to waste food, but it doesn’t seem as if that lessen has stuck with us.
Beginning July 1, 2011 and continuing for the next five months, legal residents of the U.S. and Canada can enter to win a five-year lease of a New Holland Boomer 30 compact tractor and loader with the industry-leading Boomer Guard5.
Vickie Evans describes her grandparents’ life in Winfred during the Depression and the years following. Both came from farming families and used their land and farming knowledge to help the local community.
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.
As a third-party certifier, the Rainforest Alliance ensures that farms and forests are sustainable environmentally, socially and economically. The green frog seal and the FSC logo have become widely recognized, credible symbols of sustainability.
Cam enjoys a visit with Ken & Madeline who farmed this property many years ago and Cam realizes how hard farming was back then....
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.
Some people use gardening as an escape from the trials and tribulations of the real world. It’s their time to get their hands dirty, connect with the earth and just be in their garden.
Finding friends out in the country can be challenging.
Parents will often say that they don't have time to grow their own food because they have kids. Don't let kids be the excuse. Instead make them part of the experience too. It's what families have done since the beginning of time. The past 100 yea
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.
The Worldwatch Institute declares that many people worldwide are turning to organic agriculture to feed themselves and others, while feeling good about protecting the environment in a time of economic depression.
The documentary Urban Roots takes a look at how city farming is transforming the city's vacant lots into community gardens, ultimately changing the community as a whole in the process.
Dealing with potties out in the country.
Radical homemaker Karen Keb introduces her new blog, which will cover topics as diverse as baking bread to raising livestock.
Take these into consideration the next time you are making your food purchases.
Kirk Haffner, solar power expert, and Jeff Swotek of the USDA will present workshops on solar power and USDA programs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Check out the installation process of an urban beehive.
Trying to follow directions out in the country can be challenging!
Darrel Frey, permaculture specialist, will present workshops on permaculture and bioshelter design at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Growing potatoes in containers allows you to increase your yield in a small amount of space.
Whether you are new to gardening or experienced, you will make some mistakes. Get over it and learn from it. That’s the most important thing.
A description of farmers' even tempered dispositions.
Steven Moize of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy will present a workshop on rotational grazing at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Cheryl "the Pig Lady" Ouellette will present workshops on meat processing, growing meat for market, free-range pork, and growing what you love at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
A post by Maria Rodale called A Harvest of Healing got me thinking about how gardening and growing your own food is much more than what you harvest.
Learning to clear fields can be fun!
Don't let your wanderlust for more space hold you back from creating your homestead in the city.
Clearing your land to ready it for farming can be quite a challenge!
Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will present a workshop on localized food systems and pastured livestock at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Daniel Kosel of Red Poll Cattle will present a workshop on Red Poll Cattle Ranching at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees will present a workshop on beekeeping at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Rene' Skaggs of the Pierce Conservation District will present a workshop on increasing pasture productivity at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
If you are new to growing your own food in containers, these are some simple tips that should help you to get a better yield and results from your containers.
A humurous description of the beginning of an adventure in farming.
Ann Larkin Hansen of Storey Publishing will present four workshops on sustainable farming and bugs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Containers are great for those that are gardening in small spaces. Though there is the fear of not knowing when or how often to water them. This is why I started to make my own self-watering containers.
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.
Humorous real-life stories of moving and adjusting to farm life.
Real estate and land use demands have many people left on a waiting list by their local community gardens. Never fear: There's still plenty of options to get growing!
Farms which have earned Rainforest Alliance certification go beyond conserving the environment and improving the lives and livelihoods of farm workers; they also help to curb climate change.
The annual Organic Farming Conference put on by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service featured a series of workshops designed for young farmers looking to get started.
Productive urban landscapes, if managed correctly, can reduce pollution in local watershed.
Urban Agriculture activists and advocates work to change the zoning laws in Chicago to be more friendly to urban agriculture.
In the United States, we are feeling the effects of the rising food prices as well. When you take a deeper look into the prices, it’s not the food that is causing the price to rise. It’s everything else that goes into getting the food to your plate t
When people ask why they should grow their own food, the answer that I give is often simple. I tell them, "It's because we are humans."
While there are many events that have lead us to where we are today in terms of food, there are some things/events that stand out the most in my mind. Growing your own food is one way to reverse the trend.
A potential solution to rising food prices, food insecurity and the obesity epidemic may call into play raising farms inside the city limits.
Looking for a farming internship or apprenticeship? Search the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Center’s online directory of farming internships and apprenticeships to find one that interests you.
When you grow your own food, you not take a step towards self-sufficiency. You also make a move towards better health and whole new relationship with your food.
Once our bodies and our imaginations are engaged, the incremental change begins. Then it gets easier and easier to envision humanity occupying this planet–this beautiful, abundant planet–far into the future.
Farm life is not always predictable, and some of the surprises turn out to be the most valuable lessons. This story from the ranch about some strong winter-born goats, a protective cow with motherly instincts, and a calf that’s making it against all odds will not only inspire you, but it may teach you something about the wonderful spirit of community support.
As New Year's Eve approaches, friends butcher the ducks they've raised in their rice paddies and share some thoughts on "The Power of Duck."
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.
Cam learns to appreciate country music.
In Japan, more and more people are combining farming with other work. My neighbors and I fit the pattern, but what's it all mean for the future of farming?
Both organic and local food are important if we want to eat nutritious and delicious food. Furthermore, our current food system is in jeapordy because petroleum and water supplies are dwindling and climate change is resulting in more extreme weather.
It's always wonderful to meet someone who is passionate about what they do!
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
Important provisions in the Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act have been removed, which would leave the Gulf of Mexico open to damage from unsustainable fish farming methods.
Weather.com now features customizable local weather applications, including an Agriculture Application with great tools for farmers and gardeners.
Recently a trend in farming called hydroponics has resurfaced and gained national attention that has grown in popularity with some, but has left others with mixed feelings.
Here's a helpful guide to help you make sustainable choices while shopping or out to eat. What else do you do to support sustainable farming practices?
If you have a constant, overwhelming urge of wanting to be outside breathing in the fresh air and partaking in various farming activities, you may be suffering from barnheart.
Coporations continue to purchase interests in seed industries. Could this be a problem?
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
Nature challenges us: Can we love the world around us unsentimentally? Our enormous achievements have brought most of the planet more or less under our control. Now that we have this powerful role in the world, are we capable of accepting our responsibility? Nowhere is this question more present than on a farm, where we live among the animals that will one day provide a meal, and where providing a humane death is not only neccessary for our nourishment, but for providing a good life for the rest of the animal residents.
Jenna Woginrich discusses the more difficult aspects of homesteading, and why it's worth it anyway.
Here are a few sources that can help you find affordable farm land.
Farming isn’t a skill that can be easily learned from a book. Here’s some advice and a collection of resources to help you decide whether you’re ready to try your hand at it.
Using horses rather than tractors may turn out to be the greenest way to farm.
While productivity is often the name of the game at large farms, local food, minimal environmental impact and healthy conditions for farm workers also are hot topics today. Yet, our agriculture — and our living — have a greater impact on the environment and the life it supports than these issues alone address.
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.
University of Florida entomologist Russell Mizell investigated ways to attract stink bugs to trap crops rather than cash crops—with great success. His experience can help you learn how to design trap crop scenarios of your own.
Learn how bats can be beneficial for organic farmers, dramatically reducing the need for costly and harmful pesticides.
Raising and growing your own is more than a lifestyle — it is life.
Farming brings with it a lot of dirt, manure and blood, not to mention death. But it's these that also make it so full of life.
It's a challenge to describe the place where I take my livestock when it's time for them to cease being my companions, and to become my product instead. I call Steve's Meats in DeSoto, Kansas, the "packer." And, indeed, when I stopped off there this morning they had about 800 pounds of beef frozen and packed, ready for me to take home. It filled the freezer to the rim.
After finding the illegal presence of genetically engineered wheat in Oregon, the USDA has found another, similar case in Montana.