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.
Medicinal mushrooms can help ward off colds and flus this winter.
How to install a package of bees
Bust the myths surrounding poison ivy and decide which DIY remedies are right for you.
Take an imaginary journey from the High Arctic to California, as we examine food insecurity, waste, hunger, and culture clash.
After two weeks amongst the poorest in India, how do I come home?
Learn how to de-ice slippery surfaces without harming nearby soil and plants.
The Tractors and Power Equipment blog is all about tractors and the equipment powered by them — loaders, graders, mowers, cultivation and logging implements and more.
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
So, I just read an article in the Washington Post that said the Internet is now home to some 15 million blogs and that most bloggers consider this medium a form of therapy. And as I’ve been agonizing of late about so many things (my inability to get around to writing blog entries being one of them…), I figured I’d just join the crowd on the cybercouch.
February’s stimulus plan offers tax credits for eco-friendly home improvements, which could keep your money in your wallet this tax season.
Teragren, the nation’s leading manufacturer of fine bamboo flooring, panels, veneer and worktops, today introduced a new product line — Vantage: A New Generation In Bamboo Flooring.
Everyone gets stuck with a restless night from time to time, and some of us suffer from full-blown insomnia. We want to know, what do you do to make sure you get a good night's sleep? (Plus, check out a few tips from our editors.)
For part two in our 2010 Predictions series, Natural Home forecasts warm, vibrant colors and more natural light as the top interior design trends
Thanks to helping hands, everything gets done.
We hatched our first batch of Icelandic Chickens this past fall, and what a treat they have been. Follow our journey through the first 5 months.
Believe it or not, the global warming debate still exists. The Inhofe EPW Press Blog now has 650 scientists that speak out against the fact that global warming is real and manmade. But are these sources credible?
Mother Earth News embraces controversial topics that affect the lives of readers and the health of the planet, as well as practical, every-day topics of sustainable living.
How our community has planned ahead for wildfire contingencies.
I couldn’t get online for a whole week. It was disconcerting at first, then heavenly. Four days on Martha’s Vineyard without access to the real world . . .
You may not hear about Candida overgrowth as much anymore, but there’s more evidence than ever that this syndrome is real and is often associated with other gut problems that cause a wide variety of symptoms throughout the body.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border to keep illegal immigrants, but have they thought about the wildlife that they will destroy along the way?
Help fight the itch of poison ivy with Cortizone 10 relief pads.
Learn how to celebrate homesteading this September by promoting community self-reliance skills!
With the U.S. importing 91 percent of its food, many crucial details of what we're consuming can be hard to trace: how our seafood is caught or produced, health codes across borders, and how the ecosystems are being affected. But does that matter?
A new government-sponsored program calls for India to replace 400 million incandescent bulbs with CFLs by 2012.
A Federal Housing Association (FHA) EEM provides mortgage insurance to the borrower who is looking to purchase or refinance their home, and incorporate the costs of energy efficient improvements into their mortgage.
How is it May already? Our list of to do's grows daily as our workable days fly by.
Where we find a wealth of information for projects and enjoyable reading.
Brown marmorated stink bugs have quickly become an invasive insect in the Unites States. Find out how to indentify the stink bugs, control stink bugs in your garden and rid them from your home.
Roger Doiron, a MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributor and the found of Kitchen Gardeners International, recently spoke at a TEDx conference about the power of gardening.
Geoff Taylor laments the frequency of ladder accidents that happen as a result of neglecting necessary precautions, such as wearing sturdy shoes and always have a spotter.
It took a year for Ilene White Freedman to make homegrown, homemade Ancho-Chili Powder. Find out how she did it.
A brief announcement of the new Permaculture chicken ebook series that starts with chicken egg incubation.
Listen to Periodical Radio's recent interview with Bryan Welch.
Leafy greens are among the most nutritious foods you can eat, but what if they contain systemic pesticides like imidacloprid? New pesticides that are taken up by plants mean there may be pesticides in food crops like collards and kale, not just on the surface.
A recent study by German carpet company suggests that its Cradle-to-Cradle-certified carpet might actually improve indoor air quality.
Trying to interpret and understand scientific reports and their failure to come to a consensus.
Crafting laundry detergent saves time, money and lightens your environmental footprint. Plus it’s simple!
Here's an alert that could affect your plantings of annuals, especially impatiens.
A tutorial on making a flower press with supplies that don't require heavy tools or a visit to the hardware store.
Immigrating to Canada can be a daunting process, but the Canadian government provides resources to help.
Most ice build up on roofs in the winter time are caused by specific circumstances. This project that we just completed had ice build up from the day it was built. Although the builder did a good job of insulating, he missed one key element, which you will read about here.
The ecovillage/commune movememt that started in the 1960s is alive and well in 2009.
The Fellowship for Intentional Communities offers resources on group and communal living.
In this posting we discuss how the record infection rate of West Nile virus is related to the record global temperatures of the past decade. We also discuss how these record temperatures have allowed the infections to occur in northern latitudes.
The United Nations named 2014 the International Year of Family Farming, providing an excellent platform to highlight the importance of family farmers in feeding the world and healing the planet at the same time.
After fire took her friends’ award-winning historic, renovated home only a year after its completion, Ilene White Freedman asks “Who will rebuild their spirits?” A follow-up to her post about the home's renovation.
Use an interactive map to compare your home states eco-friendliness, based on factors such as air quality, water quality, gasoline consumption and availability of public transportation.
Cam welcomed a group of high school students to his home/office recently.
This posting present comments by leading scientific organizations, individual scientists and government leaders pertaining to human induced climate changes. All agree that climate change is anthropogenic and that it has become a serious problem.
A selection of Words of the Wise. This index links to 5 different sets of great quotations, for your edification and entertainment. Witty quotations. Eco quotations. Quotations for gardeners and farmers. And more.
Turkeys are surprisingly tough to raise, coop are remarkably simple to raise and thanksgiving a given.
Have a little look at the guts of my humble, cone-shaped abode. Enjoy!
Natural Home editor in chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence discusses the pros and cons of green consumerism.
How packing snow against your house can add R-value to your insulation - and subtract energy costs.
Have you thought about adding more insulation to your home to reduce your energy bills? Here are some good places to go for more information.
Tired of pests? Here are five tips for knocking ‘em back without resorting to pesticides and toxic chemicals.
Taking into account production, processing, consumption and disposal, the Environmental Working Group found that if everyone in the U.S. gave up meat or cheese one day a week for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
Adult males and post-menopausal women are quite likely to suffer from health problems caused by excessively high levels of iron in the blood. Donating blood is the safest and most useful way to deal with this potential problem.
Your mind can often trip us up, make things worse than they are, even lead us into disaster. You can control your own mind and change negative messages to positive ones, creating a much more productive,calmer. and fullfilling life.
Six rug and carpet companies have joined the GoodWeave certification program, which works to end illegal child labor in the South Asian carpet industry.
A cow is born at Sunflower Farm!
iTySE™, the Idaho-based reusable shopping bag line created by Shawna Pierson and Chris Kodama of Fruitland, Idaho, is proud to announce its debut, now available for purchase nationwide.
Step inside an iceberg in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
The first organic inhaler, The Lung Cleaner, hits markets.
This post is an overview of my wood pallet guitar. It explains the material sources, how they were obtained and preparation involved with little or no budget, along with the story of my life. Also, you’ll learn the benefits of recycling, repurposing, and reclaiming.
Tangible benefits of companion planting come from intercropping (also known as relay planting, interplanting or undersowing), which is when one crop (or cover crop) is sown or transplanted in the spaces between the standing crop before it’s finished. Here, I write about relay planting in the early spring, particularly interplanting peas in spinach beds.
Learn how to successfully hatch and raise turkey poults after reading these tips.
We’re looking for the most effective and creative solar-heated waterer for chickens. If you’re creative and love to build useful projects, make a solar poultry waterer and try it out this winter. Then submit your design for our contest. We’ll publish the winning entry in the magazine, and the designer will win a free Brinsea incubator.
Yellow jackets can pose a threat to honeybees. If yellow jackets have built a nest in your yard, here's a recipe for a natural, non-toxic solution that will get rid of them. Please share your own recommendations too!
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall to create a barrier along the US-Mexico border. Although the wall will never completely stop illegal immigrants from coming into the country, it will risk the survival of animals and wildlife in the area.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border, despite petitions from the Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club.
Killing poison ivy can be tricky — especially if it’s entwined in a tree near your house. But you can kill the plant and remove the vines without using chemicals, and without getting a case of poison ivy yourself.
A rural home in La Porte, Iowa thrives on all the elements of nature including bird feeders, a veggie garden and table scraps.
Our take on the positive and negative points of insulated concrete forms.
Mother Earth News' green homes editor discusses eco-friendly insulation options, and explains why some are greener than others.
Here are some suggestions for removing rust from cast iron.
On the brink of settling into her new home, environmental journalist Simran Sethi shares some tidbits of eco-information, such as how to box and save for the move, and how a few simple changes can make your home cozier and more energy-efficient.
Many traditional crafts require substantial training, infrastructure, and investment of money and time. Basketry, however, requires only a few days of training to learn basic techniques, and can use materials that be harvested naturally from almost every biome on Earth. It can be practiced around a modern working schedule, and can beautiful, durable and sustainable tools and furnishings, including animal traps, armor, beehives, boats, cages, chairs, chicken coops, coffins, fences, hand tools, hats, huts, sheds, stables, wagons, walls, and weirs.
Who would have ever thought that worms could invade a forest and wreak havoc?
This is the favorite version of mango lassi served in Indian-American restaurants.
GazeboCreations.com is an award winning internet retailer that now offers state-of-the-art online design capabilities to consumers with its Gazebo Designer.
Why I use the #Blessedlife.
How does induction cooking work? What are the pros and cons? Efficient electric cooking or hidden health risk?
Cam has been doing some radio and podcast interviews lately with some interesting hosts.
How-to online videos are a valuable resource for any do-it-yourselfer. But there are a lot of videos out there, so we’ve picked noteworthy ones and provided a few links to help you find more in the future. From building a workbench to changing your car’s oil, these engaging and instructive videos will inspire you to start a fun, new DIY project.
Our sleek, easy-to-use digital editions have a number of bonus features, plus reduce paper consumption and the magazine’s carbon footprint.
Steve shares his time touring a plant that makes the kind of blades homesteaders use every day,
After 37 years of publishing, Mother Earth News magazine has amassed a wonderful collection of handmade home articles to inspire and amaze the do-it-yourself home-builder-to-be.
Looking for natural ways to ward off that 3 o'clock slump? Real Simple magazine offers nine natural tips for increasing your energy — no pills, caffeine or other stimulants required.
Everyone's talking about the economic bailout, but few seem to focus on the bigger issue: we need more jobs, and we need a viable economic stimulus. One study shows those needs could come from green investment.
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.
Deck: Infused vinegar is easy to prepare and makes a much-appreciated gift.
Cam has a recurring nightmare in which the land across the road is being developed and his peace and quiet and isolation is threatened.
Enjoy this footage of an elk having an absolute blast splashing through a puddle.
Why is it unrealistic to believe we can agree that clean air and water are important and limited resources? How insane is it to think we could imagine a world of beauty and abundance? That’s what I’m going to aim for.
Finding healthy, gluten-free meals can be a challenge at catered events and restaurants. Share your tips for gluten-free eating out, and find sources in your area!
Steve explains how one practical guy invented a way to burn pellets efficiently without an expensive pellet stove
By focusing on environmental change this Earth Day, we can reach our green potential. Green initiatives need to be implemented, both individually and collectively, for us to reduce our environmental impact.
A description of a pioneering workshop featuring no-till, cover crop cocktails and mob grazing. Douglas County Conservation Service educated local farmers in cutting-edge biological farming techniques.
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New organic milk contains Omega-3, which is not approved as an additive to certified organic milk. The Cornucopia Institute found this illegal synthetic additive in new organic milk in its latest investigation.
Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.
HOMEGROWN blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel outlines strategies for responsible drought gardening in her home state of California--or anywhere.
The Arctic is warming up faster than the overall global temperature. We will discuss the reason for the rapid warming of the Arctic.
4 or 40, growing up isnt always straight up. Branches, bumpy outcroppings and the occasional low hanging fruit serve as speed bumps on the road of life.
With the fence in (just barely), this rainy Wednesday looks just perfect for planting.
Follow this Intructables contributor's step-by-step guide to building a desk with old crates and boxes for drawers.
One small brown bat can eat several thousand insects each night. Install a bat house and invite them to feast in your yard.
There is much to be learned when taking care of dual-purpose cows including how to avoid birthing problems and retained placentas, how to manage mastitis and when to do artificial insemination.
Are you able to face any situation that comes your way with the knowledge that you will survive the adversity? Challenge yourself to become an overcomer!
Four new hens joined the flock at Sunflower Farm and it has taken some time to re-establish the pecking order.
Should we be building more garbage incinerators in the United States? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.
New burn barrel alternative provides safer, smarter home and garden burning for homeowners.
Cole explains the term "dark cutter" as it applies to the effect of stress on meat animals, and eventually, its affect on consumers.
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about growing up on the frontier for both her and her husband. Her book about Almanzo's childhood recalls some of his favorite foods, including "fried apples 'n' onions".
This is a summary of our attendance at the IBS show in Jan. Also a re-cap of Jan events and our transistion into the construction phase of the project. We also talk about the decision for the competiton to be moved off the Nationa Mall in DC
How we had to adjust to a smaller home, the isolation and quiet.
After a five month struggle, the San Francisco board of supervisors approved a program called GoSolarSF, making solar installations more affordable for its citizens.
Ah, the fun begins for building a wood pallet guitar. In this post, we apply the following building steps: planning material, matching the right tools to the wood, shielding cavities, and basic electric guitar electronics assembly and testing.
Great Quotations: the 4th installment in a series. This post features 14 fabulous eco-quotations, from thinkers such as Wendell Berry, Rachel Carson, Thoreau, Edison, and others.
Fun graphics of great quotations! Quotations by Buckminster Fuller, Mary Oliver, Martin Luther King Jr., and others, available as free graphics that can be shared like e-cards.
A new study has uncovered a link between food and environmental allergies and chemicals found in pesticides, herbicides and other agricultural products and drinking water.
People have found many techniques for preserving vitamins in winter, which still work today. One of the most basic involves fooling plants, as it were, into thinking they are not dead yet.
Cultures around the world wove boats: Tibetans floated in Ku-Drus of woven wood and yak skin, Eskimos lashed sealskin around their long umiaks, Arabs traversed the Tigris and Euphrates in quffahs, and the Celts of the British Isles — Irish, Scots and Welsh — had an amazing variety of coracles for fresh waters and curraghs for the sea.
If you were a teenager in the 1990s, you remember the flying cars and giant holograms of Back to the Future II, set in the impossibly distant 2015. If you were a kid in the 1960s, you probably remember the talking robots and interstellar travel of Lost in Space, set in the faraway 1990s. John Michael Greer's new novel 'Star's Reach' depicts a different, back-to-basics future world.
With 67 percent growth in one year, the solar energy industry eclipses even the telecommunications industry, according to a new Solar Energy Industries Association report.
Flashy technologies billed as holding the key to an “age of plenty” cannot ward off future hunger. But strong rural communities working with, not against, nature can create an age of sufficiency.
Many of us suffer from low self-esteem. Negative self-images plague our lives, robbing us of happiness. Here's an exercise that can help you rid your self of those thoughts that prevent you from seeing who you really are.
A Carnegie Mellon study finds fault with carbon footprint calculations. Thankfully, we have other ways of determining environmental impact.
Pennsylvania is under federal quarantine due to the threat of Emerald Ash Borers. Raising awareness and getting the facts are important. However, getting to the root of the problem may be as simple as supporting local food systems.
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ForestEthics exposes Sustainable Forestry Initiative Greenwash, catalyzing growing corporate trend and grassroots consumer movement to avoid SFI.
An experiment in a London suburb turns cigarette butts into home insulation.
A map released by National Public Radio shows viewers the extent of the ongoing drought, and how it's changed from January 2011 to now.
Grow food year round with no operating costs and no waste by using integrated closed loop production in a heat retaining enclosure.
When we produce locally what we consume locally creates cells of sustainability. The shorter our supply lines the more resilient we become. More importantly, sustainable cells produce a healthier and more beautiful way of life.
What we do inside on a blustery day outside.
Cam's wife Michelle considers the economics of keeping egg laying chickens.
Cam talks about getting mistaken for a garden centre employee and also the time that his house appeared to get sold out from under him!
The X Prize Foundation recently announced the winner of their "What's Your Crazy Green Idea" competition.
The Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force has proposed numerous changes, including coastal and marine spatial planning, to keep a constant eye on our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes. Will increased regulations help us avoid future accidents in our most treasured bodies of water? Tell us what you think about the proposed changes.
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.
Exploring our misconceptions of who we are when we are defined by our online presence.
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.
Being a father myself I really want my children to enjoy my passion and this is a great example of teaching children how to appreciate what bees get up to. With a little patience this is a fantastic family beekeeping activity enjoyed by all.
Our selection of a house, downsizing and getting the home built.
It's time to start thinking of winter for your bees. They much have enough food to get through the long months when no food is coming in. It's your job to see that they do.
Senior sledding down our driveway.
InSpire Cedar Shake is an innovative, authentic and durable mineral-filled polyolefin roof tile that delivers the genuine beauty and texture of cedar roofing without any costly regular maintenance or issues inherent with wood.
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.
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras shares tips for saving on energy costs by sealing leaks in your home.
Check out this expert advice for keeping an organic garden pest-free.
It’s that time of year when the flying, buzzing, blood-sucking insects are at their peak annoyance, and, if you want to comfortably enjoy the great outdoors, you’ll need to apply some sort of bug repellent to your body. Try this non-toxic, herbal remedy that Stephanie Tourles has for you!
Handy Camel multi-purpose bag clip earns several awards during release year.
It's about seven unique way's you can use your iPhone to be more energy efficient.
Home design apps for smart phones and iPads make visualizing your dream home even easier.
You may need special farm liability insurance if you plan to sell eggs, produce or other products from your farm or at the farmers market.
Set up camp in a parking space, feed the meter, and create a mini-park on PARK(ing) Day this Sept. 20.
Going camping, hiking, or canoeing this summer? HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares a big-batch granola recipe that will feed your entire group—or one hungry teen.
We know you're anxious to get growing! But HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel says it's not time to plant seedlings just yet.
Notes on immigrant farm labor and livable wages.
A Danish study has found that concentration improves among students who bicycle or walk to school.
Joel Salatin and his family open their farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley on July 19th to celebrate what he calls "integrity food." Events will feature walking tours of pastured livestock, intensive seminars and demonstrations on rabbit rearing and more.
Originally from small Prussian villages, th Bruchmillers immigrated to Kansas and started a farm. Now the current owner of the same farmland, the author describes the immigrants' stories in Part Two of a four-part series on tracing farm history.
Wasting food in the U.S., making biogas, and using food waste to do it ... (Let's not waste all that wasted food!).
Learn about Bisphenol A (BPA) and its prevalence in plastic manufacturing, and get tips on how to limit your exposure to BPA, phthalates, and other unsafe chemicals in plastic.
This divine herb has a multitude of properties – it’s a potent skin-cell regenerative, mucolytic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, circulatory stimulant, vulnerary, antioxidant, antifungal, analgesic and deodorizing agent. I use both the essential oil and the infused oil in formulas to relieve sinus and respiratory congestion, muscle tension and soreness, and headaches; to soften and fade scar tissue; to stimulate memory, creativity, confidence and mental energy; and to stimulate circulation to encourage hair growth.
A harrow tractor implement is very helpful in breaking up manure and old hay on pasture ground.
Organic Architect's Eric Corey Freed shows designers what green really means during Dining by Design, a charity event featuring tabletop installations in New York.
The earthbag/geotextile basement wall system described here has excellent potential to save on initial construction costs and long-term energy costs. No concrete is used. The same principles have been used to build retaining walls for decades.
In the final chapter of this five-part series, Lyn Fenwick finds the country cemetery that Isaac was burried in and pays her respects to the author of a treasured family heirloom, a 19th century homesteaders journal.
A new job-finding website, Good Food Jobs, can help you find meaningful work in the food industry.
An Energy Efficient Mortgage can help you add value to your home by making home energy improvements more affordable.
Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.
All of us farmers,large and small, are a big part of the engine that drives the economy
of rural communities, rural counties and rural states.This year, we are learning a lot about what happens when that engine sputters.
After months of waiting, worrying and hoping, the clouds finally arrived here at Yellabird Farm last week and brought us the long-sought gift of good rain. It was a great two days of slow and soaking moisture that the cracked soil guzzled up...
Drought is hard on us out here in Farm Country. But drought in the midst of boiling hot summer is amongst the worst conditions I can imagine.
One thing I know for sure is that many in the local farm and food scene are working through the same issue. We are numbers people in search of numbers. We aren’t crazy unscientific loons like our industrial brothers and sisters think we are.
Why do certain individuals care about the environment while others do not? Is it an intrinsic moral obligation? Are we born with an innate instinct to want to protect the earth and its natural resources?
Spotlight on Earth Stewardship pays homage to eco-conscious individuals by sharing their stories of hope, inspiration, challenges and insight into making the earth a better place for generations to come.
Know of a group that's doing great work to support your community or have a community-building idea of your own? If you live in the Northeast United States, Green Mountain Coffee and Ashoka's Changemakers are holding the "Revelation to Action" contest to find and help fund the most innovative ideas to bolster communities in the Northeast states.
This will be an ongoing series, which pays homage to Eco-conscious individuals by sharing their stories of hope, inspiration, challenges and insight into making the earth a better place for generations to come.
The further degradation of our societal food skills are examined here, with small town food craftsmen becoming an endangered species, in this case, my local butcher.
In part two of this five-part series, Lyn Fenwick shares a homesteader named Isaac's 19th century journal entries on love, including the observation of local beauties and his desire for a woman who enjoys reading.
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.
Creating your own start-up is full of obstacles, but rewarding. MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Jessica Vaughan shares advice from her experience as a first-time small business owner who teaches clients how to grow organic produce.
As antibiotic resistant infections become more prevalent due to antibiotic use in livestock, health advocates turn to the White House for action.
In “The Root Development of Vegetable Crops” botanist John E. Weaver meticulously illustrates the complex layers of vegetable root growth.
Established in 1879 by an Arab-Israeli family, Abouelafia Bakery continues to make history.
There is deep nutrition in weedy herbal infusions that can fill a glaring gap in our modern, processed diets. As a passionate herbalist and vegetarian who’s endeavored to pay close attention to the nutrients in my diet, I found myself wondering: Can nourishing herbal infusions replace a daily multivitamin?
Taking the guesswork out of rescuing a piece of rusty cast iron cookware, Sarah provides easy to follow step by step instructions on how to take cast iron from unusable to gleaming.
Well-seasoned cast iron cookware is a joy to cook with.
If you’re a visual learner (or just want some quick DIY tips), take a look at this collection of short DIY home improvement videos.
Earlier this month I visited Greensburg, Kan., and toured a few of its many green buildings. Here's what I found.
With the increase in small-scale farming activities, people are looking not only at backyard poultry but also into raising backyard livestock. This post is about Mary Jane Phifer’s experience with Irish Dexter cattle, a small-sized dual-purpose.
C. Murray shares his experiences finding work to support his family as a child during the Great Depression.
Many beauty products contain harmful chemicals, but figuring out which are the worst can be difficult. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence clues you in to the top five chemical ingredients to avoid when buying summer skin care products, and helps you learn about a few natural alternatives.
The actual footprint of a garden is only one of many factors for how much food that can be produced there. With succession planting, good soil and some planning the same garden area can produce substantially more food.
Readers share their favorite garden irrigation methods.
A good watering system will save you time and money in your garden.
Dan Chiras of The Evergreen Institute invites readers to attend a one-day conference on the future of building in Wichita, Kansas.
Here's how you can find out what financial incentives are available for purchasing solar panels, or another renewable energy system for your home. Search these resources to find state and local incentives.
A growing number of homeowners are realizing how useful chickens can be in the backyard: They offer pest control, fertilizer, comedy relief, and their business end doles out concentrated protein like a Pez dispenser. Unfortunately, novice chicken-owners can encounter problems when they expect more than chickens can deliver, either in food, companionship or general co-operation.
Espalier allows a gardener to grow a dwarf fruit tree along a wall or fence, binding it for support, and sculpting the branches to follow certain lines, as Japanese artists do with bonsai trees.
Most of us grew up with pickled cucumbers, and possibly with beets or onions – but in other eras or parts of the world, humans pickled a much greater variety of foods, including mushrooms, meats, and fruits. Some cookbooks from the 1800s carried recipes for pickling apples, and old radio programs from the Depression promoted it as a cheap and delicious way to get vitamins all year.
So maybe you can't afford the pricey furniture and decor on display at the design shows in Milan and Vegas. Just take a look at these ideas and start riffing.
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.
Cam has a feeling that this concept of "cloud computing" is all going to end in tears....
Cam promotes the return to our independent roots.
If you’re growing food in the house through the cold months, our readers can benefit from your experience. Have you had success at indoor gardening before? What did you grow? Share your tips and tricks!
Comly Wilson, Associate with CleanEdison, a solar installation training provider, offers her tips to remedy 6 common mistakes solar PV installers make when setting up new photovoltaic systems.
In support of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above energy strategy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Nov. 19, 2012, 10 small business-led projects to speed solar energy innovation from the lab to the marketplace.
A homesteader's year is over for this time. Nothing cleans the yard up as a foot of snow, and I think it's here to stay. winter on Deer Isle is great, so great I consider it something we deserve after getting through the summer, both for us as homesteaders and for us as a part of this community.
What if I find land where I can homestead but it's at a location where no one does the same thing? The lack of a homesteading community can be a discouraging factor when looking for land, but over time, if one is patient, it is very likely you'll find others that are drawn to the basic, sustaining, diverse and positive actions of homesteading.
You can make your own homemade cough drops with garden-fresh herbs, such as horehound and marshmallow.
The Environmental Protection Agency is trying to cancel the use of carbofuran, but FMC Corporation stands in their way.
These natural cold and flu remedies will help you build up your immune system and reduce the duration and discomfort of colds and flu.
Alternative transportation magazine, A To B, is chock-full of innovative bicycle tecnology reviews and test drives for everything from folding bikes to E-motorcycles and all the accessories in between.
Readers report on the types of flowers they grow to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects.
Suddenly it seems like spiders are everywhere, which makes many people uneasy. Fear not! Autumn's awesome arachnids can be fun to watch and easy to capture using no-touch methods.
Colorado's once-thriving solar industry has ground to a halt following Xcel Energy's move to slash incentive rebates for homeowners.
Global Greens Farm in West Des Moines, Iowa, helps refugees transition from growing food for their families to operating small businesses that sell produce at farmers markets, local grocery stores and to area restaurants.
Nearly 20 years ago, Robert Laporte began experimenting with building a house using straw and Iowa's excellent clay. In the process, he discovered what makes a home's soul.
Check out our map of Artisan Ice Cream Companies.
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.
In this blog, I highlight the earliest decisions I had to make to create a net zero energy home: how I was going to build the foundation and walls. Thermal bridging, air tightness, insulation, cost, and greeness are all key deciders.
Papercrete – concrete made with paper – recycles household trash into a durable material that's perfect for heavy-duty DIY projects.
Here's a 12-step process to green transportation bliss.
Get organized and improve workshop efficiency with this nifty project.
Before winter's chill starts to compromise comfort and elevate home energy bills, there are 5 energy-saving upgrades you can complete.
How to make your OWN insulated window coverings.
The old rules of building suggest that, at a certain point, additional insulation would result in diminished returns — but those rules no longer apply.
Environmentalists are better leaders when we can better love human ingenuity. We will need to form partnerships with the natural world, to ingeniously utilize its resources in ways that preserve its natural productivity.
Our innovations have made possible a rapid expansion in the quantity of human life on earth. But the same technological foundation is used, with equal facility, to improve and sustain the quality of human life.
Environmentalists should strive to understand the joy experienced by the race fan, the motorcyclist and the snowmobiler, and we should use that understanding to stimulate the human imagination in ways that benefit the planet.
Taking a new look at non-native invasives, such as wild yams.
"The Farm Then and Now" by Douglas Stevenson tells the story of The Farm: an intentional community that has defied the odds, blending idealism with a practical approach to create a model for sustainable living.
Two grasses under consideration for biofuels in the United States are considered invasive species that may do more harm than good.
West Indian Gherkins are disease-resistant, heat-tolerant, prolific, easy to grow, ideal for hot humid climates, and make delicious pickles. Plus, you can save your own seed.
Collegiate teams showcase affordable, energy-efficient houses in global competition.
It's easy to get distracted and forget a few absolutes when it comes to food safety. Take this quiz and see if you know your stuff!
With all the recent panic about radiation contamination, our loyal BõKU customers felt safer, and more protected, with BõKU's nutrient dense support.
Willis Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, gets new windows that could generate up to 2 megawatts of solar power.
You don't have to go to Italy to turn out an authentic Italian Panettone for Christmas. Here's how, so now you don't have to go to a bakery or supermarket to get one.
Talking about Annie Upshure and the Catholic Workers Movement and how Peace Farms moved into Appalachia.
One of the first steps to building our homestead in Texas was to get water and electricity on the property so we had the basics from which we could build. This blog discusses how we implemented the first phase of our utilities.
Delicious latkes made with potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes are tasty and nutritious.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has approved the use of methyl iodide, a pesticide toxic to humans, for application to strawberry fields. Methyl iodide is recognized as a carcinogen that can also cause late term miscarriage and permanent neurological damage. Scientists agree that farmers cannot safely use the pesticide, and a concerned coalition has formed to persuade Governor Brown to put a moratorium on the use of methyl iodide.
People living near massive livestock operations may be at risk from the pollution they generate--which is higher in some cases than the nation's most polluted cities.
If you've been considering an electric pressure cooker, consider the Instant Pot. It’s well-made, durable and has many functions.
Summer skin problems are irritating and embarrassing. Show off your best skin with these inexpensive natural remedies.
Looking for a farming internship or apprenticeship? Search the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Center’s online directory of farming internships and apprenticeships to find one that interests you.
The Bureau of Land Management has approved construction of a California geothermal plant that will generate enough energy for 36,000 homes.
Lyn Fenwick discovered a key to her family's past when she uncovered a homesteader named Isaac's dusty journal dating back to 1884. This five-part blog series discovers the treasure of a forgotten life using an old family heirloom as a map.
Using these techniques you can spend an afternoon building a deep mulch garden and stop tilling and composting for up to 30 years.
Typical suburban landscaping is a maintenance expense with no return to the owner and often diminishes the habitat for the living things around us. One alternative is to create a forest island that provides flowers for pollinators and food for people with little to no maintenance cost.
How we milled lumber, made a gate and installed the gate during a break in the weather.
Jerry is no ordinary guy. Don’t be fooled by his rather gruff exterior. Laughing eyes, and a twitch at the corner of his mouth, quickly verify that humor lies within! This wild man in the suburbs has some interesting hobbies which keep him well fed!
Scaffolding is required to access the walls to pour the concrete. Scaffolding also helps support the walls.
Additional reinforcement is required around the garage door opening.
The Start A Lie campaign challenges the idea of truth in advertising while targeting the bottled water industry.
FairShare CSA Coalition partners with health insurance groups to offer a rebate for selecting fresh, organic, local produce.
The “Remote Community Renewable Energy Partnership” exceeds Obama’s goal for supporting clean energy development in small native villages.
We have some exciting additions to announce about our award-winning Vegetable Garden Planner program and our new Grow Planner iPad app, including new seed company catalogs, a filter tool, a favorites button and an app update.
There are many more ways than ever to earn income without ever leaving the homestead. As energy prices rise, earning the money you need without traveling is key to success. It just might not come from the place you expect.
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.
For many homesteaders, taking a job during the winter months to earn extra income is an appealing option. Here are some options to consider if you're looking for off-farm income.
From a little-known sugar substitute to a conversation-starting book, this list of items for the green kitchen contains a few surprises.
The development of gluten intolerance persuaded me to investigate the possibility of an heirloom wheat flour that might not cause the gluten reaction of wheat-based products.
Create more than 12,000 different healthy salad dressings using this App.
Cam describes his ongoing inner dialogue concerning his carbon footprint.
Find the right type of insulation for a Solar Heat Grabber from MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
This blog describes some of the details involved in building with insulating concrete forms, notably window and door buck details that you need to take into account
To ensure an airtight design, be sure to level and finish the top of the concrete wall and use sill seal below your bottom plates.
The devil is in the details in a net zero energy home. Every single step in the design and construction of a home requires efforts to ensure airtightness. The top of the foundation is one detail that deserves special attention.
Once the ICFs are in place and the walls are very well reinforced, it is time to pour concrete. This blog illustrates the process in words and photos.
Home improvement stores offer free DIY classes. What project have you not started yet but dream of doing?
Accepting your shortcomings, or short seedlings as it may be.
That moment you realize contentment looks pretty good on you, but the ducks seem distant.
Chicks and kids growing right before our eyes this spring.
My bees shipped early - here we go!
The post office has called to say your bees have arrived! Now What? Step-by-step instructions on installing your hive.
Some consumers are wary of the impending federal phaseout of incandescent light bulbs. Are you?
We discuss the role of ocean currents in preventing a runaway thermal imbalance on our planet. We also discuss the impact on the climate when the ocean currents are shut down or reverse course.
We discuss the concept that carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels is partly responsible for the current atmospheric carbon overload. We also briefly discuss other human activities that contribute to the atmospheric carbon overload.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues that are both easy and fun to remedy.
Humanity has the power to change and to take the actions needed to foster a healthy planet and a better standard of living for all. Choosing beauty and abundance will ensure a better future not only for humanity, but for the natural environment as well.
Cole does a sausage-making workshop.
Rewarding volunteer efforts involving German Shepherd Rescue.
Our true story about Junior a very unique deer.
The babies have arrived, now is the time to take care of all of the other parts of caring for the newborns!
It is important to take time to reflect on those things that are important to you on occasion.
Ira Wallace inspires us to create flowering, native plant habitat in our gardens. Learn how to identify plants that are 'user-friendly' to the bugs that help keep our gardens healthy.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares her New Year's resolution for 2014: buying food directly from farmers.
Robert Zwald grew up in the 1900s, farming in Minnesota. This is part two of his stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
We have our work cut out for us for many years to come. And for that, we’re grateful.
At work, as at home, the queries have helped us add a number of constructive items to our agenda.
Tall Goldenrod is a fall favorite of the honeybee. Although it is most likely the bees are foraging on a variety of flowers, it is natural to assume the most prevalent flower at any given time is the strongest influence in the honey.
Choices are available when it comes to feeding a new package of honeybees. Three of the options are discussed in this post. Choose the one that is right for you.
Learn how and why to utilize a queen excluder in your beehives.
Easy-to-make bagels using basic pantry ingredients.
Get rid of poison ivy plants in your yard by following these instructions. Just don’t forget to protect your skin to avoid the effects of this rash-causing rascal.
How to avoid contacting poison ivy and poison oak.
An interview with Jeremiah Gettle, discussing his thoughts on and solutions to pressing environmental issues facing the world today.
Cam considers the environmental implications of using paper diapers vs. cloth diapers.
Shopping and lack of shopping is a hot topic right now with the economy, but it's also a question of what your holidays are all about. What would your celebrations be like without (or without so many) presents?
That something is easy doesn't always mean it's simple – many of the modern conveniences so much of the western world relies on, the thermostat in most conventional houses, for example, is but the end of a long and complex chain reaction with consequences far beyond our reach. Homesteading simplicity can be described as a way to limit those chain reactions, to be more in control over the effect of our actions and, to alter those effects to have a positive impact.
Sweet Iced Tea is a delicious Southern tradition, but store-bought concoctions are often full of high fructose corn syrup and other nasties. This recipe incorporates fresh herbs, which add natural sweetness and help knock down the sugar content.
In a war on gardens, the City of Orlando has taken issue with the rows of beans, greens, and other vegetables occupying Jason and Jennifer Helvenston's front yard garden. The Helvenstons respond to the City's request they remove their "illegal" garden.
Earth warming is causing rapid glacier melt all over the world raising the average sea level at an alarming rate.
Thanks to recent developments in photographic techniques, these ultra-detailed photos of insects might redefine your idea of "bug."
These 10 organic solutions for vegetable garden pest control are easy enough for the beginner.
Grasshoppers can be devastating in a garden, an insect in the locust family. There are ways to control them naturally without chemicals.
Declare energy independence this Independence Day, 2014
Being in control of your own home heating.
Providing the firewood to heat his home has become a pleasurable hobby for Cam Mather.
An introduction to me, a home-schooled 11 year old.
As everyone gathers around this campfire this fall, unite this variety of flavors into one savory skillet that will be enjoyed by all.
The Efel line of woodstoves, crafted in Belgium, is now available exclusively from Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio
Two Brooklyn filmmakers found a way to grow fresh food in the city--in the bed of a 1986 Dodge pickup.
Our minds can play tricks on us, and often do, bending and shaping our perceptions to our own liking. As a result, what we hold to be true about ourselves, others, even the world around us, can be dead wrong.
Kashi, the natural food and lifestyle leader, will support organizations that provide education and greater access to healthy foods in cities across the U.S.
In this excerpt from Fair presenters Hank and Karen Will’s new book, Plowing With Pigs and Other Creative, Low-budget Homesteading Solutions, they’ll show you how to add small grains to your plot.
Last year saw the biggest jump in CO2 emissions from power plants ever. Texas, Florida and Ohio lead the pack.
Save the rain for a sunny day with this homemade rainwater collection system. Using recycled water containers and storing up to 275 gallons, this setup is five times bigger than the typical rain barrel.
Use your extra screwdriver bits to build stubby screwdrivers suitable for small spaces.
The bad news? Coal-fired power plants are our biggest source of industrial pollution. The good news? Solar grew by 67 percent last year, making it our fastest-growing energy sector.
Dan Chiras discusses the differences between power purchase agreements and lease programs, and the benefits of taking advantage of either.
Unlike many wild foods that take a long search, dandelions are found in almost every wood and meadow. And while many wild plants require special training to identify and discriminate from similar-looking poisonous plants, dandelions can be readily identified by every schoolchild.
Houses take a lifetime to pay off these days, and even a prosaic shed, barn or coop requires a heavy investment of money, time, skilled labour and imported materials. For thousands of years, though, people around the world used an ancient technique to build homes and other structures quickly, using nothing but local material and simple, easily learned skills.
It is possible to grow fresh crops through the dark months even without a greenhouse, and even where we live, a thousand miles from the Arctic Circle, where the winter sun brings only brief and meager light.
The joy and sustainability of a greenhouse made of salvaged everything (well, almost).
Pigs can be a great source of healthy and humanely-raised meat in an urban setting thriving on the leftovers of humanity.
Tools and techniques for sustainable living.
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.
Eight books that have had a transformative effect on our lives.
Using rabbit hypnosis and a pair of wire cutters we successfully perform dental surgery on one of our does.
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.
How to build a small and super-efficient masonry heater out of fire bricks.
Voluntary poverty and simplicity is one of the most important and under-realized ways of living green and living great!
Use these two tools to launch your green service, or other great world-changing project.
We are creating two neighborhood nurseries where we'll raise trees and plants to share with neighbors to develop a neighborhood food forest.
Many people believe that their values define who they are. Unfortunately, many of our values don't translate into action. To live a fruitful, peaceful, and productive life, meld your values and actions. You'll be happier and content -- whole.
Western civilization is totally dependent upon cheap and abundant energy. Three quarters of the petroleum we burn in our engines is imported. Could it be cut off suddenly? Without cheap and abundant energy, our way of life would collapse. If we value our freedom and independence, we should not be relying on foreign petroleum. We should be making our own energy.
Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!
Using Pinterest can help inspire new gardening ideas.
A good gardening tool is lightweight, ergonomically correct and has a positive impact on the soil. We only use hand tools (non-powered) in our gardens since we find that we can get the job done easier and more efficiently with a more correct impact on the soil and less impact on our bodies than we would with any machines.
It wasn't many months ago the seed catalog for this year showed up, but at that point I had just, just, managed to finish off the garden season, slightly traumatized from all the work. To receive a catalog then seemed mostly like an ill-conceived joke, a way to rub it in; don't think you can relax too much.
The new apple orchard we're planning for our homestead won't be the classical lawn-layout most people are accustomed to. Our edible landscape will mimic a natural landscape with the goal to reduce interference such as spraying while providing organic fruit, berries and herbs for many months of many years.
Up against China, the tar sand extraction, dysfunctional global summits and the endless cry for economic growth, any individual's actions to halt global warming might seem insignificant. But conscious decisions that bring us closer to nature can make a difference and might be the best we can do.
Even with the daylight hours lately, we still have quite a bit of winter left. Good health – both physically and mentally – might require a little bit more effort than in the summer but can still be achieved and maintained though this homestretch before spring.
February can be a hit or miss for us here at Deer Isle Hostel - snow and cold demands more creativity to stay busy, but also provides a great chance not to do much. Planting onions from seed, shoveling snow and planning for the Hostel season 2015 are some things I do to keep the cabin fever under control.
One of my best pieces of advice to those wishing to establish a homestead is to reach out to the community. Happy neighbors are a big part of a happy homestead and for us it was not only a way to drum up support and engagement for our project, but it was also transformative for our experience and for our business.
Any other year in March, the homesteading chores are back in full swing after the winter break. This year, winter lasted longer than ever and it wasn't until the end I could even conceive of getting any of the usual stuff done. Here's the list of what I normally do.
Intensive grazing management can answer questions regarding field carrying capacity, how much forage your animals need each day and how to manage what you have. Pizza, anyone?
Get your St. Patrick's day celebration off to a great start with this wholemeal, authentic, Irish Wholemeal Bread.
In more shocking news about the honey on U.S. store shelves, a Food Safety News study analyzes more than 60 jars of honey and finds that nearly all of them have been ultra-filtered to disguise their potentially tainted and toxic origins.
The EPA is now defining a CAFO (formerly confined animal feeding operation) as a Country Animal Feeding Operation.
Green Earth Technologies is a “totally green” clean tech company that combines sustainable, American sourced, bio-based ingredients with proprietary technologies shaped around the four ideologies of being GREEN: biodegradable, renewable, recyclable and environmentally safe.
Five people and two U.S. honey processors were charged with ‘honey laundering’. Investigators found illegally imported honey from China.
Instead of corned beef, whip up traditional Irish colcannon--with a healthy twist.
Garlic has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and ethnobotanist James Duke, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading experts in medicinal plants, places garlic among the best all-around plant medicines in the world. Learn about the host of ailments garlic can alleviate and prevent, and discover some of the added health perks of this flavorful, folklore-infused herb.