Inventory Your Food Preservation

Keep an inventory of your jars, freezer packs and dehydrated foods to help prioritize your food preservation efforts.

Food Storage Options when Living Off-Grid

Because I like high-quality food but live somewhere that doesn't have a year-round growing season, the best way for me to ensure I have it available is to stockpile, store, and preserve food when it is in season and plentiful.

A Pickling Story

Canning is a humbling production. I scribble a note onto my recipe page: Do not quadruple batch. It is easy to get overzealous, lured by the harvest and the jar count at the end of the day. I get excited about bounty and forget about endurance, every year.

Freezing Broccoli and Beans

You get the most nutrient-dense vegetables by eating or freezing them immediately after picking. Don't know how to freeze broccoli or beans? Read on to learn vegetable freezing techniques.

Sauteed String Beans Recipe

Here's a recipe for sautéed green beans and guidelines for blanching and freezing green beans for garden food preservation.

Freezing Corn and Berries

Taking a little time to freeze some corn and berries this summer can not only save you some serious money, but it can make your winters much more pleasant. Here's how to freeze berries and freeze corn for year-long food security with summer flavor.

3 Low-Sugar Methods for Preserving Strawberries

Strawberries are a core component of our annual diet, as they’re one of the easiest fruits to grow and preserve. Many guidelines for strawberry preservation call for extraordinary amounts of added sugar, which we’ve found quite unnecessary for the fresh, sweet, high-quality berries we grow. Here are the three main ways we handle our fresh berries.

How to Render Oil from Beef Fat

My freezer is full of beef fat and I finally rendered tallow for cooking oil. We raise some pastured beef for our family, and while we enjoy the grass-fed beef, we have been slower to learn the art of cooking with homemade oil. That's changing. Read how and why I learned to render oil from beef fat to make homemade cooking oil (tallow).

Real Food for Your Skin

Feed your skin real food with homemade skin-care recipes by Rosemary Gladstar.

Freezing Whole Tomatoes

Yes, you can freeze whole tomatoes! Preserve the harvest in a flash and save the saucing for later.

Building a Cabin with a Portable Sawmill

By sawing his own lumber from fallen trees, Billy Reeder not only built his cabin debt-free on family land, he also built a new life — a deliberate life. A good life.

Bake Chewy, Gluten-Free Almond Cookies

I found a recipe in the King Arthur Cookie Companion that I developed a little so that I can now gift my gluten-intolerant friends with delicious cookies. Homemade almond paste is best here, but store-bought will do. Freshly made, these cookies have chewy texture; after a few days, they become airy and crunchy. Just as delicious either way. This recipe makes about 30 two-inch cookies.

How to Make Great Kale Chips

Kale chips are the rage and they cook up quickly, but they can be tricky to make. Here are some tips to making great kale chips.

Technological Challenges of Off-Grid Homestead Living, Part 5: Heat

This is the final article in a series on how I made the transition to off grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years of human history. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small house.

Preserving Milk: How to Balance Dairy Production Year-Round

Dairy animals such as goats produce milk in a seasonal cycle, requiring homesteaders to handle both an abundance and shortage of milk during the year. Freezing milk directly, and making & preserving cheese, are two ways to ensure a reliable supply of dairy year-round. Allowing your diet to change with the seasons can also reduce the impact of low-milk periods, replacing its nutrition with food crops or meat when milk isn’t convenient to produce.

Make Raised Garden Beds with Logs

With hardwood logs and a tractor, House in the Woods Farm set up these easy raised garden beds. Here's how to make raised beds for your herb garden or vegetable plot.

How to Make Applesauce and Preserve it Three Ways

To get the most from a crop of apples, pears, or quince, make applesauce using all apples, or a combination of these pome fruits. Then preserve your applesauce by freezing, canning, or making fruit leather for delicious homemade snacks.

Food Fermentation at the FAIR

Fermentation is the rage at the Pennsylvania MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. Here's a peak at Sandor Katz' presentation and some of the cool new vendors who have joined the fermentation revitalization.

Step-By-Step Construction for Owner-Built Small Homes

Estimating the work load and minimizing re-work is the key to happy owner-builders of small homes. The basic steps are similar wither you build a straw-bale, stick-frame, or masonry structure, all must be completed within the relatively short building season.

‘Court of Two Sisters’ Eggplant Casserole Recipe

Twenty-five years ago, my daughter and I treated ourselves to New Orleans' famous Jazz Brunch at the Court of Two Sisters. One dish impressed me so much, I begged for the recipe. Our server took my plea to the kitchen and the chef actually sent down a copy! I have made some minor changes and offer it here that you, too, can enjoy this comforting eggplant dish.

Preserving My Tomato Harvest (with Tomato Paste Recipe)

So, what to do when you are eating tomatoes at every meal and still have them coming? It is time to preserve them! There are 3 easy ways to preserve the tomato harvest for fresh from the garden taste year round: freezing, water bath canning, and drying.

Test Acidity for Canning Education

Test the acidity of your batch for water bath canning to ensure that you are meeting requirements for a high acid food. Testing acidity is a great way to understand the role it plays in canning safety. This is an educational tool and not a license to change lab-tested recipes.

6 Ways to Make Food Preservation Faster, Easier and Cooler

Freezing, fermenting, and using a steam canner can reduce the amount of time it takes to preserve foods. Some vegetables can be blanched without freezing, and some can be cooked in a finished dish to make efficient use of your time while the weather is still hot.

Livable Space Design for Tiny Homes

Designing a tiny home can seem like a Rubik’s cube challenge—finding ways to shift things around when needed and out-of-the-way when done. Find out how to integrate inside/outside rooms, single/multiple rooms, and built-ins and fold-outs into your tiny house design; plus learn about the “14 Basic Requirements of a Livable Home.”

Pesto Three Ways

Every summer, I make sure that I get plenty of pesto made and put up in little tubs in the freezer — enough to get me through the winter. There are three different kinds I like to have on hand for use in various dishes: Italian Pesto, French Pistou, and Hatch Pesto. They’re easy to make, freeze well, and make an ordinary meal into something special.

5 Best Food Preservation Methods for Green Beans and Shelling Beans

Food preservation methods for green beans include freezing, drying, pressure canning, pickling, and dry salting. Shell beans may be enjoyed fresh, if harvested when immature. Immature shelling beans are best preserved by freezing. Fully matured beans are usually dried, and may also be pressure canned. This article contains instructions for preparing and preserving green beans and shelling beans by using all of these food preservation methods.

Time to Mow Down Your Kale

Is your kale patch infested with insects? It may be time to mow it down and start a fresh patch for fall. But, don't worry: Here’s a chard variety to get you by in the meantime while you wait for your fall kale to come up.

Uses for Over-Sized Zucchini

Did you wait too long to pick your zucchini and now you grew baseball bats? Here are some ideas for making use of your oversized zucchini.

How to Make Your Own Mayo

A recipe for whisking up a batch of homemade mayonnaise and a full serving of DIY empowerment.

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.

Why a Farmer Stars in My Response to Fifty Shades of Grey with Recipe

A forty-something woman stumbles into a booth at a farmer's market, looks up, and sees a handsome farmer. You may know that the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey also begins with a tumble and winds up with love. It's no coincidence: my book Fifty Weeks of Green is a comic response to Fifty Shades that celebrates sustainable living.

Invest in Regular Family Dinners (With Recipe)

Gather your extended family around the table to share home-cooked, healthy meals on a regular basis. Reap the rewards of laughter, pleasure, and deepening relationships for very little money. Get started with my recipe for Beans with Caramelized Onions and Carrots. Ten servings cost about ten dollars using organic, heirloom beans and about seven dollars using pinto beans.

Cheesemaking Trials

Ilene White Freedman starts her cheesemaking trials with an aged pressed cheddar cheese with goat's milk from the farm.

Fire Takes a Homestead

After fire took her friends’ award-winning historic, renovated home only a year after its completion, Ilene White Freedman asks “Who will rebuild their spirits?” A follow-up to her post about the home's renovation.

Tea Straws

A bombilla is a Latin American tea straw used to drink yerba mate. Why not use it to enjoy all kinds of loose herbal teas? Ilene White Freedman shares a story, a tea recipe and links to others recipes.

DIY Spice Mixes

Making your own spice mix is a quick, easy DIY project. Ilene White Freedman shares her chili powder DIY project woes. Learn from her discoveries before you start your batch.

How to Build a Low-Cost DIY Yurt from Sticks, String and Mud

This variation on the (endlessly adaptable) traditional Mongolian yurt design was inspired by the work of master yurt builder, educator, and homesteader Bill Coperthwaite (who was also a neighbor and friend of the Nearings). This low-cost yurt design combines basketry, wattle and daub, and basic lashing (similar to skin-on-frame boats). Not much more than a glorified tent, this DIY yurt made from sticks, string and mud makes a very comfortable, durable and beautiful tiny house, studio, or meditation space.

How To Make Ancho-Chili Powder

It took a year for Ilene White Freedman to make homegrown, homemade Ancho-Chili Powder. Find out how she did it.

Going, Going, Gone...Off-Grid

How to go from buying everything at Wally World to growing organic vegetables, raising livestock, building an efficient home, and a Do-It-Yourself, self-sufficient lifestyle.

Is It Free-Range or Pasture-Raised?

Like many things related to food, the free-range label misleads customers, so we explore the differences between free-range and pasture-raised.

How to Freeze Peppers

Use this simple technique to preserve your bounty of fresh summer peppers.

Phil's Dancing Carrots

If you are challenged by growing carrots, you might consider transplanting them and growing some dancing carrots.

Growing Corn Early

Growing corn early by transplanting may be unconventional, but its a great way to beat the challenges and...eat corn in July!

Lazy Gardener's Tomato Sauce Recipe

Not enough hours in the day? Want to make tomato sauce but are short on time? Use this recipe to make great-tasting tomato sauce (using frozen tomatoes)at your leisure. Perfect for pressure canning and delicious!

Goat Midwifery

Ilene White Freedman’s goat is in labor, reminding Ilene of her own natural childbirth experiences.

Hoop House Transformation

The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.

Making Echinacea Tincture

Echinacea tincture is easy to make. Getting through the psychological inertia might be the hard part of the process.

Garlic as Medicine

Learn how to take garlic as medicine — garlic is a potent natural antibiotic and immune-booster.

Six and a Half Money-Saving Tips

Inspired by the recent Mother Earth News article, "65 Money Saving Tips", this piece shares how we at the Be the Change Product spend little and live better.

Candlemas: A Midwinter Homesteader's Holiday

Candlemas is an ancient midwinter holiday, when people would take inventory on their stock of candles, pantry food storage and hay in the barn to get the homestead through the second half of winter.

Sheep Come to the Homestead-Warming Party

Ilene White Freedman celebrates with her friends at their homestead-warming, after over two years of living in a trailer while renovating a dilapidated house. Their restoration includes the original logs and stone kitchen of a historic cabin. Some uninvited guests from the farm’s livestock take a house tour too.

Looking for Reader Reports on Debt-Free Homes

Did you buy or build a home without going into debt? We're looking for stories on homes built with a small mortgage, or no mortgage at all. Here's what we want to know.

Sarah's 'Farm Chi' Kimchi Recipe

Sarah is a friend to the farm who taught Ilene Freedman how to make "Farm Chi." Farm Chi is Sarah’s version of kimchi, fermented mixed vegetables from the seasonal farm harvest.

Rewriting Holiday Traditions

Ilene Freedman and her family reshaped their Chanukah tradition to feature family activities instead of presents.

A Healthy Bed: Your Most Important Furniture Choice

When it comes to your health and well-being your bed is the most important furniture choice you will make. This article describes why and how to choose the healthiest bed options for you and your family.

Farming Is Hard Work

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

Mulching Systems: Our Story

After a long trial-and-error process, Ilene White Freedman finally found a sustainable, weed-suppressing mulching system for her farm.

Strawberry Bliss

Springtime happiness can be measured by the sweetness of your strawberry patch.

Young People Are Driving Less

Driving patterns now closely resemble those from 1995, as young drivers are finding alternative forms of transportation.

Mini-Hoop Keeps Seedlings Warm

Baby greenhouse plants are spring babies too, just like the birth of baby animals. Here’s a way to keep them warm in the hoophouse.

Free Range Winter Chickens

How both we and the chickens have gotten better at surviving the cold winters where we live.

Permaculture Chicken: Pasture Basics

Summing up pasture data where it relates to chickens and customizing land to better suit poultry and their behavior and stomachs. Measuring oil viscosity levels and rescuing a trailer with a portable winch were some of our favorite things.

Cooking at home…on vacation

Cooking meals on a vacation can be easy. Bring some essential items with you and enjoy homecooking, on vacation.

DIY Bicycle Turn Signals

Improve your nighttime cycling safety with these do-it-yourself bicycle turn signals.

Making Clementine Candles

How to make candles you can really light from the peel of Clementine oranges. A wintertime craft...just oil and an orange peel!

Dipping Beeswax Candles

We dipped candles from our hive's beeswax to celebrate winter. Candlemaking is a nice seasonal craft. Here’s how we did it, plus some tips to get you started.

Protecting Fig Trees from Cold and Best Wood Chopping Tool

Protecting the fig tree for the winter felt like putting it to bed for a long sleep. Chopping wood with the Chopper 1 is a thing of joy and beauty and that's no joke. Do it yourself corn bin helped our neighbor keep the racoons out.

Car-Free Week, Dare to Ride!

Bike-Free Day happens all over the world on Sept. 22. Grist is challenging the US to rise to the occasion and celebrate with the global community this Saturday.

Puyallup Fair Ticket Giveaway

Still looking to score free tickets to the 2012 Puyallup Mother Earth News Fair? Here's your chance! Tell us what you want to see at the Fair no later than Friday, May 25, and you'll be entered for a chance to win a pair of tickets.

Lively Potato Salad

A very lively potato salad recipe that is always a hit at potlucks.

Compost: The Other Prize from the Business End of a Chicken

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.

Best way to sharpen an axe?

Summing up the past week with a few highlights that help to illustrate how we've been getting along in the ending days of the 2012 winter season.

Feel-Good Friday: That's Not Honey, Honey

In more shocking news about the honey on U.S. store shelves, a Food Safety News study analyzes more than 60 jars of honey and finds that nearly all of them have been ultra-filtered to disguise their potentially tainted and toxic origins.

Pack a Litter-Free Lunch Using Lunchopolis Containers

Find out how to pack a litter-free lunch using a lunchopolis lunchbox by Enviro Products. The lunchbox containers are BPA-free and can help you cut down on 3.5 billion pounds of lunchbox garbage generated every year.

Kids Konserve

Kids Konserve provides solutions for packing waste-free lunches.

Gluten-Free Cooking with Cookbook Authors

The Gluten and Allergen Free Expo provides a chance to be inspired and energized by the most passionate and creative gluten-free cookbook authors and bloggers.

Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free Review

Amy Green's Simply Sugar and Gluten Free: 180 Easy and Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less offers quick, flavorful and nutritious meals, snacks, and desserts.

Welcome to the Gluten-Free Foods and Recipes Blog!

You can live a joyful gluten-free life! Through this blog, Wendy Gregory Kaho and other gluten-free experts will share their firsthand experiences and favorite tips for living well with celiac disease. The blog will regularly feature gluten-free foods and recipes, cookbooks, Internet resources, and much more.

Pay the Farmer or Pay the Doctor

Labels on commercial foods are difficult to decipher and misleading. For healthful food, healthy bodies, healthy communities and planet, we need to grow and purchase our food locally.

Recycled Plastic Block Houses

Turn low value plastic trash into valuable building blocks with a $300 homemade press. Free plans for a hand operated press are available. A mechanized version could be made by converting a log splitter.

Gluten-Free Foods: Cookies, Crackers and Snack Product Review

Many people living with gluten intolerance, wheat allergies or Celiac disease are often left without many standard snack options. The MOTHER EARTH NEWS editorial team samples and reviews organic, gluten-free foods to find some yummy, gluten-free snack products.

Food is Love

Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.

Non-Dairy Cheese: Product Reviews

Whether you abstain from dairy by choice or you’re lactose intolerant, you probably know how difficult it can be to find really great non-dairy cheese. I’ve taken away some of the guesswork by reviewing some popular brands: Vegan Gourmet, Daiya, Dr-Cow, Chreese and The Vegetarian Express. Read about my dairy-free cheese experiences, and let us know which brands you’re loyal to.

Natural Hair Care: Three Reasons to Live Shampoo Free

Natural hair care products are a great substitute for chemical-heavy beauty brands, but you shouldn’t have to break the bank to get healthy hair. Learn about life without store-bought shampoo, how to create your own natural shampoo and conditioner and what it takes to make your head happy, both outside and in.

Free Land: Build Your Homestead Without the Debt

Small towns across the country in need of a population boost are literally giving away free land to attract new residents and boost their populations. Seekers of the quiet (and low-cost) small town lifestyle can now grab some free land to build their homes.

Gluten-Free Baking Mixes and Other Gluten-Free Products

Gluten-free baking is becoming more popular all the time, even among people who don’t suffer from Celiac disease. With all the new gluten-free desserts and other products on the market, which are some of the best (or at least good) products? The editors of Mother Earth News sampled several new gluten-free products.

Is Free Enterprise the Key to Future Success?

American wealth and influence are often attributed to free enterprise and the personal liberty promised in the Constitution. While it’s true they've been conducive to economic success, we also had an enormous head start in the race to dominate the industrial revolution - with our sparsely populated continent packed with natural resources. The question is, how well will our free enterprise system work in a world with far fewer resources?

Talking Turkey for T-Day

This Thanksgiving consider opting for a pastured turkey instead of a commercially raised bird, and think about buying local Thanksgiving foods, too.

Eggciting News!!!

The results of our latest nutrition tests show that eggs from hens raised on pasture (true free-range eggs) exceed commercially raised eggs in vitamin D content.