Permaculture Design Course
Permaculture is a holistic, integrative design for a sustainable future: registrations now open for D Acres' 2012 Permaculture Design Course!
Maddy Harland introduces the three ethics behind permaculture design and explains why permaculture is more than a gardening technique — it’s a practical tool for a better, more creative life!
Poultry expert and contributing writer for MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Harvey Ussery, is teaching a 2-hour online course to help you get started with a backyard poultry flock.
Check out these renewable-energy courses to see if there’s an Evergreen class for you.
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.
For part two in our 2010 Predictions series, Natural Home forecasts warm, vibrant colors and more natural light as the top interior design trends
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.
Partnership of federal agencies and national organizations offers workshop funding, technical assistance, and additional resources.
Americans are tired of cheap, built-to-fail products made overseas. We want products we can pass down through generations. Slow Consumption, with its call for a return to “heirloom design,” could be our ticket out.
FrogTape’s latest painting tape provides endless design possibilities and masking protection.
Courses in solar energy taken through The Evergreen Institute now apply toward the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s site assessor certificates.
How prepared ahead of time for remote living and what was required.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel shares the basics of landscape design.
A new company has redesigned the typical shape of solar panels to be more three-dimensional.
GazeboCreations.com is an award winning internet retailer that now offers state-of-the-art online design capabilities to consumers with its Gazebo Designer.
Permaculture methods and greenhouse innovations as told by a WWOOFer at Raven Crest Botanicals, an organic herb farm in upstate New York.
Let It Shine by John Perlin highlights the context in which solar energy developments have occurred and the people who have made the solar revolution possible, revealing a whole new group of unknown technological pioneers, as well as people famous for other accomplishments never before known for their work as the solar advocates and technologists they were.
Contributing Editor Barbara Pleasant provides tips to help users get the most out of the new MOTHER EARTH NEWS Vegetable Garden Planner. This interactive software will help you plan your best garden ever!
The community garden in East Harlem, Chenchita's Garden, is beginning to take shape.
Home design apps for smart phones and iPads make visualizing your dream home even easier.
The NH Permaculture Gathering is just a couple weeks away!
Author Rick Austin shares gardening advice from his book, “Secret Garden of Survival – How to Grow a Camouflaged Food Forest.”
We have a saying around our house: When the pest control truck is at the neighbor’s house, all the spiders come over to our place because they know it is safe. Biodiversity is a top priority in my Northern California rural/suburban garden, and I work hard to have many plants, animals, insects, and, yes, arachnids represented.
Find all of the mulch you need for free in your own back yard.
Showing where we were before our permaculture garden began.
Do you want a permaculture garden? An ongoing blog about our journey using permaculture design ideas, to develop the organic matter in soil and produce a higher yield.
These 10 organic solutions for vegetable garden pest control are easy enough for the beginner.
Solar Energy International is offering a free online course as an introduction to renewable energy. You will not walk away an expert, but will have learned the basics of renewable energy and be able to decide which technologies are right for you.
Animal products provide vitamin B12 in your diet, which is necessary for a healthy nervous system. Learn what and how much you would have to eat to meet your daily B12 need and other considerations for adding animals to a sustainable diet.
FamilyFarmed.org Good Food Festival & Conference partner Vicki Nowicki shares her experience living, learning, and teaching on her suburban permaculture homestead.
Survivalist Gardener Rick Austin offers natural and long-lasting tips for repelling pests and insects in gardens hidden in the forest.
You don't have to stick to corn and soybeans to nourish your flock. Chickens enjoy a variety of foods, including mulberries, worms and Japanese beetles.
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.
One woman’s fascinating journey from a high-rise apartment overlooking Hong Kong Harbor to sharing the earthly pleasure of growing food.
Heather Menzies studies her family's commoning roots in the Scottish Highlands in "Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good."
"Integrated Forest Gardening" is the first, and most comprehensive, guide about plant guilds ever written, and it covers in detail both what guilds are and how to design and construct them, complete with extensive color photography and design illustrations.
Permaculture is at the heart of the solution of many environmental crises. Permaculture is alive with the possibilities of positive change.
Permaculture is about a self sustaining system that provides the food, nutrients and water in one yard. It is easy to adopt many of these approaches in your own yard and garden in the Midwest.
Building a layered bed to develop organic material in the soil, hold moisture and decrease the amount of work.
Nestled above an overgrown ridge-top meadow in the Appalachian Mountains, farmer Susana Lein proudly runs Salamander Springs Farm, a permaculture farm, homestead and “food forest,” where living, healthy soil is considered the most important resource.
Our first project: building a small keyhole mound.
The 20th-Annual Organic Growers School takes place March 8 through March 10 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in Asheville, N.C. The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction and trade show.
A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your homestead.
Maddy Harland introduces forest gardening – beautiful, low maintenance and productive gardens that provide for many of our needs – food, fuel, medicines and fibers.
Prepare simple hugelkultur beds utilizing organic materials found onsite. Use fallen trees, branches, pine needles, leaves and other organic material to build raised beds now for planting in the fall.
In 'Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation,' author Tradd Cotter offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices, shares the results of his groundbreaking research, and offers creative ways to apply cultivation skills—whether the goal is to help a community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale.
Transforming this suburban property has been one of the most satisfying and creative adventures in my life. No need to go anywhere. Making big changes was the plan from the beginning, 15 years ago, when I bought this quarter-acre property with a modest 1,100-square-foot mid-fifties suburban house. If I reincarnated as a house and suburban property, this would be it.
Taking out a driveway and reclaiming automobile space can be one of the most rewarding projects on the suburban frontier. Replacing it with a walnut tree, blackberries and a storage shed with edible landscaping over the roof is even better.
Permaculture has become the new buzzword in certain circles. What is it? Do we need it?
International Homesteading Month is off to a running start! Here are two stories of events that are truly promoting education to foster more self-reliant communities.
Growing and harvesting hazelnuts (filberts) in your garden.
The best low cost (semi-reliable) options for getting animals and plants onto your homestead!
The ACTUAL benefits of weeds in your garden. Use and value diversity! Find the benefit!
Greening our homes, neighborhoods and communities depends on friends and neighbors working together. This blog will show and tell several examples of friends and neighbors greening the neighborhood.
Here’s how to find good background information on residential solar energy systems, including locating solar installers and finding advice on particular products.
For one week, BuildingGreen is offering a free download of an insulation guide, available with a 30-day trial of BuildingGreen Suite.
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
The new home for Friends School of Portland will be only the third school in the United States to achieve Passive House certification.
This blog contains a detailed list of most of my initial design priorities for my net zero energy home so others may benefit from my thinking and experience on creating a passive solar, net zero energy, green home.
Whether you are buying a house, purchasing land, or getting ready to build your own home, we recommend starting by setting your priorities and then matching a house design to your needs.
Maddy Harland writes about principles that underpin our understanding and practical application of permaculture. She relates them to designing a green home and garden but also explains how permaculture can help us to create more sustainable lifestyle
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.
Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.
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.
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.
Gathering leaves from the woods to mulch the garden and stump dirt to turn into potting soil not only provides free biomass for the garden, it also introduces beneficial microorganisms.
Reynaldo Ochoa, the subject of a new short film, grows with a goal of teaching and practicing permaculture unique to an individual's region, emphasizing sustainable farming as opposed to “slash and burn” agriculture.
Ziggy Liloia examines two poignant books, Paradise Lot and Gaia’s Garden that turn the idea of needing lots of space to grow ample food on its head.
Managing compost now allows for more productive use the following season.
Weeding in the summer is all about species maintenance
In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel teach readers how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non timber products. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.
“You don't have to move to live in a better neighborhood.” Half of all Americans live in suburbia. It’s true that suburbia is on the receiving end of a lot of social, economic and environmental criticism with much of that criticism well deserved. While some of these criticisms may be justified, at the same time, suburbia offers enormous potential to become a critical new frontier for deep changes in our culture and economy through principles of suburban permaculture.
Integrating Eastern teachings to Western agricultural practices can help us develop a more holistic form of agriculture. The legacy of Fukuoka inspires us to embrace a peaceful relationship towards Nature that can take many incarnations. The core guideline behind Shumei Natural Agriculture is to follow one’s heart, not letting one’s mind steal mindfulness away, while remaining open for new ideas.
"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.
Thoughts on growing all your own food. How much space is required and other things to consider.
The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
Using 16-foot livestock panels in many ways on your homestead.
This is the story of my family’s transition from a nomadic military lifestyle to one of rural homesteading. I talk about our preparation leading up to leaving the service and some of our current goals and projects for the property and our lives. I also talk about using permaculture as the design science methodology for our businesses and the development of the property.
Shifting our built environments from the current linear blocks of car-centric urban sprawl to more integrated human-scale and life-sustaining organisms is not much different in principle than turning a concrete yard into a permaculture plot. We have to think in terms of arrangement of vital nodes, distance between interdependent threads, paths of least resistance, utilizing existing natural conditions, and maximizing water, energy and food sources.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
Fall sheet mulching of perennial plantings assists in fertility and weed suppression.
Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!
Architect Debra Rucker Coleman shares tips for converting your home to passive solar energy.
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
In New York City, advocates unveil a bold vision to end the traffic violence.
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.
As the economy improves, the trend toward smaller homes is reversing.
Stackable chairs made from molded hemp represent a breakthrough in using the versatile, renewable fiber.
A three-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
Things we did to make our new home more sustainable.
Looking for a easy sewing project? Follow this quick tutorial from Design Fixation to make a dress in just 20 minutes.
Frontier Natural Products Co-op announced today that it has been awarded LEED Silver certification for a major renovation at its manufacturing facility.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
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.
Homeowners are willing to splurge on kitchen and bath remodels, but they're not interested in building luxury or second homes, according to an American Institute of Architects survey.
While giving her small home a deep green retrofit, designer Tracy Parker finds that reclaimed wood flooring is grounding and gorgeous.
Celebrate hemp, one of Mother Nature's most useful plants, during Hemp History Week. This versatile, multi-purpose plant has a rich history in the United States. Unfortunately, it's now illegal to grow it here.
Alabama Chanin makes sumptuous fabrics from scraps, Mona Hoffman imagines the people she's crafting each lamp for as she makes it, and potter Shiho Kanzaki believes that attitude is everything. These are a few of my favorite wabi-sabi artists.
This part of the series deals with window size and location, ceiling heights, eave length, and other design and passive design choices you can make for your new home. These choices apply whether you are on or off the grid.
One homesteading couple reads up on passive solar house design and then modifies online options to create their own custom passive solar plans. Here are their recommended resources.
If you want to build a passive solar house, you’ll need to spend time upfront carefully considering your house plans. Here’s how one couple worked with a contractor and a designer to draw up and then finalize their small home plans with energy efficiency and lifestyle in mind.
A permaculture-based, 2,000-acre farm in Northern California integrates grassfed livestock with orchard farming.
Tired of pests? Here are five tips for knocking ‘em back without resorting to pesticides and toxic chemicals.
How fast climate change will require you and your descendants to move north in order to keep farming and gardening a serious question you should be asking yourself.
The owners of Finca Exotica on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula utilize their lush garden for everything--including a natural antidepressent.
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
Participate in a clothing swap and make an economic statement
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
Actor Carel Struycken is famous for his role as Lurch in Addams Family, as well as many other roles. He is also a big proponent of permaculture. Nyerges talks with Struycken at his Pasadena home about permaculture and sustainable farming.
Using cold frames for fall salad greens can extend your season of fresh eating.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
This is an excerpt from Christopher Nyerges' "Self-Sufficient Home" book (published by Stackpole) where he talks about some of his early gardening experiences and when he learned that the health of the soil is the most important aspect of gardening.
Monitoring energy use has led to increased motivation for conservation
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica’s verdant San Carlos agricultural region is a dynamic, living example of permaculture and biodynamic farming, where every being is part of a system that nurtures the body and the soul.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
Maddy Harland explains how to make light work of establishing the ground layer in a forest garden, create a wildlife habitat and control pests all at the same time.
Finca Exotica is ideal for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the Osa Peninsula's bounty and learn about permaculture and sustainable building.
Photos from tectonic shift. Ruminations on MEN and MOTHER EARTH NEWS and masculine and feminine, and feminine planet.
Since her first house move, MOTHER EARTH NEWS blogger Cathie Ackroyd, has become so very conscious of the impact we humans have had and are having on our planet’s environment and hoped to find a place to settle that would allow us to gain an element of self-sufficiency in a relatively car-free community.
Solar drying experiences in 2012, including tomato varieties Principe Borghese and Long Tom.
Set up a washing station in your garden. Rinse your veggies there, saving the water for the garden and keeping your kitchen clean.
Learn about using the Piteba to press your own homegrown oil.
Book reviews by permaculture educator Cindy Conner. Learn about Sustainable Market Farming, The Art of Fermentation, The Permaculture Handbook, and The Small-Scale Poultry Flock.
Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc.
A brief announcement of the new Permaculture chicken ebook series that starts with chicken egg incubation.
Finally! Design experts and contractors say granite and marble have lost their luster. Find beautiful, natural alternatives to that and solutions to other common design mistakes, including dull color pallettes and overused water features.
"Green" cleaning products are awash with misleading labels and false claims. Always look for a third-party certification to assure you're buying the healthiest, most environmentally friendly cleaners.
After a tree crushed the back of their shotgun home (while 40 Hurricane Katrina refugees were camped out there), a Baton Rouge couple rebuilt a green, energy-efficient house that encourages connection with their neighborhood's "front porch" culture.
Charles and Ray Eames are modern wabi-sabi heroes who brought fresh, spare furniture, without pretense or stodginess, to the masses. Their home was a wabi-sabi masterpiece.
To satisfy today's home buyer, a developer of million-dollar luxury homes in New York is offering smaller, more affordable houses--more anecdotal evidence that the McMansion is dying.
Building homes using dangerous and impactful industrial chemicals--in the name of energy efficiency--is not sustainable or ecological, a green building veteran says. His Health-Based Building model is an important step forward for green design.
An overview of groups, initiatives, planning certifications, and neighborhood developments that promote sustainable communities, including Transition initiatives, ecovillages, One Planet Communities, LEED for Neighborhood Development, and others.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
Eating only homegrown foods on the Fridays in Lent.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.