The process of training and pruning blackberry plants is demystified by a gardening expert from Gurney's Seed.
The Classy Coop Giveaway grand prize was given a good home with our contest winner and her backyard chickens. We were happy to see this mobile chicken coop is already being broken in. Bring on the eggs!
Blackberry picking only happens at the height of summer, but is well worth the thorn wounds!
Black winter storage radishes can be roasted with bright, pink radishes to create a warming vegetable side dish best served atop of bed of crunchy salad greens.
A short list of gift ideas for gardeners.
Carolyn shares nostalgic summer memories of life on the farm including owning a pet rooster, picking wild blackberries, and eating fried turtle.
Doug and Jennie Ostgaard designed and built a photovoltaic system for their home, a project they was completed in six months. DIY photovoltaic solar has many benefits, and they outline a few of them here.
Fragrant and round with a tart lemony bite, this Lemonade Watermelon Sorbet Recipe has the flavor and texture of ripe watermelon.
Sorting through seed catalogs is one of the most entertaining tasks we have here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS. These garden seed catalogs come in handy when searching for just the right variety of heirloom veggies to grow, and they're fun to look at too!
The U.S. Department of Energy released a set of pumpkin-carving stencils celebrating Halloween through alternative energy.
Using Pinterest can help inspire new gardening ideas.
The Jenzabar Foundation is dedicated to creating opportunities for students, as well as higher education organizations and non-profits, to encourage fellow students to be engaged citizens of the world.
Bright and sweet-scented muddled mint and fresh cream make this Backyard Mint Ice Cream Recipe completely refreshing.
The Obama Administration releases its plans for new renewable energy sources. Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, explains that the new solar energy zones span six states and keep both domestic energy and environmental preservation in mind. If completed, the power generated from these solar energy zones would provide electricity to roughly seven-million homes.
The Blacked-capped Chickadee, a frequent visitor to backyard bird feeders, loses a surprising amount of weight each night. Don't try this diet!
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.
Colleen Vanderlinden reviews "Barnheart" by Jenna Woginrich.
Fix black radishes the Russian way and eat with hearty bread for a peppery treat.
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.
If you’re new to raising chickens, you might be a little intimidated setting up house for your new flock. Homesteader Jenna Woginrich offers a straightforward overview of getting started, from preparing a brooder to providing feed and water.
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
A Nature Conservancy director discusses the most endangered animal in the United States. The good news is this critter is on the rebound.
Here are two helpful tips that will help you have a successful tomato plant.
One of the easiest ways to make your own newspaper pots.
Make a shelf or table into a growing space for starting seedlings.
Three easy ways to compost in small spaces and with little effort.
Winter hardiness is crucial when growing brambles as perennial crops, especially in regions like the Upper Midwest. Here’s a listing of the best hardy raspberry and blackberry varieties, and what you should consider before selecting which cultivars to plant.
Black pepper, the king of spices, has been part of Indian cooking and medicinal traditions for thousands of years, and now sits next to almost every saltshaker on countless tables across North America. Find out black pepper's medicinal and culinary uses in this post.
Black and Decker.com provides project advice, community features and much more.
Jenna Woginrich discusses the more difficult aspects of homesteading, and why it's worth it anyway.
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.
When we're trying to achieve our dreams, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by all of the steps between where we are today and where we ultimately want to be. MOTHER EARTH NEWS writer Jenna Woginrich suggests a great idea for a fresh perspective and making your goals more attainable. If you look at the next 60 minutes, what can you do in the next hour to get closer to your goals?
How lucky was I to find a pair of folks just as crazy about farming, working horses, working dogs, as I was? Us two women, practically Luddites in our past times, found each other because of an online publication of Barnheart at Mother Earth News.
A year of many departures leaves a homesteader reeling.
Cobbler is not the only solution to a bumper crop of berries. If you can boil water, you can turn the juice from big-flavor berries into tasty beverages that are naturally rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Make extra juice to freeze or can for year-round enjoyment.
Black bears and rural living go hand in hand in many parts of North America. So how do you keep bear/human conflicts to a minimum?
For many of us here in the Ozarks the harvesting of black walnuts in October has become not only a way to make extra money, but a timeless tradition.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary explains how they prepare their beehives to survive the long cold winter in upstate New York.
Sustainably harvested cork creates a beautiful flooring material that’s competitively priced with other kinds of sustainable flooring.
Becoming a beekeeper takes a lot of planning and preparation. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain some steps you can take now to start getting ready to keep bees in the spring.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss some techniques for helping beehives survive through the end of winter.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss honeybee swarms, and how to try to prevent your bees from swarming.
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.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
Jenna Woginrich’s latest book, “One Woman Farm,” whisks readers away.
James E. Churchill’s advice for finding and preparing chicory, mint, catnip and blackberries, found in a 1970 issue of Mother Earth News, is timeless—and very timely right now.
One of the most fun parts of beekeeping is harvesting honey. Here we will look at the first part of the honey harvest, removing the honey supers from the hives, and how to store them safely.
International Homesteading Month is off to a running start! Here are two stories of events that are truly promoting education to foster more self-reliant communities.
Jennifer Ford shows how she extracts and bottles her "liquid gold" honey at Bees of the Woods Apiary.
Although winter may seem a long way off, starting to prepare your beehives for winter now will pay off later. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will describe what they do to get their beehives ready for winter.
Having guests visit your beeyard takes a lot of planning and preparation. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary shares her experience having visitors in the beeyard, along with some tricks and tips to make the visit go more smoothly for everyone.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary shares some beekeeping crafts and activities to pass the time until you can get back out in the beeyard this spring.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss how to enjoy a little taste of summer in the middle of winter by developing a new appreciation for honey!
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain how they perform the first beehive inspections of the year. This will be the first step in what will hopefully be a successful year in the beeyard!
When it comes to that most essential of all modern appliances, the best way to be eco-friendly is to stick with the tried and true three R's: reduce, reuse or recycle.
Did you know that you can learn a lot about the condition of your beehives simply by watching the entrance of the hive? Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain what to look for, and what it might mean. No smoke or hive tool necessary!
The 32nd Annual Seed Savers Exchange Conference and Campout featured many hands-on learning activities, tours of the gorgeous Heritage Farm grounds and an insider look into the organization's seed-saving efforts and current projects.
Jennifer Ford, of Bees of the Woods Apiary, explains how to produce comb honey, and why it is such a valuable product of the hive.
Is your patio short on space? Check out the Hot Pot BBQ, a grill that doubles as an herb planter.
Green & Black’s, an organic chocolate company, takes a two week trip to the Dominican Republic to dig an 11.5 km trench. The trench will supply water to their cocoa farmers, helping product the cocoa which makes Green & Black’s chocolate bars.
If you have black walnuts to shell, you need a heavy duty nutcracker. The Master Nut Cracker will do the job.
Jenna Woginrich writes about the beauty of Cold Antler Farm, a small homestead that she shares with Pig, her rabbits Benjamin and Doe and several chickens. Taking care of her animals on cold winter nights is a challenge for Woginrich, but one she gladly accepts armed with a water bottle and affection. Woginrich's modest barn provides shelter for her animals and a useful space to feel at home.
Try a vegetarian version of traditional Hoppin John for good luck this New Year's day.
Simran Sethi learns how to compost the right way and explores her composting options.
Describes two effective alternatives to composting. Many factors can limit the ability to produce compost. These two products offer different but practical ways to organically recycle food scraps.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary explains how to prevent, identify and stop robbing in the beeyard.
Experiment with this daikon radish cake recipe to enjoy a Chinese New Year treat with a twist.
Try using the Grow Planner app to streamline your garden planning and your garden work.
I keep a kit of handy garden supplies waiting in my car, so I can head straight to the garden and take advantage of as many sunlight hours as possible right after work.
It's time for our third annual call for nominations for outstanding modern homesteaders! Organic gardeners, do-it-yourselfers and general self-sufficient gurus are being sought for the opportunity to be named as one of our 2014 Homesteaders of the Year.
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.
From cleaning raw beeswax to enjoying the final product, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will take you step by step through the process of making beeswax candles.
Our MOTHER EARTH NEWS library app acts as a virtual library for you to download and store all of our digital resources, including our gardening apps, canning how-to guides, digital issues, and more.
While you may already look for eco-friendly organic wine when you select a bottle, you're probably not aware of the environmental implications of opting for a wine closed with natural cork in lieu of a less sustainable synthetic stopper.
The history of the Blood Orange and How to make Blood Orange Marmalade.
17 ideas to lower the cost of holiday gifting, entertainment, decorating and office parties.
A beginning farmer starts to realize that first impressions of the farm will make all the difference.
A beginning farmer learns that keeping does and keeping bucks are two different things.
A beginning farmer realizes that time may be the farm's most important commodity.
Our MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR last weekend was full of great presentations about all facets sustainable living, including on learning how to garden.
A beginner beekeeper learns that the best way to raise healthy bees is to do less.
Support these longtime anti-GMO activists and organic farmers in the construction of a new repair shop for their vintage seed equipment.
A beginning farmer loses a friend and finds that solitary farming isn't all it's cracked up to be.
The excitement at the FAIR is contagious, and our amazing volunteers are helping to keep it all running smoothly.
A beginning farmer enjoys the work she has to do by hand. But would still like a tractor.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking nominations of self-sufficient modern homesteaders for our 2013 Homesteaders of the Year awards.
One workshop at the Puyallup, Wa., MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR was on learning how to make butter, hosted by Organic Valley.
A new farmer builds a great sheep shelter out of free stuff and learns where not to put it.
We received another great review of a successful Homesteading Education Month event. Read about a well-received sustainability fair in South Dakota.
Today's FAIR attendees will be well prepared to grow, make and preserve their own food and, as Joel Salatin encourages, get out of the Industriall food system.
Pass the cold, wintry months with warm thoughts of how you can eat more local food while supporting sustainable agriculture this coming season.
Simply by covering your potatoes with ample mulch, storing potatoes in the ground is not only possible but incredibly easy and successful. Learn how to store potatoes in your garden and enjoy crisp, homegrown spuds through winter and into spring.
Learn how to celebrate homesteading this September by promoting community self-reliance skills!
Considering induction cooking as an eco-friendly alternative to cooking with electricity? Can’t begin to contemplate spending $3,000 on a stove? This article will run down how you can integrate the hottest new tech in cooking into your kitchen without winning the lottery.
From choosing affordable floods for the bedroom remodel to switching out the oven-hood incandescent, Jennifer details how much it cost to light her house sustainably, as well as forecast her long term savings.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary talks about her experience with developing an allergy to honeybee venom, and how she manages this allergy to be able to continue beekeeping.
The unintended death of a charming little creature raises the realities of life on a farm homestead.
Fermentation expert Sandor Katz (aka SandorKraut) gives a cultural and historical introduction to fermentation practices, including the nutritional benefits of homemade sauerkraut and other fermented foods.
This free app puts the growing info you need right at your fingertips: cultivation guides for each major crop, plus how-to for invaluable gardening skills.
With more than 40 years of expertise on how to live on less (and love it!), MOTHER EARTH NEWS introduces our Guide to Self-Reliance and Country Skills app. This app, available for both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, contains advice and how-to on organic gardening, raising backyard chickens, canning and preserving your harvests, and how to save money by applying a DIY mentality to your life.
The USDA has extended the comment period on agricultural "coexistence," which will determine how much protection organic farmers and seed breeders will have from GM seed contamination, until March 4.
No matter your level of gardening expertise, our Guide to Organic Gardening app has the advice and how-to you need to dig in and grow a bountiful organic food garden. With articles on composting, beneficial insects, weed control and more, you'll have a wealth of organic gardening know-how at your fingertips after you download this app onto your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet.
Learn how to grow more food in your organic vegetable garden without enlarging your garden space by using the space-saving gardening techniques outlined in this short video.
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
Timidity nearly doomed Johnny to a life sentence in the rescue kennel until one determined family saw through his issues to the dog he was meant to be.
Aside from the great stage presentations, the exhibitor booths have a lot to offer FAIR attendees.
A beginner farmer learns about taking on the responsibility of raising animals.
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 farmer makes the most practical fencing choice available to her: electric nets. And gets tangled up, occasionally.
A beginning urban farmer grows nothing without a smartphone.
A bike-powered grain mill is a more efficient and incredibly fun way to grind your own whole-grain flours and meals. Check out our video of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff using a GrainMaker mill to grind 'Floriani' grain corn into a nutritious cornmeal.
Watch a video of a traveling sheep shearer at work and tell us about small-scale farming artisans in your region.
Always wanted to master the art of the perfect pie crust? With our step-by-step How to Make the Perfect Pie Crust app, you'll have the techniques and recipes you need at your fingertips. The app comes with scrumptious pie filling recipes, too!
Fostering can help overcome an unexpected side effect of life in a rescue kennel---obesity.
There's honey in the hive, peaches on the trees, and food on the table, but it's still a long way from self-sufficiency.
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.