It's easy to make your own air freshener spray. You'll avoid chemicals and delight in the fresh smell.
You can get your whole house fresh and shiny clean with just five ingredients: lemons, vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil and salt.
Let's quash, once and for all, the notion that only harmful chemicals can kill germs and bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are natural antibacterials that keep your home clean--and safeguard your family's health.
Enjoy viewing these unique treehouses in this colorful 16-month calendar, based on Peter Nelson's book, Treehouses of the World.
Bastyr University is pleased to announce it has partnered with Seattle-based Choice Organic Teas to develop and launch a new line of flavorful, certified organic Wellness Teas. This marks the first time the University has lent its name on a consumer product.
Ever wonder where the name "treehugger" came from? Well I've got the answer and a few other fun facts about the subject.
Teaching children to enjoy helping around the house or farm will give them valuable skills to use as adults in their own homes and with their own children.
I was so excited to get this email from Ted Owens, president of Syncronos Design, as he’s a VIP in my world
Substitute teaching can be a pretty good gig, if you have the patience and discipline.
Therapeutic grade essential oils have a tonne of uses on the homestead - here's how we've used them effectively, and how they bring us peace of mind.
My favorite graft for these tree makeovers is known as a bark graft and the time to do it is just as leaves are beginning to poke out of recently dormant stems and the bark easily separates from the wood. Which is now, early May, here in New York’s Hudson Valley. Ideally, foot-long scions of one-year-old wood (last years growth) have been gathered a few weeks previous and have been kept dormant with refrigeration.
Learn about using the Piteba to press your own homegrown oil.
This mojito recipe from a surprising source--a Teahouse--is light, refreshing and not too sweet--perfect for a warm summer evening.
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
Studies show air pollution in China can reduce a life span by up to 5.5 years.
Team Germany takes first place in the 2009 Solar Decathlon, followed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in second and Team California in third.
Odwalla's Plant A Tree program enters its third year with a donation of twice as many trees to be planted in all 50 states as well as participating state park programs.
Take a photographic tour of Finca Bella Vista, a sustainable treehouse community in Costa Rica.
If you want a live Christmas tree, plan ahead and take steps to help it prosper after the holiday season.
Driving patterns now closely resemble those from 1995, as young drivers are finding alternative forms of transportation.
Craving fresh food during the long winter months? Here are nine vegetables that you can find fresh in February--and great ways to prepare and serve them.
Noxious fumes aren’t conducive to happy cleaning. Give all your homemade cleaning solutions an invigorating and healthy boost by adding a few drops of pure plant essential oils such as lavender or lemon. Heavenly!
Rishi Tea has handcrafted 12 new loose leaf tea blends, including 6 innovative botanical blends, 3 delicious chai teas, 2 energizing green teas and an aromatic oolong – perfect for fall and the holidays.
Here are instructions for making a quick and easy batch of stained glass soap. Once you get the basics down you can make all sorts of unusual and beautiful embedded soap to give as gifts or enjoy for yourself.
Contributing editor Terry Krautwurst explains how you can learn basic tree identification skills, including recommendations for where to find classes and how to select a field guide.
Painting tree trunks white can help you reduce the effect of erratic temperatures on the trees’ bark.
Sassafras Tea is an old-fashioned springtime favorite around here.
This is a summary of our attendance at the IBS show in Jan. Also a re-cap of Jan events and our transistion into the construction phase of the project. We also talk about the decision for the competiton to be moved off the Nationa Mall in DC
Many a homesteader and farmer can use help, and many a young person wants to learn homesteading skills. Having apprentices is an important means to assure a continuation of farms and farming,as well as teaching youth essential survival skills.
Kids enjoy scoops of fresh-made ice cream in the Treehouse Club at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR
Quick report from the Treehouse club at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Whether you’re a teacher, parent, school administrator, or homeschooler, you might be interested in some of these online resources related to environmental education and green curricula. Most of these websites are related to K-12 education.
Want to add some flavour to your breads? Here's two suggestions, one sweet and one savoury. Enjoy!
Finca Bella Vista in Costa Rica, a community of sustainable treehouses in the jungle canopy, connected by zip lines and suspension bridges, is an Ewok Village come to life.
I ponder the benefits of, and experiment with, compost tea.
Cycle Oregon in support of tree research and education.
How we expect the unexpected and turn blow down trees into lumber.
I enjoy the sweet, simple memories of Christmas that the comforting smell of a cedar tree brings to my mind.
A Life Cycle Assessment from Ellipsos, a sustainable development strategy firm, suggests that natural Christmas trees generate fewer greenhouse gases per year than artificial trees.
The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization published a new analysis that depicts the dangerous flaws in oil spill response and outlines technology they claim will save marine life, oceans, animals and people, while saving millions of dollars.
A TransCanada Keystone pipeline was shut down by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, due to two spills in May. Though it lasted only a day, the suspension raises bigger questions about the risks of TransCanada’s current piping of tar sands oil, as well as the company’s proposal to build an even longer pipeline, the Keystone XL.
Summing up the past week with a few highlights that help to illustrate how we've been getting along in the ending days of the 2012 winter season.
"Local" is always the best answer, even when it comes to fruit trees.
Trees are beautiful and they are useful as sources of food and shelter, and for building and using as fuel.
The Solar Nite Eyes Predator Protection System helps ward predators away from your poultry, bees, trees and more. The Solar Nite Eyes are inexpensive, effective and easy to use. Try this method of predator protection around your homestead.
Save money by planting smaller trees and shrubs from mail-order sources.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been in the news constantly for the past two months, and all the new developments can be a bit overwhelming. Here's a comprehensive update to help you keep everything straight.
Use herbs from your garden,vegetable oil and beeswax to make a solid perfume.
Brief description of our journey back onto the National Mall, our Flex Space design, and our Solar Thermal Skylight.
In this blog we talk about our three differnet types of solar technology that we have on the Homestead.
We had a once in a lifetime opportunity over Easter this year to talk to more than 30,000 people about honey bees, pollination, honey and beekeeping. And the place we got to do this in was one of a kind.
Sweet Iced Tea is a delicious Southern tradition, but store-bought concoctions are often full of high fructose corn syrup and other nasties. This recipe incorporates fresh herbs, which add natural sweetness and help knock down the sugar content.
Minimize your post-Christmas impact. Earth911 offers great tips for keeping your Christmas tree out of the landfill.
Tips on how to choose the best Christmas tree and what to do with it after the holiday season.
April 26, 2013 is National Arbor Day! Celebrate by planting a tree at home or enjoying trees where you live and learn about the many benefits they provide.
For almost two decades, the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive group has done what the experts said was impossible. Namely, they have taken DNA from over 70 of the most magnificent trees on the planet; have cloned thousands of individuals from this original DNA and are actively re-planting/re-foresting these champion trees.
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!
Oil companies are hungry for more land to drill. But meanwhile they aren't drilling in numerous approved areas.
Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will not lower gas prices anytime soon. This summary of facts released by the Alaska Wilderness League exposes important pieces of the ANWR debate.
From West Africa to the Netherlands, furniture designers find oil drums an abundant, green material.
A neglected, overgrown, old apple tree does have charm, its gnarled, elbowed branches seemingly ready to reach out for a hug. The fruits, unfortunately, more often than not are too small, too pest-ridden, and too high in the tree. My fear of heights makes the last deficiency most important to me. Large, clean fruits are for nought if I can’t bring myself to climb a ladder or the branches for harvest.
A look at the wonderful mulberry tree.
Maddy Harland describes the canopy layer of a temperate forest garden and shares some useful tips on designing and planting useful and edible tree crops.
Self-pollinating apple trees allow homeowners with little space to reap the benefits of this fresh, nutritious fruit. While typical apple breeds require planting at least two trees in the same space so they can pollinate each other, self-fertile trees can produce fruit without another tree around.
On Wabi-Sabi Wednesdays, I feature excerpts from my book, Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House, which was released last month.
Wabi-sabi’s roots lie in Zen Buddhism, brought from China to Japan by 12th-century traveling monk Esai, who also picked up a few tea seeds while he was there. Zen, with its principles of “vast emptiness and nothing holy,” stresses austerity, communion with nature, and reverence for everyday life and everyday mind as the path to enlightenment. Zen monks lived ascetic, often isolated, lives and sat for long periods of concentrated meditation. To help his fellow monks stay awake during these sessions, Eisai taught them how to process tea leaves into a hot drink. Tea had arrived in Japan.
Once it left the monk's hands, tea took on a life of its own. Around the 14th century, the ruling classes developed elaborate rituals that took place in large tea rooms built in a gaudy style known as shoin, with imported hanging scrolls and formally arranged tables for vases and incense burners. Tea practitioners proved their wealth and status through their collections of elegant tea utensils and lacquered serving ware during three-day weekends where up to 100 cups of tea--as well as food and sake--were served. All of the day's revered Tea masters pushed the opulent style, to the delight of Chinese merchants and importers.
Eco-Libris offers people the opportunity to off-set the books they read by planting trees in developing countries.
Grow organic fruit trees and harvest bug-free, chemical-free fruit by covering your fruit with homemade bags made from row cover. Use row cover bags as an alternative to plastic bags. Row cover bags are more effective and have fewer issues than plastic bags.
Growing fruit trees in a home orchard requires some study as well as some prep.
This ancient beverage has provided a nutritious, naturally-caffeinated boost for centuries and a new carbon-subtracting brand benefits the earth and consumers alike.
Making great sunshine tea is easy if you follow a few simple guidelines for contents, quantities, and water.
Discover some of the properties of essential oils, along with some tips for cleaning with them.
We can cut projected U.S. oil use in half over the next 20 years and create more than 1 million jobs, reduce annual oil spending by $550 billion, and eliminate 2 billion metric tons of global warming emissions per year by 2035.
An explosion at a British Petroleum oil rig has caused a massive and growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico just off the Lousiana coast. Here is an account of where the spill stands at the moment.
In light of the environmental, economic and other damage caused by the Gulf oil spill, has your opinion about increased domestic drilling changed? Yes or no, we want to hear your thoughts on the topic.
Hundreds of Gulf Coast oil spill workers have fallen ill with flu-like symptoms related to oil exposure. News reports claim that BP is not allowing workers to wear respirators, despite the potential long-term respiratory and neurological consequences workers could face.
Cam considers the effect of Peak Oil on our wandering ways....
Cam considers how peak oil will impact our love of travel.
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 naturally absorbent fiber, hemp could help clean up the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast.
Seventh Generation commits to using sustainable palm oil in all products by 2012.
The University of California at Davis has released a report that shows how misleading the label "extra virgin olive oil" can be.
The BP oil spill shocked the nation, but it’s not too late to take action. We want to know what you plan to change.
Although you need to refrigerate most salad dressings, you don't have to be as careful with a simple oil and vinegar salad dressing if those are the only ingredients. Find out why this is the case and what other ingredients might cause problems.
This year at the LA International Olive Oil Competition, only one Best of Show was awarded to a domestic oil – to Apollo Olive Oil’s organic Sierra.
OPEC annouced it would cut oil production to stop oil prices from falling, which might be the best way to reduce American oil consumption.
Mother Nature has a way of filling in the blank spots....
Emma Jane James of Appalachia, Virginia, inquires about her Kansan family tree and reminisces about better days in her coal-mining town, before mountaintop removal and pollution took their toll.
A sapling Centennial crabapple tree survives a series of mishaps and teaches new orchardists a thing or two.
Sen no Rikyu's simple, unpretentious ceremony using rustic, local tools usurped the elaborate, ostentatious Tea ceremonies that were the norm in 16th-century Japan. His "aesthetic of the people" made Tea accessible to all--and endures to this day.
Cam describes the challenges of winter driving and cutting down trees.
Michelle and Cam continue to debate whether a real tree or a fake tree is the better choice from an environmental perspective.....
Protect your home and yourself by making your property Firewise! Here are explanations on how to think of your property in zones and additional tips for protecting your home property.
The beginnings of the orchard project, and an early spring surprise.
A profile of Japanese and American persimmons, excellent trees for the deep south.
Expert advice on best organic fertilizer options for new apple trees and grape vines.
A truly authentic version of the subcontinent's favorite drink is finally available for American tea lovers.
The new farm retail store outlet is now open to the public for tea cuppings, farm and facility tours, and retail shopping.
How to quickly and easily make a soothing herbal tea blend for children, plus bags and boxes to hold it.
Celebrate spring by throwing a free tea party--here's how.
About five years ago I started experimenting with biochar. I collected charcoal from my wood stove, crushed it in a tough plastic bag with the car and charged it by soaking it in compost tea.
If we use high-quality items in our everyday lives, our lives become a sort of training. By using each item with care and careful consideration, the way we live becomes a tradition.
Cap off your Hemp History Week celebrations by making hemp soap. Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids known for their excellent emollient and lubricating properties.
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.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi discusses the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill with Oceana’s Senior Campaign Director Jackie Savitz.
Avoid frost damage to your fruit crops by following these tips for planting fruit trees and protecting them from frost.
Pruning apple trees to a three by three central leader shape for strength against high winds and to prevent fungal infection.
Cam describes some family heirlooms - especially his favorite one - a shovel!
Cam considers one of the causes of high gas prices....
Cam considers how Peak Oil will affect our lives....
Cam celebrates his daughter's engagement but considers the impact of flying across the world for the wedding.
Cam dressed up as a bunch of blueberries for our local parade, and spoke to a group of university students about peak oil. Never a dull moment....
Amid rising gas prices, some people think offshore drilling in America is the answer, but is it worth it? Also, read an opinion piece by Mark Weisbrot.
Natural cleanup methods for the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, such as using hair and hay to absorb oil on the water surface, are beginning to spark interest in the United States.
Find out what John McCain and Barack Obama have to say about energy issues including the use of nuclear power, clean coal and support for renewable energy.
Cam responds to a negative comment about a previous blog.
On Sept. 30, the offshore drilling moratorium expired, and the energy battle between the Democrats and Republicans began.
Everyone's talking about drilling in Alaska, so why learn some numbers to do some talking of your own? Here are some statistics about why drilling in Alaska may not be the saving grace some think it is.
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras warns us that building nuclear power plants is not the solution to our current energy crisis.
Although the well that caused the BP oil spill is now dead, the spill’s effects live on. Debate about oil dispersants, such as Corexit, and concerns regarding the settled oil on the ocean floor that came from Deepwater Horizon continue to grow. To understand how the spill impacted and continues to affect the Gulf of Mexico, MOTHER EARTH NEWS spoke with Ronald J. Kendall, director of the Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.
Clearly the NACE considers “useless” degrees to be ones in which pay is low and availability of jobs is scarce. However, shouldn’t measuring the usefulness of an education take into account the actual benefits bestowed upon the person doing the study
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.
Clearing your land to ready it for farming can be quite a challenge!
Daby Napthine shares her grandfather's 5 tips to growing healthy apple trees.
A profile of the wonderfully tough loquat tree.
Tips for limiting your exposure to pollen to help manage allergy symptoms.
The next installment of Maddy Harland's blog series on forest gardening. This week how to choose the lower canopy.
The future of the Pavlovsk Station in Russia is in jeopardy due to a pending housing development project. Find out what you can do to help save the world’s largest holding of rare berries and trees.
Growing pine trees from seed will allow you to produce lots of trees very economically. Follow these instructions to propagate pine trees from seed.
Fall sheet mulching of perennial plantings assists in fertility and weed suppression.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
There's only one rule for wabi-style flowers: strive for a natural look, with seasonal blooms and branches arranged as they are in the field. Don't worry about perfection. Your "arrangement" is a humble admission that we can't improve on nature.
Descriptions on oil labels are not defined by law, and are sometimes deceptive. Learn what these terms — such as cold-pressed, expeller-pressed and extra virgin — really mean, and which terms indicate quality.
Nutrition breakthrough lets health conscious consumers drink in the benefits of Omega 3s.
What kind of mpg did MAX get in the race? How did Jack get fuel along the way? How much can you get for a t-shirt and a copy of Mother Earth News? Answers to these exciting questions inside!
Architect Nathan Kipnis also presented 10 key areas that designers, builders and citizens should be striving toward in the post-peak oil era.
For the first time, investors put more money into alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
For the first time ever, alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power received more investment money than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
This divine herb has a multitude of properties – it’s a potent skin-cell regenerative, mucolytic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, circulatory stimulant, vulnerary, antioxidant, antifungal, analgesic and deodorizing agent. I use both the essential oil and the infused oil in formulas to relieve sinus and respiratory congestion, muscle tension and soreness, and headaches; to soften and fade scar tissue; to stimulate memory, creativity, confidence and mental energy; and to stimulate circulation to encourage hair growth.
Grow Red Thai Roselle hibiscus for a tea, health drink and sauce. Roselle, also known as Florida Cranberry, can be grown outside the sunbelt if you have the right variety. Red Thai is that variety.
Far from being weeds, spring's earliest greens are packed with nutrition and help detox the body.
A number of tea companies are donating proceeds from sales to Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.
A proper tea house is a luxury I believe in.
Describes a method of protecting tomatoes from excessive heat using a sunscreen, vermicompost tea, pulling blighted leaves.
Find out how wabi-sabi, an ancient Japanese philosophy that promotes attention, reverence, generosity and respect, can build the foundation of a happy home.
The four principles of Tea ceremony—harmony, respect, purity and tranquility—are the means to a good life.
Introducing the serviceberry, a beautiful landscape tree or shrub suitable in much of North America, to the edible landscape. Serviceberry -- or sarvis -- comes in many regional forms and produces edible berries.
The Washington State Conservation Commission gave away trees at the Mother Earth News Fair as part of their conservation efforts.
Fixing the swamp bridge and starting some new onion seeds along with a new experiment involving willow rooting hormone tea.
Chado-En tea company will donate 100 percent of profits from the sale of its special cherry blossom tea to Japanese relief efforts.
Roses are easy to grow successfully if you follow a few guidelines: provide good air circulation around the canes and keep the plants clean and not too damp. Roses come in many forms, including bush or shrub, climbing, and miniature.
We wade through deep snow to trim limbs and cut dead trees and nothing goes to waste.
A story of one of our camping trips to Torreya State Park, Florida.
It's winter time. Take a break from the holiday madness to enjoy a little of what nature has to offer this season.
The author figures out a way to outsmart tree-damaging rodents.
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.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
An introduction to Cam Mather's off-grid home and lifestyle.
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.
Cam is amazed at the level of awareness concerning Peak Oil amongst today's youth.
Ecuadorians want $27 billion in environmental damages, in the largest environmental damages lawsuit, and Chevron says it won't pay.
The oil spill is business as usual for a sociopathic system. It's time to fight back.
Bruschetta, the classic Italian appetizer, brings out the best of a few basic ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil and fresh bread.
The price of food and oil are interminably linked. We are seeing this in our trips to the supermarket: every time we go, it's more expensive. What's a body to do?
Using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, technique and a few changes, you can produce a sourdough olive oil/rosemary type bread that is just heavenly.
Now's the time to redouble our efforts to tap into energy efficiency. The potential is huge and the benefits are even greater.
Change we can believe in? The Obama administration paves the way for more than 300,000 megawatts of coal-fired energy.
There are many ways that each of us can lessen our unhealthy dependence on filthy fuels. You can do so in every area of your life, from choices you make regarding your house and home improvements, to food, transportation, and other consumer choices.
MAX debuts by taking the checkered flag of the 800+ mile, no gasoline consumed, Escape from Berkeley race.
Thoreau, Rachel Carson, Bill McKibbon, Terry Tempest Williams. Do you have a favorite nature or environmental writer? A book or story you can get lost in, that inspires you to action, or simply reminds you of how incredible nature is? Post a comment to share the titles that invite you into the wonder of the natural world — or have maybe even changed your life.
I had such a great time talking with attendees at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington, this past weekend about how to make green cleaners. As always, I learned a new trick or two, and I promised everyone I’d recap our conversation here for easy access. Today let’s talk about some of the unexpected food items—most of which you already have in your kitchen cupboards—that can be used to clean your home.
Use tea to remove old furniture polish and prepare wooden furniture for polishing. Simply soak a rag in room-temperature tea, then run it over the wood. The tea’s tannic acid makes your wood shine while removing all the dirt. Once that’s done, you can use mayonnaise to make the piece shine. Just rub the mayo into the wood, then follow with a damp rag and a few drops of vinegar to remove any residue. Olive oil is also a great natural furniture
Bread! hits the water on Lake Ontario while taking a week long sailing course. The Rosemary Olive Oil Sourdough was featured for dinner.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
You don't have to depend on nature to feed your bees. Take matters into your own hands and plant enough good food for your bees, so they have good, safe food all year long.
Simran Sethi discusses what it takes for a home to be truly clean by avoiding harsh chemicals and using natural cleaning products.
Using oil seed radishes to add organic matter to the ground and attracting native pollinators with a nest site. Harvesting sweet potato seeds if we're lucky and admiring the parasitic wasp's ability to lay white egg sacs into the body of a horn worm
Putting a new roof on a mobile home and harvesting the worlds biggest sweet potato while growing for the first time Par-cel cutting celery and hauling horse manure from our parking area back to the garden.
Summing up pasture data where it relates to chickens and customizing land to better suit poultry and their behavior and stomachs. Measuring oil viscosity levels and rescuing a trailer with a portable winch were some of our favorite things.
A little background on how Ric and Vicki moved from Detroit to a Tennessee homestead, and starting to get up to date on what they've done since.
Discover the Ozarks region's natural beauty and adventure hot spots as told by Mike McArthy of Photozarks.
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.