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.
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.
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.
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.
The Boulder, Colorado, green-building program will get a makeover for its second year.
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.
Here's a tip on how to grow sprouts in your kitchen garden for fun and nutritious eating.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains a Greenpeace report that links major shoe companies to rainforest destruction.
Check out this magical photograph of an energy-efficient dome home and the surprise above.
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.
Colorado residents can now legally catch and store rainwater for landscape irrigation.
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.
I noticed, as I walked the FAIR yesterday, a broad section of America.
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.
A recipe for sourdough starter.
Volunteers work to start the Sunset Hill Elementary School Garden in Lawrence, Kan.
The Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products asks designers and builders to spec materials with lower carbon footprints.
Building community through sharing work and food.
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.
A short list of gift ideas for gardeners.
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.
Weather.com now features customizable local weather applications, including an Agriculture Application with great tools for farmers and 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.
The White Hawk Project aims to save an endangered stretch of primary virgin rainforest on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula.
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.
The experience of growing one's first garden is a thrill one will never forget.
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.
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.
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.
Announcing our new webcam that will be showing the latest flock of new born chicks in all their cute and feathery glory.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can help support a community garden in New York City's East Harlem neighborhood.
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.
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 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.
The perfect partner for pruning, weeding and harvesting.
Smaller version of the original Gardener’s Hollow Leg is perfect for picking dinner!
The countdown to savings is on now at Morton Buildings.
The Lehigh Valley Green Builders is presenting its third annual Green Home and Building Expo.
Americans continue to believe that green homes make a difference--but they need to be more affordable.
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.
Friday, May 10 is National Public Gardens Day. Find out what special events are happening at a garden near you.
Here's what it means when a building department requires "sealed drawings" of your project.
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.
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?
Tips for driving safely and saving gas during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
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.
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!
This product is an ideal tool for woodworkers and log home builders.
The International Builders’ Show featured new residential construction and remodeling products such as fiberglass entry doors, retrofitting, bomb shelters and more.
Soil Life is an all-natural, organic blend of microbes designed to enhance the nutritive value of soil in all growing conditions.
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.
Learn to create your own heirloom kitchen garden at this 3-course series in Pennsylvania.
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.
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.
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...
Your local county extension office can answer questions on gardening, livestock, poultry, crops, garden pests and more.
Check out this roundup of 10 favorite sustainable gifts for the gardeners on your list — all under $50!
A reader wonders whether it is safe to use a galvanized stock tank as a garden planter.
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.
Kitchen Gardeners International's 20ate campaign urges Americans to say no to junk food.
The Spirit of Hope garden in Detriot offers a safe, nurtuting place for plants and children to grow.
A roof is a wonderful thing to have!
Earth Gauge describes the links between geography and weather during Geography Awareness Week.
Installing a rain gauge can help determine how much water your plants really need.
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.
The innovative garden seeder from Simple Seeder increases speed and ease of planting.
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.
Your attractive food garden could win you $500 and a chance to be featured in MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our hands take a beating. Be kind to them and make this amazing hand scrub with ingredients right from your pantry!
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.
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.
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.
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.
A sustainable agriculture professor explain the organic certification process.
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!
The success of Urban Gardens is a story about an expansion of one’s reach outside of one given discipline.
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.
Facts on the links between weather and pumpkins and what you can do with leftover pumpkins.
Tips on how to celebrate National Wildflower Week, May 6-13!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses mandatory green building codes for all new commercial buildings nationwide.
The Living Building Challenge provides builders with information and a forum for sharing advice in an effort to promote the highest building standards.
Robyn finds enthusiasm for and interest in green building during a recent trip to the Carolinas.
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.
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.
For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and create—healthier, more efficient homes. Cool by us.
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.
A Christmas present leads editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence to ponder the benefits of green-building initiatives in Arizona.
Editor-in-Chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence gets a great dose of green--and cheeseburgers--in Austin, Texas.
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.
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!
Try using the Grow Planner app to streamline your garden planning and your garden work.
The vegetables and herbs that are still available in our Southeast garden make for delicious, festive and surprisingly varied holiday fare.
Using leaves in the garden will boost the soil’s organic matter.
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!
Digging up places for new garden beds can take a long time. The sooner you start, the better!
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.
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!
A problem for older gardeners is finding tools that make gardening easier as getting up and down becomes harder.
Use old CDs and soda cans to keep pests out of your garden.
Know how many seeds you need for your area considering germination rate and extras.
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.
Try BOGS gardening clogs, a super-comfortable pair of gardening shoes that will stand up to tough wear.
Gardeners suggest gardening books for beginners.
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.
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.
Knowing your average last frost date is key to getting your garden off to a good start.
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.
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.
While giving her small home a deep green retrofit, designer Tracy Parker finds that reclaimed wood flooring is grounding and gorgeous.
Simran Sethi reflects on her first summer of yard-care and gardening.
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.
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!
Tips on how to conserve water in the fall with weather-based irrigation controllers.
Tips on how to control soil erosion and help protect one of Earth's most important natural resources.
The healing power of plants can remediate years of soil and water pollution, and create unexpected islands of beauty.
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!
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.
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 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!).
Beekeeping yields honey, but it can also make our lives complete.
Get prepared for the season with useful tips for seed saving with Art Davidson, expert from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed.
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.
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.
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.
Here are some tips for making a new garage more environmentally friendly.
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.
Learn what it means to have LEED-certified home and about the LEED for Homes program that started in 2008.
Kids love to build forts and space ships, and create secret places to dream and imagine.
Save forests, use local materials, build a durable house made of whole trees.
Mayors from across the country have created an alliance to facilitate green buildings for K-12 schools.
Using low-cost — but durable — earthbag construction, you can create a beautiful green roof.
Sustainsia’s compact, green-built work pod could solve my office needs.
BuildingGreen.com founder and Environmental Building News editor Alex Wilson wins Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Natural Home is ahead of the most recent trends, highlighted in the National Association of Remodeling Industry’s builder poll.
The U.S. Green Building Council singles out the Forest Stewardship Council as the only trusted wood certifier.
Here's where you can find or build a press for making compressed earth blocks, and some helpful advice on sealants.
The new website offers the home gardener an expanded product selection of useful garden products.
Tips for keeping your tomato plants healthy.
Strategies for controlling voles in the potatoes in your garden.
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.
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!
By starting seeds indoors, you get a jump start on spring garden planting.
Our MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR last weekend was full of great presentations about all facets sustainable living, including on learning how to garden.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Involving children in planning a garden and growing vegetables can lead to healthier adults and a healthier planet.
protect fall crops
Attend the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello to learn more about heirloom 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.
“Aquaponics Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together” offers advice and insight into the world of sustainable gardening
Put together a notebook with your complete garden plan. Here's some tips to get you started.
Winners of the Fabulous Food Garden Contest have been chosen. See who the lucky prize recipients are!
In the long term, using recycled tire planters or rubber mulch in your garden can cause problems. Here's why.
Using cold frames for fall salad greens can extend your season of fresh eating.
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.
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.
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.
The DOE and NREL released a study outlining ways to build grocery stories and medium-sized businesses that need 50 percent less energy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 hammers of friend Jack Fulton.
A review of the Husqvarna hatchet.
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
A soil fertility expert shares his advice on using wood ashes as garden fertilizer.
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?
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!
Minneapolis public relations firm Haberman & Associates wants everyone to enjoy a company-sponsored organic vegetable garden like theirs.
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.
Identify the animal tracks and footprints of the critters who visit your garden and yard.
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.
Enter to to win MOTHER’s garden prize package that is valued at $10,000 and includes 13 items that will complete your garden.
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!
Keeping your garden tools organized can help you be more efficient in your work in the garden.
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.
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.
Nutsedge is a particularly invasive weed, but it can also be eaten raw, roasted, boiled and candied.
Find out the risks of growing food plants on galvanized wire, and what precautions you should take when handling galvanized materials.
A reader from Pacifica, California wants to know what vegetables will grow best when.
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.
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.
A long-time gardener describes the seed-saving technique for cucumbers.
Follow these easy instructions explaining how to make a fruit picker, and you'll never be tormented by out-of-reach fruit again.
Learn how to teach your kids to ride a bike. It's simple: Use a scooter.
To be a successful beekeeper we must overcome our initial fears.
How to install a package of bees
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.
Watch this video tutorial on how to make tofu.
Cole takes you through the first steps in learning to cut your own meat - sourcing.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
This summer Cam became a market gardener and actually got paid for something he loves to do - grow vegetables!
Sue Parker shares her grandmother's secrets to a strong tomato crop.
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.
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?
The Hoss Seeder's unique features include its all-metal frame and ease of attaching to the wheel hoe.
New burn barrel alternative provides safer, smarter home and garden burning for homeowners.
Participate in our reader photo contest by showing off pictures of your permanent raised garden beds.
When you grow your own food, you not take a step towards self-sufficiency. You also make a move towards better health and whole new relationship with your food.
We have some exciting additions to announce about our award-winning Vegetable Garden Planner program and our new Grow Planner iPad app, including new seed company catalogs, a filter tool, a favorites button and an app update.
I keep a kit of handy garden supplies waiting in my car, so I can head straight to the garden and take advantage of as many sunlight hours as possible right after work.
Send us your garden tips and you could win a free deluxe, ergonomic garden trowel.
What does it take to build truly sustainable houses – the kind people really want and can afford? If you build small and use natural building materials, then most likely you’ll be able to build your own home in a reasonable amount of time for cash.
Simone Swan built her off-the-grid domed and vaulted home in Presidio, Texas, as a model of how financially and thermally efficient adobe can be. For $50 a square foot, she built a masterpiece. She says you can, too.
While garden hoses may leach some chemicals into the water flowing through them, there’s little reason to think it’s a serious health issue.
New businesses are springing up catering to folks who want their food homegrown, but without the mess of tending to the garden themselves.
This year is the first season I had the whole garden dug and ready and boy, it's easy to plant a garden when the garden is already there.
An interview with the founder of a small organic gardening business that focuses on education and helping gardeners go organic. Learn more about this company and vote for it to win funding from a small business competition.
Considerations of sustainability factor into countless supplies, tools and methods present in your garden. What do you do in your own garden to be a sustainable gardener?
MOTHER EARTH NEWS wins two exciting accolades at FOLIO’s Eddie Awards, one for their article Organic Pest Control: What Works, What Doesn’t and one for their Vegetable Garden Planner tool.
Japanese beetles feed for six to eight weeks, and in that time, they are able to feed on over 300 plant species. Although collecting beetles may seem like an exhausting every day task, you're plants will appreciate it.
Here are some good options for free, weed-free mulches.
Bringing back Victory Gardens could help ease hunger and dependence as U.S. social aid programs, such as Food Stamps, are drastically cut.
After decades of gardening I’ve come to rely on a few essential gardening tools.
Using wood ash in the garden can be beneficial for raising the soil pH of your garden soil. These tips will help you know when to use wood ash in the garden.
You can grow your own Mediterranean Diet garden in the Midwest. Even a small garden can provide the staples of a Mediterranean kitchen garden.
These resources will help you learn how to grow food and start a garden.
Showing where we were before our permaculture garden began.
Do you want a permaculture garden? An ongoing blog about our journey using permaculture design ideas, to develop the organic matter in soil and produce a higher yield.
Learn to build your own Hand-Crafted Log Home
I had heard there are thousands of new earthen houses in Thailand. That really amazed me, so I set out to learn the details about the modern earth building movement in Thailand.
This blog post is a description of starting a building project using Structural Insulated Panels, also known as SIPs.
Just so you don't think it's all fun and games living out here in the country....
Cam describes the building of his chicken coop.
I had no idea putting dirt in a box was this difficult.
How to build a greenhouse of used sliding-glass patio doors that is warmer and less expensive than plastic, and keeps out burrowing animals.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
President Obama plans to help earn the White House LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Dan Chiras announces a four-day energy workshop he'll be teaching in Kansas City, Mo.
Researchers at the University of Bath are all set to test the efficiency of the HemPod, a building made from a hemp-lime composite.
Know of a group that's doing great work to support your community or have a community-building idea of your own? If you live in the Northeast United States, Green Mountain Coffee and Ashoka's Changemakers are holding the "Revelation to Action" contest to find and help fund the most innovative ideas to bolster communities in the Northeast states.
Build your own wood-fired earth oven for baking fluffier, more flavorful bread and other baked delights.
Build a simple backyard barbecue pit with no more than a shovel and a good cover panel for your next barbecue party.
Most people have at least heard of Habitat for Humanity. But when I dug a little deeper and sifted through the ol’ letters in the attic of the house (so to speak), I uncovered some interesting details.
Your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a great place to find inexpensive building supplies and appliances, and you can even donate your leftover supplies when your project is complete. Proceeds from your purchases support Habitat for Humanity and future housing projects.
Michael Morley's SIPs home project is underway. On Tuesday, March 2, the excavator dug trench footings in at the site.
Michael Morley's SIPs home project is underway, and despite an unexpected snowstorm, progress has been made on the concrete slab and the risers.
Recycling building materials from other sources is a great way to cut the cost and reduce the environmental impact of your DIY projects. We want to know where readers go to find reclaimed or used building materials, and how they use these materials in home projects.
Michael Morley has an exciting update on the house he's building in Lawrence, Kan. The dome is starting to go up!
Michael Morley is making progress on the SIPs home he's building in Lawrence, Kan. The roof is in place and the shell is essentially done.
Check out these renewable-energy courses to see if there’s an Evergreen class for you.
The fundamental building blocks, descriptions, diagrams and pictures of best practices cordwood buildings.
What is the best way to learn cordwood construction? Are there workshops or classes offered?
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!
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.
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.
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.
Landrace gardening enhances food security by growing genetically diverse crops that are not as prone to crop failure as monoculture fields of near clones.
The instinct to share home grown herbs, flowers and vegetables runs strong in gardeners, so sharing home grown goodies brings heartfelt rewards.
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!
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.
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.
Growing fall brassicas can be a challenge, but here are some tips on how to prevent them from getting eaten by bugs or withering.
An experiment in urban gardening produces a melon miracle.
When our chicks arrived, we had no idea how much we had to learn about how to raise baby chicks. Nor did we know how much the books couldn't tell us.
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
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.
Recently, I had an epiphany in a building supply center. Even though I’ve been in the building trades for over 35 years and made countless trips to purchase building supplies, this trip was different.
This index links to some recent and popular posts related to green building, design, remodeling, and home improvement. The posts cover a broad range of topics, from green products to projects to practices, as well as sustainable communities.
Live in a dome home in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
An introduction to Paula Baker-Laporte's future readers : about Paula, multiple chemical sensitivities, Building Biology and the role of green building in health.
Share your thoughts about natural building methods including straw bale building, cordwood construction, earth building and more.
This two-day, alternative building workshop featuring energy expert Dan Chiras will be held March 13-14, 2010 in St. Louis.
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
Looking for a easy sewing project? Follow this quick tutorial from Design Fixation to make a dress in just 20 minutes.
Examining an community for your homestead.
How potentially dangerous chemicals are tested and are they really that safe for humans or not.
James discusses exactly how to paint a beehive. Sometimes it can be a fiddly job but using an array of stepladders and poles it can be pretty simple
A brief story of how a creek was damaged and how it was reported to the authorities properly.
How prepared ahead of time for remote living and what was required.
Creating your own start-up is full of obstacles, but rewarding. MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Jessica Vaughan shares advice from her experience as a first-time small business owner who teaches clients how to grow organic produce.
Making mosaics out of salvaged, broken tiles is a great project for free-form do-it-yourselfers. It's easy, fun and results in a brilliant surface--often for pennies. Check out this video and give it a try.
What can you do with all those useless newspapers, paper bags and Yellow Pages books? Tear them into scraps and use them to decoupage walls and other surfaces. It's easy, cheap--and surprisingly elegant.
Put those big pieces of cardboard to work by turning them into furniture. This entertaining tutorial shows you how.
Sue McKay Miller divested herself of nearly everything she owned and moved into a yurt in the wilderness to determine how much she really needs to live a satisfying life. Turns out, she really doesn't need much.
Reconnecting with family photos and important papers may seem like small change in the wake of the tornadoes' massive devastation in the Southeast last week. But what if it were the last surviving photo of your mother?
We all have hoarding tendencies. If yours are getting the better of you, rest assured that there are support groups and professional organizations just waiting to help.
Every once in a while we need to rebel against the machines. Hand a towel to your significant other and ask him to dry while you rinse. Sweep the floor with a real broomcorn broom. Have a real conversation. Enjoy things happening slowly.
Meals become a snap when you add pressure cooking to your repertoire. Pressure cookers are great kitchen companions that bolster the flavor of even simple dishes, plus they save you time and money.
Curing your own bacon is so simple that anyone can do it. Here's how to do so, complete with recipe and step-by-step.
Planting heirloom, non-genetically modified seeds is a great way to help preserve endangered plant varieties--and the planet's very ecosystem.
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.
Some of the difficulties we encounter in gardening at a high elevation
Learn three simple tips for making the most of small gardening spaces, including hanging plants and advice for selecting seed varieties.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are six of my favorite ideas for those of you with small spaces and still want to get your garden on.
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.
Landscapers, gardeners and DIYers have a fast and convenient solution that dethatches, bags, rakes, scalps, mulches and cuts lawns in a single tool.
Popular Mechanics honored STIHL with a 2010 Breakthrough Award for the STIHL HSA 65 hedge trimmer, the first product with 36-volt STIHL Lithium-Ion battery-power technology.
Duncraft introduces a new concept in bird feeding - the patented Underneath Bird Feeder
The 2011 report focuses on the Garden Effect and Payback-if-sold. The Garden Effect is the estimated increase in a property’s market value as a result of having beautiful landscaping.
Fiskars' new hand pruners combine form and function to make every cut easier.
Recap of 2010 growing season in Northwest Pennsylvania
Looking for a farming internship or apprenticeship? Search the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Center’s online directory of farming internships and apprenticeships to find one that interests you.
These large, beautiful, long legged creatures of late summer thrill and amaze.
A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your homestead.
Visit our blog by Wednesday at midnight for a chance to win free Egyptian onion top bulbs.
We don't get to sit around inside and listen to the rain on a tin roof in the summer. Instead, we're busy pulling in spring crops, putting out fall crops, and much more.
Spring tasks around the homestead.
In praise of the garden fork.
Allowing children the space to discover the beauty and wonder of plants through tending to their own garden builds character, teaches responsibility, gives insight into the beauty of nature and fosters their connection with where their food comes from.
Over the past year, I have made countless mistakes on my garden. In this post, I share four of my most frustrating gardening mistakes and how to avoid them.
Pick the right dandelion weeder, and ridding your lawn and garden of dandelions becomes more game than chore. Here we hightlight three popular models: the Oswego Grandpa’s Weeder, the Fiskars Triple Claw Weeder and the Garden Weasel Weedpopper Step and Twist.
This blog post discusses growing enough produce for canning.