extra virgin olive oil
This year at the LA International Olive Oil Competition, only one Best of Show was awarded to a domestic oil – to Apollo Olive Oil’s organic Sierra.
Descriptions on oil labels are not defined by law, and are sometimes deceptive. Learn what these terms — such as cold-pressed, expeller-pressed and extra virgin — really mean, and which terms indicate quality.
This basil-infused olive oil comes from Andrew Carmallini’s book, "Urban Italian."
Choosing olive oil you love will depend on whether you want fruity oil, peppery oil or another flavor profile.
The University of California at Davis has released a report that shows how misleading the label "extra virgin olive oil" can be.
Using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, technique and a few changes, you can produce a sourdough olive oil/rosemary type bread that is just heavenly.
Bread! hits the water on Lake Ontario while taking a week long sailing course. The Rosemary Olive Oil Sourdough was featured for dinner.
Olive oil contributes to a tender crumb in this traditional olive oil cake recipe.
Bruschetta, the classic Italian appetizer, brings out the best of a few basic ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil and fresh bread.
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.
This olive tapenade recipe is excellent on crostini or tossed with pasta. How to pit olives: Lay olives on a cutting board and crush with the bottom of a cast iron skillet.
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.
Learn about using the Piteba to press your own homegrown oil.
Essential oils can be a useful supplement for honeybees. Lemongrass, spearmint and thyme essential oils are being used to encourage brood development and the overall health of bees.
Oregano is often regarded as "just" a flavoring. It has a rich history of medicinal use and shows great promise for the future.
Tiny as they may be, olives are proving to pack a big health punch, particularly in keeping the mind in shape by preventing neurodegenerative diseases. Find out more nutrition facts about olives, and discover some olive-tastic recipes.
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!
Want to add some flavour to your breads? Here's two suggestions, one sweet and one savoury. Enjoy!
Oregano is well known as a culinary herb with warming and aromatic flavor. The oil of oregano has shown great promise in treating many illnesses, including colds, flu, muscle pain, GI problems, respiratory illnesses, skin conditions and urinary-tract infections.
Summing up the past week with a few highlights that help to illustrate how we've been getting along in the ending days of the 2012 winter season.
The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization published a new analysis that depicts the dangerous flaws in oil spill response and outlines technology they claim will save marine life, oceans, animals and people, while saving millions of dollars.
A TransCanada Keystone pipeline was shut down by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, due to two spills in May. Though it lasted only a day, the suspension raises bigger questions about the risks of TransCanada’s current piping of tar sands oil, as well as the company’s proposal to build an even longer pipeline, the Keystone XL.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been in the news constantly for the past two months, and all the new developments can be a bit overwhelming. Here's a comprehensive update to help you keep everything straight.
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.
Oil companies are hungry for more land to drill. But meanwhile they aren't drilling in numerous approved areas.
From West Africa to the Netherlands, furniture designers find oil drums an abundant, green material.
Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will not lower gas prices anytime soon. This summary of facts released by the Alaska Wilderness League exposes important pieces of the ANWR debate.
Use herbs from your garden,vegetable oil and beeswax to make a solid perfume.
The tale of my family’s barrel composter.
Soup swaps are a great way to fill your freezer with real food.
Pot scrubbers are an easy kitchen gift to crochet.
Clear those almost-empty jars out of the fridge in no-time flat.
A different way to make these old time favorite crocheted dishcloths.
A healthy and great-tasting muffin recipe.
Have you ever tried eating only what you've grown for a day or eating only food sourced withing 10 miles? Cindy Conner and Vicki Robin have. Learn more about the thoughts behind these adventures.
Getting ready for new bees involves preparing equipment and the site. Planning ahead leaves little to disturb the bees once they are in their new home.
Picking the best strawberries is easy with these gardening tips.
A delicious way to use your favorite cranberry sauce, relish or chutney.
A yummy way to make mornings easier.
A permaculture-based, 2,000-acre farm in Northern California integrates grassfed livestock with orchard farming.
We can cut projected U.S. oil use in half over the next 20 years and create more than 1 million jobs, reduce annual oil spending by $550 billion, and eliminate 2 billion metric tons of global warming emissions per year by 2035.
In light of the environmental, economic and other damage caused by the Gulf oil spill, has your opinion about increased domestic drilling changed? Yes or no, we want to hear your thoughts on the topic.
An explosion at a British Petroleum oil rig has caused a massive and growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico just off the Lousiana coast. Here is an account of where the spill stands at the moment.
Hundreds of Gulf Coast oil spill workers have fallen ill with flu-like symptoms related to oil exposure. News reports claim that BP is not allowing workers to wear respirators, despite the potential long-term respiratory and neurological consequences workers could face.
The BP oil spill shocked the nation, but it’s not too late to take action. We want to know what you plan to change.
A naturally absorbent fiber, hemp could help clean up the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast.
Seventh Generation commits to using sustainable palm oil in all products by 2012.
We claim to live sustainably if we can harvest or extract the earth’s resources without depleting or permanently damaging them. By that standard, no one in a country that devours coal, oil and water—and uses up a quarter of the earth’s resources—can live sustainably.
Although you need to refrigerate most salad dressings, you don't have to be as careful with a simple oil and vinegar salad dressing if those are the only ingredients. Find out why this is the case and what other ingredients might cause problems.
Cam considers the effect of Peak Oil on our wandering ways....
Cam considers how peak oil will impact our love of travel.
OPEC annouced it would cut oil production to stop oil prices from falling, which might be the best way to reduce American oil consumption.
Discover some of the properties of essential oils, along with some tips for cleaning with them.
Learn why it is helpful to have a group of fellow homesteaders, then start a group of your own in your local community.
Though the rumors that spaghetti squash is a good pasta substitute may seem far-fetched, I’ve found them to be true.
Bread baker Heather Alf shares her experiences baking quick breads. She includes a quick and healthy easy banana bread recipe.
A story of farmers’ markets, local food, and saving the family farm.
Many sustainable agriculture groups sponsor conferences in the winter. Learn more about these opportunities to continue your learning and broaden your network.
While livestock and gardening are part of homesteading, it's not all there is. At its core, homesteading is about learning new skills to increase your self-sufficiency.
The cold weather is hitting Virginia early this year and it's time to winterize!
Hatching eggs in the wintertime presents many challenges. Here are a few things you should take into consideration before hatching during the most bitter months of the year.
These 10 organic solutions for vegetable garden pest control are easy enough for the beginner.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi discusses the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill with Oceana’s Senior Campaign Director Jackie Savitz.
The first organic inhaler, The Lung Cleaner, hits markets.
Find out what John McCain and Barack Obama have to say about energy issues including the use of nuclear power, clean coal and support for renewable energy.
Cam celebrates his daughter's engagement but considers the impact of flying across the world for the wedding.
Cam responds to a negative comment about a previous blog.
Cam describes some family heirlooms - especially his favorite one - a shovel!
Everyone's talking about drilling in Alaska, so why learn some numbers to do some talking of your own? Here are some statistics about why drilling in Alaska may not be the saving grace some think it is.
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.
Cam considers one of the causes of high gas prices....
Cam dressed up as a bunch of blueberries for our local parade, and spoke to a group of university students about peak oil. Never a dull moment....
Cam considers how Peak Oil will affect our lives....
Natural cleanup methods for the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, such as using hair and hay to absorb oil on the water surface, are beginning to spark interest in the United States.
On Sept. 30, the offshore drilling moratorium expired, and the energy battle between the Democrats and Republicans began.
A perfectly ripe heirloom tomato is one of the great joys of summer, here are some tips for organizing your own heirloom tomato party.
A healthy comfort food!
Tips for those with “Barnheart.”
Cover crops protect your soil over the winter and are beneficial for soil building. Learn more about your cover crop options and the time to plant them.
What would you do if the trucks stopped coming to the grocery stores? Find out how a community college class project spurred students to make plans for just such an experience.
Using up CSA produce is often difficult, but I found a fun and easy way to do it.
Once the frost has finished the warm weather crops, the cool weather crops take center stage for a fall and winter harvest. Learn how to make that happen.
My second visit to the seventh annual Monticello Heritage Harvest Festival.
Seed Savers Exchange members and friends in the southeast region of the U.S. gathered on September 8, 2013 in Louisa, VA. This event was facilitated by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and the Virginia Association for Biological Farming.
It doesn’t matter how much you know already, there is always something to learn at the Mother Earth News Fair.
Are you new to backyard chickens? Raising chickens is easy once you get the hang of it, but a little knowledge will help you skip these beginner mistakes.
When I asked some chicken-keeping friends what they wished they'd known about chickens when they first got started, the answers were varied.
While the snow's flying, this is a good time to plan your garden rotation, order seeds, preheat early spring garden areas, and more.
Richmond, Virginia, legalized chickens in 2013. Since then, cities and towns have joined in legalizing family flock. The organizers of the Richmond Home and Garden Show (one of the largest on the East Coast) wanted to feature chickens and offered us free booth space.
America needs one million new farmers. Veterans want the job.
Chocolate peanut butter cups make a lovely Mother's Day present. They're all the better when you can make them organically, inexpensively, and sustainably.
A seed library is a place to get free seeds to grow out and donate back. It is a means of keeping seeds in the hands of the people and out of corporate control. Learn how to begin to start a seed library in your community.
Description of how to unroll and fasten edges of biodegradable plastic mulch without using tractors or mulch-laying equipment. Discussion of different types of biodegradable plastic, and how to store them.
Make the best use of your cold frame by having lids designed to be easily adjusted or removed.
How to grow enough sweet corn for the whole summer, in eight easy steps.
Noticing the cycles of the plants, animals and insects around you, which is the study of phenology, will help you become more attuned to your garden. Soil temperature has a lot to do with those cycles.
Find the best places to store your harvest in your home through the winter.
Celebrate meals with homegrown or local food. Tips for making your celebration gatherings zero-waste events.
For the last week we had no propane and as a result I have had to cook all of my food on an electric skillet. Holy week usually involves a lot of baking in preparation for Easter Sunday.
Find out the easy way to make hard-boiled eggs.
This blog teaches readers how to make homemade Greek-style yogurt.
How to make a quick, healthy dessert on Three Kings Day.
Includes two recipes to enjoy over the holidays along with time saving tips.
Malabar spinach is an easy-to-grow green that loves the heat of summer. Make it part of your garden plan for tasty summer meals.
A low sugar recipe using whatever fruit you have on hand!
Learn when to expect your crops to be ready to harvest. Giving attention to the days to maturity for the varieties you choose to grow will help you in your garden planning.
We called in friends to help us with brain-tanning a buffalo hide that was donated to us.
A quick guide to deciding whether fresh or frozen organic whole turkeys are right for you, your farm, or your family.
A great way to use up extra sourdough starter.
Contrary to popular belief, most breeds are very well equipped to deal with the cold. But good husbandry skills will ensure very little frostbite irritation for your rooster and other large-combed chicken breeds. This blog post is about protecting your chickens' comb, but frostbite can also afflict the feet, mainly on snowy days.
Low tunnels are easy structures to build to protect your winter veggies. Keeping the covers on in windy conditions can be a challenge. Learn simple steps you can take to make your low tunnel covers stable, no matter what the weather brings.
Although the well that caused the BP oil spill is now dead, the spill’s effects live on. Debate about oil dispersants, such as Corexit, and concerns regarding the settled oil on the ocean floor that came from Deepwater Horizon continue to grow. To understand how the spill impacted and continues to affect the Gulf of Mexico, MOTHER EARTH NEWS spoke with Ronald J. Kendall, director of the Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.
It's easy to make your own air freshener spray. You'll avoid chemicals and delight in the fresh smell.
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras warns us that building nuclear power plants is not the solution to our current energy crisis.
This divine herb has a multitude of properties – it’s a potent skin-cell regenerative, mucolytic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, circulatory stimulant, vulnerary, antioxidant, antifungal, analgesic and deodorizing agent. I use both the essential oil and the infused oil in formulas to relieve sinus and respiratory congestion, muscle tension and soreness, and headaches; to soften and fade scar tissue; to stimulate memory, creativity, confidence and mental energy; and to stimulate circulation to encourage hair growth.
With our chickweed and lavender salve, the bites I typically get that are swollen and painful were nothing more than a minor annoyance. All came from ingredients that we made ourselves.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is advocating the reform of current palm oil farming practices which release drastic amounts of carbon, harm local ecosystems and treat workers in an ethically unsound way.
What kind of mpg did MAX get in the race? How did Jack get fuel along the way? How much can you get for a t-shirt and a copy of Mother Earth News? Answers to these exciting questions inside!
Architect Nathan Kipnis also presented 10 key areas that designers, builders and citizens should be striving toward in the post-peak oil era.
For the first time, investors put more money into alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
For the first time ever, alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power received more investment money than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
Nutrition breakthrough lets health conscious consumers drink in the benefits of Omega 3s.
Ever wondered about the real meaning behind terms like cage free, free range, and pasture raised?
Sharing some of what we have learned about treating Pink Eye naturally, as in our region, this has been an epidemic summer due to all the rain and flies.
“Grow a Sustainable Diet” is an upcoming book (spring, 2014) that helps you plan what to eat and what to grow, feeding you and the Earth while maintaining a small ecological footprint.
Learn about what goes on at the Heritage Harvest Festival in Virginia and the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania, both held in September.
Reading between the lines of the seed catalog variety descriptions is a science and an art. How not to get carried away by all the positive exclamations and miss some basic fact that would tell you this variety is not for your farm? This post provides tips.
Using only honey and water, you can make naturally fermented mead to enjoy at home.
Every now and then we need to re-evaluate our thoughts, just as we re-evaluate our things. Learn about making cloth Christmas gift bags and find out how walking barefoot in the grass is good for you.
Western culture has taught us to eat all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons.
To create a chicken tractor that will keep both you and your hens happy, you'll want to focus on weight, shelter, doors, handles, and more.
You can get twigs to graft onto your rootstock for the price of shipping a padded envelope, allowing you to grow rare fruit-tree varieties for nearly nothing.
This is the story of how I learned to make yucca rope.
With all the TV shows depicting "survival", I will sort through the various groups and argue that the reality shows are far from reality.
I’ll let you in on a little secret; there is no PERFECT knife. Cutting tools are only as effective as the handler wielding them.
Temporary brooder setup for CSP, chicks in Gossamer Foundation's office (in February).
This blog post covers receiving baby chicks by mail, minimizing chick starve-out, brooder waterers and feeders, and getting chicks contentedly settled in.
This pentagonal structure was costly and tricky to build, but the finished structure is both beautiful and functional.
Twin Oaks Seed Farm’s focus has been producing seeds on contract for a handful of small seed companies. The author discusses involvement in starting a new cooperative retail seed project, Common Wealth Seed Growers.
Organic gardeners often need to remove mammal pests such as groundhogs and raccoons. Like many, I use live traps. How to deal with a skunk you accidentally catch, without getting sprayed?
Cleaning the chaff from the seeds you want to save can be done with screens of different sizes. There are options for all budgets, including using the strainers and colanders you already have in your kitchen.
Peppers and tomatoes are some of the easier plants to save seed from. This post covers isolation distance and introduces basic seed saving techniques.
I am off to Polyface Farm to intern for the summer and I’m so excited! I plan to write every week to explain to you what we are learning, how we spend our days, mistakes we make (that you can learn from) and basically anything that can help readers become better farmers and homesteaders. I’ll include lots of photos too, so make sure to check back!
Figs, grapes, hazels, rabbiteye blueberries, and gooseberries are among the easiest plants to propagate using cuttings, layering, or just by digging up suckers.
Everywhere is full of micro-climates. Discover the places in your garden where the soil warms first, or last, by watching the snow melt and taking pictures.
March brings us into spring - celebrate the season in your garden with easy-to-grow root crops: potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yacon. Learn how to give these roots the best start in your garden this spring.
If you know much of each food from your garden you consume each year, you can better plan how much to grow.
My favorite source for raw peanuts in bulk, and how to make homemade peanut butter.
This post informs readers on the advantages of using whey in baking. It includes a recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread.
We are trialing 135 varieties of cucumber, winter squash and muskmelon - with a focus on Downy Mildew resistance and fruit quality. An introduction to our trials and to the importance of variety trials in general.
This blog covers baby chick nutrition and avoiding delayed starve out.
Allan Savory visits Polyface! This was a week of permaculture lessons, staying up late with birds, processing honey and winding down from Field Day.
This week was a lot of fence line and firewood work, a water systems discussion with Joel Salatin, fun with turkeys and my birthday on the farm (with a surprise guest).
Kefir is a yogurt-like dairy substance that you can easily culture at home using grains and milk.
Ground cherries were once a popular staple in backyard gardens. Urbanization and lost space to grow our food led to ground cherries falling out of favor. Though older folks may remember eating ground cherry jam, they’ve only recently begun reappearing at farmers markets and in seed catalogs. Ground cherries are easy to grow and pack an unusual flavor punch in jams, pies, savory sauces.
Could you eat only food grown within 100 miles of your home for 10 days?
Learn more about this challenge and why you should consider taking it on.
Beans are usually divided into two categories: shell and snap. Shell beans have thicker pods and are typically cultivated for their seeds. Snap beans are harvested before their seeds ripen and are grown for their tasty pods. However, I've discovered there is some leeway in how beans are harvested and used.
West Indian Gherkins are disease-resistant, heat-tolerant, prolific, easy to grow, ideal for hot humid climates, and make delicious pickles. Plus, you can save your own seed.
Week 15 brought a trip to the cattle auction, putting piglets out into their first pig pasture and a crash course in Polyface’s buying club.
This week included the digging of a new catchment pond, catching roosters and getting my first loose pig back in the corral.
Winter is the best time to step back from your garden and learn something new. Do some research, participate in learning programs, and work on your garden notebook. When the opportunity arises next year, visit the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
The options for obtaining locally grown food have expanded in recent years, particularly with farmers markets. Expand your diet beyond your garden and meet the folks who can help you do that and stay local.
The most basic part of food is the seed. Learn to grow and save your own. You can do this at home, but if you want to further hone your skills, attend Seed School.
The price of food and oil are interminably linked. We are seeing this in our trips to the supermarket: every time we go, it's more expensive. What's a body to do?
Both organic and local food are important if we want to eat nutritious and delicious food. Furthermore, our current food system is in jeapordy because petroleum and water supplies are dwindling and climate change is resulting in more extreme weather.
Ecuadorians want $27 billion in environmental damages, in the largest environmental damages lawsuit, and Chevron says it won't pay.
There are many ways that each of us can lessen our unhealthy dependence on filthy fuels. You can do so in every area of your life, from choices you make regarding your house and home improvements, to food, transportation, and other consumer choices.
Now's the time to redouble our efforts to tap into energy efficiency. The potential is huge and the benefits are even greater.
MAX debuts by taking the checkered flag of the 800+ mile, no gasoline consumed, Escape from Berkeley race.
The oil spill is business as usual for a sociopathic system. It's time to fight back.
Change we can believe in? The Obama administration paves the way for more than 300,000 megawatts of coal-fired energy.
Cam is amazed at the level of awareness concerning Peak Oil amongst today's youth.
An introduction to Cam Mather's off-grid home and lifestyle.
Review of The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast, a new book written by Ira Wallace.
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.
Lessons learned from my first week as a summer intern at Polyface Farm.
Kristen learns more about poultry and rabbit shelters, and salting hay at Polyface Farm.
One month into my Polyface Summer Internship! This week was focused on processing birds, hay and a lesson on Cow Days with Joel Salatin.
Week three of my Polyface Farm summer internship! Lots of hay and some other things, too.
This post outlines the basics of garden planning to save seeds from cucumbers, melons, squash and gourds.
Thoughts on managing an event with lots of people and having minimal or no trash.
Some crops survived the cold temperatures while others died. Which ones are most reliable for winter outdoors and in the hoophouse?
Ira shows how you can keep sowing and planting through late summer and into fall. Learn how to keep your garden producing abundantly through the cold months ahead.
Polyface Farm Field Day! This week was all about prep for all our visitors, lot of processing and for some last minute hay making.
Consider planting these three categories of vegetable crops during late summer and fall:
Warm weather crops that will die with frost.
Cool weather crops that grow well in spring and fall, but don’t thrive in your summer.
Cold-hardy crops to grow over the winter and get off to a fast start in early spring.
This week at Polyface Farm included mornings with rabbits, fence line work, moving calves and my first foray into canning.
This week at Polyface Farm was a lot of fence installation, turkey processing and the making of some major life choices for some of my fellow interns.
This week of my Polyface Farm summer internship included a forestry lesson from Joel Salatin, installing my first fence, and the introduction of Polyface’s new guardian dog puppy, Cody!
Week thirteen of my Polyface Farm summer internship brought two high volume chicken processing days, lots of chicken catching, moving pigs and catching a loose steer.
Clean up your garden now and plant cover crops that will protect your garden soil through the winter and provide compost and mulch material for next year.
This week at my Polyface Farm Summer Internship, I spent working with turkeys, touring our local USDA inspected abattoir, prepping for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund’s annual fundraiser and processing stewing hens.
The last week at Polyface. We spent a lot of time processing turkeys for Thanksgiving, moving pigs to their fall corrals gathering firewood and tending to fall crops.
Alexander Goldberg’s first blog post, introducing himself, his chickens and his concerns for rare and endangered breeds of poultry. Alexander talks about poultry shows, his work with 4H and support for the Livestock Conservancy.
You can get your whole house fresh and shiny clean with just five ingredients: lemons, vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil and salt.
Simran Sethi discusses what it takes for a home to be truly clean by avoiding harsh chemicals and using natural cleaning products.
Putting a new roof on a mobile home and harvesting the worlds biggest sweet potato while growing for the first time Par-cel cutting celery and hauling horse manure from our parking area back to the garden.
Summing up pasture data where it relates to chickens and customizing land to better suit poultry and their behavior and stomachs. Measuring oil viscosity levels and rescuing a trailer with a portable winch were some of our favorite things.
Using oil seed radishes to add organic matter to the ground and attracting native pollinators with a nest site. Harvesting sweet potato seeds if we're lucky and admiring the parasitic wasp's ability to lay white egg sacs into the body of a horn worm
If you just happen to need white dinner rolls for a crowd at Thanksgiving, here's the recipe. Also, check out some really cool contests and special offers from King Arthur Flour.