small diameter wood
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.
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.
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.
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.
How big a woodlot would I need to heat my home with wood for the entire winter?
Find out whether a wood pellet stove is right for you, and discover the best stove to buy.
Looking at the differences between the current homesteading movement in the USA compared to Smallholders in the UK.
Wooden toys made by you for that special child in your life will be memorable gifts.
B&R Automation announces partnership to serve renewable energy industry in US and Canada.
This product is an ideal tool for woodworkers and log home builders.
This machine adds creativity and detail to woodworking projects
Heating with wood in a cast iron stove.
What type of flooring makes sense for a small woodworking shop? Check out these expert suggestions.
Here are your options for sealing a woodstove.
Woodstoves can have indoor or outdoor air supplies depending on factors and requirements for the building.
Americans are turning to smaller, affordable housing. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks into this trend.
Putting a safety fence around a woodstove keeps small children and pets safer.
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.
Do you have a woodstove or pellet stove at home? We’d like to hear more about your experiences with woodstoves and any tips you may have for heating with wood.
Wayne Keith and Chris Saenz have been making woodgas history. Follow their achievements via the Wood Gas Adventures blog!
Woodstove sweepstakes winner Ken Newman plans to use his new Vermont Bun Baker to heat both his home and his meals. The Bake, Crackle and Broil Giveaway, sponsored by MOTHER EARTH NEWS, awarded the $3,400 woodstove to Newman earlier this summer.
Elmira Stove Works offers distinctive, superior quality appliances with its innovative line of Fireview cookstoves.
Diamond sharpening stones make the work of sharpening chisels, plane blades and other edge tools go quickly and easily.
Learn the basics of woodworking with this book — or buy it for a young friend or family member with an interest in the hobby.
Fine Woodworking Editor Asa Christiana shares his design for an easy-to-build workbench.
Build your own 1960s-style wooden lawn chair and chaise lounge and put a little retro in your backyard.
The challenge of refurbishing an ingeniously designed 30-year-old combination woodworking machine was just to intriguing to resist. I found my Zinken MIA 6 on Craigslist, then proceeded to make all 5 functions work like new again.
It is a busy time for planting here. Not tomatoes, peppers, or squash, though. We got in our order of trees from the Missouri Conservation Dept. last week. In the past, we had planted mostly walnut, but we have a good enough supply of our own walnut seedlings that we are focusing on native trees that could use a boost to restore the forest to what it once was. So we are planting pecan on the bottom areas, shortleaf pine on ridge tops where the soil is poor, and burr oak on the better upland areas.
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.
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.
A blog about the joys of wood heat that covers comfort, energy savings, ecology and history of the trees and sustainable harvesting
Cam loves growing his own heat!
The Warm Heart of an Iraq War Vet’s Washington Log Home
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, provides tips on splitting firewood for home heating via woodstoves or fireplaces.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
Springtime happiness can be measured by the sweetness of your strawberry patch.
When Woods End Labs recently tested biodegradable plastics and found that most aren't compostable under home compost conditions, one reader (known as Eco-Oxo) wrote that Oxo biodegradable bags aren't designed to biodegrade under compost conditions. Woods End Labs is following up, taking the reader's suggestion and testing Oxo under the conditions Eco-Oxo recommends. This is Part 1 of the new test, where you can follow along and see how Oxo fares under different conditions.
Whether you have a small grove of trees or acres of woods, this manual will guide you through the right methods to care for and sustain your land.
Here's how Wayne Keith he shuts down the wood gasifier when he gets to where he's going.
Here's Wayne Keith lighting up his woodgas truck. He's driving on wood before he gets out of the driveway!
Get a glimpse of some of the unique exhibitors at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, outlines some suggestions on how to become an expert carpenter who can work with wood anywhere.
Check out the Kimberly stove, an energy efficient, small space wood cookstove.
How to keep your livestock warm and your life full on chilly winter days.
Learn how to clean your own woodstove and chimney.
When you're facing a tricky woodworking project, it's a good idea to build a mockup
Dovetail joints that are hand made are a strong woodworking joint.
A first blog by sawmiller & long-time homesteader Dave Boyt. A little of my past history, and how I'm using my sawmill.
Steve explains how one practical guy invented a way to burn pellets efficiently without an expensive pellet stove
The basics of using a woodstove to heat your home.
The best way to start a fire in your woodstove.
On a snowy winter morning, the kitchen table becomes the grand cathedral of a home. It is the place of family, song, wood fires, community and love as we wait for spring.
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.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary explains how to prevent, identify and stop robbing in the beeyard.
A first look at the newest vegetable crops in the garden before the CSA harvests begin.
Ilene Freedman and her family reshaped their Chanukah tradition to feature family activities instead of presents.
A little background on how Ric and Vicki moved from Detroit to a Tennessee homestead, and starting to get up to date on what they've done since.
Making Music on the Front Porch ... let's define what the musical Front Porch is.
The American Institute of Architect’s Home Design Trends Survey confirmed what Natural Home predicted in January—Americans are moving to smaller homes.
Here’s what to look for when purchasing a portable table saw for DIY building projects around your homestead.
Photo of the Day features a rustic wooden bench handcrafted by a reader. Be sure to submit your own photos to share your favorite moments with us and other readers. Maybe the next Photo of the Day will feature it!
After only a few nights with a wood stove in the tipi, I've become happily addicted to warmth I have to work for.
Burning driftwood in a stove produces dioxin, a hazardous pollutant. Here's why that happens, and what you should know.
The "Jøtul Changeout Program" offers a voucher for a new EPA-certified wood stove in exchange for an outdated and non-EPA-certified model.
Hay season on the Keith farm means lots of work for the wood-powered truck! Check out these videos of Wayne's farming operation.
Gasification guru Wayne Keith shows us some of his daily farm operations.
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.
Wood gas, or wood gasification, is a decades-old renewable energy technology that converts chunks of firewood, wood chips or other cellulosic biomass to power vehicles.
You can run a truck on wood chips! No joke. Mother Earth News reported on this idea more than 25 years ago and the idea lives on. Using recycled water heaters, you can burn wood chips to power a truck, with little or no engine modifications required.
Turn an old section of bowling lane into a beautiful, sturdy, reclaimed wood dining table.
A 100 % non-toxic wood treatment/wood preservative.
Every day, Wayne Keith proves that wood gas can be a practical, renewable and sustainable transportation solution. Certainly not for everybody, but certainly for anyone with moderate welding skills, a sustainable source of wood or other type of biomass, and a sawmill or access to a sawmill. I think there are many, many MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers who fit the previous description, just for starters.
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.
Learn how to pinch back basil tops for a particularly bushy plant, then make delicious pesto with your harvest.
What happens when you gather 100+ wood gassers in one place? They have a convention! The wood gas meetup in Argos Indiana was a blast, check out the photos!
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.
Check out this expert advice for what kind of finish to put on a wooden deck.
The U.S. Green Building Council singles out the Forest Stewardship Council as the only trusted wood certifier.
There are many ways to protect wood from the effects of weather, what is your favorite technique?
The U.S. Green Building Council may revise its LEED rating system standards, which currently award points only to Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood products.
For a natural looking wood finish, use a mixture of linseed oil and turpentine.
Installing an outdoor wood burner is a great way to make your home more energy efficient. Find out whether such an investment can count toward energy credits on your income tax return.
Although paper is a wood product, it's not always the best answer for mulch or compost.
A "how to" for building a hoop-style greenhouse using PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.
How to make candles you can really light from the peel of Clementine oranges. A wintertime craft...just oil and an orange peel!
A travel log of our family's mission to find local food sources on our trip to Puerto Rico.
Cooking meals on a vacation can be easy. Bring some essential items with you and enjoy homecooking, on vacation.
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.
Your deck or other outdoor structures may be made of wood treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). Learn more about CCA-treated wood and how to dispose of it.
When it's cold outside, who doesn't love a cozy fireplace or woodstove? Wood heat is a comfortable way to warm your home, and there are many reasons it's a practical choice, too.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Associate Editor Thaddeus Christian discusses the best firewood for your wood-burning furnace so you can enjoy wood heat all winter.
Traditional Appliances Make a Comeback
I just came across these videos that show the wood gas Isuzu Trooper built by our friends at Beaver Energy in action and had to share them.
The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Act establishes tough formaldehyde emission standards for household products made from composite wood.
Yes, you can power a car or truck on wood. Chip Beam thinks it won’t be long before we encounter a gas shortage and/or significantly more expensive gas. So what can be an alternative source of energy to power our vehicles? How about wood chips or pellets of plant matter? It may sound bizarre, but it really works. Here’s the first post in a new blog devoted to wood gasification for transportation.
Using wood ash in the garden can be beneficial for raising the soil pH of your garden soil. These tips will help you know when to use wood ash in the garden.
Wood stove considerations that should be considered before you purchase a stove.
Make a yule log—out of wood or chocolate—and welcome the sun’s return.
Reform of chemical regulation would give the EPA a strong hand in which products get to consumers, and a new Senate bill limits formaldehyde levels in composite wood products.
Columbia Forest Products, one of the nation’s largest hardwood manufacturers, connects consumers to green-mind manufacturers of formaldehyde-free products using its PureBond Fabricator Network.
Choosing natural, environmentally friendly flooring is an easy way to keep your home healthy. Choose natural linoleum, cork, sustainable wood, natural wool carpet or tile.
How we repurposed an old leaky wood stove to use outside to cook meals on.
With a few key supplies, you can revive worn wood flooring without heavy-duty sanding.
We dipped candles from our hive's beeswax to celebrate winter. Candlemaking is a nice seasonal craft. Here’s how we did it, plus some tips to get you started.
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.
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.
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.
Help us find the small U.S. towns and cities that are getting it right for citizens and the environment.
The unintended death of a charming little creature raises the realities of life on a farm homestead.
Using a hot summer day to grow the winter wood pile.
From log to the mill to the project in no time at all.
A short lesson and video on stacking firewood in round piles
Wood is a wonderful motor fuel! But how much do we need? Wayne tells us how efficient his truck really is on wood gas, and we take a look at how much we'd use if everyone decided to drive on wood.
As winter approaches, we switch out our wood cookstove for the winter woodstove
From roasting on a split to baking in a tannur, you'll find rediscovered techniques and recipes that capture the flavors of wood-fired cooking in "Cooking With Fire" by Paula Marcoux.
There is hard work homesteading in the mountains and the weather dictates much of those challenges.
How having a rhythm and routine assists in accomplishing difficult tasks.
You can build your own industrial-chic reclaimed-wood table with only a few hand tools, spending about $120 on copper pipe.
Photo of the Day features a rustic wooden bench handcrafted by a reader. Be sure to submit your own photos to share your favorite moments with us and other readers. Maybe the next Photo of the Day will feature it!
Jeld-Wen's new Custom Wood line combines character with energy efficiency in windows and doors made from salvaged, reclaimed wood. It's the best of all possible worlds.
Keeping the project going is my goal.
Energy-efficient home comfort product makes central HVAC systems and auxiliary heating and cooling appliances more effective.
The benefits of owning a home wood mill and the economic advantages if you have available timber.
Cam describes how the seasons progress through one messy task after another at Sunflower Farm.
Cam hates to see good scrap wood go to waste and so he cuts it into kindling and has even started selling it!
Unforgettable Fire's Kimberly and Katydid wood stoves are heating solutions for any and all spaces.
You can make your own seed-starting flats from scrap wood you already have or from pallets.
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.
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.
A surprising number of amenities found in a small town complete with western hospitality.
What we have found as an advantage of having a rural hardware store close by.
Reasons why we like to shop at our local grocery.
See a video on how Steve finishes interior wood with waterbased stains, and why you might want to think beyond just brown colours.
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.
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.
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.
Living in a tiny house is good for the environment and for the wallet, but requires a lifestyle shift for the inhabitants.
Anyone can have an indoor supply of fresh greens. Just try nutritious microgreens and sprouts year round.
Some people just do not want help! The frustrations of starting a business and attempting to offer professional help to community organizations.
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.
If you're considering purchasing a pellet or corn stove to save money on your heating bills this winter, here are some issues to think about before making that investment.
Wayne Keith of Alabama sets a new world record for land speed via wood gas.
Learn how to sharpen your chainsaw properly with a file and guide
Many wood finishes contain toxic solvents or heavy-metal drying agents. Learn which nontoxic wood finishes are best to use on decks, fences and unfinished, wood-sided homes.
Wayne you'd better slow down! The master of vehicle gasification is hard pressed to stay within the speed limit.
With winter beginning, these homesteaders are starting winter off cozy in their cabin.
Taking a bath in the winter takes a little more planning at our off-grid, no-plumbing home.
If you’re getting ready to build a home or begin a woodworking project, consider building with sustainable wood products. With help from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council databases, you can locate sustainably harvested wood.
Ever wondered what its like to drive around using wood as fuel? Tag along with Chris as he fires up his wood gas truck.
Hit the road, using wood for fuel! Chris Saenz takes a trip on wood gas power.
Tips on how to use "best burn practices" at home to minimize wood smoke and protect your health.
The Efel line of woodstoves, crafted in Belgium, is now available exclusively from Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio
Built tough for storm cleanup, tree felling, and firewood cutting, the MS 271 STIHL WOOD BOSS chain saw is designed with improved ergonomics and equipped with a low-emission, fuel-efficient engine.
Support these longtime anti-GMO activists and organic farmers in the construction of a new repair shop for their vintage seed equipment.
Even after 15 years, Cam still loves heating his home with wood that he cuts himself.
A lookout tower home, which features reclaimed materials, connects its homeowner with her past, present and future.
The ‘Kiwi House’ is organized around the primal element of fire.
Sawing their own lumber enables home owners to fulfill their dreams.
Made from bamboo, wood and grass seed, this tiny house could be our future.
Build your own space-saving table from recycled wood.
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.
Cam describes why his method of harvesting firewood from his woodlot is the most sustainable way.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold catches up with Chip Beam of Beaver Energy to hear about Beam's latest exploits with wood gasification to power vehicles.
With an understanding of your limitations, you can operate more safely and efficiently. Training in timber cutting techniques can greatly expand your capabilities
Regeneration of trees on a harvested area give hope for generations to come.
Our good and bad decisions on selecting a dealer and a wood stove.
The EcoAire is designed to be installed in much the same fashion as a window air conditioner and just as easily.
Ah, the fun begins for building a wood pallet guitar. In this post, we apply the following building steps: planning material, matching the right tools to the wood, shielding cavities, and basic electric guitar electronics assembly and testing.
Cyndee and Tony love being in control of their own power and never having to worry about rate increases and outages in south-central Colorado. Solar panels, a wind turbine and a wood-fired boiler keep them plenty warm and happy.
Tearing out wall-to-wall carpet is one of the healthiest things you can do. Dress up the scuffed wood floor underneath using plant-based paint and stencils. You'll never miss the rug.
While giving her small home a deep green retrofit, designer Tracy Parker finds that reclaimed wood flooring is grounding and gorgeous.
Whip olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice into a cheap, effective polish for wood furniture.
“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.
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.
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.
Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The author discusses setting up small-scale dairy for local, doorstep milk sales in Great Britain.
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.
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.
In order to secure a building permit to construct their future home, we must first complete a soil evaluation and meet the county's requirements for septic system installations.
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.
A short description of why we prefer small city living over large city living.
How prepared ahead of time for remote living and what was required.
Living in possibly the best place in the USA.
How the small town atmosphere can enhance your homesteading and living.
One couple recounts how they pursued a land zoning waiver in order to secure a building permit on their recently purchased rural property.
When it comes to building their home, one couple decides to hire a contractor to handle the process, but still plans to design their own home and provide labor and materials as much as possible.
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.
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.
If you want to be hands-on with your house building, a kit home can be an affordable, energy-efficient option. One homesteading couple assess whether building a kit home is right for them.
Scroll through a short collection of photos documenting the groundbreaking process as one couple prepares to build a home. First up: moving dirt and laying a gravel driveway.
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.
Spring has been slow to arrive in the Green Mountain State. But there are signs of spring in Vermont and that means preparing your Micro-Dairy for the change in seasons. Bob-White Systems' Steve Judge shares more tips to transition a Micro-Dairy into spring.
Before beginning construction on their new home, one couple assesses which renewable energy sources make sense for their location and situation.
The steps involved in receiving a building permit require some advance planning and paperwork. If you’re hoping to build in the future you’ll want to review the building permit requirements in your area several months before your planned construction start date.
Steve shares current results and recommendations from his 20 years of observing and applying deck finishing products and techniques.
Heat Recovery innovator produces a safe hot water heating system kit for wood stoves.
Simran Sethi discusses the "wood" that makes up our kitchen cabinets, as well as more eco-friendly (and people-friendly) alternatives.
No one had ever attempted to set a land speed record for gasification vehicles so Beaver Energy was the first.
Back at the lab we are installing a new three inch line from the air dryers to the throttle body.
Ever wonder what, exactly, you're getting when you pay a little extra for Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood and paper products? This video offers a comprehensive look at the FSC's roots and branches.
Made from natural minerals, sea salt, water, sand, recycled coal byproducts and natural fibers, CompoClay is a promising alternative to gypsum, engineered wood and resins.
Looking at all the wood powered cars
Cam Mather tries out a battery-powered chainsaw at his off-grid homestead in Ontario.
Wood Prairie Farm encourages citizens to sign a petition in support of family farmers and to attend the citizens assembly on January 31st, 2012.
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, answers a homeowner’s question about how best to apply a smooth finish to wood furniture.
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, answers a homeowner’s question about how best to apply a smooth finish to wood furniture.
Explore how you can make your own home grown organic fuel to power your own transportation or electricity.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research in Germany have developed a new type of insulating foam.
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.
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.
One homesteading couple learns what a land survey plat is, and then proceeds to have a plat completed of their rural property.
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
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.
Whether you are buying a house, purchasing land, or getting ready to build your own home, we recommend starting by setting your priorities and then matching a house design to your needs.
After finding some basic online building plans, the next step to getting a future home built is to find a designer to draw the house plans.
One homesteading couple reads up on passive solar house design and then modifies online options to create their own custom passive solar plans. Here are their recommended resources.
Before beginning construction on their new home, this couple is taking steps to prepare their land for their impending move-in by planting perennial natives, building some walking trails, cutting firewood to dry, and more. They’re having a blast!
If you want to build a passive solar house, you’ll need to spend time upfront carefully considering your house plans. Here’s how one couple worked with a contractor and a designer to draw up and then finalize their small home plans with energy efficiency and lifestyle in mind.
Not all green building materials are fancy, engineered products. One couple explores the saved-from-the-landfill options at local Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Hard to beat preventing waste, supporting Habitat for Humanity’s mission, and finding great deals on materials for a new-home construction in one fell swoop.
In order to secure a building permit to construct a new home, many counties require a septic system inspection and approval. Here’s how one couple had a successful “perc” test done at their future home site, along with a quick explanation of what a perc test is.
Protecting the fig tree for the winter felt like putting it to bed for a long sleep. Chopping wood with the Chopper 1 is a thing of joy and beauty and that's no joke. Do it yourself corn bin helped our neighbor keep the racoons out.
Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!
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.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
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
Knowing where lumber sawyers exist locally opens the door to all kinds of DIY projects. For example, storm-damaged trees can be turned into useable lumber instead of heading to a chipper or landfill. But you can take advantage of milling lumber at local sawmills only if you know where to find them. There are online resources to help you find a sawmill near you. Search by state or Zip code using the sawmill locators below and you will be on your way to turning raw wood into quality-cut lumber for DIY projects without the need to purchase any equipment yourself.
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.
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.