I hate putting chemicals on my skin, so I use an essential oil spray that has proven to be very effective for preventing mosquito and other bug bites. In the past couple years in the garden, none of us have been bitten. Even at a riverside campground in Louisiana, there were no mosquito bites.
Making your own glace citrus peels is easy. You can save the peel from lemons, oranges, grapefruit and pomelos as you eat them. Just toss the peel into a zipper bag and keep in the refrigerator up to 4 days. I used Jacques Pepin’s method as guidance here.
This pastry dough recipe can be made in 10 minutes and rest overnight in the refrigerator. It’s simple and easy to work with as you bake up your choice of American or European pastries, including Italian Panettone, Cinnamon-Pecan Sticky Buns, and Brioche Raisinee. Dough and pastry recipes included.
Back in the early 1950s, my family moved to northern Kentucky. We had the great fortune to live just down the street from Louella Schierland, one of the contributing authors of the iconic Joy of Cooking. Mrs. Schierland gave my mother this recipe and I remember that these bourbon balls were stored in a coffee can in the refrigerator. I’ve made some changes to the original to avoid today’s GMOs. Makes about 40 treats.
Let’s go to Germany for great lebkuchen (aka, gingerbread)! Aside from great beer and sausages, you will find that this is one of the country's ancient but addicting Christmas treats.
I found a recipe in the King Arthur Cookie Companion that I developed a little so that I can now gift my gluten-intolerant friends with delicious cookies. Homemade almond paste is best here, but store-bought will do. Freshly made, these cookies have chewy texture; after a few days, they become airy and crunchy. Just as delicious either way. This recipe makes about 30 two-inch cookies.
My favorite, best cookie recipe just happens to actually be pretty healthy and a good choice for after-school snacks. I used to keep a tin in my office, available to anyone who hadn’t had time for lunch. They have enough protein, iron and whole grain to make them guilt-free. This recipe makes about 60 two-inch cookies that freeze well.
If you love shortbread — and a lot of people do — this is the cookie to make. The colorful cranberries make them really pop at Christmas time. This delightful recipe comes from "Christmas Cookies: Dozens of Yuletide Treats for the Whole Family" by Monika Römer.
Authentic stollen is moist, buttery and crammed full of dried and glace fruits and nuts.
After the first of the crisp fall apples have started to soften, I love to have a sip of this for dessert on a cold winter’s night. This homemade apple cordial tastes like the absolute best apple pie you ever drank! Here is how I preserve the goodness of apples laced with sweet spices.
Finding authentic, plant-derived, high quality essential oils and knowing what to look for is a challenge, particularly given the power of marketing. What do we mean by the terms genuine, authentic, plant-derived and unadulterated anyway? This post explains how to hone your senses and find the best suppliers of top-quality essential oils.
While searching for essential oils on the internet you may come across some companies claiming to be approved by the ISO or to meet and/or exceed guidelines established by AFNOR or to be GRAS-approved and even one company claiming to have Certified Pure therapeutic grade/FDA approved. What exactly do the terms and certifications mean?
Discover how to expand your olfactory palate to be able to determine qualitative differences between essential oils and learn what all the terms used in the marketing of essential oils mean. Feel more empowered in choosing a supplier and learn key elements to look for when making that decision.
This is a chocolate pie unlike any others I have made. It starts with a crumb crust consisting of granola and macadamia nuts ground together, and bound with melted butter, like an extravagant graham cracker crust, only better. The filling consists of silken or extra soft tofu with over half a pound of chocolate.
With a dough mixed entirely in the food processor, these salty-sweet, chewy-crisp pistachio cookies are as easy to make as they are to devour.
CAES proposes storing excess green energy in salt caverns.
Iodine is an essential nutrient for thyroid function, and iodine deficiency can lead to some serious health complications. Learn where this nutrient comes from and whether you need to use iodized salt to get enough of it.
Did you know that every caulking tube comes with a cork? Save money by sealing your caulking between projects with this simple hack.
I find hope when I meet people like Pat Holm and learn about organizations like Democracy Collaborative.
When your electronics say “low battery,” it means just that: The batteries are low but not dead. The energy that remains in seemingly dead batteries can be used in this simple night light project that you can build at home in about one hour. Your new night light will shine for months and is reusable for years, powered by “dead” batteries.
This oozing mixture of sugar, limes, eggs, and butter adds a bright, fresh acidity and craveable sweetness to anything it touches.
Caretaking wild places is a great way to homestead in paradise without having to afford land.
Hospitals traditionally are famous for their terrible food. A recent experience shows it has not changed much.
If you are new to aromatherapy, start building your home kit with these 19 essential oils!
Add an efficient solar cooker to your winter emergency kit for hot meals during power outages. Even when you could have power, it's fun to roast potatoes or bake dessert off-grid on sunny winter days.
The "Earth Shelter" at The Farm Community in Tennessee combines the geothermal properties of the earth with solar design to produce a very energy efficient home.
A blog about the joy of a mentoring relationship and the rewards for the mentor and a new-bee.
Simple steps anyone can take to repair a generator at home.
A wakeup call for folks who want to keep bees without the work, stings and realities.
Butternut squash are an important winter food, the rich orange flesh delivering vital nutrients in a sweet and velvety goodness that can be utilized in a variety of ways.
Storing winter squash and preserving other vegetables through the winter presents their own set of challenges to the home gardener and homesteader. We find that growing food is just one half of the equation, and it is easy to be caught unprepared or find that the space and temperature requirements for storage can be hard to come by.
Ease the suffering of asthma attacks with the help of these healthy herbs!
Tea-tree oil may actually be the ‘cure all’ of essential oils. You have probably heard of it by now, but do you know how to use it?
An anecdote that illustrates a few of the realities of farm life and raising livestock.
The UK meets Texas in this decadent date cake with sinfully delicious (and simple!)toffee sauce.
Oregano is well known as a culinary herb with warming and aromatic flavor. The oil of oregano has shown great promise in treating many illnesses, including colds, flu, muscle pain, GI problems, respiratory illnesses, skin conditions and urinary-tract infections.
A brief update on how the bees are faring during a break in the freezing weather.
Why it is important to stay on top of a garden.
How to determine the chickens you process.
Incredible peanut butter ice pops with six simple, real-food ingredients.
Working with medicinal plants can not only help heal ourselves and each other, but also contribute to the beauty of our lives and our world.
Expense checklist for anyone wanting to plan a new homestead.
Don't over-stay your welcome at the hive. Give your bees space.
Some things to know about the last fall hive inspections in preparing the bees for winter.
You can be harvesting from your garden all year long, including through the winter months! It's time to plant the fall garden.
Oregano is often regarded as "just" a flavoring. It has a rich history of medicinal use and shows great promise for the future.
Connecting deeply to place is crucial, explains bioregionalist Jesse Wolf Hardin, in this new series about reinhabiting the living land.
Rosemary is known as a tasty condiment, but it has also long been used as medicine, and makes for a blissful foot soak.
This beekeeping blog post describes robbing behavior in honeybees, what causes it, and how to prevent or stop it.
Fresh pesto is great in the summer, but it's even better in the middle of winter!
I love my two-story log cabin, which combines recycled and an array of green building materials.
You can grow a year's supply of beans in a surprisingly small amount of space.
In all that can go wrong in beekeeping, it's time to be grateful for a good season.
Beat the heat with a healthier chocolate treat! Avocados, cocoa, and honey create fudge pops or pudding with fewer than five minutes prep.
'Tis the season for education and celebration, at this year's herbal gatherings.
This Cherry Crostata Recipe is a simple, delicious way to use summer’s rubies.
Enjoy healthy blackberry and raspberry elixirs and teas, blessings from the brambles of Summer!
A blog post calling for voluntary population control.
There is no experience or practice more valuable, empowering, and utterly satisfying than enabling the health and well being of ourselves, our family, friends and community... naturally.
With our chickweed and lavender salve, the bites I typically get that are swollen and painful were nothing more than a minor annoyance. All came from ingredients that we made ourselves.
In this blog, I hope to convince beekeepers that not feeding the bees is better for the health of the bees and for the beekeeper's bottom line.
For more than 40 years, The Farm Community in Tennessee has been on the forefront of farming, gardening and the green lifestyle.
This moist, delicious quick-bread studded with chocolate chips is perfect for breakfast, dessert, or an afternoon snack.
Here I describe the honey harvest and how it varies from year to year.
Find all of the mulch you need for free in your own back yard.
This is a followup to an earlier blog that reports on the successes and failures in creating nucleus beehives this spring.
Jump start your tomato harvest two months before everyone else with these simple instructions!
Two-ingredient nut or seed butter cups are a satisfying alternative to the typical chocolate treat.
Describes how understanding the nectar flow in your geographical area helps you maximize colony health and honey production.
Describes the timing and the nuts and bolts involved in expanding your apiary by making nucleus hives.
A meditation on the benefits and fulfillment found in the physical labor of homesteading chores.
Essential oils can be a useful supplement for honeybees. Lemongrass, spearmint and thyme essential oils are being used to encourage brood development and the overall health of bees.
Two homesteaders discuss their experience with the weather applicable to their mountain homesteads in Washington and Colorado.
Ed Essex and Bruce McElmurray compare their weather experiences living at 4,200 feet and 9750 feet elevation respectively.
Two homesteaders from Washington and Colorado comment on their greatest weather fear in the mountains.
This is an explanation of how I use a late winter warmup to manipulate my hives in preparation for spring nectar gathering and to minimize swarming.
Rich and fudgy Grain-Free Chocolate-Date-Nut Bars are a grain-free, dairy-free, and refined-sweetener-free treat you can splurge on with a smile.
Ed and Bruce compare the weather and its impact on their mountain homesteads at different elevations and mountain ranges.
Bruce McElmurray and Ed Essex collaborate on how the weather dictates to their mountain homesteading.
The joys and heartaches that can come with kidding season are a part of life on a goat farm.
Tips to help you get started planning your very own homestead. With proper planning you don't have to be experienced to do it right.
How to make a cheap hay feeder for goats that cuts down on wasted hay.
Describes the winter hive life of the honey bees.
Musing on how most of us believe "the end" is near for various reasons.
Providing your own sewer, water and power can be more expensive and is certainly less convenient but that's not all there is to consider. This article takes a look at some of the other differences between public and private services.
Describes the heartache that can come of now observing and working with nature when raising goats.
Safely bring a new goat herd home and getting them used to you and their new surroundings.
This series of posts chronicles Betty Taylor's adventures in goat farming. This first post covers selecting a goat breed and breeder, costs, and preparing for arrival of my goats.
Learning to appreciate seasonal differences.
Beekeeping expert Betty Taylor explains how to reliquify crystalized honey while maintaining color, quality, and nutrients.
Encouragement for new beekeepers who may be confused and overwhelmed about all the conflicting advice about keeping bees.
Kim Walter shares how she became interested in beekeeping and what she has learned from her bees.
How to prepare your hives for the winter to protect them from mice, skunks, opossums and other wildlife.
Render beeswax from your wax cappings easily and inexpensively.
Looking back the past three years and identifying what we have learned from our experiences.
Real life experiences with chickens spanning a 50 year period.
Homesteads are keeping alive old skills and ways of raising crops and livestock that are being lost in the age of agribusiness.
Each year we learn more and more about living off grid and homesteading. These are just a few of the third-year experiences we wanted to share.
Beekeeper Betty Taylor explains what for look for during an end-of-summer hive inspection.
This divine herb has a multitude of properties – it’s a potent skin-cell regenerative, mucolytic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, circulatory stimulant, vulnerary, antioxidant, antifungal, analgesic and deodorizing agent. I use both the essential oil and the infused oil in formulas to relieve sinus and respiratory congestion, muscle tension and soreness, and headaches; to soften and fade scar tissue; to stimulate memory, creativity, confidence and mental energy; and to stimulate circulation to encourage hair growth.
Learn how to keep your bees properly fed and also ensure a plentiful and delicious honey harvest!
Find out how to protect your hives and honeycomb from wax moths without using chemicals.
There are a lot of things you can do right now to experience the homestead lifestyle right in your backyard.
Instead of throwing out that empty feedbag, get creative and turn it into something new! Homesteader Ed Essex shares ideas for finding new uses for old objects.
This Manhattan Frozen Custard Recipe is an easy-to-make, yet sophisticated, dessert.
Learn about our experience attending a Mother Earth News Fair as an exhibitor.
A few thoughts on why so many people are hesitant to make the transition to produce their own power.
An article about when the best time is to start a new homestead.
Our experiences in learning to pressure can and use reusable canning lids.
A short a story about our very first ice fishing and snowmobile ride.
Simple and old-fashioned, homemade fried pies are a good Sunday afternoon dessert that even the kids can help with.
How both we and the chickens have gotten better at surviving the cold winters where we live.
Sharing our first experience with an indoor/outdoor vertical hydroponic garden.
Descriptions on oil labels are not defined by law, and are sometimes deceptive. Learn what these terms — such as cold-pressed, expeller-pressed and extra virgin — really mean, and which terms indicate quality.
How we stay busy in the winter even though we live at 4200', three miles off the road, and somewhat isolated.
How we avoid most clutter but manage to keep good leftover products for future use.
A description about something unique - a wood burning masonry kitchen stove.
In this blog we share someone else's story about old fashioned home made ingenuity concerning deep well pumps that operate without electricity.
A brief description of our experiences with solar tubes in our off grid home.
Fun facts about our first year of blogging for Mother Earth News.
Esse has created a complete line of high quality, machine washable bags that all fold small and fit inside a CarryAll Tote shopping system. Voted as a best gift to give this holiday season, the CarryAll Tote helps people to remember and use their reusable bags and offers an extra pocket to store coupons and shopping lists.
A snapshot of winter life living remote and off grid.
During the holidays it is nice to have a rich, creamy, yummy cheesecake as a sophisticated dessert to share.
The cost to install and operate our solar electrical system.
Things we have done to earn an income from home in a down economy.
Costs associated with providing your own water.
Things we did to make our new home more sustainable.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking readers’ stories of home-based businesses, and we’ll pay $50 for each story we use.
Design features we incorporated into our new off grid home.
Ed and Laurie struggle with making time for visitors while dealing with all of the daily business and homesteading tasks.
Things that occur when switching from summer to winter mode. Fall is almost non existent.
Some of the downside of free ranging your chickens.
Therapeutic grade essential oils have a tonne of uses on the homestead - here's how we've used them effectively, and how they bring us peace of mind.
A humble homegrown pumpkin yields delicious seeds and tasty pies. Meanwhile, a beautiful and fancy dessert squash disappoints and is thrown to the dogs. Recipes ensue.
How we have adapted from salt water fishing to freshwater and what we do with our catch.
One of the newest apps for green car owners is Cleaner and Greener Fuels, which locates refueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles.
When we moved into the country, we had no idea that small critters would be such a nuisance.
Success at growing food at the 4200' elevation and some of the challenges.
A comparison of costs between on grid and off grid utilities for our circumstances.
A typical day of activity on a modern homestead and off grid.
A description and pictures of a tornado force winds in Washington State in 2012.
This is the hands on portion of how a solar power system operates.
Short description of our solar system and the everyday things we do to operate them.
How and why we chose to have a livestock guardian dog and what they are like.
Use herbs from your garden,vegetable oil and beeswax to make a solid perfume.
What it is like to live higher up.
Describes a method of protecting tomatoes from excessive heat using a sunscreen, vermicompost tea, pulling blighted leaves.
The American College of Healthcare Sciences and Apothecary Shoppe have been re-certified as Green America Gold-Certified businesses.
Things to look for in your soil before you break ground on your new home or cabin.
As my birthing day draws near, I am settling in and nesting and preparing our home for the upcoming birth by gathering birth supplies, essentials and creating my birth space.
How to make your OWN insulated window coverings.
Irma Epps talks about making sorghum during the '30s and '40s and her father's love of the sweet substance.
How to make insulated shades at home.
Our first experience as a vendor or spectator at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, WA
A short history of my own horse riding adventures.
After the snow leaves to do list for us.
Short stories about our chicken experiences
Tips on how to keep water away from your home and water damage prevention.
The generators we use for living off the grid and a multitude of other tasks.
Tips for snow removal around your house and down the road.
An article about how we learned to double our growing season and have home grown fresh veggies almost all year long.
Lemon Meringue Pie
Where we have chosen to draw the line between convenience and sustainability - for now.
If you want to live independently, it's always good to have backup because no one else is coming to the rescue. This is how we did it.
Our take on the positive and negative points of insulated concrete forms.
Whether or not it was devised by clever Mexican potato growers, the cheap, easy to build, and space-saving potato tower is a unique alternative to rows, barrels, and other methods for planting, growing, and bringing in your season's spuds.
Options for phone service if you live in a remote location that doesn't have cell service or landlines available to you.
A simple explanation of our solar power generating system and cost.
A short simple explanation of how to project your electrical needs in order to size your electrical off grid system.
The unintended death of a charming little creature raises the realities of life on a farm homestead.
Two easy steps to reduce your electrical use whether you live off grid or not.
A quick look at different ways to be sustainable whether you are off grid or not.
A brief description of our experience with a masonry heater.
This post is about our water cisterns and what we use them for. It also contains a caution that many local governments would like to tell you what you can and can't do with rainwater.
Things you can do to prevent fire damage to your home from an external source.
Baking the Great American Apple Pie chases away the blues and grays that sometimes afflict the homestead.
This is the last of a series in home and energy options available to us. It is a short summary of all of the choices we have when designing a new home on or off grid that will benefit your energy use.
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.
This blog is about all of the choices we have for the type of home we want for off grid living and some of the construction materials involved. It turns out there are a multitude of options we have to choose from.
A little background on how Ric and Vicki moved from Detroit to a Tennessee homestead, and starting to get up to date on what they've done since.
These are the first steps we took to make the change from city living to off grid living. It describes the questions you should ask before you buy property and the research required to make sure you can do want you want with your property.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
This blog is an introduction to how we went from a condominium lifestyle to off grid modern homesteading in the mountains. It also includes an explanation of the meaning of "off grid".
To give your bedroom a boost, consider new paint suited to your personality. AFM Safecoat's Ayurveda Essence line allows you to choose colors based on your dosha, or personality type, within Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicinal system.
You can save money and improve your helaht by making more foods from scratch in your own kitchen. Sign on for October Unprocessed, and kick the processed food habit for one full month (at least for starters!). Check out some deliciously simple recipes to get you started.
Discover some of the properties of essential oils, along with some tips for cleaning with them.
In Greece and Turkey, revani is the general name for a family of cakes made (usually) with durum-wheat semolina or a semolina-flour mixture, which are soaked after baking in some kind of syrup. You'll adore this simple, lemon-flavored version from Turkey.
Noxious fumes aren’t conducive to happy cleaning. Give all your homemade cleaning solutions an invigorating and healthy boost by adding a few drops of pure plant essential oils such as lavender or lemon. Heavenly!
Essentia introduces the world's first memory foam mattress made without chemicals.
Traditional, Country Style Strawberry Shortcake.
Food labels are confusing, but you can be sure that processed foods with many ingredients are not as healthful as whole foods. Here is a explanation of processed-food ingredients and some suggestions for healthful breakfast foods.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about eco wedding dresses.
Restaurants in the United Kingdom can be evaluated and accredited based on choices such as purchasing ethical meat and dairy products, choosing fair trade coffee, monitoring energy use, supporting community charities and serving tap water.
Readers share best pie crust recipes.
A Tennessee coal plant had some explaining to do at a congressional hearing after a major coal sludge spill.
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.
Use programmable watering timers in your garden to help you maintain a regular schedule, keeping your plants well hydrated with less work.