Frederick J. Dunn
Here are a series of short videos that show how to start raising free-range chickens with helpful information throughout the process.
Poultry predators are one of the biggest concerns of owners of chickens and other poultry. Here are a few tips for fighting chicken enemies. Plus some thoughts on common wildlife that are not predators of chickens.
Coops are nececessary to protect chickens from cold weather and predators. Here are some guidelines to help you set up suitable housing for your chickens, including coop type and size, ventilation, heating and nest boxes.
As economic turmoil peaks and a staggering number of Americans file for unemployment, Ogden Publications, publisher of Natural Home magazine, is connecting job seekers and green employers through its website Great Green Careers.
Discover Green Jobs Now: National Day of Action to Build the New Economy and learn how you can get in on the action by finding or even organizing events in your area.
As a killing frost approaches we scramble to harvest what we can of summer vegetables that would shrivel and die after being glazed with an icy coat. Peppers that survive summer heat always seem to become prolific producers as the weather cools. With scads of peppers to preserve, this recipe for candied jalapenos that can be modified to use with a mixture of peppers is not only beautiful, but delicious!
Trees are beautiful and they are useful as sources of food and shelter, and for building and using as fuel.
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.
Have you kept up with the recent salmonella outbreak in tomatoes? According to the Centers for Disease control, the outbreak may have moved on to hot peppers.
Whether you’re riding in a parade or watching from the sidelines, you might consider getting into the spirit of the day by letting your bike go red, white and blue.
Denim is strong and durable, and used jeans can be recycled into all kinds of fun and useful creations.
Join the green collar economy by going through a green job training program. Learn the ins and outs of solar photovoltaics, wind power or biomass and save the planet while furthering your career.
You can start a productive small farm business rather quickly if you use a business operations approach from the beginning. You may have what it takes if you own some property and are willing to work hard for successful results. Farming is also a practice in which traits like patience and persistence come in handy when everything goes wrong at the same time. These are all parts of the farming business and should be considered valuable lessons learned because they are only attained by experience.
Sen no Rikyu's simple, unpretentious ceremony using rustic, local tools usurped the elaborate, ostentatious Tea ceremonies that were the norm in 16th-century Japan. His "aesthetic of the people" made Tea accessible to all--and endures to this day.
Ride the Future Tour, a 43-day cross-country trip in electric vehicles, will start July 4 in South Carolina. Event organizers hope to build awareness for green transportation and break a few records along the way.
Where environmental groups claim financial incentives for recycling to be a costly and unnecessary form of expenditure, we see them as the only realistic option available which actually produces the desired effect.
Who the heck is Paul Goodman? The car-free visionary who inspired a new documentary and bicycle contest.
Cut old milk jugs into the shape of your choice, rough them up with sandpaper and string them together to make surprisingly pretty window shades that offer privacy while letting the sun shine in.
In part four of this five-part series, Lyn Fenwick shares journal entries from a 19th Century homesteader's journal regarding Sand Hill Plums and the memories and traditions that surround them.
A would-be farmer finds chills and perspective during a long winter on the farm.
In Oak Park, Michigan, a mother of six faces 93 days in jail for planting vegetables in her front yard. People across the country are rallying to her defense.
The Yule Goat is an ancient Scandinavian tradition which predates Christianity. Learn about how our oldest farm animal became the symbol of Christmas.
Creamy, delicious Parsnip Flan with Roasted Beets takes advantage of the last of the stored winter vegetables. Pair it with fresh spring greens for a wonderful spring meal.
Clearing away snow has just gotten a charge from Snow Joe, the leading US supplier of over 140 products for snow removal and other seasonal needs. I got my hands on their latest innovation, a cordless snow blower powered by a 40-volt lithium ion battery, and compared it to their top-selling cord-based electric snow thrower.
When autumn brings a glut of orchard fruits, capture the goodness as juice by cooking extraction or cold pressing. Juices can be used alone or mixed to produce sweet or hard ciders, wines, syrups, and more.
The advantages of a tractor boom pole are discused.
How can we clean up our rural spaces best. Is it up to individuals or governments?
Jeld-Wen's new Custom Wood line combines character with energy efficiency in windows and doors made from salvaged, reclaimed wood. It's the best of all possible worlds.
Sometimes what starts out as a cold or flu develops into a deep bronchial cough that just won’t go away. These natural treatments can help you heal your bronchitis without antibiotics.
Summer skin problems are irritating and embarrassing. Show off your best skin with these inexpensive natural remedies.
Lean, grass-fed beef is perfect for making jerky.
Today is not a day for selling books. It's a day for prayer and solidarity with the Japanese people.
For many homesteaders, taking a job during the winter months to earn extra income is an appealing option. Here are some options to consider if you're looking for off-farm income.
The economic stimulus package that President Obama signed last month provides $20 billion for investment in a greener economy.
JavaCycle has saved more than 40 tons of burlap coffee bag from landfills.
The Jenzabar Foundation is dedicated to creating opportunities for students, as well as higher education organizations and non-profits, to encourage fellow students to be engaged citizens of the world.
Mia Birk's new book weaves together personal and professional history to illustrate the transformative power of bicycling.
Rail-trail opponents object to public pathways on the grounds of public safety, but crime and antisocial behavior typically decline in areas with trails.
Lay Htoo, a Burmese refugee, has been enrolled in the Farm Business Development Program at Cultivate Kansas City and is setting out to start her own urban farm.
Jack took MAX to a local car show and found that even if they're not looking for high mileage, folks think MAX is cool.
First time farmers plan for the growing season and lambing.
Buzz…sting…ouch! Why are yellow jackets more aggressive at this time of year?
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company founder Jay Shafer teaches Americans how to build efficient homes of less than 1,000 square feet.
Fragrant and round with a tart lemony bite, this Lemonade Watermelon Sorbet Recipe has the flavor and texture of ripe watermelon.
My views on importing package bees verses natural breading.
Why is honey the proper food for honey bees?
Lyn Fenwick discovered a key to her family's past when she uncovered a homesteader named Isaac's dusty journal dating back to 1884. This five-part blog series discovers the treasure of a forgotten life using an old family heirloom as a map.
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
Building a new house with SIPS
It’s been bitterly cold in Michigan. The big blizzard has gone through and has left us with a bunch of snow.
Harvesting honey from an experimental frameless beehive.
A new report from Shareable and the Sustainable Economies Law Center details ways that city officials can harness the power of sharing to transform their cities for the better.
Summer fun gives way to windy, cold weather and before you know it, you've got winter dry skin – chapped, red and itchy hands. Use this easy-to-make DIY lotion; it’s a remarkable remedy for dry, cracked hands.
Junk mail, old books and other used paper can be easily recycled into something useful. Never buy notepads or envelopes again.
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.
After a terrible tart cherry season in 2012, Cheribundi was forced to expand their product line.
Cheribundi adds new Refresh Juice Blends to Rite Aid Stores.
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.
On a snowy winter morning, the kitchen table becomes the grand cathedral of a home. It is the place of family, song, wood fires, community and love as we wait for spring.
“Do you sometimes feel like your life is a microfield for everything that’s going on today?” scholar, philosopher and researcher Dr. Jean Houston, one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time and a founder of the Human Potential Movement, asked the crowd gathered this morning for the LOHAS Forum in Boulder, Colorado. That got my attention, especially when she went on to say that humans now face “the most profound task in human history—choosing whether we grow or whether we die.”
At this moment, Houston says, many of us are “encapsulated bags of skin carrying around dreary little egos,” caught up in “lives of serial monotony.” Still, she has hope. Humans, she said, have an opportunity to play a role in “the greatest transition the world has ever seen, the most far-reaching and rapid change in our history.”
“We are coded with potentials, few of which we ever learn to use,” Houston said. “We can no longer be half-life versions of ourselves, and something huge is beginning to happen as the world’s mind is discovering itself.”
Senior sledding down our driveway.
Crunchy goodness in a brown paper bag.
Kitchen dish towels designated only for hand drying help keep germs out of the kitchen, without going on a fanatical sanitizing binge.
If I could only pick one season extending structure, it would be a cold frame. Incredibly versatile, a simple cold frame is the key to taking your garden from a two or three-season plot and turning it into a year round vegetable factory.
When I first got chickens many years ago I had two initial goals: to let my flock roam free range and live as close as possible to how they would naturally, and to build my soil with their manure.
Through all of the tears and the heartbreak, I have found that having a pet makes us more human. Please why everyone should have at least one best friend that is furry.
The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s upcoming annual conference on sustainable farming will focus on how to achieve sustainability in our food system, as well as the future of agriculture in general.
The spirits industry is changing dramatically. However, owning and knowing how to use a still could be of great benefit to you. Knowing how to make a strong alcohol puts you in an immediate position of power.
In this episode we will cover the 3 major steps in the alcohol distillation process
Woodstove sweepstakes winner Ken Newman plans to use his new Vermont Bun Baker to heat both his home and his meals. The Bake, Crackle and Broil Giveaway, sponsored by MOTHER EARTH NEWS, awarded the $3,400 woodstove to Newman earlier this summer.
The fresh berry season is so fleeting, that it almost calls out for preserving, especially in the form of jam.
It’s never easy to be the new guy (or gal), and that goes for new farmers and ranchers, too. Since beginning a farm, one homesteader writes how she found her own sense of belonging as an urban transplant in rural setting.
Colleen Vanderlinden reviews "Barnheart" by Jenna Woginrich.
Check out Earth's Journey for recycled, up-cycled and/or environmentally friendly art.
Is there a more heartwarming and majestic sight than gorgeous old-fashioned cows in a peaceful grassy meadow, calves scampering by their sides? Awesome. But have you given much considered thought to exactly how those calves will come to be?
A new episode in the PBS series Journey to Planet Earth, hosted by Matt Damon, will feature Mother Earth News contributing editor and visionary Lester Brown’s “Plan B” on how we can save civilization in the face of global climate change.
The best sources of chicken nutrition, as outlined by specialist Jeff mattocks, include feeding birds whole wheat and field peas, and providing them space to peck on a polyculture pasture.
The defeat of Congressman Jim Oberstar wasn't just a blow to Minnesota. It was a loss for everyone who bikes and walks.
A brief thesis on the finer properties of garlic and planting instructions.
Simran Sethi explains how the green faith movement can provide common ground among different groups.
Bright and sweet-scented muddled mint and fresh cream make this Backyard Mint Ice Cream Recipe completely refreshing.
Try this Lemongrass Semifreddo Recipe and relish an Italian dessert similar to a delicious, rich frozen mousse.
Forget pesticides or kerosene. Instead, smother badly placed yellow jacket nests with a translucent cover.
A handful of cities has implemented a new service that lets residents stop junk mail. If your city isn't one of them, you have options to keep wasteful, unwanted solicitations and catalogs out of your mailbox.
This blog post is a description of starting a building project using Structural Insulated Panels, also known as SIPs.
Explanation of how an Over Running Coupler (ORC) works and why you should have one with a direct drive PTO.
The advantages of having stabilizer bars on your tractor when using an implement such as a mower are described.
EZ Mover - A 2" Receiver for Your Three Point Hitch
Making Music on the Front Porch ... let's define what the musical Front Porch is.
President Barack Obama's second wave of stimulus money creates new green jobs.
The Seed Savers Exchange is looking for a new executive director. Just six months after he succeeded George DeVault, Aaron Whaley has resigned.
Readers share resources and information about their food-related jobs.
A new job-finding website, Good Food Jobs, can help you find meaningful work in the food industry.
The Organic Trade Association is vital to the success of the organic industry and I’m thrilled to serve alongside such a talented and well-respected group of industry leaders.
Heat Recovery innovator produces a safe hot water heating system kit for wood stoves.
Collins hails milestone of the company becoming employee owned.
After Greensburg was destroyed in 2007, the citizens of Greensburg, with the help of GreenTown, have invested in green building for a better tomorrow.
For those looking environmentally friendly car parts, Jamak offers a fully recyclable windshield wiper that’s made from non-petroleum-based silicon.
Transportation rock stars, Janette Sadik-Khan and Congressman Earl Blumenauer, tell National Bike Summit attendees that local advocates are the real headliners in the bicycle movement.
Photo of a bear with a pack rat that is about to be lunch. Thanks to a friend for sharing it for us all to see.
Rachel gets a scare with Daisy the goat - is it bottle jaw or something else? A trip to the vet provides some lessons.
Receiving seed catalogs and dreaming of warmer weather and growing a garden.
Our experience with our local cooperative.
When Joan King Salwen is invited to speak with Bill and Melinda Gates about The Power of Half, she learns how valuable homemade gifts can be.
A proper tea house is a luxury I believe in.
A number of tea companies are donating proceeds from sales to Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.
After three years of trying to build the barndominium in three week per year spurts, Jim has relocated back to Texas to complete the build while Julie remains in Australia to finish her work there and transfer to the US.
After three years of trying to build the barndominium in three week per year spurts, Jim has relocated back to Texas to complete the build while Julie remains in Australia to finish her work there and transfer to the US.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
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.
Today, resourceful homeowners are creating more space without moving walls. One innovative solution uses heavy-duty sliding door hardware to show how a vacation home benefits from more efficient floor space.
Taking back birth as a family, usually though home birth, and becoming stronger as a result.
An introduction to choosing a midwife and making your home birth as safe as possible.
Former first lady Lady Bird Johnson will be remembered for her significant conservation efforts, especially with wildflowers and the preservation of native plants.
Over 700 varieties of apples and pears, for $9 each, from Wagon Wheel Orchard, plus the family's crab apple jelly recipe.
Moms, protect your baby’s health with this safe, homemade sunscreen.
How to identify, harvest, and eat sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes). This root vegetable is a native North American plant that is at its best after a few frosts.
We buy a Jersey cow to use as a calf foster mom.
A WWOOFer (Worldwide Opportunity on Organic Farms reflects on her second visit to an organic herb farm, where she learned more about plant harvesting, medicine making and natural building
Getting back to nature reminds us of what we are fighting so hard to protect.
In 2014, I resolve to stay curious about the incredible world that we live in and continue to ask plenty of questions each day. I resolve to learn new things and stay informed and aware of global issues.
In the final chapter of this five-part series, Lyn Fenwick finds the country cemetery that Isaac was burried in and pays her respects to the author of a treasured family heirloom, a 19th century homesteaders journal.
There's nothing like an old cookbook filled with good recipes to warm your kitchen and your home!
The political system is not broken.
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.
Jenna Woginrich reflects on her journey from fresh out of college, city-dwelling designer to determined homesteader, and offers encouragement to those with similar dreams.
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
If you’re new to raising chickens, you might be a little intimidated setting up house for your new flock. Homesteader Jenna Woginrich offers a straightforward overview of getting started, from preparing a brooder to providing feed and water.
Humanity needs a new spiritual vision to cope with its shrinking habitat.
Heritage breeds are survivors, although some may be in for a very challenging year. The national drought is about to have a huge impact on the American economy and now is the time to plan ahead.
This funky DIY bicycle helmet from Adafruit features colorful LED light strips to increase riders' visibility at night.
Instructional videos from the League of American Bicyclists provide basic bicycle safety tips.
Keeping birds on the farm; how we went from chicken havers to duck lovers.
Try something really unusual on your toast or English muffin: Tomato jam. And it tastes really, really good!
Solar expert Joe Utasi hopes to have his home solar panel installation complete and running, and will have lots of pictures to show and discuss by the time the Seven Springs Fair arrives.
Canning is a homesteader essential skill. Sometimes canning can simply be a way to create and spread love and kindness, rather than just putting by necessary foods. Try out this Peach Orange Marmalade recipe for a change of pace.
Landrace gardening enhances food security by growing genetically diverse crops that are not as prone to crop failure as monoculture fields of near clones.
Landrace gardening requires different plant naming conventions than those followed by industrialized agriculture.
Landrace gardening promotes hybrid vigor and avoids inbreeding depression by encouraging promiscuous pollination.
A photo essay showing off the stunning success of landrace gardening on my farm. This success was achieved because I changed my growing methods to embrace one of the key elements of landrace growing; “survival of the fittest."
Using landrace gardening and promiscuous pollination to get what you want from your garden.
How to adjust the moisture of homegrown popcorn so that it pops well.
The importance of a good pickup truck for the modern homesteader.
A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your homestead.
The ACTUAL benefits of weeds in your garden. Use and value diversity! Find the benefit!
The best low cost (semi-reliable) options for getting animals and plants onto your homestead!
Leaders from America Bikes impress top transportation official with compelling new data on job creation and popular demand for active street design.
As New Year's Eve approaches, friends butcher the ducks they've raised in their rice paddies and share some thoughts on "The Power of Duck."
Congress passed a piece of legislation which could have a serious impact on the nation's job crisis. This post explains the act, analyzes its impact, and notes that the whole renewable job sector has been pretty much ignored.
Environmental groups want supporters to write Congress to ensure that the new economic stimulus package includes green jobs.
Looking for a fun summer job? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has student jobs available for youth interested in conservation and wildlife.
Chado-En tea company will donate 100 percent of profits from the sale of its special cherry blossom tea to Japanese relief efforts.
Everyone's talking about the economic bailout, but few seem to focus on the bigger issue: we need more jobs, and we need a viable economic stimulus. One study shows those needs could come from green investment.
With My Own Two Wheels is a new film about the bicycling experiences of five unrelated individuals across the globe.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Vermont farmer Walter Jeffries details all the cuts of meat on a pig, as well as many other uses of the animal, from working the soil to providing delicious lard for baked goods.
How to recycle a junked refrigerator into a refrigerator root cellar that works at keeping produce chilled but not frozen during winter months.
The Classy Coop Giveaway grand prize was given a good home with our contest winner and her backyard chickens. We were happy to see this mobile chicken coop is already being broken in. Bring on the eggs!
Location near public transporation and walkability are as important as green materials and design in creating a green home, study finds.
In this piece, author Mary Moss-Sprague discusses the simple pleasures of tasty, home-canned tomato preserves.
We've been planning for months and years but now we're in fast build mode. The slab is poured, materials on site and in nine days, we will have the shell of the barndominium completely done and ready for the framing inside.
We have few opportunities during our stay in Australia to fly home and do work ourselves on the property. This blog features a set of planned activities that we wanted to be personally and directly involved with. When we left, we were very happy.
Now that the Barndominium has been fully enclosed, it's time to work on the interior. Also the basic utilities, pump house and access roads have been beefed up. It's beginning to look like a real house now. Chateau Christie is becoming a reality.
In order to build skills for our move from Australia to Texas, we have been taking various classes and workshops. Recently, we took a weekend workshop at an excellent cheese factory close to where we live on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne.
Angora Goats are not the easiest of the breeds to raise, however, even though the work can be intensive, the rewards are incredible!
Goat School will be traveling to British Columbia and then to Ohio in September.
ASES released a report that says 37 million green jobs are possible by 2030. Check out the study here!
The Solar Foundation found a 13 percent increase in U.S. solar industry jobs in 2012, which is promising for the overall job market, and shows stability in the solar energy job market.
Uncle Matt’s Organic, best known for their line of premium organic orange juices, announced today the launch of its new 100% organic, not-from-concentrate, orchard-style apple juice. The next best thing to drinking it fresh from the orchard!
Folksinger Michael Johnathon is on tour nationwide. Visit his homepage: www.MichaelJohnathon.com
I briefly describe my journey from a kid on a large 2000 acre alfalfa farm in the west to a homestead beekeeper in the midwest, on our 35 acres that we call BeeLanding.
My brief discription of sustainable beekeeping
We're getting very close now to our relocation to Texas. After years of planning and developing, it's time to go home to our sustainable lifestyle. We leave with some sadness but a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement for our new life.
After three years of trying to build the barndominium in three week per year spurts, Jim and Julie have relocated from Australia to Texas and are building out the barndominium. However in growing gardens and potential fruit plants for use in future years, we’ve encountered a horrible pest and want to share it in hopes of ideas from the Mother Earth News community.
After three years of trying to build the barndominium in three-week-per-year spurts, Jim has relocated back to Texas to complete the build while Julie remains in Australia to finish her work there and transfer to the United States.
Tomatoes are the gray area of canning. They're not quite acidic enough to just straight can like fruit but the right amount of added acid can keep you from having to pressure can them. Here are the basics on canning tomatoes.
Bring some spring into your life. Sprinkle some wheat grass seeds in an old apothecary jar and watch them grow.
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
Discovering an outsized pickling tub in our shed inspired me to try this tasty local recipe for greens preserved in soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
Ben & Jerry's teams up with Greenpeace to bring the U.S. a cleaner way of freezing food, especially ice cream.
Ben & Jerry's teams up with Greenpeace to bring the U.S. a cleaner way of freezing food, especially ice cream.
Tall Goldenrod is a fall favorite of the honeybee. Although it is most likely the bees are foraging on a variety of flowers, it is natural to assume the most prevalent flower at any given time is the strongest influence in the honey.
How to prepare for a successful kidding season.
Choices are available when it comes to feeding a new package of honeybees. Three of the options are discussed in this post. Choose the one that is right for you.
Notes on immigrant farm labor and livable wages.
The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s largest and most prestigious award for grassroots environmentalists. This year’s six inspiring prize winners (one from each of the six inhabited continental regions of the world) are...
Originally from small Prussian villages, th Bruchmillers immigrated to Kansas and started a farm. Now the current owner of the same farmland, the author describes the immigrants' stories in Part Two of a four-part series on tracing farm history.
Learn what a typical family homestead in the late 19th century produced: The diversity and efficiency is surprising and inspiring information for any modern homesteader! This is Part Three of a four-part series on the author's work to discover the history of her farm.
Learn what a typical Kansas family homestead in the late 19th century produced: The diversity and efficiency of their farm sales is surprising and inspiring information for any modern homesteader! This is Part Three of a four-part series on the author's work to discover the history of her farm.
1.3 billion people live without access to electricity. In the last five years, falling costs of solar technology have made solar economically viable without subsidies for off-grid communities. How can businesses keep up with this potential solar growth? Hint: it’s all about the customer.
How do you travel, with a family, and maintain some environmental dignity? We recently went exploring in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
Try a vegetarian version of traditional Hoppin John for good luck this New Year's day.
Do you dream about living in a tiny, super-efficient home but worry about living with less space? This list of reasons for living could help push you off the fence. Dream big, live small!
Choosing the business model for Bob-White Systems micro dairy.
As we watch the devastation's aftermath in Japan, the world will learn valuable lessons from a culture that reveres service to others, deep acceptance and community.
We look for materials bargains while devising a way to pay for it all.
We finally build somthing!
Claims for the Paleo diet benefits are substantial – improved cholesterol, improved blood pressure, improved blood sugar control, improved appetite control. How legit are these claims and do they make it worth a switch to this type diet?
Many people never have noticeable diabetes symptoms and don’t even find out they have the disease until they wind up in the hospital with a serious complication. What’s going on?
This simple, chilled Spanish soup featuring fresh summer herbs--basil, cilantro and parsley--in a cool, tangy tomato base is sure to be a hit at your Fourth of July picnic.
Simran Sethi learns how to compost the right way and explores her composting options.
Joseph Lofthouse shares how to maintain thriving populations of landrace vegetables in the garden.
A photo essay showing off the beauty of landrace crops.
The principles of landrace gardening can be applied at any scale from small annual gardens to multi-generational community wide tree farms.
Exploring my hopes and dreams for the landrace seed movement with suggestions about how farmers, merchants, and gardeners could cooperate to create a more robust, secure, and locally adapted food system.
I got first bee removal call of the year yesterday. It’s a bit early, but hey, I won’t complain. The woman said that she thought there were three colonies in her wall.
Kitchen Gardeners International's 20ate campaign urges Americans to say no to junk food.
Now playing in select theaters, Carbon Nation is a non-preachy, solutions-based documentary that proves the benefits of a low-carbon economy.
Enjoy the ultimate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with gourmet sandwich spreads from Peanut Butter & Co.
A single, volunteer potato produces 10 pounds of potatoes in a hot bed. A recipe for addictive, oven-fried potatoes.
Consumer Reports has stated that it recently found arsenic in food, The United States' rice supply is contaminated with this "group 1" carcinogenic.
Delicious latkes made with potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes are tasty and nutritious.
Sweet, healthy, root vegetables that love growing through the heat of summer? Learn about adding Jerusalem artichokes, yacon, and sweet potatoes to your gardens. Plus, more on the incredible health benefits of roselle (hibiscus).
Bee stings are so painful you feel like a burning torch has touched your skin! To get fast relief, here are 8 natural bee sting treatment options you can use at home.
Jenna Woginrich discusses the more difficult aspects of homesteading, and why it's worth it anyway.
If you have a constant, overwhelming urge of wanting to be outside breathing in the fresh air and partaking in various farming activities, you may be suffering from barnheart.
How lucky was I to find a pair of folks just as crazy about farming, working horses, working dogs, as I was? Us two women, practically Luddites in our past times, found each other because of an online publication of Barnheart at Mother Earth News.
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?
Jonathan Sadowski shares what motivates him to be a bread baker. He then provides a preview of what to expect from his future posts.
A few changes in a simple artisan bread recipe improves texture, longevity, and protein content.
Here is a recipe that produces savory soup that warms the soul any time of year.
This recipe will give you a go-to sweet treat before the fruit in season overruns your kitchen.
This recipe will have naan on your table in no time to accompany your Indian dishes, and it will provide a quick and easy snack in a pinch.
This recipe provides delicious bread with minimal time commitment and plenty of room to explore the wonders of homemade bread.
The urge to eliminate clutter and create space for ourselves is a healthy sign of self-respect. Why, then, is it so darn hard?
Discussion of some of the first log building tools you will need to build a log home — debarking spuds and drawknives.
A historic ice house on the LeDuc-Simmons Estate and a local ice harvest at Lake Rebecca demonstrate how ice and other perishables were kept cold in the hot summer months during the 19th century.
Today's a great day to follow our tips for creating a home office that's easy on you and light on the planet.
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.
The Land Institute of Salina, Kan., held the 34th annual Prairie Festival Sept. 28-30, 2012. Keynote speakers including Wendell Berry and Palgummi Sainath inspired local farmers, students, and nature lovers.
Barack Obama encourages Americans to participate in a national day of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
A discussion of three power tools to prep your logs or timbers for building.
Cam has been an Apple Mac fan since the beginning.
Kevin Danaher, the first keynote speaker of the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, proved an appropriate choice to kick off the event. His presentation, Green Jobs are the Future, was an upbeat assessment of what ordinary citizens can do to affect positive economic change. It also reminded everyone gathered that in order “to save the eco-system, we must transcend the ego-system.”
Yep, some of the money in that stimulus bill is committed to green initiatives, including creating green jobs.
I was 9 when Mr. Posey “hired” me. Once I was certain he wouldn’t chase me off, I started spending nearly every spare moment there. It was my first job, and I loved it.
We are currently facing a job crisis. Most jobs available today require specific skills and not college diplomas. Congress recently passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act which should help train workers but fails to take note of the booming green job market.
A recipe for whole wheat sourdough baguettes.
Who knew how great whole-wheat sourdough bread can be.
Here are some hints that can help you start, keep and bake with sourdough.
Cooking pizza with sourdough starters.
An herb sourdough bread recipe.
Basic sourdough bread recipe for those quick summer needs.
When Jodi L. Wise started her new job with Sourdoughs International, she had no idea that she would be in the kitchen. She’s now wearing a new hat for her new role as bread baker.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi discusses the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill with Oceana’s Senior Campaign Director Jackie Savitz.
Millions of people suffer from mental illness and depend on psychiatric drugs to get them through the day. Conventional treatment may block the symptoms but do nothing to address the underlying cause. There are 5 common physical causes of mental illness.
Planting heirloom, non-genetically modified seeds is a great way to help preserve endangered plant varieties--and the planet's very ecosystem.
The $300 House Project challenges student and professional designers to create housing that shelters the poorest of the poor with safety and dignity. Winners will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to see their $300 houses built and reproduced.
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.
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!
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?
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.
Hints for kidding in the very cold weather.
This spring when the pests arrive in your garden try this radical strategy - Do nothing!
The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.
Western culture has taught us to eat all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons.
With all the TV shows depicting "survival", I will sort through the various groups and argue that the reality shows are far from reality.
I’ll let you in on a little secret; there is no PERFECT knife. Cutting tools are only as effective as the handler wielding them.
Electric car battery range is worse in cold weather: A drop of just 10 degrees could theoretically sap up to 50 percent of a battery’s charge.
My vision of the Texas homestead, complete with family and doting grandchildren nearby took a hit this year when my daughter and husband split and my daughter moved to Austin. Could I reinvent the vision? Or would this issue derail our plans?
After many months of preparation and planning, we are very excited to be starting to build our homestead - a barndominium. The first stage is to get a good solid foundation so our new homestead will be solid for today and future generations.
The building of the barndominium is in high gear. After all of the ground work, the slab is poured, cured and the steel framework of the barndominium is erected in one day. With the progress, there were a few problems but quickly solved.
On what will probably be the last trip to Chateau Christie as Australians, we are trying to get the property to a livable stage - completing the electrical and plumbing and getting things ready for an inspection so we can sheetrock and finish.
Livestock guard dogs were found in a sweep of cultures from southern Europe through Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and central Asia. They worked in the company of shepherds who often spent weeks on high summer pasture or on long migratory routes.
Although used less commonly than dogs or llamas, here is one more possibility for a livestock guardian – a guard donkey.
If using a livestock guard dog is not the right decision for you or your farm, Jan Dohner takes an honest look at another option – the guard llama.
Jan Dohner explains how the different Livestock Guard Dog breeds were developed and introduces us to their differences in style of work, temperament and other behaviors.
In a previous post, “What is a Livestock Guard Dog?,” I described what livestock guard dogs do but it is also exceptionally important to know how they do this job. Understanding how not only helps us work with our LGDs but also explains why other breeds or crosses with non-LGD breeds are not likely to perform this same outstanding job.
Livestock guard dogs are an attractive choice for predator control on the farm. Jan Dohner gives us an honest look at the pros and cons of choosing a Livestock guard dog versus a guard donkey or llama.
Re-homed adult or rescue LGDs are another option when you are looking for a working livestock guard dog for your farm.
In our last few posts, we’ve been looking at the various breeds of livestock guard dogs. But before you start looking at advertisements or litters of puppies, there are a few more questions for you to ask yourself. They are centered on two broad issues – your predator problems and your farm or homestead.
In this post, Jan Dohner describes the different roles a livestock guard dog can perform on a farm or homestead - a full-time livestock guardian, a general farm guardian, or a family companion.
In Part One of this post, Jan Dohner explained how the different Livestock Guard Dog breeds were developed and introduces us to their differences in style of work, temperament and other behaviors. In Parts Two and Three, we take a brief look at some of the more common LGD breeds available in North America.
In previous posts, we have looked at how guard donkeys work and we’ve examined the pros and cons of using a donkey as a livestock guardian. If you are contemplating using a donkey, let’s look now at how to select a good candidate and how to integrate him or her into your stock.
As more manufacturers introduce new electric vehicles to the market, prices go down and electric car sales go way, way up.
Take plain old raspberry jam to the next level with the complex flavors of white chocolate and coffee liqueur.
'Tis the season for education and celebration, at this year's herbal gatherings.
Enjoy healthy blackberry and raspberry elixirs and teas, blessings from the brambles of Summer!
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.
John Rockhold, managing editor of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, talks about the recycling effort of staff and volunteers at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
With more than 1,700 islands that encompass the Florida Keys, they provide refuge to hundreds of bird species, a spectacular diversity of tropical plants and abundant sea life. In other words, it’s the ultimate place for tropical eco-adventure without leaving the continental US. No passport needed.
The new adapter, from Worksaver, Inc., allows John Deere 400/500 series loaders to be used with Euro/Global attachments.
A small apiary uses a unique system to extract honey from frames.
Starting a new hobby can be intimidating when everything is unfamiliar. Walk through the basics of a beehive structure.
More goat babies and finding ideas to make money on a farm.
Do you know where your Goat is NOW? A quick overview over fencing materials, fencing type, fencing do's and don'ts.
Locating a queen in a hive full of thousands of bees can be hard. Here are a few tips.
Rodale Institute today announces the launch of Your 2 Cents, an innovative program that unites consumers and companies in support of the next generation of American farmers.
No juice extractor? No problem! This easy method for making fresh, delicious apple juice will have you sipping in no time.
The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal has been popping up on coffee, tea, cocoa and fruit products all over the world. So what exactly does this certification signify? We’ve investigated.
Slightly underripe apples that fall to the ground must be picked up, so why not cut away the bugs and bruises and put them to good use? Here’s how to turn windfall apples into supernutritious drinks and snacks.
Who needs a TV drama, when, out the back door, we have our own alfresco drama, complete with territory battles, births, deaths, alien invasions, mystery, beauty and fornication, unfolding daily before our very eyes if we care to look.
Recently in the rental house in which we are living, we had furnace issues, toilet issues and door handle issues. In each of these cases, men came to look, and all announced, …“the whole thing will have to be replaced”.
The old goat barn must go! Follow the progress as we choose how to best replace an aging (and dangerous) structure for livestock housing. Pole barns are an economical alternative to traditional framed barns, are long lasting and multipurpose. You can even live in one!
You decide you want a pole barn, what is next? Site preparation can yield some surprising findings. Flexibility when planning a pole barn is key to success and making adjustments to your plans early will be most beneficial; saving time, money and perhaps even improving on your original ideas!
The place I call home these days is The FarmSchool, a fertile 180-acre strip of ridge top in Athol, where 15 student-farmers are spending a year learning the ins and outs of growing food, managing forests, and raising animals for meat. I arrived at the farm in October, just as the leaves were reaching their peak brilliance. The Farm School — which offers three-day programs for schoolchildren, a summer camp, a full-time middle school, and the apprenticeship program I’m in — takes us through all seasons of farming, weaving together class work and on-farm training.
Rancho Margo in Costa Rica's Arenal district is a self-sufficient farm and intentional community that sends guests home with a new sense of what's possible in sustainable living.
Thoreau, Rachel Carson, Bill McKibbon, Terry Tempest Williams. Do you have a favorite nature or environmental writer? A book or story you can get lost in, that inspires you to action, or simply reminds you of how incredible nature is? Post a comment to share the titles that invite you into the wonder of the natural world — or have maybe even changed your life.
Yellow jackets can pose a threat to honeybees. If yellow jackets have built a nest in your yard, here's a recipe for a natural, non-toxic solution that will get rid of them. Please share your own recommendations too!
Once a barren wasteland destroyed-like much of Costa Rica's land--by decades of cattle ranching, Rancho Margot is now a verdant and productive paradise. Find out how the Sostheim family has accomplished this in just seven years.
A traditional fall recipe for the Japanese version of sauerkraut.
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?
The Union of Concerned Scientists created a new Web feature to show the success of green-collar jobs.
One of the first steps to building our homestead in Texas was to get water and electricity on the property so we had the basics from which we could build. This blog discusses how we implemented the first phase of our utilities.
After almost 50 years of raising cows and dairy farming in New England, I’ve developed what I consider to be 15 universal truths for micro dairy owners.
How to finance your micro dairy and manage your budget for success.
A guide to creating realistic goals for your micro dairy based on your own experience.
Guidance for aspiring micro dairy owners and managers when navigating regulations and permitting on the local and state levels.
How a small and inexpensive High Temperature-Short Time pasteurizer could change the dairy industry.
Understanding and effectively executing a breeding program depends on understanding the calving cycle and when and how to dry a cow off in preparation of calving.
Silvopasture is a newfangled word for wooded pasture. Basically, all it means is that you are using wooded land with trees and forage for pasture. The trees can be managed for firewood production and/or saw logs and provide welcome shade and shelter for your livestock and forage.
Cows, goats, sheep, water buffalo, camels and, even, horses have been successfully milked by hand for thousands of years. Though it's an age-old practice, milking a cow by hand is not as easy as it may first appear. It’s best to know what you are getting into before you take on this important farming task.
The flavor and shelf life of the milk you sell directly to consumers are directly impacted by how the milk is produced and handled on your farm. Here are my best practices for handling and producing the highest-quality, most delicious milk on the farm.
Cows love routine. The more things stay the same for cows, the safer and more secure they feel. Here is my abbreviated list of best practices for milking a cow, learned over many decades in the barn.
Cows are big, powerful animals, and milking puts you right beside the strong hind legs and feet. If you find yourself with what I call a kicky cow, there are steps you can take to manage the animal.
Many of the herbs used for beauty and health today have been tested and tried over centuries. A new article by James A. Duke, Ph.D., discusses the history and uses of flax, myrrh and others.
A wonderful, whimsical Austin eco-remodel is the playful expression of two highly creative minds.
Ever wonder what, exactly, you're getting when you pay a little extra for Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood and paper products? This video offers a comprehensive look at the FSC's roots and branches.
You don’t have to endure persistent fatigue. Use two stress-busting herbal remedies, Rhodiola and Ashwagandha, as part of your adrenal fatigue treatment program.
These all-natural approaches can ease TMJ symptoms and give you relief.
Fast acting and free of side effects, clinical electromagnetic pulse therapy is a good alternative to medication for a range of conditions.
Get plenty of these vitamins to fight fatigue and feel your best.
This painless test finds heart disease before it turns deadly.
Many people think of B12 as the vitamin to take for low energy, but vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms go way beyond fatigue.
Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of blueberries’ health benefits.
Food preservation expert Sherri Brooks Vinton makes food preservation look easy and shares helpful hints about equipment and technique during a standing-room-only workshop at the Fair.
Roses are easy to grow successfully if you follow a few guidelines: provide good air circulation around the canes and keep the plants clean and not too damp. Roses come in many forms, including bush or shrub, climbing, and miniature.
Another set of Great Quotations. These seven quotations have direct relevance to gardeners and farmers, but they offer wisdom that everyone can learn from and enjoy.
Heirloom vegetables are multi-use crops that have been passed down from gardeners for decades, sometimes centuries. Respected author and gardener, William Woys Weaver, discusses his reasons for using heirloom plants and saving seed.
Christmas is just about upon us, and here's a very easy, quick and simple fudge recipe. You can embellish it any way you want with several options for fruits, nuts, and liqueurs. Your taste buds will thank you (not to mention friends and family).
By applying the principles of landrace gardening, you can help your plants win the race against weeds.
By growing potatoes from pollinated seeds we can develop locally adapted plants that thrive in our gardens.
Seed saving is an integral part of landrace gardening.
Landrace gardening allows us to minimize fertilization by selecting for plants that thrive in the pre-existing soil.
Joseph Lofthouse shares tips for growing landrace popcorn.
Sunroots are a typically-cloned crop with great potential as a locally-adapted survival-of-the-fittest landrace
How to use hybrids in a landrace garden.
A photo essay documenting imported landraces that I started incorporating into my existing landraces during the current growing season.
Grow enough seed for yourself and a little extra for seed swaps and you may never have to pay for seeds again.
A market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks, evaluating current offerings.
A photo essay showing off the beauty of landrace squash.
Egyptian walking onions are one of my favorite crops because they produce food for my family from early spring until late fall.
A landrace market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks. Part 3: Storing the seeds. With careful forethought, it is possible to store seeds in a manner that will allow them to avoid or survive common seed destroying events.
Creating a landrace of promiscuously pollinated tomatoes. Details about my major plant breeding project for the next few seasons and a plea for help.
A pragmatic approach to eliminating male sterility from a home garden. Includes a diagram and photos about what to look for.
Cell Fusion genetic engineering is emerging as a hot topic in the Certified Organic seed and food industry. We can expect the resolution of this issue to impact both small-scale and large-scale growers.
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
Demise of the Southern Energy and Environmental (See) Expo
Purchase process of the "promised land"
Some people just do not want help! The frustrations of starting a business and attempting to offer professional help to community organizations.
We now have something to walk on other than dirt!
Has the "magic" energy solution been discovered?
We finally see walls and a loft floor.
We settle in for a long winter's work.
Instead of learning new tricks, we devise new ways to do the same old tricks.
Finally, we start to take shape.
A roof is a wonderful thing to have!
Our humble abode begins to take shape.
Our power system begins to take shape.
We bring power from the array inside the building and put it to work.
At last, we construct the foundation.
The Joy of Green Cleaning is a fantastic resource with recipes to clean everything from grout to sheepskins.
People took a stand against one of the largest multi-national oil companies in the world and resolved to fight back against Shell’s plans to annihilate the Sacred Headwaters. And we were successful. After 5 years of incredible campaigning, community organizing, hard-hitting ads, protests and a storm of media coverage, Shell agreed to forfeit its tenures in the Sacred Headwaters and public pressure catalyzed the government of British Columbia to ban all further oil and gas development in the region.
Part One of a four-part series describing one homesteader's search for the history of the farm she and her family now call home. Her search leads her back in time, starting in Germany and following the lives of the immigrants through settling down in Kansas and, finally, to the day she and her husband purchased the property.
Wabi-sabi is never slobby, but we can allow ourselves to stop trying so hard and just appreciate our warm bed at the end of the day—whether it’s made or not.
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.
You can find joy and delight in the season of cold and snow.
A year of many departures leaves a homesteader reeling.
Tucked in the pines, this preserved New Jersey food heritage site is where cultivated high bush blueberries were born.
I envision this chandelier—made entirely of items recovered from the recycling bin—hanging over a dining table on the patio. Making it is a pretty big project, though, and I would have to call in a friend with a jigsaw to help. (I don’t have the tools—or skills—that former Natural Home & Garden art director Susan Wasinger, who dreamed up this project, does.) Aside from the saw, the materials for this one are simple: used baby-food jars, a few yards of twisted wire, a couple repurposed barrel hoops and a length of rusty chain. And happily, I can make the “lite” version–pretty votive holders—which lets me stop before power tools are needed.
This recipe will show how one extra step can add extra flavor and texture to your homemade poolish bread loaf.
These tips will provide troubleshooting for anyone trying natural-leaven bread.
This recipe is a great introduction to all the joys and possibilities the world of home made pizza represents.
Jessica Kellner, managing editor with Natural Home magazine, talks with Deborah Niemann-Boehle about how easy it is to make bread at home.
A Texas mom created an all-natural toothpaste that whitens teeth and encourages her children to do a better job of brushing because it’s fun.
Jack McCornack tells the story of how he got lost in the Oregon outback and how MAX was damaged such that the DIY-, super-fuel-efficient car couldn't make it to the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
Managing Editor John Rockhold chats with Jack McCornack — creator of MAX, the DIY and 100-mpg hopeful car — to get his post-FAIR thoughts.
60 years ago scientists at Bell Laboratories developed the first solar cell capable of converting enough sunlight into electricity for practical uses. Their discovery is the greatest breakthrough in the 6000-year history of solar energy, and the sire to today's solar revolution. Let's celebrate!
While some visitors to the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area spend much of the time baking in the sun, hitting the clubs or running up credit cards shopping, my family and I discovered that a subtropical ecotravel adventure awaits less than a half hour away in every direction from the big city bustle.
Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest, with the Great Smoky Mountains to the southwest, Asheville, North Carolina, is the perfect basecamp for an ecotour, cultural trip and culinary adventure. Experiencing the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair held here this past April was just the start for my wife and me.
Wabi-sabi teaches us appreciation for the good energy and soul that handmade items bring to our homes. Etsy, the premiere source for handcrafted home goods, offers an extensive list of items whose sale will benefit Japanese relief efforts.
Are you looking for professional training as a solar installer or retailer? Check out this list of workshops available at the American Solar Energy Society's 2009 Conference.
A basic sourdough bread recipe.
A proofing box is a critical tool in cooking sourdough bread; here is a simple way of making one.
Jenna Woginrich’s latest book, “One Woman Farm,” whisks readers away.
When honeybees are unable to store enough food for winter, the beekeeper must decide how to support the colony through the winter.
Beekeepers need a consistent way to document hive inspections including prompts to address all relevant areas while looking at a colony of honeybees.
21 things you should know or wish you had known before starting a goat farm.
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.
Take a look around your property and decide where to put your new beehives. Some considerations for hive placement.
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.
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.
Traveling with Goat School on the Road, and learning all about newborn kid hoofs.
Kidding is quite a process! This blog covers the very first signs of impending birth.
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.
No babies yet, so a few anecdotes about Angora kidding,labor
Goat School needs a class room, visit our Kickstarter project and enjoy our video of Goat School!
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.
At breeding time, things aren't always what they seem. Sometimes things can really go awry!
Getting prepared for cold weather is quite an undertaking with daylight growing shorter and shorter. Adding to your herd and selling goats takes a lot of planning.
It has become a Christmas ritual for me to clean out my mother's fridge. I find whiskery gnarled morsels, shoved to the back of the fridge many months previously, unseen, and untouched by my mother’s arthritic hands. Do I compost all this detritus?
This post outlines the process when an inspector from your state regulatory agency visits your property to view pesticide damage.
The victim of a spray drift incident often finds him or herself on the defensive.
In part we owe our very existence here on earth to the unicellular prokaryotic eubacteria. It is right and proper that eubacteria be a kingdom all of its own. Eubacteria is my “new best friend”, and I have taken a personal interest in it.
In part, we owe our existence on earth to the unicellular prokaryotic eubacteria. It is right for eubacteria to have a kingdom all on its own. Eubacteria is my “new best friend”, and I have certainly taken a “personal interest” in it.
In part, we owe our existence on earth to the unicellular prokaryotic eubacteria. It is right for eubacteria to have a kingdom all on its own. Eubacteria is my “new best friend”, and I have certainly taken a “personal interest” in it.
In part, we owe our existence on earth to the unicellular prokaryotic eubacteria. It is right for eubacteria to have a kingdom all on its own. Eubacteria is my “new best friend”, and I have certainly taken a “personal interest” in it.
The Verdict discusses two possible findings of your spray drift incident after the State Enforcement Agency inspects your property.
This installment explains what complainants might encounter during the time between the State’s pesticide drift inspection and the results of this inspection.
Reporting Pesticide Drift outlines the steps you should take to report a pesticide incident to your state enforcement agency.
The victim of a spray drift incident may not see any actual damage, but plants, trees and possibly people, still are drifted upon.
The many problems associated with recognizing, treating and reporting pesticide drift exposures.
What it means to stick up for yourself when you experience pesticide drift.
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.
Pre-spring work up for beehives coming out of winter.
What to do with all that surplus asparagus? Maybe you have too many pole beans? Or okra? This is the best ever recipe for pickling extra asparagus, and the recipe can also be modified for any thin vegetable you might have from your garden's bounty! Canning is such fun!
Roasting green coffee at home is not only easy, but the first step in making a truly great cup of coffee. Roasting at home also does not mean you are limited to small batches; follow the instructions below to roast 3 lbs of beans and get ready for a great cup!
Hybrid cars now have a 12-year history in the United States, but hybrid car battery replacements have been surprisingly unnecessary. Most of the hybrid cars on the road are still using their original battery packs — even many of the 300,000-mile Ford Escape Hybrids used as taxis in New York and San Francisco.
A key choice was what type of house to build. We aren't in Texas more than a few weeks a year until we make our final move back. We wanted a structure we could enclose to protect the interior from the elements and yet build in stages as time and money allow.
Keeping bees is something I've wanted to do on our new homestead. But would I like it? Taking a class is a good way to find out.
With just about every breed of standard bred, heritage poultry, we have work to do. They are not producing like they once were.
We started our adventure of building a barndominium on our Texas property while still in Australia. The past year has been spent finishing and enjoying the house. As we've learned, finishing the house is only the first step in developing the homestead.
With its newest offering, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company gives homebuyers the flexibility of a kit house with the fine craftsmanship they expect from the flagship small home builder.
Rancho Margot in Costa Rica is completely off the grid and constantly closing the circle. Nothing is wasted on this self-sufficient ranch, where everything is considered a resource--including methane from the compost ovens.
Wabi-sabi is sinewy, flecked browns and yellowed greens, the myriad stone and moss shades, a slate-gray cloud’s washed violet underside. Like nature, wabi-sabi paints in multidimensional swatches that are never what they appear to be.
Although livestock guard dogs are the oldest and most traditional livestock guardians, Jan Dohner gives us a look at the other two livestock guardians – llamas and donkeys.
In Part One of this post, Jan Dohner explained how the different livestock guard dog breeds were developed and introduces us to their differences in style of work, temperament and other behaviors. In parts two and three, we take a brief look at some of the more common LGD breeds available in North America.
Experienced LGD owners can easily come up with a list of myths, misconceptions, and misinformation about their dogs. A quick glance at various LGD forums, email lists, or Facebook pages will reveal that these misconceptions are not only widespread but they are also responsible for the majority of problems new LGD owners find themselves in.
You’ve done your homework – examining your needs, situation, and breed preferences – and now you are ready to select your LGD. This is an expensive, long- term commitment of time and energy. This LGD will be protecting your farm and stock. Please take your time to choose your pup carefully.
Selecting a good potential guardian llama, bringing him home, and introducing him to your stock.
Jim and Julie are starting their homestead in Texas while still living in Australia. Managing the project by remote control is the challenge, and they are learning as they go. This is an adventure of faith and confidence.
Our process of buying the land for our homestead had little to do with logic and a lot to do with emotion. For me, it was a chance to return to the plains where I grew up and be close to family.
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.
In part two of this five-part series, Lyn Fenwick shares a homesteader named Isaac's 19th century journal entries on love, including the observation of local beauties and his desire for a woman who enjoys reading.
Some burglar wanted my Millermatic 180 more than I did, I guess. Here's why I liked it and why I'm going to get another one.
A treatise on the difference between a gasoline engine throttle and a diesel "throttle," what that means for MAX, and how the difference was overcome.
All land is not created equal when it comes to raising animals on a micro dairy.
Selecting the location for the Bob-White Systems’ micro dairy barn.
Why we chose to build the Bob-White Systems barn we did.
Choosing cows for the Bob-White Systems micro dairy.
Cow manure is a key indicator of bovine health and well being. After milk, it is the most valuable thing your cows will produce. Micro-dairy expert Steve Judge explains why it pays to get comfortable with cow manure.
Managing the feed regimen for cows in a micro dairy environment is a matter of setting clear goals and understanding what your cows need.
Grapes can grow anywhere, thriving in a variety of climates and soil types. Growing grapes is rewarding, because after a few years they produce abundant fruit and quickly provide architectural interest in the edible landscape.
Description of garlic planting on a two-year cycle: from tiny topset bulblets, to large single bulbs, to large heads.
Cobbler is not the only solution to a bumper crop of berries. If you can boil water, you can turn the juice from big-flavor berries into tasty beverages that are naturally rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Make extra juice to freeze or can for year-round enjoyment.
Our friend Pat Sweeney has built himself an Electric MAX - a DIY Locost with a DIY electric power plant.
MAX doesn't have a front license plate, and here's why Jack would like to keep it that way.
If MAX is a bit too Spartan for your tastes, here's a homebuilt high mileage sports car that's a bit more plush - a Mazda Miata with a Geo Metro engine - and it's coming to the Mother Earth News Fairs.
Can a civilization this profoundly removed from the visceral participation in farming and food even survive? Can the assumptions, like cheap energy, cheap grain, and processed food that can be nutritious, really continue into the future?
Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will present a workshop on localized food systems and pastured livestock at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Exciting new research reveals how certain foods from the Mediterranean diet work to treat hypertension. Learn what researchers have uncovered about which foods to eat to lower blood pressure.
Processed foods contain a variety of chemical preservatives that have been linked to serious medical conditions. Here’s what to look for and how to avoid food preservatives.
The dream, the drive and now the doing.
Joel Salatin and his family open their farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley on July 19th to celebrate what he calls "integrity food." Events will feature walking tours of pastured livestock, intensive seminars and demonstrations on rabbit rearing and more.
Self-dubbed “lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin describes how sustainable living and more conscientious agricultural practices can mend and revive a planet pushed near the brink.
I am off to Polyface Farm to intern for the summer and I’m so excited! I plan to write every week to explain to you what we are learning, how we spend our days, mistakes we make (that you can learn from) and basically anything that can help readers become better farmers and homesteaders. I’ll include lots of photos too, so make sure to check back!
A big week of pig processing, morning chores with Joel Salatin and cattle sorting!
Sometimes even HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm needs a reminder why she puts up with the goat feed, the chicken poop, the cat puke, and the never-ending mud. Here's a hint: It involves good food.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary explains how they prepare their beehives to survive the long cold winter in upstate New York.
Sustainably harvested cork creates a beautiful flooring material that’s competitively priced with other kinds of sustainable flooring.
Becoming a beekeeper takes a lot of planning and preparation. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain some steps you can take now to start getting ready to keep bees in the spring.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss some techniques for helping beehives survive through the end of winter.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss honeybee swarms, and how to try to prevent your bees from swarming.
Simran Sethi explains her bathroom-remodel goals to conserve water.
In Japan, more and more people are combining farming with other work. My neighbors and I fit the pattern, but what's it all mean for the future of farming?
The Japanese are masterful at living in small spaces. We can learn a lot from the superbly designed microhouses that have become a hot trend in Tokyo and beyond. Take a few tours and learn a few tricks in this must-see video.
Find out how wabi-sabi, an ancient Japanese philosophy that promotes attention, reverence, generosity and respect, can build the foundation of a happy home.
Take a lesson from Southerners, who know a thing or two about keeping cool naturally. These homes take advantage of old-fashioned and cutting-edge passive cooling techniques to stay temperate even during hot Southern summers.
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.
Joseph Lofthouse, seedsman from Paradise Utah, is now blogging about “Landrace Gardening” on Mother Earth News. The blog is a practical hands-on manual about how to improve crop production by localizing your plants to your unique garden.
I had heard there are thousands of new earthen houses in Thailand. That really amazed me, so I set out to learn the details about the modern earth building movement in Thailand.
Whatever you do in your garden or flower beds, the most important thing is to have fun taking care of what you are growing.
There’s no reason not to “go green” when picking up a game for a young loved one. Despite the abundance of “Made in China” plastic toys and games that line the aisles, some companies have made it their business to create amazingly fun toys and games for children in ways that protect, preserve or restore the planet.
As the importance of solar architecture grew, the southern aspect took on great stature in Chinese life. Ancient wisdom associated the south with fire and warmth, while the north came to be synonymous with winter and somberness. The Emperor facing south therefore shuns darkness and embraces enlightenment to govern. The Chinese to this day prefer a southern orientation for housing.
Let It Shine by John Perlin highlights the context in which solar energy developments have occurred and the people who have made the solar revolution possible, revealing a whole new group of unknown technological pioneers, as well as people famous for other accomplishments never before known for their work as the solar advocates and technologists they were.
The invention of clear window glass allowed the ancient Romans to trap solar energy to enhance their gardening techniques to grow vegetables out of season and exotic non-native plants in Rome. A thousand years later, empire builders in Europe rediscovered the trapping of solar heat with clear window glass so they as well could enjoy the foreign plants in their own back yard and grow native vegetables throughout the year.
The following post summarizes Chapter 7 of the book "Let It Shine The 6000 Year Story of Solar Energy."
To see how much solar heat could be trapped by glass, Horace de Saussure, in 1767 built a solar hot box that consisted of several glass sheets covering an insulated box. Solar heat accumulated in the solar hot box, reaching temperatures far above the boiling point of water
The rich and diverse marine life of the Florida Keys can be experienced without ever getting wet: in a kayak, on a sailboat or at one of the many animal rescue or rehabilitation centers scattered along the Keys.
The adventure in the water, on the water or on dry land does stop with the ecotravel activities in the Florida Keys, many of which help preserve and conserve the very things we came to see. Some of the lodging options – and restaurants or food options – are an adventure in and of themselves.
Day 2 in Asheville, North Caroline, is about the eco-high adventures to be had, both in the trees on a zipline and when hiking to the Catawba Waterfalls.
Natural escapes to ecological preserves minutes away by bike in Hollywood, Florida. A vast sawgrass and gator-inhabited wilderness, including the Everglades National Park, found less than an hour’s drive from the Miami skyline. What surprised my family and me the most on our recent ecotourism adventure in the Miami or Fort Lauderdale areas were their accessibility – and beauty.
Is the electric car all it's cracked up to be? Let's find out!
Let's stop for a minute and think about what we are doing!
Are EV's actually being marketed, or a ruse by traditional manufacturers?
Turning liabilities into assests.
Short conversation about the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid that's on display at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Simple living expert Wanda Urbanska at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
In the down real-estate market, more people are choosing to renovate rather than relocate. Use these tips to create a customized home that supports your lifestyle.
A comforting herb-baked macaroni makes for a simple meal on a short winter night.
Follow these three quick, simple steps to take your guest room from lifeless to luxurious.
Realize that DIY inspiration is just a click away by checking out these great home remodeling blogs.
A healthier version of the classic rice risotto, delicious barley risotto is easy to make and can be modified with whatever ingredients you have in your kitchen.
This acorn-shaped wool garland is easy to make and perfect for fall decor.
The true essence of Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training and Archi’s Acres is about lending a helping hand and empowering veterans to create a sustainable positive future through agribusiness.
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.
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.
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.
There are some questions worth exploring, find out if there is a BEST way to clean your goat's udder before milking.
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.
What is a beekeeper to do during the long cold winter months? Eat honey of course.
For the hobby beekeeper, try treating Varroa mites with natural remedies.
Bees do not live on honey alone. Pollen provides honeybees with necessary protein.
Life on a family farm is never dull and full of surprises to keep a farmer on their toes.
I am new to America, and new to the suburbs, having previously lived in rural Australia. I now live in suburban Indiana. During the past two years I have been trying to set up an "urban homestead" for our family. The neighbors are curious and amused.
Springtime in Urbania can be fraught with temptations at the stores. I have managed to navigate these temptations, sometimes just by 'smelling the clover hay'! Now that the veggies are in, all we have to do is wait for the summer vegetable frittata!
My mission was to find like minded 'earth nurturers' in a neighborhood where there seems to be a dearth of us! What I found was humility and kindred spirits, and the makings of a great dinner party!