5 Ways Hiring an HVAC Professional Can Save You Money

Have you wandered the aisles of your local home improvement store trying to determine what you need for your home’s air conditioning or furnace? If you are unsure about what is wrong with your equipment, get a professional’s opinion or you could be spending money unnecessarily.

Salvaging Campus Trees for Education

Indiana University of Pennsylvania's groundbreaking "Harvest to Use" program uses a portable sawmill to salvage campus trees for education and community projects.

Woodworking Arborist Salvages Urban Trees

Working as an arborist in Colorado, Ryan Baldwin saw an opportunity to salvage city trees destined for the dump into usable lumber for woodworking projects.

Interpreting the Buzz of Honeybees

Did you know that you can tell a lot about the behavior of a honeybee by the sound of her buzz? Careful attention to the sound of the honeybee’s buzzing can alert the beekeeper to the mood of the bees.

Buckwheat Corn Muffins with Blueberries

Milling your own flour is a delicious way to add nutrition and flavor to your recipes. Want maximum taste? Mill your own buckwheat for these Blueberry Corn Muffins.

Oregon Company Salvages Urban Timber

After seeing beautiful trees in Oregon going to waste, Seth Filippo realized the Pacific Northwest had a huge underutilized resource in urban wood.

The Growing Economy of Salvaged Urban Wood

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

Choosing Your Honeybee Breed

Who knew there were different breeds of honeybees? Choosing the best breed for you depends on your goals as a beekeeper. This post covers a few of the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular breeds of honeybees.

A Successful, Sustainable Forest

By managing his family's forestland with natural and environmentally friendly practices, Jim Birkemeier has created a sustainable forest model that is being taught and implemented all over the world.

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.

Taking Care of Turkeys in Winter

Winter weather presents challenges for anyone raising poultry in northern climates. Here are a few tips for getting your turkeys through the winter.

Managing Hive Beetles in Home Beehives

Small hive beetles are typically considered a secondary pest in the honeybee hive, paling in comparison to the Varroa mite. But they can be more than a nuisance. Left unchecked they may wreck the hive. There are ways to combat this secondary pest.

The Walk-Away Split Pros and Cons

The least expensive method to grow your apiary is to split existing hives. The walk-away split is the easiest way to do this.

The Wise Grid Series, Part 1: Smart Meters Are Not Smart

Transformation of the electricity sector may be able to be delayed by wasting billions of federal tax dollars on unnecessary meters, and large long-distance transmission lines, but it cannot be stopped. It may be a politically rocky transition for the foreseeable future, but I am confident America will certainly achieve energy independence and clean energy abundance.

10 Items to Take to the Bee Yard

Developing a checklist can help when loading up for a trip to the bee yard. Here's how I'm trying to eliminate unnecessary trips back to the house for a forgotten tool.

Why Did My Bees Die?

Sometimes a colony of honeybees dies. Colony-collapse disorder is all over the news, but what else might have happened?

How to Not Get Stung

Being stung is the most often quoted reason for not keeping honeybees. This was also my fear before I started keeping bees. There are ways to reduce your chances of being stung. With just a few precautions, you don't have to let this keep you from a rewarding hobby.

Removing Bees From Honey Supers

It's time to harvest honey and there must be a way to evict the bees from the super. This post covers three possible options.

New Garden in the High Desert

Moving to a different climate and gardening zone can be a challenge, especially in the high desert. The best approach is to start small and add plenty of organic material.

A College Degree No Longer a Guarantee

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

Understanding the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

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

Chickweed and Lavender Insect Bite Salve

With our chickweed and lavender salve, the bites I typically get that are swollen and painful were nothing more than a minor annoyance. All came from ingredients that we made ourselves.

The Dirty Little Secret of the Electronic Era

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

Why We Need the Clean Power Plan

The Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, proposed on June 2, 2014, by the Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan not only limits our carbon pollution but also injects life back into our domestic workforce.

Three Options to Feed New Honeybee Colonies

Choices are available when it comes to feeding a new package of honeybees. Three of the options are discussed in this post. Choose the one that is right for you.

Gardening With Mushrooms

Fungi breakdown organic material and make it available to plants. Encouraging fungi to grow naturally, or inocculating your soil can have tremendous benefits for your garden.

Treating Varroa Mites

For the hobby beekeeper, try treating Varroa mites with natural remedies.

Pollen and Honeybees

Bees do not live on honey alone. Pollen provides honeybees with necessary protein.

Creating Your Own Mycorrhiza

The symbiotic relationship between plants and fungi are showing more than ever how life depends on life. Learn how to encourage what beneficial microbes you have in your soil for a powerful ally in your garden and fields.

Using Essential Oils for Honeybees

Essential oils can be a useful supplement for honeybees. Lemongrass, spearmint and thyme essential oils are being used to encourage brood development and the overall health of bees.

Sawing Sycamore With a Norwood Portable Sawmill

Sawing oversized sycamore logs with my Norwood portable sawmill was a huge job, but yielded a lot of great lumber, and salvaged the logs instead of dozing them into a pile and burning them.

Creating Your Own Micro-Climate

Creating a micro-climate is an essential tool for your survival and homesteading skills. Making the right micro-climate for your plants specific needs will not only help them survive, but thrive as well.

Build a Log Deck for Splitting Firewood

Use materials at hand—stumps, logs, railroad ties, and sawmill slabs—to build a firewood log deck that takes the effort out of lifting the logs, and holds them at a convenient height for splitting.

Hand-Milling Sorghum

A great opportunity to use a new hand-driven sorghum mill and cook down a small batch of sorghum for the crowd at the Lawrence Kansas MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in October!

Homemade Woodchip Mulch

Woodchip mulch has great benefits for gardening and landscaping. Instead of buying woodchips, we can use what resources we already have and make our own.

The Compost Bandit

Compost and mulch material are in abundance in our backyard and our communities. What is ones man's yard waste is this man's treasure.

Feeding Honeybees in Winter

When honeybees are unable to store enough food for winter, the beekeeper must decide how to support the colony through the winter.

Record Keeping in the Apiary

Beekeepers need a consistent way to document hive inspections including prompts to address all relevant areas while looking at a colony of honeybees.

Sawmill Visitors and Tractor Repair

After discovering a family of wrens in his sawmill, Dave Boyt decides to take a break from sawmilling and make some necessary repairs to his antique tractor.

Unplugged: From City Life to Off-Grid Homestead

How did Victoria Redhed Miller and husband David end up living on an off-grid homestead in the foothills of Washington State's Olympic mountains? Grid? What grid? Electricity was something one took for granted; it came from those outlets on the walls. I was hardly aware of it except during one of the infrequent power outages.

Why We Farm

It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked: Why do we do all this work?

Wet Spring

Stormy weather, wildlife and observations about trees.

Tree-Planting Season

It is a busy time for planting here. Not tomatoes, peppers, or squash, though. We got in our order of trees from the Missouri Conservation Dept. last week. In the past, we had planted mostly walnut, but we have a good enough supply of our own walnut seedlings that we are focusing on native trees that could use a boost to restore the forest to what it once was. So we are planting pecan on the bottom areas, shortleaf pine on ridge tops where the soil is poor, and burr oak on the better upland areas.

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.

Portable Sawmill Options: Bandsaw and Chainsaw Mills

If you often find yourself in need of lumber for various homestead projects, consider a small, portable sawmill to cut your own lumber. Portable milling equipment makes it possible for you to create dimensioned lumber for all kinds of DIY projects. The videos below show the versatility of portable sawmills in action. You will also discover tips to assist with assembly.

Osage Orange: A Wood for All Seasons

Hedge (a.k.a. Osage orange, a.k.a. Bodark, a.k.a. horseapple) is a thorny problem, but also a remarkable resource, if you have the means to use it.

Ducks in the High-Occupancy Vehicle Lane

We folded down the back seats in our Subaru wagon, lined the whole back area with a heavy tarp and a thick layer of straw, and headed down to Nash's Delta Farm to catch us some ducks.

Grind Your Own Flour With a Bike-Powered Grain Mill

A bike-powered grain mill is a more efficient and incredibly fun way to grind your own whole-grain flours and meals. Check out our video of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff using a GrainMaker mill to grind 'Floriani' grain corn into a nutritious cornmeal.

Forty Years of Splitting Firewood

Splitting firewood has changed over the lsst 40 years. A sharp chain and hydraulic splitter make all the difference in the world.

The Windmill on Our Homestead

Homesteads are attempting to provide longer grazing times by dividing pasture into paddocks. The difficulty of getting water to each paddock can be solved by a windmill with underground pipes. No electric is needed--just wind!

The Wedding

A break from usual blogs to share the celebration of my daughter's wedding.

Bath house project

Experiences building a water-saving bath house out of salvaged logs.

Take a Tour of The Ozarks Mountain and Mill Country

Take a tour of the mills and mountains of the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas, home to some of the finest remaining historic gristmills that still exist in the U.S.A. Based on the popular Historic Ozarks Mills book created by award-winning photographer Mike McArthy. Hydropower's energy-producing capacity is getting well-deserved attention these days, and these old mills provide inspiration.

Pushing limits

With an understanding of your limitations, you can operate more safely and efficiently. Training in timber cutting techniques can greatly expand your capabilities

Salvaging Timber

Salvaging logs is always a challenge-- but finding buried treasure in it always makes it worthwhile. This salvage job came after the land had been cleared by the owner, and the best lumber pick over buy a logger.

Pruning Logs for Lumber

Here is a description of some of the pruning tools and techniques for pruning trees for future sawlogs.

Over The Garden Gate

How we milled lumber, made a gate and installed the gate during a break in the weather.

Sawmill on the Homestead

A first blog by sawmiller & long-time homesteader Dave Boyt. A little of my past history, and how I'm using my sawmill.

Back to the Old Grind(er)

One of our family treasures is an old iron mill. We had an opportunity to get the old mill out this fall and grind some beautiful wheat that we had been gifted with.

It's a Good Day to Make Sorghum

Today we made sorghum here on our farm in the Ozarks. It's about the best way to spend a beautiful fall day.

The New Loo Part 2

Simran Sethi writes about choosing eco-friendly paints, tiles, and other aspects of her renovated bathroom.

Milling Flour Just Like in the Old Days

Milling flour hasn’t changed much in 150 years. Clean the wheat, grind it and sift it (if you want “white” flour). Some good folks here in Kansas have built a replica of an 1880s flour mill — from oak and cottonwood trees on the building site — and filled it with vintage equipment that they’ve carefully restored.

Keeping Quails: Gender Differentiation

Quails make an excellent urban choice for poultry raising, chiefly for their tranquil nature, minimal noise and egg-producing efficiency. In this, the second installment of my series on quail-raising, you'll learn how to identify gender from color and marks and see how quail eggs compare with those of chickens.