Learn how to start seeds indoors using inexpensive fluorescent lights.
Homemade transplant pots from newspaper save money and reduce waste.
You can make your own fire starters from cardboard, sawdust, lint and melted candle wax or buy them ready-made.
Tips on how, when and why to grow your own seedlings.
Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.
The staff at MOTHER EARTH NEWS plants tomatoes and peppers during a seed-planting project at the office.
When lettuce is mentioned, many think of the standard iceberg lettuce found in supermarkets and restaurant salads. That is changing with the growth in popularity of the different types of lettuces from Romaine to head and leaf-type lettuces, mainly due to the flavors and colors that they offer from deep red to almost white and noticeably sweet to tangy and slightly bitter.
Check out our time-lapse video of peppers growing from seed to sprout.
Kids get to have fun, learn about gardneing and start veggie seeds at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.
A video guide to making the fire-starting tinder that has worked best for me the past two decades, whatever the weather.
Readers share their favorite garden seed companies for a chance to win a gardening prize.
An expert on do-it-yourself projects explains how to apply the fundamental KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) to tractors.
Use this parabolic mirror as a handy pocket-sized firestarter.
Is it really necessary to give my new chicks “chick starter” feed? Any reason why I can’t simply give them “layer” feed right away?
A great way to use up extra sourdough starter.
TERA-Light is a perpetually renewable fire starter that requires no batteries, no chemicals — only air and organic plant material!
Don't throw away that extra sourdough starter. Turn it into delicious muffins, crackers, pancakes and more.
An automotive whiz explains why it's not a great idea to let your car warm up by idling.
Catch the gardening bug, and start to grow your own food! Once you start, you’ll love it. Here are some basic pieces of advice for the budding gardener.
A look at how many hives to start with when beginning beekeeping.
Many people waste too much time each trying to get motivated to work. As a result, they get a lot less done than they need to or would like to. In this blog, I show a way that has helped me for many years get motivated to work and stay on task.
A gardening expert discusses what you should do with your seedlings after they sprout in their indoor greenhouse containers.
A reader inquires about how to set up a community seed swap.
Swap seeds at the Mother Earth News Fair Community Seed Swap at the Green Festival in Washington, D.C.
Readers share information about new varieties of fruits and vegetables they plan to grow this year, and why.
Try a simple seed viability test to see if your old seeds are worth planting.
Summer comes on fast in the Southeast. Expert gardeners Ira Wallace and Pam Dawling share some tips to keep ahead of the heat and a recipe for Roselle Dessert Bars to help you appreciate the heat when it comes.
Volunteers work to start the Sunset Hill Elementary School Garden in Lawrence, Kan.
You can get more for your gardening money with a group seed starting effort.
This is the second part of our foray into sourdough baking. Here are tips and insight on sourdough to make working with it even easier.
To be a successful beekeeper we must overcome our initial fears.
Getting started each day presents a major challenge to many people. With so many pressing demands, it's often difficult to know where to start. Feeling overwhelmed and panicked, you may end up frittering away your time. He's a trick to get you going.
These resources will help you learn how to grow food and start a garden.
If your loved ones were depending on you to start a fire for their warmth in a pouring rain, could you do it? Survival expert and author of PRACTICAL OUTDOOR SURVIVAL, et al, shows you how it's done.
Get prepared for the season with useful tips for seed saving with Art Davidson, expert from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed.
Here are five great companies to buy seeds from.
So, what do you do if you neglected to start your veggies way back in January or February? You had good intentions but there always seemed to be something that stole your attention. Now it’s the planting season and you have nothing to plant...
Organic seeds have benefits for your garden. Learn what our expert recommends and how to find organic seeds to plant.
Comstock, Ferre & Co has operated for almost 200 years and, with the help of new owner Jere Gettle, is undergoing a revival.
Bring your best heirloom veggie or other unique saved seeds to the Seed Swap at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR taking place Sept. 25 and 26 in Pennsylvania.
Sourdough waffle recipe.
This is amazing! Pairing sourdough with beer and wine, 10-ince pancakes, what next? We're taking sourdough to the next level for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
Laura Weaver has managed BeeWeaver Apiaries, along with her husband, Danny Weaver, for nearly 2 decades. She has seen the bee industry and the public image of the bee change, as well as their own family bee business.
Ditch unhealthy school lunches with a fresh lunch idea for kids: school gardens. Beyond putting fresh, healthy food in schools, cafeteria gardens are a great classroom tool and a big step towards more sustainable schools.
Sowing tiny seeds for fall crops is easy with discarded plastic seedling trays and strips of fabric for lifting soil cubes.
Jump start your tomato harvest two months before everyone else with these simple instructions!
One way to get a jumpstart on the growing season is to start growing your seeds indoors. For most of you it’s still cold outside. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a headstart on getting your garden started for the new year.
Gardening is as easy as you want it to be!
January is the time to start your indoor seeds for spring planting. Here is a calendar for starting your spring and summer seeds.
You can make your own seed-starting flats from scrap wood you already have or from pallets.
A long-time gardener describes the seed-saving technique for cucumbers.
An interview with Jeremiah Gettle, discussing his thoughts on and solutions to pressing environmental issues facing the world today.
To ensure we have a full productive garden, each spring I start a habit of carrying a packet of seeds in my pocket every time I head to the garden!
Get advice on all things garden seed, from organizing seeds and ordering seeds to understanding seed catalog terms such as open-pollinated and F1 hybrid.
Highlights from the catalog of Fedco Seeds, by the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Many gardeners save seeds from their plants for use the following year, but this technique doesn't work equally well with all vegetable varieties. Here's what you need to know to figure out which plants in your garden you can save seeds from.
Highland Kale (Brassica carinata – aka Ethiopian Blue Mustard, aka Gommenzar) is not quite a kale and not quite a mustard. It is a very versatile, and delicious “winter” green, that’s also not just for growing in cool seasons.
Homegrown.org blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares tips for deciding which seeds to order — in other words, which vegetable varieties to grow.
Tips for starting seeds indoors and a calendar for when to start your seeds indoors for a Zone 6 garden.
This is a beginner's guide to getting started with sourdough bread making. With directions on how to make your own starter, or where to order some, this will get you on your way towards making some delicious breads, biscuits, pancakes or waffles.
How to measure tomato seedlings for success before planting into your garden.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
Starting seeds with children indoors is a project that extends into outdoor planting of the seedlings in spring and harvesting produce in the summer. It allows you to share success and satisfaction with children and makes it more likely they'll eat their vegetables!
Which fire starting tool works best - or at all?
The garden is 58 by 112 feet and it's planted!
Overview of the activities of a garden in March. How to prepare the soil for spring. What varieties I am planting this March in our Zone 6 garden.
What seeds to plant by month in a Zone 6, or Midwest, garden, plus seed-sowing times for spring and summer crops.
Growing lettuce and other leafy greens indoors with an aeroponic system in a south-facing window seems like a wise move, especially during this long, snowy winter. Here I will explain the basics of growing greens with an aeroponic system, starting off with the initial expenses and moving on to pH and nutrient solution. Then I’ll hope the sun provides enough life-giving rays long enough each day to grow some leafy greens.
This blog post takes a look at some of the methods we have developed over the last 25 years growing vegetable seedlings in our certified organic greenhouses. This time we take a look at the conditions required for healthy seedling growth.
Learning how to make a soil block is a simple skill capable of permitting one to become involved within their local CSA or farm. It can also be a great way to meet local farmers, reduce CSA membership fees, and learn about organic gardening. Before each seed is sowed it must have a soil block to grow in. Being part of that initial step brings great joy.
Dragging my feet to get spring started, afraid to fail and making the decision to jump in an succeed or fail already!
This blog post shares some of the simple techniques learned through many years of experience by someone who grows vegetable seedlings for a living.
One of the easiest ways to make your own newspaper pots.
Make a shelf or table into a growing space for starting seedlings.
By starting seeds indoors, you get a jump start on spring garden planting.
Every year gardens suffer from the "blight effect" on tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants. If left alone, the disease can prevent plants from flowering and maturing altogether. Here are 5 easy steps I encourage everyone to take before next year's garden even begins to sprout.
Growing peach pits doesn't get much easier than this.
Some people just do not want help! The frustrations of starting a business and attempting to offer professional help to community organizations.
Seed starting techniques and timing for an urban homestead in the Pacific Northwest.
Just as people are more comfortable and productive at certain temperatures, so are your seeds. Consider the soil temperature before you plant.
Sorting through seed catalogs is one of the most entertaining tasks we have here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS. These garden seed catalogs come in handy when searching for just the right variety of heirloom veggies to grow, and they're fun to look at too!
As fall nears, sunflowers are beginning to die off and it's time to harvest their seeds! In this post I bring you through the steps to harvest and prepare your sunflower seeds for eating!
In July and August, it’s time to start thinking about planting crops for fall. But how do you get good seed germination when the soil is so hot?
Interested in seed saving but worried about mistakes? Have questions about seed saving? Here’s the chance to give your input in a new seed saving class!
A native southwestern milkweed seed is now available, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Terroir Seeds, The Xerces Society and Painted Lady Vineyard over the past 2 years.
A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your homestead.
Puhwem Native American corn was the mother corn of native people. It's one of the best corns for making corn flour.
Seed Savers Exchange, which many MOTHER readers say is the best seed company, has won the Gold Award for its great seed catalog.
Yes, spring is finally here. Time to start farming.
A description of what a seed library is and suggestions for why you might want to be involved with one. Links are included for more information.
In addition to my taste for shelling peas, I also want to get the first taste of the season to show off my gardening prowess.
Planting heirloom, non-genetically modified seeds is a great way to help preserve endangered plant varieties--and the planet's very ecosystem.
Hemp seed is a powerful source of protein, Omega-3, vitamins and minerals, and has a delicious nutty flavor!
If you think it's important to prevent Monsanto and other corporate giants from controlling the seed supply, you may want to consider donating to Organic Seed Alliance. Here is a short video about the work they do.
We are creating two neighborhood nurseries where we'll raise trees and plants to share with neighbors to develop a neighborhood food forest.
It’s time to start garden planning for spring 2015! An uncomplicated way of collecting and organizing your information during those long winter days is to get some index cards, scissors and tape. Cut out the plant varieties from catalogues that you find interesting, with the pertinent information tape this information to the index card to take along to the nursery come spring.
Let packages of heirloom seeds say how much you care.
Cam describes how the seasons progress through one messy task after another at Sunflower Farm.
This blog tells you how to test seeds that you’ve saved from last season to see if they are worth planting.
Blossom-end rot is a perennial problem – meaning we will deal with it every year in our gardens. This doesn't mean that it can't be successfully minimized, with a jump start and some knowledge that gives us a leg up for next season. We will show you what causes blossom end rot and both the prevention and treatment to make sure that you minimize your losses this year.
With GMOs seemingly everywhere you turn, it’s hard to know where to buy non-GMO Seeds. Here’s how to keep GMOs out of your garden.
With spring on its way, I am thinking about gardening, home grown food and what it takes to grow plants from seed.
The Living Seed Company is working to preserve genetic diversity in our food chain, through the distribution and growing of open pollinated seeds and preserving the ancient art of seed saving.
Do you know about the magic of milk and molasses in improving your garden? Yes, plain old milk of any kind – whole, 2%, raw, dried, skim or nonfat – is a miracle in the garden for plants, soil and compost. Molasses only boosts the benefits! Let’s see how and why they work.
Make homemade tahini paste in your kitchen.
The Living Seed Company is creating a platform to inspire gardeners and gardeners to be.
Don’t let the cost of gardening keep you out of the dirt this year. Cheap gardening can be fun and easy. With these tips for gardening on a budget, you’ll save on seeds, make your own fertilizer and impress your friends with your gardening know how.
Barbara Pleasant offers a step-by-step plan to starting seeds.
This article takes an insider’s look at how the seed business works, and what you can do to get the best-quality seeds.
Deciding where to buy seeds can be a perplexing challenge. How does a conscientious gardener choose seeds that will grow well, look lovely and taste great, but also support sustainable seed farmers and healthy environments?
Highlights from the catalog of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, by the editor in chief of Mother Earth News.
Learning to save seeds from one harvest to the next takes you a step further towards self-sufficiency and helps to save genetics of plants needed for the future.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking readers’ stories of home-based businesses, and we’ll pay $50 for each story we use.
What to plant in April for your vegetable garden, and what sized pot you need for your vegetable plant.
Have you started your tomatoes and peppers yet? 'Tis the season to start seeding long season crops indoors. If you normally buy organic starts from your local nursery, try your hand at seed starting.
It's mid-February, time to start thinking about spring! Ira Wallace helps us make our garden plan, remember our perennials, and Plant a Row for the Hungry this year.
Our process of buying the land for our homestead had little to do with logic and a lot to do with emotion. For me, it was a chance to return to the plains where I grew up and be close to family.
Jim and Julie are starting their homestead in Texas while still living in Australia. Managing the project by remote control is the challenge, and they are learning as they go. This is an adventure of faith and confidence.
Confused about the difference between hybrids and genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? Learn more about how cultivating hybrids is different from developing GM vegetable varieties.
Tasty whole-grain crackers — simple to make, quick to disappear.
A chainmail fillet glove revolutionizes a cook's potato-peeling technique. Plus, get recipes for potato and pumpkin curry soup and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Roasted pumpkin and squash seeds are a yummy, healthy treat. And it's easier than you think. Here's how to roast squash and pumpkin seeds in just four easy steps.
Collins hails milestone of the company becoming employee owned.
Tom Newmark won't rest until he's helped establish 10,000 seed sanctuaries--living gardens devoted to propagating and nurturing endangered plants--across the world. He came a step closer this week with the establishment of a sanctuary in India.
Jessica visits the 890-acre farm belonging to the nonprofit Seed Savers Exchange, the largest nongovernmental seed bank in the U.S. and a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving our nations heirloom seeds and biodiversity.
Finca Luna Nueva's Sacred Seeds Sanctuary is a living laboratory to nurture tropical and native species through the next 10 years of climate change.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
Summer intern Megan describes her first time gardening at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, planting cucumbers for the first time and watering the office garden.
Heirloom vegetables are multi-use crops that have been passed down from gardeners for decades, sometimes centuries. Respected author and gardener, William Woys Weaver, discusses his reasons for using heirloom plants and saving seed.
How far along are your tomatoes? Ira Wallace gets inspired by gorgeous gardens in Asheville, North Carolina, and shares a quick, easy recipe for tomato sauce.
Giving your ornamental and vegetable garden a thorough cleaning in midsummer not only leaves the landscape looking better, but can help prevent damage from diseases and pests by removing the conditions in which they thrive.
Goats are terrific weed eaters, and do a great job clearing land for you, why not utilize them for clearing your pastures!
Just as libraries transformed society by giving everyone access to books, the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library is providing all citizens the opportunity to borrow seeds and grow their own food. Start a seed-lending library in your town!
As organic industry leaders urge consumers to take action against GMOs--the biggest threat the industry faces this year--soapmaker David Bronner gives $25,000 to seed an anti-GMO march on Capitol Hill.
Tips for learning to grow and spin cotton.
Using newspaper, learn how to craft easy, biodegradable pots to start seeds.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
Read this excerpt about heirloom beans from Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Growing, Seed Saving and Cultural History by William Woys Weaver. This book will help you re-discover heirloom vegetables from our American culinary and gardening roots.
Growing some of the most delicious and sometimes expensive gourmet vegetables doesn't have to be hard. Artichoke, bronze fennel, kohlrabi, leek, and savoy cabbage are among the vegetables that grow well from seed.
"Organic farmers have the right to raise our organic crops without the threat of invasion by Monsanto's genetic contamination and without harassment by a reckless polluter. Beginning today, America asserts her right to justice and pure food."