One of my earliest vivid childhood memories is sitting on my father’s lap as a young girl reading the magazine together in the 1980s and all throughout my childhood. He would read aloud while I studied the pictures of passive solar building, vegetable gardening, sheep shearing, building your own sugar shack and the beautiful array of topics which he read to me frequently. Those images, along with the camping trips in the mountains, the whitewater and canoeing excursions, and our family trip to Alaska, have been etched in the catacombs of my childhood memories and have sculpted the person I have grown to become.
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
Glimpse a view into the world of cordwood construction. This old-fashioned, natural building technique can inspire you to build an energy-efficient, mortgage-free house of your own.
The Homestead Act of 1862 celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. The Homestead National Monument is hosting several activities to recognize this historical event that resulted in millions of self-sufficient homesteaders receiving free land. Learn more and participate!
I wanted a DIY natural cleaner for stainless steel appliances, because I don't use all those terrible chemical-filled products that I was tricked into buying 10 years ago. How do I clean without the name brand products that promise to make life easy and clean your stainless steel products? Let me tell you my secret.
Do you find yourself spelling out words to others, such as when you are spelling out your last name? Try out our Homesteading Alphabet to keep your listeners on their toes and your homesteader lifestyle a part of your daily routine in a whole new way.
Radical homemaker Karen Keb introduces her new blog, which will cover topics as diverse as baking bread to raising livestock.
Many years ago, years before I moved to the country, I was what would be considered "a prepper." I saw disaster every time I turned on the TV, or read the news on the internet, or visited forums that talked about stockpiling beans and bullets. I panicked, thinking I could never have enough control for the sake of my family, never be "prepped" enough.
The bleeding edge of technology is where the true pioneers of their respective industry reside. Adam D. Bearup has had his own impact in the green building field on several fronts, above and below ground.
Forced to extremes by illness, these homeowners built sacred, beautiful homes completely free of toxic chemicals, petrochemical fumes and other poisons. For all three, better housing has meant better health.
To make liquid hand soap all you need is a bar of soap and a cheese grater. What could be easier?
Store-bought deoderants contain aluminum and other harmful substances that find their way into your bloodstream. Try this recipe for natural homemade deodorant that uses baking soda with coconut oil and essential oil to create a effective and safe alternative.
Save forests, use local materials, build a durable house made of whole trees.
I’m a little bit obsessed with The Wizard of Oz. And so, as I promised to discuss the topic of changing our name back to Natural Home this week, I just can’t help myself from weaving in references to my favorite film. (Some days, it’s all about keeping myself amused.)
The newest articles of Natural Home are in. See what's inside.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi spends her first night in her new home and reflects on the struggles and triumphs of the journey thus far.
To me, the most important features of a sustainable building are not its technological wonders but its simple design features: common-sense strategies that should be incorporated whether the building becomes LEED certified, Energy Star certified, or is just trying to be environmentally friendly.
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
Are you a modern homesteader with pioneering women in your lineage? My great grandmothers were all pioneers, but our lives could not be more different.
Four months or so after you made wine from summer’s fruit, it’s ready to go into bottles. More meticulous than romantic, the bottling process marks the start of the final wait until the wine is ready to drink.
An introduction to Paula Baker-Laporte's future readers : about Paula, multiple chemical sensitivities, Building Biology and the role of green building in health.
Be aware: Living sustainably can be hindered by homeowner association rules.
Learn how to build a straw bale home by downloading this free guide.
Clean with vodka for a spic-and-span house and less of a headache in the morning! You can use the alcohol to freshen your laundry, remove mold and mildew, and even repel bugs. Vodka kills bacteria and dries clear and odor-free, making it an ideal addition to your cleaning cupboard.
It's time for our fourth-annual call for nominations for outstanding modern homesteaders! Organic gardeners, do-it-yourselfers and general self-sufficient gurus are being sought for the opportunity to be named as one of our 2015 Homesteaders of the Year.
Do you know any modern homesteaders living a self-sufficient lifestyle? We want to know about them! Nominate a family, someone you know or even yourself to become one of our Homesteaders of the Year in 2012.
The fourth in a series of postings about my visit to Cuba with a delegation of energy industry professionals, and a Cuban colleague’s visit to Vermont where I developed a similar tour. Along the way we learned about efficiency and renewables, and some striking contrasts between ourselves and our countries were revealed.
As Passive House Institute standards up the ante, USA Today’s “Best Green Homes of 2010” list reflects Americans’ desire for affordability, efficiency and style.
This variation on the (endlessly adaptable) traditional Mongolian yurt design was inspired by the work of master yurt builder, educator, and homesteader Bill Coperthwaite (who was also a neighbor and friend of the Nearings). This low-cost yurt design combines basketry, wattle and daub, and basic lashing (similar to skin-on-frame boats). Not much more than a glorified tent, this DIY yurt made from sticks, string and mud makes a very comfortable, durable and beautiful tiny house, studio, or meditation space.
Many people don’t know that most HVAC systems don’t produce more or less heating or cooling based on the room temperature – they simply blow air for longer.
Kick toxic chemicals to the curb and make your own natural lotion using just a few ingredients. Making homemade lotion is an easy, fun and creative process.
Moms, protect your baby’s health with this safe, homemade sunscreen.
An introduction to me, a home-schooled 11 year old.
Hemp seed is a powerful source of protein, Omega-3, vitamins and minerals, and has a delicious nutty flavor!
Tart, tangy and tangerine — Nordic Naturals new vitamin gummies.
Pick something new to learn this year from Granny Miller’s list of 101 basic homesteading skills.
Making cheese was nothing like I expected, but in the end, I was successful.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking nominations of self-sufficient modern homesteaders for our 2013 Homesteaders of the Year awards.
Why do we believe that math must be done one workbook page at a time, at the kitchen table? Anyone who’s ever kept chickens can tell you all the math that can be found in the hen house.
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.
There are some things that you just aren’t going to wash very often, like your curtains, couch cushions, and probably even your favorite jeans. To spare the air, concoct a simple essential oil-infused linen spray, and spritz away until your definition of what “clean” smells like shifts permanently.
The discussion of home birth often revolves around the mother and the newborn baby. This blog post describes the experience through the eyes of the father, and the amazing respect for the family's midwife that came from the day of his son’s birth.
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
This blog post shares some of The Thyme Garden’s experience with growing hops for over 25 years. It includes history of hops, useful information about hops and how and where to grow them.
We learned a long time ago that we couldn’t attract an audience for our magazines unless we gave our readers tools they could use to improve the world personally. A backyard organic garden is the perfect symbol of positive vision and commitment.
As the youngest member of a new local food producers and artisans cooperative, 11-year-old Grace is learning business skills while perfecting her artistic talents with homemade jewelry, pot holders and more.
Assistant Editor Heidi Hunt checks in with a quick report about Nate Poell's presentation on homebrewing.
Anyone can brew beer. The article seeks to demystify the process and help jump start brewing by breaking down the equipment, recipe, and ingredients. This is a 2-part blog post.
Anyone can brew beer. Part 2 of Homebrewing for Beginners seeks to demystify the process of cooking the wort, fermentation, racking, and bottling.
Exploring preparing meals of only homegrown food.
Farmer and HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates doesn't need a calling. He’s got plenty of other stuff to keep him busy in his small Missouri town.
The Homestead Act of 1862 opened up 270 million acres of public domain land for settlement. The Homestead National Monument of America tells the stories of many of the people who claimed land and tried to "prove up" their claim.
When HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania mama Michelle Wire discovered a hidden treasure on her property, she found a new appreciation for her home along with it.
Natural Home chose bamboo for its kitchenware line because it's both sustainable and beautiful.
Chinese worker Chen Shun Qun says she is paid and treated fairly at the factory that makes Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools.
Save money and have a healthier home with these ideas for assembling your own green cleaning tool kit. Plus, get our recipe for Lemon-Mint Window Wash.
Your simply imperfect arsenal for getting the whole house clean--naturally.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers recently named dishwashing formula as their most desired DIY cleaner, so we’ve rounded up some easy and inexpensive dish de-griming recipes for your automatic dishwasher or for washing by hand.
Oregon homebirth midwife and naturopathic doctor, Jill Edwards, talks about boring versus interesting births, the safety of birthing at home and more.
Skip the packaging and synthetic chemicals and learn how to make your own, cold-processed shampoo bars.
Erin McIntosh of Mountain Rose Herbs and Victoria Miller of Canyon Creek Farms will present workshops on calming herbs and how to keep turkeys at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
At the Healthy Homes Conference in Denver today, I heard Home Depot Foundation CEO Fred Wacker say that the nonprofit sector is so far ahead of the profit sector in addressing healthy homes that it’s embarrassing for the profit sector.
I heard Ellen Tohn of Tohn Environmental Strategies say that the government will fund energy-efficiency updates in 1 million homes in the next year, making it paramount that energy workers understand healthy home principles. Poorly done house tightening could trap residents inside with contaminants and create hazards.
And I was pleased to hear health care pioneer Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, put quality housing in the same arena as diet, exercise and public policy as a key to achieving individual health. “If you don’t have healthy housing, I don’t care how many times you push away from the table or how far you walk, you’re not going to be healthy,” he said.
We are collecting stories from our readers -- their older neighbors or relatives, too -- about self-sufficient homesteading and farming in the early 20th century. Read what we've found, and share your own story from yesteryear for modern homesteaders.
Using herbs and food to dye Easter eggs gives them beautiful, earthy color--without scary chemicals. And it's surprisingly easy.
HOMEGROWN.org unwraps its 2013 holiday gift guide, featuring lots of homemade presents, as well as a few stocking stuffers for under $20.
Buying "natural" cereal could get you a bowl full of GMOs. To keep genetically modified ingredients off your family's table, buy organic.
Treat your cat to fresh spring herbs when you whip up this healthy homemade kitty food.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border to keep illegal immigrants, but have they thought about the wildlife that they will destroy along the way?
Recently, I had an epiphany in a building supply center. Even though I’ve been in the building trades for over 35 years and made countless trips to purchase building supplies, this trip was different.
HOMEGROWN blogger Dyan finally spots signs of spring on her Maine dairy farm, from sunrises to newborn goat kids to eggs of every shade. Lovely!
When her parents fall ill, Michelle takes a step back to care for them, to take stock of all she has learned from them, and to observe an early Thanksgiving.
Watch this video to learn how a straw bale house goes together from start to finish.
The Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies offers scientific backing to herbal and natural medicine.
Learn three simple tips for making the most of small gardening spaces, including hanging plants and advice for selecting seed varieties.
Realize that DIY inspiration is just a click away by checking out these great home remodeling blogs.
A recycled cork yoga mat prototype gets a rigorous workout as one editor puts it through the ropes in her quest for more eco-friendly Zen.
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.
When a group of graduation students began designing a home on the Navajo reservation in southeast Utah, they knew keeping it cool in the desert would be an issue. Their innovative solution--a Windcatcher--is the first of its kind in the area.
Marley Audio Electronics collection, which debuted last week, showcases premium, eco-conscious manufacturing and materials, including hemp.
NaturalNews readers overwhelmingly chose Monsanto as the world's Most Evil Corporation.
Victoria Gazely considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin on 7 acres of fertile earth--purchased for $150--a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
When you get home, go to your hot water heater, remove the cover and turn it down to 120 degrees (sometimes labeled “hot” as opposed to “very hot”).
Get an introduction to Building Biology, the science and philosophy of healthy and ecological building that originated in Germany 60 years ago.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle takes a young woman under her wing for a first lesson in homemaking.
Jeff and wife Kathy have lived off-grid since 2002. They strive to inform the public about ways to live inexpensively, and to further the principle of sustainability. Visit their website to learn more: www.naturalpower.weebly.com
At last, we construct the foundation.
Our humble abode begins to take shape.
Doug and Jennie Ostgaard designed and built a photovoltaic system for their home, a project they was completed in six months. DIY photovoltaic solar has many benefits, and they outline a few of them here.
Follow these tips to banish clutter and increase your efficiency, from your home office to your garage.
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.
Build this portable poultry pen in an afternoon using only simple hand tools. It’s just the right size for a small yard, but you’ll find lots of uses for it around the homestead, too.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick recounts a poignant start to lambing season on Bittersweet Heritage Farm.
Western Missouri farmer Bryce Oates shares his thoughts on the USDA's once-in-five-years census.
Pennsylvania mama Michelle has finally found a homestead! Get her moving tips on take-back programs, packing mason jars, buying cheap appliances, and more.
West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates explains why he has a problem with putting farmers, among others, on pedestals.
After deciding to take a year off from lambing, Maine dairy farmer Dyan has a change of heart and gets a four-legged Valentine, a baby lamb.
How to make your own homemade deodorant that really works!
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce shares 5 things to consider before starting a farmstead—not the least of which being winter.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares how she built a cheap greenhouse out of mostly scavenged materials - and how you can, too.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and pregnant Pennsylvania mama Michelle (Congrats, Michelle!) shares her plans for planting a baby food garden, including her entire seed order.
Discover some of the properties of essential oils, along with some tips for cleaning with them.
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.
While many of those visiting our Hostel are farmers and homesteaders themselves, some come from that “city culture” and seem to take their first hesitant steps outside of a flatly paved driveway when they arrive at our place. Wide eyes, a sense of adventure.
Get our expert advice on homemade options for laundry soap.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall to create a barrier along the US-Mexico border. Although the wall will never completely stop illegal immigrants from coming into the country, it will risk the survival of animals and wildlife in the area.
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.
We call our homestead Sunflower Farm and now we have the sign to show for it!
Use naturally cool nighttime air to provide summer comfort. It's a lot easier than you think and it can save you a fortune on cooling costs.
Ceiling fans help cool people naturally, and use a lot less energy than air conditioners. Use them to save on energy.
There are multiple philosophies that describe what characterizes a green home, but all have low energy loads in common.
Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools are made without formaldehyde or other harmful additives, through a process that eliminates waste.
Keep your family healthy by paying close attention to your home's 10 germiest places.
The L41 is a mass-produced, superefficient home designed to provide affordable shelter for everyone.
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.
Every good home needs a porch. From fireside chats to sleeping--and even hanging laundry--porches can accommodate every aspect of our lives. Here are five inspiring examples to put a fire under your porch-sitting fantasies.
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.
Alma Hecht's renovated century-old cottage is artistic and beautiful--and it inspires her to create wonderful watercolor paintings. Her home is both an outlet and a source for her creativity.
In the third in a series on potential toxins and chemicals to avoid during pregnancy, Natural Home & Garden Editor Jessica Kellner discusses the dangers associated with use of retinol in skin care products.
Bee stings are so painful you feel like a burning torch has touched your skin! To get fast relief, here are 8 natural bee sting treatment options you can use at home.
Learn about using the Piteba to press your own homegrown oil.
My name is Antonette, and I am a new blogger here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Before I can blog my pregnancy journey for you all, I must first do something that has taken six years ... write the birth story of my son Baylin.
October 6, 2010, at 11:04 am I said the three words I waited over four and a half years to say. I looked in to my newborn daughter’s eyes and said I DID IT! This is the VBAC homebirth story of my daughter Evangélina.
I recently received a copy of the new book and pregnancy journal Sacred Pregnancy from author Anni Daulter. I was thrilled when Anni agreed to guest post this week for the blog on what makes a Sacred Pregnancy.
Mother's Day was this past Sunday, so I felt it was appropriate to share two beautiful birth stories this week that were sent to me from two extraordinary and strong women. This first story, in two parts, is a story about a HBAMC.
On Mother's Day 2011, Brandy went in to labor with her fourth child. She was planning a HBAMC (Home Birth After Multiple C-Sections). She woke up that morning ready to bring her son into this world on her terms. This is Part 2 of her story.