how to make a vase from a can
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.
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
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.
Connect together inexpensive mending plates to make these top-shelf candleholders--perfect for patio and porch dining. This simple project takes minutes and costs next to nothing.
Turn empty oatmeal and salt containers into pretty storage canisters--in a snap.
Use old jars to make these cute, inexpensive candle lanterns--for a fraction of what you'd pay if you bought them at the store.
Blueberries are a true fountain of youth. This article will introduce you to the health benefits, how to grow, how to harvest, and how to eat this wonderful fruit.
Candlemas is an ancient midwinter holiday, when people would take inventory on their stock of candles, pantry food storage and hay in the barn to get the homestead through the second half of winter.
Examining an community for your homestead.
Beekeeping can bring many benefits other than a great hobby and honey production. Follow Iain as he tries to build a socially responsible company helping disabled people make beeswax candles.
Follow these easy instructions explaining how to make a fruit picker, and you'll never be tormented by out-of-reach fruit again.
Watch this video tutorial on how to make tofu.
Put those big pieces of cardboard to work by turning them into furniture. This entertaining tutorial shows you how.
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.
I envision this chandelier—made entirely of items recovered from the recycling bin—hanging over a dining table on the patio. Making it is a pretty big project, though, and I would have to call in a friend with a jigsaw to help. (I don’t have the tools—or skills—that former Natural Home & Garden art director Susan Wasinger, who dreamed up this project, does.) Aside from the saw, the materials for this one are simple: used baby-food jars, a few yards of twisted wire, a couple repurposed barrel hoops and a length of rusty chain. And happily, I can make the “lite” version–pretty votive holders—which lets me stop before power tools are needed.
Learning to make fromage blanc or chevre takes minutes, but the rewards last a lifetime.
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
Midwest Living designers give the Smart Home at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry a green makeover that features zero-VOC paint, furniture made from recycled steel and reclaimed wood, and other planet-friendly home decor.
Iain, working to build his socially responsible candle-making company, gets all his new equipment arriving from Holland.
Beekeeping allows us to have not only honey, but also the wax. This is a story of how to make beeswax candles with molds and some of the difficulties I have yet to resolve.
There are plenty of alternatives to handing out sugary candy at Halloween time.
Looking for a easy sewing project? Follow this quick tutorial from Design Fixation to make a dress in just 20 minutes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here's a good source to learn about screening recommendations for different types of cancer. Where can I learn more about cancer screening guidelines?
As a killing frost approaches we scramble to harvest what we can of summer vegetables that would shrivel and die after being glazed with an icy coat. Peppers that survive summer heat always seem to become prolific producers as the weather cools. With scads of peppers to preserve, this recipe for candied jalapenos that can be modified to use with a mixture of peppers is not only beautiful, but delicious!
No homestead is complete without our canine companions.
Use everyday recyclable materials to create personalized DIY stationery.
Sangria is the perfect summertime libation for a thirsty crowd. Fresh fruits and herbs combine with wine and liqueur for a colorful, festive "punch" that packs a punch.
What’s with glycerin? It’s a soap-making byproduct with antibacterial properties, but it’s often made with animal fat derivatives, which isn’t really our thing. So, we figured out how to make our own veggie version with coconut oil, opening up a whole world of kitchen pantry beauty concoctions.
Make these tasty and chewy caramels. They are a festive treat that takes on a homespun flavor with the addition of Sorghum.
Being prepared for canine emergencies.
Writer and Canadian farming enthusiast, Joseph Graham sent this review of the event that he and his wife hosted for Homesteading Education Month.
A sudden onset of a canine eye disease called SARDS leaves dogs totally blind very suddenly. Bruce McElmurray explains this disrder from a personal perspective.
A Consumer Reports study finds high BPA levels in Del Monte, Progresso, Campbell’s, Annie’s Homegrown, Eden Foods and Vital Choice canned foods.
We dipped candles from our hive's beeswax to celebrate winter. Candlemaking is a nice seasonal craft. Here’s how we did it, plus some tips to get you started.
Crafting laundry detergent saves time, money and lightens your environmental footprint. Plus it’s simple!
Drawers overflowing? Drowning in a sea of more T-shirts than you can wear? Here are two quick and easy ways to get those used Ts back in heavy rotation.
If you live in the South, you can grow your own sugar cane. Learn to plant, harvest and make delicious syrup at home!
Amid rising gas prices, some people think offshore drilling in America is the answer, but is it worth it? Also, read an opinion piece by Mark Weisbrot.
Studies show that eating some vegetables may help prevent certain types of cancer. Find out which are the best for you, and why.
Environmentally induced cancer is more prevalent than expected, according to the President’s Cancer Panel’s first report on reducing environmental cancer risks.
MAX won an award at the 2014 Maker Faire Bay Area for...gosh, we don't really know, but it was best in its class.
Travel through the Grand Canyon in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
Maddy Harland describes the canopy layer of a temperate forest garden and shares some useful tips on designing and planting useful and edible tree crops.
A recipe for sourdough starter.
Comparison between old ways and new technology.
The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s largest and most prestigious award for grassroots activists. This year’s six inspiring and courageous prize winners (one from each of the six inhabited continental regions of the world) are...
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.
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.
When it comes to safe methods for canning foods, this is one instance in which modern advice is better than old-time techniques. Use canning recipes that have been tested and verified safe by food scientists, who have learned a lot about food preservation over the years.
BPA levels in families who ate fresh rather than canned and packaged food dropped by 60 percent, a study found. Cooking at home with fresh food is the best way to avoid this potentially dangerous chemical
Media outlets have been warning parents against drug-laced Halloween candy for decades. But how prevalent is drug-laced Halloween candy, really?
Wrap drinking glasses in handmade paper for pretty, easy-to-make vases and votive holders.
Bring back bottle-cutting! This contemporary candelabra, which gives new life to beautiful blue mineral water bottles, will make you rethink that old '70s craft.
Buttered corn and buttered double succotash in stores for fall season.
Putting into practice those great intentions: Living on preserved hard work and home canned peaches these short days.
Perfect for an evening of socializing out on the deck or an intimate meal at a table for two, GoodLight candles keep the mood bright and the air clean and are now available both online and in stores nationwide.
GoodLight is first to offer sustainable, non-toxic candles for restaurants.
Save money and win your sweetie's heart with a beautifully set table and handmade candy hearts this Valentine's Day.
Learn about three concerns of pressure canning foods— equipment reliability, foodborne illness and altitude adjustments — and start pressure canning safely!
Growing sorghum is the first step to making sweet sorghum syrup, but are there other reasons for growing a crop of sorghum?
Making Beeswax candles at the Possibility Alliance allows member's to limit their use of carbon.
Cap off your Hemp History Week celebrations by making hemp soap. Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids known for their excellent emollient and lubricating properties.
The Arctic is warming up faster than the overall global temperature. We will discuss the reason for the rapid warming of the Arctic.
Making tallow container candles out of bison fat.
How to make tallow candles from bison suet.
While many kids (and adults, too) might prefer to sleep with a light on, research shows that exposure to artificial light after the sun goes down can disrupt healthy body function and is associated with an increased risk for cancer. So turn off your computers, TVs, and nightlights for kids, and learn to embrace the nighttime darkness.
The terminal diagnoses and reality of dying reinforce our commitment to homesteading.
Use a simple hobby kit to cut glass wine bottles and transform them into drinking glasses, candleholders or this stylish candelabra.
Celebrate all things beachy by making sand candles! Using paraffin, crayons and sand you can make a beautiful sand candle to commemorate a trip to the shore.
From cleaning raw beeswax to enjoying the final product, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will take you step by step through the process of making beeswax candles.
Medical marijuana was a $1.7 billion industry last year--just shy of Viagra as pot-related businesses crop up across the country.
Millions of people suffer from mental illness and depend on psychiatric drugs to get them through the day. Conventional treatment may block the symptoms but do nothing to address the underlying cause. There are 5 common physical causes of mental illness.
The work of growing, harvesting and preserving your own food comes together in the satisfying instant when canning lids pop. Don't leave the kitchen until you've savored the sound of a job well done.
Readers who love canning share their firsthand reports about the foods they can at home, and why.
Time to plant sorghum in the Ozarks. When do you plant sorghum in your neck of the woods?
Wondering where to vote or what's going to be on the ballot? Find answers to these and many other election questions (plus, a game!) with these resources.
Immigrating to Canada can be a daunting process, but the Canadian government provides resources to help.
Pickled garlic is both delicious and easy to make. Ever wondered why pickled garlic turns blue? Find out here!
Bread! hits the water on Lake Ontario while taking a week long sailing course. The Rosemary Olive Oil Sourdough was featured for dinner.
Build a simple backyard barbecue pit with no more than a shovel and a good cover panel for your next barbecue party.
From the Science Channel, watch the Brink TV show's spotlight on MAX and its victory in the Escape from Berkeley race.
We're excited for the second annual Escape from Berkeley rally. Last year, MAX won the inaugural event from Berkeley to Las Vegas. This year, it's a run for the Mexican border!
Is sunscreen necessary? Can it actually do more harm than good? We cut through this cloudy issue like a ray of scorching summer sun! Find out how much vitamin D you need from the sun, whether sunscreen can prevent cancer, which ingredients in sunscreen may have adverse health effects, and the best ways to truly protect yourself from that fiery sphere in the sky, including recommendations for the safest commercial sunscreens.
After years of impatient waiting, Ellen Sandbeck finally finds red LED night lights, which save energy while preserving melatonin production.
A new danger faces unborn babies and children, as exposure to pesticides increases the risk of brain tumors and other cancer-related illnesses.
How we have taken measures to mitigate and reduce our wildfire exposure.
Luke Dinan, a young man from Toronto, Ontario, is forging his way towards sustainable living and a self-reliant lifestyle; a path we can appreciate, strive for and maybe contribute to.
The Canadian government’s ecoENERGY program stops giving financial assistance for energy-efficient home improvements.
Preserving food was a must during the Great Depression. Doris Zicafoose relates memories of drying corn, canning tomatoes, the necessity of a water bath canner and the joy of acquiring a pressure canner.
Tasty jars of canned food await readers in this Photo of the Week. Continue posting your photos for a chance to be featured on our site!
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm covers the essentials of how to can safely.
Delight your host by taking one of these homemade treats.
Spiced-apple rings add the perfect touch to a winter-friendly comfort food dinner.
To give your bedroom a boost, consider new paint suited to your personality. AFM Safecoat's Ayurveda Essence line allows you to choose colors based on your dosha, or personality type, within Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicinal system.
As a nursery renovation begins, Jessica, editor of Natural Home and Garden, is just beginning an investigation into remodeling options for an eco-friendly nursery.
There's no need to go to the grocery food in the winter if you have stored food in a root cellar, freezer or canning jars. Most of the work of preparing this food has already been done and so that winter meals are easy, nutritious and delicious.
Begin your garden planning with what,and particularly how much, you want to eat. Take a look at what you are eating now and go from there.
By observing the birds and wildlife we learn valuable lessons to apply to our lives.
In this posting we discuss the benefits of converting to renewable energy sources vs. the consequences of continuing to use fossil fuels.
A sustainable agriculture professor explain the organic certification process.
The presence of bicycles on sidewalks has long been debated: Is it legal? Is it safer than the road? Shouldn’t children be able to ride on sidewalks?
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence visits Canada's only straw bale winery, Orofino Vineyards.
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.
MAX is hitting 60 mpg. That's better than a Prius, and before we get serious about streamlining.
MAX is encountering robust competition at Escape from Berkeley
MAX wins the Escape from Berkeley race!!
What kind of mpg did MAX get in the race? How did Jack get fuel along the way? How much can you get for a t-shirt and a copy of Mother Earth News? Answers to these exciting questions inside!
Read dozens of reports of reader's homesteading adventures.
Finding a company from an advertisement in Mother Earth News and how it benefited us. .
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares her New Year's resolution for 2014: buying food directly from farmers.
Do you feel like the month of June left you gasping for air? You are not alone. I am hoping July will be slower paced and full of summertime fun!
I'm going to the old Kerr canning book for this tried and true recipe for making simply wonderful pickled beets.
When it's too hot outside, the work moves inside, and is still REALLY HOT.
Homesteaders become similar to the self-sustaining people in the Arctic as they spend each season preparing to have food, warmth and shelter for the entire year. It is gratifying to eat well and be comfortable because of our year-round efforts.
Canning is the penance for spring, when you couldn’t stop yourself from putting out one more row of tomato starts. Canning is the human’s attempt to make the hottest days of the year even more sizzling indoors than they are out.
How to make canned green tomato relish.
Adding lemon juice to tomatoes before canning is not an option! Neither is being distracted and forgetting what you're doing.
Fire roasting is the key to incredibly flavorful canned salsa.
Separate the tomato water from tomato pulp to make a delicious broth.
A pickled pepper recipe that packs quite a punch. Don't be discouraged by November's nine degrees in the sun weather. Now is a great time to pull out your water-bath canner and put up your late-fall harvest for winter month garden-fresh eating.
If you would like to be represented by more elected officials who support environmental safeguards for our air, water, and land, take a look at these resources, including the League of Conservation Voters' National Environmental Scorecard.
Learn how to identify and expel radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., from your home.
Celebrate a technology-free Sabbath with a jug of organic wine, a loaf of homemade bread and handmade candles. Could you go 24 hours without your smartphone?
You may want to think twice the next time you reach for that cola. A recent study has found that one can of soda a day can increase chances of prostate cancer by 40 percent.
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.
Here's a tip on how to grow sprouts in your kitchen garden for fun and nutritious eating.
Turn terra cotta planter pots into candle holders. This super simple project is an inexpensive way to bring a little romance to your garden.
This year I took several liberties in developing a new version of salsa verde. I don't grow tomatillos so I use green tomatoes. I won't call it salsa verde (except on the lids of my jars), because it isn't authentic. But let me tell you, it is GOOD. Here is Annie’s Green Tomato Salsa Recipe good for use when water bath canning.
Locally grown, homemade, grass-fed, free-range and downright delicious food invades the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.
When it's -30 degrees outside you can make your own snow!
Caulk tool that works for me. If for me it should work for anyone.
Steve explains a little about why he chose to install reclaimed cast-iron radiators, including a video tour of his installation.
Watch Steve tell you his homestead story and how his two trucks have helped make good things happen.
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
An unexpected lambing during mid-summer.
Starting a chicken flock and researching the Ameraucana chicken breed.
If you eat raw garlic for its health benefits but find it difficult to consume, garlic oil can be an effective alternative. You can even make it at home!
In the last few years, gourmet black garlic has become an in-demand culinary ingredient. But what exactly is it? And what can you do with it?
Gourmet garlic can be roughly separated into two categories: hardneck and softneck. This post discusses some of the differences between them.
In the second of this series of blog posts, I'll be discussing what are arguably the caviar of the garlic world: Rocamboles!
Garlic scape season is nearly here. Learn how and when to cut the scapes to maximize the size of your gourmet garlic bulbs, and also how to use them as a delicious and versatile vegetable!
Ever wondered what ancient garlic tasted like? Try a Purple Stripe cultivar!
It's that time of year again! In this post I discuss how and when to harvest your garlic.
Originating from Spain, Creole garlics can be difficult to grow but are highly regarded for their delicious taste!
Here I describe how to make a spring meal on the Big Green Egg. Also, I announce my new web/blogsite.
What is the true nature of artificial sweeteners? Are they safe? Read on and find out the latest on these questionable products.
Haven't we heard of a semi-mythical liquor that has pure gold in it? Well, here it is.
Here are some ideas to make your cooking and baking easier in the New Year.
Canada is helping define "green" products for its advertising industry.
Rancho Margot in Costa Rica is completely off the grid and constantly closing the circle. Nothing is wasted on this self-sufficient ranch, where everything is considered a resource--including methane from the compost ovens.
Check out Annie B. Bond's list of 11 easy tips for making your kitchen more healthy and safe, from Care2.
How to make candles you can really light from the peel of Clementine oranges. A wintertime craft...just oil and an orange peel!
Canning is a homesteader essential skill. Sometimes canning can simply be a way to create and spread love and kindness, rather than just putting by necessary foods. Try out this Peach Orange Marmalade recipe for a change of pace.
A great recipe for the holidays or any time of the year!
Learn how to use less energy canning tomato products.
Our experiences in learning to pressure can and use reusable canning lids.
Canning won't heat up your house when you set up your own portable outdoor canning kitchen.
No juice extractor? No problem! This easy method for making fresh, delicious apple juice will have you sipping in no time.
The history of the Blood Orange and How to make Blood Orange Marmalade.
The author of STAND UP AND GARDEN discusses why it is safe to can and otherwise preserve produce that's grown in an environment in which pesticides are used.
Pickled vegetables are a great way to jazz up your meals, especially in the late winter, early spring time when the grocery store vegetables are looking a little worse for the wear.
Fruit butters are easy to make, in fact – they are almost foolproof. They allow for a little more creativity than many soft spread recipes and are perfect for using up odds and ends of fresh fruit.
Canning is a great way to preserve your own harvest. When canning acidic foods like fruit or tomatoes or anything using vinegar or sugar, you can likely use only a water bath. There are many chemical free canning jars available today for low tox canning.
Three essential tools for opportunistic canning.
Wendy Albright remembers visiting her grandparent's farm where practicing organic living was the preferred way of life; they exercised natural crop cultivation, gathered fresh chicken eggs, canned both vegetables and meat and the term "eating like a thrasher" became a reality.
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.
Beekeeping yields honey, but it can also make our lives complete.
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.
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.
Despite our best efforts, sometimes flour plus water plus yeast doesn’t equal a tantalizing loaf of bread, but is just a large lump of dough. Here's how to fix it.
MAX debuts by taking the checkered flag of the 800+ mile, no gasoline consumed, Escape from Berkeley race.
Who the heck is Paul Goodman? The car-free visionary who inspired a new documentary and bicycle contest.
Addition to our family and our homestead. Echo a GSD with a new chance at life in his furever home.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking readers’ stories of home-based businesses, and we’ll pay $50 for each story we use.
A Berkeley, California, artist has outfitted a dumpster with all the amenities--including granite countertops and hardwood floors--in his mission to "break down what a house should be."
A look at how many hives to start with when beginning beekeeping.
Join Steve for a no-cost 75 minute video tutorial on building and managing a root cellar
A new building insulation guide is available from NAIMA Canada to assist homeowners in choosing the right insulation for new building and DIY home renovation projects.
Cam looks back at the challenges of moving to his off-grid home.
Our chickens aren't fond of the snow and the wind, but we found a way to let them enjoy the sunshine from the comfort of their coop!
Canadian homesteader Cam Mather sinks into the village life and discovers the joys of small-town living.
The basics of using a woodstove to heat your home.
The best way to start a fire in your woodstove.
Homesteader Cam Mather describes integrating new backyard chickens into his existing flock and the wonderful life his "ladies" lead.
Almost 30 years ago I made one of the best decisions ever when I began my homesteading adventure. It's no "Little House on the Prarie" but you can see it from there.
Canadian car manufacturers have developed an electric vehicle with a body made from hemp fiber.
Learn how to dehydrate gourmet garlic so you can enjoy it year-round.It takes only a few simple steps to turn fat, juicy bulbs into crunchy, golden chips!
Another easy way to enjoy the fresh taste of gourmet garlic year-round is with these convenient cubes!
Often at a farmers market you'll see garlic designated as 'gourmet.' But what does this mean? Is it a marketing gimmick? Or is there actually something special behind the name?
Do you eat garlic for its health benefits? Choose a Porcelain cultivar for maximum impact!
In this post, I'll be discussing the Marbled Purple Stripe garlic variety, also known as the 'everyman' of the garlic world!
Introducing glazed purple stripes, the beauty queens of the garlic world!
Solving the mystery of finding broken shards of china and pottery in an old garden. Discovering the history of the land and its first settlers.
Garlic will keep for months if properly cured, allowing you to enjoy it all winter long!
Asiatic garlic cultivars may be difficult to find, but their great taste and easy-growing nature make them a great choice for garlic lovers and growers alike!
Silverskins are an ideal garlic for braiding and long-term storage!
The last of my series of posts discussing the different types of gourmet garlic will explore Artichokes, the giants of the garlic world!
White rot is an invasive fungus that every garlic grower needs to be aware of!
These are buttery, not too sweet Dutch cookies with a yummy cinnamon sugar and walnut topping.
After trying this super simple recipe, you'll never open a can of Campbell's again.
There is a way to heaven, all you have to do is make San Francisco sourdough bread!
Here's how to make truly unusual whole grain bread, with delicious results.
Slightly sweet, wholesome and wonderful, toasted with butter or in a sandwich, oatmeal bread is my favourite.
Summer is about fresh, beautiful, and flavourful. Fresh produce, and oh yes, a yummy recipe for devilled eggs.
Your route to heaven can be paved with strawberries.
Homemade ice cream is delicious, and with the help of new ice cream makers, quick, easy and fast.
If you're overrun with cucumbers, here's a Scandinavian cucumber salad for the solution!
My own special recipe for Pumpkin Maple Butter using organic pumpkin and Canadian maple syrup.
Modern, industrial agriculture as we know it today is running out of time, and it's much later than we think.
What do you have when chemicals and preservatives are added to a simple tortilla?
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.
Here's a chance to transform your home into the greenest one on the block and then pay it forward to your neighbors to help paint your whole town "green."
Claire finds a recipe for hard lotion and makes molded lotion bars to give as Christmas presents.
Reed diffusers are a great way to fill your home with the fresh, healing scents of essential oils--but they're pricey. You can save a bundle by making your own using repurposed bottles and plant stalks.
Save money and keep harsh chemicals out of your kitchen by making your own dishwasher detergent. It takes just seconds to make a powdered or liquid version.
Making your own cleaning products using vinegar, baking soda and water is healthy, easy--and cheap. Learn how to whip up your own cleaners using foods you already have in your kitchen cupboard.
It's easy to get distracted and forget a few absolutes when it comes to food safety. Take this quiz and see if you know your stuff!
Patty Bouillon started a Facebook group to connect tornado victims with photos after she found an ultrasound photo among the debris swept in by last month's tornadoes. Her account is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time
Mother has always known best, and these tips for reusing what would otherwise be garbage are as relevant today as they were in 1970.
Food preservation expert Sherri Brooks Vinton makes food preservation look easy and shares helpful hints about equipment and technique during a standing-room-only workshop at the Fair.
A long-time gardener describes the seed-saving technique for cucumbers.
Learn how to assemble a humane animal trap out of recycled material. It’s easy and effective!
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
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!
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.
Choosing, growing, and drying everlasting or dried flowers for beauty that can be enjoyed for seasons to come.
Cole takes you through the first steps in learning to cut your own meat - sourcing.
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.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
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.
People are often apprehensive about preserving their own food, whether they're intimidated by the process, or concerned about the safety of the finished product. As Sherri Brooks Vinton explains, it's time to bring canning back to the home kitchen.
Donna Pellegrin shares her mother's stories of growing up on a fertile, bountiful farm during the Great Depression, and of the homesteading skills that kept them well fed.
Our books are making a larger impact than we know!
Tomatoes are the gray area of canning. They're not quite acidic enough to just straight can like fruit but the right amount of added acid can keep you from having to pressure can them. Here are the basics on canning tomatoes.
Kerr-Cole Sustainable Living Center in Taylor, Arizona celebrates national homesteading month with a display of solar ingenuity.
This week at Polyface Farm included mornings with rabbits, fence line work, moving calves and my first foray into canning.
Grapes can grow anywhere, thriving in a variety of climates and soil types. Growing grapes is rewarding, because after a few years they produce abundant fruit and quickly provide architectural interest in the edible landscape.
There's no need to be afraid of canning. With basic skills a cook can safely prepare and process excess produce during the summer and have a ready supply all winter. An easy way to start is with dill pickles, with extras like garlic and hot peppers.
Cobbler is not the only solution to a bumper crop of berries. If you can boil water, you can turn the juice from big-flavor berries into tasty beverages that are naturally rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Make extra juice to freeze or can for year-round enjoyment.
Take plain old raspberry jam to the next level with the complex flavors of white chocolate and coffee liqueur.
Not enough hours in the day? Want to make tomato sauce but are short on time? Use this recipe to make great-tasting tomato sauce (using frozen tomatoes)at your leisure. Perfect for pressure canning and delicious!
Use spirulina or wheat grass instead of iffy chemical dyes to turn your beer green this St. Patrick's Day.
Whip olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice into a cheap, effective polish for wood furniture.
Make your own all-purpose cleaners, dishwasher detergent and mildew remover with safe, simple ingredients. Ever think you'd be doing dishes with Kool-Aid?
You could spend a fortune on flowers from faraway for Mom--but why? This sweet bouquet made from fresh-picked flowers and flea market finds is cuter than anything FTD could deliver. This one's great for weddings and graduation parties, too.
Noxious fumes aren’t conducive to happy cleaning. Give all your homemade cleaning solutions an invigorating and healthy boost by adding a few drops of pure plant essential oils such as lavender or lemon. Heavenly!
Earth floors are a durable, versatile and attractive option for new homes and renovations alike.
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.
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, answers a homeowner’s question about how best to apply a smooth finish to wood furniture.
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, answers a homeowner’s question about how best to apply a smooth finish to wood furniture.
Steve shares 11 years of his experience with the newest mainstay power tool in the world, and offers three free chances to win an impact driver.
Weeks eight and nine of our cross country bicycle trip start in Brantford, Ont., and end in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Cam Mather tries out a battery-powered chainsaw at his off-grid homestead in Ontario.
Cam shares his experience trying to fix a broken hot-water tank.
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.
Is your growing season a bit too short for gourmet garlic? Turban garlic cultivars may be the solution!
This initial blog post tells the story of how Phillip Vannini became interested in off-grid living and how he began — together with Jonathan Taggart — to do research on the off-grid lifestyle in Canada.
In this blog post we describe the choices we made in producing and editing our film, "Life Off Grid."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
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.
Pick some pretty leaves, paint them and press their likenesses onto an inexpensive shower curtain liner to make a shower curtain much prettier than anything found in stores.
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.
YIKES! What to do when you've planted too many veggies? Is your garden producing more than one family can eat? Sure, you can give it away. But wait! Try pickling those garden gems. This way, you'll be able to enjoy them through the winter and beyond!
Restoring a heritage log cabin is not something to embark on on a whim, but it can be one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do.
Therapeutic grade essential oils have a tonne of uses on the homestead - here's how we've used them effectively, and how they bring us peace of mind.
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.
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.
Over the last 2 decades BeeWeaver has seen change in who keeps bees, and why they keep bees. The journey of the last 20 years has not been easy for the bees but the efforts of these New Beekeepers will keep the amazing honeybee a part of our word.
Vermont farmer Walter Jeffries details all the cuts of meat on a pig, as well as many other uses of the animal, from working the soil to providing delicious lard for baked goods.
On our journey to self-reliance, my husband, Darren, and I have been gathering human-powered tools when we can find them. It’s surprising and sad how quickly hand- and foot-powered tools were junked when electricity became available. From 1850 to 1890, more than 100 apple-pealing devices were patented. Then none, except those running on electric power. And so it goes with thousands of other nifty human-powered appliances.
Floods are our nation's most common natural disaster, and they're threatening many areas right now. Take these prudent steps now to make sure you don't get caught off guard if floods threaten your home.
When my former boss suggested we photograph my annual summer solstice party, I quietly panicked and then got busy. Borrow some of our ideas and gather your tribe to celebrate the longest day of the year--lavishly or lazily, traditionally or not.
This small project could gain you big time savings. Simply screw a few hooks inside a pretty cigar box, give it a knob and hang it near the door. Never search for lost keys again!
Diana and Tony Varnes are the happiest they’ve ever been, and they attribute their well being to living in a small home. They have more time for reading, talking and enjoying the outdoors—and their relationship is better than ever.
Katie and Martin Clemons are resetting their priorities as they settle happily into a 480-square-foot apartment in Berlin. “Living smaller has taught us to live more simply,” Katie says. They bike more, shower less and enjoy their good life.
Meditating has never come naturally to me, probably because of my goal-oriented approach. Wabi-sabi helped me see find peace in simple solitude (and long dog walks) instead.
In a wabi-sabi house, space and light are the most desirable ornaments. Follow these steps to clear the clutter so they can shine through.
Worrying about what others think about you can drin you of energy and make you do some pretty stupid things. What if you could rid yourself of that penchant? What kind of life would you lead?
Our minds are powerful things. The beliefs we hold and our perceptions can be dead wrong. Our minds can even create pain that doesn't exist. Questioning what we perceive and believe can help you live a more conscious, honest and successful life.
These money- and waste-saving alternatives to paper and plastic products eliminate the temptation to resort to disposable for your summertime outdoor dining needs.
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food
How do you keep backyard chickens safe from poultry predators? With a bit of elbow grease and a few tips, your girls will be safe from sharp teeth.
Slower growth in crop yields, high oil prices and use of food crops to make biofuels could push food prices higher for the next year and beyond.
Air conditioning accounts for as much as 20 percent of the average homeowner's utility bill. These simple tips can help you reduce your mechanical cooling needs, meaning more money for you and better-quality air for the world.
There's only one rule for wabi-style flowers: strive for a natural look, with seasonal blooms and branches arranged as they are in the field. Don't worry about perfection. Your "arrangement" is a humble admission that we can't improve on nature.
Outdoor kitchens, dining areas and living rooms are a great way to expand your home's living space. Designers offer advice on how to make the most of the great outdoors--in your own backyard.
Victoria Gazely lives in a 650-square-foot homesteader's cabin built by a man who didn't need closets. She's found five great ways to stash her stuff without renovating--and her solutions work for anyone who needs to hide a few things.
From the boxy ranch house to the superfluous McMansion, suburban housing has never been particularly inspired. These three homes show what you can do with that raw material, with a little ingenuity and a willingness to work with what's there.
Not quite ready to get rid of family heirlooms and art that you don’t have space to display? The Japanese practice of rotating precious items through a special alcove, or tokonoma, on a seasonal basis is less painful than giving away or selling them.
Forget the time and money that goes into conventional giftwrap. Use these inspirational ideas to wrap lovely gifts with materials otherwise bound for the recycling bin.
Skip the steaks if you're firing up the barbecue tonight. Marinated and grilled veggies and tofu, served up with wasabi mayo on grilled bread, is a hearty, delicious way to celebrate Meatless Monday.
Let's quash, once and for all, the notion that only harmful chemicals can kill germs and bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are natural antibacterials that keep your home clean--and safeguard your family's health.
Natural beauty is priceless. We can take in and appreciate a great view because we don’t have any hope of owning it, and we can’t manipulate it. With our egos out of the way, we can learn to simply observe.