Sun protection is important, and although sunblock is marketed as safe and effective, I'd rather not slather chemicals on my skin every day. Although sunblock has its place in my skin-protection arsenal, here are seven easy ways I'm able to protect my skin from the sun's harmful rays without resorting to sunblock.
When I first started building my garden and raised beds, I ordered several bulk bags of garden loam and bark mulch. The bags are made of a sturdy, heavy-duty fabric, and I didn’t want to just throw them away, so I had to give some thought as to how I could use them. I decided to recycle the bulk bags into flexible raised beds in which I could grow potatoes and carrots. What this gave me were three extra raised beds with very little effort.
Learn more on how to get the most from your solar panels and maximize your energy generated.
Learn how to recognize a honeybee swarm and prepare for it ahead of time! These tell-tale signs will put you on the path to catching your own swarm, complete with a queen.
Wild Abundance offers this guide to harvesting, foraging, homesteading, and food preservation in July beneath the Swimming Moon.
This is the fourth blog post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It covers animal feed sources for homesteaders and highlights the importance of a good friend and family support networks as part of your homestead continuity plan.
We just love everything about the Berkshire pig — so we decided we would raise a breeding pair and produce heritage-breed piglets. Berkshire pigs are gentle enough to pasture with other animals and can be trained to harness/lead.
Beekeeping is a fun yet rewarding experience. Not only you can produce a sustainable, nutritious natural sweetener, but you can also benefit the environment by keeping bees in your backyard. This post will help you get into beekeeping.
There is a growing, sometimes contentious movement afoot: traditional lawns vs natural landscaping. Two years ago, we came up against Ohio’s laws regarding lawns and weeds and were heartbroken to have to mow our luscious long grasses. Last year, we enjoyed a reprieve and the serenity of our natural garden. This year, the grasses back!
When we bought our homestead, the only gardening area was at the bottom of a fairly steep hill. Though fine for growing a winter’s worth of potatoes and squash, it’s less convenient for greens, which we prefer to grow close to the house. Having read about a method called "lasagna gardening" (named for its layers; learn the basics here), we decided to try it. Egged on by its success, we extended the garden the following year only this time incorporating hugelkultur techniques. Here’s how we did it.
Use solar panel buying guides to ensure that you're getting the best offer and value for your solar power system.
Both tart and sweet, June is infused with the tangy taste of wild cherries, the sweetness of plump raspberries, and the succulence of wineberries. Though feasting, harvesting and preserving this sweetness is a priority, there is much more to do to make the most of this month. Below is a guide to homesteading and wild-food foraging in this juicy season.
This is the third blog post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It covers ideas for starting an edible landscape on your homestead including: soil improvement, cover crops, perennials, attracting beneficial insects, and home-based food production.
Chickens have always been a trademark of farm life and recently have gained popularity with backyard farmers looking to take out the middleman between themselves and fresh eggs. They’re funny looking feathered friends with distinct personalities and some unusual antics you might not know about if you are just getting into poultry. Their quirky behavior can have some interesting origins.
This is my favorite homemade hot sauce recipe. It includes several variations to make use of ingredients you may have on hand.
You've heard of a one-horse town? Well, we are a one-goat micro-dairy! That doesn't mean we only have one goat to milk, but that our milking parlor is set up to take only one goat in at a time for feeding and milking. Here is a story about a little goat kid who wouldn't give up so, how could we?
Being outside on the patio brings us closer to nature. But there are ways of bringing natural elements to the patio as well. This post will describe some eco-friendly ways to "green" an outdoor patio.
Cougars, our American lion, historically have been the most widespread large carnivore of both North and South America. After being almost systematically annihilated from our continent by those who came before us, our big cat is making heroic attempts to return to their lost homeland. Will we let them?
The more tomato varieties you grow – especially if you delve into the wonderful world of heirlooms – the more you realize that not all tomato plants look alike. Look closely at the leaves and you will find lots of variations; once you become familiar with a particularly favorite variety, you may even be able to distinguish it early on just by its leaves. Pictures tell the story and take the mystery away from the commonly used tomato foliage terms "regular leaf" and "potato leaf."
If your cover crop was successful, and crowded out all of the weeds, you can go ahead and plant your new crop right into the cut cover crop. If your timing is right (with your cover crop in flower, cut very low to the ground, and is one of the crops listed) you can plant right into the undisturbed roots of your cover crop.
Ok, the hens are off, but now it's time to clean the coop. Yup...my favorite. Get on your grubbies and join the dust bowl!
Your hens are supposed to lay eggs this morning, but she isn't. What happened to her? Should I worried? What can I do about it? This article answer your frustration.
The price of solar energy is at an all-time low, according to a recent report. The average installed price of photovoltaic (PV) devices has fallen by more than 50 percent since 2009, making the initial investment cost of system installations feasible for a much wider range of homeowners and businesses.
Rotational grazing can reduce the parasite load of goats, but this is difficult to accomplish with a dairy herd which needs to return to the same location every day for milking. On our homestead, we developed a rotational shelter and management system that allowed us to keep the herd on pasture 24/7 during the warm season. This significantly reduced our reliance on chemical de-wormers and helped us feel better about the quality of our milk and our soils.
Ruminants have been maligned for causing desertification and worsening climate change, but when we emulate the way nature designed herds to graze, the result is a rapid improvement in soil, forage and animal health. Our planet's health is also improved because rotational and mob-grazing takes atmospheric carbon and stores it as organic topsoil.
Many people believe they can grow anything anytime when they just got their own greenhouse. You can, but that’s not always the case. Sure, it depends on what you’re planting in the first place. But, it also depends on the greenhouse itself and how you plant it.
I gave you five things you should consider when building your chicken coop in the first part of this blog series. Here are the remaining few points that you should take into consideration when building your fluffy chicken friends their perfect home.
An automatic gate opener is a great example of how simple and convenient it can be to use solar panels to power all of its tools and equipment. You can also get a 30% federal residential tax credit toward the cost of a new solar powered gate opener, accessories and installation, as long as you do it before December of this year.
As the days stretch closer to their full summer length, we are welcomed to sow directly into the warming ground. We are invited to harvest from the woods, which are coming to life with new abundance. Now, we step into the light of the growing season, and we plant beneath the poplar moon! Learn how to prepare your garden and what to harvest in the month of May.
With a little TLC, there’s no reason our trusty garden tools shouldn’t last for many years. Find out how to maintain your tools to keep them as good as new.
Hops have not been recognized for their full potential! I often ask people, "do you know what hops are?" I always get the same response: "It's what people use to make beer, isn't it?" Well, yes, but they are much more than that. Read about how to grow hops in your backyard and the many uses beyond brewing for this specialty crop.
Goat packers who have goats with horns that have become an issue around the home or farm is that, depending on age and sexual hormone levels, there may be options less dire than surgical complete dehorning or banding at the base of the horn, which compromises your pack goat’s defensive capability and confidence on the trail. Certainly talk to at least two vets before committing to any plan of action regarding full removal of horns from goats over the age of 6 months old.
Eager to make some yummy, detoxifying scrubs for my arms and legs, I mixed some simple ingredients to my trusty epsom salts to achieve clarity, exfoliation, and moisture using coffee grounds, lemon zest, and coconut oil. Brilliant? Yes! Simple? You bet. Here are DIY instructions on how to make a homemade coffee-lemon body scrub!
Building an eco-friendly deck involves many considerations. Choosing the right material is certainly one of them, but other factors are also involved, including climate, location, and budget. This post reviews the important factors.
Building a chicken coop is a big deal. It is something that will remain on your property for years to come. It is the beginning of turning your yard into your own ‘starter homesteader.’ But wait — there are a few things you should take into consideration before you break ground on your new friends’ home.
It's easy to say "thank you" with these free Herbalist Day cards! Download and print your favorite card or grab one to share a little appreciation online with a favorite herbalist.
You can turn kitchen and farm "wastes" into compost, which is full of microbes and nutrition for your crops. In return, you will be able to grow disease-resistant plants that produce highly nutritious food with fantastic flavors.
I combined my love of jelly making and my love of flowers. Using flowers in some sweet form is not something new. Mountain people have always known that there are plants that have the ability to cleanse, uplift, heal and so on. I start my process with the first early (Native) flowers of Spring. Red Bud bloom (from tree) which is high in Vitamin C, Violet (we call them Johnny Jump Up), Dandelion and Forsythia.
Make your own potting soil, plus tips for starting seeds.
Annual garden preparation, wild food foraging and food preservation in the month of April.
I start a lot of seedlings each spring – far more than I can fit in my garden. We don’t have much room – this is our home, after all, not a nursery. Yet, with a sunny south facing window, some inexpensive heat mats, a garage with suspended shop lights and sunny driveway, I start hundreds (in some years, thousands) of seedlings successfully. Here are what I consider to be a list of the most important details to pay close attention to.
If you are growing your corn to sell, you can sell it fresh (to eat) without any additional license or permit. When you change the corn in any way such as drying, grinding, etc., this is considered value-added. If you are selling your corn product at market or other outlet, make sure you have looked at all the legal aspects. Read on to learn about all aspects of packaging and selling homegrown corn, including recipes.
This blog post introduces you to the new educational website www.FarmingwithCarnivoresNetwork.com. It is a collaborative effort of leading farmers, experts on guardian animals and fencing, and biologists whose work focuses on carnivores. Its purpose is to help create a farming of the future by sharing knowledge and experience with each other.
‘Bloody Butcher’ usually takes 110 days for full maturity. If you want to dry the corn for use, there are a couple of methods we use here in the mountains. This post will outline what works for us and give tips for shelling and grinding your harvested corn.
Building your own wildlife habitat in the style of a brush pile can be fun and easy. It can also help with several problems at once—where to dispose of clippings and branches, how to provide shelter for wildlife, and how to lower our carbon footprint are all solved in this one simple addition to your garden.
Last year was the year from hell. Literally. We lost 7 baby goats, 4 llamas, 2 dogs, and 1 cat due to different causes. But I did have victories. I'll be talking about what I learned here and in my next blogs.
We were looking for an organic product we could grow on the farm and provide food for chickens, goats and pigs. We wanted something that was heirloom and not hybrid so we could save our own seeds to plant and not have to buy seeds each year. We found just the product: ‘Bloody Butcher’ corn.
Understanding a bit of the chemistry and biology behind building healthy soil allows us to work in harmony with nature to contribute to the health of our soil, plants, food and planet.
Feed your skin real food with homemade skin-care recipes by Rosemary Gladstar.
Goats need sound feet, knees and legs to carry a pack in the backcountry. Here are some problems and solutions that pack goats experience with their legs, including proper goat hoof care.
This is the second blog post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It covers how and why to raise Pekin ducks for a quick and easy introduction to home butchery, food preservation, egg production, and soil improvement.
There are always more decisions for the tomato enthusiast. This blog will help to untangle the confusion around often-misused terms and lead to more appropriate choices for each gardener.
This blog post explains how the use of rodent poisons is having a serious effect on the health of carnivores. The very species that have the ability to control rodent populations are being negatively affected by the human use of poisons.
Though sap flow occurs in a wide variety of trees, there is one variety that produces a sap sweeter than them all: The Sugar Maple. For a six-week window of time before the break of spring, the sugar maple flows. The sap can be tapped, and then boiled down on a wood burning stove at home to make golden, luscious homemade maple syrup.
This is the first post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It will start with simple preparation ideas (Asceticism, Borrowing, Creativity) and move into more hard-hitting how-to advice (Ducks, Edible landscaping, Fodder, Goats, Horticulture, etc.).
With so many tomato varieties available, choosing which to grow can be a daunting challenge. By understanding the difference between indeterminate, determinate and dwarf tomato varieties, better decisions for your particular growing conditions and needs can be made.
There are many ways to save energy in the home and one of the most efficient is the right use of home automation. Here are the top five ways you can use home automation to turn your house into a smart, energy-saving abode.
At Wild Abundance, reconnecting with the land means living and working in sync with the cycles and seasons as they unfold. Here is a guide to the very beginnings of the East, when the earth is waking up, and moving from the slowness of winter into the flurry of action of spring: Harnessing the Maple Moon of February and the New Growth Moon of March on your homestead.
As we plan our gardens, it is often about obtaining seeds. Many of those seeds were saved by friends. An upcoming workshop from Seed Savers Exchange covers both basics.
Follow along to learn how to make a homemade lavender salt scrub.
One of the more effective ways to relieve dry skin and prevent chapping is to use moisturizing creams with an important ingredient: urea.
This blog explains why it is so important for farmers and ranchers to understand the complex social life of coyotes, and how this affects the safety of their livestock.
Five foods have been used throughout history to sustain people during winter months, for long-distance travel, or in times of famine: coconuts, flatbread, pemmican, butter tea, and dried plums. Find out how to prepare and store these foods for your emergency or travel needs.
This is a perfect time for reflection and planning, because the 2016 gardening season is peeking around the corner. Seed catalogs are arriving. I am sure that all of us are really missing freshly picked tomatoes. Here are 5 ideas to use in planning your 2016 tomato garden.
A new bill passed on December 28, 2015 will phase out the use of tiny plastic microbeads in personal care products, including facial scrubs and toothpaste.
Here are some creative ideas for upcycling old cabinet doors into something beautiful and useful.
In Part 1, I posted a series of questions to ponder over the winter. Now it's time to take things further and start to devise a tomato growing garden plan for next year.
Every member of an ecosystem community needs to be present in order to keep your land healthy and vibrant. That includes the carnivores - both terrestrial and avian. But one carnivore affects that ecosystem community more than the others: the keystone carnivore. And Coyotes play the role of the keystone carnivore in many of the landscapes of North America.
This spicy green kimchi recipe uses bok choy and other vegetables flavored with zesty red chile. Use this kimchi as a condiment or in favorite dishes such as fried rice, grilled cheese, or even a Bloody Mary.
For much of the country, the tomatoes we are eating now are not the prized specimens plucked from our gardens. They are emerging from our cupboards (dried, canned) or freezers – certainly wonderful enhancements to our cooking endeavors, but not elucidating the summer time level of excitement. But the end of the growing season doesn’t equate to a long, tomato thoughts-free sabbatical. This post outlines how to be planning for next tomato-growing season.
Making your own hand and body cream is not difficult. Just be sure you can work for 30 minutes or so with no interruptions. Be very sure that the essential oils you choose are actually pure essential oils such as lavender, tea tree, lemongrass, etc. Quantities needed for a both a single 4-ounce jar and a large batch of nine 4-ounce jars are given.
If you fall asleep or can't think straight at holiday gatherings, don't blame it on the turkey (or your relatives)! Research indicates that carbon dioxide is not only a greenhouse gas, but elevated levels of it are detrimental to human health and cognition. Learn how improving your indoor air quality will increase your health and stamina during holidays.
Roasting enhances the flavor of root vegetables, as long as the vegetables are cut in uniform pieces and aren't crowded in the pan and are roasted in a hot oven.
There are five main areas of the home responsible for wasting the most energy. At the top of that list is windows, and one of the most effective ways to decrease your home’s carbon footprint is by replacing old, drafty windows with new, air-tight Energy Star-qualified windows.
Cranberry sauce (or cranberry relish) is very easy make and preserve by freezing or canning. Use it through the holidays and beyond; it makes a great yogurt topping or spread for toast, as well as an accompaniment for Thanksgiving turkey dinners and the day-after sandwiches.
Aloe may be best known for its use as a natural treatment for sunburns, but the benefits of aloe extend far beyond helping your skin heal. Learn how aloe can help keep your heart, teeth, digestive tract, and more healthy.
To get the most from a crop of apples, pears, or quince, make applesauce using all apples, or a combination of these pome fruits. Then preserve your applesauce by freezing, canning, or making fruit leather for delicious homemade snacks.
Finding authentic, plant-derived, high quality essential oils and knowing what to look for is a challenge, particularly given the power of marketing. What do we mean by the terms genuine, authentic, plant-derived and unadulterated anyway? This post explains how to hone your senses and find the best suppliers of top-quality essential oils.
Learn the correct method for safely making home canned pumpkin and winter squash. A few jars of ready-to-use canned pumpkin on your pantry shelf can save time when you want to bake a pumpkin pie, simmer a squash soup, or make any other favorite recipe calling for pumpkin puree.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the amount of energy lost annually through windows costs consumers $35 billion. Heat loss and heat gain through and around windows accounts for between 10 and 25 percent of our heating and air conditioning usage, the largest consumer of energy in a modern home. Here are some ways to make sure your windows are as energy-efficient as possible.
The choice to breastfeed or formula feed is a highly personal one, and new mothers will need to take many factors into consideration when making the decision. Experts suggest that new mothers breastfeed exclusively for at least the first six months, if possible. Besides providing you and your baby with time to bond, studies show that breastfeeding can protect your child from a variety of illnesses and conditions.
While searching for essential oils on the internet you may come across some companies claiming to be approved by the ISO or to meet and/or exceed guidelines established by AFNOR or to be GRAS-approved and even one company claiming to have Certified Pure therapeutic grade/FDA approved. What exactly do the terms and certifications mean?
Discover how to expand your olfactory palate to be able to determine qualitative differences between essential oils and learn what all the terms used in the marketing of essential oils mean. Feel more empowered in choosing a supplier and learn key elements to look for when making that decision.
Hive pests increase at this time of year while colony numbers decrease. Check your hives every two weeks. It doesn’t take long.Attentiveness over the autumn months pays off.
Dogs may have had nothing to do with the naming of the season, but they, like us, will most likely desire some respite from the heat. Here are several cooling herbal recipes for your furry friends to try at home!
Here, I share this very simple method for rendering beeswax that will take you from sticky mess to wonderfully fragrant disks of clean beeswax ready for your crafts and beauty products while costing very little of your time and precious energy. Your bees will actually benefit from it!
Food preservation methods for green beans include freezing, drying, pressure canning, pickling, and dry salting. Shell beans may be enjoyed fresh, if harvested when immature. Immature shelling beans are best preserved by freezing. Fully matured beans are usually dried, and may also be pressure canned. This article contains instructions for preparing and preserving green beans and shelling beans by using all of these food preservation methods.
Eco-friendly rugs can be found both indoors and outside but it's important to know the differences and the attributes that make outdoor rugs "green". Here are some of the best options for eco-friendly outdoor rugs.
Saffron contains more than 150 compounds, many of which have medicinal properties like carotenoids (beta-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin, and more).
To make potent extractions of the medicinal properties from plants growing nearby, you can easily learn to make your own tinctures and infusions. Alcohol-based tinctures are often used for acute or specific concerns, while water-based infusions are strong, medicinal teas which gently strengthen the body over time.
Two Great Pyrenees dogs have drastically improved a Kansas sheep flock’s safety, while creating lasting bonds and deep trust.
Follow my first day on a French organic farm as I meet my WWOOF hosts, see the farm, and experience an incredible meal of escargot harvested from the wild!
There are many delicious ways to preserve corn. Canning and freezing are popular methods. However, pickling, drying, and salting are other good food preservation methods to consider for this summer vegetable.
Why everyone should consider eating slow growing, standard-bred chickens!
These three major developments in green-building materials are bound to change lives and climates all over the world.
A transplanting that's done correctly will expedite resumed growth and encourage healthy plants. Here are some simple tips about when and how to transplant brassica, lettuce and tomatoes.
Just as we feed our body internally, we can feed our skin externally with fresh, organic, botanics. Just head to your local supermarket (and it doesn’t have to be the fancy one)!
Helpful tips for growing carrots.
Wild edibles is probably the least energy consuming way to provide food, and especially early in the spring. Here are my favorite plants to look for right now.
Hive inspection to check for queen cells, hive health, nectar, honey, pollen, and whatever the girls might need.
Here's 5 of the basic steps to how we created our small organic home orchard/edible landscape. It's a permaculture designed area that has been created with a natural landscape as inspiration, with the least amount of human input. It will host not only heritage apples but several other fruits and berries, herbs and medicinal plants.
Caretaking wild places is a great way to homestead in paradise without having to afford land.
Keeping animals in good condition is important for the health of your homestead. Here's how to get past the fluff and make sure your rabbits are in top shape.
Here are some of the most important things to do around the homestead in April - or at least asap.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS fairgoers could choose a vehicle from a fleet of Ford hybrid cars to test-drive on the rolling countryside outside Asheville, N.C.
In order to be environmentally friendly, a kitchen remodel should reduce energy use, reuse or recycle materials, and minimize the carbon footprint of the remodeling project. Here are five tips to keep in mind in order to achieve a greener, cleaner kitchen.
Homesteading is to me to live in self-reliance, simplicity and mindfulness. To be able to do that in a way that feels true to what we believe in, I've found that it demands a narrow definition of what I put in the word enough.
Pallets can have many uses. And they can be re-purposed into just about anything. This article shows how to re-purpose a wood pallet into a wine rack.
Get more intense flavor and more nutrients by slicing olives into a simple spinach and chickpea salad. This thrifty recipe also shows a streamlined salad-making process.
Rabbits are a fabulously healthful, economical and ecologically sound source of meat, and they don’t have to be kept in hanging cages. Rabbits can be raised on pasture to produce food for your family while improving the quality of your land.
Fire pits can be great things. They are attractive, inexpensive to use and help to extend the use of your yard through the fall and winter. But they must be used safely. Here are some guidelines for fire pit safety.
Any other year in March, the homesteading chores are back in full swing after the winter break. This year, winter lasted longer than ever and it wasn't until the end I could even conceive of getting any of the usual stuff done. Here's the list of what I normally do.
Potlucks make sharing a meal about as easy as can be. With just a few changes from the usual all-disposable approach, potlucks can be green, thrifty, and more enjoyable too.
Indoor air pollution can be even worse than outdoor. For this reason, choosing eco-friendly floor coverings is essential to a healthy home.
The outdoor rugs that line my garage and mud room get filthy and need a good cleaning every now and again, a cleaning that usually goes beyond just vacuuming. But this cleaning can be done in an eco-friendly way, without the use of harsh chemicals.
Skin care and keeping it simple.
Even store-bought mushrooms create vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Use this nifty trick and my tasty recipe to keep up your supply of this essential vitamin.
A good vegetable garden doesn't have to be expensive. Here is a step-by-step description of how one family was able to build a paved, raised vegetable garden for under $200.
One of my best pieces of advice to those wishing to establish a homestead is to reach out to the community. Happy neighbors are a big part of a happy homestead and for us it was not only a way to drum up support and engagement for our project, but it was also transformative for our experience and for our business.
Natalia Bragg of Wade, Maine, is a sixth-generation herbalist who is gaining well-deserved recognition for her work with the rich variety of plants and trees on her remote farm.
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.
Many aspects of my homesteading life lie close to what we as humans have evolved for: the outdoors, physical activity, whole food and days and years that follows the rhythm of the seasons and the sun. But there are other, less obvious biological aspects for why I believe homesteading can improve health and well being.
Turn a collection of carpet-sample pieces into an eclectic rug for your kitchen or bathroom! This resourceful DIY project can be made with just four materials - some of which may already be in your home.
February can be a hit or miss for us here at Deer Isle Hostel - snow and cold demands more creativity to stay busy, but also provides a great chance not to do much. Planting onions from seed, shoveling snow and planning for the Hostel season 2015 are some things I do to keep the cabin fever under control.
A forty-something woman stumbles into a booth at a farmer's market, looks up, and sees a handsome farmer. You may know that the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey also begins with a tumble and winds up with love. It's no coincidence: my book Fifty Weeks of Green is a comic response to Fifty Shades that celebrates sustainable living.
New Energy Star standards not only raise the bar for energy efficiency in refrigeration, but they also introduce, for the first time, the idea that putting Wi-Fi into a fridge can help with energy savings.
Even with the daylight hours lately, we still have quite a bit of winter left. Good health – both physically and mentally – might require a little bit more effort than in the summer but can still be achieved and maintained though this homestretch before spring.
Gather your extended family around the table to share home-cooked, healthy meals on a regular basis. Reap the rewards of laughter, pleasure, and deepening relationships for very little money. Get started with my recipe for Beans with Caramelized Onions and Carrots. Ten servings cost about ten dollars using organic, heirloom beans and about seven dollars using pinto beans.
What if I find land where I can homestead but it's at a location where no one does the same thing? The lack of a homesteading community can be a discouraging factor when looking for land, but over time, if one is patient, it is very likely you'll find others that are drawn to the basic, sustaining, diverse and positive actions of homesteading.
The decision to replace an old refrigerator should not always be made based only on how well it is functioning. New Energy Star models have many energy-saving and cost-saving advantages that can make that decision much easier.
That something is easy doesn't always mean it's simple – many of the modern conveniences so much of the western world relies on, the thermostat in most conventional houses, for example, is but the end of a long and complex chain reaction with consequences far beyond our reach. Homesteading simplicity can be described as a way to limit those chain reactions, to be more in control over the effect of our actions and, to alter those effects to have a positive impact.
The short period of time each year where homesteaders and summer-business owners like us get to freely bask in open-ended unscheduled time is as short as it is sweet, and it reaches its peak right now in January.
The first of 12 posts, seed saving begins with an introduction to the stories behind seeds and why they are so important. From preserving our shared botanical heritage to protecting a diverse and decentralized food supply, the story of seed is as varied as the people who plant them.
What's going on with the hives, new developments in the Down-East Bee Lady's life, latest bee school news, etc.
Carrots come in many colors and sizes. By picking the right ones, you can grow carrots year-round in the ground or in containers.
Awesome facts about the amazing honeybee.
If you are looking to make your home more eco-friendly, there is no better place to start than in the kitchen. Here are 8 simple ways to save energy in the kitchen.
Although cooking is not as big of an energy-drain in the home as other things, there are still ways to do it in an energy-efficient way. This article describes some of the best ways to cook sustainably.
Up against China, the tar sand extraction, dysfunctional global summits and the endless cry for economic growth, any individual's actions to halt global warming might seem insignificant. But conscious decisions that bring us closer to nature can make a difference and might be the best we can do.
Spoon carving is good practice for hatchet and knife skills, and a spoon is a beautiful sculpture that feeds more than one hunger!
Not being a fan of frozen or canned carrots, I began to wonder how to store carrots under straw for winter to enjoy organic carrots throughout the winter. Living in Central Oregon where beach sand is not at the hand, I gathered garden straw from a local farmer. It is important that you know that straw for the garden has not come from crops treated with herbicides to control broad-leafed weeds.
Coconut oil uses range from cooking to skin care, so read on to take advantage of what this oil has to offer.
Being a homesteader and living off the land often means being subjected to natural conditions beyond our control, sometimes predictable changes of seasons and temperatures, other times curve balls such as unseen pest pressure, hard frosts in late May or heavy snow in early November. A lifestyle where these natural circumstances is the main determining factor for what gets done when is getting increasingly rarer – humans have gained what some consider an advantage by manipulating the world into a state where we, in many ways, can remain unaffected from the forces of nature.
The no-waste way to render beeswax.
The new apple orchard we're planning for our homestead won't be the classical lawn-layout most people are accustomed to. Our edible landscape will mimic a natural landscape with the goal to reduce interference such as spraying while providing organic fruit, berries and herbs for many months of many years.
People are increasingly looking to get back to nature, rejecting the modern world and living off the Earth.
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.
MAX isn't just streamlined - MAX has its rolling resistance down to a minimum too, thanks to low-drag tires and lubricants. Here's a video to show how much it matters.
From choosing affordable floods for the bedroom remodel to switching out the oven-hood incandescent, Jennifer details how much it cost to light her house sustainably, as well as forecast her long term savings.
As homesteaders, all the homesteading rewards are directly ours to keep and our work provides most of our necessities but the multiple returns we get from our homestead also give us what money couldn't buy, such as the self reliance, sense of security, dignity, the beautiful place where we spend our days and the choice to set our own schedule.
K.C. Compton takes a glance at more than two dozen trends that are shaping our future, which are documented in the Worldwatch Institute’s latest publication, "Vital Signs, Volume 21."
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
The only recipe you’ll ever need for wonderful homemade broths plus deliciously versatile chicken and veggie soup.
A sepia photo of a North Carolina family in front of their farmhouse reveals food heritage.
The actual footprint of a garden is only one of many factors for how much food that can be produced there. With succession planting, good soil and some planning the same garden area can produce substantially more food.
Considering induction cooking as an eco-friendly alternative to cooking with electricity? Can’t begin to contemplate spending $3,000 on a stove? This article will run down how you can integrate the hottest new tech in cooking into your kitchen without winning the lottery.
Transportation in the U.S. is responsible for high levels of carbon emissions. Simply by changing habits and adopting more eco-friendly methods of getting from A to B will help both the environment and overall health.
Learn about one couple's ongoing effort to reduce their carbon footprint.
Asheville has a long history of attracting people searching for a tranquil place for personal retreats and wellness. For Day 3, it’s time to chill, revitalize ourselves and do some rebalancing of our mind, body and spirit on a health and wellness tour.
It's not always easy to use natural remedies on your chickens. Here's a trick to keep up your sleeve that will have them begging for their medicine.
This article explores the nature of the staycation, if it is indeed a greener option and ways to vacation in a more eco-friendly manner.
One of our readers made a fiberglass and carbon fiber roof for his own home-built MAX high-mileage sports car, and here's how he did it.
A good gardening tool is lightweight, ergonomically correct and has a positive impact on the soil. We only use hand tools (non-powered) in our gardens since we find that we can get the job done easier and more efficiently with a more correct impact on the soil and less impact on our bodies than we would with any machines.
Raw honey isn’t just delicious — read on to learn some of the medicinal uses for it.
If you are challenged by growing carrots, you might consider transplanting them and growing some dancing carrots.
Homes in the United States a responsible for one fifth of all carbon dioxide emissions. Simply taking steps to reduce these on a domestic level will help positively impact carbon outputs, decreasing environmental damage.
Spending the time to get to your goats is more important than you may think
July is UV Safety Month. Don’t forget to protect your skin and eyes from the sun while enjoying long summer days.
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.
One woman's vision of a family farm comes to life in her back yard thanks to one friendly goat.
Keeping bees with neighbors in the city or the burbs.
According to a report issued by the World Health Organization, diseases such as E. coli and staph are developing stronger resistance to antibiotics.
Many of us love bread and love to use local ingredients.
With carbon emissions in the US higher than most other countries in the world, more should be done to minimize unnecessary carbon waste. Around one third of the overall carbon consumed by the average US citizen comes from the home, if every home took a few simple steps to reduce waste, the world could a greener place.
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.
Introducing a revolutionary new book about the "drinkable landscape" and how you can use organic gardening to produce a huge array of beverages.
Day 2 in Asheville, North Caroline, is about the eco-high adventures to be had, both in the trees on a zipline and when hiking to the Catawba Waterfalls.
MAX won an award at the 2014 Maker Faire Bay Area for...gosh, we don't really know, but it was best in its class.
Few other vegetables represent summer as a sun-ripe, homegrown tomato does.This is how we raise and plant tomatoes at the Deer Isle Hostel and Homestead.
Learn how to make a scarecrow from scrap materials that moves and makes noise to keep deer, squirrels, rabbits and crows out of the garden.
Discover how to grow various members of the onion family: bulb onions and scallions, leeks, garlic, ramps, shallots, and chives. Each one has different requirements and habits, yet all are rewarding for organic gardeners.
A well-thought-out garden design will make your work enjoyable and manageable and will encourage the gardener's presence and attention.
Beehive happenings since my last blog post.
Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest, with the Great Smoky Mountains to the southwest, Asheville, North Carolina, is the perfect basecamp for an ecotour, cultural trip and culinary adventure. Experiencing the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair held here this past April was just the start for my wife and me.
Moving is stressful, but it's not an excuse to forget your carbon footprint. Here are some ways to make your move as eco-friendly as possible.
Using crescent rolls as buns to avoid azodicarbonamide.
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.
Harrisons’ Pet Products Recover: A Complete Nutritional Formula is for sick or injured animals.
Gardeners don't have to live in a semi-tropical zone to grow organic lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus fruits. Proper technique with potted plants can yield a bounty of delicately flavored, vitamin-rich citrus.
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.
Learn about riding the rails with Amtrak on National Train Day this May.
Modifications I’m making and things to consider before building your own top bar hive.
In many communal kitchens, may it be a hostel or a student dorm, postings are usually to be found; “Leave it nicer than when you came”, they read. That can be said to humans on earth too, to leave it better than it was. By living and working in nature, with nature, I believe that our surroundings here at the homestead are ecologically healthier, more diverse and vibrant than should we as humans not have been here.
Overcoming my personal fears and welcoming the newest addition to our homestead - honeybees
Husqvarna adds 3 all-wheel drive walk mower models to offer high quality options for any budget.
Getting your very first chicks is an exciting experience and a very big step for most first-time homesteaders. Here is some advice for enjoying your new additions and avoiding any potential problems.
Spending time baking with others will be time well spent. Make some memories that you will never forget.
Some examples of passive solar design applied to homes in the southeast, where cooling, as well as heating, is a concern.
Exmark’s “Transitioning Mower Fleets to Propane” provides a road map for landscape professionals.
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.
Worker B is returning to their beekeeping roots and adding raw honey to their collection of products.
For two weeks, I tested a hybrid vehicle. My family liked the car, I liked the car and without a doubt, the Ford C-MAX Energi is an amazing ride.
Learn about Bisphenol A (BPA) and its prevalence in plastic manufacturing, and get tips on how to limit your exposure to BPA, phthalates, and other unsafe chemicals in plastic.
Anticipation of warm weather, bees, flowers, and HONEY!
Learn about the benefits of baking with this ancient grain.
Italy’s traditional cream cheese, mascarpone, is easy to make with either tartaric acid or lemon juice.
Growing peach pits doesn't get much easier than this.
Inspired by the recent Mother Earth News article, "65 Money Saving Tips", this piece shares how we at the Be the Change Product spend little and live better.
When and how to feed your honeybees.
Baking and sharing cinnamon rolls can create happiness. Cinnamon and honey will make your baked goods irresistible.
My MAX car got licensed with the local DOT to run on vegetable oil fuel and pay its proper taxes per gallon. Each state has its own rules; here's how we do it in Oregon.
Fleas and ticks can bring severe itching, allergic reactions, discomfort, and even serious diseases (such as lyme disease) to your pets, so it’s important to protect your pets from them. However, studies have found that many common flea and tick control/treatment products aren’t just toxic to those bugs; they can actually poison your pets, as well. Find out which ingredients and products to avoid, and some safer alternatives to use.
Colony Collapse Disorder is threatening the future of bee pollination. Here's what we can do about it.
Energy Star for Homes is a worthwhile green building certification with demonstrated market value.
Chicken tractors are not for me — here's why.
KIOTI tractor company realizes significant growth in North American markets.
Love of family, love of tradition, love of pumpernickel bread — need I say more?
A recipe for a grease patty that doesn't use hydrogenated oils.
Help keep cages and water sources clean with Solway Feeder's horizontal watering nipples.
What needs doin' in the beeyard?
A homesteader's year is over for this time. Nothing cleans the yard up as a foot of snow, and I think it's here to stay. winter on Deer Isle is great, so great I consider it something we deserve after getting through the summer, both for us as homesteaders and for us as a part of this community.
One way that I work through problems is by baking bread. It is my therapy, and it works for me. Getting lost in the recipe and wondering how you might make some changes to make it better is always good for the mind.
We use some old and tried techniques for how to process the meat, like curing and smoking the big cuts so they'll keep without being put in a freezer. We're constantly striving to learn new, mostly old ways of utilizing and preserving more of the pigs for our own consumption, by making headcheese, confit and lard.
A less meddlesome approach to beekeeping.
North Carolinian Master Beekeeper, Tia Douglass, offers an introduction to chemical-free, natural beekeeping, bees and approach to raising pollinators.
Using up CSA produce is often difficult, but I found a fun and easy way to do it.
Stay warm, find a hobby and cull the livestock; here are some of the things we do to prepare for winter!
Lazer Z X-Series zero-turn riding mower earns award for innovative RED Technology
Step on the gas with a clear conscience: Use Clean Cities' vehicle comparison site to find the right light-duty model among alternative fuel vehicles, and green up your life in the fast lane.
Renewable energy is often seen as a way to have it all and still feel “green” and it is indeed at a glance more environment friendly than conventional power, but no power has as low footprint as the power not used.
A brief overview of keeping bees in a top bar hive from setup to overwintering.
One thing that gardening has done to me, as to so many others probably, is that I've started to pay attention to where the food on my plate comes from, and usually the answer is “from our garden."
Where is our economic security?
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.
Not all beehives are created equal. This post examines Langstroth beehives, Top-Bar beehives, and Warre beehives in order to help a new beekeeper determine which system is the best for her bees.
Take a seat on this comfy sofa you made yourself using recycled car seats.
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.
Here are a few ways to know if a business is supporting green practices or not. Green practices are increasingly more and more important as companies increase and continue to have a large impact on the environment.
For the past few years, we've experimented with different ways of storing food fresh and now we're eating garlic, onions, squash, carrots and beets in June.
The little used herb lovage makes an attractive addition to the edible landscape and provides a smoky flavor to soups and stews.
The electric Tesla Model S was put to the test in a recent highway collision. Tesla's CEO offers his assessment of the resulting fire and the overall safety of his company's vehicle.
Strict ceilings on resource use, with rationing, can halt and reverse climate disruption. Australia's experience shows why the alternative to rationing, a carbon tax, is too indirect and too politically toxic to succeed.
To grow, keep and eat your own food keeps you away from the food industry, the fossil fuel based agriculture, food stores and logistics.
Even as far north as Maine I can harvest produce from March to December with parsnips to dig from under the frost in February without the use of row covers or a greenhouse. In some beds I do two or more succession plantings that together with the root cellar keeps me with fresh produce all year.
With just about every breed of standard bred, heritage poultry, we have work to do. They are not producing like they once were.
Growing garlic is easy if you just know the right time to plant it: in fall, not spring or summer!
After decades of gardening I’ve come to rely on a few essential gardening tools.
As fall nears, sunflowers are beginning to die off and it's time to harvest their seeds! In this post I bring you through the steps to harvest and prepare your sunflower seeds for eating!
Non-gardeners and gardeners are very, very different creatures.
I learned an important gardening lesson from fighting tomato blight.
Our August at the Hostel has best been described visually; a flat palm held about an inch from our face.
Celebrate the third annual National Plug In day on Sept. 29, 2013, and see what electric cars are all about.
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.
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.
There are many benefits with raising pigs for meat, and also some common sense ways of doing so in a sustainable way.
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
How my dad defended himself from overly generous gardeners.
Over the past year, I have made countless mistakes on my garden. In this post, I share four of my most frustrating gardening mistakes and how to avoid them.
Having a hostel of your own, gives you the best of both worlds; the comfort of home with the vibration of travelers.
Store-bought deoderants contain aluminum and other harmful substances that find their way into your bloodstream. Try this recipe for natural homemade deodorant that uses baking soda with coconut oil and essential oil to create a effective and safe alternative.
From log to the mill to the project in no time at all.
Electric car batteries are at risk of warming up too quickly in high temperatures. Here’s how to help EV batteries beat the heat.
Instead of coffee and cake after dinner, end an evening in style with this Coffee Granita Recipe.
This Peach Sherbet Recipe is reminiscent of biting into a fresh peach, but with a cool, creamy consistency.
Make this creamy Peanut Butter Gelato Recipe and customize it with fruit, chocolate or nuts.
The tall-tale vintage postcard collection consists of turn of the century photomontages depicting the utopian dream of agricultural America.
Whether you’re looking for a sporty two-seater, a large family vehicle, or a heavy-duty farm or work truck, here's how to find the best options for vehicles that use less fuel and save you money.
As more manufacturers introduce new electric vehicles to the market, prices go down and electric car sales go way, way up.
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.
This year is the first season I had the whole garden dug and ready and boy, it's easy to plant a garden when the garden is already there.
These twelve postcards are from the Garden Patch Series, published by Raphael Tuck & Sons in 1907.
Our friend Pat Sweeney has built himself an Electric MAX - a DIY Locost with a DIY electric power plant.
A new tool released by the U.S. Department of Energy allows drivers to compare fuel costs of electric cars with those of gas-powered vehicles.
My experiences with a reel lawn mower in a small urban neighborhood.
Scotts Miracle-Gro now phosphorous-free in market leading Turf Builder product.
One of STIHL’s many battery powered tools could make a perfect gift for dad this Father’s Day.
For me, homesteading means to not have a great need for money in the first place. It also means that the money one does need is being made by utilizing the land, as in our case, running the Hostel.
Visitors enjoyed hundreds of test drives of Ford hybrid and electric cars at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
We are inundated with green messages that can sometimes be confusing or misleading. This phenomenon is especially true when it comes to the paint industry. There is much talk about No-VOC and Low-VOC paints, but what is the truth behind it?
Kick toxic chemicals to the curb and make your own natural lotion using just a few ingredients. Making homemade lotion is an easy, fun and creative process.
Here are some ways we use natural materials to improve our garden and orchards.
Driving patterns now closely resemble those from 1995, as young drivers are finding alternative forms of transportation.
These new vehicles may help the environment, but their soundless engines are a threat to the visually impaired, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.
I made body cream for Mother’s Day presents for my family.
But maybe, at the end of the day, I am just a person with weak nerves doing something that depends on so many unknown factors – the weather, the bug population, the quality of seeds and some plain ol' luck.
If you have a bike, your freedom of moving around is endless. Cycling is swift and bikes are easy to navigate where cars sometimes can't go.
Our striving to live frugally, monetary so, affects our everyday life choices. We choose to live without a lot of things that cost money. We make most of the cash we do need by running the Hostel in the summer months.
What’s with glycerin? It’s a soap-making byproduct with antibacterial properties, but it’s often made with animal fat derivatives, which isn’t really our thing. So, we figured out how to make our own veggie version with coconut oil, opening up a whole world of kitchen pantry beauty concoctions.
To turn a woodlot into a park with no “litter” on the ground might look tidy, but is not very healthy or functional. Next time you look at a dead tree or a log rotting on the ground; look at it as something full of life.
I know how popular and much hyped season-extending materials are in the world of organic gardening, but is it a necessity to eat fresh lettuce year round?
Why spend hundreds of dollars on a readymade bicycle cargo trailer when you can build one yourself? Portland Pedalworks keeps the project easy and inexpensive in this how-to video.
Upcycle abandoned shopping carts into funky shopping cart furniture that is both fun and functional. This DIY shopping cart project takes some elbow grease, but is well worth the results.
Our work in the woods starts long before we get the chainsaw and axe out; by being in the woods, observing and contemplating. We're looking for healthy trees that we can help to thrive and that will be of benefit in the future.
People are traveling fewer miles in vehicles, suggesting more compact communities whose residents choose walking over driving.
Onions are daylight sensitive and need to have plenty of time to put on top growth before the days start to get shorter and the plant pulls its energy into the bulb. If you like to start onions from seed, don’t wait! The best time is already closing in.
In this excerpt from Fair presenters Hank and Karen Will’s new book, Plowing With Pigs and Other Creative, Low-budget Homesteading Solutions, they’ll show you how to add small grains to your plot.
As gas prices continue to rise, so does car sharing. Walk Score lists the top 10 car share cities in North America.
To say the sawmill is just a piece in the homestead puzzle might be a slight understatement. In some ways, it's a key factor.
Tips for learning to grow and spin cotton.
It wasn't many months ago the seed catalog for this year showed up, but at that point I had just, just, managed to finish off the garden season, slightly traumatized from all the work. To receive a catalog then seemed mostly like an ill-conceived joke, a way to rub it in; don't think you can relax too much.
Car sharing is becoming more popular in the United States, and is a greener method of transportation.
Talking about carrying in the red roofing tin the old fashioned way due to a broken golf cart and some very muddy conditions. The refrigerator root cellar continues to prove itself as an experiment that seems to be working so far.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
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.
In 2010, Chevrolet announced that they were embarking on their Carbon Reduction Initiative, an effort to invest $40 million in carbon offset projects across the country with the goal of reducing up to 8 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions. The program includes wind, landfill-gas-to-energy, solar, efficiency, and conservation projects.
Even after 15 years, Cam still loves heating his home with wood that he cuts himself.
Launching Anna's new E book on cover crops in a no till garden and talking about the recent power failure that prompted us to do some Off Grid Homesteading which taught us a few lessons on using golf cart batteries for supplemental lighting.
The Grasshopper company has introduced the new Model 8HT PowerVac vacuum collector.
This video slideshow reveals the sacred magic
contained in the Native American corn that sustained many Indian tribes for
thousands of years before professional plant breeders turned it into an
Eat carrots from your garden all winter! A little planning goes a long way toward more food with less work. Learn how to start with a winter cover crop of rye, with carrots following next in the rotation, maturing by the time the first frost.
Discover the Ozarks region's natural beauty and adventure hot spots as told by Mike McArthy of Photozarks.
Triton College has installed electric car charging stations in an effort to promote greener lifestyles in the community.
Describes hopeful developments toward healthful soil and a safer climate.
Many readers can't say no to spouses, children, bosses, and so on. To please and care for others, we often sacrifice ourselves, working long hours, exhausting our energy. There is a cure. It's a two-letter word that starts with n. Try it.
Learn details regarding winter chicken care including ventilation for a cozy chicken house, heat for baby and grown chicks, and recommended poultry books.
I was gratified when, two weeks ago, Consumer Reports announced that the Chevy Volt was the best-loved car in the world among people who drive one – for the second year in a row. I have never loved a car like I love this one. And I have loved some cars.
As gas prices go up, more motorcycles appear on the roads. There's a strong belief among commuters that bikes are cheaper to own and operate. But which machine is really the winner in the battle of motorcycle vs. car?
In the hollows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this true Christmas celebration was simple, inexpensive and rich with tradition.
How to recycle a junked refrigerator into a refrigerator root cellar that works at keeping produce chilled but not frozen during winter months.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce we have won a prestigious publishing award for our Guide to Green Cars.
Experiments in making an all natural body scrub.
The author figures out a way to outsmart tree-damaging rodents.
American Airlines is the greenest U.S. airline for the third consecutive year in Newsweek's Green Rankings List, an annual environmental ranking of the country's 500 largest publicly traded companies.
Why do we believe that math must be done one workbook page at a time, at the kitchen table? Anyone who’s ever kept chickens can tell you all the math that can be found in the hen house.
The U.S. Department of Energy released a set of pumpkin-carving stencils celebrating Halloween through alternative energy.
Build a bicycle cargo trailer and haul almost anything—furniture, boxes, even a barbecue grill—using pedal power.
How to make your own homemade deodorant that really works!
Crossing a creek using cinder block stepping stones one year after installation and using cinder blocks to repair driveway ruts. Shoveling mulch from a Club Car golf cart and a nice image of turkey tail mushrooms popping up from a log of walnut.
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.
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!
In this posting we discuss how rock weathering controls the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We also discuss why rock weathering can't remove the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that was generated by our use of fossil fuels.
Ford delivered more than 900 test-drives of its 2013 electric and hybrid vehicles to visitors at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
If you would like to be represented by more elected officials who support environmental safeguards for our air, water, and land, take a look at these resources, including the League of Conservation Voters' National Environmental Scorecard.
Therapeutic grade essential oils have a tonne of uses on the homestead - here's how we've used them effectively, and how they bring us peace of mind.
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!
Bike-Free Day happens all over the world on Sept. 22. Grist is challenging the US to rise to the occasion and celebrate with the global community this Saturday.
Have you ever had leftover bread, but you don't want to throw it away or give it to the birds? Here's what you do: Panzanella. This Italian salad will throw your taste buds for a loop, and it all starts with leftover, stale bread.
A shocking first hand experience with the noisy demise of an ancient carbon monoxide detector.
New federal standards will dramatically increase fuel efficiency in cars and light-duty trucks by 2025.
Cam contemplates the amount of energy that goes into our food production and shows how he prepared corn for freezing the zero carbon way!
Hiking The Ozarks' Lost Valley - Where getting lost is part of the fun! By Mike McArthy of Photozarks
Tips on how to prevent soil compaction on your lawn and reduce water pollution!
Jessica Kellner, editor of Natural Home and Garden Magazine, shares three pregnancy skin care products that will help prevent stretch marks and keep your baby belly soft and smooth.
Environmentalist and journalist Bill McKibben clarifies the equations behind global warming, and points to the movement that could be spurred by the math.
Sensor Plug update along with a report on Sunflowers being used as a cover crop and when to properly harvest onions.
What's it take to build your own SOLAR-POWERED Electric Car? How about starting small with some hardware store parts and an old child's ride-on toy? Read how a tinkerer Dad builds a Solar-Powered Power Wheels with just basic tools and skills.
Describing how to look up tax maps, cutting carrots, and deleting problem tomato plants that only produce insipid fruit. The main attraction this week is our Power Plucker review and how awesome this new product is at saving time when plucking.
Steve shares his time touring a plant that makes the kind of blades homesteaders use every day,
Cam finds an new old-fashioned way to keep the wildlife out of his garden.
The American College of Healthcare Sciences and Apothecary Shoppe have been re-certified as Green America Gold-Certified businesses.
Porch building tips along with deer pressure notes and golf cart pickup bed instructions.Throw in a 5 foot high chicken wire fence and a rare appearance from a normally camera shy cat named Strider and you've got an idea of what we've been up to.
Tips on how to compost, what is composting and reasons why you should compost.
Take a tour of the mills and mountains of the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas, home to some of the finest remaining historic gristmills that still exist in the U.S.A. Based on the popular Historic Ozarks Mills book created by award-winning photographer Mike McArthy. Hydropower's energy-producing capacity is getting well-deserved attention these days, and these old mills provide inspiration.
Talking about the back up generator failure along with recent golf cart modifications.
Another set of Great Quotations. These seven quotations have direct relevance to gardeners and farmers, but they offer wisdom that everyone can learn from and enjoy.
Crushing a truck, harvesting garlic, and fixing a broken flywheel shaft key are just a few of the things that got done over the last week at WaldenEffect.org complete with photos of all the juicy stuff.
Summing up the last week of activity by hitting on a few key stories that might prove note worthy to a few of the homesteading folks out there complete with photo montage of golf cart jousting and aquaponic trout.
Eating cicadas, building a porch, and hauling lumber for said porch all in the same week with several images of the action as well as some bee installation pictures.
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.
Preventing allergy causes as opposed to treating the symptoms.
The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s largest and most prestigious award for grassroots activists. This year’s six inspiring and courageous prize winners (one from each of the six inhabited continental regions of the world) are...
How to use herbs on goats, blends, suggestions, and tips.
Although you might think warming up your car is best on a cold morning, doing so is a bad idea — and not just because it wastes gas.
Hybrid cars now have a 12-year history in the United States, but hybrid car battery replacements have been surprisingly unnecessary. Most of the hybrid cars on the road are still using their original battery packs — even many of the 300,000-mile Ford Escape Hybrids used as taxis in New York and San Francisco.
Electric car battery range is worse in cold weather: A drop of just 10 degrees could theoretically sap up to 50 percent of a battery’s charge.
Comparing today’s cars that get 40 mpg or better to the high-mpg cars of a few decades ago is neither an accurate nor fair comparison.
Today’s full-size pickup trucks are more efficient than trucks of just a few years ago, but it’s still common for truck gas mileage to be in the mid-teens. The best overall full-size pickup fuel economy can be found on the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and GMC Sierra Hybrid.
If you need a new car — and want one that employs green vehicle technology or hybrid vehicle technology to save gas — there’s no major reason to wait.
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.
To improve MAX's versatility, the passenger seat is removable, which converts MAX from a couple carrier to a cargo carrier.
According to the Natural Products Association, the NPA Natural Standard is based on natural ingredients, safety, responsibility and sustainability.
Timidity nearly doomed Johnny to a life sentence in the rescue kennel until one determined family saw through his issues to the dog he was meant to be.
Cam describes his ongoing inner dialogue concerning his carbon footprint.
Fostering can help overcome an unexpected side effect of life in a rescue kennel---obesity.
USDA-organic personal care line now styled after Dr. Bronner’s iconic castile soap label.
Adult dogs need a little help to compete with pups in the adoption game. A spa date with a groomer or in your own back yard can give that older shelter dog more than a shiny coat. It can open the door to a new life.
The Rainforest Alliance is pleased to announce that Caribou Coffee is the first major coffee company in the US to source 100 percent of its coffee and espresso beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.
Make these tasty and chewy caramels. They are a festive treat that takes on a homespun flavor with the addition of Sorghum.
Fun graphics of great quotations! Quotations by Buckminster Fuller, Mary Oliver, Martin Luther King Jr., and others, available as free graphics that can be shared like e-cards.
A comforting herb-baked macaroni makes for a simple meal on a short winter night.
Building my own electric car seems to have caught the attention of the Media. As though getting on the front page of the County paper for a speeding ticket in my electric car wasn't notorious enough, now I'm getting calls from big-shot reporters!
The New York Times reports our carbon emissions in 2011 were the highest on record. Reduce your family's carbon footprint by choosing vegetarian recipes such as Fennel and Leek Soup and Delicata Squash Stuffed with Wild Mushrooms and Herbs.
This machine adds creativity and detail to woodworking projects
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a new Wind Turbine project at the port of Milwaukee will produce more than enough electricity for the city building there. Blogger Ben Nelson checks it out for you with a report, photos, and video.
A recent study by German carpet company suggests that its Cradle-to-Cradle-certified carpet might actually improve indoor air quality.
Across the pond, engineer Martin Bacon and a team of volunteers have created a coffee-powered car that averaged 66.5 mph over two speed runs.
Actor Carel Struycken is famous for his role as Lurch in Addams Family, as well as many other roles. He is also a big proponent of permaculture. Nyerges talks with Struycken at his Pasadena home about permaculture and sustainable farming.
For Bryan Welch, a prototype of Toyota's 2013 Prius Plug-In is a real life example of how gasoline electric hybrids have made major gains in efficiency over other conventional cars.
Keeping the project going is my goal.
Cam celebrates his daughter's engagement but considers the impact of flying across the world for the wedding.
Jack took MAX to a local car show and found that even if they're not looking for high mileage, folks think MAX is cool.
This posting will discuss the role of volcanic and anthropogenic release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It will also discuss they play in global warming and ocean acidification.
Submit your best photos of biking and walking for a chance to win a free, 10-day bike trip to Italy!
Steve offers a few thoughts on line trimmers and brush cutters.
This posting will discuss the relationship of weather and climate and how global warming affects this relationship to trigger climate change
Chevrolet dealers in all 50 states are now taking orders for the 2012 Chevrolet Volt electric car.
Recent reports have incorrectly stated that the 2012 RAV4 EV will only be marketed to fleet and car sharing programs. We’d like to set the record straight.
Nissan North America Inc. is expanding availability of the all-electric Nissan LEAF to U.S. consumers for the 2012 model year, with upgrades based on feedback thousands of Leaf owners.
This posting will discuss how the buring of fossil fuels is putting strain on the ecosystem of the ocean.
Cam battles with scarabs in his raspberry patch.
Practical use of a wood mill on the homestead. The benefit of cutting your own lumber.
The virtues and wisdom of having some projects done by professionals -vs- rather than attempting them yourself. While many can and do their own installation, occasionally it is better to have professionals do the job.
In New York City, advocates unveil a bold vision to end the traffic violence.
New wood stove, another unexpected advantage of downsizing, and Murphy's Law.
Looking at all the wood powered cars
Wild flowers in bloom in high country meadows. Wild iris in profusion.
Carpenter ants: an alternative to chemical treatment. Living within the environment and not attempting to destroy or change it.
(Video) The U.S. Secretary of Transportation bikes to work at the behest of his bicycle commuting employees.
Wild strawberries are a tasty treat.
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
Get a glimpse of some of the unique exhibitors at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold talks with Jonathan Holloway about the Mitsubishi i, an all-electric car on display at the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Washington. Mitsubishi is one of the FAIR's main sponsors.
Tree stumps, reminders of special moments and birds contribution to life.
Being prepared for canine emergencies.
An innovative partnership of bicycle advocates and a bike-friendly attorney aims to reduce crashes in South Carolina.
The process of evaluating needs for successful downsizing.
Pack Rats, cute, tricky and destructive
Are you up to the 2 Mile Challenge? Sign up and help replace 100,000 car trips with healthy, pollution-free bicycle travel!
Sometimes you have your plans changed for you, so don't put off tomorrow what can be done today.
Have some fun in your garden this year and grow something giant!
Gardening challenges at high elevation.
Homesteading with wild animals and how to cope with their antics.
If you have questions on how we accomplished our dream - ask us maybe our experience will help you. We welcome questions on how life is in the high mountains of S. Colorado. Please visit our personal blog for more information on us.
Susie Stephens' memorial now grows in the city of her tragic death.
Cam considers the environmental implications of different forms of transportation and urges people to stop flying!
Ford focus electric offers eco-friendly features throughout the vehicle.
Yep, that's my boss with Lance Armstrong — and a half-million bike/ped friends — on the open streets of Los Angeles.
At Green Roof Growers in Chicago, Little Green Girl takes a field trip to the new chicken coop. Holding chickens, meeting the puppy Carl, and visiting the chickens' new home are all part of the fun.
Cam leaves his lights on during Earth Hour since he generates his own electricity with solar and wind!
Carbide saw blades last a long time and typically perform very well. Learn about two ways to keep them sharp and effective.
Join a free webinar about women and cycling this Wednesday!
Award winners highlight the next generation of leaders in the bike/ped movement
A cheap plastic pin reveals allies on Capitol Hill.
Transportation rock stars, Janette Sadik-Khan and Congressman Earl Blumenauer, tell National Bike Summit attendees that local advocates are the real headliners in the bicycle movement.
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, outlines some suggestions on how to become an expert carpenter who can work with wood anywhere.
There are many ways that each of us can lessen our unhealthy dependence on filthy fuels. You can do so in every area of your life, from choices you make regarding your house and home improvements, to food, transportation, and other consumer choices.
Use a digital tire gauge and learn how to check tire pressure regularly to get better gas mileage. While other types of gauges exist, the digital tire pressure gauge is an accurate and simple way to keep your tires properly inflated. Read this digital tire gauge review to see what digital tire pressure checkers you can buy.
Unlike most poultry and chicken electrolyte products on the market today that treat hundreds of birds, Sav-A-Chick™ is ideal for casual poultry raisers with 1 – 10 birds.
A doctor, soldier, father and husband died tragically in a bicycle crash. Now, justice is being served as the driver faces a reckless homicide charge.
Cam readily admits to being obsessed about his use of energy.
Complete streets policies are sweeping the nation, to the benefit of bicyclists, pedestrians and travelers of all ages.
We will discuss how the Earth overcomes the increasing solar radiation from the Sun to maintain a stable temperature for life (Gaia Hypothesis). The role anthropogenic forces will also be discussed.
Leaders from America Bikes impress top transportation official with compelling new data on job creation and popular demand for active street design.
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition won a major victory with the opening of the Cal Park Hill Tunnel — a world class facility that makes biking the quickest commuting option.
We discuss the concept that carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels is partly responsible for the current atmospheric carbon overload. We also briefly discuss other human activities that contribute to the atmospheric carbon overload.
Using climate history we discuss how tipping points are triggered and the consequences to the planet after a tipping point has occurred. We also look at evidence to determine whether the current global warming trend will lead to a tipping point
See what the water reflects in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
Simran Sethi explains how the green faith movement can provide common ground among different groups.
This posting discusses the role of carbon dioxide emitted from the burning of fossil fuel in ocean acidification. We also discuss the potential effect ocean acidification will have on marine inhabitants.
Mia Birk's new book weaves together personal and professional history to illustrate the transformative power of bicycling.
Walk this way, to support the revitalization of a pedestrian-friendly America.
Thanks to local advocates, Santa came early for cyclists in the Steel City.
Hybrid-Like Fuel Economy Starts at $18,895; Goes on Sale in January
Show your thanks for bicycle and pedestrian advocacy leaders by nominating someone you know for a national Advocacy Award.
Emmy-award winner, Dayton Duncan, likened trail advocates to John Muir at the American Trails National Symposium
This blog explains how the carbon cycle regulates atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. The blog also discusses how the burning of fossil fuels has disrupted the carbon cycle which increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The defeat of Congressman Jim Oberstar wasn't just a blow to Minnesota. It was a loss for everyone who bikes and walks.
Simran Sethi interviews Tom Kostigen about water waste and conservation.
Ian Klepetar has been living out of a tent — and building a business empire that benefits bicyclists.
The bike-ped movement is growing; meet one of the newest leaders advocating for pedestrians.
Bikes Belong needs your pledge to show the public, policymakers and the media that one million Americans want better policy and funding to promote bicycling.
Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.
Who the heck is Paul Goodman? The car-free visionary who inspired a new documentary and bicycle contest.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy launches a national campaign aimed at the American Automobile Association.
A little pampering can go a long way in making you feel rested, cared for and treated — and it doesn’t have to be expensive or involve complex chemistry. Check out this recipe for homemade bubble bath, and share your tips for creating a do-it-yourself home spa experience.
A Colombian concept that reclaims the streets has found a home in dozens of cities across the U.S.
Musician Ben Sollee has defined the pace and purpose of touring, ditching the van and taking the 2 Mile Challenge.
Nissan LEAFs Will Be Available in Select Markets Next Year – Extending Enterprise’s Commitment to Support Clean, New Technologies
As state transportation officials send billions back to Washington, advocates hope bicyclists and pedestrians aren't left holding the empty bag.
With the lifting of the four-year Bicycle Plan injunction, we're watching the next premiere biking city unfold — at record pace — in San Francisco, California.
First in a series of blog posts which will cover conversion of lawnmowers and small engines from gasoline to propane.
A people-powered revolution is afoot.
emerginC, a leading professional skincare collection, has just launched a natural yet serious results-oriented collection aptly named Scientific Organics.
One reader submits a photo of an oversized egg. Remember to submit your photos every week at our CU photo-sharing website. Maybe one of your shots will be the next Photo of the Week!
For those looking environmentally friendly car parts, Jamak offers a fully recyclable windshield wiper that’s made from non-petroleum-based silicon.
The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid electric car won't be for everyone, given its high price tag. But this sleek and cutting-edge electric car could break the mold for green cars and raise the bar for electric car technology and production.
The all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid coupe will debut Aug. 24, 2010. Developed as a stylish, driver-focused vehicle with an emphasis on efficient performance, the all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z introduces a sleek two-passenger coupe design with quick, sporty handling to the gasoline-electric hybrid segment.
Carbon offsets had a few holes when the Christian Science Monitor investigated the carbon credit market. Without an overarching voluntary carbon standard, carbon offset programs could be bogus.
Try these tips for cleaning a carburetor.
Propelling a vehicle with air or water is possible, but whether it’s practical is another story.
With the Smart ForTwo electric drive, Smart is underlining its pioneering role on the road to attractive individual mobility with no local emissions in cities and urban areas.
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.
It’s time for lawn and garden work. In your opinion, which is the best garden tractor? Which tractor will you be using this year?
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi goes through the process of rejuvenating her hardwood floors, and describes how to avoid harmful ingredients in cleaning products, such as volatile organic compounds, in the process.
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.
Earth Days, a poignant, 2009 Sundance Film Fesitval success, will premier on Facebook April 11, and on the PBS Network April 19.
Do you see yourself in an electric car? Dan Chiras lists the benefits of driving an electric vehicle, and predicts the benefits will increase as the technology becomes more sophisticated.
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras warns us that building nuclear power plants is not the solution to our current energy crisis.
I hate to say it — because electric cars may be the salvation of transportation someday — but much of the current hype around electric cars is smoke and mirrors.
Dan Chiras asks why GM hasn't brought the EV1 back yet.
Taking a bus or a train can be a great green way to reach your vacation destination. We'd like to hear more about your bus or train travels and what you liked, or didn't like, about the experience. Share your story here!
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras talks about the future of fuel-efficient, diesel hybrid cars.
The sales history of the Toyota Prius illustrates an exciting phenomenon: When a new idea or a piece of technology ignites the human imagination, it can spread very rapidly.
What kind of car would you get with the Car Allowance Rebate System, which gives consumers up to $4,500 to trade in old, inefficient vehicles?
A new federal tax on soda and other sugary beverages has been suggested as a way to pay for part of the major overhaul of the U.S. health-care system proposed by the Obama administration. What do you think of the proposed soda tax?
Make you own inexpensive, pampering - and edible - homemade face mask with this simple recipe. Enjoy!
You can save gas and money by keeping your tires correctly inflated. And now a group of high school students has launched a project to encourage drivers to regularly check their tires.
President Barack Obama signed an executive order to help reduce automobile gas emissions in the United States. This is the first of many steps that the Obama administration plans to make to improve global warming.
A new bill will give drivers money to buy newer, more fuel-efficient cars when they scrap their older, less fuel-efficient ones.
The Army gets greener by switching 4,000 gas engine vehicles to electic vehicles starting Monday.
Wish your friends and family happy holidays with our free, fun and animated e-card.
The Apollo Alliance want you to tell the new Obama Energy Czar, Carol Browner that you support renewable energy policy.
A crazy idea to make a car battery last forever is quite crazy indeed.
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments until Nov. 28 on how it should rule on global warming pollutants.
Detroit automakers ask Congress for $25 billion, but that money could come with some energy efficiency strings.
Roasting is the best way to cook winter root vegetables, because dry heat coaxes out and concentrates flavors. Use this simple method and fool-proof tips to bring out the best in parsnips, carrots, rutabagas and other root vegetables.
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.
Not feeling so hot? Time magazine offers 10 things to consider before your next visit to the doctor.
Calculate your personal carbon footprint and compare your total to both the average per capita footprint worldwide and the average footprint in the United States.
Pizza Fusion is one of the 10 finalists in Co-op America's People's Choice Award for green business of the year. The company uses only organic ingredients and delivers its pizza with hybrids.
Check out Annie B. Bond's list of 11 easy tips for making your kitchen more healthy and safe, from Care2.
Odyssey Day embarked from Washington D.C. a few weeks ago as a nationwide effort to encourage and promote the use of petroleum-free fuel. The day is sponsored by the Department of Energy's Clean Cities, which has helped reduce petroleum use by almost more than 2 billion gallons so far.
New EPA regulations require 35 percent reduced emissions from lawn-care equipment by 2011.
Join Carrotmob in the movement to help local businesses become more green.
Treat your skin with one of these easy, inexpensive skincare recipes.
The news on climate change isn't good, but renewable energy could lead us to a brighter future.
Repairing or replacing trim around a door is easy, and you need only a few simple tools.
The Environmental Protection Agency is trying to cancel the use of carbofuran, but FMC Corporation stands in their way.
Bill Clinton has 10 recommendations for what the U.S. government should be doing to promote cleaner energy.
Honda cars are famously reliable, and now there's an online community for owners of 100,000+ mileage cars to share their stories.
Today Ford announced a long overdue shift in its business emphasis: away from trucks and SUVs and toward small cars. Before setting this new direction, there has been plenty of struggle between old think and new think.
Al Gore is calling on Americans to support a rapid transition to renewable energy. Tell us what you think.
Wise sprinkler usage will conserve water while maintaining your attractive lawn.
One of the top automotive journalists around agrees that the future is bright for plug-in hybrids, even more so than fuel-cell vehicles.
Share the pain of rising gas prices together and join the discussion about what will finally motivate us to dramatically change our driving habits.
My mother is brilliant. We were comparing recent frustrating experiences with doctors one evening when Mom, a 4th grade teacher, had an idea: The United States should do away with our current healthcare system and replace it with one similar to No Child Left Behind (called No Patient Left Behind), in which physicians are held personally accountable for the continued well-being of their patients.
It's surprisingly easy to figure out how many carbon dioxide emissions come from producing the electricity for your home, or burning a full tank of gas. Check out this carbon calculator, or find out how to do a quick ballpark estimate.
What's the plural of Prius? Whatever it is, there are lots of them out there.
This year, why not resolve to go on an energy diet? The idea is to set a few measurable goals to make your home more energy efficient and then keep track of your progress.
Details on a cool new carbon offset program from Volkswagen.
Making your own homemade toothpaste from coconut oil is easy, fun and can be healthier and less expensive than store-bought versions.
Cut high levels of arsenic in rice by cooking rice in your percolator.