how to build a rain garden
Gardening can make a difference! Across the country, people are building rain gardens to filter contaminants and ease overburdened stormwater systems. Here's how to build a rain garden in 10 easy steps.
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.
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.
Explanation of what bioretention systems are and how they are used to reduce and filter storm water runoff.
Kansas City's 18Broadway project is a superb example of how to capture and store rainwater to grow food in the heart of downtown.
April's tips for controlling weeds and fertilizing your garden.
You're not just a beginning gardener - you're also a scientist!
Rain chains are a smart, good-looking way to collect rainwater from your roof--but they can be pricey. You can make your own for next to nothing. Give your house a little bling.
The Boulder, Colorado, green-building program will get a makeover for its second year.
Ditch unhealthy school lunches with a fresh lunch idea for kids: school gardens. Beyond putting fresh, healthy food in schools, cafeteria gardens are a great classroom tool and a big step towards more sustainable schools.
Cam has always enjoyed playing with water. Now he lets his solar-powered pump do some of the work!
Learn how to assemble a humane animal trap out of recycled material. It’s easy and effective!
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
Experiences building a water-saving bath house out of salvaged logs.
The Rainwater Hub is an entirely new answer to the limits of traditional downspout diverters and rain barrel systems. The Rainwater Hub distributes rainwater up to 150 feet through regular garden hoses.
Here is yet another possible building project presented to you which requires no formal training, very little money, and techniques/methods that anyone can use. This blog intends to inspire you to take on a natural building project like this one. Don´t have fear if this is your first time working with these techniques and materials — it often for us also! Swattlesfield Campground is frequented by many kinds of people for various reasons. The owner, Jonathan, wanted to introduce some activity which would draw people together. We had the perfect idea: pizza! Food, especially food that requires waiting, has a tendency to attract people. And once humans have a good reason to be in the same place, the rest (socialization) has a tendency to just work.
Rain gardens provide many benefits including filtering out pollutants and keeping runoff out of city storm sewers.
A 1909 household-hints book reveals old-time method of filtering rainwater for drinking.
Although winter is setting in, that doesn't mean an end to the garden season in desert climates! Get inspired by this beautiful rainwater-harvesting, food-producing desert landscape!
Here's a tip on how to grow sprouts in your kitchen garden for fun and nutritious eating.
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.
Check out this magical photograph of an energy-efficient dome home and the surprise above.
Why spend hundreds of dollars on a readymade bicycle cargo trailer when you can build one yourself? Portland Pedalworks keeps the project easy and inexpensive in this how-to video.
12 of Morton’s buildings have been awarded the National Frame Building Association’s Building of the Year Award for 2011.
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.
To help prevent rainforest destruction associated with growing palm oil trees, the WWF plans to rank major palm oil buyers on their commitment to sustainable practices.
Colorado residents can now legally catch and store rainwater for landscape irrigation.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains a Greenpeace report that links major shoe companies to rainforest destruction.
Save the rain for a sunny day with this homemade rainwater collection system. Using recycled water containers and storing up to 275 gallons, this setup is five times bigger than the typical rain barrel.
Learn to build while helping your community as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.
Morton Buildings is a proud ENERGY STAR® partner and also employs LEED Accredited Professionals to assist customers looking to achieve certification.
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house - learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
Rainwater Warehouse introduces a complete line of rainwater harvesting systems and products available for purchase on their new website.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS has entered the world of mobile media, and we’d like to have your input as we plan and design future apps. Join our advisory group to help us design the best apps for you and our readers.
I noticed, as I walked the FAIR yesterday, a broad section of America.
A recipe for sourdough starter.
The Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products asks designers and builders to spec materials with lower carbon footprints.
Volunteers work to start the Sunset Hill Elementary School Garden in Lawrence, Kan.
Building community through sharing work and food.
Weather.com now features customizable local weather applications, including an Agriculture Application with great tools for farmers and gardeners.
Is having too many gardens a detriment to selling a suburban home?
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.
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
Settling on a flooring option for the tipi was pretty simple after coming across an awesome company that was right under my nose the whole time.
A short list of gift ideas for gardeners.
Give your bathroom a little flair--and have fun doing it--by creating a backsplash from pebbles, pennies or whatever's rattling around in the bottom of the toolbox. This fun, simple project is perfect for everyone--whether you're a DIYer or not.
Whether I'm in the market for something funky or just a few bricks for the garden, I always visit Boulder ReSource first. Check out this expert's tips on mining your local salvage yard for gems.
Captured rainwater off of roofs can save money and water use.
To prevent algae growth deterioration by sun damage to a plastic rainwater tank, cover it with a painted bed sheet.
The White Hawk Project aims to save an endangered stretch of primary virgin rainforest on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula.
Announcing our new webcam that will be showing the latest flock of new born chicks in all their cute and feathery glory.
Talking about how to make a DIY electric fence wire holder and how we got a tailgate transplant for around 150 dollars and some signs of spring.
We heard from a variety of experts about the type and number of batteries to use in our DIY solar setup. Meanwhile, we checked in with the garden and bees.
Talking about the excitement of Anna's new book cover that we got to preview from the publisher this past week and the anxiety of our new born chicks as they go out into the big world. Also have some details on how to make your own cleft graft.
The last week of the month has been a busy one with are preparations for the ending of winter and the start of a new growing season. We've got some details on a new cover crop and why we choose and simple composting toilet system compared to others.
The experience of growing one's first garden is a thrill one will never forget.
For an investment of less than $10,000 and about a week of labor, you could have a custom workshop, barn, garden shed or office.
The community garden in East Harlem, Chenchita's Garden, is beginning to take shape.
Use an old aluminum can and branch trimmings to make a rustic and beautiful vase. This simple project using humble materials costs nearly nothing and looks like a million bucks.
You can help support a community garden in New York City's East Harlem neighborhood.
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.
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.
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.
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
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 roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.
The countdown to savings is on now at Morton Buildings.
Ban disease-carrying mosquitoes from rainwater collection sites with window screen and scrap materials.
Drought has been displaced by winter storms in the headlines, but persistent water shortages are plaguing much of North America, and the past 18 months have seen a global outbreak of water emergencies.
The Rainforest Alliance is pleased to announce that Caribou Coffee is the first major coffee company in the US to source 100 percent of its coffee and espresso beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.
Here's what it means when a building department requires "sealed drawings" of your project.
Finding the perfect desk with just the right amount of work space can be a hassle and a financial drain. Build your own desk with this do-it-yourself tutorial, and you’ll have room for your computer, notebooks, phone, printer and any other work-time necessities, and you’ll save some serious cash in the process.
Americans continue to believe that green homes make a difference--but they need to be more affordable.
The Lehigh Valley Green Builders is presenting its third annual Green Home and Building Expo.
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.
The perfect partner for pruning, weeding and harvesting.
Smaller version of the original Gardener’s Hollow Leg is perfect for picking dinner!
Friday, May 10 is National Public Gardens Day. Find out what special events are happening at a garden near you.
Many of us are seeking to discover a lifestyle in which not all of our needs are provided through the medium of monetary exchange. Don’t let misconceptions about what is necessary to a family-size farmstead discourage you in the search for that small rural acreage, reasonably priced, where you can begin to realize your dreams.
Finally some sun, too bad it is during the work week!
Tips for driving safely and saving gas during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Are we headed into another year of drought? Already, we are behind on precipitation for this year, and for the last two years. What strategies can we implement to utilize minimal rain and resources better?
Before stocking up on chocolate treats this Halloween, learn where chocolate comes from, and at what cost to the environment and cocoa farming communities. Enjoy a spooky and sustainable holiday with Rainforest Alliance's tips for a green Halloween.
With the summer fast approaching, it’s time to make those last minute vacation plans! Plan your trip using SustainableTrip.org to find tourism businesses that conservce the environment and support local communities!
Finally getting the barn roof repair project started was a big deal for us as well as a few other things that are worth checking out if you are interested in modern homesteading.
Soil Life is an all-natural, organic blend of microbes designed to enhance the nutritive value of soil in all growing conditions.
The International Builders’ Show featured new residential construction and remodeling products such as fiberglass entry doors, retrofitting, bomb shelters and more.
This product is an ideal tool for woodworkers and log home builders.
Building homes using dangerous and impactful industrial chemicals--in the name of energy efficiency--is not sustainable or ecological, a green building veteran says. His Health-Based Building model is an important step forward for green design.
Learn to create your own heirloom kitchen garden at this 3-course series in Pennsylvania.
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...
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.
A reader wonders whether it is safe to use a galvanized stock tank as a garden planter.
Check out this roundup of 10 favorite sustainable gifts for the gardeners on your list — all under $50!
Your local county extension office can answer questions on gardening, livestock, poultry, crops, garden pests and more.
The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal has been popping up on coffee, tea, cocoa and fruit products all over the world. So what exactly does this certification signify? We’ve investigated.
As a third-party certifier, the Rainforest Alliance ensures that farms and forests are sustainable environmentally, socially and economically. The green frog seal and the FSC logo have become widely recognized, credible symbols of sustainability.
A roof is a wonderful thing to have!
The Spirit of Hope garden in Detriot offers a safe, nurtuting place for plants and children to grow.
Kitchen Gardeners International's 20ate campaign urges Americans to say no to junk food.
Installing a rain gauge can help determine how much water your plants really need.
Earth Gauge describes the links between geography and weather during Geography Awareness Week.
The innovative garden seeder from Simple Seeder increases speed and ease of planting.
Readers share tips and tricks for taking care of winter garden beds.
Can’t have a garden of your own, but you want to garden? Urban Garden Share allows you to do exactly that!
A good watering system will save you time and money in your garden.
Your attractive food garden could win you $500 and a chance to be featured in MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
A recent poll asked you what percentage of people living in the U.S. you would guess grow food gardens. Most respondents underestimated the actual numbers of households with home gardens, a growing trend.
The Food Is Free Project has become a food revolution in Austin, Texas
Roger Doiron, a MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributor and the found of Kitchen Gardeners International, recently spoke at a TEDx conference about the power of gardening.
Who needs a TV drama, when, out the back door, we have our own alfresco drama, complete with territory battles, births, deaths, alien invasions, mystery, beauty and fornication, unfolding daily before our very eyes if we care to look.
In Arizona, an intrepid desert gardener harvests rainwater to grow his own food. A Missouri garden writer feeds his soil to feed himself. In Texas, a garden wall encourages community. These are a few of my favorite gardens.
Builders and designers believe that low-e windows, engineered wood products and eat-in kitchens will be key characteristics of new homes in the future.
Dan and Karen Cripes made a few big upfront investments--including solar panels and a geothermal system--when they built their home in Round Rock, Texas. Now they're reaping the rewards with nearly nonexistent utility bills and a home they love.
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.
Crushing a truck, harvesting garlic, and fixing a broken flywheel shaft key are just a few of the things that got done over the last week at WaldenEffect.org complete with photos of all the juicy stuff.
Describing how we are trying to provide a low budget solar panel back up system for under 1000 dollars that will run our laptops and router along with a few other things if the local power grid has any issues.
From a home built into a cliff to a home built out from laundry soap boxes, these homes prove how fun and satisfying it is to push the conventional edge. It's your house. Create whatever you want.
A brief thesis on the finer properties of garlic and planting instructions.
The handy free How to Can app has been updated, and is now available inside the free MOTHER EARTH NEWS Library app. Now you can take yield, processing times and more with you on your Apple or Android device!
A sustainable agriculture professor explain the organic certification process.
Our hands take a beating. Be kind to them and make this amazing hand scrub with ingredients right from your pantry!
Farms which have earned Rainforest Alliance certification go beyond conserving the environment and improving the lives and livelihoods of farm workers; they also help to curb climate change.
From the more practical, money-saving side of things, to controlling your own destiny, the benefits of a victory garden are many.
Meredith Skyer outlines the history of victory gardens in the United States and why this nation, facing a food crisis, should start to sow for victory once again.
Garden like the Native Americans by digging up 18-inch-diameter hills on four foot centers. Get your crops started, then worry about working the areas in between the hills.
Julie Lavigne relates her grandparent’s home in the city, a modern homestead for their time, and proves you can live a self-sufficient lifestyle in an urban setting.
Tips on how to celebrate National Wildflower Week, May 6-13!
The success of Urban Gardens is a story about an expansion of one’s reach outside of one given discipline.
Facts on the links between weather and pumpkins and what you can do with leftover pumpkins.
Permaculture has become the new buzzword in certain circles. What is it? Do we need it?
As the world's demand for electricity continues to climb so will the need for new power plants. We need to decide what will be the fuel of the future for these plants. The choice boils down to conventional versus renewable sources.
Editor-in-Chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence gets a great dose of green--and cheeseburgers--in Austin, Texas.
Robyn finds enthusiasm for and interest in green building during a recent trip to the Carolinas.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses mandatory green building codes for all new commercial buildings nationwide.
Our favorite natural homes of 2010 range in size and grandiosity, from a 280-square-foot mountain cottage to an urban warehouse-cum-artists’-loft. Every one of them can teach us a lot about living green.
For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and create—healthier, more efficient homes. Cool by us.
A Christmas present leads editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence to ponder the benefits of green-building initiatives in Arizona.
Expect to see more modular homes, a boom in the green remodeling business and a ton more “green” products when it comes to green building trends in 2010—and be prepared to ask a lot more questions.
The Living Building Challenge provides builders with information and a forum for sharing advice in an effort to promote the highest building standards.
For the past year, I’ve been chronicling the progress of a green-built home here in Boulder, Colorado, where I live, via this blog and accompanying videos. Watching the project unfold has been enlightening for many reasons, not least of which is the opportunity to see firsthand many of the cool technologies we read about and hear about. Sometimes that entails a little sacrifice.
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.
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.
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.
A cordwood building consists of short, round pieces of wood (think firewood) held together with mortar, and there are many advantages to choosing this type of construction.
Learn how to grow more food in your organic vegetable garden without enlarging your garden space by using the space-saving gardening techniques outlined in this short video.
A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.
Dog days of summer? Yes, but there is still a lot of the grwoing season left. Protect yourself from the late summer sun with these tried 'n true items ... tested by a gardener who knows more than she'd like to about skin cancer.
Try using the Grow Planner app to streamline your garden planning and your garden work.
Using leaves in the garden will boost the soil’s organic matter.
The vegetables and herbs that are still available in our Southeast garden make for delicious, festive and surprisingly varied holiday fare.
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!
Digging up places for new garden beds can take a long time. The sooner you start, the better!
Ready to start your first garden? To guarantee success with your first garden, stick with Barbara Pleasant's list of easy to grow vegetables. She has advice on when and what to plant for the first time gardener. Good luck on your first garden!
Knowing your average last frost date is key to getting your garden off to a good start.
Use old CDs and soda cans to keep pests out of your garden.
Catch the gardening bug, and start to grow your own food! Once you start, you’ll love it. Here are some basic pieces of advice for the budding gardener.
A problem for older gardeners is finding tools that make gardening easier as getting up and down becomes harder.
Try BOGS gardening clogs, a super-comfortable pair of gardening shoes that will stand up to tough wear.
Gardeners suggest gardening books for beginners.
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.
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.
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.
Once a barren wasteland destroyed-like much of Costa Rica's land--by decades of cattle ranching, Rancho Margot is now a verdant and productive paradise. Find out how the Sostheim family has accomplished this in just seven years.
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!
While giving her small home a deep green retrofit, designer Tracy Parker finds that reclaimed wood flooring is grounding and gorgeous.
Describes the process of forming a community garden from the physical and energetic standpoints. The power of teamwork, the joy of accomplishment and the building of a feeling of group unity are described.
Simran Sethi reflects on her first summer of yard-care and gardening.
Contributing Editor Barbara Pleasant provides tips to help users get the most out of the new MOTHER EARTH NEWS Vegetable Garden Planner. This interactive software will help you plan your best garden ever!
To satisfy today's home buyer, a developer of million-dollar luxury homes in New York is offering smaller, more affordable houses--more anecdotal evidence that the McMansion is dying.
A list of ways we could each show support or teach our friends and family to support the Local Foods Movement
My mission was to find like minded 'earth nurturers' in a neighborhood where there seems to be a dearth of us! What I found was humility and kindred spirits, and the makings of a great dinner party!
The healing power of plants can remediate years of soil and water pollution, and create unexpected islands of beauty.
Tips on how to control soil erosion and help protect one of Earth's most important natural resources.
Tips on how to conserve water in the fall with weather-based irrigation controllers.
Watch this video to learn how a straw bale house goes together from start to finish.
As more Americans tighten their belts to save a penny or two, many are finding they can save money by growing food-producing gardens.
The Obamas plant an organic vegetable garden on the South Lawn of the White House.
If you're a veteran gardener, please consider signing up to take out online gardening surveys. The surveys allow us to write articles based on the collective experience of hundreds of gardeners and report the results back to you by region. Sign up here.
Check out this interesting video showing the construction of the Builders without Borders Straw Bale Eco-House.
Eric, Michael and Loren decided to build a winter shelter from natural and re-used materials two winters ago, their first ever natural building experiment. This is an account of that experience that changed their lives in mysterious and unforeseen ways (for the better!).
Learn how to build a straw bale home by downloading this free guide.
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.
With a new program promising to reduce the price of fresh fruits and vegetables and reduce the levels of not-so-good-for-you ingredients in their house brand products, Wal-Mart aims to make a positive change in the diet of the average American.
Beekeeping yields honey, but it can also make our lives complete.
How-to online videos are a valuable resource for any do-it-yourselfer. But there are a lot of videos out there, so we’ve picked noteworthy ones and provided a few links to help you find more in the future. From building a workbench to changing your car’s oil, these engaging and instructive videos will inspire you to start a fun, new DIY project.
Get prepared for the season with useful tips for seed saving with Art Davidson, expert from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed.
Done with flimsy, store-bought tomato cages that fall over when the wind blows? Build long-lasting, heavy-duty tomato cages to fit your garden with one of our four plans.
Here are some tips for making a new garage more environmentally friendly.
Mayors from across the country have created an alliance to facilitate green buildings for K-12 schools.
Homeowners beware. Your drywall could be poisoning your home. Officials believe that since 2001, drywall imported from China has contained high levels of sulfur that could be leaking into homes and other buildings.
The U.S. Green Building Council singles out the Forest Stewardship Council as the only trusted wood certifier.
Save forests, use local materials, build a durable house made of whole trees.
Yes, unreinforced masonry is a risk in earthquake zones. Here’s how you can find the earthquake risk for your area, plus tips for making adobe houses more stable.
In response to last week’s post, we received a letter asking why the forest products industry would be considered a “foe” to green buildings. “I can understand why plastics and vinyl doesn’t make sense, but aren’t wood products exactly the kind of material that qualifies as green?” this reader asked.
Sustainsia’s compact, green-built work pod could solve my office needs.
Kids love to build forts and space ships, and create secret places to dream and imagine.
We Westerners tend to think we’ve got it all going on when it comes to green living in general, and green building in particular.
Using low-cost — but durable — earthbag construction, you can create a beautiful green roof.
Here's where you can find or build a press for making compressed earth blocks, and some helpful advice on sealants.
As we continue to watch a zero energy home get built in my hometown of Boulder, Colorado, I’m digging the opportunity to learn more about building materials that I’ve seen in finished form but never in process. I like the
BuildingGreen.com founder and Environmental Building News editor Alex Wilson wins Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing.
Natural Home is ahead of the most recent trends, highlighted in the National Association of Remodeling Industry’s builder poll.
Learn what it means to have LEED-certified home and about the LEED for Homes program that started in 2008.
This week green building author, architect and Natural Home columnist Carol Venolia dispenses advice on green remodeling during workshops sponsored by Design~Build~Live in Austin, Texas.
The past couple of weeks have been heartening for me. First of all, I’m always ridiculously happy to see the month of March end. No matter what’s going on in my life, the onset of April’s longer days and the sudden burst of plum blossoms in my back yard causes a tectonic shift in my mood. I can’t help it. I’m just completely in love with spring.
Finally! Design experts and contractors say granite and marble have lost their luster. Find beautiful, natural alternatives to that and solutions to other common design mistakes, including dull color pallettes and overused water features.
With no building experiment and only the information they found online as their guide, Kyle and Jeannie built a sweet little home on wheels. In this video, they share what they learned in the process and invite you inside.
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.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
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.
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.
Painted rocks or pebbles can potentially deter birds from pecking at ripening fruit. Tell us how this technique has worked for your, plus check out other readers’ tips and responses.
Tips for keeping your tomato plants healthy.
The new website offers the home gardener an expanded product selection of useful garden products.
Our MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR last weekend was full of great presentations about all facets sustainable living, including on learning how to garden.
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!
Strategies for controlling voles in the potatoes in your garden.
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 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.
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.
Summer intern Megan describes her first time gardening at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, planting cucumbers for the first time and watering the office garden.
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.
A look at how many hives to start with when beginning beekeeping.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce the release of the "How to Can" app, a free app to help you safely put up summer's bounty in a jar. A new 2014 release includes instructions to safely can several types of meat.
End of summer is a great time to tidy garden beds and harvest herbs. Now is the time to plant your fall, winter and overwintering transplants.
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.
The set launch of Worm’s Way Group’s new website promises improved usability, more speed and exclusive web-based promotions.
“Aquaponics Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together” offers advice and insight into the world of sustainable gardening
Home gardeners and urban farmers can come up against garden laws and regulations that can limit the size, style and components of their garden.
Attend the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello to learn more about heirloom gardening.
Involving children in planning a garden and growing vegetables can lead to healthier adults and a healthier planet.
protect fall crops
In the long term, using recycled tire planters or rubber mulch in your garden can cause problems. Here's why.
May is a busy time in the garden for planting. Frost-free weather is the time to get summer veggies in their pots or garden spot.
Winners of the Fabulous Food Garden Contest have been chosen. See who the lucky prize recipients are!
Put together a notebook with your complete garden plan. Here's some tips to get you started.
Quick pickles--which don't require turning your kitchen into a sauna--are a fast, fun way to preserve abundant cucumbers (or even green beans). Simply soak vegetables in saltwater and vinegar solutions and let the flavors develop in the fridge.
Steve explains why building a scale model is such a good way to design homestead structures, and how to do it.
This May 2014, Be the Change Project is attempting to build a cob house in one day with 50 people.
Straw bale and timber frames are highly compatible, beautiful, and the efficiency and longevity of using these natural building techniques is superior in a cold climate setting.
60 people raised a cob house in one day in Reno, Nevada, with the Be the Change Project and House Alive.
For one week, BuildingGreen is offering a free download of an insulation guide, available with a 30-day trial of BuildingGreen Suite.
Treat your building professional as you would want to be treated--and more great advice from contractors and designers who have seen it all.
The DOE and NREL released a study outlining ways to build grocery stories and medium-sized businesses that need 50 percent less energy.
Building Biology advises us to look for a successful history of use when choosing building materials but in our ever changing product-based building environment we seldom have the luxury of evaluating track record. This becomes quickly apparent when vetting new products for client’s homes. I recently called a major manufacturer to find out what was in a new product developed to prevent mold growth on framing lumber.
In Kenya, even for middle class families, much of what ends up on the dinner table is grown or raised at home. With food prices rising, more and more Americans are looking towards ways of growing some of what ends up on their table at home. Both in terms of personal health, and the environment, this is a very good trend—it's a food source as local as you can get.
When traveling, consider checking out the community gardens in the area. You can meet local people who are passionate about gardening and learn about the climate and crops that may be different than yours.
The documentary Urban Roots takes a look at how city farming is transforming the city's vacant lots into community gardens, ultimately changing the community as a whole in the process.
Using cold frames for fall salad greens can extend your season of fresh eating.
Learn why it is helpful to have a group of fellow homesteaders, then start a group of your own in your local community.
See green building in action! The third and final season of the Greensburg TV series is scheduled to begin on May 2, 2010.
A review of the Husqvarna hatchet.
A review of hammers of friend Jack Fulton.
Learn more about this building project, which utilizes SIP technology combined with an unusual geometry.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how the new energy and climate legislation that creates opportunities in green building.
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
Keeping your garden tools organized can help you be more efficient in your work in the garden.
Organic seeds have benefits for your garden. Learn what our expert recommends and how to find organic seeds to plant.
Organic gardening expert advises on whether to build raised beds for a new garden.
Gift cards to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Vegetable Garden Planner are now available for just $25.
Peat moss can help improve soil, but it can be expensive and its production can hurt the environment. Find out whether or not you should use it in your garden.
First Lady Michelle Obama’s love for local food has the nation wanting to know more about how to eat in-season. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence offers a healthy helping of advice on how to eat local.
Learn about how some members of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS team joined with others at their publishing company to start “edible landscaping” gardens on their front lawn.
A reader from Pacifica, California wants to know what vegetables will grow best when.
Thanks to a donation from Mantis, we were able to use our new 2-Cycle Tiller/Cultivator and prep our garden for this year's growing season.
Photo of the Day blog features a different photo from readers each day. Submit your own photos for a chance to appear on MOTHER's website! What are your favorite facets of simple or down-to-earth living? Share your ideas or show off your land!
Enter to to win MOTHER’s garden prize package that is valued at $10,000 and includes 13 items that will complete your garden.
It’s time for lawn and garden work. In your opinion, which is the best garden tractor? Which tractor will you be using this year?
Minneapolis public relations firm Haberman & Associates wants everyone to enjoy a company-sponsored organic vegetable garden like theirs.
Identify the animal tracks and footprints of the critters who visit your garden and yard.
A soil fertility expert shares his advice on using wood ashes as garden fertilizer.
Find out the risks of growing food plants on galvanized wire, and what precautions you should take when handling galvanized materials.
Here are some helpful resources to help you determine when to take care of various lawn and garden tasks, such as planting, watering, weeding, fertilizing, mulching and harvesting plants.
Nutsedge is a particularly invasive weed, but it can also be eaten raw, roasted, boiled and candied.
Maddy Harland introduces the three ethics behind permaculture design and explains why permaculture is more than a gardening technique — it’s a practical tool for a better, more creative life!
How to install a package of bees
Learn how to teach your kids to ride a bike. It's simple: Use a scooter.
Iain continues to battle with the frustration of starting up a candle making business hitting trouble at every corner. Here he talks about his plans moving forward and how he still plans to succeed in his socially responsible candle making business
Ben Davis, of Ben Does Life, has a truly inspirng weight loss story, but it's how message about how to be happy that is most motivational.
Read about our mycological journey, starting with our process of inoculating several shiitake mushroom logs. The process is easy enough for most anyone intersted in producing their own shiitake mushrooms at home — plus, it's fun and a big money-saver!
To be a successful beekeeper we must overcome our initial fears.
A long-time gardener describes the seed-saving technique for cucumbers.
Cole takes you through the first steps in learning to cut your own meat - sourcing.
Watch this video tutorial on how to make tofu.
Follow these easy instructions explaining how to make a fruit picker, and you'll never be tormented by out-of-reach fruit again.
Simply by covering your potatoes with ample mulch, storing potatoes in the ground is not only possible but incredibly easy and successful. Learn how to store potatoes in your garden and enjoy crisp, homegrown spuds through winter and into spring.
A little background on how Ric and Vicki moved from Detroit to a Tennessee homestead, and starting to get up to date on what they've done since.
Bake those tart cherries dangling from your backyard tree into sweet and tasty fruit pies. Here's how to make fresh cherry pie without stressing about the perfect pie crust.
Ed and Joan Kobrinski left a large family home for a smaller, simpler cottage—and they’ve never looked back. Their tips for downsizing and living in smaller spaces could help make your transition easier.
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.
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.
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.
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.
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!