Three easy ways to compost in small spaces and with little effort.
A basic recipe for making compost tea.
Simran Sethi learns how to compost the right way and explores her composting options.
Michelle Corbett's grandmother and great-grandmother taught her to use a natural compost consisting of eggshells and coffee grounds.
Freezing compostable material creates five favorable conditions to speed the decomposition process along.
Learn more about making compost here.
These tips will help you keep your kitchen compost free of rotten smells and fruit flies.
Hemp seed is a powerful source of protein, Omega-3, vitamins and minerals, and has a delicious nutty flavor!
Tart, tangy and tangerine — Nordic Naturals new vitamin gummies.
The Aerobin 400 uses a patented aeration core inside an enclosed bin to promote aerobic break down of organic matter. The Aerobin 400 is easy to use - just open, drop in materials, and close.
Stan Slaughter discusses a method to produce vermicompost in large quantities yearround.
When Woods End Labs recently tested biodegradable plastics and found that most aren't compostable under home compost conditions, one reader (known as Eco-Oxo) wrote that Oxo biodegradable bags aren't designed to biodegrade under compost conditions. Woods End Labs is following up, taking the reader's suggestion and testing Oxo under the conditions Eco-Oxo recommends. This is Part 1 of the new test, where you can follow along and see how Oxo fares under different conditions.
Composting doesn't need to be complicated. It's time to throw out the guide book and start letting nature take its course. Meat? No problem. Bread? Don't worry about it. Human waste? Why not? It's easy!
Tips on how to construct a compost bin and what to include in them.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributing editor and compost expert Barbara Pleasant provides some great homestead compost tips in celebration of Compost Awareness Week.
What do you think of composting toilets and would you consider installing one?
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
Buying "natural" cereal could get you a bowl full of GMOs. To keep genetically modified ingredients off your family's table, buy organic.
A new study has found that biodegradable plastic's rapid rate of decomposition could cause the release of methane, a greenhouse gas. The study's authors suggest that petroleum-based products might be preferable. We need better alternatives than that.
If you strive to grow a garden that is beyond-organic, that relies on very few (if any) off-site products, and that saves you both money and work...deep organic gardening is for you!
Using herbs and food to dye Easter eggs gives them beautiful, earthy color--without scary chemicals. And it's surprisingly easy.
NaturalNews readers overwhelmingly chose Monsanto as the world's Most Evil Corporation.
Two powerfully toxic herbicides, clopyralid and its close cousin, aminopyralid, persist in compost and endanger gardeners and the environment.
U.S. gardeners, organic farmers and commercial growers are reporting damaged or lost tomato crops from Milestone herbicide contamination.
Organic farming research has found that you can compost black walnut hulls successfully, despite the fact that they contain the toxic juglone compound.
The tale of my family’s barrel composter.
Human hair contains significant amounts of nitrogen and makes a great replacement for traditional fertilizers.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has started a global campaign to help reduce food waste worldwide.
One reader from central Oregon shares her personal encounter with killer compost laced with aminopyralic, a toxic chemical herbicide, and the affects it has had on her small organic farm. Read about her experience, and find out what you can do to protect your own farm or garden.
We've been warning you about aminopyralid-containing killer compost for quite some time. Now there's a new deadly herbicide on the market, Imprelis, and it's wreaking havoc in at least seven states.
This passive composting system creates beds of fertile soil through rotational composting.
Growing an organic garden with compost I made using natural material from our surroundings is to comply with nature's way of taking care of itself – it's to remain humble for a true and tried life cycle and acknowledge our inevitable part in and connection to life on earth.
Composting doesn't have to be tough! Learn to make easy compost without the stress.
With a little bit of planning and DIY know-how, it is possible to thumb your nose at old-man winter and enjoy biogas in subzero temperatures.
I ponder the benefits of, and experiment with, compost tea.
ClearSpan Fabric Structures, a division of ESAPCO, is proud to announce a new strategic partnership with Vermont’s AgriLab Technologies, a company specializing in heat capture and transfer from aerobic composting.
How to safely dispose of or make use of human waste is becoming a hot topic.
Although paper is a wood product, it's not always the best answer for mulch or compost.
Having problems with your compost? Unusual smells? Growing mushrooms? Here are tips to fix any issues you are having with your compost pile.
Take a lesson from Southerners, who know a thing or two about keeping cool naturally. These homes take advantage of old-fashioned and cutting-edge passive cooling techniques to stay temperate even during hot Southern summers.
Describes a method of keeping red wiggler worms active and productive outside throughout the winter. Describes a method of sheltering and heating the worms using an active compost pile for heat and clear plastic glazing for shelter.
Whether or not it was devised by clever Mexican potato growers, the cheap, easy to build, and space-saving potato tower is a unique alternative to rows, barrels, and other methods for planting, growing, and bringing in your season's spuds.
Keep your garden safe by testing your organic materials for herbicide residue. A few simple tests can help you avoid harming your plants.
It's easy to overlook how useful grass clippings can be, but early fall is a great time to collect this valuable 'yard waste' to use in your garden as mulch.
It's freezing out - but that doesn't mean it's time to quit gardening. Learn how fall and winter are the key to next year's gardening success.
HOMEGROWN.org blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm says keeping animals in the garden improves her soil and fights weeds and pests.
Building a nutrient rich, low water, drought resistant vegetable growing system.
Use autumn's bounty of fallen leaves to expand your garden, protect your plants and improve your soil.
The Sun Mar composting toilet uses a first of its kind technology to deliver a pollution free and sanitary product.
Facts on the links between weather and pumpkins and what you can do with leftover pumpkins.
Composting toilets add sustainability to a homestead because they use zero water to flush. The waste from compost toilets are safe to add to compost piles. Additionally, it is handy that they don't require connecting to a septic system. This article describes two brands of composting toilets.
It has become a Christmas ritual for me to clean out my mother's fridge. I find whiskery gnarled morsels, shoved to the back of the fridge many months previously, unseen, and untouched by my mother’s arthritic hands. Do I compost all this detritus?
About five years ago I started experimenting with biochar. I collected charcoal from my wood stove, crushed it in a tough plastic bag with the car and charged it by soaking it in compost tea.
Pasteurizing your own compost can protect your new seedlings from damping-off and harmful bacteria.
Using wood ash in the garden can be beneficial for raising the soil pH of your garden soil. These tips will help you know when to use wood ash in the garden.
Taking a couple of extra steps before planting your crops will help ensure healthy garden soil. Here’s how to prepare your garden for spring planting.
Find out whether your home compost pile will benefit from commercial compost accelerators.
I feed and water my compost “pets,” and they do the same for my plants.
Compost and mulch material are in abundance in our backyard and our communities. What is ones man's yard waste is this man's treasure.
Making our own compost is not only a way to meet our need of fertilizer, it's also a way to redirect the garden scraps, chicken manure, leaves and grass cuttings from the waste stream to the resource river. Another area where this applies around our homestead, is our use of a composting toilet. For us, the difference between what goes down a flushing toilet and what accumulates in the buckets in the outhouse is the difference between waste and resource.
Fungi breakdown organic material and make it available to plants. Encouraging fungi to grow naturally, or inocculating your soil can have tremendous benefits for your garden.
Compost happens, yes. But if food scraps are thrown into a pile and left to rot, a hot smelly mess may be taking over. That’s because the process of composting is a symbiotic relationship between carbon and nitrogen. Or at our home, cardboard and food scraps.
Building a layered bed to develop organic material in the soil, hold moisture and decrease the amount of work.
Gardeners in certain regions frequently ask about how to improve clay soil. Lighten up your heavy clay soil by using organic matter, sand and other soil conditioners.
Tips on ways to use fallen leaves in the fall.
NativeEnergy, an innovator in the United States carbon market, today launched its year-long 10-Year Anniversary program.
NativeEnergy, an innovator in the United States carbon market, today launched its year-long 10-Year Anniversary program.
Mulch, like compost, plays an important role in organic gardening. To maximize the flavor and nutrition of your produce, learn how to use and balance the characteristics of various organic materials when mulching.
A simple, low maintenance compost toilet that makes instant fertilizer by separating solids (worm food) from liquids (fertilizer, ready-to-use). Two chambers allows one to compost while you make deposits in the the other.
Tips on what to do with leftover pumpkins during the autumn season.
Tips on how to compost, what is composting and reasons why you should compost.
Don’t let the cost of gardening keep you out of the dirt this year. Cheap gardening can be fun and easy. With these tips for gardening on a budget, you’ll save on seeds, make your own fertilizer and impress your friends with your gardening know how.
Tips for keeping your summer garden producing at top output. This is the time of year that warm season crops are at their peak. These 7 tips will give you continued bountiful harvests through the heat.
Cooler, wetter summer than usual in Oklahoma, but the tomatoes produced very well with no water from the tap. 2015 experiment begins.
Clean up your garden now and plant cover crops that will protect your garden soil through the winter and provide compost and mulch material for next year.
Cap off your Hemp History Week celebrations by making hemp soap. Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids known for their excellent emollient and lubricating properties.
Rancho Margot in Costa Rica is completely off the grid and constantly closing the circle. Nothing is wasted on this self-sufficient ranch, where everything is considered a resource--including methane from the compost ovens.
With a few simple tips, you can transform the leaves overtaking your yard into valuable, nutrient-dense compost, mulch or leaf mold.
Here are some ways we use natural materials to improve our garden and orchards.
Using leaves in the garden will boost the soil’s organic matter.
Here at Deer Isle Hostel, Maine, we use a compost pile built with local, natural materials and a 100-foot water pipe to create a steaming hot shower.
The symbiotic relationship between plants and fungi are showing more than ever how life depends on life. Learn how to encourage what beneficial microbes you have in your soil for a powerful ally in your garden and fields.
We produce wonderful, organically approved soil products for the independent garden centers.
After a completely miserable potato harvest this year we’ve decided to pull them out of the ground and do them in boxes made out of pallets. That way we can use weedblock under them to eliminate the whole bindweed issue. So today, the boxes went up.
Foodborne pathogens such as E. coli can be spread by uncomposted manure from grain-fed cattle on high-concentraton factory farms. The E. coli outbreak in northern Germany reminds us to look twice at the quality of our manure.
Managing compost now allows for more productive use the following season.
Our guest blogger is positively enchanted by the convenience, not to mention the benefits, of keeping worms in the garden.
It pays to spend time preparing your garden for winter. You can improve your soil, increase your harvest, decrease garden pests and make next spring's planting much easier.
Smooth out the temperature range in your greenhouse by adopting one of these strategies for heating greenhouses.
Compost piles don't have to be relegated to an out of the way bin. If your compost-making materials are being produced in your garden, as they are following biointensive methods, the best place for the compost piles are in rotation right on your garden beds.
Tips for using yard and kitchen waste as useful mulch and/or compost in the garden.
Nordic Naturals introduces Vitamin D3 Gummies, the delicious, chewable, wild berry gummy that provides 1,000 I.U. of vitamin D in each serving and is sourced from cholecalciferol, the natural form of vitamin D preferred for optimal absorption. The pectin-based product is gelatin free and does not contain artificial coloring, flavoring, or preservatives.
Bed bugs are taking over America. You can prevent them naturally.
Save forests, use local materials, build a durable house made of whole trees.
I’m a little bit obsessed with The Wizard of Oz. And so, as I promised to discuss the topic of changing our name back to Natural Home this week, I just can’t help myself from weaving in references to my favorite film. (Some days, it’s all about keeping myself amused.)
Use plants from the forest, field and desert as natural dyes to color your fine fabric creations.
With the right constuction techniques, the straw bales in a straw bale home will last as long as the building does. Check out this expert advice on how to build durable straw bale houses.
Are your granite countertops safe? Have you noticed a strange glow about them? Could they power a nuclear energy plant? Some granite has been found to be radioactive.
The night sky of Monday, August 11 and early Tuesday the 12th will light up with a spectacular meteor shower. It will be well worth Tuesday's fatigue.
Using low-cost — but durable — earthbag construction, you can create a beautiful green roof.
Here's where you can find or build a press for making compressed earth blocks, and some helpful advice on sealants.
Carrington Farms, the creators of delicious 100 percent organic, non-genetically modified health food products, continues to reach outside of the box to provide healthy flax seed blends and cooking oils that are not only good for consumers but are affordable and taste great!
The newest articles of Natural Home are in. See what's inside.
Thoughts on managing an event with lots of people and having minimal or no trash.
talking about building a composting toilet and how well the Seed Swap went on Saturday. Hauling capacity of a golf cart compared to an ATV generated some useful and helpful comments regarding electricity vs internal combustion engines. No till works!
Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.
The Mother Earth News Fair staff and volunteers work on green initiatives to divert Fair waste from landfills, recycling and composting as much as possible.
Get a glimpse of some of the unique exhibitors at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
There are some things that you just aren’t going to wash very often, like your curtains, couch cushions, and probably even your favorite jeans. To spare the air, concoct a simple essential oil-infused linen spray, and spritz away until your definition of what “clean” smells like shifts permanently.
Store-bought deoderants contain aluminum and other harmful substances that find their way into your bloodstream. Try this recipe for natural homemade deodorant that uses baking soda with coconut oil and essential oil to create a effective and safe alternative.
From shampoo and lotion to wood polish and drain cleaner, you’ll be surprised at how many common household products contain potentially hazardous ingredients. Here’s how to identify problem products and find the best alternatives to buy — or save a little money by making your own.
These natural cold and flu remedies will help you build up your immune system and reduce the duration and discomfort of colds and flu.
To make liquid hand soap all you need is a bar of soap and a cheese grater. What could be easier?
Liberty LNG is looking to industrialize the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New York and New Jersey. Learn how you can get involved to stop LNG and protect the ocean.
A cordwood building consists of short, round pieces of wood (think firewood) held together with mortar, and there are many advantages to choosing this type of construction.
What is true sustainability? In this post, Matthew Stein explores the definition of what it takes to make a world that is truly sustainable.
Mama Chia organic chia seeds are infused with delicious fruits and vegetables to create a convenient, fun and tasty snack for active souls of all ages.
During tough economic times, local university not only survives, but thrives. Bastyr University announced today it will open a new campus in San Diego, CA, with plans for the first class to begin in Fall 2012.
New Clear Door Dehydrators coming from Excalibur Dehydrators.
Steuart Laboratories manufactures and markets several dozen herb-based healing and pain products for both the human and livestock markets.
Saving butternut squash seeds while using a sledge hammer and putting up a roof and planning a seed swap. Also planning a high density apple orchard with a new variety called Zestar.
Ellen Sandbeck, who has nearly a quarter century of experience as the Head Worm Wrangler of Laverme's Worms, writes about how to make and run a homemade vermicomposting bin.
Describes two effective alternatives to composting. Many factors can limit the ability to produce compost. These two products offer different but practical ways to organically recycle food scraps.
How to revitalize your potting soil for another strong vegetable season. You can use your own compost and homemade fertilizer to give your container veggies the boost they need for the season.
Description of garlic planting on a two-year cycle: from tiny topset bulblets, to large single bulbs, to large heads.
Explains the benefits of organic fertilizers such as rock phosphate, kelp, fish meal and greensand, and tells you how to get buy these materials at reasonable prices.
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
I say compost, you think of rotting food, dirt, flies and a horrible smell. For that reason most people wont' even consider composting at home.
Now, when one tumbler is full and ready to start cooking, there is another tumbler ready to take in the raw compost.
How to define an egg shed? Let’s look at the definition of watershed to give the egg shed concept more shape. A watershed is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as: “The area of land where all of the water that is under it, or drains off of it, goes into the same place”. Based on the definition of a watershed, an egg shed could be defined as: the eggs produced within a certain distance that go to a specific place. That place could be your kitchen.
What’s with glycerin? It’s a soap-making byproduct with antibacterial properties, but it’s often made with animal fat derivatives, which isn’t really our thing. So, we figured out how to make our own veggie version with coconut oil, opening up a whole world of kitchen pantry beauty concoctions.
This stone fascia is a practical solution for wildfire prevention. It's attractive and uses local natural resources.
I can deal with a lot of things- floods, frosts, Japanese beetles, but one thing I can't stand is fire ants. Living in the north for a good portion of my life, I was close to unaware of their existence until I moved to the south. Then, everywhere I looked in my yard I saw the same thing; enormous mounds of orange clay filled with irritating stinging ants.
Like many things in nature, the catalpa tree and worm have a special one-on-one relationship.
Check out this interesting video showing the construction of the Builders without Borders Straw Bale Eco-House.
The quake that struck near Prague, Oklahoma on November 5, 2011, was the biggest ever recorded in the state. Now geologists are warning Oklahomans that quakes may become a regular phenomenon in the state. And the problem is apparently connected to natural-gas operations.
Eric, Michael and Loren decided to build a winter shelter from natural and re-used materials two winters ago, their first ever natural building experiment. This is an account of that experience that changed their lives in mysterious and unforeseen ways (for the better!).
Summer fun gives way to windy, cold weather and before you know it, you've got winter dry skin – chapped, red and itchy hands. Use this easy-to-make DIY lotion; it’s a remarkable remedy for dry, cracked hands.
"Earthen Floors" by Sukita Reay Crimmel and James Thomson provides essential information for creating beautiful floors using natural techniques.
A first-time momma responds with gratefulness when her desires for a natural, vaginal birth take another direction.
These all-natural approaches can ease TMJ symptoms and give you relief.
Get plenty of these vitamins to fight fatigue and feel your best.
I do not know that there is a natural birth movement. I do not know what a doula is. I do not know about pre-natal yoga. The only thing I do know at this point is that there is no way in hell that anyone is sticking a huge needle into my spine and no one is going to be cutting anything around me unless it is an umbilical cord.
This post will take a look at how we transplant vegetable seedlings in our certified organic greenhouses, especially tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.
Learning how to graft tomatoes yourself not only saves money but gives you unlimited options for what varieties you choose to graft. With a little practice, you can become skilled at this worthwhile technique.
What is the best way to learn cordwood construction? Are there workshops or classes offered?
The fundamental building blocks, descriptions, diagrams and pictures of best practices cordwood buildings.
Learn how to build using the cordwood construction technique. Author Richard Flatau recommends taking a workshop or building a practice building.
The cordwood chapel at Kinstone Academy was built over three years and has many natural motifs in the walls.
The best time for selling your cordwood home. Tips, websites, suggestions, and what to do BEFORE you build.
Clean with vodka for a spic-and-span house and less of a headache in the morning! You can use the alcohol to freshen your laundry, remove mold and mildew, and even repel bugs. Vodka kills bacteria and dries clear and odor-free, making it an ideal addition to your cleaning cupboard.
Backcasting into the future: a powerful tool for developing creative pathways towards a sustainable world and a bright, positive future for Planet Earth!
Ed and Bruce share their experiences with homesteading and self-sufficiency in a rural setting. This segment is on using natural resources around the homestead.
A step-by-step guide, and benefits to growing sprouted grain fodder for your livestock as a natural alternative to commercial feed or as a pasture supplement.
Making tallow container candles out of bison fat.
How to make tallow candles from bison suet.
Follow this advice for avoiding and treating bee stings.
There's more reason than ever to be prepared for natural disasters, no matter where you live!
Goats are a great way to get rid of weed problems while also reducing the use of chemicals and fossil fuels.
Keep your skin protected from the sun as well as from toxic chemicals that can potentially cause severe health risks. These reviews of all-natural sunscreens explain which ingredients to avoid when choosing a sunscreen.
Learn how to build a straw bale home by downloading this free guide.
Some of the most amazing natural phenomena to see this autumn. Try to check them out in person if you can!
Natural gas sounds green. After all, it has "natural" in the title. But how green is natural gas, really?
If you want whiter teeth but don't want to buy chemical-heavy products at the store, these food and DIY home remedies will help you get whiter teeth, without the cost and chemicals.
Each year, the success rate for hens hatching and raising chicks at Rancho Cappuccino contines to increase, and it seems there's more than luck at play. Read about watching natural selection in action on the farm.
July is UV Safety Month. Stay safe in the sun with these tips.
Making good decisions on how we use our land. Keeping it natural.
I wanted a DIY natural cleaner for stainless steel appliances, because I don't use all those terrible chemical-filled products that I was tricked into buying 10 years ago. How do I clean without the name brand products that promise to make life easy and clean your stainless steel products? Let me tell you my secret.
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.
An introduction to Paula Baker-Laporte's future readers : about Paula, multiple chemical sensitivities, Building Biology and the role of green building in health.
Making your own cleaning products using vinegar, baking soda and water is healthy, easy--and cheap. Learn how to whip up your own cleaners using foods you already have in your kitchen cupboard.
Ginseng benefits reach far and wide—both Asian and American ginseng help boost energy and vitality, improve concentration, prevent the flu, plus so much more.
Chinese worker Chen Shun Qun says she is paid and treated fairly at the factory that makes Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools.
Natural Home chose bamboo for its kitchenware line because it's both sustainable and beautiful.
Some of the nastiest chemicals we bring into our homes are used to clean ovens and drains--and they're not necessary. Learn how to clean your entire kitchen using vinegar, baking soda and a little salt and lemon juice. You'll love the results!
My grandmother taught me everything I need to know about keeping my house clean--without chemicals.
Clear your home's air naturally for better health and well being.
When a group of graduation students began designing a home on the Navajo reservation in southeast Utah, they knew keeping it cool in the desert would be an issue. Their innovative solution--a Windcatcher--is the first of its kind in the area.
Moms, protect your baby’s health with this safe, homemade sunscreen.
Watch this video to learn how a straw bale house goes together from start to finish.
Need gift ideas? Check out these 10 natural beauty products, including lip balm, face wash, body wash, nail polish and more.
Many wood finishes contain toxic solvents or heavy-metal drying agents. Learn which nontoxic wood finishes are best to use on decks, fences and unfinished, wood-sided homes.
Step-by-step building instructions for a passive solar greenhouse.
Margarita Sikorskaia's bright and bold paintings tell the intimate story of parenthood through the lense of passion and love.
Processed foods contain a variety of chemical preservatives that have been linked to serious medical conditions. Here’s what to look for and how to avoid food preservatives.
This is the story of how I learned to make yucca rope.
This May 2014, Be the Change Project is attempting to build a cob house in one day with 50 people.
A recipe for a grease patty that doesn't use hydrogenated oils.
Ilene White Freedman’s goat is in labor, reminding Ilene of her own natural childbirth experiences.
While you may already look for eco-friendly organic wine when you select a bottle, you're probably not aware of the environmental implications of opting for a wine closed with natural cork in lieu of a less sustainable synthetic stopper.
Fleas and ticks can bring severe itching, allergic reactions, discomfort, and even serious diseases (such as lyme disease) to your pets, so it’s important to protect your pets from them. However, studies have found that many common flea and tick control/treatment products aren’t just toxic to those bugs; they can actually poison your pets, as well. Find out which ingredients and products to avoid, and some safer alternatives to use.
Solving the mystery of finding broken shards of china and pottery in an old garden. Discovering the history of the land and its first settlers.
This blog post tells you how to set up a drip irrigation system in a raised bed garden.
This blog post takes a look at some of the methods we have developed over the last 25 years growing vegetable seedlings in our certified organic greenhouses. This time we take a look at the conditions required for healthy seedling growth.
This blog post shares some of the simple techniques learned through many years of experience by someone who grows vegetable seedlings for a living.
With 1/3 of the population of the US under a tornado watch today, these tornado facts, myths, and survival tips could save a lot of lives!
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.
Though he didn’t know exactly how, Cadmon Whitty decided to substantially retrofit his older home with straw bales, making it more energy-efficient, more valuable, and more aesthetically attractive in the process — all on a shoestring budget.
Glimpse a view into the world of cordwood construction. This old-fashioned, natural building technique can inspire you to build an energy-efficient, mortgage-free house of your own.
A video documenting the "One Day Cob House" build in Reno, Nevada.
Moving is stressful, but it's not an excuse to forget your carbon footprint. Here are some ways to make your move as eco-friendly as possible.
Straw bale and timber frames are highly compatible, beautiful, and the efficiency and longevity of using these natural building techniques is superior in a cold climate setting.
Cadmon Whitty decided to substantially retrofit his older home with straw bales, beginning with rewiring a home, making it more energy-efficient, more valuable, and more aesthetically attractive in the process — all on a shoestring budget.
60 people raised a cob house in one day in Reno, Nevada, with the Be the Change Project and House Alive.
This blog takes a look at the steps taken to propagate lavender by taking cuttings.
Natural products research firm Compass Naturals predicts shoppers will get savvy; rebel against chemicals, over-packaging, GMOs and animal cruelty; and grow more of their own food.
A ladybug reminds us to pause, take a look around, and appreciate our surroundings.
A recycled cork yoga mat prototype gets a rigorous workout as one editor puts it through the ropes in her quest for more eco-friendly Zen.
Alka-Seltzer can give your cleaning routine a little extra fizz. Try it for unclogging drains and cleaning toilets.
Tips on how to control soil erosion and help protect one of Earth's most important natural resources.
emerginC, a leading professional skincare collection, has just launched a natural yet serious results-oriented collection aptly named Scientific Organics.
Perfect for an evening of socializing out on the deck or an intimate meal at a table for two, GoodLight candles keep the mood bright and the air clean and are now available both online and in stores nationwide.
Crunchy goodness in a brown paper bag.
U.S. energy consumers will rely more on natural gas and renewables and less on imports in 2011. Coal remains dominant.
Learn three simple tips for making the most of small gardening spaces, including hanging plants and advice for selecting seed varieties.
The very first thing I did after closing on my new house was meet with an expert in natural methods for eliminating brown recluse spiders.
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.
Let's quash, once and for all, the notion that only harmful chemicals can kill germs and bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are natural antibacterials that keep your home clean--and safeguard your family's health.
The Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies offers scientific backing to herbal and natural medicine.
Are you ready for the kinds of severe weather that could impact the area where you live? National Severe Weather Preparedness Week takes place from Mar. 3-9, 2013. This is a great time for you and your family to “Be a Force of Nature” by learning the importance of planning for severe weather events and practicing how and where to take shelter before severe weather strikes.
Realize that DIY inspiration is just a click away by checking out these great home remodeling blogs.
In this video, learn how the production and consumption of stuff affects the environment and community health.
GloryBee Foods announces today that the company adds Aunt Patty's Organic Creamed Coconut to its selection of natural foods.
According to the USDA, consumers can feel secure in the accuracy of the biobased claim and can make better informed purchasing decisions.
Building Biology advises us to look for a successful history of use when choosing building materials but in our ever changing product-based building environment we seldom have the luxury of evaluating track record. This becomes quickly apparent when vetting new products for client’s homes. I recently called a major manufacturer to find out what was in a new product developed to prevent mold growth on framing lumber.
A few words describing how I came to Dancing for Birth and why I believe every woman should dance through her birth.
The fire moon shows up every year when the forest fires start up. Maggie Bonham has some recommendations for preparing to evacuate with animals.
Sipping on medicinal herbal tea is one of the best steps you can take to shorten the duration of illness when the symptoms of a cold, sore throat, or other upper respiratory infection begin.
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.
Part two discusses soil testing and costs associated with building an underground/earth sheltered home. You will see pictures of earth shelter plans and soil testing which you will find nowhere else on the Internet!
This article takes an insider’s look at how the seed business works, and what you can do to get the best-quality seeds.
"An Unlikely Vineyard" by Deirdre Heekin tells her story of growing wine in the unlikely hills of Vermont and her quest to express the essence of place in every bottle. It is about the evolution of her farm from overgrown fields to a fertile, productive, and beautiful landscape that melds with its natural environment. A gentle narrative with lush photography, this book will appeal to anyone who loves food, farms, and living well.
At first glance George Siemon and Doc Hatfield don’t appear to have a whole lot in common. But George and Doc and a bunch of conspirators are revolutionizing agriculture: they are putting consumers back in touch with the people who grow their food.
You don't need to rely on toxic chemicals to clean your house. Opt for natural homemade cleaners or nontoxic options such as Bon Ami.
Faith Starr of Living Green With Faith will present workshops on weeds and wild plants at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Check out this natural All-Purpose Cleaner recipe.
Kick toxic chemicals to the curb and make your own natural lotion using just a few ingredients. Making homemade lotion is an easy, fun and creative process.
Erin Harwood and Eloyce O'Connor of the Garden Delights CSA and Herb Farm will present a workshop on natural remedies at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Dr. Jaclyn Chasse, naturopathic physician, will present workshops on natural menopause options, building a natural first aid kit and detoxing at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25 in Seven Springs, PA.
Jeremy Galvan of Maryland Families for Safe Birth will present a workshop on midwives and home births at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.
Erin McIntosh of Mountain Rose Herbs and Victoria Miller of Canyon Creek Farms will present workshops on calming herbs and how to keep turkeys at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Tips on how to prepare yourself for a natural disaster during September's National Preparedness Month!
K.C. Compton takes a glance at more than two dozen trends that are shaping our future, which are documented in the Worldwatch Institute’s latest publication, "Vital Signs, Volume 21."
Skip the packaging and synthetic chemicals and learn how to make your own, cold-processed shampoo bars.
Quirky behaviors involving shaving, moisturizing, socks and water conservation!
My brief discription of sustainable beekeeping
The full team from thePOOSH.org attended Over the Moon Festival last autumn in the UK and built a beautiful bender as a temporary shelter area and stall.
The bleeding edge of technology is where the true pioneers of their respective industry reside. Adam D. Bearup has had his own impact in the green building field on several fronts, above and below ground.
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.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
To me, the most important features of a sustainable building are not its technological wonders but its simple design features: common-sense strategies that should be incorporated whether the building becomes LEED certified, Energy Star certified, or is just trying to be environmentally friendly.
Millions of people suffer from mental illness and depend on psychiatric drugs to get them through the day. Conventional treatment may block the symptoms but do nothing to address the underlying cause. There are 5 common physical causes of mental illness.
One of the newest apps for green car owners is Cleaner and Greener Fuels, which locates refueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles.
What does it take to build truly sustainable houses – the kind people really want and can afford? If you build small and use natural building materials, then most likely you’ll be able to build your own home in a reasonable amount of time for cash.
Whip olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice into a cheap, effective polish for wood furniture.
One small brown bat can eat several thousand insects each night. Install a bat house and invite them to feast in your yard.
You can get your whole house fresh and shiny clean with just five ingredients: lemons, vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil and salt.
Discover some of the properties of essential oils, along with some tips for cleaning with them.
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
Low-fired brick is a very sustainable building material with low embodied energy. They are made with locally procured clay and fired with rice hulls, a by-product of growing rice. Brickyards are located near urban areas to minimize transport costs.
A TED talk by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees: Making the Connection: Honeybees, Food, and You.
Matt and Kelly Grocoff keep cool in Michigan by taking advantage of their 110-year-old home's natural ventilation strategies. It's as easy as opening a couple of strategically placed windows.
A Christmas Wish for all, inspired by the magic of the honey bee.
Get an introduction to Building Biology, the science and philosophy of healthy and ecological building that originated in Germany 60 years ago.
What do farm-raised salmon, your typical DEET bug spray, and non-filtered drinking water all have in common? These are frequently encountered sources of toxins which in excess could be threatening your health, but following a detox cleanse will keep you protected and restore energy!
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
Learn how to create a yoga studio that enhances your practice and your health.
The answer to your burning question, “Why am I tired all the time?” may simply be this: your body’s ability to manage stress effectively by means of the adrenal glands has been compromised. Chronic or excessive stress disrupts the normal functioning of the body’s stress response system. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of this disruption.
Detoxification is a powerful tool for treating fatigue and helping your body handle toxins—everything from car exhaust to junk food. Give your body a natural energy and health boost using this simple liver detox program.
It's surprisingly easy to figure out how many carbon dioxide emissions come from producing the electricity for your home, or burning a full tank of gas. Check out this carbon calculator, or find out how to do a quick ballpark estimate.
Bee stings are so painful you feel like a burning torch has touched your skin! To get fast relief, here are 8 natural bee sting treatment options you can use at home.
Tiny plastic beads in cosmetics are found in the Great Lakes, putting fish and human health at risk.
Grass fed beef benefits for health are remarkable indeed; but are they fabulous enough to justify the extra cost? And how do you know you are buying the real thing?
Infants and children are susceptible to the dangers of aspartame side effects.
This time of year, many are intent on healthier eating, but find it hard to find healthy foods that actually taste good. Use these 3 delicious healthy lunch recipes for a mealtime you can truly enjoy!
Some examples of passive solar design applied to homes in the southeast, where cooling, as well as heating, is a concern.
Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools are made without formaldehyde or other harmful additives, through a process that eliminates waste.
It's easy to make your own air freshener spray. You'll avoid chemicals and delight in the fresh smell.
Keep your family healthy by paying close attention to your home's 10 germiest places.
Recently, I had an epiphany in a building supply center. Even though I’ve been in the building trades for over 35 years and made countless trips to purchase building supplies, this trip was different.
In the third in a series on potential toxins and chemicals to avoid during pregnancy, Natural Home & Garden Editor Jessica Kellner discusses the dangers associated with use of retinol in skin care products.
The L41 is a mass-produced, superefficient home designed to provide affordable shelter for everyone.
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers recently named dishwashing formula as their most desired DIY cleaner, so we’ve rounded up some easy and inexpensive dish de-griming recipes for your automatic dishwasher or for washing by hand.
With all the recent panic about radiation contamination, our loyal BõKU customers felt safer, and more protected, with BõKU's nutrient dense support.
Simran Sethi balances her love of nature with her fear of mice in her home.
In Arizona, an intrepid desert gardener harvests rainwater to grow his own food. A Missouri garden writer feeds his soil to feed himself. In Texas, a garden wall encourages community. These are a few of my favorite gardens.
According to the Natural Products Association, the NPA Natural Standard is based on natural ingredients, safety, responsibility and sustainability.
Ceiling fans help cool people naturally, and use a lot less energy than air conditioners. Use them to save on energy.
Save money and have a healthier home with these ideas for assembling your own green cleaning tool kit. Plus, get our recipe for Lemon-Mint Window Wash.
Every good home needs a porch. From fireside chats to sleeping--and even hanging laundry--porches can accommodate every aspect of our lives. Here are five inspiring examples to put a fire under your porch-sitting fantasies.
The Joy of Green Cleaning is a fantastic resource with recipes to clean everything from grout to sheepskins.
Jessica expounds on the concept of cures in your cupboard with a few natural remedies for anxiety, general wellness, headache and menstruation/menopause.
The American College of Healthcare Sciences and Apothecary Shoppe have been re-certified as Green America Gold-Certified businesses.
Keeping feeder pigs over the summer is a good way to use garden leftovers and produce great tasting home-grown pork!
Use an old aluminum can and branch trimmings to make a rustic and beautiful vase. This simple project using humble materials costs nearly nothing and looks like a million bucks.
Use naturally cool nighttime air to provide summer comfort. It's a lot easier than you think and it can save you a fortune on cooling costs.
Share your thoughts about natural building methods including straw bale building, cordwood construction, earth building and more.
Alma Hecht's renovated century-old cottage is artistic and beautiful--and it inspires her to create wonderful watercolor paintings. Her home is both an outlet and a source for her creativity.
Your simply imperfect arsenal for getting the whole house clean--naturally.
I love my two-story log cabin, which combines recycled and an array of green building materials.
There is an ideal relative humidity range for our health and that is somewhere between 35% and 55%. In modern life we have introduced many new sources of moisture into our homes. Daily showers, laundry, cooking and dishwashing tend to create concentrated bursts of humidity. Because conventional construction can tolerate very little increase in humidity without condensation/mold problems moisture from these sources must be mechanically sucked out of the home.
There are multiple philosophies that describe what characterizes a green home, but all have low energy loads in common.
We're using earthbags and straw bales to construct an efficient, cost-effective, and roomy earthbag root cellar.
It's not always easy to use natural remedies on your chickens. Here's a trick to keep up your sleeve that will have them begging for their medicine.
This variation on the (endlessly adaptable) traditional Mongolian yurt design was inspired by the work of master yurt builder, educator, and homesteader Bill Coperthwaite (who was also a neighbor and friend of the Nearings). This low-cost yurt design combines basketry, wattle and daub, and basic lashing (similar to skin-on-frame boats). Not much more than a glorified tent, this DIY yurt made from sticks, string and mud makes a very comfortable, durable and beautiful tiny house, studio, or meditation space.
Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger of Green Heron Tools will present a workshop on the principles of good body mechanics at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Sue J. Morris of Sue's Salves will present two workshops on gardening and creating salves at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Soapmaker Anne-Marie Faiola will present a workshop on soapmaking and Dr. Andrew Iverson will presenet a workshop on natural health at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Many people don’t know that most HVAC systems don’t produce more or less heating or cooling based on the room temperature – they simply blow air for longer.
Make your own “ginger bug” and natural soda from nothing more than ginger root, sugar, water, and fruit juice. The ginger bug, soda starter culture of healthy bacteria, consumes the natural sugars present in fruit juice and causes carbonation to make a fun experiment and soda pop you don’t need to be afraid to give your children.
One of my earliest vivid childhood memories is sitting on my father’s lap as a young girl reading the magazine together in the 1980s and all throughout my childhood. He would read aloud while I studied the pictures of passive solar building, vegetable gardening, sheep shearing, building your own sugar shack and the beautiful array of topics which he read to me frequently. Those images, along with the camping trips in the mountains, the whitewater and canoeing excursions, and our family trip to Alaska, have been etched in the catacombs of my childhood memories and have sculpted the person I have grown to become.
A brief story of how a creek was damaged and how it was reported to the authorities properly.
When you get home, go to your hot water heater, remove the cover and turn it down to 120 degrees (sometimes labeled “hot” as opposed to “very hot”).
Simran Sethi writes about the importance of eco-friendly mattresses, bed frames, and bedding.
Simran Sethi comes to terms with getting rid of the mouse in her home.
Ordering bees in January doesn't seem to make sense, until you understand that April is the cruelest month. Plus, if you order bees in January, and then you don't need them - that's just a reason to celebrate! Order early!
Forced to extremes by illness, these homeowners built sacred, beautiful homes completely free of toxic chemicals, petrochemical fumes and other poisons. For all three, better housing has meant better health.
By the 4th of July, there's a palpable shift in the feel of the beekeeping season. New beekeepers wish for more guidance, and may even be wondering why they started this project! Here's a little reassurance that you are not alone in your endeavor.
We have developed two customized search engines that make it easier to locate companies that offer specific varieties of seeds and plants, as well as organic garden products and tools.
During National Ground Water Awareness Week next week, let's bring attention to what natural gas drilling is doing to our ground water supplies.
Does the huge task of cleaning windows leave you feeling overwhelmed? Follow these six simple steps--using inexpensive materials you already have around the house--to get your windows sparkling and streak-free.
Highlights from the "Make Your Own Green Cleaners--for Pennies" workshop at the Mother Earth News Fair: How to use vinegar and baking soda to clean just about everything.
Connect together inexpensive mending plates to make these top-shelf candleholders--perfect for patio and porch dining. This simple project takes minutes and costs next to nothing.
Use spirulina or wheat grass instead of iffy chemical dyes to turn your beer green this St. Patrick's Day.
According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 100 percent of the electric generating capacity added in January was renewable.
Celebrate Meatless Monday with this sweet, tangy spring risotto.
As organic industry leaders urge consumers to take action against GMOs--the biggest threat the industry faces this year--soapmaker David Bronner gives $25,000 to seed an anti-GMO march on Capitol Hill.
Sauteed spring greens and mushrooms dress up polenta in this nutritious, satisfying main dish.
Turn terra cotta planter pots into candle holders. This super simple project is an inexpensive way to bring a little romance to your garden.
As a nursery renovation begins, Jessica, editor of Natural Home and Garden, is just beginning an investigation into remodeling options for an eco-friendly nursery.
It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...
Follow these tips to banish clutter and increase your efficiency, from your home office to your garage.
How to go from buying everything at Wally World to growing organic vegetables, raising livestock, building an efficient home, and a Do-It-Yourself, self-sufficient lifestyle.
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
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!
Many years ago, years before I moved to the country, I was what would be considered "a prepper." I saw disaster every time I turned on the TV, or read the news on the internet, or visited forums that talked about stockpiling beans and bullets. I panicked, thinking I could never have enough control for the sake of my family, never be "prepped" enough.
This blog post started life as an article in The Natural Farmer,published by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). It could be said to herald the birth of that entity we have come to call The Cynical Optimist.
A quick essay regarding the "size" question of a top bar hive, from the bee's point of view - where it's all about the "volume"!
Here is yet another possible building project presented to you which requires no formal training, very little money, and techniques/methods that anyone can use. This blog intends to inspire you to take on a natural building project like this one. Don´t have fear if this is your first time working with these techniques and materials — it often for us also! Swattlesfield Campground is frequented by many kinds of people for various reasons. The owner, Jonathan, wanted to introduce some activity which would draw people together. We had the perfect idea: pizza! Food, especially food that requires waiting, has a tendency to attract people. And once humans have a good reason to be in the same place, the rest (socialization) has a tendency to just work.
There's honey in the hive, peaches on the trees, and food on the table, but it's still a long way from self-sufficiency.
Give your bathroom a little flair--and have fun doing it--by creating a backsplash from pebbles, pennies or whatever's rattling around in the bottom of the toolbox. This fun, simple project is perfect for everyone--whether you're a DIYer or not.
Air conditioning accounts for as much as 20 percent of the average homeowner's utility bill. These simple tips can help you reduce your mechanical cooling needs, meaning more money for you and better-quality air for the world.
This is a true account of an end of life journey. A beautiful backyard Burial and all the steps that were taken in order to do it. This story is written in two parts, part two will be posted next week.
There's only one rule for wabi-style flowers: strive for a natural look, with seasonal blooms and branches arranged as they are in the field. Don't worry about perfection. Your "arrangement" is a humble admission that we can't improve on nature.
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.
This post offers tips for winterizing a top bar hive - insulating, mouse guards, wrapping, closing entrances, protecting from wind. All things you can do to help get them through!
Simran Sethi discusses what it takes for a home to be truly clean by avoiding harsh chemicals and using natural cleaning products.
Treat your cat to fresh spring herbs when you whip up this healthy homemade kitty food.
Kansas City's 18Broadway project is a superb example of how to capture and store rainwater to grow food in the heart of downtown.
I had heard there are thousands of new earthen houses in Thailand. That really amazed me, so I set out to learn the details about the modern earth building movement in Thailand.
Pick some pretty leaves, paint them and press their likenesses onto an inexpensive shower curtain liner to make a shower curtain much prettier than anything found in stores.
The roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.
If you want to have some wonderful food, great scenery by the ocean, lots of things to do, I have a place for you: Nova Scotia, Canada.
Despite their widespread use, nanoparticles are not well classified, regulated or even understood. Fortunately, the FDA is signaling a turn toward more accurate classification and rules for their use.
Cut old milk jugs into the shape of your choice, rough them up with sandpaper and string them together to make surprisingly pretty window shades that offer privacy while letting the sun shine in.
Celebrate and spread the word about Fair Trade food and products with a World Fair Trade Day breakfast on May 14.
As Passive House Institute standards up the ante, USA Today’s “Best Green Homes of 2010” list reflects Americans’ desire for affordability, efficiency and style.
I envision this chandelier—made entirely of items recovered from the recycling bin—hanging over a dining table on the patio. Making it is a pretty big project, though, and I would have to call in a friend with a jigsaw to help. (I don’t have the tools—or skills—that former Natural Home & Garden art director Susan Wasinger, who dreamed up this project, does.) Aside from the saw, the materials for this one are simple: used baby-food jars, a few yards of twisted wire, a couple repurposed barrel hoops and a length of rusty chain. And happily, I can make the “lite” version–pretty votive holders—which lets me stop before power tools are needed.
From a home built into a cliff to a home built out from laundry soap boxes, these homes prove how fun and satisfying it is to push the conventional edge. It's your house. Create whatever you want.
I had such a great time talking with attendees at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington, this past weekend about how to make green cleaners. As always, I learned a new trick or two, and I promised everyone I’d recap our conversation here for easy access. Today let’s talk about some of the unexpected food items—most of which you already have in your kitchen cupboards—that can be used to clean your home.
Use tea to remove old furniture polish and prepare wooden furniture for polishing. Simply soak a rag in room-temperature tea, then run it over the wood. The tea’s tannic acid makes your wood shine while removing all the dirt. Once that’s done, you can use mayonnaise to make the piece shine. Just rub the mayo into the wood, then follow with a damp rag and a few drops of vinegar to remove any residue. Olive oil is also a great natural furniture
This blog post by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees describes some techniques for getting bees to draw straight comb in a top bar hive.
Building housing projects in developing regions is extremely rewarding, but also quite challenging. It’s prudent to draw ideas from as many resources as possible to improve the process. The following guidelines have proven effective.
Using newspaper, learn how to craft easy, biodegradable pots to start seeds.
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.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.