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.
Our efforts to improve energy efficiency in the United States might be faltering.
Simple living expert Wanda Urbanska at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
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.
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.
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.
Using natural products, such as grass clippings and homemade organic fertilizer, can turn the worst clay soil into an acceptable growing medium.
Creating new no-dig garden beds is easier and quicker with raised-bed stakes and two-by-six lumber.
This historical neighborhood, with a strong sense of community, offers the feeling of small-town living.
Bounty is in the eye of the beholder — whether it be a bowl of perfect berries or millions of maple seeds.
Moving to an urban homestead is a challenge, but the boxes are getting unpacked and the birds are at the feeders.
All of the work of readying the garden and waiting for it to produce is worth the wait once the harvest begins.
Keeping a garden journal helps you know which varieties you grew were successful, which were not and how much you harvested from each.
The garden is growing better than I could have expected in the raised beds at my "new" urban homestead.
Making the move to a historical neighborhood will offer an opportunity to develop community ties and try some new gardening techniques.
All the hard work of planting, weeding and watering comes to fruition in a bowl of berries and a plate of golden potatoes.
Planning a party? Let wabi-sabi’s influence lead to a casual, comfortable gathering.
Set up camp in a parking space, feed the meter, and create a mini-park on PARK(ing) Day this Sept. 20.
Deciding on urban beekeeping may just mean hosting a hive - some of the honey and none of the work!
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.
Interested in seed saving but worried about mistakes? Have questions about seed saving? Here’s the chance to give your input in a new seed saving class!
June is a beautiful and bountiful time in the garden. It is also not too late to put in a garden! With a few tips, you can get the best harvest ever.
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!
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.
Readers share tips and recipes for cheaper, easier and healthier home cooking.
While summer's still lingering, tasks of fall have begun.
It’s time to start garden planning for spring 2015! An uncomplicated way of collecting and organizing your information during those long winter days is to get some index cards, scissors and tape. Cut out the plant varieties from catalogues that you find interesting, with the pertinent information tape this information to the index card to take along to the nursery come spring.
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.
It may not be Spring, but spring fever is in the air along with the need to dig in the dirt, plant seeds and eat fresh vegetables.
Wherever you live, you can practice sustainability and share your successes with your neighbors.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence reviews the latest proposals banning urban chicken farming.
The Self Sufficient-ish Bible and accompanying Web site offer some universal tips for urban self-sufficiency.
Can’t have a garden of your own, but you want to garden? Urban Garden Share allows you to do exactly that!
You can get more for your gardening money with a group seed starting effort.
For a natural looking wood finish, use a mixture of linseed oil and turpentine.
Photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand captures a verdant mangrove swamp shaped in a perfect heart — just in time for Valentine's Day.
A transplanted Choctaw and Southerner, a grandmother shows her strength and creativity during the Industrial Revolution and shows how one can face and adapt to life’s challenges.
The book Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A Do-It-Ourselves Guide is a collection of skills, tools, and technologies usable by urban residents wanting to have more local access and control over life's essential resources.
Urban Agriculture activists and advocates work to change the zoning laws in Chicago to be more friendly to urban agriculture.
It's fall, time for fall garden clean up and planting garlic for next summer's harvest.
Urban community green spaces are an essential component of our built environment. Their significance is becoming more and more apparent to city planners and urban residences all over the United States.
The healing power of plants can remediate years of soil and water pollution, and create unexpected islands of beauty.
Recently a trend in farming called hydroponics has resurfaced and gained national attention that has grown in popularity with some, but has left others with mixed feelings.
The growing bike boom may be more than just a fad. It may be a full-blown movement toward a more sustainable mode of transportation.
Amid mounting concerns over food security and sustainable food systems, the rise of urban gardens and agriculture has been on the rise. Due to a paralleled increase in the numbers of people interested in learning how to garden, programs in urban agriculture at colleges as well as nonprofit urban garden training programs have sprouted up across the country.
Don't let your wanderlust for more space hold you back from creating your homestead in the city.
Planting flowers and vegetables that are attractive to honeybees will help to bring these garden pollinators into your yard.
Coffee bean chaff — the light, airy husks blown off the beans during roasting, can be used as chicken coop litter, mulch and compost. Chaff can usually be found for free at local roasteries.
“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.
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.
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.
A well-thought-out garden design will make your work enjoyable and manageable and will encourage the gardener's presence and attention.
With the fence in (just barely), this rainy Wednesday looks just perfect for planting.
Chives and mint come to a duel for territory in the herb garden, while the spring sap-sucker marks time.
With the Drought Pod, the organic mass is inside the pod where it never dries out and by planting the tomatoes, or any vegetable directly beside the barrel, the plant roots can tap into the nutrients and moisture as they so choose.
Twin Oaks Seed Farm’s focus has been producing seeds on contract for a handful of small seed companies. The author discusses involvement in starting a new cooperative retail seed project, Common Wealth Seed Growers.
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.
April's tips for controlling weeds and fertilizing your garden.
The garden is 58 by 112 feet and it's planted!
Peppers and tomatoes are some of the easier plants to save seed from. This post covers isolation distance and introduces basic seed saving techniques.
Tips for keeping your tomato plants healthy.
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.
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.
Tips for keeping your summer garden producing at top output. This is the time of year that warm season crops are at their peak. These 7 tips will give you continued bountiful harvests through the heat.
Fall is the time to plant garlic. The cloves send down roots during the winter, popping their green heads out in early spring.
End of summer is a great time to tidy garden beds and harvest herbs. Now is the time to plant your fall, winter and overwintering transplants.
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.
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.
It’s absolutely possible to be gardening in winter. You simply need to understand what to plant, when to plant it and how to maintain the best possible growing conditions in your home for indoor agriculture.
The YardMap Network is a citizen science project designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat, for both people concerned with their local environments and professional scientists. The program is housed at the Lab of Ornithology, in Ithaca, New York. We collect data by asking individuals across the country to draw maps of their backyards, parks, farms, favorite birding locations, schools, and gardens.
Not being a fan of frozen or canned carrots, I began to wonder how to store carrots under straw for winter to enjoy organic carrots throughout the winter. Living in Central Oregon where beach sand is not at the hand, I gathered garden straw from a local farmer. It is important that you know that straw for the garden has not come from crops treated with herbicides to control broad-leafed weeds.
Clean and organize garden tools.
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.
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.
Try using the Grow Planner app to streamline your garden planning and your garden work.
Strategies for controlling voles in the potatoes in your garden.
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!
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel shares the basics of landscape design.
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.
Using 16-foot livestock panels in many ways on your homestead.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares how to install drip irrigation in your home garden.
Bee populations in urban settings are increasing, but urban settings aren’t set up to provide lots of forage for honey bees... or are they?
FamilyFarmed.org Good Food Festival & Conference partner Vicki Nowicki shares her experience living, learning, and teaching on her suburban permaculture homestead.
Bee populations in cities are increasing, but urban settings aren't set up to provide lots of forage for honey bees...or are they?
Pigs can be a great source of healthy and humanely-raised meat in an urban setting thriving on the leftovers of humanity.
Using rabbit hypnosis and a pair of wire cutters we successfully perform dental surgery on one of our does.
If you go shopping for an electric bike, you’ll find a wide range of prices and brands. Discover how to determine the best electric bicycle brands for your lifestyle.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares how she built a cheap greenhouse out of mostly scavenged materials - and how you can, too.
Keeping bees with neighbors in the city or the burbs.
It takes a village to build a backyard chicken coop.
Look for local foods, such as fresh peaches, from your local farmers' market to make delightful summer desserts such as peaches and cream.
Productive urban landscapes, if managed correctly, can reduce pollution in local watershed.
How living more sustainably can save you in an emergency.
One way to get a jumpstart on the growing season is to start growing your seeds indoors. For most of you it’s still cold outside. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a headstart on getting your garden started for the new year.
Julie Lavigne relates her grandparent’s home in the city, a modern homestead for their time, and proves you can live a self-sufficient lifestyle in an urban setting.
I asked Heather, the Marketing and Customer Service Specialist over at Thrive, a few questions and here’s what she said about mycorrhizal fungi.
Carmen Ortiz shares stories of visiting grandpa on his urban farm where she learned to milk cows, avoided the outhouse and gained an appreciation for gardening.
Lyanda Haupt talks about the challenges and rewards of protecting her chickens and garden from local wildlife.
Finding wild morel mushrooms growing in our urban backyard means plenty of marvelous meals.
The success of Urban Gardens is a story about an expansion of one’s reach outside of one given discipline.
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
The documentary Urban Roots takes a look at how city farming is transforming the city's vacant lots into community gardens, ultimately changing the community as a whole in the process.
Kansas City has a thriving city farming scene, and recently hosted an urban farms tour to showcase several of the city’s market and community gardens. One of our editors pedaled along with a bike tour group to see what the city farmers have to offer.
St. Paul, Minnesota, not only allows front yard gardens and promotes growing vegetables in containers, but encourages residents to beautify the boulevard with plants, including edibles.
Growing potatoes in containers allows you to increase your yield in a small amount of space.
If you have ever thought about beekeeping photography then this article is perfect. Geoff Fitzgerald talks about his motivation for the topic and what got him started on the rooftops of Brooklyn. There are also some fantastic urban beekeeping photos.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has started a global campaign to help reduce food waste worldwide.
This post outlines the basics of garden planning to save seeds from cucumbers, melons, squash and gourds.
Discover how to grow various members of the onion family: bulb onions and scallions, leeks, garlic, ramps, shallots, and chives. Each one has different requirements and habits, yet all are rewarding for organic gardeners.
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...
Clean up your garden now and plant cover crops that will protect your garden soil through the winter and provide compost and mulch material for next year.
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!
You can be harvesting from your garden all year long, including through the winter months! It's time to plant the fall garden.
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.
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.
How our community has planned ahead for wildfire contingencies.
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.
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.
One homesteading couple navigates the final series of meetings with the county planning department and county commission in order to finalize their land survey plat approval.
Suburban life has always been synonymous with long hours in the car. That’s changing now. Arlington, Virginia, shows how feet on the street helps a community thrive. Learn about how Arlington is promoting walking through city initiatives as well as 10 more cities that are striving to make their communities more walkable.
Rabbits are an ideal source of high quality meat for urban homesteaders.
On-going series on my family's efforts to raise urban chickens in our Minneapolis backyard.
Ziggy Liloia examines two poignant books, Paradise Lot and Gaia’s Garden that turn the idea of needing lots of space to grow ample food on its head.
Here are six of my favorite ideas for those of you with small spaces and still want to get your garden on.
The Oakland, California-based urban farming company manufactures grow-your-own oyster mushroom kits with soil made from recycled coffee grounds.
After a completely miserable potato harvest this year we’ve decided to pull them out of the ground and do them in boxes made out of pallets. That way we can use weedblock under them to eliminate the whole bindweed issue. So today, the boxes went up.
A beginning farmer starts to realize that first impressions of the farm will make all the difference.
Columnist Ann Fisher writes about the unfair animal ordinances in Worthington, Ohio, which may surprise chicken owners.
Check out the installation process of an urban beehive.
A beginning farmer loses a friend and finds that solitary farming isn't all it's cracked up to be.
The Spirit of Hope garden in Detriot offers a safe, nurtuting place for plants and children to grow.
A beginning farmer enjoys the work she has to do by hand. But would still like a tractor.
As you can guess from their name, cabbage worms primarily attack plants in the cabbage family, but are not exclusively cabbage feeders.
China’s largest green burial ceremony is part of the growing trend of eco-funerals in a country that is trying to conserve land.
Dealing with insects in your garden is inevitable. It’s just a matter of when it happens. Just because you have some critters munching on your food doesn’t mean that you have to break out the chemicals.
A new farmer builds a great sheep shelter out of free stuff and learns where not to put it.
Having little space is not a reason to not be growing your own food. It's just an excuse. I've been apartment gardening since 2009.
When you grow your own food, you not take a step towards self-sufficiency. You also make a move towards better health and whole new relationship with your food.
You want to start your urban garden from seed this year, but you're not sure where to start because you’ve only started from transplants.
Regardless of how little space you have, you can grow some of your own food. Space is just an excuse. By building a self-watering container or soda bottle planter you can maximize the space that you have. You don't have to have a huge garden - growi
Lay Htoo, a Burmese refugee, has been enrolled in the Farm Business Development Program at Cultivate Kansas City and is setting out to start her own urban farm.
A new course, Radical Urban Sustainability Training, teaches city- and suburban-dwellers the skills they need to develop a self-reliant and sustainable lifestyle.
“You don't have to move to live in a better neighborhood.” Half of all Americans live in suburbia. It’s true that suburbia is on the receiving end of a lot of social, economic and environmental criticism with much of that criticism well deserved. While some of these criticisms may be justified, at the same time, suburbia offers enormous potential to become a critical new frontier for deep changes in our culture and economy through principles of suburban permaculture.
Tanya Fields, named the Eco-Warrior of the Food System, discusses how she came to be an urban farming and food sovereignty activist working to empower women and change the food landscape in the underserved neighborhoods of New York City.
None of these items' primary use is for gardening or livestock keeping but here we are using them all the time. So here's my list of items that you should keep around if you are an avid gardener or own livestock.
Skip the packaging and synthetic chemicals and learn how to make your own, cold-processed shampoo bars.
A few thoughts about the activities here in southwest Missouri this spring, including plans for a garden, thinning and pruning trees, and salvaging urban logs
Jerry is no ordinary guy. Don’t be fooled by his rather gruff exterior. Laughing eyes, and a twitch at the corner of his mouth, quickly verify that humor lies within! This wild man in the suburbs has some interesting hobbies which keep him well fed!
You can easily make homemade mozzarella in 30 minutes or less!
A beginning farmer realizes that time may be the farm's most important commodity.
Shifting our built environments from the current linear blocks of car-centric urban sprawl to more integrated human-scale and life-sustaining organisms is not much different in principle than turning a concrete yard into a permaculture plot. We have to think in terms of arrangement of vital nodes, distance between interdependent threads, paths of least resistance, utilizing existing natural conditions, and maximizing water, energy and food sources.
Grow Where You Are is a social enterprise focusing on assisting communities in creating local food abundance systems. After creating small-scale urban food systems nationally and internationally for over 15 years, we see that even the most effective systems can be easily dismantled without land security. We propose supporting local growers in a transition to home ownership with a dynamic web of community partnership.
As one couple plans their homestead-to-be, they spend time learning the lay of their land. One happy fringe benefit: They used this time as an excuse to go morel mushroom hunting. The results of their efforts were delicious.
Urban food forests and public gardens provide communities with an edible landscape for everyone to share. These public fruit forests are the new trend in urban agriculture and play an important role as sustainable local food systems in their communities.
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.
An experiment in urban gardening produces a melon miracle.
HOMEGROWN blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel outlines strategies for responsible drought gardening in her home state of California--or anywhere.
A post by Maria Rodale called A Harvest of Healing got me thinking about how gardening and growing your own food is much more than what you harvest.
When you ask people if they want chemicals in their garden or on their food, most will say no. They want to limit their exposure to the chemicals and pollutants.
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.
In the United States, we are feeling the effects of the rising food prices as well. When you take a deeper look into the prices, it’s not the food that is causing the price to rise. It’s everything else that goes into getting the food to your plate t
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.
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.
A beginner farmer learns about taking on the responsibility of raising animals.
Parents will often say that they don't have time to grow their own food because they have kids. Don't let kids be the excuse. Instead make them part of the experience too. It's what families have done since the beginning of time. The past 100 yea
While there are many events that have lead us to where we are today in terms of food, there are some things/events that stand out the most in my mind. Growing your own food is one way to reverse the trend.
When people ask why they should grow their own food, the answer that I give is often simple. I tell them, "It's because we are humans."
Take these into consideration the next time you are making your food purchases.
Organic is a phrase that’s tossed around and abused a lot by marketers these days. Not all “organic” products should be treated equally.
What if I told you that you could grow 50 plants in 4 square feet?
A nine-to-fiver turns a corner and leaves behind a twenty-year career to grow food amongst housing developments and strip malls.
We are taught when we are kids not to waste food, but it doesn’t seem as if that lessen has stuck with us.
Whether you are new to gardening or experienced, you will make some mistakes. Get over it and learn from it. That’s the most important thing.
Some people use gardening as an escape from the trials and tribulations of the real world. It’s their time to get their hands dirty, connect with the earth and just be in their garden.
A beginning urban farmer grows nothing without a smartphone.
I say compost, you think of rotting food, dirt, flies and a horrible smell. For that reason most people wont' even consider composting at home.
When you say “organic” most people think of elitists that are buying over priced food because they think that they are better than others. What does the “organic” really mean though?
If you are new to growing your own food in containers, these are some simple tips that should help you to get a better yield and results from your containers.
The Front Yard Coop Supplies Innovative and Elegant Chicken Coops to Meet Rapidly Growing Interest in Raising Hens.
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.
Containers are great for those that are gardening in small spaces. Though there is the fear of not knowing when or how often to water them. This is why I started to make my own self-watering containers.
I am the Flock-Tender here on HOMEGROWN.org. I am keeping a chronicle of my experiences learning, living, and growing a homegrown lifestyle fresh out of college. Am I doing this life right?
It’s the middle of summer and you are likely enjoying the harvests. There is` so much to do with all that fresh and flavorful produce, but what should you do?
Garlic is resilient, easy-to-grow, highly nutritious, and a natural antibiotic.
Rachel and her husband committed to a year without groceries, and they made it! She shares her experiences in local food in this post.
Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc.
How to choose an apple tree to fit your space and needs.
Over the past 15 years the noise level in cities has increased sixfold; urban noise doubles every eight to ten years. Even in the country, we can't escape the sound of airplanes and engines. What can you do?
OK, you’ve got a start: where to get equipment, groups to join, classes to take, and mentors to hook up with. Now’s the time, before you have bees, to take a long hard look at some of the rest of the things you need to be thinking about.
Introducing the serviceberry, a beautiful landscape tree or shrub suitable in much of North America, to the edible landscape. Serviceberry -- or sarvis -- comes in many regional forms and produces edible berries.
Learn about the advantages of urban farming from those who are leading the way. The benefits include improved food production, increased revenue sources and reduced energy use.
Kansas City's 18Broadway project is a superb example of how to capture and store rainwater to grow food in the heart of downtown.
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...
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.
Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.