The second of a two-part series which recounts our experience with the terror of forest fires and how we survived them.
Farm life has its risks and we don't need to add to them by acting in unsafe ways. Read more for 10 Simple Ways we follow here on Serenity Acres Farm to keep us safe.
Since moving to our isolated piece of heaven in 2000, we've had at least four serious forest-fire scares. One doesn't hear much about these fires in the north unless they threaten a community like Fort McMurray, Alberta. But the fires that have burned around us were equally as vicious and consumed over ¾ million acres. This 2-part blog series will look at the terror of forest fires and how to survive them.
Ice out! The lake is finally ice free — it's time to put the boat in the water, dust off the fishing rods and stalk the creatures of the deep! Learn about springtime preparation on an ultra-remote homestead.
Water is the liquid-gold standard for off-grid sustainability. However, how does a new off-grid homesteader prepare for their water needs? Here are some simple tips from seasoned veterans on how to successfully have a backup plan for water.
Got a basement “cold room” that doesn’t keep your fruits and veggies properly? You can make things better. A few simple modifications can turn that disappointing space into a reliable spot to store food without electricity and boost self reliance.
Living remotely is wonderful but it does force us to evaluate our actions knowing that we are ultimately responsible for our own safety. Taking the precautions outlined here is just one example of how we try to cover all the bases. Safety is paramount and slush on a lake can become a safety concern.
There is much controversy over the health benefits of bone broth, you can find articles all over the web that fall into one of two camps: bone broth is another unscientifically supported health fad or bone broth is a health booster. I fall into the second camp. This type of broth is a fairly new phenomenon in the west, but it certainly isn’t a new thing.
Ron Melchiore shares his unconventional lifestyle with readers. Together with his wife, Johanna, they have carved out an off-grid homestead so deep in the Canadian wilderness that a float plane is the only way to reach them.
The burden of municipal and industrial waste disposal is transformed into a commercial enterprise, with the careless disregard for growing concerns over the risks it poses to the human and animal health and to the natural environment.
Wildfire is our greatest threat living in the mountains with all the dead vegetation and dead trees providing fuel. Here in Southern Colorado, where population density is less and forest growth is thick, sensible people plan ahead to mitigate wildfire risk. Plan ahead with these tips for wildfire mitigation.
Agricultural use of sludge is not only detrimental to human health, but it also damages the social fabric of rural communities all across the country. Federal and state regulations are ill prepared to address medical, social and environmental consequences of this disastrous practice.
This post covers the importance of having a comprehensive water plan for your property. Most homesteaders are simply dependent on their wells, which are predicated on cheap and reliable energy. Don’t misunderstand me: I love being able to flip a switch and get light and turn on a faucet and get water — it’s wonderful! However, we need to develop a resilient water plan that accounts for potential disruption in that system but also to develop other systems to increase the fertility of the land.
This is Part 2 of an interview with David Lewis, Ph.D. - formerly a senior-level research microbiologist at EPA-ORD. He currently serves as director of research for the Focus for Health Foundation.
Dr. David Lewis, Ph.D., who was formerly a senior level research microbiologist at EPA-ORD, kindly agreed to an interview for the MOTHER EARTH NEWS blog addressing the issue of agricultural use of sewage and industrial sludge, aka – biosolids. He is one of the most prominent scientific voices in the growing opposition to biosolids land application. Dr. Lewis’ publications are frequently cited as an example of solid, unbiased scientific evidence of the danger posed by this practice.
Goal setting for the homestead is so crucial it can’t be overstated. There is always a gap between a dream and reality. Goals are the glue that makes those two much closer together. This blog is about the nuts and bolts of goal setting. It starts with a dream, moves toward purpose and ends with goals. It is geared toward homesteading but can and should be applied to all areas of life.
A good snowfall now and then helps to test the limits of our resources. You never know if you are prepared for disruptions until you are disrupted. Here are some hints to help things go smoothly when there are real possibilities that they might not otherwise.
A few tips to keep your hens happy in winter, without breaking the budget.
In the military, we were taught combat first aid with these four life-saving steps: Stop the bleeding, start the breathing, protect the wound and treat for shock. I want to relate these life-saving steps to handling finances in preparing to homestead.
Before we started homesteading I would sit and imagine how idyllic and peaceful it would be. Reality is not prettier than what I imagined, but it’s better.
Over this last year my water bath canner has grown into a frequently used item. This time of year, it makes itself useful by simmering gallons of bone broth on our stove due to its generous size. In the summer and early fall, however, it is kept busy canning all the jams, jellies, and sauces I preserve for the coming winter months.
Losing power is a reality that homesteaders must prepare for. It is not a matter of if, but when, and for how long. As a homesteader/farmsteader we have a responsibility to keep the home running regardless of “power.” This series of blog posts discusses homestead preparedness for power outages, part 2 covers generator usage, communications, water strategies and dry-composting toilets.
My earthbag home has liberated me from a mortgage. The technique has numerous benefits. Here’s my list of why anyone might want to think about an earthbag home.
I’ve always enjoyed cooking — it’s something I’ve considered a serious hobby. One of the first goals I made when I moved here last year was to start baking all my own bread and other baked goods. Because we got through so many loaves a week (about eight) every day I am very grateful for my Bosch Universal Plus mixer. I would consider this one of the top five most-used appliances in my kitchen.
Losing power is a reality that homesteaders must prepare for. It is not a matter of if, but when, and for how long. As a homesteader/farmsteader we have a responsibility to keep the home running regardless of “power.” This series of blog posts discusses homestead preparedness for power outages, beginning with fuel storage, gas cooking and wood heat.
The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts for our area “Winter will be cooler and rainier than normal, with above-normal snowfall." To quote a popular television show “Winter is coming." Prepare for winter with this checklist and weatherization ideas.
A few tweaks in the process may make all the difference in whether a colony survives the winter.
Whether it's a summertime flood or a winter snow storm, homesteaders and farmers must be prepared for the "what-ifs". Here are some ways you can prepare your homestead, and yourself, for disaster.
We put a lot of thought into being prepared for mountain winters and it requires a lot of work to be fully prepared.
Drones can be used to survey areas to develop more accurate maps. They can be equipped with heat sensors and used in search and rescue at far less cost than putting people out there searching for those lost. This post counts the beneficial uses of drones, or airborne robots.
Many rural Nepalese faced persistent food insecurity even before the recent earthquakes. Now, because of the destruction of livelihood assets, the situation is substantially worse. With support from Groundswell International, family farmers in post-earthquake Nepal are learning and using ecological agriculture principles to restore their farms, become more resilient, and create a more equitable landscape for women.
If you are planning to set up a garden with a surface that is bigger than 300 square meters, a tiller will help you save a lot of time and energy. Its sharp, heavy blades might be a little intimidating for first-time users, but with a little practice, you will get the hang of it.
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.
A damaged roof or a roof over 20 years old may need to be replaced. When doing so, there are several environmentally-friendly options to consider.
Any other year in March, the homesteading chores are back in full swing after the winter break. This year, winter lasted longer than ever and it wasn't until the end I could even conceive of getting any of the usual stuff done. Here's the list of what I normally do.
Cam's newest book, "The Sensible Prepper," is now available.
Catching and storing rainwater is one of the most important tasks on the suburban frontier for "green preparedness." It's a great way to build "home economics" and connect more closely with taking care of basic needs.
Simple steps anyone can take to repair a generator at home.
EPA confirms that neonicotinoid treatment does not increase soybean yield.
If your pond keeps dropping its water level, you might have a pond leak. Here are some steps to find where it's going and how to find the leaking area to repair.
The fire moon shows up every year when the forest fires start up. Maggie Bonham has some recommendations for preparing to evacuate with animals.
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.
Learn how to clean your own woodstove and chimney.
How to flush a small engine and repair a clogged carburetor.
With 1/3 of the population of the US under a tornado watch today, these tornado facts, myths, and survival tips could save a lot of lives!
Life on a farm blanketed in snow.
Join Steve for a no-cost 75 minute video tutorial on building and managing a root cellar
Mountain homesteading in a remote area.
Canadian homesteader Cam Mather sinks into the village life and discovers the joys of small-town living.
Stay warm, find a hobby and cull the livestock; here are some of the things we do to prepare for winter!
Team Austria wins the Solar Decathlon 2013 for building the most energy-efficient, cost-effective and most attractive solar-powered house.
Collegiate teams showcase affordable, energy-efficient houses in global competition.
There seems to be limited testing done by the EPA on the toxicity of some chemicals.
The “Remote Community Renewable Energy Partnership” exceeds Obama’s goal for supporting clean energy development in small native villages.
New standards for Energy Star refrigerators and freezers will reduce energy consumption and include “connected” features.
Whether you’re looking for a sporty two-seater, a large family vehicle, or a heavy-duty farm or work truck, here's how to find the best options for vehicles that use less fuel and save you money.
A new tool released by the U.S. Department of Energy allows drivers to compare fuel costs of electric cars with those of gas-powered vehicles.
As the costs and consequences of climatological and ecological instability become impossible to ignore, people are recognizing the need to be more prepared for the challenges we could face in the short-term and the long-term. A variety of initiatives are arising to share ways of becoming more resilient—i.e., able to survive and thrive in the face of dangers and even disasters.
Tornado, facts, myths, and tips to help you make the right decision when facing a possible tornado strike.
University of Maine leads the United States in clean-energy technology, thanks to the development of a grid-connected wind turbine off the coast of Maine.
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will launch the city’s new bike share system – called “Divvy” – later this year, with the goal of expanding to 4,000 bikes at 400 neighborhood locations.
These new vehicles may help the environment, but their soundless engines are a threat to the visually impaired, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.
Are you ready for the kinds of severe weather that could impact the area where you live? National Severe Weather Preparedness Week takes place from Mar. 3-9, 2013. This is a great time for you and your family to “Be a Force of Nature” by learning the importance of planning for severe weather events and practicing how and where to take shelter before severe weather strikes.
May is the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Preservation Month. In conjunction with this month dedicated to protecting historic places, Sansin Corporation — a wood protection company focused on eco-friendly, “water-borne” interior and exterior stains — offers tips that do-it-yourselfers should keep in mind when undertaking historic home renovations.
Many years ago, years before I moved to the country, I was what would be considered "a prepper." I saw disaster every time I turned on the TV, or read the news on the internet, or visited forums that talked about stockpiling beans and bullets. I panicked, thinking I could never have enough control for the sake of my family, never be "prepped" enough.
Summing up the last week of mostly frozen stuff except for a brief thaw.
Launching Anna's new E book on cover crops in a no till garden and talking about the recent power failure that prompted us to do some Off Grid Homesteading which taught us a few lessons on using golf cart batteries for supplemental lighting.
There's more reason than ever to be prepared for natural disasters, no matter where you live!
The ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder app uses your zip code to find sales tax exemptions, credits, or rebates on qualified products.
This guide on how to wash produce will help keep your foods safe. Avoid food-borne illness by washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
Learn how to de-ice slippery surfaces without harming nearby soil and plants.
How prepared ahead of time for remote living and what was required.
The U.S. Department of Energy released a set of pumpkin-carving stencils celebrating Halloween through alternative energy.
The Obama Administration releases its plans for new renewable energy sources. Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, explains that the new solar energy zones span six states and keep both domestic energy and environmental preservation in mind. If completed, the power generated from these solar energy zones would provide electricity to roughly seven-million homes.
Living a ranch life in northern New Mexico in the 1960s consisted of hard work and knowledge. It was not the romantic life that many people imagine it to have been.
Cam thinks its important that we all have a Plan B, no matter where we live.
Cam believes in the Boy Scout's "Be Prepared" motto when it comes to all aspects of his life....
When the electricity goes out it helps to be prepared to deal with circumstances.
Are you able to face any situation that comes your way with the knowledge that you will survive the adversity? Challenge yourself to become an overcomer!
In the beauty of autumn comes a time of preparation for winter. The many necessary tasks to be prepared if you are self sufficient.
How to tell when meat or poultry is "off"
Cam wonders why more people don't prepare for blackouts.
Submit your best photos of biking and walking for a chance to win a free, 10-day bike trip to Italy!
In New York City, advocates unveil a bold vision to end the traffic violence.
(Video) The U.S. Secretary of Transportation bikes to work at the behest of his bicycle commuting employees.
When the power goes out for an extended period of time, what do you do? If you're properly prepared, you're life will be a lot easier cooking or baking your food.
An innovative partnership of bicycle advocates and a bike-friendly attorney aims to reduce crashes in South Carolina.
Prepping for major emergencies - earthquakes, floods, tornadoes - is important, but so is emergency planning for less dramatic events. Find out what you can do to reduce the potential for stress.
Are you up to the 2 Mile Challenge? Sign up and help replace 100,000 car trips with healthy, pollution-free bicycle travel!
Susie Stephens' memorial now grows in the city of her tragic death.
Yep, that's my boss with Lance Armstrong — and a half-million bike/ped friends — on the open streets of Los Angeles.
Cam describes a natural disaster on a small scale near his home.
Join a free webinar about women and cycling this Wednesday!
Award winners highlight the next generation of leaders in the bike/ped movement
Growing field corn for livestock, home use and future crops; a grain for sustainable living.
A cheap plastic pin reveals allies on Capitol Hill.
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.
Use a digital tire gauge and learn how to check tire pressure regularly to get better gas mileage. While other types of gauges exist, the digital tire pressure gauge is an accurate and simple way to keep your tires properly inflated. Read this digital tire gauge review to see what digital tire pressure checkers you can buy.
When you live in an off-grid house in the country, it's important to be handy!
A doctor, soldier, father and husband died tragically in a bicycle crash. Now, justice is being served as the driver faces a reckless homicide charge.
Complete streets policies are sweeping the nation, to the benefit of bicyclists, pedestrians and travelers of all ages.
Leaders from America Bikes impress top transportation official with compelling new data on job creation and popular demand for active street design.
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition won a major victory with the opening of the Cal Park Hill Tunnel — a world class facility that makes biking the quickest commuting option.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has approved the use of methyl iodide, a pesticide toxic to humans, for application to strawberry fields. Methyl iodide is recognized as a carcinogen that can also cause late term miscarriage and permanent neurological damage. Scientists agree that farmers cannot safely use the pesticide, and a concerned coalition has formed to persuade Governor Brown to put a moratorium on the use of methyl iodide.
Mia Birk's new book weaves together personal and professional history to illustrate the transformative power of bicycling.
Simran Sethi writes about choosing eco-friendly paints, tiles, and other aspects of her renovated bathroom.
Walk this way, to support the revitalization of a pedestrian-friendly America.
Thanks to local advocates, Santa came early for cyclists in the Steel City.
Show your thanks for bicycle and pedestrian advocacy leaders by nominating someone you know for a national Advocacy Award.
Emmy-award winner, Dayton Duncan, likened trail advocates to John Muir at the American Trails National Symposium
The defeat of Congressman Jim Oberstar wasn't just a blow to Minnesota. It was a loss for everyone who bikes and walks.
Ian Klepetar has been living out of a tent — and building a business empire that benefits bicyclists.
The bike-ped movement is growing; meet one of the newest leaders advocating for pedestrians.
Bikes Belong needs your pledge to show the public, policymakers and the media that one million Americans want better policy and funding to promote bicycling.
Who the heck is Paul Goodman? The car-free visionary who inspired a new documentary and bicycle contest.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy launches a national campaign aimed at the American Automobile Association.
A Colombian concept that reclaims the streets has found a home in dozens of cities across the U.S.
If your job, finances, family commitments, etc., have thwarted or delayed your dreams of self-reliance, you don’t have to wait until you can afford a 20 acre parcel. You can start working where you are now to build and nurture self-reliant living skills that are sure to provide you with more peace of mind and improved health, and will most likely be of great personal benefit during the coming decades of global challenge and change.
Musician Ben Sollee has defined the pace and purpose of touring, ditching the van and taking the 2 Mile Challenge.
As state transportation officials send billions back to Washington, advocates hope bicyclists and pedestrians aren't left holding the empty bag.
With the lifting of the four-year Bicycle Plan injunction, we're watching the next premiere biking city unfold — at record pace — in San Francisco, California.
A people-powered revolution is afoot.
Keep your pet safe by learning the dangers posed by certain flea- and tick-control products.
Find the best reusable water bottle for you. Whether it is plastic, steel, aluminum or glass, using a reusable water bottle helps the environment. The $11 billion bottled water industry takes a toll on our environment. Here is a list of reusable bottles that could end your bottled water habits.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a list of the top 20 on-site renewable electtricity generators.
More money from the Stimulus plan has gone to hot and cold states for weatherization programs.
President Barack Obama signed an executive order to help reduce automobile gas emissions in the United States. This is the first of many steps that the Obama administration plans to make to improve global warming.
The cosmetics industry may have to pay if the Obama administration makes new regulations on the way chemicals are tested.
A Tennessee coal plant had some explaining to do at a congressional hearing after a major coal sludge spill.
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments until Nov. 28 on how it should rule on global warming pollutants.
Check out how millions of gallons of water can be saved by Aug. 11, 2009!
Ben & Jerry's teams up with Greenpeace to bring the U.S. a cleaner way of freezing food, especially ice cream.
The EPA continues to fight a six-year battle against White House and Pentagon officials about drinking-water standards.
Repairing or replacing trim around a door is easy, and you need only a few simple tools.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border to keep illegal immigrants, but have they thought about the wildlife that they will destroy along the way?
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border, despite petitions from the Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club.
Here are a few tips for sprucing up the old apartment before you move out. Quick and easy methods for filling nail holes, removing marks from walls and cleaning carpet stains.
Don't like weeds? Well, maybe this will change your mind. An article in the New York Times, discusses possible ways that weeds could help fight global warming.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall to create a barrier along the US-Mexico border. Although the wall will never completely stop illegal immigrants from coming into the country, it will risk the survival of animals and wildlife in the area.
Animal-vehicle wrecks cause about 200 human fatalities and 29,000 injuries a year. The fight between wildlife and urban developers seems never-ending, but wildlife crossings can be a solution. Learn how you can help just by giving your state's Department of Transportation a call.