In the shadow of increasing climate chaos, human survival requires not only the intelligent actions of individuals but also thousands of communities of human beings who have had their inate intelligence awakened and who realize the fundamental link between life and land. In this regard, Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) provides a useful and egalitarian model for sustainable food systems of the future.
There is a crucial difference between pickled and fermented foods that impacts their nutritive value.
The first of 12 posts, seed saving begins with an introduction to the stories behind seeds and why they are so important. From preserving our shared botanical heritage to protecting a diverse and decentralized food supply, the story of seed is as varied as the people who plant them.
Making a roasted-root vegetable pot pie with biscuits in the shape of angels is the perfect comfort food.
A newly acquired garden or an over-spent allotment can have poor-quality soil, making it more difficult to manage and use, and leading to potential problems for those wishing to grow a new lush, green lawn or plant some daffodils, crocus or hyacinths bulbs in the spring.
People are increasingly looking to get back to nature, rejecting the modern world and living off the Earth.
This blog post explores eco-friendly gardening tips to refreshing your garden tools, furniture, accessories and outbuildings without the need to buy mass-manufactured goods or use harmful chemical treatments.
The benefits of a membership in a CSA and how supporting local organic farming is not only good for you but good for the Earth as well.
As demand for air conditioning continues to increase, discover how to reduce the impact it has on the environment.
This article explores the nature of the staycation, if it is indeed a greener option and ways to vacation in a more eco-friendly manner.
Those of retirement age can reduce their carbon footprints by moving into a smaller, cozier mobile home.
Moving is stressful, but it's not an excuse to forget your carbon footprint. Here are some ways to make your move as eco-friendly as possible.
Explore ways to reduce both your direct and indirect water footprint. Reducing your water footprint could make a huge different to both the environment and finances.
Bleached, colored, preserved and flavored, white bread is practically devoid of nutrition.
Support your local food systems while getting the most from your home garden.
Help us learn more about the imported brown marmorated stink bug by taking this survey.
Learn how to roast nuts, and you’ll improve nearly every recipe that calls for nuts. Luckily, roasting nuts is easy and may boost their antioxidant levels. You can make these with or without oil, salt and honey.
Dairyman Nick Snelgar reflects on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health certification process and bagging hay for winter on his UK dairy farm.
If you want a live Christmas tree, plan ahead and take steps to help it prosper after the holiday season.
These online tools can help you find the best sources for local food, including local farmers markets and community-supported agriculture programs.
Learn a few tips for efficiency from seasoned CSA Farmers: La Vista CSA Farm.
What exactly is water kefir soda? Well, I describe it as pop that makes you forgo buying cans from the store, all while making your tummy happy. The experts call it a “probiotic beverage made with kefir grains that consist of bacteria and yeast existing in a symbiotic relationship.”
With the U.S. importing 91 percent of its food, many crucial details of what we're consuming can be hard to trace: how our seafood is caught or produced, health codes across borders, and how the ecosystems are being affected. But does that matter?
How does one eat more of the right types of seafood to reap all the health benefits without going bald? Choose local!
Your deck or other outdoor structures may be made of wood treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). Learn more about CCA-treated wood and how to dispose of it.
The story of two ladies and their small CSA in the Rocky Mountains.
Resist popping tabs this season and get familiar with the ultimate cola cure: soda syrups made from fresh fruits and herbs.
A step-by-step guide, and benefits to growing sprouted grain fodder for your livestock as a natural alternative to commercial feed or as a pasture supplement.
Five people and two U.S. honey processors were charged with ‘honey laundering’. Investigators found illegally imported honey from China.
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.
FairShare CSA Coalition partners with health insurance groups to offer a rebate for selecting fresh, organic, local produce.
The devil is in the details in a net zero energy home. Every single step in the design and construction of a home requires efforts to ensure airtightness. The top of the foundation is one detail that deserves special attention.
Why we adopt rescue dogs.
How we deal with unexpected incidents.
A great way to get more enjoyment in the garden and less work, is to try the ancient concept of a garden Sabbath. That's one day a week where gardening isn't allowed, but communing with nature is.
To ensure an airtight design, be sure to level and finish the top of the concrete wall and use sill seal below your bottom plates.
Once the ICFs are in place and the walls are very well reinforced, it is time to pour concrete. This blog illustrates the process in words and photos.
This blog describes some of the details involved in building with insulating concrete forms, notably window and door buck details that you need to take into account
A Louisiana State University forestry researcher is looking at a fast-growing plant called switchgrass as a potential biofuel feedstock. Using switchgrass biofuel is practical because the plant requires little fertilizer and can tolerate drought and floods.
Additional reinforcement is required around the garage door opening.
Scaffolding is required to access the walls to pour the concrete. Scaffolding also helps support the walls.
Press Release about UNEP/GEF en.lighten initiative’s Toolkit, “Achieving the Transition to Energy Efficient Lighting.”
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
Collins hails milestone of the company becoming employee owned.
If you would like to be represented by more elected officials who support environmental safeguards for our air, water, and land, take a look at these resources, including the League of Conservation Voters' National Environmental Scorecard.
Fermentation expert Sandor Katz (aka SandorKraut) gives a cultural and historical introduction to fermentation practices, including the nutritional benefits of homemade sauerkraut and other fermented foods.
Consumer Reports has stated that it recently found arsenic in food, The United States' rice supply is contaminated with this "group 1" carcinogenic.
In this posting we discuss why the Arctic sea ice is melting at a record rate. We also discuss how global warming is triggering this sea ice melt and the potential consequences to the Arctic.
Describes the process of forming a community garden from the physical and energetic standpoints. The power of teamwork, the joy of accomplishment and the building of a feeling of group unity are described.
Sandy Boyce's sauerkraut was a hit, selling out each week, until her county health department asked her to stop. Across the nation, regulations can prevent small-time home producers from distributing their 'cottage foods' to the public.
Lacto-fermented swiss chard ribs and how to can them right along with foraging for wild mushrooms and a butternut squash update. Discovery Expedition vented fedora hat makes gardening cooler when the sun is blazing down.
Use your abundance of basil to handcraft this delightfully different custard-style ice cream.
A brief description of Manuel and Mary Ann's straw bale home and its efficiency.
How to make your OWN insulated window coverings.
Many people waste too much time each trying to get motivated to work. As a result, they get a lot less done than they need to or would like to. In this blog, I show a way that has helped me for many years get motivated to work and stay on task.
How we expect the unexpected and turn blow down trees into lumber.
How to make insulated shades at home.
Goat School is over for a few months, and now the routine will be a little more normal! Great questions were asked at Goat School and some of those answers are shared.
Getting started each day presents a major challenge to many people. With so many pressing demands, it's often difficult to know where to start. Feeling overwhelmed and panicked, you may end up frittering away your time. He's a trick to get you going.
A beginning farmer makes the most practical fencing choice available to her: electric nets. And gets tangled up, occasionally.
Robert Maxwell discusses why he chose self-directed education over formal college, and how this option might work for others, too.
This crustless quiche is easy to make, and the flavor of the roasted tomatoes permeates every delicious bite.
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.
Our take on the positive and negative points of insulated concrete forms.
Whether or not it was devised by clever Mexican potato growers, the cheap, easy to build, and space-saving potato tower is a unique alternative to rows, barrels, and other methods for planting, growing, and bringing in your season's spuds.
Being a father myself I really want my children to enjoy my passion and this is a great example of teaching children how to appreciate what bees get up to. With a little patience this is a fantastic family beekeeping activity enjoyed by all.
The Living Seed Company is working to preserve genetic diversity in our food chain, through the distribution and growing of open pollinated seeds and preserving the ancient art of seed saving.
The unintended death of a charming little creature raises the realities of life on a farm homestead.
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.
How we had to adjust to a smaller home, the isolation and quiet.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
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.
On my kitchen counter sits a quart of milk that my kefir grains live in. In a couple of days that milk will turn into the nutritious kefir.
The author discusses setting up small-scale dairy for local, doorstep milk sales in Great Britain.
Ordering bees in January doesn't seem to make sense, until you understand that April is the cruelest month. Plus, if you order bees in January, and then you don't need them - that's just a reason to celebrate! Order early!
A Christmas Wish for all, inspired by the magic of the honey bee.
Life really is good when you live on a dirt road.
Donna Pellegrin shares her mother's stories of growing up on a fertile, bountiful farm during the Great Depression, and of the homesteading skills that kept them well fed.
How potentially dangerous chemicals are tested and are they really that safe for humans or not.
For those of us who hate to use chemicals in our gardens, in our homes, or with our livestock and pets, diatomaceous earth may be a safe and efficient substitute. It may worm your animals, rid them of fleas and lice and even handle indoor pests.
No one will miss the meat when you serve up fabulous vegetarian versions of Thanksgiving favorites. Try two versions of mushroom stuffing, mushroom gravy or delicious roasted Brussels sprouts this holiday!
In more shocking news about the honey on U.S. store shelves, a Food Safety News study analyzes more than 60 jars of honey and finds that nearly all of them have been ultra-filtered to disguise their potentially tainted and toxic origins.
A TED talk by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees: Making the Connection: Honeybees, Food, and You.
This post offers tips for winterizing a top bar hive - insulating, mouse guards, wrapping, closing entrances, protecting from wind. All things you can do to help get them through!
This blog post by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees describes some techniques for getting bees to draw straight comb in a top bar hive.
Locally grown, homemade, grass-fed, free-range and downright delicious food invades the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.
Sales for Simple Pump, a hand-operated well pump, have tripled compared to the same time last year, as word about its versatility, reliability and durability have spread.
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.
A flea market basket that called to me, my grandmother's hand-embroidered linens and a quilt made by a circle of women in Minnesota are among the wabi-sabi items that I wouldn't want to be without.
In the first study of its kind, Duke University researchers found multiple toxic chemical flame retardants in car seats, breast-feeding pillows, changing pads, crib wedges and bassinet mattresses. Ask about flammability standards before you buy.
The original weeHouse prefabricated kit house is 435 efficiently designed square feet and comes with everything you need to live well. Need more space? You can snap together two or more of the modules to satisfy your needs.
Creamy, delicious Parsnip Flan with Roasted Beets takes advantage of the last of the stored winter vegetables. Pair it with fresh spring greens for a wonderful spring meal.
The Reincarnated McMansion Project aims to tear down one inefficient, climate-insensitive suburban house and replace it with two small, green, handcrafted homes.
For the first time since the U.S. Energy Information Administration began collecting data on greenhouse gas emissions in 1990, the United States saw a record-setting 5.8 percent decline.
Willis Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, gets new windows that could generate up to 2 megawatts of solar power.
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.
While federal regulators fiddle, Wal-Mart bans controversial flame retardants from its shelves. Will more retailers follow suit?
Location near public transporation and walkability are as important as green materials and design in creating a green home, study finds.
Planting heirloom, non-genetically modified seeds is a great way to help preserve endangered plant varieties--and the planet's very ecosystem.
How using a refractometer can increase your honey production, how a refractometer works and how to use a refractometer.
One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.
Pass the cold, wintry months with warm thoughts of how you can eat more local food while supporting sustainable agriculture this coming season.
Grit magazine is offering a Belted Galloway heifer as a prize in a giveaway.
A BIG issue in everyone’s lives today is increasing fuel costs. The seriousness and scope of our energy problems calls for an all-out effort for sustainable solutions, starting as soon as possible.
A traditional fall recipe for the Japanese version of sauerkraut.
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.
The earthbag/geotextile basement wall system described here has excellent potential to save on initial construction costs and long-term energy costs. No concrete is used. The same principles have been used to build retaining walls for decades.
GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan checks in on U.S. Belted Galloway Society and its Belted Galloway heifer contest at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Penn.
Hand crafted from recycled materials, each item one of a kind.
A front-mounted snowblower with a 72-inch cutting width is now available for Bobcat compact tractors. The new snowblower joins front-mounted models with 49- and 62-inch cutting widths introduced last year.
The Niagara Conservation Corporation has developed a new pressure-assisted toilet, the Stealth, which uses even less water than your standard pressure-assisted toilet.
Consider grafting your favorite tomato varieties onto disease-resistant rootstock to foil soilborne diseases.
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.
Dan Chiras announces that five of The Evergreen Institute's workshops currently qualify as continuing education credits for LEED Accredited Professionals.
In an effort to influence the world's decision makers, the United Nations has declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. The Convention on Biological Diversity is heading the campaign, which will consist of events held all over the world throughout the next year.
The Environmental Protection Agency releases a list of the top green power purchasers in the United States.
Round two of three international conferences to determine new emissions standards for the next Kyoto Protocol meets this week and next week in Poznan, Poland.
Roasting is the best way to cook winter root vegetables, because dry heat coaxes out and concentrates flavors. Use this simple method and fool-proof tips to bring out the best in parsnips, carrots, rutabagas and other root vegetables.
This photographic illustration shows how permanent gardens beds are beneficial, and prevent soil compaction.
A Nature Conservancy director discusses the most endangered animal in the United States. The good news is this critter is on the rebound.
Ever wondered what the difference is between a national park, a wilderness area, a national wildlife refuge, or other protected federal land? Here are the major differences in how these different natural areas are used and managed.