Jennifer Kongs





7/20/2015
After looking through many sustainable floor materials for their new home, one couple settles on bamboo flooring for the majority of their living space. As with many house-building choices, finding a truly green bamboo floor requires a little product research.
7/8/2015
Whether your windows are fixed or operable, crank or double-hung, or come with a low-emissivity glazing all make a difference in how well the windows perform in an efficient, passive solar home.
7/1/2015
Installation timing, system sizing, and federal and state energy policies are all important components for financing renewable energy as part of a home construction project. One couple shares their experience with trying to put all the pieces in order.
6/19/2015
Planning a custom kitchen design that incorporates sustainable materials and supports a self-reliant lifestyle can be done. Read one couple’s experience and thought process as they do just that. The graphic shown here is a computer-generated draft modeling of the cabinet design for their future kitchen, but note that the colors and materials do not reflect what will be the final look.
6/12/2015
A home-construction timeline is often a moving target: Rain, subcontractor schedules and various other conflicts can cause frustrating delays. One couple finds ways to cope with record rainfall that halted progress on their home-building process by working ahead on other decisions they’ll eventually need to make.
6/3/2015
In order to save money, water and energy, one couple is building a new home that will incorporate a simple, gravity-run, household greywater system to divert and collect greywater, as well as rainwater from their roof, for landscape use.
5/20/2015
While building their own home and farm, one couple decides to learn from other talented and experienced market farmers about how to set up year-round gardening production. Here are some tips and photos from a trip to Four Season Farm, home of Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch, in Maine.
5/20/2015
Calendula flowers make a lovely floral component for an organic vegetable garden. Plus, they pull their weight in terms of productivity: The petals are edible and can be used in skin-healing salves and balms.
5/15/2015
When building a new home, be sure to check into what home construction insurance coverage you need. For this homesteading couple, not having liability insurance would leave them feeling as unprotected as not having sandbags to prevent downhill ditch runoff and sedimentation.
5/6/2015
Concrete is not a green or natural building material, but one home-building Kansas couple decides the built-in storm shelter, root cellar and custom greywater system they intend to include in their concrete basement will make using the material worthwhile.
4/30/2015
For many, home construction requires financing from a bank. So how does it work after signing and finalizing home construction loan papers? Here’s the standard process for accessing the funds within the loan account. Just one more step in the process of building a dream house and homestead!
4/21/2015
As one couple plans their homestead-to-be, they spend time learning the lay of their land. One happy fringe benefit: They used this time as an excuse to go morel mushroom hunting. The results of their efforts were delicious.
4/16/2015
The steps involved in receiving a building permit require some advance planning and paperwork. If you’re hoping to build in the future you’ll want to review the building permit requirements in your area several months before your planned construction start date.
4/8/2015
Scroll through a short collection of photos documenting the groundbreaking process as one couple prepares to build a home. First up: moving dirt and laying a gravel driveway.
4/3/2015
Not all green building materials are fancy, engineered products. One couple explores the saved-from-the-landfill options at local Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Hard to beat preventing waste, supporting Habitat for Humanity’s mission, and finding great deals on materials for a new-home construction in one fell swoop.
3/26/2015
In order to secure a building permit to construct a new home, many counties require a septic system inspection and approval. Here’s how one couple had a successful “perc” test done at their future home site, along with a quick explanation of what a perc test is.
3/18/2015
If you want to build a passive solar house, you’ll need to spend time upfront carefully considering your house plans. Here’s how one couple worked with a contractor and a designer to draw up and then finalize their small home plans with energy efficiency and lifestyle in mind.
3/6/2015
Before beginning construction on their new home, this couple is taking steps to prepare their land for their impending move-in by planting perennial natives, building some walking trails, cutting firewood to dry, and more. They’re having a blast!
3/2/2015
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.
2/23/2015
Before beginning construction on their new home, one couple assesses which renewable energy sources make sense for their location and situation.
2/12/2015
One homesteading couple navigates the final series of meetings with the county planning department and county commission in order to finalize their land survey plat approval.
2/6/2015
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.
1/30/2015
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.
1/25/2015
One couple recounts how they pursued a land zoning waiver in order to secure a building permit on their recently purchased rural property.
1/14/2015
One homesteading couple reads up on passive solar house design and then modifies online options to create their own custom passive solar plans. Here are their recommended resources.
1/9/2015
One homesteading couple learns what a land survey plat is, and then proceeds to have a plat completed of their rural property.
1/2/2015
In order to secure a building permit to construct their future home, we must first complete a soil evaluation and meet the county's requirements for septic system installations.
12/28/2014
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.
12/19/2014
If you want to be hands-on with your house building, a kit home can be an affordable, energy-efficient option. One homesteading couple assess whether building a kit home is right for them.
12/12/2014
We received some good additional tips on buying land and building a home. These pieces of advice are a roundup of comments taken from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Facebook page.
12/5/2014
Tyler and I spent an afternoon creating a footpath and campsite in our woods. Now we can go camping with friends and enjoy meals (and s’mores) over the campfire whenever we have the time or desire.
11/29/2014
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.
11/25/2014
It's time for our fourth-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 2015 Homesteaders of the Year.
11/22/2014
If you want to own property, you have to find a way to finance buying land. Here, one couple explains how they took out a mortgage to build a home and purchase land.
11/19/2014
Just in time for the holidays, here's a list of recommended garden tools made in the U.S. by family-owned companies.
11/18/2014
Join two modern homesteaders as they begin down the road toward building their small home and self-reliant farmstead on their new piece of raw land in northeastern Kansas.
11/5/2014
The MOTHER EARTH NEWS team welcomed visitors from Japan, who have been translating the magazine into Japanese for subscribers.
10/28/2014
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.
3/3/2014
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.
3/3/2014
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.
2/14/2014
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.
11/13/2013
Sustainably harvested cork creates a beautiful flooring material that’s competitively priced with other kinds of sustainable flooring.
8/16/2013
Learn how to celebrate homesteading this September by promoting community self-reliance skills!
4/25/2013
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.
3/14/2013
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.
1/27/2013
Try using the Grow Planner app to streamline your garden planning and your garden work.
1/4/2013
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking nominations of self-sufficient modern homesteaders for our 2013 Homesteaders of the Year awards.
10/11/2012
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.
9/27/2012
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.
9/17/2012
We received another great review of a successful Homesteading Education Month event. Read about a well-received sustainability fair in South Dakota.
9/7/2012
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.
7/25/2012
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.
7/2/2012
Support these longtime anti-GMO activists and organic farmers in the construction of a new repair shop for their vintage seed equipment.
6/11/2012
One workshop at the Puyallup, Wa., MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR was on learning how to make butter, hosted by Organic Valley.
6/6/2012
Our MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR last weekend was full of great presentations about all facets sustainable living, including on learning how to garden.
3/19/2012
Watch a video of a traveling sheep shearer at work and tell us about small-scale farming artisans in your region.
12/20/2011
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.
12/16/2011
Experiment with this daikon radish cake recipe to enjoy a Chinese New Year treat with a twist.
9/25/2011
Aside from the great stage presentations, the exhibitor booths have a lot to offer FAIR attendees.
9/25/2011
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.
9/24/2011
The excitement at the FAIR is contagious, and our amazing volunteers are helping to keep it all running smoothly.
9/6/2011
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
2/3/2011
Pass the cold, wintry months with warm thoughts of how you can eat more local food while supporting sustainable agriculture this coming season.




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