Vermont Compost Company
How to define an egg shed? Let’s look at the definition of watershed to give the egg shed concept more shape. A watershed is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as: “The area of land where all of the water that is under it, or drains off of it, goes into the same place”. Based on the definition of a watershed, an egg shed could be defined as: the eggs produced within a certain distance that go to a specific place. That place could be your kitchen.
Vermont Peanut Butter has an excellent grass roots feel, a very colorful and fun look, in addition to a product that is probably found in 9 out of 10 homes.
Three easy ways to compost in small spaces and with little effort.
Simran Sethi learns how to compost the right way and explores her composting options.
Freezing compostable material creates five favorable conditions to speed the decomposition process along.
Learn more about making compost here.
These tips will help you keep your kitchen compost free of rotten smells and fruit flies.
The Aerobin 400 uses a patented aeration core inside an enclosed bin to promote aerobic break down of organic matter. The Aerobin 400 is easy to use - just open, drop in materials, and close.
Stan Slaughter discusses a method to produce vermicompost in large quantities yearround.
When Woods End Labs recently tested biodegradable plastics and found that most aren't compostable under home compost conditions, one reader (known as Eco-Oxo) wrote that Oxo biodegradable bags aren't designed to biodegrade under compost conditions. Woods End Labs is following up, taking the reader's suggestion and testing Oxo under the conditions Eco-Oxo recommends. This is Part 1 of the new test, where you can follow along and see how Oxo fares under different conditions.
Composting doesn't need to be complicated. It's time to throw out the guide book and start letting nature take its course. Meat? No problem. Bread? Don't worry about it. Human waste? Why not? It's easy!
Tips on how to construct a compost bin and what to include in them.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributing editor and compost expert Barbara Pleasant provides some great homestead compost tips in celebration of Compost Awareness Week.
What do you think of composting toilets and would you consider installing one?
Comstock, Ferre & Co has operated for almost 200 years and, with the help of new owner Jere Gettle, is undergoing a revival.
A new study has found that biodegradable plastic's rapid rate of decomposition could cause the release of methane, a greenhouse gas. The study's authors suggest that petroleum-based products might be preferable. We need better alternatives than that.
If you strive to grow a garden that is beyond-organic, that relies on very few (if any) off-site products, and that saves you both money and work...deep organic gardening is for you!
Two powerfully toxic herbicides, clopyralid and its close cousin, aminopyralid, persist in compost and endanger gardeners and the environment.
U.S. gardeners, organic farmers and commercial growers are reporting damaged or lost tomato crops from Milestone herbicide contamination.
Organic farming research has found that you can compost black walnut hulls successfully, despite the fact that they contain the toxic juglone compound.
The tale of my family’s barrel composter.
Human hair contains significant amounts of nitrogen and makes a great replacement for traditional fertilizers.
Choosing the business model for Bob-White Systems micro dairy.
Clearing overgrown land can be a daunting task. Choose the right tool for the job and it can be a breeze! Here are 5 of my favorites that make clearing overgrown land satisfying and fun!
The second post in a series of weekly postings about my visit to Cuba with a delegation of energy industry professionals, and a Cuban colleague’s visit to Vermont where I developed a similar tour. Along the way we learned about efficiency and renewables, and some striking contrasts between ourselves and our countries were revealed.
The first in a series of weekly postings about my visit to Cuba with a delegation of energy industry professionals, and a Cuban colleague’s visit to Vermont for a similar tour. Along the way we learned about efficiency and renewables, and some striking contrasts between ourselves and our countries were revealed.
Springtime means mud season in Vermont. And on a micro-dairy, it also means preparing the cows, fields and barn for the transition to warmer weather. Steve Judge offers tips to prepare for Spring on a micro-dairy in a two-part series.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has started a global campaign to help reduce food waste worldwide.
One reader from central Oregon shares her personal encounter with killer compost laced with aminopyralic, a toxic chemical herbicide, and the affects it has had on her small organic farm. Read about her experience, and find out what you can do to protect your own farm or garden.
This post will take a look at how we transplant vegetable seedlings in our certified organic greenhouses, especially tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.
Learning how to graft tomatoes yourself not only saves money but gives you unlimited options for what varieties you choose to graft. With a little practice, you can become skilled at this worthwhile technique.
Suggestions for what to have on hand - and handy - when you hear a storm is heading your way.
We've been warning you about aminopyralid-containing killer compost for quite some time. Now there's a new deadly herbicide on the market, Imprelis, and it's wreaking havoc in at least seven states.
This passive composting system creates beds of fertile soil through rotational composting.
Growing an organic garden with compost I made using natural material from our surroundings is to comply with nature's way of taking care of itself – it's to remain humble for a true and tried life cycle and acknowledge our inevitable part in and connection to life on earth.
Composting doesn't have to be tough! Learn to make easy compost without the stress.
With a little bit of planning and DIY know-how, it is possible to thumb your nose at old-man winter and enjoy biogas in subzero temperatures.
I ponder the benefits of, and experiment with, compost tea.
ClearSpan Fabric Structures, a division of ESAPCO, is proud to announce a new strategic partnership with Vermont’s AgriLab Technologies, a company specializing in heat capture and transfer from aerobic composting.
How to safely dispose of or make use of human waste is becoming a hot topic.
Although paper is a wood product, it's not always the best answer for mulch or compost.
Having problems with your compost? Unusual smells? Growing mushrooms? Here are tips to fix any issues you are having with your compost pile.
Responsible investment secures land for a young organic farmer in Minnesota.
Hmmm - not feeling so well. Was it those chicken wings?
Woodstove sweepstakes winner Ken Newman plans to use his new Vermont Bun Baker to heat both his home and his meals. The Bake, Crackle and Broil Giveaway, sponsored by MOTHER EARTH NEWS, awarded the $3,400 woodstove to Newman earlier this summer.
How a small and inexpensive High Temperature-Short Time pasteurizer could change the dairy industry.
Understanding and effectively executing a breeding program depends on understanding the calving cycle and when and how to dry a cow off in preparation of calving.
Cows, goats, sheep, water buffalo, camels and, even, horses have been successfully milked by hand for thousands of years. Though it's an age-old practice, milking a cow by hand is not as easy as it may first appear. It’s best to know what you are getting into before you take on this important farming task.
Cows love routine. The more things stay the same for cows, the safer and more secure they feel. Here is my abbreviated list of best practices for milking a cow, learned over many decades in the barn.
Cows are big, powerful animals, and milking puts you right beside the strong hind legs and feet. If you find yourself with what I call a kicky cow, there are steps you can take to manage the animal.
Your soil can be your best friend or your worst enemy as you prep your garden. Find out what you're up against with one of these three easy methods!
How does induction cooking work? What are the pros and cons? Efficient electric cooking or hidden health risk?
Kinetic log splitters have taken the log-splitter market by storm. But how much do you know about these lightning-fast, hyper-efficient machines? Check out these surprising facts about kinetic log splitters.
It's important to prepare your Micro Dairy or small farm for winter by making small improvements to your facilities. But it's also important to mentally prepare for the dark, cold months.
What do holidays, indoor air quality and global warming have in common?
A big benefit of running the private and FDA-certified Bob-White Systems Dairy Lab is that we get to see what works and what doesn't work to keep milk clean. “Clean," for our purposes, means that it passes Vermont's Tier II Raw Milk Standards, which happen to be some of the most stringent in the country — more stringent than federally regulated pasteurized milk standards. At the lab we perform FDA-certified testing to ensure raw milk producers are compliant with Vermont’s standards.
The Sustainable Herbs Project is a new project by the producers of the award-winning documentary, Numen: the Nature of Plants, the first feature-length film on the healing power of plants. We are creating an online interactive documentary following medicinal plants through the supply chain to launch a more educated and responsible consumer movement supporting high quality herbal remedies and sustainable and ethical sourcing.
The fourth in a series of postings about my visit to Cuba with a delegation of energy industry professionals, and a Cuban colleague’s visit to Vermont where I developed a similar tour. Along the way we learned about efficiency and renewables, and some striking contrasts between ourselves and our countries were revealed.
Visit Vermont with my Cuban friend Mario as we explore renewable energy, energy efficiency, cultural exchange, and lunch.
Energy Ambassadors: Travels to Cuba and Vermont.
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.
Describes a method of keeping red wiggler worms active and productive outside throughout the winter. Describes a method of sheltering and heating the worms using an active compost pile for heat and clear plastic glazing for shelter.
This blog post tells you how to set up a drip irrigation system in a raised bed garden.
Tips for determining when to prune and when to yank rosemary, lavender, sage and thyme.
This blog post takes a look at some of the methods we have developed over the last 25 years growing vegetable seedlings in our certified organic greenhouses. This time we take a look at the conditions required for healthy seedling growth.
This blog post shares some of the simple techniques learned through many years of experience by someone who grows vegetable seedlings for a living.
Life on a farm blanketed in snow.
This blog takes a look at the steps taken to propagate lavender by taking cuttings.
The level of interest in chicken ownership indicated among non-owners could potentially double ownership levels in the next 12 months.
The Living Seed Company is creating a platform to inspire gardeners and gardeners to be.
To learn more about large wind energy companies and wind power generation, Brittney Tyler-Milholland and Brenna Long talk with a representative from Horizon Wind Energy about the wind energy industry in this Wind Energy blog. With wind farms in 18 states, Horizon Wind Energy plays a role in the future of wind energy in the United States.
This blog post shares some of The Thyme Garden’s experience with growing hops for over 25 years. It includes history of hops, useful information about hops and how and where to grow them.
This article takes an insider’s look at how the seed business works, and what you can do to get the best-quality seeds.
About five years ago I started experimenting with biochar. I collected charcoal from my wood stove, crushed it in a tough plastic bag with the car and charged it by soaking it in compost tea.
Keep your garden safe by testing your organic materials for herbicide residue. A few simple tests can help you avoid harming your plants.
It's easy to overlook how useful grass clippings can be, but early fall is a great time to collect this valuable 'yard waste' to use in your garden as mulch.
It's freezing out - but that doesn't mean it's time to quit gardening. Learn how fall and winter are the key to next year's gardening success.
HOMEGROWN.org blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm says keeping animals in the garden improves her soil and fights weeds and pests.
Building a nutrient rich, low water, drought resistant vegetable growing system.
Use autumn's bounty of fallen leaves to expand your garden, protect your plants and improve your soil.
The Sun Mar composting toilet uses a first of its kind technology to deliver a pollution free and sanitary product.
Facts on the links between weather and pumpkins and what you can do with leftover pumpkins.
Composting toilets add sustainability to a homestead because they use zero water to flush. The waste from compost toilets are safe to add to compost piles. Additionally, it is handy that they don't require connecting to a septic system. This article describes two brands of composting toilets.
It has become a Christmas ritual for me to clean out my mother's fridge. I find whiskery gnarled morsels, shoved to the back of the fridge many months previously, unseen, and untouched by my mother’s arthritic hands. Do I compost all this detritus?
Pasteurizing your own compost can protect your new seedlings from damping-off and harmful bacteria.
Using wood ash in the garden can be beneficial for raising the soil pH of your garden soil. These tips will help you know when to use wood ash in the garden.
Taking a couple of extra steps before planting your crops will help ensure healthy garden soil. Here’s how to prepare your garden for spring planting.
Find out whether your home compost pile will benefit from commercial compost accelerators.
Selecting the location for the Bob-White Systems’ micro dairy barn.
Why we chose to build the Bob-White Systems barn we did.
Choosing cows for the Bob-White Systems micro dairy.
One of the oldest CSAs in the country and how they do it.
“The Gourmet Butcher” Cole Ward breaks down the meanings of Kosher, Glatt Kosher, and Halal.
Cow manure is a key indicator of bovine health and well being. After milk, it is the most valuable thing your cows will produce. Micro-dairy expert Steve Judge explains why it pays to get comfortable with cow manure.
Managing the feed regimen for cows in a micro dairy environment is a matter of setting clear goals and understanding what your cows need.
If you’re considering buying a new log splitter, you may have begun to debate whether you want an electric log splitter or a gas-powered model. What’s the difference? DR Power Equipment has some useful insight for you.
Washboard road is often considered a fact of country life. It's uncomfortable, wreaks havoc with your vehicle, and can cause expensive damage. Here's the one simple trick to preventing it almost completely!
High efficiency air source heat pumps are proving their worth for cold climate heating and cooling.
Outside of a few rare equipment failures, we’ve never had a power outage in the past 20 years that wasn’t our own fault — usually caused by not paying attention to power use or proper battery charging. Weather failures, on the other hand, are starting to become noticeable.
Bucket milkers offer small and micro-dairy farmers affordable and reliable system for milking cows. Here are my basics for how to use a bucket milker on a micro dairy.
How installing a pipeline milking system can help dairy farmers of all sizes make the most of their valuable time.
What you need to think about to prepare your cows, barn, feed and yourself for the cold weather.
Feed and hay management tips to get through winter.
Finding time to make improvements on a small dairy is difficult but making a few improvements as the seasons change can often make a micro dairy or any size small farm more efficient. Here are 7 steps to help you prepare your barn for the cold winter months.
Helping your cows transition from fall to winter can be easy to do. Here are five steps to consider when the cold weather starts settling in.
As farmers, we know the importance of creating a milking environment that is clean and healthy for the animals. In Part 2 of Making Clean Raw Milk, we outline the steps needed to milk your cow or goat in a manner that keeps it clean.
Four easy steps to guide small dairy farmers to filter, chill and clean properly to ensure delicious, farm-fresh milk, yogurt or cheese every time.
The third in a series of weekly postings about my visit to Cuba with a delegation of energy industry professionals, and a Cuban colleague’s visit to Vermont where I developed a similar tour. Along the way we learned about efficiency and renewables, and some striking contrasts between ourselves and our countries were revealed.
Energy ambassadors: convergence of energy and culture.
I feed and water my compost “pets,” and they do the same for my plants.
Compost and mulch material are in abundance in our backyard and our communities. What is ones man's yard waste is this man's treasure.
Making our own compost is not only a way to meet our need of fertilizer, it's also a way to redirect the garden scraps, chicken manure, leaves and grass cuttings from the waste stream to the resource river. Another area where this applies around our homestead, is our use of a composting toilet. For us, the difference between what goes down a flushing toilet and what accumulates in the buckets in the outhouse is the difference between waste and resource.
Fungi breakdown organic material and make it available to plants. Encouraging fungi to grow naturally, or inocculating your soil can have tremendous benefits for your garden.
Compost happens, yes. But if food scraps are thrown into a pile and left to rot, a hot smelly mess may be taking over. That’s because the process of composting is a symbiotic relationship between carbon and nitrogen. Or at our home, cardboard and food scraps.
Building a layered bed to develop organic material in the soil, hold moisture and decrease the amount of work.
Gardeners in certain regions frequently ask about how to improve clay soil. Lighten up your heavy clay soil by using organic matter, sand and other soil conditioners.
A basic recipe for making compost tea.
Tips on ways to use fallen leaves in the fall.
NativeEnergy, an innovator in the United States carbon market, today launched its year-long 10-Year Anniversary program.
NativeEnergy, an innovator in the United States carbon market, today launched its year-long 10-Year Anniversary program.
Mulch, like compost, plays an important role in organic gardening. To maximize the flavor and nutrition of your produce, learn how to use and balance the characteristics of various organic materials when mulching.
A simple, low maintenance compost toilet that makes instant fertilizer by separating solids (worm food) from liquids (fertilizer, ready-to-use). Two chambers allows one to compost while you make deposits in the the other.
Tips on what to do with leftover pumpkins during the autumn season.
Tips on how to compost, what is composting and reasons why you should compost.
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.
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.
Cooler, wetter summer than usual in Oklahoma, but the tomatoes produced very well with no water from the tap. 2015 experiment begins.
Grasshopper announces a new online tool designed to calculate fuel costs and impacts of commercial mowing equipment.
The American Garden Tool Company is an online source for American-made garden tools, products and accessories.
Do you dream about living in a tiny, super-efficient home but worry about living with less space? This list of reasons for living could help push you off the fence. Dream big, live small!
Ford Motor Company’s electrifying presence at the 2014 Pennsylvania MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR included sponsoring the event, giving test drives, and updating fairgoers about the latest news on electric and hybrid vehicle technology.
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.
Rancho Margot in Costa Rica is completely off the grid and constantly closing the circle. Nothing is wasted on this self-sufficient ranch, where everything is considered a resource--including methane from the compost ovens.
With a few simple tips, you can transform the leaves overtaking your yard into valuable, nutrient-dense compost, mulch or leaf mold.
Liza Fleischer was a suburbanite through and through when she met her husband, Ted, who she says was "born 100 years too late." Now they live in a solar- and hydro-powered hand-built home on 160 acres in Vermont--and she loves it.
When Paula and Matt learned that running a utility line to their rural Vermont home would cost the same as buying solar panels, they never hesitated. Now they're living the good life, off the grid.
How and why I started using leftover raw milk as a natural soil supplement and fertilizer on my dairy farm.
Why I have never trimmed my cow' nails in 8 years of running a micro dairy. Read on to choose whether you want to be trimming your cows' hooves.
Spring has been slow to arrive in the Green Mountain State. But there are signs of spring in Vermont and that means preparing your Micro-Dairy for the change in seasons. Bob-White Systems' Steve Judge shares more tips to transition a Micro-Dairy into spring.
Here are some ways we use natural materials to improve our garden and orchards.
Using leaves in the garden will boost the soil’s organic matter.
Here at Deer Isle Hostel, Maine, we use a compost pile built with local, natural materials and a 100-foot water pipe to create a steaming hot shower.
The symbiotic relationship between plants and fungi are showing more than ever how life depends on life. Learn how to encourage what beneficial microbes you have in your soil for a powerful ally in your garden and fields.
We produce wonderful, organically approved soil products for the independent garden centers.
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.
Foodborne pathogens such as E. coli can be spread by uncomposted manure from grain-fed cattle on high-concentraton factory farms. The E. coli outbreak in northern Germany reminds us to look twice at the quality of our manure.
Managing compost now allows for more productive use the following season.
Our guest blogger is positively enchanted by the convenience, not to mention the benefits, of keeping worms in the garden.
It pays to spend time preparing your garden for winter. You can improve your soil, increase your harvest, decrease garden pests and make next spring's planting much easier.
Michelle Corbett's grandmother and great-grandmother taught her to use a natural compost consisting of eggshells and coffee grounds.
Smooth out the temperature range in your greenhouse by adopting one of these strategies for heating greenhouses.
Compost piles don't have to be relegated to an out of the way bin. If your compost-making materials are being produced in your garden, as they are following biointensive methods, the best place for the compost piles are in rotation right on your garden beds.
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
Thoughts on managing an event with lots of people and having minimal or no trash.
talking about building a composting toilet and how well the Seed Swap went on Saturday. Hauling capacity of a golf cart compared to an ATV generated some useful and helpful comments regarding electricity vs internal combustion engines. No till works!
Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.
The Mother Earth News Fair staff and volunteers work on green initiatives to divert Fair waste from landfills, recycling and composting as much as possible.
Get a glimpse of some of the unique exhibitors at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
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.
Visitors enjoyed hundreds of test drives of Ford hybrid and electric cars at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.
Saving butternut squash seeds while using a sledge hammer and putting up a roof and planning a seed swap. Also planning a high density apple orchard with a new variety called Zestar.
Ellen Sandbeck, who has nearly a quarter century of experience as the Head Worm Wrangler of Laverme's Worms, writes about how to make and run a homemade vermicomposting bin.
Describes two effective alternatives to composting. Many factors can limit the ability to produce compost. These two products offer different but practical ways to organically recycle food scraps.
How to revitalize your potting soil for another strong vegetable season. You can use your own compost and homemade fertilizer to give your container veggies the boost they need for the season.
Description of garlic planting on a two-year cycle: from tiny topset bulblets, to large single bulbs, to large heads.
Explains the benefits of organic fertilizers such as rock phosphate, kelp, fish meal and greensand, and tells you how to get buy these materials at reasonable prices.
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
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.
Now, when one tumbler is full and ready to start cooking, there is another tumbler ready to take in the raw compost.
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
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
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
There's honey in the hive, peaches on the trees, and food on the table, but it's still a long way from self-sufficiency.