ForestEthics exposes Sustainable Forestry Initiative Greenwash, catalyzing growing corporate trend and grassroots consumer movement to avoid SFI.
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 describes the canopy layer of a temperate forest garden and shares some useful tips on designing and planting useful and edible tree crops.
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.
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.
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.
Don't want your tomatoes to rot? Treat the problem here!
A bark beetle outbreak is causing widespread damage in Western forests, but we have every reason to believe the forest will recover.
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.
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.
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.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study on the nutritional value of vegetables and fruits. Check out the top "powerhouse" vegetables and fruits to add a few to your garden this year.
Go Greens - Super Fruits and Veggies supplies the natural antioxidant power of 6 servings of vibrantly colored organic fruits and vegetables in every handy “stick” pack. To Go Brands plans to continue to expand the Healthy To Go® product line.
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.
Growing fruit trees in a home orchard requires some study as well as some prep.
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.
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.
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.
A woman recalls her childhood memories on Three Mile Creek Farm including horses, a pig pen and a one-room school.
"Local" is always the best answer, even when it comes to fruit trees.
In some circumstances, fruit pulp can be a good food for livestock. Here are a few examples of how it can be used.
After a terrible tart cherry season in 2012, Cheribundi was forced to expand their product line.
Cheribundi adds new Refresh Juice Blends to Rite Aid Stores.
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.
Judy Mimranek shares her father's time-tested tip for digging a root pit and covering it with layers of straw and cow manure in order to store fruits and vegetables through the winter.
Drag them... pull them... tie them to a chair! Whatever you have to do to get your family to sit around a table and eat healthfully--do it! We are losing the simple act as gathering as a family a sharing a meal. Do you hear the dinner bell? Let's go!
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.
Follow these easy instructions explaining how to make a fruit picker, and you'll never be tormented by out-of-reach fruit again.
Painting tree trunks white can help you reduce the effect of erratic temperatures on the trees’ bark.
Grow organic fruit trees and harvest bug-free, chemical-free fruit by covering your fruit with homemade bags made from row cover. Use row cover bags as an alternative to plastic bags. Row cover bags are more effective and have fewer issues than plastic bags.
Want to learn how to go your own dragon fruit cactus? Here's how!
"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 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!
Avoid frost damage to your fruit crops by following these tips for planting fruit trees and protecting them from frost.
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.
A favorite for adults and children alike, fruit leathers are easy to make.
My favorite graft for these tree makeovers is known as a bark graft and the time to do it is just as leaves are beginning to poke out of recently dormant stems and the bark easily separates from the wood. Which is now, early May, here in New York’s Hudson Valley. Ideally, foot-long scions of one-year-old wood (last years growth) have been gathered a few weeks previous and have been kept dormant with refrigeration.
With no care on my part, persimmons bear in abundance while mocking my empty efforts with my apple trees.
Espalier allows a gardener to grow a dwarf fruit tree along a wall or fence, binding it for support, and sculpting the branches to follow certain lines, as Japanese artists do with bonsai trees.
Sam Benowitz and Tara Bittler are joining the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Blog Squad, and they break down the types of gardening and fruit-growing information they will share with you each week.
A profile of Japanese and American persimmons, excellent trees for the deep south.
Use freezer-damaged fruit to make tasty fruit sauces.
Eating the whole fruit (peel, seeds, bloom, core and all) can have some surprising benefits. Do you eat the whole fruit?
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!
The fire moon shows up every year when the forest fires start up. Maggie Bonham has some recommendations for preparing to evacuate with animals.
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.
Things you can do to prevent fire damage to your home from an external source.
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.
Food preservationist Tammy Kimbler teaches you how to make apple pie fruit leather from urban-foraged apples.
Growing organic apples isn’t impossible! Follow these tips and methods for avoiding pest damage and growing apples organically.
Gardeners don't have to live in a semi-tropical zone to grow organic lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus fruits. Proper technique with potted plants can yield a bounty of delicately flavored, vitamin-rich citrus.
Figs, grapes, hazels, rabbiteye blueberries, and gooseberries are among the easiest plants to propagate using cuttings, layering, or just by digging up suckers.
You're not just a beginning gardener - you're also a scientist!
Painted rocks or pebbles can potentially deter birds from pecking at ripening fruit. Tell us how this technique has worked for your, plus check out other readers’ tips and responses.
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 profile of the wonderfully tough loquat tree.
The future of the Pavlovsk Station in Russia is in jeopardy due to a pending housing development project. Find out what you can do to help save the world’s largest holding of rare berries and trees.
Self-pollinating apple trees allow homeowners with little space to reap the benefits of this fresh, nutritious fruit. While typical apple breeds require planting at least two trees in the same space so they can pollinate each other, self-fertile trees can produce fruit without another tree around.
A look at the wonderful mulberry tree.
Growing peach pits doesn't get much easier than this.
A neglected, overgrown, old apple tree does have charm, its gnarled, elbowed branches seemingly ready to reach out for a hug. The fruits, unfortunately, more often than not are too small, too pest-ridden, and too high in the tree. My fear of heights makes the last deficiency most important to me. Large, clean fruits are for nought if I can’t bring myself to climb a ladder or the branches for harvest.
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.
Roses are easy to grow successfully if you follow a few guidelines: provide good air circulation around the canes and keep the plants clean and not too damp. Roses come in many forms, including bush or shrub, climbing, and miniature.
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.
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.
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.
A permaculture-based, 2,000-acre farm in Northern California integrates grassfed livestock with orchard farming.
The author figures out a way to outsmart tree-damaging rodents.
Pruning apple trees to a three by three central leader shape for strength against high winds and to prevent fungal infection.
The Organic Trade Association is vital to the success of the organic industry and I’m thrilled to serve alongside such a talented and well-respected group of industry leaders.
Brown rot is a serious disease of peaches, plums, and other stone fruits. For organic gardeners, spraying at-risk fruits with a milk solution can give good control.
Take plain old raspberry jam to the next level with the complex flavors of white chocolate and coffee liqueur.
Costa Rica's hospitable climate nurtures the most amazing produce, from hearts of palm to starfruit.
It's mid-February, time to start thinking about spring! Ira Wallace helps us make our garden plan, remember our perennials, and Plant a Row for the Hungry this year.
Cole does a sausage-making workshop.
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.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
A travel log of our family's mission to find local food sources on our trip to Puerto Rico.
Fall sheet mulching of perennial plantings assists in fertility and weed suppression.
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.
Discover the Ozarks region's natural beauty and adventure hot spots as told by Mike McArthy of Photozarks.
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.