culture and how a community can have an impact on your homestead
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.
Turn empty oatmeal and salt containers into pretty storage canisters--in a snap.
Writer and Canadian farming enthusiast, Joseph Graham sent this review of the event that he and his wife hosted for Homesteading Education Month.
To be a successful beekeeper we must overcome our initial fears.
How potentially dangerous chemicals are tested and are they really that safe for humans or not.
Growing sorghum is the first step to making sweet sorghum syrup, but are there other reasons for growing a crop of sorghum?
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.
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.
Candlemas is an ancient midwinter holiday, when people would take inventory on their stock of candles, pantry food storage and hay in the barn to get the homestead through the second half of winter.
That something is easy doesn't always mean it's simple – many of the modern conveniences so much of the western world relies on, the thermostat in most conventional houses, for example, is but the end of a long and complex chain reaction with consequences far beyond our reach. Homesteading simplicity can be described as a way to limit those chain reactions, to be more in control over the effect of our actions and, to alter those effects to have a positive impact.
Watch Steve tell you his homestead story and how his two trucks have helped make good things happen.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Homemade laundry detergent to save money and the environment.
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.
With resources from Mother Nature, you can make natural and beautiful homegrown holiday gifts.
When it's too hot outside, the work moves inside, and is still REALLY HOT.
How we focused on attaining our dream homestead.
Comparing a covenant community against living rural without covenants.
Use everyday recyclable materials to create personalized DIY stationery.
No homestead is complete without our canine companions.
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.
There are plenty of alternatives to handing out sugary candy at Halloween time.
Almost 30 years ago I made one of the best decisions ever when I began my homesteading adventure. It's no "Little House on the Prarie" but you can see it from there.
Here's a good source to learn about screening recommendations for different types of cancer. Where can I learn more about cancer screening guidelines?
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.
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.
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!
The history of the Blood Orange and How to make Blood Orange Marmalade.
Learn how to use less energy canning tomato products.
Beekeeping allows us to have not only honey, but also the wax. This is a story of how to make beeswax candles with molds and some of the difficulties I have yet to resolve.
Iain, working to build his socially responsible candle-making company, gets all his new equipment arriving from Holland.
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.
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.
When traveling, consider checking out the community gardens in the area. You can meet local people who are passionate about gardening and learn about the climate and crops that may be different than yours.
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.
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.
It's time for our fourth-annual call for nominations for outstanding modern homesteaders! Organic gardeners, do-it-yourselfers and general self-sufficient gurus are being sought for the opportunity to be named as one of our 2015 Homesteaders of the Year.
History and those who may have crossed or used your homestead before you discovered it. Treasure is where you find it.
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.
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.
Being prepared for canine emergencies.
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.
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...
Where have our bats gone? We miss the benefit of having them around and wish they would come back.
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.
Studies show that eating some vegetables may help prevent certain types of cancer. Find out which are the best for you, and why.
Environmentally induced cancer is more prevalent than expected, according to the President’s Cancer Panel’s first report on reducing environmental cancer risks.
A Carnegie Mellon study finds fault with carbon footprint calculations. Thankfully, we have other ways of determining environmental impact.
If you live in the South, you can grow your own sugar cane. Learn to plant, harvest and make delicious syrup at home!
Kerr-Cole Sustainable Living Center in Taylor, Arizona celebrates national homesteading month with a display of solar ingenuity.
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.
Leaving the rental home we had lived in for three years in Carmel Indiana, to move back to Kangaroo Valley, Australia has meant more than losing the plot and getting the flock out of there!
I am new to America, and new to the suburbs, having previously lived in rural Australia. I now live in suburban Indiana. During the past two years I have been trying to set up an "urban homestead" for our family. The neighbors are curious and amused.
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.
A Consumer Reports study finds high BPA levels in Del Monte, Progresso, Campbell’s, Annie’s Homegrown, Eden Foods and Vital Choice canned foods.
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.
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!
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.
Making cheese was nothing like I expected, but in the end, I was successful.
Pick something new to learn this year from Granny Miller’s list of 101 basic homesteading skills.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking nominations of self-sufficient modern homesteaders for our 2013 Homesteaders of the Year awards.
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
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.
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.
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.
Media outlets have been warning parents against drug-laced Halloween candy for decades. But how prevalent is drug-laced Halloween candy, really?
In this blog we explore making your own ricotta and kefir, with recipes!
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 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.
Save money and win your sweetie's heart with a beautifully set table and handmade candy hearts this Valentine's Day.
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
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.
Learn about three concerns of pressure canning foods— equipment reliability, foodborne illness and altitude adjustments — and start pressure canning safely!
Buttered corn and buttered double succotash in stores for fall season.
Putting into practice those great intentions: Living on preserved hard work and home canned peaches these short days.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
The Arctic is warming up faster than the overall global temperature. We will discuss the reason for the rapid warming of the Arctic.
Making Beeswax candles at the Possibility Alliance allows member's to limit their use of carbon.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
The terminal diagnoses and reality of dying reinforce our commitment to homesteading.
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?
While many kids (and adults, too) might prefer to sleep with a light on, research shows that exposure to artificial light after the sun goes down can disrupt healthy body function and is associated with an increased risk for cancer. So turn off your computers, TVs, and nightlights for kids, and learn to embrace the nighttime darkness.
Immigrating to Canada can be a daunting process, but the Canadian government provides resources to help.
Use a simple hobby kit to cut glass wine bottles and transform them into drinking glasses, candleholders or this stylish candelabra.
Medical marijuana was a $1.7 billion industry last year--just shy of Viagra as pot-related businesses crop up across the country.
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.
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.
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.
The Canadian government’s ecoENERGY program stops giving financial assistance for energy-efficient home improvements.
Making tallow container candles out of bison fat.
How to make tallow candles from bison suet.
Pickled garlic is both delicious and easy to make. Ever wondered why pickled garlic turns blue? Find out here!
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.
Time to plant sorghum in the Ozarks. When do you plant sorghum in your neck of the woods?
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.
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.
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.
From cleaning raw beeswax to enjoying the final product, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will take you step by step through the process of making beeswax candles.
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.
A new danger faces unborn babies and children, as exposure to pesticides increases the risk of brain tumors and other cancer-related illnesses.
Steve got curious and shares the results of a gruelling endurance test he completed to compare cordless tool battery performance
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.
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.
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.
A strong partnership between Cascades and Office Depot to deliver on customer need for softness and strength while significantly reducing total environmental impact.
After years of impatient waiting, Ellen Sandbeck finally finds red LED night lights, which save energy while preserving melatonin production.
Building a pantry is a great way to store your groceries and home produce.
Tell us about your all-time favorite fix-it tool.
Bread! hits the water on Lake Ontario while taking a week long sailing course. The Rosemary Olive Oil Sourdough was featured for dinner.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence visits Canada's only straw bale winery, Orofino Vineyards.
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
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?
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.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm covers the essentials of how to can safely.
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!
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.
Delight your host by taking one of these homemade treats.
Spiced-apple rings add the perfect touch to a winter-friendly comfort food dinner.
A reader inquires about how to set up a community seed swap.
You can help support a community garden in New York City's East Harlem neighborhood.
Homesteading with dogs in remote mountain living. Considerations in providing a good safe homestead environment for your cherished pets.
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.
How we have taken measures to mitigate and reduce our wildfire exposure.
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.
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.
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.
Here are some resources where you can learn more about how a scythe can be useful on your homestead.
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.
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.
The NH Permaculture Gathering is just a couple weeks away!
Try these easy and unique homemade gifts--from your kitchen and from nature--for your loved ones this year.
Build your own wood-fired earth oven for baking fluffier, more flavorful bread and other baked delights.
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.
Second in a series of blog posts about how to convert a lawn mower or other gasoline small engine to run on propane.
Learn how to make a pinwheel for a fun, outdoors toy.
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.
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
Steve explains a little about why he chose to install reclaimed cast-iron radiators, including a video tour of his installation.
An unexpected lambing during mid-summer.
Ever wondered what ancient garlic tasted like? Try a Purple Stripe cultivar!
It's that time of year again! In this post I discuss how and when to harvest your garlic.
Garlic scape season is nearly here. Learn how and when to cut the scapes to maximize the size of your gourmet garlic bulbs, and also how to use them as a delicious and versatile vegetable!
In the last few years, gourmet black garlic has become an in-demand culinary ingredient. But what exactly is it? And what can you do with it?
If you eat raw garlic for its health benefits but find it difficult to consume, garlic oil can be an effective alternative. You can even make it at home!
In the second of this series of blog posts, I'll be discussing what are arguably the caviar of the garlic world: Rocamboles!
Gourmet garlic can be roughly separated into two categories: hardneck and softneck. This post discusses some of the differences between them.
Here I describe how to make a spring meal on the Big Green Egg. Also, I announce my new web/blogsite.
Canada is helping define "green" products for its advertising industry.
Starting a chicken flock and researching the Ameraucana chicken breed.
Originating from Spain, Creole garlics can be difficult to grow but are highly regarded for their delicious taste!
What is the true nature of artificial sweeteners? Are they safe? Read on and find out the latest on these questionable products.
Haven't we heard of a semi-mythical liquor that has pure gold in it? Well, here it is.
Here are some ideas to make your cooking and baking easier in the New Year.
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.
A sustainable agriculture professor explain the organic certification process.
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.
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.
Fire roasting is the key to incredibly flavorful canned salsa.
Separate the tomato water from tomato pulp to make a delicious broth.
How to make canned green tomato relish.
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!
A pickled pepper recipe that packs quite a punch. Don't be discouraged by November's nine degrees in the sun weather. Now is a great time to pull out your water-bath canner and put up your late-fall harvest for winter month garden-fresh eating.
I'm going to the old Kerr canning book for this tried and true recipe for making simply wonderful pickled beets.
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.
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 identify and expel radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., from your home.
Cage culture of fish has several sustainable techniques to consider adapting for a more innovative approach.
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.
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?
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.
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
Learn the basic skills useful for mountain homesteading.
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.
This year I took several liberties in developing a new version of salsa verde. I don't grow tomatillos so I use green tomatoes. I won't call it salsa verde (except on the lids of my jars), because it isn't authentic. But let me tell you, it is GOOD. Here is Annie’s Green Tomato Salsa Recipe good for use when water bath canning.
Where we find a wealth of information for projects and enjoyable reading.
The instinct to share home grown herbs, flowers and vegetables runs strong in gardeners, so sharing home grown goodies brings heartfelt rewards.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could produce all the energy we needed from local, renewable resources, such as solar and wind power?
This collection of rare and historic poultry books offers an amazing amount of information on poultry.
Lots of factors are involved in hatching poultry eggs successfully: consistent temperature, the right amount of humidity and frequently turning the eggs. Not all incubators work equally well, and some have features that make operating them easier. Read about our most recent incubator test.
Bob Berry owns a small hatchery business that specializes in two old breeds of chickens. He offers suggestions for incubating eggs and starting chicks that are shipped through the mail.
Hatching eggs using natural or artificial incubation is great fun, but there are no guarantees. Things can go wrong with either system.
Being a part of the solution can forestall the potential decline.
Instead of using a heat lamps to brood just a few chicks, consider using a broody hen to do the job. This system takes less time to manage and uses no fossil fuels!
How you spend your money matters more than ever these days. Here’s an easy way to connect with your community and make your dollars count.
Discuss the strange and mysterious ways of broody hens. Plus, the Community Chickens project will be hatching duck eggs!
This is a great collection of information and tips on raising poultry, chicken coops and hatching poultry eggs. You can learn about brooders, coops and poultry equipment.
Lots of people order hatching eggs that are shipped through the mail before setting them in an incubator or under a broody hen. But what kind of results should you expect from shipped hatching eggs? Read what an expert has to say about realistic expectations.
Many people who keep chickens or other poultry have concerns about how to manage their flock when cold weather sets in. But winter shouldn’t be a problem for your flock, but rather a steppingstone to the following year! Check your poultry often, follow these guidelines and you can even raise baby chicks in the winter! Tips from an expert.
Urban community green spaces are an essential component of our built environment. Their significance is becoming more and more apparent to city planners and urban residences all over the United States.
Missoula, MT company awards home owners sustainable products.
How I reconcile professional football and its place in our society.
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?
Locally grown, homemade, grass-fed, free-range and downright delicious food invades the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.
Steve Maxwell spotlights the three myths that prevent people from realizing the full value of the self reliant lifestyle, and how to dispel them
When you live in an off-grid house in the country, it's important to be handy!
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!
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.
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.
Turn terra cotta planter pots into candle holders. This super simple project is an inexpensive way to bring a little romance to your garden.
Learn how to dehydrate gourmet garlic so you can enjoy it year-round.It takes only a few simple steps to turn fat, juicy bulbs into crunchy, golden chips!
These are buttery, not too sweet Dutch cookies with a yummy cinnamon sugar and walnut topping.
Canadian homesteader Cam Mather sinks into the village life and discovers the joys of small-town living.
The basics of using a woodstove to heat your home.
Cam looks back at the challenges of moving to his off-grid home.
Our chickens aren't fond of the snow and the wind, but we found a way to let them enjoy the sunshine from the comfort of their coop!
The best way to start a fire in your woodstove.
Another easy way to enjoy the fresh taste of gourmet garlic year-round is with these convenient cubes!
Do you eat garlic for its health benefits? Choose a Porcelain cultivar for maximum impact!
Solving the mystery of finding broken shards of china and pottery in an old garden. Discovering the history of the land and its first settlers.
In this post, I'll be discussing the Marbled Purple Stripe garlic variety, also known as the 'everyman' of the garlic world!
Introducing glazed purple stripes, the beauty queens of the garlic world!
Often at a farmers market you'll see garlic designated as 'gourmet.' But what does this mean? Is it a marketing gimmick? Or is there actually something special behind the name?
Slightly sweet, wholesome and wonderful, toasted with butter or in a sandwich, oatmeal bread is my favourite.
Here's how to make truly unusual whole grain bread, with delicious results.
Your route to heaven can be paved with strawberries.
Summer is about fresh, beautiful, and flavourful. Fresh produce, and oh yes, a yummy recipe for devilled eggs.
There is a way to heaven, all you have to do is make San Francisco sourdough bread!
After trying this super simple recipe, you'll never open a can of Campbell's again.
Join Steve for a no-cost 75 minute video tutorial on building and managing a root cellar
A new building insulation guide is available from NAIMA Canada to assist homeowners in choosing the right insulation for new building and DIY home renovation projects.
Canadian car manufacturers have developed an electric vehicle with a body made from hemp fiber.
Homemade ice cream is delicious, and with the help of new ice cream makers, quick, easy and fast.
Garlic will keep for months if properly cured, allowing you to enjoy it all winter long!
If you're overrun with cucumbers, here's a Scandinavian cucumber salad for the solution!
Asiatic garlic cultivars may be difficult to find, but their great taste and easy-growing nature make them a great choice for garlic lovers and growers alike!
Homesteader Cam Mather describes integrating new backyard chickens into his existing flock and the wonderful life his "ladies" lead.
My own special recipe for Pumpkin Maple Butter using organic pumpkin and Canadian maple syrup.
Silverskins are an ideal garlic for braiding and long-term storage!
Modern, industrial agriculture as we know it today is running out of time, and it's much later than we think.
The last of my series of posts discussing the different types of gourmet garlic will explore Artichokes, the giants of the garlic world!
White rot is an invasive fungus that every garlic grower needs to be aware of!
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.
Winners of the Fabulous Food Garden Contest have been chosen. See who the lucky prize recipients are!
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.
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.
Pickled vegetables are a great way to jazz up your meals, especially in the late winter, early spring time when the grocery store vegetables are looking a little worse for the wear.
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.
A great recipe for the holidays or any time of the year!
Our experiences in learning to pressure can and use reusable canning lids.
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.
Fruit butters are easy to make, in fact – they are almost foolproof. They allow for a little more creativity than many soft spread recipes and are perfect for using up odds and ends of fresh fruit.
Canning won't heat up your house when you set up your own portable outdoor canning kitchen.
Canning is a great way to preserve your own harvest. When canning acidic foods like fruit or tomatoes or anything using vinegar or sugar, you can likely use only a water bath. There are many chemical free canning jars available today for low tox canning.
Three essential tools for opportunistic canning.
No juice extractor? No problem! This easy method for making fresh, delicious apple juice will have you sipping in no time.
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.
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
Learning the basics about electricity will help you conserve energy.
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.
Chainsaw safety equipment.
Stay warm, find a hobby and cull the livestock; here are some of the things we do to prepare for winter!
Using rabbit hypnosis and a pair of wire cutters we successfully perform dental surgery on one of our does.
Providing your own sewer, water and power can be more expensive and is certainly less convenient but that's not all there is to consider. This article takes a look at some of the other differences between public and private services.
A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your 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.
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.
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.
Expense checklist for anyone wanting to plan a new homestead.
Outlining our process for locating a suitable location for finding a new homestead.
As we look into the future we prepare for a flatter terrain for a new homestead.
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.
Learn why it is helpful to have a group of fellow homesteaders, then start a group of your own in your local community.
Thanks to helping hands, everything gets done.
See green building in action! The third and final season of the Greensburg TV series is scheduled to begin on May 2, 2010.
The Food Is Free Project has become a food revolution in Austin, Texas
If you’re planning to buy a small backyard chicken coop to protect a few hens, you might be interested in this coop from GardenEggs.com.
I tested a new incubator against my old Styrofoam incubator. Find out which one is the best for incubating duck eggs. The difference was amazing.
We’re trying out several incubators with chicken, duck and quail hatching eggs.
Cam discovers he isn't as young as he once was while enjoying a sense of community at the local arena.
The Community Chickens project is about sharing the joy of keeping poultry and spreading the knowledge to help people successfully raise chickens, ducks and other poultry. Here’s a summary of some things we’ve learned through the project.
Cam appreciates his local volunteer fire department.
We’re testing incubators, equipment and feed for the Community Chickens project.
Does turning eggs frequently during incubation improve hatch rates? Can storing the eggs before incubating them lower the hatch rate? Find out what we learned from our experiment hatching pheasant eggs.
NeighborGoods is an online community that lets you borrow and lend tools and other items from people in your area.
Hens that lay white eggs are lighter weight and eat less feed to produce the same amount of eggs as brown-egg layers. So, does that mean that if you’re concerned about conserving resources and care about the environment, you should eat white chicken eggs instead of brown chicken eggs? Color is only shell deep. There’s more to this debate than meets the eye.
The Food is Free Project has inspired thousands of individuals, families and groups around the globe to start front yard free gardens to share with friends and neighbors. They are losing their teaching farm.
I feel that if we want to connect to our families, to our neighbors and to the people that we love that live in the community around us, we must somehow retrain ourselves to slow down and watch, listen and share, love and care.
How to make candles you can really light from the peel of Clementine oranges. A wintertime craft...just oil and an orange peel!
Check out Annie B. Bond's list of 11 easy tips for making your kitchen more healthy and safe, from Care2.
Sourdough waffle recipe.
We can learn a lot from the Amish, who have passed down wisdom on living simply and celebrating community for generations.
Find out how wabi-sabi, an ancient Japanese philosophy that promotes attention, reverence, generosity and respect, can build the foundation of a happy home.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How the small town atmosphere can enhance your homesteading and living.
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.
Using natural products, such as grass clippings and homemade organic fertilizer, can turn the worst clay soil into an acceptable growing medium.
Creating new no-dig garden beds is easier and quicker with raised-bed stakes and two-by-six lumber.
This historical neighborhood, with a strong sense of community, offers the feeling of small-town living.
For inspiration and education, take some time to peruse the hundreds of Modern Homesteading articles.
Bounty is in the eye of the beholder — whether it be a bowl of perfect berries or millions of maple seeds.
Moving to an urban homestead is a challenge, but the boxes are getting unpacked and the birds are at the feeders.
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.
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.
All of the work of readying the garden and waiting for it to produce is worth the wait once the harvest begins.
Keeping a garden journal helps you know which varieties you grew were successful, which were not and how much you harvested from each.
The garden is growing better than I could have expected in the raised beds at my "new" urban homestead.
Making the move to a historical neighborhood will offer an opportunity to develop community ties and try some new gardening techniques.
Here are a few helpful books on homesteading skills and old-time crafts.
All the hard work of planting, weeding and watering comes to fruition in a bowl of berries and a plate of golden potatoes.
In this blog we talk about our three differnet types of solar technology that we have on the Homestead.
Brief description of our journey back onto the National Mall, our Flex Space design, and our Solar Thermal Skylight.
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.
Get prepared for the season with useful tips for seed saving with Art Davidson, expert from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed.
Beekeeping yields honey, but it can also make our lives complete.
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.
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.
Here are some simple steps you can follow when setting up drip irrigation for row crops.
When it's -30 degrees outside you can make your own snow!
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.
This durable, puncture and tear-resistant chicken saddle will protect free-range chickens from pecking, cannibalistic behavior and predators.
Your attractive food garden could win you $500 and a chance to be featured in MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Finally, we start to take shape.
A roof is a wonderful thing to have!
Virtual farmers markets make buying and selling fresh farm goods easy and can grow into a thriving business!
A look at how many hives to start with when beginning beekeeping.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Weeks eight and nine of our cross country bicycle trip start in Brantford, Ont., and end in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Is your growing season a bit too short for gourmet garlic? Turban garlic cultivars may be the solution!
Cam Mather tries out a battery-powered chainsaw at his off-grid homestead in Ontario.
This initial blog post tells the story of how Phillip Vannini became interested in off-grid living and how he began — together with Jonathan Taggart — to do research on the off-grid lifestyle in Canada.
In this blog post we describe the choices we made in producing and editing our film, "Life Off Grid."
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, answers a homeowner’s question about how best to apply a smooth finish to wood furniture.
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, answers a homeowner’s question about how best to apply a smooth finish to wood furniture.
Cam shares his experience trying to fix a broken hot-water tank.
The story of two ladies and their small CSA in the Rocky Mountains.
Allowing children the space to discover the beauty and wonder of plants through tending to their own garden builds character, teaches responsibility, gives insight into the beauty of nature and fosters their connection with where their food comes from.
Learn a few tips for efficiency from seasoned CSA Farmers: La Vista CSA Farm.
Building community through sharing work and food.
Communicating via letters mirrors the pace of a handmade life.
How are US college students helping to brighten the future of Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, without leaving campus?
Working in the potato bed produces the next blog article.
For more than 40 years, The Farm Community in Tennessee has been on the forefront of farming, gardening and the green lifestyle.
Garden like the Native Americans by digging up 18-inch-diameter hills on four foot centers. Get your crops started, then worry about working the areas in between the hills.
In remembrance of a dear friend and steward of the Earth, a look at how others inspire us and how their legacy sculpts us.
The community garden in East Harlem, Chenchita's Garden, is beginning to take shape.
Know of a group that's doing great work to support your community or have a community-building idea of your own? If you live in the Northeast United States, Green Mountain Coffee and Ashoka's Changemakers are holding the "Revelation to Action" contest to find and help fund the most innovative ideas to bolster communities in the Northeast states.
One great thing about gardening that goes beyond soil building and crop rotations is its ability to bring people together. As spring is now officially here, it’s a great time to revel in all the pleasures the season is sure to bring. Please share your thoughts and stories about how gardening has brought people together in your life.
In North Carolina’s Triangle region, Crop Mob is reviving community farming.
What does voluntary simplicity look like and how can we practice it despite our busy lives?
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!
The Ogden Community Garden winds down, and one gardener marvels at the late October harvest, and on how much the garden has meant to everyone who has helped tend it.
After fire took her friends’ award-winning historic, renovated home only a year after its completion, Ilene White Freedman asks “Who will rebuild their spirits?” A follow-up to her post about the home's renovation.
What if I find land where I can homestead but it's at a location where no one does the same thing? The lack of a homesteading community can be a discouraging factor when looking for land, but over time, if one is patient, it is very likely you'll find others that are drawn to the basic, sustaining, diverse and positive actions of homesteading.
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.
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.
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.
Spoon carving is good practice for hatchet and knife skills, and a spoon is a beautiful sculpture that feeds more than one hunger!
Real life experiences with chickens spanning a 50 year period.
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.
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".
Not enough hours in the day? Want to make tomato sauce but are short on time? Use this recipe to make great-tasting tomato sauce (using frozen tomatoes)at your leisure. Perfect for pressure canning and delicious!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take plain old raspberry jam to the next level with the complex flavors of white chocolate and coffee liqueur.
Our books are making a larger impact than we know!
This week at Polyface Farm included mornings with rabbits, fence line work, moving calves and my first foray into canning.
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.
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.
Learn how to assemble a humane animal trap out of recycled material. It’s easy and effective!
How to install a package of bees
Learn how to teach your kids to ride a bike. It's simple: Use a scooter.
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.
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!
A long-time gardener describes the seed-saving technique for cucumbers.
Watch this video tutorial on how to make tofu.
Choosing, growing, and drying everlasting or dried flowers for beauty that can be enjoyed for seasons to come.
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.
Cole takes you through the first steps in learning to cut your own meat - sourcing.
Follow these easy instructions explaining how to make a fruit picker, and you'll never be tormented by out-of-reach fruit again.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When defining the term homesteading, consider the various options available.
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.
Growing up on a New England homestead, a woman imparts heartfelt lessons about making do with what you have and cherishing those memories.
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.
Wherever you live, you can practice sustainability and share your successes with your neighbors.
We frequently use the term "homesteading" in Mother Earth News, but what is it's exact meaning?
The Self Sufficient-ish Bible and accompanying Web site offer some universal tips for urban self-sufficiency.
Jim Oseychuk built this intricate garden shed for his wife and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
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.
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.
Looking at the differences between the current homesteading movement in the USA compared to Smallholders in the UK.
You can get more for your gardening money with a group seed starting effort.
For a natural looking wood finish, use a mixture of linseed oil and turpentine.
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.
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.
Donn Saindon built this beautiful 1,200 square foot home from reclaimed wood and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
After hitching a ride out of the city on the Slow Food movement, some newcomers to the country look back on their transition decision.
Joe Bonn built this impressive home in Colorado and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
It's fall, time for fall garden clean up and planting garlic for next summer's harvest.
Robert Craig built this 960 square foot barn in Oregon and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Making New Year's resolutions for a remote homestead.
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.
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.
Tell us about your ideal homestead. What would it be like?
Help keep cages and water sources clean with Solway Feeder's horizontal watering nipples.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
There’s more than one way to be an environmental warrior. And some approaches work better than others. Elemental follows the stories of three environmental advocates united by their deep connection with nature and driven to confront some of the most dire ecological issues affecting their respective communities. This isn’t only a story about plight and pollution, however. Rather, Gayatri Roshan’s and Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee’s documentary works best as a character-driven study of eco-activism’s do’s and don’ts.
These online tools can help you find the best sources for local food, including local farmers markets and community-supported agriculture programs.
Support your local food systems while getting the most from your home garden.
With winter beginning, these homesteaders are starting winter off cozy in their cabin.
"The Farm Then and Now" by Douglas Stevenson tells the story of The Farm: an intentional community that has defied the odds, blending idealism with a practical approach to create a model for sustainable living.
A list of ways we could each show support or teach our friends and family to support the Local Foods Movement
My mission was to find like minded 'earth nurturers' in a neighborhood where there seems to be a dearth of us! What I found was humility and kindred spirits, and the makings of a great dinner party!
Homeschool Moms for Moms is a safe place where moms are welcome to post photos of their children’s portfolios, work, crafts, artwork, and learning environments.
Portland is the nation's most bike-friendly city, yet this Oregon community has had to deal with cycling disparities among its population. One nonprofit organization addressed this issue by developing new programs targeting low-income immigrant communities.
Pass the cold, wintry months with warm thoughts of how you can eat more local food while supporting sustainable agriculture this coming season.
The benefits of a membership in a CSA and how supporting local organic farming is not only good for you but good for the Earth as well.
Jerry DeWitt of the National Center of Appropriate Technology will present a workshop on the culture of sustainability at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Ed Begley Jr. of Envirolet will present a workshop on sustainable living at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Frances Moore Lappé of the Small Planet Institute will present a workshop on positive environmentalism at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.
Carolyn Guske, official illustrator for MOTHER EARTH NEWS heritage farm animals, will teach kids how to draw and paint heritage farm animals at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Cecile Andrews, simplicity advisor and Dena Marshall of Marshall Meditation will present workshops on simplicity and conflict management at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Sukita Reay Crimmel of Claylin and From These Hands, and publisher of Mother Earth News Bryan Welch will present workshops on building earthen floors and how to build a sustainable future at the Mother Earth News Fair, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, WA.
Raising baby coturnix quail is an exciting adventure. Taylor is completely new to raising poultry and shares his experiences.
Quails make an excellent urban choice for poultry raising, chiefly for their tranquil nature, minimal noise and egg-producing efficiency. In this, the second installment of my series on quail-raising, you'll learn how to identify gender from color and marks and see how quail eggs compare with those of chickens.
4-H is a youth organization that can be a great resource for skill-building in our communities. No matter what you do or what your interest, spending time with your local club is a worthy contribution.
The full team from thePOOSH.org attended Over the Moon Festival last autumn in the UK and built a beautiful bender as a temporary shelter area and stall.
This is the story of my family’s transition from a nomadic military lifestyle to one of rural homesteading. I talk about our preparation leading up to leaving the service and some of our current goals and projects for the property and our lives. I also talk about using permaculture as the design science methodology for our businesses and the development of the property.
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.
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.
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.
People often dismiss gardening as an expensive hobby that they can’t afford. While that can be true, it doesn’t have to be. There are way to make gardening cheap.
In the United States, we are feeling the effects of the rising food prices as well. When you take a deeper look into the prices, it’s not the food that is causing the price to rise. It’s everything else that goes into getting the food to your plate t
It might be the middle of the summer, but you should start thinking about getting your fall garden ready. If you don’t have much space, to plant everything outdoors, then you can certainly start your seeds indoors.
When you are apartment gardening in a small space, you are forced to be creative due to your space constrictions. Most traditional pots and containers might not work, so you become reliant on reusing objects to better fit your space.
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.
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
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.
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.
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."
Claire finds a recipe for hard lotion and makes molded lotion bars to give as Christmas presents.
Take these into consideration the next time you are making your food purchases.
Ceiling fans help cool people naturally, and use a lot less energy than air conditioners. Use them to save on energy.
Organic is a phrase that’s tossed around and abused a lot by marketers these days. Not all “organic” products should be treated equally.
What if I told you that you could grow 50 plants in 4 square feet?
We are taught when we are kids not to waste food, but it doesn’t seem as if that lessen has stuck with us.
Whether you are new to gardening or experienced, you will make some mistakes. Get over it and learn from it. That’s the most important thing.
Today's a great day to follow our tips for creating a home office that's easy on you and light on the planet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Reasons why we like to shop at our local grocery.
We received another great review of a successful Homesteading Education Month event. Read about a well-received sustainability fair in South Dakota.
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.
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.
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!
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.
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.