self reliance and country skills





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12/26/2013
With more than 40 years of expertise on how to live on less (and love it!), MOTHER EARTH NEWS introduces our Guide to Self-Reliance and Country Skills app. This app, available for both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, contains advice and how-to on organic gardening, raising backyard chickens, canning and preserving your harvests, and how to save money by applying a DIY mentality to your life.
2/27/2013
Pick something new to learn this year from Granny Miller’s list of 101 basic homesteading skills.
9/1/2010
If your job, finances, family commitments, etc., have thwarted or delayed your dreams of self-reliance, you don’t have to wait until you can afford a 20 acre parcel. You can start working where you are now to build and nurture self-reliant living skills that are sure to provide you with more peace of mind and improved health, and will most likely be of great personal benefit during the coming decades of global challenge and change.
5/11/2009
What skills are you learning in hopes of saving money?
5/29/2013
If know you're destined to live in the country, or just more self-reliantly, but are overwhelmed by all the choices, here's a place to start.
10/13/2008
I taught myself to play a musical instrument, and I'm certain you can do it too.
9/30/2008
Who isn't worried about the economy right now? Here's some good advice on what to do with your money.
1/10/2014
By focusing on the conscientious habits and self-reliance of its readers, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has seen its audience quadruple over the past decade. Publisher Bryan Welch discusses the reasons for this growth.
4/2/2014
Compost happens, yes. But if food scraps are thrown into a pile and left to rot, a hot smelly mess may be taking over. That’s because the process of composting is a symbiotic relationship between carbon and nitrogen. Or at our home, cardboard and food scraps.
5/10/2013
Household hints from 1909 reveal useful tips for hanging clothes out to dry.
10/15/2013
The diva of re-use, Annie Warmke, talks about simple steps to take in the barn yard for re-purposing and reducing waste. After reading this article you won’t be able to think about things like llama poo or beer bottles in the same way again.
4/4/2011
If you’re new to raising chickens, you might be a little intimidated setting up house for your new flock. Homesteader Jenna Woginrich offers a straightforward overview of getting started, from preparing a brooder to providing feed and water.
6/18/2009
Jenna gets a pack goat to help carry gear for hiking trips. Share her experience of buying a buck kid and raising him to be a pack goat.
5/14/2011
Steve Maxwell spotlights the three myths that prevent people from realizing the full value of the self reliant lifestyle, and how to dispel them
1/6/2014
Self-dubbed “lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin describes how sustainable living and more conscientious agricultural practices can mend and revive a planet pushed near the brink.
2/19/2013
To say the sawmill is just a piece in the homestead puzzle might be a slight understatement. In some ways, it's a key factor.
8/18/2010
Renowned inventor Craig Vetter discusses his history with aerodynamics and motorcycles, and his vision for doing more with less energy.
8/28/2013
Who would think it’s possible to discover the artist in me, incubate a business, plus milk goats, grow a garden...all in one unforgettable summer. I'm a rich woman by any standard.
7/8/2013
A pressure canner greatly expands the range of foods that can be safely canned at home.
6/24/2011
In order to build skills for our move from Australia to Texas, we have been taking various classes and workshops. Recently, we took a weekend workshop at an excellent cheese factory close to where we live on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne.
10/17/2011
Actor Carel Struycken is famous for his role as Lurch in Addams Family, as well as many other roles. He is also a big proponent of permaculture. Nyerges talks with Struycken at his Pasadena home about permaculture and sustainable farming.
3/29/2013
On our journey to self-reliance, my husband, Darren, and I have been gathering human-powered tools when we can find them. It’s surprising and sad how quickly hand- and foot-powered tools were junked when electricity became available. From 1850 to 1890, more than 100 apple-pealing devices were patented. Then none, except those running on electric power. And so it goes with thousands of other nifty human-powered appliances.
2/1/2013
While many of those visiting our Hostel are farmers and homesteaders themselves, some come from that “city culture” and seem to take their first hesitant steps outside of a flatly paved driveway when they arrive at our place. Wide eyes, a sense of adventure.
2/1/2013
Since her first house move, MOTHER EARTH NEWS blogger Cathie Ackroyd, has become so very conscious of the impact we humans have had and are having on our planet’s environment and hoped to find a place to settle that would allow us to gain an element of self-sufficiency in a relatively car-free community.
5/23/2011
People are often apprehensive about preserving their own food, whether they're intimidated by the process, or concerned about the safety of the finished product. As Sherri Brooks Vinton explains, it's time to bring canning back to the home kitchen.
11/5/2012
Jim and Holly Smith, founders of Today’s Abundant Living, sent us this great review of a Homesteading Education Month open house and country skills workshop they hosted at their Michigan homestead.
2/21/2013
We all have dreams but why is it that some are so lucky that they come true?
1/22/2014
Learn the basic skills useful for mountain homesteading.
1/28/2013
OK,I'm giving no hints as to why you should think like a chemist...Read it and see for yourself. At the very least, you'll be entertained by a crazy new way of thinking about life.
1/28/2012
If you're pondering a move to the country and think your life will suddenly get blissfully silent, think again.
4/5/2012
If you've been on this rural living or modern homesteading journey for decades, or just starting out, how do you know when you've arrived?
5/24/2011
Trying to follow directions out in the country can be challenging!
2/24/2011
Take control of your food with a return to the kitchen, and learn to love the time you spend there cooking with your family.
5/8/2012
Cam always wanted to be the kind of guy who could swap out a motor and now he is!
2/28/2013
How living more sustainably can save you in an emergency.
7/2/2013
The sweet spot in self sufficiency is to have just enough...with a bit of surplus to meet your needs and a few friends and neighbors.
11/25/2008
The Self Sufficient-ish Bible and accompanying Web site offer some universal tips for urban self-sufficiency.
7/12/2011
This grandparents’ homestead housed a number of generations and everyone participated in daily chores such as pumping water for baths, melting lard for bread, and using cloth flour bags to make curtains, blankets and dresses.
11/3/2008
After hitching a ride out of the city on the Slow Food movement, some newcomers to the country look back on their transition decision.
8/15/2011
Fond memories of a self-sufficient farm in Armstrong County, Pa., show how hard work and family together results in a truly meaningful life.
3/15/2012
I learned life lessons early in life as a newspaper delivery boy. Valuable lessons that carried on though life.
7/10/2013
Rick Stiles shares chronicles the first two weeks of his cross-country trip on a recumbent bicycle.
2/8/2011
The American Society of Safety Engineers’ Ag Branch encourages purchasing tractors with a Rollover Protection Structure. Programs exist that will help offset the cost of the ROPS to add to older tractors. Tractor rollovers are common accidents that will lead to severe injury or death, but an ROPS will keep the driver safe.   
6/12/2012
My vision of the Texas homestead, complete with family and doting grandchildren nearby took a hit this year when my daughter and husband split and my daughter moved to Austin. Could I reinvent the vision? Or would this issue derail our plans?
3/11/2011
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.
3/28/2012
Cam often finds himself relating to song lyrics.
3/25/2011
If you are growing vegetables, making a few homemade wares here and there ... you are practicing good, old-fashioned homesteading techniques.
3/29/2013
Thoughts and ideas about purchasing a recumbent bicycle for a cross country trip.
4/15/2012
Winter is over and the colors of spring are here!
5/10/2011
With country living, you expect a quiet night's sleep. But surprise, surprise - nature has its own alarm clock.
12/19/2013
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.
8/27/2013
Sharing some of what we have learned about treating Pink Eye naturally, as in our region, this has been an epidemic summer due to all the rain and flies.
1/8/2014
With all the TV shows depicting "survival", I will sort through the various groups and argue that the reality shows are far from reality.
12/23/2013
I’ll let you in on a little secret; there is no PERFECT knife. Cutting tools are only as effective as the handler wielding them.
7/22/2014
Which fire starting tool works best - or at all?
3/24/2014
Darning socks is a simple thing to do - and a statement for self-sufficiency!
8/2/2012
The NH Permaculture Gathering is just a couple weeks away!
8/14/2012
Many a homesteader and farmer can use help, and many a young person wants to learn homesteading skills. Having apprentices is an important means to assure a continuation of farms and farming,as well as teaching youth essential survival skills.
2/14/2012
Emma Jane James of Appalachia, Virginia, inquires about her Kansan family tree and reminisces about better days  in her coal-mining town, before mountaintop removal and pollution took their toll.
4/5/2012
Young homesteader Robert Maxwell  explores his discoveries as he moves toward self-sufficiency and homesteading.
4/13/2011
Cam promotes the return to our independent roots.
6/28/2011
A rural home in La Porte, Iowa thrives on all the elements of nature including bird feeders, a veggie garden and table scraps.
6/20/2013
It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked: Why do we do all this work?
6/26/2013
How did Victoria Redhed Miller and husband David end up living on an off-grid homestead in the foothills of Washington State's Olympic mountains? Grid? What grid? Electricity was something one took for granted; it came from those outlets on the walls. I was hardly aware of it except during one of the infrequent power outages.
8/1/2013
Weeks three, four and five of our cross country bicycle trip start in Missoula, Mont. and end in North Branch, Minn.
8/10/2011
Cam describes why he was anxious to leave the city for a life in the country.
11/17/2011
I love rural life and modern homesteading, but there are days when the comfort of a city condo would be welcome indeed. And honestly? A relief.
12/6/2011
At first glance George Siemon and Doc Hatfield don’t appear to have a whole lot in common. But George and Doc and a bunch of conspirators are revolutionizing agriculture: they are putting consumers back in touch with the people who grow their food.
8/18/2011
Cam prefers the view from his office in his country home.
4/13/2012
Robert Maxwell discusses the benefits of a rural lifestyle.
7/10/2012
A key choice was what type of house to build. We aren't in Texas more than a few weeks a year until we make our final move back. We wanted a structure we could enclose to protect the interior from the elements and yet build in stages as time and money allow.
2/6/2009
If you’re the first of your friends to move to the country, get some chickens and plant an organic garden there will be some inevitable social fallout.
6/19/2012
Keeping bees is something I've wanted to do on our new homestead. But would I like it? Taking a class is a good way to find out.
12/12/2011
The different sounds that you hear in the city or country are as different as the people that live there.
11/10/2011
Robert Zwald talks about his days in a one room school house, learning with all eight grades at once. This is part four of eight in Robert Zwald's stories, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
5/12/2012
Many of us suffer from low self-esteem. Negative self-images plague our lives, robbing us of happiness. Here's an exercise that can help you rid your self of those thoughts that prevent you from seeing who you really are.
9/12/2013
The documentary film “Beyond Off-Grid” is nearing completion and includes a dozen specialists across the United States living self-reliant lifestyles.
9/5/2013
Tips for those with “Barnheart.”
5/12/2011
Cam responds to a negative comment about a previous blog.
7/27/2011
Julie Lavigne relates her grandparent’s home in the city, a modern homestead for their time, and proves you can live a self-sufficient lifestyle in an urban setting.
8/16/2012
Cam undertakes an experiment to see how much food he can produce on his one acre of garden space.
5/11/2011
We are collecting Wit and Wisdom From Our Elders: tips and stories of how people took care of their homesteads in the past. Share your stories!
11/8/2011
Cam enjoyed a recent workshop he held at Sunflower Farm, and the participants seemed to enjoy it too!
10/18/2010
While there are plenty of great reasons to grow a food garden, we recently polled readers to find out their primary motivation for gardening. Read their interesting results, plus tell us more about your gardening philosophy.
7/22/2012
Our minds can play tricks on us, and often do, bending and shaping our perceptions to our own liking. As a result, what we hold to be true about ourselves, others, even the world around us, can be dead wrong.
2/25/2011
Stretching one's food dollar is an important issue in today's life. So is nutrition. Here, learn how to make healthy, nutritious soup and bread for lunch or supper economically. You might even come to love winter just to have soup and bread!
2/29/2012
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
8/13/2013
Starting in North Branch, Minn. and ending in Brantford, Ontario, author Rick Stiles continues his cycling across the country — and the border.
5/21/2013
Ride the Future Tour, a 43-day cross-country trip in electric vehicles, will start July 4 in South Carolina. Event organizers hope to build awareness for green transportation and break a few records along the way.
10/8/2013
Collegiate teams showcase affordable, energy-efficient houses in global competition.
9/12/2013
Weeks eight and nine of our cross country bicycle trip start in Brantford, Ont., and end in Bar Harbor, Maine.
6/24/2008
The EPA is now defining a CAFO (formerly confined animal feeding operation) as a Country Animal Feeding Operation.
5/7/2012
In the final chapter of this five-part series, Lyn Fenwick finds the country cemetery that Isaac was burried in and pays her respects to the author of a treasured family heirloom, a 19th century homesteaders journal.
3/12/2013
Saying ‘Yes’ to a cross country bicycling trip was easy. After I fully realized what my mouth had done, my brain had second thoughts.
3/23/2011
Change we can believe in? The Obama administration paves the way for more than 300,000 megawatts of coal-fired energy.
6/20/2012
As part of my education on how to be more self-sufficient when we make our move back to Texas, I've been taking classes while here in Australia. One of the more enjoyable classes was in beekeeping. This is our class practical exercise.
7/16/2013
The journey to a self-sufficient life is a bumpy ride. Having a backup plan — or two — can make all the difference in your progress.
10/10/2013
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.
9/26/2013
To grow, keep and eat your own food keeps you away from the food industry, the fossil fuel based agriculture, food stores and logistics.
11/20/2011
Removing large quantities of snow. For more on how we cope with snow check out our personal blog at www.brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com where we post regular updates on our life here on the mountain.
7/14/2014
The beauty and refreshment of our swimming hole are a swell compliment to work and sun of our homestead.
3/14/2014
If you know much of each food from your garden you consume each year, you can better plan how much to grow.
1/25/2012
There is a coming resurgence of the appreciation of the hearty homespun sorghum syrup. Something is special about being part of making this “home-made” sugar that speaks to the self-reliant nature inside all of us. You can be part of the Sorghum Revival!
9/15/2011
Cam wonders why more people don't prepare for blackouts.
3/8/2013
Noting the time and marking its passing, keeping us in the present.
5/26/2011
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!
2/14/2011
When you live in an off-grid house in the country, it's important to be handy!
1/28/2013
How we deal with unexpected incidents.
7/16/2012
Living a ranch life in northern New Mexico in the 1960s consisted of hard work and knowledge. It was not the romantic life that many people imagine it to have been.
1/31/2012
Cam describes his ongoing inner dialogue concerning his carbon footprint.
9/28/2012
A MOTHER EARTH NEWS editor gets a chance to spend her birthday at the fair, surrounded by fun and inspiring people and activities.
3/6/2012
Cam thinks its important that we all have a Plan B, no matter where we live.
5/26/2010
Self-pollinating apple trees allow homeowners with little space to reap the benefits of this fresh, nutritious fruit. While typical apple breeds require planting at least two trees in the same space so they can pollinate each other, self-fertile trees can produce fruit without another tree around.
6/21/2010
A new course, Radical Urban Sustainability Training, teaches city- and suburban-dwellers the skills they need to develop a self-reliant and sustainable lifestyle.
9/28/2010
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.
10/25/2012
An article from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise covering an International Homestead Education Month event that took place at Paul Smith's College on September 29, 2012.
4/18/2011
The further degradation of our societal food skills are examined here, with small town food craftsmen becoming an endangered species, in this case, my local butcher.
4/26/2013
If you want to achieve your goals, stop making excuses for the things that go wrong on your path to success. Learn from them. Never stop trying to improve. And never stop trying. Work smart and hard.
3/25/2013
Get out of your shell and lend a hand to those around you, even perfect strangers – you’ll be amazed at what you become and how your kindness touches others
5/29/2013
Completing tasks in preparation for a few days away from the homestead
2/10/2013
To counteract life's stresses and strains, to slow down the pace of life, stop and smell the roses...or any flower. In the absence of flowers, you'll find another way to bring a smile to your face, the songs of birds.
3/13/2012
In each of us is an innervoice that really knows what we want to be and what we want out of life but we continually ignore it for the sake of security or out of fear of failure or a million other reasons. Listen to the innervoice and heed its advice.
4/30/2012
Life is full of amazing things and remarkable people that make our lives richer and worthwhile. However, many of us hone in on what's wrong with life and others. Focusing on the good will bring great happiness to you. It will turn your life around.
5/21/2012
Many of us grow up disliking, even hating, ourselves. Learning to love oneself is no easy task, but it is vital to creating happiness and loving others. If you can learn to love yourself, you'll be rewarded many times over and be able to love others.
7/1/2012
Are you one who can't get things done on time or follow up on promises? If so, you are probably an excuse maker. To get off the hook, you'll come up with a thousand reasons why you didn't get your work done. Read this blog and put an end to excuses.
5/16/2012
This blog post tells what life was like on the self-sustaining farm of Olen and Anna Mae Showman located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia during the middle of the 20th century.
3/20/2013
How to define an egg shed? Let’s look at the definition of watershed to give the egg shed concept more shape. A watershed is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as: “The area of land where all of the water that is under it, or drains off of it, goes into the same place”. Based on the definition of a watershed, an egg shed could be defined as: the eggs produced within a certain distance that go to a specific place. That place could be your kitchen.
12/16/2011
If we want future generations to live self-sufficient lives, we have to pass on the knowledge. This week's "Photo of the Week" reflects that point.
9/12/2012
Deb Murphy shares her dad's boyhood stories about making ends meet on the farm in 1930s Nebraska.
4/26/2012
Robert Maxwell discusses why he chose self-directed education over formal college, and how this option might work for others, too.
1/27/2011
Jenna Woginrich writes about the beauty of Cold Antler Farm, a small homestead that she shares with Pig, her rabbits Benjamin and Doe and several chickens. Taking care of her animals on cold winter nights is a challenge for Woginrich, but one she gladly accepts armed with a water bottle and affection. Woginrich's modest barn provides shelter for her animals and a useful space to feel at home.
1/1/2013
In this blog, I challenge readers to abandon the typically new year's resolution and embarking on a New Year's Revolution. Read it and see if you'd like to join me on what could be an exciting and profitable new venture.
1/19/2013
We all have a rule book inscribed in our minds that dictates how we and others should act. Though handy at times, it often becomes a liability, a huge liability. See why in this blog and what you can do about it.
10/1/2012
Worrying about what others think about you can drin you of energy and make you do some pretty stupid things. What if you could rid yourself of that penchant? What kind of life would you lead?
3/3/2012
Creating the life you want, both personally and professionally, requires clear goals. By establishing the direction of your journey and sticking to your goals, you can achieve anything you want.
3/9/2012
Many people admit that their lives haven't turned out the way they'd hoped. Fortunately, it is never too late to re-design and re-create your life so that you live up to your full potential and find the happiness and fulfillment you seek.
7/8/2012
Many of us listen to negative internal messages about ourselves that drag us down, robbing us of happiness. To find happiness, you must change the dialogue inside your head. Focus on what is good in you and all that you do to brighten others' lives.
8/8/2012
Our minds are powerful things. The beliefs we hold and our perceptions can be dead wrong. Our minds can even create pain that doesn't exist. Questioning what we perceive and believe can help you live a more conscious, honest and successful life.
7/30/2014
A stack of cast-iron pans and a chainsaw helmet sum up why these homesteaders do what they do.
8/25/2011
When we stayed on an organic farm in Costa Rica, my kids and I experienced the beauty of self-sufficiency and saw how truly sustainable development benefits the local community as well as the global one. Mostly, we miss the homemade butter.
11/4/2011
Western civilization is totally dependent upon cheap and abundant energy. Three quarters of the petroleum we burn in our engines is imported. Could it be cut off suddenly? Without cheap and abundant energy, our way of life would collapse. If we value our freedom and independence, we should not be relying on foreign petroleum. We should be making our own energy. 
2/5/2013
Many years ago, years before I moved to the country, I was what would be considered "a prepper." I saw disaster every time I turned on the TV, or read the news on the internet, or visited forums that talked about stockpiling beans and bullets. I panicked, thinking I could never have enough control for the sake of my family, never be "prepped" enough.
12/28/2012
Many readers can't say no to spouses, children, bosses, and so on. To please and care for others, we often sacrifice ourselves, working long hours, exhausting our energy. There is a cure. It's a two-letter word that starts with n. Try it.
12/12/2012
Ode to our hand saw...why we choose to live without power, and what we've accomplished by hand.
1/10/2011
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
10/23/2012
The Obama Administration releases its plans for new renewable energy sources.  Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, explains that the new solar energy zones span six states and keep both domestic energy and environmental preservation in mind. If completed, the power generated from these solar energy zones would provide electricity to roughly seven-million homes.  
1/4/2013
In this New Year, my first recommendation for personal transformation is to give compliments generously to those who grace your life. You'll brighten the lives of others and your own life enormously.
11/11/2012
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
11/11/2012
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
3/24/2012
LIfe is full of adversity. Whether you succumb to it or bounce back is up to you. Knowing that no matter what life throws your way you will emerge stronger will help you become more resilient and stronger and will help you create a happier life
4/2/2012
Life presents many challenges, but if you consciously choose to be strong and resilient you can recover more quickly and grow even stronger. Your experiences will make you better able to cope and will help you live a happier, more productive life.
4/10/2012
Adversity is a part of life. Enbrace the hard times. Sometimes, adversity can lead to new opportunities that allow us to pursue new paths, sometimes even re-invent our lives. Knowing something good may arise can help us cope with adversity, too.
11/11/2012
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
12/26/2012
The thrill continues living in our handmade house.
2/7/2013
Des Moines, Iowa, gardeners may soon find themselves in hot water with their City. A local resident recently took front yard veggie growers to task for what the resident feels to be unsightly lawn growth. Beets and berries, it seems, do not have the same aesthetic appeal as a green, freshly-mowed front lawn.
9/12/2011
Rancho Margot in Costa Rica is completely off the grid and constantly closing the circle. Nothing is wasted on this self-sufficient ranch, where everything is considered a resource--including methane from the compost ovens.
3/27/2012
Learn about the advantages of urban farming from those who are leading the way. The benefits include improved food production, increased revenue sources and reduced energy use.
1/10/2013
We haul our water from the river - walking water!
1/26/2013
Making the most of a winter walk to home.
1/13/2013
Many of us make a habit out of complaining, when in fact our lives are pretty good. In this blog I suggest that gaining perspective -- focusing on how good your life really is -- will help you live a much happier life. Give it a try.
12/12/2010
Building housing projects in developing regions is extremely rewarding, but also quite challenging. It’s prudent to draw ideas from as many resources as possible to improve the process. The following guidelines have proven effective.
5/1/2012
There's honey in the hive, peaches on the trees, and food on the table, but it's still a long way from self-sufficiency.


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