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.

Comparing Soap Ingredients: Farm-Made Goat's Milk vs Corporate-Brand Soaps

Here are the ingredients listed on the Dove Brand label, with a comparison to the ingredients in our Goat’s Milk Soap. The definitions and explanations for the ingredients were taken from the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep website. No interpretations or judgements were added.

Echinacea: A Common Medicinal for a Variety of Ailments

Echinacea has a rich history, used by several Native American tribes of North America for different purposes, the chief one being as an analgesic (it relieved fever, headaches, and provided pain relief). Echinacea is a natural remedy to turn to the next time you or a family member come down with a cold.

Homemade Soap for Laundry and Gifts

I used to think of soap-making as one of those cool things I’d love to try someday, but for a long time it seemed too complex and intimidating. Then, one day it so happened that I had all the necessary ingredients – namely, a box of lye crystals and a bottle of non-food-grade oil I had absolutely nothing else to do with. I took a deep breath and dove in. Even a beginner soap-maker can produce simple, multi-purpose, natural soap at home.

How My Husband and I Went From Corporate Drones to Tropical Organic Farmers in Puerto Rico

Learn what the catalyst was behind the huge leap from corporate drones to becoming organic farmers in Puerto Rico — despite knowing nothing about farming, not speaking the language and knowing only a handful of people. Although family and friends thought we were crazy, it was the sanest decision we ever made, and we couldn’t be happier with the way our life has turned out. Amid animals being dropped off to us, frequent power and water outages, and being separated from our family, we are truly happy for the first time in our lives.

Meet Delilah, Our Black-Mouth Cur Guardian Dog

The Black Mouth Cur mountain dog is not one of the more popular breeds in the homesteading community, and yet, it used to be one of the most popular homestead dogs around. Let me introduce you to our new pup, Delilah, the Black-Mouth Cur, and tell you about the amazing abilities and history of this homestead dog breed.

Building with Physical Limitations

Living with injury is a constant struggle for everyone, especially someone aiming to homestead. Even a simple thing such as getting a sack of chicken feed out of the car can be a problem, and we often ask a neighbor for help with that. Here is what to do when health issues interfere with building the home of your dreams.

Senior Homesteading: The Reality

Seniors face different challenges when homesteading than those who are younger, and so have to adjust accordingly to bring their self-sufficiency dreams to reality.

Health and Environmental Effects of Triclosan

Recent scientific studies suggest that the widely used antibacterial substance triclosan is not as harmless as we thought it was. It has significant health effects on different systems of the human body, while toxic intermediate can form easily once it is released in the environment.

Healthy ‘Texas Caviar’ Southern Pea Salad Recipe

Folks here mostly cook purple hull peas with quantities of fatty pork. Although this is similar to the way we Yankees bake beans, I wanted to try something healthier, more Mediterranean. I came up with a pea salad they call “Texas Caviar” and developed my own version of this healthy, nutritious dish.

5 Tips for Homesteading with Kids

One of the primary reasons we purchased our homestead was to create a place that would be better for our kids — a place where we could provide for them and also help them to develop a sense of connection to the play where they are growing up. These strategies are helping us to find that balance, all while realizing that we have the rest of our lives to build our homestead but only a few precious years when our children are young.

Unplugging to Reconnect: Homesteading and the Kids' Higher Education, Part 4

Less common, but proven, strategies for securing a child's college education can keep the child involved in the building and running of the homestead through their years of higher education while producing a more well-rounded, responsible, mature, and competitive graduate — all at a fraction of the cost of more typical approaches.

6 Fun Summer Activities for Free-Range Kids

The ability to entertain yourself is a crucial skill for children of any background. The key to self-driven summer fun is setting acceptable boundaries of when and where your children may go, how long they can stay out, a communication plan to get in touch with them if needed, and to provide them easy access to tools and supplies that will enrich their experience.

Potential Health Impacts from Photovoltaics

We all know that renewable energy is an important part of a greener, more sustainable future, but are there health risks associated with home-scale photovoltaic installations? The jury is still out in the world of industry-sponsored and independent research, but there is a fast-growing segment of the population who feels ill from our ever-increasing use of electricity and wireless frequencies.

Walking Makes Strides in All Kinds of Communities

“The health benefits of walking are so overwhelming that to deny access to that is a violation of fundamental human rights,” declared Dr. Robert D. Bullard, father of the environmental justice movement in a keynote speech at the National Walking Summit in Washington, D.C. “All communities should have a right to a safe, sustainable, healthy, just, walkable community.” We found inspiring stories from places across the U.S. where people got things started in communities not so different from where you live.

Connecting to Tradition by Canning with Children

Little hands aren’t meant to get in the way — they are helping hands if you let them be. By having our little people help us while we are cooking, gardening, or doing some other task, they are learning a life lesson from you. And best of all, you’re making memories.

Study Finds Benefits in Mediterranean Way of Eating

The blessings of the Mediterranean diet have been praised for years. The fact that a diet based on olive oil, vegetables, and pulses has significant cardiovascular benefits makes it immediately a sensible and healthy gastronomic choice. But thanks to a major scientific study, we may also have some real evidence that Mediterranean diet is a powerful and tasty way to prevent serious chronic diseases.

How to Prepare for Raising Goats

Getting ready for goats means setting up a stall and pasture and making sure you have all the right food for them.

Start an Annual 'Farmers and Friends' Meeting

Getting to know your local farmers and learning more about how to farm can be an annual event. From the novice to the experienced farmer, chef, or backyard gardener, an annual meeting is a great way to expand the knowledge base and make new friends.

Herbalist and Artist Create Everyday Guides for Healthy Living

The ‘Everyday Living Series’ by Thyme Herbal offers a supportive guide for healthy living. The series is created by herbalist Brittany Wood Nickerson, who shares her experiences and advice concerning herbal practices and homesteading.

Repel Mosquitoes with These Plants, Part 2: Thyme, Rosemary, Mint, and Lavender

This article highlights four herbs that repel mosquitoes naturally and you’re probably already growing them in your garden: 'Creeping Lemon' thyme, Rosemary, Mint, and Lavender! All these mosquito-repellent plants are easy to grow, do well in containers, and actually attract beneficial birds and insects.

The Exciting Herbal Resurgence

Herbalism has a rich, beautiful history and is once again finding a place in many modern homes. Now is a vibrant, exciting time to be an herbalist!

Low-Cost Garden Fertilizer from Sardines (with Recipe)

Garden fertilizer comes in all shapes, sizes, and formulas. Books and magazines maintain you can make your own by mixing this and that, and you’re flowers and veggies will amaze you. You can, however, follow our simple, sardine-based recipe for homemade garden fertilizer and not have to spend any extra money.

Make A DIY Painted Coffee Mug

If you’re looking for a special, one-of-a-kind gift for Father’s Day, this hand-painted coffee mug might be the DIY project idea for you.

Drummer Shares Tips for Healthy Living While on the Road

Being a touring musician poses challenges for a healthy life. I’m always trying to figure out how to get vitamins and nutrients without having to carry a garden behind the tour bus. There are things you can do in almost every profession to live more sustainably and help the environment, and I share some of my go-to tips here.

Cover Crops for Spring, Summer, and Fall

If your cover crop was successful, and crowded out all of the weeds, you can go ahead and plant your new crop right into the cut cover crop. If your timing is right (with your cover crop in flower, cut very low to the ground, and is one of the crops listed) you can plant right into the undisturbed roots of your cover crop.

Biosolids or Biohazard? Part 2

A precedent setting legal battle is being played in Virginia's countryside. Local business owner is seeking county's permit to store and process municipal and industrial sludge inside a residential neighborhood. If he is allowed to build the biosolids processing facility - health and the quality of life of hundreds of local residents will be compromised and the permit could mean a green light to other similar enterprises mushrooming in rural areas.

Home Radon Detection and Mitigation

Radon is colorless, odorless, and invisible but it can give you lung cancer. Learn to test for radon in your home and techniques to mitigate its impacts.

Keeping Dairy Goats on Rotational Pasture 24/7 to Reduce Internal Parasites

Rotational grazing can reduce the parasite load of goats, but this is difficult to accomplish with a dairy herd which needs to return to the same location every day for milking. On our homestead, we developed a rotational shelter and management system that allowed us to keep the herd on pasture 24/7 during the warm season. This significantly reduced our reliance on chemical de-wormers and helped us feel better about the quality of our milk and our soils.

Working with Nature to Build Organic Soil, Part 5: Sustainable Grazing

Ruminants have been maligned for causing desertification and worsening climate change, but when we emulate the way nature designed herds to graze, the result is a rapid improvement in soil, forage and animal health. Our planet's health is also improved because rotational and mob-grazing takes atmospheric carbon and stores it as organic topsoil.

Entertaining Yourself When Living Off-Grid

How do you currently fill your spare time? Is it with things that are time wasters or things that are productive? How do you entertain yourself when Living Off Grid, Really?!?!

How to Build A Vegetable Bed Biodynamically, Part 2

Building raised vegetable garden beds has many benefits: They negate contending with poor soil, you can make them tall to avoid bending, avoid soil compaction and they look appealing to name a few. But how can you make them biodynamic? This post will tell you how.

Biosolids or Biohazard?

Meet Carla Jordan, the resident of a rural county of Spotsylvania, VA. This a true story of how land application of biosolids affected Carla's life and how she decided to fight for the health and welfare of her family and her community.

How To Build a Vegetable Bed Biodynamically, Part 1

Biodynamic growing can be thought of as the next step up from organic growing, as many of the principles of organic growing are followed in biodynamics. The biggest difference in biodynamics is that everything starts with the soil and the alignment of the sun and the moon in the cosmos for planting, harvesting and tending to types of plants. For those of you who are not familiar with biodynamics, let me set the scene for you here.

Homemade Coffee-Lemon Body Scrub

Eager to make some yummy, detoxifying scrubs for my arms and legs, I mixed some simple ingredients to my trusty epsom salts to achieve clarity, exfoliation, and moisture using coffee grounds, lemon zest, and coconut oil. Brilliant? Yes! Simple? You bet. Here are DIY instructions on how to make a homemade coffee-lemon body scrub!

Activists Fight Biosolids Land Application

Caroline Snyder, Ph.D.,is Professor Emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts at the Rochester Institute of Technology. For the last 20 years she has researched the politics and science of using biosolids and industrial residuals as an agricultural "fertilizer". She founded Citizens for Sludge-Free Land and is a charter member of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Here, Dr Snyder shares with us her views on the role of anti-sludge activists.

Composting FAQs Answered

There are many types of composting methods available for the urban homesteader — from fermentation bins called Bokashi systems that allow you to compost cooked foods, fish, dairy and meat, to vermicomposting, or worm composting systems, and everything in between. Learn the types of composting systems, along with what is compostable, the best compost material ratios for your situation, and troubleshooting tips for common compost problems.

Sludge Train: Toxic Biosolids Permitted in Virginia

The burden of municipal and industrial waste disposal is transformed into a commercial enterprise, with the careless disregard for growing concerns over the risks it poses to the human and animal health and to the natural environment.

Working with Nature to Build Organic Soil, Part 3: Compost

You can turn kitchen and farm "wastes" into compost, which is full of microbes and nutrition for your crops. In return, you will be able to grow disease-resistant plants that produce highly nutritious food with fantastic flavors.

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).

How and Why to Support Beneficial Bacteria During Pregnancy and Beyond

Recent scientific studies show that the baby is interacting and takes in the mother´s beneficial bacteria throughout pregnancy and during natural birth and breastfeeding. The risk for pregnancy complications seems to partially depend on whether mother´s bacteria are dominated by beneficial or potentially pathogenic strains. This new knowledge means that we need to pay close attention to the symbiotic bacteria of pregnant women and new mothers and help beneficial strains thrive and prosper.

‘Worst Walking City’ in U.S. Gets Back on its Feet

We are in the midst of a walking renaissance as millions of people discover a daily stroll can prevent disease, boost energy, ease stress, connect us with our communities, and is just plain fun. The number of us who regularly take a walk has risen six percent in the last decade. Oklahoma City is taking part to improve life for people who walk — and reaping big benefits.

Accidents Happen

Accidents happen that divert us from our plans. Learning ahead to be flexible can make things easier. Here is Cindy Conner's take on having a broken wrist.

The Sludging of Rural Communities

Agricultural use of sludge is not only detrimental to human health, but it also damages the social fabric of rural communities all across the country. Federal and state regulations are ill prepared to address medical, social and environmental consequences of this disastrous practice.

Healthy Salad in a Jar

The Salad in a Jar (aka Mason Jar Salad) has become popular for a reason. You, too, can make these delicious, easy, healthy, and convenient grab-and-go lunches!

7 Food Nutrients that Promote Optimum Health

Many people take multivitamins, calcium or fish oil to help ensure that they get the essential vitamins they need. That said, the majority of people aren't aware that there are some other supplements and foods out there that may even more beneficial to the body.

Feed the Soil First

What we know about the community of life in a healthy soil is that it is wildly diverse with a broad range of species. With so many members in the community, there is an answer for every problem. Every pest has a mortal foe waiting to attack it. There might be some occasional pest damage but very rarely a complete takeover by a particular pest or disease.

Working With Nature to Build Organic Soil

Understanding a bit of the chemistry and biology behind building healthy soil allows us to work in harmony with nature to contribute to the health of our soil, plants, food and planet.

Biosolids: More Harm than Good, Part 2

This is Part 2 of an interview with David Lewis, Ph.D. - formerly a senior-level research microbiologist at EPA-ORD. He currently serves as director of research for the Focus for Health Foundation.

Biosolids: More Harm than Good, Part 1

Dr. David Lewis, Ph.D., who was formerly a senior level research microbiologist at EPA-ORD, kindly agreed to an interview for the MOTHER EARTH NEWS blog addressing the issue of agricultural use of sewage and industrial sludge, aka – biosolids. He is one of the most prominent scientific voices in the growing opposition to biosolids land application. Dr. Lewis’ publications are frequently cited as an example of solid, unbiased scientific evidence of the danger posed by this practice.

Living Off-Grid, Really?!

Aur Beck, who has lived off-grid with solar electricity as his main power source for 18 years, shares some of his personal experiences with renewable resources throughout his life.

Rich Soil, Rich People (with Video}

This is an exciting time for the healthy food movement. The number of tools and techniques that inform organic farming and gardening is exploding. Evidence is pouring in that the conventional food system is broken and the interest in food that can lead to health grows daily.

Doctors Prescribe Walking as a Boost to Your Health

A major new study found that lack of physical activity is twice as deadly for us as obesity. But as little as 30 minutes of walking a day cuts the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in half, lowers the likelihood of diabetes by 60 percent, limits colon cancer by 31 percent for women and reduces risk of dementia, heart disease, depression, osteoporosis, glaucoma and catching a cold. This prompted U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to issue a call for Americans to walk more.

Unplugging to Reconnect: Homesteading and the Kids' Higher Education, Part 2

Less common, but proven, strategies for securing a child's college education can keep the child involved in the building and running of the homestead through their years of higher education while producing a more well rounded, responsible, mature, and competitive graduate, all at a fraction of the cost of more typical approaches.

Foliar Spraying for Improved Plant Health

Increase your garden’s productivity with foliar spraying. Improve your success rate with cuttings by foliar feeding. Organic dilutions of lime juice, peppermint essential oil and kelp can each help your plant thrive. Reduce disease and pestilence by spraying weekly at sundown on your plant’s leaves and achieve larger harvests.

Self-Healing Visualization

Learn this ocean healing visualization and access your self-healing potential through the mind-body connection.

Coyote: A Keystone Carnivore

Every member of an ecosystem community needs to be present in order to keep your land healthy and vibrant. That includes the carnivores - both terrestrial and avian. But one carnivore affects that ecosystem community more than the others: the keystone carnivore. And Coyotes play the role of the keystone carnivore in many of the landscapes of North America.

7 Ways to Increase Your Patience and Attention this Holiday Season

If you fall asleep or can't think straight at holiday gatherings, don't blame it on the turkey (or your relatives)! Research indicates that carbon dioxide is not only a greenhouse gas, but elevated levels of it are detrimental to human health and cognition. Learn how improving your indoor air quality will increase your health and stamina during holidays.

Unplugging to Reconnect: Homesteading and the Kids' Higher Education, Part 1

Less common, but proven, strategies for securing a child's college education can keep the child involved in the building and running of the homestead through their years of higher education while producing a more well rounded, responsible, mature, and competitive graduate, all at a fraction of the cost of more typical approaches.

The Benefits of Outside Games for Kids: Boost Physical and Mental Health

Given a shift towards being indoors instead of out, engaging with technology instead of nature, and sitting instead of moving, what exactly are kids missing out on? Research shows that children’s physical and mental health are both taking a toll. Encouraging outside games for kids is important in promoting their health and well being.

How to Sheet Mulch to Improve Your Yields

Sheet mulch fosters soil life, reduces weeds and feeds the soil. By sheet mulching you will reduce ongoing weeding and free up more time to make your garden more productive.

Is Breastfeeding Better for Your Baby?: 5 Benefits of Breastfeeding

The choice to breastfeed or formula feed is a highly personal one, and new mothers will need to take many factors into consideration when making the decision. Experts suggest that new mothers breastfeed exclusively for at least the first six months, if possible. Besides providing you and your baby with time to bond, studies show that breastfeeding can protect your child from a variety of illnesses and conditions.

Making Your Own Herbal Medicine: Tinctures and Infusions

To make potent extractions of the medicinal properties from plants growing nearby, you can easily learn to make your own tinctures and infusions. Alcohol-based tinctures are often used for acute or specific concerns, while water-based infusions are strong, medicinal teas which gently strengthen the body over time.

Do I Need to Use Iodized Salt?

Iodine is an essential nutrient for thyroid function, and iodine deficiency can lead to some serious health complications. Learn where this nutrient comes from and whether you need to use iodized salt to get enough of it.

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.

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.

Staying Power

We all know that summer can be a hectic season on a farmstead. Here’s some simple advice on remaining mentally strong and physically fit during the busiest time of the year.

Is Coffee Healthy?

Most people think they should ditch their coffee habit or at least cut back on it significantly. So is coffee healthy or not?

4 Calendula Uses for Your Health

The many calendula uses for health include treating diaper rash, healing wounds, and helping with side effects of radiation therapy.

Healing 101

How I encouraged a swift healing for my body.

Caretaking in Paradise

Caretaking wild places is a great way to homestead in paradise without having to afford land.

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.

Can Nourishing Herbal Infusions Replace Your Daily Multivitamin?

There is deep nutrition in weedy herbal infusions that can fill a glaring gap in our modern, processed diets. As a passionate herbalist and vegetarian who’s endeavored to pay close attention to the nutrients in my diet, I found myself wondering: Can nourishing herbal infusions replace a daily multivitamin?

Back to Basics for Improved Health

Many aspects of my homesteading life lie close to what we as humans have evolved for: the outdoors, physical activity, whole food and days and years that follows the rhythm of the seasons and the sun. But there are other, less obvious biological aspects for why I believe homesteading can improve health and well being.

Tips for Staying Healthy Through the Winter

Even with the daylight hours lately, we still have quite a bit of winter left. Good health – both physically and mentally – might require a little bit more effort than in the summer but can still be achieved and maintained though this homestretch before spring.

How to Render Beef Tallow at Home

To ensure you have quality fat in the kitchen from pastured animals, learn how to render beef tallow at home. I’ve rendered beef fat into quart jars of tallow two years in a row and consider myself seasoned in the art of avoiding too much of a mess in making it. The fat lends a flavor to dishes that is particularly desirable for Mexican foods, fried potatoes and savory pie crusts. This fat keeps for three months in a refrigerator.

Let's Make Granola

Healthy homemade granola; easy on your budget, good for your family.

How To Transition Healthfully Through Life Changes and Challenges

Practical tips for transitioning through life's changes mindfully and healthfully. This will cover simple ways to get back on track and stay focused forward. Alex and Ashley share their own personal experience with picking back up and moving forward.

Well Read

What does well read mean to you? Does the material you read and your personality traits determine how you view the world? This blog explores what well read means to me.

The Hidden Risks of Nightlights for Children

While many kids (and adults, too) might prefer to sleep with a light on, research shows that exposure to artificial light after the sun goes down can disrupt healthy body function and is associated with an increased risk for cancer. So turn off your computers, TVs, and nightlights for kids, and learn to embrace the nighttime darkness.

Who Am I?

Exploring our misconceptions of who we are when we are defined by our online presence.

Man's Best Friend

The benefits of adopting a pet. And the sadness that occurs when they die.

Hand Sanitizer Dangers

Keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer at the ready can come in handy in situations where you can’t access soap and water, but using it too often can come with some risks.

Dirty It Up With Herb-Seasoned Condiments

Don’t eat the plain, clean, boring stuff! Dirty it up with earth’s goodness in the form of herbs. There are many ways to use herbs in health and healing, and here we will share some of our favorite herb condiments to spice up any meal.

Is Chewing Gum Bad For You?

Here are four things you need to know about gum chewing to decide whether chewing gum is bad for you.

Discovering Dancing for Birth

A few words describing how I came to Dancing for Birth and why I believe every woman should dance through her birth.

Lessons from the Mother Earth News Fair

At the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Wash, I listened to lecturers cover topics from re-newable energy, small-scale farming, green building, organic gardening, simple living, and citizen solidarity building. While I listened, I pondered ways to weave these powerful themes into our children's lives.

Meet Lovely Rosemary

Rosemary is known as a tasty condiment, but it has also long been used as medicine, and makes for a blissful foot soak.

Intentional Legacy: Writing Your Own Parenting Book

In this blog post, parenting mentor Shawn Hosford introduces herself, along with some of her background and beliefs. Her hope is that this post provides the necessary foundation for continued conversations about intentional parenting.

4 Reasons to Avoid Food Preservatives

Processed foods contain a variety of chemical preservatives that have been linked to serious medical conditions. Here’s what to look for and how to avoid food preservatives.

Hot Tips to Stay Cool

Memorial Day signifies the unofficial start of summer and onset of hot weather. Use these tips to stay cool.

How To Make A Soil Block

Learning how to make a soil block is a simple skill capable of permitting one to become involved within their local CSA or farm. It can also be a great way to meet local farmers, reduce CSA membership fees, and learn about organic gardening. Before each seed is sowed it must have a soil block to grow in. Being part of that initial step brings great joy.

How to Avoid Unsafe Chemicals in Plastic

Learn about Bisphenol A (BPA) and its prevalence in plastic manufacturing, and get tips on how to limit your exposure to BPA, phthalates, and other unsafe chemicals in plastic.

Improving Garden Soil: Milk and Molasses Magic

Do you know about the magic of milk and molasses in improving your garden? Yes, plain old milk of any kind – whole, 2%, raw, dried, skim or nonfat – is a miracle in the garden for plants, soil and compost. Molasses only boosts the benefits! Let’s see how and why they work.

Preparing Soil in Our Community Garden

Garden like the Native Americans by digging up 18-inch-diameter hills on four foot centers. Get your crops started, then worry about working the areas in between the hills.

Healthy Lunch Recipes

This time of year, many are intent on healthier eating, but find it hard to find healthy foods that actually taste good. Use these 3 delicious healthy lunch recipes for a mealtime you can truly enjoy!

Ricotta and Kefir

In this blog we explore making your own ricotta and kefir, with recipes!

Making a Healing Salve or Balm

What is a salve or balm? The dictionary definition explains in simple terms, “an ointment used to promote healing of the skin or as protection.” I like this definition as it explains a simple solution for what may be a simple or complex health issue. Making salves and/or balms is also simple: They can easily be produced in your own kitchen with a few basic natural and organic ingredients.

Herbal Remedies for Colds and Flu

These natural cold and flu remedies will help you build up your immune system and reduce the duration and discomfort of colds and flu.

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.

A Vision for a Better World, Part 2

For humanity to create a better world, we must address issues of economic equality and limited resources. The natural environment can recover from much damage if we gradually limit the human population and judge business success by quality rather than quantity.

A Vision for a Better World, Part 1

Humanity has the power to change and to take the actions needed to foster a healthy planet and a better standard of living for all. Choosing beauty and abundance will ensure a better future not only for humanity, but for the natural environment as well.

Liver Detox: Why You Need It … How to Do It

Detoxification is a powerful tool for treating fatigue and helping your body handle toxins—everything from car exhaust to junk food. Give your body a natural energy and health boost using this simple liver detox program.

Use a Detox Cleanse to Regain Sagging Energy

What do farm-raised salmon, your typical DEET bug spray, and non-filtered drinking water all have in common? These are frequently encountered sources of toxins which in excess could be threatening your health, but following a detox cleanse will keep you protected and restore energy!

Find Natural Cleaning and Beauty Products

From shampoo and lotion to wood polish and drain cleaner, you’ll be surprised at how many common household products contain potentially hazardous ingredients. Here’s how to identify problem products and find the best alternatives to buy — or save a little money by making your own.

Why Am I Tired All the Time?

The answer to your burning question, “Why am I tired all the time?” may simply be this: your body’s ability to manage stress effectively by means of the adrenal glands has been compromised. Chronic or excessive stress disrupts the normal functioning of the body’s stress response system. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of this disruption.

What to Know About Imported Seafood

With the U.S. importing 91 percent of its food, many crucial details of what we're consuming can be hard to trace: how our seafood is caught or produced, health codes across borders, and how the ecosystems are being affected. But does that matter?

Sunshine Tea

Making great sunshine tea is easy if you follow a few simple guidelines for contents, quantities, and water.

What’s That Smell in My House?

You smell an odor in your home and suspect that it isn’t healthy. This article explains how to do some safe investigation in preparation for calling in an expert.

Walking for Health

American leaders are planning to launch a national summit recognizing the benefits of walking for health.

Old School Beauty Basics: How to Make Glycerin

What’s with glycerin? It’s a soap-making byproduct with antibacterial properties, but it’s often made with animal fat derivatives, which isn’t really our thing. So, we figured out how to make our own veggie version with coconut oil, opening up a whole world of kitchen pantry beauty concoctions.

Physical Causes of Mental Illness

Millions of people suffer from mental illness and depend on psychiatric drugs to get them through the day. Conventional treatment may block the symptoms but do nothing to address the underlying cause. There are 5 common physical causes of mental illness.

Dead Trees Full of Life

To turn a woodlot into a park with no “litter” on the ground might look tidy, but is not very healthy or functional. Next time you look at a dead tree or a log rotting on the ground; look at it as something full of life.

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.

CSA Health Insurance Rebates

FairShare CSA Coalition partners with health insurance groups to offer a rebate for selecting fresh, organic, local produce.

A Few Reasons to Love Plum Organics

One of our "14 Sustainable Food Companies You Can Trust," Plum Organics is good for your baby's health and the health of the planet.

My Sabbath Garden

A great way to get more enjoyment in the garden and less work, is to try the ancient concept of a garden Sabbath. That's one day a week where gardening isn't allowed, but communing with nature is.

Saving Yourself: That Little Two-Letter Word That Begins With N

Many readers can't say no to spouses, children, bosses, and so on. To please and care for others, we often sacrifice ourselves, working long hours, exhausting our energy. There is a cure. It's a two-letter word that starts with n. Try it.

A Collection of Responses to Stanford's Organic Food Study: Organic Food Is Worth It

Are organic foods healthier? In the wake of a media frenzy revolving a “study” by Stanford University claiming to answer this question, many people were left wondering. Benefits of organic food go beyond the vitamin content: The overwhelming amounts and types of pesticides in our food play a major role in many shoppers’ decision to go organic.   

Intro to Happiness Exercises

Feeling blue? Try these simple happiness exercises including bouncing on an exercise ball and smiling while holding a pen or pencil in your mouth.

Essential Oils on the Homestead

Therapeutic grade essential oils have a tonne of uses on the homestead - here's how we've used them effectively, and how they bring us peace of mind.

Dinner Table + Fruits & Veggies = Happy Families

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!

Chemicals to Avoid During Pregnancy: Retinol

In the third in a series on potential toxins and chemicals to avoid during pregnancy, Natural Home & Garden Editor Jessica Kellner discusses the dangers associated with use of retinol in skin care products.

The Start of Eco-Friendly Nursery Renovations

As a nursery renovation begins, Jessica, editor of Natural Home and Garden, is just beginning an investigation into remodeling options for an eco-friendly nursery.

Chemicals to Avoid During Pregnancy: BPA

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.

Turkey Traps and Top Bar Hive Modifications

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.

Gather Free Biomass from the Woods

Gathering leaves from the woods to mulch the garden and stump dirt to turn into potting soil not only provides free biomass for the garden, it also introduces beneficial microorganisms.

Cover Crops: Add Some Oomph to Your Soil

Cover crops are grown between planting seasons as a way to give back to the soil what cultivation takes from it. And cover crops aren’t just for large-scale growers—they can help you get the most out of your backyard vegetable garden too!

Help Solve the Real Food Deficit

Kashi, the natural food and lifestyle leader, will support organizations that provide education and greater access to healthy foods in cities across the U.S.

How to Choose Less-Toxic, Low-VOC Paints and Coatings

Most conventional paints and coatings emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which can contribute to poor indoor air quality as well as to smog. This overview includes a link to a product listing of healthier low-VOC, zero-VOC, and natural paints.

Vote With Your Dollars to Enrich Your Community

Although the concepts of fair trade, buying local and buying organic food are used to aid the economies of developing countries, these same three concepts can help our local communities become the healthy communities we can thrive in.

The Many Uses of Ginger

Feeling under the weather? Ginger may help you feel better. Whether you have a stomachache, a headache or the common cold, some folks swear up and down by the restorative properties of the root.

Time to Celebrate Earth — Dirt!

Today we officially celebrate Earth Day, but we can celebrate healthy soil and all that it contributes to our lives every day.

Alternative to USDA Dietary Guidelines Proposed

Washington, DC nutrition foundation, Weston A. Price Foundation, proposes a Healthy 4 Life dietary plan in the form of a colorful booklet and poster featuring four food groups: animal foods; grains, legumes and nuts; vegetables and fruits; and healthy fats.

Foamy Shampoo Bar Recipe

Skip the packaging and synthetic chemicals and learn how to make your own, cold-processed shampoo bars.

Converting Regular Recipes Into Vegan Recipes

You don't need vegan recipes to cook vegan. Make delicious vegan dishes out of regular recipes by substituting tofu for meat in chicken-cauliflower salad. In dairy-based recipes, such as wheat berry pudding, use vanilla coconut milk in place of dairy milk. Pair with crusty white bread and avocado-corn salsa for a delicious vegan meal!

Left-Over Lasagna Trumps Sugared Cereal for Breakfast

Food labels are confusing, but you can be sure that processed foods with many ingredients are not as healthful as whole foods. Here is a explanation of processed-food ingredients and some suggestions for healthful breakfast foods.

Is Walmart the Solution to Creating a Healthy Diet for Americans?

With a new program promising to reduce the price of fresh fruits and vegetables and reduce the levels of not-so-good-for-you ingredients in their house brand products, Wal-Mart aims to make a positive change in the diet of the average American.  

Eating Healthily: Where to Begin

We may find it overwhelming to know where to begin in teaching others to eat healthily. People attempting to eat healthier find it difficult to know where to begin. "The Dirty Dozen" fruits and vegetables gives us all a place to start.

Beef Scares in 2010

At least four major beef recalls due to E. coli tainted meat occurred in 2010. A substantial percentage of the meat was certified organic. With these beef scares in mind, the fact that Grist readers voted hamburgers as the second scariest food of 2010 comes as no surprise.

Hog Butchering Day

Hog butchering was a common farm chore done in the early winter. It provided much of the family's meat in the wintertime. It provides healthful food, exercise and a wonderful experience of community.

Blueberries: Fountain of Youth

Blueberries are a true fountain of youth. This article will introduce you to the health benefits, how to grow, how to harvest, and how to eat this wonderful fruit.

A Painful Lesson

Environmental journalist Simran Sethi discusses the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill with Oceana’s Senior Campaign Director Jackie Savitz.

Almighty Olives: These Small Fruits Pack Big Health Benefits

Tiny as they may be, olives are proving to pack a big health punch, particularly in keeping the mind in shape by preventing neurodegenerative diseases. Find out more nutrition facts about olives, and discover some olive-tastic recipes.

Aging and Brain Health: What Have You Been Learning Lately?

Current research indicates that taking on challenging new activities might be one of the best things you can do to stay sharp — and we want to know what fun, challenging new activities you've tried recently. Whether it's woodworking, jazz clarinet or raising rabbits, tell us what you've been learning lately.

What Do You Think About the Proposed Soda Tax?

A new federal tax on soda and other sugary beverages has been suggested as a way to pay for part of the major overhaul of the U.S. health-care system proposed by the Obama administration. What do you think of the proposed soda tax?

Herbs from Antiquity, Uses for Today

Many of the herbs used for beauty and health today have been tested and tried over centuries. A new article by James A. Duke, Ph.D., discusses the history and uses of flax, myrrh and others.

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.

10 Common Medical Pitfalls

Not feeling so hot? Time magazine offers 10 things to consider before your next visit to the doctor.

Easy Tips to Protect Yourself from Osteoporosis

Whether you like milk or not, incorporating calcium into your diet is an important factor in bone health. Learn about the other ways, besides dairy, that you can strenthen your bones to avoid osteoporosis.

Worms Attack!

Who would have ever thought that worms could invade a forest and wreak havoc?

'No Child Left Behind' Meets 'No Patient Left Behind'

 My mother is brilliant. We were comparing recent frustrating experiences with doctors one evening when Mom, a 4th grade teacher, had an idea: The United States should do away with our current healthcare system and replace it with one similar to No Child Left Behind (called No Patient Left Behind), in which physicians are held personally accountable for the continued well-being of their patients.