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After you have dehydrated and vacuum-sealed your garden's goodies, it's time to store them either for use during the winter and early spring months, or for those people who wish to have on hand an emergency supply of food — this post covers both! From Mason jars to plastic lidded bins, here are safe food-storage tips right here on MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Bees have nested in your home. How do you get rid of them humanely? There are no easy answers to this situation. The editor of Bee Culture magazine outlines your options for safe, non-lethal bee removal options that are available to you.
This blog post is an introduction to the author'snewly published book, "I Am Coyote." What is essential to know when living and farming with carnivores? I would suggest that THE most important aspect to understand is WHO THEY ARE. Get to know how they live, how they think, their complex social lives and much more.
The author tells how to dehydrate and use blueberries for delicious cooking and for snacks, such as in smoothies, muffins or even as flavoring for frostings. You can use an electric dehydrator or air-dry blueberries. Learn how fun and easy it is to do.
As an educator and ecologist, I am learning from my students that the most important survival ingredient may actually be a sense of community. Grow Your Own! was born in 2012 to address a problem: Local teachers and parents were building school gardens that were lying empty from disuse. The mission of GYO! thus became support for school gardens and their leaders through guidance, curriculum, and resources to foster gardens that were at the same time beautiful, educational, and functional.
Climate change underlies the refugee crisis, and more change and more refugees are forecast. CSA farms and other local agrarian initiatives are critical to our food security going forward.
Sage is an herb of ancient repute, long valued as a culinary and medicinal plant. It has a stimulating, heating, and drying energy and is a well-known cold germ and flu fighter, having particularly potent antimicrobial, respiratory antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, astringent, mucolytic (mucous thinning), antispasmodic, and vulnerary (tissue healing) properties. Prepare for winter wellness with this garden sage body oil recipe.
Learn ten step to raising calves so that they will grow to become tame, calm and well-mannered cows. Steve Judge, a long-time micro dairy farmer takes us through the steps he follows on his farm.
As a conservation biologist whose focus is large carnivores, I find that historical perspectives regarding our understanding of our place within Earth’s communities and the behavior that flows from those perspectives is essential to understanding our present day relationship with carnivores. In my first post, I want to take you back in history, sharing with you worldviews and the actions that expressed those views, as Europeans settled on the American continent.
Last year my zucchini patch threatened to take over the neighborhood. I made lots of bread, but concentrated on using zucchini in non-traditional yeast breads. Turn too much zucchini plus tangy citrus into a delectable quick bread.
We recently attended a concert for Climate Change at the Uptown Arts Bar in Kansas City organized by Craig Wolfe and Randy Deutch of the band Soular. The concert premiered a song by Winston Apple that brought tears to some eyes in the audience. There is no way to know for sure if we’re past the point of no return.
Hive pests increase at this time of year while colony numbers decrease. Check your hives every two weeks. It doesn’t take long.Attentiveness over the autumn months pays off.
Emergency preparedness is a necessary part of any well-functioning homestead. Here's what an Idaho family learned when a fire started less than a 1/4 mile away.
The author struggles to find foods to preserve for her family this year after drought and wildfire affected their gardening and foraging opportunities.
Honeybees have a complex social system - who does what is clearly defined and intricately divvied up. But where does the beekeeper fit into the story? Let's find out.
Resiliency education, if it is to be effective, should reach the masses and this poses the most difficult challenges in an urban setting. The Homestead Atlanta is a folk school dedicated to empowering communities in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Workshops include useful heritage crafts and new age sustainability innovations to offer a curriculum designed to integrate fruitful skills into the everyday.
By composting meat, vegetables, paper and all organic material in your trash, you can reduce waste by more than 50 percent!
Dehorning calves can be a controversial topic. Steve Judge, a long-time micro dairy farmer discusses why he thinks dehorning dairy cattle is necessary.
Small hive beetles are typically considered a secondary pest in the honeybee hive, paling in comparison to the Varroa mite. But they can be more than a nuisance. Left unchecked they may wreck the hive. There are ways to combat this secondary pest.
Utilize these simple earthworks systems to survive the drought and design storm water runoff to transform from a problem to an asset for your home! Let the Water work for you! Remember: “Slow it, spread it, sink it.”
This is Part 2 of a blog series for how to can chicken. It includes great ideas for meals using canned chicken. All of these meals can be made with either home-canned or store-bought canned chicken, but the most satisfying is the meals you make with foods you have had a hand in preserving and preparing, as far back up the chain as you are able to go.
A short story about how deer and deer hunting have changed in both the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley of New York State.
We must reckon swiftly with the intensifying impact of climate change on our farms and food. The new book Resilient Agriculture by Laura Lengnick offers a a range of pathways leading forward.
There are so many ways to dry herbs: in an oven on low heat, in a dehydrator, in the sun. However, overr time under well ventilated conditions, herbs will dry all by themselves with no additional encouragement.
Is your kale patch infested with insects? It may be time to mow it down and start a fresh patch for fall. But, don't worry: Here’s a chard variety to get you by in the meantime while you wait for your fall kale to come up.
Community farming (CSA) is about the essential renewal of agriculture through its healthy linkage with the human community that depends on farming for survival. CSA is also about the necessary stewardship of soil, plants, and animals: the essential capital of all human cultures.
You’re invited to the 2015 Sustainable Poultry Network–USA National Conference! This conference will be the most complete, comprehensive conference for sustainable poultry production in North America. This conference features some of the very best instructors to teach on the current critical subjects of sustainable poultry production.
Assisting urban residents in moving toward local food production is an innovative strategic plan for resilient growth. This blog post will outline some of Grow Where You Are’s core projects and outreach methods in an effort to share best practices for developing local food systems in communities that are most in need.
The author tells how to can chicken at home, and gives some ideas on meals to make with it. Last year, the author raised and butchered 75 chickens. But when you stare at more than 70 quarts of chicken in the pantry you start wishing you had more ideas for using canned chicken.
The gifts we are able to share in a long and respectful relationship.
In this adorable video, a tiger cub finds an unlikely friend.
This is Part 2 of a two-part post series explaining how biodynamic agriculture views your farm as a living organism. By tapping into the ecology that makes up your farm and viewing these systems holistically, you can utilize the natural world to grow healthy crops and achieve true sustainability. Your farm has a body and seeks wellness through biodiversity and habitat variability.
A potato can be sliced, diced, shredded, cooked, or uncooked for dehydrating. If you know how you plan to use them in a future use, you can customize how you prepare potatoes for dehydrating.
Biodynamic agriculture views the farm as a living organism. By tapping into the ecology that makes up your farm and viewing these systems holistically, you can utilize the natural world to grow healthy crops and achieve true sustainability. Your farm has a body and seeks wellness through biodiversity and habitat variability.
During my time as a Polyface Farm intern, I never was able to grasp the turkeys as my personal responsibility. Now things are different. Get a glimpse through the eyes of a Polyface Apprentice as he raises Polyface Farm’s pastured turkeys.
As our climate changes, more and more people will find themselves living in fire country. Forest thinning is one of the first and most important jobs in preparing your homestead for fire season. Added benefits include timber for milling, increased bio-diversity and an endless supply of firewood.
While many herbs can be dried and stored for later use in teas and remedies, these five summer herbs are best preserved fresh!
Even though our goal is to be completely self-sufficient, one thing that I stress is that you don't have to be completely self-sufficient — just make it your goal to become more self-sufficient than you are right now. This blog will help people become more self-sufficient by leading by example, right or wrong. Here is your official invitation: Please come and join us!
While we can all agree that naturally preserving our harvest is better for our food budgets and for the environment, not all of us have practical space for a root cellar. But with a little bit of ingenuity, you can store homegrown (or farmers market) produce while enjoying the conveniences of city living.
You use a reusable bag to bring home your food, a sponge to clean your dishes after you cook, and a kitchen towel to dry those dishes off. But did you know that each of these items can be an unseen source of germs and bacteria?
Hydropower is the world’s leading form of renewable energy, accounting for more than 16 percent of global electricity generation. But dam enthusiasts who tout hydro’s climate credentials may not like the news about its emissions numbers.
Raising animals will up your game in the homesteading arena, but you'll also be taking a huge step toward conservation by raising heritage livestock.
I recently rebuilt an outdoor earthen oven made of cob and firebricks.
Every landowner has a role to play in conservation. Learn some basic principles to consider when managing your property.
Farming may be the dream, but sometimes it can also be the nightmare. Balancing the good, the bad, and the ugly poses challenges.
Deer impact our lives, whether you're a farmer, permaculturalist, forester, hunter, vegetarian, or landscaper. According to The Nature Conservancy, "No other threat (upon forests) is greater at this point in time." So what to do?
It is now possible to produce animal-free milk.
The changing landscape of farming and farmers.
The value of our watershed.
Though they are less popular than potatoes, carrots and turnips, parsnips are a fantastic storage veggie.
It's baby animals season on the farm, especially for chicks! They're pretty sweet, but they're also a lot of work. Oh, and there's incubators involved too.
Many of us are familiar with Echinacea and yarrow as antimicrobials, wild cherry bark for a cough, ginger for nausea, and a host of other herbs used in acute situations to restore health. Herbs can be very effective used in this manner, but herbs also shine when used as daily building and strengthening tonics!
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan catches us up on the spring happenings at Bittersweet Heritage Farm.
Recent studies show that the jet-stream patterns have changed significantly during the last decade. The oscillations that bring the jet stream down to lower latitudes have increased in frequency and amplitude.
Language is born of experience -- so enrich your vocabulary! Go outside! Learn how to address "the sparkle of morning sunlight through hoar-frost." And don't let the world die in the dictionary.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce addresses his attempt to balance his climate change concerns with the everyday challenges of an agricultural lifestyle.
Grass feeding cows may be the latest craze, but not necessarily the best diet for dairy cows.
MPX chugs from coast to coast pulling a car-factory-on-a-trailer, and we learn how much power we need for a 5,000-plus pound payload.
Grow Where You Are is a social enterprise focusing on assisting communities in creating local food abundance systems. After creating small-scale urban food systems nationally and internationally for over 15 years, we see that even the most effective systems can be easily dismantled without land security. We propose supporting local growers in a transition to home ownership with a dynamic web of community partnership.
Spring has been slow to arrive in the Green Mountain State. But there are signs of spring in Vermont and that means preparing your Micro-Dairy for the change in seasons. Bob-White Systems' Steve Judge shares more tips to transition a Micro-Dairy into spring.
Springtime on the homestead is all about timing--getting those colorful eggs into the incubator, sneaking in a crop of spinach in the high tunnel, but also being on-the-ready for lambing season!
Those who garden know that weeding is often essential to growing good vegetables or fruits. In a forest, sunlight too is a limiting factor. By knowing which tree to cut and which to leave, forest health can be improved. Cutting for firewood can serve as an incentive to "weed" on the ultra-perennial scale.
Get more intense flavor and more nutrients by slicing olives into a simple spinach and chickpea salad. This thrifty recipe also shows a streamlined salad-making process.
Monsanto’s most widely used herbicide has been found in the blood of agricultural workers and is now being linked to both mammal and human carcinomas.
Springtime means mud season in Vermont. And on a micro-dairy, it also means preparing the cows, fields and barn for the transition to warmer weather. Steve Judge offers tips to prepare for Spring on a micro-dairy in a two-part series.
Do you count yourself among the chicken-obsessed? Prepare to be truly impressed. In this blog, Jeannette Beranger of The Livestock Conservancy takes you on a photo tour of just a few of the eye-popping breeds found at Greenfire Farms in Havana, Florida.
Cam's newest book, "The Sensible Prepper," is now available.
When the sap gets drippin', it's time to get itchin' for tapping the maple trees and making syrup!
Crop rotation is good for your garden, but can be difficult to track. These tools will help you chart which crop families you plant so you can mix it up the following season.
There is deep nutrition in weedy herbal infusions that can fill a glaring gap in our modern, processed diets. As a passionate herbalist and vegetarian who’s endeavored to pay close attention to the nutrients in my diet, I found myself wondering: Can nourishing herbal infusions replace a daily multivitamin?
The sun is shining, the breeze is starting to warm, but there's still three feet of snow outside. It's driving you crazy — why can't spring get here now? Well, you're not the only one because those chickens have cabin fever too!
You can digest food waste to produce a burnable gas (biogas), to produce high quality fertilizer, and to fight climate change. Learn how.
The first step in our high-mileage pickup project: an "aerocap" streamlined cover for the bed. An aerocap gives the biggest bang for the buck.
Adaptive Seeds, inspired by an international seed sharing project, sells public-domain, open-pollinated seeds. In Part 2 of their profile, Sarah Kleeger and Andrew Still commit to Adaptive Seeds full-time.
Holy Basil is an herbaceous plant in the mint family that is native to South Asia. It grows throughout lowland regions of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, southern China, Thailand, and Malaysia. The species name, sanctum, reflects the sacred nature of the plant in Indian culture. Holy basil includes a few species and varieties.
Farmers sure have their own way of talking — from the cadre of names for animals to the meaning of "shit," we'll explore and unravel some of the greater and lesser known sayings in Old Time Farm Talk.
Packages of bees originating from California last year had a high rate of failure due to the poor quality queens they contained.
New Energy Star standards not only raise the bar for energy efficiency in refrigeration, but they also introduce, for the first time, the idea that putting Wi-Fi into a fridge can help with energy savings.
Adaptive Seeds, originally inspired by an international seed sharing project, sells public domain, open pollinated seeds. Most of its seed is adapted to the Pacific Northwest and similar season northern climates.
A blog about the joy of a mentoring relationship and the rewards for the mentor and a new-bee.
Four easy steps to guide small dairy farmers to filter, chill and clean properly to ensure delicious, farm-fresh milk, yogurt or cheese every time.
Just when you’ve got something broken in on a farm, the holes begin to appear. There’s a hole in the bucket, a hole in my muck boots — and of course there are holes in the fence! But it’s not all bad, so here’s a homesteader’s narrative that provides a good chuckle about life on the homestead with all its wrinkles…and holes.
Simple steps anyone can take to repair a generator at home.
Easy-to-make bagels using basic pantry ingredients.
A wakeup call for folks who want to keep bees without the work, stings and realities.
Use these two tools to launch your green service, or other great world-changing project.
As farmers, we know the importance of creating a milking environment that is clean and healthy for the animals. In Part 2 of Making Clean Raw Milk, we outline the steps needed to milk your cow or goat in a manner that keeps it clean.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study on the nutritional value of vegetables and fruits. Check out the top "powerhouse" vegetables and fruits to add a few to your garden this year.
An anecdote that illustrates a few of the realities of farm life and raising livestock.
Here is an idea of daily hoop house tasks and information on growing and harvesting abundant, healthy winter vegetables in your hoophouse, avoiding hazardous nitrate accumulation in greens.
All the principles of sustainable grazing management can be summarized in one rather strange statement: your cattle should appear not to have legs! Their short legs should be hidden in tall grass. Both animal genetics and pasture management contribute to this philosophy. In this article, I’ll start with cattle selection and care protocols. In Part 2, I will cover forage considerations.
What do holidays, indoor air quality and global warming have in common?
A big benefit of running the private and FDA-certified Bob-White Systems Dairy Lab is that we get to see what works and what doesn't work to keep milk clean. “Clean," for our purposes, means that it passes Vermont's Tier II Raw Milk Standards, which happen to be some of the most stringent in the country — more stringent than federally regulated pasteurized milk standards. At the lab we perform FDA-certified testing to ensure raw milk producers are compliant with Vermont’s standards.
It's important to prepare your Micro Dairy or small farm for winter by making small improvements to your facilities. But it's also important to mentally prepare for the dark, cold months.
Learn about three consumer-driven green energy trends for 2015 that will have a direct impact on our pocketbooks in the coming year, including net-zero energy homes, electric vehicles, and green energy production.
Typical suburban landscaping is a maintenance expense with no return to the owner and often diminishes the habitat for the living things around us. One alternative is to create a forest island that provides flowers for pollinators and food for people with little to no maintenance cost.
Not being a fan of frozen or canned carrots, I began to wonder how to store carrots under straw for winter to enjoy organic carrots throughout the winter. Living in Central Oregon where beach sand is not at the hand, I gathered garden straw from a local farmer. It is important that you know that straw for the garden has not come from crops treat