The next installment of Maddy Harland's blog series on forest gardening. This week how to choose the lower canopy.
There used to be, from Maine to Georgia and west to the Mississippi river, 20.000 grafted apple varieties. Today, when commercialism is king and the most known apple varieties are the 5 kinds offered in the supermarket those old varieties are worth paying attention to. As with all things around us, diversity is interesting and sustainable.
Readers share information about new varieties of fruits and vegetables they plan to grow this year, and why.
Amy Goldman has done gardeners an unprecedented service with The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table, an excellent source for comprehensive flavor ratings of 200 heirloom tomato varieties.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy Heritage has officially defined “heritage chicken.” Find out what a heritage chicken is, learn more about the certification process, and hear — firsthand — what an expert on heritage chickens has to say about pastured poultry and breed selection.
Cotton Patch geese were historically cheap labor for keeping cotton fields clean. They have been used to weed other crops, such as corn and strawberries, too. After making numerous contacts and traveling more than 10,000 miles, Tom Walker found a few gaggles that were fairly representative of the breed. He has carefully selected and maintained these historic weeder geese, saving them from the brink of extinction.
Choosing from among various heritage breeds can be tough, but finding a breeder can be even tougher. The Society for Preservation of Poultry Antiquities’ Breeders Directory is a resource to make finding reputable chicken breeders easier.
Highlights from the catalog of Fedco Seeds, by the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Cornish cross and heritage chickens are two types of chickens often used for meat. There’s considerable debate about which tastes better, which is easier to raise and which is more “ethical.”
Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch announces the heritage chicken cooking competition. With the right recipe for whole-bird, cut-up, de-boned or barbequed heritage chicken, you could win $1,000. Plus, you'd be contibuting to a worthy cause — promoting heritage breeds.
The winning recipes of the Heritage Chicken Cooking Competition — hosted by Frank Reese of Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch — have been announced! The Grand Prize winner was Ann Knowles of Salina, Kan., with her Baked Chicken a la Tucson. Heritage chicken breeds are an integral component of sustainable farming and add to poultry’s overall genetic diversity, as opposed to industrial chicken breeds that comprise the vast majority of chickens produced in the United States.
Small pumpkins or squash make great individual bowls for serving these easy soups.
Cooking pumpkin for pie is as easy as, well, pie! Make your own homemade pumpkin purée with this simple recipe calling for either pumpkins or squash.
Learn how to make gnocchi using pumpkin or squash purée.
Puhwem Native American corn was the mother corn of native people. It's one of the best corns for making corn flour.
My second visit to the seventh annual Monticello Heritage Harvest Festival.
An enthusiastic family helps a rare breed of chickens settle into their new home, thanks to MOTHER EARTH NEWS and American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
We know why we love heritage breed livestock, but why do you?
Fifteen family farms and over 50 restaurants have committed to participation in No Goat Left Behind, a new program developed by Heritage Foods USA.
Michigan invasive species order takes aim at heritage and Old World hogs.
Rachel describes how to turn her heirloom corn crop into beautiful blue corn tortillas!
Learn about the Ben Davis Apple, one if not the most important commercial apple of the late 1800s, and get a recipe for Apple Dumplings.
Impress your guests with fresh pumpkin pie, warm from the oven.
Reading between the lines of the seed catalog variety descriptions is a science and an art. How not to get carried away by all the positive exclamations and miss some basic fact that would tell you this variety is not for your farm? This post provides tips.
Learn about what goes on at the Heritage Harvest Festival in Virginia and the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania, both held in September.
Over 700 varieties of apples and pears, for $9 each, from Wagon Wheel Orchard, plus the family's crab apple jelly recipe.
As fall wanes, HOMEGROWN Life contributor Dyan spends time observing and learning from the language of animals on her Maine dairy farm.
Heritage breed chickens are more nutritious and flavorful than store-bought chicken, but require different cooking techniques. Learn different methods of cooking different age and different breeds of chickens.
A humble homegrown pumpkin yields delicious seeds and tasty pies. Meanwhile, a beautiful and fancy dessert squash disappoints and is thrown to the dogs. Recipes ensue.
Confused about the difference between hybrids and genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? Learn more about how cultivating hybrids is different from developing GM vegetable varieties.
To benefit from the meat of backyard chickens, one must learn to process them. This includes how to kill, scald, pluck, and eviscerate, and then get them into the freezer. This article describes how we are learning to improving this process.
It has been fifteen months since heritage breed hog farmer Mark Baker sued the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to stop the implementation of an invasive species order (ISO). The swine ISO supposedly targeted feral swine but could be applied to any domestic pig not raised in confinement. Baker has yet to have his day in court and it is still not settled when his trial will take place. It is common for lawsuits like this to turn into wars of attrition; the state has virtually unlimited resources while the farmers are bled of theirs over the course of the litigation.
So, what makes a flock of poultry sustainable? What is standard-bred poultry? If you purchase chicks from a hatchery, are they true to the breed? Why does every hatchery sell Rhode Island Reds and they all look different? Why do the Cornish Cross meat chickens have so many problems? Raising standard poultry is the only true way to improve the sustainability of quality local food while preserving the strength of Heritage poultry.
This Thanksgiving consider opting for a pastured turkey instead of a commercially raised bird, and think about buying local Thanksgiving foods, too.
Heritage breeds are survivors, although some may be in for a very challenging year. The national drought is about to have a huge impact on the American economy and now is the time to plan ahead.
The Department of Natural Resources seeks to fine a family for possession of prohibited swine.
The past year was a rewarding one for apple discovery, because I potentially found the apple that started my apple search about sixteen years ago — the ‘Harper’s Seedling’ apple.
Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival inspired us to keep at those challenges that frustrate us on the farm.
Comparing different home made do it yourself chicken carriers for the Tractor Supply animal swap this past Saturday. Reporting on edible mushroom cultivation harvest and what it takes to pick the right disease resistant apple variety.
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
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
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!