Arlo was twelve when the two of us headed to the Fair in Seven Springs. I had only a couple of rules: We pay for any book you want as long as he reads it, and that he find something to keep himself occupied while I was working.
Easy, practical, delicious – growing an organic food garden is a skill anyone can learn: that's my main message! It doesn't have to involve a lot of work and certainly doesn't require a big investment in special products or equipment.
What if I told you that you could catch fish for dinner right in your own backyard, and they were growing the veggies for the rest of your dinner until you caught them? This is all within reach using a new style of gardening called aquaponics.
Solar expert Joe Utasi hopes to have his home solar panel installation complete and running, and will have lots of pictures to show and discuss by the time the Seven Springs Fair arrives.
My boyfriend and I traveled from Orlando, FL with the expectation that we were going to encounter a life-changing experience. It was well worth it. I felt like a kid in a candy store.
A common problem rabbit raisers face is lack of litters in the fall. One big reason is hot weather in the summer, and we are having plenty of that across the country.
Like Thoreau and the Nearings, we feel more alive and participative in the natural world around us on our 5.5 acre homestead and organic farmstead than Lisa and I ever did walking through a corporate cubicle maze in the city.
If I could only pick one season extending structure, it would be a cold frame. Incredibly versatile, a simple cold frame is the key to taking your garden from a two or three-season plot and turning it into a year round vegetable factory.
Dive in, work with passion, and take all the other important elements of your life with you. Here are four reasons why such blending yields strategic sense.
We folded down the back seats in our Subaru wagon, lined the whole back area with a heavy tarp and a thick layer of straw, and headed down to Nash's Delta Farm to catch us some ducks.
The thing about self-sufficiency, working with nature, making delicious food: There’s always something new to learn.
Why do we believe that math must be done one workbook page at a time, at the kitchen table? Anyone who’s ever kept chickens can tell you all the math that can be found in the hen house.
I don't know why, but somehow I think of myself as a lazy farmer. Perhaps it's because I know that I'm not a real farmer. Sure, we ate out of the garden all summer and I sold our excess produce at the farmer's market, but gardening is hardly farming.
Is there a more heartwarming and majestic sight than gorgeous old-fashioned cows in a peaceful grassy meadow, calves scampering by their sides? Awesome. But have you given much considered thought to exactly how those calves will come to be?
Change is not only possible, it’s inevitable. Within the next few decades, great change is coming, because the way things are done today literally cannot continue. America's use-it-up-and-move-on way of life is in its endgame.
Can you milk a goat if it was not bottle-fed? Do you have any trouble selling kids if you don't bottle-feed? Can you show a goat if it was dam-raised? These are just a few of the questions I've been asked over the years.
At last year’s Mother Earth News Fair I had started my talk when someone in the audience said, “But how do you know all this stuff?” I guess I’ve fallen into that small-town habit of not introducing myself! Let me make up for that now.
Until we built a barn of our own and experienced the kindness of neighbors firsthand, I would have thought the notion of a barn raising to be a quaint relic of the past.
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.
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.
Can a civilization this profoundly removed from the visceral participation in farming and food even survive? Can the assumptions, like cheap energy, cheap grain, and processed food that can be nutritious, really continue into the future?
I grew up with bobolinks. All my life they have nested on our farm, but the bobolinks are in serious trouble, especially in the Northeast, largely on account of changes in agricultural practices.
We do a lot of things on our farm, but the primary way we earn a livelihood is selling wholesale potted herbs and heritage food plants to garden centers throughout Colorado and northern New Mexico.
There’s never, ever been a better time to get involved with honey bees and beekeeping.
One thing we can all agree on is that is time for things to change. So perhaps we need to look at the world more like prey and less like predators.
‘Pluck A Lotta Chickens: A Live Demonstration’ was in the Timberstone Room, which holds several hundred people. I sat second row, center. Once they started the process, it wasn’t nearly as bizarre as I thought it was going to be.
Day Length, Molting and Egg Production in a Small Flock
A lot of people have been asking us what incentives are still in place for 2012. The answer: All of them. While there were a few changes in 2011, the majority of programs that will impact the average homeowner remain the same. Here is an overview...
Meet Amelia, Honey, and Tilda — an Ameraucana, Buff Orpington, and Rhode Island Red, respectively. We keep our little flock of three in an Eglu, which has an egg-shaped hen house attached to a wire-enclosed run.
The Organic Materials Review Institute was formed by organic certifiers back in 1997 to focus exclusively on the products and materials used by farmers.
I started my poultry quest way too early for New Englanders: January! I marked my calendar in red and drew childish pictures of a chicken on the calendar blocks. I was as impatient as a 6-year-old waiting for Christmas morning.
A few years ago the ALBC launched its Heritage Chicken promotion; if you’d like to get involved, here’s what you need to know.
How lucky was I to find a pair of folks just as crazy about farming, working horses, working dogs, as I was? Us two women, practically Luddites in our past times, found each other because of an online publication of Barnheart at Mother Earth News.
When I first got chickens many years ago I had two initial goals: to let my flock roam free range and live as close as possible to how they would naturally, and to build my soil with their manure.
Research tells us that a basic source of unhappiness is feeling out of control of our lives. And that’s practically a definition of American life today. What can we do to give ourselves more control?
When a vegetable garden doesn’t look like a vegetable garden, what is it? A polyculture, where gardeners strive to address this simple truth: The most effective way to grow healthy plants is to create gardens that replicate nature.
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.
Deciding where to buy seeds can be a perplexing challenge. How does a conscientious gardener choose seeds that will grow well, look lovely and taste great, but also support sustainable seed farmers and healthy environments?
Green living is similar to taking yoga. It is a ‘practice’ – the more you get into, the more there is to learn. It really comes down to three simple things. Are you ready, willing and able to start living green?
The factory farm creates the wealth for the doctors, lawyers, government regulators, and bankers … is it ironic that these same professionals will choose a Beechnut Turkey or an Oaknut Ham from Big Horn Ranch for their family gathering?
My husband Alan’s first gift to me was Helen and Scott Nearing’s Living the Good Life. The books we turn to regularly have changed, although some we go back to again and again, year after year. A list of our top 10 favorite books follows.
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.
When I bought my farm, I did it to live in the woods. I would like to say I was deliberate. And intentional. But clueless is probably a better word. I should have suspected something when I bought the land and they threw the house in for free.
A horse trainer once said to me, 'Animals don't think, they just make associations.' I responded to that by saying, 'If making associations is not thinking, then I would have to conclude that I do not think.'
Why raise chickens? Because they’re the pet that makes you breakfast.
Heritage breeds are survivors, although some may be in for a very challenging year. The national drought is about to have a huge impact on the American economy and now is the time to plan ahead.
Nobody can resist fluffy baby chicks, so what would be better than hatching your own? Let us put your mind at rest and make your first time incubating an enjoyable experience you will want to repeat.
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.
What I like about MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIRS is that they encourage an active, participatory human presence in nature. Too many environmentalists think that human activity or presence is incompatible with environmentalism.
Cooking is great improvisation and I think that’s what I like most about it. You can say the word, “burger,” to any cook and be surprised by every interpretation that you get.
OK, you’ve got a start: where to get equipment, groups to join, classes to take, and mentors to hook up with. Now’s the time, before you have bees, to take a long hard look at some of the rest of the things you need to be thinking about.