organic farming research
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.
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.
Learn how bats can be beneficial for organic farmers, dramatically reducing the need for costly and harmful pesticides.
The Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service is looking for an organic farmer worthy of being named their 26th annual Organic Farmer of the Year.
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.
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.
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.
A potential solution to rising food prices, food insecurity and the obesity epidemic may call into play raising farms inside the city limits.
Is rotenone organic? The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) sorts out that complicated question about a pesticide being used on some organic farms.
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.
It's always wonderful to meet someone who is passionate about what they do!
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.
America's Best Organics introduces American-made gift box.
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."
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.
emerginC, a leading professional skincare collection, has just launched a natural yet serious results-oriented collection aptly named Scientific Organics.
Nature challenges us: Can we love the world around us unsentimentally? Our enormous achievements have brought most of the planet more or less under our control. Now that we have this powerful role in the world, are we capable of accepting our responsibility? Nowhere is this question more present than on a farm, where we live among the animals that will one day provide a meal, and where providing a humane death is not only neccessary for our nourishment, but for providing a good life for the rest of the animal residents.
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.
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.
Organic is a phrase that’s tossed around and abused a lot by marketers these days. Not all “organic” products should be treated equally.
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.
The Financial Times Climate Change Challenge winner is the Kyoto Box solar cooker, which uses no fuel other than the sun to cook food.
An organic cotton and wool body pillow goes a long way to help relieve pregnancy back pain.
Good news for businesses! An Oregon report shows cyclists and walkers spend more than motorists.
Help us determine if a mixture of coffee grounds and eggshells can protect your cabbages from pest damage.
A new Canadian study shows a link between consuming Roundup-contaminated water and/or GM corn and increased likelihood for illness and premature death in rats.
A mapping and assessment by the Electric Power Research Institute found that the U.S. hydrokinetic waterpower resources could provide 3 percent of the nation’s annual electricity use.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
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.
Coporations continue to purchase interests in seed industries. Could this be a problem?
Farming isn’t a skill that can be easily learned from a book. Here’s some advice and a collection of resources to help you decide whether you’re ready to try your hand at it.
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.
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
The Solar Foundation found a 13 percent increase in U.S. solar industry jobs in 2012, which is promising for the overall job market, and shows stability in the solar energy job market.
Part One of a four-part series describing one homesteader's search for the history of the farm she and her family now call home. Her search leads her back in time, starting in Germany and following the lives of the immigrants through settling down in Kansas and, finally, to the day she and her husband purchased the property.
Cycle Oregon in support of tree research and education.
Throughout the West, drought has led to a massive increase in wildfires, threatening the grass-fed beef industry in the U.S.
British scientists have found that many pesticides--including those commonly found in food and 16 that were previously considered safe--disrupt male hormones.
A new study finds that warming temperatures will cause up to two-thirds of the earth's permafrost to disappear by 2200, unleashing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Clearly the NACE considers “useless” degrees to be ones in which pay is low and availability of jobs is scarce. However, shouldn’t measuring the usefulness of an education take into account the actual benefits bestowed upon the person doing the study
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.
There are thousands of organic products available today, and they're not limited to food. Tell us what you buy organic and why.
In North Carolina’s Triangle region, Crop Mob is reviving community farming.
A humurous description of the beginning of an adventure in farming.
An affordable prototype home helps revitalize a blighted Syracuse, New York, neighborhood--and could be the city home of the future.
Farming brings with it a lot of dirt, manure and blood, not to mention death. But it's these that also make it so full of life.
Miller Manufacturing expands the Little Giant beekeeping supply product line.
KIOTI embarks on a major process upgrade to exceed the needs of their customer base.
Here's a helpful guide to help you make sustainable choices while shopping or out to eat. What else do you do to support sustainable farming practices?
A woman recalls her childhood memories on Three Mile Creek Farm including horses, a pig pen and a one-room school.
From breadlines in the city to hanging clothes to dry, a woman shares memories of her family’s move from Los Angeles to a farm in Oregon during the Great Depression.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence reviews the latest proposals banning urban chicken farming.
A description of farmers' even tempered dispositions.
Farmers in northern Michigan urge county officials to support hemp farming.
Radical homemaker Karen Keb introduces her new blog, which will cover topics as diverse as baking bread to raising livestock.
It's snake season, and I found a black snake out my back door!
Carolyn shares nostalgic summer memories of life on the farm including owning a pet rooster, picking wild blackberries, and eating fried turtle.
If you think Bambi is cute, try keeping him out of your strawberry field!
Here are a few sources that can help you find affordable farm land.
Urban Agriculture activists and advocates work to change the zoning laws in Chicago to be more friendly to urban agriculture.
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!
Dog days of summer? Yes, but there is still a lot of the grwoing season left. Protect yourself from the late summer sun with these tried 'n true items ... tested by a gardener who knows more than she'd like to about skin cancer.
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 Spirit of Hope garden in Detriot offers a safe, nurtuting place for plants and children to grow.
Recently a trend in farming called hydroponics has resurfaced and gained national attention that has grown in popularity with some, but has left others with mixed feelings.
Lay Htoo, a Burmese refugee, has been enrolled in the Farm Business Development Program at Cultivate Kansas City and is setting out to start her own urban farm.
The fields that were laid out in 1843 for livestock farming are teeming with hay-making grasses.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates discusses why his family works so hard—both on and off of the farm—to practice subsistence farming.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan reflects on the changes that arrive with fall, including her own sense of melancholy.
Robert Zwald finishes his short memoir with a record of his Wisconsin farm in the 1960s and the growth of his family. This is the eighth part of his stories, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
To protest the ban on hemp farming, six hemp activists symbolically planted hemp seeds on the lawn of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
September is here and I'm expecting the weather to break!
Facing massive snow drifts, HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick forges a new path to her barn and finds inspiration in the process.
Using horses rather than tractors may turn out to be the greenest way to farm.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan Redick considers how inextricably the lives of farmers and fishermen are intertwined in her coastal Maine town.
The annual Organic Farming Conference put on by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service featured a series of workshops designed for young farmers looking to get started.
Dealing with potties out in the country.
Manure-spreading day is a big event on the farm, for everyone from the chickens to the border collies. And it's part of a wonderful seasonal cycle that's the foundation of self-reliance and sustainability.
Things that come to mind while watching my husband and son work in this heat.
Humorous real-life stories of moving and adjusting to farm life.
Vickie Evans describes her grandparents’ life in Winfred during the Depression and the years following. Both came from farming families and used their land and farming knowledge to help the local community.
Cam learns to appreciate country music.
It's a challenge to describe the place where I take my livestock when it's time for them to cease being my companions, and to become my product instead. I call Steve's Meats in DeSoto, Kansas, the "packer." And, indeed, when I stopped off there this morning they had about 800 pounds of beef frozen and packed, ready for me to take home. It filled the freezer to the rim.
A boy growing up in Appalachian Country shares the farming practices of his family.
Cam has a great deal of respect for farmers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Focus on Food records an episode from Chaffin Orchards and discusses sustainable farming and the ethics of eating meat.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares how to install drip irrigation in your home garden.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan learns that giving up control, whether over a mischievous flock or a single lamb, can have its own rewards.
Proposals to weaken the links among conservation, farming and fair access to food would worsen the problems of U.S. agriculture.
Writer and Canadian farming enthusiast, Joseph Graham sent this review of the event that he and his wife hosted for Homesteading Education Month.
It takes a few good rationalizations to get through the busiest part of the growing season.
A description of a pioneering workshop featuring no-till, cover crop cocktails and mob grazing. Douglas County Conservation Service educated local farmers in cutting-edge biological farming techniques.
I, alone, am no one. I do not grow food. I do not water the garden. I do not photosynthesize. I do not put the life force in the soil. I do not make the seed. A natural force other than I is responsible for all this. That same natural force uses this body I like to consider my own to garden.
Permaculture is at the heart of the solution of many environmental crises. Permaculture is alive with the possibilities of positive change.
Learning to raise cows is more of a challenge than you would imagine!
The workshop series "In Her Shoes: Sustainable Farming for Women, by Women" will provide on-farm, women-led sharing of resources, experiences and inspiration to further connect, encourage and support female organic farmers, entrepreneurs and agricultural leaders. These all-day workshops will be in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and each will cost $20 and include lunch.
Free-range, backyard eggs are better for your health and your ethics.
While productivity is often the name of the game at large farms, local food, minimal environmental impact and healthy conditions for farm workers also are hot topics today. Yet, our agriculture — and our living — have a greater impact on the environment and the life it supports than these issues alone address.
Productive urban landscapes, if managed correctly, can reduce pollution in local watershed.
Arthur Bolduc shares his story of experiencing life near an Amish community in Ohio, where he enjoyed the exciting process of sorghum production firsthand.
Finding friends out in the country can be challenging.
Coming back to agriculture and the farming life, I think every farmer should spend time as a fisherperson. If that were the case, I have a hard time believing Industrial Agriculture would have ever taken its foothold. Manure runs downhill as they say
A hard look at the state of the food industry and the impact of factory farming on polluted run-off, animal rights, and small family farms across America.
Cam enjoys a visit with Ken & Madeline who farmed this property many years ago and Cam realizes how hard farming was back then....
Real estate and land use demands have many people left on a waiting list by their local community gardens. Never fear: There's still plenty of options to get growing!
When it's too hot outside, the work moves inside, and is still REALLY HOT.
Looking for a farming internship or apprenticeship? Search the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Center’s online directory of farming internships and apprenticeships to find one that interests you.
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
It's been a rough summer for gardeners and farmers alike. Here's how we've been dealing with drought and a few tips on watering.
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.
After finding the illegal presence of genetically engineered wheat in Oregon, the USDA has found another, similar case in Montana.
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
This blog post tells what life was like on the self-sustaining farm of Olen and Anna Mae Showman located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia during the middle of the 20th century.
Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica’s verdant San Carlos agricultural region is a dynamic, living example of permaculture and biodynamic farming, where every being is part of a system that nurtures the body and the soul.
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?
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!
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!
Expert advice on best organic fertilizer options for new apple trees and grape vines.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked:
Why do we do all this work?
As I go along, I pull out pebbles occasionally, but only one large stone. Time and time again, however, my hands pry free the remnants of bricks. As late afternoon turns to early evening and my work for the day is nearing completion, a collection of the ruddy-colored artifacts is stacked to one side. The sight of them calls up something nostalgic in me, broken bits suggesting a history that is largely lost.
Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will present a workshop on localized food systems and pastured livestock at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
None of these items' primary use is for gardening or livestock keeping but here we are using them all the time. So here's my list of items that you should keep around if you are an avid gardener or own livestock.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missourian Bryce Oates explains how he and his family survive summer on the farm. Two words: swimming pool.
Reynaldo Ochoa, the subject of a new short film, grows with a goal of teaching and practicing permaculture unique to an individual's region, emphasizing sustainable farming as opposed to “slash and burn” agriculture.
Organic gardeners often need to remove mammal pests such as groundhogs and raccoons. Like many, I use live traps. How to deal with a skunk you accidentally catch, without getting sprayed?
One woman's vision of a family farm comes to life in her back yard thanks to one friendly goat.
I am off to Polyface Farm to intern for the summer and I’m so excited! I plan to write every week to explain to you what we are learning, how we spend our days, mistakes we make (that you can learn from) and basically anything that can help readers become better farmers and homesteaders. I’ll include lots of photos too, so make sure to check back!
Jenna Woginrich discusses the more difficult aspects of homesteading, and why it's worth it anyway.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan recalls how the seasons affected her childhood and how they guide her activities now on her Maine dairy farm.
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
Some things have come full circle, so now we have a chance to fix it right this time!
The Oakland, California-based urban farming company manufactures grow-your-own oyster mushroom kits with soil made from recycled coffee grounds.
Don't let your wanderlust for more space hold you back from creating your homestead in the city.
Doug Van Haitsma of the Mon Valley Initiative will present a workshop on micro farms at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
After a completely miserable potato harvest this year we’ve decided to pull them out of the ground and do them in boxes made out of pallets. That way we can use weedblock under them to eliminate the whole bindweed issue. So today, the boxes went up.
So, yes, I have become a lover of goats (and ducks have won me over, too). But the truth is, I can’t wait to eat the boys.
A beginning farmer realizes that time may be the farm's most important commodity.
Weather.com now features customizable local weather applications, including an Agriculture Application with great tools for farmers and gardeners.
Beginning July 1, 2011 and continuing for the next five months, legal residents of the U.S. and Canada can enter to win a five-year lease of a New Holland Boomer 30 compact tractor and loader with the industry-leading Boomer Guard5.
This rustic, resourcefully sustainable dog fence fits right into the landscape. Before you install a fence, look around your place first to see what's already available.
Check out the installation process of an urban beehive.
This current situation is a perfect example of the 80/20 rule of homesteading: 80 percent of your time, energy and effort is spent on maintenance; 20 percent on progress towards the dream. A majority of your time homesteading is spent covered in chicken poop, squashing potato bugs, figuring out why gas isn’t getting to the carburetor in the ATV and shoveling snow after dark by headlamp.
A beginning farmer loses a friend and finds that solitary farming isn't all it's cracked up to be.
The flowers weren't just there to be pretty. They provided a long blooming source of forage for our bees and the native pollinators.
As New Year's Eve approaches, friends butcher the ducks they've raised in their rice paddies and share some thoughts on "The Power of Duck."
If you have a constant, overwhelming urge of wanting to be outside breathing in the fresh air and partaking in various farming activities, you may be suffering from barnheart.
How to Schedule your Planting by the Moon
Raising and growing your own is more than a lifestyle — it is life.
Important provisions in the Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act have been removed, which would leave the Gulf of Mexico open to damage from unsustainable fish farming methods.
Darrel Frey, permaculture specialist, will present workshops on permaculture and bioshelter design at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Kirk Haffner, solar power expert, and Jeff Swotek of the USDA will present workshops on solar power and USDA programs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
C. Murray shares his experiences finding work to support his family as a child during the Great Depression.
Learning to clear fields can be fun!
When you grow your own food, you not take a step towards self-sufficiency. You also make a move towards better health and whole new relationship with your food.
Rene' Skaggs of the Pierce Conservation District will present a workshop on increasing pasture productivity at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!
Blackberry picking only happens at the height of summer, but is well worth the thorn wounds!
Trying to follow directions out in the country can be challenging!
Weeding in the summer is all about species maintenance
Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees will present a workshop on beekeeping at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Even dairy goats can have self-esteem issues...
Cheryl "the Pig Lady" Ouellette will present workshops on meat processing, growing meat for market, free-range pork, and growing what you love at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
Clearing your land to ready it for farming can be quite a challenge!
Daniel Kosel of Red Poll Cattle will present a workshop on Red Poll Cattle Ranching at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Steven Moize of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy will present a workshop on rotational grazing at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel teach readers how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non timber products. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.
Tanya Fields, named the Eco-Warrior of the Food System, discusses how she came to be an urban farming and food sovereignty activist working to empower women and change the food landscape in the underserved neighborhoods of New York City.
Mary Quinn Doyle shares a background about how she became involved in a volunteer project traveling around Maine for over two years visiting over 180 unique farms to take photos and write stories about them for an educational book and website.
As a third-party certifier, the Rainforest Alliance ensures that farms and forests are sustainable environmentally, socially and economically. The green frog seal and the FSC logo have become widely recognized, credible symbols of sustainability.
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
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.
Growing organic apples isn’t impossible! Follow these tips and methods for avoiding pest damage and growing apples organically.
Growing pine trees from seed will allow you to produce lots of trees very economically. Follow these instructions to propagate pine trees from seed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this section you will find stories of real farmers across the country that made it work. You'll find their story, how they did it and who helped them. We hope these stories will inspire and educate new farmers, as well as land owners and community members to become involved in the new agrarian movement. A growing trust.
A permaculture-based, 2,000-acre farm in Northern California integrates grassfed livestock with orchard farming.
Completing tasks in preparation for a few days away from the homestead
In this excerpt from Fair presenters Hank and Karen Will’s new book, Plowing With Pigs and Other Creative, Low-budget Homesteading Solutions, they’ll show you how to add small grains to your plot.
Have you ever dreamed of taking your part-time homestead to a full-time salary? What's holding you back? Business books say most people are more afraid of success than failure.
Teddi Irwin sent us this
great update on a Homesteading Education Month event held at IN A GOOD WAY, a
training farm established to use therapeutic methods of farming to improve the
lives of Native American men.
Hay season on the Keith farm means lots of work for the wood-powered truck! Check out these videos of Wayne's farming operation.
Gasification guru Wayne Keith shows us some of his daily farm operations.
HOMEGROWN blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel outlines strategies for responsible drought gardening in her home state of California--or anywhere.
Monsanto's Roundup Ready system transformed typical weed problems into a national superweed crisis, only healthy farms can correct the damage done.
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.
A post by Maria Rodale called A Harvest of Healing got me thinking about how gardening and growing your own food is much more than what you harvest.
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
The documentary Urban Roots takes a look at how city farming is transforming the city's vacant lots into community gardens, ultimately changing the community as a whole in the process.
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.
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
People often dismiss gardening as an expensive hobby that they can’t afford. While that can be true, it doesn’t have to be. There are way to make gardening cheap.
In the United States, we are feeling the effects of the rising food prices as well. When you take a deeper look into the prices, it’s not the food that is causing the price to rise. It’s everything else that goes into getting the food to your plate t
It might be the middle of the summer, but you should start thinking about getting your fall garden ready. If you don’t have much space, to plant everything outdoors, then you can certainly start your seeds indoors.
When you are apartment gardening in a small space, you are forced to be creative due to your space constrictions. Most traditional pots and containers might not work, so you become reliant on reusing objects to better fit your space.
Book reviews by permaculture educator Cindy Conner. Learn about Sustainable Market Farming, The Art of Fermentation, The Permaculture Handbook, and The Small-Scale Poultry Flock.
Permaculture is a holistic, integrative design for a sustainable future: registrations now open for D Acres' 2012 Permaculture Design Course!
A beginner farmer learns about taking on the responsibility of raising animals.
Animal Husbandry tent experiences from Day 1 of 2011 Mother Earth News Fair.
Drought is hard on us out here in Farm Country. But drought in the midst of boiling hot summer is amongst the worst conditions I can imagine.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
This story recounts one father's hard work to help his family survive by raising chickens and farming during the Great Depression. The author also describes his family-owned homemade brooder house, which helped shelter the chickens that provided meat and eggs during hard times.
We wanted to write up a post about asparagus to explain how farmers look at the crop, but also as a sort of apology to our customers. We have spent many hours in the field and on the phone seeking farmers with an existing asparagus supply. We had man
This fifth story from Robert Zwald talks about his efforts to keep his family farming through the depression, even after they lost their own land.
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!
Parents will often say that they don't have time to grow their own food because they have kids. Don't let kids be the excuse. Instead make them part of the experience too. It's what families have done since the beginning of time. The past 100 yea
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
While there are many events that have lead us to where we are today in terms of food, there are some things/events that stand out the most in my mind. Growing your own food is one way to reverse the trend.
Kansas City has a thriving city farming scene, and recently hosted an urban farms tour to showcase several of the city’s market and community gardens. One of our editors pedaled along with a bike tour group to see what the city farmers have to offer.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner.
When people ask why they should grow their own food, the answer that I give is often simple. I tell them, "It's because we are humans."
Take these into consideration the next time you are making your food purchases.
Robert Zwald talks about farming equipment and selling his harvest in the 1940s. This is the sixth part of Robert's stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
Farm life is not always predictable, and some of the surprises turn out to be the most valuable lessons. This story from the ranch about some strong winter-born goats, a protective cow with motherly instincts, and a calf that’s making it against all odds will not only inspire you, but it may teach you something about the wonderful spirit of community support.
In Japan, more and more people are combining farming with other work. My neighbors and I fit the pattern, but what's it all mean for the future of farming?
What if I told you that you could grow 50 plants in 4 square feet?
A nine-to-fiver turns a corner and leaves behind a twenty-year career to grow food amongst housing developments and strip malls.
We are taught when we are kids not to waste food, but it doesn’t seem as if that lessen has stuck with us.
Whether you are new to gardening or experienced, you will make some mistakes. Get over it and learn from it. That’s the most important thing.
Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc.
Some people use gardening as an escape from the trials and tribulations of the real world. It’s their time to get their hands dirty, connect with the earth and just be in their garden.
A 30-acre organic and biodynamic farm is the beating heart of the thriving 1,000-acre Serenbe community near Atlanta. As more developers integrate agriculture into suburbia, the joys and benefits of farming are becoming available to everyone.
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
Monitoring energy use has led to increased motivation for conservation
One of my earliest vivid childhood memories is sitting on my father’s lap as a young girl reading the magazine together in the 1980s and all throughout my childhood. He would read aloud while I studied the pictures of passive solar building, vegetable gardening, sheep shearing, building your own sugar shack and the beautiful array of topics which he read to me frequently. Those images, along with the camping trips in the mountains, the whitewater and canoeing excursions, and our family trip to Alaska, have been etched in the catacombs of my childhood memories and have sculpted the person I have grown to become.
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
After months of waiting, worrying and hoping, the clouds finally arrived here at Yellabird Farm last week and brought us the long-sought gift of good rain. It was a great two days of slow and soaking moisture that the cracked soil guzzled up...
A beginning urban farmer grows nothing without a smartphone.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
The 651 Project has been established to assist students Nationwide in their pursuit of agricultural skills and knowledge.
The Ecological Farming Association will host the 33rd annual EcoFarm Conference at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, Calif., Jan. 23-26, 2013. The conference will offer more than sixty workshops, as well as the opportunity for eight beginning farmers to win substantial grants.
Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.
If you are new to growing your own food in containers, these are some simple tips that should help you to get a better yield and results from your containers.
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
Growing your own food doesn't have to be an expensive activity. There are plenty of ways to cut back the costs and be earth-friendly as well. You can do this by giving a second life to items that have outgrown their initial purpose.
Elizabeth Van Deventer has been on a quest to find the answer to sustainable farming and an ethical diet most of her life. Follow along as she discovers the impacts of producing tea, palm oil and fruit, and how she eventually settles on a lifestyle that is in tune with the earth and all of its creatures.
Farms which have earned Rainforest Alliance certification go beyond conserving the environment and improving the lives and livelihoods of farm workers; they also help to curb climate change.
According to FDA data, the quantity of antibiotics sold for livestock use in this country continues to rise, topping 29 million pounds in 2011. This has a direct effect on the efficacy these same drugs will have on us. Sam Spitz has personal experience with a resistant illness and FamilyFarmed.org asked him to tell his story. It’s a cautionary tale that should have us all making better food choices. Read how we can all influence the campaign to end the misuse of antibiotics in livestock and keep antibiotics working for us when we need them!
All of us farmers,large and small, are a big part of the engine that drives the economy
of rural communities, rural counties and rural states.This year, we are learning a lot about what happens when that engine sputters.
Watch a video of a traveling sheep shearer at work and tell us about small-scale farming artisans in your region.
Containers are great for those that are gardening in small spaces. Though there is the fear of not knowing when or how often to water them. This is why I started to make my own self-watering containers.
Robert White is remaking himself as a farmer, and will return to his family's land to start a market garden. Here's why.
It’s the middle of summer and you are likely enjoying the harvests. There is` so much to do with all that fresh and flavorful produce, but what should you do?
Garlic is resilient, easy-to-grow, highly nutritious, and a natural antibiotic.
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.
No matter your level of gardening expertise, our Guide to Organic Gardening app has the advice and how-to you need to dig in and grow a bountiful organic food garden. With articles on composting, beneficial insects, weed control and more, you'll have a wealth of organic gardening know-how at your fingertips after you download this app onto your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet.
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.
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.
Pruning apple trees to a three by three central leader shape for strength against high winds and to prevent fungal infection.
Try these organic techniques to help prevent tomato early blight.
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.
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.
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.
A few months back I heard a comment on an NPR radio program that really caught my attention. The program was about the local food movement and at one point the guest on the show said, “Now remember - just because it’s local doesn’t necessarily mean it has a smaller carbon footprint. That Argentinian apple that was shipped on a barge with thousands of tons of other apples may actually have required less fuel per apple than the apple than came from a few hundred miles away in the back on a farmer’s pickup.”
Honey bees, the Boston tragedy, and our power to create the world we’ve been waiting for.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
This is a rundown of films that came out in the last few years. These films cover a wide range of environmental topics, from energy, climate, and fuel, to food, farming, and health. Many of the films have won awards or been critically acclaimed.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Once our bodies and our imaginations are engaged, the incremental change begins. Then it gets easier and easier to envision humanity occupying this planet–this beautiful, abundant planet–far into the future.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
The place I call home these days is The FarmSchool, a fertile 180-acre strip of ridge top in Athol, where 15 student-farmers are spending a year learning the ins and outs of growing food, managing forests, and raising animals for meat. I arrived at the farm in October, just as the leaves were reaching their peak brilliance. The Farm School — which offers three-day programs for schoolchildren, a summer camp, a full-time middle school, and the apprenticeship program I’m in — takes us through all seasons of farming, weaving together class work and on-farm training.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival inspired us to keep at those challenges that frustrate us on the farm.
Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!
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...
Rancho Margot in Costa Rica is completely off the grid and constantly closing the circle. Nothing is wasted on this self-sufficient ranch, where everything is considered a resource--including methane from the compost ovens.
Ira Wallace explores good winter gardening reads, gives advice on how to use the winter lull wisely to plan and prepare, and shares an update in the ongoing court battle to protect family farmers from agri-giant Monsanto.
Learn about the advantages of urban farming from those who are leading the way. The benefits include improved food production, increased revenue sources and reduced energy use.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
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.
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.
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