Ever wondered what the difference is between a national park, a wilderness area, a national wildlife refuge, or other protected federal land? Here are the major differences in how these different natural areas are used and managed.
Here's something positive to blame on the recession: Less trash is going into the landfill. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence takes a look at the changing American throwaway culture.
Bulk food sales rose 15 percent in 2009 and are expected to keep growing through 2010. That will keep a lot of packing out of the landfill.
The walk on the moon on July 20, 1969 was a monumental event, which forever changed our world perspective. Where were you on that momentous occasion?
It turns out that there are a few bright spots amidst the recession — and it looks like less waste might be one of them.
Check out this great movie review for the new Disney Pixar film, WALL-E!
With its new clothing tags, Levi’s encourages consumers to donate unwanted clothes to Goodwill.
Save money by planting smaller trees and shrubs from mail-order sources.
If you're looking for a new lawn mower this year, consider buying a zero-turn lawn mower, which will really help you maneuver around obstacles such as trees and bushes.
Volunteer to take care of the public lands in your area during National Public Lands Day on September 29, 2012!
Celebrate the 20th anniversary National Public Lands Day on September 28! Find a volunteer site.
Upcycling company TerraCycle is partnering with FritoLay North America to keep old chips bags out of landfills and turn them into new consumer products.
Landrace gardening enhances food security by growing genetically diverse crops that are not as prone to crop failure as monoculture fields of near clones.
Landrace gardening requires different plant naming conventions than those followed by industrialized agriculture.
Landrace gardening promotes hybrid vigor and avoids inbreeding depression by encouraging promiscuous pollination.
A photo essay showing off the stunning success of landrace gardening on my farm. This success was achieved because I changed my growing methods to embrace one of the key elements of landrace growing; “survival of the fittest."
Using landrace gardening and promiscuous pollination to get what you want from your garden.
My views on importing package bees verses natural breading.
Information on how to volunteer on National Public Lands Day.
The negative effects of the recession are painfully clear, but is there a silver lining hiding among the clouds? There's some evidence that the recession might means good news for the environment, and you might find it in your own home. Check it out, and let us know what you think.
Although many of us enjoy the free plastic bags we get from grocery stores, they may be costing us money and damage to the environment. Find out more about this growing problem and review the results of a recent poll.
Joseph Lofthouse shares how to maintain thriving populations of landrace vegetables in the garden.
A photo essay showing off the beauty of landrace crops.
The principles of landrace gardening can be applied at any scale from small annual gardens to multi-generational community wide tree farms.
Exploring my hopes and dreams for the landrace seed movement with suggestions about how farmers, merchants, and gardeners could cooperate to create a more robust, secure, and locally adapted food system.
Our area is abundant with history. We have a limber pine tree nearby that I estimate is over 2,100 years old and still very much alive. History - we have an abundance of it.
Exmark’s “Transitioning Mower Fleets to Propane” provides a road map for landscape professionals.
The 2011 report focuses on the Garden Effect and Payback-if-sold. The Garden Effect is the estimated increase in a property’s market value as a result of having beautiful landscaping.
You can sneak a few attractive, low maintenance food plants onto your lawn, and your neighbors will never even notice.
Are you planning to put in an orchard next spring, or re-design your landscape with more edible plants?
Transforming this suburban property has been one of the most satisfying and creative adventures in my life. No need to go anywhere. Making big changes was the plan from the beginning, 15 years ago, when I bought this quarter-acre property with a modest 1,100-square-foot mid-fifties suburban house. If I reincarnated as a house and suburban property, this would be it.
Taking out a driveway and reclaiming automobile space can be one of the most rewarding projects on the suburban frontier. Replacing it with a walnut tree, blackberries and a storage shed with edible landscaping over the roof is even better.
By applying the principles of landrace gardening, you can help your plants win the race against weeds.
By growing potatoes from pollinated seeds we can develop locally adapted plants that thrive in our gardens.
Seed saving is an integral part of landrace gardening.
Landrace gardening allows us to minimize fertilization by selecting for plants that thrive in the pre-existing soil.
Want to grow and save your own vegetable seeds? Meet Fruition Seeds. They produce regionally-adapted, organically-grown seeds. And they can show you how to do it too.
Joseph Lofthouse shares tips for growing landrace popcorn.
Sunroots are a typically-cloned crop with great potential as a locally-adapted survival-of-the-fittest landrace
How to use hybrids in a landrace garden.
A photo essay documenting imported landraces that I started incorporating into my existing landraces during the current growing season.
Grow enough seed for yourself and a little extra for seed swaps and you may never have to pay for seeds again.
A market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks, evaluating current offerings.
A photo essay showing off the beauty of landrace squash.
Egyptian walking onions are one of my favorite crops because they produce food for my family from early spring until late fall.
A landrace market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks. Part 3: Storing the seeds. With careful forethought, it is possible to store seeds in a manner that will allow them to avoid or survive common seed destroying events.
Creating a landrace of promiscuously pollinated tomatoes. Details about my major plant breeding project for the next few seasons and a plea for help.
A pragmatic approach to eliminating male sterility from a home garden. Includes a diagram and photos about what to look for.
Cell Fusion genetic engineering is emerging as a hot topic in the Certified Organic seed and food industry. We can expect the resolution of this issue to impact both small-scale and large-scale growers.
The sustainability of one’s home depends as much (if not more) on its location as on how the house is built. If you’re looking to buy land or to buy (or rent) a house, consider the following sustainability criteria when comparing property locations.
Full-size, compact, gas or diesel – Kubota Zero-Turns provide operators with innovation and efficiency.
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.
The RTA12 & RTR12 Series Rotary Tillers from Land Pride till soil for seedbed and planting preparation with uses and applications in landscaping, gardens, and residential areas.
Decision from the USDA: Farmers won't be allowed to break their CRP contract without penalty.
We frequently use the term "homesteading" in Mother Earth News, but what is it's exact meaning?
Our Rural Property for Sale site helps you search for a sweet spot to put your future homestead, with handy filters to help you find just what you're looking for more easily.
Here are a few sources that can help you find affordable farm land.
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
This listing links to information resources related to sustainable agriculture, organic farming and gardening, and growing and buying good, safe food.
This is a listing of some of the green-themed films that came out between 2012-2014. These films are on a variety of topics, including food/agriculture, health, energy sources, water, climate change, animals, etc.
10 witty, wry, and clever quotations from various thinkers, writers, and comedians. Many of these quotations have real relevance to sustainability.
Joseph Lofthouse, seedsman from Paradise Utah, is now blogging about “Landrace Gardening” on Mother Earth News. The blog is a practical hands-on manual about how to improve crop production by localizing your plants to your unique garden.
Small towns across the country in need of a population boost are literally giving away free land to attract new residents and boost their populations. Seekers of the quiet (and low-cost) small town lifestyle can now grab some free land to build their homes.
After a long trial-and-error process, Ilene White Freedman finally found a sustainable, weed-suppressing mulching system for her farm.
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.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel shares the basics of landscape design.
A western Massachusetts community rallies to save a generations old farm.
This year’s Buckminster Fuller Challenge winner is revegetating African grasslands through holistic land management.
This skid auger is ideal for land owners, landscapers, hobby farmers and contractors.
The Mother Earth News Fair staff and volunteers work on green initiatives to divert Fair waste from landfills, recycling and composting as much as possible.
As the costs and consequences of climatological and ecological instability become impossible to ignore, people are recognizing the need to be more prepared for the challenges we could face in the short-term and the long-term. A variety of initiatives are arising to share ways of becoming more resilient—i.e., able to survive and thrive in the face of dangers and even disasters.
When shopping for the holidays, consider these seven strategies for giving greener gifts.
10 more great quotations and aphorisms that are relevant to environmental sustainability. Quotations by Buckminster Fuller, Teddy Roosevelt, Wendell Berry, and others.
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.
A new study has found that biodegradable plastic's rapid rate of decomposition could cause the release of methane, a greenhouse gas. The study's authors suggest that petroleum-based products might be preferable. We need better alternatives than that.
Flashy technologies billed as holding the key to an “age of plenty” cannot ward off future hunger. But strong rural communities working with, not against, nature can create an age of sufficiency.
Pennsylvania mama Michelle has finally found a homestead! Get her moving tips on take-back programs, packing mason jars, buying cheap appliances, and more.
Will assigning monetary value to the environment help to create an ethic of land stewardship or cause further detachment from nature?
Congress is accused of bait-and-switch tactics when they propose millions in reductions to the conservation-related program assistance that helped pass the 2008 farm bill.
Welcome to by blog “City to Country, One Step at a Time.” Here’s how I ended up as a modern homesteader on a little acreage in the Canadian West Coast bush.
If you are growing vegetables, making a few homemade wares here and there ... you are practicing good, old-fashioned homesteading techniques.
Goats are a great way to get rid of weed problems while also reducing the use of chemicals and fossil fuels.
In this post, I introduce a new series capturing the details of my family's move from a
conventional suburban life to homesteading and homeschooling. This post introduces the first
of several financial considerations that my family researched and has undertaken as part of our
radical lifestyle change.
Many of us are seeking to discover a lifestyle in which not all of our needs are provided through the medium of monetary exchange. Don’t let misconceptions about what is necessary to a family-size farmstead discourage you in the search for that small rural acreage, reasonably priced, where you can begin to realize your dreams.
How we approached buying our property, clearing and selecting a home site.
Making good decisions on how we use our land. Keeping it natural.
A landrace market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks. Part Two – Suggestions about the types and quantities of seeds to include in an emergency seed bank.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
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.
Edamame soybeans are tough,fast-maturing plants that can withstand extreme garden conditions. They have few problems with disease or insect pests. The green pods are delicious and high in protein, and make a good addition to an edible landscape.
Grapes can grow anywhere, thriving in a variety of climates and soil types. Growing grapes is rewarding, because after a few years they produce abundant fruit and quickly provide architectural interest in the edible landscape.
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.
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.
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.
It's winter time. Take a break from the holiday madness to enjoy a little of what nature has to offer this season.
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.
Fleas and ticks can bring severe itching, allergic reactions, discomfort, and even serious diseases (such as lyme disease) to your pets, so it’s important to protect your pets from them. However, studies have found that many common flea and tick control/treatment products aren’t just toxic to those bugs; they can actually poison your pets, as well. Find out which ingredients and products to avoid, and some safer alternatives to use.
The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s largest and most prestigious award for grassroots environmentalists. This year’s six inspiring prize winners (one from each of the six inhabited continental regions of the world) are...
The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s largest and most prestigious award for grassroots activists. This year’s six inspiring and courageous prize winners (one from each of the six inhabited continental regions of the world) are...
An index of posts related to energy, power, and climate, with a strong focus on solutions.
A selection of Words of the Wise. This index links to 5 different sets of great quotations, for your edification and entertainment. Witty quotations. Eco quotations. Quotations for gardeners and farmers. And more.
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.
Whether you’re a teacher, parent, school administrator, or homeschooler, you might be interested in some of these online resources related to environmental education and green curricula. Most of these websites are related to K-12 education.
Incorporating charcoal into the soil helped Amazonian farmers grow better crops, and its new industrial version is promoted as a panacea for both agriculture and the global climate. Those claims are not realistic.
The Bureau of Land Management has approved construction of a California geothermal plant that will generate enough energy for 36,000 homes.
The beauty and refreshment of our swimming hole are a swell compliment to work and sun of our homestead.
China’s largest green burial ceremony is part of the growing trend of eco-funerals in a country that is trying to conserve land.
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!
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comments on how to implement the new Conservation Stewardship Program. Here's the lowdown, plus instructions on how to submit your opinion — it's easy!
Two new models of pull behind cutters for use with tractors.
Clearing your land to ready it for farming can be quite a challenge!
Land rich in biodiversity isn't just more productive than land planted with a single crop. It turns out that increased biodoversity also significantly effects the total "bioenergy" of the land, as well as its carbon footprint.
Unprepared for their first foray into country living, Kristy Athens takes what she learned and focuses on 5 areas to be considered before moving to the country: Land, buildings, animals, food and community.
This is the story of my family’s transition from a nomadic military lifestyle to one of rural homesteading. I talk about our preparation leading up to leaving the service and some of our current goals and projects for the property and our lives. I also talk about using permaculture as the design science methodology for our businesses and the development of the property.
One homesteading couple learns what a land survey plat is, and then proceeds to have a plat completed of their rural property.
Our process of buying the land for our homestead had little to do with logic and a lot to do with emotion. For me, it was a chance to return to the plains where I grew up and be close to family.
We received some good additional tips on buying land and building a home. These pieces of advice are a roundup of comments taken from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Facebook page.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Roses are easy to grow successfully if you follow a few guidelines: provide good air circulation around the canes and keep the plants clean and not too damp. Roses come in many forms, including bush or shrub, climbing, and miniature.
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.
Simran Sethi reflects on her first summer of yard-care and gardening.
Great Quotations: the 4th installment in a series. This post features 14 fabulous eco-quotations, from thinkers such as Wendell Berry, Rachel Carson, Thoreau, Edison, and others.
There are many ways that each of us can lessen our unhealthy dependence on filthy fuels. You can do so in every area of your life, from choices you make regarding your house and home improvements, to food, transportation, and other consumer choices.
Fun graphics of great quotations! Quotations by Buckminster Fuller, Mary Oliver, Martin Luther King Jr., and others, available as free graphics that can be shared like e-cards.
This index links to some recent and popular posts related to green building, design, remodeling, and home improvement. The posts cover a broad range of topics, from green products to projects to practices, as well as sustainable communities.
“Bed bugs” are small nocturnal insects that feed on blood. Here are some tips for keeping them out of your home, and for getting rid of them--without using toxic pesticides/insecticides--if they do show up.
Green home improvement and retrofit projects that only require a minimal investment and that have a sure (and often speedy) payback. These relatively low-cost improvements can reap real savings. Plus, a link to info on tax credits and rebates.
More tips, ideas, and considerations for choosing green gifts. A sequel/supplement to last year's article!
When autumn brings a glut of orchard fruits, capture the goodness as juice by cooking extraction or cold pressing. Juices can be used alone or mixed to produce sweet or hard ciders, wines, syrups, and more.
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.
In The Land Institute senior scientist Stan Cox's critique of the 2013 Farm bill, it's argued that more federal support could be shifted to food security and conservation if less were going to Big Ag.
Strict ceilings on resource use, with rationing, can halt and reverse climate disruption. Australia's experience shows why the alternative to rationing, a carbon tax, is too indirect and too politically toxic to succeed.
Sustainable farming expert Michael Pollan has some words of wisdom for the next president of the United States.
No one had ever attempted to set a land speed record for gasification vehicles so Beaver Energy was the first.
Smithfield's hog farms produce a lot of meat and make a lot of money, but at what cost? Can we continue to look the other way as they pollute waters, abuse animals and terrorize their neighbors?
Renowned sportsman and conservationist Beau Turner is bringing his knowledge and unique talents exclusively to Sportsman Channel, the leader in outdoor TV for the American Sportsman, with the debut of his new original series, Beau Knows Outdoors.
Animal-vehicle wrecks cause about 200 human fatalities and 29,000 injuries a year. The fight between wildlife and urban developers seems never-ending, but wildlife crossings can be a solution. Learn how you can help just by giving your state's Department of Transportation a call.
Bring some spring into your life. Sprinkle some wheat grass seeds in an old apothecary jar and watch them grow.
The Land Institute of Salina, Kan., held the 34th annual Prairie Festival Sept. 28-30, 2012. Keynote speakers including Wendell Berry and Palgummi Sainath inspired local farmers, students, and nature lovers.
Join two modern homesteaders as they begin down the road toward building their small home and self-reliant farmstead on their new piece of raw land in northeastern Kansas.
If you want to own property, you have to find a way to finance buying land. Here, one couple explains how they took out a mortgage to build a home and purchase land.
In order to access our land and put in a driveway, we need to secure an entrance permit. If you're planning to buy land and build a home, check what your entrance permit requirements are before you purchase the property.
Across the U.S., voters of all political leanings gave overwhelming approval in the 2012 presidential election to taxing themselves and spending money for new parks in their communities, The Trust for Public Land announced. Of the 57 measures on local and statewide ballots, 46 passed, an approval rate of 81%.
Living in possibly the best place in the USA.
Turning liabilities into assests.
Land Pride is proud to announce four new skid Grapples in 12 different sizes as well as a skid-mounted Stump Grinder. These completely new attachments feature the same quality and durability that you’ve come to expect from Land Pride.
One couple recounts how they pursued a land zoning waiver in order to secure a building permit on their recently purchased rural property.
Before beginning construction on their new home, one couple assesses which renewable energy sources make sense for their location and situation.
Bank loans, especially new home construction loans, require some legwork on the part of the future homeowner. One couple explains how they got a loan to build their new house.
Another set of Great Quotations. These seven quotations have direct relevance to gardeners and farmers, but they offer wisdom that everyone can learn from and enjoy.
Conventional generators require gasoline or diesel fuel, which can be expensive -- especially during emergencies. Also, the emissions from gas-powered generators contribute to air pollution. Solar generators are a smart alternative to consider.
Find out which states and countries have the greatest number of LEED Platinum certified projects, and where the Platinum projects are located. Plus, a list of some LEED Platinum rated homes and residential buildings, with links to case studies.
More than 15 tips for saving water inside your home and outside in your yard and garden. Reducing your water use will not only lower your water bills and help prevent water shortages during drought periods in your area. It also...
Yellow jackets can pose a threat to honeybees. If yellow jackets have built a nest in your yard, here's a recipe for a natural, non-toxic solution that will get rid of them. Please share your own recommendations too!
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.
Urban food forests and public gardens provide communities with an edible landscape for everyone to share. These public fruit forests are the new trend in urban agriculture and play an important role as sustainable local food systems in their communities.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
A stack of cast-iron pans and a chainsaw helmet sum up why these homesteaders do what they do.
What’s your idea of a delicious and wholesome breakfast? A fluffy, organic egg omelet made with fresh vegetables? Perhaps scrambled eggs and roasted garden veggies? No matter what your preference, it may surprise you to learn the link between the
Once a barren wasteland destroyed-like much of Costa Rica's land--by decades of cattle ranching, Rancho Margot is now a verdant and productive paradise. Find out how the Sostheim family has accomplished this in just seven years.
Jim and Julie are starting their homestead in Texas while still living in Australia. Managing the project by remote control is the challenge, and they are learning as they go. This is an adventure of faith and confidence.
Cover crops are grown between planting seasons as a way to give back to the soil what cultivation takes from it. And cover crops aren’t just for large-scale growers—they can help you get the most out of your backyard vegetable garden too!
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.
One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.
An index of previous posts that have referenced green products. These posts have covered building- and home-related products, as well as chocolates, books, and other types of goods. Many of the products mentioned in these posts would make good gifts.
A list of links to orgs, associations, websites, books, and other resources related to local economies, community resilience, green business, corporate social responsibility, green jobs, environmental and social entrepreneurship, and investment.
If you would like to be represented by more elected officials who support environmental safeguards for our air, water, and land, take a look at these resources, including the League of Conservation Voters' National Environmental Scorecard.
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.
Most conventional paints and coatings emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which can contribute to poor indoor air quality as well as to smog. This overview includes a link to a product listing of healthier low-VOC, zero-VOC, and natural paints.
Earth Days, a poignant, 2009 Sundance Film Fesitval success, will premier on Facebook April 11, and on the PBS Network April 19.