Not all beehives are created equal. This post examines Langstroth beehives, Top-Bar beehives, and Warre beehives in order to help a new beekeeper determine which system is the best for her bees.
North Carolinian Master Beekeeper, Tia Douglass, offers an introduction to chemical-free, natural beekeeping, bees and approach to raising pollinators.
Modifications I’m making and things to consider before building your own top bar hive.
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.
Potlucks make sharing a meal about as easy as can be. With just a few changes from the usual all-disposable approach, potlucks can be green, thrifty, and more enjoyable too.
Over the past year, I have made countless mistakes on my garden. In this post, I share four of my most frustrating gardening mistakes and how to avoid them.
How my dad defended himself from overly generous gardeners.
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
Non-gardeners and gardeners are very, very different creatures.
As fall nears, sunflowers are beginning to die off and it's time to harvest their seeds! In this post I bring you through the steps to harvest and prepare your sunflower seeds for eating!
A less meddlesome approach to beekeeping.
Anticipation of warm weather, bees, flowers, and HONEY!
What needs doin' in the beeyard?
Raw honey isn’t just delicious — read on to learn some of the medicinal uses for it.
Keeping bees with neighbors in the city or the burbs.
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.
Introducing a revolutionary new book about the "drinkable landscape" and how you can use organic gardening to produce a huge array of beverages.
The no-waste way to render beeswax.
Awesome facts about the amazing honeybee.
Even store-bought mushrooms create vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Use this nifty trick and my tasty recipe to keep up your supply of this essential vitamin.
I learned an important gardening lesson from fighting tomato blight.
A brief overview of keeping bees in a top bar hive from setup to overwintering.
With just about every breed of standard bred, heritage poultry, we have work to do. They are not producing like they once were.
Colony Collapse Disorder is threatening the future of bee pollination. Here's what we can do about it.
When and how to feed your honeybees.
Learn about the benefits of baking with this ancient grain.
A recipe for a grease patty that doesn't use hydrogenated oils.
Gardeners don't have to live in a semi-tropical zone to grow organic lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus fruits. Proper technique with potted plants can yield a bounty of delicately flavored, vitamin-rich citrus.
One woman's vision of a family farm comes to life in her back yard thanks to one friendly goat.
A sepia photo of a North Carolina family in front of their farmhouse reveals food heritage.
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
What's going on with the hives, new developments in the Down-East Bee Lady's life, latest bee school news, etc.
The first of 12 posts, seed saving begins with an introduction to the stories behind seeds and why they are so important. From preserving our shared botanical heritage to protecting a diverse and decentralized food supply, the story of seed is as varied as the people who plant them.
Gather your extended family around the table to share home-cooked, healthy meals on a regular basis. Reap the rewards of laughter, pleasure, and deepening relationships for very little money. Get started with my recipe for Beans with Caramelized Onions and Carrots. Ten servings cost about ten dollars using organic, heirloom beans and about seven dollars using pinto beans.
A forty-something woman stumbles into a booth at a farmer's market, looks up, and sees a handsome farmer. You may know that the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey also begins with a tumble and winds up with love. It's no coincidence: my book Fifty Weeks of Green is a comic response to Fifty Shades that celebrates sustainable living.
Add an efficient solar cooker to your winter emergency kit for hot meals during power outages. Even when you could have power, it's fun to roast potatoes or bake dessert off-grid on sunny winter days.
Rabbits are a fabulously healthful, economical and ecologically sound source of meat, and they don’t have to be kept in hanging cages. Rabbits can be raised on pasture to produce food for your family while improving the quality of your land.
Get more intense flavor and more nutrients by slicing olives into a simple spinach and chickpea salad. This thrifty recipe also shows a streamlined salad-making process.
So, what makes a flock of poultry sustainable? What is standard-bred poultry? If you purchase chicks from a hatchery, are they true to the breed? Why does every hatchery sell Rhode Island Reds and they all look different? Why do the Cornish Cross meat chickens have so many problems? Raising standard poultry is the only true way to improve the sustainability of quality local food while preserving the strength of Heritage poultry.
The little used herb lovage makes an attractive addition to the edible landscape and provides a smoky flavor to soups and stews.
Beehive happenings since my last blog post.
Discover how to grow various members of the onion family: bulb onions and scallions, leeks, garlic, ramps, shallots, and chives. Each one has different requirements and habits, yet all are rewarding for organic gardeners.
Some examples of passive solar design applied to homes in the southeast, where cooling, as well as heating, is a concern.
Energy Star for Homes is a worthwhile green building certification with demonstrated market value.
Chris Larson's Asheville, North Carolina, home--already a superb example of smart, passive solar design--gets even better with the addition of solar hot water collectors.
The only recipe you’ll ever need for wonderful homemade broths plus deliciously versatile chicken and veggie soup.
Asheville has a long history of attracting people searching for a tranquil place for personal retreats and wellness. For Day 3, it’s time to chill, revitalize ourselves and do some rebalancing of our mind, body and spirit on a health and wellness tour.
In the hollows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this true Christmas celebration was simple, inexpensive and rich with tradition.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS fairgoers could choose a vehicle from a fleet of Ford hybrid cars to test-drive on the rolling countryside outside Asheville, N.C.
Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opens the debate of whether to remove the Northern Rocky gray wolf from the Endangered Species List.
Which grows better in Pacific Northwest gardens - kale or collards?
Using leaves as mulch to enhance soil fertility.
Winter food storage in a naturally cooled space.
Everything pauses during the time around the winter solstice.
Four questions I ask of new varieties, before ordering seeds.
Seed starting techniques and timing for an urban homestead in the Pacific Northwest.
Chicken tractors, which sit directly on garden beds during fallow times, maintain soil, reduce insect pests and even provide fresh eggs.
Spring tomato rituals and a discussion of good varieties for the Pacific Northwest garden.
A 2012 survey by Northeast Group LLC was published in October, claiming 95 percent of U.S. cities that have tried LED streetlights are satisfied with the results, saving nearly 60 percent in costs.
Growing garlic is easy if you just know the right time to plant it: in fall, not spring or summer!
When it comes to that most essential of all modern appliances, the best way to be eco-friendly is to stick with the tried and true three R's: reduce, reuse or recycle.
The decision to replace an old refrigerator should not always be made based only on how well it is functioning. New Energy Star models have many energy-saving and cost-saving advantages that can make that decision much easier.
New Energy Star standards not only raise the bar for energy efficiency in refrigeration, but they also introduce, for the first time, the idea that putting Wi-Fi into a fridge can help with energy savings.
Indoor air pollution can be even worse than outdoor. For this reason, choosing eco-friendly floor coverings is essential to a healthy home.
Pallets can have many uses. And they can be re-purposed into just about anything. This article shows how to re-purpose a wood pallet into a wine rack.
A story of life, death and rebirth of a hoop house.
I’ll let you in on a little secret; there is no PERFECT knife. Cutting tools are only as effective as the handler wielding them.
The North American Solar Stores (NASS) network announces their nationally recognized solar store brand to meet the solar energy demands of today's alternative energy-aware consumers.
Have some fun in your garden this year and grow something giant!
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.
Although cooking is not as big of an energy-drain in the home as other things, there are still ways to do it in an energy-efficient way. This article describes some of the best ways to cook sustainably.
If you are looking to make your home more eco-friendly, there is no better place to start than in the kitchen. Here are 8 simple ways to save energy in the kitchen.
A good vegetable garden doesn't have to be expensive. Here is a step-by-step description of how one family was able to build a paved, raised vegetable garden for under $200.
Fire pits can be great things. They are attractive, inexpensive to use and help to extend the use of your yard through the fall and winter. But they must be used safely. Here are some guidelines for fire pit safety.
In order to be environmentally friendly, a kitchen remodel should reduce energy use, reuse or recycle materials, and minimize the carbon footprint of the remodeling project. Here are five tips to keep in mind in order to achieve a greener, cleaner kitchen.
Reacting against the built-for-resale mentality that's destroying our modern homes' liveability, Slow Home Studio offers a path to a more satisfying home.
An innovative partnership of bicycle advocates and a bike-friendly attorney aims to reduce crashes in South Carolina.
A doctor, soldier, father and husband died tragically in a bicycle crash. Now, justice is being served as the driver faces a reckless homicide charge.
From choosing affordable floods for the bedroom remodel to switching out the oven-hood incandescent, Jennifer details how much it cost to light her house sustainably, as well as forecast her long term savings.
Architecture students designed and built an airy, light-filled Chicken Chapel in Vermont that's light on the land and glows like a Japanese lantern at night.