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2/12/2016
Though sap flow occurs in a wide variety of trees, there is one variety that produces a sap sweeter than them all: The Sugar Maple. For a six-week window of time before the break of spring, the sugar maple flows. The sap can be tapped, and then boiled down on a wood burning stove at home to make golden, luscious homemade maple syrup.
2/11/2016
Cam describes how much he has learned after running a CSA for 5 years and offers a workshop for those interested in learning from his experience.
2/11/2016
Learn to choose the right-sized wood stove, manage your firewood and light, and maintain quality fires to heat your home with wood.
2/8/2016
This is the first post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It will start with simple preparation ideas (Asceticism, Borrowing, Creativity) and move into more hard-hitting how-to advice (Ducks, Edible landscaping, Fodder, Goats, Horticulture, etc.).
2/8/2016
Aur Beck, who has lived off-grid with solar electricity as his main power source for 18 years, shares some of his personal experiences with renewable resources throughout his life.
2/5/2016
Solar panels and electric cars are a match made in heaven – when you install a solar energy system on your home, you can use it to both power your home and charge your electric car for emissions-free transportation.
2/5/2016
Sometimes life’s events get in the way of our goals and aspirations in homesteading. This story is about how events in 2015 derailed our homestead activities and how in 2016 we’re trying to “get back on the horse”. We welcome your comments and advice.
2/4/2016
A short video of the highlights of our first winter on our off-grid homestead in the Pacific Northwest. In short, we are hunkering down and trying to survive!
2/3/2016
It takes special diligence and caution to keep domestic pets safe when living with wild predators around.
2/3/2016
Following the Wheel of the Year gives us monthly moments to celebrate. Imbolc is a reminder that half of winter is now behind us.
2/3/2016
This blog is part of a homestead goal-setting series. Goal-setting for the homestead is so crucial it can’t be overstated. There is always a gap between a dream and reality. Goals are the glue that makes those two much closer together. This iteration is how to take your major goals and get them accomplished. You must support your major goals with mid-term and short-term goals. After that, you have to make a plan to get stuff done! It is geared toward homesteading but can and should be applied to all areas of life.
2/1/2016
There is a right and a wrong way to squat when in labor and giving birth. Unfortunately, most women are taught the wrong way. Learn the true birth-squat position and why it will lead to a more comfortable birth.
2/1/2016
Goal setting for the homestead is so crucial it can’t be overstated. There is always a gap between a dream and reality. Goals are the glue that makes those two much closer together. This blog is about the nuts and bolts of goal setting. It starts with a dream, moves toward purpose and ends with goals. It is geared toward homesteading but can and should be applied to all areas of life.
1/29/2016
Winters can be brutal, especially on our homes when it comes to our energy costs. Winter tends to drive up energy costs but there is a way to prevent that from happening this winter including eliminating drafts, smart thermostats, and more.
1/27/2016
There are many ways to save energy in the home and one of the most efficient is the right use of home automation. Here are the top five ways you can use home automation to turn your house into a smart, energy-saving abode.
1/26/2016
Tricky access lowers land prices but provides for lots of amusing episodes.
1/26/2016
Seasoning a cast iron skillet might seem daunting, but it's a simple task that will reward you with a great kitchen tool.
1/25/2016
At Wild Abundance, reconnecting with the land means living and working in sync with the cycles and seasons as they unfold. Here is a guide to the very beginnings of the East, when the earth is waking up, and moving from the slowness of winter into the flurry of action of spring: Harnessing the Maple Moon of February and the New Growth Moon of March on your homestead.
1/22/2016
Democracy is essential for the expanding cottage food laws in the US. There are many steps you can take to be able to sell homemade food products in your state. First, get the cottage food law passed that allows you the freedom to earn.
1/21/2016
In the military, we were taught combat first aid with these four life-saving steps: Stop the bleeding, start the breathing, protect the wound and treat for shock. I want to relate these life-saving steps to handling finances in preparing to homestead.
1/20/2016
To save money, it’s no surprise that many homeowners are considering DIY solar panel kits when they decide to go solar. Here are the top things you need to know about DIY solar before making a decision.
1/15/2016
A major new study found that lack of physical activity is twice as deadly for us as obesity. But as little as 30 minutes of walking a day cuts the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in half, lowers the likelihood of diabetes by 60 percent, limits colon cancer by 31 percent for women and reduces risk of dementia, heart disease, depression, osteoporosis, glaucoma and catching a cold. This prompted U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to issue a call for Americans to walk more.
1/15/2016
Before we started homesteading I would sit and imagine how idyllic and peaceful it would be. Reality is not prettier than what I imagined, but it’s better.
1/14/2016
Determining the best places to go solar is not just about finding the sunniest places, but also about the economics of going solar. That means taking a look at electricity prices and available financial incentives as well.
1/14/2016
Not many people in our sphere of influence drink goat’s milk, so we have a great opportunity to educate those we come in contact with about the benefits. These are our four main reasons why we drink goat's milk.
1/13/2016
Tiny homes range anywhere from 80 to 400 square feet and are sometimes built on a trailer chassis and sometimes built to go on a more permanent foundation. It is a relatively new concept and if we believe what is being said about the tiny home, its popularity is growing like wildfire.
1/12/2016
Congressional extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Production Tax Credit (PTC) will make residential renewable energy more affordable in the coming decade.
1/12/2016
The MOTHER EARTH NEWS team is seeking nominations for our 2016 Homesteaders of the Year contest.
1/11/2016
This young couple quit their lives in the city to start a homestead in the country 100% from scratch. They are documenting their expenses every step of the way in hopes of helping others that wish to embark on a similar adventure.
1/11/2016
Follow along to learn how to make a homemade lavender salt scrub.
1/7/2016
Energy conversion efficiencies have been stuck in the 19th century. As a result the enormous drain on natural resources has polluted the entire planet and threatens to cause a return to a preindustrial lifestyle. An Energy breakthrough is needed. A breakthrough has occurred as prophesied by Nikola Tesla.
1/6/2016
Recent studies have begun to spark a fresh debate about whether battery-powered electric vehicles are really better for the environment than gas-powered ones. The key point is asking how much the source of the electricity that powers an EV contributes to its green credentials. This post explores that question.
1/5/2016
Less common, but proven, strategies for securing a child's college education can keep the child involved in the building and running of the homestead through their years of higher education while producing a more well rounded, responsible, mature, and competitive graduate, all at a fraction of the cost of more typical approaches.
1/4/2016
Have you been wondering what it is like to raise honeybees? Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will offer a peek into the life of a beekeeper in part one of a year long series. She will share what goes into maintaining a beeyard throughout the course of a year.
12/31/2015
Establishing a secure financial future for your retirement requires that you explore a variety of options, but most homeowners don’t realize that installing a solar panel system can be one of the smartest retirement investment options available.
12/28/2015
Here are some creative ideas for upcycling old cabinet doors into something beautiful and useful.
12/28/2015
Many people assume that a shower head doesn’t need to be cleaned. However, it's not uncommon for lime scale and mineral deposits from the water to clog your shower head and reduce the flow of water. Cleaning the shower head is important but it must be done correctly and in an eco-friendly way.
12/24/2015
Integrate chickens and a greenhouse to provide a synergistic effect for the homestead.
12/24/2015
By sawing his own lumber from fallen trees, Billy Reeder not only built his cabin debt-free on family land, he also built a new life — a deliberate life. A good life.
12/23/2015
Chickens are often referred to as the gateway animal to farming or homesteading. Learn the reasons why keeping chickens can be a beneficial addition to the homestead.
12/23/2015
Gardening includes permanent features like raised beds, perennials, fencing, and soil building. How can one think permanently when renting is all about the temporary?
12/23/2015
An urban homestead is as unique as the individuals who own the property. Our homestead developed slowly. In fact, my wife likes to joke that we are “accidental homesteaders.” We did not buy our village home nestled on 1/16th of an acre with the goal of becoming urban farmers, it just sort of happened, out of necessity.
12/23/2015
There are many ways to use raw goat’s milk, but these three favorites are quick and fantastic. Let us tell you about them!
12/23/2015
Learning to do things for yourself at home is empowering. You don’t need a degree in home economics, although it helped Cindy, to get started. She even makes her own blue jeans! Just as important to her are projects such as making a bench grinder stand, which you can learn more about here.
12/23/2015
Many people wonder about mud homes and heavy rain. What happens in a flood? Will a house of earth ‘melt’? Here are a few ways to help your mud home cope with the wet.
12/22/2015
One couple explains how they've settled into the daily feeding and care of their American Guinea Hogs. This post details how they "weighed" the hogs and determined what and how much to feed this heritage hog breed.
12/21/2015
While this young couple had dreams of buying land to start their homestead, they were still stuck in an apartment in the big city so they rented a community garden plot. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Find ways to accomplish your goals and do what you love!
12/21/2015
Farmers' markets are a perfect way to test out what you love to make in your home kitchen and sell under your state's cottage food law. You can launch your food business in less than a month.
12/18/2015
At Sunflower Farm we strive to provide our chickens with the best accommodations!
12/18/2015
Cleaning your wallpaper must be done carefully. Here are ways to do it safely as well as greenly.
12/17/2015
Many people in the world long for a life in the country, lived on their own terms, close to nature, honest and hands-on. But too many of these people find that homesteading is harder, less fulfilling and more painful than they imagined. Learn how to thrive on the land without burnout, despair and failure.
12/17/2015
Plenty of homeowners have both solar panels and snow, and some of the most popular regions in the U.S. for solar have snowy winters. Don’t let winter weather discourage you from going solar!
12/17/2015
Consider this topic of hot debate among hen keepers: Should you consider adding artificial lighting to your chicken coop?
12/15/2015
Learn how to make Rosemary Gladstar's original Fire Cider recipe and chutney to help keep your immune system healthy, and to ward off infections. Also learn about the Fire Cider controversy, and why it should matter to you.
12/14/2015
After building and moving into their new home in the country, one couple undertakes outfitting their rural home with a security system. They share a few lessons for others considering the same.
12/14/2015
“Smallholding” is a UK term that’s broadly equivalent to the term “homestead” in the United States, meaning farming on a small scale with a strong element of self-sufficiency in food. Despite the geographical differences, there must be a great deal of common ground between the American homestead and the British smallholding — so let’s find out!
12/11/2015
"Solar Empowerment" is a key component behind an educational development model that does more than trade third-world problems for first-world problems. The Integral Heart Foundation combines education for the poor with environmentalism in a way that bypasses the problems facing our developed world.
12/10/2015
Home insulation can no longer be regarded as something homeowners simply put off as a vague way to be environmentally conscious. Insulating one’s home properly is the best way to cut down on those surging energy costs plaguing every homeowner.
12/10/2015
Losing power is a reality that homesteaders must prepare for. It is not a matter of if, but when, and for how long. As a homesteader/farmsteader we have a responsibility to keep the home running regardless of “power.” This series of blog posts discusses homestead preparedness for power outages, part 2 covers generator usage, communications, water strategies and dry-composting toilets.
12/7/2015
Time well spent on my grandmother’s farm taught me lessons that I have carried with me throughout my entire life. What I learned there even inspired me to pursue a homestead lifestyle for myself, working right beside my husband as we learn to be more self-sufficient.
12/4/2015
Climate action through bike-powered compost collection starts in Reno with the Reno Rot Riders.
12/4/2015
With rising utility rates, more and more homeowners are considering solar energy for their home. In a number of states, the cost of electricity from rooftop solar panels is the same or cheaper than electricity from the utility. A brief look at historical trends in utility rates across the U.S., is followed by an explanation of the available solar options.
12/3/2015
This young couple moved from the city to start a homestead, and they decided to build an off-grid cabin using reclaimed materials to keep warm their first winter.
12/3/2015
Don't buy into the hype telling you that you aren't capable of doing it yourself! Learn the simple things you can start right now and build on it as you gain confidence. You may find, like me, that the difference you make in your life can be game changing!
12/2/2015
Did you know you can grow potatoes in an apartment? Whether you live in an apartment or on a hundred acre farm, you can take steps towards self reliance and lifestyle independence. Living with limited space doesn't have to be a setback towards homesteading, and there are many creative ways you can take advantage of your space to get the most out of it.
12/2/2015
In addition to solar's financial benefits, going solar is also great for the environment. When your solar panels generate electricity, they produce zero emissions.
12/1/2015
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.
11/30/2015
I’ve always enjoyed cooking — it’s something I’ve considered a serious hobby. One of the first goals I made when I moved here last year was to start baking all my own bread and other baked goods. Because we got through so many loaves a week (about eight) every day I am very grateful for my Bosch Universal Plus mixer. I would consider this one of the top five most-used appliances in my kitchen.
11/27/2015
Losing power is a reality that homesteaders must prepare for. It is not a matter of if, but when, and for how long. As a homesteader/farmsteader we have a responsibility to keep the home running regardless of “power.” This series of blog posts discusses homestead preparedness for power outages, beginning with fuel storage, gas cooking and wood heat.
11/23/2015
So you finally took the leap and installed a home wind turbine. Congratulations! You’ve just taken a big step to make your home energy generation more sustainable and secure, but what comes next? Wind turbines require maintenance and this post will outline some wind turbine maintenance essentials to consider.
11/23/2015
Homesteading in the mountains can be inconvenient, dangerous, challenging and lots of hard work.
11/19/2015
Living in the country often makes it difficult to access reliable, fast Internet services. One couple searched through their rural Internet options after moving to property outside of town.
11/17/2015
This is part three in a series of articles on how I made the transition to off grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years. 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.
11/17/2015
Less common, but proven, strategies for securing a child's college education can keep the child involved in the building and running of the homestead through their years of higher education while producing a more well rounded, responsible, mature, and competitive graduate, all at a fraction of the cost of more typical approaches.
11/16/2015
This buttery cream cheese is exceptionally easy and takes no cooking.
11/16/2015
Discussions about solar value are often limited to avoiding electricity costs, and oftentimes neglect the additional market value that these “mini power plants” can add to your home. EnergySage and Sandia National Laboratories conducted an analysis to estimate solar market values in 15 cities across the United States.
11/16/2015
Don't fall into the "greenwashing" trap when buying a new home. Gain tips on how to avoid it and insight into how one website is trying to safeguard against the real estate practice.
11/13/2015
Death on a farm is unavoidable as life itself. These stories share lessons learned, words of wisdom and how a farmer can prepare for the inevitable when raising livestock.
11/12/2015
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.
11/11/2015
Now that this couple has moved into their new country home, they take time to plant garlic and a small fall garden in their “front yard.” One small step toward an established homestead, one giant leap for family morale!
11/11/2015
Dairy animals such as goats produce milk in a seasonal cycle, requiring homesteaders to handle both an abundance and shortage of milk during the year. Freezing milk directly, and making & preserving cheese, are two ways to ensure a reliable supply of dairy year-round. Allowing your diet to change with the seasons can also reduce the impact of low-milk periods, replacing its nutrition with food crops or meat when milk isn’t convenient to produce.
11/10/2015
These homemade syrups and natural sweeteners offer a DIY way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
11/9/2015
This is Part 2 in a series of articles 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. The author is currently entering the first winter of full-time off-grid living at his mountain homestead after completing the construction of a small house.
11/9/2015
Kefir culture can be used to start a broad range of dairy ferments. This recipe shows how kefir grains will culture cream into delicious creme fraiche - a tasty, healthy alternative to whipped cream. Part 2 of a series of articles explaining how to use traditional cultures for cheesemaking.
11/6/2015
This green homes blog post describes energy-efficient, fiberglass windows and the impact they have on energy costs in your home.
11/6/2015
A 3-step decoupage project to transform a plain lamp shade into a stunning statement piece.
11/6/2015
Does solar energy make financial sense for you? Have a look at these considerations before deciding.
11/4/2015
As part of their Americorps positions at Big Laurel in West Virginia, for the next 11 months, the author and her husband will be living in and maintaining an historic homestead, working in the local schools as teacher aids, and doing whatever they can on the premises of Big Laurel to help further its mission as an Appalachian ecological learning and retreat center.
11/4/2015
This is the first of a series of articles on how I made the transition to off-grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable old-school 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 home.
11/4/2015
Abundant Fields Farm is receiving the support of a business incubator process in much the same way other types of start-up businesses do. Sharing infrastructure with other beginning farmers helps make success possible.
11/4/2015
Take notice of your environmental footprint over the festive period and follow our guide for a greener Christmas.
11/3/2015
One couple is raising hogs to “till” and fertilize their future garden space, as well as produce healthy meat and lard.
10/29/2015
One couple has finally moved to the country, with the hope that they’ll soon be eating a lot of homegrown peaches from their yet-to-be-planted orchard. The homestead dream continues, with this story of a successfully organized moving and unpacking experience — and beginning a lifetime of enjoying full view of the sunset from the back porch.