17 ideas to lower the cost of holiday gifting, entertainment, decorating and office parties.
The history of the Blood Orange and How to make Blood Orange Marmalade.
A year of many departures leaves a homesteader reeling.
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.
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.
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.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will share her beekeeping goals for the New Year, along with some tips on how to make them happen.
The decision to replace an old refrigerator should not always be made based only on how well it is functioning. New Energy Star models have many energy-saving and cost-saving advantages that can make that decision much easier.
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 of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain the basics of a fun winter project - how to make homemade mead!
New Energy Star standards not only raise the bar for energy efficiency in refrigeration, but they also introduce, for the first time, the idea that putting Wi-Fi into a fridge can help with energy savings.
Indoor air pollution can be even worse than outdoor. For this reason, choosing eco-friendly floor coverings is essential to a healthy home.
One decision you will need to make when purchasing beehives is whether to use plastic or wooden hives and frames. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss the pros and cons of plastic and wooden hive components for your bees.
Pallets can have many uses. And they can be re-purposed into just about anything. This article shows how to re-purpose a wood pallet into a wine rack.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
A beginning farmer enjoys the work she has to do by hand. But would still like a tractor.
A new farmer builds a great sheep shelter out of free stuff and learns where not to put it.
Pass the cold, wintry months with warm thoughts of how you can eat more local food while supporting sustainable agriculture this coming season.
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.
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.
Jennifer Ford, of Bees of the Woods Apiary, will share how she uses honey and beeswax from her beehives to make useful and creative gifts.
Just in time for the holidays, here's a list of recommended garden tools made in the U.S. by family-owned companies.
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.
Although cooking is not as big of an energy-drain in the home as other things, there are still ways to do it in an energy-efficient way. This article describes some of the best ways to cook sustainably.
If you are looking to make your home more eco-friendly, there is no better place to start than in the kitchen. Here are 8 simple ways to save energy in the kitchen.
One workshop at the Puyallup, Wa., MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR was on learning how to make butter, hosted by Organic Valley.
Our MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR last weekend was full of great presentations about all facets sustainable living, including on learning how to garden.
The excitement at the FAIR is contagious, and our amazing volunteers are helping to keep it all running smoothly.
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.
Try using the Grow Planner app to streamline your garden planning and your garden work.
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.
The MOTHER EARTH NEWS team welcomed visitors from Japan, who have been translating the magazine into Japanese for subscribers.
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.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking nominations of self-sufficient modern homesteaders for our 2013 Homesteaders of the Year awards.
We received another great review of a successful Homesteading Education Month event. Read about a well-received sustainability fair in South Dakota.
A beginning farmer realizes that time may be the farm's most important commodity.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will offer some tips on preparing for a successful start to the beekeeping season!
A good vegetable garden doesn't have to be expensive. Here is a step-by-step description of how one family was able to build a paved, raised vegetable garden for under $200.
Fire pits can be great things. They are attractive, inexpensive to use and help to extend the use of your yard through the fall and winter. But they must be used safely. Here are some guidelines for fire pit safety.
In order to be environmentally friendly, a kitchen remodel should reduce energy use, reuse or recycle materials, and minimize the carbon footprint of the remodeling project. Here are five tips to keep in mind in order to achieve a greener, cleaner kitchen.
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.
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.
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aside from the great stage presentations, the exhibitor booths have a lot to offer FAIR attendees.
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.
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.
A beginning farmer makes the most practical fencing choice available to her: electric nets. And gets tangled up, occasionally.
One couple recounts how they pursued a land zoning waiver in order to secure a building permit on their recently purchased rural property.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Before beginning construction on their new home, one couple assesses which renewable energy sources make sense for their location and situation.
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.
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.
Fostering can help overcome an unexpected side effect of life in a rescue kennel---obesity.
One homesteading couple learns what a land survey plat is, and then proceeds to have a plat completed of their rural property.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.