Why 'Self-Sufficiency' is Not a Sufficient Description for Homesteading

Despite how much we do on our own land, we are far from self-sufficient. We are part of a local and global community that cares about where their food comes from and cares about taking care of the earth. Buying our homestead has actually increased our commitment to this community - to sharing what we do with others and to learning from what others share.

Add Variety and Fun from Garden to Table with 'Yard-Long' Beans

Each year we choose a vegetable for our garden that we have never grown before and will offer fun and variety. This year, we chose the yard-long bean based on its name alone. After a little bit of experimenting in the kitchen, we learned to love its unusual texture and flavor.

Cook for a Night and Eat for a Week with a Wood-Fired Oven

We built our own clay oven for backyard pizza and bread-baking. One of our favorite things to do is fire up the oven for a weekend afternoon/evening and prepare a variety of meals that will last all week. A bit of work on the weekend provides meals for a week with the unique wood-fired flavor of the outdoor oven.

Healthier Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread is a great way to use this veggie when it is in abundance. I wanted a recipe that was a bit healthier than the traditional version, but still as moist and delicious.

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.

5 Reasons Why Your Bread Dough Doesn't Rise

Despite our best efforts, sometimes flour plus water plus yeast doesn’t equal a tantalizing loaf of bread, but is just a large lump of dough. Here's how to fix it.

Dried and Everlasting Flowers

Choosing, growing, and drying everlasting or dried flowers for beauty that can be enjoyed for seasons to come.

Compost-Heated Outdoor Shower

Here at Deer Isle Hostel, Maine, we use a compost pile built with local, natural materials and a 100-foot water pipe to create a steaming hot shower.

Fresh Cherry Pie Recipe

Bake those tart cherries dangling from your backyard tree into sweet and tasty fruit pies. Here's how to make fresh cherry pie without stressing about the perfect pie crust.

How to Run a Small Business

Creating your own start-up is full of obstacles, but rewarding. MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Jessica Vaughan shares advice from her experience as a first-time small business owner who teaches clients how to grow organic produce.

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.

Relearning to Sew On Treadle Sewing Machine

On our journey to self-reliance, my husband, Darren, and I have been gathering human-powered tools when we can find them. It’s surprising and sad how quickly hand- and foot-powered tools were junked when electricity became available. From 1850 to 1890, more than 100 apple-pealing devices were patented. Then none, except those running on electric power. And so it goes with thousands of other nifty human-powered appliances.

How to Build a Cargo Bike Trailer

Why spend hundreds of dollars on a readymade bicycle cargo trailer when you can build one yourself? Portland Pedalworks keeps the project easy and inexpensive in this how-to video.

How to Store Potatoes in Your Garden

Simply by covering your potatoes with ample mulch, storing potatoes in the ground is not only possible but incredibly easy and successful. Learn how to store potatoes in your garden and enjoy crisp, homegrown spuds through winter and into spring.

Campsite Cob Oven Construction

Here is yet another possible building project presented to you which requires no formal training, very little money, and techniques/methods that anyone can use. This blog intends to inspire you to take on a natural building project like this one. Don´t have fear if this is your first time working with these techniques and materials — it often for us also! Swattlesfield Campground is frequented by many kinds of people for various reasons. The owner, Jonathan, wanted to introduce some activity which would draw people together. We had the perfect idea: pizza!  Food, especially food that requires waiting, has a tendency to attract people. And once humans have a good reason to be in the same place, the rest (socialization) has a tendency to just work.

Report on the International Builders' Show

The International Builders’ Show featured new residential construction and remodeling products such as fiberglass entry doors, retrofitting, bomb shelters and more.

How to Make a Fruit Picker

Follow these easy instructions explaining how to make a fruit picker, and you'll never be tormented by out-of-reach fruit again.

Plastic Surgery Everyone Should Get

Worrying about what others think about you can drin you of energy and make you do some pretty stupid things. What if you could rid yourself of that penchant? What kind of life would you lead?

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.

Your Mind Can be a Pain in the Butt

Our minds are powerful things. The beliefs we hold and our perceptions can be dead wrong. Our minds can even create pain that doesn't exist. Questioning what we perceive and believe can help you live a more conscious, honest and successful life.

The Trials and Tribulations of Starting a Candle-Making Business

Iain continues to battle with the frustration of starting up a candle making business hitting trouble at every corner. Here he talks about his plans moving forward and how he still plans to succeed in his socially responsible candle making business

Painting a Beehive

James discusses exactly how to paint a beehive. Sometimes it can be a fiddly job but using an array of stepladders and poles it can be pretty simple

What Good Is a Pig? Cuts of Pork, Nose to Tail

Vermont farmer Walter Jeffries details all the cuts of meat on a pig, as well as many other uses of the animal, from working the soil to providing delicious lard for baked goods.

Now What?

Cole takes you through the first steps in learning to cut your own meat - sourcing.

Transformation Tuesday: Trash Turned Giftwrap

Forget the time and money that goes into conventional giftwrap. Use these inspirational ideas to wrap lovely gifts with materials otherwise bound for the recycling bin.

The New Beekeeper

Over the last 2 decades BeeWeaver has seen change in who keeps bees, and why they keep bees. The journey of the last 20 years has not been easy for the bees but the efforts of these New Beekeepers will keep the amazing honeybee a part of our word.

The First Ever London Honey Show

This week saw the first ever honey show in London, and what a joy it was for all involved. Based at the Lancaster Hotel in London, the first hotel in the UK to put beehives on their roof, it was the perfect location for such a great event.

The Broiler Chicken Project

We raise broiler chickens from hatchlings for a 4-H fair project every summer. This is a fun, managable project that provides us with some fresh poultry meat as well.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS Grows Shiitake Mushrooms

Read about our mycological journey, starting with our process of inoculating several shiitake mushroom logs. The process is easy enough for most anyone intersted in producing their own shiitake mushrooms at home — plus, it's fun and a big money-saver!

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.  

The New Loo

Simran Sethi explains her bathroom-remodel goals to conserve water.

Build Homemade Tomato Cages

Done with flimsy, store-bought tomato cages that fall over when the wind blows? Build long-lasting, heavy-duty tomato cages to fit your garden with one of our four plans.

Small Diameter Roundwood Trusses

The roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.

Growing Healthy Lunches With School Gardens

Ditch unhealthy school lunches with a fresh lunch idea for kids: school gardens. Beyond putting fresh, healthy food in schools, cafeteria gardens are a great classroom tool and a big step towards more sustainable schools.

Learn Something New from These How-to Online Videos

How-to online videos are a valuable resource for any do-it-yourselfer. But there are a lot of videos out there, so we’ve picked noteworthy ones and provided a few links to help you find more in the future. From building a workbench to changing your car’s oil, these engaging and instructive videos will inspire you to start a fun, new DIY project.

Farm Equipment, Antiques and Collectibles

If you like steam- and gas- powered engines and farm equipment, you will love these three magazines and websites: Farm Collector, Gas Engine and Steam Traction.