Seniors face different challenges when homesteading than those who are younger, and so have to adjust accordingly to bring their self-sufficiency dreams to reality.
Not only is recycling your used wooden pallets helpful for the planet, but it can help you stay young in brain and body by encouraging you to learn new skills. You can also have great fun as a family working on wooden pallet recycling ideas.
Gardening is, at its heart, an Art and a Mystery, as well as a science. There are things we can know, and control, and things that we cannot. And I am constantly learning the difference. There are always crops which keep me humble, which raise questions of timing, fertilization, and care, which do not come out as I intended. One year it was beans, another year, winter squash. My 'Russian Banana' fingerling potatoes were the crop this year.
The Cranberry Glades are situated within the Monongahela National Forest, which comprises almost 1 million acres of land, making it the third largest national forest east of the Rocky Mountains. Within The Glades are many natural areas and attractions such as the “Cranberry Glades Botanical Area.” This 750-acre preserve is home to many unusual plants, and this is where you’ll find “the bogs.”
The harvest begins. Whatever happened to those wild and crazily overgrown potatoes (written about in a previous post)? Check out the bushels of newly dug potatoes that resulted from that botanical experiment started this spring.
Since we were in the process of establishing a garden on our northern Utah homestead, we wondered if we could grow garlic ourselves. If the established farmers at the market failed to grow ample bulbs, perhaps the soil or climate forbade it. Still, we decided to try — and we had success growing garlic. Here are our tips for how to grow garlic and all that goes into cultivating a successful harvest.
The revitalization of the “Back-to-Basics” movement has brought with it the old-world skills that the pioneers once used to survive, but with a modern-day twist. While no longer essential to survival, these skills are now being used by modern homesteaders to gain their freedom from dependence.
If you enjoy livestock and are comfortable marketing to customers, there’s a lot of money to be made in the (live) stock market. And it’s a safe market that’s always in demand.
Don’t just throw away those plastic pots your plants came in! Here are our six favorite ways to reuse and recycle plant pots.
These three underappreciated plants deserve their time in the sun, so to speak! Let’s dive into Local First Aid, learning about the edible and medicinal uses of these common wild plants: violets, plantain, and yellow dock.
Although you may hear the term "master gardener", there is no one right way to grow your garden. For all gardeners out there, the surefire way to learn how to garden is by conducting experiments — by setting a hypothesis, testing it, and recording your results in a gardening journal.
Planting the seedlings you’ve raised carefully indoors is a proud moment. But be sure to acclimatize them to their new outdoor home first, or you’ll risk losing your plants and wasting all that hard work. This is a process known to gardeners as hardening off plants.
Meet some of our outdoor family members as I work to comply with the lawn ordinances being forced upon us. Hopefully, more of them are still alive and are adapting to something more akin to cave dwelling than open-forested lands.
Growing vegetables at a high elevation can be very challenging. Over the years we have had to be flexible and creative in order to manage a small garden. We grow enough for our needs but not enough to put any vegetables up for future use. This blog post outlines some of the challenges we have faced and how we overcame them.
The smart home has a companion: the smart garden. It's now possible to harness the power of the internet to foster better gardening and, at the same time, help conserve energy.
While shade presents a challenge, it certainly needn’t stop you from growing your own fruit and vegetables. In this video we’ll suggest shade-tolerant vegetables and fruits, and share a few tricks of the trade to maximize the light your garden does receive.
Wild Abundance offers this guide to harvesting, foraging, homesteading, and food preservation in July beneath the Swimming Moon.
In the case of hops, Humulus lupulus, there is too much goodness to not consider this addition to the homestead. The quick answer? Hops provide excellent shade, prolific forage for animals, superb medicinal benefits and, of course, they are great for home brewing beer and cider.
We no longer used our 6-foot-by-10-foot dog kennel, and it looked like a sturdy frame for a greenhouse.
With herbs and lemongrass in your garden, you can keep out mosquitoes, add flavor and spice to your summer menu, and have the ingredients for your own homemade bug spray. This blog post shows you how to harvest and cook with lemongrass and offers two easy, all-natural mosquito repellents you can make yourself.
Spring is without a doubt the most exciting time of year for us gardeners. It’s the time to get sowing in earnest! But before you so much as tear open a seed packet, you’ll need to make sure your soil is warm enough and that late frosts won’t hamper your efforts.
This article highlights four herbs that repel mosquitoes naturally and you’re probably already growing them in your garden: 'Creeping Lemon' thyme, Rosemary, Mint, and Lavender! All these mosquito-repellent plants are easy to grow, do well in containers, and actually attract beneficial birds and insects.
You reap what you sow, but sometimes what you sow refuses to cooperate. Follow these seed-sowing tips to prevent gardening disasters.
Both tart and sweet, June is infused with the tangy taste of wild cherries, the sweetness of plump raspberries, and the succulence of wineberries. Though feasting, harvesting and preserving this sweetness is a priority, there is much more to do to make the most of this month. Below is a guide to homesteading and wild-food foraging in this juicy season.
Start your dream garden as you would any project — with a project plan. If you break down your end goal into step-by-step tasks, you will see your dream come to fruition in no time.
Building raised garden beds for your garden does not need to be expensive. Here is how I built a number of raised beds in my garden for the cost of one box of wood screws.
Are you worried about mosquitoes but want an alternative to chemical bug sprays? This post shows you how to add easy-to-grow and beautiful mosquito-repellent plants to your landscapes and get back outside with your family.
Living off the grid doesn't mean that you need to sacrifice the womanly comforts you may be accustomed to — you just need to provide for them slightly differently.
Repurpose kitchen knives and more to use as inexpensive and effective garden tools.
The more tomato varieties you grow – especially if you delve into the wonderful world of heirlooms – the more you realize that not all tomato plants look alike. Look closely at the leaves and you will find lots of variations; once you become familiar with a particularly favorite variety, you may even be able to distinguish it early on just by its leaves. Pictures tell the story and take the mystery away from the commonly used tomato foliage terms "regular leaf" and "potato leaf."
Selective weeding can result in finding delightfully surprising volunteers in your garden. I’m sure most of you have heard some version of the old adage, “A weed is simply any plant growing in an unwanted place.” When combined with “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” you can sometimes have eye-opening conversations (especially with neighbors).
Building raised beds is a popular pastime among gardeners, and it isn’t hard to see why. We’ll show you how to build your own!
Mulberries are delicious and one of the earliest fruit harvests of the year. Here's how to forage mulberries and turn them into a delicious chutney.
Enemy forces seemed to converge over my indoor green thumbs this year, resulting in a near complete seedling failure. What happens when undetermined circumstances produce "lemons?" You make lemonade, of course. Blythe shares how her failed seedling crop may just have changed how she manages her springtimes from here on out.
Starting a garden can be intimidating, especially when there are all sorts of guru-gardening methods on the internet, but we are choosing to take an extremely straightforward approach that we want to share with you all!
How do you currently fill your spare time? Is it with things that are time wasters or things that are productive? How do you entertain yourself when Living Off Grid, Really?!?!
Many people believe they can grow anything anytime when they just got their own greenhouse. You can, but that’s not always the case. Sure, it depends on what you’re planting in the first place. But, it also depends on the greenhouse itself and how you plant it.
Building raised vegetable garden beds has many benefits: They negate contending with poor soil, you can make them tall to avoid bending, avoid soil compaction and they look appealing to name a few. But how can you make them biodynamic? This post will tell you how.
“Golden” will be the first word to enter your mind when you see the roots, rhizomes and dormant buds of Hydrastis canadensis. You’ll understand immediately why the common name is “Goldenseal.” This very useful native woodland plant will not only charm and entertain you spring, summer, and autumn — it can even heal you.
There are a wide variety of ways to recycle, repurpose, reclaim, and reuse items in the garden. Blythe shares several useful tips in this blog about recreating her gourd patch for the season.
Have you ever made a truly superb batch of jam – and then forgotten which recipe you used? Just like a personal journal can help you keep track of your life events, a canning journal is a valuable resource for those of us who can and preserve fresh food.
It’s a common misconception in the home gardening arena that asparagus is a crop that should never be started from seed. I am not sure when this became the standard dogma, but it is far from the actual truth. Asparagus is a crop that thrives when started from seed and those plants that are derived from home-grown stock tend to be larger and more robust than store-bought crowns. Growing asparagus from seed is a rewarding experience that is easier than you think.
7 ways to use cut grass from mowing the lawn in the garden to reduce waste and recycle.
Take a moment, a day, to enjoy the world.
As the days stretch closer to their full summer length, we are welcomed to sow directly into the warming ground. We are invited to harvest from the woods, which are coming to life with new abundance. Now, we step into the light of the growing season, and we plant beneath the poplar moon! Learn how to prepare your garden and what to harvest in the month of May.
Want the money-saving and health benefits of a personal garden? Where to put it is the first question to ask. Learn the basics here.
Our first salad is a big deal for us, considering we were hitting -20 degrees Fahrenheit two weeks ago, and we still have patches of snow on the ground.
Homesteading is built upon a foundation of self sufficiency, but community is just as important. There is so much more to homesteading than the individual pleasure associated with it. There is true joy and friendship in the shared labor of land.
In spring, we plant several crops into hay mulch to help control weeds, including reducing the "weed seed bank". Few weeds other than perennial grasses will come up through a 4-inch layer of hay. Mulches of natural materials keep the soil damper, which can mean higher yields and less need to water. This method is quick and easy, and more effective than mulching around the plants after transplanting.
There is nothing like growing your own veggies and canning the excess. A good place to start your search is your local farmer’s market. Ask one of the veggie farmers if you can come out and help on their farm and see where it goes from there. All it takes is a couple hours every week or two to learn the basics.
Growing your own localized varieties of vegetables allows you to customize the taste to your liking.
When the performing of regular garden chores presents you with ethical or moral dilemmas, what is your normal course of action? Do you think about the wildlife surrounding you? Read here to find out who was hiding in Blythe’s carrot bed and what she decided to do.
Biodynamic growing can be thought of as the next step up from organic growing, as many of the principles of organic growing are followed in biodynamics. The biggest difference in biodynamics is that everything starts with the soil and the alignment of the sun and the moon in the cosmos for planting, harvesting and tending to types of plants. For those of you who are not familiar with biodynamics, let me set the scene for you here.
What do you do when you don’t have a root cellar and the potatoes you store in the basement have decided to volunteer for planting? This post will show you the beginning of one of my botanical adventures growing potatoes in abundance.
It's tax season! Dyan of Bittersweet Heritage Farm is crunching the numbers, prompting a discussion about what farming means to her.
Documenting your homestead’s growth produces a wonderful record for the future and helps illuminate natural and human effects on the landscape.
Compost tea allows you to take a small amount of compost and give your plants the microbes and nutrition they need to resist disease and give you nutritious food. Making and using compost tea is both economical and easy.
We thought we were doing the right thing when we moved to a remote area to live 19 years ago. The community is a landowners association with some who desire to change a beautiful remote-living area on acreage to resemble what they left. We thought living in an area with covenants and rules would protect our investment, but one should recognize that living remotely in a covenant community offers both positive and negative aspects.
A community of smaller portable chicken coops are better than one, big, stationary one. Download building plans for a solar heated design that’s also great in hot climates.
Whenever I fancy an item for which I lack funds, I remind myself of what the item would cost in terms of that freedom. Fortunately, and perhaps because I live a joy-filled life, these material desires rarely beckon.
Even though it's still too cold in Northern Wisconsin to be working the soil, the garden is already getting its kickstart inside!
You can turn kitchen and farm "wastes" into compost, which is full of microbes and nutrition for your crops. In return, you will be able to grow disease-resistant plants that produce highly nutritious food with fantastic flavors.
Find out the unique needs of ducklings and goslings and how best to care for waterfowl.
Make your own potting soil, plus tips for starting seeds.
Kristen of Sugar River Farm explains the overreaching economic benefits of keeping your business local.
This is the time of year that salad greens and herbs shine in the edible garden. Lettuce, chard, parsley, cilantro, mustard, corn salad, and many other greens love the cool and moist spring days.
Each year at the start of planting season, I come to my senses and order only a few packets of things that I know will actually grow in my garden. This begins my annual process of starting a complete garden from little dry specks called seeds. Although seed catalogs can be pretty exciting and I want to grow everything I see, I need to be practical. Here are my personal priorities for buying and starting vegetable seedlings.
Blessed with hard clay/rock soil, Jesse and Alyssa have a small list of improvements they are doing this year to get their soil veggie-friendly!
Annual garden preparation, wild food foraging and food preservation in the month of April.
Japanese knotweed is a highly invasive edible plant that is often compared to rhubarb. Here's a recipe for sweet and tangy knotweed bars that will help you conquer this weed by eating it!
I start a lot of seedlings each spring – far more than I can fit in my garden. We don’t have much room – this is our home, after all, not a nursery. Yet, with a sunny south facing window, some inexpensive heat mats, a garage with suspended shop lights and sunny driveway, I start hundreds (in some years, thousands) of seedlings successfully. Here are what I consider to be a list of the most important details to pay close attention to.
Our kitchen cabinets hold an array of mismatched cups and utensils and plates purchased at thrift shops or bartered with neighbors and friends. The effect is not quaint like that of a country house in a glossy magazine. Rather, it speaks the truth of its owners: people who refuse employment that chafes against ethics and spirit. People who value a frugal life.
We are in the midst of a walking renaissance as millions of people discover a daily stroll can prevent disease, boost energy, ease stress, connect us with our communities, and is just plain fun. The number of us who regularly take a walk has risen six percent in the last decade. Oklahoma City is taking part to improve life for people who walk — and reaping big benefits.
Wildfire is our greatest threat living in the mountains with all the dead vegetation and dead trees providing fuel. Here in Southern Colorado, where population density is less and forest growth is thick, sensible people plan ahead to mitigate wildfire risk. Plan ahead with these tips for wildfire mitigation.
Do not let not owning or using a microwave prevent you from making up a batch of mozzarella cheese. Using this easy technique, you can have your mozzarella and ricotta without a microwave. We learned from a trip to the Belton, Texas, MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR and had a blast.
Last weekend I spent an afternoon studying different bushes, trees, and herbaceous plants in order to design the newest guild on our Permafarm.
Accidents happen that divert us from our plans. Learning ahead to be flexible can make things easier. Here is Cindy Conner's take on having a broken wrist.
This blog post introduces you to the new educational website www.FarmingwithCarnivoresNetwork.com. It is a collaborative effort of leading farmers, experts on guardian animals and fencing, and biologists whose work focuses on carnivores. Its purpose is to help create a farming of the future by sharing knowledge and experience with each other.
This post covers the importance of having a comprehensive water plan for your property. Most homesteaders are simply dependent on their wells, which are predicated on cheap and reliable energy. Don’t misunderstand me: I love being able to flip a switch and get light and turn on a faucet and get water — it’s wonderful! However, we need to develop a resilient water plan that accounts for potential disruption in that system but also to develop other systems to increase the fertility of the land.
Polypodium virginianum aka the "Rock Polypody" is native to just about every state east of the Mississippi, Alaska, almost every province in Canada and all the way north up to Greenland and Iceland. To grow it requires no master's degree in gardening or landscape architecture or any particularly colored thumb. It's really quite simple! This is the perfect fern for any shade garden or along the path of any shade border.
Building your own wildlife habitat in the style of a brush pile can be fun and easy. It can also help with several problems at once—where to dispose of clippings and branches, how to provide shelter for wildlife, and how to lower our carbon footprint are all solved in this one simple addition to your garden.
Sometimes living off the land can be pretty counter-cultural. My decision to start raising meat rabbits on my homestead was met with a lot of criticism from others. Learn how homesteaders can deal with unwanted (and sometimes unwarranted) remarks.
Livestock Guardian Dogs, or LGDs, have been used by shepherds and farmers for centuries. Bred and trained to instinctively protect their herd from predators, LGDs are an alternative to attempting to hunt or scare off threats to your farmyard. Read on to learn the basics for how LGDs work and tips for choosing the right livestock guardian for your homestead.
Learn some common edible weeds that can be foraged in the spring in the Midwest.
What we know about the community of life in a healthy soil is that it is wildly diverse with a broad range of species. With so many members in the community, there is an answer for every problem. Every pest has a mortal foe waiting to attack it. There might be some occasional pest damage but very rarely a complete takeover by a particular pest or disease.
Cymophyllus fraserianus is the perfect Hosta replacement for any native plant garden or any shade garden, especially if you have a deer problem as this is one plant that isn't on Bambi's menu or wish list.
Weeks after graduating high school, I was accidentally shot in the neck by a 14-year-old boy playing with a rifle in his home. This injury left me a quadriplegic. After months of hospitals and rehab, my desire for growing things began to reignite and I started with houseplants and a terrarium. That grew to lettuce and tomatoes on the patio. It doesn't matter if you plant something but have to have help somewhere along the way before your produce reaches the table. What is important is that you be involved in what you eat.
ne of the principles of Permaculture is “Stacking Functions” or making every structure/addition to your plan serve at least two, if not more, functions in the landscape. When we added solar panels to the homestead, we wanted to honor this principle—and constructing a small greenhouse allowed us to install the panels, as the light was not great on the roof of the house. The number of functions we have stacked on this small structure became very clear to me as I prepared for an upcoming solar homes tour.
What is the Cape Gooseberry? Understand this delicious, easy-to-grow South American golden fruit with many names, many benefits, and many uses.
Understanding a bit of the chemistry and biology behind building healthy soil allows us to work in harmony with nature to contribute to the health of our soil, plants, food and planet.
Native to 35 states and 3 provinces of Canada east of the Mississippi, Partridge Berry is rarely seen in the trade. I fail to see why, as it's very easy to propagate by rooting cuttings or from seed. In fact, it forms adventitious roots as it gently winds its way around the garden. It could never, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered aggressive or invasive.
Can you have mental well being while living off-grid? Yes, because the benefits of off-grid living are numerous: fewer bills, living simply, and better health.
Having a plan allows all our energy to go toward accomplishing the necessary tasks rather than having to prioritize and build objectives on a daily basis.
A hybrid is simply two different plant varieties crossed for specific reasons. You can save the seeds produced by these, contrary to what you may have heard. It’s just more complicated than saving heirloom or open-pollinated seeds.
Composting is a great way to lessen our carbon footprint and it doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, or difficult. Read this article to learn about Blythe’s relaxed, easy going approach of turning scraps into treasure.
When we started our off grid homesteading adventure, we had all sorts of elaborate plans as to what we would accomplish our first year. Six months into our journey, it seems that we underestimated our workload, by a long shot!
Less common, but proven, strategies for securing a child's college education can keep the child involved in the building and running of the homestead through their years of higher education while producing a more well rounded, responsible, mature, and competitive graduate, all at a fraction of the cost of more typical approaches.
If you have ever considered the change of lifestyle to be more self-sufficient, here are some of our thoughts and experiences from this journey.
Aur Beck, who has lived off-grid with solar electricity as his main power source for 18 years, shares some of his personal experiences with renewable resources throughout his life.
Sometimes life’s events get in the way of our goals and aspirations in homesteading. This story is about how events in 2015 derailed our homestead activities and how in 2016 we’re trying to “get back on the horse”. We welcome your comments and advice.
A short video of the highlights of our first winter on our off-grid homestead in the Pacific Northwest. In short, we are hunkering down and trying to survive!
It takes special diligence and caution to keep domestic pets safe when living with wild predators around.
Increase your garden’s productivity with growing vertically. Beans, peas, squash and cucumbers love vertical growth. Culinary herbs love the vertical pocket gardens.
Following the Wheel of the Year gives us monthly moments to celebrate. Imbolc is a reminder that half of winter is now behind us.
This blog is part of a homestead goal-setting series. Goal-setting for the homestead is so crucial it can’t be overstated. There is always a gap between a dream and reality. Goals are the glue that makes those two much closer together. This iteration is how to take your major goals and get them accomplished. You must support your major goals with mid-term and short-term goals. After that, you have to make a plan to get stuff done! It is geared toward homesteading but can and should be applied to all areas of life.
With so many tomato varieties available, choosing which to grow can be a daunting challenge. By understanding the difference between indeterminate, determinate and dwarf tomato varieties, better decisions for your particular growing conditions and needs can be made.
To be an avid gardener means you need to have special skills. Here's a list of 7 abilities that will take you to the next level.
Goal setting for the homestead is so crucial it can’t be overstated. There is always a gap between a dream and reality. Goals are the glue that makes those two much closer together. This blog is about the nuts and bolts of goal setting. It starts with a dream, moves toward purpose and ends with goals. It is geared toward homesteading but can and should be applied to all areas of life.
Planting for abundance without over-producing can be tricky. Here’s a brief overview on how to estimate yields and planting area for crops in your home vegetable garden based off of the unique needs of your household.
A review of popular seed catalogs and recommendations for seeds to start a medium-sized homestead garden.
It is easy, fun and a great time saver to have a small kitchen garden at your door. Follow these 6 steps to start your own kitchen garden this year.
Hugelkultur is the building of raised beds by burying wood and other organic material. Just because you are renting doesn’t mean you can’t implement one this season.
At Wild Abundance, reconnecting with the land means living and working in sync with the cycles and seasons as they unfold. Here is a guide to the very beginnings of the East, when the earth is waking up, and moving from the slowness of winter into the flurry of action of spring: Harnessing the Maple Moon of February and the New Growth Moon of March on your homestead.
As we plan our gardens, it is often about obtaining seeds. Many of those seeds were saved by friends. An upcoming workshop from Seed Savers Exchange covers both basics.
"...it was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
You always hear about making your garden plan ahead of time, but part of good garden planning should include evaluating that plan at the end of the season. Take time now to write yourself a letter about how last season went. Include the good and the bad and how you felt about everything. This will become your annual garden report.
When our neighbors might not think we're gardening because the snow is flying and we're not as visible outdoors, there can be plenty of fun happening indoors. Dreaming, planning, plotting, and nurturing seedlings are all part of a gardener's life as well.
This video will show you how to sidestep three common mistakes beginners often make when they start growing vegetables.
Increase your garden’s productivity with foliar spraying. Improve your success rate with cuttings by foliar feeding. Organic dilutions of lime juice, peppermint essential oil and kelp can each help your plant thrive. Reduce disease and pestilence by spraying weekly at sundown on your plant’s leaves and achieve larger harvests.
This is a perfect time for reflection and planning, because the 2016 gardening season is peeking around the corner. Seed catalogs are arriving. I am sure that all of us are really missing freshly picked tomatoes. Here are 5 ideas to use in planning your 2016 tomato garden.
Solstice Night is the traditional time to set goals. On that night, we sit by the fire, review the year, and plan for the next. I’ve been thinking about the goals for the garden already; two are building upon existing systems and the third is new. Once I am clear on my goals, I am going to post them in the greenhouse, so I will see them almost every day!
In Part 1, I posted a series of questions to ponder over the winter. Now it's time to take things further and start to devise a tomato growing garden plan for next year.
For much of the country, the tomatoes we are eating now are not the prized specimens plucked from our gardens. They are emerging from our cupboards (dried, canned) or freezers – certainly wonderful enhancements to our cooking endeavors, but not elucidating the summer time level of excitement. But the end of the growing season doesn’t equate to a long, tomato thoughts-free sabbatical. This post outlines how to be planning for next tomato-growing season.
Follow these simple tips for winter garden success. Increase winter garden capacity and yield while protecting crops from the winter cold with these helpful organic farming tips.
The local environment and pests place obstacles in the way of the project, much like the Pilgrims had to face.
Considering five lessons learned in the garden this year - mini-cloches, cover crops, etc.
How am I going to grow all these vegetables for Thanksgiving when I don’t own land? Easy — with a community garden.
Here is help with planning for a successful installation of new plastic or replacement of old plastic over your hoophouse (high tunnel). This post provides a list of tools and step-by-step instructions.
Have you ever wondered what was served at the very first thanksgiving feast? If the question has ever crossed your mind, follow Kiara Ashanti as he answers the questions and describes how he creates the First Feast for Thanksgiving 2015.
Now that this couple has moved into their new country home, they take time to plant garlic and a small fall garden in their “front yard.” One small step toward an established homestead, one giant leap for family morale!
'Orange Jazz' is a productive new tomato variety bred on Baia Nicchia Farm. It has a sweet-complex flavor, with hints of stone-fruit and unique coloration with yellow stripes over orange flesh.
The Community Garden movement is sweeping the nation. For Americans nationwide who do not have the space to farm at home, community plots offer an accessible way to produce local healthy foods.
The time to be thinking about eating local food is in January, when you plan your garden, not in August and September, as you harvest and preserve. Fall and winter crops should be planted in June - but it is not too late to think about next year.
How to identify wild burdock, a common garden weed, and turn its roots into a delicious stir-fry.
After four changes of plastic on our hoophouse (high tunnel we are ready to tell you some mistakes to avoid, mostly involving hoophouse plastic too tight or too loose, or cut wrong, and inflation blowers that didn't perform well enough. Our experience can save you from the same mistakes.
Herbs are an easy way to start gardening or expand your current gardens. The benefits are countless, including helping your health, adding spice to your recipes, and adding beauty to your garden.
The emergence of the long-lasting flowers of 'Uvularia grandiflora' is something I really anticipate every spring. And every spring, my robust stand of ‘Large-Flowered Bellwort’ slowly opens their large, pendulous, bright golden yellow flowers that resemble inverted flowing candle flames. Learn how to grow and where to find this ornamental native flower.
A permaculture convergence is a coming together of people interested in permaculture, with presentations, plenary sessions, networking, hands-on skill building, and tours of the site or nearby places of interest that show what applied permaculture looks like. The 2015 Northwest Permaculture Convergence took place in August in Eugene, Ore., with the theme “Greening Our Neighborhoods with Permaculture.”
Gardening is often hard work and often costly, but it doesn't always have to be. Here are some low maintenance techniques to help you garden smarter, not harder.
Growing plants to produce fiber for textiles can be an adventure. If your climate permits, you could grow cotton in your garden—even in your flower bed. Most climates can support flax that you can turn into linen fabric. Plan for that now when you plant cover crops so your garden beds are ready for cotton and flax when planting time comes around.
Cereal rye, a popular fall-planted cover crop, will improve your soil, suppress weeds, add organic matter and germinate in temperatures as low as 34 degrees.
Twenty-five years ago, my daughter and I treated ourselves to New Orleans' famous Jazz Brunch at the Court of Two Sisters. One dish impressed me so much, I begged for the recipe. Our server took my plea to the kitchen and the chef actually sent down a copy! I have made some minor changes and offer it here that you, too, can enjoy this comforting eggplant dish.
String weaving is a good method for training and supporting long rows of tomato plants. Plan now for next year’s crop. All you need is a simple handmade tool, stakes and twine. The winter storage space for the equipment is much smaller than with other support systems.
Sheet mulch fosters soil life, reduces weeds and feeds the soil. By sheet mulching you will reduce ongoing weeding and free up more time to make your garden more productive.
My grandfather emigrated from Sicily and loved to cook. A recent trip back to the island by my mom, sister and cousin triggered a desire for me to learn what would be in a typical kitchen Sicilian garden. Much research later, this is what a heirloom "l’orto biologico" you would see growing in Sicily at the time my grandfather left his homeland for America in the early 1900s and is being brought back to life through efforts like the Slow Foods organization today.
As your summer crops wane, no doubt you are planting cover crops in their space, but leave room for garlic! Plant it this fall, mulch, and harvest in early summer.
While building a house on rural property, this couple explores the native wildflowers and prairie grass on their land. They plan to nurture the native species already taking hold, and in future years, do all they can to spread their growth.
My brother told me about breeding fruit trees in order for them to go to market both earlier and later than the main crop. He said, “The real money is made on the shoulders of the season.” But it takes some real thought and effort to bring in your crop on the shoulders of the season.
Cover crops will build your soil and provide compost material. The time to plant is this fall, but you need to know what the next crop will be when deciding just which cover crop to plant where. Think through your garden plan for next year to make the best choices.
There are probably over 100 reasons that you should be growing shade-loving and native ‘Tasslerue’ Trautvetteria caroliniensis, but the main reason that you aren't growing it is because you've probably never heard of it, let alone had someone offer to share some with you. All that's about to change.
In the months before our move, I did extensive research to familiarize myself with gardening in Guam. I found Amot TaoTao Tano Farm and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a free tour of the farm to learn about native plants grown to educate the public about traditional healing practices of the Chamorro people. Here I share some of what I learned.
The commonly used name for our beloved early-spring, native wildflower Sanguinaria canadensis is "bloodroot." Bloodroot was once used as a dye and as an herbal remedy by early Native Americans. Sanguinaria canadensis is native to every state in the US and to every Canadian province east of the Rockies. Consequently, it's considered hardy down to Zone 3.
Permaculture premise is creating a self-sustaining garden that has a nurturing relationship with your yard’s environment and symbiotic relationship among the plantings.
Is it possible that plants can actually respond to pain?
Plantain is probably growing in your lawn right now. Instead of cursing this common weed, use it for both tasty food and herbal first aid!
If your garden is becoming a bit overwhelming this summer it might be because your paths have become overgrown with weeds. Getting (and keeping) your paths under control will make less work for you overall, and a more enjoyable experience in your garden. Here are some ideas for working with your paths.
A transplanting that's done correctly will expedite resumed growth and encourage healthy plants. Here are some simple tips about when and how to transplant brassica, lettuce and tomatoes.
Interplanting, or relay planting, is a version of companion planting where the second crop is planted while the first is still growing.
Love herbs and gardening? Here are a few things you should know when it comes to companion planting and herbs.
Juneberries, or serviceberries, are one of the first wild fruits to ripen each year. Here's how to identify and harvest them, plus a recipe for juneberry pie.
Planting seedlings from large garden centers often delays production as plants must overcome neonicotinoid insecticides, hormones, and chemical fertilizers when planted in your garden. Learn more about the toxins used by large growers and then support small producers for a healthy garden.
Are your tomato plants putting out side shoots? Learn whether you need to prune tomato plants to keep them productive.
The Tao of Vegetable Gardening by groundbreaking garden writer Carol Deppe explores the practical methods as well as the deeper essence of gardening. She focuses on some of the most popular home garden vegetables—tomatoes, green beans, peas, and leafy greens—and through them illustrates the key principles and practices that gardeners need to know to successfully plant and grow just about any food crop.
Attracting beneficial insects to your garden is easy once you follow some basic guidelines. With a few management techniques, you will have the good bugs flying into your garden to help you out.
Caretaking wild places is a great way to homestead in paradise without having to afford land.
A story about Indigenous women taking care of their land in the Pacific Northwest by restoring the native ecosystem.
Japanese knotweed is a voraciously invasive plant and the bane of many gardens. It is also a delicious and versatile wild food.
"The Wild Wisdom of Weeds," by wild-foods advocate and author Katrina Blair, is the only book on foraging and wild edibles to focus on thirteen weeds found all over the world, which together comprise a complete food source and extensive medical pharmacy and first-aid kit. Blair’s philosophy is sobering, realistic, and ultimately optimistic: If we can open our eyes to see the wisdom found in these weeds right under our feet, instead of trying to eradicate an “invasive,” we could potentially achieve true food security and optimal health.
Tostones, or twice-fried plantains, are a crispy and delicious taste of the tropics.
Using the right component improves the chance of success when gardening.
As one couple plans their homestead-to-be, they spend time learning the lay of their land. One happy fringe benefit: They used this time as an excuse to go morel mushroom hunting. The results of their efforts were delicious.
A tiny teacup and an even tinier cactus make an adorable planter that’s easy to assemble. Small children’s toys, pebbles and other little decorative items add a whimsical touch.
Suburban life has always been synonymous with long hours in the car. That’s changing now. Arlington, Virginia, shows how feet on the street helps a community thrive. Learn about how Arlington is promoting walking through city initiatives as well as 10 more cities that are striving to make their communities more walkable.
Here is what I am planning on growing this year in our garden. Some tips for how to choose what you should plant this year, customized for your space and what you like to eat.
Herbicide residue can linger in soil and ground water for years. Use these proven methods of strategic burning, grazing, cover crops, mowing and “frost interseeding” to establish your native prairie, and avoid harming wildlife.
Rice is the quintessential food plant around the world and it provides a significant amount of brown biomass for composting. Growing rice in the garden can be help you achieve food security but you need to pick the right variety for your region. There are a couple of important sub-categories of rice that need to be taken into consideration. Rice is either an upland type with a greater tolerance to dryer and cooler conditions or it is a lowland “paddy” type.
Using garden space to the maximum.
Redbud's bright pink blossoms are one of the glories of spring, but they're not just eye candy. Those lovely blossoms have a delicious flavor that is like a green bean with a lemony aftertaste.
If you want to build a passive solar house, you’ll need to spend time upfront carefully considering your house plans. Here’s how one couple worked with a contractor and a designer to draw up and then finalize their small home plans with energy efficiency and lifestyle in mind.
Tangible benefits of companion planting come from intercropping (also known as relay planting, interplanting or undersowing), which is when one crop (or cover crop) is sown or transplanted in the spaces between the standing crop before it’s finished. Here, I write about relay planting in the early spring, particularly interplanting peas in spinach beds.
Please don't let the common name mislead you. Virginia Bluebells are native to just about the entire eastern half of the U.S. and Canada, and there are 18 different species of “Mertensia” in the U.S. alone!
Crop rotation is good for your garden, but can be difficult to track. These tools will help you chart which crop families you plant so you can mix it up the following season.
March heralds the coming of spring and gardening. It is a great time to start your seeds and plants for veggies that thrive in cool temperatures.
Before beginning construction on their new home, this couple is taking steps to prepare their land for their impending move-in by planting perennial natives, building some walking trails, cutting firewood to dry, and more. They’re having a blast!
Annuals to plant for a drought-tolerant or pollinator-friendly garden.
How to use henbit, a wild green available most of the year even in cold-winter areas, to make a delicious fresh pasta.
One homesteading couple navigates the final series of meetings with the county planning department and county commission in order to finalize their land survey plat approval.
After finding some basic online building plans, the next step to getting a future home built is to find a designer to draw the house plans.
Put together your own mini-indoor garden with these clever ideas.
Henbit and red dead nettle are two tasty leafy greens that are available even when there is snow on the ground. Here's how to identify them in the field and use them in recipes.
Clean and organize garden tools.
Birds are survivors. Learn about different adaptations birds have to thrive during the dark, cold winter days. And, what you can do to support winter bird survival in your backyard.
It’s time to start garden planning for spring 2015! An uncomplicated way of collecting and organizing your information during those long winter days is to get some index cards, scissors and tape. Cut out the plant varieties from catalogues that you find interesting, with the pertinent information tape this information to the index card to take along to the nursery come spring.
White rot is an invasive fungus that every garlic grower needs to be aware of!
Not being a fan of frozen or canned carrots, I began to wonder how to store carrots under straw for winter to enjoy organic carrots throughout the winter. Living in Central Oregon where beach sand is not at the hand, I gathered garden straw from a local farmer. It is important that you know that straw for the garden has not come from crops treated with herbicides to control broad-leafed weeds.
Diospyros virginiana, the wild American persimmon, is a native fruit that is ready to harvest in autumn and even early winter. Here's how to identify, gather, and eat wild persimmons.
A new approach to conventional agriculture would unite not only row crops and prairie plants, but farmers and environmentalists.
How to effectively remove seeds from vegetables, fruits, flowers or herbs isn’t always obvious. Or easy. Sometimes you have to get creative.
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.
Every year gardens suffer from the "blight effect" on tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants. If left alone, the disease can prevent plants from flowering and maturing altogether. Here are 5 easy steps I encourage everyone to take before next year's garden even begins to sprout.
The YardMap Network is a citizen science project designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat, for both people concerned with their local environments and professional scientists. The program is housed at the Lab of Ornithology, in Ithaca, New York. We collect data by asking individuals across the country to draw maps of their backyards, parks, farms, favorite birding locations, schools, and gardens.
This blog post explores eco-friendly gardening tips to refreshing your garden tools, furniture, accessories and outbuildings without the need to buy mass-manufactured goods or use harmful chemical treatments.
It’s absolutely possible to be gardening in winter. You simply need to understand what to plant, when to plant it and how to maintain the best possible growing conditions in your home for indoor agriculture.
Hidden inside the stinky orange pulp of the fruits of the ginkgo tree is a delicious, pistachio colored edible seed. Here's how to identify and prepare ginkgo (without the stinky parts) by foraging for ginkgo nuts!
Fall is the time to plant garlic. The cloves send down roots during the winter, popping their green heads out in early spring.
Ground cherries were once a popular staple in backyard gardens. Urbanization and lost space to grow our food led to ground cherries falling out of favor. Though older folks may remember eating ground cherry jam, they’ve only recently begun reappearing at farmers markets and in seed catalogs. Ground cherries are easy to grow and pack an unusual flavor punch in jams, pies, savory sauces.
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
Clean up your garden now and plant cover crops that will protect your garden soil through the winter and provide compost and mulch material for next year.
You can be harvesting from your garden all year long, including through the winter months! It's time to plant the fall garden.
While summer's still lingering, tasks of fall have begun.
End of summer is a great time to tidy garden beds and harvest herbs. Now is the time to plant your fall, winter and overwintering transplants.
Rosemary is known as a tasty condiment, but it has also long been used as medicine, and makes for a blissful foot soak.
Tips for keeping your summer garden producing at top output. This is the time of year that warm season crops are at their peak. These 7 tips will give you continued bountiful harvests through the heat.
The actual footprint of a garden is only one of many factors for how much food that can be produced there. With succession planting, good soil and some planning the same garden area can produce substantially more food.
Hawthorn fruits are in season in late summer and early fall. They are delicious, and also heart-healthy — eat your medicine!
Ira shows how you can keep sowing and planting through late summer and into fall. Learn how to keep your garden producing abundantly through the cold months ahead.
'Tis the season for education and celebration, at this year's herbal gatherings.
This blog takes a look at the steps taken to propagate lavender by taking cuttings.
A tutorial on making a flower press with supplies that don't require heavy tools or a visit to the hardware store.
Enjoy healthy blackberry and raspberry elixirs and teas, blessings from the brambles of Summer!
Peppers and tomatoes are some of the easier plants to save seed from. This post covers isolation distance and introduces basic seed saving techniques.
Planting a water-smart garden with native plants can help you save water when temperatures heat up.
The garden is 58 by 112 feet and it's planted!
Chives and mint come to a duel for territory in the herb garden, while the spring sap-sucker marks time.
This post outlines the basics of garden planning to save seeds from cucumbers, melons, squash and gourds.
With the fence in (just barely), this rainy Wednesday looks just perfect for planting.
Discover how to grow various members of the onion family: bulb onions and scallions, leeks, garlic, ramps, shallots, and chives. Each one has different requirements and habits, yet all are rewarding for organic gardeners.
Interested in seed saving but worried about mistakes? Have questions about seed saving? Here’s the chance to give your input in a new seed saving class!
A well-thought-out garden design will make your work enjoyable and manageable and will encourage the gardener's presence and attention.
With the Drought Pod, the organic mass is inside the pod where it never dries out and by planting the tomatoes, or any vegetable directly beside the barrel, the plant roots can tap into the nutrients and moisture as they so choose.
April's tips for controlling weeds and fertilizing your garden.
June is a beautiful and bountiful time in the garden. It is also not too late to put in a garden! With a few tips, you can get the best harvest ever.
Twin Oaks Seed Farm’s focus has been producing seeds on contract for a handful of small seed companies. The author discusses involvement in starting a new cooperative retail seed project, Common Wealth Seed Growers.
Lamb's quarters, also known as wild spinach, is an abundant wild vegetable. It's a nutritional superstar with a delicious, mild flavor.
This post will take a look at how we transplant vegetable seedlings in our certified organic greenhouses, especially tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.
Seed Germination depends on Soil Temperature. Transplants need to survive a late spring frost. Here are some handy charts and a lookup tool that will help your timing for a successful garden.
May is a busy time in the garden for planting. Frost-free weather is the time to get summer veggies in their pots or garden spot.
The USDA first published a plant hardiness zone map based on temperature in 1960. Hardiness zones are based on the average annual extreme minimum temperature. What's your zone?
Where environmental groups claim financial incentives for recycling to be a costly and unnecessary form of expenditure, we see them as the only realistic option available which actually produces the desired effect.
Get advice on all things garden seed, from organizing seeds and ordering seeds to understanding seed catalog terms such as open-pollinated and F1 hybrid.
This blog post shares some of the simple techniques learned through many years of experience by someone who grows vegetable seedlings for a living.
If you know much of each food from your garden you consume each year, you can better plan how much to grow.
How fast climate change will require you and your descendants to move north in order to keep farming and gardening a serious question you should be asking yourself.
The innovative garden seeder from Simple Seeder increases speed and ease of planting.
Birch trees are easy to identify in winter thanks to their distinctive bark, and they offer a hot drink, aromatic flour and sweet syrup to cold weather foragers.
With so many good things that plants do in our life, would it be so bad to stop and appreciate them?
A new report from Shareable and the Sustainable Economies Law Center details ways that city officials can harness the power of sharing to transform their cities for the better.
Reading between the lines of the seed catalog variety descriptions is a science and an art. How not to get carried away by all the positive exclamations and miss some basic fact that would tell you this variety is not for your farm? This post provides tips.
A Garden Planner subscription is a budget-friendly gift that offers the satisfaction of spending the chillier chunks of the calendar plotting the bounty ahead.
Growing pine trees from seed will allow you to produce lots of trees very economically. Follow these instructions to propagate pine trees from seed.
Even as far north as Maine I can harvest produce from March to December with parsnips to dig from under the frost in February without the use of row covers or a greenhouse. In some beds I do two or more succession plantings that together with the root cellar keeps me with fresh produce all year.
For humanity to create a better world, we must address issues of economic equality and limited resources. The natural environment can recover from much damage if we gradually limit the human population and judge business success by quality rather than quantity.
Humanity has the power to change and to take the actions needed to foster a healthy planet and a better standard of living for all. Choosing beauty and abundance will ensure a better future not only for humanity, but for the natural environment as well.
Our efforts to improve energy efficiency in the United States might be faltering.
Our Vegetable Garden Planner assists you in planting your fall garden by giving you planting dates specific to your location, projected harvest dates and more.
“Grow a Sustainable Diet” is an upcoming book (spring, 2014) that helps you plan what to eat and what to grow, feeding you and the Earth while maintaining a small ecological footprint.
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
The Solar Impulse has made history as the first solar-powered airplane to fly across the North American continent.
I separate the fact from the fiction with use of soluble fertilizers.
If you're searching for kids' playhouse plans, look no further — this whimsical cob building provides an inexpensive child's oasis with a natural cooling system.
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
Learn what to do when you come across onion flowers and garlic flowers in your garden.
How to measure tomato seedlings for success before planting into your garden.
Pasteurizing your own compost can protect your new seedlings from damping-off and harmful bacteria.
April 26, 2013 is National Arbor Day! Celebrate by planting a tree at home or enjoying trees where you live and learn about the many benefits they provide.
The process of training and pruning blackberry plants is demystified by a gardening expert from Gurney's Seed.
A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows significant lapses in nuclear power plant safety.
I cure my spring fever by planting in a hoop house.
Onions are daylight sensitive and need to have plenty of time to put on top growth before the days start to get shorter and the plant pulls its energy into the bulb. If you like to start onions from seed, don’t wait! The best time is already closing in.
This blog post discusses growing enough produce for canning.
Learn how to rotate crops with this helpful crop rotation video.
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 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has started a global campaign to help reduce food waste worldwide.
Try using the Grow Planner app to streamline your garden planning and your garden work.
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
Sorting through seed catalogs is one of the most entertaining tasks we have here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS. These garden seed catalogs come in handy when searching for just the right variety of heirloom veggies to grow, and they're fun to look at too!
Eat carrots from your garden all winter! A little planning goes a long way toward more food with less work. Learn how to start with a winter cover crop of rye, with carrots following next in the rotation, maturing by the time the first frost.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel shares the basics of landscape design.
Put together a notebook with your complete garden plan. Here's some tips to get you started.
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.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
Grow calcium in your garden with collards, kale, and parsley. Suggestions are given for including these crops in your meals. Learn about companions to plant among your collards and kale to deter harmful insects.
A brief summary of the vast amount of data we've compiled over the last few years on experimenting with rotational chicken pastures on our homestead.
Deciding which vegetables to grow can be an important step for any gardener. It is efficient to fill the space that you have with vegetables that keep for the longest periods of time, which can also mean a lot to the bottom line of any garden.
Heirloom vegetables are multi-use crops that have been passed down from gardeners for decades, sometimes centuries. Respected author and gardener, William Woys Weaver, discusses his reasons for using heirloom plants and saving seed.
Begin your garden planning with what,and particularly how much, you want to eat. Take a look at what you are eating now and go from there.
Plan fall cover crops to feed back the soil and leave the bed ready for when you need to plant the main crop next year.
Description of garlic planting on a two-year cycle: from tiny topset bulblets, to large single bulbs, to large heads.
Learn how to breed corn in your own corn nursery, plus learn how to properly hand-pollinate corn plants.
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.
A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.
Strategies for controlling voles in the potatoes in your garden.
How our community has planned ahead for wildfire contingencies.
It may be sweltering hot outside, but we're still busily sowing seeds at the Southern Exposure farms! Learn how to plant your bountiful fall and winter garden, with abundant harvests through Thanksgiving and beyond.
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!
Michelle Corbett's grandmother and great-grandmother taught her to use a natural compost consisting of eggshells and coffee grounds.
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.
This blog post tells about Barbara Lee's memories of her grandpa who built a two-holer outhouse for his family and surrounded it with peonies so that there would not be an unpleasant odor.
Hints for harvests all summer long - don't just sow once! Ira helps you plan summer successions for your garden. Plus, discover culinary secrets of okra you never suspected - okra coffee and okra oil - and a recipe for a simple okra lunch.
A wedding using homegrown and local food and no disposable items. Decorations were things already on hand. The ceremony took place in a field and the reception was in a barn...and there was love-lots of it!
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...
This blog post describes the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff's afternoon spent harvesting their homegrown garlic.
Tips for keeping your tomato plants healthy.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
Here are two helpful tips that will help you have a successful tomato plant.
STIHL provides support to new online resource for do-it-yourself audience.
Tips on how to celebrate National Wildflower Week, May 6-13!
Breaking down the last week of homesteading we've done over at WaldenEffect.org, and the Top Bar project we started as well as talk on Brix, biodynamics, and Plant Secondary Metabolites. Also have details on an external frame backpack modification.
Using 16-foot livestock panels in many ways on your homestead.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
Ira helps you get started using nature's signs to plan your garden. Don't just rely on planting dates — easy observations of what's blooming, buzzing, and singing in your garden will help you see changing patterns from year to year.
We have some exciting additions to announce about our award-winning Vegetable Garden Planner program and our new Grow Planner iPad app, including new seed company catalogs, a filter tool, a favorites button and an app update.
My first blog for MOTHER EARTH NEWS takes me back to a time when I didn't know I had a love of gardening. One of my first gardening experiences came during an unlikely encounter with my curmudgeon grandfather.
The mild winter has led to an earlier than usual spring growing season and plenty of surprises in the way of plants making it through the winter that normally would never survive the cold season. Here's a peek at what's growing in my spring garden.
Make a shelf or table into a growing space for starting seedlings.
We took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather by planting potatoes, peas and beets in the garden outside our office.
Want lettuce and carrots all year round? Ira Wallace tells us her simple simple method for keeping track of succession plantings.
Using newspaper, learn how to craft easy, biodegradable pots to start seeds.
In this blog, Robert White of Quail Acres Farm shares some of his experiences in the Growing Farmers workshops as they relate to planning for his upcoming move to the farm to establish his market garden and small livestock business.
Spring is here and those tomato plants that were started in January are settled into their new hoophouse home. I have hopes for early tomatoes; will a late freeze stifle this goal?
Cam thinks its important that we all have a Plan B, no matter where we live.
A tour of the gardens at Southern Exposure, where we're taking advantage of warm sunny days in February to get our gardens ready for intense planting ahead. But there's still plenty to sow, indoors and out.
Know how many seeds you need for your area considering germination rate and extras.
Knowing your average last frost date is key to getting your garden off to a good start.
Installing a rain gauge can help determine how much water your plants really need.
Sun-Lite HP for greenhouse glazing provides excellent diffused light.
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.
A discussion of three power tools to prep your logs or timbers for building.
The best low cost (semi-reliable) options for getting animals and plants onto your homestead!
Information on World Wetlands Day and their benefits and tips on how to protect your local wetlands.
Cam believes in the Boy Scout's "Be Prepared" motto when it comes to all aspects of his life....
Barbara Pleasant offers a step-by-step plan to starting seeds.
How to Schedule your Planting by the Moon
These are the first steps we took to make the change from city living to off grid living. It describes the questions you should ask before you buy property and the research required to make sure you can do want you want with your property.
Do you love strawberries? It is hard to decide on the best way to manage them if attempting to grow them. I want strawberries bad enough to try to figure out what method works best for me.
A couple of weeks ago, the Adventure Cycling blog called attention to the Roanoke Mountain Campground's threatened closure via the Blue Ridge Parkway's Draft Management Plan (DMP).
MOTHER EARTH NEWS wins two exciting accolades at FOLIO’s Eddie Awards, one for their article Organic Pest Control: What Works, What Doesn’t and one for their Vegetable Garden Planner tool.
It pays to spend time preparing your garden for winter. You can improve your soil, increase your harvest, decrease garden pests and make next spring's planting much easier.
Maddy Harland explains how to make light work of establishing the ground layer in a forest garden, create a wildlife habitat and control pests all at the same time.
The Garlic Gurus at Seeds from Italy give you the scoop on growing your own garlic. This post answers questions of when and where to grow garlic, what varieties to grow, how much to grow, where to buy garlic, and how much to plant.
How to avoid contacting poison ivy and poison oak.
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
Let's stop for a minute and think about what we are doing!
The Rhombin, a desktop organizer made from a plant-based plastic (bioplastic), merges sustainability with convenience and cutting-edge design.
Congratulations to Pat Stone creator and editor of Green Prints Magazine and, now, a recognized Asset to the Planet!
How can someone who claims to be a 'modern homesteader' not have planted her garden by the end of June, you ask? Well, let me tell you...
On the eve of Southern Company (NYSE: SO) holding its annual meeting of stockholders in Pine Mountain, GA., the nonprofit Green America released a report ranking the major U.S. power producer as “the United States’ most irresponsible utility.”
Garlic has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and ethnobotanist James Duke, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading experts in medicinal plants, places garlic among the best all-around plant medicines in the world. Learn about the host of ailments garlic can alleviate and prevent, and discover some of the added health perks of this flavorful, folklore-infused herb.
What a nice surprise it can be to notice new spring babies emerging from where their parent plants grew the year before. Volunteer plants are a wonderful gift!
Prepping for major emergencies - earthquakes, floods, tornadoes - is important, but so is emergency planning for less dramatic events. Find out what you can do to reduce the potential for stress.
A Precision Garden Seeder can make planting seed crops quick and easy!
No one had ever attempted to set a land speed record for gasification vehicles so Beaver Energy was the first.
To ensure we have a full productive garden, each spring I start a habit of carrying a packet of seeds in my pocket every time I head to the garden!
Companion planting can be a great strategy for organic gardeners. Take our nationwide companion planting survey to help us gather useful information about this gardening technique.
Herbs are versatile plants that enhance our lives by adding beauty, aroma, nutrition, seasoning, and a varied landscape. Because they can be grown indoors, or outdoors in pots, as part of landscaping or in the garden, everyone has room to grow herbs.
We sat down for an interview with James Duft, the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair Planner and Programming Manager. Read about what you can expect to see, do and participate in if you attend the upcoming Fair in Puyallup, Wash. Sheep dog training, cheese making, bread baking and antique tractors await!
An overview of groups, initiatives, planning certifications, and neighborhood developments that promote sustainable communities, including Transition initiatives, ecovillages, One Planet Communities, LEED for Neighborhood Development, and others.
Creating tomato grafts may be a great way to grow tomatoes organically. Tomato grafting has emerged as one good way to bring resistance to soilborne diseases to susceptible heirloom varieties.
It’s been bitterly cold in Michigan. The big blizzard has gone through and has left us with a bunch of snow.
Turn low value plastic trash into valuable building blocks with a $300 homemade press. Free plans for a hand operated press are available. A mechanized version could be made by converting a log splitter.
This posting discusses how deforestation increases global warming and ocean acidification. It also discusses the role of deforestation in triggering severe flooding,aquifer depletion, soil degradation and animal and plant extinction.
Gift cards to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Vegetable Garden Planner are now available for just $25.
Thoughts, experiences, and tips after a season of mowing with the propane-powered lawnmower.
A heart warming story about a feral cat that traveled many miles across harsh terrain to be back to familiar ground.
A new episode in the PBS series Journey to Planet Earth, hosted by Matt Damon, will feature Mother Earth News contributing editor and visionary Lester Brown’s “Plan B” on how we can save civilization in the face of global climate change.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
Want fresh cider? Make your own cider press using these free plans.
I am especially concerned with the electricity hogs that keep us burning coal.
Mother Nature has a way of filling in the blank spots....
Second in a series of blog posts about how to convert a lawn mower or other gasoline small engine to run on propane.
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.
With the lifting of the four-year Bicycle Plan injunction, we're watching the next premiere biking city unfold — at record pace — in San Francisco, California.
Basil is a versatile herb that can be used for companion planting, bee forage, year-round herb as well as delicious pesto.
Contributing Editor Barbara Pleasant provides tips to help users get the most out of the new MOTHER EARTH NEWS Vegetable Garden Planner. This interactive software will help you plan your best garden ever!
Don't miss Blue August, a month-long event with special programming from Planet Green that will motivate you to become more aware of the world's oceans.
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.
Don’t let the cost of gardening keep you out of the dirt this year. Cheap gardening can be fun and easy. With these tips for gardening on a budget, you’ll save on seeds, make your own fertilizer and impress your friends with your gardening know how.
"Life", a Discovery Channel nature documentary series on unique animal behaviors, will air on Animal Planet beginning June 6.
The Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force has proposed numerous changes, including coastal and marine spatial planning, to keep a constant eye on our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes. Will increased regulations help us avoid future accidents in our most treasured bodies of water? Tell us what you think about the proposed changes.
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.
The staff at MOTHER EARTH NEWS plants tomatoes and peppers during a seed-planting project at the office.
Time often isn't looked at as a resource - at least, not outside of corporate efficiency evaluations - but it's one of the most valuable resources any of us have. It's required for all the plans and hopes that we have, from learning to bake bread to building a self-sufficient homestead. How do you spend your time, and how would you like to?
T. Boone Pickens is the very embodiment of the Texas oil tycoon. He’s also, arguably, the world’s leading advocate for wind energy.
Save money by planting smaller trees and shrubs from mail-order sources.
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.
Readers share tips and recipes for cheaper, easier and healthier home cooking.
Advice on good online plant and animal databases.
Here are some helpful resources to help you determine when to take care of various lawn and garden tasks, such as planting, watering, weeding, fertilizing, mulching and harvesting plants.
Recipes and ideas for meals with less meat.
Build a simple do-it-yourself small barn or shed to house livestock, garden tools and machinery.
Find free plans for your green home.
A reader asks about when to plant potatoes in Zone 9.
Siegers Seed Company is attempting to patent and own a common cucurbit gene for warty pumpkins, and gardeners who know better are disappointed.
Old strains of holiday cactus are easy to grow, but updated varieties rebloom more often and produce bigger, showier blossoms.
Garlic is one of the easiest plants you can grow, and fall is the time for planting. Here are a few resources to help you get started.
Growing the three sisters (corn, beans, squash) in the same plot of land actually helps yield healthier crops of each.
Many gardeners take lettuce off of their summer planting lists, but shade covers can put garden-grown lettuce on your table more than a month sooner this fall.
Japanese beetles feed for six to eight weeks, and in that time, they are able to feed on over 300 plant species. Although collecting beetles may seem like an exhausting every day task, you're plants will appreciate it.
Expert advice on adding single nutrients, such as Epsom salts, to your garden and house plants.
Find garlic seed stock for growing garlic.
Plan to plant garlic this fall, and enjoy unique varieties and their incredible health benefits.
Former first lady Lady Bird Johnson will be remembered for her significant conservation efforts, especially with wildflowers and the preservation of native plants.