My freezer is full of beef fat and I finally rendered tallow for cooking oil. We raise some pastured beef for our family, and while we enjoy the grass-fed beef, we have been slower to learn the art of cooking with homemade oil. That's changing. Read how and why I learned to render oil from beef fat to make homemade cooking oil (tallow).
Feed your skin real food with homemade skin-care recipes by Rosemary Gladstar.
Yes, you can freeze whole tomatoes! Preserve the harvest in a flash and save the saucing for later.
A new bill passed on December 28, 2015 will phase out the use of tiny plastic microbeads in personal care products, including facial scrubs and toothpaste.
By sawing his own lumber from fallen trees, Billy Reeder not only built his cabin debt-free on family land, he also built a new life — a deliberate life. A good life.
I found a recipe in the King Arthur Cookie Companion that I developed a little so that I can now gift my gluten-intolerant friends with delicious cookies. Homemade almond paste is best here, but store-bought will do. Freshly made, these cookies have chewy texture; after a few days, they become airy and crunchy. Just as delicious either way. This recipe makes about 30 two-inch cookies.
Kale chips are the rage and they cook up quickly, but they can be tricky to make. Here are some tips to making great kale chips.
Wyoming's Food Freedom Act is a game changer for cottage businesses everywhere. The WFFA eliminates regulations for the sale of eggs, raw milk and poultry. Will it encourage other states to do the same?
This is the final article in a series on how I made the transition to off grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years of human history. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small house.
Dairy animals such as goats produce milk in a seasonal cycle, requiring homesteaders to handle both an abundance and shortage of milk during the year. Freezing milk directly, and making & preserving cheese, are two ways to ensure a reliable supply of dairy year-round. Allowing your diet to change with the seasons can also reduce the impact of low-milk periods, replacing its nutrition with food crops or meat when milk isn’t convenient to produce.
With hardwood logs and a tractor, House in the Woods Farm set up these easy raised garden beds. Here's how to make raised beds for your herb garden or vegetable plot.
To get the most from a crop of apples, pears, or quince, make applesauce using all apples, or a combination of these pome fruits. Then preserve your applesauce by freezing, canning, or making fruit leather for delicious homemade snacks.
Fermentation is the rage at the Pennsylvania MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. Here's a peak at Sandor Katz' presentation and some of the cool new vendors who have joined the fermentation revitalization.
Estimating the work load and minimizing re-work is the key to happy owner-builders of small homes. The basic steps are similar wither you build a straw-bale, stick-frame, or masonry structure, all must be completed within the relatively short building season.
Twenty-five years ago, my daughter and I treated ourselves to New Orleans' famous Jazz Brunch at the Court of Two Sisters. One dish impressed me so much, I begged for the recipe. Our server took my plea to the kitchen and the chef actually sent down a copy! I have made some minor changes and offer it here that you, too, can enjoy this comforting eggplant dish.
So, what to do when you are eating tomatoes at every meal and still have them coming? It is time to preserve them! There are 3 easy ways to preserve the tomato harvest for fresh from the garden taste year round: freezing, water bath canning, and drying.
Test the acidity of your batch for water bath canning to ensure that you are meeting requirements for a high acid food. Testing acidity is a great way to understand the role it plays in canning safety. This is an educational tool and not a license to change lab-tested recipes.
Freezing, fermenting, and using a steam canner can reduce the amount of time it takes to preserve foods. Some vegetables can be blanched without freezing, and some can be cooked in a finished dish to make efficient use of your time while the weather is still hot.
Designing a tiny home can seem like a Rubik’s cube challenge—finding ways to shift things around when needed and out-of-the-way when done. Find out how to integrate inside/outside rooms, single/multiple rooms, and built-ins and fold-outs into your tiny house design; plus learn about the “14 Basic Requirements of a Livable Home.”
Every summer, I make sure that I get plenty of pesto made and put up in little tubs in the freezer — enough to get me through the winter. There are three different kinds I like to have on hand for use in various dishes: Italian Pesto, French Pistou, and Hatch Pesto. They’re easy to make, freeze well, and make an ordinary meal into something special.
Food preservation methods for green beans include freezing, drying, pressure canning, pickling, and dry salting. Shell beans may be enjoyed fresh, if harvested when immature. Immature shelling beans are best preserved by freezing. Fully matured beans are usually dried, and may also be pressure canned. This article contains instructions for preparing and preserving green beans and shelling beans by using all of these food preservation methods.
Is your kale patch infested with insects? It may be time to mow it down and start a fresh patch for fall. But, don't worry: Here’s a chard variety to get you by in the meantime while you wait for your fall kale to come up.
Learn some tricks to growing early corn so you can avoid cross-pollination with neighboring GMO corn and beat the bugs while you are at it.
Preserve your corn harvest by freezing corn. Here are some tips on how to prepare corn for the freezer and how to make soup stock with the cobs.
Did you wait too long to pick your zucchini and now you grew baseball bats? Here are some ideas for making use of your oversized zucchini.
There are many delicious ways to preserve corn. Canning and freezing are popular methods. However, pickling, drying, and salting are other good food preservation methods to consider for this summer vegetable.
Gathering a bit of fiber-arts inspiration from Maryland’s Sheep and Wool Festival.
A recipe for whisking up a batch of homemade mayonnaise and a full serving of DIY empowerment.
Pancakes made with pumpkin powder, an easy gluten-free breakfast dish.
Repurposing for functional home décor, featuring four recent household projects.
With spring on its way, I am thinking about gardening, home grown food and what it takes to grow plants from seed.
A forty-something woman stumbles into a booth at a farmer's market, looks up, and sees a handsome farmer. You may know that the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey also begins with a tumble and winds up with love. It's no coincidence: my book Fifty Weeks of Green is a comic response to Fifty Shades that celebrates sustainable living.
Gather your extended family around the table to share home-cooked, healthy meals on a regular basis. Reap the rewards of laughter, pleasure, and deepening relationships for very little money. Get started with my recipe for Beans with Caramelized Onions and Carrots. Ten servings cost about ten dollars using organic, heirloom beans and about seven dollars using pinto beans.
Ilene White Freedman starts her cheesemaking trials with an aged pressed cheddar cheese with goat's milk from the farm.
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.
A bombilla is a Latin American tea straw used to drink yerba mate. Why not use it to enjoy all kinds of loose herbal teas? Ilene White Freedman shares a story, a tea recipe and links to others recipes.
Making your own spice mix is a quick, easy DIY project. Ilene White Freedman shares her chili powder DIY project woes. Learn from her discoveries before you start your batch.
This variation on the (endlessly adaptable) traditional Mongolian yurt design was inspired by the work of master yurt builder, educator, and homesteader Bill Coperthwaite (who was also a neighbor and friend of the Nearings). This low-cost yurt design combines basketry, wattle and daub, and basic lashing (similar to skin-on-frame boats). Not much more than a glorified tent, this DIY yurt made from sticks, string and mud makes a very comfortable, durable and beautiful tiny house, studio, or meditation space.
Since getting the homestead functional, we have focused on food - local producers, access to food and ways to educate and communicate. This blog describes a couple of my useful and favorite organizations, Slow Food and the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance.
It took a year for Ilene White Freedman to make homegrown, homemade Ancho-Chili Powder. Find out how she did it.
Discover what antioxidants are, how antioxidants work in your body, and which antioxidant-rich foods to choose.
How to go from buying everything at Wally World to growing organic vegetables, raising livestock, building an efficient home, and a Do-It-Yourself, self-sufficient lifestyle.
Canning won't heat up your house when you set up your own portable outdoor canning kitchen.
Like many things related to food, the free-range label misleads customers, so we explore the differences between free-range and pasture-raised.
Use this simple technique to preserve your bounty of fresh summer peppers.
Is your garden providing you with zucchini overload? Ilene White Freedman offers some tips and recipes to keep it bounty, rather than burden.
If you are challenged by growing carrots, you might consider transplanting them and growing some dancing carrots.
Watch this video to learn how to build tiny home for just $2,000.
Growing corn early by transplanting may be unconventional, but its a great way to beat the challenges and...eat corn in July!
Ilene White Freedman contemplates sharing goat milk with the nursing kid.
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!
Ilene White Freedman’s goat is in labor, reminding Ilene of her own natural childbirth experiences.
The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.
Echinacea tincture is easy to make. Getting through the psychological inertia might be the hard part of the process.
Learn how to take garlic as medicine — garlic is a potent natural antibiotic and immune-booster.
Inspired by the recent Mother Earth News article, "65 Money Saving Tips", this piece shares how we at the Be the Change Product spend little and live better.
Rich and fudgy Grain-Free Chocolate-Date-Nut Bars are a grain-free, dairy-free, and refined-sweetener-free treat you can splurge on with a smile.
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.
Ilene White Freedman celebrates with her friends at their homestead-warming, after over two years of living in a trailer while renovating a dilapidated house. Their restoration includes the original logs and stone kitchen of a historic cabin. Some uninvited guests from the farm’s livestock take a house tour too.
Did you buy or build a home without going into debt? We're looking for stories on homes built with a small mortgage, or no mortgage at all. Here's what we want to know.
Wintertime for a farmer is full of projects and planning.
Sarah is a friend to the farm who taught Ilene Freedman how to make "Farm Chi." Farm Chi is Sarah’s version of kimchi, fermented mixed vegetables from the seasonal farm harvest.
Ilene Freedman and her family reshaped their Chanukah tradition to feature family activities instead of presents.
Transforming a crock full of cucumbers into old-fashioned dill pickles is a bit of magic.
Curing sweet potatoes so their starches turn to sugars; plus my three favorite recipes.
Real life experiences with chickens spanning a 50 year period.
When it comes to your health and well-being your bed is the most important furniture choice you will make. This article describes why and how to choose the healthiest bed options for you and your family.
It takes a few good rationalizations to get through the busiest part of the growing season.
Simple suggestions on preserving vegetables and herbs
Making garlic powder is easy, and a good way to preserve a crop of split garlic.
After a long trial-and-error process, Ilene White Freedman finally found a sustainable, weed-suppressing mulching system for her farm.
Learn how to pinch back basil tops for a particularly bushy plant, then make delicious pesto with your harvest.
Learn how to request your “closed” complete pesticide complaint file from the State agency through the Freedom of Information Act.
Springtime happiness can be measured by the sweetness of your strawberry patch.
Driving patterns now closely resemble those from 1995, as young drivers are finding alternative forms of transportation.
A first look at the newest vegetable crops in the garden before the CSA harvests begin.
How to measure tomato seedlings for success before planting into your garden.
Baby greenhouse plants are spring babies too, just like the birth of baby animals. Here’s a way to keep them warm in the hoophouse.
Free-range, backyard eggs are better for your health and your ethics.
I cure my spring fever by planting in a hoop house.
How both we and the chickens have gotten better at surviving the cold winters where we live.
Use milk crates to build this beautiful, sturdy free-standing furniture piece.
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.
Cooking meals on a vacation can be easy. Bring some essential items with you and enjoy homecooking, on vacation.
Improve your nighttime cycling safety with these do-it-yourself bicycle turn signals.
A travel log of our family's mission to find local food sources on our trip to Puerto Rico.
Here is an easier way to blanche vegetables, such as green beans, before freezing them.
How to make candles you can really light from the peel of Clementine oranges. A wintertime craft...just oil and an orange peel!
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.
The author figures out how to make matzoh balls, a comfort food from her childhood, without matzoh.
Protecting the fig tree for the winter felt like putting it to bed for a long sleep. Chopping wood with the Chopper 1 is a thing of joy and beauty and that's no joke. Do it yourself corn bin helped our neighbor keep the racoons out.
Solar Energy International is offering a free online course as an introduction to renewable energy. You will not walk away an expert, but will have learned the basics of renewable energy and be able to decide which technologies are right for you.
Some of the downside of free ranging your chickens.
A humble homegrown pumpkin yields delicious seeds and tasty pies. Meanwhile, a beautiful and fancy dessert squash disappoints and is thrown to the dogs. Recipes ensue.
Bike-Free Day happens all over the world on Sept. 22. Grist is challenging the US to rise to the occasion and celebrate with the global community this Saturday.
One of the newest apps for green car owners is Cleaner and Greener Fuels, which locates refueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles.
Cam contemplates the amount of energy that goes into our food production and shows how he prepared corn for freezing the zero carbon way!
None of these items' primary use is for gardening or livestock keeping but here we are using them all the time. So here's my list of items that you should keep around if you are an avid gardener or own livestock.
Preserving herbs from your garden is easy, whether you freeze or dry them.
Still looking to score free tickets to the 2012 Puyallup Mother Earth News Fair? Here's your chance! Tell us what you want to see at the Fair no later than Friday, May 25, and you'll be entered for a chance to win a pair of tickets.
Short stories about our chicken experiences
Alternative transportation magazine, A To B, is chock-full of innovative bicycle tecnology reviews and test drives for everything from folding bikes to E-motorcycles and all the accessories in between.
A very lively potato salad recipe that is always a hit at potlucks.
Healthy baby shopping begins with an investigation into nontoxic cribs. Check out these three solid wood options.
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.
A new farmer builds a great sheep shelter out of free stuff and learns where not to put it.
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 tale of Carlotta's last day. A trip to the processor. Real happenings on a goat farm, it's not always lollipops and rainbows.
Choose chemical-free organic bedding to start off the new year with healthy rest in a healthy bedroom.
In more shocking news about the honey on U.S. store shelves, a Food Safety News study analyzes more than 60 jars of honey and finds that nearly all of them have been ultra-filtered to disguise their potentially tainted and toxic origins.
Soy-free, mushroom-based Quorn frozen products offer convenience without sacrificing a healthy diet.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS interviewed poultry advocate Oprah HenFree at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Not quite ready to get rid of family heirlooms and art that you don’t have space to display? The Japanese practice of rotating precious items through a special alcove, or tokonoma, on a seasonal basis is less painful than giving away or selling them.
In a wabi-sabi house, space and light are the most desirable ornaments. Follow these steps to clear the clutter so they can shine through.
Giving yourself a quiet space for retreat and reflection helps nurture quiet, calm and peace.
Submit your best photos of biking and walking for a chance to win a free, 10-day bike trip to Italy!
Forced to extremes by illness, these homeowners built sacred, beautiful homes completely free of toxic chemicals, petrochemical fumes and other poisons. For all three, better housing has meant better health.
Find out how to pack a litter-free lunch using a lunchopolis lunchbox by Enviro Products. The lunchbox containers are BPA-free and can help you cut down on 3.5 billion pounds of lunchbox garbage generated every year.
Highlights from the "Make Your Own Green Cleaners--for Pennies" workshop at the Mother Earth News Fair: How to use vinegar and baking soda to clean just about everything.
Finding healthy, gluten-free meals can be a challenge at catered events and restaurants. Share your tips for gluten-free eating out, and find sources in your area!
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.
Kids Konserve provides solutions for packing waste-free lunches.
On May 4th in Washington DC a giant gluten-free cake will be built to raise awareness of the lack of labeling laws that would assure those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance a safe, reliable definition of gluten-free food labeling.
Valerie of City|Life|Eats shares her tips for gluten-free lunches and snacks on the go.
Children's author, Katie Chalmers, shares her tips and some recipes for a gluten-free family.
Green & Black’s, an organic chocolate company, takes a two week trip to the Dominican Republic to dig an 11.5 km trench. The trench will supply water to their cocoa farmers, helping product the cocoa which makes Green & Black’s chocolate bars.
As a start on my adventure towards the Gluten Free Challenge in May, I've discovered the deliciousness of whole-grain, gluten-free crusts.
A review of Elana Amsterdam's Gluten-Free Cupcakes.
Tricia Thompson, MS, RD shares the results of a study on the contamination of naturally gluten-free grains.
Using herbs and food to dye Easter eggs gives them beautiful, earthy color--without scary chemicals. And it's surprisingly easy.
We all have hoarding tendencies. If yours are getting the better of you, rest assured that there are support groups and professional organizations just waiting to help.
A recipe for gluten-free pot pie with a crust by Jeanne Sauvage of the blog Art of Gluten-Free Baking.
Shirley Braden shares a recipe for a quick and easy gluten-free pot pie.
Registered dietitian, Linda Simon, shares her experiences growing gluten free grains in her garden.
Ellen Allard, the Gluten-Free Diva explains how using a pressure cook makes eating gluten free fast, easy and healthy.
The Gluten-Free Homemaker, Linda Etherton shares quick, healthy, gluten-free, pressure cooker meals.
Gluten-free muffin recipes to get your morning started.
Make gluten-free energy bars at home for busy mornings when there's no time for breakfast.
Gluten-free and grain-free breakfast ideas to start your day right.
The Gluten and Allergen Free Expo provides a chance to be inspired and energized by the most passionate and creative gluten-free cookbook authors and bloggers.
Registered dietitian, Cheryl Harris, introduces gluten-free whole grains that add fiber and nutrition to the menu for those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance
Recipes for satisfying gluten-free breakfasts.
Ellen Allard, The Gluten-Free Diva shares a pressure cooker, gluten-free, whole grain breakfast cereal.
Amy Green shares a recipe for Gluten-Free Seven Grain Slow Cooker Breakfast Cereal.
Amy Green's Simply Sugar and Gluten Free: 180 Easy and Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less offers quick, flavorful and nutritious meals, snacks, and desserts.
You can live a joyful gluten-free life! Through this blog, Wendy Gregory Kaho and other gluten-free experts will share their firsthand experiences and favorite tips for living well with celiac disease. The blog will regularly feature gluten-free foods and recipes, cookbooks, Internet resources, and much more.
Labels on commercial foods are difficult to decipher and misleading. For healthful food, healthy bodies, healthy communities and planet, we need to grow and purchase our food locally.
Turn low value plastic trash into valuable building blocks with a $300 homemade press. Free plans for a hand operated press are available. A mechanized version could be made by converting a log splitter.
Many people living with gluten intolerance, wheat allergies or Celiac disease are often left without many standard snack options. The MOTHER EARTH NEWS editorial team samples and reviews organic, gluten-free foods to find some yummy, gluten-free snack products.
A few simple steps to make sure your tractor is ready for spring.
What does it take to build truly sustainable houses – the kind people really want and can afford? If you build small and use natural building materials, then most likely you’ll be able to build your own home in a reasonable amount of time for cash.
Who the heck is Paul Goodman? The car-free visionary who inspired a new documentary and bicycle contest.
GoodLight is first to offer sustainable, non-toxic candles for restaurants.
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
More than half a billion eggs possibly tainted with salmonella bacteria have been recalled. Avoid the scare by purchasing free-range, cage-free, organic and locally sourced eggs.
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.
Whether you abstain from dairy by choice or you’re lactose intolerant, you probably know how difficult it can be to find really great non-dairy cheese. I’ve taken away some of the guesswork by reviewing some popular brands: Vegan Gourmet, Daiya, Dr-Cow, Chreese and The Vegetarian Express. Read about my dairy-free cheese experiences, and let us know which brands you’re loyal to.
Natural hair care products are a great substitute for chemical-heavy beauty brands, but you shouldn’t have to break the bank to get healthy hair. Learn about life without store-bought shampoo, how to create your own natural shampoo and conditioner and what it takes to make your head happy, both outside and in.
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.
Gluten-free baking is becoming more popular all the time, even among people who don’t suffer from Celiac disease. With all the new gluten-free desserts and other products on the market, which are some of the best (or at least good) products? The editors of Mother Earth News sampled several new gluten-free products.
Our thoughts on the gluten free, dairy free, soy free desserts from RawCreations.
Geoff Taylor remembers a quality discussion with his cat, in which the amazing benefits of owning free-range chickens are the primary topic.
American wealth and influence are often attributed to free enterprise and the personal liberty promised in the Constitution. While it’s true they've been conducive to economic success, we also had an enormous head start in the race to dominate the industrial revolution - with our sparsely populated continent packed with natural resources. The question is, how well will our free enterprise system work in a world with far fewer resources?
Advice from a sustainable farming expert on how to get started with livestock on a small piece of land.
Advice on how to find eggs that are truly healthy and humanely raised.
Discover the difference between the labels "free range" and "pastured" when it comes to eggs and chicken meat.
You can find free food, such as wild carrots, cattail roots and crawfish, right in your neighborhood fields, swamps and creeks, and under rotten logs.
This Thanksgiving consider opting for a pastured turkey instead of a commercially raised bird, and think about buying local Thanksgiving foods, too.
The results of our latest nutrition tests show that eggs from hens raised on pasture (true free-range eggs) exceed commercially raised eggs in vitamin D content.
Ben & Jerry's teams up with Greenpeace to bring the U.S. a cleaner way of freezing food, especially ice cream.
Ben & Jerry's teams up with Greenpeace to bring the U.S. a cleaner way of freezing food, especially ice cream.
Use freezer-damaged fruit to make tasty fruit sauces.
Here's a quick and easy tip for freezing peaches.
Congress is about to pass legislation to ease the worry of homeowner debt, but it's also possible to build your dream home without a mortgage.
If you're looking for eggs with the highest nutrient content, seek out eggs from pastured poultry. Here's why these eggs are the healthiest, as well as more information for people who want to raise birds on pasture.
We frequently use the term "homesteading" in Mother Earth News, but what is it's exact meaning?