gardening Cam Mather
At this time of year, Cam feels a little overwhelmed by the gardening chores ahead of him.
Michelle discovers a new threat to her basil plants!
Cam describes his weight loss program which involves lots and lots of gardening....
Michelle knows how much work it is to grow strawberries.... and she's happy to be able to buy them at any price!
Cam is enjoying a bumper crop of onions this year!
Cam and Michelle enjoy having their first "HelpX" volunteers to help out in the gardens!
Cam is exhausted but exhilarated by the early success of his CSA.
Cam shares his love affair with garlic and explains the work involved with growing and processing organically-grown garlic.
Cam ponders the wisdom of starting a CSA at the ripe old age of 52.
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!
Cam enjoyed another week with some volunteer helpers!
Cam is getting worn out trying to keep up with watering during a drought.
Cam grows a patch of wheat to see how much work is involved. He will never take a loaf of bread for granted again!
Cam has a great deal of respect for farmers.
It's Week #11 of our CSA and we can't find boxes big enough to fit all of the great produce!!
This summer Cam became a market gardener and actually got paid for something he loves to do - grow vegetables!
The right dog can be a very useful member of the family when you are growing corn!
Our HelpXers Mike and Melissa share their experiences as volunteers here at Sunflower Farm.
Garlic is a very labour-intensive crop to grow but the rewards are worth it!
Cam appreciates all four of our seasons!
The second post (of three) describing an organic gardener's attempt to grow his own wheat.
Cam has found another way to save money - his wife cuts his hair now! He also describes how even though he isn't artistic he creates and enjoys the masterpieces from his garden.
Cam is hoping that the Queen attends his gardening workshop this weekend at the Royal Botanical Gardens....
Cam was generously offered the loan of a small backhoe and had a whale of a time getting jobs done!
Ranting about the drought worked! We got rain here at Sunflower Farm!
Cam has been busy harvesting and sorting potatoes.
Cam has always enjoyed playing with water. Now he lets his solar-powered pump do some of the work!
Cam loves growing and selling food!
Cam battles with scarabs in his raspberry patch.
Cam shares what he has learned about corn smut in his organic garden.
Cam finds getting around in the country, especially in the winter, so much easier with his 4X4 truck.
Cam finds an new old-fashioned way to keep the wildlife out of his garden.
Cam shares the results of his experiment growing wheat in his vegetable garden.
Cam describes some family heirlooms - especially his favorite one - a shovel!
Cam describes a recent adventure involving round bales, train tracks and a stressful drive home.
It's an aromatic time of year at Sunflower Farm - time to clean the garlic!
Cam describes "double digging" as a way of creating a new garden without losing precious topsoil.
The drought conditions at Sunflower Farm are making Cam rather cranky.
Cam undertakes an experiment to see how much food he can produce on his one acre of garden space.
It's always wonderful to meet someone who is passionate about what they do!
Cam appreciates the simple things like rotten hay and beautiful vegetables from his garden.
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
Cam is getting burned out on technology and seeks solace in his "low tech" garden.
Cam contemplates his place in the universe while weeding his corn patch....
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!
Cam enjoyed a very successful sweet potato harvest!
Mother Nature has a way of filling in the blank spots....
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
Blogger Crystal Stevens discusses her time working at a nature-based summer camp for kids.
An introduction to Cam Mather's off-grid home and lifestyle.
Cam has found a new use for old rice bags - turn them into man purses!
Our 4 eggs a day suddenly became just one egg a day and so we had a mystery to solve!
We've added a rooster to our small flock and he's fitting in just fine!
A chicken describes a typical day of treats at Sunflower Farm.
After 35 years together, Cam can still make Michelle laugh. He just has to try a little harder...
Cam loves his four-wheel drive truck ... despite being an environmentalist!
Cam has an exciting evening when his neighbor drops off another expectant cow.
Ditch the cheap tent and go "glamping" in a luxurious yurt from Pacific Yurts.
The weather is heating up, the sun is shining and backyards are ripe for grass-stained jeans and fingernails coated in dirt, yet children today are spending more time than ever inside. The National Wildlife Federation has found a cure for the computer zombies summer vacation creates: the sixth annual Great American Backyard Campout fundraiser.
Cam thinks his chickens resemble Captain Jack Sparrow. Has he been spending too much time in the sun?
Cam shares six important lessons that he has learned from his chickens.
Cam enjoys a sense of accomplishment many times a day as he uses his sidewalk!
Cam describes a mosquito infestation INSIDE his house.
Cam considers the care and upkeep of an outdoor skating rink as an art form.
Cam describes how an act of kindness many years ago has inspired him to help others.
It's been quite a fall for mushrooms around here...
Sometimes the wildlife can get kind of wild around here....
Cam is mourning the loss of his beloved dog Morgan.
Cam discovers he isn't as young as he once was while enjoying a sense of community at the local arena.
Cam gives an update on his new chickens!
Cam welcomed a group of high school students to his home/office recently.
Cam has a feeling that this concept of "cloud computing" is all going to end in tears....
Cam appreciates his local volunteer fire department.
Cam considers the effect of Peak Oil on our wandering ways....
Cam describes a recent encounter with some aggressive dogs.
Cam promotes the return to our independent roots.
Cam describes the zen-like state he achieves while splitting firewood.
Cam found a way to expand his chicken coop without spending a lot!
Cam learns to appreciate country music.
Cam considers how peak oil will impact our love of travel.
Cam babysits a baby goat for the weekend.
Cam is appalled by how much stuff he has accumulated and how much stuff other people have too.
Handy Camel multi-purpose bag clip earns several awards during release year.
Hunters and non-hunters alike can get true enjoyment observing the movement and interactions of wildlife with the use of a trail camera. But buyers beware!
Sign up for classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School and relive your childhood-camp experiences.
How to avoid food poisoning from poultry, which is widely contaminated with Campylobacter.
Clearing overgrown land can be a daunting task. Choose the right tool for the job and it can be a breeze! Here are 5 of my favorites that make clearing overgrown land satisfying and fun!
How our friend John Dougherty took a normal covered utility trailer and converted it into a camping unit.
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
Cam shares some of the things he is grateful for....
Just so you don't think it's all fun and games living out here in the country....
As we approach the celebration of Thanksgiving here in Canada, Cam reflects on what he is thankful for.
Cam enjoys a magical walk through a winter wonderland while cutting and hauling firewood.
Cam has been an Apple Mac fan since the beginning.
Cam has a recurring nightmare in which the land across the road is being developed and his peace and quiet and isolation is threatened.
Cam's wife Michelle considers the economics of keeping egg laying chickens.
Cam is not a big fan of "ebooks."
Wind turbines kills birds, but not as many as are killed by tall buildings and other hazards.
Cam battles with the flying squirrels who want to inhabit his guesthouse using some unique weapons.
What's the most efficient way to boil water?
Cam loves growing his own heat!
Cam describes how our solar electric system has evolved over time.
Cam can't think of anywhere he'd rather be than on his own private skating rink.
Cam contemplates the meaning of life while picking strawberries.
Technology allows us to live where we live, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with!
Cam shares the "joys" of a living in a house with a metal roof.
A cow is born at Sunflower Farm!
Cam believes in the Boy Scout's "Be Prepared" motto when it comes to all aspects of his life....
Cam celebrates his daughter's engagement but considers the impact of flying across the world for the wedding.
Cam is frustrated by new technology that just doesn't work - and prefers old-fashioned DVDs to watching movies online.
Cam makes himself laugh sometimes....
Cam discovers that his chickens have unique personalities....
Cam describes the challenges of winter driving and cutting down trees.
Cam responds to a negative comment about a previous blog.
You might be surprised to read Cam extolling the virtues of television!
Cam always wanted to be the kind of guy who could swap out a motor and now he is!
Cam sees the bright side of having to deal with a flat tire.
Cam has been doing some radio and podcast interviews lately with some interesting hosts.
Cam is glad to find out that he has been successful at encouraging people to embrace renewable energy.
The second of the 3Rs is re use. Cam has been a re-user for a long time!
Cam loves sharing his homesteading skills in Hands-On Workshops at his off-grid home.
Cam describes the building of his chicken coop.
Sometimes being off grid doesn't necessarily mean that you're green.
Providing the firewood to heat his home has become a pleasurable hobby for Cam Mather.
Cam has a (temporary) job outside of the house and he has gained a new appreciation for being self-employed.
Michelle and Cam continue to debate whether a real tree or a fake tree is the better choice from an environmental perspective.....
The challenges of dropping out - going off the grid - and living your authentic life.
Cam describes a natural disaster on a small scale near his home.
Cam enjoyed a recent workshop he held at Sunflower Farm, and the participants seemed to enjoy it too!
Cam compares the population density of his home to some of the most densely populated countries in the world....
One of the realities of country life is having to get your septic tank pumped every few years.
Cam has a "reality check" moment and realizes how lucky he is!
Cam & Michelle recently enjoyed a visit from an ethnographer who is studying off-gridders.
We call our homestead Sunflower Farm and now we have the sign to show for it!
Cam considers the environmental implications of using paper diapers vs. cloth diapers.
Cam hates shopping but occasionally he is forced to venture out....
Cam is reminded to be grateful for what he has.
Being in control of your own home heating.
Cam hates to see good scrap wood go to waste and so he cuts it into kindling and has even started selling it!
Cam often finds himself relating to song lyrics.
Cam thinks people worry about the small things (bugs), when they should be more concerned about the big things (climate change).
Cam speaks to a group of university students about "sustainable" development...
Cam learns a lot by spending time with people who "get it."
Cam notices how many chicken-related expressions we use in our every day language!
Cam describes how the seasons progress through one messy task after another at Sunflower Farm.
Cam has been playing with and skating on thick ice lately.
Cam considers one of the causes of high gas prices....
Cam can't help but get involved and speak up when he disagrees with things. Sometimes it works!
Cam rationalizes his hoarding behaviour....
Cam dressed up as a bunch of blueberries for our local parade, and spoke to a group of university students about peak oil. Never a dull moment....
In our ever-growing quest to produce our own food we've acquired two egg-laying chickens!
Cam considers the environmental implications of different forms of transportation and urges people to stop flying!
Cam considers how Peak Oil will affect our lives....
Cam enjoys a visit with Ken & Madeline who farmed this property many years ago and Cam realizes how hard farming was back then....
Cam and Michelle enjoy a visit to their neighbour's "sugar shack" during maple syrup season!
Cam shares his enthusiasm for the sun and the wind at his off-grid home.
Cam loves living in a place where he can enjoy the night skies.... even if he doesn't completely understand what he's looking at some of the time!
Cam discusses the decision to go off-grid or on-grid and shares his experience with batteries and the dangers of high winds to solar panels.
There's more reason than ever to be prepared for natural disasters, no matter where you live!
Looking after your chickens in the winter and cutting with a solar-powered electric chainsaw.
Cam is getting burned out on technology and considers growing food to earn a living.
Cam blames horror movies for his overactive imagination.
When you only drink one cup of coffee a day, the mug you use is pretty important.
Open to the public, the Seed Savers Exchange Conference and Campout is ideal for those interested in sharing seed-saving and gardening experience or learning from the more seasoned and those involved in current plant breeding and propagating research.
We are currently facing a job crisis. Most jobs available today require specific skills and not college diplomas. Congress recently passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act which should help train workers but fails to take note of the booming green job market.
Your soil can be your best friend or your worst enemy as you prep your garden. Find out what you're up against with one of these three easy methods!
Kinetic log splitters have taken the log-splitter market by storm. But how much do you know about these lightning-fast, hyper-efficient machines? Check out these surprising facts about kinetic log splitters.
Canadian homesteader Cam Mather sinks into the village life and discovers the joys of small-town living.
The basics of using a woodstove to heat your home.
Cam looks back at the challenges of moving to his off-grid home.
Our chickens aren't fond of the snow and the wind, but we found a way to let them enjoy the sunshine from the comfort of their coop!
The best way to start a fire in your woodstove.
Cam describes why he was anxious to leave the city for a life in the country.
Cam is back riding his solar-powered electric bike and he loves it!
Cam describes a typical summer day at Sunflower Farm using tweets.
Cam describes the benefits of writing this blog and his recent book.
Cam describes some recent speaking engagements including the thrill of being "piped in."
Cam wonders why more people don't prepare for blackouts.
Cam prefers the view from his office in his country home.
A typical winter morning chore - cleaning off the solar panels.
Cam recently spoke to a Transition group about the challenges ahead and how to prepare for them.
Cam leaves his lights on during Earth Hour since he generates his own electricity with solar and wind!
When you live in an off-grid house in the country, it's important to be handy!
Four new hens joined the flock at Sunflower Farm and it has taken some time to re-establish the pecking order.
Even after 15 years, Cam still loves heating his home with wood that he cuts himself.
When it's -30 degrees outside you can make your own snow!
The difference between power and energy and how it relates to toast!
Cam describes his ongoing inner dialogue concerning his carbon footprint.
Cam is handling this heatwave much better thanks to his solar-powered air conditioner!
Cam talks about getting mistaken for a garden centre employee and also the time that his house appeared to get sold out from under him!
Some of Cam's best inspirations come to him in his sleep!
Cam thinks its important that we all have a Plan B, no matter where we live.
Quirky behaviors involving shaving, moisturizing, socks and water conservation!
Cam readily admits to being obsessed about his use of energy.
Cam admits to admiring Oprah and watching her show from time to time.
Cam shares his experiences getting lost in the woods.
Cam describes why his method of harvesting firewood from his woodlot is the most sustainable way.
Homesteader Cam Mather describes integrating new backyard chickens into his existing flock and the wonderful life his "ladies" lead.
Promote AIDS awareness, not just on World AIDS Day, but every day!
Congress passed a piece of legislation which could have a serious impact on the nation's job crisis. This post explains the act, analyzes its impact, and notes that the whole renewable job sector has been pretty much ignored.
Electronic waste, aka e-waste, is the fastest growing waste stream of our time. E-waste is considered hazardous waste and more often than not, is recycled improperly. But there are ways to avoid contributing to the growth of this toxic waste.
At a time when greenhouse gas emissions from cars and electricity generation around the world are at an all-time high, Heifer International in Cameroon is leading initiatives and programming to help reduce such emissions from livestock production there.
If you’re considering buying a new log splitter, you may have begun to debate whether you want an electric log splitter or a gas-powered model. What’s the difference? DR Power Equipment has some useful insight for you.
Washboard road is often considered a fact of country life. It's uncomfortable, wreaks havoc with your vehicle, and can cause expensive damage. Here's the one simple trick to preventing it almost completely!
TERA-Light is a perpetually renewable fire starter that requires no batteries, no chemicals — only air and organic plant material!
You can make a simple bench for the garden or patio by recycling an old headboard.
Cam has had to learn lots of new skills living in his off-grid home!
Cam is amazed at the level of awareness concerning Peak Oil amongst today's youth.
Cam contemplates the amount of energy that goes into our food production and shows how he prepared corn for freezing the zero carbon way!
Cam Mather tries out a battery-powered chainsaw at his off-grid homestead in Ontario.
In my hometown of Boulder, Colorado, kids are leaving town and dumping a lot of really good, useable stuff. If you have a college in your town, it's a great weekend to go Dumpster diving near campus.
The Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, proposed on June 2, 2014, by the Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan not only limits our carbon pollution but also injects life back into our domestic workforce.
According to FDA data, the quantity of antibiotics sold for livestock use in this country continues to rise, topping 29 million pounds in 2011. This has a direct effect on the efficacy these same drugs will have on us. Sam Spitz has personal experience with a resistant illness and FamilyFarmed.org asked him to tell his story. It’s a cautionary tale that should have us all making better food choices. Read how we can all influence the campaign to end the misuse of antibiotics in livestock and keep antibiotics working for us when we need them!
Karen and Tony Tipsword's rehabbed 720-square-foot cabin allows them the freedom and independence to live their dream of running a campground. "Being happy does not mean a large home filled with things," Karen says.
As everyone gathers around this campfire this fall, unite this variety of flavors into one savory skillet that will be enjoyed by all.
While the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Mountain Resort may have been John D. Ivanko's family’s primary destination (as speakers about renewable energy, sustainable living and farmstead cooking), it definitely wasn’t their only reason for eco-touring the region known as the Laurel Highlands.
Robert Maxwell discusses the benefits of a rural lifestyle.
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about growing up on the frontier for both her and her husband. Her book about Almanzo's childhood recalls some of his favorite foods, including "fried apples 'n' onions".
The Camping Accessory People expand their already extensive product line.
The urge to eliminate clutter and create space for ourselves is a healthy sign of self-respect. Why, then, is it so darn hard?
The tale of Carlotta's last day. A trip to the processor. Real happenings on a goat farm, it's not always lollipops and rainbows.
Kitchen Gardeners International's 20ate campaign urges Americans to say no to junk food.
A story of one of our camping trips to Torreya State Park, Florida.
Last October, President Obama filled us all with hope when he announced he would install solar panels on the White House by this spring. The panels haven't materialized, and the White House isn't talking. Call Obama and find out what's up.
The set launch of Worm’s Way Group’s new website promises improved usability, more speed and exclusive web-based promotions.
“Aquaponics Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together” offers advice and insight into the world of sustainable gardening
Home gardeners and urban farmers can come up against garden laws and regulations that can limit the size, style and components of their garden.
Attend the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello to learn more about heirloom gardening.
Involving children in planning a garden and growing vegetables can lead to healthier adults and a healthier planet.
protect fall crops
Lemony sorrel is the base for a classic Eastern European soup that's equally good served hot or cold. It's fast, easy and tastes of spring and early summer.
Learn how to clean cast-iron cookware that’s old and crusty, and get some tips on seasoning cast-iron cookware to revive it even further.
Want lettuce and carrots all year round? Ira Wallace tells us her simple simple method for keeping track of succession plantings.
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.
Regardless of how little space you have, you can grow some of your own food. Space is just an excuse. By building a self-watering container or soda bottle planter you can maximize the space that you have. You don't have to have a huge garden - growi
Even if you only have garden pots to work with, you can still container garden in fall and winter to grow vegetables.
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?
Why “hot and humid” doesn’t have to equal “sad and lifeless.”
One great thing about gardening that goes beyond soil building and crop rotations is its ability to bring people together. As spring is now officially here, it’s a great time to revel in all the pleasures the season is sure to bring. Please share your thoughts and stories about how gardening has brought people together in your life.
Readers familiar with triple-digit temperatures share their best tips for gardening in the southwest. Get advice about what to plant, when to plant and how to plant if you live in the hottest areas of the country.
Sue Parker shares her grandmother's secrets to a strong tomato crop.
Watermelon rind is this frugal pie's summery secret ingredient. Think of it as summer mincemeat.
Readers responded eagerly to our call for recipes to use up green tomatoes. An Ohio woman wowed the judges with her entry.
With its recent FDA approval, the first LiLi pasteurizer was purchased for use at a New York micro dairy.
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.
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.
Landrace gardening enhances food security by growing genetically diverse crops that are not as prone to crop failure as monoculture fields of near clones.
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!
Landrace gardening requires different plant naming conventions than those followed by industrialized agriculture.
Landrace gardening promotes hybrid vigor and avoids inbreeding depression by encouraging promiscuous pollination.
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."
Using landrace gardening and promiscuous pollination to get what you want from your garden.
An experiment in urban gardening produces a melon miracle.
Learn how to grow one of America's favorite treats, chocolate M&M's.
The innovative garden seeder from Simple Seeder increases speed and ease of planting.
The instinct to share home grown herbs, flowers and vegetables runs strong in gardeners, so sharing home grown goodies brings heartfelt rewards.
Have you heard of “guerrilla gardening,” where folks toss flower seeds into vacant lots, or sometimes sneak in at night and plant flowers in unkempt highway medians or strips along city sidewalks? Check it out this year as a fun and fruitful way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
Is having too many gardens a detriment to selling a suburban home?
Readers share tips and tricks for taking care of winter garden beds.
Growing fall brassicas can be a challenge, but here are some tips on how to prevent them from getting eaten by bugs or withering.
Can’t have a garden of your own, but you want to garden? Urban Garden Share allows you to do exactly that!
If you’re growing food in the house through the cold months, our readers can benefit from your experience. Have you had success at indoor gardening before? What did you grow? Share your tips and tricks!
A good watering system will save you time and money in your garden.
Readers share regional gardening resources.
Old books can be a hoot to read! Check out these quotes from an 1890 book, How to Make the Garden Pay, by T. Greiner.
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.
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.
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!
Here are six of my favorite ideas for those of you with small spaces and still want to get your garden on.
Before space beneath your grow light is needed for onions and other early seedlings, fill it with baby lettuce grown in translucent clamshell salad containers.
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.
Having little space is not a reason to not be growing your own food. It's just an excuse. I've been apartment gardening since 2009.
Some of the difficulties we encounter in gardening at a high elevation
Learn three simple tips for making the most of small gardening spaces, including hanging plants and advice for selecting seed varieties.
The UrBin Grower is a unique gardening system that takes place in self-watering containers that can be used on decks, patios, side yards or porches.
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.
Don’t let the cost of gardening keep you out of the dirt this year. Cheap gardening can be fun and easy. With these tips for gardening on a budget, you’ll save on seeds, make your own fertilizer and impress your friends with your gardening know how.
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 philosophical look at the coming of winter, with ideas for preserving the summer after the end-of-the-season pepper harvest.
Use care when cooking red kidney beans in the crockpot. The beans contain a toxin that can be activated if the beans are raw or undercooked.
Easy-sew step-by-step instructions (with photos) to repurpose feed bags into handy totes.
The all-new RZT S ZERO is available in select markets and will be headlining the Cub Cadet Test Drive Experience Tour.
Joseph Lofthouse shares how to maintain thriving populations of landrace vegetables in the garden.
Do you know the best time to plant garlic? Try planting in fall instead of spring for healthy, large garlic bulbs.
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.
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.
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.
A photo essay showing off the beauty of landrace crops.
The principles of landrace gardening can be applied at any scale from small annual gardens to multi-generational community wide tree farms.
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.
Some tomato varieties wilt when temperatures get too hot. Find heat-tolerant tomato varieties that can grow robust tomato plants in hot climates.
The Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service is looking for an organic farmer worthy of being named their 26th annual Organic Farmer of the Year.
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.
EZ Tomato Cages are collapsible and sturdy unlike many currently on the market.
Barebones strives to make the experience of outdoor recreation and hobbies a priority.
Introducing Alpaca-Gold, a new company producing 100% all natural, organic Alpaca fertilizer.
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.
See this shot of Swiss chard with strong colors that any gardener can appreciate.
I’ve learned that gardening in small spaces can be challenging, but I’ve had great success with a Topsy Turvy tomato planter this year. Have you used similar products in your home? How do you handle gardening in small spaces?
Meet Kriste Misiak and her family, the recent winners of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Ultimate Garden Giveaway.
Using Pinterest can help inspire new gardening ideas.
Thank goodness for good friends who will share their garden harvest with those of us less skilled.
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.
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!
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.
A brief thesis on the finer properties of garlic and planting instructions.
The Aerobin 400 uses a patented aeration core inside an enclosed bin to promote aerobic break down of organic matter. The Aerobin 400 is easy to use - just open, drop in materials, and close.
It's opening day at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR! We're covering all kinds of cool gardening topics at the Organic Gardening Stage.
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.
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.
Why it is important to stay on top of a garden.
Composting doesn't have to be tough! Learn to make easy compost without the stress.
Learn how to grow more food in your organic vegetable garden without enlarging your garden space by using the space-saving gardening techniques outlined in this short video.
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.
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.
I say compost, you think of rotting food, dirt, flies and a horrible smell. For that reason most people wont' even consider composting at home.
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!
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.
Building community through sharing work and food.
By applying the principles of landrace gardening, you can help your plants win the race against weeds.
By growing potatoes from pollinated seeds we can develop locally adapted plants that thrive in our gardens.
Seed saving is an integral part of landrace gardening.
Landrace gardening allows us to minimize fertilization by selecting for plants that thrive in the pre-existing soil.
Joseph Lofthouse shares tips for growing landrace popcorn.
A perfectly ripe heirloom tomato is one of the great joys of summer, here are some tips for organizing your own heirloom tomato party.
We've been warning you about aminopyralid-containing killer compost for quite some time. Now there's a new deadly herbicide on the market, Imprelis, and it's wreaking havoc in at least seven states.
To make the best use of potato-growing season, use the technique of greensprouting.
Get an early spinach crop with this easy gardening tip.
It's easy to overlook how useful grass clippings can be, but early fall is a great time to collect this valuable 'yard waste' to use in your garden as mulch.
Sunroots are a typically-cloned crop with great potential as a locally-adapted survival-of-the-fittest landrace
How to use hybrids in a landrace garden.
A photo essay documenting imported landraces that I started incorporating into my existing landraces during the current growing season.
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.
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.
Grow enough seed for yourself and a little extra for seed swaps and you may never have to pay for seeds again.
A market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks, evaluating current offerings.
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.”
A photo essay showing off the beauty of landrace squash.
The new free Food Gardening Guide iPhone/iPad app from MOTHER EARTH NEWS provides detailed information on growing all major garden crops. Tap on a crop, and find out how to plant, when to plant, how to prevent pests and diseases, types and varieties to try, and more. In addition to crop-specific advice, the app also provides thorough details on general gardening categories, including watering, improving soil, crop rotation, garden fencing, cover crops, vertical gardening and much more.
Knowing your average last frost date is key to getting your garden off to a good start.
Egyptian walking onions are one of my favorite crops because they produce food for my family from early spring until late fall.
"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.
Gardening is as easy as you want it to be!
The greenhouse takes shape with the help of family.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Creating a landrace of promiscuously pollinated tomatoes. Details about my major plant breeding project for the next few seasons and a plea for help.
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.
A pragmatic approach to eliminating male sterility from a home garden. Includes a diagram and photos about what to look for.
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.
Building a layered bed to develop organic material in the soil, hold moisture and decrease the amount of work.
Our first project: building a small keyhole mound.
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.
Good storage conditions for your garden seeds are essential. These tips will help you learn how to store seeds.
Here is a great article on straw bale gardening.
Which grows better in Pacific Northwest gardens - kale or collards?
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.
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.
Use autumn's bounty of fallen leaves to expand your garden, protect your plants and improve your soil.
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.
Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.
You can sneak a few attractive, low maintenance food plants onto your lawn, and your neighbors will never even notice.
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.
Use old CDs and soda cans to keep pests out of your garden.
Catch the gardening bug, and start to grow your own food! Once you start, you’ll love it. Here are some basic pieces of advice for the budding gardener.
A problem for older gardeners is finding tools that make gardening easier as getting up and down becomes harder.
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.
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.
Maddy Harland introduces the shrub layer of a forest garden and gives six useful tips for establishing a low maintenance and healthy garden.
Finding wild morel mushrooms growing in our urban backyard means plenty of marvelous meals.
Maddy Harland introduces forest gardening – beautiful, low maintenance and productive gardens that provide for many of our needs – food, fuel, medicines and fibers.
Yes, spring is finally here. Time to start farming.
Plan to plant garlic this fall, and enjoy unique varieties and their incredible health benefits.
After a summer of growing sweet potatoes, fall is the long-awaited time to enjoy the fruits of your labors. Properly harvesting sweet potatoes, followed by sound curing and storage methods, will ensure you can enjoy your crop through the winter months.
Everyday families can now provide much of their fresh vegetables using Aquaponics. Aquaponics is the production of edible fish and vegetables growing in a drought proof, no weed, back saving growing system.
The how's and why's we homestead
Try BOGS gardening clogs, a super-comfortable pair of gardening shoes that will stand up to tough wear.
Gardeners suggest gardening books for beginners.
Do you feel like the month of June left you gasping for air? You are not alone. I am hoping July will be slower paced and full of summertime fun!
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.
Registered dietitian, Linda Simon, shares her experiences growing gluten free grains in her garden.
I asked Heather, the Marketing and Customer Service Specialist over at Thrive, a few questions and here’s what she said about mycorrhizal fungi.
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.
Growing and harvesting hazelnuts (filberts) in your garden.
Experiences getting started gardening in the 1970's and suggestions for beginning your own projects in 2012.
Know how many seeds you need for your area considering germination rate and extras.
The Ogden Community Garden winds down, and one gardener marvels at the late October harvest, and on how much the garden has meant to everyone who has helped tend it.
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.
The ACTUAL benefits of weeds in your garden. Use and value diversity! Find the benefit!
Garden soil left exposed in winter is easily damaged by compaction, erosion and leaching. Use mulches or cover crops to safeguard and build your soil during the winter months.
While there are plenty of great reasons to grow a food garden, we recently polled readers to find out their primary motivation for gardening. Read their interesting results, plus tell us more about your gardening philosophy.
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.
Lundberg Family Farms announces the opening of a new warehouse that is powered by 100% solar energy. Lundberg Family Farms produces wholesome, healthful rice products while protecting and improving the environment for future generations.
Follow these simple tips on fall gardening.
Keep those vegetable plants growing for a second harvest late in the year. Organically-grown, heirloom varieties will survive with a little help.
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.
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!
Learn which fluorescent bulbs are the best grow lights for starting seeds indoors.
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.
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.
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.
This free app puts the growing info you need right at your fingertips: cultivation guides for each major crop, plus how-to for invaluable gardening skills.
What to plant in April for your vegetable garden, and what sized pot you need for your vegetable plant.
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.
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.
Think your balcony's too tiny to provide food and fun? Check out Apartment Therapy's great tips for making the most of your outdoor space.
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.
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.
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.
The experience of growing one's first garden is a thrill one will never forget.
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.
When you say “organic” most people think of elitists that are buying over priced food because they think that they are better than others. What does the “organic” really mean though?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Growing potatoes in containers allows you to increase your yield in a small amount of space.
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.
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.
If you've been considering an electric pressure cooker, consider the Instant Pot. It’s well-made, durable and has many functions.
Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seeds and the toxic herbicides used to drench them, is calling itself a supporter of sustainability. You’re kidding, right?
During World War I, the federal government ordered people to keep a backyard flock of chickens. What happened? Why is it so hard today?
Michigan invasive species order takes aim at heritage and Old World hogs.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce the release of the "How to Can" app, a free app to help you safely put up summer's bounty in a jar. A new 2014 release includes instructions to safely can several types of meat.
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.
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.
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.
Learn how to calculate best planting times for fall harvested crops.
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.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
Try using the Grow Planner app to streamline your garden planning and your garden work.
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.
Get tips on growing watermelons from the expert growers at Willhite Seed company, which offers dozens of unique watermelon varieties.
Highlights from the catalog of Fedco Seeds, by the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
To better accommodate the planting schedule of gardeners in the southern United States, California’s Natural Gardening Company will make a dozen varieties of tomato transplants available by mid-August.
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.
Using leaves in the garden will boost the soil’s organic matter.
Growing pine trees from seed will allow you to produce lots of trees very economically. Follow these instructions to propagate pine trees from seed.
It’s a bug-eat-bug world out there! Learn how to identify 15 common garden pests and bring in 14 beneficial bugs that feed on them, a strategy that will foster a healthy, balanced garden ecology.
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!
Tips that we have learned gardening at a high elevation.
Wintertime for a farmer is full of projects and planning.
Do you eat garlic for its health benefits? Choose a Porcelain cultivar for maximum impact!
This blog post tells you how to set up a drip irrigation system in a raised bed garden.
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.
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.
You're not just a beginning gardener - you're also a scientist!
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.
This blog post shares some of the simple techniques learned through many years of experience by someone who grows vegetable seedlings for a living.
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.
This blog takes a look at the steps taken to propagate lavender by taking cuttings.
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.
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.
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
We produce wonderful, organically approved soil products for the independent garden centers.
Find garlic seed stock for growing garlic.
Don't let your wanderlust for more space hold you back from creating your homestead in the city.
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.
Tips for keeping your tomato plants healthy.
The new website offers the home gardener an expanded product selection of useful garden products.
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.
The vegetables and herbs that are still available in our Southeast garden make for delicious, festive and surprisingly varied holiday fare.
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.
This spring when the pests arrive in your garden try this radical strategy - Do nothing!
Amid mounting concerns over food security and sustainable food systems, the rise of urban gardens and agriculture has been on the rise. Due to a paralleled increase in the numbers of people interested in learning how to garden, programs in urban agriculture at colleges as well as nonprofit urban garden training programs have sprouted up across the country.
Learn how to rotate crops with this helpful crop rotation video.
The RTA12 & RTR12 Series Rotary Tillers from Land Pride till soil for seedbed and planting preparation with uses and applications in landscaping, gardens, and residential areas.
Our MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR last weekend was full of great presentations about all facets sustainable living, including on learning how to garden.
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.
Jason Akers, The Self-Sufficient Gardener, taught kids of all ages the basics of gardening on Saturday and Sunday at the Fair.
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.
Trying to decide the best way to trellis my cucumbers and learning some new techniques.
A potential solution to rising food prices, food insecurity and the obesity epidemic may call into play raising farms inside the city limits.
Thoughts on growing all your own food. How much space is required and other things to consider.
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.
As you can guess from their name, cabbage worms primarily attack plants in the cabbage family, but are not exclusively cabbage feeders.
Recently a trend in farming called hydroponics has resurfaced and gained national attention that has grown in popularity with some, but has left others with mixed feelings.
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.
If you have a constant, overwhelming urge of wanting to be outside breathing in the fresh air and partaking in various farming activities, you may be suffering from barnheart.
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!
How to Schedule your Planting by the Moon
David Tracey of New Society Publishing will present two workshops on organic gardening at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Erin Harwood and Eloyce O'Connor of the Garden Delights CSA and Herb Farm will present a workshop on natural remedies at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Linda Gilkeson, master gardener, and Jessie Price of EatingWell Magazine will present workshops on gardening and healthy cooking at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
The next installment of Maddy Harland's blog series on forest gardening. This week how to choose the lower canopy.
Strategies for controlling voles in the potatoes in your garden.
If you strive to grow a garden that is beyond-organic, that relies on very few (if any) off-site products, and that saves you both money and work...deep organic gardening is for you!
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?
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.
Gardening for the first time ever in a hoophouse is a lot like gardening elsewhere. But, it is gardening in a whole different climate!
Companion planting can be a great strategy for organic gardeners. Take our nationwide companion planting survey to help us gather useful information about this gardening technique.
Garlic is one of the easiest plants you can grow, and fall is the time for planting. Here are a few resources to help you get started.
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.
The Living Seed Company is creating a platform to inspire gardeners and gardeners to be.
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.
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.
Your attractive food garden could win you $500 and a chance to be featured in MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
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.
Lindsay Lee, nursery owner and Seed Savers Exchange advisor, will present a workshop on grafting fruit trees at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
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.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributing editor and compost expert Barbara Pleasant provides some great homestead compost tips in celebration of Compost Awareness Week.
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.
The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
Get a materials list and step-by-step insructions for low tunnel construction for your backyard garden.
To ensure we have a full productive garden, each spring I start a habit of carrying a packet of seeds in my pocket every time I head to the garden!
Many gardeners take lettuce off of their summer planting lists, but shade covers can put garden-grown lettuce on your table more than a month sooner this fall.
By starting seeds indoors, you get a jump start on spring garden planting.
Fall is the time to plant garlic. The cloves send down roots during the winter, popping their green heads out in early spring.
The first killing frosts of the season change the garden-scape.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Using leaves as mulch to enhance soil fertility.
Using these techniques you can spend an afternoon building a deep mulch garden and stop tilling and composting for up to 30 years.
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.
Winter food storage in a naturally cooled space.
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.
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.
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.
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...
Completing tasks in preparation for a few days away from the homestead
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
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.
These sources can help you locate organic and other natural options for plants, seeds, and weed and pest control products.
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.
Review of The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast, a new book written by Ira Wallace.
Among a slew of other awards for her outstanding writing, Barbara Pleasant has received the 2013 Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association for her Gardening Know-How column.
No matter your level of gardening expertise, our Guide to Organic Gardening app has the advice and how-to you need to dig in and grow a bountiful organic food garden. With articles on composting, beneficial insects, weed control and more, you'll have a wealth of organic gardening know-how at your fingertips after you download this app onto your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet.
The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.
Some crops survived the cold temperatures while others died. Which ones are most reliable for winter outdoors and in the hoophouse?
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.
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.
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.
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
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.
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?
We're lucky to be able to live the way we do, even when we feel like we're melting
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.
Maddy Harland writes about principles that underpin our understanding and practical application of permaculture. She relates them to designing a green home and garden but also explains how permaculture can help us to create more sustainable lifestyle
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Associate Editor Shelley Stonebrook offers tips for building permanent garden beds and paths. Shelley presented her workshop “10 Great Ways to Make Gardening Easier” at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.
We learned a long time ago that we couldn’t attract an audience for our magazines unless we gave our readers tools they could use to improve the world personally. A backyard organic garden is the perfect symbol of positive vision and commitment.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
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!
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.
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.
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.
Is it too hot to grow spinach where you live? Try these fabulous alternatives.
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.
Simran Sethi starts dreaming of spring gardening, with the goal of renewing her efforts to grow real food.
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
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.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Where are we headed, vis a vis our food systems? Can we as individuals make a difference in our food? Yes!
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.
In a wabi-sabi garden, plants are chosen because they belong in that garden and in that climate, and they’re allowed to strut their stuff if they’re considerate of the plants around them. Both plants and guests are encouraged to meander and explore.
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.
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.
Simran Sethi teams up with two neighbors to "grow food, not lawns."
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.
Engineer Venkappa Gani leads by example when it comes to sustainable living. His entire backyard is an organic garden, an edible landscape that borders his rainwater harvesting tank collectors overlooked by solar panels that power his home (and more!). Gani is dedicated to sustainability, a word he lives by everyday at his suburban home in Austin, Texas.
Simran Sethi takes a moment to give thanks.
How can someone who claims to be a 'modern homesteader' not have planted her garden by the end of June, you ask? Well, let me tell you...
Congratulations to Pat Stone creator and editor of Green Prints Magazine and, now, a recognized Asset to the Planet!
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.
Summer intern Megan describes her first time gardening at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, planting cucumbers for the first time and watering the office garden.
Describes a method of protecting tomatoes from excessive heat using a sunscreen, vermicompost tea, pulling blighted leaves.
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.
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!
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
We have developed two customized search engines that make it easier to locate companies that offer specific varieties of seeds and plants, as well as organic garden products and tools.
Eating only homegrown foods on the Fridays in Lent.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Once our bodies and our imaginations are engaged, the incremental change begins. Then it gets easier and easier to envision humanity occupying this planet–this beautiful, abundant planet–far into the future.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
Potted greens are a good complement to greens in the hoop house soil.
Sow leafy greens in late summer to reap abundant crops in the fall.
What’s your idea of a delicious and wholesome breakfast? A fluffy, organic egg omelet made with fresh vegetables? Perhaps scrambled eggs and roasted garden veggies? No matter what your preference, it may surprise you to learn the link between the
Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival inspired us to keep at those challenges that frustrate us on the farm.
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!
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.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
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.
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.
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
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.
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.
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.
Check out this roundup of 10 favorite sustainable gifts for the gardeners on your list — all under $50!
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