small kit house
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.
This tiny kit home--less than 90 square feet--is energy-independent and so well-designed that you'd never miss the space.
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.
For an investment of less than $10,000 and about a week of labor, you could have a custom workshop, barn, garden shed or office.
The American Institute of Architect’s Home Design Trends Survey confirmed what Natural Home predicted in January—Americans are moving to smaller homes.
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.
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.
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.
Leap Adaptive's 480-square-foot, energy-efficient Hummingbird kit house makes green living affordable.
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.
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?
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
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.
Old strains of holiday cactus are easy to grow, but updated varieties rebloom more often and produce bigger, showier blossoms.
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.
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.
Made from repurposed shipping containers and recycled steel, based on Prius engineering, with a gray water system and a living roof, this Mojave Desert residence and workplace is a prototype for low-cost prefab kit houses everywhere.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
An annual survey of home buyers found that Americans want smaller homes with a focus on casual living and togetherness. From larger kitchens to outdoor living spaces, these 10 features were the most popular. Find out how you can get them, too!
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.
Looking at the differences between the current homesteading movement in the USA compared to Smallholders in the UK.
Wabi-sabi is never slobby, but we can allow ourselves to stop trying so hard and just appreciate our warm bed at the end of the day—whether it’s made or not.
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.
Renovating a heritage log cabin DIY style isn't easy, but with some thought and attention to detail, it can be done - and cheaper than you might think.
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
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."
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.
Kitchen dish towels designated only for hand drying help keep germs out of the kitchen, without going on a fanatical sanitizing binge.
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.
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.
Hand-E-Glove, the amazing protective barrier hand lotion, is now the auto mechanic’s best tool. It is applied like ordinary hand lotion but does so much more.
Living in a tiny house is good for the environment and for the wallet, but requires a lifestyle shift for the inhabitants.
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.
Here is a plan for how to build your own floating cabin, "The Live Aboard Houseboat."
Americans are turning to smaller, affordable housing. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks into this trend.
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.
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.
A University of Georgia study finds that common houseplants can remove toxins and improve indoor air quality.
Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools are made without formaldehyde or other harmful additives, through a process that eliminates waste.
Chinese worker Chen Shun Qun says she is paid and treated fairly at the factory that makes Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
Growing mushrooms can be easy if you get expert advice and stay on top of your mushroom log's needs.
We now have something to walk on other than dirt!
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 proper tea house is a luxury I believe in.
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.
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.
Natural Home chose bamboo for its kitchenware line because it's both sustainable and beautiful.
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.
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 are hoping to build a new home or weekend cottage, we would appreciate your participation in this short survey, which will gauge your interest in a variety of possible kit home features.
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.
Housekeeping tips mined from the second issue of Mother Earth News--published in 1970--are surprisingly relevant today. Use these to make this task--which we all have to do sooner or later--more efficient and enjoyable.
Learn about Bisphenol A (BPA) and its prevalence in plastic manufacturing, and get tips on how to limit your exposure to BPA, phthalates, and other unsafe chemicals in plastic.
The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Act establishes tough formaldehyde emission standards for household products made from composite wood.
Chase down household leaks and fix them to save water and money during the Earth Gauge #FixALeak Week.
Prefab is so much more than mobile homes! Explore your options for manufactured homes, modular homes and panelized homes made of wood, steel or insulated concrete.
Here are some ideas to help you plan and build a recycling center that’s just right for your environment.
A recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey found that demand for luxury products is waning. In contrast, manufacturers are seeing an increased emphasis on both accessibility/universal design and renewable materials. Essentially, homeowners are shying away from expensive (and usually unnecessary) products that add little actual value to their home, concentrating instead on features that promote energy efficiency and sustainability.
Learn to create your own heirloom kitchen garden at this 3-course series in Pennsylvania.
Read reviews of the best butter churns.
Readers share their favorite durable, long-lived, sturdy and well-made kitchen tools.
From a home built into a cliff to a home built out from laundry soap boxes, these homes prove how fun and satisfying it is to push the conventional edge. It's your house. Create whatever you want.
The first Tiny House Conference will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 16.
Do you dream about living in a tiny, super-efficient home but worry about living with less space? This list of reasons for living could help push you off the fence. Dream big, live small!
The Japanese are masterful at living in small spaces. We can learn a lot from the superbly designed microhouses that have become a hot trend in Tokyo and beyond. Take a few tours and learn a few tricks in this must-see video.
Kids Konserve provides solutions for packing waste-free lunches.
Let the ancient Japanese art of wabi-sabi help you purge unwanted items and get organized for the new year.
From a little-known sugar substitute to a conversation-starting book, this list of items for the green kitchen contains a few surprises.
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.
Here's a tip on how to grow sprouts in your kitchen garden for fun and nutritious eating.
Roger Doiron, a MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributor and the found of Kitchen Gardeners International, recently spoke at a TEDx conference about the power of gardening.
Conversion kit install to convert a hybrid vehicle into a plug-in electric and improve your gas mileage by 25%.
Sensor Plug update along with a report on Sunflowers being used as a cover crop and when to properly harvest onions.
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.
Could you heat your house with a hair dryer? Super-efficient Passive Houses use very little energy.
Handy Camel multi-purpose bag clip earns several awards during release year.
These tips will help you keep your kitchen compost free of rotten smells and fruit flies.
How to make a homemade cheese press in order to make a massive cheese.
Reuse various household materials to make a functional cheese press.
When you're facing a tricky woodworking project, it's a good idea to build a mockup
A wolf spider lives on our window sill, with a little help from her friends. Watch this video of a wolf spider catching a moth.
Readers share reports about their favorite specialized kitchen utensils.
Readers share tips and ideas for saving time in the kitchen.
Living luxuriously doesn’t necessarily mean living large — at least not in these homes — and reducing a little waste doesn’t hurt, either.
A Texas family searches for a suitable crop as supplemental income on four acres. After watermelons and flower fail, they succeed with luffa.
Outdoor kitchens, dining areas and living rooms are a great way to expand your home's living space. Designers offer advice on how to make the most of the great outdoors--in your own backyard.
Be prepared for kidding season! Set up your kidding kit ahead of time. This information will help you have the right equipment at your fingertips.
As my birthing day draws near, I am settling in and nesting and preparing our home for the upcoming birth by gathering birth supplies, essentials and creating my birth space.
Earthbag building has just received engineering approval. This is probably the greatest news ever for earthbag building. With engineer-approved plans, we see unlimited potential for earthbag building for homes, shops, schools, you name it.
Precision Engineering www.structure1.com has generously provided drawings and specifications for building earthbag structures in seismic areas to meet code. The documents have been combined into one 6-page PDF and are now available online.
Simran Sethi discusses what it takes for a home to be truly clean by avoiding harsh chemicals and using natural cleaning products.
Here are some resources to help you get started learning about straw bale building.
Recycling a steel grain bin makes great use of an existing structure. You can probably find an inexpensive used grain bin and use it for a home, office, shop or storage.
Is having too many gardens a detriment to selling a suburban home?
Auburn University students build a home using bales of non-recyclable corrugated cardboard.
A California Environmental Protection Agency’s Resources Board study finds that airtight homes lead to pollutant buildup; poor indoor air quality can damage health
Sustainability starts at home—but it sure does help to have community backing. Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence takes a closer look at the Cambridge Energy Alliance, a nonprofit, community-supported program that offers free energy audits and customized plans to make homes and buildings more eco-friendly.
Creating a micro-climate is an essential tool for your survival and homesteading skills. Making the right micro-climate for your plants specific needs will not only help them survive, but thrive as well.
Canning won't heat up your house when you set up your own portable outdoor canning kitchen.
Learn about the many kitchen and community projects supported by SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education), including the training necessary to be able to sell value-added food products at markets.
The right recipe can convert people who think they don't like cooked greens, or energize cooks in need of fresh ideas. Here we offer a roundup of recipe ideas for garden-fresh greens from arugula to turnips.
Readers share their best tips for keeping food fresh longer. Learn how to extend the life of all kinds of food, and prevent spoilage.
The fields that were laid out in 1843 for livestock farming are teeming with hay-making grasses.
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.
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.
The Bedol water-and-salt-powered clock runs for six months on a teaspoon of salt.
Put your kitchen on an energy diet without spending money on new appliances. Use these simple tricks to use less energy while cooking, freezing and refrigerating--even drinking your morning coffee.
Yes, it's possible to harvest trees from your own property to build a timber-frame structure. But here are a few things to consider before you decide to go ahead.
Building a new house with SIPS
We’ve been living in the little house for nine months and one of the things I’ve noticed is this: If I don’t pick up my stuff the house looks like a bomb went off. I don’t have a lot of stuff, but it’s still easy to create clutter piles with my limit
After weeks of planning (and a little bit of panicking), the Natural Home team finishes decorating the Blair House and State Department for the holidays with a selection of fair trade, artisan-made items that benefit our planet and its citizens.
One small brown bat can eat several thousand insects each night. Install a bat house and invite them to feast in your yard.
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.
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.
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.
Help us find the small U.S. towns and cities that are getting it right for citizens and the environment.
So maybe you can't afford the pricey furniture and decor on display at the design shows in Milan and Vegas. Just take a look at these ideas and start riffing.
Watch a video of a traveling sheep shearer at work and tell us about small-scale farming artisans in your region.
Reasons why we like to shop at our local grocery.
What we have found as an advantage of having a rural hardware store close by.
A surprising number of amenities found in a small town complete with western hospitality.
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.
Simran Sethi discusses the "wood" that makes up our kitchen cabinets, as well as more eco-friendly (and people-friendly) alternatives.
Set up a washing station in your garden. Rinse your veggies there, saving the water for the garden and keeping your kitchen clean.
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.
Kitchen Gardeners International's 20ate campaign urges Americans to say no to junk food.
Chris Larson's Asheville, North Carolina, home--already a superb example of smart, passive solar design--gets even better with the addition of solar hot water collectors.
Rosemary is known as a tasty condiment, but it has also long been used as medicine, and makes for a blissful foot soak.
A chainmail fillet glove revolutionizes a cook's potato-peeling technique. Plus, get recipes for potato and pumpkin curry soup and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi spends her first night in her new home and reflects on the struggles and triumphs of the journey thus far.
It was a cold, windy New Years evening. Logan and I were wrapped up in the covers; he was surfing the internet and I was reading a book. It was a perfect and cozy night to be at home.
Springtime happiness can be measured by the sweetness of your strawberry patch.
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company founder Jay Shafer teaches Americans how to build efficient homes of less than 1,000 square feet.
Natural Home has been invited to decorate rooms in Blair House, the President’s guest house that hardly anyone ever gets to see, and the U.S. State Department’s Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, DC in the first-ever Magazine Holiday Design Showcase, a partnership between the U.S. State Department and the Magazine Publishers of America.
President Obama plans to help earn the White House LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
I cure my spring fever by planting in a hoop house.
The White House will launch an open-to-the-public farmers market.
Did you know that you're going to have to make your digester either much larger or much warmer, if you expect to do practical biogas in the US? Well, here's that story...
There are two things that are true about biogas. The first is that biogas wants to happen. It wants to happen like plants want to grow, like fire wants to burn. And that force, that will to happen, has (at least) those two aspects: life, like the plants; and chemistry, like the fire.
The earthbag/geotextile basement wall system described here has excellent potential to save on initial construction costs and long-term energy costs. No concrete is used. The same principles have been used to build retaining walls for decades.
One of the greatest needs in the world is disaster resistant housing – houses that can hold up against hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Properly designed structures can save millions of lives and millions of structures every year.
A beautiful round stone home, hand built and located outside of Bisbee, Ariz., is for sale to the right person who appreciates handcrafted artisan work and self-sufficient living.
Karen Snyder and her partner, Sheryl Records, continue to saga of the circular stone house construction, outside of Bisbee, Ariz.
Part three: Karen Snyder and her partner, Sheryl Records, continue the saga of their circular stone house construction, on the outskirts of Bisbee, Ariz.
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
Some people just do not want help! The frustrations of starting a business and attempting to offer professional help to community organizations.
One farm is able to combine cost savings, with energy sustainability by using a Savonius rotor.
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.
Learn three simple tips for making the most of small gardening spaces, including hanging plants and advice for selecting seed varieties.
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.
Our guest blogger is positively enchanted by the convenience, not to mention the benefits, of keeping worms in the garden.
A potential solution to rising food prices, food insecurity and the obesity epidemic may call into play raising farms inside the city limits.
Anyone can have an indoor supply of fresh greens. Just try nutritious microgreens and sprouts year round.
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.
Homeowners are willing to splurge on kitchen and bath remodels, but they're not interested in building luxury or second homes, according to an American Institute of Architects survey.
In an era of increasing volatility of the weather and climate, we need new coping skills. Preparedness is an important factor in dealing with bad weather events.
I had heard there are thousands of new earthen houses in Thailand. That really amazed me, so I set out to learn the details about the modern earth building movement in Thailand.
The $300 House Project challenges student and professional designers to create housing that shelters the poorest of the poor with safety and dignity. Winners will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to see their $300 houses built and reproduced.
The ‘Kiwi House’ is organized around the primal element of fire.
Expert advice on adding single nutrients, such as Epsom salts, to your garden and house plants.
I’m curious about building a straw bale house. What are some good resources to consult?
Rice University's ZEROW HOUSE takes first place for hot water and second for architecture and market viability at the Solar Decathlon 2009 in D.C.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi talks about buying her first home and discusses what eco-friendly goals she has for her new abode.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi investigates the greenest way to move to a new house.
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house - learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
The ongoing debate between the merits and faults of Passive House design and passive solar design is important for those looking to build an energy-efficient home and for all enthusiasts of energy-efficient building. We've opened up the discussion to our online audience in this blog post. Please share your thoughts!
A video documenting the "One Day Cob House" build in Reno, Nevada.
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.
Having early tomatoes is a new goal of mine going into the first spring with my hoophouse. Join me and follow my blog to see if my strategies work.
Our selection of a house, downsizing and getting the home built.
This blog post tells about Barbara Lee's memories of her grandpa who built a two-holer outhouse for his family and surrounded it with peonies so that there would not be an unpleasant odor.
How do you find the best chicken coop design for your new flock? We'll help you walk through the evaluation process AND get a free analysis spreadsheet to help you decide.
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.
Holy cow, I just wrote a blog about cleaning. I really am turning into my mother.
Made from bamboo, wood and grass seed, this tiny house could be our future.
The Obama administration announced yesterday that it will place solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the White House roof by spring 2011.
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
The Burning House website asks people to post lists and photos of everything they would take if their house were on fire. It's an interesting glimpse into what really matters--and a bittersweet reminder to love what we have.
Last October, President Obama filled us all with hope when he announced he would install solar panels on the White House by this spring. The panels haven't materialized, and the White House isn't talking. Call Obama and find out what's up.
Help grow an organic food garden on the White House lawn. Here are some easy ways you can participate.
Get a materials list and step-by-step insructions for low tunnel construction for your backyard garden.
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.
Wasting food in the U.S., making biogas, and using food waste to do it ... (Let's not waste all that wasted food!).
There’s a gold mine out back of your local restaurant in the form of wasted food. Learn to think like an ecologist and discover how nature turns “waste” into useable, renewable energy.
Summing up: How much food waste makes how much biogas to power what functions around the farmstead?
Temperature is central to biogas production, and warmer is better. Much better. So if biogas is not a hot topic, it should be.
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.
Learn details regarding winter chicken care including ventilation for a cozy chicken house, heat for baby and grown chicks, and recommended poultry books.
With no building experience but a lot of determination, Gary Zuker built an 800-square-foot straw-clay home on the shores of Lake Travis in Texas--for $40,000.
Learn to let go of associations with price, value, age and prestige and just appreciate beauty without judgment. Nature is the best muse for cultivating wabi-sabi.
Summer's here, but the solar panels that President Obama promised to install on the White House this spring aren't. Today the administration announced that it's still working out the details. We'll just have to wait.
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.
A wind energy expert discusses the durability of small-scale wind turbines.
Watch this short video to hear how bicycle travel can save small town America.
How the small town atmosphere can enhance your homesteading and living.
The author discusses setting up small-scale dairy for local, doorstep milk sales in Great Britain.
Living in possibly the best place in the USA.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
How prepared ahead of time for remote living and what was required.
A short description of why we prefer small city living over large city living.
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.
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.
Is your patio short on space? Check out the Hot Pot BBQ, a grill that doubles as an herb planter.
Help save this small family farm in Michigan, and stand up for our right to live sustainably!
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
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.
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.
One couple recounts how they pursued a land zoning waiver in order to secure a building permit on their recently purchased rural property.
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.
Before beginning construction on their new home, one couple assesses which renewable energy sources make sense for their location and situation.
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 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.
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.
The 651 Project has been established to assist students Nationwide in their pursuit of agricultural skills and knowledge.
“Green,” sustainable homes that deliver low cost of ownership.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi stays thankful for what’s important in the midst of a big move.
On the brink of settling into her new home, environmental journalist Simran Sethi shares some tidbits of eco-information, such as how to box and save for the move, and how a few simple changes can make your home cozier and more energy-efficient.
From switching out light bulbs to bundling up your water heater, environmental journalist, Simran Sethi, shares some simple and stress-free tips on how to save energy in your home.
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
A historic ice house on the LeDuc-Simmons Estate and a local ice harvest at Lake Rebecca demonstrate how ice and other perishables were kept cold in the hot summer months during the 19th century.
This story recounts one father's hard work to help his family survive by raising chickens and farming during the Great Depression. The author also describes his family-owned homemade brooder house, which helped shelter the chickens that provided meat and eggs during hard times.
The beekeeping presentation in the kids' booth at the Tree House Club was filled with enthusiastic kids. Check out what one kid had to say about his time spent with the bees.
Marley Audio Electronics collection, which debuted last week, showcases premium, eco-conscious manufacturing and materials, including hemp.
Evergreen Institute founder's Missouri home burns; wood furnace is suspected cause.
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
The L41 is a mass-produced, superefficient home designed to provide affordable shelter for everyone.
Denise Franklin's 280-square-foot cabin in British Columbia provides everything she needs--and more.
Frugality and lack of pretense or compromise are key ingredients in creating a wabi-sabi home.
Mother readers weigh in on the wabi-sabi objects that give them joy and solace--from old books to heirloom quilts (and a few surprises). This community of kindred spirits embodies the art of appreciation. Enjoy!
My old wabi-sabi home stood witness to celebration, sorrow, our children’s first words and fumbling first steps, dinners shared at the end of each day. It provided all that a home could and should, and now it's my lesson in non-attachment.
It is not difficult to set up a backyard hoop house to extend your growing season. The result is abundant, delicious greens and extra months with your hands in the soil. Share information here on backyard hoop house gardening and cuisine.
The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.
Learn how to pinch back basil tops for a particularly bushy plant, then make delicious pesto with your harvest.
Simran Sethi describes the choices she made for her eco-friendly kitchen remodel.
Simran Sethi discusses easy (and free) ways to reduce your water footprint.
Baking the Great American Apple Pie chases away the blues and grays that sometimes afflict the homestead.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
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.
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.
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.
One homesteading couple learns what a land survey plat is, and then proceeds to have a plat completed of their rural property.
Wabi-sabi has infused Western design for centuries—though its advocates rarely knew it. It’s in the plain, efficient homes built by the Shakers, the unsentimental Arts and Crafts style, Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie houses and midcentury furniture.
So many paint colors to choose from for Simran Sethi’s home, but one standard must be met: no VOCs or harmful chemicals.
To me, the most important features of a sustainable building are not its technological wonders but its simple design features: common-sense strategies that should be incorporated whether the building becomes LEED certified, Energy Star certified, or is just trying to be environmentally friendly.
This part of the series deals with window size and location, ceiling heights, eave length, and other design and passive design choices you can make for your new home. These choices apply whether you are on or off the grid.
An affordable prototype home helps revitalize a blighted Syracuse, New York, neighborhood--and could be the city home of the future.
Green is Universal and Etsy's The Art of Reuse Contest is a gold mine for DIY home project ideas. My favorite pays homage to Audrey Hepburn's ahead-of-its-time sofa made from an old clawfoot bathtub in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Here are three great reasons that hemp cultivation should be legal in the United States: food, health and shelter.
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
Potted greens are a good complement to greens in the hoop house soil.
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 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.
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.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
Turn low value plastic trash into valuable building blocks with a $300 homemade press. Free plans for a hand operated press are available. A mechanized version could be made by converting a log splitter.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi goes through the process of rejuvenating her hardwood floors, and describes how to avoid harmful ingredients in cleaning products, such as volatile organic compounds, in the process.
How do you keep backyard chickens safe from poultry predators? With a bit of elbow grease and a few tips, your girls will be safe from sharp teeth.
A story of life, death and rebirth of a hoop house.
Announcing an opportunity to get Anna's new Ebook for free today at Amazon on the subject of homesteading in a mobile home otherwise known as a trailer.
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.
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
As Passive House Institute standards up the ante, USA Today’s “Best Green Homes of 2010” list reflects Americans’ desire for affordability, efficiency and style.
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
When Steve Sikora and Lynette Erickson-Sikora restored Frank Lloyd Wright's first small, affordable home, they discovered how green the iconic architect really was.
Charles and Ray Eames are modern wabi-sabi heroes who brought fresh, spare furniture, without pretense or stodginess, to the masses. Their home was a wabi-sabi masterpiece.
Wabi-sabi is sinewy, flecked browns and yellowed greens, the myriad stone and moss shades, a slate-gray cloud’s washed violet underside. Like nature, wabi-sabi paints in multidimensional swatches that are never what they appear to be.
Two years ago, the Natural Home & Garden staff had the honor of decorating President Obama's guest house with sustainable and handmade holiday decor. Try some of these "president-approved" projects yourself!
If you just happen to need white dinner rolls for a crowd at Thanksgiving, here's the recipe. Also, check out some really cool contests and special offers from King Arthur Flour.
One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.
A "how to" for building a hoop-style greenhouse using PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.
Wabi-sabi teaches us appreciation for the good energy and soul that handmade items bring to our homes. Etsy, the premiere source for handcrafted home goods, offers an extensive list of items whose sale will benefit Japanese relief efforts.
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.
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.