Jessica visits the 890-acre farm belonging to the nonprofit Seed Savers Exchange, the largest nongovernmental seed bank in the U.S. and a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving our nations heirloom seeds and biodiversity.
One reader learns how to grow seedless watermelons: A successful venture in growing juicy fruit that led her to question how much control we want over nature.
Learn how to start seeds indoors using inexpensive fluorescent lights.
Kasco is excited to offer these outstanding products to our own line of grain drills and overseeders.
Herd Seeder is the primary name in the industry, having produced quality seeders and spreaders for more than sixty years. Kasco is excited to offer these outstanding products to our own line of grain drills and overseeders.
Learning to save seeds from one harvest to the next takes you a step further towards self-sufficiency and helps to save genetics of plants needed for the future.
Homemade transplant pots from newspaper save money and reduce waste.
How a small group of committed people can truly make a change for good.
Readers share their favorite garden seed companies for a chance to win a gardening prize.
There are some veggies, herbs and edible flowers that are self seeders. Plant them once, let them go to seed, and you will have continuous plants year after year.
Discusses the similarities between the essential needs of children and seedlings in terms of what they need to grow and thrive.
Kasco Manufacturing introduced a new 10’ wide Vari-Slice seeder at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky. The Vari-Slice seeder is suitable for applications including pasture seeding, beef, dairy and horse farms for worked or no-till conditions and where tight germination of grass seed is needed.
Comstock, Ferre & Co has operated for almost 200 years and, with the help of new owner Jere Gettle, is undergoing a revival.
Bring your best heirloom veggie or other unique saved seeds to the Seed Swap at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR taking place Sept. 25 and 26 in Pennsylvania.
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 measure tomato seedlings for success before planting into your garden.
Here are five great companies to buy seeds from.
Pasteurizing your own compost can protect your new seedlings from damping-off and harmful bacteria.
Seed Savers Exchange, which many MOTHER readers say is the best seed company, has won the Gold Award for its great seed catalog.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
A long-time gardener describes the seed-saving technique for cucumbers.
The staff at MOTHER EARTH NEWS plants tomatoes and peppers during a seed-planting project at the office.
A description of what a seed library is and suggestions for why you might want to be involved with one. Links are included for more information.
Tips on how, when and why to grow your own seedlings.
Let packages of heirloom seeds say how much you care.
Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.
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!
Highlights from the catalog of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, by the editor in chief of Mother Earth News.
Just as libraries transformed society by giving everyone access to books, the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library is providing all citizens the opportunity to borrow seeds and grow their own food. Start a seed-lending library in your town!
Readers share information about new varieties of fruits and vegetables they plan to grow this year, and why.
Swap seeds at the Mother Earth News Fair Community Seed Swap at the Green Festival in Washington, D.C.
A reader inquires about how to set up a community seed swap.
A gardening expert discusses what you should do with your seedlings after they sprout in their indoor greenhouse containers.
Check out these two companies if you want a seed sieve for small-scale seed saving.
Try a simple seed viability test to see if your old seeds are worth planting.
Using newspaper, learn how to craft easy, biodegradable pots to start seeds.
Planting heirloom, non-genetically modified seeds is a great way to help preserve endangered plant varieties--and the planet's very ecosystem.
Fixing the swamp bridge and starting some new onion seeds along with a new experiment involving willow rooting hormone tea.
The Living Seed Company is creating a platform to inspire gardeners and gardeners to be.
Kids get to have fun, learn about gardneing and start veggie seeds at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.
When lettuce is mentioned, many think of the standard iceberg lettuce found in supermarkets and restaurant salads. That is changing with the growth in popularity of the different types of lettuces from Romaine to head and leaf-type lettuces, mainly due to the flavors and colors that they offer from deep red to almost white and noticeably sweet to tangy and slightly bitter.
There are many ways to protect wood from the effects of weather, what is your favorite technique?
The work of growing, harvesting and preserving your own food comes together in the satisfying instant when canning lids pop. Don't leave the kitchen until you've savored the sound of a job well done.
Readers who love canning share their firsthand reports about the foods they can at home, and why.
This little chipmunk ponders about how much food to store for the coming fall and winter seasons.
Here's a quick and easy tip for freezing peaches.
Get expert advice on how long fresh eggs will keep without refrigeration.
A Precision Garden Seeder can make planting seed crops quick and easy!
The Living Seed Company is working to preserve genetic diversity in our food chain, through the distribution and growing of open pollinated seeds and preserving the ancient art of seed saving.
Get prepared for the season with useful tips for seed saving with Art Davidson, expert from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed.
You don't have to depend on nature to feed your bees. Take matters into your own hands and plant enough good food for your bees, so they have good, safe food all year long.
Making pickles can be time-consuming, but this method for easy garlic pickles couldn't possibly be any easier. Or tastier!
Learn how to store eggs properly, how to freeze eggs for long-term storage and how to use eggs in different kinds of recipes.
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.
People have found many techniques for preserving vitamins in winter, which still work today. One of the most basic involves fooling plants, as it were, into thinking they are not dead yet.
Organic seeds have benefits for your garden. Learn what our expert recommends and how to find organic seeds to plant.
Finca Luna Nueva's Sacred Seeds Sanctuary is a living laboratory to nurture tropical and native species through the next 10 years of climate change.
Here are three simple ideas for making your own seed packets.
The 32nd Annual Seed Savers Exchange Conference and Campout featured many hands-on learning activities, tours of the gorgeous Heritage Farm grounds and an insider look into the organization's seed-saving efforts and current projects.
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!
An interview with Jeremiah Gettle, discussing his thoughts on and solutions to pressing environmental issues facing the world today.
Highlights from the catalog of Fedco Seeds, by the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Many gardeners save seeds from their plants for use the following year, but this technique doesn't work equally well with all vegetable varieties. Here's what you need to know to figure out which plants in your garden you can save seeds from.
Making delicious homemade marmalade from Seville oranges.
Sailors for the Sea presents its new Rainy Day Kits teach young sailors to care about marine ecology and the environment with fun, interactive games.
Canning is the penance for spring, when you couldn’t stop yourself from putting out one more row of tomato starts. Canning is the human’s attempt to make the hottest days of the year even more sizzling indoors than they are out.
Use freezer-damaged fruit to make tasty fruit sauces.
Share your favorite places to learn about food preservation.
Readers share tips, tricks and recommended products for keeping produce fresh longer.
How to make canned green tomato relish.
Readers share tips and tricks for storing green tomatoes and keeping them longer.
Putting into practice those great intentions: Living on preserved hard work and home canned peaches these short days.
Find the best places to store your harvest in your home through the winter.
The Seed Savers Exchange is looking for a new executive director. Just six months after he succeeded George DeVault, Aaron Whaley has resigned.
Reasons why you should save seeds from the vegetables in your garden from year to year.
These seed-saving initiatives are working to conserve seed diversity across the globe through seed banks, seed exchanges and other innovative preservation techniques.
You can get more for your gardening money with a group seed starting effort.
Summer comes on fast in the Southeast. Expert gardeners Ira Wallace and Pam Dawling share some tips to keep ahead of the heat and a recipe for Roselle Dessert Bars to help you appreciate the heat when it comes.
Find garlic seed stock for growing garlic.
The world of organic seed, delusional hope and insomniac online shopping collide.
Get Floriani Red Flint corn seed from Fedco Seeds, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, or Starke Round Barn.
The quiet low of January has broken, the promise of spring and its seedy optimism is evident in the pile of seed catalogs at my bedside.
Hemp seed is a powerful source of protein, Omega-3, vitamins and minerals, and has a delicious nutty flavor!
Cam describes how the seasons progress through one messy task after another at Sunflower Farm.
A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your homestead.
In addition to my taste for shelling peas, I also want to get the first taste of the season to show off my gardening prowess.
Yes, spring is finally here. Time to start farming.
Puhwem Native American corn was the mother corn of native people. It's one of the best corns for making corn flour.
As fall nears, sunflowers are beginning to die off and it's time to harvest their seeds! In this post I bring you through the steps to harvest and prepare your sunflower seeds for eating!
In July and August, it’s time to start thinking about planting crops for fall. But how do you get good seed germination when the soil is so hot?
The USDA has extended the comment period on agricultural "coexistence," which will determine how much protection organic farmers and seed breeders will have from GM seed contamination, until March 4.
Consider grafting your favorite tomato varieties onto disease-resistant rootstock to foil soilborne diseases.
Learn how to use less energy canning tomato products.
Our experiences in learning to pressure can and use reusable canning lids.
Today's FAIR attendees will be well prepared to grow, make and preserve their own food and, as Joel Salatin encourages, get out of the Industriall food system.
Former first lady Lady Bird Johnson will be remembered for her significant conservation efforts, especially with wildflowers and the preservation of native plants.
Here is an easier way to blanche vegetables, such as green beans, before freezing them.
A pressure canner greatly expands the range of foods that can be safely canned at home.
Slightly underripe apples that fall to the ground must be picked up, so why not cut away the bugs and bruises and put them to good use? Here’s how to turn windfall apples into supernutritious drinks and snacks.
Learn how to dehydrate gourmet garlic so you can enjoy it year-round.It takes only a few simple steps to turn fat, juicy bulbs into crunchy, golden chips!
For the past few years, we've experimented with different ways of storing food fresh and now we're eating garlic, onions, squash, carrots and beets in June.
Necessity leads to ingenuity in the creation of root cellar storage.
To grow, keep and eat your own food keeps you away from the food industry, the fossil fuel based agriculture, food stores and logistics.
Fired up our smoker for the first time and made yummy use of our summer's Kokanee Fish Catch to smoke fish.
Candlemas is an ancient midwinter holiday, when people would take inventory on their stock of candles, pantry food storage and hay in the barn to get the homestead through the second half of winter.
Preserving meat at home by making pork confit.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
"Organic farmers have the right to raise our organic crops without the threat of invasion by Monsanto's genetic contamination and without harassment by a reckless polluter. Beginning today, America asserts her right to justice and pure food."
We have developed two customized search engines that make it easier to locate companies that offer specific varieties of seeds and plants, as well as organic garden products and tools.
SunButter Sunflower Seed Butter offers innovative and flavorful ingredient option for peanut-free products.
The process of saving seed for next year begins while the growing season is still going strong
One way to get a jumpstart on the growing season is to start growing your seeds indoors. For most of you it’s still cold outside. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a headstart on getting your garden started for the new year.
The United States Postal Service has released a collection of beautiful stamps modeled off vintage seed packets.
Seed saving is an integral part of landrace gardening.
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.
Heirloom Vegetable Gardening (1997) by Willam Woys Weaver profiles 280 heirloom varieties, with growing advice and recipes. This introdution is the beginning of a series of excerpts to be posted from Weaver’s book to walk gardeners through sowing, cooking recipes at harvest and saving heirloom seeds through the winter.
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.
Seed Savers Exchange members and friends in the southeast region of the U.S. gathered on September 8, 2013 in Louisa, VA. This event was facilitated by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and the Virginia Association for Biological Farming.
Gardening is as easy as you want it to be!
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.
Check out our time-lapse video of peppers growing from seed to sprout.
Deciding where to buy seeds can be a perplexing challenge. How does a conscientious gardener choose seeds that will grow well, look lovely and taste great, but also support sustainable seed farmers and healthy environments?
Barbara Pleasant offers a step-by-step plan to starting seeds.
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.
Do you know about the magic of milk and molasses in improving your garden? Yes, plain old milk of any kind – whole, 2%, raw, dried, skim or nonfat – is a miracle in the garden for plants, soil and compost. Molasses only boosts the benefits! Let’s see how and why they work.
Make homemade tahini paste in your kitchen.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
Food preservation expert Sherri Brooks Vinton makes food preservation look easy and shares helpful hints about equipment and technique during a standing-room-only workshop at the Fair.
Time to plant sorghum in the Ozarks. When do you plant sorghum in your neck of the woods?
Host a community seed swap in honor of "National Seed Swap Day," plan to save your own seeds from the garden this year, and get inspired to cook creatively with winter vegetables.
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.
Tips for starting seeds indoors and a calendar for when to start your seeds indoors for a Zone 6 garden.
It's not difficult to eat locally during the long winter months if you have preserved the previous year's harvest. Even while we wait for spring to arrive, the root cellar may still be providing our dinner.
Solar drying experiences in 2012, including tomato varieties Principe Borghese and Long Tom.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
Tomatoes are the gray area of canning. They're not quite acidic enough to just straight can like fruit but the right amount of added acid can keep you from having to pressure can them. Here are the basics on canning tomatoes.
There's no need to be afraid of canning. With basic skills a cook can safely prepare and process excess produce during the summer and have a ready supply all winter. An easy way to start is with dill pickles, with extras like garlic and hot peppers.
Take plain old raspberry jam to the next level with the complex flavors of white chocolate and coffee liqueur.
We’ve succeeded at drying herbs and greens in our SunWorks solar dehydrator, which promises to make future meals all the more flavorful and nutritious.
King Arthur Flour has added a new category to its line of premium baking products available in supermarkets nationwide: flax.
Reuse old seed catalogs and recycle lumber scraps while creating one of a kind designer home decor.
It wasn't many months ago the seed catalog for this year showed up, but at that point I had just, just, managed to finish off the garden season, slightly traumatized from all the work. To receive a catalog then seemed mostly like an ill-conceived joke, a way to rub it in; don't think you can relax too much.
One of the easiest ways to make your own newspaper pots.
Make a shelf or table into a growing space for starting seedlings.
By starting seeds indoors, you get a jump start on spring garden planting.
Open to the public, the Seed Savers Exchange Conference and Campout is ideal for those interested in sharing seed-saving and gardening experience or learning from the more seasoned and those involved in current plant breeding and propagating research.
Made from bamboo, wood and grass seed, this tiny house could be our future.
A silent auction at the Mother Earth News Fair featuring hundreds of items raised $5,232 for the Organic Seed Alliance last weekend in Puyallup, Wash.
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.
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.
Get tips on growing watermelons from the expert growers at Willhite Seed company, which offers dozens of unique watermelon varieties.
Siegers Seed Company is attempting to patent and own a common cucurbit gene for warty pumpkins, and gardeners who know better are disappointed.
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.
Overview of the activities of a garden in March. How to prepare the soil for spring. What varieties I am planting this March in our Zone 6 garden.
What seeds to plant by month in a Zone 6, or Midwest, garden, plus seed-sowing times for spring and summer crops.
Growing lettuce and other leafy greens indoors with an aeroponic system in a south-facing window seems like a wise move, especially during this long, snowy winter. Here I will explain the basics of growing greens with an aeroponic system, starting off with the initial expenses and moving on to pH and nutrient solution. Then I’ll hope the sun provides enough life-giving rays long enough each day to grow some leafy greens.
Growing peach pits doesn't get much easier than this.
Dragging my feet to get spring started, afraid to fail and making the decision to jump in an succeed or fail already!
Sacred Seed Bread delivers the healing power of medicinal seeds in a delicious, homemade loaf.
Honey bees, the Boston tragedy, and our power to create the world we’ve been waiting for.
Collins hails milestone of the company becoming employee owned.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
Goats are terrific weed eaters, and do a great job clearing land for you, why not utilize them for clearing your pastures!
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.
How far along are your tomatoes? Ira Wallace gets inspired by gorgeous gardens in Asheville, North Carolina, and shares a quick, easy recipe for tomato sauce.
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 chainmail fillet glove revolutionizes a cook's potato-peeling technique. Plus, get recipes for potato and pumpkin curry soup and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Tom Newmark won't rest until he's helped establish 10,000 seed sanctuaries--living gardens devoted to propagating and nurturing endangered plants--across the world. He came a step closer this week with the establishment of a sanctuary in India.
Roasted pumpkin and squash seeds are a yummy, healthy treat. And it's easier than you think. Here's how to roast squash and pumpkin seeds in just four easy steps.
Summer intern Megan describes her first time gardening at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, planting cucumbers for the first time and watering the office garden.
Confused about the difference between hybrids and genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? Learn more about how cultivating hybrids is different from developing GM vegetable varieties.
Putting a new roof on a mobile home and harvesting the worlds biggest sweet potato while growing for the first time Par-cel cutting celery and hauling horse manure from our parking area back to the garden.
Tips for learning to grow and spin cotton.
As organic industry leaders urge consumers to take action against GMOs--the biggest threat the industry faces this year--soapmaker David Bronner gives $25,000 to seed an anti-GMO march on Capitol Hill.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
Droll Yankees Inc.(R) announced the addition of a new Nyjer Domed Cage Feeder (THDC-23Y), a hybrid of their popular New Generation Finch Flocker and Sanctuary lines.
Simran Sethi teams up with two neighbors to "grow food, not lawns."
Receiving seed catalogs and dreaming of warmer weather and growing a garden.
This fall, while the chickens were still living with the goats, we had decided to fence off the leg and seed it with pasture seed. I wasn't sure if we should seed it for the chickens or for the goats. After doing some research we ended up going with
talking about building a composting toilet and how well the Seed Swap went on Saturday. Hauling capacity of a golf cart compared to an ATV generated some useful and helpful comments regarding electricity vs internal combustion engines. No till works!
The perfect Kale shake
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.
Wood Prairie Farm encourages citizens to sign a petition in support of family farmers and to attend the citizens assembly on January 31st, 2012.
Have you started your tomatoes and peppers yet? 'Tis the season to start seeding long season crops indoors. If you normally buy organic starts from your local nursery, try your hand at seed starting.
Ira Wallace covers developments in the lawsuit to protect your right to save seeds and how to take action against GMO contamination of the food supply. Also, choose the right onions for your garden and learn what to sow in January.
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.
Simran Sethi starts dreaming of spring gardening, with the goal of renewing her efforts to grow real food.
Some crops survived the cold temperatures while others died. Which ones are most reliable for winter outdoors and in the hoophouse?
A report on the potato onion taste test and some details on the annual tomato harvest and storage methods along with digging up ragweed plants.
Saving butternut squash seeds while using a sledge hammer and putting up a roof and planning a seed swap. Also planning a high density apple orchard with a new variety called Zestar.
If the DEA can't tell the difference between hemp and marijuana plants, says a former Kentucky governor, how can it distinguish between powdered sugar and cocaine? Hempsters: Plant the Seed is a must-see movie that gives pro-hemp activists a voice.
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.
Read this excerpt about heirloom beans from Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Growing, Seed Saving and Cultural History by William Woys Weaver. This book will help you re-discover heirloom vegetables from our American culinary and gardening roots.
For less than the cost of an SUV, a Michigan couple rehabbed their historic home to include solar panels and a geothermal system. The 110-year-old house now produces more energy than it needs.
Summing up the last week of activity by hitting on a few key stories that might prove note worthy to a few of the homesteading folks out there complete with photo montage of golf cart jousting and aquaponic trout.
Using oil seed radishes to add organic matter to the ground and attracting native pollinators with a nest site. Harvesting sweet potato seeds if we're lucky and admiring the parasitic wasp's ability to lay white egg sacs into the body of a horn worm
A "how to" for building a hoop-style greenhouse using PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.
Let's quash, once and for all, the notion that only harmful chemicals can kill germs and bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are natural antibacterials that keep your home clean--and safeguard your family's health.
Check out this roundup of 10 favorite sustainable gifts for the gardeners on your list — all under $50!
We're getting revved up for winter seed swaps, and planning our tomato plantings to account for all the great tasting events next summer and fall. Find out how to find your own local events, or host your own!
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.
Whether or not it was devised by clever Mexican potato growers, the cheap, easy to build, and space-saving potato tower is a unique alternative to rows, barrels, and other methods for planting, growing, and bringing in your season's spuds.