Cornbread is an essential accompaniment to many good country meals. I think it's best when cooked at high heat in a cast iron skillet. Try out my method and let me know how you like to eat and make cornbread!
A Precision Garden Seeder can make planting seed crops quick and easy!
Growing the three sisters (corn, beans, squash) in the same plot of land actually helps yield healthier crops of each.
Ira Wallace talks about heirloom grinding corns that provide resilience and sustenance to gardener interested in self reliance. Includes a recipe for Southern style cornbread muffins.
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.
Growing field corn for livestock, home use and future crops; a grain for sustainable living.
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.
A reader asks about when to plant potatoes in Zone 9.
We took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather by planting potatoes, peas and beets in the garden outside our office.
Learn to make grits (polenta) from ‘Floriani Red Flint’ Corn.
If you’ve never cooked or baked with ‘Floriani Red Flint’ grain corn, you’re missing out! Here are some yummy Floriani recipes, including polenta, pizza crust, hush puppies and corn mush, for you to try.
How to grow enough sweet corn for the whole summer, in eight easy steps.
Learn how to breed corn in your own corn nursery, plus learn how to properly hand-pollinate corn plants.
Save money by planting smaller trees and shrubs from mail-order sources.
The innovative garden seeder from Simple Seeder increases speed and ease of planting.
Editor in chief Cheryl Long explains how to find the best-tasting vegetable varieties to plant in your garden, and talks about three of her favorites: ‘Carmen’ sweet peppers, ‘Sungold’ cherry tomatoes and ‘Floriani’ grain corn.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence discusses a new Princeton University study that demonstrates that high fructose corn syrup causes obesity.
Robyn anticipates the devastation as she prepares to visit her hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the location of recent severe floods but also of hope and rebuilding.
I had such a great time talking with attendees at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington, this past weekend about how to make green cleaners. As always, I learned a new trick or two, and I promised everyone I’d recap our conversation here for easy access. Today let’s talk about some of the unexpected food items—most of which you already have in your kitchen cupboards—that can be used to clean your home.
Use tea to remove old furniture polish and prepare wooden furniture for polishing. Simply soak a rag in room-temperature tea, then run it over the wood. The tea’s tannic acid makes your wood shine while removing all the dirt. Once that’s done, you can use mayonnaise to make the piece shine. Just rub the mayo into the wood, then follow with a damp rag and a few drops of vinegar to remove any residue. Olive oil is also a great natural furniture
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.
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.
Pasteurizing your own compost can protect your new seedlings from damping-off and harmful bacteria.
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.
Get Floriani Red Flint corn seed from Fedco Seeds, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, or Starke Round Barn.
Try this wonderful corn pancake recipe with flavorful ‘Floriani Red Flint’ heirloom grain corn.
Preserving food was a must during the Great Depression. Doris Zicafoose relates memories of drying corn, canning tomatoes, the necessity of a water bath canner and the joy of acquiring a pressure canner.
Plan to plant garlic this fall, and enjoy unique varieties and their incredible health benefits.
I cure my spring fever by planting in a hoop house.
This blog post discusses growing enough produce for canning.
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.
Learn why systemic neonicotinoid pesticides widely used to grow corn are one of the reasons so many honeybees and other pollinators are dying.
Growing corn early by transplanting may be unconventional, but its a great way to beat the challenges and...eat corn in July!
Puhwem Native American corn was the mother corn of native people. It's one of the best corns for making corn flour.
The right dog can be a very useful member of the family when you are growing corn!
Cam shares what he has learned about corn smut in his organic garden.
Recipe for Southern-style shrimp and grits, made with superb Floriani Red Flint grain corn.
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.
This video slideshow reveals the sacred magic
contained in the Native American corn that sustained many Indian tribes for
thousands of years before professional plant breeders turned it into an
How to measure tomato seedlings for success before planting into your garden.
Find garlic seed stock for growing garlic.
Here are two helpful tips that will help you have a successful tomato plant.
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!
How to Schedule your Planting by the Moon
Make a shelf or table into a growing space for starting seedlings.
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.
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.
Barbara Pleasant offers a step-by-step plan to starting seeds.
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.
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!
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.
The staff at MOTHER EARTH NEWS plants tomatoes and peppers during a seed-planting project at the office.
Want lettuce and carrots all year round? Ira Wallace tells us her simple simple method for keeping track of succession plantings.
Mother Nature has a way of filling in the blank spots....
Using garden space to the maximum.
If you're considering purchasing a pellet or corn stove to save money on your heating bills this winter, here are some issues to think about before making that investment.
Government subsidies to corn growers results in foods that are less expensive then they should be, resulting in people eating more than they normally would.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land could be under pressure from the perceived need for ethanol-producing corn.
Learn which crops you can grow in your garden to provide protein in your diet.
Getting ready for the new garden season is full of anticipation and ideas!
Rachel describes how to turn her heirloom corn crop into beautiful blue corn tortillas!
During a quiet, pre-dawn moment, an owl hoots softly. Is this connected with the bounty of mice and a big harvest?
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
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.
Basil is a versatile herb that can be used for companion planting, bee forage, year-round herb as well as delicious pesto.
Description of garlic planting on a two-year cycle: from tiny topset bulblets, to large single bulbs, to large heads.
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.
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.
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.
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seeds and the toxic herbicides used to drench them, is calling itself a supporter of sustainability. You’re kidding, right?
Conservation over corn.
A scientists who has studied plant pathogens for more than 50 years warns that Roundup Ready crops could cause "a general collapse of our critical agricultural infrastructure."
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.
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.
Cam contemplates the amount of energy that goes into our food production and shows how he prepared corn for freezing the zero carbon way!
A single, volunteer potato produces 10 pounds of potatoes in a hot bed. A recipe for addictive, oven-fried potatoes.
The Gulf of Mexico's dead zone is growing at a disturbing rate and is estimated to be the largest yet since records began back in 1985. An action plan is in place, but it will only work when and if we actually follow it.
Learn how bats can be beneficial for organic farmers, dramatically reducing the need for costly and harmful pesticides.
Join us in fighting the threat of GMOs: California's Right to Know (Prop 37) for GMO labeling leads the nation, and the Southern Exposure lawsuit against Monsanto continues to push through the courts. Plus, fall gardening can be easier than summer!
This blog is called Breadcrumbs, because it brings together a diverse set of topics, including the patron saint of bread, sourdough, starters, yeasts, and a recipe for corn pancakes.
Protecting the fig tree for the winter felt like putting it to bed for a long sleep. Chopping wood with the Chopper 1 is a thing of joy and beauty and that's no joke. Do it yourself corn bin helped our neighbor keep the racoons out.
In Oak Park, Michigan, a mother of six faces 93 days in jail for planting vegetables in her front yard. People across the country are rallying to her defense.
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.
Talking about carrying in the red roofing tin the old fashioned way due to a broken golf cart and some very muddy conditions. The refrigerator root cellar continues to prove itself as an experiment that seems to be working so far.
You don't need vegan recipes to cook vegan. Make delicious vegan dishes out of regular recipes by substituting tofu for meat in chicken-cauliflower salad. In dairy-based recipes, such as wheat berry pudding, use vanilla coconut milk in place of dairy milk. Pair with crusty white bread and avocado-corn salsa for a delicious vegan meal!
Locally grown, homemade, grass-fed, free-range and downright delicious food invades the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.
Take a tour of the mills and mountains of the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas, home to some of the finest remaining historic gristmills that still exist in the U.S.A. Based on the popular Historic Ozarks Mills book created by award-winning photographer Mike McArthy. Hydropower's energy-producing capacity is getting well-deserved attention these days, and these old mills provide inspiration.
Using newspaper, learn how to craft easy, biodegradable pots to start seeds.