Several experiments in seed starting: inside, in the greenhouse and in the ground.
Want to have the adventure of a lifetime by working in a National Park, Wwoofing in an exotic location, or joining AmeriCorps? Here's what you need to know.
This is the first post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It will start with simple preparation ideas (Asceticism, Borrowing, Creativity) and move into more hard-hitting how-to advice (Ducks, Edible landscaping, Fodder, Goats, Horticulture, etc.).
Aur Beck, who has lived off-grid with solar electricity as his main power source for 18 years, shares some of his personal experiences with renewable resources throughout his life.
With so many tomato varieties available, choosing which to grow can be a daunting challenge. By understanding the difference between indeterminate, determinate and dwarf tomato varieties, better decisions for your particular growing conditions and needs can be made.
Choosing between ordering package bees, nucleus (nucs) hives and splitting your own. Maybe try all three!
A good snowfall now and then helps to test the limits of our resources. You never know if you are prepared for disruptions until you are disrupted. Here are some hints to help things go smoothly when there are real possibilities that they might not otherwise.
A review of popular seed catalogs and recommendations for seeds to start a medium-sized homestead garden.
At Wild Abundance, reconnecting with the land means living and working in sync with the cycles and seasons as they unfold. Here is a guide to the very beginnings of the East, when the earth is waking up, and moving from the slowness of winter into the flurry of action of spring: Harnessing the Maple Moon of February and the New Growth Moon of March on your homestead.
As we plan our gardens, it is often about obtaining seeds. Many of those seeds were saved by friends. An upcoming workshop from Seed Savers Exchange covers both basics.
To save money, it’s no surprise that many homeowners are considering DIY solar panel kits when they decide to go solar. Here are the top things you need to know about DIY solar before making a decision.
Parasites catch a bad rap. Often feared and maligned, we tend to overlook the fact that they play an integral role in the ecological health of our ecosystems. Though animal and microbial parasites are most familiar, there are parasitic plants as well. What follows is a brief overview of the nature of parasitic plants.
Establishing a secure financial future for your retirement requires that you explore a variety of options, but most homeowners don’t realize that installing a solar panel system can be one of the smartest retirement investment options available.
This is a perfect time for reflection and planning, because the 2016 gardening season is peeking around the corner. Seed catalogs are arriving. I am sure that all of us are really missing freshly picked tomatoes. Here are 5 ideas to use in planning your 2016 tomato garden.
Learning to do things for yourself at home is empowering. You don’t need a degree in home economics, although it helped Cindy, to get started. She even makes her own blue jeans! Just as important to her are projects such as making a bench grinder stand, which you can learn more about here.
Learn some tips about adding new chickens or even new bird species into your existing poultry flock.
Looking for alternatives to store-bought gifts? Check our these eco-friendly holiday gift ideas. Green your holiday season by making your own gifts, gifting experiences, or giving plants- the gifts that keep on giving.
It would seem that most people don’t pay any attention to plants unless they are pretty or useful in some way. I reject this reality outright. From the smallest duckweed to the tallest redwood, the botanical world is full of wonder. I am here to defend that.
In Part 1, I posted a series of questions to ponder over the winter. Now it's time to take things further and start to devise a tomato growing garden plan for next year.
Make exceptionally rich compost quickly and easily by utilizing some of the planets very best eaters - worms! Vermicomposting, or using worms to break down waste materials, is a fast and effective way to turn kitchen scraps into worm castings, a highly valued form of compost.
For much of the country, the tomatoes we are eating now are not the prized specimens plucked from our gardens. They are emerging from our cupboards (dried, canned) or freezers – certainly wonderful enhancements to our cooking endeavors, but not elucidating the summer time level of excitement. But the end of the growing season doesn’t equate to a long, tomato thoughts-free sabbatical. This post outlines how to be planning for next tomato-growing season.
Considering five lessons learned in the garden this year - mini-cloches, cover crops, etc.
Instructions on how to bake the best wood-fired pizza you will ever eat, right in your own backyard using an earth oven made from cob.
Have an excess of leaves on your property? Here are some ideas for how to put them to use!
A few tweaks in the process may make all the difference in whether a colony survives the winter.
As part of their Americorps positions at Big Laurel in West Virginia, for the next 11 months, the author and her husband will be living in and maintaining an historic homestead, working in the local schools as teacher aids, and doing whatever they can on the premises of Big Laurel to help further its mission as an Appalachian ecological learning and retreat center.
This is the first of a series of articles on how I made the transition to off-grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable old-school techniques practiced for thousands of years of human history. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off-grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small home.
Take notice of your environmental footprint over the festive period and follow our guide for a greener Christmas.
Pressure cooking is a quick, healthy and efficient way to cook a myriad of dishes. In this recipe from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Topeka, Kan., vegan cookbook author Jill Nussinow introduces a simple bean chili recipe that includes nutritious fall favorites, sweet potatoes and squash.
Finding authentic, plant-derived, high quality essential oils and knowing what to look for is a challenge, particularly given the power of marketing. What do we mean by the terms genuine, authentic, plant-derived and unadulterated anyway? This post explains how to hone your senses and find the best suppliers of top-quality essential oils.
While searching for essential oils on the internet you may come across some companies claiming to be approved by the ISO or to meet and/or exceed guidelines established by AFNOR or to be GRAS-approved and even one company claiming to have Certified Pure therapeutic grade/FDA approved. What exactly do the terms and certifications mean?
Discover how to expand your olfactory palate to be able to determine qualitative differences between essential oils and learn what all the terms used in the marketing of essential oils mean. Feel more empowered in choosing a supplier and learn key elements to look for when making that decision.
Hive pests increase at this time of year while colony numbers decrease. Check your hives every two weeks. It doesn’t take long.Attentiveness over the autumn months pays off.
Here, I share this very simple method for rendering beeswax that will take you from sticky mess to wonderfully fragrant disks of clean beeswax ready for your crafts and beauty products while costing very little of your time and precious energy. Your bees will actually benefit from it!
Small hive beetles are typically considered a secondary pest in the honeybee hive, paling in comparison to the Varroa mite. But they can be more than a nuisance. Left unchecked they may wreck the hive. There are ways to combat this secondary pest.
There are so many ways to dry herbs: in an oven on low heat, in a dehydrator, in the sun. However, overr time under well ventilated conditions, herbs will dry all by themselves with no additional encouragement.
Why mulch your garden? There are many benefits to a strong mulching practice in home gardens.
To make potent extractions of the medicinal properties from plants growing nearby, you can easily learn to make your own tinctures and infusions. Alcohol-based tinctures are often used for acute or specific concerns, while water-based infusions are strong, medicinal teas which gently strengthen the body over time.
I’ve done what I can to reduce our household water usage; I am not sure how I could cut down any further and still keep my vegetable garden alive. These are the steps I have taken over the years. Use these five simple techniques to conserve water (and save money) on your homestead.
Why everyone should consider eating slow growing, standard-bred chickens!
The least expensive method to grow your apiary is to split existing hives. The walk-away split is the easiest way to do this.
We cannot all have farms, but we can all raise our own tomatoes.
Planting seedlings from large garden centers often delays production as plants must overcome neonicotinoid insecticides, hormones, and chemical fertilizers when planted in your garden. Learn more about the toxins used by large growers and then support small producers for a healthy garden.
The previous entry provided a run-through of the basic wind turbine terms. Here, we’ll cover the tower, the unsung hero of small wind turbine energy production.
Hive inspection to check for queen cells, hive health, nectar, honey, pollen, and whatever the girls might need.
Rethinking a garden bed - from problematic to perfect for garlic.
A story about Indigenous women taking care of their land in the Pacific Northwest by restoring the native ecosystem.
27 million Americans today live with Osteoarthritis. Here's a look at many of the options available to them for relief.
Keeping animals in good condition is important for the health of your homestead. Here's how to get past the fluff and make sure your rabbits are in top shape.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce addresses his attempt to balance his climate change concerns with the everyday challenges of an agricultural lifestyle.
Japanese knotweed is a voraciously invasive plant and the bane of many gardens. It is also a delicious and versatile wild food.
Developing a checklist can help when loading up for a trip to the bee yard. Here's how I'm trying to eliminate unnecessary trips back to the house for a forgotten tool.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS fairgoers could choose a vehicle from a fleet of Ford hybrid cars to test-drive on the rolling countryside outside Asheville, N.C.
Get more intense flavor and more nutrients by slicing olives into a simple spinach and chickpea salad. This thrifty recipe also shows a streamlined salad-making process.
Rabbits are a fabulously healthful, economical and ecologically sound source of meat, and they don’t have to be kept in hanging cages. Rabbits can be raised on pasture to produce food for your family while improving the quality of your land.
Spring tomato rituals and a discussion of good varieties for the Pacific Northwest garden.
Potlucks make sharing a meal about as easy as can be. With just a few changes from the usual all-disposable approach, potlucks can be green, thrifty, and more enjoyable too.
Even store-bought mushrooms create vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Use this nifty trick and my tasty recipe to keep up your supply of this essential vitamin.
Add an efficient solar cooker to your winter emergency kit for hot meals during power outages. Even when you could have power, it's fun to roast potatoes or bake dessert off-grid on sunny winter days.
Chicken tractors, which sit directly on garden beds during fallow times, maintain soil, reduce insect pests and even provide fresh eggs.
Sometimes a colony of honeybees dies. Colony-collapse disorder is all over the news, but what else might have happened?
Easy to make crackers from scratch.
Choosing to purchase goods and services from local vendors impacts your local economy twice as much as purchasing from corporate suppliers. Here are seven local services you can remember to purchase from more often.
Catching and storing rainwater is one of the most important tasks on the suburban frontier for "green preparedness." It's a great way to build "home economics" and connect more closely with taking care of basic needs.
"Numen: The Nature of Plants" is a cornucopia of intuitive wisdom, science based knowledge, and exuberant passion and reverence for plants around the world. The film opens with plant close ups and stunning time lapse photography of plants throughout their growing cycles, their intrinsic eye catching patterns and their symbiotic relationships with pollinators. Numen is defined as the spirit believed by animists to inhabit natural objects. The film describes that we sense this force the most abundantly through plants.
A forty-something woman stumbles into a booth at a farmer's market, looks up, and sees a handsome farmer. You may know that the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey also begins with a tumble and winds up with love. It's no coincidence: my book Fifty Weeks of Green is a comic response to Fifty Shades that celebrates sustainable living.
Compact fluorescent bulbs are very energy efficient, but disposing of them can cause complications because of the mercury in them. It is good to be informed about proper recycling and make informed decisions to minimize greenhouse gases.
Gather your extended family around the table to share home-cooked, healthy meals on a regular basis. Reap the rewards of laughter, pleasure, and deepening relationships for very little money. Get started with my recipe for Beans with Caramelized Onions and Carrots. Ten servings cost about ten dollars using organic, heirloom beans and about seven dollars using pinto beans.
Seed starting techniques and timing for an urban homestead in the Pacific Northwest.
Easy-to-make bagels using basic pantry ingredients.
Get the inside scoop on how successful farmer and author Jean-Martin Fortier farms 11/2 acres using soil building and no-till methods.
How bamboo differs from hard-wood flooring and why it's a wonderful green alternative.
Second part of article regarding home wine making.
Before you begin to make your own wine in the Midwest, it’s good to have an overview of the craft itself and also determine if your area of the country is an area where grapes be successfully grown and utilized for wine production. As with many hobbies, it is not just the end result, but the process itself, that provides an intriguing experience.
This lentil-coconut soup recipe offers a rich and unique way to prepare protein-packed lentils using coconut milk and Indian spices. The masala and ginger will help cut the winter chill, transporting your taste buds to someplace warmer.
The first of 12 posts, seed saving begins with an introduction to the stories behind seeds and why they are so important. From preserving our shared botanical heritage to protecting a diverse and decentralized food supply, the story of seed is as varied as the people who plant them.
The Missouri Organic Association is gearing up for its 2015 Annual Conference in Springfield, Mo, on February 5th, 6th and 7th at University Plaza Hotel and Conference Center.
What's going on with the hives, new developments in the Down-East Bee Lady's life, latest bee school news, etc.
Four questions I ask of new varieties, before ordering seeds.
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.
Awesome facts about the amazing honeybee.
Healthy homemade granola; easy on your budget, good for your family.
In conventional lending, underwriting decisions are based on averages, and algorithms, credit scores and cashflows. They do not reflect a would-be borrower’s character, and are un-nuanced — “black and white.” Kiva Zip, a non-profit based in San Francisco, is pioneering an innovative, character-based approach to lending that allows for a more colorful underwriting canvass.
From the familiar fall flavors of pumpkin, pecans and oats to the warm and welcoming spices perfuming the air as the mixture bakes, this pumpkin spice granola recipe truly embodies the season.
Everything pauses during the time around the winter solstice.
There are many non-dairy sources of calcium to choose from to make sure you are getting enough of this vital nutrient.
Making a roasted-root vegetable pot pie with biscuits in the shape of angels is the perfect comfort food.
Women have gathered since the dawn of humanity. Women tend to lose sight of self care because we are the caregivers. When women gather, we renew the inner fire in our hearts, we brainstorm solutions to global problems, we connect to the earth.
“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.
Don't wait until spring to get into beekeeping. Order your package honeybees now.
Dehydrating foods and making the most of the bounty.
Transforming the Thanksgiving leftovers into something wonderful can be a challenge. Try stuffing leftover turkey into Mexican poblano peppers.
The Food is Free Project has inspired thousands of individuals, families and groups around the globe to start front yard free gardens to share with friends and neighbors. They are losing their teaching farm.
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.
Ideas on making a list for yourself before consuming or investing.
EPA confirms that neonicotinoid treatment does not increase soybean yield.
Since getting the homestead functional, we have focused on food - local producers, access to food and ways to educate and communicate. This blog describes a couple of my useful and favorite organizations, Slow Food and the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance.
Winter food storage in a naturally cooled space.
This year I took several liberties in developing a new version of salsa verde. I don't grow tomatillos so I use green tomatoes. I won't call it salsa verde (except on the lids of my jars), because it isn't authentic. But let me tell you, it is GOOD. Here is Annie’s Green Tomato Salsa Recipe good for use when water bath canning.
Part one of a three part series on greed, consumption and economic oppression. Exploring how we may have gotten here and what we can do about improving our lives and the lives of others.
The no-waste way to render beeswax.
Some of the most amazing natural phenomena to see this autumn. Try to check them out in person if you can!
Hunters and non-hunters alike can get true enjoyment observing the movement and interactions of wildlife with the use of a trail camera. But buyers beware!
It's time to harvest honey and there must be a way to evict the bees from the super. This post covers three possible options.
Using leaves as mulch to enhance soil fertility.
Warmer weather proliferated the rise of a viral infection in deer dubbed Episodic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), carried by a tiny biting fly called a midge. Unfortunately, individual state deer management, once based in science, has now grown to be political. Influenced by farm agency and insurance company lobbyists, legislators regularly appoint natural resources directors who are not faithful guardians of wildlife.
Young, pioneering aquaponic farmers like Josh and Alicia Davis, who own and operate an aquaponics farm in the Midwest, are reshaping the future of food in the United Sates. Folks like these surely do inspire others to think differently about their food.
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
Solar energy solutions can reshape the future. It can help sculpt the world we live in and can help solve some of the greatest environmental problems facing the world today including climate change and our reliance on fossil fuels.
A Chicago food heritage site — a meat-packing plant built in 1925 — becomes a 21st-century, net-zero producer of food.
The only recipe you’ll ever need for wonderful homemade broths plus deliciously versatile chicken and veggie soup.
Oregano is often regarded as "just" a flavoring. It has a rich history of medicinal use and shows great promise for the future.
Learn how and why to utilize a queen excluder in your beehives.
A sepia photo of a North Carolina family in front of their farmhouse reveals food heritage.
Shelter Publications’ new book has all manner of roaming, tiny dwellings to spark your inner wanderlust.
How do you manage offers of used beekeeping equipment? This post describes some creative options.
Asheville has a long history of attracting people searching for a tranquil place for personal retreats and wellness. For Day 3, it’s time to chill, revitalize ourselves and do some rebalancing of our mind, body and spirit on a health and wellness tour.
Which grows better in Pacific Northwest gardens - kale or collards?
Going camping, hiking, or canoeing this summer? HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares a big-batch granola recipe that will feed your entire group—or one hungry teen.
One of our readers made a fiberglass and carbon fiber roof for his own home-built MAX high-mileage sports car, and here's how he did it.
Congress passed a piece of legislation which could have a serious impact on the nation's job crisis. This post explains the act, analyzes its impact, and notes that the whole renewable job sector has been pretty much ignored.
Raw honey isn’t just delicious — read on to learn some of the medicinal uses for it.
Electronic waste, aka e-waste, is the fastest growing waste stream of our time. E-waste is considered hazardous waste and more often than not, is recycled improperly. But there are ways to avoid contributing to the growth of this toxic waste.
In a post-carbon agriculture, much of the work of growing food will be done through physical labor and one in six of us will need to have our hands in the dirt. How do we foster a new generation of 50 million fit farmers?
A list of ways we could each show support or teach our friends and family to support the Local Foods Movement
The Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, proposed on June 2, 2014, by the Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan not only limits our carbon pollution but also injects life back into our domestic workforce.
Locating a queen in a hive full of thousands of bees can be hard. Here are a few tips.
One woman's vision of a family farm comes to life in her back yard thanks to one friendly goat.
Keeping bees with neighbors in the city or the burbs.
Introducing a revolutionary new book about the "drinkable landscape" and how you can use organic gardening to produce a huge array of beverages.
Day 2 in Asheville, North Caroline, is about the eco-high adventures to be had, both in the trees on a zipline and when hiking to the Catawba Waterfalls.
MAX won an award at the 2014 Maker Faire Bay Area for...gosh, we don't really know, but it was best in its class.
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.
Permaculture is at the heart of the solution of many environmental crises. Permaculture is alive with the possibilities of positive change.
Discover how to grow various members of the onion family: bulb onions and scallions, leeks, garlic, ramps, shallots, and chives. Each one has different requirements and habits, yet all are rewarding for organic gardeners.
MAX is getting a garage mate. We're building a high-mileage pickup truck for those jobs that a sports car can't do, and this post outlines what we're starting with.
As the planetary ecology falters, and finite resources are depleted, communities everywhere will be challenged to create vibrant local economies that function within and help to renew local ecosystems.
Beehive happenings since my last blog post.
Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest, with the Great Smoky Mountains to the southwest, Asheville, North Carolina, is the perfect basecamp for an ecotour, cultural trip and culinary adventure. Experiencing the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair held here this past April was just the start for my wife and me.
For the hobby beekeeper, try treating Varroa mites with natural remedies.
Gardeners don't have to live in a semi-tropical zone to grow organic lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus fruits. Proper technique with potted plants can yield a bounty of delicately flavored, vitamin-rich citrus.
The new 15 and 25 series snow pushers from Land Pride are available in 3 popular sizes.
Modifications I’m making and things to consider before building your own top bar hive.
Bees do not live on honey alone. Pollen provides honeybees with necessary protein.
Some examples of passive solar design applied to homes in the southeast, where cooling, as well as heating, is a concern.
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.
In remembrance of a dear friend and steward of the Earth, a look at how others inspire us and how their legacy sculpts us.
Anticipation of warm weather, bees, flowers, and HONEY!
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.
Starting a new hobby can be intimidating when everything is unfamiliar. Walk through the basics of a beehive structure.
Learn about the benefits of baking with this ancient grain.
A new building insulation guide is available from NAIMA Canada to assist homeowners in choosing the right insulation for new building and DIY home renovation projects.
When and how to feed your honeybees.
Everywhere is full of micro-climates. Discover the places in your garden where the soil warms first, or last, by watching the snow melt and taking pictures.
Winter has it's challenges, but the snow-capped beauty and the adventure of living simply amongst it makes it more than worth it.
Tart, tangy and tangerine — Nordic Naturals new vitamin gummies.
Colony Collapse Disorder is threatening the future of bee pollination. Here's what we can do about it.
Energy Star for Homes is a worthwhile green building certification with demonstrated market value.
Noticing the cycles of the plants, animals and insects around you, which is the study of phenology, will help you become more attuned to your garden. Soil temperature has a lot to do with those cycles.
Ilene White Freedman celebrates with her friends at their homestead-warming, after over two years of living in a trailer while renovating a dilapidated house. Their restoration includes the original logs and stone kitchen of a historic cabin. Some uninvited guests from the farm’s livestock take a house tour too.
A recipe for a grease patty that doesn't use hydrogenated oils.
Take a look around your property and decide where to put your new beehives. Some considerations for hive placement.
Clearing away snow has just gotten a charge from Snow Joe, the leading US supplier of over 140 products for snow removal and other seasonal needs. I got my hands on their latest innovation, a cordless snow blower powered by a 40-volt lithium ion battery, and compared it to their top-selling cord-based electric snow thrower.
What needs doin' in the beeyard?
Using snowshoes to keep our paths and trails open as the snow piles up.
What is a beekeeper to do during the long cold winter months? Eat honey of course.
Snow in the mountains is different than snow found at lower elevations.
I’ll let you in on a little secret; there is no PERFECT knife. Cutting tools are only as effective as the handler wielding them.
A less meddlesome approach to beekeeping.
North Carolinian Master Beekeeper, Tia Douglass, offers an introduction to chemical-free, natural beekeeping, bees and approach to raising pollinators.
Why Tesla cars, Space-X and other creations of Elon Musk are not the kind of visionary thinking we so desperately need.
A small apiary uses a unique system to extract honey from frames.
A brief overview of keeping bees in a top bar hive from setup to overwintering.
Honey from our backyard bees provide us with a sweetener, but just as important, honey has many health benefits.
The many problems associated with recognizing, treating and reporting pesticide drift exposures.
When honeybees are unable to store enough food for winter, the beekeeper must decide how to support the colony through the winter.
New, efficient technology is replacing the old, and it is transforming the way in which we live, and more importantly, our impact on the environment.
Where is our economic security?
Beekeepers need a consistent way to document hive inspections including prompts to address all relevant areas while looking at a colony of honeybees.
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.
A gourmet guide to preserving the last harvest from your garden.
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.
What it means to stick up for yourself when you experience pesticide drift.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle takes a young woman under her wing for a first lesson in homemaking.
The little used herb lovage makes an attractive addition to the edible landscape and provides a smoky flavor to soups and stews.
Sansin Corporation offers advice on green, historic home renovations.
The victim of a spray drift incident may not see any actual damage, but plants, trees and possibly people, still are drifted upon.
With just about every breed of standard bred, heritage poultry, we have work to do. They are not producing like they once were.
Growing garlic is easy if you just know the right time to plant it: in fall, not spring or summer!
As fall nears, sunflowers are beginning to die off and it's time to harvest their seeds! In this post I bring you through the steps to harvest and prepare your sunflower seeds for eating!
Humanity has the power to change and to take the actions needed to foster a healthy planet and a better standard of living for all. Choosing beauty and abundance will ensure a better future not only for humanity, but for the natural environment as well.
Non-gardeners and gardeners are very, very different creatures.
I learned an important gardening lesson from fighting tomato blight.
Second annual report shows how homeowners consume and conserve energy; one third willing to cool off in undergarments rather than turn down the A/C.
So, what makes a flock of poultry sustainable? What is standard-bred poultry? If you purchase chicks from a hatchery, are they true to the breed? Why does every hatchery sell Rhode Island Reds and they all look different? Why do the Cornish Cross meat chickens have so many problems? Raising standard poultry is the only true way to improve the sustainability of quality local food while preserving the strength of Heritage poultry.
The victim of a spray drift incident often finds him or herself on the defensive.
Simple suggestions on preserving vegetables and herbs
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
Learn how to create a yoga studio that enhances your practice and your health.
The different emotions you may experience as you deal with Pesticide Drift on your property or your person.
In our modern society, we are starting to realize how important the environment is and how fragile it really is. Our resources are limited, and if we aren't kept in check, we will ruin any hope we have of preserving it. Using the technology we have available to help us is something everybody can do.
How my dad defended himself from overly generous gardeners.
Over the past year, I have made countless mistakes on my garden. In this post, I share four of my most frustrating gardening mistakes and how to avoid them.
FamilyFarmed.org Good Food Festival & Conference partner Vicki Nowicki shares her experience living, learning, and teaching on her suburban permaculture homestead.
For me, homesteading means to not have a great need for money in the first place. It also means that the money one does need is being made by utilizing the land, as in our case, running the Hostel.
One of the easiest ways to bask and rejoice in the gifts of nature is to make and use a solar wall heater.
Ways to fertilize organically without breaking the bank.
Kari Underly launches Range Meat Partners to offer training and create a new generation of craft butchers.
Tools and techniques for sustainable living.
Our striving to live frugally, monetary so, affects our everyday life choices. We choose to live without a lot of things that cost money. We make most of the cash we do need by running the Hostel in the summer months.
How new technologies, such as home automation are making Earth more eco-friendly.
How we determine springtime at 9,759 feet elevation.
FairShare CSA Coalition partners with health insurance groups to offer a rebate for selecting fresh, organic, local produce.
The first civilian-built MAXes are nearing completion, and here are a couple of them that are rolling under their own power.
It's important to periodically check any canned, dried, or otherwise home-preserved food to make sure it's still safe to eat.
Triton College has installed electric car charging stations in an effort to promote greener lifestyles in the community.
We enjoy sledding and snowshoeing in the winter as outdoor activities.
Keeping goats inside during nasty weather isn't easy, but it's worth the time! Dealing with sick goats, fever and runny noses isn't fun, so taking precautions makes things much easier.
On a snowy winter morning, the kitchen table becomes the grand cathedral of a home. It is the place of family, song, wood fires, community and love as we wait for spring.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking nominations of self-sufficient modern homesteaders for our 2013 Homesteaders of the Year awards.
Learn details regarding winter chicken care including ventilation for a cozy chicken house, heat for baby and grown chicks, and recommended poultry books.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
A new study has uncovered a link between food and environmental allergies and chemicals found in pesticides, herbicides and other agricultural products and drinking water.
In the hollows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this true Christmas celebration was simple, inexpensive and rich with tradition.
Participate this year in the annual Christmas Bird Count from December 14, 2012 - January 5, 2013 and help scientists understand how bird populations have changed over the past century.
List of the Top 10 Apps for Taking Tech Outdoors.
Using portable sawmill and basic timber frame techniques to build a utility shed.
A story of life, death and rebirth of a hoop house.
The Game of Logging is a professional logging program that can benefit anyone who uses a chain saw.
Talking about the new Chocolate Turkeys we saw on Saturday and how to properly plant into a kill mulch without doing much damage to the killing.
A 2012 survey by Northeast Group LLC was published in October, claiming 95 percent of U.S. cities that have tried LED streetlights are satisfied with the results, saving nearly 60 percent in costs.
Ed and Laurie struggle with making time for visitors while dealing with all of the daily business and homesteading tasks.
The Obama Administration releases its plans for new renewable energy sources. Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, explains that the new solar energy zones span six states and keep both domestic energy and environmental preservation in mind. If completed, the power generated from these solar energy zones would provide electricity to roughly seven-million homes.
Climate Change is a real threat to the future of humankind, but within that threat is the seed of opportunity.
The North American Solar Stores (NASS) network announces their nationally recognized solar store brand to meet the solar energy demands of today's alternative energy-aware consumers.
New technology achieves 80 percent energy efficiency during the coffee roasting process.
Recent reviews of several scientific studies support the idea that chocolate is good for your heart. A University of California/Berkeley Wellness Letter breaks down the good news on healthy chocolate.
How we live in the mountains during the winter.
This is part 1 of my adventures in KAF Land, or King Arthur Flour, Norwich, Vt. If you want to go to baker heaven, this is the place to be. They have everything once could imagine for baking, and then some.
Observations and reminiscences of the 2012 MEN fair in Seven Springs, PA.
Advocating for biking during election season can result in the government focusing on bikeability and walkability.
Does 100 mpg fuel economy justify cross-country recreational travel? Maybe so and maybe not, but I need to be careful—increasing fuel efficiency can increase fuel consumption if you increase your driving, too.
Splitting firewood has changed over the lsst 40 years. A sharp chain and hydraulic splitter make all the difference in the world.
A shocking first hand experience with the noisy demise of an ancient carbon monoxide detector.
In this posting we discuss how the record infection rate of West Nile virus is related to the record global temperatures of the past decade. We also discuss how these record temperatures have allowed the infections to occur in northern latitudes.
Learn how to make gnocchi using pumpkin or squash purée.
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
A break from usual blogs to share the celebration of my daughter's wedding.
An introduction to DraftSight, Dassault Systèmes' 2D CAD software. It's professional quality and it's free, and Jack is converting all the MAX fabrication drawings to DraftSight .dmg documents.
Jessica Kellner, editor of Natural Home and Garden Magazine, shares three pregnancy skin care products that will help prevent stretch marks and keep your baby belly soft and smooth.
MAX gets a temporary mash-up of old and new style body parts (the new nose is at the fiberglassers' having a mold made so we can make more of them) to get road-legal for a trip to Canada.
What follows are my top 6 tips on how to start beekeeping; a most wonderful hobby that I urge everyone to take up.
Taking a ride on an old steam engine.
Vantem Outdoor Living partners with Lowe’s Home Improvement to deliver next generation shed and workspace structures.
A story of one of our camping trips to Torreya State Park, Florida.
Choose smarter features for better results.
Jack has dismantled MAX's body and is making molds from the body parts, so other MAX-like car builders won't have to duplicate his work.
Receives SRCC OG300 certification on 41 system configurations for residential solar water heating systems.
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.
With an understanding of your limitations, you can operate more safely and efficiently. Training in timber cutting techniques can greatly expand your capabilities
Crushing a truck, harvesting garlic, and fixing a broken flywheel shaft key are just a few of the things that got done over the last week at WaldenEffect.org complete with photos of all the juicy stuff.
Tips on how to replace driveways, sidewalks, patios and walkways with pervious pavements, materials that let water seep through to soil.
Multiplaz North America announced it continues to woo potential resellers, as it is overwhelmingly winning consumers with its green technology, gasless, based Super New Plasma Welding and Cutting Machine, the Multiplaz 3500.
As a nursery renovation begins, Jessica, editor of Natural Home and Garden, is just beginning an investigation into remodeling options for an eco-friendly nursery.
Cam is frustrated by new technology that just doesn't work - and prefers old-fashioned DVDs to watching movies online.
Comparison between old ways and new technology.
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.
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.
Living in a community that has those who served in the armed forces and make good neighbors.
Salvaging logs is always a challenge-- but finding buried treasure in it always makes it worthwhile. This salvage job came after the land had been cleared by the owner, and the best lumber pick over buy a logger.
What we have found as an advantage of having a rural hardware store close by.
The tail end of MAX's bellypan (diffuser) gets tuft tested, and the attached video shows the results. This was the finishing touch that got MAX its 100 miles per gallon on the highway.
Learn more about commons-based economy on May 7th, 2012, in London, sponsored by the School of Commoning.
Tips for snow removal around your house and down the road.
Trace amounts of chemicals are particularly harmful to developing babies, which means expectant mothers should be careful. In the first post of a series, Jessica Kellner writes about the dangers of BPA and how to avoid the chemical.
An introduction to my current pregnancy with Baby #3 and plans for a second homebirth. Details of my seventh month and thoughts on the gender of our baby.
Do you support or work for a nonprofit that helps protect the environment or promotes sustainability? Whether it’s a small local group or a national one, this month you have the opportunity to help it get recognized in GreatNonprofits’ 2012 Green Awards. Here’s how.
Regeneration of trees on a harvested area give hope for generations to come.
The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s largest and most prestigious award for grassroots activists. This year’s six inspiring and courageous prize winners (one from each of the six inhabited continental regions of the world) are...
Breaking down the last week of homesteading we've done over at WaldenEffect.org, and the Top Bar project we started as well as talk on Brix, biodynamics, and Plant Secondary Metabolites. Also have details on an external frame backpack modification.
Healthy baby shopping begins with an investigation into nontoxic cribs. Check out these three solid wood options.
How we cope with heavy snow in the mountains.
Ira helps you get started using nature's signs to plan your garden. Don't just rely on planting dates — easy observations of what's blooming, buzzing, and singing in your garden will help you see changing patterns from year to year.
Comparing today’s cars that get 40 mpg or better to the high-mpg cars of a few decades ago is neither an accurate nor fair comparison.
Supply and demand have kept E85 gas prices low, and politics has played a role.
We wade through deep snow to trim limbs and cut dead trees and nothing goes to waste.
In part two of this five-part series, Lyn Fenwick shares a homesteader named Isaac's 19th century journal entries on love, including the observation of local beauties and his desire for a woman who enjoys reading.
We have our work cut out for us for many years to come. And for that, we’re grateful.
Why pre-1960 race cars were more efficient than post-1960 race cars, and thus a better example for high efficiency highway cars.
Here is a description of some of the pruning tools and techniques for pruning trees for future sawlogs.
Cam & Michelle recently enjoyed a visit from an ethnographer who is studying off-gridders.
If a society decides its human populations can be held within the capacities of local farms to feed them, then our small farms can be replicated into the future, until further notice. I think that’s a very contagious idea.
On every continent in the world there are large regions where a family can, through ingenuity and hard work, provide a lot of its own food in active partnership with the natural environment. And people get excited about that.
What we do on snow days in the mountains when it is snowing hard outside.
We’ll be actively engaged in this inquiry for the rest of our lives. It’s a great project, improving the fairness of how we live. It has captured our imaginations.
To improve MAX's versatility, the passenger seat is removable, which converts MAX from a couple carrier to a cargo carrier.
A list of links to orgs, associations, websites, books, and other resources related to local economies, community resilience, green business, corporate social responsibility, green jobs, environmental and social entrepreneurship, and investment.
A few thoughts about the activities here in southwest Missouri this spring, including plans for a garden, thinning and pruning trees, and salvaging urban logs
After a recent talk I gave in San Francisco, a man raised his hand and asked me how I could distinguish between “human slavery and animal slavery.” Now there’s a provocative question.
Chicken soup is nutritious and delicious! Starting with a homegrown chicken, stewed to make a wonderful broth (giving the soup extra depth of flavor), and coupled with home-made egg noodles; this is a comfort that can't be beat!
Starting in 2012, hydraulic and power attachments will be available to Norwood LumberMate Pro MX34 portable band sawmill owners.
Fairness is not so much a standard to be achieved as it is a criterion to be interpreted and applied. We strive for fairness, even though it can’t be clearly defined, much less perfected. In the striving, I think we create a better world.
A video demonstration of MAX's windscreen, which deflects air around the driver's face with minimal aerodynamic drag.
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
When my wife and I consider whether Rancho Cappuccino helps create abundance, we need to look at all three underlying questions: Does it enhance natural resources, improving supply? Does it help reduce demand? And, does it help us embrace simplicity?
Husqvarna has issued the Ethanol Challenge in order to provide the tools for consumers to gain awareness about ethanol.
How important our tractor and snow thrower are in keeping us from getting snowed in. Our local cooperative.
Jessica expounds on the concept of cures in your cupboard with a few natural remedies for anxiety, general wellness, headache and menstruation/menopause.
These recipes with filling, protein-packed whole grains such as quinoa and millet are great options for no-meat or low-meat diets.
A discussion of three power tools to prep your logs or timbers for building.
Help measure the amount of 'light pollution' in your community and contribute to a growing data set by participating in Globe at Night.
We’re creating beauty more fundamentally, internally, by learning about the place, loving it and treating it with care. Year by year, its beauty is more compelling to us as we know it better. Beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder.
Nuclear Armageddon due to solar flares or EMP, avoidable for teh cost of a single Stealth bomber
How to work with a sawyer when cutting your lumber
Cam shares the "joys" of a living in a house with a metal roof.
Rancho Cappuccino is what we call our farm, 50 acres of tallgrass prairie a few miles outside Lawrence, Kansas. Farming is the reflection of our value system. Rancho Cappuccino is the vessel for our lives.
If you're pondering a move to the country and think your life will suddenly get blissfully silent, think again.
MAX at its first autocross. Hey, it's a sports car, right?
There are small things that any city -- large, medium, or small -- can do to become more bike-travel friendly. Minneapolis is a great case study -- a place that many other communities can aspire to emulate.
So far, technology has accommodated and augmented population growth. We’ve seen our “green revolution” spread across the globe and feed the multitudes. The globe remains, however, a finite resource.
Choose chemical-free organic bedding to start off the new year with healthy rest in a healthy bedroom.
When one of her goats starts looking for love for the first time, and hollering her little head off, Angela has to do some quick thinking to keep her precious pets from becoming that night's dinner!
We have no examples of economic growth occurring in the absence of human population growth. Population growth is a Ponzi scheme and we’re setting up future generations as its victims. We are paying into the base of the pyramid with natural resources.
Working with a sawyer to cut custom lumber for your projects can be a great experience. Here are a few tips to make it even better.
A car's electrical consumption adds to its fuel consumption. For MAX, turning off the headlights improves fuel economy by roughly 4 mpg.
Our economic dependence on population growth bears a disturbing similarity to a global Ponzi scheme - a scam in which an unethical entrepreneur promises investors big returns, which he fraudulently generates from the contributions of later investors.
Protect children's health and the environment by choosing responsibly made toys that are free of lead and other toxins.
Our habitat won’t allow the human population to expand forever. But if the global population stabilizes, we face an unprecedented economic problem. Prosperity depends on an expanding human population to support our expanding global economy.
Donna Pellegrin shares her mother's stories of growing up on a fertile, bountiful farm during the Great Depression, and of the homesteading skills that kept them well fed.
A first blog by sawmiller & long-time homesteader Dave Boyt. A little of my past history, and how I'm using my sawmill.
A couple of weeks ago, the Adventure Cycling blog called attention to the Roanoke Mountain Campground's threatened closure via the Blue Ridge Parkway's Draft Management Plan (DMP).
A historic ice house on the LeDuc-Simmons Estate and a local ice harvest at Lake Rebecca demonstrate how ice and other perishables were kept cold in the hot summer months during the 19th century.
Although winter is setting in, that doesn't mean an end to the garden season in desert climates! Get inspired by this beautiful rainwater-harvesting, food-producing desert landscape!
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.
Cole remembers the good ol musical days, and plays you a concert.
For those of us who hate to use chemicals in our gardens, in our homes, or with our livestock and pets, diatomaceous earth may be a safe and efficient substitute. It may worm your animals, rid them of fleas and lice and even handle indoor pests.
Veggie meatloaf makes for a hearty, delicious entree or side dish perfect for vegetarians and vegans at Thanksgiving. Check out these three varieties: one features chickpeas, one lentils and one vegetarian meat substitute.
Tips for driving safely and saving gas during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Removing large quantities of snow. For more on how we cope with snow check out our personal blog at www.brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com where we post regular updates on our life here on the mountain.
Steve explains how one practical guy invented a way to burn pellets efficiently without an expensive pellet stove
Planet Connect's Get Green Video Contest wants you to show how you can Green Your City with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Cole responds to a critic.
Cole responds to a critic.
Earth Gauge describes the links between geography and weather during Geography Awareness Week.
Kashi, the natural food and lifestyle leader, will support organizations that provide education and greater access to healthy foods in cities across the U.S.
Western civilization is totally dependent upon cheap and abundant energy. Three quarters of the petroleum we burn in our engines is imported. Could it be cut off suddenly? Without cheap and abundant energy, our way of life would collapse. If we value our freedom and independence, we should not be relying on foreign petroleum. We should be making our own energy.
Worksaver, Inc. introduces new clamp-on snow blades, ideal for compact tractors with non-quick attach buckets.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
Cam is getting burned out on technology and seeks solace in his "low tech" garden.
As a killing frost approaches we scramble to harvest what we can of summer vegetables that would shrivel and die after being glazed with an icy coat. Peppers that survive summer heat always seem to become prolific producers as the weather cools. With scads of peppers to preserve, this recipe for candied jalapenos that can be modified to use with a mixture of peppers is not only beautiful, but delicious!
Renowned sportsman and conservationist Beau Turner is bringing his knowledge and unique talents exclusively to Sportsman Channel, the leader in outdoor TV for the American Sportsman, with the debut of his new original series, Beau Knows Outdoors.
For Bryan Welch, a prototype of Toyota's 2013 Prius Plug-In is a real life example of how gasoline electric hybrids have made major gains in efficiency over other conventional cars.
Learn how to cook with these three great smartphone apps: How to Cook Everything, Big Oven and Ratio.
Different noise we must adjust to living in a remote area.
Capable of moving a host of materials: snow, aggregate materials, livestock feed and silage.
Some people just do not want help! The frustrations of starting a business and attempting to offer professional help to community organizations.
You don't need to rely on toxic chemicals to clean your house. Opt for natural homemade cleaners or nontoxic options such as Bon Ami.
Discover some of the properties of essential oils, along with some tips for cleaning with them.
Check out this natural All-Purpose Cleaner recipe.
Over the past 15 years the noise level in cities has increased sixfold; urban noise doubles every eight to ten years. Even in the country, we can't escape the sound of airplanes and engines. What can you do?
Architecture students designed and built an airy, light-filled Chicken Chapel in Vermont that's light on the land and glows like a Japanese lantern at night.
Jack took MAX to a local car show and found that even if they're not looking for high mileage, folks think MAX is cool.
The time has finally arrived! Adventure Cycling Association's Underground Railroad Detroit Alternate, section 1, is ready to ride.
Is the electric car all it's cracked up to be? Let's find out!
On a summertime cross country trip from Oregon to Ohio, I restricted MAX's radiator inlet air a little at a time, demonstrating that very little inlet area (28 square inches) provides sufficient air for cooling.
Our area is abundant with history. We have a limber pine tree nearby that I estimate is over 2,100 years old and still very much alive. History - we have an abundance of it.
The Farm Aid concert is a chance for us to shine a spotlight on these people who work every day to put good food on our tables.
At the Vetter Fuel Challenge in Ohio, vehicles powered by electricity, diesel and gasoline competed to see who would consume the least fuel in dollars and cents.
KIOTI Tractor is pleased to announce the expansion of their popular implement and attachment lines.
MAX ran with the motorcycles in the Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge, with surprisingly high marks--127 miles per gallon. Surprising to the author, at least.
Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods announces the retail availability of four new delicious and all-natural granolas that provide perfect ready-to-eat options for the breakfast table or on the go.
We're cleaning up the details on MAX. One of the finishing touches is clear streamlined headlight covers, and here's how I made them.
Renowned motorcycle inventor and longtime aerodynamics expert Craig Vetter stopped by the MOTHER EARTH NEWS office on his way home from his latest fuel economy challenge.
If you want to have some wonderful food, great scenery by the ocean, lots of things to do, I have a place for you: Nova Scotia, Canada.
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.
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.
Renovating a heritage log cabin DIY style isn't easy, but with some thought and attention to detail, it can be done - and cheaper than you might think.
Delicious, nutritious quinoa gives nutty goodness to this summer dish that takes advantage of tomatoes, corn and eggplants--summer vegetables at their best.
Curtis Industries has introduced a line of Sno-Pro front end loader plow blades which offer major advantages over bucket plowing.
It is hard to believe but after more than 20 years of successful federal investment in biking and walking facilities, Congressional leaders are poised to eliminate dedicated funding for biking and walking.
Curtis Industries has introduced a line of Sno-Pro front end loader plow blades which offer major advantages over bucket plowing.
Bird-X, Inc., a leader in producing humane pest and bird repellent products since 1964, is raising the bar even higher for the pest control industry, offering ‘green’ solutions for every pest and bird problem.
MAX got a smog test at an Oregon DEQ Vehicle Testing Station, and passed with high marks.
Nutrition breakthrough lets health conscious consumers drink in the benefits of Omega 3s.
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.
Maddy Harland describes the canopy layer of a temperate forest garden and shares some useful tips on designing and planting useful and edible tree crops.
MAX got some new lager diameter wheels. They should do the job and the price was right, and as a bonus, they look terrific.
Yellow jackets can pose a threat to honeybees. If yellow jackets have built a nest in your yard, here's a recipe for a natural, non-toxic solution that will get rid of them. Please share your own recommendations too!
Summer's here, but the solar panels that President Obama promised to install on the White House this spring aren't. Today the administration announced that it's still working out the details. We'll just have to wait.
Matt and Kelly Grocoff keep cool in Michigan by taking advantage of their 110-year-old home's natural ventilation strategies. It's as easy as opening a couple of strategically placed windows.
MAX has very low rolling resistance, as demonstrated by this three year old kid pushing it around the building.
Recently my passion for pickles was reignited, burning green, burning bright, and leading me to think constantly about food, even as I'm thinking about bike touring. Pickles led to bread, stew, then fudge (the kind my grandma used to make)...
Blume Distillation debuts appropriate-scale biofuel distillation equipment that will allow farmers, entrepreneurs, municipalities and communities to produce their own alcohol fuel from a variety of readily available fuel stock sources.
Barter markets--great big swap meets where you can trade what you don't want for things that you do--have become commonplace in Spain and are spreading throughout Europe. This video shows why we may want to start those over here.
Despite their widespread use, nanoparticles are not well classified, regulated or even understood. Fortunately, the FDA is signaling a turn toward more accurate classification and rules for their use.
After years of caving to the chemical industry, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has delcared formaldehyde—common in particleboard, plastics and textiles—a known human carcinogen.
This week Adventure Cycling Association announced that our 2011 Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. campaign for the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) surpassed its $30,000 goal, raising over $31,000 for the project during National Bike Month!
For the first time ever, Diesel motorcycles publicaly demonstrate their potential in real riding.
Keep your pets from licking off herbal ointments by adding a pinch of cayenne.
Bikes Make Life Better is the title of a new, fun video from the People for Bikes campaign.
By making a pattern and a mold, we can now reproduce rear fenders as needed.
Take a peek at this little guy in this week's Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
In this blog we talk about our three differnet types of solar technology that we have on the Homestead.
On Wednesday, Adventure Cycling Association announced that AASHTO is providing Adventure Cycling $5,000 to assist states with route selection and the technical aspects associated with the development of a U.S. Bicycle Route System.
After a tree crushed the back of their shotgun home (while 40 Hurricane Katrina refugees were camped out there), a Baton Rouge couple rebuilt a green, energy-efficient house that encourages connection with their neighborhood's "front porch" culture.
Some burglar wanted my Millermatic 180 more than I did, I guess. Here's why I liked it and why I'm going to get another one.
In the first study of its kind, Duke University researchers found multiple toxic chemical flame retardants in car seats, breast-feeding pillows, changing pads, crib wedges and bassinet mattresses. Ask about flammability standards before you buy.
Celebrate Meatless Monday with this sweet, tangy spring risotto.
Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) today announced that AASHTO’s Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering has approved six new U.S. Bicycle Routes.
It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...
On Monday, May 2, Adventure Cycling Association kicked off its second annual grassroots fundraising effort to raise $30,000 to support ongoing coordination efforts for the emerging U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS).
Using MAX to test a tubing streamlining material, resulted in a significant reduction in drag.
Valerie of City|Life|Eats shares her tips for gluten-free lunches and snacks on the go.
Children's author, Katie Chalmers, shares her tips and some recipes for a gluten-free family.
“Bed bugs” are small nocturnal insects that feed on blood. Here are some tips for keeping them out of your home, and for getting rid of them--without using toxic pesticides/insecticides--if they do show up.
Inspiring video by two female bicycle travelers crossing borders, making friends, and documenting the human effort to keep the natural world connected despite our nation state boundaries.
For less than the cost of an SUV, a Michigan couple rehabbed their historic home to include solar panels and a geothermal system. The 110-year-old house now produces more energy than it needs.
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"!
Landscape designer Alma Hecht turned a tiny house into a welcoming home and studio with cozy outdoor "rooms" that extend her living space.
Use old jars to make these cute, inexpensive candle lanterns--for a fraction of what you'd pay if you bought them at the store.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says its first certification program for bio-based products will make it easier for consumers to identify biodegradable, renewable, recyclable and environmentally safe products.
Engine efficiency depends on rpm (among other things) and slower isn't always better. More wisdom from the Honey Bear.
Reacting against the built-for-resale mentality that's destroying our modern homes' liveability, Slow Home Studio offers a path to a more satisfying home.
Known for their popular bike touring website, Pathlesspedaled.com, this spring Russ Roca and Laura Crawford are embarking on their next big bike touring adventure, aided by Amtrak, but otherwise astride two Brompton folding bicycles.
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
Only 43 percent of Americans know what smart grid technology is, and of those, 70 percent don’t really understand how it works, according to a survey released today.
This book club of the book, Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology, follows a couple who decides to live technology free for 18 months among a strict Amish-like community, growing all their own food and relying on their neighbors to survive.
30 states now working to establish official national bicycle routes, with more states interested — new online map and progress report document growing momentum
My grandmother taught me everything I need to know about keeping my house clean--without chemicals.
Essentia introduces the world's first memory foam mattress made without chemicals.
Instead of corned beef, whip up traditional Irish colcannon--with a healthy twist.
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.
Growing field corn for livestock, home use and future crops; a grain for sustainable living.
Buying "natural" cereal could get you a bowl full of GMOs. To keep genetically modified ingredients off your family's table, buy organic.
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.
To freshen up your home without a major remodel, clean up and invest in lower-cost fixes such as paint, hardware and window coverings.
Chris Larson's Asheville, North Carolina, home--already a superb example of smart, passive solar design--gets even better with the addition of solar hot water collectors.
Ken Ruck wants to build a fully self-sustaining earthship on New York's Lower East Side.
With My Own Two Wheels is a new film about the bicycling experiences of five unrelated individuals across the globe.
China joins Canada, Europe and the United Arab Emirates in banning BPA from children's products. What is the United States doing? So far, nothing.
MAX got a new set of high efficiency Goodyear tires, and a second set of wheels so we can do comparison testing. Will the difference be detectable to our low budget testing technology?
I got first bee removal call of the year yesterday. It’s a bit early, but hey, I won’t complain. The woman said that she thought there were three colonies in her wall.
In the wake of a study that shows access to public transportation is crucial to lowering carbon footprint, the Smarter Cities Project names the top regions for smart transit.
A bill that would make hemp production legal in California would create jobs and opportunities in the financially strapped state.
Learn more about the upcoming Vetter Fuel Economy Challenges.
Hybrid cars save fuel by shutting the engine off at idle (among other things). Does MAX burn enough fuel at idle to be worth the effort? Our honey bear can tell us.
Use a digital tire gauge and learn how to check tire pressure regularly to get better gas mileage. While other types of gauges exist, the digital tire pressure gauge is an accurate and simple way to keep your tires properly inflated. Read this digital tire gauge review to see what digital tire pressure checkers you can buy.
A typical winter morning chore - cleaning off the solar panels.
We discuss the role of ocean currents in preventing a runaway thermal imbalance on our planet. We also discuss the impact on the climate when the ocean currents are shut down or reverse course.
Concerned about GMOs in your family's food? Take action.
When he renovated his 816-square-foot condo in Boulder, Colorado, Greg Miller borrowed space-saving and efficiency solutions from his years of living on the road. Check out this video of his van, prepped for adventure.
The T7 Series fuel economy is attributed to the design of the engine. With the SCR technology, the engine “breathes” clean air, instead of re-circulated exhaust gases, allowing the engine to simply do what it’s designed to do: produce maximum power.
Volkswagon's high mileage (1 liter of fuel per 100 kilometers) car is getting closer to production. Expect to see 100 of these available to the public in 2013.
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.
Cam is glad to find out that he has been successful at encouraging people to embrace renewable energy.
Technology marches on. It comes at a price, but a FloScan fuel consumption and mileage meter could give me instant feedback on MAX's fuel efficiency.
Hear the sleigh bells ringing in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
The new L3200 and L3800 deliver extra horsepower providing superior and efficient performance. Both models come equipped with either a gear-drive or three-range HST and an ample 10-gallon fuel tank, providing excellent efficiency.
Green home improvement and retrofit projects that only require a minimal investment and that have a sure (and often speedy) payback. These relatively low-cost improvements can reap real savings. Plus, a link to info on tax credits and rebates.
When it's -30 degrees outside you can make your own snow!
2011 Fuel Economy Contests in several locations in the U.S.
Getting ready for the new garden season is full of anticipation and ideas!
Reuse old seed catalogs and recycle lumber scraps while creating one of a kind designer home decor.
This posting discusses the role of the Milankovitch Cycles in initating glaical/interglacial periods. It also discusses the role of sunspots in short term climate change.
Get a great idea for a bird feeder in this week’s Photo of the Week. Keep submitting your photos every week for a chance to be the Photo of the Week!
Home energy management, electric cars and solar gadgets take starring roles at consumer electronics industry’s biggest trade show.
What’s your idea of a delicious and wholesome breakfast? A fluffy, organic egg omelet made with fresh vegetables? Perhaps scrambled eggs and roasted garden veggies? No matter what your preference, it may surprise you to learn the link between the
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.
Simran Sethi describes the choices she made for her eco-friendly kitchen remodel.
Cam is not a big fan of "ebooks."
Energy goals for America
Readers suggest local food products and local food producers to our community.
MAX gets a low cost, high accuracy, and none too attractive fuel gauge. Two out of three ain't bad.
Home design apps for smart phones and iPads make visualizing your dream home even easier.
Crunchy goodness in a brown paper bag.
Simran Sethi explains her bathroom-remodel goals to conserve water.
A BIG issue in everyone’s lives today is increasing fuel costs. The seriousness and scope of our energy problems calls for an all-out effort for sustainable solutions, starting as soon as possible.
This posting discusses how the oceans stores heat and transports the heat to warm colder parts of the planet. The posting uses El Nino as an example on how warm ocean water can have a diverse effect on the climate in different regions of the planet.
Hybrid-Like Fuel Economy Starts at $18,895; Goes on Sale in January
A question about our future.
Take a look at winter in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
We're looking at a handful of low cost improvements, and since MAX is undergoing repairs at the moment, this is a good time to make them.
Technology allows us to live where we live, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with!
Built tough for farmers, landscapers, ranchers construction companies and homeowners these unique implements give an added versatility to bucket loaders.
Keep spiders and other crawling bugs out of your house by using a nontoxic pest control: diatomaceous earth.
Do we have a national goal in America? Would this be a good one?
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
A 100 % non-toxic wood treatment/wood preservative.
Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.
A clogged sink can be fixed without harsh chemicals!
Shannon Whitworth performs at the charity dinner for the Natural Resources Defense Council at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
How much energy does it take to travel? Can we collect this from the vehicle while we are using it?
The World Community Grid uses grid technology and idle computers to power environmental and humanitarian research projects.
The Obama administration announced additional funding for rural broadband Internet programs that will increase the speed of rural Internet access. The funding is part of 2009's Recovery Act.
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.
Eco-friendly device quietly and quickly removes snow without the emissions, noise and strain.
MAX is getting prepped for paint, and all the essential bodywork is done for the new, streamlined roadster body.
Craig Henderson and his Avion high mileage sports car went from Canada to Mexico at 119.1 MPG. He plans to produce Avion kits.
How will we live with no gas at the pump and no power in the grid?
The tankless water heater new design adheres to our corporate philosophy of practicing the Three Rs; of Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
MAX is back at the shop, awaiting diagnosis and correction of an overheating problem, plus some additional body work before its next venture.
Jack missed Rally Green and MAX has a mysterious overheating problem.
The clock is ticking and I've been taking some shortcuts on getting MAX ready for Rally Green ... and some have turned into long cuts. I need to work smarter, not faster.
In the interest of making MAX a smidgeon safer, I've added side bumpers to the passenger compartment. Here's why I made them this way.
A front-mounted snowblower with a 72-inch cutting width is now available for Bobcat compact tractors. The new snowblower joins front-mounted models with 49- and 62-inch cutting widths introduced last year.
Results of the long-awaited cooling system test, which shows how little air MAX needs through the radiator.
The Rally Green starting flag drops in Knoxville Iowa, Sunday August 15, beginning a cross country fuel economy rally ending in San Francisco the folowing Saturday. MAX will be there and going for the gold.
A primer on fiberglass mold making and molding fiberglass parts, using MAX's nose parts (hood and bubble) as examples.
You’ll need to choose a nonreactive pan, such as stainless steel, when cooking acidic foods, such as tomato sauce.
Electric car charging infrastructure will be launched in major urban areas nationwide. This is in part due to $15 million in stimulus money being set aside for the charging stations. Now we need to get the remaining $22 million in co-funding.
More progress on MAX's streamlined body, using a laser to make curved body parts fit on a flat frame.
Sometimes the best activity on a rainy day is snuggling up with a blanket and reading a good book. Build your own reading nook with this tutorial, and you’ll be able to watch the rain from the warmth of your homemade paradise.
Peckham’s Village Bicycle Project donates used bicycles and parts to poor families in Africa, and the effects have been life-changing.
On the brink of settling into her new home, environmental journalist Simran Sethi shares some tidbits of eco-information, such as how to box and save for the move, and how a few simple changes can make your home cozier and more energy-efficient.
MAX's bodywork continues, as Jack modifies the race car nose to fit over the Kubota engine.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi stays thankful for what’s important in the midst of a big move.
We're modifying the Lola race car's nose to fit MAX's chassis. The first step is cutting the nose down the middle so we can move the fenders apart a few more inches, which will let us steer enough for parking and other normal street activities.
Consider grafting your favorite tomato varieties onto disease-resistant rootstock to foil soilborne diseases.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi goes through the process of rejuvenating her hardwood floors, and describes how to avoid harmful ingredients in cleaning products, such as volatile organic compounds, in the process.
Nanotechnology has profound effects for the commercial industry, but nanoparticles can be harmful to the environment and human health.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi talks about buying her first home and discusses what eco-friendly goals she has for her new abode.
Thoreau, Rachel Carson, Bill McKibbon, Terry Tempest Williams. Do you have a favorite nature or environmental writer? A book or story you can get lost in, that inspires you to action, or simply reminds you of how incredible nature is? Post a comment to share the titles that invite you into the wonder of the natural world — or have maybe even changed your life.
Know of a group that's doing great work to support your community or have a community-building idea of your own? If you live in the Northeast United States, Green Mountain Coffee and Ashoka's Changemakers are holding the "Revelation to Action" contest to find and help fund the most innovative ideas to bolster communities in the Northeast states.
President Obama revealed plans for his new Home Star Program, also known as Cash for Caulkers, which will offer rebates for energy-efficient home renovations such as replacing windows, adding insulation and sealing ducts.
Build a reflecting telescope to enjoy the nighttime celstial show.
Today as I was researching Habitat for Humanity, I learned how far its helping hand reaches. Even more interesting to me, though, was that Habitat continues to build in such war-torn counties as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
More than 30 years ago, Michael Reynolds followed his vision of sustainable, energy-efficient homes that would work with nature. Today, his Earthships inspire green designers and architects.
American wealth and influence are often attributed to free enterprise and the personal liberty promised in the Constitution. While it’s true they've been conducive to economic success, we also had an enormous head start in the race to dominate the industrial revolution - with our sparsely populated continent packed with natural resources. The question is, how well will our free enterprise system work in a world with far fewer resources?
Concerned about pesticides in your food? The Pesticide Action Network’s online database helps you understand which carcinogens and pesticides are present in 89 common foods.
You can control damage caused by carpenter bees with these nontoxic methods.
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
Guard donkeys and a good pen for nighttime can be vital to protecting new lambs and kids, especially with coyotes on the prowl. Find out how all it takes is one small mistake to produce fatal consequences on the farm.
Green builder Jim Gooley gutted an Airstream Trailer and renovated it with cork flooring, clay plaster walls, bamboo countertops and other eco-friendly materials.
You can save gas and money by keeping your tires correctly inflated. And now a group of high school students has launched a project to encourage drivers to regularly check their tires.
The negative effects of the recession are painfully clear, but is there a silver lining hiding among the clouds? There's some evidence that the recession might means good news for the environment, and you might find it in your own home. Check it out, and let us know what you think.
It turns out that there are a few bright spots amidst the recession — and it looks like less waste might be one of them.
If you’re interested in a green career, here’s some helpful advice.
The new economy promises an abundance of green jobs. Are you ready?
It took a long time to get into this mess. It will take a while to get out of it.
LEDs are all around us. Here are some of the ways these great green lightbulbs are being used, and a little more information about how they work.
Yep, some of the money in that stimulus bill is committed to green initiatives, including creating green jobs.
Are we spending too many resources to restore an economic system that was broken anyway? It's time for a new economy.
Contact your senators now to encourage them to support the clean energy initiatives in the new stimulus package.
ASES released a report that says 37 million green jobs are possible by 2030. Check out the study here!
Governor Sarah Palin announced that the State of Alaska will sue against the decision to place beluga whales on the Endangered Species List.
Environmental groups want supporters to write Congress to ensure that the new economic stimulus package includes green jobs.
Dogsleds are clean, green and run on renewable energy.
Lester Brown from the Earth Policy Institute held a teleconference on Dec. 11 to discuss the advantages of a green economy, for the environment and the U.S. work force.
You can find joy and delight in the season of cold and snow.
Twenty-nine environmental groups created a plan for Obama's transition team, explaining what environmental issues need to be addressed in order to create a green economy.
Shopping and lack of shopping is a hot topic right now with the economy, but it's also a question of what your holidays are all about. What would your celebrations be like without (or without so many) presents?
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.
A study shows that text message reminders increases voter turnout.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opens the debate of whether to remove the Northern Rocky gray wolf from the Endangered Species List.
A new technology developed at MIT, solar concentrators, could dramatically reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) power.
The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico has expanded to nearly the size of New Jersey, and if no action is taken to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorous runoff, it will only get worse.
The low gas prices are something to celebrate in the short-run, but the cause is something that deserves a second, less optimistic outlook.
Discover Green Jobs Now: National Day of Action to Build the New Economy and learn how you can get in on the action by finding or even organizing events in your area.
When I'm introduced to a new acquaintance, the introduction often ends with, "Bryan farms." Like it's the most interesting thing about me. Well, maybe it is.
Humanity needs a new spiritual vision to cope with its shrinking habitat.
We have three big challenges confronting us: preserving our habitat, controlling our population and reforming our economic systems.
The night sky of Monday, August 11 and early Tuesday the 12th will light up with a spectacular meteor shower. It will be well worth Tuesday's fatigue.
Conservation over corn.
Have you kept up with the recent salmonella outbreak in tomatoes? According to the Centers for Disease control, the outbreak may have moved on to hot peppers.
Children have gotten lazy, and it's not getting better as technology keeps advancing, making it easier to sit on a couch then go outside. Problems like childhood obesity and ADHD in children keep progressing, but nature can help!
Send us your garden tips and you could win a free deluxe, ergonomic garden trowel.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land could be under pressure from the perceived need for ethanol-producing corn.
The Gulf of Mexico's dead zone is growing at a disturbing rate and is estimated to be the largest yet since records began back in 1985. An action plan is in place, but it will only work when and if we actually follow it.
Robyn anticipates the devastation as she prepares to visit her hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the location of recent severe floods but also of hope and rebuilding.
Gasoline is blended with ethanol all the time, but are these blends all right to use in small engines? Here's how you can avoid problems.
When you need tools for low-impact living, where do you go to find them?
A recent survey revealed that Americans are largely unaware of the presence of genetically engineered food in their diet, yet they maintain negative opinions about the safety of these GE foods.
Odds are you've heard much more about E85 than you've actually seen of it.
Amid the North Dakota oil boom, corruption wells up faster than bubbling crude.
Cut high levels of arsenic in rice by cooking rice in your percolator.
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.