Plant and Animal Extinction
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.
Advice on good online plant and animal databases.
The best low cost (semi-reliable) options for getting animals and plants onto your homestead!
A Precision Garden Seeder can make planting seed crops quick and easy!
2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, a year in which nations agreed to meet benchmarks to prevent further biodiversity loss. However, species extinction and habitat depletion are still on the rise because of human activities. Tipping points are approaching several biodiversity hotspots, which would result in economic and ecological devastation. Nations plan to convene for further action in the coming months.
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.
Check out this cute video featuring dancing ostrich chicks.
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.
Tell us what kind of barns and sheds you prefer for your poulty and farm animals.
Beano, Rancho Cappuccino's resident guard donkey, appears to be experiencing maternal envy. Without a baby of her own, she's taken to borrowing (unasked, of course) the lambs and kids of the sheep and goats she protects.
The speed of global warming imperils habitats and species alike.
A new study of salamanders in Central America shows dwindling populations — and two species have vanished. Find out why researchers suspect that climate change is the cause.
California condors are on the verge of extinction, and lead ammunition has something to do with it. But they're not the only animals being hurt. Based on recent studies, people that eat venison risk exposure to lead as well.
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.
Enjoy healthy blackberry and raspberry elixirs and teas, blessings from the brambles of Summer!
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.
Is your patio short on space? Check out the Hot Pot BBQ, a grill that doubles as an herb planter.
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.
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.
Cole explains the term "dark cutter" as it applies to the effect of stress on meat animals, and eventually, its affect on consumers.
In the event of a disaster, what would happen to your pet?
This week is the 12th annual National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week.
Whether you live in town or in the country, if you have animals (pets or livestock) you have humorous stories to tell.
Identify the animal tracks and footprints of the critters who visit your garden and yard.
Check what products and companies use animal testing with PETA’s “Be Nice to Bunnies” iPhone app.
Looking for the perfect horse for on the farm and in the arena? Well, look no further. The Haflinger has it all — size, strength, gentleness and trainability.
This picture will bring a smile to your face and make you think of your own family pet.
Teaching a farm dog — a livestock guard dog — which animals to protect and which animals not to isn't an easy task. Learn about the protector/protectee animal relationships at Rancho Cappuccino, and about how the Rancho guard animals are taught to protect their charges.
It's a challenge to describe the place where I take my livestock when it's time for them to cease being my companions, and to become my product instead. I call Steve's Meats in DeSoto, Kansas, the "packer." And, indeed, when I stopped off there this morning they had about 800 pounds of beef frozen and packed, ready for me to take home. It filled the freezer to the rim.
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.
Pasteurizing your own compost can protect your new seedlings from damping-off and harmful bacteria.
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.
Living remotely with wild animal encounters and how to come out safely.
If you’re considering taking measures to control wildlife in your area by relocating wild animals, you may want to think twice. Start by learning about what happens to wild animals after they’re trapped and released in a new location.
On the farm their can be lots of animals. Do you remmeber your first farm animal?
Some of the practices of animal husbandry, such as clipping beaks and dehorning, can lead to discomfort and inconveniece for the critters.
Hints for kidding in the very cold weather.
Check out these photos of some of the animals that attended the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Members of the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA) are inviting the public to visit their farms and ranches on National Alpaca Farm Days on September 24th and 25th, 2011.
Mara Grunbaum's conversations with and about a hilariously personified "Evolution" provide a running commentary throughout "WTF, Evolution?!" accompanied by really excellent nature photos.
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.
A tutorial on making a flower press with supplies that don't require heavy tools or a visit to the hardware store.
Learn how to breed corn in your own corn nursery, plus learn how to properly hand-pollinate corn plants.
As antibiotic resistant infections become more prevalent due to antibiotic use in livestock, health advocates turn to the White House for action.
Our experience in living with bears.
Jenna Woginrich writes about the beauty of Cold Antler Farm, a small homestead that she shares with Pig, her rabbits Benjamin and Doe and several chickens. Taking care of her animals on cold winter nights is a challenge for Woginrich, but one she gladly accepts armed with a water bottle and affection. Woginrich's modest barn provides shelter for her animals and a useful space to feel at home.
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
Learn what to do when you come across onion flowers and garlic flowers in your garden.
Planting a water-smart garden with native plants can help you save water when temperatures heat up.
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!
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?
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.
Plan to plant garlic this fall, and enjoy unique varieties and their incredible health benefits.
I cure my spring fever by planting in a hoop house.
This blog post discusses growing enough produce for canning.
There are many benefits with raising pigs for meat, and also some common sense ways of doing so in a sustainable way.
Enjoy this footage of an elk having an absolute blast splashing through a puddle.
H1N1, or swine flu, didn't have to be the epidemic it is today. Are factory farms to blame?
Today I gave the cows all a dish with a zinc mix, copper mix, and sulfur mix. I do this about once a week to see if they need to free choice those particular minerals. Today they liked the sulfur and zinc but did not eat much of the copper. It is amazing how farm animals know what they need and will take it if they need it.
"Life", a Discovery Channel nature documentary series on unique animal behaviors, will air on Animal Planet beginning June 6.
Growing the three sisters (corn, beans, squash) in the same plot of land actually helps yield healthier crops of each.
Check out these photos of some of the animal attendees at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
As fall wanes, HOMEGROWN Life contributor Dyan spends time observing and learning from the language of animals on her Maine dairy farm.
Ilene White Freedman contemplates sharing goat milk with the nursing kid.
Selecting a good potential guardian llama, bringing him home, and introducing him to your stock.
Natural products research firm Compass Naturals predicts shoppers will get savvy; rebel against chemicals, over-packaging, GMOs and animal cruelty; and grow more of their own food.
What are you thankful for this season? Our editors know what they are thankful for, now let's hear from you.
A beginning farmer loses a friend and finds that solitary farming isn't all it's cracked up to be.
That extra hour of sleep was great, but your animals may not think the same thing about that same hour.
Though wolves are commonly misunderstood animals, not all of what you hear is true.
Our true story about Junior a very unique deer.
The EPA is now defining a CAFO (formerly confined animal feeding operation) as a Country Animal Feeding Operation.
How one rural county without animal control regulations or a public pet shelter is working to make a better community for all residents — both humans and their companions.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
Siegers Seed Company is attempting to patent and own a common cucurbit gene for warty pumpkins, and gardeners who know better are disappointed.
Growing pine trees from seed will allow you to produce lots of trees very economically. Follow these instructions to propagate pine trees from seed.
With so many good things that plants do in our life, would it be so bad to stop and appreciate them?
Seed Germination depends on Soil Temperature. Transplants need to survive a late spring frost. Here are some handy charts and a lookup tool that will help your timing for a successful garden.
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?
This blog takes a look at the steps taken to propagate lavender by taking cuttings.
Learn how to rotate crops with this helpful crop rotation video.
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.
The Rhombin, a desktop organizer made from a plant-based plastic (bioplastic), merges sustainability with convenience and cutting-edge design.
Using newspaper, learn how to craft easy, biodegradable pots to start seeds.
The process of training and pruning blackberry plants is demystified by a gardening expert from Gurney's Seed.
Lamb's quarters, also known as wild spinach, is an abundant wild vegetable. It's a nutritional superstar with a delicious, mild flavor.
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.
Installing a rain gauge can help determine how much water your plants really need.
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.
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.
Former first lady Lady Bird Johnson will be remembered for her significant conservation efforts, especially with wildflowers and the preservation of native plants.
How to avoid contacting poison ivy and poison oak.
Expert advice on adding single nutrients, such as Epsom salts, to your garden and house plants.
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.
Michelle Corbett's grandmother and great-grandmother taught her to use a natural compost consisting of eggshells and coffee grounds.
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
Hidden inside the stinky orange pulp of the fruits of the ginkgo tree is a delicious, pistachio colored edible seed. Here's how to identify and prepare ginkgo (without the stinky parts) by foraging for ginkgo nuts!
Ground cherries were once a popular staple in backyard gardens. Urbanization and lost space to grow our food led to ground cherries falling out of favor. Though older folks may remember eating ground cherry jam, they’ve only recently begun reappearing at farmers markets and in seed catalogs. Ground cherries are easy to grow and pack an unusual flavor punch in jams, pies, savory sauces.
How to measure tomato seedlings for success before planting into your garden.
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.
Here are two helpful tips that will help you have a successful tomato plant.
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.
Mother Nature has a way of filling in the blank spots....
Make a shelf or table into a growing space for starting seedlings.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The actual footprint of a garden is only one of many factors for how much food that can be produced there. With succession planting, good soil and some planning the same garden area can produce substantially more food.
Sharing some of what we have learned about treating Pink Eye naturally, as in our region, this has been an epidemic summer due to all the rain and flies.
After a rocky start, the second half of breeding season ends happily for both goats and owners.
Harrisons’ Pet Products Recover: A Complete Nutritional Formula is for sick or injured animals.
Being adopted by a deer is so different it is life changing. Can a human actually love a wild animal and can a wild animal love a human? My experience says so.
Columnist Ann Fisher writes about the unfair animal ordinances in Worthington, Ohio, which may surprise chicken owners.
A common problem rabbit raisers face is lack of litters in the fall. One big reason is hot weather in the summer, and we are having plenty of that across the country.
Unlike most poultry and chicken electrolyte products on the market today that treat hundreds of birds, Sav-A-Chick™ is ideal for casual poultry raisers with 1 – 10 birds.
Daniel Kosel of Red Poll Cattle will present a workshop on Red Poll Cattle Ranching at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
The Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers agreed to work together to pass federal legislation for better treatment for the country’s egg-laying hens. While the slightly larger, furnished cages are an improvement for chickens in industrial egg production, you can support animal welfare and get more nutritious eggs by buying pastured eggs from local farmers or raising chickens yourself.
A basic overview of why shelter and bedding are must haves for your goat operation. Also, some of our personal experience with a few options.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
The arrival of our first chickens and pigs to the farm, and prepping to head off to my summer internship at Polyface Farm
The third and last of a three part blog on chemical herbicides.
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
Learn how bats can be beneficial for organic farmers, dramatically reducing the need for costly and harmful pesticides.
I am loving my time spent at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington thus far. There are tons of great and interesting people to meet, delicious food, fun and information-packed lectures and demonstrations, and, best of all, adorable anima
A horse trainer once said to me, 'Animals don't think, they just make associations.' I responded to that by saying, 'If making associations is not thinking, then I would have to conclude that I do not think.'
Rachel gets a scare with Daisy the goat - is it bottle jaw or something else? A trip to the vet provides some lessons.
A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows significant lapses in nuclear power plant safety.
'Tis the season for education and celebration, at this year's herbal gatherings.
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.
Sun-Lite HP for greenhouse glazing provides excellent diffused light.
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.
A new wastewater treatment plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, will use methane gas to produce energy.
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.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
Rosemary is known as a tasty condiment, but it has also long been used as medicine, and makes for a blissful foot soak.
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.
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.
A new study finds that generating electricity from coal costs taxpayers $345 billion each year, making renewable energy start to look like a bargain.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Hawthorn fruits are in season in late summer and early fall. They are delicious, and also heart-healthy — eat your medicine!
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
Ira shows how you can keep sowing and planting through late summer and into fall. Learn how to keep your garden producing abundantly through the cold months ahead.
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!
Basil is a versatile herb that can be used for companion planting, bee forage, year-round herb as well as delicious pesto.
Description of garlic planting on a two-year cycle: from tiny topset bulblets, to large single bulbs, to large heads.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
Adult dogs need a little help to compete with pups in the adoption game. A spa date with a groomer or in your own back yard can give that older shelter dog more than a shiny coat. It can open the door to a new life.
The factory farm creates the wealth for the doctors, lawyers, government regulators, and bankers … is it ironic that these same professionals will choose a Beechnut Turkey or an Oaknut Ham from Big Horn Ranch for their family gathering?
Animal Husbandry tent experiences from Day 1 of 2011 Mother Earth News Fair.
One locavore takes responsibility for raising and slaughtering her own chickens.
Rewarding volunteer efforts involving German Shepherd Rescue.
Heritage breeds are survivors, although some may be in for a very challenging year. The national drought is about to have a huge impact on the American economy and now is the time to plan ahead.
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
With country living, you expect a quiet night's sleep. But surprise, surprise - nature has its own alarm clock.
Nobody can resist fluffy baby chicks, so what would be better than hatching your own? Let us put your mind at rest and make your first time incubating an enjoyable experience you will want to repeat.
New feed is specially formulated to meet the unique nutritional needs of miniature horses and ponies
Congratulations to Pat Stone creator and editor of Green Prints Magazine and, now, a recognized Asset to the Planet!
People living near massive livestock operations may be at risk from the pollution they generate--which is higher in some cases than the nation's most polluted cities.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
The place I call home these days is The FarmSchool, a fertile 180-acre strip of ridge top in Athol, where 15 student-farmers are spending a year learning the ins and outs of growing food, managing forests, and raising animals for meat. I arrived at the farm in October, just as the leaves were reaching their peak brilliance. The Farm School — which offers three-day programs for schoolchildren, a summer camp, a full-time middle school, and the apprenticeship program I’m in — takes us through all seasons of farming, weaving together class work and on-farm training.
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
Compassionate people without a county animal shelter organize a non-profit group to help low-income families keep their pets during hard times and to support Good Samaritans who take in abandoned pets
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
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!
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...
I am especially concerned with the electricity hogs that keep us burning coal.
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.
Comparing different home made do it yourself chicken carriers for the Tractor Supply animal swap this past Saturday. Reporting on edible mushroom cultivation harvest and what it takes to pick the right disease resistant apple variety.
With a few simple tips, you can transform the leaves overtaking your yard into valuable, nutrient-dense compost, mulch or leaf mold.
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food
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.