House Beautiful





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12/1/2008
Old strains of holiday cactus are easy to grow, but updated varieties rebloom more often and produce bigger, showier blossoms.
8/17/2011
Wabi-sabi is never slobby, but we can allow ourselves to stop trying so hard and just appreciate our warm bed at the end of the day—whether it’s made or not.
2/28/2013
Hand-E-Glove, the amazing protective barrier hand lotion, is now the auto mechanic’s best tool. It is applied like ordinary hand lotion but does so much more.
1/25/2010
A University of Georgia study finds that common houseplants can remove toxins and improve indoor air quality.
8/20/2008
Here is a plan for how to build your own floating cabin, "The Live Aboard Houseboat."
12/1/2011
We now have something to walk on other than dirt!
5/25/2011
Learn to let go of associations with price, value, age and prestige and just appreciate beauty without judgment. Nature is the best muse for cultivating wabi-sabi.
5/18/2011
In her new book, Micro-Green: Tiny Houses in Nature, Mimi Zeiger profiles 36 creative, innovative small dwellings that represent a "new, rich architectural typology." Here are eight great examples to start fueling your fantasies.
6/16/2011
Housekeeping tips mined from the second issue of Mother Earth News--published in 1970--are surprisingly relevant today. Use these to make this task--which we all have to do sooner or later--more efficient and enjoyable.
7/23/2010
The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Act establishes tough formaldehyde emission standards for household products made from composite wood.
3/19/2014
Chase down household leaks and fix them to save water and money during the Earth Gauge #FixALeak Week.
4/2/2014
Learn about Bisphenol A (BPA) and its prevalence in plastic manufacturing, and get tips on how to limit your exposure to BPA, phthalates, and other unsafe chemicals in plastic.
4/8/2011
Apartment Therapy's annual Small Cool contest, featuring homes of less than 1,000 square feet, is a gold mine for smart ideas that make tiny spaces elegant, graceful and liveable.
2/8/2011
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
6/29/2011
Wabi-sabi has infused Western design for centuries—though its advocates rarely knew it. It’s in the plain, efficient homes built by the Shakers, the unsentimental Arts and Crafts style, Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie houses and midcentury furniture.
4/8/2011
The first Tiny House Conference will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 16.
4/21/2011
Do you dream about living in a tiny, super-efficient home but worry about living with less space? This list of reasons for living could help push you off the fence. Dream big, live small!
4/28/2011
The Japanese are masterful at living in small spaces. We can learn a lot from the superbly designed microhouses that have become a hot trend in Tokyo and beyond. Take a few tours and learn a few tricks in this must-see video.
7/29/2011
From a home built into a cliff to a home built out from laundry soap boxes, these homes prove how fun and satisfying it is to push the conventional edge. It's your house. Create whatever you want.
5/11/2011
Gary Chang's brilliant solution to making a 330-square-foot apartment work for his family was to create a sliding wall system that can be configured into 24 different rooms. You have to see this one to believe it.
1/10/2011
Let the ancient Japanese art of wabi-sabi help you purge unwanted items and get organized for the new year.
2/8/2011
Ranging in size from 528 square feet to 960 square feet, miniHomes are a combination of park model trailer, manufactured home and code-compliant residences that combine modern design with state-of-the-art building technology.
1/23/2009
Could you heat your house with a hair dryer? Super-efficient Passive Houses use very little energy.
7/7/2010
The American Institute of Architect’s Home Design Trends Survey confirmed what Natural Home predicted in January—Americans are moving to smaller homes.
10/10/2010
Earthbag building has just received engineering approval. This is probably the greatest news ever for earthbag building. With engineer-approved plans, we see unlimited potential for earthbag building for homes, shops, schools, you name it.
12/5/2010
Precision Engineering www.structure1.com has generously provided drawings and specifications for building earthbag structures in seismic areas to meet code. The documents have been combined into one 6-page PDF and are now available online.
12/27/2010
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
7/26/2010
Simran Sethi discusses what it takes for a home to be truly clean by avoiding harsh chemicals and using natural cleaning products.
3/31/2011
For an investment of less than $10,000 and about a week of labor, you could have a custom workshop, barn, garden shed or office.
3/11/2014
Creating a micro-climate is an essential tool for your survival and homesteading skills. Making the right micro-climate for your plants specific needs will not only help them survive, but thrive as well.
9/10/2008
Is having too many gardens a detriment to selling a suburban home?
1/22/2010
A California Environmental Protection Agency’s Resources Board study finds that airtight homes lead to pollutant buildup; poor indoor air quality can damage health
3/18/2009
Sustainability starts at home—but it sure does help to have community backing. Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence takes a closer look at the Cambridge Energy Alliance, a nonprofit, community-supported program that offers free energy audits and customized plans to make homes and buildings more eco-friendly.
9/6/2011
A Berkeley, California, artist has outfitted a dumpster with all the amenities--including granite countertops and hardwood floors--in his mission to "break down what a house should be."
9/2/2010
Auburn University students build a home using bales of non-recyclable corrugated cardboard.
9/23/2010
Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, according to a recent American Institute of Architects report.Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, says an American Institute of Architects report.
5/26/2009
Here are some resources to help you get started learning about straw bale building.
4/13/2009
Recycling a steel grain bin makes great use of an existing structure. You can probably find an inexpensive used grain bin and use it for a home, office, shop or storage.
5/31/2011
With no building experiment and only the information they found online as their guide, Kyle and Jeannie built a sweet little home on wheels. In this video, they share what they learned in the process and invite you inside.
5/17/2011
The original weeHouse prefabricated kit house is 435 efficiently designed square feet and comes with everything you need to live well. Need more space? You can snap together two or more of the modules to satisfy your needs.
7/25/2011
Renovating a heritage log cabin DIY style isn't easy, but with some thought and attention to detail, it can be done - and cheaper than you might think.
7/15/2011
One small brown bat can eat several thousand insects each night. Install a bat house and invite them to feast in your yard.
1/29/2009
Yes, it's possible to harvest trees from your own property to build a timber-frame structure. But here are a few things to consider before you decide to go ahead.
7/28/2011
Building a new house with SIPS
7/26/2012
We’ve been living in the little house for nine months and one of the things I’ve noticed is this: If I don’t pick up my stuff the house looks like a bomb went off. I don’t have a lot of stuff, but it’s still easy to create clutter piles with my limit
12/15/2009
After weeks of planning (and a little bit of panicking), the Natural Home team finishes decorating the Blair House and State Department for the holidays with a selection of fair trade, artisan-made items that benefit our planet and its citizens.
4/18/2011
This tiny kit home--less than 90 square feet--is energy-independent and so well-designed that you'd never miss the space.
3/7/2011
Leap Adaptive's 480-square-foot, energy-efficient Hummingbird kit house makes green living affordable.
6/10/2011
After working four jobs to make payments on their larger home, Debra and Gary downsized--to 320 square feet. The family lacks for nothing, and guests are always welcome. "I've got everything I need," Debra says. And their $20K house is paid off.
8/7/2012
Every natural environment is beautiful in ways we cannot imagine. We must preserve natural beauty for precisely that reason, because we could not conceive of natural beauty on our own without nature’s inspiration.
11/8/2011
Many farms of the 21st Century are, comparatively speaking, biological wastelands. Plowed, fertilized and cultivated from property-line to property-line, much of the world’s most productive land has been stripped of its wildlife.
11/1/2011
Our innovations have made possible a rapid expansion in the quantity of human life on earth. But the same technological foundation is used, with equal facility, to improve and sustain the quality of human life.
11/22/2011
Environmentalists should strive to understand the joy experienced by the race fan, the motorcyclist and the snowmobiler, and we should use that understanding to stimulate the human imagination in ways that benefit the planet.
11/15/2011
If a white midget turkey hen can survive alone in the woods for months, nature’s diverse citizenry will find new ways of thriving on a warmer planet, a wetter planet, a drier planet or a colder planet. They’ve done it before.
10/25/2011
Human history gives us plenty of evidence to support a pessimistic outlook, but history also gives us plenty of reason for optimism. On the humble foundation of skin clothing and bone jewelry we have built a wondrous technological superstructure.
10/20/2011
An alien biologist visiting from a distant planet might look at the remarkable similarities in our physiology and conclude that chimps would live pretty much as humans do, only more simply. But there’s something definitively, well, human about us.
1/17/2012
The Africans showed up at our door on a sunny, chilly November afternoon. Two men introduced themselves as Stone and Abraham. In the background stood a young woman with a gregarious little boy, Henry, about 2 years old. They were looking for goats.
11/29/2011
Environmentalists are better leaders when we can better love human ingenuity. We will need to form partnerships with the natural world, to ingeniously utilize its resources in ways that preserve its natural productivity.
12/14/2011
Our habitat won’t allow the human population to expand forever. But if the global population stabilizes, we face an unprecedented economic problem. Prosperity depends on an expanding human population to support our expanding global economy.
10/5/2011
I realize that if I provide an example for the pursuit of fairness in the world I will be inviting dissent. But maybe an idealistic endeavor, like the international Fair-Trade movement, can at least illustrate the aspiration toward fairness.
9/13/2011
Our collective vision should incorporate the aspiration toward beauty in every human community around the world.
9/6/2011
Enormous obstacles form a barrier that effectively blocks our view of the future. Even if we dream up a beautiful and abundant vision for our future, can we see the path from where we are today to that future past these big obstacles?
9/28/2011
I was 9 when Mr. Posey “hired” me. Once I was certain he wouldn’t chase me off, I started spending nearly every spare moment there. It was my first job, and I loved it.
9/20/2011
Conservation, while not a complete solution to our resource issues, is a key strategy for creating abundance.
8/16/2011
We are unique and brilliant creatures. Humanity has expanded into every corner of the planet. With our extraordinary tools, we are stronger and faster than any other species. And we are improving.
8/30/2011
Humanity has the technological and intellectual capacities to preserve for our great-grandchildren a world teeming with life and human prosperity. Why would we plan for anything less?
8/1/2012
We could feed every hungry person tomorrow but we haven’t collectively decided to do so. In my beautiful vision, we would tolerate nothing less.
7/24/2012
Applying human objectivity to the biggest, most intriguing and most definitively human problem, ever, is quite an endeavor.
8/15/2012
Why is it unrealistic to believe we can agree that clean air and water are important and limited resources? How insane is it to think we could imagine a world of beauty and abundance? That’s what I’m going to aim for.
1/31/2012
Rancho Cappuccino is what we call our farm, 50 acres of tallgrass prairie a few miles outside Lawrence, Kansas. Farming is the reflection of our value system. Rancho Cappuccino is the vessel for our lives.
1/24/2012
Over the next few weeks, I will offer here three case studies of how the queries might direct change within three very different organizations – our own Rancho Cappuccino; the business I run, Ogden Publications; and Google, Inc.
3/7/2014
For children to develop a love of nature and avoid Nature Deficit Disorder, they need to spend more time there.
8/23/2011
With its newest offering, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company gives homebuyers the flexibility of a kit house with the fine craftsmanship they expect from the flagship small home builder.
10/2/2010
The earthbag/geotextile basement wall system described here has excellent potential to save on initial construction costs and long-term energy costs. No concrete is used. The same principles have been used to build retaining walls for decades.
1/16/2011
One of the greatest needs in the world is disaster resistant housing – houses that can hold up against hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Properly designed structures can save millions of lives and millions of structures every year.
6/13/2010
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi spends her first night in her new home and reflects on the struggles and triumphs of the journey thus far.
6/6/2012
It was a cold, windy New Years evening. Logan and I were wrapped up in the covers; he was surfing the internet and I was reading a book. It was a perfect and cozy night to be at home.
6/10/2013
Springtime happiness can be measured by the sweetness of your strawberry patch.
2/10/2010
A National Association of Home Builders report and a Better Homes and Gardens survey find that builders and homeowners are moving toward smaller, more energy-efficient homes.
11/25/2009
Natural Home has been invited to decorate rooms in Blair House, the President’s guest house that hardly anyone ever gets to see, and the U.S. State Department’s Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, DC in the first-ever Magazine Holiday Design Showcase, a partnership between the U.S. State Department and the Magazine Publishers of America.
10/2/2009
President Obama plans to help earn the White House LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
3/12/2013
I cure my spring fever by planting in a hoop house.
9/15/2009
The White House will launch an open-to-the-public farmers market.
1/3/2011
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company founder Jay Shafer teaches Americans how to build efficient homes of less than 1,000 square feet.
12/28/2010
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
10/11/2011
Evidently when it comes to visualizing our future, a lot of people expect the worst and are inclined to leave it up to God. It is up to God, of course, but God gave us two eyes in the front of our heads to look forward and prepare for what’s to come.
1/3/2012
We have no examples of economic growth occurring in the absence of human population growth. Population growth is a Ponzi scheme and we’re setting up future generations as its victims. We are paying into the base of the pyramid with natural resources.
12/27/2011
We met Max Gonzales in the mountains of northern New Mexico about 25 years ago. I sometimes wonder if he’s up there this year, in the Cruces Basin or some other isolated mountain valley, listening to radio and dreaming of home.
1/10/2012
So far, technology has accommodated and augmented population growth. We’ve seen our “green revolution” spread across the globe and feed the multitudes. The globe remains, however, a finite resource.
12/6/2011
At first glance George Siemon and Doc Hatfield don’t appear to have a whole lot in common. But George and Doc and a bunch of conspirators are revolutionizing agriculture: they are putting consumers back in touch with the people who grow their food.
12/20/2011
Our economic dependence on population growth bears a disturbing similarity to a global Ponzi scheme - a scam in which an unethical entrepreneur promises investors big returns, which he fraudulently generates from the contributions of later investors.
8/23/2011
We don’t have a positive vision for our future, but we can picture a lot of different ways in which things may go badly for us. This lack of a positive vision seems dangerous to me because we so often realize what what we visualize.
7/2/2012
Google’s unofficial motto, “Don’t Be Evil,” could be expressed as easily in the positive, “Be Fair.”
6/26/2012
Abundance is the most fundamental building block in the Google DNA.
7/17/2012
Google can be the most enlightened power-user on the planet. Because it is so successful, and because it uses a lot of electricity, Google has the opportunity to set a new global standard for clean power.
7/9/2012
The company’s founders seem to be as proud of the company’s culture as they are of its financial success. Can the Google culture persist when the company’s economic power declines?
5/29/2012
The decade between the turn of the millennium and 2010 might justifiably be called the Google Decade. The company may have built more influence in less time than any other human endeavor in history.
5/22/2012
At work, as at home, the queries have helped us add a number of constructive items to our agenda.
6/19/2012
Google’s mission is making information available. That includes all the beauty in the world (along with everything else, of course).
6/12/2012
Conscientiousness is woven into the company culture, quite intentionally. The more prosperous and powerful the company becomes, the more strident the criticism. Any institution as powerful as Google has great potential for evil, and for good.
5/15/2012
Most of the things we do to conserve resources and protect the environment are subtle. We remain acutely conscious that all this, combined, still doesn’t make us a truly sustainable business. We have a long way to go. But we’re trying to get there.
2/28/2012
After a recent talk I gave in San Francisco, a man raised his hand and asked me how I could distinguish between “human slavery and animal slavery.” Now there’s a provocative question.
2/21/2012
Fairness is not so much a standard to be achieved as it is a criterion to be interpreted and applied. We strive for fairness, even though it can’t be clearly defined, much less perfected. In the striving, I think we create a better world.
3/13/2012
On every continent in the world there are large regions where a family can, through ingenuity and hard work, provide a lot of its own food in active partnership with the natural environment. And people get excited about that.
3/6/2012
We’ll be actively engaged in this inquiry for the rest of our lives. It’s a great project, improving the fairness of how we live. It has captured our imaginations.
2/14/2012
When my wife and I consider whether Rancho Cappuccino helps create abundance, we need to look at all three underlying questions: Does it enhance natural resources, improving supply? Does it help reduce demand? And, does it help us embrace simplicity?
2/7/2012
We’re creating beauty more fundamentally, internally, by learning about the place, loving it and treating it with care. Year by year, its beauty is more compelling to us as we know it better. Beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder.
4/24/2012
Our writers sometimes criticize the system, but everyone understands that the system makes our existence possible. And the more successful our company is within the system, the more influential our work becomes. That's fair, I think.
4/18/2012
We try to help people create abundance by both possible methods: by conserving existing resources and by propagating new resources. In other words, the two basic tools at our disposal are conservation and innovation.
5/8/2012
One of the best-proven characteristics of our system of business is its contagiousness. The system has proven itself repeatable and contagious across both time and space, across centuries of time and every continent.
5/2/2012
Beyond salary and benefits are the more abstract but equally important elements that make an employee feel valued.
3/27/2012
We have our work cut out for us for many years to come. And for that, we’re grateful.
3/20/2012
If a society decides its human populations can be held within the capacities of local farms to feed them, then our small farms can be replicated into the future, until further notice. I think that’s a very contagious idea.
4/10/2012
Yes, we aspire to beauty. And we create some beautiful things, judging with our own eyes and the eyes of our audiences. But of course it’s only through the ongoing daily aspiration to beauty that beauty is achieved. So, we keep it up.
4/3/2012
My colleagues and I hoped the small, unconventional company would provide a platform for something bigger – something that could grow.
9/16/2013
For humanity to create a better world, we must address issues of economic equality and limited resources. The natural environment can recover from much damage if we gradually limit the human population and judge business success by quality rather than quantity.
11/7/2013
With the inventiveness of visionaries like Elon Musk, technological advances can help create a better world, while remaining useful and cool.
1/21/2011
A beautiful round stone home, hand built and located outside of Bisbee, Ariz., is for sale to the right person who appreciates handcrafted artisan work and self-sufficient living.
2/8/2011
Part three: Karen Snyder and her partner, Sheryl Records, continue the saga of their circular stone house construction, on the outskirts of Bisbee, Ariz.
6/28/2011
Sayra and Dominic live with their 5-year-old daughter in a charming 550-square-foot home in rural Idaho. There are challenges, but they've found that less really is more. "It's like living in a fun clubhouse," Sayra says.
3/4/2011
Anecdotal evidence from coast to coast indicates that Americans have had enough of granite countertops and whirlpool tubs. They want smaller homes with green finishes instead.
1/26/2011
Karen Snyder and her partner, Sheryl Records, continue to saga of the circular stone house construction, outside of Bisbee, Ariz.
11/27/2010
I had heard there are thousands of new earthen houses in Thailand. That really amazed me, so I set out to learn the details about the modern earth building movement in Thailand.
5/23/2011
The $300 House Project challenges student and professional designers to create housing that shelters the poorest of the poor with safety and dignity. Winners will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to see their $300 houses built and reproduced.
12/12/2010
Building housing projects in developing regions is extremely rewarding, but also quite challenging. It’s prudent to draw ideas from as many resources as possible to improve the process. The following guidelines have proven effective.
5/14/2008
Expert advice on adding single nutrients, such as Epsom salts, to your garden and house plants.
2/16/2012
The ‘Kiwi House’ is organized around the primal element of fire.
10/15/2009
Rice University's ZEROW HOUSE takes first place for hot water and second for architecture and market viability at the Solar Decathlon 2009 in D.C.
4/21/2010
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi talks about buying her first home and discusses what eco-friendly goals she has for her new abode.
5/30/2010
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi investigates the greenest way to move to a new house.
7/1/2013
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house - learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
9/26/2011
Holy cow, I just wrote a blog about cleaning. I really am turning into my mother.
1/21/2012
Our selection of a house, downsizing and getting the home built.
6/22/2012
How do you find the best chicken coop design for your new flock? We'll help you walk through the evaluation process AND get a free analysis spreadsheet to help you decide.
7/10/2012
A key choice was what type of house to build. We aren't in Texas more than a few weeks a year until we make our final move back. We wanted a structure we could enclose to protect the interior from the elements and yet build in stages as time and money allow.
10/6/2010
The Obama administration announced yesterday that it will place solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the White House roof by spring 2011.
6/19/2009
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
5/20/2011
The Burning House website asks people to post lists and photos of everything they would take if their house were on fire. It's an interesting glimpse into what really matters--and a bittersweet reminder to love what we have.
3/1/2013
Get a materials list and step-by-step insructions for low tunnel construction for your backyard garden.
5/16/2013
A first look at the newest vegetable crops in the garden before the CSA harvests begin.
6/17/2011
Last October, President Obama filled us all with hope when he announced he would install solar panels on the White House by this spring. The panels haven't materialized, and the White House isn't talking. Call Obama and find out what's up.
12/15/2010
Made from bamboo, wood and grass seed, this tiny house could be our future.
6/18/2012
This blog post tells about Barbara Lee's memories of her grandpa who built a two-holer outhouse for his family and surrounded it with peonies so that there would not be an unpleasant odor.
1/2/2012
Having early tomatoes is a new goal of mine going into the first spring with my hoophouse. Join me and follow my blog to see if my strategies work.
11/10/2011
Robert Zwald talks about his days in a one room school house, learning with all eight grades at once. This is part four of eight in Robert Zwald's stories, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
10/28/2008
Help grow an organic food garden on the White House lawn. Here are some easy ways you can participate.
12/16/2013
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
11/26/2013
Ilene Freedman and her family reshaped their Chanukah tradition to feature family activities instead of presents.
5/16/2012
I’m curious about building a straw bale house. What are some good resources to consult?
4/15/2014
The ongoing debate between the merits and faults of Passive House design and passive solar design is important for those looking to build an energy-efficient home and for all enthusiasts of energy-efficient building. We've opened up the discussion to our online audience in this blog post. Please share your thoughts!
7/8/2014
A video documenting the "One Day Cob House" build in Reno, Nevada.
2/24/2011
With no building experience but a lot of determination, Gary Zuker built an 800-square-foot straw-clay home on the shores of Lake Travis in Texas--for $40,000.
7/11/2011
Ryan Mitchell, founder of TheTinyLife.com, is saving up to pay cash for a 130-square-foot home on wheels in North Carolina. He’s seeking perspective, clarity—and a girlfriend who gets it.
6/21/2011
Summer's here, but the solar panels that President Obama promised to install on the White House this spring aren't. Today the administration announced that it's still working out the details. We'll just have to wait.
12/20/2012
Learn details regarding winter chicken care including ventilation for a cozy chicken house, heat for baby and grown chicks, and recommended poultry books.
12/17/2012
I was gratified when, two weeks ago, Consumer Reports announced that the Chevy Volt was the best-loved car in the world among people who drive one – for the second year in a row. I have never loved a car like I love this one. And I have loved some cars.
1/8/2012
Receiving seed catalogs and dreaming of warmer weather and growing a garden.
5/3/2012
Living in possibly the best place in the USA.
11/5/2013
Inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk leaves little doubt about how far vision and imagination can take us in addressing ecological challenges.
9/11/2013
Humanity has the power to change and to take the actions needed to foster a healthy planet and a better standard of living for all. Choosing beauty and abundance will ensure a better future not only for humanity, but for the natural environment as well.
4/28/2011
Made from repurposed shipping containers and recycled steel, based on Prius engineering, with a gray water system and a living roof, this Mojave Desert residence and workplace is a prototype for low-cost prefab kit houses everywhere.
5/26/2011
After a tree crushed the back of their shotgun home (while 40 Hurricane Katrina refugees were camped out there), a Baton Rouge couple rebuilt a green, energy-efficient house that encourages connection with their neighborhood's "front porch" culture.
7/29/2011
“For anyone considering downsizing, or considering a small starter home, we say just do it!” Linda Bolton says. “We promise you won’t miss a thing living in a thousand square feet or less. You’ll just have smaller headaches.”
7/14/2011
Victoria Gazely lives in a 650-square-foot homesteader's cabin built by a man who didn't need closets. She's found five great ways to stash her stuff without renovating--and her solutions work for anyone who needs to hide a few things.
7/13/2011
In the kitchen, we can cultivate our sense of aesthetics and function. Tools can be beautiful. Food can be art. Cooking can be meditation.
2/18/2011
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.
9/2/2011
The 651 Project has been established to assist students Nationwide in their pursuit of agricultural skills and knowledge.
2/3/2012
“Green,” sustainable homes that deliver low cost of ownership.
6/6/2010
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.
12/6/2011
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.
12/28/2012
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.
6/5/2011
The beekeeping presentation in the kids' booth at the Tree House Club was filled with enthusiastic kids. Check out what one kid had to say about his time spent with the bees.
1/10/2011
Marley Audio Electronics collection, which debuted last week, showcases premium, eco-conscious manufacturing and materials, including hemp.
2/7/2011
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
2/11/2011
The L41 is a mass-produced, superefficient home designed to provide affordable shelter for everyone.
2/15/2011
Denise Franklin's 280-square-foot cabin in British Columbia provides everything she needs--and more.
5/27/2011
A proper tea house is a luxury I believe in.
5/4/2011
Mother readers weigh in on the wabi-sabi objects that give them joy and solace--from old books to heirloom quilts (and a few surprises). This community of kindred spirits embodies the art of appreciation. Enjoy!
4/13/2011
Frugality and lack of pretense or compromise are key ingredients in creating a wabi-sabi home.
6/8/2011
My old wabi-sabi home stood witness to celebration, sorrow, our children’s first words and fumbling first steps, dinners shared at the end of each day. It provided all that a home could and should, and now it's my lesson in non-attachment.
1/13/2011
Evergreen Institute founder's Missouri home burns; wood furnace is suspected cause.
9/21/2011
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
7/15/2013
Learn how to pinch back basil tops for a particularly bushy plant, then make delicious pesto with your harvest.
11/9/2011
It is not difficult to set up a backyard hoop house to extend your growing season. The result is abundant, delicious greens and extra months with your hands in the soil. Share information here on backyard hoop house gardening and cuisine.
5/15/2010
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi stays thankful for what’s important in the midst of a big move.
5/23/2010
On the brink of settling into her new home, environmental journalist Simran Sethi shares some tidbits of eco-information, such as how to box and save for the move, and how a few simple changes can make your home cozier and more energy-efficient.
5/13/2014
The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.
4/25/2013
To me, the most important features of a sustainable building are not its technological wonders but its simple design features: common-sense strategies that should be incorporated whether the building becomes LEED certified, Energy Star certified, or is just trying to be environmentally friendly.
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.
3/22/2011
An affordable prototype home helps revitalize a blighted Syracuse, New York, neighborhood--and could be the city home of the future.
4/21/2011
Green is Universal and Etsy's The Art of Reuse Contest is a gold mine for DIY home project ideas. My favorite pays homage to Audrey Hepburn's ahead-of-its-time sofa made from an old clawfoot bathtub in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
12/12/2011
Potted greens are a good complement to greens in the hoop house soil.
1/11/2013
How to make candles you can really light from the peel of Clementine oranges. A wintertime craft...just oil and an orange peel!
1/29/2013
A travel log of our family's mission to find local food sources on our trip to Puerto Rico.
5/4/2011
Here are three great reasons that hemp cultivation should be legal in the United States: food, health and shelter.
2/17/2013
Cooking meals on a vacation can be easy. Bring some essential items with you and enjoy homecooking, on vacation.
5/8/2010
So many paint colors to choose from for Simran Sethi’s home, but one standard must be met: no VOCs or harmful chemicals.
11/3/2011
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
1/13/2011
Bryan Welch's book, Beautiful and Abundant, provides a framework for understanding and evaluating ecotourism's impact on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula.
1/4/2011
Turn low value plastic trash into valuable building blocks with a $300 homemade press. Free plans for a hand operated press are available. A mechanized version could be made by converting a log splitter.
5/3/2010
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi goes through the process of rejuvenating her hardwood floors, and describes how to avoid harmful ingredients in cleaning products, such as volatile organic compounds, in the process.
11/2/2011
How do you keep backyard chickens safe from poultry predators? With a bit of elbow grease and a few tips, your girls will be safe from sharp teeth.
11/14/2012
A story of life, death and rebirth of a hoop house.
12/28/2012
Announcing an opportunity to get Anna's new Ebook for free today at Amazon on the subject of homesteading in a mobile home otherwise known as a trailer.
1/7/2013
We dipped candles from our hive's beeswax to celebrate winter. Candlemaking is a nice seasonal craft. Here’s how we did it, plus some tips to get you started.
1/10/2011
As Passive House Institute standards up the ante, USA Today’s “Best Green Homes of 2010” list reflects Americans’ desire for affordability, efficiency and style.
1/12/2011
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
3/28/2011
When Steve Sikora and Lynette Erickson-Sikora restored Frank Lloyd Wright's first small, affordable home, they discovered how green the iconic architect really was.
11/20/2012
If you just happen to need white dinner rolls for a crowd at Thanksgiving, here's the recipe. Also, check out some really cool contests and special offers from King Arthur Flour.
4/20/2011
Charles and Ray Eames are modern wabi-sabi heroes who brought fresh, spare furniture, without pretense or stodginess, to the masses. Their home was a wabi-sabi masterpiece.
12/1/2011
Two years ago, the Natural Home & Garden staff had the honor of decorating President Obama's guest house with sustainable and handmade holiday decor. Try some of these "president-approved" projects yourself!
7/6/2011
Wabi-sabi is sinewy, flecked browns and yellowed greens, the myriad stone and moss shades, a slate-gray cloud’s washed violet underside. Like nature, wabi-sabi paints in multidimensional swatches that are never what they appear to be.
6/5/2011
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
2/4/2011
One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.
7/31/2012
A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.
1/16/2012
A "how to" for building a hoop-style greenhouse using PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.
3/23/2011
Wabi-sabi teaches us appreciation for the good energy and soul that handmade items bring to our homes. Etsy, the premiere source for handcrafted home goods, offers an extensive list of items whose sale will benefit Japanese relief efforts.
2/14/2012
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.


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