how to start beekeeping
A look at how many hives to start with when beginning beekeeping.
To be a successful beekeeper we must overcome our initial fears.
You can make your own fire starters from cardboard, sawdust, lint and melted candle wax or buy them ready-made.
Laura Weaver has managed BeeWeaver Apiaries, along with her husband, Danny Weaver, for nearly 2 decades. She has seen the bee industry and the public image of the bee change, as well as their own family bee business.
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
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.
Beekeeping yields honey, but it can also make our lives complete.
A video guide to making the fire-starting tinder that has worked best for me the past two decades, whatever the weather.
Learn how to start seeds indoors using inexpensive fluorescent lights.
An expert on do-it-yourself projects explains how to apply the fundamental KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) to tractors.
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.
A recipe for sourdough starter.
Use this parabolic mirror as a handy pocket-sized firestarter.
Is it really necessary to give my new chicks “chick starter” feed? Any reason why I can’t simply give them “layer” feed right away?
An automotive whiz explains why it's not a great idea to let your car warm up by idling.
Catch the gardening bug, and start to grow your own food! Once you start, you’ll love it. Here are some basic pieces of advice for the budding gardener.
A great way to use up extra sourdough starter.
TERA-Light is a perpetually renewable fire starter that requires no batteries, no chemicals — only air and organic plant material!
Don't throw away that extra sourdough starter. Turn it into delicious muffins, crackers, pancakes and more.
Many people waste too much time each trying to get motivated to work. As a result, they get a lot less done than they need to or would like to. In this blog, I show a way that has helped me for many years get motivated to work and stay on task.
Try a simple seed viability test to see if your old seeds are worth planting.
Summer comes on fast in the Southeast. Expert gardeners Ira Wallace and Pam Dawling share some tips to keep ahead of the heat and a recipe for Roselle Dessert Bars to help you appreciate the heat when it comes.
Volunteers work to start the Sunset Hill Elementary School Garden in Lawrence, Kan.
You can get more for your gardening money with a group seed starting effort.
This is the second part of our foray into sourdough baking. Here are tips and insight on sourdough to make working with it even easier.
Getting started each day presents a major challenge to many people. With so many pressing demands, it's often difficult to know where to start. Feeling overwhelmed and panicked, you may end up frittering away your time. He's a trick to get you going.
What follows are my top 6 tips on how to start beekeeping; a most wonderful hobby that I urge everyone to take up.
Homemade transplant pots from newspaper save money and reduce waste.
These resources will help you learn how to grow food and start a garden.
If your loved ones were depending on you to start a fire for their warmth in a pouring rain, could you do it? Survival expert and author of PRACTICAL OUTDOOR SURVIVAL, et al, shows you how it's done.
If you have ever thought about beekeeping photography then this article is perfect. Geoff Fitzgerald talks about his motivation for the topic and what got him started on the rooftops of Brooklyn. There are also some fantastic urban beekeeping photos.
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...
Two Ogden Publications employees turned beekeeping beginners seperate the honey from the comb in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS parking lot. Thier backyard hives are only four miles away for making sweet, local honey.
Being a father myself I really want my children to enjoy my passion and this is a great example of teaching children how to appreciate what bees get up to. With a little patience this is a fantastic family beekeeping activity enjoyed by all.
Sourdough waffle recipe.
This is amazing! Pairing sourdough with beer and wine, 10-ince pancakes, what next? We're taking sourdough to the next level for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Sowing tiny seeds for fall crops is easy with discarded plastic seedling trays and strips of fabric for lifting soil cubes.
Jump start your tomato harvest two months before everyone else with these simple instructions!
One way to get a jumpstart on the growing season is to start growing your seeds indoors. For most of you it’s still cold outside. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a headstart on getting your garden started for the new year.
Tips on how, when and why to grow your own seedlings.
Gardening is as easy as you want it to be!
January is the time to start your indoor seeds for spring planting. Here is a calendar for starting your spring and summer seeds.
Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.
You can make your own seed-starting flats from scrap wood you already have or from pallets.
Bee populations in urban settings are increasing, but urban settings aren’t set up to provide lots of forage for honey bees... or are they?
This summary of a Warré Beekeeper’s regular seasonal activities gives you both a general idea of what this method entails in the long-term if you are considering adopting this method, and to provide you with a beekeeping calendar that you can use as a guide after you have gotten started.
These beekeeping resources will help beginning beekeepers get started raising bees.
An auspicious start to our beekeeping? Maybe!
What could be lurking in the commercial honey you buy? Maybe it’s not honey at all, and would you think honey is healthy if you knew it contained corn syrup? Let’s talk about how commercial honey is produced and why you might want to find a local source for raw honey.
A sustainable agriculture professor explain the organic certification process.
Tips for starting seeds indoors and a calendar for when to start your seeds indoors for a Zone 6 garden.
Kim Walter shares how she became interested in beekeeping and what she has learned from her bees.
Tall Goldenrod is a fall favorite of the honeybee. Although it is most likely the bees are foraging on a variety of flowers, it is natural to assume the most prevalent flower at any given time is the strongest influence in the honey.
Miller Manufacturing expands the Little Giant beekeeping supply product line.
This is an explanation of how I use a late winter warmup to manipulate my hives in preparation for spring nectar gathering and to minimize swarming.
Finding the right book for yourself is hard. Even harder if you are trying to learn something new. A BeeWeaver beekeeper, Emerson Arehart, read many beekeeping books and came up with a short list and summary to help you get started learning about bees.
This is a followup to an earlier blog that reports on the successes and failures in creating nucleus beehives this spring.
Choices are available when it comes to feeding a new package of honeybees. Three of the options are discussed in this post. Choose the one that is right for you.
Describes how understanding the nectar flow in your geographical area helps you maximize colony health and honey production.
My bees shipped early - here we go!
The post office has called to say your bees have arrived! Now What? Step-by-step instructions on installing your hive.
Getting ready for new bees involves preparing equipment and the site. Planning ahead leaves little to disturb the bees once they are in their new home.
Catching a swarm of bees is awesome. Now learn how to take care of them.
This beekeeping blog post describes robbing behavior in honeybees, what causes it, and how to prevent or stop it.
Learn how and why to utilize a queen excluder in your beehives.
Worker B is returning to their beekeeping roots and adding raw honey to their collection of products.
Worker B continues expanding product line with beeswax candles.
This is a beginner's guide to getting started with sourdough bread making. With directions on how to make your own starter, or where to order some, this will get you on your way towards making some delicious breads, biscuits, pancakes or waffles.
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.
How to measure tomato seedlings for success before planting into your garden.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
Starting seeds with children indoors is a project that extends into outdoor planting of the seedlings in spring and harvesting produce in the summer. It allows you to share success and satisfaction with children and makes it more likely they'll eat their vegetables!
Which fire starting tool works best - or at all?
The garden is 58 by 112 feet and it's planted!
Overview of the activities of a garden in March. How to prepare the soil for spring. What varieties I am planting this March in our Zone 6 garden.
What seeds to plant by month in a Zone 6, or Midwest, garden, plus seed-sowing times for spring and summer crops.
Growing lettuce and other leafy greens indoors with an aeroponic system in a south-facing window seems like a wise move, especially during this long, snowy winter. Here I will explain the basics of growing greens with an aeroponic system, starting off with the initial expenses and moving on to pH and nutrient solution. Then I’ll hope the sun provides enough life-giving rays long enough each day to grow some leafy greens.
When lettuce is mentioned, many think of the standard iceberg lettuce found in supermarkets and restaurant salads. That is changing with the growth in popularity of the different types of lettuces from Romaine to head and leaf-type lettuces, mainly due to the flavors and colors that they offer from deep red to almost white and noticeably sweet to tangy and slightly bitter.
This blog post takes a look at some of the methods we have developed over the last 25 years growing vegetable seedlings in our certified organic greenhouses. This time we take a look at the conditions required for healthy seedling growth.
Learning how to make a soil block is a simple skill capable of permitting one to become involved within their local CSA or farm. It can also be a great way to meet local farmers, reduce CSA membership fees, and learn about organic gardening. Before each seed is sowed it must have a soil block to grow in. Being part of that initial step brings great joy.
Dragging my feet to get spring started, afraid to fail and making the decision to jump in an succeed or fail already!
This blog post shares some of the simple techniques learned through many years of experience by someone who grows vegetable seedlings for a living.
One of the easiest ways to make your own newspaper pots.
Make a shelf or table into a growing space for starting seedlings.
Check out our time-lapse video of peppers growing from seed to sprout.
By starting seeds indoors, you get a jump start on spring garden planting.
Every year gardens suffer from the "blight effect" on tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants. If left alone, the disease can prevent plants from flowering and maturing altogether. Here are 5 easy steps I encourage everyone to take before next year's garden even begins to sprout.
Kids get to have fun, learn about gardneing and start veggie seeds at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.
Growing peach pits doesn't get much easier than this.
The staff at MOTHER EARTH NEWS plants tomatoes and peppers during a seed-planting project at the office.
Some people just do not want help! The frustrations of starting a business and attempting to offer professional help to community organizations.
Seed starting techniques and timing for an urban homestead in the Pacific Northwest.
Check out the installation process of an urban beehive.
My brief discription of sustainable beekeeping
There are times when I find beekeeping stressful but most of the time not of my own making. I discuss here the weather, when bees decide to do things you don't want and when you are just totally unprepared!
The owners of Runamuk quickly realized the high demand for local, raw honey after selling their first few jars of it. See how this home-based business opportunity grew out of beekeeping.
Not all beehives are created equal. This post examines Langstroth beehives, Top-Bar beehives, and Warre beehives in order to help a new beekeeper determine which system is the best for her bees.
North Carolinian Master Beekeeper, Tia Douglass, offers an introduction to chemical-free, natural beekeeping, bees and approach to raising pollinators.
Becoming a beekeeper takes a lot of planning and preparation. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain some steps you can take now to start getting ready to keep bees in the spring.
Starting a new hobby can be intimidating when everything is unfamiliar. Walk through the basics of a beehive structure.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss some techniques for helping beehives survive through the end of winter.
Here I describe the honey harvest and how it varies from year to year.
Propolis is becoming a very popular “bee product” in the natural health arena. The fact that it is produced in nature does not make a product sustainable. We must always be aware of the toll that the harvest of that product makes on the organism that creates it.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss honeybee swarms, and how to try to prevent your bees from swarming.
Locating a queen in a hive full of thousands of bees can be hard. Here are a few tips.
In this blog, I hope to convince beekeepers that not feeding the bees is better for the health of the bees and for the beekeeper's bottom line.
Modifications I’m making and things to consider before building your own top bar hive.
Overcoming my personal fears and welcoming the newest addition to our homestead - honeybees
Buzz is brewing about Bee-a-Thon 2011, an online "town hall" event scheduled for July 16, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. A variety of bee experts — from beekeepers to academics to environmentalists — will discuss the importance of bees and the critical challenges of colony collapse disorder.
How do you manage offers of used beekeeping equipment? This post describes some creative options.
Beekeeping has its benefits: raw honey, beeswax and pollination. With a quick check, you can find out if your community offers a rent-a-bee program. For a fee, you'll get a queen bee, hive colony and a mentor to get you started.
A beekeeper, acting as the Guardian, discovers a hive that appears to have been frozen in early spring and then sees it come back to life before his very eyes. This beekeeping short story may surprise you, too.
Don't wait if you plan to start beekeeping this year. If you want to be a beekeeper, now is the time and this blog post will provide you with information to prepare for the coming season.
This is a great first guest post for Geoff Fitzgerald and his beekeeping photography aspirations. Follow his journey here.
Interested in beginning beekeeping? Here’s a simple checklist to get you started in time for spring.
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.
How-to online videos are a valuable resource for any do-it-yourselfer. But there are a lot of videos out there, so we’ve picked noteworthy ones and provided a few links to help you find more in the future. From building a workbench to changing your car’s oil, these engaging and instructive videos will inspire you to start a fun, new DIY project.
Get prepared for the season with useful tips for seed saving with Art Davidson, expert from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed.
Done with flimsy, store-bought tomato cages that fall over when the wind blows? Build long-lasting, heavy-duty tomato cages to fit your garden with one of our four plans.
One of the most fun parts of beekeeping is harvesting honey. Here we will look at the first part of the honey harvest, removing the honey supers from the hives, and how to store them safely.
Find out how to protect your hives and honeycomb from wax moths without using chemicals.
Learn how to keep your bees properly fed and also ensure a plentiful and delicious honey harvest!
Bee populations in cities are increasing, but urban settings aren't set up to provide lots of forage for honey bees...or are they?
Jennifer Ford shows how she extracts and bottles her "liquid gold" honey at Bees of the Woods Apiary.
When honeybees are unable to store enough food for winter, the beekeeper must decide how to support the colony through the winter.
Beekeeping basics and how to keep bees safely and simply.
Beekeepers need a consistent way to document hive inspections including prompts to address all relevant areas while looking at a colony of honeybees.
A less meddlesome approach to beekeeping.
This overview of the yearly activities of a Warré beekeeper is for people trying to decide if they have the time to become beekeepers and experienced beekeepers who are curious about the Warré method. It also serves as an index of the many of the main topics that will be covered in depth by this blog.
Tips for managing spring cover crops using only hand tools.
Pre-spring work up for beehives coming out of winter.
Anticipation of warm weather, bees, flowers, and HONEY!
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary shares some beekeeping crafts and activities to pass the time until you can get back out in the beeyard this spring.
What needs doin' in the beeyard?
Take a look around your property and decide where to put your new beehives. Some considerations for hive placement.
Keeping bees with neighbors in the city or the burbs.
Describes the timing and the nuts and bolts involved in expanding your apiary by making nucleus hives.
Essential oils can be a useful supplement for honeybees. Lemongrass, spearmint and thyme essential oils are being used to encourage brood development and the overall health of bees.
Beekeeping supply arrived, it's light out and I have a fever!
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain how they perform the first beehive inspections of the year. This will be the first step in what will hopefully be a successful year in the beeyard!
Kim Flottum of "Bee Culture Magazine" and Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees discuss tips and techniques of keeping bees in different types of hives - top bar hives and conventional Langstroth hives.
Recap of 2010 growing season in Northwest Pennsylvania
The vagaries of beekeeping jargon and its importance to the beginning natural beekeeper.
Over in the UK we do our beekeeping conventions a little bit differently than in the United States, and so I thought you might like to see a video of our latest one a few weeks ago: the BBKA Spring Convention.
Jennifer Ford, of Bees of the Woods Apiary, explains how to produce comb honey, and why it is such a valuable product of the hive.
Don't over-stay your welcome at the hive. Give your bees space.
The no-waste way to render beeswax.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will share her beekeeping goals for the New Year, along with some tips on how to make them happen.
Awesome facts about the amazing honeybee.
Reasons to do a quick hive inspection as soon as possible. Dealing with deadouts and preparing equipment.
Deciding on urban beekeeping may just mean hosting a hive - some of the honey and none of the work!
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.
Listen to what happens when you have a hole in your jeans and angry bees!
Changing out old comb for new. Getting rid of old black comb.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking readers’ stories of home-based businesses, and we’ll pay $50 for each story we use.
What to plant in April for your vegetable garden, and what sized pot you need for your vegetable plant.
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.
It's mid-February, time to start thinking about spring! Ira Wallace helps us make our garden plan, remember our perennials, and Plant a Row for the Hungry this year.
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.
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.
Learn how to assemble a humane animal trap out of recycled material. It’s easy and effective!
How to install a package of bees
Learn how to teach your kids to ride a bike. It's simple: Use a scooter.
Ben Davis, of Ben Does Life, has a truly inspirng weight loss story, but it's how message about how to be happy that is most motivational.
Read about our mycological journey, starting with our process of inoculating several shiitake mushroom logs. The process is easy enough for most anyone intersted in producing their own shiitake mushrooms at home — plus, it's fun and a big money-saver!
A long-time gardener describes the seed-saving technique for cucumbers.
Watch this video tutorial on how to make tofu.
Choosing, growing, and drying everlasting or dried flowers for beauty that can be enjoyed for seasons to come.
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.
Cole takes you through the first steps in learning to cut your own meat - sourcing.
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
Follow these easy instructions explaining how to make a fruit picker, and you'll never be tormented by out-of-reach fruit again.
Bake those tart cherries dangling from your backyard tree into sweet and tasty fruit pies. Here's how to make fresh cherry pie without stressing about the perfect pie crust.
Ed and Joan Kobrinski left a large family home for a smaller, simpler cottage—and they’ve never looked back. Their tips for downsizing and living in smaller spaces could help make your transition easier.
What began as a hobby for her young son turned into a lucrative honey production business for beekeeper and MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Alissa Brandemuhl-Zengel.
Beekeeping expert Betty Taylor explains how to reliquify crystalized honey while maintaining color, quality, and nutrients.
Homesteads are keeping alive old skills and ways of raising crops and livestock that are being lost in the age of agribusiness.
How to prepare your hives for the winter to protect them from mice, skunks, opossums and other wildlife.
Encouragement for new beekeepers who may be confused and overwhelmed about all the conflicting advice about keeping bees.
Beekeeper Betty Taylor explains what for look for during an end-of-summer hive inspection.
A brief overview of keeping bees in a top bar hive from setup to overwintering.
Colony Collapse Disorder is threatening the future of bee pollination. Here's what we can do about it.
When and how to feed your honeybees.
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.
Describes the winter hive life of the honey bees.
What is a beekeeper to do during the long cold winter months? Eat honey of course.
A recipe for a grease patty that doesn't use hydrogenated oils.
For the hobby beekeeper, try treating Varroa mites with natural remedies.
Bees do not live on honey alone. Pollen provides honeybees with necessary protein.
Reading label ingredients is a must for your baby's health.
A beginner beekeeper learns that the best way to raise healthy bees is to do less.
I briefly describe my journey from a kid on a large 2000 acre alfalfa farm in the west to a homestead beekeeper in the midwest, on our 35 acres that we call BeeLanding.
Our office was abuzz with bee activity this morning! We received four packages of bees today before they were delivered to their final garden homes.
If, like many beginning beekeepers, you've been confused by how to perform an artificial swarm, watch this beekeeper training video to get a solid grasp on the concept.
Thinking about bees? Check out this DIY top bar hive!
Our guest blogger is positively enchanted by the convenience, not to mention the benefits, of keeping worms in the garden.
If you are looking for gifts for beekeepers this blog post could be perfect encompasing books, clothes, equipment and even wrapping paper. This is perfect fodder for all of you that need to buy presents for beekeepers!
Allan Savory visits Polyface! This was a week of permaculture lessons, staying up late with birds, processing honey and winding down from Field Day.
In all that can go wrong in beekeeping, it's time to be grateful for a good season.
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
All you need to know about the island’s most fascinating export: New Zealand Manuka honey.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary talks about her experience with developing an allergy to honeybee venom, and how she manages this allergy to be able to continue beekeeping.
Don't wait until spring to get into beekeeping. Order your package honeybees now.
A brief update on how the bees are faring during a break in the freezing weather.
Being stung is the most often quoted reason for not keeping honeybees. This was also my fear before I started keeping bees. There are ways to reduce your chances of being stung. With just a few precautions, you don't have to let this keep you from a rewarding hobby.
What's going on with the hives, new developments in the Down-East Bee Lady's life, latest bee school news, etc.
There’s never, ever been a better time to get involved with honey bees and beekeeping.
Iain, working to build his socially responsible candle-making company, gets all his new equipment arriving from Holland.
"Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?" is a new bee documentary that examines the global bee crisis through the eyes of beekeepers, scientists, farmers and philosophers. The film emphasizes the thoughts of biodynamic and organic beekeepers on Colony Collapse Disorder and highlights the impact of industrial agriculture on the relationship between humans and bees.
There are many beekeeping associations in the U.S., national, regional and local. The two National Groups are discussed, looking at members, activities and goals.
This week saw the first ever honey show in London, and what a joy it was for all involved. Based at the Lancaster Hotel in London, the first hotel in the UK to put beehives on their roof, it was the perfect location for such a great event.
A wakeup call for folks who want to keep bees without the work, stings and realities.
A blog about the joy of a mentoring relationship and the rewards for the mentor and a new-bee.
Packages of bees originating from California last year had a high rate of failure due to the poor quality queens they contained.
Our process of buying the land for our homestead had little to do with logic and a lot to do with emotion. For me, it was a chance to return to the plains where I grew up and be close to family.
Jim and Julie are starting their homestead in Texas while still living in Australia. Managing the project by remote control is the challenge, and they are learning as they go. This is an adventure of faith and confidence.
By the 4th of July, there's a palpable shift in the feel of the beekeeping season. New beekeepers wish for more guidance, and may even be wondering why they started this project! Here's a little reassurance that you are not alone in your endeavor.
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...
This blog post started life as an article in The Natural Farmer,published by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). It could be said to herald the birth of that entity we have come to call The Cynical Optimist.
A quick essay regarding the "size" question of a top bar hive, from the bee's point of view - where it's all about the "volume"!
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Examining an community for your homestead.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How potentially dangerous chemicals are tested and are they really that safe for humans or not.
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.
Beehive happenings since my last blog post.
Our declining industrial system has created a series of environmental and social problems and can no longer produce the wealth required to solve them. That means that ordinary citizens must shoulder the burden of changing the way things are done by creating biodiverse systems. Here is a place to start.
Some things to know about the last fall hive inspections in preparing the bees for winter.
The beekeeping presentation in the kids' booth at the Tree House Club was filled with enthusiastic kids. Check out what one kid had to say about his time spent with the bees.
If this is your first year to keep bees, wear as much protective clothing that makes you feel comfortable but as you become more experienced try wearing less so that you can fully enjoy beekeeping. Just how much protective clothing should you wear?
A short introduction to the almond pollination adventure going on in California right now. Bee Culture spent 3 weeks exploring this annual event, traveling from Bakersfield to Chico, visiting orchards, beekeepers and almond growers.
The mild winter, early sring and continued warm weather are really messing up the normal sequene of bloom and availability of honeybee food. What will happen this summer is anyone's guess. Be Prepared.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Using newspaper, learn how to craft easy, biodegradable pots to start seeds.
Ordering bees in January doesn't seem to make sense, until you understand that April is the cruelest month. Plus, if you order bees in January, and then you don't need them - that's just a reason to celebrate! Order early!
Danny Weaver is a 4th generation beekeeper. He started out allergic to bee stings and overcame the dangerous allergy. Learning about how to tolerate bee stings is part of being around the bees.
OK, you’ve got a start: where to get equipment, groups to join, classes to take, and mentors to hook up with. Now’s the time, before you have bees, to take a long hard look at some of the rest of the things you need to be thinking about.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A TED talk by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees: Making the Connection: Honeybees, Food, and You.
Three U.S. regional beekeeping associations offer much to beekeepers at any skill level and experience. Beeyard adventures, workshops, lectures, honey shows, and the chance to meet hundreds of likemined individuals await you here.
A Christmas Wish for all, inspired by the magic of the honey bee.
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.
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.
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
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.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.