Healthy Snack Invented on Indian Reservation Faces Stiff Corporate Competition

The Pine Ridge Indian reservation is not the first place you’d look for good news about creating a new kind of economy that works for everyone. Pine Ridge is home to a fast-growing natural foods company, which created a healthy new product in the booming snack-food industry. Native American Natural Foods was inspired by wasna (a concoction of cured buffalo meat and berries) to invent the Tanka Bar — which is now for sale at Whole Foods, Costco, Amazon.com, natural-food stores and other groceries across the nation.

Make Blue-Ribbon-Winning Pickles (with Homemade Condiment Recipes)

These pickles have won a blue ribbon each time I entered them in the State Fair. They’re quite sweet with a spicy tang. We use them mostly on sandwiches and burgers. Here is my award-winning recipe for sweet pickles with bonus recipes for relish, tartar sauce and sandwiches.

Insights on Food Sovereignty from Cuba

Recently two members of the collective Grow Where You Are were selected to visit Cuba with FoodFirst.org on a food sovereignty tour. This exciting honor is still fresh in the hearts and minds of Nicole Bluh, Operations Coordinator and Maricela Vega, Agroecology Intern. Below each of them shares a bit of their reflections about local food systems and the people at the center of them.

10 Tips for New Garden Farmers

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

We Live on Planet Mother

Land-based people have a global culture of relationship with nature. This powerful experience of interconnection is extremely valuable too turn us away from the colonized food system.

'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.

Dismantling Food Regimes

In our current food system, growers are undervalued and supermarkets hoard profits. How do we create solidarity between migrant workers, family farmers and urban growers to empower a thriving local food economy?

Duck Soup with Wild Rice Recipe

A hearty and delicious soup, made with a leftover duck carcass (or other poultry), fresh vegetables, wild rice and mushrooms and flavored with smoked ham, sherry and curry powder. Just in time for the holidays!

Make Homemade Spiced Apple Cordial

After the first of the crisp fall apples have started to soften, I love to have a sip of this for dessert on a cold winter’s night. This homemade apple cordial tastes like the absolute best apple pie you ever drank! Here is how I preserve the goodness of apples laced with sweet spices.

Determining the Goals for Your Farm

Polyface Farm Apprentice Tim Rohrer encourages homesteaders and farmers to try and define clear goals for their farm. By determining clear goals, a farmer is better able to go about furthering her farming adventure.

Why Farmers Need Each Other

Tim Rohrer describes why he thinks that farmers need each other. Tim describes his the time immediately following his apprenticeship at Polyface Farm, and how he experienced farmer camaraderie.

A Polyface Processing Day

Tim Rohrer, A Polyface apprentice, recounts what an average processing day at Polyface looks. Here, Tim Talks through some of his processing experiences and a basic overview of the procedure.

Urban Food Sovereignty is Our Goal

Assisting urban residents in moving toward local food production is an innovative strategic plan for resilient growth. This blog post will outline some of Grow Where You Are’s core projects and outreach methods in an effort to share best practices for developing local food systems in communities that are most in need.

Working with the Polyface Eggmobile

Tim Rohrer, a Polyface Apprentice, talks about his interaction with the Polyface Eggmobile. Here, Tim speaks about his perspective on one of the Polyface centerpieces.

Meet the Polyface Farm Pastured Turkeys

During my time as a Polyface Farm intern, I never was able to grasp the turkeys as my personal responsibility. Now things are different. Get a glimpse through the eyes of a Polyface Apprentice as he raises Polyface Farm’s pastured turkeys.

How to WWOOF Abroad On an Organic Farm

This blog post serves as an informative overview of the steps involved in creating a successful experience volunteering abroad on an organic farm.

Walking on Gold

We took some test pans of dirt to see if we had any gold coming out of our springs. Sure enough some small pieces of gold.

How to Naturally Treat Chicken Lice

It can happen to the best of us, and the worst of us. But rather than using chemical powders and unnecessary medicines, here are a few ways to get rid of chicken lice completely all natural.

Growing Rice in the Home Garden

Rice is the quintessential food plant around the world and it provides a significant amount of brown biomass for composting. Growing rice in the garden can be help you achieve food security but you need to pick the right variety for your region. There are a couple of important sub-categories of rice that need to be taken into consideration. Rice is either an upland type with a greater tolerance to dryer and cooler conditions or it is a lowland “paddy” type.

A Heavy Heart

How this last year of discrimination and profiling in the news has impacted me.

Kiva Zip's Innovative Approach to Lending

In conventional lending, underwriting decisions are based on averages, and algorithms, credit scores and cashflows. They do not reflect a would-be borrower’s character, and are un-nuanced — “black and white.” Kiva Zip, a non-profit based in San Francisco, is pioneering an innovative, character-based approach to lending that allows for a more colorful underwriting canvass.

Winter Solstice

Everything pauses during the time around the winter solstice.

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.

Maine Leads the Way with Unique Farms

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

Polyface Farm Summer Internship: Week Fourteen

This week at my Polyface Farm Summer Internship, I spent working with turkeys, touring our local USDA inspected abattoir, prepping for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund’s annual fundraiser and processing stewing hens.

Polyface Farm Summer Internship: Week Twelve

This week of my Polyface Farm summer internship included a forestry lesson from Joel Salatin, installing my first fence, and the introduction of Polyface’s new guardian dog puppy, Cody!

Polyface Farm Summer Internship: Week Nine

This week was a lot of fence line and firewood work, a water systems discussion with Joel Salatin, fun with turkeys and my birthday on the farm (with a surprise guest).

Canning Tomato Broth

Separate the tomato water from tomato pulp to make a delicious broth.

Black Pepper: King of Spices

Black pepper, the king of spices, has been part of Indian cooking and medicinal traditions for thousands of years, and now sits next to almost every saltshaker on countless tables across North America. Find out black pepper's medicinal and culinary uses in this post.

Salamander Springs Farm

Kentucky farmer Susana Lein runs a permaculture farm in the Appalachian Mountains where she educates students and visitors from around to the world the best way she knows how - by putting their hands in the soil.

Zaatar Bread

Zaatar bread is a soft, Arabic-style bread topped with olive oil and the tangy spice mixture called zaatar.

Aspirations of the Energy Poor are the Key for Solar to Thrive

1.3 billion people live without access to electricity. In the last five years, falling costs of solar technology have made solar economically viable without subsidies for off-grid communities. How can businesses keep up with this potential solar growth? Hint: it’s all about the customer.

Ginger Beer Recipe Remix

Who knew that making a soda so delicious was so darn easy?! This office experiment is our most rewarding yet. I mean, Marlin is cool with his aquaponic system and all, but I definitely don’t want to drink fish water. (See aquaponic blog.) Our ginger beer is so refreshing, surprisingly effervescent and just plain awesome! So you’d like to know how to make it yourself, right? Well, I will gladly share the steps and recipe with you.

Fun Times at Goat School

Maine and Minnesota Goat Schools are over, and a great time was had by all; Janice Spaulding recaps the events and prepares for the next one is in Ohio in September.

Backyard Mint Ice Cream Recipe

Bright and sweet-scented muddled mint and fresh cream make this Backyard Mint Ice Cream Recipe completely refreshing.

Hide

Notes on immigrant farm labor and livable wages.

Goats: You Are What You Eat

"Garbage in, garbage out," is as true to goat nutrition as it is to the computer world and more folks should take heed!

Refugees Find Home on Iowa Farm

Global Greens Farm in West Des Moines, Iowa, helps refugees transition from growing food for their families to operating small businesses that sell produce at farmers markets, local grocery stores and to area restaurants.

Meat Goats Two

There is no “one size fits all” bunch of information that works every time in every location, every person, and for every goat.

New Year’s Revolution: Stop Making Excuses!

If you want to achieve your goals, stop making excuses for the things that go wrong on your path to success. Learn from them. Never stop trying to improve. And never stop trying. Work smart and hard.

Goats: Meat Goats

There are so many different “types” of goats! My last post was all about Angora goats and their fiber; this post will be about the meat aspect of goats. So what makes a goat a meat goat?

The Sacred Headwaters: Goliath Defeated by 1,000 Davids

People took a stand against one of the largest multi-national oil companies in the world and resolved to fight back against Shell’s plans to annihilate the Sacred Headwaters. And we were successful. After 5 years of incredible campaigning, community organizing, hard-hitting ads, protests and a storm of media coverage, Shell agreed to forfeit its tenures in the Sacred Headwaters and public pressure catalyzed the government of British Columbia to ban all further oil and gas development in the region.

Find a Portable Sawmill Service Near You

Knowing where lumber sawyers exist locally opens the door to all kinds of DIY projects. For example, storm-damaged trees can be turned into useable lumber instead of heading to a chipper or landfill. But you can take advantage of milling lumber at local sawmills only if you know where to find them. There are online resources to help you find a sawmill near you. Search by state or Zip code using the sawmill locators below and you will be on your way to turning raw wood into quality-cut lumber for DIY projects without the need to purchase any equipment yourself.

Small Scale Forestry for the Homestead

Our work in the woods starts long before we get the chainsaw and axe out; by being in the woods, observing and contemplating. We're looking for healthy trees that we can help to thrive and that will be of benefit in the future.

Goats: Raising Angora Goats

Angora Goats are not the easiest of the breeds to raise, however, even though the work can be intensive, the rewards are incredible!

Goats: The Great Weed-eaters

Goats are terrific weed eaters, and do a great job clearing land for you, why not utilize them for clearing your pastures!

Goats: It's Cold Out There

Keeping goats inside during nasty weather isn't easy, but it's worth the time! Dealing with sick goats, fever and runny noses isn't fun, so taking precautions makes things much easier.

Goats: It's All In The Names

Often time choosing the right name for your kids is the most difficult part of kidding! Here is a little help on picking out names that are appropriate!

Goats: Cold Weather

Getting prepared for cold weather is quite an undertaking with daylight growing shorter and shorter. Adding to your herd and selling goats takes a lot of planning.

Goats: Love is in the Air?

At breeding time, things aren't always what they seem. Sometimes things can really go awry!

Changing the footprint for Passive Solar Gain

To build a net zero energy home, you'll need to design for passive gain. That requires a shallower footprint to ensure that the low-angled winter sun can enter and heat each room.

Goats: A Busy Autumn

Autumn is very busy at Stony Knolls Farm between the Common Ground Fair and Fall Goat School!

Fruit Juice from Fall's Harvest

When autumn brings a glut of orchard fruits, capture the goodness as juice by cooking extraction or cold pressing. Juices can be used alone or mixed to produce sweet or hard ciders, wines, syrups, and more.

Arctic Sea Ice Melting at an Accelerated Rate

In this posting we discuss why the Arctic sea ice is melting at a record rate. We also discuss how global warming is triggering this sea ice melt and the potential consequences to the Arctic.

Changing the Inner Voice, Changing Your Life

Your mind can often trip us up, make things worse than they are, even lead us into disaster. You can control your own mind and change negative messages to positive ones, creating a much more productive,calmer. and fullfilling life.

Apprentices on the Homestead

Many a homesteader and farmer can use help, and many a young person wants to learn homesteading skills. Having apprentices is an important means to assure a continuation of farms and farming,as well as teaching youth essential survival skills.

Food in the New Climate

In an era of increasing volatility of the weather and climate, we need new coping skills. Preparedness is an important factor in dealing with bad weather events.

Goats: Udders and Hand Milking

Hand milking and the ease of doing so, always lends itself to many questions. I try to answer some of the most commonly asked questions in this post.

Growing Grapes Is Easy

Grapes can grow anywhere, thriving in a variety of climates and soil types. Growing grapes is rewarding, because after a few years they produce abundant fruit and quickly provide architectural interest in the edible landscape.

Goats: Spring Goat School is History

Goat School is over for a few months, and now the routine will be a little more normal! Great questions were asked at Goat School and some of those answers are shared.

The Amazing Serviceberry

Introducing the serviceberry, a beautiful landscape tree or shrub suitable in much of North America, to the edible landscape. Serviceberry -- or sarvis -- comes in many regional forms and produces edible berries.

Goats: Getting Ready for Goat School!

Getting ready for Goat School is always a daunting task, but once all of our new friends start arriving, we get excited! What a great time learning all about goats!

Goats: Why Raw Goat Milk?

Why raw milk? Why goat milk? Things to consider for good health and nutrition for you family. Also a trick to get stubborn kids to nurse from a bottle.

Goats: Horns or No Horns

Horns or no horns, that is the question! Why should you disbud your goats, or is it okay to leave the horns on? This post discusses both options with a link to a great article about horns and their beauty.

E85 Gas Prices

Supply and demand have kept E85 gas prices low, and politics has played a role.

Goats: Spring Cleaning!

Spring clean up on the farm doesn't only include cleaning fallen branches, but cleaning up the goats too! Getting ready for kidding and making sure the goats are all set is our most important spring task.

Goats: Just Kidding! Part 5

After the kidding is over, we take good care of our girls! And, the babies need to be bottle fed, so here are the instructions on how we feed our kids.

Goats: Just Kidding! Part 4

The babies have arrived, now is the time to take care of all of the other parts of caring for the newborns!

Goats: Just Kidding! Part 3

Baby kids do not always present in the correct position when descending the birth canal. Learn about the different positions and how to handle them.

Jack's New Home on the Goat Farm

Stony Knolls Farm has a new dog and getting him here was a wonderful, and amazing journey that is well worth sharing! Rescue dogs are so grateful for their new homes.

Goats: Just Kidding! Part 2

Be prepared for kidding season! Set up your kidding kit ahead of time. This information will help you have the right equipment at your fingertips.

4H Needs You

4-H is a youth organization that can be a great resource for skill-building in our communities. No matter what you do or what your interest, spending time with your local club is a worthy contribution.

Organic Farming Conference Returns to Wisconsin

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

No Rest in the Winter!

Traveling with Goat School on the Road, and learning all about newborn kid hoofs.

Harvesting Ice for the LeDuc Ice House

A historic ice house on the LeDuc-Simmons Estate and a local ice harvest at Lake Rebecca demonstrate how ice and other perishables were kept cold in the hot summer months during the 19th century.

Uses of Diatomaceous Earth on the Homestead

For those of us who hate to use chemicals in our gardens, in our homes, or with our livestock and pets, diatomaceous earth may be a safe and efficient substitute. It may worm your animals, rid them of fleas and lice and even handle indoor pests.

2 Easy Homemade Spice Blends

Apple pie spice and quatres epices are two easy spice blends you can make yourself for fabulously fresh flavor.

How to Make Homemade Apple Juice

No juice extractor? No problem! This easy method for making fresh, delicious apple juice will have you sipping in no time.

Sweet Potato Leaves Recipe

Try this simple, delicious and nutritious sweet potato leaves recipe in the Filipino tradition.

Introducing Uncle Matt’s Organic Orchard-Style Apple Juice

Uncle Matt’s Organic, best known for their line of premium organic orange juices, announced today the launch of its new 100% organic, not-from-concentrate, orchard-style apple juice. The next best thing to drinking it fresh from the orchard!

Quiet Walks and Sound Advice From Mamaw

Camille Wright passes on wisdom from her “Mamaw,” conjuring up images of fresh clothes on the clothesline, a root cellar lined with jams and jellies, and quiet walks.

Goldman Environmental Prize 2011: This Year's Winners

The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s largest and most prestigious award for grassroots environmentalists. This year’s six inspiring prize winners (one from each of the six inhabited continental regions of the world) are...

The Price of Food and Oil

The price of food and oil are interminably linked. We are seeing this in our trips to the supermarket: every time we go, it's more expensive. What's a body to do?

Find Farming Internships and Apprenticeships

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

Sun Powers More Than Rice Fields

Lundberg Family Farms announces the opening of a new warehouse that is powered by 100% solar energy. Lundberg Family Farms produces wholesome, healthful rice products while protecting and improving the environment for future generations.

Photo of the Week: Alaskan Ice

Step inside an iceberg in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!

Enriching Activities Offered in the New Year

Solar Energy International (SEI), the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service all offer events to educate participants in varying pursuits. This blog provides links to activity calendars and workshop schedules.  

Butchering the New Year's Duck

As New Year's Eve approaches, friends butcher the ducks they've raised in their rice paddies and share some thoughts on "The Power of Duck."

Low-fired Brick

Low-fired brick is a very sustainable building material with low embodied energy. They are made with locally procured clay and fired with rice hulls, a by-product of growing rice. Brickyards are located near urban areas to minimize transport costs.

Energy Hogs

I am especially concerned with the electricity hogs that keep us burning coal.

Of Mice and Women

Simran Sethi balances her love of nature with her fear of mice in her home.

Gardening on a Budget: Seven Tips for Success

Don’t let the cost of gardening keep you out of the dirt this year. Cheap gardening can be fun and easy. With these tips for gardening on a budget, you’ll save on seeds, make your own fertilizer and impress your friends with your gardening know how.

Speak Up for the Conservation of U.S. National Forests

The U.S. Forest Service began hosting roundtable discussions on March 29 (continuing until May 12) to give citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions on the future management of national forests.

What Are Your Best Tips for Gardening in the Southwest?

Readers familiar with triple-digit temperatures share their best tips for gardening in the southwest. Get advice about what to plant, when to plant and how to plant if you live in the hottest areas of the country.

What Does “Rainforest Alliance Certified” Mean?

The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal has been popping up on coffee, tea, cocoa and fruit products all over the world. So what exactly does this certification signify? We’ve investigated.

Gray Wolves: Endangered or Not?

The Bush administration is removing gray wolves from the Endangered Species List, but environmentalists think it could be a mistake.

Comment on the Gray Wolf's Status

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opens the debate of whether to remove the Northern Rocky gray wolf from the Endangered Species List. 

OPEC Cuts Oil Production

OPEC annouced it would cut oil production to stop oil prices from falling, which might be the best way to reduce American oil consumption.

What to Do with Windfall Apples

Slightly underripe apples that fall to the ground must be picked up, so why not cut away the bugs and bruises and put them to good use? Here’s how to turn windfall apples into supernutritious drinks and snacks.

Ford to Get Serious about Small Cars

Today Ford announced a long overdue shift in its business emphasis: away from trucks and SUVs and toward small cars. Before setting this new direction, there has been plenty of struggle between old think and new think.

Get off the couch: It's July!

Children have gotten lazy, and it's not getting better as technology keeps advancing, making it easier to sit on a couch then go outside. Problems like childhood obesity and ADHD in children keep progressing, but nature can help!

The ANWR Answer?

Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will not lower gas prices anytime soon. This summary of facts released by the Alaska Wilderness League exposes important pieces of the ANWR debate.

Make Your Own Fruit Juice From Berries

Cobbler is not the only solution to a bumper crop of berries. If you can boil water, you can turn the juice from big-flavor berries into tasty beverages that are naturally rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Make extra juice to freeze or can for year-round enjoyment.

Get Off the Couch: It's July!!

Children have gotten lazy, and it's not getting better as technology keeps advancing, making it easier to sit on a couch then go outside. Problems like childhood obesity and ADHD in children keep progressing, but nature can help!

The Public Doesn't Want What's for Dinner

A recent survey revealed that Americans are largely unaware of the presence of genetically engineered food in their diet, yet they maintain negative opinions about the safety of these GE foods.

Questions! Questions!

Your local county extension office can answer questions on gardening, livestock, poultry, crops, garden pests and more.