The Importance of Socializing Livestock

Spending the time to frequently handle your poultry and livestock can be important to you! Find out why in this article about socializing your farm animals.

Samphire: A Superfood from Wild Shores

Samphire is the accepted name for the plant Crithmum Mairitinum, although along the banks of the River Dee where my grandmothers and great-grandmothers foraged for it, it was always known as sampkin. It is also sometimes known as glasswort, as it used to be used in the glassmaking industry. It is known in France as salicorn, or “horn of salt”. It is also, confusingly, sometimes called Sea Asparagus.

Hatching Eggs Using a Surrogate Hen

When one of our hens went broody, we asked ourselves if it was possible for her to hatch out a nest of ducklings instead of chicks. The result was a protective hen and four healthy baby ducks!

Mushroom Hunting in France

While staying in France this summer, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to forage for mushrooms. We were hoping for 'Ceps' and 'Chanterelles', but we found something we had never expected.

'Taters Gone Wild: 2 Bushels and Counting

The harvest begins. Whatever happened to those wild and crazily overgrown potatoes (written about in a previous post)? Check out the bushels of newly dug potatoes that resulted from that botanical experiment started this spring.

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.

'Chiffonade' Chicken-in-the-Garden Soup and How to Barter

In summer, which gardener hasn’t struggled to keep on top of the harvest and found the lettuces grown tall and inedible? The French have a soup called ‘chiffonade’ which is made with lettuce, and my mother-in-law let me in on a secret: she makes it with bolted lettuce. It may sound a little strange to cook lettuce, but don’t be discouraged, it is wonderful in this soup.

French Liver Terrine Recipe

This French-style terrine is a great introduction to using offal in the kitchen, even for people who might think they won't like it.

How to Make Elderflower Syrup

Elderflowers can be found growing on wasteland, even in the heart of the city. Learn how to use the flowers to make a simple syrup for adding to refreshing summer drinks.

Net-Zero Energy Homes for the Masses

If you were to rank sustainable homes primarily based on their energy efficiency, Zero Net Energy homes would rank extremely high. They’re pretty cool — and complicated. Top U.S. home builder PulteGroup moves into the eco-friendly homes market by providing Zero Net Energy homes to the masses.

Build A Simple ATV Sled

Learn how to build a simple sled in less than 30 minutes from scrap lumber and logs!

The Homesteader's Journey

If you have ever considered the change of lifestyle to be more self-sufficient, here are some of our thoughts and experiences from this journey.

The Joys of Raising Ducks

Raising ducks not only provides you with the opportunity to have fresh eggs and meat available, but also provides you with hours of enjoyment. From chasing minnows to quacking their greetings to a caretaker, ducks can be fun to own!

Repurposing Scrap Wood

From decorative signs to nest boxes, there are many ways you can repurpose pallets, lumber, or even logs around your home. Learn about some of the ways you can turn scrap wood into something useful!

5 Easy Squirrel Calls (with Video)

Here are five very quick, simple calls you can make to mimic the sound of a squirrel "cutting" using items you can find around your home!

Lessons Learned from Childhood on a Farm

Time well spent on my grandmother’s farm taught me lessons that I have carried with me throughout my entire life. What I learned there even inspired me to pursue a homestead lifestyle for myself, working right beside my husband as we learn to be more self-sufficient.

What Are Our Rural Internet Options?

Living in the country often makes it difficult to access reliable, fast Internet services. One couple searched through their rural Internet options after moving to property outside of town.

Traditional Medicinal Plants at Guam’s Amot Taotao Tano Farm

In the months before our move, I did extensive research to familiarize myself with gardening in Guam. I found Amot TaoTao Tano Farm and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a free tour of the farm to learn about native plants grown to educate the public about traditional healing practices of the Chamorro people. Here I share some of what I learned.

DIY Medal Key Chain and Magnets

Old trophies and medals are special reminders of triumphs in our past, but they can quickly pile up and become a large collection. Instead of discarding old medals, why not turn them into a keepsake that is both functional and practical?

Nettle Tea Benefits

Infusing a large amount of dried stinging nettle leaves in water for a long period of time is one of the easiest and most traditional ways to obtain nettle tea benefits.

Why Utility Companies Want You to Pay More for Solar Power

The cost of solar panels, installation and system maintenance have fallen, making the prospect of solar affordable and appealing to both homeowners and businesses. But as residential and commercial solar installation surges, utility companies who have grown accustomed to large market share are pushing back.

Leaking Ponds, Pigs, and Sheep Feet

A leaky pond can be frustrating, and while good construction is the best way to avoid this problem, there are some solutions for fixing your pond when it does spring a leak.

Rare Chicken Breeds at Greenfire Farms

Do you count yourself among the chicken-obsessed? Prepare to be truly impressed. In this blog, Jeannette Beranger of The Livestock Conservancy takes you on a photo tour of just a few of the eye-popping breeds found at Greenfire Farms in Havana, Florida.

Beautiful Creeping Cattails

Cattails are a common, native plant on the margins of ponds. Take time to manage them to keep them enjoyable.

Cows Without Legs, Part 1: Choosing Genetics and Management for Pastured Beef Production

All the principles of sustainable grazing management can be summarized in one rather strange statement: your cattle should appear not to have legs! Their short legs should be hidden in tall grass. Both animal genetics and pasture management contribute to this philosophy. In this article, I’ll start with cattle selection and care protocols. In Part 2, I will cover forage considerations.

The Resurgence of School Gardens

School gardens play a vital role in our nations educational systems. Though the concept dates back to the 1800s, their role has gained popularity in the last 20 years, and for good reasons.

What to Do During Pesticide Drift

Be sure to contact the Environmental Protection Agency and the Poison Control Center, as well as seek medical attention after experiencing pesticide drift.

Practical Passive Solar Examples

Some examples of passive solar design applied to homes in the southeast, where cooling, as well as heating, is a concern.

Ground Operations

America needs one million new farmers. Veterans want the job.

What’s Wrong With 2,4-D Herbicide?

The release of new genetically modified crops resistant to 2,4-D herbicide will mean a huge increase of potent, dangerous chemicals on American farmland and a serious threat of herbicide drift problems for other growers.

Genetic Engineering and Cell Fusion CMS

Cell Fusion genetic engineering is emerging as a hot topic in the Certified Organic seed and food industry. We can expect the resolution of this issue to impact both small-scale and large-scale growers.

Pond and People Management

Managing expectations and learning more about your pond or lake are key in being satisfied with the benefits of having a natural body of water on your property.

Crocheted Dishcloths

A different way to make these old time favorite crocheted dishcloths.

Soup Swap!

Soup swaps are a great way to fill your freezer with real food.

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.

The New Earthineer

From the outset, Earthineer was built to support and promote sustainability and homesteading as a lifestyle choice. Every feature we have planned has that goal in mind. What we have now is the foundation that we'll build off of.

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.

Eat These Birds to Keep Them Alive!: Developing Sustainable Poultry Flocks

So, what makes a flock of poultry sustainable? What is standard-bred poultry? If you purchase chicks from a hatchery, are they true to the breed? Why does every hatchery sell Rhode Island Reds and they all look different? Why do the Cornish Cross meat chickens have so many problems? Raising standard poultry is the only true way to improve the sustainability of quality local food while preserving the strength of Heritage poultry.

Framing Double 2-by-4 Walls

I decided to build double 2-by-4 walls to achieve 14-inch thick super-insulated walls. This is just one way of achieving the high R-values for net zero energy homes.

Simple and Green Building

To me, the most important features of a sustainable building are not its technological wonders but its simple design features: common-sense strategies that should be incorporated whether the building becomes LEED certified, Energy Star certified, or is just trying to be environmentally friendly.

Hybrid Seeds vs. GMOs

Confused about the difference between hybrids and genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? Learn more about how cultivating hybrids is different from developing GM vegetable varieties.

Sorghum Revival: From Family Tradition to Family Business

Susan Abernethy shares this story of helping her husband turn a longstanding tradition of family sorghum harvesting into a small business. Since their marriage in 2004, Susan has enjoyed unraveling the stories of her husband’s sorghum legacy and has inherited a powerful adoration for the hard work it takes to yield the sweet crop.

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.

Securing Rare Breeds in Drought Conditions

Heritage breeds are survivors, although some may be in for a very challenging year. The national drought is about to have a huge impact on the American economy and now is the time to plan ahead.

Fuel for the Body Bike T.O.U.R.

This fall's Fuel for the Body T.O.U.R. ("Total Organic Understanding Ride") will educate the public on the benefits of living a green lifestyle that includes eating organic food and supporting local, organic farmers.

Birth Story of Nathalia Christine Part 2

Expecting our third child any day, I went into labor the afternoon of July 27th. Almost 12 hours of labor later, the contractions stopped. I was starting to lose all trust I had in my body and the birthing process. This is Part 2 of Nathalia's story.

Birth Story of Nathalia Christine Part 1

Our third child arrived the night of July 30, 2012. After many weeks of waiting and 12 hours of labor that stalled, we welcomed our daughter Nathalia Christine earthside. This is Part One of our birth story.

Preparing for a Home Birth

As my birthing day draws near, I am settling in and nesting and preparing our home for the upcoming birth by gathering birth supplies, essentials and creating my birth space.

Building My Net Zero Energy Home: Design Priorities

This blog contains a detailed list of most of my initial design priorities for my net zero energy home so others may benefit from my thinking and experience on creating a passive solar, net zero energy, green home.

My Birth Altar

A Birth Altar is a space that will become a power symbol of one's birth. I have begun creating my birth space and bringing together objects that will become my collection of strength during my home birth.

Building My Net Zero Energy Home: Key Early Decisions

In this blog, I highlight the earliest decisions I had to make to create a net zero energy home: how I was going to build the foundation and walls. Thermal bridging, air tightness, insulation, cost, and greeness are all key deciders.

DIY Home Birth

This week's post is a guest submission by Kaitlin Rose from Bring Birth Home. She writes about preparing for a home birth, and why it's truly DIY.

A Prenatal Appointment With a Home Birth Midwife

What does a typical prenatal appointment with a home birth Midwife consist of and how does it differ from an appointment with an OB? What is the Midwifery Model of Care and how is that applied during your visit with a midwife?

Building My Net Zero Energy Home: The Back Story

In this blog, my architect James Plagmann and I begin to tell the story of the construction of Dan's new net zero energy homes. Dan begins by laying the ground, defining a few terms and describing his experience in this field.

Oakley's Birth Story - Part 2

After many weeks of prodromal labor and a baby who kept momma on the edge by constantly changing position, Suzanne goes into labor with Baby O in a posterior position. Read Part 2 of Oakley's Birth Story.

Ready for 2,4-D Corn?

The Environmental Protection Agency has given the go-ahead to Dow Chemical for its genetically modified 2,4-D resistant corn.

Oakley's Birth Story - Part 1

The birth story of Baby Oakley from my dear friend Suzann is an important one. Someimes things don't go as planned, but her story goes to show that an empowering birth is about trust, love, support and the power of choice.

Joshua's Birth Story - Part 2

On Mother's Day 2011, Brandy went in to labor with her fourth child. She was planning a HBAMC (Home Birth After Multiple C-Sections). She woke up that morning ready to bring her son into this world on her terms. This is Part 2 of her story.

Joshua's Birth Story - Part 1

Mother's Day was this past Sunday, so I felt it was appropriate to share two beautiful birth stories this week that were sent to me from two extraordinary and strong women. This first story, in two parts, is a story about a HBAMC.

Sacred Pregnancy

I recently received a copy of the new book and pregnancy journal Sacred Pregnancy from author Anni Daulter. I was thrilled when Anni agreed to guest post this week for the blog on what makes a Sacred Pregnancy.

School’s Not Always the Way

Robert Maxwell discusses why he chose self-directed education over formal college, and how this option might work for others, too.

7 Months and Counting

An introduction to my current pregnancy with Baby #3 and plans for a second homebirth. Details of my seventh month and thoughts on the gender of our baby.

The Power of Trust: The VBAC Birth Story of Evangélina

October 6, 2010, at 11:04 am I said the three words I waited over four and a half years to say. I looked in to my newborn daughter’s eyes and said I DID IT! This is the VBAC homebirth story of my daughter Evangélina.

Baylin's Gift - A Birth Story

My name is Antonette, and I am a new blogger here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Before I can blog my pregnancy journey for you all, I must first do something that has taken six years ... write the birth story of my son Baylin.

An Unintended Death

The unintended death of a charming little creature raises the realities of life on a farm homestead.

Tiny Birds and Tall Grasses

One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.

Monsanto’s False Advertising

Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seeds and the toxic herbicides used to drench them, is calling itself a supporter of sustainability. You’re kidding, right?

Christmas Panettone

You don't have to go to Italy to turn out an authentic Italian Panettone for Christmas. Here's how, so now you don't have to go to a bakery or supermarket to get one.

Local Economics

D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.

Social Network Site for Homeschool Families

Homeschool Moms for Moms is a safe place where moms are welcome to post photos of their children’s portfolios, work, crafts, artwork, and learning environments.

What's Lurking in Your Cabinet?

Simran Sethi discusses the "wood" that makes up our kitchen cabinets, as well as more eco-friendly (and people-friendly) alternatives.

Become More Self-Sufficient by Saving Seeds

Learning to save seeds from one harvest to the next takes you a step further towards self-sufficiency and helps to save genetics of plants needed for the future.

Explore the Waters During Blue August

Don't miss Blue August, a month-long event with special programming from Planet Green that will motivate you to become more aware of the world's oceans.

The Smart Grid

We have the technology, today, to make our power grid more sustainable, cleaner, more robust and more reliable just by replacing old-fashioned metering with “smart-metering”[1] and agreeing to pay homeowners who generate electricity.

Emancipate Yourself from the Utility

Three-day workshop announcement on net zero energy homes by leading authority on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Dan Chiras. Learn how to reduce your utility bill through conservation, effriciency, & clean, affordable, renewable energy.

Earth Day Network Announces Climate Rally and Exciting New Website

The environmental advocacy group, Earth Day Network, is rallying environmental activism through a climate rally and a new site where the environmental community can learn about issues and events. Learn more about their efforts and how you can get involved.

Genetically Engineered ... Animals?

The  U.S. Food and Drug Administration is accepting public comment regarding a draft Guidance for Industry #187 — to clarify regulation of genetically altered animals.