country living skills





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5/11/2009
What skills are you learning in hopes of saving money?
8/28/2013
Who would think it’s possible to discover the artist in me, incubate a business, plus milk goats, grow a garden...all in one unforgettable summer. I'm a rich woman by any standard.
7/8/2013
A pressure canner greatly expands the range of foods that can be safely canned at home.
2/1/2013
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.
2/1/2013
Since her first house move, MOTHER EARTH NEWS blogger Cathie Ackroyd, has become so very conscious of the impact we humans have had and are having on our planet’s environment and hoped to find a place to settle that would allow us to gain an element of self-sufficiency in a relatively car-free community.
11/5/2012
Jim and Holly Smith, founders of Today’s Abundant Living, sent us this great review of a Homesteading Education Month open house and country skills workshop they hosted at their Michigan homestead.
5/10/2013
Household hints from 1909 reveal useful tips for hanging clothes out to dry.
10/15/2013
The diva of re-use, Annie Warmke, talks about simple steps to take in the barn yard for re-purposing and reducing waste. After reading this article you won’t be able to think about things like llama poo or beer bottles in the same way again.
4/4/2011
If you’re new to raising chickens, you might be a little intimidated setting up house for your new flock. Homesteader Jenna Woginrich offers a straightforward overview of getting started, from preparing a brooder to providing feed and water.
6/18/2009
Jenna gets a pack goat to help carry gear for hiking trips. Share her experience of buying a buck kid and raising him to be a pack goat.
6/24/2011
In order to build skills for our move from Australia to Texas, we have been taking various classes and workshops. Recently, we took a weekend workshop at an excellent cheese factory close to where we live on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne.
3/11/2011
Welcome to by blog “City to Country, One Step at a Time.” Here’s how I ended up as a modern homesteader on a little acreage in the Canadian West Coast bush.
3/25/2011
If you are growing vegetables, making a few homemade wares here and there ... you are practicing good, old-fashioned homesteading techniques.
4/5/2012
If you've been on this rural living or modern homesteading journey for decades, or just starting out, how do you know when you've arrived?
3/29/2013
On our journey to self-reliance, my husband, Darren, and I have been gathering human-powered tools when we can find them. It’s surprising and sad how quickly hand- and foot-powered tools were junked when electricity became available. From 1850 to 1890, more than 100 apple-pealing devices were patented. Then none, except those running on electric power. And so it goes with thousands of other nifty human-powered appliances.
2/8/2011
The American Society of Safety Engineers’ Ag Branch encourages purchasing tractors with a Rollover Protection Structure. Programs exist that will help offset the cost of the ROPS to add to older tractors. Tractor rollovers are common accidents that will lead to severe injury or death, but an ROPS will keep the driver safe.   
3/28/2012
Cam often finds himself relating to song lyrics.
2/6/2009
If you’re the first of your friends to move to the country, get some chickens and plant an organic garden there will be some inevitable social fallout.
12/26/2013
With more than 40 years of expertise on how to live on less (and love it!), MOTHER EARTH NEWS introduces our Guide to Self-Reliance and Country Skills app. This app, available for both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, contains advice and how-to on organic gardening, raising backyard chickens, canning and preserving your harvests, and how to save money by applying a DIY mentality to your life.
5/23/2011
People are often apprehensive about preserving their own food, whether they're intimidated by the process, or concerned about the safety of the finished product. As Sherri Brooks Vinton explains, it's time to bring canning back to the home kitchen.
7/22/2014
Which fire starting tool works best - or at all?
9/1/2010
If your job, finances, family commitments, etc., have thwarted or delayed your dreams of self-reliance, you don’t have to wait until you can afford a 20 acre parcel. You can start working where you are now to build and nurture self-reliant living skills that are sure to provide you with more peace of mind and improved health, and will most likely be of great personal benefit during the coming decades of global challenge and change.
5/29/2013
If know you're destined to live in the country, or just more self-reliantly, but are overwhelmed by all the choices, here's a place to start.
6/20/2013
It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked: Why do we do all this work?
6/26/2013
How did Victoria Redhed Miller and husband David end up living on an off-grid homestead in the foothills of Washington State's Olympic mountains? Grid? What grid? Electricity was something one took for granted; it came from those outlets on the walls. I was hardly aware of it except during one of the infrequent power outages.
11/17/2011
I love rural life and modern homesteading, but there are days when the comfort of a city condo would be welcome indeed. And honestly? A relief.
4/13/2012
Robert Maxwell discusses the benefits of a rural lifestyle.
1/27/2011
Jenna Woginrich writes about the beauty of Cold Antler Farm, a small homestead that she shares with Pig, her rabbits Benjamin and Doe and several chickens. Taking care of her animals on cold winter nights is a challenge for Woginrich, but one she gladly accepts armed with a water bottle and affection. Woginrich's modest barn provides shelter for her animals and a useful space to feel at home.
1/22/2014
Learn the basic skills useful for mountain homesteading.
1/28/2012
If you're pondering a move to the country and think your life will suddenly get blissfully silent, think again.
5/24/2011
Trying to follow directions out in the country can be challenging!
2/24/2011
Take control of your food with a return to the kitchen, and learn to love the time you spend there cooking with your family.
5/8/2012
Cam always wanted to be the kind of guy who could swap out a motor and now he is!
2/28/2013
How living more sustainably can save you in an emergency.
2/27/2013
Pick something new to learn this year from Granny Miller’s list of 101 basic homesteading skills.
3/15/2012
I learned life lessons early in life as a newspaper delivery boy. Valuable lessons that carried on though life.
7/10/2013
Rick Stiles shares chronicles the first two weeks of his cross-country trip on a recumbent bicycle.
6/12/2012
My vision of the Texas homestead, complete with family and doting grandchildren nearby took a hit this year when my daughter and husband split and my daughter moved to Austin. Could I reinvent the vision? Or would this issue derail our plans?
3/29/2013
Thoughts and ideas about purchasing a recumbent bicycle for a cross country trip.
4/15/2012
Winter is over and the colors of spring are here!
11/20/2008
The book Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A Do-It-Ourselves Guide is a collection of skills, tools, and technologies usable by urban residents wanting to have more local access and control over life's essential resources.
5/10/2011
With country living, you expect a quiet night's sleep. But surprise, surprise - nature has its own alarm clock.
8/27/2013
Sharing some of what we have learned about treating Pink Eye naturally, as in our region, this has been an epidemic summer due to all the rain and flies.
1/8/2014
With all the TV shows depicting "survival", I will sort through the various groups and argue that the reality shows are far from reality.
12/23/2013
I’ll let you in on a little secret; there is no PERFECT knife. Cutting tools are only as effective as the handler wielding them.
3/24/2014
Darning socks is a simple thing to do - and a statement for self-sufficiency!
8/2/2012
The NH Permaculture Gathering is just a couple weeks away!
8/14/2012
Many a homesteader and farmer can use help, and many a young person wants to learn homesteading skills. Having apprentices is an important means to assure a continuation of farms and farming,as well as teaching youth essential survival skills.
2/14/2012
Emma Jane James of Appalachia, Virginia, inquires about her Kansan family tree and reminisces about better days  in her coal-mining town, before mountaintop removal and pollution took their toll.
5/17/2005
I’ve heard that the moment you plunk down a deposit for a vacation or buy yourself a plane ticket, a good chunk of you is already at the beach (or the mountains or the city . . . or wherever).
1/22/2010
In most cases, we can't do all of the things we would like to live more sustainable lives — at least, not all right away. We can all do something, though, and making the choices and taking the steps that we can is an effective, satisfying way to make our lives more self-reliant and better for the planet every day.
5/3/2005
I’m sitting on the deck of my room at the Northern Queen Inn in Nevada City, California, on a gorgeous spring day.
3/17/2010
Mindy Pennybacker’s new book, Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices, and her website, GreenerPenny.com, offer easy tips for daily green living.
8/18/2008
Share your simple living ideas to help those in need.
10/30/2009
By making good plans and imagining the future with a positive outcome, you can be ready to take advantage of opportunities when they come your way. 
1/6/2010
As a new year unfolds, Natural Home forecasts 2010 predictions—and it's good news—Americans will become smarter, greener consumers.
12/21/2011
Most American homes are codependent with a lifestyle-support-system of roads, wires, pipes, lines of credit, satellites, and a collective identity determined by the supply side. Yet just about any household budget offers continuing opportunities for creating a healthier, less expensive lifestyle that’s also easier on the environment.
8/1/2013
Weeks three, four and five of our cross country bicycle trip start in Missoula, Mont. and end in North Branch, Minn.
8/10/2011
Cam describes why he was anxious to leave the city for a life in the country.
12/6/2011
At first glance George Siemon and Doc Hatfield don’t appear to have a whole lot in common. But George and Doc and a bunch of conspirators are revolutionizing agriculture: they are putting consumers back in touch with the people who grow their food.
8/18/2011
Cam prefers the view from his office in his country home.
7/10/2012
A key choice was what type of house to build. We aren't in Texas more than a few weeks a year until we make our final move back. We wanted a structure we could enclose to protect the interior from the elements and yet build in stages as time and money allow.
6/19/2012
Keeping bees is something I've wanted to do on our new homestead. But would I like it? Taking a class is a good way to find out.
12/12/2011
The different sounds that you hear in the city or country are as different as the people that live there.
11/10/2011
Robert Zwald talks about his days in a one room school house, learning with all eight grades at once. This is part four of eight in Robert Zwald's stories, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
9/27/2012
Ed and Bruce share their experiences with homesteading and self-sufficiency in a rural setting.
2/25/2011
Stretching one's food dollar is an important issue in today's life. So is nutrition. Here, learn how to make healthy, nutritious soup and bread for lunch or supper economically. You might even come to love winter just to have soup and bread!
2/29/2012
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
7/15/2014
How a single purchase of a magazine in newsprint in 1970 changed my life.
10/10/2012
Ed and Bruce share their experiences with homesteading and self-sufficiency in a rural setting. This segment is on using natural resources around the homestead.
1/24/2012
Many decisions go into remote living to decide if it is right for you.
4/30/2013
KOR Water has announced the reusable Nava filtering water bottle.
5/20/2013
Missoula, MT company awards home owners sustainable products.
6/18/2013
Noting the “firsts” and “lasts” occurring on the homestead at early summer.
7/5/2013
Choosing homesteading as a way of life and what it takes.
11/1/2012
The new metal roof was nailed down just hours before the storm hit.
12/11/2009
Wherever you live, you can practice sustainability and share your successes with your neighbors.
7/12/2005
We Westerners tend to think we’ve got it all going on when it comes to green living in general, and green building in particular.
2/27/2009
Enjoy visiting green living fairs, shows and workshops from Maine to Texas in every season of the year.
10/20/2010
Living luxuriously doesn’t necessarily mean living large — at least not in these homes — and reducing a little waste doesn’t hurt, either.
7/6/2011
Luke Dinan, a young man from Toronto, Ontario, is forging his way towards sustainable living and a self-reliant lifestyle; a path we can appreciate, strive for and maybe contribute to.
8/13/2013
Starting in North Branch, Minn. and ending in Brantford, Ontario, author Rick Stiles continues his cycling across the country — and the border.
5/21/2013
Ride the Future Tour, a 43-day cross-country trip in electric vehicles, will start July 4 in South Carolina. Event organizers hope to build awareness for green transportation and break a few records along the way.
10/8/2013
Collegiate teams showcase affordable, energy-efficient houses in global competition.
9/12/2013
Weeks eight and nine of our cross country bicycle trip start in Brantford, Ont., and end in Bar Harbor, Maine.
6/24/2008
The EPA is now defining a CAFO (formerly confined animal feeding operation) as a Country Animal Feeding Operation.
5/7/2012
In the final chapter of this five-part series, Lyn Fenwick finds the country cemetery that Isaac was burried in and pays her respects to the author of a treasured family heirloom, a 19th century homesteaders journal.
3/12/2013
Saying ‘Yes’ to a cross country bicycling trip was easy. After I fully realized what my mouth had done, my brain had second thoughts.
3/23/2011
Change we can believe in? The Obama administration paves the way for more than 300,000 megawatts of coal-fired energy.
6/20/2012
As part of my education on how to be more self-sufficient when we make our move back to Texas, I've been taking classes while here in Australia. One of the more enjoyable classes was in beekeeping. This is our class practical exercise.
10/25/2012
An article from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise covering an International Homestead Education Month event that took place at Paul Smith's College on September 29, 2012.
4/18/2011
The further degradation of our societal food skills are examined here, with small town food craftsmen becoming an endangered species, in this case, my local butcher.
6/25/2008
Congress is about to pass legislation to ease the worry of homeowner debt, but it's also possible to build your dream home without a mortgage.
2/24/2012
Our typical day living in the mountains in the winter.
4/26/2013
The all-new RZT S ZERO is available in select markets and will be headlining the Cub Cadet Test Drive Experience Tour.
4/22/2013
An article about when the best time is to start a new homestead.
6/17/2013
Spring time is a time to experience the newness of life and living in the Sangre de Cristo mountains amid the wildflowers, birds, green woods and new birth.
10/3/2013
Many people perceive going green as an inconvenience and an unnecessary burden on their daily lives. What they don't realize is that they can take simple steps to help protect the environment without the disruption to their lifestyle, but save money as well.
2/4/2014
Calculating the amount of mountain snow to actual moisture.
2/26/2014
Barebones strives to make the experience of outdoor recreation and hobbies a priority.
7/11/2011
Ryan Mitchell, founder of TheTinyLife.com, is saving up to pay cash for a 130-square-foot home on wheels in North Carolina. He’s seeking perspective, clarity—and a girlfriend who gets it.
5/1/2011
The daily realities of living in the mountains.
8/13/2008
Be aware: Living sustainably can be hindered by homeowner association rules.
8/17/2009
You can't just hit the ground running when you make the transistion from rat race to homestead. There are lots of lessons to be learned. What wisdom can you share with the homestead hopefuls?
1/4/2013
Blog post number 17: Jeff solves the problem of how to use higher-efficiency D/C power for long run-time loads, while using some A/C appliances as well.
10/17/2012
An introduction to me, a home-schooled 11 year old.
6/28/2011
A rural home in La Porte, Iowa thrives on all the elements of nature including bird feeders, a veggie garden and table scraps.
8/17/2007
An interview with the founder of a small organic gardening business that focuses on education and helping gardeners go organic. Learn more about this company and vote for it to win funding from a small business competition.
7/26/2011
Sue McKay Miller divested herself of nearly everything she owned and moved into a yurt in the wilderness to determine how much she really needs to live a satisfying life. Turns out, she really doesn't need much.
4/26/2013
If you want to achieve your goals, stop making excuses for the things that go wrong on your path to success. Learn from them. Never stop trying to improve. And never stop trying. Work smart and hard.
3/25/2013
Get out of your shell and lend a hand to those around you, even perfect strangers – you’ll be amazed at what you become and how your kindness touches others
7/14/2011
Victoria Gazely considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin on 7 acres of fertile earth--purchased for $150--a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
4/22/2013
Sheepskin rug keeps a childhood story alive.
5/17/2013
Riches sometimes come from natural resources - not always connected with dollar signs.
6/4/2013
Tree rings tell the tale. It is nice and green here now but our plants and weeds are acclimated to semi arid and have deep roots.
6/20/2013
Who knew that a flock of chickens would be able to teach us so much about living with our children?
7/10/2013
Instead of throwing out that empty feedbag, get creative and turn it into something new! Homesteader Ed Essex shares ideas for finding new uses for old objects.
2/27/2012
If you're like me, your life's been a series of trials and errors, mistakes and missteps. At times we get it right, but many other times we founder. The goal of my new blog is to help you and others spend more time enjoying life and less time in pain and struggle.
8/18/2012
Your mind can often trip us up, make things worse than they are, even lead us into disaster. You can control your own mind and change negative messages to positive ones, creating a much more productive,calmer. and fullfilling life.
12/23/2009
Check out this green gingerbread house built by MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff: It includes cookie and candy versions of SIPs construction, a living roof, and a solar electric system.
9/9/2013
Each year we learn more and more about living off grid and homesteading. These are just a few of the third-year experiences we wanted to share.
10/21/2013
Regular tasks that keep our cabin comfortable and welcoming.
10/11/2013
Even when the chicks have left the nest, they never really leave.
12/5/2013
Learning to appreciate seasonal differences.
12/5/2012
The cost to install and operate our solar electrical system.
1/1/0001
If you go shopping for an electric bike, you’ll find a wide range of prices and brands. Discover how to determine the best electric bicycle brands for your lifestyle.
1/8/2014
There is hard work homesteading in the mountains and the weather dictates much of those challenges.
1/29/2014
It takes commitment and determination to live remotely in the mountains.
6/25/2014
Immigrating to Canada can be a daunting process, but the Canadian government provides resources to help.
4/7/2014
Taking time to reflect on the past brings renewed appreciation to the present.
4/14/2014
Other than the four regular seasons there is a fifth season in the mountains called mud season.
5/8/2014
How to cope mentally with living in a remote location.
2/11/2014
For many people, going green seems like a daunting task, but in reality, a few simple lifestyle changes is all you need.
2/13/2014
Celebrate meals with homegrown or local food. Tips for making your celebration gatherings zero-waste events.
4/8/2014
Unforgettable Fire's Kimberly and Katydid wood stoves are heating solutions for any and all spaces.
3/20/2014
Passive House standards incorporate passive solar design principles, but the two labels don’t mean the same thing. Learn about the difference between passive solar design and Passive House certification.
8/11/2014
In 'Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation,' author Tradd Cotter offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices, shares the results of his groundbreaking research, and offers creative ways to apply cultivation skills—whether the goal is to help a community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale.
10/25/2011
We finally build somthing!
6/20/2011
New wood stove, another unexpected advantage of downsizing, and Murphy's Law.
1/9/2013
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.
12/18/2012
Fall may be turning to winter, but there’s still time to enjoy those last sunny days before the harsh chill settles in.
2/13/2013
How packing snow against your house can add R-value to your insulation - and subtract energy costs.
10/11/2011
We look for materials bargains while devising a way to pay for it all.
9/18/2007
Now is a great time to sow a cover crop or two that will enrich your garden soil over the winter.
2/22/2013
Sharing our first experience with an indoor/outdoor vertical hydroponic garden.
2/28/2012
Cam has a (temporary) job outside of the house and he has gained a new appreciation for being self-employed.
10/21/2008
Save time and avoid blisters and burnout by following these common-sense guidelines this leaf season.
8/22/2012
A typical day of activity on a modern homestead and off grid.
10/17/2012
Things that occur when switching from summer to winter mode. Fall is almost non existent.
10/22/2010
The success of Urban Gardens is a story about an expansion of one’s reach outside of one given discipline.
6/25/2011
Finding friends out in the country can be challenging.
3/2/2011
Sailors for the Sea presents its new Rainy Day Kits teach young sailors to care about marine ecology and the environment with fun, interactive games.
1/16/2013
What exactly is ‘modern homesteading"? There are as many definitions as there are people doing it. What does the term ‘modern homesteading’ mean to you?
12/7/2009
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
9/8/2010
SunRay Kelley’s Gypsy Wagon is an exciting, sustainable home on wheels built from a camper vehicle.
9/19/2014
Here are four things you need to know about gum chewing to decide whether chewing gum is bad for you.
9/16/2014
Living in a 500-square-foot house (or smaller) affects our consumption and relationships.
3/20/2014
Two homesteaders discuss their experience with the weather applicable to their mountain homesteads in Washington and Colorado.
4/28/2011
Will our nation's positive moves toward saner, simpler living and smaller homes fall victim to an improving economy? No way.
4/27/2011
We can learn a lot from the Amish, who have passed down wisdom on living simply and celebrating community for generations.
4/25/2011
Kate and Jeff are building their off-the-grid dream near Taos, New Mexico. As they build themselves a small straw bale house and make do with a few solar panels, they're realizing how little they really need.
8/29/2011
Let's stop for a minute and think about what we are doing!
4/20/2011
When Paula and Matt learned that running a utility line to their rural Vermont home would cost the same as buying solar panels, they never hesitated. Now they're living the good life, off the grid.
5/12/2011
Deb and Tommy have spent just $7,500 to set up their off-the-grid homestead in Oklahoma's Kiamichi Mountains, which relies on one 80-watt solar panel for power. As they learn more, they will continue to build their systems.
6/28/2011
Sayra and Dominic live with their 5-year-old daughter in a charming 550-square-foot home in rural Idaho. There are challenges, but they've found that less really is more. "It's like living in a fun clubhouse," Sayra says.
2/21/2013
We all have dreams but why is it that some are so lucky that they come true?
6/15/2011
Outdoor kitchens, dining areas and living rooms are a great way to expand your home's living space. Designers offer advice on how to make the most of the great outdoors--in your own backyard.
9/7/2014
At the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Wash, I listened to lecturers cover topics from re-newable energy, small-scale farming, green building, organic gardening, simple living, and citizen solidarity building. While I listened, I pondered ways to weave these powerful themes into our children's lives.
2/17/2012
A brief description of our experience with a masonry heater.
7/16/2013
The journey to a self-sufficient life is a bumpy ride. Having a backup plan — or two — can make all the difference in your progress.
5/24/2013
How feeding the hungry amounts to action on behalf of a planet on fire with a toxic yang imbalance.
8/23/2013
Seth Leitman explains toxicity in our products and how green living is about recovering from these products.
8/22/2013
MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine comes to life in the recently released Wiser Living Video Series. Volume One of the Series features some of our most popular workshops from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIRS taught by members of the editorial team and expert community. Become more self-reliant in and around your home by tackling 19 projects ranging from keeping backyard chickens to making tinctures.
6/3/2013
An upcoming inspirational documentary, “Beyond Off-Grid,” that strives to motivate people to return to the old paths, includes self-sufficiency experts from around the country. A MOTHER EARTH NEWS blog prompted the producer to contact us.
8/9/2012
As everyone gathers around this campfire this fall, unite this variety of flavors into one savory skillet that will be enjoyed by all.
3/9/2012
A short simple explanation of how to project your electrical needs in order to size your electrical off grid system.
2/10/2012
This post is about our water cisterns and what we use them for. It also contains a caution that many local governments would like to tell you what you can and can't do with rainwater.
7/12/2012
Things to look for in your soil before you break ground on your new home or cabin.
11/25/2013
We’re interested in how our readers have lessened their environmental footprint.
5/3/2012
The generators we use for living off the grid and a multitude of other tasks.
1/8/2014
Day 2 has a haphazard start with no hot water for a proper cup of tea, and people are arriving early for a day of consulting. What's the solution to keeping water hot overnight on top of a wood stove so there's plenty for hot tea, doing dishes and a shower?
5/2/2014
"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.
2/19/2014
Ed and Bruce compare the weather and its impact on their mountain homesteads at different elevations and mountain ranges.
2/12/2014
Bruce McElmurray and Ed Essex collaborate on how the weather dictates to their mountain homesteading.
3/5/2014
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.
3/6/2014
Taking a bath in the winter takes a little more planning at our off-grid, no-plumbing home.
1/10/2014
Each year we try to challenge ourselves with an entire month where we spend no money, and avoid using energy.
1/9/2014
Mountain homesteading in a remote area.
12/31/2013
Using snowshoes to keep our paths and trails open as the snow piles up.
1/31/2014
Tips to help you get started planning your very own homestead. With proper planning you don't have to be experienced to do it right.
1/14/2014
How our "thanks for nothing" month came to be.
5/15/2014
Tips that we have learned gardening at a high elevation.
1/3/2014
Outside of a few rare equipment failures, we’ve never had a power outage in the past 20 years that wasn’t our own fault — usually caused by not paying attention to power use or proper battery charging. Weather failures, on the other hand, are starting to become noticeable.
7/14/2014
The beauty and refreshment of our swimming hole are a swell compliment to work and sun of our homestead.
10/3/2012
Some of the downside of free ranging your chickens.
9/21/2011
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
6/25/2008
Daniel Sheridan found a way to turn children's energy into electrical power with a see-saw that generates electricity. The see-saw should generate enough electricity to light a classroom for a whole evening after only five to 10 minutes of use.
9/19/2012
How we have adapted from salt water fishing to freshwater and what we do with our catch.
11/7/2011
The political system is not broken.
7/15/2011
Cam describes the benefits of writing this blog and his recent book.
9/26/2010
Simple living expert Wanda Urbanska at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
7/18/2012
What it is like to live higher up.
12/28/2011
This blog is an introduction to how we went from a condominium lifestyle to off grid modern homesteading in the mountains. It also includes an explanation of the meaning of "off grid".
11/18/2011
At last, we construct the foundation.
8/29/2012
A comparison of costs between on grid and off grid utilities for our circumstances.
10/15/2012
How we live in the mountains during the winter.
2/23/2012
Ben Davis, of Ben Does Life, has a truly inspirng weight loss story, but it's how message about how to be happy that is most motivational.
2/7/2012
How we avoid cabin fever by doing volunteer work and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
3/22/2013
Our experiences in learning to pressure can and use reusable canning lids.
3/8/2013
Noting the time and marking its passing, keeping us in the present.
5/22/2011
The process of evaluating needs for successful downsizing.
7/31/2011
Jeff and wife Kathy have lived off-grid since 2002. They strive to inform the public about ways to live inexpensively, and to further the principle of sustainability. Visit their website to learn more: www.naturalpower.weebly.com
3/20/2013
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.
7/6/2012
Our power system begins to take shape.
4/26/2012
A roof is a wonderful thing to have!
5/11/2011
Gardening challenges at high elevation.
1/12/2012
This blog is about all of the choices we have for the type of home we want for off grid living and some of the construction materials involved. It turns out there are a multitude of options we have to choose from.
11/27/2010
A question about our future.
3/1/2013
How both we and the chickens have gotten better at surviving the cold winters where we live.
12/18/2011
How a wood-fired hot tub allows us to live better on less energy.
3/2/2012
Two easy steps to reduce your electrical use whether you live off grid or not.
2/3/2012
Things you can do to prevent fire damage to your home from an external source.
1/28/2013
How we deal with unexpected incidents.
8/16/2012
A description and pictures of a tornado force winds in Washington State in 2012.
5/31/2012
A short history of my own horse riding adventures.
3/16/2012
A simple explanation of our solar power generating system and cost.
6/6/2012
Our humble abode begins to take shape.
9/7/2012
We bring power from the array inside the building and put it to work.
2/24/2012
A quick look at different ways to be sustainable whether you are off grid or not.
7/16/2012
Living a ranch life in northern New Mexico in the 1960s consisted of hard work and knowledge. It was not the romantic life that many people imagine it to have been.
2/18/2013
It may not be in the Kangaroo Valley tourist brochures, and you might think it odd to visit a rural supply store just for a look, but I would encourage any visitor to Australia's Kangaroo Valley to make a trip to the Red Shed.
8/16/2012
Reflections on 15 years of mountain living.
12/19/2012
Fun facts about our first year of blogging for Mother Earth News.
3/24/2011
This book club of the book, Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology, follows a couple who decides to live technology free for 18 months among a strict Amish-like community, growing all their own food and relying on their neighbors to survive.
1/9/2013
A brief description of our experiences with solar tubes in our off grid home.
9/5/2012
Success at growing food at the 4200' elevation and some of the challenges.
3/8/2012
Learn three simple tips for making the most of small gardening spaces, including hanging plants and advice for selecting seed varieties.
5/10/2012
Tips on how to keep water away from your home and water damage prevention.
9/12/2012
When we moved into the country, we had no idea that small critters would be such a nuisance.
4/27/2011
The Living Seed Company is creating a platform to inspire gardeners and gardeners to be.
1/30/2013
A description about something unique - a wood burning masonry kitchen stove.
1/3/2013
A brief description of how we grow fresh vegetables in our long cold winters.
2/13/2012
Instead of learning new tricks, we devise new ways to do the same old tricks.
2/2/2012
We settle in for a long winter's work.
3/13/2012
Realize that DIY inspiration is just a click away by checking out these great home remodeling blogs. 
10/31/2012
Design features we incorporated into our new off grid home.
2/3/2012
How we had to adjust to a smaller home, the isolation and quiet.
12/29/2011
Has the "magic" energy solution been discovered?
1/15/2012
We finally see walls and a loft floor.
8/30/2014
In this blog post, parenting mentor Shawn Hosford introduces herself, along with some of her background and beliefs. Her hope is that this post provides the necessary foundation for continued conversations about intentional parenting.
9/22/2014
Can we start a Slow Time Movement? One that would be like the Slow Food Movement.
10/23/2012
The Obama Administration releases its plans for new renewable energy sources.  Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, explains that the new solar energy zones span six states and keep both domestic energy and environmental preservation in mind. If completed, the power generated from these solar energy zones would provide electricity to roughly seven-million homes.  
10/28/2012
Much to our chagrin, many things we believe are true are dead wrong. Things we believe about other people, health, medicine, renewable energy, and the environment are wrong. Start digging and you'll see and you will start living a smarter life.
5/4/2011
Cyndee and Tony love being in control of their own power and never having to worry about rate increases and outages in south-central Colorado. Solar panels, a wind turbine and a wood-fired boiler keep them plenty warm and happy.
7/25/2011
Katie and Martin Clemons are resetting their priorities as they settle happily into a 480-square-foot apartment in Berlin. “Living smaller has taught us to live more simply,” Katie says. They bike more, shower less and enjoy their good life.
12/14/2011
Life really is good when you live on a dirt road.
7/20/2011
Karen and Tony Tipsword's rehabbed 720-square-foot cabin allows them the freedom and independence to live their dream of running a campground. "Being happy does not mean a large home filled with things," Karen says.
1/28/2013
OK,I'm giving no hints as to why you should think like a chemist...Read it and see for yourself. At the very least, you'll be entertained by a crazy new way of thinking about life.
5/31/2011
When a fire destroyed their home and office near San Luis Obispo, Ken Haggard and Polly Cooper seized the opportunity to build the off-the-grid straw bale home of their dreams. Their comfortable compound now houses two other families as well.
7/29/2011
“For anyone considering downsizing, or considering a small starter home, we say just do it!” Linda Bolton says. “We promise you won’t miss a thing living in a thousand square feet or less. You’ll just have smaller headaches.”
6/27/2011
Follow these simple guidelines to make the most of your small space: contain clutter, find furnishings do double-duty, and make maximum use of color and light.
4/24/2013
Want to Save on Earth-Friendly Products? Check out Worm's Way's sale by clicking on the Earth Week banner at WormsWay.com and enjoy up to 20 percent off your purchases.
4/26/2013
Replacing a task that uses electricity with one that does not is a no-brainer when trying to save on your energy bill — and air drying is one of the easiest ways to go.
4/29/2013
When you get home, go to your hot water heater, remove the cover and turn it down to 120 degrees (sometimes labeled “hot” as opposed to “very hot”).
4/29/2013
It was becoming pretty obvious the crowding and lack of light were real limitations to my mini garden. Then, the idea of a trough on the windowsill came to mind, combining a way to water all the plants uniformly and efficiently all at once. Great, now how to make this trough? Wood? Sheet metal? The choices all seemed expensive, clumsy, prone to leaking...then the light bulb went on in my head: gutters!
10/4/2012
Rural Living Today founder and advocate, Marie James, told us about a Homesteading Education Month event she and her family hosted in Northeast Washington to teach gardeners how to grow vegetables in cold weather.
8/1/2012
Many of us hold convictions about others and the world around us that are so wrong that they seriously misguide us, even rob us of happiness and contentment. Don't believe everything you think. Question your beliefs and discover the truth.
9/2/2012
One of the most powerful lessons I have learned in my life is the power of love to create happiness and harmony. Let your life and your interactions with others be goverened by your love for others. Make preserving and fostering love a goal.
9/11/2013
Humanity has the power to change and to take the actions needed to foster a healthy planet and a better standard of living for all. Choosing beauty and abundance will ensure a better future not only for humanity, but for the natural environment as well.
12/26/2013
No matter your level of gardening expertise, our Guide to Organic Gardening app has the advice and how-to you need to dig in and grow a bountiful organic food garden. With articles on composting, beneficial insects, weed control and more, you'll have a wealth of organic gardening know-how at your fingertips after you download this app onto your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet.
7/16/2014
Looking for the perfect sourdough hamburger bun.
9/24/2010
How much energy does it take to travel? Can we collect this from the vehicle while we are using it?
5/24/2012
After the snow leaves to do list for us.
2/6/2013
How we avoid most clutter but manage to keep good leftover products for future use.
9/18/2012
Our experience in living with bears.
1/10/2011
Let the ancient Japanese art of wabi-sabi help you purge unwanted items and get organized for the new year.
4/27/2012
Tips for snow removal around your house and down the road.
6/21/2012
In the third in a series on potential toxins and chemicals to avoid during pregnancy, Natural Home & Garden Editor Jessica Kellner discusses the dangers associated with use of retinol in skin care products.
9/25/2011
Aside from the great stage presentations, the exhibitor booths have a lot to offer FAIR attendees.
6/4/2010
Save energy and resources and reduce waste when traveling by dumping all your trash in one receptical.
1/16/2013
In this blog we share someone else's story about old fashioned home made ingenuity concerning deep well pumps that operate without electricity.
5/11/2012
A surprising number of amenities found in a small town complete with western hospitality.
12/13/2012
A snapshot of winter life living remote and off grid.
4/6/2012
If you want to live independently, it's always good to have backup because no one else is coming to the rescue. This is how we did it.
4/5/2011
The square footage of green roofs--which absorb rainwater, regulate temperatures, save energy and resources and provide valuable habitat--grew by 28.5 percent last year.
8/9/2012
This is the hands on portion of how a solar power system operates.
6/27/2012
How to make your OWN insulated window coverings.
7/21/2011
Empty nesters Ed and Joan Kobrinski downsized their lifestyle and moved to a smaller home where they could grow more vegetables. "We've learned to enjoy and appreciate living comfortably and contentedly with less," Ed says.
3/6/2012
The Living Seed Company is working to preserve genetic diversity in our food chain, through the distribution and growing of open pollinated seeds and preserving the ancient art of seed saving.
11/21/2012
Things we have done to earn an income from home in a down economy.
4/13/2011
Frugality and lack of pretense or compromise are key ingredients in creating a wabi-sabi home.
4/4/2013
There are two situations which do not require you to be heating your home: when it is warm and when you are not at home. Since it is still a bit chilly outside, you may want to consider setting up a routine of turning down the set temperature on your thermostat when you head out in the morning and when you go to bed.
11/3/2011
I have know Mark for years. Since I have known him (give or take a few years or so) Seiden asked me what were the best ways to go green and save energy at the same time. Then two years ago, we started with CFL bulbs. Now I'm trying to get him to go LED and get really green lighting in effect. In time. In time.
1/16/2012
If you begin tomorrow, you can be soaking in fresh, 103-degree water by the evening.
11/12/2012
A short description of why we prefer small city living over large city living.
7/25/2012
How and why we chose to have a livestock guardian dog and what they are like.
5/2/2011
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
4/27/2011
Liza Fleischer was a suburbanite through and through when she met her husband, Ted, who she says was "born 100 years too late." Now they live in a solar- and hydro-powered hand-built home on 160 acres in Vermont--and she loves it.
5/16/2012
The final in a 6 part series on Ft. Garland, Colorado
4/13/2012
Where we have chosen to draw the line between convenience and sustainability - for now.
5/17/2012
Short stories about our chicken experiences
11/7/2012
Things we did to make our new home more sustainable.
6/11/2012
Our first experience as a vendor or spectator at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, WA
3/23/2012
Options for phone service if you live in a remote location that doesn't have cell service or landlines available to you.
6/20/2012
How to make insulated shades at home.
5/3/2012
Living in possibly the best place in the USA.
2/13/2013
How we stay busy in the winter even though we live at 4200', three miles off the road, and somewhat isolated.
6/10/2011
After working four jobs to make payments on their larger home, Debra and Gary downsized--to 320 square feet. The family lacks for nothing, and guests are always welcome. "I've got everything I need," Debra says. And their $20K house is paid off.
11/9/2011
Christopher shares an experience of painting his family farmhouse, but when he used flat, not glossy paint, his uncle was not happy. How could the uncle have responded in a more productive manner?
5/11/2011
Every once in a while we need to rebel against the machines. Hand a towel to your significant other and ask him to dry while you rinse. Sweep the floor with a real broomcorn broom. Have a real conversation. Enjoy things happening slowly.
11/14/2012
Costs associated with providing your own water.
3/30/2012
Our take on the positive and negative points of insulated concrete forms.
8/1/2012
Short description of our solar system and the everyday things we do to operate them.
1/5/2012
These are the first steps we took to make the change from city living to off grid living. It describes the questions you should ask before you buy property and the research required to make sure you can do want you want with your property.
9/8/2010
Engineer Venkappa Gani leads by example when it comes to sustainable living. His entire backyard is an organic garden, an edible landscape that borders his rainwater harvesting tank collectors overlooked by solar panels that power his home (and more!). Gani is dedicated to sustainability, a word he lives by everyday at his suburban home in Austin, Texas. 
3/27/2012
Future factors set a high standard for sustainable products and activities
5/8/2012
What we have found as an advantage of having a rural hardware store close by.
4/20/2012
An article about how we learned to double our growing season and have home grown fresh veggies almost all year long.
3/15/2011
Three nuclear reactors in Japan have been destroyed by a 9.0 earthquake.  Radiation levels are on the rise.  The world watches helplessly, wondering if escaping radiation will eventually find its way to them. Are we not witnessing in Japan the dark side of nuclear energy? It is not that hard to see this happening in United States, is it?
8/5/2011
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce the release of the "How to Can" app, a free app to help you safely put up summer's bounty in a jar. A new 2014 release includes instructions to safely can several types of meat.
4/23/2013
Honey bees, the Boston tragedy, and our power to create the world we’ve been waiting for.
11/19/2012
Many people believe that their values define who they are. Unfortunately, many of our values don't translate into action. To live a fruitful, peaceful, and productive life, meld your values and actions. You'll be happier and content -- whole.
10/1/2012
Worrying about what others think about you can drin you of energy and make you do some pretty stupid things. What if you could rid yourself of that penchant? What kind of life would you lead?
8/8/2012
Our minds are powerful things. The beliefs we hold and our perceptions can be dead wrong. Our minds can even create pain that doesn't exist. Questioning what we perceive and believe can help you live a more conscious, honest and successful life.
9/8/2012
In this political season, politicians often define people by their differences, creating strife and even outright contempt among people with opposing political views. Truth is, we have a great deal in common; it is our commonalities that bind us.
11/3/2011
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
7/30/2014
A stack of cast-iron pans and a chainsaw helmet sum up why these homesteaders do what they do.
1/19/2012
This part of the series deals with window size and location, ceiling heights, eave length, and other design and passive design choices you can make for your new home. These choices apply whether you are on or off the grid.
2/24/2012
Wendy Albright remembers visiting her grandparent's farm where practicing organic living was the preferred way of life; they exercised natural crop cultivation, gathered fresh chicken eggs, canned both vegetables and meat and the term "eating like a thrasher" became a reality.
7/21/2011
Ed and Joan Kobrinski left a large family home for a smaller, simpler cottage—and they’ve never looked back. Their tips for downsizing and living in smaller spaces could help make your transition easier.
7/7/2011
Diana and Tony Varnes are the happiest they’ve ever been, and they attribute their well being to living in a small home. They have more time for reading, talking and enjoying the outdoors—and their relationship is better than ever.
11/4/2011
Western civilization is totally dependent upon cheap and abundant energy. Three quarters of the petroleum we burn in our engines is imported. Could it be cut off suddenly? Without cheap and abundant energy, our way of life would collapse. If we value our freedom and independence, we should not be relying on foreign petroleum. We should be making our own energy. 
5/9/2011
Does the huge task of cleaning windows leave you feeling overwhelmed? Follow these six simple steps--using inexpensive materials you already have around the house--to get your windows sparkling and streak-free.
5/27/2011
Since they built their solar- and wind-powered cordwood home in Desboro, Ontario, Lisa and Ray Racicot have never looked back. The only thing they'll do differently next time is install the renewable energy systems first, to power the construction.
3/22/2013
Cuba's bike transformation was the result of a change in context induced by external forces. It was a disruptive event that forced them to adapt. Here in America, a land of such excess, no such sudden disruption looms (nor could it be predicted, I believe). Our transportation context is centered on the car. Our culture and economy are “driven” by the car. So, how do we create a culture of transportation that is dominated by bicycles?
1/27/2012
This is the last of a series in home and energy options available to us. It is a short summary of all of the choices we have when designing a new home on or off grid that will benefit your energy use.
6/1/2012
As a nursery renovation begins, Jessica, editor of Natural Home and Garden, is just beginning an investigation into remodeling options for an eco-friendly nursery.
1/10/2011
What’s your idea of a delicious and wholesome breakfast? A fluffy, organic egg omelet made with fresh vegetables? Perhaps scrambled eggs and roasted garden veggies? No matter what your preference, it may surprise you to learn the link between the
9/10/2014
How to go from buying everything at Wally World to growing organic vegetables, raising livestock, building an efficient home, and a Do-It-Yourself, self-sufficient lifestyle.
11/11/2012
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
11/11/2012
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
11/11/2012
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
12/26/2012
The thrill continues living in our handmade house.
3/27/2012
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.
6/14/2011
After a wildfire destroyed their off-the-grid compound in Colorado, Betty and Rolland rebuilt—better than before—following Rolland’s creed: no plywood, no plastic and nothing that smells bad when it burns. The wildlife around their home approve.
5/6/2011
Michael Funk's 6,000-square-foot off-the-grid home and retreat center on 1,200 acres in the Sierra Nevadas is an heirloom, handbuilt with reverence for the spectacle that surrounds it. He hopes it will inspire every visitor to preserve the paradise.
12/28/2012
Announcing an opportunity to get Anna's new Ebook for free today at Amazon on the subject of homesteading in a mobile home otherwise known as a trailer.
9/7/2011
Not quite ready to get rid of family heirlooms and art that you don’t have space to display? The Japanese practice of rotating precious items through a special alcove, or tokonoma, on a seasonal basis is less painful than giving away or selling them.
2/20/2011
An overview of groups, initiatives, planning certifications, and neighborhood developments that promote sustainable communities, including Transition initiatives, ecovillages, One Planet Communities, LEED for Neighborhood Development, and others.
2/4/2011
One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.
3/16/2012
Using newspaper, learn how to craft easy, biodegradable pots to start seeds.


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