Those who garden know that weeding is often essential to growing good vegetables or fruits. In a forest, sunlight too is a limiting factor. By knowing which tree to cut and which to leave, forest health can be improved. Cutting for firewood can serve as an incentive to "weed" on the ultra-perennial scale.
The fire moon shows up every year when the forest fires start up. Maggie Bonham has some recommendations for preparing to evacuate with animals.
ForestEthics exposes Sustainable Forestry Initiative Greenwash, catalyzing growing corporate trend and grassroots consumer movement to avoid SFI.
Use this parabolic mirror as a handy pocket-sized firestarter.
Tips on how to enjoy fireworks safely!
Things you can do to prevent fire damage to your home from an external source.
Tips on how to use "best burn practices" at home to minimize wood smoke and protect your health.
Building a fire to stay warm? Use these ‘best burn practices’ to minimize smoke & protect your health: www.earthgauge.net/?p=17955
I was in Maui for a family wedding and was unable to blog for a couple weeks. For much of the time we stayed at the Kolealea retreat center in the rainforest, where the road to Hana begins.
Splitting firewood is a heavy-duty, daunting task, but this video shows that it doesn’t have to be with the use of this ingenious log splitter.
You can cut and trim trees with a chain saw, then load long lengths of trunk or major limbs onto a firewood processor, and operate the controls while the machine cuts firewood into uniform lengths and splits it.
Cam appreciates his local volunteer fire department.
A ForestEthics report calls out the American Forest and Paper Association-backed Sustainable Forestry Initiative label for not protecting forests.
Walking among the stately hardwoods of the Eastern forests was a homecoming for this displaced New Yorker.
Logging industry-funded forest “certification” entity threatens ForestEthics with lawsuit.
A bark beetle outbreak is causing widespread damage in Western forests, but we have every reason to believe the forest will recover.
The Warm Heart of an Iraq War Vet’s Washington Log Home
You can make your own fire starters from cardboard, sawdust, lint and melted candle wax or buy them ready-made.
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.
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, provides tips on splitting firewood for home heating via woodstoves or fireplaces.
From roasting on a split to baking in a tannur, you'll find rediscovered techniques and recipes that capture the flavors of wood-fired cooking in "Cooking With Fire" by Paula Marcoux.
Step Forward Paper is a new type of paper made most from wheat straw (80 percent to be exact) with the remaining 20 percent made of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood fiber.
A video guide to making the fire-starting tinder that has worked best for me the past two decades, whatever the weather.
Getting rid of fire ants can be hard. In this article, I explain the background behind these pests and my own personal experience with them.
Otto and Jim, two American Belgian draft horses, demonstrate their impressive strength to visitors at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Washington.
The forests in Colorado are dying at a fast rate. Find out what's to blame.
The U.S. Forest Service began hosting roundtable discussions on March 29 (continuing until May 12) to give citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions on the future management of national forests.
The ‘Kiwi House’ is organized around the primal element of fire.
Cyndee and Tony love being in control of their own power and never having to worry about rate increases and outages in south-central Colorado. Solar panels, a wind turbine and a wood-fired boiler keep them plenty warm and happy.
If your loved ones were depending on you to start a fire for their warmth in a pouring rain, could you do it? Survival expert and author of PRACTICAL OUTDOOR SURVIVAL, et al, shows you how it's done.
It may be springtime in many parts of the country, but some are still buried under the final remains of a snowy winter. Learn how to start a fire atop hardpack snow.
In response to last week’s post, we received a letter asking why the forest products industry would be considered a “foe” to green buildings. “I can understand why plastics and vinyl doesn’t make sense, but aren’t wood products exactly the kind of material that qualifies as green?” this reader asked.
As a third-party certifier, the Rainforest Alliance ensures that farms and forests are sustainable environmentally, socially and economically. The green frog seal and the FSC logo have become widely recognized, credible symbols of sustainability.
We love our lifestyle and all the hard work that is associated with this lifestyle is just a small part of it.
Trees are beautiful and they are useful as sources of food and shelter, and for building and using as fuel.
Cutting firewood in the winter opens time for other activities during the short summer and fall seasons.
ForestryDegree.net provides a searchable database for people interested in forestry.
Ziggy Liloia examines two poignant books, Paradise Lot and Gaia’s Garden that turn the idea of needing lots of space to grow ample food on its head.
Odwalla's Plant A Tree program enters its third year with a donation of twice as many trees to be planted in all 50 states as well as participating state park programs.
Low-fired brick is a very sustainable building material with low embodied energy. They are made with locally procured clay and fired with rice hulls, a by-product of growing rice. Brickyards are located near urban areas to minimize transport costs.
This low-cost, easy-to-assemble fire pit from Instructables is made with concrete tree rings and rocks. Just add a grill and you've got the perfect backyard hangout, all for around $50.
I can deal with a lot of things- floods, frosts, Japanese beetles, but one thing I can't stand is fire ants. Living in the north for a good portion of my life, I was close to unaware of their existence until I moved to the south. Then, everywhere I looked in my yard I saw the same thing; enormous mounds of orange clay filled with irritating stinging ants.
Get rid of fire ants — without using heavy-duty chemical pesticides — with these tips for fire ant control.
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.
TERA-Light is a perpetually renewable fire starter that requires no batteries, no chemicals — only air and organic plant material!
Author Rick Austin shares gardening advice from his book, “Secret Garden of Survival – How to Grow a Camouflaged Food Forest.”
Describing the process of turning forest to field, by hand.
Rather than toiling away with annuals, consider creating an edible perennial food forest.
How big a woodlot would I need to heat my home with wood for the entire winter?
Review of a great axe made by Vipukirves.
Make a winter checklist to follow in preparation for winter in the mountains.
Cam describes the zen-like state he achieves while splitting firewood.
A new study finds that generating electricity from coal costs taxpayers $345 billion each year, making renewable energy start to look like a bargain.
It is a busy time for planting here. Not tomatoes, peppers, or squash, though. We got in our order of trees from the Missouri Conservation Dept. last week. In the past, we had planted mostly walnut, but we have a good enough supply of our own walnut seedlings that we are focusing on native trees that could use a boost to restore the forest to what it once was. So we are planting pecan on the bottom areas, shortleaf pine on ridge tops where the soil is poor, and burr oak on the better upland areas.
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.
Managing timbered property can benefit your wildlife and your pocketbook, but beware! Timber buyers are often con-artists. Learn the questions you should be asking about sustainable timber management on your property or homestead.
With an understanding of your limitations, you can operate more safely and efficiently. Training in timber cutting techniques can greatly expand your capabilities
Regeneration of trees on a harvested area give hope for generations to come.
Sugar maple is not the only tree that produces abundant sap in late winter and early spring. Sycamore; black walnut; paper, black, and yellow birch trees; and all maples trees can be tapped for their sap.
However, some are sweeter than others. Here are lessons for backyard maple tapping and things to consider before beginning to make your own maple syrup.
A National Resources Defense Council analyst calls proposed standards “the most important actions to clean up air pollution from dirty coal-burning power plants since the Clean Air Act was last updated in 1990.”
"Integrated Forest Gardening" is the first, and most comprehensive, guide about plant guilds ever written, and it covers in detail both what guilds are and how to design and construct them, complete with extensive color photography and design illustrations.
Maddy Harland introduces the shrub layer of a forest garden and gives six useful tips for establishing a low maintenance and healthy garden.
Maddy Harland introduces forest gardening – beautiful, low maintenance and productive gardens that provide for many of our needs – food, fuel, medicines and fibers.
Fungi help your soil, your composting and your plants. Add fungi to your homestead activities and let 'em grow!
Using a hot summer day to grow the winter wood pile.
A short lesson and video on stacking firewood in round piles
While the snow's flying, this is a good time to plan your garden rotation, order seeds, preheat early spring garden areas, and more.
How having a rhythm and routine assists in accomplishing difficult tasks.
Cam loves growing his own heat!
Kinetic log splitters have taken the log-splitter market by storm. But how much do you know about these lightning-fast, hyper-efficient machines? Check out these surprising facts about kinetic log splitters.
Being in control of your own home heating.
Providing the firewood to heat his home has become a pleasurable hobby for Cam Mather.
Cam enjoys a magical walk through a winter wonderland while cutting and hauling firewood.
Cam hates to see good scrap wood go to waste and so he cuts it into kindling and has even started selling it!
Which fire starting tool works best - or at all?
Houston-based Mahindra USA is doing its part to help prevent fires during this drought season by reminding rural residents of a few simple things they can do to help prevent catastrophic damage to their homes and property.
I made a hole in the ground, and then decorated it with rocks!
Protecting against fires has long been important to code officials, builders and homeowners alike. None of us want to see our homes go up in flames or experience the loss and grief associated with fire.
Fire pits can be great things. They are attractive, inexpensive to use and help to extend the use of your yard through the fall and winter. But they must be used safely. Here are some guidelines for fire pit safety.
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
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!
See nature work in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
Urban food forests and public gardens provide communities with an edible landscape for everyone to share. These public fruit forests are the new trend in urban agriculture and play an important role as sustainable local food systems in their communities.
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.
In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel teach readers how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non timber products. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.
Robert Maxwell discusses the benefits of a rural lifestyle.
The next installment of Maddy Harland's blog series on forest gardening. This week how to choose the lower canopy.
Susie Stephens' memorial now grows in the city of her tragic death.
Learn how to sharpen your chainsaw properly with a file and guide
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Associate Editor Thaddeus Christian discusses the best firewood for your wood-burning furnace so you can enjoy wood heat all winter.
Use materials at hand—stumps, logs, railroad ties, and sawmill slabs—to build a firewood log deck that takes the effort out of lifting the logs, and holds them at a convenient height for splitting.
The basics of using a woodstove to heat your home.
If you’re considering buying a new log splitter, you may have begun to debate whether you want an electric log splitter or a gas-powered model. What’s the difference? DR Power Equipment has some useful insight for you.
The best way to start a fire in your woodstove.
Even after 15 years, Cam still loves heating his home with wood that he cuts himself.
Firewood, the major yearly task when you heat with wood.
Splitting firewood has changed over the lsst 40 years. A sharp chain and hydraulic splitter make all the difference in the world.
Firewood, the major yearly task when you heat with wood.
When the power goes out for an extended period of time, what do you do? If you're properly prepared, you're life will be a lot easier cooking or baking your food.
Evergreen Institute founder's Missouri home burns; wood furnace is suspected cause.
Learn how to waterproof fabric with these simple instructions for making tin cloth.
Tired of pests? Here are five tips for knocking ‘em back without resorting to pesticides and toxic chemicals.
Ever wonder what, exactly, you're getting when you pay a little extra for Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood and paper products? This video offers a comprehensive look at the FSC's roots and branches.
Maddy Harland explains how to make light work of establishing the ground layer in a forest garden, create a wildlife habitat and control pests all at the same time.
Hud-Son Forest Equipment would like to introduce the all new 2012 HFE-21 Homesteader portable sawmill.
People took a stand against one of the largest multi-national oil companies in the world and resolved to fight back against Shell’s plans to annihilate the Sacred Headwaters. And we were successful. After 5 years of incredible campaigning, community organizing, hard-hitting ads, protests and a storm of media coverage, Shell agreed to forfeit its tenures in the Sacred Headwaters and public pressure catalyzed the government of British Columbia to ban all further oil and gas development in the region.
This post describes a group that loves a special part of the Heartland, the Missouri-Arkansas Ozarks. OACC meets annually to renew and inspire its participants to live sustainably.
Steve explains how one practical guy invented a way to burn pellets efficiently without an expensive pellet stove
Cam Mather tries out a battery-powered chainsaw at his off-grid homestead in Ontario.
How we persist until our 11 cords of firewood is accomplished and then re structure our lives.
After a wildfire destroyed their off-the-grid compound in Colorado, Betty and Rolland rebuilt—better than before—following Rolland’s creed: no plywood, no plastic and nothing that smells bad when it burns. The wildlife around their home approve.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Talking about the new Chocolate Turkeys we saw on Saturday and how to properly plant into a kill mulch without doing much damage to the killing.
Porch building tips along with deer pressure notes and golf cart pickup bed instructions.Throw in a 5 foot high chicken wire fence and a rare appearance from a normally camera shy cat named Strider and you've got an idea of what we've been up to.
Before beginning construction on their new home, this couple is taking steps to prepare their land for their impending move-in by planting perennial natives, building some walking trails, cutting firewood to dry, and more. They’re having a blast!
Knowing where lumber sawyers exist locally opens the door to all kinds of DIY projects. For example, storm-damaged trees can be turned into useable lumber instead of heading to a chipper or landfill. But you can take advantage of milling lumber at local sawmills only if you know where to find them. There are online resources to help you find a sawmill near you. Search by state or Zip code using the sawmill locators below and you will be on your way to turning raw wood into quality-cut lumber for DIY projects without the need to purchase any equipment yourself.
A handful of cities has implemented a new service that lets residents stop junk mail. If your city isn't one of them, you have options to keep wasteful, unwanted solicitations and catalogs out of your mailbox.
In the first study of its kind, Duke University researchers found multiple toxic chemical flame retardants in car seats, breast-feeding pillows, changing pads, crib wedges and bassinet mattresses. Ask about flammability standards before you buy.
Discover the Ozarks region's natural beauty and adventure hot spots as told by Mike McArthy of Photozarks.