Plan It DIY
I just got this great email from a good friend of Natural Home & Garden, Debbie Hindman.
Find free plans for your green home.
STIHL provides support to new online resource for do-it-yourself audience.
Build a simple do-it-yourself small barn or shed to house livestock, garden tools and machinery.
Try using the Grow Planner app to streamline your garden planning and your garden work.
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!
A Precision Garden Seeder can make planting seed crops quick and easy!
Put together a notebook with your complete garden plan. Here's some tips to get you started.
Using newspaper, learn how to craft easy, biodegradable pots to start seeds.
We have some exciting additions to announce about our award-winning Vegetable Garden Planner program and our new Grow Planner iPad app, including new seed company catalogs, a filter tool, a favorites button and an app update.
Companion planting can be a great strategy for organic gardeners. Take our nationwide companion planting survey to help us gather useful information about this gardening technique.
Don't miss Blue August, a month-long event with special programming from Planet Green that will motivate you to become more aware of the world's oceans.
A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.
Want fresh cider? Make your own cider press using these free plans.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS wins two exciting accolades at FOLIO’s Eddie Awards, one for their article Organic Pest Control: What Works, What Doesn’t and one for their Vegetable Garden Planner tool.
What a nice surprise it can be to notice new spring babies emerging from where their parent plants grew the year before. Volunteer plants are a wonderful gift!
A reader asks about when to plant potatoes in Zone 9.
We took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather by planting potatoes, peas and beets in the garden outside our office.
Knowing your average last frost date is key to getting your garden off to a good start.
"Life", a Discovery Channel nature documentary series on unique animal behaviors, will air on Animal Planet beginning June 6.
Cam believes in the Boy Scout's "Be Prepared" motto when it comes to all aspects of his life....
Second in a series of blog posts about how to convert a lawn mower or other gasoline small engine to run on propane.
A discussion of three power tools to prep your logs or timbers for building.
Tom Newmark won't rest until he's helped establish 10,000 seed sanctuaries--living gardens devoted to propagating and nurturing endangered plants--across the world. He came a step closer this week with the establishment of a sanctuary in India.
Advice on good online plant and animal databases.
Convert your old jeans into brand new items without spending a cent.
Build this classy Shaker-style laptop - desk - for letter writing or to support your laptop computer.
You can shingle your roof with hand-split shakes, crafted using a froe and mallet, and dry, straight-grained wood.
Thoreau, Rachel Carson, Bill McKibbon, Terry Tempest Williams. Do you have a favorite nature or environmental writer? A book or story you can get lost in, that inspires you to action, or simply reminds you of how incredible nature is? Post a comment to share the titles that invite you into the wonder of the natural world — or have maybe even changed your life.
Ira helps you get started using nature's signs to plan your garden. Don't just rely on planting dates — easy observations of what's blooming, buzzing, and singing in your garden will help you see changing patterns from year to year.
Is your patio short on space? Check out the Hot Pot BBQ, a grill that doubles as an herb planter.
Breaking down the last week of homesteading we've done over at WaldenEffect.org, and the Top Bar project we started as well as talk on Brix, biodynamics, and Plant Secondary Metabolites. Also have details on an external frame backpack modification.
Time often isn't looked at as a resource - at least, not outside of corporate efficiency evaluations - but it's one of the most valuable resources any of us have. It's required for all the plans and hopes that we have, from learning to bake bread to building a self-sufficient homestead. How do you spend your time, and how would you like to?
Recipes and ideas for meals with less meat.
Here are some helpful resources to help you determine when to take care of various lawn and garden tasks, such as planting, watering, weeding, fertilizing, mulching and harvesting plants.
Gift cards to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Vegetable Garden Planner are now available for just $25.
Where environmental groups claim financial incentives for recycling to be a costly and unnecessary form of expenditure, we see them as the only realistic option available which actually produces the desired effect.
Save money by planting smaller trees and shrubs from mail-order sources.
The innovative garden seeder from Simple Seeder increases speed and ease of planting.
For humanity to create a better world, we must address issues of economic equality and limited resources. The natural environment can recover from much damage if we gradually limit the human population and judge business success by quality rather than quantity.
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.
If you're searching for kids' playhouse plans, look no further — this whimsical cob building provides an inexpensive child's oasis with a natural cooling system.
How we turned our plain old yard into a productive farm, and how you can do it too!
Cam thinks its important that we all have a Plan B, no matter where we live.
In this blog, Robert White of Quail Acres Farm shares some of his experiences in the Growing Farmers workshops as they relate to planning for his upcoming move to the farm to establish his market garden and small livestock business.
A new episode in the PBS series Journey to Planet Earth, hosted by Matt Damon, will feature Mother Earth News contributing editor and visionary Lester Brown’s “Plan B” on how we can save civilization in the face of global climate change.
T. Boone Pickens is the very embodiment of the Texas oil tycoon. He’s also, arguably, the world’s leading advocate for wind energy.
If you know much of each food from your garden you consume each year, you can better plan how much to grow.
On the eve of Southern Company (NYSE: SO) holding its annual meeting of stockholders in Pine Mountain, GA., the nonprofit Green America released a report ranking the major U.S. power producer as “the United States’ most irresponsible utility.”
Japanese beetles feed for six to eight weeks, and in that time, they are able to feed on over 300 plant species. Although collecting beetles may seem like an exhausting every day task, you're plants will appreciate it.
Even as far north as Maine I can harvest produce from March to December with parsnips to dig from under the frost in February without the use of row covers or a greenhouse. In some beds I do two or more succession plantings that together with the root cellar keeps me with fresh produce all year.
Planning a party? Let wabi-sabi’s influence lead to a casual, comfortable gathering.
Onions are daylight sensitive and need to have plenty of time to put on top growth before the days start to get shorter and the plant pulls its energy into the bulb. If you like to start onions from seed, don’t wait! The best time is already closing in.
Pasteurizing your own compost can protect your new seedlings from damping-off and harmful bacteria.
April 26, 2013 is National Arbor Day! Celebrate by planting a tree at home or enjoying trees where you live and learn about the many benefits they provide.
I separate the fact from the fiction with use of soluble fertilizers.
Learn how to breed corn in your own corn nursery, plus learn how to properly hand-pollinate corn plants.
The best low cost (semi-reliable) options for getting animals and plants onto your homestead!
Though it reuses a waste material, fly ash concrete contains traces of mercury and other chemicals from coal-burning power plants. Do you want that in your home?
A University of Georgia study finds that common houseplants can remove toxins and improve indoor air quality.
Information on World Wetlands Day and their benefits and tips on how to protect your local wetlands.
Tips on how to celebrate National Wildflower Week, May 6-13!
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
Creating tomato grafts may be a great way to grow tomatoes organically. Tomato grafting has emerged as one good way to bring resistance to soilborne diseases to susceptible heirloom varieties.
Learn what to do when you come across onion flowers and garlic flowers in your garden.
Congratulations to Pat Stone creator and editor of Green Prints Magazine and, now, a recognized Asset to the Planet!
Let's stop for a minute and think about what we are doing!
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
Humanity has the power to change and to take the actions needed to foster a healthy planet and a better standard of living for all. Choosing beauty and abundance will ensure a better future not only for humanity, but for the natural environment as well.
Thoughts, experiences, and tips after a season of mowing with the propane-powered lawnmower.
With the lifting of the four-year Bicycle Plan injunction, we're watching the next premiere biking city unfold — at record pace — in San Francisco, California.
No one had ever attempted to set a land speed record for gasification vehicles so Beaver Energy was the first.
A couple of weeks ago, the Adventure Cycling blog called attention to the Roanoke Mountain Campground's threatened closure via the Blue Ridge Parkway's Draft Management Plan (DMP).
Need more storage space? Who doesn’t? You can make better use of the space you have available with some wooden shelves. Building free-standing shelves is easy and can be inexpensive. This is a great woodworking project for beginners.
It’s been bitterly cold in Michigan. The big blizzard has gone through and has left us with a bunch of snow.
Know how many seeds you need for your area considering germination rate and extras.
Keep your garden full all season by planting the next crop as soon as the previous crop is harvested. Tips for deciding what to plant next.
Readers share tips and recipes for cheaper, easier and healthier home cooking.
A Garden Planner subscription is a budget-friendly gift that offers the satisfaction of spending the chillier chunks of the calendar plotting the bounty ahead.
A new report from Shareable and the Sustainable Economies Law Center details ways that city officials can harness the power of sharing to transform their cities for the better.
This blog post discusses growing enough produce for canning.
I cure my spring fever by planting in a hoop house.
Plan to plant garlic this fall, and enjoy unique varieties and their incredible health benefits.
Growing the three sisters (corn, beans, squash) in the same plot of land actually helps yield healthier crops of each.
The Rhombin, a desktop organizer made from a plant-based plastic (bioplastic), merges sustainability with convenience and cutting-edge design.
Odwalla's Plant A Tree program enters its third year with a donation of twice as many trees to be planted in all 50 states as well as participating state park programs.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
Learn how to rotate crops with this helpful crop rotation video.
Siegers Seed Company is attempting to patent and own a common cucurbit gene for warty pumpkins, and gardeners who know better are disappointed.
With so many good things that plants do in our life, would it be so bad to stop and appreciate them?
Growing pine trees from seed will allow you to produce lots of trees very economically. Follow these instructions to propagate pine trees from seed.
This blog post shares some of the simple techniques learned through many years of experience by someone who grows vegetable seedlings for a living.
The USDA first published a plant hardiness zone map based on temperature in 1960. Hardiness zones are based on the average annual extreme minimum temperature. What's your zone?
Expert advice on adding single nutrients, such as Epsom salts, to your garden and house plants.
Do you love strawberries? It is hard to decide on the best way to manage them if attempting to grow them. I want strawberries bad enough to try to figure out what method works best for me.
Michelle Corbett's grandmother and great-grandmother taught her to use a natural compost consisting of eggshells and coffee grounds.
How to avoid contacting poison ivy and poison oak.
Installing a rain gauge can help determine how much water your plants really need.
Former first lady Lady Bird Johnson will be remembered for her significant conservation efforts, especially with wildflowers and the preservation of native plants.
The process of training and pruning blackberry plants is demystified by a gardening expert from Gurney's Seed.
Many gardeners take lettuce off of their summer planting lists, but shade covers can put garden-grown lettuce on your table more than a month sooner this fall.
The future of the Pavlovsk Station in Russia is in jeopardy due to a pending housing development project. Find out what you can do to help save the world’s largest holding of rare berries and trees.
Birch trees are easy to identify in winter thanks to their distinctive bark, and they offer a hot drink, aromatic flour and sweet syrup to cold weather foragers.
Follow the sawhorse plans from our 1985 article (with a few variations), and you can build sturdy, inexpensive sawhorses.
Build a reflecting telescope to enjoy the nighttime celstial show.
Create memorable gifts for a youngster with a handcrafted toy or game.
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.
Instructables is a great website for finding DIY projects, and recently site administrators have reorganized the site to make it easier to find the project you're looking for.
Using 16-foot livestock panels in many ways on your homestead.
Tips for keeping your tomato plants healthy.
A wedding using homegrown and local food and no disposable items. Decorations were things already on hand. The ceremony took place in a field and the reception was in a barn...and there was love-lots of it!
Strategies for controlling voles in the potatoes in your garden.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel shares the basics of landscape design.
“Grow a Sustainable Diet” is an upcoming book (spring, 2014) that helps you plan what to eat and what to grow, feeding you and the Earth while maintaining a small ecological footprint.
Plan fall cover crops to feed back the soil and leave the bed ready for when you need to plant the main crop next year.
The Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force has proposed numerous changes, including coastal and marine spatial planning, to keep a constant eye on our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes. Will increased regulations help us avoid future accidents in our most treasured bodies of water? Tell us what you think about the proposed changes.
Our Vegetable Garden Planner assists you in planting your fall garden by giving you planting dates specific to your location, projected harvest dates and more.
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.
Reading between the lines of the seed catalog variety descriptions is a science and an art. How not to get carried away by all the positive exclamations and miss some basic fact that would tell you this variety is not for your farm? This post provides tips.
Get advice on all things garden seed, from organizing seeds and ordering seeds to understanding seed catalog terms such as open-pollinated and F1 hybrid.
Mother Nature has a way of filling in the blank spots....
To ensure we have a full productive garden, each spring I start a habit of carrying a packet of seeds in my pocket every time I head to 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.
How to Schedule your Planting by the Moon
The staff at MOTHER EARTH NEWS plants tomatoes and peppers during a seed-planting project at the office.
Make a shelf or table into a growing space for starting seedlings.
Here are two helpful tips that will help you have a successful tomato plant.
How to measure tomato seedlings for success before planting into your garden.
This blog post tells about Barbara Lee's memories of her grandpa who built a two-holer outhouse for his family and surrounded it with peonies so that there would not be an unpleasant odor.
Barbara Pleasant offers a step-by-step plan to starting seeds.
Want lettuce and carrots all year round? Ira Wallace tells us her simple simple method for keeping track of succession plantings.
Find garlic seed stock for growing garlic.
Garlic is one of the easiest plants you can grow, and fall is the time for planting. Here are a few resources to help you get started.
Turn low value plastic trash into valuable building blocks with a $300 homemade press. Free plans for a hand operated press are available. A mechanized version could be made by converting a log splitter.
Sun-Lite HP for greenhouse glazing provides excellent diffused light.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
A new wastewater treatment plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, will use methane gas to produce energy.
A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows significant lapses in nuclear power plant safety.
Deciding which vegetables to grow can be an important step for any gardener. It is efficient to fill the space that you have with vegetables that keep for the longest periods of time, which can also mean a lot to the bottom line of any garden.
This posting discusses how deforestation increases global warming and ocean acidification. It also discusses the role of deforestation in triggering severe flooding,aquifer depletion, soil degradation and animal and plant extinction.
It's mid-February, time to start thinking about spring! Ira Wallace helps us make our garden plan, remember our perennials, and Plant a Row for the Hungry this year.
This blog post describes the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff's afternoon spent harvesting their homegrown garlic.
Garlic has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and ethnobotanist James Duke, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading experts in medicinal plants, places garlic among the best all-around plant medicines in the world. Learn about the host of ailments garlic can alleviate and prevent, and discover some of the added health perks of this flavorful, folklore-infused herb.
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.
Herbs are versatile plants that enhance our lives by adding beauty, aroma, nutrition, seasoning, and a varied landscape. Because they can be grown indoors, or outdoors in pots, as part of landscaping or in the garden, everyone has room to grow herbs.
Spring is here and those tomato plants that were started in January are settled into their new hoophouse home. I have hopes for early tomatoes; will a late freeze stifle this goal?
A brief summary of the vast amount of data we've compiled over the last few years on experimenting with rotational chicken pastures on our homestead.
Heirloom vegetables are multi-use crops that have been passed down from gardeners for decades, sometimes centuries. Respected author and gardener, William Woys Weaver, discusses his reasons for using heirloom plants and saving seed.
Finca Luna Nueva's Sacred Seeds Sanctuary is a living laboratory to nurture tropical and native species through the next 10 years of climate change.
A new study finds that generating electricity from coal costs taxpayers $345 billion each year, making renewable energy start to look like a bargain.
The mild winter has led to an earlier than usual spring growing season and plenty of surprises in the way of plants making it through the winter that normally would never survive the cold season. Here's a peek at what's growing in my spring garden.
I’d like to introduce the words farmden and farmdener into the English language. I wonder if there are any other farmdeners out there. And just what is a farmden? It’s more than a garden, less than a farm. That’s my definition, but it also could be described as a site with more plants and/or land than one person can care for sanely. A gardener and garden gone wild, out of control.
Here's what you need to know about laminate flooring, from suggestions on how to choose it to tips for installing your own.
Purchasing the materials for a DIY project can involve making a number of decisions. When you’re deciding on the materials for an outdoor wooden project, are you more apt to be swayed by cost or durability?
Engaging in new projects around the house or yard can put us in unfamiliar territory where we might make mistakes that are potentially dangerous or just embarrassing.
Holiday gifts frequently come with "some assembly required" and can cause frustration for late-night Santas. What is your most memorable some-assembly-required experience?
You don't have to be a master carpenter to take on a DIY project. What building project have you done all on your own that you are the most proud of the results?
Macrameing has been a popular craft medium for decades. Share your most outlandish macrame project.
Keeping your tools in good working order saves time and money.
Using wood you’ve harvested to start creative wood projects is not impossible. Many sawyers have created beautiful wood structures made from lumber they’ve cut themselves.
Natural Home and the Obamas are in sync on fun, waste-reducing holiday projects. Find out more about decoupage ornaments.
Jim Oseychuk built this intricate garden shed for his wife and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Joe Bonn built this impressive home in Colorado and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Donn Saindon built this beautiful 1,200 square foot home from reclaimed wood and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Robert Craig built this 960 square foot barn in Oregon and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Learn how to make giant bubbles like a professional bubble artist at home with this DIY video. Complete with a recipe to make a giant bubble wand and your own homemade soap solution, you’ll be ready to impress everyone on your street with human-sized bubbles.
Can the clutter that threatens to chase you from your workshop be remade into usable items?
Have you ever let your imagination run wild and built a fanciful, unique … (spinning wheel, bat house, garden tool)
Easy DIY Halloween costumes for the lazy
Wood pallets can be used as is or stripped and remade into new forms. What creative uses have you found for wood pallets?
If you want to learn how to paint your house without the help of professionals, this article from the archives is for you. Exterior home painting can be a snap with the right tools and information.
Here is a plan for a metal candle lantern made from a coffee can, metal clothes hanger and a stick of wood.
Learn how to make a bootjack from a branch and scrap of wood.
Build a highchair that will follow your child through years of growth and development.
To make the pulp for homemade paper, look no further than your waste and recycling bins.
Make your own hand-crafted broad axe with these easy to follow directions.
Put a barrel or two on wheels and you can feed your flocks and herds with ease, including diagrams, photographs and instructions.
You can fabricate this metal log lifter to make firewood cutting easier and safer.
If you are planning to build a backyard deck, consider whether the best strategy for footings is using deck blocks or cement piers.
You can build this simple, light-weight roof rack to transport your bicucles.
Prepping for major emergencies - earthquakes, floods, tornadoes - is important, but so is emergency planning for less dramatic events. Find out what you can do to reduce the potential for stress.
These are the first steps we took to make the change from city living to off grid living. It describes the questions you should ask before you buy property and the research required to make sure you can do want you want with your property.
How our community has planned ahead for wildfire contingencies.
Eat carrots from your garden all winter! A little planning goes a long way toward more food with less work. Learn how to start with a winter cover crop of rye, with carrots following next in the rotation, maturing by the time the first frost.
Our efforts to improve energy efficiency in the United States might be faltering.
We sat down for an interview with James Duft, the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair Planner and Programming Manager. Read about what you can expect to see, do and participate in if you attend the upcoming Fair in Puyallup, Wash. Sheep dog training, cheese making, bread baking and antique tractors await!
Begin your garden planning with what,and particularly how much, you want to eat. Take a look at what you are eating now and go from there.
How can someone who claims to be a 'modern homesteader' not have planted her garden by the end of June, you ask? Well, let me tell you...
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has started a global campaign to help reduce food waste worldwide.
A tour of the gardens at Southern Exposure, where we're taking advantage of warm sunny days in February to get our gardens ready for intense planting ahead. But there's still plenty to sow, indoors and out.
Basil is a versatile herb that can be used for companion planting, bee forage, year-round herb as well as delicious pesto.
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.
There are many logical reasons for adding flowers to your vegetable garden: attracting beneficials, crop diversity, companion-planting, barriers and healthy soil. But perhaps their beauty does not need to be rationalized at all!
Grow calcium in your garden with collards, kale, and parsley. Suggestions are given for including these crops in your meals. Learn about companions to plant among your collards and kale to deter harmful insects.
The Garlic Gurus at Seeds from Italy give you the scoop on growing your own garlic. This post answers questions of when and where to grow garlic, what varieties to grow, how much to grow, where to buy garlic, and how much to plant.
Giving your ornamental and vegetable garden a thorough cleaning in midsummer not only leaves the landscape looking better, but can help prevent damage from diseases and pests by removing the conditions in which they thrive.
Description of garlic planting on a two-year cycle: from tiny topset bulblets, to large single bulbs, to large heads.
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
Hints for harvests all summer long - don't just sow once! Ira helps you plan summer successions for your garden. Plus, discover culinary secrets of okra you never suspected - okra coffee and okra oil - and a recipe for a simple okra lunch.
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
Chris Kilham—founder of Medicine Hunter, TV personality and author of 14 books on natural health and plant-based medicines—speaks about three plants he's disovered that could make a profound difference in our health -- naturally.
If the DEA can't tell the difference between hemp and marijuana plants, says a former Kentucky governor, how can it distinguish between powdered sugar and cocaine? Hempsters: Plant the Seed is a must-see movie that gives pro-hemp activists a voice.
Giving handmade gifts will save money while showing the recipient that you care. Homemade sugar scrub, rice pillows, glass magnets and iPod covers are all easy to make and exciting to receive. Spend time, not money, to give the perfect holiday or birthday gift.
You can upcycle (make crafts from recycled materials) to beautifuly and simplify your world! Have a few old T-shirts that are past their prime? Make them into a rosette pillow! Use homemade recycled paper to send friends and family chic, personalized greetings cards. Overrun with stuff to recycle? Transform tin can lids into a melodious windchime! Have fun and get creative turning your old stuff into treasures!
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
A National Resources Defense Council analyst calls proposed standards “the most important actions to clean up air pollution from dirty coal-burning power plants since the Clean Air Act was last updated in 1990.”
Yes, you can make your own solar panels, but it won’t necessarily save you much money compared with buying commercial solar panels.
Offering paint that saves the rain forest and a full list of ingredients, this natural finishes start-up aims to change the industry. Unearthed is making a bold move by providing full ingredient disclosure for all of its products.
Tell us about your all-time favorite fix-it tool.
Home improvement stores offer free DIY classes. What project have you not started yet but dream of doing?
You can build a low-cost, squirrel-proof bird feeder using simple tools and inexpensive materials. All you need is some plastic drain pipe and caps, hardware cloth and a bit of wire (or a wire hanger). In no time at all, you’ll have all sorts of birds at the feeder — and the squirrels will be perplexed!
Instructions for building a cold smoker (and three other things you can do with steel oil drums).
For May Day on May 1, make one of these 10 May Day Baskets with recycled materials.
Share the story of your success with a DIY project home business.
Use everyday recyclable materials to create personalized DIY stationery.
A review of hammers of friend Jack Fulton.
Reuse burnt-out lightbulbs to make this adorable, unique DIY holiday wreath.
It may be sweltering hot outside, but we're still busily sowing seeds at the Southern Exposure farms! Learn how to plant your bountiful fall and winter garden, with abundant harvests through Thanksgiving and beyond.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
I am especially concerned with the electricity hogs that keep us burning coal.
So, what do you do if you neglected to start your veggies way back in January or February? You had good intentions but there always seemed to be something that stole your attention. Now it’s the planting season and you have nothing to plant...
Sorting through seed catalogs is one of the most entertaining tasks we have here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS. These garden seed catalogs come in handy when searching for just the right variety of heirloom veggies to grow, and they're fun to look at too!
Hand crafted from recycled materials, each item one of a kind.
Learn how to make a pinwheel for a fun, outdoors toy.
Make your own rotisserie spit that is solar powered.
This low-cost, easy-to-assemble fire pit from Instructables is made with concrete tree rings and rocks. Just add a grill and you've got the perfect backyard hangout, all for around $50.
Crafting laundry detergent saves time, money and lightens your environmental footprint. Plus it’s simple!
Save your eggshells! Seedling pots that are easy on your wallet and the environment.
Cam has found another way to save money - his wife cuts his hair now! He also describes how even though he isn't artistic he creates and enjoys the masterpieces from his garden.
Robert Maxwell shares tips on maintaining motivation.
Borrowing from a Native American tradition, utilize porcupine quills to make beautiful beads.
Readers vote on whether they think making beer, mustard or pickles sounds like the most fun, plus which seems easiest.
Bust the myths surrounding poison ivy and decide which DIY remedies are right for you.
Save containers, save money! No need to buy something you already have!
Build a simple backyard barbecue pit with no more than a shovel and a good cover panel for your next barbecue party.
Why spend hundreds of dollars on a commercial recumbent bicycle when you can make your own out of parts of recycled bikes?
Finding the perfect desk with just the right amount of work space can be a hassle and a financial drain. Build your own desk with this do-it-yourself tutorial, and you’ll have room for your computer, notebooks, phone, printer and any other work-time necessities, and you’ll save some serious cash in the process.
How-to online videos are a valuable resource for any do-it-yourselfer. But there are a lot of videos out there, so we’ve picked noteworthy ones and provided a few links to help you find more in the future. From building a workbench to changing your car’s oil, these engaging and instructive videos will inspire you to start a fun, new DIY project.
Recycling building materials from other sources is a great way to cut the cost and reduce the environmental impact of your DIY projects. We want to know where readers go to find reclaimed or used building materials, and how they use these materials in home projects.
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, share his make do tool tips with fellow DIY homeowners.
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, explains just how easy it is to install laminate flooring yourself.
These DIY garden lights reuse plastic bottles and provide soft, natural lighting for evenings spent outdoors.
How to make a homemade cheese press in order to make a massive cheese.
Bring some spring into your life. Sprinkle some wheat grass seeds in an old apothecary jar and watch them grow.
What can you do with all those useless newspapers, paper bags and Yellow Pages books? Tear them into scraps and use them to decoupage walls and other surfaces. It's easy, cheap--and surprisingly elegant.
Turn empty oatmeal and salt containers into pretty storage canisters--in a snap.
Ira Wallace explores good winter gardening reads, gives advice on how to use the winter lull wisely to plan and prepare, and shares an update in the ongoing court battle to protect family farmers from agri-giant Monsanto.
In Oak Park, Michigan, a mother of six faces 93 days in jail for planting vegetables in her front yard. People across the country are rallying to her defense.
My first blog for MOTHER EARTH NEWS takes me back to a time when I didn't know I had a love of gardening. One of my first gardening experiences came during an unlikely encounter with my curmudgeon grandfather.
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.
Two years ago, the Natural Home & Garden staff had the honor of decorating President Obama's guest house with sustainable and handmade holiday decor. Try some of these "president-approved" projects yourself!
Leasing solar panels may be a way for you to have a solar electric system on your home. See what our expert has to say on leasing solar panels, from an operating lease to a capital lease. Plus, learn about the federal tax incentives that come with solar electric systems.
Personal users can now buy welding and cutting products and accessories online from the comfort of their home.
How to quickly and easily make a soothing herbal tea blend for children, plus bags and boxes to hold it.
Follow these easy instructions explaining how to make a fruit picker, and you'll never be tormented by out-of-reach fruit again.
Build an inexpensive bicycle trailer out of upcycled walkers and other easy-to-find materials.
Learn how to assemble a humane animal trap out of recycled material. It’s easy and effective!
User of our CU photo-sharing website submits photo documents the building process on their new biomass and solar dome home.
Don't forget to submit your photos to our CU photo-sharing website. Your favorite moments could become famous on our homepage!
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.
See the power of gasification before we hit the road.
What's it take to build your own SOLAR-POWERED Electric Car? How about starting small with some hardware store parts and an old child's ride-on toy? Read how a tinkerer Dad builds a Solar-Powered Power Wheels with just basic tools and skills.
This funky DIY bicycle helmet from Adafruit features colorful LED light strips to increase riders' visibility at night.
Skip the packaging and synthetic chemicals and learn how to make your own, cold-processed shampoo bars.
Craving something fresh and homegrown? Short on space and sunny weather? Growing sprouts is for you!
Thinking about bees? Check out this DIY top bar hive!
We now have something to walk on other than dirt!
Our experiments with an Alaskan small log mill attached to our chainsaw had variable results making planks from downed trees.
The last week of the month has been a busy one with are preparations for the ending of winter and the start of a new growing season. We've got some details on a new cover crop and why we choose and simple composting toilet system compared to others.
Talking about the excitement of Anna's new book cover that we got to preview from the publisher this past week and the anxiety of our new born chicks as they go out into the big world. Also have some details on how to make your own cleft graft.
Talking about how to make a DIY electric fence wire holder and how we got a tailgate transplant for around 150 dollars and some signs of spring.
Announcing our new webcam that will be showing the latest flock of new born chicks in all their cute and feathery glory.
Robert Maxwell explains how to build your own limestone foundation for almost no money.
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
How to make your own homemade deodorant that really works!
Gather a few pallets and get geared up to make your very own spacious rabbit hutch with just a few supplies for under $25 dollars!
Wrap drinking glasses in handmade paper for pretty, easy-to-make vases and votive holders.
Realize that DIY inspiration is just a click away by checking out these great home remodeling blogs.
One of the easiest ways to make your own newspaper pots.
Don't have the budget for a hot tub? Check out how these homeowners saves money and space by planting vintage clawfoot tubs in their gardens.
At last, we construct the foundation.
Taste spring sooner-- build yourself a cold frame!
So here's an idea - why not take existing technology and build a DIY diesel electric pickup truck? Is it even possible? I think it is, but I'll need your help!
Feels like I'm finally getting the ball rolling on my DIY Plug-In Hybrid Truck Project. I got a chance to visit Hot Rod Jim, talk about drive shafts, and even got the bed off the truck!
Easy-sew step-by-step instructions (with photos) to repurpose feed bags into handy totes.
Rechargeable tool packages use the same battery to power multiple tools: saws, drills, drivers and flashlights. What are the benefits of these systems?
Need to get your kids out of the house? Learn how to build your own playground and give them a convenient place for outdoor playtime.
Watch this video to learn how a straw bale house goes together from start to finish.
Steve Maxwell spotlights the three myths that prevent people from realizing the full value of the self reliant lifestyle, and how to dispel them
Make your barn doors glide with skateboard wheels and other easy to find materials in this DIY project to create sliding barn doors.
You can make a simple bench for the garden or patio by recycling an old headboard.
Learn how to make your own bushcraft knife using only simple tools and materials, including an old file.
Skylight scoops are the latest design in skylights which help save more energy and enhance a building’s environment.
This easy-to-make mosquito-net tent will keep flying critters from bugging you throughout the night.
You can make these outdoor chairs for less than $80 by recycling a whiskey barrel and using a few other supplies from your workshop.
This acorn-shaped wool garland is easy to make and perfect for fall decor.
Learn how to build a simple, dual-burner rocket stove using recycled materials from your homestead, garden or workshop.
Take a seat on this comfy sofa you made yourself using recycled car seats.
You can stretch your budget for wedding flowers by growing some of your own. Learn how to select, schedule, and plant flowers — then make them into wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces.
Here’s what to look for when purchasing a portable table saw for DIY building projects around your homestead.
The sweet smell and healing properties of bay, eucalyptus and ginger will make your sweetheart's Valentine's Day massage memorable.
Whip olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice into a cheap, effective polish for wood furniture.
Make your own all-purpose cleaners, dishwasher detergent and mildew remover with safe, simple ingredients. Ever think you'd be doing dishes with Kool-Aid?
Turn terra cotta planter pots into candle holders. This super simple project is an inexpensive way to bring a little romance to your garden.
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.
Bring back bottle-cutting! This contemporary candelabra, which gives new life to beautiful blue mineral water bottles, will make you rethink that old '70s craft.
Gina Luker of The Shabby Chic Cottage turns a flea market suitcase and baskets into a wonderful bedside table that doubles as valuable storage.
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
With no building experiment and only the information they found online as their guide, Kyle and Jeannie built a sweet little home on wheels. In this video, they share what they learned in the process and invite you inside.
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.
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, guides an inquiring homeowner on how to find the right circular saw.
Advancing their commitment to helping homeowners protect their lawns and gardens from damage caused by moles, Sweeney's, a leader in DIY pest control products, introduces the Deadset MoleTrap.
This very simple indirect stepping stone technique allows you to make multiple stepping stones that will be beautiful and long lasting. It is good for individual stones and for large group projects involving all ages.
Here are three easy Easter basket items for you to make. Children can act as helpers, or you can surprise them. Make rainbow crayons, mini soaps and bath bombs.
You can use items you find in your pantry like powdered drink mix, Jell-O and food coloring to make a beautiful dyed skein of yarn.
Make a cute, no-sew May Day basket using felt. Embellish it with buttons, beads and trim and it is ready to be delivered. Fill it with flowers and candy and you can hang it on a neighbor's doorknob like people did a century ago.
Celebrate all things beachy by making sand candles! Using paraffin, crayons and sand you can make a beautiful sand candle to commemorate a trip to the shore.
Use herbs from your garden,vegetable oil and beeswax to make a solid perfume.
Use Epsom salt, lemon, aloe vera and other simple ingredients to clean up your kids when they have stubborn, sticky summer grime.
Learn how to waterproof fabric with these simple instructions for making tin cloth.
Upcycle abandoned shopping carts into funky shopping cart furniture that is both fun and functional. This DIY shopping cart project takes some elbow grease, but is well worth the results.
Looking for a great home metalworking project? Follow these DIY patio furniture instructions to build scrap-metal furniture for your patio.
Cam has had to learn lots of new skills living in his off-grid home!
Our hands take a beating. Be kind to them and make this amazing hand scrub with ingredients right from your pantry!
Finally getting the barn roof repair project started was a big deal for us as well as a few other things that are worth checking out if you are interested in modern homesteading.
Talking about the recent past week where we got several items crossed off the Spring to-do list and managed to have some fun while doing it complete with pictures to illustrate the good times.
A brief announcement of the new Permaculture chicken ebook series that starts with chicken egg incubation.
Trying to sum up a few of the lesson learned while figuring out the best way to incubate and hatch cute chicks.
Claire finds a recipe for hard lotion and makes molded lotion bars to give as Christmas presents.
Invite the birds into your yard with this simple bird feeder made from a toilet paper roll.
This DIY washing powder is simple to make, costs just pennies and smells heavenly.
Simple to make, this stone bath mat is a treat for your feet.
With just three ingredients and two simple steps, you can clear away germs and freshen your home's air to welcome spring.
It's easy to make your own air freshener spray. You'll avoid chemicals and delight in the fresh smell.
Give your hangers a little pizzazz--and protect your clothing--with this simple project that makes use of worn-out shirts.
For an investment of less than $10,000 and about a week of labor, you could have a custom workshop, barn, garden shed or office.
Rain chains are a smart, good-looking way to collect rainwater from your roof--but they can be pricey. You can make your own for next to nothing. Give your house a little bling.
Reed diffusers are a great way to fill your home with the fresh, healing scents of essential oils--but they're pricey. You can save a bundle by making your own using repurposed bottles and plant stalks.
Old mirrors are a dime a dozen at flea markets--but what can you do with them? Group several of different shapes together for a pretty, unique display.
Two students have created an inspirational blog that features one upcycling project--something made from discarded materials--each day. They've committed to keeping it going for 30 days, but with your help it could go forever.
Put those big pieces of cardboard to work by turning them into furniture. This entertaining tutorial shows you how.
Save money and keep harsh chemicals out of your kitchen by making your own dishwasher detergent. It takes just seconds to make a powdered or liquid version.
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.
Growing your own food doesn't have to be an expensive activity. There are plenty of ways to cut back the costs and be earth-friendly as well. You can do this by giving a second life to items that have outgrown their initial purpose.
When you are apartment gardening in a small space, you are forced to be creative due to your space constrictions. Most traditional pots and containers might not work, so you become reliant on reusing objects to better fit your space.
People often dismiss gardening as an expensive hobby that they can’t afford. While that can be true, it doesn’t have to be. There are way to make gardening cheap.
It might be the middle of the summer, but you should start thinking about getting your fall garden ready. If you don’t have much space, to plant everything outdoors, then you can certainly start your seeds indoors.
It was becoming pretty obvious the crowding and lack of light were real limitations to my mini garden. Then, the idea of a trough on the windowsill came to mind, combining a way to water all the plants uniformly and efficiently all at once. Great, now how to make this trough? Wood? Sheet metal? The choices all seemed expensive, clumsy, prone to leaking...then the light bulb went on in my head: gutters!
Use old jars to make these cute, inexpensive candle lanterns--for a fraction of what you'd pay if you bought them at the store.
Part II of a tutorial on how to make cold-process soap. The directions are intended for the absolute beginner and use easy-to-locate materials.
Part I of a two-part tutorial on how to make soap for the absolute beginner. Readers will assemble materials and prepare the mold this week in anticipation of combining the ingredients to make a batch of cold-process soap.
Have you ever considered using lard to make soap? It is easy to locate, inexpensive, and has a long history as a soap-making staple. This recipe adds a few extras to improve the conditioning qualities of traditional lard soap.
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.
With a few key supplies, you can revive worn wood flooring without heavy-duty sanding.
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.
Making mosaics out of salvaged, broken tiles is a great project for free-form do-it-yourselfers. It's easy, fun and results in a brilliant surface--often for pennies. Check out this video and give it a try.
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.
Summing up the past week with a few highlights that help to illustrate how we've been getting along in the ending days of the 2012 winter season.
Talking about the back up generator failure along with recent golf cart modifications.
Porch building tips along with deer pressure notes and golf cart pickup bed instructions.Throw in a 5 foot high chicken wire fence and a rare appearance from a normally camera shy cat named Strider and you've got an idea of what we've been up to.
Sensor Plug update along with a report on Sunflowers being used as a cover crop and when to properly harvest onions.
Tackling the old wives tale I heard recently down at the hardware store how a penny inserted into the flesh of a tomato plant stalk will help that plant fight off or maybe prevent a blight attack along with data on trying to trap a wild rabbit.
Announcing our new automatic chicken feeder contest and how some lucky person could win a 10 pack diy kit or 3 premade watering units.
Protecting the fig tree for the winter felt like putting it to bed for a long sleep. Chopping wood with the Chopper 1 is a thing of joy and beauty and that's no joke. Do it yourself corn bin helped our neighbor keep the racoons out.
How to recycle a junked refrigerator into a refrigerator root cellar that works at keeping produce chilled but not frozen during winter months.
Learn how to make an herbal tincture with The Herb Companion team at the Mother Earth News Fair.
Get your garden ready for spring by making this sturdy, comfortable outdoor bench from recycled-plastic lumber and an old truck tire inner tube.
Combine two of this hopeful season's symbols--herbs and eggs--in this simple project that celebrates spring.
Tearing out wall-to-wall carpet is one of the healthiest things you can do. Dress up the scuffed wood floor underneath using plant-based paint and stencils. You'll never miss the rug.
Green is Universal and Etsy's The Art of Reuse Contest is a gold mine for DIY home project ideas. My favorite pays homage to Audrey Hepburn's ahead-of-its-time sofa made from an old clawfoot bathtub in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
You could spend a fortune on flowers from faraway for Mom--but why? This sweet bouquet made from fresh-picked flowers and flea market finds is cuter than anything FTD could deliver. This one's great for weddings and graduation parties, too.
Noxious fumes aren’t conducive to happy cleaning. Give all your homemade cleaning solutions an invigorating and healthy boost by adding a few drops of pure plant essential oils such as lavender or lemon. Heavenly!
This small project could gain you big time savings. Simply screw a few hooks inside a pretty cigar box, give it a knob and hang it near the door. Never search for lost keys again!
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.
Simplify the Christmas season with these 12 tips for gifts, gift wrapping and decor—as well as steps you can take to make your celebration light on the planet.
You can get your whole house fresh and shiny clean with just five ingredients: lemons, vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil and salt.
Jim and Holly Smith, founders of Today’s Abundant Living, sent us this great review of a Homesteading Education Month open house and country skills workshop they hosted at their Michigan homestead.
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 have access to small diameter trees and wood pallets, and live in an area not restricted by building codes, then this truss design is one good low cost roof option. If you do all the work yourself, these trusses are virtually free.
Summing up the last week of activity by hitting on a few key stories that might prove note worthy to a few of the homesteading folks out there complete with photo montage of golf cart jousting and aquaponic trout.
Describing how we are trying to provide a low budget solar panel back up system for under 1000 dollars that will run our laptops and router along with a few other things if the local power grid has any issues.
Crushing a truck, harvesting garlic, and fixing a broken flywheel shaft key are just a few of the things that got done over the last week at WaldenEffect.org complete with photos of all the juicy stuff.
Building the Cadillac of worm bins, a new barn door, testing the new garlic curing rack, harvesting big potato onions, mulching blueberries, and fabricating a low budget easy to build automatic chicken coop door opener and closer from easy find parts
A story of life, death and rebirth of a hoop house.
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.
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.
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
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.
Forget the time and money that goes into conventional giftwrap. Use these inspirational ideas to wrap lovely gifts with materials otherwise bound for the recycling bin.
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.
Renovating a heritage log cabin DIY style isn't easy, but with some thought and attention to detail, it can be done - and cheaper than you might think.
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.
Scott Davis’ “Solar Projects, Big and Small” video offers inspiration for both solar energy enthusiasts and folks who are just curious. Tips and advice pertaining to solar energy can be found at the Yahoo! group Simply Solar, and you can make your dream project a reality with Gary Reysa’s instructions.