I recently spent time visiting the micro worlds of my garden. It always thrills me to do such a thing and I often find surprises.
Achocha is a delicious and unknown member of the cucumber family with almost complete immunity from the diseases and pests which attack other cucurbits.
Composting is a great way to lessen our carbon footprint and it doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, or difficult. Read this article to learn about Blythe’s relaxed, easy going approach of turning scraps into treasure.
Observing and documenting the seasonal phenomena that happen on your land can be a fascinating and important way to get an understanding of how it changes through the year. And it can be fun, too!
February is garden planning and indoor seed-starting time!
Love kimchi? Grow Korean chili peppers for DIY Gochugaru powder to bring amazing homegrown fresh flavor to your kimchi and other spicy ferments.
Until now it’s been nearly impossible to find a truly useful thermometer for making jams and jellies. Now this home preserver thinks she has found one.
Discover the Chile de Agua, a delicious but unknown heirloom chile from Oaxaca, Mexico, which has been grown for over 300 years.
Heritage breed chickens are a doorway into the past. They not only provide you with an opportunity to preserve historical links to the farming community but can be productive members of your homestead as well.
This last year I was able to preserve hops, apples, raspberries through making a puree and drying fruit leather, I made kale chips, dehydrated onions, dried mint and basil, zucchini, plums, and lavender. Yogurt was a common sight in my Excalibur up until our goats’ milk supply slowed down, we’re too busy drinking it to make yogurt right now. This is one of the appliances I really appreciate particularly in the summer/harvesting months. In addition to all of this, we even used the Excalibur to incubate chicks!
Here are some creative ideas for upcycling old cabinet doors into something beautiful and useful.
For any prepared kitchen I think a hand grinder is an absolute must and my preference is the Family Grain Mill for its versatility, ease of cleaning, durability and convenience.
How to build a great wood-fired earthen hot tub.
My grandfather emigrated from Sicily and loved to cook. A recent trip back to the island by my mom, sister and cousin triggered a desire for me to learn what would be in a typical kitchen Sicilian garden. Much research later, this is what a heirloom "l’orto biologico" you would see growing in Sicily at the time my grandfather left his homeland for America in the early 1900s and is being brought back to life through efforts like the Slow Foods organization today.
Here is a brief introduction to the Nesco™ and Excalibur™ electric food dehydrators. We'll help you decide which size best suits your family's needs and teach you about food safety and long-term food storage.
Planning a custom kitchen design that incorporates sustainable materials and supports a self-reliant lifestyle can be done. Read one couple’s experience and thought process as they do just that. The graphic shown here is a computer-generated draft modeling of the cabinet design for their future kitchen, but note that the colors and materials do not reflect what will be the final look.
Tips for using yard and kitchen waste as useful mulch and/or compost in the garden.
In order to be environmentally friendly, a kitchen remodel should reduce energy use, reuse or recycle materials, and minimize the carbon footprint of the remodeling project. Here are five tips to keep in mind in order to achieve a greener, cleaner kitchen.
Avian Influenza has been detected in five western states. There are several steps you can take to protect your backyard chickens, and one simple way to find out if you, as an urban hen keeper, are at risk.
Renowned herbalist Stephen Harrod Buhner outlines how plant medicines can prevent and treat emerging infections such as Ebola and discusses why these deadly outbreaks are happening. He explains how to use more than a dozen antiviral and immune-boosting herbs, including elder, licorice and skullcap.
Beekeeping has its benefits: raw honey, beeswax and pollination. With a quick check, you can find out if your community offers a rent-a-bee program. For a fee, you'll get a queen bee, hive colony and a mentor to get you started.
Some of the most amazing natural phenomena to see this autumn. Try to check them out in person if you can!
Canning won't heat up your house when you set up your own portable outdoor canning kitchen.
Rosemary is known as a tasty condiment, but it has also long been used as medicine, and makes for a blissful foot soak.
Starting a chicken flock and researching the Ameraucana chicken breed.
This blog post covers receiving baby chicks by mail, minimizing chick starve-out, brooder waterers and feeders, and getting chicks contentedly settled in.
Seed Germination depends on Soil Temperature. Transplants need to survive a late spring frost. Here are some handy charts and a lookup tool that will help your timing for a successful garden.
The Blacked-capped Chickadee, a frequent visitor to backyard bird feeders, loses a surprising amount of weight each night. Don't try this diet!
Everywhere is full of micro-climates. Discover the places in your garden where the soil warms first, or last, by watching the snow melt and taking pictures.
Website links to earthbag building projects.
Noticing the cycles of the plants, animals and insects around you, which is the study of phenology, will help you become more attuned to your garden. Soil temperature has a lot to do with those cycles.
How to make a homemade cheese press in order to make a massive cheese.
Reuse various household materials to make a functional cheese press.
Tiny plastic beads in cosmetics are found in the Great Lakes, putting fish and human health at risk.
Handy Camel multi-purpose bag clip earns several awards during release year.
Learn how to identify the right time to butcher laying hens for meat.
Unprepared for their first foray into country living, Kristy Athens takes what she learned and focuses on 5 areas to be considered before moving to the country: Land, buildings, animals, food and community.
Preserving rare breeds requires that the animals are successful in having babies. For our poultry, we sometimes find that the mother hen does a better job than the incubator.
Egg miles: the distance eggs travel from hen to table.
The United States has one of the lowest rates of active transportation in the world, leading to poor cardiovascular health and other diseases.
Egg production in family flocks vs. factory farms.
FairShare CSA Coalition partners with health insurance groups to offer a rebate for selecting fresh, organic, local produce.
It is deep winter and how are your chickens doing? Here are some quick and easy tips to get them through a cold snap.
These tips will help you keep your kitchen compost free of rotten smells and fruit flies.
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.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
Kitchen dish towels designated only for hand drying help keep germs out of the kitchen, without going on a fanatical sanitizing binge.
Here's a tip on how to grow sprouts in your kitchen garden for fun and nutritious eating.
Keeping a rooster with your flock of hens is beneficial but must be done carefully. Here’s how to introduce a rooster to your poultry flock.
YIKES! What to do when you've planted too many veggies? Is your garden producing more than one family can eat? Sure, you can give it away. But wait! Try pickling those garden gems. This way, you'll be able to enjoy them through the winter and beyond!
Deciding which vegetables to grow can be an important step for any gardener. It is efficient to fill the space that you have with vegetables that keep for the longest periods of time, which can also mean a lot to the bottom line of any garden.
A chainmail fillet glove revolutionizes a cook's potato-peeling technique. Plus, get recipes for potato and pumpkin curry soup and toasted pumpkin seeds.
A wolf spider lives on our window sill, with a little help from her friends. Watch this video of a wolf spider catching a moth.
Dog days of summer? Yes, but there is still a lot of the grwoing season left. Protect yourself from the late summer sun with these tried 'n true items ... tested by a gardener who knows more than she'd like to about skin cancer.
Set up a washing station in your garden. Rinse your veggies there, saving the water for the garden and keeping your kitchen clean.
In an era of increasing volatility of the weather and climate, we need new coping skills. Preparedness is an important factor in dealing with bad weather events.
Drag them... pull them... tie them to a chair! Whatever you have to do to get your family to sit around a table and eat healthfully--do it! We are losing the simple act as gathering as a family a sharing a meal. Do you hear the dinner bell? Let's go!
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.
So, what do you do if you neglected to start your veggies way back in January or February? You had good intentions but there always seemed to be something that stole your attention. Now it’s the planting season and you have nothing to plant...
This blog post tells what life was like on the self-sustaining farm of Olen and Anna Mae Showman located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia during the middle of the 20th century.
Deciding where to buy seeds can be a perplexing challenge. How does a conscientious gardener choose seeds that will grow well, look lovely and taste great, but also support sustainable seed farmers and healthy environments?
Horns or no horns, that is the question! Why should you disbud your goats, or is it okay to leave the horns on? This post discusses both options with a link to a great article about horns and their beauty.
Boy! Did I learn my lesson when I left our young pullets out back with our trusted dogs. I'll never do that again.
Trace amounts of chemicals are particularly harmful to developing babies, which means expectant mothers should be careful. In the first post of a series, Jessica Kellner writes about the dangers of BPA and how to avoid the chemical.
Top bar hive modifications, turkey traps, and gourmet potatoes are just a few of the topics covered in the past week of blogging we've been up to. Homesteading healthcare and a new virtual book club round off the week with several reader comments.
Ira helps you get started using nature's signs to plan your garden. Don't just rely on planting dates — easy observations of what's blooming, buzzing, and singing in your garden will help you see changing patterns from year to year.
My first blog for MOTHER EARTH NEWS takes me back to a time when I didn't know I had a love of gardening. One of my first gardening experiences came during an unlikely encounter with my curmudgeon grandfather.
Get the most out of spring's cheap-but-healthy greens with this easy, nutrient-dense smoothie.
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.
Baking the Great American Apple Pie chases away the blues and grays that sometimes afflict the homestead.
Readers share their favorite durable, long-lived, sturdy and well-made kitchen tools.
Cam notices how many chicken-related expressions we use in our every day language!
How do you keep backyard chickens safe from poultry predators? With a bit of elbow grease and a few tips, your girls will be safe from sharp teeth.
Roger Doiron, a MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributor and the found of Kitchen Gardeners International, recently spoke at a TEDx conference about the power of gardening.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS interviewed poultry advocate Oprah HenFree at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Readers share their best tips for keeping food fresh longer. Learn how to extend the life of all kinds of food, and prevent spoilage.
Readers share tips and ideas for saving time in the kitchen.
Renovating a heritage log cabin DIY style isn't easy, but with some thought and attention to detail, it can be done - and cheaper than you might think.
Katie and Martin Clemons share how they make super-efficient use of every inch in their 36-square-foot kitchen. How much appliance do you really need?
This hen catches her rooster off-guard in the summer season.
Outdoor kitchens, dining areas and living rooms are a great way to expand your home's living space. Designers offer advice on how to make the most of the great outdoors--in your own backyard.
Simone Swan built her off-the-grid domed and vaulted home in Presidio, Texas, as a model of how financially and thermally efficient adobe can be. For $50 a square foot, she built a masterpiece. She says you can, too.
Earth floors are a durable, versatile and attractive option for new homes and renovations alike.
The Joy of Green Cleaning is a fantastic resource with recipes to clean everything from grout to sheepskins.
Put your kitchen on an energy diet without spending money on new appliances. Use these simple tricks to use less energy while cooking, freezing and refrigerating--even drinking your morning coffee.
So maybe you can't afford the pricey furniture and decor on display at the design shows in Milan and Vegas. Just take a look at these ideas and start riffing.
Think your balcony's too tiny to provide food and fun? Check out Apartment Therapy's great tips for making the most of your outdoor space.
Susie Stephens' memorial now grows in the city of her tragic death.
When you're facing a tricky woodworking project, it's a good idea to build a mockup
From a little-known sugar substitute to a conversation-starting book, this list of items for the green kitchen contains a few surprises.
BPA levels in families who ate fresh rather than canned and packaged food dropped by 60 percent, a study found. Cooking at home with fresh food is the best way to avoid this potentially dangerous chemical
Homeowners are willing to splurge on kitchen and bath remodels, but they're not interested in building luxury or second homes, according to an American Institute of Architects survey.
Chris Larson's Asheville, North Carolina, home--already a superb example of smart, passive solar design--gets even better with the addition of solar hot water collectors.
While federal regulators fiddle, Wal-Mart bans controversial flame retardants from its shelves. Will more retailers follow suit?
China joins Canada, Europe and the United Arab Emirates in banning BPA from children's products. What is the United States doing? So far, nothing.
It's easy to make your own air freshener spray. You'll avoid chemicals and delight in the fresh smell.
Two Brooklyn filmmakers found a way to grow fresh food in the city--in the bed of a 1986 Dodge pickup.
Clear your home's air naturally for better health and well being.
Denise Franklin's 280-square-foot cabin in British Columbia provides everything she needs--and more.
Kitchen Gardeners International's 20ate campaign urges Americans to say no to junk food.
Chinese worker Chen Shun Qun says she is paid and treated fairly at the factory that makes Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools.
Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools are made without formaldehyde or other harmful additives, through a process that eliminates waste.
Natural Home chose bamboo for its kitchenware line because it's both sustainable and beautiful.
Simran Sethi discusses easy (and free) ways to reduce your water footprint.
Simran Sethi describes the choices she made for her eco-friendly kitchen remodel.
Simran Sethi discusses the "wood" that makes up our kitchen cabinets, as well as more eco-friendly (and people-friendly) alternatives.
Things to consider when purchasing a new or used tractor.
Buying a tractor? How much tractor do you need? What are the horsepower requirements for mowing?
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.
Learn to create your own heirloom kitchen garden at this 3-course series in Pennsylvania.
An annual survey of home buyers found that Americans want smaller homes with a focus on casual living and togetherness. From larger kitchens to outdoor living spaces, these 10 features were the most popular. Find out how you can get them, too!
Readers share reports about their favorite specialized kitchen utensils.
Read reviews of the best butter churns.
A recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey found that demand for luxury products is waning. In contrast, manufacturers are seeing an increased emphasis on both accessibility/universal design and renewable materials. Essentially, homeowners are shying away from expensive (and usually unnecessary) products that add little actual value to their home, concentrating instead on features that promote energy efficiency and sustainability.
Climate change researchers have found that Thoreau's observations in the mid-1800s help measure changes in climate.
The right recipe can convert people who think they don't like cooked greens, or energize cooks in need of fresh ideas. Here we offer a roundup of recipe ideas for garden-fresh greens from arugula to turnips.
Here are some ideas to help you plan and build a recycling center that’s just right for your environment.
The night sky of Monday, August 11 and early Tuesday the 12th will light up with a spectacular meteor shower. It will be well worth Tuesday's fatigue.
Learn about the many kitchen and community projects supported by SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education), including the training necessary to be able to sell value-added food products at markets.
My inbox is stuffed this week with emails from bloggers and pundits heralding the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report confirming for the world that global warming is real and that we have, indeed, done our share to cause it.
Any rancher will tell you, the secret to a healthy, productive herd of cattle is good bulls. Henry the bull may not be perfect on paper, but he turned out to be the perfect bull for Rancho Cappuccino.