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.
Get an early spinach crop with this easy gardening tip.
DIY sprouting experiment to get kids interested in growing and eating sprouts.
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.
This posting will discuss the relationship between the current global warming trend and hurricanes, extreme winter winters and massive flooding.
10 easy steps to get your home prepared for winter.
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.
Try doing something different this winter by growing mushrooms. It's entertaining, and it provides you with an edible treat!
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.
A few simple steps to make sure your tractor is ready for spring.
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras shares tips for saving on energy costs by sealing leaks in your home.
It is deep winter and how are your chickens doing? Here are some quick and easy tips to get them through a cold snap.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
In addition to the beans you planted to harvest dry, a good gleaning may yield a surprising harvest of gourmet beans.
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.
As the number of farmers markets grows, now may be the perfect time to join in on the market gardening fun.
Watch this video of garlic farmer Bob Anderson discussing his love of all things garlic.
What is the strongest, easiest-to-store tomato cage you’ve used?
Day-neutral strawberries are smaller and easier to manage than June-bearing strawberries. Learn more about the requirements of day-neutral strawberry varieties.
Sow leafy greens in late summer to reap abundant crops in the fall.
Here's the scoop on the best way to feed birds.
In winter, hang aromatic herbs in your house for the smell of summer.
Readers share their winter gardening stories.
Readers share tips and tricks for taking care of winter garden beds.
Why and how to grow a variety of cold weather greens in most climates.
Apple pie spice and quatres epices are two easy spice blends you can make yourself for fabulously fresh flavor.
You can find joy and delight in the season of cold and snow.
Yes, you can keep your birdbath from freezing during the winter. Here's how.
The challenges that we encounter trying to grow a garden at high latitude.
The staff at MOTHER EARTH NEWS plants tomatoes and peppers during a seed-planting project at the office.
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.
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?
These resources will help you learn how to grow food and start a garden.
Growing the three sisters (corn, beans, squash) in the same plot of land actually helps yield healthier crops of each.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When the temperature drops below zero Fahrenheit, you have to keep an eye on your goats.
Calculating the amount of mountain snow to actual moisture.
Winter has it's challenges, but the snow-capped beauty and the adventure of living simply amongst it makes it more than worth it.
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.
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.
Cam loves growing and selling food!
Sue Parker shares her grandmother's secrets to a strong tomato crop.
The drought conditions at Sunflower Farm are making Cam rather cranky.
Ranting about the drought worked! We got rain here at Sunflower Farm!
Cam contemplates the meaning of life while picking strawberries.
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.
The process of saving seed for next year begins while the growing season is still going strong
Whatever you do in your garden or flower beds, the most important thing is to have fun taking care of what you are growing.
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.
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.
Musings on growing and eating garlic, and why you should "Never Eat Your Seed Garlic"!
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.
As tropical plants go, pineapples are one of the easiest to grow.
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
Growing mushrooms can be easy if you get expert advice and stay on top of your mushroom log's needs.
Sauté mushrooms in some butter for a quick and tasty treat.
Learn how to breed corn in your own corn nursery, plus learn how to properly hand-pollinate corn plants.
Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.
Plan to plant garlic this fall, and enjoy unique varieties and their incredible health benefits.
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.
Growing Power believes that youth working in city farms will grow, bloom and thrive right alongside the crops they cultivate.
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.
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 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!
Growing garlic is easy if you just know the right time to plant it: in fall, not spring or summer!
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.
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!
Cam has been playing with and skating on thick ice lately.
A few considerations before the arrival of a winter storm can help you, your family and your farm animals survive during frigid blizzard conditions.
It’s been bitterly cold in Michigan. The big blizzard has gone through and has left us with a bunch of snow.
Cam describes the challenges of winter driving and cutting down trees.
A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your homestead.
You might be surprised to read Cam extolling the virtues of television!
Cam enjoys a magical walk through a winter wonderland while cutting and hauling firewood.
Looking after your chickens in the winter and cutting with a solar-powered electric chainsaw.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce shares 5 things to consider before starting a farmstead—not the least of which being winter.
Car tips for prepping and survival for driving in extreme winter weather.
Cam can't think of anywhere he'd rather be than on his own private skating rink.
A short a story about our very first ice fishing and snowmobile ride.
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?
Tips on how and where to view bald eagles.
Tips on which birds to keep an eye out for in different weather conditions.
Tips on how to stay safe and warm during extremely cold wind chill temperatures.
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.
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.
Even if you only have garden pots to work with, you can still container garden in fall and winter to grow vegetables.
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
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.
Heat Holders keep in the heat in your feet.
Stay warm, find a hobby and cull the livestock; here are some of the things we do to prepare for winter!
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.”
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.
Learn how to de-ice slippery surfaces without harming nearby soil and plants.
How to keep your livestock warm and your life full on chilly winter days.
Maintaining access to a water source is one of the most important winter-time chores.
While the snow's flying, this is a good time to plan your garden rotation, order seeds, preheat early spring garden areas, and more.
Hints for kidding in the very cold weather.
Suggestions for what to have on hand - and handy - when you hear a storm is heading your way.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick recounts a poignant start to lambing season on Bittersweet Heritage Farm.
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 Thanksgiving weekend left you craving light, nutritious meals, try these recipes for winter-friendly salads.
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.
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.
Some crops survived the cold temperatures while others died. Which ones are most reliable for winter outdoors and in the hoophouse?
Consider this One-Day Workshop For Horticultural Farmers Ready To Take Steps To Improve Farm Profits.
Growing raspberries and other vegetables at high elevation and the challenges.
Robert White explains why he's attending the Growing Farmers workshops, and describes what he learned in the first session.
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.
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.
Learn which crops you can grow in your garden to provide protein in your diet.
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.
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.
Check out our time-lapse video of peppers growing from seed to sprout.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The process of training and pruning blackberry plants is demystified by a gardening expert from Gurney's Seed.
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.
Find garlic seed stock for growing garlic.
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.
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.
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!
Get tips on growing watermelons from the expert growers at Willhite Seed company, which offers dozens of unique watermelon varieties.
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.
I learned an important gardening lesson from fighting tomato blight.
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.
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.
You're not just a beginning gardener - you're also a scientist!
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.
When it's -30 degrees outside you can make your own snow!
Cam shares his experiences getting lost in the woods.
Firewood, the major yearly task when you heat with wood.
Firewood, the major yearly task when you heat with wood.
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.
In the beauty of autumn comes a time of preparation for winter. The many necessary tasks to be prepared if you are self sufficient.
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 good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
Our typical day living in the mountains in the winter.
How we live in the mountains during the winter.
A brief description of how we grow fresh vegetables in our long cold winters.
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.
What are you thankful for this season? Our editors know what they are thankful for, now let's hear from you.
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!
Get a materials list and step-by-step insructions for low tunnel construction for your backyard garden.
That extra hour of sleep was great, but your animals may not think the same thing about that same hour.
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.
The vegetables and herbs that are still available in our Southeast garden make for delicious, festive and surprisingly varied holiday fare.
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.
Wintertime for a farmer is full of projects and planning.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Two homesteaders from Washington and Colorado comment on their greatest weather fear in the mountains.
Life on a farm blanketed in snow.
A would-be farmer finds chills and perspective during a long winter on the farm.
Ed Essex and Bruce McElmurray compare their weather experiences living at 4,200 feet and 9750 feet elevation respectively.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Deb Murphy shares her dad's boyhood stories about making ends meet on the farm in 1930s Nebraska.
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.
The experience of growing one's first garden is a thrill one will never forget.
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.
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!
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.
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
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...
Try these organic techniques to help prevent tomato early blight.
Is it too hot to grow spinach where you live? Try these fabulous alternatives.
The little used herb lovage makes an attractive addition to the edible landscape and provides a smoky flavor to soups and stews.
Machine expert Hank Will offers advice on whether to drain the gas tanks of machines that will be idle for a while.
Before winter's chill starts to compromise comfort and elevate home energy bills, there are 5 energy-saving upgrades you can complete.
Receiving seed catalogs and dreaming of warmer weather and growing a garden.
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
An article about how we learned to double our growing season and have home grown fresh veggies almost all year long.
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.
A snapshot of winter life living remote and off grid.
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.
How we stay busy in the winter even though we live at 4200', three miles off the road, and somewhat isolated.
The “One Good Chair” competition winners, announced at Winter Las Vegas Market, demonstrate that minimal materials can result in maximum comfort.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Two homesteaders discuss their experience with the weather applicable to their mountain homesteads in Washington and Colorado.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Contemplations on what we eat and why we pay close attention to our food.
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.
Potted greens are a good complement to greens in the hoop house soil.
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.
In this piece, author Mary Moss-Sprague discusses the simple pleasures of tasty, home-canned tomato preserves.
How to make candles you can really light from the peel of Clementine oranges. A wintertime craft...just oil and an orange peel!
Learn details regarding winter chicken care including ventilation for a cozy chicken house, heat for baby and grown chicks, and recommended poultry books.
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!
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.
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.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
Andrea Chesman, author of Recipes from the Root Cellar, shares one of her favorite winter vegetable recipes.
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.
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