Examining an community for your homestead.
Iain continues to battle with the frustration of starting up a candle making business hitting trouble at every corner. Here he talks about his plans moving forward and how he still plans to succeed in his socially responsible candle making business
Connect together inexpensive mending plates to make these top-shelf candleholders--perfect for patio and porch dining. This simple project takes minutes and costs next to nothing.
The handy free How to Can app has been updated, and is now available inside the free MOTHER EARTH NEWS Library app. Now you can take yield, processing times and more with you on your Apple or Android device!
Turn empty oatmeal and salt containers into pretty storage canisters--in a snap.
To be a successful beekeeper we must overcome our initial fears.
Writer and Canadian farming enthusiast, Joseph Graham sent this review of the event that he and his wife hosted for Homesteading Education Month.
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.
How potentially dangerous chemicals are tested and are they really that safe for humans or not.
Watch Steve tell you his homestead story and how his two trucks have helped make good things happen.
Growing sorghum is the first step to making sweet sorghum syrup, but are there other reasons for growing a crop of sorghum?
Use old jars to make these cute, inexpensive candle lanterns--for a fraction of what you'd pay if you bought them at the store.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS has entered the world of mobile media, and we’d like to have your input as we plan and design future apps. Join our advisory group to help us design the best apps for you and our readers.
Steve shares 11 years of his experience with the newest mainstay power tool in the world, and offers three free chances to win an impact driver.
Beekeeping can bring many benefits other than a great hobby and honey production. Follow Iain as he tries to build a socially responsible company helping disabled people make beeswax candles.
Done with flimsy, store-bought tomato cages that fall over when the wind blows? Build long-lasting, heavy-duty tomato cages to fit your garden with one of our four plans.
Homemade laundry detergent to save money and the environment.
How we approached buying our property, clearing and selecting a home site.
We call our homestead Sunflower Farm and now we have the sign to show for it!
The Homestead Act of 1862 celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. The Homestead National Monument is hosting several activities to recognize this historical event that resulted in millions of self-sufficient homesteaders receiving free land. Learn more and participate!
Use an old aluminum can and branch trimmings to make a rustic and beautiful vase. This simple project using humble materials costs nearly nothing and looks like a million bucks.
Do you find yourself spelling out words to others, such as when you are spelling out your last name? Try out our Homesteading Alphabet to keep your listeners on their toes and your homesteader lifestyle a part of your daily routine in a whole new way.
When it's too hot outside, the work moves inside, and is still REALLY HOT.
Comparing a covenant community against living rural without covenants.
How we focused on attaining our dream homestead.
With resources from Mother Nature, you can make natural and beautiful homegrown holiday gifts.
There are plenty of alternatives to handing out sugary candy at Halloween time.
Iain, working to build his socially responsible candle-making company, gets all his new equipment arriving from Holland.
Grapes can grow anywhere, thriving in a variety of climates and soil types. Growing grapes is rewarding, because after a few years they produce abundant fruit and quickly provide architectural interest in the edible landscape.
Learn how to use less energy canning tomato products.
The history of the Blood Orange and How to make Blood Orange Marmalade.
Here's a good source to learn about screening recommendations for different types of cancer. Where can I learn more about cancer screening guidelines?
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.
Kiko Denzer of Hand Print Press will present a workshop and demonstration on modern homesteading, do-it-yourself building with mud at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Taking into account production, processing, consumption and disposal, the Environmental Working Group found that if everyone in the U.S. gave up meat or cheese one day a week for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
Are you a modern homesteader with pioneering women in your lineage? My great grandmothers were all pioneers, but our lives could not be more different.
Use everyday recyclable materials to create personalized DIY stationery.
As a killing frost approaches we scramble to harvest what we can of summer vegetables that would shrivel and die after being glazed with an icy coat. Peppers that survive summer heat always seem to become prolific producers as the weather cools. With scads of peppers to preserve, this recipe for candied jalapenos that can be modified to use with a mixture of peppers is not only beautiful, but delicious!
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.
History and those who may have crossed or used your homestead before you discovered it. Treasure is where you find it.
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.
Craving something fresh and homegrown? Short on space and sunny weather? Growing sprouts is for you!
Do you know any modern homesteaders living a self-sufficient lifestyle? We want to know about them! Nominate a family, someone you know or even yourself to become one of our Homesteaders of the Year in 2012.
Curing your own bacon is so simple that anyone can do it. Here's how to do so, complete with recipe and step-by-step.
Make these tasty and chewy caramels. They are a festive treat that takes on a homespun flavor with the addition of Sorghum.
Being prepared for canine emergencies.
A sudden onset of a canine eye disease called SARDS leaves dogs totally blind very suddenly. Bruce McElmurray explains this disrder from a personal perspective.
We dipped candles from our hive's beeswax to celebrate winter. Candlemaking is a nice seasonal craft. Here’s how we did it, plus some tips to get you started.
Crafting laundry detergent saves time, money and lightens your environmental footprint. Plus it’s simple!
Drawers overflowing? Drowning in a sea of more T-shirts than you can wear? Here are two quick and easy ways to get those used Ts back in heavy rotation.
Where have our bats gone? We miss the benefit of having them around and wish they would come back.
Kerr-Cole Sustainable Living Center in Taylor, Arizona celebrates national homesteading month with a display of solar ingenuity.
Studies show that eating some vegetables may help prevent certain types of cancer. Find out which are the best for you, and why.
Making cheese was nothing like I expected, but in the end, I was successful.
Environmentally induced cancer is more prevalent than expected, according to the President’s Cancer Panel’s first report on reducing environmental cancer risks.
Pick something new to learn this year from Granny Miller’s list of 101 basic homesteading skills.
A Carnegie Mellon study finds fault with carbon footprint calculations. Thankfully, we have other ways of determining environmental impact.
Travel through the Grand Canyon in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
A recipe for sourdough starter.
The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s largest and most prestigious award for grassroots activists. This year’s six inspiring and courageous prize winners (one from each of the six inhabited continental regions of the world) are...
When it comes to safe methods for canning foods, this is one instance in which modern advice is better than old-time techniques. Use canning recipes that have been tested and verified safe by food scientists, who have learned a lot about food preservation over the years.
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.
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!
A Consumer Reports study finds high BPA levels in Del Monte, Progresso, Campbell’s, Annie’s Homegrown, Eden Foods and Vital Choice canned foods.
Amid rising gas prices, some people think offshore drilling in America is the answer, but is it worth it? Also, read an opinion piece by Mark Weisbrot.
If you live in the South, you can grow your own sugar cane. Learn to plant, harvest and make delicious syrup at home!
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
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.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking nominations of self-sufficient modern homesteaders for our 2013 Homesteaders of the Year awards.
Therapeutic grade essential oils have a tonne of uses on the homestead - here's how we've used them effectively, and how they bring us peace of mind.
BPA levels in families who ate fresh rather than canned and packaged food dropped by 60 percent, a study found. Cooking at home with fresh food is the best way to avoid this potentially dangerous chemical
The Canadian government’s ecoENERGY program stops giving financial assistance for energy-efficient home improvements.
For centuries social and international conflicts have been spurred by contrasts in one group's sense of tribal identity (whether cultural, ethnic or geographic) versus another's. This same conflict plays out today in the United States for those members of American society who, thus far, have been unable to recognize President Obama as part of their tribe. Bryan Welch argues that Obama, in fact, epitomizes the key characteristics of the modern American tribe.
Maddy Harland describes the canopy layer of a temperate forest garden and shares some useful tips on designing and planting useful and edible tree crops.
Bring back bottle-cutting! This contemporary candelabra, which gives new life to beautiful blue mineral water bottles, will make you rethink that old '70s craft.
Homesteaders become similar to the self-sustaining people in the Arctic as they spend each season preparing to have food, warmth and shelter for the entire year. It is gratifying to eat well and be comfortable because of our year-round efforts.
The Homestead Act of 1862 opened up 270 million acres of public domain land for settlement. The Homestead National Monument of America tells the stories of many of the people who claimed land and tried to "prove up" their claim.
We learned a long time ago that we couldn’t attract an audience for our magazines unless we gave our readers tools they could use to improve the world personally. A backyard organic garden is the perfect symbol of positive vision and commitment.
The roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.
Save money and win your sweetie's heart with a beautifully set table and handmade candy hearts this Valentine's Day.
Learn about three concerns of pressure canning foods— equipment reliability, foodborne illness and altitude adjustments — and start pressure canning safely!
Perfect for an evening of socializing out on the deck or an intimate meal at a table for two, GoodLight candles keep the mood bright and the air clean and are now available both online and in stores nationwide.
GoodLight is first to offer sustainable, non-toxic candles for restaurants.
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
Buttered corn and buttered double succotash in stores for fall season.
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.
Making Beeswax candles at the Possibility Alliance allows member's to limit their use of carbon.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence visits Canada's only straw bale winery, Orofino Vineyards.
We are collecting stories from our readers -- their older neighbors or relatives, too -- about self-sufficient homesteading and farming in the early 20th century. Read what we've found, and share your own story from yesteryear for modern homesteaders.
In this blog we explore making your own ricotta and kefir, with recipes!
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
Cam considers the environmental implications of using paper diapers vs. cloth diapers.
Shopping and lack of shopping is a hot topic right now with the economy, but it's also a question of what your holidays are all about. What would your celebrations be like without (or without so many) presents?
Making tallow container candles out of bison fat.
How to make tallow candles from bison suet.
Use a simple hobby kit to cut glass wine bottles and transform them into drinking glasses, candleholders or this stylish candelabra.
The Arctic is warming up faster than the overall global temperature. We will discuss the reason for the rapid warming of the Arctic.
Victoria Gazely lives in a 650-square-foot homesteader's cabin built by a man who didn't need closets. She's found five great ways to stash her stuff without renovating--and her solutions work for anyone who needs to hide a few things.
Build this portable poultry pen in an afternoon using only simple hand tools. It’s just the right size for a small yard, but you’ll find lots of uses for it around the homestead, too.
The work of growing, harvesting and preserving your own food comes together in the satisfying instant when canning lids pop. Don't leave the kitchen until you've savored the sound of a job well done.
Readers who love canning share their firsthand reports about the foods they can at home, and why.
Canada is helping define "green" products for its advertising industry.
Steve explains a little about why he chose to install reclaimed cast-iron radiators, including a video tour of his installation.
Medical marijuana was a $1.7 billion industry last year--just shy of Viagra as pot-related businesses crop up across the country.
Millions of people suffer from mental illness and depend on psychiatric drugs to get them through the day. Conventional treatment may block the symptoms but do nothing to address the underlying cause. There are 5 common physical causes of mental illness.
Celebrate all things beachy by making sand candles! Using paraffin, crayons and sand you can make a beautiful sand candle to commemorate a trip to the shore.
Drying food is a good way to eat local produce all year, and if you make this solar food dehydrator for yourself, you’ll be well on your way to delicious meals during colder months.
Make a homemade kaleidoscope that rivals the most expensive models with a PVC pipe and a reflector made from mirrors and wood. Point it at anything or use the special reflector tray to make unique kaleidoscopic designs.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Time to plant sorghum in the Ozarks. When do you plant sorghum in your neck of the woods?
Wondering where to vote or what's going to be on the ballot? Find answers to these and many other election questions (plus, a game!) with these resources.
Ben Cartwright of Lawrence, Kan., is working on a book project about the city of Tianjin, China, where he worked and lived for several months, and he needs your help.
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food
Is sunscreen necessary? Can it actually do more harm than good? We cut through this cloudy issue like a ray of scorching summer sun! Find out how much vitamin D you need from the sun, whether sunscreen can prevent cancer, which ingredients in sunscreen may have adverse health effects, and the best ways to truly protect yourself from that fiery sphere in the sky, including recommendations for the safest commercial sunscreens.
After years of impatient waiting, Ellen Sandbeck finally finds red LED night lights, which save energy while preserving melatonin production.
A new danger faces unborn babies and children, as exposure to pesticides increases the risk of brain tumors and other cancer-related illnesses.
A strong partnership between Cascades and Office Depot to deliver on customer need for softness and strength while significantly reducing total environmental impact.
To turn a woodlot into a park with no “litter” on the ground might look tidy, but is not very healthy or functional. Next time you look at a dead tree or a log rotting on the ground; look at it as something full of life.
Our work in the woods starts long before we get the chainsaw and axe out; by being in the woods, observing and contemplating. We're looking for healthy trees that we can help to thrive and that will be of benefit in the future.
Steve got curious and shares the results of a gruelling endurance test he completed to compare cordless tool battery performance
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm covers the essentials of how to can safely.
Preserving food was a must during the Great Depression. Doris Zicafoose relates memories of drying corn, canning tomatoes, the necessity of a water bath canner and the joy of acquiring a pressure canner.
Tasty jars of canned food await readers in this Photo of the Week. Continue posting your photos for a chance to be featured on our site!
Homesteading with dogs in remote mountain living. Considerations in providing a good safe homestead environment for your cherished pets.
Bread! hits the water on Lake Ontario while taking a week long sailing course. The Rosemary Olive Oil Sourdough was featured for dinner.
Tell us about your all-time favorite fix-it tool.
Building a pantry is a great way to store your groceries and home produce.
Many years ago, years before I moved to the country, I was what would be considered "a prepper." I saw disaster every time I turned on the TV, or read the news on the internet, or visited forums that talked about stockpiling beans and bullets. I panicked, thinking I could never have enough control for the sake of my family, never be "prepped" enough.
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.
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.
You can help support a community garden in New York City's East Harlem neighborhood.
A reader inquires about how to set up a community seed swap.
Canadian car manufacturers have developed an electric vehicle with a body made from hemp fiber.
The new metal roof was nailed down just hours before the storm hit.
Our Rural Property for Sale site helps you search for a sweet spot to put your future homestead, with handy filters to help you find just what you're looking for more easily.
This grandparents’ homestead housed a number of generations and everyone participated in daily chores such as pumping water for baths, melting lard for bread, and using cloth flour bags to make curtains, blankets and dresses.
Here are some resources where you can learn more about how a scythe can be useful on your homestead.
There's no need to go to the grocery food in the winter if you have stored food in a root cellar, freezer or canning jars. Most of the work of preparing this food has already been done and so that winter meals are easy, nutritious and delicious.
Begin your garden planning with what,and particularly how much, you want to eat. Take a look at what you are eating now and go from there.
The NH Permaculture Gathering is just a couple weeks away!
Small towns across the country in need of a population boost are literally giving away free land to attract new residents and boost their populations. Seekers of the quiet (and low-cost) small town lifestyle can now grab some free land to build their homes.
How we have taken measures to mitigate and reduce our wildfire exposure.
Blueberries are a true fountain of youth. This article will introduce you to the health benefits, how to grow, how to harvest, and how to eat this wonderful fruit.
Dog days of summer? Yes, but there is still a lot of the grwoing season left. Protect yourself from the late summer sun with these tried 'n true items ... tested by a gardener who knows more than she'd like to about skin cancer.
The growing bike boom may be more than just a fad. It may be a full-blown movement toward a more sustainable mode of transportation.
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.
I'm going to the old Kerr canning book for this tried and true recipe for making simply wonderful pickled beets.
Canning is the penance for spring, when you couldn’t stop yourself from putting out one more row of tomato starts. Canning is the human’s attempt to make the hottest days of the year even more sizzling indoors than they are out.
Adding lemon juice to tomatoes before canning is not an option! Neither is being distracted and forgetting what you're doing.
Do you feel like the month of June left you gasping for air? You are not alone. I am hoping July will be slower paced and full of summertime fun!
How to make canned green tomato relish.
Where we find a wealth of information for projects and enjoyable reading.
Learn how to identify and expel radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., from your home.
You may want to think twice the next time you reach for that cola. A recent study has found that one can of soda a day can increase chances of prostate cancer by 40 percent.
Learn how to make a pinwheel for a fun, outdoors toy.
Handmade candies are always better than store-bought. If you're a fan of the peanut butter-and-chocolate combination, mix up these delicious little truffles.
Try these easy and unique homemade gifts--from your kitchen and from nature--for your loved ones this year.
Second in a series of blog posts about how to convert a lawn mower or other gasoline small engine to run on propane.
Build your own wood-fired earth oven for baking fluffier, more flavorful bread and other baked delights.
A sustainable agriculture professor explain the organic certification process.
This is a summary of our attendance at the IBS show in Jan. Also a re-cap of Jan events and our transistion into the construction phase of the project. We also talk about the decision for the competiton to be moved off the Nationa Mall in DC
By focusing on environmental change this Earth Day, we can reach our green potential. Green initiatives need to be implemented, both individually and collectively, for us to reduce our environmental impact.
Jim and Julie are starting their homestead in Texas while still living in Australia. Managing the project by remote control is the challenge, and they are learning as they go. This is an adventure of faith and confidence.
Celebrate a technology-free Sabbath with a jug of organic wine, a loaf of homemade bread and handmade candles. Could you go 24 hours without your smartphone?
If you would like to be represented by more elected officials who support environmental safeguards for our air, water, and land, take a look at these resources, including the League of Conservation Voters' National Environmental Scorecard.
The presence of bicycles on sidewalks has long been debated: Is it legal? Is it safer than the road? Shouldn’t children be able to ride on sidewalks?
Turn terra cotta planter pots into candle holders. This super simple project is an inexpensive way to bring a little romance to your garden.
Missoula, MT company awards home owners sustainable products.
Discuss the strange and mysterious ways of broody hens. Plus, the Community Chickens project will be hatching duck eggs!
This collection of rare and historic poultry books offers an amazing amount of information on poultry.
Hatching eggs using natural or artificial incubation is great fun, but there are no guarantees. Things can go wrong with either system.
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.
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.
Being a part of the solution can forestall the potential decline.
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.
The instinct to share home grown herbs, flowers and vegetables runs strong in gardeners, so sharing home grown goodies brings heartfelt rewards.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could produce all the energy we needed from local, renewable resources, such as solar and wind power?
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, answers a homeowner’s question about how best to apply a smooth finish to wood furniture.
Weeks eight and nine of our cross country bicycle trip start in Brantford, Ont., and end in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, answers a homeowner’s question about how best to apply a smooth finish to wood furniture.
Locally grown, homemade, grass-fed, free-range and downright delicious food invades the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.
Clipping the wing of a troublesome hen and tasting the first Chicago hardy figs was really great, but what was even more fantastic was seeing Anna's new book arrive and how beautiful it looks.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
Although you might think warming up your car is best on a cold morning, doing so is a bad idea — and not just because it wastes gas.
Winners of the Fabulous Food Garden Contest have been chosen. See who the lucky prize recipients are!
Finding the perfect desk with just the right amount of work space can be a hassle and a financial drain. Build your own desk with this do-it-yourself tutorial, and you’ll have room for your computer, notebooks, phone, printer and any other work-time necessities, and you’ll save some serious cash in the process.
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
EZ Tomato Cages are the brainstorm of two friends, both fed up with purchasing tomato cages that were cheaply fabricated, weak and difficult to store.
Here's a tip on how to grow sprouts in your kitchen garden for fun and nutritious eating.
Even those who are new to canning (like us!) can make these savory little pickles! But you'll want to make extra, because they won't last long!
No juice extractor? No problem! This easy method for making fresh, delicious apple juice will have you sipping in no time.
Our experiences in learning to pressure can and use reusable canning lids.
A great recipe for the holidays or any time of the year!
Canning is a homesteader essential skill. Sometimes canning can simply be a way to create and spread love and kindness, rather than just putting by necessary foods. Try out this Peach Orange Marmalade recipe for a change of pace.
The author of STAND UP AND GARDEN discusses why it is safe to can and otherwise preserve produce that's grown in an environment in which pesticides are used.
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.
Beginning a discussion on top bar hives and standard hives in a question and answer format, getting the best of each for users of both kinds of hives.
One way to overwinter a top bar hive in a northern climate is to provide good ventilation and some insulation. Enough food is needed, and good protection from the wind is too. We'll see how it works.
How the small town atmosphere can enhance your homesteading and living.
Winter wasn't very hard this year, well at least so far, and even if it gets more normal winter like, there's not much time left. Our bees have done well, and it looks like it might be a great summer ahead.
A short introduction to the almond pollination adventure going on in California right now. Bee Culture spent 3 weeks exploring this annual event, traveling from Bakersfield to Chico, visiting orchards, beekeepers and almond growers.
We had a once in a lifetime opportunity over Easter this year to talk to more than 30,000 people about honey bees, pollination, honey and beekeeping. And the place we got to do this in was one of a kind.
We can learn a lot from the Amish, who have passed down wisdom on living simply and celebrating community for generations.
As we watch the devastation's aftermath in Japan, the world will learn valuable lessons from a culture that reveres service to others, deep acceptance and community.
Find out how wabi-sabi, an ancient Japanese philosophy that promotes attention, reverence, generosity and respect, can build the foundation of a happy home.
Check out Annie B. Bond's list of 11 easy tips for making your kitchen more healthy and safe, from Care2.
How to make candles you can really light from the peel of Clementine oranges. A wintertime craft...just oil and an orange peel!
Homesteads and farms often have fun or touching
names that etch themselves into our memories. Is there one that has stuck in
Fun is where you find it, in this case it is a hay ride for the family along our trail.
A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your homestead.
As we look into the future we prepare for a flatter terrain for a new homestead.
Outlining our process for locating a suitable location for finding a new homestead.
After many months of preparation and planning, we are very excited to be starting to build our homestead - a barndominium. The first stage is to get a good solid foundation so our new homestead will be solid for today and future generations.
The building of the barndominium is in high gear. After all of the ground work, the slab is poured, cured and the steel framework of the barndominium is erected in one day. With the progress, there were a few problems but quickly solved.
On what will probably be the last trip to Chateau Christie as Australians, we are trying to get the property to a livable stage - completing the electrical and plumbing and getting things ready for an inspection so we can sheetrock and finish.
Our striving to live frugally, monetary so, affects our everyday life choices. We choose to live without a lot of things that cost money. We make most of the cash we do need by running the Hostel in the summer months.
FamilyFarmed.org Good Food Festival & Conference partner Vicki Nowicki shares her experience living, learning, and teaching on her suburban permaculture homestead.
There are a lot of things you can do right now to experience the homestead lifestyle right in your backyard.
Using rabbit hypnosis and a pair of wire cutters we successfully perform dental surgery on one of our does.
When you live in an off-grid house in the country, it's important to be handy!
Learn how to make soap with Robin Bedford of Possum Hollow Farm Soap.
Chris Lubkemann of Fox Chapel Publishing will present a workshop on whittling at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Mike Orr of Fox Chapel Publishing will present a workshop on homemade instruments at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
You can upcycle (make crafts from recycled materials) to beautifuly and simplify your world! Have a few old T-shirts that are past their prime? Make them into a rosette pillow! Use homemade recycled paper to send friends and family chic, personalized greetings cards. Overrun with stuff to recycle? Transform tin can lids into a melodious windchime! Have fun and get creative turning your old stuff into treasures!
Steve Maxwell spotlights the three myths that prevent people from realizing the full value of the self reliant lifestyle, and how to dispel them
Learning the basics about electricity will help you conserve energy.
Many readers can't say no to spouses, children, bosses, and so on. To please and care for others, we often sacrifice ourselves, working long hours, exhausting our energy. There is a cure. It's a two-letter word that starts with n. Try it.
We’re testing incubators, equipment and feed for the Community Chickens project.
We’re trying out several incubators with chicken, duck and quail hatching eggs.
Cam appreciates his local volunteer fire department.
Cam discovers he isn't as young as he once was while enjoying a sense of community at the local arena.
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.
NeighborGoods is an online community that lets you borrow and lend tools and other items from people in your area.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
See green building in action! The third and final season of the Greensburg TV series is scheduled to begin on May 2, 2010.
Brief description of our journey back onto the National Mall, our Flex Space design, and our Solar Thermal Skylight.
In this blog we talk about our three differnet types of solar technology that we have on the Homestead.
This historical neighborhood, with a strong sense of community, offers the feeling of small-town living.
Bounty is in the eye of the beholder — whether it be a bowl of perfect berries or millions of maple seeds.
One woman's journey from life in urban America to a small town in Austria, then back to a suburban homestead in Dallas on which she tries her hand at keeping dairy goats.
Keeping a garden journal helps you know which varieties you grew were successful, which were not and how much you harvested from each.
For inspiration and education, take some time to peruse the hundreds of Modern Homesteading articles.
All the hard work of planting, weeding and watering comes to fruition in a bowl of berries and a plate of golden potatoes.
All of the work of readying the garden and waiting for it to produce is worth the wait once the harvest begins.
The garden is growing better than I could have expected in the raised beds at my "new" urban homestead.
Using natural products, such as grass clippings and homemade organic fertilizer, can turn the worst clay soil into an acceptable growing medium.
Moving to an urban homestead is a challenge, but the boxes are getting unpacked and the birds are at the feeders.
Making the move to a historical neighborhood will offer an opportunity to develop community ties and try some new gardening techniques.
Creating new no-dig garden beds is easier and quicker with raised-bed stakes and two-by-six lumber.
Here are a few helpful books on homesteading skills and old-time crafts.
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.
Our process of buying the land for our homestead had little to do with logic and a lot to do with emotion. For me, it was a chance to return to the plains where I grew up and be close to family.
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.
: Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
Beekeeping yields honey, but it can also make our lives complete.
Get prepared for the season with useful tips for seed saving with Art Davidson, expert from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed.
With a new program promising to reduce the price of fresh fruits and vegetables and reduce the levels of not-so-good-for-you ingredients in their house brand products, Wal-Mart aims to make a positive change in the diet of the average American.
How-to online videos are a valuable resource for any do-it-yourselfer. But there are a lot of videos out there, so we’ve picked noteworthy ones and provided a few links to help you find more in the future. From building a workbench to changing your car’s oil, these engaging and instructive videos will inspire you to start a fun, new DIY project.
Food preservation expert Sherri Brooks Vinton makes food preservation look easy and shares helpful hints about equipment and technique during a standing-room-only workshop at the Fair.
This durable, puncture and tear-resistant chicken saddle will protect free-range chickens from pecking, cannibalistic behavior and predators.
When it's -30 degrees outside you can make your own snow!
Virtual farmers markets make buying and selling fresh farm goods easy and can grow into a thriving business!
Finally, we start to take shape.
A roof is a wonderful thing to have!
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.
Your attractive food garden could win you $500 and a chance to be featured in MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI) assures consumers that manufacturers have rectified many of the issues related to using CFLs, making them into mere myths. These issues include usage in three-way fixtures, non-compatibility in dimmers, the high price of CFLs and CFL use in fans and candelabras. Additionally, CFL users should understand the lifespan of the bulb and causes of flicker.
A look at how many hives to start with when beginning beekeeping.
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".
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.
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.
We've been planning for months and years but now we're in fast build mode. The slab is poured, materials on site and in nine days, we will have the shell of the barndominium completely done and ready for the framing inside.
We have few opportunities during our stay in Australia to fly home and do work ourselves on the property. This blog features a set of planned activities that we wanted to be personally and directly involved with. When we left, we were very happy.
Now that the Barndominium has been fully enclosed, it's time to work on the interior. Also the basic utilities, pump house and access roads have been beefed up. It's beginning to look like a real house now. Chateau Christie is becoming a reality.
Real life experiences with chickens spanning a 50 year period.
There are many more ways than ever to earn income without ever leaving the homestead. As energy prices rise, earning the money you need without traveling is key to success. It just might not come from the place you expect.
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.
Working in the potato bed produces the next blog article.
In North Carolina’s Triangle region, Crop Mob is reviving community farming.
Building community through sharing work and food.
The community garden in East Harlem, Chenchita's Garden, is beginning to take shape.
What does voluntary simplicity look like and how can we practice it despite our busy lives?
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
Our books are making a larger impact than we know!
Tomatoes are the gray area of canning. They're not quite acidic enough to just straight can like fruit but the right amount of added acid can keep you from having to pressure can them. Here are the basics on canning tomatoes.
There's no need to be afraid of canning. With basic skills a cook can safely prepare and process excess produce during the summer and have a ready supply all winter. An easy way to start is with dill pickles, with extras like garlic and hot peppers.
Take plain old raspberry jam to the next level with the complex flavors of white chocolate and coffee liqueur.
Cobbler is not the only solution to a bumper crop of berries. If you can boil water, you can turn the juice from big-flavor berries into tasty beverages that are naturally rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Make extra juice to freeze or can for year-round enjoyment.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
First in a series of blog posts which will cover conversion of lawnmowers and small engines from gasoline to propane.
Use old maps to wallpaper a room, shade a window, create a scrapbook, and other useful household crafts.
Beat summer heat with this easy, do-it-yourself alternative to an expensive store-bought air conditioner!
Many of us grow up disliking, even hating, ourselves. Learning to love oneself is no easy task, but it is vital to creating happiness and loving others. If you can learn to love yourself, you'll be rewarded many times over and be able to love others.
Take a photographic tour of Finca Bella Vista, a sustainable treehouse community in Costa Rica.
Give your bathroom a little flair--and have fun doing it--by creating a backsplash from pebbles, pennies or whatever's rattling around in the bottom of the toolbox. This fun, simple project is perfect for everyone--whether you're a DIYer or not.
Quick pickles--which don't require turning your kitchen into a sauna--are a fast, fun way to preserve abundant cucumbers (or even green beans). Simply soak vegetables in saltwater and vinegar solutions and let the flavors develop in the fridge.
This post offers tips for winterizing a top bar hive - insulating, mouse guards, wrapping, closing entrances, protecting from wind. All things you can do to help get them through!
This blog post by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees describes some techniques for getting bees to draw straight comb in a top bar hive.
Three U.S. regional beekeeping associations offer much to beekeepers at any skill level and experience. Beeyard adventures, workshops, lectures, honey shows, and the chance to meet hundreds of likemined individuals await you here.
You don't have to depend on nature to feed your bees. Take matters into your own hands and plant enough good food for your bees, so they have good, safe food all year long.
A story of life, death and rebirth of a hoop house.
We frequently use the term "homesteading" in Mother Earth News, but what is it's exact meaning?
After hitching a ride out of the city on the Slow Food movement, some newcomers to the country look back on their transition decision.
The Self Sufficient-ish Bible and accompanying Web site offer some universal tips for urban self-sufficiency.
Tell us about your ideal homestead. What would it be like?
For a natural looking wood finish, use a mixture of linseed oil and turpentine.
The Obama administration announced additional funding for rural broadband Internet programs that will increase the speed of rural Internet access. The funding is part of 2009's Recovery Act.
Using wood you’ve harvested to start creative wood projects is not impossible. Many sawyers have created beautiful wood structures made from lumber they’ve cut themselves.
Looking at the differences between the current homesteading movement in the USA compared to Smallholders in the UK.
We are grateful for the peace and balance inherent to our lifestyle, offering ease of being and grounded perspective as we continue to negotiate the boundaries between our world and the real world.
When defining the term homesteading, consider the various options available.
Jim Oseychuk built this intricate garden shed for his wife and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Joe Bonn built this impressive home in Colorado and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Donn Saindon built this beautiful 1,200 square foot home from reclaimed wood and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Robert Craig built this 960 square foot barn in Oregon and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
It may not be Spring, but spring fever is in the air along with the need to dig in the dirt, plant seeds and eat fresh vegetables.
You can get more for your gardening money with a group seed starting effort.
Wherever you live, you can practice sustainability and share your successes with your neighbors.
It's fall, time for fall garden clean up and planting garlic for next summer's harvest.
Carolyn’s story of living on a farm in rural Illinois shows that one can truly live off the land by having a huge garden, collecting wild morel mushrooms, and making homemade cottage cheese from the milk of the family cow.
A woman shares her experiences during the Dust Bowl days in Oklahoma of how she ate poke greens, learned to live without electricity and other homesteading memories.
Growing up on a New England homestead, a woman imparts heartfelt lessons about making do with what you have and cherishing those memories.
Camille Wright passes on wisdom from her “Mamaw,” conjuring up images of fresh clothes on the clothesline, a root cellar lined with jams and jellies, and quiet walks.
Growing up in rural north Florida, Elizabeth Hollingsworth shares her family’s self-sufficiency experiences, from storing redskin potatoes to making jam; drives in the country to extended-family potlucks.
A long-time gardener describes the seed-saving technique for cucumbers.
Follow these easy instructions explaining how to make a fruit picker, and you'll never be tormented by out-of-reach fruit again.
Learn how to assemble a humane animal trap out of recycled material. It’s easy and effective!
Learn how to teach your kids to ride a bike. It's simple: Use a scooter.
How to install a package of bees
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.
Watch this video tutorial on how to make tofu.
Cole takes you through the first steps in learning to cut your own meat - sourcing.
Simply by covering your potatoes with ample mulch, storing potatoes in the ground is not only possible but incredibly easy and successful. Learn how to store potatoes in your garden and enjoy crisp, homegrown spuds through winter and into spring.
Read about our mycological journey, starting with our process of inoculating several shiitake mushroom logs. The process is easy enough for most anyone intersted in producing their own shiitake mushrooms at home — plus, it's fun and a big money-saver!
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.
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.
Bake those tart cherries dangling from your backyard tree into sweet and tasty fruit pies. Here's how to make fresh cherry pie without stressing about the perfect pie crust.
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.
Use naturally cool nighttime air to provide summer comfort. It's a lot easier than you think and it can save you a fortune on cooling costs.
Ceiling fans help cool people naturally, and use a lot less energy than air conditioners. Use them to save on energy.
Reasons why we like to shop at our local grocery.
Claire finds a recipe for hard lotion and makes molded lotion bars to give as Christmas presents.
Today's a great day to follow our tips for creating a home office that's easy on you and light on the planet.
Reed diffusers are a great way to fill your home with the fresh, healing scents of essential oils--but they're pricey. You can save a bundle by making your own using repurposed bottles and plant stalks.
Making your own cleaning products using vinegar, baking soda and water is healthy, easy--and cheap. Learn how to whip up your own cleaners using foods you already have in your kitchen cupboard.
Save money and keep harsh chemicals out of your kitchen by making your own dishwasher detergent. It takes just seconds to make a powdered or liquid version.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take these into consideration the next time you are making your food purchases.
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.
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
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.
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.
We are taught when we are kids not to waste food, but it doesn’t seem as if that lessen has stuck with us.
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.
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?
What if I told you that you could grow 50 plants in 4 square feet?
Organic is a phrase that’s tossed around and abused a lot by marketers these days. Not all “organic” products should be treated equally.
Popcorn is easy to grow and makes an attractive and delicious alternative to sweet corn, especially in a small garden. Kids will love the cute little ears, and adults will treasure the superior flavor of homegrown popcorn. Plant in late spring.
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."
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.
Many people have trouble getting things done or done on time. The blog presents a simple technique that will help you become more effective and more successful in all you do.
In this blog, I challenge readers to abandon the typically new year's resolution and embarking on a New Year's Revolution. Read it and see if you'd like to join me on what could be an exciting and profitable new venture.
We all have a rule book inscribed in our minds that dictates how we and others should act. Though handy at times, it often becomes a liability, a huge liability. See why in this blog and what you can do about it.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Raising baby coturnix quail is an exciting adventure. Taylor is completely new to raising poultry and shares his experiences.
These online tools can help you find the best sources for local food, including local farmers markets and community-supported agriculture programs.
Pass the cold, wintry months with warm thoughts of how you can eat more local food while supporting sustainable agriculture this coming season.
Support your local food systems while getting the most from your home garden.
A quality product made in the USA
Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.
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.
After the snow leaves to do list for us.
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
Homesteads are attempting to provide longer grazing times by dividing pasture into paddocks. The difficulty of getting water to each paddock can be solved by a windmill with underground pipes. No electric is needed--just wind!
On May 27, the Rachel Carson Homestead Association and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History are hosting the Celebrate Biodiversity Symposium in Pittsburgh, Penn., to celebrate the United Nations World Environment Day. Read to find out more and to register.
Part II of a tutorial on how to make cold-process soap. The directions are intended for the absolute beginner and use easy-to-locate materials.
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.
We received another great review of a successful Homesteading Education Month event. Read about a well-received sustainability fair in South Dakota.
Coffee bean chaff — the light, airy husks blown off the beans during roasting, can be used as chicken coop litter, mulch and compost. Chaff can usually be found for free at local roasteries.
Dealing with potties out in the country.
There are good sides and bad sides to every storey, this is no exception. No one said homesteading would be easy!
Young homesteader Robert Maxwell explores his discoveries as he moves toward self-sufficiency and homesteading.
We're getting very close now to our relocation to Texas. After years of planning and developing, it's time to go home to our sustainable lifestyle. We leave with some sadness but a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement for our new life.
Sometimes even HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm needs a reminder why she puts up with the goat feed, the chicken poop, the cat puke, and the never-ending mud. Here's a hint: It involves good food.
Did attending the Fair make you want to go out back and start building a chicken coop? If you've gotten far enough in your chicken-keeping research to look at specific breeds, look no further than the Mother Earth News Pickin' Chicken app.
You don't have to be a homeowner to homestead. No matter where you live, you can start practicing the skills you need for a more self-reliant, sustainable life.
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?
Planting flowers and vegetables that are attractive to honeybees will help to bring these garden pollinators into your yard.
Looking back the past three years and identifying what we have learned from our experiences.
How can someone who claims to be a 'modern homesteader' not have planted her garden by the end of June, you ask? Well, let me tell you...
When our chicks arrived, we had no idea how much we had to learn about how to raise baby chicks. Nor did we know how much the books couldn't tell us.
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
YIKES! What to do when you've planted too many veggies? Is your garden producing more than one family can eat? Sure, you can give it away. But wait! Try pickling those garden gems. This way, you'll be able to enjoy them through the winter and beyond!
Contemplations on what we eat and why we pay close attention to our food.
Whip olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice into a cheap, effective polish for wood furniture.
Make your own all-purpose cleaners, dishwasher detergent and mildew remover with safe, simple ingredients. Ever think you'd be doing dishes with Kool-Aid?
Noxious fumes aren’t conducive to happy cleaning. Give all your homemade cleaning solutions an invigorating and healthy boost by adding a few drops of pure plant essential oils such as lavender or lemon. Heavenly!
Introducing the serviceberry, a beautiful landscape tree or shrub suitable in much of North America, to the edible landscape. Serviceberry -- or sarvis -- comes in many regional forms and produces edible berries.
Roses are easy to grow successfully if you follow a few guidelines: provide good air circulation around the canes and keep the plants clean and not too damp. Roses come in many forms, including bush or shrub, climbing, and miniature.
Getting started each day presents a major challenge to many people. With so many pressing demands, it's often difficult to know where to start. Feeling overwhelmed and panicked, you may end up frittering away your time. He's a trick to get you going.
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.
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.
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.
Looking for a easy sewing project? Follow this quick tutorial from Design Fixation to make a dress in just 20 minutes.
James discusses exactly how to paint a beehive. Sometimes it can be a fiddly job but using an array of stepladders and poles it can be pretty simple
A brief story of how a creek was damaged and how it was reported to the authorities properly.
How prepared ahead of time for remote living and what was required.
Creating your own start-up is full of obstacles, but rewarding. MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Jessica Vaughan shares advice from her experience as a first-time small business owner who teaches clients how to grow organic produce.
Rain chains are a smart, good-looking way to collect rainwater from your roof--but they can be pricey. You can make your own for next to nothing. Give your house a little bling.
Making mosaics out of salvaged, broken tiles is a great project for free-form do-it-yourselfers. It's easy, fun and results in a brilliant surface--often for pennies. Check out this video and give it a try.
What can you do with all those useless newspapers, paper bags and Yellow Pages books? Tear them into scraps and use them to decoupage walls and other surfaces. It's easy, cheap--and surprisingly elegant.
Put those big pieces of cardboard to work by turning them into furniture. This entertaining tutorial shows you how.
Gardening can make a difference! Across the country, people are building rain gardens to filter contaminants and ease overburdened stormwater systems. Here's how to build a rain garden in 10 easy steps.
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.
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
Reconnecting with family photos and important papers may seem like small change in the wake of the tornadoes' massive devastation in the Southeast last week. But what if it were the last surviving photo of your mother?
Whether I'm in the market for something funky or just a few bricks for the garden, I always visit Boulder ReSource first. Check out this expert's tips on mining your local salvage yard for gems.
We all have hoarding tendencies. If yours are getting the better of you, rest assured that there are support groups and professional organizations just waiting to help.
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.
Meals become a snap when you add pressure cooking to your repertoire. Pressure cookers are great kitchen companions that bolster the flavor of even simple dishes, plus they save you time and money.
Among a slew of other awards for her outstanding writing, Barbara Pleasant has received the 2013 Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association for her Gardening Know-How column.
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
Fall sheet mulching of perennial plantings assists in fertility and weed suppression.
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!
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.
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.
Bob-White Systems is bringing the cows back home by providing supplies, equipment and support for Micro Dairies, Home & Farmstead cheesemakers and small-scale producers of local and farm fresh dairy products.
Housekeeping tips mined from the second issue of Mother Earth News--published in 1970--are surprisingly relevant today. Use these to make this task--which we all have to do sooner or later--more efficient and enjoyable.
Advice from a sustainable farming expert on how to get started with livestock on a small piece of land.
Sometimes even — perhaps especially — those whose lives are full with experience, knowledge and good living can find that as their time begins to dwindle, there isn't quite enough. Not that that's anything other than as it should be.
Featherlite Trailers' official website recorded its one millionth visitor in October, according to data from Google Analytics. This is the first time the site has eclipsed the one-million-visitor mark in a calendar year.
Robert Plamondon's Norton Press has reprinted three homesteading classics: Ten Acres Enough, We Wanted a Farm and Gold in the Grass.
Look for local foods, such as fresh peaches, from your local farmers' market to make delightful summer desserts such as peaches and cream.
Jenna Woginrich reflects on her journey from fresh out of college, city-dwelling designer to determined homesteader, and offers encouragement to those with similar dreams.
Lyanda Haupt talks about the challenges and rewards of protecting her chickens and garden from local wildlife.
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
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.
If you are growing vegetables, making a few homemade wares here and there ... you are practicing good, old-fashioned homesteading techniques.
Save your eggshells! Seedling pots that are easy on your wallet and the environment.
Finding wild morel mushrooms growing in our urban backyard means plenty of marvelous meals.
Deciding on urban beekeeping may just mean hosting a hive - some of the honey and none of the work!
We are collecting Wit and Wisdom From Our Elders: tips and stories of how people took care of their homesteads in the past. Share your stories!
Sometimes you have your plans changed for you, so don't put off tomorrow what can be done today.
Pack Rats, cute, tricky and destructive
Milk, meat, eggs, veggies-- see how it's done on a small urban farm!
Finding friends out in the country can be challenging.
We look for materials bargains while devising a way to pay for it all.
We finally build somthing!
Cam describes how the seasons progress through one messy task after another at Sunflower Farm.
The importance of a good pickup truck for the modern homesteader.
I recently spent the weekend in Tennessee to attend the NSSPPA Conference and yearly meeting to meet other sorghum makers and learn more about the process. I came away with new techniques, different seed varieties and a feeling of camaraderie with the other producers.
The how's and why's we homestead
Cam has a (temporary) job outside of the house and he has gained a new appreciation for being self-employed.
Growing and harvesting hazelnuts (filberts) in your garden.
Experiences getting started gardening in the 1970's and suggestions for beginning your own projects in 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?
Susan Abernethy shares this story of helping her husband turn a longstanding tradition of family sorghum harvesting into a small business. Since their marriage in 2004, Susan has enjoyed unraveling the stories of her husband’s sorghum legacy and has inherited a powerful adoration for the hard work it takes to yield the sweet crop.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce shares 5 things to consider before starting a farmstead—not the least of which being winter.
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?
How living more sustainably can save you in an emergency.
Using a hot summer day to grow the winter wood pile.
As a beginner homesteader, designer Larissa Reznek has learned some hard lessons fast. Here are the top three pieces of guidance she wishes she had before she started out.
From the outset, Earthineer was built to support and promote sustainability and homesteading as a lifestyle choice. Every feature we have planned has that goal in mind. What we have now is the foundation that we'll build off of.
International Homesteading Month is off to a running start! Here are two stories of events that are truly promoting education to foster more self-reliant communities.
Save containers, save money! No need to buy something you already have!
Steve explains how our pursuit of environmental sustainability can also drive us crazy if it's not put in the correct philosophical context.
You have read every garden, homestead and back to the land book in your library system. Your dreams of coffee at sunrise set to the chatter of fowl made real. With hoe in hand and 914,760 square feet rolling out from your feet like a magic carpet; where do you start?
The 651 Project has been established to assist students Nationwide in their pursuit of agricultural skills and knowledge.
Bastyr University and Premera Blue Cross today announced the launch of an innovative pilot program aimed at preventing or reversing childhood obesity.
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.
Collins hails milestone of the company becoming employee owned.
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.
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."
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.
What we have found as an advantage of having a rural hardware store close by.
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.
Dairyman Nick Snelgar reflects on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health certification process and bagging hay for winter on his UK dairy farm.
FairShare CSA Coalition partners with health insurance groups to offer a rebate for selecting fresh, organic, local produce.
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.
How does one eat more of the right types of seafood to reap all the health benefits without going bald? Choose local!
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.
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
Barack Obama encourages Americans to participate in a national day of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
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.
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.
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.
Andre Armantrout sent us this wonderful update from a Homesteading Education Month event featuring aquaculture at Snowy Pine Ridge, outside Spokane, Wash.
With no building experiment and only the information they found online as their guide, Kyle and Jeannie built a sweet little home on wheels. In this video, they share what they learned in the process and invite you inside.
Pick some pretty leaves, paint them and press their likenesses onto an inexpensive shower curtain liner to make a shower curtain much prettier than anything found in stores.
Growing some of the most delicious and sometimes expensive gourmet vegetables doesn't have to be hard. Artichoke, bronze fennel, kohlrabi, leek, and savoy cabbage are among the vegetables that grow well from seed.
When autumn brings a glut of orchard fruits, capture the goodness as juice by cooking extraction or cold pressing. Juices can be used alone or mixed to produce sweet or hard ciders, wines, syrups, and more.
Restoring a heritage log cabin is not something to embark on on a whim, but it can be one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do.
Over the last 2 decades BeeWeaver has seen change in who keeps bees, and why they keep bees. The journey of the last 20 years has not been easy for the bees but the efforts of these New Beekeepers will keep the amazing honeybee a part of our word.
Vermont farmer Walter Jeffries details all the cuts of meat on a pig, as well as many other uses of the animal, from working the soil to providing delicious lard for baked goods.
Floods are our nation's most common natural disaster, and they're threatening many areas right now. Take these prudent steps now to make sure you don't get caught off guard if floods threaten your home.
These money- and waste-saving alternatives to paper and plastic products eliminate the temptation to resort to disposable for your summertime outdoor dining needs.
When my former boss suggested we photograph my annual summer solstice party, I quietly panicked and then got busy. Borrow some of our ideas and gather your tribe to celebrate the longest day of the year--lavishly or lazily, traditionally or not.
This small project could gain you big time savings. Simply screw a few hooks inside a pretty cigar box, give it a knob and hang it near the door. Never search for lost keys again!
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.
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.
What’s with glycerin? It’s a soap-making byproduct with antibacterial properties, but it’s often made with animal fat derivatives, which isn’t really our thing. So, we figured out how to make our own veggie version with coconut oil, opening up a whole world of kitchen pantry beauty concoctions.
Sangria is the perfect summertime libation for a thirsty crowd. Fresh fruits and herbs combine with wine and liqueur for a colorful, festive "punch" that packs a punch.
In a wabi-sabi house, space and light are the most desirable ornaments. Follow these steps to clear the clutter so they can shine through.
Meditating has never come naturally to me, probably because of my goal-oriented approach. Wabi-sabi helped me see find peace in simple solitude (and long dog walks) instead.
Why spend hundreds of dollars on a readymade bicycle cargo trailer when you can build one yourself? Portland Pedalworks keeps the project easy and inexpensive in this how-to video.
Here is yet another possible building project presented to you which requires no formal training, very little money, and techniques/methods that anyone can use. This blog intends to inspire you to take on a natural building project like this one. Don´t have fear if this is your first time working with these techniques and materials — it often for us also! Swattlesfield Campground is frequented by many kinds of people for various reasons. The owner, Jonathan, wanted to introduce some activity which would draw people together. We had the perfect idea: pizza! Food, especially food that requires waiting, has a tendency to attract people. And once humans have a good reason to be in the same place, the rest (socialization) has a tendency to just work.
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?
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.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
Steve Judge of Bob-White Systems in Vermont offers his Micro Dairy expertise in this blog series on how to start and manage a Micro Dairy, from farm and barn planning to selecting dairy cows, goats and sheep to daily operations and being profitable.
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.
Making Music on the Front Porch ... let's define what the musical Front Porch is.
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.
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.
Location near public transporation and walkability are as important as green materials and design in creating a green home, study finds.
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.
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.
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.
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
For many homesteaders, taking a job during the winter months to earn extra income is an appealing option. Here are some options to consider if you're looking for off-farm income.
It’s an innovative new product that provides homeowners with an aesthetic and permanent solution to the problem of unsightly above-ground propane tanks.
Built tough for storm cleanup, tree felling, and firewood cutting, the MS 271 STIHL WOOD BOSS chain saw is designed with improved ergonomics and equipped with a low-emission, fuel-efficient engine.
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.
Jenna Woginrich discusses the more difficult aspects of homesteading, and why it's worth it anyway.
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.
Skip the packaging and synthetic chemicals and learn how to make your own, cold-processed shampoo bars.
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.
Clearing your land to ready it for farming can be quite a challenge!
Don't let your wanderlust for more space hold you back from creating your homestead in the city.
Trying to follow directions out in the country can be challenging!
How we turned our plain old yard into a productive farm, and how you can do it too!
Quick and easy recipe ideas for preserving radishes!
Anna remembers her grandmother's tasty buttermilk biscuits with fig preserves and her mother's stories of growing up on a small, in-town homestead in the 60s.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!
Even dairy goats can have self-esteem issues...
Has the "magic" energy solution been discovered?
If you're pondering a move to the country and think your life will suddenly get blissfully silent, think again.
You can easily make homemade mozzarella in 30 minutes or less!
Thoughts on growing all your own food. How much space is required and other things to consider.
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?
Using 16-foot livestock panels in many ways on your homestead.
Comparison between old ways and new technology.
How do you find the best chicken coop design for your new flock? We'll help you walk through the evaluation process AND get a free analysis spreadsheet to help you decide.
Weeding in the summer is all about species maintenance
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.
Even we homesteaders must decide how we interact with our animals and the environment. When we follow Nature's rules by developing old-time virtues, our lives are enriched with connection to everything around us.
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.
again, rushing to beat the weather as we close in our finishing our hand-built cabin
It wasn't many months ago the seed catalog for this year showed up, but at that point I had just, just, managed to finish off the garden season, slightly traumatized from all the work. To receive a catalog then seemed mostly like an ill-conceived joke, a way to rub it in; don't think you can relax too much.
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.
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.
Rabbits are an ideal source of high quality meat for urban homesteaders.
Robin Bedford of Possum Hollow Farm Soap will present a workshop on soap making at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Veterinarian Anne Hallowell will present a workshop on hiking and packing with llamas at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustianability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
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.
Pat Foreman of Good Earth Publications will present three workshops on chickens at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Harvey Ussery of The Modern Homestead will present three workshops on raising and gardening with chickens at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Kenneth Rust of Kasco Marine will present a workshop on practical pond management at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
I don't know why, but somehow I think of myself as a lazy farmer. Perhaps it's because I know that I'm not a real farmer. Sure, we ate out of the garden all summer and I sold our excess produce at the farmer's market, but gardening is hardly farming.
Is there a more heartwarming and majestic sight than gorgeous old-fashioned cows in a peaceful grassy meadow, calves scampering by their sides? Awesome. But have you given much considered thought to exactly how those calves will come to be?
Like Thoreau and the Nearings, we feel more alive and participative in the natural world around us on our 5.5 acre homestead and organic farmstead than Lisa and I ever did walking through a corporate cubicle maze in the city.
Dive in, work with passion, and take all the other important elements of your life with you. Here are four reasons why such blending yields strategic sense.
We folded down the back seats in our Subaru wagon, lined the whole back area with a heavy tarp and a thick layer of straw, and headed down to Nash's Delta Farm to catch us some ducks.
Until we built a barn of our own and experienced the kindness of neighbors firsthand, I would have thought the notion of a barn raising to be a quaint relic of the past.
I grew up with bobolinks. All my life they have nested on our farm, but the bobolinks are in serious trouble, especially in the Northeast, largely on account of changes in agricultural practices.
Why do we believe that math must be done one workbook page at a time, at the kitchen table? Anyone who’s ever kept chickens can tell you all the math that can be found in the hen house.
My boyfriend and I traveled from Orlando, FL with the expectation that we were going to encounter a life-changing experience. It was well worth it. I felt like a kid in a candy store.
We do a lot of things on our farm, but the primary way we earn a livelihood is selling wholesale potted herbs and heritage food plants to garden centers throughout Colorado and northern New Mexico.
Solar expert Joe Utasi hopes to have his home solar panel installation complete and running, and will have lots of pictures to show and discuss by the time the Seven Springs Fair arrives.
Alison Martin of the American Livestock Breeds Association will present a workshop on heritage breed cattle at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Heather Houlahan of Brandywine Farm will present a workshop on choosing and training farm dogs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, Sept. 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Jeannette Beranger of the American Livestock Breeds Association will present two workshops on heritage breed pigs and chickens at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Robyn Griggs Lawrence of Ogden Publications will present workshops on green cleaning and wabi-sabi at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Kathy Bennett and Scott Bergford will present workshops on raising sheep and keeping your green home safe at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
James Zitting of Bee Landing and Terry Phelan of Living Shelter Design Architects will present workshops on beekeeping and straw bale building at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Tom Watson of King County Recycling and Environmental Services and Carol Ekarius of Storey Publishing will present workshops on recycling and animal agriculture at the Mother Earth News Fair, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Erin McIntosh of Mountain Rose Herbs and Victoria Miller of Canyon Creek Farms will present workshops on calming herbs and how to keep turkeys at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Jessica Kellner will present a workshop on handbuilt homes and Michael Vicha will present workshops on cheesemaking at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
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.
There is a coming resurgence of the appreciation of the hearty homespun sorghum syrup. Something is special about being part of making this “home-made” sugar that speaks to the self-reliant nature inside all of us. You can be part of the Sorghum Revival!
International Homesteading Education Month, presented by MOTHER EARTH NEWS and "Grit" magazines, promotes community self-reliance skills through the month of September. Find out how you can get involved!
MaryJane's Farmgirls is a network of women's groups across the country who meet to discuss and share their experiences in modern homesteading, including sewing, cooking, voluteering and more.
Raising and growing your own is more than a lifestyle — it is life.
Read dozens of reports of reader's homesteading adventures.
Learning to clear fields can be fun!
Taste spring sooner-- build yourself a cold frame!
Spring means rhubarb! Make ice cream, jam and more!
When we're trying to achieve our dreams, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by all of the steps between where we are today and where we ultimately want to be. MOTHER EARTH NEWS writer Jenna Woginrich suggests a great idea for a fresh perspective and making your goals more attainable. If you look at the next 60 minutes, what can you do in the next hour to get closer to your goals?
MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributing editor and compost expert Barbara Pleasant provides some great homestead compost tips in celebration of Compost Awareness Week.
Green building guru Lloyd Kahn recounts his favorite new discoveries from the Puyallup, Wash., MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Sensor Plug update along with a report on Sunflowers being used as a cover crop and when to properly harvest onions.
Ode to our hand saw...why we choose to live without power, and what we've accomplished by hand.
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.
How do you keep backyard chickens safe from poultry predators? With a bit of elbow grease and a few tips, your girls will be safe from sharp teeth.
Building homes using dangerous and impactful industrial chemicals--in the name of energy efficiency--is not sustainable or ecological, a green building veteran says. His Health-Based Building model is an important step forward for green design.
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.
From the boxy ranch house to the superfluous McMansion, suburban housing has never been particularly inspired. These three homes show what you can do with that raw material, with a little ingenuity and a willingness to work with what's there.
Forget the time and money that goes into conventional giftwrap. Use these inspirational ideas to wrap lovely gifts with materials otherwise bound for the recycling bin.
Air conditioning accounts for as much as 20 percent of the average homeowner's utility bill. These simple tips can help you reduce your mechanical cooling needs, meaning more money for you and better-quality air for the world.
Slower growth in crop yields, high oil prices and use of food crops to make biofuels could push food prices higher for the next year and beyond.
There's only one rule for wabi-style flowers: strive for a natural look, with seasonal blooms and branches arranged as they are in the field. Don't worry about perfection. Your "arrangement" is a humble admission that we can't improve on nature.
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.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
A little background on how Ric and Vicki moved from Detroit to a Tennessee homestead, and starting to get up to date on what they've done since.
Folksinger Michael Johnathon is on tour nationwide. Visit his homepage: www.MichaelJohnathon.com
The thrill continues living in our handmade house.
We haul our water from the river - walking water!
Making the most of a winter walk to home.
Custom Curve is the first glass window system with a structurally engineered framework that follows the curved wall of the yurt.
Land Pride is proud to announce four new skid Grapples in 12 different sizes as well as a skid-mounted Stump Grinder. These completely new attachments feature the same quality and durability that you’ve come to expect from Land Pride.
With country living, you expect a quiet night's sleep. But surprise, surprise - nature has its own alarm clock.
Prepping for major emergencies - earthquakes, floods, tornadoes - is important, but so is emergency planning for less dramatic events. Find out what you can do to reduce the potential for stress.
Growing potatoes in containers allows you to increase your yield in a small amount of space.
One of the first steps to building our homestead in Texas was to get water and electricity on the property so we had the basics from which we could build. This blog discusses how we implemented the first phase of our utilities.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner.
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!
Robert White is remaking himself as a farmer, and will return to his family's land to start a market garden. Here's why.
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.
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
Learn about using the Piteba to press your own homegrown oil.
The time to prepare for livestock or pet emergencies is not when they fall ill, but before. Here are some basics so you and your critters are covered.
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
Set up a washing station in your garden. Rinse your veggies there, saving the water for the garden and keeping your kitchen clean.
Solar drying experiences in 2012, including tomato varieties Principe Borghese and Long Tom.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
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.
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.
Completing tasks in preparation for a few days away from the homestead
Looking ahead to September, it gives us all an opportunity to expand our horizons with furthering our knowledge and skill sets, baking and otherwise.
Diane Ott Whealy of Seed Savers Exchange and Jackie Cleary Dietrich of Auburn Meadow Farm will present workshops on gardening and farming at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, Sept. 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
My husband Alan’s first gift to me was Helen and Scott Nearing’s Living the Good Life. The books we turn to regularly have changed, although some we go back to again and again, year after year. A list of our top 10 favorite books follows.
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.
When I bought my farm, I did it to live in the woods. I would like to say I was deliberate. And intentional. But clueless is probably a better word. I should have suspected something when I bought the land and they threw the house in for free.
A horse trainer once said to me, 'Animals don't think, they just make associations.' I responded to that by saying, 'If making associations is not thinking, then I would have to conclude that I do not think.'
Nobody can resist fluffy baby chicks, so what would be better than hatching your own? Let us put your mind at rest and make your first time incubating an enjoyable experience you will want to repeat.
Deborah Niemann of Antiquity Oaks will present two workshops on traditional home dairies and homegrown food at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Alisa Shorey will present a workshop on beekeeping and Jack McCornack will present a workshop on 100-mpg cars at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
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.
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.
Part I of a two-part tutorial on how to make soap for the absolute beginner. Readers will assemble materials and prepare the mold this week in anticipation of combining the ingredients to make a batch of cold-process soap.
Find out how to feed rabbit babies using a goat's milk-based formula.
Skip the steaks if you're firing up the barbecue tonight. Marinated and grilled veggies and tofu, served up with wasabi mayo on grilled bread, is a hearty, delicious way to celebrate Meatless Monday.
Let's quash, once and for all, the notion that only harmful chemicals can kill germs and bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are natural antibacterials that keep your home clean--and safeguard your family's health.
Cap off your Hemp History Week celebrations by making hemp soap. Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids known for their excellent emollient and lubricating properties.
Natural beauty is priceless. We can take in and appreciate a great view because we don’t have any hope of owning it, and we can’t manipulate it. With our egos out of the way, we can learn to simply observe.
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.
Chickens - how do you know if you’re the ‘chicken type’? If you’re pondering a backyard flock, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
Protecting the fig tree for the winter felt like putting it to bed for a long sleep. Chopping wood with the Chopper 1 is a thing of joy and beauty and that's no joke. Do it yourself corn bin helped our neighbor keep the racoons out.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
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.”
Honey bees, the Boston tragedy, and our power to create the world we’ve been waiting for.
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.
OK, you’ve got a start: where to get equipment, groups to join, classes to take, and mentors to hook up with. Now’s the time, before you have bees, to take a long hard look at some of the rest of the things you need to be thinking about.
Eating only homegrown foods on the Fridays in Lent.
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.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
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.
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.
Black bears and rural living go hand in hand in many parts of North America. So how do you keep bear/human conflicts to a minimum?