Join Carrotmob in the movement to help local businesses become more green.
Complete streets policies are sweeping the nation, to the benefit of bicyclists, pedestrians and travelers of all ages.
Kansas City's 18Broadway project is a superb example of how to capture and store rainwater to grow food in the heart of downtown.
Living in possibly the best place in the USA.
Only through selfless, voluntary, individual sacrifice can we expiate our essential human flaw and restore the Garden. We have to accept mortality as the necessary and – if voluntary – heroic alternative. We must divert the resources we are using to mindlessly expand human life and work and invest them, instead, in the improvement of all life both human and non-human.
A comprehensive roundup of available science and study disproves the arguments that industry uses to support genetically modified food and crops.
Where environmental groups claim financial incentives for recycling to be a costly and unnecessary form of expenditure, we see them as the only realistic option available which actually produces the desired effect.
Urban Agriculture activists and advocates work to change the zoning laws in Chicago to be more friendly to urban agriculture.
Try spelt, an ancient grain more easily digested than wheat, in your next loaf of sourdough bread. You'll love it.
Nothing lasts forever, let's do the math.
It is said that everybody talks about the weather but no one does anything about it. Here is the reason we all talk about it and hints on what to do about it.
Drought has been displaced by winter storms in the headlines, but persistent water shortages are plaguing much of North America, and the past 18 months have seen a global outbreak of water emergencies.
A great opportunity to use a new hand-driven sorghum mill and cook down a small batch of sorghum for the crowd at the Lawrence Kansas MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in October!
Declare energy independence this Independence Day, 2014
As important as it is to improve life locally, such efforts will not work their way up through the world's economy to solve our biggest problems.
In order to maintain an internal body temperature of 98.6 F, the body perspires or sweats. As the sweat evaporates off the skin it cools the body. The trouble starts when the humidity is so high that the air is saturated with moisture and sweat drips off of you rather than evaporating. My method for avoiding Heat Stroke is called Getting Grounded in the Garden.
Soil microbes provide numerous benefits to plants. This is a recipe for creating a brew of your own local, indigenous microbes.
Sowing confusion about wheat.
Does wheat wreck your health?
Last weekend—the second anniversary of the tornado that destroyed the small town of Greensburg, Kansas—residents invited the public to see its progress toward becoming one of the first green towns in the United States. Greensburg homeowners and business owners have rebuilt much of the town with eco-friendly construction materials.
Criminal racketeering by the fossil fuel industry is destroying our environment.
The history of Samhain reminds us that we once celebrated holidays because of a shared human connection that resonated with the Earth’s cycles — the weather, the moon, the harvest — rather than needless consumerism or “heroic” dominance.
Watch an interview with Rosemary Gladstar, during which she discusses the goals of the non-profit United Plant Savers and the importance of plant conservation. Plus, read about how Rosemary became a leading figure in American herbal medicine.
Bird identification flies to the next level with this beautifully illustrated guide.
There are many reasons to save seed. Why should you learn how to save seed?
By 2025 half of all children born will be autistic. Herbicides and pesticides are destroying the health of the American people.
Just how many eggs can a chicken lay? The answer depends on several factors. Learn which choices you make can affect your hens’ egg production.
Learn whether you need to locate a butter churn for making homemade butter.
After Publisher and Editorial Director Bryan Welch decided that death might be a personal choice, he was struck by the heroic potential in making mortality a conscious decision. As we are increasingly able to lengthen our lives and perpetuate our health, the notion of death is transformed. Death is our ultimate opportunity to consciously give back.
Permaculture has become the new buzzword in certain circles. What is it? Do we need it?
With GMOs seemingly everywhere you turn, it’s hard to know where to buy non-GMO Seeds. Here’s how to keep GMOs out of your garden.
Put the “D” in diet! Learn the best sources of vitamin D to achieve your recommended dosage of “the sunshine vitamin.”
This in-depth gardening infographic covers both good and bad insects, as well as companion plants, row covers and more.
My vision of the Texas homestead, complete with family and doting grandchildren nearby took a hit this year when my daughter and husband split and my daughter moved to Austin. Could I reinvent the vision? Or would this issue derail our plans?
Productive urban landscapes, if managed correctly, can reduce pollution in local watershed.
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!
Growing Power believes that youth working in city farms will grow, bloom and thrive right alongside the crops they cultivate.
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
A short description of why we prefer small city living over large city living.
If you have ever thought about beekeeping photography then this article is perfect. Geoff Fitzgerald talks about his motivation for the topic and what got him started on the rooftops of Brooklyn. There are also some fantastic urban beekeeping photos.
Cherished Aladdin lamps were on display at a recent collectors show in Topeka, Kan.
Mankind’s use of fossil fuels during the last 200 years has dumped millions of years of sequestered carbon into the atmosphere in the form of Carbon Dioxide. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, 315 gigatons of carbon have been added to the atmosphere, leaving the carbon cycle 315 gigatons out of balance.
You can make your own homemade cough drops with garden-fresh herbs, such as horehound and marshmallow.
Interest in breeding a perennial version of wheat is once again on the rise. That would help reduce soil erosion, maintain soil cover, and cut back on fossil-fuel and chemical inputs.
Do natural genes that defend wheat against diseases also hurt its productivity and food quality? Sometimes yes, sometimes no - and when diseases hit, resistance genes protect yield and quality.
Seed Germination depends on Soil Temperature. Transplants need to survive a late spring frost. Here are some handy charts and a lookup tool that will help your timing for a successful garden.
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.
You can stretch your budget for wedding flowers by growing some of your own. Learn how to select, schedule, and plant flowers — then make them into wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces.
The USDA first published a plant hardiness zone map based on temperature in 1960. Hardiness zones are based on the average annual extreme minimum temperature. What's your zone?
Small towns across the country in need of a population boost are literally giving away free land to attract new residents and boost their populations. Seekers of the quiet (and low-cost) small town lifestyle can now grab some free land to build their homes.
Discovering the perfect lifestyle is more important than finding the perfect place to live.
Why pay high prices at the grocery store when growing herbs outdoors is achievable all winter long?
Meat, eggs and dairy from grass-fed animals provide superior nutrition. Join our nutrition testing program for proof you can use.
These step-by-step instructions will show you how to make a Roman shade to fit any window in your home. You can save lots of money by recycling clothes for the fabric of your custom DIY Roman shade.
Monsanto’s most widely used herbicide has been found in the blood of agricultural workers and is now being linked to both mammal and human carcinomas.
These nifty watering nipples can be added to a chicken waterer to keep your flock’s water free of debris.
A look at "Trees," the newest film from award winning journalist and filmmaker Nick Werber.
If know you're destined to live in the country, or just more self-reliantly, but are overwhelmed by all the choices, here's a place to start.
How did Victoria Redhed Miller and husband David end up living on an off-grid homestead in the foothills of Washington State's Olympic mountains? Grid? What grid? Electricity was something one took for granted; it came from those outlets on the walls. I was hardly aware of it except during one of the infrequent power outages.
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.
Cam describes why he was anxious to leave the city for a life in the country.
Cam prefers the view from his office in his country home.
Check out the installation process of an urban beehive.
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.
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.
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.
The different sounds that you hear in the city or country are as different as the people that live there.
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.
Are you air aware? Learn how air quality affects your health during Air Quality Awareness Week.
Keeping bees is something I've wanted to do on our new homestead. But would I like it? Taking a class is a good way to find out.
If you've been on this rural living or modern homesteading journey for decades, or just starting out, how do you know when you've arrived?
Shifting our built environments from the current linear blocks of car-centric urban sprawl to more integrated human-scale and life-sustaining organisms is not much different in principle than turning a concrete yard into a permaculture plot. We have to think in terms of arrangement of vital nodes, distance between interdependent threads, paths of least resistance, utilizing existing natural conditions, and maximizing water, energy and food sources.
Learn about the advantages of urban farming from those who are leading the way. The benefits include improved food production, increased revenue sources and reduced energy use.
Strict ceilings on resource use, with rationing, can halt and reverse climate disruption. Australia's experience shows why the alternative to rationing, a carbon tax, is too indirect and too politically toxic to succeed.
Debbie Mildfelt shares memories of her grandmother's stories, exploring the life of a large family on a small Kansas farm.
The Land Institute of Salina, Kan., held the 34th annual Prairie Festival Sept. 28-30, 2012. Keynote speakers including Wendell Berry and Palgummi Sainath inspired local farmers, students, and nature lovers.
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.
Every time I leave the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR I come home with a bag full of stuff that I have accumulated along the way. My youngest son typically tears into the bag, once exclaiming that my return from the FAIR is always “like Christmas.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Collegiate teams showcase affordable, energy-efficient houses in global competition.
A post by Maria Rodale called A Harvest of Healing got me thinking about how gardening and growing your own food is much more than what you harvest.
The documentary Urban Roots takes a look at how city farming is transforming the city's vacant lots into community gardens, ultimately changing the community as a whole in the process.
In New York City, advocates unveil a bold vision to end the traffic violence.
People often dismiss gardening as an expensive hobby that they can’t afford. While that can be true, it doesn’t have to be. There are way to make gardening cheap.
In the United States, we are feeling the effects of the rising food prices as well. When you take a deeper look into the prices, it’s not the food that is causing the price to rise. It’s everything else that goes into getting the food to your plate t
It might be the middle of the summer, but you should start thinking about getting your fall garden ready. If you don’t have much space, to plant everything outdoors, then you can certainly start your seeds indoors.
When you are apartment gardening in a small space, you are forced to be creative due to your space constrictions. Most traditional pots and containers might not work, so you become reliant on reusing objects to better fit your space.
Parents will often say that they don't have time to grow their own food because they have kids. Don't let kids be the excuse. Instead make them part of the experience too. It's what families have done since the beginning of time. The past 100 yea
While there are many events that have lead us to where we are today in terms of food, there are some things/events that stand out the most in my mind. Growing your own food is one way to reverse the trend.
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.
When people ask why they should grow their own food, the answer that I give is often simple. I tell them, "It's because we are humans."
Take these into consideration the next time you are making your food purchases.
Organic is a phrase that’s tossed around and abused a lot by marketers these days. Not all “organic” products should be treated equally.
What if I told you that you could grow 50 plants in 4 square feet?
We are taught when we are kids not to waste food, but it doesn’t seem as if that lessen has stuck with us.
Whether you are new to gardening or experienced, you will make some mistakes. Get over it and learn from it. That’s the most important thing.
Some people use gardening as an escape from the trials and tribulations of the real world. It’s their time to get their hands dirty, connect with the earth and just be in their garden.
If you are new to growing your own food in containers, these are some simple tips that should help you to get a better yield and results from your containers.
Growing your own food doesn't have to be an expensive activity. There are plenty of ways to cut back the costs and be earth-friendly as well. You can do this by giving a second life to items that have outgrown their initial purpose.
Containers are great for those that are gardening in small spaces. Though there is the fear of not knowing when or how often to water them. This is why I started to make my own self-watering containers.
It’s the middle of summer and you are likely enjoying the harvests. There is` so much to do with all that fresh and flavorful produce, but what should you do?
As part of my education on how to be more self-sufficient when we make our move back to Texas, I've been taking classes while here in Australia. One of the more enjoyable classes was in beekeeping. This is our class practical exercise.
Suburban life has always been synonymous with long hours in the car. That’s changing now. Arlington, Virginia, shows how feet on the street helps a community thrive. Learn about how Arlington is promoting walking through city initiatives as well as 10 more cities that are striving to make their communities more walkable.
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.
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.
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!