A seemingly simple, light-trapping prism could revolutionize the future of solar power. The glass prism, which maximizes the amount of energy it can derive from sunlight, contains a 28-square centimeter, four-junction miniature module that works by utilizing a hybrid receiver designed to convert electricity from each sunbeam more than other devices.
Why pay for someone to come and install an outdoor patio when you could do it yourself? Outdoor patios are perfect for people who love to entertain. They don’t require a lot of maintenance and they can be completed within a single weekend. This post covers sizing, siting, and building materials.
Research shows that domesticated horses can read and understand human facial expressions. This finding means that the mood you’re in when you go to work with a horse is going to affect how the horse feels. Learn tips to deal with this amazing trait in your horses.
General Motors and Volkswagen unveiled various green-thinking transportation ideas, providing consumers with an in-depth peek at what could represent green transportation in the coming years.
Putting out food for the wild birds in your area will help them get the nutrition they need to thrive through the cold months. Avian nutrition means much more than tossing out a few seeds. If you’re not sure what to put on your wild bird grocery shopping list, check out this list to get started.
So you finally took the leap and installed a home wind turbine. Congratulations! You’ve just taken a big step to make your home energy generation more sustainable and secure, but what comes next? Wind turbines require maintenance and this post will outline some wind turbine maintenance essentials to consider.
Food preservation can be an energy-intensive proposition for any homesteader, but building a root cellar will pay off in the long run. This old-fashioned method of food preservation is one of the simplest ways to keep traditional storage crops like onions, winter squash, apples, pears and root vegetables like turnips, carrots and potatoes.
Farms can be a magical place to grow up but they can also present some dangerous situations for kids. Here's how to teach your children to be safe on the homestead.
The cost of solar power has dropped to its lowest yet, making it a competitive option for residents outside of the solar-happy Southwest.
Air compressors can be used for just about anything on your homestead but they don’t have the best reputation for going green. Here’s what you need to know. These valuable machines are used in many factories, small businesses and even in homes, and making sure yours is efficient can cut down on emissions and your energy bills at the same time.
Solar power is taking the world by storm. People are not only using solar power to produce energy by placing solar panels on their roofs, but they are starting to use the technology in new ways. This post highlights ways solar power can provide homeowner benefits but are less often discussed.
As my awareness of beneficial insects has grown, I find that it is getting easier to farm. It has become my second nature to consider and provide a place for them to live, eat, and raise a family year round. This practice is not only the right thing to do for the future of all, but it totally impacts my business bottom line for the good.
It’s relatively easy for white-collar businesses to be greener: Recycle more paper, turn off the lights, etc. But what about trade-skill businesses?
Have a bad habit that you know is hurting the environment, but you keep doing it anyway? Stop!
CAES proposes storing excess green energy in salt caverns.
Australian Prime Minister wants to cut back on funding being sent to wind farms. He also wants to cut funding to solar and hydropower projects.
Until we get electric or solar-run heavy equipment, here's a few tips on how to use less fuel when operating your equipment around the farm or construction site.
Reduce and reuse when choosing remodeling materials.
These three major developments in green-building materials are bound to change lives and climates all over the world.
Raising animals will up your game in the homesteading arena, but you'll also be taking a huge step toward conservation by raising heritage livestock.
Love herbs and gardening? Here are a few things you should know when it comes to companion planting and herbs.
Want to live in an area that values the environment? Check out these three cities that are making a push to be greener.
Are you ready to make your home or living space greener? Now is the time to get started; look up and think about how you could give back to nature, starting with your roof.
Are pests ruining your garden? Do you want to avoid using harmful chemicals on your organic plants? Never fear, there’s a solution: biological control.
Spring is filled with babies of all kinds, but some of the most adorable are baby piglets. These are even more cute when they are running around on green pastures. But what about weaning time? This article will explain some of the easiest and best options when weaning your pasture piglets.
Planting cover crops to build soil fertility will benefit any garden. The soil is what gives the plants the necessary nutrients to grow strong, fight off pests and disease, and produce the best flavored, most nutrient-dense food possible and it requires those nutrients to be given back. Cover crops will give back to the soil.
While you should be doing good for the environment all throughout the year, Earth Day is the perfect time to take it the extra mile. Cleaning up a local lake or pond is a great way to give back to the community and the planet.
A single bulldozer engine can emit as much particulate matter as more than 500 cars. Learn how the construction industry can get green with these tips.
Using garden space to the maximum.
Check out these Bald Eagles captured on live web cams! Right now these bald eagles are taking turns to incubate their eggs which should be hatching any day now. As beautiful as this could be please remember this is nature and anything can happen.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research in Germany have developed a new type of insulating foam.
Spring is almost here, which means the first chance of the year to go camping! Here are a few pitfalls to avoid.
Annuals to plant for a drought-tolerant or pollinator-friendly garden.
Rising temperatures are putting coral reefs at risk of bleaching.
Choosing to purchase goods and services from local vendors impacts your local economy twice as much as purchasing from corporate suppliers. Here are seven local services you can remember to purchase from more often.
New varieties of herbs for pollinators.
Are you looking to do your own environmental audit at your home or workplace? Here's what you need to know.
Crop rotation is an important factor of organic gardening. It’s just as important as composting and cover crops. By not following these simple steps of crop rotation the soil will require more input from the gardener. Soil-borne pests and diseases, low-to-no vegetable yields, and a reliance on store-bought products can all become a reality inside the vegetable garden. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Some businesses toss around the word "green" to be hip and fit, but the question is just how green are their products and buildings anyways? Let's take a closer look.
Stuck inside on a rainy day? These environmentally-focused shows can help you pass the time.
Leeks are good for your garden.
Your drinking water might not be as spring fresh as you'd like to think.
Some unique plants that will grow wonderfully in your perennial shade garden.
Learn about five easy ways for companies to help the environment by implementing a few simple changes to their building and operations.
From no-till gardening to vertical gardening and container gardening, there are so many options for the creative gardener. Check out these 6 gardening options to try in 2015.
This is a must see film about the poverty America’s migrant farm workers faced 55 years ago. Although many of these scenes are far from pretty it can be used to inspire and motivate people to support their local and sustainable farms.
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.
Put together your own mini-indoor garden with these clever ideas.
Definition of shade, and planning a shade garden.
Want to learn how to go your own dragon fruit cactus? Here's how!
The surprising connection between the drug trade and the environment.
Natural gas sounds green. After all, it has "natural" in the title. But how green is natural gas, really?
Learn about the dangers of radon in the home and what can be done about it.
Clean and organize garden tools.
Learn about the different types of earth-sheltered homes and why you should consider digging in the ground to find your next residence.
It’s time to start garden planning for spring 2015! An uncomplicated way of collecting and organizing your information during those long winter days is to get some index cards, scissors and tape. Cut out the plant varieties from catalogues that you find interesting, with the pertinent information tape this information to the index card to take along to the nursery come spring.
Learn about three consumer-driven green energy trends for 2015 that will have a direct impact on our pocketbooks in the coming year, including net-zero energy homes, electric vehicles, and green energy production.
Mice are likely to seek refuge from the cold this winter by making themselves at home in your house. Here's how you can get rid of them - without hurting them.
Want to enjoy the warmth of your home this winter without using more energy than is necessary? These tips are for you!
It can be hard to eat healthily during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving. Here are a few ways you can make your Thanksgiving meal healthier this year.
Media outlets have been warning parents against drug-laced Halloween candy for decades. But how prevalent is drug-laced Halloween candy, really?
Of course solar-powered lights and furniture made out of recycled materials are eco-friendly. But what about these products? You might be surprised by how eco-friendly some consumer goods are.
Some of the most amazing natural phenomena to see this autumn. Try to check them out in person if you can!
Ford Motor Company’s electrifying presence at the 2014 Pennsylvania MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR included sponsoring the event, giving test drives, and updating fairgoers about the latest news on electric and hybrid vehicle technology.
It’s absolutely possible to be gardening in winter. You simply need to understand what to plant, when to plant it and how to maintain the best possible growing conditions in your home for indoor agriculture.
If your pond keeps dropping its water level, you might have a pond leak. Here are some steps to find where it's going and how to find the leaking area to repair.
Arguably America's oldest ice cream company, Bassetts, is still a fixture at Philly's Reading Terminal Market. Both it and the Jersey Tomato hail from Salem, New Jersey, and therein lies the heritage tale.
Thinking of attending a Mother Earth News Fair? Here are some tips to help you make the most of the experience.
Come early or spend a few days after the three days of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, held at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania this September 12 – 14, 2014. Less than 30 miles from Seven Springs Mountain Resort, there’s an ecotourism adventure to be had.
There’s a gold mine out back of your local restaurant in the form of wasted food. Learn to think like an ecologist and discover how nature turns “waste” into useable, renewable energy.
Like many things related to food, the free-range label misleads customers, so we explore the differences between free-range and pasture-raised.
Seed libraries are meeting new challenges that point to the need for better education and understanding with the public, and with those charged with enforcing seed laws. Learn about the opportunities that are open in this evolving social movement.
Stephanie Tourles, author and Seven Springs, Pa., FAIR Speaker, shares how to make a delicious, ice-cold watermelon cooler. Refresh after a day in the heat with this super easy and nutritious drink.
On May 27, the Rachel Carson Homestead Association and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History are hosting the Celebrate Biodiversity Symposium in Pittsburgh, Penn., to celebrate the United Nations World Environment Day. Read to find out more and to register.
There are weeds in the pond, what to do and what to use. A description of what to do with pond weeds and how to manage them with the various pond weed tools available on the market and a description on how they work. In this article we do not discuss chemical treatments and stick to natural methods.
Pennsylvania mama Michelle has finally found a homestead! Get her moving tips on take-back programs, packing mason jars, buying cheap appliances, and more.
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.
The Blacked-capped Chickadee, a frequent visitor to backyard bird feeders, loses a surprising amount of weight each night. Don't try this diet!
Fasting is a great way to cleanse the body and to tune it in for the changing seasons. In today’s world, toxins can leave the body feeling weighed down and sluggish, but with a little fasting know-how, toxins can be removed and no one needs to be a nutritionist, a doctor, or plastic surgeon to do it. Following a fast, the body and mind will experience a natural high, bringing with it motivation and healthier lifestyle decisions.
Keeping your pond healthy and its inhabitant healthy can be a challenge, but knowing the basic steps to a healthy ecosystem can keep the pond alive for years, even reverse the aging process. Let’s look at two highly recommended tools for pond maintenance, aeration and beneficial pond bacteria.
Looking for land? HOMEGROWN.org blogger Michelle Wire shares resources and practical advice for anyone considering buying a homestead.
Growing lettuce and other leafy greens indoors with an aeroponic system in a south-facing window seems like a wise move, especially during this long, snowy winter. Here I will explain the basics of growing greens with an aeroponic system, starting off with the initial expenses and moving on to pH and nutrient solution. Then I’ll hope the sun provides enough life-giving rays long enough each day to grow some leafy greens.
Winter down-time from the garden is the best time for planning what vegetables you want to grow in the upcoming season. Having the seeds ready and knowing when to plant them can minimize the chaos in spring and maximize harvests in fall. It’s all about getting ready now.
Learn the parts of a pond’s watershed and the differences between aboveground and belowground ponds to determine which pond type is the best for your property.
How to acquire bat guano.
Bat guano has been used as an organic fertilizer for many centuries and bats act as an organic alternative to insecticides. Many factors have played a role in the reduction of global bat populations, from inappropriate bat guano mining to the spread of white nose syndrome and today awareness must be raised about what people can do to protect bats and their habitats. By integrating local bat colonies into local food systems and changing misconceptions about bats, bat populations and bat guano will remain steady and available for centuries to come.
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.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle reflects on how she lost the Christmas spirit of her youth — and how she got it back.
Tiny plastic beads in cosmetics are found in the Great Lakes, putting fish and human health at risk.
WTAJ has partnered with the National Environmental Education Foundation and Project Noah to help show wildlife and the impacts of weather on living things in Central Pennsylvania.
Homegrown, homemade pumpkin pies are becoming the starting event to the holiday season. This year we turned 8 winter luxury squash into pumpkin pie mix.
Support your local food systems while getting the most from your home garden.
Homemade cough syrup made with on-site elderberries and locally produced honey.
I, alone, am no one. I do not grow food. I do not water the garden. I do not photosynthesize. I do not put the life force in the soil. I do not make the seed. A natural force other than I is responsible for all this. That same natural force uses this body I like to consider my own to garden.
While the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Mountain Resort may have been John D. Ivanko's family’s primary destination (as speakers about renewable energy, sustainable living and farmstead cooking), it definitely wasn’t their only reason for eco-touring the region known as the Laurel Highlands.
The Keystone Center, in partnership with the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, is hosting a regional food workshop called “The Traditional Winter Garden: Fresh Food From December to March.”
For three days before the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, held at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort, John D. Ivanko and his family rafted, biked, toured some of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes, and savored farm-to-table cuisine that blew us away at The Historic Stone House.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle shares a few strategies and suggestions for healthier school lunches.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Michelle's annual road trips out west renew her love for the heartland and the American farmer.
A thank-you letter from a reader for advice to assist Amish families who are being challenged by the state of Pennsylvania to cease and desist from using outhouses.