How what started as a humble seedling giveaway is spurring the creation of a neighborhood food system.
String weaving is a good method for training and supporting long rows of tomato plants. Plan now for next year’s crop. All you need is a simple handmade tool, stakes and twine. The winter storage space for the equipment is much smaller than with other support systems.
As an educator and ecologist, I am learning from my students that the most important survival ingredient may actually be a sense of community. Grow Your Own! was born in 2012 to address a problem: Local teachers and parents were building school gardens that were lying empty from disuse. The mission of GYO! thus became support for school gardens and their leaders through guidance, curriculum, and resources to foster gardens that were at the same time beautiful, educational, and functional.
The seeds you save from your favorite or best producing plants will with each season become even more adapted to your garden, growing more robust for your specific conditions with each passing year. It is super simple to do and a great cost saver, too.
Sheet mulch fosters soil life, reduces weeds and feeds the soil. By sheet mulching you will reduce ongoing weeding and free up more time to make your garden more productive.
My grandfather emigrated from Sicily and loved to cook. A recent trip back to the island by my mom, sister and cousin triggered a desire for me to learn what would be in a typical kitchen Sicilian garden. Much research later, this is what a heirloom "l’orto biologico" you would see growing in Sicily at the time my grandfather left his homeland for America in the early 1900s and is being brought back to life through efforts like the Slow Foods organization today.
As your summer crops wane, no doubt you are planting cover crops in their space, but leave room for garlic! Plant it this fall, mulch, and harvest in early summer.
Ramps, aka Allium tricoccum, are really wild leeks. They combine the taste of garlic with the taste of onion, although that's really somewhat of an oversimplification as the taste of ramps is bursting with other — so many other — flavors and nuances that they leave their actual essence difficult to verbalize.
My brother told me about breeding fruit trees in order for them to go to market both earlier and later than the main crop. He said, “The real money is made on the shoulders of the season.” But it takes some real thought and effort to bring in your crop on the shoulders of the season.
Further expand your awareness and interaction with your environment by adopting the conscious attitude of moving Toward a destination instead of going To a destination. This post describes how the author's mentor was always prepared to further enhance the landscape by making any general improvements using the caretaker's attitude.
Hoop houses have proven themselves to be invaluable for extending the gardening season in both spring and fall. But I didn’t expect to get even more use out of mine during our frequent and unpredictable hail storms!
Cover crops will build your soil and provide compost material. The time to plant is this fall, but you need to know what the next crop will be when deciding just which cover crop to plant where. Think through your garden plan for next year to make the best choices.
There are probably over 100 reasons that you should be growing shade-loving and native ‘Tasslerue’ Trautvetteria caroliniensis, but the main reason that you aren't growing it is because you've probably never heard of it, let alone had someone offer to share some with you. All that's about to change.
Brooklyn Grange Farm now operates two rooftop farms which encompass 2.5 acres. The farms combined harvest above 50,000lbs of organically grown vegetables, herbs and flowers per year.
The commonly used name for our beloved early-spring, native wildflower Sanguinaria canadensis is "bloodroot." Bloodroot was once used as a dye and as an herbal remedy by early Native Americans. Sanguinaria canadensis is native to every state in the US and to every Canadian province east of the Rockies. Consequently, it's considered hardy down to Zone 3.
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.
Why mulch your garden? There are many benefits to a strong mulching practice in home gardens.
Jostaberries are a cross between black currants and gooseberries, combing the best of both fruits to make a tasty berry and an even tastier jam. You can use a water bath canning method to preserve this productive perennial fruit.
Permaculture premise is creating a self-sustaining garden that has a nurturing relationship with your yard’s environment and symbiotic relationship among the plantings.
Making your home garden productive is an in-depth and gradual process. Though you can work with a design professional to hash out a use plan and plant list early on, it still takes several phases and periods of acclimation for a garden to begin to really thrive. Start utilizing the margins in your garden and beginning yielding more for your community.
America’s favorite pastime is scoring big with the fans as more and more ballparks step up to the plate of sustainable food production by incorporating urban farming into their scenery.
On-farm enterprises often take root when a gardener produces more than they can personally use. Here is a brief guide to working with restaurants and creating a Farm-to-Table culture within your community.
Tips for choosing a garden shed that will address your needs and last for years.
You do not have to have “land” to farm. You can farm where ever you are. A 10th of an acre is enough and, on some days, more than you would want to can handle. Make the best use of your space, care for your soil, be thrifty with water and enjoy the garden and the fruits of your labor.
I’ve done what I can to reduce our household water usage; I am not sure how I could cut down any further and still keep my vegetable garden alive. These are the steps I have taken over the years. Use these five simple techniques to conserve water (and save money) on your homestead.
Trilliums just have to be the most beloved wildflower of any native or non-native plant. Trilliums are very easy to grow and are a long-lived perennial plant whose size can double every year when taken proper care of. And I know from experience, as I've spent the last 30-plus years building production stock beds of well over 100,000 trillium plants.
Basil is a favorite Mediterranean herb that is super easy to grow in the garden or container. There are simple ways to preserve for year round enjoyment of this flavorful herb.
If your garden is becoming a bit overwhelming this summer it might be because your paths have become overgrown with weeds. Getting (and keeping) your paths under control will make less work for you overall, and a more enjoyable experience in your garden. Here are some ideas for working with your paths.
Summer with children can be exciting. It is an opportunity to spend time with your children like never before. Here are some ideas for putting your children to work in meaningful ways that will benefit everyone.
Love herbs and gardening? Here are a few things you should know when it comes to companion planting and herbs.
We cannot all have farms, but we can all raise our own tomatoes.
There are many types of melons, including the new category of personal size, or individual serving cantaloupes. Lists of both hybrid and open-pollinated varieties are given here, along with information on when to harvest.
While building their own home and farm, one couple decides to learn from other talented and experienced market farmers about how to set up year-round gardening production. Here are some tips and photos from a trip to Four Season Farm, home of Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch, in Maine.
Calendula flowers make a lovely floral component for an organic vegetable garden. Plus, they pull their weight in terms of productivity: The petals are edible and can be used in skin-healing salves and balms.
Rethinking a garden bed - from problematic to perfect for garlic.
The Tao of Vegetable Gardening by groundbreaking garden writer Carol Deppe explores the practical methods as well as the deeper essence of gardening. She focuses on some of the most popular home garden vegetables—tomatoes, green beans, peas, and leafy greens—and through them illustrates the key principles and practices that gardeners need to know to successfully plant and grow just about any food crop.
In The Nourishing Homestead, Ben Hewitt along with his wife Penny tell the story of how we can create truly satisfying, permanent, nourished relationships to the land, nature, and one another. With plenty of practical ways to grow nutrient-dense food, build soil, and develop traditional skills, this book is sure to inspire a new generation of homesteaders.
Purchase romaine lettuce once, regrow it again and again! Use this simple tutorial to slash your salad bill while enjoying tasty, healthful greens.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel explains safe and easy ways you can use household items in your garden.
Gardens are possible, but having a successful garden at high elevation presents a different set of challenges.
This in-depth gardening infographic covers both good and bad insects, as well as companion plants, row covers and more.
Container gardening can be a great way to feed your family healthy food right outside your door. Lyle provides specific information on varieties of vegetables and the set-up of your container gardens.
Grow Where You Are is a social enterprise focusing on assisting communities in creating local food abundance systems. After creating small-scale urban food systems nationally and internationally for over 15 years, we see that even the most effective systems can be easily dismantled without land security. We propose supporting local growers in a transition to home ownership with a dynamic web of community partnership.
Recycle an everyday pallet to make a beautiful spring garden for your porch or patio.
We know you're anxious to get growing! But HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel says it's not time to plant seedlings just yet.
Compost piles don't have to be relegated to an out of the way bin. If your compost-making materials are being produced in your garden, as they are following biointensive methods, the best place for the compost piles are in rotation right on your garden beds.
Here is what I am planning on growing this year in our garden. Some tips for how to choose what you should plant this year, customized for your space and what you like to eat.
Spring tomato rituals and a discussion of good varieties for the Pacific Northwest garden.
Learn how to identify pesticide drift on your property, and take action with these tips from Pesticide Action Network.
Five tips for increasing your garden's productivity and yield. Utilize every inch, get the most from your space, and use all three seasons.
Shifting our built environments from the current linear blocks of car-centric urban sprawl to more integrated human-scale and life-sustaining organisms is not much different in principle than turning a concrete yard into a permaculture plot. We have to think in terms of arrangement of vital nodes, distance between interdependent threads, paths of least resistance, utilizing existing natural conditions, and maximizing water, energy and food sources.
Find out whether your home compost pile will benefit from commercial compost accelerators.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and pregnant Pennsylvania mama Michelle (Congrats, Michelle!) shares her plans for planting a baby food garden, including her entire seed order.
A great garden needs great soil. Regardless of a garden's size, there are always ways to improve the soil quality.
Crop rotation is good for your garden, but can be difficult to track. These tools will help you chart which crop families you plant so you can mix it up the following season.
March heralds the coming of spring and gardening. It is a great time to start your seeds and plants for veggies that thrive in cool temperatures.
Here are some easy things to do in your garden and yard to expand your sustainable foot print.
Chicken tractors, which sit directly on garden beds during fallow times, maintain soil, reduce insect pests and even provide fresh eggs.
Gardening at a high elevation presents challenges such as harsh sun and a shorter growing season.
You can grow food year round, even in small spaces and containers. This is the definition of a four-season garden.
With GMOs seemingly everywhere you turn, it’s hard to know where to buy non-GMO Seeds. Here’s how to keep GMOs out of your garden.
Just when you’ve got something broken in on a farm, the holes begin to appear. There’s a hole in the bucket, a hole in my muck boots — and of course there are holes in the fence! But it’s not all bad, so here’s a homesteader’s narrative that provides a good chuckle about life on the homestead with all its wrinkles…and holes.
Grasshoppers can be devastating in a garden, an insect in the locust family. There are ways to control them naturally without chemicals.
Seed starting techniques and timing for an urban homestead in the Pacific Northwest.
Some unique plants that will grow wonderfully in your perennial shade garden.
From no-till gardening to vertical gardening and container gardening, there are so many options for the creative gardener. Check out these 6 gardening options to try in 2015.
Gardening offers some amazing benefits to your mental and physical wellbeing.
January is the time to start your indoor seeds for spring planting. Here is a calendar for starting your spring and summer seeds.
Choosing, growing, and drying everlasting or dried flowers for beauty that can be enjoyed for seasons to come.
Put together your own mini-indoor garden with these clever ideas.
Definition of shade, and planning a shade garden.
"An Unlikely Vineyard" by Deirdre Heekin tells her story of growing wine in the unlikely hills of Vermont and her quest to express the essence of place in every bottle. It is about the evolution of her farm from overgrown fields to a fertile, productive, and beautiful landscape that melds with its natural environment. A gentle narrative with lush photography, this book will appeal to anyone who loves food, farms, and living well.
Anyone can have an indoor supply of fresh greens. Just try nutritious microgreens and sprouts year round.
Want to learn how to go your own dragon fruit cactus? Here's how!
Taking a couple of extra steps before planting your crops will help ensure healthy garden soil. Here’s how to prepare your garden for spring planting.
This article takes an insider’s look at how the seed business works, and what you can do to get the best-quality seeds.
Clean and organize garden tools.
The first of 12 posts, seed saving begins with an introduction to the stories behind seeds and why they are so important. From preserving our shared botanical heritage to protecting a diverse and decentralized food supply, the story of seed is as varied as the people who plant them.
Carrots come in many colors and sizes. By picking the right ones, you can grow carrots year-round in the ground or in containers.
Why pay high prices at the grocery store when growing herbs outdoors is achievable all winter long?
Four questions I ask of new varieties, before ordering seeds.
There are many reasons to save seed. Why should you learn how to save seed?
Aji Amarillo peppers (Capsicum baccatum) are versatile, fruity peppers used extensively in Peruvian cuisine. We have found many uses for these bright yellow and orange peppers, and our journey to discover them has only begun.
It’s time to start garden planning for spring 2015! An uncomplicated way of collecting and organizing your information during those long winter days is to get some index cards, scissors and tape. Cut out the plant varieties from catalogues that you find interesting, with the pertinent information tape this information to the index card to take along to the nursery come spring.
Here is an idea of daily hoop house tasks and information on growing and harvesting abundant, healthy winter vegetables in your hoophouse, avoiding hazardous nitrate accumulation in greens.
Tap the Tomato Chooser app for info on 333 tomato varieties, plus help deciding which tomatoes to grow in your garden based on the traits you want.
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.
Urban community green spaces are an essential component of our built environment. Their significance is becoming more and more apparent to city planners and urban residences all over the United States.
Not being a fan of frozen or canned carrots, I began to wonder how to store carrots under straw for winter to enjoy organic carrots throughout the winter. Living in Central Oregon where beach sand is not at the hand, I gathered garden straw from a local farmer. It is important that you know that straw for the garden has not come from crops treated with herbicides to control broad-leafed weeds.
Building garden boxes that keep critters out.
Use the cold winter months to start your own shade garden with native woodland plants.
Everything pauses during the time around the winter solstice.
The methods of landrace gardening can provide food, even when social or family troubles take us away from the garden.
Composting doesn't have to be tough! Learn to make easy compost without the stress.
Why it is important to stay on top of a garden.
Just in time for the holidays, here's a list of recommended garden tools made in the U.S. by family-owned companies.
Your veggies contain the nutritional content that the soil can provide the plant. Saying a plant only needs NPK is like saying all humans need is carbs, fat and protein. It is much more complicated than that.
A philosophical look at the coming of winter, with ideas for preserving the summer after the end-of-the-season pepper harvest.
The Food is Free Project has inspired thousands of individuals, families and groups around the globe to start front yard free gardens to share with friends and neighbors. They are losing their teaching farm.
If you want to start seeds indoors this winter, check out our video to learn which fluorescent bulbs are the best grow lights.
School gardens play a vital role in our nations educational systems. Though the concept dates back to the 1800s, their role has gained popularity in the last 20 years, and for good reasons.
Want a worry-free, weed-free, organic-matter-rich vegetable garden bed? It is doable and fall is the best time to put it in action!
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.
Winter food storage in a naturally cooled space.
The first frost of fall is a significant change in the garden. It is a sign of summer vegetables finishing and cold crops coming into prominence.
Are you planning to put in an orchard next spring, or re-design your landscape with more edible plants?
The YardMap Network is a citizen science project designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat, for both people concerned with their local environments and professional scientists. The program is housed at the Lab of Ornithology, in Ithaca, New York. We collect data by asking individuals across the country to draw maps of their backyards, parks, farms, favorite birding locations, schools, and gardens.
The Fall garden is bursting and the canning kettle hot as we draw summer to a close in North Central Idaho.
The ripening time of a particular fruit varies from one location to another and from year to year, though the order in which varieties ripen stays roughly the same.
Keep those vegetable plants growing for a second harvest late in the year. Organically-grown, heirloom varieties will survive with a little help.
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.
Using leaves as mulch to enhance soil fertility.
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.
Using these techniques you can spend an afternoon building a deep mulch garden and stop tilling and composting for up to 30 years.
Though summer vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, basil and cucumbers grow at a reduced pace in the fall, cool season crops like lettuce, carrots, radishes, peas, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are coming into maturity throughout October and into November.
Permaculture has become the new buzzword in certain circles. What is it? Do we need it?
This blog post explores eco-friendly gardening tips to refreshing your garden tools, furniture, accessories and outbuildings without the need to buy mass-manufactured goods or use harmful chemical treatments.
It’s absolutely possible to be gardening in winter. You simply need to understand what to plant, when to plant it and how to maintain the best possible growing conditions in your home for indoor agriculture.
A gravity watering system can consist of a cistern to save roof top rain water and elevated tanks to gravity feed this water to your garden. As climate change makes rain less predictable, you can both water your garden and help save ground water.
Moving to a different climate and gardening zone can be a challenge, especially in the high desert. The best approach is to start small and add plenty of organic material.
Chard is a wonderful green, chock full of vitamins. It can be eaten when small in salads. The large leaves can be harvested for steamed/cooked greens. It is a perennial that with cover can be harvested all winter.
The first killing frosts of the season change the garden-scape.
Canning is a great way to preserve your own harvest. When canning acidic foods like fruit or tomatoes or anything using vinegar or sugar, you can likely use only a water bath. There are many chemical free canning jars available today for low tox canning.
Fall is the time to plant garlic. The cloves send down roots during the winter, popping their green heads out in early spring.
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.
You can be harvesting from your garden all year long, including through the winter months! It's time to plant the fall garden.
While summer's still lingering, tasks of fall have begun.
End of summer is a great time to tidy garden beds and harvest herbs. Now is the time to plant your fall, winter and overwintering transplants.
Tips for keeping your summer garden producing at top output. This is the time of year that warm season crops are at their peak. These 7 tips will give you continued bountiful harvests through the heat.
The actual footprint of a garden is only one of many factors for how much food that can be produced there. With succession planting, good soil and some planning the same garden area can produce substantially more food.
St. Paul, Minnesota, not only allows front yard gardens and promotes growing vegetables in containers, but encourages residents to beautify the boulevard with plants, including edibles.
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.
Follow these simple tips on fall gardening.
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.
Which grows better in Pacific Northwest gardens - kale or collards?
A good gardening tool is lightweight, ergonomically correct and has a positive impact on the soil. We only use hand tools (non-powered) in our gardens since we find that we can get the job done easier and more efficiently with a more correct impact on the soil and less impact on our bodies than we would with any machines.
Good storage conditions for your garden seeds are essential. These tips will help you learn how to store seeds.
This blog takes a look at the steps taken to propagate lavender by taking cuttings.
The Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service is looking for an organic farmer worthy of being named their 26th annual Organic Farmer of the Year.
A list of ways we could each show support or teach our friends and family to support the Local Foods Movement
Starting a new vegetable garden bed doesn't have to be a long, tedious, back breaking job. There are a few different ways to get the job done quickly and relatively easily!
The Food Is Free Project has become a food revolution in Austin, Texas
"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.
The greenhouse takes shape with the help of family.
Peppers and tomatoes are some of the easier plants to save seed from. This post covers isolation distance and introduces basic seed saving techniques.
When traveling, consider checking out the community gardens in the area. You can meet local people who are passionate about gardening and learn about the climate and crops that may be different than yours.
This blog post tells you how to set up a drip irrigation system in a raised bed garden.
You’d think that if you have some 10 acres you’d have a wonderful fields full of fresh vegetables and fruits. You’d think you’d have a simple way to create an awesome garden. And if you live where I live, you’d be wrong.
There are many tomato tales out there. If you want to know which farmer stories are true, read on to get tips on growing great tomatoes.
Learn how chickens and gardens make a great mix.
The garden is 58 by 112 feet and it's planted!
Chives and mint come to a duel for territory in the herb garden, while the spring sap-sucker marks time.
This post outlines the basics of garden planning to save seeds from cucumbers, melons, squash and gourds.
With the fence in (just barely), this rainy Wednesday looks just perfect for planting.
Here are some simple steps you can follow when setting up drip irrigation for row crops.
Discover how to grow various members of the onion family: bulb onions and scallions, leeks, garlic, ramps, shallots, and chives. Each one has different requirements and habits, yet all are rewarding for organic gardeners.
Interested in seed saving but worried about mistakes? Have questions about seed saving? Here’s the chance to give your input in a new seed saving class!
A well-thought-out garden design will make your work enjoyable and manageable and will encourage the gardener's presence and attention.
With the Drought Pod, the organic mass is inside the pod where it never dries out and by planting the tomatoes, or any vegetable directly beside the barrel, the plant roots can tap into the nutrients and moisture as they so choose.
April's tips for controlling weeds and fertilizing your garden.
June is a beautiful and bountiful time in the garden. It is also not too late to put in a garden! With a few tips, you can get the best harvest ever.
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.
Tips that we have learned gardening at a high elevation.
Learn what to do when you spot garlic scapes growing on hardneck garlic types, and discover how to use garlic scapes that you remove from plants.
The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.
Do you eat garlic for its health benefits? Choose a Porcelain cultivar for maximum impact!
This post will take a look at how we transplant vegetable seedlings in our certified organic greenhouses, especially tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.
Zucchini is a summer crop that keeps on giving all season long. They are easy to grow.
Seed Germination depends on Soil Temperature. Transplants need to survive a late spring frost. Here are some handy charts and a lookup tool that will help your timing for a successful garden.
May is a busy time in the garden for planting. Frost-free weather is the time to get summer veggies in their pots or garden spot.
This blog post takes a look at some of the methods we have developed over the last 25 years growing vegetable seedlings in our certified organic greenhouses. This time we take a look at the conditions required for healthy seedling growth.
You're not just a beginning gardener - you're also a scientist!
Egyptian walking onions are one of my favorite crops because they produce food for my family from early spring until late fall.
Building a layered bed to develop organic material in the soil, hold moisture and decrease the amount of work.
Tips for determining when to prune and when to yank rosemary, lavender, sage and thyme.
How to revitalize your potting soil for another strong vegetable season. You can use your own compost and homemade fertilizer to give your container veggies the boost they need for the season.
In remembrance of a dear friend and steward of the Earth, a look at how others inspire us and how their legacy sculpts us.
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.
Get advice on all things garden seed, from organizing seeds and ordering seeds to understanding seed catalog terms such as open-pollinated and F1 hybrid.
What to plant in April for your vegetable garden, and what sized pot you need for your vegetable plant.
This blog post shares some of the simple techniques learned through many years of experience by someone who grows vegetable seedlings for a living.
Starting seeds with children indoors is a project that extends into outdoor planting of the seedlings in spring and harvesting produce in the summer. It allows you to share success and satisfaction with children and makes it more likely they'll eat their vegetables!
If you know much of each food from your garden you consume each year, you can better plan how much to grow.
How fast climate change will require you and your descendants to move north in order to keep farming and gardening a serious question you should be asking yourself.
Dragging my feet to get spring started, afraid to fail and making the decision to jump in an succeed or fail already!
Creating a micro-climate is an essential tool for your survival and homesteading skills. Making the right micro-climate for your plants specific needs will not only help them survive, but thrive as well.
Suggestions for what to have on hand - and handy - when you hear a storm is heading your way.
Our first project: building a small keyhole mound.
Life on a farm blanketed in snow.
Growing lettuce and other leafy greens indoors with an aeroponic system in a south-facing window seems like a wise move, especially during this long, snowy winter. Here I will explain the basics of growing greens with an aeroponic system, starting off with the initial expenses and moving on to pH and nutrient solution. Then I’ll hope the sun provides enough life-giving rays long enough each day to grow some leafy greens.
The innovative garden seeder from Simple Seeder increases speed and ease of planting.
Some tomato varieties wilt when temperatures get too hot. Find heat-tolerant tomato varieties that can grow robust tomato plants in hot climates.
Learning how to graft tomatoes yourself not only saves money but gives you unlimited options for what varieties you choose to graft. With a little practice, you can become skilled at this worthwhile technique.
Barebones strives to make the experience of outdoor recreation and hobbies a priority.
Showing where we were before our permaculture garden began.
Overview of the activities of a garden in March. How to prepare the soil for spring. What varieties I am planting this March in our Zone 6 garden.
Some crops survived the cold temperatures while others died. Which ones are most reliable for winter outdoors and in the hoophouse?
Garden like the Native Americans by digging up 18-inch-diameter hills on four foot centers. Get your crops started, then worry about working the areas in between the hills.
This blog post shares some of The Thyme Garden’s experience with growing hops for over 25 years. It includes history of hops, useful information about hops and how and where to grow them.
A copy of "Good Housekeeping" magazine from 1944 reminds us how housewives found ways to stretch meals, repair household items and plant gardens to overcome wartime rationing hardships.
When lettuce is mentioned, many think of the standard iceberg lettuce found in supermarkets and restaurant salads. That is changing with the growth in popularity of the different types of lettuces from Romaine to head and leaf-type lettuces, mainly due to the flavors and colors that they offer from deep red to almost white and noticeably sweet to tangy and slightly bitter.
A pragmatic approach to eliminating male sterility from a home garden. Includes a diagram and photos about what to look for.
Winter down-time from the garden is the best time for planning what vegetables you want to grow in the upcoming season. Having the seeds ready and knowing when to plant them can minimize the chaos in spring and maximize harvests in fall. It’s all about getting ready now.
Do you want a permaculture garden? An ongoing blog about our journey using permaculture design ideas, to develop the organic matter in soil and produce a higher yield.
EZ Tomato Cages are collapsible and sturdy unlike many currently on the market.
Learn growing methods, health benefits and preparations for echinacea, elecampane, sweet Annie, spilanthes and astragalus.
Here is a great article on straw bale gardening.
Cell Fusion genetic engineering is emerging as a hot topic in the Certified Organic seed and food industry. We can expect the resolution of this issue to impact both small-scale and large-scale growers.
Creating a landrace of promiscuously pollinated tomatoes. Details about my major plant breeding project for the next few seasons and a plea for help.
It is possible to grow fresh crops through the dark months even without a greenhouse, and even where we live, a thousand miles from the Arctic Circle, where the winter sun brings only brief and meager light.
You can grow your own Mediterranean Diet garden in the Midwest. Even a small garden can provide the staples of a Mediterranean kitchen garden.
Gardening is as easy as you want it to be!
Introducing Alpaca-Gold, a new company producing 100% all natural, organic Alpaca fertilizer.
If you have wondered what a four season garden is, the definition is simple. It is a garden that you can get produce from all year long through spring, summer, fall and winter.
A landrace market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks. Part 3: Storing the seeds. With careful forethought, it is possible to store seeds in a manner that will allow them to avoid or survive common seed destroying events.
Wintertime for a farmer is full of projects and planning.
In Kenya, even for middle class families, much of what ends up on the dinner table is grown or raised at home. With food prices rising, more and more Americans are looking towards ways of growing some of what ends up on their table at home. Both in terms of personal health, and the environment, this is a very good trend—it's a food source as local as you can get.
A landrace market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks. Part Two – Suggestions about the types and quantities of seeds to include in an emergency seed bank.
From the more practical, money-saving side of things, to controlling your own destiny, the benefits of a victory garden are many.
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.
Use herbs from the garden in your Christmas dinner. This post shares a complete Christmas meal using garden herbs.
A market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks, evaluating current offerings.
Review of The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast, a new book written by Ira Wallace.
Meredith Skyer outlines the history of victory gardens in the United States and why this nation, facing a food crisis, should start to sow for victory once again.
Each season brings its own work on a homestead. In the autumn, the garden and animals still require work, but this is also the time to put in a cistern and begin a smoke house.
With a small space, how do you choose what to grow? You can grow an amazing variety and amount of vegetables and herbs in a very small space, integrate veggies and herbs into your flowers, and maximize the use of pots.
It's freezing out - but that doesn't mean it's time to quit gardening. Learn how fall and winter are the key to next year's gardening success.
A Garden Planner subscription is a budget-friendly gift that offers the satisfaction of spending the chillier chunks of the calendar plotting the bounty ahead.
Grow enough seed for yourself and a little extra for seed swaps and you may never have to pay for seeds again.
The December garden is still full of life, both in the beds and under cover, providing fresh ingredients for home cooked meals. Winter farmers markets and CSA's are a great way to learn what grows well in your zone.
Give your pots the protection they need when freezing temperatures arrive with a portable greenhouse. You can also bring in pepper plants for the winter and have fresh peppers indoors.
The principles of landrace gardening can be applied at any scale from small annual gardens to multi-generational community wide tree farms.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel discusses using manure in the garden, including which type of animal waste is best for which crops.
Even if you only have garden pots to work with, you can still container garden in fall and winter to grow vegetables.
Sunroots are a typically-cloned crop with great potential as a locally-adapted survival-of-the-fittest landrace
Exploring my hopes and dreams for the landrace seed movement with suggestions about how farmers, merchants, and gardeners could cooperate to create a more robust, secure, and locally adapted food system.
Bringing back Victory Gardens could help ease hunger and dependence as U.S. social aid programs, such as Food Stamps, are drastically cut.
A photo essay documenting imported landraces that I started incorporating into my existing landraces during the current growing season.
The Keystone Center, in partnership with the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, is hosting a regional food workshop called “The Traditional Winter Garden: Fresh Food From December to March.”
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.
A photo essay showing off the beauty of landrace squash.
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.
These DIY garden lights reuse plastic bottles and provide soft, natural lighting for evenings spent outdoors.
Growing pine trees from seed will allow you to produce lots of trees very economically. Follow these instructions to propagate pine trees from seed.
“Aquaponics Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together” offers advice and insight into the world of sustainable gardening
An experiment in urban gardening produces a melon miracle.
A photo essay showing off the beauty of landrace crops.
Using leaves in the garden will boost the soil’s organic matter.
After decades of gardening I’ve come to rely on a few essential gardening tools.
How to use hybrids in a landrace garden.
Non-gardeners and gardeners are very, very different creatures.
Get creative in the kitchen by baking with your harvest. These sweet recipes will change the way you think about baking with fruits and vegetables.
Joseph Lofthouse shares tips for growing landrace popcorn.
Our Vegetable Garden Planner assists you in planting your fall garden by giving you planting dates specific to your location, projected harvest dates and more.
A perfectly ripe heirloom tomato is one of the great joys of summer, here are some tips for organizing your own heirloom tomato party.
“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.
Landrace gardening allows us to minimize fertilization by selecting for plants that thrive in the pre-existing soil.
Unprepared for their first foray into country living, Kristy Athens takes what she learned and focuses on 5 areas to be considered before moving to the country: Land, buildings, animals, food and community.
Joseph Lofthouse shares how to maintain thriving populations of landrace vegetables in the garden.
How my dad defended himself from overly generous gardeners.
Seed saving is an integral part of landrace gardening.
Over the past year, I have made countless mistakes on my garden. In this post, I share four of my most frustrating gardening mistakes and how to avoid them.
This garden is practically maintenance free as it produces some of the most beautiful and most beloved flowers. After you have tried it, you will wonder, why didn’t I start growing hardy annuals sooner? Don’t miss the opportunity to garden in the forgotten seasons.
By growing potatoes from pollinated seeds we can develop locally adapted plants that thrive in our gardens.
Landrace gardening enhances food security by growing genetically diverse crops that are not as prone to crop failure as monoculture fields of near clones.
The journey to a self-sufficient life is a bumpy ride. Having a backup plan — or two — can make all the difference in your progress.
The set launch of Worm’s Way Group’s new website promises improved usability, more speed and exclusive web-based promotions.
By applying the principles of landrace gardening, you can help your plants win the race against weeds.
Blogger Crystal Stevens discusses her time working at a nature-based summer camp for kids.
Survivalist Gardener Rick Austin offers natural and long-lasting tips for repelling pests and insects in gardens hidden in the forest.
Using landrace gardening and promiscuous pollination to get what you want from your garden.
These sources can help you locate organic and other natural options for plants, seeds, and weed and pest control products.
Landrace gardening promotes hybrid vigor and avoids inbreeding depression by encouraging promiscuous pollination.
Allowing children the space to discover the beauty and wonder of plants through tending to their own garden builds character, teaches responsibility, gives insight into the beauty of nature and fosters their connection with where their food comes from.
Keeping your garden tools organized can help you be more efficient in your work in the garden.
This year is the first season I had the whole garden dug and ready and boy, it's easy to plant a garden when the garden is already there.
Landrace gardening requires different plant naming conventions than those followed by industrialized agriculture.
These twelve postcards are from the Garden Patch Series, published by Raphael Tuck & Sons in 1907.
A photo essay showing off the stunning success of landrace gardening on my farm. This success was achieved because I changed my growing methods to embrace one of the key elements of landrace growing; “survival of the fittest."
I separate the fact from the fiction with use of soluble fertilizers.
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
Joseph Lofthouse, seedsman from Paradise Utah, is now blogging about “Landrace Gardening” on Mother Earth News. The blog is a practical hands-on manual about how to improve crop production by localizing your plants to your unique garden.
Tired of pests? Here are five tips for knocking ‘em back without resorting to pesticides and toxic chemicals.
Completing tasks in preparation for a few days away from the homestead
Here are some ways we use natural materials to improve our garden and orchards.
Building community through sharing work and food.
In praise of the garden fork.
But maybe, at the end of the day, I am just a person with weak nerves doing something that depends on so many unknown factors – the weather, the bug population, the quality of seeds and some plain ol' luck.
A first look at the newest vegetable crops in the garden before the CSA harvests begin.
Spring tasks around the homestead.
It was becoming pretty obvious the crowding and lack of light were real limitations to my mini garden. Then, the idea of a trough on the windowsill came to mind, combining a way to water all the plants uniformly and efficiently all at once. Great, now how to make this trough? Wood? Sheet metal? The choices all seemed expensive, clumsy, prone to leaking...then the light bulb went on in my head: gutters!
Friday, May 10 is National Public Gardens Day. Find out what special events are happening at a garden near you.
The all-new RZT S ZERO is available in select markets and will be headlining the Cub Cadet Test Drive Experience Tour.
I keep a kit of handy garden supplies waiting in my car, so I can head straight to the garden and take advantage of as many sunlight hours as possible right after work.
April is National Garden Month! Learn about the benefits of building a garden and tips on how to create one even if you don’t have a big backyard.
The healing power of plants can remediate years of soil and water pollution, and create unexpected islands of beauty.
Planting a vine patch for the first time is easy without the need to till up a lot of soil; instead, cut out sod circles and mulch the surrounding area.
By starting seeds indoors, you get a jump start on spring garden planting.
Rain gardens provide many benefits including filtering out pollutants and keeping runoff out of city storm sewers.
DIY sprouting experiment to get kids interested in growing and eating sprouts.
Have you started your tomatoes and peppers yet? 'Tis the season to start seeding long season crops indoors. If you normally buy organic starts from your local nursery, try your hand at seed starting.
Get a materials list and step-by-step insructions for low tunnel construction for your backyard garden.
What exactly is hydroponic gardening? Though it may sound complicated, it’s really not. The word "hydroponic" comes from the Greek "hydro," meaning water, and “ponic,” meaning work. The basic concept is this: growing plants in a nutrient rich water solution rather than in soil.
This blog post discusses growing enough produce for canning.
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.
Using wood ash in the garden can be beneficial for raising the soil pH of your garden soil. These tips will help you know when to use wood ash in the garden.
This passive composting system creates beds of fertile soil through rotational composting.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
Learn how to rotate crops with this helpful crop rotation video.
I’d like to introduce the words farmden and farmdener into the English language. I wonder if there are any other farmdeners out there. And just what is a farmden? It’s more than a garden, less than a farm. That’s my definition, but it also could be described as a site with more plants and/or land than one person can care for sanely. A gardener and garden gone wild, out of control.
Des Moines, Iowa, gardeners may soon find themselves in hot water with their City. A local resident recently took front yard veggie growers to task for what the resident feels to be unsightly lawn growth. Beets and berries, it seems, do not have the same aesthetic appeal as a green, freshly-mowed front lawn.
The Rainwater Hub is an entirely new answer to the limits of traditional downspout diverters and rain barrel systems. The Rainwater Hub distributes rainwater up to 150 feet through regular garden hoses.
Using Pinterest can help inspire new gardening ideas.
Why “hot and humid” doesn’t have to equal “sad and lifeless.”
Try using the Grow Planner app to streamline your garden planning and your garden work.
Sorting through seed catalogs is one of the most entertaining tasks we have here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS. These garden seed catalogs come in handy when searching for just the right variety of heirloom veggies to grow, and they're fun to look at too!
EZ Tomato Cages are the brainstorm of two friends, both fed up with purchasing tomato cages that were cheaply fabricated, weak and difficult to store.
If I could only pick one season extending structure, it would be a cold frame. Incredibly versatile, a simple cold frame is the key to taking your garden from a two or three-season plot and turning it into a year round vegetable factory.
We're getting revved up for winter seed swaps, and planning our tomato plantings to account for all the great tasting events next summer and fall. Find out how to find your own local events, or host your own!
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.
Eat carrots from your garden all winter! A little planning goes a long way toward more food with less work. Learn how to start with a winter cover crop of rye, with carrots following next in the rotation, maturing by the time the first frost.
A great way to get more enjoyment in the garden and less work, is to try the ancient concept of a garden Sabbath. That's one day a week where gardening isn't allowed, but communing with nature is.
Put together a notebook with your complete garden plan. Here's some tips to get you started.
Ira Wallace explores good winter gardening reads, gives advice on how to use the winter lull wisely to plan and prepare, and shares an update in the ongoing court battle to protect family farmers from agri-giant Monsanto.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
In a war on gardens, the City of Orlando has taken issue with the rows of beans, greens, and other vegetables occupying Jason and Jennifer Helvenston's front yard garden. The Helvenstons respond to the City's request they remove their "illegal" garden.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
Killing frosts are arriving, but Ira's staying self-sustaining all winter, with winter-hardy greens and plenty in storage, from sweet potatoes to pickled peppers. Get inspired with ideas for kimchi and a fresh twist on winter salads, with yacon.
Here's a tip on how to grow sprouts in your kitchen garden for fun and nutritious eating.
Jason Helvingston of Orlando, Fla., fights for his right to grow food in his front yard garden after the City of Orlando cited him for illegal gardening, pitting food self-sufficiency against city ordinance.
Smaller version of the original Gardener’s Hollow Leg is perfect for picking dinner!
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.
Join us in fighting the threat of GMOs: California's Right to Know (Prop 37) for GMO labeling leads the nation, and the Southern Exposure lawsuit against Monsanto continues to push through the courts. Plus, fall gardening can be easier than summer!
Cam enjoyed a very successful sweet potato harvest!
Do you love showing off your FarmTek products? Think you're using them in a unique and interesting way? FarmTek would love to see!
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food
Teddi Irwin sent us this
great update on a Homesteading Education Month event held at IN A GOOD WAY, a
training farm established to use therapeutic methods of farming to improve the
lives of Native American men.
Rural Living Today founder and advocate, Marie James, told us about a Homesteading Education Month event she and her family hosted in Northeast Washington to teach gardeners how to grow vegetables in cold weather.
YIKES! What to do when you've planted too many veggies? Is your garden producing more than one family can eat? Sure, you can give it away. But wait! Try pickling those garden gems. This way, you'll be able to enjoy them through the winter and beyond!
Heirloom vegetables are multi-use crops that have been passed down from gardeners for decades, sometimes centuries. Respected author and gardener, William Woys Weaver, discusses his reasons for using heirloom plants and saving seed.
Begin your garden planning with what,and particularly how much, you want to eat. Take a look at what you are eating now and go from there.
Explanation of what bioretention systems are and how they are used to reduce and filter storm water runoff.
talking about building a composting toilet and how well the Seed Swap went on Saturday. Hauling capacity of a golf cart compared to an ATV generated some useful and helpful comments regarding electricity vs internal combustion engines. No till works!
Soil Life is an all-natural, organic blend of microbes designed to enhance the nutritive value of soil in all growing conditions.
Plan fall cover crops to feed back the soil and leave the bed ready for when you need to plant the main crop next year.
Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival inspired us to keep at those challenges that frustrate us on the farm.
New burn barrel alternative provides safer, smarter home and garden burning for homeowners.
The Hoss Seeder's unique features include its all-metal frame and ease of attaching to the wheel hoe.
Success at growing food at the 4200' elevation and some of the challenges.
Thank goodness for good friends who will share their garden harvest with those of us less skilled.
Try BOGS gardening clogs, a super-comfortable pair of gardening shoes that will stand up to tough wear.
The challenges that we encounter trying to grow a garden at high latitude.
It's Week #11 of our CSA and we can't find boxes big enough to fit all of the great produce!!
Dog days of summer? Yes, but there is still a lot of the grwoing season left. Protect yourself from the late summer sun with these tried 'n true items ... tested by a gardener who knows more than she'd like to about skin cancer.
Investments in lawnmower fabrication processes save more than 310 tons of steel annually.
Set up a washing station in your garden. Rinse your veggies there, saving the water for the garden and keeping your kitchen clean.
Cam undertakes an experiment to see how much food he can produce on his one acre of garden space.
Describes the process of forming a community garden from the physical and energetic standpoints. The power of teamwork, the joy of accomplishment and the building of a feeling of group unity are described.
Cam is enjoying a bumper crop of onions this year!
Come rejoice in the bounty of heirloom tomatoes - experience the flavors and choose your favorites at tomato tastings throughout the Southeast. Plus, it's time to plant fall alliums - garlic and perennial onions - and fall crops for winter storage!
It's an aromatic time of year at Sunflower Farm - time to clean the garlic!
As you can guess from their name, cabbage worms primarily attack plants in the cabbage family, but are not exclusively cabbage feeders.
Ranting about the drought worked! We got rain here at Sunflower Farm!
Enter attractive easy to assemble garden structures that attractively stake, prop and gently guide plants while never stealing the spotlight from the beautiful garden starlets they support.
The drought conditions at Sunflower Farm are making Cam rather cranky.
Strategies for controlling voles in the potatoes in your garden.
Easy, practical, delicious – growing an organic food garden is a skill anyone can learn: that's my main message! It doesn't have to involve a lot of work and certainly doesn't require a big investment in special products or equipment.
This certification confirms that the company’s import, warehousing, and sales processes meet the standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program.
Describes a method of protecting tomatoes from excessive heat using a sunscreen, vermicompost tea, pulling blighted leaves.
Cam finds an new old-fashioned way to keep the wildlife out of his garden.
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
We don't get to sit around inside and listen to the rain on a tin roof in the summer. Instead, we're busy pulling in spring crops, putting out fall crops, and much more.
Cam contemplates his place in the universe while weeding his corn patch....
It may be sweltering hot outside, but we're still busily sowing seeds at the Southern Exposure farms! Learn how to plant your bountiful fall and winter garden, with abundant harvests through Thanksgiving and beyond.
When I first got chickens many years ago I had two initial goals: to let my flock roam free range and live as close as possible to how they would naturally, and to build my soil with their manure.
There are many logical reasons for adding flowers to your vegetable garden: attracting beneficials, crop diversity, companion-planting, barriers and healthy soil. But perhaps their beauty does not need to be rationalized at all!
I asked Heather, the Marketing and Customer Service Specialist over at Thrive, a few questions and here’s what she said about mycorrhizal fungi.
Cam is exhausted but exhilarated by the early success of his CSA.
Cam describes the method he used when planting his sweet potatoes this year with hopes that he'll end up with a prettier finished product!
We're lucky to be able to live the way we do, even when we feel like we're melting
Let’s put water back into the soil where it belongs. Permeable or porous surfaces, like a gravel path or patio, allow rainfall and irrigation to percolate into the ground rather than spill into the street.
Visit our blog by Wednesday at midnight for a chance to win free Egyptian onion top bulbs.
Keep your garden full all season by planting the next crop as soon as the previous crop is harvested. Tips for deciding what to plant next.
Fiskars' new hand pruners combine form and function to make every cut easier.
A birdbath in the garden does much more than a birdfeeder. Attract birds to the garden with water, and they will help with pest control, soil aeration, and much more as they get the water they need for drinking and grooming. Wasps love a drink too.
Hints for harvests all summer long - don't just sow once! Ira helps you plan summer successions for your garden. Plus, discover culinary secrets of okra you never suspected - okra coffee and okra oil - and a recipe for a simple okra lunch.
Kubota partners with the Propane Education & Research Council to offer $1,000 purchase incentive on its ZP330, delivering ‘green’ performance and more ‘green’ in your pocket.
A wedding using homegrown and local food and no disposable items. Decorations were things already on hand. The ceremony took place in a field and the reception was in a barn...and there was love-lots of it!
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
Our MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR last weekend was full of great presentations about all facets sustainable living, including on learning how to garden.
Crushing a truck, harvesting garlic, and fixing a broken flywheel shaft key are just a few of the things that got done over the last week at WaldenEffect.org complete with photos of all the juicy stuff.
Steve explains how he and his 11 year old son grew a crop of wheat entirely by hand, and why this is something you should try, too.
Popcorn is easy to grow and makes an attractive and delicious alternative to sweet corn, especially in a small garden. Kids will love the cute little ears, and adults will treasure the superior flavor of homegrown popcorn. Plant in late spring.
Climate change is here to stay, with violent and unpredictable weather. This presents challenges to home gardeners, so is there a way to storm proof our gardens?
Organic is a phrase that’s tossed around and abused a lot by marketers these days. Not all “organic” products should be treated equally.
So, what do you do if you neglected to start your veggies way back in January or February? You had good intentions but there always seemed to be something that stole your attention. Now it’s the planting season and you have nothing to plant...
How far along are your tomatoes? Ira Wallace gets inspired by gorgeous gardens in Asheville, North Carolina, and shares a quick, easy recipe for tomato sauce.
This blog post describes the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff's afternoon spent harvesting their homegrown garlic.
We heard from a variety of experts about the type and number of batteries to use in our DIY solar setup. Meanwhile, we checked in with the garden and bees.
Tips for keeping your tomato plants healthy.
Trying to decide the best way to trellis my cucumbers and learning some new techniques.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
Describing how we are trying to provide a low budget solar panel back up system for under 1000 dollars that will run our laptops and router along with a few other things if the local power grid has any issues.
There are many more ways than ever to earn income without ever leaving the homestead. As energy prices rise, earning the money you need without traveling is key to success. It just might not come from the place you expect.
Sweet, juicy and blissfully bite-sized, homegrown strawberries embody everything we love about eating from the summer garden. Get your fresh red beauties performing deliciously in these dishes both sweet and savory.
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
Summer intern Megan describes her first time gardening at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, planting cucumbers for the first time and watering the office garden.
When a vegetable garden doesn’t look like a vegetable garden, what is it? A polyculture, where gardeners strive to address this simple truth: The most effective way to grow healthy plants is to create gardens that replicate nature.
What if I told you that you could grow 50 plants in 4 square feet?
Sweet, healthy, root vegetables that love growing through the heat of summer? Learn about adding Jerusalem artichokes, yacon, and sweet potatoes to your gardens. Plus, more on the incredible health benefits of roselle (hibiscus).
Experiences getting started gardening in the 1970's and suggestions for beginning your own projects in 2012.
Part of gardening is knowing what to do with your veggies after you've grown them. Here, we will examine what to do with those pie pumpkins this upcoming Fall.
Cam ponders the wisdom of starting a CSA at the ripe old age of 52.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Tips on how to celebrate National Wildflower Week, May 6-13!
Deciding where to buy seeds can be a perplexing challenge. How does a conscientious gardener choose seeds that will grow well, look lovely and taste great, but also support sustainable seed farmers and healthy environments?
At the gardens of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, we're preparing to plant sweet potato slips, hardening off transplants, and enjoying an abundance of spring cabbage. Learn tips and tricks for getting your transplants ready for the great outdoors.
Where are we headed, vis a vis our food systems? Can we as individuals make a difference in our food? Yes!
I’m a handmade gardening gal – part eco-friendly, non-traditionalist; part crafty creative with more ideas than money, and an abiding aversion to off-the-shelf shopping. My garden is my canvas, my vision, and my voice.
Top bar hive modifications, turkey traps, and gourmet potatoes are just a few of the topics covered in the past week of blogging we've been up to. Homesteading healthcare and a new virtual book club round off the week with several reader comments.
When you ask people if they want chemicals in their garden or on their food, most will say no. They want to limit their exposure to the chemicals and pollutants.
Some of the difficulties we encounter in gardening at a high elevation
Using 16-foot livestock panels in many ways on your homestead.
A summary of our quest to find non-medicated chicken feed that has higher quality ingredients than the typical feed store bag of chicken food.
Cub Cadet is known for providing break-through innovations, a reputation supported by the Best Buy rating.
Ira helps you get started using nature's signs to plan your garden. Don't just rely on planting dates — easy observations of what's blooming, buzzing, and singing in your garden will help you see changing patterns from year to year.
The CS2410 subcompact tractor is appropriate for those homeowners with property sizes ranging from just under an acre up to 5 acres, possibly more.
We have some exciting additions to announce about our award-winning Vegetable Garden Planner program and our new Grow Planner iPad app, including new seed company catalogs, a filter tool, a favorites button and an app update.
My first blog for MOTHER EARTH NEWS takes me back to a time when I didn't know I had a love of gardening. One of my first gardening experiences came during an unlikely encounter with my curmudgeon grandfather.
The mild winter has led to an earlier than usual spring growing season and plenty of surprises in the way of plants making it through the winter that normally would never survive the cold season. Here's a peek at what's growing in my spring garden.
Eating only homegrown foods on the Fridays in Lent.
Announcing our new webcam that will be showing the latest flock of new born chicks in all their cute and feathery glory.
Learn about the advantages of urban farming from those who are leading the way. The benefits include improved food production, increased revenue sources and reduced energy use.
Want lettuce and carrots all year round? Ira Wallace tells us her simple simple method for keeping track of succession plantings.
Talking about how to make a DIY electric fence wire holder and how we got a tailgate transplant for around 150 dollars and some signs of spring.
The peaceful tranquility of farm life is often more or less controlled chaos, especially during the busy spring season!
You want to start your urban garden from seed this year, but you're not sure where to start because you’ve only started from transplants.
Growing and harvesting hazelnuts (filberts) in your garden.
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.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
Ira Wallace inspires us to create flowering, native plant habitat in our gardens. Learn how to identify plants that are 'user-friendly' to the bugs that help keep our gardens healthy.
Get tips on growing watermelons from the expert growers at Willhite Seed company, which offers dozens of unique watermelon varieties.
Every fall Cam is tired of gardening and vows to make his vegetable garden smaller. Every spring he is excited about getting back in the garden and ends up making it bigger!
Talking about the excitement of Anna's new book cover that we got to preview from the publisher this past week and the anxiety of our new born chicks as they go out into the big world. Also have some details on how to make your own cleft graft.
This very simple indirect stepping stone technique allows you to make multiple stepping stones that will be beautiful and long lasting. It is good for individual stones and for large group projects involving all ages.
To make the best use of potato-growing season, use the technique of greensprouting.
Learn three simple tips for making the most of small gardening spaces, including hanging plants and advice for selecting seed varieties.
The American Garden Tool Company is an online source for American-made garden tools, products and accessories.
Talking about the recent past week where we got several items crossed off the Spring to-do list and managed to have some fun while doing it complete with pictures to illustrate the good times.
Thoughts on growing all your own food. How much space is required and other things to consider.
Growstone makes breakthrough, high-performance hydroponic growth mediums and soil aerators from discarded glass.
The unintended death of a charming little creature raises the realities of life on a farm homestead.
A tour of the gardens at Southern Exposure, where we're taking advantage of warm sunny days in February to get our gardens ready for intense planting ahead. But there's still plenty to sow, indoors and out.
Know how many seeds you need for your area considering germination rate and extras.
Now, when one tumbler is full and ready to start cooking, there is another tumbler ready to take in the raw compost.
As spring approaches the lawn surrounding your home will certainly begin to grow. With the New Lithium Powered Cordless Recharge Mower ULTRALITE, from Driven By Solar Inc., achieve beautiful manicured results without nasty fumes.
The last week of the month has been a busy one with are preparations for the ending of winter and the start of a new growing season. We've got some details on a new cover crop and why we choose and simple composting toilet system compared to others.
The Spirit of Hope garden in Detriot offers a safe, nurtuting place for plants and children to grow.
Highlights from the catalog of Fedco Seeds, by the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
So, you can't wait for the weather to warm up enough to get out and plant a few seeds in the ground? Well here is a list of gardening ideas and activities to keep you occupied and happy right up until the day that spring arrives!
The how's and why's we homestead
Finally getting the barn roof repair project started was a big deal for us as well as a few other things that are worth checking out if you are interested in modern homesteading.
Knowing your average last frost date is key to getting your garden off to a good start.
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.
Dealing with insects in your garden is inevitable. It’s just a matter of when it happens. Just because you have some critters munching on your food doesn’t mean that you have to break out the chemicals.
Explains the benefits of organic fertilizers such as rock phosphate, kelp, fish meal and greensand, and tells you how to get buy these materials at reasonable prices.
Three New Colors Provide More Options for Consumers
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
Host a community seed swap in honor of "National Seed Swap Day," plan to save your own seeds from the garden this year, and get inspired to cook creatively with winter vegetables.
A short list of gift ideas for gardeners.
We're gearing up for spring on our southwest Virginia farm, planning the garden, pruning the perennials, and getting ready to raise bees, broilers, and mushrooms.
Barbara Pleasant offers a step-by-step plan to starting seeds.
One way to get a jumpstart on the growing season is to start growing your seeds indoors. For most of you it’s still cold outside. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a headstart on getting your garden started for the new year.
You don't have to depend on nature to feed your bees. Take matters into your own hands and plant enough good food for your bees, so they have good, safe food all year long.
Ira Wallace covers developments in the lawsuit to protect your right to save seeds and how to take action against GMO contamination of the food supply. Also, choose the right onions for your garden and learn what to sow in January.
The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
How to Schedule your Planting by the Moon
Receiving seed catalogs and dreaming of warmer weather and growing a garden.
A little background on how Ric and Vicki moved from Detroit to a Tennessee homestead, and starting to get up to date on what they've done since.
The ACTUAL benefits of weeds in your garden. Use and value diversity! Find the benefit!
Here are five great companies to buy seeds from.
Sue Parker shares her grandmother's secrets to a strong tomato crop.
Progress in the straw bale and wooden cold frames, delicious Kim Chee recipes for winter harvested Chinese cabbage and winter radishes, and an update from the Lawns 2 Lettuce 4 Lunch program in Arlington, VA.
A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your homestead.
Ira Wallace talks about heirloom grinding corns that provide resilience and sustenance to gardener interested in self reliance. Includes a recipe for Southern style cornbread muffins.
If we want future generations to live self-sufficient lives, we have to pass on the knowledge. This week's "Photo of the Week" reflects that point.
Southern Exposure celebrates Slow Food's Terra Madre Day with a fresh winter greens salad, featuring yacon, a South American root vegetable that tastes like fresh pear! Plus garden planning to have your own farm fresh food through the winter.
Potted greens are a good complement to greens in the hoop house soil.
Ira takes us on a winter garden tour of the experimental gardens at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. She describes the various experimental cold frames for winter gardening and winter starts. Includes a winter recipe for Sweet Potato Leek Soup.
Check out this roundup of 10 favorite sustainable gifts for the gardeners on your list — all under $50!
Winners of the Fabulous Food Garden Contest have been chosen. See who the lucky prize recipients are!
The vegetables and herbs that are still available in our Southeast garden make for delicious, festive and surprisingly varied holiday fare.
This spring when the pests arrive in your garden try this radical strategy - Do nothing!
Although winter is setting in, that doesn't mean an end to the garden season in desert climates! Get inspired by this beautiful rainwater-harvesting, food-producing desert landscape!
For those of us who hate to use chemicals in our gardens, in our homes, or with our livestock and pets, diatomaceous earth may be a safe and efficient substitute. It may worm your animals, rid them of fleas and lice and even handle indoor pests.
A brief thesis on the finer properties of garlic and planting instructions.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
It is not difficult to set up a backyard hoop house to extend your growing season. The result is abundant, delicious greens and extra months with your hands in the soil. Share information here on backyard hoop house gardening and cuisine.
Mulch, like compost, plays an important role in organic gardening. To maximize the flavor and nutrition of your produce, learn how to use and balance the characteristics of various organic materials when mulching.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS wins two exciting accolades at FOLIO’s Eddie Awards, one for their article Organic Pest Control: What Works, What Doesn’t and one for their Vegetable Garden Planner tool.
Roger Doiron, a MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributor and the found of Kitchen Gardeners International, recently spoke at a TEDx conference about the power of gardening.
Cam is getting burned out on technology and seeks solace in his "low tech" garden.
Facts on the links between weather and pumpkins and what you can do with leftover pumpkins.
Cam was generously offered the loan of a small backhoe and had a whale of a time getting jobs done!
This summer Cam became a market gardener and actually got paid for something he loves to do - grow vegetables!
Actor Carel Struycken is famous for his role as Lurch in Addams Family, as well as many other roles. He is also a big proponent of permaculture. Nyerges talks with Struycken at his Pasadena home about permaculture and sustainable farming.
It pays to spend time preparing your garden for winter. You can improve your soil, increase your harvest, decrease garden pests and make next spring's planting much easier.
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.
Tips on how to control soil erosion and help protect one of Earth's most important natural resources.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
These resources will help you learn how to grow food and start a garden.
Tips on how to conserve water in the fall with weather-based irrigation controllers.
Cam appreciates the simple things like rotten hay and beautiful vegetables from his garden.
The summer garden is coming to an end. I think most of us can agree it has been a challenging year for our gardens. It is time to regroup and learn from our experiences.
Jason Akers, The Self-Sufficient Gardener, taught kids of all ages the basics of gardening on Saturday and Sunday at the Fair.
I was 9 when Mr. Posey “hired” me. Once I was certain he wouldn’t chase me off, I started spending nearly every spare moment there. It was my first job, and I loved it.
Anna remembers her grandmother's tasty buttermilk biscuits with fig preserves and her mother's stories of growing up on a small, in-town homestead in the 60s.
Discover some of the properties of essential oils, along with some tips for cleaning with them.
Cam has a great deal of respect for farmers.
Gardening for the first time ever in a hoophouse is a lot like gardening elsewhere. But, it is gardening in a whole different climate!
Your attractive food garden could win you $500 and a chance to be featured in MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
This is an excerpt from Christopher Nyerges' "Self-Sufficient Home" book (published by Stackpole) where he talks about some of his early gardening experiences and when he learned that the health of the soil is the most important aspect of gardening.
Cam has been busy harvesting and sorting potatoes.
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
Using cold frames for fall salad greens can extend your season of fresh eating.
Elsa Sanchez of Penn State University will present two workshops on compost and mulch at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
My mission was to find like minded 'earth nurturers' in a neighborhood where there seems to be a dearth of us! What I found was humility and kindred spirits, and the makings of a great dinner party!
Diane Ott Whealy of Seed Savers Exchange and Jackie Cleary Dietrich of Auburn Meadow Farm will present workshops on gardening and farming at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, Sept. 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Linda Conroy of Moonwise Herbs and Brooms will present a workshop on bioregional herbalism at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
Jason Akers, The Self-Sufficient Gardener, will present two workshops on gardening at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Ruth Rogers Clausen of Timber Press will present a workshop on how to cope with deer when gardening at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Cam is getting worn out trying to keep up with watering during a drought.
Maddy Harland introduces the shrub layer of a forest garden and gives six useful tips for establishing a low maintenance and healthy garden.
Cam describes a recent adventure involving round bales, train tracks and a stressful drive home.
These large, beautiful, long legged creatures of late summer thrill and amaze.
Sue J. Morris of Sue's Salves will present two workshops on gardening and creating salves at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Cam loves growing and selling food!
See this shot of Swiss chard with strong colors that any gardener can appreciate.
Candy DeBerry, Ph.D. of Washington & Jefferson College will present a workshop on pollination at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
KIOTI Tractor is pleased to announce the expansion of their popular implement and attachment lines.
It’s the middle of summer and you are likely enjoying the harvests. There is` so much to do with all that fresh and flavorful produce, but what should you do?
Growing raspberries and other vegetables at high elevation and the challenges.
Tammi Hartung of Desert Canyon Farm will present three workshops on growing and using herbs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival. September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Jennifer R. Bartley of American Potager will present a workshop on cooking with herbs and vegetables from a kitchen garden at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
If you’re a market gardener battling the heat, you’ll want to check out these great tips for keeping yourself and your crops cool.
Deborah Niemann of Antiquity Oaks will present two workshops on traditional home dairies and homegrown food at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger of Green Heron Tools will present a workshop on the principles of good body mechanics at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Blount, the world’s largest manufacturer of saw chain, announces the launch of the new OREGON PowerNow 40V MAX* Cordless Chainsaw.
It's been a rough summer for gardeners and farmers alike. Here's how we've been dealing with drought and a few tips on watering.
Who needs a TV drama, when, out the back door, we have our own alfresco drama, complete with territory battles, births, deaths, alien invasions, mystery, beauty and fornication, unfolding daily before our very eyes if we care to look.
In July and August, it’s time to start thinking about planting crops for fall. But how do you get good seed germination when the soil is so hot?
From a home built into a cliff to a home built out from laundry soap boxes, these homes prove how fun and satisfying it is to push the conventional edge. It's your house. Create whatever you want.
Alma Hecht's renovated century-old cottage is artistic and beautiful--and it inspires her to create wonderful watercolor paintings. Her home is both an outlet and a source for her creativity.
Cam enjoyed another week with some volunteer helpers!
Julie Lavigne relates her grandparent’s home in the city, a modern homestead for their time, and proves you can live a self-sufficient lifestyle in an urban setting.
A transplanted Choctaw and Southerner, a grandmother shows her strength and creativity during the Industrial Revolution and shows how one can face and adapt to life’s challenges.
It might be the middle of the summer, but you should start thinking about getting your fall garden ready. If you don’t have much space, to plant everything outdoors, then you can certainly start your seeds indoors.