For more on mountain living in a cabin go to www.brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com
The process of evaluating needs for successful downsizing.
Gardening challenges at high elevation.
New wood stove, another unexpected advantage of downsizing, and Murphy's Law.
Pack Rats, cute, tricky and destructive
Sometimes you have your plans changed for you, so don't put off tomorrow what can be done today.
The thrill continues living in our handmade house.
Noting the “firsts” and “lasts” occurring on the homestead at early summer.
Choosing homesteading as a way of life and what it takes.
Ed and Bruce share their experiences with homesteading and self-sufficiency in a rural setting.
How we avoid most clutter but manage to keep good leftover products for future use.
Spring time is a time to experience the newness of life and living in the Sangre de Cristo mountains amid the wildflowers, birds, green woods and new birth.
Calculating the amount of mountain snow to actual moisture.
Folksinger Michael Johnathon is on tour nationwide. Visit his homepage: www.MichaelJohnathon.com
How a single purchase of a magazine in newsprint in 1970 changed my life.
Ed and Bruce share their experiences with homesteading and self-sufficiency in a rural setting. This segment is on using natural resources around the homestead.
You don't have to pay $50 a pound for fresh morel mushrooms. Watch this video and find out how to forage for morels yourself.
Sheepskin rug keeps a childhood story alive.
Regular tasks that keep our cabin comfortable and welcoming.
Riches sometimes come from natural resources - not always connected with dollar signs.
Tree rings tell the tale. It is nice and green here now but our plants and weeds are acclimated to semi arid and have deep roots.
There is hard work homesteading in the mountains and the weather dictates much of those challenges.
Taking time to reflect on the past brings renewed appreciation to the present.
Other than the four regular seasons there is a fifth season in the mountains called mud season.
Our typical day living in the mountains in the winter.
Snake attack! OK, maybe it’s just a creative picture of snake gourds. Keep submitting for your chance at Photo of the Week!
The cold weather is hitting Virginia early this year and it's time to winterize!
The Natural Resources Defense Council is teaming up with popular country, bluegrass and folk musicians, including Dave Matthews and Patty Loveless, for Music Saves Mountains—a one-night fundraising event to end mountaintop removal coal mining in the Appalachians.
Using snowshoes to keep our paths and trails open as the snow piles up.
How we avoid cabin fever by doing volunteer work and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
Noting the time and marking its passing, keeping us in the present.
Fun facts about our first year of blogging for Mother Earth News.
A brief description of how we grow fresh vegetables in our long cold winters.
Design features we incorporated into our new off grid home.
Tips that we have learned gardening at a high elevation.
How we have adapted from salt water fishing to freshwater and what we do with our catch.
How we live in the mountains during the winter.
Reflections on 15 years of mountain living.
Living in the mountains or remotely requires physical endurance as well as being fit.
Ode to our hand saw...why we choose to live without power, and what we've accomplished by hand.
Stick with culinary sage whenever you don't know if a specific type of sage is edible.
Musings on growing and eating garlic, and why you should "Never Eat Your Seed Garlic"!
When you're facing a tricky woodworking project, it's a good idea to build a mockup
Janice Spaulding teaches goat husbandry both at her farm in Maine, and around the country with her "Goat School."
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence shares exciting information about the Google PowerMeter, a new device that helps homeowners find ways to reduce their electric bills.
Victoria Gazely considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin on 7 acres of fertile earth--purchased for $150--a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
Abuse of the environment has been linked to the demise of empires.
We haul our water from the river - walking water!
Making the most of a winter walk to home.
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
There are so many different “types” of goats! My last post was all about Angora goats and their fiber; this post will be about the meat aspect of goats. So what makes a goat a meat goat?
In this blog we share someone else's story about old fashioned home made ingenuity concerning deep well pumps that operate without electricity.
A snapshot of winter life living remote and off grid.
Things we have done to earn an income from home in a down economy.
Things we did to make our new home more sustainable.
Costs associated with providing your own water.
These kids just won’t quit! Jumping up and standing on horses is one sure way for goats to get up higher than the rest.
Who would think it’s possible to discover the artist in me, incubate a business, plus milk goats, grow a garden...all in one unforgettable summer. I'm a rich woman by any standard.
Submit your goat stories for possible book publication.
This video of goats playing shows how simple it is to keep your goat herd entertained.
Renovating a heritage log cabin DIY style isn't easy, but with some thought and attention to detail, it can be done - and cheaper than you might think.
Learn how to make your own bushcraft knife using only simple tools and materials, including an old file.
A video demonstration of MAX's windscreen, which deflects air around the driver's face with minimal aerodynamic drag.
The technique for making these easy cheese puffs is the kind of recipe that every cook should have up her sleeve.
I learned to love the Earth while studying a globe, now I can see it all on Google maps.
Michael Funk's 6,000-square-foot off-the-grid home and retreat center on 1,200 acres in the Sierra Nevadas is an heirloom, handbuilt with reverence for the spectacle that surrounds it. He hopes it will inspire every visitor to preserve the paradise.
How to use herbs on goats, blends, suggestions, and tips.
An all-day adventure to the Oregon Megabucks show!
For decades, corporations have been able to skirt past being held accountable for any environmental irresponsibility, and that has helped propel us into a time where pollution is out of control, and our natural resources are at a constant decline. Raising the standards for these faceless corporations is becoming evermore necessary.
Tree stumps, reminders of special moments and birds contribution to life.
If you have questions on how we accomplished our dream - ask us maybe our experience will help you. We welcome questions on how life is in the high mountains of S. Colorado. Please visit our personal blog for more information on us.
Wild strawberries are a tasty treat.
The virtues and wisdom of having some projects done by professionals -vs- rather than attempting them yourself. While many can and do their own installation, occasionally it is better to have professionals do the job.
Practical use of a wood mill on the homestead. The benefit of cutting your own lumber.
Carpenter ants: an alternative to chemical treatment. Living within the environment and not attempting to destroy or change it.
Homesteading with wild animals and how to cope with their antics.
There is no “one size fits all” bunch of information that works every time in every location, every person, and for every goat.
"Garbage in, garbage out," is as true to goat nutrition as it is to the computer world and more folks should take heed!
Maine and Minnesota Goat Schools are over, and a great time was had by all; Janice Spaulding recaps the events and prepares for the next one is in Ohio in September.
The goat herder extraordinaire, Annie Warmke, talks about the care of breeding bucks, and a life in the day of a goat herder.
This is an announcement inviting you to participate in a global web cast discussion on climate crisis on November 14, 2012. This is hosted by the Climate Reality Project and Al Gore.
Perfect for an evening of socializing out on the deck or an intimate meal at a table for two, GoodLight candles keep the mood bright and the air clean and are now available both online and in stores nationwide.
GoodLight is first to offer sustainable, non-toxic candles for restaurants.
David Goodman tests the Meadow Creature broadfork on his Florida farm and finds it to be amazing as heck.
When we're trying to achieve our dreams, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by all of the steps between where we are today and where we ultimately want to be. MOTHER EARTH NEWS writer Jenna Woginrich suggests a great idea for a fresh perspective and making your goals more attainable. If you look at the next 60 minutes, what can you do in the next hour to get closer to your goals?
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.
Getting ready for Goat School is always a daunting task, but once all of our new friends start arriving, we get excited! What a great time learning all about goats!
Participate in a clothing swap and make an economic statement
Introducing Alpaca-Gold, a new company producing 100% all natural, organic Alpaca fertilizer.
Merry Graham will help represent Bob’s Red Mill in the 2011 Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship in Scotland
Governor Sarah Palin announced that the State of Alaska will sue against the decision to place beluga whales on the Endangered Species List.
A heart warming story about a feral cat that traveled many miles across harsh terrain to be back to familiar ground.
Enjoy the ultimate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with gourmet sandwich spreads from Peanut Butter & Co.
Alexander Goldberg’s first blog post, introducing himself, his chickens and his concerns for rare and endangered breeds of poultry. Alexander talks about poultry shows, his work with 4H and support for the Livestock Conservancy.
Wild flowers in bloom in high country meadows. Wild iris in profusion.
Characteristics of early summer apples and an applesauce recipe from MeMa’s Bakery in Kansas City.
Learn about the Ben Davis Apple, one if not the most important commercial apple of the late 1800s, and get a recipe for Apple Dumplings.
After a wildfire destroyed their off-the-grid compound in Colorado, Betty and Rolland rebuilt—better than before—following Rolland’s creed: no plywood, no plastic and nothing that smells bad when it burns. The wildlife around their home approve.
Rather than toiling away with annuals, consider creating an edible perennial food forest.
Learn how to grow, harvest and process cassava – an amazing staple crop.
Composting doesn't have to be tough! Learn to make easy compost without the stress.
The first killing frosts of the season change the garden-scape.
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.
Don't be fooled by false species. Enjoy real morels and fiddlehead ferns. Tips for identification and lessons learned from misidentifications.
Simran Sethi discusses the "wood" that makes up our kitchen cabinets, as well as more eco-friendly (and people-friendly) alternatives.
A look into each dairy breed, on how much milk each one averages and what to expect in taste.
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.
Goat School needs a class room, visit our Kickstarter project and enjoy our video of Goat School!
No babies yet, so a few anecdotes about Angora kidding,labor
Traveling with Goat School on the Road, and learning all about newborn kid hoofs.
What to look for in a buck, and how to choose a herdsire.
Kidding is quite a process! This blog covers the very first signs of impending birth.
The third and last part in choosing a herdsire.
The second part to choosing a herdsire for the dairy goat herd.
Overdue does, goats with bloody milk, harried milkmaids... Oh where does it end?! Life isn't ALWAYS roses in the goat life; sometimes it does leave you tired frustrated.
The summer days are getting longer, and so is the list of barn chores! Goats are kidding, cows are arriving, and a dream of having a raw milk dairy is becoming tangible.
Chad Gadya. Not just a Jewish song anymore, but now the future name of Goat Song Farm's herdsire.
Our new log cabin roof is almost complete.
The Yule Goat is an ancient Scandinavian tradition which predates Christianity. Learn about how our oldest farm animal became the symbol of Christmas.
Autumn is very busy at Stony Knolls Farm between the Common Ground Fair and Fall Goat School!
Hmmm - not feeling so well. Was it those chicken wings?
In the last few years, gourmet black garlic has become an in-demand culinary ingredient. But what exactly is it? And what can you do with it?
In the second of this series of blog posts, I'll be discussing what are arguably the caviar of the garlic world: Rocamboles!
GO Home, built by architecture and construction firm G•O Logic LLC, received the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) 2011 LEED for Homes Project of the Year Award.
Former Vice President Al Gore thinks 2009 needs to be the year that America creates a climate bill. And he's got a plan to back it up!
Survivalists and others who yearn for a better way of life, and a better world, would be best served by studying the successful tribal cultures and ways of the past. Based on an interview with Vine Deloria, author of "God is Red."
In Simran Sethi's final post, she describes her philosophy on sustainability.
Advocating for biking during election season can result in the government focusing on bikeability and walkability.
In each of us is an innervoice that really knows what we want to be and what we want out of life but we continually ignore it for the sake of security or out of fear of failure or a million other reasons. Listen to the innervoice and heed its advice.
Read about new legislation that would stop the government from funding the fossil fuel industry. Then, sign your name to the petition and make a difference.
In the beauty of autumn comes a time of preparation for winter. The many necessary tasks to be prepared if you are self sufficient.
Some of the difficulties we encounter in gardening at a high elevation
Being prepared for canine emergencies.
Cole Ward - AKA The Gourmet Butcher - introduces himself
We all have dreams but why is it that some are so lucky that they come true?
Getting started each day presents a major challenge to many people. With so many pressing demands, it's often difficult to know where to start. Feeling overwhelmed and panicked, you may end up frittering away your time. He's a trick to get you going.
If the DEA can't tell the difference between hemp and marijuana plants, says a former Kentucky governor, how can it distinguish between powdered sugar and cocaine? Hempsters: Plant the Seed is a must-see movie that gives pro-hemp activists a voice.
As tropical plants go, pineapples are one of the easiest to grow.
Learn to think differently and you can grow a garden without breaking the bank.
Can’t grow temperate berries? Jump into the tropics with these seven amazing fruits.
Ways to fertilize organically without breaking the bank.
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.
If you live in the South, you can grow your own sugar cane. Learn to plant, harvest and make delicious syrup at home!
Composting doesn't need to be complicated. It's time to throw out the guide book and start letting nature take its course. Meat? No problem. Bread? Don't worry about it. Human waste? Why not? It's easy!
Why “hot and humid” doesn’t have to equal “sad and lifeless.”
A profile of Japanese and American persimmons, excellent trees for the deep south.
Fungi help your soil, your composting and your plants. Add fungi to your homestead activities and let 'em grow!
Talking about the back up generator failure along with recent golf cart modifications.
Porch building tips along with deer pressure notes and golf cart pickup bed instructions.Throw in a 5 foot high chicken wire fence and a rare appearance from a normally camera shy cat named Strider and you've got an idea of what we've been up to.
Cabin Fever: noun, ‘Boredom, restlessness, or irritability that results from a lack of environmental stimulation, as from a prolonged stay in a remote, sparsely populated region or a confined indoor area‘.
Restoring a heritage log cabin is not something to embark on on a whim, but it can be one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do.
Helen and Scott Nearing's farmstead, near Harborside, Maine, is now The Good Life Center, where you can tour the grounds, listen to lectures and participate in workshops.
One woman's journey from life in urban America to a small town in Austria, then back to a suburban homestead in Dallas on which she tries her hand at keeping dairy goats.
Angora Goats are not the easiest of the breeds to raise, however, even though the work can be intensive, the rewards are incredible!
Thank goodness for good friends who will share their garden harvest with those of us less skilled.
Pruning apple trees to a three by three central leader shape for strength against high winds and to prevent fungal infection.
The search for the long lost apples of Isaac Bowen Essex, the Fulton County Apple.
How we focused on attaining our dream homestead.
Creating the life you want, both personally and professionally, requires clear goals. By establishing the direction of your journey and sticking to your goals, you can achieve anything you want.
Many people admit that their lives haven't turned out the way they'd hoped. Fortunately, it is never too late to re-design and re-create your life so that you live up to your full potential and find the happiness and fulfillment you seek.
Share your thoughts about natural building methods including straw bale building, cordwood construction, earth building and more.
An index of previous posts that have referenced green products. These posts have covered building- and home-related products, as well as chocolates, books, and other types of goods. Many of the products mentioned in these posts would make good gifts.
“The Gourmet Butcher” Cole Ward breaks down the meanings of Kosher, Glatt Kosher, and Halal.
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.
Another easy way to enjoy the fresh taste of gourmet garlic year-round is with these convenient cubes!
In this post, I'll be discussing the Marbled Purple Stripe garlic variety, also known as the 'everyman' of the garlic world!
Introducing glazed purple stripes, the beauty queens of the garlic world!
Often at a farmers market you'll see garlic designated as 'gourmet.' But what does this mean? Is it a marketing gimmick? Or is there actually something special behind the name?
A new guide-to-meat book.
Garlic will keep for months if properly cured, allowing you to enjoy it all winter long!
Asiatic garlic cultivars may be difficult to find, but their great taste and easy-growing nature make them a great choice for garlic lovers and growers alike!
Silverskins are an ideal garlic for braiding and long-term storage!
The last of my series of posts discussing the different types of gourmet garlic will explore Artichokes, the giants of the garlic world!
Goat School will be traveling to British Columbia and then to Ohio in September.
An experienced homesteader discusses the pros and cons of one family keeping either a cow or a goat for their milk supply.
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.
Be prepared for kidding season! Set up your kidding kit ahead of time. This information will help you have the right equipment at your fingertips.
Horns or no horns, that is the question! Why should you disbud your goats, or is it okay to leave the horns on? This post discusses both options with a link to a great article about horns and their beauty.
Spring clean up on the farm doesn't only include cleaning fallen branches, but cleaning up the goats too! Getting ready for kidding and making sure the goats are all set is our most important spring task.
The babies have arrived, now is the time to take care of all of the other parts of caring for the newborns!
The newest member at Goat Song Farm: A 3 week old, purebred Nubian doeling named 'Rose Of Summer'.
Why raw milk? Why goat milk? Things to consider for good health and nutrition for you family. Also a trick to get stubborn kids to nurse from a bottle.
Milking is a fun and easy chore! Here are some hints on milking in an easy fashion.
The tale of Carlotta's last day. A trip to the processor. Real happenings on a goat farm, it's not always lollipops and rainbows.
Goat School is over for a few months, and now the routine will be a little more normal! Great questions were asked at Goat School and some of those answers are shared.
The kids have finally arrived, and we have plenty of photos of them!
Abundance is the most fundamental building block in the Google DNA.
The decade between the turn of the millennium and 2010 might justifiably be called the Google Decade. The company may have built more influence in less time than any other human endeavor in history.
Conscientiousness is woven into the company culture, quite intentionally. The more prosperous and powerful the company becomes, the more strident the criticism. Any institution as powerful as Google has great potential for evil, and for good.
Google’s mission is making information available. That includes all the beauty in the world (along with everything else, of course).
Google’s unofficial motto, “Don’t Be Evil,” could be expressed as easily in the positive, “Be Fair.”
The company’s founders seem to be as proud of the company’s culture as they are of its financial success. Can the Google culture persist when the company’s economic power declines?
Google can be the most enlightened power-user on the planet. Because it is so successful, and because it uses a lot of electricity, Google has the opportunity to set a new global standard for clean power.
Green products rule at Ambiente 2011, the world's most important consumer goods fair, in Frankfurt, Germany, this week.
Dealing with a government agency to save a creek.
A brief story of how a creek was damaged and how it was reported to the authorities properly.
This posting present comments by leading scientific organizations, individual scientists and government leaders pertaining to human induced climate changes. All agree that climate change is anthropogenic and that it has become a serious problem.
Tightening up our log cabin with a mortar mix.
The importance of a good pickup truck for the modern homesteader.
Chef Gordon Hamersley's Vegetable Tian makes use of tomatoes, squash and eggplant--all in their prime right now.
PBS and Ken Burns’ new series, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” is stirring up interest in some of our country’s most beautiful and awe-inspiring nature, as well as its people. And it’s no surprise that many of MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers have fond memories of these wilderness areas. What are your favorite memories and stories regarding our national parks?
What we do on snow days in the mountains when it is snowing hard outside.
I've been living in my tipi for almost a month now. Last night, under a chorus of screech owl trills and whinnies, I spent a little time reflecting on some things I've learned about this curious way of living. Enjoy.
Taking a new look at non-native invasives, such as wild yams.
Keep your greenhouse above freezing during short cold periods without paying for a heater.
Growing peach pits doesn't get much easier than this.
A profile of the wonderfully tough loquat tree.
A look at the wonderful mulberry tree.
Chaya is one of the most delicious greens you've never tried. Learn to grow and enjoy this wonderful perennial!
Dairy goat farmer Julia Shewchuck learned a lot about keeping dairy goats in her first few months (and much more since). It was a learning curve too steep to be repeated willingly, but which has saved many other goats’ lives since.
Spending the time to get to your goats is more important than you may think
Sherry’s son worked hard to raise a goat. Read how he, with the help of family and friends, butchered and prepared the meat for a homegrown Chevron treat.
Here are 12 simple tips that will help you to fight the war on worms and coccidia in goats.
Simran Sethi explains how the green faith movement can provide common ground among different groups.
Homesteading with dogs in remote mountain living. Considerations in providing a good safe homestead environment for your cherished pets.
Mountain Rose Herbs honored with Social and Fair Trade Certification.
Snow in the mountains is different than snow found at lower elevations.
The forests in Colorado are dying at a fast rate. Find out what's to blame.
Hiking to the top of our mountain, the breathing view, the soothing effect.
Many people have trouble getting things done or done on time. The blog presents a simple technique that will help you become more effective and more successful in all you do.
Many people waste too much time each trying to get motivated to work. As a result, they get a lot less done than they need to or would like to. In this blog, I show a way that has helped me for many years get motivated to work and stay on task.
talking about building a composting toilet and how well the Seed Swap went on Saturday. Hauling capacity of a golf cart compared to an ATV generated some useful and helpful comments regarding electricity vs internal combustion engines. No till works!
LIfe is full of adversity. Whether you succumb to it or bounce back is up to you. Knowing that no matter what life throws your way you will emerge stronger will help you become more resilient and stronger and will help you create a happier life
Life presents many challenges, but if you consciously choose to be strong and resilient you can recover more quickly and grow even stronger. Your experiences will make you better able to cope and will help you live a happier, more productive life.
Adversity is a part of life. Enbrace the hard times. Sometimes, adversity can lead to new opportunities that allow us to pursue new paths, sometimes even re-invent our lives. Knowing something good may arise can help us cope with adversity, too.
After the kidding is over, we take good care of our girls! And, the babies need to be bottle fed, so here are the instructions on how we feed our kids.
When you have goats, you need to do something with all that milk. Why not try making Queso Blanco, an easy cheese which tastes great and cooks well.
How to make cajeta, Mexican-style goat's milk caramel.
Made from creamy chevre (fresh goat cheese) instead of the typical cream cheese, this surprising cheesecake is sure to please cheese lovers and dessert lovers alike.
Preparing for kidding time is always crazy, and sometimes things never go the way you planned.
How to prepare for a successful kidding season.
The joys and heartaches that can come with kidding season are a part of life on a goat farm.
Try this expert advice to keep goats from getting out of the pasture.
Of all the baby animals born on the farm — the chicks, lambs, puppies, calves — the goat kids are in a class of their own. Racing, playing, causing mischief, find out what makes kids so much fun and so invigorating to watch.
Simran Sethi reflects on her first summer of yard-care and gardening.
A flea market basket that called to me, my grandmother's hand-embroidered linens and a quilt made by a circle of women in Minnesota are among the wabi-sabi items that I wouldn't want to be without.
A "how to" for building a hoop-style greenhouse using PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.
Do easy ways to save money exist? Absolutely! Blissful saving is only a trip to the bulk section away! When you get home from the store, keep track of your finances on Mint.com; then look for Groupon's daily deal. Search the house for unused items and sell them on eBay. Use these tips to start saving today!
Your gourmet garlic bulbs are finally out of the ground. Now it's time to prep them for curing!
Is your growing season a bit too short for gourmet garlic? Turban garlic cultivars may be the solution!
Learn to let go of associations with price, value, age and prestige and just appreciate beauty without judgment. Nature is the best muse for cultivating wabi-sabi.
Over the past 15 years the noise level in cities has increased sixfold; urban noise doubles every eight to ten years. Even in the country, we can't escape the sound of airplanes and engines. What can you do?
Steve explains why building a scale model is such a good way to design homestead structures, and how to do it.
Watch this video to learn how to build tiny home for just $2,000.
Finding the right balance between obligations can be a challenge.
Jack gets a wallop of motivation for a fully enclosed cabin, and looks ahead to a future with inquisitive grandchildren.
Robert Maxwell explains how to build your own limestone foundation for almost no money.
Weekly user photo of a simple solar homestead. Don't forget to submit your photos to our CU photo-sharing website. Maybe one of your favorite moments will pop up on the homepage for all the world to see!
again, rushing to beat the weather as we close in our finishing our hand-built cabin
Sensor Plug update along with a report on Sunflowers being used as a cover crop and when to properly harvest onions.
Eating cicadas, building a porch, and hauling lumber for said porch all in the same week with several images of the action as well as some bee installation pictures.
Beginning a discussion on top bar hives and standard hives in a question and answer format, getting the best of each for users of both kinds of hives.
Spending a day having fun prospecting for gold, enjoying the outdoors, exploring a ghost town and the high mountains.
I am especially concerned with the electricity hogs that keep us burning coal.
HOMEGROWN.org introduces Find Good Food, a new page that includes national and state-by-state resources for locating family farmed eats near you. Read it! Share it! Add to it! Make it your own—and help make it even better.
Ed and Laurie struggle with making time for visitors while dealing with all of the daily business and homesteading tasks.
Today's FAIR attendees will be well prepared to grow, make and preserve their own food and, as Joel Salatin encourages, get out of the Industriall food system.
The book Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A Do-It-Ourselves Guide is a collection of skills, tools, and technologies usable by urban residents wanting to have more local access and control over life's essential resources.
There are some questions worth exploring, find out if there is a BEST way to clean your goat's udder before milking.
Ilene White Freedman contemplates sharing goat milk with the nursing kid.
An introduction from a goat-crazy Oregonian.
Our little farm received the USDA Value Added Producer Grant and we are embarking on an exciting future. Be with us from start to finish.
In the year of the goat we must compare the personalities and characteristics of goat people with goats.
Taking a ride on an old steam engine.
Looking for a way to boost your immune system naturally as the colder months settle in? Enter our latest sweepstakes to win immune-enhancing herbal products from Mountain Rose Herbs!
Communication and honesty is essential to decide important issues like a complete lifestyle change.
A chirping predator may be an unexpected and unwanted visitor. Mountain lions do chirp and one set me on edge.
The most basic part of food is the seed. Learn to grow and save your own. You can do this at home, but if you want to further hone your skills, attend Seed School.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel recounts how she went from half-hearted to full-breed-ahead when it comes to breeding goats.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick honors the determination of women farmers, even as she observes a bittersweet month on her farm.
A dairy goat owner chronicles the frustrating beginning of her first breeding season.
Follow Sarah Cuthill's search for a dairy mentor and her very first experience milking a goat.
Owning an intact male goat can be difficult, even if you know about their little idiosyncrasies. Learn about (and laugh at) one goat owner's attempt at doing something simple, like switching female goats in a buck pen.
Goats will get into and out of everything. Some thoughts on why you need to keep your feed secured.
More goat babies and finding ideas to make money on a farm.
When the temperature drops below zero Fahrenheit, you have to keep an eye on your goats.
If you have dairy goats and plan on getting milk, inevitably you have to deal with difficult kiddings. Most of the time, you walk in the barn and there’s mom and her kids staring at you, all dripping from birth slime. To be honest, that’s how I like it. All I have to do is dry the kids, tie off the umbilical cord, and dip it in iodine.
Do you know where your Goat is NOW? A quick overview over fencing materials, fencing type, fencing do's and don'ts.
When you have too many bucklings, you need to neuter or wether if you're going to keep them. Here's how I do it.
Since Lulu and Belle had their kids, I'm now waiting on three more does to have their babies. Only, they aren't. So here is how the experts claim you can discover if your goat is going to kid. Only, it's really wishful thinking...
When it rains, it pours, when it comes to kidding goats.
Play on the farm in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
Confrontation with life and death situations are unavoidable when living on a farm. Seeing baby animals come into the world is beautiful, but sometimes these beautiful moments can be full of anxiety if things aren't going just right.
Cam babysits a baby goat for the weekend.
A mysterious "ailment" brings our first frost to the goat pen.
Safely bring a new goat herd home and getting them used to you and their new surroundings.
Tired of pests? Here are five tips for knocking ‘em back without resorting to pesticides and toxic chemicals.
Chinese water chestnuts are a delicious nutty root that are also easy to grow. Learn more in this article!
Who the heck is Paul Goodman? The car-free visionary who inspired a new documentary and bicycle contest.
Fresh peaches and creamy goat cheese unite in the perfect summer sandwich.
Simran Sethi learns how to compost the right way and explores her composting options.
A quick essay regarding the "size" question of a top bar hive, from the bee's point of view - where it's all about the "volume"!
It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...
Baking the Great American Apple Pie chases away the blues and grays that sometimes afflict the homestead.
I’ve heard that the moment you plunk down a deposit for a vacation or buy yourself a plane ticket, a good chunk of you is already at the beach (or the mountains or the city . . . or wherever).
In most cases, we can't do all of the things we would like to live more sustainable lives — at least, not all right away. We can all do something, though, and making the choices and taking the steps that we can is an effective, satisfying way to make our lives more self-reliant and better for the planet every day.
I’m sitting on the deck of my room at the Northern Queen Inn in Nevada City, California, on a gorgeous spring day.
Mindy Pennybacker’s new book, Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices, and her website, GreenerPenny.com, offer easy tips for daily green living.
Share your simple living ideas to help those in need.
By making good plans and imagining the future with a positive outcome, you can be ready to take advantage of opportunities when they come your way.
As a new year unfolds, Natural Home forecasts 2010 predictions—and it's good news—Americans will become smarter, greener consumers.
Most American homes are codependent with a lifestyle-support-system of roads, wires, pipes, lines of credit, satellites, and a collective identity determined by the supply side. Yet just about any household budget offers continuing opportunities for creating a healthier, less expensive lifestyle that’s also easier on the environment.
Crushing a truck, harvesting garlic, and fixing a broken flywheel shaft key are just a few of the things that got done over the last week at WaldenEffect.org complete with photos of all the juicy stuff.
Summing up the last week of activity by hitting on a few key stories that might prove note worthy to a few of the homesteading folks out there complete with photo montage of golf cart jousting and aquaponic trout.
Launching Anna's new E book on cover crops in a no till garden and talking about the recent power failure that prompted us to do some Off Grid Homesteading which taught us a few lessons on using golf cart batteries for supplemental lighting.
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
Author Maggie Bonham recounts the various ways she's managed to obtain free goats, including Craigslist ads and trading for chickens.
A chemical-free way to keep goats' teats clean and the milk pure.
A new homesteader commits some classic mistakes when buying her first goat.
21 things you should know or wish you had known before starting a goat farm.
One of the most exciting facets of raising goats is when kids are born on your farm. Knowing how to prepare for the grand event makes for a smoother and more successful kidding process.
Hints for kidding in the very cold weather.
HOMEGROWN.org blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm says keeping animals in the garden improves her soil and fights weeds and pests.
Often time choosing the right name for your kids is the most difficult part of kidding! Here is a little help on picking out names that are appropriate!
The Africans showed up at our door on a sunny, chilly November afternoon. Two men introduced themselves as Stone and Abraham. In the background stood a young woman with a gregarious little boy, Henry, about 2 years old. They were looking for goats.
Why keep a buck? Because they are wonderful, friendly, lovable creatures! Here are all the reasons why having bucks on your property is a good thing.
Jenna gets a pack goat to help carry gear for hiking trips. Share her experience of buying a buck kid and raising him to be a pack goat.
There are some goats you don't want, no matter if the price is right. In this case, the goat was free.
A California architect gives a 1920s cabin more space and better views--without disturbing the riparian area it sits on.
Michael Johnathon is a folksinger, songwriter, author and playwright. He also created and hosts the weekly national broadcast of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, heard on over 509 public radio stations, American Forces Radio network in 173 nations. In this blog, Michael muses on discovering the joys of folk music and songwriting.
A discussion of three power tools to prep your logs or timbers for building.
I love my two-story log cabin, which combines recycled and an array of green building materials.
Teddi Irwin sent us this
great update on a Homesteading Education Month event held at IN A GOOD WAY, a
training farm established to use therapeutic methods of farming to improve the
lives of Native American men.
Life is full of amazing things and remarkable people that make our lives richer and worthwhile. However, many of us hone in on what's wrong with life and others. Focusing on the good will bring great happiness to you. It will turn your life around.
Our experience with our local cooperative.
How to select and find the right pet for you. Non professional guidelines.
Living in a community that has those who served in the armed forces and make good neighbors.
According to FDA data, the quantity of antibiotics sold for livestock use in this country continues to rise, topping 29 million pounds in 2011. This has a direct effect on the efficacy these same drugs will have on us. Sam Spitz has personal experience with a resistant illness and FamilyFarmed.org asked him to tell his story. It’s a cautionary tale that should have us all making better food choices. Read how we can all influence the campaign to end the misuse of antibiotics in livestock and keep antibiotics working for us when we need them!
The final result of a reporting a water violation and having a creek restored.
Growing some of the most delicious and sometimes expensive gourmet vegetables doesn't have to be hard. Artichoke, bronze fennel, kohlrabi, leek, and savoy cabbage are among the vegetables that grow well from seed.
Check out this roundup of 10 favorite sustainable gifts for the gardeners on your list — all under $50!
Mountain Rose Herbs hosted a three day benefit festival for Cascadia Wildlands in September of this year.
This is part two of my visit to King Arthur Flour, the concluding blog of the four-day event.
Elizabeth Van Deventer has been on a quest to find the answer to sustainable farming and an ethical diet most of her life. Follow along as she discovers the impacts of producing tea, palm oil and fruit, and how she eventually settles on a lifestyle that is in tune with the earth and all of its creatures.
In the hollows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this true Christmas celebration was simple, inexpensive and rich with tradition.
Where we go to reflect on life and relax.
Home energy management, electric cars and solar gadgets take starring roles at consumer electronics industry’s biggest trade show.
Describing how to look up tax maps, cutting carrots, and deleting problem tomato plants that only produce insipid fruit. The main attraction this week is our Power Plucker review and how awesome this new product is at saving time when plucking.
A Christmas Wish for all, inspired by the magic of the honey bee.
This blog post by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees describes some techniques for getting bees to draw straight comb in a top bar hive.
This post offers tips for winterizing a top bar hive - insulating, mouse guards, wrapping, closing entrances, protecting from wind. All things you can do to help get them through!
A TED talk by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees: Making the Connection: Honeybees, Food, and You.
Discover the Ozarks region's natural beauty and adventure hot spots as told by Mike McArthy of Photozarks.
Wabi-sabi has infused Western design for centuries—though its advocates rarely knew it. It’s in the plain, efficient homes built by the Shakers, the unsentimental Arts and Crafts style, Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie houses and midcentury furniture.
Natural beauty is priceless. We can take in and appreciate a great view because we don’t have any hope of owning it, and we can’t manipulate it. With our egos out of the way, we can learn to simply observe.
How we prepared and ate all the meat of the goat Caleb raised and butchered.
Fifteen family farms and over 50 restaurants have committed to participation in No Goat Left Behind, a new program developed by Heritage Foods USA.
Rachel gets a scare with Daisy the goat - is it bottle jaw or something else? A trip to the vet provides some lessons.
Welcome to by blog “City to Country, One Step at a Time.” Here’s how I ended up as a modern homesteader on a little acreage in the Canadian West Coast bush.
If you are growing vegetables, making a few homemade wares here and there ... you are practicing good, old-fashioned homesteading techniques.
Many decisions go into remote living to decide if it is right for you.
Many of us listen to negative internal messages about ourselves that drag us down, robbing us of happiness. To find happiness, you must change the dialogue inside your head. Focus on what is good in you and all that you do to brighten others' lives.
KOR Water has announced the reusable Nava filtering water bottle.
Missoula, MT company awards home owners sustainable products.
The new metal roof was nailed down just hours before the storm hit.
Wherever you live, you can practice sustainability and share your successes with your neighbors.
We Westerners tend to think we’ve got it all going on when it comes to green living in general, and green building in particular.
Enjoy visiting green living fairs, shows and workshops from Maine to Texas in every season of the year.
Living luxuriously doesn’t necessarily mean living large — at least not in these homes — and reducing a little waste doesn’t hurt, either.
Luke Dinan, a young man from Toronto, Ontario, is forging his way towards sustainable living and a self-reliant lifestyle; a path we can appreciate, strive for and maybe contribute to.
At breeding time, things aren't always what they seem. Sometimes things can really go awry!
The cold, hard facts about how Annie Warmke, goat herder extraordinnaire, found her calling in a barn with Eleonore Rigby and her two tiny kids.
A homesteading family undertakes Extreme Home Makeover: Goat Edition at the possible expense of their sanity.
Raising dairy goats has benefits that extend beyond fresh milk and cheese.
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.
The blog describes the experience of applying for a federal grant and shares some advice for others who might want to follow in those foot steps.
Describes the heartache that can come of now observing and working with nature when raising goats.
After a rocky start, the second half of breeding season ends happily for both goats and owners.
How to make a cheap hay feeder for goats that cuts down on wasted hay.
Ilene White Freedman’s goat is in labor, reminding Ilene of her own natural childbirth experiences.
One woman's vision of a family farm comes to life in her back yard thanks to one friendly goat.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan recalls how the seasons affected her childhood and how they guide her activities now on her Maine dairy farm.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time of being a goat herder, it’s that at breeding time, the goats are in charge.
Life with goats, sheep, cows, chickens and other livestock isn't all roses. Publisher Bryan Welch considers the value of finding and keeping the right partner for tackling life on the farm, goose poop and all.
So, yes, I have become a lover of goats (and ducks have won me over, too). But the truth is, I can’t wait to eat the boys.
Hand milking and the ease of doing so, always lends itself to many questions. I try to answer some of the most commonly asked questions in this post.
A beginning farmer learns that keeping does and keeping bucks are two different things.
Dyan writes about the changing season at Bittersweet Farm, and introduces us to the newest member of the flock, a black sheep named Little Man.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!
Stony Knolls Farm has a new dog and getting him here was a wonderful, and amazing journey that is well worth sharing! Rescue dogs are so grateful for their new homes.
Even dairy goats can have self-esteem issues...
A basic overview of why shelter and bedding are must haves for your goat operation. Also, some of our personal experience with a few options.
Homegrown.org blogger Dyan Redick of Bittersweet Farm honors - and helps keep alive - the legacy of fellow Maine goat herdswoman Pixie Day.
This mojito recipe from a surprising source--a Teahouse--is light, refreshing and not too sweet--perfect for a warm summer evening.
Ordering bees in January doesn't seem to make sense, until you understand that April is the cruelest month. Plus, if you order bees in January, and then you don't need them - that's just a reason to celebrate! Order early!
If you’re the first of your friends to move to the country, get some chickens and plant an organic garden there will be some inevitable social fallout.
Congress is about to pass legislation to ease the worry of homeowner debt, but it's also possible to build your dream home without a mortgage.
Exploring our misconceptions of who we are when we are defined by our online presence.
What does well read mean to you? Does the material you read and your personality traits determine how you view the world? This blog explores what well read means to me.
Swamp Hut is a complex of four 8-by-12-foot huts surrounding a deck with a fireplace. This an off-the-grid, light-on-the-land summer getaway could easily be replicated in your favorite vacation spot.
The all-new RZT S ZERO is available in select markets and will be headlining the Cub Cadet Test Drive Experience Tour.
An article about when the best time is to start a new homestead.
Many people perceive going green as an inconvenience and an unnecessary burden on their daily lives. What they don't realize is that they can take simple steps to help protect the environment without the disruption to their lifestyle, but save money as well.
Barebones strives to make the experience of outdoor recreation and hobbies a priority.
Ryan Mitchell, founder of TheTinyLife.com, is saving up to pay cash for a 130-square-foot home on wheels in North Carolina. He’s seeking perspective, clarity—and a girlfriend who gets it.
The daily realities of living in the mountains.
Be aware: Living sustainably can be hindered by homeowner association rules.
You can't just hit the ground running when you make the transistion from rat race to homestead. There are lots of lessons to be learned. What wisdom can you share with the homestead hopefuls?
Blog post number 17: Jeff solves the problem of how to use higher-efficiency D/C power for long run-time loads, while using some A/C appliances as well.
An introduction to me, a home-schooled 11 year old.
A rural home in La Porte, Iowa thrives on all the elements of nature including bird feeders, a veggie garden and table scraps.
An interview with the founder of a small organic gardening business that focuses on education and helping gardeners go organic. Learn more about this company and vote for it to win funding from a small business competition.
Sue McKay Miller divested herself of nearly everything she owned and moved into a yurt in the wilderness to determine how much she really needs to live a satisfying life. Turns out, she really doesn't need much.
If you want to achieve your goals, stop making excuses for the things that go wrong on your path to success. Learn from them. Never stop trying to improve. And never stop trying. Work smart and hard.
Get out of your shell and lend a hand to those around you, even perfect strangers – you’ll be amazed at what you become and how your kindness touches others
When one of her goats starts looking for love for the first time, and hollering her little head off, Angela has to do some quick thinking to keep her precious pets from becoming that night's dinner!
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner.
Farm life is not always predictable, and some of the surprises turn out to be the most valuable lessons. This story from the ranch about some strong winter-born goats, a protective cow with motherly instincts, and a calf that’s making it against all odds will not only inspire you, but it may teach you something about the wonderful spirit of community support.
This fall, while the chickens were still living with the goats, we had decided to fence off the leg and seed it with pasture seed. I wasn't sure if we should seed it for the chickens or for the goats. After doing some research we ended up going with
A beginning farmer makes the most practical fencing choice available to her: electric nets. And gets tangled up, occasionally.
Keeping goats inside during nasty weather isn't easy, but it's worth the time! Dealing with sick goats, fever and runny noses isn't fun, so taking precautions makes things much easier.
I am loving my time spent at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington thus far. There are tons of great and interesting people to meet, delicious food, fun and information-packed lectures and demonstrations, and, best of all, adorable anima
Rachel and her husband committed to a year without groceries, and they made it! She shares her experiences in local food in this post.
Who knew that a flock of chickens would be able to teach us so much about living with our children?
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.
If you're like me, your life's been a series of trials and errors, mistakes and missteps. At times we get it right, but many other times we founder. The goal of my new blog is to help you and others spend more time enjoying life and less time in pain and struggle.
Your mind can often trip us up, make things worse than they are, even lead us into disaster. You can control your own mind and change negative messages to positive ones, creating a much more productive,calmer. and fullfilling life.
Check out this green gingerbread house built by MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff: It includes cookie and candy versions of SIPs construction, a living roof, and a solar electric system.
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.
Even when the chicks have left the nest, they never really leave.
Learning to appreciate seasonal differences.
The cost to install and operate our solar electrical system.
If you go shopping for an electric bike, you’ll find a wide range of prices and brands. Discover how to determine the best electric bicycle brands for your lifestyle.
It takes commitment and determination to live remotely in the mountains.
Immigrating to Canada can be a daunting process, but the Canadian government provides resources to help.
How to cope mentally with living in a remote location.
For many people, going green seems like a daunting task, but in reality, a few simple lifestyle changes is all you need.
Celebrate meals with homegrown or local food. Tips for making your celebration gatherings zero-waste events.
Unforgettable Fire's Kimberly and Katydid wood stoves are heating solutions for any and all spaces.
Passive House standards incorporate passive solar design principles, but the two labels don’t mean the same thing. Learn about the difference between passive solar design and Passive House certification.
We finally build somthing!
The 20th-Annual Organic Growers School takes place March 8 through March 10 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in Asheville, N.C. The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction and trade show.
Fall may be turning to winter, but there’s still time to enjoy those last sunny days before the harsh chill settles in.
The American Society of Safety Engineers’ Ag Branch encourages purchasing tractors with a Rollover Protection Structure. Programs exist that will help offset the cost of the ROPS to add to older tractors. Tractor rollovers are common accidents that will lead to severe injury or death, but an ROPS will keep the driver safe.
How packing snow against your house can add R-value to your insulation - and subtract energy costs.
We look for materials bargains while devising a way to pay for it all.
Now is a great time to sow a cover crop or two that will enrich your garden soil over the winter.
Sharing our first experience with an indoor/outdoor vertical hydroponic garden.
Cam has a (temporary) job outside of the house and he has gained a new appreciation for being self-employed.
Save time and avoid blisters and burnout by following these common-sense guidelines this leaf season.
A typical day of activity on a modern homestead and off grid.
Things that occur when switching from summer to winter mode. Fall is almost non existent.
The success of Urban Gardens is a story about an expansion of one’s reach outside of one given discipline.
Finding friends out in the country can be challenging.
Cam often finds himself relating to song lyrics.
What skills are you learning in hopes of saving money?
Sailors for the Sea presents its new Rainy Day Kits teach young sailors to care about marine ecology and the environment with fun, interactive games.
What exactly is ‘modern homesteading"? There are as many definitions as there are people doing it. What does the term ‘modern homesteading’ mean to you?
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
SunRay Kelley’s Gypsy Wagon is an exciting, sustainable home on wheels built from a camper vehicle.
Here are four things you need to know about gum chewing to decide whether chewing gum is bad for you.
Living in a 500-square-foot house (or smaller) affects our consumption and relationships.
Expense checklist for anyone wanting to plan a new homestead.
In 'Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation,' author Tradd Cotter offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices, shares the results of his groundbreaking research, and offers creative ways to apply cultivation skills—whether the goal is to help a community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale.
Leaving a job with benefits and security to live a simple, country life, also known as un-jobbing, can be scary, but as we learned, so very worth it.
Sharing my practices of gratitude and thanksgiving.
All-natural pork from wild hogs is safe to eat, has wonderful flavor and could feed the world. Here's how to trap them in the wild.
In this post, I introduce a new series capturing the details of my family's move from a
conventional suburban life to homesteading and homeschooling. This post introduces the first
of several financial considerations that my family researched and has undertaken as part of our
radical lifestyle change.
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.
Two homesteaders discuss their experience with the weather applicable to their mountain homesteads in Washington and Colorado.
Will our nation's positive moves toward saner, simpler living and smaller homes fall victim to an improving economy? No way.
We can learn a lot from the Amish, who have passed down wisdom on living simply and celebrating community for generations.
Kate and Jeff are building their off-the-grid dream near Taos, New Mexico. As they build themselves a small straw bale house and make do with a few solar panels, they're realizing how little they really need.
Let's stop for a minute and think about what we are doing!
When Paula and Matt learned that running a utility line to their rural Vermont home would cost the same as buying solar panels, they never hesitated. Now they're living the good life, off the grid.
Deb and Tommy have spent just $7,500 to set up their off-the-grid homestead in Oklahoma's Kiamichi Mountains, which relies on one 80-watt solar panel for power. As they learn more, they will continue to build their systems.
Sayra and Dominic live with their 5-year-old daughter in a charming 550-square-foot home in rural Idaho. There are challenges, but they've found that less really is more. "It's like living in a fun clubhouse," Sayra says.
This initial blog post tells the story of how Phillip Vannini became interested in off-grid living and how he began — together with Jonathan Taggart — to do research on the off-grid lifestyle in Canada.
In this blog post we describe the choices we made in producing and editing our film, "Life Off Grid."
Outdoor kitchens, dining areas and living rooms are a great way to expand your home's living space. Designers offer advice on how to make the most of the great outdoors--in your own backyard.
At the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Wash, I listened to lecturers cover topics from re-newable energy, small-scale farming, green building, organic gardening, simple living, and citizen solidarity building. While I listened, I pondered ways to weave these powerful themes into our children's lives.
A brief description of our experience with a masonry heater.
If know you're destined to live in the country, or just more self-reliantly, but are overwhelmed by all the choices, here's a place to start.
It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked:
Why do we do all this work?
How did Victoria Redhed Miller and husband David end up living on an off-grid homestead in the foothills of Washington State's Olympic mountains? Grid? What grid? Electricity was something one took for granted; it came from those outlets on the walls. I was hardly aware of it except during one of the infrequent power outages.
The journey to a self-sufficient life is a bumpy ride. Having a backup plan — or two — can make all the difference in your progress.
How feeding the hungry amounts to action on behalf of a planet on fire with a toxic yang imbalance.
Seth Leitman explains toxicity in our products and how green living is about recovering from these products.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine comes to life in the recently released Wiser Living Video Series. Volume One of the Series features some of our most popular workshops from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIRS taught by members of the editorial team and expert community. Become more self-reliant in and around your home by tackling 19 projects ranging from keeping backyard chickens to making tinctures.
An upcoming inspirational documentary, “Beyond Off-Grid,” that strives to motivate people to return to the old paths, includes self-sufficiency experts from around the country. A MOTHER EARTH NEWS blog prompted the producer to contact us.
A pressure canner greatly expands the range of foods that can be safely canned at home.
As everyone gathers around this campfire this fall, unite this variety of flavors into one savory skillet that will be enjoyed by all.
A short simple explanation of how to project your electrical needs in order to size your electrical off grid system.
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 to look for in your soil before you break ground on your new home or cabin.
We’re interested in how our readers have lessened their environmental footprint.
The generators we use for living off the grid and a multitude of other tasks.
Day 2 has a haphazard start with no hot water for a proper cup of tea, and people are arriving early for a day of consulting. What's the solution to keeping water hot overnight on top of a wood stove so there's plenty for hot tea, doing dishes and a shower?
"The Farm Then and Now" by Douglas Stevenson tells the story of The Farm: an intentional community that has defied the odds, blending idealism with a practical approach to create a model for sustainable living.
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.
Inspired by the recent Mother Earth News article, "65 Money Saving Tips", this piece shares how we at the Be the Change Product spend little and live better.
Taking a bath in the winter takes a little more planning at our off-grid, no-plumbing home.
Each year we try to challenge ourselves with an entire month where we spend no money, and avoid using energy.
Mountain homesteading in a remote area.
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 our "thanks for nothing" month came to be.
Which fire starting tool works best - or at all?
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.
The beauty and refreshment of our swimming hole are a swell compliment to work and sun of our homestead.
Some of the downside of free ranging your chickens.
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
Daniel Sheridan found a way to turn children's energy into electrical power with a see-saw that generates electricity. The see-saw should generate enough electricity to light a classroom for a whole evening after only five to 10 minutes of use.
The political system is not broken.
Cam describes the benefits of writing this blog and his recent book.
Simple living expert Wanda Urbanska at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
What it is like to live higher up.
I love rural life and modern homesteading, but there are days when the comfort of a city condo would be welcome indeed. And honestly? A relief.
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".
At last, we construct the foundation.
A comparison of costs between on grid and off grid utilities for our circumstances.
Ben Davis, of Ben Does Life, has a truly inspirng weight loss story, but it's how message about how to be happy that is most motivational.
Our experiences in learning to pressure can and use reusable canning lids.
If your job, finances, family commitments, etc., have thwarted or delayed your dreams of self-reliance, you don’t have to wait until you can afford a 20 acre parcel. You can start working where you are now to build and nurture self-reliant living skills that are sure to provide you with more peace of mind and improved health, and will most likely be of great personal benefit during the coming decades of global challenge and change.
Robert Maxwell discusses the benefits of a rural lifestyle.
Jeff and wife Kathy have lived off-grid since 2002. They strive to inform the public about ways to live inexpensively, and to further the principle of sustainability. Visit their website to learn more: www.naturalpower.weebly.com
This current situation is a perfect example of the 80/20 rule of homesteading: 80 percent of your time, energy and effort is spent on maintenance; 20 percent on progress towards the dream. A majority of your time homesteading is spent covered in chicken poop, squashing potato bugs, figuring out why gas isn’t getting to the carburetor in the ATV and shoveling snow after dark by headlamp.
Our power system begins to take shape.
A roof is a wonderful thing to have!
If you've been on this rural living or modern homesteading journey for decades, or just starting out, how do you know when you've arrived?
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 question about our future.
How both we and the chickens have gotten better at surviving the cold winters where we live.
How a wood-fired hot tub allows us to live better on less energy.
Two easy steps to reduce your electrical use whether you live off grid or not.
Things you can do to prevent fire damage to your home from an external source.
How we deal with unexpected incidents.
A description and pictures of a tornado force winds in Washington State in 2012.
A short history of my own horse riding adventures.
A simple explanation of our solar power generating system and cost.
Our humble abode begins to take shape.
We bring power from the array inside the building and put it to work.
A quick look at different ways to be sustainable whether you are off grid or not.
Living a ranch life in northern New Mexico in the 1960s consisted of hard work and knowledge. It was not the romantic life that many people imagine it to have been.
It may not be in the Kangaroo Valley tourist brochures, and you might think it odd to visit a rural supply store just for a look, but I would encourage any visitor to Australia's Kangaroo Valley to make a trip to the Red Shed.
This book club of the book, Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology, follows a couple who decides to live technology free for 18 months among a strict Amish-like community, growing all their own food and relying on their neighbors to survive.
A brief description of our experiences with solar tubes in our off grid home.
Success at growing food at the 4200' elevation and some of the challenges.
Learn three simple tips for making the most of small gardening spaces, including hanging plants and advice for selecting seed varieties.
Tips on how to keep water away from your home and water damage prevention.
When we moved into the country, we had no idea that small critters would be such a nuisance.
The Living Seed Company is creating a platform to inspire gardeners and gardeners to be.
Energy goals for America
A description about something unique - a wood burning masonry kitchen stove.
Instead of learning new tricks, we devise new ways to do the same old tricks.
We settle in for a long winter's work.
Realize that DIY inspiration is just a click away by checking out these great home remodeling blogs.
How we had to adjust to a smaller home, the isolation and quiet.
Has the "magic" energy solution been discovered?
We finally see walls and a loft floor.
In this blog post, parenting mentor Shawn Hosford introduces herself, along with some of her background and beliefs. Her hope is that this post provides the necessary foundation for continued conversations about intentional parenting.
Can we start a Slow Time Movement? One that would be like the Slow Food Movement.
The benefits of adopting a pet. And the sadness that occurs when they die.
In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel teach readers how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non timber products. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.
Almost 30 years ago I made one of the best decisions ever when I began my homesteading adventure. It's no "Little House on the Prarie" but you can see it from there.
Learn about the different types of earth-sheltered homes and why you should consider digging in the ground to find your next residence.
Jim and Holly Smith, founders of Today’s Abundant Living, sent us this great review of a Homesteading Education Month open house and country skills workshop they hosted at their Michigan homestead.
Much to our chagrin, many things we believe are true are dead wrong. Things we believe about other people, health, medicine, renewable energy, and the environment are wrong. Start digging and you'll see and you will start living a smarter life.
Cyndee and Tony love being in control of their own power and never having to worry about rate increases and outages in south-central Colorado. Solar panels, a wind turbine and a wood-fired boiler keep them plenty warm and happy.
Katie and Martin Clemons are resetting their priorities as they settle happily into a 480-square-foot apartment in Berlin. “Living smaller has taught us to live more simply,” Katie says. They bike more, shower less and enjoy their good life.
Life really is good when you live on a dirt road.
Karen and Tony Tipsword's rehabbed 720-square-foot cabin allows them the freedom and independence to live their dream of running a campground. "Being happy does not mean a large home filled with things," Karen says.
Steve Judge of Bob-White Systems in Vermont offers his Micro Dairy expertise in this blog series on how to start and manage a Micro Dairy, from farm and barn planning to selecting dairy cows, goats and sheep to daily operations and being profitable.
OK,I'm giving no hints as to why you should think like a chemist...Read it and see for yourself. At the very least, you'll be entertained by a crazy new way of thinking about life.
When a fire destroyed their home and office near San Luis Obispo, Ken Haggard and Polly Cooper seized the opportunity to build the off-the-grid straw bale home of their dreams. Their comfortable compound now houses two other families as well.
“For anyone considering downsizing, or considering a small starter home, we say just do it!” Linda Bolton says. “We promise you won’t miss a thing living in a thousand square feet or less. You’ll just have smaller headaches.”
Follow these simple guidelines to make the most of your small space: contain clutter, find furnishings do double-duty, and make maximum use of color and light.
Want to Save on Earth-Friendly Products? Check out Worm's Way's sale by clicking on the Earth Week banner at WormsWay.com and enjoy up to 20 percent off your purchases.
Replacing a task that uses electricity with one that does not is a no-brainer when trying to save on your energy bill — and air drying is one of the easiest ways to go.
When you get home, go to your hot water heater, remove the cover and turn it down to 120 degrees (sometimes labeled “hot” as opposed to “very hot”).
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!
Rural Living Today founder and advocate, Marie James, told us about a Homesteading Education Month event she and her family hosted in Northeast Washington to teach gardeners how to grow vegetables in cold weather.
Many of us hold convictions about others and the world around us that are so wrong that they seriously misguide us, even rob us of happiness and contentment. Don't believe everything you think. Question your beliefs and discover the truth.
One of the most powerful lessons I have learned in my life is the power of love to create happiness and harmony. Let your life and your interactions with others be goverened by your love for others. Make preserving and fostering love a goal.
Humanity has the power to change and to take the actions needed to foster a healthy planet and a better standard of living for all. Choosing beauty and abundance will ensure a better future not only for humanity, but for the natural environment as well.
Looking for the perfect sourdough hamburger bun.
How much energy does it take to travel? Can we collect this from the vehicle while we are using it?
After the snow leaves to do list for us.
Our experience in living with bears.
Let the ancient Japanese art of wabi-sabi help you purge unwanted items and get organized for the new year.
Tips for snow removal around your house and down the road.
In the third in a series on potential toxins and chemicals to avoid during pregnancy, Natural Home & Garden Editor Jessica Kellner discusses the dangers associated with use of retinol in skin care products.
Aside from the great stage presentations, the exhibitor booths have a lot to offer FAIR attendees.
Save energy and resources and reduce waste when traveling by dumping all your trash in one receptical.
While many of those visiting our Hostel are farmers and homesteaders themselves, some come from that “city culture” and seem to take their first hesitant steps outside of a flatly paved driveway when they arrive at our place. Wide eyes, a sense of adventure.
A surprising number of amenities found in a small town complete with western hospitality.
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.
The square footage of green roofs--which absorb rainwater, regulate temperatures, save energy and resources and provide valuable habitat--grew by 28.5 percent last year.
This is the hands on portion of how a solar power system operates.
How to make your OWN insulated window coverings.
Empty nesters Ed and Joan Kobrinski downsized their lifestyle and moved to a smaller home where they could grow more vegetables. "We've learned to enjoy and appreciate living comfortably and contentedly with less," Ed says.
The Living Seed Company is working to preserve genetic diversity in our food chain, through the distribution and growing of open pollinated seeds and preserving the ancient art of seed saving.
Frugality and lack of pretense or compromise are key ingredients in creating a wabi-sabi home.
There are two situations which do not require you to be heating your home: when it is warm and when you are not at home. Since it is still a bit chilly outside, you may want to consider setting up a routine of turning down the set temperature on your thermostat when you head out in the morning and when you go to bed.
I have know Mark for years. Since I have known him (give or take a few years or so) Seiden asked me what were the best ways to go green and save energy at the same time. Then two years ago, we started with CFL bulbs. Now I'm trying to get him to go LED and get really green lighting in effect. In time. In time.
If you begin tomorrow, you can be soaking in fresh, 103-degree water by the evening.
A short description of why we prefer small city living over large city living.
How and why we chose to have a livestock guardian dog and what they are like.
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
Liza Fleischer was a suburbanite through and through when she met her husband, Ted, who she says was "born 100 years too late." Now they live in a solar- and hydro-powered hand-built home on 160 acres in Vermont--and she loves it.
The final in a 6 part series on Ft. Garland, Colorado
Where we have chosen to draw the line between convenience and sustainability - for now.
Short stories about our chicken experiences
Our first experience as a vendor or spectator at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, WA
Options for phone service if you live in a remote location that doesn't have cell service or landlines available to you.
How to make insulated shades at home.
Living in possibly the best place in the USA.
How we stay busy in the winter even though we live at 4200', three miles off the road, and somewhat isolated.
Since her first house move, MOTHER EARTH NEWS blogger Cathie Ackroyd, has become so very conscious of the impact we humans have had and are having on our planet’s environment and hoped to find a place to settle that would allow us to gain an element of self-sufficiency in a relatively car-free community.
After working four jobs to make payments on their larger home, Debra and Gary downsized--to 320 square feet. The family lacks for nothing, and guests are always welcome. "I've got everything I need," Debra says. And their $20K house is paid off.
Christopher shares an experience of painting his family farmhouse, but when he used flat, not glossy paint, his uncle was not happy. How could the uncle have responded in a more productive manner?
Every once in a while we need to rebel against the machines. Hand a towel to your significant other and ask him to dry while you rinse. Sweep the floor with a real broomcorn broom. Have a real conversation. Enjoy things happening slowly.
Our take on the positive and negative points of insulated concrete forms.
Short description of our solar system and the everyday things we do to operate them.
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.
Engineer Venkappa Gani leads by example when it comes to sustainable living. His entire backyard is an organic garden, an edible landscape that borders his rainwater harvesting tank collectors overlooked by solar panels that power his home (and more!). Gani is dedicated to sustainability, a word he lives by everyday at his suburban home in Austin, Texas.
Future factors set a high standard for sustainable products and activities
What we have found as an advantage of having a rural hardware store close by.
An article about how we learned to double our growing season and have home grown fresh veggies almost all year long.
Three nuclear reactors in Japan have been destroyed by a 9.0 earthquake. Radiation levels are on the rise. The world watches helplessly, wondering if escaping radiation will eventually find its way to them. Are we not witnessing in Japan the dark side of nuclear energy? It is not that hard to see this happening in United States, is it?
People are increasingly looking to get back to nature, rejecting the modern world and living off the Earth.
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.
This variation on the (endlessly adaptable) traditional Mongolian yurt design was inspired by the work of master yurt builder, educator, and homesteader Bill Coperthwaite (who was also a neighbor and friend of the Nearings). This low-cost yurt design combines basketry, wattle and daub, and basic lashing (similar to skin-on-frame boats). Not much more than a glorified tent, this DIY yurt made from sticks, string and mud makes a very comfortable, durable and beautiful tiny house, studio, or meditation space.
Honey bees, the Boston tragedy, and our power to create the world we’ve been waiting for.
Many people believe that their values define who they are. Unfortunately, many of our values don't translate into action. To live a fruitful, peaceful, and productive life, meld your values and actions. You'll be happier and content -- whole.
Worrying about what others think about you can drin you of energy and make you do some pretty stupid things. What if you could rid yourself of that penchant? What kind of life would you lead?
Our minds are powerful things. The beliefs we hold and our perceptions can be dead wrong. Our minds can even create pain that doesn't exist. Questioning what we perceive and believe can help you live a more conscious, honest and successful life.
In this political season, politicians often define people by their differences, creating strife and even outright contempt among people with opposing political views. Truth is, we have a great deal in common; it is our commonalities that bind us.
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
A stack of cast-iron pans and a chainsaw helmet sum up why these homesteaders do what they do.
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.
Wendy Albright remembers visiting her grandparent's farm where practicing organic living was the preferred way of life; they exercised natural crop cultivation, gathered fresh chicken eggs, canned both vegetables and meat and the term "eating like a thrasher" became a reality.
Ed and Joan Kobrinski left a large family home for a smaller, simpler cottage—and they’ve never looked back. Their tips for downsizing and living in smaller spaces could help make your transition easier.
Diana and Tony Varnes are the happiest they’ve ever been, and they attribute their well being to living in a small home. They have more time for reading, talking and enjoying the outdoors—and their relationship is better than ever.
Western civilization is totally dependent upon cheap and abundant energy. Three quarters of the petroleum we burn in our engines is imported. Could it be cut off suddenly? Without cheap and abundant energy, our way of life would collapse. If we value our freedom and independence, we should not be relying on foreign petroleum. We should be making our own energy.
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.
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.
Cuba's bike transformation was the result of a change in context induced by external forces. It was a disruptive event that forced them to adapt. Here in America, a land of such excess, no such sudden disruption looms (nor could it be predicted, I believe). Our transportation context is centered on the car. Our culture and economy are “driven” by the car. So, how do we create a culture of transportation that is dominated by bicycles?
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.
As a nursery renovation begins, Jessica, editor of Natural Home and Garden, is just beginning an investigation into remodeling options for an eco-friendly nursery.
What’s your idea of a delicious and wholesome breakfast? A fluffy, organic egg omelet made with fresh vegetables? Perhaps scrambled eggs and roasted garden veggies? No matter what your preference, it may surprise you to learn the link between the
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.
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
Learn about the advantages of urban farming from those who are leading the way. The benefits include improved food production, increased revenue sources and reduced energy use.
Announcing an opportunity to get Anna's new Ebook for free today at Amazon on the subject of homesteading in a mobile home otherwise known as a trailer.
Not quite ready to get rid of family heirlooms and art that you don’t have space to display? The Japanese practice of rotating precious items through a special alcove, or tokonoma, on a seasonal basis is less painful than giving away or selling them.
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.
An overview of groups, initiatives, planning certifications, and neighborhood developments that promote sustainable communities, including Transition initiatives, ecovillages, One Planet Communities, LEED for Neighborhood Development, and others.
One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.
Using newspaper, learn how to craft easy, biodegradable pots to start seeds.