The Happy Homesteader blog
Where we find a wealth of information for projects and enjoyable reading.
Since her first house move, MOTHER EARTH NEWS blogger Cathie Ackroyd, has become so very conscious of the impact we humans have had and are having on our planet’s environment and hoped to find a place to settle that would allow us to gain an element of self-sufficiency in a relatively car-free community.
While many of those visiting our Hostel are farmers and homesteaders themselves, some come from that “city culture” and seem to take their first hesitant steps outside of a flatly paved driveway when they arrive at our place. Wide eyes, a sense of adventure.
Making cheese was nothing like I expected, but in the end, I was successful.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
Many years ago, years before I moved to the country, I was what would be considered "a prepper." I saw disaster every time I turned on the TV, or read the news on the internet, or visited forums that talked about stockpiling beans and bullets. I panicked, thinking I could never have enough control for the sake of my family, never be "prepped" enough.
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.
So, I just read an article in the Washington Post that said the Internet is now home to some 15 million blogs and that most bloggers consider this medium a form of therapy. And as I’ve been agonizing of late about so many things (my inability to get around to writing blog entries being one of them…), I figured I’d just join the crowd on the cybercouch.
It's time for our third annual call for nominations for outstanding modern homesteaders! Organic gardeners, do-it-yourselfers and general self-sufficient gurus are being sought for the opportunity to be named as one of our 2014 Homesteaders of the Year.
Do you find yourself spelling out words to others, such as when you are spelling out your last name? Try out our Homesteading Alphabet to keep your listeners on their toes and your homesteader lifestyle a part of your daily routine in a whole new way.
The Homestead Act of 1862 celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. The Homestead National Monument is hosting several activities to recognize this historical event that resulted in millions of self-sufficient homesteaders receiving free land. Learn more and participate!
Cam describes the benefits of writing this blog and his recent book.
Winter wasn't very hard this year, well at least so far, and even if it gets more normal winter like, there's not much time left. Our bees have done well, and it looks like it might be a great summer ahead.
Do you know any modern homesteaders living a self-sufficient lifestyle? We want to know about them! Nominate a family, someone you know or even yourself to become one of our Homesteaders of the Year in 2012.
We are collecting stories from our readers -- their older neighbors or relatives, too -- about self-sufficient homesteading and farming in the early 20th century. Read what we've found, and share your own story from yesteryear for modern homesteaders.
Pick something new to learn this year from Granny Miller’s list of 101 basic homesteading skills.
For the third year in a row, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is participating in Blog Action Day, and suggesting some helpful articles on climate change.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking nominations of self-sufficient modern homesteaders for our 2013 Homesteaders of the Year awards.
Recipes for satisfying gluten-free breakfasts.
Fall may be turning to winter, but there’s still time to enjoy those last sunny days before the harsh chill settles in.
This year's Blog Action Day topic is water, and thousands of bloggers around the world are joining together to provide valuable information, increase awareness and help readers learn more about the state of water, why they should care, and what they can do to help.
Getting prepared for cold weather is quite an undertaking with daylight growing shorter and shorter. Adding to your herd and selling goats takes a lot of planning.
Ben Davis, of Ben Does Life, has a truly inspirng weight loss story, but it's how message about how to be happy that is most motivational.
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.
Launching Anna's new E book on cover crops in a no till garden and talking about the recent power failure that prompted us to do some Off Grid Homesteading which taught us a few lessons on using golf cart batteries for supplemental lighting.
Are you a modern homesteader with pioneering women in your lineage? My great grandmothers were all pioneers, but our lives could not be more different.
In the final chapter of this five-part series, Lyn Fenwick finds the country cemetery that Isaac was burried in and pays her respects to the author of a treasured family heirloom, a 19th century homesteaders journal.
Clipping the wing of a troublesome hen and tasting the first Chicago hardy figs was really great, but what was even more fantastic was seeing Anna's new book arrive and how beautiful it looks.
Victoria Gazely considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin on 7 acres of fertile earth--purchased for $150--a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
Top bar hive modifications, turkey traps, and gourmet potatoes are just a few of the topics covered in the past week of blogging we've been up to. Homesteading healthcare and a new virtual book club round off the week with several reader comments.
The Classy Coop Giveaway grand prize was given a good home with our contest winner and her backyard chickens. We were happy to see this mobile chicken coop is already being broken in. Bring on the eggs!
Does the huge task of cleaning windows leave you feeling overwhelmed? Follow these six simple steps--using inexpensive materials you already have around the house--to get your windows sparkling and streak-free.
Many of us suffer from low self-esteem. Negative self-images plague our lives, robbing us of happiness. Here's an exercise that can help you rid your self of those thoughts that prevent you from seeing who you really are.
Experts say that that bathroom and kitchen remodels--once a sure-fire way to move a home for sale--aren't necessarily the ticket anymore. Creating a house that feels homey and welcoming is most important.
To freshen up your home without a major remodel, clean up and invest in lower-cost fixes such as paint, hardware and window coverings.
We use more water than we need in our homes every day. If you’re curious to know how much water your own home might be wasting, check out this infographic on U.S. residential water consumption from eLocal.com.
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.
In this Wind Energy Blog, we talk with a representative from The Nature Conservancy to learn more about the environmental impacts of wind energy. Despite the many concerns about the impacts these wind farms can have on wildlife, there are no current regulations that wind farm developers must follow before building their wind farms.
LIfe is full of adversity. Whether you succumb to it or bounce back is up to you. Knowing that no matter what life throws your way you will emerge stronger will help you become more resilient and stronger and will help you create a happier life
Life presents many challenges, but if you consciously choose to be strong and resilient you can recover more quickly and grow even stronger. Your experiences will make you better able to cope and will help you live a happier, more productive life.
Adversity is a part of life. Enbrace the hard times. Sometimes, adversity can lead to new opportunities that allow us to pursue new paths, sometimes even re-invent our lives. Knowing something good may arise can help us cope with adversity, too.
Sensor Plug update along with a report on Sunflowers being used as a cover crop and when to properly harvest onions.
Talking about the new Chocolate Turkeys we saw on Saturday and how to properly plant into a kill mulch without doing much damage to the killing.
Many criticize eliminating coal mining in West Virginia because of the amount of jobs the sector provides. A wind farm, however, would employ over 200 local residents during the two-year construction phase, and create 40-50 permanent maintenance jobs afterward. A wind farm would also allow the mountain to be used for other purposes, like sustainable forestry, mountain harvesting, and gathering of wild forest plants, creating additional jobs and the opportunity for stable income for locals.
The past year was a rewarding one for apple discovery, because I potentially found the apple that started my apple search about sixteen years ago — the ‘Harper’s Seedling’ apple.
To learn more about large wind energy degrees, Brittney Tyler-Milholland and Brenna Long talk with educators at Iowa Lakes Community College about the wind energy degree program in this Wind Energy blog. Iowa Lakes had the first wind energy program in Iowa.
If someone told you that you were losing money just by sitting in your home, you would probably want to do whatever you could to change that. Well the reality is that your home is using up energy regularly, and there is a huge chunk of that energy that you do not even need. Luckily, we live in a time when technology is constantly coming up with ways to fix problems such as these. Here are some of the ways that technology can help to save the environment, as well as your wallet.
How do you keep backyard chickens safe from poultry predators? With a bit of elbow grease and a few tips, your girls will be safe from sharp teeth.
A story of life, death and rebirth of a hoop house.
Outdoor kitchens, dining areas and living rooms are a great way to expand your home's living space. Designers offer advice on how to make the most of the great outdoors--in your own backyard.
With its newest offering, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company gives homebuyers the flexibility of a kit house with the fine craftsmanship they expect from the flagship small home builder.
As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above strategy to
expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Nov. 7, 2012, a lease for commercial wind energy development 11 nautical miles off the coast of Delaware.
Finally! Design experts and contractors say granite and marble have lost their luster. Find beautiful, natural alternatives to that and solutions to other common design mistakes, including dull color pallettes and overused water features.
A Nov. 5, 2012, press release from consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers
LLP warns current CO2 reductions put us on target for 6 degree average global
Jason Helvingston of Orlando, Fla., fights for his right to grow food in his front yard garden after the City of Orlando cited him for illegal gardening, pitting food self-sufficiency against city ordinance.
Des Moines, Iowa, gardeners may soon find themselves in hot water with their City. A local resident recently took front yard veggie growers to task for what the resident feels to be unsightly lawn growth. Beets and berries, it seems, do not have the same aesthetic appeal as a green, freshly-mowed front lawn.