With more than 1,700 islands that encompass the Florida Keys, they provide refuge to hundreds of bird species, a spectacular diversity of tropical plants and abundant sea life. In other words, it’s the ultimate place for tropical eco-adventure without leaving the continental US. No passport needed.
While some visitors to the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area spend much of the time baking in the sun, hitting the clubs or running up credit cards shopping, my family and I discovered that a subtropical ecotravel adventure awaits less than a half hour away in every direction from the big city bustle.
Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest, with the Great Smoky Mountains to the southwest, Asheville, North Carolina, is the perfect basecamp for an ecotour, cultural trip and culinary adventure. Experiencing the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair held here this past April was just the start for my wife and me.
When self-propelled boats or surf boards are not an option in the water, there are several boating choices and technologies now available along the continuum of sustainability.
Taste how eating out — or in our home kitchen — can be better for the environment and our pocketbook.
There’s no reason not to “go green” when picking up a game for a young loved one. Despite the abundance of “Made in China” plastic toys and games that line the aisles, some companies have made it their business to create amazingly fun toys and games for children in ways that protect, preserve or restore the planet.
The rich and diverse marine life of the Florida Keys can be experienced without ever getting wet: in a kayak, on a sailboat or at one of the many animal rescue or rehabilitation centers scattered along the Keys.
The adventure in the water, on the water or on dry land does stop with the ecotravel activities in the Florida Keys, many of which help preserve and conserve the very things we came to see. Some of the lodging options – and restaurants or food options – are an adventure in and of themselves.
Day 2 in Asheville, North Caroline, is about the eco-high adventures to be had, both in the trees on a zipline and when hiking to the Catawba Waterfalls.
Natural escapes to ecological preserves minutes away by bike in Hollywood, Florida. A vast sawgrass and gator-inhabited wilderness, including the Everglades National Park, found less than an hour’s drive from the Miami skyline. What surprised my family and me the most on our recent ecotourism adventure in the Miami or Fort Lauderdale areas were their accessibility – and beauty.
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.
John D. Ivanko discovered that those in the hospitality business on Mackinac Island showcase the best of the past, blending it perfectly with modern sensibilities and, by default of it being an island, an ecological awareness to protect and preserve exactly what the millions of visitors come to see and experience every year.
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.
Clearing away snow has just gotten a charge from Snow Joe, the leading US supplier of over 140 products for snow removal and other seasonal needs. I got my hands on their latest innovation, a cordless snow blower powered by a 40-volt lithium ion battery, and compared it to their top-selling cord-based electric snow thrower.
Like Thoreau and the Nearings, we feel more alive and participative in the natural world around us on our 5.5 acre homestead and organic farmstead than Lisa and I ever did walking through a corporate cubicle maze in the city.
As soon as my wife, son and I stepped off the Shepler’s Ferry, one of only three ferry services to Mackinac Island, our connection to motorized transport ceased to exist. Since 1898, cars and nearly every other form of motorized, gas-guzzling transportation are illegal on this Michigan island.
For three days before the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, held at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort, John D. Ivanko and his family rafted, biked, toured some of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes, and savored farm-to-table cuisine that blew us away at The Historic Stone House.
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.
Asheville has a long history of attracting people searching for a tranquil place for personal retreats and wellness. For Day 3, it’s time to chill, revitalize ourselves and do some rebalancing of our mind, body and spirit on a health and wellness tour.
A new report from Shareable and the Sustainable Economies Law Center details ways that city officials can harness the power of sharing to transform their cities for the better.
Michael Johnathon is a folksinger, songwriter, author and playwright. He also created and hosts the weekly national broadcast of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, heard on over 509 public radio stations, American Forces Radio network in 173 nations. In this blog, Michael muses on discovering the joys of folk music and songwriting.
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.
Collins hails milestone of the company becoming employee owned.
Former first lady Lady Bird Johnson will be remembered for her significant conservation efforts, especially with wildflowers and the preservation of native plants.
Today, resourceful homeowners are creating more space without moving walls. One innovative solution uses heavy-duty sliding door hardware to show how a vacation home benefits from more efficient floor space.
Making Music on the Front Porch ... let's define what the musical Front Porch is.
Location near public transporation and walkability are as important as green materials and design in creating a green home, study finds.
Folksinger Michael Johnathon is on tour nationwide. Visit his homepage: www.MichaelJohnathon.com
Seed sharing has come under attack and seed libraries across the country are being threatened with extinction. Here are nine ways to join the movement to keep seed sharing legal and free.
John Rockhold, managing editor of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, talks about the recycling effort of staff and volunteers at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
The new adapter, from Worksaver, Inc., allows John Deere 400/500 series loaders to be used with Euro/Global attachments.
Planting heirloom, non-genetically modified seeds is a great way to help preserve endangered plant varieties--and the planet's very ecosystem.
Discussion of some of the first log building tools you will need to build a log home — debarking spuds and drawknives.
Today's a great day to follow our tips for creating a home office that's easy on you and light on the planet.
A discussion of three power tools to prep your logs or timbers for building.
Another set of Great Quotations. These seven quotations have direct relevance to gardeners and farmers, but they offer wisdom that everyone can learn from and enjoy.
60 years ago scientists at Bell Laboratories developed the first solar cell capable of converting enough sunlight into electricity for practical uses. Their discovery is the greatest breakthrough in the 6000-year history of solar energy, and the sire to today's solar revolution. Let's celebrate!
Jack McCornack tells the story of how he got lost in the Oregon outback and how MAX was damaged such that the DIY-, super-fuel-efficient car couldn't make it to the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
Managing Editor John Rockhold chats with Jack McCornack — creator of MAX, the DIY and 100-mpg hopeful car — to get his post-FAIR thoughts.
This entry continues our lightning-speed survey of key financial considerations of people who decide to move toward a full-time homesteading or farming lifestyle based on the accounts of those who have gone before us and as personally experienced in my family's ongoing transition. Up for discussion in this installment is the power of barter.
Adzes and broad axes have been used for centuries in log cabin building. Learn a bit about what these tools do and how to use them.
As the importance of solar architecture grew, the southern aspect took on great stature in Chinese life. Ancient wisdom associated the south with fire and warmth, while the north came to be synonymous with winter and somberness. The Emperor facing south therefore shuns darkness and embraces enlightenment to govern. The Chinese to this day prefer a southern orientation for housing.
Let It Shine by John Perlin highlights the context in which solar energy developments have occurred and the people who have made the solar revolution possible, revealing a whole new group of unknown technological pioneers, as well as people famous for other accomplishments never before known for their work as the solar advocates and technologists they were.
The invention of clear window glass allowed the ancient Romans to trap solar energy to enhance their gardening techniques to grow vegetables out of season and exotic non-native plants in Rome. A thousand years later, empire builders in Europe rediscovered the trapping of solar heat with clear window glass so they as well could enjoy the foreign plants in their own back yard and grow native vegetables throughout the year.
The following post summarizes Chapter 7 of the book "Let It Shine The 6000 Year Story of Solar Energy."
To see how much solar heat could be trapped by glass, Horace de Saussure, in 1767 built a solar hot box that consisted of several glass sheets covering an insulated box. Solar heat accumulated in the solar hot box, reaching temperatures far above the boiling point of water
John Clark Vincent excerpts from his book Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement and shares information about new developments in sustainable farming practices coming out of the state of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. His interests range from seeds to slow food and include pretty much everything in between the two as they relate to Oregon’s sustainable farm movement.
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."
In this post, I introduce a new series capturing the details of my family's move from a
conventional suburban life to homesteading and homeschooling. This post introduces the first
of several financial considerations that my family researched and has undertaken as part of our
radical lifestyle change.
Welcome back to "Unplugging to Reconnect." In this post, we continue to explore key financial considerations of people who decide to move toward a full-time homesteading or farming lifestyle, all based on the accounts of those who have gone before us and as personally executed in my family's ongoing transition. The specific focus of this entry is on the need for flexible income streams, particularly ones that offer money-saving benefits in addition to pay, while in between the old and new lifestyles.
Whatever you do in your garden or flower beds, the most important thing is to have fun taking care of what you are growing.
Managing editor John Rockhold gets a Honda CR-Z hybrid on loan and has a hard time returning to his desk.
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."
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.
Shannon Whitworth performs at the charity dinner for the Natural Resources Defense Council at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Kids enjoy scoops of fresh-made ice cream in the Treehouse Club at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR
Managing Editor John Rockhold catches up with Amanda Little ahead of her keynote speech at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
The 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR is over, the rain has arrived and the plug-in Prius is recharged.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold catches up with Chip Beam of Beaver Energy to hear about Beam's latest exploits with wood gasification to power vehicles.
Managing Editor John Rockhold gets to plug in a car for the first time.
How do you turn on a Prius? Is it a small, cramped car, or does it have room for the whole family? Answers to these questions and more when MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold takes a look inside a prototype plug-in hybrid Prius at the 20
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold talks with Jonathan Holloway about the Mitsubishi i, an all-electric car on display at the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Washington. Mitsubishi is one of the FAIR's main sponsors.
These compact pallet forks incorporate many of the same durability features found on larger Worksaver units and utilize Class I forks (1” x 3.5” x 42”) rated at 2,000 lbs. for optimal lifting capacity.
With extensive training behind them, Rowan Steele and Katie Coppoletta make the choices that lead them to begin farming at Fiddlehead Farm in Corbett, Oregon.
Rowan Steele and Katie Coppoletta have embraced the profession of farming and, in turn, have discovered a way of living that suits them perfectly at Fiddlehead Farm in Corbett, Oregon.
Adaptive Seeds, originally inspired by an international seed sharing project, sells public domain, open pollinated seeds. Most of its seed is adapted to the Pacific Northwest and similar season northern climates.
Adaptive Seeds, inspired by an international seed sharing project, sells public-domain, open-pollinated seeds. In Part 2 of their profile, Sarah Kleeger and Andrew Still commit to Adaptive Seeds full-time.
Try a vegetarian version of traditional Hoppin John for good luck this New Year's day.
In “The Root Development of Vegetable Crops” botanist John E. Weaver meticulously illustrates the complex layers of vegetable root growth.
Never in the history of the world has there been such a high-ranking member of society to advocate passive solar design than Socrates. He felt so strongly for building with the sun in mind that he even set up a class to teach his acolytes how the finer points of putting up a passive solar house.
Chinese archaeologists have recently found the oldest solar device – a bronze concave mirror – capable of almost instantaneously making fire from sunlight.
When writing his great work On Architecture, Rome’s greatest solar architect Vitruvius emphasized proper solar orientation for buildings and bath houses.
Reacting against the built-for-resale mentality that's destroying our modern homes' liveability, Slow Home Studio offers a path to a more satisfying home.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS managing editor John Rockhold picks the brains of his colleagues at Motorcycle Classics magazine (editor in chief Richard Backus and senior associate editor Landon Hall) about the new Honda CR-Z hybrid. Apologies for the wind noise!
As Offlining urges cyborgs to turn off their Blackberries, Neo-Luddites question technology's exponential encroachment on our lives.
Forty years ago a trombe wall worked to store and release heat in a passive solar house. Is it obsolete in the 21st century?
Renowned motorcycle inventor and longtime aerodynamics expert Craig Vetter stopped by the MOTHER EARTH NEWS office on his way home from his latest fuel economy challenge.
A graduate student experiences the comfort and efficiency of a superinsulated, passive solar home in Taos.
You don't have to pay $50 a pound for fresh morel mushrooms. Watch this video and find out how to forage for morels yourself.
A "how to" for building a hoop-style greenhouse using PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.
A little background on how Ric and Vicki moved from Detroit to a Tennessee homestead, and starting to get up to date on what they've done since.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.