Lonely Lane Farm, which has called Mt. Angel, Oregon, home for three generations, has reinvented itself as a natural, sustainable livestock producer and added a meat processing capability to remain financially viable.
The project is moving forward and most of our focus is on building the interior walls and developing a plan for the next stages of the project. Part 7 takes a look at the unique framing that was required.
Part 6 explores the range of decisions that a person has to make on a project. For me, I had to decide how to stay on this project and if it was worth it.
Planning a custom kitchen design that incorporates sustainable materials and supports a self-reliant lifestyle can be done. Read one couple’s experience and thought process as they do just that. The graphic shown here is a computer-generated draft modeling of the cabinet design for their future kitchen, but note that the colors and materials do not reflect what will be the final look.
In the shadow of increasing climate chaos, human survival requires not only the intelligent actions of individuals but also thousands of communities of human beings who have had their inate intelligence awakened and who realize the fundamental link between life and land. In this regard, Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) provides a useful and egalitarian model for sustainable food systems of the future.
Part 5 takes the reader behind the scenes of this massive project. Most people only see the pictures and the smiles on people's faces on projects like these, but the larger the project, the larger the reality as we see in Part 5. The reality is, the project can be tougher off the building site than on!
As the question of what it means to be “green” is becoming more frequently asked, many new rating systems have been introduced to measure the performance and sustainability of everything from appliances, food, buildings, and corporations. But what if we could rate the largest and most complex things that humans build with one methodology? The International Ecocity Framework & Standards Initiative takes on the challenge of rating cities.
Dylana Kapuler and Mario DiBenedetto are public-domain plant breeders and seed-saving stewards. Their Corvallis, Oregon company, Peace Seedlings, is focused on continuing the work and building on the legacy of Dylana’s parents, Alan and Linda Kapuler.
The project continues to gain momentum as the group of local workers, lead by me, work through every weather conditions to get the project ready for the front walls.
By now, the project is starting to gain serious momentum, the great challenge at this point will be trying to sift through the dozens of people walking up the driveway who are looking for work.
Dylana Kapuler and Mario DiBenedetto are public-domain plant breeders and seed-saving stewards. Their Corvallis, Oregon company, Peace Seedlings, is focused on continuing the work and building on the legacy of Dylana’s parents, Alan and Linda Kapuler.
The Tao of Vegetable Gardening by groundbreaking garden writer Carol Deppe explores the practical methods as well as the deeper essence of gardening. She focuses on some of the most popular home garden vegetables—tomatoes, green beans, peas, and leafy greens—and through them illustrates the key principles and practices that gardeners need to know to successfully plant and grow just about any food crop.
In The Nourishing Homestead, Ben Hewitt along with his wife Penny tell the story of how we can create truly satisfying, permanent, nourished relationships to the land, nature, and one another. With plenty of practical ways to grow nutrient-dense food, build soil, and develop traditional skills, this book is sure to inspire a new generation of homesteaders.
Located in the heart of southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley, Whistling Duck Farm has built a legacy of organic farming innovation in this rugged and independent part of the state, and now it's growing a successful fermentation business.
In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel teach readers how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non timber products. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.
Grow Where You Are is a social enterprise focusing on assisting communities in creating local food abundance systems. After creating small-scale urban food systems nationally and internationally for over 15 years, we see that even the most effective systems can be easily dismantled without land security. We propose supporting local growers in a transition to home ownership with a dynamic web of community partnership.
Located in the heart of southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley, Whistling Duck Farm has built a legacy of organic farming innovation in this rugged and independent part of the the state, and now it's growing a successful fermentation business.
Suburban life has always been synonymous with long hours in the car. That’s changing now. Arlington, Virginia, shows how feet on the street helps a community thrive. Learn about how Arlington is promoting walking through city initiatives as well as 10 more cities that are striving to make their communities more walkable.
A list of the 6 most basic questions to ask before a buyer purchases a green home.
Donna Smith and Robyn Streeter provide daily proof that an abundant amount of organic produce can be grown in urban and suburban yards of all sizes. Part 2 of this excerpt looks at some of the challenges of farming 25 different locations.
Herbicide residue can linger in soil and ground water for years. Use these proven methods of strategic burning, grazing, cover crops, mowing and “frost interseeding” to establish your native prairie, and avoid harming wildlife.
Donna Smith and Robyn Streeter provide daily proof that an abundant amount of organic produce can be grown in urban and suburban yards of all sizes. But getting this ground-breaking operation off the ground was not easy.
Soy is currently the leading source of protein in most animal diets, but mealworms offer a more efficient and sustainable alternative.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research in Germany have developed a new type of insulating foam.
In addition to raising livestock in a healthy and humane way, a major goal of John and Christine Deck and their children is to help reestablish family farming as a viable economic endeavor. Part 2 looks at the challenges faced when kids leave home.
In addition to raising livestock in a healthy and humane way, one of John and Christine Deck’s goals is to help reestablish family farming as a viable economic endeavor.
For first-time chicken owners (or even for experienced chicken enthusiasts), selecting, purchasing, and preparing for your home chicken flock can seem like a daunting task. After thirty years of raising chickens, here’s Forrest Pritchard’s personal guide to ensure your new flock remains safely tucked beneath your wing so you can start a flock of chickens without worry.
How to choose a sustainable flooring product. Review of sustainable flooring used over time and links to more material choices.
Adaptive Seeds, inspired by an international seed sharing project, sells public-domain, open-pollinated seeds. In Part 2 of their profile, Sarah Kleeger and Andrew Still commit to Adaptive Seeds full-time.
Adaptive Seeds, originally inspired by an international seed sharing project, sells public domain, open pollinated seeds. Most of its seed is adapted to the Pacific Northwest and similar season northern climates.
With extensive training behind them, Rowan Steele and Katie Coppoletta make the choices that lead them to begin farming at Fiddlehead Farm in Corbett, Oregon.
The decision to replace an old refrigerator should not always be made based only on how well it is functioning. New Energy Star models have many energy-saving and cost-saving advantages that can make that decision much easier.
This is a must see film about the poverty America’s migrant farm workers faced 55 years ago. Although many of these scenes are far from pretty it can be used to inspire and motivate people to support their local and sustainable farms.
Rowan Steele and Katie Coppoletta have embraced the profession of farming and, in turn, have discovered a way of living that suits them perfectly at Fiddlehead Farm in Corbett, Oregon.
Our quest to make pasture egg collection more efficient.
Farmers markets are becoming more common every day, but many fail after a year or so, and others are having trouble getting off the ground. Here are a few ideas from a couple of long-time Oregon farmers market pros that might help keep your market going strong.
When we produce locally what we consume locally creates cells of sustainability. The shorter our supply lines the more resilient we become. More importantly, sustainable cells produce a healthier and more beautiful way of life.
The six owners of Oregon’s Winter Green Farm have effectively navigated the journey from homestead to successful biodynamic farm. This profile of Winter Green Farm has been excerpted from "Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement."
Learn about the different types of earth-sheltered homes and why you should consider digging in the ground to find your next residence.
Originally founded as a homestead in 1980 by Jack Gray and Mary Jo Wade, Winter Green Farm has grown to become a successful biodynamic farm in Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley. This profile of Winter Green Farm has been excerpted from "Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement."
All-natural pork from wild hogs is safe to eat, has wonderful flavor and could feed the world. Here's how to trap them in the wild.
John Clark Vincent excerpts from his book Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement and shares information about new developments in sustainable farming practices coming out of the state of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. His interests range from seeds to slow food and include pretty much everything in between the two as they relate to Oregon’s sustainable farm movement.
A new approach to conventional agriculture would unite not only row crops and prairie plants, but farmers and environmentalists.
Leaving a job with benefits and security to live a simple, country life, also known as un-jobbing, can be scary, but as we learned, so very worth it.
The new home for Friends School of Portland will be only the third school in the United States to achieve Passive House certification.
Mary Quinn Doyle shares a background about how she became involved in a volunteer project traveling around Maine for over two years visiting over 180 unique farms to take photos and write stories about them for an educational book and website.
Composting toilets add sustainability to a homestead because they use zero water to flush. The waste from compost toilets are safe to add to compost piles. Additionally, it is handy that they don't require connecting to a septic system. This article describes two brands of composting toilets.
Of course solar-powered lights and furniture made out of recycled materials are eco-friendly. But what about these products? You might be surprised by how eco-friendly some consumer goods are.
Could you eat only food grown within 100 miles of your home for 10 days?
Learn more about this challenge and why you should consider taking it on.
Finding the right balance between obligations can be a challenge.
In 'Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation,' author Tradd Cotter offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices, shares the results of his groundbreaking research, and offers creative ways to apply cultivation skills—whether the goal is to help a community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale.
Permaculture is at the heart of the solution of many environmental crises. Permaculture is alive with the possibilities of positive change.
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.
Step Forward Paper is a new type of paper made most from wheat straw (80 percent to be exact) with the remaining 20 percent made of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood fiber.
Monsanto's Roundup Ready system transformed typical weed problems into a national superweed crisis, only healthy farms can correct the damage done.
"The Farm Then and Now" by Douglas Stevenson tells the story of The Farm: an intentional community that has defied the odds, blending idealism with a practical approach to create a model for sustainable living.
Organic gardeners often need to remove mammal pests such as groundhogs and raccoons. Like many, I use live traps. How to deal with a skunk you accidentally catch, without getting sprayed?
Leading food sovereignty activist Vandana Shiva will present “Cultivating Diversity, Freedom and Hope” in Kansas City. Many other farming and gardening workshops and events are planned for April 17-18, 2014.
Reynaldo Ochoa, the subject of a new short film, grows with a goal of teaching and practicing permaculture unique to an individual's region, emphasizing sustainable farming as opposed to “slash and burn” agriculture.
While you may already look for eco-friendly organic wine when you select a bottle, you're probably not aware of the environmental implications of opting for a wine closed with natural cork in lieu of a less sustainable synthetic stopper.
Celebrate meals with homegrown or local food. Tips for making your celebration gatherings zero-waste events.
For many people, going green seems like a daunting task, but in reality, a few simple lifestyle changes is all you need.
Self-dubbed “lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin describes how sustainable living and more conscientious agricultural practices can mend and revive a planet pushed near the brink.
In Kenya, even for middle class families, much of what ends up on the dinner table is grown or raised at home. With food prices rising, more and more Americans are looking towards ways of growing some of what ends up on their table at home. Both in terms of personal health, and the environment, this is a very good trend—it's a food source as local as you can get.
Every now and then we need to re-evaluate our thoughts, just as we re-evaluate our things. Learn about making cloth Christmas gift bags and find out how walking barefoot in the grass is good for you.
Many sustainable agriculture groups sponsor conferences in the winter. Learn more about these opportunities to continue your learning and broaden your network.
Sustainably harvested cork creates a beautiful flooring material that’s competitively priced with other kinds of sustainable flooring.
With just about every breed of standard bred, heritage poultry, we have work to do. They are not producing like they once were.
When you do business with someone, you are indirectly condoning their methods. with access to the internet, anyone can do a little research to see which businesses are living up to our high expectations.
From the outset, Earthineer was built to support and promote sustainability and homesteading as a lifestyle choice. Every feature we have planned has that goal in mind. What we have now is the foundation that we'll build off of.
Working in the potato bed produces the next blog article.
Eric, Michael and Loren decided to build a winter shelter from natural and re-used materials two winters ago, their first ever natural building experiment. This is an account of that experience that changed their lives in mysterious and unforeseen ways (for the better!).
Who would think it’s possible to discover the artist in me, incubate a business, plus milk goats, grow a garden...all in one unforgettable summer. I'm a rich woman by any standard.
So, what makes a flock of poultry sustainable? What is standard-bred poultry? If you purchase chicks from a hatchery, are they true to the breed? Why does every hatchery sell Rhode Island Reds and they all look different? Why do the Cornish Cross meat chickens have so many problems? Raising standard poultry is the only true way to improve the sustainability of quality local food while preserving the strength of Heritage poultry.
This listing links to information resources related to sustainable agriculture, organic farming and gardening, and growing and buying good, safe food.
“Grow a Sustainable Diet” is an upcoming book (spring, 2014) that helps you plan what to eat and what to grow, feeding you and the Earth while maintaining a small ecological footprint.
Use an interactive map to compare your home states eco-friendliness, based on factors such as air quality, water quality, gasoline consumption and availability of public transportation.
Incorporating charcoal into the soil helped Amazonian farmers grow better crops, and its new industrial version is promoted as a panacea for both agriculture and the global climate. Those claims are not realistic.
Using a hot summer day to grow the winter wood pile.
Passive solar design comes to Navajo families, as architecture students build homes on Utah reservations.
It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked:
Why do we do all this work?
Focus on Food records an episode from Chaffin Orchards and discusses sustainable farming and the ethics of eating meat.
Completing tasks in preparation for a few days away from the homestead
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
Forming a food producers and artisans cooperative brings together farmers, crafters and consumers hoping to revitalize their community, preserve skills and continue the economy of neighborliness
How feeding the hungry amounts to action on behalf of a planet on fire with a toxic yang imbalance.
Missoula, MT company awards home owners sustainable products.
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.
ForestEthics exposes Sustainable Forestry Initiative Greenwash, catalyzing growing corporate trend and grassroots consumer movement to avoid SFI.
A three-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
KOR Water has announced the reusable Nava filtering water bottle.
It was becoming pretty obvious the crowding and lack of light were real limitations to my mini garden. Then, the idea of a trough on the windowsill came to mind, combining a way to water all the plants uniformly and efficiently all at once. Great, now how to make this trough? Wood? Sheet metal? The choices all seemed expensive, clumsy, prone to leaking...then the light bulb went on in my head: gutters!
The all-new RZT S ZERO is available in select markets and will be headlining the Cub Cadet Test Drive Experience Tour.
Animal products provide vitamin B12 in your diet, which is necessary for a healthy nervous system. Learn what and how much you would have to eat to meet your daily B12 need and other considerations for adding animals to a sustainable diet.
A few months back I heard a comment on an NPR radio program that really caught my attention. The program was about the local food movement and at one point the guest on the show said, “Now remember - just because it’s local doesn’t necessarily mean it has a smaller carbon footprint. That Argentinian apple that was shipped on a barge with thousands of tons of other apples may actually have required less fuel per apple than the apple than came from a few hundred miles away in the back on a farmer’s pickup.”
In this section you will find stories of real farmers across the country that made it work. You'll find their story, how they did it and who helped them. We hope these stories will inspire and educate new farmers, as well as land owners and community members to become involved in the new agrarian movement. A growing trust.
Want to Save on Earth-Friendly Products? Check out Worm's Way's sale by clicking on the Earth Week banner at WormsWay.com and enjoy up to 20 percent off your purchases.
Honey bees, the Boston tragedy, and our power to create the world we’ve been waiting for.
There are two situations which do not require you to be heating your home: when it is warm and when you are not at home. Since it is still a bit chilly outside, you may want to consider setting up a routine of turning down the set temperature on your thermostat when you head out in the morning and when you go to bed.
Cuba's bike transformation was the result of a change in context induced by external forces. It was a disruptive event that forced them to adapt. Here in America, a land of such excess, no such sudden disruption looms (nor could it be predicted, I believe). Our transportation context is centered on the car. Our culture and economy are “driven” by the car. So, how do we create a culture of transportation that is dominated by bicycles?
This current situation is a perfect example of the 80/20 rule of homesteading: 80 percent of your time, energy and effort is spent on maintenance; 20 percent on progress towards the dream. A majority of your time homesteading is spent covered in chicken poop, squashing potato bugs, figuring out why gas isn’t getting to the carburetor in the ATV and shoveling snow after dark by headlamp.
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
What is Pesticide Drift? “Pesticide drift” is the movement of a pesticide through the air away from the intended target. You might actually see the drift in the form of a mist. You may smell it. But it can be invisible and odorless. The spray may be applied from the back of a tractor — referred to as a “rig.” Or it may be applied from a spray plane or helicopter.
Our work in the woods starts long before we get the chainsaw and axe out; by being in the woods, observing and contemplating. We're looking for healthy trees that we can help to thrive and that will be of benefit in the future.
Consider these simple steps for making your backyard flock-friendly.
are at the vanguard of thoughtful sourcing, choosing local, sustainable farms
and cooking seasonally.
According to FDA data, the quantity of antibiotics sold for livestock use in this country continues to rise, topping 29 million pounds in 2011. This has a direct effect on the efficacy these same drugs will have on us. Sam Spitz has personal experience with a resistant illness and FamilyFarmed.org asked him to tell his story. It’s a cautionary tale that should have us all making better food choices. Read how we can all influence the campaign to end the misuse of antibiotics in livestock and keep antibiotics working for us when we need them!
One of my earliest vivid childhood memories is sitting on my father’s lap as a young girl reading the magazine together in the 1980s and all throughout my childhood. He would read aloud while I studied the pictures of passive solar building, vegetable gardening, sheep shearing, building your own sugar shack and the beautiful array of topics which he read to me frequently. Those images, along with the camping trips in the mountains, the whitewater and canoeing excursions, and our family trip to Alaska, have been etched in the catacombs of my childhood memories and have sculpted the person I have grown to become.
The place I call home these days is The FarmSchool, a fertile 180-acre strip of ridge top in Athol, where 15 student-farmers are spending a year learning the ins and outs of growing food, managing forests, and raising animals for meat. I arrived at the farm in October, just as the leaves were reaching their peak brilliance. The Farm School — which offers three-day programs for schoolchildren, a summer camp, a full-time middle school, and the apprenticeship program I’m in — takes us through all seasons of farming, weaving together class work and on-farm training.
To what extent are manufacturers able to take advantage of the enigmatic nature of the term ‘sustainability’ to effectively green wash their products?
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
One of our "14 Sustainable Food Companies You Can Trust," Plum Organics is good for your baby's health and the health of the planet.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
The Sustainable Poultry Network and Western Piedmont Community College have combined forces to create the American School of Sustainable Poultry Husbandry, an intensive poultry workshop for anyone interested in poultry production, marketing, breeding, hatching, cooking, etc.
While many of those visiting our Hostel are farmers and homesteaders themselves, some come from that “city culture” and seem to take their first hesitant steps outside of a flatly paved driveway when they arrive at our place. Wide eyes, a sense of adventure.
Many criticize eliminating coal mining in West Virginia because of the amount of jobs the sector provides. A wind farm, however, would employ over 200 local residents during the two-year construction phase, and create 40-50 permanent maintenance jobs afterward. A wind farm would also allow the mountain to be used for other purposes, like sustainable forestry, mountain harvesting, and gathering of wild forest plants, creating additional jobs and the opportunity for stable income for locals.
Even after 15 years, Cam still loves heating his home with wood that he cuts himself.
Making the most of a winter walk to home.
Urban food forests and public gardens provide communities with an edible landscape for everyone to share. These public fruit forests are the new trend in urban agriculture and play an important role as sustainable local food systems in their communities.
Eat carrots from your garden all winter! A little planning goes a long way toward more food with less work. Learn how to start with a winter cover crop of rye, with carrots following next in the rotation, maturing by the time the first frost.
We haul our water from the river - walking water!
Ira Wallace explores good winter gardening reads, gives advice on how to use the winter lull wisely to plan and prepare, and shares an update in the ongoing court battle to protect family farmers from agri-giant Monsanto.
The thrill continues living in our handmade house.
Elizabeth Van Deventer has been on a quest to find the answer to sustainable farming and an ethical diet most of her life. Follow along as she discovers the impacts of producing tea, palm oil and fruit, and how she eventually settles on a lifestyle that is in tune with the earth and all of its creatures.
Ode to our hand saw...why we choose to live without power, and what we've accomplished by hand.
An index of previous posts that have referenced green products. These posts have covered building- and home-related products, as well as chocolates, books, and other types of goods. Many of the products mentioned in these posts would make good gifts.
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.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
Jim and Holly Smith, founders of Today’s Abundant Living, sent us this great review of a Homesteading Education Month open house and country skills workshop they hosted at their Michigan homestead.
The Obama Administration releases its plans for new renewable energy sources. Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, explains that the new solar energy zones span six states and keep both domestic energy and environmental preservation in mind. If completed, the power generated from these solar energy zones would provide electricity to roughly seven-million homes.
Grow to fill yourself up from your garden. Potatoes will give you the most calories in the least space and are an important part of a sustainable diet.
Arthur Bolduc shares his story of experiencing life near an Amish community in Ohio, where he enjoyed the exciting process of sorghum production firsthand.
Hello to my new life and good-by to the old.
YIKES! What to do when you've planted too many veggies? Is your garden producing more than one family can eat? Sure, you can give it away. But wait! Try pickling those garden gems. This way, you'll be able to enjoy them through the winter and beyond!
Begin your garden planning with what,and particularly how much, you want to eat. Take a look at what you are eating now and go from there.
A MOTHER EARTH NEWS editor gets a chance to spend her birthday at the fair, surrounded by fun and inspiring people and activities.
The Solar Energy Tour is coming to communities all over the U.S. the first weekend of October — learn how to attend an event, or create one yourself.
Managing compost now allows for more productive use the following season.
ForestryDegree.net provides a searchable database for people interested in forestry.
We received another great review of a successful Homesteading Education Month event. Read about a well-received sustainability fair in South Dakota.
Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival inspired us to keep at those challenges that frustrate us on the farm.
Solar drying experiences in 2012, including tomato varieties Principe Borghese and Long Tom.
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
Steve explains how our pursuit of environmental sustainability can also drive us crazy if it's not put in the correct philosophical context.
Set up a washing station in your garden. Rinse your veggies there, saving the water for the garden and keeping your kitchen clean.
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
Sandy Boyce's sauerkraut was a hit, selling out each week, until her county health department asked her to stop. Across the nation, regulations can prevent small-time home producers from distributing their 'cottage foods' to the public.
Learn how to use less energy canning tomato products.
The NH Permaculture Gathering is just a couple weeks away!
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
Learn about using the Piteba to press your own homegrown oil.
Weeding in the summer is all about species maintenance
Another set of Great Quotations. These seven quotations have direct relevance to gardeners and farmers, but they offer wisdom that everyone can learn from and enjoy.
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
With an understanding of your limitations, you can operate more safely and efficiently. Training in timber cutting techniques can greatly expand your capabilities
The Roots and Culture Tour is an incredible opportunity for all those interested in working towards a more sustainable and just food system to dive into the local food system in the small and amazing Talamanca Region of Costa Rica.
A wedding using homegrown and local food and no disposable items. Decorations were things already on hand. The ceremony took place in a field and the reception was in a barn...and there was love-lots of it!
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
Our humble abode begins to take shape.
Great Quotations: the 4th installment in a series. This post features 14 fabulous eco-quotations, from thinkers such as Wendell Berry, Rachel Carson, Thoreau, Edison, and others.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
This blog post tells what life was like on the self-sustaining farm of Olen and Anna Mae Showman located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia during the middle of the 20th century.
Experiences getting started gardening in the 1970's and suggestions for beginning your own projects in 2012.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Monitoring energy use has led to increased motivation for conservation
Where are we headed, vis a vis our food systems? Can we as individuals make a difference in our food? Yes!
Regeneration of trees on a harvested area give hope for generations to come.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
Where we have chosen to draw the line between convenience and sustainability - for now.
Eating only homegrown foods on the Fridays in Lent.
Participate in a clothing swap and make an economic statement
Future factors set a high standard for sustainable products and activities
A beginner farmer learns about taking on the responsibility of raising animals.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
Thoughts on growing all your own food. How much space is required and other things to consider.
A list of links to orgs, associations, websites, books, and other resources related to local economies, community resilience, green business, corporate social responsibility, green jobs, environmental and social entrepreneurship, and investment.
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
A beginning urban farmer grows nothing without a smartphone.
The morning started off with a decent lecture on poultry operation, production, and marketing. After a midday break, lectures resumed, this time being led by a different fellow, on the subject of free-range, humane certified broiler production. I won
A quick look at different ways to be sustainable whether you are off grid or not.
A nine-to-fiver turns a corner and leaves behind a twenty-year career to grow food amongst housing developments and strip malls.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seeds and the toxic herbicides used to drench them, is calling itself a supporter of sustainability. You’re kidding, right?
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) hosts its 23rd annual Organic Farming Conference, February 23-25, 2012, at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wis.
We finally see walls and a loft floor.
Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!
Ordering bees in January doesn't seem to make sense, until you understand that April is the cruelest month. Plus, if you order bees in January, and then you don't need them - that's just a reason to celebrate! Order early!
Most American homes are codependent with a lifestyle-support-system of roads, wires, pipes, lines of credit, satellites, and a collective identity determined by the supply side. Yet just about any household budget offers continuing opportunities for creating a healthier, less expensive lifestyle that’s also easier on the environment.
Fun graphics of great quotations! Quotations by Buckminster Fuller, Mary Oliver, Martin Luther King Jr., and others, available as free graphics that can be shared like e-cards.
Forget the time and money that goes into conventional giftwrap. Use these inspirational ideas to wrap lovely gifts with materials otherwise bound for the recycling bin.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Check out this roundup of 10 favorite sustainable gifts for the gardeners on your list — all under $50!
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!
Steve explains how one practical guy invented a way to burn pellets efficiently without an expensive pellet stove
Cover crops are grown between planting seasons as a way to give back to the soil what cultivation takes from it. And cover crops aren’t just for large-scale growers—they can help you get the most out of your backyard vegetable garden too!
Cam enjoyed a recent workshop he held at Sunflower Farm, and the participants seemed to enjoy it too!
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
Actor Carel Struycken is famous for his role as Lurch in Addams Family, as well as many other roles. He is also a big proponent of permaculture. Nyerges talks with Struycken at his Pasadena home about permaculture and sustainable farming.
Before stocking up on chocolate treats this Halloween, learn where chocolate comes from, and at what cost to the environment and cocoa farming communities. Enjoy a spooky and sustainable holiday with Rainforest Alliance's tips for a green Halloween.
Aside from the great stage presentations, the exhibitor booths have a lot to offer FAIR attendees.
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
Animal Husbandry tent experiences from Day 1 of 2011 Mother Earth News Fair.
Turning liabilities into assests.
Doug Van Haitsma of the Mon Valley Initiative will present a workshop on micro farms at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Once a barren wasteland destroyed-like much of Costa Rica's land--by decades of cattle ranching, Rancho Margot is now a verdant and productive paradise. Find out how the Sostheim family has accomplished this in just seven years.
Let's stop for a minute and think about what we are doing!
When we stayed on an organic farm in Costa Rica, my kids and I experienced the beauty of self-sufficiency and saw how truly sustainable development benefits the local community as well as the global one. Mostly, we miss the homemade butter.
10 more great quotations and aphorisms that are relevant to environmental sustainability. Quotations by Buckminster Fuller, Teddy Roosevelt, Wendell Berry, and others.
The Farm Aid concert is a chance for us to shine a spotlight on these people who work every day to put good food on our tables.
This rustic, resourcefully sustainable dog fence fits right into the landscape. Before you install a fence, look around your place first to see what's already available.
I am the Flock-Tender here on HOMEGROWN.org. I am keeping a chronicle of my experiences learning, living, and growing a homegrown lifestyle fresh out of college. Am I doing this life right?
The workshop series "In Her Shoes: Sustainable Farming for Women, by Women" will provide on-farm, women-led sharing of resources, experiences and inspiration to further connect, encourage and support female organic farmers, entrepreneurs and agricultural leaders. These all-day workshops will be in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and each will cost $20 and include lunch.
Beginning July 1, 2011 and continuing for the next five months, legal residents of the U.S. and Canada can enter to win a five-year lease of a New Holland Boomer 30 compact tractor and loader with the industry-leading Boomer Guard5.
Luke Dinan, a young man from Toronto, Ontario, is forging his way towards sustainable living and a self-reliant lifestyle; a path we can appreciate, strive for and maybe contribute to.
As a third-party certifier, the Rainforest Alliance ensures that farms and forests are sustainable environmentally, socially and economically. The green frog seal and the FSC logo have become widely recognized, credible symbols of sustainability.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium updates The Super Green List, a guide to helping you choose healthy and safe seafood from more sustainable waters.
Readers suggest sustainable oyster sources.
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.
Swamp Hut is a complex of four 8-by-12-foot huts surrounding a deck with a fireplace. This an off-the-grid, light-on-the-land summer getaway could easily be replicated in your favorite vacation spot.
These money- and waste-saving alternatives to paper and plastic products eliminate the temptation to resort to disposable for your summertime outdoor dining needs.
The sustainability of one’s home depends as much (if not more) on its location as on how the house is built. If you’re looking to buy land or to buy (or rent) a house, consider the following sustainability criteria when comparing property locations.
Kirk Haffner, solar power expert, and Jeff Swotek of the USDA will present workshops on solar power and USDA programs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
With the summer fast approaching, it’s time to make those last minute vacation plans! Plan your trip using SustainableTrip.org to find tourism businesses that conservce the environment and support local communities!
Darrel Frey, permaculture specialist, will present workshops on permaculture and bioshelter design at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Steven Moize of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy will present a workshop on rotational grazing at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Cheryl "the Pig Lady" Ouellette will present workshops on meat processing, growing meat for market, free-range pork, and growing what you love at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will present a workshop on localized food systems and pastured livestock at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Daniel Kosel of Red Poll Cattle will present a workshop on Red Poll Cattle Ranching at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees will present a workshop on beekeeping at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Rene' Skaggs of the Pierce Conservation District will present a workshop on increasing pasture productivity at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Ann Larkin Hansen of Storey Publishing will present four workshops on sustainable farming and bugs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Maddy Harland writes about principles that underpin our understanding and practical application of permaculture. She relates them to designing a green home and garden but also explains how permaculture can help us to create more sustainable lifestyle
Farms which have earned Rainforest Alliance certification go beyond conserving the environment and improving the lives and livelihoods of farm workers; they also help to curb climate change.
10 witty, wry, and clever quotations from various thinkers, writers, and comedians. Many of these quotations have real relevance to sustainability.
We learned a long time ago that we couldn’t attract an audience for our magazines unless we gave our readers tools they could use to improve the world personally. A backyard organic garden is the perfect symbol of positive vision and commitment.
Laundry detergent manufacturer reduces plastic by 66 percent in new easier-to-recycle bottles made from recycled cardboard and newspaper.
Cam speaks to a group of university students about "sustainable" development...
Looking for a farming internship or apprenticeship? Search the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Center’s online directory of farming internships and apprenticeships to find one that interests you.
Shocked that nearly everything in their Dallas home was made overseas, a family starts over and furnishes their home only with items made in the USA. ABC News challenges everyone to take a pledge to purchase products made in America.
Sailors for the Sea presents its new Rainy Day Kits teach young sailors to care about marine ecology and the environment with fun, interactive games.
An overview of groups, initiatives, planning certifications, and neighborhood developments that promote sustainable communities, including Transition initiatives, ecovillages, One Planet Communities, LEED for Neighborhood Development, and others.
Once our bodies and our imaginations are engaged, the incremental change begins. Then it gets easier and easier to envision humanity occupying this planet–this beautiful, abundant planet–far into the future.
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.
While corporate progress toward sustainability may seem agonizingly slow, GreenBiz editors found plenty to cheer about in 2010--and believe 2011 will be a banner year for green initiatives.
Pass the cold, wintry months with warm thoughts of how you can eat more local food while supporting sustainable agriculture this coming season.
Worldwide fish consumption is at an all-time high, so take action by eating only sustainably harvested seafood from ethical sources.
Columbia University's Earth Institute will hold an informational session on its Sustainability Management program on February 10.
The “One Good Chair” competition winners, announced at Winter Las Vegas Market, demonstrate that minimal materials can result in maximum comfort.
Take a photographic tour of Finca Bella Vista, a sustainable treehouse community in Costa Rica.
Cam describes why his method of harvesting firewood from his woodlot is the most sustainable way.
In Simran Sethi's final post, she describes her philosophy on sustainability.
Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica’s verdant San Carlos agricultural region is a dynamic, living example of permaculture and biodynamic farming, where every being is part of a system that nurtures the body and the soul.
Concrete rubble from collapsed buildings is a huge problem in Haiti. It is blocking roads and hindering reconstruction. Instead of spending millions of dollars trucking the rubble away and disposing of it, why not use it to build affordable housing?
Solar Energy International (SEI), the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service all offer events to educate participants in varying pursuits. This blog provides links to activity calendars and workshop schedules.
What’s your idea of a delicious and wholesome breakfast? A fluffy, organic egg omelet made with fresh vegetables? Perhaps scrambled eggs and roasted garden veggies? No matter what your preference, it may surprise you to learn the link between the
ECO360 Trust produces sustainable T-shirts made from 100% recycled PET plastic water bottles. ECO360 Trust is a campaign of the non-profit Institute for Sustainable Communication.
Simran Sethi explores resolutions for healthy eating and offers a resource, The Cleaner Plate Club.
Backcasting into the future: a powerful tool for developing creative pathways towards a sustainable world and a bright, positive future for Planet Earth!
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.
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.
A BIG issue in everyone’s lives today is increasing fuel costs. The seriousness and scope of our energy problems calls for an all-out effort for sustainable solutions, starting as soon as possible.
Manure-spreading day is a big event on the farm, for everyone from the chickens to the border collies. And it's part of a wonderful seasonal cycle that's the foundation of self-reliance and sustainability.
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.
A ForestEthics report calls out the American Forest and Paper Association-backed Sustainable Forestry Initiative label for not protecting forests.
Low-fired brick is a very sustainable building material with low embodied energy. They are made with locally procured clay and fired with rice hulls, a by-product of growing rice. Brickyards are located near urban areas to minimize transport costs.
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
We know why we love heritage breed livestock, but why do you?
What does it take to build truly sustainable houses – the kind people really want and can afford? If you build small and use natural building materials, then most likely you’ll be able to build your own home in a reasonable amount of time for cash.
Living luxuriously doesn’t necessarily mean living large — at least not in these homes — and reducing a little waste doesn’t hurt, either.
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.
What is true sustainability? In this post, Matthew Stein explores the definition of what it takes to make a world that is truly sustainable.
Both organic and local food are important if we want to eat nutritious and delicious food. Furthermore, our current food system is in jeapordy because petroleum and water supplies are dwindling and climate change is resulting in more extreme weather.
The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s upcoming annual conference on sustainable farming will focus on how to achieve sustainability in our food system, as well as the future of agriculture in general.
Recently, I had an epiphany in a building supply center. Even though I’ve been in the building trades for over 35 years and made countless trips to purchase building supplies, this trip was different.
Cities, counties and states across the country have created food policy councils in response to their concerns about future food security in their communities. The councils work to coordinate local food efforts, such as farmers markets, to develop a sustainable food system.
Engineer Venkappa Gani leads by example when it comes to sustainable living. His entire backyard is an organic garden, an edible landscape that borders his rainwater harvesting tank collectors overlooked by solar panels that power his home (and more!). Gani is dedicated to sustainability, a word he lives by everyday at his suburban home in Austin, Texas.
SunRay Kelley’s Gypsy Wagon is an exciting, sustainable home on wheels built from a camper vehicle.
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
Considerations of sustainability factor into countless supplies, tools and methods present in your garden. What do you do in your own garden to be a sustainable gardener?
BuildingGreen.com founder and Environmental Building News editor Alex Wilson wins Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing.
My brief discription of sustainable beekeeping
I briefly describe my journey from a kid on a large 2000 acre alfalfa farm in the west to a homestead beekeeper in the midwest, on our 35 acres that we call BeeLanding.
We claim to live sustainably if we can harvest or extract the earth’s resources without depleting or permanently damaging them. By that standard, no one in a country that devours coal, oil and water—and uses up a quarter of the earth’s resources—can live sustainably.
A new course, Radical Urban Sustainability Training, teaches city- and suburban-dwellers the skills they need to develop a self-reliant and sustainable lifestyle.
Now's the time to redouble our efforts to tap into energy efficiency. The potential is huge and the benefits are even greater.
Americans equate products made in the USA with sustainability and often choose American-made products over other options, a study finds.
PBS will air Food, Inc. on TV Wednesday, April 21 at 9 p.m. Eastern.
Restaurants in the United Kingdom can be evaluated and accredited based on choices such as purchasing ethical meat and dairy products, choosing fair trade coffee, monitoring energy use, supporting community charities and serving tap water.
Recipe for Southern-style shrimp and grits, made with superb Floriani Red Flint grain corn.
The only practical means of creating abundance in our world requires examining the ratio between our capacities and our desires. Our capacities can be measured. Our desires can, presumably, be adjusted to fit within our capacities. And if we fit our desires within our capacities with some room left over then abundance is possible.
Here's a helpful guide to help you make sustainable choices while shopping or out to eat. What else do you do to support sustainable farming practices?
GreenCircle, an independent, third-party certification system, will evaluate companies’ sustainability claims.
If we need a vision for a sustainable future then we need a lot of people to contribute their own ideas and energy to forming and realizing that vision. If we are to attract the energy of millions of people to the task, then we must start with beauty in the frame.
Fairness and repeatability share this essential value: They can be visualized today, even when sustainability cannot. If we make fairness and repeatability part of our criteria for decisions today, they contribute to sustainability in the long-term even if they don’t provide permanent solutions.
The highest goal of politics might be to instill a sense of fairness in society, since that sense of fairness promotes tranquility, productivity and prosperity. The cooperation that undergirds a healthy society — the social contract — is based on a sense of fairness. Without it, a society is unhealthy and unproductive and, ultimately, ceases to exist. As the next big challenges facing our species will be global challenges, considering fairness from a global perspective will be one key to creating true sustainability.
In business, we build a vision of the company at its most successful and we articulate a set of questions to guide us toward that vision. If it works, more or less universally, in business, then why couldn’t we apply it to other large, complex undertakings?
Asking if an idea or action is fair and repeatable is one way to determine if it will be useful in building a beautiful, abundant future.
In most cases, we can't do all of the things we would like to live more sustainable lives — at least, not all right away. We can all do something, though, and making the choices and taking the steps that we can is an effective, satisfying way to make our lives more self-reliant and better for the planet every day.
Small steps may bring small satisfactions in the moment, but the thousands of small steps taken over years can add up to create a big impact and a fulfilling life.
Publisher Bryan Welch's conviction that we need a better vision for our future led him to consider the way we form images, which led him to holograms. Humanity’s perception of its present world and its vision for its future are formed from billions of individual perspectives. Each individual human being possesses a unique vision, a single point in the light field. Each perspective records the person’s place in space and time. Each point of light forms a complete image, a complete vision for the future. When we reproduce the light field projected by those billions of unique visions, we get a three-dimensional picture of humanity’s combined vision. Effectively, we can’t perceive the future in three dimensions without taking into account the entire light field. Find out more about how we can use this idea to create a model for a sustainable future that can be applied across the globe.
Coporations continue to purchase interests in seed industries. Could this be a problem?
Wherever you live, you can practice sustainability and share your successes with your neighbors.
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
Seventh Generation commits to using sustainable palm oil in all products by 2012.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comments on how to implement the new Conservation Stewardship Program. Here's the lowdown, plus instructions on how to submit your opinion — it's easy!
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence reviews the sustainably minded Fairmont Hotels.
While conservation is neccessary for providing for an ever-growing human population, it alone cannot solve our problems. In fact, it may distract us from the real issue at hand.
The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal has been popping up on coffee, tea, cocoa and fruit products all over the world. So what exactly does this certification signify? We’ve investigated.
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.
More on the much-feared food safety bill, HR 875, and its Congressional counterparts.
Help us discover ways to achieve an affordable sustainable diet.
Relax: HR 875 isn't a bill to outlaw organic farming, as you might have heard. But it's not exactly good news for pesticide-free producers, either. Here are the details.
Secure grant funds for your farmers market, community-supported agriculture program and more by applying to the USDA by April 27.
The National Animal Identification Plan will be easily implemented by large factory farms, but it means trouble for smaller operations. Will the system really keep us safe from disease, or will industrial ag and tracking system manufacturers be the only beneficiaries?
Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition, is now available in print and by download from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. Learn how to make your soil perform at its very best!
Tell the U.S. Department of Agriculture to abandon their efforts to create and enforce a National Animal Identification System. We've made it easy for you with sample wording and directions on where to submit your comments.
It's hard to shop responsibly sometimes, especially for meat. There are so many different label claims that it's hard to remember which are meaningful and which are just fluff. Here's a handy reference card that will give more power to your purchases.
Guest blogger and longtime advocate of sustainable food Gwen Roland reflects on the new popularity of local eating, and highlights some of the innovative local food projects funded by Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grants.
The book Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A Do-It-Ourselves Guide is a collection of skills, tools, and technologies usable by urban residents wanting to have more local access and control over life's essential resources.
While productivity is often the name of the game at large farms, local food, minimal environmental impact and healthy conditions for farm workers also are hot topics today. Yet, our agriculture — and our living — have a greater impact on the environment and the life it supports than these issues alone address.
Save time and avoid blisters and burnout by following these common-sense guidelines this leaf season.
Sustainable farming expert Michael Pollan has some words of wisdom for the next president of the United States.
Jacobs Farm in Santa Cruz, Calif. was recently awarded $1 million in damages for lost income due to pesticide drift.
Three-hundred colleges and universities have been graded on their commitment to environmentalism. Did your alma mater make the Green Grade?
Congress is accused of bait-and-switch tactics when they propose millions in reductions to the conservation-related program assistance that helped pass the 2008 farm bill.
Be aware: Living sustainably can be hindered by homeowner association rules.
Decision from the USDA: Farmers won't be allowed to break their CRP contract without penalty.
Look out guys — these women really know what 21st century farming is all about.
In this video, learn how the production and consumption of stuff affects the environment and community health.
Daniel Sheridan found a way to turn children's energy into electrical power with a see-saw that generates electricity. The see-saw should generate enough electricity to light a classroom for a whole evening after only five to 10 minutes of use.
An interview with the founder of a small organic gardening business that focuses on education and helping gardeners go organic. Learn more about this company and vote for it to win funding from a small business competition.
Don’t miss these featured documentaries showing on PBS’s Earth Day programming.