gardening in cold weather
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.
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.
Potted greens are a good complement to greens in the hoop house soil.
Winter biking doesn't mean spending tons of money on new cold-weather gear. Adding a few essential items to your closet can help keep you warm during cold weather biking.
Getting prepared for cold weather is quite an undertaking with daylight growing shorter and shorter. Adding to your herd and selling goats takes a lot of planning.
The all-new RZT S ZERO is available in select markets and will be headlining the Cub Cadet Test Drive Experience Tour.
Cam appreciates all four of our seasons!
Yes, spring is finally here. Time to start farming.
Weatherizing your home saves you money. Just a few simple changes can greatly reduce the amount of energy your home requires to stay comfortable. Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence fills you in on how to weatherize your home and collect stimulus money.
Helpful advice on the dangers of lightning and how to protect your home from its damaging effects.
Keeping goats inside during nasty weather isn't easy, but it's worth the time! Dealing with sick goats, fever and runny noses isn't fun, so taking precautions makes things much easier.
An article about how we learned to double our growing season and have home grown fresh veggies almost all year long.
More money from the Stimulus plan has gone to hot and cold states for weatherization programs.
Is it too hot to grow spinach where you live? Try these fabulous alternatives.
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.
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.
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.
In this posting we discuss how the record infection rate of West Nile virus is related to the record global temperatures of the past decade. We also discuss how these record temperatures have allowed the infections to occur in northern latitudes.
Learn how to take garlic as medicine — garlic is a potent natural antibiotic and immune-booster.
Sipping on medicinal herbal tea is one of the best steps you can take to shorten the duration of illness when the symptoms of a cold, sore throat, or other upper respiratory infection begin.
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.
10 easy steps to get your home prepared for winter.
Some crops survived the cold temperatures while others died. Which ones are most reliable for winter outdoors and in the hoophouse?
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.
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.
In this posting we discuss how rock weathering controls the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We also discuss why rock weathering can't remove the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that was generated by our use of fossil fuels.
The Farmers’ Almanac is a blend of useful information, entertainment and fascinating lore.
Chickens can handle the cold, but you might need to evaluate their water access.
Blizzards, bitterly cold temperatures — the past few months have been full of wild weather stories, shared in the news and at the local coffee shops. What is your best wild weather story?
Suggestions for getting the most use of your cold frame all year long.
It's possible to live without chickens in your back yard. But why would you want to?
Weather conditions impact spring migration – which migrants will you see this week?
Are you Weather-Ready? September is National Preparedness Month.
Create a pollinator-friendly garden to attract hummingbirds, bees, bats and other animals.
Research shows a direct connection between global warming and our extreme weather.
It is said that everybody talks about the weather but no one does anything about it. Here is the reason we all talk about it and hints on what to do about it.
You don't have to be a homeowner to homestead. No matter where you live, you can start practicing the skills you need for a more self-reliant, sustainable life.
With a well-designed dog pack, you can take your dog to the farmer's market and your pet won't mind helping you carry a few groceries.
It’s never easy to be the new guy (or gal), and that goes for new farmers and ranchers, too. Since beginning a farm, one homesteader writes how she found her own sense of belonging as an urban transplant in rural setting.
Jenna has three new sheep on the homestead and she's already learning a lot.
The federal government spent more taxpayer money on 2012 severe weather cleanup than on schools or roads, reports the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Participate in Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count to help scientists study winter bird populations: www.earthgauge.net/?p=33409
WTAJ has partnered with the National Environmental Education Foundation and Project Noah to help show wildlife and the impacts of weather on living things in Central Pennsylvania.
Was it a teacher? A parent? A field trip? What was your Earth Changing Moment? Share your first connection with the environment.
Once the frost has finished the warm weather crops, the cool weather crops take center stage for a fall and winter harvest. Learn how to make that happen.
Memorial Day signifies the unofficial start of summer and onset of hot weather. Use these tips to stay cool.
Does Punxsutawney Phil have competition for 'predicting' the weather? Take a look at these other animals and insects that can tell when the weather is changing, or can't they?
Tips on how to travel safely and save gas during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Tips on which birds to keep an eye out for in different weather conditions.
Tips on how to stay safe and warm during extremely cold wind chill temperatures.
Ready to decorate? Show your holiday spirit with LED lighting to save energy and money. www.earthgauge.net/?p=33327
Cam enjoys a magical walk through a winter wonderland while cutting and hauling firewood.
Make the best use of your cold frame by having lids designed to be easily adjusted or removed.
Catching a cold after flying is common. Find out why plane travelers get sick after flying, and learn how to boost your immunity to avoid post-flight colds and flu.
An automotive whiz explains why it's not a great idea to let your car warm up by idling.
I know how popular and much hyped season-extending materials are in the world of organic gardening, but is it a necessity to eat fresh lettuce year round?
Jenna Woginrich reflects on her journey from fresh out of college, city-dwelling designer to determined homesteader, and offers encouragement to those with similar dreams.
Dogsleds are clean, green and run on renewable energy.
Jenna gets a pack goat to help carry gear for hiking trips. Share her experience of buying a buck kid and raising him to be a pack goat.
You know when a dreaded cold is coming on: Your throat and voice feel a bit scratchy, your nose begins to run, your eyes resemble those of a frog, your energy dips, you get the chills, and, in general, you feel like a blob. Compound these symptoms with muscle aches, joint stiffness, occasional nausea and fever, and you’ve got the flu.
Participate this year in the annual Christmas Bird Count from December 14, 2012 - January 5, 2013 and help scientists understand how bird populations have changed over the past century.
Two homesteaders from Washington and Colorado comment on their greatest weather fear in the mountains.
Bruce McElmurray and Ed Essex collaborate on how the weather dictates to their mountain homesteading.
Ed Essex and Bruce McElmurray compare their weather experiences living at 4,200 feet and 9750 feet elevation respectively.
Environmentalist and journalist Bill McKibben clarifies the equations behind global warming, and points to the movement that could be spurred by the math.
The National Wildlife Federation has released a report that explains the effects of climate change on winter weather. Warmer winters and heavy snow are causing problems for agriculture, wildlife, communities and even the skiing industry — and the NWF is calling for policy reforms to reduce emissions to slow the effects of global warming. Read on to learn more.
Weather.com now features customizable local weather applications, including an Agriculture Application with great tools for farmers and gardeners.
Tips on how to conserve water in the fall with weather-based irrigation controllers.
Tips on how to take part in citizen science projects during the fall!
This posting will discuss the relationship of weather and climate and how global warming affects this relationship to trigger climate change
Tips on how to prepare for emergencies and/or natural disasters.
Are you ready for the kinds of severe weather that could impact the area where you live? National Severe Weather Preparedness Week takes place from Mar. 3-9, 2013. This is a great time for you and your family to “Be a Force of Nature” by learning the importance of planning for severe weather events and practicing how and where to take shelter before severe weather strikes.
Tips on how to prepare yourself for a natural disaster during September's National Preparedness Month!
How to wild harvest medicinal plants with respect and intention.
Descriptions on oil labels are not defined by law, and are sometimes deceptive. Learn what these terms — such as cold-pressed, expeller-pressed and extra virgin — really mean, and which terms indicate quality.
You can make your own homemade cough drops with garden-fresh herbs, such as horehound and marshmallow.
Everywhere is full of micro-climates. Discover the places in your garden where the soil warms first, or last, by watching the snow melt and taking pictures.
Jenna Woginrich discusses the more difficult aspects of homesteading, and why it's worth it anyway.
If you’re the first of your friends to move to the country, get some chickens and plant an organic garden there will be some inevitable social fallout.
Raising and growing your own is more than a lifestyle — it is life.
The author devises an inexpensive and very effective way to block cold winter winds from blowing into her kitchen via her range vents.
These natural cold and flu remedies will help you build up your immune system and reduce the duration and discomfort of colds and flu.
Let’s break down the soap-making process and start scrubbin’ with homemade bars!
Rice is the quintessential food plant around the world and it provides a significant amount of brown biomass for composting. Growing rice in the garden can be help you achieve food security but you need to pick the right variety for your region. There are a couple of important sub-categories of rice that need to be taken into consideration. Rice is either an upland type with a greater tolerance to dryer and cooler conditions or it is a lowland “paddy” type.
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
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
Two homesteaders discuss their experience with the weather applicable to their mountain homesteads in Washington and Colorado.
So far this year extreme weather events has cost the US over 35 billion dollars. This posting discusses the potential for non-carbon-based renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal.
If you live in an area with high summer temperatures try growing one of these greens to replace your spinach.
We wanted to write up a post about asparagus to explain how farmers look at the crop, but also as a sort of apology to our customers. We have spent many hours in the field and on the phone seeking farmers with an existing asparagus supply. We had man
The mild winter, early sring and continued warm weather are really messing up the normal sequene of bloom and availability of honeybee food. What will happen this summer is anyone's guess. Be Prepared.
Jenna Woginrich’s latest book, “One Woman Farm,” whisks readers away.
Using cold frames for fall salad greens can extend your season of fresh eating.
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
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.
Want lettuce and carrots all year round? Ira Wallace tells us her simple simple method for keeping track of succession plantings.
How many people wonder (pun intended) about industrial white bread? A new book out by Aaron Bobrow-Strain shows that he has. It is a fascinating description of how white bread got to be where it is today politically, economically, and culturally.
This simple, chilled Spanish soup featuring fresh summer herbs--basil, cilantro and parsley--in a cool, tangy tomato base is sure to be a hit at your Fourth of July picnic.
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.
This summer Cam became a market gardener and actually got paid for something he loves to do - grow vegetables!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Building garden boxes that keep critters out.
Learn how to grow one of America's favorite treats, chocolate M&Ms.
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.
Is having too many gardens a detriment to selling a suburban home?
The innovative garden seeder from Simple Seeder increases speed and ease of planting.
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.
Jenna Woginrich writes about the beauty of Cold Antler Farm, a small homestead that she shares with Pig, her rabbits Benjamin and Doe and several chickens. Taking care of her animals on cold winter nights is a challenge for Woginrich, but one she gladly accepts armed with a water bottle and affection. Woginrich's modest barn provides shelter for her animals and a useful space to feel at home.
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.
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.
Some of the difficulties we encounter in gardening at a high elevation
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 enjoyed another week with some volunteer helpers!
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.
Cam is getting worn out trying to keep up with watering during a drought.
It's Week #11 of our CSA and we can't find boxes big enough to fit all of the great produce!!
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.
The methods of landrace gardening can provide food, even when social or family troubles take us away from the garden.
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.
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.
Gardening offers some amazing benefits to your mental and physical wellbeing.
It's opening day at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR! We're covering all kinds of cool gardening topics at the Organic Gardening Stage.
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.
The Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service is looking for an organic farmer worthy of being named their 26th annual Organic Farmer of the Year.
Using Pinterest can help inspire new gardening ideas.
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 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.
Want to learn how to go your own dragon fruit cactus? Here's how!
Thank goodness for good friends who will share their garden harvest with those of us less skilled.
Cam grows a patch of wheat to see how much work is involved. He will never take a loaf of bread for granted again!
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 ponders the wisdom of starting a CSA at the ripe old age of 52.
Cam has a great deal of respect for farmers.
A brief thesis on the finer properties of garlic and planting instructions.
EZ Tomato Cages are collapsible and sturdy unlike many currently on the market.
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.
Some unique plants that will grow wonderfully in your perennial shade garden.
Grasshoppers can be devastating in a garden, an insect in the locust family. There are ways to control them naturally without chemicals.
Find out whether your home compost pile will benefit from commercial compost accelerators.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Cam finds an new old-fashioned way to keep the wildlife out of his garden.
Our HelpXers Mike and Melissa share their experiences as volunteers here at Sunflower Farm.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The drought conditions at Sunflower Farm are making Cam rather cranky.
Maddy Harland introduces the shrub layer of a forest garden and gives six useful tips for establishing a low maintenance and healthy garden.
Cam undertakes an experiment to see how much food he can produce on his one acre of garden space.
Maddy Harland introduces forest gardening – beautiful, low maintenance and productive gardens that provide for many of our needs – food, fuel, medicines and fibers.
Ranting about the drought worked! We got rain here at Sunflower Farm!
Plan to plant garlic this fall, and enjoy unique varieties and their incredible health benefits.
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.
Cam has always enjoyed playing with water. Now he lets his solar-powered pump do some of the work!
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!
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.
Cam loves growing and selling food!
Cam battles with scarabs in his raspberry patch.
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.
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.
Cam finds getting around in the country, especially in the winter, so much easier with his 4X4 truck.
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.
Use the cold winter months to start your own shade garden with native woodland plants.
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.
Gardening is as easy as you want it to be!
There are many reasons to save seed. Why should you learn how to save seed?
Carrots come in many colors and sizes. By picking the right ones, you can grow carrots year-round in the ground or in containers.
Put together your own mini-indoor garden with these clever ideas.
January is the time to start your indoor seeds for spring planting. Here is a calendar for starting your spring and summer seeds.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.
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.
It's always wonderful to meet someone who is passionate about what they do!
Cam describes some family heirlooms - especially his favorite one - a shovel!
Finding wild morel mushrooms growing in our urban backyard means plenty of marvelous meals.
Cam shares the results of his experiment growing wheat in his vegetable garden.
The right dog can be a very useful member of the family when you are growing corn!
Cam shares what he has learned about corn smut in his organic garden.
The second post (of three) describing an organic gardener's attempt to grow his own wheat.
Garlic is a very labour-intensive crop to grow but the rewards are worth it!
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.
The ACTUAL benefits of weeds in your garden. Use and value diversity! Find the benefit!
Cam has been busy harvesting and sorting potatoes.
Cam appreciates the simple things like rotten hay and beautiful vegetables from his garden.
Cam was generously offered the loan of a small backhoe and had a whale of a time getting jobs done!
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.
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.
Gardening at a high elevation presents challenges such as harsh sun and a shorter growing season.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and pregnant Pennsylvania mama Michelle (Congrats, Michelle!) shares her plans for planting a baby food garden, including her entire seed order.
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.
This in-depth gardening infographic covers both good and bad insects, as well as companion plants, row covers and more.
Gardens are possible, but having a successful garden at high elevation presents a different set of challenges.
What to plant in April for your vegetable garden, and what sized pot you need for your vegetable plant.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Growing potatoes in containers allows you to increase your yield in a small amount of space.
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.
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.
Learn how to calculate best planting times for fall harvested crops.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
Get tips on growing watermelons from the expert growers at Willhite Seed company, which offers dozens of unique watermelon varieties.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Tips for keeping your tomato plants healthy.
The new website offers the home gardener an expanded product selection of useful garden products.
The vegetables and herbs that are still available in our Southeast garden make for delicious, festive and surprisingly varied holiday fare.
Learn how to rotate crops with this helpful crop rotation video.
Cam enjoyed a very successful sweet potato harvest!
A potential solution to rising food prices, food insecurity and the obesity epidemic may call into play raising farms inside the city limits.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
Your attractive food garden could win you $500 and a chance to be featured in MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Cam contemplates his place in the universe while weeding his corn patch....
MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributing editor and compost expert Barbara Pleasant provides some great homestead compost tips in celebration of Compost Awareness Week.
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.
Everything pauses during the time around the winter solstice.
Four questions I ask of new varieties, before ordering seeds.
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.
This article takes an insider’s look at how the seed business works, and what you can do to get the best-quality seeds.
"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.
Jason Akers, The Self-Sufficient Gardener, taught kids of all ages the basics of gardening on Saturday and Sunday at the Fair.
Our MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR last weekend was full of great presentations about all facets sustainable living, including on learning how to garden.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Why pay high prices at the grocery store when growing herbs outdoors is achievable all winter long?
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.
Try using the Grow Planner app to streamline your garden planning and your garden work.
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.
Highlights from the catalog of Fedco Seeds, by the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Strategies for controlling voles in the potatoes in your garden.
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
Don't let your wanderlust for more space hold you back from creating your homestead in the city.
Mother Nature has a way of filling in the blank spots....
Thoughts on growing all your own food. How much space is required and other things to consider.
The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
Trying to decide the best way to trellis my cucumbers and learning some new techniques.
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
The next installment of Maddy Harland's blog series on forest gardening. This week how to choose the lower canopy.
This spring when the pests arrive in your garden try this radical strategy - Do nothing!
Cam is getting burned out on technology and seeks solace in his "low tech" garden.
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.
Seed starting techniques and timing for an urban homestead in the Pacific Northwest.
Chicken tractors, which sit directly on garden beds during fallow times, maintain soil, reduce insect pests and even provide fresh eggs.
Watch a roundup of organic options for controlling slugs and snails in your garden, such as organic slug baits, beer traps, copper stripping and more.
Five tips for increasing your garden's productivity and yield. Utilize every inch, get the most from your space, and use all three seasons.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Blogger Crystal Stevens discusses her time working at a nature-based summer camp for kids.
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
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.
The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.
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!
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?
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
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
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.
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.
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
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.
An introduction to Cam Mather's off-grid home and lifestyle.
Where are we headed, vis a vis our food systems? Can we as individuals make a difference in our food? Yes!
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.
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.
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!
Summer intern Megan describes her first time gardening at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, planting cucumbers for the first time and watering the office garden.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Describes a method of protecting tomatoes from excessive heat using a sunscreen, vermicompost tea, pulling blighted leaves.
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!
We're lucky to be able to live the way we do, even when we feel like we're melting
Simran Sethi starts dreaming of spring gardening, with the goal of renewing her efforts to grow real food.
Simran Sethi takes a moment to give thanks.
Simran Sethi teams up with two neighbors to "grow food, not lawns."
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.
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.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
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
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.
Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival inspired us to keep at those challenges that frustrate us on the farm.
Eating only homegrown foods on the Fridays in Lent.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
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.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.