miles per gallon
Our expert explains what really happens when fuel additives are put in a gas tank, and how this may cause more harm than good. If you really want to increase your mpg, our expert has a few tips for that as well.
Save money and gas this Earth Day — and every day! — by using these five green driving tips from the Car Care Council.
Listen to Periodical Radio's recent interview with Bryan Welch.
Using permaculture principles with rabbits to ensure their living space is as natural as possible.
A poem on the plight of the American farmer - the one percent.
There's going to be the biggest, brightest full moon of the year this Saturday. Don't miss it!
Here’s a relative newcomer plant that’s easy to grow, and very useful for the “survival garden” and the gardener with limited (or no) gardening skills.
Cam discovers that his chickens have unique personalities....
Tips on how to replace driveways, sidewalks, patios and walkways with pervious pavements, materials that let water seep through to soil.
With no care on my part, persimmons bear in abundance while mocking my empty efforts with my apple trees.
You can plant a perennial vegetable garden in the Midwest. Perennial vegetables you only have to plant once and they come back year after year.
Some unique plants that will grow wonderfully in your perennial shade garden.
60 years ago scientists at Bell Laboratories developed the first solar cell capable of converting enough sunlight into electricity for practical uses. Their discovery is the greatest breakthrough in the 6000-year history of solar energy, and the sire to today's solar revolution. Let's celebrate!
In the down real-estate market, more people are choosing to renovate rather than relocate. Use these tips to create a customized home that supports your lifestyle.
This photographic illustration shows how permanent gardens beds are beneficial, and prevent soil compaction.
One reader from central Oregon shares her personal encounter with killer compost laced with aminopyralic, a toxic chemical herbicide, and the affects it has had on her small organic farm. Read about her experience, and find out what you can do to protect your own farm or garden.
Probably not as exciting as a Louisiana Saturday night, and without an opossum in a sack, but I did kick off my shoes and throw 'em on the floor.
If you are confused about what type of onion to grow in your garden, this blog will give you the info you need. Onions are perennials, easy to grow, and have little to no pest problems. A must have addition to every garden!
The EPA continues to fight a six-year battle against White House and Pentagon officials about drinking-water standards.
As the importance of solar architecture grew, the southern aspect took on great stature in Chinese life. Ancient wisdom associated the south with fire and warmth, while the north came to be synonymous with winter and somberness. The Emperor facing south therefore shuns darkness and embraces enlightenment to govern. The Chinese to this day prefer a southern orientation for housing.
Let It Shine by John Perlin highlights the context in which solar energy developments have occurred and the people who have made the solar revolution possible, revealing a whole new group of unknown technological pioneers, as well as people famous for other accomplishments never before known for their work as the solar advocates and technologists they were.
The invention of clear window glass allowed the ancient Romans to trap solar energy to enhance their gardening techniques to grow vegetables out of season and exotic non-native plants in Rome. A thousand years later, empire builders in Europe rediscovered the trapping of solar heat with clear window glass so they as well could enjoy the foreign plants in their own back yard and grow native vegetables throughout the year.
The following post summarizes Chapter 7 of the book "Let It Shine The 6000 Year Story of Solar Energy."
To see how much solar heat could be trapped by glass, Horace de Saussure, in 1767 built a solar hot box that consisted of several glass sheets covering an insulated box. Solar heat accumulated in the solar hot box, reaching temperatures far above the boiling point of water
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Participate in our reader photo contest by showing off pictures of your permanent raised garden beds.
Sawing their own lumber enables home owners to fulfill their dreams.
How to make your own homemade deodorant that really works!
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
A new study finds that warming temperatures will cause up to two-thirds of the earth's permafrost to disappear by 2200, unleashing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
In order to secure a building permit to construct their future home, we must first complete a soil evaluation and meet the county's requirements for septic system installations.
Fall sheet mulching of perennial plantings assists in fertility and weed suppression.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
Use herbs from your garden,vegetable oil and beeswax to make a solid perfume.
One couple recounts how they pursued a land zoning waiver in order to secure a building permit on their recently purchased rural property.
The steps involved in receiving a building permit require some advance planning and paperwork. If you’re hoping to build in the future you’ll want to review the building permit requirements in your area several months before your planned construction start date.
A look at the completed project and some of the features.
These space-saving, smart front loading units perfectly accommodate apartments and small spaces and eliminate the need to wash your clothes, remove them from the washer and place them into a separate machine for drying.
How much power and performance does a car need for a guy to get a gal's attention? According to MAX fans, not very much.
With just three ingredients and two simple steps, you can clear away germs and freshen your home's air to welcome spring.
The EPA will regulate perchlorate and other toxic chemicals--but you may want to consider water filters in the meantime.
In order to secure a building permit to construct a new home, many counties require a septic system inspection and approval. Here’s how one couple had a successful “perc” test done at their future home site, along with a quick explanation of what a perc test is.
A profile of Japanese and American persimmons, excellent trees for the deep south.
We are inundated with green messages that can sometimes be confusing or misleading. This phenomenon is especially true when it comes to the paint industry. There is much talk about No-VOC and Low-VOC paints, but what is the truth behind it?
British scientists have found that many pesticides--including those commonly found in food and 16 that were previously considered safe--disrupt male hormones.
Interest in breeding a perennial version of wheat is once again on the rise. That would help reduce soil erosion, maintain soil cover, and cut back on fossil-fuel and chemical inputs.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates sings the praises of mixed-species perennial pastures for in-between seasons—even if they don't fully alleviate the need for watching and waiting.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Associate Editor Shelley Stonebrook offers tips for building permanent garden beds and paths. Shelley presented her workshop “10 Great Ways to Make Gardening Easier” at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.
How we have taken measures to mitigate and reduce our wildfire exposure.
An update to the refrigerator root cellar and how the Thermo Cube is keeping it from dipping below the freezing point and how we decided to start a terrace system to make more flat spots in a chicken pasture that's on a hillside that is steep.
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
A three-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
Many of us make a habit out of complaining, when in fact our lives are pretty good. In this blog I suggest that gaining perspective -- focusing on how good your life really is -- will help you live a much happier life. Give it a try.
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.
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
Permaculture is a holistic, integrative design for a sustainable future: registrations now open for D Acres' 2012 Permaculture Design Course!
Never in the history of the world has there been such a high-ranking member of society to advocate passive solar design than Socrates. He felt so strongly for building with the sun in mind that he even set up a class to teach his acolytes how the finer points of putting up a passive solar house.
Chinese archaeologists have recently found the oldest solar device – a bronze concave mirror – capable of almost instantaneously making fire from sunlight.
When writing his great work On Architecture, Rome’s greatest solar architect Vitruvius emphasized proper solar orientation for buildings and bath houses.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border, despite petitions from the Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club.
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.
This series of posts chronicles Betty Taylor's adventures in goat farming. This first post covers selecting a goat breed and breeder, costs, and preparing for arrival of my goats.
Describes the winter hive life of the honey bees.
Describes the heartache that can come of now observing and working with nature when raising goats.
Musing on how most of us believe "the end" is near for various reasons.
How to make a cheap hay feeder for goats that cuts down on wasted hay.
In all that can go wrong in beekeeping, it's time to be grateful for a good season.
A brief update on how the bees are faring during a break in the freezing weather.
An anecdote that illustrates a few of the realities of farm life and raising livestock.
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.
Permaculture methods and greenhouse innovations as told by a WWOOFer at Raven Crest Botanicals, an organic herb farm in upstate New York.
Maddy Harland introduces the three ethics behind permaculture design and explains why permaculture is more than a gardening technique — it’s a practical tool for a better, more creative life!
The little used herb lovage makes an attractive addition to the edible landscape and provides a smoky flavor to soups and stews.
Chinese water chestnuts are a delicious nutty root that are also easy to grow. Learn more in this article!
OK,I'm giving no hints as to why you should think like a chemist...Read it and see for yourself. At the very least, you'll be entertained by a crazy new way of thinking about life.
The NH Permaculture Gathering is just a couple weeks away!
Author Rick Austin shares gardening advice from his book, “Secret Garden of Survival – How to Grow a Camouflaged Food Forest.”
We have a saying around our house: When the pest control truck is at the neighbor’s house, all the spiders come over to our place because they know it is safe. Biodiversity is a top priority in my Northern California rural/suburban garden, and I work hard to have many plants, animals, insects, and, yes, arachnids represented.
Find all of the mulch you need for free in your own back yard.
Showing where we were before our permaculture garden began.
Do you want a permaculture garden? An ongoing blog about our journey using permaculture design ideas, to develop the organic matter in soil and produce a higher yield.
These 10 organic solutions for vegetable garden pest control are easy enough for the beginner.
Safely bring a new goat herd home and getting them used to you and their new surroundings.
Some things to know about the last fall hive inspections in preparing the bees for winter.
Come rejoice in the bounty of heirloom tomatoes - experience the flavors and choose your favorites at tomato tastings throughout the Southeast. Plus, it's time to plant fall alliums - garlic and perennial onions - and fall crops for winter storage!
Before beginning construction on their new home, this couple is taking steps to prepare their land for their impending move-in by planting perennial natives, building some walking trails, cutting firewood to dry, and more. They’re having a blast!
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.
Karen and Tony Tipsword's rehabbed 720-square-foot cabin allows them the freedom and independence to live their dream of running a campground. "Being happy does not mean a large home filled with things," Karen says.
Animal products provide vitamin B12 in your diet, which is necessary for a healthy nervous system. Learn what and how much you would have to eat to meet your daily B12 need and other considerations for adding animals to a sustainable diet.
FamilyFarmed.org Good Food Festival & Conference partner Vicki Nowicki shares her experience living, learning, and teaching on her suburban permaculture homestead.
Survivalist Gardener Rick Austin offers natural and long-lasting tips for repelling pests and insects in gardens hidden in the forest.
You don't have to stick to corn and soybeans to nourish your flock. Chickens enjoy a variety of foods, including mulberries, worms and Japanese beetles.
I, alone, am no one. I do not grow food. I do not water the garden. I do not photosynthesize. I do not put the life force in the soil. I do not make the seed. A natural force other than I is responsible for all this. That same natural force uses this body I like to consider my own to garden.
One woman’s fascinating journey from a high-rise apartment overlooking Hong Kong Harbor to sharing the earthly pleasure of growing food.
Heather Menzies studies her family's commoning roots in the Scottish Highlands in "Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good."
"Integrated Forest Gardening" is the first, and most comprehensive, guide about plant guilds ever written, and it covers in detail both what guilds are and how to design and construct them, complete with extensive color photography and design illustrations.
Permaculture is at the heart of the solution of many environmental crises. Permaculture is alive with the possibilities of positive change.
Permaculture is about a self sustaining system that provides the food, nutrients and water in one yard. It is easy to adopt many of these approaches in your own yard and garden in the Midwest.
Building a layered bed to develop organic material in the soil, hold moisture and decrease the amount of work.
Nestled above an overgrown ridge-top meadow in the Appalachian Mountains, farmer Susana Lein proudly runs Salamander Springs Farm, a permaculture farm, homestead and “food forest,” where living, healthy soil is considered the most important resource.
Our first project: building a small keyhole mound.
The 20th-Annual Organic Growers School takes place March 8 through March 10 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in Asheville, N.C. The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction and trade show.
A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your homestead.
Maddy Harland introduces forest gardening – beautiful, low maintenance and productive gardens that provide for many of our needs – food, fuel, medicines and fibers.
Prepare simple hugelkultur beds utilizing organic materials found onsite. Use fallen trees, branches, pine needles, leaves and other organic material to build raised beds now for planting in the fall.
In 'Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation,' author Tradd Cotter offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices, shares the results of his groundbreaking research, and offers creative ways to apply cultivation skills—whether the goal is to help a community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale.
Transforming this suburban property has been one of the most satisfying and creative adventures in my life. No need to go anywhere. Making big changes was the plan from the beginning, 15 years ago, when I bought this quarter-acre property with a modest 1,100-square-foot mid-fifties suburban house. If I reincarnated as a house and suburban property, this would be it.
Taking out a driveway and reclaiming automobile space can be one of the most rewarding projects on the suburban frontier. Replacing it with a walnut tree, blackberries and a storage shed with edible landscaping over the roof is even better.
Permaculture has become the new buzzword in certain circles. What is it? Do we need it?
International Homesteading Month is off to a running start! Here are two stories of events that are truly promoting education to foster more self-reliant communities.
Growing and harvesting hazelnuts (filberts) in your garden.
The best low cost (semi-reliable) options for getting animals and plants onto your homestead!
The ACTUAL benefits of weeds in your garden. Use and value diversity! Find the benefit!
Greening our homes, neighborhoods and communities depends on friends and neighbors working together. This blog will show and tell several examples of friends and neighbors greening the neighborhood.
How we found a home, started our urban homestead and gained several years work.
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
Maddy Harland writes about principles that underpin our understanding and practical application of permaculture. She relates them to designing a green home and garden but also explains how permaculture can help us to create more sustainable lifestyle
In Arizona, an intrepid desert gardener harvests rainwater to grow his own food. A Missouri garden writer feeds his soil to feed himself. In Texas, a garden wall encourages community. These are a few of my favorite gardens.
Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.
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
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
Whether or not it was devised by clever Mexican potato growers, the cheap, easy to build, and space-saving potato tower is a unique alternative to rows, barrels, and other methods for planting, growing, and bringing in your season's spuds.
Gathering leaves from the woods to mulch the garden and stump dirt to turn into potting soil not only provides free biomass for the garden, it also introduces beneficial microorganisms.
Reynaldo Ochoa, the subject of a new short film, grows with a goal of teaching and practicing permaculture unique to an individual's region, emphasizing sustainable farming as opposed to “slash and burn” agriculture.
Ziggy Liloia examines two poignant books, Paradise Lot and Gaia’s Garden that turn the idea of needing lots of space to grow ample food on its head.
Managing compost now allows for more productive use the following season.
Weeding in the summer is all about species maintenance
In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel teach readers how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non timber products. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.
“You don't have to move to live in a better neighborhood.” Half of all Americans live in suburbia. It’s true that suburbia is on the receiving end of a lot of social, economic and environmental criticism with much of that criticism well deserved. While some of these criticisms may be justified, at the same time, suburbia offers enormous potential to become a critical new frontier for deep changes in our culture and economy through principles of suburban permaculture.
Integrating Eastern teachings to Western agricultural practices can help us develop a more holistic form of agriculture. The legacy of Fukuoka inspires us to embrace a peaceful relationship towards Nature that can take many incarnations. The core guideline behind Shumei Natural Agriculture is to follow one’s heart, not letting one’s mind steal mindfulness away, while remaining open for new ideas.
"An Unlikely Vineyard" by Deirdre Heekin tells her story of growing wine in the unlikely hills of Vermont and her quest to express the essence of place in every bottle. It is about the evolution of her farm from overgrown fields to a fertile, productive, and beautiful landscape that melds with its natural environment. A gentle narrative with lush photography, this book will appeal to anyone who loves food, farms, and living well.
Thoughts on growing all your own food. How much space is required and other things to consider.
The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
Using 16-foot livestock panels in many ways on your homestead.
This is the story of my family’s transition from a nomadic military lifestyle to one of rural homesteading. I talk about our preparation leading up to leaving the service and some of our current goals and projects for the property and our lives. I also talk about using permaculture as the design science methodology for our businesses and the development of the property.
Shifting our built environments from the current linear blocks of car-centric urban sprawl to more integrated human-scale and life-sustaining organisms is not much different in principle than turning a concrete yard into a permaculture plot. We have to think in terms of arrangement of vital nodes, distance between interdependent threads, paths of least resistance, utilizing existing natural conditions, and maximizing water, energy and food sources.
This entry departs from our treatise on purely financial considerations of people who decide to move toward a full-time homesteading or farming lifestyle to explore issues that can be leveraged to reduce other "costs," such as time, labor and maintenance requirements. Up for discussion this installment are homestead location and layout, equipment, and free natural raw materials.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
A permaculture-based, 2,000-acre farm in Northern California integrates grassfed livestock with orchard farming.
Tired of pests? Here are five tips for knocking ‘em back without resorting to pesticides and toxic chemicals.
How fast climate change will require you and your descendants to move north in order to keep farming and gardening a serious question you should be asking yourself.
The owners of Finca Exotica on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula utilize their lush garden for everything--including a natural antidepressent.
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
Participate in a clothing swap and make an economic statement
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
Actor Carel Struycken is famous for his role as Lurch in Addams Family, as well as many other roles. He is also a big proponent of permaculture. Nyerges talks with Struycken at his Pasadena home about permaculture and sustainable farming.
Using cold frames for fall salad greens can extend your season of fresh eating.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
This is an excerpt from Christopher Nyerges' "Self-Sufficient Home" book (published by Stackpole) where he talks about some of his early gardening experiences and when he learned that the health of the soil is the most important aspect of gardening.
Monitoring energy use has led to increased motivation for conservation
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica’s verdant San Carlos agricultural region is a dynamic, living example of permaculture and biodynamic farming, where every being is part of a system that nurtures the body and the soul.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
Maddy Harland explains how to make light work of establishing the ground layer in a forest garden, create a wildlife habitat and control pests all at the same time.
Finca Exotica is ideal for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the Osa Peninsula's bounty and learn about permaculture and sustainable building.
Photos from tectonic shift. Ruminations on MEN and MOTHER EARTH NEWS and masculine and feminine, and feminine planet.
Since her first house move, MOTHER EARTH NEWS blogger Cathie Ackroyd, has become so very conscious of the impact we humans have had and are having on our planet’s environment and hoped to find a place to settle that would allow us to gain an element of self-sufficiency in a relatively car-free community.
Solar drying experiences in 2012, including tomato varieties Principe Borghese and Long Tom.
Set up a washing station in your garden. Rinse your veggies there, saving the water for the garden and keeping your kitchen clean.
Learn about using the Piteba to press your own homegrown oil.
Book reviews by permaculture educator Cindy Conner. Learn about Sustainable Market Farming, The Art of Fermentation, The Permaculture Handbook, and The Small-Scale Poultry Flock.
Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc.
A brief announcement of the new Permaculture chicken ebook series that starts with chicken egg incubation.
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
Eating only homegrown foods on the Fridays in Lent.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months