Healthy Food Begins with Community

Four refugees in Maine have started a cooperative farm producing fresh, chemical-free produce and prove that community is an important ingredient in healthy food.

The Market Gardener: A Successful Growers Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming

A step-by-step guide that lays out practical know-how, Fortier has done his due diligence to learn from those who have innovated in the past and compiled successful strategies into one small successful farm. In a time of “feel good stories” that may or may not be financially solvent, Fortier simply hands over to the reader the blueprints to confidently launch and run a small-scale market garden.

10 Tips for New Garden Farmers

Now, 4 years into growing much of the produce we eat, I realize that garden farming connects me even more deeply than I had imagined to the earth, the life cycle, my body and food. It is also more difficult not only physically, but mentally as well. Had I known more from the start, no doubt it would have been easier and more effective. It is in this spirit that I am sharing some of what I’ve learned.

Rebuilding a New England Barn

Turning an old barn into something useable is a challenge, and it is a valuable skill to have when you are starting a farm.

Agroecology Techniques for the Fall

How do we apply life-changing agricultural practices in under-served urban areas? This is a brief sketch of agroecology in the urban, Southeastern region of the United States. Agroecology, food forestry and permaculture all begin by developing small densely planted, oxygen rich, microclimates that when linked in clusters or chains across and area drastically increase biological diversity and plant food production.

Agroecology Rebuilds Rural Livelihoods of Women in Post-Earthquake Nepal

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.

13 Signs You May Be an Urban Farmer

When I first started gardening in this place, I was surveying my four by ten raised bed of greens with pride one afternoon. “You really are a farmer, not a gardener,” a friend observed. Take this short quiz to see if you are a gardener or have slid into the realm of "urban farmer."

Minto Island Growers Seek Balance As Their Farm Expands, Part 1

Elizabeth Miller and Chris Jenkins have turned Minto Island Growers into a multifaceted farm that features a tea plantation, vegetable CSA, u-pick berries, food cart, farm stand, and more. Now they’re finding that growth brings many new challenges.

Urban Food Sovereignty is Our Goal

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 Biodynamic Farm Body, Part 2

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.

The Biodynamic Farm Body, Part 1

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.

Working to Keep Seed Diversity in the Public Domain, Part 2

Dylana Kapuler and Mario DiBenedetto are public-domain plant breeders and seed-saving stewards. Their Corvallis, Oregon company, Peace Seedlings, is focused on continuing the work and building on the legacy of Dylana’s parents, Alan and Linda Kapuler.

Maximizing Happiness with Hen-Raised Chicks

The author’s thoughts about raising chicks changed when he returned home from a vacation and couldn’t find one of his hens. He discovered her the next morning, sitting on a clutch of eggs under a porch. When her chicks hatched and he saw how much she cared for them, and how much her chicks adored her, he knew then that every chick deserves a good mother hen.

‘Farming the Woods’ by Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel

In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel teach readers how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non timber products. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.

What Your Garden Can Teach About Cities

Shifting our built environments from the current linear blocks of car-centric urban sprawl to more integrated human-scale and life-sustaining organisms is not much different in principle than turning a concrete yard into a permaculture plot. We have to think in terms of arrangement of vital nodes, distance between interdependent threads, paths of least resistance, utilizing existing natural conditions, and maximizing water, energy and food sources.

Visions of Seed Packets

With spring on its way, I am thinking about gardening, home grown food and what it takes to grow plants from seed.

Farm Fit for Life

How farm life will keep you fit so you can live a healthier and happier life.

Starting a Flock of Chickens: 5 Important Tips for Success

For first-time chicken owners (or even for experienced chicken enthusiasts), selecting, purchasing, and preparing for your home chicken flock can seem like a daunting task. After thirty years of raising chickens, here’s Forrest Pritchard’s personal guide to ensure your new flock remains safely tucked beneath your wing so you can start a flock of chickens without worry.

Remembering 'Harvest of Shame'

This is a must see film about the poverty America’s migrant farm workers faced 55 years ago. Although many of these scenes are far from pretty it can be used to inspire and motivate people to support their local and sustainable farms.

Ideas to Strengthen Your Farmers Market or Help Get One Started

Farmers markets are becoming more common every day, but many fail after a year or so, and others are having trouble getting off the ground. Here are a few ideas from a couple of long-time Oregon farmers market pros that might help keep your market going strong.

The Problem with Pedestals

West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates explains why he has a problem with putting farmers, among others, on pedestals.

Seedy Days

January is a great time to count your seeds and share the extras with others through a seed swap or seed library. Find a seed sharing event in your community or start one with friends.

A Great Herdswoman's Legacy Lives On

Homegrown.org blogger Dyan Redick of Bittersweet Farm honors - and helps keep alive - the legacy of fellow Maine goat herdswoman Pixie Day.

Getting to Know the Farmers at Winter Green Farm, Part 2

The six owners of Oregon’s Winter Green Farm have effectively navigated the journey from homestead to successful biodynamic farm. This profile of Winter Green Farm has been excerpted from "Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement."

Missouri Organic Association Conference

The Missouri Organic Association is gearing up for its 2015 Annual Conference in Springfield, Mo, on February 5th, 6th and 7th at University Plaza Hotel and Conference Center.

Getting to Know the Farmers at Winter Green Farm, Part 1

Originally founded as a homestead in 1980 by Jack Gray and Mary Jo Wade, Winter Green Farm has grown to become a successful biodynamic farm in Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley. This profile of Winter Green Farm has been excerpted from "Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement."

Maine Leads the Way with Unique Farms

Mary Quinn Doyle shares a background about how she became involved in a volunteer project traveling around Maine for over two years visiting over 180 unique farms to take photos and write stories about them for an educational book and website.

Environment and Society: Where is the Disconnect?

K.C. Compton takes a glance at more than two dozen trends that are shaping our future, which are documented in the Worldwatch Institute’s latest publication, "Vital Signs, Volume 21."

Aquaponic Farmers Josh and Alicia Davis

Young, pioneering aquaponic farmers like Josh and Alicia Davis, who own and operate an aquaponics farm in the Midwest, are reshaping the future of food in the United Sates. Folks like these surely do inspire others to think differently about their food.

Steadfast Garlic

Garlic is resilient, easy-to-grow, highly nutritious, and a natural antibiotic.

Farmers Swim, Too

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missourian Bryce Oates explains how he and his family survive summer on the farm. Two words: swimming pool.

Permaculture as a Global Solution

Permaculture is at the heart of the solution of many environmental crises. Permaculture is alive with the possibilities of positive change.

Releasing an Accidentally Trapped Skunk

Organic gardeners often need to remove mammal pests such as groundhogs and raccoons. Like many, I use live traps. How to deal with a skunk you accidentally catch, without getting sprayed?

Sustainable Farming with Reynaldo Ochoa: Rainforest Hero

Reynaldo Ochoa, the subject of a new short film, grows with a goal of teaching and practicing permaculture unique to an individual's region, emphasizing sustainable farming as opposed to “slash and burn” agriculture.

I’m Off to Intern at Polyface Farm!

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!

Biological Farming Trending Up

A description of a pioneering workshop featuring no-till, cover crop cocktails and mob grazing. Douglas County Conservation Service educated local farmers in cutting-edge biological farming techniques.

Greater Life Force In the Garden: A Soil Fertility Manifesto

I, alone, am no one. I do not grow food. I do not water the garden. I do not photosynthesize. I do not put the life force in the soil. I do not make the seed. A natural force other than I is responsible for all this. That same natural force uses this body I like to consider my own to garden.

HOMEGROWN Life: A Melancholy Season

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan reflects on the changes that arrive with fall, including her own sense of melancholy.

Farming Is Hard Work

It takes a few good rationalizations to get through the busiest part of the growing season.

Why We Farm

It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked: Why do we do all this work?

HOMEGROWN Life: Giving Up Control

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan learns that giving up control, whether over a mischievous flock or a single lamb, can have its own rewards.

Regenerative Agriculture

Focus on Food records an episode from Chaffin Orchards and discusses sustainable farming and the ethics of eating meat.

Home and Away

Completing tasks in preparation for a few days away from the homestead

Bricks and Potatoes

As I go along, I pull out pebbles occasionally, but only one large stone. Time and time again, however, my hands pry free the remnants of bricks. As late afternoon turns to early evening and my work for the day is nearing completion, a collection of the ruddy-colored artifacts is stacked to one side. The sight of them calls up something nostalgic in me, broken bits suggesting a history that is largely lost.

Turn Your Farm Venture Into a Business

Have you ever dreamed of taking your part-time homestead to a full-time salary? What's holding you back? Business books say most people are more afraid of success than failure.

The Unsustainability of Local

A few months back I heard a comment on an NPR radio program that really caught my attention. The program was about the local food movement and at one point the guest on the show said, “Now remember - just because it’s local doesn’t necessarily mean it has a smaller carbon footprint. That Argentinian apple that was shipped on a barge with thousands of tons of other apples may actually have required less fuel per apple than the apple than came from a few hundred miles away in the back on a farmer’s pickup.”

A Growing Trust

In this section you will find stories of real farmers across the country that made it work. You'll find their story, how they did it and who helped them. We hope these stories will inspire and educate new farmers, as well as land owners and community members to become involved in the new agrarian movement. A growing trust.

Factory Farming Plowing Over Family Farms

A hard look at the state of the food industry and the impact of factory farming on polluted run-off, animal rights, and small family farms across America.

The 80/20 Rule of Homesteading

This current situation is a perfect example of the 80/20 rule of homesteading: 80 percent of your time, energy and effort is spent on maintenance; 20 percent on progress towards the dream. A majority of your time homesteading is spent covered in chicken poop, squashing potato bugs, figuring out why gas isn’t getting to the carburetor in the ATV and shoveling snow after dark by headlamp.

Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs: The Chicken That Threw Me a Change-Up

According to FDA data, the quantity of antibiotics sold for livestock use in this country continues to rise, topping 29 million pounds in 2011. This has a direct effect on the efficacy these same drugs will have on us. Sam Spitz has personal experience with a resistant illness and FamilyFarmed.org asked him to tell his story. It’s a cautionary tale that should have us all making better food choices. Read how we can all influence the campaign to end the misuse of antibiotics in livestock and keep antibiotics working for us when we need them!

A Father's Legacy of Natural Living

One of my earliest vivid childhood memories is sitting on my father’s lap as a young girl reading the magazine together in the 1980s and all throughout my childhood. He would read aloud while I studied the pictures of passive solar building, vegetable gardening, sheep shearing, building your own sugar shack and the beautiful array of topics which he read to me frequently. Those images, along with the camping trips in the mountains, the whitewater and canoeing excursions, and our family trip to Alaska, have been etched in the catacombs of my childhood memories and have sculpted the person I have grown to become.

Farmers in Training: A City Dweller Gets Lessons in Harvesting, Milking and the Meaning of Life

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.

Thoughts of Spring Begin to Stir

A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.

20th Annual Organic Growers School Takes Place in March

The 20th-Annual Organic Growers School takes place March 8 through March 10 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in Asheville, N.C. The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction and trade show.

HOMEGROWN Life: The Farmer Goes Fishing

Coming back to agriculture and the farming life, I think every farmer should spend time as a fisherperson. If that were the case, I have a hard time believing Industrial Agriculture would have ever taken its foothold. Manure runs downhill as they say

HOMEGROWN Life: The Making of a Hugelkultur Bed

Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc.

Raising Chickens: Farming in the Great Depression

This story recounts one father's hard work to help his family survive by raising chickens and farming during the Great Depression. The author also describes his family-owned homemade brooder house, which helped shelter the chickens that provided meat and eggs during hard times.

The Animal Lover's Dilemma: A Quest for Sustainable Farming Techniques

Elizabeth Van Deventer has been on a quest to find the answer to sustainable farming and an ethical diet most of her life. Follow along as she discovers the impacts of producing tea, palm oil and fruit, and how she eventually settles on a lifestyle that is in tune with the earth and all of its creatures.

EcoFarm Conference Educates Both Seasoned and Beginning Farmers

The Ecological Farming Association will host the 33rd annual EcoFarm Conference at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, Calif., Jan. 23-26, 2013. The conference will offer more than sixty workshops, as well as the opportunity for eight beginning farmers to win substantial grants.

Fruit for the Future

Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.

Basil Harvest

Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.

HOMEGROWN Life: The Gift of a Good Rain

After months of waiting, worrying and hoping, the clouds finally arrived here at Yellabird Farm last week and brought us the long-sought gift of good rain. It was a great two days of slow and soaking moisture that the cracked soil guzzled up...

Chicken Tractors

Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.

HOMEGROWN Life: More on the Drought

All of us farmers,large and small, are a big part of the engine that drives the economy of rural communities, rural counties and rural states.This year, we are learning a lot about what happens when that engine sputters.

HOMEGROWN Life: I Quit

Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.

Making Hay With Wood Gas

Hay season on the Keith farm means lots of work for the wood-powered truck! Check out these videos of Wayne's farming operation.

Piles of Dirt

Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.

Summer Weeding

Weeding in the summer is all about species maintenance

Hay Day

The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.

Farming With Wood Gas

Gasification guru Wayne Keith shows us some of his daily farm operations.

What is an OMRI Listing?

Organic is a phrase that’s tossed around and abused a lot by marketers these days. Not all “organic” products should be treated equally.

HOMEGROWN Life: An Ode To The Elusive Asparagus

We wanted to write up a post about asparagus to explain how farmers look at the crop, but also as a sort of apology to our customers. We have spent many hours in the field and on the phone seeking farmers with an existing asparagus supply. We had man

Turning off the Power

Monitoring energy use has led to increased motivation for conservation

Spring Pruning

Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.

The Future of Urban Gardening

Learn about the advantages of urban farming from those who are leading the way. The benefits include improved food production, increased revenue sources and reduced energy use.

Spring Planning

Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.

Yogurt-Making & Bread-Baking

Homestead skills of yogurt-making and bread-baking increase your independence from grocery store aisles and international food conglomerates.

Alternative Currency

Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months

Organic Farming Conference Returns to Wisconsin

The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) hosts its 23rd annual Organic Farming Conference, February 23-25, 2012, at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wis.

Permaculture 2012

Permaculture is a holistic, integrative design for a sustainable future: registrations now open for D Acres' 2012 Permaculture Design Course!

What a Mild Winter Means

The good, the bad and the ugly of a nice mild winter and its effects on the homestead in 2012.

Why I'm Going Back to the Farm

Robert White is remaking himself as a farmer, and will return to his family's land to start a market garden. Here's why.

Wood Heat

Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

When one of her goats starts looking for love for the first time, and hollering her little head off, Angela has to do some quick thinking to keep her precious pets from becoming that night's dinner!

HOMEGROWN Life: The Potato Bin Experiment

After a completely miserable potato harvest this year we’ve decided to pull them out of the ground and do them in boxes made out of pallets. That way we can use weedblock under them to eliminate the whole bindweed issue. So today, the boxes went up.

End-of-Season in the Greenhouse

As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.

Epilogue: The Wisconsin Farm

Robert Zwald finishes his short memoir with a record of his Wisconsin farm in the 1960s and the growth of his family. This is the eighth part of his stories, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.

Changes in Agriculture: Farming in the 1940s

Robert Zwald talks about farming equipment and selling his harvest in the 1940s. This is the sixth part of Robert's stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.

Mulching with Leaves

Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.

Local Economics

D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.

The Goat Whisperer(2)

Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner.

Homegrown Carrots

Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.

The Goat Whisperer

Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!

The Farm on Three Mile Creek

A woman recalls her childhood memories on Three Mile Creek Farm including horses, a pig pen and a one-room school.

Heading Northwest to the Farm in Oregon

From breadlines in the city to hanging clothes to dry, a woman shares memories of her family’s move from Los Angeles to a farm in Oregon during the Great Depression.

Take a Bite of Farm Aid!

The Farm Aid concert is a chance for us to shine a spotlight on these people who work every day to put good food on our tables.

Beautiful, Rustic Dog Fence

This rustic, resourcefully sustainable dog fence fits right into the landscape. Before you install a fence, look around your place first to see what's already available.

4 Recipes for Your Summer Harvest

It’s the middle of summer and you are likely enjoying the harvests. There is` so much to do with all that fresh and flavorful produce, but what should you do?

Dealing With Drought

It's been a rough summer for gardeners and farmers alike. Here's how we've been dealing with drought and a few tips on watering.

DIY Seed Starter Pots

It might be the middle of the summer, but you should start thinking about getting your fall garden ready. If you don’t have much space, to plant everything outdoors, then you can certainly start your seeds indoors.

In Her Boots: Sustainable Farming for Women, by Women

The workshop series "In Her Shoes: Sustainable Farming for Women, by Women" will provide on-farm, women-led sharing of resources, experiences and inspiration to further connect, encourage and support female organic farmers, entrepreneurs and agricultural leaders. These all-day workshops will be in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and each will cost $20 and include lunch.

Food Waste in America

We are taught when we are kids not to waste food, but it doesn’t seem as if that lessen has stuck with us.

Winfred During the Depression

Vickie Evans describes her grandparents’ life in Winfred during the Depression and the years following. Both came from farming families and used their land and farming knowledge to help the local community.

Gardening Doesn't Have to Be Expensive

People often dismiss gardening as an expensive hobby that they can’t afford. While that can be true, it doesn’t have to be. There are way to make gardening cheap.

Third-Party Certification - A Tool to Ensure Sustainability

As a third-party certifier, the Rainforest Alliance ensures that farms and forests are sustainable environmentally, socially and economically. The green frog seal and the FSC logo have become widely recognized, credible symbols of sustainability.

A Lesson in History and Gratitude

Cam enjoys a visit with Ken & Madeline who farmed this property many years ago and Cam realizes how hard farming was back then....

Urban Farms Bike Tour = Sunday Fun Day Adventure

Kansas City has a thriving city farming scene, and recently hosted an urban farms tour to showcase several of the city’s market and community gardens. One of our editors pedaled along with a bike tour group to see what the city farmers have to offer.  

The Politics of Gardening

Some people use gardening as an escape from the trials and tribulations of the real world. It’s their time to get their hands dirty, connect with the earth and just be in their garden.

Growing Food as a Family

Parents will often say that they don't have time to grow their own food because they have kids. Don't let kids be the excuse. Instead make them part of the experience too. It's what families have done since the beginning of time. The past 100 yea

Two Ways to Use a Shipping Pallet in Your Garden

When you are apartment gardening in a small space, you are forced to be creative due to your space constrictions. Most traditional pots and containers might not work, so you become reliant on reusing objects to better fit your space.

Organic Agriculture: An Increasing Global Trend

The Worldwatch Institute declares that many people worldwide are turning to organic agriculture to feed themselves and others, while feeling good about protecting the environment in a time of economic depression.

Welcome to Common Fare

Radical homemaker Karen Keb introduces her new blog, which will cover topics as diverse as baking bread to raising livestock.

The Spiritual Side of Growing Your Food

A post by Maria Rodale called A Harvest of Healing got me thinking about how gardening and growing your own food is much more than what you harvest.

Puyallup Speaker Spotlight: Daniel Kosel, Rancher

Daniel Kosel of Red Poll Cattle will present a workshop on Red Poll Cattle Ranching at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.

Puyallup Speaker Spotlight: Rene' Skaggs

Rene' Skaggs of the Pierce Conservation District will present a workshop on increasing pasture productivity at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.

Puyallup Speaker Spotlight: Ann Larkin Hansen

Ann Larkin Hansen of Storey Publishing will present four workshops on sustainable farming and bugs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.

How To Make a Self-Watering Container

Containers are great for those that are gardening in small spaces. Though there is the fear of not knowing when or how often to water them. This is why I started to make my own self-watering containers.

Three Ways To Reuse Soda Bottles in Your Garden

Growing your own food doesn't have to be an expensive activity. There are plenty of ways to cut back the costs and be earth-friendly as well. You can do this by giving a second life to items that have outgrown their initial purpose.

New Boom for Real Estate: Community Gardens

Real estate and land use demands have many people left on a waiting list by their local community gardens. Never fear: There's still plenty of options to get growing!

Coffee and Climate Change

Farms which have earned Rainforest Alliance certification go beyond conserving the environment and improving the lives and livelihoods of farm workers; they also help to curb climate change.

Food Prices Might Be Rising, But You Can Do Something About It

In the United States, we are feeling the effects of the rising food prices as well. When you take a deeper look into the prices, it’s not the food that is causing the price to rise. It’s everything else that goes into getting the food to your plate t

How Did America Lose Its Connection With Food?

While there are many events that have lead us to where we are today in terms of food, there are some things/events that stand out the most in my mind. Growing your own food is one way to reverse the trend.

Feeding Communities With City Farming

A potential solution to rising food prices, food insecurity and the obesity epidemic may call into play raising farms inside the city limits.

Find Farming Internships and Apprenticeships

Looking for a farming internship or apprenticeship? Search the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Center’s online directory of farming internships and apprenticeships to find one that interests you.

Reconnect With Your Food and Grow Your Own

When you grow your own food, you not take a step towards self-sufficiency. You also make a move towards better health and whole new relationship with your food.

Sustainability, One Step At a Time

Once our bodies and our imaginations are engaged, the incremental change begins. Then it gets easier and easier to envision humanity occupying this planet–this beautiful, abundant planet–far into the future.

Fostering Community

Farm life is not always predictable, and some of the surprises turn out to be the most valuable lessons. This story from the ranch about some strong winter-born goats, a protective cow with motherly instincts, and a calf that’s making it against all odds will not only inspire you, but it may teach you something about the wonderful spirit of community support.  

Butchering the New Year's Duck

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."

The Manure Diaries

Manure-spreading day is a big event on the farm, for everyone from the chickens to the border collies. And it's part of a wonderful seasonal cycle that's the foundation of self-reliance and sustainability.

What's More Important - Organic Food or Local Food?

Both organic and local food are important if we want to eat nutritious and delicious food. Furthermore, our current food system is in jeapordy because petroleum and water supplies are dwindling and climate change is resulting in more extreme weather.

Summer Loving

Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.

Revised Bill Opens Gulf to More Pollution

Important provisions in the Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act have been removed, which would leave the Gulf of Mexico open to damage from unsustainable fish farming methods.

How Do You Support Sustainable Farming?

Here's a helpful guide to help you make sustainable choices while shopping or out to eat. What else do you do to support sustainable farming practices?

Barnheart: Yearning to be a Farmer

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 Bad Is Monsanto?

Coporations continue to purchase interests in seed industries. Could this be a problem?

We're Not From Around Here

Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?

Are We Brave Enough to Love?

Nature challenges us: Can we love the world around us unsentimentally? Our enormous achievements have brought most of the planet more or less under our control. Now that we have this powerful role in the world, are we capable of accepting our responsibility? Nowhere is this question more present than on a farm, where we live among the animals that will one day provide a meal, and where providing a humane death is not only neccessary for our nourishment, but for providing a good life for the rest of the animal residents.

Sometimes It's Hard

Jenna Woginrich discusses the more difficult aspects of homesteading, and why it's worth it anyway.

Agriculture and the Environment

While productivity is often the name of the game at large farms, local food, minimal environmental impact and healthy conditions for farm workers also are hot topics today. Yet, our agriculture — and our living — have a greater impact on the environment and the life it supports than these issues alone address.

The Dangers of Industrial Farming

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.

Catering to Stink Bugs: A Trap Crop Experiment Success

University of Florida entomologist Russell Mizell investigated ways to attract stink bugs to trap crops rather than cash crops—with great success. His experience can help you learn how to design trap crop scenarios of your own. 

Bats In the Corn Field

Learn how bats can be beneficial for organic farmers, dramatically reducing the need for costly and harmful pesticides.

Why Homestead?

Raising and growing your own is more than a lifestyle — it is life.

Why I Farm

Farming brings with it a lot of dirt, manure and blood, not to mention death. But it's these that also make it so full of life.

Steve's Meat

It's a challenge to describe the place where I take my livestock when it's time for them to cease being my companions, and to become my product instead. I call Steve's Meats in DeSoto, Kansas, the "packer." And, indeed, when I stopped off there this morning they had about 800 pounds of beef frozen and packed, ready for me to take home. It filled the freezer to the rim.