burning the wicker man
When my former boss suggested we photograph my annual summer solstice party, I quietly panicked and then got busy. Borrow some of our ideas and gather your tribe to celebrate the longest day of the year--lavishly or lazily, traditionally or not.
Photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand captures a verdant mangrove swamp shaped in a perfect heart — just in time for Valentine's Day.
Thanks to a donation from Mantis, we were able to use our new 2-Cycle Tiller/Cultivator and prep our garden for this year's growing season.
This is the favorite version of mango lassi served in Indian-American restaurants.
Conestoga’s new manure spreader is built to last.
Finding out how much manure an average chicken produces is a challenge.
Cam was generously offered the loan of a small backhoe and had a whale of a time getting jobs done!
Ken Ruck wants to build a fully self-sustaining earthship on New York's Lower East Side.
The Bureau of Land Management has approved construction of a California geothermal plant that will generate enough energy for 36,000 homes.
It is a busy time for planting here. Not tomatoes, peppers, or squash, though. We got in our order of trees from the Missouri Conservation Dept. last week. In the past, we had planted mostly walnut, but we have a good enough supply of our own walnut seedlings that we are focusing on native trees that could use a boost to restore the forest to what it once was. So we are planting pecan on the bottom areas, shortleaf pine on ridge tops where the soil is poor, and burr oak on the better upland areas.
A beginning farmer enjoys the work she has to do by hand. But would still like a tractor.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel discusses using manure in the garden, including which type of animal waste is best for which crops.
Manure-spreading day is a big event on the farm, for everyone from the chickens to the border collies. And it's part of a wonderful seasonal cycle that's the foundation of self-reliance and sustainability.
Shopping and lack of shopping is a hot topic right now with the economy, but it's also a question of what your holidays are all about. What would your celebrations be like without (or without so many) presents?
I learned life lessons early in life as a newspaper delivery boy. Valuable lessons that carried on though life.
Our area is abundant with history. We have a limber pine tree nearby that I estimate is over 2,100 years old and still very much alive. History - we have an abundance of it.
Denise Franklin's 280-square-foot cabin in British Columbia provides everything she needs--and more.
Michigan invasive species order takes aim at heritage and Old World hogs.
Why pre-1960 race cars were more efficient than post-1960 race cars, and thus a better example for high efficiency highway cars.
Who the heck is Paul Goodman? The car-free visionary who inspired a new documentary and bicycle contest.
One of the realities of country life is having to get your septic tank pumped every few years.
Cam finds getting around in the country, especially in the winter, so much easier with his 4X4 truck.
Managing expectations and learning more about your pond or lake are key in being satisfied with the benefits of having a natural body of water on your property.
One of the things you can do this fall to help your fish is to add three-dimensional pond fish habitat, especially if you have a bass-bluegill pond.
How big a woodlot would I need to heat my home with wood for the entire winter?
How can we clean up our rural spaces best. Is it up to individuals or governments?
This year’s Buckminster Fuller Challenge winner is revegetating African grasslands through holistic land management.
Dixie Chopper, the manufacturer of The World’s Fastest Lawn Mower, offers the Zee 2 series, its newest and largest line of residential zero-turn lawn mowers. Ideal for large property owners, Zee 2 mowers include a variety of features for fast performance, quality cutting and comfortable operation.
Being adopted by a deer is so different it is life changing. Can a human actually love a wild animal and can a wild animal love a human? My experience says so.
How our community has planned ahead for wildfire contingencies.
A look at how many hives to start with when beginning beekeeping.
A report on the potato onion taste test and some details on the annual tomato harvest and storage methods along with digging up ragweed plants.
Getting started each day presents a major challenge to many people. With so many pressing demands, it's often difficult to know where to start. Feeling overwhelmed and panicked, you may end up frittering away your time. He's a trick to get you going.
You can run a truck on wood chips! No joke. Mother Earth News reported on this idea more than 25 years ago and the idea lives on. Using recycled water heaters, you can burn wood chips to power a truck, with little or no engine modifications required.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Associate Editor Thaddeus Christian discusses the best firewood for your wood-burning furnace so you can enjoy wood heat all winter.
Tips on how to use "best burn practices" at home to minimize wood smoke and protect your health.
The Efel line of woodstoves, crafted in Belgium, is now available exclusively from Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio
The Burning House website asks people to post lists and photos of everything they would take if their house were on fire. It's an interesting glimpse into what really matters--and a bittersweet reminder to love what we have.
The ‘Kiwi House’ is organized around the primal element of fire.
A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.
By applying the principles of landrace gardening, you can help your plants win the race against weeds.
From our last post learning about the difference between large and small ponds let’s jump into the large (below ground) ponds to discover what happens to them and what makes each pond unique. We’ll see that the watershed has a great effect on the pond water quality and the pond inhabitants have an effect on each pond even the wildlife that visits our ponds pose some challenges.
There are weeds in the pond, what to do and what to use. A description of what to do with pond weeds and how to manage them with the various pond weed tools available on the market and a description on how they work. In this article we do not discuss chemical treatments and stick to natural methods.
Jacobs Farm in Santa Cruz, Calif. was recently awarded $1 million in damages for lost income due to pesticide drift.
Did you know that you're going to have to make your digester either much larger or much warmer, if you expect to do practical biogas in the US? Well, here's that story...
There are two things that are true about biogas. The first is that biogas wants to happen. It wants to happen like plants want to grow, like fire wants to burn. And that force, that will to happen, has (at least) those two aspects: life, like the plants; and chemistry, like the fire.
We produce wonderful, organically approved soil products for the independent garden centers.
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.
Lindsay Fernandez-Salvador explains the best ways to use animal manure while organic farming.
Intensive grazing management can answer questions regarding field carrying capacity, how much forage your animals need each day and how to manage what you have. Pizza, anyone?
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, answers a homeowner’s question about how best to apply a smooth finish to wood furniture.
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, answers a homeowner’s question about how best to apply a smooth finish to wood furniture.
Wood gas, or wood gasification, is a decades-old renewable energy technology that converts chunks of firewood, wood chips or other cellulosic biomass to power vehicles.
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!
A well-thought-out garden design will make your work enjoyable and manageable and will encourage the gardener's presence and attention.
Columbia University's Earth Institute will hold an informational session on its Sustainability Management program on February 10.
Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition, is now available in print and by download from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. Learn how to make your soil perform at its very best!
Wasting food in the U.S., making biogas, and using food waste to do it ... (Let's not waste all that wasted food!).
There’s a gold mine out back of your local restaurant in the form of wasted food. Learn to think like an ecologist and discover how nature turns “waste” into useable, renewable energy.
Time management tools can help a homestead run smoothly as well as make the work more enjoyable. By focusing on different tasks in different seasons, assigning different tasks to different days and by sharing tasks, the work becomes both manageable and fun.
Summing up: How much food waste makes how much biogas to power what functions around the farmstead?
Temperature is central to biogas production, and warmer is better. Much better. So if biogas is not a hot topic, it should be.
Renewable energy's ugly duckling comes of age.
Managing timbered property can benefit your wildlife and your pocketbook, but beware! Timber buyers are often con-artists. Learn the questions you should be asking about sustainable timber management on your property or homestead.
Thoreau, Rachel Carson, Bill McKibbon, Terry Tempest Williams. Do you have a favorite nature or environmental writer? A book or story you can get lost in, that inspires you to action, or simply reminds you of how incredible nature is? Post a comment to share the titles that invite you into the wonder of the natural world — or have maybe even changed your life.
In part two of this five-part series, Lyn Fenwick shares a homesteader named Isaac's 19th century journal entries on love, including the observation of local beauties and his desire for a woman who enjoys reading.
Edamame soybeans are tough,fast-maturing plants that can withstand extreme garden conditions. They have few problems with disease or insect pests. The green pods are delicious and high in protein, and make a good addition to an edible landscape.
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.
Judy Mimranek shares her father's time-tested tip for digging a root pit and covering it with layers of straw and cow manure in order to store fruits and vegetables through the winter.
The EPA is now defining a CAFO (formerly confined animal feeding operation) as a Country Animal Feeding Operation.
Horns or no horns, that is the question! Why should you disbud your goats, or is it okay to leave the horns on? This post discusses both options with a link to a great article about horns and their beauty.
A couple of weeks ago, the Adventure Cycling blog called attention to the Roanoke Mountain Campground's threatened closure via the Blue Ridge Parkway's Draft Management Plan (DMP).
Green Builder Media’s Vision and ReVision Houses highlight energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality and great new green materials.
The mild winter, early sring and continued warm weather are really messing up the normal sequene of bloom and availability of honeybee food. What will happen this summer is anyone's guess. Be Prepared.
Putting a new roof on a mobile home and harvesting the worlds biggest sweet potato while growing for the first time Par-cel cutting celery and hauling horse manure from our parking area back to the garden.
Cover crops are grown between planting seasons as a way to give back to the soil what cultivation takes from it. And cover crops aren’t just for large-scale growers—they can help you get the most out of your backyard vegetable garden too!
The unintended death of a charming little creature raises the realities of life on a farm homestead.
As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above strategy to
expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Nov. 7, 2012, a lease for commercial wind energy development 11 nautical miles off the coast of Delaware.
Home energy management, electric cars and solar gadgets take starring roles at consumer electronics industry’s biggest trade show.
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.
Black bears and rural living go hand in hand in many parts of North America. So how do you keep bear/human conflicts to a minimum?
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.