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.
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.
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.
It's fall, time for fall garden clean up and planting garlic for next summer's harvest.
Deciding on urban beekeeping may just mean hosting a hive - some of the honey and none of the work!
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.
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 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.
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.
Lyanda Haupt talks about the challenges and rewards of protecting her chickens and garden from local wildlife.
Finding wild morel mushrooms growing in our urban backyard means plenty of marvelous meals.
Simple living expert Wanda Urbanska at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
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.
“You don't have to move to live in a better neighborhood.” Half of all Americans live in suburbia. It’s true that suburbia is on the receiving end of a lot of social, economic and environmental criticism with much of that criticism well deserved. While some of these criticisms may be justified, at the same time, suburbia offers enormous potential to become a critical new frontier for deep changes in our culture and economy through principles of suburban permaculture.
Skip the packaging and synthetic chemicals and learn how to make your own, cold-processed shampoo bars.
You can easily make homemade mozzarella in 30 minutes or less!
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.
Growing potatoes in containers allows you to increase your yield in a small amount of space.
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.
Set up camp in a parking space, feed the meter, and create a mini-park on PARK(ing) Day this Sept. 20.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence reviews the latest proposals banning urban chicken farming.
Can’t have a garden of your own, but you want to garden? Urban Garden Share allows you to do exactly that!
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.
Urban Agriculture activists and advocates work to change the zoning laws in Chicago to be more friendly to urban agriculture.
Urban community green spaces are an essential component of our built environment. Their significance is becoming more and more apparent to city planners and urban residences all over the United States.
The healing power of plants can remediate years of soil and water pollution, and create unexpected islands of beauty.
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.
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.
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.
For inspiration and education, take some time to peruse the hundreds of Modern Homesteading articles.
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.
One woman's journey from life in urban America to a small town in Austria, then back to a suburban homestead in Dallas on which she tries her hand at keeping dairy goats.
Here are a few helpful books on homesteading skills and old-time crafts.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares how to install drip irrigation in your home garden.
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.
Productive urban landscapes, if managed correctly, can reduce pollution in local watershed.
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.
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.
The success of Urban Gardens is a story about an expansion of one’s reach outside of one given discipline.
Do you know any modern homesteaders living a self-sufficient lifestyle? We want to know about them! Nominate a family, someone you know or even yourself to become one of our Homesteaders of the Year in 2012.
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
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.
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.
When defining the term homesteading, consider the various options available.
Growing up in rural north Florida, Elizabeth Hollingsworth shares her family’s self-sufficiency experiences, from storing redskin potatoes to making jam; drives in the country to extended-family potlucks.
Growing up on a New England homestead, a woman imparts heartfelt lessons about making do with what you have and cherishing those memories.
We frequently use the term "homesteading" in Mother Earth News, but what is it's exact meaning?
Jim Oseychuk built this intricate garden shed for his wife and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
The Homestead Act of 1862 opened up 270 million acres of public domain land for settlement. The Homestead National Monument of America tells the stories of many of the people who claimed land and tried to "prove up" their claim.
A woman shares her experiences during the Dust Bowl days in Oklahoma of how she ate poke greens, learned to live without electricity and other homesteading memories.
Camille Wright passes on wisdom from her “Mamaw,” conjuring up images of fresh clothes on the clothesline, a root cellar lined with jams and jellies, and quiet walks.
Looking at the differences between the current homesteading movement in the USA compared to Smallholders in the UK.
Carolyn’s story of living on a farm in rural Illinois shows that one can truly live off the land by having a huge garden, collecting wild morel mushrooms, and making homemade cottage cheese from the milk of the family cow.
Using wood you’ve harvested to start creative wood projects is not impossible. Many sawyers have created beautiful wood structures made from lumber they’ve cut themselves.
Luke Dinan, a young man from Toronto, Ontario, is forging his way towards sustainable living and a self-reliant lifestyle; a path we can appreciate, strive for and maybe contribute to.
Donn Saindon built this beautiful 1,200 square foot home from reclaimed wood and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
After hitching a ride out of the city on the Slow Food movement, some newcomers to the country look back on their transition decision.
Joe Bonn built this impressive home in Colorado and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Robert Craig built this 960 square foot barn in Oregon and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Making New Year's resolutions for a remote homestead.
We are grateful for the peace and balance inherent to our lifestyle, offering ease of being and grounded perspective as we continue to negotiate the boundaries between our world and the real world.
The Obama administration announced additional funding for rural broadband Internet programs that will increase the speed of rural Internet access. The funding is part of 2009's Recovery Act.
Tell us about your ideal homestead. What would it be like?
Help keep cages and water sources clean with Solway Feeder's horizontal watering nipples.
Here are six of my favorite ideas for those of you with small spaces and still want to get your garden on.
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 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.
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.
The Spirit of Hope garden in Detriot offers a safe, nurtuting place for plants and children to grow.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
A new course, Radical Urban Sustainability Training, teaches city- and suburban-dwellers the skills they need to develop a self-reliant and sustainable lifestyle.
Tanya Fields, named the Eco-Warrior of the Food System, discusses how she came to be an urban farming and food sovereignty activist working to empower women and change the food landscape in the underserved neighborhoods of New York City.
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.
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
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 beginning farmer realizes that time may be the farm's most important commodity.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking nominations of self-sufficient modern homesteaders for our 2013 Homesteaders of the Year awards.
We received another great review of a successful Homesteading Education Month event. Read about a well-received sustainability fair in South Dakota.
Growing sorghum is the first step to making sweet sorghum syrup, but are there other reasons for growing a crop of sorghum?
I love rural life and modern homesteading, but there are days when the comfort of a city condo would be welcome indeed. And honestly? A relief.
Looking back the past three years and identifying what we have learned from our experiences.
A review of hammers of friend Jack Fulton.
You don't have to be a homeowner to homestead. No matter where you live, you can start practicing the skills you need for a more self-reliant, sustainable life.
Young homesteader Robert Maxwell explores his discoveries as he moves toward self-sufficiency and homesteading.
Dealing with potties out in the country.
The Homestead Act of 1862 celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. The Homestead National Monument is hosting several activities to recognize this historical event that resulted in millions of self-sufficient homesteaders receiving free land. Learn more and participate!
There are good sides and bad sides to every storey, this is no exception. No one said homesteading would be easy!
You can't just hit the ground running when you make the transistion from rat race to homestead. There are lots of lessons to be learned. What wisdom can you share with the homestead hopefuls?
We're getting very close now to our relocation to Texas. After years of planning and developing, it's time to go home to our sustainable lifestyle. We leave with some sadness but a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement for our new life.
While many of us are homesteaders, some of us have another special job that comes first: parenting. Here are some ways to get through Spring prep and Summer projects on your homestead by involving even your smallest children in daily chores and activities.
Did attending the Fair make you want to go out back and start building a chicken coop? If you've gotten far enough in your chicken-keeping research to look at specific breeds, look no further than the Mother Earth News Pickin' Chicken app.
Sometimes even HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm needs a reminder why she puts up with the goat feed, the chicken poop, the cat puke, and the never-ending mud. Here's a hint: It involves good food.
How can someone who claims to be a 'modern homesteader' not have planted her garden by the end of June, you ask? Well, let me tell you...
Are you a modern homesteader with pioneering women in your lineage? My great grandmothers were all pioneers, but our lives could not be more different.
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.
Using a hot summer day to grow the winter wood pile.
As a beginner homesteader, designer Larissa Reznek has learned some hard lessons fast. Here are the top three pieces of guidance she wishes she had before she started out.
Writer and Canadian farming enthusiast, Joseph Graham sent this review of the event that he and his wife hosted for Homesteading Education Month.
You have read every garden, homestead and back to the land book in your library system. Your dreams of coffee at sunrise set to the chatter of fowl made real. With hoe in hand and 914,760 square feet rolling out from your feet like a magic carpet; where do you start?
When HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania mama Michelle Wire discovered a hidden treasure on her property, she found a new appreciation for her home along with it.
How a hopelessly damaged apple tree has delivered lessons of hope since 2007.
Homemade laundry detergent to save money and the environment.
My vision of the Texas homestead, complete with family and doting grandchildren nearby took a hit this year when my daughter and husband split and my daughter moved to Austin. Could I reinvent the vision? Or would this issue derail our plans?
Pack Rats, cute, tricky and destructive
We are collecting Wit and Wisdom From Our Elders: tips and stories of how people took care of their homesteads in the past. Share your stories!
Welcome to by blog “City to Country, One Step at a Time.” Here’s how I ended up as a modern homesteader on a little acreage in the Canadian West Coast bush.
Featherlite Trailers' official website recorded its one millionth visitor in October, according to data from Google Analytics. This is the first time the site has eclipsed the one-million-visitor mark in a calendar year.
Jenna Woginrich reflects on her journey from fresh out of college, city-dwelling designer to determined homesteader, and offers encouragement to those with similar dreams.
The how's and why's we homestead
Finding friends out in the country can be challenging.
Advice from a sustainable farming expert on how to get started with livestock on a small piece of land.
Susan Abernethy shares this story of helping her husband turn a longstanding tradition of family sorghum harvesting into a small business. Since their marriage in 2004, Susan has enjoyed unraveling the stories of her husband’s sorghum legacy and has inherited a powerful adoration for the hard work it takes to yield the sweet crop.
Pick something new to learn this year from Granny Miller’s list of 101 basic homesteading skills.
Robert Plamondon's Norton Press has reprinted three homesteading classics: Ten Acres Enough, We Wanted a Farm and Gold in the Grass.
Sometimes you have your plans changed for you, so don't put off tomorrow what can be done today.
If you are growing vegetables, making a few homemade wares here and there ... you are practicing good, old-fashioned homesteading techniques.
What exactly is ‘modern homesteading"? There are as many definitions as there are people doing it. What does the term ‘modern homesteading’ mean to you?
When it's too hot outside, the work moves inside, and is still REALLY HOT.
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
Don't over-stay your welcome at the hive. Give your bees space.
The short period of time each year where homesteaders and summer-business owners like us get to freely bask in open-ended unscheduled time is as short as it is sweet, and it reaches its peak right now in January.
That something is easy doesn't always mean it's simple – many of the modern conveniences so much of the western world relies on, the thermostat in most conventional houses, for example, is but the end of a long and complex chain reaction with consequences far beyond our reach. Homesteading simplicity can be described as a way to limit those chain reactions, to be more in control over the effect of our actions and, to alter those effects to have a positive impact.
Welcome back to "Unplugging to Reconnect." In this post, we continue to explore key financial considerations of people who decide to move toward a full-time homesteading or farming lifestyle, all based on the accounts of those who have gone before us and as personally executed in my family's ongoing transition. The specific focus of this entry is on the need for flexible income streams, particularly ones that offer money-saving benefits in addition to pay, while in between the old and new lifestyles.
Sometimes even — perhaps especially — those whose lives are full with experience, knowledge and good living can find that as their time begins to dwindle, there isn't quite enough. Not that that's anything other than as it should be.
From the outset, Earthineer was built to support and promote sustainability and homesteading as a lifestyle choice. Every feature we have planned has that goal in mind. What we have now is the foundation that we'll build off of.
International Homesteading Month is off to a running start! Here are two stories of events that are truly promoting education to foster more self-reliant communities.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce shares 5 things to consider before starting a farmstead—not the least of which being winter.
I recently spent the weekend in Tennessee to attend the NSSPPA Conference and yearly meeting to meet other sorghum makers and learn more about the process. I came away with new techniques, different seed varieties and a feeling of camaraderie with the other producers.
Cam has a (temporary) job outside of the house and he has gained a new appreciation for being self-employed.
Growing and harvesting hazelnuts (filberts) in your garden.
Experiences getting started gardening in the 1970's and suggestions for beginning your own projects in 2012.
The importance of a good pickup truck for the modern homesteader.
Cam describes how the seasons progress through one messy task after another at Sunflower Farm.
We look for materials bargains while devising a way to pay for it all.
We finally build somthing!
Steve explains how our pursuit of environmental sustainability can also drive us crazy if it's not put in the correct philosophical context.
An experiment in urban gardening produces a melon miracle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
The Front Yard Coop Supplies Innovative and Elegant Chicken Coops to Meet Rapidly Growing Interest in Raising Hens.
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.
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?
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.
Rachel and her husband committed to a year without groceries, and they made it! She shares her experiences in local food in this post.
Our efforts to improve energy efficiency in the United States might be faltering.
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.
Andre Armantrout sent us this wonderful update from a Homesteading Education Month event featuring aquaculture at Snowy Pine Ridge, outside Spokane, Wash.
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?
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 journey to a self-sufficient life is a bumpy ride. Having a backup plan — or two — can make all the difference in your progress.
Green building guru Lloyd Kahn recounts his favorite new discoveries from the Puyallup, Wash., MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Tips to help you get started planning your very own homestead. With proper planning you don't have to be experienced to do it right.
It’s an innovative new product that provides homeowners with an aesthetic and permanent solution to the problem of unsightly above-ground propane tanks.
Jenna Woginrich discusses the more difficult aspects of homesteading, and why it's worth it anyway.
There is a coming resurgence of the appreciation of the hearty homespun sorghum syrup. Something is special about being part of making this “home-made” sugar that speaks to the self-reliant nature inside all of us. You can be part of the Sorghum Revival!
For many homesteaders, taking a job during the winter months to earn extra income is an appealing option. Here are some options to consider if you're looking for off-farm income.
Small towns across the country in need of a population boost are literally giving away free land to attract new residents and boost their populations. Seekers of the quiet (and low-cost) small town lifestyle can now grab some free land to build their homes.
The NH Permaculture Gathering is just a couple weeks away!
Built tough for storm cleanup, tree felling, and firewood cutting, the MS 271 STIHL WOOD BOSS chain saw is designed with improved ergonomics and equipped with a low-emission, fuel-efficient engine.
Read dozens of reports of reader's homesteading adventures.
How do you find the best chicken coop design for your new flock? We'll help you walk through the evaluation process AND get a free analysis spreadsheet to help you decide.
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.
Anna remembers her grandmother's tasty buttermilk biscuits with fig preserves and her mother's stories of growing up on a small, in-town homestead in the 60s.
A key choice was what type of house to build. We aren't in Texas more than a few weeks a year until we make our final move back. We wanted a structure we could enclose to protect the interior from the elements and yet build in stages as time and money allow.
If you’re the first of your friends to move to the country, get some chickens and plant an organic garden there will be some inevitable social fallout.
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.
It wasn't many months ago the seed catalog for this year showed up, but at that point I had just, just, managed to finish off the garden season, slightly traumatized from all the work. To receive a catalog then seemed mostly like an ill-conceived joke, a way to rub it in; don't think you can relax too much.
Raising and growing your own is more than a lifestyle — it is life.
When we're trying to achieve our dreams, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by all of the steps between where we are today and where we ultimately want to be. MOTHER EARTH NEWS writer Jenna Woginrich suggests a great idea for a fresh perspective and making your goals more attainable. If you look at the next 60 minutes, what can you do in the next hour to get closer to your goals?
Even we homesteaders must decide how we interact with our animals and the environment. When we follow Nature's rules by developing old-time virtues, our lives are enriched with connection to everything around us.
Learning to clear fields can be fun!
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!
Leaving the rental home we had lived in for three years in Carmel Indiana, to move back to Kangaroo Valley, Australia has meant more than losing the plot and getting the flock out of there!
Trying to follow directions out in the country can be challenging!
Weeding in the summer is all about species maintenance
MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributing editor and compost expert Barbara Pleasant provides some great homestead compost tips in celebration of Compost Awareness Week.
I am new to America, and new to the suburbs, having previously lived in rural Australia. I now live in suburban Indiana. During the past two years I have been trying to set up an "urban homestead" for our family. The neighbors are curious and amused.
Clearing your land to ready it for farming can be quite a challenge!
Learn how to celebrate homesteading this September by promoting community self-reliance skills!
Time management tools can help a homestead run smoothly as well as make the work more enjoyable. By focusing on different tasks in different seasons, assigning different tasks to different days and by sharing tasks, the work becomes both manageable and fun.
Almost 30 years ago I made one of the best decisions ever when I began my homesteading adventure. It's no "Little House on the Prarie" but you can see it from there.
Until we built a barn of our own and experienced the kindness of neighbors firsthand, I would have thought the notion of a barn raising to be a quaint relic of the past.
Kenneth Rust of Kasco Marine will present a workshop on practical pond management at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Harvey Ussery of The Modern Homestead will present three workshops on raising and gardening with chickens at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Pat Foreman of Good Earth Publications will present three workshops on chickens at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Veterinarian Anne Hallowell will present a workshop on hiking and packing with llamas at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustianability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
I grew up with bobolinks. All my life they have nested on our farm, but the bobolinks are in serious trouble, especially in the Northeast, largely on account of changes in agricultural practices.
We do a lot of things on our farm, but the primary way we earn a livelihood is selling wholesale potted herbs and heritage food plants to garden centers throughout Colorado and northern New Mexico.
Solar expert Joe Utasi hopes to have his home solar panel installation complete and running, and will have lots of pictures to show and discuss by the time the Seven Springs Fair arrives.
My boyfriend and I traveled from Orlando, FL with the expectation that we were going to encounter a life-changing experience. It was well worth it. I felt like a kid in a candy store.
Why do we believe that math must be done one workbook page at a time, at the kitchen table? Anyone who’s ever kept chickens can tell you all the math that can be found in the hen house.
Is there a more heartwarming and majestic sight than gorgeous old-fashioned cows in a peaceful grassy meadow, calves scampering by their sides? Awesome. But have you given much considered thought to exactly how those calves will come to be?
We folded down the back seats in our Subaru wagon, lined the whole back area with a heavy tarp and a thick layer of straw, and headed down to Nash's Delta Farm to catch us some ducks.
Like Thoreau and the Nearings, we feel more alive and participative in the natural world around us on our 5.5 acre homestead and organic farmstead than Lisa and I ever did walking through a corporate cubicle maze in the city.
I don't know why, but somehow I think of myself as a lazy farmer. Perhaps it's because I know that I'm not a real farmer. Sure, we ate out of the garden all summer and I sold our excess produce at the farmer's market, but gardening is hardly farming.
Dive in, work with passion, and take all the other important elements of your life with you. Here are four reasons why such blending yields strategic sense.
Kiko Denzer of Hand Print Press will present a workshop and demonstration on modern homesteading, do-it-yourself building with mud at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Heather Houlahan of Brandywine Farm will present a workshop on choosing and training farm dogs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, Sept. 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Jeannette Beranger of the American Livestock Breeds Association will present two workshops on heritage breed pigs and chickens at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Robin Bedford of Possum Hollow Farm Soap will present a workshop on soap making at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Alison Martin of the American Livestock Breeds Association will present a workshop on heritage breed cattle at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Jessica Kellner will present a workshop on handbuilt homes and Michael Vicha will present workshops on cheesemaking at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Robyn Griggs Lawrence of Ogden Publications will present workshops on green cleaning and wabi-sabi at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Kathy Bennett and Scott Bergford will present workshops on raising sheep and keeping your green home safe at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
James Zitting of Bee Landing and Terry Phelan of Living Shelter Design Architects will present workshops on beekeeping and straw bale building at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Erin McIntosh of Mountain Rose Herbs and Victoria Miller of Canyon Creek Farms will present workshops on calming herbs and how to keep turkeys at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Tom Watson of King County Recycling and Environmental Services and Carol Ekarius of Storey Publishing will present workshops on recycling and animal agriculture at the Mother Earth News Fair, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
The history of the Blood Orange and How to make Blood Orange Marmalade.
In order to build skills for our move from Australia to Texas, we have been taking various classes and workshops. Recently, we took a weekend workshop at an excellent cheese factory close to where we live on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne.
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.
Learn how to use less energy canning tomato products.
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.
Keeping bees is something I've wanted to do on our new homestead. But would I like it? Taking a class is a good way to find out.
again, rushing to beat the weather as we close in our finishing our hand-built cabin
MaryJane's Farmgirls is a network of women's groups across the country who meet to discuss and share their experiences in modern homesteading, including sewing, cooking, voluteering and more.
This book club of the book, Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology, follows a couple who decides to live technology free for 18 months among a strict Amish-like community, growing all their own food and relying on their neighbors to survive.
Thoughts on growing all your own food. How much space is required and other things to consider.
If you're pondering a move to the country and think your life will suddenly get blissfully silent, think again.
Comparison between old ways and new technology.
If you've been on this rural living or modern homesteading journey for decades, or just starting out, how do you know when you've arrived?
Using 16-foot livestock panels in many ways on your homestead.
Has the "magic" energy solution been discovered?
Even dairy goats can have self-esteem issues...
An article from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise covering an International Homestead Education Month event that took place at Paul Smith's College on September 29, 2012.
Sensor Plug update along with a report on Sunflowers being used as a cover crop and when to properly harvest onions.
On our journey to self-reliance, my husband, Darren, and I have been gathering human-powered tools when we can find them. It’s surprising and sad how quickly hand- and foot-powered tools were junked when electricity became available. From 1850 to 1890, more than 100 apple-pealing devices were patented. Then none, except those running on electric power. And so it goes with thousands of other nifty human-powered appliances.
Ode to our hand saw...why we choose to live without power, and what we've accomplished by hand.
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.
Kansas City's 18Broadway project is a superb example of how to capture and store rainwater to grow food in the heart of downtown.
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...
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.
Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.
The thrill continues living in our handmade house.
We haul our water from the river - walking water!
Victoria Gazely lives in a 650-square-foot homesteader's cabin built by a man who didn't need closets. She's found five great ways to stash her stuff without renovating--and her solutions work for anyone who needs to hide a few things.
Making the most of a winter walk to home.
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.
Completing tasks in preparation for a few days away from the homestead
Kerr-Cole Sustainable Living Center in Taylor, Arizona celebrates national homesteading month with a display of solar ingenuity.
Rural Living Today founder and advocate, Marie James, told us about a Homesteading Education Month event she and her family hosted in Northeast Washington to teach gardeners how to grow vegetables in cold weather.
Find out how to feed rabbit babies using a goat's milk-based formula.
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
The time to prepare for livestock or pet emergencies is not when they fall ill, but before. Here are some basics so you and your critters are covered.
Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
One of the first steps to building our homestead in Texas was to get water and electricity on the property so we had the basics from which we could build. This blog discusses how we implemented the first phase of our utilities.
Custom Curve is the first glass window system with a structurally engineered framework that follows the curved wall of the yurt.
With country living, you expect a quiet night's sleep. But surprise, surprise - nature has its own alarm clock.
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
Robert White is remaking himself as a farmer, and will return to his family's land to start a market garden. Here's why.
Join two modern homesteaders as they begin down the road toward building their small home and self-reliant farmstead on their new piece of raw land in northeastern Kansas.
We learned a long time ago that we couldn’t attract an audience for our magazines unless we gave our readers tools they could use to improve the world personally. A backyard organic garden is the perfect symbol of positive vision and commitment.
Diane Ott Whealy of Seed Savers Exchange and Jackie Cleary Dietrich of Auburn Meadow Farm will present workshops on gardening and farming at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, Sept. 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
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.
My husband Alan’s first gift to me was Helen and Scott Nearing’s Living the Good Life. The books we turn to regularly have changed, although some we go back to again and again, year after year. A list of our top 10 favorite books follows.
When I bought my farm, I did it to live in the woods. I would like to say I was deliberate. And intentional. But clueless is probably a better word. I should have suspected something when I bought the land and they threw the house in for free.
A horse trainer once said to me, 'Animals don't think, they just make associations.' I responded to that by saying, 'If making associations is not thinking, then I would have to conclude that I do not think.'
Nobody can resist fluffy baby chicks, so what would be better than hatching your own? Let us put your mind at rest and make your first time incubating an enjoyable experience you will want to repeat.
Deborah Niemann of Antiquity Oaks will present two workshops on traditional home dairies and homegrown food at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Alisa Shorey will present a workshop on beekeeping and Jack McCornack will present a workshop on 100-mpg cars at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Looking ahead to September, it gives us all an opportunity to expand our horizons with furthering our knowledge and skill sets, baking and otherwise.
Since her first house move, MOTHER EARTH NEWS blogger Cathie Ackroyd, has become so very conscious of the impact we humans have had and are having on our planet’s environment and hoped to find a place to settle that would allow us to gain an element of self-sufficiency in a relatively car-free community.
While many of those visiting our Hostel are farmers and homesteaders themselves, some come from that “city culture” and seem to take their first hesitant steps outside of a flatly paved driveway when they arrive at our place. Wide eyes, a sense of adventure.
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.
Solar drying experiences in 2012, including tomato varieties Principe Borghese and Long Tom.
Set up a washing station in your garden. Rinse your veggies there, saving the water for the garden and keeping your kitchen clean.
As part of my education on how to be more self-sufficient when we make our move back to Texas, I've been taking classes while here in Australia. One of the more enjoyable classes was in beekeeping. This is our class practical exercise.
Learn about using the Piteba to press your own homegrown oil.
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.
Prepping for major emergencies - earthquakes, floods, tornadoes - is important, but so is emergency planning for less dramatic events. Find out what you can do to reduce the potential for stress.
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!
Part I of a two-part tutorial on how to make soap for the absolute beginner. Readers will assemble materials and prepare the mold this week in anticipation of combining the ingredients to make a batch of cold-process soap.
Land Pride is proud to announce four new skid Grapples in 12 different sizes as well as a skid-mounted Stump Grinder. These completely new attachments feature the same quality and durability that you’ve come to expect from Land Pride.
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.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
Protecting the fig tree for the winter felt like putting it to bed for a long sleep. Chopping wood with the Chopper 1 is a thing of joy and beauty and that's no joke. Do it yourself corn bin helped our neighbor keep the racoons out.
Since they built their solar- and wind-powered cordwood home in Desboro, Ontario, Lisa and Ray Racicot have never looked back. The only thing they'll do differently next time is install the renewable energy systems first, to power the construction.
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
Chickens - how do you know if you’re the ‘chicken type’? If you’re pondering a backyard flock, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself.
Victoria Gazely considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin on 7 acres of fertile earth--purchased for $150--a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
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.”
Many years ago, years before I moved to the country, I was what would be considered "a prepper." I saw disaster every time I turned on the TV, or read the news on the internet, or visited forums that talked about stockpiling beans and bullets. I panicked, thinking I could never have enough control for the sake of my family, never be "prepped" enough.
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.
Jim and Holly Smith, founders of Today’s Abundant Living, sent us this great review of a Homesteading Education Month open house and country skills workshop they hosted at their Michigan homestead.
Our process of buying the land for our homestead had little to do with logic and a lot to do with emotion. For me, it was a chance to return to the plains where I grew up and be close to family.
Jim and Julie are starting their homestead in Texas while still living in Australia. Managing the project by remote control is the challenge, and they are learning as they go. This is an adventure of faith and confidence.
Eating only homegrown foods on the Fridays in Lent.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
Announcing an opportunity to get Anna's new Ebook for free today at Amazon on the subject of homesteading in a mobile home otherwise known as a trailer.
Jenna Woginrich writes about the beauty of Cold Antler Farm, a small homestead that she shares with Pig, her rabbits Benjamin and Doe and several chickens. Taking care of her animals on cold winter nights is a challenge for Woginrich, but one she gladly accepts armed with a water bottle and affection. Woginrich's modest barn provides shelter for her animals and a useful space to feel at home.
Black bears and rural living go hand in hand in many parts of North America. So how do you keep bear/human conflicts to a minimum?
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