Last weekend I spent an afternoon studying different bushes, trees, and herbaceous plants in order to design the newest guild on our Permafarm.
Though sap flow occurs in a wide variety of trees, there is one variety that produces a sap sweeter than them all: The Sugar Maple. For a six-week window of time before the break of spring, the sugar maple flows. The sap can be tapped, and then boiled down on a wood burning stove at home to make golden, luscious homemade maple syrup.
A list of my 2016 vegetable catalogs that carry heirloom varieties, along with the veggies I chose for this year.
Most homesteads have trees that need to be cut down, but how can you ensure minimal waste and maximum benefit from every part of the tree? Trunks, saplings, green branches, dead branches, and more can all be used in multiple ways to save money and add value to your homestead, while capturing some of the carbon and nutrients in the tree. Here’s a look at how we break down an especially abundant and useful tree: the Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana).
Gardening in containers can address a number of gardening situations such as adding color to a patio, controlling soil pH, allowing sensitive plants to be portable, and water conservation.
What can freshen breath, fight infection, and clear up acne all at once? Tea tree oil, from the Australian plant, Melaleuca alternifolia, has widespread medicinal qualities, making it an effective home remedy for many different conditions. Try these tea tree oil uses for yourself.
Those who garden know that weeding is often essential to growing good vegetables or fruits. In a forest, sunlight too is a limiting factor. By knowing which tree to cut and which to leave, forest health can be improved. Cutting for firewood can serve as an incentive to "weed" on the ultra-perennial scale.
How to choose an apple tree to fit your space and needs.
This article is part two in Julie’s sugar-making series and will show you how to collect and store sap, and prepare your sugar shack or boiling room to get ready to make pure maple syrup.
Typical suburban landscaping is a maintenance expense with no return to the owner and often diminishes the habitat for the living things around us. One alternative is to create a forest island that provides flowers for pollinators and food for people with little to no maintenance cost.
The ripening time of a particular fruit varies from one location to another and from year to year, though the order in which varieties ripen stays roughly the same.
Neem (Azadirachta indica) is used in so many ways in herbal medicine, which is why it has been tagged the "village pharmacy." Neem is used to combat tiredness, cough, fever, loss of appetite, worm infestations and so much more.
April's tips for controlling weeds and fertilizing your garden.
Gardeners don't have to live in a semi-tropical zone to grow organic lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus fruits. Proper technique with potted plants can yield a bounty of delicately flavored, vitamin-rich citrus.
National Arbor Day is April 25. Celebrate by learning about trees, volunteering or planting a tree at home!
How a hopelessly damaged apple tree has delivered lessons of hope since 2007.
You're not just a beginning gardener - you're also a scientist!
Sam Benowitz and Tara Bittler are joining the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Blog Squad, and they break down the types of gardening and fruit-growing information they will share with you each week.
Growing peach pits doesn't get much easier than this.
Figs, grapes, hazels, rabbiteye blueberries, and gooseberries are among the easiest plants to propagate using cuttings, layering, or just by digging up suckers.
Espalier allows a gardener to grow a dwarf fruit tree along a wall or fence, binding it for support, and sculpting the branches to follow certain lines, as Japanese artists do with bonsai trees.
4 or 40, growing up isnt always straight up. Branches, bumpy outcroppings and the occasional low hanging fruit serve as speed bumps on the road of life.
You can get twigs to graft onto your rootstock for the price of shipping a padded envelope, allowing you to grow rare fruit-tree varieties for nearly nothing.
Food preservationist Tammy Kimbler teaches you how to make apple pie fruit leather from urban-foraged apples.
Growing pine trees from seed will allow you to produce lots of trees very economically. Follow these instructions to propagate pine trees from seed.
Studies show air pollution in China can reduce a life span by up to 5.5 years.
If you want a live Christmas tree, plan ahead and take steps to help it prosper after the holiday season.
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.
Driving patterns now closely resemble those from 1995, as young drivers are finding alternative forms of transportation.
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.
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.
A look at the wonderful mulberry tree.
Bike-share systems are popping up in cities across the Midwest as bike sharing becomes a more popular transportation option.
A profile of the wonderfully tough loquat tree.
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 profile of Japanese and American persimmons, excellent trees for the deep south.
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
Discover the Ozarks region's natural beauty and adventure hot spots as told by Mike McArthy of Photozarks.
Avoid frost damage to your fruit crops by following these tips for planting fruit trees and protecting them from frost.
Tips on how to choose the best Christmas tree and what to do with it after the holiday season.
The author figures out a way to outsmart tree-damaging rodents.
Painting tree trunks white can help you reduce the effect of erratic temperatures on the trees’ bark.
A 2012 survey by Northeast Group LLC was published in October, claiming 95 percent of U.S. cities that have tried LED streetlights are satisfied with the results, saving nearly 60 percent in costs.
Daby Napthine shares her grandfather's 5 tips to growing healthy apple trees.
A story of one of our camping trips to Torreya State Park, Florida.
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.
How we expect the unexpected and turn blow down trees into lumber.
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.
A sapling Centennial crabapple tree survives a series of mishaps and teaches new orchardists a thing or two.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
We wade through deep snow to trim limbs and cut dead trees and nothing goes to waste.
Tips for limiting your exposure to pollen to help manage allergy symptoms.
Growing fruit trees in a home orchard requires some study as well as some prep.
Cycle Oregon in support of tree research and education.
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.
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.
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.
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
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.
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.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
Michelle and Cam continue to debate whether a real tree or a fake tree is the better choice from an environmental perspective.....
It's winter time. Take a break from the holiday madness to enjoy a little of what nature has to offer this season.
I enjoy the sweet, simple memories of Christmas that the comforting smell of a cedar tree brings to my mind.
Fall sheet mulching of perennial plantings assists in fertility and weed suppression.
Chef Gordon Hamersley's Vegetable Tian makes use of tomatoes, squash and eggplant--all in their prime right now.
Submit your best photos of biking and walking for a chance to win a free, 10-day bike trip to Italy!
The next installment of Maddy Harland's blog series on forest gardening. This week how to choose the lower canopy.
Fusion Bread Salad makes use of the cherry tomatoes and basil that are prime right now--and you don't have to heat up the kitchen to make this hearty, nutritious main dish.
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.
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.
The Washington State Conservation Commission gave away trees at the Mother Earth News Fair as part of their conservation efforts.
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
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.
The beginnings of the orchard project, and an early spring surprise.
Clearing your land to ready it for farming can be quite a challenge!
Yep, that's my boss with Lance Armstrong — and a half-million bike/ped friends — on the open streets of Los Angeles.
Cam describes the challenges of winter driving and cutting down trees.
Pruning apple trees to a three by three central leader shape for strength against high winds and to prevent fungal infection.
Perfect for spring, this pasta dish can be made with the spring herbs that are popping up in your garden or market and a little leftover wine (either red or white will do).
Rich, creamy Parmesan and Brie Polenta is a Meatless Monday meal fit for a king.
It's easy to make your own air freshener spray. You'll avoid chemicals and delight in the fresh smell.
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.
You can get your whole house fresh and shiny clean with just five ingredients: lemons, vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil and salt.
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.
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
Take a photographic tour of Finca Bella Vista, a sustainable treehouse community in Costa Rica.
Complete streets policies are sweeping the nation, to the benefit of bicyclists, pedestrians and travelers of all ages.
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.
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.
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition won a major victory with the opening of the Cal Park Hill Tunnel — a world class facility that makes biking the quickest commuting option.
Minimize your post-Christmas impact. Earth911 offers great tips for keeping your Christmas tree out of the landfill.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
Quick report from the Treehouse club at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Kids enjoy scoops of fresh-made ice cream in the Treehouse Club at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR
Mother Nature has a way of filling in the blank spots....
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.
With the lifting of the four-year Bicycle Plan injunction, we're watching the next premiere biking city unfold — at record pace — in San Francisco, California.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Save money by planting smaller trees and shrubs from mail-order sources.
Trees are beautiful and they are useful as sources of food and shelter, and for building and using as fuel.
Eco-Libris offers people the opportunity to off-set the books they read by planting trees in developing countries.
Enjoy viewing these unique treehouses in this colorful 16-month calendar, based on Peter Nelson's book, Treehouses of the World.
Ever wonder where the name "treehugger" came from? Well I've got the answer and a few other fun facts about the subject.
"Local" is always the best answer, even when it comes to fruit trees.
Expert advice on best organic fertilizer options for new apple trees and grape vines.
I was so excited to get this email from Ted Owens, president of Syncronos Design, as he’s a VIP in my world