House in the Woods Farm
A first look at the newest vegetable crops in the garden before the CSA harvests begin.
Ilene Freedman and her family reshaped their Chanukah tradition to feature family activities instead of presents.
Learn how to pinch back basil tops for a particularly bushy plant, then make delicious pesto with your harvest.
How to make candles you can really light from the peel of Clementine oranges. A wintertime craft...just oil and an orange peel!
A travel log of our family's mission to find local food sources on our trip to Puerto Rico.
Cooking meals on a vacation can be easy. Bring some essential items with you and enjoy homecooking, on vacation.
Springtime happiness can be measured by the sweetness of your strawberry patch.
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.
Old strains of holiday cactus are easy to grow, but updated varieties rebloom more often and produce bigger, showier blossoms.
The White House will launch an open-to-the-public farmers market.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce shares 5 things to consider before starting a farmstead—not the least of which being winter.
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.
American Farmland Trust will be holding the Farmland, Food and Livable Communities Conference October 20-22, in Lexington, Kentucky.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan reflects on the changes that arrive with fall, including her own sense of melancholy.
Find out whether a wood pellet stove is right for you, and discover the best stove to buy.
In the wake of the summer solstice, HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan takes time to appreciate the longest days of the year.
A beautiful old, old, rambling rose bush that grows on my moms corner fence post greets us with pink blooms each spring.
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.
Here are your options for sealing a woodstove.
Bob-White Systems is bringing the cows back home by providing supplies, equipment and support for Micro Dairies, Home & Farmstead cheesemakers and small-scale producers of local and farm fresh dairy products.
Here is a plan for how to build your own floating cabin, "The Live Aboard Houseboat."
Woodstoves can have indoor or outdoor air supplies depending on factors and requirements for the building.
Putting a safety fence around a woodstove keeps small children and pets safer.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares how to install drip irrigation in your home garden.
While the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Mountain Resort may have been John D. Ivanko's family’s primary destination (as speakers about renewable energy, sustainable living and farmstead cooking), it definitely wasn’t their only reason for eco-touring the region known as the Laurel Highlands.
A University of Georgia study finds that common houseplants can remove toxins and improve indoor air quality.
A description of farmers' even tempered dispositions.
Woodstove sweepstakes winner Ken Newman plans to use his new Vermont Bun Baker to heat both his home and his meals. The Bake, Crackle and Broil Giveaway, sponsored by MOTHER EARTH NEWS, awarded the $3,400 woodstove to Newman earlier this summer.
Do you love showing off your FarmTek products? Think you're using them in a unique and interesting way? FarmTek would love to see!
You have read every garden, homestead and back to the land book in your library system. Your dreams of coffee at sunrise set to the chatter of fowl made real. With hoe in hand and 914,760 square feet rolling out from your feet like a magic carpet; where do you start?
Pennsylvania mama Michelle has finally found a homestead! Get her moving tips on take-back programs, packing mason jars, buying cheap appliances, and more.
HOMEGROWN blogger and homesteading mama Michelle explains why road trips are worth packing 3 kids, 2 adults, and 2 dogs in a camper for weeks on end.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel recounts how she went from half-hearted to full-breed-ahead when it comes to breeding goats.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick honors the determination of women farmers, even as she observes a bittersweet month on her farm.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel discusses using manure in the garden, including which type of animal waste is best for which crops.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Missouri farmer Bryce Oates shares why he values reading (Eliot Coleman, especially) and how it impacts his fall growing season.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle takes a young woman under her wing for a first lesson in homemaking.
Steve Judge of Bob-White Systems in Vermont offers his Micro Dairy expertise in this blog series on how to start and manage a Micro Dairy, from farm and barn planning to selecting dairy cows, goats and sheep to daily operations and being profitable.
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?
You may need special farm liability insurance if you plan to sell eggs, produce or other products from your farm or at the farmers market.
MaryJane's Farmgirls is a network of women's groups across the country who meet to discuss and share their experiences in modern homesteading, including sewing, cooking, voluteering and more.
We now have something to walk on other than dirt!
Discover the extensive resources available in the newest edition of the Farmer's Almanac.
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.
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.
Come early or spend a few days after the three days of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, held at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania this September 12 – 14, 2014. Less than 30 miles from Seven Springs Mountain Resort, there’s an ecotourism adventure to be had.
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.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Michelle's annual road trips out west renew her love for the heartland and the American farmer.
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.
A blog about the joys of wood heat that covers comfort, energy savings, ecology and history of the trees and sustainable harvesting
Cam loves growing his own heat!
The Warm Heart of an Iraq War Vet’s Washington Log Home
Heating with wood in a cast iron stove.
America’s Farmstand delivers all-natural, sustainably farmed fresh foods, grown to exacting standards, direct from family farms to table – with no warehousing.
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.
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.
The 651 Project has been established to assist students Nationwide in their pursuit of agricultural skills and knowledge.
A beginning farmer starts to realize that first impressions of the farm will make all the difference.
Dyan writes about the changing season at Bittersweet Farm, and introduces us to the newest member of the flock, a black sheep named Little Man.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time of being a goat herder, it’s that at breeding time, the goats are in charge.
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.
When Woods End Labs recently tested biodegradable plastics and found that most aren't compostable under home compost conditions, one reader (known as Eco-Oxo) wrote that Oxo biodegradable bags aren't designed to biodegrade under compost conditions. Woods End Labs is following up, taking the reader's suggestion and testing Oxo under the conditions Eco-Oxo recommends. This is Part 1 of the new test, where you can follow along and see how Oxo fares under different conditions.
Whether you have a small grove of trees or acres of woods, this manual will guide you through the right methods to care for and sustain your land.
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
Chase down household leaks and fix them to save water and money during the Earth Gauge #FixALeak Week.
The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Act establishes tough formaldehyde emission standards for household products made from composite wood.
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.
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 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.
First time farmers plan for the growing season and lambing.
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.
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
Check out the Kimberly stove, an energy efficient, small space wood cookstove.
How to keep your livestock warm and your life full on chilly winter days.
Learn how to clean your own woodstove and chimney.
Do you have a woodstove or pellet stove at home? We’d like to hear more about your experiences with woodstoves and any tips you may have for heating with wood.
Missouri farmer and HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates tackles the Enbridge Flanagan South Pipeline, which would cross 1 mile from his area's water intake.
How we found our first piglets and the lesson I learned about the importance of hands on training
The basics of using a woodstove to heat your home.
The best way to start a fire in your woodstove.
Elmira Stove Works offers distinctive, superior quality appliances with its innovative line of Fireview cookstoves.
On a snowy winter morning, the kitchen table becomes the grand cathedral of a home. It is the place of family, song, wood fires, community and love as we wait for spring.
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.
Responsible investment secures land for a young organic farmer in Minnesota.
Want to know more about the food at your farmers market? Here's some advice from the farmers themselves.
As the number of farmers markets grows, now may be the perfect time to join in on the market gardening fun.
Calling all gardeners — If you want to view a remarkable series of photographs of vegetables as art, check out Lynn Karlin’s exhibit, Taking a Stand: the Pedestal Series. You can view the series here http://goo.gl/K1apd or at the Maine Farmland Trust in Belfast, Maine from September 28 to November 14th.
Monsanto's Roundup Ready system transformed typical weed problems into a national superweed crisis, only healthy farms can correct the damage done.
Look out guys — these women really know what 21st century farming is all about.
Decision from the USDA: Farmers won't be allowed to break their CRP contract without penalty.
Fond memories of a self-sufficient farm in Armstrong County, Pa., show how hard work and family together results in a truly meaningful life.
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.
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!
The first Tiny House Conference will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 16.
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.
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.
One woman's vision of a family farm comes to life in her back yard thanks to one friendly goat.
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.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary explains how to prevent, identify and stop robbing in the beeyard.
Let the ancient Japanese art of wabi-sabi help you purge unwanted items and get organized for the new year.
Trying to follow directions out in the country can be challenging!
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares her New Year's resolution for 2014: buying food directly from farmers.
Kentucky farmer Susana Lein runs a permaculture farm in the Appalachian Mountains where she educates students and visitors from around to the world the best way she knows how - by putting their hands in the soil.
Consider this One-Day Workshop For Horticultural Farmers Ready To Take Steps To Improve Farm Profits.
Robert White explains why he's attending the Growing Farmers workshops, and describes what he learned in the first session.
In this blog, Robert White of Quail Acres Farm shares some of his experiences in the Growing Farmers workshops as they relate to planning for his upcoming move to the farm to establish his market garden and small livestock business.
A humurous description of the beginning of an adventure in farming.
One farm is able to combine cost savings, with energy sustainability by using a Savonius rotor.
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.
Making Music on the Front Porch ... let's define what the musical Front Porch is.
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
After only a few nights with a wood stove in the tipi, I've become happily addicted to warmth I have to work for.
Virtual farmers markets make buying and selling fresh farm goods easy and can grow into a thriving business!
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.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan Redick considers how inextricably the lives of farmers and fishermen are intertwined in her coastal Maine town.
Humorous real-life stories of moving and adjusting to farm life.
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.
Rice Intensification uses less water and fewer seedlings to produce greater yields of rice, which helps both poor farmers and the environment.
A poem on the plight of the American farmer - the one percent.
If you want to sell produce through an online farmers market, you'll want to feature mouth-watering photos of your goods. Here are some tips to show you how.
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.
In the Spring of 2010, I quit my job as a high school theology teacher, because I wanted to be a farmer. I am now entering my fourth year of full-time farming, even though I had almost no experience farming. Here’s how I did it, and some tips to help you on your way.
A beginning farmer learns that keeping does and keeping bucks are two different things.
Tell the U.S. Department of Agriculture to abandon their efforts to create and enforce a National Animal Identification System. We've made it easy for you with sample wording and directions on where to submit your comments.
To satisfy today's home buyer, a developer of million-dollar luxury homes in New York is offering smaller, more affordable houses--more anecdotal evidence that the McMansion is dying.
A story of life, death and rebirth of a hoop house.
Lessons learned from my first week as a summer intern at Polyface Farm.
Kristen learns more about poultry and rabbit shelters, and salting hay at Polyface Farm.
Polyface Farm Field Day! This week was all about prep for all our visitors, lot of processing and for some last minute hay making.
Rachel and her husband committed to a year without groceries, and they made it! She shares her experiences in local food in this post.
Help save this small family farm in Michigan, and stand up for our right to live sustainably!
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.
Could you heat your house with a hair dryer? Super-efficient Passive Houses use very little energy.
The American Institute of Architect’s Home Design Trends Survey confirmed what Natural Home predicted in January—Americans are moving to smaller homes.
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.
Some things have come full circle, so now we have a chance to fix it right this time!
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.
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.
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
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
America needs one million new farmers. Veterans want the job.
August 3 to 9 is National Farmers Market Week! How does weather impact growth and harvest of fruits and vegetables? www.earthgauge.net/?p=36863
A farmers market is not only a place to purchase fresh produce; you can also count on going home with a new recipe or tip on how to prepare those yummy veggies and fruits.
Look for local foods, such as fresh peaches, from your local farmers' market to make delightful summer desserts such as peaches and cream.
If you’re a market gardener battling the heat, you’ll want to check out these great tips for keeping yourself and your crops cool.
New Roots for Refugees, a program in the Kansas City area, helps fleeing refugees establish a new home and contributes to the local food system.
A 30-acre organic and biodynamic farm is the beating heart of the thriving 1,000-acre Serenbe community near Atlanta. As more developers integrate agriculture into suburbia, the joys and benefits of farming are becoming available to everyone.
Watch a video of a traveling sheep shearer at work and tell us about small-scale farming artisans in your region.
Wood Prairie Farm encourages citizens to sign a petition in support of family farmers and to attend the citizens assembly on January 31st, 2012.
When done right, you can reduce your feed costs by up to 75 percent - even after taking your fuel costs into account.
In 2010 former horse-powered produce grower Michael Hari launched Equicert, a business that provides services to horse powered farms.
Jacobs Farm in Santa Cruz, Calif. was recently awarded $1 million in damages for lost income due to pesticide drift.
Congress is accused of bait-and-switch tactics when they propose millions in reductions to the conservation-related program assistance that helped pass the 2008 farm bill.
Secure grant funds for your farmers market, community-supported agriculture program and more by applying to the USDA by April 27.
Growing Power believes that youth working in city farms will grow, bloom and thrive right alongside the crops they cultivate.
A quick guide to deciding whether fresh or frozen organic whole turkeys are right for you, your farm, or your family.
Steve explains how one practical guy invented a way to burn pellets efficiently without an expensive pellet stove
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, provides tips on splitting firewood for home heating via woodstoves or fireplaces.
As farmers markets open across the country, here are 10 good reasons to get out and support your local farmers. (The freshest seasonal food is just a part of it.)
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
Future factors set a high standard for sustainable products and activities
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.
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.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
Simran Sethi discusses what it takes for a home to be truly clean by avoiding harsh chemicals and using natural cleaning products.
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.”
Coporations continue to purchase interests in seed industries. Could this be a problem?
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.
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.
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.
Here are some resources to help you get started learning about straw bale building.
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.
A California Environmental Protection Agency’s Resources Board study finds that airtight homes lead to pollutant buildup; poor indoor air quality can damage health
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.
Auburn University students build a home using bales of non-recyclable corrugated cardboard.
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."
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.
Is having too many gardens a detriment to selling a suburban home?
Cover crops are grown between planting seasons as a way to give back to the soil what cultivation takes from it. And cover crops aren’t just for large-scale growers—they can help you get the most out of your backyard vegetable garden too!
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.
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.
It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked:
Why do we do all this work?
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missourian Bryce Oates explains how he and his family survive summer on the farm. Two words: swimming pool.
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!
Jenna Woginrich discusses the more difficult aspects of homesteading, and why it's worth it anyway.
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.
A beginning farmer loses a friend and finds that solitary farming isn't all it's cracked up to be.
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.
How to Schedule your Planting by the Moon
Raising and growing your own is more than a lifestyle — it is life.
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.
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."
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.
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.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan recalls how the seasons affected her childhood and how they guide her activities now on her Maine dairy farm.
The flowers weren't just there to be pretty. They provided a long blooming source of forage for our bees and the native pollinators.
A beginning farmer realizes that time may be the farm's most important commodity.
Check out these great searchable databases and other resources for finding local food and farmers.
These online tools can help you find the best sources for local food, including local farmers markets and community-supported agriculture programs.
Smallholder farmers around the world have practiced traditional, subsistence farming for as long as farming has been around. Using manure as a natural fertilizer can make the difference between barely scraping by and growing enough to earn an income.
The true essence of Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training and Archi’s Acres is about lending a helping hand and empowering veterans to create a sustainable positive future through agribusiness.
A Lithuanian farmers market seller displays sculpted red radishes with faces!
The benefits of a membership in a CSA and how supporting local organic farming is not only good for you but good for the Earth as well.
The options for obtaining locally grown food have expanded in recent years, particularly with farmers markets. Expand your diet beyond your garden and meet the folks who can help you do that and stay local.
A forty-something woman stumbles into a booth at a farmer's market, looks up, and sees a handsome farmer. You may know that the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey also begins with a tumble and winds up with love. It's no coincidence: my book Fifty Weeks of Green is a comic response to Fifty Shades that celebrates sustainable living.
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.
Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica’s verdant San Carlos agricultural region is a dynamic, living example of permaculture and biodynamic farming, where every being is part of a system that nurtures the body and the soul.
Ever wondered about the real meaning behind terms like cage free, free range, and pasture raised?
We strongly support keeping a few chickens (hens only) within city limits. Feel free to use this statement if you're working to get an ordinance passed to allow chickens in your city.
Our first trip to the New England Meat Conference and some of the lessons we learned.
It's hard to shop responsibly sometimes, especially for meat. There are so many different label claims that it's hard to remember which are meaningful and which are just fluff. Here's a handy reference card that will give more power to your purchases.
Rodale Institute today announces the launch of Your 2 Cents, an innovative program that unites consumers and companies in support of the next generation of American farmers.
There are many ways farmers can benefit from renewable energy, including wind energy, solar energy, energy efficiency and biofuels.
Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition, is now available in print and by download from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. Learn how to make your soil perform at its very best!
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comments on how to implement the new Conservation Stewardship Program. Here's the lowdown, plus instructions on how to submit your opinion — it's easy!
The National Animal Identification Plan will be easily implemented by large factory farms, but it means trouble for smaller operations. Will the system really keep us safe from disease, or will industrial ag and tracking system manufacturers be the only beneficiaries?
Self-dubbed “lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin describes how sustainable living and more conscientious agricultural practices can mend and revive a planet pushed near the brink.
Neem (Azadirachta indica) is used in so many ways in herbal medicine, which is why it has been tagged the "village pharmacy." Neem is used to combat tiredness, cough, fever, loss of appetite, worm infestations and so much more.
Kubota Reinforces Important Tractor Safety Reminders in Observance of Harvest Season National Farm Safety and Health Week, September 20-26, 2009
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.
In a Boulder, Colorado, neighborhood, residents are getting off the grass. They're donating their front yards to a community organization that grows enough fruits and vegetable on the former lawns to feed 50 families. Now, that's local food.
Robert White is remaking himself as a farmer, and will return to his family's land to start a market garden. Here's why.
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.
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...
One small brown bat can eat several thousand insects each night. Install a bat house and invite them to feast in your yard.
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.
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.
Building a new house with SIPS
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
This tiny kit home--less than 90 square feet--is energy-independent and so well-designed that you'd never miss the space.
Leap Adaptive's 480-square-foot, energy-efficient Hummingbird kit house makes green living affordable.
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.
In North Carolina’s Triangle region, Crop Mob is reviving community farming.
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
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.
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
Miller Manufacturing expands the Little Giant beekeeping supply product line.
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?
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.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence reviews the latest proposals banning urban chicken farming.
Farmers in northern Michigan urge county officials to support hemp farming.
Radical homemaker Karen Keb introduces her new blog, which will cover topics as diverse as baking bread to raising livestock.
It's snake season, and I found a black snake out my back door!
Carolyn shares nostalgic summer memories of life on the farm including owning a pet rooster, picking wild blackberries, and eating fried turtle.
If you think Bambi is cute, try keeping him out of your strawberry field!
Here are a few sources that can help you find affordable farm land.
Urban Agriculture activists and advocates work to change the zoning laws in Chicago to be more friendly to urban agriculture.
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.
KIOTI embarks on a major process upgrade to exceed the needs of their customer base.
Local farmers lease Amherst College land to provide for the school’s dining hall.
Members of the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA) are inviting the public to visit their farms and ranches on National Alpaca Farm Days on September 24th and 25th, 2011.
HOMEGROWN blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel outlines strategies for responsible drought gardening in her home state of California--or anywhere.
A beginner farmer learns about taking on the responsibility of raising animals.
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.
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.
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.
A nine-to-fiver turns a corner and leaves behind a twenty-year career to grow food amongst housing developments and strip malls.
A beginning urban farmer grows nothing without a smartphone.
Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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's no need to be afraid of canning. With basic skills a cook can safely prepare and process excess produce during the summer and have a ready supply all winter. An easy way to start is with dill pickles, with extras like garlic and hot peppers.
Putting up a hoophouse expands the growing opportunity into the barren winter months. A USDA program is helping market growers purchase a hoophouse to find out if local farmers and consumers reap benefits from extending local growing seasons.
Before stocking up on chocolate treats this Halloween, learn where chocolate comes from, and at what cost to the environment and cocoa farming communities. Enjoy a spooky and sustainable holiday with Rainforest Alliance's tips for a green Halloween.
Creating your own start-up is full of obstacles, but rewarding. MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Jessica Vaughan shares advice from her experience as a first-time small business owner who teaches clients how to grow organic produce.
In a recent study, researchers found that watching videos about wind farm-related illnesses made participants claim the same symptons.
Sustainable farming expert Michael Pollan has some words of wisdom for the next president of the United States.
Relax: HR 875 isn't a bill to outlaw organic farming, as you might have heard. But it's not exactly good news for pesticide-free producers, either. Here are the details.
More on the much-feared food safety bill, HR 875, and its Congressional counterparts.
“The Cleaner Plate Club” co-author Beth Bader shares an adventure to the farmers market with her daughter, her “eat local” food values, and her recipe for Lemongrass Tomato Soup.
We passed the "phosphataze" test with the Health Protection Agency and know that the milk from our dairy farm is safe to sell.
David Goodman tests the Meadow Creature broadfork on his Florida farm and finds it to be amazing as heck.
Tell us what kind of barns and sheds you prefer for your poulty and farm animals.
Rhode Island plans to install large wind far off it's Atlantic Ocean shore.
Have you ever been injured on the farm? Tell us how you're doing, and share your advice on how we can avoid the same accident.
It's spring! Time to think of installing permanent fencing.
A year of many departures leaves a homesteader reeling.
Farm fencing expert Todd Harne talks about choosing the right gate for the right situation. He suggests that the weight of the gate is more critical than the gauge, but heavy gates aren’t necessary for all situations.
It's possible to live without chickens in your back yard. But why would you want to?
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.
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.
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
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.
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company founder Jay Shafer teaches Americans how to build efficient homes of less than 1,000 square feet.
I cure my spring fever by planting in a hoop house.
President Obama plans to help earn the White House LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
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.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi spends her first night in her new home and reflects on the struggles and triumphs of the journey thus far.
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.
Did you know that you're going to have to make your digester either much larger or much warmer, if you expect to do practical biogas in the US? Well, here's that story...
There are two things that are true about biogas. The first is that biogas wants to happen. It wants to happen like plants want to grow, like fire wants to burn. And that force, that will to happen, has (at least) those two aspects: life, like the plants; and chemistry, like the fire.
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.
A potential solution to rising food prices, food insecurity and the obesity epidemic may call into play raising farms inside the city limits.
The Spirit of Hope garden in Detriot offers a safe, nurtuting place for plants and children to grow.
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.
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.
Part three: Karen Snyder and her partner, Sheryl Records, continue the saga of their circular stone house construction, on the outskirts of Bisbee, Ariz.
Karen Snyder and her partner, Sheryl Records, continue to saga of the circular stone house construction, outside of Bisbee, Ariz.
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.
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.
When it comes to building their home, one couple decides to hire a contractor to handle the process, but still plans to design their own home and provide labor and materials as much as possible.
The fields that were laid out in 1843 for livestock farming are teeming with hay-making grasses.
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.
To protest the ban on hemp farming, six hemp activists symbolically planted hemp seeds on the lawn of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
September is here and I'm expecting the weather to break!
Using horses rather than tractors may turn out to be the greenest way to farm.
Dealing with potties out in the country.
Things that come to mind while watching my husband and son work in this heat.
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.
A boy growing up in Appalachian Country shares the farming practices of his family.
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.
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.
The Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service is looking for an organic farmer worthy of being named their 26th annual Organic Farmer of the Year.
Cam learns to appreciate country music.
Cam has a great deal of respect for farmers.
Exploring the roots of the CSA concept.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!
Contemplations on what we eat and why we pay close attention to our food.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan Redick divides her time differently these days, Before Milking and After Milking, in the wake of spring births on her Maine dairy farm.
Save the date for the Polyface Farm "Save Your Bacon" event.
As fall wanes, HOMEGROWN Life contributor Dyan spends time observing and learning from the language of animals on her Maine dairy farm.
Joel Salatin and his family open their farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley on July 19th to celebrate what he calls "integrity food." Events will feature walking tours of pastured livestock, intensive seminars and demonstrations on rabbit rearing and more.
Life on a family farm is never dull and full of surprises to keep a farmer on their toes.
If you like steam- and gas- powered engines and farm equipment, you will love these three magazines and websites: Farm Collector, Gas Engine and Steam Traction.
Todd Harne shares his "must-have" pieces of equipment to tackle his spring chores around the farm.
Originally from small Prussian villages, th Bruchmillers immigrated to Kansas and started a farm. Now the current owner of the same farmland, the author describes the immigrants' stories in Part Two of a four-part series on tracing farm history.
Learn what a typical family homestead in the late 19th century produced: The diversity and efficiency is surprising and inspiring information for any modern homesteader! This is Part Three of a four-part series on the author's work to discover the history of her farm.
Learn what a typical Kansas family homestead in the late 19th century produced: The diversity and efficiency of their farm sales is surprising and inspiring information for any modern homesteader! This is Part Three of a four-part series on the author's work to discover the history of her farm.
This week was a lot of fence line and firewood work, a water systems discussion with Joel Salatin, fun with turkeys and my birthday on the farm (with a surprise guest).
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick discovers a kindred soul in E. B. White when she reads the essay Memorandum, from his 1944 collection, 'One Man's Meat.'
According to a recent Congressional Research
Service report, nearly 40 programs, from
land conservation to support for beginning farmers and ranchers, are set to
lose funding in the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill.
You can start a productive small farm business rather quickly if you use a business operations approach from the beginning. You may have what it takes if you own some property and are willing to work hard for successful results. Farming is also a practice in which traits like patience and persistence come in handy when everything goes wrong at the same time. These are all parts of the farming business and should be considered valuable lessons learned because they are only attained by experience.
How sheep teach and humiliate a grown man.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm covers the essentials of how to can safely.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates shares his approach to improving soil health and preparing a soil microbe brew.
JackJaw’s new T-post extractor is durable and lightweight.
Forester Industries, LLC, the exclusive manufacturer of PasturePro fencing, has been acquired by Kencove Farm Fence Supplies.
New Holland has introduced its next generation of hardworking utility tractors, the T4 Series. This tailored offering produces between 84 to 106 horsepower thanks to powerful 4-cylinder engines with Common Rail technology and a Cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation system to meet Tier 4A compliance.
This picture will bring a smile to your face and make you think of your own family pet.
You don't have to be a homeowner to homestead. No matter where you live, you can start practicing the skills you need for a more self-reliant, sustainable life.
On the farm their can be lots of animals. Do you remmeber your first farm animal?
With a well-designed dog pack, you can take your dog to the farmer's market and your pet won't mind helping you carry a few groceries.
Kasco Manufacturing introduced a new 10’ wide Vari-Slice seeder at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky. The Vari-Slice seeder is suitable for applications including pasture seeding, beef, dairy and horse farms for worked or no-till conditions and where tight germination of grass seed is needed.
Dixie Chopper, the manufacturer of The World’s Fastest Lawn Mower, offers the Zee 2 series, its newest and largest line of residential zero-turn lawn mowers. Ideal for large property owners, Zee 2 mowers include a variety of features for fast performance, quality cutting and comfortable operation.
Publisher Bryan Welch doesn't make his living on the farm, which he says is a good thing. He writes about his steps and missteps in his first year using an automatic waterer for his cattle, and the first winter test.
Teaching a farm dog — a livestock guard dog — which animals to protect and which animals not to isn't an easy task. Learn about the protector/protectee animal relationships at Rancho Cappuccino, and about how the Rancho guard animals are taught to protect their charges.
Sometimes even HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm needs a reminder why she puts up with the goat feed, the chicken poop, the cat puke, and the never-ending mud. Here's a hint: It involves good food.
It’s never easy to be the new guy (or gal), and that goes for new farmers and ranchers, too. Since beginning a farm, one homesteader writes how she found her own sense of belonging as an urban transplant in rural setting.
Jenna has three new sheep on the homestead and she's already learning a lot.
Part One of a four-part series describing one homesteader's search for the history of the farm she and her family now call home. Her search leads her back in time, starting in Germany and following the lives of the immigrants through settling down in Kansas and, finally, to the day she and her husband purchased the property.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m curious about building a straw bale house. What are some good resources to consult?
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!
A video documenting the "One Day Cob House" build in Reno, Nevada.
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.
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.
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.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi talks about buying her first home and discusses what eco-friendly goals she has for her new abode.
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
The ‘Kiwi House’ is organized around the primal element of fire.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi investigates the greenest way to move to a new house.
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.
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.
Made from bamboo, wood and grass seed, this tiny house could be our future.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Expert advice on adding single nutrients, such as Epsom salts, to your garden and house plants.
Get a materials list and step-by-step insructions for low tunnel construction for your backyard garden.
Help grow an organic food garden on the White House lawn. Here are some easy ways you can participate.
Wasting food in the U.S., making biogas, and using food waste to do it ... (Let's not waste all that wasted food!).
There’s a gold mine out back of your local restaurant in the form of wasted food. Learn to think like an ecologist and discover how nature turns “waste” into useable, renewable energy.
Summing up: How much food waste makes how much biogas to power what functions around the farmstead?
Temperature is central to biogas production, and warmer is better. Much better. So if biogas is not a hot topic, it should be.
Holy cow, I just wrote a blog about cleaning. I really am turning into my mother.
Living in a tiny house is good for the environment and for the wallet, but requires a lifestyle shift for the inhabitants.
Our selection of a house, downsizing and getting the home built.
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.
Learn details regarding winter chicken care including ventilation for a cozy chicken house, heat for baby and grown chicks, and recommended poultry books.
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.
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.
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.
Whether you are buying a house, purchasing land, or getting ready to build your own home, we recommend starting by setting your priorities and then matching a house design to your needs.
After finding some basic online building plans, the next step to getting a future home built is to find a designer to draw the house plans.
Focus on Food records an episode from Chaffin Orchards and discusses sustainable farming and the ethics of eating meat.
Proposals to weaken the links among conservation, farming and fair access to food would worsen the problems of U.S. agriculture.
Writer and Canadian farming enthusiast, Joseph Graham sent this review of the event that he and his wife hosted for Homesteading Education Month.
It takes a few good rationalizations to get through the busiest part of the growing season.
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.
Permaculture is at the heart of the solution of many environmental crises. Permaculture is alive with the possibilities of positive change.
Is rotenone organic? The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) sorts out that complicated question about a pesticide being used on some organic farms.
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.
Learning to raise cows is more of a challenge than you would imagine!
Free-range, backyard eggs are better for your health and your ethics.
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.
Productive urban landscapes, if managed correctly, can reduce pollution in local watershed.
Arthur Bolduc shares his story of experiencing life near an Amish community in Ohio, where he enjoyed the exciting process of sorghum production firsthand.
Finding friends out in the country can be challenging.
Cam enjoys a visit with Ken & Madeline who farmed this property many years ago and Cam realizes how hard farming was back then....
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!
When it's too hot outside, the work moves inside, and is still REALLY HOT.
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
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.
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.
After finding the illegal presence of genetically engineered wheat in Oregon, the USDA has found another, similar case in Montana.
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."
West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates explains why he has a problem with putting farmers, among others, on pedestals.
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.
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.
It's always wonderful to meet someone who is passionate about what they do!
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.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
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.
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.
While corporate progress toward sustainability may seem agonizingly slow, GreenBiz editors found plenty to cheer about in 2010--and believe 2011 will be a banner year for green initiatives.
The solar-powered tractor was painted Terry’s favorite color—green—before the motor was strapped in. After the motor was installed a battery stand was welded over the top of the DC drive motor which is large enough to accommodate twelve 250-amp deep-cycle batteries. Once the performance controller was installed battery cables were run, linking the batteries together.
Two young Vermonters make the small farm a reality with some creative financing.
A WWOOFer (Worldwide Opportunity on Organic Farms reflects on her second visit to an organic herb farm, where she learned more about plant harvesting, medicine making and natural building
Five shops depend on Whitey Top farm for fresh milk supplies.
Now the milk is in the chill room and we can eat cheese and freshly made chiabata with nearby cheese and horseradish sauce.
Re-homed adult or rescue LGDs are another option when you are looking for a working livestock guard dog for your farm.
In our last few posts, we’ve been looking at the various breeds of livestock guard dogs. But before you start looking at advertisements or litters of puppies, there are a few more questions for you to ask yourself. They are centered on two broad issues – your predator problems and your farm or homestead.
In this post, Jan Dohner describes the different roles a livestock guard dog can perform on a farm or homestead - a full-time livestock guardian, a general farm guardian, or a family companion.
21 things you should know or wish you had known before starting a goat farm.
Take a look around your property and decide where to put your new beehives. Some considerations for hive placement.
A meditation on the benefits and fulfillment found in the physical labor of homesteading chores.
Instructions for a quick, easy and affordable method of building portable shelters for your pastured pigs
For more than 40 years, The Farm Community in Tennessee has been on the forefront of farming, gardening and the green lifestyle.
Kubota reinforces tractor and heavy equipment safety for the whole family.
A few hundred protestors from across the country arrived at the White House last month, the culmination of the two-week GMO Right2Know March that began in New York City on October 1. (Congratulations all you brave marchers - my feet ache just thinkin
The American Society of Safety Engineers’ Ag Branch encourages purchasing tractors with a Rollover Protection Structure. Programs exist that will help offset the cost of the ROPS to add to older tractors. Tractor rollovers are common accidents that will lead to severe injury or death, but an ROPS will keep the driver safe.
The bar has been raised once more as AGCO Application Equipment introduces for 2012 three new RoGator high-clearance sprayers designed with even more power.
We buy a Jersey cow to use as a calf foster mom.
New Holland Agriculture is unveiling new equipment, and exciting new technology at the 2012 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa.
Mahindra USA, the leader in affordable, high-quality farm equipment, continues its commitment to provide hard-working, high value tractors in the United States with the launch of 13 new models for the 2011 season.
Yes, spring is finally here. Time to start farming.
Jenna Woginrich reflects on her journey from fresh out of college, city-dwelling designer to determined homesteader, and offers encouragement to those with similar dreams.
NativeEnergy, an innovator in the United States carbon market, today launched its year-long 10-Year Anniversary program.
Dogsleds are clean, green and run on renewable energy.
Carmen Ortiz shares stories of visiting grandpa on his urban farm where she learned to milk cows, avoided the outhouse and gained an appreciation for gardening.
NativeEnergy, an innovator in the United States carbon market, today launched its year-long 10-Year Anniversary program.
Jenna gets a pack goat to help carry gear for hiking trips. Share her experience of buying a buck kid and raising him to be a pack goat.
Going camping, hiking, or canoeing this summer? HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares a big-batch granola recipe that will feed your entire group—or one hungry teen.
Spiller Farm has a history of growing incredible amounts of food for those in need. They are presently working on steps to make sure that their farm and land will always have a focus on agricultural undertakings.
It's important to prepare your Micro Dairy or small farm for winter by making small improvements to your facilities. But it's also important to mentally prepare for the dark, cold months.
Kristen describes returning from her summer internship at Polyface Farm and explains what she's been up to since.
Sometimes even — perhaps especially — those whose lives are full with experience, knowledge and good living can find that as their time begins to dwindle, there isn't quite enough. Not that that's anything other than as it should be.
Work on the farm gets easier as kids grow and get physically able to tackle chores with more strength.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel, of Dog Island Farm, argues in favor of her favorite chicken breed, the Buckeye.
Homesteads and farms often have fun or touching
names that etch themselves into our memories. Is there one that has stuck in
The peaceful tranquility of farm life is often more or less controlled chaos, especially during the busy spring season!
The importance of a good pickup truck for the modern homesteader.
KIOTI tractor company realizes significant growth in North American markets.
Farmers sure have their own way of talking — from the cadre of names for animals to the meaning of "shit," we'll explore and unravel some of the greater and lesser known sayings in Old Time Farm Talk.
As Congress considers the 2013 Farm Bill, it has the opportunity to enact legislation that protects and supports the nation's family farmers and market gardeners, in addition to protecting consumers and the environment.
It has been fifteen months since heritage breed hog farmer Mark Baker sued the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to stop the implementation of an invasive species order (ISO). The swine ISO supposedly targeted feral swine but could be applied to any domestic pig not raised in confinement. Baker has yet to have his day in court and it is still not settled when his trial will take place. It is common for lawsuits like this to turn into wars of attrition; the state has virtually unlimited resources while the farmers are bled of theirs over the course of the litigation.
In The Land Institute senior scientist Stan Cox's critique of the 2013 Farm bill, it's argued that more federal support could be shifted to food security and conservation if less were going to Big Ag.
Jenna Woginrich’s latest book, “One Woman Farm,” whisks readers away.
One month into my Polyface Summer Internship! This week was focused on processing birds, hay and a lesson on Cow Days with Joel Salatin.
Week three of my Polyface Farm summer internship! Lots of hay and some other things, too.
There's nothing like an old cookbook filled with good recipes to warm your kitchen and your home!
Professional team ropers David Key and Jade Corkill are the new Grand Champions of the 29th Annual George Strait Team Roping Classic.
Seattle leads the way in asking the federal government to implement a comprehensive, health-focused food system.
Recent approval by the Obama administration of the Massachusetts based Cape Wind project creates the potential for 130 offshore wind turbines, which are predicted to produce up to 468 megawatts of wind power.
This week at Polyface Farm included mornings with rabbits, fence line work, moving calves and my first foray into canning.
This week of my Polyface Farm summer internship included a forestry lesson from Joel Salatin, installing my first fence, and the introduction of Polyface’s new guardian dog puppy, Cody!
Week thirteen of my Polyface Farm summer internship brought two high volume chicken processing days, lots of chicken catching, moving pigs and catching a loose steer.
This week at my Polyface Farm Summer Internship, I spent working with turkeys, touring our local USDA inspected abattoir, prepping for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund’s annual fundraiser and processing stewing hens.
Clearly the NACE considers “useless” degrees to be ones in which pay is low and availability of jobs is scarce. However, shouldn’t measuring the usefulness of an education take into account the actual benefits bestowed upon the person doing the study
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
The Oakland, California-based urban farming company manufactures grow-your-own oyster mushroom kits with soil made from recycled coffee grounds.
Weather.com now features customizable local weather applications, including an Agriculture Application with great tools for farmers and gardeners.
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.
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.
Check out the installation process of an urban beehive.
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."
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.
C. Murray shares his experiences finding work to support his family as a child during the Great Depression.
Learning to clear fields can be fun!
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.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!
Blackberry picking only happens at the height of summer, but is well worth the thorn wounds!
Weeding in the summer is all about species maintenance
Clearing your land to ready it for farming can be quite a challenge!
Lindsay Fernandez-Salvador explains the best ways to use animal manure while organic farming.
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.
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.
Homegrown.org blogger Dyan Redick of Bittersweet Farm honors - and helps keep alive - the legacy of fellow Maine goat herdswoman Pixie Day.
Our quest to make pasture egg collection more efficient.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Don't let your wanderlust for more space hold you back from creating your homestead in the city.
The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
Even dairy goats can have self-esteem issues...
The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.
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.
“Green,” sustainable homes that deliver low cost of ownership.
The L41 is a mass-produced, superefficient home designed to provide affordable shelter for everyone.
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.
Frugality and lack of pretense or compromise are key ingredients in creating a wabi-sabi home.
Marley Audio Electronics collection, which debuted last week, showcases premium, eco-conscious manufacturing and materials, including hemp.
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
A proper tea house is a luxury I believe in.
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!
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.
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.
Evergreen Institute founder's Missouri home burns; wood furnace is suspected cause.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi stays thankful for what’s important in the midst of a big move.
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.
Denise Franklin's 280-square-foot cabin in British Columbia provides everything she needs--and more.
In order to access our land and put in a driveway, we need to secure an entrance permit. If you're planning to buy land and build a home, check what your entrance permit requirements are before you purchase the property.
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.
Bank loans, especially new home construction loans, require some legwork on the part of the future homeowner. One couple explains how they got a loan to build their new house.
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.
The U.S. Farm Bill will be renewed in 2013 with a plan to cut major funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Sharing some of what we have learned about treating Pink Eye naturally, as in our region, this has been an epidemic summer due to all the rain and flies.
Despite the recession, farmers, on average, have been more successful than non-farmers. So why keep expanding their subsidies?
One of the oldest CSAs in the country and how they do it.
An aging goose gains a family.
Beekeeping expert Betty Taylor explains how to reliquify crystalized honey while maintaining color, quality, and nutrients.
Homesteads are keeping alive old skills and ways of raising crops and livestock that are being lost in the age of agribusiness.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle shares a few strategies and suggestions for healthier school lunches.
How to prepare your hives for the winter to protect them from mice, skunks, opossums and other wildlife.
Tackling the GMO issue is a priority for food activists, but there are a number of perspectives on how to go about it. The Great GMO Debate will help you decide how and who should inform consumers about what biotech ingredients are lurking in their food.
Encouragement for new beekeepers who may be confused and overwhelmed about all the conflicting advice about keeping bees.
Beekeeper Betty Taylor explains what for look for during an end-of-summer hive inspection.
This series of posts chronicles Betty Taylor's adventures in goat farming. This first post covers selecting a goat breed and breeder, costs, and preparing for arrival of my goats.
A would-be farmer finds chills and perspective during a long winter on the farm.
Describes the winter hive life of the honey bees.
Describes the heartache that can come of now observing and working with nature when raising goats.
What is a beekeeper to do during the long cold winter months? Eat honey of course.
Musing on how most of us believe "the end" is near for various reasons.
How to make a cheap hay feeder for goats that cuts down on wasted hay.
For the hobby beekeeper, try treating Varroa mites with natural remedies.
Bees do not live on honey alone. Pollen provides honeybees with necessary protein.
Nested amongst the skyscrapers and tucked between white-powdery beaches and either the buzz of South Beach or nature preserves in Hollywood are some eco-minded hotels and restaurants offering patrons a taste of local and sustainable cuisine.
We are trialing 135 varieties of cucumber, winter squash and muskmelon - with a focus on Downy Mildew resistance and fruit quality. An introduction to our trials and to the importance of variety trials in general.
A big week of pig processing, morning chores with Joel Salatin and cattle sorting!
Chicken processing, capturing wild bees, gathering broilers, moving turkeys and making hay!
Ann Larkin Hansen shows that typically mundane tasks like record keeping and planning can be a satisfying process that can help you reflect on the successes of the year before.
Robert Zwald grew up in the 1900s, farming in Minnesota. This is part two of his stories