New York’s Hudson Valley Revs Up for Electric Vehicles with New Campaign

The first electric vehicle (EV) consumer education program in the Hudson Valley goes live this fall. For the growing population of consumers who are curious about EVs and want to learn more, Drive Electric Hudson Valley will provide consumer workshops, informational materials, and test drive opportunities throughout the fall

Feeding the Pig: The Problem with Homegrown Arts Organizations

It costs the average musician upwards of $1,000 to be a member of most music trade groups, pay for conference fees, travel, and get hotel rooms and meals. That is more than most musicians make in a year. If it costs more to be part of the garden than the garden can provide, the farmer needs to make a choice: Abandon the garden or get rid of the pig.

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.

A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: July

It's all about beating the heat at Bees of the Woods Apiary this month! We'll share some tips and strategies for keeping you and your bees comfortable during the dog days of summer.

Foraging Wineberries: A Delicious Invasive

Wineberries are one of the most abundant wild summer fruits, and just as delicious as their blackberry cousins. They also happen to be an invasive species and you’re doing a good deed when you eat them. Here’s how to identify, gather, and eat wineberries.

A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: June

It's another busy month at Bees of the Woods Apiary! Jennifer Ford will share what we have been up to in June 2016, including keeping up with honey supers and brood boxes — and the importance of knowing when you have enough hives.

A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: May

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary shares what has been going on in the beeyard this month, including queen rearing and pollen production.

A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: April

In the Northeast, you never know what to expect in the beeyard in April. From snow to some very busy bees, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will share what has been going on in the apiary this past month.

The Importance of Community for Homesteaders

Homesteading is built upon a foundation of self sufficiency, but community is just as important. There is so much more to homesteading than the individual pleasure associated with it. There is true joy and friendship in the shared labor of land.

The Growing Economy of Salvaged Urban Wood

Megan Offner of New York Heartwoods is salvaging downed and damaged city trees to redirect material from our waste stream, decrease greenhouse emissions, and fuel the demand for local wood products.

Complying with State Cottage-Food Laws for Home-Based Food Businesses

Making and selling processed foods legally involves more than filling containers with your favorite recipes and selling them at the local farmers market. It requires compliance with a variety of state and perhaps federal regulations and processing guidelines designed to ensure that food products are packaged safely and properly.

Feather-Pecking Solutions

Feather pecking among your flock is a situation that requires your immediate attention. The confidence to address the root cause of the problem is essential.

A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: March

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will share what happens in the beeyard during the month of March. This is a critical time in the apiary - for both bees and beekeepers.

Stalking the Wild Fruit: Foraging Local Fruit by State

There is wild fruit nearly everywhere, free for the picking. This spring, as soon as leaf buds swell in your area, go looking for blooms. Take a ride, get somebody to drive for you, so you can search roadsides and fields, along railroad tracks, in power line right of ways, and maybe even an abandoned homesite, looking for brushy shrubs, brambles, vines and trees with white flowers.

'Slow Fish': Justice on Our Plates (with Video)

Slow Fish 2016 celebrates movements dedicated to honoring food producers, protecting the land and waters we love, increasing food access, and celebrating our cultural diversity.

How to Grow Giant Sunflowers

Growing giant sunflowers can be fun and easy. By following these simple steps you can have these towering giants in your yard as well.

Swedish Flower Hen

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.

A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: January

Have you been wondering what it is like to raise honeybees? Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will offer a peek into the life of a beekeeper in part one of a year long series. She will share what goes into maintaining a beeyard throughout the course of a year.

Becoming (Accidental) Urban Farmers

An urban homestead is as unique as the individuals who own the property. Our homestead developed slowly. In fact, my wife likes to joke that we are “accidental homesteaders.” We did not buy our village home nestled on 1/16th of an acre with the goal of becoming urban farmers, it just sort of happened, out of necessity.

How to Sell Surplus Honey

There are many ways to sell your extra honey and other products of the hive. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain a few easy ways to sell all of that extra honey, including how to sell honey online, at work, at a roadside stand and more!

Seeing the Forest for the Deer

Deer are unique in that they are often managed regardless of habitat quality. When ecology and grazers are out of balance, impacts on forest health and herd health can be severe.

11 Steps to Make Walking an Easy Habit for Life

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy's recent Call to Action made it clear that walking is the best way for most people to stay healthy and fit. Here’s how to do it more often and make it more enjoyable.

Unusual Fruits, Part 3: American High-Bush Cranberries

The American High Bush Cranberry is a neglected fruit that deserves more fans. Fruits are high in Vitamin C and anti-oxidants. The fruit is also high in natural pectin so it makes a great jelly. Fruits (drupes) are similar to Thanksgiving cranberries in color but with their own distinctive flavor. Whether you pick them from the wild or from your own planting, learn to tell the difference between the Native American High Bush Cranberry and the bitter European kind.

Cows Without Legs, Part 2: Forage Management

Here is the second half of my strangely-titled discourse on grass cattle management. I have come to the conclusion that on a correctly managed enterprise, cattle should appear not to have legs (hidden within tall grasses). In Part 1, I discussed the animal side of this philosophy. Now I’ll continue with the forage aspect of it.

The Wise Grid Series, Part 2: The Hudson Valley ‘Energy Highway’ Transmission Project — An Idea Whose Time Has Passed?

A 150-mile transmission line project proposed in 2012 costing up to $1.3 billon is a “dinosaur” that is still haunting the Hudson Valley. But rooftop solar energy, battery storage, and community microgrids can replace the ancient, costly, and vulnerable centralized generation and transmission electricity system that has dominated New York and the entire nation — and advanced little technologically — for over a century.

Mountain Hunting

A short story about how deer and deer hunting have changed in both the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley of New York State.

Selling Honey at Fairs and Festivals, Part 1: Planning Ahead

Have you thought about selling your extra honey and beeswax products at a fair or festival? In Part 1 of a three-part series, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss how to get started in selling your products of the hive.

When Good Bees Go Bad

Most honeybee hives are calm and gentle. But every once in a while you may come across a hive that seems unusually aggressive. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain what steps they take to deal with an abnormally aggressive hive of bees.

Unusual Fruits, Part 1: What to Do with Gooseberries (with Jam Recipe)

Today, a significant number of gardeners and cooks are trying out unusual fruits, but information about growing, using, and preserving them is often hard to come by. This is especially true of gooseberries, which can be turned into delicious desserts and can easily be preserved. Because they are rich in natural pectin, they make superb jams, jellies, and marmalade without the addition of commercial pectin.

Boiling Water Bath vs. Pressure Canning

Which foods are safe to process in a boiling water bath and which must be canned in a pressure canner? The answer is the single most important thing you need to know if you want to safely preserve food in canning jars.

One of the Best Ways to Help The Environment Is to Remedy Ourselves

Most environmental activists focus on top down policy changes to combat global challenges like climate change. But to enact real change, we need to look inwards. The environmental challenges we face in the 21st century are outcomes of who we collectively are as individuals. The best ways to help the environment is to better ourselves.


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?

Perfect Rhubarb Pie from Garden to Table

Rhubarb, a once-neglected fruit (or vegetable) that was hard to find, is making a comeback as a result of the real food movement among gardeners and cooks. Based on decades of self-reliant living, I give the reader all the information that is needed to produce a perfect rhubarb pie from garden to table, from planting, growing, and harvesting, to producing a pie with a never-fail pie crust.

Parsnips as a Staple Crop

Though they are less popular than potatoes, carrots and turnips, parsnips are a fantastic storage veggie.

Citizen Scientists Monitor and Map

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has several Citizen-Science Projects to engage individuals and communities in actively participating in conservation efforts. Learn more about these programs and how to become involved.

How to Keep a Critical Valve from Freezing

I used this tried and true method of preventing a valve from freezing. There was no electricity as a back-up crutch for this mission critical valve and I kept it open through the coldest February on record.

Help Your Trees By Burning Firewood

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.

Beehive Components: Wooden vs. Plastic

One decision you will need to make when purchasing beehives is whether to use plastic or wooden hives and frames. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss the pros and cons of plastic and wooden hive components for your bees.

Animal Handling

How big of a priority are good animal handling facilities?

Backyard Sugaring for Homemade Maple Syrup

Sugar maple is not the only tree that produces abundant sap in late winter and early spring. Sycamore; black walnut; paper, black, and yellow birch trees; and all maples trees can be tapped for their sap. However, some are sweeter than others. Here are lessons for backyard maple tapping and things to consider before beginning to make your own maple syrup.

The Birds Are Coming. Are You Ready?

Spring bird migration is underway! Backyard gardeners play a valuable role in supporting birds during this vulnerable time. Learn what you can do in your own yard to help migrants.

Preparing for Spring Beekeeping

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will offer some tips on preparing for a successful start to the beekeeping season!

Two Brothers Grow, Hunt and Forage for All Their Own Food for a Year

For calendar year 2015 brothers Edmund and Garth Brown are eating only food that they have produced on their farm or bartered for from a neighbor. To do this successfully they must raise and butcher their own meat, hunt, forage, and cultivate a large vegetable garden.

What Is All the Buzzzz?

Native bees are a necessary component of maintaining native habitats. Their role is increasingly important as honeybee populations struggle with Colony Collapse Disorder. Learn what you can do to support your local pollinators this spring.

Using Honey to Make Mead

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain the basics of a fun winter project - how to make homemade mead!

Cold-Weather Foraging for Hardy Henbit Greens

Henbit and red dead nettle are two tasty leafy greens that are available even when there is snow on the ground. Here's how to identify them in the field and use them in recipes.

Winter Bird Survival

Birds are survivors. Learn about different adaptations birds have to thrive during the dark, cold winter days. And, what you can do to support winter bird survival in your backyard.

My Beekeeping New Year's Resolutions

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will share her beekeeping goals for the New Year, along with some tips on how to make them happen.

Cows Without Legs, Part 1: Choosing Genetics and Management for Pastured Beef Production

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.

How to Extract Seeds

How to effectively remove seeds from vegetables, fruits, flowers or herbs isn’t always obvious. Or easy. Sometimes you have to get creative.

Gifts from the Hive

Jennifer Ford, of Bees of the Woods Apiary, will share how she uses honey and beeswax from her beehives to make useful and creative gifts.

The Resurgence of School Gardens

School gardens play a vital role in our nations educational systems. Though the concept dates back to the 1800s, their role has gained popularity in the last 20 years, and for good reasons.

Beekeeping with a Honeybee Allergy

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary talks about her experience with developing an allergy to honeybee venom, and how she manages this allergy to be able to continue beekeeping.

Planning Yard Projects for Next Year? Begin With a YardMap

The YardMap Network is a citizen science project designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat, for both people concerned with their local environments and professional scientists. The program is housed at the Lab of Ornithology, in Ithaca, New York. We collect data by asking individuals across the country to draw maps of their backyards, parks, farms, favorite birding locations, schools, and gardens.

How to Save Seeds From Peppers

Saving seeds from peppers is easy. All you need is a pot of water, a drying screen, and peppers. And gloves if you're processing hot peppers...

Foraging for Ginkgo Nuts

Hidden inside the stinky orange pulp of the fruits of the ginkgo tree is a delicious, pistachio colored edible seed. Here's how to identify and prepare ginkgo (without the stinky parts) by foraging for ginkgo nuts!

How to Save Seeds From Dry-Seeded Crops

How you harvest and save seeds depends on whether a crop is dry-seeded or wet-seeded. Here are the steps for collecting and cleaning seed from a dry-seeded crop like chervil.

Foraging Heart-Healthy Hawthorn

Hawthorn fruits are in season in late summer and early fall. They are delicious, and also heart-healthy — eat your medicine!

At the Hive Entrance

Did you know that you can learn a lot about the condition of your beehives simply by watching the entrance of the hive? Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain what to look for, and what it might mean. No smoke or hive tool necessary!

A College Degree No Longer a Guarantee

We are currently facing a job crisis. Most jobs available today require specific skills and not college diplomas. Congress recently passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act which should help train workers but fails to take note of the booming green job market.

Understanding the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Congress passed a piece of legislation which could have a serious impact on the nation's job crisis. This post explains the act, analyzes its impact, and notes that the whole renewable job sector has been pretty much ignored.

The Dirty Little Secret of the Electronic Era

Electronic waste, aka e-waste, is the fastest growing waste stream of our time. E-waste is considered hazardous waste and more often than not, is recycled improperly. But there are ways to avoid contributing to the growth of this toxic waste.

Honeybee Swarms

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss honeybee swarms, and how to try to prevent your bees from swarming.

Lessons Learned On a Seed Farm

Achieving real food independence means gaining the knowledge and skills to grow, harvest and store food. The best way to do this is working on a small, local farm.

Principles of Forage Recovery Chart

A sustainable, profitable grazing system starts with one thing: full pasture recovery. Destroying your land can also start at the same point, if you don't allow enough rest. This chart summarizes the principles of mob grazing for those who don't have the time or desire to read dozens of articles. Hang it up in the barn!

First Beehive Inspection of Spring

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain how they perform the first beehive inspections of the year. This will be the first step in what will hopefully be a successful year in the beeyard!

Early Spring Foraging: Violets

Violet leaves are one of the best wild edible salad greens. Their pretty, edible flowers are only in season for a few weeks.

Sudden Chicken Death: What Are the Causes?

When a chicken dies suddenly for no obvious reason, it's unsettling. But it's not uncommon. Here are some possible causes for that sudden death in your otherwise healthy flock.

Early Spring Foraging: Garlic Mustard

Garlic mustard has spicy, delicious leaves, flowers, seeds, and roots. It is an invasive species that may be harvested without sustainability concerns. In fact, you'll be doing your environment a favor if you eat this plant!

Making Beeswax Candles

From cleaning raw beeswax to enjoying the final product, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will take you step by step through the process of making beeswax candles.

Cold Weather Foraging: Birch

Birch trees are easy to identify in winter thanks to their distinctive bark, and they offer a hot drink, aromatic flour and sweet syrup to cold weather foragers.

Appreciating the Tastes of Regional Honey

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss how to enjoy a little taste of summer in the middle of winter by developing a new appreciation for honey!

Avoiding Disaster: Why We Need Green Development

But what happens if progress in poverty’s eradication far-outpaces green energy solutions? Two of the most important issues of our century — clean energy and poverty eradication - are potentially mutually exclusive, if development efforts do not factor in increased consumption that will occur.

Dealing With Winter Honeybee Withdrawal

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary shares some beekeeping crafts and activities to pass the time until you can get back out in the beeyard this spring.

Sustainable Food Lessons From Kenya

In Kenya, even for middle class families, much of what ends up on the dinner table is grown or raised at home. With food prices rising, more and more Americans are looking towards ways of growing some of what ends up on their table at home. Both in terms of personal health, and the environment, this is a very good trend—it's a food source as local as you can get.

Building a Chicken Coop

Chickens rock. One way to make the chicken experience even more rewarding is to build your own coop. Here's a description of one coop and some ideas for you.

Start Planning Now for Bees in the Spring!

Becoming a beekeeper takes a lot of planning and preparation. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain some steps you can take now to start getting ready to keep bees in the spring.

Foraging in the Cold Months: Chickweed

Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a common garden weed that thrives in the cool temperatures of late fall and early spring. Here's how to identify and use this delicious wild vegetable.

Three Ways to Gauge Pastured Livestock Health

Here are three easy observations you can make every day to see how your animals are performing. Use them to constantly adjust your grazing program, instead of “flying blind” until sale day or weighing. They can help you adjust paddock size or give supplemental nutrients.

Do Not Overlook Nuts

My nutty endeavors have reaped nutty - and delicious and healthful - rewards.

Having Guests Visit Your Beeyard

Having guests visit your beeyard takes a lot of planning and preparation. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary shares her experience having visitors in the beeyard, along with some tricks and tips to make the visit go more smoothly for everyone.

Foraging Chickens for Free

How to identify and cook with chicken of the woods mushroom, one of the most delicious and easy to identify wild edible mushrooms.

Early Autumn in the Beeyard – Preparing for Winter!

Although winter may seem a long way off, starting to prepare your beehives for winter now will pay off later. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will describe what they do to get their beehives ready for winter.

How to Make Tangy Sumac Extract

Tastes like lemonade, has the beautiful blush color of rose wine, and comes from a plant that's almost certainly growing near you - here's how to make and use sumac extract.

Honeybees and Robbing

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary explains how to prevent, identify and stop robbing in the beeyard.

Save Your Seeds

Want to grow and save your own vegetable seeds? Meet Fruition Seeds. They produce regionally-adapted, organically-grown seeds. And they can show you how to do it too.

Foraging and Cooking With Wild Sorrel

How to identify, harvest and cook with wood sorrel and sheep sorrel, both common weeds that have the same exquisite lemon flavor as cultivated French sorrel.

Small-Scale Medicinal Herb Farming: A (Very) Personal Journey

From the moment of realization that the world of healing herbs was calling Susanna Raeven, to herfirst herbal class, to running a small-scale herb farm that grows medicinal herbs with organic methods, to creating artisan herbal products, and finally to working with clients to help them find balance in their lives with the generous support of the plant kingdom, the journey has been quite a ride with many joyous moments, but also doubts, insecurities, and cloudy days.

Honey Harvest - Part One

One of the most fun parts of beekeeping is harvesting honey. Here we will look at the first part of the honey harvest, removing the honey supers from the hives, and how to store them safely.

A Compost Happening

I feed and water my compost “pets,” and they do the same for my plants.

New York Bike Share Program Stirs Controversy

In less than a month, Citi Bike – New York’s public bicycle option – has taken the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn by storm. Unfortunately, the highly anticipated bike share program already has its share of haters.

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.

Fight Climate Change With Weeds?

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.


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.