Sometimes life’s events get in the way of our goals and aspirations in homesteading. This story is about how events in 2015 derailed our homestead activities and how in 2016 we’re trying to “get back on the horse”. We welcome your comments and advice.
A short video of the highlights of our first winter on our off-grid homestead in the Pacific Northwest. In short, we are hunkering down and trying to survive!
Following the Wheel of the Year gives us monthly moments to celebrate. Imbolc is a reminder that half of winter is now behind us.
A good snowfall now and then helps to test the limits of our resources. You never know if you are prepared for disruptions until you are disrupted. Here are some hints to help things go smoothly when there are real possibilities that they might not otherwise.
A few tips to keep your hens happy in winter, without breaking the budget.
Winters can be brutal, especially on our homes when it comes to our energy costs. Winter tends to drive up energy costs but there is a way to prevent that from happening this winter including eliminating drafts, smart thermostats, and more.
January is the time to plan for next winter's dinners: cabbages, corn, potatoes and squash.
Congressional extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Production Tax Credit (PTC) will make residential renewable energy more affordable in the coming decade.
Whether it’s as simple as switching our water bottles for crocks, or something more complicated, like stacking hay around your hutches — here are a few quick tips on how to keep your homestead rabbits warm this winter.
Making mead, a honey-based wine, can open your world to a whole new adventure in fun experimentation. Create a brew with this recipe, then start designing to your own tastes.
Putting out food for the wild birds in your area will help them get the nutrition they need to thrive through the cold months. Avian nutrition means much more than tossing out a few seeds. If you’re not sure what to put on your wild bird grocery shopping list, check out this list to get started.
Integrate chickens and a greenhouse to provide a synergistic effect for the homestead.
Mark pulled out the camera this week to share a few short videos about our winter garden and goats. Explore our December garden and goat pasture in these short homesteading videos.
Kale chips are the rage and they cook up quickly, but they can be tricky to make. Here are some tips to making great kale chips.
Plenty of homeowners have both solar panels and snow, and some of the most popular regions in the U.S. for solar have snowy winters. Don’t let winter weather discourage you from going solar!
Solstice Night is the traditional time to set goals. On that night, we sit by the fire, review the year, and plan for the next. I’ve been thinking about the goals for the garden already; two are building upon existing systems and the third is new. Once I am clear on my goals, I am going to post them in the greenhouse, so I will see them almost every day!
I love classic New Orleans food! Sometimes, though, the chefs are absolutely reckless with the butter, so I adapted this rich and very savory, New Orleans-style mushroom ragu for a healthier diet. I use portions of this Marchand de Vin sauce to enrich beef stews, other sauces, and in the version of Eggs Benedict called Eggs Hussarde. A dollop of this makes a plain meal into something really special.
Follow these simple tips for winter garden success. Increase winter garden capacity and yield while protecting crops from the winter cold with these helpful organic farming tips.
Dirt mounds and holes in your yard? Identify and learn how to get rid of moles, voles, squirrels, gophers and groundhogs naturally.
So you finally took the leap and installed a home wind turbine. Congratulations! You’ve just taken a big step to make your home energy generation more sustainable and secure, but what comes next? Wind turbines require maintenance and this post will outline some wind turbine maintenance essentials to consider.
Homesteading in the mountains can be inconvenient, dangerous, challenging and lots of hard work.
This is part three in a series of articles on how I made the transition to off grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small house.
The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts for our area “Winter will be cooler and rainier than normal, with above-normal snowfall." To quote a popular television show “Winter is coming." Prepare for winter with this checklist and weatherization ideas.
There are five main areas of the home responsible for wasting the most energy. At the top of that list is windows, and one of the most effective ways to decrease your home’s carbon footprint is by replacing old, drafty windows with new, air-tight Energy Star-qualified windows.
A few tweaks in the process may make all the difference in whether a colony survives the winter.
This green homes blog post describes energy-efficient, fiberglass windows and the impact they have on energy costs in your home.
The time to be thinking about eating local food is in January, when you plan your garden, not in August and September, as you harvest and preserve. Fall and winter crops should be planted in June - but it is not too late to think about next year.
Shelling corn by hand will soon put blisters on your thumbs. You can acquire a corn sheller to help you do the job. Learn how to make a sturdy box to mount your corn sheller on to make your work easier.
We put a lot of thought into being prepared for mountain winters and it requires a lot of work to be fully prepared.
Fig Salami is a unique substitute for the usual cured sausage on a cheese plate; because it’s fruity, it works as well before or after dinner. It takes minutes to make, but plan ahead so it has time to set up and “cure” four or five days — after that, it will keep weeks in the refrigerator.
Learn the correct method for safely making home canned pumpkin and winter squash. A few jars of ready-to-use canned pumpkin on your pantry shelf can save time when you want to bake a pumpkin pie, simmer a squash soup, or make any other favorite recipe calling for pumpkin puree.
Thoughts that were inspired by my trip to Yellowstone National Park.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the amount of energy lost annually through windows costs consumers $35 billion. Heat loss and heat gain through and around windows accounts for between 10 and 25 percent of our heating and air conditioning usage, the largest consumer of energy in a modern home. Here are some ways to make sure your windows are as energy-efficient as possible.
Hoop houses have proven themselves to be invaluable for extending the gardening season in both spring and fall. But I didn’t expect to get even more use out of mine during our frequent and unpredictable hail storms!
A 150-mile transmission line project proposed in 2012 costing up to $1.3 billon is a “dinosaur” that is still haunting the Hudson Valley. But rooftop solar energy, battery storage, and community microgrids can replace the ancient, costly, and vulnerable centralized generation and transmission electricity system that has dominated New York and the entire nation — and advanced little technologically — for over a century.
There are so many ways to dry herbs: in an oven on low heat, in a dehydrator, in the sun. However, overr time under well ventilated conditions, herbs will dry all by themselves with no additional encouragement.
Learn some tricks to growing early corn so you can avoid cross-pollination with neighboring GMO corn and beat the bugs while you are at it.
Cam shares his joy in picking blueberries and growing food.
The advantages of combining wind and solar go beyond system performance and floating batteries – it’s an enhancement to the off-grid lifestyle as a whole.
Ripping apart old clothing and other rags to remake into useful items takes more time than purchasing new fabric, but the rewards – reducing landfill overload, reviving an old-fashioned skill, conserving a treasured memento and saving money – are worth the extra trouble.
Marvel at the step-by-step process of building a wind turbine.
Australian Prime Minister wants to cut back on funding being sent to wind farms. He also wants to cut funding to solar and hydropower projects.
Whether your windows are fixed or operable, crank or double-hung, or come with a low-emissivity glazing all make a difference in how well the windows perform in an efficient, passive solar home.
Installation timing, system sizing, and federal and state energy policies are all important components for financing renewable energy as part of a home construction project. One couple shares their experience with trying to put all the pieces in order.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares a great tip for growing the most tender celery in your own backyard.
I started my first batch of mead after all these years back in October-November. You all may remember my post about the mead. Well, I had trouble with getting the damn thing to start. Here's what happened.
Rhubarb, a once-neglected fruit (or vegetable) that was hard to find, is making a comeback as a result of the real food movement among gardeners and cooks. Based on decades of self-reliant living, I give the reader all the information that is needed to produce a perfect rhubarb pie from garden to table, from planting, growing, and harvesting, to producing a pie with a never-fail pie crust.
The previous entry provided a run-through of the basic wind turbine terms. Here, we’ll cover the tower, the unsung hero of small wind turbine energy production.
The previous installment focused on the benefits of small wind turbines for homeowners who are grid-tied, off-grid, or have battery backup systems. In this short episode, we’ll go over the main terminology associated with small wind turbines.
Calendula flowers make a lovely floral component for an organic vegetable garden. Plus, they pull their weight in terms of productivity: The petals are edible and can be used in skin-healing salves and balms.
In our first installment, we covered the basics of electricity generation and the process by which a wind turbine creates power. This time, we’ll look at the benefits of adding a wind turbine as a source of clean power for your home.
In this blog series, we look at how a small wind turbine works, while exploring the concept of the smart home microgrid.
My surprise when I thought the mead making wasn't happening.
The sun is shining, the breeze is starting to warm, but there's still three feet of snow outside. It's driving you crazy — why can't spring get here now? Well, you're not the only one because those chickens have cabin fever too!
Wintering pigs outside is both fun and rewarding, if you plan accordingly. The most important aspect for pigs wintering outside is that they have adequate shelter and protection from the weather and cold. Water and proper forage, even during cold months, are also important.
Windows can be responsible for up to 40 percent of heat loss in a home. One way to achieve both cost savings and energy savings is by installing the right window treatments.
If you're yearning for spring but are stuck indoors waiting out the snow, these five projects will cheer you up.
Our Facebook fans gave us feedback on how to keep livestock water from freezing when the weather gets cold. Read their innovative tips to keep your own water warm.
This blog tells you how to test seeds that you’ve saved from last season to see if they are worth planting.
Second part of article regarding home wine making.
"An Unlikely Vineyard" by Deirdre Heekin tells her story of growing wine in the unlikely hills of Vermont and her quest to express the essence of place in every bottle. It is about the evolution of her farm from overgrown fields to a fertile, productive, and beautiful landscape that melds with its natural environment. A gentle narrative with lush photography, this book will appeal to anyone who loves food, farms, and living well.
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.
This article takes an insider’s look at how the seed business works, and what you can do to get the best-quality seeds.
Before you begin to make your own wine in the Midwest, it’s good to have an overview of the craft itself and also determine if your area of the country is an area where grapes be successfully grown and utilized for wine production. As with many hobbies, it is not just the end result, but the process itself, that provides an intriguing experience.
Shag rag rugs made of old clothes are durable, attractive, easy to care for and can be machine sewn in a few hours.
Seed sharing has come under attack and seed libraries across the country are being threatened with extinction. Here are nine ways to join the movement to keep seed sharing legal and free.
Birds are survivors. Learn about different adaptations birds have to thrive during the dark, cold winter days. And, what you can do to support winter bird survival in your backyard.
What's going on with the hives, new developments in the Down-East Bee Lady's life, latest bee school news, etc.
Why pay high prices at the grocery store when growing herbs outdoors is achievable all winter long?
There are many reasons to save seed. Why should you learn how to save seed?
Originally founded as a homestead in 1980 by Jack Gray and Mary Jo Wade, Winter Green Farm has grown to become a successful biodynamic farm in Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley. This profile of Winter Green Farm has been excerpted from "Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement."
A beekeeper, acting as the Guardian, discovers a hive that appears to have been frozen in early spring and then sees it come back to life before his very eyes. This beekeeping short story may surprise you, too.
Low tunnels are easy structures to build to protect your winter veggies. Keeping the covers on in windy conditions can be a challenge. Learn simple steps you can take to make your low tunnel covers stable, no matter what the weather brings.
The cold weather is hitting Virginia early this year and it's time to winterize!
Everything pauses during the time around the winter solstice.
Contrary to popular belief, most breeds are very well equipped to deal with the cold. But good husbandry skills will ensure very little frostbite irritation for your rooster and other large-combed chicken breeds. This blog post is about protecting your chickens' comb, but frostbite can also afflict the feet, mainly on snowy days.
A philosophical look at the coming of winter, with ideas for preserving the summer after the end-of-the-season pepper harvest.
Being a homesteader and living off the land often means being subjected to natural conditions beyond our control, sometimes predictable changes of seasons and temperatures, other times curve balls such as unseen pest pressure, hard frosts in late May or heavy snow in early November. A lifestyle where these natural circumstances is the main determining factor for what gets done when is getting increasingly rarer – humans have gained what some consider an advantage by manipulating the world into a state where we, in many ways, can remain unaffected from the forces of nature.
A new film called 'Behind the Water' is an engaging story of the men and women searching to find clean water. The film takes viewers on a wild ride through some of the world’s most rural and restricted areas, many captured on film for the first time.
Silverskins are an ideal garlic for braiding and long-term storage!
Way back when, I made mead. I think it was back with Leif Erickson or some guy by that name. Of course, back then we had rotary phones, the Internet existed as ARPANET (look it up), and I was on the cutting edge when it came to computer development. I also stumbled across a USENET post for how to make mead.
If you are confused about what type of onion to grow in your garden, this blog will give you the info you need. Onions are perennials, easy to grow, and have little to no pest problems. A must have addition to every garden!
What you need to think about to prepare your cows, barn, feed and yourself for the cold weather.
It’s absolutely possible to be gardening in winter. You simply need to understand what to plant, when to plant it and how to maintain the best possible growing conditions in your home for indoor agriculture.
Is your growing season a bit too short for gourmet garlic? Turban garlic cultivars may be the solution!
Chard is a wonderful green, chock full of vitamins. It can be eaten when small in salads. The large leaves can be harvested for steamed/cooked greens. It is a perennial that with cover can be harvested all winter.
The first killing frosts of the season change the garden-scape.
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."
Make a winter checklist to follow in preparation for winter in the mountains.
How to go from buying everything at Wally World to growing organic vegetables, raising livestock, building an efficient home, and a Do-It-Yourself, self-sufficient lifestyle.
You can be harvesting from your garden all year long, including through the winter months! It's time to plant the fall garden.
I love my two-story log cabin, which combines recycled and an array of green building materials.
While livestock and gardening are part of homesteading, it's not all there is. At its core, homesteading is about learning new skills to increase your self-sufficiency.
Learn when to expect your crops to be ready to harvest. Giving attention to the days to maturity for the varieties you choose to grow will help you in your garden planning.
How we prevented birds from flying into our windows.
Ira shows how you can keep sowing and planting through late summer and into fall. Learn how to keep your garden producing abundantly through the cold months ahead.
You can grow a year's supply of beans in a surprisingly small amount of space.
Your gourmet garlic bulbs are finally out of the ground. Now it's time to prep them for curing!
We are trialing 135 varieties of cucumber, winter squash and muskmelon - with a focus on Downy Mildew resistance and fruit quality. An introduction to our trials and to the importance of variety trials in general.
This blog takes a look at the steps taken to propagate lavender by taking cuttings.
The Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, proposed on June 2, 2014, by the Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan not only limits our carbon pollution but also injects life back into our domestic workforce.
Build your own wind generator for use with 12-Volt systems. Charge up batteries for lighting, fans, tools and more.
Growing corn early by transplanting may be unconventional, but its a great way to beat the challenges and...eat corn in July!
The greenhouse takes shape with the help of family.
Many of us love bread and love to use local ingredients.
Peppers and tomatoes are some of the easier plants to save seed from. This post covers isolation distance and introduces basic seed saving techniques.
Temporary brooder setup for CSP, chicks in Gossamer Foundation's office (in February).
This blog post tells you how to set up a drip irrigation system in a raised bed garden.
Make your home more energy efficient with Indow Windows Shade Grade.
Here are some simple steps you can follow when setting up drip irrigation for row crops.
Tips that we have learned gardening at a high elevation.
Using crescent rolls as buns to avoid azodicarbonamide.
The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.
The new 15 and 25 series snow pushers from Land Pride are available in 3 popular sizes.
Anyone can brew beer. Part 2 of Homebrewing for Beginners seeks to demystify the process of cooking the wort, fermentation, racking, and bottling.
Reader Jenna Winkeller of Gilbert, Ariz., wrote to us about a homemade device that can make small-scale wheat cultivation far more efficient: a DIY wheat thresher crafted from just a bucket, drill and chain. Check out a video of it in action, and get instructions for assembling your own version of this wallet-friendly, timesaving tool.
Spending time baking with others will be time well spent. Make some memories that you will never forget.
Anyone can brew beer. The article seeks to demystify the process and help jump start brewing by breaking down the equipment, recipe, and ingredients. This is a 2-part blog post.
This blog post takes a look at some of the methods we have developed over the last 25 years growing vegetable seedlings in our certified organic greenhouses. This time we take a look at the conditions required for healthy seedling growth.
You're not just a beginning gardener - you're also a scientist!
Darning socks is a simple thing to do - and a statement for self-sufficiency!
Two homesteaders discuss their experience with the weather applicable to their mountain homesteads in Washington and Colorado.
This blog post shares some of the simple techniques learned through many years of experience by someone who grows vegetable seedlings for a living.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick recounts a poignant start to lambing season on Bittersweet Heritage Farm.
Ed Essex and Bruce McElmurray compare their weather experiences living at 4,200 feet and 9750 feet elevation respectively.
Do natural genes that defend wheat against diseases also hurt its productivity and food quality? Sometimes yes, sometimes no - and when diseases hit, resistance genes protect yield and quality.
Creating a micro-climate is an essential tool for your survival and homesteading skills. Making the right micro-climate for your plants specific needs will not only help them survive, but thrive as well.
Suggestions for what to have on hand - and handy - when you hear a storm is heading your way.
Hints for kidding in the very cold weather.
A would-be farmer finds chills and perspective during a long winter on the farm.
Two homesteaders from Washington and Colorado comment on their greatest weather fear in the mountains.
Life on a farm blanketed in snow.
Baking and sharing cinnamon rolls can create happiness. Cinnamon and honey will make your baked goods irresistible.
Winter has it's challenges, but the snow-capped beauty and the adventure of living simply amongst it makes it more than worth it.
Some crops survived the cold temperatures while others died. Which ones are most reliable for winter outdoors and in the hoophouse?
Candlemas is an ancient midwinter holiday, when people would take inventory on their stock of candles, pantry food storage and hay in the barn to get the homestead through the second half of winter.
Maintaining access to a water source is one of the most important winter-time chores.
While you may already look for eco-friendly organic wine when you select a bottle, you're probably not aware of the environmental implications of opting for a wine closed with natural cork in lieu of a less sustainable synthetic stopper.
A fun, but informative tutorial on making your own unique lap quilt, from the first-hand experience of a novice quilter. A perfect single day project and a great gift idea!
4 or 40, growing up isnt always straight up. Branches, bumpy outcroppings and the occasional low hanging fruit serve as speed bumps on the road of life.
Calculating the amount of mountain snow to actual moisture.
If you eat raw garlic for its health benefits but find it difficult to consume, garlic oil can be an effective alternative. You can even make it at home!
Our chickens aren't fond of the snow and the wind, but we found a way to let them enjoy the sunshine from the comfort of their coop!
While the snow's flying, this is a good time to plan your garden rotation, order seeds, preheat early spring garden areas, and more.
It is possible to grow fresh crops through the dark months even without a greenhouse, and even where we live, a thousand miles from the Arctic Circle, where the winter sun brings only brief and meager light.
Love of family, love of tradition, love of pumpernickel bread — need I say more?
White Family Rotary treadle sewing machines are well-made and easy to operate – but the hand wheel operates backward of other treadles. Modern bobbins can be used, if one extra step is taken when winding on thread.
When the temperature drops below zero Fahrenheit, you have to keep an eye on your goats.
How to keep your livestock warm and your life full on chilly winter days.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick gets through winter — and goat breeding — by taking a page from her herd and sticking together.
Outside of a few rare equipment failures, we’ve never had a power outage in the past 20 years that wasn’t our own fault — usually caused by not paying attention to power use or proper battery charging. Weather failures, on the other hand, are starting to become noticeable.
Wintertime for a farmer is full of projects and planning.
A homesteader's year is over for this time. Nothing cleans the yard up as a foot of snow, and I think it's here to stay. winter on Deer Isle is great, so great I consider it something we deserve after getting through the summer, both for us as homesteaders and for us as a part of this community.
One way that I work through problems is by baking bread. It is my therapy, and it works for me. Getting lost in the recipe and wondering how you might make some changes to make it better is always good for the mind.
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
Stay warm, find a hobby and cull the livestock; here are some of the things we do to prepare for winter!
Each season brings its own work on a homestead. In the autumn, the garden and animals still require work, but this is also the time to put in a cistern and begin a smoke house.
It's freezing out - but that doesn't mean it's time to quit gardening. Learn how fall and winter are the key to next year's gardening success.
The fifth and final post in the series on Growing Gourmet Garlic, which discusses how to space, plant, and mulch over your cloves.
If you live in the South, you can grow your own sugar cane. Learn to plant, harvest and make delicious syrup at home!
The fourth blog of the series Growing Gourmet Garlic discusses the separation of the bulbs into cloves, and how to select which cloves to plant. Time to get cracking!
The December garden is still full of life, both in the beds and under cover, providing fresh ingredients for home cooked meals. Winter farmers markets and CSA's are a great way to learn what grows well in your zone.
Give your pots the protection they need when freezing temperatures arrive with a portable greenhouse. You can also bring in pepper plants for the winter and have fresh peppers indoors.
Special Lager Beer Crafted by New Belgium Brewing Celebrates Patagonia's 40 Years in Business.
Even if you only have garden pots to work with, you can still container garden in fall and winter to grow vegetables.
Heat Holders keep in the heat in your feet.
The third blog of the series Growing Gourmet Garlic discusses when to plant your garlic and how to prepare your soil.
The second blog of the series Growing Gourmet Garlic discusses choosing which bulbs to use for planting stock.
10 easy steps to get your home prepared for winter.
This is the first in a 5-part series of blogs on the process and issues involved in plating gourmet garlic. Part 1 discusses options for acquiring seed and also provides information regarding calculating the amount of seed required.
The Keystone Center, in partnership with the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, is hosting a regional food workshop called “The Traditional Winter Garden: Fresh Food From December to March.”
The little used herb lovage makes an attractive addition to the edible landscape and provides a smoky flavor to soups and stews.
Growing garlic is easy if you just know the right time to plant it: in fall, not spring or summer!
I learned an important gardening lesson from fighting tomato blight.
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
The process of saving seed for next year begins while the growing season is still going strong
An aging goose gains a family.
Tomatoes are a great vegetable, perfect for all occasions and relatively easy to grow. Here is a way to double, even triple your seedlings while boosting your existing ones.
Allowing children the space to discover the beauty and wonder of plants through tending to their own garden builds character, teaches responsibility, gives insight into the beauty of nature and fosters their connection with where their food comes from.
University of Maine leads the United States in clean-energy technology, thanks to the development of a grid-connected wind turbine off the coast of Maine.
In a recent study, researchers found that watching videos about wind farm-related illnesses made participants claim the same symptons.
A few thoughts on why so many people are hesitant to make the transition to produce their own power.
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.
As tropical plants go, pineapples are one of the easiest to grow.
It was becoming pretty obvious the crowding and lack of light were real limitations to my mini garden. Then, the idea of a trough on the windowsill came to mind, combining a way to water all the plants uniformly and efficiently all at once. Great, now how to make this trough? Wood? Sheet metal? The choices all seemed expensive, clumsy, prone to leaking...then the light bulb went on in my head: gutters!
Planting a vine patch for the first time is easy without the need to till up a lot of soil; instead, cut out sod circles and mulch the surrounding area.
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.
The process of training and pruning blackberry plants is demystified by a gardening expert from Gurney's Seed.
South Dakota and Alaska electric cooperatives received the award for 2012 Wind Cooperatives of the Year.
Wind turbines within two miles of residential areas can hurt the property values of homes.
The International Window Film Association says older dwellings can reduce energy use with energy saving window film, which was recently voted into the new California building energy codes.
DIY sprouting experiment to get kids interested in growing and eating sprouts.
Defying conventional wisdom about the limits of wind power, in 2012 both Iowa and South Dakota generated close to one quarter of their electricity from wind farms. Wind power accounted for at least 10 percent of electricity generation in seven other states. Across the United States, wind power continues to strengthen its case as a serious energy source.
Simply by covering your potatoes with ample mulch, storing potatoes in the ground is not only possible but incredibly easy and successful. Learn how to store potatoes in your garden and enjoy crisp, homegrown spuds through winter and into spring.
A short a story about our very first ice fishing and snowmobile ride.
Get a materials list and step-by-step insructions for low tunnel construction for your backyard garden.
Why and how to grow a variety of cold weather greens in most climates.
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.
Day-neutral strawberries are smaller and easier to manage than June-bearing strawberries. Learn more about the requirements of day-neutral strawberry varieties.
Summing up pasture data where it relates to chickens and customizing land to better suit poultry and their behavior and stomachs. Measuring oil viscosity levels and rescuing a trailer with a portable winch were some of our favorite things.
Winter biking doesn't mean spending tons of money on new cold-weather gear. Adding a few essential items to your closet can help keep you warm during cold weather biking.
How we stay busy in the winter even though we live at 4200', three miles off the road, and somewhat isolated.
Cam can't think of anywhere he'd rather be than on his own private skating rink.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates sings the praises of mixed-species perennial pastures for in-between seasons—even if they don't fully alleviate the need for watching and waiting.
Car tips for prepping and survival for driving in extreme winter weather.
Many criticize eliminating coal mining in West Virginia because of the amount of jobs the sector provides. A wind farm, however, would employ over 200 local residents during the two-year construction phase, and create 40-50 permanent maintenance jobs afterward. A wind farm would also allow the mountain to be used for other purposes, like sustainable forestry, mountain harvesting, and gathering of wild forest plants, creating additional jobs and the opportunity for stable income for locals.
The Classy Coop Giveaway grand prize was given a good home with our contest winner and her backyard chickens. We were happy to see this mobile chicken coop is already being broken in. Bring on the eggs!
It is deep winter and how are your chickens doing? Here are some quick and easy tips to get them through a cold snap.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce shares 5 things to consider before starting a farmstead—not the least of which being winter.
How to make candles you can really light from the peel of Clementine oranges. A wintertime craft...just oil and an orange peel!
Describes hopeful developments toward healthful soil and a safer climate.
Tips on how to stay safe and warm during extremely cold wind chill temperatures.
On a snowy winter morning, the kitchen table becomes the grand cathedral of a home. It is the place of family, song, wood fires, community and love as we wait for spring.
A brief description of how we grow fresh vegetables in our long cold winters.
Learn details regarding winter chicken care including ventilation for a cozy chicken house, heat for baby and grown chicks, and recommended poultry books.
Wind turbines kills birds, but not as many as are killed by tall buildings and other hazards.
Tips on which birds to keep an eye out for in different weather conditions.
A snapshot of winter life living remote and off grid.
The author devises an inexpensive and very effective way to block cold winter winds from blowing into her kitchen via her range vents.
Killing frosts are arriving, but Ira's staying self-sustaining all winter, with winter-hardy greens and plenty in storage, from sweet potatoes to pickled peppers. Get inspired with ideas for kimchi and a fresh twist on winter salads, with yacon.
again, rushing to beat the weather as we close in our finishing our hand-built cabin
Grow calcium in your garden with collards, kale, and parsley. Suggestions are given for including these crops in your meals. Learn about companions to plant among your collards and kale to deter harmful insects.
As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above strategy to
expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Nov. 7, 2012, a lease for commercial wind energy development 11 nautical miles off the coast of Delaware.
In this piece, author Mary Moss-Sprague discusses the simple pleasures of tasty, home-canned tomato preserves.
Learn which crops you can grow in your garden to provide protein in your diet.
Learn how to de-ice slippery surfaces without harming nearby soil and plants.
One farm is able to combine cost savings, with energy sustainability by using a Savonius rotor.
Join us in fighting the threat of GMOs: California's Right to Know (Prop 37) for GMO labeling leads the nation, and the Southern Exposure lawsuit against Monsanto continues to push through the courts. Plus, fall gardening can be easier than summer!
Grow to fill yourself up from your garden. Potatoes will give you the most calories in the least space and are an important part of a sustainable diet.
How we live in the mountains during the winter.
Tomatoes are the gray area of canning. They're not quite acidic enough to just straight can like fruit but the right amount of added acid can keep you from having to pressure can them. Here are the basics on canning tomatoes.
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
Deciding which vegetables to grow can be an important step for any gardener. It is efficient to fill the space that you have with vegetables that keep for the longest periods of time, which can also mean a lot to the bottom line of any garden.
Plan fall cover crops to feed back the soil and leave the bed ready for when you need to plant the main crop next year.
Deb Murphy shares her dad's boyhood stories about making ends meet on the farm in 1930s Nebraska.
Contemplations on what we eat and why we pay close attention to our food.
Musings on growing and eating garlic, and why you should "Never Eat Your Seed Garlic"!
Clipping the wing of a troublesome hen and tasting the first Chicago hardy figs was really great, but what was even more fantastic was seeing Anna's new book arrive and how beautiful it looks.
Beautiful night time display of spinning colors in downtown Ann Arbor vividly demonstrates possibilities of wind energy.
Learn how to breed corn in your own corn nursery, plus learn how to properly hand-pollinate corn plants.
The challenges that we encounter trying to grow a garden at high latitude.
Homesteads are attempting to provide longer grazing times by dividing pasture into paddocks. The difficulty of getting water to each paddock can be solved by a windmill with underground pipes. No electric is needed--just wind!
Investments in lawnmower fabrication processes save more than 310 tons of steel annually.
A report on the potato onion taste test and some details on the annual tomato harvest and storage methods along with digging up ragweed plants.
Come rejoice in the bounty of heirloom tomatoes - experience the flavors and choose your favorites at tomato tastings throughout the Southeast. Plus, it's time to plant fall alliums - garlic and perennial onions - and fall crops for winter storage!
Growing up on a farm during the Great Depression was no easy feat, but MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share these stories of their or their elder's time on a farm.
Cam contemplates the meaning of life while picking strawberries.
Ranting about the drought worked! We got rain here at Sunflower Farm!
The drought conditions at Sunflower Farm are making Cam rather cranky.
Steve shares his time touring a plant that makes the kind of blades homesteaders use every day,
It may be sweltering hot outside, but we're still busily sowing seeds at the Southern Exposure farms! Learn how to plant your bountiful fall and winter garden, with abundant harvests through Thanksgiving and beyond.
Describes a method of keeping red wiggler worms active and productive outside throughout the winter. Describes a method of sheltering and heating the worms using an active compost pile for heat and clear plastic glazing for shelter.
Nitrogen-fixing winter cover crops can save you money on fertilizer next year.
How to make your OWN insulated window coverings.
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
Sweet, healthy, root vegetables that love growing through the heat of summer? Learn about adding Jerusalem artichokes, yacon, and sweet potatoes to your gardens. Plus, more on the incredible health benefits of roselle (hibiscus).
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
In the second in a series on chemicals to avoid during pregnancy, Jessica discusses why and how to prevent dangerous pesticides and herbicides from entering our bodies and homes.
Preventing allergy causes as opposed to treating the symptoms.
Check out our time-lapse video of peppers growing from seed to sprout.
An article about how we learned to double our growing season and have home grown fresh veggies almost all year long.
Learn about advertising-induced fear of an innocuous, food-grade substance, vinegar. Plus, get interesting information about vinegar being used for bioremediation of extremely dangerous chemicals.
Cam recently spoke to a Transition group about the challenges ahead and how to prepare for them.
The mild winter has led to an earlier than usual spring growing season and plenty of surprises in the way of plants making it through the winter that normally would never survive the cold season. Here's a peek at what's growing in my spring garden.
Here is a description of some of the pruning tools and techniques for pruning trees for future sawlogs.
Get tips on growing watermelons from the expert growers at Willhite Seed company, which offers dozens of unique watermelon varieties.
In this blog, Robert White of Quail Acres Farm shares some of his experiences in the Growing Farmers workshops as they relate to planning for his upcoming move to the farm to establish his market garden and small livestock business.
Looking after your chickens in the winter and cutting with a solar-powered electric chainsaw.
Proper insulation pays long term dividends.
So, you can't wait for the weather to warm up enough to get out and plant a few seeds in the ground? Well here is a list of gardening ideas and activities to keep you occupied and happy right up until the day that spring arrives!
Baby kids do not always present in the correct position when descending the birth canal. Learn about the different positions and how to handle them.
Our typical day living in the mountains in the winter.
A video demonstration of MAX's windscreen, which deflects air around the driver's face with minimal aerodynamic drag.
Winter wasn't very hard this year, well at least so far, and even if it gets more normal winter like, there's not much time left. Our bees have done well, and it looks like it might be a great summer ahead.
How to work with a sawyer when cutting your lumber
A mother's love is shown for her daughter by patiently crafting dress patterns from frugally saved fabric while the rest of the house is fast asleep.
Clearly the NACE considers “useless” degrees to be ones in which pay is low and availability of jobs is scarce. However, shouldn’t measuring the usefulness of an education take into account the actual benefits bestowed upon the person doing the study
Robert White explains why he's attending the Growing Farmers workshops, and describes what he learned in the first session.
Host a community seed swap in honor of "National Seed Swap Day," plan to save your own seeds from the garden this year, and get inspired to cook creatively with winter vegetables.
Cam shares his enthusiasm for the sun and the wind at his off-grid home.
Use a simple hobby kit to cut glass wine bottles and transform them into drinking glasses, candleholders or this stylish candelabra.
Tips on how and where to view bald eagles.
This part of the series deals with window size and location, ceiling heights, eave length, and other design and passive design choices you can make for your new home. These choices apply whether you are on or off the grid.
Cam enjoys a magical walk through a winter wonderland while cutting and hauling firewood.
The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
There are small things that any city -- large, medium, or small -- can do to become more bike-travel friendly. Minneapolis is a great case study -- a place that many other communities can aspire to emulate.
You might be surprised to read Cam extolling the virtues of television!
Receiving seed catalogs and dreaming of warmer weather and growing a garden.
We’ve been growing in unheated hoophouses for a decade now, and we can’t recommend them highly enough for commercial growers. If you have any dreams of market farming, the first thing you should buy is a hoophouse.
Sue Parker shares her grandmother's secrets to a strong tomato crop.
Progress in the straw bale and wooden cold frames, delicious Kim Chee recipes for winter harvested Chinese cabbage and winter radishes, and an update from the Lawns 2 Lettuce 4 Lunch program in Arlington, VA.
Working with a sawyer to cut custom lumber for your projects can be a great experience. Here are a few tips to make it even better.
A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your homestead.
Black winter storage radishes can be roasted with bright, pink radishes to create a warming vegetable side dish best served atop of bed of crunchy salad greens.
Southern Exposure celebrates Slow Food's Terra Madre Day with a fresh winter greens salad, featuring yacon, a South American root vegetable that tastes like fresh pear! Plus garden planning to have your own farm fresh food through the winter.
Adzes and broad axes have been used for centuries in log cabin building. Learn a bit about what these tools do and how to use them.
Potted greens are a good complement to greens in the hoop house soil.
Ira takes us on a winter garden tour of the experimental gardens at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. She describes the various experimental cold frames for winter gardening and winter starts. Includes a winter recipe for Sweet Potato Leek Soup.
A couple of weeks ago, the Adventure Cycling blog called attention to the Roanoke Mountain Campground's threatened closure via the Blue Ridge Parkway's Draft Management Plan (DMP).
The vegetables and herbs that are still available in our Southeast garden make for delicious, festive and surprisingly varied holiday fare.
This spring when the pests arrive in your garden try this radical strategy - Do nothing!
If Thanksgiving weekend left you craving light, nutritious meals, try these recipes for winter-friendly salads.
Cam discusses the decision to go off-grid or on-grid and shares his experience with batteries and the dangers of high winds to solar panels.
Our winner of the KAF dough whisk is Dea Keen, and here is her pizza dough recipe.
What are you thankful for this season? Our editors know what they are thankful for, now let's hear from you.
It is not difficult to set up a backyard hoop house to extend your growing season. The result is abundant, delicious greens and extra months with your hands in the soil. Share information here on backyard hoop house gardening and cuisine.
Robert Zwald shares his childhood experiences of selling frogs for fish bait and working on the family farm in the 1920s. This is part three of eight of Robert's stories.
That extra hour of sleep was great, but your animals may not think the same thing about that same hour.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a new Wind Turbine project at the port of Milwaukee will produce more than enough electricity for the city building there. Blogger Ben Nelson checks it out for you with a report, photos, and video.
Robert Zwald grew up in the 1900s, farming in Minnesota. This is part two of his stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
If you’re interested in learning more about growing flowers commercially, winter is a great time to do it. Many of the farming conferences held throughout the U.S. include tracks on cut flowers. I want to tell you about two big ones coming up soon.
One way to overwinter a top bar hive in a northern climate is to provide good ventilation and some insulation. Enough food is needed, and good protection from the wind is too. We'll see how it works.
Consider this One-Day Workshop For Horticultural Farmers Ready To Take Steps To Improve Farm Profits.
It pays to spend time preparing your garden for winter. You can improve your soil, increase your harvest, decrease garden pests and make next spring's planting much easier.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
Try one of our favorite dessert hard ciders this season.
These resources will help you learn how to grow food and start a garden.
The Garlic Gurus at Seeds from Italy give you the scoop on growing your own garlic. This post answers questions of when and where to grow garlic, what varieties to grow, how much to grow, where to buy garlic, and how much to plant.
In the beauty of autumn comes a time of preparation for winter. The many necessary tasks to be prepared if you are self sufficient.
Apple pie spice and quatres epices are two easy spice blends you can make yourself for fabulously fresh flavor.
So far this year extreme weather events has cost the US over 35 billion dollars. This posting discusses the potential for non-carbon-based renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal.
Andrea Chesman, author of Recipes from the Root Cellar, shares one of her favorite winter vegetable recipes.
Where we go to recharge our batteries and restore our soul.
When getting a top bar hive ready for winter, you need to know how much honey there is...and measureing these frames is different than measuring rectangular frames.
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
This is an excerpt from Christopher Nyerges' "Self-Sufficient Home" book (published by Stackpole) where he talks about some of his early gardening experiences and when he learned that the health of the soil is the most important aspect of gardening.
Before winter's chill starts to compromise comfort and elevate home energy bills, there are 5 energy-saving upgrades you can complete.
The time has finally arrived! Adventure Cycling Association's Underground Railroad Detroit Alternate, section 1, is ready to ride.
As the number of farmers markets grows, now may be the perfect time to join in on the market gardening fun.
Cam loves growing and selling food!
It's time to start thinking of winter for your bees. They much have enough food to get through the long months when no food is coming in. It's your job to see that they do.
Growing raspberries and other vegetables at high elevation and the challenges.
If you’re a market gardener battling the heat, you’ll want to check out these great tips for keeping yourself and your crops cool.
This presentation from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash., explains how to get started with homebrewing.
Firewood, the major yearly task when you heat with wood.
Firewood, the major yearly task when you heat with wood.
Skystream install program helps consumers take advantage of their wind resource.
In a Boulder, Colorado, neighborhood, residents are getting off the grass. They're donating their front yards to a community organization that grows enough fruits and vegetable on the former lawns to feed 50 families. Now, that's local food.
It is hard to believe but after more than 20 years of successful federal investment in biking and walking facilities, Congressional leaders are poised to eliminate dedicated funding for biking and walking.
Hodgson Mill Inc., a leading national producer of All-Natural and Organic, Whole-Grain foods, has added two wind turbines to successfully complete the second phase of a significant new green initiative.
This posting will discuss the relationship between the current global warming trend and hurricanes, extreme winter winters and massive flooding.
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...
Recently my passion for pickles was reignited, burning green, burning bright, and leading me to think constantly about food, even as I'm thinking about bike touring. Pickles led to bread, stew, then fudge (the kind my grandma used to make)...
Custom Curve is the first glass window system with a structurally engineered framework that follows the curved wall of the yurt.
This week Adventure Cycling Association announced that our 2011 Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. campaign for the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) surpassed its $30,000 goal, raising over $31,000 for the project during National Bike Month!
Bikes Make Life Better is the title of a new, fun video from the People for Bikes campaign.
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.
Cut old milk jugs into the shape of your choice, rough them up with sandpaper and string them together to make surprisingly pretty window shades that offer privacy while letting the sun shine in.
On Wednesday, Adventure Cycling Association announced that AASHTO is providing Adventure Cycling $5,000 to assist states with route selection and the technical aspects associated with the development of a U.S. Bicycle Route System.
We raise broiler chickens from hatchlings for a 4-H fair project every summer. This is a fun, managable project that provides us with some fresh poultry meat as well.
Sulfites are widely used in winemaking, and for those who have sulfite sensitivities, drinking wine can cause rashes and other allergic reactions.
Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) today announced that AASHTO’s Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering has approved six new U.S. Bicycle Routes.
The development of gluten intolerance persuaded me to investigate the possibility of an heirloom wheat flour that might not cause the gluten reaction of wheat-based products.
When a group of graduation students began designing a home on the Navajo reservation in southeast Utah, they knew keeping it cool in the desert would be an issue. Their innovative solution--a Windcatcher--is the first of its kind in the area.
Does the huge task of cleaning windows leave you feeling overwhelmed? Follow these six simple steps--using inexpensive materials you already have around the house--to get your windows sparkling and streak-free.
Putting up a hoophouse expands the growing opportunity into the barren winter months. A USDA program is helping market growers purchase a hoophouse to find out if local farmers and consumers reap benefits from extending local growing seasons.
On Monday, May 2, Adventure Cycling Association kicked off its second annual grassroots fundraising effort to raise $30,000 to support ongoing coordination efforts for the emerging U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS).
I can't imagine my garden without sweet potatoes! Sometimes it is hard to find sweet potato slips for sale, so I start my own with some of last years potatoes.
Inspiring video by two female bicycle travelers crossing borders, making friends, and documenting the human effort to keep the natural world connected despite our nation state boundaries.
To learn more about large wind energy degrees, Brittney Tyler-Milholland and Brenna Long talk with educators at Iowa Lakes Community College about the wind energy degree program in this Wind Energy blog. Iowa Lakes had the first wind energy program in Iowa.
Jeld-Wen's new Custom Wood line combines character with energy efficiency in windows and doors made from salvaged, reclaimed wood. It's the best of all possible worlds.
Combine two of this hopeful season's symbols--herbs and eggs--in this simple project that celebrates spring.
Growing Power believes that youth working in city farms will grow, bloom and thrive right alongside the crops they cultivate.
Cam describes the challenges of winter driving and cutting down trees.
Known for their popular bike touring website, Pathlesspedaled.com, this spring Russ Roca and Laura Crawford are embarking on their next big bike touring adventure, aided by Amtrak, but otherwise astride two Brompton folding bicycles.
30 states now working to establish official national bicycle routes, with more states interested — new online map and progress report document growing momentum
In this Wind Energy Blog, we talk with a representative from The Nature Conservancy to learn more about the environmental impacts of wind energy. Despite the many concerns about the impacts these wind farms can have on wildlife, there are no current regulations that wind farm developers must follow before building their wind farms.
Companion planting can be a great strategy for organic gardeners. Take our nationwide companion planting survey to help us gather useful information about this gardening technique.
Wind power grew by 30 percent and solar power grew by 40 percent in 2010, according to a new report.
With My Own Two Wheels is a new film about the bicycling experiences of five unrelated individuals across the globe.
Herbs are versatile plants that enhance our lives by adding beauty, aroma, nutrition, seasoning, and a varied landscape. Because they can be grown indoors, or outdoors in pots, as part of landscaping or in the garden, everyone has room to grow herbs.
To learn more about large wind energy companies and wind power generation, Brittney Tyler-Milholland and Brenna Long talk with a representative from Horizon Wind Energy about the wind energy industry in this Wind Energy blog. With wind farms in 18 states, Horizon Wind Energy plays a role in the future of wind energy in the United States.
Celebrate a technology-free Sabbath with a jug of organic wine, a loaf of homemade bread and handmade candles. Could you go 24 hours without your smartphone?
Read about our mycological journey, starting with our process of inoculating several shiitake mushroom logs. The process is easy enough for most anyone intersted in producing their own shiitake mushrooms at home — plus, it's fun and a big money-saver!
Southwest Windpower is the world’s leading supplier of distributed wind generators. With history lasting more than two decades, the company is a global leader and pioneer in the design, manufacturing and distribution of small wind systems.
Clean out the hive at the end of winter
Craving fresh food during the long winter months? Here are nine vegetables that you can find fresh in February--and great ways to prepare and serve them.
Creating tomato grafts may be a great way to grow tomatoes organically. Tomato grafting has emerged as one good way to bring resistance to soilborne diseases to susceptible heirloom varieties.
It’s been bitterly cold in Michigan. The big blizzard has gone through and has left us with a bunch of snow.
Generate energy in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
The Council of Better Business Bureaus National Advertising Division recommends that Sherwin-Williams modify or discontinue advertising claims that its “Harmony” paint line is completely free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
A few considerations before the arrival of a winter storm can help you, your family and your farm animals survive during frigid blizzard conditions.
The ground hog may be signalling an early end to winter, but today's a day to stay in with good food, an arsenal of craft projects and a warming bath.
The “One Good Chair” competition winners, announced at Winter Las Vegas Market, demonstrate that minimal materials can result in maximum comfort.
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.
Meeting the rugged demands of off-road and utility use, the KT9500 introduces buyers to quality, power, and performance advantages others don't.
Figure out whether a home wind turbine is right for you by evaluating land for the best wind turbine location. Our expert explains placement, turbulence, wind speed and wind site assessment. These steps and factors will determine if a wind turbine is right for you.
Cam shares his experiences getting lost in the woods.
When it's -30 degrees outside you can make your own snow!
Readers share favorite organic wine producers.
Cam has been playing with and skating on thick ice lately.
A hundred-year-old recipe for turning apple trimmings into vinegar yields mixed results, but lots of nostalgic fun.
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
One reader learns how to grow seedless watermelons: A successful venture in growing juicy fruit that led her to question how much control we want over nature.
A quick and easy art project. Recycle those old wood frame windows and turn them into stunning pieces of art.
There's no need to go to the grocery food in the winter if you have stored food in a root cellar, freezer or canning jars. Most of the work of preparing this food has already been done and so that winter meals are easy, nutritious and delicious.
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."
Discovering an outsized pickling tub in our shed inspired me to try this tasty local recipe for greens preserved in soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
Use old CDs and soda cans to keep pests out of your garden.
While some can't wait for the warmer days to return and others are invigorated by the seasonal briskness, most of us have some cold-weather habit, holiday activity or winter ritual that we hold dear. Whether it's burrowing under thick piles of blankets, watching for the first snow flakes or getting a head start on garden planning, what are your favorite winter moments?
Done with flimsy, store-bought tomato cages that fall over when the wind blows? Build long-lasting, heavy-duty tomato cages to fit your garden with one of our four plans.
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 traditional fall recipe for the Japanese version of sauerkraut.
A few simple steps to make sure your tractor is ready for spring.
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
Whatever you do in your garden or flower beds, the most important thing is to have fun taking care of what you are growing.
Photos from tectonic shift. Ruminations on MEN and MOTHER EARTH NEWS and masculine and feminine, and feminine planet.
Assistant Editor Heidi Hunt checks in with a quick report about Nate Poell's presentation on homebrewing.
Buying a tractor? How much tractor do you need? What are the horsepower requirements for mowing?
What is the strongest, easiest-to-store tomato cage you’ve used?
Blueberries are a true fountain of youth. This article will introduce you to the health benefits, how to grow, how to harvest, and how to eat this wonderful fruit.
I’ve learned that gardening in small spaces can be challenging, but I’ve had great success with a Topsy Turvy tomato planter this year. Have you used similar products in your home? How do you handle gardening in small spaces?
Having your own wind turbine can save you money on your utility bill and lower your impact on the environment. What are your thoughts on wind turbines in backyards?
For those looking environmentally friendly car parts, Jamak offers a fully recyclable windshield wiper that’s made from non-petroleum-based silicon.
Henry Red Cloud has a lot to do with the wind energy education happening in South Dakota on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. Along with these tribes, the interest in wind energy is spreading across the nation, especially to Arizona, and outside organizations are lending a hand.
The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, expected to pass this summer, offers rebates for windows, doors, skylights, window films and storm windows and doors.
Need to get your kids out of the house? Learn how to build your own playground and give them a convenient place for outdoor playtime.
A brief announcement of a rare educational opportunity ... a wind turbine installation. We'll be installing a 2.5 kW Skystream wind turbine on a 127-foot tilt-up tower.
Check out these high-quality workshops on solar electricity, home energy efficiency, and small wind energy systems. Geared to homeowners, aspiring professionals, students and teachers - anyone wishing to learn more about renewable energy systems
Self-pollinating apple trees allow homeowners with little space to reap the benefits of this fresh, nutritious fruit. While typical apple breeds require planting at least two trees in the same space so they can pollinate each other, self-fertile trees can produce fruit without another tree around.
Painted rocks or pebbles can potentially deter birds from pecking at ripening fruit. Tell us how this technique has worked for your, plus check out other readers’ tips and responses.
Swings are a universal favorite of youngsters and oldsters and an easy-to-build backyard toy — if you have a big tree available.
Environmentalists are in a debate about the Cape Wind project. We want to know what you think about the proposed offshore wind farm.
Recent approval by the Obama administration of the Massachusetts based Cape Wind project creates the potential for 130 offshore wind turbines, which are predicted to produce up to 468 megawatts of wind power.
Michael Morley is posting regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). Here he talks about HVAC work and installing windows.
Conventional bedding is full of toxic chemicals that outgas while you sleep. Don’t settle for a chemical-laden bed—win an organic bedroom from Lifekind!
Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.
Dan Chiras and other energy experts envision a future powered by a combination of renewable energy resources, including wind and solar.
The staff at MOTHER EARTH NEWS plants tomatoes and peppers during a seed-planting project at the office.
The experience of growing one's first garden is a thrill one will never forget.
The Evergreen Institute's application to provide continuing education for LEED accredited professionals has been approved by the U.S. Green Building Council. A variety of workshops meeting required standards are now available for those interested in anything from solar electricity to straw bale construction.
Readers share tips and tricks for taking care of winter garden beds.
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras shares tips for saving on energy costs by sealing leaks in your home.
Readers share their winter gardening stories.
Check out these tips and share your ideas for welcoming 2010 with a green New Year’s Eve party.
T. Boone Pickens is the very embodiment of the Texas oil tycoon. He’s also, arguably, the world’s leading advocate for wind energy.
For the first time, investors put more money into alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
Check out these wind resource maps for a quick look at wind around the world.
Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explores the Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort and Spa in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. Join her as she tours wineries and feasts on local, organic produce.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence visits Canada's only straw bale winery, Orofino Vineyards.
To better accommodate the planting schedule of gardeners in the southern United States, California’s Natural Gardening Company will make a dozen varieties of tomato transplants available by mid-August.
Tell us what you think. If you installed a wind turbine or solar-electric panels, would you want to be tied to the electric grid, or would you rather have a grid-independent system?
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains why wind energy is growing in popularity right now.
For the first time ever, alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power received more investment money than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
According to a recent American Wind Energy Association report, the U.S. market for small wind turbines grew 78 percent in 2008. Manufacturers predict that this trend will continue in the next few years.
Save money and stay chic with these recessionista style tips from Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence. Robyn shows you how to creatively reuse old shirts to dress up a bottle of wine and how to save money by having clothing swap parties.
Last December, the Quimby family paid $1,100 to heat and power their Winthrop, Maine, farmhouse for the month. Something had to be done. Jeld Wen, manufacturer of energy efficient doors and windows, came to the rescue.
Check out this video on tapping wind power with kites.
As H1N1 (also known as "swine flu") continues to spread, people are taking a variety of precautions to avoid catching or spreading the virus — from being more diligent about washing hands to cancelling long-awaited vacations. Tell us what you're doing, and find out more about H1N1 and how you can stay informed and healthy.
The Environmental Protection Agency releases a list of the top green power purchasers in the United States.
There's lots of good information on renewable energy in this new NPR series on electricity in America.
Dan Chiras elaborates on his previous blog about the disadvantages of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs).
Having a “green home” means lots of different things. What does it mean to you?
Swine flu may or may not be the pandemic that cable newscasters are proclaiming - but why take chances? This most recent health scare is yet another reminder that eating local, organic food - preferably raised by a source you know and trust - is just a smart thing to do.
Vertical axis wind turbines don't always produce as much power as expected. Here's what we were able to learn about the new Windspire.
Whether you're planning to install solar panels, or hoping to put up a backyard wind turbine some day, share your thoughts on the renewable energy projects that intrigue you most.
Information and advice from the Small Wind Certification Council on creating wind power in your own backyard.
Not all wind generators are equally effective. Learn the pros and cons of vertical and horizontal axis wind turbines.
Check out RenewableEnergyWorld.com for background information and breaking news on renewable technologies.
Check out these terrific free apron patterns.
There are many ways farmers can benefit from renewable energy, including wind energy, solar energy, energy efficiency and biofuels.
Yes, you can keep your birdbath from freezing during the winter. Here's how.
In winter, hang aromatic herbs in your house for the smell of summer.
Four months or so after you made wine from summer’s fruit, it’s ready to go into bottles. More meticulous than romantic, the bottling process marks the start of the final wait until the wine is ready to drink.
Before space beneath your grow light is needed for onions and other early seedlings, fill it with baby lettuce grown in translucent clamshell salad containers.
Get an early spinach crop with this easy gardening tip.
It's easy to find out what fuels your power comes from using this nifty tool from the EPA.
You can find joy and delight in the season of cold and snow.
Here's the scoop on the best way to feed birds.
You can find great reports from the field and footage of rare bird species at the American Bird Conservancy's Bird News Network. Plus, find tips for winter birding and check out highly entertaining footage of the moonwalking manakin bird.
Sauté mushrooms in some butter for a quick and tasty treat.
Roasting is the best way to cook winter root vegetables, because dry heat coaxes out and concentrates flavors. Use this simple method and fool-proof tips to bring out the best in parsnips, carrots, rutabagas and other root vegetables.
Garden soil left exposed in winter is easily damaged by compaction, erosion and leaching. Use mulches or cover crops to safeguard and build your soil during the winter months.
Growing mushrooms can be easy if you get expert advice and stay on top of your mushroom log's needs.
Try doing something different this winter by growing mushrooms. It's entertaining, and it provides you with an edible treat!
Garlic is one of the easiest plants you can grow, and fall is the time for planting. Here are a few resources to help you get started.
Check out this expert advice for the best way to position a bird feeder near a window.
Here's another reason to love solar panels and wind turbines: They're great tools for providing power to people who wouldn't otherwise have electricity at home.
In addition to the beans you planted to harvest dry, a good gleaning may yield a surprising harvest of gourmet beans.
Rhode Island plans to install large wind far off it's Atlantic Ocean shore.
Growing the three sisters (corn, beans, squash) in the same plot of land actually helps yield healthier crops of each.
Here are the pros and cons of using south facing windows for home heating, rather than solar collectors.
The news on climate change isn't good, but renewable energy could lead us to a brighter future.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could produce all the energy we needed from local, renewable resources, such as solar and wind power?
How big is that wind turbine exactly? For a frame of reference on the different sizes, check out these photos and links.
Brown rot is a serious disease of peaches, plums, and other stone fruits. For organic gardeners, spraying at-risk fruits with a milk solution can give good control.
If we want more electricity from renewable sources, we need to think about upgrades to our electric grid.
In the United States, renewable energy is growing, but we still don't get very much of our electricity from renewable sources. How can we speed things up?
Sow leafy greens in late summer to reap abundant crops in the fall.
Many gardeners take lettuce off of their summer planting lists, but shade covers can put garden-grown lettuce on your table more than a month sooner this fall.
Slightly underripe apples that fall to the ground must be picked up, so why not cut away the bugs and bruises and put them to good use? Here’s how to turn windfall apples into supernutritious drinks and snacks.
Ever wondered which countries around the world are installing the most wind power?
Texas is already the U.S. leader in wind power, and that lead is about to get even bigger.
This one policy makes it much easier to pay for a solar or wind-electric system, but not every state offers it.
Is it too hot to grow spinach where you live? Try these fabulous alternatives.
Try these organic techniques to help prevent tomato early blight.
Here are some resources where you can learn more about how a scythe can be useful on your homestead.
A wind energy expert discusses the durability of small-scale wind turbines.
Mounting a wind turbine on your roof instead of on a tower might seem like a good idea, but here are some issues you should consider.
Machine expert Hank Will offers advice on whether to drain the gas tanks of machines that will be idle for a while.
Here's how you can find people selling home-scale wind turbines near where you live.
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.
Watch this video of garlic farmer Bob Anderson discussing his love of all things garlic.
Here's how you can find local breweries and wineries in your area.
These 25 very different places all get some or all of their energy from wind power.
One of the disadvantages of wind power is that the wind doesn't always blow. But in the future, new technology could make it easier to store wind energy.
Find garlic seed stock for growing garlic.
Many states are working quickly to develop their wind power resources knowing it will pay off big in the future.
Plan to plant garlic this fall, and enjoy unique varieties and their incredible health benefits.
Each year, the success rate for hens hatching and raising chicks at Rancho Cappuccino contines to increase, and it seems there's more than luck at play. Read about watching natural selection in action on the farm.