upcycle plastic milk jugs
Cut old milk jugs into the shape of your choice, rough them up with sandpaper and string them together to make surprisingly pretty window shades that offer privacy while letting the sun shine in.
A native southwestern milkweed seed is now available, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Terroir Seeds, The Xerces Society and Painted Lady Vineyard over the past 2 years.
Turtle Plastics Modular Matting is now available in 14 colors.
The shopping website Hipcycle offers beautiful upcycled products for your home and garden.
Before buying a toy, the first consideration should be its health. We’ve seen a lot of recent news about unhealthy plastics and paints in inexpensive children’s toys. Making sure any toy you select is healthy should be your number one priority.
Why raw milk? Why goat milk? Things to consider for good health and nutrition for you family. Also a trick to get stubborn kids to nurse from a bottle.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence finds a company that upcycles old yoga mats. Recycle Your Mat, a company founded by yogini Stephanie Stano in 2008 gives yoga mats a second life as an upcycled or recycled product.
Hand milking and the ease of doing so, always lends itself to many questions. I try to answer some of the most commonly asked questions in this post.
Bucket milkers offer small and micro-dairy farmers affordable and reliable system for milking cows. Here are my basics for how to use a bucket milker on a micro dairy.
How installing a pipeline milking system can help dairy farmers of all sizes make the most of their valuable time.
Seattle voters rejected a proposal to pay 20 cents per plastic bag at the register.
When Woods End Labs recently tested biodegradable plastics and found that most aren't compostable under home compost conditions, one reader (known as Eco-Oxo) wrote that Oxo biodegradable bags aren't designed to biodegrade under compost conditions. Woods End Labs is following up, taking the reader's suggestion and testing Oxo under the conditions Eco-Oxo recommends. This is Part 1 of the new test, where you can follow along and see how Oxo fares under different conditions.
The Environmental Protection Agency has added short-chain chlorinated paraffins, found in paint, adhesives and plastics, to its short list of dangerous chemicals.
Method’s plastic bottle demonstrates in the extreme that ocean-plastic recycling is possible.
You can upcycle (make crafts from recycled materials) to beautifuly and simplify your world! Have a few old T-shirts that are past their prime? Make them into a rosette pillow! Use homemade recycled paper to send friends and family chic, personalized greetings cards. Overrun with stuff to recycle? Transform tin can lids into a melodious windchime! Have fun and get creative turning your old stuff into treasures!
Recycle those old plastic grocery bags into something useful with these cool crochet instructions.
Learn how to decipher milk labels in order to purchase the best milk and cream.
Turn low value plastic trash into valuable building blocks with a $300 homemade press. Free plans for a hand operated press are available. A mechanized version could be made by converting a log splitter.
A new study has found that biodegradable plastic's rapid rate of decomposition could cause the release of methane, a greenhouse gas. The study's authors suggest that petroleum-based products might be preferable. We need better alternatives than that.
Build an inexpensive bicycle trailer out of upcycled walkers and other easy-to-find materials.
Cows, goats, sheep, water buffalo, camels and, even, horses have been successfully milked by hand for thousands of years. Though it's an age-old practice, milking a cow by hand is not as easy as it may first appear. It’s best to know what you are getting into before you take on this important farming task.
Cows love routine. The more things stay the same for cows, the safer and more secure they feel. Here is my abbreviated list of best practices for milking a cow, learned over many decades in the barn.
Your homestead is complete when you get your own cow for milking. But problems such as a cow who holds her milk or who kicks can make milking difficult and even dangerous. Here are some helpful hints so that you can enjoy your cow and enjoy milking her.
Cows are big, powerful animals, and milking puts you right beside the strong hind legs and feet. If you find yourself with what I call a kicky cow, there are steps you can take to manage the animal.
Carmen Ortiz shares stories of visiting grandpa on his urban farm where she learned to milk cows, avoided the outhouse and gained an appreciation for gardening.
Bob-White Systems is bringing the cows back home by providing supplies, equipment and support for Micro Dairies, Home & Farmstead cheesemakers and small-scale producers of local and farm fresh dairy products.
Milking is a fun and easy chore! Here are some hints on milking in an easy fashion.
While garden hoses may leach some chemicals into the water flowing through them, there’s little reason to think it’s a serious health issue.
Think you're safe because you're buying BPA-free plastic? A study has found endocrine-disrupting chemicals in 70 percent of plastic products--even those without BPA.
A big benefit of running the private and FDA-certified Bob-White Systems Dairy Lab is that we get to see what works and what doesn't work to keep milk clean. “Clean," for our purposes, means that it passes Vermont's Tier II Raw Milk Standards, which happen to be some of the most stringent in the country — more stringent than federally regulated pasteurized milk standards. At the lab we perform FDA-certified testing to ensure raw milk producers are compliant with Vermont’s standards.
New organic milk contains Omega-3, which is not approved as an additive to certified organic milk. The Cornucopia Institute found this illegal synthetic additive in new organic milk in its latest investigation.
The popular idea that the Chinese have always shunned milk products is quite inaccurate. Try Anne Mendelson's wonderful recipe for Chinese "Fried Milk" to see how wrong we've been.
Find out what makes sour milk different from buttermilk, and get ideas for putting past-its-prime milk to good use.
There are some questions worth exploring, find out if there is a BEST way to clean your goat's udder before milking.
Steve Judge of Bob-White Systems in Vermont offers his Micro Dairy expertise in this blog series on how to start and manage a Micro Dairy, from farm and barn planning to selecting dairy cows, goats and sheep to daily operations and being profitable.
Upcycle abandoned shopping carts into funky shopping cart furniture that is both fun and functional. This DIY shopping cart project takes some elbow grease, but is well worth the results.
These DIY garden lights reuse plastic bottles and provide soft, natural lighting for evenings spent outdoors.
Description of how to unroll and fasten edges of biodegradable plastic mulch without using tractors or mulch-laying equipment. Discussion of different types of biodegradable plastic, and how to store them.
Filtering tap water instead of buying plastic bottles helps my family’s carbon footprint—and bottom line.
Although many of us enjoy the free plastic bags we get from grocery stores, they may be costing us money and damage to the environment. Find out more about this growing problem and review the results of a recent poll.
On Earth Day 2009, the Plastic Bag Reduction Act was introduced to the House of Representatives, proposing a five cent tax on single-use bags. We want to know, would you vote yes for the tax?
An unpublished British study says that plastic bags are a greener option than paper or cloth--but only if you don't make the most of your reusable bags.
Use milk crates to build this beautiful, sturdy free-standing furniture piece.
If you have access to raw milk, it's surprisingly easy to pasteurize it on your own kitchen stove. Here are the basic steps you need to follow.
This is the favorite version of mango lassi served in Indian-American restaurants.
An experienced homesteader discusses the pros and cons of one family keeping either a cow or a goat for their milk supply.
You'll love Anne Mendelson's recipe for the delicious cold beet soup from Poland known as chlodnik litewski.
The Bag Monster Tour kicked off in San Francisco on Aug. 12 with 70 “Bag Monsters” taking to the streets. These “Monsters” — ordinary volunteers dressed in hundreds of plastic bags — were informing Californians about the dangerously large amount of single-use plastic bags being used every year throughout the United States. Andy Keller, Bag Monster’s founder, hopes that the tour and subsequent demonstrations will lead to a national ban on plastic bags.
The Rhombin, a desktop organizer made from a plant-based plastic (bioplastic), merges sustainability with convenience and cutting-edge design.
The farm is looking into buying some TB-free Ayershire cows.
When you have goats, you need to do something with all that milk. Why not try making Queso Blanco, an easy cheese which tastes great and cooks well.
Did anyone ask if you wanted your milk to be homogenized?
Learn how to make nut milk, a delicious beverage of its own and a nutritious alternative to cow’s milk that can be turned into nut yogurt, nut cheese and even nut ice cream. Almond milk is the most popular type of nut milk, but any nut will work.
With its recent FDA approval, the first LiLi pasteurizer was purchased for use at a New York micro dairy.
The flavor and shelf life of the milk you sell directly to consumers are directly impacted by how the milk is produced and handled on your farm. Here are my best practices for handling and producing the highest-quality, most delicious milk on the farm.
How to make cajeta, Mexican-style goat's milk caramel.
Sue Weaver provides her expertise on making homemade cheeses and yogurt and how to raise a happy, healthy, and highly productive backyard cow.
In Greece and Turkey, revani is the general name for a family of cakes made (usually) with durum-wheat semolina or a semolina-flour mixture, which are soaked after baking in some kind of syrup. You'll adore this simple, lemon-flavored version from Turkey.
Goat School is over for a few months, and now the routine will be a little more normal! Great questions were asked at Goat School and some of those answers are shared.
The cold, hard facts about how Annie Warmke, goat herder extraordinnaire, found her calling in a barn with Eleonore Rigby and her two tiny kids.
There is much to be learned when taking care of dual-purpose cows including how to avoid birthing problems and retained placentas, how to manage mastitis and when to do artificial insemination.
A look into each dairy breed, on how much milk each one averages and what to expect in taste.
Using fresh raw cream to make butter by hand.
On my kitchen counter sits a quart of milk that my kefir grains live in. In a couple of days that milk will turn into the nutritious kefir.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!
Nutrition breakthrough lets health conscious consumers drink in the benefits of Omega 3s.
You'll love Anne Mendelson's delicious recipe for syrniki (also known as tvorozhniki, or Russian pot-cheese fritters). Like pancakes or French toast, this useful breakfast/brunch dish can be given any number of sweet or savory spins.
GloryBee Foods announces today that the company adds Aunt Patty's Organic Creamed Coconut to its selection of natural foods.
According to the USDA, consumers can feel secure in the accuracy of the biobased claim and can make better informed purchasing decisions.
Our little farm received the USDA Value Added Producer Grant and we are embarking on an exciting future. Be with us from start to finish.
In our culture we are used to government regulations telling us what to do – can we talk on our cell phones while driving? Or, should I wear my seat belt? Or has this food been properly processed? Raw milk is your chance to embrace your rights and freedoms and do your research and ask the hard questions – you have no one else to rely on to do this for you.
A really nutritious snack for the kids, and they can, ummm, play with it!
The summer days are getting longer, and so is the list of barn chores! Goats are kidding, cows are arriving, and a dream of having a raw milk dairy is becoming tangible.
Overdue does, goats with bloody milk, harried milkmaids... Oh where does it end?! Life isn't ALWAYS roses in the goat life; sometimes it does leave you tired frustrated.
Even dairy goats can have self-esteem issues...
Ilene White Freedman starts her cheesemaking trials with an aged pressed cheddar cheese with goat's milk from the farm.
Whether or not it was devised by clever Mexican potato growers, the cheap, easy to build, and space-saving potato tower is a unique alternative to rows, barrels, and other methods for planting, growing, and bringing in your season's spuds.
Check out Annie B. Bond's list of 11 easy tips for making your kitchen more healthy and safe, from Care2.
Get your garden ready for spring by making this sturdy, comfortable outdoor bench from recycled-plastic lumber and an old truck tire inner tube.
Dairyman Nick Snelgar reflects on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health certification process and bagging hay for winter on his UK dairy farm.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner.
Many of the herbs used for beauty and health today have been tested and tried over centuries. A new article by James A. Duke, Ph.D., discusses the history and uses of flax, myrrh and others.
The author discusses setting up small-scale dairy for local, doorstep milk sales in Great Britain.
How and why I started using leftover raw milk as a natural soil supplement and fertilizer on my dairy farm.
Getting ready for Goat School is always a daunting task, but once all of our new friends start arriving, we get excited! What a great time learning all about goats!
When one of her goats starts looking for love for the first time, and hollering her little head off, Angela has to do some quick thinking to keep her precious pets from becoming that night's dinner!
A "how to" for building a hoop-style greenhouse using PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.
Simran Sethi discusses how to green your bathroom in easy ways: through your choice of toilet paper, shower curtain, and towels.
So maybe you can't afford the pricey furniture and decor on display at the design shows in Milan and Vegas. Just take a look at these ideas and start riffing.
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food