It's important to prepare your Micro Dairy or small farm for winter by making small improvements to your facilities. But it's also important to mentally prepare for the dark, cold months.
Looking at the differences between the current homesteading movement in the USA compared to Smallholders in the UK.
The author discusses setting up small-scale dairy for local, doorstep milk sales in Great Britain.
Step 3 of "How to Start & Manage a Micro Dairy in 26 Steps" will help you understand how to handle cows and what to expect during milking.
Finding time to make improvements on a small dairy is difficult but making a few improvements as the seasons change can often make a micro dairy or any size small farm more efficient. Here are 7 steps to help you prepare your barn for the cold winter months.
Americans are turning to smaller, affordable housing. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks into this trend.
Smallholder farmers around the world have practiced traditional, subsistence farming for as long as farming has been around. Using manure as a natural fertilizer can make the difference between barely scraping by and growing enough to earn an income.
A big benefit of running the private and FDA-certified Bob-White Systems Dairy Lab is that we get to see what works and what doesn't work to keep milk clean. “Clean," for our purposes, means that it passes Vermont's Tier II Raw Milk Standards, which happen to be some of the most stringent in the country — more stringent than federally regulated pasteurized milk standards. At the lab we perform FDA-certified testing to ensure raw milk producers are compliant with Vermont’s standards.
Empty nesters Ed and Joan Kobrinski downsized their lifestyle and moved to a smaller home where they could grow more vegetables. "We've learned to enjoy and appreciate living comfortably and contentedly with less," Ed says.
Ed and Joan Kobrinski left a large family home for a smaller, simpler cottage—and they’ve never looked back. Their tips for downsizing and living in smaller spaces could help make your transition easier.
Using fresh raw cream to make butter by hand.
Making your own buttermilk and créme fraîche (French sour cream) is so easy, you'll never buy it again.
The American Institute of Architect’s Home Design Trends Survey confirmed what Natural Home predicted in January—Americans are moving to smaller homes.
How to finance your micro dairy and manage your budget for success.
With its recent FDA approval, the first LiLi pasteurizer was purchased for use at a New York micro dairy.
After almost 50 years of raising cows and dairy farming in New England, I’ve developed what I consider to be 15 universal truths for micro dairy owners.
To satisfy today's home buyer, a developer of million-dollar luxury homes in New York is offering smaller, more affordable houses--more anecdotal evidence that the McMansion is dying.
We passed the "phosphataze" test with the Health Protection Agency and know that the milk from our dairy farm is safe to sell.
Mark Oldham shares childhood adventures of taking care of dairy cows and beef cows including milking, herding cows out to pasture and employing a cattle call in Appalachian country.
Builders and designers believe that low-e windows, engineered wood products and eat-in kitchens will be key characteristics of new homes in the future.
As the economy improves, the trend toward smaller homes is reversing.
A National Association of Home Builders report and a Better Homes and Gardens survey find that builders and homeowners are moving toward smaller, more energy-efficient homes.
Managing the feed regimen for cows in a micro dairy environment is a matter of setting clear goals and understanding what your cows need.
All land is not created equal when it comes to raising animals on a micro dairy.
In the wake of the summer solstice, HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan takes time to appreciate the longest days of the year.
A dairy goat owner chronicles the frustrating beginning of her first breeding season.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan reflects on the changes that arrive with fall, including her own sense of melancholy.
Choosing the business model for Bob-White Systems micro dairy.
Follow Sarah Cuthill's search for a dairy mentor and her very first experience milking a goat.
More goat babies and finding ideas to make money on a farm.
Facing massive snow drifts, HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick forges a new path to her barn and finds inspiration in the process.
A boy growing up in Appalachian Country shares the farming practices of his family.
A Texas family searches for a suitable crop as supplemental income on four acres. After watermelons and flower fail, they succeed with luffa.
Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, according to a recent American Institute of Architects report.Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, says an American Institute of Architects report.
Living luxuriously doesn’t necessarily mean living large — at least not in these homes — and reducing a little waste doesn’t hurt, either.
Sayra and Dominic live with their 5-year-old daughter in a charming 550-square-foot home in rural Idaho. There are challenges, but they've found that less really is more. "It's like living in a fun clubhouse," Sayra says.
Micro Dairy Industry Leader, Bob-White Systems, Launches E-Commerce Site.
Why I have never trimmed my cow' nails in 8 years of running a micro dairy. Read on to choose whether you want to be trimming your cows' hooves.
The fields that were laid out in 1843 for livestock farming are teeming with hay-making grasses.
Katie and Martin Clemons are resetting their priorities as they settle happily into a 480-square-foot apartment in Berlin. “Living smaller has taught us to live more simply,” Katie says. They bike more, shower less and enjoy their good life.
I’ve learned that gardening in small spaces can be challenging, but I’ve had great success with a Topsy Turvy tomato planter this year. Have you used similar products in your home? How do you handle gardening in small spaces?
This unusual water-powered clock from Bedol is powered by salt and water.
Diana and Tony Varnes are the happiest they’ve ever been, and they attribute their well being to living in a small home. They have more time for reading, talking and enjoying the outdoors—and their relationship is better than ever.
The Bedol water-and-salt-powered clock runs for six months on a teaspoon of salt.
"Garbage in, garbage out," is as true to goat nutrition as it is to the computer world and more folks should take heed!
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan learns that giving up control, whether over a mischievous flock or a single lamb, can have its own rewards.
We are trying to wrestle back the food business into our neck of the woods. To create a micro dairy and a micro economy for all to enjoy. Wish us luck !
A guide to creating realistic goals for your micro dairy based on your own experience.
Guidance for aspiring micro dairy owners and managers when navigating regulations and permitting on the local and state levels.
Five shops depend on Whitey Top farm for fresh milk supplies.
Author Maggie Bonham recounts the various ways she's managed to obtain free goats, including Craigslist ads and trading for chickens.
Now the milk is in the chill room and we can eat cheese and freshly made chiabata with nearby cheese and horseradish sauce.
Did anyone ask if you wanted your milk to be homogenized?
How a small and inexpensive High Temperature-Short Time pasteurizer could change the dairy industry.
A chemical-free way to keep goats' teats clean and the milk pure.
A new homesteader commits some classic mistakes when buying her first goat.
Dairy goat farmer Julia Shewchuck learned a lot about keeping dairy goats in her first few months (and much more since). It was a learning curve too steep to be repeated willingly, but which has saved many other goats’ lives since.
Understanding and effectively executing a breeding program depends on understanding the calving cycle and when and how to dry a cow off in preparation of calving.
Silvopasture is a newfangled word for wooded pasture. Basically, all it means is that you are using wooded land with trees and forage for pasture. The trees can be managed for firewood production and/or saw logs and provide welcome shade and shelter for your livestock and forage.
Cows, goats, sheep, water buffalo, camels and, even, horses have been successfully milked by hand for thousands of years. Though it's an age-old practice, milking a cow by hand is not as easy as it may first appear. It’s best to know what you are getting into before you take on this important farming task.
The flavor and shelf life of the milk you sell directly to consumers are directly impacted by how the milk is produced and handled on your farm. Here are my best practices for handling and producing the highest-quality, most delicious milk on the farm.
Spending the time to get to your goats is more important than you may think
Cows love routine. The more things stay the same for cows, the safer and more secure they feel. Here is my abbreviated list of best practices for milking a cow, learned over many decades in the barn.
Your homestead is complete when you get your own cow for milking. But problems such as a cow who holds her milk or who kicks can make milking difficult and even dangerous. Here are some helpful hints so that you can enjoy your cow and enjoy milking her.
Cows are big, powerful animals, and milking puts you right beside the strong hind legs and feet. If you find yourself with what I call a kicky cow, there are steps you can take to manage the animal.
Whether you abstain from dairy by choice or you’re lactose intolerant, you probably know how difficult it can be to find really great non-dairy cheese. I’ve taken away some of the guesswork by reviewing some popular brands: Vegan Gourmet, Daiya, Dr-Cow, Chreese and The Vegetarian Express. Read about my dairy-free cheese experiences, and let us know which brands you’re loyal to.
Janice Spaulding teaches goat husbandry both at her farm in Maine, and around the country with her "Goat School."
I can hear it now: “What the devil? Angus? They are not milk cows!” Well, it all got started when the neighbor purchased four, what he was led to believe were, Black Angus calves from someone in a valley some distance from us. But the udders on these two cows were huge! They clearly had more milk than the calves could handle.
Here are 12 simple tips that will help you to fight the war on worms and coccidia in goats.
There are many non-dairy sources of calcium to choose from to make sure you are getting enough of this vital nutrient.
How and why I started using leftover raw milk as a natural soil supplement and fertilizer on my dairy farm.
Apartment Therapy's annual Small Cool contest, featuring homes of less than 1,000 square feet, is a gold mine for smart ideas that make tiny spaces elegant, graceful and liveable.
Karen and Tony Tipsword's rehabbed 720-square-foot cabin allows them the freedom and independence to live their dream of running a campground. "Being happy does not mean a large home filled with things," Karen says.
How to flush a small engine and repair a clogged carburetor.
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
Help us find the small U.S. towns and cities that are getting it right for citizens and the environment.
Follow these simple guidelines to make the most of your small space: contain clutter, find furnishings do double-duty, and make maximum use of color and light.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan Redick divides her time differently these days, Before Milking and After Milking, in the wake of spring births on her Maine dairy farm.
Selecting the location for the Bob-White Systems’ micro dairy barn.
Why we chose to build the Bob-White Systems barn we did.
Choosing cows for the Bob-White Systems micro dairy.
A homesteading family undertakes Extreme Home Makeover: Goat Edition at the possible expense of their sanity.
Raising dairy goats has benefits that extend beyond fresh milk and cheese.
A look into each dairy breed, on how much milk each one averages and what to expect in taste.
There are some questions worth exploring, find out if there is a BEST way to clean your goat's udder before milking.
Cow manure is a key indicator of bovine health and well being. After milk, it is the most valuable thing your cows will produce. Micro-dairy expert Steve Judge explains why it pays to get comfortable with cow manure.
The blog describes the experience of applying for a federal grant and shares some advice for others who might want to follow in those foot steps.
After a rocky start, the second half of breeding season ends happily for both goats and owners.
Ilene White Freedman contemplates sharing goat milk with the nursing kid.
How installing a pipeline milking system can help dairy farmers of all sizes make the most of their valuable time.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan recalls how the seasons affected her childhood and how they guide her activities now on her Maine dairy farm.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time of being a goat herder, it’s that at breeding time, the goats are in charge.
Dyan writes about the changing season at Bittersweet Farm, and introduces us to the newest member of the flock, a black sheep named Little Man.
An introduction from a goat-crazy Oregonian.
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.
What to look for in a buck, and how to choose a herdsire.
The third and last part in choosing a herdsire.
The second part to choosing a herdsire for the dairy goat herd.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!
Overdue does, goats with bloody milk, harried milkmaids... Oh where does it end?! Life isn't ALWAYS roses in the goat life; sometimes it does leave you tired frustrated.
The summer days are getting longer, and so is the list of barn chores! Goats are kidding, cows are arriving, and a dream of having a raw milk dairy is becoming tangible.
Nutrition breakthrough lets health conscious consumers drink in the benefits of Omega 3s.
Even dairy goats can have self-esteem issues...
Our little farm received the USDA Value Added Producer Grant and we are embarking on an exciting future. Be with us from start to finish.
What you need to think about to prepare your cows, barn, feed and yourself for the cold weather.
Feed and hay management tips to get through winter.
Helping your cows transition from fall to winter can be easy to do. Here are five steps to consider when the cold weather starts settling in.
Creating your own start-up is full of obstacles, but rewarding. MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Jessica Vaughan shares advice from her experience as a first-time small business owner who teaches clients how to grow organic produce.
A surprising number of amenities found in a small town complete with western hospitality.
Reasons why we like to shop at our local grocery.
Katie and Martin Clemons share how they make super-efficient use of every inch in their 36-square-foot kitchen. How much appliance do you really need?
Watch a video of a traveling sheep shearer at work and tell us about small-scale farming artisans in your region.
Gary Chang's brilliant solution to making a 330-square-foot apartment work for his family was to create a sliding wall system that can be configured into 24 different rooms. You have to see this one to believe it.
What we have found as an advantage of having a rural hardware store close by.
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
Before space beneath your grow light is needed for onions and other early seedlings, fill it with baby lettuce grown in translucent clamshell salad containers.
A potential solution to rising food prices, food insecurity and the obesity epidemic may call into play raising farms inside the city limits.
Ranging in size from 528 square feet to 960 square feet, miniHomes are a combination of park model trailer, manufactured home and code-compliant residences that combine modern design with state-of-the-art building technology.
Some people just do not want help! The frustrations of starting a business and attempting to offer professional help to community organizations.
Learn three simple tips for making the most of small gardening spaces, including hanging plants and advice for selecting seed varieties.
One farm is able to combine cost savings, with energy sustainability by using a Savonius rotor.
Our guest blogger is positively enchanted by the convenience, not to mention the benefits, of keeping worms in the garden.
Ryan Mitchell, founder of TheTinyLife.com, is saving up to pay cash for a 130-square-foot home on wheels in North Carolina. He’s seeking perspective, clarity—and a girlfriend who gets it.
Victoria Gazely considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin on 7 acres of fertile earth--purchased for $150--a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
The original weeHouse prefabricated kit house is 435 efficiently designed square feet and comes with everything you need to live well. Need more space? You can snap together two or more of the modules to satisfy your needs.
Dairyman Nick Snelgar reflects on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health certification process and bagging hay for winter on his UK dairy farm.
While it's almost impossible to completely avoid GMOs, you can minimize your exposure by eating organic and knowing which products are the worst offenders.
When one of her goats starts looking for love for the first time, and hollering her little head off, Angela has to do some quick thinking to keep her precious pets from becoming that night's dinner!
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner.
“For anyone considering downsizing, or considering a small starter home, we say just do it!” Linda Bolton says. “We promise you won’t miss a thing living in a thousand square feet or less. You’ll just have smaller headaches.”
Landscape designer Alma Hecht turned a tiny house into a welcoming home and studio with cozy outdoor "rooms" that extend her living space.
In support of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above energy strategy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Nov. 19, 2012, 10 small business-led projects to speed solar energy innovation from the lab to the marketplace.
Victoria Gazely lives in a 650-square-foot homesteader's cabin built by a man who didn't need closets. She's found five great ways to stash her stuff without renovating--and her solutions work for anyone who needs to hide a few things.
Bob-White Systems is bringing the cows back home by providing supplies, equipment and support for Micro Dairies, Home & Farmstead cheesemakers and small-scale producers of local and farm fresh dairy products.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
Watch this short video to hear how bicycle travel can save small town America.
An experiment in urban gardening produces a melon miracle.
Learn how to grow more food in your organic vegetable garden without enlarging your garden space by using the space-saving gardening techniques outlined in this short video.
What to plant in April for your vegetable garden, and what sized pot you need for your vegetable plant.
Think your balcony's too tiny to provide food and fun? Check out Apartment Therapy's great tips for making the most of your outdoor space.
Anecdotal evidence from coast to coast indicates that Americans have had enough of granite countertops and whirlpool tubs. They want smaller homes with green finishes instead.
Help save this small family farm in Michigan, and stand up for our right to live sustainably!
A wind energy expert discusses the durability of small-scale wind turbines.
Book reviews by permaculture educator Cindy Conner. Learn about Sustainable Market Farming, The Art of Fermentation, The Permaculture Handbook, and The Small-Scale Poultry Flock.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
Is your patio short on space? Check out the Hot Pot BBQ, a grill that doubles as an herb planter.
How the small town atmosphere can enhance your homesteading and living.
A short description of why we prefer small city living over large city living.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
A proper tea house is a luxury I believe in.
Living in possibly the best place in the USA.
After working four jobs to make payments on their larger home, Debra and Gary downsized--to 320 square feet. The family lacks for nothing, and guests are always welcome. "I've got everything I need," Debra says. And their $20K house is paid off.
When he renovated his 816-square-foot condo in Boulder, Colorado, Greg Miller borrowed space-saving and efficiency solutions from his years of living on the road. Check out this video of his van, prepped for adventure.
A Berkeley, California, artist has outfitted a dumpster with all the amenities--including granite countertops and hardwood floors--in his mission to "break down what a house should be."
A brief announcement of a rare educational opportunity ... a wind turbine installation. We'll be installing a 2.5 kW Skystream wind turbine on a 127-foot tilt-up tower.
How prepared ahead of time for remote living and what was required.
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.
Tyler and I spent an afternoon creating a footpath and campsite in our woods. Now we can go camping with friends and enjoy meals (and s’mores) over the campfire whenever we have the time or desire.
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.
Blume Distillation debuts appropriate-scale biofuel distillation equipment that will allow farmers, entrepreneurs, municipalities and communities to produce their own alcohol fuel from a variety of readily available fuel stock sources.
Christy Oates's brilliant fold-out furniture takes up virtually no floor space when it's not in use. It's the perfect solution for small homes--and a hopeful sign for the future of design.
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
This tiny kit home--less than 90 square feet--is energy-independent and so well-designed that you'd never miss the space.
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
In her new book, Micro-Green: Tiny Houses in Nature, Mimi Zeiger profiles 36 creative, innovative small dwellings that represent a "new, rich architectural typology." Here are eight great examples to start fueling your fantasies.
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.
Steve Judge of Bob-White Systems in Vermont offers his Micro Dairy expertise in this blog series on how to start and manage a Micro Dairy, from farm and barn planning to selecting dairy cows, goats and sheep to daily operations and being profitable.
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.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
With no building experiment and only the information they found online as their guide, Kyle and Jeannie built a sweet little home on wheels. In this video, they share what they learned in the process and invite you inside.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
After a tree crushed the back of their shotgun home (while 40 Hurricane Katrina refugees were camped out there), a Baton Rouge couple rebuilt a green, energy-efficient house that encourages connection with their neighborhood's "front porch" culture.
If you have access to small diameter trees and wood pallets, and live in an area not restricted by building codes, then this truss design is one good low cost roof option. If you do all the work yourself, these trusses are virtually free.
This article describes an alternative roof design for those building in areas without building codes. A little extra effort working with poles will reward you with a stunningly beautiful wood ceiling and superinsulated roof at very reasonable cost.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
The roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
With its newest offering, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company gives homebuyers the flexibility of a kit house with the fine craftsmanship they expect from the flagship small home builder.
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
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.