This blog post serves as an informative overview of the steps involved in creating a successful experience volunteering abroad on an organic farm.
This article wraps up the sugarmaking season with a few tips, tricks, and helpful advice gleaned from another year in the sugarbush.
How to choose an apple tree to fit your space and needs.
This article is part four in Julie’s sugar-making series and will show you how to remove taps, clean your equipment, and store everything away for next year. It also includes fun recipe ideas for using pure maple syrup including making “Jack Wax” candy and maple cream.
This article is part two in Julie’s sugar-making series and will show you how to collect and store sap, and prepare your sugar shack or boiling room to get ready to make pure maple syrup.
Add an efficient solar cooker to your winter emergency kit for hot meals during power outages. Even when you could have power, it's fun to roast potatoes or bake dessert off-grid on sunny winter days.
Most of us grew up with pickled cucumbers, and possibly with beets or onions – but in other eras or parts of the world, humans pickled a much greater variety of foods, including mushrooms, meats, and fruits. Some cookbooks from the 1800s carried recipes for pickling apples, and old radio programs from the Depression promoted it as a cheap and delicious way to get vitamins all year.
Spiced-apple rings add the perfect touch to a winter-friendly comfort food dinner.
Use salami, cream cheese and peperoncini to make a delicious yet simple appetizer. Protein-packed and tangy, these roll-ups satisfy the hungriest of crowds.
Make your Thanksgiving stuffing extra special this year with these recipes for homemade stuffing bread.
Mary Quinn Doyle shares a background about how she became involved in a volunteer project traveling around Maine for over two years visiting over 180 unique farms to take photos and write stories about them for an educational book and website.
The Fall garden is bursting and the canning kettle hot as we draw summer to a close in North Central Idaho.
Spend the weekend preserving fall apples before they're all gone.
Update your favorite cinnamon rolls with warm spices, dark rum, and autumn’s favorite harvest—apples.
Beans are usually divided into two categories: shell and snap. Shell beans have thicker pods and are typically cultivated for their seeds. Snap beans are harvested before their seeds ripen and are grown for their tasty pods. However, I've discovered there is some leeway in how beans are harvested and used.
Apples in autumn are crisp and glorious. Use your fresh bounty to create this delicious homemade applesauce in a slow cooker.
Use your crockpot to make this cinnamon-sweet, apple candied cider treat perfect for warming up a cool autumn evening.
This week at my Polyface Farm Summer Internship, I spent working with turkeys, touring our local USDA inspected abattoir, prepping for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund’s annual fundraiser and processing stewing hens.
Week thirteen of my Polyface Farm summer internship brought two high volume chicken processing days, lots of chicken catching, moving pigs and catching a loose steer.
"Folk Medicine" by D.C. Jarvis, M.D., written in 1958, explains how humans would do well to watch animals that know instinctively how to stay healthy. Jarvis advises drinking raw honey and apple cider vinegar for good health and vigor.
This week of my Polyface Farm summer internship included a forestry lesson from Joel Salatin, installing my first fence, and the introduction of Polyface’s new guardian dog puppy, Cody!
This week at Polyface Farm included mornings with rabbits, fence line work, moving calves and my first foray into canning.
Like many things related to food, the free-range label misleads customers, so we explore the differences between free-range and pasture-raised.
This week was a lot of fence line and firewood work, a water systems discussion with Joel Salatin, fun with turkeys and my birthday on the farm (with a surprise guest).
As demand for air conditioning continues to increase, discover how to reduce the impact it has on the environment.
Allan Savory visits Polyface! This was a week of permaculture lessons, staying up late with birds, processing honey and winding down from Field Day.
Polyface Farm Field Day! This week was all about prep for all our visitors, lot of processing and for some last minute hay making.
The free CycleMap cycling app pinpoints the locations of nearly one million miles of bike paths around the world.
One month into my Polyface Summer Internship! This week was focused on processing birds, hay and a lesson on Cow Days with Joel Salatin.
Week three of my Polyface Farm summer internship! Lots of hay and some other things, too.
When it comes to that most essential of all modern appliances, the best way to be eco-friendly is to stick with the tried and true three R's: reduce, reuse or recycle.
Kentucky farmer Susana Lein runs a permaculture farm in the Appalachian Mountains where she educates students and visitors from around to the world the best way she knows how - by putting their hands in the soil.
A homestead is about so much more than just mindful ways of producing one's needs; the health of the land and landscape is nothing if the health of the homesteader isn't there. The most sustainable homestead is one where the homesteaders like what they're doing and therefore will keep doing it. The self-fulfilling prophecy that we're all too busy is a highly unsustainable way to attempt sustainability, whether it's for a homestead or a summer business.
Organic gardeners often need to remove mammal pests such as groundhogs and raccoons. Like many, I use live traps. How to deal with a skunk you accidentally catch, without getting sprayed?
How a hopelessly damaged apple tree has delivered lessons of hope since 2007.
The Blacked-capped Chickadee, a frequent visitor to backyard bird feeders, loses a surprising amount of weight each night. Don't try this diet!
The first organic inhaler, The Lung Cleaner, hits markets.
Just in time for holiday season (and good all year long), you can use tart, just-picked apples to create a flavorful apple butter that’s perfect to give — or keep.
Food preservationist Tammy Kimbler teaches you how to make apple pie fruit leather from urban-foraged apples.
Heat Holders keep in the heat in your feet.
There used to be, from Maine to Georgia and west to the Mississippi river, 20.000 grafted apple varieties. Today, when commercialism is king and the most known apple varieties are the 5 kinds offered in the supermarket those old varieties are worth paying attention to. As with all things around us, diversity is interesting and sustainable.
Sue Van Slooten shares her easy recipe for apple strudel— a delicious pastry of phyllo dough, apples, spices, and of course, butter.
How to make spiced crab apples.
New standards for Energy Star refrigerators and freezers will reduce energy consumption and include “connected” features.
Save money and energy at home by choosing energy-efficient products whenever you purchase home appliances or computers and other electronics.
One of the easiest ways to bask and rejoice in the gifts of nature is to make and use a solar wall heater.
Growing organic apples isn’t impossible! Follow these tips and methods for avoiding pest damage and growing apples organically.
Tools and techniques for sustainable living.
Did you know that a dirty filter in your HVAC equipment can reduce its efficiency by up to 20 percent? Didyou also know that it is recommended to check your filter every month? Don’t despair!
As tropical plants go, pineapples are one of the easiest to grow.
Heating water is the highest drain that laundry machines and dishwashers have on your bill. Onaverage, water heating accounts for 18 percent of your energy bill.
I feed my vegetable and fruit plants organically, taking into account our ocean-dwelling ancestors.
Get out of your shell and lend a hand to those around you, even perfect strangers – you’ll be amazed at what you become and how your kindness touches others
Smile more and experience an uplifted mood for the rest of your day.
A neglected, overgrown, old apple tree does have charm, its gnarled, elbowed branches seemingly ready to reach out for a hug. The fruits, unfortunately, more often than not are too small, too pest-ridden, and too high in the tree. My fear of heights makes the last deficiency most important to me. Large, clean fruits are for nought if I can’t bring myself to climb a ladder or the branches for harvest.
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.
By observing the birds and wildlife we learn valuable lessons to apply to our lives.
Cam can't think of anywhere he'd rather be than on his own private skating rink.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The Environmental Protection Agency has compiled a list of more than 100 green apps.
Making cheese was nothing like I expected, but in the end, I was successful.
Land Pride is proud to announce four new skid Grapples in 12 different sizes as well as a skid-mounted Stump Grinder. These completely new attachments feature the same quality and durability that you’ve come to expect from Land Pride.
Where we find a wealth of information for projects and enjoyable reading.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
Using an MPG app may help reduce your consumption of gas, and make your commute and road trips more economical and green.
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.
The author figures out a way to outsmart tree-damaging rodents.
Researchers have found that inhaling a bitter substance calms and dilates the airways. Can sniffing horseradish also calm and soothe the mind? Sniffing horseradish works for Ellen Sandbeck; can it work for you?
The ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder app uses your zip code to find sales tax exemptions, credits, or rebates on qualified products.
Feeling blue? Try these simple happiness exercises including bouncing on an exercise ball and smiling while holding a pen or pencil in your mouth.
Delicious latkes made with potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes are tasty and nutritious.
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.
describing the upcoming fun photo contest with the theme being chickens and the fun they either have or give. Figs and more figs are at the heart of the obsession.
In this posting we discuss the role global warming is playing in the planet's rapidly decreasing fresh water supply. We also discuss how global warming and the loss of fresh water is impacting building infrastructure.
Create more than 12,000 different healthy salad dressings using this App.
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.
One of the newest apps for green car owners is Cleaner and Greener Fuels, which locates refueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles.
When autumn brings a glut of orchard fruits, capture the goodness as juice by cooking extraction or cold pressing. Juices can be used alone or mixed to produce sweet or hard ciders, wines, syrups, and more.
Daby Napthine shares her grandfather's 5 tips to growing healthy apple trees.
Tackling the old wives tale I heard recently down at the hardware store how a penny inserted into the flesh of a tomato plant stalk will help that plant fight off or maybe prevent a blight attack along with data on trying to trap a wild rabbit.
Many a homesteader and farmer can use help, and many a young person wants to learn homesteading skills. Having apprentices is an important means to assure a continuation of farms and farming,as well as teaching youth essential survival skills.
Many of us listen to negative internal messages about ourselves that drag us down, robbing us of happiness. To find happiness, you must change the dialogue inside your head. Focus on what is good in you and all that you do to brighten others' lives.
Many of us grow up disliking, even hating, ourselves. Learning to love oneself is no easy task, but it is vital to creating happiness and loving others. If you can learn to love yourself, you'll be rewarded many times over and be able to love others.
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.
Research tells us that a basic source of unhappiness is feeling out of control of our lives. And that’s practically a definition of American life today. What can we do to give ourselves more control?
Life is full of amazing things and remarkable people that make our lives richer and worthwhile. However, many of us hone in on what's wrong with life and others. Focusing on the good will bring great happiness to you. It will turn your life around.
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.
A sapling Centennial crabapple tree survives a series of mishaps and teaches new orchardists a thing or two.
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.
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.
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.
We have our work cut out for us for many years to come. And for that, we’re grateful.
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
If a society decides its human populations can be held within the capacities of local farms to feed them, then our small farms can be replicated into the future, until further notice. I think that’s a very contagious idea.
On every continent in the world there are large regions where a family can, through ingenuity and hard work, provide a lot of its own food in active partnership with the natural environment. And people get excited about that.
In each of us is an innervoice that really knows what we want to be and what we want out of life but we continually ignore it for the sake of security or out of fear of failure or a million other reasons. Listen to the innervoice and heed its advice.
Many people admit that their lives haven't turned out the way they'd hoped. Fortunately, it is never too late to re-design and re-create your life so that you live up to your full potential and find the happiness and fulfillment you seek.
We’ll be actively engaged in this inquiry for the rest of our lives. It’s a great project, improving the fairness of how we live. It has captured our imaginations.
The unintended death of a charming little creature raises the realities of life on a farm homestead.
Creating the life you want, both personally and professionally, requires clear goals. By establishing the direction of your journey and sticking to your goals, you can achieve anything you want.
The MOTHER EARTH NEWS Pickin' Chicken app has expanded its content to include more breed photos and profiles, along with additional search functions, to help you find the chicken breed you need.
After a recent talk I gave in San Francisco, a man raised his hand and asked me how I could distinguish between “human slavery and animal slavery.” Now there’s a provocative question.
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.
Fairness is not so much a standard to be achieved as it is a criterion to be interpreted and applied. We strive for fairness, even though it can’t be clearly defined, much less perfected. In the striving, I think we create a better world.
We use available time in the winter to preform routine maintenance on appliances and tools.
When my wife and I consider whether Rancho Cappuccino helps create abundance, we need to look at all three underlying questions: Does it enhance natural resources, improving supply? Does it help reduce demand? And, does it help us embrace simplicity?
Emma Jane James of Appalachia, Virginia, inquires about her Kansan family tree and reminisces about better days in her coal-mining town, before mountaintop removal and pollution took their toll.
We’re creating beauty more fundamentally, internally, by learning about the place, loving it and treating it with care. Year by year, its beauty is more compelling to us as we know it better. Beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder.
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.
Rancho Cappuccino is what we call our farm, 50 acres of tallgrass prairie a few miles outside Lawrence, Kansas. Farming is the reflection of our value system. Rancho Cappuccino is the vessel for our lives.
Baking the Great American Apple Pie chases away the blues and grays that sometimes afflict the homestead.
This is the last of a series in home and energy options available to us. It is a short summary of all of the choices we have when designing a new home on or off grid that will benefit your energy use.
A great recipe for the holidays or any time of the year!
Forget the time and money that goes into conventional giftwrap. Use these inspirational ideas to wrap lovely gifts with materials otherwise bound for the recycling bin.
Cam battles with the flying squirrels who want to inhabit his guesthouse using some unique weapons.
Cam loves living in a place where he can enjoy the night skies.... even if he doesn't completely understand what he's looking at some of the time!
Learn about the Ben Davis Apple, one if not the most important commercial apple of the late 1800s, and get a recipe for Apple Dumplings.
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!
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about growing up on the frontier for both her and her husband. Her book about Almanzo's childhood recalls some of his favorite foods, including "fried apples 'n' onions".
Cam is getting burned out on technology and seeks solace in his "low tech" garden.
Check out these resources to learn more about heirloom apples, as well as the how-to and history of cider-making.
This recipe for apple stock adds a depth of fall flavor to dishes normally cooked with chicken stock or vegetable stock, such as butternut squash soup.
Learn how to cook with these three great smartphone apps: How to Cook Everything, Big Oven and Ratio.
As we approach the celebration of Thanksgiving here in Canada, Cam reflects on what he is thankful for.
No juice extractor? No problem! This easy method for making fresh, delicious apple juice will have you sipping in no time.
How we put the happy in The Happy Homesteader.
Mark Oldham shares childhood adventures of taking care of dairy cows and beef cows including milking, herding cows out to pasture and employing a cattle call in Appalachian country.
Cam prefers the view from his office in his country home.
Cam describes why he was anxious to leave the city for a life in the country.
Company launches dynamic, new CSR communications portal to provide real-time content and discussion around social and environmental efforts.
Where have our bats gone? We miss the benefit of having them around and wish they would come back.
Characteristics of early summer apples and an applesauce recipe from MeMa’s Bakery in Kansas City.
Blume Distillation debuts appropriate-scale biofuel distillation equipment that will allow farmers, entrepreneurs, municipalities and communities to produce their own alcohol fuel from a variety of readily available fuel stock sources.
The beginnings of the orchard project, and an early spring surprise.
Cam has a "reality check" moment and realizes how lucky he is!
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.
Apple expert Gary Paul Nabhan reviews a new book: Old Southern Apples by Creighton Lee Calhoun, Jr.
The search for the long lost apples of Isaac Bowen Essex, the Fulton County Apple.
Our “needs” for the latest gadgets elevates our energy consumption, even with the onslaught of energy-efficient appliances and consumer electronics in recent years.
Pruning apple trees to a three by three central leader shape for strength against high winds and to prevent fungal infection.
Cam appreciates all four of our seasons!
Brief description of our journey back onto the National Mall, our Flex Space design, and our Solar Thermal Skylight.
Looking for a farming internship or apprenticeship? Search the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Center’s online directory of farming internships and apprenticeships to find one that interests you.
Old-fashioned cider pressing embodies fall — and creates a delicious treat! Rick Godsil of Wagon Wheel Orchard shares fond memories of pressing cider on the family orchard.
This is a summary of our attendance at the IBS show in Jan. Also a re-cap of Jan events and our transistion into the construction phase of the project. We also talk about the decision for the competiton to be moved off the Nationa Mall in DC
Cam describes why his method of harvesting firewood from his woodlot is the most sustainable way.
These space-saving, smart front loading units perfectly accommodate apartments and small spaces and eliminate the need to wash your clothes, remove them from the washer and place them into a separate machine for drying.
Cam shares his experiences getting lost in the woods.
Over 700 varieties of apples and pears, for $9 each, from Wagon Wheel Orchard, plus the family's crab apple jelly recipe.
When it's -30 degrees outside you can make your own snow!
Sometimes the wildlife can get kind of wild around here....
Cam has been playing with and skating on thick ice lately.
A hundred-year-old recipe for turning apple trimmings into vinegar yields mixed results, but lots of nostalgic fun.
New approach to renewable home energy – heating with pelletized fuel in free-standing pellet stoves and fireplace inserts. Generally made from recycled wood byproducts, pellets are low carbon fuel that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Simran Sethi describes the choices she made for her eco-friendly kitchen remodel.
Minimize your post-Christmas impact. Earth911 offers great tips for keeping your Christmas tree out of the landfill.
Home design apps for smart phones and iPads make visualizing your dream home even easier.
Precision Engineering www.structure1.com has generously provided drawings and specifications for building earthbag structures in seismic areas to meet code. The documents have been combined into one 6-page PDF and are now available online.
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.
Fresh apple cider is a traditional part of fall harvest celebrations - a part that we at MOTHER EARTH NEWS wouldn't miss! We put the Whizbang Apple Grinder and Cider Press to the test, and happily sampled the fresh apple cider as a result.
Earthbag building has just received engineering approval. This is probably the greatest news ever for earthbag building. With engineer-approved plans, we see unlimited potential for earthbag building for homes, shops, schools, you name it.
Want fresh cider? Make your own cider press using these free plans.
Freshly picked apples make a perfect treat for any age in this week’s Photo of the Week. Keep snapping and sharing for your chance to have one featured in the magazine!
A homemade solar food dryer allows you to dry tomatoes and apples for delicious and nutritious winter snacks and addition to your meals.
Weatherization Program Nearly Doubles Payback in One Easy Step with GE's new GeoSpring™ Hybrid Water Heater
Your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a great place to find inexpensive building supplies and appliances, and you can even donate your leftover supplies when your project is complete. Proceeds from your purchases support Habitat for Humanity and future housing projects.
High-efficiency washers save energy, water and money with every load. And with the average household washing 400 loads per year, those savings add up.
Self-pollinating apple trees allow homeowners with little space to reap the benefits of this fresh, nutritious fruit. While typical apple breeds require planting at least two trees in the same space so they can pollinate each other, self-fertile trees can produce fruit without another tree around.
Looser standards and self-certification have led to a market flooded with Energy Star appliances—many with questionable qualifications.
The Natural Resources Defense Council is teaming up with popular country, bluegrass and folk musicians, including Dave Matthews and Patty Loveless, for Music Saves Mountains—a one-night fundraising event to end mountaintop removal coal mining in the Appalachians.
Energy expert Dan Chiras suggests a simple process for locating energy-efficient appliances and electronics.
LG Electronics unveiled a new energy-efficient bottom-freezer refrigerator at the Maison & Object living design exhibition in Paris. The product, which uses linear compressor technology to save energy, was named the best example of an eco-chic product at the exhibition.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS coordinated with orchards and cideries around the country to showcase America's most beloved apples and ciders.
Check what products and companies use animal testing with PETA’s “Be Nice to Bunnies” iPhone app.
Let's dream a little dream of green home improvement, without worries about funding.
Guard donkeys and a good pen for nighttime can be vital to protecting new lambs and kids, especially with coyotes on the prowl. Find out how all it takes is one small mistake to produce fatal consequences on the farm.
Learning the basics about electricity will help you conserve energy.
The Bedol water-and-salt-powered clock runs for six months on a teaspoon of salt.
Here's a recipe for a delectable apple pie made from windfall apples.
Support America's artisan cider makers by putting locally made sweet and hard apple cider on the Thanksgiving table this year.
Collect apples from old homestead trees for the best in flavor for sauce and pies.
When I'm introduced to a new acquaintance, the introduction often ends with, "Bryan farms." Like it's the most interesting thing about me. Well, maybe it is.
This unusual water-powered clock from Bedol is powered by salt and water.
Slightly underripe apples that fall to the ground must be picked up, so why not cut away the bugs and bruises and put them to good use? Here’s how to turn windfall apples into supernutritious drinks and snacks.
After a five month struggle, the San Francisco board of supervisors approved a program called GoSolarSF, making solar installations more affordable for its citizens.
Expert advice on best organic fertilizer options for new apple trees and grape vines.