Integrate chickens and a greenhouse to provide a synergistic effect for the homestead.
This is the final article in a series on how I made the transition to off grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years of human history. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small house.
Homesteading in the mountains can be inconvenient, dangerous, challenging and lots of hard work.
There are five main areas of the home responsible for wasting the most energy. At the top of that list is windows, and one of the most effective ways to decrease your home’s carbon footprint is by replacing old, drafty windows with new, air-tight Energy Star-qualified windows.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS explores the low environmental impact of using ground source heat pumps and three other benefits.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the amount of energy lost annually through windows costs consumers $35 billion. Heat loss and heat gain through and around windows accounts for between 10 and 25 percent of our heating and air conditioning usage, the largest consumer of energy in a modern home. Here are some ways to make sure your windows are as energy-efficient as possible.
Those who garden know that weeding is often essential to growing good vegetables or fruits. In a forest, sunlight too is a limiting factor. By knowing which tree to cut and which to leave, forest health can be improved. Cutting for firewood can serve as an incentive to "weed" on the ultra-perennial scale.
Cam Mather tries out a battery-powered chainsaw at his off-grid homestead in Ontario.
Here at Deer Isle Hostel, Maine, we use a compost pile built with local, natural materials and a 100-foot water pipe to create a steaming hot shower.
Unforgettable Fire's Kimberly and Katydid wood stoves are heating solutions for any and all spaces.
The best way to start a fire in your woodstove.
To see how much solar heat could be trapped by glass, Horace de Saussure, in 1767 built a solar hot box that consisted of several glass sheets covering an insulated box. Solar heat accumulated in the solar hot box, reaching temperatures far above the boiling point of water
The basics of using a woodstove to heat your home.
High efficiency air source heat pumps are proving their worth for cold climate heating and cooling.
The invention of clear window glass allowed the ancient Romans to trap solar energy to enhance their gardening techniques to grow vegetables out of season and exotic non-native plants in Rome. A thousand years later, empire builders in Europe rediscovered the trapping of solar heat with clear window glass so they as well could enjoy the foreign plants in their own back yard and grow native vegetables throughout the year.
Keep your greenhouse above freezing during short cold periods without paying for a heater.
A blog about the joys of wood heat that covers comfort, energy savings, ecology and history of the trees and sustainable harvesting
Although forced air is the most common form of home heat in North America it is far from ideal. This article explains why Building Biology regards the masonry heater as the ultimate heating system for health, comfort and ecology.
Steve explains a little about why he chose to install reclaimed cast-iron radiators, including a video tour of his installation.
When you get home, go to your hot water heater, remove the cover and turn it down to 120 degrees (sometimes labeled “hot” as opposed to “very hot”).
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
FCX Oil-Fired Condensing Boilers, designed and manufactured by Geminox, provide a reliable and efficient alternative to non-condensing boilers. FCX Boilers feature a steel, non-condensing primary heat exchanger coupled with a stainless steel, condensing secondary heat exchanger.
Unit helps homeowners heat more space while slashing high hot water bills
Even after 15 years, Cam still loves heating his home with wood that he cuts himself.
WiseWay Pellet Stove is the first and only EPA-certified and UL-listed non-electric pellet stove on the market today. This pellet stove eliminates the need for electricity by using a gravity-feed natural draft to accomplish a high efficiency rating of 75 percent. It’s capable of heating up to 2,000 square feet and able to hold a fire up to 31 hours on a 40-pound bag of pellets. The stove is also mobile home approved.
Heat Recovery innovator produces a safe hot water heating system kit for wood stoves.
Jessica Kellner, editor of Natural Home & Garden, is beginning research on electric in-floor radiant floor heating products as an efficient method of heating the new nursery.
Cam describes the zen-like state he achieves while splitting firewood.
After the kidding is over, we take good care of our girls! And, the babies need to be bottle fed, so here are the instructions on how we feed our kids.
Cam describes how the seasons progress through one messy task after another at Sunflower Farm.
Steve explains how one practical guy invented a way to burn pellets efficiently without an expensive pellet stove
Cam hates to see good scrap wood go to waste and so he cuts it into kindling and has even started selling it!
After only a few nights with a wood stove in the tipi, I've become happily addicted to warmth I have to work for.
The Gourmet Butcher explains the best ways to re-heat red meats.
Find out how to enter our Solar Giveaway.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems rely on the earth’s constant underground temperature of 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to provide comfortable indoor climates. The technology works in any size or style home, in nearly any setting on earth.
Cam loves growing his own heat!
Cam readily admits to being obsessed about his use of energy.
Scott Davis’ “Solar Projects, Big and Small” video offers inspiration for both solar energy enthusiasts and folks who are just curious. Tips and advice pertaining to solar energy can be found at the Yahoo! group Simply Solar, and you can make your dream project a reality with Gary Reysa’s instructions.
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, provides tips on splitting firewood for home heating via woodstoves or fireplaces.
Cam describes why his method of harvesting firewood from his woodlot is the most sustainable way.
Tulikivi provides a “green” cost-effective heating solution because it uses less wood to heat the same space than with a traditional wood burner.
Providing the firewood to heat his home has become a pleasurable hobby for Cam Mather.
The Snail, the winner of Electrolux Design Lab 2010 Competition, saves both energy and space by heating food with magnetic induction.
Being in control of your own home heating.
Simran Sethi writes about choosing eco-friendly paints, tiles, and other aspects of her renovated bathroom.
Radiant floor heating may save energy in the average home, but for especially well insulated new houses, here's why it's probably not your best option.
When the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 passes (as expected) this summer, be prepared by learning what to expect when you buy a water heater, heating system, air-source air conditioner or heat pump.
Henry Red Cloud moved back to the Pine Ridge Reservation 12 years ago and started looking into renewable energy. Since then he has started a solar heating system company and a renewable energy training center to serve the Native American community.
Senator Bernie Sanders’ new bill would promote installation of 10 million new rooftop solar energy systems and 200,000 solar hot water heating systems in the United States in the next decade.
Find out what types of federal tax incentives are available for homeowners who install renewable energy.
Let's dream a little dream of green home improvement, without worries about funding.
Having a “green home” means lots of different things. What does it mean to you?
Have you found helpful ways to cut your energy use at home? Whether it's turning down the thermostat or installing new light bulbs, tell us what you've done to conserve energy and how well it's worked.
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.
Here are the pros and cons of using south facing windows for home heating, rather than solar collectors.
Have you thought about adding more insulation to your home to reduce your energy bills? Here are some good places to go for more information.
There are many different ways to bring solar power into your home. Here's a quick overview of the different ways people use solar energy, with links to related articles and plans.
Here are a few talking points that can help peacefully resolve home heating arguments.
When it's cold outside, who doesn't love a cozy fireplace or woodstove? Wood heat is a comfortable way to warm your home, and there are many reasons it's a practical choice, too.