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.

Home-Based Food Businesses Thrive in California

Whether your food product is gluten-free, a loaf of bread made with organic wheat, or chocolate carefully crafted with organic cacao, more culinary entrepreneurs than ever before are launching their food product business from their home kitchens thanks to their state’s “cottage food law.” California is leading the way with laws for cottage food operators.

Starting a Rotational-Grazing Goat-Rental Service, Part 2: When Things Go 'Baahd'

When starting a farm business, make sure you know your states rules and regulations. You can contact your states Department of Agriculture and/or your county Cooperative Extension Agency for info. Make sure you know what you need to know about the basic safety and maintenance of goats to begin with: What are their needs when it comes to health, shelter, food, etc., and what are concerns such as plant toxins and predators?

Women Farmers Connect, Share and Grow

The strength of the sustainable and organic agriculture movement deepens and widens through the support of fellow women farmers. Create a local women farmer or homesteader network in your community to build a more vibrant local economy.

The Market Gardener: A Successful Growers Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming

A step-by-step guide that lays out practical know-how, Fortier has done his due diligence to learn from those who have innovated in the past and compiled successful strategies into one small successful farm. In a time of “feel good stories” that may or may not be financially solvent, Fortier simply hands over to the reader the blueprints to confidently launch and run a small-scale market garden.

The Beauty of Imperfect Fruits and Vegetables

What needs to happen is a change in attitudes. Such a change is not coming soon enough to your favorite grocery store. If more of us buy imperfect-looking produce, grocery stores will be able to change our dependence on harsh chemicals used to grow perfect-looking fruits and veggies. It’s up to all of us to support the imperfect produce movement and bring back taste, nutrition and a healthier planet. How will you vote?

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.

A Woman's Perspective on Off-Grid Living (with Video)

What's it like to be a woman off the grid? Dirty? Chore-filled? Sacrificial? Modern day off-grid homesteading is a wonderful, empowering lifestyle for those women who choose to take this path. Yet, finding practical, reality-based feedback is getting harder! Media and networks are often misleading in their depiction of off-grid life, because they need to feed a audience who is thirsting for excitement. Here is on woman's reality check.

An Ecotourism Escape to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

Come early or linger for a few days after the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR and cool off at Elkhart Lake. Explore some of the spectacular natural areas, savor farm-to-table meals, or relax at an eco-spa at the Osthoff Resort.

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.

A Primer on Specialty Mushrooms (with Royal Trumpet Mushroom Soba Salad Recipe)

Here is a primer on specialty mushrooms. Exotic mushroom varieties are daunting to most consumers. They ought not be intimidated by these strange but tasty morsels. There are several sources for recipes including the Mushroom Council, my website, or by using search engines. Mushrooms deserve a place at your table due to taste, availability, and purported health benefits.

10 Simple Ways to Keep You Safe on Your Farm

Farm life has its risks and we don't need to add to them by acting in unsafe ways. Read more for 10 Simple Ways we follow here on Serenity Acres Farm to keep us safe.

Dirty Jobs: Cleaning Chicken Coops

Ok, the hens are off, but now it's time to clean the coop. Yup...my favorite. Get on your grubbies and join the dust bowl!

Ecotourism in San Diego, Part 2

Surprisingly, the San Diego area is home to one of the largest collections of small farms in any county in America. Green travel is boosted by these farmers supplying the farmers' markets and farm-to-table restaurants. There's a few lodging options for the eco-minded, too.

Fast and Easy Homemade Salad Dressings

If people knew how easy and delicious homemade salad dressings can be, store-bought dressing sales would plummet. You, too, can make your own salad dressings without having a culinary school degree or cooking experience. Learn to make Oil and Vinegar with Tarragon and Homemade Ranch with Roasted Garlic here.

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.

I Am an Independent Woman Homesteader, and That’s OK!

We live in a society that is constantly telling women they can’t do hard work. But the reality is, some of us do this homesteading journey all on our own without the help of any man. Here’s why I take pride in being a strong, independent, woman homesteader.

Soil Sisters: 3 Ways Women Cultivate Food Change

Women make up one of the fastest growing groups of new farmers today, increasing over twenty percent in the last ten years alone. More than mounting numbers, these women rock fresh ideas when it comes to agriculture, farming and – ultimately – what’s on America’s plates. Here’s a sneak peak summary of what I’ll be speaking on at the FAIRS: Three ways women today are cultivating food system change.

How to Choose Cows for a Micro or Small-Herd Dairy

There’s a lot to think about when choosing the right cow for a small herd or micro-dairy, but it is worth taking the time needed to select an animal that will best fit you and your farm.

All About ‘Bloody Butcher’ Corn, Part 3: Storing, Packaging, and Selling (with Recipes)

If you are growing your corn to sell, you can sell it fresh (to eat) without any additional license or permit. When you change the corn in any way such as drying, grinding, etc., this is considered value-added. If you are selling your corn product at market or other outlet, make sure you have looked at all the legal aspects. Read on to learn about all aspects of packaging and selling homegrown corn, including recipes.

Rebuilding a New England Barn

Turning an old barn into something useable is a challenge, and it is a valuable skill to have when you are starting a farm.

Purchasing and Managing Pastured Pigs

Tim Rohrer talks about what he's learned while managing the pastured pigs at Joel Salatin’s farm and shares a few things to consider before purchasing your own pigs.

Farm Trucks

They may be rusty, they may be dusty, they may even be falling apart — but you just can't run a homestead without a good old farm truck.

Buying a Pork Share

Buying a half-pig directly from a farmer ensures quality and well-raised pork, although it will cost more than supermarket pork. Understanding how to fill out a cut sheet guarantees you get what you paid for.

Consilience Enhances Resilience: A Key Element of CSA Farms

As climate chaos intensifies, we have many reasons to cultivate resilience - the strength and flexibility to endure shocks and yet still function. Through CSA farms the quality of consilience - the linking together of principles from different disciplines - becomes a way for all shareholders to enhance the resilience of farms and thereby strengthen community.

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.

Not Your Normal What-I'm-Thankful-For List

We all are thankful for the things in our lives, but are we thankful for the right things? Tim Rohrer encourages us to consider things that we might not normally consider thanks-worthy.

Bone Broths: Low-Cost, High-Quality Nutrition

Bone broths are all the rage these days. And with good reason! You can find plenty of articles explaining that nourishing bone broths, rich in protein, gelatin and minerals, are soothing to the gut and healthy for bones, skin, hair and joints. And for someone recovering from surgery or illness that needs to be on a very light or liquid diet, bone broths are soothing, light and nutritious.

How to Sell Surplus Honey

There are many ways to sell your extra honey and other products of the hive. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain a few easy ways to sell all of that extra honey, including how to sell honey online, at work, at a roadside stand and more!

Life and Death on the Farm

Death on a farm is unavoidable as life itself. These stories share lessons learned, words of wisdom and how a farmer can prepare for the inevitable when raising livestock.

Why Young Farmers Grow Up To Be Responsible Adults

Young farmers have the opportunity to grow in many ways. Responsibility, work ethics, and with teamwork are just a few ways farming can further a young person. These principles can help them down the road of life, regardless of their final occupation.

Teaching Kids to Be Safe on the Farm

Farms can be a magical place to grow up but they can also present some dangerous situations for kids. Here's how to teach your children to be safe on the homestead.

Agroecology Techniques for the Fall

How do we apply life-changing agricultural practices in under-served urban areas? This is a brief sketch of agroecology in the urban, Southeastern region of the United States. Agroecology, food forestry and permaculture all begin by developing small densely planted, oxygen rich, microclimates that when linked in clusters or chains across and area drastically increase biological diversity and plant food production.

Young Farmers Deserve Student-Debt Forgiveness

Student loan debt continues to pressure young farmers and those considering taking up farming to give up on their dreams of working the land. The National Young Farmer Coalition hopes to secure student loan debt forgiveness by recognizing farming as a public service.

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.

Agroecology Rebuilds Rural Livelihoods of Women in Post-Earthquake Nepal

Many rural Nepalese faced persistent food insecurity even before the recent earthquakes. Now, because of the destruction of livelihood assets, the situation is substantially worse. With support from Groundswell International, family farmers in post-earthquake Nepal are learning and using ecological agriculture principles to restore their farms, become more resilient, and create a more equitable landscape for women.

A Simple Guide to Using a Tiller: Why? When? How?

If you are planning to set up a garden with a surface that is bigger than 300 square meters, a tiller will help you save a lot of time and energy. Its sharp, heavy blades might be a little intimidating for first-time users, but with a little practice, you will get the hang of it.

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.

13 Signs You May Be an Urban Farmer

When I first started gardening in this place, I was surveying my four by ten raised bed of greens with pride one afternoon. “You really are a farmer, not a gardener,” a friend observed. Take this short quiz to see if you are a gardener or have slid into the realm of "urban farmer."

Community Education through Farm Tours

The residents of Leavenworth, Wash., decided that they wanted to showcase how their community is working to create a more sustainable future, so they created the second annual Sustainable Living and Farm Tour. We invite you to join us this coming September 12-13th, 2015.

Polyface Farm’s Unfair Advantage

Polyface has an “Unfair Advantage," but the good news is that you do, too! Here, Tim shares his thoughts on how your Unfair Advantage sets you apart from the crowd and bestows gifts on you that you can turn into success. The trick is learning to utilize your own Unfair Advantage.

Reasons I Joined a Cooperative Living Situation

The trials and tribulations of our life on a cooperative living farm quite frequently mirror those of any small group of young Americans finding their way in the world, however, for me, there are daily reminders of why I am sticking with these crazy idealists in Appalachia.

Selling Honey at Fairs and Festivals, Part 1: Planning Ahead

Have you thought about selling your extra honey and beeswax products at a fair or festival? In Part 1 of a three-part series, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss how to get started in selling your products of the hive.

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.

Minto Island Growers Seek Balance As Their Farm Expands, Part 1

Elizabeth Miller and Chris Jenkins have turned Minto Island Growers into a multifaceted farm that features a tea plantation, vegetable CSA, u-pick berries, food cart, farm stand, and more. Now they’re finding that growth brings many new challenges.

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.

CSA Farms Address Profound Global Concerns

It’s going to take more than individual efforts to meet the profound challenges of global climate change. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is one proven pathway for organizing groups of people to apply their strengths and intelligence in this essential responsibility. We need hundreds of thousands more CSA farms.

The Biodynamic Farm Body, Part 2

This is Part 2 of a two-part post series explaining how biodynamic agriculture views your 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

‘Lucky’ Young Farmers

Farming may be the dream, but sometimes it can also be the nightmare. Balancing the good, the bad, and the ugly poses challenges.

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.

Working to Keep Seed Diversity in the Public Domain, Part 2

Dylana Kapuler and Mario DiBenedetto are public-domain plant breeders and seed-saving stewards. Their Corvallis, Oregon company, Peace Seedlings, is focused on continuing the work and building on the legacy of Dylana’s parents, Alan and Linda Kapuler.

6 Steps to Creating a Community Farmers Market

If you have ever thought of starting up a farmers market in your community, this article offers some advice on a few things to consider. Read on to learn 6 lessons learned from a Washington farmers market, including how to build strong leadership and community buy-in.

Maximizing Happiness with Hen-Raised Chicks

The author’s thoughts about raising chicks changed when he returned home from a vacation and couldn’t find one of his hens. He discovered her the next morning, sitting on a clutch of eggs under a porch. When her chicks hatched and he saw how much she cared for them, and how much her chicks adored her, he knew then that every chick deserves a good mother hen.

Growing Up in Farm Country

HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates reflects on how growing up in farm country impacts a student's choice for their future.

An Educational Visit to Four Season Farm

While building their own home and farm, one couple decides to learn from other talented and experienced market farmers about how to set up year-round gardening production. Here are some tips and photos from a trip to Four Season Farm, home of Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch, in Maine.

‘Farming the Woods’ by Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel

In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel teach readers how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non timber products. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.

Raising Romeo: A Love Story

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan shares a preview of her children's book about raising lambs.

Weaning Your Pasture Piglets

Spring is filled with babies of all kinds, but some of the most adorable are baby piglets. These are even more cute when they are running around on green pastures. But what about weaning time? This article will explain some of the easiest and best options when weaning your pasture piglets.

Transitioning to Spring On a Micro-Dairy, Part 2

Spring has been slow to arrive in the Green Mountain State. But there are signs of spring in Vermont and that means preparing your Micro-Dairy for the change in seasons. Bob-White Systems' Steve Judge shares more tips to transition a Micro-Dairy into spring.

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.

What Your Garden Can Teach About Cities

Shifting our built environments from the current linear blocks of car-centric urban sprawl to more integrated human-scale and life-sustaining organisms is not much different in principle than turning a concrete yard into a permaculture plot. We have to think in terms of arrangement of vital nodes, distance between interdependent threads, paths of least resistance, utilizing existing natural conditions, and maximizing water, energy and food sources.

Fierce Farming Women, Part 2

The second in this month's two-part series of excerpts from the "Fierce Farming Women" chapter of "The Color of Food" book - honoring Women's Month.

Fierce Farming Women, Part 1

The first in this month's series of excerpts from the "Fierce Farming Women" chapter of "The Color of Food" book — honoring Women's Month in March.

Visions of Seed Packets

With spring on its way, I am thinking about gardening, home grown food and what it takes to grow plants from seed.

Farm Fit for Life

How farm life will keep you fit so you can live a healthier and happier life.

Starting a Flock of Chickens: 5 Important Tips for Success

For first-time chicken owners (or even for experienced chicken enthusiasts), selecting, purchasing, and preparing for your home chicken flock can seem like a daunting task. After thirty years of raising chickens, here’s Forrest Pritchard’s personal guide to ensure your new flock remains safely tucked beneath your wing so you can start a flock of chickens without worry.

Old Time Farm Talk: A Homesteader's Narrative

Farmers sure have their own way of talking — from the cadre of names for animals to the meaning of "shit," we'll explore and unravel some of the greater and lesser known sayings in Old Time Farm Talk.

Why a Farmer Stars in My Response to Fifty Shades of Grey with Recipe

A forty-something woman stumbles into a booth at a farmer's market, looks up, and sees a handsome farmer. You may know that the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey also begins with a tumble and winds up with love. It's no coincidence: my book Fifty Weeks of Green is a comic response to Fifty Shades that celebrates sustainable living.

Holes: A Homesteader's Narrative

Just when you’ve got something broken in on a farm, the holes begin to appear. There’s a hole in the bucket, a hole in my muck boots — and of course there are holes in the fence! But it’s not all bad, so here’s a homesteader’s narrative that provides a good chuckle about life on the homestead with all its wrinkles…and holes.

Overwintering Pigs in the Northeast

Kristen and Dan overwinter their first herd of pigs in Newport, N.H. Learn how we care for them, including fencing, feeding and shelters.

Remembering 'Harvest of Shame'

This is a must see film about the poverty America’s migrant farm workers faced 55 years ago. Although many of these scenes are far from pretty it can be used to inspire and motivate people to support their local and sustainable farms.

Ideas to Strengthen Your Farmers Market or Help Get One Started

Farmers markets are becoming more common every day, but many fail after a year or so, and others are having trouble getting off the ground. Here are a few ideas from a couple of long-time Oregon farmers market pros that might help keep your market going strong.

The Problem with Pedestals

West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates explains why he has a problem with putting farmers, among others, on pedestals.

Seedy Days

January is a great time to count your seeds and share the extras with others through a seed swap or seed library. Find a seed sharing event in your community or start one with friends.

2015: The Year of the Goat

In the year of the goat we must compare the personalities and characteristics of goat people with goats.

A Great Herdswoman's Legacy Lives On

Homegrown.org blogger Dyan Redick of Bittersweet Farm honors - and helps keep alive - the legacy of fellow Maine goat herdswoman Pixie Day.

Getting to Know the Farmers at Winter Green Farm, Part 2

The six owners of Oregon’s Winter Green Farm have effectively navigated the journey from homestead to successful biodynamic farm. This profile of Winter Green Farm has been excerpted from "Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement."

Missouri Organic Association Conference

The Missouri Organic Association is gearing up for its 2015 Annual Conference in Springfield, Mo, on February 5th, 6th and 7th at University Plaza Hotel and Conference Center.

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.

Getting to Know the Farmers at Winter Green Farm, Part 1

Originally founded as a homestead in 1980 by Jack Gray and Mary Jo Wade, Winter Green Farm has grown to become a successful biodynamic farm in Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley. This profile of Winter Green Farm has been excerpted from "Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement."

The Dog Ate My Chickens

An anecdote that illustrates a few of the realities of farm life and raising livestock.

Home from Polyface Farm

Kristen describes returning from her summer internship at Polyface Farm and explains what she's been up to since.

Transitions: Preparing the Farmer for Winter

It's important to prepare your Micro Dairy or small farm for winter by making small improvements to your facilities. But it's also important to mentally prepare for the dark, cold months.

December Bees

A brief update on how the bees are faring during a break in the freezing weather.

7 Steps to Prepare Your Barn for Winter

Finding time to make improvements on a small dairy is difficult but making a few improvements as the seasons change can often make a micro dairy or any size small farm more efficient. Here are 7 steps to help you prepare your barn for the cold winter months.

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.

Purple Sweet Potato Fingerling Salad Recipe

Trendy purple sweet potatoes are a less sweet but no less tasty variety of sweet potatoes and are delicious prepared a number of interesting and unusual ways. Try this salad warm or cold for a scrumptious meal!

My 10-Day Local-Food Challenge Experience

The options for obtaining locally grown food have expanded in recent years, particularly with farmers markets. Expand your diet beyond your garden and meet the folks who can help you do that and stay local.

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.

Building a Goat Shelter and Bedding

A basic overview of why shelter and bedding are must haves for your goat operation. Also, some of our personal experience with a few options.

Environment and Society: Where is the Disconnect?

K.C. Compton takes a glance at more than two dozen trends that are shaping our future, which are documented in the Worldwatch Institute’s latest publication, "Vital Signs, Volume 21."

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.

Aquaponic Farmers Josh and Alicia Davis

Young, pioneering aquaponic farmers like Josh and Alicia Davis, who own and operate an aquaponics farm in the Midwest, are reshaping the future of food in the United Sates. Folks like these surely do inspire others to think differently about their food.

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!

Come for the FAIR, Then Embark on an Ecotourism Adventure

Come early or spend a few days after the three days of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, held at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania this September 12 – 14, 2014. Less than 30 miles from Seven Springs Mountain Resort, there’s an ecotourism adventure to be had.

Steadfast Garlic

Garlic is resilient, easy-to-grow, highly nutritious, and a natural antibiotic.

Lithuanian Radishes

A Lithuanian farmers market seller displays sculpted red radishes with faces!

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).

Weather and Farmers Market Foods

August 3 to 9 is National Farmers Market Week! How does weather impact growth and harvest of fruits and vegetables? www.earthgauge.net/?p=36863

Time to Thank the Bees

In all that can go wrong in beekeeping, it's time to be grateful for a good season.

The Medicinal Properties of Neem

Neem (Azadirachta indica) is used in so many ways in herbal medicine, which is why it has been tagged the "village pharmacy." Neem is used to combat tiredness, cough, fever, loss of appetite, worm infestations and so much more.

A Granola Recipe to Feed the Masses

Going camping, hiking, or canoeing this summer? HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares a big-batch granola recipe that will feed your entire group—or one hungry teen.

Downy Mildew Variety Trials at Twin Oaks Seed Farm

We are trialing 135 varieties of cucumber, winter squash and muskmelon - with a focus on Downy Mildew resistance and fruit quality. An introduction to our trials and to the importance of variety trials in general.

Farmers Swim, Too

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missourian Bryce Oates explains how he and his family survive summer on the farm. Two words: swimming pool.

Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training

The true essence of Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training and Archi’s Acres is about lending a helping hand and empowering veterans to create a sustainable positive future through agribusiness.

A New Blogger at The Farm Community

For more than 40 years, The Farm Community in Tennessee has been on the forefront of farming, gardening and the green lifestyle.

Permaculture as a Global Solution

Permaculture is at the heart of the solution of many environmental crises. Permaculture is alive with the possibilities of positive change.

Manure Can Make a World of Difference

Smallholder farmers around the world have practiced traditional, subsistence farming for as long as farming has been around. Using manure as a natural fertilizer can make the difference between barely scraping by and growing enough to earn an income.

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.

Treating Varroa Mites

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

Piglets and Chicks, Oh My!

The arrival of our first chickens and pigs to the farm, and prepping to head off to my summer internship at Polyface Farm

Releasing an Accidentally Trapped Skunk

Organic gardeners often need to remove mammal pests such as groundhogs and raccoons. Like many, I use live traps. How to deal with a skunk you accidentally catch, without getting sprayed?

Pollen and Honeybees

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

Ground Operations

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

Moving Tips for Homesteaders-to-Be

Pennsylvania mama Michelle has finally found a homestead! Get her moving tips on take-back programs, packing mason jars, buying cheap appliances, and more.

Ecotourism Adventures in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Part 3

Nested amongst the skyscrapers and tucked between white-powdery beaches and either the buzz of South Beach or nature preserves in Hollywood are some eco-minded hotels and restaurants offering patrons a taste of local and sustainable cuisine.

The Joy of Physical Labor

A meditation on the benefits and fulfillment found in the physical labor of homesteading chores.

Sustainable Farming with Reynaldo Ochoa: Rainforest Hero

Reynaldo Ochoa, the subject of a new short film, grows with a goal of teaching and practicing permaculture unique to an individual's region, emphasizing sustainable farming as opposed to “slash and burn” agriculture.

Piglets: The Maiden Voyage

How we found our first piglets and the lesson I learned about the importance of hands on training

So You Want to Be a Farmer?

In the Spring of 2010, I quit my job as a high school theology teacher, because I wanted to be a farmer. I am now entering my fourth year of full-time farming, even though I had almost no experience farming. Here’s how I did it, and some tips to help you on your way.

More Questions To Ask Yourself Before Selecting a Livestock Guard Dog

In our last few posts, we’ve been looking at the various breeds of livestock guard dogs. But before you start looking at advertisements or litters of puppies, there are a few more questions for you to ask yourself. They are centered on two broad issues – your predator problems and your farm or homestead.

I’m Off to Intern at Polyface Farm!

I am off to Polyface Farm to intern for the summer and I’m so excited! I plan to write every week to explain to you what we are learning, how we spend our days, mistakes we make (that you can learn from) and basically anything that can help readers become better farmers and homesteaders. I’ll include lots of photos too, so make sure to check back!

Healing the Earth

Self-dubbed “lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin describes how sustainable living and more conscientious agricultural practices can mend and revive a planet pushed near the brink.

Bees of Winter

Describes the winter hive life of the honey bees.

Gaia Shrugged

Musing on how most of us believe "the end" is near for various reasons.

Biological Farming Trending Up

A description of a pioneering workshop featuring no-till, cover crop cocktails and mob grazing. Douglas County Conservation Service educated local farmers in cutting-edge biological farming techniques.

Rewriting Holiday Traditions

Ilene Freedman and her family reshaped their Chanukah tradition to feature family activities instead of presents.

So You Got Your Dream Homestead, Now What?

You have read every garden, homestead and back to the land book in your library system. Your dreams of coffee at sunrise set to the chatter of fowl made real. With hoe in hand and 914,760 square feet rolling out from your feet like a magic carpet; where do you start?

For the Beekeeping Newbees!

Encouragement for new beekeepers who may be confused and overwhelmed about all the conflicting advice about keeping bees.

HOMEGROWN Life: Let’s Talk About Poop

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel discusses using manure in the garden, including which type of animal waste is best for which crops.

Greater Life Force In the Garden: A Soil Fertility Manifesto

I, alone, am no one. I do not grow food. I do not water the garden. I do not photosynthesize. I do not put the life force in the soil. I do not make the seed. A natural force other than I is responsible for all this. That same natural force uses this body I like to consider my own to garden.

Mountain High in the Laurel Highlands

While the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Mountain Resort may have been John D. Ivanko's family’s primary destination (as speakers about renewable energy, sustainable living and farmstead cooking), it definitely wasn’t their only reason for eco-touring the region known as the Laurel Highlands.

HOMEGROWN Life: A Melancholy Season

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan reflects on the changes that arrive with fall, including her own sense of melancholy.

Homesteads as Agricultural Zoos

Homesteads are keeping alive old skills and ways of raising crops and livestock that are being lost in the age of agribusiness.

Organic Materials Review Institute

At the Mother Earth News Fair, I always enjoy speaking with fellow farmers and gardeners about inputs, organic standards and sound practices in the field. At the OMRI booth, we always provide free OMRI Products Lists of approved input materials, to help you find the right fertilizer or livestock feed additive and keep your farm or garden truly organic .

Farming Is Hard Work

It takes a few good rationalizations to get through the busiest part of the growing season.

Full Circle: a WWOOFer’s Perspective

A WWOOFer (Worldwide Opportunity on Organic Farms reflects on her second visit to an organic herb farm, where she learned more about plant harvesting, medicine making and natural building

Living a Resilient Urban Life

FamilyFarmed.org Good Food Festival & Conference partner Vicki Nowicki shares her experience living, learning, and teaching on her suburban permaculture homestead.

HOMEGROWN Life: Geeking Out on Goats

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel recounts how she went from half-hearted to full-breed-ahead when it comes to breeding goats.

Our Solar-Powered Tractor

The solar-powered tractor was painted Terry’s favorite color—green—before the motor was strapped in. After the motor was installed a battery stand was welded over the top of the DC drive motor which is large enough to accommodate twelve 250-amp deep-cycle batteries. Once the performance controller was installed battery cables were run, linking the batteries together.

Find Local Food

These online tools can help you find the best sources for local food, including local farmers markets and community-supported agriculture programs.

Farming By the Book

Local farmers lease Amherst College land to provide for the school’s dining hall.

HOMEGROWN Life: On the Road (Again)

HOMEGROWN blogger and homesteading mama Michelle explains why road trips are worth packing 3 kids, 2 adults, and 2 dogs in a camper for weeks on end.

Why We Farm

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

HOMEGROWN Life: Giving Up Control

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan learns that giving up control, whether over a mischievous flock or a single lamb, can have its own rewards.

Maple Field Milk Test Results

We passed the "phosphataze" test with the Health Protection Agency and know that the milk from our dairy farm is safe to sell.

Building a Sustainable Farm Business Operation

You can start a productive small farm business rather quickly if you use a business operations approach from the beginning. You may have what it takes if you own some property and are willing to work hard for successful results. Farming is also a practice in which traits like patience and persistence come in handy when everything goes wrong at the same time. These are all parts of the farming business and should be considered valuable lessons learned because they are only attained by experience.

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.

Chef Paul Fehribach To Revive Great Lakes Food Culture

Paul Fehribach sees history in food, cooking methods and recipes and he’s planning a Chicago restaurant that will source 100 percent locally and champion the historic foods and recipes of the Great Lakes region.

Regenerative Agriculture

Focus on Food records an episode from Chaffin Orchards and discusses sustainable farming and the ethics of eating meat.