Using oil seed radishes to add organic matter to the ground and attracting native pollinators with a nest site. Harvesting sweet potato seeds if we're lucky and admiring the parasitic wasp's ability to lay white egg sacs into the body of a horn worm
Pro-Natura International is changing how the world fuels itself by turning renewable biomass and other waste products into green charcoal.
This week a friend sent me a link to an article in The Oregonian that rocked my world. “OSU’s new wood glue has muscle inspired by mussels” tells of Oregon State University professor Kaichang Li’s invention, an soy-based adhesive that can be used as a safe replacement for formaldehyde-based glues in plywood and particleboard.
Researchers from the University of Michigan have developed a way to “pressure cook” algae to produce biocrude. The process shows promise in the development of green fuels.
Land rich in biodiversity isn't just more productive than land planted with a single crop. It turns out that increased biodoversity also significantly effects the total "bioenergy" of the land, as well as its carbon footprint.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says its first certification program for bio-based products will make it easier for consumers to identify biodegradable, renewable, recyclable and environmentally safe products.
Check you vehicle owner’s manual for guidance on which types of biodiesel and biodiesel blends you can use in your car.
This post describes a group that loves a special part of the Heartland, the Missouri-Arkansas Ozarks. OACC meets annually to renew and inspire its participants to live sustainably.
See this shot of Swiss chard with strong colors that any gardener can appreciate.
A playhouse can be a physical structure or a place to escape to in your imagination. Tell us about your favorite playhouse.
MAX version 2.0 is about to start moving. This may come as a surprise, but Jack is going to try it with biodiesel.
Poultry producer turns manure into propane substitute with biochar as a byproduct.
After 250 years, scientists are just getting started naming all of the species on Earth — though they've collected quite a bit of information so far - and the Encyclopedia of Life aims to collect all of the information about life on Earth in one place. Find out how you can use — and help build — this terrific online tool.
Charlotte Kymer talks about her time at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Two grasses under consideration for biofuels in the United States are considered invasive species that may do more harm than good.
A couple readers passed on their advice about how to handle car dilemmas. Maybe biodiesel is the answer.
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.
Odds are you've heard much more about E85 than you've actually seen of it.
With population growing and oil supplies diminishing, more land than ever is being consumed to grow both food and fuel crops.
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.
Check out these small stoves for cooking, heat and making biochar!
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.
Swiss chard is a delicious and easy vegetable to grow. Here’s a tasty and healthy way to prepare it!
Know how many seeds you need for your area considering germination rate and extras.
JWTIntelligence predicts big green changes in the coming year (including tube-free toilet paper).
The automaker plans to add new DC quick-charging stations, capable of recharging to 80 percent in about 30 minutes, to dealerships across the country.
This is a true account of an end of life journey. A beautiful backyard Burial and all the steps that were taken in order to do it. This story is written in two parts, part two will be posted next week.
The Rhombin, a desktop organizer made from a plant-based plastic (bioplastic), merges sustainability with convenience and cutting-edge design.
BioSafe Systems, LLC is the manufacturer of sustainable and environmentally responsible disease control solutions.
Peckham’s Village Bicycle Project donates used bicycles and parts to poor families in Africa, and the effects have been life-changing.
A recent survey revealed that Americans are largely unaware of the presence of genetically engineered food in their diet, yet they maintain negative opinions about the safety of these GE foods.
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.
In an effort to influence the world's decision makers, the United Nations has declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. The Convention on Biological Diversity is heading the campaign, which will consist of events held all over the world throughout the next year.
A recent report noted concerns about top seed and agrochemical corporations that are placing claims on multigenome crop patents, which could put the planet’s agricultural biomass at stake.
These seed-saving initiatives are working to conserve seed diversity across the globe through seed banks, seed exchanges and other innovative preservation techniques.
2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, a year in which nations agreed to meet benchmarks to prevent further biodiversity loss. However, species extinction and habitat depletion are still on the rise because of human activities. Tipping points are approaching several biodiversity hotspots, which would result in economic and ecological devastation. Nations plan to convene for further action in the coming months.
Readers share favorite organic wine producers.
How much power and performance does a car need for a guy to get a gal's attention? According to MAX fans, not very much.
An alien biologist visiting from a distant planet might look at the remarkable similarities in our physiology and conclude that chimps would live pretty much as humans do, only more simply. But there’s something definitively, well, human about us.
How I traveled 500 miles in 24 miles (twice) in an electric vehicle.
We have a saying around our house: When the pest control truck is at the neighbor’s house, all the spiders come over to our place because they know it is safe. Biodiversity is a top priority in my Northern California rural/suburban garden, and I work hard to have many plants, animals, insects, and, yes, arachnids represented.
Thoughts on growing all your own food. How much space is required and other things to consider.
Grow to fill yourself up from your garden. Potatoes will give you the most calories in the least space and are an important part of a sustainable diet.
In our culture we are used to government regulations telling us what to do – can we talk on our cell phones while driving? Or, should I wear my seat belt? Or has this food been properly processed? Raw milk is your chance to embrace your rights and freedoms and do your research and ask the hard questions – you have no one else to rely on to do this for you.
How to make chipotles and other smoked peppers using a biochar trench.
The BagPacker is three handy yard tools in one.
Electric car charging infrastructure will be launched in major urban areas nationwide. This is in part due to $15 million in stimulus money being set aside for the charging stations. Now we need to get the remaining $22 million in co-funding.
MIT students have developed an outdoor rocking lounge chair that doubles as a solar charging station, recasting power generation as an integrated and distributed public activity.
RADIUS, the leading manufacturer of specialty, natural dental products, announces the launch of the RADIUS Organic Biodegradable Silk Floss, the first 100 percent biodegradable dental floss.
How we expect the unexpected and turn blow down trees into lumber.
Gardening can make a difference! Across the country, people are building rain gardens to filter contaminants and ease overburdened stormwater systems. Here's how to build a rain garden in 10 easy steps.
I, alone, am no one. I do not grow food. I do not water the garden. I do not photosynthesize. I do not put the life force in the soil. I do not make the seed. A natural force other than I is responsible for all this. That same natural force uses this body I like to consider my own to garden.
The EcoAire is designed to be installed in much the same fashion as a window air conditioner and just as easily.
User of our CU photo-sharing website submits photo documents the building process on their new biomass and solar dome home.
Don't forget to submit your photos to our CU photo-sharing website. Your favorite moments could become famous on our homepage!
Charles and Ray Eames are modern wabi-sabi heroes who brought fresh, spare furniture, without pretense or stodginess, to the masses. Their home was a wabi-sabi masterpiece.
We’re here to confront our own biology, the essential nature that tells us to keep reproducing and expanding. If you could view the entirety of human experience from the dawn of our evolution to the present, if you could pick the human century you’d like to witness first-hand, you might choose this one.
A Louisiana State University forestry researcher is looking at a fast-growing plant called switchgrass as a potential biofuel feedstock. Using switchgrass biofuel is practical because the plant requires little fertilizer and can tolerate drought and floods.
If you are planning to build a healthy home your first step is to find a site that will support health and here are some helpful tips about siting
Whether you have a small grove of trees or acres of woods, this manual will guide you through the right methods to care for and sustain your land.
Simran Sethi takes a moment to give thanks.
MAX will enter a race, uhhhh we mean event, and will run on veggie oil.
What does MAX have in common with and old action, adventure, paranoia, social commentary BBC TV series of the '60s?
In partnership with the Department of Energy, Chevrolet offers free home charging stations to 4,400 owners of its newest electric car, the Volt.
There's been a "shocking" increase in the number of EV charging stations across the United States, and in a remarkably short period of time.
Incorporating charcoal into the soil helped Amazonian farmers grow better crops, and its new industrial version is promoted as a panacea for both agriculture and the global climate. Those claims are not realistic.
Vermont farmer Walter Jeffries details all the cuts of meat on a pig, as well as many other uses of the animal, from working the soil to providing delicious lard for baked goods.
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.
The first Tiny House Conference will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 16.
If you are keeping a small flock of chickens in your backyard or on a small acreage, which breeds have you come to admire and why?
"Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?" is a new bee documentary that examines the global bee crisis through the eyes of beekeepers, scientists, farmers and philosophers. The film emphasizes the thoughts of biodynamic and organic beekeepers on Colony Collapse Disorder and highlights the impact of industrial agriculture on the relationship between humans and bees.
How to Schedule your Planting by the Moon
One of the oldest CSAs in the country and how they do it.
Green Earth Technologies is a “totally green” clean tech company that combines sustainable, American sourced, bio-based ingredients with proprietary technologies shaped around the four ideologies of being GREEN: biodegradable, renewable, recyclable and environmentally safe.
For the first time ever, Diesel motorcycles publicaly demonstrate their potential in real riding.
It was becoming pretty obvious the crowding and lack of light were real limitations to my mini garden. Then, the idea of a trough on the windowsill came to mind, combining a way to water all the plants uniformly and efficiently all at once. Great, now how to make this trough? Wood? Sheet metal? The choices all seemed expensive, clumsy, prone to leaking...then the light bulb went on in my head: gutters!
Dan Chiras and other energy experts envision a future powered by a combination of renewable energy resources, including wind and solar.
The future of the Pavlovsk Station in Russia is in jeopardy due to a pending housing development project. Find out what you can do to help save the world’s largest holding of rare berries and trees.
What kind of mpg did MAX get in the race? How did Jack get fuel along the way? How much can you get for a t-shirt and a copy of Mother Earth News? Answers to these exciting questions inside!
Don't like weeds? Well, maybe this will change your mind. An article in the New York Times, discusses possible ways that weeds could help fight global warming.
There are many ways farmers can benefit from renewable energy, including wind energy, solar energy, energy efficiency and biofuels.
Get an introduction to Building Biology, the science and philosophy of healthy and ecological building that originated in Germany 60 years ago.
Although forced air is the most common form of home heat in North America it is far from ideal. This article explains why Building Biology regards the masonry heater as the ultimate heating system for health, comfort and ecology.
Learn about advertising-induced fear of an innocuous, food-grade substance, vinegar. Plus, get interesting information about vinegar being used for bioremediation of extremely dangerous chemicals.
It is deep winter and how are your chickens doing? Here are some quick and easy tips to get them through a cold snap.
During World War I, the federal government ordered people to keep a backyard flock of chickens. What happened? Why is it so hard today?
Triton College has installed electric car charging stations in an effort to promote greener lifestyles in the community.
Using newspaper, learn how to craft easy, biodegradable pots to start seeds.
Describes hopeful developments toward healthful soil and a safer climate.
Wabi-sabi is sinewy, flecked browns and yellowed greens, the myriad stone and moss shades, a slate-gray cloud’s washed violet underside. Like nature, wabi-sabi paints in multidimensional swatches that are never what they appear to be.
Lacto-fermented swiss chard ribs and how to can them right along with foraging for wild mushrooms and a butternut squash update. Discovery Expedition vented fedora hat makes gardening cooler when the sun is blazing down.
Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica’s verdant San Carlos agricultural region is a dynamic, living example of permaculture and biodynamic farming, where every being is part of a system that nurtures the body and the soul.
Everyday families can now provide much of their fresh vegetables using Aquaponics. Aquaponics is the production of edible fish and vegetables growing in a drought proof, no weed, back saving growing system.
This low-cost, easy-to-assemble fire pit from Instructables is made with concrete tree rings and rocks. Just add a grill and you've got the perfect backyard hangout, all for around $50.
In our ever-growing quest to produce our own food we've acquired two egg-laying chickens!
Is there such thing as a poultry pop star? If so, then I think I am one.
Sue Weaver provides her expertise on making homemade cheeses and yogurt and how to raise a happy, healthy, and highly productive backyard cow.
Who knew that a flock of chickens would be able to teach us so much about living with our children?
Over the years, we’ve had many experiences with injured and sick chickens. Sometimes the birds have pulled through, sometimes they have not.Such is truly the way of life.
What to do when the hot, humid days of summer create constant bickering in your children and in the flock.
Quail meat is making its comeback as there has been more of a demand due to the composition of the meat and exotic taste. Restaurants and grocery stores are supplying more quail meat to feed their consumers. There is a lack of producers, therefore education and encouragement is needed to increase the popularity further and meet the demands.
There are a lot of things you can do right now to experience the homestead lifestyle right in your backyard.
Sign up to attend a free poultry webinar on the topic of starting a backyard flock.
Learn the essential stages of chicken processing in this video guide that covers equipment, humane killing methods, plucking, eviscerating and everything you need to know to begin butchering chickens.
A growing number of homeowners are realizing how useful chickens can be in the backyard: They offer pest control, fertilizer, comedy relief, and their business end doles out concentrated protein like a Pez dispenser. Unfortunately, novice chicken-owners can encounter problems when they expect more than chickens can deliver, either in food, companionship or general co-operation.
Popular Mechanics honored STIHL with a 2010 Breakthrough Award for the STIHL HSA 65 hedge trimmer, the first product with 36-volt STIHL Lithium-Ion battery-power technology.
Duncraft introduces a new concept in bird feeding - the patented Underneath Bird Feeder
A problem for older gardeners is finding tools that make gardening easier as getting up and down becomes harder.
Fiskars' new hand pruners combine form and function to make every cut easier.
Save time and avoid blisters and burnout by following these common-sense guidelines this leaf season.
Breaking down the last week of homesteading we've done over at WaldenEffect.org, and the Top Bar project we started as well as talk on Brix, biodynamics, and Plant Secondary Metabolites. Also have details on an external frame backpack modification.
Jessica visits the 890-acre farm belonging to the nonprofit Seed Savers Exchange, the largest nongovernmental seed bank in the U.S. and a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving our nations heirloom seeds and biodiversity.
On May 27, the Rachel Carson Homestead Association and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History are hosting the Celebrate Biodiversity Symposium in Pittsburgh, Penn., to celebrate the United Nations World Environment Day. Read to find out more and to register.
MAX debuts by taking the checkered flag of the 800+ mile, no gasoline consumed, Escape from Berkeley race.
Conservation over corn.
The Front Yard Coop Supplies Innovative and Elegant Chicken Coops to Meet Rapidly Growing Interest in Raising Hens.
Simran Sethi teams up with two neighbors to "grow food, not lawns."
Simran Sethi starts dreaming of spring gardening, with the goal of renewing her efforts to grow real food.
At Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica's southern Arenal district, guests get a true farm-to-table culinary and educational experience.
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.
In Oak Park, Michigan, a mother of six faces 93 days in jail for planting vegetables in her front yard. People across the country are rallying to her defense.
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.
Wind power grew by 30 percent and solar power grew by 40 percent in 2010, according to a new report.
The Chicken Kooler keeps the water away from the chicken’s feet, where is can get filled with straw and dirt.
Learn how to assemble a humane animal trap out of recycled material. It’s easy and effective!
How do you find the best chicken coop design for your new flock? We'll help you walk through the evaluation process AND get a free analysis spreadsheet to help you decide.
Suggestions for the interior of your chicken house, including; feed storage, access to nest boxes, dividing the chicken-living area, and making a loft for storing bedding material.
One week after moving our chickens, there now stands a chicken “duck and cover” shelter for them to dive under in the event of a hawk attack. It’s not perfect as a strategy, and the hawk may still get a chicken or two. But these magnificent birds crave a greater measure of freedom than they have in their chicken tractors, and I aim to see that they get it.
As mama hens, is there ever really a time when we don’t worry about our little chicks?
Two Ogden Publications employees turned beekeeping beginners seperate the honey from the comb in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS parking lot. Thier backyard hives are only four miles away for making sweet, local honey.
Need to get your kids out of the house? Learn how to build your own playground and give them a convenient place for outdoor playtime.
We strongly support keeping a few chickens (hens only) within city limits. Feel free to use this statement if you're working to get an ordinance passed to allow chickens in your city.
Wide-mouth funnel design super-stuffs bags and cans in less than a minute.
Hoelscher Commercial Products announces a new product for pulling out trees, posts, shrubs and vines.
Hoelscher Commercial Products announces a new product for pulling out trees, posts, shrubs and vines.
ECHO Bear Cat is pleased to introduce the 2” SC2170 Chipper/Shredder to its line of outdoor power equipment.
The new FSA 65 and FSA 85 grass trimmers, the latest products available for the 36-volt STIHL Lithium-Ion battery technology system, deliver fuel savings, time savings and environmental benefits for gasoline-free trimming applications.
Blount, the world’s largest manufacturer of saw chain, announces the launch of the new OREGON PowerNow 40V MAX* Cordless Chainsaw.
KIOTI Tractor is pleased to announce the expansion of their popular implement and attachment lines.
Designed with professional features and priced to be affordable, the new fuel-efficient STIHL BR 200 backpack blower helps clear leaves, grass clippings or other debris from the yard.
Three New Colors Provide More Options for Consumers
Kubota partners with the Propane Education & Research Council to offer $1,000 purchase incentive on its ZP330, delivering ‘green’ performance and more ‘green’ in your pocket.
New burn barrel alternative provides safer, smarter home and garden burning for homeowners.
Do you love showing off your FarmTek products? Think you're using them in a unique and interesting way? FarmTek would love to see!
Home gardeners and urban farmers can come up against garden laws and regulations that can limit the size, style and components of their garden.
In a Boulder, Colorado, neighborhood, residents are getting off the grass. They're donating their front yards to a community organization that grows enough fruits and vegetable on the former lawns to feed 50 families. Now, that's local food.
Simran Sethi reflects on her first summer of yard-care and gardening.
To benefit from the meat of backyard chickens, one must learn to process them. This includes how to kill, scald, pluck, and eviscerate, and then get them into the freezer. This article describes how we are learning to improving this process.
We've had a few surprises as we travel the road of backyard chicken raising - some of them pleasant, some not so much. Here are a few things we've learned that might help you as you decide whether or not to get chickens for your backyard.
Cities such as Seattle and Portland, Oregon, are accommodating swelling populations by allowing backyard cottages in existing neighborhoods. The units accommodate renters, elderly relatives and even ex-spouses. Could they make a difference?
Boy! Did I learn my lesson when I left our young pullets out back with our trusted dogs. I'll never do that again.
So, what makes a flock of poultry sustainable? What is standard-bred poultry? If you purchase chicks from a hatchery, are they true to the breed? Why does every hatchery sell Rhode Island Reds and they all look different? Why do the Cornish Cross meat chickens have so many problems? Raising standard poultry is the only true way to improve the sustainability of quality local food while preserving the strength of Heritage poultry.
It is not difficult to set up a backyard hoop house to extend your growing season. The result is abundant, delicious greens and extra months with your hands in the soil. Share information here on backyard hoop house gardening and cuisine.
Honey from our backyard bees provide us with a sweetener, but just as important, honey has many health benefits.
As spring approaches the lawn surrounding your home will certainly begin to grow. With the New Lithium Powered Cordless Recharge Mower ULTRALITE, from Driven By Solar Inc., achieve beautiful manicured results without nasty fumes.
Now, when one tumbler is full and ready to start cooking, there is another tumbler ready to take in the raw compost.
Soil Life is an all-natural, organic blend of microbes designed to enhance the nutritive value of soil in all growing conditions.
Smaller version of the original Gardener’s Hollow Leg is perfect for picking dinner!
Thoughts, experiences, and tips after a season of mowing with the propane-powered lawnmower.
The experience of growing one's first garden is a thrill one will never forget.
Popcorn is easy to grow and makes an attractive and delicious alternative to sweet corn, especially in a small garden. Kids will love the cute little ears, and adults will treasure the superior flavor of homegrown popcorn. Plant in late spring.
Grapes can grow anywhere, thriving in a variety of climates and soil types. Growing grapes is rewarding, because after a few years they produce abundant fruit and quickly provide architectural interest in the edible landscape.
In a war on gardens, the City of Orlando has taken issue with the rows of beans, greens, and other vegetables occupying Jason and Jennifer Helvenston's front yard garden. The Helvenstons respond to the City's request they remove their "illegal" garden.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
What’s your idea of a delicious and wholesome breakfast? A fluffy, organic egg omelet made with fresh vegetables? Perhaps scrambled eggs and roasted garden veggies? No matter what your preference, it may surprise you to learn the link between the
Chickens - how do you know if you’re the ‘chicken type’? If you’re pondering a backyard flock, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself.
Potted greens are a good complement to greens in the hoop house soil.
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.
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.
Roses are easy to grow successfully if you follow a few guidelines: provide good air circulation around the canes and keep the plants clean and not too damp. Roses come in many forms, including bush or shrub, climbing, and miniature.
Simran Sethi learns how to compost the right way and explores her composting options.
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.
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...
YIKES! What to do when you've planted too many veggies? Is your garden producing more than one family can eat? Sure, you can give it away. But wait! Try pickling those garden gems. This way, you'll be able to enjoy them through the winter and beyond!
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.
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.
Growing some of the most delicious and sometimes expensive gourmet vegetables doesn't have to be hard. Artichoke, bronze fennel, kohlrabi, leek, and savoy cabbage are among the vegetables that grow well from seed.
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.
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.
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