Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence reviews the latest proposals banning urban chicken farming.
Urban Agriculture activists and advocates work to change the zoning laws in Chicago to be more friendly to urban agriculture.
Recently a trend in farming called hydroponics has resurfaced and gained national attention that has grown in popularity with some, but has left others with mixed feelings.
Don't let your wanderlust for more space hold you back from creating your homestead in the city.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares how to install drip irrigation in your home garden.
Milk, meat, eggs, veggies-- see how it's done on a small urban farm!
Productive urban landscapes, if managed correctly, can reduce pollution in local watershed.
The Spirit of Hope garden in Detriot offers a safe, nurtuting place for plants and children to grow.
Lay Htoo, a Burmese refugee, has been enrolled in the Farm Business Development Program at Cultivate Kansas City and is setting out to start her own urban farm.
Simple living expert Wanda Urbanska at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
None of these items' primary use is for gardening or livestock keeping but here we are using them all the time. So here's my list of items that you should keep around if you are an avid gardener or own livestock.
The Oakland, California-based urban farming company manufactures grow-your-own oyster mushroom kits with soil made from recycled coffee grounds.
After a completely miserable potato harvest this year we’ve decided to pull them out of the ground and do them in boxes made out of pallets. That way we can use weedblock under them to eliminate the whole bindweed issue. So today, the boxes went up.
A beginning farmer realizes that time may be the farm's most important commodity.
Check out the installation process of an urban beehive.
A beginning farmer loses a friend and finds that solitary farming isn't all it's cracked up to be.
When you grow your own food, you not take a step towards self-sufficiency. You also make a move towards better health and whole new relationship with your food.
The documentary Urban Roots takes a look at how city farming is transforming the city's vacant lots into community gardens, ultimately changing the community as a whole in the process.
Kansas City has a thriving city farming scene, and recently hosted an urban farms tour to showcase several of the city’s market and community gardens. One of our editors pedaled along with a bike tour group to see what the city farmers have to offer.
Growing potatoes in containers allows you to increase your yield in a small amount of space.
HOMEGROWN blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel outlines strategies for responsible drought gardening in her home state of California--or anywhere.
A post by Maria Rodale called A Harvest of Healing got me thinking about how gardening and growing your own food is much more than what you harvest.
People often dismiss gardening as an expensive hobby that they can’t afford. While that can be true, it doesn’t have to be. There are way to make gardening cheap.
In the United States, we are feeling the effects of the rising food prices as well. When you take a deeper look into the prices, it’s not the food that is causing the price to rise. It’s everything else that goes into getting the food to your plate t
It might be the middle of the summer, but you should start thinking about getting your fall garden ready. If you don’t have much space, to plant everything outdoors, then you can certainly start your seeds indoors.
When you are apartment gardening in a small space, you are forced to be creative due to your space constrictions. Most traditional pots and containers might not work, so you become reliant on reusing objects to better fit your space.
A beginner farmer learns about taking on the responsibility of raising animals.
Parents will often say that they don't have time to grow their own food because they have kids. Don't let kids be the excuse. Instead make them part of the experience too. It's what families have done since the beginning of time. The past 100 yea
While there are many events that have lead us to where we are today in terms of food, there are some things/events that stand out the most in my mind. Growing your own food is one way to reverse the trend.
When people ask why they should grow their own food, the answer that I give is often simple. I tell them, "It's because we are humans."
Take these into consideration the next time you are making your food purchases.
Organic is a phrase that’s tossed around and abused a lot by marketers these days. Not all “organic” products should be treated equally.
What if I told you that you could grow 50 plants in 4 square feet?
A nine-to-fiver turns a corner and leaves behind a twenty-year career to grow food amongst housing developments and strip malls.
We are taught when we are kids not to waste food, but it doesn’t seem as if that lessen has stuck with us.
Whether you are new to gardening or experienced, you will make some mistakes. Get over it and learn from it. That’s the most important thing.
Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc.
Some people use gardening as an escape from the trials and tribulations of the real world. It’s their time to get their hands dirty, connect with the earth and just be in their garden.
A beginning urban farmer grows nothing without a smartphone.
If you are new to growing your own food in containers, these are some simple tips that should help you to get a better yield and results from your containers.
Growing your own food doesn't have to be an expensive activity. There are plenty of ways to cut back the costs and be earth-friendly as well. You can do this by giving a second life to items that have outgrown their initial purpose.
Containers are great for those that are gardening in small spaces. Though there is the fear of not knowing when or how often to water them. This is why I started to make my own self-watering containers.
It’s the middle of summer and you are likely enjoying the harvests. There is` so much to do with all that fresh and flavorful produce, but what should you do?
Garlic is resilient, easy-to-grow, highly nutritious, and a natural antibiotic.
Nature challenges us: Can we love the world around us unsentimentally? Our enormous achievements have brought most of the planet more or less under our control. Now that we have this powerful role in the world, are we capable of accepting our responsibility? Nowhere is this question more present than on a farm, where we live among the animals that will one day provide a meal, and where providing a humane death is not only neccessary for our nourishment, but for providing a good life for the rest of the animal residents.
Learn about the advantages of urban farming from those who are leading the way. The benefits include improved food production, increased revenue sources and reduced energy use.
Using natural products, such as grass clippings and homemade organic fertilizer, can turn the worst clay soil into an acceptable growing medium.
Creating new no-dig garden beds is easier and quicker with raised-bed stakes and two-by-six lumber.
This historical neighborhood, with a strong sense of community, offers the feeling of small-town living.
Bounty is in the eye of the beholder — whether it be a bowl of perfect berries or millions of maple seeds.
Moving to an urban homestead is a challenge, but the boxes are getting unpacked and the birds are at the feeders.
All of the work of readying the garden and waiting for it to produce is worth the wait once the harvest begins.
Keeping a garden journal helps you know which varieties you grew were successful, which were not and how much you harvested from each.
The garden is growing better than I could have expected in the raised beds at my "new" urban homestead.
Making the move to a historical neighborhood will offer an opportunity to develop community ties and try some new gardening techniques.
All the hard work of planting, weeding and watering comes to fruition in a bowl of berries and a plate of golden potatoes.
Set up camp in a parking space, feed the meter, and create a mini-park on PARK(ing) Day this Sept. 20.
Deciding on urban beekeeping may just mean hosting a hive - some of the honey and none of the work!
It may not be Spring, but spring fever is in the air along with the need to dig in the dirt, plant seeds and eat fresh vegetables.
Wherever you live, you can practice sustainability and share your successes with your neighbors.
The Self Sufficient-ish Bible and accompanying Web site offer some universal tips for urban self-sufficiency.
Can’t have a garden of your own, but you want to garden? Urban Garden Share allows you to do exactly that!
You can get more for your gardening money with a group seed starting effort.
For a natural looking wood finish, use a mixture of linseed oil and turpentine.
Photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand captures a verdant mangrove swamp shaped in a perfect heart — just in time for Valentine's Day.
A transplanted Choctaw and Southerner, a grandmother shows her strength and creativity during the Industrial Revolution and shows how one can face and adapt to life’s challenges.
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.
It's fall, time for fall garden clean up and planting garlic for next summer's harvest.
Coporations continue to purchase interests in seed industries. Could this be a problem?
Farming isn’t a skill that can be easily learned from a book. Here’s some advice and a collection of resources to help you decide whether you’re ready to try your hand at it.
Amid mounting concerns over food security and sustainable food systems, the rise of urban gardens and agriculture has been on the rise. Due to a paralleled increase in the numbers of people interested in learning how to garden, programs in urban agriculture at colleges as well as nonprofit urban garden training programs have sprouted up across the country.
The healing power of plants can remediate years of soil and water pollution, and create unexpected islands of beauty.
The growing bike boom may be more than just a fad. It may be a full-blown movement toward a more sustainable mode of transportation.
Planting flowers and vegetables that are attractive to honeybees will help to bring these garden pollinators into your yard.
Coffee bean chaff — the light, airy husks blown off the beans during roasting, can be used as chicken coop litter, mulch and compost. Chaff can usually be found for free at local roasteries.
In North Carolina’s Triangle region, Crop Mob is reviving community farming.
A humurous description of the beginning of an adventure in farming.
Farming brings with it a lot of dirt, manure and blood, not to mention death. But it's these that also make it so full of life.
Miller Manufacturing expands the Little Giant beekeeping supply product line.
KIOTI embarks on a major process upgrade to exceed the needs of their customer base.
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?
A woman recalls her childhood memories on Three Mile Creek Farm including horses, a pig pen and a one-room school.
From breadlines in the city to hanging clothes to dry, a woman shares memories of her family’s move from Los Angeles to a farm in Oregon during the Great Depression.
A description of farmers' even tempered dispositions.
Farmers in northern Michigan urge county officials to support hemp farming.
Radical homemaker Karen Keb introduces her new blog, which will cover topics as diverse as baking bread to raising livestock.
It's snake season, and I found a black snake out my back door!
Carolyn shares nostalgic summer memories of life on the farm including owning a pet rooster, picking wild blackberries, and eating fried turtle.
If you think Bambi is cute, try keeping him out of your strawberry field!
Here are a few sources that can help you find affordable farm land.
Bee populations in urban settings are increasing, but urban settings aren’t set up to provide lots of forage for honey bees... or are they?
FamilyFarmed.org Good Food Festival & Conference partner Vicki Nowicki shares her experience living, learning, and teaching on her suburban permaculture homestead.
Bee populations in cities are increasing, but urban settings aren't set up to provide lots of forage for honey bees...or are they?
Pigs can be a great source of healthy and humanely-raised meat in an urban setting thriving on the leftovers of humanity.
A new report from Shareable and the Sustainable Economies Law Center details ways that city officials can harness the power of sharing to transform their cities for the better.
Using rabbit hypnosis and a pair of wire cutters we successfully perform dental surgery on one of our does.
If you go shopping for an electric bike, you’ll find a wide range of prices and brands. Discover how to determine the best electric bicycle brands for your lifestyle.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares how she built a cheap greenhouse out of mostly scavenged materials - and how you can, too.
Keeping bees with neighbors in the city or the burbs.
It takes a village to build a backyard chicken coop.
Look for local foods, such as fresh peaches, from your local farmers' market to make delightful summer desserts such as peaches and cream.
How living more sustainably can save you in an emergency.
One way to get a jumpstart on the growing season is to start growing your seeds indoors. For most of you it’s still cold outside. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a headstart on getting your garden started for the new year.
Finding wild morel mushrooms growing in our urban backyard means plenty of marvelous meals.
Julie Lavigne relates her grandparent’s home in the city, a modern homestead for their time, and proves you can live a self-sufficient lifestyle in an urban setting.
The success of Urban Gardens is a story about an expansion of one’s reach outside of one given discipline.
I asked Heather, the Marketing and Customer Service Specialist over at Thrive, a few questions and here’s what she said about mycorrhizal fungi.
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.
Lyanda Haupt talks about the challenges and rewards of protecting her chickens and garden from local wildlife.
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
If you have ever thought about beekeeping photography then this article is perfect. Geoff Fitzgerald talks about his motivation for the topic and what got him started on the rooftops of Brooklyn. There are also some fantastic urban beekeeping photos.
St. Paul, Minnesota, not only allows front yard gardens and promotes growing vegetables in containers, but encourages residents to beautify the boulevard with plants, including edibles.
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service held its 25th conference from Feb. 27 though March 1. Here are the main takeaways about where organic farming has come from and where it's headed.
A potential solution to rising food prices, food insecurity and the obesity epidemic may call into play raising farms inside the city limits.
The fields that were laid out in 1843 for livestock farming are teeming with hay-making grasses.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates discusses why his family works so hard—both on and off of the farm—to practice subsistence farming.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan reflects on the changes that arrive with fall, including her own sense of melancholy.
The Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service is looking for an organic farmer worthy of being named their 26th annual Organic Farmer of the Year.
Robert Zwald finishes his short memoir with a record of his Wisconsin farm in the 1960s and the growth of his family. This is the eighth part of his stories, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
To protest the ban on hemp farming, six hemp activists symbolically planted hemp seeds on the lawn of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
September is here and I'm expecting the weather to break!
Facing massive snow drifts, HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick forges a new path to her barn and finds inspiration in the process.
Using horses rather than tractors may turn out to be the greenest way to farm.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan Redick considers how inextricably the lives of farmers and fishermen are intertwined in her coastal Maine town.
The annual Organic Farming Conference put on by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service featured a series of workshops designed for young farmers looking to get started.
Dealing with potties out in the country.
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.
Things that come to mind while watching my husband and son work in this heat.
Humorous real-life stories of moving and adjusting to farm life.
Vickie Evans describes her grandparents’ life in Winfred during the Depression and the years following. Both came from farming families and used their land and farming knowledge to help the local community.
Cam learns to appreciate country music.
It's a challenge to describe the place where I take my livestock when it's time for them to cease being my companions, and to become my product instead. I call Steve's Meats in DeSoto, Kansas, the "packer." And, indeed, when I stopped off there this morning they had about 800 pounds of beef frozen and packed, ready for me to take home. It filled the freezer to the rim.
A boy growing up in Appalachian Country shares the farming practices of his family.
Cam has a great deal of respect for farmers.
Rabbits are an ideal source of high quality meat for urban homesteaders.
On-going series on my family's efforts to raise urban chickens in our Minneapolis backyard.
Ziggy Liloia examines two poignant books, Paradise Lot and Gaia’s Garden that turn the idea of needing lots of space to grow ample food on its head.
Here are six of my favorite ideas for those of you with small spaces and still want to get your garden on.
A beginning farmer starts to realize that first impressions of the farm will make all the difference.
Columnist Ann Fisher writes about the unfair animal ordinances in Worthington, Ohio, which may surprise chicken owners.
A beginning farmer enjoys the work she has to do by hand. But would still like a tractor.
As you can guess from their name, cabbage worms primarily attack plants in the cabbage family, but are not exclusively cabbage feeders.
China’s largest green burial ceremony is part of the growing trend of eco-funerals in a country that is trying to conserve land.
Dealing with insects in your garden is inevitable. It’s just a matter of when it happens. Just because you have some critters munching on your food doesn’t mean that you have to break out the chemicals.
You can easily make homemade mozzarella in 30 minutes or less!
Jerry is no ordinary guy. Don’t be fooled by his rather gruff exterior. Laughing eyes, and a twitch at the corner of his mouth, quickly verify that humor lies within! This wild man in the suburbs has some interesting hobbies which keep him well fed!
A new farmer builds a great sheep shelter out of free stuff and learns where not to put it.
Having little space is not a reason to not be growing your own food. It's just an excuse. I've been apartment gardening since 2009.
A few thoughts about the activities here in southwest Missouri this spring, including plans for a garden, thinning and pruning trees, and salvaging urban logs
You want to start your urban garden from seed this year, but you're not sure where to start because you’ve only started from transplants.
Regardless of how little space you have, you can grow some of your own food. Space is just an excuse. By building a self-watering container or soda bottle planter you can maximize the space that you have. You don't have to have a huge garden - growi
A new course, Radical Urban Sustainability Training, teaches city- and suburban-dwellers the skills they need to develop a self-reliant and sustainable lifestyle.
Skip the packaging and synthetic chemicals and learn how to make your own, cold-processed shampoo bars.
How we turned our plain old yard into a productive farm, and how you can do it too!
Focus on Food records an episode from Chaffin Orchards and discusses sustainable farming and the ethics of eating meat.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan learns that giving up control, whether over a mischievous flock or a single lamb, can have its own rewards.
Proposals to weaken the links among conservation, farming and fair access to food would worsen the problems of U.S. agriculture.
Writer and Canadian farming enthusiast, Joseph Graham sent this review of the event that he and his wife hosted for Homesteading Education Month.
It takes a few good rationalizations to get through the busiest part of the growing season.
A description of a pioneering workshop featuring no-till, cover crop cocktails and mob grazing. Douglas County Conservation Service educated local farmers in cutting-edge biological farming techniques.
I, alone, am no one. I do not grow food. I do not water the garden. I do not photosynthesize. I do not put the life force in the soil. I do not make the seed. A natural force other than I is responsible for all this. That same natural force uses this body I like to consider my own to garden.
Permaculture is at the heart of the solution of many environmental crises. Permaculture is alive with the possibilities of positive change.
Is rotenone organic? The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) sorts out that complicated question about a pesticide being used on some organic farms.
The 20th-Annual Organic Growers School takes place March 8 through March 10 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in Asheville, N.C. The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction and trade show.
Learning to raise cows is more of a challenge than you would imagine!
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.
Free-range, backyard eggs are better for your health and your ethics.
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.
The Worldwatch Institute declares that many people worldwide are turning to organic agriculture to feed themselves and others, while feeling good about protecting the environment in a time of economic depression.
Arthur Bolduc shares his story of experiencing life near an Amish community in Ohio, where he enjoyed the exciting process of sorghum production firsthand.
Finding friends out in the country can be challenging.
Coming back to agriculture and the farming life, I think every farmer should spend time as a fisherperson. If that were the case, I have a hard time believing Industrial Agriculture would have ever taken its foothold. Manure runs downhill as they say
A hard look at the state of the food industry and the impact of factory farming on polluted run-off, animal rights, and small family farms across America.
It's always wonderful to meet someone who is passionate about what they do!
Cam enjoys a visit with Ken & Madeline who farmed this property many years ago and Cam realizes how hard farming was back then....
Real estate and land use demands have many people left on a waiting list by their local community gardens. Never fear: There's still plenty of options to get growing!
When it's too hot outside, the work moves inside, and is still REALLY HOT.
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.
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
It's been a rough summer for gardeners and farmers alike. Here's how we've been dealing with drought and a few tips on watering.
Young, pioneering aquaponic farmers like Josh and Alicia Davis, who own and operate an aquaponics farm in the Midwest, are reshaping the future of food in the United Sates. Folks like these surely do inspire others to think differently about their food.
After finding the illegal presence of genetically engineered wheat in Oregon, the USDA has found another, similar case in Montana.
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our efforts to improve energy efficiency in the United States might be faltering.
An experiment in urban gardening produces a melon miracle.
When you ask people if they want chemicals in their garden or on their food, most will say no. They want to limit their exposure to the chemicals and pollutants.
I say compost, you think of rotting food, dirt, flies and a horrible smell. For that reason most people wont' even consider composting at home.
When you say “organic” most people think of elitists that are buying over priced food because they think that they are better than others. What does the “organic” really mean though?
The Front Yard Coop Supplies Innovative and Elegant Chicken Coops to Meet Rapidly Growing Interest in Raising Hens.
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?
Rachel and her husband committed to a year without groceries, and they made it! She shares her experiences in local food in this post.
It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked:
Why do we do all this work?
As I go along, I pull out pebbles occasionally, but only one large stone. Time and time again, however, my hands pry free the remnants of bricks. As late afternoon turns to early evening and my work for the day is nearing completion, a collection of the ruddy-colored artifacts is stacked to one side. The sight of them calls up something nostalgic in me, broken bits suggesting a history that is largely lost.
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.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missourian Bryce Oates explains how he and his family survive summer on the farm. Two words: swimming pool.
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.
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?
One woman's vision of a family farm comes to life in her back yard thanks to one friendly goat.
I am off to Polyface Farm to intern for the summer and I’m so excited! I plan to write every week to explain to you what we are learning, how we spend our days, mistakes we make (that you can learn from) and basically anything that can help readers become better farmers and homesteaders. I’ll include lots of photos too, so make sure to check back!
Jenna Woginrich discusses the more difficult aspects of homesteading, and why it's worth it anyway.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan recalls how the seasons affected her childhood and how they guide her activities now on her Maine dairy farm.
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
Some things have come full circle, so now we have a chance to fix it right this time!
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.
So, yes, I have become a lover of goats (and ducks have won me over, too). But the truth is, I can’t wait to eat the boys.
Weather.com now features customizable local weather applications, including an Agriculture Application with great tools for farmers and gardeners.
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.
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.
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.
The flowers weren't just there to be pretty. They provided a long blooming source of forage for our bees and the native pollinators.
As New Year's Eve approaches, friends butcher the ducks they've raised in their rice paddies and share some thoughts on "The Power of Duck."
If you have a constant, overwhelming urge of wanting to be outside breathing in the fresh air and partaking in various farming activities, you may be suffering from barnheart.
How to Schedule your Planting by the Moon
Raising and growing your own is more than a lifestyle — it is life.
Important provisions in the Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act have been removed, which would leave the Gulf of Mexico open to damage from unsustainable fish farming methods.
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.
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.
C. Murray shares his experiences finding work to support his family as a child during the Great Depression.
Learning to clear fields can be fun!
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.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!
Blackberry picking only happens at the height of summer, but is well worth the thorn wounds!
Trying to follow directions out in the country can be challenging!
Weeding in the summer is all about species maintenance
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.
Even dairy goats can have self-esteem issues...
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.
The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
Clearing your land to ready it for farming can be quite a challenge!
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.
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.
Lindsay Fernandez-Salvador explains the best ways to use animal manure while organic farming.
K.C. Compton takes a glance at more than two dozen trends that are shaping our future, which are documented in the Worldwatch Institute’s latest publication, "Vital Signs, Volume 21."
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.
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.
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
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.
Over the past 15 years the noise level in cities has increased sixfold; urban noise doubles every eight to ten years. Even in the country, we can't escape the sound of airplanes and engines. What can you do?
OK, you’ve got a start: where to get equipment, groups to join, classes to take, and mentors to hook up with. Now’s the time, before you have bees, to take a long hard look at some of the rest of the things you need to be thinking about.
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.
A permaculture-based, 2,000-acre farm in Northern California integrates grassfed livestock with orchard farming.
Completing tasks in preparation for a few days away from the homestead
In this excerpt from Fair presenters Hank and Karen Will’s new book, Plowing With Pigs and Other Creative, Low-budget Homesteading Solutions, they’ll show you how to add small grains to your plot.
Have you ever dreamed of taking your part-time homestead to a full-time salary? What's holding you back? Business books say most people are more afraid of success than failure.
Teddi Irwin sent us this
great update on a Homesteading Education Month event held at IN A GOOD WAY, a
training farm established to use therapeutic methods of farming to improve the
lives of Native American men.
Hay season on the Keith farm means lots of work for the wood-powered truck! Check out these videos of Wayne's farming operation.
Gasification guru Wayne Keith shows us some of his daily farm operations.
Monsanto's Roundup Ready system transformed typical weed problems into a national superweed crisis, only healthy farms can correct the damage done.
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.
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
University of Florida entomologist Russell Mizell investigated ways to attract stink bugs to trap crops rather than cash crops—with great success. His experience can help you learn how to design trap crop scenarios of your own.
Donna Pellegrin shares her mother's stories of growing up on a fertile, bountiful farm during the Great Depression, and of the homesteading skills that kept them well fed.
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
One thing I know for sure is that many in the local farm and food scene are working through the same issue. We are numbers people in search of numbers. We aren’t crazy unscientific loons like our industrial brothers and sisters think we are.
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.
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.
Permaculture is a holistic, integrative design for a sustainable future: registrations now open for D Acres' 2012 Permaculture Design Course!
Animal Husbandry tent experiences from Day 1 of 2011 Mother Earth News Fair.
Drought is hard on us out here in Farm Country. But drought in the midst of boiling hot summer is amongst the worst conditions I can imagine.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
This story recounts one father's hard work to help his family survive by raising chickens and farming during the Great Depression. The author also describes his family-owned homemade brooder house, which helped shelter the chickens that provided meat and eggs during hard times.
We wanted to write up a post about asparagus to explain how farmers look at the crop, but also as a sort of apology to our customers. We have spent many hours in the field and on the phone seeking farmers with an existing asparagus supply. We had man
This fifth story from Robert Zwald talks about his efforts to keep his family farming through the depression, even after they lost their own land.
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!
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner.
Robert Zwald talks about farming equipment and selling his harvest in the 1940s. This is the sixth part of Robert's stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
Farm life is not always predictable, and some of the surprises turn out to be the most valuable lessons. This story from the ranch about some strong winter-born goats, a protective cow with motherly instincts, and a calf that’s making it against all odds will not only inspire you, but it may teach you something about the wonderful spirit of community support.
In Japan, more and more people are combining farming with other work. My neighbors and I fit the pattern, but what's it all mean for the future of farming?
A 30-acre organic and biodynamic farm is the beating heart of the thriving 1,000-acre Serenbe community near Atlanta. As more developers integrate agriculture into suburbia, the joys and benefits of farming are becoming available to everyone.
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
Monitoring energy use has led to increased motivation for conservation
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.
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
After months of waiting, worrying and hoping, the clouds finally arrived here at Yellabird Farm last week and brought us the long-sought gift of good rain. It was a great two days of slow and soaking moisture that the cracked soil guzzled up...
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
The 651 Project has been established to assist students Nationwide in their pursuit of agricultural skills and knowledge.
The Ecological Farming Association will host the 33rd annual EcoFarm Conference at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, Calif., Jan. 23-26, 2013. The conference will offer more than sixty workshops, as well as the opportunity for eight beginning farmers to win substantial grants.
Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
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.
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.
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!
All of us farmers,large and small, are a big part of the engine that drives the economy
of rural communities, rural counties and rural states.This year, we are learning a lot about what happens when that engine sputters.
Watch a video of a traveling sheep shearer at work and tell us about small-scale farming artisans in your region.
Finca Exotica is ideal for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the Osa Peninsula's bounty and learn about permaculture and sustainable building.
Learn how bats can be beneficial for organic farmers, dramatically reducing the need for costly and harmful pesticides.
Robert White is remaking himself as a farmer, and will return to his family's land to start a market garden. Here's why.
Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.
So, what do you do if you neglected to start your veggies way back in January or February? You had good intentions but there always seemed to be something that stole your attention. Now it’s the planting season and you have nothing to plant...
Kansas City's 18Broadway project is a superb example of how to capture and store rainwater to grow food in the heart of downtown.
My first blog for MOTHER EARTH NEWS takes me back to a time when I didn't know I had a love of gardening. One of my first gardening experiences came during an unlikely encounter with my curmudgeon grandfather.
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.
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.”
Honey bees, the Boston tragedy, and our power to create the world we’ve been waiting for.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
This is a rundown of films that came out in the last few years. These films cover a wide range of environmental topics, from energy, climate, and fuel, to food, farming, and health. Many of the films have won awards or been critically acclaimed.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
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.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
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.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival inspired us to keep at those challenges that frustrate us on the farm.
Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!
Rancho Margot in Costa Rica is completely off the grid and constantly closing the circle. Nothing is wasted on this self-sufficient ranch, where everything is considered a resource--including methane from the compost ovens.
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.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.