Learning About Raising Chicks from a Mama Hen

We can argue about how to raise chicks all day, but when it actually comes down to how mama hen and nature do it, no one is going to tell her how she can and can’t do it. Here’s what my Mama Hen is currently teaching this homesteader about raising chicks on our homestead.

Healthy and Safe Grilling Tips for the Summer

Summertime is for grilling. However, to grill safely, there’s a lot to consider. After all, you do not want to ruin a backyard barbecue with a bad tummy ache or a burn! To avoid this, I always recommend the following tips for a safe grilling season.

A Fairy's-Eye View of My Garden

I recently spent time visiting the micro worlds of my garden. It always thrills me to do such a thing and I often find surprises.

Achocha: The Unknown Cucumber Relative

Achocha is a delicious and unknown member of the cucumber family with almost complete immunity from the diseases and pests which attack other cucurbits.

My 22-Bucket Yield from a 5-Hour Stint of Relaxed Composting

Composting is a great way to lessen our carbon footprint and it doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, or difficult. Read this article to learn about Blythe’s relaxed, easy going approach of turning scraps into treasure.

Using Phenology to Better Know Your Land

Observing and documenting the seasonal phenomena that happen on your land can be a fascinating and important way to get an understanding of how it changes through the year. And it can be fun, too!

Swedish Flower Hen

Heritage breed chickens are a doorway into the past. They not only provide you with an opportunity to preserve historical links to the farming community but can be productive members of your homestead as well.

The Prepared Homestead Kitchen: Top Appliances, Part 4

This last year I was able to preserve hops, apples, raspberries through making a puree and drying fruit leather, I made kale chips, dehydrated onions, dried mint and basil, zucchini, plums, and lavender. Yogurt was a common sight in my Excalibur up until our goats’ milk supply slowed down, we’re too busy drinking it to make yogurt right now. This is one of the appliances I really appreciate particularly in the summer/harvesting months. In addition to all of this, we even used the Excalibur to incubate chicks!

An Heirloom Sicilian Kitchen Garden

My grandfather emigrated from Sicily and loved to cook. A recent trip back to the island by my mom, sister and cousin triggered a desire for me to learn what would be in a typical kitchen Sicilian garden. Much research later, this is what a heirloom "l’orto biologico" you would see growing in Sicily at the time my grandfather left his homeland for America in the early 1900s and is being brought back to life through efforts like the Slow Foods organization today.

The Heart of the Home: Planning a Sustainable Custom Kitchen

Planning a custom kitchen design that incorporates sustainable materials and supports a self-reliant lifestyle can be done. Read one couple’s experience and thought process as they do just that. The graphic shown here is a computer-generated draft modeling of the cabinet design for their future kitchen, but note that the colors and materials do not reflect what will be the final look.

5 Tips for a Greener Kitchen Remodel

In order to be environmentally friendly, a kitchen remodel should reduce energy use, reuse or recycle materials, and minimize the carbon footprint of the remodeling project. Here are five tips to keep in mind in order to achieve a greener, cleaner kitchen.

Coping with Ebola and Other Emerging Infections

Renowned herbalist Stephen Harrod Buhner outlines how plant medicines can prevent and treat emerging infections such as Ebola and discusses why these deadly outbreaks are happening. He explains how to use more than a dozen antiviral and immune-boosting herbs, including elder, licorice and skullcap.

Beekeeping: Try Before You Buy

Beekeeping has its benefits: raw honey, beeswax and pollination. With a quick check, you can find out if your community offers a rent-a-bee program. For a fee, you'll get a queen bee, hive colony and a mentor to get you started.

Meet Lovely Rosemary

Rosemary is known as a tasty condiment, but it has also long been used as medicine, and makes for a blissful foot soak.

Black-Capped Chickadee's Secret Diet

The Blacked-capped Chickadee, a frequent visitor to backyard bird feeders, loses a surprising amount of weight each night. Don't try this diet!

Watching The Snow Melt

Everywhere is full of micro-climates. Discover the places in your garden where the soil warms first, or last, by watching the snow melt and taking pictures.

Phenology And Soil Temperature

Noticing the cycles of the plants, animals and insects around you, which is the study of phenology, will help you become more attuned to your garden. Soil temperature has a lot to do with those cycles.

Top 5 Things to Consider Before Moving to the Country

Unprepared for their first foray into country living, Kristy Athens takes what she learned and focuses on 5 areas to be considered before moving to the country: Land, buildings, animals, food and community.

CSA Health Insurance Rebates

FairShare CSA Coalition partners with health insurance groups to offer a rebate for selecting fresh, organic, local produce.

Kitchen Composting

These tips will help you keep your kitchen compost free of rotten smells and fruit flies.

Introduce a Rooster to Your Flock

Keeping a rooster with your flock of hens is beneficial but must be done carefully. Here’s how to introduce a rooster to your poultry flock.

Too Many Garden Veggies! What to Do?

YIKES! What to do when you've planted too many veggies? Is your garden producing more than one family can eat? Sure, you can give it away. But wait! Try pickling those garden gems. This way, you'll be able to enjoy them through the winter and beyond!

Best Sun Protection for Sun Loving Gardeners

Dog days of summer? Yes, but there is still a lot of the grwoing season left. Protect yourself from the late summer sun with these tried 'n true items ... tested by a gardener who knows more than she'd like to about skin cancer.

Garden Washing Station

Set up a washing station in your garden. Rinse your veggies there, saving the water for the garden and keeping your kitchen clean.

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.

Dinner Table + Fruits & Veggies = Happy Families

Drag them... pull them... tie them to a chair! Whatever you have to do to get your family to sit around a table and eat healthfully--do it! We are losing the simple act as gathering as a family a sharing a meal. Do you hear the dinner bell? Let's go!

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.

The Lazy Urban Gardener's Safety Net

So, what do you do if you neglected to start your veggies way back in January or February? You had good intentions but there always seemed to be something that stole your attention. Now it’s the planting season and you have nothing to plant...

How to Buy Seeds

Deciding where to buy seeds can be a perplexing challenge. How does a conscientious gardener choose seeds that will grow well, look lovely and taste great, but also support sustainable seed farmers and healthy environments?

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.

Rethinking Dogs as Flock Tenders

Boy! Did I learn my lesson when I left our young pullets out back with our trusted dogs. I'll never do that again.

Chemicals to Avoid During Pregnancy: BPA

Trace amounts of chemicals are particularly harmful to developing babies, which means expectant mothers should be careful. In the first post of a series, Jessica Kellner writes about the dangers of BPA and how to avoid the chemical.

Turkey Traps and Top Bar Hive Modifications

Top bar hive modifications, turkey traps, and gourmet potatoes are just a few of the topics covered in the past week of blogging we've been up to. Homesteading healthcare and a new virtual book club round off the week with several reader comments.

My First Time: A Garden Connection With My Grandpa

My first blog for MOTHER EARTH NEWS takes me back to a time when I didn't know I had a love of gardening. One of my first gardening experiences came during an unlikely encounter with my curmudgeon grandfather.

Compost: The Other Prize from the Business End of a Chicken

Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.

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.

What's Your Favorite Environmental Literature?

Thoreau, Rachel Carson, Bill McKibbon, Terry Tempest Williams. Do you have a favorite nature or environmental writer? A book or story you can get lost in, that inspires you to action, or simply reminds you of how incredible nature is? Post a comment to share the titles that invite you into the wonder of the natural world — or have maybe even changed your life.

Cooking Greens for Greens Haters

The right recipe can convert people who think they don't like cooked greens, or energize cooks in need of fresh ideas. Here we offer a roundup of recipe ideas for garden-fresh greens from arugula to turnips.

Check Out the 2008 Perseid Meteor Shower

The night sky of Monday, August 11 and early Tuesday the 12th will light up with a spectacular meteor shower. It will be well worth Tuesday's fatigue.

Henry the Discount Bull

Any rancher will tell you, the secret to a healthy, productive herd of cattle is good bulls. Henry the bull may not be perfect on paper, but he turned out to be the perfect bull for Rancho Cappuccino.