In North Carolina’s Triangle region, Crop Mob is reviving community farming.
Real estate and land use demands have many people left on a waiting list by their local community gardens. Never fear: There's still plenty of options to get growing!
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
The documentary Urban Roots takes a look at how city farming is transforming the city's vacant lots into community gardens, ultimately changing the community as a whole in the process.
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
Kansas City has a thriving city farming scene, and recently hosted an urban farms tour to showcase several of the city’s market and community gardens. One of our editors pedaled along with a bike tour group to see what the city farmers have to offer.
The 651 Project has been established to assist students Nationwide in their pursuit of agricultural skills and knowledge.
Farm life is not always predictable, and some of the surprises turn out to be the most valuable lessons. This story from the ranch about some strong winter-born goats, a protective cow with motherly instincts, and a calf that’s making it against all odds will not only inspire you, but it may teach you something about the wonderful spirit of community support.
Nature challenges us: Can we love the world around us unsentimentally? Our enormous achievements have brought most of the planet more or less under our control. Now that we have this powerful role in the world, are we capable of accepting our responsibility? Nowhere is this question more present than on a farm, where we live among the animals that will one day provide a meal, and where providing a humane death is not only neccessary for our nourishment, but for providing a good life for the rest of the animal residents.
Learn about how some members of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS team joined with others at their publishing company to start “edible landscaping” gardens on their front lawn.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
A reader inquires about how to set up a community seed swap.
You can help support a community garden in New York City's East Harlem neighborhood.
The instinct to share home grown herbs, flowers and vegetables runs strong in gardeners, so sharing home grown goodies brings heartfelt rewards.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could produce all the energy we needed from local, renewable resources, such as solar and wind power?
This collection of rare and historic poultry books offers an amazing amount of information on poultry.
Lots of factors are involved in hatching poultry eggs successfully: consistent temperature, the right amount of humidity and frequently turning the eggs. Not all incubators work equally well, and some have features that make operating them easier. Read about our most recent incubator test.
Bob Berry owns a small hatchery business that specializes in two old breeds of chickens. He offers suggestions for incubating eggs and starting chicks that are shipped through the mail.
Hatching eggs using natural or artificial incubation is great fun, but there are no guarantees. Things can go wrong with either system.
Being a part of the solution can forestall the potential decline.
Instead of using a heat lamps to brood just a few chicks, consider using a broody hen to do the job. This system takes less time to manage and uses no fossil fuels!
How you spend your money matters more than ever these days. Here’s an easy way to connect with your community and make your dollars count.
Discuss the strange and mysterious ways of broody hens. Plus, the Community Chickens project will be hatching duck eggs!
This is a great collection of information and tips on raising poultry, chicken coops and hatching poultry eggs. You can learn about brooders, coops and poultry equipment.
Lots of people order hatching eggs that are shipped through the mail before setting them in an incubator or under a broody hen. But what kind of results should you expect from shipped hatching eggs? Read what an expert has to say about realistic expectations.
Many people who keep chickens or other poultry have concerns about how to manage their flock when cold weather sets in. But winter shouldn’t be a problem for your flock, but rather a steppingstone to the following year! Check your poultry often, follow these guidelines and you can even raise baby chicks in the winter! Tips from an expert.
Urban community green spaces are an essential component of our built environment. Their significance is becoming more and more apparent to city planners and urban residences all over the United States.
Missoula, MT company awards home owners sustainable products.
How I reconcile professional football and its place in our society.
Coporations continue to purchase interests in seed industries. Could this be a problem?
Farming isn’t a skill that can be easily learned from a book. Here’s some advice and a collection of resources to help you decide whether you’re ready to try your hand at it.
Learn why it is helpful to have a group of fellow homesteaders, then start a group of your own in your local community.
Thanks to helping hands, everything gets done.
See green building in action! The third and final season of the Greensburg TV series is scheduled to begin on May 2, 2010.
The Food Is Free Project has become a food revolution in Austin, Texas
If you’re planning to buy a small backyard chicken coop to protect a few hens, you might be interested in this coop from GardenEggs.com.
I tested a new incubator against my old Styrofoam incubator. Find out which one is the best for incubating duck eggs. The difference was amazing.
We’re trying out several incubators with chicken, duck and quail hatching eggs.
Cam discovers he isn't as young as he once was while enjoying a sense of community at the local arena.
The Community Chickens project is about sharing the joy of keeping poultry and spreading the knowledge to help people successfully raise chickens, ducks and other poultry. Here’s a summary of some things we’ve learned through the project.
Cam appreciates his local volunteer fire department.
We’re testing incubators, equipment and feed for the Community Chickens project.
Does turning eggs frequently during incubation improve hatch rates? Can storing the eggs before incubating them lower the hatch rate? Find out what we learned from our experiment hatching pheasant eggs.
NeighborGoods is an online community that lets you borrow and lend tools and other items from people in your area.
Hens that lay white eggs are lighter weight and eat less feed to produce the same amount of eggs as brown-egg layers. So, does that mean that if you’re concerned about conserving resources and care about the environment, you should eat white chicken eggs instead of brown chicken eggs? Color is only shell deep. There’s more to this debate than meets the eye.
The Food is Free Project has inspired thousands of individuals, families and groups around the globe to start front yard free gardens to share with friends and neighbors. They are losing their teaching farm.
I feel that if we want to connect to our families, to our neighbors and to the people that we love that live in the community around us, we must somehow retrain ourselves to slow down and watch, listen and share, love and care.
A humurous description of the beginning of an adventure in farming.
Miller Manufacturing expands the Little Giant beekeeping supply product line.
Here's a helpful guide to help you make sustainable choices while shopping or out to eat. What else do you do to support sustainable farming practices?
A woman recalls her childhood memories on Three Mile Creek Farm including horses, a pig pen and a one-room school.
From breadlines in the city to hanging clothes to dry, a woman shares memories of her family’s move from Los Angeles to a farm in Oregon during the Great Depression.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence reviews the latest proposals banning urban chicken farming.
A description of farmers' even tempered dispositions.
Farmers in northern Michigan urge county officials to support hemp farming.
Radical homemaker Karen Keb introduces her new blog, which will cover topics as diverse as baking bread to raising livestock.
It's snake season, and I found a black snake out my back door!
Carolyn shares nostalgic summer memories of life on the farm including owning a pet rooster, picking wild blackberries, and eating fried turtle.
If you think Bambi is cute, try keeping him out of your strawberry field!
Here are a few sources that can help you find affordable farm land.
Urban Agriculture activists and advocates work to change the zoning laws in Chicago to be more friendly to urban agriculture.
Farming brings with it a lot of dirt, manure and blood, not to mention death. But it's these that also make it so full of life.
KIOTI embarks on a major process upgrade to exceed the needs of their customer base.
The story of two ladies and their small CSA in the Rocky Mountains.
Allowing children the space to discover the beauty and wonder of plants through tending to their own garden builds character, teaches responsibility, gives insight into the beauty of nature and fosters their connection with where their food comes from.
Learn a few tips for efficiency from seasoned CSA Farmers: La Vista CSA Farm.
Building community through sharing work and food.
Communicating via letters mirrors the pace of a handmade life.
How are US college students helping to brighten the future of Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, without leaving campus?
Working in the potato bed produces the next blog article.
For more than 40 years, The Farm Community in Tennessee has been on the forefront of farming, gardening and the green lifestyle.
Garden like the Native Americans by digging up 18-inch-diameter hills on four foot centers. Get your crops started, then worry about working the areas in between the hills.
In remembrance of a dear friend and steward of the Earth, a look at how others inspire us and how their legacy sculpts us.
The community garden in East Harlem, Chenchita's Garden, is beginning to take shape.
Know of a group that's doing great work to support your community or have a community-building idea of your own? If you live in the Northeast United States, Green Mountain Coffee and Ashoka's Changemakers are holding the "Revelation to Action" contest to find and help fund the most innovative ideas to bolster communities in the Northeast states.
One great thing about gardening that goes beyond soil building and crop rotations is its ability to bring people together. As spring is now officially here, it’s a great time to revel in all the pleasures the season is sure to bring. Please share your thoughts and stories about how gardening has brought people together in your life.
Julie Lavigne relates her grandparent’s home in the city, a modern homestead for their time, and proves you can live a self-sufficient lifestyle in an urban setting.
What does voluntary simplicity look like and how can we practice it despite our busy lives?
The Ogden Community Garden winds down, and one gardener marvels at the late October harvest, and on how much the garden has meant to everyone who has helped tend it.
After fire took her friends’ award-winning historic, renovated home only a year after its completion, Ilene White Freedman asks “Who will rebuild their spirits?” A follow-up to her post about the home's renovation.
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.
Take a photographic tour of Finca Bella Vista, a sustainable treehouse community in Costa Rica.
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service held its 25th conference from Feb. 27 though March 1. Here are the main takeaways about where organic farming has come from and where it's headed.
A potential solution to rising food prices, food insecurity and the obesity epidemic may call into play raising farms inside the city limits.
The Spirit of Hope garden in Detriot offers a safe, nurtuting place for plants and children to grow.
Recently a trend in farming called hydroponics has resurfaced and gained national attention that has grown in popularity with some, but has left others with mixed feelings.
Lay Htoo, a Burmese refugee, has been enrolled in the Farm Business Development Program at Cultivate Kansas City and is setting out to start her own urban farm.
The fields that were laid out in 1843 for livestock farming are teeming with hay-making grasses.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates discusses why his family works so hard—both on and off of the farm—to practice subsistence farming.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan reflects on the changes that arrive with fall, including her own sense of melancholy.
Robert Zwald finishes his short memoir with a record of his Wisconsin farm in the 1960s and the growth of his family. This is the eighth part of his stories, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
To protest the ban on hemp farming, six hemp activists symbolically planted hemp seeds on the lawn of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
September is here and I'm expecting the weather to break!
Using horses rather than tractors may turn out to be the greenest way to farm.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan Redick considers how inextricably the lives of farmers and fishermen are intertwined in her coastal Maine town.
The annual Organic Farming Conference put on by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service featured a series of workshops designed for young farmers looking to get started.
Dealing with potties out in the country.
Things that come to mind while watching my husband and son work in this heat.
Humorous real-life stories of moving and adjusting to farm life.
Vickie Evans describes her grandparents’ life in Winfred during the Depression and the years following. Both came from farming families and used their land and farming knowledge to help the local community.
A boy growing up in Appalachian Country shares the farming practices of his family.
Manure-spreading day is a big event on the farm, for everyone from the chickens to the border collies. And it's part of a wonderful seasonal cycle that's the foundation of self-reliance and sustainability.
It's a challenge to describe the place where I take my livestock when it's time for them to cease being my companions, and to become my product instead. I call Steve's Meats in DeSoto, Kansas, the "packer." And, indeed, when I stopped off there this morning they had about 800 pounds of beef frozen and packed, ready for me to take home. It filled the freezer to the rim.
The Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service is looking for an organic farmer worthy of being named their 26th annual Organic Farmer of the Year.
Facing massive snow drifts, HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick forges a new path to her barn and finds inspiration in the process.
Cam learns to appreciate country music.
Cam has a great deal of respect for farmers.
Exploring the roots of the CSA concept.
The nation's largest community-owned solar array in Rifle, Colorado, will provide clean energy for up to 350 residents, who don't even need a roof to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.
There’s more than one way to be an environmental warrior. And some approaches work better than others. Elemental follows the stories of three environmental advocates united by their deep connection with nature and driven to confront some of the most dire ecological issues affecting their respective communities. This isn’t only a story about plight and pollution, however. Rather, Gayatri Roshan’s and Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee’s documentary works best as a character-driven study of eco-activism’s do’s and don’ts.
These online tools can help you find the best sources for local food, including local farmers markets and community-supported agriculture programs.
Support your local food systems while getting the most from your home garden.
With winter beginning, these homesteaders are starting winter off cozy in their cabin.
"The Farm Then and Now" by Douglas Stevenson tells the story of The Farm: an intentional community that has defied the odds, blending idealism with a practical approach to create a model for sustainable living.
A list of ways we could each show support or teach our friends and family to support the Local Foods Movement
My mission was to find like minded 'earth nurturers' in a neighborhood where there seems to be a dearth of us! What I found was humility and kindred spirits, and the makings of a great dinner party!
Homeschool Moms for Moms is a safe place where moms are welcome to post photos of their children’s portfolios, work, crafts, artwork, and learning environments.
Portland is the nation's most bike-friendly city, yet this Oregon community has had to deal with cycling disparities among its population. One nonprofit organization addressed this issue by developing new programs targeting low-income immigrant communities.
With resources from Mother Nature, you can make natural and beautiful homegrown holiday gifts.
Leaving the rental home we had lived in for three years in Carmel Indiana, to move back to Kangaroo Valley, Australia has meant more than losing the plot and getting the flock out of there!
I am new to America, and new to the suburbs, having previously lived in rural Australia. I now live in suburban Indiana. During the past two years I have been trying to set up an "urban homestead" for our family. The neighbors are curious and amused.
Pass the cold, wintry months with warm thoughts of how you can eat more local food while supporting sustainable agriculture this coming season.
The benefits of a membership in a CSA and how supporting local organic farming is not only good for you but good for the Earth as well.
Jerry DeWitt of the National Center of Appropriate Technology will present a workshop on the culture of sustainability at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Ed Begley Jr. of Envirolet will present a workshop on sustainable living at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Frances Moore Lappé of the Small Planet Institute will present a workshop on positive environmentalism at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.
Carolyn Guske, official illustrator for MOTHER EARTH NEWS heritage farm animals, will teach kids how to draw and paint heritage farm animals at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Cecile Andrews, simplicity advisor and Dena Marshall of Marshall Meditation will present workshops on simplicity and conflict management at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Sukita Reay Crimmel of Claylin and From These Hands, and publisher of Mother Earth News Bryan Welch will present workshops on building earthen floors and how to build a sustainable future at the Mother Earth News Fair, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, WA.
Raising baby coturnix quail is an exciting adventure. Taylor is completely new to raising poultry and shares his experiences.
Quails make an excellent urban choice for poultry raising, chiefly for their tranquil nature, minimal noise and egg-producing efficiency. In this, the second installment of my series on quail-raising, you'll learn how to identify gender from color and marks and see how quail eggs compare with those of chickens.
4-H is a youth organization that can be a great resource for skill-building in our communities. No matter what you do or what your interest, spending time with your local club is a worthy contribution.
The full team from thePOOSH.org attended Over the Moon Festival last autumn in the UK and built a beautiful bender as a temporary shelter area and stall.
This is the story of my family’s transition from a nomadic military lifestyle to one of rural homesteading. I talk about our preparation leading up to leaving the service and some of our current goals and projects for the property and our lives. I also talk about using permaculture as the design science methodology for our businesses and the development of the property.
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.
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
Focus on Food records an episode from Chaffin Orchards and discusses sustainable farming and the ethics of eating meat.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares how to install drip irrigation in your home garden.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan learns that giving up control, whether over a mischievous flock or a single lamb, can have its own rewards.
Proposals to weaken the links among conservation, farming and fair access to food would worsen the problems of U.S. agriculture.
Writer and Canadian farming enthusiast, Joseph Graham sent this review of the event that he and his wife hosted for Homesteading Education Month.
It takes a few good rationalizations to get through the busiest part of the growing season.
A description of a pioneering workshop featuring no-till, cover crop cocktails and mob grazing. Douglas County Conservation Service educated local farmers in cutting-edge biological farming techniques.
I, alone, am no one. I do not grow food. I do not water the garden. I do not photosynthesize. I do not put the life force in the soil. I do not make the seed. A natural force other than I is responsible for all this. That same natural force uses this body I like to consider my own to garden.
Permaculture is at the heart of the solution of many environmental crises. Permaculture is alive with the possibilities of positive change.
Is rotenone organic? The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) sorts out that complicated question about a pesticide being used on some organic farms.
The 20th-Annual Organic Growers School takes place March 8 through March 10 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in Asheville, N.C. The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction and trade show.
Learning to raise cows is more of a challenge than you would imagine!
Free-range, backyard eggs are better for your health and your ethics.
The Worldwatch Institute declares that many people worldwide are turning to organic agriculture to feed themselves and others, while feeling good about protecting the environment in a time of economic depression.
Productive urban landscapes, if managed correctly, can reduce pollution in local watershed.
Arthur Bolduc shares his story of experiencing life near an Amish community in Ohio, where he enjoyed the exciting process of sorghum production firsthand.
Finding friends out in the country can be challenging.
A hard look at the state of the food industry and the impact of factory farming on polluted run-off, animal rights, and small family farms across America.
Cam enjoys a visit with Ken & Madeline who farmed this property many years ago and Cam realizes how hard farming was back then....
When it's too hot outside, the work moves inside, and is still REALLY HOT.
Looking for a farming internship or apprenticeship? Search the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Center’s online directory of farming internships and apprenticeships to find one that interests you.
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
It's been a rough summer for gardeners and farmers alike. Here's how we've been dealing with drought and a few tips on watering.
Young, pioneering aquaponic farmers like Josh and Alicia Davis, who own and operate an aquaponics farm in the Midwest, are reshaping the future of food in the United Sates. Folks like these surely do inspire others to think differently about their food.
After finding the illegal presence of genetically engineered wheat in Oregon, the USDA has found another, similar case in Montana.
The six owners of Oregon’s Winter Green Farm have effectively navigated the journey from homestead to successful biodynamic farm. This profile of Winter Green Farm has been excerpted from "Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement."
West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates explains why he has a problem with putting farmers, among others, on pedestals.
This post features a short excerpt from my book "The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming" and introduces my motivations in food, agriculture and community empowerment.
This is a must see film about the poverty America’s migrant farm workers faced 55 years ago. Although many of these scenes are far from pretty it can be used to inspire and motivate people to support their local and sustainable farms.
While productivity is often the name of the game at large farms, local food, minimal environmental impact and healthy conditions for farm workers also are hot topics today. Yet, our agriculture — and our living — have a greater impact on the environment and the life it supports than these issues alone address.
Coming back to agriculture and the farming life, I think every farmer should spend time as a fisherperson. If that were the case, I have a hard time believing Industrial Agriculture would have ever taken its foothold. Manure runs downhill as they say
It's always wonderful to meet someone who is passionate about what they do!
The workshop series "In Her Shoes: Sustainable Farming for Women, by Women" will provide on-farm, women-led sharing of resources, experiences and inspiration to further connect, encourage and support female organic farmers, entrepreneurs and agricultural leaders. These all-day workshops will be in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and each will cost $20 and include lunch.
For first-time chicken owners (or even for experienced chicken enthusiasts), selecting, purchasing, and preparing for your home chicken flock can seem like a daunting task. After thirty years of raising chickens, here’s Forrest Pritchard’s personal guide to ensure your new flock remains safely tucked beneath your wing so you can start a flock of chickens without worry.
With spring on its way, I am thinking about gardening, home grown food and what it takes to grow plants from seed.
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
This blog post tells what life was like on the self-sustaining farm of Olen and Anna Mae Showman located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia during the middle of the 20th century.
Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica’s verdant San Carlos agricultural region is a dynamic, living example of permaculture and biodynamic farming, where every being is part of a system that nurtures the body and the soul.
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) hosts its 23rd annual Organic Farming Conference, February 23-25, 2012, at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wis.
Dairyman Nick Snelgar reflects on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health certification process and bagging hay for winter on his UK dairy farm.
How does one eat more of the right types of seafood to reap all the health benefits without going bald? Choose local!
When traveling, consider checking out the community gardens in the area. You can meet local people who are passionate about gardening and learn about the climate and crops that may be different than yours.
Maddy Harland writes about principles that underpin our understanding and practical application of permaculture. She relates them to designing a green home and garden but also explains how permaculture can help us to create more sustainable lifestyle
Examining an community for your homestead.
How one rural county without animal control regulations or a public pet shelter is working to make a better community for all residents — both humans and their companions.
Barack Obama encourages Americans to participate in a national day of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
If we want future generations to live self-sufficient lives, we have to pass on the knowledge. This week's "Photo of the Week" reflects that point.
Kashi, the natural food and lifestyle leader, will support organizations that provide education and greater access to healthy foods in cities across the U.S.
The League of American Bicyclists has compiled a database of state-specific highlights of traffic laws that affect bicyclists. Find out if you live in a bicycle friendly community.
Collins hails milestone of the company becoming employee owned.
Survivalists and others who yearn for a better way of life, and a better world, would be best served by studying the successful tribal cultures and ways of the past. Based on an interview with Vine Deloria, author of "God is Red."
Sandy Boyce's sauerkraut was a hit, selling out each week, until her county health department asked her to stop. Across the nation, regulations can prevent small-time home producers from distributing their 'cottage foods' to the public.
Bastyr University and Premera Blue Cross today announced the launch of an innovative pilot program aimed at preventing or reversing childhood obesity.
Soapmaker Anne-Marie Faiola will present a workshop on soapmaking and Dr. Andrew Iverson will presenet a workshop on natural health at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Ditch unhealthy school lunches with a fresh lunch idea for kids: school gardens. Beyond putting fresh, healthy food in schools, cafeteria gardens are a great classroom tool and a big step towards more sustainable schools.
FairShare CSA Coalition partners with health insurance groups to offer a rebate for selecting fresh, organic, local produce.
What we have found as an advantage of having a rural hardware store close by.
Although the concepts of fair trade, buying local and buying organic food are used to aid the economies of developing countries, these same three concepts can help our local communities become the healthy communities we can thrive in.
It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked:
Why do we do all this work?
As I go along, I pull out pebbles occasionally, but only one large stone. Time and time again, however, my hands pry free the remnants of bricks. As late afternoon turns to early evening and my work for the day is nearing completion, a collection of the ruddy-colored artifacts is stacked to one side. The sight of them calls up something nostalgic in me, broken bits suggesting a history that is largely lost.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missourian Bryce Oates explains how he and his family survive summer on the farm. Two words: swimming pool.
Reynaldo Ochoa, the subject of a new short film, grows with a goal of teaching and practicing permaculture unique to an individual's region, emphasizing sustainable farming as opposed to “slash and burn” agriculture.
Organic gardeners often need to remove mammal pests such as groundhogs and raccoons. Like many, I use live traps. How to deal with a skunk you accidentally catch, without getting sprayed?
One woman's vision of a family farm comes to life in her back yard thanks to one friendly goat.
I am off to Polyface Farm to intern for the summer and I’m so excited! I plan to write every week to explain to you what we are learning, how we spend our days, mistakes we make (that you can learn from) and basically anything that can help readers become better farmers and homesteaders. I’ll include lots of photos too, so make sure to check back!
Jenna Woginrich discusses the more difficult aspects of homesteading, and why it's worth it anyway.
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
Some things have come full circle, so now we have a chance to fix it right this time!
The Oakland, California-based urban farming company manufactures grow-your-own oyster mushroom kits with soil made from recycled coffee grounds.
After a completely miserable potato harvest this year we’ve decided to pull them out of the ground and do them in boxes made out of pallets. That way we can use weedblock under them to eliminate the whole bindweed issue. So today, the boxes went up.
Weather.com now features customizable local weather applications, including an Agriculture Application with great tools for farmers and gardeners.
Beginning July 1, 2011 and continuing for the next five months, legal residents of the U.S. and Canada can enter to win a five-year lease of a New Holland Boomer 30 compact tractor and loader with the industry-leading Boomer Guard5.
This rustic, resourcefully sustainable dog fence fits right into the landscape. Before you install a fence, look around your place first to see what's already available.
Check out the installation process of an urban beehive.
A beginning farmer loses a friend and finds that solitary farming isn't all it's cracked up to be.
As New Year's Eve approaches, friends butcher the ducks they've raised in their rice paddies and share some thoughts on "The Power of Duck."
If you have a constant, overwhelming urge of wanting to be outside breathing in the fresh air and partaking in various farming activities, you may be suffering from barnheart.
How to Schedule your Planting by the Moon
Raising and growing your own is more than a lifestyle — it is life.
Important provisions in the Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act have been removed, which would leave the Gulf of Mexico open to damage from unsustainable fish farming methods.
C. Murray shares his experiences finding work to support his family as a child during the Great Depression.
Learning to clear fields can be fun!
When you grow your own food, you not take a step towards self-sufficiency. You also make a move towards better health and whole new relationship with your food.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!
Blackberry picking only happens at the height of summer, but is well worth the thorn wounds!
Trying to follow directions out in the country can be challenging!
Weeding in the summer is all about species maintenance
Clearing your land to ready it for farming can be quite a challenge!
Lindsay Fernandez-Salvador explains the best ways to use animal manure while organic farming.
In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel teach readers how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non timber products. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.
Mary Quinn Doyle shares a background about how she became involved in a volunteer project traveling around Maine for over two years visiting over 180 unique farms to take photos and write stories about them for an educational book and website.
The Missouri Organic Association is gearing up for its 2015 Annual Conference in Springfield, Mo, on February 5th, 6th and 7th at University Plaza Hotel and Conference Center.
Originally founded as a homestead in 1980 by Jack Gray and Mary Jo Wade, Winter Green Farm has grown to become a successful biodynamic farm in Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley. This profile of Winter Green Farm has been excerpted from "Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement."
Homegrown.org blogger Dyan Redick of Bittersweet Farm honors - and helps keep alive - the legacy of fellow Maine goat herdswoman Pixie Day.
Farmers markets are becoming more common every day, but many fail after a year or so, and others are having trouble getting off the ground. Here are a few ideas from a couple of long-time Oregon farmers market pros that might help keep your market going strong.
Our quest to make pasture egg collection more efficient.
Doug Van Haitsma of the Mon Valley Initiative will present a workshop on micro farms at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Rene' Skaggs of the Pierce Conservation District will present a workshop on increasing pasture productivity at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees will present a workshop on beekeeping at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Daniel Kosel of Red Poll Cattle will present a workshop on Red Poll Cattle Ranching at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will present a workshop on localized food systems and pastured livestock at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Kirk Haffner, solar power expert, and Jeff Swotek of the USDA will present workshops on solar power and USDA programs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Darrel Frey, permaculture specialist, will present workshops on permaculture and bioshelter design at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Cheryl "the Pig Lady" Ouellette will present workshops on meat processing, growing meat for market, free-range pork, and growing what you love at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Steven Moize of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy will present a workshop on rotational grazing at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
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."
Tanya Fields, named the Eco-Warrior of the Food System, discusses how she came to be an urban farming and food sovereignty activist working to empower women and change the food landscape in the underserved neighborhoods of New York City.
This current situation is a perfect example of the 80/20 rule of homesteading: 80 percent of your time, energy and effort is spent on maintenance; 20 percent on progress towards the dream. A majority of your time homesteading is spent covered in chicken poop, squashing potato bugs, figuring out why gas isn’t getting to the carburetor in the ATV and shoveling snow after dark by headlamp.
So, yes, I have become a lover of goats (and ducks have won me over, too). But the truth is, I can’t wait to eat the boys.
None of these items' primary use is for gardening or livestock keeping but here we are using them all the time. So here's my list of items that you should keep around if you are an avid gardener or own livestock.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan recalls how the seasons affected her childhood and how they guide her activities now on her Maine dairy farm.
Don't let your wanderlust for more space hold you back from creating your homestead in the city.
The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
The flowers weren't just there to be pretty. They provided a long blooming source of forage for our bees and the native pollinators.
A beginning farmer realizes that time may be the farm's most important commodity.
Even dairy goats can have self-esteem issues...
How farm life will keep you fit so you can live a healthier and happier life.
Shifting our built environments from the current linear blocks of car-centric urban sprawl to more integrated human-scale and life-sustaining organisms is not much different in principle than turning a concrete yard into a permaculture plot. We have to think in terms of arrangement of vital nodes, distance between interdependent threads, paths of least resistance, utilizing existing natural conditions, and maximizing water, energy and food sources.
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
As a third-party certifier, the Rainforest Alliance ensures that farms and forests are sustainable environmentally, socially and economically. The green frog seal and the FSC logo have become widely recognized, credible symbols of sustainability.
Building housing projects in developing regions is extremely rewarding, but also quite challenging. It’s prudent to draw ideas from as many resources as possible to improve the process. The following guidelines have proven effective.
Location near public transporation and walkability are as important as green materials and design in creating a green home, study finds.
Finca Bella Vista in Costa Rica, a community of sustainable treehouses in the jungle canopy, connected by zip lines and suspension bridges, is an Ewok Village come to life.
The Sustainable Poultry Network and Western Piedmont Community College have combined forces to create the American School of Sustainable Poultry Husbandry, an intensive poultry workshop for anyone interested in poultry production, marketing, breeding, hatching, cooking, etc.
In a Boulder, Colorado, neighborhood, residents are getting off the grass. They're donating their front yards to a community organization that grows enough fruits and vegetable on the former lawns to feed 50 families. Now, that's local food.
Describes the process of forming a community garden from the physical and energetic standpoints. The power of teamwork, the joy of accomplishment and the building of a feeling of group unity are described.
Many criticize eliminating coal mining in West Virginia because of the amount of jobs the sector provides. A wind farm, however, would employ over 200 local residents during the two-year construction phase, and create 40-50 permanent maintenance jobs afterward. A wind farm would also allow the mountain to be used for other purposes, like sustainable forestry, mountain harvesting, and gathering of wild forest plants, creating additional jobs and the opportunity for stable income for locals.
Making Music on the Front Porch ... let's define what the musical Front Porch is.
Compassionate people without a county animal shelter organize a non-profit group to help low-income families keep their pets during hard times and to support Good Samaritans who take in abandoned pets
In this section you will find stories of real farmers across the country that made it work. You'll find their story, how they did it and who helped them. We hope these stories will inspire and educate new farmers, as well as land owners and community members to become involved in the new agrarian movement. A growing trust.
A permaculture-based, 2,000-acre farm in Northern California integrates grassfed livestock with orchard farming.
Completing tasks in preparation for a few days away from the homestead
Hay season on the Keith farm means lots of work for the wood-powered truck! Check out these videos of Wayne's farming operation.
Gasification guru Wayne Keith shows us some of his daily farm operations.
HOMEGROWN blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel outlines strategies for responsible drought gardening in her home state of California--or anywhere.
Monsanto's Roundup Ready system transformed typical weed problems into a national superweed crisis, only healthy farms can correct the damage done.
The Farm Aid concert is a chance for us to shine a spotlight on these people who work every day to put good food on our tables.
A post by Maria Rodale called A Harvest of Healing got me thinking about how gardening and growing your own food is much more than what you harvest.
University of Florida entomologist Russell Mizell investigated ways to attract stink bugs to trap crops rather than cash crops—with great success. His experience can help you learn how to design trap crop scenarios of your own.
Donna Pellegrin shares her mother's stories of growing up on a fertile, bountiful farm during the Great Depression, and of the homesteading skills that kept them well fed.
People often dismiss gardening as an expensive hobby that they can’t afford. While that can be true, it doesn’t have to be. There are way to make gardening cheap.
In the United States, we are feeling the effects of the rising food prices as well. When you take a deeper look into the prices, it’s not the food that is causing the price to rise. It’s everything else that goes into getting the food to your plate t
It might be the middle of the summer, but you should start thinking about getting your fall garden ready. If you don’t have much space, to plant everything outdoors, then you can certainly start your seeds indoors.
When you are apartment gardening in a small space, you are forced to be creative due to your space constrictions. Most traditional pots and containers might not work, so you become reliant on reusing objects to better fit your space.
Permaculture is a holistic, integrative design for a sustainable future: registrations now open for D Acres' 2012 Permaculture Design Course!
A beginner farmer learns about taking on the responsibility of raising animals.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
This story recounts one father's hard work to help his family survive by raising chickens and farming during the Great Depression. The author also describes his family-owned homemade brooder house, which helped shelter the chickens that provided meat and eggs during hard times.
This fifth story from Robert Zwald talks about his efforts to keep his family farming through the depression, even after they lost their own land.
Parents will often say that they don't have time to grow their own food because they have kids. Don't let kids be the excuse. Instead make them part of the experience too. It's what families have done since the beginning of time. The past 100 yea
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
While there are many events that have lead us to where we are today in terms of food, there are some things/events that stand out the most in my mind. Growing your own food is one way to reverse the trend.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner.
When people ask why they should grow their own food, the answer that I give is often simple. I tell them, "It's because we are humans."
Take these into consideration the next time you are making your food purchases.
Robert Zwald talks about farming equipment and selling his harvest in the 1940s. This is the sixth part of Robert's stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
Organic is a phrase that’s tossed around and abused a lot by marketers these days. Not all “organic” products should be treated equally.
In Japan, more and more people are combining farming with other work. My neighbors and I fit the pattern, but what's it all mean for the future of farming?
What if I told you that you could grow 50 plants in 4 square feet?
A nine-to-fiver turns a corner and leaves behind a twenty-year career to grow food amongst housing developments and strip malls.
We are taught when we are kids not to waste food, but it doesn’t seem as if that lessen has stuck with us.
Whether you are new to gardening or experienced, you will make some mistakes. Get over it and learn from it. That’s the most important thing.
Some people use gardening as an escape from the trials and tribulations of the real world. It’s their time to get their hands dirty, connect with the earth and just be in their garden.
A 30-acre organic and biodynamic farm is the beating heart of the thriving 1,000-acre Serenbe community near Atlanta. As more developers integrate agriculture into suburbia, the joys and benefits of farming are becoming available to everyone.
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
Monitoring energy use has led to increased motivation for conservation
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
A beginning urban farmer grows nothing without a smartphone.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
The Ecological Farming Association will host the 33rd annual EcoFarm Conference at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, Calif., Jan. 23-26, 2013. The conference will offer more than sixty workshops, as well as the opportunity for eight beginning farmers to win substantial grants.
Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.
If you are new to growing your own food in containers, these are some simple tips that should help you to get a better yield and results from your containers.
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
Growing your own food doesn't have to be an expensive activity. There are plenty of ways to cut back the costs and be earth-friendly as well. You can do this by giving a second life to items that have outgrown their initial purpose.
Farms which have earned Rainforest Alliance certification go beyond conserving the environment and improving the lives and livelihoods of farm workers; they also help to curb climate change.
Watch a video of a traveling sheep shearer at work and tell us about small-scale farming artisans in your region.
Finca Exotica is ideal for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the Osa Peninsula's bounty and learn about permaculture and sustainable building.
Containers are great for those that are gardening in small spaces. Though there is the fear of not knowing when or how often to water them. This is why I started to make my own self-watering containers.
Learn how bats can be beneficial for organic farmers, dramatically reducing the need for costly and harmful pesticides.
Robert White is remaking himself as a farmer, and will return to his family's land to start a market garden. Here's why.
It’s the middle of summer and you are likely enjoying the harvests. There is` so much to do with all that fresh and flavorful produce, but what should you do?
Garlic is resilient, easy-to-grow, highly nutritious, and a natural antibiotic.
January is a great time to count your seeds and share the extras with others through a seed swap or seed library. Find a seed sharing event in your community or start one with friends.
Animal Husbandry tent experiences from Day 1 of 2011 Mother Earth News Fair.
Have you ever dreamed of taking your part-time homestead to a full-time salary? What's holding you back? Business books say most people are more afraid of success than failure.
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.
According to FDA data, the quantity of antibiotics sold for livestock use in this country continues to rise, topping 29 million pounds in 2011. This has a direct effect on the efficacy these same drugs will have on us. Sam Spitz has personal experience with a resistant illness and FamilyFarmed.org asked him to tell his story. It’s a cautionary tale that should have us all making better food choices. Read how we can all influence the campaign to end the misuse of antibiotics in livestock and keep antibiotics working for us when we need them!
One of my earliest vivid childhood memories is sitting on my father’s lap as a young girl reading the magazine together in the 1980s and all throughout my childhood. He would read aloud while I studied the pictures of passive solar building, vegetable gardening, sheep shearing, building your own sugar shack and the beautiful array of topics which he read to me frequently. Those images, along with the camping trips in the mountains, the whitewater and canoeing excursions, and our family trip to Alaska, have been etched in the catacombs of my childhood memories and have sculpted the person I have grown to become.
All of us farmers,large and small, are a big part of the engine that drives the economy
of rural communities, rural counties and rural states.This year, we are learning a lot about what happens when that engine sputters.
After months of waiting, worrying and hoping, the clouds finally arrived here at Yellabird Farm last week and brought us the long-sought gift of good rain. It was a great two days of slow and soaking moisture that the cracked soil guzzled up...
Drought is hard on us out here in Farm Country. But drought in the midst of boiling hot summer is amongst the worst conditions I can imagine.
Book reviews by permaculture educator Cindy Conner. Learn about Sustainable Market Farming, The Art of Fermentation, The Permaculture Handbook, and The Small-Scale Poultry Flock.
Elizabeth Van Deventer has been on a quest to find the answer to sustainable farming and an ethical diet most of her life. Follow along as she discovers the impacts of producing tea, palm oil and fruit, and how she eventually settles on a lifestyle that is in tune with the earth and all of its creatures.
Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc.
Teddi Irwin sent us this
great update on a Homesteading Education Month event held at IN A GOOD WAY, a
training farm established to use therapeutic methods of farming to improve the
lives of Native American men.
One thing I know for sure is that many in the local farm and food scene are working through the same issue. We are numbers people in search of numbers. We aren’t crazy unscientific loons like our industrial brothers and sisters think we are.
Both organic and local food are important if we want to eat nutritious and delicious food. Furthermore, our current food system is in jeapordy because petroleum and water supplies are dwindling and climate change is resulting in more extreme weather.
Growing potatoes in containers allows you to increase your yield in a small amount of space.
We wanted to write up a post about asparagus to explain how farmers look at the crop, but also as a sort of apology to our customers. We have spent many hours in the field and on the phone seeking farmers with an existing asparagus supply. We had man
When one of her goats starts looking for love for the first time, and hollering her little head off, Angela has to do some quick thinking to keep her precious pets from becoming that night's dinner!
Get the inside scoop on how successful farmer and author Jean-Martin Fortier farms 11/2 acres using soil building and no-till methods.
Soy is currently the leading source of protein in most animal diets, but mealworms offer a more efficient and sustainable alternative.
Folksinger Michael Johnathon is on tour nationwide. Visit his homepage: www.MichaelJohnathon.com
Honey bees, the Boston tragedy, and our power to create the world we’ve been waiting for.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!
Once our bodies and our imaginations are engaged, the incremental change begins. Then it gets easier and easier to envision humanity occupying this planet–this beautiful, abundant planet–far into the future.
This is a rundown of films that came out in the last few years. These films cover a wide range of environmental topics, from energy, climate, and fuel, to food, farming, and health. Many of the films have won awards or been critically acclaimed.
Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival inspired us to keep at those challenges that frustrate us on the farm.
A few months back I heard a comment on an NPR radio program that really caught my attention. The program was about the local food movement and at one point the guest on the show said, “Now remember - just because it’s local doesn’t necessarily mean it has a smaller carbon footprint. That Argentinian apple that was shipped on a barge with thousands of tons of other apples may actually have required less fuel per apple than the apple than came from a few hundred miles away in the back on a farmer’s pickup.”
The place I call home these days is The FarmSchool, a fertile 180-acre strip of ridge top in Athol, where 15 student-farmers are spending a year learning the ins and outs of growing food, managing forests, and raising animals for meat. I arrived at the farm in October, just as the leaves were reaching their peak brilliance. The Farm School — which offers three-day programs for schoolchildren, a summer camp, a full-time middle school, and the apprenticeship program I’m in — takes us through all seasons of farming, weaving together class work and on-farm training.
Urban food forests and public gardens provide communities with an edible landscape for everyone to share. These public fruit forests are the new trend in urban agriculture and play an important role as sustainable local food systems in their communities.
Rancho Margot in Costa Rica is completely off the grid and constantly closing the circle. Nothing is wasted on this self-sufficient ranch, where everything is considered a resource--including methane from the compost ovens.
Learn about the advantages of urban farming from those who are leading the way. The benefits include improved food production, increased revenue sources and reduced energy use.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
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.
Ira Wallace explores good winter gardening reads, gives advice on how to use the winter lull wisely to plan and prepare, and shares an update in the ongoing court battle to protect family farmers from agri-giant Monsanto.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.