organic apple trees
Pruning apple trees to a three by three central leader shape for strength against high winds and to prevent fungal infection.
Expert advice on best organic fertilizer options for new apple trees and grape vines.
A neglected, overgrown, old apple tree does have charm, its gnarled, elbowed branches seemingly ready to reach out for a hug. The fruits, unfortunately, more often than not are too small, too pest-ridden, and too high in the tree. My fear of heights makes the last deficiency most important to me. Large, clean fruits are for nought if I can’t bring myself to climb a ladder or the branches for harvest.
The beginnings of the orchard project, and an early spring surprise.
Self-pollinating apple trees allow homeowners with little space to reap the benefits of this fresh, nutritious fruit. While typical apple breeds require planting at least two trees in the same space so they can pollinate each other, self-fertile trees can produce fruit without another tree around.
Daby Napthine shares her grandfather's 5 tips to growing healthy apple trees.
Growing organic apples isn’t impossible! Follow these tips and methods for avoiding pest damage and growing apples organically.
Food preservationist Tammy Kimbler teaches you how to make apple pie fruit leather from urban-foraged apples.
Grow organic fruit trees and harvest bug-free, chemical-free fruit by covering your fruit with homemade bags made from row cover. Use row cover bags as an alternative to plastic bags. Row cover bags are more effective and have fewer issues than plastic bags.
The author figures out a way to outsmart tree-damaging rodents.
Characteristics of early summer apples and an applesauce recipe from MeMa’s Bakery in Kansas City.
Here's a recipe for a delectable apple pie made from windfall apples.
I was so excited to get this email from Ted Owens, president of Syncronos Design, as he’s a VIP in my world
Lundberg Family Farms announces the opening of a new warehouse that is powered by 100% solar energy. Lundberg Family Farms produces wholesome, healthful rice products while protecting and improving the environment for future generations.
Growing pine trees from seed will allow you to produce lots of trees very economically. Follow these instructions to propagate pine trees from seed.
Are organic foods healthier? In the wake of a media frenzy revolving a “study” by Stanford University claiming to answer this question, many people were left wondering. Benefits of organic food go beyond the vitamin content: The overwhelming amounts and types of pesticides in our food play a major role in many shoppers’ decision to go organic.
Slightly underripe apples that fall to the ground must be picked up, so why not cut away the bugs and bruises and put them to good use? Here’s how to turn windfall apples into supernutritious drinks and snacks.
The past year was a rewarding one for apple discovery, because I potentially found the apple that started my apple search about sixteen years ago — the ‘Harper’s Seedling’ apple.
Over 700 varieties of apples and pears, for $9 each, from Wagon Wheel Orchard, plus the family's crab apple jelly recipe.
There used to be, from Maine to Georgia and west to the Mississippi river, 20.000 grafted apple varieties. Today, when commercialism is king and the most known apple varieties are the 5 kinds offered in the supermarket those old varieties are worth paying attention to. As with all things around us, diversity is interesting and sustainable.
Learn about the Ben Davis Apple, one if not the most important commercial apple of the late 1800s, and get a recipe for Apple Dumplings.
No juice extractor? No problem! This easy method for making fresh, delicious apple juice will have you sipping in no time.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS coordinated with orchards and cideries around the country to showcase America's most beloved apples and ciders.
The search for the long lost apples of Isaac Bowen Essex, the Fulton County Apple.
America's Best Organics introduces American-made gift box.
Apples in autumn are crisp and glorious. Use your fresh bounty to create this delicious homemade applesauce in a slow cooker.
Contributing editor Terry Krautwurst explains how you can learn basic tree identification skills, including recommendations for where to find classes and how to select a field guide.
Painting tree trunks white can help you reduce the effect of erratic temperatures on the trees’ bark.
One of our "14 Sustainable Food Companies You Can Trust," Plum Organics is good for your baby's health and the health of the planet.
Want fresh cider? Make your own cider press using these free plans.
Apple expert Gary Paul Nabhan reviews a new book: Old Southern Apples by Creighton Lee Calhoun, Jr.
Old-fashioned cider pressing embodies fall — and creates a delicious treat! Rick Godsil of Wagon Wheel Orchard shares fond memories of pressing cider on the family orchard.
Collect apples from old homestead trees for the best in flavor for sauce and pies.
This recipe for apple stock adds a depth of fall flavor to dishes normally cooked with chicken stock or vegetable stock, such as butternut squash soup.
emerginC, a leading professional skincare collection, has just launched a natural yet serious results-oriented collection aptly named Scientific Organics.
Delicious latkes made with potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes are tasty and nutritious.
I feed my vegetable and fruit plants organically, taking into account our ocean-dwelling ancestors.
Check out these resources to learn more about heirloom apples, as well as the how-to and history of cider-making.
Freshly picked apples make a perfect treat for any age in this week’s Photo of the Week. Keep snapping and sharing for your chance to have one featured in the magazine!
Spiced-apple rings add the perfect touch to a winter-friendly comfort food dinner.
Save money by planting smaller trees and shrubs from mail-order sources.
"Local" is always the best answer, even when it comes to fruit trees.
Trees are beautiful and they are useful as sources of food and shelter, and for building and using as fuel.
The Solar Nite Eyes Predator Protection System helps ward predators away from your poultry, bees, trees and more. The Solar Nite Eyes are inexpensive, effective and easy to use. Try this method of predator protection around your homestead.
An organic cotton and wool body pillow goes a long way to help relieve pregnancy back pain.
Sue Van Slooten shares her easy recipe for apple strudel— a delicious pastry of phyllo dough, apples, spices, and of course, butter.
How a hopelessly damaged apple tree has delivered lessons of hope since 2007.
Use your crockpot to make this cinnamon-sweet, apple candied cider treat perfect for warming up a cool autumn evening.
How to make spiced crab apples.
The Fall garden is bursting and the canning kettle hot as we draw summer to a close in North Central Idaho.
Make your Thanksgiving stuffing extra special this year with these recipes for homemade stuffing bread.
Maddy Harland describes the canopy layer of a temperate forest garden and shares some useful tips on designing and planting useful and edible tree crops.
A look at the wonderful mulberry tree.
Growing fruit trees in a home orchard requires some study as well as some prep.
National Arbor Day is April 25. Celebrate by learning about trees, volunteering or planting a tree at home!
Eco-Libris offers people the opportunity to off-set the books they read by planting trees in developing countries.
Fresh apple cider is a traditional part of fall harvest celebrations - a part that we at MOTHER EARTH NEWS wouldn't miss! We put the Whizbang Apple Grinder and Cider Press to the test, and happily sampled the fresh apple cider as a result.
Just in time for holiday season (and good all year long), you can use tart, just-picked apples to create a flavorful apple butter that’s perfect to give — or keep.
A hundred-year-old recipe for turning apple trimmings into vinegar yields mixed results, but lots of nostalgic fun.
Cam is getting burned out on technology and seeks solace in his "low tech" garden.
"Folk Medicine" by D.C. Jarvis, M.D., written in 1958, explains how humans would do well to watch animals that know instinctively how to stay healthy. Jarvis advises drinking raw honey and apple cider vinegar for good health and vigor.
A great recipe for the holidays or any time of the year!
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about growing up on the frontier for both her and her husband. Her book about Almanzo's childhood recalls some of his favorite foods, including "fried apples 'n' onions".
Update your favorite cinnamon rolls with warm spices, dark rum, and autumn’s favorite harvest—apples.
Spend the weekend preserving fall apples before they're all gone.
My favorite graft for these tree makeovers is known as a bark graft and the time to do it is just as leaves are beginning to poke out of recently dormant stems and the bark easily separates from the wood. Which is now, early May, here in New York’s Hudson Valley. Ideally, foot-long scions of one-year-old wood (last years growth) have been gathered a few weeks previous and have been kept dormant with refrigeration.
Espalier allows a gardener to grow a dwarf fruit tree along a wall or fence, binding it for support, and sculpting the branches to follow certain lines, as Japanese artists do with bonsai trees.
Sam Benowitz and Tara Bittler are joining the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Blog Squad, and they break down the types of gardening and fruit-growing information they will share with you each week.
A profile of Japanese and American persimmons, excellent trees for the deep south.
Protect your home and yourself by making your property Firewise! Here are explanations on how to think of your property in zones and additional tips for protecting your home property.
Cam describes the challenges of winter driving and cutting down trees.
Michelle and Cam continue to debate whether a real tree or a fake tree is the better choice from an environmental perspective.....
The Organic Exchange released the 2007-2008 Organic Cotton Market Reports—and the top 10 list contains a few surprises. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains more about these organic cotton retailers.
A sustainable agriculture professor explain the organic certification process.
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.
Avoid frost damage to your fruit crops by following these tips for planting fruit trees and protecting them from frost.
The Global Organic Textile Standards certify organic fabrics from start to finish. The GOTS database lists certified facilities and importers, making it easy to find truly organic fabric.
The Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service is looking for an organic farmer worthy of being named their 26th annual Organic Farmer of the Year.
There are thousands of organic products available today, and they're not limited to food. Tell us what you buy organic and why.
You can get twigs to graft onto your rootstock for the price of shipping a padded envelope, allowing you to grow rare fruit-tree varieties for nearly nothing.
4 or 40, growing up isnt always straight up. Branches, bumpy outcroppings and the occasional low hanging fruit serve as speed bumps on the road of life.
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.
Figs, grapes, hazels, rabbiteye blueberries, and gooseberries are among the easiest plants to propagate using cuttings, layering, or just by digging up suckers.
Growing peach pits doesn't get much easier than this.
A profile of the wonderfully tough loquat tree.
Odwalla's Plant A Tree program enters its third year with a donation of twice as many trees to be planted in all 50 states as well as participating state park programs.
The next installment of Maddy Harland's blog series on forest gardening. This week how to choose the lower canopy.
The future of the Pavlovsk Station in Russia is in jeopardy due to a pending housing development project. Find out what you can do to help save the world’s largest holding of rare berries and trees.
Tips for limiting your exposure to pollen to help manage allergy symptoms.
Clearing your land to ready it for farming can be quite a challenge!
Typical suburban landscaping is a maintenance expense with no return to the owner and often diminishes the habitat for the living things around us. One alternative is to create a forest island that provides flowers for pollinators and food for people with little to no maintenance cost.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
Fall sheet mulching of perennial plantings assists in fertility and weed suppression.
A homemade solar food dryer allows you to dry tomatoes and apples for delicious and nutritious winter snacks and addition to your meals.
Rodale Institute today announces the launch of Your 2 Cents, an innovative program that unites consumers and companies in support of the next generation of American farmers.
Avoid expensive organic fertilizers with these suggestions for lower-cost options.
Go Greens - Super Fruits and Veggies supplies the natural antioxidant power of 6 servings of vibrantly colored organic fruits and vegetables in every handy “stick” pack. To Go Brands plans to continue to expand the Healthy To Go® product line.
Uncle Matt’s Organic, best known for their line of premium organic orange juices, announced today the launch of its new 100% organic, not-from-concentrate, orchard-style apple juice. The next best thing to drinking it fresh from the orchard!
The Worldwatch Institute declares that many people worldwide are turning to organic agriculture to feed themselves and others, while feeling good about protecting the environment in a time of economic depression.
The Washington State Conservation Commission gave away trees at the Mother Earth News Fair as part of their conservation efforts.
Support America's artisan cider makers by putting locally made sweet and hard apple cider on the Thanksgiving table this year.
Saving butternut squash seeds while using a sledge hammer and putting up a roof and planning a seed swap. Also planning a high density apple orchard with a new variety called Zestar.
describing the upcoming fun photo contest with the theme being chickens and the fun they either have or give. Figs and more figs are at the heart of the obsession.
Sharp-eyed guineas are among the most useful of all farm fowl for control of crop-damaging insects. Essential to the author’s squash bug control project is ElectroNet (electric net fencing), which he uses to make a perimeter around the squash plot. A small moveable pasture shelter is provided inside the net — in which the guineas roost at night, or find shade or shelter from rain.
New organic milk contains Omega-3, which is not approved as an additive to certified organic milk. The Cornucopia Institute found this illegal synthetic additive in new organic milk in its latest investigation.
Get expert advice on how long fresh eggs will keep without refrigeration.
Organic seeds have benefits for your garden. Learn what our expert recommends and how to find organic seeds to plant.
Nuts.com, a family-owned business, offers certified organic snacks and superfoods.
We've reported on the fraudulent practices of Horizon Organic and Aurora Dairy before. Now, a federal judge has suspended one of their suppliers, Promiseland LLC., from organic commerce.
What is organic cotton and how is it better than regular cotton? Read this article and have your questions answered.
Bastyr University is pleased to announce it has partnered with Seattle-based Choice Organic Teas to develop and launch a new line of flavorful, certified organic Wellness Teas. This marks the first time the University has lent its name on a consumer product.
Annie’s is expanding its line of wholesome comfort food favorites with a new, kid-friendly pasta product: Bernie’s Farm Macaroni & Cheese, made with 100 percent real cheese and certified-organic pasta in a variety of shapes featuring life on the farm. Like all of Annie’s products, Bernie’s Farm Macaroni & Cheese contains no artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives.
CRAiLAR, a new fiber made from hemp stalks, could revolutionize the sustainable fabrics industry by bringing down the cost of organic textiles.
Carrington Farms, the creators of delicious 100 percent organic, non-genetically modified health food products, continues to reach outside of the box to provide healthy flax seed blends and cooking oils that are not only good for consumers but are affordable and taste great!
Minneapolis public relations firm Haberman & Associates wants everyone to enjoy a company-sponsored organic vegetable garden like theirs.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence is ready to shop for eco-friendly, organic cotton Loomstate clothing at Target this spring.
A reader inquires about the best fertilizer to work on anything you might grow.
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
We wade through deep snow to trim limbs and cut dead trees and nothing goes to waste.
A story of one of our camping trips to Torreya State Park, Florida.
Cycle Oregon in support of tree research and education.
How we expect the unexpected and turn blow down trees into lumber.
It's mid-February, time to start thinking about spring! Ira Wallace helps us make our garden plan, remember our perennials, and Plant a Row for the Hungry this year.
It's winter time. Take a break from the holiday madness to enjoy a little of what nature has to offer this season.
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service held its 25th conference from Feb. 27 though March 1. Here are the main takeaways about where organic farming has come from and where it's headed.
Whole Foods Market commits to verifying it products as free of genetically modified organisms. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains the grocer's commitment to providing natural and organic products.
Cole responds to a critic.
Know a chocolate-lover? Here's info on a few of the most delicious chocolate bars, from companies that make organic, fair trade, ethically produced chocolates.
Cole responds to a critic.
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.
Comparing different home made do it yourself chicken carriers for the Tractor Supply animal swap this past Saturday. Reporting on edible mushroom cultivation harvest and what it takes to pick the right disease resistant apple variety.
When autumn brings a glut of orchard fruits, capture the goodness as juice by cooking extraction or cold pressing. Juices can be used alone or mixed to produce sweet or hard ciders, wines, syrups, and more.
It can be very frustrating trying to find horse treats that are safe and healthy for our equine friends. So, why not make your own? In this post, Harper Slusher shares her recipe for natural horse treats.
Some tomato varieties wilt when temperatures get too hot. Find heat-tolerant tomato varieties that can grow robust tomato plants in hot climates.
Introducing Alpaca-Gold, a new company producing 100% all natural, organic Alpaca fertilizer.
New Clear Door Dehydrators coming from Excalibur Dehydrators.
Cam is enjoying a bumper crop of onions this year!
See this shot of Swiss chard with strong colors that any gardener can appreciate.
Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explores the Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort and Spa in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. Join her as she tours wineries and feasts on local, organic produce.
Help our readers solve garden pest problems without resorting to the use of chemical pesticides.
Who needs a TV drama, when, out the back door, we have our own alfresco drama, complete with territory battles, births, deaths, alien invasions, mystery, beauty and fornication, unfolding daily before our very eyes if we care to look.
Cam is exhausted but exhilarated by the early success of his CSA.
Check out this expert advice for keeping an organic garden pest-free.
Cam shares his love affair with garlic and explains the work involved with growing and processing organically-grown garlic.
Cam ponders the wisdom of starting a CSA at the ripe old age of 52.
Readers share favorite organic wine producers.
New businesses are springing up catering to folks who want their food homegrown, but without the mess of tending to the garden themselves.
More than half a billion eggs possibly tainted with salmonella bacteria have been recalled. Avoid the scare by purchasing free-range, cage-free, organic and locally sourced eggs.
Toats organic in a class by itself, biscuit manufacturer to lead a trend.
The University of California at Davis has released a report that shows how misleading the label "extra virgin olive oil" can be.
According to a team from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, organic food is not nutritionally superior to conventional. We know this isn't true, and here's an excellent response from The Organic Center.
The Aerobin 400 uses a patented aeration core inside an enclosed bin to promote aerobic break down of organic matter. The Aerobin 400 is easy to use - just open, drop in materials, and close.
Cam grows a patch of wheat to see how much work is involved. He will never take a loaf of bread for granted again!
Organic Pond is pleased to announce that the Organic Materials Research Institute (OMRI) has reviewed the company's PureBacteria+ Biological Pond Muck Reducer and has listed PureBacteria+ for use in organic production.
It's Week #11 of our CSA and we can't find boxes big enough to fit all of the great produce!!
These sources can help you locate organic and other natural options for plants, seeds, and weed and pest control products.
The Organic Trade Association is vital to the success of the organic industry and I’m thrilled to serve alongside such a talented and well-respected group of industry leaders.
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.
Find out how to protect your hives and honeycomb from wax moths without using chemicals.
Responsible investment secures land for a young organic farmer in Minnesota.
Ways to fertilize organically without breaking the bank.
We've been warning you about aminopyralid-containing killer compost for quite some time. Now there's a new deadly herbicide on the market, Imprelis, and it's wreaking havoc in at least seven states.
To make the best use of potato-growing season, use the technique of greensprouting.
Special Lager Beer Crafted by New Belgium Brewing Celebrates Patagonia's 40 Years in Business.
Cover crops protect your soil over the winter and are beneficial for soil building. Learn more about your cover crop options and the time to plant them.
How do folks get from city dwellers to homesteaders? Annie Warmke interviews Carie Starr, owner of Cherokee Valley Bison Ranch in Central Ohio.
Mountain Rose Herbs honored with Social and Fair Trade Certification.
Knowing your average last frost date is key to getting your garden off to a good start.
In July and August, it’s time to start thinking about planting crops for fall. But how do you get good seed germination when the soil is so hot?
Is rotenone organic? The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) sorts out that complicated question about a pesticide being used on some organic farms.
The first organic inhaler, The Lung Cleaner, hits markets.
Good storage conditions for your garden seeds are essential. These tips will help you learn how to store seeds.
What does “Certified Organic” mean? Food labels can be befuddling, but we’re here to help. Learn the standards that guide the “Certified Organic” label.
Gardeners in certain regions frequently ask about how to improve clay soil. Lighten up your heavy clay soil by using organic matter, sand and other soil conditioners.
The right dog can be a very useful member of the family when you are growing corn!
This summer Cam became a market gardener and actually got paid for something he loves to do - grow vegetables!
The 20th-Annual Organic Growers School takes place March 8 through March 10 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in Asheville, N.C. The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction and trade show.
Cam finds an new old-fashioned way to keep the wildlife out of his garden.
Cam shares the results of his experiment growing wheat in his vegetable garden.
Swine flu may or may not be the pandemic that cable newscasters are proclaiming - but why take chances? This most recent health scare is yet another reminder that eating local, organic food - preferably raised by a source you know and trust - is just a smart thing to do.
Our HelpXers Mike and Melissa share their experiences as volunteers here at Sunflower Farm.
We're trying it before you buy it! Now Relish, one of our weekly blogs, will feature taste tests on various organic foods and snacks. This week we're featuring Kopali Organics snacks in Goldenberry. Read on to find out what we thought!
Garlic is a very labour-intensive crop to grow but the rewards are worth it!
Jacobs Farm in Santa Cruz, Calif. was recently awarded $1 million in damages for lost income due to pesticide drift.
This certification confirms that the company’s import, warehousing, and sales processes meet the standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program.
Delicious Roasted Grain is Kosher, Naturally Vegan, Made in the USA and Now Certified Organic
We're trying it before you buy it! Every week Relish — one of our weekly blogs — features taste tests on various organic foods and snacks. This week we're featuring Kaia Premium Granola in raison cinnamon, dates & spices and cocoa bliss. Read on to find out what we thought!
Pizza Fusion is one of the 10 finalists in Co-op America's People's Choice Award for green business of the year. The company uses only organic ingredients and delivers its pizza with hybrids.
The second post (of three) describing an organic gardener's attempt to grow his own wheat.
Cam is hoping that the Queen attends his gardening workshop this weekend at the Royal Botanical Gardens....
It's an aromatic time of year at Sunflower Farm - time to clean the garlic!
A problem for older gardeners is finding tools that make gardening easier as getting up and down becomes harder.
Cam undertakes an experiment to see how much food he can produce on his one acre of garden space.
Cam has been busy harvesting and sorting potatoes.
Everyday families can now provide much of their fresh vegetables using Aquaponics. Aquaponics is the production of edible fish and vegetables growing in a drought proof, no weed, back saving growing system.
Home gardeners and commercial farmers will find much to be enthusiastic about at this three-day aquaponic event.
The dangers of bud nip (Chlorpropham) and the effects of chemical herbicides on the food you're eating come to light in a potato project conducted by a smart, young lady.
The how's and why's we homestead
Secure grant funds for your farmers market, community-supported agriculture program and more by applying to the USDA by April 27.
Keep your garden full all season by planting the next crop as soon as the previous crop is harvested. Tips for deciding what to plant next.
To what extent are manufacturers able to take advantage of the enigmatic nature of the term ‘sustainability’ to effectively green wash their products?
Mulch, like compost, plays an important role in organic gardening. To maximize the flavor and nutrition of your produce, learn how to use and balance the characteristics of various organic materials when mulching.
“Black” tomatoes still reign with the best of the reds and pinks bi-colored and cherry tomatoes still growing in popularity.
Growing and harvesting hazelnuts (filberts) in your garden.
Experiences getting started gardening in the 1970's and suggestions for beginning your own projects in 2012.
It's always wonderful to meet someone who is passionate about what they do!
Learn to deal with cabbage worms through organic methods.
Cam loves growing and selling food!
Cam battles with scarabs in his raspberry patch.
Know how many seeds you need for your area considering germination rate and extras.
The ACTUAL benefits of weeds in your garden. Use and value diversity! Find the benefit!
Cam shares what he has learned about corn smut in his organic garden.
Cam appreciates the simple things like rotten hay and beautiful vegetables from his garden.
A quick guide to deciding whether fresh or frozen organic whole turkeys are right for you, your farm, or your family.
If you think it's important to prevent Monsanto and other corporate giants from controlling the seed supply, you may want to consider donating to Organic Seed Alliance. Here is a short video about the work they do.
Tap the Tomato Chooser app for info on 333 tomato varieties, plus help deciding which tomatoes to grow in your garden based on the traits you want.
Baking the Great American Apple Pie chases away the blues and grays that sometimes afflict the homestead.
Top bar hive modifications, turkey traps, and gourmet potatoes are just a few of the topics covered in the past week of blogging we've been up to. Homesteading healthcare and a new virtual book club round off the week with several reader comments.
No one will miss the meat when you serve up fabulous vegetarian versions of Thanksgiving favorites. Try two versions of mushroom stuffing, mushroom gravy or delicious roasted Brussels sprouts this holiday!
You don't have to depend on nature to feed your bees. Take matters into your own hands and plant enough good food for your bees, so they have good, safe food all year long.
At the Mother Earth News Fair, I always enjoy speaking with fellow farmers and gardeners about inputs, organic standards and sound practices in the field. At the OMRI booth, we always provide free OMRI Products Lists of approved input materials, to help you find the right fertilizer or livestock feed additive and keep your farm or garden truly organic .
University of Florida entomologist Russell Mizell investigated ways to attract stink bugs to trap crops rather than cash crops—with great success. His experience can help you learn how to design trap crop scenarios of your own.
When you ask people if they want chemicals in their garden or on their food, most will say no. They want to limit their exposure to the chemicals and pollutants.
While it's almost impossible to completely avoid GMOs, you can minimize your exposure by eating organic and knowing which products are the worst offenders.
Explains the benefits of organic fertilizers such as rock phosphate, kelp, fish meal and greensand, and tells you how to get buy these materials at reasonable prices.
Organic Coconut Sugar is made from sap collected from the freshly cut flower buds of organic coconut palm trees grown on small, sustainable farms.
When you say “organic” most people think of elitists that are buying over priced food because they think that they are better than others. What does the “organic” really mean though?
A birdbath in the garden does much more than a birdfeeder. Attract birds to the garden with water, and they will help with pest control, soil aeration, and much more as they get the water they need for drinking and grooming. Wasps love a drink too.
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) hosts its 23rd annual Organic Farming Conference, February 23-25, 2012, at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wis.
Learn how bats can be beneficial for organic farmers, dramatically reducing the need for costly and harmful pesticides.
Giving your ornamental and vegetable garden a thorough cleaning in midsummer not only leaves the landscape looking better, but can help prevent damage from diseases and pests by removing the conditions in which they thrive.
Here are some ways we use natural materials to improve our garden and orchards.
To better accommodate the planting schedule of gardeners in the southern United States, California’s Natural Gardening Company will make a dozen varieties of tomato transplants available by mid-August.
Using leaves in the garden will boost the soil’s organic matter.
Many wood finishes contain toxic solvents or heavy-metal drying agents. Learn which nontoxic wood finishes are best to use on decks, fences and unfinished, wood-sided homes.
April's tips for controlling weeds and fertilizing your garden.
Do you know about the magic of milk and molasses in improving your garden? Yes, plain old milk of any kind – whole, 2%, raw, dried, skim or nonfat – is a miracle in the garden for plants, soil and compost. Molasses only boosts the benefits! Let’s see how and why they work.
Harrisons’ Pet Products Recover: A Complete Nutritional Formula is for sick or injured animals.
Linda Conroy of Moonwise Herbs and Brooms will present a workshop on bioregional herbalism at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Here are six of my favorite ideas for those of you with small spaces and still want to get your garden on.
We produce wonderful, organically approved soil products for the independent garden centers.
Ann Larkin Hansen shows that typically mundane tasks like record keeping and planning can be a satisfying process that can help you reflect on the successes of the year before.
"Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?" is a new bee documentary that examines the global bee crisis through the eyes of beekeepers, scientists, farmers and philosophers. The film emphasizes the thoughts of biodynamic and organic beekeepers on Colony Collapse Disorder and highlights the impact of industrial agriculture on the relationship between humans and bees.
Replacing paper towels with rags is a super simple step toward sustainable living. Follow these simple tips to get disposable paper towels out of your house. You'll never miss them.
Cam describes the method he used when planting his sweet potatoes this year with hopes that he'll end up with a prettier finished product!
Cole discusses the challenges faced by organic meat raisers, as well as the health benefits of consuming organic meats.
Tips for keeping your tomato plants healthy.
At first glance George Siemon and Doc Hatfield don’t appear to have a whole lot in common. But George and Doc and a bunch of conspirators are revolutionizing agriculture: they are putting consumers back in touch with the people who grow their food.
If I could only pick one season extending structure, it would be a cold frame. Incredibly versatile, a simple cold frame is the key to taking your garden from a two or three-season plot and turning it into a year round vegetable factory.
Ruth Rogers Clausen of Timber Press will present a workshop on how to cope with deer when gardening at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
This spring when the pests arrive in your garden try this radical strategy - Do nothing!
Amid mounting concerns over food security and sustainable food systems, the rise of urban gardens and agriculture has been on the rise. Due to a paralleled increase in the numbers of people interested in learning how to garden, programs in urban agriculture at colleges as well as nonprofit urban garden training programs have sprouted up across the country.
Our MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR last weekend was full of great presentations about all facets sustainable living, including on learning how to garden.
Cam enjoyed a very successful sweet potato harvest!
Support these longtime anti-GMO activists and organic farmers in the construction of a new repair shop for their vintage seed equipment.
A potential solution to rising food prices, food insecurity and the obesity epidemic may call into play raising farms inside the city limits.
Thoughts on growing all your own food. How much space is required and other things to consider.
Building a small cordwood cafe in Colorado. A fun project for everyone!
One workshop at the Puyallup, Wa., MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR was on learning how to make butter, hosted by Organic Valley.
Jason Akers, The Self-Sufficient Gardener, will present two workshops on gardening at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
David Tracey of New Society Publishing will present two workshops on organic gardening at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
What exactly is hydroponic gardening? Though it may sound complicated, it’s really not. The word "hydroponic" comes from the Greek "hydro," meaning water, and “ponic,” meaning work. The basic concept is this: growing plants in a nutrient rich water solution rather than in soil.
Erin Harwood and Eloyce O'Connor of the Garden Delights CSA and Herb Farm will present a workshop on natural remedies at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Linda Gilkeson, master gardener, and Jessie Price of EatingWell Magazine will present workshops on gardening and healthy cooking at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
At least four major beef recalls due to E. coli tainted meat occurred in 2010. A substantial percentage of the meat was certified organic. With these beef scares in mind, the fact that Grist readers voted hamburgers as the second scariest food of 2010 comes as no surprise.
Having little space is not a reason to not be growing your own food. It's just an excuse. I've been apartment gardening since 2009.
Mother Nature has a way of filling in the blank spots....
Strategies for controlling voles in the potatoes in your garden.
If you strive to grow a garden that is beyond-organic, that relies on very few (if any) off-site products, and that saves you both money and work...deep organic gardening is for you!
Deciding where to buy seeds can be a perplexing challenge. How does a conscientious gardener choose seeds that will grow well, look lovely and taste great, but also support sustainable seed farmers and healthy environments?
RADIUS, the leading manufacturer of specialty, natural dental products, announces the launch of the RADIUS Organic Biodegradable Silk Floss, the first 100 percent biodegradable dental floss.
Candy DeBerry, Ph.D. of Washington & Jefferson College will present a workshop on pollination at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Forget pesticides or kerosene. Instead, smother badly placed yellow jacket nests with a translucent cover.
The morning started off with a decent lecture on poultry operation, production, and marketing. After a midday break, lectures resumed, this time being led by a different fellow, on the subject of free-range, humane certified broiler production. I won
Tammi Hartung of Desert Canyon Farm will present three workshops on growing and using herbs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival. September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
The creators of Food Inc. make a great effort to teach their audience about where our food comes from and about the effects of our industrial food system. After seeing the documentary, MOTHER EARTH NEWS blogger Jenna Woginrich was inspired to write her own argument about the way we view and consume food - and ask: Will those who most need the education ever see the film?
The UrBin Grower is a unique gardening system that takes place in self-watering containers that can be used on decks, patios, side yards or porches.
The Living Seed Company is creating a platform to inspire gardeners and gardeners to be.
You want to start your urban garden from seed this year, but you're not sure where to start because you’ve only started from transplants.
Regardless of how little space you have, you can grow some of your own food. Space is just an excuse. By building a self-watering container or soda bottle planter you can maximize the space that you have. You don't have to have a huge garden - growi
I’m a handmade gardening gal – part eco-friendly, non-traditionalist; part crafty creative with more ideas than money, and an abiding aversion to off-the-shelf shopping. My garden is my canvas, my vision, and my voice.
A silent auction at the Mother Earth News Fair featuring hundreds of items raised $5,232 for the Organic Seed Alliance last weekend in Puyallup, Wash.
Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition, is now available in print and by download from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. Learn how to make your soil perform at its very best!
Let’s put water back into the soil where it belongs. Permeable or porous surfaces, like a gravel path or patio, allow rainfall and irrigation to percolate into the ground rather than spill into the street.
Lindsay Lee, nursery owner and Seed Savers Exchange advisor, will present a workshop on grafting fruit trees at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Elsa Sanchez of Penn State University will present two workshops on compost and mulch at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Cam contemplates his place in the universe while weeding his corn patch....
When a vegetable garden doesn’t look like a vegetable garden, what is it? A polyculture, where gardeners strive to address this simple truth: The most effective way to grow healthy plants is to create gardens that replicate nature.
Barbara Pleasant offers a step-by-step plan to starting seeds.
We can create eco-friendly clothing without producing waste. Find out more about zero-waste design and its effect on the fashion industry.
The Organic Materials Review Institute was formed by organic certifiers back in 1997 to focus exclusively on the products and materials used by farmers.
GloryBee Foods announces today that the company adds Aunt Patty's Organic Creamed Coconut to its selection of natural foods.
Lindsay Fernandez-Salvador explains the best ways to use animal manure while organic farming.
K.C. Compton takes a glance at more than two dozen trends that are shaping our future, which are documented in the Worldwatch Institute’s latest publication, "Vital Signs, Volume 21."
The new apple orchard we're planning for our homestead won't be the classical lawn-layout most people are accustomed to. Our edible landscape will mimic a natural landscape with the goal to reduce interference such as spraying while providing organic fruit, berries and herbs for many months of many years.
This article takes an insider’s look at how the seed business works, and what you can do to get the best-quality seeds.
We have developed two customized search engines that make it easier to locate companies that offer specific varieties of seeds and plants, as well as organic garden products and tools.
Discover the Ozarks region's natural beauty and adventure hot spots as told by Mike McArthy of Photozarks.
A little background on how Ric and Vicki moved from Detroit to a Tennessee homestead, and starting to get up to date on what they've done since.
When Steve Sikora and Lynette Erickson-Sikora restored Frank Lloyd Wright's first small, affordable home, they discovered how green the iconic architect really was.
Creating your own start-up is full of obstacles, but rewarding. MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Jessica Vaughan shares advice from her experience as a first-time small business owner who teaches clients how to grow organic produce.
It was becoming pretty obvious the crowding and lack of light were real limitations to my mini garden. Then, the idea of a trough on the windowsill came to mind, combining a way to water all the plants uniformly and efficiently all at once. Great, now how to make this trough? Wood? Sheet metal? The choices all seemed expensive, clumsy, prone to leaking...then the light bulb went on in my head: gutters!
An experiment in urban gardening produces a melon miracle.
This year at the LA International Olive Oil Competition, only one Best of Show was awarded to a domestic oil – to Apollo Olive Oil’s organic Sierra.
The USDA has extended the comment period on agricultural "coexistence," which will determine how much protection organic farmers and seed breeders will have from GM seed contamination, until March 4.
Have you started your tomatoes and peppers yet? 'Tis the season to start seeding long season crops indoors. If you normally buy organic starts from your local nursery, try your hand at seed starting.
Organic Valley's new Pasture Butter is a standout among cultured butters and organic food products. This is one of the few products available today that respects Mother Nature by paying attention to the seasons, not to mention the needs of our food-producing animal friends.
One thing I know for sure is that many in the local farm and food scene are working through the same issue. We are numbers people in search of numbers. We aren’t crazy unscientific loons like our industrial brothers and sisters think we are.
Diane Ott Whealy of Seed Savers Exchange and Jackie Cleary Dietrich of Auburn Meadow Farm will present workshops on gardening and farming at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, Sept. 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Try these organic techniques to help prevent tomato early blight.
Both organic and local food are important if we want to eat nutritious and delicious food. Furthermore, our current food system is in jeapordy because petroleum and water supplies are dwindling and climate change is resulting in more extreme weather.
We may find it overwhelming to know where to begin in teaching others to eat healthily. People attempting to eat healthier find it difficult to know where to begin. "The Dirty Dozen" fruits and vegetables gives us all a place to start.
Maddy Harland writes about principles that underpin our understanding and practical application of permaculture. She relates them to designing a green home and garden but also explains how permaculture can help us to create more sustainable lifestyle
are at the vanguard of thoughtful sourcing, choosing local, sustainable farms
and cooking seasonally.
Sustainable farming expert Michael Pollan has some words of wisdom for the next president of the United States.
With all the recent panic about radiation contamination, our loyal BõKU customers felt safer, and more protected, with BõKU's nutrient dense support.
Groovy Globe will donate 10 percent of its sales from each product sold to non-profit environmental organizations.
There are many logical reasons for adding flowers to your vegetable garden: attracting beneficials, crop diversity, companion-planting, barriers and healthy soil. But perhaps their beauty does not need to be rationalized at all!
Deborah Niemann of Antiquity Oaks will present two workshops on traditional home dairies and homegrown food at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger of Green Heron Tools will present a workshop on the principles of good body mechanics at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Simran Sethi writes about the importance of eco-friendly mattresses, bed frames, and bedding.
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.
Save money and keep harsh chemicals out of your kitchen by making your own dishwasher detergent. It takes just seconds to make a powdered or liquid version.
Organic is a phrase that’s tossed around and abused a lot by marketers these days. Not all “organic” products should be treated equally.
Celebrate a technology-free Sabbath with a jug of organic wine, a loaf of homemade bread and handmade candles. Could you go 24 hours without your smartphone?
Brown rot is a serious disease of peaches, plums, and other stone fruits. For organic gardeners, spraying at-risk fruits with a milk solution can give good control.
This is an excerpt from Christopher Nyerges' "Self-Sufficient Home" book (published by Stackpole) where he talks about some of his early gardening experiences and when he learned that the health of the soil is the most important aspect of gardening.
Green & Black’s, an organic chocolate company, takes a two week trip to the Dominican Republic to dig an 11.5 km trench. The trench will supply water to their cocoa farmers, helping product the cocoa which makes Green & Black’s chocolate bars.
I say compost, you think of rotting food, dirt, flies and a horrible smell. For that reason most people wont' even consider composting at home.
Wood Prairie Farm encourages citizens to sign a petition in support of family farmers and to attend the citizens assembly on January 31st, 2012.
Relax: HR 875 isn't a bill to outlaw organic farming, as you might have heard. But it's not exactly good news for pesticide-free producers, either. Here are the details.
Cam contemplates the amount of energy that goes into our food production and shows how he prepared corn for freezing the zero carbon way!
To build Finca Exotica, a sustainable resort on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, the owners took advantage of plentiful native bamboo, kept the footprint small and let buildings unfold organically.
Sue J. Morris of Sue's Salves will present two workshops on gardening and creating salves at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
I’d like to introduce the words farmden and farmdener into the English language. I wonder if there are any other farmdeners out there. And just what is a farmden? It’s more than a garden, less than a farm. That’s my definition, but it also could be described as a site with more plants and/or land than one person can care for sanely. A gardener and garden gone wild, out of control.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture deems Roundup Ready alfalfa safe, leaving organic crops vulnerable to contamination and paving the way for more superweeds.
This blog post describes the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff's afternoon spent harvesting their homegrown garlic.
Where are we headed, vis a vis our food systems? Can we as individuals make a difference in our food? Yes!
Jennifer R. Bartley of American Potager will present a workshop on cooking with herbs and vegetables from a kitchen garden at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Popcorn is easy to grow and makes an attractive and delicious alternative to sweet corn, especially in a small garden. Kids will love the cute little ears, and adults will treasure the superior flavor of homegrown popcorn. Plant in late spring.
Autumn is very busy at Stony Knolls Farm between the Common Ground Fair and Fall Goat School!
Engineer Venkappa Gani leads by example when it comes to sustainable living. His entire backyard is an organic garden, an edible landscape that borders his rainwater harvesting tank collectors overlooked by solar panels that power his home (and more!). Gani is dedicated to sustainability, a word he lives by everyday at his suburban home in Austin, Texas.
Finca Exotica is ideal for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the Osa Peninsula's bounty and learn about permaculture and sustainable building.
Growing potatoes in containers allows you to increase your yield in a small amount of space.
Concerned about GMOs in your family's food? Take action.
Although the concepts of fair trade, buying local and buying organic food are used to aid the economies of developing countries, these same three concepts can help our local communities become the healthy communities we can thrive in.
Describes a method of protecting tomatoes from excessive heat using a sunscreen, vermicompost tea, pulling blighted leaves.
More on the much-feared food safety bill, HR 875, and its Congressional counterparts.
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
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.
So many paint colors to choose from for Simran Sethi’s home, but one standard must be met: no VOCs or harmful chemicals.
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.
Check out these tips and share your ideas for welcoming 2010 with a green New Year’s Eve party.
Introducing the serviceberry, a beautiful landscape tree or shrub suitable in much of North America, to the edible landscape. Serviceberry -- or sarvis -- comes in many regional forms and produces edible berries.
Rancho Margo in Costa Rica's Arenal district is a self-sufficient farm and intentional community that sends guests home with a new sense of what's possible in sustainable living.
Eating only homegrown foods on the Fridays in Lent.
Wendy Albright remembers visiting her grandparent's farm where practicing organic living was the preferred way of life; they exercised natural crop cultivation, gathered fresh chicken eggs, canned both vegetables and meat and the term "eating like a thrasher" became a reality.
Concerned about Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops and genetic engineering of our food? Let President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack know.
USDA-organic personal care line now styled after Dr. Bronner’s iconic castile soap label.
Essentia introduces the world's first memory foam mattress made without chemicals.
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.
Summing up the last week of mostly frozen stuff except for a brief thaw.
Contemplations on what we eat and why we pay close attention to our food.
Buying "natural" cereal could get you a bowl full of GMOs. To keep genetically modified ingredients off your family's table, buy organic.
Choose chemical-free organic bedding to start off the new year with healthy rest in a healthy bedroom.
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"!
It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...
Organic Architect's Eric Corey Freed shows designers what green really means during Dining by Design, a charity event featuring tabletop installations in New York.
So, what do you do if you neglected to start your veggies way back in January or February? You had good intentions but there always seemed to be something that stole your attention. Now it’s the planting season and you have nothing to plant...
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
Growing some of the most delicious and sometimes expensive gourmet vegetables doesn't have to be hard. Artichoke, bronze fennel, kohlrabi, leek, and savoy cabbage are among the vegetables that grow well from seed.
"Organic farmers have the right to raise our organic crops without the threat of invasion by Monsanto's genetic contamination and without harassment by a reckless polluter. Beginning today, America asserts her right to justice and pure food."
Steve Judge of Bob-White Systems in Vermont offers his Micro Dairy expertise in this blog series on how to start and manage a Micro Dairy, from farm and barn planning to selecting dairy cows, goats and sheep to daily operations and being profitable.
Using oil seed radishes to add organic matter to the ground and attracting native pollinators with a nest site. Harvesting sweet potato seeds if we're lucky and admiring the parasitic wasp's ability to lay white egg sacs into the body of a horn worm
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.
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.
Simran Sethi discusses how to green your bathroom in easy ways: through your choice of toilet paper, shower curtain, and towels.
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food